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18 juillet 2018

Plasticity reveals hidden resistance to extinction under climate change in the global hotspot of salamander diversity [Science Advances]

Extinction rates are predicted to rise exponentially under climate warming, but many of these predictions ignore physiological and behavioral plasticity that might buffer species from extinction. We evaluated the potential for physiological acclimatization and behavioral avoidance of poor climatic conditions to lower extinction risk under climate change in the global hotspot of salamander diversity, a region currently predicted to lose most of the salamander habitat due to warming. Our approach integrated experimental physiology and behavior into a mechanistic species distribution model to predict extinction risk based on an individual’s capacity to maintain energy balance with and without plasticity. We assessed the sensitivity of extinction risk to body size, behavioral strategies, limitations on energy intake, and physiological acclimatization of water loss and metabolic rate.(...)

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18 juillet 2018

Evolutionary dynamics of mycorrhizal symbiosis in land plant diversification [Scientific Reports]

Mycorrhizal symbiosis between soil fungi and land plants is one of the most widespread and ecologically important mutualisms on earth. It has long been hypothesized that the Glomeromycotina, the mycorrhizal symbionts of the majority of plants, facilitated colonization of land by plants in the Ordovician. This view was recently challenged by the discovery of mycorrhiza-like associations with Mucoromycotina in several early diverging lineages of land plants. Utilizing a large, species-level database of plants’ mycorrhiza-like associations and a Bayesian approach to state transition dynamics we here show that the recruitment of Mucoromycotina is the best supported transition from a non-mycorrhizal state.(...)

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18 juillet 2018

Contrasted patterns of divergence and gene flow among five fish species in a Mongolian rift lake following glaciation [Biological Journal of the Linnean Society]

Keywords : Baikal ecoregion, fish communities, Lake Hovsgol, population genomics, RAD-seq

Lakes and rivers in the Baikal ecoregion of central Asia provide particularly interesting models to assess the emergence and maintenance of species diversity, as they display strong contrasts in the composition of their aquatic vertebrate communities. Here, we used RAD-seq to study the recent evolutionary history of five fish species from Lake Hovsgol in Mongolia. This ancient lake was probably recolonized from its outlet following the Last Glacial Maximum, and harbours only ten native fish species. We detected substantial genetic differentiation between the lake and the putative ancestral refuge river in five species but we also found that these species have experienced different population dynamics.(...)

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18 juillet 2018

The effects of local and landscape habitat attributes on bird diversity in urban greenspaces [Ecosphere]

Keywords : avian, biodiversity, citizen science, eBird, mixed‐models, species richness, species–area relationship, urban ecology

Contrasting trajectories of biodiversity loss and urban expansion make it imperative to understand biodiversity persistence in cities. Size‐, local‐, and landscape‐level habitat factors of greenspaces in cities may be critical for future design and management of urban greenspaces in conserving bird biodiversity. Most current understanding of bird communities in cities has come from disparate analyses of single cities, over relatively short time periods, producing limited understanding of processes and characteristics of bird patterns for improved biodiversity management of the world’s cities. We analyzed bird biodiversity in 112 urban greenspaces from 51 cities across eight countries, using eBird, a broadscale citizen science project.(...)

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16 juillet 2018

Diversification rates and phylogenies : what are we estimating, and how good are the estimates ? [BioRxiv]

Species-specific diversification rates, or "tip rates", can be computed quickly from phylogenies and are widely used to study diversification rate variation in relation to geography, ecology, and phenotypes. These tip rates provide a number of theoretical and practical advantages, such as the relaxation of assumptions of rate homogeneity in trait-dependent modeling approaches. However, there is significant confusion in the literature regarding whether these metrics estimate speciation or net diversification rates. Additionally, no study has yet compared the relative performance and accuracy of tip rate metrics. We compared the statistical performance of three model-free rate metrics (inverse terminal branch lengths ; node density metric ; DR statistic) and a model-based approach (BAMM). We applied each method to a large set of simulated phylogenies that had been generated under different diversification processes ; scenarios included multi-regime time-constant and diversity-dependent trees, as well as trees where the rate of speciation evolves under a diffusion process.(...)

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