The memorization and production of song in songbirds share important parallels with the process of speech acquisition in humans. In songbirds, these processes are dependent on a group of specialized telencephalic nuclei known as the song system: HVC (used as a proper name), RA (robust nucleus of arcopallium), LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium) and striatal Area X. A recent study suggested that the arcopallium of the Sayornis phoebe, a non vocal learner suboscine species, contains a nucleus with some properties similar to those of songbird RA, suggesting that the song system may have been present in the last common ancestor of these groups. Here we report morphological and gene expression evidence that a region with some properties similar to RA is present in another suboscine, the Amazonian endemic Willisornis poecilinotus. Specifically, a discrete domain with a distinct Nissl staining pattern and that expresses the RA marker RGS4 was found in the arcopallium where the oscine RA is localized. Our findings, combined with the previous report on the S. phoebe, suggest that an arcopallial region with some RA-like properties was present in the ancestor of both Suboscines infraorders Tyranni and Furnarii, and is possibly an ancestral feature of Passeriformes.
Abstract An updated inventory of Brazilian seed plants is presented and offers important insights into the country's biodiversity. This work started in 2010, with the publication of the Plants and Fungi Catalogue, and has been updated since by more than 430 specialists working online. Brazil is home to 32,086 native Angiosperms and 23 native Gymnosperms, showing an increase of 3% in its species richness in relation to 2010. The Amazon Rainforest is the richest Brazilian biome for Gymnosperms, while the Atlantic Rainforest is the richest one for Angiosperms. There was a considerable increment in the number of species and endemism rates for biomes, except for the Amazon that showed a decrease of 2.5% of recorded endemics. However, well over half of Brazillian seed plant species (57.4%) is endemic to this territory. The proportion of life-forms varies among different biomes: trees are more expressive in the Amazon and Atlantic Rainforest biomes while herbs predominate in the Pampa, and lianas are more expressive in the Amazon, Atlantic Rainforest, and Pantanal. This compilation serves not only to quantify Brazilian biodiversity, but also to highlight areas where there information is lacking and to provide a framework for the challenge faced in conserving Brazil's unique and diverse flora.
Resumo Um levantamento atualizado das plantas com sementes e análises relevantes acerca desta biodiversidade são apresentados. Este trabalho se iniciou em 2010 com a publicação do Catálogo de Plantas e Fungos e, desde então vem sendo atualizado por mais de 430 especialistas trabalhando online. O Brasil abriga atualmente 32.086 espécies nativas de Angiospermas e 23 espécies nativas de Gimnospermas e estes novos dados mostram um aumento de 3% da riqueza em relação a 2010. A Amazônia é o Domínio Fitogeográfico com o maior número de espécies de Gimnospermas, enquanto que a Floresta Atlântica possui a maior riqueza de Angiospermas. Houve um crescimento considerável no número de espécies e nas taxas de endemismo para a maioria dos Domínios (Caatinga, Cerrado, Floresta Atlântica, Pampa e Pantanal), com exceção da Amazônia que apresentou uma diminuição de 2,5% de endemicidade. Entretanto, a maior parte das plantas com sementes que ocorrem no Brasil (57,4%) é endêmica deste território. A proporção de formas de vida varia de acordo com os diferentes Domínios: árvores são mais expressivas na Amazônia e Floresta Atlântica do que nos outros biomas, ervas são dominantes no Pampa e as lianas apresentam riqueza expressiva na Amazônia, Floresta Atlântica e Pantanal. Este trabalho não só quantifica a biodiversidade brasileira, mas também indica as lacunas de conhecimento e o desafio a ser enfrentado para a conservação desta flora.
We genotyped 15 microsatellite loci in order to evaluate the effects of habitat fragmentation, caused by flooding of the Tucuruí reservoir, on the genetic structure of Alouatta belzebul in eastern Amazonia. The analysis included two populations sampled in 1984, representing both margins of the Tocantins river, and three populations sampled 18 years later. Minimal differences in the diversity levels between present-day (Ho = 0.62-0.69 and A R = 6.07-7.21) and pre-flooding (Ho = 0.60-0.62 and A R = 6.27-6.77) populations indicated there was no significant loss of genetic variability, possibly because of successful management strategies applied during the flooding. The changes observed were limited to shifts in the composition of alleles, which presumably reflect the admixture of subpopulations during flooding. Given this, there were significant differences in the Rst values (p = 0.05) in all but one between-site comparison. Both present-day and original populations showed a deficit of heterozygotes, which suggests that this may be typical of the species, at least at a local level, perhaps because of specific ecological characteristics. The relatively large number of private alleles recorded in all populations may be a consequence of the Wahlund effect resulting from population admixture or a process of expansion rather than the loss of rare alleles through genetic drift. Additionally, the levels of genetic variability observed in this study were higher than those reported for other species of Neotropical primates, suggesting good fitness levels in these A. belzebul populations. Regular genetic monitoring of remnant populations, especially on islands, should nevertheless be an integral component of long-term management strategies.