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28/08/2014
The relationship between genetic diversity and fitness, a major issue in evolutionary and conservation biology, is expected to be stronger in traits affected by many loci and those directly influencing fitness. The influence of heterozygosity on individual survival, one of the most important parameters determining individual fitness, was explored by following individual survival up to recruitment of 863 fledgling pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca). Whereas individual heterozygosity did not influence juvenile or adult survival, the genetic relatedness of parents was negatively associated with their offspring’s survival during adult life, but this effect was not apparent from fledgling to recruitment. This work highlights the need of studies exploring heterozygosity-fitness correlations at different life stages, in populations with different demographic histories and under variable environmental conditions to increase our knowledge on the causes of such correlations. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Canal et al (2014) Exploring Heterozygosity-Survival Correlations in a Wild Songbird Population: Contrasting Effects between Juvenile and Adult Stages. PLoS ONE 9(8): e105020. Doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0105020
25/08/2014
Several major developments in theoretical ecology have relied on either dynamical stability or numerical simulations, but oftentimes, they have found contradictory results. This is partly a result of not rigorously checking either the assumption that a steady state is feasible—meaning, all species have constant and positive abundances—or the dependence of results to model parameterization. Here, the concept of structural stability is extended to community ecology in order to account for these two problems. Specifically, the set of conditions leading to the stable coexistence of all species was studied within a community. This shifts the question from asking whether we can find a feasible equilibrium point for a fixed set of parameter values, to asking how large is the range of parameter values that are compatible with the stable coexistence of all species. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Rohr et al (2014) On the structural stability of mutualistic systems. Science 345: 1253497. Doi 10.1126/science.1253497
22/08/2014
Land use changes often lead to habitat loss, thus reducing biodiversity. However, not every species respond negatively to landscape alteration. In two contrastingly managed areas, the length of daily movements by red-necked nightjars (Caprimulgus ruficollis) to access their roosts and foraging sites from nests have been investigated. In both areas, the fraction of functional habitat was held relatively constant, but landscape configuration changed noticeably. As a result, nightjars in the managed area had to perform longer trips to meet their spatial requirements than those in the unmanaged site, which is likely underlying the significantly higher abundance of nightjars observed in the managed area. Results suggest that moderate changes in landscape configuration could minimize the energy expenditure and mortality risks of movement and thus favour the occurrence of species moving across multiple habitats on a daily basis without reducing agricultural production. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Camacho et al. (2014) Human-induced changes in landscape configuration influence individual movement routines: lessons from a versatile, highly mobile species. PLoS ONE 9(8): e104974
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    Estación Biólogica de Doñana - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - Apdo 1056 E - 41013 Sevilla
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