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  • Journal article
    Delhaye G, van der Linde S, Bauman D, Orme CDL, Suz LM, Bidartondo MIet al., 2024,

    Ectomycorrhizal fungi are influenced by ecoregion boundaries across Europe

    , Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol: 33, ISSN: 1466-822X

    Aim: Ecoregions and the distance decay in community similarity are fundamental concepts in biogeography and conservation biology that are well supported across plants and animals, but not fungi. Here we test the relevance of these concepts for ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi in temperate and boreal regions. Location: Europe. Time Period: 2008–2015. Major Taxa Studied: Ectomycorrhizal fungi. Methods: We used a large dataset of ~24,000 ectomycorrhizas, assigned to 1350 operational taxonomic units, collected from 129 forest plots via a standardized protocol. We investigated the relevance of ecoregion delimitations for ECM fungi through complementary methodological approaches based on distance decay models, multivariate analyses and indicator species analyses. We then evaluated the effects of host tree and climate on the observed biogeographical distributions. Results: Ecoregions predict large-scale ECM fungal biodiversity patterns. This is partly explained by climate differences between ecoregions but independent from host tree distribution. Basidiomycetes in the orders Russulales and Atheliales and producing epigeous fruiting bodies, with potentially short-distance dispersal, show the best agreement with ecoregion boundaries. Host tree distribution and fungal abundance (as opposed to presence/absence only) are important to uncover biogeographical patterns in mycorrhizas. Main Conclusions: Ecoregions are useful units to investigate eco-evolutionary processes in mycorrhizal fungal communities and for conservation decision-making that includes fungi.

  • Journal article
    Pawar S, 2024,

    Metabolic plasticity drives mismatches in physiological traits between prey and predator

    , Communications Biology, ISSN: 2399-3642
  • Journal article
    Gayford J, Naylor GJP, Brazeau M, 2024,

    Evolutionary trends in the elasmobranch neurocranium

    , Scientific Reports, ISSN: 2045-2322
  • Journal article
    Schroeder J, 2024,

    Not in the countryside please! Investigating UK residents’ perceptions of an introduced species, the ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

    , NeoBiota, ISSN: 1314-2488
  • Journal article
    Sun Y, Dunning J, Taylor T, Schroeder J, Anne Zollinger Set al., 2024,

    Calls of Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus contain individual signatures

    , Journal of Avian Biology, Vol: 2024, ISSN: 0908-8857

    Vocalisations are widely used to signal behavioural intention in animal communication, but may also carry acoustic signatures unique to the calling individual. Here, we used acoustic analysis to confirm that Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus calls carry individual signatures, and discerned which features made the calls individual. Manx shearwater are nocturnal seabirds that breed in dense colonies, where they must recognize and locate mates among thousands of conspecifics calling in the dark. There is evidence for mate vocal recognition in two shearwater species, but quantitative data on the vocalisations are lacking. We elicited vocal responses to playback of conspecific calls in Manx shearwaters, and measured spectral and temporal parameters of the calls. We then applied linear discriminant analysis with leave-one-out cross-validation and could confirm the presence of individual vocal signatures. We then calculated among-individual repeatability of 34 features describing the vocalisation to determine the extent to which these features may contribute to individual signature coding. We found that calls cluster by individual in both temporal and spectral characteristics, suggesting these traits are contributing to Manx shearwaters' unique call signatures.

  • Journal article
    Lewis-Brown E, Jennings N, Mills M, Ewers Ret al., 2024,

    Comparison of carbon management and emissions of universities that did and did not adopt voluntary carbon offsets

    , Climate Policy, Vol: 24, Pages: 706-722, ISSN: 1469-3062

    The urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, remove carbon from the atmosphere and stabilize natural carbon sinks has led to the development of many carbon management measures, increasingly including voluntary carbon offsets (VCOs). We studied carbon management in universities, institutions with large carbon footprints and considerable influence in climate science and policy fora. However, concerns that VCOs may deter adopters (including universities) from adopting other carbon reduction measures and limit emissions reductions, for example, through moral hazard, have been raised but understudied. We compared the carbon management characteristics (priorities, policies, practices and emissions) of universities that did and did not adopt VCOs. We found adopters measured carbon emissions for longer, and had set targets to reach net zero earlier than had non-adopters. Adopters of VCOs also undertook more carbon management practices in both 2010 and 2020 than non-adopters. We also found that both adopters and non-adopters significantly increased their carbon management practices over the decade studied, but with no difference between groups. Gross CO2 emissions were reduced significantly over time by adopters of VCOs but not by non-adopters, whereas carbon intensity and percentage annual emissions reductions did not relate to adoption status. Consequently, our study showed no indication of mitigation deterrence due to adoption of VCOs at the universities studied. Rather, greater emissions reductions correlated with earlier net zero target dates, and a higher number of policies and carbon management practices. However, our study was constrained to universities that were affiliated with a national environmental network, so research beyond these organizations, and with individuals, would be useful. The survey was voluntary, exposing the study to potential self-selection bias so the findings may not be generalized beyond the study group. Finally, we found the carbon ac

  • Journal article
    Mwima R, Hui T-YJ, Kayondo JK, Burt Aet al., 2024,

    The population genetics of partial diapause, with applications to the aestivating malaria mosquito Anopheles coluzzii.

    , Mol Ecol Resour, Vol: 24

    Diapause, a form of dormancy to delay or halt the reproductive development during unfavourable seasons, has evolved in many insect species. One example is aestivation, an adult-stage diapause enhancing malaria vectors' survival during the dry season (DS) and their re-establishment in the next rainy season (RS). This work develops a novel genetic approach to estimate the number or proportion of individuals undergoing diapause, as well as the breeding sizes of the two seasons, using signals from temporal allele frequency dynamics. Our modelling shows the magnitude of drift is dampened at early RS when previously aestivating individuals reappear. Aestivation severely biases the temporal effective population size ( N e $$ {N}_e $$ ), leading to overestimation of the DS breeding size by 1 / 1 - α 2 $$ 1/{\left(1-\alpha \right)}^2 $$ across 1 year, where α $$ \alpha $$ is the aestivating proportion. We find sampling breeding individuals in three consecutive seasons starting from an RS is sufficient for parameter estimation, and perform extensive simulations to verify our derivations. This method does not require sampling individuals in the dormant state, the biggest challenge in most studies. We illustrate the method by applying it to a published data set for Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes from Thierola, Mali. Our method and the expected evolutionary implications are applicable to any species in which a fraction of the population diapauses for more than one generation, and are difficult or impossible to sample during that stage.

  • Journal article
    Pereira HM, Martins IS, Rosa IMD, Kim H, Leadley P, Popp A, van Vuuren DP, Hurtt G, Quoss L, Arneth A, Baisero D, Bakkenes M, Chaplin-Kramer R, Chini L, Di Marco M, Ferrier S, Fujimori S, Guerra CA, Harfoot M, Harwood TD, Hasegawa T, Haverd V, Havlík P, Hellweg S, Hilbers JP, Hill SLL, Hirata A, Hoskins AJ, Humpenöder F, Janse JH, Jetz W, Johnson JA, Krause A, Leclère D, Matsui T, Meijer JR, Merow C, Obersteiner M, Ohashi H, De Palma A, Poulter B, Purvis A, Quesada B, Rondinini C, Schipper AM, Settele J, Sharp R, Stehfest E, Strassburg BBN, Takahashi K, Talluto MV, Thuiller W, Titeux N, Visconti P, Ware C, Wolf F, Alkemade Ret al., 2024,

    Global trends and scenarios for terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem services from 1900 to 2050.

    , Science, Vol: 384, Pages: 458-465

    Based on an extensive model intercomparison, we assessed trends in biodiversity and ecosystem services from historical reconstructions and future scenarios of land-use and climate change. During the 20th century, biodiversity declined globally by 2 to 11%, as estimated by a range of indicators. Provisioning ecosystem services increased several fold, and regulating services decreased moderately. Going forward, policies toward sustainability have the potential to slow biodiversity loss resulting from land-use change and the demand for provisioning services while reducing or reversing declines in regulating services. However, negative impacts on biodiversity due to climate change appear poised to increase, particularly in the higher-emissions scenarios. Our assessment identifies remaining modeling uncertainties but also robustly shows that renewed policy efforts are needed to meet the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

  • Journal article
    Saranholi BH, França FM, Vogler AP, Barlow J, Vaz de Mello FZ, Maldaner ME, Carvalho E, Gestich CC, Howes B, Banks-Leite C, Galetti PMet al., 2024,

    Testing and optimizing metabarcoding of iDNA from dung beetles to sample mammals in the hyperdiverse Neotropics.

    , Mol Ecol Resour

    Over the past few years, insects have been used as samplers of vertebrate diversity by assessing the ingested-derived DNA (iDNA), and dung beetles have been shown to be a good mammal sampler given their broad feeding preference, wide distribution and easy sampling. Here, we tested and optimized the use of iDNA from dung beetles to assess the mammal community by evaluating if some biological and methodological aspects affect the use of dung beetles as mammal species samplers. We collected 403 dung beetles from 60 pitfall traps. iDNA from each dung beetle was sequenced by metabarcoding using two mini-barcodes (12SrRNA and 16SrRNA). We assessed whether dung beetles with different traits related to feeding, nesting and body size differed in the number of mammal species found in their iDNA. We also tested differences among four killing solutions in preserving the iDNA and compared the effectiveness of each mini barcode to recover mammals. We identified a total of 50 mammal OTUs (operational taxonomic unit), including terrestrial and arboreal species from 10 different orders. We found that at least one mammal-matching sequence was obtained from 70% of the dung beetle specimens. The number of mammal OTUs obtained did not vary with dung beetle traits as well as between the killing solutions. The 16SrRNA mini-barcode recovered a higher number of mammal OTUs than 12SrRNA, although both sets were partly non-overlapping. Thus, the complete mammal diversity may not be achieved by using only one of them. This study refines the methodology for routine assessment of tropical mammal communities via dung beetle 'samplers' and its universal applicability independently of the species traits of local beetle communities.

  • Journal article
    Blackford K, Kasoar M, Burton C, Burke E, Prentice IC, Voulgarakis Aet al., 2024,

    INFERNO-peat v1.0.0: a representation of northern high latitude peat fires in the JULES-INFERNO global fire model

    , Geoscientific Model Development, Vol: 17, Pages: 3063-3079, ISSN: 1991-959X

    Peat fires in the northern high latitudes have the potential to burn vast amounts of carbon-rich organic soil, releasing large quantities of long-term stored carbon to the atmosphere. Due to anthropogenic activities and climate change, peat fires are increasing in frequency and intensity across the high latitudes. However, at present they are not explicitly included in most fire models. Here we detail the development of INFERNO-peat, the first parameterization of peat fires in the JULES-INFERNO (Joint UK Land Environment Simulator INteractive Fire and Emission algoRithm for Natural envirOnments) fire model. INFERNO-peat utilizes knowledge from lab and field-based studies on peat fire ignition and spread to be able to model peat burnt area, burn depth, and carbon emissions, based on data of the moisture content, inorganic content, bulk density, soil temperature, and water table depth of peat. INFERNO-peat improves the representation of burnt area in the high latitudes, with peat fires simulating on average an additional 0.305×106 km2 of burn area each year, emitting 224.10 Tg of carbon. Compared to Global Fire Emissions Database version 5 (GFED5), INFERNO-peat captures ∼ 20 % more burnt area, whereas INFERNO underestimated burning by 50 %. Additionally, INFERNO-peat substantially improves the representation of interannual variability in burnt area and subsequent carbon emissions across the high latitudes. The coefficient of variation in carbon emissions is increased from 0.071 in INFERNO to 0.127 in INFERNO-peat, an almost 80 % increase. Therefore, explicitly modelling peat fires shows a substantial improvement in the fire modelling capabilities of JULES-INFERNO, highlighting the importance of representing peatland systems in fire models.

  • Journal article
    Zhang-Zheng H, Adu-Bredu S, Duah-Gyamfi A, Moore S, Addo-Danso S, Amissah L, Valentini R, Djagbletey G, Anum-Adjei K, Quansah J, Sarpong B, Owusu-Afriyie K, Gvozdevaite A, Tang M, Ruiz-Jaen M, Ibrahim F, Girardin C, Rifai S, Dahlsjo C, Riutta T, Deng X, Sun Y, Prentice IC, Oliveras Menor I, Malhi Yet al., 2024,

    Contrasting carbon cycle along tropical forest aridity gradients in West Africa and Amazonia

    , Nature Communications, Vol: 15, ISSN: 2041-1723

    Tropical forests cover large areas of equatorial Africa and play a substantial role in the global carbon cycle. However, there has been a lack of biometric measurements to understand the forests’ gross and net primary productivity (GPP, NPP) and their allocation. Here we present a detailed field assessment of the carbon budget of multiple forest sites in Africa, by monitoring 14 one-hectare plots along an aridity gradient in Ghana, West Africa. When compared with an equivalent aridity gradient in Amazonia, the studied West African forests generally had higher productivity and lower carbon use efficiency (CUE). The West African aridity gradient consistently shows the highest NPP, CUE, GPP, and autotrophic respiration at a medium-aridity site, Bobiri. Notably, NPP and GPP of the site are the highest yet reported anywhere for intact forests. Widely used data products substantially underestimate productivity when compared to biometric measurements in Amazonia and Africa. Our analysis suggests that the high productivity of the African forests is linked to their large GPP allocation to canopy and semi-deciduous characteristics.

  • Journal article
    Flo V, Joshi J, Sabot M, Sandoval D, Prentice ICet al., 2024,

    Incorporating photosynthetic acclimation improves stomatal optimisation models

    , Plant, Cell and Environment, ISSN: 0140-7791

    Stomatal opening in plant leaves is regulated through a balance of carbon and water exchange under different environmental conditions. Accurate estimation of stomatal regulation is crucial for understanding how plants respond to changing environmental conditions, particularly under climate change. A new generation of optimality-based modelling schemes determines instantaneous stomatal responses from a balance of trade-offs between carbon gains and hydraulic costs, but most such schemes do not account for biochemical acclimation in response to drought. Here, we compare the performance of six instantaneous stomatal optimisation models with and without accounting for photosynthetic acclimation. Using experimental data from 37 plant species, we found that accounting for photosynthetic acclimation improves the prediction of carbon assimilation in a majority of the tested models. Photosynthetic acclimation contributed significantly to the reduction of photosynthesis under drought conditions in all tested models. Drought effects on photosynthesis could not accurately be explained by the hydraulic impairment functions embedded in the stomatal models alone, indicating that photosynthetic acclimation must be considered to improve estimates of carbon assimilation during drought.

  • Journal article
    Stiller J, Feng S, Chowdhury A-A, Rivas-González I, Duchêne DA, Fang Q, Deng Y, Kozlov A, Stamatakis A, Claramunt S, Nguyen JMT, Ho SYW, Faircloth BC, Haag J, Houde P, Cracraft J, Balaban M, Mai U, Chen G, Gao R, Zhou C, Xie Y, Huang Z, Cao Z, Yan Z, Ogilvie HA, Nakhleh L, Lindow B, Morel B, Fjeldså J, Hosner PA, da Fonseca RR, Petersen B, Tobias JA, Székely T, Kennedy JD, Reeve AH, Liker A, Stervander M, Antunes A, Tietze DT, Bertelsen MF, Lei F, Rahbek C, Graves GR, Schierup MH, Warnow T, Braun EL, Gilbert MTP, Jarvis ED, Mirarab S, Zhang Get al., 2024,

    Complexity of avian evolution revealed by family-level genomes.

    , Nature

    Despite tremendous efforts in the past decades, relationships among main avian lineages remain heavily debated without a clear resolution. Discrepancies have been attributed to diversity of species sampled, phylogenetic method and the choice of genomic regions1-3. Here we address these issues by analysing the genomes of 363 bird species4 (218 taxonomic families, 92% of total). Using intergenic regions and coalescent methods, we present a well-supported tree but also a marked degree of discordance. The tree confirms that Neoaves experienced rapid radiation at or near the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary. Sufficient loci rather than extensive taxon sampling were more effective in resolving difficult nodes. Remaining recalcitrant nodes involve species that are a challenge to model due to either extreme DNA composition, variable substitution rates, incomplete lineage sorting or complex evolutionary events such as ancient hybridization. Assessment of the effects of different genomic partitions showed high heterogeneity across the genome. We discovered sharp increases in effective population size, substitution rates and relative brain size following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene extinction event, supporting the hypothesis that emerging ecological opportunities catalysed the diversification of modern birds. The resulting phylogenetic estimate offers fresh insights into the rapid radiation of modern birds and provides a taxon-rich backbone tree for future comparative studies.

  • Journal article
    Smith TP, Clegg T, Ransome E, Martin-Lilley T, Rosindell J, Woodward G, Pawar S, Bell Tet al., 2024,

    High-throughput characterization of bacterial responses to complex mixtures of chemical pollutants

    , Nature Microbiology, Vol: 9, Pages: 938-948, ISSN: 2058-5276

    Our understanding of how microbes respond to micropollutants, such as pesticides, is almost wholly based on single-species responses to individual chemicals. However, in natural environments, microbes experience multiple pollutants simultaneously. Here we perform a matrix of multi-stressor experiments by assaying the growth of model and non-model strains of bacteria in all 255 combinations of 8 chemical stressors (antibiotics, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides). We found that bacterial strains responded in different ways to stressor mixtures, which could not be predicted simply from their phylogenetic relatedness. Increasingly complex chemical mixtures were both more likely to negatively impact bacterial growth in monoculture and more likely to reveal net interactive effects. A mixed co-culture of strains proved more resilient to increasingly complex mixtures and revealed fewer interactions in the growth response. These results show predictability in microbial population responses to chemical stressors and could increase the utility of next-generation eco-toxicological assays.

  • Journal article
    Zhou L, Liu F, Achterberg EP, Engel A, Campbell PGC, Fortin C, Huang L, Tan Yet al., 2024,

    Promoting effects of aluminum addition on chlorophyll biosynthesis and growth of two cultured iron‐limited marine diatoms

    , Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN: 0024-3590

    <jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Aluminum (Al) may play a role in the ocean's capacity for absorbing atmospheric CO<jats:sub>2</jats:sub> via influencing carbon fixation, export, and sequestration. Aluminum fertilization, especially in iron (Fe)‐limited high‐nutrient, low‐chlorophyll ocean regions, has been proposed as a potential CO<jats:sub>2</jats:sub> removal strategy to mitigate global warming. However, how Al addition would influence the solubility and bioavailability of Fe as well as the physiology of Fe‐limited phytoplankton has not yet been examined. Here, we show that Al addition (20 and 100 nM) had little influence on the Fe solubility in surface seawater and decreased the Fe bio‐uptake by 11–22% in Fe‐limited diatom <jats:italic>Thalassiosira weissflogii</jats:italic> in Fe‐buffered media. On the other hand, the Al addition significantly increased the rate of chlorophyll biosynthesis by 45–60% for Fe‐limited <jats:italic>T. weissflogii</jats:italic> and 81–102% for Fe‐limited <jats:italic>Thalassiosira pseudonana</jats:italic>, as well as their cell size, cellular chlorophyll content, photosynthetic quantum efficiency (<jats:italic>F</jats:italic><jats:sub>v</jats:sub>/<jats:italic>F</jats:italic><jats:sub>m</jats:sub>) and growth rate. Under Fe‐sufficient conditions, the Al addition still led to an increased growth rate, though the beneficial effects of Al addition on chlorophyll biosynthesis were no longer apparent. These results suggest that Al may facilitate chlorophyll biosynthesis and benefit the photosynthetic efficiency and growth of Fe‐limited diatoms. We speculate that Al addition may enhance intracellular Fe use efficiency for chlorophyll biosynthesis by facilitating the superoxide‐mediated intracellular reduction of Fe(III) to Fe(II). Our study provides new evidence and support for the

  • Journal article
    Sandoval Calle D, Prentice IC, Nobrega R, 2024,

    Simple process-led algorithms for simulating habitats (SPLASH v 2.0): robust calculations of water and energy fluxes.

    , Geoscientific Model Development, ISSN: 1991-959X

    The current representation of key processes in Land Surface Models (LSM) for estimating water and energy balances still relies heavily on empirical equations that require calibration oriented to site-specific characteristics. When multiple parameters are used, different combinations of parameter values can produce equally acceptable results, leading to a risk of obtaining “right answers for wrong reasons”, compromising the reproducibility of the simulations and limiting the ecological interpretability of the results. To address this problem and reduce the need for free parameters, here we present novel formulations based on first-principles to calculate key components of water and energy balances, extending the already parsimonious SPLASHmodel v.1.0 (Davis et al. 2017, GMD). We found analytical solutions for many processes, enabling us to increase spatial resolution and include the terrain effects directly in the calculations without unreasonably inflating computational demands. This calibration-free model estimates quantities such as net radiation, evapotranspiration, condensation, soil water content,surface runoff, subsurface lateral flow and snow-water equivalent. These quantities are derived from readily meteorological data such as near-surface air temperature, precipitation and solar radiation, and soil physical properties. Whenever empirical formulations were required, e.g. pedotransfer functions and albedo-snow cover relationships, we selected and optimized thebest-performing equations through a combination of remote sensing and globally distributed terrestrial observational datasets. Simulations at global scales at different resolutions were run to evaluate spatial patterns, while simulations with point-based observations were run to evaluate seasonal patterns using data from hundreds of stations and comparisons with the VIC-3L model, demonstrating improved performance based on statistical tests and observational comparisons. In summary, our m

  • Journal article
    Qian J, Hu T, Xiong H, Cao X, Liu F, Gosnell KJ, Xie M, Chen R, Tan Q-Get al., 2024,

    Turbid Waters and Clearer Standards: Refining Water Quality Criteria for Coastal Environments by Encompassing Metal Bioavailability from Suspended Particles.

    , Environ Sci Technol, Vol: 58, Pages: 5244-5254

    Suspended particulate matter (SPM) carries a major fraction of metals in turbid coastal waters, markedly influencing metal bioaccumulation and posing risks to marine life. However, its effects are often overlooked in current water quality criteria for metals, primarily due to challenges in quantifying SPM's contribution. This contribution depends on the SPM concentration, metal distribution coefficients (Kd), and the bioavailability of SPM-bound metals (assimilation efficiency, AE), which can collectively be integrated as a modifying factor (MF). Accordingly, we developed a new stable isotope method to measure metal AE by individual organisms from SPM, employing the widely distributed filter-feeding clam Ruditapes philippinarum as a representative species. Assessing SPM from 23 coastal sites in China, we found average AEs of 42% for Zn, 26% for Cd, 20% for Cu, 8% for Ni, and 6% for Pb. Moreover, using stable isotope methods, we determined metal Kd of SPM from these sites, which can be well predicted by the total organic carbon and iron content (R2 = 0.977). We calculated MFs using a Monte Carlo method. The calculated MFs are in the range 9.9-43 for Pb, 8.5-37 for Zn, 2.9-9.7 for Cu, 1.4-2.7 for Ni, and 1.1-1.6 for Cd, suggesting that dissolved-metal-based criteria values should be divided by MFs to provide adequate protection to aquatic life. This study provides foundational guidelines to refine water quality criteria in turbid waters and protect coastal ecosystems.

  • Journal article
    Perkins R, Barron L, Glauser G, Whitehead M, Woodward G, Goulson Det al., 2024,

    Down-the-drain pathways for fipronil and imidacloprid applied as spot-on parasiticides to dogs: Estimating aquatic pollution

    , Science of the Total Environment, Vol: 917, ISSN: 0048-9697

    Fipronil and imidacloprid have been widely detected in UK surface waters in recent years, often at concentrations that ecotoxicological studies have shown can harm aquatic life. Down-the-drain (DTD) passage of pet flea and tick treatments are being implicated as an important source, with many of the UK's 22 million cats and dogs receiving routine, year-round preventative doses containing these parasiticides. The UK Water Industry's 3rd Chemical Investigation Programme (UKWIR CIP3) has confirmed wastewater as a major entry pathway for these chemicals into surface waters, but the routes by which they enter the wastewater system remain unclear. We addressed this knowledge gap by conducting the first quantification of DTD emissions from 98 dogs treated with spot-on ectoparasiticides containing fipronil or imidacloprid, through bathing, bed washing and washing of owners' hands. Both chemicals were detected in 100 % of washoff samples, with bathing accounting for the largest emissions per event (up to 16.8 % of applied imidacloprid and 24.5 % of applied fipronil). Modelled to account for the frequency of emitting activities, owner handwashing was identified as the largest source of DTD emissions from the population overall, with handwash emissions occurring for at least 28 days following product application and an estimated 4.9 % of imidacloprid and 3.1 % of fipronil applied in dog spot-ons passing down-the-drain via this route. The normalised daily per capita emissions for all routes combined were 8.7 μg/person/day for imidacloprid and 2.1 μg/person/day for fipronil, equivalent to 20-40 % of the daily per capita load in wastewater, as estimated from UKWIR CIP3 data. Within the current international regulatory framework adhered to by the UK, the environmental exposure of veterinary medicines intended for use in small companion animals is assumed to be low, and DTD pathways are not considered. We recommend a systematic rev

  • Journal article
    Posse-Sarmiento V, Banks-Leite C, 2024,

    The effects of edge influence on the microhabitat, diversity and life-history traits of amphibians in western Ecuador

    , Journal of Tropical Ecology, Vol: 40, ISSN: 0266-4674

    Edge effects change biodiversity patterns and ecological processes, particularly in tropical forests. To understand the synergistic impact of multiple edges, this study examines how edge influence (EI) is associated with life-history traits (snout-vent length and body temperature), diversity and microhabitat of amphibians as well as habitat characteristics in a tropical forest in Ecuador. We used EI, a metric that calculates cumulative effects across all nearby edges, in combination with five environmental variables that are part of the amphibians' microhabitat (temperature, humidity, slope, canopy cover and leaf litter depth) to understand how their biodiversity patterns are impacted. Our results show that most amphibian species tend to be habitat specialists, and many had an affinity for forest edges and warmer habitats. We do not find significant correlations between EI and amphibian life-history traits and diversity. Our findings corroborate previous results that many amphibian species tend to be positively associated with habitat fragmentation and show that this association is likely driven by thermal regulation.

  • Journal article
    Jackson MC, Friberg N, Moliner Cachazo L, Clark DR, Mutinova PT, O'Gorman EJ, Kordas RL, Gallo B, Pichler DE, Bespalaya Y, Aksenova OV, Milner A, Brooks SJ, Dunn N, Lee KWK, Ólafsson JS, Gíslason GM, Millan L, Bell T, Dumbrell AJ, Woodward Get al., 2024,

    Regional impacts of warming on biodiversity and biomass in high latitude stream ecosystems across the Northern Hemisphere.

    , Commun Biol, Vol: 7

    Warming can have profound impacts on ecological communities. However, explorations of how differences in biogeography and productivity might reshape the effect of warming have been limited to theoretical or proxy-based approaches: for instance, studies of latitudinal temperature gradients are often conflated with other drivers (e.g., species richness). Here, we overcome these limitations by using local geothermal temperature gradients across multiple high-latitude stream ecosystems. Each suite of streams (6-11 warmed by 1-15°C above ambient) is set within one of five regions (37 streams total); because the heating comes from the bedrock and is not confounded by changes in chemistry, we can isolate the effect of temperature. We found a negative overall relationship between diatom and invertebrate species richness and temperature, but the strength of the relationship varied regionally, declining more strongly in regions with low terrestrial productivity. Total invertebrate biomass increased with temperature in all regions. The latter pattern combined with the former suggests that the increased biomass of tolerant species might compensate for the loss of sensitive species. Our results show that the impact of warming can be dependent on regional conditions, demonstrating that local variation should be included in future climate projections rather than simply assuming universal relationships.

  • Journal article
    Rizos G, Lawson J, Mitchell S, Shah P, Wen X, Banks-Leite C, Ewers R, Schuller BWet al., 2024,

    Propagating variational model uncertainty for bioacoustic call label smoothing

    , Patterns, Vol: 5, ISSN: 2666-3899

    Along with propagating the input toward making a prediction, Bayesian neural networks also propagate uncertainty. This has the potential to guide the training process by rejecting predictions of low confidence, and recent variational Bayesian methods can do so without Monte Carlo sampling of weights. Here, we apply sample-free methods for wildlife call detection on recordings made via passive acoustic monitoring equipment in the animals' natural habitats. We further propose uncertainty-aware label smoothing, where the smoothing probability is dependent on sample-free predictive uncertainty, in order to downweigh data samples that should contribute less to the loss value. We introduce a bioacoustic dataset recorded in Malaysian Borneo, containing overlapping calls from 30 species. On that dataset, our proposed method achieves an absolute percentage improvement of around 1.5 points on area under the receiver operating characteristic (AU-ROC), 13 points in F1, and 19.5 points in expected calibration error (ECE) compared to the point-estimate network baseline averaged across all target classes.

  • Journal article
    Pawar S, Huxley PJ, Smallwood TRC, Nesbit ML, Chan AHH, Shocket MS, Johnson LR, Kontopoulos D-G, Cator LJet al., 2024,

    Variation in temperature of peak trait performance constrains adaptation of arthropod populations to climatic warming.

    , Nat Ecol Evol, Vol: 8, Pages: 500-510

    The capacity of arthropod populations to adapt to long-term climatic warming is currently uncertain. Here we combine theory and extensive data to show that the rate of their thermal adaptation to climatic warming will be constrained in two fundamental ways. First, the rate of thermal adaptation of an arthropod population is predicted to be limited by changes in the temperatures at which the performance of four key life-history traits can peak, in a specific order of declining importance: juvenile development, adult fecundity, juvenile mortality and adult mortality. Second, directional thermal adaptation is constrained due to differences in the temperature of the peak performance of these four traits, with these differences expected to persist because of energetic allocation and life-history trade-offs. We compile a new global dataset of 61 diverse arthropod species which provides strong empirical evidence to support these predictions, demonstrating that contemporary populations have indeed evolved under these constraints. Our results provide a basis for using relatively feasible trait measurements to predict the adaptive capacity of diverse arthropod populations to geographic temperature gradients, as well as ongoing and future climatic warming.

  • Journal article
    Gumbs R, Scott O, Bates R, Böhm M, Forest F, Gray CL, Hoffmann M, Kane D, Low C, Pearse WD, Pipins S, Tapley B, Turvey ST, Jetz W, Owen NR, Rosindell Jet al., 2024,

    Global conservation status of the jawed vertebrate Tree of Life

    , Nature Communications, Vol: 15, ISSN: 2041-1723

    Human-driven extinction threatens entire lineages across the Tree of Life. Here we assess the conservation status of jawed vertebrate evolutionary history, using three policy-relevant approaches. First, we calculate an index of threat to overall evolutionary history, showing that we expect to lose 86-150 billion years (11-19%) of jawed vertebrate evolutionary history over the next 50-500 years. Second, we rank jawed vertebrate species by their EDGE scores to identify the highest priorities for species-focused conservation of evolutionary history, finding that chondrichthyans, ray-finned fish and testudines rank highest of all jawed vertebrates. Third, we assess the conservation status of jawed vertebrate families. We found that species within monotypic families are more likely to be threatened and more likely to be in decline than other species. We provide a baseline for the status of families at risk of extinction to catalyse conservation action. This work continues a trend of highlighting neglected groups—such as testudines, crocodylians, amphibians and chondrichthyans—as conservation priorities from a phylogenetic perspective.

  • Journal article
    Neyret M, Le Provost G, Boesing AL, Schneider FD, Baulechner D, Bergmann J, de Vries FT, Fiore-Donno AM, Geisen S, Goldmann K, Merges A, Saifutdinov RA, Simons NK, Tobias JA, Zaitsev AS, Gossner MM, Jung K, Kandeler E, Krauss J, Penone C, Schloter M, Schulz S, Staab M, Wolters V, Apostolakis A, Birkhofer K, Boch S, Boeddinghaus RS, Bolliger R, Bonkowski M, Buscot F, Dumack K, Fischer M, Gan HY, Heinze J, Hölzel N, John K, Klaus VH, Kleinebecker T, Marhan S, Müller J, Renner SC, Rillig MC, Schenk NV, Schöning I, Schrumpf M, Seibold S, Socher SA, Solly EF, Teuscher M, van Kleunen M, Wubet T, Manning Pet al., 2024,

    A slow-fast trait continuum at the whole community level in relation to land-use intensification.

    , Nat Commun, Vol: 15

    Organismal functional strategies form a continuum from slow- to fast-growing organisms, in response to common drivers such as resource availability and disturbance. However, whether there is synchronisation of these strategies at the entire community level is unclear. Here, we combine trait data for >2800 above- and belowground taxa from 14 trophic guilds spanning a disturbance and resource availability gradient in German grasslands. The results indicate that most guilds consistently respond to these drivers through both direct and trophically mediated effects, resulting in a 'slow-fast' axis at the level of the entire community. Using 15 indicators of carbon and nutrient fluxes, biomass production and decomposition, we also show that fast trait communities are associated with faster rates of ecosystem functioning. These findings demonstrate that 'slow' and 'fast' strategies can be manifested at the level of whole communities, opening new avenues of ecosystem-level functional classification.

  • Journal article
    Drury JP, Clavel J, Tobias JA, Rolland J, Sheard C, Morlon Het al., 2024,

    Limited ecological opportunity influences the tempo of morphological evolution in birds

    , Current Biology, Vol: 34, Pages: 661-669.E4, ISSN: 0960-9822

    According to classic models of lineage diversification and adaptive radiation, phenotypic evolution should accelerate in the context of ecological opportunity and slow down when niches become saturated.1,2 However, only weak support for these ideas has been found in nature, perhaps because most analyses make the biologically unrealistic assumption that clade members contribute equally to reducing ecological opportunity, even when they occur in different continents or specialize on different habitats and diets. To view this problem through a different lens, we adapted a new phylogenetic modeling approach that accounts for the fact that competition for ecological opportunity only occurs between species that coexist and share similar habitats and diets. Applying this method to trait data for nearly all extant species of landbirds,3 we find a widespread signature of decelerating trait evolution in lineages adapted to similar habitats or diets. The strength of this pattern was consistent across latitudes when comparing tropical and temperate assemblages. Our results provide little support for the idea that increased diversity and tighter packing of niches accentuates evolutionary slowdowns in the tropics and instead suggest that limited ecological opportunity can be an important factor determining the rate of morphological diversification at a global scale.

  • Journal article
    Hatfield JH, Banks-Leite C, Barlow J, Lees AC, Tobias JAet al., 2024,

    Constraints on avian seed dispersal reduce potential for resilience in degraded tropical forests

    , Functional Ecology, Vol: 38, Pages: 315-326, ISSN: 0269-8463

    Seed dispersal is fundamental to tropical forest resilience. Forest loss or degradation typically leads to defaunation, altering seed transfer dynamics and impairing the ability of forested habitats to regenerate or recover from perturbation. However, the extent of defaunation, and its likely impacts on the seed dispersers needed to restore highly degraded or clear-felled areas, remains poorly understood in tropical forest landscapes. To quantify defaunation of seed-dispersing birds, we used field survey data from 499 transects in three forested regions of Brazil, first comparing the observed assemblages with those predicted by geographic range maps, and then assessing habitat associations of frugivores across land cover gradients. We found that current bird assemblages have lower functional diversity (FD) than predicted by species range maps in Amazonia (4%–6%), with a greater reduction in FD (28%) for the Atlantic Forest, which has been more heavily deforested for a longer period. Direct measures of seed dispersal are difficult to obtain, so we focused on potential seed transfer inferred from shared species occurrence. Of 83 predominantly frugivorous bird species recorded in relatively intact forests, we show that 10% were absent from degraded forest, and 57% absent from the surrounding matrix of agricultural land covers, including many large-gaped species. Of 112 frugivorous species using degraded forest, 47% were absent from matrix habitats. Overall, frugivores occurring in both intact forest and matrix habitats were outnumbered by (mostly small-gaped) frugivores occurring in both degraded forest and matrix habitats (23 additional species; 64% higher diversity). These findings suggest that birds have the potential to disperse seeds from intact and degraded forest to adjacent cleared lands, but that direct seed transfer from intact forests is limited, particularly for large-seeded trees. Degraded forests may play a vital role in supporting natural regenerat

  • Journal article
    Cruz-Silva E, Harrion SP, Prentice IC, Marinova Eet al., 2024,

    Holocene vegetation dynamics of the Eastern Mediterranean region: old controversies addressed by a new analysis

    , Journal of Biogeography, Vol: 51, Pages: 294-310, ISSN: 0305-0270

    Aim:We reconstruct vegetation changes since 12 ky in the Eastern Mediterranean to examine four features of the regional vegetation history that are controversial: the extent of non-analogue vegetation assemblages in the transition from the Late Glacial to the early Holocene, the synchroneity of postglacial forest expansion, the geographical extent of temperate deciduous forest during the mid-Holocene and the timing and trigger for the re-establishment of drought-tolerant vegetation during the late Holocene.Location:The Eastern Mediterranean–Black Sea Caspian Corridor.Taxon:Vascular plants.Methods:We reconstruct vegetation changes for 122 fossil pollen records using a method that accounts for within-biome variability in pollen taxon abundance to determine the biome with which a sample has greatest affinity. Per-biome affinity threshold values were used to identify samples that do not belong to any modern biome. We apply time series analysis and mapping to examine space and time changes.Results:Sites with non-analogue vegetation were most common between 11.5 and 9.5 ky and mostly in the Carpathians. The transition from open vegetation to forest occurred at 10.64 ± 0.65 ky across the whole region. Temperate deciduous forest was not more extensive at 6 ky; maximum expansion occurred between 5.5 and 5 ky. Expansion of forest occurred between c. 4 and 2.8 k, followed by an abrupt decrease and a subsequent recovery. This pattern is not consistent with a systematic decline of forest towards more drought-tolerant vegetation in the late Holocene but is consistent with centennial-scale speleothem patterns linked to variations in moisture availability.Main Conclusions:We show the occurrence of non-analogue vegetation types peaked during early Holocene, forest expansion was synchronous across the region and there was an expansion of moisture-demanding temperate trees around 5.5 to 5 ky. There is no signal of a continuous late Holocene aridificat

  • Journal article
    Keeping T, Harrison SP, Prentice IC, 2024,

    Modelling the daily probability of wildfire occurrence in the contiguous United States

    , Environmental Research Letters, Vol: 19, ISSN: 1748-9326

    The development of a high-quality wildfire occurrence model is an essential component in mapping present wildfire risk, and in projecting future wildfire dynamics with climate and land-use change. Here, we develop a new model for predicting the daily probability of wildfire occurrence at 0.1° (∼10 km) spatial resolution by adapting a generalised linear modelling (GLM) approach to include improvements to the variable selection procedure, identification of the range over which specific predictors are influential, and the minimisation of compression, applied in an ensemble of model runs. We develop and test the model using data from the contiguous United States. The ensemble performed well in predicting the mean geospatial patterns of fire occurrence, the interannual variability in the number of fires, and the regional variation in the seasonal cycle of wildfire. Model runs gave an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.85–0.88, indicating good predictive power. The ensemble of runs provides insight into the key predictors for wildfire occurrence in the contiguous United States. The methodology, though developed for the United States, is globally implementable.

  • Journal article
    Liu Y, Olsson A, Larva T, Cantwell-Jones A, Gill RJ, Cederberg B, Webster MTet al., 2024,

    Genomic variation in montane bumblebees in Scandinavia: high levels of intraspecific diversity despite population vulnerability.

    , Molecular Ecology, Vol: 33, ISSN: 0962-1083

    Populations of many bumblebee species are declining, with distributions shifting northwards to track suitable climates. Climate change is considered a major contributing factor. Arctic species are particularly vulnerable as they cannot shift further north, making assessment of their population viability important. Analysis of levels of whole-genome variation is a powerful way to analyse population declines and fragmentation. Here, we use genome sequencing to analyse genetic variation in seven species of bumblebee from the Scandinavian mountains, including two classified as vulnerable. We sequenced 333 samples from across the ranges of these species in Sweden. Estimates of effective population size (NE ) vary from ~55,000 for species with restricted high alpine distributions to 220,000 for more widespread species. Population fragmentation is generally very low or undetectable over large distances in the mountains, suggesting an absence of barriers to gene flow. The relatively high NE and low population structure indicate that none of the species are at immediate risk of negative genetic effects caused by high levels of genetic drift. However, reconstruction of historical fluctuations in NE indicates that the arctic specialist species Bombus hyperboreus has experienced population declines since the last ice age and we detected one highly inbred diploid male of this species close to the southern limit of its range, potentially indicating elevated genetic load. Although the levels of genetic variation in montane bumblebee populations are currently relatively high, their ranges are predicted to shrink drastically due to the effects of climate change and monitoring is essential to detect future population declines.

  • Journal article
    Molnár Z, Aumeeruddy-Thomas Y, Babai D, Díaz S, Garnett ST, Hill R, Bates P, Brondízio ES, Cariño J, Demeter L, Fernández-Llamazares Á, Guèze M, McElwee P, Öllerer K, Purvis A, Reyes-García V, Samakov A, Singh RKet al., 2024,

    Towards richer knowledge partnerships between ecology and ethnoecology.

    , Trends Ecol Evol, Vol: 39, Pages: 109-115

    Indigenous and traditional practices based on ethnoecological knowledge are fundamental to biodiversity stewardship and sustainable use. Knowledge partnerships between Indigenous Peoples, traditional local communities, and ecologists can produce richer and fairer understandings of nature. We identify key topical areas where such collaborations can positively transform science, policy, and practice.

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