IMBE News – Lundi 13 mars 2017



Semaine du Cerveau
A l'occasion de la 19ème édition de la Semaine du cerveau, les chercheurs du CNRS partent à la rencontre du public du 13 au 19 mars 2017, partout en France. Dans plus de 30 villes, des conférences, expositions, projections et ateliers seront l'occasion de découvrir ou redécouvrir le cerveau et les dernières avancées scientifiques.
A Marseille et dans la région



Earth's oceans are warming 13% faster than thought, and accelerating
Our new study improves estimates of the rate of ocean warming - a critical component of climate change



Pour entrer dans le XXIe siècle, repartons du Moyen Age !
Par Thierry Coulhon, Président de Paris-Sciences-et-Lettres
Unir grandes écoles et universités est un impératif pour refondre l’enseignement supérieur.
Notre monde est en train de basculer, et ce peut être pour le pire ou le meilleur. Sous peine de désespérer nos jeunes ou de les assigner au milieu dans lequel ils sont nés, nous devons les former de façon plus efficace et exigeante, en leur donnant les moyens de s’adapter à des mouvements amples et imprévisibles. Sous peine de voir notre économie asphyxiée, nous devons sans cesse innover et inventer. Sous peine de voir les pathologies politiques proliférer, nous devons promouvoir la recherche de la vérité par le débat et la critique rationnelle.


« D’après une étude » : cet imparable argument d’autorité !
« Les couches-culottes sont toxiques pour les bébés, d’après une étude »… « D’après une étude, les gens qui se parlent à eux-mêmes seraient des génies »… « D’après une étude, le spoiler est bon pour vous »… Il ne se passe pas un jour sans que les médias (que je consulte) utilisent cette formule.
Certains des articles sont très bien écrits et, rapportant ce qui a été fait dans l’étude, permettent réellement au lecteur de se faire une opinion argumentée. D’autres se contentent d’un gros titre et de quelques considérations générales, attrayantes, mais pas étayées.
C’est là que le bât blesse.





Rappel : binome
mardi 14 mars 2017, 19h-20h30 - Amphithéâtre de la Villa Méditerranée
d’Alexandra Badea, écrit à la suite de sa rencontre avec Bernard Ollivier, spécialiste en microbiologie des environnements extrêmes (IRD - MIO)



International Workshop on Eutrophication
Synthesis of knowledge
April 18 - 20 - CNRS Headquarter, 3 rue Michel Ange 75016 Paris
Programmme :






Multitrait successional forest dynamics enable diverse competitive coexistence 
Daniel S. Falster, Åke Brännström, Mark Westoby, and Ulf Dieckmann
Walking through any forest, one is struck by the variety of plant forms coexisting. Given that all plants compete for the same basic resources, why is there not a single winner? Our study shows that when key ingredients common to all forests are accounted for—including disturbance events, competition for light, and two widely observed trait-based tradeoffs—models of niche differentiation predict forests of considerably greater diversity than was previously thought possible.




'Gloom' and doom when these insects are on hot, dry red maple trees
They are known as gloomy scales, and these insects can make a red maple tree’s life downright dreary. This is because the arthropods feed and thrive on them, especially in warm and dry urban landscapes.

Adam G. Dale, Steven D. Frank. Warming and drought combine to increase pest insect fitness on urban trees. PLOS ONE, 2017


Distribution and predictors of wing shape and size variability in three sister species of solitary bees
Simon Dellicour, Maxence Gerard, Jérôme G. Prunier, Alexandre Dewulf, Michael Kuhlmann, Denis Michez
Morphological traits can be highly variable over time in a particular geographical area. Different selective pressures shape those traits, which is crucial in evolutionary biology. Among these traits, insect wing morphometry has already been widely used to describe phenotypic variability at the inter-specific level. On the contrary, fewer studies have focused on intra-specific wing morphometric variability. Yet, such investigations are relevant to study potential convergences of variation that could highlight micro-evolutionary processes.


Low tortoise abundances in pine forest plantations in forest-shrubland transition areas
Roberto C. Rodríguez-Caro, Cornelia S. Oedekoven, Eva Graciá, José D. Anadón, Stephen T. Buckland, Miguel A. Esteve-Selma, Julia Martinez, Andrés Giménez
In the transition between Mediterranean forest and the arid subtropical shrublands of the southeastern Iberian Peninsula, humans have transformed habitat since ancient times. Understanding the role of the original mosaic landscapes in wildlife species and the effects of the current changes as pine forest plantations, performed even outside the forest ecological boundaries, are important conservation issues.


Molecular analysis confirms the long-distance transport of Juniperus ashei pollen
Rashmi Prava Mohanty, Mark Alan Buchheim, James Anderson, Estelle Levetin
Although considered rare, airborne pollen can be deposited far from its place of origin under a confluence of favorable conditions. Temporally anomalous records of Cupressacean pollen collected from January air samples in London, Ontario, Canada have been cited as a new case of long-distance transport


Empirically derived guidance for social scientists to influence environmental policy
Nadine Marshall, Neil Adger, Simon Attwood, Katrina Brown, Charles Crissman, Christopher Cvitanovic, Cassandra De Young, Margaret Gooch, Craig James, Sabine Jessen, Dave Johnson, Paul Marshall, Sarah Park, Dave Wachenfeld, Damian Wrigley
Failure to stem trends of ecological disruption and associated loss of ecosystem services worldwide is partly due to the inadequate integration of the human dimension into environmental decision-making. Decision-makers need knowledge of the human dimension of resource systems and of the social consequences of decision-making if environmental management is to be effective and adaptive.


A pan-European epidemiological study reveals honey bee colony survival depends on beekeeper education and disease control
Antoine Jacques, Marion Laurent, EPILOBEE Consortium , Magali Ribière-Chabert, Mathilde Saussac, Stéphanie Bougeard, Giles E. Budge, Pascal Hendrikx, Marie-Pierre Chauzat
Reports of honey bee population decline has spurred many national efforts to understand the extent of the problem and to identify causative or associated factors. However, our collective understanding of the factors has been hampered by a lack of joined up trans-national effort. Moreover, the impacts of beekeeper knowledge and beekeeping management practices have often been overlooked, despite honey bees being a managed pollinator


Dynamics of marsh-mangrove ecotone since the mid-Holocene: A palynological study of mangrove encroachment and sea level rise in the Shark River Estuary, Florida
Qiang Yao, Kam-biu Liu
Sea level rise and the associated inland shift of the marsh-mangrove ecotone in south Florida have raised many scientific and management concerns in recent years. Holocene paleoecological records can provide an important baseline to shed light on the long-term dynamics of vegetation changes across this ecotone in the past, which is needed to predict the future.


Leaf-cutting ants learn to identify unsuitable plants from cues within the colony

Waste from fungicide-treated privet leaves is enough to make foraging ants avoid this plant

Andrés Arenas, Flavio Roces. Avoidance of plants unsuitable for the symbiotic fungus in leaf-cutting ants: Learning can take place entirely at the colony dump. PLOS ONE, 2017



In Scientific Reports
New research points out that climate change will increase fire activity in Mediterranean Europe
In the forthcoming decades, risks of summer fire may increase in Mediterranean Europe. A recent study, researchers show that the direct effect of climate change in regulating fuel moisture (droughts leading to larger fires) is expected to be dominant, regarding the indirect effect of antecedent climate on fuel load and structure -that is, warmer/drier conditions that determine fuel availability. The researchers drew this conclusion after analyzing a set of empirical models linking the summer Burned Area to the climatic indicators. These models are also promising for developing a seasonal forecast system supporting fire management strategies

Marco Turco, Jost von Hardenberg, Amir AghaKouchak, Maria Carmen Llasat, Antonello Provenzale, Ricardo M. Trigo. On the key role of droughts in the dynamics of summer fires in Mediterranean Europe. Scientific Reports, 2017



In New Phytologist
FRED database gathers root traits to advance understanding of belowground plant ecology
Scientists have released a new global, centralized database of plant root traits, or identifying characteristics, that can advance our understanding of how the hidden structure of plants belowground may interact with and relate to life aboveground.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) scientists have released a new global, centralized database of plant root traits, or identifying characteristics, that can advance our understanding of how the hidden structure of plants belowground may interact with and relate to life aboveground.

Colleen M. Iversen, M. Luke McCormack, A. Shafer Powell, Christopher B. Blackwood, Grégoire T. Freschet, Jens Kattge, Catherine Roumet, Daniel B. Stover, Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia, Oscar J. Valverde-Barrantes, Peter M. van Bodegom, Cyrille Violle. A global Fine-Root Ecology Database to address below-ground challenges in plant ecology. New Phytologist, 2017;jsessionid=525842E643B52CD6E32C4E5E417034F7.f03t02?systemMessage=Pay+per+view+article+purchase%28PPV%29+on+Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+unavailable+on+Saturday+11th+March+from+05%3A00-14%3A00+GMT+%2F+12%3A00-09%3A00+EST+%2F+13%3A00-22%3A00+SGT+for+essential+maintenance.++Apologies+for+the+inconvenience.


In Scientific Reports
Carbon-based approaches for saving rainforests should include biodiversity studies
New study finds that a universal relationship between biodiversity, carbon storage in tropical forests may not exist as once assumed
Conservationists working to safeguard tropical forests often assume that old growth forests containing great stores of carbon also hold high biodiversity, but a new study finds that the relationship may not be as strong as once thought, according to a group of researchers.

Martin J. P. Sullivan ... Diversity and carbon storage across the tropical forest biome. Scientific Reports, 2017


In GCB Bioenergy
Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
Growing sustainable energy crops without increasing greenhouse gas emissions, may be possible on seasonally wet, environmentally sensitive landscapes, according to researchers.

Debasish Saha, Benjamin M. Rau, Jason P. Kaye, Felipe Montes, Paul R. Adler, Armen R. Kemanian. Landscape control of nitrous oxide emissions during the transition from conservation reserve program to perennial grasses for bioenergy. GCB Bioenergy, 2017;jsessionid=B68F55D3962706A5850BB7E43D5AA7C8.f03t01?systemMessage=Pay+per+view+article+purchase%28PPV%29+on+Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+unavailable+on+Saturday+11th+March+from+05%3A00-14%3A00+GMT+%2F+12%3A00-09%3A00+EST+%2F+13%3A00-22%3A00+SGT+for+essential+maintenance.++Apologies+for+the+inconvenience.


From Sandia National Laboratories
Plants at the pump
Regular, unleaded or algae? That's a choice drivers could make at the pump one day. But for algal biofuels to compete with petroleum, farming algae has to become less expensive. Toward that goal, a research team is testing strains of algae for resistance to a host of predators and diseases, and learning to detect when an algae pond is about to crash.


In Fennoscandia Archaeologica
Bones, teeth reveal the harsh conditions endured by the ancestors of indigenous Finnish cattle and sheep breeds, particularly in the Middle Ages
The most extensive isotope analysis of archaeological material in Finland revealed a fragment of the history of ancient Finnish cattle: the bones and teeth showed which plants the animals fed on. For thousands of years, the ancestors of today’s Finncattle and Finnsheep survived on scarce nutrition, but actually starved in the Middle Ages in particular.

Bläuer A., Arppe L., Niemi M., Oinonen M., Liden K., Taavitsainen J-P., Kantanen J. Inferring prehistorical and historical feeding practices from
δ15N and δ13C isotope analysis on Finnish archaeological domesticated ruminant bones and teeth. Fennoscandia Archaeologica, XXXIII: 171-188


In Scientific Reports
Can tree rings predict volcanic eruptions?
Scientists made a surprising discovery on their mission to find better indicators for impending volcanic eruptions: it looks like tree rings may be able to predict eruptions, report researchers.

Ruedi Seiler, Nicolas Houlié, Paolo Cherubini. Tree-ring width reveals the preparation of the 1974 Mt. Etna eruption. Scientific Reports, 2017


In Nature Communications
Vicious circle of drought and forest loss in the Amazon
Logging that happens today and potential future rainfall reductions in the Amazon could push the region into a vicious dieback circle. If dry seasons intensify with human-caused climate change, the risk for self-amplified forest loss would increase even more, an international team of scientists finds. If however there is a great variety of tree species in a forest patch, according to the study this can significantly strengthen the chance of survival. To detect such non-linear behavior, the researchers apply a novel complex network analysis of water fluxes.

Delphine Clara Zemp, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Marina Hirota, Vincent Montade, Gilvan Sampaio, Arie Staal, Lan Wang-Erlandsson, Anja Rammig (2017): Self-amplified Amazon forest loss due to vegetation-atmosphere feedbacks.
Nature Communications







Réchauffement climatique ?
Avignon : agressé par un chameau sur le chemin du collège


Pierre Rahbi : l'humain et la nature au coeur du business

Des entrepreneurs. Des cadres. Des étudiants. Tous ont un point commun : l'envie d'une autre manière d'aborder le monde de l'entreprise, plus proche de l'humain et de la nature. Des personnes arrivent de toute la région pour la première conférence du mouvement 86 400, point de départ d'une série qui se déplacera à Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille, Nantes, avec des personnalités différentes à chaque fois.


L’atelier plutonium de Cadarache démantelé
Assez discrètement, Areva vient de terminer avec succès un chantier épineux et emblématique. Le démantèlement complet de l’atelier technologie du plutonium (ATPu) de Cadarache. Installée sur le site provençal du CEA, cette petite usine a vu passer des dizaines de tonnes de plutonium depuis 1962. Aujourd’hui, on peut se promener en chemise dans les bâtiments restants, nettoyés de toute radioactivité.