IMBE News – Mardi 11 avril 2017



Inconceivable! The latest theatrical House 'Science' committee hearing
Republican Party leaders keep putting fossil fuel industry profits over the well-being of Americans
Last week, the House “Science” committee held one of its regular hearings to dispute the validity of climate science research. Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) articulated the purpose of the hearing when speaking at a recent Heartland Institute climate science denial conference:
Next week we’re going to have a hearing on our favorite subject of climate change and also on the scientific method, which has been repeatedly ignored by the so-called self-professed climate scientists

Is it socially acceptable to challenge climate denial?
A new study found people were less likely to want to become friends with those who confronted climate sceptics. How can we overcome these attitudes?

What’s at Stake in Trump’s Proposed E.P.A. Cuts
What is at stake as Congress considers the E.P.A. budget? Far more than climate change.
The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget are deep and wide-ranging. It seeks to shrink spending by 31 percent, to $5.7 billion from $8.1 billion, and to eliminate a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs.®ion=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

Changement climatique : pas d’accord sur une déclaration commune entre les pays du G7
Face aux réserves des Etats-Unis, qui ont confirmé être en phase de réexamen de leur position sur le dossier du changement climatique, l’Italie, qui accueille le G7 à Rome, a décidé de ne pas proposer de déclaration commune.
Les ministres de l’énergie du groupe des Sept (G7) ne sont pas parvenus à se mettre d’accord sur une déclaration commune sur la lutte contre le changement climatique, les Etats-Unis « réservant leur position » lors d’une réunion, lundi 10 avril, à Rome.

Saved: the endangered species back from the brink of extinction
Human activity has put wildlife around the world at risk, but many creatures are now thriving thanks to conservationists

« Bac + que dalle » ou la détresse de jeunes diplômés oubliés de l’emploi
Ce webdocumentaire est réalisé par une association de parrainage de jeunes diplômés exclus du marché de l’emploi, contraints de se battre au quotidien pour s’en sortir.
Ils sont cinq jeunes diplômés confrontés aux vicissitudes de la recherche d’emploi à l’issue d’une licence de droit, d’un master (bac + 5) ou encore d’un diplôme d’architecte. Le webdocumentaire Bac + que dalle donne à voir, avec justesse, la triste réalité vécue par une partie de la jeunesse.
Celle de déclassés, diplômés sans débouchés, manquant du réseau nécessaire pour décrocher un emploi à hauteur de leurs compétences, jonglant entre stages, petits boulots, CDD ponctuels, intérim, chômage, soutien familial et parfois RSA.


Postdoc au Canada
Postdoctoral researcher on fire forecasting
Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Plus d'infos ici ...
Les évènements scientifiques (et grand public) des unités de l'OSU Institut Pythéas dont l'IMBE !


In Marine Ecology Progress Series
Seagrasses in world heritage site has not recovered years after heat wave
Massive seagrass beds in Western Australia's Shark Bay -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- haven't recovered much from the devastating heat wave of 2011, according to a new study demonstrating how certain vital ecosystems may change drastically in a warming climate.

RJ Nowicki, JA Thomson, DA Burkholder, JW Fourqurean, MR Heithaus. Predicting seagrass recovery times and their implications following an extreme climate event. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 2017

From Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)
Exotic species aren't all bad
Ecological value of exotic water plants equals that of indigenous species
When it comes to their role in aquatic ecosystems, exotic water plants are generally no different than indigenous species. In fact, they can be an asset. That doesn't mean all exotic species should be given free rein. But they can be managed more effectively if you focus on their properties and not their place of origin, suggests one expert.

In Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
New DNA research shows true migration route of early farming in Europe 8,000 years ago
Spread of agriculture throughout Europe followed migration into the Mediterranean from the Near East -- thousands of years earlier than widely believed

Joana B. Pereira, Marta D. Costa ... Reconciling evidence from ancient and contemporary genomes: a major source for the European Neolithic within Mediterranean Europe. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2017

White flowers finish last: pollen-foraging bumble bees show biased learning in a floral color polymorphism
Pollinator-driven selection is thought to drive much of the extraordinary diversity of flowering plants.
Plants that produce floral traits preferred by particular pollinators are more likely to receive conspecific pollen and to evolve further adaptations to those pollinators that enhance pollination and ultimately generate floral diversity.

In Nature Ecology & Evolution
Forget sponges: The earliest animals were marine jellies
When cartoonist and marine-biology teacher Steve Hillenburg created SpongeBob SquarePants in 1999, he may have backed the wrong side of one of the longest-running controversies in the field of evolutionary biology.
For the last decade, zoologists have been battling over the question, “What was the oldest branch of the animal family tree?” Was it the sponges, as they had long thought, or was it a distinctly different set of creatures, the delicate marine predators called comb jellies? The answer to this question could have a major impact on scientists’ thinking about how the nervous system, digestive tract, and other basic organs in modern animals evolved.

Contentious relationships in phylogenomic studies can be driven by a handful of genes, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2017).

In Evolution
Promiscuity slows down evolution of new species
Promiscuity mixes up the gene pool and dilutes genetic differences between populations, slowing down the evolution of new species, says new research by an international team led by the University of Bath's Milner Centre for Evolution.

Josephine D'Urban Jackson et al. Polygamy slows down population divergence in shorebirds, Evolution (2017).

In Science
Biology professors suggest instincts evolved from learning
A pair of biology professors, one with the University of Illinois, the other with Macquarie University in Australia has proposed in a Perspective piece in the journal Science that the traits we see as instinctual in animals were likely learned by ancestors. In their paper, Gene Robinson and Andrew Barron suggest that those behaviors learned by ancestors wound up in their DNA somehow, making them instinctual behaviors in later generations.

Gene E. Robinson et al. Epigenetics and the evolution of instincts, Science (2017).

In Scientific Reports
Honey bees have sharper eyesight than we thought
Research conducted at the University of Adelaide has discovered that bees have much better vision than was previously known, offering new insights into the lives of honey bees, and new opportunities for translating this knowledge into fields such as robot vision.

Visual acuity of the honey bee retina and the limits for feature detection - Elisa Rigosi, Steven D. Wiederman & David C. O’Carroll - Nature 2017

In Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Greenhouse gas effect caused by mangrove forest conversion is quite significant
Clear-cutting of tropical mangrove forests to create shrimp ponds and cattle pastures contributes significantly to the greenhouse gas effect, one of the leading causes of global warming, new research suggests.

J Boone Kauffman et al, The jumbo carbon footprint of a shrimp: carbon losses from mangrove deforestation, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (2017);jsessionid=80F4EA9C05D112062332673757DA3BB8.f04t03?systemMessage=Pay+Per+View+on+Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+unavailable+on+Saturday+15th+April+from+12%3A00-09%3A00+EDT+for+essential+maintenance.++Apologies+for+the+inconvenience.


Parallel adaptive evolution of geographically distant herring populations on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean 
Sangeet Lamichhaney, Angela P. Fuentes-Pardo, Nima Rafati, Nils Ryman, Gregory R. McCracken, Christina Bourne, Rabindra Singh, Daniel E. Ruzzante, and Leif Andersson
Identification of genetic changes that allow a species to adapt to different environmental conditions is an important topic in evolutionary biology. In this study we analyzed whole-genome resequencing data of Atlantic herring populations from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and identified a number of loci that show consistent associations with spawning time (spring or autumn).

Social interactions among grazing reef fish drive material flux in a coral reef ecosystem
Michael A. Gil and Andrew M. Hein
Social behaviors pervade natural ecosystems, but their effects on ecosystem processes have been difficult to measure. Here, we demonstrate that coral reef fish base decisions to feed on algae or flee from predators on the density and actions of other fish in the landscape, inducing strong temporal correlations in foraging behavior.

Salting our freshwater lakes
Hilary A. Dugan, Sarah L. Bartlett, Samantha M. Burke, Jonathan P. Doubek, Flora E. Krivak-Tetley, Nicholas K. Skaff, Jamie C. Summers, Kaitlin J. Farrell, Ian M. McCullough, Ana M. Morales-Williams, Derek C. Roberts, Zutao Ouyang, Facundo Scordo, Paul C. Hanson, and Kathleen C. Weathers
In lakes, chloride is a relatively benign ion at low concentrations but begins to have ecological impacts as concentrations rise into the 100s and 1,000s of mg L−1. In this study, we investigate long-term chloride trends in 371 freshwater lakes in North America. We find that in Midwest and Northeast North America, most urban lakes and rural lakes that are surrounded by >1% impervious land cover show increasing chloride trends.



In Plos One

The diversity and evolution of ecological and environmental citizen science
Michael J. O. Pocock, John C. Tweddle, Joanna Savage, Lucy D. Robinson, Helen E. Roy
Citizen science—the involvement of volunteers in data collection, analysis and interpretation—simultaneously supports research and public engagement with science, and its profile is rapidly rising. Citizen science represents a diverse range of approaches, but until now this diversity has not been quantitatively explored

Carbon dioxide sensing in an obligate insect-fungus symbiosis: CO2 preferences of leaf-cutting ants to rear their mutualistic fungus
Daniela Römer, Martin Bollazzi, Flavio Roces
Defense against biotic or abiotic stresses is one of the benefits of living in symbiosis. Leaf-cutting ants, which live in an obligate mutualism with a fungus, attenuate thermal and desiccation stress of their partner through behavioral responses, by choosing suitable places for fungus-rearing across the soil profile.

The rhizospheric microbial community structure and diversity of deciduous and evergreen forests in Taihu Lake area, China
Zhiwen Wei, Xiaolong Hu, Xunhang Li, Yanzhou Zhang, Leichun Jiang, Jing Li, Zhengbing Guan, Yujie Cai, Xiangru Liao
Soil bacteria are important drivers of biogeochemical cycles and participate in many nutrient transformations in the soil. Meanwhile, bacterial diversity and community composition are related to soil physic-chemical properties and vegetation factors. However, how the soil and vegetation factors affect the diversity and community composition of bacteria is poorly understood, especially for bacteria associated with evergreen and deciduous trees in subtropical forest ecosystems.

The geography of hotspots of rarity-weighted richness of birds and their coverage by Natura 2000
Fábio Suzart de Albuquerque, Andrew Gregory
A major challenge for biogeographers and conservation planners is to identify where to best locate or distribute high-priority areas for conservation and to explore whether these areas are well represented by conservation actions such as protected areas (PAs). We aimed to identify high-priority areas for conservation, expressed as hotpots of rarity-weighted richness (HRR)–sites that efficiently represent species–for birds across EU countries, and to explore whether HRR are well represented by the Natura 2000 network.

Prioritising surveillance for alien organisms transported as stowaways on ships travelling to South Africa
Katelyn T. Faulkner, Mark P. Robertson, Mathieu Rouget, John R. U. Wilson
The global shipping network facilitates the transportation and introduction of marine and terrestrial organisms to regions where they are not native, and some of these organisms become invasive. South Africa was used as a case study to evaluate the potential for shipping to contribute to the introduction and establishment of marine and terrestrial alien species (i.e. establishment debt) and to assess how this varies across shipping routes and seasons.

75 years of dryland science: Trends and gaps in arid ecology literature
Aaron C. Greenville, Chris R. Dickman, Glenda M. Wardle
Growth in the publication of scientific articles is occurring at an exponential rate, prompting a growing need to synthesise information in a timely manner to combat urgent environmental problems and guide future research. Here, we undertake a topic analysis of dryland literature over the last 75 years (8218 articles) to identify areas in arid ecology that are well studied and topics that are emerging. Four topics—wetlands, mammal ecology, litter decomposition and spatial modelling, were identified as ‘hot topics’ that showed higher than average growth in publications from 1940 to 2015.

Decay and nutrient dynamics of coarse woody debris in the Qinling Mountains, China
Jie Yuan, Lin Hou, Xin Wei, Zhengchun Shang, Fei Cheng, Shuoxin Zhang
As an ecological unit, coarse woody debris (CWD) plays an essential role in productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, community regeneration and biodiversity. However, thus far, the information on quantification the decomposition and nutrient content of CWD in forest ecosystems remains considerably limited. In this study, we conducted a long-term (1996–2013) study on decay and nutrient dynamics of CWD for evaluating accurately the ecological value of CWD on the Huoditang Experimental Forest Farm in the Qinling Mountains, China.

Genetic diversity and divergence at the Arbutus unedo L. (Ericaceae) westernmost distribution limit
Maria Margarida Ribeiro, Andrea Piotti, Alexandra Ricardo, Daniel Gaspar, Rita Costa, Laura Parducci, Giovanni Giuseppe Vendramin
Mediterranean forests are fragile ecosystems vulnerable to recent global warming and reduction of precipitation, and a long-term negative effect is expected on vegetation with increasing drought and in areas burnt by fires. We investigated the spatial distribution of genetic variation of Arbutus unedo in the western Iberia Peninsula, using plastid markers with conservation and provenance regions design purposes

No evidence for local adaptation to salt stress in the existing populations of invasive Solidago canadensis in China
Junmin Li, Haiyan Liu, Ming Yan, Leshan Du
Local adaptation is an important mechanism underlying the adaptation of plants to environmental heterogeneity, and the toxicity of salt results in strong selection pressure on salt tolerance in plants and different ecotypes. Solidago canadensis, which is invasive in China, has spread widely and has recently colonized alkali sandy loams with a significant salt content

In Molecular Biology And Evolution
Next Generation TimeTree: An expanded history of life on Earth at your fingertips
Temple University's scientists Sudhir Kumar and S. Blair Hedges, of the Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine (iGEM) and Center for Biodiversity, have had a longstanding goal to develop easy-to-use tools to make evolution more accessible for everyone—-from leading scientists to students in elementary school.
TimeTree: A resource for timelines, timetrees, and divergence times, Molecular Biology And Evolution (2017)

In Quaternary International
Prehistoric alpine farming in the Bernese Oberland
The people in Switzerland were on the move in the High Alps and running alpine pastures 7,000 years ago and therefore much earlier than previously assumed. A study that combines archaeological knowledge with findings from palaeoecology comes to this conclusion. Prehistoric finds from the Schnidejoch Pass played a crucial part in this.

Albert Hafner, Christoph Schwörer: Vertical mobility around the high-alpine Schnidejoch Pass. Indications of Neolithic and Bronze Age pastoralism in the Swiss Alps from paleoecological and archaeological sources, Quaternary International, 22.03.2017

In Science Advances
Putting a price tag on biodiversity
A team of economists and ecologists has developed one of the first models to assign a dollar value to the loss or gain of species in an ecosystem. This new work offers an economic argument for preserving biodiversity.

Bruce A. Hungate, Edward B. Barbier, Amy W. Ando, Samuel P. Marks, Peter B. Reich, Natasja van Gestel, David Tilman, Johannes M. H. Knops, David U. Hooper, Bradley J. Butterfield, Bradley J. Cardinale. The economic value of grassland species for carbon storage. Science Advances, 2017

In New Phytologist
Feeding fat to fungi: Evidence for lipid transfer in arbuscular mycorrhiza
The first experimental evidence to suggest that AM fungi also get lipids from the plant has now been released by researchers, providing a clue to understanding the obligate nature of AM fungi.

Armando Bravo, Mathias Brands, Vera Wewer, Peter Dörmann, Maria J. Harrison. Arbuscular mycorrhiza-specific enzymes FatM and RAM2 fine-tune lipid biosynthesis to promote development of arbuscular mycorrhiza. New Phytologist, 2017;jsessionid=E8363395BA4C6EDA70026BD329609245.f04t04

In Cell
Plant scientists untangle the molecular mechanisms connecting plant stress and growth
Researchers are piecing together the genetic mechanisms that link plant growth and stress response. In a new paper, the research group links autophagy, an important energy recycling function, with slower growth during stress conditions. Autophagy plays a key role in animals as well as plants.

Trevor M. Nolan, Benjamin Brennan, Mengran Yang, Jiani Chen, Mingcai Zhang, Zhaohu Li, Xuelu Wang, Diane C. Bassham, Justin Walley, Yanhai Yin. Selective Autophagy of BES1 Mediated by DSK2 Balances Plant Growth and Survival. Developmental Cell, 2017;

In Molecular Plant
Key mechanism in the plant defense against fungal infections
Fungi cause important crop losses and pose a serious risk for human and animal health. A team of scientists has discovered a new component of the plant defense system against fungal infections. This finding provides new tools for developing plants resistant to fungal infections.

Laura Castaño-Miquel, Abraham Mas, Inês Teixeira, Josep Seguí, Anna Perearnau, Bhagyasree N. Thampi, Arnaldo L. Schapire, Natalia Rodrigo, Gaelle La Verde, Silvia Manrique, Maria Coca, L. Maria Lois. SUMOylation Inhibition Mediated by Disruption of SUMO E1-E2 Interactions Confers Plant Susceptibility to Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens. Molecular Plant, 2017;

In Journal of The Royal Society Interface
New tool can help estimate genetically modified pollen spread
Food purists may have cause to celebrate thanks to a recent international study. The study, which evaluated the spread of genetically modified (GM) organisms to non-modified crops, has implications from farm to family.

Valentin Vallaeys, Rebecca C. Tyson, W. David Lane, Eric Deleersnijder, Emmanuel Hanert. A Lévy-flight diffusion model to predict transgenic pollen dispersal. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 2017

In Nature Ecology & Evolution
Large, high-intensity forest fires will increase
Wildfire experts predict that by 2041, there will be four large, high-intensity forest fires for every three that occur now, with the number of days when conditions are conducive to fires increasing.

David M. J. S. Bowman, Grant J. Williamson, John T. Abatzoglou, Crystal A. Kolden, Mark A. Cochrane, Alistair M. S. Smith. Human exposure and sensitivity to globally extreme wildfire events. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2017

In International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Why green spaces are good for grey matter
Walking between busy urban environments and green spaces triggers changes in levels of excitement, engagement and frustration in the brain, a study of older people has found.

Sara Tilley, Chris Neale, Agnès Patuano, Steve Cinderby. Older People’s Experiences of Mobility and Mood in an Urban Environment: A Mixed Methods Approach Using Electroencephalography (EEG) and Interviews. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2017

Presse locale

L'académie Aix-Marseille et le Parc des Calanques lancent un partenariat pédagogique
Pour protéger l'espace naturel fabuleux du Parc national des Calanques, la pédagogie s'impose, et ce, dès le plus jeune âge.
Les grandes institutions l'ont bien compris. Le Parc vient de signer une convention de partenariat avec l'académie d'Aix-Marseille, l'université de la même zone et l'Ecole supérieure du professorat et de l'éducation. L'idée étant, bien évidemment, de lancer des actions fortes pour encourager écoliers, étudiants et professeurs à préserver la biodiversité terrestre et marine du site.

Le Parc naturel régional des Alpilles fête ses dix ans
Ce vendredi soir, c'est à Saint-Rémy-de-Provence que Jean Mangion, président du Parc et maire de Saint-Etienne-du-Grès, a ouvert cette année-anniversaire devant les élus des communes et partenaires et acteurs du Parc.
Pascale Licari, conseillère régionale et Corinne Chabaud, conseillère départementale ont honoré de leur présence cette manifestation.

Site du parc :

Miramas : des actions pour le retour de la biodiversité au plan d'eau
Un radeau végétalisé a été installé pour favoriser l'activité biologique
Une étude a été demandée au lycée Fontlongue, qui a proposé cette solution. Cofinancé par le conseil régional et la municipalité, le radeau végétalisé a été réalisé par la société AquaTerra Solutions.

Mémoire engloutie, histoire des épaves de la région marseillaise
Depuis la mer, Marseille est couronnée d’un chapelet d’îles. Les silhouettes découpées et blanches de Planier, Riou, Maïre, et le Frioul se dressent au-dessus des flots. Par beau temps, elles sont la promesse d’un retour prochain au port. Mais lorsque l’air se transforme en purée de pois et que le mistral soulève ses lames à l’assaut des navires, la cité phocéenne semble cernée d’une herse tranchante. Autour des îles, les eaux sont constellées d’îlots invisibles et de hauts-fonds coupants. Ne passe pas qui veut. A leurs pieds gisent des carcasses de navires fantômes et d’avions aux ailes brisées.
Les îles de Marseille sont porte d’entrée et forteresse, gardien de la ville depuis plus de 2600 ans.

* épisode 1 : Le Liban :

* épisode 2 : Le Saint- Dominique :

Total et l'huile de palme :des associations dénoncent
La convention de reconversion de la raffinerie Total a été signée en Préfecture le 13 février dernier, avec l'État, la Région et la Métropole. À l'issue d'un investissement de 275 millions d'euros et d'ici à 2018, Total livrera du bio-diesel obtenu à partir d'huiles végétales de seconde génération et de résidus de raffinage "pour répondre à une demande croissante en biocarburants".