610 Works

Data from: Exposure to parasites increases promiscuity in a freshwater snail

Deanna M. Soper, Kayla C. King, Daniela Vergara & Curt M. Lively
Under the Red Queen hypothesis, outcrossing can produce genetically variable progeny, which may be more resistant, on average, to locally adapted parasites. Mating with multiple partners may enhance this resistance by further increasing the genetic variation among offspring. We exposed Potamopyrgus antipodarum to the eggs of a sterilising, trematode parasite and tested whether this altered mating behaviour. We found that exposure to parasites increased the number of snail mating pairs and the total number of...

Data from: Multiplicity of infection does not accelerate infectivity evolution of viral parasites in laboratory microcosms

Alex R. Hall, Pauline D. Scanlan, Helen Leggett & Angus Buckling
Coinfection with multiple parasite genotypes (multiplicity of infection) creates within-host competition and opportunities for parasite recombination, and is therefore predicted to be important for both parasite and host evolution. We tested for a difference in the infectivity of viral parasites (lytic phage Φ2) and resistance of their bacterial hosts (Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25) under both high and low multiplicity of infection (MOI) during coevolution in laboratory microcosms. Results show that MOI has no effect on infectivity...

Data from: Improving the efficacy of web-based educational outreach in ecology

Gregory R. Goldsmith, Andrew D. Fulton, Colin D. Witherill & Javier F. Espeleta
Scientists are increasingly engaging the web to provide formal and informal science education opportunities. Despite the prolific growth of web-based resources, systematic evaluation and assessment of their efficacy remains limited. We used clickstream analytics, a widely available method for tracking website visitors and their behavior, to evaluate >60,000 visits over three years to an educational website focused on ecology. Visits originating from search engine queries were a small proportion of the traffic, suggesting the need...

Data from: Intermittent breeding and constraints on litter size: consequences for effective population size per generation (Ne) and per reproductive cycle (Nb)

Robin S. Waples & Tiago Antao
In iteroparous species, it is easier to estimate Nb = effective number of breeders in one reproductive cycle than Ne = effective population size per generation. Nb can be used as a proxy for Ne and also can provide crucial insights into eco-evolutionary processes that occur during reproduction. We used analytical and numerical methods to evaluate effects of intermittent breeding and litter/clutch size on inbreeding Nb and Ne. Fixed or random litter sizes ≥ 3...

Data from: Competition and constraint drove Cope's rule in the evolution of giant flying reptiles

Roger B. J. Benson, Rachel A. Frigot, Anjali Goswami, Brian Andres & Richard J. Butler
The pterosaurs, Mesozoic flying reptiles, attained wingspans of more than 10 m that greatly exceed the largest birds and challenge our understanding of size limits in flying animals. Pterosaurs have been used to illustrate Cope’s rule, the influential generalization that evolutionary lineages trend to increasingly large body sizes. However, unambiguous examples of Cope’s rule operating on extended timescales in large clades remain elusive, and the phylogenetic pattern and possible drivers of pterosaur gigantism are uncertain....

Data from: Can natural selection favour altruism between species?

Gregory A. K. Wyatt, Stuart A. West & Andy Gardner
Darwin suggested that the discovery of altruism between species would annihilate his theory of natural selection. However, it has not been formally shown whether between-species altruism can evolve by natural selection, or why this could never happen. Here, we develop a spatial population genetic model of two interacting species, showing that indiscriminate between species helping can be favoured by natural selection. We then ask if this helping behaviour constitutes altruism between species, using a linear-regression...

Data from: Remnant Pachira quinata pasture trees have greater opportunities to self and suffer reduced reproductive success due to inbreeding depression

Paul D. Rymer, Mark Sandiford, Stephen A. Harris, Martin R. Billingham & David H. Boshier
Habitat fragmentation is extensive throughout the world, converting natural ecosystems into fragments of varying size, density and connectivity. The potential value of remnant trees in agricultural landscapes as seed sources and in connecting fragments has formed a fertile area of debate. This study contrasted the mating patterns of bat-pollinated Pachira quinata trees in a continuous forest to those in pasture through microsatellite-based paternity analysis of progeny. The breeding system was determined by analysis of pollen...

Data from: Boom and bust: ancient and recent diversification in bichirs (Polypteridae: Actinopterygii), a relictual lineage of ray-finned fishes

Thomas J. Near, Alex Dornburg, Masayoshi Tokita, Dai Suzuki, Matthew C. Brandley & Matt Friedman
Understanding the history that underlies patterns of species richness across the Tree of Life requires an investigation of the mechanisms that not only generate young species-rich clades, but also those that maintain species-poor lineages over long stretches of evolutionary time. However, diversification dynamics that underlie ancient species-poor lineages are often hidden due to a lack of fossil evidence. Using information from the fossil record and time calibrated molecular phylogenies, we investigate the history of lineage...

Data from: Replicated high-density genetic maps of two great tit populations reveal fine-scale genomic departures from sex-equal recombination rates

Kees Van Oers, Anna W. Santure, Isabelle De Cauwer, Nikkie E. M. Van Bers, Richard P. M. A. Crooijmans, Ben C. Sheldon, Marcel E. Visser, Jon Slate & Martien A. M. Groenen
Linking variation in quantitative traits to variation in the genome is an important, but challenging task in the study of life-history evolution. Linkage maps provide a valuable tool for the unravelling of such trait-gene associations. Moreover, they give insight into recombination landscapes and between- species karyotype evolution. Here we used genotype data, generated from a 10k SNP-chip, of over 2000 individuals to produce high-density linkage maps of the great tit (Parus major), a passerine bird,...

Data from: Advancing population ecology with integral projection models: a practical guide

Cory Merow, Johan P. Dalgren, C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Dylan Z. Childs, M. E. K. Evans, Eelke Jongejans, Sydne Record, Mark Rees, Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Sean M. McMahon, Margaret E.K. Evans & Johan P. Dahlgren
Integral Projection Models (IPMs) use information on how an individual's state influences its vital rates - survival, growth and reproduction - to make population projections. IPMs are constructed from regression models predicting vital rates from state variables (e.g., size or age) and covariates (e.g., environment). By combining regressions of vital rates, an IPM provides mechanistic insight into emergent ecological patterns such as population dynamics, species geographic distributions, or life history strategies. Here, we review important...

Data from: Protection against a fungal pathogen conferred by the aphid facultative endosymbionts Rickettsia and Spiroplasma is expressed in multiple host genotypes and species and is not influenced by co-infection with another symbiont

Piotr Łukasik, Huifang Guo, Margriet Van Asch, Julia Ferrari & H. Charles J. Godfray
Many insects harbour facultative endosymbiotic bacteria, often more than one type at a time. These symbionts can have major effects on their hosts' biology, which may be modulated by the presence of other symbiont species and by the host's genetic background. We investigated these effects by transferring two sets of facultative endosymbionts (one Hamiltonella and Rickettsia, the other Hamiltonella and Spiroplasma) from naturally double-infected pea aphid hosts into five novel host genotypes of two aphid...

Data from: Related herbivore species show similar temporal dynamics

F. Guillaume Blanchet, Tomas Roslin, Masahito T. Kimura, Tea Huotari, Riikka Kaartinen, Sofia Gripenberg & Ayco J. M. Tack
1.Within natural communities, different taxa display different dynamics in time. Why this is the case we do not fully know. This thwarts our ability to predict changes in community structure, which is important for both the conservation of rare species in natural communities and for the prediction of pest outbreaks in agriculture. 2.Species sharing phylogeny, natural enemies and/or life history traits have been hypothesized to share similar temporal dynamics. We operationalized these concepts into testing...

Data from: Evolutionary rates of mid-Permian tetrapods from South Africa and the role of temporal resolution in turnover reconstruction

Michael O. Day, Roger B.J. Benson, Christian F. Kammerer & Bruce S. Rubidge
The Main Karoo Basin of South Africa contains a near-continuous sequence of continental deposition spanning 45 million years from the middle Permian to the Early Jurassic. The terrestrial vertebrates of this sequence provide a high-resolution stratigraphic record of regional origination and extinction, especially for the middle–late Permian. Until now, data have only been surveyed at coarse stratigraphic resolution using methods that are biased by non-uniform sampling rates, limiting our understanding of the dynamics of diversification...

Associational resistance to both insect and pathogen damage in mixed forests is modulated by tree neighbour identity and drought

Elsa Field, Bastien Castagneyrol, Melanie Gibbs, Hervé Jactel, Nadia Barsoum, Karsten Schonrogge & Andrew Hector
Tree health declines can be caused by interactions between pests and pathogens and many studies have shown a reduction in their damage in mixed species forests compared to monocultures. Yet few authors have considered tree diversity effects on both groups simultaneously. Moreover, it is unclear whether diversity effects on tree pests and pathogens are robust to changes in abiotic conditions, such as drought. We addressed tree diversity effects on foliar insect herbivory, oak powdery mildew...

Data from: Mate availability determines use of alternative reproductive phenotypes in hermaphrodites

Anja Felmy, Nora Weissert & Jukka Jokela
In many species individuals can employ alternative reproductive phenotypes, with profound consequences for individual fitness and population dynamics. This is particularly relevant for self-compatible hermaphrodites, which have exceptionally many reproductive options. Here we investigated the occurrence of reproductive phenotypes in the simultaneously hermaphroditic freshwater snail Radix balthica under experimentally simulated conditions of low vs. moderate population density. We captured all mating behavior on camera and measured individual female lifetime reproductive success. We found every possible...

Data from: Body mass index, diet, physical inactivity and the incidence of dementia in one million UK women

Sarah Floud, Rachel F Simpson, Angela Balkwill, Anna Brown, Adrian Goodill, John E. Gallacher, Cathie L.M. Sudlow, Phillip Harris, Albert Hofman, Sarah Parish, Gillian K Reeves, Jane Green, Richard Peto & Valerie Beral
Objective: To help determine whether mid-life obesity is a cause of dementia, and whether low BMI, low caloric intake and physical inactivity are causes or merely consequences of the gradual onset of dementia, we recorded these factors early in a large 20-year prospective study and related them to dementia detection rates separately during follow-up periods 0-4, 5-9, 10-14 and 15+ years. Methods: 1,136,846 UK women, mean age 56 (SD=5) years, were recruited in 1996-2001 and...

Data from: The temporal dynamics and infectiousness of subpatent Plasmodium falciparum infections in relation to parasite density

Hannah C. Slater, Amanda Ross, Ingrid Felger, Natalie E. Hofmann, Leanne Robinson, Jackie Cook, Bronner P. Gonçalves, Anders Björkman, Andre Lin Ouedraogo, Ulrika Morris, Mwinyi Msellem, Cristian Koepfli, Ivo Mueller, Fitsum Tadesse, Endalamaw Gadisa, Smita Das, Gonzalo Domingo, Melissa Kapulu, Janet Midega, Seth Owusu-Agyei, Cécile Nabet, Renaud Piarroux, Ogobara Doumbo, Safiatou Niare Doumbo, Kwadwo Koram … & Lucy C. Okell
Malaria infections occurring below the limit of detection of standard diagnostics are common in all endemic settings. However, key questions remain surrounding their contribution to sustaining transmission and whether they need to be detected and targeted to achieve malaria elimination. In this study we analyse a range of malaria datasets to quantify the density, detectability, course of infection and infectiousness of subpatent infections. Asymptomatically infected individuals have lower parasite densities on average in low transmission...

Data from: Comparative analysis of the shape and size of the middle ear cavity of turtles reveals no correlation with habitat ecology

Christian Foth, Serjoscha W. Evers, Walter G. Joyce, Virginie S. Volpato & Roger B. J. Benson
The middle ear of turtles differs from other reptiles in being separated into two distinct compartments. Several ideas have been proposed as to why the middle ear is compartmentalized in turtles, most suggesting a relationship with underwater hearing. Extant turtle species span fully marine to strictly terrestrial habitats, and ecomorphological hypotheses of turtle hearing predict that this should correlate with variation in the structure of the middle ear due to differences in the fluid properties...

Group formation and the evolutionary pathway to complex sociality in birds

Philip Downing, Ashleigh Griffin & Charlie Cornwallis
Group-living species show a diversity of social organisation, from simple mated pairs to complex communities of inter-dependent individuals performing specialized tasks. The advantages of living in cooperative groups are well understood, but why some species breed in small aggregations while others evolve large, complex groups with clearly divided roles is unclear. We address this problem by reconstructing the evolutionary pathways to cooperative breeding across 4730 bird species. We show that differences in the way groups...

Testing Finch’s hypothesis: the role of organismal modularity on the escape from actuarial senescence

Connor Bernard, Aldo Compagnoni & Roberto Salguero-Gómez
1. Until recently, senescence was assumed to be a universal phenomenon. Evolutionary theories of senescence predict that no organism may escape the physiological decline that results in an increase in mortality risk and/or decline in fertility with age. However, evidence both in animals and plants has emerged in the last decade defying such predictions. Researchers are currently seeking mechanistic explanations for the observed variation in ageing trajectories. 2. We argue that the historical view on...

The implications of lineage-specific rates for divergence time estimation

Tom Carruthers, Michael J Sanderson & Robert W Scotland
Rate variation adds considerable complexity to divergence time estimation in molecular phylogenies. Here, we evaluate the impact of lineage-specific rates—which we define as among-branch-rate-variation that acts consistently across the entire genome. We compare its impact to residual rates—defined as among-branch-rate-variation that shows a different pattern of rate variation at each sampled locus, and gene-specific rates—defined as variation in the average rate across all branches at each sampled locus. We show that lineage-specific rates lead to...

Data from: Linking dung beetle mediated functions to interactions in the Atlantic Forest: sampling design matters

Elizabeth Raine
Interactions between dung beetles and vertebrate dung are intimately linked to a suite of ecosystem functions in tropical forests. We show that the trapping method and the type of dung used affect the suite of beetles captured, with the potential to influence the outcome of experiments linking functions to interactions.

Data from: Unhatched eggs represent the invisible fraction in two wild bird populations

Nicola Hemmings & Simon Evans
Prenatal mortality is typically overlooked in population studies, which biases evolutionary inference by confounding selection and inheritance. Birds represent an opportunity to include this ‘invisible fraction’ if each egg contains a zygote but whether hatching failure is caused by fertilisation failure versus prenatal mortality is largely unknown. We quantified fertilisation failure rates in two bird species that are popular systems for studying evolutionary dynamics in the wild. over three years, finding that overwhelming majorities (99.9%)...

Data from: The global compendium of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus occurrence

Moritz U. G. Kraemer, Marianne E. Sinka, Kirsten A. Duda, Adrian Mylne, Freya M. Shearer, Oliver J. Brady, Janey P. Messina, Christopher M. Barker, Chester G. Moore, Roberta G. Carvalho, Giovanini E. Coelho, Wim Van Bortel, Guy Hendrickx, Francis Schaffner, G. R. William Wint, Iqbal R. F. Elyazar, Hwa-Jen Teng & Simon I. Hay
PLEASE NOTE, THESE DATA ARE ALSO REFERRED TO IN ANOTHER PUBLICATION. PLEASE SEE http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08347. Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus are the main vectors transmitting dengue and chikungunya viruses. Despite being pathogens of global public health importance, knowledge of their vectors’ global distribution remains patchy and sparse. A global geographic database of known occurrences of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus between 1960 and 2014 was compiled. Herein we present the database, which comprises occurrence data linked...

Data from: Diffusion tensor imaging of dolphin brains reveals direct auditory pathway to temporal lobe

Gregory S. Berns, Peter F. Cook, Sean Foxley, Saad Jbabdi, Karla L. Miller & Lori Marino
The brains of odontocetes (toothed whales) look grossly different from their terrestrial relatives. Because of their adaptation to the aquatic environment and their reliance on echolocation, the odontocetes' auditory system is both unique and crucial to their survival. Yet, scant data exist about the functional organization of the cetacean auditory system. A predominant hypothesis is that the primary auditory cortex lies in the suprasylvian gyrus along the vertex of the hemispheres, with this position induced...

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