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Lima‐Rezende, C. A., G. S. Cabanne, A. V. Rocha, M. Carboni, R. M. Zink, and R. Caparroz. 2022. A comparative phylogenomic analysis of birds reveals heterogeneous differentiation processes among Neotropical savannas. Molecular Ecology 31: 3451–3467. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.16487

The main objective of this study is to evaluate biogeographic hypotheses of diversification and connection between isolated savannas north (Amazonian savannas) and south (Cerrado core) of the Amazon River. To achieve our goal, we employed genomic markers (genotyping‐by‐sequencing) to evaluate the genetic structure, population phylogenetic relationships, and historical range shifts of four Neotropical passerines with peri‐Atlantic distributions: the Narrow‐billed Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris), the Plain‐crested Elaenia (Elaenia cristata), the Grassland Sparrow (Ammodramus humeralis), and the White‐banded Tanager (Neothraupis fasciata). The population genetic analyses indicated that landscape (e.g., geographic distance, landscape resistance, and percentage of tree cover) and climate metrics explained divergence among populations in most species, but without indicating a differential role between current and historical factors. Our results did not fully support the hypothesis that isolated populations at Amazonian savannas have been recently derived from the Cerrado core domain. Intraspecific phylogenies and gene flow analyses supported multiple routes of connection between the Cerrado and Amazonian savannas, rejecting the hypothesis that the Atlantic corridor explains the peri‐Atlantic distribution. Our results reveal that the biogeographic history of the region is complex and cannot be explained by simple vicariant models.

Okamura, Y., A. Sato, L. Kawaguchi, A. J. Nagano, M. Murakami, H. Vogel, and J. Kroymann. 2022. Microevolution of Pieris butterfly genes involved in host plant adaptation along a host plant community cline. Molecular Ecology 31: 3083–3097. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.16447

Herbivorous insects have evolved counteradaptations to overcome the chemical defenses of their host plants. Several of these counteradaptations have been elucidated at the molecular level, in particular for insects specialized on cruciferous host plants. While the importance of these counteradaptations for host plant colonization is well established, little is known about their microevolutionary dynamics in the field. In particular, it is not known whether and how host plant diversity shapes diversity in insect counteradaptations. In this study, we examine patterns of host plant use and insect counteradaptation in three Pieris butterfly species across Japan. The larvae of these butterflies express nitrile‐specifier protein (NSP) and its paralog major allergen (MA) in their gut to overcome the highly diversified glucosinolate‐myrosinase defense system of their cruciferous host plants. Pieris napi and Pieris melete colonize wild Brassicaceae whereas Pieris rapae typically uses cultivated Brassica as a host, regardless of the local composition of wild crucifers. As expected, NSP and MA diversity was independent of the local composition of wild Brassicaceae in P. rapae. In contrast, NSP diversity correlated with local host plant diversity in both species that preferred wild Brassicaceae. P. melete and P. napi both revealed two distinct major NSP alleles, which shaped diversity among local populations, albeit with different evolutionary trajectories. In comparison, MA showed no indication for local adaptation. Altogether, MA appeared to be evolutionary more conserved than NSP, suggesting that both genes play different roles in diverting host plant chemical defense.

Rodrigues, A. V., G. Nakamura, V. G. Staggemeier, and L. Duarte. 2022. Species misidentification affects biodiversity metrics: Dealing with this issue using the new R package naturaList. Ecological Informatics 69: 101625. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2022.101625

Biodiversity databases are increasingly available and have fostered accelerated advances in many disciplines within ecology and evolution. However, the quality of the evidence generated depends critically on the quality of the input data, and species misidentifications are present in virtually any o…

Carvalho¹, C. E., M. O. T. Menezes, F. S. Araújo, and J. C. Sfair. 2022. High endemism of cacti remains unprotected in the Caatinga. Biodiversity and Conservation 31: 1217–1228. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-022-02384-y

Protected areas are one of the main strategies of biodiversity conservation. However, if these areas do not coincide spatially with priority areas for conservation, they may not fully achieve their objective. Cactaceae is one of the most frequent plant families in the drylands of the neotropical reg…

Vasconcelos, T., J. D. Boyko, and J. M. Beaulieu. 2021. Linking mode of seed dispersal and climatic niche evolution in flowering plants. Journal of Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14292

Aim: Due to the sessile nature of flowering plants, movements to new geographical areas occur mainly during seed dispersal. Frugivores tend to be efficient dispersers because animals move within the boundaries of their preferable niches, so seeds are more likely to be transported to environments tha…

Xue, T., S. R. Gadagkar, T. P. Albright, X. Yang, J. Li, C. Xia, J. Wu, and S. Yu. 2021. Prioritizing conservation of biodiversity in an alpine region: Distribution pattern and conservation status of seed plants in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Global Ecology and Conservation 32: e01885. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01885

The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) harbors abundant and diverse plant life owing to its high habitat heterogeneity. However, the distribution pattern of biodiversity hotspots and their conservation status remain unclear. Based on 148,283 high-resolution occurrence coordinates of 13,450 seed plants, w…

López‐Delgado, J., and P. G. Meirmans. 2021. History or demography? Determining the drivers of genetic variation in North American plants. Molecular Ecology 31: 1951–1962. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.16230

Understanding the impact of historical and demographic processes on genetic variation is essential for devising conservation strategies and predicting responses to climate change. Recolonization after Pleistocene glaciations is expected to leave distinct genetic signatures, characterised by lower ge…

Prieto-Torres, D. A., L. E. Nuñez Rosas, D. Remolina Figueroa, and M. del C. Arizmendi. 2021. Most Mexican hummingbirds lose under climate and land-use change: Long-term conservation implications. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 19: 487–499. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2021.07.001

Hummingbirds are one of the most threatened bird groups in the world. However, the extent to which global climate change (GCC) and habitat loss compromise their conservation status remains unclear. Herein, we proposed to: (1) assess how predicted GCC impacts the distribution of non-migrant hummingbi…

Wang, C.-J., and J.-Z. Wan. 2021. Functional trait perspective on suitable habitat distribution of invasive plant species at a global scale. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 19: 475–486. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2021.07.002

Plant invasion has been proved to threaten biodiversity conservation and ecosystem maintenance at a global scale. It is a challenge to project suitable habitat distributions of invasive plant species (IPS) for invasion risk assessment at large spatial scales. Interaction outcomes between native and …

Lopes, A., L. O. Demarchi, A. C. Franco, A. B. Ferreira, C. S. Ferreira, F. Wittmann, I. N. Santiago, et al. 2021. Predicting the potential distribution of aquatic herbaceous plants in oligotrophic Central Amazonian wetland ecosystems. Acta Botanica Brasilica 35: 22–36. https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-33062020abb0188

Aquatic herbaceous plants are especially suitable for mapping environmental variability in wetlands, as they respond quickly to environmental gradients and are good indicators of habitat preference. We describe the composition of herbaceous species in two oligotrophic wetland ecosystems, floodplains…