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Tapondjou Nkonmeneck, W. P., K. E. Allen, P. M. Hime, K. N. Knipp, M. M. Kameni, A. M. Tchassem, L. N. Gonwouo, and R. M. Brown. 2022. Diversification and historical demography of Rhampholeon spectrum in West-Central Africa N. Dahanukar [ed.],. PLOS ONE 17: e0277107. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0277107

Pygmy Chameleons of the genus Rhampholeon represent a moderately diverse, geographically circumscribed radiation, with most species (18 out of 19 extant taxa) limited to East Africa. The one exception is Rhampholeon spectrum, a species restricted to West-Central African rainforests. We set out to characterize the geographic basis of genetic variation in this disjunctly distributed Rhampholeon species using a combination of multilocus Sanger data and genomic sequences to explore population structure and range-wide phylogeographic patterns. We also employed demographic analyses and niche modeling to distinguish between alternate explanations to contextualize the impact of past geological and climatic events on the present-day distribution of intraspecific genetic variation. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that R. spectrum is a complex of five geographically delimited populations grouped into two major clades (montane vs. lowland). We found pronounced population structure suggesting that divergence and, potentially, speciation began between the late Miocene and the Pleistocene. Sea level changes during the Pleistocene climatic oscillations resulted in allopatric divergence associated with dispersal over an ocean channel barrier and colonization of Bioko Island. Demographic inferences and range stability mapping each support diversification models with secondary contact due to population contraction in lowland and montane refugia during the interglacial period. Allopatric divergence, congruent with isolation caused by geologic uplift of the East African rift system, the “descent into the Icehouse,” and aridification of sub-Saharan Africa during the Eocene-Oligocene are identified as the key events explaining the population divergence between R. spectrum and its closely related sister clade from the Eastern Arc Mountains. Our results unveil cryptic genetic diversity in R. spectrum, suggesting the possibility of a species complex distributed across the Lower Guinean Forest and the Island of Bioko. We highlight the major element of species diversification that modelled today’s diversity and distributions in most West-Central African vertebrates.

Tanshi, I., B. C. Obitte, A. Monadjem, S. J. Rossiter, M. Fisher‐Phelps, and T. Kingston. 2022. Multiple dimensions of biodiversity in paleotropical hotspots reveal comparable bat diversity. Biotropica. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.13143

Bat species commonly comprise at least 50% of tropical mammalian assemblages, but Afrotropical bat faunas have been little studied leading to perceptions that they are depauperate. Here, we compare alpha taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity of insectivorous bats belonging to the narrow‐space foraging ensemble from a bat diversity hotspot in Nigeria to species‐rich sites in Indonesia and Malaysia, using previously published data. The Nigerian site is protected unlogged forests at Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and Cross River National Park. For comparison, we targeted similar unlogged forest sites in Southeast Asia: Indonesia—Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park Forest in Sumatra; and Kakenauwe Forest Reserve on Buton Island, Sulawesi; and another in Malaysia—Krau Wildlife Reserve. All sites were sampled using comparable methods, with an emphasis on harp traps that effectively capture the forest‐interior ensembles. We also compare regional beta diversity of bat assemblages in ecoregions using occurrence data (literature, unpublished records, and online natural history collections) from the Lower Guinean Forest and the Malay Peninsula. We demonstrate comparable alpha taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity of narrow‐space bats among sites in Nigeria and Indonesia, but greater diversity in Malaysia. Turnover and overall beta diversity of bats among ecoregions was comparable between the Lower Guinean Forest and the Malay Peninsula, but nestedness was higher in the latter. Our results reiterate the value of harp traps in generating bat survey data that allows equatable comparisons of “mist net avoiders” in the Paleotropical forest understory. Our findings have implications for regional and local bat conservation.

Hortelano-Moncada, Y., A. S. Barragán-Saldaña, J. Fernández-Reyes, F. A. Cervantes-Reza, L. Barragán Guerrero, and M. V. Gómez-Naranjo. 2021. Mammal species richness and new records in protected natural areas of the northern part of the metropolitan area of the Valley of México. Therya 12: 537–551. https://doi.org/10.12933/therya-21-1074

Sierra de Guadalupe is the only mountain range in the northern part of the Valley of Mexico metropolitan area. The accelerated urban expansion over the past decades has turned Sierra de Guadalupe into an isolated natural area immersed within the urban matrix. This study aimed to gather a documented …

Li, X., B. Li, G. Wang, X. Zhan, and M. Holyoak. 2020. Deeply digging the interaction effect in multiple linear regressions using a fractional-power interaction term. MethodsX 7: 101067. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101067

In multiple regression Y ~ β0 + β1X1 + β2X2 + β3X1 X2 + ɛ., the interaction term is quantified as the product of X1 and X2. We developed fractional-power interaction regression (FPIR), using βX1M X2N as the interaction term. The rationale of FPIR is that the slopes of Y-X1 regression along the X2 gr…

Pappalardo, P., I. Morales‐Castilla, A. W. Park, S. Huang, J. P. Schmidt, and P. R. Stephens. 2019. Comparing methods for mapping global parasite diversity G. Jordan [ed.],. Global Ecology and Biogeography 29: 182–193. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13008

Aim: Parasites are a major component of global ecosystems, yet spatial variation in parasite diversity is poorly known, largely because their occurrence data are limited and thus difficult to interpret. Using a recently compiled database of parasite occurrences, we compare different models which we …