Publications by authors named "Maria Teresa Ferreira"

41 Publications

Standardised inventories of spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) on touristic trails of the native forests of the Azores (Portugal).

Biodivers Data J 2021 16;9:e62886. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Islands Specialist Group, Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Islands Specialist Group Angra do Heroísmo Portugal.

Background: The sharp increase in tourist visitation of the Azores Archipelago from 2015 onwards raised concerns about the impacts of recreational tourism on native habitats. In response, a project was financed by the Azorean Government to investigate the drivers of biodiversity erosion associated with recreational tourism. Here, we present the data on spider biodiversity found on trails located within the native Azorean forests as they are home to several endemic species of great conservation value. We applied an optimised and standardised sampling protocol (COBRA) in twenty-three plots located in five trails on Terceira and São Miguel Islands and assessed diversity and abundance of spider species at different distances from the trail head and the trail itself.

New Information: Of the 45 species (12435 specimens) collected, 13 were endemic to the Azores (9690 specimens), 10 native non-endemic (2047 specimens) and 22 introduced (698 specimens). This database will be the baseline of a long-term monitoring project for the assessment of touristic impacts on native forest trails. This methodology can also be used on other habitats and biogeograhical regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.9.e62886DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065010PMC
April 2021

The association of osteochemometrics and bone mineral density in humans.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2021 Apr 14. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Centre for Functional Ecology, Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

Objectives: Even though much is known about bone mineral and matrix composition, studies about their relationship with several bone properties and its alterations related to bone diseases such as osteoporosis are practically non-existent in humans. Thus, the development of methods to understand the effects of bone properties at a microscopic level is paramount. This research aimed to evaluate whether Fourier transform infrared-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) band intensity ratios correlate with femoral bone mass, bone mineral content (BMC) (total and femoral neck), bone mineral per unit area (BMD) (total, femoral neck, greater trochanter, intertrochanteric region, and Ward's area) and the area (total and femoral neck). A sample of femora from the 21st Century Identified Skeleton Collection (N = 78, 42 females and 36 males) was employed and BMC, BMD, and the femoral areas were acquired by DXA.

Results: It was found that only females' BMD had a significant association with the femoral FTIR-ATR indices under study, whereas bone collagen (Am/P) and the content of carbonate Type A (API) in males correlated with the total proximal femur area of the regions of interest and the femoral neck area.

Discussion: Men and women showed different changes related to their chemical composition in BMD, BMC, and probed area, most likely due to differences in structure and physiology, as well as mechanical strength in the proximal femoral sites where BMD was analyzed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24283DOI Listing
April 2021

"Sex change" in skeletal remains: Assessing how heat-induced changes interfere with sex estimation.

Sci Justice 2021 Jan 1;61(1):26-36. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

University of Coimbra, Centre for Functional Ecology, Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal; University of Coimbra, Research Centre for Anthropology and Health, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal; Archaeosciences Laboratory, Directorate General for Cultural Heritage (LARC/CIBIO/InBIO), Calçada do Mirante à Ajuda n.° 10A, 1300-418 Lisbon, Portugal.

The true impact of heat-induced changes in human bone regarding their sex estimation has not been comprehensively documented having a potentially negative impact on forensic anthropology. The objective of this paper was to evaluate how heat exposure affects sex estimation based on both morphological and metric features. The study focused in both low-to-medium intensity burns and high intensity burns. Selected sexually dimorphic features were analysed in 51 experimentally burnt skeletons from the 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection. Bones were burnt to maximum temperatures between 450 °C and 1050 °C achieved after 75 to 257 min. Morphological methods tested in this study comprised the recommendations for hipbone features from Buikstra and Ubelaker (1994) and from Bruzek (2002). On the other hand, metric references tested here were the ones from Wasterlain (2000), Curate et al. (2016) and Gonçalves et al. (2013) focused on the humerus, femur, calcaneus and talus. Agreement was tested with Gwet's AC1 test and was further assessed by calculating the relative amount of perfect agreements. Results demonstrated that heat-induced changes affected not only the scoring of morphological features burnt at high temperatures but also the scoring of features burnt at lower intensities. On the other hand, metric features were only considerably affected in high intensity burns, no major changes being documented for low-to-medium intensity burns. For low-to-medium intensity burns, the Bruzek and Curate et al. methods revealed a better agreement between the pre- and post-burning scores. For high intensity burns, better agreement was obtained by using the Bruzek (2002) and Gonçalves et al. (2013) methods. As expected, heat-induced warping, fracture and metric change had a major impact on the pre- and post-observations' agreement. Contrary to what has been systematically assumed over the years, this impact is also quite substantial in bones burnt at low-to-medium burn intensities so caution is advised during the analysis of this kind of burnt skeletal material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2020.09.007DOI Listing
January 2021

Damn those damn dams: Fluvial longitudinal connectivity impairment for European diadromous fish throughout the 20th century.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 3;761:143293. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

University of Lisbon, School of Agriculture, Forest Research Centre, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal.

River longitudinal connectivity is crucial for diadromous fish species to reproduce and grow, its fragmentation by large dams may prevent these species to complete their life cycle. This work aims to evaluate the impact of large dams on the structural longitudinal connectivity at the European scale, from a Diadromous fish species perspective, since the beginning of the 20 century until the early 21 century. Based on large dam locations and completion year, a multitude of river impairment metrics were calculated at three spatial scales for six European oceanic regions and 12 time periods. The number of basins affected by large dams is overall low (0.4%), but for large river basins, that cover 78% of Europe's area, 69.5% of all basins, 55.4% of the sub-basins and 68.4% of river length are impaired. River network connectivity impairment became increasingly significant during the second half of the 20 century and is nowadays spatially widespread across Europe. Except for the North Atlantic, all oceanic regions have over 50% of impacted river length. Considering large river basins, the Mediterranean (95.2%) and West Atlantic (84.6%) regions are the most affected, while the Black (92.1%) and Caspian (96.0%) regions stand out as those with most compromised river length. In 60 years, Europe has gone from reduced impairment to over two-thirds of its large rivers with structural connectivity problems due to large dams. The number of such barriers increased significantly in the second half of the 20 century, especially main stem dams with decreasing distance to the river mouth. Currently, the structural longitudinal connectivity of European river networks is severely impacted. This concerns all regions considered, and those in southern Europe will face even higher challenges, given that this will be a future hot spot for hydropower development and predictably more affected by climate change.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143293DOI Listing
March 2021

New data about the 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection (University of Coimbra, Portugal).

Int J Legal Med 2021 May 28;135(3):1087-1094. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3000-456, Coimbra, Portugal.

After the publication of the first article in 2014, 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection, housed in the Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, has been growing. Currently, the collection is composed of 302 complete adult skeletons of both sexes, which means that in 5 years it has doubled. The collection consists mostly of elderly individuals, with only 12.25% of the individuals aged less than 61 years old. All individuals are Portuguese nationals who died between 1982 and 2012. Ninety individuals exhibit prostheses, other medical devices and signs of surgical procedures. Moreover, a sub-collection of experimentally burned skeletons is under development, and currently includes 56 individuals (18.54% of the collection). The 21st Century Identified Skeletal Collection constitutes a fundamental tool for forensic anthropology research, including the development and validation studies of methods that focus on elderly individuals, as can be ascertained by the numerous scientific publications and academic scholarship that have been produced in previous years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02399-6DOI Listing
May 2021

Streamflow regulation effects in the Mediterranean rivers: How far and to what extent are aquatic and riparian communities affected?

Sci Total Environ 2020 Dec 11;749:141616. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal.

Dam-induced disruption of the natural continuum of rivers has manifold consequences on fluvial ecosystems, but how distinct plant groups and plant adaptive strategies can mediate the regulation effects is largely unexplored. In this work, we focused on how different plant groups (macrophytes, bryophytes, and riparian woody vegetation) respond to hydrological alterations along the river and across the riparian zone downstream of dams. We specifically aimed to determine the degree of regulation [DOR] and distance from dam [DFD], where river regulation no longer significantly affects plant communities in two case studies - a run-of-river dam and a reservoir in Portugal. We collected data on plant species cover in 7 unregulated and 24 regulated sites in June-July 2019. We performed a cluster and ordination analysis to derive guilds using flow-responsive traits and applied linear models to predict guild alterations along the gradient of DOR and DFD. We established three macrophytes, six bryophytes, and five riparian guilds. Our results showed that the vegetation response to regulation was plant group-reliant and guild-specific. Overall, plant responses were expressed by changes in plant cover, and not by guilds' loss. We observed (1) an increase of the guild cover of macrophytes and a decrease in bryophytes cover with increasing regulation gradient and diverse responses for riparian guilds; (2) an encroachment of riparian vegetation guilds into the channel downstream of the storage reservoir and expansion outwards downstream of the run-of-river dam; (3) a higher number of significant alterations for reservoir sites compared with run-of-river sites. Finally, for particular guilds, we determined specific DOR and DFD from which guild covers became significantly indistinct from respective guild cover in unregulated circumstances. Understanding the communities' responses to diverse regulation types and the extent that different plant adaptations may counter regulation effects can be vital for optimizing river restoration projects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141616DOI Listing
December 2020

Functional Diversity of Riparian Woody Vegetation Is Less Affected by River Regulation in the Mediterranean Than Boreal Region.

Front Plant Sci 2020 24;11:857. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

River regulation may filter out riparian plants often resulting in reduced functional diversity, i.e., in the range of functions that organisms have in communities and ecosystems. There is, however, little empirical evidence about the magnitude of such reductions in different regions. We investigated the functional diversity patterns of riparian woody vegetation to streamflow regulation in boreal Sweden and Mediterranean Portugal using nine plant functional traits and field data from 109 sampling sites. We evaluated changes in mean plant functional traits as well as in indices of multidimensional functional traits, i.e., functional richness (FRic) and functional redundancy (FRed) within regions and between free-flowing and regulated river reaches. We found that regulation significantly reduced functional diversity in Sweden but not in Portugal. In Sweden, the increased magnitude of variations in water flow and water level in summer, the prolonged duration of extreme hydrological events, the increased frequency of high-water pulses, and the rate of change in water conditions were the likely main drivers of functional diversity change. Small riparian plant species with tiny leaves, poorly lignified stems, and shallow root systems were consistently associated with regulated sites in the boreal region. In Portugal, the similar functional diversity values for free-flowing and regulated rivers likely stem from the smaller streamflow alterations by regulation combined with the species legacy adaptations to the Mediterranean natural hydrological regimes. We conclude that streamflow regulation may reduce the functional diversity of riparian woody vegetation, but the magnitude of these effects will vary depending on the adaptations of the local flora and the patterns of streamflow disturbances. Our study provides insights into functional diversity patterns of riparian woody vegetation affected by regulation in contrasting biomes and encourages further studies of the functional diversity thresholds for maintaining ecosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00857DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7327385PMC
June 2020

Heatwave effects on the swimming behaviour of a Mediterranean freshwater fish, the Iberian barbel Luciobarbus bocagei.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Aug 3;730:139152. Epub 2020 May 3.

Forest Research Centre (CEF), School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal.

Heatwaves, which can be defined as increases of at least 5 °C in air temperature for more than five consecutive days for a specified reference period, are expected to become more frequent under the ongoing climate change, with freshwater organisms being particularly vulnerable to high temperature fluctuations. In Mediterranean-climate areas, depending on the extent of summer droughts and loss of longitudinal connectivity, river segments may become isolated, maintaining fish populations confined to a series of disconnected pools, with no possibility to move to thermal refugia and thus becoming more prone to thermal stress. In this study, we evaluated the effect of a simulated heatwave on the swimming behaviour of juvenile stages of a potamodromous native cyprinid fish, the Iberian barbel Luciobarbus bocagei, under experimental mesocosm conditions. Behavioural traits included fish activity, boldness and shoal cohesion and were continuously measured at a constant flow velocity of 18 cm s, which is typical of riffle habitats. Overall, results show that the behaviour of juvenile Iberian barbel is likely to be affected by heatwaves, with fish displaying lower activity and boldness, while no clear difference was observed in shoal cohesion. This study highlights the importance of managing thermal refugia that are crucial for fish to persist in intermittent rivers. Future studies should focus on the interaction of heatwaves with other stressors, such as oxygen depletion, for a broader understanding of the perturbation affecting freshwater fishes under a changing climate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139152DOI Listing
August 2020

Beyond metrics and morphology: the potential of FTIR-ATR and chemometrics to estimate age-at-death in human bone.

Int J Legal Med 2020 Sep 8;134(5):1905-1914. Epub 2020 May 8.

Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3000-456, Coimbra, Portugal.

In forensic anthropology, the application of traditional methods for estimating the biological profile of human skeletal remains is often hampered by poor preservation and skeletal representativeness, compromising their reliability. Thus, the development of alternative methods to the morphometric analysis of bones to estimate the biological profile of human remains is paramount. The age of an individual can cause changes in bone morphology, mass and size, as well as in its chemical composition. In this sense, the main objective of this research was to evaluate if the contents of bone collagen (Am/P), carbonate type A (API), carbonate type B (BPI), the relation between the carbonate content (types A and B) to type B carbonate (C/C), carbonate-phosphate ratio (C/P) and crystallinity index (CI), spectroscopic indices obtained from relationships between infrared absorption band intensities (FTIR-ATR), can be used as age-at-death predictors. A sample of femora and humeri from the 21st Century Identified Skeleton Collection (N = 80, 44 females and 36 males) was employed. Results show that, with advancing age, women's femora have lower CI values, but BPI and C/P indices increase, and the deformation and disorder of the crystal lattice are probably affected by the integration of type B carbonate content of the femur. The ratios analysed, especially the CI and the BPI, show potential to estimate age-at-death in human skeletal remains, when sex is already known, thus helping to assess the biological profile when conventional methods cannot be applied.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-020-02310-3DOI Listing
September 2020

A database of the global distribution of alien macrofungi.

Biodivers Data J 2020 1;8:e51459. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Centro de Estudos Geográficos, Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território - IGOT, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal Centro de Estudos Geográficos, Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território - IGOT, Universidade de Lisboa Lisboa Portugal.

Background: Human activities are allowing the ever-increasing dispersal of taxa to beyond their native ranges. Understanding the patterns and implications of these distributional changes requires comprehensive information on the geography of introduced species. Current knowledge about the alien distribution of macrofungi is limited taxonomically and temporally, which severely hinders the study of human-mediated distribution changes for this taxonomic group.

New Information: Here, we present a database on the global alien distribution of macrofungi species. Data on the distribution of alien macrofungi were searched in a large number of data sources, including scientific publications, grey literature and online databases. The database compiled includes 1966 records (i.e. species x region combinations) representing 2 phyla, 7 classes, 22 orders, 82 families, 207 genera, 648 species and 31 varieties, forms or subspecies. Dates of introduction records range from 1753 to 2018. Each record includes the location where the alien taxon was identified and, when available, the date of first observation, the host taxa or other important information. This database is a major step forward to the understanding of human-mediated changes in the distribution of macrofungal taxa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.8.e51459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7142166PMC
April 2020

Implications of climate change to the design of protected areas: The case study of small islands (Azores).

PLoS One 2019 13;14(6):e0218168. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

CE3C -Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes/Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores-Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e do Ambiente, Angra do Heroísmo, Açores, Portugal.

Climate change is causing shifts in species distributions worldwide. Understanding how species distributions will change with future climate change is thus critical for conservation planning. Impacts on oceanic islands are potentially major given the disproportionate number of endemic species and the consequent risk that local extinctions might become global ones. In this study, we use species climate envelope models to evaluate the current and future potential distributions of Azorean endemic species of bryophytes, vascular plants, and arthropods on the Islands of Terceira and São Miguel in the Azores archipelago (Macaronesia). We examined projections of climate change effects on the future distributions of species with particular focus on the current protected areas. We then used spatial planning optimization software (PRION) to evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas at preserving species both in the present and future. We found that contractions of species distributions in protected areas are more likely in the largest and most populated island of São Miguel, moving from the coastal areas towards inland where the current protected areas are insufficient and inadequate to tackle species distribution shifts. There will be the need for a revision of the current protected areas in São Miguel to allow the sustainable conservation of most species, while in Terceira Island the current protected areas appear to be sufficient. Our study demonstrates the importance of these tools for informing long-term climate change adaptation planning for small islands.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0218168PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6563998PMC
March 2020

Evidences of trauma in adult African enslaved individuals from Valle da Gafaria, Lagos, Portugal (15th-17th centuries).

J Forensic Leg Med 2019 Jul 13;65:68-75. Epub 2019 May 13.

Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal; Centro de Investigação em Antropologia e Saúde, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal.

The aim of this work is to discuss the frequency of traumatic bone injuries in a quite unique skeletal assemblage of enslaved people from Valle da Gafaria, Lagos, Portugal (15th-17th centuries). In all, 30 males, 58 females, and 15 individuals of unknown sex were included in the study. The skeletal remains were macroscopically observed for traumatic lesions. When present, the traumatic bone injuries were classified as having occurred ante or perimortem. The antemortem lesions were also studied through radiological analysis. Traumatic lesions were identified in 11 men (36.7%), 23 women (39.7%) and two individuals of unknown sex (13.3%). From these 36 individuals, 61.1% presented antemortem trauma, 25.0% perimortem trauma and 13.9% exhibited simultaneously ante and perimortem trauma. The mechanism of all traumatic injuries was blunt force trauma. From the 9965 analysed bones, 186 exhibited traumatic lesions (87 antemortem, 97 perimortem, and two with both ante and perimortem lesions). The bone more affected by antemortem trauma was the 5th right intermediate foot phalange (40.0%) and by perimortem trauma was the skull (11.4%), probably related to accidents and interpersonal violence, respectively. When analysed by sex, the only significant differences were found in the skull and the right 5th proximal foot phalanges, men (57.1%) presenting more lesions than women (15.4%). The obtained results are consistent with an arduous life, corroborating historical sources which document labour accidents, physical punishments and hard work in the populations of slaves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jflm.2019.05.005DOI Listing
July 2019

Standardised inventories of spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) of Macaronesia I: The native forests of the Azores (Pico and Terceira islands).

Biodivers Data J 2019 16;7:e32625. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

cE3c - Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes / Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores, Rua Capitão João d'Ávila, São Pedro, 9700-042 , Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, Portugal cE3c - Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes / Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores, Rua Capitão João d'Ávila, São Pedro, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Azores Portugal.

Background: The data presented here come from samples collected as part of two recent research projects (NETBIOME - ISLANDBIODIV and FCT - MACDIV) which aimed at understanding the drivers of community assembly in Macaronesian islands. We applied the sampling protocol COBRA (Conservation Oriented Biodiversity Rapid Assessment, Cardoso 2009) in sixteen 50 m x 50 m native forest plots in the Azorean Islands of Pico (6 plots) and Terceira (10 plots) to assess spider diversity. Through this publication, we contribute to the knowledge of the arachnofauna of the Azores and, more specifically, to that of the islands of Pico and Terceira.

New Information: The collected samples yielded 8,789 specimens, of which 45% were adults (3,970) belonging to 13 families, 36 species and three morphospecies that have yet to be described. Species of the family Linyphiidae dominated the samples, with 17 species and two morphospecies that have yet to be described (48% of the taxa). Out of the identified (morpho)species, 16 were introduced, 13 Azorean endemic (three of which were undescribed) and seven native (five of them Macaronesian endemics). We report the first record of the introduced species and in Pico Island.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.7.e32625DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6478652PMC
April 2019

A spatial stream-network approach assists in managing the remnant genetic diversity of riparian forests.

Sci Rep 2019 05 1;9(1):6741. Epub 2019 May 1.

Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Edifício Azevedo Gomes, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017, Lisboa, Portugal.

Quantifying the genetic diversity of riparian trees is essential to understand their chances to survive hydroclimatic alterations and to maintain their role as foundation species modulating fluvial ecosystem processes. However, the application of suitable models that account for the specific dendritic structure of hydrographic networks is still incipient in the literature. We investigate the roles of ecological and spatial factors in driving the genetic diversity of Salix salviifolia, an Iberian endemic riparian tree, across the species latitudinal range. We applied spatial stream-network models that aptly integrate dendritic features (topology, directionality) to quantify the impacts of multiple scale factors in determining genetic diversity. Based on the drift hypothesis, we expect that genetic diversity accumulates downstream in riparian ecosystems, but life history traits (e.g. dispersal patterns) and abiotic or anthropogenic factors (e.g. drought events or hydrological alteration) might alter expected patterns. Hydrological factors explained the downstream accumulation of genetic diversity at the intermediate scale that was likely mediated by hydrochory. The models also suggested upstream gene flow within basins that likely occurred through anemophilous and entomophilous pollen and seed dispersal. Higher thermicity and summer drought were related to higher population inbreeding and individual homozygosity, respectively, suggesting that increased aridity might disrupt the connectivity and mating patterns among and within riparian populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-43132-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494995PMC
May 2019

Short-term effects of wildfire ash exposure on behaviour and hepatosomatic condition of a potamodromous cyprinid fish, the Iberian barbel Luciobarbus bocagei (Steindachner, 1864).

Sci Total Environ 2019 May 8;665:226-234. Epub 2019 Feb 8.

Forest Research Centre (CEF), School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal. Electronic address:

Wildfires are a common phenomenon in Mediterranean regions that is becoming increasingly frequent and severe, causing several environmental concerns, of which ash runoff represents an important source of disturbance for aquatic organisms, in particular for fishes. Studies on the behavioural response of fishes to wildfire ash runoff are scarce and seldom include cyprinid species. The goal of this study was to investigate in a 3-artificial flume channel mesocosm, the behavioural and hepatosomatic condition responses of a native widespread potamodromous fish, the Iberian barbel (Luciobarbus bocagei), previously exposed for 24 h to different concentrations of wildfire ashes: 0.0 g/L (the control, no ash), 1.0 g/L (low concentration) and 2.0 g/L (high concentration). Behavioural parameters included i) routine activity, ii) boldness and iii) shoaling cohesion. The hepatosomatic index (HSI) was further determined to assess the health condition of fish. Significant differences on fish behaviour parameters were detected between the control and the high concentration of ash. Accordingly, i) an increasing proportion of fish were found on resting activity (56.2% vs 30.6% in the control), whereas the proportion of fish on searching behaviour (58.4% in the control) decreased (41.5%); ii) the proportion of bolder individuals was found to decrease (42.5% in the control vs. 29.4%) and iii) the same trend was detected for shoaling cohesion (61.3% in the control to 33.8%, of all fish within a body length of each other). Such differences were paralleled by an increase in the HSI from 1.62% (control) to 2.40% (high concentration). The present study shows that even short duration exposure to ash-loaded runoff can alter fish behaviour and hepatosomatic condition and highlights the need to maintain an unfragmented river network, or, when this is not possible, to prioritize the removal or retrofitting of barriers to increase movement dispersal and provide conditions for species recovery from fire-disturbances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.108DOI Listing
May 2019

Protecting and restoring Europe's waters: An analysis of the future development needs of the Water Framework Directive.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Mar 18;658:1228-1238. Epub 2018 Dec 18.

Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo, Norway.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is a pioneering piece of legislation that aims to protect and enhance aquatic ecosystems and promote sustainable water use across Europe. There is growing concern that the objective of good status, or higher, in all EU waters by 2027 is a long way from being achieved in many countries. Through questionnaire analysis of almost 100 experts, we provide recommendations to enhance WFD monitoring and assessment systems, improve programmes of measures and further integrate with other sectoral policies. Our analysis highlights that there is great potential to enhance assessment schemes through strategic design of monitoring networks and innovation, such as earth observation. New diagnostic tools that use existing WFD monitoring data, but incorporate novel statistical and trait-based approaches could be used more widely to diagnose the cause of deterioration under conditions of multiple pressures and deliver a hierarchy of solutions for more evidence-driven decisions in river basin management. There is also a growing recognition that measures undertaken in river basin management should deliver multiple benefits across sectors, such as reduced flood risk, and there needs to be robust demonstration studies that evaluate these. Continued efforts in 'mainstreaming' water policy into other policy sectors is clearly needed to deliver wider success with WFD goals, particularly with agricultural policy. Other key policy areas where a need for stronger integration with water policy was recognised included urban planning (waste water treatment), flooding, climate and energy (hydropower). Having a deadline for attaining the policy objective of good status is important, but even more essential is to have a permanent framework for river basin management that addresses the delays in implementation of measures. This requires a long-term perspective, far beyond the current deadline of 2027.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.255DOI Listing
March 2019

Preliminary results of an investigation on postmortem variations in human skeletal mass of buried bones.

Sci Justice 2019 01 10;59(1):52-57. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Calçada Martim Freitas, Coimbra 3000-456, Portugal; Research Centre for Anthropology and Health (CIAS), Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Calçada Martim Freitas, Coimbra 3000-456, Portugal; Archaeosciences Laboratory, Directorate General Cultural Heritage (LARC/CIBIO/InBIO), Calçada do Mirante à Ajuda n.º10A, 1300-418 Lisboa, Portugal. Electronic address:

Extreme fragmentation can complicate the inventory of human skeletal remains. In such cases, skeletal mass can provide information regarding skeleton completeness and the minimum number of individuals. For that purpose, several references for skeletal mass can be used to establish comparisons and draw inferences regarding those parameters. However, little is known about the feasibility of establishing comparisons between inherently different materials, as is the case of curated reference skeletal collections and human remains recovered from forensic and archaeological settings. The objective of this paper was to investigate the effect of inhumation, weather and heat exposure on the skeletal mass of two different bone types. This was investigated on a sample of 30 human bone fragments (14 trabecular bones and 16 compact bones) that was experimentally buried for two years after being submitted to one of four different heat treatments (left unburned; 500 °C; 900 °C; 1000 °C). Bones were exhumed periodically to assess time-related mass variation. Skeletal mass varied substantially, decreasing and increasing in accordance to the interchanging dry and wet seasons. However, trends were not the same for the two bone types and the four temperature thresholds. The reason for this appears to be related to water absorption and to the differential heat-induced changes in bone microporosity, volume, and composition. Our results suggest that mass comparisons against published references should be performed only after the skeletal remains have been preemptively dried from exogenous water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2018.08.002DOI Listing
January 2019

Does short-term salinization of freshwater alter the behaviour of the Iberian barbel (Luciobarbus bocagei, Steindachner 1864)?

Sci Total Environ 2019 Feb 19;651(Pt 1):648-655. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Forest Research Centre (CEF) - School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal. Electronic address:

Stream salinization is a great environmental hazard being aggravated by anthropogenic disturbances. Harmful conditions, as increasing salinity in freshwater systems, may negatively affect river fish fauna and possibly influence fish behaviour, such as boldness and/or cerebral lateralization. Salinity has been proven to affect behavioural expression, despite the tolerance of some species. It is thus relevant to study these behaviours, as the salinity exposure effects could represent greater environmental consequences. The impact of salinity stress was evaluated by exposing Iberian barbels, Luciobarbus bocagei (Steindachner, 1864) (Cypriniformes, Cyprinidae), to three levels of salinity (0.9, 9 and 19 mS/cm, using NaCl) and by conducting boldness and lateralization experiments, regarding population trends. Results show that, with increased salinity, fish diverged to the extremes of the shy-bold gradient, the population was slightly lateralized to the left, and seemed to become more lateralized with increasing salinity. However, there were no statistical differences between the treatments. Fish living in a Mediterranean climate are especially resilient to various stressors, which may confer them additional tolerance, and in this case, acute punctual exposure to increased salinity may not be detrimental for behaviour maintenance. We encourage the expansion of the research to different freshwater fish species that would help to recognise salinity thresholds and use them to implement effective conservation measures and appropriate ecological restoration actions for these sensible systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.191DOI Listing
February 2019

One millennium of historical freshwater fish occurrence data for Portuguese rivers and streams.

Sci Data 2018 08 14;5:180163. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

University of Lisbon, School of Agriculture, Forest Research Centre, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal.

The insights that historical evidence of human presence and man-made documents provide are unique. For example, using historical data may be critical to adequately understand the ecological requirements of species. However, historical information about freshwater species distribution remains largely a knowledge gap. In this Data Descriptor, we present the Portuguese Historical Fish Database (PHish-DB), a compilation of 2214 records (557 at the basin scale, 184 at the sub-basin scale and 1473 at the segment scale) resulting from a survey of 194 historical documents. The database was developed using a three-scale approach that maximises the inclusion of information by allowing different degrees of spatial acuity. PHish database contains records of 25 taxonomical groups and covers a time span of one millennium, from the 11th until the 20th century. This database has already proven useful for two scientific studies, and PHish further use will contribute to correctly assess the full range of conditions tolerated by species, by establishing adequate benchmark conditions, and/or to improve existing knowledge of the species distribution limits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2018.163DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6091242PMC
August 2018

A test and analysis of Calce (2012) method for skeletal age-at-death estimation using the acetabulum in a modern skeletal sample.

Int J Legal Med 2018 Sep 25;132(5):1447-1455. Epub 2018 Jul 25.

Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

In forensic anthropology, the age-at-death of an adult individual is one of the most complex parameters of the biological profile to estimate. The present study aims to evaluate the reliability of the Calce (2012) method for the estimation of age-at-death through acetabulum changes in a sample of Portuguese origin. This method consists of the global analysis of acetabular age-related morphology with focus on three specific traits, namely the acetabular groove, the osteophyte development of the acetabular rim, and the apex growth. This method was tested in 120 individuals sampled from the Twenty-first Century Identified Skeletal Collection (University of Coimbra, Portugal). The test sample is composed of 60 males and 60 females, aged between 25 and 99 years, with well-preserved os coxae. The results showed that only 60% of the individuals were correctly attributed to the age group defined by the technique. The comparison with previous studies in other populations shows significant inter-population differences in the relationship between the acetabulum variables used by Calce and age-at-death. The obtained results advise caution in the use of the Calce (2012) method to estimate the age-at-death of unidentified skeletons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-018-1902-9DOI Listing
September 2018

Understanding multiple stressors in a Mediterranean basin: Combined effects of land use, water scarcity and nutrient enrichment.

Sci Total Environ 2018 May 27;624:1221-1233. Epub 2017 Dec 27.

Universidade de Lisboa, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Centro de Estudos Florestais, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal.

River basins are extremely complex hierarchical and directional systems that are affected by a multitude of interacting stressors. This complexity hampers effective management and conservation planning to be effectively implemented, especially under climate change. The objective of this work is to provide a wide scale approach to basin management by interpreting the effect of isolated and interacting factors in several biotic elements (fish, macroinvertebrates, phytobenthos and macrophytes). For that, a case study in the Sorraia basin (Central Portugal), a Mediterranean system mainly facing water scarcity and diffuse pollution problems, was chosen. To develop the proposed framework, a combination of process-based modelling to simulate hydrological and nutrient enrichment stressors and empirical modelling to relate these stressors - along with land use and natural background - with biotic indicators, was applied. Biotic indicators based on ecological quality ratios from WFD biomonitoring data were used as response variables. Temperature, river slope, % of agriculture in the upstream catchment and total N were the variables more frequently ranked as the most relevant. Both the two significant interactions found between single hydrological and nutrient enrichment stressors indicated antagonistic effects. This study demonstrates the potentialities of coupling process-based modelling with empirical modelling within a single framework, allowing relationships among different ecosystem states to be hierarchized, interpreted and predicted at multiple spatial and temporal scales. It also demonstrates how isolated and interacting stressors can have a different impact on biotic quality. When performing conservation or management plans, the stressor hierarchy should be considered as a way of prioritizing actions in a cost-effective perspective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.12.201DOI Listing
May 2018

Evaluating riparian solutions to multiple stressor problems in river ecosystems - A conceptual study.

Water Res 2018 08 8;139:381-394. Epub 2018 Apr 8.

Cardiff University, Water Research Institute, Biosi 2 (Room 6.04), Cardiff, CF10 3AX, United Kingdom; University of Barcelona, Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, FEM Research Group-IRBIO, Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

Rivers are among the most sensitive of all ecosystems to the effects of global change, but options to prevent, mitigate or restore ecosystem damage are still inadequately understood. Riparian buffers are widely advocated as a cost-effective option to manage impacts, but empirical evidence is yet to identify ideal riparian features (e.g. width, length and density) which enhance ecological integrity and protect ecosystem services in the face of catchment-scale stressors. Here, we use an extensive literature review to synthesise evidence on riparian buffer and catchment management effects on instream environmental conditions (e.g. nutrients, fine sediments, organic matter), river organisms and ecosystem functions. We offer a conceptual model of the mechanisms through which catchment or riparian management might impact streams either positively or negatively. The model distinguishes scale-independent benefits (shade, thermal damping, organic matter and large wood inputs) that arise from riparian buffer management at any scale from scale-dependent benefits (nutrient or fine sediment retention) that reflect stressor conditions at broader (sub-catchment to catchment) scales. The latter require concerted management efforts over equally large domains of scale (e.g. riparian buffers combined with nutrient restrictions). The evidence of the relationships between riparian configuration (width, length, zonation, density) and scale-independent benefits is consistent, suggesting a high certainty of the effects. In contrast, scale-dependent effects as well as the biological responses to riparian management are more uncertain, suggesting that ongoing diffuse pollution (nutrients, sediments), but also sources of variability (e.g. hydrology, climate) at broader scales may interfere with the effects of local riparian management. Without concerted management across relevant scales, full biological recovery of damaged lotic ecosystems is unlikely. There is, nevertheless, sufficient evidence that the benefits of riparian buffers outweigh potential adverse effects, in particular if located in the upstream part of the stream network. This supports the use of riparian restoration as a no-regrets management option to improve and sustain lotic ecosystem functioning and biodiversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2018.04.014DOI Listing
August 2018

Eco-geographic adaptations in the human ribcage throughout a 3D geometric morphometric approach.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2018 06 8;166(2):323-336. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Paleoanthropology Group, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, Spain.

Objectives: According to eco-geographic rules, humans from high latitude areas present larger and wider trunks than their low-latitude areas counterparts. This issue has been traditionally addressed on the pelvis but information on the thorax is largely lacking. We test whether ribcages are larger in individuals inhabiting high latitudes than in those from low latitudes and explored the correlation of rib size with latitude. We also test whether a common morphological pattern is exhibited in the thorax of different cold-adapted populations, contributing to their hypothetical widening of the trunk.

Materials And Methods: We used 3D geometric morphometrics to quantify rib morphology of three hypothetically cold-adapted populations, viz. Greenland (11 individuals), Alaskan Inuit (8 individuals) and people from Tierra del Fuego (8 individuals), in a comparative framework with European (Spain, Portugal and Austria; 24 individuals) and African populations (South African and sub-Saharan African; 20 individuals).

Results: Populations inhabiting high latitudes present longer ribs than individuals inhabiting areas closer to the equator, but a correlation (p < 0.05) between costal size and latitude is only found in ribs 7-11. Regarding shape, the only cold adapted population that was different from the non-cold-adapted populations were the Greenland Inuit, who presented ribs with less curvature and torsion.

Conclusions: Size results from the lower ribcage are consistent with the hypothesis of larger trunks in cold-adapted populations. The fact that only Greenland Inuit present a differential morphological pattern, linked to a widening of their ribcage, could be caused by differences in latitude. However, other factors such as genetic drift or specific cultural adaptations cannot be excluded and should be tested in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23433DOI Listing
June 2018

Functional redundancy and sensitivity of fish assemblages in European rivers, lakes and estuarine ecosystems.

Sci Rep 2017 12 14;7(1):17611. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

Irstea, UR RECOVER, Equipe FRESHCO, 3275 Route de Cézanne, CS 40061, 13182, Aix en Provence, France.

The impact of species loss on ecosystems functioning depends on the amount of trait similarity between species, i.e. functional redundancy, but it is also influenced by the order in which species are lost. Here we investigated redundancy and sensitivity patterns across fish assemblages in lakes, rivers and estuaries. Several scenarios of species extinction were simulated to determine whether the loss of vulnerable species (with high propensity of extinction when facing threats) causes a greater functional alteration than random extinction. Our results indicate that the functional redundancy tended to increase with species richness in lakes and rivers, but not in estuaries. We demonstrated that i) in the three systems, some combinations of functional traits are supported by non-redundant species, ii) rare species in rivers and estuaries support singular functions not shared by dominant species, iii) the loss of vulnerable species can induce greater functional alteration in rivers than in lakes and estuaries. Overall, the functional structure of fish assemblages in rivers is weakly buffered against species extinction because vulnerable species support singular functions. More specifically, a hotspot of functional sensitivity was highlighted in the Iberian Peninsula, which emphasizes the usefulness of quantitative criteria to determine conservation priorities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-17975-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5730594PMC
December 2017

A method for sex estimation using the proximal femur.

Forensic Sci Int 2016 Sep 16;266:579.e1-579.e7. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

The assessment of sex is crucial to the establishment of a biological profile of an unidentified skeletal individual. The best methods currently available for the sexual diagnosis of human skeletal remains generally rely on the presence of well-preserved pelvic bones, which is not always the case. Postcranial elements, including the femur, have been used to accurately estimate sex in skeletal remains from forensic and bioarcheological settings. In this study, we present an approach to estimate sex using two measurements (femoral neck width [FNW] and femoral neck axis length [FNAL]) of the proximal femur. FNW and FNAL were obtained in a training sample (114 females and 138 males) from the Luís Lopes Collection (National History Museum of Lisbon). Logistic regression and the C4.5 algorithm were used to develop models to predict sex in unknown individuals. Proposed cross-validated models correctly predicted sex in 82.5-85.7% of the cases. The models were also evaluated in a test sample (96 females and 96 males) from the Coimbra Identified Skeletal Collection (University of Coimbra), resulting in a sex allocation accuracy of 80.1-86.2%. This study supports the relative value of the proximal femur to estimate sex in skeletal remains, especially when other exceedingly dimorphic skeletal elements are not accessible for analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2016.06.011DOI Listing
September 2016

Riparian responses to extreme climate and land-use change scenarios.

Sci Total Environ 2016 Nov 21;569-570:145-158. Epub 2016 Jun 21.

Universidade de Lisboa, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Centro de Estudos Florestais (CEF), Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017, Lisboa, Portugal. Electronic address:

Climate change will induce alterations in the hydrological and landscape patterns with effects on riparian ecotones. In this study we assess the combined effect of an extreme climate and land-use change scenario on riparian woody structure and how this will translate into a future risk of riparian functionality loss. The study was conducted in the Tâmega catchment of the Douro basin. Boosted Regression Trees (BRTs) were used to model two riparian landscape indicators related with the degree of connectivity (Mean Width) and complexity (Area Weighted Mean Patch Fractal Dimension). Riparian data were extracted by planimetric analysis of high spatial-resolution Word Imagery Layer (ESRI). Hydrological, climatic and land-use variables were obtained from available datasets and generated with process-based modeling using current climate data (2008-2014), while also considering the high-end RCP8.5 climate-change and "Icarus" socio-economic scenarios for the 2046-2065 time slice. Our results show that hydrological and land-use changes strongly influence future projections of riparian connectivity and complexity, albeit to diverse degrees and with differing effects. A harsh reduction in average flows may impair riparian zones while an increase in extreme rain events may benefit connectivity by promoting hydrologic dynamics with the surrounding floodplains. The expected increase in broad-leaved woodlands and mixed forests may enhance the riparian galleries by reducing the agricultural pressure on the area in the vicinity of the river. According to our results, 63% of river segments in the Tâmega basin exhibited a moderate risk of functionality loss, 16% a high risk, and 21% no risk. Weaknesses and strengths of the method are highlighted and results are discussed based on a resilience perspective with regard to riparian ecosystems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.099DOI Listing
November 2016

One for all and all for one: Linear regression from the mass of individual bones to assess human skeletal mass completeness.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2016 Jul 5;160(3):427-32. Epub 2016 Apr 5.

Centre for Functional Ecology, Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Calçada Martim Freitas, Coimbra, 3000-456, Portugal.

Objectives: Complete and accurate human skeletal inventory is seldom possible in archaeological and forensic cases involving severe fragmentation. In such cases, skeletal mass comparisons with published references may be used as an alternative to assess skeletal completeness but they are too general for a case-by-case routine analysis. The objective is to solve this issue by creating linear regression equations to estimate the total mass of a skeleton based on the mass of individual bones.

Materials And Methods: Total adult skeletal mass and individual mass of the clavicle, humerus, femur, patella, carpal, metacarpal, tarsal, and metatarsal bones were recorded in a sample of 60 skeletons from the 21st century identified skeletal collection (University of Coimbra). The sample included 32 females and 28 males with ages ranging from 31 to 96 years (mean = 76.4; sd = 14.8). Skeletal mass linear regression equations were calculated based on this sample.

Results: The mass of individual bones was successfully used to predict the approximate total mass of the adult skeleton. The femur, humerus, and second metacarpal were the best predictors of total skeletal mass with root mean squared errors ranging from 292.9 to 346.1 g.

Discussion: Linear regression was relatively successful at estimating adult skeletal mass. The non-normal distribution of the sample in terms of mass may have reduced the predictive power of the equations. These results have clear impact for bioanthropology, especially forensic anthropology, since this method may provide better estimates of the completeness of the skeleton or the minimum number of individuals. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:427-432, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.22979DOI Listing
July 2016

Broad-scale sampling of primary freshwater fish populations reveals the role of intrinsic traits, inter-basin connectivity, drainage area and latitude on shaping contemporary patterns of genetic diversity.

PeerJ 2016 29;4:e1694. Epub 2016 Feb 29.

Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC , Madrid , Spain.

Background. Worldwide predictions suggest that up to 75% of the freshwater fish species occurring in rivers with reduced discharge could be extinct by 2070 due to the combined effect of climate change and water abstraction. The Mediterranean region is considered to be a hotspot of freshwater fish diversity but also one of the regions where the effects of climate change will be more severe. Iberian cyprinids are currently highly endangered, with over 68% of the species raising some level of conservation concern. Methods. During the FISHATLAS project, the Portuguese hydrographical network was extensively covered (all the 34 river basins and 47 sub-basins) in order to contribute with valuable data on the genetic diversity distribution patterns of native cyprinid species. A total of 188 populations belonging to 16 cyprinid species of Squalius, Luciobarbus, Achondrostoma, Iberochondrostoma, Anaecypris and Pseudochondrostoma were characterized, for a total of 3,678 cytochrome b gene sequences. Results. When the genetic diversity of these populations was mapped, it highlighted differences among populations from the same species and between species with identical distribution areas. Factors shaping the contemporary patterns of genetic diversity were explored and the results revealed the role of latitude, inter-basin connectivity, migratory behaviour, species maximum size, species range and other species intrinsic traits in determining the genetic diversity of sampled populations. Contrastingly, drainage area and hydrological regime (permanent vs. temporary) seem to have no significant effect on genetic diversity. Species intrinsic traits, maximum size attained, inter-basin connectivity and latitude explained over 30% of the haplotype diversity variance and, generally, the levels of diversity were significantly higher for smaller sized species, from connected and southerly river basins. Discussion. Targeting multiple co-distributed species of primary freshwater fish allowed us to assess the relative role of historical versus contemporary factors affecting genetic diversity. Since different patterns were detected for species with identical distribution areas we postulate that contemporary determinants of genetic diversity (species' intrinsic traits and landscape features) must have played a more significant role than historical factors. Implications for conservation in a context of climate change and highly disturbed habitats are detailed, namely the need to focus management and conservation actions on intraspecific genetic data and to frequently conduct combined genetic and demographic surveys.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1694DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4782715PMC
March 2016

CraMs: Craniometric Analysis Application Using 3D Skull Models.

IEEE Comput Graph Appl 2015 Nov-Dec;35(6):11-7

Craniometric analysis plays an important role in anthropology studies and forensics. This paper presents CraMs, an application using a new craniometric approach based on 3D models of the skull. The main objective is to obtain, through a process supervised by anthropologists, the main points of interest used to compute craniometric measurements. The application aids this process by analyzing the skull geometry and automatically providing points of interest. The application also allows for semiautomatic point detection, where the user provides an initial guess that might be refined based on the curvature of the skull, as well as the manual selection of any other points of interest. Moreover, results comparing measurements obtained with CraMs and traditional craniometry methods on eight skulls suggest that the application provides comparable craniometric measurements and lower inter-observer variability. This approach offers advantages such as an easier access to skulls with no risk of bone damage and the possibility of defining new measurements based on morphology or other skull characteristics, which are not possible using traditional methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MCG.2015.136DOI Listing
September 2016