460 Works

Data from: Weak interspecific interactions in a sagebrush steppe? Conflicting evidence from observations and experiments

Peter B. Adler, Andrew Kleinhesselink, Giles Hooker, Joshua B. Taylor, Brittany Teller & Stephen P. Ellner
Stable coexistence requires intraspecific limitations to be stronger than interspecific limitations. The greater the difference between intra- and interspecific limitations, the more stable the coexistence, and the weaker the competitive release any species should experience following removal of competitors. We conducted a removal experiment to test whether a previously estimated model, showing surprisingly weak interspecific competition for four dominant species in a sagebrush steppe, accurately predicts competitive release. Our treatments were 1) removal of all...

Data from: Natural selection and the predictability of evolution in Timema stick insects

Patrik Nosil, Romain Villoutreix, Clarissa F. De Carvalho, Tim E. Farkas, Victor Soria-Carrasco, Jeff L. Feder, Bernard J. Crespi & Zachariah Gompert
Predicting evolution remains difficult. We studied the evolution of cryptic body coloration and pattern in a stick insect using 25 years of field data, experiments, and genomics. We found that evolution is more difficult to predict when it involves a balance between multiple selective factors and uncertainty in environmental conditions than when it involves feedback loops that cause consistent back-and-forth fluctuations. Specifically, changes in color-morph frequencies are modestly predictable through time (r2 = 0.14) and...

Data from: Evolution of mammalian migrations for refuge, breeding, and food

Gitanjali E. Gnanadesikan, William D. Pearse & Allison K. Shaw
Many organisms migrate between distinct habitats, exploiting variable resources while profoundly affecting ecosystem services, disease spread, and human welfare. However, the very characteristics that make migration captivating and significant also make it difficult to study, and we lack a comprehensive understanding of which species migrate and why. Here we show that, among mammals, migration is concentrated within Cetacea and Artiodactyla but also diffusely spread throughout the class (found in 12 of 27 orders). We synthesize...

Data from: Spatial heterogeneity in species composition constrains plant community responses to herbivory and fertilization

Dorothee Hodapp, Elizabeth T. Borer, W. Stanley Harpole, Eric M. Lind, Eric W. Seabloom, Peter B. Adler, Juan Alberti, Carlos A. Arnillas, Jonathan D. Bakker, Lori Biederman, Marc Cadotte, Elsa E. Cleland, Scott Collins, Philip A. Fay, Jennifer Firn, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Oscar Iribarne, Johannes M.H. Knops, Rebecca L. McCulley, Andrew MacDougall, Joslin L. Moore, John W. Morgan, Brent Mortensen, Kimberly J. La Pierre … & Johannes M. H. Knops
Environmental change can result in substantial shifts in community composition. The associated immigration and extinction events are likely constrained by the spatial distribution of species. Still, studies on environmental change typically quantify biotic responses at single spatial (time series within a single plot) or temporal (spatial beta-diversity at single time points) scales, ignoring their potential interdependence. Here, we use data from a global network of grassland experiments to determine how turnover responses to two major...

Data from: Diel predator activity drives a dynamic landscape of fear

Michel T. Kohl, Daniel R. Stahler, Matthew C. Metz, James D. Forester, Matthew J. Kauffman, Nathan Varley, Patrick J. White, Douglas W. Smith & Daniel R. MacNulty
A ‘landscape of fear’ (LOF) is a map that describes continuous spatial variation in an animal’s perception of predation risk. The relief on this map reflects, for example, places that an animal avoids to minimize risk. Although the LOF concept is a potential unifying theme in ecology that is often invoked to explain the ecological and conservation significance of fear, little is known about the daily dynamics of a LOF. Despite theory and data to...

Data from: Patterns of nitrogen-fixing tree abundance in forests across Asia and America

Duncan N. L. Menge, Ryan A. Chisholm, Stuart J. Davies, Kamariah Abu Salim, David Allen, Mauricio Alvarez, Norm Bourg, Warren Y. Brockelman, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, Nathalie Butt, Min Cao, Wirong Chanthorn, Wei-Chun Chao, Keith Clay, Richard Condit, Susan Cordell, João Batista Da Silva, H. S. Dattaraja, Ana Cristina Segalin De Andrade, Alexandre A. Oliveira, Jan Den Ouden, Michael Drescher, Christine Fletcher, Christian P. Giardina, C. V. Savitri Gunatilleke … & Tak Fung
Symbiotic nitrogen (N)‐fixing trees can provide large quantities of new N to ecosystems, but only if they are sufficiently abundant. The overall abundance and latitudinal abundance distributions of N‐fixing trees are well characterised in the Americas, but less well outside the Americas. Here, we characterised the abundance of N‐fixing trees in a network of forest plots spanning five continents, ~5,000 tree species and ~4 million trees. The majority of the plots (86%) were in America...

Data from: Ecology shapes epistasis in a genotype-phenotype-fitness map for stick insect colour

Zachariah Gompert, Patrik Nosil, Romain Villoutreix, Clarissa De Carvalho, Jeffrey Feder & Thomas Parchman
Genetic interactions such as epistasis are widespread in nature and can shape evolutionary dynamics. Epistasis occurs due to non-linearity in biological systems, which can arise via cellular processes that convert genotype to phenotype and via selective processes that connect phenotype to fitness. Few studies in nature have connected genotype to phenotype to fitness for multiple potentially interacting genetic variants. Thus, the causes of epistasis in the wild remain poorly understood. Here, we show that epistasis...

Artificial nightlight alters the predator-prey dynamics of an apex carnivore

Mark Ditmer, David Stoner, Clinton D. Francis, Jesse Barber, James Forester, David Choate, Kirsten Ironside, Kathleen Longshore, Kent Hersey, Randy Larsen, Brock McMillan, Daniel Olson, Alyson Andreasen, Jon Beckmann, Brandon Holton, Terry Messmer & Neil Carter
Artificial nightlight is increasingly recognized as an important environmental disturbance that influences the habitats and fitness of numerous species. However, its effects on wide-ranging vertebrates and their interactions remain unclear. Light pollution has the potential to amplify land-use change, and as such, answering the question of how this sensory stimulant affects behavior and habitat use of species valued for their ecological roles and economic impacts is critical for conservation and land-use planning. Here, we combined...

Thistle-down velvet ants in the Desert Mimicry Ring and the evolution of white coloration: Müllerian mimicry, camouflage, and thermal ecology

Joseph Wilson, Jeni Sidwell, Matthew Forister, Kevin Williams & James Pitts
Adaptive coloration among animals is one of the most recognizable outcomes of natural selection. Here we investigate evolutionary drivers of white coloration in velvet ants (Hymenoptera: Mutillidae), which has previously been considered camouflage with the fruit of creosote bush. Our analyses indicate instead that velvet ants evolved white coloration millions of years before creosote bush was widespread in North America’s hot deserts. Furthermore, velvet ants and the creosote fruit exhibit different spectral reflectance patterns, which...

Data from: Density-dependent space use affects interpretation of camera trap detection rates

Kate Broadley, Cole Burton, Stan Boutin & Tal Avgar
Camera-traps (CTs) are an increasingly popular tool for wildlife survey and monitoring. Estimating relative abundance in unmarked species is often done using detection rate as an index of relative abundance, which assumes a positive linear relationship with true abundance. This assumption may be violated if movement behavior varies with density, but the degree to which movement is density-dependent across taxa is unclear. The potential confounding of population-level relative abundance indices by movement depends on how...

Data from: Weak spatiotemporal response of prey to predation risk in a freely interacting system

Jeremy J. Cusack, Michel T. Kohl, Matthew C. Metz, Tim Coulson, Daniel R. Stahler, Douglas W. Smith & Daniel R. MacNulty
1.The extent to which prey space use actively minimises predation risk continues to ignite controversy. Methodological reasons that have hindered consensus include inconsistent measurements of predation risk, biased spatiotemporal scales at which responses are measured, and lack of robust null expectations. 2.We addressed all three challenges in a comprehensive analysis of the spatiotemporal responses of adult female elk (Cervus elaphus) to the risk of predation by grey wolves (Canis lupus) during winter in northern Yellowstone,...

Data from: Increased soil temperature and decreased precipitation during early life stages constrain grass seedling recruitment in cold desert restoration

Jeremy J. James, Roger Sheley, Elizabeth Leger, Peter B. Adler, Stuart Hardegree, Elise Gornish & Matt Rinella
1. Seed-based restoration is one of the most difficult challenges for dryland restoration. Identifying environmental conditions that drive variation in seed and seedling mortality across similar restoration efforts could increase understanding of when and where restoration outcomes are likely to be favorable and identify new tools and strategies to improve outcomes. 2. We asked how variation in a suite of environmental predictors influenced germination, emergence, seedling establishment, and juvenile survival of four commonly sown perennial...

Data from: Host conservatism, geography, and elevation in the evolution of a Neotropical moth radiation

Joshua P. Jahner, Matthew L. Forister, Thomas L. Parchman, Angela M. Smilanich, James S. Miller, Joseph S. Wilson, Thomas R. Walla, Eric J. Tepe, Lora A. Richards, Mario A. Quijano-Abril, Andrea E. Glassmire & Lee A. Dyer
The origins of evolutionary radiations are often traced to the colonization of novel adaptive zones, including unoccupied habitats or unutilized resources. For herbivorous insects, the predominant mechanism of diversification is typically assumed to be a shift onto a novel lineage of host plants. However, other drivers of diversification are important in shaping evolutionary history, especially for groups residing in regions with complex geological histories. We evaluated the contributions of shifts in host plant clade, bioregion,...

Morphometric trait measurements of Arctic char in foothill lakes of arctic Alaska

Stephen Klobucar
Polymorphism facilitates coexistence of divergent morphs (e.g., phenotypes) of the same species by minimizing intraspecific competition, especially when resources are limiting. Arctic char (Salvelinus sp.) are a Holarctic fish often forming morphologically, and sometimes genetically, divergent morphs. In this study, we assessed the morphological and genetic diversity and divergence of 263 individuals from seven populations of arctic char with varying length-frequency distributions across two distinct groups of lakes in northern Alaska. Despite close geographic proximity,...

Data from: Functional traits explain variation in plant life history strategies

Peter B. Adler, Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Aldo Compagnoni, Joanna S. Hsu, Jayanti Ray-Mukherjee, Cyril Mbeau-Ache & Miguel Franco
Ecologists seek general explanations for the dramatic variation in species abundances in space and time. An increasingly popular solution is to predict species distributions, dynamics and responses to environmental change based on easily measured anatomical and morphological traits. Trait-based approaches assume that simple functional traits influence fitness and life history evolution, but rigorous tests of this assumption are lacking because they require quantitative information about the full life-cycles of many species representing different life histories....

Data from: Warming, soil moisture, and loss of snow increase Bromus tectorum's population growth rate

Aldo Compagnoni & Peter B. Adler
Climate change threatens to exacerbate the impacts of invasive species. In temperate ecosystems, direct effects of warming may be compounded by dramatic reductions in winter snow cover. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is arguably the most destructive biological invader in basins of the North American Intermountain West, and warming could increase its performance through direct effects on demographic rates or through indirect effects mediated by loss of snow. We conducted a two-year experimental manipulation of temperature and...

Data from: Phylogeny and systematics of the bee genus Osmia (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) with emphasis on North American Melanosmia: subgenera, synonymies, and nesting biology revisited

Molly G. Rightmyer, Terry Griswold & Seán G. Brady
The predominantly Holarctic bee genus Osmia Panzer is species-rich and behaviourally diverse. A robust phylogeny of this genus is important for understanding the evolution of the immense variety of morphological and behavioural traits exhibited by this group. We infer a phylogeny of Osmia using DNA sequence data obtained from three nuclear genes (elongation factor 1-α, LW-rhodopsin and CAD) and the mitochondrial gene COI. Our taxon sampling places special attention on North American members of the...

Data from: Bumble bee nest abundance, foraging distance, and host-plant reproduction: implications for management and conservation

Jennifer C. Geib, James P. Strange & Candace Galen
Recent reports of global declines in pollinator species imply an urgent need to assess the abundance of native pollinators and density-dependent benefits for linked plants. In this study, we investigated (1) pollinator nest distributions and estimated colony abundances, (2) the relationship between abundances of foraging workers and the number of nests they represent, (3) pollinator foraging ranges, and (4) the relationship between pollinator abundance and plant reproduction. We examined these questions in an alpine ecosystem...

Data from: Loss of adaptation following reversion suggests trade-offs in host use by a seed beetle

Frank J. Messina & Susan L. Durham
Experimental evolution has provided little support for the hypothesis that the narrow diets of herbivorous insects reflect trade-offs in performance across hosts; selection lines can sometimes adapt to an inferior novel host without a decline in performance on the ancestral host. An alternative approach for detecting trade-offs would be to measure adaptation decay after selection is relaxed, i.e., when populations newly adapted to a novel host are reverted to the ancestral one. Lines of the...

Data from: Fully-sampled phylogenies of squamates reveal evolutionary patterns in threat status

João Filipe Riva Tonini, Karen H. Beard, Rodrigo Barbosa Ferreira, Walter Jetz & R. Alexander Pyron
Macroevolutionary rates of diversification and anthropogenic extinction risk differ vastly throughout the Tree of Life. This results in a highly heterogeneous distribution of Evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) and threat status among species. We examine the phylogenetic distribution of ED and threat status for squamates (amphisbaenians, lizards, and snakes) using fully-sampled phylogenies containing 9574 species and expert-based estimates of threat status for ~ 4000 species. We ask whether threatened species are more closely related than would be...

Data from: Wolf in sheep's clothing: model misspecification undermines tests of the neutral theory for life histories

Matthieu Authier, Lise M. Aubry & Emmanuelle Cam
Understanding the processes behind change in reproductive state along life-history trajectories is a salient research program in evolutionary ecology. Two processes, state dependence and heterogeneity, can drive the dynamics of change among states. Both processes can operate simultaneously, begging the difficult question of how to tease them apart in practice. The Neutral Theory for Life Histories (NTLH) holds that the bulk of variations in life-history trajectories is due to state dependence and is hence neutral:...

Data from: Convergent adaptation to dangerous prey proceeds through the same first-step mutation in the garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis

Michael Thomas Jonathan Hague, Chris R. Feldman, , , Michael T.J. Hague & Edmund D. Brodie
Convergent phenotypes often result from similar underlying genetics, but recent work suggests convergence may also occur in the historical order of substitutions en route to an adaptive outcome. We characterized convergence in the mutational steps to two independent outcomes of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in separate geographic lineages of the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) that coevolved with toxic newts. Resistance is largely conferred by amino acid changes in the skeletal muscle sodium channel (NaV1.4) that...

Data from: Predator foraging response to a resurgent dangerous prey

Aimee Tallian, Douglas W. Smith, Daniel R. Stahler, Matthew C. Metz, Rick L. Wallen, Chris Geremia, Joel Ruprecht, C. Travis Wyman & Daniel R. MacNulty
Prey switching occurs when a generalist predator kills disproportionately more of an abundant prey species and correspondingly spares a rarer species. Although this behaviour is a classic stabilizing mechanism in food web models, little is known about its operation in free-living systems which often include dangerous prey species that resist predation. We used long-term (1995–2015) data from a large mammal system in northern Yellowstone National Park, USA, to understand how prey preference of a wild,...

Data from: Biodiverse cities: the nursery industry, homeowners, and neighborhood differences drive urban tree composition

Meghan Avolio, Diane Pataki, Tara Trammell, Joanna Endter-Wada, Meghan L. Avolio, Diane E. Pataki & Tara L. E. Trammell
In arid and semi-arid regions, where few if any trees are native, city trees are largely human-planted. Societal factors such as resident preferences for tree traits, nursery offerings, and neighborhood characteristics are potentially key drivers of urban tree community composition and diversity, however they remain critically understudied. We investigated patterns of urban tree structure in residential neighborhoods of the Salt Lake Valley, Utah, combining biological variables, such as neighborhood and plant nursery tree species and...

Data from: Tree circumference dynamics in four forests characterized using automated dendrometer bands

Valentine Herrmann, Sean M. McMahon, Matteo Detto, James A. Lutz, Stuart J. Davies, Chia-Hao Chang-Yang & Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira
Stem diameter is one of the most commonly measured attributes of trees, forming the foundation of forest censuses and monitoring. Changes in tree stem circumference include both irreversible woody stem growth and reversible circumference changes related to water status, yet these fine-scale dynamics are rarely leveraged to understand forest ecophysiology and typically ignored in plot- or stand-scale estimates of tree growth and forest productivity. Here, we deployed automated dendrometer bands on 12–40 trees at four...

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