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23 février 2017

Do invasive alien plants benefit more from global environmental change than native plants ? [Global Change Biology]

Keywords : climate change, effect size, global environmental change, meta-analysis, nitrogen deposition, plant invasion, precipitation, temperature

Invasive alien plant species threaten native biodiversity, disrupt ecosystem functions and can cause large economic damage. Plant invasions have been predicted to further increase under ongoing global environmental change. Numerous case studies have compared the performance of invasive and native plant species in response to global environmental change components (i.e. changes in mean levels of precipitation, temperature, atmospheric CO2 concentration or nitrogen deposition). Individually, these studies usually involve low numbers of species and therefore the results cannot be generalized. Therefore, we performed a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis to assess whether there is a general pattern of differences in invasive and native plant performance under each component of global environmental change. We compiled a database of studies that reported performance measures for 74 invasive alien plant species and 117 native plant species in response to one of the above-mentioned global environmental change components.(...)

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23 février 2017

Characterizing fish responses to a river restoration over 21 years based on species traits [Conservation Biology]

Keywords : stream restoration, bioenv analysis, long-term monitoring, overshooting response, regional species pool

Understanding restoration effectiveness is often impaired by a lack of quality, long-term monitoring data and, to date, few studies have used species trait information to gain insight into the processes that drive the reaction of fish communities to restoration. We examined fish community responses using a highly resolved dataset with 21 consecutive years of data (4 years pre- and 17 years post-restoration) at multiple restored and unrestored sampling reaches from a river restoration project at the Lippe River, Germany. This restoration led to a doubling of both species richness and abundance. Abundance exhibited an overshooting response immediately following restoration and both richness and abundance stabilized approximately seven years after the restoration. However, interannual variability remained high, illustrating the challenge to reliably assess restoration outcomes based on data from individual samplings, especially in the first years following restoration.(...)

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23 février 2017

The Opiliones tree of life : shedding light on harvestmen relationships through transcriptomics [Royal Society Open Science]

Keywords : Eupnoi, Dyspnoi, Cyphophthalmi, Laniatores, phylogenomics Arachnida

Opiliones are iconic arachnids with a Palaeozoic origin and a diversity that reflects ancient biogeographic patterns dating back at least to the times of Pangea. Owing to interest in harvestman diversity, evolution and biogeography, their relationships have been thoroughly studied using morphology and PCR-based Sanger approaches to infer their systematic relationships. More recently, two studies utilized transcriptomics-based phylogenomics to explore their basal relationships and diversification, but sampling was limiting for understanding deep evolutionary patterns, as they lacked good taxon representation at the family level. Here, we analysed a set of the 14 existing transcriptomes with 40 additional ones generated for this study, representing approximately 80% of the extant familial diversity in Opiliones.(...)

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22 février 2017

Human behaviour as a long-term ecological driver of non-human evolution [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : ecology, evolution

Due to our intensive subsistence and habitat-modification strategies—including broad-spectrum harvesting and predation, widespread landscape burning, settlement construction, and translocation of other species—humans have major roles as ecological actors who influence fundamental trophic interactions. Here we review how the long-term history of human–environment interaction has shaped the evolutionary biology of diverse non-human, non-domesticated species. Clear examples of anthropogenic effects on non-human morphological evolution have been documented in modern studies of substantial changes to body size or other major traits in terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants in response to selective human harvesting, urbanized habitats, and human-mediated translocation.(...)

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22 février 2017

Molecular and morphological data reveal three new cryptic species of Chiasmocleis (Mehely 1904) (Anura, Microhylidae) endemic to the Atlantic Forest, Brazil [PeerJ]

Keywords : biodiversity, evolutionary studies, genetics, taxonomy, zoology

Three new cryptic species of Chiasmocleis from the Atlantic Forest of Brazil are described. Two of these species occur in the northeastern states of Sergipe and Bahia, whereas the third species is found in the southeastern state of São Paulo. The new species can be distinguished from other congeneric species by the molecular data, as evidenced in the phylogeny, and by a combination of morphological characters including : size, foot webbing, dermal spines, and coloration patterns. Chiasmocleis species differ in osteological traits, therefore we also provide an osteological description of each new species and comparsions with data reported for other species in the genus.

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