How do aquatic invertebrates such as water fleas move between isolated waterbodies so as to colonize new habitats or maintain genetic exchange between populations? Darwin and other XIX century naturalists proposed that they move via waterbirds. Dispersal was proposed to occur when birds fly between ponds with eggs attached to their feathers or legs or with eggs inside their guts.
To address this question, Jordi Figuerola, Andy J. Green, and Thomas C. Michot combined data from previous studies of genetic differences between populations of invertebrates across North America with the movements of waterfowl as quantified by band-recovery data collected by amateur and professional ornithologists. They found that, for 3 out of 4 invertebrate species studied, bird movements give the best explanation for the genetic differences between populations, suggesting that waterbirds were the main agents of dispersal. The genetic distance between two populations depended more on the likelihood of birds moving between those localities than on the geographical distance between them.
This is the most solid evidence to date that dispersal via migratory waterfowl has a major influence on the population genetics of invertebrates. Some invertebrates are better at dispersing via birds than others. If researchers can learn to identify the features that make an invertebrate a good disperser, they will improve the understanding of how the composition of native aquatic communities is determined and why some introduced species are more invasive than others.
Carrie Olivia Adams | EurekAlert!
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy