162 Works

Nitrogen fixation and phosphatase activity of 97 nitrogen-fixing and non-fixing trees in Panama

S.A. Batterman, J.S. Hall, B. Turner, L.O. Hedin, J.K. LaHaela Walter, P. Sheldon & M. Van Breugel
This data includes information about nitrogen fixation, phosphatase activity, plant nitrogen and phosphorus demand and soil nitrogen and phosphorus availability of nitrogen-fixing and non-fixing trees from seven species grown in an experimental plantation at the Agua Salud Native Species Plantation, El Giral, Panama (9°12'50.15''N, 79°43'26''W). Data were collected by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Princeton University and were analysed by the University of Leeds. This work was funded by the following organisations: Heising-Simons Foundation,...

A major locus controls a biologically active pheromone component in Heliconius melpomene

Kelsey Byers, Kathy Darragh, Jamie Musgrove, Diana Abondano Almeida, Sylvia Fernanda Garza, Ian Warren, Pasi Rastas, Marek Kučka, Yingguang Frank Chan, Richard Merrill, Stefan Schulz, W. Owen McMillan & Chris Jiggins
Understanding the production, response, and genetics of signals used in mate choice can inform our understanding of the evolution of both intraspecific mate choice and reproductive isolation. Sex pheromones are important for courtship and mate choice in many insects, but we know relatively little of their role in butterflies. The butterfly Heliconius melpomene uses a complex blend of wing androconial compounds during courtship. Electroantennography in H. melpomene and its close relative H. cydno showed that...

Variation of chemical compounds in wild Heliconiini reveals ecological and historical contributions to the evolution of chemical defences in mimetic butterflies

Ombeline Sculfort, Érika Pinheiro De Castro, Krzysztof Kozak, Søren Bak, Marianne Elias, Bastien Nay & Violaine Llaurens
Evolutionary convergence of colour pattern in mimetic species is tightly linked with the evolution of chemical defences. Yet, the evolutionary forces involved in natural variations of chemical defences in aposematic species are still understudied. Herein, we focus on the evolution chemical defences in the butterfly tribe Heliconiini. These neo-tropical butterflies contain large concentrations of cyanogenic glucosides, cyanide-releasing compounds acting as predator deterrent. These compounds are either de novo synthesized or sequestered from their Passiflora host-plant,...

Data from: Dermal denticle assemblages in coral reef sediments correlate with conventional shark surveys

Erin Dillon, Kevin Lafferty, Douglas McCauley, Darcy Bradley, Richard Norris, Jennifer Caselle, Graziella DiRenzo, Jonathan Gardner & Aaron O'Dea
It is challenging to assess long-term trends in mobile, long-lived, and relatively rare species such as sharks. Despite ongoing declines in many coastal shark populations, conventional surveys might be too fleeting and too recent to describe population trends over decades to millennia. Placing recent shark declines into historical context should improve management efforts as well as our understanding of past ecosystem dynamics. A new paleoecological approach for surveying shark abundance on coral reefs is to...

Parasitization of bats by bat flies (Streblidae) in fragmented habitats

Thomas Hiller, Stefan Dominik Brändel, Benjamin Honner, Rachel A. Page & Marco Tschapka
Parasites represent a large fraction of the world’s biodiversity. They control host population sizes and contribute to ecosystem functioning. However, surveys on species diversity rarely include parasitic species. Bats often present traits favoring parasite diversity, such as large home ranges, long life spans, and large colonies. The most conspicuous bat parasites are the highly host specific, blood-sucking bat flies (Diptera: Streblidae, Nycteribiidae). Recent studies have found a direct effect of habitat alteration on the abundance...

Marine species formation along the rise of Central America: the anomuran crab Megalobrachium

Alexandra Hiller & Harilaos Lessios
The evolution of marine neotropical shallow water species is expected to have been greatly affected by physical events related to the emergence of the Central American Isthmus. The anomuran crab Megalobrachium, a strictly neotropical porcellanid genus, consists of four species in the West Atlantic (WA) and nine in the East Pacific (EP). Dispersal is limited to a relatively short planktonic phase, which lasts approximately two weeks. We obtained DNA sequences of three mitochondrial and two...

Oxygen-mediated plasticity confers hypoxia tolerance in a corallivorous polychaete

Noelle Lucey
There is mounting evidence that the deoxygenation of coastal marine ecosystems has been underestimated, particularly in the tropics. These physical conditions appear to have far-reaching consequences for marine communities, and have been associated with mass mortalities. Yet little is known about hypoxia in tropical habitats or about the effects it has on reef-associated benthic organisms. We explored patterns of dissolved oxygen (DO) throughout Almirante Bay, Panama and found a hypoxic gradient, with areas closest to...

Millennial-scale change in Caribbean coral reef ecosystem structure and the role of human and natural disturbance

Katie Cramer, Aaron O'Dea, Jill Leonard-Pingel & Richard Norris
Caribbean coral reefs have transformed into algal-dominated habitats over the past half-century, but the role of specific anthropogenic drivers is unresolved due to the lack of ecosystem-level data predating human disturbance. To better understand the extent and causes of long-term Caribbean reef declines, we produced a continuous 3,000-year record of the ecosystem state of three reefs in Bocas del Toro, Caribbean Panama. From fossils and sediments obtained from reef matrix cores, we tracked changes in...

Predation shapes invertebrate diversity in tropical but not temperate seagrass communities

Amy Freestone, Elizabeth Carroll, Katherine Papacostas, Gregory Ruiz, Mark Torchin & Brent Sewall
1. The hypothesis that biotic interactions are stronger at lower relative to higher latitudes has a rich history, drawing from ecological and evolutionary theory. While this hypothesis suggests that stronger interactions at lower latitudes may contribute to the maintenance of contemporary patterns of diversity, there remain few standardized biogeographic comparisons of community effects of species interactions. 2. Using marine seagrasses as a focal ecosystem of conservation importance and sessile marine invertebrates as model prey, we...

Data from: Epiphyll specialization for leaf and forest successional stages in a tropical lowland rainforest

Anna Mežaka, Maaike Y. Bader, Noris Salazar Allen & Glenda Mendieta Leiva
Questions The importance of tropical rainforest gap dynamics in biodiversity maintenance is not fully understood, in particular for taxa other than trees and lianas. We used epiphylls on rainforest leaves to study the importance of leaf- and forest-scale succession in determining biodiversity patterns by characterizing community change with leaf age in gaps and closed-forest habitats. We asked: 1. Do epiphylls show specialization for leaf and forest successional stages? 2. Can early and late-successional epiphyllous species...

Global meta-analysis of how marine upwelling affects herbivory

Andrew Sellers, Brian Leung & Mark Torchin
Aim: Nutrient subsidies support high primary productivity, increasing herbivore abundance and influencing their top-down control of producers. Wind-driven upwelling events deliver cold nutrient-rich water to coastlines, supporting highly productive marine environments. Results from studies comparing ecological processes across upwelling regimes are mixed: some reveal weaker herbivory in upwelling regions, while others report a positive relationship between upwelling and herbivory. In this synthesis we examine the influence of upwelling on top-down control of producers across the...

Adaptive specialization and constraint in morphological defenses of planktonic larvae

Samuel Bashevkin, John Christy & Steven Morgan
Morphological defenses of plankton can include armor, spines, and coloration. Spines defend from gape-limited fish predators while pigmentation increases visibility to fishes but defends from ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Planktonic crab larvae (zoeae) exhibit inter- and intra-specific variability in the lengths of defensive spines, extent of pigmentation, and body size. The determinants of this variability and the relationships among these traits are largely unknown. Larvae may employ generalized defenses against the dual threats of UVR and...

Data from: Long-term dynamics of liana seedlings suggest decelerating increases in liana relative abundance over time

Maria Natalia Umaña, Eric Manzané-Pinzón & Liza Comita
Over the past decades, tropical forests have experienced both compositional and structural changes. In the Neotropics, researchers at multiple sites have observed significant increases in the abundance and biomass of lianas (i.e. woody vines) relative to trees. However, the role of dynamics at early life stages in contributing to increasing liana abundance remains unclear. We took advantage of a unique dataset on seedling dynamics over 16 years in ~20,000 1-m2plots in a tropical forest in...

Data from: A standardized assessment of forest mammal communities reveals consistent functional composition and vulnerability across the tropics

Francesco Rovero, Jorge Ahumada, Patrick Jansen, Douglas Sheil, Patricia Alvarez, Kelly Boekee, Santiago Espinosa, Marcela Lima, Emanuel Martin, Timothy O’Brien, Julia Salvador, Fernanda Santos, Melissa Rosa, Alexander Zvoleff, Chris Sutherland & Simone Tenan
Understanding global diversity patterns has benefitted from a focus on functional traits and how they relate to variation in environmental conditions among assemblages. Distant communities in similar environments often share characteristics, and for tropical forest mammals, this functional trait convergence has been demonstrated at coarse scales (110-200 km resolution), but less is known about how these patterns manifest at fine scales, where local processes (e.g., habitat features and anthropogenic activities) and biotic interactions occur. Here,...

Data from: Comparative transcriptomics provides insights into reticulate and adaptive evolution of a butterfly radiation

Wei Zhang, Brian X. Leon-Ricardo, Bas Van Schooten, Steven Van Belleghem, Brian Counterman, W. Owen McMillan, Marcus R. Kronforst & Riccardo Papa
Butterfly eyes are complex organs that are composed of a diversity of proteins and they play a central role in visual signaling and ultimately, speciation and adaptation. Here, we utilized the whole eye transcriptome to obtain a more holistic view of the evolution of the butterfly eye while accounting for speciation events that co-occur with ancient hybridization. We sequenced and assembled transcriptomes from adult female eyes of eight species representing all major clades of the...

Data from: Resource acquisition strategies facilitate Gilbertiodendron dewevrei monodominance in African lowland forests

Jefferson Hall, David Harris, Kristin Saltonsall, Vincent Medjibe, Mark Ashton & Benjamin Turner
1. Tropical forests are hyperdiverse, yet extensive areas of monodominant forest occur in the tropics worldwide. Most long-lived and persistent monodominant tree species form ectomycorrhizal fungi symbioses, allowing them to obtain nutrients directly from soil organic matter. This might promote monodominance by reducing nutrient availability to co-occurring species, the majority of which form associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. 2. Gilbertiodendron dewevrei forest is the most widespread monodominant forest in tropical Africa. Its distribution appears determined...

Data from: Photosynthetic pathways in Bromeliaceae: phylogenetic and ecological significance of CAM and C3 based on carbon isotope ratios for 1893 species

Darren M. Crayn, Klaus Winter, Katharina Schulte & J. Andrew C. Smith
A comprehensive analysis of photosynthetic pathways in relation to phylogeny and elevational distribution was conducted in Bromeliaceae, an ecologically diverse Neotropical family containing large numbers of both terrestrial and epiphytic species. Tissue carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) was used to determine the occurrence of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) and C3 photosynthesis in 1893 species, representing 57% of species and all 56 genera in the family. The frequency of δ13C values showed a strongly bimodal distribution: 1074...

Data from: Global effects of soil and climate on leaf photosynthetic traits and rates

Vincent Maire, Ian J. Wright, I. Colin Prentice, Niels H. Batjes, Radika Bhaskar, Peter M. Van Bodegom, Will K. Cornwell, David Ellsworth, Ülo Niinemets, Alejandro Ordoñez, Peter B. Reich & Louis S. Santiago
Aim: The influence of soil properties on photosynthetic traits in higher plants is poorly quantified in comparison with that of climate. We address this situation by quantifying the unique and joint contributions to global leaf-trait variation from soils and climate. Location: Terrestrial ecosystems world-wide. Methods: Using a trait dataset comprising 1509 species from 288 sites, with climate and soil data derived from global datasets, we quantified the effects of 20 soil and 26 climate variables...

Data from: Wing patterning gene redefines the mimetic history of Heliconius butterflies

Heather M. Hines, Brian A. Counterman, Riccardo Papa, Priscila Albuquerque De Moura, Marcio Z. Cardoso, Mauricio Linares, James Mallet, Robert D. Reed, Chris D. Jiggins, Marcus R. Kronforst, W. Owen McMillan, R. D. Reed, J. Mallet, W. O. McMillan, M. R. Kronforst, H. M. Hines, B. A. Counterman, M. Linares, M. Z. Cardoso & C. D. Jiggins
The mimetic butterflies Heliconius erato and H. melpomene have undergone parallel radiations to form a near-identical patchwork of over 20 different wing pattern races across the Neotropics. Previous molecular phylogenetic work on these radiations has suggested that similar but geographically disjunct color patterns arose multiple times independently in each species. The neutral markers used in these studies, however, can move freely across color pattern boundaries and therefore might not represent the history of the adaptive...

Data from: Size-related scaling of tree form and function in a mixed-age forest

Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira, Jennifer C. McGarvey, Helene C. Muller-Landau, Janice Y. Park, Erika B. Gonzalez-Akre, Valentine Herrmann, Amy C. Bennett, Christopher V. So, Norman A. Bourg, Jonathan R. Thompson, Sean M. McMahon & William J. McShea
Many morphological, physiological and ecological traits of trees scale with diameter, shaping the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Understanding the mechanistic basis for such scaling relationships is key to understanding forests globally and their role in Earth's changing climate system. Here, we evaluate theoretical predictions for the scaling of nine variables in a mixed-age temperate deciduous forest (CTFS-ForestGEO forest dynamics plot at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Virginia, USA) and compare observed scaling parameters...

Data from: Globally, functional traits are weak predictors of juvenile tree growth, and we do not know why

C. E. Timothy Paine, Lucy Amissah, Harald Auge, Christopher Baraloto, Martin Baruffol, Nils Bourland, Helge Bruelheide, Kasso Daïnou, Roland C. De Gouvenain, Jean-Louis Doucet, Susan Doust, Paul V. A. Fine, Claire Fortunel, Josephine Haase, Karen D. Holl, Hervé Jactel, Xuefei Li, Kaoru Kitajima, Julia Koricheva, Cristina Martínez-Garza, Christian Messier, Alain Paquette, Christopher Philipson, Daniel Piotto, Lourens Poorter … & Andy Hector
1. Plant functional traits, in particular specific leaf area (SLA), wood density and seed mass, are often good predictors of individual tree growth rates within communities. Individuals and species with high SLA, low wood density and small seeds tend to have faster growth rates. 2. If community-level relationships between traits and growth have general predictive value, then similar relationships should also be observed in analyses that integrate across taxa, biogeographic regions and environments. Such global...

Data from: Assessing species boundaries using multilocus species delimitation in a morphologically conserved group of Neotropical freshwater fishes, the Poecilia sphenops species complex (Poeciliidae)

Justin C. Bagley, Fernando Alda, Maria Florencia Breitman, Eldredge Bermingham, Eric P. Van Den Berghe, Jerald B. Johnson & M. Florencia Breitman
Accurately delimiting species is fundamentally important for understanding species diversity and distributions and devising effective strategies to conserve biodiversity. However, species delimitation is problematic in many taxa, including ‘non-adaptive radiations’ containing morphologically cryptic lineages. Fortunately, coalescent-based species delimitation methods hold promise for objectively estimating species limits in such radiations, using multilocus genetic data. Using coalescent-based approaches, we delimit species and infer evolutionary relationships in a morphologically conserved group of Central American freshwater fishes, the Poecilia...

Data from: The rise and fall of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity during ecosystem retrogression

Manuela Krüger, François P. Teste, Etienne Laliberté, Hans Lambers, Megan Coghlan, Graham Zemunik & Michael Bunce
Ecosystem retrogression following long-term pedogenesis is attributed to phosphorus (P) limitation of primary productivity. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) enhance P acquisition for most terrestrial plants, but it has been suggested that this strategy becomes less effective in strongly weathered soils with extremely low P availability. Using next generation sequencing of the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene in roots and soil, we compared the composition and diversity of AMF communities in three contrasting stages of a...

Data from: Phylogeography of Heliconius cydno and its closest relatives: disentangling their origin and diversification

Carlos F. Arias, Camilo Salazar, Claudia Rosales, Marcus R. Kronforst, Mauricio Linares, Eldredge Bermingham & W. Owen McMillan
The origins of phenotypic variation within mimetic Heliconius butterflies have long fascinated biologists and naturalists. However, the evolutionary processes that have generated this extraordinary diversity remain puzzling. Here we examine intraspecific variation across Heliconius cydno diversification and compare this variation to that within the closely related H. melpomene and H. timareta radiations. Our data, which consist of both mtDNA and genome scan from nearly 2250 AFLP loci, reveal a complex history of differentiation and admixture...

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...

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