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Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones

The most common ecological response to climate change is the shifts in species distribution ranges. Nevertheless, landscape fragmentation compromises the ability of limited dispersal species to move following these climate changes. Building connected environments that enable species to track climate changes is an ultimate goal for biodiversity conservation. An experiment was conducted to determine if electric power transmission lines could be transformed in a continental network of biodiversity reserves for small animals. The study analysed if the management of the habitat located inside the base of the transmission electric towers (providing refuge and planting seedlings of native shrub) allowed to increase local richness of target species (i.e., small mammals and some invertebrates' groups). The results confirmed that by modifying the base of the electric transmission towers density and diversity of several species of invertebrates and small mammals increased as well as number of birds and bird species, increasing local biodiversity. The study suggests that modifying the base of the electric towers would potentially facilitate the connection of fragmented populations. This idea would be easily applicable in any transmission line network anywhere around the world, making it possible for the first time to build up continental scale networks of connectivity. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ferrer et al (2020) Transporting Biodiversity Using Transmission Power Lines as Stepping-Stones? Diversity 12(11): 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12110439

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https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/12/11/439
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The 5,000-year history of the horse

The 5,000-year history of the horse

Horse domestication revolutionized warfare and accelerated travel, trade and the geographic expansion of languages. This study presents the largest genome-scale time-series for a non-human organism to access the legacy of past equestrian civilizations in the genetic makeup of modern horses. It includes 87 new ancient genomes and genome-scale data of 132 animals. Two extinct horse lineages existed during early domestication at the far western (Iberia) and eastern range (Siberia) of Eurasia but contributed only marginally to modern diversity. Mule breeding started at least 2,200 years ago. Persian related horse lineages increasingly influence European and Asian populations in the centuries following the Islamic conquests until modern times. Multiple alleles associated with elite-racing, including at the MSTN "speed gene", only rose in popularity within the last few centuries. Finally, the development of modern breeding impacted genetic diversity more dramatically than all previous millennia of human management. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Fages et al (2019) Tracking five millennia of horse management with extensive ancient genome time series. Cell. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.03.049


https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(19)30384-8