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19/11/2014
An epidemic of the disease chytridiomycosis induced a massive decline of populations of the common midwife toad inhabiting Guadarrama National Park in the years 1997–2001. The disease outbreak caused the disappearance of about 90 % of populations, leaving only eight remnant breeding populations. In response to the disease-induced population decline, a captive breeding program was started in 2008. Populations were kept separate to minimize possible outbreeding depression. Here, indices of genetic diversity and population structure in these remnant populations are examined to inform future reintroductions. In accordance with the demographic bottleneck observed in the last years, strong evidence for a reduction in genetic diversity were found. Results suggest that the captive breeding program should mix animals from multiple sites from the Guadarrama Mountain Range, but avoid the genetically most divergent populations. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Albert et al (2014) Genetic management of an amphibian population after a chytridiomycosis outbreak. Conserv Gen. Doi 10.1007/s10592-014-0644-6
12/11/2014
Seed predators can limit plant recruitment and thus profoundly impinge the dynamics of plant populations, Several spatial scales and ecological correlates of pre-dispersal seed predation by invasive borer beetles in Chamaerops humilis (Arecaceae), a charismatic endemic palm of the Mediteranean basin, were investigated. In general, levels of seed predation were several folds higher in human-altered populations than in natural populations. Within populations, seed predation declined significantly with the increase in amount of persisting fruit pulp, which acted as a barrier against seed predators. The results revealed that a native species (a palm) is affected by the introduction of related species because of the concurrent introduction of seed predators that feed on both the introduced and native palms. The impact of invasive seed predators on plants can vary across a hierarchy of levels ranging from variation among individuals within local populations to large scale regional divergences. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Rodríguez et al (2014) Hierarchical levels of seed predation variation by introduced beetles on an endemic mediterranean palm. PLoS ONE 9(10) e109867. Doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0109867
07/11/2014
The Cantabrian brown bear (Ursus arctos) population is considered a paradigm in conservation biology due to its endangerment status and genetic uniqueness. Therefore, the need to obtain basic demographic data to inform management actions for conservation is imperative. The first estimates of population size and effective population size of the whole Cantabrian brown bear population is presented here. Different model estimators of population size based on capture-markrecapture procedures were compared. Data suggest that the Cantabrian brown bear population has increased recently, mainly in the western subpopulation, after a long period of decline and isolation. Population sizes in the early 1990s were thought to be only 60 individuals for the western subpopulation and 14 individuals in the eastern one. The efforts to improve conservation policies made since then have probably contributed, to some extent, to the population increase during the last couple of decades. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Pérez et al (2014). Estimating the population size of the endangered Cantabrian brown bear through genetic sampling. Wild. Biol. 20: 300-309. Doi 10.2981/wlb.00069
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    Estación Biólogica de Doñana - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - Apdo 1056 E - 41013 Sevilla
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