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Home > Communication > Scientific newsletter > Scientific publications

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15 January 2018

Genomic signals of selection predict climate-driven population declines in a migratory bird [Science]

The ongoing loss of biodiversity caused by rapid climatic shifts requires accurate models for predicting species’ responses. Despite evidence that evolutionary adaptation could mitigate climate change impacts, evolution is rarely integrated into predictive models. Integrating population genomics and environmental data, we identified genomic variation associated with climate across the breeding range of the migratory songbird, yellow warbler (Setophaga petechia). Populations requiring the greatest shifts in allele frequencies to keep pace with future climate change have experienced the largest population declines, suggesting that failure to adapt may have already negatively affected populations. Broadly, our study suggests that the integration of genomic adaptation can increase the accuracy of future species distribution models and ultimately guide more effective mitigation efforts.

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15 January 2018

Changes in native bull trout and non-native brook trout distributions in the upper Powder River basin after 20 years, relationships to water temperature and implications of climate change [Ecology of Freshwater Fish]

Keywords : brook trout, bull trout, climate change, species interactions, water temperature

Many bull trout populations have declined from non-native brook trout introductions, habitat changes (e.g. water temperature) and other factors. We systematically sampled the distribution of bull trout and brook trout in the upper Powder River basin in Oregon in the 1990s and resampled it in 2013–2015, examined temperature differences in the habitats of the two species and analysed trends in temperatures in the light of possible increases associated with climate change. (...)

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15 January 2018

Large negative effect of non-native trout and minnows on Pyrenean lake amphibians [Biological Conservation]

Keywords : amphibian decline, exotic fish, freshwater ecology, habitat characteristics, high mountain lakes, invasive species

High mountain lakes are mostly naturally fishless ecosystems that have received numerous trout introductions over the world. Extensive studies mostly developed in west North America have shown a large negative effect of these introductions on amphibians, although no extensive studies are available from other continents such as Europe. Fish were also introduced extensively in the Pyrenees (southern Europe), mainly trout for angling and minnows for their use as live bait for fishing trout. We studied the effect of non-native trout and minnows on the occurrence of amphibian species inhabiting Pyrenean lentic habitats.(...)

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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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