New article out : Spatio‐temporal variability of rainfall in a high tropical island: Patterns and large‐scale drivers in Réunion Island

Abstract

Weather forecasting is challenging because of the complex interplay between local conditions and regional atmospheric forcings. In this article, we analyse the relationships between local daily rainfall and large‐scale synoptic patterns in the geographical context of Réunion Island, a high volcanic island in the southwestern Indian Ocean basin. Given the critical role of trade winds on weather conditions at island scale, we analyse those relationships across seasons defined with respect to yearly trade‐wind regimes. Lire la suite

New article out: Great Genetic Diversity but High Selfing Rates and Short-Distance Gene Flow Characterize Populations of a Tree (Foetidia; Lecythidaceae) in the Fragmented Tropical Dry Forest of the Mascarene Islands

Abstract

Following the global trend of deforestation and degradation, tropical dry forests in the Mascarenes archipelago on Reunion has undergone harsh reduction and fragmentation within 3 centuries of human occupation. We investigated the genetic diversity, mating system, and gene flow in fragmented populations of the native tree Foetidia mauritiana (Lecythidaceae) on Reunion, using microsatellite genotyping of adults (in- and ex situ) and seed progenies (in situ only). To test genetic isolation between the Mascarene islands, we also genotyped conspecific adults on Mauritius, and trees of Foetidia rodriguesiana on Rodrigues. Lire la suite

New article out : Why are woody plants fleshy‐fruited at low elevations? Evidence from a high‐elevation oceanic island

New article published in Journal of Vegetation Science, that makes the cover of the journal's current issue ! See the abstract below and article on JVS's blog

Abstract

Question



The composition of fruit types, fleshy vs dry fruits, greatly influences the functioning of plant communities. Literature documenting spatial patterns of fruit types at fine scale is abundant. However, studies at larger geographical scale remain scarce, especially on high‐elevation oceanic islands that provide a great environmental heterogeneity. Here, we investigated how abiotic factors explained the proportion of fleshy‐fruited species (pFF) on Réunion. We asked (a) which abiotic factors were most related to pFF, (b) if fleshy‐fruited canopy species were more sensitive than fleshy‐fruited shrubs to harsh climatic conditions and (c) what are the relationships between pFF, endemism and phylogenetic relatedness.

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Erasmus + experience on Réunion island 2018

I landed on the island of La Reunion on July 27 after a long journey from the Azores Archipelago (Portugal) where I live and where I´m doing a Master in Management and Conservation of Nature while I work in the Azorean Biodiversity Group  in the arthropod laboratory. I came to the island thanks to the Erasmus + scholarship that allows mobility among students of the European Union. I chose this destination because I wanted to learn about the fauna and flora of the island. What better place than the laboratory UMR PVBMT at the University of La Réunion to learn about both in a positive environment.

Some of the pictures taken during my work processing the samples (Photos Alejandra Ros 2018)

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Stage de Master 1 BioGet

Variation de la résistance des bryophytes à la dessiccation à l’échelle du microhabitat au sein d’une forêt tropicale de montagne

 

Étudiante en première année de master Biologie Écologie Évolution parcours Biodiversité végétale et Gestion des Écosystèmes Tropicaux à l’Université de Montpellier et AgroParisTech, j’ai effectué un stage de quatre mois, du 26 mars au 27 juillet 2018, au sein de l’Unité Mixte de Recherche Peuplements Végétaux et Bioagresseurs en Milieu Tropical (UMR PVBMT) sur l’île de La Réunion. Cette étude a pour objectif de mieux comprendre comment des espèces de bryophytes réagissent face à la dessiccation en réponse à de futurs changements climatiques dans la forêt de nuages (TMCF = Tropical Montane Cloud Forests) de l’île, à une altitude moyenne de 1300 m. Cet écosystème, caractérisé par la présence fréquente de brouillard, est très menacé par la hausse des températures et par la déforestation. Les bryophytes font parties des groupes de plantes les abondants dans ce type de forêt et contribuent ainsi à leur équilibre hydrique, d’où l’importance de leur étude.

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A new moss record for La Réunion

 

Une espèce des régions montagneuses d'Amérique latine, Leptodontium stellatifolium, est reportée pour la première fois à La Réunion. C'est une disjonction géographique majeure.  L'espèce est ici illustrée et décrite à partir du matériel de La Réunion, et cette disjonction géographique considérable est discutée. Des explications à cette distribution sont suggérées. Une clé de détermination du genre Leptodontium pour la Réunion est proposée.

Illustration de Leptodontium stellatifolium par Patricia M. Eckel

Cette étude taxonomique est incluse dans le projet Net Biome, ANR moveclim.

 

 

Functional diversity of Azorean bryophytes

Two recent publications from the PhD student, Déborah Henriques (University of Azores) on functional trait diversity along an elevational gradient and the presentation of the BRYOTRAIT-AZO, the first open access bryophyte database for traits. We wish to provide similar databases for the other studied archipelagos from the MOVECLIM project (Net Biome).

Henriques, D.S.G., Rigal F., Borges, P.A.V., Ah-Peng C. & Gabriel R. (2017). Functional diversity and composition of bryophyte water-related traits in Azorean native vegetation Plant Ecology and Diversity (http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/KkJvv3GvUWAQMCQheGnA/full)

Henriques D., C. Ah-Peng & R. Gabriel (2017). Structure of the database BRYOTRAIT-AZO, a trait database for Azorean bryophytes Cryptogamie bryologie 38(2) :137-152