Geographical Barriers (geographical + barrier)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: concepts and definitions

David M. Richardson
Abstract., Much confusion exists in the English-language literature on plant invasions concerning the terms ,naturalized' and ,invasive' and their associated concepts. Several authors have used these terms in proposing schemes for conceptualizing the sequence of events from introduction to invasion, but often imprecisely, erroneously or in contradictory ways. This greatly complicates the formulation of robust generalizations in invasion ecology. Based on an extensive and critical survey of the literature we defined a minimum set of key terms related to a graphic scheme which conceptualizes the naturalization/invasion process. Introduction means that the plant (or its propagule) has been transported by humans across a major geographical barrier. Naturalization starts when abiotic and biotic barriers to survival are surmounted and when various barriers to regular reproduction are overcome. Invasion further requires that introduced plants produce reproductive offspring in areas distant from sites of introduction (approximate scales: > 100 m over < 50 years for taxa spreading by seeds and other propagules; > 6 m/3 years for taxa spreading by roots, rhizomes, stolons or creeping stems). Taxa that can cope with the abiotic environment and biota in the general area may invade disturbed, seminatural communities. Invasion of successionally mature, undisturbed communities usually requires that the alien taxon overcomes a different category of barriers. We propose that the term ,invasive' should be used without any inference to environmental or economic impact. Terms like ,pests' and ,weeds' are suitable labels for the 50,80% of invaders that have harmful effects. About 10% of invasive plants that change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems over substantial areas may be termed ,transformers'. [source]

Yeast diversity sampling on the San Juan Islands reveals no evidence for the spread of the Vancouver Island Cryptococcus gattii outbreak to this locale

James A. Fraser
Abstract Biological diversity has been estimated for various phyla of life, such as insects and mammals, but in the microbe world is has been difficult to determine species richness and abundance. Here we describe a study of species diversity of fungi with a yeast-like colony morphology from the San Juan Islands, a group of islands that lies southeast of Vancouver Island, Canada. Our sampling revealed that the San Juan archipelago biosphere contains a diverse range of such fungi predominantly belonging to the Basidiomycota, particularly of the order Tremellales. One member of this group, Cryptococcus gattii, is the etiological agent of a current and ongoing outbreak of cryptococcosis on nearby Vancouver Island. Our sampling did not, however, reveal this species. While the lack of recovery of C. gattii does not preclude its presence on the San Juan Islands, our results suggest that the Strait of Juan de Fuca may be serving as a geographical barrier to restrict the dispersal of this primary human fungal pathogen into the United States. [source]

Substantial genetic substructuring in southeastern and alpine Australia revealed by molecular phylogeography of the Egernia whitii (Lacertilia: Scincidae) species group

Abstract Palaeoclimatic events and biogeographical processes since the mid-Tertiary are believed to have strongly influenced the evolution and distribution of the terrestrial vertebrate fauna of southeastern Australia. We examined the phylogeography of the temperate-adapted members of the Egernia whitii species group, a group of skinks that comprise both widespread low- to mid-elevation (E. whitii) and montane-restricted species (Egernia guthega, Egernia montana), in order to obtain important insights into the influence of past biogeographical processes on the herpetofauna of southeastern Australia. Sequence data were obtained from all six temperate-adapted species within the E. whitii species group, and specifically from across the distributional ranges of E. whitii, E. guthega and E. montana. We targeted a fragment of the ND4 mitochondrial gene (696 bp) and analysed the data using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods. Our data reveal a deep phylogeographical break in the east Gippsland region of Victoria between ,northern' (Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory) and ,southern' (Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia) populations of E. whitii. This divergence appears to have occurred during the late Miocene,Pliocene, with the Gippsland basin possibly forming a geographical barrier to dispersal. Substantial structuring within both the ,northern' and the ,southern' clades is consistent with the effects of Plio,Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles. Pleistocene glacial cycles also appear to have shaped the phylogeographical patterns observed in the alpine species, E. guthega and E. montana. We used our results to examine the biogeographical process that led to the origin and subsequent diversification of the lowland and alpine herpetofauna of southeastern Australia. [source]

Genetic structure of Japanese populations of an ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus germanus (Curculionidae: Scolytinae)

Masaaki ITO
Abstract We examined the genetic structures of 13 Japanese populations of an ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus germanus (Curculionidae: Scolytinae), to understand the effects of geographical barriers on the colonization dynamics of this species. The genetic structure was studied using portions of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene. A phylogenetic analysis revealed three distinct lineages (clades A, B and C) within X. germanus. Clade A contained 21 haplotypes from all 13 populations; whereas clade B contained eight haplotypes from Hokkaido (Sapporo and Furano), Iwate and Nagano populations; and clade C contained only a single a haplotype from the Hokkaido (Furano) population. In the analysis of molecular variance (amova), the greatest amount of genetic variation was detected between populations in Hokkaido and those in Honshu and other southern islands. Between these two groups of populations, all the values of the coefficient of gene differentiation were significantly larger than zero, except for the Hokkaido (Sapporo) versus Nagano comparison. Our results confirm that for X. germanus, gene flow has been interrupted between Hokkaido and Honshu since the last glacial maximum. [source]

Small mammal (rodents and lagomorphs) European biogeography from the Late Oligocene to the mid Pliocene

GLOBAL ECOLOGY, Issue 4 2007
Olivier Maridet
ABSTRACT Aim, To analyse the fossil species assemblages of rodents and lagomorphs from the European Neogene in order to assess what factors control small mammal biogeography at a deep-time evolutionary time-scale. Location, Western Europe: 626 fossil-bearing localities located within 31 regions and distributed among 18 successive biochronological units ranging from c. 27 Ma (million years ago; Late Oligocene) to c. 3 Ma (mid Pliocene). Methods, Taxonomically homogenized pooled regional assemblages are compared using the Raup and Crick index of faunal similarity; then, the inferred similarity matrices are visualized as neighbour-joining trees and by projecting the statistically significant interregional similarities and dissimilarities onto palaeogeographical maps. The inferred biogeographical patterns are analysed and discussed in the light of known palaeogeographical and palaeoclimatic events. Results, Successive time intervals with distinct biogeographical contexts are identified. Prior to c. 18 Ma (Late Oligocene and Early Miocene), a relative faunal homogeneity (high interregional connectivity) is observed all over Europe, a time when major geographical barriers and a weak climatic gradient are known. Then, from the beginning of the Middle Miocene onwards, the biogeography is marked by a significant decrease in interregional faunal affinities which matches a drastic global climatic degradation and leads, in the Late Miocene (c. 11 Ma), to a marked latitudinal pattern of small mammal distribution. In spite of a short rehomogenization around the Miocene/Pliocene boundary (6,4 Ma), the biogeography of small mammals in the mid Pliocene (c. 3 Ma) finally closely reflects the extant situation. Main conclusions, The resulting biogeographical evolutionary scheme indicates that the extant endemic situation has deep historical roots corresponding to global tectonic and climatic events acting as primary drivers of long-term changes. The correlation of biogeographical events with climatic changes emphasizes the prevalent role of the climate over geography in generating heterogeneous biogeographical patterns at the continental scale. [source]

Patterns of density, diversity, and the distribution of migratory strategies in the Russian boreal forest avifauna

Russell Greenberg
Abstract Aim, Comparisons of the biotas in the Palaearctic and Nearctic have focused on limited portions of the two regions. The purpose of this study was to assess the geographic pattern in the abundance, species richness, and importance of different migration patterns of the boreal forest avifauna of Eurasia from Europe to East Asia as well as their relationship to climate and forest productivity. We further examine data from two widely separated sites in the New World to see how these conform to the patterns found in the Eurasian system. Location, Boreal forest sites in Russia and Canada. Methods, Point counts were conducted in two to four boreal forest habitats at each of 14 sites in the Russian boreal forest from near to the Finnish border to the Far East, as well as at two sites in boreal Canada. We examined the abundance and species richness of all birds, and specific migratory classes, against four gradients (climate, primary productivity, latitude, and longitude). We tested for spatial autocorrelation in both dependent and independent variables using Moran's I to develop spatial correlograms. For each migratory class we used maximum likelihood to fit models, first assuming uncorrelated residuals and then assuming spatially autocorrelated residuals. For models assuming unstructured residuals we again generated correlograms on model residuals to determine whether model fitting removed spatial autocorrelation. Models were compared using Akaike's information criterion, adjusted for small sample size. Results, Overall abundance was highest at the eastern and western extremes of the survey region and lowest at the continent centre, whereas the abundance of tropical and short-distance migrants displayed an east,west gradient, with tropical migrants increasing in abundance in the east (and south), and short-distance migrants in the west. Although overall species richness showed no geographic pattern, richness within migratory classes showed patterns weaker than, but similar to, their abundance patterns described above. Overall abundance was correlated with climate variables that relate to continentality. The abundances of birds within different migration strategies were correlated with a second climatic gradient , increasing precipitation from west to east. Models using descriptors of location generally had greater explanatory value for the abundance and species-richness response variables than did those based on climate data and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Main conclusions, The distribution patterns for migrant types were related to both climatic and locational variables, and thus the patterns could be explained by either climatic regime or the accessibility of winter habitats, both historically and currently. Non-boreal wintering habitat is more accessible from both the western and eastern ends than from the centre of the boreal forest belt, but the tropics are most accessible from the eastern end of the Palaearctic boreal zone, in terms of distance and the absence of geographical barriers. Based on comparisons with Canadian sites, we recommend that future comparative studies between Palaearctic and Nearctic faunas be focused more on Siberia and the Russian Far East, as well as on central and western Canada. [source]

Phenotypic divergence but not genetic distance predicts assortative mating among species of a cichlid fish radiation

Abstract The hypothesis of ecological divergence giving rise to premating isolation in the face of gene flow is controversial. However, this may be an important mechanism to explain the rapid multiplication of species during adaptive radiation following the colonization of a new environment when geographical barriers to gene flow are largely absent but underutilized niche space is abundant. Using cichlid fish, we tested the prediction of ecological speciation that the strength of premating isolation among species is predicted by phenotypic rather than genetic distance. We conducted mate choice experiments between three closely related, sympatric species of a recent radiation in Lake Mweru (Zambia/DRC) that differ in habitat use and phenotype, and a distantly related population from Lake Bangweulu that resembles one of the species in Lake Mweru. We found significant assortative mating among all closely related, sympatric species that differed phenotypically, but none between the distantly related allopatric populations of more similar phenotype. Phenotypic distance between species was a good predictor of the strength of premating isolation, suggesting that assortative mating can evolve rapidly in association with ecological divergence during adaptive radiation. Our data also reveals that distantly related allopatric populations that have not diverged phenotypically, may hybridize when coming into secondary contact, e.g. upon river capture because of diversion of drainage systems. [source]

The paternal-sex-ratio (PSR) chromosome in natural populations of Nasonia (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea)

L. W. Beukeboom
Selfish genetic elements may be important in promoting evolutionary change. Paternal sex ratio (PSR) is a selfish B chromosome that causes all-male families in the haplodiploid parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis, by inducing paternal genome loss in fertilized eggs. The natural distribution and frequency of this chromosome in North American populations of N. vitripennis was investigated using a combination of phenotypic and molecular assays. Sampling throughout North America failed to recover PSR except from populations in the Great Basin area of western North America. Extensive sampling of Great Basin populations revealed PSR in frequencies ranging from 0 to 6% at different collection sites, and extended its distribution to Idaho and Wyoming. Intensive sampling in upstate New York did not detect the chromosome. Frequencies of the maternal-sex ratio distorter (MSR), son killer (SK) and virgin females ranged from 0 to 12%. Paternal sex ratio may be restricted to the Great Basin because its spread is hampered by geographical barriers, or because populations in other areas are not conducive to PSR maintenance. However, it cannot be ruled out that PSR occurs in other regions at very low frequencies. The apparent limited distribution and low frequency of PSR suggest that it will have relatively little impact on genome evolution in Nasonia. [source]

International cooperation on western corn rootworm ecology research: state-of-the-art and future research

J. Moeser
Abstract 1,Invasive pest species are challenging partly because the invasion process may be highly dynamic and because of the lack of knowledge of many researchers, professionals and farmers in the newly-invaded regions. The chrysomelid Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte is such an invasive pest. It has been the main pest of continuous maize in the U.S.A. for more than 60 years and is currently spreading throughout Europe. 2,In the area with a long history of this pest (Central and North America), scientific knowledge concerning the ecology of this pest has accumulated over the last decades. This resource is of great importance to both America and Europe and has to be gathered, shared and adapted to new situations. We therefore examined, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the scientific literature relating to D. virgifera virgifera ecology. 3,The quantitative analysis suggests that research on D. virgifera virgifera ecology is still in its infancy in Europe and suffers from geographical barriers (between Europe and North America and between linguistic areas within Europe) and that scientific communication should be strengthened both between North America and Europe and within Europe. 4,As a first solution to this problem, we introduce three companion review articles that constitute a landmark for D. virgifera virgifera research, enabling European and American scientists and decision-makers to orient themselves and discover new opportunities for research. We also stress that international research cooperation is the most important key to successfully manage invasive species. [source]

Lineage diversification in a widespread species: roles for niche divergence and conservatism in the common kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula

Abstract Niche conservatism and niche divergence are both important ecological mechanisms associated with promoting allopatric speciation across geographical barriers. However, the potential for variable responses in widely distributed organisms has not been fully investigated. For allopatric sister lineages, three patterns for the interaction of ecological niche preference and geographical barriers are possible: (i) niche conservatism at a physical barrier; (ii) niche divergence at a physical barrier; and (iii) niche divergence in the absence of a physical barrier. We test for the presence of these patterns in a transcontinentally distributed snake species, the common kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula), to determine the relative frequency of niche conservatism or divergence in a single species complex inhabiting multiple distinct ecoregions. We infer the phylogeographic structure of the kingsnake using a range-wide data set sampled for the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b. We use coalescent simulation methods to test for the presence of structured lineage formation vs. fragmentation of a widespread ancestor. Finally, we use statistical techniques for creating and evaluating ecological niche models to test for conservatism of ecological niche preferences. Significant geographical structure is present in the kingsnake, for which coalescent tests indicate structured population division. Surprisingly, we find evidence for all three patterns of conservatism and divergence. This suggests that ecological niche preferences may be labile on recent phylogenetic timescales, and that lineage formation in widespread species can result from an interaction between inertial tendencies of niche conservatism and natural selection on populations in ecologically divergent habitats. [source]

Evidence of genetic distinction and long-term population decline in wolves (Canis lupus) in the Italian Apennines

V. Lucchini
Abstract Historical information suggests the occurrence of an extensive human-caused contraction in the distribution range of wolves (Canis lupus) during the last few centuries in Europe. Wolves disappeared from the Alps in the 1920s, and thereafter continued to decline in peninsular Italy until the 1970s, when approximately 100 individuals survived, isolated in the central Apennines. In this study we performed a coalescent analysis of multilocus DNA markers to infer patterns and timing of historical population changes in wolves surviving in the Apennines. This population showed a unique mitochondrial DNA control-region haplotype, the absence of private alleles and lower heterozygosity at microsatellite loci, as compared to other wolf populations. Multivariate, clustering and Bayesian assignment procedures consistently assigned all the wolf genotypes sampled in Italy to a single group, supporting their genetic distinction. Bottleneck tests showed evidences of population decline in the Italian wolves, but not in other populations. Results of a Bayesian coalescent model indicate that wolves in Italy underwent a 100- to 1000-fold population contraction over the past 2000,10 000 years. The population decline was stronger and longer in peninsular Italy than elsewhere in Europe, suggesting that wolves have apparently been genetically isolated for thousands of generations south of the Alps. Ice caps covering the Alps at the Last Glacial Maximum (c. 18 000 years before present), and the wide expansion of the Po River, which cut the alluvial plains throughout the Holocene, might have provided effective geographical barriers to wolf dispersal. More recently, the admixture of Alpine and Apennine wolf populations could have been prevented by deforestation, which was already widespread in the fifteenth century in northern Italy. This study suggests that, despite the high potential rates of dispersal and gene flow, local wolf populations may not have mixed for long periods of time. [source]

Molecular systematics, biogeography and population structure of Neotropical freshwater needlefishes of the genus Potamorrhaphis

N. R. Lovejoy
Abstract Phylogenetic relationships of populations and species within Potamorrhaphis, a genus of freshwater South American needlefishes, were assessed using mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences. Samples were obtained from eight widely distributed localities in the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, and represented all three currently recognized species of Potamorrhaphis. The phylogeny of haplotypes corresponded imperfectly to current morphological species identities: haplotypes from P. guianensis, the most widespread species, did not make up a monophyletic clade. Geography played a strong role in structuring genetic variation: no haplotypes were shared between any localities, indicating restricted gene flow. Possible causes of this pattern include limited dispersal and the effects of current and past geographical barriers. The haplotype phylogeny also showed a complex relationship between fishes from different river basins. Based on the geographical distribution of clades, we hypothesize a connection between the middle Orinoco and Amazon via rivers of the Guianas. More ancient divergence events may have resulted from Miocene alterations of river drainage patterns. We also present limited data for two other Neotropical freshwater needlefish genera: Belonion and Pseudotylosurus. Pseudotylosurus showed evidence of substantial gene flow between distant localities, indicating ecological differences from Potamorrhaphis. [source]

The role of migration for spatial turnover of arctic bird species in a circumpolar perspective

OIKOS, Issue 11 2008
Sara Henningsson
Several different factors may determine where species range limits are located within regions of otherwise continuously available habitat and suitable climate. Within the Arctic tundra biome many bird species are migratory and their breeding distributions are affected by migration routes that are in turn limited by factors such as suitable winter habitat, migratory stopover sites, geographical barriers and historical routes of colonization. We identified longitudinal zones in the circumpolar Arctic of pronounced changes in the avian species composition (high species spatial turnover; ,species divides'). We tested for the association between migratory status and the geographical location and numbers of such species divides for species with non-breeding habitats mainly within terrestrial, pelagic and coastal ecosystems. Our results demonstrate that migration is of profound importance for both the number and locations of species divides in the Arctic. Long-distance migration is associated with a large number of divides among terrestrial and coastal arctic birds but with a reduced number of divides among pelagic birds. We suggest that long-distance migration permits pelagic but not terrestrial and coastal birds to colonize large winter ranges, which in turn causes expansion of breeding ranges, with more homogenous communities and reduction of species divides as consequences, among the long-distance migrants of pelagic but not of terrestrial and coastal birds. Furthermore, the divides among long-distance migrants are situated in two main regions, the Beringia and Greenland zones, while divides among short-distance migrants are more evenly spaced throughout the circumpolar Arctic. The Beringia and Greenland divides result largely from inter-continental colonization of new breeding ranges but retainment of original winter quarters in a process of evolution through extension of migration routes, leading to aggregated divides in the meeting zones of major global flyways. [source]

Distances to Emergency Department and to Primary Care Provider's Office Affect Emergency Department Use in Children

Annameika Ludwick MD
Abstract Objectives:, Patients of all ages use emergency departments (EDs) for primary care. Several studies have evaluated patient and system characteristics that influence pediatric ED use. However, the issue of proximity as a predictor of ED use has not been well studied. The authors sought to determine whether ED use by pediatric Medicaid enrollees was associated with the distance to their primary care providers (PCPs), distance to the nearest ED, and distance to the nearest children's hospital. Methods:, This historical cohort study included 26,038 children age 18 and under, assigned to 332 primary care practices affiliated with a Medicaid health maintenance organization (HMO). Predictor variables were distance from the child's home to his or her PCP site, distance from home to the nearest ED, and distance from home to the nearest children's hospital. The outcome variable was each child's ED use. A negative binomial model was used to determine the association between distance variables and ED use, adjusted for age, sex, and race, plus medical and primary care site characteristics previously found to influence ED use. Distance variables were divided into quartiles to test for nonlinear associations. Results:, On average, children made 0.31 ED visits/person/year. In the multivariable model, children living greater than 1.19 miles from the nearest ED had 11% lower ED use than those living within 0.5 miles of the nearest ED (risk ratio [RR] = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.81 to 0.99). Children living between 1.54 and 3.13 miles from their PCPs had 13% greater ED use (RR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.24) than those who lived within 0.7 miles of their PCP. Conclusions:, Geographical variables play a significant role in ED utilization in children, confirming the importance of system-level determinants of ED use and creating the opportunity for interventions to reduce geographical barriers to primary care. [source]

Population structure in an isolated Arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus, population: the impact of geographical barriers

The genetic composition of a population reflects several aspects of the organism and its environment. The Icelandic Arctic fox population exceeds 8000 individuals and is comprised of both coastal and inland foxes. Several factors may affect within-population movement and subsequent genetic population structure. A narrow isthmus and sheep-proof fences may prevent movement between the north-western and central part and glacial rivers may reduce movement between the eastern and central part of Iceland. Moreover, population density and habitat characteristics can influence movement behaviour further. Here, we investigate the genetic structure in the Icelandic Arctic fox population (n = 108) using 10 microsatellite loci. Despite large glacial rivers, we found low divergence between the central and eastern part, suggesting extensive movement between these areas. However, both model- and frequency-based analyses suggest that the north-western part is genetically differentiated from the rest of Iceland (FST = 0.04, DS = 0.094), corresponding to 100,200 generations of complete isolation. This suggests that the fences cannot be the sole cause of divergence. Rather, the isthmus causes limited movement between the regions, implying that protection in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve has a minimal impact on Arctic fox population size in the rest of Iceland. © 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 97, 18,26. [source]