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13 juin 2017

Global hotspots and correlates of alien species richness across taxonomic groups [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : biogeography, invasive species, macroecology

Human-mediated transport beyond biogeographic barriers has led to the introduction and establishment of alien species in new regions worldwide. However, we lack a global picture of established alien species richness for multiple taxonomic groups. Here, we assess global patterns and potential drivers of established alien species richness across eight taxonomic groups (amphibians, ants, birds, freshwater fishes, mammals, vascular plants, reptiles and spiders) for 186 islands and 423 mainland regions.(...)

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13 juin 2017

The relationship between species richness and ecosystem variability is shaped by the mechanism of coexistence [Ecology Letters]

Keywords : coexistence, consumer-resource dynamics, diversity-stability hypothesis, pulsed differential equation, relative nonlinearity, storage effect

Theory relating species richness to ecosystem variability typically ignores the potential for environmental variability to promote species coexistence. Failure to account for fluctuation-dependent coexistence may explain deviations from the expected negative diversity–ecosystem variability relationship, and limits our ability to predict the consequences of increases in environmental variability. We use a consumer-resource model to explore how coexistence via the temporal storage effect and relative nonlinearity affects ecosystem variability. We show that a positive, rather than negative, diversity–ecosystem variability relationship is possible when ecosystem function is sampled across a natural gradient in environmental variability and diversity. We also show how fluctuation-dependent coexistence can buffer ecosystem functioning against increasing environmental variability by promoting species richness and portfolio effects. Our work provides a general explanation for variation in observed diversity–ecosystem variability relationships and highlights the importance of conserving regional species pools to help buffer ecosystems against predicted increases in environmental variability.

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12 juin 2017

Restless roosts : Light pollution affects behavior, sleep, and physiology in a free-living songbird [Global Change Biology]

Keywords : activity, artificial light, great tit, haptoglobin, malaria, oxalic acid, telomeres

The natural nighttime environment is increasingly polluted by artificial light. Several studies have linked artificial light at night to negative impacts on human health. In free-living animals, light pollution is associated with changes in circadian, reproductive, and social behavior, but whether these animals also suffer from physiologic costs remains unknown. To fill this gap, we made use of a unique network of field sites which are either completely unlit (control), or are artificially illuminated with white, green, or red light. We monitored nighttime activity of adult great tits, Parus major, and related this activity to within-individual changes in physiologic indices.(...)

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8 juin 2017

River plastic emissions to the world’s oceans [Nature Communications]

Keywords : environmental impact, freshwater ecology, hydrology

Plastics in the marine environment have become a major concern because of their persistence at sea, and adverse consequences to marine life and potentially human health. Implementing mitigation strategies requires an understanding and quantification of marine plastic sources, taking spatial and temporal variability into account. Here we present a global model of plastic inputs from rivers into oceans based on waste management, population density and hydrological information. Our model is calibrated against measurements available in the literature.(...)

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8 juin 2017

Dramatic impact of alien carp Cyprinus carpio on globally threatened diving ducks and other waterbirds in Mediterranean shallow lakes [Biological Conservation]

Keywords : exotic fish, multi-trophic impacts, threatened waterbirds, whole-lake experiment, Mediterranean wetlands, eradication methods

Mediterranean shallow lakes support high biodiversity but suffer many anthropogenic threats, including introductions of alien fish. We studied the impact of introduction of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) to Medina and Zoñar lakes in SW Spain. Both lakes were protected as Ramsar sites because of their importance for waterbirds, particularly the globally threatened white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala IUCN Endangered) and common pochard (Aythya ferina IUCN Vulnerable). Two carp introduction events in Medina lake, with total eradication of carp in between, provided a unique opportunity to study the impacts of carp on the waterbird community (counted monthly from 2001 to 2013, with up to 69 species) and submerged macrophyte cover (quantified with satellite images). A comparison of waterbird abundance before and after carp eradication in the smaller Zoñar lake supported the results from Medina lake.(...)

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