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19 décembre 2016

The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) project [Ecology and Evolution]

Keywords : data sharing, global biodiversity modeling, global change, habitat destruction, land use

The PREDICTS project—Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)—has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used this evidence base to develop global and regional statistical models of how local biodiversity responds to these measures. We describe and make freely available this 2016 release of the database, containing more than 3.2 million records sampled at over 26,000 locations and representing over 47,000 species. We outline how the database can help in answering a range of questions in ecology and conservation biology. To our knowledge, this is the largest and most geographically and taxonomically representative database of spatial comparisons of biodiversity that has been collated to date ; it will be useful to researchers and international efforts wishing to model and understand the global status of biodiversity.

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19 décembre 2016

Relationships among ecological traits of wild bee communities along gradients of habitat amount and fragmentation [Ecography]

Amount of semi-natural habitats (permanent grasslands, woodlands and hedgerows) and their level of fragmentation are among the main determinants of wild bee diversity in agricultural landscapes. However, their impact on the distribution of bee ecological traits has received little attention. In this study, we aimed to explore whether changes in the distribution of bee ecological traits along gradients of habitat amount and fragmentation were due to a direct effect of landscape context on multiple traits (‘response traits’) or to a correlation of response traits with other ecological traits not involved in the response of bee species to landscape context.(...)

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19 décembre 2016

Amphibian gut microbiota shifts differentially in community structure but converges on habitat-specific predicted functions [Nature Communications]

Keywords : ecology, microbial ecology

Complex microbial communities inhabit vertebrate digestive systems but thorough understanding of the ecological dynamics and functions of host-associated microbiota within natural habitats is limited. We investigate the role of environmental conditions in shaping gut and skin microbiota under natural conditions by performing a field survey and reciprocal transfer experiments with salamander larvae inhabiting two distinct habitats (ponds and streams). We show that gut and skin microbiota are habitat-specific, demonstrating environmental factors mediate community structure. Reciprocal transfer reveals that gut microbiota, but not skin microbiota, responds differentially to environmental change.(...)

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19 décembre 2016

Climatic microrefugia under anthropogenic climate change : implications for species redistribution [Ecography]

The role of modern climatic microrefugia is a neglected aspect in the study of biotic responses to anthropogenic climate change. Current projections of species redistribution at continental extent are based on climatic grids of coarse (≥ 1 km) resolutions that fail to capture spatiotemporal dynamics associated with climatic microrefugia. Here, we review recent methods to model the climatic component of potential microrefugia and highlight research gaps in accounting for the buffering capacity due to biophysical processes operating at very fine (< 1 m) resolutions (e.g. canopy cover) and the associated microclimatic stability over time (i.e. decoupling).(...)

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16 décembre 2016

A global map of roadless areas and their conservation status [Science/Report]

Roads fragment landscapes and trigger human colonization and degradation of ecosystems, to the detriment of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. The planet’s remaining large and ecologically important tracts of roadless areas sustain key refugia for biodiversity and provide globally relevant ecosystem services. Applying a 1-kilometer buffer to all roads, we present a global map of roadless areas and an assessment of their status, quality, and extent of coverage by protected areas. About 80% of Earth’s terrestrial surface remains roadless, but this area is fragmented into 600,000 patches, more than half of which are <1 square kilometer and only 7% of which are larger than 100 square kilometers. Global protection of ecologically valuable roadless areas is inadequate. International recognition and protection of roadless areas is urgently needed to halt their continued loss.

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