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Simon Provençal, Pavel Kishcha, Arlindo M da Silva, Emily Elhacham, Pinhas Alpert
NASA recently extended the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Application (MERRA) with an atmospheric aerosol reanalysis which includes five particulate species: sulfate, organic matter, black carbon, mineral dust and sea salt. The MERRA Aerosol Reanalysis (MERRAero) is an innovative tool to study air quality issues around the world for its global and constant coverage and its distinction of aerosol speciation expressed in the form of aerosol optical depth (AOD). The purpose of this manuscript is to apply MERRAero to the study of urban air pollution at the global scale by analyzing the AOD over a period of 13 years (2003-2015) and over a selection of 200 of the world's most populated cities in order to assess the impacts of urbanization, industrialization, air quality regulations and regional transport which affect urban aerosol load...
June 2017: Urban climate
Zeljka Rupcic, Clara Chepkirui, Margarita Hernández-Restrepo, Pedro W Crous, Janet Jennifer Luangsa-Ard, Marc Stadler
During the course of a study on the functional biodiversity of the mycobiota inhabiting rainforests in Thailand, a fungal strain was isolated from a plant sample and shown to represent an undescribed species, as inferred from a combination of morphological and molecular phylogenetic methods. Molecular phylogenetic analyses, based on four DNA loci, revealed a phylogenetic tree with the newly generated sequences clustering in a separate branch, together with members of the Sulcatisporaceae (Pleosporales, Ascomycota)...
2018: MycoKeys
Elizabeth Psomas, Sholto Holdsworth, Paul Eggleton
Pselaphinae is a species-rich beetle subfamily found globally, with many exhibiting myrmecophily-a symbiotic association with ants. Pselaphine-ant associations vary from facultative to obligate, but direct behavioral observations still remain scarce. Pselaphines are speciose and ecologically abundant within tropical leaf litter invertebrate communities where ants dominate, implying a potentially important ecological role that may be affected by habitat disturbances that impact ants. In this study, we measured and analyzed putative functional traits of leaf litter pselaphines associated with myrmecophily through morphometric analysis...
April 20, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Calvin A Porter, Nia E Beasley, Nicté Ordóñez-Garza, Laramie L Lindsey, Duke S Rogers, Nicole Lewis-Rogers, Jack W Sites, Robert D Bradley
An allopatric population of big-eared climbing rats ( Ototylomys ) from the Northern Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, is described as a new species. The new taxon is part of a unique montane rainforest community that includes several other endemic species in the limited geographic range between the Río Grijalva and the Central Depression of Chiapas. Several cranial, external, and molecular characters distinguish this new species of big-eared climbing rat from its more widely distributed congener, Ototylomys phyllotis ...
October 3, 2017: Journal of Mammalogy
Frederik Van de Perre, Michael R Willig, Steven J Presley, Frank Bapeamoni Andemwana, Hans Beeckman, Pascal Boeckx, Stijn Cooleman, Myriam de Haan, André De Kesel, Steven Dessein, Patrick Grootaert, Dries Huygens, Steven B Janssens, Elizabeth Kearsley, Patrick Mutombo Kabeya, Maurice Leponce, Dries Van den Broeck, Hans Verbeeck, Bart Würsten, Herwig Leirs, Erik Verheyen
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...
March 2018: Science Advances
Terry L Erwin, Charlotte Aldebron
Thoasia Liebke, 1939 and Straneotia Mateu, 1961 of the Cryptobatida group, subtribe Agrina, Lebiini, living in the Neotropics are diagnosed, described, and illustrated. Occurrences of known species ranges are limited to the northern and western Amazon Basin and Guyana Shield. The following species are described as new: Thoasia surinamensis Erwin & Aldebron, sp. n. , Suriname, Thoasia pterosmaragdos Aldebron & Erwin, sp. n. , French Guiana, Thoasia manu Erwin & Aldebron, sp. n. , Ecuador, Perú; Straneotia cylindroceps Erwin & Aldebron, sp...
2018: ZooKeys
Xuanze Zhang, Ying-Ping Wang, Shushi Peng, Peter J Rayner, Philippe Ciais, Jeremy D Silver, Shilong Piao, Zaichun Zhu, Xingjie Lu, Xiaogu Zheng
Net biome productivity (NBP) dominates the observed large variation of atmospheric CO2 annual increase over the last five decades. However, the dominant regions controlling inter-annual to multi-decadal variability of global NBP are still controversial (semi-arid regions vs. temperate or tropical forests). By developing a theory for partitioning the variance of NBP into the contributions of net primary production (NPP) and heterotrophic respiration (Rh ) at different timescales, and using both observation-based atmospheric CO2 inversion product and the outputs of 10 process-based terrestrial ecosystem models forced by 110-year observational climate, we tried to reconcile the controversy by showing that semi-arid lands dominate the variability of global NBP at inter-annual (<10 years) and tropical forests dominate at multi-decadal scales (>30 years)...
April 17, 2018: Global Change Biology
Marten Scheffer, Chi Xu, Stijn Hantson, Milena Holmgren, Sietse O Los, Egbert H van Nes
Rainforests are among the most charismatic as well as the most endangered ecosystems of the world. However, whereas the effects of climate change on tropical forests resilience is a focus of intense research, the conditions for their equally impressive temperate counterparts remain poorly understood, and it remains unclear whether tropical and temperate rainforests have fundamental similarities or not. Here we use new global data from high precision laser altimetry equipment on satellites to reveal for the first time that across climate zones 'giant forests' are a distinct and universal phenomenon, reflected in a separate mode of canopy height (~40m) world-wide...
April 15, 2018: Global Change Biology
Stéphane Guitet, Daniel Sabatier, Olivier Brunaux, Pierre Couteron, Thomas Denis, Vincent Freycon, Sophie Gonzalez, Bruno Hérault, Gaëlle Jaouen, Jean-François Molino, Raphaël Pélissier, Cécile Richard-Hansen, Grégoire Vincent
A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has been fixed in the paper.
April 12, 2018: Scientific Reports
Patrícia Domingues de Freitas, Fernando Luis Mendez, Karla Chávez-Congrains, Pedro Manoel Galetti, Luiz Lehmann Coutinho, Alcides Pissinatti, Carlos Daniel Bustamante
We describe the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the Black Lion Tamarin, an endangered primate species endemic to the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. We assembled the Leontopithecus chrysopygus mitogenome, through analysis of 523M base pairs (bp) of short reads produced by next-generation sequencing (NGS) on the Illumina Platform, and investigated the presence of nuclear mitochondrial pseudogenes and heteroplasmic sites. Additionally, we conducted phylogenetic analyses using all complete mitogenomes available for primates until June 2017...
April 12, 2018: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
Diana R Amazonas, José A Portes-Junior, Milton Y Nishiyama-Jr, Carolina A Nicolau, Hipócrates M Chalkidis, Rosa H V Mourão, Felipe G Grazziotin, Darin R Rokyta, H Lisle Gibbs, Richard H Valente, Inácio L M Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Ana M Moura-da-Silva
Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying snake venom variability provides important clues for understanding how the biological functions of this powerful toxic arsenal evolve. We analyzed in detail individual transcripts and venom protein isoforms produced by five specimens of a venomous snake (Bothrops atrox) from two nearby but genetically distinct populations from the Brazilian Amazon rainforest which show functional similarities in venom properties. Individual variation was observed among the venoms of these specimens, but the overall abundance of each general toxin family was conserved both in transcript and in venom protein levels...
April 2, 2018: Journal of Proteomics
Aaron Pomerantz, Nicolás Peñafiel, Alejandro Arteaga, Lucas Bustamante, Frank Pichardo, Luis A Coloma, César L Barrio-Amorós, David Salazar-Valenzuela, Stefan Prost
Background: Advancements in portable scientific instruments provide promising avenues to expedite field work in order to understand the diverse array of organisms that inhabit our planet. Here, we tested the feasibility for in situ molecular analyses of endemic fauna using a portable laboratory fitting within a single backpack, in one of the world's most imperiled biodiversity hotspots: the Ecuadorian Chocó rainforest. We utilized portable equipment, including the MinION nanopore sequencer (Oxford Nanopore Technologies) and the miniPCR (miniPCR), to perform DNA extraction, PCR amplification and real-time DNA barcoding of reptile specimens in the field...
April 2, 2018: GigaScience
Qi-Hai Zhou, Zhong-Hao Huang, Hua Wei, Cheng-Ming Huang
Comparative studies of sympatric species are essential for understanding behavioral and ecological adaptation as well as the mechanisms that can reduce resource competition to allow coexistence. François' langurs (Trachypithecus francoisi) and Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis) are sympatric primate species found in the limestone seasonal rainforests of Nonggang Nature Reserve, southwestern Guangxi, China. To explore their different adaptation strategies, we collected data on diet using scan sampling at 15-min intervals...
April 3, 2018: Zoological Research
Chelse M Prather, Gary E Belovsky, Sharon A Cantrell, Grizelle González
Consumers can alter decomposition rates through both feces and selective feeding in many ecosystems, but these combined effects have seldom been examined in tropical ecosystems. Members of the detrital food web (litter-feeders or microbivores) should presumably have greater effects on decomposition than herbivores, members of the green food web. Using litterbag experiments within a field enclosure experiment, we determined the relative effects of common litter snails (Megalomastoma croceum) and herbivorous walking sticks (Lamponius portoricensis) on litter composition, decomposition rates, and microbes in a Puerto Rican rainforest, and whether consumer effects were altered by canopy cover presence...
March 30, 2018: Ecology
Alex Fajardo, Andrew Siefert
Understanding patterns of functional trait variation across environmental gradients offers an opportunity to increase inference in the mechanistic causes of plant community assembly. The leaf economics spectrum (LES) predicts global tradeoffs in leaf traits and trait-environment relationships, but few studies have examined whether these predictions hold across different levels of organization, particularly within species. Here, we asked (1) whether the main assumptions of the LES (expected trait relationships and shifts in trait values across resource gradients) hold at the intraspecific level, and (2) how within-species trait correlations scale up to interspecific or among-community levels...
March 30, 2018: Ecology
Zorana Oreščanin-Dušić, Nikola Tatalović, Teodora Vidonja-Uzelac, Jelena Nestorov, Aleksandra Nikolić-Kokić, Ana Mijušković, Mihajlo Spasić, Roman Paškulin, Mara Bresjanac, Duško Blagojević
Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid originally extracted from the root bark of the African rainforest shrub Tabernanthe iboga . It has been explored as a treatment for substance abuse because it interrupts drug addiction and relieves withdrawal symptoms. However, it has been shown that ibogaine treatment leads to a sharp and transient fall in cellular ATP level followed by an increase of cellular respiration and ROS production. Since contractile tissues are sensitive to changes in the levels of ATP and ROS, here we investigated an ibogaine-mediated link between altered redox homeostasis and uterine contractile activity...
2018: Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Shayenne Olsson Freitas Silva, Cecilia Ferreira de Mello, Ronaldo Figueiró, Daniele de Aguiar Maia, Jeronimo Alencar
The Atlantic Rainforest of South America is one of the major biodiversity hotspots of the world and serves as a place of residence for a wide variety of Culicidae species. Mosquito studies in the natural environment are of considerable importance because of their role in transmitting pathogens to both humans and other vertebrates. Community diversity can have significant effects on the risk of their disease transmission. The objective of this study was to understand the distribution of mosquito communities using oviposition traps in a region of the Atlantic Forest...
April 2018: Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Christopher Dean, Jamie B Kirkpatrick, Jon Osborn, Richard B Doyle, Nicholas B Fitzgerald, Stephen H Roxburgh
There is high uncertainty in the contribution of land-use change to anthropogenic climate change, especially pertaining to below-ground carbon loss resulting from conversion of primary-to-secondary forest. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and coarse roots are concentrated close to tree trunks, a region usually unmeasured during soil carbon sampling. Soil carbon estimates and their variation with land-use change have not been correspondingly adjusted. Our aim was to deduce allometric equations that will allow improvement of SOC estimates and tree trunk carbon estimates, for primary forest stands that include large trees in rugged terrain...
March 2018: AoB Plants
Ross E J Gray, Robert M Ewers, Michael J W Boyle, Arthur Y C Chung, Richard J Gill
Understanding how anthropogenic disturbance influences patterns of community composition and the reinforcing interactive processes that structure communities is important to mitigate threats to biodiversity. Competition is considered a primary reinforcing process, yet little is known concerning disturbance effects on competitive interaction networks. We examined how differences in ant community composition between undisturbed and disturbed Bornean rainforest, is potentially reflected by changes in competitive interactions over a food resource...
March 23, 2018: Scientific Reports
Alejandro Romero, Fernando V Ramirez-Rozzi, Alejandro Pérez-Pérez
OBJECTIVES: Odontometric studies of African populations show high within-group variation in tooth size. Overall, North Africans exhibit smaller dimensions than groups from eastern and southern sub-Saharan regions, but no previous studies have analyzed the full dental metrics among extant African Pygmy hunter-gatherers and Bantu-speaking farmers. Furthermore, the population variability in tooth crown sizes from equatorial rainforest regions remains to be elucidated. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The mesiodistal and buccolingual diameters of the permanent teeth (I1-M2) were measured in vivo using high-resolution replicas from Baka Pygmies and Mvae and Yassa Bantu-speakers from Cameroon (western Africa)...
March 22, 2018: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
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