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Studies focusing on geographical genetic patterns of commensal species and on human history complement each other and provide proxies to trace common colonization events. On Madagascar, the unintentional introduction and spread of the commensal species Rattus rattus by people may have left a living clue of human colonization patterns and history. In this(More)
Using microsatellite markers, we compared the genetic structure of populations of two carabid species, one described as a generalist (commonly found in forest and in open habitats) and the other known as a forest specialist. Both species were sampled in the same forest plots, which were separated from each other by either open or forested areas. At the(More)
Beta-diversity, or how species composition changes with geographical distance, has seldom been studied for different habitats. We present here quantitative estimates of the relationship between geographic distance and similarity of parasitic nematode communities in two closely related rodent host species that live in habitats with very different spatial(More)
Although observations suggest pairwise coevolution in specific ant-plant symbioses, coevolutionary processes have rarely been demonstrated. We report on, what is to the authors' knowledge, the strongest evidence yet for reciprocal adaptation of morphological characters in a species-specific ant-plant mutualism. The plant character is the prostoma, which is(More)
In Madagascar, the black rat, Rattus rattus, is the main reservoir of plague (Yersinia pestis infection), a disease still responsible for hundreds of cases each year in this country. This study used experimental plague challenge to assess susceptibility in wild-caught rats to better understand how R. rattus can act as a plague reservoir. An important(More)
Habitat specialist species are supposed to be more susceptible to variations in local environmental characteristics than generalists. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a comparative analysis on abundance and genetic diversity of forest carabids differing in their habitat requirements. Four species were sampled in forests characterized by abiotic,(More)
We isolated and characterized 10 microsatellite loci in the black rat Rattus rattus (Muridae, Rodentia), a widespread invasive species largely known to cause serious problems in agriculture and human health. Polymorphism was studied in two populations, one from Madagascar and one from Senegal. It ranged from three to 12 alleles in Madagascar, and from two(More)
Using the same set of microsatellite markers, we compared the population genetic structure of two Mastomys species, one being exclusively commensal in southeastern Senegal, and the other being continuously distributed outside villages in this region. Both species were sampled in the same landscape context and at the same spatial scale. According to the(More)
Comprising four allopatric subspecies that exhibit various grades of ant-plant interactions, from diffuse to obligate and symbiotic associations, the Leonardoxa africana complex (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae) provides a good opportunity to investigate the evolutionary history of ant-plant mutualisms. A previous study of the L. africana complex based on(More)