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Almeida D, Gusmão L, Miller A (2017)
Mycosphere 8(4) 392-396.
During an inventory of ascomycetes in the semi-arid region of Brazil, an undescribed specimen of Bertiella was found. It is described and illustrated as B. gelatinosa sp. nov., based on morphological data. The new fungus is distinguished by the size of the ascospores, which are surrounded by a gelatinous sheath. A synoptic table and a key to all known species of Bertiella are presented.
Keywords: Ascomycota, Dothideomycetes, Pleosporales, Taxonomy
Barbosa C, Otalora J, Giehl E, Villalobos F, Loyola R, Tessarolo G et al. (2017)
Furcraea foetida (Asparagaceae) is a native plant of Central America and northern South America but there is no information about its country of origin. The species was introduced into Brazil and is now considered invasive, particularly in coastal ecosystems. To date, nothing is known about the environmental factors that constrain its distribution and there is only inconclusive information about its location of origin. We used reciprocal distribution models (RDM) to assess invasion risk of F. foetida across Brazil and to identify source regions in its native range. We also tested the niche conservatism hypothesis using Principal Components Analyses and statistical tests of niche equivalency and similarity between its native and invaded ranges. For RDM analysis, we built two models using maximum entropy, one using records in the native range to predict the invaded distribution (forward-Ecological Niche Model or forward-ENM) and one using records in the invaded range to predict the native distribution (reverse-ENM). Forward-ENM indicated invasion risk in the Cerrado region and the innermost region of the Atlantic Forest, however, failed to predict the current occurrence in southern Brazil. Reverse-ENM supported an existing hypothesis that F. foetida originated in the Orinoco river basin, Amazon basin and Caribbean islands. Prediction errors in the RDM and multivariate analysis indicated that the species expanded its realized niche in Brazil. The niche similarity test further suggested that the niche differences are because of differences in habitat availability between the two ranges, not because of evolutionary changes. We hypothesize that physiological pre-adaptation (especially, the crassulacean acid metabolism), human-driven propagule pressure and high competitive ability are the main factors determining the current spatial distribution of the species in Brazil. Our study highlights the need to include F. foetida in plant invasion monitoring programs, especially in priority conservation areas where the species has still not been introduced.
Keywords: clonal plant, ecological niche models, invasion risk, niche conservatism, reciprocal distribution models
Delgado-Jaramillo M, Barbier E, Bernard E (2017)
New records, potential distribution, and conservation of the Near Threatened cave bat Natalus macrourus in Brazil
Species with specific roosting, foraging or breeding requirements are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and degradation. For bats, the availability and environmental condition of caves can be a limiting factor. The cave specialist Natalus macrourus (formerly Natalus espiritosantensis) is categorized as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List but as Vulnerable in Brazil, based on a projected population reduction and a decline in its area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and/or quality of habitat. There is a lack of knowledge about the species’ distribution, natural history and ecology, information that is required for conservation. Using new occurrence data and potential distribution modelling we evaluated the distribution of N. macrourus in Brazil, analysed pressures on and threats to the species, and assessed the species’ conservation needs. Natalus macrourus is positively associated with areas with higher probability of cave occurrence and negatively associated with areas of high variation in mean daily temperature and mean annual rainfall. Areas with high environmental suitability for N. macrourus correspond to only 3% of the potential distribution modelled. We estimate that the species has already lost 54% of its natural habitat and that there is < 35% of habitat remaining in areas with high environmental suitability. We calculated that approximately half of the caves in areas with high environmental suitability are < 5 km from mining operations and only 4% of the species’ potential distribution lies within protected areas. Given the strong association of N. macrourus with caves, it is important to protect these habitats, and we recommend that caves where the species is present should receive immediate protection.
Keywords: Caatinga, Chiroptera, MaxEnt, Natalidae, Natalus macrourus, caves, species distribution modelling, threatened species
Ferreira Júnior J, Blume G, Sousa S, Carvalho C, Gardiner C, Ferreira Júnior J et al. (2017)
Anatomo-pathological aspects of parasitism by nematodes of the superfamily Metastrongyloidea in wild crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) in Midwestern Brazil
Ciência Rural 47(2).
Nematodes of the superfamily Metastrongyloidea affect the respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems of domestic carnivores and are uncommonly detected in wild animals. This report describes the lesions associated with pulmonary parasitism by nematodes of the superfamily Metastrongyloidea in a wild crab-eating fox ( Cerdocyon thous ) in the Federal District, Brazil. Grossly, there was pulmonary hyperemia, edema, and emphysema. Microscopically, there was granulomatous arteritis associated with intravascular metastrongylid. The anatomical location, characteristic lesion, and histological features of the parasite suggested that the nematode involved in this case is Angiostrongylus vasorum . This worm is frequently reported parasitizing pulmonary arteries of domestic canids but is uncommonly described in wild canids in Midwestern Brazil.
Keywords: Angiostrongylus, nematode, pathology, wild canids
Gutiérrez E, Marinho-Filho J (2017)
ZooKeys 644 105-157.
We undertook a comprehensive, critical review of literature concerning the distribution, conservation status, and taxonomy of species of mammals endemic to the Cerrado and the Caatinga, the two largest biomes of the South American Dry-Diagonal. We present species accounts and lists of species, which we built with criteria that, in our opinion, yielded results with increased scientific rigor relative to previously published lists – e.g., excluding nominal taxa whose statuses as species have been claimed only on the basis of unpublished data, incomplete taxonomic work, or weak evidence. For various taxa, we provided arguments regarding species distributions, conservation and taxonomic statuses previously lacking in the literature. Two major findings are worth highlighting. First, we unveil the existence of a group of species endemic to both the Cerrado and the Caatinga (i.e., present in both biomes and absent in all other biomes). From the biogeographic point of view, this group, herein referred to as Caatinga-Cerrado endemics, deserves attention as a unit – just as in case of the Caatinga-only and the Cerrado-only endemics. We present preliminary hypotheses on the origin of these three endemic faunas (Cerrado-only, Caatinga-only, and Caatinga-Cerrado endemics). Secondly, we discovered that a substantial portion of the endemic mammalian faunas of the Caatinga and the Cerrado faces risks of extinction that are unrecognized in the highly influential Red List of Threatened Species published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). “Data deficient” is a category that misrepresents the real risks of extinction of these species considering that (a) some of these species are known only from a handful of specimens collected in a single or a few localities long ago; (b) the Cerrado and the Caatinga have been sufficiently sampled to guarantee collection of additional specimens of these species if they were abundant; (c) natural habitats of the Cerrado and the Caatinga have been substantially altered or lost in recent decades. Failures either in the design of the IUCN criteria or in their application to assign categories of extinction risks represent an additional important threat to these endemic faunas because their real risks of extinctions become hidden. It is imperative to correct this situation, particularly considering that these species are associated to habitats that are experiencing fast transformation into areas for agriculture, at an unbearable cost for biodiversity.
Keywords: Bolivia, Brazil, Dry Diagonal, biogeography, checklist, conservation, evolution, habitat, mammals, nomenclature, savannas, taxonomy
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
Lira S, Santana C, Lima C, Montes M, Schwamborn R (2017)
New records of the larval forms Cerataspis monstrosa and Amphionides reynaudii (Crustacea: Decapoda) from the western tropical Atlantic
Zootaxa 4237(2) 335.
The current biogeographic and taxonomic knowledge on decapod larvae in tropical oceans is still very incomplete, in spite of their huge ecological and socio-economic importance. The present study reports two new records for decapod larval forms in pelagic environments off oceanic islands in the western tropical Atlantic, and provides detailed diagnoses and images of these larvae. Samples were taken from July 2010 to November 2014 using neuston, bongo and WP-2 nets at three localities: St. Peter and St. Paul’s Archipelago (SPSP), Rocas Atoll (RA) and Fernando de Noronha Archipelago (FN). The larval forms Cerataspis monstrosa (Gray, 1828) and Amphionides reynaudii (H. Milne Edwards, 1832) were recorded around these areas, constituting the first record for these oceanic islands. Out of 121 samples analyzed, one specimen of C. monstrosa (Mysis II) was found off FN, and 20 specimens of A. reynaudii in nine distinct stages (Mysis II, IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII) were found off SPSP, RA and FN.
Keywords: Aristeidae, Crustacea, Plesiopenaeus armatus, tropical oceanic islands, zooneuston, zooplankton
Pellegrini A, Anderegg W, Paine C, Hoffmann W, Kartzinel T, Rabin S et al. (2017)
Convergence of bark investment according to fire and climate structures ecosystem vulnerability to future change
Fire regimes in savannas and forests are changing over much of the world. Anticipating the impact of these changes requires understanding how plants are adapted to fire. In this study, we test whether fire imposes a broad selective force on a key fire-tolerance trait, bark thickness, across 572 tree species distributed worldwide. We show that investment in thick bark is a pervasive adaptation in frequently burned areas across savannas and forests in both temperate and tropical regions where surface fires occur. Geographic variability in bark thickness is largely explained by annual burned area and precipitation seasonality. Combining environmental and species distribution data allowed us to assess vulnerability to future climate and fire conditions: tropical rainforests are especially vulnerable, whereas seasonal forests and savannas are more robust. The strong link between fire and bark thickness provides an avenue for assessing the vulnerability of tree communities to fire and demands inclusion in global models.
Keywords: Bark thickness, fire ecology, forest, functional traits, global change, savanna
Rockinger A, Flores A, Renner S (2017)
Clock-dated phylogeny for 48% of the 700 species of Crotalaria (Fabaceae–Papilionoideae) resolves sections worldwide and implies conserved flower and leaf traits throughout its pantropical range
BMC Evolutionary Biology 17(1) 61.
Background With some 700 species, the pantropical Crotalaria is among the angiosperm’s largest genera. We sampled 48% of the species from all sections (and representatives of the 15 remaining Crotalarieae genera) for nuclear and plastid DNA markers to infer changes in climate niches, flower morphology, leaf type, and chromosome numbers. Results Crotalaria is monophyletic and most closely related to African Bolusia (five species) from which it diverged 23 to 30 Ma ago. Ancestral state reconstructions reveal that leaf and flower types are conserved in large clades and that leaf type is uncorrelated to climate as assessed with phylogenetically-informed analyses that related compound vs. simple leaves to the mean values of four Bioclim parameters for 183 species with good occurrence data. Most species occur in open habitats <1000 m alt., and trifoliolate leaves are the ancestral condition, from which unifoliolate and simple leaves each evolved a few times, the former predominantly in humid, the latter mainly in dry climates. Based on chromosome counts for 36% of the 338 sequenced species, most polyploids are tetraploid and belong to a neotropical clade. Conclusions An unexpected finding of our study is that in Crotalaria, simple leaves predominate in humid climates and compound leaves in dry climates, which points to a different adaptive value of these morphologies, regardless of whether these two leaf types evolved rarely or frequently in our focal group.
Keywords: Climate types, Flower morphology, GBIF data, Leaf architecture, Molecular clock, Trait evolution
Santos-silva A, Botero J (2017)
Zootaxa 4231(4) 581.
Heterachthes was originally created by Newman (1840) for a single species from the United States of America (Florida): H. ebenus Newman, 1840. Currently, Heterachthes encompasses 68 species distributed to southern USA to southern South America (Monné 2016; Tavakilian and Chevillotte 2016). Of these species, six occur in Colombia: H. concretus, Martins, 1970; H. ebenus; H. lateralis Martins, 1962; H. sablensis Blatchley, 1920; H. signaticollis (Thomson, 1865); and H. vauriae Martins, 1971.
Keywords: Cerambycidae, Coleoptera