What we’re reading: Aug 22, 2014

Who dispersed the seeds?
DNA barcoading applications are now being used on seeds, not to determine the species of the plant but which species dispersed the seeds. In this paper, researchers were able to extract DNA from the surface of the seeds to identify the avian species that regurgitated or defecated it.

Mountain lions? More like city pumas
It’s amazing that mountain lions are able to live in highly urbanized areas such as Los Angeles. However, life for these big cats is not easy. Urbanization creates isolation and therefore inbreeding. This particular puma also developed murderous tendencies, killing offspring and a mate. Allowing for the long-term persistence of mountain lions in LA will take careful planning and monitoring.

Phenotypic test for mito-nuclear discordance
After finding a geographic region of mito-nuclear discordance, the authors studied the feeding success phenotype of salamanders in BC and observed the least successful feeders had the highest mito-nuclear discordance.

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