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Hu J.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Hu J.,CAS Chengdu Institute of Biology | Hu H.,South China Institute of Endangered Animals | Jiang Z.,CAS Institute of Zoology

There is now ample evidence of the effects of anthropogenic climate change on the distribution and abundance of species. The black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) is an endangered migratory species and endemic to East Asia. Using a maximum entropy approach, we predicted the potential wintering distribution for spoonbills and modeled the effects of future climate change. Elevation, human influence index and precipitation during the coldest quarter contributed most to model development. Five regions, including western Taiwan, scattered locations from eastern coastal to central mainland China, coastal areas surrounding the South China Sea, northeastern coastal areas of Vietnam and sites along the coast of Japan, were found to have a high probability of presence and showed good agreement with historical records. Assuming no limits to the spread of this species, the wintering range is predicted to increase somewhat under a changing climate. However, three currently highly suitable regions (northeastern Vietnam, Taiwan and coastal areas surrounding the South China Sea) may face strong reductions in range by 2080. We also found that the center of the predicted range of spoonbills will undergo a latitudinal shift northwards by as much as 240, 450, and 600 km by 2020, 2050 and 2080, respectively. Our findings suggest that species distribution modeling can inform the current and future management of the black-faced spoonbill throughout Asia. It is clear that a strong international strategy is needed to conserve spoonbill populations under a changing climate. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Dong F.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology | Dong F.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Li S.-H.,National Taiwan Normal University | Zou F.-S.,South China Institute of Endangered Animals | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

The streak-breasted scimitar babbler, Pomatorhinus ruficollis, is a polytypic and taxonomically enigmatic babbler common in southern, eastern, and southeastern Asia. To infer the phylogeny of the P. ruficollis, we examined the sequences of two complete mitochondrial genes (2184. bp in total) from fourteen of the fifteen known subspecies, and an additional five nuclear genes (2657. bp in total) from ten subspecies. The mitochondrial phylogeny indicates four major clades with large geographical identity in P. ruficollis and paraphyly of the P. ruficollis species complex, with the inclusion of the olivaceus group of congeneric P. schisticeps. Together with their interbreeding in northern Indochina, we propose to lump this group into P. ruficollis. Analysis of both multilocus networks and species-tree inference recovered poor phylogenetic structure among mainland/ Hainan subspecies and exclusive groupings of the Taiwanese subspecies, consistent with the recent taxonomic revision of its species status. Our analyses also suggest strong incongruence between the morphological-based classification and molecular systematics, implying the strength of multilocus data for taxonomy. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Qu Y.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Luo X.,Southwest forestry University | Zhang R.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Song G.,CAS Institute of Zoology | And 2 more authors.
BMC Evolutionary Biology

Background: Pleistocene climate fluctuations have shaped the patterns of genetic diversity observed in many extant species. In montane habitats, species' ranges may have expanded and contracted along an altitudinal gradient in response to environmental fluctuations leading to alternating periods of genetic isolation and connectivity. Because species' responses to climate change are influenced by interactions between species-specific characteristics and local topography, diversification pattern differs between species and locations. The eastern Himalayas is one of the world's most prominent mountain ranges. Its complex topography and environmental heterogeneity present an ideal system in which to study how climatic changes during Pleistocene have influenced species distributions, genetic diversification, and demography. The Elliot's laughing thrush (Garrulax elliotii) is largely restricted to high-elevation shrublands in eastern Himalayas. We used mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites to investigate how genetic diversity in this species was affected by Pleistocene glaciations. Results: Mitochondrial data detected two partially sympatric north-eastern and southern lineages. Microsatellite data, however, identified three distinct lineages congruent with the geographically separated southern, northern and eastern eco-subregions of the eastern Himalayas. Geographic breaks occur in steep mountains and deep valleys of the Kangding-Muli-Baoxin Divide. Divergence time estimates and coalescent simulations indicate that lineage diversification occurred on two different geographic and temporal scales; recent divergence, associated with geographic isolation into individual subregions, and historical divergence, associated with displacement into multiple refugia. Despite long-term isolation, genetic admixture among these subregional populations was observed, indicating historic periods of connectivity. The demographic history of Garrulax elliotii shows continuous population growth since late Pleistocene (about 0.125 mya). Conclusion: While altitude-associated isolation is typical of many species in other montane regions, our results suggest that eco-subregions in the eastern Himalayas exhibiting island-like characteristics appear to have determined the diversification of Garrulax elliotii. During the Pleistocene, these populations became isolated on subregions during interglacial periods but were connected when these expanded to low altitude during cooler periods. The resultant genetic admixture of lineages might obscure pattern of genetic variation. Our results provide new insights into sky island diversification in a previously unstudied region, and further demonstrate that Pleistocene climatic changes can have profound effects on lineage diversification and demography in montane species. © 2011 Qu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Chu J.-H.,National Taiwan Normal University | Chu J.-H.,National Taiwan University | Wegmann D.,University of Fribourg | Yeh C.-F.,National Taiwan Normal University | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Biology and Evolution

When geographic isolation drives speciation, concurrent termination of gene flow among genomic regions will occur immediately after the formation of the barrier between diverging populations. Alternatively, if speciation is driven by ecologically divergent selection, gene flow of selectively neutral genomic regions may go on between diverging populations until the completion of reproductive isolation. It may also lead to an unsynchronized termination of gene flow between genomic regions with different roles in the speciation process. Here, we developed a novel Approximate Bayesian Computation pipeline to infer the geographic mode of speciation by testing for a lack of postdivergence gene flow and a concurrent termination of gene flow in autosomal and sex-linked markers jointly. We applied this approach to infer the geographic mode of speciation for two allopatric highland rosefinches, the vinaceous rosefinch Carpodacus vinaceus and the Taiwan rosefinch C. formosanus from DNA polymorphisms of both autosomal and Z-linked loci. Our results suggest that the two rosefinch species diverged allopatrically approximately 0.5 Ma. Our approach allowed us further to infer that female effective population sizes are about five times larger than those of males, an estimate potentially useful when comparing the intensity of sexual selection across species. © The Author 2013. Source

Mo L.,CAS Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry | Mo L.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Wu J.-P.,CAS Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry | Luo X.-J.,CAS Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), and 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE), were investigated in common kingfishers (Alcedo atthis) and their prey fish from an electronic waste-recycling site in south China. Elevated BFR residues were detected in the kingfishers, with median concentrations of 8,760, 12, and 7.7ng/g lipid weight for total PBDEs, DBDPE, and BTBPE, respectively. The calculated predator/prey biomagnification factors (BMFs) were greater than unity for most of the investigated PBDE congeners, with relatively higher values for some hexa-, hepta-, and octa-BDEs (e.g., BDEs 153, 183, 196, 197, 202, and 203). The average BMFs ranged 0.10 to 0.77 and 1.90 to 3.60 for DBDPE and BTBPE, respectively. The BMFs for BTBPE were comparable to or even greater than those for some tri- to penta-BDEs in certain predator/prey pairs, indicating potentially high environmental risks of this compound. Significantly higher concentration ratios of BDEs 202 and 207 to BDE 209 were observed in the kingfishers compared with their prey fish, and these ratios were negatively correlated with the logarithm of BDE 209 concentrations in the kingfishers. This may indicate biotransformation of BDE 209 to BDEs 202 and 207 in these birds. This is the first assessment of the biomagnification potentials of DBDPE and BTBPE in a wild piscivorous bird. © 2012 SETAC. Source

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