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Kathrin Theissinger

Kathrin Theissinger
LOEWE centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics Senckenberg Nature Research Institute · Functional Environmental Genomics

Dr.

About

85
Publications
18,096
Reads
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1,212
Citations
Citations since 2016
52 Research Items
781 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Additional affiliations
September 2020 - present
LOEWE centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics Senckenberg Nature Research Institute
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • In my research I am investigating the evolution of interspecific interactions, biodiversity and ecological communities of freshwaters under anthropogenic influence by use of genomic methods. One of my main focus is to study evolutionary and ecological processes mediated by parasitism and host-parasite coevolution in aquatic ecosystems. I am also interested in studying the functional consequences of evolutionary changes at different biological levels, from cell to organism to ecosystems.
April 2011 - September 2021
Universität Koblenz-Landau
Position
  • Group Leader
Description
  • My team applies genetics as a tool to enable a better understanding and managing of natural populations with regard to biodiversity conservation, invasive species management and evolutionary ecotoxicology. www.uni-landau.de/umwelt/theissinger.html

Publications

Publications (85)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The influence of Asian fish species on the natural ecosystems of Europe is poorly understood. The popularity of these species in pond aquaculture contributes to their European-wide invasion. There are conflicting opinions on how Asian carps may affect natural ecosystems, either positively by control of "water bloom" as fish food, or negatively by r...
Article
Full-text available
An ecological disaster based on human ignorance of scientific facts: the deliberate introduction of alien crayfish to Europe is a classic case of solving an ecosystem problem created by a mistake by making another. The devastation of the native European crayfish populations was a result of accidental introduction of crayfish plague (Aphanomyces ast...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien crayfish threaten the diversity of freshwater ecosystems and native crayfish fauna. In Europe, this is largely due to transmission of the crayfish plague to susceptible native crayfish. Many invasive species tolerate crayfish plague, but the infection still has the potential to reduce the fitness of a tolerant host due to energy trad...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Crayfish plague disease, caused by the oomycete pathogen Aphanomyces astaci represents one of the greatest risks for the biodiversity of the freshwater crayfish. This data article covers the de novo transcriptome assembly and annotation data of the noble crayfish and the marbled crayfish challenged with Ap. astaci. Following the control...
Article
Full-text available
Background: For over a century, scientists have studied host-pathogen interactions between the crayfish plague disease agent Aphanomyces astaci and freshwater crayfish. It has been hypothesised that North American crayfish hosts are disease-resistant due to the long-lasting coevolution with the pathogen. Similarly, the increasing number of latent...
Article
Full-text available
Ponds in agricultural landscapes are often used by amphibians as breeding habitat. However, the characteristics of agricultural ponds and especially the surrounding area are usually said to be suboptimal for many amphibian species. Using suboptimal habitats might allow a species' survival and reproduction, but can have negative consequences at the...
Article
Full-text available
Pesticides are one of the main drivers of the worldwide amphibian decline. Their actual toxicity depends on a number of factors, like the species in focus or the developmental stage of exposed individuals. As ectothermic species, the metabolism of amphibians is influenced by ambient temperature. Therefore, temperature also affects metabolic rates a...
Method
Full-text available
This material is a brief description of the basic methods of collecting green frogs for scientific and environmental studies by the hand net catching, used by the authors for many years in Latvia. The preparation for catching, he equipment, the basic methods of catching and storage frogs are described. The material can be used for sampling green fr...
Presentation
Raputaru kertoo tarinan jokiravun kohtalosta ympäristömuutosten, rapuruton ja täpläravun paineessa. Opettavainen tarina korostaa luonnon merkitystä ja kotoperäisten lajien uhanalaista asemaa ja muistuttaa hyvinvoivan luonnon merkityksestä meille kaikille. Löytyy katseltavaksi täältä: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJp9w0cEUNk.
Article
Full-text available
We are discussing the matters related to the definitions and practicalities of species, in this case being crayfish, to be either alien or native. A species can not be both. We are also discussing the implications of native or alien definitions been applied to practical cases. One of our main aims is to halt the alien species to be called native.
Presentation
Full-text available
An educational animation based on the story of noble crayfish and its fate in the hands of the crayfish plague and signal crayfish. A story on the effects of the alien crayfish species on European aquatic ecosystems and native crayfish. It is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZLIaCJOwPo
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Exotic aquatic turtle species often become favorite pets, especially juveniles. Later, at the adult stage, they are commonly released into the wild. However, questions remain - how likely it is that, these thermophilic exotic turtles can establish themselves in Eastern Europe and neighboring territories.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Along with decrease in numbers among amphibians in Eastern Europe nowadays newts especially suffer from invasive predatory fish and turtles. Such aggressive predator as P. glenii has recently occupied water bodies important for newts' breeding. The fish eat eggs, larvae and even adult individuals. Using the ecological niche approach, it was showed...
Book
Full-text available
Freshwater ecosystem functioning is often thought to be dominated by fish, determining the community structure via top-down control and ecosystem engineering. However, freshwater crayfish can have an even stronger effect on food web and ecosystem functioning, operating as keystone species in a water body (Longshaw and Stebbing, 2016). As environmen...
Article
Full-text available
The crayfish plague disease agent, Aphanomyces astaci, has coevolved with the native European crayfish since its arrival to mainland Europe in the 1860s. There are indications that some of the A. astaci strains are of reduced virulence, while the resistance against A. astaci infection varies among native European crayfish stocks. In Lake Venesjärvi...
Article
Presented at the 2nd International Electronic Conference on Diversity (IECD 2022)—New Insights into the 18 Biodiversity of Plants, Animals and Microbes, 15–30 March 2022; Available online: https://scifo-19 rum.net/event/IECD2022.
Article
Full-text available
The invasive spiny-cheek crayfish (Faxonius limosus) has been able to colonize many European waterbodies since its first introduction into Europe, threatening the indigenous crayfish fauna. The remarkable reproductive plasticity of this species has been suggested as an important factor contributing to the alarming invasiveness of this species. In t...
Article
Full-text available
Freshwater ecosystem functioning is often thought to be dominated by fish, determining the community structure via top-down control and ecosystem engineering. However, freshwater crayfish can have an even stronger effect on food web and ecosystem functioning, operating as keystone species in a water body (Longshaw & Stebbing, 2016). As environmenta...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Aphanomyces astaci is an Oomycete pathogen listed amongst the 100 worst invasive species worldwide. It was first introduced into Europe with invasive North American crayfish species and caused the collapse of numerous native freshwater crayfish populations. It is hypothesised that some of the first A. astaci strains to reach Europe, belonging to ha...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The introduction of North American freshwater crayfish and their hitchhiking pathogen Aphanomyces astaci into Europe has led to several mass mortalities among native European crayfish populations. However, several studies have indicated a great variability of pathogen virulence and host resistance, possibly indicating host-pathogen adaptation. This...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pesticides are one of the main drivers of the worldwide amphibian decline. Their actual toxicity depends on a number of factors, like the species in focus or the developmental stage of exposed individuals. As ectothermic species, the metabolism of amphibians is influenced by ambient temperature. Therefore, temperature also affects metabolic rates a...
Article
Full-text available
For 150 years the crayfish plague disease agent Aphanomyces astaci has been the cause of mass mortalities among native European crayfish populations. However, recently several studies have highlighted the great variability of A. astaci virulence and crayfish resistance toward the disease. The main aim of this study was to compare the response of tw...
Article
Full-text available
Native European crayfish conservation was triggered by invasion of crayfish plague disease agent, Aphanomyces astaci, starting 1860s in Northern Italy. Resulting crayfish plague epidemics quickly spread over Continental Europe, then to Finland, Sweden and finally, after running amok around Europe, A. astaci was discovered also in Iberian Peninsula,...
Poster
Full-text available
Freshwater crayfish represent keystone species of the freshwater ecosystems. With the introduction of invasive North American crayfish species and their pathogen Aphanomyces astaci a significant decline in the size and abundance of European freshwater crayfish populations was observed. Marbled crayfish is an invasive species exhibiting a high resis...
Preprint
The invasive spiny-cheek crayfish (Faxonius limosus) has been able to colonize many European waterbodies since its first introduction into Europe, threatening the indigenous crayfish fauna. Faxonius limosus' remarkable reproductive plasticity has been suggested as an important factor contributing to this species' alarming invasiveness. This is the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract Introduction of invasive North American crayfish species and their pathogen Aphanomyces astaci has significantly contributed to the decline of European freshwater crayfish populations. In this study, noble crayfish, a susceptible native European species, and marbled crayfish, an invasive disease-resistant species, were challenged with ha...
Article
Introduction of invasive North American crayfish species and their pathogen Aphanomyces astaci has significantly contributed to the decline of European freshwater crayfish populations. In this study, noble crayfish, a susceptible native European species, and marbled crayfish, an invasive disease-resistant species, were challenged with haplogroup A...
Article
Full-text available
Chironomids have been proposed as important indicators for monitoring freshwater ecosystems, however, morphological determination is very challenging. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of metabarcoding for chironomid diversity assessment and tested the retrieved chironomid operational taxonomic units (OTUs) for possible changes in re...
Article
Full-text available
Most agricultural soils are expected to be contaminated with agricultural chemicals. As the exposure to pesticides can have adverse effects on non-target organisms, avoiding contaminated areas would be advantageous on an individual level, but could lead to a chemical landscape fragmentation with disadvantages on the metapopulation level. We investi...
Article
Full-text available
The European weather loach (Misgurnus fossilis ) is classified as highly endangered in several countries of Central Europe. Populations of M. fossilis are predominantly found in ditches with low water levels and thick sludge layers and are thus hard to detect using conventional fishing methods. Therefore, environmental DNA (eDNA) monitoring appears...
Article
Two important drivers of the global amphibian decline are habitat destruction due to an intensification of farming and a related increase of pesticide applications. Recent studies have shown that there might be an underestimated risk of pesticides on terrestrial amphibians. However, there are too few data on the terrestrial habitat use of amphibian...
Article
Full-text available
1. Identification of the geographic extent of population boundaries, the distribution of genetic lineages, and the amount of genetic exchange among breeding groups is needed for effective conservation of vulnerable marine migratory species. This is particularly true of the flatback turtle (Natator depressus), which only breeds in Australia but has...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions represent a complex phenomenon driven by multiple factors. In this study, a real-time invasion process between a native (Pon-tastacus leptodactylus) and an invasive (Faxonius limosus) crayfish species was investigated in the Lower Danube (South-East Europe) through an inter-disciplinary approach, by measuring various ecological...
Article
Full-text available
The Upper Rhine Valley, a Hotspot of Biodiversity in Germany, has been treated with the biocide Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) for mosquito control for decades. Previous studies discovered Bti non‐target effects in terms of severe chironomid abundance reductions. In this study, we investigated the impact of Bti on species level and a...
Article
The American rusty crayfish, Faxonius rusticus, is an invasive species in parts of North America where it displaces native crayfish species. In Europe, various invasive North American crayfish species are carriers of the crayfish plague disease agent Aphanomyces astaci that causes devastating population declines of European crayfish. Little is know...
Article
Full-text available
Background The marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) is a monoclonal, parthenogenetically reproducing freshwater crayfish species that has formed multiple stable populations worldwide. Madagascar hosts a particularly large and rapidly expanding colony of marbled crayfish in a unique environment characterized by a very high degree of ecological...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Report of the University of Koblenz-Landau on the results of the interdisciplinary project "AufLand", on impacts of running and standing water on the surrounding land. Editor: The President of the University of Koblenz-Landau. Topic editors: Susanne I. Schmidt, Carola Winkelmann, Claudia Eberhard-Metzger, Berend Barkela. The work was supported by t...
Article
Full-text available
The oomycete Aphanomyces astaci , the causative agent of crayfish plague, is listed as one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world, destroying the native crayfish populations throughout Eurasia. The aim of this study was to examine the potential of selected mitochondrial (mt) genes to track the diversity of the crayfish plague pathogen A. as...
Article
Full-text available
The biocide Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) is widely applied for mosquito control in temporary wetlands of the German Upper Rhine Valley. Even though Bti is considered environmentally friendly, several studies have shown non-target effects on chironomids, a key food resource in wetland ecosystems. Chironomids have been proposed as im...
Article
Full-text available
One central goal of conservation biology is to conserve the genetic diversity of species in order to protect their adaptive potential. The main objective of this study was to identify management units (MUs) for the threatened noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) in Western Europe by utilizing sequence and microsatellite analysis to determine population...
Article
Full-text available
Amphibian populations have been declining globally over the past decades. The intensification of agriculture, habitat loss, fragmentation of populations and toxic substances in the environment are considered as driving factors for this decline. Today, about 50% of the area of Germany is used for agriculture and is inhabited by a diverse variety of...
Article
Full-text available
Several North American crayfish species have so far been identified as carriers of the crayfish plague agent Aphanomyces astaci. The pathogen is responsible for the declines of thousands of European crayfish populations. Currently, one of the introduction pathways of North American crayfish species is the aquarium trade which may sometimes be follo...
Article
Full-text available
In population genetic studies, a proper sampling design is crucial for reliable population differentiation estimates. For genetic studies on amphibians, fish or insects, larvae are often sampled instead of adults due to their higher accessibility and abundance. However, population genetic parameters derived from larval (sibling) sampling can be bia...
Article
Full-text available
Reconstructing the phylogeographic history of a species can aid in defining areas of conservation priority. For freshwater species, historical river structure plays a significant role in explaining genetic differentiation and population structure. However, human-induced translocations can erase the natural genetic structure, especially for species...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
For centuries the meadows at the river Queich in southern Rhineland-Palatinate were irrigated to enhance the quantity and quality of hay. With the introduction of fertili-zers irrigation was stopped in most areas but partly reactivated within the last few years. Today we find a small-scaled mosaic of (non-) irrigated and (un-) fertilized meadows. T...
Article
Full-text available
Non-invasive DNA sampling is an important tool in amphibian conservation. Buccal swabs are nowadays replacing the wounding toe-clipping method. Skin and cloaca swabbing are even less invasive and easier to handle than buccal swabbing, but could result in contaminations of genetic material. Therefore, we test if external skin and cloaca swabs are as...
Article
The persistence of pond-breeding amphibian populations is influenced on different spatial scales ranging from the individual breeding pond to surrounding habitat patches to landscape clusters of breeding pond populations. The connectivity among breeding ponds as well as the availability of suitable terrestrial habitats surrounding the ponds plays a...
Article
General models for understanding the climate-driven processes of post-glacial colonization in European arctic–alpine species are mainly derived from studies on temperate terrestrial taxa. However, cold-adapted freshwater species may tolerate or even thrive under colder climatic conditions as flowing water habitats are thermally buffered against fre...
Article
Full-text available
Several methods have been applied to calculate genotyping error rates (GER) for non-invasive population size estimations. However, there is a lack of comparability between these methods. Here we focused on the comparison of methods for determination of GER within one study using faeces samples of wild boars (Sus scrofa). Error rates were calculated...
Article
Full-text available
In the context of developing a noninvasive, practicable method for population size estimation in wild boar, we present a stepwise procedure to reduce the number of required microsatellite markers for individual genotyping. Step1: an initial marker set of 12 microsatellite loci was tested for species specificity with nontarget DNA and resulted in an...
Article
1. We investigated the Pleistocene and Holocene history of the rare mayfly Ameletus inopinatus EATON 1887 (Ephemeroptera: Siphlonuridae) in Europe. We used A. inopinatus as a model species to explore the phylogeography of montane, cold-tolerant aquatic insects with arctic–alpine distributions. 2. Using species distribution models, we developed hypo...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change (GCC) significantly affects distributional patterns of organisms, and considerable impacts on biodiversity are predicted for the next decades. Inferred effects include large-scale range shifts towards higher altitudes and latitudes, facilitation of biological invasions and species extinctions. Alterations of biotic patterns ca...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Carpathians are one of the major mountain ranges of Europe, but still one of its least studied regions. It is increasingly recognized that they played a major role in the formation and Pleistocene survival of numerous continental, arctic, and arctic–alpine taxa. Many endemic taxa have been described from these mountains. The number of phylogeog...