18 Works

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: 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: 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: 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: A fish that uses its hydrodynamic tongue to feed on land

Krijn B. Michel, Egon Heiss, Peter Aerts & Sam Van Wassenbergh
To capture and swallow food on land, a sticky tongue supported by the hyoid and gill arch skeleton has evolved in land vertebrates from aquatic ancestors that used mouth-cavity-expanding actions of the hyoid to suck food into the mouth. However, the evolutionary pathway bridging this drastic shift in feeding mechanism and associated hyoid motions remains unknown. Modern fish that feed on land may help to unravel the physical constraints and biomechanical solutions that led to...

Data from: Repeated stressors in adulthood increase the rate of biological ageing

Michaela Hau, Mark F. Haussmann, Timothy J. Greives, Christa Matlack, David Costantini, Michael Quetting, James S. Adelman, Ana Catarina Miranda & Jesko Partecke
Background: Individuals of the same age can differ substantially in the degree to which they have accumulated tissue damage, akin to bodily wear and tear, from past experiences. This accumulated tissue damage reflects the individual’s biological age and may better predict physiological and behavioural performance than the individual‘s chronological age. However, at present it remains unclear how to reliably assess biological age in individual wild vertebrates. Methods: We exposed hand-raised adult Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula)...

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: 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: A second New World hover fly, Toxomerus floralis (Fabricius) (Diptera: Syrphidae), recorded from the Old World, with description of larval pollen-feeding ecology

Kurt Jordaens, Georg Goergen, Ashley H. Kirk-Spriggs, Audrey Vokaer, Thierry Backeljau & Marc De Meyer
Recently (2013–2014), several hoverfly specimens from two localities in Benin and Cameroon (West and Central Africa) were caught from a species that we could not identify using existing identification keys for Afrotropical Syrphidae. Specific identification as Toxomerus floralis (Fabricius) was accomplished using morphology and various Neotropical identification keys. Corroboration of this identification was made by sequencing of the standard COI barcode region and a subsequent BLAST-IDS in BOLD that revealed a 100% sequence similarity with...

Data from: Developmental plasticity affects sexual size dimorphism in an anole lizard

Camille Bonneaud, Erin Marnocha, Anthony Herrel, Bieke Vanhooydonck, Duncan J. Irschick & Thomas B. Smith
While developmental plasticity has been shown to contribute to sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in laboratory studies, its role in shaping SSD variation in wild vertebrate populations is unclear. Here we use a field study and a laboratory experiment to show that resource availability influences the degree of SSD among insular populations of Anolis sagrei lizards in the Bahamas. Total amounts of food biomass explained variation in male, but not female, body size on six Bahamian...

Data from: Discrete choice modelling of natal dispersal: \"choosing\" where to breed from a finite set of available areas

Michalis Vardakis, Peter Goos, Frank Adriaensen & Erik Matthysen
1. Classic natal dispersal studies focus mainly on distance travelled. Although distances capture some of the main selective pressures related to dispersal, this approach cannot easily incorporate the properties of the actual destination vs. the available alternatives. Recently, movement ecology studies have addressed questions on movement decisions in relation to availability of resources and/or availability of suitable habitats through the use of discrete choice models (DCMs), a widely used type of models within econometrics, which...

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: 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: 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...

Registration Year

  • 2015

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Antwerp
  • Ghent University
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • University of Konstanz
  • KU Leuven
  • Royal Museum for Central Africa
  • University of Groningen
  • University of Sheffield
  • National Museum
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst