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15 février 2018

The factors driving evolved herbicide resistance at a national scale [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : agroecology, agriculture, ecology, evolution

Repeated use of xenobiotic chemicals has selected for the rapid evolution of resistance, threatening health and food security at a global scale. Strategies for preventing the evolution of resistance include cycling and mixtures of chemicals and diversification of management. We currently lack large-scale studies that evaluate the efficacy of these different strategies for minimizing the evolution of resistance. Here we use a national-scale data set of occurrence of the weed Alopecurus myosuroides (black-grass) in the United Kingdom to address this. Weed densities are correlated with assays of evolved resistance, supporting the hypothesis that resistance is driving weed abundance at a national scale.(...)

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14 février 2018

Toward a consistent modeling framework to assess multi-sectoral climate impacts [Nature Communications]

Keywords : climate and Earth system modelling, climate-change impacts, environmental impact

Efforts to estimate the physical and economic impacts of future climate change face substantial challenges. To enrich the currently popular approaches to impact analysis—which involve evaluation of a damage function or multi-model comparisons based on a limited number of standardized scenarios—we propose integrating a geospatially resolved physical representation of impacts into a coupled human-Earth system modeling framework. Large internationally coordinated exercises cannot easily respond to new policy targets and the implementation of standard scenarios across models, institutions and research communities can yield inconsistent estimates.(...)

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14 février 2018

Interactions among decaying leaf litter, root litter and soil organic matter vary with mycorrhizal type [Journal of Ecology]

Keywords : ecosystem carbon storage, home-field advantage, mycorrhizal association, plant–soil interactions, priming effects, root turnover

1.Root-derived inputs are increasingly viewed as primary controls of soil organic matter (SOM) formation ; however, we have a limited understanding of how root decay rates depend on soil factors, and how decaying roots influence the breakdown of leaf litter and SOM.
2.We incubated root and leaf litter (alone and in combination) from arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) trees in soils collected from forest plots dominated by AM and ECM trees in a factorial design. In each microcosm, we quantified litter decay rates and the effects of decaying litters on soil C balance.(...)

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13 février 2018

Genomic tools for behavioural ecologists to understand repeatable individual differences in behaviour [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : behavioural ecology, behavioural genetics, genomics

Behaviour is a key interface between an animal’s genome and its environment. Repeatable individual differences in behaviour have been extensively documented in animals, but the molecular underpinnings of behavioural variation among individuals within natural populations remain largely unknown. Here, we offer a critical review of when molecular techniques may yield new insights, and we provide specific guidance on how and whether the latest tools available are appropriate given different resources, system and organismal constraints, and experimental designs.(...)

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13 février 2018

Dynamics of starvation and recovery predict extinction risk and both Damuth’s law and Cope’s rule [Nature Communications]

Keywords : evolutionary theory, population dynamics

The eco-evolutionary dynamics of species are fundamentally linked to the energetic constraints of their constituent individuals. Of particular importance is the interplay between reproduction and the dynamics of starvation and recovery. To elucidate this interplay, here we introduce a nutritional state-structured model that incorporates two classes of consumers : nutritionally replete, reproducing consumers, and undernourished, nonreproducing consumers. We obtain strong constraints on starvation and recovery rates by deriving allometric scaling relationships and find that population dynamics are typically driven to a steady state.(...)

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