359 Works

Rainfall and nest site competition delay Mountain Bluebird and Tree Swallow breeding but do not impact productivity

Anna Drake & Kathy Martin
Optimizing breeding phenology, an important aspect of fitness, is complex for migratory species as they must make key timing decisions early, and remotely, from breeding sites. We examined the role of weather (locally and cross-seasonally), cavity availability, and competitive exclusion in determining among-year variation in breeding phenology over 17 years for two migratory, cavity-nesting birds: Mountain Bluebirds (Sialia currucoides; n = 462 nests) and Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor; n = 572) using natural tree cavities...

Ancestral reconstruction of sunflower karyotypes reveals non-random chromosomal evolution

Kate Ostevik, Kieran Samuk & Loren Rieseberg
Mapping the chromosomal rearrangements between species can inform our understanding of genome evolution, reproductive isolation, and speciation. Here we present a novel algorithm for identifying regions of synteny in pairs of genetic maps, which is implemented in the accompanying R package, syntR. The syntR algorithm performs as well as previous methods while being systematic and repeatable and can be used to map chromosomal rearrangements in any group of species. In addition, we present a systematic...

Boreal predator co-occurrences reveal shared use of seismic lines in a working landscape

Erin R. Tattersall, Joanna M. Burgar, Jason T. Fisher & A. Cole Burton
Interspecific interactions are an integral aspect of ecosystem functioning that may be disrupted in an increasingly anthropocentric world. Industrial landscape change creates a novel playing field on which these interactions take place, and a key question for wildlife managers is whether and how species are able to coexist in such working landscapes. Using camera traps deployed in northern Alberta, we surveyed boreal predators to determine whether interspecific interactions affected occurrences of black bears (Ursus americanus),...

Molecular assays to detect the presence and viability of Phytophthora ramorum and Grosmannia clavigera

Nicolas Feau, Barbara Wong & Richard Hamelin
Protocols for the RNA and DNA extractions, cDNA synthesis and qPCR and RT-qPCR for detecting and assessing viability of the Phytophthora ramorum and Grosmannia clavigera tree pathogens.

Experimental hybridization studies suggest that pleiotropic alleles commonly underlie adaptive divergence between natural populations

Ken Thompson
The alleles used for adaptation can pleiotropically affect traits under stabilizing selection. The fixation of alleles with deleterious pleiotropic effects causes compensatory alleles to be favoured by selection. Such compensatory alleles might segregate in interpopulation hybrids, resulting in segregation variance for traits where parents have indistinguishable phenotypes. If adaptation typically involves pleiotropy and compensation, then the segregation variance for traits under stabilizing selection is expected to increase with the magnitude of adaptive phenotypic divergence between...

Species differences in phenology shape coexistence

Christopher Blackford, Rachel Germain & Benjamin Gilbert
Ecological theory produces opposing predictions about whether differences in the timing of life history transitions, or ‘phenology’, promote or limit coexistence. Phenological separation is predicted to create temporal niche differences, increasing coexistence, yet phenological separation could also competitively favour one species, increasing fitness differences and hindering coexistence. We experimentally manipulated relative germination timing, a critical phenological event, of two annual grass species, Vulpia microstachys and V. octoflora, to test these contrasting predictions. We parameterized a...

Rattus population genomics across the Haida Gwaii archipelago provides a framework for guiding invasive species management

Bryson Sjodin, Robyn Irvine, Adam Ford, Gregg Howald & Michael Russello
Invasive species have led to precipitous declines in biodiversity, especially in island systems. Brown (Rattus norvegicus) and black rats (R. rattus) are among the most invasive animals on the planet, with eradication being the primary tool for established island populations. The need for increased research for defining eradication units and monitoring outcomes has been highlighted as a means to maximize success. Haida Gwaii is an archipelago ~100 km off the northern coast of British Columbia,...

Assortative mating in hybrid zones is remarkably ineffective in promoting speciation

Darren Irwin
Partial prezygotic isolation is often viewed as more important than partial postzygotic isolation (low fitness of hybrids) early in the process of speciation. I simulate secondary contact between two populations (‘species’) to examine effects of assortative mating and low hybrid fitness in preventing blending. A small reduction in hybrid fitness (e.g., by 10%) produces a narrower hybrid zone than a strong but imperfect mating preference (e.g., 10x stronger preference for conspecific over heterospecific mates). In...

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: Habitat size thresholds for predators: why damselflies only occur in large bromeliads

Diane Sheila Srivastava, Sarah Louise Amundrud, Jacqueline T. Ngai, Brian M. Starzomski & Jessica Lee Ware
Predators are often more sensitive to habitat size than their prey, and frequently occur in only the largest habitats. Four explanations have been proposed for this pattern: (1) small habitats do not have enough energy to support higher trophic levels; (2) small habitats are less likely to contain particular prey required by specialist predators; (3) small habitats are risky for predators with slow life histories or large body sizes; (4) small habitats are numerically unlikely...

Data from: Density-dependent space use affects interpretation of camera trap detection rates

Kate Broadley, Cole Burton, Stan Boutin, Tal Avgar & Stan Boutin
Camera-traps (CTs) are an increasingly popular tool for wildlife survey and monitoring. Estimating relative abundance in unmarked species is often done using detection rate as an index of relative abundance, which assumes a positive linear relationship with true abundance. This assumption may be violated if movement behavior varies with density, but the degree to which movement is density-dependent across taxa is unclear. The potential confounding of population-level relative abundance indices by movement depends on how...

Data from: Testing predictions of inclusive fitness theory in inbreeding relatives with biparental care

Elizabeth Gow, Peter Arcese, Danielle Dagenais, Rebecca Sardell, Scott Wilson & Jane Reid
Inclusive fitness theory predicts that parental care will vary with relatedness between potentially caring parents and offspring, potentially shaping mating system evolution. Systems with extra-pair paternity (EPP), and hence variable parent-brood relatedness, provide valuable opportunities to test this prediction. However, existing theoretical and empirical studies assume that a focal male is either an offspring’s father with no inbreeding, or is completely unrelated. We highlight that this simple dichotomy does not hold given reproductive interactions among...

Data from: Can avian functional traits predict cultural ecosystem services?

Alejandra Echeverri, Daniel Karp, Robin Naidoo, Joseph Tobias, Jiaying Zhao & Kai Chan
The functional trait diversity of species assemblages can predict the provision of ecosystem services such as pollination and carbon sequestration, but it is unclear whether the same trait-based framework can be applied to identify the factors that underpin cultural ecosystem services and disservices. To explore the relationship between traits and the contribution of species to cultural ecosystem services and disservices, we conducted 404 questionnaire surveys with birdwatchers and local residents in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We...

Data from: Resistance of soil biota and plant growth to disturbance increases with plant diversity

Jonathan Bennett, Alexander Koch, Jennifer Forsythe, Nancy Johnson, David Tilman & John Klironomos
Plant diversity is critical to the functioning of ecosystems, potentially mediated in part by interactions with soil biota. Here, we characterized multiple groups of soil biota across a plant diversity gradient in a long-term experiment. We then subjected soil samples taken along this gradient to drought, freezing, and a mechanical disturbance to test how plant diversity affects the responses of soil biota and growth of a focal plant to these disturbances. High plant diversity resulted...

Data from: Parallel changes in gut microbiome composition and function during colonization, local adaptation and ecological speciation

Diana J. Rennison, Seth M. Rudman & Dolph Schluter
The processes of local adaptation and ecological speciation are often strongly shaped by biotic interactions such as competition and predation. One of the strongest lines of evidence that biotic interactions drive evolution comes from repeated divergence of lineages in association with repeated changes in the community of interacting species. Yet, relatively little is known about the repeatability of changes in gut microbial communities and their role in adaptation and divergence of host populations in nature....

Data from: Defining isoscapes in the Northeast Pacific as an index of ocean productivity

Boris Espinasse
Aim: We modeled isoscapes in the Northeast Pacific using satellite-based data with the main objective of testing if isoscapes defined by a few key parameters can be used as a proxy for secondary productivity. Location: Northeast (NE) Pacific; 46 – 60⁰N and 125 – 165⁰W. Time period: From 1998 to 2017 (ongoing). Major taxa studied: Zooplankton with a focus on large herbivores. Methods: Approximately 280 summer zooplankton samples were analyzed for Carbon (δ13C) and Nitrogen...

Hydroxyacetophenone defenses in white spruce against spruce budworm

Genevieve Parent, Claudia Méndez-Espinoza, Isabelle Giguère, Melissa H. Mageroy, Martin Charest, Éric Bauce, Joerg Bohlmann & John MacKay
We review a recently discovered white spruce (Picea glauca) chemical defense against spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) involving hydroxyacetophenones. These defense metabolites detected in the foliage accumulate variably as the aglycons, piceol and pungenol, or the corresponding glucosides, picein and pungenin. We summarize current knowledge of the genomic, molecular and biochemical as well as genetic underpinnings of this defense and its effects on C. fumiferana. We present an update with new results on the ontogenic variation...

Data from: Using text-mined trait data to test for cooperate-and-radiate co-evolution between ants and plants

Katrina M. Kaur, Pierre-Jean G. Male, Erik Spence, Crisanto Gomez & Megan E. Frederickson
Mutualisms may be “key innovations” that spur lineage diversification by augmenting niche breadth, geographic range, or population size, thereby increasing speciation rates or decreasing extinction rates. Whether mutualism accelerates diversification in both interacting lineages is an open question. Research suggests that plants that attract ant mutualists have higher diversification rates than non-ant associated lineages. We ask whether the reciprocal is true: does the interaction between ants and plants also accelerate diversification in ants, i.e. do...

Data from: Climatic change only stimulated growth for trees under weak competition in central boreal forests

Yong Luo, Eliot J. B. McIntire, Celine Boivenue, Paul P. Nikiema & Han H. Y. Chen
1. Global change ecologists have often used trees under weak competition (e.g., dominant/codominant trees) to examine relationships between climatic change and tree growth. Scaling up these results to a forest relies on the assumption that the climatic change-tree growth relationship is not affected by tree-level competition. 2. Using permanent sample plot data from the central Canadian boreal region where warming did not result in water deficit, we tested the above-mentioned assumption by looking at whether...

Data from: City sicker? a meta-analysis of wildlife health and urbanization

Maureen H. Murray, Cecilia A. Sanchez, Daniel J. Becker, Kaylee A. Byers, Katherine E. L. Worsley-Tonks & Meggan E. Craft
Urban development can alter resource availability, land use, and community composition, in turn influencing wildlife health. Generalizable relationships between wildlife health and urbanization have yet to be quantified, and could vary across health metrics and animal taxonomy. We present a phylogenetic meta-analysis of 516 records spanning 81 wildlife species from 106 studies comparing the toxicant loads, parasitism, body condition, or stress of urban and non-urban wildlife populations in 30 countries. We find a significantly negative...

Data from: Low levels of hybridization across two contact zones among three species of woodpeckers (Sphyrapicus sapsuckers)

Sampath S. Seneviratne, Peter Davidson, Kathy Martin & Darren E. Irwin
Three species of closely related woodpeckers (sapsuckers; Sphyrapicus) hybridize where they come into contact, presenting a rare ‘λ‐shape’ meeting of hybrid zones. Two of the three arms of this hybrid zone are located on either side of the Interior Plateau of British Columbia, Canada bordering the foothills of the Coast Mountains and the Rocky Mountains. The third arm is located in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The zones of hybridization present high variability...

Data from: Multi-speed genome diploidization and diversification after an ancient allopolyploidization

Terezie Mandáková, Milan Pouch, Klára Harmanová, Shing Hei Zhan, Itay Mayrose & Martin A. Lysak
Hybridization and genome doubling (allopolyploidy) have led to evolutionary novelties as well as to the origin of new clades and species. Despite the importance of allopolyploidization, the dynamics of post-polyploid diploidization (PPD) at the genome level has been only sparsely studied. The Microlepidieae (MICR) is a crucifer tribe of 17 genera and c. 56 species endemic to Australia and New Zealand. Our phylogenetic and cytogenomic analyses revealed that MICR originated via an inter-tribal hybridization between...

Data from: How much of the world is woody?

Richard G. FitzJohn, Matt W. Pennell, Amy E. Zanne, Peter F. Stevens, David C. Tank, William K. Cornwell & Matthew W. Pennell
1.The question posed by the title of this paper is a basic one, and it is surprising that the answer is not known. Recently assembled trait datasets provide an opportunity to address this, but scaling these datasets to the global scale is challenging because of sampling bias. Although we currently know the growth form of tens of thousands of species, these data are not a random sample of global diversity; some clades are exhaustively characterised,...

Data from: Keeping pace with the Red Queen: identifying the genetic basis of susceptibility to infectious disease

Ailene MacPherson, Sarah P. Otto & Scott L. Nuismer
Genome-wide association studies are widely used to identify "disease genes" conferring resistance/susceptibility to infectious diseases. Using a combination of mathematical models and simulations we demonstrate that genetic interactions between hosts and parasites (GxG interactions) can drastically affect the results of these association scans and hamper our ability to detect genetic variation in susceptibility. When hosts and parasites coevolve, these GxG interactions often make Genome-wide association studies unrepeatable over time or across host populations. Reanalyzing previously...

Data from: Asymmetric competition impacts evolutionary rescue in a changing environment

Courtney L. Van Den Elzen, Elizabeth J. Kleynhans & Sarah P. Otto
Interspecific competition can strongly influence the evolutionary response of a species to a changing environment, impacting the chance that the species survives or goes extinct. Previous work has shown that when two species compete for a temporally shifting resource distribution, the species lagging behind the resource peak is the first to go extinct due to competitive exclusion. However, this work assumed symmetrically distributed resources and competition. Asymmetries can generate differences between species in population sizes,...

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