Brent C Emerson

Brent C Emerson
Spanish National Research Council | CSIC · Department of Agrobiology and the Environment

BSc Hons, PhD

About

443
Publications
65,998
Reads
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10,391
Citations
Citations since 2016
86 Research Items
6065 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,000
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,000
Additional affiliations
April 2011 - present
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • www.brentemerson.com
Education
January 1987 - December 1994
University of Otago
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (443)
Article
Full-text available
Soils harbour a rich arthropod fauna, but many species are still not formally described (Linnaean shortfall) and the distribution of those already described is poorly understood (Wallacean shortfall). Metabarcoding holds much promise to fill this gap, however, nuclear copies of mitochondrial genes, and other artefacts lead to taxonomic inflation, w...
Article
Current understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes underlying island biodiversity is heavily shaped by empirical data from plants and birds, although arthropods comprise the overwhelming majority of known animal species, and as such can provide key insights into processes governing biodiversity. Novel high throughput sequencing (HTS) ap...
Preprint
Full-text available
Landscape heterogeneity and the reconfiguration of host plant distributions as a consequence of Quaternary climate oscillations are suggested to play a determinant role in shaping the evolutionary history of herbivorous insects. The cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, is a southern South American phytophagous insect specialized in the use of cacti...
Article
Full-text available
Metazoan metabarcoding is emerging as an essential strategy for inventorying biodiversity, with diverse projects currently generating massive quantities of community-level data. The potential for integrating across such data sets offers new opportunities to better understand biodiversity and how it might respond to global change. However, large-sca...
Article
Full-text available
Most of our understanding of island diversity comes from the study of aboveground systems, while the patterns and processes of diversification and community assembly for belowground biotas remain poorly understood. Here we take advantage of a relatively young and dynamic oceanic island to advance our understanding of eco‐evolutionary processes driv...
Article
Full-text available
Specialisation to the soil environment is expected to constrain the spatial scale of diversification within animal lineages. In this context, flightless arthropod lineages, adapted to soil environments, but with broad geographical ranges, represent something of an anomaly. Here we investigate the diversification process within one such ‘anomalous’...
Article
Full-text available
Dispersal ability is known to influence geographical structuring of genetic variation within species, with a direct relationship between low vagility and population genetic structure, which can potentially give rise to allopa-tric speciation. However, our general understanding of the relationship between dispersal ability, population differentiatio...
Preprint
Our current understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes underlying island biodiversity is heavily shaped by empirical data from plants and birds, although arthropods comprise the overwhelming majority of known animal species. This is due to inherent problems with obtaining high-quality arthropod data. Novel high throughput sequencing app...
Preprint
Most of our understanding of island diversity comes from the study of aboveground systems, while the patterns and processes of diversification and community assembly for belowground biotas remain poorly understood. Here we take advantage of a relatively young and dynamic oceanic island to advance our understanding of eco-evolutionary processes driv...
Article
Full-text available
Disentangling the relative role of environmental filtering and spatial processes in driving metacommunity structure across mountainous regions remains challenging, as the way we quantify spatial connectivity in topographically and environmentally heterogeneous landscapes can influence our perception of which process predominates. More empirical dat...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Habitat diversity has been linked to the diversity and structure of island communities, however, little is known about patterns and processes within habitats. Here we aim to determine the contributions of habitat type and inferred dispersal frequency to the differences in taxonomic structure between assemblages in the same island habitat. Loca...
Article
Full-text available
Metabarcoding of DNA extracted from community samples of whole organisms (whole organism community DNA, wocDNA) is increasingly being applied to terrestrial, marine and freshwater metazoan communities to provide rapid, accurate and high resolution data for novel molecular ecology research. The growth of this field has been accompanied by considerab...
Article
Neutral theory proposes that dispersal stochasticity is one of the main drivers of local diversity. Haplotypes‐level genetic variation can now be efficiently sampled from across whole communities, thus making it possible to test neutral predictions from the genetic to species‐level diversity, and higher. However, empirical data is still limited, wi...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity accumulates hierarchically by means of ecological and evolutionary processes and feedbacks. Within ecological communities drift, dispersal, speciation, and selection operate simultaneously to shape patterns of biodiversity. Reconciling the relative importance of these is hindered by current models and inference methods, which tend to f...
Preprint
Disentangling the relative role of environmental filtering and dispersal limitation in driving metacommunity structure across mountainous regions remains challenging, as the way we quantify spatial connectivity in topographically and environmentally heterogeneous landscapes can influence our perception of which process predominates. More empirical...
Preprint
Disentangling the relative role of environmental filtering and dispersal limitation in driving metacommunity structure across mountainous regions remains challenging, as the way we quantify spatial connectivity in topographically and environmentally heterogeneous landscapes can influence our perception of which process predominates. More empirical...
Preprint
Full-text available
Metabarcoding of DNA extracted from community samples of whole organisms (whole organism community DNA, wocDNA) is increasingly being applied to terrestrial, marine and freshwater metazoan communities to provide rapid, accurate and high resolution data for novel molecular ecology research. The growth of this field has been accompanied by considerab...
Preprint
Metabarcoding of DNA extracted from community samples of whole organisms (whole organism community DNA, wocDNA) is increasingly being applied to terrestrial, marine and freshwater metazoan communities to provide rapid, accurate and high resolution data for novel molecular ecology research. The growth of this field has been accompanied by considerab...
Article
Aim To (a) evaluate whether colonization of newly emerged high-elevation habitats occurred from neighbouring highlands (allopatric divergence and niche conservatism) or from within the same mountain (peripatric or parapatric divergence and niche shift) and (b) test for the effect of past landscape configurations in geographically structuring biodiv...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Baezia Alonso-Zarazaga & García, 1999 is endemic to the Canary Islands, where four species were known to date. Based on morphological evidence, three new species of Baezia are described in this study: Baezia aranfaybo García & López, sp. nov. from El Hierro island, and Baezia madai García & Oromí sp. nov. and Baezia tizziri García & Andúj...
Article
Dispersal limitation has been recurrently suggested to shape both macroecological patterns and microevolutionary processes within invertebrates. However, because of potential interactions among biological, environmental, temporal, and spatial variables, causal links among flight-related traits, diversification and spatial patterns of community asse...
Article
Full-text available
Oceanic island archipelagos provide excellent models to understand evolutionary processes. Colonization events and gene flow can interact with selection to shape genetic variation at different spatial scales. Landscape-scale variation in biotic and abiotic factors may drive fine-scale selection within islands, while long-term evolutionary processes...
Article
Metabarcoding of Metazoa using mitochondrial genes may be confounded by both the accumulation of PCR and sequencing artefacts and the co‐amplification of nuclear mitochondrial pseudogenes (NUMTs). The application of read abundance thresholds and denoising methods is efficient in reducing noise accompanying authentic mitochondrial amplicon sequence...
Article
Full-text available
High‐throughput sequencing (HTS) is increasingly being used for the characterisation and monitoring of biodiversity. If applied in a structured way, across broad geographic scales, it offers the potential for a much deeper understanding of global biodiversity through the integration of massive quantities of molecular inventory data generated indepe...
Article
Montane cloud forests are areas of high endemism, and are one of the more vulnerable terrestrial ecosystems to climate change. Thus, understanding how they both contribute to the generation of biodiversity, and will respond to ongoing climate change, are important and related challenges. The widely accepted model for montane cloud forest dynamics i...
Article
In Focus: Scalercio, S., Cini, A., Menchetti, M., Vodă, R., Bonelli, S., Bordoni, A., … Dapporto, L. (2020). How long is 3 km for a butterfly? Ecological constraints and functional traits explain high mitochondrial genetic diversity between Sicily and the Italian Peninsula. Journal of Animal Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365‐2656.13196. Biotic...
Article
Full-text available
Soil arthropod communities are highly diverse and critical for ecosystem functioning. However, our knowledge of spatial structure and the underlying processes of community assembly is scarce, hampered by limited empirical data on species diversity and turnover. We implement a high‐throughput‐sequencing approach to generate comparative data for thou...
Article
Full-text available
Phylogenetic relatedness is a key diversity measure for the analysis and understanding of how species and communities evolve across time and space. Understanding the nonrandom loss of species with respect to phylogeny is also essential for better-informed conservation decisions. However, several factors are known to influence phylogenetic reconstru...
Preprint
Full-text available
Soil mesofauna communities are hyperdiverse and critical for ecosystem functioning. However, our knowledge on spatial structure and underlying processes of community assembly for soil arthropods is scarce, hampered by limited empirical data on species diversity and turnover. We implement a high-throughput-sequencing approach to generate comparative...
Preprint
Full-text available
Metabarcoding of Metazoa using mitochondrial genes may be confounded by both the accumulation of PCR and sequencing artefacts and the co-amplification of nuclear mitochondrial pseudogenes (NUMTs). The application of read abundance thresholds and denoising methods is efficient in reducing noise accompanying authentic mitochondrial amplicon sequence...
Article
Full-text available
Background: There is an increasing demand for databases including species trait information for biodiversity and community ecology studies. The existence of trait databases is useful for comparative studies within taxa or geographical regions, but there is low availability of databases for certain organisms. Here we present an open access function...
Article
Full-text available
Geographic isolation substantially contributes to species endemism on oceanic islands when speciation involves the colonisation of a new island. However, less is understood about the drivers of speciation within islands. What is lacking is a general understanding of the geographic scale of gene flow limitation within islands, and thus the spatial s...
Article
Recent biological analyses suggest that reductions in dispersal ability have been key drivers of diversification across numerous lineages. We synthesise emerging data to highlight similarities regarding the causes and consequences of dispersal reduction across taxa and ecosystems, as well as the diverse genomic mechanisms underpinning these shifts....
Preprint
Full-text available
Biodiversity accumulates hierarchically by means of ecological and evolutionary processes and feedbacks. Reconciling the relative importance of these processes is hindered by current theory, which tends to focus on a single spatial, temporal or taxonomic scale. We introduce a mechanistic model of community assembly, rooted in classic island biogeog...
Article
The study of biodiversity started as a single unified field that spanned both ecology and evolution and both macro and micro phenomena. But over the 20th century, major trends drove ecology and evolution apart and pushed an emphasis towards the micro perspective in both disciplines. Macroecology and macroevolution re‐emerged as self‐consciously dis...
Article
Full-text available
High-throughput DNA methods hold great promise for phylogenetic analysis of lineages that are difficult to study with conventional molecular and morphological approaches. The mites (Acari), and in particular the highly diverse soil-dwelling lineages, are among the least known branches of the metazoan Tree-of-Life. We extracted numerous minute mites...
Article
Understanding the drivers of speciation within islands is key to explain the high levels of invertebrate diversification and endemism often observed within islands. Here, we propose an insular topoclimate model for Quaternary diversification (ITQD), and test the general prediction that, within a radially eroded conical island, glacial climate condi...
Article
Full-text available
The genus Barretonus Roudier, 1958 is a genus endemic to Macaronesia, described from the archipelago of Madeira where four species are known to date. In this study, two new species of Barretonus, B. auarita García & Oromí sp. nov. (from La Palma, Canary Islands) and B. daute García & Andújar sp. nov. (from Tenerife, Canary Islands), are described b...
Article
Niche and dispersal ability are key traits for explaining the geographical structuring of species into discrete populations, and its evolutionary significance. Beyond their individual effects, the interplay between species niche and its geographic limits, together with the evolutionary lability of dispersal ability, can underpin trait diversificati...
Poster
Full-text available
Biodiversity genomics is a new and fast-growing discipline that uses large-scale DNA data to study species diversity and the processes that generate and maintain this diversity. Genomic technologies have enormous potential for establishing efficient biodiversity monitoring of island communities, in an effort to mitigate the impacts of global change...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Understanding speciation as a process on islands, particularly speciation within individual islands, is key to explain the high levels of invertebratespeciation that characterise many oceanic islands and archipelagos. Radiations of invertebrategenera, whether presumed to be adaptive or non-adaptive, have been the subject of a rich history of molecu...
Article
Aim Using two genera of springtail, Lepidocyrtus and Entomobrya (Collembola), we test for genetic signatures of Pleistocene persistence of soil arthropods in Great Britain. Location Great Britain. Methods A region of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene was sequenced for 1,150 Collembola specimens from the genera Lepidocyrtus and Ent...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The diversity and evolutionary success of beetles (Coleoptera) are proposed to be related to the diversity of plants on which they feed. Indeed, the largest beetle suborder, Polyphaga, mostly includes plant eaters among its approximately 315,000 species. In particular, plants defend themselves with a diversity of specialized toxic chem...
Article
Full-text available
Introgression, the transmission of genetic material of one taxon into another through hybridization, can have various evolutionary outcomes. Previous studies have detected signs of introgression between western populations of the Mexican endemic and threatened spiny-tailed iguana, Ctenosaura pectinata. However, the extent of this phenomenon along t...
Article
Full-text available
Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) represent one of the most diverse groups of organisms on Earth; interactions with their host plants have been recognized to play a central role in their remarkable diversity, yet the exact mechanisms and factors still remain poorly understood. Using phylogenetic comparative analyses, here we investigate the evol...
Article
Aim Quantifying abundance distributions is critical for understanding both how communities assemble, and how community structure varies through time and space, yet estimating abundances requires considerable investment in fieldwork. Community‐level population genetic data potentially offer a powerful way to indirectly infer richness, abundance and...
Poster
Full-text available
Understanding the drivers and dynamics of speciation within oceanic islands is fundamental to achieve a process-based understanding of the assembly and structure of island communities. While there has been much interest in the non-neutral drivers of divergent evolution within islands, such as natural selection, there has been less focus on neutral...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding patterns of community structure and the causes for their variation can be furthered by comparative biogeographic analyses of island biotas. We used woody plant data at the local scale to investigate variations in species rarity, alpha, beta, and gamma diversity within and between three islands from the oceanic archipelagoes of Azores,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim Quantifying abundance distributions is critical for understanding both how communities assemble, and how community structure varies through time and space, yet estimating abundances requires considerable investment in field work. Community-level population genetic data potentially offer a powerful way to indirectly infer richness, abundance, an...
Article
The recurrence of fires has increased considerably due to human activity, affecting even forests where traditionally fire is uncommon. In this study, we verify the effects of degradation caused by fire in the Canarian laurel forests, which is a subtropical forest formation restricted to the humid montane areas of these Macaronesian islands. We eval...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The diversity and evolutionary success of beetles (Coleoptera) are proposed to be related to the diversity of plants on which they feed. Indeed the largest beetle suborder, Polyphaga, mostly includes plant-eaters among its ~315,000 species. In particular, plants defend themselves with a diversity of specialized toxic chemicals. These may...
Article
Metabarcoding of complex metazoan communities is increasingly being used to measure biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems, revolutionizing our ability to observe patterns and infer processes regarding the origin and conservation of biodiversity. A fundamentally important question is which genetic marker to amplify, and alth...
Article
Full-text available
Islands harbour evolutionary and ecologically unique biota, which are currently disproportionately threatened by a multitude of anthropogenic factors, including habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. Native forests on oceanic islands are important refugia for endemic species, many of which are rare and highly threatened. Long-term monit...
Article
Anagenesis and cladogenesis are fundamental evolutionary concepts, but are increasingly being adopted as speciation models in the field of island biogeography. Here, we review the origin of the terms 'anagenetic' and 'cladogenetic' speciation, critique their utility, and finally suggest alternative terminology that better describes the geographical...