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24 avril 2018

Topography shapes the structure, composition and function of tropical forest landscapes [Ecology Letters]

Keywords : aboveground carbon density, airborne laser scanning (or LiDAR), biodiversity, canopy height, gap fraction, hyperspectral imaging, remote sensing, terrain elevation, slope and curvature, wood density

Topography is a key driver of tropical forest structure and composition, as it constrains local nutrient and hydraulic conditions within which trees grow. Yet, we do not fully understand how changes in forest physiognomy driven by topography impact other emergent properties of forests, such as their aboveground carbon density (ACD). Working in Borneo – at a site where 70‐m‐tall forests in alluvial valleys rapidly transition to stunted heath forests on nutrient‐depleted dip slopes – we combined field data with airborne laser scanning and hyperspectral imaging to characterise how topography shapes the vertical structure, wood density, diversity and ACD of nearly 15 km2 of old‐growth forest.(...)

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24 avril 2018

Trophic structure in a rapidly urbanizing planet [Functional Ecology]

Keywords : allochthonous, autochthonous, biodiversity, city, food web, predation paradox, synanthropic, urbanization

1.The human population is rapidly urbanizing, and the negative impacts of urban cover on biodiversity and ecosystem function are expected to increase. Trophic dynamics have been hypothesized to change with urbanization, with consequences for biodiversity and function. Here I review recent progress in this area by focusing on how urbanization affects dietary sources, trophic interactions, and the functional ecology of synanthropic species.
2.Urbanization affects primary autochthonous production in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by replacing and fragmenting natural areas with impervious cover, increasing nutrient supply, changing hydrological regimes, and altering the composition and seasonality of primary producers. The responses of primary production differ between climatic regions or across hydrological regimes.(...)

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24 avril 2018

Tracking the pulse of the Earth’s fresh waters [Nature Sustainability]

Keywords : environmental sciences, water resources

Reliable accounting of freshwater resources is key to managing hydrologic risk and balancing freshwater allocations for ecosystems and society. However, recent claims have argued that the global hydrometric network is not keeping pace with monitoring needs. Here we examine this question globally and reveal that over the past four decades the number of streamgaging stations reporting to global, open datasets has been declining.(...)

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24 avril 2018

Explaining European fungal fruiting phenology with climate variability [Ecology]

Keywords : climate, fungi, fruit bodies, distribution, Europe, NDVI, nutritional mode, path analysis, phenology

Here we assess the impact of geographically dependent (latitude, longitude and altitude) changes in bioclimatic (temperature, precipitation and primary productivity) variability on fungal fruiting phenology across Europe. Two main nutritional guilds of fungi, saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal, were further separated into spring and autumn fruiters. We used a path‐analysis to investigate how biogeographic patterns in fungal fruiting phenology coincided with seasonal changes in climate and primary production.(...)

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13 avril 2018

Illuminating the Evolution of Iridescence [Trends in Ecology & Evolution]

Iridescence, a change in hue with viewing or illumination geometry, is a common feature of colour patterns in nature, though its significance remains elusive. Recent studies of floral iridescence reveal its functional versatility in enhancing the detection and discrimination of resources by insect viewers, as well as augmenting higher-level processes of memory and perception. Coupled with a known evolutionary lability, these results suggest intriguing possibilities for how this optical curiosity may act as a key to diversification.

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