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3 décembre 2016

Selection for predation, not female fecundity, explains sexual size dimorphism in the orchid mantises [Scientific Reports]

Keywords : entomology, evolutionary ecology, mimicry, phylogenetics

Here we reconstruct the evolutionary shift towards floral simulation in orchid mantises and suggest female predatory selection as the likely driving force behind the development of extreme sexual size dimorphism. Through analysis of body size data and phylogenetic modelling of trait evolution, we recovered an ancestral shift towards sexual dimorphisms in both size and appearance in a lineage of flower-associated praying mantises.(...)

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30 novembre 2016

A roadmap for improving the representation of photosynthesis in Earth system models [New Phytologist]

Keywords : carbon dioxide CO2, light, soil water content, stomatal conductance, temperature, terrestrial biosphere models, vapor pressure deficit (VPD)

Accurate representation of photosynthesis in terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) is essential for robust projections of global change. However, current representations vary markedly between TBMs, contributing uncertainty to projections of global carbon fluxes. Here we compared the representation of photosynthesis in seven TBMs by examining leaf and canopy level responses of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation (A) to key environmental variables : light, temperature, CO2 concentration, vapor pressure deficit and soil water content. We identified research areas where limited process knowledge prevents inclusion of physiological phenomena in current TBMs and research areas where data are urgently needed for model parameterization or evaluation. We provide a roadmap for new science needed to improve the representation of photosynthesis in the next generation of terrestrial biosphere and Earth system models.

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30 novembre 2016

Iranocichla persa, a new cichlid species from southern Iran (Teleostei, Cichlidae) [ZooKeys]

Keywords : barcode region, inland fish, Middle East, Persian Gulf

Iranocichla persa sp. n. is described from the Shur, Hasanlangi and Minab River drainages flowing into the Persian Gulf at the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran. It is distinguished from I. hormuzensis, from the Mehran River drainage, by nuptial males having a bright orange breast and lower part of the head (vs. black), a poorly developed or invisible (vs. distinctive) “Tilapia-mark” in the dorsal fin and very clear white spots making almost wavy bars or stripes on the caudal fin (vs. without or with very few white spots).(...)

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30 novembre 2016

The influence of life history traits on the phenological response of British butterflies to climate variability since the late-19th century [Ecography]

Many species of plants and animals have advanced their phenology in response to climate warming in recent decades. Most of the evidence available for these shifts is based on data from the last few decades, a period coinciding with rapid climate warming. Baseline data is required to put these recent phenological changes in a long-term context. We analysed the phenological response of 51 resident British butterfly species using data from 83 500 specimens in the collections of the Natural History Museum, London, covering the period 1880–1970.(...)

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29 novembre 2016

Oral transfer of chemical cues, growth proteins and hormones in social insects [eLIFE]

Social insects frequently engage in oral fluid exchange - trophallaxis - between adults, and between adults and larvae. Although trophallaxis is widely considered a food-sharing mechanism, we hypothesized that endogenous components of this fluid might underlie a novel means of chemical communication between colony members. Through protein and small- molecule mass spectrometry and RNA sequencing, we found that trophallactic fluid in the ant Camponotus floridanus contains a set of specific digestion- and non-digestion related proteins, as well as hydrocarbons, microRNAs, and a key developmental regulator, juvenile hormone.(...)

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