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30 juin 2016

How humans drive speciation as well as extinction [Proceedings of the Royal Society B]

Keywords : conservation, diversification, Holocene, no net loss, species

A central topic for conservation science is evaluating how human activities influence global species diversity. Humanity exacerbates extinction rates. But by what mechanisms does humanity drive the emergence of new species ? We review human-mediated speciation, compare speciation and known extinctions, and discuss the challenges of using net species diversity as a conservation objective. Humans drive rapid evolution through relocation, domestication, hunting and novel ecosystem creation—and emerging technologies could eventually provide additional mechanisms. The number of species relocated, domesticated and hunted during the Holocene is of comparable magnitude to the number of observed extinctions. While instances of human-mediated speciation are known, the overall effect these mechanisms have upon speciation rates has not yet been quantified.(...)

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30 juin 2016

Social inheritance can explain the structure of animal social networks [Nature communications]

The social network structure of animal populations has major implications for survival, reproductive success, sexual selection and pathogen transmission of individuals. But as of yet, no general theory of social network structure exists that can explain the diversity of social networks observed in nature, and serve as a null model for detecting species and population-specific factors. Here we propose a simple and generally applicable model of social network structure. We consider the emergence of network structure as a result of social inheritance, in which newborns are likely to bond with maternal contacts, and via forming bonds randomly. (...)

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30 juin 2016

Resource partitioning and functional diversity of worldwide freshwater fish communities [Ecosphere]

Julien Cucherousset

Despite significant progress in recent years, understanding the rules governing the assembly of natural communities is still challenging and knowledge of how the integration of nonnative species may disrupt community structure and function is needed. To address this challenge, we collated stable isotope data for 159 freshwater fish communities around the world with and without nonnative species and quantified spatial variation in both community isotopic functional diversity and intraspecific variation in species niches. Using a null model and partial least squares path analysis, we then evaluated how the interplay between abiotic (historical, energetic, climatic, habitat size) and biotic (niche segregation) factors shape community structure and functional diversity, and how these relationships have changed, and with what consequences, in the presence of nonnative species.(...)

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30 juin 2016

Phenological sensitivity to climate across taxa and trophic levels [Nature]

Differences in phenological responses to climate change among species can desynchronise ecological interactions and thereby threaten ecosystem function. To assess these threats, we must quantify the relative impact of climate change on species at different trophic levels. Here, we apply a Climate Sensitivity Profile approach to 10,003 terrestrial and aquatic phenological data sets, spatially matched to temperature and precipitation data, to quantify variation in climate sensitivity. The direction, magnitude and timing of climate sensitivity varied markedly among organisms within taxonomic and trophic groups.(...)

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29 juin 2016

Amphibians with infectious disease increase their reproductive effort : evidence for the terminal investment hypothesis [Proceedings of the Royal Society B]

Mounting an immune response to fight disease is costly for an organism and can reduce investment in another life-history trait, such as reproduction. The terminal investment hypothesis predicts that an organism will increase reproductive effort when threatened by disease. The reproductive fitness of amphibians infected with the deadly fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is largely unknown. In this study, we explored gametogenesis in two endangered and susceptible frog species, Pseudophryne corroboree and Litoria verreauxii alpina.(...)

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