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Belém, Brazil

The growing knowledge on paleogeography and the recent applications of molecular biology and phylogeography to the study of the Amazonian biota have provided a framework for testing competing hypotheses of biotic diversification in this region. Here, we reconstruct the spatio-temporal context of diversification of a widespread understory polytypic Amazonian bird species (Thamnophilus aethiops) and contrast it with different hypotheses of diversification and the taxonomy currently practiced in the group. Sequences of mtDNA (cytochrome b and ND2) and nuclear (β-fibrinogen introns 5 and 7 and the Z-liked Musk4) genes, adding up to 4093. bp of 89 individuals covering the Amazonian, Andean, and Atlantic Forest populations of T. aethiops were analyzed. Phylogenetic and population genetics analyses revealed ten reciprocally monophyletic and genetically isolated or nearly-isolated lineages in T. aethiops, highlighting several inconsistencies between taxonomy and evolutionary history in this group. Our data suggest that the diversification of T. aethiops started in the Andean highlands, and then proceeded into the Amazonian lowlands probably after the consolidation of the modern Amazonian drainage. The main cladogenetic events in T. aethiops may be related to the formation and structuring of large Amazonian rivers during the Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene, coinciding with the dates proposed for other lineages of Amazonian organisms. Population genetics data do not support climatic fluctuations as a major source of diversification in T. aethiops. Even though not entirely concordant with paleobiogeographic models derived from phylogenies of other vertebrate lineages, our results support a prominent role for rivers as major drivers of diversification in Amazonia, while underscoring that different diversification scenarios are probably related to the distinct evolutionary origins of groups being compared. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source


Paramasaris fernandae Silveira, sp. nov. is described from the Brazilian state of Pará, and its affinities with other species in the genus are discussed. Record of this new species greatly expands geographical range of occurrences for Paramasaris Cameron as a whole, and in a kind of forest habitat unusual for the group. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press. Source


Lees A.C.,Coordenacao de Zoologia | Lees A.C.,University of Cambridge | Newton I.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Balmford A.,University of Cambridge
Conservation Letters | Year: 2013

The partial recovery of large birds of prey in lowland Britain has reignited conflicts with game managers and prompted a controversial U.K. government proposal to investigate ways of limiting losses to pheasant shooting operations. Yet best estimates are that buzzards are only a minor source of pheasant mortality-road traffic, for example, is far more important. Moreover, because there are often large numbers of nonbreeding buzzards, local control of breeding pairs may simply lead to their replacement by immigrant buzzards. Most significantly, consideration of the complexity of trophic interactions suggests that even if successful, lowering buzzard numbers may directly or indirectly increase the abundance of other medium-sized predators (such as foxes and corvids) which potentially have much greater impacts on pheasant numbers. To be effective, interventions need to be underpinned by far more rigorous understanding of the dynamics of ecosystems dominated by artificially reared, superabundant nonnative game species. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


Barlow J.,Lancaster University | Gardner T.A.,University of Cambridge | Lees A.C.,Coordenacao de Zoologia | Parry L.,Lancaster University | Peres C.A.,University of East Anglia
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

Archeologists, paleoecologists and anthropologists argue that ecologists need to give greater consideration to the pre-historical influence of humans in shaping the current structure and composition of tropical forests. We examine these arguments within the context of Amazonia, and assess the extent to which (i) the concepts of " pristine forests" and " cultural parklands" are mutually exclusive, (ii) the aggregated distribution of some plants necessarily indicates enrichment planting, (iii) pre-Columbian human disturbance has increased forest biodiversity, (iv) pre-Columbian indigenous practices were always sustainable, and (v) if indeed, the ecological impacts of pre-Columbian peoples are relevant for modern biodiversity conservation. Overall, we reject the notion that " the pristine myth has been thoroughly debunked" by archeological evidence, and suggest that the environmental impacts of historical peoples occurred along gradients, with high-impacts in settlements and patches of Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE), lesser impacts where occasional enrichment planting took place in forests surrounding agricultural plots, and a very low influence (in terms of light hunting pressure and other types of resource extraction) across vast areas of Amazonia that may always have been far from permanent settlements and navigable rivers. We suggest that the spatial distribution of pre-Columbian finds is given more attention, and urge caution before case studies are extrapolated to the entire Basin. Above all, we feel that debates over " naturalness" and environmental impacts of pre-Columbian humans are of limited relevance to present and future biodiversity conservation, and can detract from the major challenges facing Amazonia and other tropical forest regions today. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Rylands A.B.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Mittermeier R.A.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Silva J.S.,Coordenacao de Zoologia
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2012

The current taxonomy of the New World primates (Platyrrhini) indicates c. 152 species (i.e. 204 species and subspecies) in 20 genera and four or five families. For various reasons, the number of taxa has increased considerably in the last 30 years; the adoption of the phylogenetic species concept, cytogenetic and molecular genetic studies, and the discovery of 31 new species and subspecies, among them. Here, we provide a summary of some of the key changes and developments in the taxonomy of these monkeys since the International Zoo Yearbook's previous special section on New World primates in 1982 (Volume 22). © 2012 The Authors. International Zoo Yearbook © 2012 The Zoological Society of London. Source

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