patterns and processes
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2022 ◽  
Author(s):  
Nathan J Butterworth ◽  
James F Wallman ◽  
Nikolas P Johnston ◽  
Blake M Dawson ◽  
Angela McGaughran

Climate change and deforestation are causing rainforests to become increasingly fragmented, placing them at heightened risk of biodiversity loss. Invertebrates constitute the greatest proportion of this biodiversity, yet we lack basic knowledge of their population structure and ecology. It is not currently feasible to assess the population structure of every invertebrate species, so there is a compelling need to identify indicator species that are broadly indicative of habitat-level patterns and processes. Blowflies are an ideal candidate, because they are widespread, abundant, and can be easily collected within rainforests. Here, we present the first study of the blowfly Chrysomya latifrons , which is endemic to the rainforests of New South Wales, Australia. We genotyped 188 flies from 15 isolated rainforests and found low overall genetic diversity and a complete lack of genetic structure between populations, suggesting the presence of a single large panmictic population along 1,000 km of the Australian east coast. This highlights that: (1) Ch. latifrons inhabits every rainforest in NSW and undoubtedly plays an important role in these ecosystems, but low genetic diversity may cause it to struggle to adapt to a changing climate; (2) strongly dispersing insects have the capacity to migrate between isolated rainforests, likely carrying pollen, parasites, phoronts, and pathogens with them to form crucial trophic networks; and (3) there is an urgent need for similar studies on poorly dispersing rainforest insects, as these may be the most fragmented and at highest risk of local extinction.


Author(s):  
Carmelo Andujar ◽  
Paula Arribas ◽  
Heriberto López ◽  
Yurena Arjona ◽  
Antonio Pérez-Delgado ◽  
...  

Most of our understanding of island diversity comes from the study of aboveground systems, while the patterns and processes of diversification and community assembly for belowground biotas remain poorly understood. Here we take advantage of a relatively young and dynamic oceanic island to advance our understanding of eco-evolutionary processes driving community assembly within soil mesofauna. Using whole organism community DNA (wocDNA) metabarcoding and the recently developed metaMATE pipeline, we have generated spatially explicit and reliable haplotype-level DNA sequence data for soil mesofaunal assemblages sampled across the four main habitats within the island of Tenerife. Community ecological and metaphylogeographic analyses have been performed at multiple levels of genetic similarity, from haplotypes to species and supraspecific groupings. Broadly consistent patterns of local-scale species richness across different insular habitats have been found, whereas local insular richness is lower than in continental settings. Our results reveal an important role for niche conservatism as a driver of insular community assembly of soil mesofauna, with only limited evidence for habitat shifts promoting diversification. Furthermore, support is found for a fundamental role of habitat in the assembly of soil mesofauna, where habitat specialism is mainly due to colonisation and the establishment of preadapted species. Hierarchical patterns of distance decay at the community level and metaphylogeographical analyses support a pattern of geographic structuring over limited spatial scales, from the level of haplotypes through to species and lineages, as expected for taxa with strong dispersal limitations. Our results demonstrate the potential for wocDNA metabarcoding to advance our understanding of biodiversity.


2022 ◽  
Author(s):  
David Armisén ◽  
Séverine Viala ◽  
Isabelle da Rocha Silva Cordeiro ◽  
Antonin Jean Johan Crumèire ◽  
Elisa Hendaoui ◽  
...  

Key innovations enable access to new adaptive zones and are often linked to increased species diversification. As such, they have attracted much attention, yet their concrete consequences on the subsequent evolutionary trajectory and diversification of the bearing lineages remain unclear. The monophyletic group of water striders and relatives (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Gerromorpha) represent a group of insects that transited to live on the water-air interface and diversified to occupy ponds, puddles, streams, mangroves and even oceans. This lineage offers an excellent model to study the patterns and processes underlying species diversification following the conquest of new adaptive zones. However, such studies require a reliable and comprehensive phylogeny of the infraorder. Based on whole transcriptomic datasets of 97 species and fossil records, we reconstructed a new phylogeny of the Gerromorpha that resolved inconsistencies and uncovered strong support for previously unknown relationships between some important taxa. We then used this phylogeny to reconstruct the ancestral state of a set of adaptations associated with water surface invasion (fluid locomotion, dispersal and transition to saline waters) and sexual dimorphism. Our results uncovered important patterns and dynamics of phenotypic evolution revealing how the initial event of water surface invasion enabled multiple subsequent transitions to new adaptive zones, representing distinct niches of water surfaces, and further diversification of the group. This phylogeny and the associated transcriptomic datasets constitute highly valuable resources, making Gerromorpha an attractive model lineage to study phenotypic evolution.


2021 ◽  
pp. 37-93
Author(s):  
Gomathi Jatin ◽  
Sybil Thomas

2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
◽  
Jacob Tessler

<p>Roadside reserves in Wellington, New Zealand have been the target of a government-led, community-implemented urban greening initiative for the past 25 years. Prior studies of urban greening have shown numerous benefits to neighbourhoods and communities through increased engagement and stewardship, yet there remains a need for research into the ecological effects these programmes have on individual urban landscapes. This research conducted site surveys to determine the variation in ecological functioning and biodiversity within 36 reserves involved in the Wellington Free Plants Programme (FPP). These measures were compared to historical planting data for each site retrieved from council records. Candidate models were constructed based on novel and classical ecological theory, which sought to explain observed variation between physical and ecological measures across study sites and the relationship between these variables and biodiversity. Sites were small with an area ranging from 5.9m² to 246.5m² (mean = 37.8 ±49.5m²), and biodiversity levels (assessed using a Shannon-Weiner Index) ranged from 0.1 to 2.9 (mean = 2.1 ±0.7). The top performing candidate models to predict biodiversity included area, shape, and seedbank density. An examination of the effect of varying urban greening efforts across these sites utilised a multivariate analysis which included measures of ecological functioning, biodiversity, the number of years a site had been planted, and the number of individual plants provided over those years. A significant negative relationship was found between site disturbance and the number of planting years (F33.1 = 4.092, p = .051) while a somewhat significant positive relationship was found between biodiversity and the number of individual plants provided (F33,1 =3.536 , p = .069). These results indicate that current urban greening efforts contribute to the ecological health of roadside reserves and that the patterns and processes governing the biological composition of these reserves may be partially explained with traditional ecological theory.</p>


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
◽  
Jacob Tessler

<p>Roadside reserves in Wellington, New Zealand have been the target of a government-led, community-implemented urban greening initiative for the past 25 years. Prior studies of urban greening have shown numerous benefits to neighbourhoods and communities through increased engagement and stewardship, yet there remains a need for research into the ecological effects these programmes have on individual urban landscapes. This research conducted site surveys to determine the variation in ecological functioning and biodiversity within 36 reserves involved in the Wellington Free Plants Programme (FPP). These measures were compared to historical planting data for each site retrieved from council records. Candidate models were constructed based on novel and classical ecological theory, which sought to explain observed variation between physical and ecological measures across study sites and the relationship between these variables and biodiversity. Sites were small with an area ranging from 5.9m² to 246.5m² (mean = 37.8 ±49.5m²), and biodiversity levels (assessed using a Shannon-Weiner Index) ranged from 0.1 to 2.9 (mean = 2.1 ±0.7). The top performing candidate models to predict biodiversity included area, shape, and seedbank density. An examination of the effect of varying urban greening efforts across these sites utilised a multivariate analysis which included measures of ecological functioning, biodiversity, the number of years a site had been planted, and the number of individual plants provided over those years. A significant negative relationship was found between site disturbance and the number of planting years (F33.1 = 4.092, p = .051) while a somewhat significant positive relationship was found between biodiversity and the number of individual plants provided (F33,1 =3.536 , p = .069). These results indicate that current urban greening efforts contribute to the ecological health of roadside reserves and that the patterns and processes governing the biological composition of these reserves may be partially explained with traditional ecological theory.</p>


2021 ◽  
pp. 1-11
Author(s):  
Martín D. Ezcurra ◽  
Saswati Bandyopadhyay ◽  
Kasturi Sen

Abstract The fossil record of Early Triassic diapsids is very important to understand how the end-Permian mass extinction affected ecosystems and the patterns and processes involved in the subsequent biotic recovery. Vertebrate fossil assemblages of continental deposits in current-day South Africa, China, and Russia are the best source of information of this clade during the aftermath of the extinction event. Although considerably less sampled, the Induan continental rocks of the Panchet Formation of the Damodar Basin (eastern India) have also yielded a relatively diverse vertebrate assemblage composed of fishes, temnospondyls, synapsids, and a single proterosuchid taxon. Here, we report on a small isolated diapsid partial ilium (ISIR 1132) from the upper Panchet Formation. This specimen has a distinct morphology compared to other tetrapods that we know, including a shallow emargination on the dorsal margin of the anterior portion of the iliac blade, and ratio between height of iliac blade versus maximum height of iliac acetabulum at level of the dorsalmost extension of supraacetabular crest ≤0.45. Comparisons and a quantitative phylogenetic analysis found ISIR 1132 as a non-archosauromorph neodiapsid. This new specimen expands the reptile diversity in the Panchet Formation as well as for the rest of Gondwana, where Early Triassic non-archosauromorph neodiapsid species are extremely scarce.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Thomas R. Etherington ◽  
George L. W. Perry ◽  
Janet M. Wilmshurst

Abstract. Long time-series of weather grids are fundamental to understanding how weather affects environmental or ecological patterns and processes such as plant distributions, plant and animal phenology, wildfires, and hydrology. Ideally such weather grids should be openly available and be associated with uncertainties so that users can understand any data quality issues. We present a History of Open Weather in New Zealand (HOWNZ) that uses climatological aided natural neighbour interpolation to provide monthly 1-km resolution grids of total rainfall, mean air temperature, mean daily maximum air temperature, and mean daily minimum air temperature across New Zealand from 1910 to 2019. HOWNZ matches the best available temporal extent and spatial resolution of any open weather grids that include New Zealand, and is unique in providing associated spatial uncertainty in appropriate units of measurement. The HOWNZ weather and uncertainty grids capture the dynamic spatial and temporal nature of the monthly weather variables and the uncertainty associated with the interpolation. We also demonstrate how to quantify and visualise temporal trends across New Zealand that recognise the temporal and spatial variation of uncertainties in the HOWNZ data. The HOWNZ data is openly available at https://doi.org/10.7931/zmvz-xf30 (Etherington et al., 2021).


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Ellen E. Brandell ◽  
Paul C. Cross ◽  
Meggan E. Craft ◽  
Douglas W. Smith ◽  
Edward J. Dubovi ◽  
...  

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