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Evans D.,Center for Biological Diversity
Acta Botanica Gallica | Year: 2010

Annex I of the EU Habitats directive lists habitats which the member states must protect by the designation and management of protected areas known as Special Areas of Conservation. This list of habitats has grown from 170 In 1992 to 231 in 2007 due to enlargement of the EU from 12 to 27 members. An Interpretation Manual describes the habitats but there is often variation between member states in how they interpret the habitat types, sometimes there is variation between regions in the same country. Several examples of such differences are presented and the efforts to date to ensure similar interpretations are described. Finally some possible future developments are discussed. Source


Evans D.,Center for Biological Diversity
Nature Conservation | Year: 2012

In the second half of the 20th Century there was a growing awareness of environmental problems, including the loss of species and habitats, resulting in many national and international initiatives, including the creation of organisations, such as the IUCN, treaties and conventions, such as Ramsar and the Berne Convention, and the establishment of networks of protected areas. Natura 2000 is a network of sites in the European Union for selected species and habitats listed in the 1979 Birds Directive and the 1992 Habitats Directive. Under the Habitats Directive a series of seminars and other meetings have been held with agreed criteria to ensure a coherent network. Despite both scientific and political difficulties the network is now nearing completion. © 2015 Copyright Douglas Evans. Source


Madin J.S.,Macquarie University | Baird A.H.,James Cook University | Dornelas M.,Center for Biological Diversity | Connolly S.R.,James Cook University
Ecology Letters | Year: 2014

Understanding life history and demographic variation among species within communities is a central ecological goal. Mortality schedules are especially important in ecosystems where disturbance plays a major role in structuring communities, such as coral reefs. Here, we test whether a trait-based, mechanistic model of mechanical vulnerability in corals can explain mortality schedules. Specifically, we ask whether species that become increasingly vulnerable to hydrodynamic dislodgment as they grow have bathtub-shaped mortality curves, whereas species that remain mechanically stable have decreasing mortality rates with size, as predicted by classical life history theory for reef corals. We find that size-dependent mortality is highly consistent between species with the same growth form and that the shape of size-dependent mortality for each growth form can be explained by mechanical vulnerability. Our findings highlight the feasibility of predicting assemblage-scale mortality patterns on coral reefs with trait-based approaches. © 2014 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS. Source


Bailey N.W.,Center for Biological Diversity
G3 (Bethesda, Md.) | Year: 2013

Field crickets (family Gryllidae) frequently are used in studies of behavioral genetics, sexual selection, and sexual conflict, but there have been no studies of transcriptomic differences among different tissue types. We evaluated transcriptome variation among testis, accessory gland, and the remaining whole-body preparations from males of the field cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus. Non-normalized cDNA libraries from each tissue were sequenced on the Roche 454 platform, and a master assembly was constructed using testis, accessory gland, and whole-body preparations. A total of 940,200 reads were assembled into 41,962 contigs, to which 36,856 singletons (reads not assembled into a contig) were added to provide a total of 78,818 sequences used in annotation analysis. A total of 59,072 sequences (75%) were unique to one of the three tissues. Testis tissue had the greatest proportion of tissue-specific sequences (62.6%), followed by general body (56.43%) and accessory gland tissue (44.16%). We tested the hypothesis that tissues expressing gene products expected to evolve rapidly as a result of sexual selection--testis and accessory gland--would yield a smaller proportion of BLASTx matches to homologous genes in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster compared with whole-body tissue. Uniquely expressed sequences in both testis and accessory gland showed a significantly lower rate of matching to annotated D. melanogaster genes compared with those from general body tissue. These results correspond with empirical evidence that genes expressed in testis and accessory gland tissue are rapidly evolving targets of selection. Source


Bailey N.W.,Center for Biological Diversity
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2012

A variety of theoretical models incorporate phenotypes expressed in the external environment, but a core question is whether such traits generate dynamics that alter evolution. This has proven to be a challenging and controversial proposition. However, several recent modelling frameworks provide insight: indirect genetic effect (IGE) models, niche construction models, and evolutionary feedback models. These distinct approaches converge upon the observation that gene action at a distance generates feedback that expands the range of trait values and evolutionary rates that we should expect to observe in empirical studies. Such conceptual replication provides solid evidence that traits with extended effects have important evolutionary consequences, but more empirical work is needed to evaluate the predictive power of different modelling approaches. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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