55 Works

Not a melting pot: plant species aggregate in their non-native range

Gisela C. Stotz, James F. Cahill, Jonathan A. Bennett, Cameron N. Carlyle, Edward W. Bork, Diana Askarizadeh, Sandor Bartha, Carl Beierkuhnlein, Bazartseren Boldgiv, Leslie Brown, Marcelo Cabido, Giandiego Campetella, Stefano Chelli, Ofer Cohen, Sandra Díaz, Lucas Enrico, David Ensing, Batdelger Erdenetsetseg, Alessandra Fidelis, Heath W. Garris, Hugh A.L. Henry, Anke Jentsch, Mohammad Hassan Jouri, Kadri Koorem, Peter Manning … & Lauchlan H. Fraser
Aim: Plant species continue to be moved outside of their native range by human activities. Here, we aim at determining whether, once introduced, plants assimilate into native communities, or whether they aggregate, thus forming mosaics of native- and alien-rich communities. Alien species may aggregate in their non-native range due to shared habitat preferences, such as their tendency to establish in high-biomass, species-poor areas. Location: 22 herbaceous grasslands in 14 countries, mainly in the temperate zone....

Data from: Thermal variability and plasticity drive the outcome of a host-pathogen interaction

Laura Ferguson & Brent Sinclair
Variable, changing, climates may affect each participant in a biotic interaction differently. We explored the effects of temperature and plasticity on the outcome of a host-pathogen interaction to try to predict the outcomes of infection under fluctuating temperatures. We infected Gryllus veletis crickets with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum under constant (6 °C, 12 °C, 18 °C or 25 °C) or fluctuating temperatures (6 °C to 18 °C or 6 °C to 25 °C). We...

Migration takes extra guts for juvenile songbirds: energetics and digestive physiology during the first journey

Christopher Guglielmo & Brendan McCabe
Many birds undertake long migrations when they are only a few months of age. Although they are typically of adult body size, their performance and survival are often poor compared to adults. This differential performance could be due to lack of experience, selection against poor-performing cohort members, or inherent constraints of continuing physiological and morphological maturation of juveniles. Limited evidence suggests that digestive and muscle physiology of juveniles during their first migration may differ from...

Data from: Brachiopod shell thickness links environment and evolution

Uwe Balthasar, Jisuo Jin, Linda Hints & Maggie Cusack
While it is well established that the shapes and sizes of shells are strongly phylogenetically controlled, little is known about the phylogenetic constraints on shell thickness. Yet, shell thickness is likely to be sensitive to environmental fluctuations and has the potential to illuminate environmental perturbations through deep time. Here we systematically quantify the thickness of the anterior brachiopod shell which protects the filtration chamber and is thus considered functionally homologous across higher taxa of brachiopods....

Data from: Landscape structure and the genetic effects of a population collapse

Serena A. Caplins, Kimberly J. Gilbert, Claudia Ciotir, Jens Roland, Stephen F. Matter, Nusha Keyghobadi, J. Roland, S. F. Matter, C. Ciotir, N. Keyghobadi & S. A. Caplins
Both landscape structure and population size fluctuations influence population genetics. While independent effects of these factors on genetic patterns and processes are well studied, a key challenge is to understand their interaction, as populations are simultaneously exposed to habitat fragmentation and climatic changes that increase variability in population size. In a population network of an alpine butterfly, abundance declined 60–100% in 2003 because of low over-winter survival. Across the network, mean microsatellite genetic diversity did...

Data from: Adaptation of a polyphagous herbivore to a novel host plant extensively shapes the transcriptome of herbivore and host

Nicky Wybouw, Vladimir Zhurov, Catherine Martel, Kristie A. Bruinsma, Frederik Hendrickx, Vojislava Grbić & Thomas Van Leeuwen
Generalist arthropod herbivores rapidly adapt to a broad range of host plants. However, the extent of transcriptional reprogramming in the herbivore and its hosts associated with adaptation remains poorly understood. Using the spider mite Tetranychus urticae and tomato as models with available genomic resources, we investigated the reciprocal genomewide transcriptional changes in both spider mite and tomato as a consequence of mite's adaptation to tomato. We transferred a genetically diverse mite population from bean to...

Data from: The relative roles of cultural drift and acoustic adaptation in shaping syllable repertoires of island bird populations change with time since colonization

Dominique A. Potvin & Sonya M. Clegg
In birds, song divergence often precedes and facilitates divergence of other traits. We assessed the relative roles of cultural drift, innovation and acoustic adaptation in divergence of island bird dialects, using silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). In recently colonized populations, syllable diversity was not significantly lower than source populations, shared syllables between populations decreased with increasing number of founder events and dialect variation displayed contributions from both habitat features and drift. The breadth of multivariate space occupied...

Data from: The gravity of pollination: integrating at-site features into spatial analysis of contemporary pollen movement.

Michelle F. DiLeo, Jenna C. Siu, Matthew K. Rhodes, Adriana López-Villalobos, Angela Redwine, Kelly Ksiazek & Rodney J. Dyer
Pollen-mediated gene flow is a major driver of spatial genetic structure in plant populations. Both individual plant characteristics and site-specific features of the landscape can modify the perceived attractiveness of plants to their pollinators and thus play an important role in shaping spatial genetic variation. Most studies of landscape-level genetic connectivity in plants have focused on the effects of inter-individual distance using spatial and increasingly ecological separation; yet have not incorporated individual plant characteristics or...

Data from: An inordinate fondness for beetles? Variation in seasonal dietary preferences of night roosting big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus)

Elizabeth L. Clare, William O. C. Symondson & Melville Brockett Fenton
Generalist species with numerous food web interactions are thought to provide stability to ecosystem dynamics; however, it is not always clear whether habitat generality translates into dietary diversity. Big brown bats are common across North America and employ a flexible foraging strategy over water, dense forests, forest edges and rural and urban settings. Despite this generalist use of habitat, they are paradoxically characterized as beetle specialists. However, hard carapaces may preferentially survive digestion leading to...

Data from: Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life

Brian M. Wiegmann, Michelle D. Trautwein, Isaac S. Winkler, Norman B. Barr, Jung-Wook Kim, Christine Lambkin, Matthew A. Bertone, Brian K. Cassel, Keith M. Bayless, Alysha M. Heimberg, Benjamin M. Wheeler, Kevin J. Peterson, Thomas Pape, Bradley J. Sinclair, Jeffrey H. Skevington, Vladimir Blagoderov, Jason Caravas, Sujatha Narayanan Kutty, Urs Schmidt-Ott, Gail E. Kampmeier, F. Christian Thompson, David A. Grimaldi, Andrew T. Beckenbach, Gregory W. Courtney, Markus Friedrich … & B. J. Sinclair
Flies are one of four superradiations of insects (along with beetles, wasps, and moths) that account for the majority of animal life on Earth. Diptera includes species known for their ubiquity (Musca domestica house fly), their role as pests (Anopheles gambiae malaria mosquito), and their value as model organisms across the biological sciences (Drosophila melanogaster). A resolved phylogeny for flies provides a framework for genomic, developmental, and evolutionary studies by facilitating comparisons across model organisms,...

Data from: Approaches to integrating genetic data into ecological networks

Elizabeth L. Clare, Aron J. Fazekas, Natalia V. Ivanova, Robin M. Floyd, Paul D.N. Hebert, Amanda M. Adams, Juliet Nagel, Rebecca Girton, Steven G. Newmaster, M. Brock Fenton & Paul D. N. Hebert
As molecular tools for assessing trophic interactions become common, research is increasingly focused on the construction of interaction networks. Here we demonstrate three key methods for incorporating DNA data into network ecology and discuss analytical considerations using a model consisting of plants, insects, bats and their parasites from the Costa Rican dry forest. The simplest method involves the use of Sanger sequencing to acquire long sequences to validate or refine field identifications, for example of...

Data from: Prophage as a genetic reservoir: Promoting diversity and driving innovation in the host community

Alina Nadeem, Lindi M Wahl, A. Nadeem & Lindi M. Wahl
Sequencing of bacterial genomes has revealed an abundance of prophage sequences in many bacterial species. Since these sequences are accessible, through recombination, to infecting phages, bacteria carry an arsenal of genetic material that can be used by these viruses. We develop a mathematical model to isolate the effects of this phenomenon on the coevolution of temperate phage and bacteria. The model predicts that prophage sequences may play a key role in maintaining the phage population...

Data from: An increase in immature β-cells lacking Glut2 precedes the expansion of β-cell mass in the pregnant mouse

Christine A. Beamish, Linhao Zhang, Sandra K. Szlapinski, Brenda J. Strutt & David J. Hill
A compensatory increase in β-cell mass occurs during pregnancy to counter the associated insulin resistance, and a failure in adaptation is thought to contribute to gestational diabetes. Insulin-expressing but glucose-transporter-2-low (Ins+Glut2LO) progenitor cells are present in mouse and human pancreas, being predominantly located in extra-islet β-cell clusters, and contribute to the regeneration of the endocrine pancreas following induced ablation. We therefore sought to investigate the contribution of Ins+Glut2LO cells to β-cell mass expansion during pregnancy....

Data from: Acoustic identification of Mexican bats based on taxonomic and ecological constraints on call design

Veronica Zamora-Gutierrez, Celia Lopez-Gonzalez, M. Cristina MacSwiney Gonzalez, Brock Fenton, Gareth Jones, Elisabeth K. V. Kalko, Sebastien J. Puechmaille, Vassilios Stathopoulos & Kate E. Jones
Monitoring global biodiversity is critical for understanding responses to anthropogenic change, but biodiversity monitoring is often biased away from tropical, megadiverse areas that are experiencing more rapid environmental change. Acoustic surveys are increasingly used to monitor biodiversity change, especially for bats as they are important indicator species and most use sound to detect, localise and classify objects. However, using bat acoustic surveys for monitoring poses several challenges, particularly in megadiverse regions. Many species lack reference...

Data from: The first extracellular domain plays an important role in unitary channel conductance of Cx50 gap junction channels

Xiaoling Tong, Hiroshi Aoyama, Swathy Sudhakar, Honghong Chen, Brian H Shilton, Donglin Bai & Brian H. Shilton
Gap junction (GJ) channels provide direct passage for ions and small molecules to be exchanged between neighbouring cells and are crucial for many physiological processes. GJ channels can be gated by transjunctional voltage (known as Vj-gating) and display a wide range of unitary channel conductance (γj), yet the domains responsible for Vj-gating and γj are not fully clear. The first extracellular domain (E1) of several connexins has been shown to line part of their GJ...

Data from: Fear of the human ‘super predator’ reduces feeding time in large carnivores

Justine A. Smith, Justin P. Suraci, Michael Clinchy, Ayana Crawford, Devin Roberts, Liana Y. Zanette & Christopher C. Wilmers
Large carnivores' fear of the human ‘super predator’ has the potential to alter their feeding behaviour and result in human-induced trophic cascades. However, it has yet to be experimentally tested if large carnivores perceive humans as predators and react strongly enough to have cascading effects on their prey. We conducted a predator playback experiment exposing pumas to predator (human) and non-predator control (frog) sounds at puma feeding sites to measure immediate fear responses to humans...

Data from: Trophic niche flexibility in Glossophaga soricina: how a nectar seeker sneaks an insect snack

Elizabeth L. Clare, Holger R. Goerlitz, Violaine A. Drapeau, Marc W. Holderied, Amanda M. Adams, Juliet Nagel, Elizabeth R. Dumont, Paul D. N. Hebert, M. Brock Fenton & M. Brock Fenton
Omnivory enables animals to fill more than one trophic niche, providing access to a wider variety of food resources with potentially higher nutrient value, particularly when resources become scarce. Animals can achieve omnivory using different strategies, for example opportunistic foraging, or switching between multiple trophic niches. The Neotropical bat Glossophaga soricina (Pallas, 1766) is a common and widespread species known for nectar-feeding, but it also eats fruit and insects. Approaching stationary objects (flowers and fruits)...

Data from: The influence of environmental variance on the evolution of signalling behavior

Cody Koykka & Geoff Wild
A recent meta-analysis has indicated that environmental quality and variability can influence whether offspring begging and parental responses to these signals are motivated by offspring need or offspring quality. We create a model to verify and apply evolutionary logic to this hypothesis. We determine the ecological and social conditions under which species signal and respond to need in favorable environments, and to quality in poor environments. The environmental conditions that favor this shift are widest...

Data from: Effects of mountaintop removal mining and valley filling on the occupancy and abundance of stream salamanders

Steven J. Price, Brenee' L. Muncy, Simon J. Bonner, Andrea N. Drayer & Christopher D. Barton
Human-induced land-use changes are among the primary causes of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. Across central Appalachia (USA), mountaintop removal mining and valley filling (MTR/VF) is the prevailing form of land-use change and represents a stressor to stream ecosystems. Salamanders are the dominant vertebrate in Appalachian headwater streams. Thus, we addressed the question: Is salamander occupancy and conditional abundance reduced in streams impacted by MTR/VF? We conducted repeated counts of adult and larval salamanders within...

Data from: Host association influences variation at salivary protein genes in the bat ectoparasite Cimex adjunctus

Benoit Talbot, Maarten J. Vonhof, Hugh G. Broders, Brock Fenton & Nusha Keyghobadi
Parasite-host relationships create strong selection pressures that can lead to adaptation and increasing specialization of parasites to their hosts. Even in relatively loose host-parasite relationships, such as between generalist ectoparasites and their hosts, we may observe some degree of specialization of parasite populations to one of the multiple potential hosts. Salivary proteins are used by blood-feeding ectoparasites to prevent hemostasis in the host and maximize energy intake. We investigated the influence of association with specific...

Data from: Purifying selection in the toll-like receptors of song sparrows Melospiza melodia

Martha J. Nelson-Flower, Ryan R. Germain, Elizabeth A. MacDougall-Shackleton, Sabrina S. Taylor, Peter Arcese, Elizabeth A MacDougall-Shackleton, Ryan R Germain, Sabrina S Taylor & Martha J Nelson-Flower
Variation in immune gene sequences is known to influence resistance to infectious diseases and parasites, and hence survival and mate choice, across animal taxa. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) comprise one essential gene family in the vertebrate innate immune system, and recognize evolutionarily conserved structures from all major microorganism classes. However, the causes and consequences of TLR variation in passerine birds remain largely unexplored. We examined seven TLR genes in song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), a species that...

Data from: Too important to tamper with: predation risk affects body mass and escape behaviour but not escape ability

Benjamin T. Walters, Tin Nok Natalie Cheng, Justin Doyle, Christopher G. Guglielmo, Michael Clinchy, Liana Y. Zanette & Chistopher G. Guglielmo
1. Escaping from a predator is a matter of life or death, and prey are expected to adaptively alter their physiology under chronic predation risk in ways that may affect escape. Theoretical models assume that escape performance is mass-dependent whereby scared prey strategically maintain an optimal body mass to enhance escape. Experiments testing the mass-dependent predation risk (MDPR) hypothesis have demonstrated that prior experience of predation risk can affect body mass, and the behavioural decisions...

Data from: Seasonal shifts in the insect gut microbiome are concurrent with changes in cold tolerance and immunity

Laura V. Ferguson, Pranav Dhakal, Jacqueline E. Lebenzon, David E. Heinrichs, Carol Bucking & Brent J. Sinclair
1. Seasonal changes in the environment, such as varying temperature, have the potential to change the functional relationship between ectothermic animals, such as insects, and their microbiomes. Our objectives were to determine: a) whether seasonal changes in temperature shift the composition of the insect gut microbiome, and b) if changes in the microbiome are concomitant with changes in the physiology of the host, including the immune system and response to cold. 2. We exposed laboratory...

Data from: Mountaintop removal mining alters stream salamander population dynamics

Steven J. Price, Sara Beth Freytag, Simon J. Bonner, Andrea N. Drayer, Brenee' L. Muncy, Jacob M. Hutton & Christopher D. Barton
Aim: Population dynamics are often tightly linked to the condition of the landscape. Focusing on a landscape impacted by mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR), we ask the following questions: (1) How does MTR influence vital rates including occupancy, colonization and persistence probabilities, and conditional abundance of stream salamander species and life stages? (2) Do species and life stages respond similar to MTR mining or is there significant variation among species and life stages? Location: Freshwater...

Data from: The effects of dietary macronutrients on flight ability, energetics, and fuel metabolism of yellow-rumped warblers Setophaga coronata

Christopher G. Guglielmo, Alexander R. Gerson, Edwin R. Price & Quentin R. Hays
The catabolism of protein from organs and muscles during migratory flight is necessary to produce glucose, key metabolic intermediates, and water, but may have negative effects on flight range and refueling at stopovers. We tested the hypothesis, suggested by previous studies, that birds that eat high-protein insect diets use more protein for fuel in flight than those that eat high-carbohydrate fruits. First, we fed migratory yellow-rumped warblers synthetic fruit or mixed insect/fruit diets, and measured...

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