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4 mai 2017

Linking speciation to extinction : Diversification raises contemporary extinction risk in amphibians [Evolution Letters]

Keywords : amphibia, diversification, extinction risk, IUCN, peripatry, speciation rate, species longevity

Many of the traits associated with elevated rates of speciation, including niche specialization and having small and isolated populations, are similarly linked with an elevated risk of extinction. This suggests that rapidly speciating lineages may also be more extinction prone. Empirical tests of a speciation-extinction correlation are rare because assessing paleontological extinction rates is difficult. However, the modern biodiversity crisis allows us to observe patterns of extinction in real time, and if this hypothesis is true then we would expect young clades that have recently diversified to have high contemporary extinction risk. Here, we examine evolutionary patterns of modern extinction risk across over 300 genera within one of the most threatened vertebrate classes, the Amphibia.(...)

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4 mai 2017

General and species-specific impacts of a neonicotinoid insecticide on the ovary development and feeding of wild bumblebee queens [Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences]

Keywords : bumble bee queens, insect pollinator, insecticide toxicity, neonicotinoid insecticide, parasites, sublethal effects

Bumblebees are essential pollinators of crops and wild plants, but are in decline across the globe. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated as a potential driver of these declines, but most of our evidence base comes from studies of a single species. There is an urgent need to understand whether such results can be generalized across a range of species. Here, we present results of a laboratory experiment testing the impacts of field-relevant doses (1.87–5.32 ppb) of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on spring-caught wild queens of four bumblebee species : Bombus terrestris, B. lucorum, B. pratorum and B. pascuorum.(...)

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4 mai 2017

Effects of anthropogenic disturbances on α and β diversity of fish assemblages and their longitudinal patterns in subtropical streams, China [Ecology of Freshwater Fish]

Keywords : anthropogenic disturbance, headwater stream, upstream–downstream pattern, α and β diversity

Identifying the spatial patterns of α and β diversity of biotics is an important yet little-understood area of basic and applied ecological research. Although the upstream–downstream patterns of α diversity of stream fishes are numerously reported, β diversity has received less attention. In this study, we surveyed fishes along the upstream–downstream gradients in three headwater streams of the Qingyi River, China, which were affected by different extents of human activities. We aimed to assess how anthropogenic disturbances affect α and β diversity of stream fishes and their upstream–downstream patterns.(...)

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3 mai 2017

Cryptic diversity in Amazonian frogs : Integrative taxonomy of the genus Anomaloglossus (Amphibia : Anura : Aromobatidae) reveals a unique case of diversification within the Guiana Shield [Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution]

Jean-pierre Vacher, Christophe Thébaud, Antoine Fouquet

Lack of resolution on species boundaries and distribution can hamper inferences in many fields of biology, notably biogeography and conservation biology. This is particularly true in megadiverse and under-surveyed regions such as Amazonia, where species richness remains vastly underestimated. Integrative approaches using a combination of phenotypic and molecular evidence have proved extremely successful in reducing knowledge gaps in species boundaries, especially in animal groups displaying high levels of cryptic diversity like amphibians. Here we combine molecular data (mitochondrial 16S rRNA and nuclear TYR, POMC, and RAG1) from 522 specimens of Anomaloglossus, a frog genus endemic to the Guiana Shield, including 16 of the 26 nominal species, with morphometrics, bioacoustics, tadpole development mode, and habitat use to evaluate species delineation in two lowlands species groups.(...)

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2 mai 2017

Microplastic transport in soil by earthworms [Scientific Reports]

Keywords : ecology, environmental sciences

Despite great general benefits derived from plastic use, accumulation of plastic material in ecosystems, and especially microplastic, is becoming an increasing environmental concern. Microplastic has been extensively studied in aquatic environments, with very few studies focusing on soils. We here tested the idea that microplastic particles (polyethylene beads) could be transported from the soil surface down the soil profile via earthworms.(...)

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