453 Works

Data from: Conflict within species determines the value of a mutualism between species

Syuan-Jyun Sun, Nicholas P.C. Horrocks & Rebecca M. Kilner
Mutually beneficial interactions between species play a key role in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function. Nevertheless, such mutualisms can erode into antagonistic interactions. One explanation is that the fitness costs and benefits of interacting with a partner species vary among individuals. However, it is unclear why such variation exists. Here we demonstrate that social behaviour within species plays an important, though hitherto overlooked, role in determining the relative fitness to be gained from interacting with...

Data from: Y chromosome sequences reveal a short Beringian Standstill, rapid expansion, and early population structure of Native American founders

Thomaz Pinotti, Susana Revollo, Cézar Paz-Y-Miño, Ricardo Fujita, Fabrício Rodrigues Santos, Chris Tyler-Smith, Toomas Kivisild, Qasim Ayub, Anders Bergström, Yali Xue, Cinthia Cuellar, Dominique Ohasi, Daniela R. Lacerda, Marilza S. Jota, José E. Santos & Arne Solli
The Americas were the last inhabitable continents to be occupied by humans, with a growing multidisciplinary consensus for entry 15-25 thousand years ago (kya) from northeast Asia via the former Beringia land bridge. Autosomal DNA analyses have dated the separation of Native American ancestors from the Asian gene pool to 23 kya or later, and mtDNA analyses to ~25 kya, followed by isolation (‘Beringian Standstill’) for 2.4-9 ky and then a rapid expansion throughout the...

Data from: The early-life environment and individual plasticity in life history

Ornela De Gasperin, Ana Duarte, Sinead English, Alfredo Attisano & Rebecca M. Kilner
We tested whether the early-life environment can influence the extent of individual plasticity in a life history trait. We asked: can the early-life environment explain why, in response to the same adult environmental cue, some individuals invest more than others in current reproduction? And can it additionally explain why investment in current reproduction trades off against survival in some individuals, but is positively correlated with survival in others? We addressed these questions using the burying...

Data from: Inbreeding alters context‐dependent reproductive effort and immunity in male crickets

Kristin R. Duffield, Kylie J. Hampton, Thomas M. Houslay, John Hunt, Ben M. Sadd & Scott K. Sakaluk
Infection can cause hosts to drastically alter their investment in key life‐history traits of reproduction and defence. Infected individuals are expected to increase investment in defence (e.g., by increasing immune function) and, due to trade‐offs, investment in other traits (e.g., current reproduction) should decrease. However, the terminal investment hypothesis postulates that decreased lifespan due to infection and the associated reduction in the expectation for future offspring will favour increased investment towards current reproduction. Variation in...

Data from: Environmental DNA from seawater samples correlate with trawl catches of subarctic, deepwater fishes

Philip Francis Thomsen, Peter Rask Møller, Eva Egelyng Sigsgaard, Steen Wilhelm Knudsen, Ole Ankjær Jørgensen & Eske Willerslev
Remote polar and deepwater fish faunas are under pressure from ongoing climate change and increasing fishing effort. However, these fish communities are difficult to monitor for logistic and financial reasons. Currently, monitoring of marine fishes largely relies on invasive techniques such as bottom trawling, and on official reporting of global catches, which can be unreliable. Thus, there is need for alternative and non-invasive techniques for qualitative and quantitative oceanic fish surveys. Here we report environmental...

Data from: Odd-paired controls frequency doubling in Drosophila segmentation by altering the pair-rule gene regulatory network

Erik Clark & Michael Akam
The Drosophila embryo transiently exhibits a double segment periodicity, defined by the expression of seven "pair-rule" genes, each in a pattern of seven stripes. At gastrulation, interactions between the pair-rule genes lead to frequency doubling and the patterning of fourteen parasegment boundaries. In contrast to earlier stages of Drosophila anteroposterior patterning, this transition is not well understood. By carefully analysing the spatiotemporal dynamics of pair-rule gene expression, we demonstrate that frequency-doubling is precipitated by multiple...

Data from: Divergence in brain composition during the early stages of ecological specialization in Heliconius butterflies

Stephen H. Montgomery & Richard M. Merrill
During speciation across ecological gradients diverging populations are exposed to contrasting sensory and spatial information that present new behavioural and perceptive challenges. These challenges may be met by heritable or environmentally-induced changes in brain function which mediate behaviour. However, few studies have investigated patterns of neural divergence at the early stages of speciation, inhibiting our understanding of the relative importance of these processes. Here, we provide a novel case study. The incipient species pair, Heliconius...

Data from: Multimodal mimicry of hosts in a radiation of parasitic finches

Gabriel Jamie, Steven M. Van Belleghem, Benedict G. Hogan, Silky Hamama, Collins Moya, Jolyon Troscianko, Mary Stoddard, Rebecca Kilner & Claire Spottiswoode
Brood parasites use the parental care of others to raise their young and sometimes employ mimicry to dupe their hosts. The brood-parasitic finches of the genus Vidua are a textbook example of the role of imprinting in sympatric speciation. Sympatric speciation is thought to occur in Vidua because their mating traits and host preferences are strongly influenced by their early host environment. However, this alone may not be sufficient to isolate parasite lineages, and divergent...

Can behaviour impede evolution? persistence of singing effort after morphological song loss in crickets

Jack Rayner, Will Schneider & Nathan Bailey
Evolutionary loss of sexual signals is widespread. Examining the consequences for behaviours associated with such signals can provide insight into factors promoting or inhibiting trait loss. We tested whether a behavioural component of a sexual trait, male calling effort, has been evolutionary reduced in silent populations of Hawaiian field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus). Cricket song requires energetically costly wing movements, but ‘flatwing’ males have feminised wings that preclude song and protect against a lethal, eavesdropping parasitoid....

Teaching and learning in ecology: a horizon scan of emerging challenges and solutions

Zenobia Lewis, Julia Cooke, Yoseph Araya, Karen Bacon, Joanna Bagniewska, Lesley Batty, Tom Bishop, Moya Burns, Magda Charalambous, David Daversa, Liam Dougherty, Miranda Dyson, Adam Fisher, Dan Forman, Cristina Garcia, Ewan Harney, Thomas Hesselberg, Elizabeth John, Robert Knell, Kadmiel Maseyk, Alice Mauchline, Julie Peacock, Angelo Pernetto, Jeremy Pritchard, William Sutherland … & Nicholas Worsfold
We currently face significant, anthropogenic, global environmental challenges and therole of ecologists in mitigating these challenges is arguably more important than ever. Consequently there is an urgent need to recruit and train future generations of ecologists, both those whose main area is ecology, but also those involved in the geological, biological and environmental sciences. Here we present the results of a horizon scanning exercise that identified current and future challenges facing the teaching of ecology,...

Disentangling sources of gene tree discordance in phylogenomic datasets: testing ancient hybridizations in Amaranthaceae s.l.

Diego F. Morales-Briones, Gudrun Kadereit, Delphine Tefarikis, Michael Moore, Stephen Smith, Samuel Brockington, Alfonso Timoneda, Won Yim, John Cushman & Ya Yang
Gene tree discordance in large genomic datasets can be caused by evolutionary processes such as incomplete lineage sorting and hybridization, as well as model violation, and errors in data processing, orthology inference, and gene tree estimation. Species tree methods that identify and accommodate all sources of conflict are not available, but a combination of multiple approaches can help tease apart alternative sources of conflict. Here, using a phylotranscriptomic analysis in combination with reference genomes, we...

How butterflies keep their cool: physical and ecological traits influence thermoregulatory ability and population trends.

Andrew Bladon, Matthew Lewis, Eleanor Bladon, Sam Buckton, Stuart Corbett, Steven Ewing, Matthew Hayes, Gwen Hitchcock, Richard Knock, Colin Lucas, Adam McVeigh, Rosa Menendez, Jonah Walker, Tom Fayle & Edgar Turner
Understanding which factors influence the ability of individuals to respond to changing temperatures is fundamental to species conservation under climate change. We investigated how a community of butterflies responded to fine-scale changes in air temperature, and whether species-specific responses were predicted by ecological or morphological traits. Using data collected across a UK reserve network, we investigated the ability of 29 butterfly species to buffer thoracic temperature against changes in air temperature. First, we tested whether...

Data from: Anisotropic growth is achieved through the additive mechanical effect of material anisotropy and elastic asymmetry

Firas Bou Daher, Yuanjie Chen, Behruz Bozorg, Jack Clough, Henrik Jönsson & Siobhan A. Braybrook
Fast directional growth is a necessity for the young seedling; after germination, it needs to quickly penetrate the soil to begin its autotrophic life. In most dicot plants, this rapid escape is due to the anisotropic elongation of the hypocotyl, the columnar organ between the root and the shoot meristems. Anisotropic growth is common in plant organs and is canonically attributed to cell wall anisotropy produced by oriented cellulose fibers. Recently, a mechanism based on...

Data from: Group size elevates inequality in cooperative behaviour

Shay Rotics & Tim Clutton-Brock
In cooperatively breeding species where rearing effort is shared among multiple group members, increases in group size typically reduce average per capita contributions to offspring care in all group members (load-lightening) but it is not known how changes in group size affect the distribution of workload among group members. The socioeconomic collective action theory suggests that, in larger groups, the incentives for free riding are stronger, leading to greater inequalities in work-division among group members....

Temperature-mediated plasticity in incubation schedules is unlikely to evolve to buffer embryos from climatic challenges in a seasonal songbird

Alexandra Cones, Andrea Liebl, Thomas Houslay & Andrew Russell
Phenotypic plasticity is hypothesised to facilitate adaptive responses to challenging conditions, such as those resulting from climate change. However, the key predictions of this ‘rescue hypothesis’, that variation in plasticity exists and can evolve to buffer unfavourable conditions, remain rare. Here, we investigate among-female variation in temperature-mediated plasticity of incubation schedules and consequences for egg temperatures using the chestnut-crowned babbler (Pomatostomus ruficeps) from temperate regions of inland south-eastern Australia. Given phenological advances in this seasonal...

The Geometry and Genetics of Hybridization

Hilde Schneemann, Bianca De Sanctis, Denis Roze, Nicolas Bierne & John Welch
When divergent populations form hybrids, hybrid fitness can vary with genome composition, current environmental conditions, and the divergence history of the populations. We develop analytical predictions for hybrid fitness, which incorporate all three factors. The predictions are based on Fisher's geometric model, and apply to a wide range of population genetic parameter regimes and divergence conditions, including allopatry and parapatry, local adaptation and drift. Results show that hybrid fitness can be decomposed into intrinsic effects...

Small scale variability in soil moisture drives infection of vulnerable juniper populations by invasive forest pathogen

Flora Donald, Sarah Green, Kate Searle, Nik J. Cunniffe & Bethan V. Purse
The oomycete plant pathogen, Phytophthora austrocedri, is an aggressive killer of cypress trees causing severe mortality of Chilean cedar (Austrocedrus chilensis) in Argentina since the 1940s and now common juniper (Juniperus communis s.l.) in the UK. Rapid mortality of key UK juniper populations was first observed in the early 2000s; the causal agent of mortality was confirmed as P. austrocedri in 2012 and the pathogen has now been widely detected - but is not ubiquitous...

Clustering of loci controlling species differences in male chemical bouquets of sympatric Heliconius butterflies

Kelsey Byers, Kathy Darragh, Sylvia Fernanda Garza, Diana Abondano Almeida, Ian Warren, Pasi Rastas, Richard Merrill, Stefan Schulz, W. Owen McMillan & Chris Jiggins
The degree to which loci promoting reproductive isolation cluster in the genome – i.e. the genetic architecture of reproductive isolation - can influence the tempo and mode of speciation. Tight linkage between these loci can facilitate speciation in the face of gene flow. Pheromones play a role in reproductive isolation in many Lepidoptera species, and the role of endogenously-produced compounds as secondary metabolites decreases the likelihood of pleiotropy associated with many barrier loci. Heliconius butterflies...

Data from: Bayesian causal inference explains movement coordination to auditory beats

Mark T. Elliott, Alan M. Wing & Andrew E. Welchman
Many everyday skilled actions depend on moving in time with signals that are embedded in complex auditory streams (e.g. musical performance, dancing or simply holding a conversation). Such behaviour is apparently effortless; however, it is not known how humans combine auditory signals to support movement production and coordination. Here, we test how participants synchronize their movements when there are potentially conflicting auditory targets to guide their actions. Participants tapped their fingers in time with two...

Data from: Why on earth did I buy that? A study of regretted appliance purchases

Thomas Roberts, Aimie Hope & Alexandra Skelton
If targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thereby tackle climate change are to be achieved, it will be necessary to reduce both embodied energy costs (e.g. in terms of producing and manufacturing the products and services that society consumes) and operational energy costs. Reducing the number of purchases that people regret could be a first step in changing the overall dynamic of consumption patterns. This research looks at some potentially adverse effects of consumption...

Data from: Oral microbiomes from hunter-gatherers and traditional farmers reveal shifts in commensal balance and pathogen load linked to diet

Florent Lassalle, Matteo Spagnoletti, Matteo Fumagalli, Liam Shaw, Mark Dyble, Catherine Walker, Mark G. Thomas, Andrea Bamberg Migliano & Francois Balloux
Maladaptation to modern diets has been implicated in several chronic disorders. Given the higher prevalence of disease such as dental caries and chronic gum diseases in industrialized societies, we sought to investigate the impact of different subsistence strategies on oral health and physiology, as documented by the oral microbiome. To control for confounding variables such as environment and host genetics, we sampled saliva from three pairs of populations of hunter-gatherers and traditional farmers living in...

Data from: Moving from frugivory to seed dispersal: incorporating the functional outcomes of interactions in plant-frugivore networks

Benno I. Simmons, William J. Sutherland, Lynn V. Dicks, Jörg Albrecht, Nina Farwig, Daniel Garcia, Pedro Jordano & Juan P. González-Varo
1.There is growing interest in understanding the functional outcomes of species interactions in ecological networks. For many mutualistic networks, including pollination and seed dispersal networks, interactions are generally sampled by recording animal foraging visits to plants. However, these visits may not reflect actual pollination or seed dispersal events, despite these typically being the ecological processes of interest. 2.Frugivorous animals can act as seed dispersers, by swallowing entire fruits and dispersing their seeds, or as pulp...

Data from: Reproduction triggers adaptive increases in body size in female mole-rats

Jack Thorley, Nathan Katlein, Katy Goddard, Markus Zoettl & Tim Clutton-Brock
In social mole-rats, breeding females are larger and more elongated than nonbreeding female helpers. The status-related morphological divergence is thought to arise from modifications of skeletal growth following the death or removal of the previous breeder and the transition of their successors from a nonbreeding to a breeding role. However, it is not clear what changes in growth are involved, whether they are stimulated by the relaxation of reproductive suppression or by changes in breeding...

Data from: Multiple stages of tree seedling recruitment are altered in tropical forests degraded by selective logging

Rajeev Pillay, Fangyuan Hua, Bette A. Loiselle, Henry Bernard & Robert J. Fletcher
Tropical forest degradation is a global environmental issue. In degraded forests, seedling recruitment of canopy trees is vital for forest regeneration and recovery. We investigated how selective logging, a pervasive driver of tropical forest degradation, impacts canopy tree seedling recruitment, focusing on an endemic dipterocarp Dryobalanops lanceolata in Sabah, Borneo. During a mast-fruiting event in intensively logged and nearby unlogged forest, we examined four stages of the seedling recruitment process: seed production, seed predation, and...

Data from: Selection on male sex pheromone composition contributes to butterfly reproductive isolation

Paul M. B. Bacquet, Oskar Brattström, Hong-Lei Wang, Cerisse E. Allen, Christer Löfstedt, Paul M. Brakefield, Caroline M. Nieberding, C. Lofstedt, H.- L. Wang & O. Brattstrom
Selection can facilitate diversification by inducing character displacement in mate choice traits that reduce the probability of maladaptive mating between lineages. Although reproductive character displacement (RCD) has been demonstrated in two-taxa case studies, the frequency of this process in nature is still debated. Moreover, studies have focused primarily on visual and acoustic traits, despite the fact that chemical communication is probably the most common means of species recognition. Here, we showed in a large, mostly...

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