37 Works

Data from: Mate fidelity in a polygamous shorebird, the snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus)

Naerhulan Halimubieke, José Valdebenito, Philippa Harding, Medardo Cruz-López, Martín Serrano-Meneses, Richard James, Krisztina Kupán & Tamas Szekely
Social monogamy has evolved multiple times and is particularly common in birds. However, it is not well understood why some species live in long-lasting monogamous partnerships while others change mates between breeding attempts. Here, we investigate mate fidelity in a sequential polygamous shorebird, the snowy plover (Charadrius nivosus), a species in which both males and females may have several breeding attempts within a breeding season with the same or different mates. Using six years of...

Explaining illness with evil: Pathogen prevalence fosters moral vitalism

Brock Bastian, Christin-Melanie Vauclair, Steve Loughnan, Paul Bain, Ashwini Ashokkumar, Maja Becker, Michal Bilewicz, Emma Collier-Baker, Carla Crespo, Paul W. Eastwick, Ronald Fischer, Malte Friese, Ángel Gómez, Valeschka M. Guerra, Jose Luis Castellanos Guevara, Katja Hanke, Nic Hooper, Li-Li Huang, Shi Junqi, Minoru Karasawa, Peter Kuppens, Siri Leknes, Müjde Peker, Cesar Pelay, Afoditi Pina … & William B. Swann
Pathogens represent a significant threat to human health leading to the emergence of strategies designed to help manage their negative impact. We examined how spiritual beliefs developed to explain and predict the devastating effects of pathogens and spread of infectious disease. Analysis of existing data in Studies 1 and 2 suggests that moral vitalism (beliefs about spiritual forces of evil) is higher in geographical regions characterized by historical higher levels of pathogens. Furthermore, drawing on...

Data from: Sampling diverse characters improves phylogenies: craniodental and postcranial characters of vertebrates often imply different trees

Ross C. P. Mounce, Robert Sansom & Matthew A. Wills
Morphological cladograms of vertebrates are often inferred from greater numbers of characters describing the skull and teeth than from postcranial characters. This is either because the skull is believed to yield characters with a stronger phylogenetic signal (i.e., contain less homoplasy), because morphological variation therein is more readily atomized, or because craniodental material is more widely available (particularly in the palaeontological case). An analysis of 85 vertebrate datasets published between 2000 and 2013 confirms that...

Data from: Genotype-dependent responses to levels of sibling competition over maternal resources in mice

Reinmar Hager, James M. Cheverud, Jason B. Wolf, J B Wolf, R Hager & J M Cheverud
Research on phenotypic plasticity has often focused on how a given genotype responds to changing physical environments. However, for many species the social environment plays an equally important role due to competition for resources. During early development, the level of competition for limited resources will often depend critically on the number of siblings. Therefore, competition among siblings should drive the evolution of genes that allow flexible responses to realized levels of competition and maternal resource...

Data from: The impact of hotspot-targeted interventions on malaria transmission in Rachuonyo south district in the western Kenyan highlands: a cluster-randomized controlled trial

Teun Bousema, Gillian Stresman, Amrish Y. Baidjoe, John Bradley, Philip Knight, William Stone, Victor Osoti, Euniah Makori, Chrispin Owaga, Wycliffe Odongo, Pauline China, Shehu Shagari, Ogobara K. Doumbo, Robert W. Sauerwein, Simon Kariuki, Chris Drakeley, Jennifer Stevenson & Jonathan Cox
Background: Malaria transmission is highly heterogeneous, generating malaria hotspots that can fuel malaria transmission across a wider area. Targeting hotspots may represent an efficacious strategy for reducing malaria transmission. We determined the impact of interventions targeted to serologically defined malaria hotspots on malaria transmission both inside hotspots and in surrounding communities. Methods and Findings: Twenty-seven serologically defined malaria hotspots were detected in a survey conducted from 24 June to 31 July 2011 that included 17,503...

Data from: Calibrating animal-borne proximity loggers

Christian Rutz, Michael B. Morrissey, Zackory T. Burns, John Burt, Brian Otis, James J. H. St Clair & Richard James
1. Growing interest in the structure and dynamics of animal social networks has stimulated efforts to develop automated tracking technologies that can reliably record encounters in free-ranging subjects. A particularly promising approach is the use of animal-attached ‘proximity loggers’, which collect data on the incidence, duration and proximity of spatial associations through inter-logger radio communication. While proximity logging is based on a straightforward physical principle – the attenuation of propagating radio waves with distance –...

Data from: Probabilistic methods outperform parsimony in the phylogenetic analysis of data simulated without a probabilistic model

Mark N. Puttick, Joseph E. O'Reilly, Davide Pisani, Philip C.J. Donoghue & Philip C. J. Donoghue
In order to understand patterns and processes of the diversification of life we require an accurate understanding of taxa interrelationships. Recent studies have suggested that analyses of morphological character data using the Bayesian and Maximum likelihood Mk model provide phylogenies of higher accuracy compared to parsimony methods. These studies have proved controversial, particularly simulating morphology-data under Markov models that assume shared branch lengths for characters, as it is claimed this leads to bias favouring the...

Data from: Parsimony, not Bayesian analysis, recovers more stratigraphically congruent phylogenetic trees

Robert S. Sansom, Peter G. Choate, Joseph N. Keating & Emma Randle
Reconstructing evolutionary histories requires accurate phylogenetic trees. Recent simulation studies suggest that probabilistic phylogenetic analyses of morphological data are more accurate than traditional parsimony techniques. Here we use empirical data to compare Bayesian and parsimony phylogenies in terms of their congruence with the distribution of age ranges of the component taxa. Analysis of 167 independent morphological data matrices of fossil tetrapods finds that Bayesian trees exhibit significantly lower stratigraphic congruence than the equivalent parsimony trees....

Data from: Impact of the Late Triassic mass extinction on functional diversity and composition of marine ecosystems

Alexander M. Dunhill, William J. Foster, James Sciberras & Richard J. Twitchett
Mass extinctions have profoundly influenced the history of life, not only through the death of species but also through changes in ecosystem function and structure. Importantly, these events allow us the opportunity to study ecological dynamics under levels of environmental stress for which there are no recent analogues. Here, we examine the impact and selectivity of the Late Triassic mass extinction event on the functional diversity and functional composition of the global marine ecosystem, and...

Data from: Contrasting genetic diversity and population structure among three sympatric Madagascan shorebirds: parallels with rarity, endemism, and dispersal

Luke Eberhart-Phillips, Joseph I. Hoffman, Edward G. Brede, Sama Zefania, Martina J. Kamrad, Tamas Szekely, Michael W. Bruford & Luke J. Eberhart-Phillips
Understanding the relative contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic factors to population structure and genetic diversity is a central goal of conservation and evolutionary genetics. One way to achieve this is through comparative population genetic analysis of sympatric sister taxa, which allows evaluation of intrinsic factors such as population demography and life history while controlling for phylogenetic relatedness and geography. We used ten conserved microsatellites to explore the population structure and genetic diversity of three sympatric...

Data from: Visual and non-visual navigation in blind patients with a retinal prosthesis

Sara Garcia, Karin Petrini, Gary S. Rubin, Lyndon Da Cruz & Marko Nardini
Human adults with normal vision can combine visual landmark and non-visual self-motion cues to improve their navigational precision. Here we asked whether blind individuals treated with a retinal prosthesis could also benefit from using the resultant new visual signal together with non-visual information when navigating. Four patients (blind for 15-52 years) implanted with the Argus II retinal prosthesis (Second Sight Medical Products Inc. Sylmar, CA), and five age-matched and six younger controls, participated. Participants completed...

Data from: Mutual fitness benefits arise during coevolution in a nematode-defensive microbe model

Charlotte Rafaluk-Mohr, Ben Ashby, Dylan A. Dahan & Kayla C. King
Species interactions can shift along the parasitism-mutualism continuum. However, the consequences of these transitions for coevolutionary interactions remain unclear. We experimentally coevolved a novel species interaction between Caenorhabditis elegans hosts and a mildly parasitic bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, with host-protective properties against virulent Staphylococcus aureus. Coinfections drove the evolutionary transition of the C.elegans-E. faecalis relationship towards a reciprocally beneficial interaction. As E. faecalis evolved to protect nematodes against S. aureus infection, hosts adapted by accommodating greater...

Data from: Social interactions predict genetic diversification: an experimental manipulation in shorebirds

Charles Cunningham, Jorge E. Parra, Lucy Coals, Marcela Beltrán, Sama Zefania & Tamás Székely
Mating strategy and social behaviour influence gene flow and thus affect levels of genetic differentiation and potentially speciation. Previous genetic analyses of closely related plovers Charadrius spp. found strikingly different population genetic structure in Madagascar: Kittlitz’s plovers are spatially homogenous whereas white-fronted plovers have well segregated and geographically distinct populations. Here we test the hypotheses that Kittlitz’s plovers are spatially interconnected and have extensive social interactions that facilitate gene flow, whereas white-fronted plovers are spatially...

Data from: Using the wax moth larva Galleria mellonella infection model to detect emerging bacterial pathogens

Rafael J. Hernandez, Elze Hesse, Andrea J. Dowling, Nicola M. Coyle, Edward J. Feil, Will H. Gaze & Michiel Vos
Climate change, changing farming practices, social and demographic changes and rising levels of antibiotic resistance are likely to lead to future increases in opportunistic bacterial infections that are more difficult to treat. Uncovering the prevalence and identity of pathogenic bacteria in the environment is key to assessing transmission risks. We describe the first use of the Wax moth larva Galleria mellonella, a well-established model for the mammalian innate immune system, to selectively enrich and characterize...

Data from: Patterns of cross-resistance and collateral sensitivity between clinical antibiotics and natural antimicrobials

Abigail L. Colclough, Jukka Corander, Samuel Sheppard, Sion Bayliss, Michiel Vos, Abigail Colclough, Samuel K. Sheppard & Sion C. Bayliss
Bacteria interact with a multitude of other organisms, many of which produce antimicrobials. Selection for resistance to these antimicrobials has the potential to result in resistance to clinical antibiotics when active compounds target the same bacterial pathways. The possibility of such cross-resistance between natural antimicrobials and antibiotics has to our knowledge received very little attention. The antimicrobial activity of extracts from seaweeds, known to be prolific producers of antimicrobials, is here tested against Staphylococcus aureus...

Data from: High gene flow on a continental scale in the polyandrous Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus

Clemens Kuepper, Scott V. Edwards, András Kosztolányi, Monif AlRashidi, Terry Burke, Phillipp Herrmann, Araceli Argüelles Tico, Juan A. Amat, Mohamed Amezian, Afonso Rocha, Hermann Hötker, Anton Ivanov, Joseph Chernicko & Tamas Szekely
Gene flow promotes genetic coherence of species in time and space. It can be modulated by sex-biased dispersal which links population genetics to mating systems. We investigated the phylogeography of the widely distributed Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus. This small shorebird has a large breeding range spanning from Western Europe to Japan, and exhibits an unusually flexible mating system with high female breeding dispersal. We analyzed genetic structure and gene flow using a 427 bp fragment...

Data from: Polygamy slows down population divergence in shorebirds

Josephine D'Urban Jackson, Natalie Dos Remedios, Kathryn H. Maher, Sama Zefania, Susan Haig, Sara Oyler-McCance, Donald Blomqvist, Terry Burke, Mike W. Bruford, Tamas Szekely, Clemens Küpper & Michael W. Bruford
Sexual selection may act as a promotor of speciation since divergent mate choice and competition for mates can rapidly lead to reproductive isolation. Alternatively, sexual selection may also retard speciation since polygamous individuals can access additional mates by increased breeding dispersal. High breeding dispersal should hence increase gene flow and reduce diversification in polygamous species. Here we test how polygamy predicts diversification in shorebirds using genetic differentiation and subspecies richness as proxies for population divergence....

Data from: Iterative ontogenetic development of ammonoid conch shapes from the Devonian through to the Jurassic

Sonny A. Walton & Dieter Korn
We measured longitudinal growth in conch cross-sections of 177 Devonian to Jurassic ammonoid species to test whether conch ontogenetic development parallels the iterative evolution of pachyconic or globular conch shapes. Ontogenetic trajectories of two cardinal conch parameters, conch width index and umbilical width index, show a few common recurring ontogenetic pathways in terms of the number of ontogenetic phases. The most common, with three phases in the conch width index (decrease–increase–decrease) and umbilical width index...

Data from: Differences between hard and soft phylogenetic data

Robert S. Sansom & Matthew A. Wills
When building the tree of life, variability of phylogenetic signal is often accounted for by partitioning gene sequences and testing for differences. The same considerations however are rarely applied to morphological data, potentially undermining its use in evolutionary contexts. Here we apply partition heterogeneity tests to 59 animal datasets to demonstrate that significant differences exist between the phylogenetic signal conveyed by ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ characters (bones, teeth and shells versus myology, integument etc). Furthermore, the...

Data from: Cold-seeking behaviour mitigates reproductive losses from fungal infection in Drosophila

Vicky L. Hunt, Weihao Zhong, Colin D. McClure, David T. Mlynski, Elizabeth M. L. Duxbury, A. Keith Charnley, Nicholas K. Priest, Elizabeth M.L. Duxbury & A. Keith Charnley
1. Animals must tailor their life history strategies to suit the prevailing conditions and respond to hazards in the environment. Animals with lethal infections are faced with a difficult choice: to allocate more resources to reproduction and suffer higher mortality or to reduce reproduction with the expectation of enhanced immunity and late-age reproduction. But, how they do this is largely unknown. 2. Here, we have investigated the temperature preference of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster,...

Data from: Hormesis results in trade-offs with immunity

Colin Derek McClure, Weihao Zhong, Vicky L. Hunt, Fiona M. Chapman, Fiona V. Hill, Nicholas K. Priest & Colin D. McClure
Many have argued that we may be able to extend life and improve human health through hormesis, the beneficial effects of low-level toxins and other stressors. But, studies of hormesis in model systems have not yet established whether stress-induced benefits are cost free, artifacts of inbreeding, or come with deleterious side effects. Here, we provide evidence that hormesis results in trade-offs with immunity. We find that a single topical dose of dead spores of the...

Data from: Comparable disparity in the appendicular skeleton across the fish-tetrapod transition, and the morphological gap between fish and tetrapod postcrania

Marcello Ruta & Matthew A. Wills
Appendicular skeletal traits are used to quantify changes in morphological disparity and morphospace occupation across the fish–tetrapod transition and to explore the informativeness of different data partitions in phylogeny reconstruction. Anterior appendicular data yield trees that differ little from those built from the full character set, whilst posterior appendicular data result in considerable loss of phylogenetic resolution and tree branch rearrangements. Overall, there is a significant incongruence in the signals associated with pectoral and pelvic...

Data from: Archosauromorph extinction selectivity during the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction

Bethany J. Allen, Thomas L. Stubbs, Michael J. Benton & Mark N. Puttick
Many traits have been linked to extinction risk among modern vertebrates, including mode of life and body size. However, previous work has indicated there is little evidence that body size, or any other trait, was selective during past mass extinctions. Here, we investigate the impact of the Triassic–Jurassic mass extinction on early Archosauromorpha (basal dinosaurs, crocodylomorphs and their relatives) by focusing on body size and other life history traits. We built several new archosauromorph maximum‐likelihood...

Data from: Sex differences in parental care: gametic investment, sexual selection and social environment

András Liker, Robert P. Freckleton, Vladimir Remes & Tamás Székely
Male and female parents often provide different type and amount of care to their offspring. Three major drivers have been proposed to explain parental sex roles: (i) differential gametic investment by males and females that precipitates into sex difference in care, (ii) different intensity of sexual selection acting on males and females, and (iii) biased social environment that facilitates the more common sex to provide more care. Here we provide the most comprehensive assessment of...

Data from: High fidelity: extra-pair fertilisations in eight Charadrius plover species are not associated with parental relatedness or social mating system

Kathryn H. Maher, Luke J. Eberhart-Phillips, András Kosztolányi, Natalie Dos Remedios, María Cristina Carmona-Isunza, Medardo Cruz-López, Sama Zefania, James J. H. St Clair, Monif AlRashidi, Michael A. Weston, Martín A. Serrano-Meneses, Oliver Krüger, Joseph I. Hoffmann, Tamás Székely, Terry Burke, Clemens Küpper, Natalie Dos Remedios & Joseph I. Hoffman
Extra-pair paternity is a common reproductive strategy in many bird species. However, it remains unclear why extra-pair paternity occurs and why it varies among species and populations. Plovers (Charadrius spp.) exhibit considerable variation in reproductive behaviour and ecology, making them excellent models to investigate the evolution of social and genetic mating systems. We investigated inter- and intra-specific patterns of extra-pair parentage and evaluated three major hypotheses explaining extra-pair paternity using a comparative approach based on...

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