For all researches, please visit our "Peer-reviewed publications" page.
Almada F, Francisco S, Lima C, FitzGerald R, Mirimin L, Villegas-Ríos D et al. (2017)
Historical gene flow constraints in a northeastern Atlantic fish: phylogeography of the ballan wrasse Labrus bergylta across its distribution range
Royal Society Open Science 4(2) 160773.
The distribution and demographic patterns of marine organisms in the north Atlantic were largely shaped by climatic changes during the Pleistocene, when recurrent glacial maxima forced them to move south or to survive in northern peri-glacial refugia. These patterns were also influenced by biological and ecological factors intrinsic to each species, namely their dispersion ability. The ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta), the largest labrid fish along Europe's continental margins, is a target for fisheries and aquaculture industry. The phylogeographic pattern, population structure, potential glacial refugia and recolonization routes for this species were assessed across its full distribution range, using mitochondrial and nuclear markers. The existence of a marked population structure can reflect both recolonization from three distinct glacial refugia and current and past oceanographic circulation patterns. Although isolated in present times, shared haplotypes between continental and Azores populations and historical exchange of migrants in both directions point to a common origin of L. bergylta. This situation is likely to be maintained and/or accentuated by current circulation patterns in the north Atlantic, and may lead to incipient speciation in the already distinct Azorean population. Future monitoring of this species is crucial to evaluate how this species is coping with current environmental changes.
Keywords: Azorean distinctiveness, Labridae, cleaner fish, glacial refugia, incipient speciation, population structure
Figuerola B, Barnes D, Brickle P, Brewin P (2017)
Marine Environmental Research 126 81-94.
There are a number of remote archipelagos distributed between 45 and 60 °S. The biota of these islands provide useful information to describe and understand patterns in biodiversity and biogeography as well as potential impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. They are in key locations either side of the Polar Front but also have limited influence from human activities. Here we investigate one taxon, bryozoans, on South Atlantic shelf habitats of the Falkland (FI) and the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia (SG). We present new data on spatial distribution in these islands, as well as an analysis of the bryozoological similarities between these and neighbouring regions. A total of 85 species of cheilostome bryozoans (351 samples) were found, belonging to 33 genera, including 18 potentially new genera and 23 new species. Remarkably 65% and 41% of species were reported for the first time at FI and SG, respectively. The highest and the lowest value of species richness and species/genus ratio were found at East (EFI) and West Falkland (WFI), respectively, likely showing a tendency for stronger intrageneric competition. New data from this study were jointly analysed with data from the literature and existing databases, revealing new bathymetric ranges in 32 species. The biogeographic affinities of the bryozoans found give further evidence of the hypothesis of sequential separation of Gondwana and support the changing concept that although the Polar Front acts as a circumpolar biogeographic barrier it is not as impermeable as originally thought. Potential dispersal mechanisms are also discussed.
Keywords: Benthos, Biodiversity, Biogeography, Marine ecology, Southern ocean, Spatial patterns
Mairal M, Sanmartín I, Pellissier L (2017)
Journal of Biogeography.
Aim The disjunct distribution patterns of sister taxa can arise when previously continuous distribution ranges are fragmented by environmental changes such as major climatic events. Populations become isolated on either side of the newly established environmental barrier, and absence of gene flow promotes allopatric speciation, in a process that is known as ecological vicariance. If climate change altered the ancestral range gradually, such as along temporal temperature or moisture gradients, the age of divergence of disjunct species should be related to the lineage tolerance to climatic conditions. Here, we investigate this hypothesis using as a study model the African Rand Flora, a continental-scale floristic pattern that relates sister taxa distributed on either side of the Saharan Desert. Location Africa, Macaronesia, Mediterranean Basin and the Middle East. Methods We estimated the extant climatic tolerances of 14 Rand Flora lineages based on present occurrence data, and correlated the phylogenetic age of divergence between vicariant clades. We tested whether the tempo of the vicariance in the Rand Flora lineages was associated with the average values of their climatic niches in agreement with niche-driven divergence. We hindcasted species ranges using species distribution models combined with palaeoclimate simulations to infer the potential distribution of each lineage's ancestors. Results We found a positive relationship between the lineage temperature niche and the age of the Rand Flora disjunction: lineages with subtropical affinities diverged first, whereas those with a higher tolerance to drier conditions (temperate or sub-xeric adaptations) exhibited younger disjunctions. The range reconstructions showed the existence of climatic corridors south of the Sahara in the wetter Late Miocene, which became interrupted during the mid-Pliocene warming event. Main conclusions Our results suggest that climate change leading to the formation of the Sahara Desert drove Rand Flora lineages divergences along a temporal sequence that matched the climatic niche of species.
Keywords: Rand Flora, continental disjunctions, extinction, niche conservatism, refuges, vicariance
Pertierra L, Aragón P, Shaw J, Bergstrom D, Terauds A, Olalla-Tárraga M (2017)
Global Change Biology.
The two non-native grasses that have established long-term populations in Antarctica (Poa pratensis and Poa annua) were studied from a global multidimensional thermal niche perspective to address the biological invasion risk to Antarctica. These two species exhibit contrasting introduction histories and reproductive strategies and represent two referential case studies of biological invasion processes. We used a multistep process with a range of species distribution modelling techniques (ecological niche factor analysis, multidimensional envelopes, distance/entropy algorithms) together with a suite of thermoclimatic variables, to characterize the potential ranges of these species. Their native bioclimatic thermal envelopes in Eurasia, together with the different naturalized populations across continents, were compared next. The potential niche of P. pratensis was wider at the cold extremes; however, P. annua life history attributes enable it to be a more successful colonizer. We observe that particularly cold summers are a key aspect of the unique Antarctic environment. In consequence, ruderals such as P. annua can quickly expand under such harsh conditions, whereas the more stress-tolerant P. pratensis endures and persist through steady growth. Compiled data on human pressure at the Antarctic Peninsula allowed us to provide site-specific biosecurity risk indicators. We conclude that several areas across the region are vulnerable to invasions from these and other similar species. This can only be visualized in species distribution models (SDMs) when accounting for founder populations that reveal nonanalogous conditions. Results reinforce the need for strict management practices to minimize introductions. Furthermore, our novel set of temperature-based bioclimatic GIS layers for ice-free terrestrial Antarctica provide a mechanism for regional and global species distribution models to be built for other potentially invasive species.
Keywords: Poaceae, biosecurity protocols, non-native species management, nonanalogous climate, species distribution models
Prieto-Benítez S, Yela J, Giménez-Benavides L (2017)
Ten years of progress in the study of Hadena -Caryophyllaceae nursery pollination. A review in light of new Mediterranean data
Nursery pollination interactions are widespread between Caryophyllaceae species and the pollinating-seed predator Hadena moths (Noctuidae). A previous revision of this system was based mainly on widely distributed species in the north and center of Europe. However, there was no information from the Mediterranean region, one of the global diversification centers of both taxa. The aim of this work is to review the progress on the knowledge of this nursery pollination system since the first revision, providing unpublished data of Caryophyllaceae-Hadena associations from Spain. Furthermore, we conduct a preliminary network analysis to illustrate the advantages of this approach to explore nursery pollination systems. In the last 10 years, most of studies have focused on selective forces exerted by Hadena on the plant reproductive traits through pollination and predation. Hadena moths are selectively attracted by flower scents, flower sizes and number of flowers per plant are also crucial for attraction of the moths. Caryophyllaceae species may have developed some phenological, chemical, morphogical and physiological adaptations to avoid overexploitation by larvae. The evolution of sexual dimorphism in Caryophyllaceae may be a consequence of mutualistic and antagonistic interactions. Other pollinators as well as an anther smut fungus and larval parasitoids are important selective agents that can shift this interaction between mutualism and parasitism. Whereas most studies highlighted the parasitic nature of the Hadena-Caryophyllaceae interaction, we need further analyses on the pollinator effectiveness of Hadena and on the spatio-temporal variation of the interaction outcome. Based on our field surveys and bibliographic records we found evidence of nursery pollination between 22 noctuid species (mostly Hadena) and 70 Caryophyllaceae species from 11 genera (mostly Silene and Dianthus). From these interactions, 26 were new for the Iberian Peninsula and 18 were not described before Results of our preliminary network analysis suggest that these interactions are constrained by phylogenetic, geographical and ecological filters.
Keywords: Mediterranean region, Modularity, Phylogenetic signal
Quijada L, Huhtinen S, Negrín R, Beltrán-Tejera E (2017)
Studies in Hyaloscyphaceae associated with major vegetation types in the Canary Islands II: a revision of Hyaloscypha
Willdenowia 47(1) 31-42.
Four species of the genus Hyaloscypha are presented for the Canary Islands. The study is based on recent collections and 12 previous records. The earlier reports of the genus (Hyaloscypha fuckelii, H. hyalina and H. leuconica) are corrected. All of the reported species are new to the Canarian archipelago (H. aureliella, H. intacta, H. spiralis and H. strobicola), and only one has been reported before from the Macaronesian region (H. aureliella). A key, descriptions, illustrations and notes about ecology are provided.
Keywords: Ascomycota, Canary Islands, Helotiales, Hyaloscypha, Hyaloscyphaceae, Macaronesia, diversity, new records, taxonomy
Rubio de Casas R, Willis C, Pearse W, Baskin C, Baskin J, Cavender-Bares J (2017)
Global biogeography of seed dormancy is determined by seasonality and seed size: a case study in the legumes
Seed dormancy is expected to provide ecological advantages by adjusting germination to the favorable growth period. However, many species produce nondormant seeds, particularly in wet tropical forests, a biogeographic pattern that is not well accounted for in current models. We hypothesized that the global distribution of dormant seeds derives from their adaptive value in predictably fluctuating (i.e. seasonal) environments. However, the advantage conferred by dormancy might ultimately depend on other seed attributes, particularly size. This general model was tested within a phylogenetically informed framework using a data set comprising > 216 000 world-wide observations of Fabaceae, spanning three orders of magnitude in seed size and including both dormant and nondormant seeds. Our results confirmed our hypothesis: nondormant seeds can only evolve in climates with long growing seasons and/or in lineages that produce larger seeds. Conversely, dormancy should be evolutionarily stable in temperate lineages with small seeds. When the favorable season is fleeting, seed dormancy is the only adaptive strategy. Based on these results, we predict that, within a given lineage, taxa producing larger, nondormant seeds will necessarily predominate in aseasonal environments, while plants bearing small, dormant seeds will be dominant under short growing seasons.
Keywords: Ascomycota, Canary Islands, Helotiales, Hyaloscypha, Hyaloscyphaceae, Macaronesia, diversity, new records, taxonomy
Vives E, Pham H (2017)
New species of Callichromatini Swainson, 1840. (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae). New Cerambycidae from Vietnam. Part 6
Zootaxa 4236(1) 194.
Three new species of Cerambycidae, Callichromatini from Vietnam are described: Aphrodisium lingafelteri sp. nov., Mimochelidonium vietnamicum sp. nov., and Polyzonus (Striatopolyzonus) tonkinensis sp. nov. The genus Mimochelidonium Bentanachs & Drouin is recorded as new for the fauna of Vietnam.
Keywords: Aphrodisium, Coleoptera, Mimochelidonium, Polyzonus (Striatopolyzonus)
Araújo R, Assis J, Aguillar R, Airoldi L, Bárbara I, Bartsch I et al. (2016)
Biodiversity and Conservation 25(7) 1319-1348.
A comprehensive expert consultation was conducted in order to assess the status, trends and the most important drivers of change in the abundance and geographical distribution of kelp forests in European waters. This consultation included an on-line questionnaire, results from a workshop and data provided by a selected group of experts working on kelp forest mapping and eco-evolutionary research. Differences in status and trends according to geographical areas, species identity and small-scale variations within the same habitat where shown by assembling and mapping kelp distribution and trend data. Significant data gaps for some geographical regions, like the Mediterranean and the southern Iberian Peninsula, were also identified. The data used for this study confirmed a general trend with decreasing abundance of some native kelp species at their southern distributional range limits and increasing abundance in other parts of their distribution (Saccharina latissima and Saccorhiza polyschides). The expansion of the introduced species Undaria pinnatifida was also registered. Drivers of observed changes in kelp forests distribution and abundance were assessed using experts’ opinions. Multiple possible drivers were identified, including global warming, sea urchin grazing, harvesting, pollution and fishing pressure, and their impact varied between geographical areas. Overall, the results highlight major threats for these ecosystems but also opportunities for conservation. Major requirements to ensure adequate protection of coastal kelp ecosystems along European coastlines are discussed, based on the local to regional gaps detected in the study.
Keyword: Kelp forests Expert consultation Status and tempor
Bosch J, Iglesias I, Muñoz M, de la Torre A (2016)
A Cartographic Tool for Managing African Swine Fever in Eurasia: Mapping Wild Boar Distribution Based on the Quality of Available Habitats
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases.
The current African swine fever (ASF) epidemic in Eurasia represents a risk for the swine industry with devastating socio-economic and political consequences. Wild boar appears to be a key factor in maintaining the disease in endemic areas (mainly the Russian Federation) and spreading the disease across borders, including within the European Union. To help predict and interpret the dynamics of ASF infection, we developed a standardized distribution map based on global land cover vegetation (GLOBCOVER) that quantifies the quality of available habitats (QAH) for wild boar across Eurasia as an indirect index for quantifying numbers of wild boar. QAHs were estimated using a seven-level scale based on expert opinion and found to correlate closely with georeferenced presence of wild boar (n = 22 362): the highest wild boar densities (74.47%) were found in areas at the two highest QAH levels, while the lowest densities (5.66%) were found in areas at the lowest QAH levels. Mapping notifications from 2007 to 2016 onto the QAH map showed that in endemic areas, 60% of ASF notifications occurred in domestic pigs, mostly in agricultural landscapes (QAHs 1.75 and 1) containing low-biosecurity domestic pig farms. In the EU, in contrast, 95% of ASF notifications occurred in wild boar, within natural landscapes (QAH 2). These results suggest that the QAH map can be a useful epi-tool for defining risk scenarios and identifying potential travel corridors for ASF. This tool will help inform resource allocation decisions and improve prevention, control and surveillance of ASF and potentially of other diseases affecting swine and wild boar in Eurasia.
Keywords: African swine fever, habitat, land coverage, surveillance, wild boar distribution