• Bumblebees take the high road: climatically integrative biogeography shows that escape from Tibet, not Tibetan uplift, is associated with divergences of present-day Mendacibombus

      Williams, PH; Lobo, JM; Meseguer, AS (Wiley, 2018-03)
      Many claims that uplift of the Qinghai‐Tibetan plateau (QTP) drove the divergences of extant high‐elevation biota have recently been challenged. For Mendacibombus bumblebees, high‐elevation specialists with distributions centred on the QTP, we examine broader explanations. We extend integrative biogeography to cover multiple contributing factors by using a framework of sequential filters: 1) molecular evidence from four genes is used to estimate phylogenetic relationships, with time calibration from a published estimate; 2) spatial evidence from current distributions is combined with the phylogeny and constrained by a model of short‐distance dispersal along mountain corridors to estimate ancestral distributions by both S‐DIVA and S‐DEC analysis; 3) geological evidence from the literature is used to constrain when high mountain ranges were uplifted to become potential corridors; and 4) climatological evidence from Mendacibombus niche‐evolution reconstructions and from palaeoclimate simulations is used to constrain when habitat was suitable in key gaps within corridors. Explanations for Mendacibombus distributions can be identified that require only short‐distance dispersal along mountain corridors, commensurate with the limited dispersal ability observed for bumblebees. These explanations depend on the timing of uplift of mountain ranges, regional climate change, and climate‐niche evolution. The uplift of the QTP may have contributed to the initial Oligocene divergence of the common ancestor of Mendacibombus from other bumblebees, but for the first two thirds of the history of Mendacibombus, only a single lineage has present‐day descendants. Divergence of multiple extant Mendacibombus lineages coincided with the Late Miocene–Pliocene uplift of externally connecting mountains, combined with regional climate cooling. These changes provided greater connectivity of suitable habitat, allowing these bumblebees to disperse out of the western QTP via new high bridges, escaping along the mountain corridors of the Tian Shan and Hindu Kush ranges, reaching eventually far to the west (Iberian Peninsula) and to the north‐east (Kamchatka).
    • Climate change considerations are fundamental to management of deep‐sea resource extraction

      Levin, Lisa; WEI, CHIH-LIN; Dunn, Daniel; Amon, Diva; Ashford, Oliver; Cheung, William; Colaco, Ana; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos; Escobar Briones, Elva; Harden‐Davies, HR; et al. (Wiley, 2020-06-12)
      Climate change manifestation in the ocean, through warming, oxygen loss, increasing acidification, and changing particulate organic carbon flux (one metric of altered food supply), is projected to affect most deep‐ocean ecosystems concomitantly with increasing direct human disturbance. Climate drivers will alter deep‐sea biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, and may interact with disturbance from resource extraction activities or even climate geoengineering. We suggest that to ensure the effective management of increasing use of the deep ocean (e.g., for bottom fishing, oil and gas extraction, and deep‐seabed mining), environmental management and developing regulations must consider climate change. Strategic planning, impact assessment and monitoring, spatial management, application of the precautionary approach, and full‐cost accounting of extraction activities should embrace climate consciousness. Coupled climate and biological modeling approaches applied in the water and on the seafloor can help accomplish this goal. For example, Earth‐System Model projections of climate‐change parameters at the seafloor reveal heterogeneity in projected climate hazard and time of emergence (beyond natural variability) in regions targeted for deep‐seabed mining. Models that combine climate‐induced changes in ocean circulation with particle tracking predict altered transport of early life stages (larvae) under climate change. Habitat suitability models can help assess the consequences of altered larval dispersal, predict climate refugia, and identify vulnerable regions for multiple species under climate change. Engaging the deep observing community can support the necessary data provisioning to mainstream climate into the development of environmental management plans. To illustrate this approach, we focus on deep‐seabed mining and the International Seabed Authority, whose mandates include regulation of all mineral‐related activities in international waters and protecting the marine environment from the harmful effects of mining. However, achieving deep‐ocean sustainability under the UN Sustainable Development Goals will require integration of climate consideration across all policy sectors.
    • Competition matters: Determining the drivers of land snail community assembly among limestone karst areas in northern Vietnam

      von Oheimb, Parm Viktor; von Oheimb, Katharina C. M.; Hirano, T; Do, TV; Luong, HV; Ablett, J; Pham, SV; Naggs, F (Wiley, 2018-03-26)
      The insular limestone karsts of northern Vietnam harbor a very rich biodiversity. Many taxa are strongly associated with these environments, and individual species communities can differ considerably among karst areas. The exact processes that have shaped the biotic composition of these habitats, however, remain largely unknown. In this study, the role of two major processes for the assembly of snail communities on limestone karsts was investigated, interspecific competition and filtering of taxa due to geographical factors. Communities of operculate land snails of the genus Cyclophorus were studied using the dry and fluid‐preserved specimen collections of the Natural History Museum, London. Phylogenetic distances (based on a Bayesian analysis using DNA sequence data) and shell characters (based on 200 semilandmarks) were used as proxies for ecological similarity and were analyzed to reveal patterns of overdispersion (indicating competition) or clustering (indicating filtering) in observed communities compared to random communities. Among the seven studied karst areas, a total of 15 Cyclophorus lineages were found. Unique communities were present in each area. The analyses revealed phylogenetic overdispersion in six and morphological overdispersion in four of seven karst areas. The pattern of frequent phylogenetic overdispersion indicated that competition among lineages is the major process shaping the Cyclophorus communities studied. The Coastal Area, which was phylogenetically overdispersed, showed a clear morphological clustering, which could have been caused by similar ecological adaptations among taxa in this environment. Only the community in the Cuc Phuong Area showed a pattern of phylogenetic clustering, which was partly caused by an absence of a certain, phylogenetically very distinct group in this region. Filtering due to geographical factors could have been involved here. This study shows how museum collections can be used to examine community assembly and contributes to the understanding of the processes that have shaped karst communities in Vietnam.
    • Connectivity and zebra mussel invasion offer short‐term buffering of eutrophication impacts on floodplain lake landscape biodiversity

      Salgado, J; Sayer, CD; Brooks, SJ; Davidson, TA; Baker, AG; Willby, N; Patmore, IR; Goldsmith, B; Bennion, H; Okamura, B (Wiley, 2019-05-16)
      Aim To investigate if connectivity and zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) occurrence can mitigate effects of eutrophication in a lowland lake landscape. Location Upper Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, UK. Methods Data on environment, macrophytes and invertebrates were assembled for three basins of a large central lake and its satellite floodplain lakes via field surveys and palaeolimnological analyses. Space–time interaction analyses of palaeoecological data were compared pre‐1950 and post‐1950. Multivariate analyses examined how connectivity, environment and zebra mussels influenced contemporary lake communities, and explain their divergence from historical communities in the past. Results Pre‐1950, we found high community variation across sites and low within‐lake variation in macrophytes, but progressive eutrophication accentuated within‐lake community variation after 1950. Partitioning analysis showed larger effects of connectivity than nutrient enrichment on contemporary macrophyte composition, while local effects structured invertebrate communities. Three clusters of lakes were revealed according to variation in macrophyte composition, isolation from the central lake and nutrient enrichment: Group 1– the central lake and six nearby lakes were meso‐eutrophic (TP = 66.7 ± 47.6 μg/L; TN = 0.79 ± 0.41 mg/L) and had the highest zebra mussel abundances and organismal biodiversity; Group 2– Eight eutrophic (TP = 112±36.6 μg/L; TN = 1.25 ± 0.5 mg/L) and connected lakes; Group 3– Seven isolated and hypertrophic (TP = 163.2 ± 101.5 μg/L; TN = 1.55 ± 0.3 mg/L) lakes. Pre‐1950 palaeolimnological data for macrophytes and invertebrates for 5 lakes and a basin in the central lake most resembled extant lake communities of Group 1. However, palaeo‐records revealed that macrophytes and invertebrates subsequently converged towards those of Groups 2 and 3. Main conclusions Our study reveals that the central “mother” lake acts as a hub for preserving biodiversity via shared hydrological connectivity with satellite lakes and high zebra mussel abundances. These may buffer the impoverishing effects of eutrophication and sustain unexpectedly high biodiversity in the short term. Such protective buffering, however, cannot be relied upon indefinitely to conserve biodiversity.
    • 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.
    • Elevational richness patterns of sphingid moths support area effects over climatic drivers in a near‐global analysis

      Bärtschi, F; McCain, CM; Ballesteros‐Mejia, L; Kitching, I; Beerli, N; Beck, J (Wiley, 2019-03-03)
      Aim We test hypotheses on the environmental control of elevational richness patterns of sphingid moths for their global applicability and generality. Specifically, we compare effects of area with climate‐related drivers, such as primary productivity and temperature, while also considering direct effects of precipitation. Major taxa Sphingid moths (Lepidoptera). Location Eighty‐six mountain ranges of the Old World and the Australia/Pacific region, from Scandinavia and Siberia through the African and Australasian tropics to South Africa and Southern Australia. Methods We used a large compilation of point locality records for 744 species, in addition to fine‐grained range maps derived from species distribution modelling of these records, to characterize the elevational pattern of species richness in 86 custom‐delineated mountain regions. For both types of data, we compared the effects of environmental drivers on richness by comparing standardized coefficients of multivariate models for pooled data after accounting for between‐region variation in richness. Results We observed varying patterns of elevational richness across the research region, with a higher prevalence of midpeaks in arid regions. We found overwhelming support for area as a main determinant of richness, modulated by temperature and productivity, whereas we detected no effect of precipitation. Main conclusions Area, productivity and temperature are the main environmental predictors explaining a large proportion of variability in sphingid richness. This is consistent not only with other elevational studies, but also with empirical and theoretical biodiversity research in a non‐elevational context (with the caveat of some unresolved issues in elevational area effects). However, distinct differences in elevational patterns remain even within the same mountain ranges when comparing with other Lepidoptera, that is, geometrid moths, which highlights the importance of understanding higher clade differentiation in ecological responses, within insects and in other groups.
    • Ensuring tests of conservation interventions build on existing literature

      Sutherland, WJ; Alvarez‐Castañeda, ST; Amano, T; Ambrosini, R; Atkinson, P; Baxter, JM; Bond, AL; Boon, PJ; Buchanan, KL; Barlow, J; et al. (Wiley, 2020-08-11)
    • Evolution Is Linear: Debunking Life's Little Joke

      Jenner, RA (Wiley, 2017-12-16)
      Linear depictions of the evolutionary process are ubiquitous in popular culture, but linear evolutionary imagery is strongly rejected by scientists who argue that evolution branches. This point is frequently illustrated by saying that we didn't evolve from monkeys, but that we are related to them as collateral relatives. Yet, we did evolve from monkeys, but our monkey ancestors are extinct, not extant. Influential voices, such as the late Stephen Jay Gould, have misled audiences for decades by falsely portraying the linear and branching aspects of evolution to be in conflict, and by failing to distinguish between the legitimate linearity of evolutionary descent, and the branching relationships among collateral relatives that result when lineages of ancestors diverge. The purpose of this article is to correct the widespread misplaced rejection of linear evolutionary imagery, and to re‐emphasize the basic truth that the evolutionary process is fundamentally linear.
    • History of the discovery of the mode of transmission of yellow fever virus

      Clements, AN; Harbach, RE (Wiley, 2017-11-10)
      This essay documents and examines the historical circumstances and events surrounding the discovery of the mode of transmission of yellow fever virus in Cuba. Close scrutiny of the articles published by Walter Reed and his colleagues in 1900, 1901 and 1902 reveals their limitations as historic documents. Fortunately, other sources of information from that period survive in letters and documents written by individuals involved in the quest for the mode of transmission. Examination and comparison of those sources of information unveiled a fascinating story which reveals that misunderstandings engendered by published articles accorded merit where it was not fully due.
    • Horizon scanning for invasive alien species with the potential to threaten biodiversity in Great Britain

      Roy, HE; Peyton, J; Aldridge, DC; Bantock, T; Blackburn, TM; Britton, R; Clark, P; Cook, E; Dehnen-Schmutz, K; Dines, T; et al. (Wiley, 2014-05-19)
    • How climatic variability is linked to the spatial distribution of range sizes: seasonality versus climate change velocity in sphingid moths

      Grünig, M; Beerli, N; Ballesteros-Mejia, L; Kitching, I; Beck, J (Wiley, 2017-07-04)
      Aim To map the spatial variation of range sizes within sphingid moths, and to test hypotheses on its environmental control. In particular, we investigate effects of climate change velocity since the Pleistocene and the mid‐Holocene, temperature and precipitation seasonality, topography, Pleistocene ice cover, and available land area. Location Old World and Australasia, excluding smaller islands. Methods We used fine‐grained range maps (based on expert‐edited distribution modelling) for all 972 sphingid moth species in the research region and calculated, at a grain size of 100 km, the median of range sizes of all species that co‐occur in a pixel. Climate, topography and Pleistocene ice cover data were taken from publicly available sources. We calculated climate change velocities (CCV) for the last 21 kyr as well as 6 kyr. We compared the effects of seasonality and CCV on median range sizes with spatially explicit models while accounting for effects of elevation range, glaciation history and available land area. Results Range sizes show a clear spatial pattern, with highest median values in deserts and arctic regions and lowest values in isolated tropical regions. Range sizes were only weakly related to absolute latitude (predicted by Rapoport's effect), but there was a strong north‐south pattern of range size decline. Temperature seasonality emerged as the strongest environmental correlate of median range size, in univariate as well as multivariate models, whereas effects of CCV were weak and unstable for both time periods. These results were robust to variations in the parameters in alternative analyses, among them multivariate CCV. Main conclusions Temperature seasonality is a strong correlate of spatial range size variation, while effects of longer‐term temperature change, as captured by CCV, received much weaker support.
    • How has the environment shaped geographical patterns of insect body sizes? A test of hypotheses using sphingid moths.

      Beerli, N; Bärtschi, F; Kitching, IJ; Ballesteros-Mejia, L; Beck, J (Wiley, 2019-05-14)
      Aim: We mapped the geographical pattern of body sizes in sphingid moths and investigated latitudinal clines. We tested hypotheses concerning their possible environmental control, that is, effects of temperature (negative: temperature size rule or Bergmann's rule; positive: converse Bergmann rule), food availability, robustness to starvation during extreme weather and seasonality. Location: Old World and Australia/Pacific region. Methods: Body size data of 950 sphingid species were compiled and related to their distribution maps. Focusing on body length, we mapped the median and maximum size of all species occurring in 100 km grid cells. In a comparative approach, we tested the predictions from explanatory hypotheses by correlating species' size to the average environmental conditions encountered throughout their range, under univariate and multivariate models. We accounted for phylogeny by stepwise inclusion of phylogenetically informed taxonomic classifications into hierarchical random‐intercept mixed models. Results: Median body sizes showed a distinctive geographical pattern, with large species in the Middle East and the Asian tropics, and smaller species in temperate regions and the Afrotropics. Absolute latitude explained very little body size variation, but there was a latitudinal cline of maximum size. Species' median size was correlated with net primary productivity, supporting the food availability hypothesis, whereas support for other hypotheses was weak. Environmental correlations contributed much less (i.e. <10%) to explaining overall size variation than phylogeny (inclusion of which led to models explaining >70% of variability). Main conclusion: The intuitive impression of larger species in the tropics is shaped by larger size maxima. Median body sizes are only very weakly related to latitude. Most of the geographical variation in body size in sphingid moths is explained by their phylogenetic past. NPP and forest cover correlate positively with the body size, which supports the idea that food availability allowed the evolution of larger sizes.
    • Hybrid capture data unravel a rapid radiation of pimpliform parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Pimpliformes)

      Klopfstein, S; Langille, B; Spasojevic, T; Broad, G; Cooper, SJB; Austin, AD; Niehuis, O (Wiley, 2018-10-31)
      The parasitoid wasp family Ichneumonidae is among the most diverse groups of organisms, with conservative estimates suggesting that it contains more species than all vertebrates together. However, ichneumonids are also among the most severely understudied groups, and our understanding of their evolution is hampered by the lack of a robust higher‐level phylogeny of this group. Based on newly generated transcriptome sequence data, which were filtered according to several criteria of phylogenetic informativeness, we developed target DNA enrichment baits to capture 93 genes across species of Ichneumonidae. The baits were applied to DNA of 55 ichneumonids, with a focus on Pimpliformes, an informal group containing nine subfamilies. Phylogenetic trees were inferred under maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches, at both the nucleotide and amino acid levels. We found maximum support for the monophyly of Pimpliformes but low resolution and very short branches close to its base, strongly suggesting a rapid radiation. Two genera and one genus‐group were consistently recovered in unexpected parts of the tree, prompting changes in their higher‐level classification: Pseudorhyssa Merrill, currently classified in the subfamily Poemeniinae, is transferred to the tribe Delomeristini within Pimplinae, and Hemiphanes Förster is moved from Orthocentrinae to Cryptinae. Likewise, the tribe Theroniini is resurrected for the Theronia group of genera (stat. rev.). Phylogenetic analyses, in which we gradually increased the numbers of genes, revealed that the initially steep increase in mean clade support slows down at around 40 genes, and consideration of up to 93 genes still left various nodes in the inferred phylogenetic tree poorly resolved. It remains to be shown whether more extensive gene or taxon sampling can resolve the early evolution of the pimpliform subfamilies.
    • Marine hotspots of activity inform protection of a threatened community of pelagic species in a large oceanic jurisdiction

      Requena, S; Oppel, S; Bond, AL; Hall, J; Cleeland, J; Crawford, RJM; Davies, D; Dilley, BJ; Glass, T; Makhado, A; et al. (Wiley, 2020-03-25)
      Remote oceanic islands harbour unique biodiversity, especially of species that rely on the marine trophic resources around their breeding islands. Identifying marine areas used by such species is essential to manage and limit processes that threaten these species. The Tristan da Cunha territory in the South Atlantic Ocean hosts several endemic and globally threatened seabirds, and pinnipeds; how they use the waters surrounding the islands must be considered when planning commercial activities. To inform marine management in the Tristan da Cunha Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), we identified statistically significant areas of concentrated activity by collating animal tracking data from nine seabirds and one marine mammal. We first calculated the time that breeding adults of the tracked species spent in 10 × 10 km cells within the EEZ, for each of four seasons to account for temporal variability in space use. By applying a spatial aggregation statistic over these grids for each season, we detected areas that are used more than expected by chance. Most of the activity hotspots were either within 100 km of breeding colonies or were associated with seamounts, being spatially constant across several seasons. Our simple and effective approach highlights important areas for pelagic biodiversity that will benefit conservation planning and marine management strategies.
    • Micro-computed tomography visualization of the vestigial alimentary canal in adult oestrid flies

      Martín-Vega, D; Garbout, A; Ahmed, F; Ferrer, LM; Lucientes, J; Colwell, DD; Hall, MJR (Wiley, 2018-02-16)
      Oestrid flies (Diptera: Oestridae) do not feed during the adult stage as they acquire all necessary nutrients during the parasitic larval stage. The adult mouthparts and digestive tract are therefore frequently vestigial; however, morphological data on the alimentary canal in adult oestrid flies are scarce and a proper visualization of this organ system within the adult body is lacking. The present work visualizes the morphology of the alimentary canal in adults of two oestrid species, Oestrus ovis L. and Hypoderma lineatum (de Villiers), with the use of non‐invasive micro‐computed tomography (micro‐CT) and compares it with the highly developed alimentary canal of the blow fly Calliphora vicina Robineau‐Desvoidy (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Both O. ovis and H. lineatum adults showed significant reductions of the cardia and the diameter of the digestive tract, an absence of the helicoidal portion of the midgut typical of other cyclorrhaphous flies, and a lack of crop and salivary glands. Given the current interest in the alimentary canal in adult dipterans in biomedical and developmental biology studies, further understanding of the morphology and development of this organ system in adult oestrids may provide valuable new insights in several areas of research.
    • Morphology and Molecular Phylogeny of a New Hypotrich Ciliate,Pseudourostyla guizhouensissp. nov. from Southern China, with Notes on a Chinese Population ofHemicycliostyla franzi(Foissner, 1987) Paiva et al., 2012 (Ciliophora, Hypotricha)

      Li, Y; Lyu, Z; Warren, A; Zhou, K; Li, F; Chen, X (Wiley, 2017-05-22)
      The morphology and molecular phylogeny of a soil hypotrich ciliate, Pseudourostyla guizhouensis sp. nov., collected from southern China, were investigated. Pseudourostyla guizhouensis sp. nov. has an elongate elliptical body measuring 180–310 × 65–85 μm in vivo; invariably two right and three or four left marginal rows; six or seven dorsal kineties; adoral zone consisting of 57–70 membranelles; 12–16 frontal cirri, one buccal cirrus, 13–20 midventral pairs, two frontoterminal cirri, two pretransverse cirri, and five to seven transverse cirri. Morphogenesis during physiological regeneration indicates that the marginal rows of each side originate from a common anlage that differentiates into several rows. Molecular phylogenetic analysis based on SSU rDNA sequence data reveals that P . guizhouensis sp. nov. clusters with the type species P. cristata (Jerka‐Dziadosz, 1964) Borror, 1972 and that the genus Pseudourostyla is monophyletic. The morphological characters of another soil hypotrich ciliate, Hemicycliostyla franzi (Foissner, 1987) Paiva et al., 2012, are also described based on a Chinese (Guizhou) population.
    • New insights from old eggs – the shape and thickness of Great Auk Pinguinus impennis eggs

      Birkhead, T; Russell, D; Garbout, A; Attard, M; Thompson, J; Jackson, D (Wiley, 2020-02-09)
      We compared the shape and eggshell thickness of Great Auk Pinguinus impennis eggs with those of its closest relatives, the Razorbill Alca torda, Common Guillemot Uria aalge and Brünnich's Guillemot Uria lomvia, in order to gain additional insights into the breeding biology of the extinct Great Auk. The egg of the Great Auk was most similar in shape to that of Brünnich's Guillemot. The absolute thickness of the Great Auk eggshell was greater than that of the Common Guillemot and Razorbill egg, which is as expected given its greater size, but the relative shell thickness at the equator and pointed end (compared with the blunt end) was more similar to that of the Common Guillemot. On the basis of these and other results we suggest that Great Auk incubated in an upright posture in open habitat with little or no nest, where its pyriform egg shape provided stability and allowed safe manoeuvrability during incubation. On the basis of a recent phylogeny of the Alcidae, we speculate that a single brood patch, a pyriform egg and upright incubation posture, as in the Great Auk and the two Uria guillemots, is the ancestral state, and that the Razorbill – the Great Auk's closest relative – secondarily evolved two brood patches and an elliptical egg as adaptations for horizontal incubation, which provides flexibility in incubation site selection, allowing breeding in enclosed spaces such as crevices, burrows or under boulders, as well as on open ledges.
    • A parakeet specimen held at National Museums Scotland is a unique skin of the extinct Reunion Parakeet Psittacula eques eques: a reply to Cheke and Jansen ()

      Jones, CG; Jackson, HA; McGowan, RY; Hume, JP; Forshaw, JM; Tatayah, V; Winters, R; Groombridge, JJ (Wiley, 2018-11-02)
      Cheke and Jansen (2016) questioned the identity of a parakeet specimen at National Museums Scotland (NMS), Edinburgh, which is considered in a paper by Jackson et al. (2015) to be a specimen of the extinct R eunion Parakeet Psittacula eques eques (Boddaert, 1783). They suggest that with the available information, its provenance cannot be ascribed with any certainty and it is most likely, on the basis of probability, to be from Mauritius, although they do not exclude the possibility that the parakeet comes from R eunion, the neighbouring island of Mauritius. The provenance and identity of this specimen has previously been questioned (Jones 1987, Hume 2007, Hume & Walters 2012), with the possibility that it may be a Mauritius Parakeet Psittacula eques echo. Since these accounts were written, more work conducted on Psittacula parakeets of the Indian Ocean Islands indicates that the Edinburgh specimen is a R eunion Parakeet, and Cheke and Jansen (2016) would have been unaware of some of this work.
    • Population substructure and signals of divergent adaptive selection despite admixture in the sponge Dendrilla antarctica from shallow waters surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula

      Leiva, Carlos; Taboada, Sergi; Kenny, Nathan J.; Combosch, David; Giribet, Gonzalo; Jombart, Thibaut; Riesgo, Ana (Wiley, 2019-05-24)
      Antarctic shallow‐water invertebrates are exceptional candidates to study population genetics and evolution, because of their peculiar evolutionary history and adaptation to extreme habitats that expand and retreat with the ice sheets. Among them, sponges are one of the major components, yet population connectivity of none of their many Antarctic species has been studied. To investigate gene flow, local adaptation and resilience to near‐future changes caused by global warming, we sequenced 62 individuals of the sponge Dendrilla antarctica along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) and the South Shetlands (spanning ~900 km). We obtained information from 577 double digest restriction site‐associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq)‐derived single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), using RADseq techniques for the first time with shallow‐water sponges. In contrast to other studies in sponges, our 389 neutral SNPs data set showed high levels of gene flow, with a subtle substructure driven by the circulation system of the studied area. However, the 140 outlier SNPs under positive selection showed signals of population differentiation, separating the central–southern WAP from the Bransfield Strait area, indicating a divergent selection process in the study area despite panmixia. Fourteen of these outliers were annotated, being mostly involved in immune and stress responses. We suggest that the main selective pressure on D. antarctica might be the difference in the planktonic communities present in the central–southern WAP compared to the Bransfield Strait area, ultimately depending on sea‐ice control of phytoplankton blooms. Our study unveils an unexpectedly long‐distance larval dispersal exceptional in Porifera, broadening the use of genome‐wide markers within nonmodel Antarctic organisms.
    • The potential of the solitary parasitoid Microctonus brassicae for the biological control of the adult cabbage stem flea beetle, Psylliodes chrysocephala

      Jordan, A; Broad, G; Stigenberg, J; Hughes, J; Stone, J; Bedford, I; Penfield, S; Wells, R (Wiley, 2020-05-15)
      The cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB), Psylliodes chrysocephala L. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), is a major pest of oilseed rape, Brassica napus L. (Brassicaceae), within the UK and continental Europe. Following the withdrawal of many broad‐spectrum pesticides, most importantly neonicotinoids, and with increased incidence of pyrethroid resistance, few chemical control options remain, resulting in the need for alternative pest management strategies. We identified the parasitoid wasp Microctonus brassicae (Haeselbarth) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) within CSFB collected from three independent sites in Norfolk, UK. Parasitism of adult CSFB was confirmed, and wasp oviposition behaviour was described. Moreover, we show that within captive colonies parasitism rates are sufficient to generate significant biological control of CSFB populations. A sequence of the M. brassicae mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (MT‐CO1) gene was generated for rapid future identification. Moroccan specimens of Microctonus aethiopoides (Loan), possessing 90% sequence similarity, were the closest identified sequenced species. This study represents the first description published in English of this parasitoid of the adult cabbage stem flea beetle.