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19 septembre 2017

Competing species leave many potential niches unfilled [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : evolutionary ecology, evolutionary theory, theoretical ecology

A cornerstone of biology is that coexisting species evolve to occupy separate ecological niches. Classical theory predicts that interspecific competition should lead to all potential niches being occupied, yet observational data suggest that many niches are unfilled. Here we show that theory can be reconciled with observational data by reconceptualizing competition in the Hutchinsonian niche space to distinguish between substitutable and non-substitutable resources. When resources are substitutable (for example, seeds of different size), the components of competition along the niche axes combine multiplicatively, leading to a densely packed niche space. However, when resources are non-substitutable (such as seeds and nest sites), we show that the components of competition combine additively.(...)

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19 septembre 2017

Revisiting the mitogenomic phylogeny of Salmoninae : new insights thanks to recent sequencing advances [PeerJ]

Keywords : aquaculture, fisheries and fish science, biodiversity, evolutionary studies, molecular biology, zoology

The phylogeny of the Salmonidae family, the only living one of the Order Salmoniformes, remains still unclear because of several reasons. Such reasons include insufficient taxon sampling and/or DNA information. The use of complete mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomics) could provide some light on it, but despite the high number of mitogenomes of species belonging to this family published during last years, an integrative work containing all this information has not been done. In this work, the phylogeny of 46 Salmonidae species was inferred from their mitogenomic sequences.(...)

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19 septembre 2017

Ecosystem accounts define explicit and spatial trade-offs for managing natural resources [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : ecosystem services, environmental economics, environmental impact

Decisions about natural resource management are frequently complex and vexed, often leading to public policy compromises. Discord between environmental and economic metrics creates problems in assessing trade-offs between different current or potential resource uses. Ecosystem accounts, which quantify ecosystems and their benefits for human well-being consistent with national economic accounts, provide exciting opportunities to contribute significantly to the policy process. We advanced the application of ecosystem accounts in a regional case study by explicitly and spatially linking impacts of human and natural activities on ecosystem assets and services to their associated industries. This demonstrated contributions of ecosystems beyond the traditional national accounts. Our results revealed that native forests would provide greater benefits from their ecosystem services of carbon sequestration, water yield, habitat provisioning and recreational amenity if harvesting for timber production ceased, thus allowing forests to continue growing to older ages.

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19 septembre 2017

Transgenerational selection driven by divergent ecological impacts of hybridizing lineages [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : biodiversity, ecosystem ecology, experimental evolution, freshwater ecology

Dynamic interactions between ecological conditions and the phenotypic composition of populations likely play an important role in evolution, but the direction and strength of these feedbacks remain difficult to characterize. We investigated these dynamics across two generations of threespine sticklebacks from two evolutionary lineages undergoing secondary contact and hybridization. Independently manipulating the density and lineage of adults in experimental mesocosms led to contrasting ecosystem conditions with strong effects on total survival in a subsequent generation of juveniles. Ecosystem modifications by adults also varied the strength of selection on competing hybrid and non-hybrid juveniles.(...)

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19 septembre 2017

The nexus of fun and nutrition : Recreational fishing is also about food [Fish and Fisheries]

Keywords : angling, contaminants, harvest, nutrition, subsistence

Recreational fishing is a popular activity in aquatic ecosystems around the globe using a variety of gears including rod and line and to a lesser extent handlines, spears, bow and arrow, traps and nets. Similar to the propensity to engage in voluntary catch-and-release, the propensity to harvest fishes strongly varies among cultures, locations, species and fisheries. There is a misconception that because recreational fishing happens during non-work (i.e. leisure) time, the nutritional motivation is negligible ; therefore, the role of recreational fishing in supporting nutrition (and thus food security) at regional, national or global scales is underappreciated. We consider the factors that influence whether fish will be harvested or released by examining the motives that underlie recreational fishing. (...)

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