134 Works

Data from: Hatching asynchrony aggravates inbreeding depression in a songbird (Serinus canaria): an inbreeding-environment interaction

Raïssa Anna De Boer, Marcel Eens, Erik Fransen & Wendt Müller
Understanding how the intensity of inbreeding depression is influenced by stressful environmental conditions is an important area of enquiry in various fields of biology. In birds, environmental stress during early development is often related to hatching asynchrony; differences in age, and thus size, impose a gradient in conditions ranging from benign (first hatched chick) to harsh (last hatched chick). Here, we compared the effect of hatching order on growth rate in inbred (parents are full...

Data from: Climate-related environmental variation in a visual signalling device: the male and female dewlap in Anolis sagrei lizards

Tess Driessens, Simon Baeckens, Manuela Balzarolo, Bieke Vanhooydonck, Katleen Huyghe & Raoul Van Damme
Animals communicate using a variety of signals that differ dramatically among and within species. The astonishing dewlap diversity in anoles has attracted considerable attention in this respect. Yet, the evolutionary processes behind it remain elusive and have mostly been explored for males only. Here, we considered Anolis sagrei males and females to study signal divergence among populations. First, we assessed the degree of variation in dewlap design (size, pattern, colour) and displays by comparing 17...

Data from: Decreasing parental task specialization promotes conditional cooperation

Nolwenn Fresneau, Arne Iserbyt, Tiffanie Kortenhoff, Marcel Eens & Wendt Müller
How much to invest in parental care and by who remain puzzling questions fomented by a sexual conflict between parents. Negotiation that facilitates coordinated parental behaviour may be key to ease this costly conflict. However, understanding cooperation requires that the temporal and sex-specific variation in parental care, as well as its multivariate nature is considered. Using a biparental bird species and repeated sampling of behavioural activities throughout a major part of reproduction, we show a...

Data from: Effect of the landscape matrix on gene flow in a coastal amphibian metapopulation

Karen Cox, Joke Maes, Hans Van Calster & Joachim Mergeay
Functional connectivity is crucial for the persistence of a metapopulation, because migration among subpopulations enables recolonization and counteracts genetic drift, which is especially important in small subpopulations. We studied the degree and drivers of connectivity among occupied patches of a coastal dune metapopulation of the Natterjack Toad (Epidalea calamita Laurenti), on the basis of microsatellite variation. As spatial landscape heterogeneity is expected to influence dispersal and genetic structure, we analyzed which landscape features affect functional...

Data from: Interpreting ELISA analyses from wild animal samples: some recurrent issues and solutions

Romain Garnier, Raül Ramos, Ana Sanz-Aguilar, Maud Poisbleau, Henri Weimerskirch, Sarah Burthe, Jeremy Tornos & Thierry Boulinier
1. Many studies in disease and immunological ecology rely on the use of assays that quantify the amount of specific antibodies (immunoglobulin) in samples. Enzyme-Linked Immuno Sorbent Assays (ELISAs) are increasingly used in ecology due to their availability for a broad array of antigens and the limited amount of sampling material they require. Two recurrent methodological issues are nevertheless faced by researchers: (i) the limited availability of immunological assays and reagents developed for non-model species,...

Data from: Invasive earthworms erode soil biodiversity: a meta-analysis

Olga Ferlian, Nico Eisenhauer, Martin Aguirrebengoa, Mariama Camara, Irene Ramirez-Rojas, Fabio Santos, Krizler Tanalgo & Madhav P. Thakur
1. Biological invasions pose a serious threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning across ecosystems. Invasions by ecosystem engineers, in particular, have been shown to have dramatic effects in recipient ecosystems. For instance, invasion by earthworms, a belowground invertebrate ecosystem engineer, in previously earthworm-free ecosystems dramatically alters the physico-chemical characteristics of the soil. Studies have shown that such alterations in the soil can have far-reaching impacts on soil organisms, which form a major portion of terrestrial...

Data from: Impact of treatment and re-treatment with Artemether-Lumefantrine and Artesunate-Amodiaquine on selection of Plasmodium falciparum Multidrug Resistance Gene-1 polymorphisms in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda

Vito Baraka, Hypolite Muhindo Mavoko, Carolyn Nabasumba, Filbert Francis, Pascal Lutumba, Michael Alifrangis & Jean-Pierre Van Geertruyden
Background The emergence of resistance against artemisinin combination treatment is a major concern for malaria control. ACTs are recommended as the rescue treatment, however, there is limited evidence as to whether treatment and re-treatment with ACTs select for drug-resistant P. falciparum parasites. Thus, the present study wanted to investigate the impact of treatment and re-treatment using artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) on the selection of P. falciparum multidrug resistance-1 (pfmdr1) alleles in clinical settings. Methods...

Data from: Do newborn adders suffer mass mortality or do they venture in a collective hide-and-seek game?

Dirk Bauwens & Katja Claus
In long-lived snakes estimates of survival rates in the immature age classes are notoriously difficult to obtain because the small, secretive juveniles are rarely caught in field studies. Hence, it is assumed that in many species juveniles suffer high mortality. An alternative view holds that the youngest life stages are so elusive as if they “disappear” temporarily from the population. We conducted a long-term (2000-2016) mark-recapture study in a large population of European adders and...

Data from: Functional diversity of Collembola is reduced in soils subjected to short-term, but not long-term, geothermal warming

Martin Holmstrup, Bodil K. Ehlers, Stine Slotsbo, Krassimira Ilieva-Makulec, Bjarni Diðrik Sigurðsson, Niki I. Leblans, Jacintha Ellers, Matty P. Berg, Niki I. W. Leblans & Bjarni D. Sigurdsson
1. Human activities have caused global changes of atmospheric chemistry resulting in increased temperature especially in the colder regions of the northern hemisphere. Since warming of the environment can have drastic effects on terrestrial ecosystems it is important to experimentally evaluate the extent of such effects in long-term field-based experiments. In the present study we make use of both recent (short-term) and long-term geothermal warming of Icelandic soils to examine the responses of Collembola, an...

Data from: How phylogeny and foraging ecology drive the level of chemosensory exploration in lizards and snakes

Simon Baeckens, Raoul Van Damme, & W. E. Cooper
The chemical senses are crucial for squamates (lizards and snakes). The extent to which squamates utilize their chemosensory system, however, varies greatly among taxa and species’ foraging strategies, and played an influential role in squamate evolution. In lizards, Scleroglossa evolved a state where species use chemical cues to search for food (active-foragers), while Iguania retained the use of vision to hunt prey (ambush-foragers). However, such strict dichotomy is flawed since shifts in foraging modes have...

Data from: Cooperative breeding shapes post-fledging survival in an Afrotropical forest bird

Dries Van De Loock, Diederik Strubbe, Liesbeth De Neve, Mwangi Githiru, Erik Matthysen & Luc Lens
While avian group living typically accrues multiple benefits, it is yet unknown how these benefits manifest post- fledging. Here, by using an indirect radio- telemetry approach, we found that cooperation increases fledgling survival in an Afrotropical forest bird. This result indicates the importance of considering the full breeding cycle in cooperative breeding research, which may ultimately lead to a better understanding of evolutionary drivers of cooperation.

Data from: A multivariate study of differentiating characters between three European species of the genus Lasiochernes Beier, 1932 (Pseudoscorpiones, Chernetidae)

Jana Frisová Christophoryová, Katarína Krajčovičová, Hans Henderickx & Stanislav Španiel
Morphological variation in three rarely collected European species of the genus Lasiochernes Beier, 1932 is thoroughly examined in the present study. Detailed descriptions of previously ignored morphological characters of L. cretonatus Henderickx, 1998, L. jonicus (Beier, 1929) and L. pilosus (Ellingsen, 1910) are presented. The female of L. cretonatus and the nymphs of L. pilosus are described for the first time. Multivariate morphometric techniques (principal coordinate analysis and discriminant analyses) were employed to confirm morphological...

Data from: Body size, developmental instability and climate change

Anders Pape Moller, Johannes Erritzoe & Stefan Van Dongen
Development is often temperature-dependent. We hypothesized smaller size and larger asymmetry with increasing temperatures. However, we also predicted associations with asymmetry to differ among traits that differ in their degree of functional importance (especially the functional wings in migratory birds were predicted to be more canalized), timing of development (skeletal (femur, tarsus and humerus) vs feather (wing and tail traits). We analyzed a large dataset of which we included species with at least 20 specimens...

Data from: How to quantify animal activity from radio-frequency identification (RFID) recordings

Arne Iserbyt, Maaike Griffioen, Benny Borremans, Marcel Eens & Wendt Müller
Automated animal monitoring via radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology allows efficient and extensive data sampling of individual activity levels, and is therefore commonly used for ecological research. However, processing RFID data is still a largely unresolved problem, which potentially leads to inaccurate estimates for behavioural activity. One of the major challenges during data processing is to isolate independent behavioural actions from a set of superfluous, non-independent detections. As a case study, individual blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus)...

Data from: Persistent inter- and intraspecific gene exchange within a parallel radiation of caterpillar hunter beetles (Calosoma sp.) from the Galápagos

Frederik Hendrickx, Viki Vandomme, Carl Vangestel, Thierry Backeljau, Wouter Dekoninck & Steven M. Van Belleghem
When environmental gradients are repeated on different islands within an archipelago, similar selection pressures may act within each island, resulting in the repeated occurrence of ecologically similar species on each island. The evolution of ecotypes within such radiations may either result from dispersal, that is each ecotype evolved once and dispersed to different islands where it colonized its habitat, or through repeated and parallel speciation within each island. However, it remains poorly understood how gene...

Data from: Novel insights into relationships between egg corticosterone and timing of breeding revealed by LC-MS/MS

Tom Rosendahl Larsen, Graham D. Fairhurst, Siegrid De Baere, Siska Croubels, Wendt Müller, Liesbeth De Neve & Luc Lens
Inter- and intra-clutch variation in egg corticosterone (CORT), the major glucocorticoid in birds, may provide insights into how maternal stress levels vary with the timing of breeding and with laying order. Common analytical methods (e.g. immunoassays), however, suffer from cross-reaction with other steroids, leading to potential overestimation of CORT concentrations which can obscure true hormone–environment relationships and complicate among-study comparisons. We here apply a new LC-MS/MS technique, which has recently been shown to avoid the...

Data from: High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex

Guilherme Testa-Silva, Matthijs B. Verhoog, Daniele Linaro, Christiaan P. J. De Kock, Johannes C. Baayen, Rhiannon M. Meredith, Chris I. De Zeeuw, Michele Giugliano & Huibert D. Mansvelder
Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from connected pairs of pyramidal neurons in acute brain slices of adult human and mouse temporal cortex and probed the dynamical properties of use-dependent plasticity. We found that human synaptic connections were...

Data from: Ancestral origins and invasion pathways in a globally invasive bird correlate with climate and influences from bird trade

Hazel Jackson, Diederik Strubbe, Simon Tollington, Robert Prys-Jones, Erik Matthysen & Jim J. Groombridge
Invasive species present a major threat to global biodiversity. Understanding genetic patterns and evolutionary processes that reinforce successful establishment is paramount for elucidating mechanisms underlying biological invasions. Among birds, the ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri) is one of the most successful invasive species, established in over 35 countries. However, little is known about the evolutionary genetic origins of this species and what population genetic signatures tell us about patterns of invasion. We reveal the ancestral origins...

Data from: Warming affects different components of plant-herbivore interaction in a simplified community but not net interaction strength

Helena Van De Velde, Ivan Nijs & Dries Bonte
Global warming impacts natural communities through effects on performance of individual species and through changes in the strength of interactions between them. While there is a body of evidence of the former, we lack experimental evidence on potential changes in interaction strengths. Knowledge about multispecies interactions is fundamental to understand the regulation of biodiversity and the impact of climate change on communities. This study investigated the effect of warming on a simplified community consisting of...

Data from: Early-life exposure to artificial light at night elevates physiological stress in free-living songbirds

Melissa L. Grunst, Thomas Raap, Andrea S. Grunst, Rianne Pinxten, Charline Parenteau, Frédéric Angelier & Marcel Eens
Artificial light at night (ALAN) can disrupt adaptive patterns of physiology and behavior that promote high fitness, resulting in physiological stress and elevation of steroid glucocorticoids (corticosterone, CORT in birds). Elevated CORT may have particularly profound effects early in life, with the potential for enduring effects that persist into adulthood. Research on the consequences of early-life exposure to ALAN remains limited, especially outside of the laboratory, and whether light exposure affects CORT concentrations in wild...

Data from: Modulation of yaw stability with an unstable rigid body and a stabilising caudal fin in the yellow boxfish (Ostracion cubicus)

Pim G. Boute, Sam Van Wassenbergh & Eize J. Stamhuis
Despite that boxfishes have a rigid carapace that restricts body undulation, they are highly manoeuvrable and manage to swim with remarkably dynamic stability. Recent research has indicated that the rigid body shape of boxfishes shows an inherently unstable response in its rotations caused by course-disturbing flows. Hence, any net stabilising effect should come from the fish’s fins. The aim of the current study was to determine the effect of the surface area and orientation of...

Data from: Proximity to roads, but not exposure to metal pollution, is associated with accelerated developmental telomere shortening in nestling great tits

Andrea Grunst, Melissa Grunst, Lieven Bervoets, Rianne Pinxten & Marcel Eens
Comprehensively understanding the factors affecting physiology and fitness in urban wildlife requires concurrently considering multiple stressors. To this end, we simultaneously assessed how metal pollution and proximity to roads affect body condition and telomere shortening between days 8 and 15 of age in nestling great tits (Parus major), a common urban bird. We employed a repeated-measures sampling design to compare telomere shortening and body condition between nestlings from four urban study sites south of Antwerp,...

Urbanisation lowers great tit (Parus major) breeding success at multiple spatial scales

Jacques De Satge
While numerous studies have reported negative effects of urbanisation on birds, few have examined the role of urban scale in influencing breeding success and many studies have relied on qualitative rather than quantitative assessments of urbanisation. This study sought to address these issues by testing the effects of urbanisation, measured at two spatial scales, on the breeding success of great tits Parus major. A nested study design, incorporating over 400 nestboxes, was used in study...

Anthropogenic noise is associated with telomere length and carotenoid-based coloration in free-living nestling songbirds

Melissa Grunst, Andrea Grunst, Rianne Pinxten & Marcel Eens
Growing evidence suggests that anthropogenic noise has deleterious effects on the behavior and physiology of free-living animals. These effects may be particularly pronounced early in life, when developmental trajectories are sensitive to stressors, yet studies investigating developmental effects of noise exposure in free-living populations remain scarce. To elucidate the effects of noise exposure during development, we examined whether noise exposure is associated with shorter telomeres, duller carotenoid-based coloration and reduced body mass in nestlings of...

Coping with branch excision when measuring leaf net photosynthetic rates in a lowland tropical forest

Lore T. Verryckt, Leandro Van Langenhove, Philippe Ciais, Elodie A. Courtois, Sara Vicca, Josep Peñuelas, Clément Stahl, Sabrina Coste, David S. Ellsworth, Juan M. Posada, Michael Obersteiner, Jérôme Chave & Ivan A. Janssens.
Measuring leaf gas exchange from canopy leaves is fundamental for our understanding of photosynthesis and for a realistic representation of carbon uptake in vegetation models. Since canopy leaves are often difficult to reach, especially in tropical forests with emergent trees up to 60 meters at remote places, canopy access techniques such as canopy cranes or towers have facilitated photosynthetic measurements. These structures are expensive and therefore not very common. As an alternative, branches are often...

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