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23 septembre 2016

Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications [Science]

Seasonally dry tropical forests are distributed across Latin America and the Caribbean and are highly threatened, with less than 10% of their original extent remaining in many countries. Using 835 inventories covering 4660 species of woody plants, we show marked floristic turnover among inventories and regions, which may be higher than in other neotropical biomes, such as savanna. Such high floristic turnover indicates that numerous conservation areas across many countries will be needed to protect the full diversity of tropical dry forests. Our results provide a scientific framework within which national decision-makers can contextualize the floristic significance of their dry forest at a regional and continental scale.

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23 septembre 2016

Taxonomic resolution is a determinant of biodiversity effects in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities [Journal of Ecology]

Keywords : arbuscular mycorrhiza, competition, diversity, ecosystem function, functional complementarity, niche, taxonomic level

1.Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are key regulators of ecosystem processes, yet how their biodiversity works in ecosystems remains poorly understood.
2.We documented the extent to which taxonomic resolution influenced the effect of biodiversity of AMF taxa on plant performance (growth, nutrient uptake and stress tolerance) in a meta-analysis of 902 articles.(...)

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22 septembre 2016

The next green movement : Plant biology for the environment and sustainability [Science/Review]

From domestication and breeding to the genetic engineering of crops, plants provide food, fuel, fibers, and feedstocks for our civilization. New research and discoveries aim to reduce the inputs needed to grow crops and to develop plants for environmental and sustainability applications. Faced with population growth and changing climate, the next wave of innovation in plant biology integrates technologies and approaches that span from molecular to ecosystem scales. Recent efforts to engineer plants for better nitrogen and phosphorus use, enhanced carbon fixation, and environmental remediation and to understand plant-microbiome interactions showcase exciting future directions for translational plant biology. These advances promise new strategies for the reduction of inputs to limit environmental impacts and improve agricultural sustainability.

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22 septembre 2016

Inactive trout come out at night : behavioral variation, circadian activity, and fitness in the wild [Ecology]

Keywords : dispersal, light reaction, open-field test, reaction norm, salmonid

Theory suggests that high activity levels in animals increase growth at the cost of increased mortality. This growth-mortality tradeoff has recently been incorporated into the wider framework of the pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) hypothesis. However, activity is often quantified only in the laboratory and on a diurnal basis, leaving open the possibility that animals manage predation risk and feeding efficiency in the wild by modulating their circadian activity rhythms. Here we investigate how laboratory activity in wild brown trout parr (Salmo trutta L.) associates with circadian activity, growth, and mortality in their natal stream. (...)

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21 septembre 2016

Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss [PNAS]

Keywords : extinction, feral cat, island, invasive mammal, trophic cascade

Invasive species threaten biodiversity globally, and invasive mammalian predators are particularly damaging, having contributed to considerable species decline and extinction. We provide a global metaanalysis of these impacts and reveal their full extent. Invasive predators are implicated in 87 bird, 45 mammal, and 10 reptile species extinctions—58% of these groups’ contemporary extinctions worldwide. These figures are likely underestimated because 23 critically endangered species that we assessed are classed as “possibly extinct.” Invasive mammalian predators endanger a further 596 species at risk of extinction, with cats, rodents, dogs, and pigs threatening the most species overall.(...)

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