187 Works

The impact of the Pull of the Recent in extant elasmobranchs

Catalina Pimiento & Michael Benton
Modern elasmobranchs have a long evolutionary history and an abundant fossil record. Many fossil taxa have living representatives. However, the representation of extant taxa in the fossil record is unknown. To begin to understand the geological history of extant elasmobranchs, here we assess the quality of their fossil record. We do so by assessing the Pull of the Recent (herein, POR). The POR can bias the fossil record because the rather complete record of living...

Flower density values of common British plant species [AgriLand]

M. Baude, W.E. Kunin & J. Memmott
This dataset consists of flower density values of common British plant species. The data were collected during field surveys taking place from February to October in 2011 and 2012. The majority of field sites were located in the south of England. The data were collected under a project named 'Agriland' ( Linking agriculture and land use change to pollinator populations) based at the University of Bristol, as part of the UK Insect Pollinators Initiative. The...

Nectar sugar values of common British plant species [AgriLand]

M. Baude, W.E. Kunin & J. Memmott
This dataset consists of nectar sugar values of common British plant species. The data were collected during field surveys taking place from February to October in 2011 and 2012. The majority of field sites were located in the south of England. The data were collected under a project named 'Agriland' ( Linking agriculture and land use change to pollinator populations) based at the University of Bristol, as part of the UK Insect Pollinators Initiative. The...

Intrapopulation Variation in the Behavioural Responses of Dwarf Mongooses to Anthropogenic Noise

Emma Eastcott, Julie Kern, Amy Morris-Drake & Andrew Radford
Anthropogenic noise is an increasingly widespread pollutant, with a rapidly burgeoning literature demonstrating impacts on humans and other animals. However, most studies have simply considered if there is an effect of noise, examining the overall cohort response. Whilst substantial evidence exists for intraspecific variation in responses to other anthropogenic disturbances, this possibility has received relatively little experimental attention with respect to noise. Here, we used field-based playbacks with dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula) to test how...

Monthly Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) concentration time series (1883 to 2014) measured at the outlet of the Thames basin (UK)

V. Noacco, T. Wagener, F. Worrall, T. P. Burt & N. J. K. Howden
The dataset consists of the world's longest fluvial dissolved organic carbon (DOC) record (1883-2014). The data have been measured at the outlet of the Thames basin, upstream of London (UK) and are reported monthly. The River Thames basin is a temperate, lowland, mineral soil-dominated catchment of 9,948 km2. Water colour data have been measured between 1883 and 1990, and DOC between 1990 and 2014. DOC until 1990 has been estimated through calibration between water colour...

Impacts of Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) on seed dispersal services in Iberian Peninsula

A. Devenish
This data set describes the seed dispersal process of both invaded (presence of Linepithema humile) and non-invaded (absence of L. humile) ant communities. Data were collected from four field sites in and around Girona (41.9794° N, 2.8214° E), Northern Spain, during the summer months of 2014 (June-July) and 2015 (July-September). Experiment 1: Ant community structure of both invaded and non-invaded ant communities was determined using a series of pitfall and baiting traps. Experiment 2: Ant...

Methane ebullition from two lowland floodplain fens

C. M. Heppell, K.M. Stanley & L.R. Belyea
This dataset includes measurements of methane fluxes from two lowland floodplain fen sites in East Anglia, UK under conservation management (Sutton and Strumpshaw Fens). The data were collected on seven monthly to bimonthly visits during 2013 and comprise methane ebullition fluxes measured using inverted funnels, and methane fluxes measured using static chambers. The tall, static chambers captured methane transported by diffusion, plant-mediated transport and steady ebullition, whereas the inverted funnels captured methane transported by steady...

Root and leaf phenology of Scandinavian subarctic plant communities, 2008-2009

V.L Sloan, B.J Fletcher & G.K Phoenix
This dataset consists of measurements of leaf and root growth, species abundance and soil temperature made in ten subarctic plant communities located at the Arctic Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling at Multiple Scales (ABACUS) project sites near to Abisko, Sweden, and Kevo, Finland. The data were collected during the summer growing seasons (May to September) in 2008 and 2009, and comprise field survey measurements, temperature logs and values derived from analyses of mini-rhizotron images.

Enchytraeid worm abundance and delta 13C cholesterol data from Sourhope field experiment site, Scotland, 2000 [NERC Soil Biodiversity Programme]

H.I.J. Black, S.B. Piertney, C. Macdonald, V. Standen, I.D. Bull, R.P. Evershed, J.S. Chaplow & A.M. Thompson
This dataset comprises enchytraeid worm abundance and Delta 13C values from enchytraeid cholesterol. The data were collected as a component of the NERC Soil Biodiversity Programme, consisting of a one year study of the diversity and activity of Enchytraeid worms, small relatives of the earthworm. These worms are very common in upland soils and often outweigh all other fauna, including sheep. The project focused on investigating the importance of Enchytraeid species, or group diversity, in...

Abundance of plant taxa on Norwood Farm, Somerset during 2007 and 2008

D.M. Evans, M.J.O. Pocock, J. Brooks & J. Memmott
Estimates of plant abundance (for leaf area, floral units and seed abundance, mass and energy) obtained from field-based sampling as part of a study of ecological interactions (food webs and plant-pollinator networks) on a single farm (Norwood Farm, Somerset, UK: 51.3128N 2.3206W) during 2007 and 2008. During the study, Norwood Farm was managed as an organic farm at relatively low intensity. The work was was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council [grant...

Denitrification and greenhouse gas emissions in natural and semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems [LTLS]

S. Ullah & F. Sgouridis
Data comprise monthly field measurements of in-situ denitrification rates in different land use types of the Ribble Wyre and Conwy catchments. The data include greenhouse gas emissions (methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide), denitrification data (nitrogen and nitrous oxide) and soil properties data (nitrate, dissolved nitrogen, ammonia, bulk density, carbon to nitrogen ratio, dissolved organic carbon, moisture content, organic matter content, pH, temperature and water filled pore space). The research was funded by the UK Natural...

DECIPHeR model estimates of daily flow for 1366 gauged catchments in Great Britain (1962-2015) using observed driving data

G. Coxon, J. Freer, R. Lane, T. Dunne, W.J.M. Knoben, N.J.K. Howden, N. Quinn, T. Wagener & R. Woods
This dataset provides 100 model realisations of daily river flow in cubic metres per second (m3/s) for 1,366 catchments, for the period 1962 to 2015. The dataset is model output from the DECIPHeR hydrological model driven by observed climate data (CEH-GEAR rainfall and CHESS-PE potential evapotranspiration). The modelled catchments correspond to locations of National River Flow Archive (NRFA) gauging stations and provide good spatial coverage across the UK. The dataset was produced as part of...

Family lineage and landscape quality data for wild bumblebee colonies across an agricultural landscape in Buckinghamshire, U.K.

C. Carvell, A.F.G. Bourke, S. Dreier, S.N. Freeman, S. Hulmes, W.C. Jordan, J.W. Redhead, J. Wang, S. Sumner & M.S. Heard
Family lineage relationships between spring queens, daughter workers and sister queens of three bumblebee species (Bombus terrestris, B. lapidarius and B. pascuorum) collected across the Hillesden Estate, Buckinghamshire, UK, between spring 2011 and spring 2012. A combination of land-use and habitat surveys, molecular genetics and spatial modelling was used to estimate the locations of wild colonies represented by greater than 1 worker and to calculate the proportions of cover represented by different habitat quality and...

Gridded estimates of hourly areal rainfall for Great Britain (1990-2014) [CEH-GEAR1hr]

E. Lewis, N. Quinn, S. Blenkinsop, H.J. Fowler, J. Freer, M. Tanguy, O. Hitt, G. Coxon, P. Bates & R. Woods
The dataset contains 1km gridded estimates of hourly rainfall for Great-Britain for the period 1990-2014. The estimates are derived by applying the nearest neighbour interpolation method to a national database of hourly raingauge observations collated by Newcastle University and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). These interpolated hourly estimates were then used to temporally disaggregate the CEH-GEAR daily rainfall dataset. The estimated rainfall on a given hour refers to the rainfall amount accumulated in...

Experimental investigation of insect deposition in lentic environments and implications for formation of Konservat-Lagerstätten

Qingyi Tian, Shengyu Wang, Zixiao Yang, Maria McNamara, Michael Benton & Baoyu Jiang
Terrestrial insects are often remarkably well preserved in lacustrine Konservat-Lagerstätten. However, the assumption that carcasses should sink fast through the water column seems to contradict evidence that this scenario is unlikely due to excessive buoyancy and surface tension. The mechanisms that promote rapid and permanent emplacement onto the sediment surface (RPESS) of such terrestrial animal remains are not fully understood. Here we use taphonomic experiments to show that floating in water, growth of microbial biofilms...

Processed InSAR images over Fentale Volcano, Main Ethiopian Rift

Tesfaye Tessema
This data set contains 119 unwrapped and geocoded inteferograms derived from Cosmo-SkyMed (CSK) SAR scenes aquired over the Northen Main Ethiopian Rift between June 2014 and December 2015. This data set also contains displacement time series derived from processed CSK and Sentinel-1 inteferograms at the locations specified in the accompanying README files.

Collective decision-making appears more egalitarian in populations where group fission costs are higher

James Herbert-Read, Amy Wade, Indar Ramnarine & Christos Ioannou
Collective decision-making is predicted to be more egalitarian in conditions where the costs of group fission are higher. Here we ask whether Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) living in high or low predation environments, and thereby facing differential group fission costs, make collective decisions in line with this prediction. Using a classic decision-making scenario, we found that fish from high predation environments switched their positions within groups more frequently than fish from low predation environments. Because...

Data from: Numbers and population trends of large herbivores in Mole National Park, Ghana

Kwaku Brako Dakwa, Kweku Ansah Monney, Innes Cameron Cuthill & Stephen Harris
Mole National Park (MNP) is Ghana’s oldest and largest wildlife preserve. Eight large herbivores were counted in four different seasons in 2013/2014 on transects covering 4.7% of the park to estimate their population sizes and trends after changes in park management; all species were more abundant than previously reported. Averaging counts across seasons, and including all age classes, gave an estimated population of 1595 elephants, which is likely to be a substantial proportion of the...

Quantifying the structure and dynamics of fish shoals under predation threat in three-dimensions

Maksym Romenskyy, James Herbert-Read, Christol Ioannou, Alex Szorkovszky, Ashley Ward & David Sumpter
Detailed quantifications of how predators and their grouping prey interact in three dimensions (3D) remain rare. Here we record the structure and dynamics of fish shoals (Pseudomugil signifer) in 3D both with and without live predators (Philypnodon grandiceps) under controlled laboratory conditions. Shoals adopted two distinct types of shoal structure; ‘sphere-like’ geometries at depth, and flat ‘carpet-like’ structures at the water’s surface, with shoals becoming more compact in both horizontal and vertical planes in the...

Affiliation history and age similarity predict alliance formation in adult male bottlenose dolphins

Livia Gerber, Richard Connor, Stephanie King, Simon Allen, Samuel Wittwer, Manuela Bizzozzero, Whitney Friedman, Stephanie Kalberer, William Sherwin, Sonja Wild, Erik Willems & Michael Kruetzen
Male alliances are an intriguing phenomenon in the context of reproduction since, in most taxa, males compete over an indivisible resource, female fertilization. Adult male bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Shark Bay, Western Australia, form long-term, multi-level alliances to sequester estrus females. These alliances are therefore critical to male reproductive success. Yet, the long-term processes leading to the formation of such complex social bonds are still poorly understood. To identify the criteria by which male...

In the corner of the eye: camouflaging motion in the peripheral visual field

Ioan Smart, Innes Cuthill & Nicholas Scott-Samuel
Most animals need to move, and motion will generally break camouflage. In many instances, most of the visual field of a predator does not fall within a high-resolution area of the retina and so, when an undetected prey moves, that motion will often be in peripheral vision. We investigate how this can be exploited by prey, through different patterns of movement, to reduce the accuracy with which the predator can locate a cryptic prey item...

Data from: Experimental evidence that intruder and group member attributes affect outgroup defence and associated within-group interactions in a social fish

Ines Braga Goncalves & Andrew Radford
In many social species, individuals communally defend resources from conspecific outsiders. Participation in defence and in associated within-group interactions, both during and after contests with outgroup rivals, is expected to vary between group members because the threat presented by different outsiders is not the same to each individual. However, experimental tests examining both the contributions to, and the consequences of, outgroup conflict for all group members are lacking. Using groups of the cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher,...

Data from: Variable preservation potential and richness in the fossil record of vertebrates

Fiona Walker, Alexander M. Dunhill & Michael Benton
Variation in preservation and sampling probability clouds our estimates of past biodiversity. The most extreme examples are Lagerstätten faunas and floras, or Biotas as they are referred to in China. Although such deposits provide a wealth of information for palaeontologists and are closer to representing true richness than other deposits of a similar scale, they add a disproportionate number of taxa to wider richness counts because of their exceptional preservation, creating diversity peaks that might...

Data from: Morphological disparity in theropod jaws: comparing discrete characters and geometric morphometrics

Joep Schaeffer, Michael J. Benton, Emily J. Rayfield & Thomas L. Stubbs
Disparity, the diversity of form and function of organisms, is frequently measured, and can be assessed from cladistic or phenetic characters, and from discrete characters or continuous characters such as landmarks, outlines, or ratios. But do these different methods of assessing disparity provide comparable results? Here we provide a large-scale test in which character sets are standardized for anatomical-functional comparability, and compare three methods of capturing morphological disparity (discrete characters, morphometric outlines and geometric morphometric...

Data from: Testing the limits of pheromone stigmergy in spatially constrained robotic swarms

Edmund Hunt, Simon Jones & Sabine Hauert
Area coverage and collective exploration are key challenges for swarm robotics. Previous research in this field has drawn inspiration from ant colonies, with real, or more commonly virtual, pheromones deposited into a shared environment to coordinate behaviour through stigmergy. Repellent pheromones can facilitate rapid dispersal of robotic agents, yet this has been demonstrated only for relatively small swarm sizes (N<30). Here, we report findings from swarms of real robots (Kilobots) an order of magnitude larger...

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