134 Works

Data from: Low but contrasting neutral genetic differentiation shaped by winter temperature in European great tits

Mélissa Lemoine, Kay Lucek, Charles Perrier, Verena Saladin, Frank Adriaensen, Emilio Barba, Eduardo J. Belda, Anne Charmantier, Mariusz Cichon, Eeva Tapio, Arnaud Gregoire, Camilla A. Hinde, Arild Johnsen, Jan Komdeur, Raivo Mand, Erik Matthysen, Ana Claudia Norte, Natalia Pitala, Ben C. Sheldon, Tore Slagsvold, Joost M. Tinbergen, Janos Torok, Richard Ubels, Kees Van Oers, Marcel E. Visser … & Tapio Eeva
Gene flow is usually thought to reduce genetic divergence and impede local adaptation by homogenising gene pools between populations. However, evidence for local adaptation and phenotypic differentiation in highly mobile species, experiencing high levels of gene flow, is emerging. Assessing population genetic structure at different spatial scales is thus a crucial step towards understanding mechanisms underlying intraspecific differentiation and diversification. Here, we studied the population genetic structure of a highly mobile species – the great...

Data from: Vitally important – does early innate immunity predict recruitment and adult innate immunity?

Anke Vermeulen, Wendt Müller & Marcel Eens
The immune system is one of the most important adaptations that has evolved to protect animals from a wide range of pathogens they encounter from early life onwards. During the early developmental period this is particularly true for the innate immunity, as other components of the immune system are, as yet, poorly developed. But innate immunity may not only be crucial for early life survival, but may also have long-lasting effects, for example if early...

Data from: Within-family parent-offspring co-adaptation in a wild bird: on static traits, behavioural reaction norms and sex differences

Carsten Lucass, Peter Korsten, Marcel Eens & Wendt Müller
Parental care, a central component of reproduction in a wide range of animal species, often involves elaborate behavioural interactions between parents and their offspring. Due to the reciprocal nature of these interactions, it has been hypothesized that parental and offspring behaviours (e.g. parental food provisioning and offspring begging) are not only target but also agent of selection. These traits are therefore expected to co-evolve, ultimately leading to co-adaptation of parent and offspring behaviours within families....

Data from: Lyme neuroborreliosis and bird populations in northern Europe

Atle Mysterud, Dieter Heylen, Erik Mathyssen, Aïda Garcia, Solveig Jore & Hildegunn Viljugrein
Many vector-borne diseases are transmitted through complex pathogen-vector-host networks, which makes it challenging to identify the role of specific host groups in disease emergence. Lyme borreliosis in humans is now the most common vector-borne zoonosis in the northern hemisphere. The disease is caused by multiple genospecies of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato bacteria transmitted by ixodid (hard) ticks, and the major host groups transmit Borrelia genospecies with different pathogenicity, causing variable clinical symptoms in humans. The...

Data from: Genetic distinction between contiguous urban and rural multimammate mice in Tanzania despite gene flow

Sophie Gryseels, Joëlle Goüy De Bellocq, Rhodes Makundi, Kurt Vanmechelen, Jan Broeckhove, Vladimír Mazoch, Radim Šumbera, , Herwig Leirs & Stuart J. E. Baird
Special conditions are required for genetic differentiation to arise at a local geographical scale in the face of gene flow. The Natal multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, is the most widely distributed and abundant rodent in sub-Saharan Africa. A notorious agricultural pest and a natural host for many zoonotic diseases, it can live in close proximity to man, and appears to compete with other rodents for the synanthropic niche. We surveyed its population genetic structure across...

Data from: Heritabilities of directional asymmetry in the fore- and hindlimbs of rabbit fetuses

Matteo Breno, Jessica Bots & Stefan Van Dongen
Directional asymmetry (DA), where at the population level symmetry differs from zero, has been reported in a wide range of traits and taxa, even for traits in which symmetry is expected to be the target of selection such as limbs or wings. In invertebrates, DA has been suggested to be non-adaptive. In vertebrates, there has been a wealth of research linking morphological asymmetry to behavioural lateralisation. On the other hand, the prenatal expression of DA...

Data from: On dangerous ground: the evolution of body armour in cordyline lizards

Chris Broeckhoven, Yousri El Adak, Cang Hui, Raoul Van Damme & Theodore Stankowich
Animal body armour is often considered an adaptation that protects prey against predatory attacks, yet comparative studies that link the diversification of these allegedly protective coverings to differential predation risk or pressure are scarce. Here, we examine the evolution of body armour, including spines and osteoderms, in Cordylinae, a radiation of southern African lizards. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we attempt to identify the ecological and environmental correlates of body armour that may hint at the...

Data from: Timing of perineuronal nets development in the zebra finch song control system correlates with developmental song learning

Gilles Cornez, Elisabeth Jonckers, Sita M. Ter Haar, Annemie Van Der Linden, Charlotte A. Cornil & Jacques Balthazart
The appearance of perineuronal nets (PNN) represents one of the mechanisms that contribute to the closing of sensitive periods for neural plasticity. This relationship has mostly been studied in the ocular dominance model in rodents. Previous studies also indicated that PNN might control neural plasticity in the song control system (SCS) of songbirds. To further elucidate this relationship, we quantified PNN expression and their localization around parvalbumin interneurons at key time-points during ontogeny in both...

Data from: Quantifying population divergence on short timescales

Joost A. M. Raeymaekers, Luc Lens, Frederik Van Den Broeck, Stefan Van Dongen & Filip A. M. Volckaert
Quantifying the contribution of the various processes that influence population genetic structure is important, but difficult. One of the reasons is that no single measure appropriately quantifies all aspects of genetic structure. An increasing number of studies is analyzing population structure using the statistic D, which measures genetic differentiation, next to GST, which is the standardized variance in allele frequencies among populations. Few studies have evaluated which statistic is most appropriate in particular situations. In...

Are offspring begging levels exaggerated beyond the parental optimum? Evidence from a bidirectional selection experiment

Nolwenn Fresneau, Natalia Estramil & Wendt Müller
Parental care involves elaborate behavioural interactions between parents and their offspring, with offspring stimulating their parents via begging to provision resources. Thus, begging has direct fitness benefits as it enhances offspring growth and survival. It is nevertheless subject to a complex evolutionary trajectory, because begging may serve as a means for the offspring to manipulate parents in the context of evolutionary conflicts of interest. Furthermore, it has been hypothesized that begging is coadapted and potentially...

Data from: Developmental stress and telomere dynamics in a genetically polymorphic species

Andrea S. Grunst, Melissa L. Grunst, Rusty A. Gonser & Elaina M. Tuttle
A central objective of evolutionary biology is understanding variation in life-history trajectories and aging rate, or senescence. Senescence can be affected by tradeoffs and behavioral strategies in adults, but may also be affected by developmental stress. Developmental stress can accelerate telomere degradation, with long-term longevity and fitness consequences. Little is known regarding whether variation in developmental stress and telomere dynamics contribute to patterns of senescence during adulthood. We investigated this question in the dimorphic white-throated...

Dietary carotenoid supplementation facilitates egg laying in a wild passerine

Jorge García-Campa, Wendt Müller, Sonia González-Braojos, Emilio García-Juárez & Judith Morales
During egg laying, females face a trade-off between self-maintenance and investment into current reproduction, since providing eggs with resources is energetically demanding, in particular if females lay one egg per day. However, the costs of egg laying not only relate to energetic requirements, but also depend on the availability of specific resources that are vital for egg production and embryonic development. One of these compounds are carotenoids, pigments with immuno-stimulatory properties, which are crucial during...

‘A Few Words of Welcome’

Thomas Froy
This paper examines the contemporary absence of hospitality. Is today’s absent hospitality to be understood as a moral disaster, and a failure of responsibility? Or should we think of the silence in place of yesterday (or tomorrow’s) ‘welcome’ as the exemplary mode of hospitality? Through a polemical reading of Jacques Derrida’s texts on hospitality, it is possible to argue that – far from representing a dereliction of the word ‘welcome’, the contemporary silence on the...

Data from: Risk of short-term biodiversity loss under more persistent precipitation regimes

Simon Reynaert
Recent findings indicate that atmospheric warming increases the persistence of weather patterns in the mid-latitudes, resulting in sequences of longer dry and wet periods compared to historic averages. The alternation of progressively longer dry and wet extremes could increasingly select for species with a broad environmental tolerance. As a consequence, biodiversity may decline. Here, we explore the relationship between the persistence of summer precipitation regimes and plant diversity by subjecting experimental grassland mesocosms to a...

Proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-TOF-MS) as a tool for studying animal volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions

Miguel Portillo-Estrada, Charlotte Van Moorleghem, Sunita Janssenswillen, Richard Joseph Cooper, Claudia Birkemeyer, Kim Roelants & Raoul Van Damme
1. Chemical sensing in vertebrates is crucial in their lives, and efforts are undertaken towards deciphering their chemical language. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a group of chemicals believed to play an essential role in a wide variety of animal interactions. Therefore, understanding what animals sense themselves and untangling the ecological role of their volatile cues can be accomplished by analysing VOC emissions. A Proton-Transfer Reaction Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS) is an instrument that measures...

Data for: Little parental response to anthropogenic noise in an urban songbird, but evidence for individual differences in sensitivity

Melissa Grunst
Anthropogenic noise exposure has well-documented behavioral, physiological and fitness effects on organisms. However, whether different noise regimes evoke distinct responses has rarely been investigated, despite implications for tailoring noise mitigation policies. Urban animals might display low responsiveness to certain anthropogenic noise regimes, especially consistent noise (e.g. freeway noise), but might remain more sensitive to more diverse noise regimes. Additionally, whether individuals differ in noise sensitivity is a rarely explored issue, which is important to fully...

Data from: Group-level variation in co-feeding tolerance between two sanctuary-housed communities of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Edwin J. C. Van Leeuwen, Sanne Van Donink, Marcel Eens & Jeroen M. G. Stevens
Social tolerance in group-living animals can be viewed as a counterweight against competitive interests necessary to obtain coexistence equilibrium and maintain group cohesion. As such, it forms an interesting phenomenon to study at the group-level, but how can this be done most informatively? Here, we use three group-level co-feeding assays and social network analysis to study social tolerance in two groups of chimpanzees living under similar circumstances within a sanctuary to i) reassess whether social...

Body Meets Self. An interview of Frédérique de Vignemont by Raphaël Millière and Carlota Serrahima.

Frédérique de Vignemont, Raphaël Millière & Carlota Serrahima
In this interview, Frédérique de Vignemont discusses her wide-ranging and influential research program on philosophical issues related to bodily awareness. The conversation explores core questions of this research program, such as the existence of a sense of body ownership, the nature of pain and touch, and the role of the peripersonal space, as well as methodological questions regarding the role of empirical evidence in philosophical investigation and the value of arguments from phenomenal contrast in...

Data from: Chimpanzees behave prosocially in a group-specific manner

Edwin J. C. Van Leeuwen, Sarah E. DeTroy, Stephan P. Kaufhold, Clara Dubois, Sebastian Schütte, Josep Call & Daniel B. M. Haun
Chimpanzees act cooperatively in the wild, but whether they afford benefits to others, and whether their tendency to act prosocially varies across communities is unclear. Here, we show that chimpanzees from neighboring communities provide valuable resources to group members at personal cost, and that the magnitude of their prosocial behavior is group specific. Provided with a resource-donation experiment allowing for free (partner) choice, we observed an increase in prosocial acts across the study period in...

Lianas and trees exhibit divergent intrinsic water-use efficiency along elevational gradients in South American and African tropical forests

Francis Mumbanza M., Marijn Bauters, Félicien Meunier, Pascal Boeckx, Lucas Cernusak, Hannes De Deurwaerder, Miro Demol, Camille Meeussen, Bram Sercu, Lore Verryckt, Jana Pauwels, Landry Cizungu N., Selene Báez, Constantin Lubini A. & Hans Verbeeck
Elevational gradients provide excellent opportunities to explore long-term morphological and physiological responses of plants to environmental change. We determined the difference in the elevational pattern of foliar carbon isotope composition (δ13C) between lianas and trees, and assessed whether this difference arises from changes in photosynthesis or stomatal conductance. We also explored the pattern of nutrient limitations with the elevation of these two growth forms. We conducted inventories of lianas and trees using standardized techniques along...

Data from: Two eggs, two different constraints: a potential explanation for the puzzling intra-clutch egg size dimorphism in Eudyptes penguins

Maud Poisbleau, Nina Dehnhard, Laurent Demongin, Petra Quillfeldt & Marcel Eens
Phenotypic plasticity and phenotypic stability are major components of the adaptive evolution of organisms to environmental variation. The invariant two-egg clutch size of Eudyptes penguins has recently been proposed to be a unique example of a maladaptive phenotypic stability, while their egg mass is a plastic trait. We tested whether this phenotypic plasticity during reproduction might result from constraints imposed by migration (migratory carry-over effect) and breeding (due to the depletion of female body reserves)....

Data from: Taxonomic challenges in freshwater fishes: a mismatch between morphology and DNA barcoding in fish of the north-eastern part of the Congo basin

Eva Decru, Tuur Moelants, Koen De Gelas, Emmanuel Vreven, Erik Verheyen & Jos Snoeks
This study evaluates the utility of DNA barcoding to traditional morphology-based species identifications for the fish fauna of the north-eastern Congo basin. We compared DNA sequences (COI) of 821 samples from 206 morphologically identified species. Best match, best close match and all species barcoding analyses resulted in a rather low identification success of 87.5%, 84.5% and 64.1%, respectively. The ratio ‘nearest-neighbour distance/maximum intraspecific divergence’ was lower than 1 for 26.1% of the samples, indicating possible...

Data from: When viruses don’t go viral: the importance of host phylogeographic structure in the spatial spread of arenaviruses

Sophie Gryseels, Stuart Baird, Rhodes Makundi, Benny Borremans, Herwig Leirs, Joelle Gouy De Bellocq & Stuart J. E. Baird
Many emerging infections are RNA virus spillovers from animal reservoirs. Reservoir identification is necessary for predicting the geographic extent of infection risk, but rarely are taxonomic levels below the animal species considered as reservoir, and only key circumstances in nature and methodology allow intrinsic virus-host associations to be distinguished from simple geographic (co-)isolation. We sampled and genetically characterized in detail a contact zone of two subtaxa of the rodent Mastomys natalensis in Tanzania. We find...

Data from: Floaters may buffer the extinction risk of small populations: an empirical assessment

Hugo Robles & Carlos Ciudad
The high extinction risk of small populations is commonly explained by reductions in fecundity and breeder survival associated with demographic and environmental stochasticity. However, ecological theory suggests that population extinctions may also arise from reductions in the number of floaters able to replace the lost breeders. This can be particularly plausible under harsh fragmentation scenarios, where species must survive as small populations subjected to severe effects of stochasticity. Using a woodpecker study in fragmented habitats...

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