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7 octobre 2016

Genome sequence of the basal haplorrhine primate Tarsius syrichta reveals unusual insertions [Nature communications]

Keywords : evolutionary biology, genome evolution, interspersed repetitive sequences

Tarsiers are phylogenetically located between the most basal strepsirrhines and the most derived anthropoid primates. While they share morphological features with both groups, they also possess uncommon primate characteristics, rendering their evolutionary history somewhat obscure. To investigate the molecular basis of such attributes, we present here a new genome assembly of the Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta), and provide extended analyses of the genome and detailed history of transposable element insertion events.(...)

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6 octobre 2016

Communally Nesting Migratory Birds Create Ecological Hot-Spots in Tropical Australia [PLOS One]

keywords : trees, starlings, birds, rainforests, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles Snakes

Large numbers of metallic starlings (Aplonis metallica) migrate annually from New Guinea to the rainforests of tropical Australia, where they nest communally in single emergent trees (up to 1,000 birds). These aggregations create dense and species-rich faunal “hot-spots”, attracting a diverse assemblage of local consumers that utilise this seasonal resource.(...)

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6 octobre 2016

Local-scale models reveal ecological niche variability in amphibian and reptile communities from two contrasting biogeographic regions [PeerJ]

Keywords : biodiversity, biogeography, conservation biology, ecology

Ecological Niche Models (ENMs) are widely used to describe how environmental factors influence species distribution. Modelling at a local scale, compared to a large scale within a high environmental gradient, can improve our understanding of ecological species niches. The main goal of this study is to assess and compare the contribution of environmental variables to amphibian and reptile ENMs in two Spanish national parks located in contrasting biogeographic regions, i.e., the Mediterranean and the Atlantic area.(...)

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6 octobre 2016

Drosophila mate copying correlates with atmospheric pressure in a speed learning situation [Animal Behaviour]

Etienne Danchin

Mate choice can strongly affect fitness in sexually reproducing organisms. A form of mate choice is mate copying, in which individuals use information about potential mates by copying the mate choice of other individuals. While many studies have documented mate copying, little is known about the effect of environmental conditions on this behaviour.(...)

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5 octobre 2016

Strong influence of palaeoclimate on the structure of modern African mammal communities [Proceedings of the Royal Society B]

Keywords : community assembly, palaeoclimate, functional traits, phylogenetic structure

Ecological research often assumes that species are adapted to their current climatic environments. However, climate fluctuations over geologic timescales have influenced species dispersal and extinction, which in turn may affect community structure. Modern community structure is likely to be the product of both palaeoclimate and modern climate, with the relative degrees of influence of past and present climates unknown. Here, we assessed the influence of climate at different time periods on the phylogenetic and functional trait structure of 203 African mammal communities.(...)

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