138 Works

Rare morph Lake Malawi mbuna cihclids benefit from reduced aggression from con- and heterospecifics

Alexandra Tyers
Balancing selection is important for the maintenance of polymorphism as it can prevent either fixation of one morph through directional selection or genetic drift, or speciation by disruptive selection. Polychromatism, the presence of multiple genetically determined colour phenotypes, can be maintained if the fitness of alternative morphs depends on the relative frequency in a population. In aggressive species, negative frequency-dependent antagonism can prevent an increase in the frequency of rare morphs as they would only...

Coastal Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (CBESS) standing crop biomass on salt marsh sites at Morecambe Bay and Essex

H. Ford, A. Garbutt & M. Skov
The dataset comprises of above ground vegetation cut to ground level and dried to give indication of standing crop biomass in a 50 centimetre (cm) x 25cm area (taken within a 1metre (m) x 1m quadrat) . Sampling was conducted at six salt marsh sites at four spatial scales: 1 m (the minimal sampling unit) nested within a hierarchy of increasing scales of 1-10 m, 10-100 m and 100-1000 m. Three of the sites were...

Change in saltmarsh extent for six regions across Great Britain (1846-2016)

C.J.T. Ladd, M.F. Duggan-Edwards, T.J. Bouma, J.F. Pagès & M.W. Skov
Data are presented showing change in saltmarsh extent along 25 estuaries/embayments in six regions across Great Britain, between 1846 and 2016. Data were captured from maps and aerial photographs. Marsh extent was delineated a scale of 1:7,500 by placing vertices every 5 m along the marsh edge. Error introduced from: (i) inaccuracies in the basemap used to georeference maps and aerial photographs; (ii) the georeferencing procedure itself; (iii) the interpreter when placing vertices on the...

Soil physical, chemical and microbial properties from a field experiment in the Conwy Valley, North Wales, UK (2015)

D.M. Cooper, L.L. De Sosa, H.C. Glanville & M.R. Marshall
General soil chemical, physical and microbial properties are presented for soil samples at six depths collected from a field experiment in the Conwy catchment. Samples were collected in May 2015. Core samples were taken along three transects by trained members of staff the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Bangor University. General soil chemical, physical and microbial properties were measured at six depths by trained members of staff, using recognised procedures at the laboratories of...

Soil chemical and physical properties from inorganic fertiliser additions to grassland at North Wyke, Henfaes and Easter Bush, UK (2016)

S. Reinsch, A.M. Carswell, N.J. Cowan, I. Lebron, A.R. Sánchez-Rodríguez, G. Barrett, H.T. Carter, D.R. Chadwick, J.M. Cotton, H.J. Guyatt, R. Harvey, A. Hunt, D.L. Jones, P.O. Keenan, A.J. Lawlor, M.R. Marshall, T.H. Misselbrook, M. Patel, M.G. Pereira, K.S. Saunders, R. Shaw, U.M. Skiba, B. Tanna, N. Thompson & B.A. Emmett
The data consist of soil physicochemical and biological data for three soil depths (0-15, 15-30 and 30-60 cm) from a three-cut silage plot trial located at three grassland sites within the UK collected between April 2016 and October 2016. The sites were Rothamsted Research at North Wyke in Devon, Bangor University at Henfaes Research Station in North Wales, and Easter Bush in Scotland. At each site measurements were taken from sixteen plots, organised within a...

Data from: Artificial light at night causes top-down and bottom-up trophic effects on invertebrate populations

Jonathan Bennie, Thomas W. Davies, David Cruse, Richard Inger & Kevin J. Gaston
1. Globally, many ecosystems are exposed to artificial light at night. Nighttime lighting has direct biological impacts on species at all trophic levels. However, the effects of artificial light on biotic interactions largely remain to be determined. 2. We exposed experimental mesocosms containing combinations of grassland plants and invertebrate herbivores and predators to illumination at night over a three-year period to simulate conditions under different common forms of street lighting. 3. We demonstrate both top-down...

Data from: Stable isotopes reveal the effect of trawl fisheries on the diet of commercially exploited species

Hilmar Hinz, Joan Moranta, Stephen Balestrini, Marija Sciberras, Julia R. Pantin, James Monnington, Alex Zalewski, Michel J. Kaiser, Mattias Sköld, Patrik Jonsson, Francois Bastardie & Jan Geert Hiddink
Bottom trawling can change food availability for benthivorous demersal species by (i) changing benthic prey composition through physical seabed impacts and (ii) by removing overall benthic consumer biomass increasing the net availability of benthic prey for remaining individuals. Thus trawling may both negatively and positively influence the quantity and quality of food available. Using δ13C and δ15N we investigated potential diet changes of three commercially exploited species across trawling gradients in the Kattegat (plaice, dab...

Data from: Experimental evidence that female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) perceive variation in male facial masculinity

Kevin A. Rosenfield, Stuart Semple, Alexander V. Georgiev, Dario Maestripieri, James P. Higham & Constance Dubuc
Among many primate species, face shape is sexually dimorphic, and male facial masculinity has been proposed to influence female mate choice and male-male competition. However, whether conspecifics pay attention to facial masculinity has only been assessed in humans. Here, working with free-ranging rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta, we used a two-alternative look-time experiment to test whether females perceive male facial masculinity. We presented 107 females with pairs of images of male faces – one more masculine...

Data from: Host‐derived population genomics data provides insights into bacterial and diatom composition of the killer whale skin

Rebecca Hooper, Jaelle C. Brealey, Tom Van Der Valk, Antton Alberdi, John W. Durban, Holly Fearnbach, Kelly M. Robertson, Robin W. Baird, M. Bradley Hanson, Paul Wade, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, Philip A. Morin, Jochen B. W. Wolf, Andrew D. Foote, Katerina Guschanski & Phillip A. Morin
Recent exploration into the interactions and relationship between hosts and their microbiota has revealed a connection between many aspects of the host's biology, health and associated micro‐organisms. Whereas amplicon sequencing has traditionally been used to characterize the microbiome, the increasing number of published population genomics data sets offers an underexploited opportunity to study microbial profiles from the host shotgun sequencing data. Here, we use sequence data originally generated from killer whale Orcinus orca skin biopsies...

Data from: The genetics of mate preferences in hybrids between two young and sympatric Lake Victoria cichlid species

Ola Svensson, Katie Woodhouse, Cock Van Oosterhout, Alan Smith, George F. Turner & Ole Seehausen
The genetic architecture of mate preferences is likely to affect significant evolutionary processes, including speciation and hybridization. Here, we investigate laboratory hybrids between a pair of sympatric Lake Victoria cichlid fish species that appear to have recently evolved from a hybrid population between similar predecessor species. The species demonstrate strong assortative mating in the laboratory, associated with divergent male breeding coloration (red dorsum versus blue). We show in a common garden experiment, using DNA-based paternity...

Data from: Scale‐dependent spatial patterns in benthic communities around a tropical island seascape

Eoghan A. Aston, Gareth J. Williams, J. A. Mattias Green, Andrew J. Davies, Lisa M. Wedding, Jamison M. Gove, Jean-Baptiste Jouffray, Timothy T. Jones & Jeanette Clark
Understanding and predicting patterns of spatial organization across ecological communities is central to the field of landscape ecology, and a similar line of inquiry has begun to evolve sub‐tidally among seascape ecologists. Much of our current understanding of the processes driving marine community patterns, particularly in the tropics, has come from small‐scale, spatially‐discrete data that are often not representative of the broader seascape. Here we expand the spatial extent of seascape ecology studies and combine...

Data from: Transcriptomic analysis of the lesser spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula) pancreas, liver and brain reveals molecular level conservation of vertebrate pancreas function

John F. Mulley, Adam D. Hargreaves, Matthew J. Hegarty, R. Scott Heller & Martin T. Swain
Background: Understanding the evolution of the vertebrate pancreas is key to understanding its functions. The chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish such as sharks and rays) have often been suggested to possess the most ancient example of a distinct pancreas with both hormonal (endocrine) and digestive (exocrine) roles. The lack of genetic, genomic and transcriptomic data for cartilaginous fish has hindered a more thorough understanding of the molecular-level functions of the chondrichthyan pancreas, particularly with respect to their...

Data from: Demography or selection on linked cultural traits or genes? Investigating the driver of low mtDNA diversity in the sperm whale using complementary mitochondrial and nuclear genome analyses

Phillip A. Morin, Andrew D. Foote, Charles Scott Baker, Brittany L. Hancock-Hanser, Kristin Kaschner, Bruce R. Mate, Sarah L. Mesnick, Victoria L. Pease, Patricia E. Rosel & Alana Alexander
Mitochondrial DNA has been heavily utilized in phylogeography studies for several decades. However, underlying patterns of demography and phylogeography may be misrepresented due to coalescence stochasticity, selection, variation in mutation rates, and cultural hitchhiking (linkage of genetic variation to culturally transmitted traits affecting fitness). Cultural hitchhiking has been suggested as an explanation for low genetic diversity in species with strong social structures, counteracting even high mobility, abundance and limited barriers to dispersal. One such species...

Data from: The linking of plate tectonics and evolutionary divergences

Matthew J. Phillips, Timothy J. Page, Mark De Bruyn, Joel A. Huey, William F. Humphreys, Jane M. Hughes, Scott R. Santos, Daniel J. Schmidt & Jonathan M. Waters
It is exciting to be living at a time when the big questions in biology can be investigated using modern genetics and computing. Bauzà-Ribot et al. take on one of the fundamental drivers of biodiversity, the effect of continental drift in the formation of the world’s biota, employing next-generation sequencing of whole mitochondrial genomes and modern Bayesian relaxed molecular clock analysis. Bauzà-Ribot et al. conclude that vicariance via plate tectonics best explains the genetic divergence...

Data from: The influence of environmental gradients on individual behaviour: individual plasticity is consistent across risk and temperature gradients

Tomas O. Cornwell, Ian D. McCarthy, C. Richard A. Snyder & Peter A. Biro
1. The expression of individual behaviour as a function of environmental variation (behavioural plasticity) is recognised as a means for animals to modify their phenotypes in response to changing conditions. Plasticity has been studied extensively in recent years, leading to an accumulation of evidence for behavioural plasticity within natural populations. 2. Despite the recent attention given to studying individual variation in behavioural plasticity, there is still a lack of consensus regarding its causes and constraints....

Data from: Whole genome duplication and transposable element proliferation drive genome expansion in Corydoradinae catfishes

Sarah Marburger, Markos A. Alexandrou, John B. Taggart, Simon Creer, Gary Carvalho, Claudio Oliveira & Martin I. Taylor
Genome size varies significantly across eukaryotic taxa and the largest changes are typically driven by macro-mutations such as whole genome duplications (WGDs) and proliferation of repetitive elements. These two processes may affect the evolutionary potential of lineages by increasing genetic variation and changing gene expression. Here we elucidate the evolutionary history and mechanisms underpinning genome size variation in a species rich group of Neotropical catfishes (Corydoradinae) with extreme variation in genome size - 0.6pg to...

Data from: Combined measurements of prey availability explain habitat selection in foraging seabirds

James J. Waggitt, Pierre W. Cazenave, Leigh M. Howarth, Peter G.H. Evans, Jeroen Van Der Kooij & Jan G. Hiddink
Understanding links between habitat characteristics and foraging efficiency help to predict how environmental change could influence populations of top-predators. This study examines whether measurements of prey (clupeids) availability varied over stratification gradients, and determined if any of those measurements coincided with aggregations of foraging seabirds (common guillemot Uria aalge, Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus) in the Celtic Sea, UK. The probability of encountering foraging seabirds was highest around fronts between mixed and stratified water. Prey were...

Data from: Resilience of tropical dry forests – a meta-analysis of changes in species diversity and composition during secondary succession

Géraldine Derroire, Patricia Balvanera, Carolina Castellanos-Castro, Guillaume Decocq, Deborah K. Kennard, Edwin Lebrija-Trejos, Jorge A. Leiva, Per-Christer Odén, Jennifer S. Powers, Víctor Rico-Gray, Mulualem Tigabu & John R. Healey
Assessing the recovery of species diversity and composition after major disturbance is key to understanding the resilience of tropical forests through successional processes, and its importance for biodiversity conservation. Despite the specific abiotic environment and ecological processes of tropical dry forests, secondary succession has received less attention in this biome than others and changes in species diversity and composition have never been synthesised in a systematic and quantitative review. This study aims to assess in...

Fine-scale seascape genomics of an exploited marine species, the common cockle Cerastoderma edule, using a multi-modelling approach

Ilaria Coscia, Sophie Wilmes, Joseph Ironside, Goward-Brown Alice, Enda O'Dea, Shelagh Malham, Allan McDevitt & Peter Robins
Population dynamics of marine species that are sessile as adults are driven by oceanographic dispersal of larvae from spawning to nursery grounds. This is mediated by life-history traits such as the timing and frequency of spawning, larval behaviour and duration, and settlement success. Here, we use 1725 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to study the fine scale spatial genetic structure in the commercially important cockle species Cerastoderma edule and compare it to environmental variables and current-mediated...

Calcareous defense structures of prey mediate the effects of predation and biotic resistance towards the tropics

Gustavo M Dias, Edson A Vieira, Lueji Pestana, Antonio C Marques, Simon Karythis, Stuart R Jenkins & Katherine Griffith
Aims The importance of biotic interactions in creating and maintaining diversity is expected to increase toward low latitudes. However, the way in which predation affects diversity, can depend on how predators mediate competitive interactions and also on defensive traits of prey. Here we assessed the role of physical defences of prey to escape predation and how the importance of predation on community structure and diversity changes across latitude. Location Six sites, in three regions distributed...

Data from: Species interactions and environmental context affect intraspecific behavioural trait variation and ecosystem function

Camilla Cassidy, Laura J Grange, Clement Garcia, Stefan Bolam & Jasmin A Godbold
Functional trait-based approaches are increasingly adopted to understand and project ecological responses to environmental change; however, most assume trait expression is constant between conspecifics irrespective of con- text. Using two species of benthic invertebrate (brittlestars Amphiura filiformis and A. chiajei), we demonstrate that trait expression at individual and com- munity levels differs with biotic and abiotic context. We use PERMANOVA to test the effect of species identity, density and local environmental history on individual (righting...

Spatial scaling properties of coral reef benthic communities

Helen Ford, Jamison Gove, Andrew Davies, Nicholas Graham, John Healey, Eric Conklin & Gareth Williams
The spatial structure of ecological communities on tropical coral reefs across seascapes and geographies have historically been poorly understood. Here we addressed this for the first time using spatially expansive and thematically resolved benthic community data collected around five uninhabited central Pacific oceanic islands, spanning 6° latitude and 17° longitude. Using towed-diver digital image surveys over ~140 linear km of shallow (8 – 20 m depth) tropical reef, we highlight the autocorrelated nature of coral...

Data from: Using structured eradication feasibility assessment to prioritise the management of new and emerging invasive alien species in Europe

Olaf Booy, Peter A. Robertson, Niall Moore, Jess Ward, Helen E. Roy, Tim Adriaens, Richard Shaw, Johan Van Valkenburg, Gabe Wyn, Sandro Bertolino, Olivier Blight, Etienne Branquart, Giuseppe Brundu, Joe Caffrey, Dario Capizzi, Jim Casaer, Olivier De Clerck, Neil Coughlan, Eithne Davis, Jaimie Dick, Franz Essl, Guillaume Fried, Piero Genovesi, Pablo González-Moreno, Frank Hysentruyt … & Aileen C. Mill
Prioritising the management of invasive alien species (IAS) is of global importance and within Europe integral to the EU IAS regulation. To prioritise management effectively the risks posed by IAS need to be assessed, but so too does the feasibility of their management. While risk of IAS to the EU has been assessed, the feasibility of management has not. We assessed the feasibility of eradicating 60 new (not yet established) and 35 emerging (established with...

Data from: Bottom trawling affects fish condition through changes in the ratio of prey availability to density of competitors

Jan Geert Hiddink, Joan Moranta, Stephen Balestrini, Marija Sciberras, Marine Cendrier, Rosie Bowyer, Michel J. Kaiser, Mattias Sköld, Patrik Jonsson, Francois Bastardie & Hilmar Hinz
Bottom-trawl fisheries are widespread and cause mortality of benthic invertebrates, which in turn may lead to a decrease in the availability of prey for target fish species. Exploitation also reduces the abundance of the fish species themselves. Modelling studies have shown that bottom trawling could lead to both increases and decreases in fish production, but so far empirical evidence to test these ideas has been very limited. We hypothesize that the effect of bottom trawling...

Data from: Quantitative traits and mode of speciation in Martinique anoles

Roger Thorpe, Yann Surget-Groba, Helena Johansson & Roger S. Thorpe
We investigate extensive quantitative trait variation (dewlap hue, colour pattern, dorsum hue, body proportions and scalation) in the Martinique anole across eight transects representing nascent parapatric ecological speciation, nascent allopatric speciation, and allopatric divergence without sufficient genetic structure to suggest speciation. Quantitative trait divergence can be extremely large between adjacent sets of populations, but with one exception this is associated with difference in habitat rather than past allopatry. Nascent ecological speciation shows the greatest level...

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