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Yuheng Wang, Pierre Le Pape, Guillaume Morin, Maria Asta, Georgina King, Barbora Bartova, Elena Suvorova, Manon Frutschi, Maya Ikogou, Vu Hoai Cong Pham, Phu Le Vo, Frédéric Herman, Laurent Charlet, Rizlan Bernier-Latmani
Arsenic (As) contamination in groundwater is pervasive throughout deltaic regions of Southeast Asia and threatens the health of millions. The speciation of As in sediments overlying contaminated aquifers is poorly constrained. Here, we investigate the chemical and mineralogical compositions of sediment cores collected from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, elucidate the speciation of iron and arsenic, and relate them to the sediment depositional environment. Gradual dissolution of ferric (oxyhydr)oxides with depth is observed down to 7 m, corresponding to the establishment of reducing conditions...
February 16, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
Frances L Forrest, Thomas W Plummer, Ryan L Raaum
The current study describes a new method of mandibular ecological morphology (ecomorphology). Three-dimensional geometric morphometrics (3D GM) was used to quantify mandibular shape variation between extant bovids with different feeding preferences. Landmark data were subjected to generalized Procrustes analysis (GPA), principal components analysis (PCA), and discriminant function analysis (DFA). The PCA resulted in a continuum from grazers to browsers along PC1 and DFA classified 88% or more of the modern specimens to the correct feeding category...
January 2018: Journal of Human Evolution
Rui Borges, Warren E Johnson, Stephen J O'Brien, Cidália Gomes, Christopher P Heesy, Agostinho Antunes
BACKGROUND: Based on evolutionary patterns of the vertebrate eye, Walls (1942) hypothesized that early placental mammals evolved primarily in nocturnal habitats. However, not only Eutheria, but all mammals show photic characteristics (i.e. dichromatic vision, rod-dominated retina) suggestive of a scotopic eye design. RESULTS: Here, we used integrative comparative genomic and phylogenetic methodologies employing the photoreceptive opsin gene family in 154 mammals to test the likelihood of a nocturnal period in the emergence of all mammals...
February 5, 2018: BMC Genomics
Roozbeh Behrooz, Mohammad Kaboli, Véronique Arnal, Masoud Nazarizadeh, Atefeh Asadi, Amin Salmanian, Mohsen Ahmadi, Claudine Montgelard
Northern and western mountains of Iran are among the most important biodiversity and endemism hot spots for reptiles in the Middle East. Among herpetofauna, the montivipers represent an emblematic and fragmented endemic group for which estimating their level of genetic differentiation and defining conservation priorities is urgently needed. Here, we present the most comprehensive phylogenetic study on the Montivipera raddei species group comprising all five known taxa, among which three are endemic to Iran...
February 1, 2018: Journal of Heredity
Andrea Madella, Romain Delunel, Naki Akçar, Fritz Schlunegger, Marcus Christl
Terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide concentrations of detrital minerals yield catchment-wide rates at which hillslopes erode. These estimates are commonly used to infer millennial scale denudation patterns and to identify the main controls on mass-balance and landscape evolution at orogenic scale. The same approach can be applied to minerals preserved in stratigraphic records of rivers, although extracting reliable paleo-denudation rates from Ma-old archives can be limited by the target nuclide's half-life and by exposure to cosmic radiations after deposition...
February 2, 2018: Scientific Reports
Jacopo Boaga, Massimiliano Ghinassi, Andrea D'Alpaos, G P Deidda, G Rodriguez, Giorgio Cassiani
Whether or not one can detect relict signatures of the past imprinted in current landscapes is a question of the utmost theoretical and practical relevance for meandering tidal channels, owing to their influence on the morphodynamic evolution of tidal landscapes, a critically fragile environment, especially in face of expected climatic changes. Unravelling the sedimentary patterns of ancient channels is an expensive process that usually requires high resolution sediment coring. Here we use a novel inversion process of multi-frequency electromagnetic measurements to reveal the signature and characterize the dynamics of a salt-marsh paleo-meander in the Venice Lagoon...
January 26, 2018: Scientific Reports
Juan J Negro, Clive Finlayson, Ismael Galván
Paleo-colour scientists have recently made the transition from describing melanin-based colouration in fossil specimens to inferring life-history traits of the species involved. Two such cases correspond to counter-shaded dinosaurs: dark-coloured due to melanins dorsally, and light-coloured ventrally. We believe that colour reconstruction of fossils based on the shape of preserved microstructures-the majority of paleo-colour studies involve melanin granules-is not without risks. In addition, animals with contrasting dorso-ventral colouration may be under different selection pressures beyond the need for camouflage, including, for instance, visual communication or ultraviolet (UV) protection...
January 23, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
João Neiva, Cristina Paulino, Mette M Nielsen, Dorte Krause-Jensen, Gary W Saunders, Jorge Assis, Ignacio Bárbara, Éric Tamigneaux, Licínia Gouveia, Tânia Aires, Núria Marbà, Annette Bruhn, Gareth A Pearson, Ester A Serrão
Glacial vicariance is regarded as one of the most prevalent drivers of phylogeographic structure and speciation among high-latitude organisms, but direct links between ice advances and range fragmentation have been more difficult to establish in marine than in terrestrial systems. Here we investigate the evolution of largely disjunct (and potentially reproductively isolated) phylogeographic lineages within the amphi-boreal kelp Saccharina latissima s. l. Using molecular data (COI, microsatellites) we confirm that S...
January 18, 2018: Scientific Reports
Yu-Xiu Zhang, Xin Jin, Kai-Jun Zhang, Wei-Dong Sun, Jian-Ming Liu, Xiao-Yao Zhou, Li-Long Yan
The Triassic eclogite-bearing central Qiangtang metamorphic belt (CQMB) in the northern Tibetan Plateau has been debated whether it is a metamorphic core complex underthrust from the Jinsha Paleo-Tethys or an in-situ Shuanghu suture. The CQMB is thus a key issue to elucidate the crustal architecture of the northern Tibetan Plateau, the tectonics of the eastern Tethys, and the petrogenesis of Cenozoic high-K magmatism. We here report the newly discovered Baqing eclogite along the eastern extension of the CQMB near the Baqing town, central Tibet...
January 17, 2018: Scientific Reports
Victor Hugo R Coelho, Guillaume F Bertrand, Suzana M G L Montenegro, Anderson L R Paiva, Cristiano N Almeida, Carlos O Galvão, Luís Romero Barbosa, Larissa F D R Batista, Eduardo L G A Ferreira
Recife Metropolitan Region (RMR, NE Brazil) lies over a multi-layered aquifer system located in an estuarial area. The region has experienced fast population growth and repeated droughts in the last three decades, which led to unprecedented anthropogenic pressure on groundwater resources because of intense water pumping. Accordingly, scientific and stakeholder communities have been challenged to ensure the maintenance of sustainable groundwater resource by managing all water cycle. Because controlling pumping rates is difficult due to the large number of illegal wells, the Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) strategies are now under consideration...
January 5, 2018: Journal of Environmental Management
Chitoshi Mizota, Takahiro Hosono, Midori Matsunaga, Azusa Okumura
Dual (oxygen and nitrogen) isotopic composition of the museum archived nitrates from the United States of America, South Africa and Australia was studied. The analyzed specimens were collected in middle 19th to early 20th centuries, and represent world-wide acquisition of the Smithsonian Institution Natural Museum of Natural History (Washington, D. C., USA) and the Natural History Museum (London, UK). The samples consist of transparent to semi-transparent aggregates of minute nitrate, euhedral crystallites which imply precipitation from percolating fluids under ample space and dry regimes...
January 2, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Boris B Demenou, Jean-Louis Doucet, Olivier J Hardy
Paleo-environmental reconstructions show that the distribution of tropical African rain forests was affected by Quaternary climate changes. They suggest that the Dahomey Gap (DG)-the savanna corridor that currently separates Upper Guinean (UG, West Africa) and Lower Guinean (LG, western Central Africa) rain forest blocks-was forested during the African Humid Holocene period (from at least 9 ka till 4.5 ka), and possibly during other interglacial periods, while an open vegetation developed in the DG under drier conditions, notably during glacial maxima...
December 27, 2017: Heredity
Sergio M Q Lima, Waldir M Berbel-Filho, Thais F P Araújo, Henrique Lazzarotto, Andrey Tatarenkov, John C Avise
Paleo-drainage connections and headwater stream-captures are two main historical processes shaping the distribution of strictly freshwater fishes. Recently, bathymetric-based methods of paleo-drainage reconstruction have opened new possibilities to investigate how these processes have shaped the genetic structure of freshwater organisms. In this context, the present study used paleo-drainage reconstructions and single-locus cluster delimitation analyses to examine genetic structure on the whole distribution of Pareiorhaphis garbei, a 'near threatened' armored catfish from the Fluminense freshwater ecoregion in Southeastern Brazil...
2017: Frontiers in Genetics
Andrzej Kaim, Krzysztof Hryniewicz, Crispin T S Little, Hans Arne Nakrem
Eleven gastropod species from seven latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous hydrocarbon seep deposits from central Spitsbergen, Svalbard are described and illustrated. Six new species and one new genus are introduced. Sassenfjordia gen. nov. is tentatively classified as a naticoid and is characterized by a naticiform gross teleoconch morphology and a large protoconch ornamented with spiral ribs, similar to those present in the subfamily Sininae. The patellogastropod ?Pectinodonta borealis sp. nov. represents the oldest occurrence of pectinodontid limpets in chemosynthesis-based associations...
October 6, 2017: Zootaxa
Anselme F E Borgeaud, Kenji Kawai, Kensuke Konishi, Robert J Geller
D″ (Dee double prime), the lowermost layer of the Earth's mantle, is the thermal boundary layer (TBL) of mantle convection immediately above the Earth's liquid outer core. As the origin of upwelling of hot material and the destination of paleoslabs (downwelling cold slab remnants), D″ plays a major role in the Earth's evolution. D″ beneath Central America and the Caribbean is of particular geodynamical interest, because the paleo- and present Pacific plates have been subducting beneath the western margin of Pangaea since ~250 million years ago, which implies that paleoslabs could have reached the lowermost mantle...
November 2017: Science Advances
Amaël Borzée, Joana L Santos, Santiago Sánchez-RamÍrez, Yoonhyuk Bae, Kyongman Heo, Yikweon Jang, Michael Joseph Jowers
The effects of ice ages on speciation have been well documented for many European and North American taxa. In contrast, very few studies have addressed the consequences of such environmental and topographical changes in North East Asian species. More precisely, the Korean Peninsula offers a unique model to assess patterns and processes of speciation as it hosts the northern- and eastern-most distribution limit of some widespread Asian taxa. Despite this, studies addressing phylogeographic patterns and population genetics in the peninsula and surrounding countries are few and studies for most families are lacking...
2017: PeerJ
Giorgio Chiozzi, Melanie L J Stiassny, S Elizabeth Alter, Giuseppe De Marchi, Yohannes Mebrahtu, Misikire Tessema, Berhan Asmamaw, Mauro Fasola, Adriana Bellati
The Danakil Depression in northeastern Africa represents one of the harshest arid environments on Earth, yet two genera of fishes, Danakilia (Cichlidae) and Aphanius (Cyprinodontidae), share its sparse aquatic habitats. The evolutionary history of these fishes is investigated here in the context of genetic, geological and paleoenvironmental information. We collected samples from seven sites and assessed phylogeographic relationships using concatenated COI and cytb mtDNA genes. Danakilia morphospecies show low differentiation at mitochondrial markers, but variation is partitioned between a northern cluster containing D...
November 22, 2017: Mitochondrial DNA. Part A. DNA Mapping, Sequencing, and Analysis
Yvonne Milker, Manuel F G Weinkauf, Jürgen Titschack, Andre Freiwald, Stefan Krüger, Frans J Jorissen, Gerhard Schmiedl
We present paleo-water depth reconstructions for the Pefka E section deposited on the island of Rhodes (Greece) during the early Pleistocene. For these reconstructions, a transfer function (TF) using modern benthic foraminifera surface samples from the Adriatic and Western Mediterranean Seas has been developed. The TF model gives an overall predictive accuracy of ~50 m over a water depth range of ~1200 m. Two separate TF models for shallower and deeper water depth ranges indicate a good predictive accuracy of 9 m for shallower water depths (0-200 m) but far less accuracy of 130 m for deeper water depths (200-1200 m) due to uneven sampling along the water depth gradient...
2017: PloS One
Jin-Xiang Wang, Wei Xie, Yi Ge Zhang, Travis B Meador, Chuanlun L Zhang
TEX86 [TetraEther indeX of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) with 86 carbon atoms] has been widely applied to reconstruct (paleo-) sea surface temperature. Marine Group I (MG-I) Thaumarchaeota were thought to be the primary source of GDGTs constituting the TEX86 formula; however, recent research has suggested that Marine Group II (MG-II) Euryarchaeota may also contribute significantly to the GDGT pool in the ocean. Little is known regarding the potential impact of MG-II Euryarchaeota-derived GDGTs on TEX86 values recorded in marine sediments...
2017: Frontiers in Microbiology
Loïc Bertrand, Claire Gervais, Admir Masic, Luc Robbiola
We designate as paleo-inspiration, the process of mimicking properties of specific interest (mechanical, optical, structural, etc.) observed in ancient and historical systems. For instance, recovery in archaeology or paleontology identifies materials that are a posteriori extremely resilient to alteration. This is all the more enthusing that many ancient materials were synthesized in soft chemical ways, often using low energy resources, and sometimes rudimentary manufacturing equipment. In this review, we highlight ancient systems as a source of inspiration for innovative conception in the Anthropocene...
November 20, 2017: Angewandte Chemie
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