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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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16 décembre 2016

The spider tree of life : phylogeny of Araneae based on target-gene analyses from an extensive taxon sampling [Cladistics]

We present a phylogenetic analysis of spiders using a dataset of 932 spider species, representing 115 families (only the family Synaphridae is unrepresented), 700 known genera, and additional representatives of 26 unidentified or undescribed genera. Eleven genera of the orders Amblypygi, Palpigradi, Schizomida and Uropygi are included as outgroups. The dataset includes six markers from the mitochondrial (12S, 16S, COI) and nuclear (histone H3, 18S, 28S) genomes, and was analysed by multiple methods, including constrained analyses using a highly supported backbone tree from transcriptomic data. We recover most of the higher-level structure of the spider tree with good support, including Mesothelae, Opisthothelae, Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae.(...)

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16 décembre 2016

Estimating the volume and age of water stored in global lakes using a geo-statistical approach [Nature Communications]

Keywords : hydrology, limnology

Lakes are key components of biogeochemical and ecological processes, thus knowledge about their distribution, volume and residence time is crucial in understanding their properties and interactions within the Earth system. However, global information is scarce and inconsistent across spatial scales and regions. Here we develop a geo-statistical model to estimate the volume of global lakes with a surface area of at least 10 ha based on the surrounding terrain information. Our spatially resolved database shows 1.42 million individual polygons of natural lakes with a total surface area of 2.67 × 106 km2 (1.8% of global land area), a total shoreline length of 7.2 × 106 km (about four times longer than the world’s ocean coastline) and a total volume of 181.9 × 103 km3 (0.8% of total global non-frozen terrestrial water stocks). We also compute mean and median hydraulic residence times for all lakes to be 1,834 days and 456 days, respectively.

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14 décembre 2016

The evolution of sex-specific virulence in infectious diseases [Nature Communications]

Keywords : evolutionary theory, pathogens

Fatality rates of infectious diseases are often higher in men than women. Although this difference is often attributed to a stronger immune response in women, we show that differences in the transmission routes that the sexes provide can result in evolution favouring pathogens with sex-specific virulence. Because women can transmit pathogens during pregnancy, birth or breast-feeding, pathogens adapt, evolving lower virulence in women. (...)

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