Publications

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an epizootic of avian pox in endemic short-toed larks (calandrella rufescens) and berthelot's pipits (anthus berthelotti) in the canary islands, spain.between january 2002 and november 2003, 50% (n = 395) of short-toed larks (calandrella rufescens) and 28% (n = 139) of berthelot's pipits (anthus berthelotti) examined on the islands of fuerteventura and lanzarote, canary islands, had gross lesions compatible with avian pox. however, spanish sparrows (passer hispaniolensis, n = 128) and trumpeter finches (bucanetes githagineus, n = 228), which inhabit the same steppe habitats associated with goat husbandry, did not have poxlike lesions. histopat ...200515657273
an avifaunal survey of mesic manmade ecosystems "oases" in algerian hot-hyperarid lands.man made ecosystems of dry lands are key habitats due to their ecological characteristics to survey biodiversity. this study investigated bird diversity in three oases of the northern algerian sahara (i.e., biskra in 2006, oued souf in 2008 and ouargla in 2009), by using the spot-mapping method. bird density "d" (pairs/10 ha), species richness "s" (number species), diversity (shannon index) "h'" (in bits), and evenness "e" varied from one oasis to another (biskra: d = 98.5, s = 47, h' = 4.49, e  ...201323961217
strong selection on male plumage in a hybrid zone between a hybrid bird species and one of its parents.homoploid hybrid speciation (hhs) requires reproductive barriers between hybrid and parent species, despite incomplete reproductive isolation (ri) between the parents. novel secondary sexual trait values in hybrids may cause prezygotic isolation from both parents, whereas signals inherited by the hybrid from one parent species may cause prezygotic isolation with the other. here we investigate whether differences in male plumage function as a premating barrier between the hybrid italian sparrow a ...201525940369
north african hybrid sparrows (passer domesticus, p. hispaniolensis) back from oblivion - ecological segregation and asymmetric mitochondrial introgression between parental species.a stabilized hybrid form of the house sparrow (passer domesticus) and the spanish sparrow (p. hispaniolensis) is known as passer italiae from the italian peninsula and a few mediterranean islands. the growing attention for the italian hybrid sparrow and increasing knowledge on its biology and genetic constitution greatly contrast the complete lack of knowledge of the long-known phenotypical hybrid sparrow populations from north africa. our study provides new data on the breeding biology and vari ...201627551376
histological and biochemical biomarkers analysis reveal strong toxicological impacts of pollution in hybrid sparrow (passer domesticus × passer hispaniolensis) in southern tunisia.environmental pollution is a great concern worldwide. our aim was to investigate the histopathological injuries and oxidative stress induced by exposure to contaminants in liver tissues of hybrid sparrows (passer domesticus × passer hispaniolensis) living in gabès city, which is one of the most polluted hot spot in tunisia. our results show evidence of a pronounced impairment in liver function which is confirmed by histopathological changes as well as remarkable blood chemical alterations in spa ...201728612310
expression and phylogenetic analyses reveal paralogous lineages of putatively classical and non-classical mhc-i genes in three sparrow species (passer).the major histocompatibility complex (mhc) plays a central role in immunity and has been given considerable attention by evolutionary ecologists due to its associations with fitness-related traits. songbirds have unusually high numbers of mhc class i (mhc-i) genes, but it is not known whether all are expressed and equally important for immune function. classical mhc-i genes are highly expressed, polymorphic and present peptides to t-cells whereas non-classical mhc-i genes have lower expression, ...201728651571
hybrid speciation in sparrows i: phenotypic intermediacy, genetic admixture and barriers to gene flow.homoploid hybrid speciation is thought to require unusual circumstances to yield reproductive isolation from the parental species, and few examples are known from nature. here, we present genetic evidence for this mode of speciation in birds. using bayesian assignment analyses of 751 individuals genotyped for 14 unlinked, nuclear microsatellite loci, we show that the phenotypically intermediate italian sparrow (passer italiae) does not form a cluster of its own, but instead exhibits clear admixt ...201121771138
hybrid speciation in sparrows ii: a role for sex chromosomes?homoploid hybrid speciation in animals is poorly understood, mainly because of the scarcity of well-documented cases. here, we present the results of a multilocus sequence analysis on the house sparrow (passer domesticus), spanish sparrow (p. hispaniolensis) and their proposed hybrid descendant, the italian sparrow (p. italiae). the italian sparrow is shown to be genetically intermediate between the house sparrow and spanish sparrow, exhibiting genealogical discordance and a mosaic pattern of al ...201121762432
morphology-function relationships and repeatability in the sperm of passer sparrows.sperm performance is likely to be an important determinant of male reproductive success, especially when females copulate with multiple males. understanding sperm performance is therefore crucial to fully understand the evolution of male reproductive strategies. in this study, we examined the repeatability of sperm morphology and motility measures over three breeding seasons, and we studied relationships between sperm morphology and function. we conducted this study in wild-derived captive house ...201525427840
evidence for mito-nuclear and sex-linked reproductive barriers between the hybrid italian sparrow and its parent species.studies of reproductive isolation between homoploid hybrid species and their parent species have rarely been carried out. here we investigate reproductive barriers between a recently recognized hybrid bird species, the italian sparrow passer italiae and its parent species, the house sparrow p. domesticus and spanish sparrow p. hispaniolensis. reproductive barriers can be difficult to study in hybrid species due to lack of geographical contact between taxa. however, the italian sparrow lives para ...201424415954
local adaptation within a hybrid species.ecological divergence among populations may be strongly influenced by their genetic background. for instance, genetic admixture through introgressive hybridization or hybrid speciation is likely to affect the genetic variation and evolvability of phenotypic traits. we studied geographic variation in two beak dimensions and three other phenotypic traits of the italian sparrow (passer italiae), a young hybrid species formed through interbreeding between house sparrows (p. domesticus) and spanish s ...201323695379
hybrid speciation through sorting of parental incompatibilities in italian sparrows.speciation by hybridization is emerging as a significant contributor to biological diversification. yet, little is known about the relative contributions of (i) evolutionary novelty and (ii) sorting of pre-existing parental incompatibilities to the build-up of reproductive isolation under this mode of speciation. few studies have addressed empirically whether hybrid animal taxa are intrinsically isolated from their parents, and no study has so far investigated by which of the two aforementioned ...201425208037
rapid polygenic response to secondary contact in a hybrid species.secondary contact between closely related species can have genetic consequences. competition for essential resources may lead to divergence in heritable traits that reduces interspecific competition leading to increased rate of genetic divergence. conversely, hybridization and backcrossing can lead to genetic convergence. here, we study a population of a hybrid species, the italian sparrow (passer italiae), before and after it came into secondary contact with one of its parent species, the spani ...201728446700
molecular diversification of the seminal fluid proteome in a recently diverged passerine species pair.seminal fluid proteins (sfps) mediate an array of postmating reproductive processes that influence fertilization and fertility. as such, it is widely held that sfps may contribute to postmating, prezygotic reproductive barriers between closely related taxa. we investigated seminal fluid (sf) diversification in a recently diverged passerine species pair (passer domesticus and passer hispaniolensis) using a combination of proteomic and comparative evolutionary genomic approaches. first, we charact ...202031665510
nephrotoxicity in hybrid sparrow (passer domesticus × passer hispaniolensis) living near a phosphate treatment factory complex in southern tunisia: a biochemical and histological study.our study was designed to evaluate impacts of exposure to pollutants, released by the gabès-ghannouche factory complex of phosphate treatment, on biochemical biomarkers and histopathological indices in kidney tissues of hybrid sparrow (passer domesticus × passer hispaniolensis) in gabès city. our results show evidence of a pronounced impairment in kidney function which is confirmed by remarkable blood chemical alterations in sparrows living in ghannouche, the most polluted site. moreover, supero ...201829564705
genetic admixture despite ecological segregation in a north african sparrow hybrid zone (aves, passeriformes, passer domesticus × passer hispaniolensis).under different environmental conditions, hybridization between the same species might result in different patterns of genetic admixture. particularly, species pairs with large distribution ranges and long evolutionary history may have experienced several independent hybridization events over time in different zones of overlap. in birds, the diverse hybrid populations of the house sparrow (passer domesticus) and the spanish sparrow (passer hispaniolensis) provide a striking example. throughout t ...201931788209
host migration strategy and blood parasite infections of three sparrow species sympatrically breeding in southeast europe.mobile hosts like birds occupy a wide array of habitats in which they encounter various vector and parasite faunas. if the infection probability for vector-borne parasites varies among seasons and biomes, a migratory life can critically influence the infections of a host. the growing body of literature on avian blood parasites suggests that host migrations do not only influence prevalence of infection but can also evoke higher infection intensities and increased parasite diversity in migrant com ...201830232606
moult-related reduction of aerobic scope in passerine birds.it is well established that the nutrient and energy requirements of birds increase substantially during moult, but it is not known if these increased demands affect their aerobic capacity. we quantified the absolute aerobic scope of house and spanish sparrows, passer domesticus and p. hispaniolensis, respectively, before and during sequential stages of their moult period. the absolute aerobic scope (aas) is the difference between maximum metabolic rate (mmr) during peak locomotor activities and ...201930874899
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