453 Works

Data from: Adaptive responses to cool climate promotes persistence of a non-native lizard

Geoffrey M. While, Joseph Williamson, Graham Prescott, Terézia Horváthová, Belén Fresnillo, Nicholas J. Beeton, Ben Halliwell, Sozos Michaelides, Tobias Uller & T. Horvathova
Successful establishment and range expansion of non-native species often require rapid accommodation of novel environments. Here, we use common-garden experiments to demonstrate parallel adaptive evolutionary response to a cool climate in populations of wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) introduced from southern Europe into England. Low soil temperatures in the introduced range delay hatching, which generates directional selection for a shorter incubation period. Non-native lizards from two separate lineages have responded to this selection by retaining their...

Data from: Genetic uniformity and long-distance clonal dispersal in the invasive androgenetic Corbicula clams

Lise-Marie Pigneur, Emilie Etoundi, David C. Aldridge, Jonathan Marescaux, Nina Yasuda & Karine Van Doninck
The clam genus Corbicula is an interesting model system to study the evolution of reproductive modes since it includes both sexual and asexual (androgenetic) lineages. While the sexual populations are restricted to the native Asian areas, the androgenetic lineages are widely distributed being also found in America and Europe where they form a major aquatic invasive pest. We investigated the genetic diversity of native and invasive Corbicula populations through a worldwide sampling. The use of...

Data from: Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a UK wetland

Francine M. R. Hughes, Kelvin S. H. Peh, Andrew Balmford, Rob H. Field, Anthony Lamb, Jennifer C. Birch, Richard B. Bradbury, Claire Brown, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Martin Lester, Ross Morrison, Isabel Sedgwick, Chris Soans, Alison J. Stattersfield, Peter A. Stroh, Ruth D. Swetnam, David H. L. Thomas, Matt Walpole, Stuart Warrington & Kelvin S.-H. Peh
Restoration of degraded land is recognized by the international community as an important way of enhancing both biodiversity and ecosystem services, but more information is needed about its costs and benefits. In Cambridgeshire, U.K., a long-term initiative to convert drained, intensively farmed arable land to a wetland habitat mosaic is driven by a desire both to prevent biodiversity loss from the nationally important Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve (Wicken Fen NNR) and to increase the...

Data from: Complementarity of statistical treatments to reconstruct worldwide routes of invasion: the case of the Asian ladybird Harmonia axyridis

Eric Lombaert, Thomas Guillemaud, Jonathan Lundgren, Robert Koch, Benoît Facon, Audrey Grez, Antoon Loomans, Thibaut Malausa, Oldrich Nedved, Emma Rhule, Arnstein Staverlokk, Tove Steenberg & Arnaud Estoup
Inferences about introduction histories of invasive species remain challenging because of the stochastic demographic processes involved. Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) can help to overcome these problems, but such method requires a prior understanding of population structure over the study area, necessitating the use of alternative methods and an intense sampling design. In this study, we made inferences about the worldwide invasion history of the ladybird Harmonia axyridis by various population genetics statistical methods, using a...

Data from: DNA methylation and gene expression changes derived from assisted reproductive technologies can be decreased by reproductive fluids

Sebastian Canovas, Elena Ivanova, Raquel Romar, Soledad García-Martínez, Cristina Soriano-Úbeda, Francisco Alberto A. García-Vázquez, Heba Saadeh, Simon Andrews, Gavin Kelsey & Pilar Coy
The number of children born since the origin of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) exceeds 5 million. The majority seem healthy, but a higher frequency of defects has been reported among ART-conceived infants, suggesting an epigenetic cost. We report the first whole-genome DNA methylation datasets from single pig blastocysts showing differences between in vivo and in vitro produced embryos. Blastocysts were produced in vitro either without (C-IVF) or in the presence of natural reproductive fluids (Natur-IVF)....

Data from: Urban development, land sharing and land sparing: the importance of considering restoration

Lydia Collas, Rhys E. Green, Alexander Ross, Josie H. Wastell & Andrew Balmford
1. At present, there is limited knowledge of how best to reconcile urban development with biodiversity conservation, and in particular whether populations of wild species would be greater under low-density housing (with larger gardens), or high-density housing (allowing more area to be left as undeveloped green spaces). The land sharing/sparing framework – originally developed in the context of farming – can be applied to address this question. 2. We sampled the abundance of trees in...

Data from: Reciprocal signaling in honeyguide-human mutualism

Claire N. Spottiswoode, Keith S. Begg & Colleen M. Begg
Greater honeyguides (Indicator indicator) lead human honey-hunters to wild bees’ nests, in a rare example of a mutualistic foraging partnership between humans and free-living wild animals. We show experimentally that a specialized vocal sound made by Mozambican honey-hunters seeking bees’ nests elicits elevated cooperative behavior from honeyguides. The production of this sound increased the probability of being guided by a honeyguide from about 33 to 66% and the overall probability of thus finding a bees’...

Data from: Childhood adiposity and type 1 diabetes: a Mendelian randomization study

J. C. Censin, Christoph Nowak, Nicholas Cooper, Peter Bergsten, John A. Todd & Tove Fall
BACKGROUND: The incidence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) is increasing globally. One hypothesis is that increasing childhood obesity rates may explain part of this increase, but, as T1D is rare, intervention studies are challenging to perform. The aim of this study was to assess this hypothesis with a Mendelian randomization approach that uses genetic variants as instrumental variables to test for causal associations. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We created a genetic instrument of 23 single nucleotide...

Data from: Variation in growth of Damaraland mole-rats is explained by competition rather than by functional specialization for different tasks

Markus Zöttl, Jack Thorley, David Gaynor, Nigel C. Bennett & Tim Clutton-Brock
In some eusocial insect societies, adaptation to the division of labour results in multimodal size variation among workers. It has been suggested that variation in size and growth among non-breeders in naked and Damaraland mole-rats may similarly reflect functional divergence associated with different cooperative tasks. However, it is unclear whether individual growth rates are multimodally distributed (as would be expected if variation in growth is associated with specialization for different tasks) or whether variation in...

Data from: Experimental evidence that primate trichromacy is well suited for detecting primate social colour signals

Chihiro Hiramatsu, Amanda D. Melin, William L. Allen, Constance Dubuc & James P. Higham
Primate trichromatic colour vision has been hypothesized to be well tuned for detecting variation in facial coloration, which could be due to selection on either signal wavelengths or the sensitivities of the photoreceptors themselves. We provide one of the first empirical tests of this idea by asking whether, when compared with other visual systems, the information obtained through primate trichromatic vision confers an improved ability to detect the changes in facial colour that female macaque...

Data from: Linked morphological changes during palate evolution in early tetrapods

Charles B. Kimmel, Brian Sidlauskas & Jennifer A. Clack
We examined the shapes and sizes of dermal bones of the palate of selected Palaeozoic tetrapods in order to identify the ancestral states of palatal bone morphologies in the earliest tetrapods, to learn how the composition of the palate varies within and among early tetrapod radiations, and recognize evolutionary correlations among the size and shapes of skeletal elements in this important group of animals. We find that whereas the palatal bones themselves and their arrangements...

Data from: Multiple regression modelling for estimating endocranial volume in extinct Mammalia

Laura C. Soul, Roger B. J. Benson & Vera Weisbecker
The profound evolutionary success of mammals has been linked to behavioral and life-history traits, many of which have been tied to brain size. However, studies of the evolution of this key trait have yet to explore the full potential of the fossil record, being limited by the difficulty of obtaining endocranial data from fossils. Using measurements of endocranial volume, length, height, and width of the braincase in 503 adult specimens from 199 extant species, representing...

Data from: Deep sequencing reveals extensive variation in the gut microbiota of wild mosquitoes from Kenya.

Jewelna Osei-Poku, Charles M. Mbogo, William J. Palmer & Francis M. Jiggins
The mosquito midgut is a hostile environment that vector-borne parasites must survive in order to be transmitted. Commensal bacteria in the midgut can reduce the ability of mosquitoes to transmit disease, either by having direct anti-parasite effects or by stimulating basal immune responses of the insect host. As different bacteria have different effects on parasite development, the composition of the bacterial community in the mosquito gut is likely to affect the probability of disease transmission....

Data from: Genetic analysis of life-history constraint and evolution in a wild ungulate population

Michael B. Morrissey, Craig A. Walling, Alastair J. Wilson, Josephine M. Pemberton, Tim H. Clutton-Brock & Loeske E. B. Kruuk
Trade-offs among life-history traits are central to evolutionary theory. In quantitative genetic terms, trade-offs may be manifested as negative genetic covariances relative to the direction of selection on phenotypic traits. Although the expression and selection of ecologically important phenotypic variation are fundamentally multivariate phenomena, the in situ quantification of genetic covariances is challenging. Even for life-history traits, where well-developed theory exists with which to relate phenotypic variation to fitness variation, little evidence exists from in...

Data from: The evolution of primate general and cultural intelligence

Simon M. Reader, Yfke Hager & Kevin N. Laland
There are consistent individual differences in human intelligence, attributable to a single ‘general intelligence’ factor, g. The evolutionary basis of g and its links to social learning and culture remain controversial. Conflicting hypotheses regard primate cognition as divided into specialized, independently evolving modules versus a single general process. To assess how processes underlying culture relate to one another and other cognitive capacities, we compiled ecologically relevant cognitive measures from multiple domains, namely reported incidences of...

Data from: Vertebral architecture in the earliest stem tetrapods

Stephanie E. Pierce, Per E. Ahlberg, John R. Hutchinson, Julia L. Molnar, Sophie Sanchez, Paul Tafforeau & Jennifer A. Clack
The construction of the vertebral column has been used as a key anatomical character in defining and diagnosing early tetrapod groups. Rhachitomous vertebrae - in which there is a dorsally placed neural arch and spine, an anteroventrally placed intercentrum and paired, posterodorsally placed pleurocentra - have long been considered the ancestral morphology for tetrapods. Nonetheless, very little is known about vertebral anatomy in the earliest stem tetrapods, as most specimens remain trapped in surrounding matrix,...

Data from: Geographical variation in species' population responses to changes in temperature and precipitation

James W. Pearce-Higgins, Nancy Ockendon, David J. Baker, Jamie Carr, Elizabeth C. White, Rosamunde E. A. Almond, Tatsuya Amano, Esther Bertram, Richard B. Bradbury, Cassie Bradley, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Nathalie Doswald, Wendy Foden, David J. C. Gill, Rhys E. Green, William J. Sutherland & Edmund V. J. Tanner
Despite increasing concerns about the vulnerability of species’ populations to climate change, there has been little overall synthesis of how individual population responses to variation in climate differ between taxa, with trophic level or geographically. To address this, we extracted data from 132 long-term (≥20 years) studies of population responses to temperature and precipitation covering 236 animal and plant species across terrestrial and freshwater habitats. Temperature tended to have a greater overall impact on populations...

Data from: Population genetic dynamics of an invasion reconstructed from the sediment egg bank

Markus Möst, Sarah Oexle, Silvia Markova, Dalia Aidukaite, Livia Baumgartner, Hans-Bernd Stich, Martin Wessels, Dominik Martin-Creuzburg & Piet Spaak
Biological invasions are a global issue with far-reaching consequences for single species, communities and whole ecosystems. Our understanding of modes and mechanisms of biological invasions requires knowledge of the genetic processes associated with successful invasions. In many instances, this information is particularly difficult to obtain as the initial phases of the invasion process often pass unnoticed and we rely on inferences from contemporary population genetic data. Here, we combined historic information with the genetic analysis...

Data from: Local inter-species introgression is the main cause of extreme levels of intra-specific differentiation in mussels

Christelle Fraïsse, Khalid Belkhir, John J. Welch & Nicolas Bierne
Structured populations, and replicated zones of contact between species, are an ideal opportunity to study regions of the genome with unusual levels of differentiation; and these can illuminate the genomic architecture of species isolation, and the spread of adaptive alleles across species ranges. Here, we investigated the effects of gene flow on divergence and adaptation in the Mytilus complex of species, including replicated parental populations in quite distant geographical locations. We used target enrichment sequencing...

Data from: Light accelerates plant responses to warming

Pieter De Frenne, Francisco Rodríguez-Sánchez, An De Schrijver, David A. Coomes, Martin Hermy, Pieter Vangansbeke & Kris Verheyen
Competition for light has profound effects on plant performance in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. Nowhere is this more evident than in forests, where trees create environmental heterogeneity that shapes the dynamics of forest-floor communities1,​2,​3. Observational evidence suggests that biotic responses to both anthropogenic global warming and nitrogen pollution may be attenuated by the shading effects of trees and shrubs4,​5,​6,​7,​8,​9. Here we show experimentally that tree shade is slowing down changes in below-canopy communities due to...

Data from: Routine habitat switching alters the likelihood and persistence of infection with a pathogenic parasite

David R. Daversa, Andrea Manica, Jaime Bosch, Jolle W. Jolles & Trenton W. J. Garner
1.Animals switch habitats on a regular basis, and when habitats vary in suitability for parasitism, routine habitat switching alters the frequency of parasite exposure and may affect post-infection parasite proliferation. However, the effects of routine habitat switching on infection dynamics are not well understood. 2.We performed infection experiments, behavioural observations, and field surveillance to evaluate how routine habitat switching by adult alpine newts (Ichthyosaura alpestris) influences infection dynamics of the pathogenic parasite, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd)....

Data from: Function and flexibility of object exploration in kea and New Caledonian crows

Megan L. Lambert, Martina Schiestl, Raoul Schwing, Alex H. Taylor, Gyula K. Gajdon, Katie E. Slocombe & Amanda M. Seed
A range of nonhuman animals frequently manipulate and explore objects in their environment, which may enable them to learn about physical properties and potentially form more abstract concepts of properties such as weight and rigidity. Whether animals can apply the information learned during their exploration to solve novel problems, however, and whether they actually change their exploratory behaviour to seek functional information about objects have not been fully explored. We allowed kea (Nestor notabilis) and...

Data from: Habitat disturbance selects against both small and large species across varying climates

Heloise Gibb, Nathan J. Sanders, Robert R. Dunn, Xavier Arnan, Heraldo L. Vasconcellos, David A. Donoso, Alan N. Andersen, Rogerio R. Silva, Tom R. Bishop, Crisanto Gomez, Blair F. Grossman, Kalsum M. Yusah, Sarah H. Luke, Renata Pacheco, Jessica Pearce-Duvet, Javier Retana, Melanie Tista, Catherine L. Parr & H. L. Vasconcelos
Global extinction drivers, including habitat disturbance and climate change, are thought to affect larger species more than smaller species. However, it is unclear if such drivers interact to affect assemblage body size distributions. We asked how these two key global change drivers differentially affect the interspecific size distributions of ants, one of the most abundant and ubiquitous animal groups on earth. We also asked whether there is evidence of synergistic interactions and whether effects are...

Data from: Variability in commercial demand for tree saplings affects the probability of introducing exotic forest diseases

Vasthi Alonso Chavez, Christopher A. Gilligan & Frank Van Den Bosch
1. Several devastating forest pathogens are suspected or known to have entered the UK through imported planting material. The nursery industry is a key business of the tree trade network. Variability in demand for trees makes it difficult for nursery owners to predict how many trees to produce in their nursery. When in any given year, the demand for trees is larger than the production, nursery owners buy trees from foreign sources to match market...

Data from: Of puzzles and pavements: a quantitative exploration of leaf epidermal cell shape

Róza V. Vőfély, Joseph Gallagher, Grace D. Pisano, Madelaine Bartlett & Siobhan A. Braybrook
Epidermal cells of leaves are diverse: tabular pavement cells, trichomes, and stomatal complexes. Pavement cells from the monocot Zea mays (maize) and the eudicot Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) have highly undulate anticlinal walls. The molecular basis for generating these undulating margins has been extensively investigated in these species. This has led to two assumptions: first, that particular plant lineages are characterized by particular pavement cell shapes; and second, that undulatory cell shapes are common enough to...

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