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26/11/2014
Forest cover has increased world-wide over the last decade despite forest fragmentation. However, a lack of long-term demographic data hinders our understanding of the spatial dynamics of colonization in remnant populations. The population expansion of the Phoenician juniper was investigated combining the photointerpretation of aerial photos taken over the last 50 years with in situ sampling and spatial analyses of replicated plots. The population growth over the chronosequence has been estimated; hotspots, coldspots and outliers of regeneration identified; the roles of key environmental factors in driving demographic expansion patterns assessed. Overall, results show a marked demographic expansion during the first decade followed by a period of steady and heterogeneous population growth with signs of local population decline. Long-term studies are required to capture the overall combined influence of key ecological factors in shaping long-term spatial demographic trends. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: García et al (2014) Long-term expansion of juniper populations in managed landscapes: patterns in space and time Journal of Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12297
25/11/2014
A key aspect in the study of plumage traits is the cost associated with trait production and maintenance, expressed in terms of oxidative stress. In the Iberian Pied Flycatcher, males and some females exhibit a white forehead patch and both present conspicuous white patches on the wings. The association between these ornaments and individual ability to cope with oxidative stress was analyzed. In males, achromatic ornaments were negatively associated with oxidative damage. In females, plumage ornamentation was negatively associated to antioxidant defenses during incubation, but positively during the nestling period. Female oxidative stress was positively related to the time dedicated to incubate and attending the clutch. Results indicate that multiple achromatic plumage ornaments may signal the individual capacity to cope with costs related to oxidative stress. Moreover, this study highlights the critical role of incubation for avian life histories. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: López-Arrabé et al (2014) Plumage ornaments and oxidative stress in the Pied Flycatcher. Can. J. Zool. (2014) dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2014-0199
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
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    Estación Biólogica de Doñana - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - Apdo 1056 E - 41013 Sevilla
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