ResearchPad - Ecology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Composition and Natural History of Snakes from Etá Farm region, Sete Barras, south-eastern Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N5224fad3-533d-465f-8d6d-0f2e2b2422b0

Abstract

Approximately 140 snake species are known to occur in the Atlantic Forest with nearly half being endemic to this ecoregion. However, the Atlantic forest is one of the most threatened tropical ecoregions, with only 16% of its original area remaining as forest. This extensive habitat loss must have had a negative effect on its snake fauna. Indeed, 53% of the threatened snakes of Brazil occur in the Atlantic forest. Therefore, basic natural history information that can potentially contribute to the conservation of Atlantic forest snakes are urgently needed. Here the natural history of a snake assemblage at Etá Farm region, Sete Barras municipality, south-eastern Brazil is described, and a visual guide and an identification key provided that can be used by researchers and local people to identify snakes from this region. Most of the species found in the field use both open areas and forests, are primarily terrestrial, present diurnal activity, and include frogs in their diet. A higher number of enlarged follicles, eggs, and/or embryos were recorded during the warm and rainy season. Seventeen different types of defensive tactics were recorded in the species found in the field. This study provides useful information for understanding the structure of snake assemblages of the Atlantic Forest and is potentially useful for conservation assessments and for designing conservation plans.

]]>
<![CDATA[Stereoscopic optimization of industrial structure of the equipment manufacturing industry from the perspective of collaborative emissions reduction: Evidence from China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nbe165fed-3c05-4b65-8891-344b36e27456

Equipment manufacturing industry is one of the major industries of the Chinese economy. Previous researches have revealed that the industry has dilemmas of unreasonable industrial structure and high pollution. Using the data of 30 provinces in 2006-2015 in China, this study calculated a comprehensive pollution indicator when estimating the possible pollution reduction brought by the optimization of industrial structure and then evaluated the reasonable level of capital allocation of provinces and industries by using the methods of nonlinear programming and stochastic frontier method. Under the target of collaborative emission reduction, the results show that the optimized output of China’s equipment manufacturing industry could be increased by 5.42%, the energy intensity could be reduced by about 10.4%, and the comprehensive emission intensity could be reduced by about 7.47%. Due to the industry heterogeneity and regional heterogeneity, industrial capacity should be transferred between industries and regions. Since the capital investment in the equipment manufacturing industry is significantly mismatched between industries and regions, the capital allocation of provincial industries in China needs to be adjusted properly. This study provides theoretically and practically reference for collaborative pollution reduction, industry restructure, spatial layout and capital investment, which contributes to achieving the stereoscopic optimization of equipment manufacturing industry.

]]>
<![CDATA[Extending thermotolerance to tomato seedlings by inoculation with SA1 isolate of Bacillus cereus and comparison with exogenous humic acid application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N5b151d82-6b14-4a7f-beb8-82f649a56498

Heat stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that impair plant growth and crop productivity. Plant growth-promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPEB) and humic acid (HA) are used as bio-stimulants and ecofriendly approaches to improve agriculture crop production and counteract the negative effects of heat stress. Current study aimed to analyze the effect of thermotolerant SA1 an isolate of Bacillus cereus and HA on tomato seedlings. The results showed that combine application of SA1+HA significantly improved the biomass and chlorophyll fluorescence of tomato plants under normal and heat stress conditions. Heat stress increased abscisic acid (ABA) and reduced salicylic acid (SA) content; however, combined application of SA1+HA markedly reduced ABA and increased SA. Antioxidant enzymes activities revealed that SA1 and HA treated plants exhibited increased levels of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and reduced glutathione (GSH). In addition, heat stress markedly reduced the amino acid contents; however, the amino acids were increased with co-application of SA1+HA. Similarly, inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry results showed that plants treated with SA1+HA exhibited significantly higher iron (Fe+), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K+) uptake during heat stress. Heat stress increased the relative expression of SlWRKY33b and autophagy-related (SlATG5) genes, whereas co-application of SA1+HA augmented the heat stress response and reduced SlWRKY33b and SlATG5 expression. The heat stress-responsive transcription factor (SlHsfA1a) and high-affinity potassium transporter (SlHKT1) were upregulated in SA1+HA-treated plants. In conclusion, current findings suggest that co-application with SA1+HA can be used for the mitigation of heat stress damage in tomato plants and can be commercialized as a biofertilizer.

]]>
<![CDATA[A biological control model to manage the vector and the infection of Xylella fastidiosa on olive trees]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N2b289f7d-7ec8-4b96-bd44-c16dad0e1257

Xylella fastidiosa pauca ST53 is the bacterium responsible for the Olive Quick Decline Syndrome that has killed millions of olive trees in Southern Italy. A recent work demonstrates that a rational integration of vector and transmission control measures, into a strategy based on chemical and physical control means, can manage Xylella fastidiosa invasion and impact below an acceptable economic threshold. In the present study, we propose a biological alternative to the chemical control action, which involves the predetermined use of an available natural enemy of Philaenus spumarius, i.e., Zelus renardii, for adult vector population and infection biocontrol. The paper combines two different approaches: a laboratory experiment to test the predation dynamics of Zelus renardii on Philaenus spumarius and its attitude as candidate for an inundation strategy; a simulated experiment of inundation, to preliminary test the efficacy of such strategy, before eventually proceeding to an in-field experimentation. With this double-fold approach we show that an inundation strategy with Zelus renardii has the potential to furnish an efficient and “green” solution to Xylella fastidiosa invasion, with a reduction of the pathogen incidence below 10%. The biocontrol model presented here could be promising for containing the impact and spread of Xylella fastidiosa, after an in-field validation of the inundation technique. Saving the fruit orchard, the production and the industry in susceptible areas could thus become an attainable goal, within comfortable parameters for sustainability, environmental safety, and effective plant health protection in organic orchard management.

]]>
<![CDATA[Stomatal conductance bears no correlation with transpiration rate in wheat during their diurnal variation under high air humidity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N2197a214-d9e8-4f70-8288-b5a2d9c52a83

A good understanding of the response of photosynthesis rate (PN) and transpiration rate (Tr) to stomatal alteration during the diurnal variations is important to cumulative photosynthetic production and water loss of crops. Six wheat genotypes were studied for 2 years with pot cultivation in rain-shelter. Among different genotypes, stomatal conductance (gs) was significantly correlated with both PN and Tr. But for each genotype, though gs was significantly correlated with PN regardless of relative air humidity (RH) status and it was also significantly correlated with Tr under lower RH (LRH, 15.4%) and moderate RH (MRH, 28.3%), it was not correlated with Tr under higher RH (HRH, 36.7%) during the diurnal changes. The conditional correlation between gs and Tr of wheat evoked new thinking on the relationships among gs, PN and Tr. Path analysis was further carried out to clarify the correlations of gs with the four atmospheric factors, that of Tr with gs and the four factors and the direct and indirect effects of the factors, during their diurnal dynamic variation. The effects of these factors on gs or Tr were related to RH. All the four factors had a much higher correlation with gs under HRH than that under LRH and MRH. Air temperature (T) had a rather higher direct effect than RH and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Also, the other factors had a much higher indirect effect on gs through vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and T. Transpiration rate was highly correlated with gs under LRH and MRH, with gs having a higher direct effect on it. In comparison, Tr was not correlated with gs under HRH but highly correlated with the atmospheric factors, with T, RH, and PAR having a higher indirect effect through VPD.

]]>
<![CDATA[Character of woodland fragments affects distribution of myriapod assemblages in agricultural landscape]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N2e23a40d-4af0-4615-9e86-c6fad1e09ab9

Abstract

Fragments of woodland fulfil many irreplaceable functions in the agricultural landscape including being the main source of biodiversity of soil invertebrates. Due to intensive farming and land use changes, especially in the second half of the 20th century, fragments of woodland in agricultural landscape almost disappeared. This has led to a decrease in the diversity of invertebrates, especially those for which the presence of these woodland habitats in the landscape is a key element for survival. The aim of this study was to evaluate the importance of fragments of woodland (characterised by their area, vegetation structure, the amount of leaf litter layer and soil moisture) on the distribution of centipedes and millipedes (Myriapoda) in the agricultural landscape of South Moravia (Czech Republic). Myriapods were collected using pitfall traps during summer in 2016 and 2017. Results showed that activity-density of myriapods is positively correlated with thickness of the leaf litter layer. Moreover, the species richness of centipedes is positively correlated with increasing size of fragments of woodland although higher centipedes’ activity-density was found in rather uniform woodlands in term of diversity of tree species.

]]>
<![CDATA[Sexual size and shape dimorphism in Brachydesmus troglobius Daday, 1889 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N15d55356-314e-4d26-a228-ab274639df27

Abstract

Until now, morphological trait variation has been investigated in several millipede species using geometric morphometrics. The present study is the first attempt to explore sexual shape and size dimorphism (SShD and SSD) of morphological structures in Polydesmida. We here analyse antennal, head, and leg SShD and SSD in Brachydesmus troglobius Daday, 1889. Our results show that SSD exists in all of the analysed structures, while SShD is present only in the legs. In comparison with females, males possess longer and wider legs, as well as longer antennae and a shorter head. Contrary to previous findings in some Julida, in B. troglobiusSSD of the antennae and legs varies more than SShD in these morphological structures.

]]>
<![CDATA[The Influence of Larval Stage and Density on Oviposition Site-Selection Behavior of the Afrotropical Malaria Mosquito Anopheles coluzzii (Diptera: Culicidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N1d8c8484-e4ae-4eb3-91c0-ffd7300593de

Abstract

In the selection of oviposition sites female mosquitoes use various cues to assess site quality to optimize survival of progeny. The presence of conspecific larvae influences this process. Interactive effects of oviposition site selection were studied in the malaria mosquito Anopheles coluzzii Coetzee & Wilkerson in dual- and no-choice assays, by exposing single gravid mosquitoes to oviposition cups containing 1) larvae of different developmental stages, 2) larvae-conditioned water (LCW), and 3) cups where visual cues of conspecific larvae were absent. Early-stage conspecific larvae had a positive effect on the oviposition response. By contrast, late stages of conspecific larvae had a negative effect. Oviposition choice was dependent on larval density. Moreover, in oviposition cups where larvae were hidden from view, late-stage larvae had a significant negative effect on oviposition suggesting the involvement of olfactory cues. LCW had no effect on oviposition response, indicating involvement of chemicals produced by larvae in vivo. It is concluded that the presence of larvae in a breeding site affects the oviposition response depending on the development stage of the larvae. These responses appear to be mediated by olfactory cues emitted by the larval habitat containing live larvae, resulting in the enhanced reproductive fitness of the females.

]]>
<![CDATA[Long-term continuously monocropped peanut significantly changed the abundance and composition of soil bacterial communities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N2b441e4b-bf77-472a-8f83-cfd091e8da1e

Soil sickness is the progressive loss of soil quality due to continuous monocropping. The bacterial populations are critical to sustaining agroecosystems, but their responses to long-term peanut monocropping have not been determined. In this study, based on a previously constructed gradient of continuous monocropped plots, we tracked the detailed feedback responses of soil bacteria to short- and long-term continuous monocropping of four different peanut varieties using high-throughput sequencing techniques. The analyses showed that soil samples from 1- and 2-year monocropped plots were grouped into one class, and samples from the 11- and 12-year plots were grouped into another. Long-term consecutive monocropping could lead to a general loss in bacterial diversity and remarkable changes in bacterial abundance and composition. At the genera level, the dominant genus Bacillus changed in average abundance from 1.49% in short-term monocropping libraries to 2.96% in the long-term libraries. The dominant species Bacillus aryabhattai and Bacillus funiculus and the relatively abundant species Bacillus luciferensis and Bacillus decolorationis all showed increased abundance with long-term monocropping. Additionally, several other taxa at the genus and species level also presented increased abundance with long-term peanut monocropping; however, several taxa showed decreased abundance. Comparing analyses of predicted bacterial community functions showed significant changes at different KEGG pathway levels with long-term peanut monocropping. Combined with our previous study, this study indicated that bacterial communities were obviously influenced by the monocropping period, but less influenced by peanut variety and growth stage. Some bacterial taxa with increased abundance have functions of promoting plant growth or degrading potential soil allelochemicals, and should be closely related with soil remediation and may have potential application to relieve peanut soil sickness. A decrease in diversity and abundance of bacterial communities, especially beneficial communities, and simplification of bacterial community function with long-term peanut monocropping could be the main cause of peanut soil sickness.

]]>
<![CDATA[Discovery of a new species of the Hypoxylon rubiginosum complex from Iran and antagonistic activities of Hypoxylon spp. against the Ash Dieback pathogen, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, in dual culture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N42b420df-f01d-4492-b8d8-193894490051

Abstract

During a survey of xylarialean fungi in Northern Iran, several specimens that showed affinities to the Hypoxylon rubiginosum complex were collected and cultured. A comparison of their morphological characters, combined with a chemotaxonomic study based on high performance liquid chromatography, coupled with diode array detection and mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD/MS) and a multi-locus phylogeny based on ITS, LSU, rbp2 and tub2 DNA sequences, revealed a new species here described as Hypoxylon guilanense. In addition, Hypoxylon rubiginosumsensu stricto was also encountered. Concurrently, an endophytic isolate of the latter species showed strong antagonistic activities against the Ash Dieback pathogen, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, in a dual culture assay in our laboratory. Therefore, we decided to test the new Iranian fungi for antagonistic activities against the pathogen, along with several cultures of other Hypoxylon species that are related to H. rubiginosum. Our results suggest that the antagonistic effects of Hypoxylon spp. against Hym. fraxineus are widespread and that they are due to the production of antifungal phomopsidin derivatives in the presence of the pathogen.

]]>
<![CDATA[Viral zoonotic risk is homogenous among taxonomic orders of mammalian and avian reservoir hosts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Na03c08b5-ea2f-46f5-a054-75e787634ae7

Significance

Identifying whether novel human viruses disproportionately originate from certain animal groups could inform risk-based allocations of research and surveillance effort. Whether such “special reservoirs” exist remains controversial. We show that the proportion of viruses that infect humans varies minimally across reservoir taxonomic orders. Instead, the number of human-infecting viruses increases proportionately to the total number of viruses maintained by each reservoir group, which is in turn explained by the number of animal species within each group. This supports a host-neutral explanation for observed variation in the number of zoonoses among animal groups, such that traits of animal orders are unlikely to produce viruses that disproportionately threaten humans. These findings refine strategies to identify high-risk viruses prior to their emergence.

]]>
<![CDATA[Dynamics of ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers in response to compost addition in black soil, Northeast China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N74ec9041-48fb-4d32-b89a-7b40391a2f4b

Organic fertilizer application could have an impact on the nitrogen cycle mediated by microorganisms in arable soils. However, the dynamics of soil ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers in response to compost addition are less understood. In this study, we examined the effect of four compost application rates (0, 11.25, 22.5 and 45 t/ha) on soil ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers at soybean seedling, flowering and mature stage in a field experiment in Northeast China. As revealed by quantitative PCR, compost addition significantly enhanced the abundance of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) at seedling stage, while the abundance of ammonia oxidizing archaea was unaffected across the growing season. The abundance of genes involved in denitrification (nirS, nirK and nosZ) were generally increased along with compost rate at seedling and flowering stages, but not in mature stage. The non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis revealed that moderate and high level of compost addition consistently induced shift in AOB and nirS containing denitrifers community composition across the growing season. Among AOB lineages, Nitrosospira cluster 3a gradually decreased along with the compost rate across the growing season, while Nitrosomonas exhibited an opposite trend. Network analysis indicated that the complexity of AOB and nirS containing denitrifiers network gradually increased along with the compost rate. Our findings highlighted the positive effect of compost addition on the abundance of ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers and emphasized that compost addition play crucial roles in shaping their community compositions and co-occurrence networks in black soil of Northeast China.

]]>
<![CDATA[Within-host competition drives energy allocation trade-offs in an insect parasitoid]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nf04b181b-e156-40a5-886c-fa4594aeeace

Organismal body size is an important biological trait that has broad impacts across scales of biological organization, from cells to ecosystems. Size is also deeply embedded in life history theory, as the size of an individual is one factor that governs the amount of available resources an individual is able to allocate to different structures and systems. A large body of work examining resource allocation across body sizes (allometry) has demonstrated patterns of allocation to different organismal systems and morphologies, and extrapolated rules governing biological structure and organization. However, the full scope of evolutionary and ecological ramifications of these patterns have yet to be realized. Here, we show that density-dependent larval competition in a natural population of insect parasitoids (Drino rhoeo: Tachinidae) results in a wide range of body sizes (largest flies are more than six times larger (by mass) than the smallest flies). We describe strong patterns of trade-offs between different body structures linked to dispersal and reproduction that point to life history strategies that differ between both males and females and individuals of different sizes. By better understanding the mechanisms that generate natural variation in body size and subsequent effects on the evolution of life history strategies, we gain better insight into the evolutionary and ecological impacts of insect parasitoids in tri-trophic systems.

]]>
<![CDATA[Home range size and habitat use of the blue-crowned laughingthrush during the breeding season]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nfaf22003-cfa2-4da9-b029-b3f1d94eb3d6

The home range size and habitat use of the blue-crowned laughingthrush (Garrulax courtoisi, hereafter BCLT), a critically endangered, subtropical, cooperative-breeding bird species in southeast China, were studied during its breeding period using radio telemetry at different sites during 3 consecutive years (2016–18, from May to June of each year). A total of 17 birds (12 males, four females, and one of unknown sex) were tagged, and a total 1515 locations (mean ± se = 89.12 ± 11.42) were obtained over 54 days of tracking. The average 100% minimum convex polygon (MCP) home range size was 10.05 ± 1.17 ha, and the estimated KDE core area (fiexed kernel density estimator, KDE) size was 7.84 ± 1.18 ha. According to the Wilcoxon rank sum tests, both the 100% MCP and KDE core area size of males did not significantly differ from those of females. There were no significant differences in the 100% MCP or KDE core area sizes of the three breeding sites. The available habitats in the breeding sites included water areas, shrubs, grass plots, woodland, residential areas, vegetable field, farmland, and sandy beaches; among them, only woodland was significantly preferred by BCLTs. Woodland (average use ratio was 45.86 ± 1.74%) was strongly preferred by BCLTs for nesting, foraging and roosting. Shrubs/grass plots (24.72 ± 3.39%) and vegetable plots (11.80 ± 1.83%) were used relatively more often than the other habitats, except woodland, since shrubs were always used as perches, and vegetable plots were rich in food resources. Vertically, the canopy layer was used most often from April to June, but it was used most in May when the birds were hatching and brooding. This result indicates that BCLT is predominantly active in the upper strata during the breeding season. In addition, broadleaved trees within or adjacent to villages were important activity areas for the breeding birds; protection and management measures should be increased in these areas.

]]>
<![CDATA[Fitness benefits and costs of shelters to the sea urchin Glyptocidaris crenularis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nd2d4b9c2-12c8-4b53-8d7d-4774fd4b312c

Understanding the ecological role of shelters is greatly hampered by the scarcity of long-term laboratory experiments on the trade-off between fitness benefits and costs. This lack probably leads to an underestimation of the negative and/or positive effects on behaviors and growth of marine invertebrates in benthic ecosystems. Although our previous study revealed a significant effect on fitness-related traits of Glyptocidaris crenularis after 31 months, the present study extended it and investigated fitness benefits and/or costs of long-term sheltering on sea urchins to over 7 years. The present long-term study suggests that the previously reported reduction in feeding rate probably resulted from a reduction in reflexive feeding motions (Aristotle’s lantern reflex) rather than changes in foraging behavior. Actively seeking sheltering behavior was negatively impacted in individuals with continuous access to shelters. However, covering and righting behaviors did not differ in sheltered sea urchins, indicating that these behaviors are maintained to escape from adverse environments regardless of shelter. Body size of sea urchins in the group with shelters was significantly lower than those without shelters after 7 years. Weights of gonads and gut were not significantly different after 7 years despite previous observations of differences after ~2.5 years. The present study provides valuable information on the trade-off between fitness benefits and costs to sea urchins residing in shelters. However, the present study is only a laboratory investigation for one urchin species (G. crenularis) which does not consider the complexity of natural environments. Field studies should be carried out with G. crenularis and other sea urchin species, before a more universal conclusion can be drawn.

]]>
<![CDATA[Effects of sea-level rise on physiological ecology of populations of a ground-dwelling ant]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N7f89605c-5421-4b76-a019-ba0e7ddd5b34

Introduction

Sea-level rise is a consequence of climate change that can impact the ecological and physiological changes of coastal, ground-dwelling species. Sea-level rise has a potential to inundate birds, rodents, spiders, and insects that live on the ground in coastal areas. Yet, there is still much to be learned concerning the specifics of these impacts. The red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Buren) excavates soil for its home and is capable of surviving flooding. Because of their ground-dwelling life history and rapid reproduction, fire ants make an ideal model for discovery and prediction of changes that may be due to sea-level rise. There are up to 500,000 individuals in a colony, and these invasive ants naturally have a painful sting. However, observations suggest that colonies of fire ants that dwell in tidally-influenced areas are more aggressive with more frequent stings and more venom injected per sting (behavioral and physiological changes) than those located inland. This may be an adaption to sea-level rise. Therefore, the objective of this study is to elucidate differences in inland and coastal defensiveness via micro-dissection and comparison of head width, head length, stinger length, and venom sac volume. But first because fire ants’ ability to raft on brackish tidal water is unknown, it had to be determined if fire ants could indeed raft in brackish water and examine the behavior differences between those flooded with freshwater vs. saltwater.

Methods

To test the coastal-aggression hypothesis, inland colonies and coastal colonies, which experience relatively greater amounts of flooding, specifically regular tidal and windblown water and oscillations (i.e. El Nińo Southern Oscillation) from the Gulf of Mexico, were collected. To mimic sea-level rise, the colonies were flooded in salinities that correspond to both their collection site and conditions found in a variety of locales and situations (such as storm surge from a tropical storm). Individual ants were immediately taken from each colony for dissection before flooding, 1-hour into flooding, and 24-hours into flooding.

Results and discussion

Fire ants use their venom to defend themselves and to communicate alarm or aggression. Dissections and measurement of heads, venom sacs, and stingers revealed both coastal and inland colonies experience an increase in venom sac volume after 24 hours; in fact coastal colonies increased their venom volume by 75% after 24 h of flooding Whether this venom sac enlargement is due to diffusion of water or venom sac production is unknown. These ground-dwelling ants exhibit physiological and behavioral adaptations to ongoing sea-level rise possibly indicating that they are responding to increased flooding. Fire ants will raft on high-salinity water; and sea-level rise may cause stings by flooded ants to be more severe because of increased venom volume.

]]>
<![CDATA[Parallelism in eco-morphology and gene expression despite variable evolutionary and genomic backgrounds in a Holarctic fish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N4fc7d71e-6de4-4251-8df9-22327ccf5952

Understanding the extent to which ecological divergence is repeatable is essential for predicting responses of biodiversity to environmental change. Here we test the predictability of evolution, from genotype to phenotype, by studying parallel evolution in a salmonid fish, Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus), across eleven replicate sympatric ecotype pairs (benthivorous-planktivorous and planktivorous-piscivorous) and two evolutionary lineages. We found considerable variability in eco-morphological divergence, with several traits related to foraging (eye diameter, pectoral fin length) being highly parallel even across lineages. This suggests repeated and predictable adaptation to environment. Consistent with ancestral genetic variation, hundreds of loci were associated with ecotype divergence within lineages of which eight were shared across lineages. This shared genetic variation was maintained despite variation in evolutionary histories, ranging from postglacial divergence in sympatry (ca. 10-15kya) to pre-glacial divergence (ca. 20-40kya) with postglacial secondary contact. Transcriptome-wide gene expression (44,102 genes) was highly parallel across replicates, involved biological processes characteristic of ecotype morphology and physiology, and revealed parallelism at the level of regulatory networks. This expression divergence was not only plastic but in part genetically controlled by parallel cis-eQTL. Lastly, we found that the magnitude of phenotypic divergence was largely correlated with the genetic differentiation and gene expression divergence. In contrast, the direction of phenotypic change was mostly determined by the interplay of adaptive genetic variation, gene expression, and ecosystem size. Ecosystem size further explained variation in putatively adaptive, ecotype-associated genomic patterns within and across lineages, highlighting the role of environmental variation and stochasticity in parallel evolution. Together, our findings demonstrate the parallel evolution of eco-morphology and gene expression within and across evolutionary lineages, which is controlled by the interplay of environmental stochasticity and evolutionary contingencies, largely overcoming variable evolutionary histories and genomic backgrounds.

]]>
<![CDATA[The applicability of recreation-grade GNSS receiver (GPS watch, Suunto Ambit Peak 3) in a forested and an open area compared to a mapping-grade receiver (Trimble Juno T41)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N8984bd8b-66a6-4b6e-8af7-92a53859b107

Due to developments in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and the miniaturization of their components, the usage of Global Positioning System (GPS) is no longer restricted to professional applications, but has become available in various consumer type devices, such as wristwatches. These commercial devices, however, were primarily designed for tracking activities in predominately urban settings and their accuracy has not been tested in forested areas. In this study, we present an assessment of the positional accuracy of a GPS watch (Ambit Peak 3, Suunto, Finland) under different forest cover types, seasons and meteorological conditions within the Whitehall Forest GPS Test Site located in Athens, Georgia, USA. As a standard of comparison, the performance of the GPS watch measurements was juxtaposed to that of a mapping-grade receiver (Juno T41, Trimble Inc., USA). In this study, we analyzed the differences between the determined and control positions using root-mean-square-error (RMSE), along with the distribution of observed positions through the standard deviational ellipse. The results suggest that the seasonal variations contributed to a statistically significant impact on the RMSE values for the GPS watch. However, there were no statistically significant differences in horizontal position accuracy by forest cover-type when using the GPS watch. Furthermore, no significant differences were found in horizontal position accuracy during the leaf-off period between the RMSE values for the GPS watch and those of the mapping-grade receiver. Lastly, the positional accuracies for both types of receivers were found to be weakly, but significantly correlated with fluctuations in air temperature and absolute humidity.

]]>
<![CDATA[Identification of a novel archaea virus, detected in hydrocarbon polluted Hungarian and Canadian samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N5489318a-3499-4862-9afc-2378cea7eecb

Metagenomics is a helpful tool for the analysis of unculturable organisms and viruses. Viruses that target bacteria and archaea play important roles in the microbial diversity of various ecosystems. Here we show that Methanosarcina virus MV (MetMV), the second Methanosarcina sp. virus with a completely determined genome, is characteristic of hydrocarbon pollution in environmental (soil and water) samples. It was highly abundant in Hungarian hydrocarbon polluted samples and its genome was also present in the NCBI SRA database containing reads from hydrocarbon polluted samples collected in Canada, indicating the stability of its niche and the marker feature of this virus. MetMV, as the only currently identified marker virus for pollution in environmental samples, could contribute to the understanding of the complicated network of prokaryotes and their viruses driving the decomposition of environmental pollutants.

]]>
<![CDATA[Future trends of water resources and influences on agriculture in China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N87c2566a-6970-4c5f-9ecf-ecac024e386a

Water resources are indispensable for all social-economic activities and ecosystem functions. In addition, changes in water resources have great significance for agricultural production. This paper uses five global climate models from CMIP5 to evaluate the future spatiotemporal variation in water resources in China under four RCP scenarios. The results show that the available precipitation significantly decreases due to evapotranspiration. Comparing the four RCP scenarios, the national average of the available precipitation is the highest under the RCP 2.6 and 4.5 scenarios, followed by that under the RCP 8.5 scenario. In terms of spatial distribution, the amount of available precipitation shows a decreasing trend from southeast to northwest. Regarding temporal changes, the available precipitation under RCP 8.5 exhibits a trend of first increasing and then decreasing, while the available precipitation under the RCP 6.0 scenario exhibits a trend of first decreasing and then increasing. Under the RCP 2.6 and 4.5 scenarios, the available precipitation increases, and the RCP 4.5 scenario has a higher rate of increase than that of RCP 2.6. In the context of climate change, changes in water resources and temperature cause widespread increases in potential agricultural productivity around Hu’s line, especially in southwestern China. However, the potential agricultural productivity decreases in a large area of southeastern China. Hu’s line has a partial breakthrough in the locking of agriculture, mainly in eastern Tibet, western Sichuan, northern Yunnan and northwestern Inner Mongolia. The results provide a reference for the management and deployment of future water resources and can aid in agricultural production in China.

]]>