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Optimization of protocols for DNA extraction from fecal samples

High-throughput sequencing offers new possibilities in molecular ecology and conservation studies. However, its potential has not yet become fully exploited for noninvasive studies of free–ranging animals, such as those based on feces. High–throughput sequencing allows sequencing of short DNA fragments and could allow simultaneous genotyping of a very large number of samples and markers at a low cost. The application of high throughput genotyping to fecal samples from wildlife has been hindered by several labor intensive steps. Alternative protocols which could allow higher throughput were evaluated for two of these steps: sample collection and DNA extraction. Two different field sampling and seven different DNA extraction methods were tested on grey wolf (Canis lupus) feces. There was high variation in genotyping success rates. The field sampling method based on surface swabbing performed much worse than the extraction from a fecal fragment. In addition, there is a lot of room for improvement in the DNA extraction step. Optimization of protocols can lead to very much more efficient, cheaper and higher throughput noninvasive monitoring. Selection of appropriate markers is still of paramount importance to increase genotyping success. informacion[at] Sarabia et al (2020) Towards high-throughput analyses of fecal samples from wildlife. Animal Biodiver Conserv 43.2: 271–283 Doi 10.32800/abc.2020.43.0271
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Iberian amphibians occupy higher mountain areas compared to the last century

Iberian amphibians occupy higher mountain areas compared to the last century

Current climate warming has already contributed to local extinctions. Amphibians are one of the most sensitive animal groups to climate change, currently undergoing a global decline. Predictive models for Europe and Iberian Peninsula forecast that the future impact of climate change on amphibians will depend on their capacity to alter their distributions by tracking climate warming. In the present study, the responses of Iberian amphibian species to recent climate change are explored by comparing amphibian distributions between two time periods (1901–1990 vs. 2000–2015). Findings suggest that, although climatic conditions have changed between the two periods, Iberian amphibians have barely shifted their distribution ranges northwards, with the exception of the southernmost species Alytes dickhilleni. However, most Iberian amphibians appear to have moved their elevational limits upwards in mountains. Approximately half of the species showed different occupied niches between the two time periods, suggesting that many Iberian amphibians have not been able to reach all the new location with optimal climatic conditions for them. Furthermore, disappearing cold climatic conditions (e.g. those found at mountain tops) limit the potential distribution of cold-adapted species, including European widespread species with their southern margin in the Iberian Peninsula, and endemic species. The combination of a limited ability to shift their ranges and profound climatic changes could pose a challenge to the long-term persistence of Iberian amphibian populations. informacion[at] Enriquez-Urzelai et al (2019) Are amphibians tracking their climatic niches in response to climate warming? A test with Iberian amphibians. Clim Chang DOI: 10.1007/s10584-019- 02422-9