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2.
Ecol Evol ; 13(4): e9995, 2023 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37066061

RESUMO

Current climate and land cover change threaten global mountaintops with increased spread of invasive species. Long-established plantations of invasive trees on these mountaintops can alter their surroundings, further increasing invader-facilitated invasion. Identifying the ecological conditions promoting such associations can help develop better management interventions. The Western Ghats's Shola Sky Islands (>1400 m MSL) host vast stretches of invasive tree plantations that sustain the colonization of other invasive woody, herbaceous, and fern species in their understories. Here, we analyzed vegetation and landscape variables from 232 systematically placed plots in randomly selected grids using non-metric multidimensional scaling and Phi coefficient approaches to examine patterns of association (positive interactions) between understory invasive species with specific invasive overstory species. We also conducted GLMM with zero inflation to determine the influence of environmental variables where such associations occur. We find that understory invasion of multiple species under the canopy of other invasives is widespread across the Shola Sky Islands. Stands of Eucalyptus host the colonization of 70% of non-native invasive species surveyed across the Shola Sky Islands. In particular, the Lantana camara invasion is strongly associated with Eucalyptus stands. We also found that climatic variables affect the colonization of understory woody invasive species, while invasion by exotic herbaceous species is associated with the density of road networks. Canopy cover impacts all invasives negatively, while fire incidence was negatively associated with invasion by Lantana spp. and the Pteridium spp. While the restoration of natural habitats primarily targets the highly invasive Acacia, less invasive Eucalyptus and Pinus are often not included. Our study suggests that retaining such invasive species in natural habitats, particularly protected areas, can hinder ongoing grassland restoration efforts by facilitating further invasions by multiple woody and herbaceous species.

3.
Genome Biol Evol ; 14(1)2022 01 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34347070

RESUMO

Comparative population genomics is an ascendant field using genomic comparisons between species to draw inferences about forces regulating genetic variation. Comparative phylogeography, by contrast, focuses on the shared lineage histories of species codistributed geographically and is decidedly organismal in perspective. Comparative phylogeography is approximately 35 years old, and, by some metrics, is showing signs of reduced growth. Here, we contrast the goals and methods of comparative population genomics and comparative phylogeography and argue that comparative phylogeography offers an important perspective on evolutionary history that succeeds in integrating genomics with landscape evolution in ways that complement the suprageographic perspective of comparative population genomics. Focusing primarily on terrestrial vertebrates, we review the history of comparative phylogeography, its milestones and ongoing conceptual innovations, its increasingly global focus, and its status as a bridge between landscape genomics and the process of speciation. We also argue that, as a science with a strong "sense of place," comparative phylogeography offers abundant "place-based" educational opportunities with its focus on geography and natural history, as well as opportunities for collaboration with local communities and indigenous peoples. Although comparative phylogeography does not yet require whole-genome sequencing for many of its goals, we conclude that it nonetheless plays an important role in grounding our interpretation of genetic variation in the fundamentals of geography and Earth history.


Assuntos
Genômica , Metagenômica , Animais , Genética Populacional , Genoma , Filogeografia
4.
Ecol Lett ; 24(9): 1859-1868, 2021 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34120404

RESUMO

Niche theory predicts specialists which will be more sensitive to environmental perturbation compared to generalists, a hypothesis receiving broad support in free-living species. Based on their niche breadth, parasites can also be classified as specialists and generalists, with specialists infecting only a few and generalists a diverse array of host species. Here, using avian haemosporidian parasites infecting wild bird populations inhabiting the Western Ghats, India as a model system, we elucidate how climate, habitat and human disturbance affects parasite prevalence both directly and indirectly via their effects on host diversity. Our data demonstrate that anthropogenic disturbance acts to reduce the prevalence of specialist parasite lineages, while increasing that of generalist lineages. Thus, as in free-living species, disturbance favours parasite communities dominated by generalist versus specialist species. Because generalist parasites are more likely to cause emerging infectious diseases, such biotic homogenisation of parasite communities could increase disease emergence risk in the Anthropocene.


Assuntos
Doenças das Aves , Haemosporida , Parasitos , Animais , Doenças das Aves/epidemiologia , Aves , Interações Hospedeiro-Parasita , Humanos , Especialização
6.
J Environ Manage ; 280: 111759, 2021 Feb 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33298397

RESUMO

Tropical montane grasslands (TMG) support biodiverse and endemic taxa and provide vital ecosystem services to downstream communities. Nevertheless, invasive alien tree species across the world have threatened tropical grasslands and grassland endemic species. In India, TMG in the Shola Sky Islands of the Western Ghats have been reduced due to exotic tree invasions (Acacias, Pines, and Eucalyptus species). The loss of grassland habitat has, in turn, reduced the range sizes of species endemic to grasslands (plants, birds, amphibians, and mammals), driving some populations to local extinction. Grassland conversion to exotic trees has also impacted ecosystem services in the Western Ghats. Conserving existing grassland and restoring invaded habitat is critical to reverse these losses. This research focused on identifying grassland restoration sites using satellite images with a high spatial resolution (RapidEye). We used an object-oriented Random Forest classification to map the area for grassland restoration. We identified an area of 254 sq. km. as suitable for grassland restoration and an area of 362 sq. km. for grassland conservation and preventing invasion by exotic tree species. For restoration, we recommend careful removal of young and isolated exotic trees at the invasion front and restoring grasslands, instead of removing dense stands of mature exotic trees. Although our limited data indicate that areas with low fire frequency tend to be invaded, and areas invaded by exotic trees tend to burn at higher intensities, we recommend a broader investigation of these patterns to critically examine a potential role for the use of fire in invasive species management. We assume that removing exotic tree species in the identified restoration sites and restoring the grassland will help recover lost habitat and ensure the viability of indigenous and endemic species and increase streamflow.


Assuntos
Espécies Introduzidas , Árvores , Animais , Biodiversidade , Ecossistema , Pradaria , Índia , Ilhas , Tecnologia de Sensoriamento Remoto
7.
Parasit Vectors ; 13(1): 536, 2020 Oct 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33115505

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Identifying patterns and drivers of infection risk among host communities is crucial to elucidate disease dynamics and predict infectious disease risk in wildlife populations. Blood parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus are a diverse group of vector-borne protozoan parasites that affect bird populations globally. Despite their widespread distribution and exceptional diversity, factors underlying haemosporidian infection risk in wild bird communities remain poorly understood. While some studies have examined variation in avian haemosporidian risk, researchers have primarily focused on host ecological traits without considering host phylogenetic relationships. In this study, we employ a phylogenetically informed approach to examine the association between host ecological traits and haemosporidian infection risk in endemic bird communities in the Western Ghats Sky Islands. METHODS: We used parasite sequence data based on partial mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, that was amplified from genomic DNA extracted from 1177 birds (28 species) across the Western Ghats to assess infection of birds with haemosporidian parasites. We employed a Bayesian phylogenetic mixed effect modelling approach to test whether haemosporidian infection risk was affected by seven species-specific and four individual-level ecological predictors. We also examined the effect of host phylogenetic relationships on the observed patterns of variation in haemosporidian infection risk by estimating phylogenetic signal. RESULTS: Our study shows that host ecological traits and host phylogeny differentially influence infection risk by Plasmodium (generalist parasite) and Haemoproteus (specialist parasite). For Plasmodium, we found that sociality, sexual dimorphism and foraging strata were important ecological predictors. For Haemoproteus, patterns of infection risk among host species were associated with sociality, species elevation and individual body condition. Interestingly, variance in infection risk explained by host phylogeny was higher for Haemoproteus parasites compared to Plasmodium. CONCLUSIONS: Our study highlights that while host ecological traits promoting parasite exposure and host susceptibility are important determinants of infection risk, host phylogeny also contributes substantially to predicting patterns of haemosporidian infection risk in multi-host communities. Importantly, infection risk is driven by joint contributions of host ecology and host phylogeny and studying these effects together could increase our ability to better understand the drivers of infection risk and predict future disease threats.


Assuntos
Aves/parasitologia , Haemosporida , Altitude , Animais , Doenças das Aves/parasitologia , Aves/genética , Citocromos b/genética , DNA de Protozoário/genética , Ecossistema , Variação Genética , Haemosporida/genética , Haemosporida/isolamento & purificação , Especificidade de Hospedeiro , Interações Hospedeiro-Parasita , Índia , Filogenia , Plasmodium/genética , Plasmodium/isolamento & purificação , Fatores de Risco
8.
Ecol Evol ; 10(14): 7755-7767, 2020 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32760562

RESUMO

CONTEXT: Tropical montane habitats support high biodiversity and are hotspots of endemism, with grasslands being integral components of many such landscapes. The montane grasslands of the Western Ghats have seen extensive land-use change over anthropogenic timescales. The factors influencing the ability of grassland-dependent species to persist in habitats experiencing loss and fragmentation, particularly in montane grasslands, are poorly known. OBJECTIVES: We studied the relationship between the Nilgiri pipit Anthus nilghiriensis, a threatened endemic bird that typifies these montane grasslands, and its habitat, across most of its global distribution. We examined what habitat features make remnant grasslands viable, which is necessary for their effective management. METHODS: We conducted 663 surveys in 170 sites and used both single-season occupancy modeling and N-mixture modeling to account for processes influencing detection, presence, and abundance. RESULTS: Elevation had a positive influence on species presence, patch size had a moderate positive influence, and patch isolation had a moderate negative influence. Species abundance was positively influenced by elevation and characteristics related to habitat structure, and negatively influenced by the presence of invasive woody vegetation. CONCLUSIONS: The strong effect of elevation on the highly range-restricted Nilgiri pipit is likely to make it vulnerable to climate change. This highly range-restricted species is locally extinct at several locations, and persists at low densities in remnants of its habitat left by recent fragmentation. Our findings indicate a need to control and reverse the spread of exotic woody invasives to preserve the grasslands themselves and the specialist species dependent upon them.

9.
J Genet ; 992020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33622992

RESUMO

Parasites, and the diseases they cause, are important from an ecological and evolutionary perspective because they can negatively affect host fitness and can regulate host populations. Consequently, conservation biology has long recognized the vital role that parasites can play in the process of species endangerment and recovery. However, we are only beginning to understand how deeply parasites are embedded in ecological systems, and there is a growing recognition of the important ways in which parasites affect ecosystem structure and function. Thus, there is an urgent need to revisit how parasites are viewed from a conservation perspective and broaden the role that disease ecology plays in conservation-related research and outcomes. This review broadly focusses on the role that disease ecology can play in biological conservation. Our review specifically emphasizes on how the integration of tools and analytical approaches associated with both disease and molecular ecology can be leveraged to aid conservation biology. Our review first concentrates on disease mediated extinctions and wildlife epidemics. We then focus on elucidating how host-parasite interactions has improved our understanding of the eco-evolutionary dynamics affecting hosts at the individual, population, community and ecosystem scales. We believe that the role of parasites as drivers and indicators of ecosystem health is especially an exciting area of research that has the potential to fundamentally alter our view of parasites and their role in biological conservation. The review concludes with a broad overview of the current and potential applications of modern genomic tools in disease ecology to aid biological conservation.


Assuntos
Doenças dos Animais/parasitologia , Evolução Biológica , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Interações Hospedeiro-Parasita , Doenças Parasitárias em Animais/parasitologia , Animais , Dinâmica Populacional
10.
Proc Biol Sci ; 286(1904): 20190439, 2019 06 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31161909

RESUMO

Understanding why some parasites emerge in novel host communities while others do not has broad implications for human and wildlife health. In the case of haemosporidian blood parasites, epidemic wild bird mortalities on oceanic islands have been linked to Plasmodium spp., but not genera like Haemoproteus. Indeed, Haemoproteus is absent from many oceanic islands. By contrast, birds on continental islands share long coevolutionary histories with both Plasmodium and Haemoproteus, and are thus ideal model systems to elucidate eco-evolutionary endpoints associated with these parasites in oceanic islands. Here, we examine eco-evolutionary dynamics of avian haemosporidian in the Shola sky-island archipelago of the Western Ghats, India. Our analyses reveal that compared to Plasmodium, Haemoproteus lineages were highly host-specific and diversified via co-speciation with their hosts. We show that community structure of host-generalist Plasmodium was primarily driven by geographical factors (e.g. biogeographic barriers), while that of host-specialist Haemoproteus was driven by host species barriers (e.g. phylogenetic distance). Consequently, a few host species can harbour a high diversity of Plasmodium lineages which, in turn, are capable of infecting multiple host species. These two mechanisms can act in concert to increase the risk of introduction, establishment, and emergence of novel Plasmodium lineages in island systems.


Assuntos
Aves/parasitologia , Haemosporida/fisiologia , Interações Hospedeiro-Parasita , Plasmodium/fisiologia , Animais , Teorema de Bayes , Evolução Biológica , Haemosporida/genética , Índia , Filogenia , Plasmodium/genética , Clima Tropical
11.
Ecol Evol ; 9(8): 4864-4874, 2019 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31031949

RESUMO

AIM: The nested pattern in the geographical distribution of three Indian owlets, resulting in a gradient of endemicity, is hypothesized to be an impact of historical climate change. In current time, the Forest Owlet Athene blewitti is endemic to central India, and its range is encompassed within the ranges of the Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum (distributed through South Asia) and Spotted Owlet Athene brama (distributed through Iran, South and Southeast Asia). Another phylogenetically close species, Little Owl Athene noctua, which is largely Palearctic in distribution, is hypothesized to have undergone severe range reduction during the Last Glacial Maximum, showing a postglacial expansion. The present study tests hypotheses on the possible role of Quaternary climatic fluctuations in shaping geographical ranges of owlets. METHODS: We used primary field observations, open access data, and climatic niche modeling to construct climatic niches of four owlets for four periods, the Last Interglacial (~120-140 Ka), Last Glacial Maximum (~22 Ka), Mid-Holocene (~6 Ka), and Current (1960-1990). We performed climatic niche extent, breadth, and overlap analyses and tested if climatically suitable areas for owlets are nested in a relatively stable climate. RESULTS: Climatically suitable areas for all owlets examined underwent cycles of expansion and reduction or a gradual expansion or reduction since the Last Interglacial. The Indian owlets show significant climatic niche overlap in the current period. Climatically suitable areas for Little Owl shifted southwards during the Last Glacial Maximum and expanded northwards in the postglaciation period. For each owlet, the modeled climatic niches were nested in climatically stable areas. MAIN CONCLUSIONS: The study highlights the impact of Quaternary climate change in shaping the present distribution of owlets. This is relevant to the current scenario of climate change and global warming and can help inform conservation strategies, especially for the extremely range-restricted Forest Owlet.

12.
PLoS One ; 13(2): e0192359, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29401484

RESUMO

Range-restricted species generally have specific niche requirements and may often have unique evolutionary histories. Unfortunately, many of these species severely lack basic research, resulting in poor conservation strategies. The phylogenetic relationship of the Critically Endangered Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti has been the subject of a century-old debate. The current classifications based on non-phylogenetic comparisons of morphology place the small owls of Asia into three genera, namely, Athene, Glaucidium, and Heteroglaux. Based on morphological and anatomical data, H. blewitti has been alternatively hypothesized to belong within Athene, Glaucidium, or its own monotypic genus Heteroglaux. To test these competing hypotheses, we sequenced six loci (~4300 bp data) and performed phylogenetic analyses of owlets. Mitochondrial and nuclear trees were not congruent in their placement of H. blewitti. However, both mitochondrial and nuclear combined datasets showed strong statistical support with high maximum likelihood bootstrap (>/ = 90) and Bayesian posterior probability values (>/ = 0.98) for H. blewitti being nested in the currently recognized Athene group, but not sister to Indian A. brama. The divergence of H. blewitti from its sister taxa was between 4.3 and 5.7 Ma coinciding with a period of drastic climatic changes in the Indian subcontinent. This study presented the first genetic analysis of H. blewitti, a Critically Endangered species, and addressed the long debate on the relationships of the Athene-Heteroglaux-Glaucidium complex. We recommend further studies with more data and complete taxon sampling to understand the biogeography of Indian Athene species.


Assuntos
Espécies em Perigo de Extinção , Estrigiformes , Animais , Teorema de Bayes , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Fósseis , Filogenia , Estrigiformes/classificação
13.
PLoS One ; 13(1): e0190003, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29320520

RESUMO

Tropical montane habitats, grasslands, in particular, merit urgent conservation attention owing to the disproportionate levels of endemic biodiversity they harbour, the ecosystem services they provide, and the fact that they are among the most threatened habitats globally. The Shola Sky Islands in the Western Ghats host a matrix of native forest-grassland matrix that has been planted over the last century, with exotic timber plantations. The popular discourse on the landscape change is that mainly forests have been lost to the timber plantations and recent court directives are to restore Shola forest trees. In this study, we examine spatiotemporal patterns of landscape change over the last 40 years in the Palani Hills, a significant part of the montane habitat in the Western Ghats. Using satellite imagery and field surveys, we find that 66% of native grasslands and 31% of native forests have been lost over the last 40 years. Grasslands have gone from being the dominant, most contiguous land cover to one of the rarest and most fragmented. They have been replaced by timber plantations and, to a lesser extent, expanding agriculture. We find that the spatial pattern of grassland loss to plantations differs from the loss to agriculture, likely driven by the invasion of plantation species into grasslands. We identify remnant grasslands that should be prioritised for conservation and make specific recommendations for conservation and restoration of grasslands in light of current management policy in the Palani Hills, which favours large-scale removal of plantations and emphasises the restoration of native forests.


Assuntos
Agricultura , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Agricultura Florestal , Pradaria , Agricultura/tendências , Área Sob a Curva , Ecossistema , Agricultura Florestal/tendências , Atividades Humanas , Lagos , Modelos Teóricos , Curva ROC , Imagens de Satélites , Sri Lanka , Árvores
14.
PLoS One ; 12(8): e0181441, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28792950

RESUMO

Co-occurrence of closely related taxa on islands could be attributed to sympatric speciation or multiple colonization. Sympatric speciation is considered to be rare in small islands, however multiple colonizations are known to be common in both oceanic and continental islands. In this study we investigated the phylogenetic relatedness and means of origin of the two sympatrically co-occurring Zosterops white-eyes, the endemic Zosterops ceylonensis and its widespread regional congener Z. palpebrosus, in the island of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a continental island in the Indian continental shelf of the Northern Indian Ocean. Our multivariate morphometric analyses confirmed the phenotypic distinctness of the two species. Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses with ~2000bp from two mitochondrial (ND2 and ND3) and one nuclear (TGF) gene indicated that they are phylogenetically distinct, and not sister to each other. The two subspecies of the peninsula India; Z. p. egregius of Sri Lanka and India and Z. p. nilgiriensis of Western Ghats (India) clustered within the Z. palpebrosus clade having a common ancestor. In contrast, the divergence of the endemic Z. ceylonensis appears to be much deeper and is basal to the other Zosterops white-eyes. Therefore we conclude that the two Zosterops species originated in the island through independent colonizations from different ancestral lineages, and not through island speciation or multiple colonization from the same continental ancestral population. Despite high endemism, Sri Lankan biodiversity is long considered to be a subset of southern India. This study on a speciose group with high dispersal ability and rapid diversification rate provide evidence for the contribution of multiple colonizations in shaping Sri Lanka's biodiversity. It also highlights the complex biogeographic patterns of the South Asian region, reflected even in highly vagile groups such as birds.


Assuntos
Evolução Molecular , Especiação Genética , Passeriformes/classificação , Passeriformes/genética , Simpatria/genética , Animais , Teorema de Bayes , Biodiversidade , DNA Mitocondrial/genética , Geografia , Filogenia , Sri Lanka
15.
BMC Evol Biol ; 17(1): 31, 2017 01 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28114902

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: A long-standing view of Indian biodiversity is that while rich in species, there are few endemics or in-situ radiations within the subcontinent. One exception is the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, an isolated mountain range with many endemic species. Understanding the origins of the montane-restricted species is crucial to illuminate both taxonomic and environmental history. RESULTS: With evidence from genetic, morphometric, song, and plumage data, we show that two songbird lineages endemic to the Western Ghats montane forest each have diversified into multiple distinct species. Historically labeled as single species of widespread Asian genera, these two lineages are highly divergent and do not group with the taxa in which they were previously classified but rather are distinct early divergences in larger Asian clades of flycatchers and babblers. Here we designated two new genera, the Western Ghats shortwings as Sholicola and the laughingthrushes as Montecincla, and evaluated species-limits to reflect distinct units by revising six previously named taxa and describing one novel species. Divergence dating showed that both these montane groups split from their Himalayan relatives during the Miocene, which is coincident with a shift towards arid conditions that fragmented the previously contiguous humid forest across peninsular India and isolated these lineages in the Western Ghats. Furthermore, these two genera showed congruent patterns of diversification across the Western Ghats Sky Islands, coincident with other climatic changes. CONCLUSION: Our study reveals the existence of two independent endemic radiations in the high montane Western Ghats or Shola Sky Islands with coincident divergence times, highlighting the role of climate in the diversification of these ancient lineages. The endemic and highly divergent nature of these previously unrecognized species underscores the dearth of knowledge about the biogeography of the Asian tropics, even for comparatively well-known groups such as birds. The substantial increase in the diversity of this region underscores the need for more rigorous systematic analysis to inform biodiversity studies and conservation efforts.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Aves Canoras/classificação , Animais , Clima , Índia , Ilhas , Masculino , Filogenia , Aves Canoras/anatomia & histologia , Especificidade da Espécie , Vocalização Animal
16.
Ecol Evol ; 6(20): 7334-7343, 2016 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28725401

RESUMO

Various mechanisms of isolation can structure populations and result in cultural and genetic differentiation. Similar to genetic markers, for songbirds, culturally transmitted sexual signals such as breeding song can be used as a measure of differentiation as songs can also be impacted by geographic isolation resulting in population-level differences in song structure. Several studies have found differences in song structure either across ancient geographic barriers or across contemporary habitat barriers owing to deforestation. However, very few studies have examined the effect of both ancient barriers and recent deforestation in the same system. In this study, we examined the geographic variation in song structure across six populations of the White-bellied Shortwing, a threatened and endemic songbird species complex found on isolated mountaintops or "sky islands" of the Western Ghats. While some sky islands in the system are isolated by ancient valleys, others are separated by deforestation. We examined 14 frequency and temporal spectral traits and two syntax traits from 835 songs of 38 individuals across the six populations. We identified three major song clusters based on a discriminant model of spectral traits, degree of similarity of syntax features, as well as responses of birds to opportunistic playback. However, some traits like complex vocal mechanisms (CVM), relating to the use of syrinxes, clearly differentiated both ancient and recently fragmented populations. We suggest that CVMs may have a cultural basis and can be used to identify culturally isolated populations that cannot be differentiated using genetic markers or commonly used frequency-based song traits. Our results demonstrate the use of bird songs to reconstruct phylogenetic groups and impacts of habitat fragmentation even in complex scenarios of historic and contemporary isolation.

17.
Mol Ecol ; 24(14): 3572-84, 2015 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26133900

RESUMO

Anthropogenic habitat fragmentation of species that live in naturally patchy metapopulations such as mountaintops or sky islands experiences two levels of patchiness. Effects of such multilevel patchiness on species have rarely been examined. Metapopulation theory suggests that patchy habitats could have varied impacts on persistence, dependent on differential migration. It is not known whether montane endemic species, evolutionarily adapted to natural patchiness, are able to disperse between anthropogenic fragments at similar spatial scales as natural patches. We investigated historic and contemporary gene flow between natural and anthropogenic patches across the distribution range of a Western Ghats sky-island-endemic bird species complex. Data from 14 microsatellites for 218 individuals detected major genetic structuring by deep valleys, including one hitherto undescribed barrier. As expected, we found strong effects of historic genetic differentiation across natural patches, but not across anthropogenic fragments. Contrastingly, contemporary differentiation (D(PS)) was higher relative to historic differentiation (F(ST)) in anthropogenic fragments, despite the species' ability to historically traverse shallow valleys. Simulations of recent isolation resulted in high D(PS)/F(ST) values, confirming recent isolation in Western Ghats anthropogenic fragments and also suggesting that this ratio can be used to identifying recent fragmentation in the context of historic connectedness. We suggest that in this landscape, in addition to natural patchiness affecting population connectivity, anthropogenic fragmentation additionally impacts connectivity, making anthropogenic fragments akin to islands within natural islands of montane habitat, a pattern that may be recovered in other sky-island systems.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Fluxo Gênico , Variação Genética , Genética Populacional , Passeriformes/genética , Distribuição Animal , Animais , Simulação por Computador , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Geografia , Índia , Repetições de Microssatélites , Filogeografia , Análise de Sequência de DNA
18.
Proc Biol Sci ; 282(1810)2015 Jul 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26085588

RESUMO

Montane species distributions interrupted by valleys can lead to range fragmentation, differentiation and ultimately speciation. Paleoclimatic fluctuations may accentuate or reduce such diversification by temporally altering the extent of montane habitat and may affect species differentially. We examined how an entire montane bird community of the Western Ghats--a linear, coastal tropical mountain range--responds to topographic valleys that host different habitats. Using genetic data from 23 species (356 individuals) collected across nine locations, we examined if different species in the community reveal spatial concordance in population differentiation, and whether the timing of these divergences correlate with climatic events. Our results reveal a nested effect of valleys, with several species (10 of 23) demonstrating the oldest divergences associated with the widest and deepest valley in the mountain range, the Palghat Gap. Further, a subset of these 10 species revealed younger divergences across shallower, narrower valleys. We recovered discordant divergence times for all valley-affected montane birds, mostly in the Pleistocene, supporting the Pliestocene-pump hypotheses and highlighting the role of climatic fluctuations during this period in driving species evolution. A majority of species remain unaffected by valleys, perhaps owing to geneflow or extinction-recolonization dynamics. Studying almost the entire community allowed us to uncover a range of species' responses, including some generalizable and other unpredicted patterns.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Evolução Biológica , Aves/genética , Meio Ambiente , Animais , Proteínas Aviárias , Ecossistema , Dados de Sequência Molecular , Filogeografia , Análise de Sequência de DNA
19.
Am Nat ; 180(6): 777-90, 2012 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23149402

RESUMO

Competition theory predicts that local communities should consist of species that are more dissimilar than expected by chance. We find a strikingly different pattern in a multicontinent data set (55 presence-absence matrices from 24 locations) on the composition of mixed-species bird flocks, which are important subunits of local bird communities the world over. By using null models and randomization tests followed by meta-analysis, we find the association strengths of species in flocks to be strongly related to similarity in body size and foraging behavior and higher for congeneric compared with noncongeneric species pairs. Given the local spatial scales of our individual analyses, differences in the habitat preferences of species are unlikely to have caused these association patterns; the patterns observed are most likely the outcome of species interactions. Extending group-living and social-information-use theory to a heterospecific context, we discuss potential behavioral mechanisms that lead to positive interactions among similar species in flocks, as well as ways in which competition costs are reduced. Our findings highlight the need to consider positive interactions along with competition when seeking to explain community assembly.


Assuntos
Aves/anatomia & histologia , Aves/fisiologia , Tamanho Corporal , Comportamento Alimentar , Animais , Comportamento Competitivo , Ecossistema , Modelos Biológicos , Comportamento Social
20.
PLoS One ; 5(10): e13321, 2010 Oct 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20967202

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Sky islands, formed by the highest reaches of mountain tracts physically isolated from one another, represent one of the biodiversity-rich regions of the world. Comparative studies of geographically isolated populations on such islands can provide valuable insights into the biogeography and evolution of species on these islands. The Western Ghats mountains of southern India form a sky island system, where the relationship between the island structure and the evolution of its species remains virtually unknown despite a few population genetic studies. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated how ancient geographic gaps and glacial cycles have partitioned genetic variation in modern populations of a threatened endemic bird, the White-bellied Shortwing Brachypteryx major, across the montane Shola forests on these islands and also inferred its evolutionary history. We used bayesian and maximum likelihood-based phylogenetic and population-genetic analyses on data from three mitochondrial markers and one nuclear marker (totally 2594 bp) obtained from 33 White-bellied Shortwing individuals across five islands. Genetic differentiation between populations of the species correlated with the locations of deep valleys in the Western Ghats but not with geographical distance between these populations. All populations revealed demographic histories consistent with population founding and expansion during the Last Glacial Maximum. Given the level of genetic differentiation north and south of the Palghat Gap, we suggest that these populations be considered two different taxonomic species. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that the physiography and paleo-climate of this region historically resulted in multiple glacial refugia that may have subsequently driven the evolutionary history and current population structure of this bird. The first avian genetic study from this biodiversity hotspot, our results provide insights into processes that may have impacted the speciation and evolution of the endemic fauna of this region.


Assuntos
Aves , Clima , Geografia , Animais , Índia , Filogenia
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