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Home > Communication > Scientific newsletter > Scientific publications

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31 May 2018

Polygenic adaptation fuels genetic redundancy in Drosophila [BioRxiv]

The genetic architecture of adaptive traits is of key importance to predict evolutionary responses. Most adaptive traits are polygenic - i.e. result from selection on a large number of genetic loci - but most molecularly characterized traits have a simple genetic basis. This discrepancy is best explained by the difficulty in detecting small allele frequency changes across many contributing loci. To resolve this, we use laboratory natural selection, a framework that is powerful enough to detect signatures for selective sweeps and polygenic adaptation. We exposed 10 replicates of a Drosophila simulans population to a new temperature regime and uncovered a polygenic architecture of an adaptive trait with high genetic redundancy among adaptive alleles.(...)

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31 May 2018

Towards robust and repeatable sampling methods in eDNA based studies [Molecular Ecology Resources]

Keywords : contamination, environmental DNA, experimental design, metabarcoding, metadata, sampling

DNA based techniques are increasingly used for measuring the biodiversity (species presence, identity, abundance and community composition) of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. While there are numerous reviews of molecular methods and bioinformatic steps, there has been little consideration of the methods used to collect samples upon which these later steps are based. This represents a critical knowledge gap, as methodologically sound field sampling is the foundation for subsequent analyses. We reviewed field sampling methods used for metabarcoding studies of both terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem biodiversity over a nearly three‐year period (n = 75). We found that 95% (n = 71) of these studies used subjective sampling methods, inappropriate field methods, and/or failed to provide critical methodological information.(...)

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31 May 2018

Population correlates of rapid captive‐induced maladaptation in a wild fish [Evolutionary Applications]

Keywords : adaptation, captivity, effective population size, captive breeding, adaptive potential, phenotypic plasticity, salmonid, brook trout

Understanding the extent to which captivity generates maladaptation in wild species can inform species recovery programs and elucidate wild population responses to novel environmental change. Though rarely quantified, effective population size (Ne) and genetic diversity should influence the magnitude of plastic and genetic changes manifested in captivity that reduce wild fitness. Sexually‐dimorphic traits might also mediate consequences of captivity. To evaluate these relationships, we generated >600 full‐ and half‐sibling families from nine wild brook trout populations, reared them for one generation under common, captive environmental conditions, and contrasted several fitness‐related traits in wild vs. captive lines.(...)

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31 May 2018

Mycorrhizal fungi affect orchid distribution and population dynamics [New Phytologist]

Keywords : fungal distribution, fungus abundance, mycorrhizae, orchid distribution, orchid mycorrhizal fungi, orchid performance, Orchidaceae

Symbioses are ubiquitous in nature and influence individual plants and populations. Orchids have life history stages that depend fully or partially on fungi for carbon and other essential resources. As a result, orchid populations depend on the distribution of orchid mycorrhizal fungi (OMFs). We focused on evidence that local‐scale distribution and population dynamics of orchids can be limited by the patchy distribution and abundance of OMFs, after an update of an earlier review confirmed that orchids are rarely limited by OMF distribution at geographic scales. Recent evidence points to a relationship between OMF abundance and orchid density and dormancy, which results in apparent density differences.(...)

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31 May 2018

Climate‐driven hydrological variability determines inter‐annual changes in stream invertebrate community assembly [Oïkos]

Keywords : β‐diversity, flow regime, macroinvertebrates, meta‐community, river network, temporal variability

Although flow regime is one of the major drivers of riverine communities, not much is known about how inter‐annual variability and extremes of flow influence community assembly mechanisms. We used data on benthic macroinvertebrates and modelled flow regimes in 23 near‐pristine boreal streams to assess how community assembly mechanisms and species occupancy varied in response to inter‐annual variability in flow conditions across 11 successive years encompassing extreme (both low and high) flow events. A null model approach was used to test whether deterministic or stochastic processes dominated community assembly and how much regional (among‐stream) flow variability contributed to community variability (β‐diversity).(...)

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