Filtering by Subject: Life Sciences

Quantifying the Value of Community Science Data for Conservation Decision-making

Allison Binley, Jeffrey Hanson, Orin Robinson, et al.

Published: 2024-05-02
Subjects: Life Sciences

Monitoring biodiversity can be critical for informing effective conservation strategies, but can also deplete the resources available for management actions. Freely-available community science data may help alleviate this issue, but only if data quality is sufficient to inform the best decisions. Our objective was to quantify the predicted outcomes of prioritizing conservation action based on [...]

Wildlife health perceptions and monitoring practices in globally distributed protected areas

Diego Montecino-Latorre, Mathieu Pruvot, Sarah H Olson

Published: 2024-04-30
Subjects: Biodiversity, Environmental Monitoring, Epidemiology, Health Information Technology, Health Policy, Life Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, Sustainability, Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology, and Public Health

Diseases are a threat to biodiversity conservation and global health, however, wildlife health (WH) surveillance systems remain uncommon. This deficit is especially relevant in protected areas (PAs) facing anthropogenic pressures. Integration of field conservation actors patrolling PAs can drastically strengthen WH surveillance. Nevertheless, baseline information regarding current WH monitoring [...]

Seasonal patterns of resource use within natural populations of burying beetles

Swastika Issar, Chloé Leroy, Patrizia d'Ettorre, et al.

Published: 2024-04-30
Subjects: Life Sciences

For organisms in temperate environments, seasonal variation in resource availability and weather conditions exert fluctuating selection pressures on survival and fitness, resulting in diverse adaptive responses. By manipulating resource availability on a local spatial scale, we studied seasonal patterns of resource use within natural populations of burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides) in a [...]

Trimming the hedges in a hurricane: Endangered Species lack research on the outcomes of conservation action

Allison Binley, Lucas Haddaway, Rachel Buxton, et al.

Published: 2024-04-30
Subjects: Life Sciences

Given widespread biodiversity declines, there is an urgent need to ensure that conservation interventions are working. Yet, evidence regarding the effectiveness of conservation actions is often lacking. Using a case study of 208 terrestrial species listed as Endangered in Canada, we conducted a literature review to collate the evidence base on conservation actions to: 1) explore the outcomes of [...]

Dissecting transmission to understand parasite evolution

Luis M. Silva, Kayla C. King, Jacob C. Koella

Published: 2024-04-26
Subjects: Life Sciences

The prevailing theory of the evolution of virulence assumes that evolution maximizes its transmission and relies on a trade-off between virulence and the parasite's transmission rate. While this simple idea finds some empirical support, it is often criticized, in part because of its ambiguity about transmission, the key measure of pathogen fitness. In theoretical and empirical studies, [...]

Hijackers, hitchhikers, or co-drivers? The mysteries of microbial mobilizable genetic elements

Eduardo Rocha, Jorge Moura de Sousa, Manuel Ares Arroyo, et al.

Published: 2024-04-26
Subjects: Bacteriology, Evolution, Genetics, Life Sciences, Molecular Biology

Mobile genetic elements shape microbial gene repertoires and population dynamics, but their mechanisms of horizontal transmission are often unknown. Recent results reveal that many, possibly most, bacterial mobile genetic elements require helper elements to transfer between (or within) genomes. We refer to these non-autonomous, albeit mobile, elements as Hitcher Genetic Elements (hitchers or [...]

MacArthur’s consumer-resource model: a Rosetta Stone for competitive interactions

Jawad Sakarchi, Rachel Germain

Published: 2024-04-26
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Population Biology

Recent developments in competition theory, namely, Modern Coexistence Theory (MCT), have aided empiricists in formulating tests of species persistence, coexistence, and evolution from simple to complex community settings. However, the parameters used to predict competitive outcomes, such as interaction coefficients, invasion growth rates, or stabilizing differences, remain biologically opaque, [...]

A research synthesis of humans, animals, and environmental compartments exposed to PFAS: A systematic evidence map and bibliometric analysis of secondary literature

Lorenzo Ricolfi, Catharina Vendl, Jennifer Bräunig, et al.

Published: 2024-04-25
Subjects: Life Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences

Background Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of widely used anthropogenic chemicals. Concerns regarding their persistence and potential adverse effects have led to multiple secondary research publications. Here, we aim to assess the resulting evidence base in the systematic secondary literature by examining research gaps, evaluating the quality of reviews, and exploring [...]

Insects decline with host plants but co-extinctions seem unlikely

Marlon Bassi, Ingmar R. Staude

Published: 2024-04-24
Subjects: Life Sciences

It is commonly assumed that the loss of wild plant populations leads to co-extinctions, especially among specialized insects. Despite global declines in both terrestrial insects and plants, the relationship between these trends remains elusive. Here, we address this gap by analyzing the relationship between population trends of insects and their host plants in Germany, encompassing over 150,000 [...]

Historic residential segregation impacts biodiversity data availability disparately across the tree of life

Dexter H Locke, Melissa Chapman, Diego Ellis-Soto

Published: 2024-04-23
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Race and Ethnicity, Research Methods in Life Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Urban Studies and Planning

Urbanization alters species ranges and nature’s contributions to people, motivating urban conservation. Residential segregation policies have left an indelible impact on urban environments, greenspaces, and wildlife communities, creating socioeconomic heterogeneity and altering biota. However, the extent to which data sufficiently capture urban biodiversity patterns remains unclear, especially [...]


Ailin Sosa Drouville, Martha Patricia Rincón-Díaz, Soledad Barandiaran, et al.

Published: 2024-04-20
Subjects: Life Sciences

Infectious diseases and zoonoses, particularly, are in the spotlight after the 17 COVID-19 pandemic. Under this scenario, the One Health approach becomes of fundamental relevance to understanding, analyzing, interpreting, and, ideally, preventing future scenarios of the spread of infectious agents. It is estimated that about 60% of human infectious diseases are caused by zoonotic agents. A clear [...]

Leveraging AI to improve evidence synthesis in conservation

Oded Berger-Tal, Bob B M Wong, Carrie Ann Adams, et al.

Published: 2024-04-20
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Systematic evidence syntheses (systematic reviews and maps) summarize knowledge and are used to support decisions and policies in a variety of applied fields, from medicine and public health to biodiversity conservation. However, conducting these exercises in conservation is often expensive and slow, which can impede their use and hamper progress in addressing the biodiversity crisis. With the [...]

Using causal diagrams and superpopulation models to correct geographic biases in biodiversity monitoring data

Rob James Boyd, Marc Botham, Emily Dennis, et al.

Published: 2024-04-18
Subjects: Life Sciences

1. Biodiversity monitoring schemes periodically measure species’ abundances and distributions at a sample of sites to understand how they have changed over time. Often, the aim is to infer change in an average sense across some wider landscape. Inference to the wider landscape is simple if the species’ abundances and distributions are similar at sampled to non-sampled locations. Otherwise, the [...]

How can biodiversity strategy and action plans incorporate genetic diversity concerns, plans, policies, capacity, and commitments?

Sean Hoban, Christina Hvilsom, Aissi Abdeldjalil, et al.

Published: 2024-04-12
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Globally, national, subnational, and supranational entities are creating Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans, to develop concrete commitments and actions to curb biodiversity loss, meet international obligations and achieve a society in harmony with nature. In light of policy makers' increasing recognition of genetic diversity in helping species and ecosystems adapt and be resilient during [...]

The natural history of luck: A synthesis study of structured population models

Christina Maria Hernandez, Stephen P Ellner, Robin E. Snyder, et al.

Published: 2024-04-12
Subjects: Life Sciences, Population Biology

Chance pervades life. In turn, life histories are described by probabilities (e.g., survival, breeding) and averages across individuals (e.g., mean growth rate, age at maturity). In this study, we explored patterns of luck in lifetime outcomes by analyzing structured population models for a wide array of plant and animal species. We calculated four response variables: variance and skewness in [...]


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