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10 octobre 2017

Mammal diversity influences the carbon cycle through trophic interactions in the Amazon [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : biodiversity

Biodiversity affects many ecosystem functions and services, including carbon cycling and retention. While it is known that the efficiency of carbon capture and biomass production by ecological communities increases with species diversity, the role of vertebrate animals in the carbon cycle remains undocumented. Here, we use an extensive dataset collected in a high-diversity Amazonian system to parse out the relationship between animal and plant species richness, feeding interactions, tree biomass and carbon concentrations in soil.(...)

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10 octobre 2017

The global distribution of tetrapods reveals a need for targeted reptile conservation [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : biodiversity, conservation biology

The distributions of amphibians, birds and mammals have underpinned global and local conservation priorities, and have been fundamental to our understanding of the determinants of global biodiversity. In contrast, the global distributions of reptiles, representing a third of terrestrial vertebrate diversity, have been unavailable. This prevented the incorporation of reptiles into conservation planning and biased our understanding of the underlying processes governing global vertebrate biodiversity. Here, we present and analyse the global distribution of 10,064 reptile species (99% of extant terrestrial species).(...)

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9 octobre 2017

Toxic toad invasion of Wallacea : A biodiversity hotspot characterized by extraordinary endemism [Global Change Biology]

Invasions of poisonous species can cause rapid population declines among native fauna because predators are naïve and often vulnerable to these toxins. The recent invasion of Madagascar by the poisonous Asian common toad, Duttaphrynus melanostictus, has sparked international attention (Kolby, 2014) as well as research and conservation efforts to predict the climate suitability of Madagascar for the invasive toads (Pearson, 2015 ; Vences et al., 2017), pinpoint the origin of the invasive lineage (Vences et al., 2017 ; Wogan, Stuart, Iskandar, & McGuire, 2016), determining the toads’ distribution, and educating local communities (Andreone, 2014). While the invasion in Madagascar has received much attention, an invasion of this same toad species on the islands of Wallacea in eastern Indonesia is ongoing but virtually unrecognized.(...)

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9 octobre 2017

Bottom-up control of parasites [Ecosphere]

Keywords : coastal wetlands, disease ecology, eutrophication, fertilizer, host traits, intertidal

Parasitism is a fundamental ecological interaction. Yet we understand relatively little about the ecological role of parasites compared to the role of free-living organisms. Bottom-up theory predicts that resource enhancement will increase the abundance and biomass of free-living organisms. Similarly, parasite abundance and biomass should increase in an ecosystem with resource enhancement. We tested this hypothesis in a landscape-level experiment in which salt marshes (60,000 m2 each) received elevated nutrient concentrations via flooding tidal waters for 11 yr to mimic eutrophication.(...)

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9 octobre 2017

DNA metabarcoding and morphological macroinvertebrate metrics reveal the same changes in boreal watersheds across an environmental gradient [Scientific Reports]

Keywords : DNA sequencing, environmental impact, forestry, freshwater ecology, Next-generation sequencing

Cost-effective, ecologically relevant, sensitive, and standardized indicators are requisites of biomonitoring. DNA metabarcoding of macroinvertebrate communities is a potentially transformative biomonitoring technique that can reduce cost and time constraints while providing information-rich, high resolution taxonomic data for the assessment of watershed condition. Here, we assess the utility of DNA metabarcoding to provide aquatic indicator data for evaluation of forested watershed condition across Canadian eastern boreal watersheds, subject to natural variation and low-intensity harvest management. (...)

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