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23 May 2018

The biomass distribution on Earth [PNAS]

Keywords : ecology, biomass, biosphere, quantitative biology

A census of the biomass on Earth is key for understanding the structure and dynamics of the biosphere. However, a global, quantitative view of how the biomass of different taxa compare with one another is still lacking. Here, we assemble the overall biomass composition of the biosphere, establishing a census of the ≈550 gigatons of carbon (Gt C) of biomass distributed among all of the kingdoms of life. We find that the kingdoms of life concentrate at different locations on the planet; plants (≈450 Gt C, the dominant kingdom) are primarily terrestrial, whereas animals (≈2 Gt C) are mainly marine, and bacteria (≈70 Gt C) and archaea (≈7 Gt C) are predominantly located in deep subsurface environments. We show that terrestrial biomass is about two orders of magnitude higher than marine biomass and estimate a total of ≈6 Gt C of marine biota, doubling the previous estimated quantity.(...)

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23 May 2018

Global mismatch of policy and research on drivers of biodiversity loss [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for urgent actions to reduce global biodiversity loss. Here, we synthesize >44,000 articles published in the past decade to assess the research focus on global drivers of loss. Relative research efforts on different drivers are not well aligned with their assessed impact, and multiple driver interactions are hardly considered. Research on drivers of biodiversity loss needs urgent realignment to match predicted severity and inform policy goals.

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23 May 2018

Seagrass meadows support global fisheries production [Conservation Letters]

Keywords : biodiversity, eelgrass, fisheries, marine, nursery ground, sustainability, zostera

The significant role seagrass meadows play in supporting fisheries productivity and food security across the globe is not adequately reflected in the decisions made by authorities with statutory responsibility for their management. We provide a unique global analysis of three data sources to present the case for why seagrass meadows need targeted policy to recognize and protect their role in supporting fisheries production and food security. (1) Seagrass meadows provide valuable nursery habitat to over 1/5th of the world’s largest 25 fisheries, including Walleye Pollock, the most landed species on the planet. (2) In complex small‐scale fisheries from around the world (poorly represented in fisheries statistics), we present evidence that many of those in proximity to seagrass are supported to a large degree by these habitats.(...)

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23 May 2018

Fish reproductive-energy output increases disproportionately with body size [Science]

Body size determines total reproductive-energy output. Most theories assume reproductive output is a fixed proportion of size, with respect to mass, but formal macroecological tests are lacking. Management based on that assumption risks underestimating the contribution of larger mothers to replenishment, hindering sustainable harvesting. We test this assumption in marine fishes with a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis of the intraspecific mass scaling of reproductive-energy output.(...)

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23 May 2018

The genetic basis of female pheromone differences between Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans [Heredity]

Les signaux chimiques sont un moyen par lequel de nombreuses espèces d’insectes communiquent. Les différences dans la combinaison de produits chimiques de surface appelés hydrocarbures cuticulaires (CHC) peuvent influencer le comportement d’accouplement et affecter l’isolement reproductif entre les espèces. Des gènes influençant trois composés CHC ont été identifiés chez Drosophila melanogaster. Cependant, la base génétique d’autres composés de CHC, que ces gènes affectent les différences d’espèces dans les CHC, et l’effet résultant des gènes sur l’accouplement interspécifique, reste inconnue. Nous avons utilisé la cartographie de déficience à petite échelle du troisième chromosome pour identifier 43 régions génomiques qui influencent la production de CHC chez les femelles de D. melanogaster et de Drosophila simulans.(...)

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