48 Works

Data from: Landscape genomics and a common garden trial reveal adaptive differentiation to temperature across Europe in the tree species Alnus glutinosa

Hanne De Kort, Katrien Vandepitte, Hans Henrik Bruun, Déborah Closset-Kopp, Olivier Honnay & Joachim Mergeay
The adaptive potential of tree species to cope with climate change has important ecological and economic implications. Many temperate tree species experience a wide range of environmental conditions, suggesting high adaptability to new environmental conditions. We investigated adaptation to regional climate in the drought-sensitive tree species Alnus glutinosa (Black alder), using a complementary approach that integrates genomic, phenotypic and landscape data. A total of 24 European populations were studied in a common garden and through...

Data from: Comparison of capture and storage methods for aqueous macrobial eDNA using an optimized extraction protocol: advantage of enclosed filter

Johan Spens, Alice R. Evans, David Halfmaerten, Steen W. Knudsen, Mita E. Sengupta, Sarah S. T. Mak, Eva E. Sigsgaard & Micaela Hellström
Aqueous environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging efficient non-invasive tool for species inventory studies. To maximize performance of downstream quantitative PCR (qPCR) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) applications, quality and quantity of the starting material is crucial, calling for optimized capture, storage and extraction techniques of eDNA. Previous comparative studies for eDNA capture/storage have tested precipitation and ‘open’ filters. However, practical ‘enclosed’ filters which reduce unnecessary handling have not been included. Here, we fill this gap...

Data from: Genetic diversity loss and homogenization in urban trees: the case of Tilia × europaea in Belgium and the Netherlands

An Vanden Broeck, Karen Cox, Iwona Melosik, Bert Maes & Koen Smets
Urban trees form a vital component of sustainable cities but the use of a restricted range of species and genotypes may pose a risk to global biodiversity. Despite several studies investigating tree species diversity, intraspecific genetic diversity of urban trees remains largely unexplored. Here, we characterized the genetic diversity of Tilia × europaea, one of the most widely planted urban tree species in Northwest Europe. We compared the genotypic diversity of historical plantings of Tilia...

A preliminary field trial to compare control techniques for invasive Berberis aquifolium in Belgian coastal dunes

Tim Adriaens, Pieter Verschelde, Emma Cartuyvels, Bram D'hondt, Edward Vercruysse, Wouter Van Gompel, Evy Dewulf & Sam Provoost
Non-native Berberis aquifolium is notoriously invasive in Belgian coastal dunes. With its strong clonal growth through suckers, this evergreen shrub outcompetes native species and affects dune succession. To prevent further secondary spread and mitigate its impact, there was an urgent need for knowledge on the effectiveness of control measures, both at the plant and habitat level. Here, we report on a first control experiment. Individual B. aquifolium clones were subjected to one of four treatments...

Data from: Dispersal constraints for the conservation of the grassland herb Thymus pulegioides L. in a highly fragmented agricultural landscape

An Vanden Broeck, Tobias Ceulemans, Gunter Kathagen, Maurice Hoffmann, Olivier Honnay & Joachim Mergeay
Species-rich grassland communities are one of the most important habitats for biodiversity and of high conservation priority in Europe. Restoration actions are mainly focused on the improvement of abiotic conditions, such as nutrient depletion techniques, and are generally based on the assumption that the target community will re-establish at the restored site when the target species exist in the neighborhood. Information on the contemporary seed-dispersal range is therefore crucial to develop effective conservation measures. Here,...

Data from: Is sexual organ reciprocity related to legitimate pollen deposition in distylous Pulmonaria (Boraginaceae)?

Hans Jacquemyn, Marie Gielen & Rein Brys
Heterostyly, i.e. the reciprocal positioning of anthers and stigmas, is a floral polymorphism that is thought to promote disassortative (i.e. between-morph) pollination and to maintain genetic diversity within populations. Recent research, however, has shown several cases of heterostylous plant species in which the reciprocal positioning of the sexual organs varies, which may affect the likelihood of ‘legitimate’ pollination between compatible morphs, and hence morph fitness and ultimately the stability of this floral polymorphism. In this...

Data from: Interspecific hybridisation and interaction with cultivars affect the genetic variation of Ulmus minor and U. glabra in Flanders

Karen Cox, An Vanden Broeck, Kristine Vander Mijnsbrugge, Joukje Buiteveld, Eric Collin, Hans M. Heybroek & Joachim Mergeay
Interspecific hybridisation and gene flow from cultivated plants may have profound effects on the evolution of wild species. Considering the cultural history and past use of U. minor and U. glabra trees in Flanders (northern Belgium), we investigated the extent of human impact on the genetic variation of the remaining, supposedly indigenous elm populations. We therefore examined the rate of interspecific hybridisation, which is expected to be higher under human influence, the occurrence of clones...

Data from: Re-visiting the phylogeography and demography of European badgers (Meles meles) based on broad sampling, multiple markers and simulations

Alain C. Frantz, Allan D. McDevitt, Lisa C. Pope, Joanna Kochan, John Davison, Chris F. Clements, Morten Elmeros, Guillem Molina-Vacas, Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez, Alessandro Balestrieri, Koen Van Den Berge, Peter Breyne, Emmanuel Do Linh San, Erik O. Ågren, Franz Suchentrunk, Laurent Schley, Rafał Kowalczyk, Berit I. Kostka, Dusko Ćirović, Nikica Šprem, Marc Colyn, Marco Ghirardi, Venislava Racheva, Christophe Braun, Rita Oliveira … & Terry Burke
Although the phylogeography of European mammals has been extensively investigated since the 1990s, many studies were limited in terms of sampling distribution, the number of molecular markers used and the analytical techniques employed, frequently leading to incomplete postglacial recolonisation scenarios. The broad-scale genetic structure of the European badger (Meles meles) is of interest as it may result from historic restriction to glacial refugia and/or recent anthropogenic impact. However, previous studies were based mostly on samples...

Data from: Patterns of trophic niche divergence between invasive and native fishes in wild communities are predictable from mesocosm studies

Thi Nhat Quyen Tran, Michelle C. Jackson, Danny Sheath, Hugo Verreycken & J. Robert Britton
1. Ecological theory attempts to predict how impacts for native species arise from biological invasions. A fundamental question centres on the feeding interactions of invasive and native species: whether invasion will result in increased interspecific competition, which would result in negative consequences for the competing species, or trophic niche divergence, which would facilitate the invader's integration into the community and their coexistence with native species. 2. Here, the feeding interactions of a highly invasive fish,...

Data from: Successful eradication of a suburban Pallas’s squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus (Pallas 1779) (Rodentia, Sciuridae) population in Flanders (northern Belgium)

Tim Adriaens, Kristof Baert, Peter Breyne, Jim Casaer, Sander Devisscher, Thierry Onkelinx, Sebastien Pieters & Jan Stuyck
Despite a growing catalogue of eradication projects, documented successful vertebrate eradications on the mainland remain scarce. Reporting on successful campaigns is crucial to counter pessimism on ambitious programmes to tackle invasive species and to allow conservation practitioners, wildlife managers and scientist to learn from previous experience. Moreover, there is a need for basic information on the effectiveness of control methods and management strategies that can be used. In this note we report on a successful...

Data from: Trophic consequences of introduced species: comparative impacts of increased inter-specific versus intra-specific competitive interactions

Robert J. Britton, Ana Ruiz-Navarro, Hugo Verreycken, Fatima Amat Trigo & Fatima Amat-Trigo
1. Invasive species can cause substantial ecological impacts on native biodiversity. Whilst ecological theory attempts to explain the processes involved in the trophic integration of invaders into native food webs and their competitive impacts on resident species, results are equivocal. In addition, quantifying the relative strength of impacts from non-native species (inter-specific competition) versus the release of native conspecifics (intra-specific competition) is important but rarely completed. 2. Two model non-native fishes, the globally invasive Cyprinus...

Data from: Winter warming effects on tundra shrub performance are species-specific and dependent on spring conditions

Eveline J. Krab, Jonas Rönnefarth, Marina Becher, Gesche Blume-Werry, Frida Keuper, Jonatan Klaminder, Juergen Kreyling, Kobayashi Makoto, Ann Milbau, Ellen Dorrepaal & Jonas Roennefarth
1. Climate change driven increases in winter temperatures positively affect conditions for shrub growth in arctic tundra by decreasing plant frost damage and stimulation of nutrient availability. However, the extent to which shrubs may benefit from these conditions may be strongly dependent on the following spring climate. Species-specific differences in phenology and spring frost sensitivity likely affect shrub growth responses to warming. Additionally, effects of changes in winter and spring climate may differ over small...

Data from: Drivers of vegetative dormancy across herbaceous perennial plant species

Richard P. Shefferson, Tiiu Kull, Michael J. Hutchings, Marc-André Selosse, Hans Jacquemyn, Kimberly M. Kellett, Eric S. Menges, Richard B. Primack, Juha Tuomi, Kirsi Alahuhta, Sonja Hurskainen, Helen M. Alexander, Derek S. Anderson, Rein Brys, Emilia Brzosko, Slavomir Dostálik, Katharine Gregg, Zdeněk Ipser, Anne Jäkäläniemi, Jana Jersáková, W. Dean Kettle, Melissa K. McCormick, Ana Mendoza, Michael T. Miller, Asbjørn Moen … & Dennis F. Whigham
Vegetative dormancy, that is the temporary absence of aboveground growth for ≥ 1 year, is paradoxical, because plants cannot photosynthesise or flower during dormant periods. We test ecological and evolutionary hypotheses for its widespread persistence. We show that dormancy has evolved numerous times. Most species displaying dormancy exhibit life‐history costs of sprouting, and of dormancy. Short‐lived and mycoheterotrophic species have higher proportions of dormant plants than long‐lived species and species with other nutritional modes. Foliage...

Data from: Short-term climate change manipulation effects do not scale up to long-term legacies: effects of an absent snow cover on boreal forest plants

Gesche Blume-Werry, Juergen Kreyling, Hjalmar Laudon & Ann Milbau
1. Despite time lags and non-linearity in ecological processes, the majority of our knowledge about ecosystem responses to long-term changes in climate originates from relatively short-term experiments. 2. We utilized the longest ongoing snow removal experiment in the world and an additional set of new plots at the same location in northern Sweden to simultaneously measure the effects of long-term (11 winters) and short-term (1 winter) absence of snow cover on boreal forest understorey plants,...

Data from: Environment not dispersal limitation drives clonal composition of arctic Daphnia in a recently deglaciated area

Tsegazeabe Hadush Haileselasie, Joachim Mergeay, Lawrence J. Weider, Ruben Sommaruga, Thomas A. Davidson, Mariana Meerhoff, Hartmut Arndt, Klaus Jürgens, Erik Jeppesen & Luc De Meester
One of the most prominent manifestations of the ongoing climate warming is the retreat of glaciers and ice sheets around the world. Retreating glaciers result in the formation of new ponds and lakes, which are available for colonization. The gradual appearance of these new habitat patches allows us to determine to what extent the composition of asexual Daphnia (water flea) populations is affected by environmental drivers versus dispersal limitation. Here we used a landscape genetics...

Data from: Spatial heterogeneity in genetic relatedness among house sparrows along an urban-rural gradient as revealed by individual-based analysis

Carl Vangestel, Joachim Mergeay, Deborah A. Dawson, Viki Vandomme & Luc Lens
Understanding factors that shape patterns of kinship in sedentary species is important for evolutionary ecologists as well as conservation biologists. Yet, how patterns of relatedness are hierarchically structured in space remains poorly known, even in common species. Here we use information from 16 polymorphic microsatellite DNA markers to study how small-scale kinship structure varies among house sparrows (Passer domesticus) along an urban-rural gradient. Average levels of relatedness were higher among urban individuals than among individuals...

Data from: Genetic diversity and population structure in contemporary house sparrow populations along an urbanization gradient.

Carl Vangestel, Joachim Mergeay, Deborah A. Dawson, Tom Callens, Viki Vandomme & Luc Lens
House sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have suffered major declines in urban as well as rural areas, while remaining relatively stable in suburban ones. Yet, to date no exhaustive attempt has been made to examine how, and to what extent, spatial variation in population demography is reflected in genetic population structuring along contemporary urbanization gradients. Here we use putatively neutral microsatellite loci to study if and how genetic variation can be partitioned in a hierarchical way...

Data from: Variability in DNA methylation and generational plasticity in the Lombardy poplar, a single genotype worldwide distributed since the eighteenth century

An Vanden Broeck, Karen Cox, Rein Brys, Stefano Castiglione, Angela Cicatelli, Francesco Guarino, Berthold Heinze, Marijke Steenackers & Kristine Vander Mijnsbrugge
In the absence of genetic diversity, plants rely on the capacity of phenotypic plasticity to cope with shifts in environmental conditions. Understanding the mechanisms behind phenotypic plasticity and how local phenotypic adjustments are transferred to clonal offspring, will provide insight into its ecological and evolutionary significance. Epigenetic changes have recently been proposed to play a crucial role in rapid environmental adaptation. While the contribution of epigenetic changes to phenotypic plasticity has been extensively studied in...

The impact of data quality filtering of opportunistic citizen science data on species distribution model performance: dataset used for Maxent modelling.

Camille Van Eupen, Dirk Maes, Marc Herremans, Kristijn Swinnen, Ben Somers & Stijn Luca
This dataset contains all the necessary data to repeat the analyses conducted in the article 'The impact of data quality filtering of opportunistic citizen science data on species distribution model performance'. Per square kilometer in Flanders, the csv-file contains (i) the model predictor values, (ii) the filtered and unfiltered presence-only occurrences of the 255 considered species used for model training and (iii) the presences and absences per species used for model testing. Details on how...

Data from: Assessing bundles of ecosystem services from regional to landscape scale: insights from the French Alps

Emilie Crouzat, Maud Mouchet, Francis Turkelboom, Coline Byczek, Jeroen Meersmans, Frederic Berger, Pieter Johannes Verkerk & Sandra Lavorel
1. Assessments of ecosystem services (ES) and biodiversity (hereafter ecological parameters) provide a comprehensive view of the links between landscapes, ecosystem functioning and human well-being. The investigation of consistent associations between ecological parameters, called bundles, and of their links to landscape composition and structure is essential to inform management and policy, yet it is still in its infancy. 2. We mapped over the French Alps an unprecedented array of 18 ecological parameters (16 ES and...

Data from: Arthropod distribution in a tropical rainforest: tackling a four dimensional puzzle

Yves Basset, Lukas Cizek, Philippe Cuénoud, Raphael K. Didham, Vojtech Novotny, Frode Ødegaard, Tomas Roslin, Alexey K. Tishechkin, Jürgen Schmidl, Neville N. Winchester, David W. Roubik, Henri-Pierre Aberlenc, Johannes Bail, Héctor Barrios, Jonathan R. Bridle, Gabriela Castaño-Meneses, Bruno Corbara, Gianfranco Curletti, Wesley Duarte Da Rocha, Domir De Bakker, Jacques H.C. Delabie, Alain Dejean, Laura L. Fagan, Andreas Floren, Roger L. Kitching … & Jacques H. C. Delabie
Quantifying the spatio-temporal distribution of arthropods in tropical rainforests represents a first step towards scrutinizing the global distribution of biodiversity on Earth. To date most studies have focused on narrow taxonomic groups or lack a design that allows partitioning of the components of diversity. Here, we consider an exceptionally large dataset (113,952 individuals representing 5,858 species), obtained from the San Lorenzo forest in Panama, where the phylogenetic breadth of arthropod taxa was surveyed using 14...

Data from: High levels of effective long-distance dispersal may blur ecotypic divergence in a rare terrestrial orchid

An Vanden Broeck, Wouter Van Landuyt, Karen Cox, Luc De Bruyn, Ralf Gyselings, Gerard Oostermeijer, Bertille Valentin, Gregor Božič, Branko Dolinar, Zoltán Illyés & Joachim Mergeay
Background: Gene flow and adaptive divergence are key aspects of metapopulation dynamics and ecological speciation. Long-distance dispersal is hard to detect and few studies estimate dispersal in combination with adaptive divergence. The aim of this study was to investigate effective long-distance dispersal and adaptive divergence in the fen orchid (Liparis loeselii (L.) Rich.). We used amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP)-based assignment tests to quantify effective long-distance dispersal at two different regions in Northwest Europe. In...

Data from: Seed dispersal by ungulates as an ecological filter: a trait-based meta-analysis

Aurélie Albert, Alistair G. Auffret, Eric Cosyns, Sara A. O. Cousins, Bram D'Hondt, Carsten Eichberg, Amy E. Eycott, Thilo Heinken, Maurice Hoffmann, Bogdan Jaroszewicz, Juan E. Malo, Anders Mårell, Maarten Mouissie, Robin J. Pakeman, Mélanie Picard, Jan Plue, Peter Poschlod, Sam Provoost, Kiowa Alraune Schulze & Christophe Baltzinger
Plant communities are often dispersal-limited and zoochory can be an efficient mechanism for plants to colonize new patches of potentially suitable habitat. We predicted that seed dispersal by ungulates acts as an ecological filter – which differentially affects individuals according to their characteristics and shapes species assemblages – and that the filter varies according to the dispersal mechanism (endozoochory, fur-epizoochory and hoof-epizoochory). We conducted two-step individual participant data meta-analyses of 52 studies on plant dispersal...

Data from: The impact of conservation management on the community composition of multiple organism groups in eutrophic interconnected man-made ponds

Pieter Lemmens, Joachim Mergeay, Jeroen Van Wichelen, Luc De Meester & Steven A. J. Declerck
Ponds throughout the world are subjected to a variety of management measures for purposes of biodiversity conservation. Current conservation efforts typically comprise a combination of multiple measures that directly and indirectly impact a wide range of organism groups. Knowledge of the relative impact of individual measures on different taxonomic groups is important for the development of effective conservation programs. We conducted a field study of 28 man-made ponds, representing four management types differing in the...

Tree diversity is key for promoting the diversity and abundance of forest‐associated taxa in Europe

Eric Allan, Evy Ampoorter, Luc Barbaro, Hervé Jactel, Lander Baeten, Johanna Boberg, Monique Carnol, Bastien Castagneyrol, Yohan Charbonnier, Seid Muhie Dawud, Marc Deconchat, Pallieter De Smedt, Hans De Wandeler, Virginie Guyot, Stephan Hättenschwiler, François‐Xavier Joly, Julia Koricheva, Harriet Milligan, Bart Muys, Diem Nguyen, Sophia Ratcliffe, Karsten Raulund‐Rasmussen, Michael Scherer‐Lorenzen, Fons Plas, J. Van Keer … & Lars Vesterdal
Plant diversity is an important driver of diversity at other trophic levels, suggesting that cascading extinctions could reduce overall biodiversity. Most evidence for positive effects of plant diversity comes from grasslands. Despite the fact that forests are hotspots of biodiversity, the importance of tree diversity, in particular its relative importance compared to other management related factors, in affecting forest‐associated taxa is not well known. To address this, we used data from 183 plots, located in...

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  • Research Institute for Nature and Forest
  • Ghent University
  • KU Leuven
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • University of Toulouse
  • French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • Stockholm University
  • Universidad De Panama
  • University of Antwerp
  • University of Erlangen-Nuremberg