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30 mars 2018

Reconciling biodiversity and carbon stock conservation in an Afrotropical forest landscape [Science Advances]

Protecting aboveground carbon stocks in tropical forests is essential for mitigating global climate change and is assumed to simultaneously conserve biodiversity. Although the relationship between tree diversity and carbon stocks is generally positive, the relationship remains unclear for consumers or decomposers. We assessed this relationship for multiple trophic levels across the tree of life (10 organismal groups, 3 kingdoms) in lowland rainforests of the Congo Basin. Comparisons across regrowth and old-growth forests evinced the expected positive relationship for trees, but not for other organismal groups. Moreover, differences in species composition between forests increased with difference in carbon stock.(...)

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29 mars 2018

Altered access to beneficial mutations slows adaptation and biases fixed mutations in diploids [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : evolutionary genetics, experimental evolution, polyploidy

Ploidy varies considerably in nature. However, our understanding of the impact of ploidy on adaptation is incomplete. Many microbial evolution experiments characterize adaptation in haploid organisms, but few focus on diploid organisms. Here, we perform a 4,000-generation evolution experiment using diploid strains of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We show that the rate of adaptation and spectrum of beneficial mutations are influenced by ploidy.(...)

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29 mars 2018

Islands as biological substrates : Continental [Journal of Biogeography]

Keywords : Continental islands, geotectonics, ice‐bridges, insular biotas, island biogeography, land‐bridges, overwater dispersal, vicariant biotas

Aim
Describe the main geo‐physical features of the various sorts of marine islands that are associated with the continents and consider how the ontogenetic pathways of each landmass type might have shaped the hosted biotas.
Location
Global.
Methods
Review of the literature that underpins understanding of the “continental” marine islands, particularly those publications with biological, geological, geophysical, oceanographical and palaeoceanographical foci.(...)

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29 mars 2018

The interplay of past diversification and evolutionary isolation with present imperilment across the amphibian tree of life [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : biodiversity, biogeography, conservation biology, herpetology, phylogenetics

Human activities continue to erode the tree of life, requiring us to prioritize research and conservation. Amphibians represent key victims and bellwethers of global change, and the need for action to conserve them is drastically outpacing knowledge. We provide a phylogeny incorporating nearly all extant amphibians (7,238 species). Current amphibian diversity is composed of both older, depauperate lineages and extensive, more recent tropical radiations found in select clades. Frog and salamander diversification increased strongly after the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary, preceded by a potential mass-extinction event in salamanders. Diversification rates of subterranean caecilians varied little over time. Biogeographically, the Afro- and Neotropics harbour a particularly high proportion of Gondwanan relicts, comprising species with high evolutionary distinctiveness (ED).(...)

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29 mars 2018

Host community similarity and geography shape the diversity and distribution of haemosporidian parasites in Amazonian birds [Ecography]

Identifying the mechanisms driving the distribution and diversity of parasitic organisms and characterizing the structure of parasite assemblages are critical to understanding host–parasite evolution, community dynamics, and disease transmission risk. Haemosporidian parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus are a diverse and cosmopolitan group of bird pathogens. Despite their global distribution, the ecological and historical factors shaping the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites across avian communities and geographic regions remain unclear. Here we used a region of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene to characterize the diversity, biogeographical patterns, and phylogenetic relationships of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infecting Amazonian birds. Specifically, we asked whether, and how, host community similarity and geography (latitude and area of endemism) structure parasite assemblages across 15 avian communities in the Amazon Basin.(...)

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