Ciencia habilitada por datos de especímenes

Cruz, J. A., J. A. Velasco, J. Arroyo-Cabrales, and E. Johnson. 2023. Paleoclimatic Reconstruction Based on the Late Pleistocene San Josecito Cave Stratum 720 Fauna Using Fossil Mammals, Reptiles, and Birds. Diversity 15: 881.

Advances in technology have equipped paleobiologists with new analytical tools to assess the fossil record. The functional traits of vertebrates have been used to infer paleoenvironmental conditions. In Quaternary deposits, birds are the second-most-studied group after mammals. They are considered a poor paleoambiental proxy because their high vagility and phenotypic plasticity allow them to respond more effectively to climate change. Investigating multiple groups is important, but it is not often attempted. Biogeographical and climatic niche information concerning small mammals, reptiles, and birds have been used to infer the paleoclimatic conditions present during the Late Pleistocene at San Josecito Cave (~28,000 14C years BP), Mexico. Warmer and dryer conditions are inferred with respect to the present. The use of all of the groups of small vertebrates is recommended because they represent an assemblage of species that have gone through a series of environmental filters in the past. Individually, different vertebrate groups provide different paleoclimatic information. Birds are a good proxy for inferring paleoprecipitation but not paleotemperature. Together, reptiles and small mammals are a good proxy for inferring paleoprecipitation and paleotemperature, but reptiles alone are a bad proxy, and mammals alone are a good proxy for inferring paleotemperature and precipitation. The current paleoclimatic results coupled with those of a previous vegetation structure analysis indicate the presence of non-analog paleoenvironmental conditions during the Late Pleistocene in the San Josecito Cave area. This situation would explain the presence of a disharmonious fauna and the extinction of several taxa when these conditions later disappeared and do not reappear again.

Clemente, K. J. E., and M. S. Thomsen. 2023. High temperature frequently increases facilitation between aquatic foundation species: a global meta‐analysis of interaction experiments between angiosperms, seaweeds, and bivalves. Journal of Ecology.

Many studies have quantified ecological impacts of individual foundation species (FS). However, emerging data suggest that FS often co‐occur, potentially inhibiting or facilitating one another, thereby causing indirect, cascading effects on surrounding communities. Furthermore, global warming is accelerating, but little is known about how interactions between co‐occurring FS vary with temperature.Shallow aquatic sedimentary systems are often dominated by three types of FS: slower‐growing clonal angiosperms, faster‐growing solitary seaweeds, and shell‐forming filter‐ and deposit‐feeding bivalves. Here, we tested the impacts of one FS on another by analyzing manipulative interaction experiments from 148 papers with a global meta‐analysis.We calculated 1,942 (non‐independent) Hedges’ g effect sizes, from 11,652 extracted values over performance responses, such as abundances, growths or survival of FS, and their associated standard deviations and replication levels. Standard aggregation procedures generated 511 independent Hedges’ g that was classified into six types of reciprocal impacts between FS.We found that (i) seaweeds had consistent negative impacts on angiosperms across performance responses, organismal sizes, experimental approaches, and ecosystem types; (ii) angiosperms and bivalves generally had positive impacts on each other (e.g., positive effects of angiosperms on bivalves were consistent across organismal sizes and experimental approaches, but angiosperm effect on bivalve growth and bivalve effect on angiosperm abundance were not significant); (iii) bivalves positively affected seaweeds (particularly on growth responses); (iv) there were generally no net effects of seaweeds on bivalves (except for positive effect on growth) or angiosperms on seaweeds (except for positive effect on ‘other processes’); and (v) bivalve interactions with other FS were typically more positive at higher temperatures, but angiosperm‐seaweed interactions were not moderated by temperature.Synthesis: Despite variations in experimental and spatiotemporal conditions, the stronger positive interactions at higher temperatures suggest that facilitation, particularly involving bivalves, may become more important in a future warmer world. Importantly, addressing research gaps, such as the scarcity of FS interaction experiments from tropical and freshwater systems and for less studied species, as well as testing for density‐dependent effects, could better inform aquatic ecosystem conservation and restoration efforts and broaden our knowledge of FS interactions in the Anthropocene.

Lippi, C. A., S. Canfield, C. Espada, H. D. Gaff, and S. J. Ryan. 2023. Estimating the distribution of Oryzomys palustris , a potential key host in expanding rickettsial tick‐borne disease risk. Ecosphere 14.

Increasingly, geographic approaches to assessing the risk of tick‐borne diseases are being used to inform public health decision‐making and surveillance efforts. The distributions of key tick species of medical importance are often modeled as a function of environmental factors, using niche modeling approaches to capture habitat suitability. However, this is often disconnected from the potential distribution of key host species, which may play an important role in the actual transmission cycle and risk potential in expanding tick‐borne disease risk. Using species distribution modeling, we explore the potential geographic range of Oryzomys palustris, the marsh rice rat, which has been implicated as a potential reservoir host of Rickettsia parkeri, a pathogen transmitted by the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum) in the southeastern United States. Due to recent taxonomic reclassification of O. palustris subspecies, we reclassified geolocated collections records into the newer clade definitions. We modeled the distribution of the two updated clades in the region, establishing for the first time, range maps and distributions of these two clades. The predicted distribution of both clades indicates a largely Gulf and southeastern coastal distribution. Estimated suitable habitat for O. palustris extends into the southern portion of the Mid‐Atlantic region, with a discontinuous, limited area of suitability in coastal California. Broader distribution predictions suggest potential incursions along the Mississippi River. We found considerable overlap of predicted O. palustris ranges with the distribution of A. maculatum, indicating the potential need for extended surveillance efforts in those overlapping areas and attention to the role of hosts in transmission cycles.

Oliveira-Dalland, L. G., L. R. V. Alencar, L. R. Tambosi, P. A. Carrasco, R. M. Rautsaw, J. Sigala-Rodriguez, G. Scrocchi, and M. Martins. 2022. Conservation gaps for Neotropical vipers: Mismatches between protected areas, species richness and evolutionary distinctiveness. Biological Conservation 275: 109750.

The continuous decline in biodiversity despite global efforts to create new protected areas calls into question the effectiveness of these areas in conserving biodiversity. Numerous habitats are absent from the global protected area network, and certain taxonomic groups are not being included in conservation planning. Here, we analyzed the level of protection that the current protected area system provides to viper species in the Neotropical region through a conservation gap analysis. We used distribution size and degree of threat to set species-specific conservation goals for 123 viper species in the form of minimum percentage of their distribution that should be covered by protected areas, and assessed the level of protection provided for each species by overlapping their distribution with protected areas of strict protection. Furthermore, using species richness and evolutionary distinctiveness as priority indicators, we conducted a spatial association analysis to detect areas of special concern. We found that most viper species have <1/4 of their distribution covered by protected areas, including 22 threatened species. Also, the large majority of cells containing high levels of species richness were significantly absent from protected areas, while evolutionary distinctiveness was particularly unprotected in regions with relatively low species richness, like northern Mexico and the Argentinian dry Chaco. Our results provide further evidence that vipers are largely being excluded from conservation planning, leaving them exposed to serious threats that can lead to population decline and ultimately extinction.

Rautsaw, R. M., G. Jiménez-Velázquez, E. P. Hofmann, L. R. V. Alencar, C. I. Grünwald, M. Martins, P. Carrasco, et al. 2022. VenomMaps: Updated species distribution maps and models for New World pitvipers (Viperidae: Crotalinae). Scientific Data 9.

Beyond providing critical information to biologists, species distributions are useful for naturalists, curious citizens, and applied disciplines including conservation planning and medical intervention. Venomous snakes are one group that highlight the importance of having accurate information given their cosmopolitan distribution and medical significance. Envenomation by snakebite is considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization and venomous snake distributions are used to assess vulnerability to snakebite based on species occurrence and antivenom/healthcare accessibility. However, recent studies highlighted the need for updated fine-scale distributions of venomous snakes. Pitvipers (Viperidae: Crotalinae) are responsible for >98% of snakebites in the New World. Therefore, to begin to address the need for updated fine-scale distributions, we created VenomMaps, a database and web application containing updated distribution maps and species distribution models for all species of New World pitvipers. With these distributions, biologists can better understand the biogeography and conservation status of this group, researchers can better assess vulnerability to snakebite, and medical professionals can easily discern species found in their area. Measurement(s) Species Distributions Technology Type(s) Geographic Information System • Species Distribution Model (MaxEnt/kuenm) Factor Type(s) Occurrence Records • Environmental Data Sample Characteristic - Organism Crotalinae Sample Characteristic - Location North America • South America

Nekrasova, O., V. Tytar, M. Pupins, and A. Čeirāns. 2022. Range expansion of the alien red-eared slider Trachemys scripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) (Reptilia, Testudines) in Eastern Europe, with special reference to Latvia and Ukraine. BioInvasions Records 11: 287–295.

An increasing number of thermophilic invasive species are spreading and becoming naturalized in Eastern Europe, at least partially due to recent climate change. This can be exemplified by current expansion of the red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta, in Latvia and Ukraine. We collected 44 records of …

Nekrasova, O., O. Marushchak, M. Pupins, A. Skute, V. Tytar, and A. Čeirāns. 2021. Distribution and Potential Limiting Factors of the European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis) in Eastern Europe. Diversity 13: 280.

In order to use an integrated approach for studying the influence of risk factors on the distribution of the native turtle species E. orbicularis and accompanying invasive species (T. scripta and N. procyonoides) in the northeast of their range, we used GIS modelling and a database (GAEZ, human foot…

Azevedo, J. A. R., T. B. Guedes, C. de C. Nogueira, P. Passos, R. J. Sawaya, A. L. C. Prudente, F. E. Barbo, et al. 2019. Museums and cradles of diversity are geographically coincident for narrowly distributed Neotropical snakes. Ecography 43: 328–339.

Factors driving the spatial configuration of centres of endemism have long been a topic of broad interest and debate. Due to different eco‐evolutionary processes, these highly biodiverse areas may harbour different amounts of ancient and recently diverged organisms (paleo‐ and neo‐endemism, respecti…

Cruz, J. A., I. Alarcón-D, D. M. Figueroa-Castro, and C. Castañeda-Posadas. 2021. Fossil pigmy rattlesnake inside the mandible of an American mastodon and use of fossil reptiles for the paleoclimatic reconstruction of a Pleistocene locality in Puebla, Mexico. Quaternary International 574: 116–126.

Records of Pleistocene reptiles are relatively well known in different countries. However, reptile fossil records of Pleistocene from Latin America are scarce and limited to presence data associated with records of megafauna remains. Taphonomic studies in Pleistocene reptiles are focused on finding …

Cooper, N., A. L. Bond, J. L. Davis, R. Portela Miguez, L. Tomsett, and K. M. Helgen. 2019. Sex biases in bird and mammal natural history collections. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 286: 20192025.

Natural history specimens are widely used across ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. Although biological sex may influence all of these areas, it is often overlooked in large-scale studies using museum specimens. If collections are biased towards one sex, studies may not be representativ…