341 Works

Data from: Sibship effects on dispersal behaviour in a preindustrial human population

Aïda Nitsch, Virpi Lummaa, Charlotte Faurie, A. Nitsch, V. Lummaa & C. Faurie
Understanding dispersal behaviour and its determinants is critical for studies on life-history maximizing strategies. Although many studies have investigated the causes of dispersal, few have focused on the importance of sibship, despite that sibling interactions are predicted to lead to intrafamilial differences in dispersal patterns. Using a large demographic data set from pre-industrial Finland (n = 9000), we tested whether the sex-specific probability of dispersal depended on the presence of same-sex or opposite-sex elder siblings...

Data from: Effects of the demographic transition on the genetic variances and covariances of human life history traits

Elisabeth Bolund, Adam Hayward, Jenni E. Pettay & Virpi Lummaa
The recent demographic transitions to lower mortality and fertility rates in most human societies have led to changes and even quick reversals in phenotypic selection pressures. This can only result in evolutionary change if the affected traits are heritable, but changes in environmental conditions may also lead to subsequent changes in the genetic variance and covariance (the G matrix) of traits. It currently remains unclear if there have been concomitant changes in the G matrix...

Data from: A diet rich in C3 plants reveals the sensitivity of an alpine mammal to climate change

Sabuj Bhattacharyya, Deborah A. Dawson, Helen Hipperson & Farah Ishtiaq
Plant-herbivore interactions provide critical insights into the mechanisms that govern the spatiotemporal distributions of organisms. These interactions are crucial to understanding the impacts of climate change, which are likely to have an effect on the population dynamics of alpine herbivores. The Royle’s pika (Ochotona roylei, hereafter pika) is a lagomorph found in the western Himalaya, and is dependent on alpine plants that are at risk from climate change. As the main prey of many carnivores...

Data from: A sex-linked supergene controls sperm morphology and swimming speed in a songbird

Kang-Wook Kim, Clair Bennison, Nicola Hemmings, Lola Brookes, Laura L. Hurley, Simon C. Griffith, Terry Burke, Tim R. Birkhead & Jon Slate
Sperm are perhaps the most diverse cells in the animal kingdom, with enormous morphological variation between taxa, between species, between males and within an ejaculate. Considerable interest in sperm diversity has arisen following the realisation that sperm competition (post-copulatory sexual selection) is a powerful selective force in many organisms, and that sperm morphology has co-evolved with female reproductive tract morphology. However, the relationship between sperm morphology, sperm motility and fertilisation success is only partially understood....

Data from: The evolution of parental cooperation in birds

Vladimír Remeš, Robert P. Freckleton, Jácint Tökölyi, András Liker & Tamás Székely
Parents in many animal species care for their offspring. In some species, males care more; in other species, females care more; in still other species, the contribution of the sexes is equal. However, we do not know what explains these differences among species. Using the most comprehensive analyses of parental care to date, here we show that parents cooperate more when sexual selection is not intense and the adult sex ratio of males to females...

Data from: The evolution of labile traits in sex- and age-structured populations

Dylan Z. Childs, Ben Sheldon, Mark Rees & Ben C. Sheldon
Many quantitative traits are labile (e.g. somatic growth rate, reproductive timing and investment), varying over the life cycle as a result of behavioural adaptation, developmental processes and plastic responses to the environment. At the population level, selection can alter the distribution of such traits across age classes and among generations. Despite a growing body of theoretical research exploring the evolutionary dynamics of labile traits, a data-driven framework for incorporating such traits into demographic models has...

Data from: Quantitative genetics of immunity and life history under different photoperiods

Katrin Hammerschmidt, Peter Deines, Alastair J. Wilson, Jens Rolff, K Hammerschmidt, P Deines, J Rolff & A J Wilson
Insects with complex life-cycles should optimize age and size at maturity during larval development. When inhabiting seasonal environments, organisms have limited reproductive periods and face fundamental decisions: individuals that reach maturity late in season have to either reproduce at a small size or increase their growth rates. Increasing growth rates is costly in insects due to higher juvenile mortality, decreased adult survival, or increased susceptibility to parasitism by bacteria and viruses via compromised immune function....

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: Ancestral origins and invasion pathways in a globally invasive bird correlate with climate and influences from bird trade

Hazel Jackson, Diederik Strubbe, Simon Tollington, Robert Prys-Jones, Erik Matthysen & Jim J. Groombridge
Invasive species present a major threat to global biodiversity. Understanding genetic patterns and evolutionary processes that reinforce successful establishment is paramount for elucidating mechanisms underlying biological invasions. Among birds, the ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri) is one of the most successful invasive species, established in over 35 countries. However, little is known about the evolutionary genetic origins of this species and what population genetic signatures tell us about patterns of invasion. We reveal the ancestral origins...

Data from: High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex

Guilherme Testa-Silva, Matthijs B. Verhoog, Daniele Linaro, Christiaan P. J. De Kock, Johannes C. Baayen, Rhiannon M. Meredith, Chris I. De Zeeuw, Michele Giugliano & Huibert D. Mansvelder
Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from connected pairs of pyramidal neurons in acute brain slices of adult human and mouse temporal cortex and probed the dynamical properties of use-dependent plasticity. We found that human synaptic connections were...

Data from: Theoretical models of the influence of genomic architecture on the dynamics of speciation

Samuel M. Flaxman, Aaron C. Wacholder, Jeffrey L. Feder & Patrik Nosil
A long-standing problem in evolutionary biology has been determining whether and how gradual, incremental changes at the gene level can account for rapid speciation and bursts of adaptive radiation. Using genome-scale computer simulations, we extend previous theory showing how gradual adaptive change can generate nonlinear population transitions, resulting in the rapid formation of new, reproductively isolated species. We show that these transitions occur via a mechanism rooted in a basic property of biological heredity: the...

Data from: The crested newt Triturus cristatus recolonized temperate Eurasia from an extra-Mediterranean glacial refugium

Ben Wielstra, Wiesław Babik & Jan W. Arntzen
We assess the role of the Carpathians as an extra-Mediterranean glacial refugium for the crested newt Triturus cristatus. We combine a multilocus phylogeography (one mitochondrial protein-coding gene, three nuclear introns, and one major histocompatibility complex gene) with species distribution modelling (projected on current and Last Glacial Maximum climate layers). All genetic markers consistently show extensive genetic variation within and genetic depletion outside the Carpathians. The species distribution model suggests that most of the current range...

Data from: Do the same genes underlie parallel phenotypic divergence in different Littorina saxatilis populations?

Anja M. Westram, Juan Galindo, Magnus Alm Rosenblad, John W. Grahame, Marina Panova, Roger K. Butlin, J. W. Grahame, A. M. Westram, R. K. Butlin, M. Alm Rosenblad, M. Panova & J. Galindo
Parallel patterns of adaptive divergence and speciation are cited as powerful evidence for the role of selection driving these processes. However, it is often not clear whether parallel phenotypic divergence is underlain by parallel genetic changes. Here, we asked about the genetic basis of parallel divergence in the marine snail Littorina saxatilis, which has repeatedly evolved coexisting ecotypes adapted to either crab predation or wave action. We sequenced the transcriptome of snails of both ecotypes...

Data from: Body length of bony fishes was not a selective factor during the biggest mass extinction of all time

Mark N. Puttick, Jürgen Kriwet, Wen Wen, Shixue Hu, Gavin H. Thomas & Michael J. Benton
The Permo-Triassic mass extinction devastated life on land and in the sea, but it is not clear why some species survived and others went extinct. One explanation is that lineage loss during mass extinctions is a random process in which luck determines which species survive. Alternatively, a phylogenetic signal in extinction may indicate a selection process operating on phenotypic traits. Large body size has often emerged as an extinction risk factor in studies of modern...

Data from: Fecundity selection on ornamental plumage colour differs between ages and sexes and varies over small spatial scales

Timothy H. Parker, Teddy A. Wilkin, Iain R. Barr, Ben C. Sheldon, Louise Rowe & Simon C. Griffith
Avian plumage colours are some of the most conspicuous sexual ornaments, and yet standardized selection gradients for plumage colour have rarely been quantified. We examined patterns of fecundity selection on plumage colour in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus L.). When not accounting for environmental heterogeneity, we detected relatively few cases of selection. We found significant disruptive selection on adult male crown colour and yearling female chest colour and marginally nonsignificant positive linear selection on adult female...

Data from: The impact of reproductive investment and early-life environmental conditions on senescence: support for the disposable soma hypothesis

Martijn Hammers, David S. Richardson, Terry Burke, Jan Komdeur, T. Burke, M. Hammers, J. Komdeur & D. S. Richardson
Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain the evolution of senescence. One of the leading hypotheses, the disposable soma hypothesis, predicts a trade-off, whereby early-life investment in reproduction leads to late-life declines in survival (survival senescence). Testing this hypothesis in natural populations is challenging, but important for understanding the evolution of senescence. We used the long-term data set from a contained, predator-free population of individually marked Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis) to investigate how age-related...

Data from: Estimating genome-wide heterozygosity: effects of demographic history and marker type

Joshua M. Miller, René M. Malenfant, Patrice David, Corey S. Davis, Jocelyn Poissant, John T. Hogg, Marco Festa-Bianchet & David W. Coltman
Heterozygosity–fitness correlations (HFCs) are often used to link individual genetic variation to differences in fitness. However, most studies examining HFCs find weak or no correlations. Here, we derive broad theoretical predictions about how many loci are needed to adequately measure genomic heterozygosity assuming different levels of identity disequilibrium (ID), a proxy for inbreeding. We then evaluate the expected ability to detect HFCs using an empirical data set of 200 microsatellites and 412 single nucleotide polymorphisms...

Data from: Constraining the role of early land plants in Early Palaeozoic weathering and global cooling

Joe Quirk, Jonathan R. Leake, David A. Johnson, Lyla L. Taylor, Loredana Saccone & David J. Beerling
How the colonization of terrestrial environments by early land plants over 400 Ma influenced rock weathering, the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and phosphorus, and climate in the Palaeozoic is uncertain. Here we show experimentally that mineral weathering by liverworts—an extant lineage of early land plants—partnering arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, like those in 410 Ma-old early land plant fossils, amplified calcium weathering from basalt grains threefold to sevenfold, relative to plant-free controls. Phosphate weathering by mycorrhizal...

Data from: Museum DNA reveals the demographic history of the endangered Seychelles warbler

Lewis G. Spurgin, David J. Wright, Nigel J. Collar, Marco Van Der Velde, Jan Komdeur, Terry Burke & David S. Richardson
The importance of evolutionary conservation – how understanding evolutionary forces can help guide conservation decisions – is widely recognized. However, the historical demography of many endangered species is unknown, despite the fact that this can have important implications for contemporary ecological processes and for extinction risk. Here, we reconstruct the population history of the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) – an ecological model species. By the 1960s, this species was on the brink of extinction, but...

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: Localization of QTL for diapause and other photoperiodically regulated life-history traits important in adaptation to seasonally varying environments

Venera I. Tyukmaeva, Paris Veltsos, Jon Slate, Emma Gregson, Hannele Kauranen, Maaria Kankare, Michael G. Ritchie, Roger K. Butlin & Anneli Hoikkala
Seasonally changing environments at high latitudes present great challenges for the reproduction and survival of insects, and photoperiodic cues play an important role in helping them to synchronize their life cycle with prevalent and forthcoming conditions. We have mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) responsible for the photoperiodic regulation of four life history traits, female reproductive diapause, cold tolerance, egg-to-eclosion development time and juvenile body weight in Drosophila montana strains from different latitudes in Canada and...

Data from: Managing Neotropical oil palm expansion to retain phylogenetic diversity

Graham W. Prescott, James J. Gilroy, Torbjørn Haugaasen, Claudia A. Medina Uribe, William A. Foster & David P. Edwards
The expansion of tropical agriculture is a major driver of the extinction crisis. A key question is whether biodiversity losses can be minimized by restricting future expansion to low-productivity farmland and retaining forest fragments, especially in rapidly changing Neotropical landscapes. We investigated these methods in the context of avian phylogenetic diversity, which summarizes the evolutionary history preserved within communities. Evidence suggests that phylogenetic diversity plays an important role in maintaining key ecosystem functions. We collected...

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....

The effects of tropical secondary forest regeneration on avian phylogenetic diversity.

Emma Hughes, David Edwards, Catherine Sayer, Philip Martin & Gavin Thomas
1. The conversion of tropical forests to farmland is a key driver of the current extinction crisis. With the present rate of deforestation unlikely to subside, secondary forests that regenerate on abandoned agricultural land may provide an option for safeguarding biodiversity. While species richness (SR) may recover as secondary forests get older, the extent to which phylogenetic diversity (PD)—the total amount of evolutionary history present in a community—is conserved is less clear. Maximising PD has...

Data from: Müllerian mimicry of a quantitative trait despite contrasting levels of genomic divergence and selection

Emma Curran, Sean Stankowski, Carolina Pardo-Diaz, Camilo Salazar, Mauricio Linares & Nicola Nadeau
Hybrid zones, where distinct populations meet and interbreed, give insight into how differences between populations are maintained despite gene flow. Studying clines in genetic loci and adaptive traits across hybrid zones is a powerful method for understanding how selection drives differentiation within a single species, but can also be used to compare parallel divergence in different species responding to a common selective pressure. Here, we study parallel divergence of wing colouration in the butterflies Heliconius...

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  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Gothenburg
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Groningen
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of East Anglia
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • University of Sussex