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Pie M.R.,Federal University of Paraná | Pie M.R.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais | Stroher P.R.,Federal University of Paraná | Bornschein M.R.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais | And 5 more authors.
Biochemical Systematics and Ecology | Year: 2017

The mitochondrial genome of Brachycephalus brunneus was determined by next-generation sequencing of mitochondrial DNA. Without its control region, it has a total length of 15,485 bp, consisting of 37 genes: 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 22 tRNA genes. Except for eight tRNAs and the nd6 gene, all other mitochondrial genes are encoded on the heavy strand. ATG and ATC act mainly as the initial codon in 10 protein-coding genes, whereas nd2 and cox1 use ATT and nad3 uses ATA. Gene order is generally consistent with that observed in closely-related families. The cloverleaf structures for trnS1 and trnC lacked the DHU-stem and DHU-loop, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses of mitogenomes of closely-related families indicate that Brachycephalidae is more closely-related to Craugastoridae than to Eleutherodactylidae. This is the first sequenced mitochondrial genome for the entire Brachycephalidae and can provide the basis for the development of mitochondrial markers for other members of the family, including many species that are critically endangered. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Pulido-Santacruz P.,Grande Rio University | Bornschein M.R.,Federal University of Paraná | Bornschein M.R.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais | Belmonte-Lopes R.,Federal University of Paraná | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2016

The Atlantic Forest (AF) of South America harbors one of the world's highest bird species richness, but to date there is a deficient understanding of the spatial patterns of genetic diversity and the evolutionary history of this biome. Here we estimated the phylogenetic and populational history of the widespread Mouse-colored Tapaculo (Scytalopus speluncae) complex across the Brazilian AF, using data from two mitochondrial genes and 12 microsatellite loci. Both markers uncovered several cryptic, mostly allopatric and well-supported lineages that may represent distinct species-level taxa. We investigated whether diversification in S. speluncae is compatible with the Carnaval-Moritz model of Pleistocene refugia. We found that northern lineages have high levels of genetic diversity, agreeing with predictions of more stable forest refugia in these areas. In contrast, southern lineages have lower levels of mtDNA diversity with a signature of population expansion that occurred earlier (~0.2 Mya) than the last glacial maximum. This result suggests that the AF may be stable enough to maintain endemic taxa through glacial cycles. Moreover, we propose that the "mid-Pleistocene climate transition" between 1.2 and 0.7 million years ago, from a warmer to a colder climate, may have played an important but mostly overlooked role in the evolution of AF montane taxa. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


Anjos L.D.,State University Londrina | Collins C.D.,Colby College | Holt R.D.,University of Florida | Volpato G.H.,Federal University of Paraná | And 6 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011

Developing a predictive theory for species responses to habitat fragmentation is a large, complex challenge in conservation biology, and meeting this challenge likely requires tailoring predictions to specific habitats and taxa. We evaluate the effects of fragmentation on forest birds living in three distinct forest ecosystems found in Brazilian Atlantic forest: seasonal semi-deciduous forest (SF), mixed rain forest (MF), and dense rain forest (DF). We test the hypotheses that (1) bird species most prevalent in SF (relative to other habitat types) will be least vulnerable to population declines in fragmented SF, and (2) species with stronger affiliations with DF or MF will be relatively more sensitive to fragmentation in SF. Using an exploratory statistical technique called "Rank Occupancy-Abundance Profiles (ROAPs)," we compared distribution and abundance of birds among large "continuous" areas of each forest type, then compared abundances in continuous SF forests with patterns of abundance in small fragments of SF, where edge effects could play a marked role in population dynamics. Overall, 39 species showed substantially lower local abundance, occupancy, or both in SF fragments versus continuous SF. As predicted, a higher proportion of bird species associated with DF appeared sensitive to fragmentation in SF; by contrast, species most abundant in SF and MF were similarly abundant in fragmented SF. Our study demonstrates how quantifying distribution and abundance in diverse habitats may enhance managers' ability to incorporate species-specific responses to human disturbances in their conservation plans, and points out ways that even small reserves may have significant conservation value. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Federal University of Paraná, STCP Engineering de Projetos Ltda, Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais, Federal University of Minas Gerais and National University of Misiones
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Three new species of Melanophryniscus are described from the Serra do Mar mountain range of the state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. All species are found at intermediate to high altitudes and share phytotelm-breeding as their reproductive strategy. The new species are distinguished from other phytotelm-breeding Melanophryniscus based on different combinations of the following traits: snout-vent length, presence of white and/or yellow spots on forearms, mouth, belly and cloaca, pattern and arrangement of warts, and presence and number of corneous spines. The discovery of these species in a rather restricted geographical area suggests that the diversity of phytotelm-breeding species of Melanophryniscus might be severely underestimated. The conservation status of these species is of particular concern, given that one of them is at risk of extinction not only due to its restricted habitat, but also because of anthropogenic disturbances.


Mauricio G.N.,Federal University of Pelotas | Belmonte-Lopes R.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais | Pacheco J.F.,Comite Brasileiro de Registros Ornitologicos | Silveira L.F.,University of Sao Paulo | And 3 more authors.
Auk | Year: 2014

An isolated population of tapaculos attributed to Scytalopus speluncae has been known from the mountains of southeastern Bahia state, Brazil, since the early 1990s, and a second isolated population was discovered in 1999. Morphological and bioacoustic analyses of 11 specimens and several tape recordings indicated that these populations represent a new species, in agreement with a previous molecular phylogenetic study. This species is unambiguously distinguished from its closest relatives by 4 suites of characters: (1) morphometrics-body proportions, (2) plumage color, (3) vocalizations, and (4) genetics. Using each of these character sets, separately or in combination, one can distinguish with 100% confidence the new species from its sister lineages. The new species is known from only 5 localities distributed in 2 distinct mountain ranges, 1 on the eastern slopes of the Planalto da Conquista, between the municipalities of Boa Nova and Iguaí, and another in the Serra das Lontras, ∼100 km to the southeast and only 37 km from the coast. The new species primarily inhabits undisturbed montane forest, from 660 to 1,140 m a.s.l. We estimated an area of occupancy of the species of only 5,885 ha and a density of 0.49 individuals ha-1, resulting in a total estimated population of 2,883 individuals. Forest remnants are under severe pressure from clandestine timber extraction and outright deforestation. Under IUCN criteria, this new species should be classified as "Endangered.". Copyright © 2014 American Ornithologists' Union.


Pie M.R.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais | Pie M.R.,Federal University of Paraná | Meyer A.L.S.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais | Meyer A.L.S.,Federal University of Paraná | And 6 more authors.
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2013

The small geographical range of highly endemic species is an important factor to be considered in conservation initiatives because it can increase their risk of extinction, as well decrease their probability of discovery. In this study, we use environmental niche modeling (ENM) to investigate the distribution of Brachycephalus, an anuran genus characterized by microendemic species living mostly in montane habitats along the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Given that traditional ENM is not possible in the case of Brachycephalus because most of its species have limited geographical ranges, we analyzed an ensemble dataset that combined records of most described species, as well as new species that are currently being described, while accounting for heterogeneity in their climatic niches. Niche heterogeneity was quantified by ordination of the bioclimatic variables associated with their occurrence records, followed by unguided clustering of the resulting ordination scores. Out of an initial dataset of 544 records, careful curation reduced it to 75 records of 24 species and 71 localities. Interestingly, the three major clusters of climatic niches found in Brachycephalus corresponded largely to the three previously recognized phylogenetic lineages in the genus. The pernix cluster included the highly endemic species from southern Brazil that were most restricted to high-elevation areas, whereas the didactylus cluster encompassed species with broader geographical ranges that extended into lowland regions of the Atlantic Rainforest. Finally, the ephippium cluster included species from southeastern Brazil with intermediate levels of endemism. The detection of several isolated locations with potentially suitable habitats indicate that the diversity of Brachycephalus could still be considerably underestimated. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Pie M.R.,Federal University of Paraná | Pie M.R.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais | Ribeiro L.F.,Federal University of Paraná | Ribeiro L.F.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais
PeerJ | Year: 2015

A new miniaturized toadled of the genus Brachycephalus (Anura: Brachycephalidae) is described from Serra do Quiriri in the municipality of Campo Alegre, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. Specimens were collected from the leaf litter between from 1,263 and 1,318 m above sea level. The new species is distinguished from all its congeners by the combination of the following characters: snout-vent length 9.9-13.1 mm; skin on head and dorsum without dermal co-ossification; snout mucronate in dorsal view; dorsum rugose; general color brown, with a narrow orange vertebral stripe. The region where the new species is located is also shared with other endemic anuran species and has experienced strong anthropogenic impacts, suggesting that immediate actions should be taken to ensure their long-term preservation. © 2015 Pie and Ribeiro.


Carnaval A.C.,City College of New York | Waltari E.,City College of New York | Rodrigues M.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Rosauer D.,Australian National University | And 15 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2014

Phylogeographic endemism, the degree to which the history of recently evolved lineages is spatially restricted, reflects fundamental evolutionary processes such as cryptic divergence, adaptation and biological responses to environmental heterogeneity. Attempts to explain the extraordinary diversity of the tropics, which often includes deep phylogeographic structure, frequently invoke interactions of climate variability across space, time and topography. To evaluate historical versus contemporary drivers of phylogeographic endemism in a tropical system, we analyse the effects of current and past climatic variation on the genetic diversity of 25 vertebrates in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. We identify two divergent bioclimatic domains within the forest and high turnover around the Rio Doce. Independent modelling of these domains demonstrates that endemism patterns are subject to different climatic drivers. Past climate dynamics, specifically areas of relative stability, predict phylogeographic endemism in the north. Conversely, contemporary climatic heterogeneity better explains endemism in the south. These results accord with recent speleothem and fossil pollen studies, suggesting that climatic variability through the last 250 kyr impacted the northern and the southern forests differently. Incorporating sub-regional differences in climate dynamics will enhance our ability to understand those processes shaping high phylogeographic and species endemism, in the Neotropics and beyond. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Firkowski C.R.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais | Firkowski C.R.,Federal University of Paraná | Bornschein M.R.,Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais | Bornschein M.R.,Federal University of Paraná | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2016

The Brazilian Atlantic Forest (BAF) is recognized as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, with even more species per unit of area than the Amazon, however the mechanisms that led to such astonishing diversity are yet to be fully understood. In this study, we investigate the diversification of two co-distributed frog genera associated with montane areas of southern BAF: Melanophryniscus (Bufonidae) and Brachycephalus (Brachycephalidae). Species delimitation methods using mitochondrial and nuclear loci supported the existence of a remarkable number of highly endemic species in each genus, most of which occupy only one or a few adjacent mountaintops. Their timing of diversification was highly congruent, supporting recent speciation events within the past 600 thousand years. Extended Bayesian skyline plots indicate that most populations have remained relatively stable in size across the evolutionary past, with recent growth after 0.15 My, suggesting that the drastic changes found in previous studies on lowland frog species were not shared by these montane taxa. These results are consistent with the existence of a montane refugium in southern BAF, allowing species persistence through the climatic shifts experienced along the BAF during the Quaternary. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Materials Natura Institute Estudos Ambientais, Federal University of Minas Gerais and Federal University of Paraná
Type: | Journal: PeerJ | Year: 2015

Brachycephalus (Anura: Brachycephalidae) is a remarkable genus of miniaturized frogs of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest. Many of its species are highly endemic to cloud forests, being found only on one or a few mountaintops. Such level of microendemism might be caused by their climatic tolerance to a narrow set of environmental conditions found only in montane regions. This restriction severely limits the chance of discovery of new species, given the difficulty of exploring these inaccessible habitats. Following extensive fieldwork in montane areas of the southern portion of the Atlantic Rainforest, in this study we describe seven new species of Brachycephalus from the states of Paran and Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. These species can be distinguished from one another based on coloration and the level of rugosity of the skin in different parts of their body. These discoveries increase considerably the number of described species of Brachycephalus in southern Brazil.

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