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Huang D, Hoeksema B, Affendi Y, Ang P, Chen C, Huang H et al. (2016)
Biodiversity and Conservation.
The South China Sea in the Central Indo-Pacific is a large semi-enclosed marine region that supports an extraordinary diversity of coral reef organisms (including stony corals), which varies spatially across the region. While one-third of the world’s reef corals are known to face heightened extinction risk from global climate and local impacts, prospects for the coral fauna in the South China Sea region amidst these threats remain poorly understood. In this study, we analyse coral species richness, rarity, and phylogenetic diversity among 16 reef areas in the region to estimate changes in species and evolutionary diversity during projected anthropogenic extinctions. Our results show that richness, rarity, and phylogenetic diversity differ considerably among reef areas in the region, and that their outcomes following projected extinctions cannot be predicted by species diversity alone. Although relative rarity and threat levels are high in species-rich areas such as West Malaysia and the Philippines, areas with fewer species such as northern Vietnam and Paracel Islands stand to lose disproportionately large amounts of phylogenetic diversity. Our study quantifies various biodiversity components of each reef area to inform conservation planners and better direct sparse resources to areas where they are needed most. It also provides a critical biological foundation for targeting reefs that should be included in a regional network of marine protected areas in the South China Sea
Keywords: IUCN Red List, Marine biodiversity, Phylogenetic diversity, Rarity, Scleractinia, Species richness
Fandohan A, Oduor A, Sodé A, Wu L, Cuni-Sanchez A, Assédé E et al. (2015)
Modeling vulnerability of protected areas to invasion by Chromolaena odorata under current and future climates
Ecosystem Health and Sustainability 1(6) art20.
Invasive plant species and climate change are among the biggest threats to the ecological integrity of many ecosystems, including those of protected areas. Effective management of invasive plants requires information regarding their spatial distributions. Using maximum entropy, we modeled habitat suitability for an invasive plant species Chromolaena odorata under current and future climatic conditions (HadGEM2-ES and MIROC5) in protected areas of four West African countries (Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo). Under current climatic conditions, approximately 73% of total land area within the protected areas was suitable for colonization by C. odorata. Under future climate projections, the total area of suitable habitats for this invasive plant was projected to decrease by 7–9% (HadGEM2-ES) and 12–14% (MIROC5). Country-specific patterns suggest that major protected areas in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana will be more vulnerable to invasion by C. odorata than those in Benin and Togo under both current and futu...
Keywords: Chromolaena odorata, HadGEM2-ES, MIROC5, Siam weed, West Africa, climate change, maximum entropy, representative concentration pathways, risk assessment
Polgar G, Zane L, Babbucci M, Barbisan F, Patarnello T, Rüber L et al. (2014)
Phylogeography and demographic history of two widespread Indo-Pacific mudskippers (Gobiidae: Periophthalmus)
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 73 161-176.
This study provides a first description of the phylogeographic patterns and evolutionary history of two species of the mudskipper genus Periophthalmus. These amphibious gobies are distributed throughout the whole Indo-Pacific region and Atlantic coast of Africa, in peritidal habitats of soft-bottom coastal ecosystems. Three sequence datasets of two widely distributed species, Periophthalmus argentilineatus and P. kalolo, were obtained by amplifying and sequencing two mtDNA markers (D-loop and 16S rDNA) and the nDNA rag1 region. The three datasets were then used to perform phylogeographic, demographic and population genetic analyses. Our results indicate that tectonic events and past climatic oscillations strongly contributed to shape present genetic differentiation, phylogeographic and demographic patterns. We found support for the monophyly of P. kalolo, and only shallow genetic differentiation between East-African and Indo-Malayan populations of this species. However, our collections of the morphospecies P. argentilineatus include three molecularly distinct lineages, one of them more closely related to P. kalolo. The presence of Miocenic timings for the most recent common ancestors of some of these morphologically similar clades, suggests the presence of strong stabilising selection in mudskippers' habitats. At population level, demographic analyses and palaeoecological records of mangrove ecosystems suggest that Pleistocene bottlenecks and expansion plus secondary contact events of the studied species were associated with recurrent sea transgressions during interglacials, and sea regressions or stable regimes during glacials, respectively.
Keywords: Bayesian analyses, Fish morphology, Mangrove habitat, Molecular evolution, Periophthalmus argentilineatus, Periophthalmus kalolo