Michael Traugott

Michael Traugott
University of Innsbruck | UIBK · Institute of Ecology

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284
Publications
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Publications

Publications (284)
Article
The feeding ecology of the Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo has been the subject of many studies in which the hard parts of fish, contained in dietary samples such as regurgitated pellets, were identified using morphological characteristics. However, morphological prey identification does not necessarily permit the reliable identification of all...
Article
Full-text available
The analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) is revolutionizing the monitoring of biodiversity as it allows to assess organismic diversity at large scale and unprecedented taxonomic detail. However, eDNA consists of an extracellular and intracellular fraction, each characterized by particular properties that determine the retrievable information on whe...
Article
Facultative scavenging by predatory carnivores is a prevalent but frequently underestimated feeding strategy. DNA‐based methods for diet analysis, however, do not allow to distinguish between scavenging and predation, thus, the significance of scavenging on population dynamics and resource partitioning is widely unknown. Here, we present a methodol...
Article
Piscivorous birds in aquatic ecosystems exert predation pressure on fish populations. But the site‐specific impact on fish populations, including stocked and commercially used fish species, remains disputed. One of the key questions for the management of piscivorous birds and fish is determining the origin of prey and thus which fish populations ar...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last years, the analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) has become an important approach to investigate species communities. Due to its non-invasive nature and high sensitivity, this method is excellently suited to monitor the occurrence of endangered or invasive species. Native freshwater crayfish are threatened across Europe. Due to their n...
Article
Full-text available
High-throughput sequencing platforms are increasingly being used for targeted amplicon sequencing because they enable cost-effective sequencing of large sample sets. For meaningful interpretation of targeted amplicon sequencing data and comparison between studies, it is critical that bioinformatic analyses do not introduce artefacts and rely on det...
Preprint
The focus of this study was to assess the potential of otolith microchemistry as a fishery management tool for different European freshwater fish species in an Alpine foreland with a diverse range of different water bodies but low geological variation. ⁸⁷ Sr/ ⁸⁶ Sr isotope and Sr/Ca ratios in water samples from 26 habitat sites in a pre-alpine catc...
Article
Full-text available
The use of sensitive methods is key for the detection of target taxa from trace amounts of environmental DNA (eDNA) in a sample. In this context, digital PCR (dPCR) enables direct quantification and is commonly perceived as more sensitive than endpoint PCR. However, endpoint PCR coupled with capillary electrophoresis (celPCR) potentially embodies a...
Article
DNA-based diet analysis of natural enemies is a valuable tool for unravelling the food choice of predators in agroecosystems. It enables the rapid identification of potential biocontrol agents of invertebrate pests. Here, we present a new multiplex PCR system for the identification of pest slug species in the diet of their natural enemies such as c...
Article
Increased climate variability as a result of anthropogenic climate change can threaten the functioning of ecosystem services. However, diverse responses to climate change among species (response diversity) can provide ecosystems with resilience to this growing threat. Measuring and managing response diversity and resilience to global change are key...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular analyses of feces are widely used to study the feeding ecology of bats. However, little is known about how detectability of prey DNA from bat feces is influenced by gut retention time, mass of prey eaten, or prey identity, which hampers the interpretation of field data. Here, we address these knowledge gaps by conducting a feeding experim...
Article
Full-text available
The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis for species monitoring requires rigorous validation—from field sampling to the analysis of PCR‐based results—for meaningful application and interpretation. Assays targeting eDNA released by individual species are typically validated with no predefined criteria to answer specific research questions in one...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
eDNA analysis is ideally suited to monitor the occurrence of endangered or invasive species because of its non-invasive nature and high sensitivity. European freshwater crayfish are threatened across the whole continent. Classical crayfish monitoring is challenging and time consuming due to their nocturnal activity and hidden lifestyle. Therefore,...
Article
Full-text available
The quantitative measurement of environmental DNA (eDNA) from field-collected water samples is gaining importance for the monitoring of fish communities and populations. The interpretation of these signal strengths depends, among other factors, on the amount of target eDNA shed into the water. However, shedding rates are presumably associated with...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing the status and distribution of fish populations in rivers is essential for management and conservation efforts in these dynamic habitats. Currently, methods detecting environmental DNA (eDNA) are being established as an alternative and/or complementary approach to the traditional monitoring of fish species. In lotic systems, a sound under...
Article
Full-text available
Carabids are generalist predators that contribute to the agricultural ecosystem service of seedbank regulation via weed seed predation. To facilitate adoption of this ecosystem services by farmers, knowledge of weed seed predation and the resilience of seedbank regulation with co-varying availability of alternative prey is crucial. Using assessment...
Preprint
The quantitative measurement of eDNA form field-collected water samples is gaining importance for the monitoring of fish communities and populations. The interpretation of these signal strengths depends, among other factors, on the amount of target eDNA shed into the water. However, shedding rates are presumably associated with species-specific tra...
Preprint
Full-text available
The use of sensitive methods is key for the detection of target taxa, from trace amounts of environmental DNA (eDNA) in a sample. In this context, digital PCR (dPCR) enables direct quantification and is commonly perceived as more sensitive than endpoint PCR. However, endpoint PCR coupled with capillary electrophoresis (celPCR) potentially embodies...
Article
Full-text available
Trophic interactions are monitored by molecular methods based on the identification of prey DNA in feces, regurgitates, or the gut content of consumers. In providing highly resolved taxonomic information on dietary choice, DNA‐based analysis has become a key approach to unraveling the structure and dynamics of food webs. It is crucial, however, to...
Preprint
Assessing the status and distribution of fish populations in rivers is essential for management and conservation efforts in these dynamic habitats and currently, environmental DNA (eDNA) is established as an alternative and/or complementary approach to the traditional monitoring of fish species. In lotic systems, a sound understanding of hydrologic...
Article
Full-text available
Fish are both consumers and prey and as such part of a dynamic trophic network. Measuring how they are trophically linked, both directly and indirectly, to other species is vital to comprehend the mechanisms driving alterations in fish communities in space and time. Moreover, this knowledge also helps to understand how fish communities respond to e...
Preprint
Full-text available
Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis utilises trace DNA released by organisms into their environment for species detection and is revolutionising non-invasive species monitoring. The use of this technology requires rigorous validation - from field sampling to interpretation of PCR-based results - for meaningful application and interpretation. Assays t...
Article
Full-text available
Abundance and diversity of natural enemies increases with higher landscape complexity. However, more species can also increase negative interactions such as intraguild predation (IGP), which could be detrimental to pest control. Direct observations of these trophic interactions are still lacking. In the present study, we employed DNA-based gut cont...
Article
Full-text available
Potamodromous fish are considered important indicators of habitat connectivity in freshwater ecosystems, but they are globally threatened by anthropogenic impacts. Hence, non-invasive techniques are necessary for monitoring during spawning migrations. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) potentially facilitates these efforts, albeit quantitative exa...
Article
Full-text available
Functional redundancy can increase the resilience of ecosystem processes by providing insurance against species loss and the effects of abundance fluctuations. However, due to the difficulty of assessing individual species' contributions and the lack of a metric allowing for a quantification of redundancy within communities, few attempts have been...
Article
Agricultural intensification can impact agrobiodiversity in several ways such as in terms of population densities, community composition and food web interactions across all trophic levels. This effect can be investigated at two scales: field-scale and landscape scale. Here it was assessed how the impact of fertilisation (within field) and landscap...
Article
Full-text available
Carabid beetles are abundant in temperate agroecosystems and can play a pivotal role as biocontrol agents. While there is good knowledge regarding their effects on invertebrate pests in some systems, comparably little is known on the rate of seed feeding under field conditions. Molecular approaches are ideally suited for investigating carabid feedi...
Article
• The bird cherry‐oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi is a major cereal pest with an almost cosmopolitan distribution. As one of the main groups of biocontrol agents for aphids, numerous Aphidiinae are associated with R. padi, including the genera Binodoxys and Trioxys. • As a recently described species parasitizing R. padi, Trioxys sunnysidensis is recor...
Article
Full-text available
1.Most ecosystem functions and related services involve species interactions across trophic levels, e.g. pollination and biological pest control. Despite this, our understanding of ecosystem function in multi‐trophic communities is poor, and research has been limited to either manipulations in small communities or statistical descriptions in larger...
Article
Full-text available
The nucleotide variation in the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene makes it ideal for assigning sequences to species. However, this variability also makes it difficult to design truly universal primers. Here, we present the forward primer “Sauron‐S878,” specifically designed to facilitate library preparation for metabarcoding. This primer is...
Article
Full-text available
Next Generation sequencing (NGS) is increasingly used for diet analyses; however, it may not always describe diet samples well. A reason for this is that diet samples contain mixtures of food‐DNA in different amounts as well as consumer‐DNA which can reduce the food‐DNA characterized. Because of this, detections will depend on the relative amount a...
Article
Full-text available
Carabids are abundant in temperate agroecosystems and play a pivotal role as biocontrol agents for weed seed and pest regulation. While there is good knowledge regarding their effects on invertebrate pests, direct evidence for seed predation in the field is missing. Molecular approaches are ideally suited to investigate these feeding interactions;...
Article
Full-text available
Piscivorous birds frequently display sex‐specific differences in their hunting and feeding behavior, which lead to diverging impacts on prey populations. Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae), for example, were previously studied to examine dietary differences between the sexes and males were found to consume larger fish in coastal areas during autumn and...
Article
Full-text available
Primary succession on bare ground surrounded by intact ecosystems is, during its first stages, characterized by predator‐dominated arthropod communities. However, little is known on what prey sustains these predators at the start of succession and which factors drive the structure of these food webs. As prey availability can be extremely patchy and...
Article
Full-text available
Facultative bacterial endosymbionts can protect their aphid hosts from natural enemies such as hymenopteran parasitoids. As such, they have the capability to modulate interactions between aphids, parasitoids and hyperparasitoids. However, the magnitude of these effects in natural aphid populations and their associated parasitoid communities is curr...
Article
Full-text available
Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is a highly polyphagous invasive pest threatening fruit production in the Americas and Europe. The current knowledge of its host plants is mainly based on oviposition and larval development in fruits, while little is known on the diet of the adult flies. This information is important for developing effect...
Article
Full-text available
Food web structure influences ecosystem functioning and the strength and stability of associated ecosystem services. With their broad diet, generalist predators represent key nodes in the structure of many food webs and they contribute substantially to ecosystem services such as biological pest control. However, until recently it has been difficult...
Poster
Full-text available
Alpine grasslands in Europe were shaped by traditional low-input management for centuries. Especially those above the natural treeline were used as summer pastures for sheep and cattle. However, little knowledge is available on the structure and function of soil macro-invertebrate communities of high alpine zones (i.e. high elevation and high latit...
Article
Full-text available
Soil macro-invertebrates play an important role in the formation and functioning of soils, which makes them indispensable for all terrestrial ecosystems, including high alpine soils. However, in the latter, knowledge on species identity, diversity, and functionality of macro-invertebrate soil communities is scarce. Here, we address this knowledge g...
Article
Full-text available
The rapidly growing field of molecular diet analysis is becoming increasingly popular among ecologists, especially when investigating methodologically challenging groups, such as invertebrate generalist predators. Prey DNA detection success is known to be affected by multiple factors, however, the type of dietary sample has rarely been considered....
Article
Full-text available
The vinegar fly Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) is an invasive species that attacks ripening fruits and berries, leading to considerable losses in fruit production. So far, management mainly relies on chemical and cultural control, but additional measures such as biological control are needed. Hence, for the development of sustainable control measur...
Article
Full-text available
The “habitat heterogeneity hypothesis” predicts positive effects of structural complexity on species coexistence. Increasing habitat heterogeneity can change the diversity (number of species, abundances) and the functional roles of communities. The latter, however, is not well understood as species and individuals may respond very differently and d...
Article
Analysis of predator–prey interactions is a core concept of animal ecology, explaining structure and dynamics of animal food webs. Measuring the functional response, i.e. the intake rate of a consumer as a function of prey density, is a powerful method to predict the strength of trophic links and assess motives of prey choice, particularly in arthr...
Article
Full-text available
Parasitoids are important natural enemies of aphids in wheat fields of northern China, and interest in them has increased in recent years. However, little is known regarding parasitoids of wheat aphids, which has hindered the study and understanding of aphid-parasitoid interactions. In the present study, three primary parasitoids and 15 hyperparasi...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular methods allow non-invasive assessment of vertebrate predator-prey systems at high taxonomic resolution by examining dietary samples such as faeces and pellets. To facilitate the interpretation of field-derived data, feeding trials, investigating the impacts of biological, methodological, and environmental factors on prey DNA detection hav...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular techniques have become an important tool to empirically assess feeding interactions. The increased usage of next-generation sequencing approaches has stressed the need of fast DNA extraction that does not compromise DNA quality. Dietary samples here pose a particular challenge, as these demand high-quality DNA extraction procedures for ob...