474 Works

Data from: Egg size investment in superb fairy-wrens: helper effects are modulated by climate

Naomi E. Langmore, Liam D. Bailey, Robert G. Heinsohn, Andrew F. Russell & Rebecca M. Kilner
Natural populations might exhibit resilience to changing climatic conditions if they already show adaptive flexibility in their reproductive strategies. In cooperative breeders, theory predicts that mothers with helpers should provide less care when environmental conditions are favourable, but maintain high investment when conditions are challenging. Here, we test for evidence of climate-mediated flexibility in maternal investment in the cooperatively breeding superb fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus. We focus on egg size because in this species egg size...

Data from: RAD sequencing resolves fine-scale population structure in a benthic invertebrate: implications for understanding phenotypic plasticity

David L.J. Vendrami, Luca Telesca, Hannah Weigand, Martina Weiss, Katie Fawcett, Katrin Lehman, Melody S. Clark, Florian Leese, Carrie McMinn, Heather Moore & Joseph I. Hoffman
The field of molecular ecology is transitioning from the use of small panels of classical genetic markers such as microsatellites to much larger panels of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generated by approaches like RAD sequencing. However, few empirical studies have directly compared the ability of these methods to resolve population structure. This could have implications for understanding phenotypic plasticity, as many previous studies of natural populations may have lacked the power to detect genetic differences,...

Data from: Validation of a fecal glucocorticoid assay to assess adrenocortical activity in meerkats using physiological and biological stimuli

Ines Braga Goncalves, Michael Heistermann, Peter Santema, Ben Dantzer, Jelena Mausbach, Andre Ganswindt & Marta B. Manser
In mammals, glucocorticoid (i.e. GC) levels have been associated with specific life-history stages and transitions, reproductive strategies, and a plethora of behaviors. Assessment of adrenocortical activity via measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites in feces (FGCM) has greatly facilitated data collection from wild animals, due to its non-invasive nature, and thus has become an established tool in behavioral ecology and conservation biology. The aim of our study was to validate a fecal glucocorticoid assay for assessing adrenocortical...

Data from: Muscle–spring dynamics in time-limited, elastic movements

Michael V. Rosario, Gregory P. Sutton, Sheila N. Patek & Gregory S. Sawicki
Muscle contractions that load in-series springs with slow speed over a long duration do maximal work and store the most elastic energy. However, time constraints, such as those experienced during escape and predation behaviours, may prevent animals from achieving maximal force capacity from their muscles during spring-loading. Here, we ask whether animals that have limited time for elastic energy storage operate with springs that are tuned to submaximal force production. To answer this question, we...

Data from: Coupled range dynamics of brood parasites and their hosts responding to climate and vegetation changes

Guillaume Péron, Res Altwegg, Gabriel A. Jamie & Claire N. Spottiswoode
As populations shift their ranges in response to global change, local species assemblages can change, setting the stage for new ecological interactions, community equilibria, and evolutionary responses. Here we focus on the range dynamics of four avian brood parasite species and their hosts in southern Africa, in a context of bush encroachment (increase in woody vegetation density in places previously occupied by savanna-grassland mosaics) favouring some species at the expense of others. We first tested...

Data from: Population genomics of parallel hybrid zones in the mimetic butterflies, H. melpomene and H. erato

Nicola Nadeau, Mayte Ruiz, Patricio Salazar, Brian Counterman, Jose Alejandro Medina, Humberto Ortiz-Zuazaga, Anna Morrison, W. Owen McMillan, Chris D. Jiggins & Riccardo Papa
Hybrid zones can be valuable tools for studying evolution and identifying genomic regions responsible for adaptive divergence and underlying phenotypic variation. Hybrid zones between subspecies of Heliconius butterflies can be very narrow and are maintained by strong selection acting on colour pattern. The co-mimetic species H. erato and H. melpomene have parallel hybrid zones where both species undergo a change from one colour pattern form to another. We use restriction associated DNA sequencing to obtain...

Data from: Surface contact and design of fibrillar ‘friction pads’ in stick insects (Carausius morosus): mechanisms for large friction coefficients and negligible adhesion.

David Labonte, John A. Williams & Walter Federle
Many stick insects and mantophasmids possess tarsal ‘heel pads’ (euplantulae) covered by arrays of conical, micrometre-sized hairs (acanthae). These pads are used mainly under compression; they respond to load with increasing shear resistance, and show negligible adhesion. Reflected-light microscopy in stick insects (Carausius morosus) revealed that the contact area of ‘heel pads’ changes with normal load on three hierarchical levels. First, loading brought larger areas of the convex pads into contact. Second, loading increased the...

Data from: Thrifty phenotype vs cold adaptation: trade-offs in upper limb proportions of Himalayan populations of Nepal

Stephanie Payne, Rajendra B.C. Kumar, Emma Pomeroy, Alison Macintosh, Jay Stock & Rajendra Kumar BC
The multi-stress environment of high altitude has been associated with growth deficits in humans, particularly in zeugopod elements (forearm, lower leg). This is consistent with the thrifty phenotype hypothesis, which has been observed in Andeans, but has yet to be tested in other high altitude populations. In Himalayan populations, other factors, such as cold stress, may shape limb proportions. The current study investigated whether relative upper limb proportions of Himalayan adults (n=254) differ between highland...

Data from: Opposing patterns of intraspecific and interspecific differentiation in sex chromosomes and autosomes

Peter A. Moran, Sonia Pascoal, Timothée Cezard, Judith E. Risse, Michael G. Ritchie & Nathan W. Bailey
Linking intraspecific and interspecific divergence is an important challenge in speciation research. X chromosomes are expected to evolve faster than autosomes and disproportionately contribute to reproductive barriers, and comparing genetic variation on X and autosomal markers within and between species can elucidate evolutionary processes that shape genome variation. We performed RADseq on a 16-population transect of two closely-related Australian cricket species, Teleogryllus commodus and T. oceanicus, covering allopatry and sympatry. This classic study system for...

Data from: Visual approach computation in feeding hoverflies

Malin Thyselius, Paloma T. Gonzalez-Bellido, Trevor J. Wardill & Karin Nordstrom
On warm sunny days female hoverflies are often observed feeding from a wide range of wild and cultivated flowers. In doing so, hoverflies serve a vital role as alternative pollinators, and suggested to be the most important after bees and bumblebees. Unless the flower hoverflies are feeding from is large, they do not readily share the space with other insects, but instead opt to leave. We have used high-speed videography followed by 3D reconstruction of...

Data from: An early chondrichthyan and the evolutionary assembly of a shark body plan

Michael I. Coates, John A. Finarelli, Ivan J. Sansom, Plamen S. Andreev, Katharine E. Criswell, Kristen Tietjen, Mark L. Rivers & Patrick J. La Riviere
Although relationships among the major groups of living gnathostomes are well established, the relatedness of early jawed vertebrates to modern clades is intensely debated. Here, we provide a new description of Gladbachus, a Middle Devonian (Givetian ~385-million-year-old) stem chondrichthyan from Germany, and one of the very few early chondrichthyans in which substantial portions of the endoskeleton are preserved. Tomographic and histological techniques reveal new details of the gill skeleton, hyoid arch and jaws, neurocranium, cartilage,...

Data from: Back and forth Wolbachia transfers reveal efficient strains to control spotted wing drosophila populations

Julien Cattel, Katerina Nikolouli, Thibault Andrieux, Julien Martinez, Francis Jiggins, Sylvain Charlat, Fabrice Vavre, David Lejon, Patricia Gibert & Laurence Mouton
1.Since its recent invasion of the European and American continents, the spotted wing Drosophila Drosophila suzukii has become a burden of the fruit industry. Armed with a highly sclerotized ovipositor, females can lay eggs in a wider variety of ripening and healthy fruits than other Drosophila species. Economic losses due to Drosophila suzukii reach millions of dollars annually and methods to control natural populations in the field mainly rely on the use of chemical pesticides....

Data from: How maternal investment varies with environmental factors and the age and physiological state of wild tsetse Glossina pallidipes and Glossina morsitans morsitans

John W. Hargrove, M. Odwell Muzari & Sinead English
Theory suggests females should optimize resource allocation across reproductive bouts to maximize lifetime reproduction, balancing current and future reproductive efforts according to physiological state and projected survival and reproduction. Tests of these ideas focus on long-lived vertebrates: few measure age-related reproductive output in iteroparous invertebrates, or partition reserves between those allocated to offspring versus mothers. We investigated how maternal age, and environmental and physiological factors influence reproductive investment in wild tsetse, Glossina pallidipes Austen and...

Data from: Ecological conditions alter cooperative behaviour and its costs in a chemically defended sawfly

Carita Lindstedt, Antti Miettinen, Dalial Freitak, Tarmo Ketola, Andrés López-Sepulcre, Elina Mäntylä & Hannu Pakkanen
The evolution of cooperation and social behaviour is often studied in isolation from the ecology of organisms. Yet, the selective environment under which individuals evolve is much more complex in nature, consisting of ecological and abiotic interactions in addition to social ones. Here we measured the life-history costs of cooperative chemical defence in a gregarious social herbivore, Diprion pini pine sawfly larvae, and how these costs vary under different ecological conditions. We ran a rearing...

Data from: Weak population structure of the Spot-tail shark Carcharhinus sorrah and the Blacktip shark C. limbatus along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan and South Africa

Dareen Almojil, Geremy Cliff, Julia L.Y. Spaet & Julia L. Y. Spaet
The increase in demand for shark meat and fins has placed shark populations worldwide under high fishing pressure. In the Arabian region, the Spot-tail shark Carcharhinus sorrah and the Blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus are among the most exploited species. In this study we investigated the population genetic structure of C. sorrah (n= 327) along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula and of C. limbatus (n= 525) along the Arabian coasts, Pakistan and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa...

Data from: Fossils reveal the complex evolutionary history of the mammalian regionalized spine

Katrina Elizabeth Jones, K. D. Angielczyk, P. D. Polly, J. J. Head, V. Fernandez, J. K. Lungmus, S. Tulga & S. E. Pierce
A unique characteristic of mammals is a vertebral column with anatomically distinct regions, but when and how this trait evolved remains unknown. Here we reconstruct vertebral regions and their morphological disparity in the extinct forerunners of mammals, the non-mammalian synapsids, to elucidate the evolution of mammalian axial differentiation. Mapping patterns of regionalization and disparity (heterogeneity) across amniotes reveals that both traits increased during synapsid evolution. However, the onset of regionalization predates increased heterogeneity. Based on...

Data from: Trait evolution, resource specialization and vulnerability to plant extinctions among Antillean hummingbirds

Bo Dalsgaard, Jonathan D. Kennedy, Benno I. Simmons, Andrea C. Baquero, Ana M. Martín González, Allan Timmermann, Pietro K. Maruyama, Jimmy A. McGuire, Jeff Ollerton, William J. Sutherland & Carsten Rahbek
Species traits are thought to predict feeding specialisation and the vulnerability of a species to extinctions of interaction partners, but the context in which a species evolved and currently inhabits may also matter. Notably, the predictive power of traits may require that traits evolved to fit interaction partners. Furthermore, local abiotic and biotic conditions may be important. On islands, for instance, specialised and vulnerable species are predicted to be found mainly in mountains, whereas species...

Data from: Recombination rate variation shapes barriers to introgression across butterfly genomes

Simon H. Martin, John W. Davey, Camilo Salazar & Chris D. Jiggins
Hybridisation and introgression can dramatically alter the relationships among groups of species, leading to phylogenetic discordance across the genome and between populations. Introgression can also erode species differences over time, but selection against introgression at certain loci acts to maintain post-mating species barriers. Theory predicts that species barriers made up of many loci throughout the genome should lead to a broad correlation between introgression and recombination rate, which determines the extent to which selection on...

Data from: Decreased brain connectivity in smoking contrasts with increased connectivity in drinking

Wei Cheng, Edmund T. Rolls, Trevor W. Robbins, Weikang Gong, Zhaowen Liu, Wujun Lv, Jingnan Du, Hongkai Wen, Liang Ma, Erin Burke Quinlan, Hugh Garavan, Eric Artiges, Dimitri Papadopoulos Orfanos, Michael N. Smolka, Gunter Schumann, Keith Kendrick & Jianfeng Feng
In a group of 831 participants from the general population in the Human Connectome Project, smokers exhibited low overall functional connectivity, and more specifically of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex which is associated with non-reward mechanisms, the adjacent inferior frontal gyrus, and the precuneus. Participants who drank a high amount had overall increases in resting state functional connectivity, and specific increases in reward-related systems including the medial orbitofrontal cortex and the cingulate cortex. Increased impulsivity was...

Data from: Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum

Amy E. Zanne, G. Lopez-Gonzalez, David A. Coomes, Jugo Ilic, Steven Jansen, Simon L. Lewis, Regis B. Miller, Nathan G. Swenson, Michael C. Wiemann & Jerome Chave
Wood performs several essential functions in plants, including mechanically supporting aboveground tissue, storing water and other resources, and transporting sap. Woody tissues are likely to face physiological, structural and defensive trade-offs. How a plant optimizes among these competing functions can have major ecological implications, which have been under-appreciated by ecologists compared to the focus they have given to leaf function. To draw together our current understanding of wood function, we identify and collate data on...

Data from: Natural selection on a measure of parasite resistance varies across ages and environmental conditions in a wild mammal

Adam D. Hayward, Alastair J. Wilson, Jill G. Pilkington, Tim H. Clutton-Brock, Josephine M. Pemberton & Loeske E. B. Kruuk
Parasites detrimentally affect host fitness, leading to expectations of positive selection on host parasite resistance. However, since immunity is costly, host fitness may be maximized at low, but non-zero, parasite infection intensities. These hypotheses are rarely tested on natural variation in free-living populations. We investigated selection on a measure of host parasite resistance in a naturally-regulated Soay sheep population using a longitudinal data set, and found negative correlations between parasite infection intensity and annual fitness...

Data from: Building genetic networks using relatedness information: a novel approach for the estimation of dispersal and characterization of group structure in social animals

Lee Ann Rollins, Lucy E. Browning, Clare E. Holleley, James L. Savage, Andrew F. Russell & Simon C. Griffith
Natal dispersal is an important life history trait driving variation in individual fitness and, therefore, a proper understanding of the factors underlying dispersal behaviour is critical to many fields including population dynamics, behavioural ecology and conservation biology. However, individual dispersal patterns remain difficult to quantify despite many years of research using direct and indirect methods. Here, we quantify dispersal in a single intensively-studied population of the cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babbler (Pomatostomus ruficeps) using genetic networks...

Data from: Population responses to perturbations: the importance of trait-based analysis illustrated through a microcosm experiment

Arpat Ozgul, Tim Coulson, Alan Reynolds, Tom C. Cameron & Tim G. Benton
Environmental change continually perturbs populations from a stable state, leading to transient dynamics that can last multiple generations. Several long-term studies have reported changes in trait distributions along with demographic response to environmental change. Here we conducted an experimental study on soil mites and investigated the interaction between demography and an individual trait over a period of nonstationary dynamics. By following individual fates and body sizes at each life-history stage, we investigated how body size...

Data from: Selection and microevolution of coat pattern are cryptic in a wild population of sheep

Jacob Gratten, Jill G. Pilkington, Emily A. Brown, Timothy H. Clutton-Brock, Josephine M. Pemberton & Jon Slate
Understanding the maintenance of genetic variation in natural populations is a core aim of evolutionary genetics. Insight can be gained by quantifying selection at the level of the genotype, as opposed to the phenotype. Here, we show that in a natural population of Soay sheep which is polymorphic for coat pattern, recessive genetic variants at the causal gene, agouti signalling protein (ASIP), are associated with reduced lifetime fitness. This was due primarily to a reduction...

Data from: Evaluating female remating rates in light of spermatophore degradation in Heliconius butterflies: pupal-mating monandry versus adult-mating polyandry

James R. Walters, Christine Stafford, Thomas J. Hardcastle & Chris D. Jiggins
1) Butterflies are frequently used in comparative studies of sexual selection because of their diverse mating systems. In Heliconius, the two major clades in the genus are characterized by contrasting pupal-mating and adult-mating strategies. Adult-mating females are considered to be promiscuous while pupal-mating females are thought to be monandrous. 2) Counting spermatophores in female Lepidoptera is a common method for assessing patterns of female remating. However, in pupal-mating Heliconius butterflies spermatophores can become completely degraded...

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