28 Works

Data from: Children in the Syrian civil war: the familial, educational, and public health impact of ongoing violence

Abdallah Mohamed Elsafti, Gerlant Van Berlaer, Mohammad Al Safadi, Michel Debacker, Ronald Buyl, Atef Redwan & Ives Hubloue
The Syrian civil war since 2011 has led to one of the most complex humanitarian emergencies in history. The objective of this study was to document the impact of the conflict on the familial, educational, and public health state of Syrian children. A cross-sectional observational study was conducted in May 2015. Health care workers visited families with a prospectively designed data sheet in 4 Northern Syrian governorates. The 1001 children included in this study originated...

Microsatellite data of Avicennia marina from Gazi Bay, Kenya

Ludwig Triest
Mangrove ecosystems along the East African coast are often characterized by a disjunct zonation of seaward and landward Avicennia marina. This disjunct zonation may be maintained through different positions in the tidal frame, yielding different dispersal settings. The spatial configuration of the landscape and coastal processes such as tides and waves are expected to largely influence the extent of propagule transport and subsequent regeneration. We hypothesized that landward sites would keep a stronger genetic structure...

Data from: A ketocarotenoid-based color polymorphism in the Sira poison frog Ranitomeya sirensis indicates novel gene interactions underlying aposematic signal variation

Evan Twomey, James Johnson, Santiago Castroviejo-Fisher & Ines Van Bocxlaer
The accumulation of red ketocarotenoids is an important component of coloration in many organisms, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. In some organisms, ketocarotenoids are sequestered from the diet and can accumulate when enzymes responsible for carotenoid breakdown are disrupted. In other organisms, ketocarotenoids are formed endogenously from dietary precursors via oxidation reactions carried out by carotenoid ketolase enzymes. Here, we study the genetic basis of carotenoid coloration in an amphibian. We demonstrate that...

Mechanisms for color convergence in a mimetic radiation of poison frogs

Evan Twomey, Morgan Kain, Myriam Claeys, Kyle Summers, Santiago Castroviejo-Fisher & Ines Van Bocxlaer
In animals, bright colors often evolve to mimic other species when a resemblance is selectively favored. Understanding the proximate mechanisms underlying such color mimicry can give insights into how mimicry evolves, for example, whether color convergence evolves from a shared set of mechanisms or through the evolution of novel color production mechanisms. We studied color production mechanisms in poison frogs (Dendrobatidae), focusing on the mimicry complex of Ranitomeya imitator. Using reflectance spectrometry, skin pigment analysis,...

Data from: Integrated culturing, modeling and transcriptomics uncovers complex interactions and emergent behavior in a three-species synthetic gut community

Kevin D'hoe, Stefan Vet, Karoline Faust, Frédéric Moens, Gwen Falony, Didier Gonze, Verónica Lloréns-Rico, Lendert Gelens, Jan Danckaert, Luc De Vuyst & Jeroen Raes
Whereas the composition of the human gut microbiome is well resolved, predictive understanding is still lacking. Here, we followed a bottom-up strategy to explore human gut community dynamics: we established a synthetic community composed of three representative human gut isolates (Roseburia intestinalis L1-82, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii A2-165 and Blautia hydrogenotrophica S5a33) and explored their interactions under well-controlled conditions in vitro. Systematic mono- and pair-wise fermentation experiments confirmed competition for fructose and cross-feeding of formate. We quantified...

Data from: Humans recognize emotional arousal in vocalizations across all classes of terrestrial vertebrates: evidence for acoustic universals

Piera Filippi, Jenna V. Congdon, John Hoang, Daniel Liu Bowling, Stephan A. Reber, Andrius Pašukonis, Marisa Hoeschele, Sebastian Ocklenburg, Bart De Boer, Christopher B. Sturdy, Albert Newen & Onur Gunturkun
Writing over a century ago, Darwin hypothesized that vocal expression of emotion dates back to our earliest terrestrial ancestors. If this hypothesis is true, we should expect to find cross-species acoustic universals in emotional vocalizations. Studies suggest that acoustic attributes of aroused vocalizations are shared across many mammalian species, and that humans can use these attributes to infer emotional content. But do these acoustic attributes extend to non-mammalian vertebrates? In this study, we asked human...

Data from: A stoichiometric perspective of the effect of herbivore dung on ecosystem functioning

Judith Sitters & Harry Olde Venterink
Ungulate herbivores play a prominent role in maintaining the tree–grass balance in African savannas. Their top-down role through selective feeding on either trees or grasses is well studied, but their bottom-up role through deposition of nutrients in dung and urine has been overlooked. Here, we propose a novel concept of savanna ecosystem functioning in which the balance between trees and grasses is maintained through stoichiometric differences in dung of herbivores that feed on them. We...

Data from: Integrative taxonomy of root-knot nematodes reveals multiple independent origins of mitotic parthenogenesis

Toon Janssen, Gerrit Karssen, Olivera Topalović, Danny Coyne & Wim Bert
During sampling of several Coffea arabica plantations in Tanzania severe root galling, caused by a root-knot nematode was observed. From pure cultures, morphology and morphometrics of juveniles and females matched perfectly with Meloidogyne africana, whereas morphology of the males matched identically with those of Meloidogyne decalineata. Based on their Cox1 sequence, however, the recovered juveniles, females and males were confirmed to belong to the same species, creating a taxonomic conundrum. Adding further to this puzzle,...

Data from: What caused over a century of decline in general intelligence? Testing predictions from the genetic selection and neurotoxin hypotheses

Michael A. Woodley Of Menie, Matthew A. Sarraf, Mateo Peñaherrera-Aguirre, Heitor B.F. Fernandes & David Becker
Several converging lines of evidence indicate that general intelligence (g) has declined in Western populations. The causes of these declines are debated. Here, two hypotheses are tested: (1) selection acting against genetic variants that promote g causes the decline and (2) the presence of neurotoxic pollution in the environment causes the decline. A linear mixed model was devised to test (1) and (2), in which the secular decline in a “heritable g” (g.h) chronometric factor...

Data from: A refugee camp in the center of Europe: clinical characteristics of asylum seekers arriving in brussels

Gerlant Van Berlaer, Francisca Bohle Carbonell, Sofie Manantsoa, Xavier De Béthune, Ronald Buyl, Michel Debacker & Ives Hubloue
Background In the summer of 2015, the exodus of Syrian war refugees and saturation of refugee camps in neighboring countries led to the influx of asylum-seekers in European countries, including Belgium. This study aims to describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of asylum-seekers that arrived in a huddled refugee camp, in the center of a well-developed country with all medical facilities. Methods Using a descriptive cross-sectional study design, physicians of Médecins du Monde prospectively registered...

Data from: Functional diversity and structural disorder in the human ubiquitination pathway

Pallab Bhowmick, Rita Pancsa, Mainak Guharoy & Peter Tompa
The ubiquitin-proteasome system plays a central role in cellular regulation and protein quality control (PQC). The system is built as a pyramid of increasing complexity, with two E1 (ubiquitin activating), few dozen E2 (ubiquitin conjugating) and several hundred E3 (ubiquitin ligase) enzymes. By collecting and analyzing E3 sequences from the KEGG BRITE database and literature, we assembled a coherent dataset of 563 human E3s and analyzed their various physical features. We found an increase in...

Hidden hybridization and habitat differentiation ina Mediterranean macrophyte, the euryhaline genus Ruppia

Lise Beirinckx, Bram Vanschoenwinkel & Ludwig Triest
In many aquatic plant taxa, classification and identification based on morphology has always been difficult. Molecular markers revealed that the complexity in several of these aquatic taxa could be addressed to recurrent hybridization events and cryptic species diversity. The submerged macrophyte genus Ruppia is one of these aquatic genera with a complex taxonomy due to the absence of clear distinguishable traits and several hybridization events. Two species co-exist throughout Europe, R. maritima and R. spiralis...

Data from: Do people imitate when making decisions? - evidence from a spatial prisoners dilemma experiment

Jelena Grujic & Tom Lenaerts
How do people decide which action to take? This question is best answered using Game Theory, which has proposed a series of decision mechanisms that people potentially use. In network simulations, wherein games are repeated and payoff differences can be observed, those mechanisms rely often on imitation of successful behavior. Surprisingly, little to no evidence has been provided about whether, how and what people actually use to alter their actions in that context. By comparing...

Microsatellite genotypes and ITS2 DNA sequence data for Seriatopora hystrix

Rosa Maria Van Der Ven, Jean-François Flot, Carol Buitrago-López & Marc Kochzius
Coral reefs provide essential goods and services but are degrading at an alarming rate due to local and global anthropogenic stressors. The main limitation that prevents the implementation of adequate conservation measures is that connectivity and genetic structure of populations are poorly known. Here, the genetic diversity and connectivity of the brooding scleractinian coral, Seriatopora hystrix were assessed at two scales by genotyping ten microsatellite markers for 356 individual colonies. Seriatopora hystrix showed high differentiation,...

Data from: Nutrient availability controls the impact of mammalian herbivores on soil carbon and nitrogen pools in grasslands

Judith Sitters, E.R. Jasper Wubs, Elisabeth S. Bakker, Thomas W. Crowther, Peter B. Adler, Sumanta Bagchi, Jonathan D. Bakker, Lori Biederman, Elizabeth T. Borer, Elsa E. Cleland, Nico Eisenhauer, Jennifer Firn, Laureano Gherardi, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Sarah E. Hobbie, Johannes M.H. Knops, Andrew S. MacDougall, Rebecca L. McCulley, Joslin L. Moore, Brent Mortensen, Pablo L. Peri, Suzanne M. Prober, Charlotte Riggs, Anita C. Risch … &
Grasslands have been subject to considerable alteration due to human activities globally, including widespread changes in populations and composition of large mammalian herbivores and elevated supply of nutrients. Grassland soils remain important reservoirs of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). Herbivores may affect both C and N pools and these changes likely interact with increases in soil nutrient availability. Given the scale of grassland soil fluxes, such changes can have striking consequences for atmospheric C concentrations...

Microsatellite data of 14 Avicennia marina populations from Mozambique Channel area

Ludwig Triest
Mangrove forests are dynamic ecosystems found along sheltered low-lying coastal plains in warm-temperate, tropical and subtropical regions, predominantly on tidal flats, deltas, estuaries, bays, but also on oceanic atolls. These landforms present varied hydrodynamic and geomorphological settings for mangroves to establish and could influence the extent of propagule transport and subsequent regeneration. In this study, we examined whether these landform characteristics influence the genetic diversity and structure of Avicennia marina, one of the most abundant...

Timing uncertainty in collective risk dilemmas encourages group reciprocation and polarization

Elias Fernandez Domingos, Jelena Grujić, Francisco C. Santos, Juan C. Burguillo Rial, Georg Kirchsteiger, Francisco C. Santos & Tom Lenaerts
Social dilemmas are often shaped by actions involving uncertain returns only achievable in the future, such as climate action or voluntary vaccination. In this context, uncertainty may produce non-trivial effects. Here, we assess experimentally — through a collective risk dilemma — the effect of timing uncertainty, i.e. how uncertainty about when a target needs to be reached affects the participants’ behaviours. We show that timing uncertainty prompts not only early generosity but also polarised outcomes,...

Data from: Parallel tagged amplicon sequencing of transcriptome-based genetic markers for Triturus newts with the Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing platform

Ben Wielstra, Elza Duijm, Patricia Lagler, Youri Lammers, Willem R. M. Meilink, Janine M. Ziermann & Jan W. Arntzen
Next-generation sequencing is a fast and cost-effective way to obtain sequence data for non-model organisms for many markers and for many individuals. We describe a protocol through which we obtain orthologous markers for the crested newts (Amphibia: Salamandridae: Triturus), suitable for analysis of interspecific hybridization. We use transcriptome data of a single Triturus species and design 96 primer pairs that amplify c. 180 bp fragments positioned in 3-prime untranslated regions. Next these markers are tested...

Data from: Functional advantages of conserved intrinsic disorder in RNA-binding proteins

Mihaly Varadi, Fruzsina Zsolyomi, Mainak Guharoy & Peter Tompa
Proteins form large macromolecular assemblies with RNA that govern essential molecular processes. RNA-binding proteins have often been associated with conformational flexibility, yet the extent and functional implications of their intrinsic disorder have never been fully assessed. Here, through large-scale analysis of comprehensive protein sequence and structure datasets we demonstrate the prevalence of intrinsic structural disorder in RNA-binding proteins and domains. We addressed their functionality through a quantitative description of the evolutionary conservation of disordered segments...

Data from: Socio-demographic, social-cognitive, health-related and physical environmental variables associated with context-specific sitting time in Belgian adolescents: a one-year follow-up study

Cedric Busschaert, Nicola D. Ridgers, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Greet Cardon, Jelle Van Cauwenberg & Katrien De Cocker
Introduction: More knowledge is warranted about multilevel ecological variables associated with context-specific sitting time among adolescents. The present study explored cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of ecological domains of sedentary behaviour, including socio-demographic, social-cognitive, health-related and physical-environmental variables with sitting during TV viewing, computer use, electronic gaming and motorized transport among adolescents. Methods: For this longitudinal study, a sample of Belgian adolescents completed questionnaires at school on context-specific sitting time and associated ecological variables. At baseline,...

Data from: Mutation accumulation is still potentially problematic, despite declining paternal age: a comment on Arslan et al. (2017).

Michael A. Woodley Of Menie, Matthew A. Sarraf & Heitor B. F. Fernandes
Icelandic mutation accumulation modelIcelandic mutation accumulation model (Ibs 0.5-0.99 and Ibs 0.35) - secondary analysis of data from Kong et al. (2012) Rate of de novo mutations and the importance of father’s age to disease risk. Nature 488, 471–475. (doi:10.1038/nature11396), Fig. 4, p.474.

Data from: The ancient Britons: groundwater fauna survived extreme climate changes over tens of millions of years across NW Europe

Caitríona E. McInerney, Louise Maurice, Anne L. Robertson, Lee R. F. D. Knight, Jörg Arnscheidt, Chris Venditti, James S. G. Dooley, Thomas Mathers, Severine Matthijs, Karin Eriksson, Graham S. Proudlove & Bernd Hänfling
Global climate changes during the Cenozoic (65.5 - 0 Ma) caused major biological range shifts and extinctions. In Northern Europe, for example, a pattern of few endemics and the dominance of wide-ranging species is thought to have been determined by the Pleistocene (2.59 – 0.01 Ma) glaciations. This study, in contrast, reveals an ancient subsurface fauna endemic to Britain and Ireland. Using a Bayesian phylogenetic approach we found that two species of stygobitic invertebrates (genus...

Data from: Prey colonization in freshwater landscapes can be stimulated or inhibited by the proximity of remote predators

Beth Turner, Hendrik Trekels, Mathil Vandromme & Bram Vanschoenwinkel
1. Recent findings suggest that the colonization of habitat patches may be affected by the quality of surrounding patches. For instance, patches that lack predators may be avoided when located near others with predators, a pattern known as risk contagion. Alternatively, predator avoidance might also redirect dispersal towards nearby predator-free patches resulting in so-called habitat compression. However, it is largely unknown how predators continue to influence these habitat selection behaviors at increasing distances from outside...

Serum 25(OH)D level on hospital admission is correlated with COVID-19 mortality

Geert Martens
Objective: Vitamin D deficiency was previously correlated with incidence and severity of COVID-19. We investigated the correlation between serum 25(OH)D level on admission and radiological stage and outcome of COVID-19 pneumonia. Methods: Retrospective observational trial on 186 SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals hospitalized from March 1, 2020 to April 7, 2020 with combined chest CT and 25(OH)D measurement on admission. Multivariate analysis was performed to study if vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL) predicts survival independently of...

Data from: The influence of balanced and imbalanced resource supply on biodiversity-functioning relationship across ecosystems

Aleksandra M. Lewandowska, Antje Biermann, Elizabeth T. Borer, Miguel A. Cebrian-Piqueras, Steven A. J. Declerck, Luc De Meester, Ellen Van Donk, Lars Gamfeldt, Daniel S. Gruner, Nicole Hagenah, W. Stanley Harpole, Kevin P. Kirkman, Christopher A. Klausmeier, Michael Kleyer, Johannes M. H. Knops, Pieter Lemmens, Eric M. Lind, Elena Litchman, Jasmin Mantilla-Contreras, Koen Martens, Sandra Meier, Vanessa Minden, Joslin L. Moore, Harry Olde Venterink, Eric W. Seabloom … & Helmut Hillebrand
Numerous studies show that increasing species richness leads to higher ecosystem productivity. This effect is often attributed to more efficient portioning of multiple resources in communities with higher numbers of competing species, indicating the role of resource supply and stoichiometry for biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Here, we merged theory on ecological stoichiometry with a framework of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning to understand how resource use transfers into primary production. We applied a structural equation model to define patterns...

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  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Ghent University
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Minnesota
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
  • University of Rochester
  • Monash University
  • Deakin University
  • Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences