The trend of closely related taxa to retain similar environmental preferences mediated by inherited traits suggests that several patterns observed at the community scale originate from longer evolutionary processes. While the effects of phylogenetic relatedness have been previously studied within a single genus or family, lineage-specific effects on the ecological processes governing community assembly have rarely been studied for entire communities or flora. Here, we measured how community phylogenetic structure varies across a wide elevation...
Music evolves as composers, performers, and consumers favor some musical variants over others. To investigate the role of consumer selection, we constructed a Darwinian music engine consisting of a population of short audio loops that sexually reproduce and mutate. This population evolved for 2,513 generations under the selective influence of 6,931 consumers who rated the loops’ aesthetic qualities. We found that the loops quickly evolved into music attributable, in part, to the evolution of aesthetically...
Within regions, differences in the number of species among clades must be explained by clade age, net diversification rate, or immigration. We examine these alternatives by assessing historical causes of the low diversity of a bird parvorder in the Himalayas (the core Corvoidea, 57 species present) relative to its more species rich sister clade. The core Corvoidea contain ecologically diverse species spanning a large range of body sizes and elevations. Despite this diversity, on the...
Data from: Population responses to perturbations: the importance of trait-based analysis illustrated through a microcosm experimentArpat Ozgul, Tim Coulson, Alan Reynolds, Tom C. Cameron & Tim G. Benton
Environmental change continually perturbs populations from a stable state, leading to transient dynamics that can last multiple generations. Several long-term studies have reported changes in trait distributions along with demographic response to environmental change. Here we conducted an experimental study on soil mites and investigated the interaction between demography and an individual trait over a period of nonstationary dynamics. By following individual fates and body sizes at each life-history stage, we investigated how body size...
Data from: Testing the link between population genetic differentiation and clade diversification in Costa Rican orchidsYael Kisel, Alejandra C. Moreno-Letelier, Diego Bogarín, Martyn P. Powell, Mark W. Chase & Timothy G. Barraclough
Species population genetics could be an important factor explaining variation in clade species richness. Here we use newly generated AFLP data to test whether five pairs of sister clades of Costa Rican orchids that differ greatly in species richness also differ in average neutral genetic differentiation within species, expecting that if the strength of processes promoting differentiation within species is phylogenetically heritable, then clades with greater genetic differentiation should diversify more. Contrary to expectation, neutral...
Data from: The cost of copy number in a selfish genetic element: the 2µM plasmid of Saccharomyces cerevisiaeEllie Harrison, Vassiliki Koufopanou, Austin Burt, R. Craig MacLean, V. Koufopanou, A. Burt & R. C. MacLean
Many autonomously replicating genetic elements exist as multiple copies within the cell. The copy number of these elements is often assumed to have important fitness consequences for both element and host, yet the forces shaping its evolution are not well understood. The 2µm is a multi-copy plasmid of Saccharomyces yeasts, encoding just four genes that are solely involved in plasmid replication. One simple model for the fitness relationship between yeasts and 2µm is that plasmid...
Hybridization between distantly related organisms can facilitate rapid adaptation to novel environments, but is potentially constrained by epistatic fitness interactions among cell components. The zoonotic pathogens Campylobacter coli and C. jejuni differ from each other by around 15% at the nucleotide level, corresponding to an average of nearly 40 amino acids per protein-coding gene. Using whole genome sequencing, we show that a single C. coli lineage, which has successfully colonized an agricultural niche, has been...
Imperial College London7
University of Oxford2
Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics1
Royal Botanic Gardens1
University of Cambridge1
University of Aberdeen1
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology1
University of Lausanne1
United States Department of Agriculture1
University of Leeds1