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22 novembre 2017

Improved genome assembly and annotation for the rock pigeon (Columba livia) [BioRxiv]

The domestic rock pigeon (Columba livia) is among the most widely distributed and phenotypically diverse avian species. This species is broadly studied in ecology, genetics, physiology, behavior, and evolutionary biology, and has recently emerged as a model for understanding the molecular basis of anatomical diversity, the magnetic sense, and other key aspects of avian biology. Here we report an update to the C. livia genome reference assembly and gene annotation dataset (Cliv_1.0). Greatly increased scaffold lengths in the updated reference assembly, along with an updated annotation set, provide improved tools for evolutionary and functional genetic studies of the pigeon, and for comparative avian genomics in general.

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22 novembre 2017

What genomic data can reveal about eco-evolutionary dynamics [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : ecological genetics, evolutionary ecology, evolutionary genetics

Recognition that evolution operates on the same timescale as ecological processes has motivated growing interest in eco-evolutionary dynamics. Nonetheless, generating sufficient data to test predictions about eco-evolutionary dynamics has proved challenging, particularly in natural contexts. Here we argue that genomic data can be integrated into the study of eco-evolutionary dynamics in ways that deepen our understanding of the interplay between ecology and evolution. Specifically, we outline five major questions in the study of eco-evolutionary dynamics for which genomic data may provide answers. Although genomic data alone will not be sufficient to resolve these challenges, integrating genomic data can provide a more mechanistic understanding of the causes of phenotypic change, help elucidate the mechanisms driving eco-evolutionary dynamics, and lead to more accurate evolutionary predictions of eco-evolutionary dynamics in nature.

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22 novembre 2017

The effect of climate change on the duration of avian breeding seasons : a meta-analysis [Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences]

Keywords : climate change, birds, duration of breeding season, single-brooded species, multi-brooded species, laying dates

Many bird species are advancing the timing of their egg-laying in response to a warming climate. Little is known, however, of whether this advancement affects the respective length of the breeding seasons. A meta-analysis of 65 long-term studies of 54 species from the Northern Hemisphere has revealed that within the last 45 years an average population has lengthened the season by 1.4 days per decade, which was independent from changes in mean laying dates. Multi-brooded birds have prolonged their seasons by 4 days per decade, while single-brooded have shortened by 2 days.(...)

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22 novembre 2017

Authorship and contribution disclosures [Science Advances]

Most scientific research is performed by teams, and for a long time, observers have inferred individual team members’ contributions by interpreting author order on published articles. In response to increasing concerns about this approach, journals are adopting policies that require the disclosure of individual authors’ contributions. However, it is not clear whether and how these disclosures improve upon the conventional approach. Moreover, there is little evidence on how contribution statements are written and how they are used by readers. We begin to address these questions in two studies.(...)

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17 novembre 2017

Patterns and drivers of fish extirpations in rivers of the American Southwest and Southeast [Global Change Biology]

Keywords : biodiversity loss, dams, flow regime, global change, imperiled species

Effective conservation of freshwater biodiversity requires spatially explicit investigations of how dams and hydroclimatic alterations among climate regions may interact to drive species to extinction. We investigated how dams and hydroclimatic alterations interact with species ecological and life history traits to influence past extirpation probabilities of native freshwater fishes in the Upper and Lower Colorado River (CR), Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT), and Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) basins. Using long-term discharge data for continuously gaged streams and rivers, we quantified streamflow anomalies (i.e., departure “expected” streamflow) at the sub-basin scale over the past half-century. Next, we related extirpation probabilities of native fishes in both regions to streamflow anomalies, river basin characteristics, species traits, and non-native species richness using binomial logistic regression.(...)

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