290 Works

Limited mass-independent individual variation in resting metabolic rate in a wild population of snow voles (Chionomys nivalis)

Andres Hagmayer, Glauco Camenisch, Cindy Canale, Erik Postma & Timothée Bonnet
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a potentially important axis of physiological adaptation to the thermal environment. However, our understanding of the causes and consequences of individual variation in RMR in the wild is hampered by a lack of data, as well as analytical challenges. RMR measurements in the wild are generally characterized by large measurement errors and a strong dependency on mass. The latter is problematic when assessing the ability of RMR to evolve independently...

Data from: Resource heterogeneity and the evolution of public-goods cooperation

Peter Stilwell, Siobhan O'Brien, Elze Hesse, Chris Lowe, Andy Gardner & Angus Buckling
Heterogeneity in resources is a ubiquitous feature of natural landscapes affecting many aspects of biology. However, the effect of environmental heterogeneity on the evolution of cooperation has been less well studied. Here, using a mixture of theory and experiments measuring siderophore production by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a model for public-goods based cooperation, we show that cooperation in metapopulations that were spatially heterogeneous in terms of resources can be maintained at a higher level...

A large-scale assessment of plant dispersal mode and seed traits across human-modified Amazonian forests

Joseph Hawes, Ima Vieira, Luiz Magnago, Erika Berenguer, Joice Ferreira, Luiz Aragão, Amanda Cardoso, Alexander Lees, Gareth Lennox, Joseph Tobias, Anthony Waldron & Jos Barlow
1. Quantifying the impact of habitat disturbance on ecosystem function is critical for understanding and predicting the future of tropical forests. Many studies have examined post-disturbance changes in animal traits related to mutualistic interactions with plants, but the effect of disturbance on plant traits in diverse forests has received much less attention. 2. Focusing on two study regions in the eastern Brazilian Amazon, we used a trait-based approach to examine how seed dispersal functionality within...

Data from: Whole-chromosome hitchhiking driven by a male-killing endosymbiont

Simon Martin, Kumar Singh, Ian Gordon, Kennedy Omufwoko, Steve Collins, Ian Warren, Hannah Munby, Oskar Brattström, Walther Traut, Dino Martins, David Smith, Chris Jiggins, Chris Bass & Richard French-Constant
Neo-sex chromosomes are found in many taxa, but the forces driving their emergence and spread are poorly understood. The female-specific neo-W chromosome of the African monarch (or queen) butterfly Danaus chrysippus presents an intriguing case study because it is restricted to a single ‘contact zone’ population, involves a putative colour patterning supergene, and co-occurs with infection by the the male-killing endosymbiont Spiroplasma. We investigated the origin and evolution of this system using whole genome sequencing....

Using cumulative impact mapping to prioritise marine conservation efforts in Equatorial Guinea

Brittany T. Trew, Hedley S. Grantham, Christian Barrientos, Tim Collins, Philip D. Doherty, Angela Formia, Brendan J. Godley, Sara M. Maxwell, Richard J. Parnell, Stephen K. Pikesley, Dominic Tilley, Matthew J. Witt & Kristian Metcalfe
Marine biodiversity is under extreme pressure from anthropogenic activity globally, leading to calls to protect at least 10% of the world’s oceans within marine protected areas (MPAs) and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2020. Fulfilling such commitments, however, requires a detailed understanding of the distribution of potentially detrimental human activities, and their predicted impacts. One such approach that is being increasingly used to strengthen our understanding of human impacts is cumulative impact mapping; as...

Data from: Evolutionary diversity in tropical tree communities peaks at intermediate precipitation

Danilo M. Neves, Kyle G. Dexter, Timothy R. Baker, Fernanda Coelho De Souza, Ary T. Oliveira-Filho, Luciano P. Queiroz, Haroldo C. Lima, Marcelo F. Simon, Gwilym P. Lewis, Ricardo A. Segovia, Luzmila Arroyo, Carlos Reynel, José L. Marcelo-Peña, Isau Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Daniel Villarroel, G. Alexander Parada, Aniceto Daza, Reynaldo Linares-Palomino, Leandro V. Ferreira, Rafael P. Salomão, Geovane S. Siqueira, Marcelo T. Nascimento, Claudio N. Fraga & R. Toby Pennington
Global patterns of species and evolutionary diversity in plants are primarily determined by a temperature gradient, but precipitation gradients may be more important within the tropics, where plant species richness is positively associated with the amount of rainfall. The impact of precipitation on the distribution of evolutionary diversity, however, is largely unexplored. Here we detail how evolutionary diversity varies along precipitation gradients by bringing together a comprehensive database on the composition of angiosperm tree communities...

Data from: Structure from motion photogrammetry: does the choice of software matter for Ecology?

Joel Forsmoo, Karen Anderson, Christopher Macleod, Mark Wilkinson, Leon DeBell & Richard Brazier
Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and Multiview-Stereo (MVS) is emerging as a flexible, self-service, remote sensing tool for generating fine-grained digital surface models (DSMs) in the Earth sciences and ecology. However, drone-based SfM+MVS applications have developed at a rapid pace over the past decade and there are now many software options available for data processing. Consequently, understanding of reproducibility issues caused by variations in software choice and their influence on data quality is relatively poorly understood. This understanding...

Data from: Analysis of direct and indirect genetic effects in fighting sea anemones

Sarah Lane, Alastair Wilson & Mark Briffa
Theoretical models of animal contests such as the Hawk-Dove game predict that variation in fighting behaviour will persist due to mixed evolutionarily stable strategies (ESS) under certain conditions. However, the genetic basis for this variation is poorly understood and a mixed ESS for fighting can be interpreted in more than one way. Specifically, we do not know whether variation in aggression within a population arises from among-individual differences in fixed strategy (determined by an individual’s...

Contrasting impacts of a novel specialist vector on multi-host viral pathogen epidemiology in wild and managed bees

Robyn Manley, Ben Temperton, Mike Boots & Wilfert Lena
Typically pathogens infect multiple host species. Such multi-host pathogens can show considerable variation in their degree of infection and transmission specificity, which has important implications for potential disease emergence. Transmission of multi-host pathogens can be driven by key host species and changes in such transmission networks can lead to disease emergence. We study two viruses that show contrasting patterns of prevalence and specificity in managed honeybees and wild bumblebees, black queen cell virus (BQCV) and...

Data from: Morphological and physiological consequences of a dietary restriction during early life in bats

Magali Meniri, Doriane Hebinger, Mahaut Sorlin, Marine Ramirez, Emilie Kaufmann, Gaetan Glauser, Armelle Vallat, Nicolas Fasel & Fabrice Helfenstein
Early life adverse conditions can have major consequences on an individual’s life history traits. Oxidative stress has been hypothesized to be one main mechanism underlying the negative consequences of early life adverse conditions. To test this hypothesis, we restricted the food availability of Seba’s short-tailed bat (Carollia perspicillata) mothers of unweaned pups for 10 days, followed by ad libitum provisioning. We also had a control, unrestricted group. We explored the morphological consequences of dietary restriction...

Data from: An X-linked meiotic drive allele has strong, recessive fitness costs in female Drosophila pseudoobscura

Nina Wedell
Selfish ‘meiotic drive’ alleles are transmitted to >50% of offspring, allowing them to rapidly invade populations even if they reduce the fitness of individuals carrying them. Theory predicts that drivers should either fix or go extinct, yet some drivers defy these predictions by persisting at low, stable frequencies for decades. One possible explanation for this discrepancy is that drivers are especially costly when homozygous, although empirical tests of this idea are rare and equivocal. Here,...

Towards a comparative approach to the structure of animal personality variation

Stephen White, David Pascall & Alastair Wilson
Latent personality traits underpinning observed behavioral variation have been studied in a great many species. However, a lack of standardized behavioral assays, coupled to a common reliance on inferring personality from a single, observed, behavioral trait makes it difficult to determine if, when, and how conclusions can be directly compared across taxa. Here, we estimate the among-individual (co)variance structure (ID) for a set of four behaviors expressed in an open field trial, putatively indicative of...

Future of the Human Climate Niche

Chi Xu, Timothy Kohler, Timothy Lenton, Jens-Christian Svenning & Marten Scheffer
All species have an environmental niche and despite technological advance humans are unlikely to be an exception. Here, we demonstrate that for millennia human populations have resided in the same narrow part of the climatic envelope available on the globe, characterized by mean annual temperatures (MAT) of ~11-15 °C. Current production of crops and livestock is largely limited to the same conditions. We subsequently show that in a business-as-usual climate-change scenario the geographical position of...

Grazing intensity significantly changes the C:N:P stoichiometry in grassland ecosystems

Guiyao Zhou, Miao He, Tengfei Yuan, Kees Jan Van Groenigen, Junjiong Shao & Xuhui Zhou
Aim: Livestock grazing can alter carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycles, thereby affecting the C:N:P stoichiometry in grasslands. In this study, we aimed to examine the underlying mechanisms for the impacts of grazing intensity on grassland C:N:P stoichiometry, especially for the belowground processes and their linkages with aboveground vegetation properties. Location: Global. Time period: 1900-2018. Major taxa studied: Grassland ecosystems. Methods: Here, we conducted a meta-analysis based on 129 published studies to synthesize...

Complex interactions between sperm viability and female fertility

Maximiliano Tourmente, Archer Ruth & David Hosken
Sperm viability is a major male fitness component, with higher sperm viability associated with enhanced sperm competitiveness. While many studies have focussed on sperm viability from the male fitness standpoint, its impact on female fitness is less clear. Here we used a panel of 32 isogenic Drosophila simulans lines to test for genetic variation in sperm viability (percentage of viable cells). We then tested whether sperm viability affected female fitness by mating females to males...

Data from: Evaluating Bayesian stable isotope mixing models of wild animal diet and the effects of trophic discrimination factors and informative priors

George Swan, Stuart Bearhop, Steve Redpath, Matthew Silk, Cecily Goodwin, Richard Inger & Robbie McDonald
1. Ecologists quantify animal diets using direct and indirect methods, including analysis of faeces, pellets, prey items and gut contents. For stable isotope analyses of diet, Bayesian stable isotope mixing models (BSIMMs) are increasingly used to infer the relative importance of food sources to consumers. Although a powerful approach, it has been hard to test BSIMM performance for wild animals because precise, direct dietary data are difficult to collect. 2. We evaluated the performance of...

Data from: Sex-specific effects of fisheries and climate on the demography of sexually dimorphic seabirds

Dimas Gianuca, Stephen C. Votier, Deborah Pardo, Andrew G. Wood, Richard B. Sherley, Louise Ireland, Remi Choquet, Roger Pradel, Stuart Townley, Jaume Forcada, Geoffrey N. Tuck & Richard A. Phillips
1. Many animal taxa exhibit sex-specific variation in ecological traits, such as foraging and distribution. These differences could result in sex-specific responses to change, but such demographic effects are poorly understood. 2. Here we test for sex-specific differences in the demography of northern (NGP, Macronectes halli) and southern (SGP, M. giganteus) giant petrels - strongly sexually size-dimorphic birds that breed sympatrically at South Georgia, South Atlantic Ocean. Both species feed at sea or on carrion...

Evidence for individual discrimination and numerical assessment in collective antipredator behaviour in wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula)

Jenny R. Coomes, Guillam E. McIvor & Alex Thornton
Collective responses to threats occur throughout the animal kingdom but little is known about the cognitive processes underpinning them. Antipredator mobbing is one such response. Approaching a predator may be highly risky, but the individual risk declines and the likelihood of repelling the predator increases in larger mobbing groups. The ability to appraise the number of conspecifics involved in a mobbing event could therefore facilitate strategic decisions about whether to join. Mobs are commonly initiated...

Data from: Genotype reconstruction of paternity in European lobsters (Homarus gammarus)

Charlie D. Ellis, David J. Hodgson, Carl André, Tonje K. Sørdalen, Halvor Knutsen & Amber G. F. Griffiths
Decapod crustaceans exhibit considerable variation in fertilisation strategies, ranging from pervasive single paternity to the near-ubiquitous presence of multiple paternity, and such knowledge of mating systems and behaviour are required for the informed management of commercially-exploited marine fisheries. We used genetic markers to assess the paternity of individual broods in the European lobster, Homarus gammarus, a species for which paternity structure is unknown. Using 13 multiplexed microsatellite loci, three of which are newly described in...

Data from: The cost of phage resistance in a plant pathogenic bacterium is context-dependent

Sean Meaden, Konrad Paszkiewicz & Britt Koskella
Parasites are ubiquitous features of living systems and many parasites severely reduce the fecundity or longevity of their hosts. This parasite-imposed selection on host populations should strongly favor the evolution of host resistance, but hosts typically face a trade-off between investment in reproductive fitness and investment in defense against parasites. The magnitude of such a trade-off is likely to be context-dependent, and accordingly costs that are key in shaping evolution in nature may not be...

Data from: Temporal variation in antibiotic environments slows down resistance evolution in pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Roderich Roemhild, Camilo Barbosa, Robert E. Beardmore, Gunther Jansen & Hinrich Schulenburg
Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern to public health. New treatment strategies may alleviate the situation by slowing down the evolution of resistance. Here, we evaluated sequential treatment protocols using two fully independent laboratory-controlled evolution experiments with the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 and two pairs of clinically relevant antibiotics (doripenem/ciprofloxacin and cefsulodin/gentamicin). Our results consistently show that the sequential application of two antibiotics decelerates resistance evolution relative to monotherapy. Sequential treatment enhanced population extinction...

Data from: Genome-wide transcriptional signatures of migratory flight activity in a globally invasive insect pest

Christopher M. Jones, Alexie Papanicolaou, George K. Mironidis, John Vontas, Yihua Yang, Ka S. Lim, Kumar S. Singh, John G. Oakeshott, Christopher Bass, Jason W. Chapman & Chris Bass
Migration is a key life history strategy for many animals and requires a suite of behavioural, morphological and physiological adaptations which together form the ‘migratory syndrome’. Genetic variation has been demonstrated for many traits that make up this syndrome, but the underlying genes involved remain elusive. Recent studies investigating migration-associated genes have focussed on sampling migratory and nonmigratory populations from different geographic locations but have seldom explored phenotypic variation in a migratory trait. Here, we...

Data from: Racehorses are getting faster

Patrick Sharman & Alastair J. Wilson
Previous studies have concluded that thoroughbred racehorse speed is improving very slowly, if at all, despite heritable variation for performance and putatively intensive selective breeding. This has led to the suggestion that racehorses have reached a selection limit. However, previous studies have been limited, focusing only on the winning times of a few elite races run over middle and long distances, and failing to account for potentially confounding factors. Using a much larger dataset covering...

Data from: Understanding the mechanisms of anti-tropical divergence in the seabird White-faced Storm-petrel (Procellariiformes: Pelagodroma marina) using a multi-locus approach

Monica C. Silva, Rafael Matias, Ross M. Wanless, Peter G. Ryan, Brent Stephenson, Mark Bolton, Nuno Ferrand, Manuela Coelho & M. Manuela Coelho
Analytical methods that apply coalescent theory to multilocus data have improved inferences of demographic parameters that are critical to understanding population divergence and speciation. In particular, at the early stages of speciation, it is important to implement models that accommodate conflicting gene trees, and benefit from the presence of shared polymorphisms. Here, we employ eleven nuclear loci and the mitochondrial control region to investigate the phylogeography and historical demography of the pelagic seabird White-faced Storm-petrel...

Data from: On the evolutionary interplay between dispersal and local adaptation in heterogeneous environments

Andrew M. Berdahl, Colin J. Torney, Emmanuel Schertzer, Simon A. Levin & Andrew Berdahl
Dispersal, whether in the form of a dandelion seed drifting on the breeze, or a salmon migrating upstream to breed in a non-natal stream, transports genes between locations. At these locations, local adaptation modifies the gene frequencies so their carriers are better suited to particular conditions, be those of newly disturbed soil or a quiet river pool. Both dispersal and local adaptation are major drivers of population structure; however, in general, their respective roles are...

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