For all researches, please visit our "Peer-reviewed publications" page.
Alercia D, Giorgis M, Funes G, Cosacov A (2017)
Rango geográfico y estructura espacial de linajes genéticos en sophora linearifolia (Fabaceae), un arbusto endÉmico de las sierras centrales de Argentina
Bol. Soc. Argent. Bot 52(1) 141-152.
Geographical range and spatial structure of genetic lineages in Sophora linearifolia (Fabaceae), an endemic shrub of Central Argentina. A large number of endemic species occur in the Sierras of Córdoba and San Luis. A significant group of them shows a disjunct geographic distribution between these two mountain regions. Until the present study, there were none genetic studies that allow us to infer historical processes underlying this geographical pattern. For this purpose, we characterize the distribution area and phylogeographic patterns of Sophora linearifolia, across its geographic range which includes Sierras Chicas (SC) and Cumbres de Gaspar (CG) in Córdoba and in the southwestern area of Sierras of San Luis (SL). We compared the current with the predicted species area of distribution using ecological niche modelling analysis. We also analyzed genetic variability and spatial structure of the DNA chloroplast marker trnH-psbA, and reconstructed the genealogical relationships among the retrieved haplotypes. Current and the predicted distribution agreed in showing a climatic/topographic disjunction between Sierras of Cordoba and San Luis hills, although the current distribution presents a disjunction between SC and CG in Córdoba, not shown in the potential distribution map. We obtained eight haplotypes with restricted distribution and low levels of genetic differentiation that were grouped into four phylogroups: SC, CG and two in SL. Our results indicate that S. linearifolia presents low dispersal ability and it would have recently diversified, suggesting a neoendemic taxon. Resumen: Las sierras de Córdoba y San Luis albergan una gran riqueza de especies endémicas. Un grupo importante de ellas muestra una distribución disyunta entre ambas serranías. Hasta la actualidad no existían estudios genéticos que permitieran inferir procesos históricos asociados a este patrón. Con este propósito caracterizamos el área de distribución y el patrón filogeográfico de Sophora linearifolia, abarcando todo su rango geográfico que incluye las Sierras Chicas (SC) y las Cumbres de Gaspar (CG) en Córdoba y el suroeste de las Sierras de San Luis (SL). Contrastamos la distribución actual con la distribución predicha a partir del modelado del nicho ecológico. Analizamos el nivel de variabilidad genética, la estructuración espacial del marcador de ADN plastidial trnH-psbA y reconstruimos las relaciones genealógicas entre los haplotipos. La distribución actual y la predicha mostraron una disyunción entre Córdoba y San Luis, pero la distribución actual presentó una disyunción entre SC y CG que no fue modelada en la distribución potencial. Se obtuvieron 8 haplotipos de distribución restringida con bajos niveles de diferenciación genética agrupados en 4 filogrupos: SC, CG y dos en SL. Nuestros resultados indican que S. linearifolia presentaría baja capacidad de dispersión y que se habría diversificado recientemente, sugiriendo que se trataría de un neoendemismo. Palabras clave: ADN cloroplastidial, biogeografía, distribución disyunta, filogeografía, modelado de nicho ecológico, neoendemismo, Sierras Pampeanas.
Beccacece H (2017)
A new species of the genus Bertholdia Schaus, 1896 (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Arctiinae) from the Neotropical region: Bertholdia zoenia sp. n.
Zootaxa 4238(1) 88.
A new species of Bertholdia Schaus is described: Bertholdia zoenia sp. n., based on males and females from Argentina and Paraguay. This new species is closer to Bertholdia myosticta Hampson, 1901 from Costa Rica, Irazú. Bertholdia zoenia sp. n. can be recognized externally because its hyaline spot on forewing is the widest among all species of genus. Also, the shape of this hyaline spot is like a right triangle with smooth outer margin, different from other species of genus, which have an irregular spot. Habitus, male and female genitalia, and particular structures of B. zoenia sp. n. are illustrated. Habitus and male genitalia of B. myosticta are also illustrated. A distribution map and commentaries of habitat of B. zoenia sp. n. and B. myosticta are given. Remarks on nomenclature of the genus are provided.
Keywords: Arctiini, Argentina, Bertholdia, Brazil, Lepidoptera, Misiones, Paraná forest, Phaegopterina, Travassos, arctiid moth, subtropical forest, tiger moth
Bollatti F, Diaz V, Peretti A, Aisenberg A (2017)
The Science of Nature 104(5-6) 40.
Mating partners need to recognize, assess each other, and exchange information through behavioral events that occur before, during, and after mating. Sexual signals, as well as life history traits, are influenced by selective pressures and environmental factors that can vary across distant geographical areas. Allocosa senex is a sand-dwelling wolf spider which constructs burrows along the sandy coasts of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Females are the mobile sex that searches for males and initiates courtship. They prefer males which construct longer burrows, and males prefer virgin females in good body condition. The objective of this study was to compare sexual behavior patterns, as well as body characteristics and burrow dimensions, between two geographically distant locations of A. senex, one in Uruguay (Uruguayan location) and the other from central Argentina (Argentinean location). We found differences in the number of male abdominal vibrations, male and female touches during mating, and number of erections of male leg spines, which all were higher in matings of Argentinean pairs. On the other hand, male body mass and female body condition were higher in Uruguayan individuals. The wide distribution of A. senex could be determining variations in the biotic and abiotic features that affect the species, generating differences in the strength of selective forces acting on individuals from the two studied locations.
Keywords: Body traits, Burrow size, Intraspecific variation, Lycosid, Sexual behaviors, Sexual selection
Curti R, Sajama J, Ortega-Baes P (2017)
Biological Conservation 209 349-355.
Although the considerable value of crop wild relatives (CWRs) as gene donors is well known, in many crop complexes they are subject to increasing threats from anthropogenic factors. The development of a prioritized inventory of CWR species is an essential step towards the conservation of this vital resource, so in this study, we developed a national inventory of pseudocereal CWR species in Argentina and established ex situ and in situ conservation priorities. The resulting prioritized inventory consisted of 16 species, almost all of which were underrepresented in national and global ex situ gene banks. Similarly, the extant reserve network was found to be insufficient for the preservation of pseudocereal CWRs, especially Chenopodium diversity. Three hotspot groups were identified in the Andean region: northern, central and southern. The northern group has the highest conservation priority because it harbours CWR species from the primary and secondary gene pools, but the central and southern groups are also important because they harbour endemic species that are poorly represented in the extant reserve network. Therefore, new priority areas for protection are necessary for their conservation. This study emphasizes that the conservation of pseudocereal CWRs in Argentina must be maximized using a complementary in situ and ex situ approach.
Keywords: Amaranthus, Chenopodium, Ex situ conservation, Hotspots, Reserve network
De Pooter D, Appeltans W, Bailly N, Bristol S, Deneudt K, Eliezer M et al. (2017)
Toward a new data standard for combined marine biological and environmental datasets - expanding OBIS beyond species occurrences
Biodiversity Data Journal 5 e10989.
The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) is the world’s most comprehensive online, open-access database of marine species distributions. OBIS grows with millions of new species observations every year. Contributions come from a network of hundreds of institutions, projects and individuals with common goals: to build a scientific knowledge base that is open to the public for scientific discovery and exploration and to detect trends and changes that inform society as essential elements in conservation management and sustainable development. Until now, OBIS has focused solely on the collection of biogeographic data (the presence of marine species in space and time) and operated with optimized data flows, quality control procedures and data standards specifically targeted to these data. Based on requirements from the growing OBIS community to manage datasets that combine biological, physical and chemical measurements, the OBIS-ENV-DATA pilot project was launched to develop a proposed standard and guidelines to make sure these combined datasets can stay together and are not, as is often the case, split and sent to different repositories. The proposal in this paper allows for the management of sampling methodology, animal tracking and telemetry data, biological measurements (e.g., body length, percent live cover, ...) as well as environmental measurements such as nutrient concentrations, sediment characteristics or other abiotic parameters measured during sampling to characterize the environment from which biogeographic data was collected. The recommended practice builds on the Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) standard and on practices adopted by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). It consists of a DwC Event Core in combination with a DwC Occurrence Extension and a proposed enhancement to the DwC MeasurementOrFact Extension. This new structure enables the linkage of measurements or facts - quantitative and qualitative properties - to both sampling events and species occurrences, and includes additional fields for property standardization. We also embrace the use of the new parentEventID DwC term, which enables the creation of a sampling event hierarchy. We believe that the adoption of this recommended practice as a new data standard for managing and sharing biological and associated environmental datasets by IODE and the wider international scientific community would be key to improving the effectiveness of the knowledge base, and will enhance integration and management of critical data needed to understand ecological and biological processes in the ocean, and on land.
Keywords: Darwin Core Archive, data standardisation, ecosystem data, environmental data, oceanographic data, sample event, species occurrence, telemetry data
Girini J, Palacio F, Zelaya P (2017)
Predictive modeling for allopatric Strix (Strigiformes: Strigidae) owls in South America: determinants of their distributions and ecological niche-based processes
Journal of Field Ornithology 88(1) 1-15.
Strix (Strigidae) is a worldwide genus of 17 owl species typical of forested habitats, including Rusty-barred Owls (S. hylophila), Chaco Owls (S. chacoensis), and Rufous-legged Owls (S. rufipes) in South America. These species are distributed allopatrically, but the ecological traits that determine their distributions remain largely unknown and their phylogenetic relationships are unclear. We used species distribution models (SDMs) to identify variables explaining their distribution patterns and test hypotheses about ecological divergence and conservatism based on niche overlap analysis. For Rusty-barred Owls and Chaco Owls, climatic factors related to temperature played a major role, whereas a rainfall variable was more important for Rufous-legged Owls. When niche overlaps were compared, accounting for regional similarities in the habitat available to each species, an ecological niche divergence process was supported for Chaco Owl-Rusty-barred Owl and Chaco Owl-Rufous-legged Owl, whereas a niche conservatism process was supported for Rusty-barred Owl-Rufous-legged Owl. Different ecological requirements support current species delimitation, but they are in disagreement with the two main hypotheses currently envisaged about their phylogenetic relationships (Chaco Owls as the sister taxa of either Rufous-legged Owls or Rusty-barred Owls) and support a new phylogenetic hypothesis (Rufous-legged Owls as sister taxa of Rusty-barred Owls). Our findings suggest that speciation of Rusty-barred Owls and Rufous-legged Owls was a vicariant event resulting from Atlantic marine transgressions in southern South America in the Miocene, but their niche was conserved because habitat changed little in their respective ranges. In contrast, Chaco Owls diverged ecologically from the other two species as a result of their adaptations to the habitat they currently occupy. Ecological and historical approaches in biogeography can be embedded to explain distribution patterns, and results provided by SDMs can be used to infer historical and ecological processes in an integrative way.
Keywords: MaxEnt, Strix chacoensis, Strix hylophila, Strix rufipe, niche overlap, species distribution models
Kennedy M, Lang P, Grimaldo J, Martins S, Bruce A, Moore I et al. (2017)
Niche-breadth of freshwater macrophytes occurring in tropical southern African rivers predicts species global latitudinal range
Aquatic Botany 136 21-30.
The study tested the hypothesis that measurement, using multivariate Principal Components Analysis (PCA), of the niche-breadth of river macrophyte species in southern tropical Africa, may predict their larger-scale biogeographical range. Two measures of niche-breadth were calculated for 44 riverine macrophyte species, from 20 families commonly occurring in Zambia, using an approach based on PCA ordination with 16 bio-physico-chemical input variables. These included altitude, stream order, stream flow, pH, conductivity and soluble reactive phosphate concentration (SRP). In the absence of additional chemical water quality data for Zambian rivers, invertebrate-based measures of general water quality were also used. These were benthic macroinvertebrate Average Score per Taxon (ASPT), and individual abundance of nine macroinvertebrate families with differing water quality tolerance, indicated by their Sensitivity Weightings within the Zambian Invertebrate Scoring System (ZISS). Macrophyte large-scale latitudinal range was derived from world geopositional records held by online databases, and additional records held by the authors. The two niche-breadth metrics divided the species into narrow-niche and intermediate/broad-niche categories, showing significant variation (from one or both of correlation and ANOVA test outcomes) in altitude, stream flow, conductivity, SRP, pH and ASPT, but not stream order. Macrophyte alpha-diversity (as a measure of number of individual niches co-existing per habitat) showed no significant relationship with individual species niche-breadth. Narrow-niche species included a higher proportion of Afrotropical endemics than did species with broader niche size. There were significant predictive relationships between macrophyte niche-breadth and latitudinal range of the target species at global and Afrotropical scales, but not for the Neotropics.
Keywords: Africa, Aquatic plants, Benthic macroinvertebrates, Freshwater ecology, Latitudinal distribution, Niche analysis, Rivers
Minoli I, Avila L (2017)
Conservation assessments in climate change scenarios: spatial perspectives for present and future in two Pristidactylus (Squamata: Leiosauridae) lizards from Argentina
Zootaxa 4237(1) 91.
The consequences of global climate change can already be seen in many physical and biological systems and these effects could change the distribution of suitable areas for a wide variety of organisms to the middle of this century. We analyzed the current habitat use and we projected the suitable area of present conditions into the geographical space of future scenarios (2050), to assess and quantify whether future climate change would affect the distribution and size of suitable environments in two Pristidactylus lizard species. Comparing the habitat use and future forecasts of the two studied species, P. achalensis showed a more restricted use of available resource units (RUs) and a moderate reduction of the potential future area. On the contrary, P. nigroiugulus uses more available RUs and has a considerable area decrease for both future scenarios. These results suggest that both species have a moderately different trend towards reducing available area of suitable habitats, the persistent localities for both 2050 CO2 concentration models, and in the available RUs used. We discussed the relation between size and use of the current habitat, changes in future projections along with the protected areas from present-future and the usefulness of these results in conservation plans. This work illustrates how ectothermic organisms might have to face major changes in their availability suitable areas as a consequence of the effect of future climate change.
Keywords: Climate scenarios, Conservation areas, Ectotherms, Habitat use, Niche modeling, Reptilia
Mogni V, Prado D, Oakley L (2017)
Bol. Soc. Argent. Bot 52(1) 185-191.
Nomenclatural notes in the genus Schinopsis (Anacardiaceae). During the monographic study of the genus Schinopsis (Anacardiaceae) a nomenclatural revision of its species and synonyms was performed. The names Schinopsis brasiliensis, S. brasiliensis var. glabra, S. heterophylla, S. marginata, and S. peruviana are lectotypified, and some cases of inadvertent lectotypifications in previous works are indicated. An epitype for S. haenkeana, entity so far considered doubtful, is designated.
Keywords: Climate scenarios, Conservation areas, Ectotherms, Habitat use, Niche modeling, Reptilia
Aagesen L, Biganzoli F, Bena J, Godoy-Bürki A, Reinheimer R, Zuloaga F (2016)
Macro-Climatic Distribution Limits Show Both Niche Expansion and Niche Specialization among C4 Panicoids.
PloS one 11(3) e0151075.
Grasses are ancestrally tropical understory species whose current dominance in warm open habitats is linked to the evolution of C4 photosynthesis. C4 grasses maintain high rates of photosynthesis in warm and water stressed environments, and the syndrome is considered to induce niche shifts into these habitats while adaptation to cold ones may be compromised. Global biogeographic analyses of C4 grasses have, however, concentrated on diversity patterns, while paying little attention to distributional limits. Using phylogenetic contrast analyses, we compared macro-climatic distribution limits among ~1300 grasses from the subfamily Panicoideae, which includes 4/5 of the known photosynthetic transitions in grasses. We explored whether evolution of C4 photosynthesis correlates with niche expansions, niche changes, or stasis at subfamily level and within the two tribes Paniceae and Paspaleae. We compared the climatic extremes of growing season temperatures, aridity, and mean temperatures of the coldest months. We found support for all the known biogeographic distribution patterns of C4 species, these patterns were, however, formed both by niche expansion and niche changes. The only ubiquitous response to a change in the photosynthetic pathway within Panicoideae was a niche expansion of the C4 species into regions with higher growing season temperatures, but without a withdrawal from the inherited climate niche. Other patterns varied among the tribes, as macro-climatic niche evolution in the American tribe Paspaleae differed from the pattern supported in the globally distributed tribe Paniceae and at family level.
Keywords: Climate scenarios, Conservation areas, Ectotherms, Habitat use, Niche modeling, Reptilia