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Human impact has contributed to the decline of the Eurasion lynx

Disentangling the contribution of long?term evolutionary processes and recent anthropogenic impacts to current genetic patterns of wildlife species is key to assessing genetic risks and designing conservation strategies. Eighty whole nuclear genomes and 96 mitogenomes from populations of the Eurasian lynx covering a range of conservation statuses, climatic zones and subspecies across Eurasia were used to infer the demographic history, reconstruct genetic patterns, and discuss the influence of long?term isolation and more recent human?driven changes. Results show that Eurasian lynx populations shared a common history until 100,000 years ago, when Asian and European populations started to diverge and both entered a period of continuous and widespread decline, with western populations, except Kirov (Russia), maintaining lower effective sizes than eastern populations. Population declines and increased isolation in more recent times probably drove the genetic differentiation between geographically and ecologically close westernmost European populations. By contrast, and despite the wide range of habitats covered, populations are quite homogeneous genetically across the Asian range, showing a pattern of isolation by distance and providing little genetic support for the several proposed subspecies. Mitogenomic and nuclear divergences and population declines starting during the Late Pleistocene can be mostly attributed to climatic fluctuations and early human influence, but the widespread and sustained decline since the Holocene is more probably the consequence of anthropogenic impacts which intensified in recent centuries, especially in western Europe. Genetic erosion in isolated European populations and lack of evidence for long?term isolation argue for the restoration of lost population connectivity between European and Asian poulations. informacion[at] Lucena-Perez et al (2020). Genomic patterns in the widespread Eurasian lynx shaped by Late Quaternary climatic fluctuations and anthropogenic impacts. MOL ECOL 29(4) DOI 10.1111/mec.15366
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Trait evolution across the tree?of?life of freshwater macroinvertebrates

Trait evolution across the tree?of?life of freshwater macroinvertebrates

The rates of species and trait diversification vary across the Tree?of?Life and over time. Whereas species richness and clade age generally are decoupled, the correlation of accumulated trait diversity of clades (trait disparity) with clade age remains poorly explored. Total trait disparity may be coupled with clade age if the growth of disparity (disparification) within and across clades is continuous with time in an additive niche expansion process (linear?cumulative model), or alternatively if the rate of trait disparification varies over time and decreases as ecological space becomes gradually saturated (disparity?dependent model). Using a clock?calibrated phylogenetic tree for 143 freshwater macroinvertebrate families and richness and trait databases covering more than 6400 species, trait disparity in 18 independent clades that successively transitioned to freshwater ecosystems were measured and its relation with clade age was analyzed. A positive correlation between clade age and total disparity within clades was found, but no relationship for most individual traits. Traits unique to freshwater lifestyle were highly variable within older clades, while disparity in younger clades shifted towards partially terrestrial lifestyles and saline tolerance to occupy habitats previously inaccessible or underutilized. These results argue that constraints from incumbent lineages limit trait disparity in younger clades that evolved for filling unoccupied regions of the trait space, which suggests that trait disparification may follow a disparity?dependent model. Overall, an empirical pattern is provided that reveals the potential of the disparity?dependent model for understanding fundamental processes shaping trait dynamics across the Tree?of?Life. informacion[at] Múrria et al (2018) Ecological constraints from incumbent clades drive trait evolution across the tree?of?life of freshwater macroinvertebrates. Ecography 41(7): 1049-1063