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Peter Wilf, Michael P Donovan, N Rubén Cúneo, María A Gandolfo
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The flip-leaved podocarp Retrophyllum has a disjunct extant distribution in South American and Australasian tropical rainforests and a Gondwanic fossil record since the Eocene. Evolutionary, biogeographic, and paleoecological insights from previously described fossils are limited because they preserve little foliar variation and no reproductive structures. METHODS: We investigated new Retrophyllum material from the terminal Cretaceous Lefipán, the early Eocene Laguna del Hunco, and the early/middle Eocene Río Pichileufú floras of Patagonian Argentina...
September 2017: American Journal of Botany
Oyomoare L Osazuwa-Peters, S Joseph Wright, Amy E Zanne
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Wood density is the top predictor of growth and mortality rates (vital rates) but with modest explanatory power at best. Stronger links to vital rates are expected if wood density is decomposed into its anatomical properties at sapling and adult stages, since saplings and adults differ in wood traits and vital rates. We examined whether anatomical determinants of wood density and strength of the relationship between wood traits and vital rates shift between saplings and adults...
October 2017: American Journal of Botany
E Bourtsoukidis, T Behrendt, A M Yañez-Serrano, H Hellén, E Diamantopoulos, E Catão, K Ashworth, A Pozzer, C A Quesada, D L Martins, M Sá, A Araujo, J Brito, P Artaxo, J Kesselmeier, J Lelieveld, J Williams
The Amazon rainforest is the world's largest source of reactive volatile isoprenoids to the atmosphere. It is generally assumed that these emissions are products of photosynthetically driven secondary metabolism and released from the rainforest canopy from where they influence the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere. However, recent measurements indicate that further sources of volatiles are present. Here we show that soil microorganisms are a strong, unaccounted source of highly reactive and previously unreported sesquiterpenes (C15 H24 ; SQT)...
June 8, 2018: Nature Communications
Dorsaf Kerfahi, Binu M Tripathi, Ke Dong, Mincheol Kim, Hyoki Kim, J W Ferry Slik, Rusea Go, Jonathan M Adams
Comparing the functional gene composition of soils at opposite extremes of environmental gradients may allow testing of hypotheses about community and ecosystem function. Here, we were interested in comparing how tropical microbial ecosystems differ from those of polar climates. We sampled several sites in the equatorial rainforest of Malaysia and Brunei, and the high Arctic of Svalbard, Canada, and Greenland, comparing the composition and the functional attributes of soil biota between the two extremes of latitude, using shotgun metagenomic Illumina HiSeq2000 sequencing...
June 7, 2018: Microbial Ecology
Sarah A Hendricks, Rena M Schweizer, Ryan J Harrigan, John P Pollinger, Paul C Paquet, Chris T Darimont, Jennifer R Adams, Lisette P Waits, Bridgett M vonHoldt, Paul A Hohenlohe, Robert K Wayne
Admixture resulting from natural dispersal processes can potentially generate novel phenotypic variation that may facilitate persistence in changing environments or result in the loss of population-specific adaptations. Yet, under the US Endangered Species Act, policy is limited for management of individuals whose ancestry includes a protected taxon; therefore, they are generally not protected under the Act. This issue is exemplified by the recently re-established grey wolves of the Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon, USA...
June 7, 2018: Heredity
Pablo Deschepper, Bert Jonckheere, Jasper Matthys
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 4, 2018: Wilderness & Environmental Medicine
Mariana R Lopes, Carla A Lara, Marina E F Moura, Ana Paula T Uetanabaro, Paula B Morais, Marcos J S Vital, Carlos A Rosa
We investigated the yeast species associated with rotting wood samples obtained from Brazilian ecosystems, with a special focus on cellobiose-fermenting species. About 647 yeast strains were isolated from rotting wood samples collected from the areas of Atlantic rainforest, Cerrado, and Amazonian forest. Eighty-six known species and 47 novel species of yeasts were isolated. Candida boidinii, Cyberlindnera subsufficiens, Meyerozyma guilliermondii, Schwanniomyces polymorphus, Candida natalensis, and Debaryomyces hansenii were the most frequently isolated species...
July 2018: Fungal Biology
Darren Curnoe, Ipoi Datan, Jian-Xin Zhao, Charles Leh Moi Ung, Maxime Aubert, Mohammed S Sauffi, Goh Hsiao Mei, Raynold Mendoza, Paul S C Taçon
The skeletal remains of Late Pleistocene-early Holocene humans are exceptionally rare in island Southeast Asia. As a result, the identity and physical adaptations of the early inhabitants of the region are poorly known. One archaeological locality that has historically been important for understanding the peopling of island Southeast Asia is the Niah Caves in the northeast of Borneo. Here we present the results of direct Uranium-series dating and the first published descriptions of three partial human mandibles from the West Mouth of the Niah Caves recovered during excavations by the Harrissons in 1957...
2018: PloS One
C W Wardhaugh, M J Stone, N E Stork
Altered abiotic conditions resulting from human-induced climate change are already driving changes in the spatial and temporal distributions of many organisms. For insects, how species are distributed across elevations is relatively well known, but data on their seasonality at different elevations are lacking. Here we show seasonal variation in beetle abundance and species richness along two spatially-distinct elevational transects (350-1000 m and 100-1000 m asl) in the rainforests of northern Australia...
June 4, 2018: Scientific Reports
James W Hody, Roland Kays
The geographic distribution of coyotes ( Canis latrans ) has dramatically expanded since 1900, spreading across much of North America in a period when most other mammal species have been declining. Although this considerable expansion has been well documented at the state/provincial scale, continent-wide descriptions of coyote spread have portrayed conflicting distributions for coyotes prior to the 1900s, with popularly referenced anecdotal accounts showing them restricted to the great plains, and more obscure, but data-rich accounts suggesting they ranged across the arid west...
2018: ZooKeys
Guillaume Lentendu, Frédéric Mahé, David Bass, Sonja Rueckert, Thorsten Stoeck, Micah Dunthorn
Tropical animals and plants are known to have high alpha diversity within forests, but low beta diversity between forests. By contrast, it is unknown if microbes inhabiting the same ecosystems exhibit similar biogeographic patterns. To evaluate the biogeographies of tropical protists, we used metabarcoding data of species sampled in the soils of three lowland Neotropical rainforests. Taxa-area and distance-decay relationships for three of the dominant protist taxa and their subtaxa were estimated at both the OTU- and phylogenetic-levels, with presence-absence and abundance based measures...
May 30, 2018: Molecular Ecology
Hermes Ribeiro Luz, Bruna Barboza Bezerra, Walter Flausino, Arlei Marcili, Sebastián Muñoz-Leal, João Luiz Horacio Faccini
Although a group of soft ticks (Argasidae) associated with amphibians was recently discovered in Brazilian rainforests, parasitism by these ticks on cold-blooded animals remains less common than on mammal and bird species. In this study, we identified ticks that were collected from toads that had been caught in December 2016 and January 2017, at Itinguçú waterfall (22°54'05" S; 43°53'30" W) in the municipality of Itaguaí, state of Rio de Janeiro. Tick specimens were identified using a morphological and molecular approach...
May 24, 2018: Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária, Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology
Igor da Cunha Lima Acosta, Hermes Ribeiro Luz, Álvaro Adolfo Faccini-Martínez, Sebastián Muñoz-Leal, Crispim Cerutti Junior, Marcelo Bahia Labruna
Espírito Santo state (southeastern Brazil) is considered an endemic area for spotted fever group rickettsioses. In February 2017, we received in our laboratory seven unfed Amblyomma ovale adult ticks collected by a farmer from his clothes and body (not attached) during a working day in the rural area of Ibiraçu municipality, Espírito Santo state. By polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses, targeting gltA and ompA rickettsial genes, the DNA of Rickettsia was detected in 6/7 (85.7%) A. ovale. In all cases, DNA sequencing of PCR products revealed that consensus sequences of both genes were 100% identical to gltA and ompA corresponding sequences of Rickettsia sp...
May 24, 2018: Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária, Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology
Delong Li, Shuyao Wu, Laibao Liu, Yatong Zhang, Shuangcheng Li
Climate change has far-reaching impacts on ecosystems. Recent attempts to quantify such impacts focus on measuring exposure to climate change but largely ignore ecosystem resistance and resilience, which may also affect the vulnerability outcomes. In this study, the relative vulnerability of global terrestrial ecosystems to short-term climate variability was assessed by simultaneously integrating exposure, sensitivity, and resilience at a high spatial resolution (0.05°). The results show that vulnerable areas are currently distributed primarily in plains...
May 27, 2018: Global Change Biology
Deborah A Clark, David B Clark, Susan G Letcher
In lowland tropical rainforest, hundreds of tree species typically occur within mesoscale landscapes (50-500 ha). There is no consensus ecological theory that accounts for the coexistence of so many species with similar morphologies and the same fundamental requirements of light, nutrients, water, and physical space. In part this is due to the limited understanding of post-establishment ecology for the vast majority of tropical tree species. Of even more concern is the lack of understanding of how these trees are responding to on-going atmospheric and climatic changes...
May 25, 2018: Ecology
Diego Santana Assis, Iracenir Andrade Dos Santos, Flavio Nunes Ramos, Katty Elena Barrios-Rojas, Jonathan David Majer, Evaldo Ferreira Vilela
The establishment of agricultural matrices generally involves deforestation, which leads to fragmentation of the remaining forest. This fragmentation can affect forest dynamics both positively and negatively. Since most animal species are affected, certain groups can be used to measure the impact of such fragmentation. This study aimed to measure the impacts of agricultural crops (matrices) on ant communities of adjacent lower montane Atlantic rainforest fragments. We sampled nine forest fragments at locations surrounded by different agricultural matrices, namely: coffee (3 replicates); sugarcane (3); and pasture (3)...
2018: PloS One
Felipe Martins, Loeske Kruuk, John Llewelyn, Craig Moritz, Ben Phillips
There is justified concern about the impact of global warming on the persistence of tropical ectotherms. There is also growing evidence for strong selection on climate-relevant physiological traits. Understanding the evolutionary potential of populations is especially important for low dispersal organisms in isolated populations, because these populations have little choice but to adapt. Despite this, direct estimates of heritability and genetic correlations for physiological traits in ectotherms-which will determine their evolutionary responses to selection-are sparse, especially for reptiles...
May 22, 2018: Heredity
Ari E Martínez, Eliseo Parra, Oliver Muellerklein, Vance T Vredenburg
Predation is a strong ecological force that shapes animal communities through natural selection. Recent studies have shown the cascading effects of predation risk on ecosystems through changes in prey behavior. Minimizing predation risk may explain why multiple prey species associate together in space and time. For example, mixed-species flocks that have been widely documented from forest systems, often include birds that eavesdrop on sentinel species (alarm calling heterospecifics). Sentinel species may be pivotal in (1) allowing flocking species to forage in open areas within forests that otherwise incur high predation risk, and (2) influencing flock occurrence (the amount of time species spend with a flock)...
May 22, 2018: Ecology
Tiago Montagna, Juliano Zago da Silva, Tiago Georg Pickart, Maurício Sedrez Dos Reis
Ocotea catharinensis (Lauraceae) is an endangered tree species from the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Currently, little is known about the reproductive ecology of this species. Aiming to propose conservation measures, we described aspects related to phenology, floral biology, pollination, seed dispersal, and mating system of O. catharinensis. We conducted phenological observations in 62 individuals for two years. In one reproductive event, we evaluated nectar production, stigmatic receptivity, and pollen viability...
May 22, 2018: Plant Biology
Jacqueline Heckenhauer, Rosabelle Samuel, Peter S Ashton, Kamariah Abu Salim, Ovidiu Paun
A supra-annual, community-level synchronous flowering prevails in several parts of the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and its evolution has been hypothesized to be linked to pollinator shifts. The aseasonal Southeast Asian lowland rainforests are dominated by Dipterocarpaceae, which exhibit great floral diversity, a range of pollination syndromes and include species with annual and supra-annual gregarious flowering. Phylogenetic relationships within this family are still unclear, especially in the tribe Shoreeae...
May 17, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
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