134 Works

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: 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...

Data from: Environment-dependent prey-capture in the Atlantic mudskipper (Periophthalmus barbarus)

Krijn B. Michel, Peter Aerts & Sam Van Wassenbergh
Few vertebrates capture prey in both the aquatic and the terrestrial environment due to the conflicting biophysical demands of feeding in water versus air. The Atlantic mudskipper (Periophthalmus barbarus) is known to be proficient at feeding in the terrestrial environment and feeds predominately in this environment. Given the considerable forward flow of water observed during the mouth opening phase to assist with feeding on land, the mudskipper must alter the function of its feeding system...

Data from: Initiation of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection in the absence of physical contact with infected hosts – a field study in a high altitude lake

Elodie A. Courtois, Adeline Loyau, Mégane Bourgoin & Dirk S. Schmeller
Understanding transmission is a critical prerequisite for predicting disease dynamics and impacts on host populations. It is well established that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the amphibian fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, can be transmitted directly, through physical contact with an infected host. However, indirect pathways of transmission remain poorly investigated. We conducted a five-week long field infection experiment at a high altitude mountain lake in the French Pyrenees to investigate Bd transmission pathways in larval midwife...

Dsuite - fast D-statistics and related admixture evidence from VCF files

Milan Malinsky, Michael Matschiner & Hannes Svardal
Patterson’s D, also known as the ABBA-BABA statistic, and related statistics such as the f4-ratio, are commonly used to assess evidence of gene flow between populations or closely related species. Currently available implementations often require custom file formats, implement only small subsets of the available statistics, and are impractical to evaluate all gene flow hypotheses across datasets with many populations or species due to computational inefficiencies. Here we present a new software package Dsuite, an...

Data from: Restoration of endangered fen communities: the ambiguity of iron-phosphorus binding and phosphorus limitation

Willem-Jan Emsens, Camiel J.S. Aggenbach, Alfons J.P. Smolders, Dominik Zak, Ruurd Van Diggelen, C.J.S. Aggenbach, A.J.P. Smolders & W.-J. Emsens
1.Low phosphorus (P) availability limits plant biomass production in fens, which is a prerequisite for the persistence of many endangered plant species. We hypothesized that P limitation is linked to soil iron (Fe) content and soil Fe:P ratios as iron compounds provide binding sites for dissolved P, presumably reducing P availability to plants. 2.We sampled 30 fens in a trans-European field survey to determine how soil Fe pools relate to pools of P and Fe-bound...

Data from: Response of bats to light with different spectra: light-shy and agile bat presence is affected by white and green, but not red light

Kamiel Spoelstra, Roy H. A. Van Grunsven, Jip J. C. Ramakers, Kim B. Ferguson, Thomas Raap, Maurice Donners, Elmar M. Veenendaal & Marcel E. Visser
Artificial light at night has shown a remarkable increase over the past decades. Effects are reported for many species groups, and include changes in presence, behaviour, physiology and life-history traits. Among these, bats are strongly affected, and how bat species react to light is likely to vary with light colour. Different spectra may therefore be applied to reduce negative impacts. We used a unique set-up of eight field sites to study the response of bats...

Data from: Post-fragmentation population structure in a cooperative breeding Afrotropical cloud forest bird: emergence of a source-sink population network

Martin Husemann, Laurence Cousseau, Tom Callens, Erik Matthysen, Carl Vangestel, Caspar Hallmann & Luc Lens
The impact of demographic parameters on the genetic population structure and viability of organisms is a long-standing issue in the study of fragmented populations. Demographic and genetic tools are now readily available to estimate census and effective population sizes and migration and gene flow rates with increasing precision. Here we analysed the demography and genetic population structure over a recent 15-year time span in five remnant populations of Cabanis's greenbul (Phyllastrephus cabanisi), a cooperative breeding...

Data from: Carotenoids, birdsong and oxidative status: administration of dietary lutein is associated with an increase in song rate and circulating antioxidants (albumin and cholesterol) and a decrease in oxidative damage

Stefania Casagrande, Rianne Pinxten, Erika Zaid & Marcel Eens
Despite the appealing hypothesis that carotenoid-based colouration signals oxidative status, evidence supporting the antioxidant function of these pigments is scarce. Recent studies have shown that lutein, the most common carotenoid used by birds, can enhance the expression of non-visual traits, such as birdsong. Nevertheless, the underlying physiological mechanisms remain unclear. In this study we hypothesized that male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) fed extra lutein increase their song rate as a consequence of an improved oxidative...

Data from: Migratory constraints on yolk precursors limit yolk androgen deposition and underlie a brood reduction strategy in rockhopper penguins

Glenn T. Crossin, Maud Poisbleau, Laurent Demongin, Olivier Chastel, Tony D. Williams, Marcel Eens & Petra Quillfeldt
Hormonally mediated maternal effects link maternal phenotype and environmental conditions to offspring phenotype. The production of lipid-rich maternal yolk precursors may provide a mechanism by which lipophilic steroid hormones can be transported to developing yolks, thus predicting a positive correlation between yolk precursors in mothers and androgen levels in eggs. Using rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome), which produce a two-egg clutch characterized by extreme egg-size dimorphism, reversed hatching asynchrony and brood-reduction, we examined correlations between circulating...

Data from: How environmental conditions shape the chemical signal design of lizards

Simon Baeckens, José Martín, Roberto García-Roa, Panayiotis Pafilis, Katleen Huyghe & Raoul Van Damme
1. The signals that animals use to communicate often differ considerably among species. Part of this variation in signal design may derive from differential natural selection on signal efficacy; the ability of the signal to travel efficiently through the environment and attract the receiver’s attention. For the visual and acoustic modalities, the effect of the physical environment on signal efficacy is a well-studied selective force. Still, very little is known on its impact on the...

Data from: Patterns and drivers of biodiversity-stability relationships under climate extremes

Hans J. De Boeck, Juliette M. G. Bloor, Juergen Kreyling, Johannes C. G. Ransijn, Ivan Nijs, Anke Jentsch & Michaela Zeiter
Interactions between biodiversity loss and climate change present significant challenges for research, policy and management of ecosystems. Evidence suggests that high species diversity tends to increase plant community stability under interannual climate fluctuations and mild dry and wet events, but the overall pattern of diversity–stability relationships under climate extremes is unclear. We comprehensively review results from observational and experimental studies to assess the importance of diversity effects for ecosystem function under climate extremes. Both the...

Data from: Sex-specific effects of inbreeding on reproductive senescence

Raissa A. De Boer, Marcel Eens & Wendt Müller
Inbreeding depression plays a significant role in evolutionary biology and ecology. Yet, we lack a clear understanding of the fitness consequences of inbreeding depression. Studies often focus on short-term effects of inbreeding in juvenile offspring whereas inbreeding depression in adult traits and the interplay between inbreeding depression and age is rarely addressed. Inbreeding depression may increase with age and accelerate the decline in reproductive output in ageing individuals (‘reproductive senescence’), which could be subject to...

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...

Investment in chemical signalling glands facilitates the evolution of sociality in lizards

Simon Baeckens & Martin Whiting
The evolution of sociality and traits that correlate with, or predict, sociality, have been the focus of considerable recent study. In order to reduce the social conflict that ultimately comes with group living, and foster social tolerance, individuals need reliable information about group members and potential rivals. Chemical signals are one such source of information and are widely used in many animal taxa, including lizards. Here, we take a phylogenetic comparative approach to test the...

Springtail coloration at a finer scale: mechanisms behind vibrant Collembolan metallic colours

Bram Vanthournout, Anastasia Rousaki, Thomas Parmentier, Frans Janssens, Johan Mertens, Peter Vandenabeele, Liliana D'Alba & Matthew Shawkey
The mechanisms and evolution of metallic structural colours are of both fundamental and applied interest, yet most work in arthropods has focused on derived butterflies and beetles with distinct hues. In particular, basal hexapods - groups with many scaled, metallic representatives – are currently poorly studied and controversial, with some recent studies suggesting either that thin- film (lamina thickness) or diffraction grating elements (longitudinal ridges, crossribs) produce these colors in early Lepidoptera and one springtail...

Data and code for Heterogeneous selection on exploration behavior within and among West European populations of a passerine bird

Alexia Mouchet, Ella Cole, Erik Matthysen, Marion Nicolaus, John Quinn, Allison Roth, Joost Tinbergen, Kees Van Oers, Thijs Van Overveld & Niels Dingemanse
Heterogeneous selection is often proposed as a key mechanism maintaining repeatable behavioral variation (“animal personality”) in wild populations. Previous studies largely focused on temporal variation in selection within single populations. The relative importance of spatial versus temporal variation remains unexplored, despite these processes having distinct effects on local adaptation. Using data from >3500 great tits (Parus major) and 35 nest box plots situated within five West-European populations monitored over 4-18 years, we show that selection...

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...

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