128 Works

Data from: Genetic signature of population fragmentation varies with mobility in seven bird species of a fragmented Kenyan cloud forest

Tom Callens, Peter Galbusera, Erik Matthysen, Eric Y Durand, Mwangi Githiru, Jeroen R Huyghe & Luc Lens
Habitat fragmentation can restrict geneflow, reduce neighbourhood effective population size, and increase genetic drift and inbreeding in small, isolated habitat remnants. The extent to which habitat fragmentation leads to population fragmentation, however, differs among landscapes and taxa. Commonly, researchers use information on the current status of a species to predict population effects of habitat fragmentation. Such methods, however, do not convey information on species-specific responses to fragmentation. Here we compare levels of past population differentiation,...

Data from: Adaptability of large carnivores to changing anthropogenic food sources: diet change of spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) during Christian fasting period in northern Ethiopia

Gidey Yirga, Hans H. De Iongh, Herwig Leirs, Kindeya Gebrihiwot, Jozef Deckers & Hans Bauer
Many large carnivores readily use anthropogenic food sources, which often leads to conflict. Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) around the regional capital Mekelle, northern Ethiopia, feed on waste and to a lesser degree on livestock, but not on natural prey. We investigated the impact on their diet of the 55 day fasting period prescribed by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, during which the vast majority of people do not consume animal products. We collected spotted hyena...

Data from: Stress in biological invasions: introduced invasive grey squirrels increase physiological stress in native Eurasian red squirrels

Francesca Santicchia, Ben Dantzer, Freya Van Kesteren, Rupert Palme, Adriano Martinoli, Nicola Ferrari & Lucas Armand Wauters
1. Invasive alien species can cause extinction of native species through processes including predation, interspecific competition for resources, or disease-mediated competition. Increases in stress hormones in vertebrates may be associated with these processes and contribute to the decline in survival or reproduction of the native species. 2. Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) have gone extinct across much of the British Isles and parts of Northern Italy following the introduction of North American invasive grey squirrels...

Data from: Resveratrol supplementation reduces oxidative stress and modulates the immune response in free-living animals during a viral infection

Manrico Sebastiano, Marcel Eens, Simone Messina, Hamada Ablelgawad, Kévin Pineau, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Olivier Chastel, David Costantini, Hamada AbdElgawad & Gerrit T. S. Beemster
1. Diet quality may have an important effect on the regulation of oxidative status and the immune system during an infectious disease. However, the relationship among intake of specific dietary molecules, an individual’s oxidative status and the occurrence and progress of a viral disease remains almost unexplored in free-living organisms. 2. Here, we study a wild, long-lived animal, the Magnificent frigatebird Fregata magnificens to investigate: i) the differences in a number of physiological traits (biomarkers...

Data from: Can light-saturated photosynthesis in lowland tropical forests be estimated by one light level?

Lore T. Verryckt, David S. Ellsworth, Sara Vicca, Leandro Van Langenhove, Josep Peñuelas, Philippe Ciais, Juan M. Posada, Clément Stahl, Sabrina Coste, Elodie A. Courtois, Michael Obersteiner, Jérôme Chave & Ivan A. Janssens
Leaf-level net photosynthesis (An) estimates and associated photosynthetic parameters are crucial for accurately parameterizing photosynthesis models. For tropical forests such data are poorly available and collected at variable light conditions. To avoid over- or underestimation of modelled photosynthesis, it is critical to know at which photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) photosynthesis becomes light saturated. We studied the dependence of An on PPFD in two tropical forests in French Guiana. We estimated the light saturation range,...

In vivo assessment of the neural substrate linked with vocal imitation accuracy

Julie Hamaide, Jasmien Orije, Kristina Lukacova, Georgios Keliris, Marleen Verhoye & Annemie Van Der Linden
Human speech and bird song are acoustically complex communication signals that are learned by imitation during a sensitive period early in life. Although the brain areas indispensable for speech and song learning are known, the neural circuits important for enhanced or reduced vocal performance remain unclear. By combining in vivo structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging with song analyses in juvenile male zebra finches during song learning and beyond, we reveal that song imitation accuracy correlates with...

Data from: Role of stag beetle jaw bending and torsion in grip on rivals

Jana Goyens, Joris Dirckx, Maxim Piessen & Peter Aerts
In aggressive battles, the extremely large male stag beetle jaws have to withstand strongly elevated bite forces. We found several adaptations of the male Cyclommatus metallifer jaw morphology for enhanced robustness that conspecific females lack. As a result, males improve their grip on opponents and they maintain their safety factor (5.2–7.2) at the same level as that of females (6.8), despite their strongly elevated bite muscle force (3.9 times stronger). Males have a higher second...

Data from: Nonlinear scaling of foraging contacts with rodent population density

Benny Borremans, Jonas Reijniers, Nelika K. Hughes, Stephanie S. Godfrey, Sophie Gryseels, Rhodes H. Makundi & Herwig Leirs
Density-dependent shifts in population processes like territoriality, reproduction, dispersal, and parasite transmission are driven by changes in contacts between individuals. Despite this, surprisingly little is known about how contacts change with density, and thus the mechanisms driving density-dependent processes. A simple linear contact-density function is often assumed, but this is not based on a sound basis of empirical data. We addressed this question using a replicated, semi-natural experiment in which we measured contacts at feeding...

Data from: Data for: Variation in animal personality traits across a metal pollution gradient in a free-living songbird

Andrea S. Grunst, Melissa L. Grunst, Bert Thys, Thomas Raap, Natasha Daem, Rianne Pinxten & Marcel Eens
Anthropogenic contaminants could alter traits central to animal behavioral types, or personalities, including aggressiveness, boldness and activity level. Lead and other toxic metals are persistent inorganic pollutants that affect organisms worldwide. Metal exposure can alter behavior by affecting neurology, endocrinology, and health. However, the direction and magnitude of the behavioral effects of metal exposure remain equivocal. Moreover, the degree to which metal exposure simultaneously affects suites of correlated behavioral traits (behavioral syndromes) that are controlled...

Data from: Population genetic structure of the tree-hole tick Ixodes arboricola (Acari: Ixodidae) at different spatial scales

Kurt Jordaens, Thierry Backeljau, A. Raoul Van Oosten, Dieter J. A. Heylen & Erik Matthysen
The endophilic tick Ixodes arboricola infests cavity-nesting birds, and its dispersal strongly depends on the movements of its host. Population genetic structure of I. arboricola was studied with seven polymorphic microsatellite markers. We collected 268 ticks from 76 nest boxes in four woodlots near Antwerp, Belgium. These nest boxes are mainly used by the principal hosts of I. arboricola, the great tit Parus major and the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus. As these birds typically return...

Data from: Rapid evolution of increased vulnerability to an insecticide at the expansion front in a poleward moving damselfly

Khuong Van Dinh, Lizanne Janssens, Lieven Therry, Hajnalka Anna Gyulavári, Lieven Bervoets & Robby Stoks
Many species are too slow to track their poleward moving climate niche under global warming. Pesticide exposure may contribute to this by reducing population growth and impairing flight ability. Moreover, edge populations at the moving range front may be more vulnerable to pesticides because of the rapid evolution of traits to enhance their rate of spread that shunt energy away from detoxification and repair. We exposed replicated edge and core populations of the poleward moving...

Data from: Meta-analysis indicates that oxidative stress is both a constraint on and a cost of growth

Shona M. Smith, Ruedi G. Nager & David Costantini
Oxidative stress (OS) as a proximate mechanism for life-history trade-offs is widespread in the literature. One such resource allocation trade-off involves growth rate, and theory suggests that OS might act as both a constraint on and a cost of growth, yet studies investigating this have produced conflicting results. Here, we use meta-analysis to investigate whether increased OS levels impact on growth (OS as a constraint on growth) and whether greater growth rates can increase OS...

Data from: Individual consistency and phenotypic plasticity in rockhopper penguins: female but not male body mass links environmental conditions to reproductive investment

Nina Dehnhard, Marcel Eens, Laurent Demongin, Petra Quillfeldt & Maud Poisbleau
In marine habitats, increasing ocean temperatures due to global climate change may distinctly reduce nutrient and consequently food availability for seabirds. Food availability is a known driver of body mass and reproductive investment in birds, but these traits may also depend on individual effects. Penguins show extreme intra-annual body mass variation and rely on accumulated body reserves for successful breeding. However, no study so far has tested individual consistency and phenotypic responses in body mass...

Data from: Herbivorous dinosaur jaw disparity and its relationship to extrinsic evolutionary drivers

Jamie A. MacLaren, Philip S. L. Anderson, Paul Barrett & Emily J. Rayfield
Morphological responses of nonmammalian herbivores to external ecological drivers have not been quantified over extended timescales. Herbivorous nonavian dinosaurs are an ideal group to test for such responses, because they dominated terrestrial ecosystems for more than 155 Myr and included the largest herbivores that ever existed. The radiation of dinosaurs was punctuated by several ecologically important events, including extinctions at the Triassic/Jurassic (Tr/J) and Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundaries, the decline of cycadophytes, and the origin of...

Data from: Experimental inhibition of a key cellular antioxidant affects vocal communication

Simone Messina, Marcel Eens, Giulia Casasole, Hamada AbdElgawad, Han Asard, Rianne Pinxten & David Costantini
1.There is substantial interest of evolutionary ecologists in the proximate mechanisms that modulate vocal communication. In recent times, there has been growing interest in the role of oxidative stress as a mediator of avian song expression. 2.Here we tested whether the experimental inhibition of the synthesis of a key cellular antioxidant (glutathione) reduces song rate metrics of male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). We measured the effect of our treatment on total song rate and on...

The photosensitive phase acts as a sensitive window for seasonal multisensory neuroplasticity in male and female starlings

Jasmien Orije, Emilie Cardon, Julie Hamaide, Elisabeth Jonckers, Veerle Darras, Marleen Verhoye & Annemie Van Der Linden
Traditionally, research unraveling seasonal neuroplasticity in songbirds has focused on the male song control system and testosterone. We longitudinally monitored the song and neuroplasticity in male and female starlings during multiple photoperiods using Diffusion Tensor and Fixel-Based techniques. These exploratory data-driven whole-brain methods resulted in a population-based tractogram uncovering microstructural sexual dimorphisms in the song control system and beyond. Male brains showed microstructural hemispheric asymmetries, whereas females had higher interhemispheric connectivity, which could not be...

An aerodynamic perspective on hurricane-induced selection on Anolis lizards

Shamil Debaere, Colin Donihue, Anthony Herrel & Sam Van Wassenbergh
Studies have demonstrated that hurricanes can drive selection in Neotropical anoles. In a recent study it was shown that post-hurricane survivors showed increased toepad areas, and surprisingly, shorter femurs. One potential explanation for the reduction in femur length is that increased drag on individuals with longer femurs causes them to be blown off their perch. Consequently, lizards with shorter femora might survive better in hurricanes. To gain insight into the form-function relationships of drag-reduction in...

Data from: Predator-prey interactions shape thermal patch use in a newt larvae-dragonfly nymph model

Lumír Gvoždík, Eva Černická & Raoul Van Damme
Thermal quality and predation risk are considered important factors influencing habitat patch use in ectothermic prey. However, how the predator’s food requirement and the prey’s necessity to avoid predation interact with their respective thermoregulatory strategies remains poorly understood. The recently developed ‘thermal game model’ predicts that in the face of imminent predation, prey should divide their time equally among a range of thermal patches. In contrast, predators should concentrate their hunting activities towards warmer patches....

Data from: Local adaptation and the potential effects of a contaminant on predator avoidance and antipredator responses under global warming: a space-for-time substitution approach

Lizanne Janssens, Khuong Dinh Van, Sara Debecker, Lieven Bervoets & Robby Stoks
The ability to deal with temperature-induced changes in interactions with contaminants and predators under global warming is one of the outstanding, applied evolutionary questions. For this, it is crucial to understand how contaminants will affect activity levels, predator avoidance and antipredator responses under global warming and to what extent gradual thermal evolution may mitigate these effects. Using a space-for-time substitution approach, we assessed the potential for gradual thermal evolution shaping activity (mobility and foraging), predator...

Data from: Hurricane effects on Neotropical lizards span geographic and phylogenetic scales

Colin Donihue, Alex Kowaleski, Jonathan Losos, Adam Algar, Simon Baeckens, Robert Buchkowski, Anne-Claire Fabre, Hannah Frank, Anthony Geneva, Graham Reynolds, James Stroud, Julián Velasco, Jason Kolbe, Luke Mahler & Anthony Herrel
Extreme climate events such as droughts, cold snaps, and hurricanes can be powerful agents of natural selection, producing acute selective pressures very different from the everyday pressures acting on organisms. However, it remains unknown whether these infrequent but severe disruptions are quickly erased by quotidian selective forces, or whether they have the potential to durably shape biodiversity patterns across regions and clades. Here, we show that hurricanes have enduring evolutionary impacts on the morphology of...

Data from: Microclimate variability in alpine ecosystems as stepping stones for non-native plant establishment above their current elevational limit

Jonas J. Lembrechts, Jonathan Lenoir, Martin A. Nuñez, Aníbal Pauchard, Charly Geron, Gilles Bussé, Ann Milbau & Ivan Nijs
Alpine environments are currently relatively free from non-native plant species, although their presence and abundance have recently been on the rise. It is however still unclear whether the observed low invasion levels in these areas are due to an inherent resistance of the alpine zone to invasions or whether an exponential increase in invasion is just a matter of time. Using a seed-addition experiment on north- and south-facing slopes (cf. microclimatic gradient) on two mountains...

Rapid and repeated divergence of animal chemical signals in an island introduction experiment

Colin Donihue, Anthony Herrel, José Martín, Johannes Foufopoulos, Panayiotis Pafilis & Simon Baeckens
Studies of animal communication have documented myriad rapid, context-dependent changes in visual and acoustic signal design. In contrast, relatively little is known about the capacity of vertebrate chemical signals to rapidly respond, either plastically or deterministically, to changes in context. Four years following an experimental introduction of lizards to replicate experimental islets, we aimed to determine if chemical signal design of the experimental populations differed from that of the source population. In 2014, we translocated...

Data from: Sharing the burden: on the division of parental care and vocalizations during incubation

Marwa M. Kavelaars, Luc Lens & Wendt Müller
In species with biparental care, individuals only have to pay the costs for their own parental investment, while the contribution of their partner comes for free. Each parent hence benefits if its partner works harder, creating an evolutionary conflict of interest. How parents resolve this conflict and how they achieve the optimal division of parental tasks often remains elusive. In this study, we investigated whether lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) divide parental care during incubation...

Data from: Artificial light at night does not affect telomere shortening in a developing free-living songbird: a field experiment

Melissa L. Grunst, Thomas Raap, Andrea S. Grunst, Rianne Pinxten & Marcel Eens
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is an increasingly pervasive anthropogenic disturbance factor. ALAN can seriously disrupt physiological systems that follow circadian rhythms, and may be particularly influential early in life, when developmental trajectories are sensitive to stressful conditions. Using great tits (Parus major) as a model species, we experimentally examined how ALAN affects physiological stress in developing nestlings. We used a repeated-measure design to assess effects of ALAN on telomere shortening, body mass, tarsus length...

Data from: High quality statistical shape modelling of the human nasal cavity and applications

William Keustermans, Toon Huysmans, Femke Danckaers, Andrzej Zarowski, Bert Schmelzer, Jan Sijbers & Joris J. J. Dirckx
The human nose is a complex organ that shows large morphological variations and has many important functions. However, the relation between shape and function is not yet fully understood. In this work, we present a high quality statistical shape model of the human nose based on clinical CT data of 46 patients. A technique based on cylindrical parametrization was used to create a correspondence between the nasal shapes of the population. Applying principal component analysis...

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  • University of Antwerp
  • Ghent University
  • French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • University of Groningen
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • KU Leuven
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
  • VU University Amsterdam
  • University of Sheffield