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Army ant invasion of leatherback nests in Gabon

Egg mortality is one of the main factors affecting life history and conservation of oviparous species. A massive and cryptic colonisation of many leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) eggs is presented in the most important rookery for the species in Gabon. A total of 163 nests were exhumed at Kingere beach, revealing that only 16.7% of eggs produced hatchlings. In the 59% of the nests, more than half of the eggs were dead and attacked by invertebrates and 94% had at least one egg affected by invertebrates. The rate of eggs and SAGs (yolkless eggs) affected by invertebrates within a clutch ranged from 0% to 100%, with an average proportion of 39% and 52%, respectively. The most common invertebrates interacting with the eggs were ghost crabs and insects that affected 51% and 82% of the nests, respectively. Crab and insect co-occurred in 33% of the affected nests. Ants, identified as Dorylus spininodis (Emery 1901) were found in 56% of the excavated nests. However, it was not possible to determine if the ants predated alive eggs or scavenged dead eggs. Very often, hundreds of ants were found drowned within dead eggs. Termites and other invertebrates were associated with the clutch environment and identified as opportunistic feeders, being this is the first record of interaction between termites and sea turtle eggs. An unusual ecological interaction within the leatherback clutches between termites and ants was found in 11% of the nests. The abrupt transition between the soil forest and the beach might be favouring a thriving microbial and invertebrate activity in the sand profile that colonises the nests. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ikaran et al (2020) Cryptic massive nest colonisation by ants and termites in the world's largest leatherback turtle rookery Ethol Ecol Evol 2020. Doi 10.1080/03949370.2020.1715487


https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03949370.2020.1715487
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Wolf population genetics in Europe: a systematic review, meta-analysis and suggestions for conservation and management

Wolf population genetics in Europe: a systematic review, meta-analysis and suggestions for conservation and management

The grey wolf (Canis lupus) is an iconic large carnivore that has increasingly been recognized as an apex predator with intrinsic value and a keystone species. However, wolves have also long represented a primary source of human–carnivore conflict, which has led to long-term persecution of wolves, resulting in a significant decrease in their numbers, genetic diversity and gene flow between populations. For more effective protection and management of wolf populations in Europe, robust scientific evidence is crucial. This review serves as an analytical summary of the main findings from wolf population genetic studies in Europe, covering major studies from the ‘pre-genomic era' and the first insights of the ‘genomics era'. Findings derived from analyses of three compartments of the mammalian genome with different inheritance modes are analysed, summarized and discussed. To describe large-scale trends and patterns of genetic variation in European wolf populations, authors conducted a meta-analysis based on the results of previous microsatellite studies and also included new data, covering all 19 European countries for which wolf genetic information is available. Different indices of genetic diversity in wolf populations were compared and found a significant spatial trend in heterozygosity across Europe from south-west (lowest genetic diversity) to north-east (highest). The range of spatial autocorrelation calculated on the basis of three characteristics of genetic diversity was 650?850 km, suggesting that the genetic diversity of a given wolf population can be influenced by populations up to 850 km away. As an important outcome of this synthesis, the most pressing issues threatening wolf populations in Europe are discussed, important gaps in current knowledge highlighted, solutions to overcome these limitations suggested, and recommendations for science-based wolf conservation and management at regional and Europe-wide scales are provided. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Hindrikson et al (2016) Wolf population genetics in Europe: a systematic review, meta-analysis and suggestions for conservation and management. Biol Rev doi: 10.1111/brv.12298


http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/brv.12298/abstract;jsessionid=253D80DCC1F9422D8BA60477025D1F55.f03t04