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Why do some fish thrive in oil-polluted water?

3 Février 2016,

Publié par Bioécologie

Scientists thought guppies in Northern Trinidad could be a rare example of adaptation to crude oil pollution. But they found something else.

By Melody Enguix (26 JAN 2016):

When scientists from McGill University learned that some fish were proliferating in rivers and ponds polluted by oil extraction in Southern Trinidad, it caught their attention. They thought they had found a rare example of a species able to adapt to crude oil pollution.

At a time when humans are imposing an unprecedented burden on the world's ecosystems, studying how organisms can tolerate pollutants is crucial to understanding the impact of human activities – and to helping to mitigate it in the future.

Led by Dr. Gregor Rolshausen, then a postdoctoral researcher at McGill working with Prof. Andrew Hendry, the team went to study the guppy fish living in polluted areas, comparing their morphology and genetic makeup to those of similar guppies from non-polluted parts of Trinidad.

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Freshwater Information Platform

28 Septembre 2015,

Publié par Bioécologie

Major European research institutes have joined forces to enable and maintain the Freshwater Information Platform, a new community information resource.

Numerous EU funded projects addressing freshwater ecology and water management have generated websites, tools, databases and other products, which are intended for long-term use. However, many of them are not maintained after the project has ended and, moreover, they are dispersed across several project websites. For freshwater researchers and other users, it is challenging to gain an overview of projects and their products. The EU funded project BioFresh was the first to establish a platform — the Global Freshwater Biodiversity Information Platform — bringing together information and data on freshwater biodiversity in a clearly arranged and easily explorable way.

Irrationality in mate choice revealed by túngara frogs

7 Septembre 2015,

Publié par Bioécologie

Lea, A.M. and Ryan, M.J. 2015. Science, Vol. 349 no. 6251 pp. 964-966, DOI: 10.1126/science.aab2012

Mate choice models derive from traditional microeconomic decision theory and assume that individuals maximize their Darwinian fitness by making economically rational decisions. Rational choices exhibit regularity, whereby the relative strength of preferences between options remains stable when additional options are presented. We tested female frogs with three simulated males who differed in relative call attractiveness and call rate. In binary choice tests, females’ preferences favored stimulus caller B over caller A; however, with the addition of an inferior “decoy” C, females reversed their preferences and chose A over B. These results show that the relative valuation of mates is not independent of inferior alternatives in the choice set and therefore cannot be explained with the rational choice models currently used in sexual selection theory.

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Taira Y, Hayashida N, Tsuchiya R, Yamaguchi H, Takahashi J, et al. (2013) Vertical Distribution and Estimated Doses from Artificial Radionuclides in Soil Samples around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Testing Site. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57524.

23 Juin 2015,

Publié par Bioécologie