114 Works

Detection of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) using environmental DNA in riverine systems

Louis Gasparini
Environmental DNA (eDNA) methods are being developed for use in conservation biology to improve upon conventional species survey techniques. Validation of eDNA methods in different environmental contexts is required if they are to be widely adopted. One potential application of eDNA methods is for the detection of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae), which are among the most imperiled species in North America. Conventional unionid survey methods are highly invasive and can be difficult to conduct due...

Bacterial exposure mediates developmental plasticity and resistance to lethal Vibrio lentus Infection in purple sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) larvae

Nicholas Schuh, Tyler Carrier, Catherine Schrankel, Adam Reitzel, Andreas Heyland & Jonathan Rast
Exposure to and colonization by bacteria during development have wide-ranging beneficial effects on animal biology but can also inhibit growth or cause disease. The immune system is the prime mediator of these microbial interactions and is itself shaped by them. Studies using diverse animal taxa have begun to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the acquisition and transmission of bacterial symbionts and their interactions with developing immune systems. Moreover, the contexts of these associations are often confounded...

Data from: The effects of river algae and porewater flow on the feeding of juvenile mussels

Josef Ackerman & Victor Fung
Juvenile mussels enter the benthos after excysting from a fish host and settling to the bottom where they inhabit the interstitial zone in rivers. We examined the algal composition in the surface water and pore waters in different locations in a temperate river (Thames River) in Southern Ontario. Surprisingly, algal concentration (C) was ~9× higher in pore water versus surface water, varied spatially in the riverbed (downstream of boulders > upstream of boulders and non-bedform...

Simulated pollinator declines intensify selection on floral traits that facilitate selfing and outcrossing in Impatiens capensis

Christina Caruso & Hazel Panique
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Anthropogenic environmental change is causing pollinator populations to decline. These declines should intensify selection for floral traits that facilitate outcrossing by making plants more attractive to pollinators and/or for floral traits that facilitate selfing in the absence of pollinators. However, the effect of pollinator declines on selection on floral traits could be modified by other environmental factors such as herbivores. METHODS: We studied the effect of simulated pollinator declines on selection...

The influence of experimentally induced polyploidy on the relationships between endopolyploidy and plant function in Arabidopsis thaliana

Evan Pacey, Hafiz Maherali & Brian Husband
Whole genome duplication, leading to polyploidy and endopolyploidy, occurs in all domains and kingdoms and is especially prevalent in vascular plants. Both polyploidy and endopolyploidy increase cell size, but it is uncertain whether both processes have similar effects on plant morphology and function, or whether polyploidy influences the magnitude of endopolyploidy. To address these gaps in knowledge, fifty-five geographically separated diploid genotypes (i.e., accessions) of Arabidopsis thaliana that span a gradient of endopolyploidy were experimentally...

Data from: Testing predictions of inclusive fitness theory in inbreeding relatives with biparental care

Elizabeth Gow, Peter Arcese, Danielle Dagenais, Rebecca Sardell, Scott Wilson & Jane Reid
Inclusive fitness theory predicts that parental care will vary with relatedness between potentially caring parents and offspring, potentially shaping mating system evolution. Systems with extra-pair paternity (EPP), and hence variable parent-brood relatedness, provide valuable opportunities to test this prediction. However, existing theoretical and empirical studies assume that a focal male is either an offspring’s father with no inbreeding, or is completely unrelated. We highlight that this simple dichotomy does not hold given reproductive interactions among...

Interspecific competition in bats and diet shifts in response to White-Nose Syndrome

Derek Morningstar, Chloe Robinson, Shadi Shokralla & Mehrdad Hajibabaei
Since the introduction of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in North America, numerous species of bat have dwindled in numbers. These declines observed are often species-specific and thus provides opportunity for a natural experiment to test for shifts in diet through relaxed resource partitioning in bat communities post-introduction of WNS. Acoustic monitoring at locations in Southern Ontario pre- (2009– 2011) and post-WNS (2012–2014) introduction showed an increase in activity of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) corresponding to...

Priority effects will impede range shifts of temperate tree species into the boreal forest

Kevin Solarik, Kevin Cazelles, Christian Messier, Yves Bergeron & Dominique Gravel
Temperate tree species are expected to expand their distribution into the boreal forest in response to climate change. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that many species will experience significant setbacks in capacity to migrate due to a series of unfavourable conditions impacting their recruitment success, and thus their ability to colonize new locations. We quantify the relative influence of a series of factors important for tree seedling recruitment at range margins: propagule dispersal, substrate...

Climatic and Vegetational Drivers of Insect Beta Diversity at the Continental Scale

Douglas Chesters, Douglas Chesters, Philip Beckschäfer, Michael Orr, Sarah Adamowicz, Kwok-Pan Chun & Chao-Dong ZHU
Aim We construct a framework for mapping pattern and drivers of insect diversity at the continental scale, and use it to test whether and which environmental gradients drive insect beta diversity. Location Global; North and Central America; Western Europe Time period 21st century Major taxa studied Insects Methods An informatics system was developed to integrate terrestrial data on insects with environmental parameters. We mined repositories of data for distribution, climatic data was retrieved (WorldClim), and...

A meta-analysis of natural selection on plant functional traits

Christina Caruso, Hafiz Maherali & Ryan Martin
A common assumption in plant physiological ecology is that variation in functional traits reflects the adaptation of organisms to their abiotic environment. This assumption can be tested by estimating natural selection as the relationship between a functional trait and a fitness component (i.e. survival or reproduction) within a population. To understand how natural selection operates on plant functional traits, we compiled directional selection gradients (β), which estimate direct selection, and differentials (S), which estimate both...

Data from: Riverine transport and nutrient inputs affect phytoplankton communities in a coastal embayment

Josef D. Ackerman, Christopher R. Farrow, Ralph E. H. Smith & Dave Snider
1. Rivers often transport phytoplankton to coastal embayments and introduce nutrients that can enrich coastal plankton communities. We investigated the effects of the Nottawasaga River on the nearshore (i.e., within 500 m of shore) phytoplankton composition along a 10 km transect of Nottawasaga Bay, Lake Huron in 2015 and 2016. Imaging flow cytometry was used to identify and enumerate algal taxa, which were resolved at sizes larger than small nanoplankton (i.e., > 5 mm). Multivariate...

Data from: Validation of COI metabarcoding primers for terrestrial arthropods

Vasco Elbrecht, Thomas W. A. Braukmann, Natalia V. Ivanova, Sean W. J. Prosser, Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Michael Wright, Evgeny V. Zakharov, Paul D. N. Hebert & Dirk Steinke
Metabarcoding can rapidly determine the species composition of bulk samples and thus aids biodiversity and ecosystem assessment. However, it is essential to use primer sets that minimize amplification bias among taxa to maximize species recovery. Despite this fact, the performance of primer sets employed for metabarcoding terrestrial arthropods has not been sufficiently evaluated. This study tests the performance of 36 primer sets on a mock community containing 374 insect species. Amplification success was assessed with...

Data from: Length polymorphisms at two candidate genes explain variation of migratory behaviors in blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata)

Joel Ralston, Lydia Lorenc, Melissa Montes, William Deluca, Jeremy Kirchman, Brad Woodworth, Stuart Mackenzie, Amy Newman, Hilary A. Cooke, Nikole Freeman, Alex Sutton, Lila Tauzer & D. Ryan Norris
Migratory behaviors such as the timing and duration of migration are genetically inherited and can be under strong natural selection, yet we still know very little about the specific genes or molecular pathways that control these behaviors. Studies in candidate genes Clock and Adcyap1 have revealed that both of these loci can be significantly correlated with migratory behaviors in birds, though observed relationships appear to vary across species. We investigated geographic genetic structure of Clock...

Data from: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 mediates adaptive developmental plasticity of hypoxia tolerance in zebrafish, Danio rerio

Cayleih E. Robertson, Patricia A. Wright, Louise Köblitz, Nicholas J. Bernier, L. Koblitz, N. J. Bernier, C. E. Robertson & P. A. Wright
In recent years, natural and anthropogenic factors have increased aquatic hypoxia the world over. In most organisms, the cellular response to hypoxia is mediated by the master regulator hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). HIF-1 also plays a critical role in the normal development of the cardiovascular system of vertebrates. We tested the hypothesis that hypoxia exposures which resulted in HIF-1 induction during embryogenesis would be associated with enhanced hypoxia tolerance in subsequent developmental stages. We exposed zebrafish...

Data from: Temporal dynamics of plant-soil feedback and root-associated fungal communities over 100 years of invasion by a non-native plant

Nicola J. Day, Kari E. Dunfield & Pedro M. Antunes
1. Pathogens can accumulate on invasive plants over time, which could lead to population declines. The time required for these dynamics to occur is unknown and seldom addressed. Furthermore, no study has assessed plant-soil feedback while characterising plant pathogen and mutualist root fungal communities in the context of invasion time. 2. We used a plant-soil feedback study and 454 pyrosequencing to investigate pathogen accumulation over 100 years on a highly invasive plant in eastern North...

Data from: Glacial cycles as an allopatric speciation pump in North Eastern American freshwater fishes

Julien April, Robert H. Hanner, Anne-Marie Dion-Côté & Louis Bernatchez
Allopatric speciation may be the principal mechanism generating new species. Yet, it remains difficult to judge the generality of this process because few studies have provided evidence that geographic isolation has triggered the development of reproductive isolation over multiple species of a regional fauna. Here, we first combine results from new empirical data sets (7 taxa) and published literature (9 taxa) to show that the eastern Great Lakes drainage represents a multispecies suture zone for...

Data from: Genetics, morphology, advertisement calls, and historical records distinguish six new polyploid species of African clawed frog (Xenopus, Pipidae) from West and Central Africa

Ben J. Evans, Timothy F. Carter, Eli Greenbaum, Václav Gvoždík, Darcy B. Kelley, Patrick J. McLaughlin, Olivier S. G. Pauwels, Daniel M. Portik, Edward L. Stanley, Richard C. Tinsley, Martha L. Tobias & David C. Blackburn
African clawed frogs, genus Xenopus, are extraordinary among vertebrates in the diversity of their polyploid species and the high number of independent polyploidization events that occurred during their diversification. Here we update current understanding of the evolutionary history of this group and describe six new species from west and central sub-Saharan Africa, including four tetraploids and two dodecaploids. We provide information on molecular variation, morphology, karyotypes, vocalizations, and estimated geographic ranges, which support the distinctiveness...

Data from: Discrimination of grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) diet and niche overlap using next-generation sequencing of gut contents

Beverly McClenaghan, Joel F. Gibson, Shadi Shokralla & Mehrdad Hajibabaei
Species of grasshopper have been divided into three diet classifications based on mandible morphology: forbivorous (specialist on forbs), graminivorous (specialist on grasses), and mixed feeding (broad-scale generalists). For example, Melanoplus bivittatus and Dissosteira carolina are presumed to be broad-scale generalists, Chortophaga viridifasciata is a specialist on grasses, and Melanoplus femurrubrum is a specialist on forbs. These classifications, however, have not been verified in the wild. Multiple specimens of these four species were collected, and diet...

Data from: Untangling taxonomy: a DNA barcode reference library for Canadian spiders

Gergin A. Blagoev, Jeremy R. DeWaard, Sujeevan Ratnasingham, Stephanie L. DeWaard, Liuqiong Lu, James Robertson, Angela C. Telfer & Paul D. N. Hebert
Approximately 1460 species of spiders have been reported from Canada, 3% of the global fauna. This study provides a DNA barcode reference library for 1018 of these species based upon the analysis of more than 30 000 specimens. The sequence results show a clear barcode gap in most cases with a mean intraspecific divergence of 0.78% vs. a minimum nearest-neighbour (NN) distance averaging 7.85%. The sequences were assigned to 1359 Barcode index numbers (BINs) with...

Data from: Space-use behavior of woodland caribou based on a cognitive movement model

Tal Avgar, Glen S. Brown, Ian Thompson, Art R. Rodgers, Anna Mosser, John M. Fryxell, Brent R. Patterson, Steven G. Newmaster, Doug E. B. Reid, Merritt Turetsky, Jevon S. Hagens, Douglas E. B. Reid, Jennifer Shuter, James A. Baker, Andrew M. Kittle, Erin E. Mallon, Madeleine T. McGreer, Garrett M. Street & Merritt J. Turetsky
1. Movement patterns offer a rich source of information on animal behaviour and the ecological significance of landscape attributes. This is especially useful for species occupying remote landscapes where direct behavioural observations are limited. In this study, we fit a mechanistic model of animal cognition and movement to GPS positional data of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou; Gmelin 1788) collected over a wide range of ecological conditions. 2. The model explicitly tracks individual animal informational...

Data from: A comprehensive DNA barcode database for Central European beetles with a focus on Germany: adding more than 3,500 identified species to BOLD

Jérôme Morinière, Lars Hendrich, Gerhard Haszprunar, Paul D. N. Hebert, Axel Hausmann, Frank Köhler & Michael Balke
Beetles are the most diverse group of animals and are crucial for ecosystem functioning. In many countries, they are well established for environmental impact assessment, but even in the well-studied Central European fauna, species identification can be very difficult. A comprehensive and taxonomically well-curated DNA barcode library could remedy this deficit and could also link hundreds of years of traditional knowledge with next generation sequencing technology. However, such a beetle library is missing to date....

Data from: A large-scale field study examining effects of exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola on honey bee colony health, development, and overwintering success

G. Christopher Cutler, Cynthia D. Scott-Dupree, Maryam Sultan, Andrew D. McFarlane & Larry Brewer
In summer 2012, we initiated a large-scale field experiment in southern Ontario, Canada, to determine whether exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola (oil seed rape) has any adverse impacts on honey bees. Colonies were placed in clothianidin seed-treated or control canola fields during bloom, and thereafter were moved to an apiary with no surrounding crops grown from seeds treated with neonicotinoids. Colony weight gain, honey production, pest incidence, bee mortality, number of adults, and amount of...

Data from: Understanding the spectacular failure of DNA barcoding in willows (Salix): Does this result from a trans-specific selective sweep?

Diana M. Percy, George W. Argus, Quentin C. Cronk, Aron J. Fazekas, Prasad R. Kesanakurti, Kevin S. Burgess, Brian C. Husband, Steven G. Newmaster, Spencer C. H. Barrett, Sean W. Graham & Spencer C.H. Barrett
Willows (Salix: Salicaceae) form a major ecological component of Holarctic floras, and consequently are an obvious target for a DNA-based identification system. We surveyed two to seven plastid genome regions (~3.8 kb; ~3% of the genome) from 71 Salix species across all five subgenera, to assess their performance as DNA barcode markers. Although Salix has a relatively high level of interspecific hybridization, this may not sufficiently explain the near complete failure of barcoding that we...

Data from: Decreased root heterogeneity and increased root length following grassland invasion

Brenda M. Vaness, Scott D. Wilson & Andrew S. MacDougall
1. Plant invasions can be promoted by environmental heterogeneity, but the opposite effect, the impact of plant invasion on heterogeneity, has received little attention. Grassland invasions might contribute to decreased spatial heterogeneity because invaders tend to be larger than native vegetation. Lowered heterogeneity may contribute to the low diversity of invaded communities, as well as to the persistence of invasive populations. 2. We compared the spatial heterogeneity of roots and resources in uninvaded native grassland...

Data from: Rapid and accurate taxonomic classification of insect (Class Insecta) cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) DNA barcode sequences using a naïve Bayesian classifier

Joel F. Gibson, Shadi Shokralla, G. Brian Golding, Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Teresita M. Porter & Donald J. Baird
Current methods to identify unknown insect (class Insecta) cytochrome c oxidase (COI barcode) sequences often rely on difficult to define thresholds of distances, sequence similarity cutoffs, or monophyly. Most methods do not provide a measure of confidence for the taxonomic assignments they provide. The aim of this study is to use a naïve Bayesian classifier (Wang et al., 2007) to automate unsupervised taxonomic assignments for large batches of insect COI sequences such as data obtained...

Registration Year

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  • University of Guelph
  • University of Alberta
  • McGill University
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • McMaster University
  • Trent University
  • University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • University of Windsor
  • Western University
  • University of Toronto
  • Laurentian University
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Washington
  • Utah State University