Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista chilena de historia natural]]> vol. 88 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Tail autotomy effects on the escape behavior of the lizard <i>Gonatodes albogularis </i>(Squamata: Sphaerodactylidae), from Córdoba, Colombia</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Caudal autotomy appears to be an adaptation strategy to reduce the risk of being preyed upon. In an encounter with a predator, the prey must reduce the risk of being preyed upon, and one of the strategies that has exerted a strong pressure on selection has been tail loss. In lizards, it has been demonstrated that tail loss reduces the probability of survival in the event of a second attack; therefore, they must resort to new escape strategies to reduce the risk of falling prey. In order to evaluate the effect of tail loss on the escape behavior of Gonatodes albogularis in natural conditions, we took samples from a forest interior population. We expected that individuals that had not lost their tails would allow the predator to get closer than those that had lost it. For each sample, we recorded the following: (1) escape behavior, measured through three distances (e.g., approach distance, escape distance, and final distance); (2) distance to shelter; and (3) length of tail. We included only males in the study since we did not record any females without a tail and far fewer with a regenerated tail RESULTS: We found that tail loss does have an effect on the escape behavior of G. albogularis. Males that have their tails intact allow the predator to come closer, and we found a negative correlation between the approach distance and the length of the tail CONCLUSION: Our results support the escape behavior theory, in which G. albogularis males drop their tails when the risk of predation is much higher than the cost of fleeing. <![CDATA[<b><i>Suaeda foliosa </i></b><b>Moq. (Caryophyllales: Amaranthaceae) first record of the genus and species for Valparaíso Region, Chile</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The purpose of this paper is to present the finding of Suaeda foliosa in El Yali National Reserve, Chile. With this finding, the southern limit of the distribution is displaced from the current position at 31° S, 300 km southward. FINDINGS: In this work, we found this species on the banks of the Colejuda lagoon, 33° 45' S, which belongs to a body of hypersaline seasonal water found inside the protected area distinguished as a Ramsar site (No. 878). The determination of the genus and species was achieved by comparing with herbarium material deposited in the National Herbarium SGO Natural History Museum in Santiago de Chile. Once we identified the species, the collected material was deposited in the referred Herbarium (SGO 163975). pH, salinity, and conductivity of the water column and soil adjacent the three protected lagoons are compared, discussing the unique conditions of the lagoon Colejuda that may explain the presence of S. foliosa only in their environment and not in other water bodies. CONCLUSIONS: It can be concluded that El Yali wetland system harbors the S. foliosa southernmost population of the Americas. <![CDATA[<b>Invasion of North American beaver <i>(Castor canadensis) </i>in the province of Magallanes, southern Chile</b>: <b>comparison between dating sites through interviews with the local community and dendrochronology</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Twenty beavers Castor canadensis (Castoridae) were initially introduced in the Argentinean portion of Tierra del Fuego Island, from where they have occupied most of the Fuegian Archipelago and even reached the continent. This invasion is causing great damage to the subantarctic forest ecosystems, and it is not known how fast the species is spreading. While there is an estimation of this advance using interviews, it is not known how reliable these are and they cannot be made in remote areas. On the mainland, where beavers were present, their date of arrival was estimated using interviews and dendrochronology, and the dates obtained by both methods were compared for each site. RESULTS: Differences were found among the groups of respondents, according to property size, in their ability to detect changes in the environment made by beavers. The dates of arrival estimated through dendrochronology are 23 years prior to those determined through surveys, and they generate a potential route of arrival from the Fuegian Archipelago and migration in the mainland. This route is more parsimonious than the route of dispersal generated through interviews. CONCLUSIONS: Since it was determined that there is no relationship between the dates estimated through surveys and dendrochronology, it is not possible to determine how much lag there is from the time when changes in the environment are produced by beavers and the time when people notice this change. Our results indicate that this lag may not be constant among different groups of people. <![CDATA[<b>Evolution of hematophagous habit in Triatominae (Heteroptera: Reduviidae)</b>]]> All members of Triatominae subfamily (Heteroptera: Reduviidae), potential vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi etiologic agent of the Chagas disease, feed on blood. Through evolution, these bugs have fixed special morphological, physiological, and behavioral aptations (adaptations and exaptations) adequate to feed on blood. Phylogeny suggests that triatomines evolved from predator reduvids which in turn descended from phytophagous hemipterans. Some pleisiomorphic traits developed by the reduvid ancestors of the triatomines facilitated and modeled hematophagy in these insects. Among them, mouthparts, saliva composition, enzymes, and digestive symbionts are the most noticeable. However, the decisive step that allowed the shift from predation to hematophagy was a change of behavior. The association of a predator reduvid with nesting vertebrate (≈110 to 32 Ma) permitted the shift from an arthropod prey to a vertebrate host. In this work, we review the phylogeny and dispersion of triatomines and the current controversy over the monophyly or polyphyly of this group. We also discuss how these insects were able to overcome, and even have taken advantage of, diverse ancestral and physical barriers to adapt to sucking blood of nidicolous vertebrates. We provide a Spanish version of this work. <![CDATA[<b>Evidence that the house finch (<i>Carpodacus mexicanus) </i>uses scent to avoid omnivore mammals</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The detection of predator chemical cues is an important antipredatory behaviour as it allows an early assessment of predation risk without encountering the predator and therefore increases survival. For instance, since chemical cues are often by-products of metabolism, olfaction may gather information not only on the identity but also about the diet of predators in the vicinity. Knowledge of the role of olfaction in the interactions of birds with their environment, in contexts as important as predator avoidance, is still scarce. We conducted two two-choice experiments to explore 1) whether the house finch Carpodacus mexicanus can detect the chemical cues of a marsupial predatory mammal, the common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), and 2) whether its response to such cues is influenced by the recent diet of this omnivorous predator, as this would increase the accuracy with which the risk of predation is assessed. RESULTS: House finches avoided the area of the apparatus containing the scent of the predator, and this effect did not depend on the recent diet (bait used to lace the traps) of the predator. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide clear evidence that house finches detect and use the chemical cues of predators to assess the level of predation risk of an area and avoid it. <![CDATA[<b>Comparative study of moss diversity in South Shetland Islands and in the Antarctic Peninsula</b>]]> BACKGROUND: This paper presents a comparative study of moss diversity in three collection sites in the South Shetland Islands (King George, Elephant, and Nelson Islands) and one in the Antarctic Continent (Hope Bay, Antarctic Peninsula). In the King George, Elephant, and Nelson Islands, the collections were done in ice-free areas during the austral summers of years 1988,1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994. In Hope Bay, the collections were done in the 2009 summer (February). All collections were deposited in the HCB (Chaves Batista Herbarium). FINDINGS: The King George Area is the most diverse area and the Hope Bay has the lowest diversity stats. The diversity stats for each region and the similarities between both are presented. CONCLUSION: This results suggested that harder climatic conditions determine lower diversity for the bryoflora.<hr/>En este trabajo se presenta un estudio comparativo de tres puntos de muestreo de musgos en las Islas Shetland del Sur (Isla Rey Jorge, Elefante y Nelson) y el Continente Antártico (Bahía Esperanza, Península Antártica). En las Islas King George, Elefante y Nelson, se tomaron muestras en las zonas libres de hielo durante los veranos australes de años 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 y 1994. Hope Bay, las colecciones se hicieron en el verano austral de 2009 (febrero). Todas las colecciones fueron depositadas en el herbario de HCB (Herbario Chaves Batista). Los índices de diversidad para cada región se presentan, así como la similitud entre ellos. <![CDATA[<b>Influence of forest type and host plant genetic relatedness on the canopy arthropod community structure of <i>Quercus crassifolia</i></b>]]> BACKGROUND: Quercus crassifolia is an oak species with characteristics of foundation species, which is a canopy dominant element of different forest types that supports a wide diversity of associated species. Therefore, it is an excellent system to address important ecological questions. We analyzed the effect of individual genetic relatedness of the host plant, forest type (Abies-Quercus, Quercus-Pinus, and Quercus forest), and season (dry vs. rainy) on the canopy arthropod community structure. Thirty oak canopies were fogged (five individuals/season/forest type). RESULTS: We identified 442 arthropod species belonging to 22 orders. The highest values of density, diversity, and richness were recorded during the rainy season for each forest type. Also, the non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis showed a separation of the host tree species for each forest type. During the rainy season, the highest values of density, diversity, and richness in each forest type were recorded. A separation of host tree was found for each forest type. In general, diversity and richness of canopy arthropods showed the following pattern: Abies-Quercus > Quercus-Pinus > Quercus, while density showed an inverse pattern. An increase of the diversity of canopy arthropods is significantly related to an increase of host plant genetic diversity, independently of the type of forest and of the season. CONCLUSIONS: In terms of conservation, if arthropod species respond to genetic differences among host plants, it becomes important to conserve genetic diversity of foundation species, since it is fundamental to preserve diversity of their associated arthropod communities. <![CDATA[<b>Morphological characterization under different ecological habitats and physical mapping of 5S and 45S rDNA in <i>Lilium distichum </i>with fluorescence <i>in situ </i>hybridization</b>]]> BACKGROUND: This study was performed to investigate the phenotypic, karyomorphological, and habitat environment characteristics of Lilium distichum that grows naturally in South Korea. Currently, this species follows limited distribution areas and its natural populations are at the brink of extinction mainly due to fragmentation or destruction its natural habitat. RESULTS: This species was distributed between approximately 1,000 and 1,500 m above sea level with an average temperature of 22°C. The soil characteristics surrounding the natural habitats included loamy and silt loam soils having organic matter content (10.82%), pH (5.22), electrical conductivity (EC) (0.37 dS/m), total nitrogen (0.45%), and cation exchange capacity (34.3 cmol+/kg). The peak period of blossoming was between 27 July and 1 August. The maximum number of flowers was observed in Mount Deogyu (2.8), whereas the minimum number of flowers was observed in Mount Jiri (1.3) and Mount Seorak (1.2). Results regarding the number of verticillate leaf, bract counts, and verticillate leaf length and width were highest in Mount Odae, while lowest in the Mount Seorak region. The chromosome complement of L. distichum is 2n = 2x = 24; the length of somatic metaphase chromosomes ranges from 17.01 ± 0.32 μm (chromosome 10) to 32.06 ± 0.35 μm (chromosome 1) with a total length/genome of 261.92 μm. In L. distichum, the presence of 1 pair (two loci) of 5S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and 8 pairs (16 loci) of 45S rDNA was revealed on metaphase chromosomes. One pair of 5S rDNA signal was observed in interstitial region of long arm of chromosome 3 which co-occurred with 45S rDNA. Among the eight pairs of 45SrDNA, three pairs of 45S rDNA signals were observed in short arm of chromosome (chromosome 2, 6, and 7) which were located close to centromere. The other five pairs of 45S rDNA signals were positioned in the interstitial region of long arm (chromosome 3, 4, 5, 10, and 11. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides baseline information regarding the effective exploitation and use of L. distichum resources for breeding research to be used as cut flower and potted plants. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of the efficiency in trapping North American mink <i>(Neovison vison) </i>for population control in Patagonia</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Introduced species can have a major negative impact on biodiversity; an example is the American mink, which was introduced in the 1930s in Patagonia. While there is a consensus that reversing alien mustelids continental scale invasions remains unfeasible, there is little consensus, given a maximum cost or investment, on the feasibility and efficiency of region-wide control or eradication. Thus, our goal was to provide information about efficiency for mink control in Patagonia METHODS: Between January 2009 and February 2013 this study was conducted in ten study sites (4 km to 15 km long) between 39°S to 45°S latitude. Minks were trapped using cage traps operated by two trappers. We estimated the population density at each study site assuming they were close populations, exhibit intrasexual territoriality and the home range of females were smaller than those of males. We obtained a theoretical population and a modeled population from our trapping results. Sixty five minks were trapped over 2190 trap nights (0.03 mink/trap night). Mink captures were higher in the first six days and in the first trapping campaigns. A two person team was able to control a maximum distance of approximately 6 km of river shore by foot and 15 km of sea and lake shores by boat. There was an over linear increase of operational costs as time passed. Our modeled population was 91% of the theoretical population CONCLUSIONS: We believe that to trap and remove a minimum of 70% of the mink population in a region under ideal circumstances, traps should be deployed every 200 m and after the sixth day should be moved to another new transect. We suggest an annual repetition of this strategy as the more efficient for controlling mink populations in terms of trapping success and reduced costs. The number of traps will depend on the number of trappers participating and also on habitat characteristics. <![CDATA[<b>Germination, seedling performance, and root production after simulated partial seed predation of a threatened Atacama Desert shrub</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Seed loss to predators is a common phenomenon across plant communities and an important determinant of plant recruitment. Although seed predators commonly destroy the entire seed, partial seed consumption has been reported for many species; however, the degree to which seed mass loss affects germination dynamics and survival of new individuals has been poorly documented. We simulated seed damage in natural conditions to examine how different levels of cotyledonary reserve removal affect germination dynamics and seedling performance of Myrcianthes coquimbensis (Myrtaceae), a threatened Atacama Desert shrub. The experiment combined two levels of seed maturity with three levels of seed mass loss. RESULTS: Removal of the cotyledon reserves and seed maturity negatively affected the odds and the temporality of seedling emergence; nonetheless, seedlings were able to emerge from seed fragments, of either mature or immature seeds, that lost up to 75% of their original mass. Removal of cotyledonary reserves had negative effects on seedling size but no effect on root:shoot ratios. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that the loss of cotyledonary reserves in M. coquimbensis seeds is not necessarily lethal. Moreover, we posit that tolerance to partial seed consumption is likely a key reproductive strategy, which enables recruitment in this species. <![CDATA[<b>Spatial distribution pattern of <i>Mytilus chilensis </i>beds in the Reloncaví fjord</b>: <b>hypothesis on associated processes</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Natural M. chilensis populations dominate habitats with a steep environmental gradient, and that are characterized by abrupt changes in salinity and exposure to desiccation. Although these populations are the source of seed supplies for the Chilean mussel culture industry (annual production around 250 thousand Tons), knowledge about natural populations is scarce. Based on video transect recordings, this study carries out research into one of the principal mussel beds and its associated epibenthic community in the Reloncaví Fjord, both along cross-shore and along-shore distribution gradients RESULTS: Mytiluschilensis was observed between the middle intertidal zone and the upper subtidal zone (between approximately 9 and 26 psu), with a richer associated community towards the subtidal zone and the fjord mouth. The mussel Condition Index (total meat weight/shell length*100) in the intertidal zone was significantly greater than in the subtidal zone, which raises questions about the reproductive contribution of mussels along the intertidal mid-subtidal gradient CONCLUSIONS: Salinity and tidal variations, together with biological interactions, would seem to be key factors for explaining M. chilensis spatial distribution in the Reloncaví fjord, where beds appear to be in a contraction stage, as evidenced by M. chilensis scarcity towards the subtidal zone. The importance of these populations and their persistence in environments with high perturbation frequency, suggests a monitoring program should be implemented that considers both population spatial distribution and the changing environmental conditions. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of host-plant genetic diversity on oak canopy arthropod community structure in central Mexico</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Recently it has been proposed that the genetic diversity of foundation species influences the structure and function of the community by creating locally stable conditions for other species and modulating ecosystem dynamics. Oak species are an ideal system to test this hypothesis because many of them have a wide geographical distribution, and they are dominant elements of the forest canopy. In this study we explored the response of canopy arthropod community structure (diversity and biomass) to the level of genetic diversity of Quercus crassipes and Q. rugosa, two important canopy species. Also, we examined the effect of oak species and locality on some community structure parameters (diversity, biomass, rare species, and richness of arthropod fauna) of canopy arthropods. In total, 160 canopies were fogged in four localities at the Mexican Valley (ten trees per species per locality per season) RESULTS: Q. crassipes registered the highest number of rare species, diversity index, biomass, and richness in comparison with Q. rugosa. We found a positive and significant relationship between genetic diversity parameters and canopy arthropod diversity. However, canopy arthropod biomass registered an inverse pattern. Our results support the hypothesis that the genetic diversity of the host-plant species influences the assemblage of the canopy arthropod community CONCLUSIONS: The pattern found in our study provides a powerful tool when trying to predict the effects of the genetic diversity of the host-plant species on different community structure parameters, which permits assignment of a new conservation status to foundation species based on their genetic diversity. <![CDATA[<b>Rapid changes in tree composition and biodiversity</b>: <b>consequences of dams on dry seasonal forests</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Plants in a seasonal environment that become close to the artificial lake after dams construction may have enhanced growth or die due to the new conditions. Changes in mortality or growth rates lead to changes in community diversity, and we do not know if the community functions will change; our main hypothesis was that a few years after impoundment, species richness and diversity will increase because the increased supply of water would favor the establishment of water-associated species. Therefore, we evaluated the consequences of proximity of three dry seasonal forests to the water table after damming, with a dynamic evaluation of the species studied to understand changes in diversity in these areas. We sampled 60 plots of 20x10 m in each forest and measured all trees with a diameter equal to or greater than 4.77 cm before damming and 2 and 4 years after damming. We calculated dynamic rates and compared species changes during these periods. We also compared diversity and richness using Shannon index and rarefaction curves. RESULTS: Many species had high dynamic rates and many trees of specialists of dry forests died; conversely, others had high growth rates. Some typical species of riparian forests were found only after damming, also enhancing forest richness in deciduous forests. In general, the deciduous forest communities seemed to change to a typical riparian forest, but many seasonal specialist species still had high recruitment and growth rate, maintaining the seasonal traits, such as dispersion by wind and deciduousness in the forests, where an entire transformation did not occur. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that even with the increment in basal area and recruitment of many new species, the impacts of damming and consequent changes will never lead to the same functions as in a riparian forest. <![CDATA[<b>Morphological variation of <i>Cosmos bipinnatus </i>(Asteraceae) and its relation to abiotic variables in central Mexico</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Morphological variability can lead to serious taxonomic problems in species with wide distribution ranges. Although morphological variability is partly due to ontogenetic programming, abiotic variables can also exert a significant effect on micro- and macromorphological characters. in this paper, we studied the morphological variability (43 characters) of Cosmos bipinnatus associated to different vegetation types in central Mexico. We searched for significant correlations between the overall morphology of C. bipinnatus and abiotic variables such as altitude and soil parameters (pH, organic matter content, NH4,NO3,PO4, total N and total P content). We also analyzed the Simplified Relative Distance Plasticity index (RDPIs). RESULTS: Locality had a significant effect in all but three morphological characters measured. Also, 71.43 % of the characters had a significant correlation with at least one abiotic variable. PO4 content was significantly correlated with paleae characters, while pH had a significant effect in ligule coloration. Discriminant function analysis revealed that C. bipinnatus individuals collected at grasslands and Pinus forests form separate clusters, while individuals collected at scrubs and Quercus forests showed considerable overlap. The RDPIs across all sites showed very low levels of plasticity in almost all characters. CONCLUSIONS: Some abiotic variables (altitude, soil NH4 and PO4 content, and soil pH) largely contribute to the differential phenotypic expression of C. bipinnatus in central Mexico. However, we found that the number of external phyllaries, the trichome length, and the petiole area can be considered diagnostic traits of C. bipinnatus as they did not show differences within and between collected sites. We hypothesize that the low levels of plasticity found in C. bipinnatus across sites is due to the high tolerance of the species to different environmental conditions. <![CDATA[<b>Oak canopy arthropod communities</b>: <b>which factors shape its structure?</b>]]> Canopy of forest ecosystems has been recognized as a habitat that supports a wide variety of plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, and microbes. Within the invertebrate group, arthropods are characterized by their great abundance, diversity, and functional importance. Particularly in temperate forests, species of the genus Quercus (oaks) are one of the most important tree canopy groups, for its diversity and dominance. Different studies have shown that the oak canopy contains a high diversity of arthropods suggesting their importance as habitat for this group of organisms. In this review, we investigated the factors that determine the establishment, organization, and maintenance of arthropod communities in the oak canopy. In general, it was found that there is a lack of literature that addresses the study of oak canopy arthropod communities. Also, the following patterns were found: (a) the research has covered a wide variety of topics; however, there are differences in the depth to which each topic has been analyzed, (b) there are ambiguous criteria to define the structure of the canopy, (c) groups with different habitat preferences belonging to different guilds and uneven development stages have been studied, avoiding generalizations about patterns found, (d) the standardization in sampling techniques and collection has been difficult, (e) bias exists towards the study of phytophagous insects belonging to the Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera orders, and (f) there are few studies in other groups of arthropods, for example, acorn borers, whose activity has an impact on the fitness and dispersion of the host plants. Finally, we propose that the detection and study of patterns in oak canopy communities can be of great value to propose management and conservation strategies in these forests. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluating taxonomic homogenization of freshwater fish assemblages in Chile</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Pervasive introductions of non-native taxa are behind processes of homogenization of various types affecting the global flora and fauna. Chile's freshwater ecosystems encompass a diverse and highly endemic fish fauna that might be sensitive to the introduction of non-native species, an ongoing process that started two centuries ago, but has to date received little attention. Using historical (native) and present-day (native and non-native) presence-absence data sets of compositional similarity, our goal was twofold: (1) evaluate patterns of taxonomic homogenization at various spatial scales and (2) identify clusters of widely versus narrowly distributed species to assess their relative role in compositional changes. We expect that non-native species with wide distributions might have a larger influence in taxonomic homogenization than those with narrow distributions. RESULTS: Chile's fish assemblages have become increasingly homogenized during the last two centuries when evaluating changes in compositional similarity among 201 watersheds (65.3 % of total comparisons showed homogenization) distributed among six defined biotic units. Taxonomic differentiation was significantly more prevalent than taxonomic homogenization within biotic units. Among biotic units, comparisons between historical and current compositional similarity were all significantly different. We identified one cluster of non-native fishes that were distributed across the entire five or six biotic units. This cluster included Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) and Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) as the two most representative species. A second cluster we identified included fishes such that on average spanned only one or two biotic units. CONCLUSIONS: We provide first evidence for an ongoing and large-scale process of taxonomic homogenization among Chile's watersheds occurring at various scales. Our findings provide taxonomic and biogeographic baseline information for management plans and courses of action for conservation of native fishes, many of which are endemic. We also discuss management guidelines of non-native fishes in Chile. Baseline information of both native and non-native fish taxa might be applicable to other isolated regions elsewhere. <![CDATA[<b>The presence of the marsupial <i>Dromiciops gliroides </i>in Parque Nacional Los Alerces, Chubut, Southern Argentina, after the synchronous maturation and flowering of native bamboo and subsequent rodent irruption</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Dromiciops gliroides is a small nocturnal marsupial found in the temperate forests of Southern Chile and Argentina. It is the only living member of the order Microbiotheria. Here, we describe the discovery and first account of live trapping of D. gliroides in Parque Nacional Los Alerces (Los Alerces National Park) in the province of Chubut, Argentina. This account extends the distribution of this cryptic species south to Parque Nacional Los Alerces (PNLA). The study provides a description of the habitat they were captured in after a recent bamboo flowering and seeding event and subsequent rodent irruption, the first in 70 years in PNLA. RESULTS: Four adult D. gliroides were captured during the study period, and both adult females captured had pouch young present, suggesting birth occurred in late October or early November. Habitat surveys revealed D. gliroides inhabited Nothofagus forest. A lack of fruiting plants in PNLA during the trapping period (spring) suggests their diet is likely restricted to insects at this time. No dreys were detected during habitat surveys, and hence, it is likely D. gliroides utilises tree hollows as refuges and nesting sites in PNLA. Significant threats to the population in PNLA were identified including introduced predators and human-related impacts due to farming and tourism. CONCLUSIONS: There is a breeding population of D. gliroides present in Parque Nacional Los Alerces. The newly discovered population now represents the most southern location for D. gliroides in Argentina. <![CDATA[<b><i>Prosopis tamarugo </i>Phil.</b>: <b>a native tree from the Atacama Desert groundwater table depth thresholds for conservation</b>]]> Prosopis tamarugo Phil. is a legume tree native to the Atacama Desert, Chile. Tamarugo has physiological characteristics that are highly adapted to extreme life conditions in the Pampa del Tamarugal. Null precipitation makes tamarugo completely dependent on groundwater, developing in areas where the groundwater depth is closest to the surface. Groundwater extraction for domestic consumption, mining, and agriculture affects the desert ecosystem by lowering the water table. Measuring and describing the impacts on vegetation through the monitoring of physiological variables along with groundwater depletion in salt flats where extraction wells are located has contributed to a better understanding of tamarugo response to this stress factor. Integrated variables such as green canopy fraction, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI),18O isotope enrichment in foliar tissue, and twig growth proved to be far more reactive toward groundwater depth increase and presented lower error values. These variables respond to mechanisms that tamarugo has to maintain a stable water condition when water offer (water table depth (WTD)) decreases regarding water demand (transpiration). Defoliation along with twig growth diminishment would combine toward a canopy reduction strategy in order to reduce water demand. Green biomass loss, beyond a certain WTD, would lead to complete drying of the tamarugo. Up to 10 m of groundwater table depth, Tamarugo grows, has photosynthetic activity, and has the ability to perform pulvinary movements. Beyond 20 m of water table depth, tamarugo survival is compromised and hydraulic failure is inferred to occur. The current scenario is of groundwater over-exploitation; if economic efforts will be made to conserve and/or restore tamarugo, habitat groundwater extraction is a key element in effective management. Reaching of the thresholds depends on the adequate authority management of groundwater. The objectives of this review are (a) to review information collected from scientific studies regarding tamarugo condition and its response, over time, to WTD increase, (b) to identify WTD thresholds that affect tamarugo's functioning, and (c) to propose a sequence of physiological events triggered by groundwater (GW) depletion. <![CDATA[<b>Differentiation and characterization of burrows of two species of armadillos in the Brazilian Cerrado</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Signs left by some mammals such as tracks, trails, burrows, scratches, feces, hair, and others can be an important tool for species identification. This study was conducted in the Itirapina Ecological Station, in the southern Brazilian Cerrado, whose main objectives were to (1) compare the burrow morphometric variables of Cabassous unicinctus and Euphractus sexcinctus and (2) check for differences in the occurrence of foraging burrows in two different environments: areas with vegetation (shrubby grassland) and areas without vegetation (roads). The collected measures of armadillo's burrows have been width, height, depth, and angle relative to the soil. To record foraging burrows (<70 cm), the linear transect methodology was used simultaneously in roads and shrubby grassland environments RESULTS: In a shrubby grassland environment of the Itirapina Ecological Station, a density of 121 burrows/ha pertaining to C. unicinctus and of 277 to E. sexcinctus was observed. Although there is overlap between them, morphometric variables were used to measure the burrows; significant differences were observed in all: depth, p < 0.001; ratio, p < 0.001; perimeter of the ellipse (perimeter), p < 0.001; and angle of excavation relative to the soil, p < 0.001. There was an observed interaction between the variables p < 0.001 for Wilk test. The PCA analysis evidenced two highly distinct groups of burrows, which corresponded to the initial visual classification. The variance explained by axes 1 and 2 was 83.18 %. The variable that most influenced the distinction of the burrows of the species was the perimeter. There was a density of 114 foraging burrows/ha across the roads and 42 in shrubby grassland. The results of the ANOVA, p < 0.05, and Tukey test, p < 0.05, demonstrate significant difference between the mean densities of foraging burrows in the said environments. This indicates that armadillos use the area devoid of vegetation to feed CONCLUSIONS: Thus, this study provides information that can assist in the surveys of these species as well as to clarify aspects of its ecology in the Cerrado