25 Works

Conference scheduling undermines diversity efforts

Nicholas Burnett, Emily King, Mary Salcedo, Richelle Tanner & Kathryn Wilsterman
Scientific conferences incorporate diversity-focused events into their programming to increase their diversity and inclusivity and to improve the conference experience for scientists from underrepresented groups (URGs). While simply adding diversity-focused events to conferences is positive, maximizing their impact requires that conferences organizeand schedule these events to minimize well-acknowledged, problematic patterns such as the minority tax. To our knowledge, the programming of diversity-focused events at conferences has not been systematically reviewed to identify the extent of...

Data from: Near-infrared spectroscopy aids ecological restoration by classifying variation of taxonomy and phenology of a native shrub

Brecken Robb, Peter Olsoy, Jessica Mitchell, T. Trevor Caughlin, Donna Delparte, Stephanie Galla, Marcella R. Fremgen-Tarantino, Jordan D. Nobler, Janet Rachlow, Lisa A. Shipley & Jennifer Sorensen Forbey

Data from: Predicting multi-predator risk to elk (Cervus canadensis) in summer using predator scats

Kara MacAulay, Eric Spilker, Jodi Berg, Mark Hebblewhite & Evelyn Merrill
1. There is growing evidence that prey perceive the risk of predation and alter their behaviour in response, resulting in changes in spatial distribution and potential fitness consequences. Previous approaches to mapping predation risk across a landscape quantify predator space use to estimate potential predator-prey encounters, yet this approach does not account for successful predator attack resulting in prey mortality. An exception is a prey kill site that reflects an encounter resulting in mortality, but...

Demographic data collection in STEM organizations

Nicholas Burnett, Alyssa Hernandez, Emily King, Richelle Tanner & Kathryn Wilsterman
Professional organizations in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) can use demographic data to quantify recruitment and retention (R&R) of underrepresented groups within their memberships. However, variation in the types of demographic data collected can influence the targeting and perceived impacts of R&R efforts - e.g., giving false signals of R&R for some groups. We obtained demographic surveys from 73 U.S.-affiliated STEM organizations, collectively representing 712,000 members and conference-attendees. We found large differences in the...

Megafruit and megafauna diversity are positively associated, while megafruit traits are related to abiotic factors, in Tropical Asia

Kim McConkey, Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, Richard Corlett, Sushma H. S., Lisa Ong & Jedediah Brodie
Aim For tens of millions of years, herbivorous megafauna were abundant across the globe, fulfilling important ecological roles including seed dispersal. Megafruits are very large fruits that are dispersed most effectively by megafauna. However, megafruits also occur in ecosystems where megafauna are extinct or were never present, emphasizing our incomplete understanding of megafauna-megafruit relationships. Here we use the complex biogeography of tropical Asia to investigate how megafruit diversity and traits are associated with the diversity...

Environmentally associated variation in dispersal distance affects inbreeding risk in a stream salamander

Brett Addis & Winsor Lowe
Avoiding inbreeding is considered a key driver of dispersal evolution, and dispersal distances should be especially important in mediating inbreeding risk because the likelihood of mating with relatives decreases with dispersal distance. However, a lack of direct data on dispersal distances has limited empirical tests of this prediction, particularly in the context of the multiple selective forces that can influence dispersal. Using a headwater salamander system, we tested whether spatial variation in environmental conditions leads...

Mitigating ecosystem service tradeoffs in rangelands by using grazing duration and timing to manage water quality

Kristin Hulvey, Cassie Mellon & Andrew Kleinhesselink
1. Mitigating ecosystem service (ES) tradeoffs is a key management goal in locations where stakeholders value different and potentially conflicting ecosystem services (ESs). However, studies are not often designed to examine how local management actions address ES tradeoffs, and therefore do not provide options that can alleviate conflict. 2. In semi-arid rangelands, we examined the potential for managers to mitigate tradeoffs between livestock production and water quality. To move away from solutions that offer cattle...

Proximate and evolutionary sources of variation in offspring energy expenditure in songbirds

Adam Mitchell, Blair Wolf & Thomas Martin
Aim: Understanding variation in offspring energy expenditure is important because energy is critical for growth and development. Weather may exert proximate effects on offspring energy expenditure, but in altricial species these might be masked by parental care and huddling with siblings. Such effects are particularly important to understand given changing global weather patterns, yet studies of wild offspring in the presence of parental care are lacking. Offspring energy expenditure may also vary among species due...

Wildfire extends the shelf-life of elk nutritional resources regardless of fire severity

Lauren Snobl, Kelly Proffitt & Joshua Millspaugh
Large-scale, high severity wildfires are increasingly frequent across the western United States. Fire severity affects the amount of vegetation removed and helps dictate what, where, and how many plants regenerate postfire, potentially altering the available habitat and nutritional landscape for wildlife. To evaluate the effects of fire severity on summer nutritional resources for elk (Cervus canadensis), we collected field data and remotely sensed information in years two and three after a large-scale wildfire to compare...

Dynamic sensitivity to resource availability influences population responses to mismatches in a shorebird

Luke Wilde, Josiah Simmons, Rose Swift & Nathan Senner
Climate change has caused shifts in seasonally recurring biological events leading to the temporal decoupling of consumer-resource pairs – i.e., phenological mismatching. Although mismatches often affect individual fitness, they do not invariably scale up to affect populations, making it difficult to assess the risk they pose. Individual variation may contribute to this inconsistency, with changes in resource availability and consumer needs leading mismatches to have different outcomes over time. Nevertheless, most models estimate a consumer’s...

Combining biogeographic approaches to advance invasion ecology and methodology

Yvette Ortega, Dean Pearson, Ozkan Eren, Yvette Ortega, Jose Hierro, Birsen Karakuş, Sascha Kala, Lorinda Bullington & Ylva Lekberg
1) Understanding the causes of plant invasions requires that parallel field studies are conducted in the native and introduced ranges to elucidate how biogeographic shifts alter the individual performance, population success, and community-level impacts of invading plants. Three primary methods deployed in in situ biogeographic studies are directed surveys, where researchers seek out populations of target species, randomized surveys, and field experiments. Despite the importance of these approaches for advancing biogeographic research, their relative merits...

Climate-driven thermal opportunities and risks for leaf miners in aspen canopies

H. Arthur Woods, Geoffrey Legault, Joel Kingsolver, Sylvain Pincebourde, Alisha Shah & Beau Larkin
In tree canopies, incoming solar radiation interacts with leaves and branches to generate temperature differences within and among leaves, presenting thermal opportunities and risks for leaf-dwelling ectotherms. Although leaf biophysics and insect thermal ecology are well understood, few studies have examined them together in single systems. We examined temperature variability in aspen canopies, Populus tremuloides, and its consequences for a common herbivore, the leaf-mining caterpillar Phyllocnistis populiella. We shaded leaves in the field and measured...

Species provenance and traits mediate establishment and performance in an invaded grassland

Lachlan Charles, John Maron & Loralee Larios
In many invaded grasslands, dominant exotic species can produce large amounts of litter that modify local abiotic conditions and species’ interactions. These novel conditions can reduce native species abundance and promote the persistence of exotic species, yet the strength of this disparity may be influenced by how consumer pressure interacts with litter accumulation. Consumers may exacerbate this disparity by preferentially targeting native species or by promoting heterogeneity in microhabitats due to their movement and small-scale...

Avian species richness and abundance shows stronger response to bison grazing intensity than to ecosystem productivity

Danielle Fagre, William Janousek & Victoria Dreitz
Temperate grassland ecosystems are one of the most threatened ecosystems worldwide, and their loss endangers the grassland songbirds that rely upon them. This guild of birds has shown long-term declines in North America. At the same time, American bison (Bison bison) are becoming more common through reintroductions, and they may make significant modifications to grassland songbird habitat. To support conservation for this guild, we sought to understand the importance of bison grazing and ecosystem productivity...

Data from: Terrigenous subsidies in lakes support zooplankton production mainly via a green food chain and not the brown food chain

Jotaro Urabe, Fumiya Hirama, Hideyuki Doi, Takehiro Kazama, Takumi Noguchi, Tyler H. Tappenbeck, Izumi Katano, Masato Yamamichi, Takehito Yoshida & James J. Elser
Terrestrial organic matter (t-OM) has been recognized as an important cross-boundary subsidy to aquatic ecosystems. However, recent evidence has shown that t-OM contributes little to promote secondary production in lakes because it is low quality food for aquatic consumers. To resolve this conflict, we performed a field experiment using leaf litter as t-OM. In the experiment, we monitored zooplankton biomass in enclosures with and without addition of leaf litter under shaded and unshaded conditions and...

Climate change and lithium mining influence flamingo abundance in the Lithium Triangle

Jorge Gutiérrez, Johnnie Moore, Patrick Donnelli, Cristina Dorador, Juan Navedo & Nathan Senner
The development of technologies to slow climate change has been identified as a global imperative. Nonetheless, such ‘green’ technologies can potentially have negative impacts on biodiversity. We explored how climate change and the mining of lithium for green technologies influence surface water availability, primary productivity, and the abundance of three threatened and economically important flamingo species in the ‘Lithium Triangle’ of the Chilean Andes. We combined climate and primary productivity data with remotely sensed measures...

Non-invasive monitoring of multiple wildlife health factors by fecal microbiome analysis

Samuel Pannoni, William Holben & Kelly Proffitt
Fecal microbial biomarkers represent a less invasive alternative for acquiring information on wildlife populations than many traditional sampling methodologies. Our goal was to evaluate linkages between fecal microbiome communities in Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus canadensis) and four host factors including sex, age, population, and physical condition (body-fat). We paired a feature-selection algorithm with an LDA-classifier trained on elk differential bacterial abundance (16S-rRNA amplicon survey) to predict host health factors from 104 elk microbiomes across four...

Ecological outcomes of hybridization vary extensively in Catostomus fishes

Elizabeth Mandeville, Elizabeth Mandeville, Robert Ogden Hall & Alex Buerkle
Hybridization outcomes vary geographically and can depend on the environment. Hybridization can also reshape biotic interactions, leading to ecological shifts. If hybrids function differently ecologically in ways that enhance or reduce fitness, and those ecological roles vary geographically, ecological factors might explain variation in hybridization outcomes. However, relatively few studies have focused on ecological traits of hybrids. We compared the feeding ecology of Catostomus fish species and hybrids by using stable isotopes δ13C and δ15N...

Data From: Advancing fence datasets: Comparing approaches to identify fence locations and specifications in southwest Montana

Simon Buzzard, Andrew Jakes, Amy Pearson & Len Broberg
Fencing is a major anthropogenic feature affecting human relationships, ecological processes, and wildlife distributions and movements, but its impacts are difficult to quantify due to a widespread lack of spatial data. We created a fence model and compared outputs to a fence mapping approach using satellite imagery in two counties in southwest Montana, USA to advance fence data development for use in research and management. The model incorporated road, land cover, ownership, and grazing boundary...

Nutrient concentrations, loading, and N:P stoichiometry (1983 - 2020) and impacts in Flathead Lake (Montana, USA)

James Elser
Considerable attention is given to absolute nutrient levels in lakes, rivers, and oceans but less is paid to their relative concentrations, their N:P stoichiometry, and to the consequences of imbalanced stoichiometry. Here we report 38 years of nutrient dynamics in Flathead Lake, a large oligotrophic lake in Montana (USA), and its inflows. While nutrient levels were low, the lake had sustained high total N : total P ratios (TN:TP: 60-90:1 molar) throughout the observation period....

Gene conversion facilitates the adaptive evolution of self-resistance in highly toxic newts

Kerry Gendreau, Joel McGlothlin, Angela Hornsby & Michael Hague
Reconstructing the histories of complex adaptations and identifying the evolutionary mechanisms underlying their origins are two of the primary goals of evolutionary biology. Taricha newts, which contain high concentrations of the deadly toxin tetrodotoxin (TTX) as an antipredator defense, have evolved resistance to self-intoxication, which is a complex adaptation requiring changes in six paralogs of the voltage-gated sodium channel (Nav) gene family, the physiological target of TTX. Here, we reconstruct the origins of TTX self-resistance...

Landscape connectivity and genetic structure in a mainstem and a tributary stonefly (Plecoptera) species using a novel reference genome

Rachel Malison, Rachel L Malison, Brian K Hand, Emily Winter, J Joseph Giersch, Stephen J Amish, Diane Whited, Jack A Stanford & Gordon Luikart
Abstract Understanding how environmental variation influences population genetic structure can help predict how environmental change influences population connectivity, genetic diversity, and evolutionary potential. We used riverscape genomics modelling to investigate how climatic and habitat variables relate to patterns of genetic variation in two stonefly species, one from mainstem river habitats (Sweltsa coloradensis) and one from tributaries (Sweltsa fidelis) in 40 sites in northwest Montana, USA. We produced a draft genome assembly for S. coloradensis (N50...

Population genomic consequences of life history and mating system adaptation to a geothermal soil mosaic in yellow monkeyflowers (common garden phenotype data)

Lila Fishman, Kory Kolis, Colette Berg & Thomas Nelson
Local selection can promote phenotypic divergence despite gene flow across habitat mosaics, but adaptation itself may generate substantial barriers to genetic exchange. In plants, life-history, phenology, and mating system divergence have been proposed to promote genetic differentiation in sympatry. In this study, we investigate phenotypic and genetic variation in Mimulus guttatus (yellow monkeyflowers) across a geothermal soil mosaic in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Plants from thermal annual and nonthermal perennial habitats were heritably differentiated for...

Temporal stability of productivity is associated with complementarity and competitive intensities in intercropping

Jinpu Wu, Xingguo Bao, Jiudong Zhang, Binglin Lu, Weiping Zhang, Ragan M. Callaway & Long Li
Year to year stability in crop production is a crucial aspect of feeding a growing global population. Evidence from natural ecosystems shows that increasing plant diversity generally increases the temporal stability of productivity; however, we have little knowledge of the mechanisms by which diversity affects stability. In fact, understanding the drivers of stability is a major knowledge gap in our understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem function in general. We varied resource inputs into crop monocultures...

Conifer seedling demography reveals mechanisms of initial forest resilience to wildfires in the northern Rocky Mountains

Kyra Clark-Wolf
Climate warming and an increased frequency and severity of wildfires are expected to transform forest ecosystems, in part through altered post-fire vegetation trajectories. Such a loss of forest resilience to wildfires arises due to a failure to pass through one or more critical demographic stages, or “filters,” including seed availability, germination, establishment, and survival. Here we quantify the relative influence of microclimate and microsite conditions on key stages of post-fire seedling demography in two large,...

Registration Year

  • 2022

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Montana
  • University of Wyoming
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of South Carolina
  • Virginia Tech
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
  • University of California, Davis
  • Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • University of Queensland