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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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8 juin 2017

And, not or : Quality, quantity in scientific publishing [PLOS One]

Subject Areas : scientists, scientific publishing, careers, test statistics, bibliometrics, database searching, research laboratories, statistical distributions

Scientists often perceive a trade-off between quantity and quality in scientific publishing : finite amounts of time and effort can be spent to produce few high-quality papers or subdivided to produce many papers of lower quality. Despite this perception, previous studies have indicated the opposite relationship, in which productivity (publishing more papers) is associated with increased paper quality (usually measured by citation accumulation). We examine this question in a novel way, comparing members of the National Academy of Sciences with themselves across years, and using a much larger dataset than previously analyzed. (...)

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8 juin 2017

Biogeography of Amazon birds : rivers limit species composition, but not areas of endemism [Scientific Reports]

Keywords : biodiversity, biogeography, community ecology

Amazonian rivers are usually suggested as dispersal barriers, limiting biogeographic units. This is evident in a widely accepted Areas of Endemism (AoEs) hypothesis proposed for Amazonian birds. We empirically test this hypothesis based on quantitative analyses of species distribution. We compiled a database of bird species and subspecies distribution records, and used this dataset to identify AoEs through three different methods.(...)

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