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Bharti, D. K., P. Y. Pawar, G. D. Edgecombe, and J. Joshi. 2023. Genetic diversity varies with species traits and latitude in predatory soil arthropods (Myriapoda: Chilopoda). Global Ecology and Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13709

Aim To investigate the drivers of intra-specific genetic diversity in centipedes, a group of ancient predatory soil arthropods. Location Asia, Australasia and Europe. Time Period Present. Major Taxa Studied Centipedes (Class: Chilopoda). Methods We assembled a database of 1245 mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences representing 128 centipede species from all five orders of Chilopoda. This sequence dataset was used to estimate genetic diversity for centipede species and compare its distribution with estimates from other arthropod groups. We studied the variation in centipede genetic diversity with species traits and biogeography using a beta regression framework, controlling for the effect of shared evolutionary history within a family. Results A wide variation in genetic diversity across centipede species (0–0.1713) falls towards the higher end of values among arthropods. Overall, 27.57% of the variation in mitochondrial COI genetic diversity in centipedes was explained by a combination of predictors related to life history and biogeography. Genetic diversity decreased with body size and latitudinal position of sampled localities, was greater in species showing maternal care and increased with geographic distance among conspecifics. Main Conclusions Centipedes fall towards the higher end of genetic diversity among arthropods, which may be related to their long evolutionary history and low dispersal ability. In centipedes, the negative association of body size with genetic diversity may be mediated by its influence on local abundance or the influence of ecological strategy on long-term population history. Species with maternal care had higher genetic diversity, which goes against expectations and needs further scrutiny. Hemispheric differences in genetic diversity can be due to historic climatic stability and lower seasonality in the southern hemisphere. Overall, we find that despite the differences in mean genetic diversity among animals, similar processes related to life-history strategy and biogeography are associated with the variation within them.

Marshall, B. M., C. T. Strine, C. S. Fukushima, P. Cardoso, M. C. Orr, and A. C. Hughes. 2022. Searching the web builds fuller picture of arachnid trade. Communications Biology 5. https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-022-03374-0

Wildlife trade is a major driver of biodiversity loss, yet whilst the impacts of trade in some species are relatively well-known, some taxa, such as many invertebrates are often overlooked. Here we explore global patterns of trade in the arachnids, and detected 1,264 species from 66 families and 371 genera in trade. Trade in these groups exceeds millions of individuals, with 67% coming directly from the wild, and up to 99% of individuals in some genera. For popular taxa, such as tarantulas up to 50% are in trade, including 25% of species described since 2000. CITES only covers 30 (2%) of the species potentially traded. We mapped the percentage and number of species native to each country in trade. To enable sustainable trade, better data on species distributions and better conservation status assessments are needed. The disparity between trade data sources highlights the need to expand monitoring if impacts on wild populations are to be accurately gauged and the impacts of trade minimised. Trade in arachnids includes millions of individuals and over 1264 species, with over 70% of individuals coming from the wild.

Sopniewski, J., B. C. Scheele, and M. Cardillo. 2022. Predicting the distribution of Australian frogs and their overlap with Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis under climate change X. Liu [ed.],. Diversity and Distributions 28: 1255–1268. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13533

Aim Amphibians, with over 40% of assessed species listed as threatened, are disproportionately at risk in the global extinction crisis. Among the many factors implicated in the ongoing loss of amphibian biodiversity are climate change and the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). These threats are of particular concern in Australia, where Bd has been implicated in the declines of at least 43 frog species, and climate change is emerging as an additional threat. We explore how climate change is likely to affect the distributions of Australian frog species and Bd to the year 2100, and how the spatial and climatic niche overlap between chytridiomycosis-declined frogs and Bd could shift. Location Australia. Methods We used species distribution modelling to infer the current and future distribution of 141 Australian frog species and Bd, under two emissions scenarios. We used various metrics of niche similarity to quantify predicted alterations to spatial interactions between Bd and frog species. Results Climate change is likely to have a variable impact on frog distributions in Australia, with some 23 and 47 species, primarily in southern Australia, predicted to lose at least 30% of their current distributions under low and high emissions scenarios, respectively. In contrast, 69 and 68 species, respectively, have potential to increase their distributions, primarily in northern Australia. While the distribution of Bd is predicted to decrease, the proportional spatial and niche overlap between Bd and susceptible frog species is predicted to remain little changed, and in some cases, to increase. Main conclusions Although effects will be variable across the continent, climate change is likely to be a threatening factor to many Australian frog species. Additionally, chytridiomycosis is likely to remain a significant threat to many frog species, as any reductions to the pathogen's distribution largely coincide with geographic range contractions of chytridiomycosis-susceptible species.

Li, X., B. Li, G. Wang, X. Zhan, and M. Holyoak. 2020. Deeply digging the interaction effect in multiple linear regressions using a fractional-power interaction term. MethodsX 7: 101067. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101067

In multiple regression Y ~ β0 + β1X1 + β2X2 + β3X1 X2 + ɛ., the interaction term is quantified as the product of X1 and X2. We developed fractional-power interaction regression (FPIR), using βX1M X2N as the interaction term. The rationale of FPIR is that the slopes of Y-X1 regression along the X2 gr…

Scharff, N., J. A. Coddington, T. A. Blackledge, I. Agnarsson, V. W. Framenau, T. Szűts, C. Y. Hayashi, and D. Dimitrov. 2019. Phylogeny of the orb‐weaving spider family Araneidae (Araneae: Araneoidea). Cladistics 36: 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1111/cla.12382

We present a new phylogeny of the spider family Araneidae based on five genes (28S, 18S, COI, H3 and 16S) for 158 taxa, identified and mainly sequenced by us. This includes 25 outgroups and 133 araneid ingroups representing the subfamilies Zygiellinae Simon, 1929, Nephilinae Simon, 1894, and the typ…

Piel, W. H. 2018. The global latitudinal diversity gradient pattern in spiders. Journal of Biogeography 45: 1896–1904. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13387

Aim: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the global latitudinal diversity gradient pattern in spiders is pear‐shaped, with maximum species diversity shifted south of the Equator, rather than egg‐shaped, centred on the equator, this study infers the gradient using two large datasets…