• Early colonisation of urban indoor carcasses by blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae): An experimental study from central Spain

      Martin-Vega, D; Martín Nieto, C; Cifrián, B; Baz, A; Díaz-Aranda, LM (Elsevier, 2017-09-01)
      Due to their ubiquity and synanthropy, blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are generally the first colonisers of cadavers and, therefore, frequently used to estimate a minimum post-mortem interval (minPMI). Whereas in outdoor situations blow flies are expected to locate and colonise exposed cadavers within hours or even minutes after death, it is usually assumed that the colonisation of a cadaver indoors might be delayed for an uncertain period of time. This uncertainty severely limits the informativity of minPMI estimates based on entomological evidence. Moreover, these limitations are emphasised by the lack of experimental data on insect colonisation of indoor carrion and by the fact that most of the forensic cases involving entomological evidence have been reported to occur indoors. In this study we investigate the early colonisation of pig carcasses placed indoors in a building located in the centre of an urban environment in central Spain. Three carcasses were placed in three equal rooms with a window half opened during five experimental trials: summer 2013, autumn 2013, winter 2014, spring 2014 and summer 2014. The species composition and their contribution to the carrion colonisation differed among seasons. Calliphora vicina Robineau–Desvoidy was the sole coloniser of carcasses in winter and colonised the carcasses within the first 24–48 h in every season, although Lucilia sericata (Meigen) was the first coloniser of most summer carcasses. On the other hand, Calliphora vomitoria (L.) and Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann) colonised the carcasses significantly later in spring and in spring and summer, respectively, with a delay of several days. In autumn, however, there were no significant differences in the colonisation times by C. vicina, L. sericata and Ch. albiceps. C. vicina and L. sericata showed a clear preference for ovipositing in the natural orifices of the carcasses, whereas Ch. albiceps oviposited more frequently on the trunk and legs.
    • Early consequences of allopolyploidy alter floral evolution in Nicotiana (Solanaceae)

      McCarthy, EW; Landis, JB; Kurti, A; Lawhorn, AJ; Chase, MW; Knapp, S; Le Comber, SC; Leitch, AR; Litt, A (BMC, 2019-04-27)
      Background: Polyploidy has played a major role in angiosperm evolution. Previous studies have examined polyploid phenotypes in comparison to their extant progenitors, but not in context of predicted progenitor phenotypes at allopolyploid origin. In addition, differences in the trends of polyploid versus diploid evolution have not been investigated. We use ancestral character-state reconstructions to estimate progenitor phenotype at allopolyploid origin to determine patterns of polyploid evolution leading to morphology of the extant species. We also compare trends in diploid versus allopolyploid evolution to determine if polyploidy modifies floral evolutionary patterns. Results: Predicting the ancestral phenotype of a nascent allopolyploid from reconstructions of diploid phenotypes at the time of polyploid formation generates different phenotype predictions than when extant diploid phenotypes are used, the outcome of which can alter conclusions about polyploid evolution; however, most analyses yield the same results. Using ancestral reconstructions of diploid floral phenotypes indicate that young polyploids evolve shorter, wider corolla tubes, but older polyploids and diploids do not show any detectable evolutionary trends. Lability of the traits examined (floral shape, corolla tube length, and corolla tube width) differs across young and older polyploids and diploids. Corolla length is more evolutionarily labile in older polyploids and diploids. Polyploids do not display unique suites of floral characters based on both morphological and color traits, but some suites of characters may be evolving together and seem to have arisen multiple times within Nicotiana, perhaps due to the influence of pollinators. Conclusions: Young polyploids display different trends in floral evolution (shorter, wider corolla tubes, which may result in more generalist pollination) than older polyploids and diploids, suggesting that patterns of divergence are impacted by the early consequences of allopolyploidy, perhaps arising from genomic shock and/or subsequent genome stabilization associated with diploidization. Convergent evolution in floral morphology and color in Nicotiana can be consistent with pollinator preferences, suggesting that pollinators may have shaped floral evolution in Nicotiana.
    • The early death of Colonel Robert C. Tytler and the afterlife of his collection

      Prys-Jones, Robert; Harding, Alison C; Rooke, Kathryn (British Ornithologists' Club, 2021-06-15)
      A letter by Allan Octavian Hume and three by Bertram Bevan-Petman, all written between 1904 and 1911 to Ernst Hartert, bird curator of Rothschild’s Tring Museum, are present in the Rothschild Tring archive, now held by the Natural History Museum. These shed light on both the probable cause of the early death in 1872 of Colonel Robert C. Tytler, British army officer and naturalist in colonial India, and on the somewhat convoluted fate of his collection subsequently.
    • The easternmost record of Macratriinae LeConte, 1862 (Coleoptera: Anthicidae), with a new species from Fiji and a genus-rank synonymy in Macratriini LeConte, 1862

      Telnov, Dmitry (Magnolia Press, 2021-04-27)
      The easternmost record of Macratria Newman, 1838 from Fiji is presented, and M. fijiana sp. nov. is described and illustrated. Biogeographical patterns and diversity of Pacific Macratriinae are briefly discussed. Additionally, a new genus rank synonymy in Macratriinae is proposed: Thambospasta Werner, 1974 syn. nov. of Salimuzzamania Abdullah, 1968. New combination is made for Salimuzzamania howdeni (Werner, 1974) comb. nov. (from Thambospasta).
    • Ecological traits affect the sensitivity of bees to land-use pressures in European agricultural landscapes

      De Palma, A; Kuhlmann, M; Roberts, SPM; Potts, SG; Boerger, L; Hudson, L; Lysenko, I; Newbold, T; Purvis, A; Kaplan, I (2015-12)
    • Ecology and biogeography of megafauna and macrofauna at the first known deep-sea hydrothermal vents on the ultraslow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge

      Copley, JT; Marsh, L; Glover, AG; Hühnerbach, V; Nye, VE; Reid, WDK; Sweeting, CJ; Wigham, BD; Wiklund, H (2016-12)
    • The effect of polyploidy and hybridization on the evolution of floral colour in Nicotiana (Solanaceae)

      McCarthy, EW; Arnold, SEJ; Chittka, L; Le Comber, SC; Verity, R; Dodsworth, S; Knapp, S; Kelly, LJ; Chase, MW; Baldwin, IT; et al. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2015-05-15)
      Background and Aims - Speciation in angiosperms can be accompanied by changes in floral colour that may influence pollinator preference and reproductive isolation. This study investigates whether changes in floral colour can accompany polyploid and homoploid hybridization, important processes in angiosperm evolution. Methods - Spectral reflectance of corolla tissue was examined for 60 Nicotiana (Solanaceae) accessions (41 taxa) based on spectral shape (corresponding to pigmentation) as well as bee and hummingbird colour perception in order to assess patterns of floral colour evolution. Polyploid and homoploid hybrid spectra were compared with those of their progenitors to evaluate whether hybridization has resulted in floral colour shifts. Key Results- Floral colour categories in Nicotiana seem to have arisen multiple times independently during the evolution of the genus. Most younger polyploids displayed an unexpected floral colour, considering those of their progenitors, in the colour perception of at least one pollinator type, whereas older polyploids tended to resemble one or both of their progenitors. Conclusions - Floral colour evolution in Nicotiana is weakly constrained by phylogeny, and colour shifts do occur in association with both polyploid and homoploid hybrid divergence. Transgressive floral colour in N. tabacum has arisen by inheritance of anthocyanin pigmentation from its paternal progenitor while having a plastid phenotype like its maternal progenitor. Potentially, floral colour evolution has been driven by, or resulted in, pollinator shifts. However, those polyploids that are not sympatric (on a regional scale) with their progenitor lineages are typically not divergent in floral colour from them, perhaps because of a lack of competition for pollinators.
    • The effect of polyploidy and hybridization on the evolution of floral colour inNicotiana(Solanaceae)

      McCarthy, EW; Arnold, SEJ; Chittka, L; Le Comber, SC; Verity, R; Dodsworth, S; Knapp, S; Kelly, LJ; Chase, MW; Baldwin, IT; et al. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2015-06-01)
      Background and Aims: Speciation in angiosperms can be accompanied by changes in floral colour that may influence pollinator preference and reproductive isolation. This study investigates whether changes in floral colour can accompany polyploid and homoploid hybridization, important processes in angiosperm evolution. Methods: Spectral reflectance of corolla tissue was examined for 60 Nicotiana (Solanaceae) accessions (41 taxa) based on spectral shape (corresponding to pigmentation) as well as bee and hummingbird colour perception in order to assess patterns of floral colour evolution. Polyploid and homoploid hybrid spectra were compared with those of their progenitors to evaluate whether hybridization has resulted in floral colour shifts. Key Results: Floral colour categories in Nicotiana seem to have arisen multiple times independently during the evolution of the genus. Most younger polyploids displayed an unexpected floral colour, considering those of their progenitors, in the colour perception of at least one pollinator type, whereas older polyploids tended to resemble one or both of their progenitors. Conclusions: Floral colour evolution in Nicotiana is weakly constrained by phylogeny, and colour shifts do occur in association with both polyploid and homoploid hybrid divergence. Transgressive floral colour in N. tabacum has arisen by inheritance of anthocyanin pigmentation from its paternal progenitor while having a plastid phenotype like its maternal progenitor. Potentially, floral colour evolution has been driven by, or resulted in, pollinator shifts. However, those polyploids that are not sympatric (on a regional scale) with their progenitor lineages are typically not divergent in floral colour from them, perhaps because of a lack of competition for pollinators.
    • The effect of titanite crystallisation on Eu and Ce anomalies in zircon and its implications for the assessment of porphyry Cu deposit fertility

      Loader, ML; Wilkinson, J; Armstrong, R (Elsevier, 2017-05-31)
      The redox sensitivity of Ce and Eu anomalies in zircon has been clearly demonstrated by experimental studies, and these may represent an important tool in the exploration for porphyry Cu deposits which are thought to be derived from oxidised magmas. These deposits are significant because they are the source of much of the world's copper and almost all of the molybdenum and rhenium, key elements in many modern technologies. However, Ce and Eu anomalies in zircon are also affected by the co-crystallisation of REE bearing phases, such as titanite. Here, we report the trace element chemistry of zircons from titanite-bearing intrusions associated with mineralisation at the world class Oyu Tolgoi porphyry Cu–Au deposit (Mongolia). Based on these data, we suggest that neither zircon Eu/Eu⁎, nor Ce4+/Ce3+ are robust proxies for melt redox conditions, because they are both too strongly dependent on melt REE concentrations, which are usually poorly constrained and controlled by the crystallisation of titanite and other REE-bearing phases. In spite of this, Eu/Eu⁎ can broadly distinguish between fertile and barren systems, so may still be an indicator of porphyry magma fertility, and a useful tool for exploration.
    • Effects of shock and Martian alteration on Tissint hydrogen isotope ratios and water content

      Hallis, LJ; Huss, GR; Nagashima, K; Taylor, GJ; Stöffler, D; Smith, CL; Lee, MR (2017-03)
    • Effects of storage temperature on the change in size of Calliphora vicina larvae during preservation in 80% ethanol

      Richards, CS; Rowlinson, CC; Hall, MJR (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2012-03-08)
      The size of immature blowflies is a common measure to estimate the minimum time between death and the discovery of a corpse, also known as the minimum post-mortem interval. This paper investigates the effects of preservation, in 80% ethanol, on the length and weight of first instar, second instar, feeding third instar, and post-feeding third instar Calliphora vicina larvae, at three different storage temperatures. For each larval stage, the length of larvae was recorded after 0 h, 3 h, 6 h, 9 h, 12 h, 24 h, 72 h, 7 days, 14 days, 30 days, 91 days, 182 days, 273 days, and 365 days of storage in 80% ethanol, at −25°C, 6°C and 24°C. Storage temperature had no statistically significant effect on the change in larval length and weight for all larval stages, but larval length and weight were significantly affected by the duration of preservation for first, second, and feeding third instar larvae, but not for post-feeding larvae. Generally, first and second instar larvae reduced in size over time, while feeding third instar larvae increased slightly in size, and post-feeding larvae did not change in size over time. The length of blowfly larvae preserved in 80% ethanol is not affected by constant storage temperatures between −25°C and +24°C, but we recommend that forensic entomologists should use the models provided to correct for changes in larval length that do become apparent over time.
    • The eggs of the extinct Egyptian population of White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla.

      Maurer, G; RUSSELL, DGD; Woog, F; Cassey, P (British Ornithologists' Club, 2010)
      Little is known concerning the biology of the now extinct Egyptian population of White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla, and few specimens remain in museums to assess its alleged subspecific status. Here we describe three eggs collected near Lake Manzala and review the collection data and anecdotal reports about this species, to provide a better understanding of the biology of White-tailed Eagles in this southernmost part of their former breeding range.
    • Eggshell pigment composition covaries with phylogeny but not with life history or with nesting ecology traits of British passerines

      Brulez, K; Mikšík, I; Cooney, CR; Hauber, ME; Lovell, PG; Maurer, G; Portugal, SJ; Russell, D; Reynolds, SJ; Cassey, P (2016-03)
    • Eight urgent, fundamental and simultaneous steps needed to restore ocean health, and the consequences for humanity and the planet of inaction or delay

      Laffoley, D; Baxter, JM; Amon, Diva; Currie, DEJ; Downs, CA; Hall‐Spencer, JM; Harden‐Davies, H; Page, R; Reid, CP; Roberts, CM; et al. (Wiley, 2019-07-23)
      The ocean crisis is urgent and central to human wellbeing and life on Earth; past and current activities are damaging the planet's main life support system for future generations. We are witnessing an increase in ocean heat, disturbance, acidification, bio‐invasions and nutrients, and reducing oxygen levels. Several of these act like ratchets: once detrimental or negative changes have occurred, they may lock in place and may not be reversible, especially at gross ecological and ocean process scales. Each change may represent a loss to humanity of resources, ecosystem function, oxygen production and species. The longer we pursue unsuitable actions, the more we close the path to recovery and better ocean health and greater benefits for humanity in the future. We stand at a critical juncture and have identified eight priority issues that need to be addressed in unison to help avert a potential ecological disaster in the global ocean. They form a purposely ambitious agenda for global governance and are aimed at informing decision‐makers at a high level. They should also be of interest to the general public. Of all the themes, the highest priority is to rigorously address global warming and limit surface temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2100, as warming is the pre‐eminent factor driving change in the ocean. The other themes are establishing a robust and comprehensive High Seas Treaty, enforcing existing standards for Marine Protected Areas and expanding their coverage, especially in terms of high levels of protection, adopting a precautionary pause on deep‐sea mining, ending overfishing and destructive fishing practices, radically reducing marine pollution, putting in place a financing mechanism for ocean management and protection, and lastly, scaling up science/data gathering and facilitating data sharing. By implementing all eight measures in unison, as a coordinated strategy, we can build resilience to climate change, help sustain fisheries productivity, particularly for low‐income countries dependent on fisheries, protect coasts (e.g. via soft‐engineering/habitat‐based approaches), promote mitigation (e.g. carbon storage) and enable improved adaptation to rapid global change.