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...

Argentine ants harm nestlings of the blue tit

The consequences of ant invasions on ecosystems may only become apparent after long periods. In addition, predicting how sensitive native fauna will respond is only possible if the underlying proximate mechanisms of their impact are identified. The attraction of the native and invasive ant community to artificial bird nests was studied, together with reproduction of a wild native songbird over five consecutive breeding seasons in relation to the presence of an invasive ant species. Biometric,...

Deep genetic divergences between the lowland Sunda tree squirrels

A surprising amount of hidden phylogenetic diversity exists in the small to medium size, drab colored squirrels of the genus Sundasciurus. This genus is endemic to Sundaland and the Philippines, where it is widespread. An earlier revision of this genus found that the high elevation ‘populations’ of the widespread, lowland slender squirrel (S. tenuis) were different species. Previous phylogenies based on mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences also suggested that the widespread, lowland Low’s...

Interspecific interactions determine the range-wide distribution and genomic variation in two Californian oaks

Organisms interact with each other in very different ways. These interactions include, among many others, those established between prey and predators, hosts and parasites, and plant roots and beneficial mycorrhizal fungi. Plants also interact among them, competing for resources (e.g., water, light or nutrients) or creating a favorable environment (e.g., shade) that facilitates the establishment and survival of seedlings from other species. Although classic ecological studies have profoundly...

Doñana’s Retuerta horse

The Retuerta horse is mainly located in the Doñana National Park, specifically in the Doñana Biological Reserve, and in the Guadiamar Reserve. It counts with an approximate population of 300 horses. This specimen was used in the past by the people of Doñana as a work animal and as a means of transport, but, nowadays, this animal lives in the wild. In 2003, the population was sampled and its genetic profile and genetic distances facing other breeds were established. The genetic distance tree...