372 Works

Data from: Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalised defences in its host

William E. Feeney, Jolyon Troscianko, Naomi E. Langmore, Claire N. Spottiswoode, W. E. Feeney, N. E. Langmore, J. Troscianko & C. N. Spottiswoode
Mimicry of a harmless model (aggressive mimicry) is used by egg, chick and fledgling brood parasites that resemble the host's own eggs, chicks and fledglings. However, aggressive mimicry may also evolve in adult brood parasites, to avoid attack from hosts and/or manipulate their perception of parasitism risk. We tested the hypothesis that female cuckoo finches (Anomalospiza imberbis) are aggressive mimics of female Euplectes weavers, such as the harmless, abundant and sympatric southern red bishop (Euplectes...

Data from: On the evolutionary interplay between dispersal and local adaptation in heterogeneous environments

Andrew M. Berdahl, Colin J. Torney, Emmanuel Schertzer, Simon A. Levin & Andrew Berdahl
Dispersal, whether in the form of a dandelion seed drifting on the breeze, or a salmon migrating upstream to breed in a non-natal stream, transports genes between locations. At these locations, local adaptation modifies the gene frequencies so their carriers are better suited to particular conditions, be those of newly disturbed soil or a quiet river pool. Both dispersal and local adaptation are major drivers of population structure; however, in general, their respective roles are...

Data from: Hosts of avian brood parasites have evolved egg signatures with elevated information content

Eleanor M. Caves, Martin Stevens, Edwin S. Iversen & Claire N. Spottiswoode
Hosts of brood-parasitic birds must distinguish their own eggs from parasitic mimics, or pay the cost of mistakenly raising a foreign chick. Egg discrimination is easier when different host females of the same species each lay visually distinctive eggs (egg ‘signatures’), which helps to foil mimicry by parasites. Here, we ask whether brood parasitism is associated with lower levels of correlation between different egg traits in hosts, making individual host signatures more distinctive and informative....

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: Natural vegetation benefits synergistic control of the three main insect and pathogen pests of fruit crop in southern Africa

Dominic C. Henri, Owen Jones, Ariana Tsiattalos, Elisa Thébault, Colleen L. Seymour & F. J. Frank Van Veen
1. Most studies of the potential for natural habitat to improve agricultural productivity have been conducted in transformed, temperate regions, but little is known of the importance of agroecosystem services in biodiverse developing countries. 2. Natural vegetation may promote the density and/or diversity of natural enemies of crop pests, but the strength of the effect varies, and few studies directly measure concurrent impacts on pest density. Considering multiple pest species within the same agroecosystem may...

Data from: Modelling short-rotation coppice and tree planting for urban carbon management – a city-wide analysis

Nicola McHugh, Jill L. Edmondson, Kevin J. Gaston, Jonathan R. Leake, Odhran S. O’Sullivan & Odhran S. O'Sullivan
1. The capacity of urban areas to deliver provisioning ecosystem services is commonly overlooked and underutilized. Urban populations have globally increased fivefold since 1950, and they disproportionately consume ecosystem services and contribute to carbon emissions, highlighting the need to increase urban sustainability and reduce environmental impacts of urban dwellers. Here, we investigated the potential for increasing carbon sequestration, and biomass fuel production, by planting trees and short-rotation coppice (SRC), respectively, in a mid-sized UK city...

Data from: The role of host phenology in determining the incidence of an insect sexually transmitted infection

Daria Pastok, Mary-Jo Hoare, Jonathan J. Ryder, Michael Boots, Rob J. Knell, David Atkinson, Gregory D. D. Hurst, Jon J. Ryder & Mike Boots
Changes in the timing of life history events within the year alter the degree to which the activity patterns of different species coincide, making the dynamics of interspecific interactions sensitive to the phenology of the interacting parties. For parasites, the availability of suitable hosts to infect represents a crucial determinant of dynamics, and changes in the host (and parasite) phenology may thus alter disease epidemiology and the conditions for disease maintenance. We tested the hypothesis...

Data from: Pre-adapting parasitic phages to a pathogen leads to increased pathogen clearance and lowered resistance evolution with Pseudomonas aeruginosa cystic fibrosis bacterial isolates

Ville-Petri Friman, V-P. Friman, D. Soanes-Brown, P. Sierocinski, A. Buckling, H. K. Johansen, S. Molin & M. Merabishvili
Recent years have seen renewed interest in phage therapy - the use of viruses to specifically kill disease-causing bacteria – because of the alarming rise in antibiotic resistance. However, a major limitation of phage therapy is the ease at with bacteria can evolve resistance to phages. Here we determined if in vitro experimental coevolution can increase the efficiency of phage therapy by limiting the resistance evolution of intermittent and chronic cystic fibrosis Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung...

Data from: The cost of phage resistance in a plant pathogenic bacterium is context-dependent

Sean Meaden, Konrad Paszkiewicz & Britt Koskella
Parasites are ubiquitous features of living systems and many parasites severely reduce the fecundity or longevity of their hosts. This parasite-imposed selection on host populations should strongly favor the evolution of host resistance, but hosts typically face a trade-off between investment in reproductive fitness and investment in defense against parasites. The magnitude of such a trade-off is likely to be context-dependent, and accordingly costs that are key in shaping evolution in nature may not be...

Data from: Effects of epistasis on infectivity range during host-parasite coevolution

Ben Ashby, Sunetra Gupta & Angus Buckling
Understanding how parasites adapt to changes in host resistance is crucial to evolutionary epidemiology. Experimental studies have demonstrated that parasites are more capable of adapting to gradual, rather than sudden changes in host phenotype, as the latter may require multiple mutations that are unlikely to arise simultaneously. A key, but as yet unexplored factor is precisely how interactions between mutations (epistasis) affect parasite evolution. Here, we investigate this phenomenon in the context of infectivity range,...

Data from: Developmental stress predicts social network position

Neeltje J. Boogert, Damien R. Farine, Karen A. Spencer, D. R. Farine, K. A. Spencer & N. J. Boogert
The quantity and quality of social relationships, as captured by social network analysis, can have major fitness consequences. Various studies have shown that individual differences in social behaviour can be due to variation in exposure to developmental stress. However, whether these developmental differences translate to consistent differences in social network position is not known. We experimentally increased levels of the avian stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) in nestling zebra finches in a fully balanced design. Upon...

Data from: Environmental transmission of a personality trait: foster parent exploration behaviour predicts offspring exploration behaviour in zebra finches

Wiebke Schuett, Sasha R. X. Dall, Alastair J. Wilson, Nick J. Royle, S. R. X. Dall, N. J. Royle, A. J. Wilson & W. Schuett
Consistent behavioural differences among individuals are common in many species and can have important effects on offspring fitness. To understand such ‘personality’ variation, it is important to determine the mode of inheritance, but this has been quantified for only a few species. Here, we report results from a breeding experiment in captive zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, in which we cross-fostered offspring to disentangle the importance of genetic and non-genetic transmission of behaviour. Genetic and foster-parents’...

Data from: Nutrition during sexual maturation affects competitive ability but not reproductive productivity in burying beetles

Paul E. Hopwood, Allen J. Moore & Nick J. Royle
1. Food availability can be unpredictable. When food becomes more abundant following a period of low food availability, developing larvae or juveniles often allocate resources preferentially towards increasing growth. This has important long-term effects on adult phenotypes and longevity. Despite the importance of strategic resource allocation during early development, few studies have examined how changes in resource availability during other windows of development affect reproductive strategies and fitness independent of growth. 2. We manipulated food...

Data from: Sexual conflict and interacting phenotypes: a quantitative genetic analysis of fecundity and copula duration in Drosophila melanogaster

Dominic Alexander Edward, Jocelyn Poissant, Alastair J. Wilson, Tracey Chapman & Dominic A. Edward
Many reproductive traits that have evolved under sexual conflict may be influenced by both sexes. Investigation of the genetic architecture of such traits can yield important insight into their evolution, but this entails that the heritable component of variation is estimated for males and females – as an interacting phenotype. We address the lack of research in this area through an investigation of egg production and copula duration in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Despite...

Data from: Maternal effects and warning signal honesty in eggs and offspring of an aposematic ladybird beetle

Anne E. Winters, Martin Stevens, Chris Mitchell, Simon P. Blomberg & Jonathan D. Blount
1. The eggs of oviparous species are often subject to intense predation pressure. One parental strategy to deter predators is to produce eggs that are laced with noxious chemicals and are conspicuously coloured (i.e. aposematism). 2. Ladybird eggs are conspicuously coloured and contain alkaloids; these traits are believed to function in concert as visual signal and chemical defence, respectively, to deter predators. However, it remains unclear whether such aposematic signals reveal the strength (rather than...

Data from: Flies on the move: an inherited virus mirrors Drosophila melanogaster’s elusive ecology and demography

Lena Wilfert & Francis M. Jiggins
Vertically transmitted parasites rely on their host's reproduction for their transmission, leading to the evolutionary histories of both parties being intimately entwined. Parasites can thus serve as a population genetic magnifying glass for their host's demographic history. Here, we study the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster's vertically transmitted sigma virus DMelSV. The virus has a high mutation rate and low effective population size, allowing us to reconstruct at a fine scale how the combined forces of the...

Data from: Sexual conflict over mating in Gnatocerus cornutus? Females prefer lovers not fighters

Kensuke Okada, Masako Katsuki, Manmohan D. Sharma, Clarissa M. House, David J. Hosken, D. J. Hosken & M. Katsuki
Female mate choice and male–male competition are the typical mechanisms of sexual selection. However, these two mechanisms do not always favour the same males. Furthermore, it has recently become clear that female choice can sometimes benefit males that reduce female fitness. So whether male–male competition and female choice favour the same or different males, and whether or not females benefit from mate choice, remain open questions. In the horned beetle, Gnatocerus cornutus, males have enlarged...

Data from: Candidate genes for colour and vision exhibit signals of selection across the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) breeding range

Paula K. Lehtonen, Toni Laaksonen, Aleksandr V. Artemyev, Eugen Belskii, Paul R. Berg, Christiaan Both, Laura Buggiotti, Stanislav Bureš, Malcolm D. Burgess, Andrey V. Bushuev, Indrikis Krams, Juan Moreno, Marko Mägi, Andreas Nord, Jaime Potti, Pierre-Alain Ravussin, Glenn Peter Sætre, Paivi Sirkiä, Wolfgang Winkel & Craig R. Primmer
The role of natural selection in shaping adaptive trait differentiation in natural populations has long been recognized. Determining its molecular basis, however, remains a challenge. Here, we search for signals of selection in candidate genes for colour and its perception in a passerine bird. Pied flycatcher plumage varies geographically in both its structural and pigment-based properties. Both characteristics appear to be shaped by selection. A single-locus outlier test revealed two of fourteen loci to exhibit...

Data from: Sex-specific genotype-by-environment interactions for cuticular hydrocarbon expression in decorated crickets, Gryllodes sigillatus: implications for the evolution of signal reliability

Carie B. Weddle, Christopher Mitchell, Sean K. Bay, Scott K. Sakaluk, John Hunt, C. Mitchell, S. K. Bay, J. Hunt, C. B. Weddle & S. K. Sakaluk
Phenotypic traits that convey information about individual identity or quality are important in animal social interactions, and the degree to which such traits are influenced by environmental variation can have profound effects on the reliability of these cues. Using inbred genetic lines of the decorated cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus, we manipulated diet quality to test how the cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles of males and females respond across two different nutritional rearing environments. There were significant differences...

Data from: Intercolony movement of pre-breeding seabirds over oceanic scales: implications of cryptic age-classes for conservation and metapopulation dynamics

Anthony W. J. Bicknell, Mairi E. Knight, David T. Bilton, Maria Campbell, James B. Reid, Jason Newton & Stephen C. Votier
Aim: Demographic linkage between subpopulations plays a critical role in population processes. Metapopulation dynamics, however, remains one of the most poorly understood aspects of population biology. This is especially true for small, pelagic seabirds because their discrete subpopulations are located on offshore islands, separated by vast areas of open ocean, making monitoring logistically challenging. Seabird populations often contain large numbers of immature pre-breeders that may be important for subpopulation connectivity and demography, but are poorly...

Data from: Microsatellites for the marsh Fritillary butterfly: de novo transcriptome sequencing, and a comparison with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers

Melanie R. Smee, Yannick Pauchet, Paul Wilkinson, Brian Wee, Michael C. Singer, Richard H. Ffrench-Constant, David J. Hodgson & Alexander S. Mikheyev
BACKGROUND: Until recently the isolation of microsatellite markers from Lepidoptera has proved troublesome, expensive and time-consuming. Following on from a previous study of Edith's checkerspot butterfly, Euphydryas editha, we developed novel microsatellite markers for the vulnerable marsh fritillary butterfly, E. aurinia. Our goal was to optimize the process in order to reduce both time and cost relative to prevailing techniques. This was accomplished by using a combination of previously developed techniques: in silico mining of...

Data from: Candidate gene polymorphisms for behavioural adaptations during urbanization in blackbirds

Jakob C. Mueller, Jesko Partecke, Ben J. Hatchwell, Kevin J. Gaston, Karl L. Evans, B. J. Hatchwell, K. L. Evans, J. C. Mueller, J. Partecke & K. J. Gaston
Successful urban colonisation by formerly rural species represents an ideal situation in which to study adaptation to novel environments. We address this issue using candidate genes for behavioural traits that are expected to play a role in such colonisation events. We identified and genotyped 16 polymorphisms in candidate genes for circadian rhythms, harm avoidance, and migratory and exploratory behaviour in 12 paired urban and rural populations of the blackbird Turdus merula across the Western Palearctic....

Data from: Characterizing DNA preservation in degraded specimens of Amara alpina (Carabidae: Coleoptera)

Peter D. Heintzman, Scott A. Elias, Karen Moore, Konrad Paszkiewicz & Ian Barnes
DNA preserved in degraded beetle (Coleoptera) specimens, including those derived from dry-stored museum and ancient permafrost-preserved environments, could provide a valuable resource for researchers interested in species and population histories over timescales from decades to millenia. However, the potential of these samples as genetic resources is currently unassessed. Here, using Sanger and Illumina shotgun sequence data, we explored DNA preservation in specimens of the ground beetle Amara alpina, from both museum and ancient environments. Nearly...

Data from: A phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis of biologging device effects on birds: deleterious effects and a call for more standardized reporting of study data

Thomas W. Bodey, Ian R. Cleasby, Fraser Bell, Nicole Parr, Anthony Schultz, Stephen C. Votier & Stuart Bearhop
1.The use of biologging devices continues to increase, with technological advances yielding remarkable ecological insights and generating new research questions. However, as devices develop and are deployed more widely, there is a need to update our knowledge of the potential ethical impacts to allow scientists to balance these against the knowledge gained. 2.We employed a suite of phylogenetically controlled meta-analyses on a dataset comprising more than 450 published effect sizes across 214 different studies to...

Data from: Phenotypic and genetic integration of personality and growth under competition in the sheepshead swordtail, Xiphophorus birchmanni

Kay Boulton, Craig A. Walling, Andrew J. Grimmer, Gil G. Rosenthal, Alastair Wilson & Alastair J. Wilson
Competition for resources including food, physical space, and potential mates is a fundamental ecological process shaping variation in individual phenotype and fitness. The evolution of competitive ability, in particular social dominance, depends on genetic (co)variation among traits causal (e.g., behavior) or consequent (e.g., growth) to competitive outcomes. If dominance is heritable, it will generate both direct and indirect genetic effects (IGE) on resource-dependent traits. The latter are expected to impose evolutionary constraint because winners necessarily...

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  • University of Exeter
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  • Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
  • Australian National University
  • University of Zurich
  • University of Glasgow