40 Works

Data from: A stoichiometric perspective of the effect of herbivore dung on ecosystem functioning

Judith Sitters & Harry Olde Venterink
Ungulate herbivores play a prominent role in maintaining the tree–grass balance in African savannas. Their top-down role through selective feeding on either trees or grasses is well studied, but their bottom-up role through deposition of nutrients in dung and urine has been overlooked. Here, we propose a novel concept of savanna ecosystem functioning in which the balance between trees and grasses is maintained through stoichiometric differences in dung of herbivores that feed on them. We...

Mechanisms for color convergence in a mimetic radiation of poison frogs

Evan Twomey, Morgan Kain, Myriam Claeys, Kyle Summers, Santiago Castroviejo-Fisher & Ines Van Bocxlaer
In animals, bright colors often evolve to mimic other species when a resemblance is selectively favored. Understanding the proximate mechanisms underlying such color mimicry can give insights into how mimicry evolves, for example, whether color convergence evolves from a shared set of mechanisms or through the evolution of novel color production mechanisms. We studied color production mechanisms in poison frogs (Dendrobatidae), focusing on the mimicry complex of Ranitomeya imitator. Using reflectance spectrometry, skin pigment analysis,...

Herbivore dung stoichiometry drives competition between savanna trees and grasses

Judith Sitters & Harry Olde Venterink
The balance between trees and grasses is a key aspect of savanna ecosystem functioning, and so far, believed to be regulated by resource availability, fire frequency, and consumption by mammalian herbivores. Herbivores, however, also impact plant communities through the deposition of growth-limiting nutrients in their dung and urine. Little attention has been paid to the fact that savanna herbivores produce dung containing different concentrations of nutrients and it remains unknown what the effect of this...

An objective-based prioritization approach to support trophic complexity through ecological restoration

Emma Ladouceur, Jennifer McGowan, Patrick Huber, Hugh Possingham, Davide Scridel, Roel Van Klink, Peter Poschlod, Hans Cornelissen, Costantino Bonomi & Borja Jiménez-Alfaro
1. Reassembling ecological communities and rebuilding habitats through active restoration treatments requires curating the selection of plant species to use in seeding and planting mixes. Ideally, these mixes should be assembled based on attributes that support ecosystem function and services, promote plant and animal species interactions and ecological networks in restoration while balancing project constraints. Despite these critical considerations, it is common for species mixes to be selected opportunistically. Reframing the selection of seed mixes...

Data from: Thriving in a hostile world: insights from the dietary strategy of two allopatric, closely-related tepui summit endemic amphibians

Philippe Kok, Tessa Broholm & Dietrich Mebs
To date, there has been no published investigation on the trophic diversity in any tepui summit vertebrate. In this paper we analysed the dietary composition of a tepui summit endemic toad, Oreophrynella quelchii from Roraima-tepui, and compared it with that of O. nigra, to examine to what extent diet differs between these two sister species across isolated, although neighbouring, tepui tops. The digestive tracts of a total of 197 toads were dissected: 111 from O....

Rhizophora complete chloroplast genome sequences

Ludwig Triest, Tim Sierens & Tom Van Der Stocken
Historical processes of long-distance migration and ocean-wide expansion feature the global biogeographic pattern of Rhizophora species. Throughout the Indian Ocean, R. stylosa and R. mucronata appear as a young phylogenetic group with expansion of R. mucronata towards the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) driven by the South Equatorial Current. Nuclear microsatellites revealed genetic patterns and breaks, however, estimating propagule dispersal routes requires maternally inherited cytoplasmic markers. Here, we examine the phylogeography of 21 R. mucronata provenances...

Belgium (Flanders)

Jonathan  Hendrickx , Pauljan Truyens, Karen  Donders  & Ike  Picone

Data from: Socio-demographic, social-cognitive, health-related and physical environmental variables associated with context-specific sitting time in Belgian adolescents: a one-year follow-up study

Cedric Busschaert, Nicola D. Ridgers, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Greet Cardon, Jelle Van Cauwenberg & Katrien De Cocker
Introduction: More knowledge is warranted about multilevel ecological variables associated with context-specific sitting time among adolescents. The present study explored cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of ecological domains of sedentary behaviour, including socio-demographic, social-cognitive, health-related and physical-environmental variables with sitting during TV viewing, computer use, electronic gaming and motorized transport among adolescents. Methods: For this longitudinal study, a sample of Belgian adolescents completed questionnaires at school on context-specific sitting time and associated ecological variables. At baseline,...

Data from: Mutation accumulation is still potentially problematic, despite declining paternal age: a comment on Arslan et al. (2017).

Michael A. Woodley Of Menie, Matthew A. Sarraf & Heitor B. F. Fernandes
Icelandic mutation accumulation modelIcelandic mutation accumulation model (Ibs 0.5-0.99 and Ibs 0.35) - secondary analysis of data from Kong et al. (2012) Rate of de novo mutations and the importance of father’s age to disease risk. Nature 488, 471–475. (doi:10.1038/nature11396), Fig. 4, p.474.

Data from: Parallel tagged amplicon sequencing of transcriptome-based genetic markers for Triturus newts with the Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing platform

Ben Wielstra, Elza Duijm, Patricia Lagler, Youri Lammers, Willem R. M. Meilink, Janine M. Ziermann & Jan W. Arntzen
Next-generation sequencing is a fast and cost-effective way to obtain sequence data for non-model organisms for many markers and for many individuals. We describe a protocol through which we obtain orthologous markers for the crested newts (Amphibia: Salamandridae: Triturus), suitable for analysis of interspecific hybridization. We use transcriptome data of a single Triturus species and design 96 primer pairs that amplify c. 180 bp fragments positioned in 3-prime untranslated regions. Next these markers are tested...

Data from: Functional advantages of conserved intrinsic disorder in RNA-binding proteins

Mihaly Varadi, Fruzsina Zsolyomi, Mainak Guharoy & Peter Tompa
Proteins form large macromolecular assemblies with RNA that govern essential molecular processes. RNA-binding proteins have often been associated with conformational flexibility, yet the extent and functional implications of their intrinsic disorder have never been fully assessed. Here, through large-scale analysis of comprehensive protein sequence and structure datasets we demonstrate the prevalence of intrinsic structural disorder in RNA-binding proteins and domains. We addressed their functionality through a quantitative description of the evolutionary conservation of disordered segments...

Data from: Nutrient availability controls the impact of mammalian herbivores on soil carbon and nitrogen pools in grasslands

Judith Sitters, E.R. Jasper Wubs, Elisabeth S. Bakker, Thomas W. Crowther, Peter B. Adler, Sumanta Bagchi, Jonathan D. Bakker, Lori Biederman, Elizabeth T. Borer, Elsa E. Cleland, Nico Eisenhauer, Jennifer Firn, Laureano Gherardi, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Sarah E. Hobbie, Johannes M.H. Knops, Andrew S. MacDougall, Rebecca L. McCulley, Joslin L. Moore, Brent Mortensen, Pablo L. Peri, Suzanne M. Prober, Charlotte Riggs, Anita C. Risch … &
Grasslands have been subject to considerable alteration due to human activities globally, including widespread changes in populations and composition of large mammalian herbivores and elevated supply of nutrients. Grassland soils remain important reservoirs of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). Herbivores may affect both C and N pools and these changes likely interact with increases in soil nutrient availability. Given the scale of grassland soil fluxes, such changes can have striking consequences for atmospheric C concentrations...

Timing uncertainty in collective risk dilemmas encourages group reciprocation and polarization

Elias Fernandez Domingos, Jelena Grujić, Francisco C. Santos, Juan C. Burguillo Rial, Georg Kirchsteiger, Francisco C. Santos & Tom Lenaerts
Social dilemmas are often shaped by actions involving uncertain returns only achievable in the future, such as climate action or voluntary vaccination. In this context, uncertainty may produce non-trivial effects. Here, we assess experimentally — through a collective risk dilemma — the effect of timing uncertainty, i.e. how uncertainty about when a target needs to be reached affects the participants’ behaviours. We show that timing uncertainty prompts not only early generosity but also polarised outcomes,...

Microsatellite data of 14 Avicennia marina populations from Mozambique Channel area

Ludwig Triest
Mangrove forests are dynamic ecosystems found along sheltered low-lying coastal plains in warm-temperate, tropical and subtropical regions, predominantly on tidal flats, deltas, estuaries, bays, but also on oceanic atolls. These landforms present varied hydrodynamic and geomorphological settings for mangroves to establish and could influence the extent of propagule transport and subsequent regeneration. In this study, we examined whether these landform characteristics influence the genetic diversity and structure of Avicennia marina, one of the most abundant...

Proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-TOF-MS) as a tool for studying animal volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions

Miguel Portillo-Estrada, Charlotte Van Moorleghem, Sunita Janssenswillen, Richard Joseph Cooper, Claudia Birkemeyer, Kim Roelants & Raoul Van Damme
1. Chemical sensing in vertebrates is crucial in their lives, and efforts are undertaken towards deciphering their chemical language. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a group of chemicals believed to play an essential role in a wide variety of animal interactions. Therefore, understanding what animals sense themselves and untangling the ecological role of their volatile cues can be accomplished by analysing VOC emissions. A Proton-Transfer Reaction Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS) is an instrument that measures...

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  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Ghent University
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Minnesota
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
  • German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research
  • University of Rochester
  • Monash University
  • Deakin University