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Home > Communication > Scientific newsletter > Scientific publications

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24 April 2018

Tracking the pulse of the Earth’s fresh waters [Nature Sustainability]

Keywords : environmental sciences, water resources

Reliable accounting of freshwater resources is key to managing hydrologic risk and balancing freshwater allocations for ecosystems and society. However, recent claims have argued that the global hydrometric network is not keeping pace with monitoring needs. Here we examine this question globally and reveal that over the past four decades the number of streamgaging stations reporting to global, open datasets has been declining.(...)

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24 April 2018

Explaining European fungal fruiting phenology with climate variability [Ecology]

Keywords : climate, fungi, fruit bodies, distribution, Europe, NDVI, nutritional mode, path analysis, phenology

Here we assess the impact of geographically dependent (latitude, longitude and altitude) changes in bioclimatic (temperature, precipitation and primary productivity) variability on fungal fruiting phenology across Europe. Two main nutritional guilds of fungi, saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal, were further separated into spring and autumn fruiters. We used a path‐analysis to investigate how biogeographic patterns in fungal fruiting phenology coincided with seasonal changes in climate and primary production.(...)

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13 April 2018

Illuminating the Evolution of Iridescence [Trends in Ecology & Evolution]

Iridescence, a change in hue with viewing or illumination geometry, is a common feature of colour patterns in nature, though its significance remains elusive. Recent studies of floral iridescence reveal its functional versatility in enhancing the detection and discrimination of resources by insect viewers, as well as augmenting higher-level processes of memory and perception. Coupled with a known evolutionary lability, these results suggest intriguing possibilities for how this optical curiosity may act as a key to diversification.

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12 April 2018

DNA methylation-based biomarkers and the epigenetic clock theory of ageing [Nature Reviews Genetics]

Keywords : ageing, biomarkers, development, DNA methylation, epigenomics, machine learning

Identifying and validating molecular targets of interventions that extend the human health span and lifespan has been difficult, as most clinical biomarkers are not sufficiently representative of the fundamental mechanisms of ageing to serve as their indicators. In a recent breakthrough, biomarkers of ageing based on DNA methylation data have enabled accurate age estimates for any tissue across the entire life course. These ‘epigenetic clocks’ link developmental and maintenance processes to biological ageing, giving rise to a unified theory of life course. Epigenetic biomarkers may help to address long-standing questions in many fields, including the central question: why do we age?

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12 April 2018

Big floods, big knowledge gap: Food web dynamics in a variable river system [Ecology of Freshwater Fish]

Keywords : diet switching, niche breadth, seasonal overlap, trophic guilds

While flow regime is widely recognised as an over‐arching feature structuring aquatic ecosystems, the influence of flood events on feeding habits in fish assemblages inhabiting variable environments remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated how diets of a fish assemblage changed in response to fluctuations in hydrology in a highly variable, wet‐dry tropical Australian river. We compared dietary habits, trophic guilds and intra‐ and interspecific dietary overlap and diet breadth across different seasons.(...)

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