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4 juillet 2018

ATLANTIC AMPHIBIANS : a data set of amphibian communities from the Atlantic Forests of South America [Ecology]

Keywords : amphibian communities, anurans, Atlantic Forest Biome, biodiversity hotspot, caecilians, Neotropical region

Amphibians are among the most threatened vertebrates in the world and this is also true for those inhabiting the Atlantic Forest hotspot, living in ecosystems that are highly degraded and threatened by anthropogenic activities. We present a data set containing information about amphibian communities sampled throughout the Atlantic Forest Biome in South America. The data were extracted from 389 bibliographic references (articles, books, theses, and dissertations) representing inventories of amphibian communities from 1940 to 2017. The data set includes 17,619 records of 528 species with taxonomic certainty, from 1,163 study sites.(...)

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4 juillet 2018

Is the sky the limit ? On the expansion threshold of a species’ range [PLOS Biology]

Subject Areas : genetic drift, evolutionary adaptation, population density, population genetics, gene flow, genetic loci, evolutionary genetics, genetic load

More than 100 years after Grigg’s influential analysis of species’ borders, the causes of limits to species’ ranges still represent a puzzle that has never been understood with clarity. The topic has become especially important recently as many scientists have become interested in the potential for species’ ranges to shift in response to climate change—and yet nearly all of those studies fail to recognise or incorporate evolutionary genetics in a way that relates to theoretical developments. I show that range margins can be understood based on just two measurable parameters : (i) the fitness cost of dispersal—a measure of environmental heterogeneity—and (ii) the strength of genetic drift, which reduces genetic diversity. Together, these two parameters define an ‘expansion threshold’ : adaptation fails when genetic drift reduces genetic diversity below that required for adaptation to a heterogeneous environment. When the key parameters drop below this expansion threshold locally, a sharp range margin forms.(...)

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2 juillet 2018

The ability of societies to adapt to twenty-first-century sea-level rise [Nature Climate Change]

Against the background of potentially substantial sea-level rise, one important question is to what extent are coastal societies able to adapt ? This question is often answered in the negative by referring to sinking islands and submerged megacities. Although these risks are real, the picture is incomplete because it lacks consideration of adaptation. This Perspective explores societies’ abilities to adapt to twenty-first-century sea-level rise by integrating perspectives from coastal engineering, economics, finance and social sciences, and provides a comparative analysis of a set of cases that vary in terms of technological limits, economic and financial barriers to adaptation and social conflicts.

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29 juin 2018

Global extent of rivers and streams [Science]

The turbulent surfaces of rivers and streams are natural hotspots of biogeochemical exchange with the atmosphere. At the global scale, the total river-atmosphere flux of trace gasses such as CO2 depends on the proportion of Earth’s surface that is covered by the fluvial network, yet the total surface area of rivers and streams is poorly constrained. We used a global database of planform river hydromorphology and a statistical approach to show that global river and stream surface area at mean annual discharge is 773,000 ± 79,000 km2 (0.58 ± 0.06%) of Earth’s non-glaciated land surface, an area 44 ± 15% larger than previous spatial estimates. We found that rivers and streams likely play a greater role in controlling land-atmosphere fluxes than currently represented in global carbon budgets.

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29 juin 2018

High-throughput metabarcoding reveals the effect of physicochemical soil properties on soil and litter biodiversity and community turnover across Amazonia [PeerJ]

Subject areas : biodiversity, ecology, ecosystem science, microbiology, soil science

Knowledge on the globally outstanding Amazonian biodiversity and its environmental determinants stems almost exclusively from aboveground organisms, notably plants. In contrast, the environmental factors and habitat preferences that drive diversity patterns for micro-organisms in the ground remain elusive, despite the fact that micro-organisms constitute the overwhelming majority of life forms in any given location, in terms of both diversity and abundance. Here we address how the diversity and community turnover of operational taxonomic units (OTU) of micro-organisms in soil and litter respond to soil physicochemical properties ; whether OTU diversities and community composition in soil and litter are correlated with each other ; and whether they respond in a similar way to soil properties.(...)

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