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Pinol J.,CREAF | Pinol J.,University of Barcelona | Ribes E.,University of Barcelona | Ribes J.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | And 2 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2012

The Heteroptera assemblage of a citrus grove and how it was affected by ant-exclusion was examined during transformation from conventional to organic agriculture. The results showed that the Heteroptera assemblage changed dramatically over the eight years of the study: at first, it mainly consisted of herbivorous lygaeids and predatory anthocorids but became dominated by predatory mirids in 2008-2009. The predator/herbivore ratio increased steadily over the eight years of the study. Ants can form mutualistic relationships with heteropteran pests. However, exclusion of ants from canopies did not affect the Heteroptera assemblage at the beginning of the study, but had a profound effect later on. In particular, ant-exclusion increased the abundance of most predatory Heteroptera, except for the myrmecomorphic mirid Pilophorus perplexus, which was approximately five times more abundant in control than in ant-excluded trees; the analyses showed that the only mimicked ant species was Lasius grandis. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Faille A.,Zoologische Staatssammlung | Faille A.,French Natural History Museum | Andujar C.,University of Murcia | Andujar C.,Natural History Museum in London | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: To test different biogeographical scenarios for the evolution of the ground beetles of the Trechus fulvus group, a lineage with many narrowly distributed flightless subterranean species, highly suitable for tracing their biogeographical history. Location: The Western Palaearctic, focusing on the Betic-Rifean area between south-east Iberia and north Morocco. Methods: We sequenced 3.3 kb of four mitochondrial and two nuclear genes of 30 individuals of 15 species of the T. fulvus group, plus 29 outgroups. We reconstructed their phylogeny and estimated divergence times using Bayesian probabilities and a priori evolutionary rates, and their ancestral distribution using maximum likelihood. Results: The phylogenetic reconstruction uncovered multiple independent colonizations of the subterranean environment within the T. fulvus group, a scenario also supported by variation in troglomorphic characters. Most of the Moroccan and south-east Iberian species form a clade with strong geographical structure, including the former genus Antoinella. The biogeographical model best fitting the current distribution and phylogeny of the group was a late Miocene palaeogeographical scenario with isolated populations on the Betic and Rifean areas and a south-eastern Iberian origin of the north Moroccan species. The widespread T. fulvus was sister to a central Moroccan species, suggesting a second Iberian-North African vicariance event within the group. One of the species, T. lallemantii, expanded its range to the east (Algeria and Tunisia) and the north (extreme south of the Iberian Peninsula) during the Pleistocene. Main conclusions: The T. fulvus group originated in the early Miocene, and the south-eastern Iberian lineage in the Tortonian. The lineage dispersed to Morocco during the Messinian, diversifying in rapid succession in the Atlas and the Rif and colonizing the subterranean environment multiple times. The geography of the Betic-Rifean region at the end of the Miocene can still be traced from the distribution of the extant species of the group. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Cieslak A.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Cieslak A.,University Pompeu Fabra | Fresneda J.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | Ribera I.,University Pompeu Fabra
Biology Letters | Year: 2014

In insects, whilst variations in life cycles are common, the basic patterns typical for particular groups remain generally conserved. One of the more extreme modifications is found in some subterranean beetles of the tribe Leptodirini, in which the number of larval instars is reduced from the ancestral three to two and ultimately one, which is not active and does not feed. We analysed all available data on the duration and size of the different developmental stages and compared them in a phylogenetic context. The total duration of development was found to be strongly conserved, irrespective of geographical location, habitat type, number of instars and feeding behaviour of the larvae, with a single alteration of the developmental pattern in a clade of cave species in southeast France. We also found a strong correlation of the size of the first instar larva with adult size, again regardless of geographical location, ecology and type of life cycle. Both results suggest the presence of deeply conserved constraints in the timing and energy requirements of larval development. Past focus on more apparent changes, such as the number of larval instars, may mask more deeply conserved ontogenetic patterns in developmental timing. © 2014 The Author(s).


In this paper we describe T. pallisei sp. n., a new representative of the genus Troglocharinus Reitter, 1908 (Coleoptera, Leiodidae, Leptodirini), a strictly subterranean genus restricted to the Eastern Pyrenees and some coastal areas in Catalo-nia. All known specimens of T. pallisei sp. n. were collected in a cave next to the town of La Riba, in the province of Tarragona (Spain), situated between the distribution areas of the species of the T. orcinus complex and T. espanoli Jeannel, 1930. It can be separated from the other members of the T. orcinus complex by the presence of penicillus in the apex of the parameres of the aedeagus and from T. espanoli by the presence of a mesoventral keel; it also differs from both by its long and erect pubescence. A Bayesian molecular phylogeny including representatives of the main lineages within the ge-nus Troglocharinus, based on ca. 5211 Kb of 5 mitochondrial and 4 nuclear genes, placed T. pallisei sp. n. as sister to T. orcinus Jeannel, 1910, and both sister to T. espanoli, in perfect agreement with their geographic distributions and the in-ferred geographic expansion of the genus to the south, with an estimated divergence of ca. 1.3 Ma. In agreement with the results of a previous phylogenetic study, the subgenus Antrocharidius Jeannel, 1910 is synonymised with Troglocharinus (syn.n.). Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.


Rizzo V.,University Pompeu Fabra | Sanchez-Fernandez D.,University Pompeu Fabra | Fresneda J.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | Cieslak A.,University Pompeu Fabra | Ribera I.,University Pompeu Fabra
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2015

Background: A key question in evolutionary biology is the relationship between species traits and their habitats. Caves offer an ideal model to test the adjustment of species to their surrounding temperature, as they provide homogeneous and simple environments. We compared two species living under different thermal conditions within a lineage of Pyrenean beetles highly modified for the subterranean life since the Miocene. One, Troglocharinus fonti, is found in caves at 4-11°C in the ancestral Pyrenean range. The second, T. ferreri, inhabits the coastal area of Catalonia since the early Pliocene, and lives at 14-16°C. Results: We found no differences in their short term upper thermal limit (ca. 50°C), similar to that of most organisms, or their lower thermal limit (ca. -2.5°C), higher than for most temperate insects and suggesting the absence of cryoprotectants. In longer term tests (7 days) survival between 6-20°C was almost 100% for both species plus two outgroups of the same lineage, but all four died between 23-25°C, without significant differences between them. Conclusions: Our results suggest that species in this lineage have lost some of the thermoregulatory mechanisms common in temperate insects, as their inferred default tolerance range is larger than the thermal variation experienced through their whole evolutionary history. © 2015 Rizzo et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


Rizzo V.,University Pompeu Fabra | Comas J.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | Fadrique F.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | Fresneda J.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | Ribera I.,University Pompeu Fabra
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2013

Aim: To investigate the possibility of range expansion and diversification within the subterranean environment in a genus of troglobiont beetles of the family Leiodidae (Troglocharinus), which have a disjunct distribution between the Pyrenees and the Catalonian coast. Location: North-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Methods: We sequenced 4 kb of five mitochondrial and two nuclear genes of 50 specimens of 12 of the 18 species of Troglocharinus, plus several outgroups. We reconstructed a phylogeny using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood, estimated divergence times using Bayesian probabilities and an a priori evolutionary rate, compared the diversification of the main clades within the genus, and reconstructed their ancestral distribution using maximum likelihood. Results: We found strong support for the monophyly of Troglocharinus and the clades in each of the geographical areas, which diverged in the early Pliocene. The coastal clade was further divided into geographically well-defined lineages, separated by Quaternary deposits. The origin of the coastal clade was a single colonization in the early Pliocene from the central Pyrenees. The diversification of the Pyrenean clade followed a constant rate, while the diversification rate of the coastal clade significantly decreased through the Plio-Pleistocene transition. Main conclusions: Troglocharinus expanded its range from its ancestral area in the central Pyrenees to the coast of Catalonia and subsequently diversified, probably within the subterranean environment. Our favoured scenario is a stepping-stone migration, with possibly short-distance dispersals through the surface, along the eastern margin of the north-eastern Ebro basin. The range expansion took place in a narrow temporal window with favourable conditions between the early Pliocene and the onset of the Mediterranean climate by the mid-Pliocene. Surface dispersal was probably severely limited afterwards, as shown by the fragmentation of the coastal lineage. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Cieslak A.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Cieslak A.,University Pompeu Fabra | Fresneda J.,Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia | Ribera I.,University Pompeu Fabra
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2014

Research on subterranean organisms has focused on the colonization process and some of the associated phenotypic changes, but little is known on the long-term evolutionary dynamics of subterranean lineages and the origin of some highly specialized complex characters. One of the most extreme modifications is the reduction of the number of larval instars in some Leptodirini beetles from the ancestral 3 to 2 and ultimately a single instar. This reduction is usually assumed to have occurred independently multiple times within the same lineage and geographical area, but its evolution has never been studied in a phylogenetic framework. Using a comprehensive molecular phylogeny, we found a low number of independent origins of the reduction in the number of instars, with a single transition, dated to the Oligocene-Miocene, from 3 to 2 and then 1 instar in the Pyrenees, the best-studied area. In the Pyrenees, the 1-instar lineage had a diversification rate (0.22 diversification events per lineage per million years) significantly higher than that of 3- or 2-instar lineages (0.10), and similar to that seen in other Coleopteran radiations. Far from being evolutionary dead-ends, ancient lineages fully adapted to subterranean life seem able to persist and diversify over long evolutionary periods. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia and University Pompeu Fabra
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biology letters | Year: 2014

In insects, whilst variations in life cycles are common, the basic patterns typical for particular groups remain generally conserved. One of the more extreme modifications is found in some subterranean beetles of the tribe Leptodirini, in which the number of larval instars is reduced from the ancestral three to two and ultimately one, which is not active and does not feed. We analysed all available data on the duration and size of the different developmental stages and compared them in a phylogenetic context. The total duration of development was found to be strongly conserved, irrespective of geographical location, habitat type, number of instars and feeding behaviour of the larvae, with a single alteration of the developmental pattern in a clade of cave species in southeast France. We also found a strong correlation of the size of the first instar larva with adult size, again regardless of geographical location, ecology and type of life cycle. Both results suggest the presence of deeply conserved constraints in the timing and energy requirements of larval development. Past focus on more apparent changes, such as the number of larval instars, may mask more deeply conserved ontogenetic patterns in developmental timing.


PubMed | Museu de Ciencies Naturals Zoologia and University Pompeu Fabra
Type: | Journal: BMC evolutionary biology | Year: 2015

A key question in evolutionary biology is the relationship between species traits and their habitats. Caves offer an ideal model to test the adjustment of species to their surrounding temperature, as they provide homogeneous and simple environments. We compared two species living under different thermal conditions within a lineage of Pyrenean beetles highly modified for the subterranean life since the Miocene. One, Troglocharinus fonti, is found in caves at 4-11C in the ancestral Pyrenean range. The second, T. ferreri, inhabits the coastal area of Catalonia since the early Pliocene, and lives at 14-16C.We found no differences in their short term upper thermal limit (ca. 50C), similar to that of most organisms, or their lower thermal limit (ca. -2.5C), higher than for most temperate insects and suggesting the absence of cryoprotectants. In longer term tests (7 days) survival between 6-20C was almost 100% for both species plus two outgroups of the same lineage, but all four died between 23-25C, without significant differences between them.Our results suggest that species in this lineage have lost some of the thermoregulatory mechanisms common in temperate insects, as their inferred default tolerance range is larger than the thermal variation experienced through their whole evolutionary history.

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