Data from: Defaunation increases the spatial clustering of lowland Western Amazonian tree communitiesRobert Bagchi, Varun Swamy, Jean-Paul Latorre Farfan, John Terborgh, César I. A. Vela, Nigel C. A. Pitman & Washington Galiano Sanchez
1.Declines of large vertebrates in tropical forests may reduce dispersal of tree species that rely on them, and the resulting undispersed seedlings might suffer increased distance- and density- dependent mortality. Consequently, extirpation of large vertebrates may alter the composition and spatial structure of plant communities and impair ecosystem functions like carbon storage. 2.We analysed spatial patterns of tree recruitment within six forest plots along a defaunation gradient in western Amazonia. We divided recruits into two...
Identifying the spatial scale at which particular mechanisms influence plant community assembly is crucial to understanding the mechanisms structuring communities. It has long been recognized that many elements of community structure are sensitive to area; however the majority of studies examining patterns of community structure use a single relatively small sampling area. As different assembly mechanisms likely cause patterns at different scales we investigate how plant species co-occurrence patterns change with sampling unit scale. We...
Data from: The cranial morphology, phylogenetic position and biogeography of the upper Permian dicynodont Compsodon helmoedi van Hoepen (Therapsida, Anomodontia)Kenneth D. Angielczyk & Christian F. Kammerer
Compsodon helmoedi is an obscure dicynodont originally described based on a single specimen from the upper Permian of the Karoo Basin. The discovery of three new specimens of Compsodon from the Luangwa Basin of Zambia and two additional specimens from South African museum collections facilitates a reassessment of its cranial morphology and phylogenetic position. Compsodon is diagnosed by an autapomorphic secondary palate morphology: medial depression at anterior end of premaxillary secondary palate; medial anterior palatal...
Data from: Community analysis of microbial sharing and specialization in a Costa Rican ant–plant–hemipteran symbiosisElizabeth G. Pringle & Corrie S. Moreau
Ants have long been renowned for their intimate mutualisms with trophobionts and plants and more recently appreciated for their widespread and diverse interactions with microbes. An open question in symbiosis research is the extent to which environmental influence, including the exchange of microbes between interacting macroorganisms, affects the composition and function of symbiotic microbial communities. Here we approached this question by investigating symbiosis within symbiosis. Ant–plant–hemipteran symbioses are hallmarks of tropical ecosystems that produce persistent...
Data from: The challenge of modeling niches and distributions for data-poor species: a comprehensive approach to model complexityPeter J. Galante, Babatunde Alade, Robert Muscarella, Sharon A. Jansa, Steven M. Goodman & Robert P. Anderson
Models of species ecological niches and geographic distributions now represent a widely used tool in ecology, evolution, and biogeography. However, the very common situation of species with few available occurrence localities presents major challenges for such modeling techniques, in particular regarding model complexity and evaluation. Here, we summarize the state of the field regarding these issues and provide a worked example using the technique Maxent for a small mammal endemic to Madagascar (the nesomyine rodent...
The fossil record of exceptionally preserved soft tissues in Konservat-Lagerstätten provides rare yet significant insight into past behaviours and ecologies. Such deposits are known to occur in bursts rather than evenly through time, but reasons for this pattern and implications for the origins of novel structures remain unclear. Previous assessments of these records focused on marine environments preserving chemically heterogeneous tissues from across animals. Here, we investigate the preservation of skin and keratinous integumentary structures...
The relationship between dinosaurs and other reptiles is well established, but the sequence of acquisition of dinosaurian features has been obscured by the scarcity of fossils with transitional morphologies. The closest extinct relatives of dinosaurs either have highly derived morphologies or are known from poorly preserved or incomplete material. Here we describe one of the stratigraphically lowest and phylogenetically earliest members of the avian stem lineage (Avemetatarsalia), Teleocrater rhadinus gen. et sp. nov., from the...
The diversity of beak shapes among birds is often assumed to be largely the result of adaptations to different feeding behaviors and diets. However, this assumption has only been tested for a small subset of avian diversity, primarily within the order Passeriformes. Moreover, given the role of the beak in behaviors other than feeding and given that most previously identified beak-feeding associations concern beak size rather than shape, it remains unclear how much of beak...
Data from: Diversity, phylogeny and biogeography of the South American ‘cardiomyine’ rodents (Hystricognathi, Cavioidea) with a description of two new speciesMaría E. Pérez, Cecilia M. Deschamps & María G. Vucetich
‘Cardiomyine’ rodents are extinct large terrestrial Caviidae closely related to capybaras, that inhabited large parts of South America during the middle Miocene and Pliocene. They are mostly preserved as isolated teeth, but also as skull and jaw fragments. Here we revise the taxonomy of this group and describe two new species, each pertaining to one of the two main late Miocene groups, represented by the genera Caviodon and Cardiomys. This suggests that the diversity of...
Data from: Sympatric parallel diversification of major oak clades in the Americas and the origins of Mexican species diversityAndrew L. Hipp, Paul S. Manos, Antonio Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Marlene Hahn, Matthew Kaproth, John D. McVay, Susana Valencia Avalos & Jeannine Cavender-Bares
Oaks (Quercus, Fagaceae) are the dominant tree genus of North America in species number and biomass, and Mexico is a global center of oak diversity. Understanding the origins of oak diversity is key to understanding biodiversity of northern temperate forests. A phylogenetic study of biogeography, niche evolution and diversification patterns in Quercus was performed using 300 samples, 146 species. Next-generation sequencing data were generated using the restriction-site associated DNA (RAD-seq) method. A time-calibrated maximum likelihood...
Comparable taxonomic ranks within clades can facilitate more consistent classifications and objective comparisons among taxa. Here we use a temporal approach to identify taxonomic ranks. This is an extension of the temporal banding approach including a Temporal Error Score that finds an objective cut-off for each taxonomic rank using information for the current classification. We illustrate this method using a data set of the lichenized fungal family Parmeliaceae. To assess its performance, we simulated the...
Field Museum of Natural History11
University of Minnesota2
City University of New York1
Wilfrid Laurier University1
The University of Texas at Austin1
University of Saskatchewan1
Institute of Paleontology A A Borisyak1
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture1