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25 juin 2018

Fish species richness is associated with the availability of landscape components across seasons in the Amazonian floodplain [PeerJ]

Keywords : aquaculture, fisheries and fish science, freshwater biology

Understanding environmental biodiversity drivers in freshwater systems continues to be a fundamental challenge in studies of their fish assemblages. The present study seeks to determine the degree to which landscape variables of Amazonian floodplain lakes influences fish assemblages in these environments. Fish species richness was estimated in 15 Amazonian floodplain lakes during the high and low-water phases and correlated with the areas of four inundated wetland classes : (i) open water, (ii) flooded herbaceous, (iii) flooded shrubs and (iv) flooded forest estimated in different radius circular areas around each sampling site. Data were analyzed using generalized linear models with fish species richness, total and guilds as the dependent variable and estimates of buffered landscape areas as explanatory variables.(...)

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25 juin 2018

Local adaptation and sexual selection drive intra-island diversification in a songbird lineage : differential divergence in autosomes and sex chromosomes [BioRxiv]

Christophe Thébaud

Recently diverged taxa showing marked phenotypic and ecological diversity are optimal systems to test the relative importance of two major evolutionary mechanisms, adaptation to local ecological conditions by natural selection, or mechanisms of reproductive isolation such as assortative mating mediated by sexually selected mating signals or post-zygotic incompatibilities. Whereas local adaptation is expected to affect many loci throughout the genome, traits acting as mating signals are expected to be located on sex chromosomes and have a simple genetic basis. We used genome-wide markers to test these predictions in Reunion Island’s gray-white eye (Zosterops borbonicus), which has recently diversified into five distinct plumage forms.(...)

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25 juin 2018

The evolution of juvenile susceptibility to infectious disease [Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences]

Keywords : host–parasite, age structure, trade-off, susceptibility, development, eco-evolutionary theory

Infection prior to reproduction usually carries greater fitness costs for hosts than infection later in life, suggesting selection should tend to favour juvenile resistance. Yet, juveniles are generally more susceptible than adults across a wide spectrum of host taxa. While physiological constraints and a lack of prior exposure can explain some of this pattern, studies in plants and insects suggest that hosts may trade off juvenile susceptibility against other life-history traits. However, it is unclear precisely how trade-offs shape the evolution of juvenile susceptibility. Here, we theoretically explore the evolution of juvenile susceptibility subject to trade-offs with maturation or reproduction, which could realistically occur due to resource allocation during development (e.g. prioritizing growth over immune defence).(...)

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25 juin 2018

Ten‐year assessment of the 100 priority questions for global biodiversity conservation [Conservation Biology]

Keywords : literature review, horizon scanning, knowledge gaps, network analysis, priority setting, questionnaire, research agenda

In 2008, a group of conservation scientists compiled a list of 100 priority questions for the conservation of the world’s biodiversity [Sutherland et al. (2009) Conservation Biology, 23, 557–567]. However, now almost a decade later, no one has yet published a study gauging how much progress has been made in addressing these 100 high‐priority questions in the peer‐reviewed literature. Here we take a first step toward re‐examining the 100 questions and identify key knowledge gaps that still remain. Through a combination of a questionnaire and a literature review, we evaluated each of the 100 questions on the basis of two criteria : relevance and effort. We defined highly‐relevant questions as those which – if answered – would have the greatest impact on global biodiversity conservation, while effort was quantified based on the number of review publications addressing a particular question, which we used as a proxy for research effort.(...)

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25 juin 2018

Reannotation of eight Drosophila genomes [BioRxiv]

The sequenced genomes in the Drosophila phylogeny is a central resource for comparative work supporting the understanding of the Drosophila melanogaster non-mammalian model system. These have also facilitated studying the selected and random differences that distinguish the thousands of extant species of Drosophila. However, full utility has been hampered by uneven genome annotation. We have generated a large expression profile dataset for nine species of Drosophila and trained a transcriptome assembly approach on Drosophila melanogaster to develop a pipeline that best matched the extensively curated annotation. We then applied this to the other species to add tens of thousands of new gene models per species.(...)

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