272 Works

Data from: Consequences of habitat change and resource selection specialization for population limitation in cavity-nesting birds

Thomas E. Martin
Resource selection specialization may increase vulnerability of populations to environmental change. One environmental change that may negatively impact some populations is the broad decline of quaking aspen Populus tremuloides, a preferred nest tree of cavity-nesting organisms who are commonly limited by nest-site availability. However, the long-term consequences of this habitat change for cavity-nesting bird populations are poorly studied. I counted densities of woody plants and eight cavity-nesting bird species over 29 years in 15 high...

Data from: Dispersal and selection mediate hybridization between a native and invasive species

Ryan P. Kovach, Clint C. Muhlfeld, Matthew C. Boyer, Winsor H. Lowe, Fred W. Allendorf & Gordon Luikart
Hybridization between native and non-native species has serious biological consequences, but our understanding of how dispersal and selection interact to influence invasive hybridization is limited. Here, we document the spread of genetic introgression between a native (Oncorhynchus clarkii) and invasive (Oncorhynchus mykiss) trout, and identify the mechanisms influencing genetic admixture. In two populations inhabiting contrasting environments, non-native admixture increased rapidly from 1984 to 2007 and was driven by surprisingly consistent processes. Individual admixture was related...

Data from: Distance, flow, and PCR inhibition: eDNA dynamics in two headwater steams

Stephen F. Jane, Taylor M. Wilcox, Kevin S. McKelvey, Michael K. Young, Michael K. Schwartz, Winsor H. Lowe, Benjamin H. Letcher & Andrew R. Whiteley
Environmental DNA (eDNA) detection has emerged as a powerful tool for monitoring aquatic organisms, but much remains unknown about the dynamics of aquatic eDNA over a range of environmental conditions. DNA concentrations in streams and rivers will depend not only on the equilibrium between DNA entering the water and DNA leaving the system through degradation, but also on downstream transport. To improve understanding of the dynamics of eDNA concentration in lotic systems, we introduced caged...

Data from: Examining temporal sample scale and model choice with spatial capture-recapture models in the common leopard Panthera pardus

Joshua F. Goldberg, Tshering Tempa, Nawang Norbu, Mark Hebblewhite, L. Scott Mills, Tshewang R. Wangchuk & Paul Lukacs
Many large carnivores occupy a wide geographic distribution, and face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, prey depletion, and human wildlife-conflicts. Conservation requires robust techniques for estimating population densities and trends, but the elusive nature and low densities of many large carnivores make them difficult to detect. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models provide a means for handling imperfect detectability, while linking population estimates to individual movement patterns to provide more accurate estimates than standard approaches....

Data from: Evaluation of downscaled, gridded climate data for the conterminous United States

Ruben Behnke, Stephen Vavrus, Andrew Allstadt, Thomas Albright, Wayne E. Thogmartin & Volker C. Radeloff
Weather and climate affect many ecological processes, making spatially continuous yet fine-resolution weather data desirable for ecological research and predictions. Numerous downscaled weather data sets exist, but little attempt has been made to evaluate them systematically. Here we address this shortcoming by focusing on four major questions: (1) How accurate are downscaled, gridded climate data sets in terms of temperature and precipitation estimates? (2) Are there significant regional differences in accuracy among data sets? (3)...

Data from: Escape from the cryptic species trap: lichen evolution on both sides of a cyanobacterial acquisition event

Kevin Schneider, Philipp Resl & Toby Spribille
Large, architecturally complex lichen symbioses arose only a few times in evolution, increasing thallus size by orders of magnitude over those from which they evolved. The innovations that enabled symbiotic assemblages to acquire and maintain large sizes are unknown. We mapped morphometric data against an eight-locus fungal phylogeny across one of the best-sampled thallus size transition events, the origins of the Placopsis lichen symbiosis, and used a phylogenetic comparative framework to explore the role of...

Data from: Ecological history of a long-lived conifer in a disjunct population

Erin M. Herring, Daniel G. Gavin, Solomon Z. Dobrowski, Matias Fernandez & Feng Sheng Hu
1. In northern Idaho (USA), more than 100 vascular plant species are disjunct <200 km from their main distribution along the Pacific Northwest coast. It remains unclear whether most species within this interior forest disjunction, including Tsuga mertensiana, survived the last glacial period in a north-Idaho refugium or whether these species colonized the region via long-distance dispersal during the Holocene. 2. Sediment cores were extracted from three mid- to high-elevation lakes within T. mertensiana dominated...

Data from: Predator foraging response to a resurgent dangerous prey

Aimee Tallian, Douglas W. Smith, Daniel R. Stahler, Matthew C. Metz, Rick L. Wallen, Chris Geremia, Joel Ruprecht, C. Travis Wyman & Daniel R. MacNulty
Prey switching occurs when a generalist predator kills disproportionately more of an abundant prey species and correspondingly spares a rarer species. Although this behaviour is a classic stabilizing mechanism in food web models, little is known about its operation in free-living systems which often include dangerous prey species that resist predation. We used long-term (1995–2015) data from a large mammal system in northern Yellowstone National Park, USA, to understand how prey preference of a wild,...

Data from: Generalized spatial mark-resight models with an application to grizzly bears

Jesse Whittington, Mark Hebblewhite & Richard B. Chandler
1. The high cost associated with capture-recapture studies presents a major challenge when monitoring and managing wildlife populations. Recently-developed spatial mark-resight (SMR) models were proposed as a cost-effective alternative because they only require a single marking event. However, existing SMR models ignore the marking process and make the tenuous assumption that marked and unmarked populations have the same encounter probabilities. This assumption will be violated in most situations because the marking process results in different...

Data from: Flexibility in the duration of parental care: female leopards prioritise cub survival over reproductive output

Guy A. Balme, Hugh S. Robinson, Ross T. Pitman & Luke T. B. Hunter
1.Deciding when to terminate care of offspring is a key consideration for parents. Prolonging care may increase fitness of current offspring, but it can also reduce opportunities for future reproduction. Despite its evolutionary importance, few studies have explored the optimal duration of parental care, particularly among large carnivores. 2.We used a 40-year dataset to assess the trade-offs associated with the length of maternal care in leopards in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa. We...

Data from: Experimental test of genetic rescue in isolated populations of brook trout

Zachary L. Robinson, Jason A. Coombs, Mark Hudy, Keith H. Nislow, Benjamin H. Letcher & Andrew R. Whiteley
Genetic rescue is an increasingly considered conservation measure to address genetic erosion associated with habitat loss and fragmentation. The resulting gene flow from facilitating migration may improve fitness and adaptive potential, but is not without risks (e.g., outbreeding depression). Here, we conducted a test of genetic rescue by translocating ten (five of each sex) brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) from a single source to four nearby and isolated stream populations. To control for the demographic contribution...

Data from: Where and how to restore in a changing world: a demographic-based assessment of resilience

Loralee Larios, Lauren M. Hallett & Katharine N. Suding
Managers are increasingly looking to apply concepts of resilience to better anticipate and understand conservation and restoration in a changing environment. In this study, we explore how information on demography (recruitment, growth and survival) and competitive effects in different environments and with different starting species abundances can be used to better understand resilience. We use observational and experimental data to better understand dynamics between native Stipa pulchra and exotic Avena barbata and fatua, grasses characteristic...

Data from: Forest structure provides the income for reproductive success in a southern population of Canada lynx

Megan K. Kosterman, John R. Squires, Joseph D. Holbrook, Daniel H. Pletscher & Mark Hebblewhite
Understanding intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of reproductive success is central to advancing animal ecology and characterizing critical habitat. Unfortunately, much of the work examining drivers of reproductive success is biased toward particular groups of organisms (e.g., colonial birds, large herbivores, capital breeders). Long-lived mammalian carnivores that are of conservation concern, solitary, and territorial present an excellent situation to examine intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of reproductive success, yet they have received little attention. Here, we used...

Data from: Proximate controls on semiarid soil greenhouse gas fluxes across 3 million years of soil development

Benjamin W. Sullivan, Megan K. Nasto, Stephen C. Hart & Bruce A. Hungate
Soils are important sources and sinks of three greenhouse gases (GHGs): carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). However, it is unknown whether semiarid landscapes are important contributors to global fluxes of these gases, partly because our mechanistic understanding of soil GHG fluxes is largely derived from more humid ecosystems. We designed this study with the objective of identifying the important soil physical and biogeochemical controls on soil GHG fluxes in semiarid soils...

Data from: Pyric herbivory, scales of heterogeneity, and drought

Christine H. Bielski, Dirac Twidwell, Samuel D. Fuhlendorf, Carissa L. Wonkka, Brady W. Allred, Tyson E. Ochsner, Erik S. Krueger, J. D. Carlson & David M. Engle
1. Understanding how extreme drought alters spatial patterns and temporal stability in grassland biomass will become increasingly important by the end of the century when climate model forecasts suggest drought events will occur more frequently. In grassland landscapes where grazing is driven by fire (termed pyric herbivory), temporal stability in aboveground plant biomass at landscape scales typically coincides with greater spatial variability across local communities (time-since fire patches), whereas variability within local communities is associated...

Data from: Microclimatic buffering in forests of the future: the role of local water balance

Kimberley Davis, Solomon Z. Dobrowski, Zachary A. Holden, Philip E. Higuera, John T. Abatzoglou & Kimberley T. Davis
Forest canopies buffer climate extremes and promote microclimates that may function as refugia for understory species under changing climate. However, the biophysical conditions that promote and maintain microclimatic buffering and its stability through time are largely unresolved. We posited that forest microclimatic buffering is sensitive to local water balance and canopy cover, and we measured this effect during the growing season across a climate gradient in forests of the northwestern United States (US). We found...

Data from: Natural regeneration on seismic lines influences movement behaviour of wolves and grizzly bears

Laura Finnegan, Karine E. Pigeon, Jerome Cranston, Mark Hebblewhite, Marco Musiani, Lalenia Neufeld, Fiona Schmiegelow, Julie Duval & Gordon B. Stenhouse
Across the boreal forest of Canada, habitat disturbance is the ultimate cause of caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) declines. Habitat restoration is a focus of caribou recovery efforts, with a goal to finding ways to reduce predator use of disturbances, and caribou-predator encounters. One of the most pervasive disturbances within caribou ranges in Alberta, Canada are seismic lines cleared for energy exploration. Seismic lines facilitate predator movement, and although vegetation on some seismic lines is regenerating,...

Data from: The tortoise and the hare: reducing resource availability shifts competitive balance between plant species

Dean E. Pearson, Yvette K. Ortega & John L. Maron
1.Determining how changes in abiotic conditions influence community interactions is a fundamental challenge in ecology. Meeting this challenge is increasingly imperative in the Anthropocene where climate change and exotic species introductions alter abiotic context and biotic composition to reshuffle natural systems. 2.We created plant assemblages consisting of monocultures or equal abundance of the native community dominant bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) and the exotic spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), a co-occurring invasive forb that has overtaken grasslands...

Data from: Vive la résistance: genome-wide selection against introduced alleles in invasive hybrid zones

Ryan P. Kovach, Brian K. Hand, Paul A. Hohenlohe, Ted F. Cosart, Matthew C. Boyer, Helen H. Neville, Clint C. Muhlfeld, Stephen J. Amish, Kellie Carim, Shawn R. Narum, Winsor H. Lowe, Fred W. Allendorf & Gordon Luikart
Evolutionary and ecological consequences of hybridization between native and invasive species are notoriously complicated because patterns of selection acting on non-native alleles can vary throughout the genome and across environments. Rapid advances in genomics now make it feasible to assess locus-specific and genome-wide patterns of natural selection acting on invasive introgression within and among natural populations occupying diverse environments. We quantified genome-wide patterns of admixture across multiple independent hybrid zones of native westslope cutthroat trout...

Data from: Do invasive plants structure microbial communities to accelerate decomposition in intermountain grasslands?

Michael R. McTee, Ylva Lekberg, Dan Mummey, Alexii Rummel & Philip W. Ramsey
Invasive plants are often associated with greater productivity and soil nutrient availabilities, but whether invasive plants with dissimilar traits change decomposer communities and decomposition rates in consistent ways is little known. We compared decomposition rates and the fungal and bacterial communities associated with the litter of three problematic invaders in intermountain grasslands; cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), as well as the native bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata). Shoot and...

Data from: Predation shapes the evolutionary traits of cervid weapons

Matthew C. Metz, Douglas J. Emlen, Daniel R. Stahler, Daniel R. MacNulty, Douglas W. Smith & Mark Hebblewhite
Sexually selected weapons evolved to maximize the individual reproductive success of males in many polygynous breeding species. Many weapons are also retained outside of reproductive periods for secondary reasons, but the importance of these secondary functions is poorly understood. Here we leveraged a unique opportunity from the predator–prey system in northern Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA to evaluate whether predation by a widespread, coursing predator (wolves) has influenced a specific weapon trait (antler retention time)...

Data from: Riverscape genetics identifies replicated ecological divergence across an Amazonian ecotone

Georgina M. Cooke, Erin L. Landguth & Luciano B. Beheregaray
Ecological speciation involves the evolution of reproductive isolation and niche divergence in the absence of a physical barrier to gene flow. The process is one of the most controversial topics of the speciation debate, particularly in tropical regions. Here, we investigate ecologically based divergence across an Amazonian ecotone in the electric fish, Steatogenys elegans. We combine phylogenetics, genome scans and population genetics with a recently developed individual-based evolutionary landscape genetics approach that incorporates selection. This...

Data from: Molecular evolution patterns reveal life history features of mycoplasma-related endobacteria associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Kevin H. Toomer, Xiuhua Chen, Mizue Naito, Stephen J. Mondo, Henk C. Den Bakker, Nicholas W. VanKuren, Ylva Lekberg, Joseph B. Morton & Teresa E. Pawlowska
The mycoplasma-related endobacteria (MRE), representing a recently discovered lineage of Mollicutes, are widely distributed across arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, Glomeromycota). AMF colonize roots of most terrestrial plants and improve plant mineral nutrient uptake in return for plant-assimilated carbon. The role of MRE in the biology of their fungal hosts is unknown. To start characterizing this association, we assessed partitioning of MRE genetic diversity within AMF individuals and across the AMF phylogeographic range. We further used...

Data from: Parent-of-origin growth effects and the evolution of hybrid inviability in dwarf hamsters

Thomas David Brekke & Jeffrey M. Good
Mammalian hybrids often show abnormal growth, indicating that developmental inviability may play an important role in mammalian speciation. Yet, it is unclear if this recurrent phenotype reflects a common genetic basis. Here, we describe extreme parent-of-origin-dependent growth in hybrids from crosses between two species of dwarf hamsters, Phodopus campbelli and Phodopus sungorus. One cross type resulted in massive placental and embryonic overgrowth, severe developmental defects, and maternal death. Embryos from the reciprocal cross were viable...

Data from: Negligible nuclear introgression despite complete mitochondrial capture between two species of chipmunks

Jeffrey M. Good, Dan Vanderpool, Sara Maria Keeble, Ke Bi & Sara Keeble
The idea that species boundaries can be semipermeable to gene flow is now widely accepted but the evolutionary importance of introgressive hybridization remains unclear. Here we examine the genomic contribution of gene flow between two hybridizing chipmunk species, Tamias ruficaudus and Tamias amoenus. Previous studies have shown that ancient hybridization has resulted in complete fixation of introgressed T. ruficaudus mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in some populations of T. amoenus, but the extent of nuclear introgression is...

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  • University of Montana
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • United States Geological Survey
  • Utah State University
  • University of Porto
  • University of Washington
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Alberta
  • North Carolina State University
  • Cornell University