170 Works

Individual variation creates diverse migratory portfolios in native populations of a mountain ungulate

Blake Lowrey, Doug McWhirter, Kelly Proffitt, Kevin Monteith, Alyson Courtemanch, Patrick White, John Paterson, Sarah Dewey & Robert Garrott
Ecological theory and empirical studies have demonstrated population‐level demographic benefits resulting from a diversity of migratory behaviors with important implications for ecology, conservation, and evolution of migratory organisms. Nevertheless, evaluation of migratory portfolios (i.e., the variation in migratory behaviors across space and time among individuals within populations) has received relatively little attention in migratory ungulates, where research has focused largely on the dichotomous behaviors (e.g., resident and migrant) of partially migratory populations. Using GPS data...

Data from: Life-history theory provides a framework for detecting resource limitation: a test of the Nutritional Buffer Hypothesis

Brett Jesmer, Matthew Kauffman, Alyson Courtemanch, Steve Kilpatrick, Timothy Thomas, Jeff Yost, Kevin Monteith & Jacob Goheen
For ungulates and other long-lived species, life-history theory predicts that nutritional reserves are allocated to reproduction in a state-dependent manner because survival is highly conserved. Further, as per-capita food abundance and nutritional reserves decline (i.e., density-dependence intensifies), reproduction and recruitment become increasingly sensitive to weather. Thus, the degree to which weather influences vital rates should be associated with proximity to nutritional carrying capacity—a notion that we refer to as the Nutritional Buffer Hypothesis. We tested...

Data from: Mountain Plover habitat selection and nest survival in relation to weather variability and spatial attributes of Black-tailed Prairie Dog disturbance

Courtney Duchardt, Jeffrey Beck & David Augustine
Habitat loss and altered disturbance regimes have led to declines in many species of grassland and sagebrush birds, including the imperiled Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus). In certain parts of their range Mountain Plovers rely almost exclusively on Black-Tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies as nesting habitat. Previous studies have examined Mountain Plover nest and brood survival on prairie dog colonies, but little is known about how colony size and shape influence these vital rates or...

Mass ratio effects underlie ecosystem responses to environmental change

Melinda Smith, Sally Koerner, Alan Knapp, Meghan Avolio, Francis Chaves, Elsie Denton, John Dietrich, David Gibson, Jesse Gray, Ava Hoffman, David Hoover, Kimberly Komatsu, Andrea Silletti, Kevin Wilcox, Qiang Yu & John Blair
1. Random species loss has been shown experimentally to reduce ecosystem function, sometimes more than other anthropogenic environmental changes. Yet, controversy surrounds the importance of this finding for natural systems where species loss is non-random. 2. We compiled data from 16 multi-year experiments located at a single site in native tallgrass prairie. These experiments included responses to 11 anthropogenic environmental changes, as well as non-random biodiversity loss - either the removal of uncommon/rare plant species...

Data from: Consequences of seed origin and biological invasion for early establishment of a North American grass species

Mollie E. Herget, Kristina M. Hufford, Daniel L. Mummey & Lauren N. Shreading
Local, wild-collected seeds of native plants are recommended for use in ecological restoration to maintain patterns of adaptive variation. However, some environments are so drastically altered by exotic, invasive weeds that original environmental conditions may no longer exist. Under these circumstances, cultivated varieties selected for improved germination and vigor may have a competitive advantage at highly disturbed sites. This study investigated differences in early establishment and seedling performance between wild and cultivated seed sources of...

Data from: Natural genetic variation in Arabidopsis thaliana defense metabolism genes modulate field fitness

Rachel Kerwin, Julie Feusier, Jason Corwin, Matthew Rubin, Catherine Lin, Alise Muok, Brandon Larson, Baohua Li, Bindu Joseph, Marta Francisco, Daniel Copeland, Cynthia Weinig & Daniel J. Kliebenstein
Natural populations persist in complex environments, where biotic stressors, such as pathogen and insect communities, fluctuate temporally and spatially. These shifting biotic pressures generate heterogeneous selective forces that can maintain standing natural variation within a species. To directly test if genes containing causal variation for the Arabidopsis thaliana defensive compounds, glucosinolates (GSL) control field fitness and are therefore subject to natural selection, we conducted a multi-year field trial using lines that vary in only specific...

Data from: Population connectivity and genetic structure of burbot (Lota lota) populations in the Wind River Basin, Wyoming

Zachary E. Underwood, Elizabeth G. Mandeville & Annika W. Walters
Burbot (Lota lota) occur in the Wind River Basin in central Wyoming, USA, at the southwestern extreme of the species’ native range in North America. The most stable and successful of these populations occur in six glacially carved mountain lakes on three different tributary streams and one large main stem impoundment (Boysen Reservoir) downstream from the tributary populations. Burbot are rarely found in connecting streams and rivers, which are relatively small and high gradient, with...

Data from: The evolution of novel host use is unlikely to be constrained by tradeoffs or a lack of genetic variation

Zachariah Gompert, Joshua P. Jahner, Cynthia F. Scholl, Joseph S. Wilson, Lauren K. Lucas, Victor Soria-Carrasco, James A. Fordyce, Chris C. Nice, C. Alex Buerkle & Matthew L. Forister
The genetic and ecological factors that shape the evolution of animal diets remain poorly understood. For herbivorous insects, the expectation has been that trade-offs exist, such that adaptation to one host plant reduces performance on other potential hosts. We investigated the genetic architecture of alternative host use by rearing individual Lycaeides melissa butterflies from two wild populations in a crossed design on two hosts (one native and one introduced) and analysing the genetic basis of...

Data from: Improving HybrID: how to best combine indirect and direct encoding in evolutionary algorithms

Lucas Helms & Jeff Clune
Many challenging engineering problems are regular, meaning solutions to one part of a problem can be reused to solve other parts. Evolutionary algorithms with indirect encoding perform better on regular problems because they reuse genomic information to create regular phenotypes. However, on problems that are mostly regular, but contain some irregularities, which describes most real-world problems, indirect encodings struggle to handle the irregularities, hurting performance. Direct encodings are better at producing irregular phenotypes, but cannot...

Data from: Restoration of native mangrove wetlands can reverse diet shifts of benthic macrofauna caused by invasive cordgrass

Jianxiang Feng, Qian Huang, Hui Chen, Jiemin Guo & Guanghui Lin
1. Ecological replacement using native mangrove species combined with physical treatments has become an effective method in controling the spread of invasive Spartina alterniflora. To re-establish ecosystem functions, trophic interactions between macrofauna and their potential food resources must be considered during the restoration process. 2. Here we examined the changes in the diets of macrofauna in three restored mangrove ecosystems with different invasion histories following the removal of S. alterniflora in southern China. Carbon and...

Data from: Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide

Yuanzhi Li, Bill Shipley, Jodi N. Price, Vinícius De L. Dantas, Riin Tamme, Mark Westoby, Andrew Siefert, Brandon S. Schamp, Marko J. Spasojevic, Vincent Jung, Daniel C. Laughlin, Sarah J. Richardson, Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Christian Schöb, Antonio Gazol, Honor C. Prentice, Nicolas Gross, Jacob Overton, Marcus V. Cianciaruso, Frédérique Louault, Chiho Kamiyama, Tohru Nakashizuka, Kouki Hikosaka, Takehiro Sasaki, Masatoshi Katabuchi … & Marco A. Batalha
How the patterns of niche occupancy vary from species-poor to species-rich communities is a fundamental question in ecology that has a central bearing on the processes that drive patterns of biodiversity. As species richness increases, habitat filtering should constrain the expansion of total niche volume, while limiting similarity should restrict the degree of niche overlap between species. Here, by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variability, we investigate the relationship between functional niche occupancy and species richness...

Data from: Inconsistent reproductive isolation revealed by interactions between Catostomus fish species

Elizabeth Mandeville, Thomas Parchman, Kevin Thompson, Robert Compton, Kevin Gelwicks, Se Jin Song, C. Alex Buerkle, Thomas L. Parchman & Elizabeth G. Mandeville
Interactions between species are central to evolution and ecology, but we do not know enough about how outcomes of interactions between species vary across geographic locations, in heterogeneous environments, or over time. Ecological interactions between species are known to vary, but evolutionary interactions such as reproductive isolation are often assumed to be consistent. Hybridization among Catostomus fish species occurs over a large and heterogeneous geographic area and across taxa with distinct evolutionary histories, and allows...

Data from: Genetic architecture, biochemical underpinnings, and ecological impact of floral UV patterning

Marcus Brock, Lauren Lucas, Nickolas A. Anderson, Matthew Rubin, R. J. Markelz, Michael Covington, Upendra Devisetty, Clint Chapple, Julin Maloof, Cynthia Weinig, Lauren K. Lucas, Marcus T. Brock, Matthew J. Rubin, R. J. Cody Markelz, Michael F. Covington, Upendra K. Devisetty & Julin N. Maloof
Floral attraction traits can significantly affect pollinator visitation patterns, but adaptive evolution of these traits may be constrained by correlations with other traits. In some cases, molecular pathways contributing to floral attraction are well-characterized, offering the opportunity to explore loci potentially underlying variation among individuals. Here, we quantify the range of variation in floral UV patterning (i.e., UV “bulls-eye” nectar guides) among crop and wild accessions of Brassica rapa. We then use experimental crosses to...

Data from: Resource selection and landscape change reveal mechanisms suppressing population recovery for the world's most endangered antelope

Abdullahi H. Ali, Adam T. Ford, Jeffrey S. Evans, David P. Mallon, Matthew M. Hayes, Juliet King, Rajan Amin & Jacob R. Goheen
Understanding how bottom-up and top-down forces affect resource selection can inform restoration efforts. With a global population size of <500 individuals, the hirola Beatragus hunteri is the world's most endangered antelope, with a declining population since the 1970s. While the underlying mechanisms are unclear, some combination of habitat loss and predation are thought to be responsible for low abundances of contemporary populations. Efforts to conserve hirola are hindered by a lack of understanding as to...

Data from: When perception reflects reality: non-native grass invasion alters small mammal risk landscapes and survival

Joseph P. Ceradini & Anna D. Chalfoun
1. Modification of habitat structure due to invasive plants can alter the risk landscape for wildlife by, for example, changing the quality or availability of refuge habitat. Whether perceived risk corresponds with actual fitness outcomes, however, remains an important open question. We simultaneously measured how habitat changes due to a common invasive grass (cheatgrass, Bromus tectorum) affected the perceived risk, habitat selection, and apparent survival of a small mammal, enabling us to assess how well...

Data from: Heterogeneity and concordance in locus-specific differentiation and introgression between species of towhees

Sarah E. Kingston, Thomas L. Parchman, Zachariah Gompert, C. Alex Buerkle & Michael J. Braun
The maintenance or breakdown of reproductive isolation are observable outcomes of secondary contact between species. In cases where hybrids beyond the F1 are formed, the representation of each species’ ancestry can vary dramatically among genomic regions. This genomic heterogeneity in ancestry and introgression can offer insight into evolutionary processes, particularly if introgression is compared in multiple hybrid zones. Similarly, considerable heterogeneity exists across the genome in the extent to which populations and species have diverged,...

Data from: Genomic landscape of early ecological speciation initiated by selection on nuptial colour

David Alexander Marques, Kay Lucek, Marcel Philipp Haesler, Anna Fiona Feller, Joana Isabel Meier, Catherine Wagner, Laurent Excoffier, Ole Seehausen & Catherine E. Wagner
Ecological speciation is the evolution of reproductive isolation as a consequence of direct divergent natural selection or ecologically mediated divergent sexual selection. While the genomic signature of the former has been extensively studied in recent years, only few examples exist for genomic differentiation where environment-dependent sexual selection has played an important role. Here, we describe a very young (~90 years old) population of threespine sticklebacks exhibiting phenotypic and genomic differentiation between two habitats within the...

Data from: Admixture and the organization of genetic diversity in a butterfly species complex revealed through common and rare genetic variants

Zachariah Gompert, Lauren K. Lucas, C. Alex Buerkle, Matthew L. Forister, James A. Fordyce & Chris C. Nice
Detailed information about the geographic distribution of genetic and genomic variation is necessary to better understand the organization and structure of biological diversity. In particular, spatial isolation within species and hybridization between them can blur species boundaries and create evolutionary relationships that are inconsistent with a strictly bifurcating tree model. Here we analyze genome-wide DNA sequence and genetic ancestry variation in Lycaeides butterflies to quantify the effects of admixture and spatial isolation on how biological...

Data from: Specificity, rank preference and the colonization of a non-native host plant by the Melissa blue butterfly

Matthew L. Forister, Cynthia F. Scholl, Josh P. Jahner, Joseph S. Wilson, James A. Fordyce, Zach Gompert, Divya R. Narala, C. Alex Buerkle & Chris C. Nice
Animals often express behavioral preferences for different types of food or other resources, and these preferences can evolve or shift following association with novel food types. Shifts in preference can involve at least two phenomena: a change in rank preference or a change in specificity. The former corresponds to a change in the order in which hosts are preferred, while a shift in specificity can be an increase in the tendency to utilize multiple hosts....

Data from: Restoration and repair of Earth's damaged ecosystems

Holly P. Jones, Peter C. Jones, Edward B. Barbier, Ryan C. Blackburn, Jose M. Rey Benayas, Karen D. Holl, Michelle McCrackin, Paula Meli, Daniel Montoya & David Moreno Mateos
Given that few ecosystems on Earth have been unaffected by humans, restoring them holds great promise for stemming the biodiversity crisis and ensuring ecosystem services are provided to humanity. Nonetheless, few studies have documented the recovery of ecosystems globally or the rates at which ecosystems recover. Even fewer have addressed the added benefit of actively restoring ecosystems versus allowing them to recover without human intervention following the cessation of a disturbance. Our meta analysis of...

Data from: Determinants of elephant foraging behavior in a coupled human-natural system: is brown the new green?

Paola S. Branco, Jerod A. Merkle, Robert M. Pringle, Johan Pansu, Arjun B. Potter, Alana Reynolds, Marc Stalmans & Ryan A. Long
1. Crop raiding by wildlife poses major threats to both wildlife conservation and human wellbeing in agro-ecosystems worldwide. These threats are particularly acute in many parts of Africa, where crop raiders include globally threatened megafauna such as elephants, and where smallholder agriculture is a primary source of human livelihood. One framework for understanding herbivore feeding behavior, the forage-maturation hypothesis, predicts that herbivores should align their movements with intermediate forage biomass (i.e., peak green-up); this phenomenon...

Data from: De novo characterization of the Timema cristinae transcriptome facilitates marker discovery and inference of genetic divergence.

Aaron A. Comeault, Mathew Sommers, Tanja Schwander, C. Alex Buerkle, Timothy E. Farkas, Patrik Nosil & Thomas L. Parchman
Adaptation to different ecological environments can promote speciation. Although numerous examples of such ‘ecological speciation’ exist, the genomic basis of the process, and the role of gene flow in it, remains less understood. This is, at least in part, because systems that are well characterized in terms of their ecology often lack genomic resources. In this study we characterize the transcriptome of Timema cristinae stick insects, a system that has been researched intensively in terms...

Data from: A simulation–based evaluation of methods for inferring linear barriers to gene flow

Christopher Blair, Dana E. Weigel, Matthew Balazik, Annika T. H. Keeley, Faith M. Walker, Erin Landguth, Samuel Cushman, Melanie Murphy, Lisette Waits & Niko Balkenhol
Different analytical techniques used on the same data set may lead to different conclusions about the existence and strength of genetic structure. Therefore, reliable interpretation of the results from different methods depends on the efficacy and reliability of different statistical methods. In this paper we evaluate the performance of multiple analytical methods to detect the presence of a linear barrier dividing populations. We were specifically interested in determining if simulation conditions, such as dispersal ability...

Data from: Post-fire changes in forest carbon storage over a 300-year chronosequence of Pinus contorta-dominated forests

Daniel M. Kashian, William H. Romme, Daniel Tinker, Monica G. Turner, Michael G. Ryan & Daniel B. Tinker
A warming climate may increase the frequency and severity of stand-replacing wildfires, reducing carbon (C) storage in forest ecosystems. Understanding the variability of post-fire C cycling on heterogeneous landscapes is critical for predicting changes in C storage with more frequent disturbance. We measured C pools and fluxes for 77 lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud var. latifolia Engelm.) stands in and around Yellowstone National Park (YNP) along a 300-year chronosequence to examine how quickly...

Data from: Development of genetic diversity, differentiation and structure over 500 years in four ponderosa pine populations

Mark R. Lesser, Stephen T. Jackson & Thomas L. Parchman
Population history plays an important role in shaping contemporary levels of genetic variation and geographic structure. This is especially true in small, isolated range-margin populations, where effects of inbreeding, genetic drift and gene flow may be more pronounced than in large continuous populations. Effects of landscape fragmentation and isolation distance may have implications for persistence of range-margin populations if they are demographic sinks. We studied four small, disjunct populations of ponderosa pine over a 500-year...

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