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15 January 2018

Invasion genetics of marsh frogs (Pelophylax ridibundus sensu lato) in Switzerland [Biological Journal of the Linnean Society]

The marsh frog (Pelophylax ridibundus s.l.) is the number one amphibian invader in Western Europe. In Switzerland, marsh frogs were introduced in the 1950–1960s and progressively colonized most of the northern parts of the country. We investigated this invasion using molecular tools. We mapped the cryptic presence of three monophyletic mitochondrial lineages (P. ridibundus, Pelophylax kurtmuelleri, and Pelophylax cf. bedriagae from southeastern Europe) consistent with registered importations by a local frog-leg industry.(...)

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15 January 2018

The dimensionality of individual niche variation [Ecology]

Keywords : individual specialization, Jensen’s inequality, multidimensional niche, niche overlap, niche shift, quantitative genetics, stable isotope analysis

The inherently multidimensional nature of the niche has not yet been integrated into the investigation of individual niche specialization within populations. We propose a framework for modeling the between- and within-individual components of the population niche as a set of variance-covariance matrices, which can be visualized with ellipses or ellipsoids. These niche components can be inferred using multiple response mixed models, and can incorporate diverse types of data, including diet composition, stable isotopes, spatial location, and other continuous measures of niche dimensions. We outline how considering both individual and population niches in multiple dimensions may enhance our understanding of key concepts in ecology and evolution.(...)

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15 January 2018

Integrating community assembly and biodiversity to better understand ecosystem function: the Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems (CAFE) approach [Ecology Letters]

Keywords : biodiversity, community assembly, composition, dispersal, ecosystem function, metacommunity, Price equation

The research of a generation of ecologists was catalysed by the recognition that the number and identity of species in communities influences the functioning of ecosystems. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is most often examined by controlling species richness and randomising community composition. In natural systems, biodiversity changes are often part of a bigger community assembly dynamic. Therefore, focusing on community assembly and the functioning of ecosystems (CAFE), by integrating both species richness and composition through species gains, losses and changes in abundance, will better reveal how community changes affect ecosystem function. (...)

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15 January 2018

Wolbachia Infection Associated with Increased Recombination in Drosophila [BioRxiv]

Wolbachia is maternally-transmitted endosymbiotic bacteria that infects a large diversity of arthropod and nematode hosts. Some strains of Wolbachia are parasitic, manipulating host reproduction to benefit themselves, while other strains of Wolbachia exhibit obligate or facultative mutualisms with their host. The effects of Wolbachia on its host are many, though primarily relate to host immune and reproductive function. Here we test the hypothesis that Wolbachia infection alters the frequency of homologous recombination during meiosis. We use D. melanogaster as a model system, and survey recombination in eight Wolbachia-infected and Wolbachia-uninfected strains, controlling for genotype. We measure recombination in two intervals of the genome. (...)

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15 January 2018

On the origins and domestication of the olive: a review and perspectives [Annals of Botany]

Guillaume Besnard

Unravelling domestication processes is crucial for understanding how species respond to anthropogenic pressures, forecasting crop responses to future global changes and improving breeding programmes. Domestication processes for clonally propagated perennials differ markedly from those for seed-propagated annual crops, mostly due to long generation times, clonal propagation and recurrent admixture with local forms, leading to a limited number of generations of selection from wild ancestors. However, additional case studies are required to document this process more fully.(...)

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