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1.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31808246

RESUMO

Range expansion results from complex eco-evolutionary processes where range dynamics and niche shifts interact in a novel physical space and/or environment, with scale playing a major role. Obligate symbionts (i.e. organisms permanently living on hosts) differ from free-living organisms in that they depend on strong biotic interactions with their hosts which alter their niche and spatial dynamics. A symbiotic lifestyle modifies organism-environment relationships across levels of organisation, from individuals to geographical ranges. These changes influence how symbionts experience colonisation and, by extension, range expansion. Here, we investigate the potential implications of a symbiotic lifestyle on range expansion capacity. We present a unified conceptual overview on range expansion of symbionts that integrates concepts grounded in niche and metapopulation theories. Overall, we explain how niche-driven and dispersal-driven processes govern symbiont range dynamics through their interaction across scales, from host switching to geographical range shifts. First, we describe a background framework for range dynamics based on metapopulation concepts applied to symbiont organisation levels. Then, we integrate metapopulation processes operating in the physical space with niche dynamics grounded in the environmental arena. For this purpose, we provide a definition of the biotope (i.e. living place) specific to symbionts as a hinge concept to link the physical and environmental spaces, wherein the biotope unit is a metapopulation patch (either a host individual or a land fragment). Further, we highlight the dual nature of the symbionts' niche, which is characterised by both host traits and the external environment, and define proper conceptual variants to provide a meaningful unification of niche, biotope and symbiont organisation levels. We also explore variation across systems in the relative relevance of both external environment and host traits to the symbiont's niche and their potential implications on range expansion. We describe in detail the potential mechanisms by which hosts, through their function as biotopes, could influence how some symbionts expand their range - depending on the life history and traits of both associates. From the spatial point of view, hosts can extend symbiont dispersal range via host-mediated dispersal, although the requirement for among-host dispersal can challenge symbiont range expansion. From the niche point of view, homeostatic properties of host bodies may allow symbiont populations to become insensitive to off-host environmental gradients during host-mediated dispersal. These two potential benefits of the symbiont-host interaction can enhance symbiont range expansion capacity. On the other hand, the central role of hosts governing the symbiont niche makes symbionts strongly dependent on the availability of suitable hosts. Thus, environmental, dispersal and biotic barriers faced by suitable hosts apply also to the symbiont, unless eventual opportunities for host switching allow the symbiont to expand its repertoire of suitable hosts (thus expanding its fundamental niche). Finally, symbionts can also improve their range expansion capacity through their impacts on hosts, via protecting their affiliated hosts from environmental harshness through biotic facilitation.

2.
Biol Lett ; 15(10): 20190481, 2019 10 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31594495

RESUMO

According to the island rule, small-bodied vertebrates will tend to evolve larger body size on islands, whereas the opposite happens to large-bodied species. This controversial pattern has been studied at the macroecological and biogeographical scales, but new developments in quantitative evolutionary genetics now allow studying the island rule from a mechanistic perspective. Here, we develop a simulation approach based on an individual-based model to model body size change on islands as a progressive adaptation to a moving optimum, determined by density-dependent population dynamics. We applied the model to evaluate body size differentiation in the pigmy extinct hominin Homo floresiensis, showing that dwarfing may have occurred in only about 360 generations (95% CI ranging from 150 to 675 generations). This result agrees with reports suggesting rapid dwarfing of large mammals on islands, as well as with the recent discovery that small-sized hominins lived in Flores as early as 700 kyr ago. Our simulations illustrate the power of analysing ecological and evolutionary patterns from an explicit quantitative genetics perspective.


Assuntos
Hominidae , Animais , Evolução Biológica , Tamanho Corporal , Fósseis , Indonésia , Ilhas , Mamíferos
3.
Proc Biol Sci ; 286(1905): 20190291, 2019 06 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31213189

RESUMO

Although the description of bioregions dates back to the origin of biogeography, the processes originating their associated species pools have been seldom studied. Ancient historical events are thought to play a fundamental role in configuring bioregions, but the effects of more recent events on these regional biotas are largely unknown. We used a network approach to identify regional and sub-regional faunas of European Carabus beetles and developed a method to explore the relative contribution of dispersal barriers, niche similarities and phylogenetic history on their configuration. We identify a transition zone matching the limit of the ice sheets at the Last Glacial Maximum. While southern species pools are mostly separated by dispersal barriers, in the north species are mainly sorted by their environmental niches. Strikingly, most phylogenetic structuration of Carabus faunas occurred during the Pleistocene. Our results show how extreme recent historical events-such as Pleistocene climate cooling, rather than just deep-time evolutionary processes-can profoundly modify the composition and structure of geographical species pools.

4.
PeerJ ; 7: e6472, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31119064

RESUMO

Background: We identified and classified damselfly (Zygoptera) and dragonfly (Anisoptera) metacommunities in Brazilian Amazonia, relating species distribution patterns to known biological gradients and biogeographical history. We expected a random distribution of both Zygoptera and Anisoptera within interfluves. At the Amazonian scale, we expected Anisoptera metacommunities to be randomly distributed due to their higher dispersal ability and large environmental tolerance. In contrast, we expected Zygoptera communities to exhibit a Clementsian pattern, limited by the large Amazonia rivers due to their low dispersal ability. Methods: We used a dataset of 58 first-to-third order well-sampled streamlets in four Amazonian interfluves and applied an extension of the Elements of Metacommunity Structure (EMS) framework, in which we order Zygoptera and Anisoptera metacommunities by known spatial and biogeographic predictors. Results: At the Amazonian scale, both Zygoptera and Anisoptera presented a Clementsian pattern, driven by the same environmental and biogeographical predictors, namely biogeographic region (interfluve), annual mean temperature, habitat integrity and annual precipitation. At the interfluve scale, results were less consistent and only partially support our hypothesis. Zygoptera metacommunities at Guiana and Anisoptera metacommunities at Tapajós were classified as random, suggesting that neutral processes gain importance at smaller spatial scales. Discussion: Our findings were consistent with previous studies showing that environmental gradients and major rivers limit the distribution of Odonata communities, supporting that larger Amazonian rivers act as barriers for the dispersal of this group. In addition, the importance of habitat integrity indicates that intactness of riparian vegetation is an important filter shaping metacommunity structure of Amazonian stream Odonata.

5.
J Vis Exp ; (145)2019 03 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30958472

RESUMO

Communities of nonvascular cryptogams, such as mosses or lichens, are an important part of the Earth's biodiversity, contributing to the regulation of the carbon and nitrogen cycles in many ecosystems. Being poikilohydric organisms, they do not actively control their internal water content and need a humid environment to activate their metabolism. Therefore, studying water relationships of nonvascular cryptogams is crucial to understand both their diversity patterns and their functions in the ecosystems. We present the BtM datalogger, a low-cost open-source platform for the study of the water content of nonvascular cryptogams. The datalogger is designed to measure ambient temperature, humidity, and conductance from up to eight samples simultaneously. We provide a design for a printed circuit board (PCB), a detailed protocol to assemble the components, and the required source code. All this makes the assembly of the BtM datalogger accessible to any research group, even to those without previous specialized knowledge. Therefore, the design presented here has the potential to help popularize the use of this type of device among ecologists and field biologists.


Assuntos
Briófitas/metabolismo , Custos e Análise de Custo , Equipamentos e Provisões Elétricas/economia , Monitoramento Ambiental/instrumentação , Líquens/metabolismo , Água/metabolismo , Monitoramento Ambiental/economia , Umidade , Temperatura
6.
PeerJ ; 6: e5210, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30258704

RESUMO

Background: Assemblage responses to environmental gradients are key to understand the general principles behind the assembly and functioning of communities. The spatially and temporally uneven distribution of water availability in drylands creates strong aridity gradients. While the effects of spatial variations of aridity are relatively well known, the influence of the highly-unpredictable seasonal and inter-annual precipitations on dryland communities has been seldom addressed. Aims: Here, we study the seasonal and inter-annual responses of dung beetle (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) communities to the variations of water availability along a semiarid region of the Mediterranean. Methods: We surveyed a 400 km linear transect along a strong aridity gradient from the Mediterranean coast to the Sahara (Eastern Morocco), during four sampling campaigns: two in the wet season and two in the dry season. We measured species richness, abundance and evenness. Variations in community composition between sites, seasons and years were assessed through beta diversity partitioning of dissimiliarity metrics based on species occurrences and abundances. The effects of climate, soil, vegetation and dung availability were evaluated using Spearman-rank correlations, general linear regressions and partial least-squares generalized linear regressions for community structure, and non-metric multi-dimensional scaling, Permutational Analysis of Variance (PERMANOVA) and distance-based RDA variation partitioning for compositional variations. Results: Dung beetle abundance and species richness showed large seasonal variations, but remained relatively similar between years. Indeed, aridity and its interaction with season and year were the strongest correlates of variations in species richness and composition. Increasing aridity resulted in decreasing species richness and an ordered replacement of species, namely the substitution of the Mediterranean fauna by desert assemblages dominated by saprophagous and generalist species both in space towards the Sahara and in the dry season. Discussion: Our study shows that aridity determines composition in dung beetle communities, filtering species both in space and time. Besides the expected decrease in species richness, such environmental filtering promotes a shift towards generalist and saprophagous species in arid conditions, probably related to changes in resource quality along the transect and through the year. Our results highlight the importance of considering the effects of the highly-unpredictable seasonal and inter-annual variations in precipitation when studying dryland communities.

7.
Oecologia ; 186(3): 805-816, 2018 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29349719

RESUMO

Species richness is influenced by a nested set of environmental factors, but how do these factors interact across several scales? Our main aim is to disentangle the relative importance of environmental filters and the species pool on the richness of epiphytic bryophytes across spatial scales. To do so, we sampled epiphytic bryophytes in 43 oak forests across the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. As predictors we used climate, descriptors of forest structure and micro-environment. We applied structural equation modeling to relate these variables with richness and cover at three scales: locality (forest), stand (three stands per forest), and sample (a quadrate in a tree). We assumed top-down relationships, so that large-scale variables influenced lower scale variables, and in which cover directly influenced richness. Richness at the next larger scale (locality to stand and stand to sample) is considered a surrogate of the species pool and included as a predictor of richness at the next smaller scale. Environmental variables explain locality richness, but as we decrease the spatial scale, its importance decreases and the dependence on species pool increases. In addition, we found unexpected bottom-up relationships (between micro-scale environment to locality richness). Our results point to the scale dependence of niche vs. neutral processes: niche processes are important at the locality (forest) scale, while neutral processes are significant at the small (sample) scale. We propose a modified conceptualization of the factors influencing biodiversity at different spatial scales by adding links across different scales (between micro-environment and locality-scale richness in our study).


Assuntos
Briófitas , Ecossistema , Biodiversidade , Europa (Continente) , Árvores
8.
Ecol Evol ; 7(17): 6863-6870, 2017 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28904766

RESUMO

Spatial and/or temporal biases in biodiversity data can directly influence the utility, comparability, and reliability of ecological and evolutionary studies. While the effects of biased spatial coverage of biodiversity data are relatively well known, temporal variation in data quality (i.e., the congruence between recorded and actual information) has received much less attention. Here, we develop a conceptual framework for understanding the influence of time on biodiversity data quality based on three main processes: (1) the natural dynamics of ecological systems-such as species turnover or local extinction; (2) periodic taxonomic revisions, and; (3) the loss of physical and metadata due to inefficient curation, accidents, or funding shortfalls. Temporal decay in data quality driven by these three processes has fundamental consequences for the usage and comparability of data collected in different time periods. Data decay can be partly ameliorated by adopting standard protocols for generation, storage, and sharing data and metadata. However, some data degradation is unavoidable due to natural variations in ecological systems. Consequently, changes in biodiversity data quality over time need be carefully assessed and, if possible, taken into account when analyzing aging datasets.

9.
Ann Bot ; 119(7): 1157-1167, 2017 05 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28334085

RESUMO

Background and Aims: The geographical distributions of species are constrained by their ecological requirements. The aim of this work was to analyse the effects of environmental conditions, historical events and biogeographical constraints on the diversification of the three species of the western Mediterranean shrub genus Stauracanthus , which have a parapatric distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. Methods: Ecological niche factor analysis and generalized linear models were used to measure the response of all Stauracanthus species to the environmental gradients and map their potential distributions in the Iberian Peninsula. The bioclimatic niche overlap between the three species was determined by using Schoener's index. The genetic differentiation of the Iberian and northern African populations of Stauracanthus species was characterized with GenalEx. The effects on genetic distances of the most important environmental drivers were assessed through Mantel tests and non-metric multidimensional scaling. Key Results: The three Stauracanthus species show remarkably similar responses to climatic conditions. This supports the idea that all members of this recently diversified clade retain common adaptations to climate and consequently high levels of climatic niche overlap. This contrasts with the diverse edaphic requirements of Stauracanthus species. The populations of the S. genistoides-spectabilis clade grow on Miocene and Pliocene fine-textured sedimentary soils, whereas S. boivinii , the more genetically distant species, occurs on older and more coarse-textured sedimentary substrates. These patterns of diversification are largely consistent with a stochastic process of geographical range expansion and fragmentation coupled with niche evolution in the context of spatially complex environmental fluctuations. Conclusions: : The combined analysis of the distribution, realized environmental niche and phylogeographical relationships of parapatric species proposed in this work allows integration of the biogeographical, ecological and evolutionary processes driving the evolution of species adaptations and how they determine their current geographical ranges.


Assuntos
Clima , Ecossistema , Fabaceae/classificação , Ecologia , Fabaceae/fisiologia , Filogenia , Filogeografia , Espanha
10.
Am Nat ; 188(4): 398-410, 2016 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27622874

RESUMO

Theory suggests that the structure of evolutionary history represented in a species community may affect its functioning, but phylogenetic diversity metrics do not allow for the identification of major differences in this structure. Here we propose a new metric, ELDERness (for Evolutionary Legacy of DivERsity) to estimate evolutionary branching patterns within communities by fitting a polynomial function to lineage-through-time (LTT) plots. We illustrate how real and simulated community branching patterns can be more correctly described by ELDERness and can successfully predict ecosystem functioning. In particular, the evolutionary history of branching patterns can be encapsulated by the parameters of third-order polynomial functions and further measured through only two parameters, the "ELDERness surfaces." These parameters captured variation in productivity of a grassland community better than existing phylogenetic diversity or diversification metrics and independent of species richness or presence of nitrogen fixers. Specifically, communities with small ELDERness surfaces (constant accumulation of lineages through time in LTT plots) were more productive, consistent with increased productivity resulting from complementary lineages combined with niche filling within lineages. Overall, while existing phylogenetic diversity metrics remain useful in many contexts, we suggest that our ELDERness approach better enables testing hypotheses that relate complex patterns of macroevolutionary history represented in local communities to ecosystem functioning.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Evolução Biológica , Ecossistema , Nitrogênio , Filogenia
11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(35): 9840-5, 2016 08 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27535932

RESUMO

The evolution of resource use in herbivores has been conceptualized as an analog of the theory of island biogeography, assuming that plant species are islands separated by phylogenetic distances. Despite its usefulness, this analogy has paradoxically led to neglecting real biogeographical processes in the study of macroevolutionary patterns of herbivore-plant interactions. Here we show that host use is mostly determined by the geographical cooccurrence of hosts and parasites in spider mites (Tetranychidae), a globally distributed group of plant parasites. Strikingly, geography accounts for most of the phylogenetic signal in host use by these parasites. Beyond geography, only evolutionary transitions among major plant lineages (i.e., gymnosperms, commelinids, and eudicots) shape resource use patterns in these herbivores. Still, even these barriers have been repeatedly overcome in evolutionary time, resulting in phylogenetically diverse parasite communities feeding on similar hosts. Therefore, our results imply that patterns of apparent evolutionary conservatism may largely be a byproduct of the geographic cooccurrence of hosts and parasites.


Assuntos
Coevolução Biológica , Interações Hospedeiro-Parasita , Modelos Genéticos , Plantas/classificação , Tetranychidae/classificação , Distribuição Animal/fisiologia , Animais , Geografia , Herbivoria/fisiologia , Filogenia , Dispersão Vegetal/fisiologia , Plantas/genética , Plantas/parasitologia , Tetranychidae/genética
12.
Glob Chang Biol ; 22(12): 3948-3959, 2016 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27002684

RESUMO

Although it is generally recognized that global biodiversity is declining, few studies have examined long-term changes in multiple biodiversity dimensions simultaneously. In this study, we quantified and compared temporal changes in the abundance, taxonomic diversity, functional diversity, and phylogenetic diversity of bird assemblages, using roadside monitoring data of the North American Breeding Bird Survey from 1971 to 2010. We calculated 12 abundance and diversity metrics based on 5-year average abundances of 519 species for each of 768 monitoring routes. We did this for all bird species together as well as for four subgroups based on breeding habitat affinity (grassland, woodland, wetland, and shrubland breeders). The majority of the biodiversity metrics increased or remained constant over the study period, whereas the overall abundance of birds showed a pronounced decrease, primarily driven by declines of the most abundant species. These results highlight how stable or even increasing metrics of taxonomic, functional, or phylogenetic diversity may occur in parallel with substantial losses of individuals. We further found that patterns of change differed among the species subgroups, with both abundance and diversity increasing for woodland birds and decreasing for grassland breeders. The contrasting changes between abundance and diversity and among the breeding habitat groups underscore the relevance of a multifaceted approach to measuring biodiversity change. Our findings further stress the importance of monitoring the overall abundance of individuals in addition to metrics of taxonomic, functional, or phylogenetic diversity, thus confirming the importance of population abundance as an essential biodiversity variable.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Aves/classificação , Filogenia , Animais , Ecossistema , América do Norte
13.
Biodivers Data J ; (4): e10948, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28174509

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: In this contribution we present detailed distribution and abundance data for arthropod species identified during the BALA - Biodiversity of Arthropods from the Laurisilva of the Azores (1999-2004) and BALA2 projects (2010-2011) from 18 native forest fragments in seven of the nine Azorean islands (all excluding Graciosa and Corvo islands, which have no native forest left). NEW INFORMATION: Of the total 286 species identified, 81% were captured between 1999 and 2000, a period during which only 39% of all the samples were collected. On average, arthropod richness for each island increased by 10% during the time frame of these projects. The classes Arachnida, Chilopoda and Diplopoda represent the most remarkable cases of new island records, with more than 30% of the records being novelties. This study stresses the need to expand the approaches applied in these projects to other habitats in the Azores, and more importantly to other less surveyed taxonomic groups (e.g. Diptera and Hymenoptera). These steps are fundamental for getting a more accurate assessment of biodiversity in the archipelago.

14.
PLoS One ; 9(7): e101786, 2014.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25003186

RESUMO

Species richness on oceanic islands has been related to a series of ecological factors including island size and isolation (i.e. the Equilibrium Model of Island Biogeography, EMIB), habitat diversity, climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) and more recently island ontogeny (i.e. the General Dynamic Model of oceanic island biogeography, GDM). Here we evaluate the relationship of these factors with the diversity of bryophytes in the Macaronesian region (Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde). The predictive power of EMIB, habitat diversity, climate and the GDM on total bryophyte richness, as well as moss and liverwort richness (the two dominant bryophyte groups), was evaluated through ordinary least squares regressions. After choosing the best subset of variables using inference statistics, we used partial regression analyses to identify the independent and shared effects of each model. The variables included within each model were similar for mosses and liverworts, with orographic mist layer being one of the most important predictors of richness. Models combining climate with either the GDM or habitat diversity explained most of richness variation (up to 91%). There was a high portion of shared variance between all pairwise combinations of factors in mosses, while in liverworts around half of the variability in species richness was accounted for exclusively by climate. Our results suggest that the effects of climate and habitat are strong and prevalent in this region, while geographical factors have limited influence on Macaronesian bryophyte diversity. Although climate is of great importance for liverwort richness, in mosses its effect is similar to or, at least, indiscernible from the effect of habitat diversity and, strikingly, the effect of island ontogeny. These results indicate that for highly vagile taxa on oceanic islands, the dispersal process may be less important for successful colonization than the availability of suitable ecological conditions during the establishment phase.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Briófitas , Meio Ambiente , Hepatófitas , Densidade Demográfica , Dinâmica Populacional , Portugal , Espanha , Análise Espaço-Temporal
15.
Trends Ecol Evol ; 29(3): 148-57, 2014 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24565371

RESUMO

Visualisations and graphics are fundamental to studying complex subject matter. However, beyond acknowledging this value, scientists and science-policy programmes rarely consider how visualisations can enable discovery, create engaging and robust reporting, or support online resources. Producing accessible and unbiased visualisations from complicated, uncertain data requires expertise and knowledge from science, policy, computing, and design. However, visualisation is rarely found in our scientific training, organisations, or collaborations. As new policy programmes develop [e.g., the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)], we need information visualisation to permeate increasingly both the work of scientists and science policy. The alternative is increased potential for missed discoveries, miscommunications, and, at worst, creating a bias towards the research that is easiest to display.


Assuntos
Comunicação , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/métodos , Apresentação de Dados , Política Pública , Simulação por Computador , Ecossistema , Geografia , Humanos , Software
16.
Mol Ecol ; 22(20): 5053-5, 2013 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24118115

RESUMO

Body size is one of the main regulators of the ecological characteristics of living organisms, including their biogeography. The 'ubiquity hypothesis' for microorganisms states that they are widely distributed, if not cosmopolitan, due to their small size that allows passive dispersal, in contrast to large organisms that are limited by geographical barriers in their active dispersal. Such idea, summarized in the tenet 'Everything is everywhere, but the environment selects', has driven most of the research in biogeography for microscopic organisms in the last decades, spurring a debate on whether there are fundamental differences in the biogeography of small and large organisms or not (Fenchel & Finlay 2004; Foissner 2008; Hortal 2011). The strong focus on the ubiquity hypothesis may have been often abused to provide a rationale for otherwise descriptive work on the spatial distribution of microscopic organisms; nevertheless, such focus also provides a framework to understand the mechanisms originating and maintaining biodiversity in space. The reliability of the analyses on unknown and understudied organisms is improving, and Heger et al. (2013) is a splendid example on small unicellular eukaryotes of what should be done to overcome the major problems and ambiguities that heated the debate on the ubiquity hypothesis.


Assuntos
Amoeba/genética , Clima , Variação Genética , Filogenia
18.
Biol Lett ; 8(3): 324-6, 2012 Jun 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22031720

RESUMO

The workshop 'Species distribution models: applications, challenges and perspectives' held at Belo Horizonte (Brazil), 29-30 August 2011, aimed to review the state-of-the-art in species distribution modelling (SDM) in the neotropical realm. It brought together researchers in ecology, evolution, biogeography and conservation, with different backgrounds and research interests. The application of SDM in the megadiverse neotropics-where data on species occurrences are scarce-presents several challenges, involving acknowledging the limitations imposed by data quality, including surveys as an integral part of SDM studies, and designing the analyses in accordance with the question investigated. Specific solutions were discussed, and a code of good practice in SDM studies and related field surveys was drafted.


Assuntos
Evolução Biológica , Biota , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Modelos Biológicos , América Central , Ecologia , Ecossistema , América do Sul , Índias Ocidentais
19.
PLoS One ; 6(8): e23969, 2011.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21887355

RESUMO

Macroecology and biogeography of microscopic organisms (any living organism smaller than 2 mm) are quickly developing into fruitful research areas. Microscopic organisms also offer the potential for testing predictions and models derived from observations on larger organisms due to the feasibility of performing lab and mesocosm experiments. However, more empirical knowledge on the similarities and differences between micro- and macro-organisms is needed to ascertain how much of the results obtained from the former can be generalised to the latter. One potential misconception, based mostly on anedoctal evidence rather than explicit tests, is that microscopic organisms may have wider ecological tolerance and a lower degree of habitat specialisation than large organisms. Here we explicitly test this hypothesis within the framework of metacommunity theory, by studying host specificify in the assemblages of bdelloid rotifers (animals about 350 µm in body length) living in different species of lichens in Sweden. Using several regression-based and ANOVA analyses and controlling for both spatial structure and the kind of substrate the lichen grow over (bark vs rock), we found evidence of significant but weak species-specific associations between bdelloids and lichens, a wide overlap in species composition between lichens, and wide ecological tolerance for most bdelloid species. This confirms that microscopic organisms such as bdelloids have a lower degree of habitat specialisation than larger organisms, although this happens in a complex scenario of ecological processes, where source-sink dynamics and geographic distances seem to have no effect on species composition at the analysed scale.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Microbiologia Ambiental , Animais , Ecologia , Líquens
20.
Ecol Lett ; 14(8): 741-8, 2011 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21645193

RESUMO

Current climate and Pleistocene climatic changes are both known to be associated with geographical patterns of diversity. We assess their associations with the European Scarabaeinae dung beetles, a group with high dispersal ability and well-known adaptations to warm environments. By assessing spatial stationarity in climate variability since the last glacial maximum (LGM), we find that current scarab richness is related to the location of their limits of thermal tolerance during the LGM. These limits mark a strong change in their current species richness-environment relationships. Furthermore, northern scarab assemblages are nested and composed of a phylogenetically clustered subset of large-range sized generalist species, whereas southern ones are diverse and variable in composition. Our results show that species responses to current climate are limited by the evolution of assemblages that occupied relatively climatically stable areas during the Pleistocene, and by post-glacial dispersal in those that were strongly affected by glaciations.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Evolução Biológica , Mudança Climática , Clima Frio , Besouros/classificação , Animais , Filogenia
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