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29 mai 2017

Cutaneous bacteria, but not peptides, are associated with chytridiomycosis resistance in Peruvian marsupial frogs [Animal Conservation]

Keywords : Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, disease resistance, Hemiphractidae, symbiotic bacteria, antimicrobial peptides, amphibian conservation, chytridiomycosis, Bd

Amphibians are a highly threatened vertebrate group, and populations of these animals have declined drastically. An important global threat to amphibians is the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. However, not all species develop chytridiomycosis when exposed to Bd. We compared susceptibility to disease in two species of marsupial frogs and found that Gastrotheca nebulanastes is susceptible, whereas its congeneric G. excubitor is resistant.(...)

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29 mai 2017

Climate variability predicts thermal limits of aquatic insects across elevation and latitude [Functional Ecology]

Keywords : thermal breadth, CTMIN, CTMAX, Janzen’s hypothesis, aquatic insects, vulnerability, climate change

1. Janzen’s extension of the climate variability hypothesis posits that increased seasonal variation at high latitudes should result in greater temperature overlap across elevations, and favor wider thermal breadths in temperate organisms compared to their tropical counterparts.
2. We tested these predictions by measuring stream temperatures and thermal breadths (i.e. the difference between the critical thermal maximum and minimum) of 62 aquatic insect species from temperate (Colorado, USA) and tropical (Papallacta, Ecuador) streams spanning an elevation gradient of ca. 2000m.(...)

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26 mai 2017

Leaf bacterial diversity mediates plant diversity and ecosystem function relationships [Nature]

Research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has demonstrated links between plant diversity and ecosystem functions such as productivity1, 2. At other trophic levels, the plant microbiome has been shown to influence host plant fitness and function3, 4, and host-associated microbes have been proposed to influence ecosystem function through their role in defining the extended phenotype of host organisms5, 6 However, the importance of the plant microbiome for ecosystem function has not been quantified in the context of the known importance of plant diversity and traits. Here, using a tree biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiment, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that leaf bacterial diversity is positively linked to ecosystem productivity, even after accounting for the role of plant diversity. (...)

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26 mai 2017

Large conservation gains possible for global biodiversity facets [Nature]

Different facets of biodiversity other than species numbers are increasingly appreciated as critical for maintaining the function of ecosystems and their services to humans. While new international policy and assessment processes such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) recognize the importance of an increasingly global, quantitative and comprehensive approach to biodiversity protection, most insights are still focused on a single facet of biodiversity—species. Here we broaden the focus and provide an evaluation of how much of the world’s species, functional and phylogenetic diversity of birds and mammals is currently protected and the scope for improvement. We show that the large existing gaps in the coverage for each facet of diversity could be remedied by a slight expansion of protected areas : an additional 5% of the land has the potential to more than triple the protected range of species or phylogenetic or functional units.(...)

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26 mai 2017

Our path to better science in less time using open data science tools [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : conservation biology, ecosystem ecology, environmental impact, marine biology, scientific community

Reproducibility has long been a tenet of science but has been challenging to achieve—we learned this the hard way when our old approaches proved inadequate to efficiently reproduce our own work. Here we describe how several free software tools have fundamentally upgraded our approach to collaborative research, making our entire workflow more transparent and streamlined. By describing specific tools and how we incrementally began using them for the Ocean Health Index project, we hope to encourage others in the scientific community to do the same—so we can all produce better science in less time.(...)

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