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Abstract

We present the results of an inventory and status assessment of alien species in Norway. The inventory covered all known multicellular neobiota, 2496 in total, 1039 of which were classified as naturalised. The latter constitute c. 3% of all species known to be stably reproducing in Norway. These figures are higher than expected from Norway’s latitude, which may be due a combination of climatic and historical factors, as well as sampling effort. Most of the naturalised neobiota were plants (71%),followed by animals (21%) and fungi (8%). The main habitat types colonised were open lowlands (79%), urban environments (52%) and woodlands (42%). The main areas of origin were Europe (67%), North America (15%) and Asia (13%). For most taxa, the rate of novel introductions seems to have been increasing during recent decades. Within Norway, the number of alien species recorded per county was negatively correlated with latitude and positively correlated with human population density. In the high-Arctic territories under Norwegian sovereignty, i.e. Svalbard and Jan Mayen, 104 alien species were recorded, of which 5 were naturalised.

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Abstract

Angiostoma norvegicum n. sp. (Angiostomatidae) is described from the oesophagus, crop and the buccal mass of five species of slugs of the family Arionidae, Arion vulgaris (Moquin-Tandon), Arion ater (L.), Arion fasciatus (Nilsson), Arion fuscus (Müller) and Arion rufus/Arion ater hybrid), collected throughout Norway. Angiostoma norvegicum n. sp. was found parasitising arionids at seven of the 30 sample sites examined (23.3%), and 9.9% of all Arion spp. were infected with this nematode. The new species is characterised by its large size (4.0–8.6 mm long) and in having: lateral alae; 6 + 6 papillae at the cephalic end; a large circular mouth aperture; a spacious stoma; a pharyngeal basal bulb without valvular apparatus; an excretory pore near the base of bulb; a distal part of posterior ovary always outstretched; an anterior ovary distally nearly always outstretched; a vulva situated anterior to mid-body; long, nearly straight spicules and a small gubernaculum; three circumcloacal papillae and caudal genital papillae (GP) arranged in a pattern 1+2/3+3 with GP 5 and GP 8 opened on dorsal side of narrow bursa not reaching tail tip; short conical tails in both sexes with tips supplied by 4 short, unequal denticles. Morphologically, A. norvegicum n. sp. is similar to Angiostoma limacis Dujardin, 1845, which diagnostic characteristics are given based on examination of specimens from Norway and the UK. Conversely, the phylogenetic analyses based on D2D3 large subunit (LSU) rRNA gene sequences performed in the present study did not support the morphological affinity of these two species. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that although Angiostoma spp. cluster together, A. norvegicum n. sp. forms a tight monophyletic clade with the milacid nematode parasites Angiostoma margaretae Ross, Malan & Ivanova, 2011 and Angiostoma milacis Ivanova & Wilson, 2009.

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Abstract

1. Fire is a widespread management practice used in the maintenance of European heathland. Frequent prescribed burns in small patches have been shown to benefit carabid communities; however, how fire favours specific life-history traits is poorly understood. 2. In this study, we identify characteristic species of the successional stages within heathlands, and find the traits which are characteristic of species in burnt areas versus areas dominated by older heath stands. 3. We identify 10 species as indicator species for heathland in the pioneer stage (0–5 years old); Amara lunicollis, Bembidion lampros, Calathus fuscipes, Carabus problematicus, Cicindela campestris, Nebria salina, Notiophilus aquaticus, Poecilus cupreus, P. lepidus and P. versicolor. Dyschirius globosus is identified as an indicator for the building stage (6–14 years old), and Carabus violaceus as an indicator for the mature stage (15–25 years old). 4. Moisture preference and diet are identified as traits that determine species response to prescribed fire. Collembolan specialists and species with no moisture preference are shown to be most abundant in burnt patches, whereas generalist predators and species with a high moisture preference are less tolerant of fire. 5. Knowledge of species sorting along a prescribed fire gradient can provide valuable information for heathland conservation.

Abstract

A survey of nematodes associated with terrestrial slugs was conducted for the first time in Norway. A total of 611 terrestrial slugs were collected from 32 sample sites. Slugs were identified by means of morphological examination, dissection of genitalia and molecular analysis using mitochondrial DNA. Twelve slug species were identified, representing four different slug families. Internal nematodes were identified by means of morphological analysis and the sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. Of the sample sites studied, 62.5% were found to be positive for nematode parasites, with 18.7% of all slugs discovered being infected. Five nematode species were identified in this study: Alloionema appendiculatum, Agfa flexilis, Angiostoma limacis, Angiostoma sp. and Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita. Of these species, only one nematode was previously undescribed (Angiostoma sp.). This is the first record of the presence of A. appendiculatum, A. flexilis and A. limacis in Norway.