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25 octobre 2017

Insect elevational specialization in a tropical biodiversity hotspot [Insect Conservation & Diversity]

Keywords : altitudinal range, climate change, elevational specialisation, extinction risk, range shifting, tropical insects, tropical rainforest

1.Tropical montane organisms are vulnerable to climate change because of elevational specialisation, but little is known of the variability in elevational specialisation across tropical insects.
2.We assessed elevational specialisation across several insect taxa comprising four trophic groups 80–2263 m up an elevational transect in Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, using community-based and species-based approaches.
3.We sampled 697 species, of which 32% were found only in the top and 45% only in the bottom half of the transect.(...)

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25 octobre 2017

Genomic Quantitative Genetics to Study Evolution in the Wild [Trends in Ecology & Evolution]

Quantitative genetic theory provides a means of estimating the evolutionary potential of natural populations. However, this approach was previously only feasible in systems where the genetic relatedness between individuals could be inferred from pedigrees or experimental crosses. The genomic revolution opened up the possibility of obtaining the realized proportion of genome shared among individuals in natural populations of virtually any species, which could promise (more) accurate estimates of quantitative genetic parameters in virtually any species. Such a ‘genomic’ quantitative genetics approach relies on fewer assumptions, offers a greater methodological flexibility, and is thus expected to greatly enhance our understanding of evolution in natural populations, for example, in the context of adaptation to environmental change, eco-evolutionary dynamics, and biodiversity conservation.

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24 octobre 2017

European butterfly populations vary in sensitivity to weather across their geographical ranges [Global Ecology & Biogeography]

Keywords : adaptation, biogeography, climate, climate change, density dependence, long-term monitoring, population dynamics, population growth, range edge

The aim was to assess the sensitivity of butterfly population dynamics to variation in weather conditions across their geographical ranges, relative to sensitivity to density dependence, and determine whether sensitivity is greater towards latitudinal range margins.
We use long-term (35 years) butterfly monitoring data from > 900 sites, ranging from Finland to Spain, grouping sites into 2° latitudinal bands. For 12 univoltine butterfly species with sufficient data from at least four bands, we construct population growth rate models that include density dependence, temperature and precipitation during distinct life-cycle periods, defined to accommodate regional variation in phenology. We use partial R2 values as indicators of butterfly population dynamics’ sensitivity to weather and density dependence, and assess how these vary with latitudinal position within a species’ distribution.(...)

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24 octobre 2017

Phylogenetic tests for evolutionary innovation : the problematic link between key innovations and exceptional diversification [Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences]

Keywords : speciation, extinction, adaptive radiation, phenotypic novelty, diversity-dependence

Evolutionary innovation contributes to the spectacular diversity of species and phenotypes across the tree of life. ‘Key innovations’ are widely operationalized within evolutionary biology as traits that facilitate increased diversification rates, such that lineages bearing the traits ultimately contain more species than closely related lineages lacking the focal trait. In this article, I briefly review the inference, analysis and interpretation of evolutionary innovation on phylogenetic trees. I argue that differential rates of lineage diversification should not be used as the basis for key innovation tests, despite the statistical tractability of such approaches.(...)

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24 octobre 2017

Complex effects of day and night temperature fluctuations on thermally plastic traits in an experimental model of adaptive seasonal plasticity [bioRxiv]

Patricia Beldade & David Duneau

Changes in development in response to seasonally variable environments can produce phenotypes adjusted to alternative seasonal conditions and help organisms cope with temporal heterogeneity. In contrast to what happens in natural situations, experimental studies of seasonal plasticity typically test environmental conditions held constant during development. We tested effects of circadian temperature fluctuations on a series of thermally plastic traits in a model of adaptive seasonal plasticity, the butterfly Bicyclus anynana. Comparing phenotypes from butterflies reared under two types of fluctuations (warmer days with cooler nights, and cooler days with warmer nights) and butterflies reared under a constant temperature of the same daily average allowed us to identify complex patterns of response to day and night temperatures.(...)

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