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21 June 2017

Dietary map of Nile tilapia using stable isotopes in three tropical lakes, Ethiopia [Ecology of Freshwater Fish]

Keywords : food web, mixing models, stable isotopes, tilapia diet, tropical lakes

Comprehensive analysis of food webs requires identifying dietary sources that support the production of all major organisms within the food web/food chain. Here, we use stable isotope ratios (δ13C, δ34S and δ15N) to assess the relative contribution of different basal carbon sources to the diet of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) in three tropical lakes Hawassa (also Awasa in literature), Ziway and Koka (Ethiopia).(...)

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21 June 2017

Parasitoid wasp usurps its host to guard its pupa against hyperparasitoids and induces rapid behavioral changes in the parasitized host [PLOS One]

Subject Areas : larvae, pupae, host-pathogen interactions, diet, parasitism, parasitic diseases, insects, moths and butterflies

Some parasites have an ability to fabricate the behavior of their host and impel the host to guard parasites’ offspring, which is popularly called as bodyguard manipulation. Psalis pennatula larva parasitized by a braconid parasitoid wasp Microplitis pennatula exhibits some behavioral changes including the guarding of the parasitoid pupa from its natural enemies. We hypothesized that these behavioral change exhibited by the parasitized host larva are induced by the parasitoid and can be considered as an example of bodyguard manipulation.(...)

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21 June 2017

Interactions of saprotrophic fungi with tree roots: can we observe the emergence of novel ectomycorrhizal fungi ? [New Phytologist - Commentary]

Keywords : commensalism, ectomycorrhiza, evolution, plant–microbe interactions, saprotrophy, tree roots, wood-decomposers

In this issue of New Phytologist, Smith et al. (pp. 747–755) re-address the question about the mode of interaction between tree roots and saprotrophic fungi. Roots of ectomycorrhizal (EcM) coniferous trees are known to interact with a large suite of different fungi. These interactions are typified by distinct anatomical and morphological characteristics and are specific for each type of interaction. The presence of root pathogens is characterized by various morphological changes to infected roots and leads to the rapid dieback of small roots. Root interior colonization by dark septate endophytes (that are most likely commensalists utilizing host resources) is rather limited in size so that they can live asymptomatically with their hosts.(...)

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20 June 2017

The importance of scattered trees for biodiversity conservation: a global meta-analysis [Journal of Applied Ecology]

Keywords : arthropods, conservation planning, keystone structures, landscape, large old trees, plants, species abundance, species richness, vertebrates

1.Scattered trees are thought to be keystone structures for biodiversity in landscapes world-wide. However, such trees have been largely neglected by researchers and their importance for biodiversity remains unclear.
2.We completed a global meta-analysis to quantify relationships between scattered trees and the species richness, abundance and composition of vertebrates, arthropods and plants. First, we tested whether areas near scattered trees support higher levels of species richness and abundance than nearby open areas. Second, we compared levels of species richness and abundance in matrix areas with scattered trees and areas embedded within nearby habitat patches. We also compared the composition of biological communities inhabiting habitat patches, open areas and areas with scattered trees.(...)

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16 June 2017

Towards a mechanistic understanding of vulnerability to hook-and-line fishing: boldness as the basic target of angling-induced selection [Evolutionary Applications]

Keywords : angling, catchability, evolutionary change, growth, selection

In passively operated fishing gear, boldness-related behaviors should fundamentally affect the vulnerability of individual fish and thus be under fisheries selection. To test this hypothesis, we used juvenile common-garden reared carp (Cyprinus carpio) within a narrow size-range to investigate the mechanistic basis of behavioral selection caused by angling. We focused on one key personality trait (i.e., boldness), measured in groups within ponds, two morphological traits (body-shape and head-shape), and one life-history trait (juvenile growth capacity) and studied mean standardized selection gradients caused by angling.(...)

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