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18 mai 2018

The projected effect on insects, vertebrates, and plants of limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C [Science]

In the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the United Nations is pursuing efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C, whereas earlier aspirations focused on a 2°C limit. With current pledges, corresponding to 3.2°C warming, climatically determined geographic range losses of >50% are projected in 49% of insects, 44% of plants, and 26% of vertebrates. At 2°C, this falls to 18% of insects, 16% of plants, and 8% of vertebrates and at 1.5°C, to 6% of insects, 8% of plants, and 4% of vertebrates. When warming is limited to 1.5°C as compared with 2°C, numbers of species projected to lose >50% of their range are reduced by 66% in insects and by 50% in plants and vertebrates.

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18 mai 2018

Wicked evolution : Can we address the sociobiological dilemma of pesticide resistance ? [Science]

Resistance to insecticides and herbicides has cost billions of U.S. dollars in the agricultural sector and could result in millions of lives lost to insect-vectored diseases. We mostly continue to use pesticides as if resistance is a temporary issue that will be addressed by commercialization of new pesticides with novel modes of action. However, current evidence suggests that insect and weed evolution may outstrip our ability to replace outmoded chemicals and other control mechanisms. To avoid this outcome, we must address the mix of ecological, genetic, economic, and sociopolitical factors that prevent implementation of sustainable pest management practices. We offer an ambitious proposition.

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18 mai 2018

Taboo adherence and presence of Perrier’s sifaka (Propithecus perrieri) in Andrafiamena forest [Madagascar Conservation & Development]

Jordi Salmona, Fabien Jan, Lounès Chikhi

Habitat loss and poaching are among the most serious threats to the fragile and unique biodiversity of Madagascar. In the past, traditional taboos (fady), commonly associated with folk stories, have had a buffering effect on several lemur species. Here, we examine the status of hunting taboos with reference to the conservation of the critically endangered Perrier´s sifaka (Propithecus perrieri). We also provide an update on P. perrieri’s presence in the protected area of Andrafiamena in the face of ongoing habitat fragmentation and poaching.(...)

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18 mai 2018

Development and worldwide use of non-lethal, and minimal population-level impact, protocols for the isolation of amphibian chytrid fungi [Scientific Reports]

Keywords : biological techniques, ecological epidemiology, microbiology

Parasitic chytrid fungi have emerged as a significant threat to amphibian species worldwide, necessitating the development of techniques to isolate these pathogens into culture for research purposes. However, early methods of isolating chytrids from their hosts relied on killing amphibians. We modified a pre-existing protocol for isolating chytrids from infected animals to use toe clips and biopsies from toe webbing rather than euthanizing hosts, and distributed the protocol to researchers as part of the BiodivERsA project RACE ; here called the RML protocol.(...)

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16 mai 2018

Comprehensive phylogeny of ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) based on transcriptomic and genomic data [PNAS]

Keywords : phylogenomics, divergence times, bony fish, paralogy, tree of life

Ray-finned fishes form the largest and most diverse group of vertebrates. Establishing their phylogenetic relationships is a critical step to explaining their diversity. We compiled the largest comparative genomic database of fishes that provides genome-scale support for previous phylogenetic results and used it to resolve further some contentious relationships in fish phylogeny. A vetted set of exon markers identified in this study is a promising resource for current sequencing approaches to significantly increase genetic and taxonomic coverage to resolve the tree of life for all fishes. Our time-calibrated analysis suggests that most lineages of living fishes were already established in the Mesozoic Period, more than 65 million years ago.

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