103 Works

Metabolic rate is negatively linked to adult survival but does not explain latitudinal differences in songbirds

Andy Boyce, James C. Mouton, Penn Lloyd, Blair O. Wolf & Thomas E. Martin
Survival rates vary dramatically among species and predictably across latitudes, but causes of this variation are unclear. The rate of living hypothesis posits that physiological damage from metabolism causes species with faster metabolic rates to exhibit lower survival rates. However, whether increased survival commonly observed in tropical and south temperate latitudes is associated with slower metabolic rate remains unclear. We compared metabolic rates and annual survival rates across 46 species that we measured, and 147...

Heat dissipation behaviour of birds in seasonally hot, arid-zones: are there global patterns?

Nicholas Pattinson, Michelle Thompson, Michael Griego, Grace Russell, Nicola Mitchell, Rowan Martin, Blair Wolf, Ben Smit, Susan Cunningham & Andrew McKechnie
Quantifying organismal sensitivity to heat stress provides one means for predicting vulnerability to climate change. Birds are ideal for investigating this approach, as they display quantifiable fitness consequences associated with behavioural and physiological responses to heat stress. We used a recently developed method that examines correlations between readily-observable behaviours and air temperature (Tair) to investigate interspecific variation in avian responses to heat stress in seasonally hot, arid regions on three continents: the southwestern United States,...

A framework for mapping the distribution of seabirds by integrating tracking, demography and phenology

Ana P. B. Carneiro, Elizabeth J. Pearmain, Steffen Oppel, Thomas A. Clay, Richard A. Phillips, Anne-Sophie Bonnet-Lebrun, Ross M. Wanless, Edward Abraham, Yvan Richard, Joel Rice, Jonathan Handley, Tammy E. Davies, Ben J. Dilley, Peter G. Ryan, Cleo Small, Javier Arata, John P. Y. Arnould, Elizabeth Bell, Leandro Bugoni, Letizia Campioni, Paulo Catry, Jaimie Cleeland, Lorna Deppe, Graeme Elliott, Amanda Freeman … & Maria P. Dias
1. The identification of geographic areas where the densities of animals are highest across their annual cycles is a crucial step in conservation planning. In marine environments, however, it can be particularly difficult to map the distribution of species, and the methods used are usually biased towards adults, neglecting the distribution of other life-history stages even though they can represent a substantial proportion of the total population. 2. Here we develop a methodological framework for...

Lack of vulnerability segmentation among woody species in a diverse dry sclerophyll woodland community

Chris Smith-Martin, Robert Paul Skelton, Kate Johnson, Christopher Lucani & Tim Brodribb
1. Recent findings suggest that tree mortality and post-drought recovery of gas exchange can be predicted from loss of function within the water transport system. Understanding the susceptibility of plants to hydraulic damage requires knowledge about the vulnerability of different plant organs to stress-induced hydraulic dysfunction. This is particularly important in the context of vulnerability segmentation between plant tissues which is believed to protect more energetically “costly” tissues, such as woody stems, by sacrificing “cheaper”...

Data from: Senescence in the city: exploring ageing patterns of a long‐lived raptor across an urban gradient

Petra Sumasgutner, Ann Koeslag & Arjun Amar
In many vertebrates, productivity and survival usually increase with age and then start to decline above a certain age; processes known as reproductive and actuarial senescence. Senescence is widely believed to be driven by the accumulation of somatic damage or mutations. Thus, levels of such cellular damage, and therefore senescence could, in theory, differ between different habitats if they experience different stressors. Urban environments expose animals to a wide range of stressors that pose a...

Fire refugia facilitate forest and savanna co‐existence as alternative stable states

Heath Beckett & William J. Bond
Aim: Does complex topography facilitate the establishment and persistence of fire‐ sensitive (forest) vegetation in a fire‐prone landscape? We test the prediction that fire‐sensitive vegetation will establish and persist in areas where the fire return interval is lower due to a topographic hindrance on fire spread. Location: Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Methods: Using aerial photographs from six time periods between 1937 and 2013, we mapped vegetation changes in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park (HiP). Using a...

Data from: Genomics detects population structure within and between ocean basins in a circumpolar seabird: the white-chinned petrel

Kalinka Rexer-Huber, Andrew J. Veale, Paulo Catry, Yves Cherel, Ludovic Dutoit, Yasmin Foster, John C. McEwan, Graham C. Parker, Richard A. Phillips, Peter G. Ryan, Andrew J. Stanworth, Tracey Van Stijn, David R. Thompson, Jonathan Waters & Bruce C. Robertson
The Southern Ocean represents a continuous stretch of circumpolar marine habitat, but the potential physical and ecological drivers of evolutionary genetic differentiation across this vast ecosystem remain unclear. We tested for genetic structure across the full circumpolar range of the white-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis) to unravel the potential drivers of population differentiation and test alternative population differentiation hypotheses. Following range-wide comprehensive sampling, we applied genomic (genotyping-by-sequencing or GBS; 60,709 loci) and standard mitochondrial-marker approaches (cytochrome...

Data from: Is computer-assisted instruction more effective than other educational methods in achieving ECG competence amongst medical students and residents? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Charle Viljoen, Rob Scott Millar, Mark Engel, Mary Shelton & Vanessa Burch
Objectives It remains unclear whether computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is more effective than other teaching methods in acquiring and retaining ECG competence amongst medical students and residents. Design This systematic review and meta-analysis followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Data sources Electronic literature searches of PubMed, databases via EBSCOhost, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar and grey literature were conducted on 28 November 2017. We subsequently reviewed the citation indexes...

Data from: Species Selection Regime and Phylogenetic Tree Shape

George Verboom, Florian Boucher, David Ackerly, Lara Wootton & William Freyman
Species selection, the effect of heritable traits in generating between-lineage diversification rate differences, provides a valuable conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between traits, diversification and phylogenetic tree shape. An important challenge, however, is that the nature of real diversification landscapes – curves or surfaces which describe the propensity of species-level lineages to diversify as a function of one or more traits – remains poorly understood. Here we present a novel, time-stratified extension of the...

Data from: The evolutionary relationships and age of Homo naledi: an assessment using dated Bayesian phylogenetic methods

Mana Dembo, Davorka Radovčić, Heather M. Garvin, Myra F. Laird, Lauren Schroeder, Jill E. Scott, Juliet Brophy, Rebecca R. Ackermann, Charles M. Musiba, Darryl J. De Ruiter, Arne Ø. Mooers, Mark Collard & Chares M. Musiba
Homo naledi is a recently discovered species of fossil hominin from South Africa. A considerable amount is already known about H. naledi but some important questions remain unanswered. Here we report a study that addressed two of them: “Where does H. naledi fit in the hominin evolutionary tree?” and “How old is it?” We used a large supermatrix of craniodental characters for both early and late hominin species and Bayesian phylogenetic techniques to carry out...

Data from: Convergent and correlated evolution of major life-history traits in the angiosperm genus Leucadendron (Proteaceae)

Jeanne Tonnabel, Agnès Mignot, Emmanuel J. P. Douzery, Anthony G. Rebelo, Frank M. Schurr, Jeremy Midgley, Nicola Illing, Fabienne Justy, Denis Orcel & Isabelle Olivieri
Natural selection is expected to cause convergence of life histories among taxa as well as correlated evolution of different life-history traits. Here, we quantify the extent of convergence of five key life-history traits (adult fire survival, seed storage, degree of sexual dimorphism, pollination mode, and seed-dispersal mode) and test hypotheses about their correlated evolution in the genus Leucadendron (Proteaceae) from the fire-prone South African fynbos. We reconstructed a new molecular phylogeny of this highly diverse...

Data from: Heaviside's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii) relax acoustic crypsis to increase communication range

Morgan J. Martin, Tess Gridley, Simon H. Elwen & Frants H. Jensen
The costs of predation may exert significant pressure on the mode of communication used by an animal, and many species balance the benefits of communication (e.g. mate attraction) against the potential risk of predation. Four groups of toothed whales have independently evolved narrowband high-frequency (NBHF) echolocation signals. These signals help NBHF species avoid predation through acoustic crypsis by echolocating and communicating at frequencies inaudible to predators such as mammal-eating killer whales. Heaviside’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii)...

Data from: A new subfamily classification of the Leguminosae based on a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny

(LPWG), Legume Phylogeny Working Group, Anne Bruneau, Nasim Azani, Marielle Babineau, Edeline Gagnon, Carole Sinou, Royce Steeves, Erin Zimmerman, C. Donovan Bailey, Lynsey Kovar, Madhugiri Nageswara-Rao, Hannah Banks, RuthP. Clark, Manuel De La Estrella, Peter Gasson, GeoffreyC. Kite, BenteB. Klitgaard, GwilymP. Lewis, Danilo Neves, Gerhard Prenner, María De Lourdes Rico-Arce, ArianeR. Barbosa, Maria Cristina López-Roberts, Luciano Paganucci De Queiroz, PétalaG. Ribeiro … & Tingshuang Yi
The classification of the legume family proposed here addresses the long-known non-monophyly of the traditionally recognised subfamily Caesalpinioideae, by recognising six robustly supported monophyletic subfamilies. This new classification uses as its framework the most comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of legumes to date, based on plastid matK gene sequences, and including near-complete sampling of genera (698 of the currently recognised 765 genera) and ca. 20% (3696) of known species. The matK gene region has been the most...

Data from: Understanding the mechanisms of anti-tropical divergence in the seabird White-faced Storm-petrel (Procellariiformes: Pelagodroma marina) using a multi-locus approach

Monica C. Silva, Rafael Matias, Ross M. Wanless, Peter G. Ryan, Brent Stephenson, Mark Bolton, Nuno Ferrand, Manuela Coelho & M. Manuela Coelho
Analytical methods that apply coalescent theory to multilocus data have improved inferences of demographic parameters that are critical to understanding population divergence and speciation. In particular, at the early stages of speciation, it is important to implement models that accommodate conflicting gene trees, and benefit from the presence of shared polymorphisms. Here, we employ eleven nuclear loci and the mitochondrial control region to investigate the phylogeography and historical demography of the pelagic seabird White-faced Storm-petrel...

Data from: Topography as a driver of diversification in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa

George Anthony Verboom, Nicola G. Bergh, Sarah A. Haiden, Vera Hoffmann, Matthew N. Britton & G. Anthony Verboom
The rugged topography of the Cape Floristic Region (CFR), South Africa, is frequently invoked to explain the spectacular radiation of the Cape flora, but the mechanisms involved remain unclear. Where recent authors emphasize the importance of elevation gradients as stimuli for ecological speciation, earlier workers stressed the role of topography as an isolating mechanism, particularly in montane lineages. Using six Cape plant lineages, we tested whether elevation niches are phylogenetically conserved. We then assessed whether...

Data from: Dated plant phylogenies resolve Neogene climate and landscape evolution in the Cape Floristic Region

Vera Hoffmann, G. Anthony Verboom & Fenton P. D. Cotterill
In the context of molecularly-dated phylogenies, inferences informed by ancestral habitat reconstruction can yield valuable insights into the origins of biomes, palaeoenvironments and landforms. In this paper, we use dated phylogenies of 12 plant clades from the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) in southern Africa to test hypotheses of Neogene climatic and geomorphic evolution. Our combined dataset for the CFR strengthens and refines previous palaeoenvironmental reconstructions based on a sparse, mostly offshore fossil record. Our reconstructions...

Data from: Evolutionary factors affecting the cross-species utility of newly developed microsatellite markers in seabirds

Yoshan Moodley, Juan F. Masello, Gopi K. Munimanda, Theresa L. Cole, Marco R. Thali, Rachael Alderman, Richard J. Cuthbert, Manuel Marin, Melanie Massaro, Joan Navarro, Richard A. Phillips, Peter G. Ryan, Cristián G. Suazo, Yves Cherel, Henri Weimerskirch, Petra Quillfeldt & Luciano Calderon
Microsatellite loci are ideal for testing hypotheses relating to genetic segregation at fine spatio-temporal scales. They are also conserved among closely related species, making them potentially useful for clarifying interspecific relationships between recently diverged taxa. However, mutations at primer binding sites may lead to increased nonamplification, or disruptions that may result in decreased polymorphism in nontarget species. Furthermore, high mutation rates and constraints on allele size may also with evolutionary time, promote an increase in...

Data from: TAPBPR mediates peptide dissociation from MHC class I using a leucine lever

F. Tudor Ilca, Andreas Neerincx, Clemens Hermann, Ana Marcu, Stefan Stevanović, Janet E. Deane, Louise H. Boyle, Janet E Deane, F Tudor Ilca & Louise H Boyle
Tapasin and TAPBPR are known to perform peptide editing on major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) molecules, however, the precise molecular mechanism(s) involved in this process remain largely enigmatic. Here, using immunopeptidomics in combination with novel cell-based assays that assess TAPBPR-mediate peptide exchange, we reveal a critical role for the K22-D35 loop of TAPBPR in mediating peptide exchange on MHC I. We identify a specific leucine within this loop that enables TAPBPR to facilitate...

Data from: Genome-wide expression reveals multiple systemic effects associated with detection of anticoagulant poisons in bobcats (Lynx rufus)

Devaughn Fraser, Alice Mouton, Laurel E.K. Serieys, Steve Cole, Scott Carver, Sue Vandewoude, Michael Lappin, Seth P.D. Riley, Robert Wayne & Laurel E. K. Serieys
Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) are indiscriminate toxicants that threaten non-target predatory and scavenger species through secondary poisoning. Accumulating evidence suggests that AR exposure may have disruptive sublethal consequences on individuals that can affect fitness. We evaluated AR-related effects on genome wide expression patterns in a population of bobcats in southern California. We identify differential expression of genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism, endoplasmic reticulum stress response, epithelial integrity, and both adaptive and innate immune function. Further, we...

Data from: Group foraging increases foraging efficiency in a piscivorous diver, the African penguin

Alistair M. McInnes, Cuan McGeorge, Samuel Ginsberg, Lorien Pichegru & Pierre A. Pistorius
Marine piscivores have evolved a variety of morphological and behavioural adaptations, including group foraging, to optimize foraging efficiency when targeting shoaling fish. For penguins that are known to associate at sea and feed on these prey resources, there is nonetheless a lack of empirical evidence to support improved foraging efficiency when foraging with conspecifics. We examined the hunting strategies and foraging performance of breeding African penguins equipped with animal-borne video recorders. Individuals pursued both solitary...

Data from: The Victoria West: earliest prepared core technology in the Acheulean at Canteen Kopje and implications for the cognitive evolution of early hominids

Hao Li, Kathleen Kuman, Matt G. Lotter, George M. Leader & Ryan J. Gibbon
Prepared core technology illustrates in-depth planning and the presence of a mental template during the core reduction process. This technology is, therefore, a significant indicator in studying the evolution of abstract thought and the cognitive abilities of hominids. Here, we report on Victoria West cores excavated from the Canteen Kopje site in central South Africa, with a preliminary age estimate of approximately 1 Ma (million years ago) for these cores. Technological analysis shows that the...

Data from: Projected distributions of Southern Ocean albatrosses, petrels and fisheries as a consequence of climatic change

L. Krüger, J. A. Ramos, J. C. Xavier, D. Grémillet, J. González-Solís, M. V. Petry, R. A. Phillips, R. M. Wanless, V. H. Paiva & Lucas Krüger
Given the major ongoing influence of environmental change on the oceans, there is a need to understand and predict the future distributions of marine species in order to plan appropriate mitigation to conserve vulnerable species and ecosystems. In this study we use tracking data from seven large seabird species of the Southern Ocean (Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris, Grey-headed Albatross T. chrysostoma, Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli, Southern Giant Petrel M. giganteus, Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena...

Data from: The effects of tourist and boat traffic on parrot geophagy in lowland Peru

Alan T. K. Lee, Stuart J. Marsden, Emma Tatum-Hume & Donald J. Brightsmith
Ecotourism generates important revenue in many developing economies, but poorly regulated ecotourism can threaten the long-term viability of key biological resources. We determined the effects of tourism, boat traffic, and natural disturbances on parrot geophagy (soil consumption) across seven riverine claylicks in the lowlands of Madre de Dios, Peru. Claylick use significantly decreased when visitors did not follow good practice guidelines and tourist numbers exceeded the capacity of the observation blinds. Otherwise, tourist presence and...

Data from: Relative advantages of dichromatic and trichromatic color vision in camouflage breaking

Jolyon Troscianko, Jared Wilson-Aggarwal, David Griffiths, Claire N. Spottiswoode & Martin Stevens
There is huge diversity in visual systems and color discrimination abilities, thought to stem from an animal’s ecology and life history. Many primate species maintain a polymorphism in color vision, whereby most individuals are dichromats but some females are trichromats, implying that selection sometimes favors dichromatic vision. Detecting camouflaged prey is thought to be a task where dichromatic individuals could have an advantage. However, previous work either has not been able to disentangle camouflage detection...

Data from: Cats, connectivity and conservation: incorporating datasets and integrating scales for wildlife management

Ross T. Pitman, Julien Fattebert, Samual T. Williams, Kathryn S. Williams, Russell A. Hill, Luke T. B. Hunter, Hugh Robinson, John Power, Lourens Swanepoel, Rob Slotow & Guy A. Balme
Understanding resource selection and quantifying habitat connectivity are fundamental to conservation planning for both land-use and species management plans. However, datasets available to management authorities for resource selection and connectivity analyses are often highly limited and fragmentary. As a result, measuring connectivity is challenging, and often poorly integrated within conservation planning and wildlife management. To exacerbate the challenge, scale-dependent resource use makes inference across scales problematic, resource use is often modelled in areas where the...

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  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Pretoria
  • South African National Biodiversity Institute
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • Nelson Mandela University
  • Panthera Corporation
  • University of Western Australia
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • University of Lisbon
  • British Antarctic Survey
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Porto