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1.
J Environ Manage ; 256: 109894, 2020 Feb 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31989973

RESUMO

Despite the wide variety of variables commonly employed to measure the success of rehabilitation, the assessment and subsequent definition of indicators of environmental rehabilitation status are not simple tasks. The main challenges are comparing rehabilitated sites with target ecosystems as well as integrating individual environmental and eventually collinear variables into a single tractable measure for the state of a system before effective indicators that track rehabilitation may be modeled. Furthermore, a consensus is lacking regarding which and how many variables need to be surveyed for a reliable estimation of rehabilitation status. Here, we propose a multivariate ordination to integrate variables related to ecological processes, vegetation structure, and community diversity into a single estimation of rehabilitation status. As a case, we employed a curated set of 32 environmental variables retrieved from nonrevegetated, rehabilitating and reference sites associated with iron ore mines from the Urucum Massif, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. By integrating this set of environmental variables into a single estimation of rehabilitation status, the proposed multivariate approach is straightforward and able to adequately address collinearity among variables. The proposed methodology allows for the identification of biases towards single variables, surveys or analyses, which is necessary to rank environmental variables regarding their importance to the assessment. Furthermore, we show that bootstrapping permitted the detection of the minimum number of environmental variables necessary to achieve reliable estimations of the rehabilitation status. Finally, we show that the proposed variable integration enables the definition of case-specific environmental indicators for more rapid assessments of mineland rehabilitation. Thus, the proposed multivariate ordination represents a powerful tool to facilitate the diagnosis of rehabilitating sites worldwide provided that sufficient environmental variables related to ecological processes, diversity and vegetation structure are gathered from nonrehabilitated, rehabilitating and reference study sites. By identifying deviations from predicted rehabilitation trajectories and providing assessments for environmental agencies, this proposed multivariate ordination increases the effectiveness of (mineland) rehabilitation.


Assuntos
Ecologia , Ecossistema , Brasil , Emprego , Monitoramento Ambiental , Mineração
2.
Front Genet ; 10: 1011, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31798621

RESUMO

Although habitat loss has large, consistently negative effects on biodiversity, its genetic consequences are not yet fully understood. This is because measuring the genetic consequences of habitat loss requires accounting for major methodological limitations like the confounding effect of habitat fragmentation, historical processes underpinning genetic differentiation, time-lags between the onset of disturbances and genetic outcomes, and the need for large numbers of samples, genetic markers, and replicated landscapes to ensure sufficient statistical power. In this paper we overcame all these challenges to assess the genetic consequences of extreme habitat loss driven by mining in two herbs endemic to Amazonian savannas. Relying on genotyping-by-sequencing of hundreds of individuals collected across two mining landscapes, we identified thousands of neutral and independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in each species and used these to evaluate population structure, genetic diversity, and gene flow. Since open-pit mining in our study region rarely involves habitat fragmentation, we were able to assess the independent effect of habitat loss. We also accounted for the underlying population structure when assessing landscape effects on genetic diversity and gene flow, examined the sensitivity of our analyses to the resolution of spatial data, and used annual species and cross-year analyses to minimize and quantify possible time-lag effects. We found that both species are remarkably resilient, as genetic diversity and gene flow patterns were unaffected by habitat loss. Whereas historical habitat amount was found to influence inbreeding; heterozygosity and inbreeding were not affected by habitat loss in either species, and gene flow was mainly influenced by geographic distance, pre-mining land cover, and local climate. Our study demonstrates that it is not possible to generalize about the genetic consequences of habitat loss, and implies that future conservation efforts need to consider species-specific genetic information.

3.
Evol Appl ; 12(6): 1164-1177, 2019 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31293629

RESUMO

Habitat degradation and climate change are currently threatening wild pollinators, compromising their ability to provide pollination services to wild and cultivated plants. Landscape genomics offers powerful tools to assess the influence of landscape modifications on genetic diversity and functional connectivity, and to identify adaptations to local environmental conditions that could facilitate future bee survival. Here, we assessed range-wide patterns of genetic structure, genetic diversity, gene flow, and local adaptation in the stingless bee Melipona subnitida, a tropical pollinator of key biological and economic importance inhabiting one of the driest and hottest regions of South America. Our results reveal four genetic clusters across the species' full distribution range. All populations were found to be under a mutation-drift equilibrium, and genetic diversity was not influenced by the amount of reminiscent natural habitats. However, genetic relatedness was spatially autocorrelated and isolation by landscape resistance explained range-wide relatedness patterns better than isolation by geographic distance, contradicting earlier findings for stingless bees. Specifically, gene flow was enhanced by increased thermal stability, higher forest cover, lower elevations, and less corrugated terrains. Finally, we detected genomic signatures of adaptation to temperature, precipitation, and forest cover, spatially distributed in latitudinal and altitudinal patterns. Taken together, our findings shed important light on the life history of M. subnitida and highlight the role of regions with large thermal fluctuations, deforested areas, and mountain ranges as dispersal barriers. Conservation actions such as restricting long-distance colony transportation, preserving local adaptations, and improving the connectivity between highlands and lowlands are likely to assure future pollination services.

4.
PeerJ ; 7: e6446, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30783576

RESUMO

The bulk of the world's biodiversity is found in tropical regions, which are increasingly threatened by the human-led degradation of natural habitats. Yet, little is known about tropical biodiversity responses to habitat loss and fragmentation. Here we review all available literature assessing landscape effects on gene flow in tropical species, aiming to help unravel the factors underpinning functional connectivity in the tropics. We map and classify studies by focus species, the molecular markers employed, statistical approaches to assess landscape effects on gene flow, and the evaluated landscape and environmental variables. We then compare qualitatively and quantitatively landscape effects on gene flow across species and units of analysis. We found 69 articles assessing landscape effects on gene flow in tropical organisms, most of which were published in the last five years, were concentrated in the Americas, and focused on amphibians or mammals. Most studies employed population-level approaches, microsatellites were the preferred type of markers, and Mantel and partial Mantel tests the most common statistical approaches used. While elevation, land cover and forest cover were the most common gene flow predictors assessed, habitat suitability was found to be a common predictor of gene flow. A third of all surveyed studies explicitly assessed the effect of habitat degradation, but only 14 of these detected a reduced gene flow with increasing habitat loss. Elevation was responsible for most significant microsatellite-based isolation by resistance effects and a single study reported significant isolation by non-forested areas in an ant. Our study reveals important knowledge gaps on the study of landscape effects on gene flow in tropical organisms, and provides useful guidelines on how to fill them.

5.
PLoS One ; 14(1): e0211095, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30653607

RESUMO

The eastern Brazilian Amazon contains many isolated ferruginous savanna ecosystem patches (locally known as 'canga vegetation') located on ironstone rocky outcrops on the top of plateaus and ridges, surrounded by tropical rainforests. In the Carajás Mineral Province (CMP), these outcrops contain large iron ore reserves that have been exploited by opencast mining since the 1980s. The canga vegetation is particularly impacted by mining, since the iron ores that occur are associated with this type of vegetation and currently, little is known regarding the extent of canga vegetation patches before mining activities began. This information is important for quantifying the impact of mining, in addition to helping plan conservation programmes. Here, land cover changes of the Canga area in the CMP are evaluated by estimating the pre-mining area of canga patches and comparing it to the actual extent of canga patches. We mapped canga vegetation using geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) from 1973 Landsat-1 MSS, 1984 and 2001 Landsat-5 TM, and 2016 Landsat-8 OLI images, and found that canga vegetation originally occupied an area of 144.2 km2 before mining exploitation. By 2016, 19.6% of the canga area was lost in the CMP due to conversion to other land-use types (mining areas, pasturelands). In the Carajás National Forest (CNF), located within the CMP, the original canga vegetation covered 105.2 km2 (2.55% of the CNF total area), and in 2016, canga vegetation occupied an area of 77.2 km2 (1.87%). Therefore, after more than three decades of mineral exploitation, less than 20% of the total canga area was lost. Currently, 21% of the canga area in the CMP is protected by the Campos Ferruginosos National Park. By documenting the initial extent of canga vegetation in the eastern Amazon and the extent to which it has been lost due to mining operations, the results of this work are the first step towards conserving this ecosystem.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Florestas , Pradaria , Ferro , Brasil , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ferro/química , Ferro/metabolismo , Mineração
6.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 14799, 2018 10 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30287878

RESUMO

Freshwater fungi are key decomposers of organic material and play important roles in nutrient cycling, bio-remediation and ecosystem functioning. Although aquatic fungal communities respond to pollution, few studies have quantitatively assessed the effect of freshwater contamination on fungal diversity and composition; and knowledge is scarcer for tropical systems. Here we help fill this knowledge gap by studying a heavily-contaminated South American river spanning a biodiversity hotspot. We collected 30 water samples scattered across a quality gradient over two seasons and analyzed them using Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms (T-RFLP) coupled with 454 Pyrosequencing. Using T-RFLP we identified 451 and 442 Operational Taxonomy Units (OTUs) in the dry and rainy seasons respectively, whereas Pyrosequencing revealed 48,553 OTUs from which 11% were shared between seasons. Although 68% of all identified OTUs and 51% of all identified phyla remained unidentified, dominant fungal phyla included the Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, Glomeromycota, Zygomycota and Neocallimastigomycota, while Calcarisporiella, Didymosphaeria, Mycosphaerella (Ascomycota) and Rhodotorula (Basidiomycota) were the most abundant genera. Fungal diversity was affected by pH and dissolved iron, while community composition was influenced by dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrate, biological oxygen demand, total aluminum, total organic carbon, total iron and seasonality. The presence of potentially pathogenic species was associated with high pH. Furthermore, geographic distance was positively associated with community dissimilarity, suggesting that local conditions allowed divergence among fungal communities. Overall, our findings raise potential concerns for human health and the functioning of tropical river ecosystems and they call for improved water sanitation systems.


Assuntos
Fungos/classificação , Fungos/isolamento & purificação , Micobioma , Rios/microbiologia , Poluentes Químicos da Água/análise , Qualidade da Água , Análise da Demanda Biológica de Oxigênio , Sequenciamento de Nucleotídeos em Larga Escala , Concentração de Íons de Hidrogênio , Polimorfismo de Fragmento de Restrição , Estações do Ano , América do Sul , Clima Tropical
7.
PLoS One ; 13(8): e0201417, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30089144

RESUMO

Isoetes are ancient quillworts members of the only genus of the order Isoetales. The genus is slow evolving but is resilient, and widespread worldwide. Two recently described species occur in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon, Isoetes serracarajensis and Isoetes cangae. They are found in the ironstone grasslands known as Canga. While I. serracarajensis is present mostly in seasonal water bodies, I. cangae is known to occur in a single permanent lake at the South mountain range. In this work, we undertake an extensive morphological, physiological and genetic characterization of both species to establish species boundaries and better understand the morphological and genetic features of these two species. Our results indicate that the morphological differentiation of the species is subtle and requires a quantitative assessment of morphological elements of the megaspore for diagnosis. We did not detect differences in microspore output, but morphological peculiarities may establish a reproductive barrier. Additionally, genetic analysis using DNA barcodes and whole chloroplast genomes indicate that although the plants are genetically very similar both approaches provide diagnostic characters. There was no indication of population structuring I. serracarajensis. These results set the basis for a deeper understanding of the evolution of the Isoetes genus.


Assuntos
Código de Barras de DNA Taxonômico , Genoma de Cloroplastos , Lycopodiaceae , Lycopodiaceae/classificação , Lycopodiaceae/genética , Lycopodiaceae/crescimento & desenvolvimento , América do Sul
8.
Front Plant Sci ; 9: 1052, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30087684

RESUMO

Plants living above and around caves represent an important, albeit poorly studied, resource within cave ecosystems. The presence of plant material (root-like structures or rhizothemes, saplings, seeds, and seedlings) correlates positively with the biodiversity of the cave dwelling animals as shown for iron-ore caves in Carajás, Pará, Brazil. Plant material collected in caves has proven to be difficult to identify by traditional botanical methods, thus this research aims to provide a qualitative insight into the taxonomy and morphology of rhizothemes and other plant fragments found in the caves. The identification process used a combination of different molecular markers (ITS2, rbcL, and trnH-psbA) followed by a comparison of the sequences obtained against publicly available databases. The rhizothemes were submitted to micromorphological analysis to ascertain their putative root or stem origin and to compare their anatomy with known patterns found in the plant families or genera recovered through molecular matches. All studied samples were Angiosperms, mostly belonging to subclass Rosideae, within four orders: Malpighiales (Euphorbiaceae, Hypericaceae), Sapindales (Anacardiaceae and Sapindaceae), Myrtales (Myrtaceae), Fabales (Fabaceae), and only two belonging to subclass Asteridae, order Gentianales (Apocynaceae). Some of the samples were matched to generic level, with ITS2 being the best marker to identify the fragments because it shows high degree of sequence variation even at specific level and result reliability. All rhizothemes turned out to be roots, and correspondence was found between the existing literature and the individual anatomical patterns for the families and genera retrieved. DNA barcode has proved to be a useful tool to identify plant fragments found in this challenging environment. However, the existence of well curated, authoritatively named collections with ample biological information has proven to be essential to achieve a reliable identification.

9.
Front Plant Sci ; 9: 532, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29868042

RESUMO

Although genetic diversity ultimately determines the ability of organisms to adapt to environmental changes, conservation assessments like the widely used International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Criteria do not explicitly consider genetic information. Including a genetic dimension into the IUCN Red List Criteria would greatly enhance conservation efforts, because the demographic parameters traditionally considered are poor predictors of the evolutionary resilience of natural populations to global change. Here we perform the first genomic assessment of genetic diversity, gene flow, and patterns of local adaptation in tropical plant species belonging to different IUCN Red List Categories. Employing RAD-sequencing we identified tens of thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms in an endangered narrow-endemic and a least concern widespread morning glory (Convolvulaceae) from Amazonian savannas, a highly threatened and under-protected tropical ecosystem. Our results reveal greater genetic diversity and less spatial genetic structure in the endangered species. Whereas terrain roughness affected gene flow in both species, forested and mining areas were found to hinder gene flow in the endangered plant. Finally we implemented environmental association tests and genome scans for selection, and identified a higher proportion of candidate adaptive loci in the widespread species. These mainly contained genes related to pathogen resistance and physiological adaptations to life in nutrient-limited environments. Our study emphasizes that IUCN Red List Criteria do not always prioritize species with low genetic diversity or whose genetic variation is being affected by habitat loss and fragmentation, and calls for the inclusion of genetic information into conservation assessments. More generally, our study exemplifies how landscape genomic tools can be employed to assess the status, threats and adaptive responses of imperiled biodiversity.

10.
PeerJ ; 6: e4531, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29576987

RESUMO

The degradation of subterranean habitats is believed to represent a serious threat for the conservation of obligate subterranean dwellers (troglobites), many of which are short-range endemics. However, while the factors influencing cave biodiversity remain largely unknown, the influence of the surrounding landscape and patterns of subterranean connectivity of terrestrial troglobitic communities have never been systematically assessed. Using spatial statistics to analyze the most comprehensive speleological database yet available for tropical caves, we first assess the influence of iron cave characteristics and the surrounding landscape on troglobitic communities from the Eastern Amazon. We then determine the spatial pattern of troglobitic community composition, species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and the occurrence of frequent troglobitic species, and finally quantify how different landscape features influence the connectivity between caves. Our results reveal the key importance of habitat amount, guano, water, lithology, geomorphology, and elevation in shaping iron cave troglobitic communities. While mining within 250 m from the caves influenced species composition, increasing agricultural land cover within 50 m from the caves reduced species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Troglobitic species composition, species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and the occurrence of frequent troglobites showed spatial autocorrelation for up to 40 km. Finally, our results suggest that the conservation of cave clusters should be prioritized, as geographic distance was the main factor determining connectivity between troglobitic communities. Overall, our work sheds important light onto one of the most overlooked terrestrial ecosystems, and highlights the need to shift conservation efforts from individual caves to subterranean habitats as a whole.

11.
Sci Adv ; 3(3): e1600513, 2017 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28435856

RESUMO

The highly social (eusocial) corbiculate bees, comprising the honey bees, bumble bees, and stingless bees, are ubiquitous insect pollinators that fulfill critical roles in ecosystem services and human agriculture. Here, we conduct wide sampling across the phylogeny of these corbiculate bees and reveal a dynamic evolutionary history behind their microbiota, marked by multiple gains and losses of gut associates, the presence of generalist as well as host-specific strains, and patterns of diversification driven, in part, by host ecology (for example, colony size). Across four continents, we found that different host species have distinct gut communities, largely independent of geography or sympatry. Nonetheless, their microbiota has a shared heritage: The emergence of the eusocial corbiculate bees from solitary ancestors appears to coincide with the acquisition of five core gut bacterial lineages, supporting the hypothesis that host sociality facilitates the development and maintenance of specialized microbiomes.


Assuntos
Abelhas/microbiologia , Microbioma Gastrointestinal/fisiologia , Animais , Especificidade da Espécie
12.
PLoS One ; 11(12): e0168348, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27997576

RESUMO

Caves pose significant challenges for mining projects, since they harbor many endemic and threatened species, and must therefore be protected. Recent discussions between academia, environmental protection agencies, and industry partners, have highlighted problems with the current Brazilian legislation for the protection of caves. While the licensing process is long, complex and cumbersome, the criteria used to assign caves into conservation relevance categories are often subjective, with relevance being mainly determined by the presence of obligate cave dwellers (troglobites) and their presumed rarity. However, the rarity of these troglobitic species is questionable, as most remain unidentified to the species level and their habitats and distribution ranges are poorly known. Using data from 844 iron caves retrieved from different speleology reports for the Carajás region (South-Eastern Amazon, Brazil), one of the world's largest deposits of high-grade iron ore, we assess the influence of different cave characteristics on four biodiversity proxies (species richness, presence of troglobites, presence of rare troglobites, and presence of resident bat populations). We then examine how the current relevance classification scheme ranks caves with different biodiversity indicators. Large caves were found to be important reservoirs of biodiversity, so they should be prioritized in conservation programs. Our results also reveal spatial autocorrelation in all the biodiversity proxies assessed, indicating that iron caves should be treated as components of a cave network immersed in the karst landscape. Finally, we show that by prioritizing the conservation of rare troglobites, the current relevance classification scheme is undermining overall cave biodiversity and leaving ecologically important caves unprotected. We argue that conservation efforts should target subterranean habitats as a whole and propose an alternative relevance ranking scheme, which could help simplify the assessment process and channel more resources to the effective protection of overall cave biodiversity.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Cavernas , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Mineração , Modelos Biológicos , Brasil
13.
BMC Evol Biol ; 16(1): 195, 2016 Sep 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27677838

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Reproductive success is determined by the interplay between mating and fertilization success. In social insect species with male-biased sex ratios and queen monogamy, males face particularly strong pre-copulatory sexual selection since they must compete with thousands of other males for a unique mating opportunity. Ejaculate quality is also expected to be under selection, because queens are long-lived and store sperm for life, so males with higher quality ejaculates are expected to provide queens with larger and longer-lived colonies, which in turn may produce more daughter queens (the only direct fitness gains of haplodiploid males). Considering the action of pre and post-copulatory sexual selection on male traits, three scenarios might thus be expected: positive, negative or no association between male mating ability and fertilization success. Here we explored these scenarios in the stingless bee Scaptotrigona aff. depilis, where males gather in large aggregations and queens mate with a single male. Male mating ability was assessed through the capacity of a male to reach an aggregation and persist on it; while sperm viability, sperm number, and sperm morphology were used as proxies for sperm quality. RESULTS: Sperm viability was associated with persistence time in the aggregation, and males that persisted longer presented shorter spermatozoa and higher variation in sperm length than recently arrived males. However, sperm traits of males that reached aggregations did not differ from those of males collected inside their colonies. In addition, males that persisted longer in aggregations were smaller than other males. Male size and sperm viability were not correlated, suggesting that the observed patterns were not due to trade-offs in male resource allocation. CONCLUSIONS: Persistence in male aggregations thus seems to select more competitive males with higher quality sperm. Our work is the first one to reveal an association between male competitive ability and fertilization success in a monogamous social insect. This finding sheds important light on the evolution of male traits in social insects and the general mechanisms of sexual selection.

14.
Mol Ecol ; 25(21): 5345-5358, 2016 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27662098

RESUMO

Across the globe, wild bees are threatened by ongoing natural habitat loss, risking the maintenance of plant biodiversity and agricultural production. Despite the ecological and economic importance of wild bees and the fact that several species are now managed for pollination services worldwide, little is known about how land use and beekeeping practices jointly influence gene flow. Using stingless bees as a model system, containing wild and managed species that are presumed to be particularly susceptible to habitat degradation, here we examine the main drivers of tropical bee gene flow. We employ a novel landscape genetic approach to analyse data from 135 populations of 17 stingless bee species distributed across diverse tropical biomes within the Americas. Our work has important methodological implications, as we illustrate how a maximum-likelihood approach can be applied in a meta-analysis framework to account for multiple factors, and weight estimates by sample size. In contrast to previously held beliefs, gene flow was not related to body size or deforestation, and isolation by geographic distance (IBD) was significantly affected by management, with managed species exhibiting a weaker IBD than wild ones. Our study thus reveals the critical importance of beekeeping practices in shaping the patterns of genetic differentiation across bee species. Additionally, our results show that many stingless bee species maintain high gene flow across heterogeneous landscapes. We suggest that future efforts to preserve wild tropical bees should focus on regulating beekeeping practices to maintain natural gene flow and enhancing pollinator-friendly habitats, prioritizing species showing a limited dispersal ability.


Assuntos
Criação de Abelhas , Abelhas/genética , Fluxo Gênico , Genética Populacional , Animais , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Geografia , Funções Verossimilhança , Clima Tropical
15.
Genetica ; 144(4): 397-405, 2016 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27305916

RESUMO

Low genetic variability has normally been considered a consequence of animal husbandry and a major contributing factor to declining bee populations. Here, we performed a molecular analysis of captive and wild populations of the stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula, one of the most commonly kept species across South America. Microsatellite analyses showed similar genetic variability between wild and captive populations However, captive populations showed lower mitochondrial genetic variability. Male-mediated gene flow, transport and division of nests are suggested as the most probable explanations for the observed patterns of genetic structure. We conclude that increasing the number of colonies kept through nest divisions does not negatively affect nuclear genetic variability, which seems to be maintained by small-scale male dispersal and human-mediated nest transport. However, the transport of nests from distant localities should be practiced with caution given the high genetic differentiation observed between samples from western and eastern areas. The high genetic structure verified is the result of a long-term evolutionary process, and bees from distant localities may represent unique evolutionary lineages.


Assuntos
Abelhas/genética , Variação Genética , Genética Populacional , Animais , Abelhas/classificação , Análise por Conglomerados , DNA Mitocondrial , Genótipo , Haplótipos , Repetições de Microssatélites
16.
PLoS One ; 11(6): e0156694, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27280872

RESUMO

The regeneration of disturbed forest is an essential part of tropical forest ecology, both with respect to natural disturbance regimes and large-scale human-mediated logging, grazing, and agriculture. Pioneer tree species are critical for facilitating the transition from deforested land to secondary forest because they stabilize terrain and enhance connectivity between forest fragments by increasing matrix permeability and initiating disperser community assembly. Despite the ecological importance of early successional species, little is known about their ability to maintain gene flow across deforested landscapes. Utilizing highly polymorphic microsatellite markers, we examined patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation for the pioneer understory tree Miconia affinis across the Isthmus of Panama. Furthermore, we investigated the impact of geographic distance, forest cover, and elevation on genetic differentiation among populations using circuit theory and regression modeling within a landscape genetics framework. We report marked differences in historical and contemporary migration rates and moderately high levels of genetic differentiation in M. affinis populations across the Isthmus of Panama. Genetic differentiation increased significantly with elevation and geographic distance among populations; however, we did not find that forest cover enhanced or reduced genetic differentiation in the study region. Overall, our results reveal strong dispersal for M. affinis across human-altered landscapes, highlighting the potential use of this species for reforestation in tropical regions. Additionally, this study demonstrates the importance of considering topography when designing programs aimed at conserving genetic diversity within degraded tropical landscapes.


Assuntos
Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Deriva Genética , Variação Genética/genética , Árvores/genética , Fluxo Gênico , Repetições de Microssatélites/genética , Panamá , Clima Tropical
17.
J Econ Entomol ; 108(3): 858-67, 2015 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26470204

RESUMO

Even though stingless beekeeping has a great potential as a sustainable development tool, the activity remains essentially informal, technical knowledge is scarce, and management practices lack the sophistication and standardization found in apiculture. Here, we contributed to the further development of stingless beekeeping by investigating the long-term impact of management and climate on honey production and colony survival in the stingless bee Melipona subnitida Ducke (1910). We analyzed a 10-yr record of 155 M. subnitida colonies kept by a commercial honey producer of northeastern Brazil. This constitutes the longest and most accurate record available for a stingless bee. We modeled honey production in relation to time (years), age, management practices (colony division and food supplementation), and climatic factors (temperature and precipitation), and used a model selection approach to identify which factors best explained honey production. We also modeled colony mortality in relation to climatic factors. Although the amount of honey produced by each colony decreased over time, we found that the probability of producing honey increased over the years. Colony divisions decreased honey production, but did not affect honey presence, while supplementary feeding positively affected honey production. In warmer years, the probability of producing honey decreased and the amount of honey produced was lower. In years with lower precipitation, fewer colonies produced honey. In contrast, colony mortality was not affected by climatic factors, and some colonies lived up to nine years, enduring extreme climatic conditions. Our findings provide useful guidelines to improve management and honey production in stingless bees.


Assuntos
Criação de Abelhas/métodos , Abelhas/fisiologia , Clima , Mel/análise , Animais , Brasil , Longevidade , Estações do Ano
18.
PLoS One ; 10(6): e0129225, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26091014

RESUMO

Ecosystem services provided by mobile agents are increasingly threatened by the loss and modification of natural habitats and by climate change, risking the maintenance of biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and human welfare. Research oriented towards a better understanding of the joint effects of land use and climate change over the provision of specific ecosystem services is therefore essential to safeguard such services. Here we propose a methodological framework, which integrates species distribution forecasts and graph theory to identify key conservation areas, which if protected or restored could improve habitat connectivity and safeguard ecosystem services. We applied the proposed framework to the provision of pollination services by a tropical stingless bee (Melipona quadrifasciata), a key pollinator of native flora from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and important agricultural crops. Based on the current distribution of this bee and that of the plant species used to feed and nest, we projected the joint distribution of bees and plants in the future, considering a moderate climate change scenario (following IPPC). We then used this information, the bee's flight range, and the current mapping of Atlantic Forest remnants to infer habitat suitability and quantify local and regional habitat connectivity for 2030, 2050 and 2080. Our results revealed north to south and coastal to inland shifts in the pollinator distribution during the next 70 years. Current and future connectivity maps unraveled the most important corridors, which if protected or restored, could facilitate the dispersal and establishment of bees during distribution shifts. Our results also suggest that coffee plantations from eastern São Paulo and southern Minas Gerais States could suffer a pollinator deficit in the future, whereas pollination services seem to be secured in southern Brazil. Landowners and governmental agencies could use this information to implement new land use schemes. Overall, our proposed methodological framework could help design novel conservational and agricultural practices that can be crucial to conserve ecosystem services by buffering the joint effect of habitat configuration and climate change.


Assuntos
Mudança Climática , Ecossistema , Animais , Abelhas , Brasil , Florestas , Geografia , Humanos , Polinização
19.
PLoS One ; 10(3): e0121157, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25826402

RESUMO

Stingless bees are an important asset to assure plant biodiversity in many natural ecosystems, and fulfill the growing agricultural demand for pollination. However, across developing countries stingless beekeeping remains an essentially informal activity, technical knowledge is scarce, and management practices lack standardization. Here we profited from the large diversity of stingless beekeepers found in Brazil to assess the impact of particular management practices on productivity and economic revenues from the commercialization of stingless bee products. Our study represents the first large-scale effort aiming at optimizing stingless beekeeping for honey/colony production based on quantitative data. Survey data from 251 beekeepers scattered across 20 Brazilian States revealed the influence of specific management practices and other confounding factors over productivity and income indicators. Specifically, our results highlight the importance of teaching beekeepers how to inspect and feed their colonies, how to multiply them and keep track of genetic lineages, how to harvest and preserve the honey, how to use vinegar traps to control infestation by parasitic flies, and how to add value by labeling honey containers. Furthermore, beekeeping experience and the network of known beekeepers were found to be key factors influencing productivity and income. Our work provides clear guidelines to optimize stingless beekeeping and help transform the activity into a powerful tool for sustainable development.


Assuntos
Agricultura , Abelhas , Animais , Brasil , Inquéritos e Questionários
20.
Naturwissenschaften ; 101(3): 261-4, 2014 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24463620

RESUMO

High genetic diversity is important for the functioning of large insect societies. Across the social Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps), species with the largest colonies tend to have a high colony-level genetic diversity resulting from multiple queens (polygyny) or queens that mate with multiple males (polyandry). Here we studied the genetic structure of Trigona spinipes, a stingless bee species with colonies an order of magnitude larger than those of polyandrous honeybees. Genotypes of adult workers and pupae from 43 nests distributed across three Brazilian biomes showed that T. spinipes colonies are usually headed by one singly mated queen. Apart from revealing a notable exception from the general incidence of high genetic diversity in large insect societies, our results reinforce previous findings suggesting the absence of polyandry in stingless bees and provide evidence against the sperm limitation hypothesis for the evolution of polyandry. Stingless bee species with large colonies, such as T. spinipes, thus seem promising study models to unravel alternative mechanisms to increase genetic diversity within colonies or understand the adaptive value of low genetic diversity in large insect societies.


Assuntos
Abelhas/fisiologia , Variação Genética , Comportamento Sexual Animal/fisiologia , Animais , Abelhas/genética , Brasil , Feminino , Genótipo , Masculino
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