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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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MIZUTAMA: a quick, easy, and accurate method for counting erythrocytes

MIZUTAMA: a quick, easy, and accurate method for counting erythrocytes

Hematological profiles are routinely used to assess the health status of animals. Several methods have been developed for blood-cell counting, but typically they are expensive and/or time-consuming. Here, a free image-processing software, Mizutama, developed for counting cells in photographs of blood smears is presented. Mizutama uses the thresholding method to transform original photographs into grayscale trinary images. Following a number of parameters, Mizutama searches in the image for cells of a given size, with a nucleus size relative to cytoplasm surface area. The software is not only easy, versatile, and intuitive to handle, but is also fast when counting cells in photographs. Moreover, it is highly accurate, failing to detect only c. 1.4% of avian red cells in ordinary microscopic photographs. The Mizutama application may greatly facilitate the counting of erythrocytes and other blood cells in physiological studies, saving time and money. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Ochoa et al (2019) MIZUTAMA: a quick, easy, and accurate method for counting erythrocytes. Physiol Biochem Zool DOI: 10.1086/702666


https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/702666