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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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Different effects of accelerated development and enhanced growth on oxidative stress and telomere shortening in amphibian larvae

Different effects of accelerated development and enhanced growth on oxidative stress and telomere shortening in amphibian larvae

Organisms react to environmental changes through plastic responses that often involve physiological alterations with the potential to modify life-history traits and fitness. Environmentally induced shifts in growth and development in species with complex life cycles determine the timing of transitions between subsequent life stages, as well as body condition at transformation, which greatly determine survival at later stages. This study shows that spadefoot toad larvae surviving pond drying and predators experienced marked alterations in growth and development, and in their fat reserves, oxidative stress, and relative telomere length. Tadpoles accelerated development but reduced growth and consumed more fat reserves when facing pond drying. However, oxidative stress was buffered by increased antioxidant enzyme activity, and telomeres remained unchanged. Predators caused opposite effects: they reduced larval density, hence relaxing competition and allowing faster development and enhanced growth of survivors. Tadpoles surviving predators metamorphosed bigger and had larger fat bodies, increasing their short-term survival odds, but showed signs of oxidative stress and had shorter telomeres. Developmental acceleration and enhanced growth thus seemed to have different physiological consequences: reduced fat bodies and body size compromise short-term survival, but are reversible in the long run, whereas telomere shortening is non-reversible and could reduce long-term survival. informacion[at] Burraco et al (2017) Different effects of accelerated development and enhanced growth on oxidative stress and telomere shortening in amphibian larvae. Sci Rep doi:10.1038/s41598-017-07201-z