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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]ebd.csic.es: 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


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mec.15366
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Liberalization of the Common Agricultural Policy could affect Cinereous vulture

Liberalization of the Common Agricultural Policy could affect Cinereous vulture

Farmland abandonment or "ecological rewilding" shapes species distribution and ecological process ultimately affecting the biodiversity and functionality of ecosystems. Land abandonment predictions based on alternative future socioeconomic scenarios allow foretell the future of biota in Europe. Here, how these forecasts may affect large?scale distribution of the Cinereous vulture, an apex scavenger closely linked to Mediterranean agro?grazing systems, is investigated . Firstly, nest?site and foraging habitat selection is modelled in relation to variables quantifying physiography, trophic resources and human disturbance. Secondly, to what extent land abandonment may affect the life traits of the species is evaluated, and finally how potential future distribution of the species would vary according to asymmetric socioeconomic land?abandonment predictions for year 2040 is determined. Cinereous vultures selected breeding areas with steep slopes and low human presence whereas foraging areas are characterized by high abundance of European rabbits and wild ungulates. Liberalization of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) could potentially transform positively 66% of the current nesting habitat, favouring the recovery of mature forest. Contrarily, land abandonment would negatively affect the 63% of the current foraging habitat reducing the availability of preferred food resources (wild European rabbit). On the other hand, the maintenance of the CAP would determine lower frequencies (24%–22%) of nesting and foraging habitat change. Land abandonment may result into opposite effects on the focal species because of the increase in nesting habitats and wild ungulates populations and, on the other hand, lower availability of open areas with poorer densities of European rabbits. Land?abandonment models' scenarios are still coarse?grained; the apparition of new human uses in natural areas may take place at small?sized and medium?sized scales, ultimately adding complexity to the prediction on the future of biota and ecosystems. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es García-Barón et al (2018) How to fit the distribution of apex scavengers into land-abandonment scenarios? The Cinereous vulture in the Mediterranean biome. Divers Distrib https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12743


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ddi.12743