120 Works

Ecosystem function and vegetation data from Parsonage Down, UK, in 2013

E.L. Fry, A.L. Hall, J. Savage, R.D. Bardgett, N. Ostle, R.F. Pywell & J.M. Bullock
This dataset contains vegetation survey data and nitrate and ammonium concentrations, microbial biomass data, particle size, and nitrification and mineralisation rates within soils from an experiment based at Parsonage Down, UK. The vegetation survey comprises total species percentage cover and species richness data from four 50 cm by 50 cm quadrats. The experiment investigated the effect of different plant groups on soil carbon stores and nutrient cycling, by using a mixture of hand weeding and...

Data from: Decoupled diversity dynamics in green and brown webs during primary succession in a salt marsh

Maarten Schrama, Fons Van Der Plas, Matty P. Berg & Han Olff
Terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by a strong functional connection between the green (plant–herbivore-based) and brown (detritus–detritivore-based) parts of the food web, which both develop over successional time. However, the interlinked changes in green and brown food web diversity patterns in relation to key ecosystem processes are rarely studied. Here, we demonstrate changes in species richness, diversity and evenness over a wide range of invertebrate green and brown trophic groups during 100 years of primary succession...

Data from: Combined analysis of variation in core, accessory and regulatory genome regions provides a super-resolution view into the evolution of bacterial populations

Alan McNally, Yaara Oren, Darren Kelly, Ben Pascoe, Steven Dunn, Tristan Seecharan, Minna Vehkala, Niko Välimäki, Michael B. Prentice, Amgad Ashour, Oren Avram, Tal Pupko, Ulrich Dobrindt, Ivan Literak, Sebastian Guenther, Katharina Schauffler, Lothar H. Wieler, Zong Zhiyong, Samuel K. Sheppard, James O. McInerney, Jukka Corander & Tristan Sreecharan
The use of whole-genome phylogenetic analysis has revolutionized our understanding of the evolution and spread of many important bacterial pathogens due to the high resolution view it provides. However, the majority of such analyses do not consider the potential role of accessory genes when inferring evolutionary trajectories. Moreover, the recently discovered importance of the switching of gene regulatory elements suggests that an exhaustive analysis, combining information from core and accessory genes with regulatory elements could...

Data from: Pigmented anatomy in Carboniferous cyclostomes and the evolution of the vertebrate eye

Sarah E. Gabbott, Philip C.J. Donoghue, Robert S. Sansom, Jakob Vinther, Andrei Dolocan, Mark A. Purnell & Philip C. J. Donoghue
The success of vertebrates is linked to the evolution of a camera-style eye and sophisticated visual system. In the absence of useful data from fossils, scenarios for evolutionary assembly of the vertebrate eye have been based necessarily on evidence from development, molecular genetics and comparative anatomy in living vertebrates. Unfortunately, steps in the transition from a light-sensitive ‘eye spot’ in invertebrate chordates to an image-forming camera-style eye in jawed vertebrates are constrained only by hagfish...

Data from: Plasticity in plant functional traits is shaped by variability in neighbourhood species composition

Maria Abakumova, Kristjan Zobel, Anu Lepik & Marina Semchenko
Plant functional traits can vary widely as a result of phenotypic plasticity to abiotic conditions. Trait variation may also reflect responses to the identity of neighbours, although not all species are equally responsive to their biotic surroundings. We hypothesized that responses to neighbours are shaped by spatial community patterns and resulting variability in neighbour composition. More precisely, we tested the theoretical prediction that plasticity is most likely to evolve if alternative environments (in this case,...

Data from: Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes: the effect of apple cultivar on epiphyte diversity

C. Robin Stevenson, Chantel Davies & Jennifer K. Rowntree
In natural systems, extended phenotypes of trees can be important in determining the species composition and diversity of associated communities. Orchards are productive systems where trees dominate, and can be highly biodiverse, but few studies have considered the importance of tree genetic background in promoting associated biodiversity. We tested the effect of apple cultivar (plant genetic background) on the diversity and composition of the associated epiphytic bryophyte community across a total of seven cultivars in...

Data from: Grassland invasibility varies with drought effects on soil functioning

Maarten Schrama & Richard D. Bardgett
Although it is known that ecosystems are more susceptible to invasion when disturbed, our knowledge of the mechanisms involved remains limited. Recent studies indicate that disturbance-induced changes in soil nutrient availability could influence community invasibility, but the importance of this mechanism in the real world is not known. We tested the hypotheses that (i) exotic plant species profit from drought effects on soil functioning more than do natives; and (ii) grassland invasibility depends on soil...

Data from: The peripheral olfactory code in Drosophila larvae contains temporal information and is robust over multiple timescales

Micheline Grillet, Dario Campagner, Rasmus Petersen, Catherine McCrohan & Matthew Cobb
We studied the electrophysiological activity of two classes of Drosophila melanogaster larval olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), Or24a and Or74a, in response to 1 s stimulation with butanol, octanol, 2-heptanone, and propyl acetate. Each odour/OSN combination produced unique responses in terms of spike count and temporal profile. We used a classifier algorithm to explore the information content of OSN activity, and showed that as well as spike count, the activity of these OSNs included temporal information...

Data from: Copy-when-uncertain: bumblebees rely on social information when rewards are highly variable

Marco Smolla, Sylvain Alem, Lars Chittka & Susanne Shultz
To understand the relative benefits of social and personal information use in foraging decisions, we developed an agent-based model of social learning that predicts social information should be more adaptive where resources are highly variable and personal information where resources vary little. We tested our predictions with bumblebees and found that foragers relied more on social information when resources were variable than when they were not. We then investigated whether socially salient cues are used...

Data from: Drop spreading with random viscosity

Feng Xu & Oliver E. Jensen
We examine theoretically the spreading of a viscous liquid drop over a thin film of uniform thickness, assuming the liquid’s viscosity is regulated by the concentration of a solute that is carried passively by the spreading flow. The solute is assumed to be initially heterogeneous, having a spatial distribution with prescribed statistical features. To examine how this variability influences the drop’s motion, we investigate spreading in a planar geometry using lubrication theory, combining numerical simulations...

Data from: Noninvasive physiological markers demonstrate link between habitat quality, adult sex ratio and poor population growth rate in a vulnerable species, the Cape mountain zebra

Jessica M. D. Lea, Susan L. Walker, Graham I. H. Kerley, John Jackson, Shelby C. Matevich & Susanne Shultz
Effective conservation and species management requires an understanding of the causes of poor population growth. Conservation physiology uses biomarkers to identify factors that contribute to low individual fitness and population declines. Building on this, macrophysiology can use the same markers to assess how individual physiology varies with different ecological or demographic factors over large temporal and spatial scales. Here, we use a macrophysiological approach to identify the ecological and demographic correlates of poor population growth...

Impacts of experimental drought and plant trait diversity on floral resources and pollinator visitation

B.B. Phillips, R.F. Shaw, M. Holland, E.L. Fry, R.D. Bardgett, J.M. Bullock & J.L. Osborne
The floral resources provided to pollinators by different sown plant experimental plant communities were assessed under ambient and experimental drought conditions. The dataset includes the abundance and diversity of floral resources in all plant communities and more detailed information on the nectar quality and quantity provided by three focal plant species. Pollinator visit surveys were carried out on selected plots. These data can be linked to the related 'Ecosystem functions and vegetation data for Winklebury...

Data from: The contrasting roles of host species diversity and parasite population genetic diversity in the infection dynamics of a keystone parasitic plant

Jennifer K Rowntree, Hayley Craig & Jennifer K. Rowntree
1) Diversity among species and genetic diversity within species are both important components of ecological communities that can determine the outcome of species interactions, especially between hosts and parasites. We sought to understand the impact of species diversity on host community resistance to infection by a keystone parasitic plant (Rhinanthus minor L.) and genetic diversity of the parasite on its successful establishment in a grassland community. 2) We used an experimental approach where large pots...

Data from: Biotic and abiotic plant-soil feedback depends on nitrogen-acquisition strategy and shifts during long-term ecosystem development

G. Kenny Png, Hans Lambers, Paul Kardol, Benjamin L. Turner, David A. Wardle, Etienne Laliberté & Guochen Kenny Png
1. Feedback between plants and soil is an important driver of plant community structure, but it remains unclear whether plant-soil feedback (PSF): (i) reflects changes in biotic or abiotic properties, (ii) depends on environmental context in terms of soil nutrient availability, and (iii) varies among plant functional groups. Because soil nutrient availability strongly affects plant distribution and performance, soil chemical properties and plant nutrient-acquisition strategies might serve as important drivers of PSF. 2. We used...

Data from: A population genomics insight into the Mediterranean origins of wine yeast domestication

Pedro Almeida, Raquel Barbosa, Polona Zalar, Yumi Imanishi, Kiminori Shimizu, Benedetta Turchetti, Jean-Luc Legras, Marta Serra, Sylvie Dequin, Arnaud Couloux, Julie Guy, Douda Bensasson, Paula Gonçalves & José Paulo Sampaio
The domestication of the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is thought to be contemporary with the development and expansion of viticulture along the Mediterranean basin. Until now, the unavailability of wild lineages prevented the identification of the closest wild relatives of wine yeasts. Here, we enlarge the collection of natural lineages and employ whole-genome data of oak-associated wild isolates to study a balanced number of anthropic and natural S. cerevisiae strains. We identified industrial variants and...

Data from: Colonization of the Mediterranean Basin by the vector biting midge species Culicoides imicola: an old story

Stephanie Jacquet, Claire Garros, Eric Lombaert, Catherine Walton, Johana Restrepo, Xavier Allene, Thierry Baldet, Catherine Cetre-Sossah, Alexandra Chaskopoulou, Jean-Claude Delecolle, Amelie Desvars, Mouloud Djerbal, Moussa Fall, Laetitia Gardes, Michel De Garine-Wichatitsky, Maria Goffredo, Yuval Gottlieb, Assane Gueye Fall, Muo Kasina, Karien Labuschagne, Youssef Lhor, Javier Lucientes, Thibaud Martin, Bruno Mathieu, Miguel Miranda … & Y. Gottlieb
Understanding the demographic history and genetic make-up of colonizing species is critical for inferring population sources and colonization routes. This is of main interest for designing accurate control measures in areas newly colonized by vector species of economically important pathogens. The biting midge Culicoides imicola is a major vector of orbiviruses to livestock. Historically, the distribution of this species was limited to the Afrotropical region. Entomological surveys first revealed the presence of C. imicola in...

Data from: Testes size increases with sperm competition risk and intensity in bony fish and sharks

Amy G. Rowley, Toby S. Daly-Engel, John L. Fitzpatrick, Amy G Rowley & John L Fitzpatrick
Female multiple mating provides the opportunity for sexual selection to continue after gamete release, generating strong selection on male reproductive traits. In particular, in species where female multiple mating is common, males are expected to invest more in testicular tissue to afford them a numerical advantage during sperm competition. However, although testes size (correcting for body size) is a commonly used proxy of the strength of sperm competition, there is surprisingly scant direct evidence linking...

Winter is coming: harsh environments limit independent reproduction of cooperative-breeding queens in a socially polymorphic ant

Ornela De Gasperin, Pierre Blacher, Guglielmo Grasso & Michel Chapuisat
Animals that live in cooperative breeding groups frequently inhabit harsh environments. It is widely accepted that harsh environments hinder independent reproduction, and this constraint favours individuals staying in family groups. Yet the assumption that harsh ecological conditions reduce the success of members of cooperative breeding groups when breeding independently has not been experimentally tested. We addressed this shortcoming using the socially polymorphic Alpine silver ant, Formica selysi. This species has single-queen (independent breeders), and multiple-queen...

Categorical versus geometric morphometric approaches to characterising the evolution of morphological disparity in Osteostraci (Vertebrata, stem-Gnathostomata)

Humberto Ferron, Humberto Ferrón, Jenny Greenwood, Bradley Deline, Carlos Martínez Pérez, Hector Botella, Robert Sansom, Marcello Ruta & Philip Donoghue
Morphological variation (disparity) is almost invariably characterised by two non-mutually exclusive approaches: (i) quantitatively, through geometric morphometrics, and (ii) in terms of discrete, ‘cladistic’, or categorical characters. Uncertainty over the comparability of these approaches diminishes the potential to obtain nomothetic insights into the evolution of morphological disparity and the few benchmarking studies conducted so far show contrasting results. Here, we apply both approaches to characterising morphology in the stem-gnathostome clade Osteostraci in order to assess...

Metaschoepite dissolution in sediment column systems – groundwater/soil geochemistry and uranium X-ray spectroscopy data

W. Bower, K. Morris, F.R. Livens, J.F.W. Mosselmans, C.M. Fallon, A.J. Fuller, L.S. Natrajan, C. Boothman, J.R. Lloyd, S. Utsunomia, D. Grolimund, D. Ferreira Sanchez, T. Jilbert, J.E. Parker, T. Neill & G. Law
This dataset contains the results of a laboratory study investigating the dissolution of UO3•nH2O particles in dynamic sediment/groundwater column systems, representative of the shallow subsurface at the Sellafield Ltd. site, UK. Measurements were carried out to determine the extent of uranic particle dissolution and the speciation of dissolved uranium within the columns under contrasting biogeochemical conditions (oxic and electron-donor amended). Columns effluents were analysed periodically for key biogeochemical indicators (nitrate, sulfate) and trace metals (iron,...

Closure investigation on cloud condensation nuclei ability of processed anthropogenic aerosols

Dawei Hu
Whether the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) ability of aerosol could be predicted by compositions has been long debated. Measurements of sub-micron aerosol compositions and size-resolved CCN activation fraction were conducted at a mountain site (1344 m) near Beijing region during wintertime. The site was influenced in the noon-afternoon by ground anthropogenic sources through convective mixing (CM) and for certain period received aged pollutants by regional advection (RA). By comparing the measured CCN-derived hygroscopicity parameter (κCCNc)...

Supplemental material for: Morphological phylogenetics evaluated using novel evolutionary simulations

Joseph Keating, Robert S Sansom, Mark D Sutton, Christopher G Knight & Russell J Garwood
Evolutionary inferences require reliable phylogenies. Morphological data has traditionally been analysed using maximum parsimony, but recent simulation studies have suggested that Bayesian analyses yield more accurate trees. This debate is ongoing, in part, because of ambiguity over modes of morphological evolution and a lack of appropriate models. Here we investigate phylogenetic methods using two novel simulation models – one in which morphological characters evolve stochastically along lineages and another in which individuals undergo selection. Both...

Data from: Seafloor microplastic hotspots controlled by deep-sea circulation

Ian Kane, Michael Clare, Elda Miramontes, Roy Wogelius, James Rothwell, Pierre Garreau & Florian Pohl
While microplastics are known to pervade the global seafloor, the processes that control their dispersal and concentration in the deep sea remain largely unknown. Here we show that thermohaline-driven currents, which build extensive seafloor sediment accumulations, can control the distribution of microplastics and create hotspots of up to 1.9 million pieces m^2. This is the highest reported value for any seafloor setting, globally. Previous studies propose that microplastics are transported to the seafloor by vertical...

Financing Community Energy Case Studies : Brighton and Hove Energy Services (BHESCo)

Iain Cairns, Matthew Hannon, Timothy Braunholtz-Speight, Carly McLachlan, Sarah Mander, Edward Manderson, Maria Sharmina & Jeff Hardy
This report presents the final of four case studies of UK community energy organisations conducted during 2018/19, which will later be included as part of a synthesis briefing alongside a series of sector-level interviews. The case study makes use of a combination of qualitative (e.g. interviews, organisation reports) and quantitative (e.g. financial reports) data. Summary of key lessons includes: Energy efficiency and heating services can constitute a core offering of community groups. Unlike many other...

Data from: Parasitoid wasps influence where aphids die via an inter-specific indirect genetic effect

Mouhammad Shadi Khudr, Johan A. Oldekop, David M. Shuker, Richard F. Preziosi, D. M. Shuker, M. S. Khudr, J. A. Oldekop & R. F. Preziosi
Host–parasite interactions are a key paradigm for understanding the process of coevolution. Central to coevolution is how genetic variation in interacting species allows parasites to evolve manipulative strategies. However, genetic variation in the parasite may also be associated with host phenotype changes, thereby changing the selection on both species. For instance, parasites often induce changes in the behaviour of their host to maximize their own fitness, yet the quantitative genetic basis for behavioural manipulation has...

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