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Gunnarsson, G., Kjeller, E., Holopainen, S., Djerf, H., Elmberg, J., Poeysae, H., . . . Waldenström, J. (2024). The hub of the wheel or hitchhikers?: The potential influence of large avian herbivores on other trophic levels in wetland ecosystems. Hydrobiologia, 851, 107-127
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The hub of the wheel or hitchhikers?: The potential influence of large avian herbivores on other trophic levels in wetland ecosystems
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2024 (English)In: Hydrobiologia, ISSN 0018-8158, E-ISSN 1573-5117, Vol. 851, p. 107-127Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Goose and swan populations have increased concurrently with environmental degradation of wetlands, such as eutrophication, vegetation losses, and decrease in biodiversity. An important question is whether geese and swans contribute to such changes or if they instead benefit from them. We collected data from 37 wetlands in southern Sweden April - July 2021 to study relationships between geese, swans and other waterbird guilds, macrophytes, invertebrates, as well as physical and water chemistry variables. Neither goose nor swan abundance was negatively correlated with other trophic levels (abundance, richness, or cover). On the contrary, goose or swan abundances were positively related to abundances of surface and benthic feeding waterbirds, cover of specific macrophytes, and to invertebrate richness and abundance. Moreover, invertebrates (number of taxa or abundance) were positively associated with abundance of several waterbird guilds and total phosphorous with surface feeders, whereas water colour was positively (surface feeders) or negatively (benthic feeders) related. We conclude that waterbirds are more abundant in productive wetlands and that geese and swans do not show clear deleterious effects on other trophic levels included in this study. However, patterns may be masked at the species level, which should be addressed in further studies, complemented with experimental studies of grazing impact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2024
Keywords
Geese, Invertebrates, Macrophytes, Swans, Waterbirds, Water chemistry
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-123883 (URN)10.1007/s10750-023-05317-0 (DOI)001043299700001 ()2-s2.0-85167359193 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-08-25 Created: 2023-08-25 Last updated: 2024-01-18Bibliographically approved
Naguib, M. M., Eriksson, P., Jax, E., Wille, M., Lindskog, C., Bröjer, C., . . . Ellström, P. (2023). A Comparison of Host Responses to Infection with Wild-Type Avian Influenza Viruses in Chickens and Tufted Ducks. Microbiology Spectrum, 11(4), Article ID e02586-22.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Comparison of Host Responses to Infection with Wild-Type Avian Influenza Viruses in Chickens and Tufted Ducks
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2023 (English)In: Microbiology Spectrum, E-ISSN 2165-0497, Vol. 11, no 4, article id e02586-22Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cross-species transmission of influenza A virus (IAV) from wild waterfowl to poultry is the first step in a chain of events that can ultimately lead to exposure and infection of humans. Herein, we study the outcome of infection with eight different mallard-origin IAV subtypes in two different avian hosts: tufted ducks and chickens. We found that infection and shedding patterns as well as innate immune responses were highly dependent on viral subtypes, host species, and inoculation routes. For example, intraoesophageal inoculation, commonly used in mallard infection experiments, resulted in no infections in contrast to oculonasal inoculation, suggesting a difference in transmission routes. Despite H9N2 being endemic in chickens, inoculation of mallard-origin H9N2 failed to cause viable infection beyond 1 day postinfection in our study design. The innate immune responses were markedly different in chickens and tufted ducks, and despite the presence of retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I) in tufted duck transcriptomes, it was neither up nor downregulated in response to infection. Overall, we have revealed the heterogeneity of infection patterns and responses in two markedly different avian hosts following a challenge with mallard-origin IAV. These virus-host interactions provide new insights into important aspects of interspecies transmission of IAV.IMPORTANCE Our current findings highlight important aspects of IAV infection in birds that have implications for our understanding of its zoonotic ecology. In contrast to mallards where the intestinal tract is the main site of IAV replication, chickens and tufted ducks show limited or no signs of intestinal infection suggesting that the fecal-oral transmission route might not apply to all bird IAV host species. Our results indicate that mallard-origin IAVs undergo genetic changes upon introduction into new hosts, suggesting rapid adaptation to a new environment. However, similar to the mallard, chickens and tufted ducks show a limited immune response to infection with low pathogenic avian influenza viruses. These findings and future studies in different IAV hosts are important for our understanding of barriers to IAV transmission between species and ultimately from the wild reservoir to humans. Our current findings highlight important aspects of IAV infection in birds that have implications for our understanding of its zoonotic ecology. In contrast to mallards where the intestinal tract is the main site of IAV replication, chickens and tufted ducks show limited or no signs of intestinal infection suggesting that the fecal-oral transmission route might not apply to all bird IAV host species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society for Microbiology, 2023
Keywords
influenza virus, gene expression, innate immunity, adaptive viral mutations
National Category
Microbiology
Research subject
Ecology, Zoonotic Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-123579 (URN)10.1128/spectrum.02586-22 (DOI)001016283300001 ()37358408 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85168235757 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-08-10 Created: 2023-08-10 Last updated: 2023-11-07Bibliographically approved
Bensch, H., Tolf, C., Waldenström, J., Lundin, D. & Zöttl, M. (2023). Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes: captivity changes the gut microbiota composition and diversity in a social subterranean rodent. Animal Microbiome, 5(1), Article ID 9.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes: captivity changes the gut microbiota composition and diversity in a social subterranean rodent
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2023 (English)In: Animal Microbiome, E-ISSN 2524-4671, Vol. 5, no 1, article id 9Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BackgroundIn mammals, the gut microbiota has important effects on the health of their hosts. Recent research highlights that animal populations that live in captivity often differ in microbiota diversity and composition from wild populations. However, the changes that may occur when animals move to captivity remain difficult to predict and factors generating such differences are poorly understood. Here we compare the bacterial gut microbiota of wild and captive Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis) originating from a population in the southern Kalahari Desert to characterise the changes of the gut microbiota that occur from one generation to the next generation in a long-lived, social rodent species.ResultsWe found a clear divergence in the composition of the gut microbiota of captive and wild Damaraland mole-rats. Although the dominating higher-rank bacterial taxa were the same in the two groups, captive animals had an increased ratio of relative abundance of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes compared to wild animals. The Amplicon Sequence Variants (ASVs) that were strongly associated with wild animals were commonly members of the same bacterial families as those strongly associated with captive animals. Captive animals had much higher ASV richness compared to wild-caught animals, explained by an increased richness within the Firmicutes.ConclusionWe found that the gut microbiota of captive hosts differs substantially from the gut microbiota composition of wild hosts. The largest differences between the two groups were found in shifts in relative abundances and diversity of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2023
Keywords
Captivity, Wild, Gut microbiota, Damaraland mole-rat, 16S amplicon sequencing
National Category
Ecology Microbiology
Research subject
Ecology, Microbiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-119958 (URN)10.1186/s42523-023-00231-1 (DOI)000932695300001 ()36765400 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85159590559 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-03-27 Created: 2023-03-27 Last updated: 2023-08-24Bibliographically approved
Bensch, H., Lundin, D., Tolf, C., Waldenström, J. & Zöttl, M. (2023). Environmental effects rather than relatedness determine gut microbiome similarity in a social mammal. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 36(12), 1753-1760
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental effects rather than relatedness determine gut microbiome similarity in a social mammal
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2023 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 36, no 12, p. 1753-1760Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In social species, group members commonly show substantial similarity in gut microbiome composition. Such similarities have been hypothesized to arise either by shared environmental effects or by host relatedness. However, disentangling these factors is difficult, because group members are often related, and social groups typically share similar environmental conditions. In this study, we conducted a cross-foster experiment under controlled laboratory conditions in group-living Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis) and used 16S amplicon sequencing to disentangle the effects of the environment and relatedness on gut microbiome similarity and diversity. Our results show that a shared environment is the main factor explaining gut microbiome similarity, overshadowing any effect of host relatedness. Together with studies in wild animal populations, our results suggest that among conspecifics environmental factors are more powerful drivers of gut microbiome composition similarity than host genetics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2023
Keywords
16S, environmental effects, group living, gut microbiome, relatedness
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-124071 (URN)10.1111/jeb.14208 (DOI)001049289200001 ()37584218 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85168146294 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-09-05 Created: 2023-09-05 Last updated: 2024-01-18Bibliographically approved
Jax, E., Werner, E., Mueller, I., Schaerer, B., Kohn, M., Olofsson, J., . . . Haertle, S. (2023). Evaluating Effects of AIV Infection Status on Ducks Using a Flow Cytometry-Based Differential Blood Count. Microbiology Spectrum, 11(4), Article ID e04351-22.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluating Effects of AIV Infection Status on Ducks Using a Flow Cytometry-Based Differential Blood Count
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2023 (English)In: Microbiology Spectrum, E-ISSN 2165-0497, Vol. 11, no 4, article id e04351-22Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ducks have recently received a lot of attention from the research community due to their importance as natural reservoirs of avian influenza virus (AIV). Still, there is a lack of tools to efficiently determine the immune status of ducks. The purpose of this work was to develop an automated differential blood count for the mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos), to assess reference values of white blood cell (WBC) counts in this species, and to apply the protocol in an AIV field study. We established a flow cytometry-based duck WBC differential based on a no-lyse no-wash single-step one-tube technique, applying a combination of newly generated monoclonal antibodies with available duck-specific as well as cross-reacting chicken markers. The blood cell count enables quantification of mallard thrombocytes, granulocytes, monocytes, B cells, CD4(+) T cells (T helper) and CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells. The technique is reproducible, accurate, and much faster than traditional evaluations of blood smears. Stabilization of blood samples enables analysis up to 1 week after sampling, thus allowing for evaluation of blood samples collected in the field. We used the new technique to investigate a possible influence of sex, age, and AIV infection status on WBC counts in wild mallards. We show that age has an effect on the WBC counts in mallards, as does sex in juvenile mallards. Interestingly, males naturally infected with low pathogenic AIV showed a reduction of lymphocytes (lymphocytopenia) and thrombocytes (thrombocytopenia), which are both common in influenza A infection in humans.IMPORTANCE Outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry and humans are a global public health concern. Aquatic birds are the primary natural reservoir of avian influenza viruses (AIVs), and strikingly, AIVs mainly cause asymptomatic or mild infection in these species. Hence, immunological studies in aquatic birds are important for investigating variation in disease outcome of different hosts to AIV and may aid in early recognition and a better understanding of zoonotic events. Unfortunately, immunological studies in these species were so far hampered by the lack of diagnostic tools. Here, we present a technique that enables high-throughput white blood cell (WBC) analysis in the mallard and report changes in WBC counts in wild mallards naturally infected with AIV. Our protocol permits large-scale immune status monitoring in a widespread wild and domesticated duck species and provides a tool to further investigate the immune response in an important reservoir host of zoonotic viruses. Outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry and humans are a global public health concern. Aquatic birds are the primary natural reservoir of avian influenza viruses (AIVs), and strikingly, AIVs mainly cause asymptomatic or mild infection in these species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society for Microbiology, 2023
Keywords
avian influenza, flow cytometry, high-throughput, leukocyte quantification, mallard, disease ecology, birds, avian, avian viruses
National Category
Microbiology
Research subject
Ecology, Zoonotic Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-123540 (URN)10.1128/spectrum.04351-22 (DOI)001008236400001 ()37318353 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85168241537 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-08-09 Created: 2023-08-09 Last updated: 2023-11-07Bibliographically approved
Waldenström, J., van Toor, M. L. & Lindström, Å. (2023). Long-term trends in abundance, phenology, and morphometrics of Little Stint Calidris minuta during autumn migration in southern Sweden, 1946–2020. Ornis Svecica, 33, 30-48
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Long-term trends in abundance, phenology, and morphometrics of Little Stint Calidris minuta during autumn migration in southern Sweden, 1946–2020
2023 (English)In: Ornis Svecica, ISSN 1102-6812, E-ISSN 2003-2633, Vol. 33, p. 30-48Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Little Stint Calidris minuta is an Arctic wader species that migrates through the Baltic Sea region towards wintering areas in North and West Africa and the Mediterranean region. We use a 75-year trapping series, comprising 4,791 Little Stints on autumn migration, from Ottenby Bird Observatory in Sweden to illustrate long-term trends in abundance, phenology, and morphometrics. Numbers of trapped juveniles dropped from median 31 (mean 74) in 1946–1999 to median 1.5 (mean 3.5) birds in 2000–2020, while the number of adults was generally low and without trends. Rolling window analyses showed that the drop in juveniles started around 1984, and from 1993 onward the median never exceeded seven juveniles/year (25 %-quantile: 0–1; 75 %-quantile: 4–55). Moreover, adult birds advanced their passage on average 0.48 days per year, passing 26 days earlier in 2020 than in 1946. Earlier migration of adults and decreased numbers of juveniles suggest low reproductive output in recent decades. Morphometric data of recaptured birds show that Little Stints on stopover at Ottenby gain fuel at a speed close to the theoretical maximum, strongly indicating that the conditions at the trapping site remain favourable for foraging waders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BirdLife Sweden, 2023
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-126680 (URN)10.34080/os.v33.23489 (DOI)2-s2.0-85162000539 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-01-12 Created: 2024-01-12 Last updated: 2024-02-15Bibliographically approved
Alam, A. B., Ahmed, S., Azmiri, K. Z., Amin, R., van Toor, M. L., Datta, A. K., . . . Chowdhury, S. U. (2023). Population trends and effects of local environmental factors on waterbirds at Tanguar Haor freshwater wetland complex in northeast Bangladesh. Avian Conservation and Ecology - Écologie et conservation des oiseaux, 18(1), Article ID 18.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Population trends and effects of local environmental factors on waterbirds at Tanguar Haor freshwater wetland complex in northeast Bangladesh
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2023 (English)In: Avian Conservation and Ecology - Écologie et conservation des oiseaux, ISSN 1712-6568, E-ISSN 1712-6568, Vol. 18, no 1, article id 18Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analysis of long-term datasets on bird populations can be used to answer ecological and management questions that are useful for conservation. Tanguar Haor (9500 ha) is one of the major freshwater wetlands in Bangladesh and supports a large number of migratory and resident waterbirds. Because of its unique ecological and economic values, it is arguably the most notable wetland in the floodplains of northeast Bangladesh and in the region. This Ramsar site supports globally important populations of threatened waterbirds, such as the Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri, Common Pochard Aythya ferina, Falcated Duck Mareca falcata, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca, Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster, and Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa. Considering the international significance of this site, knowledge gaps on waterbird population trends, and key ecological factors, we conducted waterbird census between 2008 and 2021 to identify priority sites for conservation, population trends of resident and migratory waterbirds, and environmental factors that influence their abundances. We recorded a total of 69 species of waterbirds (maximum count of 166,788 individuals in 2013) and assessed population trends of 47 species. Of these, peak counts of 15 species exceeded the 1% threshold of their Asian-Australian Flyway population estimates. Most species (59%) showed a declining trend, including the critically endangered Baer's Pochard and the vulnerable Common Pochard, and 16 species (41%) showed an increasing trend. Based on the abundance and species diversity, we have identified Chotainna beel and Lechuamara beel as conservation priority sites within the Haor complex and discuss key threats to these areas. We also offer evidence that adjusting water-level management to annual rainfall patterns could be a useful intervention for waterbird management. Involving local communities in conservation efforts by creating bird sanctuaries within the Haor complex will strengthen waterbird conservation in the country and along the East Asian-Australian Flyway.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Resilience Alliance, 2023
Keywords
Bangladesh waterbirds, EAA flyway, population trend, Ramsar site, wetland, wintering site
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecology, Zoonotic Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-121483 (URN)10.5751/ACE-02405-180118 (DOI)000985913700001 ()2-s2.0-85160318765 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-06-08 Created: 2023-06-08 Last updated: 2023-08-31Bibliographically approved
Karawita, A. C., Cheng, Y., Chew, K. Y., Challagulla, A., Kraus, R., Mueller, R. C., . . . Short, K. R. (2023). The swan genome and transcriptome, it is not all black and white. Genome Biology, 24(1), Article ID 13.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The swan genome and transcriptome, it is not all black and white
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2023 (English)In: Genome Biology, ISSN 1465-6906, E-ISSN 1474-760X, Vol. 24, no 1, article id 13Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BackgroundThe Australian black swan (Cygnus atratus) is an iconic species with contrasting plumage to that of the closely related northern hemisphere white swans. The relative geographic isolation of the black swan may have resulted in a limited immune repertoire and increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, notably infectious diseases from which Australia has been largely shielded. Unlike mallard ducks and the mute swan (Cygnus olor), the black swan is extremely sensitive to highly pathogenic avian influenza. Understanding this susceptibility has been impaired by the absence of any available swan genome and transcriptome information.ResultsHere, we generate the first chromosome-length black and mute swan genomes annotated with transcriptome data, all using long-read based pipelines generated for vertebrate species. We use these genomes and transcriptomes to show that unlike other wild waterfowl, black swans lack an expanded immune gene repertoire, lack a key viral pattern-recognition receptor in endothelial cells and mount a poorly controlled inflammatory response to highly pathogenic avian influenza. We also implicate genetic differences in SLC45A2 gene in the iconic plumage of the black swan.ConclusionTogether, these data suggest that the immune system of the black swan is such that should any avian viral infection become established in its native habitat, the black swan would be in a significant peril.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2023
Keywords
Genomes, Virology, Black swan
National Category
Ecology Immunology Genetics
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-119771 (URN)10.1186/s13059-022-02838-0 (DOI)000924247500001 ()36683094 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85146619997 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-03-16 Created: 2023-03-16 Last updated: 2023-05-31Bibliographically approved
Wille, M. & Waldenström, J. (2023). Weathering the Storm of High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza in Waterbirds. Waterbirds (De Leon Springs, Fla.), 46(1), 100-109
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Weathering the Storm of High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza in Waterbirds
2023 (English)In: Waterbirds (De Leon Springs, Fla.), ISSN 1524-4695, E-ISSN 1938-5390, Vol. 46, no 1, p. 100-109Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The ongoing panzootic of bird flu caused by high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) virus is unprecedented in scale, with mass mortality events causing population level effects for several waterbird species. While the panzootic commenced in 2021, a number of key events have occurred over the past decades leading to the emergence of this viral lineage. Since 2021, tens of thousands of outbreaks have occurred affecting at least 320 species belonging to 21 orders, of which the vast majority are waterbirds. In this report we provide examples from across the globe associated with population level declines. Only Australia and Antarctica are unaffected, although this could change rapidly. Despite the carnage caused by mass mortality events, there are strategies to better protect waterbirds in both the short and long term. These include prevention of further spillover events from poultry, designing improved surveillance systems to both inform virus epidemiology and to benefit of all wild birds rather than only poultry (and humans), and respond appropriately to outbreaks in wildlife with necessary detail and resources. The loss of waterbirds at the current scale will not only be a conservation disaster, but also an ecological disaster, and therefore response to outbreaks in waterbirds must be prioritized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioOne, Waterbird Society, 2023
Keywords
avian influenza, opinion
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-126264 (URN)10.1675/063.046.0113 (DOI)001108406500013 ()2-s2.0-85178026933 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-01-09 Created: 2024-01-09 Last updated: 2024-02-15Bibliographically approved
Waldenström, J., van Toor, M. L., Lewis, N., Lopes, S., Javakhishvili, Z., Muzika, D., . . . Brouwer, A. (2022). Active wild bird surveillance of avian influenza viruses, a report. EFSA Supporting Publications, 19(12), Article ID 7791E.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Active wild bird surveillance of avian influenza viruses, a report
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2022 (English)In: EFSA Supporting Publications, ISSN 2397-8325, Vol. 19, no 12, article id 7791EArticle in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This report summarises the potential for an EU-wide active surveillance of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in wild birds. As basis for the analyses, we collected and analysed virological and ornithological data and carried out fieldwork in two countries outside the EU: Ukraine and Georgia. We show that it is possible to build capacity and logistics for sampling nodes that can provide rapid detection and identification of HPAI, that are key features for an early warning system. Based on the data presented here, it is suggested that an EU-level surveillance network in wild birds is constructed, where surveillance nodes are chosen to reflect the epidemiological benefit of the whole EU. Selection of sampling nodes in the surveillance network should incorporate ornithological and virological background data, and that on-site development should include combined local ornithology and virology expertise and a minimised analytic time frame from sample to result. Ideally, surveillance nodes should be constructed with operational flexibility in what type of material that can be collected, such as active surveillance of wild birds (cloacal, oropharyngeal, blood samples), sampling of hunting bags, and the possibility to take environmental samples or to sample carcasses. This way a surveillance node could be adapted to changes in virus epidemiology, such as shifts in what hosts need to be sampled and at what times of the year sampling should occur. In times of enzootic virus circulation, the network should be tuned to monitor waves of infections and provide warning signals when increased activity is anticipated based on migratory bird movements. Based on the above assumptions, we provide a set of suitable regions, both within and outside the EU, that should be considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2022
National Category
Microbiology
Research subject
Ecology, Microbiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-126852 (URN)10.2903/sp.efsa.2022.en-7791 (DOI)
Available from: 2024-01-17 Created: 2024-01-17 Last updated: 2024-02-15Bibliographically approved
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Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-1152-4235

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