54 Works

Assessing changes in genomic divergence following a century of human mediated secondary contact among wild and captive-bred ducks

Philip Lavretsky, Nancy Rotzel McInerney, Jonathon Mohl, Joshua Brown, Helen James, Kevin McCracken & Robert Fleischer
Along with manipulating habitat, the direct release of domesticated individuals into the wild is a practice used world-wide to augment wildlife populations. We test between possible outcomes of human-mediated secondary contact using genomic techniques at both historical and contemporary time scales for two iconic duck species. First, we sequence several thousand ddRAD-seq loci for contemporary mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) throughout North America, and two domestic mallard-types (i.e., known game-farm mallards and feral Khaki Campbell’s). We show...

Sounds of senescence: Male swamp sparrows respond less aggressively to the song of older individuals

Matthew Zipple, Susan Peters, William Searcy & Stephen Nowicki
Age-related changes in assessment signals occur in a diverse array of animals, including humans. Age-related decline in vocal quality in humans is known to affect perceived attractiveness by potential mates and voters, but whether such changes have functional implications for non-human animals is poorly understood. Most studies of age-related change in animal signals focus on increases in signal quality that occur soon after the age of first breeding (“delayed maturation”), but a few have shown...

Data from: Seed-dispersal networks in tropical forest fragments: area effects, remnant species, and interaction diversity

Carine Emer, Pedro Jordano, Marco Aurélio Pizo, Milton Cezar Ribeiro, Fernanda Ribeiro Da Silva & Mauro Galetti
Seed dispersal interactions involve key ecological processes in tropical forests that help to maintain ecosystem functioning. Yet this functionality may be threatened by increasing habitat loss, defaunation and fragmentation. However, generalist species, and their interactions, can benefit from the habitat change caused by human disturbance while more specialized interactions mostly disappear. Therefore changes in the structure of the local, within fragment, networks can be expected. Here we investigated how the structure of seed-dispersal networks changes...

Evaluating the effects of large marine predators on mobile prey behavior across subtropical reef ecosystems

Lindsay Phenix, Dana Tricarico, Mark Bond, Simon Brandl & Austin Gallagher
The indirect effect of predators on prey behavior, recruitment, and spatial relationships continues to attract considerable attention. However, top predators like sharks or large, mobile teleosts, which can have substantial top-down effects in ecosystems, are often difficult to study due to their large size and mobility. This has created a knowledge gap in understanding how they affect their prey through non-consumptive effects. Here we investigated how different functional groups of predators affected potential prey fish...

Data from: Mutations in different pigmentation genes are associated with parallel melanism in island flycatchers

J. Albert C. Uy, Elizabeth A. Cooper, Stephen Cutie, Moira R. Concannon, Jelmer W. Poelstra, Robert G. Moyle & Christopher E. Filardi
The independent evolution of similar traits across multiple taxa provides some of the most compelling evidence of natural selection. Little is known, however, about the genetic basis of these convergent or parallel traits: are they mediated by identical or different mutations in the same genes, or unique mutations in different genes? Using a combination of candidate gene and reduced representation genomic sequencing approaches, we explore the genetic basis of and the evolutionary processes that mediate...

Data from: Population genomics of the euryhaline teleost Poecilia latipinna

J. C. B. Nunez, T. P. Seale, M. A. Fraser, T. L. Burton, T. N. Fortson, D. Hoover, J. Travis, M. F. Oleksiak, Douglas L. Crawford & D. L. Crawford
Global climate change and increases in sea levels will affect coastal marine communities. The conservation of these ecologically important areas will be a challenge because of their wide geographic distribution, ecological diversity and species richness. To address this problem, we need to better understand how the genetic variation of the species in these communities is distributed within local populations, among populations and between distant regions. In this study we apply genotyping by sequencing (GBS) and...

Data from: Mito-nuclear discord in six congeneric lineages of Holarctic ducks (genus Anas)

Jeffrey L. Peters, Kevin Winker, Kendra C. Millam, Philip Lavretsky, Irina Kulikova, Robert E. Wilson, Yuri N. Zhuravlev & Kevin G. McCracken
Many species have Holarctic distributions that extend across Europe, Asia, and North America. Most genetics research on these species has examined only mitochondrial (mt) DNA, which has revealed wide variance in divergence between Old World (OW) and New World (NW) populations, ranging from shallow, unstructured genealogies to deeply divergent lineages. In this study, we sequenced 20 nuclear introns to test for concordant patterns of OW-NW differentiation between mtDNA and nuclear (nu) DNA for six lineages...

Data from: How climate extremes—not means—define a species' geographic range boundary via a demographic tipping point

Heather J. Lynch, Marc Rhainds, Justin M. Calabrese, Stephen Cantrell, Chris Cosner & William F. Fagan
Species’ geographic range limits interest biologists and resource managers alike; however, scientists lack strong mechanistic understanding of the factors that set geographic range limits in the field, especially for animals. There exists a clear need for detailed case studies that link mechanisms to spatial dynamics and boundaries because such mechanisms allow us to predict whether climate change is likely to change a species’ geographic range and, if so, how abundance in marginal populations compares to...

Data from: Diversification across the New World within the ‘blue’ cardinalids (Aves: Cardinalidae)

Bryson Jr, Robert W., Jaime Chaves, Brian Tilston Smith, Matthew J. Miller, Kevin Winker, Jorge L. Pérez-Emán, John Klicka & Robert W. Bryson
Aim: To examine the history of diversification of ‘blue’ cardinalids (Cardinalidae) across North and South America. Location: North America (including Middle America) and South America. Methods: We collected 163 individuals of the 14 species of blue cardinalids and generated multilocus sequence data (3193 base pairs from one mitochondrial and three nuclear genes) to infer phylogeographical structure and reconstruct time-calibrated species trees. We then estimated the ancestral range at each divergence event and tested for temporal...

Data from: The changing nature of collaboration in tropical ecology and conservation

Timothy M Perez, J. Aaron Hogan & Timothy M. Perez
Collaboration can improve conservation initiatives through increases in article impact and by the building scientific understating required for conservation practice. We investigated temporal trends in collaboration in the tropical ecology and conservation literature by examining patterns of authorship for 2,271 articles published from 2000 to 2016 in Biotropica and the Journal of Tropical Ecology. Consistent with trends in other studies and scientific disciplines, we found that the mean number of authors per article increased from...

Data from: Cooperation and coexpression: how coexpression networks shift in response to multiple mutualists

Sathvik X Palakurty, John R Stinchcombe, Michelle E Afkhami, Sathvik X. Palakurty, Michelle E. Afkhami & John R. Stinchcombe
A mechanistic understanding of community ecology requires tackling the nonadditive effects of multispecies interactions, a challenge that necessitates integration of ecological and molecular complexity-- namely moving beyond pairwise ecological interaction studies and the ‘gene at a time’ approach to mechanism. Here, we investigate the consequences of multispecies mutualisms for the structure and function of genome-wide coexpression networks for the first time, using the tractable and ecologically-important interaction between legume Medicago truncatula, rhizobia, and mycorrhizal fungi....

Data from: Microbial expansion-collision dynamics promote cooperation and coexistence on surfaces

Shuang Xu & J. David Van Dyken
Microbes colonizing a surface often experience colony growth dynamics characterized by an initial phase of spatial clonal expansion followed by collision between neighboring colonies to form potentially genetically heterogeneous boundaries. For species with life cycles consisting of repeated surface colonization and dispersal, these spatially-explicit “expansion-collision dynamics” generate periodic transitions between two distinct selective regimes, “expansion competition” and “boundary competition”, each one favoring a different growth strategy. We hypothesized that this dynamic could promote stable coexistence...

Data from: Becoming pure: identifying generational classes of admixed individuals within lesser and greater scaup populations

Philip Lavretsky, Jeffrey Peters, Kevin Winker, Volker Bahn, Irina Kulikova, Yuri Zhuravlev, Robert Wilson, Christopher Barger, Kirsty Gurney, Kevin McCracken, Jeffrey L. Peters, Chris Barger & Kevin G. McCracken
Estimating the frequency of hybridization is important to understand its evolutionary consequences and its effects on conservation efforts. In this study, we examined the extent of hybridization in two sister species of ducks that hybridize. We used mitochondrial control region sequences and 3,589 double-digest restriction-associated DNA sequences (ddRADseq) to identify admixture between wild lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) and greater scaup (A. marila). Among 111 individuals, we found one introgressed mitochondrial DNA haplotype in lesser scaup...

Data from: Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacts on sea turtles could span the Atlantic

Nathan F. Putman, F. Alberto Abreu-Grobois, Iñaky Iturbe-Darkistade, Emily M. Putman, Paul M. Richards & Philippe Verley
We investigated the extent that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill potentially affected oceanic-stage sea turtles from populations across the Atlantic. Within an ocean-circulation model, particles were backtracked from the Gulf of Mexico spill site to determine the probability of young turtles arriving in this area from major nesting beaches. The abundance of turtles in the vicinity of the oil spill was derived by forward-tracking particles from focal beaches and integrating population size, oceanic-stage duration...

Data from: Song learning and cognitive ability are not consistently related in a songbird

Rindy C. Anderson, William A. Searcy, Susan Peters, Melissa Hughes, Adrienne L. DuBois & Stephen Nowicki
Learned aspects of song have been hypothesized to signal cognitive ability in songbirds. We tested this hypothesis in hand-reared song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) that were tutored with playback of adult songs during the critical period for song learning. The songs developed by the 19 male subjects were compared to the model songs to produce two measures of song learning: the proportion of notes copied from models and the average spectrogram cross-correlation between copied notes and...

Data from: New host and lineage diversity of avian haemosporidia in the Northern Andes

Ryan J. Harrigan, Raul Sedano, Anthony C. Chasar, Jaime A. Chaves, Jennifer T. Nguyen, Alexis Whitaker & Thomas B. Smith
The northern Andes, with their steep elevational and climate gradients, are home to an exceptional diversity of flora and fauna, particularly rich in avian species that have adapted to divergent ecological conditions. With this diversity comes the opportunity for parasites to exploit a wide breadth of avian hosts. However, little research has focused on examining the patterns of prevalence and lineage diversity of avian parasites in the Andes. Here, we screened a total of 428...

Data from: The genomic consequences of adaptive divergence and reproductive isolation between species of manakins

Thomas L. Parchman, Zachariah Gompert, Michael J. Braun, Robb T. Brumfield, D. B. McDonald, J. Albert C. Uy, G. Zhang, Erich D. Jarvis, B. A. Schlinger, C. A. Buerkle, M. J. Braun, R. T. Brumfield, J. A. C. Uy, T. L. Parchman, Z. Gompert & E. D. Jarvis
The processes of adaptation and speciation are expected to shape genomic variation within and between diverging species. Here we analyze genomic heterogeneity of genetic differentiation and introgression in a hybrid zone between two bird species (Manacus candei and M. vitellinus) using 59 100 SNPs, a whole genome assembly, and Bayesian models. Measures of genetic differentiation (inline image) and introgression (genomic cline center [α] and rate [β]) were highly heterogeneous among loci. We identified thousands of...

Data from: Morphological adaptations for relatively larger brains in hummingbird skulls

Diego Ocampo, Gilbert Barrantes & J. Albert C. Uy
A common allometric pattern called Haller’s Rule states that small species have relatively larger brains and eyes than larger species of the same taxonomic group. This pattern imposes drastic structural changes and energetic costs on small species to produce and maintain a disproportionate amount of nervous tissue. Indeed, several studies have shown the significant metabolic costs of having relatively larger brains; however, little is known about the structural constraints and adaptations required for housing these...

Data from: Multiple mutualist effects on genomewide expression in the tripartite association between Medicago truncatula, nitrogen-fixing bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi

Michelle E. Afkhami & John R. Stinchcombe
While all species interact with multiple mutualists, the fitness consequences and molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions remain largely unknown. We combined factorial ecological experiments with genomewide expression analyses to examine the phenotypic and transcriptomic responses of model legume Medicago truncatula to rhizobia and mycorrhizal fungi. We found synergistic effects of these mutualists on plant performance and examined unique features of plant gene expression responses to multiple mutualists. There were genomewide signatures of mutualists and multiple...

Data from: Active background choice facilitates crypsis in a tropical crab

Floria M.K. Uy, Suvetha Ravichandran, Krisha S. Patel, Jeffrey Aresty, Patricia P. Aresty, Raymond M. Audett, Kelvin Chen, Lauren Epple, Sterling F. Jeffries, Gilbert N. Serein, Phallon Tullis-Joyce, J. Albert C. Uy & Floria M. K. Uy
Animals can evade predators in multiple ways, one of the most effective of which is to avoid detection in the first place. We know much about the evolution of color patterns that match the visual background to avoid detection (i.e., crypsis), yet we know surprisingly less about the specific behaviors that have co-evolved with these morphological traits to enhance or maintain crypsis. We here explore whether the match between body color and background in a...

Data from: Microbial mitigation-exacerbation continuum: a novel framework for microbiome effects on hosts in the face of stress

Aaron S. David, Khum B. Thapa-Magar & Michelle E. Afkhami
A key challenge to understanding microbiomes and their role in ecological processes is contextualizing their effects on host organisms, particularly when faced with environmental stress. One influential theory, the Stress Gradient Hypothesis, might predict that the frequency of positive interactions increases with stressful conditions such that microbial taxa would mitigate harmful effects on host performance. Yet, equally plausible is that microbial taxa could exacerbate these effects. Here, we introduce the "Mitigation-Exacerbation Continuum" as a novel...

Data from: Symbiotic immuno-suppression: is disease susceptibility the price of bleaching resistance?

Daniel G. Merselis, Diego Lirman & Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty
Accelerating anthropogenic climate change threatens to destroy coral reefs worldwide through the processes of bleaching and disease. These major contributors to coral mortality are both closely linked with thermal stress intensified by anthropogenic climate change. Disease outbreaks typically follow bleaching events, but a direct positive linkage between bleaching and disease has been debated. By tracking 152 individual coral ramets through the 2014 mass bleaching in a South Florida coral restoration nursery, we revealed a highly...

Data from: Hybridization increases mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species in sunfish

Sherry N.N. Du, Fariborz Khajali, Neal J. Dawson, Graham R. Scott & Sherry N. N. Du
Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress have been suggested to be possible mechanisms underlying hybrid breakdown, as a result of mito-nuclear incompatibilities in respiratory complexes of the electron transport system. However, it remains unclear whether hybridization increases the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by mitochondria. We used high-resolution respirometry and fluorometry on isolated liver mitochondria to examine mitochondrial physiology and ROS emission in naturally occurring hybrids of pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) and bluegill (L. macrochirus). ROS...

Data from: Intraspecific variation in body size does not alter the effects of mesopredators on prey

Austin J. Gallagher, Simon J. Brandl & Adrian C. Stier
As humans continue to alter the species composition and size structure of marine food webs, it is critical to understand size-dependent effects of predators on prey. Yet, how shifts in predator body size mediate the effect of predators is understudied in tropical marine ecosystems, where anthropogenic harvest has indirectly increased the density and size of small-bodied predators. Here, we combine field surveys and a laboratory feeding experiment in coral reef fish communities to show that...

Data from: Rare long-distance dispersal of a marine angiosperm across the Pacific Ocean

Timothy M. Smith, Paul H. York, Bernardo R. Broitman, Martin Thiel, Graeme C. Hays, Erik Van Sebille, Nathan F. Putman, Peter I. Macreadie & Craig D. H. Sherman
Aim: Long-distance dispersal (LDD) events occur rarely but play a fundamental role in shaping species biogeography. Lying at the heart of island biogeography theory, LDD relies on unusual events to facilitate colonisation of new habitats and range expansion. Despite the importance of LDD, it is inherently difficult to quantify due to the rarity of such events. We estimate the probability of LDD of the seagrass Heterozostera nigricaulis, a common Australian species, across the Pacific Ocean...

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  • University of Miami
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  • Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
  • Wright State University