10 Works

Fire and grazing determined grasslands of central Madagascar represent ancient assemblages

Cedrique Solofondranohatra, Maria Vorontsova, Gareth Hempson, Jan Hackel, Stuart Cable, Vololoniaina Jeannoda & Caroline Lehmann
The ecology of Madagascar’s grasslands is under-investigated and the dearth of ecological understanding of how disturbance by fire and grazing shapes these grasslands stems from a perception that disturbance shaped Malagasy grasslands only after human arrival. However, worldwide, fire and grazing shape tropical grasslands over ecological and evolutionary timescales, and it is curious Madagascar should be a global anomaly. We examined the functional and community ecology of Madagascar’s grasslands across 71 communities in the Central...

Data from: Late Cretaceous bird from Madagascar reveals unique development of beaks

Patrick O'Connor, Alan Turner, Joseph Groenke, Ryan Felice, Raymond Rogers, David Krause & Lydia Rahantarisoa
Mesozoic birds display considerable diversity in size, flight adaptations and feather organization, but exhibit relatively conserved patterns of beak shape and development. Although Neornithine (that is, crown group) birds also exhibit constraint on facial development, they have comparatively diverse beak morphologies associated with a range of feeding and behavioural ecologies, in contrast to Mesozoic birds. Here we describe a crow-sized stem bird, Falcatakely forsterae gen. et sp. nov., from the Late Cretaceous epoch of Madagascar...

Pressions agro-démographiques dans les espaces forestiers protégés de Madagascar : l’exemple du Parc National d’Ankarafantsika

Yao Télésphore Brou, Ravoniarijaona Vololonirainy, Guy Boussougou Boussougou, Rindra Raharinjanahary, Sylvain Bigot, Dominique Dumas, Rivo Ramboarison, Samuel Razanaka, Liliane Parany, Mamy Rakotoarijaona, Hervé Dominique & Jean Roger Rakotoarijaona
Le Parc National d’Ankarafantsika, situé au nord-ouest de Madagascar en zone de forêt sèche, fait partie des forêts protégées très vulnérables à la déforestation. À l’échelle du parc, très peu de travaux ont été effectués sur l’état et la dynamique des formations végétales. L’objectif est de faire un bilan paysager à partir de données de terrain et d’analyses d’images à haute résolution spatiale (SPOT 5) afin d’établir une cartographie actualisée de l’occupation du sol à...

Data from: Evolutionary and phylogenetic insights from a nuclear genome sequence of the extinct, giant subfossil koala lemur Megaladapis edwardsi

Stephanie Marciniak, Mehreen R. Mughal, Laurie R. Godfrey, Richard J. Bankoff, Heritiana Randrianatoandro, Brooke E. Crowley, Christina M. Bergey, Kathleen M. Muldoon, Jeannot Randrianasy, Brigitte M. Raharivololona, Stephan C. Schuster, Ripan S. Malhi, Anne D. Yoder, , Logan Kistler & George H. Perry
No endemic Madagascar animal with body mass >10 kg survived a relatively recent wave of extinction on the island. From morphological and isotopic analyses of skeletal ‘subfossil’ remains we can reconstruct some of the biology and behavioral ecology of giant lemurs (primates; up to ~160 kg), elephant birds (up to ~860 kg), and other extraordinary Malagasy megafauna that survived well into the past millennium. Yet much about the evolutionary biology of these now extinct species...

Testing for adaptive radiation: a new approach applied to Madagascar frogs

Daniel Moen, Rojo Ravelojaona, Carl Hutter & John Wiens
Adaptive radiation is a key topic at the intersection of ecology and evolutionary biology. Yet the definition and identification of adaptive radiation both remain contentious. Here, we introduce a new approach for identifying adaptive radiations which combines key aspects of two widely used definitions. Our approach compares evolutionary rates in morphology, performance, and diversification between the candidate radiation and other clades. We then apply this approach to a putative adaptive radiation of frogs from Madagascar...

Data from: Cryptic patterns of speciation in cryptic primates: microendemic mouse lemurs and the multispecies coalescent

Jelmer Poelstra, Jordi Salmona, George Tiley, Dominik Schüßler, Marina Blanco, Jean Andriambeloson, Olivier Bouchez, C. Ryan Campbell, Paul Etter, Amaia Iribar-Pelozuelo, Paul Hohenlohe, Kelsie Hunnicutt, Eric Johnson, Peter Kappeler, Peter Larsen, Sophie Manzi, Jose Ralison, Blanchard Randrianambinina, Rodin Rasoloarison, David Rasolofoson, Amanda Stahlke, David Weisrock, Rachel Williams, Lounes Chikhi, Ed Louis … & Anne Yoder
Species delimitation is ever more critical for assessing biodiversity in threatened regions of the world, especially when undescribed lineages may be at risk from habitat loss. Mouse lemurs (Microcebus) are an example of a rapid radiation of morphologically cryptic species that are distributed throughout Madagascar in its rapidly vanishing forested habitats. Here, we focus on two pairs of sister lineages that occur in a region in northeastern Madagascar that shows high levels of microendemism. We...

Data from: Bird diversity and endemism along a land-use gradient in Madagascar: the conservation value of vanilla agroforests

Dominic Andreas Martin, Rouvah Andriafanomezantsoa, Saskia Dröge, Kristina Osen, Eric Rakotomalala, Annemarie Wurz, Aristide Andrianarimisa & Holger Kreft
Land-use change is the most important driver of biodiversity loss worldwide and particularly so in the tropics, where natural habitats are transformed into large-scale monocultures or heterogeneous landscape mosaics of largely unknown conservation value. Using birds as an indicator taxon, we evaluated the conservation value of a landscape mosaic in north-eastern Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot and the center of global vanilla production. We assessed bird species richness and composition by conducting point counts across seven...

Data from: Land-use intensification increases richness of native and exotic herbaceous plants, but not endemics, in Malagasy vanilla landscapes

Estelle Raveloaritiana, Annemarie Wurz, Ingo Grass, Kristina Osen, Marie Rolande Soazafy, Dominic A. Martin, Lucien Faliniaina, Nantenaina H. Rakotomalala, Maria S. Vorontsova, Teja Tscharntke & Bakolimalala Rakouth
Aim: North‐eastern Madagascar is a hotspot of plant diversity, but vanilla and rice farming are driving land‐use change, including slash‐and‐burn management. It still remains unknown how land‐use change and land‐use history affect richness and composition of endemic, native and exotic herbaceous plant species. Location: North‐eastern Madagascar. Methods: We assessed herbaceous plants along a land‐use intensification gradient ranging from unburned land‐use types (i.e. old‐growth forest, forest fragment and forest‐derived vanilla agroforest) to burned land‐use types (i.e....

Data from: The role of nocturnal omnivorous lemurs as seed dispersers in Malagasy rain forests

Veronarindra Ramananjato, Zafimahery Rakotomalala, Daniel S. Park, Camille M. M. DeSisto, Nancia N. Raoelinjanakolona, Nicola K. Guthrie, Zo E. S. Fenosoa, Steig E. Johnson & Onja H. Razafindratsima
Fruit-eating animals play important roles as seed dispersal agents in terrestrial systems. Yet, the extent to which seed dispersal by nocturnal omnivores may facilitate germination and the recruitment of plant communities has rarely been investigated. Characterizing their roles in seed dispersal is necessary to provide a more complete picture of how seed dispersal processes affect ecosystem functioning. We investigated the roles and impacts of two species of nocturnal omnivorous lemur species, Microcebus jollyae and M....

Data from: Decreasing predation rates and shifting predator compositions along a land-use gradient in Madagascar’s vanilla landscapes

Dominik Schwab, Annemarie Wurz, Ingo Grass, Anjaharnony A.N.A. Rakotomalala, Kristina Osen, Marie Rolande Soazafy, Dominic A. Martin & Teja Tscharntke
1. Land-use change is the main driver of deforestation and land degradation resulting in the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in north-eastern Madagascar. Vanilla, the region’s main cash crop, is grown in agroforestry systems and may provide an opportunity for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. 2. We used dummy caterpillars to assess predation rates and predator communities along a land-use gradient including unburned old-growth and forest fragments, herbaceous and woody fallows after...

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  • University of Antananarivo
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