Nicolas V.,CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute |
Mataame A.,Institute Scientifique Of Rabat |
Crochet P.-A.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology |
Geniez P.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology |
Ohler A.,CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute
Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research | Year: 2015
We studied the phylogeography of the Sahara frog in North Africa. We widely sampled frogs from Morocco to Tunisia (195 individuals) and sequenced two mitochondrial (16S and CO1) and one nuclear (Rag1) genes. Our results confirm that Moroccan populations of Pelophylax saharicus are genetically distinct from Algerian ones. Specimens from Alger and Djelfa (central Algeria) are genetically closer to Moroccan specimens than to east Algerian ones, and the split between these two lineages may have occurred approximately 2.6 Mya. A similar pattern of differentiation was observed in several other species and was hypothesized to be linked to the formation of the fossil island called the 'Edough Peninsula' in eastern Algeria around 4.2 Ma and then to have been reinforced by Pleistocene climatic changes. At the Moroccan scale, we found a low level of genetic diversity and no clear phylogeographic pattern within P. saharicus. However, our SAShA analyses revealed a mixture of random and underdistributed haplotypes, which may indicate a complex population genetic or biogeographic history. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
Hanane S.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute |
Magri N.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute |
El Agbani M.-A.,Institute Scientifique Of Rabat |
Dakki M.,Institute Scientifique Of Rabat
Wetlands | Year: 2015
Since 2005, Morocco has designated 28 Important Bird Areas (IBA) and Ramsar wetlands for waterbirds, yet little is known about how waterbird communities are changing over time and space, within and between sites. We assessed the relationships between species numbers of overall breeding waterbirds, as well as those of Anatidae, Rallidae and Podicipedidae, and geographical, topographical and macrohabitat factors. Species richness of overall waterbirds and Anatidae were positively correlated with: (i) extent of emergent vegetation, (ii) number of plant species present, and (iii) altitude. Species richness of Rallidae was positively correlated with: (i) latitude, and (ii) different beds of emergent vegetation, while that of Podicipedidae was exclusively correlated with altitude. These results suggest that breeding waterfowl are significantly related to habitat characteristics, most importantly vegetation structure, and altitude. Our findings give support to the idea that large mountain wetlands protected areas provide valuable habitat to breeding waterbirds in this region, by providing larger buffer zones with fewer human activities, such as hunting, urbanization and tourism disturbance. This study provides a platform from which we can advance the scientific research on Moroccan IBA and Ramsar wetlands. © 2015, Society of Wetland Scientists.