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The types and distributions of anthropogenic rubbish have been documented at Bunger Hills, East Antarctica. The area has been the site of scientific research stations from 1958 to the present. Rubbish types include deliberately or negligently discarded items (gas cylinders, broken glass), abandoned unserviceable equipment (boats, vehicles, scientific equipment), spills (chemicals, fuel, oil) and the slow collapse of old buildings. Some rubbish remained where it was left, while other material was redistributed by strong winds. Modern expeditioner training should limit the production of new rubbish, while inadvertent wind dispersal of rubbish from old station buildings could be minimized by better management of these structures and their surrounds. Buildings and other constructed items need ongoing maintenance if they are not to break down and be distributed by wind, or they should be removed within a reasonable period.
The great fruit-eating bat (Artibeus lituratus) is a large-sized species that forages primarily on fruits. This species is widespread throughout the Neotropics, where it is common in natural areas and also occupies forest patches and cities. In this study, we review the composition of Artibeus lituratus diet in Brazil as well as the size of fruits and seeds, plant geographic origin, and sampling methods used in natural versus urban habitats. We show that Artibeus lituratus is able to consume a higher proportion of exotic fruits with large seeds in urban environments than in natural areas. Fruit diameter was not statistically different between environments, but both fruit and seed diameters are smaller when detected by fecal sampling than by other methods. This difference is likely due to the fact that in natural habitats studies are predominantly based on fecal samples, which hinders the detection of large unswallowed seeds. Consequently, we recommend the use of complementary sampling methods (not only the widely used technique of fecal sorting) in order to produce more accurate descriptions of frugivorous bats’ diets. We suggest that the ability to exploit fruits of exotic plant species including the ones with large seeds may be a key trait for the persistence of A. lituratus in urban habitats.
Globally, little is known about the dispersal abilities of carnivores, their survival in non-protected areas, and the connectivity between protected and non-protected populations. More than a decade of sighting data for 496 known African lions Panthera leo, with 189 individuals engaging in dispersing activities plus an exchange of cross-site information, has provided unique insight into connectivity and survival in unprotected and protected areas in Kenya. In particular, three individuals, across two generations residing solely in unprotected landscapes, demonstrated connectivity between three protected areas that, to our knowledge, have not previously been recognized as harbouring connected populations. These observations suggest that unprotected areas and the human communities that reside in them may successfully create corridors of tolerance that facilitate connectivity and the long-term persistence of lion populations, both within and outside protected areas.
In 2016 and 2017, 98 separate commercially available bird feed mixes were examined for the presence of weed seed. All weed seed contaminants were counted and identified by species. Amaranthus species were present in 94 of the 98 bags of bird feed. Amaranthus species present in bird feed mixes included waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) Sauer], redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.), Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson), smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.), and tumble pigweed (Amaranthus albus L.). Amaranthus palmeri was present in 27 of the 98 mixes. Seed of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.), kochia [Bassia scoparia (L.) A.J. Scott], grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], wild buckwheat (Fallopia convolvulus L., syn: Polygonum convolvulus), common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.), large crabgrass [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.], and Setaria species were also present in bird feed mixes. A greenhouse assay to determine Amaranthus species seed germinability and resistance to glyphosate revealed that approximately 19% of Amaranthus seed in bird feed mixes are readily germinable, and five mixes contained A. tuberculatus and A. palmeri seed that were resistant to glyphosate. Results from linear regression and t-test analysis indicate that when proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.), grain sorghum, and corn (Zea mays L.) were present in feed mixes, Amaranthus seed contamination was increased. The presence of proso millet and grain sorghum also increased contamination of grass weed species, while sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) increased A. artemisiifolia contamination and safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) increased contamination of Bassia scoparia.
Seed dispersal is an important ecological process that structures plant communities and influences ecosystem functioning. Loss of animal dispersers therefore poses a serious threat to forest ecosystems, particularly in the tropics where zoochory predominates. A prominent example is the near-total extinction of seed dispersers on the tropical island of Guam following the accidental introduction of the invasive brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis), negatively impacting seedling recruitment and forest regeneration. We investigated frugivory by a remnant population of Såli (Micronesian starling – Aplonis opaca) on Guam and two other island populations (Rota, Saipan) to evaluate their ecological role as a seed disperser in the Mariana archipelago. Using a combination of behavioural observations, nest contents and fecal samples, we documented frugivory of 37 plant species. Native plants comprised the majority (66%) of all species and 90% of all seeds identified in fecal and nest contents. Diet was highly similar across age classes and sampling years. In addition, plant species consumed by Såli comprised 88% of bird-dispersed adult trees and 54% of all adult trees in long-term forest monitoring plots, demonstrating the Såli’s broad diet and potential for restoring native forests. Overall, we provide the most comprehensive assessment to date of frugivory by the Såli and confirm its importance as a seed disperser on Guam and throughout the Marianas.
Recent years have seen great interest in the suggestion that between-group aggression and within-group altruism have coevolved. However, these efforts have neglected the possibility that warfare – via its impact on demography – might influence human social behaviours more widely, not just those directly connected to success in war. Moreover, the potential for sex differences in the demography of warfare to translate into sex differences in social behaviour more generally has remained unexplored. Here, we develop a kin-selection model of altruism performed by men and women for the benefit of their groupmates in a population experiencing intergroup conflict. We find that warfare can promote altruistic, helping behaviours as the additional reproductive opportunities winners obtain in defeated groups decrease harmful competition between kin. Furthermore, we find that sex can be a crucial modulator of altruism, with there being a tendency for the sex that competes more intensely with relatives to behave more altruistically and for the sex that competes more intensely with non-relatives in defeated groups to receive more altruism. In addition, there is also a tendency for the less-dispersing sex to both give and receive more altruism. We discuss implications for our understanding of observed sex differences in cooperation in human societies.
Archaeolinguistics, a field which combines language reconstruction and archaeology as a source of information on human prehistory, has much to offer to deepen our understanding of the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Northeast Asia. So far, integrated comparative analyses of words and tools for textile production are completely lacking for the Northeast Asian Neolithic and Bronze Age. To remedy this situation, here we integrate linguistic and archaeological evidence of textile production, with the aim of shedding light on ancient population movements in Northeast China, the Russian Far East, Korea and Japan. We show that the transition to more sophisticated textile technology in these regions can be associated not only with the adoption of millet agriculture but also with the spread of the languages of the so-called ‘Transeurasian’ family. In this way, our research provides indirect support for the Language/Farming Dispersal Hypothesis, which posits that language expansion from the Neolithic onwards was often associated with agricultural colonization.
The present paper is devoted to the study of the existence, the uniqueness and the stability of transition fronts of non-local dispersal equations in time heterogeneous media of bistable type under the unbalanced condition. We first study space non-increasing transition fronts and prove various important qualitative properties, including uniform steepness, stability, uniform stability and exponential decaying estimates. Then, we show that any transition front, after certain space shift, coincides with a space non-increasing transition front (if it exists), which implies the uniqueness, up-to-space shifts and monotonicity of transition fronts provided that a space non-increasing transition front exists. Moreover, we show that a transition front must be a periodic travelling front in periodic media and asymptotic speeds of transition fronts exist in uniquely ergodic media. Finally, we prove the existence of space non-increasing transition fronts, whose proof does not need the unbalanced condition.
Large frugivores provide critical seed dispersal services for many plant species and their extirpation from forested ecosystems can cause compositional shifts in regenerating plant cohorts. Yet, we still poorly understand whether large seed-dispersers have complementary or redundant roles for forest regeneration. Here, to assess the functional complementarity of large-bodied frugivores in forest regeneration, we quantified the effects of varying abundance of hornbills, primates and the forest elephant on the density, species richness and the mean weighted seed length of animal-dispersed tree species among seedlings in five sites in a forest–savanna mosaic in D. R. Congo, while accounting for percentage forest cover and the local presence of fruiting trees. We found that the abundance of primates was positively associated with species richness of seedlings, while percentage forest cover was negatively associated (R2 = 0.19). The abundance of hornbills, the presence of elephants and percentage forest cover were positively associated with mean seed length of the regenerating cohort (R2 = 0.13). Spatially explicit analysis indicated that some additional processes have an important influence on these response indices. Primates would seem to have a preponderant role for maintaining relatively high species richness, while hornbills and elephant would seem to be predominantly responsible for the recruitment of large-seeded trees. Our results could indicate that these taxa of frugivores play complementary functional roles for forest regeneration. This suggests that the extirpation of one or more of these dispersers would likely not be functionally compensated for by the remaining taxa, hence possibly cascading into compositional shifts.
During the expedition POS397 ‘GroMet’ in 2010 the sediments of the Great Meteor Seamount (GMS) plateau were sampled quantitatively for the first time, allowing statistical analysis of the community structure of Harpacticoida and Canuelloida. Analysis of similarity revealed no differences between three geographic regions at family/species level. Analysis of diversity indicated slightly greater diversity in the south, with more species belonging to more genera/families. Dispersal opportunities possibly occurring at the plateau (emergence, erosion, rafting) are discussed. Of 18 investigated families 106 species were identified, but only 5.66% were already scientifically known and widely distributed. Within the investigated families, 37.74% of the species belonged to shallow-water genera, leading to the conclusion that the plateau was once connected to shallow-water habitats, perhaps functioning as a stepping stone, but is now geographically isolated. This isolation is most likely due to seafloor spreading of the Atlantic Ocean and descending of the GMS. On the plateau, six species with wider distribution ranges were present, indicating that species may arrive accidentally, but their means of settlement remains unknown. Comparisons of the identified GMS plateau fauna with that of other seamounts and mid-oceanic islands revealed similar communities at family level, but at species level the GMS shares only one species with the Seine Seamount; all other elevations had more species in common. Hence, the GMS plateau is considered to be isolated regarding benthic Copepoda but may play an important role in meiofaunal species distribution, as it represents a shallow-water habitat within the deep sea.
Many plant traits might explain the different ecological and network roles of fruit-eating birds. We assessed the relationship of plant productivity, fruit traits (colour, seed size and nutritional quality) and dietary specialization, with the network roles of fruit-eating birds (number of partners, centrality and selectivity) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. We classified bird species according to their dietary specialization into three categories: obligate, partial and opportunistic fruit-eating birds. To test if network roles changed according to dietary specialization, fruit productivity and traits, we used a generalized linear model analysis. The selected 14 species of plant interacted with 52 bird species, which consumed 2199 fruits. The most central and generalist fruit-eating bird, Turdus albicolis, interacted with plants that produced more fruits, such as Miconia cinerascens, and had, on average, larger seeds, such as Myrcia splendens. The most selective birds interacted with fruits with a higher concentration of lipids and less intense colour, and plants that produced fewer fruits. Obligate fruit-eating birds, such as Patagioenas plumbea, were more selective than partial and opportunistic birds. Different plant traits are therefore related to the different network roles of fruit-eating birds in the Atlantic Forest, which are also dependent on bird dietary specialization.
To better understand the role of seed banks in ecological succession of dry forests, we compared similarities between vegetation and seed banks and assessed the relative contributions of seed dispersal and persistence in chronosequences in the Brazilian semi-arid region. To sample the standing vegetation and the seed bank, we collected data in three sites with three successional ages in each one (5 y, 25 y and 45 y). A total of 180 soil samples (three sites × three successional ages × 10 plots × two components) were collected. The composition of the seed bank was assessed by the seedling emergence method. Of 166 species identified in the standing vegetation, only 50 (30.1%) were also present in the seed bank, resulting in low similarity (Jaccard index = 0.02–0.21) and reflecting the rarity of woody species and the dominance of annuals (71% of richness). The relative importance of seed persistence and seed dispersal to seed banks composition were balanced in most cases (difference was not rejected in four out six comparisons). Those results suggest that seed banks in tropical dry forests are largely the result of high dispersal rates and the persistence of allochthonous annual species that contribute to decoupling seed bank and vegetation composition.
Although introduced pasture grasses are essential for forage production in current livestock farming, some species cause serious impacts on native biodiversity when naturalized. Information on the seed dispersal of invasive forage grasses from cultivated settings to surrounding environments can inform management efforts to prevent their naturalization. In this case study, we quantified the wind-mediated seed dispersal distance and amount of dispersed seed of invasive forage grasses from agricultural grasslands in Hokkaido, northern Japan. In total, 200 funnel seed traps were installed around three regularly mown grasslands and one unmown grassland where various forage grass species were grown in mixture. Seeds of each species dispersed outside the grasslands were captured from May to October 2017. Based on the trapped distances of seeds, the 99th percentile dispersal distance from the grasslands was estimated for six species, including timothy (Phleum pratense L.), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). For two dominant species, P. pratense and D. glomerata, the numbers of seeds dispersed outside the field under mown and unmown conditions were determined under various plant cover situations. The estimated dispersal distances ranged from 2.3 m (P. pratense) to 31.5 m (P. pratensis), suggesting that areas within approximately 32 m of the grasslands are exposed to the invasion risk of some forage grass species. For both P. pratense and D. glomerata, the number of seeds dispersed outside the unmown grassland exceeded 100 seeds m−2 under high plant cover situations, while the number of seeds dispersed from the mown grasslands at the same plant cover level was less than one-third of that number. The results suggest that local land managers focus their efforts on frequent mowing of grasslands and monitoring of the areas within approximately 32 m of the grasslands to substantially reduce the naturalization of invasive forage grasses.
Habitat fragmentation is a major cause of biodiversity loss in agricultural landscapes. Studying habitat connectivity in fragmented landscapes is therefore pivotal for better understanding the factors that shape faunal communities in anthropogenic landscapes. Amphibians have limited dispersal abilities, strong site fidelity and often perform seasonal movements to reach relatively distant breeding habitats. This calls for a better knowledge of which landscape features might promote dispersal, especially in crops. We applied graph-theoretic network analyses to a set of 35 waterbodies embedded in 10 rice fields in a savanna–rain forest ecotone, Tocantins, Brazil, to assess the importance of landscape features (forest patches, waterbodies) for anuran functional connectivity within the entire network. We used taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity as proxies of anuran functional connectivity (i.e. dispersal ability intrinsic to the taxa), based on previous associations uncovered between species diversity metrics and landscape connectivity. We found that, assuming individuals belonging to each of the 14 amphibian species recorded are unable to disperse over 800 m, forest and waterbody area and abundance are the most important predictors of waterbody importance for connectivity. Hence, pond network connectivity for amphibians in rice crops depends on (1) abundant and large forest patches in the area surrounding waterbodies, and (2) a network of abundant waterbodies.
This paper is concerned with the travelling waves for a class of non-local dispersal non-cooperative system, which can model the prey-predator and disease-transmission mechanism. By the Schauder's fixed-point theorem, we first establish the existence of travelling waves connecting the semi-trivial equilibrium to non-trivial leftover concentrations, whose bounds are deduced from a precise analysis. Further, we characterize the minimal wave speed of travelling waves and obtain the non-existence of travelling waves with slow speed. Finally, we apply the general results to an epidemic model with bilinear incidence for its propagation dynamics.
The phyllosoma larva of spiny and slipper lobsters (Palinuridae and Scyllaridae respectively) can disperse during several months before metamorphosing into a decapodid stage, which is the key phase for a successful settlement. The largest Scyllarus decapodid known to date was recently collected near the Canary Islands and identified by DNA analysis as Scyllarus subarctus. This species had never been previously reported from the area, and the decapodid stage is described here for the first time. The examination of further museum specimens has now significantly expanded the current distribution of S. subarctus, including much of the NW African coast, St Helena and Canary Islands. These results highlight the importance of combining molecular analysis of recently collected specimens with historical collections.
Understanding why ecological communities contain the species they do is a long-standing question in ecology. Two common mechanisms that affect the species found within communities are dispersal limitation and environmental filtering. Correctly identifying the relative influences of these mechanisms has important consequences for our understanding of community assembly. Here variable selection was used to identify the environmental variables that best predict tropical forest primate community similarity in four biogeographic regions: the Neotropics, Afrotropics, Madagascar and the island of Borneo in South-East Asia. The environmental variables included net primary productivity and altitude, as well as multiple temperature, precipitation and topsoil variables. Using the best environmental variables in each region, Mantel and partial Mantel tests were used to reanalyse data from a previously published study. The proportion of variance explained increased for each region. Despite increases, much of the variation remained unexplained for all regions (R2: Africa = 0.45, South America = 0.16, Madagascar = 0.28, Borneo = 0.10), likely due to different evolutionary and biogeographic histories within each region. Nonetheless, substantial variation among regions in the environmental variables that best predicted primate community similarity were documented. For example, none of the 14 environmental variables was included for all four regions, yet each variable was included for at least one region. Contrary to prior results, environmental filtering was an important assembly mechanism for primate communities in tropical forests worldwide. Geographic distance more strongly predicted African and South American communities whereas environmental distance more strongly predicted Malagasy and Bornean communities. These results suggest that dispersal limitation structures primate communities more strongly than environmental filtering in Africa and in South America whereas environmental filtering structures primate communities more strongly than dispersal limitation in Madagascar and Borneo. For communities defined by genera, environmental distance more strongly predicted primate communities than geographic distance in all four regions, which suggests that environmental filtering is a more influential assembly mechanism at the genus level. Therefore, a more nuanced consideration of environmental variables affects conclusions about the influences of environmental filtering and dispersal limitation on primate community structure.
Miconia (Miconia calvescens DC) was introduced to the East Maui Watershed (EMW) a half-century ago with more than 25 yr of management recorded. Using a historical spatiotemporal data set, we constructed a leptokurtic dispersal kernel with 99% of progeny confined to within 549 m of the nearest maternal source and the remaining 1% dispersed out to 1,636 m. Seedbank persistence, based on postdated recruitment, displayed an exponential decay projecting extinction beyond 20 yr. These parameters are highly congruent to independent interpretations of M. calvescens in Australia and Tahiti. In a simulated stage matrix model, we projected management efforts to locally eradicate a small incipient propagule bank wherein optimal management was achieved with an annual harvest rate that eliminated all juvenile recruits before reaching maturity, until extinction. Based on current pricing for helicopter herbicide ballistic technology (HBT) operations, the optimal, variable cost to locally eradicate this incipient propagule bank was estimated to be less than US$42,000, with ~90% of the effort searching for the most distant 1% of the progeny expended within the first 9 yr after the mature discovery. This variable cost was sensitive to seedbank size, recruitment rate, and dispersal range, but was most sensitive to harvest rates between suboptimal and excess. In a scenario prioritizing the upper region of EMW, we retroactively analyzed past HBT efforts eliminating satellite M. calvescens and determined that 27% of the total effort resulted in 87% of the total protection to this priority asset, with every US$1 invested potentially avoiding US$184 in future costs. Management outside the priority area was less economical, with returns in protection diminishing with distance from the priority upper region. Miconia calvescens is currently not eradicable in the EMW, and full containment of the invasion would require a substantial increase in stable, long-term funding. With limited resources, local eradication of satellite M. calvescens could be the most cost-effective alternative to protecting uninvaded areas prioritized for critical ecosystem functions.
The Neolithic transition is a particularly favorable field of research for the study of the emergence and evolution of cultures and cultural phenomena. In this framework, high-precision chronologies are essential for decrypting the rhythms of emergence of new techno-economic traits. As part of a project exploring the conditions underlying the emergence and dynamics of the development of the first agro-pastoral societies in the Western Mediterranean, this paper proposes a new chronological modeling. Based on 45 new radiocarbon (14C) dates and on a Bayesian statistical framework, this work examines the rhythms and dispersal paths of the Neolithic economy both on coastal and continental areas. These new data highlight a complex and far less unidirectional dissemination process than that envisaged so far.
Bornean rain forests on phosphorus (P)-poor soils exhibit a high P-use efficiency in the production of reproductive organs (i.e. the inverse of P concentration in reproductive-organ litter). The mechanism underpinning this high P-use efficiency is not known, but is hypothesized to result from dilution of P in a given type of reproductive organ and/or a shift of the community composition of flower/fruit types with decreasing P availability. These hypotheses were tested using eight forests with different soil P availabilities on Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. Mean P concentration per forest by genus in inflorescences was significantly positively correlated with P availability, while that in seeds or pericarps was not significantly correlated. This trend was consistent across 21 genera that we analysed, suggesting that P concentration in seeds is maintained in exchange with the dilution of P in inflorescences. The composition of fruit types in tree community was estimated based on the relative abundances of genera in each forest. The relative abundance of capsulate species, which required less P in pericarps, tended to increase in tree community with decreasing P availability. Therefore, both mechanisms were involved in P-use efficiency. This work provides an insight into the reproductive adaptation of trees to P deficiency.