53 Works

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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...

Data from: Potential contributions of root decomposition to the nitrogen cycle in arctic forest and tundra

Sabrina Träger, Ann Milbau & Scott D. Wilson
1. Plant contributions to the nitrogen (N) cycle from decomposition are likely to be altered by vegetation shifts associated with climate change. Roots account for the majority of soil organic matter input from vegetation, but little is known about differences between vegetation types in their root contributions to nutrient cycling. Here, we examine the potential contribution of fine roots to the N cycle in forest and tundra to gain insight into belowground consequences of the...

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...

European soil seed bank communities across a climate and land-cover gradient

Jan Plue, Hans Van Calster, Inger Auestad, Sofia Basto, Reneé M. Bekker, Hans Henrik Bruun, Richard Chevalier, Guillaume Decocq, Ulf Grandin, Martin Hermy, Hans Jacquemyn, Anna Jakobsson, Rein Kalamees, Rob H. Marrs, Bryndis Marteinsdóttir, Per Milberg, Robin J. Pakeman, Gareth Phoenix, Ken Thompson, Vigdis Vandvik, Markus Wagner, Sara A.O. Cousins, Ove Eriksson, Jamshid Ghorbani, Małgorzata Jankowska-Błaszczuk … & Alistair G. Auffret
This is the data set used for the publication Buffering effects of soil seed banks on plant community composition in response to land use and climate, published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. Aim. Climate and land use are key determinants of biodiversity, with past and ongoing changes posing serious threats to global ecosystems. Unlike most other organism groups, plant species can possess dormant life-history stages such as soil seed banks, which may help...

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...

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: 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...

eDNA quantification to evaluate bullfrog management

Teun Everts, Charlotte Van Driessche, Sabrina Neyrinck, Nico De Regge, Sarah Descamps, Alain De Vocht, Hans Jacquemyn & Rein Brys
Biological invasions contribute now more than ever to the global homogenization of fauna and flora. Large-scale monitoring programs are therefore needed to detect incipient invasions and to evaluate management interventions. As conventional monitoring methods are constrained by large costs, environmental DNA (eDNA)-based methods are increasingly recognized as valuable monitoring tools. However, accurately estimating species abundance from eDNA concentrations in natural systems remains challenging and consequently hinders their integration in management applications. Here, we used droplet...

Data from: Rapid genetic adaptation precedes the spread of an exotic plant species

Katrien Vandepitte, Tim De Meyer, Kenny Helsen, Kasper Van Acker, Isabel Roldán-Ruiz, Joachim Mergeay & Olivier Honnay
Human activities have increasingly introduced plant species far outside their native ranges under environmental conditions that can strongly differ from those originally met. Therefore, before spreading, and potentially causing ecological and economical damage, non native species may rapidly evolve. Evidence of genetically based adaptation during the process of becoming invasive is very scant however, which is due to the lack of knowledge regarding the historical genetic makeup of the introduced populations and the lack of...

Data from: Arthropod diversity in a tropical forest

Yves Basset, Lukas Cizek, Philippe Cuénoud, Raphael K. Didham, François Guilhaumon, Olivier Missa, Vojtech Novotny, Frode Ødegaard, Tomas Roslin, Jürgen Schmidl, Alexey K. Tishechkin, Neville N. Winchester, David W. Roubik, Henri-Pierre Aberlenc, Johannes Bail, Héctor Barrios, Jon 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 … & Maurice Leponce
Most eukaryotic organisms are arthropods. Yet, their diversity in rich terrestrial ecosystems is still unknown. Here we produce tangible estimates of the total species richness of arthropods in a tropical rainforest. Using a comprehensive range of structured protocols, we sampled the phylogenetic breadth of arthropod taxa from the soil to the forest canopy in the San Lorenzo forest, Panama. We collected 6,144 arthropod species from 0.48 ha and extrapolated total species richness to larger areas...

Data from: Environment and host as large-scale controls of ectomycorrhizal fungi

Sietse Van Der Linde, Laura M. Suz, C. David L. Orme, Filipa Cox, Henning Andreae, Endla Asi, Bonnie Atkinson, Sue Benham, Christopher Carroll, Nathalie Cools, Bruno De Vos, Hans-Peter Dietrich, Johannes Eichhorn, Joachim Germann, Tine Grebenc, Hyun S. Gweon, Karin Hansen, Frank Jacob, Ferdinand Kristöfel, Pawel Lech, Miklos Manninger, Jan Martin, Henning Meesenburg, Päivi Merilä, Manuel Nicolas … & Martin I. Bidartondo
Explaining the large-scale diversity of soil organisms that drive biogeochemical processes—and their responses to environmental change—is critical. However, identifying consistent drivers of belowground diversity and abundance for some soil organisms at large spatial scales remains problematic. Here we investigate a major guild, the ectomycorrhizal fungi, across European forests at a spatial scale and resolution that is—to our knowledge—unprecedented, to explore key biotic and abiotic predictors of ectomycorrhizal diversity and to identify dominant responses and thresholds...

Data from: The population genomic signature of environmental selection in the widespread insect-pollinated tree species Frangula alnus at different geographical scales

Hanne De Kort, Katrien Vandepitte, Joachim Mergeay, Kristine Vander Mijnsbrugge & Olivier Honnay
The evaluation of the molecular signatures of selection in species lacking an available closely related reference genome remains challenging, yet it may provide valuable fundamental insights into the capacity of populations to respond to environmental cues. We screened 25 native populations of the tree species Frangula alnus subsp. alnus (Rhamnaceae), covering three different geographical scales, for 183 annotated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Standard population genomic outlier screens were combined with individual-based and multivariate landscape genomic approaches...

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...

Data from: Root phenology unresponsive to earlier snowmelt despite advanced aboveground phenology in two subarctic plant communities

Gesche Blume-Werry, Roland Jansson & Ann Milbau
Earlier snowmelt at high latitudes advances aboveground plant phenology, thereby affecting water, nutrient and carbon cycles. Despite the key role of fine roots in these ecosystem processes, phenological responses to earlier snowmelt have never been assessed belowground. We experimentally advanced snowmelt in two contrasting plant community types, heath and meadow, in northern Sweden and measured above- and belowground phenology: leaf-out, flowering and fine root growth. We expected earlier snowmelt to advance both above- and belowground...

Data from: Reintroduced native Populus nigra in restored floodplain reduces spread of exotic poplar species

An Vanden Broeck, Karen Cox, Alexander Van Braeckel, Sabrina Neyrinck, Nico De Regge & Kris Van Looy
Exotic Populus taxa pose a threat to the success of riparian forest restoration in floodplain areas. We evaluated the impact of exotic Populus taxa on softwood riparian forest development along the river Common Meuse after introducing native Populus nigra and after the re-establishment of the natural river dynamics. We sampled 154 poplar seedlings that spontaneously colonised restored habitat and assessed their taxonomy based on diagnostic chloroplast and nuclear microsatellite markers. Furthermore, by using a paternity...

Data from: Microclimate limits thermal behaviour favourable to disease control in a nocturnal amphibian

Wouter Beukema, Frank Pasmans, Sarah Van Praet, Francisco Ferri-Yáñez, Moira Kelly, Alexandra Laking, Jesse Erens, Jeroen Speybroeck, Kris Verheyen, Luc Lens & An Martel
While epizootics increasingly affect wildlife, it remains poorly understood how the environment shapes most host-pathogen systems. Here, we employ a three-step framework to study microclimate influence on ectotherm host thermal behaviour, focusing on amphibian chytridiomycosis in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) infected with the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Laboratory trials reveal that innate variation in thermal preference, rather than behavioural fever, can inhibit infection and facilitate salamander recovery under humidity-saturated conditions. Yet, a three-year field...

Data to: Enjoying tranquility - Development of ground vegetation after cessation of management in forests on loamy soils in Flanders (Belgium)

Kris Vandekerkhove, Arno Thomaes, Luc De Keersmaeker, Peter Van De Kerckhove, Thierry Onkelinx, Hans Van Calster & Kris Verheyen
Questions: Managed forests often show a more homogeneous age structure compared to untouched forests, but also a higher share and frequency of sun-exposed conditions due to harvest operations. Frequent, small-scaled forestry operations may therefore lead to elevated species richness, compared to undisturbed forests. When non-intervention is introduced in formerly managed forests, Is there a significant decrease in species richness of vascular plant species? What species are particularly affected? Are there nonrandom shifts in species composition?...

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