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25 avril 2018

Anthropogenic warming exacerbates European soil moisture droughts [Nature Climate Change]

Keywords : atmospheric science, hydrology, projection and prediction, water resources

Anthropogenic warming is anticipated to increase soil moisture drought in the future. However, projections are accompanied by large uncertainty due to varying estimates of future warming. Here, using an ensemble of hydrological and land-surface models, forced with bias-corrected downscaled general circulation model output, we estimate the impacts of 1–3 K global mean temperature increases on soil moisture droughts in Europe. Compared to the 1.5 K Paris target, an increase of 3 K—which represents current projected temperature change—is found to increase drought area by 40% (±24%), affecting up to 42% (±22%) more of the population.(...)

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24 avril 2018

Tritrophic phenological match–mismatch in space and time [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : forest ecology, phenology

Increasing temperatures associated with climate change may generate phenological mismatches that disrupt previously synchronous trophic interactions. Most work on mismatch has focused on temporal trends, whereas spatial variation in the degree of trophic synchrony has largely been neglected, even though the degree to which mismatch varies in space has implications for meso-scale population dynamics and evolution. Here we quantify latitudinal trends in phenological mismatch, using phenological data on an oak–caterpillar–bird system from across the UK.(...)

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24 avril 2018

Do carotenoid‐based ornaments entail resource tradeoffs ? An evaluation of theory and data [Functional Ecology]

Keywords : carotenoid pigments, ornamentation, coloration, antioxidants


1.Within the past several decades, resource tradeoffs have emerged as the commonly accepted explanation for how carotenoid‐based coloration links to individual performance. However, the literature on carotenoid signaling is inconsistent in how carotenoid resource tradeoffs are defined, assessed, and interpreted.
2.We provide a clear statement of the resource tradeoff hypothesis for explaining the honesty of carotenoid‐based ornaments, its key assumptions, and evidence for (or against) each assumption.(...)

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24 avril 2018

Age‐related variation in non‐breeding foraging behaviour and carry‐over effects on fitness in an extremely long‐lived bird [Functional Ecology]

Keywords : activity patterns, ageing, biologging, life history theory, migration, senescence, sexual segregation, stable isotopes

1.Senescence has been widely documented in wild vertebrate populations, yet the proximate drivers of age‐related declines in breeding success, including allocation trade‐offs and links with foraging performance, are poorly understood. For long‐lived, migratory species, the non‐breeding period represents a critical time for investment in self‐maintenance and restoration of body condition, which in many species is linked to fitness. However, the relationships between age, non‐breeding foraging behaviour and fitness remain largely unexplored.
2.We performed a cross‐sectional study, investigating age‐related variation in the foraging activity, distribution and diet of an extremely long‐lived seabird, the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans, during the non‐breeding period.(...)

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24 avril 2018

Interactions of microplastic debris throughout the marine ecosystem [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : ecotoxicology, marine biology, marine chemistry

Marine microscopic plastic (microplastic) debris is a modern societal issue, illustrating the challenge of balancing the convenience of plastic in daily life with the prospect of causing ecological harm by careless disposal. Here we develop the concept of microplastic as a complex, dynamic mixture of polymers and additives, to which organic material and contaminants can successively bind to form an ‘ecocorona’, increasing the density and surface charge of particles and changing their bioavailability and toxicity. Chronic exposure to microplastic is rarely lethal, but can adversely affect individual animals, reducing feeding and depleting energy stores, with knock-on effects for fecundity and growth. We explore the extent to which ecological processes could be impacted, including altered behaviours, bioturbation and impacts on carbon flux to the deep ocean. We discuss how microplastic compares with other anthropogenic pollutants in terms of ecological risk, and consider the role of science and society in tackling this global issue in the future.(...)

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