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  • 2015-2019  (10)
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Far more species of organisms are found in the tropics than in temperate and polar regions, but the evolutionary and ecological causes of this pattern remain controversial1,2. Tropical marine fish communities are much more diverse than cold-water fish communities found at higher latitudes3,4, and several explanations for this latitudinal diversity gradient propose that warm reef environments serve as evolutionary ‘hotspots’ for species formation5,6,7,8. Here we test the relationship between latitude, species richness and speciation rate across marine fishes. We assembled a time-calibrated phylogeny of all ray-finned fishes (31,526 tips, of which 11,638 had genetic data) and used this framework to describe the spatial dynamics of speciation in the marine realm. We show that the fastest rates of speciation occur in species-poor regions outside the tropics, and that high-latitude fish lineages form new species at much faster rates than their tropical counterparts. High rates of speciation occur in geographical regions that are characterized by low surface temperatures and high endemism. Our results reject a broad class of mechanisms under which the tropics serve as an evolutionary cradle for marine fish diversity and raise new questions about why the coldest oceans on Earth are present-day hotspots of species formation.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2017-05-11
    Description: Report about the outcome of four workshops in 2016, about the assessment of all European stocks
    Type: Report , NonPeerReviewed
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    Format: archive
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Biodiversity and conservation data are generally costly to collect, particularly in the marine realm. Hence, data collected for a given—often scientific—purpose are occasionally contributed toward secondary needs, such as policy implementation or other types of decision-making. However, while the quality and accessibility of marine biodiversity and conservation data have improved over the past decade, the ways in which these data can be used to develop and implement relevant management and conservation measures and actions are not always explicit. For this reason, there are a number of scientifically-sound datasets that are not used systematically to inform policy and decisions. Transforming these marine biodiversity and conservation datasets into knowledge products that convey the information required by policy- and decision-makers is an important step in strengthening knowledge exchange across the science-policy interface. Here, we identify seven characteristics of a selection of online biodiversity and conservation knowledge products that contribute to their ability to support policy- and decision-making in the marine realm (as measured by e.g., mentions in policy resolutions/decisions, or use for reporting under selected policy instruments; use in high-level screening for areas of biodiversity importance). These characteristics include: a clear policy mandate; established networks of collaborators; iterative co-design of a user-friendly interface; standardized, comprehensive and documented methods with quality assurance; consistent capacity and succession planning; accessible data and value-added products that are fit-for-purpose; and metrics of use collated and reported. The outcomes of this review are intended to: (a) support data creators/owners/providers in designing and curating biodiversity and conservation knowledge products that have greater influence, and hence impact, in policy- and decision-making, and (b) provide recommendations for how decision- and policy-makers can support the development, implementation, and sustainability of robust biodiversity and conservation knowledge products through the framing of marine policy and decision-making frameworks.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-02-27
    Description: Global climate change during the Late Pleistocene periodically encroached and then released habitat during the glacial cycles, causing range expansions and contractions in some species. These dynamics have played a major role in geographic radiations, diversification and speciation. We investigate these dynamics in the most widely distributed of marine mammals, the killer whale (Orcinus orca), using a global data set of over 450 samples. This marine top predator inhabits coastal and pelagic ecosystems ranging from the ice edge to the tropics, often exhibiting ecological, behavioural and morphological variation suggestive of local adaptation accompanied by reproductive isolation. Results suggest a rapid global radiation occurred over the last 350000years. Based on habitat models, we estimated there was only a 15% global contraction of core suitable habitat during the last glacial maximum, and the resources appeared to sustain a constant global effective female population size throughout the Late Pleistocene. Reconstruction of the ancestral phylogeography highlighted the high mobility of this species, identifying 22 strongly supported long-range dispersal events including interoceanic and interhemispheric movement. Despite this propensity for geographic dispersal, the increased sampling of this study uncovered very few potential examples of ancestral dispersal among ecotypes. Concordance of nuclear and mitochondrial data further confirms genetic cohesiveness, with little or no current gene flow among sympatric ecotypes. Taken as a whole, our data suggest that the glacial cycles influenced local populations in different ways, with no clear global pattern, but with secondary contact among lineages following long-range dispersal as a potential mechanism driving ecological diversification.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-05-21
    Description: Increasing global energy demands have led to the ongoing intensification of hydrocarbon extraction from marine areas. Hydrocarbon extractive activities pose threats to native marine biodiversity, such as noise, light, and chemical pollution, physical changes to the sea floor, invasive species, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we assessed at a global scale the spatial overlap between offshore hydrocarbon activities and marine biodiversity (〉25,000 species, nine major ecosystems, and marine protected areas), and quantify the changes over time. We discovered that two-thirds of global offshore hydrocarbon activities occur in areas within the top 10% for species richness, range rarity, and proportional range rarity values globally. Thus, while hydrocarbon activities are undertaken in less than one percent of the ocean's area, they overlap with approximately 85% of all assessed species. Of conservation concern, 4% of species with the largest proportion of their range overlapping hydrocarbon activities are range restricted, potentially increasing their vulnerability to localized threats such as oil spills. While hydrocarbon activities have extended to greater depths since the mid-1990s, we found that the largest overlap is with coastal ecosystems, particularly estuaries, saltmarshes and mangroves. Furthermore, in most countries where offshore hydrocarbon exploration licensing blocks have been delineated, they do not overlap with marine protected areas (MPAs). Although this is positive in principle, many countries have far more licensing block areas than protected areas, and in some instances, MPA coverage is minimal. These findings suggest the need for marine spatial prioritization to help limit future spatial overlap between marine conservation priorities and hydrocarbon activities. Such prioritization can be informed by the spatial and quantitative baseline information provided here. In increasingly shared seascapes, prioritizing management actions that set both conservation and development targets could help minimize further declines of biodiversity and environmental changes at a global scale.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: Large marine protected areas (〉30,000 km2) have a high profile in marine conservation, yet their contribution to conservation is contested. Assessing the overlap of large marine protected areas with 14,172 species, we found large marine protected areas cover 4.4% of the ocean and at least some portion of the range of 83.3% of the species assessed. Of all species within large marine protected areas, 26.9% had at least 10% of their range represented, and this was projected to increase to 40.1% in 2100. Cumulative impacts were significantly higher within large marine protected areas than outside, refuting the critique that they only occur in pristine areas. We recommend future large marine protected areas be sited based on systematic conservation planning practices where possible and include areas beyond national jurisdiction, and provide five key recommendations to improve the long-term representation of all species to meet critical global policy goals (e.g., Convention on Biological Diversity's Aichi Targets)
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-10-08
    Description: In fisheries, vulnerability assessments - also commonly known as ecological risk assessments (ERAs) -have been an increasingly popular alternative to stock assessments to evaluate the vulnerability of non-target species in resource- and data-limited settings. The widely-used productivity-susceptibility analysis (PSA) requires detailed species-specific biological information and fishery susceptibility for a large number of parameters to produce a relative vulnerability score. The two major disadvantages of PSA are that each species is assessed against an arbitrary reference point, and PSA cannot quantify cumulative impacts of multiple fisheries. This paper introduces an Ecological Assessment of the Sustainable Impacts of Fisheries (EASI-Fish), a flexible approach that quantifies the cumulative impacts of fisheries on data-limited bycatch species, demonstrated in eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) tuna fisheries. The method first estimates fishing mortality (F) based on the 'volumetric overlap' of each fishery with the distribution of each species. F is then used in length-structured per-recruit models to assess population vulnerability status using conventional biological reference points. Model results were validated by comparison with stock assessments for bigeye and yellowfin tunas in the EPO for 2016. Application of the model to 24 species of epipelagic and mesopelagic teleosts, sharks, rays, sea turtles and cetaceans and identification of the most vulnerable species is demonstrated. With increasing demands on fisheries to demonstrate ecological sustainability, EASI-Fish allows fishery managers to more confidently identify vulnerable species to which resources can be directed to either implement mitigation measures or collect further data for more formal stock assessment.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-10-23
    Description: Oscillations in the Earth's temperature and the subsequent retreating and advancing of ice-sheets around the polar regions are thought to have played an important role in shaping the distribution and genetic structuring of contemporary high-latitude populations. After the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), retreating of the ice-sheets would have enabled early colonizers to rapidly occupy suitable niches to the exclusion of other conspecifics, thereby reducing genetic diversity at the leading-edge. Bottlenose dolphins (genus Tursiops) form distinct coastal and pelagic ecotypes, with finer-scale genetic structuring observed within each ecotype. We reconstruct the postglacial colonization of the Northeast Atlantic (NEA) by bottlenose dolphins using habitat modeling and phylogenetics. The AquaMaps model hindcasted suitable habitat for the LGM in the Atlantic lower latitude waters and parts of the Mediterranean Sea. The time-calibrated phylogeny, constructed with 86 complete mitochondrial genomes including 30 generated for this study and created using a multispecies coalescent model, suggests that the expansion to the available coastal habitat in the NEA happened via founder events starting ~15 000 years ago (95% highest posterior density interval: 4 900-26 400). The founders of the 2 distinct coastal NEA populations comprised as few as 2 maternal lineages that originated from the pelagic population. The low effective population size and genetic diversity estimated for the shared ancestral coastal population subsequent to divergence from the pelagic source population are consistent with leading-edge expansion. These findings highlight the legacy of the Late Pleistocene glacial cycles on the genetic structuring and diversity of contemporary populations.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-03-28
    Description: Increasing global energy demands have led to the ongoing intensification of hydrocarbon extraction from marine areas. Hydrocarbon extractive activities pose threats to native marine biodiversity, such as noise, light, and chemical pollution, physical changes to the sea floor, invasive species, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we assessed at a global scale the spatial overlap between offshore hydrocarbon activities and marine biodiversity (〉25,000 species, nine major ecosystems, and marine protected areas), and quantify the changes over time. We discovered that two‐thirds of global offshore hydrocarbon activities occur in areas within the top 10% for species richness, range rarity, and proportional range rarity values globally. Thus, while hydrocarbon activities are undertaken in less than one percent of the ocean's area, they overlap with approximately 85% of all assessed species. Of conservation concern, 4% of species with the largest proportion of their range overlapping hydrocarbon activities are range restricted, potentially increasing their vulnerability to localized threats such as oil spills. While hydrocarbon activities have extended to greater depths since the mid‐1990s, we found that the largest overlap is with coastal ecosystems, particularly estuaries, saltmarshes, and mangroves. Furthermore, in most countries where offshore hydrocarbon exploration licensing blocks have been delineated, they do not overlap with marine protected areas (MPAs). Although this is positive in principle, many countries have far more licensing block areas than protected areas, and in some instances, MPA coverage is minimal. These findings suggest the need for marine spatial prioritisation to help limit future spatial overlap between marine conservation priorities and hydrocarbon activities. Such prioritisation can be informed by the spatial and quantitative baseline information provided here. In increasingly shared seascapes, prioritising management actions that set both conservation and development targets could help minimize further declines of biodiversity and environmental changes at a global scale. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Print ISSN: 1354-1013
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-2486
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Published by Wiley
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  • 10
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