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2 juillet 2018

The ability of societies to adapt to twenty-first-century sea-level rise [Nature Climate Change]

Against the background of potentially substantial sea-level rise, one important question is to what extent are coastal societies able to adapt ? This question is often answered in the negative by referring to sinking islands and submerged megacities. Although these risks are real, the picture is incomplete because it lacks consideration of adaptation. This Perspective explores societies’ abilities to adapt to twenty-first-century sea-level rise by integrating perspectives from coastal engineering, economics, finance and social sciences, and provides a comparative analysis of a set of cases that vary in terms of technological limits, economic and financial barriers to adaptation and social conflicts.

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29 juin 2018

Global extent of rivers and streams [Science]

The turbulent surfaces of rivers and streams are natural hotspots of biogeochemical exchange with the atmosphere. At the global scale, the total river-atmosphere flux of trace gasses such as CO2 depends on the proportion of Earth’s surface that is covered by the fluvial network, yet the total surface area of rivers and streams is poorly constrained. We used a global database of planform river hydromorphology and a statistical approach to show that global river and stream surface area at mean annual discharge is 773,000 ± 79,000 km2 (0.58 ± 0.06%) of Earth’s non-glaciated land surface, an area 44 ± 15% larger than previous spatial estimates. We found that rivers and streams likely play a greater role in controlling land-atmosphere fluxes than currently represented in global carbon budgets.

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29 juin 2018

High-throughput metabarcoding reveals the effect of physicochemical soil properties on soil and litter biodiversity and community turnover across Amazonia [PeerJ]

Subject areas : biodiversity, ecology, ecosystem science, microbiology, soil science

Knowledge on the globally outstanding Amazonian biodiversity and its environmental determinants stems almost exclusively from aboveground organisms, notably plants. In contrast, the environmental factors and habitat preferences that drive diversity patterns for micro-organisms in the ground remain elusive, despite the fact that micro-organisms constitute the overwhelming majority of life forms in any given location, in terms of both diversity and abundance. Here we address how the diversity and community turnover of operational taxonomic units (OTU) of micro-organisms in soil and litter respond to soil physicochemical properties ; whether OTU diversities and community composition in soil and litter are correlated with each other ; and whether they respond in a similar way to soil properties.(...)

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29 juin 2018

Assessing the impact of taxon resolution on network structure, with implication for comparative ecology [BioRxiv]

Constructing networks has become an indispensable approach in understanding how different taxa interact. However, methodologies vary widely among studies, potentially limiting our ability to meaningfully compare results. In particular, how network architecture is influenced by the extent to which nodes are resolved to either taxa or taxonomic units is poorly understood. To address this, here we collate nine datasets of ecological interactions, from both observations and DNA metabarcoding, and construct networks under a range of commonly-used node resolutions. We demonstrate that small changes in node resolution can cause wide variation in almost all key metric values, including robustness and nestedness.(...)

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29 juin 2018

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi : intraspecific diversity and pangenomes [New Phytologist]

Keywords : arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), intraspecific diversity, pangenomes, Rhizophagus irregularis, transposable elements

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are ubiquitous plant symbionts with an intriguing population biology. Conspecific AMF strains can vary substantially at the genetic and phenotypic levels, leading to direct and quantifiable variation in plant growth. Recent studies have shown that high intraspecific diversity is very common in AMF, and not only found in model species. Studies have also revealed how the phenotype of conspecific isolates varies depending on the plant host, highlighting the functional relevance of intraspecific phenotypic plasticity for the AMF ecology and mycorrhizal symbiosis. Recent work has also demonstrated that conspecific isolates of the model AMF Rhizophagus irregularis harbor large and highly variable pangenomes, highlighting the potential role of intraspecific genome diversity for the ecological adaptation of these symbionts.

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