482 Works

Data from: Molecular and fossil evidence place the origin of cichlid fishes long after Gondwanan rifting

Matt Friedman, Benjamin P. Keck, Alex Dornburg, Ron I. Eytan, Christopher H. Martin, C. Darrin Hulsey, Peter C. Wainwright, Thomas J. Near, A. Dornburg, R. I. Eytan, T. J. Near, C. H. Martin, P. C. Wainwright, C. D. Hulsey, B. P. Keck & M. Friedman
Cichlid fishes are a key model system in the study of adaptive radiation, speciation and evolutionary developmental biology. More than 1600 cichlid species inhabit freshwater and marginal marine environments across several southern landmasses. This distributional pattern, combined with parallels between cichlid phylogeny and sequences of Mesozoic continental rifting, has led to the widely accepted hypothesis that cichlids are an ancient group whose major biogeographic patterns arose from Gondwanan vicariance. Although the Early Cretaceous (ca 135...

Data from: Impact of host nutritional status on infection dynamics and parasite virulence in a bird-malaria system

Stéphane Cornet, Coraline Bichet, Stephen Larcombe, Bruno Faivre & Gabriele Sorci
1. Host resources can drive the optimal parasite exploitation strategy by offering a good or a poor environment to pathogens. Hosts living in resource-rich habitats might offer a favourable environment to developing parasites because they provide a wealth of resources. However, hosts living in resource-rich habitats might afford a higher investment into costly immune defences providing an effective barrier against infection. Understanding how parasites can adapt to hosts living in habitats of different quality is...

Data from: Group formation, relatedness, and the evolution of multicellularity

Roberta M. Fisher, Charlie K. Cornwallis & Stuart A. West
The evolution of multicellular organisms represents one of approximately eight major evolutionary transitions that have occurred on earth. The major challenge raised by this transition is to explain why single cells should join together and become mutually dependent, in a way that leads to a more complex multicellular life form that can only replicate as a whole. It has been argued that a high genetic relatedness (r) between cells played a pivotal role in the...

Data from: Homing pigeons respond to time-compensated solar cues even in sight of the loft

Chris Armstrong, Helen Wilkinson, Jessica Meade, Dora Biro, Robin Freeman & Tim Guilford
The sun has long been thought to guide bird navigation as the second step in a two-stage process, in which determining position using a map is followed by course setting using a compass, both over unfamiliar and familiar terrain. The animal’s endogenous clock time-compensates the solar compass for the sun’s apparent movement throughout the day, and this allows predictable deflections in orientation to test for the compass’ influence using clock-shift manipulations. To examine the influence...

Data from: The fourth dimension of tool use: temporally enduring artefacts aid primates learning to use tools

Dorothy M. Fragaszy, Dora Biro, Yonat Eshchar, Tatyana Humle, Patrícia Izar, Briseida Resende, Elisabetta Visalberghi, Y. Eshchar, D. M. Fragaszy, T. Humle & D. Biro
All investigated cases of habitual tool use in wild chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys include youngsters encountering durable artefacts, most often in a supportive social context. We propose that enduring artefacts associated with tool use, such as previously used tools, partly processed food items and residual material from previous activity, aid non-human primates to learn to use tools, and to develop expertise in their use, thus contributing to traditional technologies in non-humans. Therefore, social contributions to...

Data from: The early bird gets the worm: foraging strategies of wild songbirds lead to the early discovery of food sources

Damien R. Farine, Stephen D. J. Lang, S. D. J. Lang & D. R. Farine
Animals need to manage the combined risks of predation and starvation in order to survive. Theoretical and empirical studies have shown that individuals can reduce predation risk by delaying feeding (and hence fat storage) until late afternoon. However little is known about how individuals manage the opposing pressures of resource uncertainty and predation risks. We suggest that individuals should follow a two-part strategy: prioritising the discovery of food early in the day and exploiting the...

Data from: Random versus game trail-based camera trap placement strategy for monitoring terrestrial mammal communities

Jeremy J. Cusack, Amy J. Dickman, J. Marcus Rowcliffe, Chris Carbone, David W. Macdonald & Tim Coulson
Camera trap surveys exclusively targeting features of the landscape that increase the probability of photographing one or several focal species are commonly used to draw inferences on the richness, composition and structure of entire mammal communities. However, these studies ignore expected biases in species detection arising from sampling only a limited set of potential habitat features. In this study, we test the influence of camera trap placement strategy on community-level inferences by carrying out two...

Data from: Predicting global population connectivity and targeting conservation action for snow leopard across its range

Philip Riordan, Samuel A. Cushman, David Mallon, Kun Shi & Joelene Hughes
Movements of individuals within and among populations help to maintain genetic variability and population viability. Therefore, understanding landscape connectivity is vital for effective species conservation. The snow leopard is endemic to mountainous areas of Central Asia and occurs within 12 countries. We assess potential connectivity across the species’ range to highlight corridors for dispersal and genetic flow between populations, prioritizing research and conservation action for this wide-ranging, endangered top-predator. We used resistant kernel modeling to...

Data from: Calibrating animal-borne proximity loggers

Christian Rutz, Michael B. Morrissey, Zackory T. Burns, John Burt, Brian Otis, James J. H. St Clair & Richard James
1. Growing interest in the structure and dynamics of animal social networks has stimulated efforts to develop automated tracking technologies that can reliably record encounters in free-ranging subjects. A particularly promising approach is the use of animal-attached ‘proximity loggers’, which collect data on the incidence, duration and proximity of spatial associations through inter-logger radio communication. While proximity logging is based on a straightforward physical principle – the attenuation of propagating radio waves with distance –...

Data from: Quantifying network resilience: comparison before and after a major perturbation shows strengths and limitations of network metrics

Christine Moore, Graeme S. Cumming & John Grewar
1. The resilience literature often assumes that social–ecological reorganization will result in either the removal of deficient system elements (components, interactions) or social learning. Major perturbations are expected to lead to either adaptation or, if accompanied by a regime shift, transformation. This has led to a conflation of the concepts of resilience and adaptation, which has in turn made it difficult to quantitatively distinguish between cases in which a system returned to a previous state,...

Data from: The potential for fungal biopesticides to reduce malaria transmission under diverse environmental conditions

Rebecca L. Heinig, Krijn P. Paaijmans, Penelope A. Hancock & Matthew B. Thomas
1.The effectiveness of conventional malaria vector control is being threatened by the spread of insecticide resistance. One promising alternative to chemicals is the use of naturally-occurring insect-killing fungi. Numerous laboratory studies have shown that isolates of fungal pathogens such as Beauveria bassiana can infect and kill adult mosquitoes, including those resistant to chemical insecticides. 2. Unlike chemical insecticides, fungi may take up to a week or more to kill mosquitoes following exposure. This slow kill...

Data from: Conflict of interest and signal interference lead to the breakdown of honest signalling

Roman Popat, Eric Pollitt, Freya J. G. Harrison, Hardeep Naghra, Kar-Wai Hong, Kok-Gan Chan, Ashleigh S. Griffin, Paul Williams, Sam P. Brown, Stuart A. West, Stephen P. Diggle, Eric J. G. Pollitt & Freya Harrison
Animals use signals to coordinate a wide range of behaviours, from feeding offspring to predator avoidance. This poses an evolutionary problem, because individuals could potentially signal dishonestly to coerce others into behaving in ways that benefit the signaller. Theory suggests that honest signalling is favoured when individuals share a common interest and signals carry reliable information. Here, we exploit the opportunities offered by bacterial signalling, to test these predictions with an experimental evolution approach. We...

Data from: A novel respiratory architecture in the Silurian mollusc Acaenoplax

Christopher D. Dean, Mark D. Sutton, Derek J. Siveter & David J. Siveter
Extant aplacophorans, a group of shell-less vermiform molluscs, respire through appendages within or projecting from a posterior cavity. Respiratory structures differ between the subclasses Caudofoveata (ctenidia within the cavity) and Solenogastres (folds of the mantle itself). Acaenoplax hayae, a Silurian vermiform mollusc from the Herefordshire Lagerstätte, England, exhibits characteristics of both these groups. While recent work places it within the crown group Aplacophora, near the caudofoveates, initial observations suggested that its respiratory structures were closer...

Data from: Disentangling the ‘brown world’ faecal-detritus interaction web: dung beetle effects on soil microbial properties

Eleanor M. Slade, Tomas Roslin, Minna Santalahti & Thomas Bell
Many ecosystem services are sustained by the combined action of microscopic and macroscopic organisms, and shaped by interactions between the two. However, studies tend to focus on only one of these two components. We combined the two by investigating the impact of macrofauna on microbial community composition and functioning in the context of a major ecosystem process: the decomposition of dung. We compared bacterial communities of pasture soil and experimental dung pats inhabited by one...

Data from: Causes and consequences of individual variation in the extent of post-juvenile moult in the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus (Passeriformes: Paridae)

Ross A. Crates, Ben C. Sheldon & Colin J. Garroway
Moult, comprising the growth or replacement of feathers in birds, is an energetically demanding process. As a result, in many species, the extent of the post-juvenile moult can vary substantially. However, the reasons underlying this variation remain poorly understood, and the potential life-history consequences of variation in moult extent are even less clear. In the present study, we aimed to use individual-specific data to identify factors affecting the extent of the post-juvenile moult in a...

Data from: Mesoclosures – increasing realism in mesocosm studies of ecosystem functioning

Saija Lähteenmäki, Eleanor M. Slade, Bess Hardwick, Gustavo Schiffler, Júlio Louzada, Jos Barlow & Tomas Roslin
1. Experimental studies linking community composition to functioning are typically confined to small and closed micro- or mesocosms. Such restricted conditions may affect both species’ biology and their environment. Yet, targeting simple features in the behaviour of species may circumvent these constraints. Focusing on ecological functions provided by dung beetles, we test whether large, open-top cages – MESOCLOSURES – will intercept the flight trajectories of beetles, thereby allowing manipulation of local community composition. 2. MESOCLOSURES...

Data from: A new Magneto-Inductive tracking technique to uncover subterranean activity: what do animals do underground?

Michael J. Noonan, Andrew Markham, Chris Newman, Niki Trigoni, Christina D. Buesching, Stephen A. Ellwood & David W. Macdonald
1. Despite the importance of the subterranean ecotope, knowledge of underground movement and behaviour has been extremely limited. Previous technologies have relied upon techniques with very low spatial or temporal resolution, such as VHF telemetry. Rather incongruously therefore, relatively simple underground activity regimes have often been assumed, with insufficient attention to the ecological importance of burrow use. 2. We test the capability of Magneto-Inductive (MI) tracking, recording underground movement within a European badger sett over...

Data from: The relative roles of cultural drift and acoustic adaptation in shaping syllable repertoires of island bird populations change with time since colonization

Dominique A. Potvin & Sonya M. Clegg
In birds, song divergence often precedes and facilitates divergence of other traits. We assessed the relative roles of cultural drift, innovation and acoustic adaptation in divergence of island bird dialects, using silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis). In recently colonized populations, syllable diversity was not significantly lower than source populations, shared syllables between populations decreased with increasing number of founder events and dialect variation displayed contributions from both habitat features and drift. The breadth of multivariate space occupied...

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: Cooperative personalities and social niche specialisation in female meerkats

Alecia J. Carter, Sinead English, Tim H. Clutton-Brock, A. J. Carter, S. English & T. H. Clutton-Brock
The social niche specialization hypothesis predicts that group-living animals should specialize in particular social roles to avoid social conflict, resulting in alternative life-history strategies for different roles. Social niche specialization, coupled with role-specific life-history trade-offs, should thus generate between-individual differences in behaviour that persist through time, or distinct personalities, as individuals specialize in particular nonoverlapping social roles. We tested for support for the social niche specialization hypothesis in cooperative personality traits in wild female meerkats...

Data from: Promiscuity resolves constraints on social mate choice imposed by population viscosity

Geoffrey M. While, Tobias Uller, Genevieve Bordogna & Erik Wapstra
Population viscosity can have major consequences for adaptive evolution, in particular for phenotypes involved in social interactions. For example, population viscosity increases the probability of mating with close kin, resulting in selection for mechanisms that circumvent the potential negative consequences of inbreeding. Female promiscuity is often suggested to be one such mechanism. However, whether avoidance of genetically similar partners is a major selective force shaping patterns of promiscuity remains poorly supported by empirical data. Here,...

Data from: Learning multiple routes in homing pigeons

Andrea Flack, Tim Guilford, Dora Biro, D. Biro, T. Guilford & A. Flack
The aerial lifestyle of central-place foraging birds allows wide-ranging movements, raising fundamental questions about their remarkable navigation and memory systems. For example, we know that pigeons (Columba livia), long-standing models for avian navigation, rely on individually distinct routes when homing from familiar sites. But it remains unknown how they cope with the task of learning several routes in parallel. Here, we examined how learning multiple routes influences homing in pigeons. We subjected groups of pigeons...

Data from: Sex drives intra-cellular conflict in yeast

Ellie Harrison, R. Craig MacLean, Vassiliki Koufopanou, Austin Burt, R. C. MacLean, V. Koufopanou & A. Burt
Theory predicts that sex can drive the evolution of conflict within the cell. During asexual reproduction genetic material within the cell is inherited as a single unit, selecting for cooperation both within the genome as well as between the extra-genomic elements within the cell (e.g. plasmids and endosymbionts). Under sexual reproduction this unity is broken down as parental genomes are distributed between meiotic progeny. Genetic elements able to transmit to more than 50% of meiotic...

Data from: Parasitic castration promotes coevolutionary cycling but also imposes a cost on sex

Ben Ashby & Sunetra Gupta
Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites is thought to drive a range of biological phenomena including the maintenance of sexual reproduction. Of particular interest are conditions that produce persistent fluctuations in the frequencies of genes governing host-parasite specificity (coevolutionary cycling), as sex may be more beneficial than asexual reproduction in a constantly changing environment. While many studies have shown that coevolutionary cycling can lead to the maintenance of sex, the effects of ecological feedbacks on...

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