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5 April 2018

Ericoid plant species and Pinus sylvestris shape fungal communities in their roots and surrounding soil [New Phytologist]

Root‐colonizing fungi can form mycorrhizal or endophytic associations with plant roots, the type of association depending on the host. We investigated the differences and similarities of the fungal communities of three boreal ericoid plants and one coniferous tree, and identified the community structure of fungi utilizing photosynthates from the plants studied.(...)

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5 April 2018

Global phenological insensitivity to shifting ocean temperatures among seabirds [Global Change Biology]

Keywords : ocean sciences, phenology

Reproductive timing in many taxa plays a key role in determining breeding productivity, and is often sensitive to climatic conditions. Current climate change may alter the timing of breeding at different rates across trophic levels, potentially resulting in temporal mismatch between the resource requirements of predators and their prey. This is of particular concern for higher-trophic-level organisms, whose longer generation times confer a lower rate of evolutionary rescue than primary producers or consumers. However, the disconnection between studies of ecological change in marine systems makes it difficult to detect general changes in the timing of reproduction.(...)

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30 March 2018

Shifts in disease dynamics in a tropical amphibian assemblage are not due to pathogen attenuation [Science]

Infectious diseases rarely end in extinction. Yet the mechanisms that explain how epidemics subside are difficult to pinpoint. We investigated host-pathogen interactions after the emergence of a lethal fungal pathogen in a tropical amphibian assemblage. Some amphibian host species are recovering, but the pathogen is still present and is as pathogenic today as it was almost a decade ago. In addition, some species have defenses that are more effective now than they were before the epidemic. These results suggest that host recoveries are not caused by pathogen attenuation and may be due to shifts in host responses. Our findings provide insights into the mechanisms underlying disease transitions, which are increasingly important to understand in an era of emerging infectious diseases and unprecedented global pandemics.

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30 March 2018

Piercing the dark matter: bioinformatics of long-range sequencing and mapping [Nature Reviews Genetics]

Keywords : bioinformatics, genome, genome assembly, algorithms, next-generation sequencing

Several new genomics technologies have become available that offer long-read sequencing or long-range mapping with higher throughput and higher resolution analysis than ever before. These long-range technologies are rapidly advancing the field with improved reference genomes, more comprehensive variant identification and more complete views of transcriptomes and epigenomes. However, they also require new bioinformatics approaches to take full advantage of their unique characteristics while overcoming their complex errors and modalities. Here, we discuss several of the most important applications of the new technologies, focusing on both the currently available bioinformatics tools and opportunities for future research.

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30 March 2018

The value of citizen science for ecological monitoring of mammals [PeerJ]

Keywords : conservation biology, ecology, zoology, science and medical education, natural resource management

Les approches scientifiques citoyennes sont d’un grand intérêt pour leur potentiel à surveiller de manière efficace et durable les populations sauvages sur les terres publiques et privées. Ici, nous présentons deux études qui ont travaillé avec des bénévoles pour mettre en place des pièges photographiques pour les enquêtes écologiques. Les photographies enregistrées par ces scientifiques citoyens ont été archivées et vérifiées à l’aide de la plate-forme logicielle eMammal, fournissant une base de données d’archives de biodiversité de qualité professionnelle.(...)
These examples show how, with the right tools, training and survey design protocols, citizen science can be used to answer a variety of applied management questions while connecting participants with their secretive mammal neighbors.

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