171 Works

The super-rich and cropland expansion via direct investments in agriculture

Michele Graziano Ceddia
Cropland expansion represents an important cause of tropical deforestation, contributing to the loss of ecosystems’ functions. Flex-crops (e.g., oil palm, soy, sugar cane) account for an increasing share of cropland and contribute significantly to carbon emissions and biodiversity loss. Various forms of inequality have been shown to impact on agricultural expansion, yet the effect of wealth concentration among the super-rich is understudied. Here I show how, over the period 1991-2014, the large amount of wealth...

Data from: Engineering bacterial symbionts of nematodes improves biocontrol potential of the western corn rootworm

Ricardo A. R. Machado, Lisa Thönen, Carla C. M. Arce, Vanitha Theepan, Fausto Prada, Daniel Wüthrich, Christelle A. M. Robert, Evangelia Vogiatzaki, Yi-Ming Shi, Olivier P. Schaeren, Matheus Notter, Rémy Bruggmann, Siegfried Hapfelmeier, Helge B. Bode & Matthias Erb
The western corn rootworm (WCR) decimates maize crops worldwide. One potential way to control this pest is treatment with entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) that harbor bacterial symbionts that are pathogenic to insects. However, WCR larvae sequester benzoxazinoid secondary metabolites that are produced by maize and use them to increase their resistance to the nematodes and their symbionts. Here we report that experimental evolution and selection for bacterial symbionts that are resistant to benzoxazinoids improve the ability...

Deer density drives habitat use of establishing wolves in the Western European Alps

Stefanie Roder, François Biollaz, Stéphane Mettaz, Fridolin Zimmermann, Ralph Manz, Marc Kery, Sergio Vignali, Luca Fumagalli, Raphaël Arlettaz & Veronika Braunisch
1. The return of top carnivores to their historical range triggers conflicts with the interests of different stakeholder groups. Anticipating such conflicts is key to appropriate conservation management, which calls for reliable spatial predictions of future carnivore occurrence. Previous models have assessed general habitat suitability for wolves, but the factors driving the settlement of dispersing individuals remain ill-understood. In particular, little attention has been paid to the role of prey availability in the recolonization process....

Pollen color morphs take different paths to fitness

Matthew Koski, Andrea Berardi & Laura Galloway
Color phenotypes are often involved in communication and are thus under selection by species interactions. However, selection may also act on color through correlated traits or alternative functions of biochemical pigments. Such forms of selection are instrumental in maintaining petal color diversity in plants. Pollen color also varies markedly, but the maintenance of this variation is little understood. In Campanula americana, pollen ranges from white to dark purple, with darker morphs garnering more pollinator visits...

Context dependency of biotic interactions and its relation to plant rarity

Anne Kempel, Hugo Vincent, Daniel Prati & Markus Fischer
Abstract Aim: Biotic interactions can determine rarity and commonness of species, however evidence that rare and common species respond differently to biotic stress is scarce. This is because biotic interactions are notoriously context-dependent and traits leading to success in one habitat might be costly or unimportant in another. We aim to identify plant characteristics that are related to biotic interactions and may drive patterns of rarity and commonness, taking environmental context into account. Location: Switzerland...

Data from: Adapted dandelions trade dispersal for germination upon root herbivore attack

Zoe Bont, Marc Pfander, Christelle Robert, Meret Huber, Erik Poelman, Ciska Raaijmakers & Matthias Erb
A plant’s offspring may escape unfavourable local conditions through seed dispersal. Whether plants use this strategy to escape insect herbivores is not well understood. Here, we explore how different dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) populations, including diploid outcrossers and triploid apomicts, modify seed dispersal in response to root herbivore attack by their main root-feeding natural enemy, the larvae of the common cockchafer Melolontha melolontha. In a manipulative field experiment, root herbivore attack increased seed dispersal potential...

Predator-induced maternal effects via eggs shape offspring behaviour and their expression of growth genes in a highly social fish

Sakshi Sharda, Tobias Zuest, Matthias Erb & Barbara Taborsky
Predator-induced non-genetic maternal effects may influence how offspring cope with predation theat. However, the underlying physiological mechanisms and the stages in ontogeny when these take effect effects operate are still largely unresolved. In this integrative study, we investigated maternal effects via egg composition on offspring gene expression, growth, survival and anti-predator escape behaviour. We exposed pairs of the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologous pulcher to visual and chemical cues of its natural predator Lepidolamprogous elongatus, or...

Prediction of Cerebral Venous Thrombosis with a new clinical score and D-dimer levels

Mirjam R Heldner, Susanna M Zuurbier, Bojun Li, Rascha Von Martial, Joost CM Meijers, Rebekka Zimmermann, Bastian Volbers, Simon Jung, Marwan El-Koussy, Urs Fischer, Hans Peter Kohler, Verena Schroeder, Jonathan M Coutinho & Marcel Arnold
OBJECTIVE:To investigate prediction of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) by clinical variables and D-dimer levels. METHODS:This prospective multicentre study included consecutive patients with clinically possible CVT. On admission, patients underwent clinical examination, blood-sampling for D-dimers-measuring (ELISA-test), and MR-/CT-venography. Predictive value of clinical variables and D-dimers for CVT were calculated. A clinical score to stratify patients into groups with low, moderate, or high CVT risk was established using multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS:CVT was confirmed in 25.8% (94/359)...

Effects of topic distribution and topic importance on interest and follow-up response

Oliver Lipps & Alexandre Pollien

The weakest link: Haploid honey bees are more susceptible to neonicotinoid insecticides

Lars Straub, Andrea Friedli, Geoffrey R. Williams, Selina Bruckner & Peter Neumann
Neonicotinoid insecticides are currently of major concern for the health of wild and managed insects that provide key ecosystem services like pollination. Even though sublethal effects of neonicotinoids are well known, there is surprisingly little information on how they possibly impact developmental stability, and to what extent genetics are involved. This holds especially true for haploid individuals because they are hemizygous at detoxification loci and may be more susceptible. Here we take advantage of haplodiploidy...

Eco-genetic additivity of diploids in allopolyploid wild wheats

Christian Parisod, Stella Huynh, Olivier Broennimann, Antoine Guisan & Francois Felber
Underpinnings of the distribution of allopolyploid species (hybrids with duplicated genome) along spatial and ecological gradients are elusive. As allopolyploid speciation combines the range of genetic and ecological characteristics of divergent diploids, allopolyploids initially show their additivity and are predicted to evolve differentiated ecological niches to establish in face of their competition. Here, we use four diploid wild wheats that differentially combined into four independent allopolyploid species to test for such additivity and assess the...

Data from: Transcriptomic signatures of social experience during early development in a highly social cichlid fish

Cecilia Nyman, Francois Olivier Hebert, Mathilde Bessert-Nettelbeck, Nadia Aubin-Horth & Barbara Taborsky
The social environment encountered early during development can temporarily or permanently influence life history decisions and behaviour of individuals and correspondingly shape molecular pathways. In the highly social cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher, deprivation of brood care permanently affects social behaviour, and alters the expression of stress axis genes in juveniles and adults. It is unclear when gene expression patterns change during early life depending on social experience, and which genes are involved. We compared brain...

Dual community assembly processes in dryland biocrusts communities

David Eldridge & Santiago Soliveres
1. Biocrusts are critical components of drylands where they regulate a wide range of ecosystem functions, however, their response to the worldwide phenomenon of shrub encroachment and to livestock grazing, the most extensive land use in drylands, are not well studied. Grazing by livestock and increases in shrub cover could influence biocrust communities directly via trampling or shading, or indirectly, by altering biotic interactions amongst biocrust taxa. The extent of these changes in biocrust cover,...

Tree diversity is key for promoting the diversity and abundance of forest‐associated taxa in Europe

Eric Allan, Evy Ampoorter, Luc Barbaro, Hervé Jactel, Lander Baeten, Johanna Boberg, Monique Carnol, Bastien Castagneyrol, Yohan Charbonnier, Seid Muhie Dawud, Marc Deconchat, Pallieter De Smedt, Hans De Wandeler, Virginie Guyot, Stephan Hättenschwiler, François‐Xavier Joly, Julia Koricheva, Harriet Milligan, Bart Muys, Diem Nguyen, Sophia Ratcliffe, Karsten Raulund‐Rasmussen, Michael Scherer‐Lorenzen, Fons Plas, J. Van Keer … & Lars Vesterdal
Plant diversity is an important driver of diversity at other trophic levels, suggesting that cascading extinctions could reduce overall biodiversity. Most evidence for positive effects of plant diversity comes from grasslands. Despite the fact that forests are hotspots of biodiversity, the importance of tree diversity, in particular its relative importance compared to other management related factors, in affecting forest‐associated taxa is not well known. To address this, we used data from 183 plots, located in...

Butterfly phenology in Mediterranean mountains using space-for-time substitution

Konstantina Zografou, Andrea Grill, Robert Wilson, John Halley, George Adamidis & Vassiliki Kati
Inferring species' responses to climate change in the absence of long-term time series data is a challenge, but can be achieved by substituting space for time. For example, thermal elevational gradients represent suitable proxies to study phenological responses to warming. We used butterfly data from two Mediterranean mountain areas to test whether mean dates of appearance of communities and individual species show a delay with increasing altitude, and an accompanying shortening in the duration of...

Pathogen defence is a potential driver of social evolution in ambrosia beetles

Jon Andreja Nuotclà, Peter Biedermann & Michael Taborsky
Social immunity – the collective behavioural defences against pathogens - is considered a crucial evolutionary force for the maintenance of insect societies. It has been described and investigated primarily in eusocial insects, but its role in the evolutionary trajectory from parental care to eusociality is little understood. Here, we report on the existence, plasticity, effectiveness and consequences of social pathogen defence in experimental nests of cooperatively breeding ambrosia beetles. After an Aspergillus-spore-buffer solution or a...

Embryo survival in the oviduct not significantly influenced by major histocompatibility complex social signaling in the horse

Elise Jeannerat, Eliane Marti, Selina Thomas, Harald Sieme, Claus Wedekind, Dominik Burger & Carolina Herrera
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) influences sexual selection in various vertebrates. Recently, MHC-linked social signaling was also shown to influence female fertility in horses (Equus caballus) diagnosed 17 days after fertilization. However, it remained unclear at which stage the pregnancy was terminated. Here we test if MHC-linked cryptic female choice in horses happens during the first days of pregnancy, i.e., until shortly after embryonic entrance into the uterus and before fixation in the endometrium. We...

Insects and light interact to mediate vine colonization of fast-growing Microberlinia bisulcata tree seedlings in gaps of an African rainforest

Julian M. Norghauer
Vines thrive in lowland tropical forests yet the biotic factors underlying their colonization of host tree seedlings and saplings remain surprisingly understudied. Insect herbivores presumably could influence this process, especially where disturbance has opened the canopy (i.e., gaps)—temporary areas of higher primary productivity favoring the recruitment of vines and trees and invertebrates in forests—but their impact on vine colonization has never been experimentally tested. Using data from an insect-herbivore exclusion (mesh-netting cages) experiment conducted in...

Plant defense resistance in natural enemies of a specialist insect herbivore

Xi Zhang, Cong Van Doan, Carla C.M. Arce, Lingfei Hu, Sandra Gruenig, Christian Parisod, Bruce E. Hibbard, Hervé, Maxime R,, Chad Nielson, Christelle A.M. Robert, Ricardo A.R. Machado & Matthias Erb
Plants defend themselves against herbivores through the production of toxic and deterrent metabolites. Adapted herbivores can tolerate and sometimes sequester these metabolites, allowing them to feed on defended plants and become toxic to their own enemies. Can herbivore natural enemies overcome sequestered plant defense metabolites to prey on adapted herbivores? To address this question, we studied how entomopathogenic nematodes cope with benzoxazinoid defense metabolites that are produced by grasses and sequestered by a specialist maize...

Widespread intersex differentiation across the stickleback genome – the signature of sexually antagonistic selection?

Daniel Berner, Mirjam Bissegger, Telma Laurentino & Marius Roesti
Females and males within a species commonly have distinct reproductive roles, and the associated traits may be under perpetual divergent natural selection between the sexes if their sex-specific control has not yet evolved. We here explore whether such sexually antagonistic selection can be detected based on the magnitude of differentiation between the sexes across genome-wide genetic polymorphisms by whole-genome sequencing of large pools of female and male threespine stickleback fish. We find numerous autosomal genome...

Data from: Genomics of parallel ecological speciation in Lake Victoria cichlids

Joana I Meier, David A Marques, Catherine E Wagner, Laurent Excoffier, Ole Seehausen, Joana Isabel Meier, David Alexander Marques & Catherine Elise Wagner
The genetic basis of parallel evolution of similar species is of great interest in evolutionary biology. In the adaptive radiation of Lake Victoria cichlid fishes, sister species with either blue or red-back male nuptial coloration have evolved repeatedly, often associated with shallower and deeper water, respectively. One such case are blue and red-backed Pundamilia species, for which we recently showed that a young species pair may have evolved through “hybrid parallel speciation”. Coalescent simulations suggested...

Data from: Background selection and biased gene conversion affect more than 95% of the human genome and bias demographic inferences

Fanny Pouyet, Simon Aeschbacher, Alexandre Thiéry & Laurent Excoffier
Disentangling the effect on genomic diversity of natural selection from that of demography is notoriously difficult, but necessary to properly reconstruct the history of species. Here, we use high-quality human genomic data to show that purifying selection at linked sites (i.e. background selection, BGS) and GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC) together affect as much as 95% of the variants of our genome. We find that the magnitude and relative importance of BGS and gBGC are largely...

Data from: Citizen science reveals unexpected continental-scale evolutionary change in a model organism

Jonathan Silvertown, Laurence Cook, Robert Cameron, Mike Dodd, Kevin McConway, Jenny Worthington, Peter Skelton, Christian Anton, Oliver Bossdorf, Bruno Baur, Menno Schilthuizen, Benoît Fontaine, Helmut Sattmann, Giorgio Bertorelle, Maria Correia, Cristina Oliveira, Beata Pokryszko, Małgorzata Ożgo, Arturs Stalažs, Eoin Gill, Üllar Rammul, Péter Sólymos, Zoltan Féher & Xavier Juan
Organisms provide some of the most sensitive indicators of climate change and evolutionary responses are becoming apparent in species with short generation times. Large datasets on genetic polymorphism that can provide an historical benchmark against which to test for recent evolutionary responses are very rare, but an exception is found in the brown-lipped banded snail (Cepaea nemoralis). This species is sensitive to its thermal environment and exhibits several polymorphisms of shell colour and banding pattern...

Data from: Projecting shifts in thermal habitat for 686 species on the North American continental shelf

James W. Morley, Rebecca L. Selden, Robert J. Latour, Thomas L. Froelicher, Richard J. Seagraves, Malin L. Pinsky & Thomas L. Frölicher
Recent shifts in the geographic distribution of marine species have been linked to shifts in preferred thermal habitats. These shifts in distribution have already posed challenges for living marine resource management, and there is a strong need for projections of how species might be impacted by future changes in ocean temperatures during the 21st century. We modeled thermal habitat for 686 marine species in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans using long-term ecological survey data from...

Data from: Hybrid ‘superswarm’ leads to rapid divergence and establishment of populations during a biological invasion

Denis Roy, Kay Lucek, Ryan P. Walter & Ole Seehausen
Understanding the genetic background of invading species can be crucial information clarifying why they become invasive. Intraspecific genetic admixture among lineages separated in the native ranges may promote the rate and extent of an invasion by substantially increasing standing genetic variation. Here, we examined the genetic relationships among threespine stickleback that recently colonized Switzerland. This invasion results from several distinct genetic lineages that colonized multiple locations and have since undergone range expansions, where they coexist...

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