Simon Creer

Simon Creer
Bangor University · School of Biological Sciences

About

219
Publications
84,665
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10,173
Citations
Citations since 2017
127 Research Items
8151 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,000

Publications

Publications (219)
Article
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The microbial ecology of acidic mine and sulfide cave ecosystems is well characterised with respect to aquatic communities, typically revealing low taxonomic complexity and dominance by a relatively limited number of cosmopolitan acidophilic bacterial and archaeal taxa. Whilst pH, temperature, and geochemistry are recognised drivers of diversity in...
Article
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Here, we report on eDNA week, an international conference held online as a five‐day series of webinars from January 17, 2022, to January 21, 2022. The conference was organized by the UK DNA working group, which has witnessed considerable growth and application of eDNA research since its founding and first conference in 2014. The 2022 event, held on...
Article
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Generalist species are core components of ecological networks and crucial for the maintenance of biodiversity. Generalised species and networks are expected to be more resilient, therefore understanding the dynamics of specialisation and generalisation in ecological networks is a key focus in a time of rapid global change. Whilst diet generalisatio...
Article
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Synopsis Understanding the plants pollinators use through the year is vital to support pollinator populations and mitigate for declines in floral resources due to habitat loss. DNA metabarcoding allows the temporal picture of nectar and pollen foraging to be examined in detail. Here, we use DNA metabarcoding to examine the forage use of honeybees (...
Article
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Defining appropriate null expectations for species distribution hypotheses is important because sampling bias and spatial autocorrelation can produce realistic, but ecologically meaningless, geographic patterns. Generating null species occurrences with similar spatial structure to observed data can help overcome these problems, but existing methods...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of floral visitation by pollinators provides an opportunity to improve our understanding of the fine-scale ecological interactions between plants and pollinators, contributing to biodiversity conservation and promoting ecosystem health. In this review, we outline the various methods which can be used to identify floral visitation...
Article
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The use of molecular tools to manage natural resources is increasingly common. However, DNA-based methods are seldom used to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of species' range shifts. This is important when managing range shifting species such as non-native species (NNS), which can have negative impacts on biotic communities. Here, we i...
Preprint
Availability of suitable nectar and pollen resources is a limiting factor for pollinator survival, with both overall resource quantity and quality, along with provision throughout the season, being critical. Yet, our understanding of how the selection of floral resources changes over time, and how this relates to floral availability within the land...
Article
Full-text available
1. Gardens are important habitats for pollinators, providing floral resources and nesting sites. There are high levels of public support for growing ‘pollinator‐friendly’ plants but whilst plant recommendation lists are available, they are usually inconsistent, poorly supported by scientific research and target a narrow group of pollinators. In ord...
Preprint
Full-text available
The identification of floral visitation by pollinators provides an opportunity to improve our understanding of the fine-scale ecological interactions between plants and pollinators, contributing to biodiversity conservation and promoting ecosystem health. In this review we outline the various methods which can be used to identify floral visitation,...
Article
Full-text available
By identifying fragments of DNA in the environment, eDNA approaches present a promising tool for monitoring biodiversity in a cost-effective way. This is particularly pertinent for countries where traditional morphological monitoring has been sparse. The first step to realising the potential of eDNA is to develop methodologies that are adapted to l...
Article
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The response of soil microbial communities to a changing climate will impact global biogeochemical cycles, potentially leading to positive and negative feedbacks. However, our understanding of how soil microbial communities respond to climate change and the implications of these changes for future soil function is limited. Here, we assess the respo...
Article
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Meiofaunal animals, roughly between 0.045 and 1 mm in size, are ubiquitous and ecologically important inhabitants of benthic marine ecosystems. Their high species richness and rapid response to environmental change make them promising targets for ecological and biomonitoring studies. However, diversity patterns of benthic marine meiofauna remain po...
Article
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Metabarcoding of DNA extracted from environmental or bulk specimen samples is increasingly used to profile biota in basic and applied biodiversity research because of its targeted nature that allows sequencing of genetic markers from many samples in parallel. To achieve this PCR amplification is carried out with primers designed to target a taxonom...
Article
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Soil organic matter is composed of a variety of carbon (C) forms. However, not all forms are equally accessible to soil microorganisms. Deprivation of C inputs will cause changes in the physical and microbial community structures of soils; yet the trajectories of such changes are not clear. We assessed microbial communities using phospholipid fatty...
Article
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Domestication leads to changes in traits that are under directional selection in breeding programmes, though unintentional changes in non‐production traits can also arise. In offspring of escaping fish and any hybrid progeny, such unintentionally altered traits may reduce fitness in the wild. Atlantic salmon breeding programmes were established in...
Article
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Safeguarding marine ecosystems is essential for maintaining ecosystem function and biodiversity, but effective monitoring of marine habitats can be logistically challenging, costly, and difficult to regularly implement. Environmental DNA-based biomonitoring is a rapidly growing tool that is non-destructive, cost-effective, and reliable. However, di...
Preprint
Full-text available
The use of molecular methods to manage natural resources is increasingly common. However, DNA-based methods are seldom used to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of species' range shifts. This is important when managing range-shifting species such as non-native species (NNS), which can have negative impacts on biotic communities. Here we...
Article
Full-text available
Over millennia, ecological and evolutionary mechanisms have shaped macroecological patterns across the tree of life. Research describing these patterns at both regional and global scales has traditionally focused on the study of metazoan species. Consequently, there is a limited understanding of cross-phylum biogeographic structuring and an escalat...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Landmasses have been continuously modified by tectonic activity, the breakup and collision of landmasses is thought to have generated or suppressed ecological opportunities, altering the rates of speciation, dispersal and extinction. However, the extent to which the signatures of past geological events are retained in modern biodiversity patter...
Preprint
Full-text available
Metabarcoding of DNA extracted from environmental or bulk specimen samples is increasingly used to detect plant and animal taxa in basic and applied biodiversity research because of its targeted nature that allows sequencing of genetic markers from many samples in parallel. To achieve this, PCR amplification is carried out with primers designed to...
Article
Full-text available
Pathogen-induced cancers account for 15% of human tumors and are a growing concern for endangered wildlife. Fibropapillomatosis is an expanding virally and environmentally co-induced sea turtle tumor epizootic. Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) is implicated as a causative virus, but its transmission method and specific role in oncogenesis and progres...
Article
Full-text available
Rapidly assessing biodiversity is essential for environmental monitoring; however, traditional approaches are limited in the scope needed for most ecological systems. Environmental DNA (eDNA) based assessment offers enhanced scope for assessing biodiversity, while also increasing sampling efficiency and reducing processing time, compared to traditi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Defining appropriate null expectations for species distribution hypotheses is important because sampling bias and spatial autocorrelation can produce realistic, but ecologically meaningless, geographic patterns. Generating null species occurrences with similar spatial structure to observed data can help overcome these problems, but existing methods...
Article
Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation in the nose caused by overreaction of the immune system to allergens in the air. Managing allergic rhinitis symptoms is challenging and requires timely intervention. The following are major questions often posed by those with allergic rhinitis: How should I prepare for the forthcoming season? How will the season...
Article
Full-text available
Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation in the nose caused by overreaction of the immune system to allergens in the air. Managing allergic rhinitis symptoms is challenging and requires timely intervention. The following are major questions often posed by those with allergic rhinitis: How should I prepare for the forthcoming season? How will the season...
Article
Full-text available
Grass (Poaceae) pollen is the most important outdoor aeroallergen,¹ exacerbating a range of respiratory conditions, including allergic asthma and rhinitis (“hay fever”).2, 3, 4, 5 Understanding the relationships between respiratory diseases and airborne grass pollen with a view to improving forecasting has broad public health and socioeconomic rele...
Article
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Sea turtle populations are under threat from an epizootic tumor disease (animal epidemic) known as fibropapillomatosis. Fibropapillomatosis continues to spread geographically, with prevalence of the disease also growing at many longer-affected sites globally. However, we do not yet understand the precise environmental, mutational and viral events d...
Article
Full-text available
Decreasing floral resources as a result of habitat loss is one of the key factors in the decline of pollinating insects worldwide. Understanding which plants pollinators use is vital to inform the provision of appropriate floral resources to help prevent pollinator loss. Using a globally important pollinator, the honeybee, we show how changes in ag...
Article
Full-text available
High‐throughput sequencing (HTS) is increasingly being used for the characterisation and monitoring of biodiversity. If applied in a structured way, across broad geographic scales, it offers the potential for a much deeper understanding of global biodiversity through the integration of massive quantities of molecular inventory data generated indepe...
Article
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Background: Quantitative traits are typically considered to be under additive genetic control. Although there are indications that non-additive factors have the potential to contribute to trait variation, experimental demonstration remains scarce. Here, we investigated the genetic basis of growth in Atlantic salmon by exploiting the high level of...
Article
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Practical biodiversity conservation relies on delineation of biologically meaningful units. Manta and devil rays (Mobulidae) are threatened worldwide, yet morphological similarities and a succession of recent taxonomic changes impede the development of an effective conservation strategy. Here, we generate genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism...
Article
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Livestock domestication has long been a part of agriculture, estimated to have first occurred approximately 10 000 years ago. Despite the plethora of traits studied, there is little understanding of the possible impacts domestication has had on internal organs, which are key determinants of survival. Moreover, the genetic basis of observed associat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Accurately assessing community diversity in time and space, and linking these patterns to ecological theory, is essential for effective environmental monitoring. Freshwater macroinvertebrates are an important group of taxa routinely used for riverine environmental assessments due to their wide biological, functional and phylogenetic diversity and t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rapidly assessing biodiversity is essential for environmental monitoring, however traditional approaches are limited in the scope needed for most ecological systems. Environmental DNA (eDNA) based assessment offers increased scope, while reducing cost and time, compared to traditional methods. Here we investigated the effects of landuse and seasona...
Preprint
Full-text available
Accurately assessing community diversity in time and space, and linking these patterns to ecological theory, is essential for effective environmental monitoring. Freshwater macroinvertebrates are an important group of taxa routinely used for riverine environmental assessments due to their wide biological, functional and phylogenetic diversity and t...
Article
Full-text available
Sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) represent a key biological component of the global sulphur (S) cycle and are common in soils, where they reduce SO 4 2− to H 2 S during the anaerobic degradation of soil organic matter. The factors that regulate their distribution in soil, however, remain poorly understood. We sought to determine the ecological patt...
Article
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Benthic macrofauna is regularly used in monitoring programmes, however the vast majority of benthic eukaryotic biodiversity lies mostly in microscopic organisms, such as meiofauna (invertebrates < 1 mm) and protists, that rapidly responds to environmental change. These communities have traditionally been hard to sample and handle in the laboratory,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Over millennia ecological and evolutionary mechanisms have shaped macroecological distributions across the tree of life. Research describing patterns of regional and global biogeography has traditionally focussed on the study of conspicuous species. Consequently, there is limited understanding of cross-phyla biogeographical structuring, and an esca...
Article
Full-text available
A decade after environmental scientists integrated high‐throughput sequencing technologies in their toolbox, the genomics‐based monitoring of anthropogenic impacts on the biodiversity and functioning of ecosystems is yet to be implemented by regulatory frameworks. Despite the broadly acknowledged potential of environmental genomics to this end, tec...
Article
Full-text available
Current approaches to ecological assessment are limited by traditional morpho-taxonomic methods presently employed and the inability to meet increasing demands for rapid assessments. Advancements in high throughput sequencing now enable rapid high-resolution ecological assessment using environmental DNA (eDNA). Here we test the ability of using eDN...
Article
Full-text available
A major challenge in soil science is to monitor and understand the state and change of soils at a national scale, to inform decision making and policy. To address this, there is a need to identify key parameters for soil health and function, and determine how they relate to other parameters including traditional soil surveys. Here we present a nati...
Chapter
Marine management areas provide a key tool for efforts towards sustainable development, reconciling socio-economic goals with those for biodiversity conservation. Decisions about where and when to establish spatial management areas in the oceans are currently hampered by the uncertainties of incomplete, or overly general, information about biodiver...
Article
Full-text available
Soils harbour high levels of microbial diversity, underpinning their ability to provide key soil functions and ecosystem services. The extreme variety of soil microbial life is often explained by reference to the physical and chemical heterogeneity of the soil environment. However, detailed understanding of this link is still lacking, particularly...
Article
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Correction to: Scientific Reports https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-47899-7, published online 09 August 2019 The original version of this Article contained extensive errors in the Reference list. Reference 46 was incorrectly listed as Reference 92, and References 47-92 were incorrectly listed as References 46-91 respectively.
Preprint
Full-text available
Sea turtle populations are directly and indirectly under threat from a range of anthropogenic processes. Perhaps the most visibly apparent of these is the disfiguring tumor disease epizootic (animal epidemic) known as fibropapillomatosis. Fibropapillomatosis continues to spread geographically, with prevalence of the disease also growing at a number...
Preprint
Full-text available
A decade after environmental scientists integrated high-throughput sequencing technologies in their toolbox, the genomics-based monitoring of anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems is yet to be implemented by regulatory frameworks. Despite the broadly acknowledged potential of environmental DNA and RNA to cost-efficiently and accurate...
Article
Full-text available
Classical biomonitoring techniques have focused primarily on measures linked to various biodiversity metrics and indicator species. Next-generation biomonitoring (NGB) describes a suite of tools and approaches that allow the examination of a broader spectrum of organizational levels—from genes to entire ecosystems. Here, we frame 10 key questions t...
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A review of the functional role of jellyfish in Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) models by Pauly et al. [Pauly, D., Graham, W., Libralato, S., Morissette, L., and Deng Palomares, M. L. 2009. Jellyfish in ecosystems, online databases, and ecosystem models. Hydrobiologia, 616: 67–85.] a decade ago concluded that recreation of jellyfish population dynamics i...
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The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region is the accepted DNA barcode of fungi. Its use has led to a step-change in the assessment and characterisation of fungal communities from environmental samples by precluding the need to isolate, culture, and identify individuals. However, certain functionally important groups, such as the arbuscular mycor...
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A warming climate and expected changes in average and extreme rainfall emphasise the importance of understanding how the land surface routes and stores surface water. The availability and movement of water within an ecosystem is a fundamental control on biological and geophysical activity, and influences many climatic feedbacks. A key phenomenon in...
Article
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Ecological interactions between aquatic plants and sediment communities can shape the structure and function of natural systems. Currently, we do not fully understand how seagrass habitat degradation impacts the biodiversity of belowground sediment communities. Here, we evaluated indirect effects of disturbance of seagrass meadows on meiobenthic co...
Article
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Environmental DNA analysis has emerged as a key component of biodiversity and environmental monitoring. However, the state and fate of eDNA in natural environments is still poorly understood for many ecological systems. Here we assess the state and fate of eDNA derived from the water flea, Daphnia magna, using a full factorial mesocosm experiment....
Article
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Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys are increasingly being used for biodiversity monitoring, principally because they are sensitive and can provide high resolution community composition data. Despite considerable progress in recent years, eDNA studies examining how different environmental sample types can affect species detectability remain rare. Comp...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal benthic biodiversity is under increased pressure from climate change, eutrophication, hypoxia, and changes in salinity due to increase in river runoff. The Baltic Sea is a large brackish system characterized by steep environmental gradients that experiences all of the mentioned stressors. As such it provides an ideal model system for studyi...
Article
Full-text available
Grass pollen is the world’s most harmful outdoor aeroallergen. However, it is unknown how airborne pollen assemblages change across time and space. Human sensitivity varies between different species of grass that flower at different times, but it is not known whether temporal turnover in species composition match terrestrial flowering or whether sp...