Santos, Carla Sousa; Robalo, Joana Isabel; Pereira, Ana Martins; Doadrio, Ignacio
Cottus hispaniolensis is a critically endangered cottid fish which is endemic
from the Pyrenanean Garonne river basin.
Dias, Raphael I.; Oliveira, Rui Filipe; Podos, Jeffrey; Macedo, Regina H.
Mate choice is a primary mechanism driving the evolution of sexually selected traits such as elabo-rate displays and ornaments. In a majority of taxa studied to date, females are seen to actively sampleand evaluate multiple males, presumably to optimize mating opportunities. During this process femalesmay encounter males both familiar and novel, a distinction that might influence how mate choice pro-ceeds. Using a socially monogamous passerine, the blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina), we studiedhow females respond to novel versus familiar (“paired”) males, and how encounters with novel malesinfluence subsequent interactions with their paired males. Additionally, we measured the hormonalresponse of males after...
Pinho, Pedro; Correia, Otília; Lecoq, Miguel; Munzi, Silvana; Vasconcelos, Sasha; Gonçalves, Paula; Rebelo, Rui; Antunes, Cristina; Silva, Patrícia; Freitas, Catarina; Lopes, Nuno; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Branquinho, Cristina
Forested areas within cities host a large number of species, responsible for many ecosystem services in urban areas. The biodiversity in these areas is influenced by human disturbances such as atmospheric pollution and urban heat island effect. To ameliorate the effects of these factors, an increase in urban green areas is often considered sufficient. However, this approach assumes that all types of green cover have the same importance for species. Our aim was to show that not all forested green areas are equal in importance for species, but that based on a multi-taxa and functional diversity approach it is possible...
Perez, Cristóbal; Granadeiro, José Pedro; Dias, Maria P.; Alonso, Hany Rafael de Drummond Ludovice Garcia; Catry, Paulo
Partial migration has never been studied in pelagic seabirds, but investigating old unresolved questions in new contexts can provide
useful fresh insights. We used geolocators and stable isotopes to investigate this phenomenon in a migratory pelagic seabird, the
Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris diomedea). Although most birds migrated to the southern hemisphere, 8.1% of studied birds (N = 172)
remained close to the breeding colony (Selvagem Grande, Madeira, Portugal), foraging within the Canary current. Almost all resident
birds were males, while age or body size did not predict migratory status. Despite displaying a high repeatability (R = 0.72) in the choice
of wintering area, residency was not a fixed strategy and...
Gonçalves, Ana Sofia Ribeiro; Sousa, Liliana Carvalho; Coelho, Pedro Duarte; Almada, Vítor Carvalho
The rocky inter-tidal habitat is a harsh and ﬂuctuating environment, subject tofrequent disturbances. Field observations of juvenile white seabream Diplodussargus in inter-tidal rocky habitats were conducted to analyse the spatial distri-bution and feeding activity of this species in relation to the tidal cycle. Thedepth at which ﬁsh were observed did not change in most tidal phases whilefeeding activity changed with tidal level, showing the occurrence of tidal migra-tions and that feeding may be limited by habitat availability in shallow watersand thus be dependent on tidal changes. The present results show the exploita-tion of available feeding areas in the rocky inter-tidal...
Froy, Hannah; Lewis, Sue; Catry, Paulo; Bishop, Charles M.; Forster, Isaac P.; Fukuda, Akira; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi; Phalan, Ben; Xavier, José C.; Nussey, Daniel H.; Phillips, Richard A.
Age-related variation in demographic rates is now widely documented in wild vertebrate
systems, and has significant consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics.
However, the mechanisms underpinning such variation, particularly in later life, are less
well understood. Foraging efficiency is a key determinant of fitness, with implications for individual
life history trade-offs. A variety of faculties known to decline in old age, such as
muscular function and visual acuity, are likely to influence foraging performance. We examine
age-related variation in the foraging behaviour of a long-lived, wide-ranging oceanic
seabird, the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. Using miniaturised tracking technologies,
we compared foraging trip characteristics of birds breeding at Bird Island,...
Santos, Carla Sousa; Fonseca, Paulo Jorge; Amorim, Maria Clara Pessoa
The Lusitanian toadfish Halobatrachus didactylus is an eastern Atlantic polygynous
species showing male paternal care. In this paper we describe 5 novel microsatellite
loci obtained by 454 GS-FLX Titanium pyrosequencing of a microsatellite-enriched
library. The number of alleles per polymorphic locus varied between 2 and 4, and the
observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.082 to 0.600. No significant deviation from
Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium was found and there was no evidence for linkage disequilibrium.
These markers will be of great value for paternity studies and population
genetics of this species.
Cardoso, Sara D.; Teles, Magda; Oliveira, Rui Filipe
Group-living animals must adjust the expression of their social
behaviour to changes in their social environment and to transitions
between life-history stages, and this social plasticity can be seen as
an adaptive trait that can be under positive selection when changes
in the environment outpace the rate of genetic evolutionary change.
Here, we propose a conceptual framework for understanding the
neuromolecular mechanisms of social plasticity. According to this
framework, social plasticity is achieved by rewiring or by
biochemically switching nodes of a neural network underlying social
behaviour in response to perceived social information. Therefore, at
the molecular level, it depends on the social regulation of gene
expression, so that different genomic...
Cardoso, Sónia C.; Paitio, José R.; Oliveira, Rui Filipe; Bshary, Redouan; Soares, Marta C.
Cooperation between unrelated individuals usually involves investments that often mean a decrease in immediate
payoffs, but ensure future benefits. Here we investigated the potential role of the neuropeptides Arginine-vasotocin
(AVT) and Isotocin (IT) as proximate agents affecting individuals' cooperative levels in the Indo-pacific bluestreak
cleanerwrasse Labroides dimidiatus. Their ‘client’ reef fish partners only benefit from interacting if cleaners eat ectoparasites
and refrain from gleaning preferred clientmucus. Thus, cleaners must control their impulse to eat according
to their preference, and eat less preferred items to maintain ongoing interactions and avoid clients' leaving or
punishing. We found that solely the experimental transient higher dosage of AVT led to...
Oliveira, Gonçalo A.; Oliveira, Rui Filipe
Apart from their role in reproduction androgens also respond to social challenges and this response has been seen as a way to regulate the expression of behavior according to the perceived social environment (Challenge hypothesis, Wingfield et al., 1990). This hypothesis implies that social decision-making mechanisms localized in the central nervous system (CNS) are open to the influence of peripheral hormones that ultimately are under the control of the CNS through the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Therefore, two puzzling questions emerge at two different levels of biological analysis: (1) Why does the brain, which perceives the social environment and regulates androgen production...
Cunha, Alexandra H.; Erzini, Karim; Serrão, Ester A.; Gonçalves, Emanuel João; Borges, Rita Alexandra; Henriques, Miguel; Henriques, Victor; Guerra, Miriam; Duarte, Carlos M.; Marbá, Núria; Fonseca, Mark
The Marine Park Prof. Luiz Saldanha, in the coast
of Arrábida, is the first marine park in continental Portugal.
This area is a Nature 2000 site and is considered to be a
hotspot for European marine biodiversity. In 2005, the management
plan of the park was implemented, ending several
habitat menaces, thereby allowing an application to the
LIFE—NATURE Programme. The LIFE-BIOMARES
project aimed at the restoration and management of the biodiversity
of the marine park through several actions. The
restoration of the seagrass prairies that were completely
destroyed by fishing activities and recreational boating, was
one of the most challenging. It included the transplanting of
seagrasses from donor populations and the germination...
Marques, Paulo A. M.; Magalhães, Daniel M; Pereira, Susana F.; Jorge, Paulo
The preservation of historical and contemporary data safeguards our scientific
legacy. Bioacoustic recordings can have historical as well as scientific value and
should be assessed for their conservation requirements. Unpreserved bioacoustics
recordings are generally not referenced and are frequently at high risk of loss by
material degradation and/or by misplacement. In this study we investigated the
preservation status of sets of natural sound recordings made in Portugal from 1983
until 2010 inclusive. We evaluated the recordings on the basis of their rate of loss,
the degree to which unpreserved recordings could be preserved, and their risk of
loss. Recordists of animal sounds were surveyed (by questionnaire or interview)...
Almada, Frederico; Abecasis, David; Villegas-Ríos, David; Henriques, Sofia; Pais, Miguel P.; Batista, Marisa I.; Costa, Bárbara Horta e; Martins, Joana; Tojeira, Inês; Rodrigues, Nuno Vasco; Araújo, Ricardo; Souto, Miguel; Alonso, Hany Rafael de Drummond Ludovice Garcia; Falcón, Jesús M.; Henriques, Filipe; Catry, Paulo; Cabral, Henrique; Biscoito, Manuel; Almada, Vítor Carvalho
The Selvagens Islands are located in the northeastern Atlantic between the Canary Islands and Madeira Island. As a result
of their small size, remote location and harsh sea conditions only a few studies have been conducted to describe their marine
species diversity. We were able to identify 29 new coastal fish species, an increase of 33% in the ichthyofauna described for
these islands (n = 88). There is a prevalence of species with tropical affinities and only 2.3% (n = 2) are endemic to
Macaronesia. Considered a stepping-stone colonization vector from the nearest continental shore, as proposed by other
authors for this region, the Selvagens...
Pereira, Ana Martins; Doadrio, Ignacio; Robalo, Joana Isabel; Almada, Vítor Carvalho
Using the mitochondrial non-coding region I, it was shown that the two Spanish Lampetra planeri populations
(Cares–Deva and Olabidea–Ugarana) correspond to different genetic units. The Cares–Deva
population is probably a recent offshoot of Lampetra fluviatilis, being the Olabidea–Ugarana population
less diverse and of older origin.
Santos, Carla Sousa; Robalo, Joana Isabel; Francisco, Sara Martins; Carrapato, Carlos; Cardoso, Ana Cristina; Doadrio, Ignacio
Genetic factors have direct and indirect impacts in the viability of endangered species. Assessing their genetic diversity levels and population structure is thus fundamental for conservation and management. In this paper we use mitochondria] and nuclear markers to address phylogeographic and demographic data on the critically endangered Anaecypris hispanica, using a broad sampling set which covered its known distribution area in the Iberian Peninsula. Our results showed that the populations of A. hispanica are strongly differentiated (high and significant Phi(ST) and F-ST values, corroborated by the results from AMOVA and SAMOVA) and genetically diversified. We suggest that the restricted gene...
Francisco, Sara Martins; Almada, Vítor Carvalho; Faria, Cláudia Barreiros Macedo de; Velasco, Eva Maria; Robalo, Joana Isabel
Phylogeographic patterns among coastal fishes
are expected to be influenced by distinct ecological, biological
and life history traits, along with historical events
and oceanography (past and present). This study focuses on
the broad range phylogeography of the Montagu’s blenny
Coryphoblennius galerita, a species with well-known ecological
features, strictly tied to rocky environments and
with limited dispersal capability. Eleven locations from
the western Mediterranean to the Bay of Biscay (including
the Macaronesian archipelagos) were sampled. Mitochondrial
DNA control region (CR) and the first intron of
the S7 ribosomal protein gene were used to address the
population structure, the signatures of expansion/contraction
events retained in the genealogies and potential glacial
refugia. The genetic diversity of the...
Gonçalves-de-Freitas, Eliane; Billalba Carvalho, Thaís; Oliveira, Rui Filipe
Photoperiod is a major environmental cue that signals breeding conditions in animals living in temperate
climates. Therefore, the activity of the reproductive (i.e. hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal, HPG) axis and
of the expression of reproductive behaviors, including territoriality, is responsive to changes in day
length. However, at low latitudes the seasonal variation in day length decreases dramatically and photoperiod
becomes less reliable as a breeding entraining cue in tropical species. In spite of this, some tropical
mammals and birds have been found to still respond to small amplitude changes in photoperiod (e.g.
17 min). Here we tested the effect of 2 photoperiod regimes, referred to as long-day (LD: 16L:08D)...
Almeida, Olinda; Canário, Adelino V. M.; Oliveira, Rui Filipe
Gonads are the main source of sex steroids, which have been implicated in the regulation of sexually
differentiated behavior, such as reproductive and aggressive displays. In the Mozambique tilapia
(Oreochromis mossambicus) territorial males have higher androgen levels than non-territorials, express
reproductive behavior and use a urine-borne pheromone to signal their social status towards conspecifics.
Here we investigated the effects of gonadectomy on the circulating levels of androgens and cortisol,
and on the expression of aggressive and reproductive behavior (nest building, courtship behavior, and
nuptial coloration). Males were either castrated, urine bladder damaged, or sham-operated and visually
exposed to a group of females during 8 consecutive days and...
Geiger, Matthias F.; Herder, Fabian; Monaghan, Michael T.; Almada, Vítor Carvalho; Barbieri, Roberta; Bariche, Michel; Berrebi, Patrick; Bohlen, Jörg; Casal-Lopez, Miriam; Delmastro, Giovanni B.; Denys, Gäel P. J.; Dettai, Agnès; Doadrio, Ignacio; Kalogianni, Elena; Kärst, Heiko; Kottelat, Maurice; Kovacic, Marcelo; Laporte, Martin; Lorenzoni, Massimo; Marcic, Zoran; Özulug, Müfit; Perdices, Anabel; Perea, Silvia; Persat, Henri; Porcellotti, Stefano; Puzzi, Cesare; Robalo, Joana Isabel; Sanda, Radek; Schneider, Michael; Slechtova, Vendula; Stumboudi, Maria; Walter, Simon; Freyhof, Jörg
Incomplete knowledge of biodiversity remains a stumbling block for conservation planning and even occurs within
globally important Biodiversity Hotspots (BH). Although technical advances have boosted the power of molecular biodiversity
assessments, the link between DNA sequences and species and the analytics to discriminate entities remain
crucial. Here, we present an analysis of the first DNA barcode library for the freshwater fish fauna of the Mediterranean
BH (526 spp.), with virtually complete species coverage (498 spp., 98% extant species). In order to build an identification
system supporting conservation, we compared species determination by taxonomists to multiple clustering analyses of
DNA barcodes for 3165 specimens. The congruence of...
Luís, Ana Rita; Couchinho, Miguel Nogueira; Santos, Manuel Eduardo dos
Maritime traffic is an issue of major ecological concern, and vessel noise may be
an important source of disturbance for coastal cetaceans. In the Sado estuary, Portugal,
core habitat areas of a small resident population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops
truncatus) overlap with routes of intense maritime traffic, which presents an opportunity
to assess vocal responses of these dolphins to specific vessel noise sources. Field
recordings of dolphin vocalizations were made from April to November 2011, using
a calibrated system. Dolphin behavior and group size were recorded, as well as the
operating boat condition (no boats or specific boat type) in a 1,000 m radius. Spectral
analyses of vocalizations...