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11/14/13 - Panel discussion in advance of the Second Plenary Session of IPBES

Panel discussion in advance of the Second Plenary Session of IPBES. The objectives of this event are to increase awareness about IPBES and to bring participants up to date on the issues that will be addressed in the Second IPBES Plenary, taking place 9 - 14 December in Antalya, Turkey. Presentations will include an overview of the intersessional activities which have taken place in 2013, and some of the key issues that will be addressed in the Second Plenary, including the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy and some of the thematic and methodological assessments that have been proposed as priorities for the IPBES Work Programme 2014-2018.


07/07/13 - Carapa Ecology and Biogeography at ATBC-OTS 2014, Costa Rica

Talk at ATBC-OTS 2014 in the symposium  The Importance of Vertebrate Seed Dispersal for Species Diversity and Community Structure- Merging Case Studies With Theory. Wednesday, 26 June 2013: 09:15. La Paz-A (Herradura San Jose). Comparative seed dispersal of a transatlantic tree genus by neo- and paleotropical vertebrate species. by Pierre Michel Forget (UMR 7179 CNRS-MNHN), David Kenfack (Center for Tropical Forest Institution Global Earth Observatory, Smithsonian Institution) and  Alexandra Muellner-Riehl (Institut für Biologie, Molekulare Evolution und Systematik der Pflanzen,, Universität Leipzig, Germany). Abstract. The transatlantic tree genus Carapa (mahogany family) is known as andiroba (C. guianensis) in Brazil and touloucouna (C. procera) in Western Africa. They grow from littoral swamps and inundated forests to lowland, and highland up to 2200-2400 m in both continents. The recent discovery of new species and the revision of Carapa, including 16 species in Africa and 11 in America, opened the debate on the geographic origin and the cause of diversification of the genus in relation to its dispersal vectors across and within continents. Based on studies using molecular clock dating, it has been discovered that Carapa originated in the Old World (Africa), with subsequent dispersal to the New World. Several theoretical scenarii of dispersal can be proposed to explain the current distribution of Carapa species in two separate continents with different guilds of dispersers. In this presentation, we will summarize the current knowledge of seed dispersal in Carapa by animals and abiotic (barochory, drifting) means in the neo- and the paleotropics. There is now evidence of dispersal of Carapa seeds by rodents in the two continents. Whereas megafauna is lacking in America, elephants may play a significant role as long-distance seed dispersers in Africa. We will compare the new species-level phylogeny of Carapa with that of rodents and elephants trying to propose a scenario of evolution and diversification. The contrasting animal-plant mutualism on different continents, despite very similar fruit and seed traits, suggests further fields of investigations for ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Such knowledge is crucial to understand the selective forces behind the diversification of Carapa species as well as many other ‘Out-of-Africa’ species, their high biodiversity, diversification and adaptation to similar habitats. (Photo : Carapa littoralis in Cameroun (top) and C. guianensis in Guyana (bottom). © David Kenfack, SI).


05/01/13 - A new article about Neotropical Carapa spp

Phylogeography of a species complex of lowland Neotropical rain forest trees (Carapa, Meliaceae) by Scotti-Saintagne, Caroline; Dick, Christopher W.; Caron, Henri; et al.  JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY  40 (4) : 676-692   DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02678.x  Published: APR 2013

Main conclusions  The biogeographical history of Neotropical Carapa appears to have been influenced by events that took place during the Neogene. Our results point to an Amazonian centre of origin and diversification of Neotropical Carapa, with subsequent migration to the Pacific coast of South America and Central America. Gene flow apparently occurs among species, and introgression events are supported by inconsistencies between chloroplast and nuclear lineage sorting. The absence of phylogeographical structure may be a result of the ineffectiveness of geographical barriers among populations and of reproductive isolation mechanisms among incipient and cryptic species in this species complex. (Photo : Carapa akuri tree, a new species from Central Guyana © Pierre-Michel Forget).


04/14/13 - A new species of Carapa in Equator

Carapa amorphocarpa (Meliaceae) is a new species of Carapa (Meliaceae) in Equator from the slopes of the Cerro Golondrinas 2000-2300 m asl.), near the border with Colombia. Carapa amorphocarpa is distinguished easily by its thick leaflets with rounded or shortly emarginated apices and especially by its enormous amorphous fruits. (Photo © Palacio, W). The article has been published in Caldasia by Walter Palacio from Herbario Nacional del Ecuador (QCNE), Universidad Técnica del Norte, Ibarra, Ecuador. Abstract.

Palacio, W. (2012). Four new tree species from Ecuador. Caldasia [On line] 34: 75-85.


02/03/13 - Back to the Trees in French Guiana

François Feer and Pierre-Michel Forget were granted in 2012 by the Labex DRIIHM (Dispositif de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur les Interactions Hommes-Milieux) to carry on a study on the effect of the opening of the Bridge between France and Brazil as part of the APR OHM Oyapock. They will thus start their study entitled  "Evaluation rapide de l’impact de la construction du pont sur la faune et les processus écologiques qui en dépendent : mise en place d’un suivi à long terme des modifications de l’environnement dans la vallée de l’Oyapock" in February.


12/06/12 - Patrick Jansen 's talk in Brunoy, 6 december 2012

Patrick A . Jansen from the the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama & Wageningen University, the Netherlands, is giving a talk today at our lab (MNHN, Brunoy) entiled : "Extensive secondary seed dispersal revealed by telemetric seed tags" . Abstract. Most studies of seed dispersal assume that seeds reach the site where they either germinate or die in a single step, often referred to as primary dispersal. The importance of secondary dispersal tends to be downplayed. We used miniature radio transmitters to track the ‘secondary’ dispersal of palm seeds by agoutis, which scatter-hoard seeds in shallow caches in the soil throughout the forest, on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. We found that rodents removed seeds at high rates but that seeds were initially cached at mostly short distances and then quickly dug up again, suggesting poor dispersal and low survival. However, rather than eating the recovered seeds, agoutis continued to move and re-cache the seeds, up to 36 times. An estimated 35% of seeds travelled >100 m from the source. Serial video-monitoring of cached seeds revealed that the stepwise dispersal was caused by agoutis repeatedly stealing and re-caching each other’s buried seeds. Agoutis directed dispersal towards locations that had fewer palms and palm seeds than did the origin, supposedly to reduce the risk of cache theft. Thus, telemetry revealed that secondary dispersal by agoutis was highly effective, facilitating movement away from adults and siblings to a degree never before anticipated. http://agoutienterprise.wordpress.com

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