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Home > Communication > Scientific newsletter > Publications

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18 January 2017

Annual time-series analysis of aqueous eDNA reveals ecologically relevant dynamics of lake ecosystem biodiversity [Nature Communications]

Keywords : biodiversity, molecular ecology

The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) in biodiversity assessments offers a step-change in sensitivity, throughput and simultaneous measures of ecosystem diversity and function. There remains, however, a need to examine eDNA persistence in the wild through simultaneous temporal measures of eDNA and biota. Here, we use metabarcoding of two markers of different lengths, derived from an annual time series of aqueous lake eDNA to examine temporal shifts in ecosystem biodiversity and in an ecologically important group of macroinvertebrates (Diptera: Chironomidae). The analyses allow different levels of detection and validation of taxon richness and community composition (β-diversity) through time, with shorter eDNA fragments dominating the eDNA community. Comparisons between eDNA, community DNA, taxonomy and UK species abundance data further show significant relationships between diversity estimates derived across the disparate methodologies. Our results reveal the temporal dynamics of eDNA and validate the utility of eDNA metabarcoding for tracking seasonal diversity at the ecosystem scale.

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18 January 2017

No effect of partner age and lifespan on female age-specific reproductive performance in blue tits [Journal of Avian Biology]

Studies of age-specific reproductive performance are fundamental to our understanding of population dynamics and the evolution of life-history strategies. In species with bi-parental care, reproductive ageing trajectories of either parent may be influenced by their partner’s age, but this has rarely been investigated. We investigated within-individual age-specific performance (laying date and number of eggs laid) in wild female blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus and evaluated how the age and longevity of their male partner indirectly influenced the females’ reproductive performance.(...)

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18 January 2017

Diversity and carbon storage across the tropical forest biome [Scientific Reports]

Jérôme Chave

Tropical forests are global centres of biodiversity and carbon storage. Many tropical countries aspire to protect forest to fulfil biodiversity and climate mitigation policy targets, but the conservation strategies needed to achieve these two functions depend critically on the tropical forest tree diversity-carbon storage relationship. Assessing this relationship is challenging due to the scarcity of inventories where carbon stocks in aboveground biomass and species identifications have been simultaneously and robustly quantified. Here, we compile a unique pan-tropical dataset of 360 plots located in structurally intact old-growth closed-canopy forest, surveyed using standardised methods, allowing a multi-scale evaluation of diversity-carbon relationships in tropical forests.(...)

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17 January 2017

The last frontiers of wilderness: Tracking loss of intact forest landscapes from 2000 to 2013 [Science Advances]

Keywords : wildlands, forest, biodiversity, carbon storage, intactness, ecosystem services, remote sensing, intact forest, landscapes

An intact forest landscape (IFL) is a seamless mosaic of forest and naturally treeless ecosystems with no remotely detected signs of human activity and a minimum area of 500 km2. IFLs are critical for stabilizing terrestrial carbon storage, harboring biodiversity, regulating hydrological regimes, and providing other ecosystem functions. Although the remaining IFLs comprise only 20% of tropical forest area, they account for 40% of the total aboveground tropical forest carbon. We show that global IFL extent has been reduced by 7.2% since the year 2000. An increasing rate of global IFL area reduction was found, largely driven by the tripling of IFL tropical forest loss in 2011–2013 compared to that in 2001–2003.(...)

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17 January 2017

Do small barriers affect the movement of freshwater fish by increasing residency ? [Science of The Total Environment]

Keywords : potamodromous fish, fish migration, barrier negotiation, partial migration, VIE-tags

River fragmentation due to artificial barriers directly impacts fish communities by limiting migratory movements. This work aims to understand how small barriers affect the movements of a potamodromous cyprinid species – the Iberian barbel (Luciobarbus bocagei (Steindachner, 1864)) – in a 5.6 km upstream segment of a stream impacted only by the presence of physical barriers. (...)

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