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29 mars 2017

Population Social Structure Facilitates Indirect Fitness Benefits from Extra-Pair Mating [Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution]

Despite decades of research, empirical support for the “compatible genes” and “good genes” hypotheses as explanations for adaptive female extra-pair mating remains discordant. One largely un-tested theoretical prediction that could explain equivocal findings is that mating for compatible genes benefits should reduce selection for good genes. However, this prediction does not consider demographic parameters, such as social structuring, that can indirectly influence extra-pair paternity (EPP) outcomes. Drawing on evidence from a previous study, we re-evaluate this hypothesis whilst considering social structuring in a population of tui, Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae, a socially monogamous passerine.(...)

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29 mars 2017

Why prokaryotes have pangenomes [Nature Microbiology]

Keywords : evolutionary theory, microbial ecology, microbial genetics, molecular evolution, phylogenetics

The existence of large amounts of within-species genome content variability is puzzling. Population genetics tells us that fitness effects of new variants—either deleterious, neutral or advantageous—combined with the long-term effective population size of the species determines the likelihood of a new variant being removed, spreading to fixation or remaining polymorphic. Consequently, we expect that selection and drift will reduce genetic variation, which makes large amounts of gene content variation in some species so puzzling. Here, we amalgamate population genetic theory with models of horizontal gene transfer and assert that pangenomes most easily arise in organisms with large long-term effective population sizes, as a consequence of acquiring advantageous genes, and that the focal species has the ability to migrate to new niches. Therefore, we suggest that pangenomes are the result of adaptive, not neutral, evolution.

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29 mars 2017

Spatial distribution, total length frequencies and otolith morphometry as tools to analyse the effects of a flash flood on populations of roach (Rutilus rutilus) [Ecology of Freshwater Fish]

Keywords : Cyprinidae, flood event, Lower Rhône River, otolith morphometry

Floods are known to be the major source of natural variability and disturbance in stream ecosystems. However, the management and channelisation of large rivers have impacted the fluvial geomorphology and disconnected the main channel and floodplains used as nurseries by many species of fish. This study examines the influence of a first autumnal flood event of the Ardèche River on the roach population, Rutilus rutilus (Linnaeus, 1758), in the Caderousse reach on the Rhône River.(...)

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29 mars 2017

Systematics of the Dendropsophus leucophyllatus species complex (Anura : Hylidae) : Cryptic diversity and the description of two new species [PLoS ONE]

Antoine Fouquet

Genetic data in studies of systematics of Amazonian amphibians frequently reveal that purportedly widespread single species in reality comprise species complexes. This means that real species richness may be significantly higher than current estimates. Here we combine genetic, morphological, and bioacoustic data to assess the phylogenetic relationships and species boundaries of two Amazonian species of the Dendropsophus leucophyllatus species group : D. leucophyllatus and D. triangulum. Our results uncovered the existence of five confirmed and four unconfirmed candidate species.(...)

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28 mars 2017

The global avian invasions atlas, a database of alien bird distributions worldwide [Scientific Data]

Keywords : biogeography, invasive species, macroecology

The introduction of species to locations where they do not naturally occur (termed aliens) can have far-reaching and unpredictable environmental and economic consequences. Therefore there is a strong incentive to stem the tide of alien species introduction and spread. In order to identify broad patterns and processes of alien invasions, a spatially referenced, global dataset on the historical introductions and alien distributions of a complete taxonomic group is required. Here we present the Global Avian Invasions Atlas (GAVIA)—a new spatial and temporal dataset comprising 27,723 distribution records for 971 alien bird species introduced to 230 countries and administrative areas spanning the period 6000BCE—AD2014.(...)

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