For all researches, please visit our "Peer-reviewed publications" page.
Bush M, Correa-Metrio A, McMichael C, Sully S, Shadik C, Valencia B et al. (2016)
Quaternary Science Reviews 141 52-64.
A sedimentary record from the Peruvian Amazon provided evidence of climate and vegetation change for the last 6900 years. Piston cores collected from the center of Lake Sauce, a 20 m deep lake at 600 m elevation, were 19.7 m in length. The fossil pollen record showed a continuously forested catchment within the period of the record, although substantial changes in forest composition were apparent. Fossil charcoal, found throughout the record, was probably associated with humans setting fires. Two fires, at c. 6700 cal BP and 4270 cal BP, appear to have been stand-replacing events possibly associated with megadroughts. The fire event at 4270 cal BP followed a drought that caused lowered lake levels for several centuries. The successional trajectories of forest recovery following these large fires were prolonged by smaller fire events. Fossil pollen of Zea mays (cultivated maize) provided evidence of agricultural activity at the site since c. 6320 cal BP. About 5150 years ago, the lake deepened and started to deposit laminated sediments. Maize agriculture reached a peak of intensity between c. 3380 and 700 cal BP. Fossil diatom data provided a proxy for lake nutrient status and productivity, both of which peaked during the period of maize cultivation. A marked change in land use was evident after c. 700 cal BP when maize agriculture was apparently abandoned at this site. Iriartea, a hyperdominant of riparian settings in western Amazonia, increased in abundance within the last 1100 years, but declined markedly at c. 1070 cal BP and again between c. 80 and −10 cal BP.
Keywords: Agriculture, Forest enrichment, Fossil charcoal, Fossil diatoms, Fossil pollen, Human disturbance, Iriartea, Maize, Mauritia, Pre-Columbian
Carrillo-Angeles I, Suzán-Azpiri H, Mandujano M, Golubov J, Martínez-Ávalos J (2016)
Niche breadth and the implications of climate change in the conservation of the genus Astrophytum (Cactaceae)
Journal of Arid Environments 124 310-317.
The niche breadth of a species reflects its ability to inhabit different conditions, and to use different resources, hence, species with wider niche are expected to be more resilient to anthropogenic derived climate change. We estimated the niche breadth of all species of the genus Astrophytum from macro-environmental variables and measures of local habitat uses, in order to evaluate whether species having wider niche breadths are less prone to experience unsuitable conditions projected by the A1B and A2 scenarios of the IPCC for 2020 and 2050, and analyzed the implications of projections for the conservation of the genus Astrophytum. Our analysis suggests that most of populations of the four species will experience increasingly unsuitable conditions due to the increase of temperature and reduction in precipitation. The species less affected were those with wider niche breadth and situated in the middle of the latitudinal range and in the middle or lower extreme of the precipitation range for the genus (A. capricorne and A. myriostigma). Although the main threats for Astrophytum species come from the destruction of their habitats and activities as illegal extraction, climate change may reduce the chances for the regeneration of populations and the success of reintroduction programs.
Keywords: Bioclimatic variables, IPCC scenarios, MaxEnt, Threatened species
De La Cruz-Agüero J, Moncayo-Estrada R, Cota-Gómez V, Villalobos-Ortiz H, Valdez-Pelayo A (2016)
Journal of Fish Biology.
The first records of three midwater species for the Mexican ichthyofauna (Holtbyrnia laticauda, Brama dussumieri and Cubiceps baxteri), caught off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, in mid 2014, are reported. As far as is known, they are the first verified specimens, geo-referenced and catalogued in a reference fish collection for the west coast of Mexico. The species' known distributions were extended northward in the eastern Pacific Ocean, ranging from 3495 to 8300 km.
Keywords: Pacific Ocean, extended distribution, midwater fish
González-Santos R, Cadena-Íñiguez J, Morales-Flores F, Ruiz-Vera V, Pimentel-López J (2016)
Prediction of the effects of climate change on Sechium edule (Jacq.) Swartz varietal groups in Mexico
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution.
Climate change has significant impacts on biodiversity and, particularly, on agriculture. In this study, the impact of climate change on five varietal groups of Sechium edule, up to the year 2050, was determined through the application of the HadGEM2-CC model based on bioclimate layers. The varietal groups, nigrum minor, albus dulcis and nigrum xalapensis, will lose more than 50 % of their potential current distribution due to a high impact in both the rcp 45 and the rcp 85 scenarios. These two varietal groups also have a limited distribution, which makes them highly susceptible. In the case of nigrum spinosum, a loss under 50 % is predicted with scenario rcp 45. The varietal group that increases its distribution in 11 % is virens levis. The model forecasts significant impacts up to the year 2050; however, the groups evaluated present high genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity which allow adapting to new conditions that may contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change.
Keywords: Climate change, Sechium edule, Varietal groups
López-Martínez V, O N, Ramírez-Bustos I, Alia-Tejacal I, Jiménez-García D (2016)
Current and Potential Distribution of the Cactus Weevil, Cactophagus spinolae (Gyllenhal) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in Mexico
The Coleopterists Bulletin 70(2) 327-334.
Abstract The maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt) was used to create a model of the suitable environment for the cactus weevil, Cactophagus spinolae (Gyllenhal) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in Mexico and to analyze the climatic factors influencing the weevil's potential distribution and possible impacts on another Cactaceae species. Areas located west of the Transmexican Volcanic Belt, south of the Mexican Plateu, east of the Balsas Basin, and northwest of the Sierra Madre del Sur biogeographical provinces were found to be more suitable for the emergence of the cactus weevil. The climatic variables that determine the distribution of C. spinolae were seasonal temperatures (24.5%) and precipitation of coldest quarter (24.0%). The commercial production areas of edible Opuntia Mill. (prickly pear cactus and barbary fig) and pitahaya in Central Mexico match with the environmental suitability calculated for the cactus weevil.
Keywords: MaxEnt, biogeographical provinces, distribution, ecological niche modelling, prickly pear cactus pear
López-Martínez V, Sánchez-Martínez G, Jiménez-García D, Pérez-De la O N, Coleman T (2016)
Environmental suitability for Agrilus auroguttatus (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in Mexico using MaxEnt and database records of four Quercus (Fagaceae) species
Agricultural and Forest Entomology.
The goldspotted oak borer Agrilus auroguttatus Schaeffer is an invasive pest of three Quercus species in southern California, U.S.A. As a native and potentially indigenous exotic species, its distribution and potential damage is largely unknown in Mexico. We used the maximum entropy algorithm to determine the bioclimatic variables that may explain the distribution of A. auroguttatus, as well as its interaction with the distribution of known hosts in Mexico. Our model calculated high suitability for A. auroguttatus in the biogeographical provinces of California, the northern and southern areas of Sierra Madre Occidental and the northwestern area of the Mexican Plateau; moderate suitability was projected in the Baja California, Sonora and Sierra Madre Occidental provinces. Potential distribution of A. auroguttatus was overlapping with native ranges of Quercus agrifolia, Quercus emoryi Torrey and Quercus hypoleucoides A. Camus. Precipitation of the coldest quarter (23.6%), isothermality (23.5%), precipitation seasonality (17.3%) and mean temperature of the coldest quarter (11.2%) contributed most to explaining its distribution in Mexico. The geographical interaction (i.e. the likelihood that the habitat would be suitable for coexistence) of A. auroguttatus with its hosts in Mexico was projected in the California province (46 382.60 km2, probably as an exotic species) and the northwestern areas of Mexican Plateau and Sierra Madre Occidental provinces (74 013.45 km2, probably as native). Determining the areas of environmental suitability for A. auroguttatus and its host distribution can focus ground surveys, contribute to management efforts and assist in the development of risk assessments for Mexico.
Keywords: Ecological niche, Mexican, biogeographical provinces, exotic wood borer, goldspotted oak borer
Martínez-Calderas J, Hernández-Saintmartín A, Rosas-Rosas O, Palacio-Núñez J, Villordo-Galván J, Olivera-Méndez A (2016)
THERYA 7(2) 241-255.
The margay (Leopardus wiedii, Schinz 1821) is a small Neotropical cat that is native with distribution from South America into Northeastern Mexico. This species is now threatened by illegal hunting and habitat destruction and, in Northeastern Mexico, their habitat has been fragmented and population sizes have been dramatically reduced. We use the MaxEnt algorithm to model the potential distribution of this elusive species, based on trustable presence records and information about their habitat condition. The aim of this study was to estimate the potential distribution of margays in Northeastern Mexico. We determined potential distribution in the physiographic subprovinces (PSP) of Llanuras y Lomerios, Gran Sierra Plegada and Carso Huasteco. A model was generated using recent and historical records through the MaxEnt algorithm. We used four records from online databases, 36 from literature and 13 from our own fieldwork, as well as 27 predictive variables: 19 associated with climate, two with land use and vegetation type, four associated with topography and two with anthropogenic effects. Seven variables contributed to over 90 % of the distribution model and were highly predictive (AUC = 0.964). The potential distribution of margay represents 9.0 % (7,607 km2) of the area, which is highly fragmented. The PSP Gran Sierra Plegada and Carso Huasteco showed the widest distribution range. The four most relevant variables were: precipitation of the most humid quarter, vegetation type, and both altitude and topographic indexes. We applied species distribution modeling by incorporating recent information collected through fieldwork and surveys as well as historical records in order to predict the margay’s potential distribution in Northeastern Mexico. We obtained a robust model based on the most relevant bioclimatic and landscape variables. The landscape in this region is highly fragmented and the largest continuous areas were located in the roughest and inaccessible landscape of the mountainous localities of Gran Sierra Plegada and Carso Huasteco, where an important portion of these PSP maintains continuity in the area of the potential distribution of the margay. Very little is known of the status and abundance of the margay and this study complements our current knowledge of this species in Northeastern Mexico and provides important information regarding the quality of the habitat in this portion of the country. There are several current threats that are being caused by changes in land use in Northeastern Mexico and other parts of their distribution, and this information is essential to establish conservation plans for this species and their habitat. More studies assessing potential distribution throughout their range are needed to support adequate conservation efforts.
Keywords: MaxEnt, Tropical habitats, Wild felids, connectivity, habitat fragmentation
Martínez-Méndez N, Aguirre-Planter E, Eguiarte L, Jaramillo-Correa J (2016)
Modelado de nicho ecológico de las especies del género Abies (Pinaceae) en México: Algunas implicaciones taxonómicas y para la conservación
Botanical Sciences 94(1) 5.
En Mesoamérica y el norte de México, los oyameles o abetos ( Abies , Pinaceae) presentan una distribución disyunta en áreas montañosas y templadas. En esta área se han reconocido entre seis y diez especies de Abies dependiendo de la propuesta taxonómica empleada; generalmente se considera que seis de éstas son endémicas a México y están incluidas en alguna categoría de riesgo. Dada esta incertidumbre taxonómica y la importancia económica del género ( Abies es el cuarto recurso maderable de México), se necesita tener información adicional que contribuya a su manejo sustentable. En este estudio se obtuvo los modelos de nicho ecológico para ocho de las especies y dos variedades de Abies reconocidas en México ( A. concolor , A. durangensis var. duragensis , A. durangensis var. coahuilensis , A. incki , A. guatemalensis , A. hickelii , A. jaliscana , A. religiosa y A. vejari ) a través del algoritmo de máxima entropía (Maxent) y utilizando variables bioclimáticas y topográficas provenientes de Worldclim, de Hydro k y datos depurados de presencia de diversas fuentes (CONABIO, GBIF, MEXU). Los resultados sugieren que A. concolor tiene el nicho ecológico más diferenciado con respecto a los demás abetos mexicanos. Asimismo, se observó que, con excepción de A. religiosa , el área de mayor idoneidad ambiental para todas las especies está fuera de la poligonal de algún área natural protegida ya sea federal o estatal, por lo que se proponen ampliar o crear nuevas áreas que protejan a estas especies.
Keywords: Abies, México, conservación, distribución geográfica, nicho ecológico.
Mendoza-González G, Martínez M, Rojas-Soto O, Téllez-Valdés O, Arias-Del Razo I (2016)
Journal for Nature Conservation.
We modeled the potential distribution of plant species that grow on the beaches and dunes of the Mexican Atlantic coast in order to identify areas of high biodiversity. We used environmental layers in combination with georeferenced data, utilizing the MaxEnt algorithm, and produced four regional consensus maps according to the geographic distribution of the species: along the entire Mexican Atlantic coast, the Gulf of Mexico; the Yucatan Peninsula and all species combined together on a single map. The largest number of widely distributed species in the Gulf of Mexico was concentrated in the northern and central regions, while biodiversity on the Yucatan Peninsula was likely to be concentrated in the north and on Cozumel island, which is the biggest island in the Mexican Caribbean. The map combining all species together revealed a potential concurrence of species in the Gulf of Mexico and Yucatan Peninsula transition, where climatic characteristics converge within a small geographic area. In order to conserve beach and coastal dune plant biodiversity, special attention must be paid to the management plans of established protected areas and to the promotion of new protected areas consistent with the areas reported in this study, particularly in the central Gulf of Mexico and northern Yucatan Peninsula, where areas under protection are currently scarce.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Coastal vegetation, Ecological niche modeling, Species distribution
Monroy-Vilchis O, Castillo-Huitrón N, Zarco-González M, Rodríguez-Soto C (2016)
Potential distribution of Ursus americanus in Mexico and its persistence: Implications for conservation
Journal for Nature Conservation 29 62-68.
The black bear Ursus americanus is an endangered species in Mexico. Its historical distribution has decreased by approximately 80% although its current distribution is not known with precision; it is only reported to be present in the mountains of Northern Mexico. This study proposes two ensemble models: Mexicós black bear (a) potential distribution compared with Natural Protected Areas (NPAs); and, (b) persistence areas for 2024. The current distribution variables are coniferous forest, elevation and dry forest. Suitable habitat for black bear (354,047km2, 18.07% of the country) was found mainly in the north of the Sonoran biogeographical zone, along the Sierra Madre Occidental, the center and south of the Sierra Madre Oriental and some northern regions of the Altiplano Norte. Comparing these areas with NPAs documented that only 12.41% of potential distribution coincided with current suitable habitat. There are unprotected areas in Sierra Madre Occidental center and central and southern of Sierra Madre Oriental. The model for 2024 indicates a reduction of suitable habitat of 64.5%, mainly in the northern Sonoran zone and the center Sierra Madre Occidental. On the other hand, areas that will persist (125,673km2) are located along the two main mountain ranges of Mexico. Identification of these sites will allow strengthening of long-term conservation strategies.
Keywords: Black bear, Conservation, Ensemble model, Future model, Habitat suitability, Mexico, Ursus americanus