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17 mai 2017

Behavioural individuality in clonal fish arises despite near-identical rearing conditions [Nature Communications]

Keywords : animal behaviour, behavioural ecology, ichthyology

Behavioural individuality is thought to be caused by differences in genes and/or environmental conditions. Therefore, if these sources of variation are removed, individuals are predicted to develop similar phenotypes lacking repeatable individual variation. Moreover, even among genetically identical individuals, direct social interactions are predicted to be a powerful factor shaping the development of individuality. We use tightly controlled ontogenetic experiments with clonal fish, the Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa), to test whether near-identical rearing conditions and lack of social contact dampen individuality.(...)

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17 mai 2017

A global synthesis of the effects of diversified farming systems on arthropod diversity within fields and across agricultural landscapes [Global Change Biology]

Keywords : agricultural management schemes, arthropod diversity, biodiversity, evenness, functional groups, landscape complexity, meta-analysis, organic farming, plant diversity

Agricultural intensification is a leading cause of global biodiversity loss, which can reduce the provisioning of ecosystem services in managed ecosystems. Organic farming and plant diversification are farm management schemes that may mitigate potential ecological harm by increasing species richness and boosting related ecosystem services to agroecosystems. What remains unclear is the extent to which farm management schemes affect biodiversity components other than species richness, and whether impacts differ across spatial scales and landscape contexts. Using a global metadataset, we quantified the effects of organic farming and plant diversification on abundance, local diversity (communities within fields), and regional diversity (communities across fields) of arthropod pollinators, predators, herbivores, and detritivores.(...)

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16 mai 2017

From effective biocontrol agent to successful invader : the harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) as an example of good ideas that could go wrong [PeerJ]

Keywords : biodiversity, conservation biology, ecology, entomology, environmental sciences

The use of biological control agents to control pests is an alternative to pesticides and a tool to manage invasive alien species. However, biocontrol agents can themselves become invasive species under certain conditions. The harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) is a native Asian biocontrol agent that has become a successful invader. We reviewed articles containing “Harmonia axyridis” to gather information on its presence and surveyed entomologists researching Coccinellidae around the world to investigate further insights about the current distribution, vectors of introduction, habitat use and threats this species pose.(...)

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16 mai 2017

Perceptive costs of reproduction drive ageing and physiology in male Drosophila [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : evolutionary theory, neuroscience, social evolution

Costs of reproduction are thought to result from natural selection optimizing organismal fitness within putative physiological constraints. Phenotypic and population genetic studies of reproductive costs are plentiful across taxa, but an understanding of their mechanistic basis would provide important insight into the diversity in life-history traits, including reproductive effort and ageing. Here, we dissect the causes and consequences of specific costs of reproduction in male Drosophila melanogaster.(...)

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16 mai 2017

Beyond nutrients : A meta-analysis of the diverse effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on plants and soils [Ecology]

Keywords : arbuscular mycorrhizas, mutualism-parasitism continuum, soil aggregation, disease resistance, plant defense, plant chemical defense, allelochemical transport, allelochemical protection, water uptake, nutrient uptake, meta-analysis

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can increase plant fitness under certain environmental conditions. Among the mechanisms that may drive this mutualism, the most studied is provisioning of nutrients by AMF in exchange for carbon from plant hosts. However, AMF may also provide a suite of non-nutritional benefits to plants including improved water uptake, disease resistance, plant chemical defense, soil aggregation, and allelochemical transport and protection. Here, we use a meta-analysis of 93 studies to assess the relative effect of AMF on nutritional and non-nutritional factors that may influence plant fitness.(...)

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