202 Works

Data from: Synergistic effects of fire and elephants on arboreal animals in an African savannah

Robert M. Pringle, Duncan M. Kimuyu, Ryan L. Sensenig, Todd M. Palmer, Corinna Riginos, Kari E. Veblen & Truman P. Young
1. Disturbance is a crucial determinant of animal abundance, distribution and community structure in many ecosystems, but the ways in which multiple disturbance types interact remain poorly understood. The effects of multiple-disturbance interactions can be additive, subadditive or super-additive (synergistic). Synergistic effects in particular can accelerate ecological change; thus, characterizing such synergies, the conditions under which they arise, and how long they persist has been identified as a major goal of ecology. 2. We factorially...

Data from: Interplanting annual ryegrass, wheat, oat, and corn to mitigate iron deficiency in dry beans

Emmanuel Chiwo Omondi & Andrew R. Kniss
This study evaluated whether grass intercropping can be used to alleviate Fe deficiency chlorosis in dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) grown in high pH, calcareous soils with low organic matter. Field studies were conducted at the University of Wyoming Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center in 2009 and 2010. Black- and navy beans were grown alone or intercropped with annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.), oat (Avena sativa L.), corn (Zea mays L.), or spring wheat...

Data from: Elephant damage, not fire or rainfall, explains mortality of overstorey trees in Serengeti

Thomas A. Morrison, Ricardo M. Holdo & T. Michael Anderson
Generalizations about the drivers of tree demography in tropical savannahs continue to prove difficult because of the complex and dynamic interactions involved, and because multi-year datasets spanning meaningful gradients in potential drivers are lacking. Overstorey trees play disproportionate roles in the long-term dynamics and functioning of savannah ecosystems. Understanding demographic patterns in these trees is complicated by their resprouting ability after being top-killed and few studies have attempted to separate top-kill from true mortality events....

Data from: Population genetic structure of Picea engelmannii, P. glauca and their previously unrecognized hybrids in the central Rocky Mountains

Monia S. H. Haselhorst & C. Alex Buerkle
Areas of geographic overlap between potentially hybridizing species provide the opportunity to study interspecific gene flow and reproductive barriers. Here we identified hybrids between Picea engelmannii and P. glauca by their genetic composition at 17 microsatellite markers, and determined the broad-scale geographic distribution of hybrids in the central Rocky Mountains of North America, a geographic region where hybrids and isolation between species had not previously been studied. Parameter estimates from admixture models revealed considerable variation...

Data from: Rat eradication and the resistance and resilience of passerine bird assemblages in the Falkland Islands

Michael A. Tabak, Sally Poncet, Ken Passfield, Jacob R. Goheen & Carlos Martinez Del Rio
Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) were introduced to the Falkland Islands and are detrimental to native passerines. Rat eradication programs are being used to help protect the avifauna. The present study assesses the effectiveness of eradication programs while using this conservation practice as a natural experiment to explore the ecological resistance, resilience, and homeostasis of bird communities. We conducted bird surveys on 230 islands: 85 in the presence of rats, 108 that were historically free of...

An experimental test of community-based strategies for mitigating human-wildlife conflict around protected areas

Ryan Long, Paola Branco, Jerod Merkle, Robert Pringle, Lucy King, Tosca Tindall & Marc Stalmans
Natural habitats are rapidly being converted to cultivated croplands, and crop-raiding by wildlife threatens both wildlife conservation and human livelihoods worldwide. We combined movement data from GPS-collared elephants with camera-trap data and local reporting systems in a before-after-control-impact design to evaluate community-based strategies for reducing crop raiding outside Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park. All types of experimental fences tested (beehive, chili, beehive and chili combined, and procedural controls) significantly reduced the number of times elephants left...

A polygenic architecture with habitat-dependent effects underlies ecological differentiation in Silene

Susanne Gramlich, Xiaodong Liu, C. Alex Buerkle, Adrien Favre & Sophie Karrenberg
Ecological differentiation can drive speciation but it is unclear how the genetic architecture of habitat-dependent fitness contributes to lineage divergence. We investigated the genetic architecture of cumulative flowering, a fitness component, in second-generation hybrids between Silene dioica and S. latifolia transplanted into the natural habitat of each species. We used reduced-representation sequencing and Bayesian Sparse Linear Mixed Models (BSLMMs) to analyze the genetic control of cumulative flowering in each habitat. Our results point to a...

Risky business: how an herbivore navigates spatio-temporal aspects of risk from competitors and predators

Katey Huggler, Joseph Holbrook, Matthew Hayes, Patrick Burke, Mark Zornes, Daniel Thompson, Justin Clapp, Patrick Lionberger, Miguel Valdez & Kevin Monteith
Understanding factors that influence animal behavior is central to ecology. Basic principles of animal ecology imply that individuals should seek to maximize survival and reproduction, which means carefully weighing risk against reward. Decisions become increasingly complex and constrained, however, when risk is spatiotemporally variable. We advance a growing body of work in predator-prey behavior by evaluating novel questions where a prey species is confronted with multiple predators and a potential competitor. We tested how fine-scale...

Heterogeneity in risk-sensitive allocation of somatic reserves in a long-lived mammal

Rachel Smiley, Rachel Smiley, Brittany L. Wagler, Tayler LaSharr, Kristin Denryter, Thomas Stephenson, Alyson Courtemanch, Tony Mong, Daryl Lutz, Doug McWhirter, Doug Brimeyer, Patrick Hnilicka, Blake Lowrey & Kevin Monteith
Patterns of food quality and availability, when combined with energetic demands in seasonal environments, shape resource acquisition and allocation by animals and hold consequences for life-history strategies. In long-lived species with extensive maternal care, regulation of somatic reserves of energy and protein can occur in a risk-sensitive manner, wherein resources are preferentially allocated to support survival at the cost of investment in reproduction. We investigated how Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), an alpine mammal...

Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) enamel phosphate δ18O values reflect climate seasonality: implications for paleoclimate reconstruction

Danielle Fraser, Mark Clementz, Jeffrey Welker & Sora Kim
Stable oxygen isotope compositions from vertebrate tooth enamel are commonly used as biogeochemical proxies for paleoclimate reconstructions. However, the utility of enamel isotopic values across species varies due to differences in rates of enamel deposition and mineralization as well as sources of ingested water, body water residence times, and species’ physiology. We evaluate the use of stable oxygen isotope compositions from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana Gray, 1866) enamel for the amplitude reconstruction of terrestrial paleoclimate seasonality....

Performance tradeoffs and resource availability drive variation in reproductive isolation between sympatrically diverging crossbills

Cody Porter & Craig Benkman
Theoretical models indicate that speciation, especially when the scope for gene flow is great (e.g., sympatric speciation), is most likely when strong performance tradeoffs coincide with reproduction. We tested this classic hypothesis using measures of the strength of three prezygotic reproductive isolating barriers (habitat isolation, reduced immigrant fecundity, and behavioral isolation) between two young (~2,000 yrs) and sympatric red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) ecotypes. All three isolating barriers increased with increases in performance tradeoffs, with total...

Data from: Elk migration influences the risk of disease spillover in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Nathaniel Rayl, Jerod Merkle, Kelly Proffitt, Emily Almberg, Jennifer Jones, Justin Gude & Paul Cross
Wildlife migrations provide important ecosystem services, but they are declining. Within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) some elk (Cervus canadensis) herds are losing migratory tendencies, which may increase spatiotemporal overlap between elk and livestock (domestic bison [Bison bison] and cattle [Bos taurus]), potentially exacerbating pathogen transmission risk. We combined disease, movement, demographic, and environmental data from eight elk herds in the GYE to examine the differential risk of brucellosis transmission (through aborted fetuses) from migrant...

Finescale dace occurrence and abiotic and biotic covariates for the Belle Fourche River and Niobrara River basins

Evan Booher & Annika Walters
Aim The factors that set range limits for animal populations can inform management plans aimed at maintaining regional biodiversity. We examine abiotic and biotic drivers of the distribution of finescale dace (Chrosomus neogaeus) in two Great Plains basins to identify limiting factors for a threatened freshwater fish population at the edge of their range. Location Great Plains, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming, USA Methods We investigated abiotic and biotic factors influencing the contemporary distribution of...

10Be concentrations constraining surface age and valley growth rate in a seepage-derived drainage network in the Apalachicola River basin, Florida

Emma Harrison, Brandon McElroy & Jane Willenbring
Measuring rates of valley head migration and determining the timing of canyon-opening are insightful quantifications for the history and evolution of planetary surfaces. Horizontal spatial gradients of in situ-produced cosmogenic nuclide concentrations provide a framework for assessing the migration of these and similar topographic features. We developed a theoretical model for the concentration of in situ produced cosmogenic radionuclides in valley walls during retreat of a valley head. The retreat rate is inversely proportional to...

Air temperatures overpredict changes to stream fish assemblages with climate warming compared to water temperatures

Mark Kirk & Frank Rahel
Studies predicting how the distribution of aquatic organisms will shift with climate change often use projected increases in air temperature or water temperature. However, the assumed correlations between water temperature change and air temperature change can be problematic, especially for mountainous, high elevation streams. Using stream fish assemblage data from 1,442 surveys across a mountain - plains gradient (Wyoming, USA; 1990-2018), we compared the responsiveness of thermal guilds, native status groups, and assemblage structure to...

Data and code for: Rocky Mountain subalpine forests now burning more than any time in recent millennia

Philip Higuera, Bryan Shuman & Kyra Wolf
The 2020 fire season punctuated a decades-long trend of increased fire activity across the western United States, nearly doubling the total area burned in the central Rocky Mountains since 1984. Understanding the causes and implications of such extreme fire seasons, particularly in subalpine forests that have historically burned infrequently, requires a long-term perspective not afforded by observational records. We place 21st century fire activity in subalpine forests in the context of climate and fire history...

Data from: The value of the species interaction-abiotic stress hypothesis (SIASH) for invasion biology: using native latitude to explain non-native latitudinal range sizes

Mark Kirk, Brandon Hays & Chris Petranek
Establishment and spread of introduced species are difficult to predict because they are subject to a myriad of factors. A hypothesis which integrates multiple ecological processes, such as the species interaction-abiotic stress hypothesis (SIASH), may improve our ability to predict introduction success (i.e. establishment and spread). SIASH postulates that, along an environmental gradient, species’ range limits are set by abiotic stress at the environmentally harsh end of that gradient and by species interactions at the...

Infection status as the basis for habitat choices in a wild amphibian

Gabriel Barrile, Anna Chalfoun & Annika Walters
Animals challenged with disease may select specific habitat conditions that help prevent or reduce infection. Whereas pre-infection avoidance of habitats with a high risk of disease exposure has been documented in both captive and free-ranging animals, evidence of post-infection habitat switching to conditions that promote the clearing of infection is limited to laboratory experiments. The extent to which wild animals proximately modify habitat choices in response to infection status therefore remains unclear. We investigated pre-infection...

Functional traits of avian frugivores have shifted following species extinction and introduction in the Hawaiian Islands

Samuel Case & Corey Tarwater
The extinction and introduction of species can alter ecological processes owing to the loss or gain of species roles. In vertebrate-dependent seed dispersal, mutualisms between frugivores and fruiting plants depend, in part, on matching of functional traits. High species turnover of frugivores has occurred on the Hawaiian Islands, owing to both the loss of native frugivores and the introduction of a new suite of frugivores. How this turnover has altered the functional traits of frugivores...

Data from: Enhanced seed defenses potentially relax selection by seed predators against serotiny in lodgepole pine

Craig Benkman & Anna Parker
Serotiny, the retention of seeds in a canopy seed bank until high temperatures cause seeds to be released, is an important life history trait for many woody plants in fire-prone habitats. Serotiny provides a competitive advantage after fire but increases vulnerability to predispersal seed predation, due to the seeds being retained in clusters in predictable locations for extended periods. This creates opposing selection pressures. Serotiny is favored in areas of high fire frequency, but is...

Implications for evolutionary trends from the pairing frequencies among golden-winged and blue-winged warblers and their hybrids

John Confer, Cody Porter, Kyle Aldinger, Ronald Canterbury, Jeffery Larkin & Darin McNeil
Extensive range loss for the Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) has occurred in areas of intrusion by the Blue-winged Warbler (V. cyanoptera) potentially related to their close genetic relationship. We compiled data on social pairing from nine studies for 2,679 resident Vermivora to assess evolutionary divergence. Hybridization between pure phenotypes occurred with 1.2% of resident males for sympatric populations. Pairing success rates for Golden-winged Warblers was 83% and for Blue-winged Warblers was 77%. Pairing success for...

Data from: Genome divergence and the genetic architecture of barriers to gene flow between Lycaeides idas and L. melissa

Zachariah Gompert, Lauren K. Lucas, Chris Clark Nice & C. Alex Buerkle
Genome divergence during speciation is a dynamic process that is affected by various factors, including the genetic architecture of barriers to gene flow. Herein we quantitatively describe aspects of the genetic architecture of two sets of traits, male genitalic morphology and oviposition preference, that putatively function as barriers to gene flow between the butterfly species Lycaeides idas and L. melissa. Our analyses are based on unmapped DNA sequence data and a recently developed Bayesian regression...

Data from: Anthropogenic ecosystem disturbance and the recovery debt

David Moreno Mateos, Edward B. Barbier, Peter C. Jones, Holly P. Jones, James Aronson, Jose A. Lopez-Lopez, Michelle L. McCrackin, Paula Meli, Daniel Montoya & José Rey Benayas
Ecosystem recovery from anthropogenic disturbances, either without human intervention or assisted by ecological restoration, is increasingly occurring worldwide. As ecosystems progress through recovery, it is important to estimate any resulting deficit in biodiversity and functions. Here we use data from 3,035 sampling plots worldwide, to quantify the interim reduction of biodiversity and functions occurring during the recovery process (that is, the ‘recovery debt’). Compared with reference levels, recovering ecosystems run annual deficits of 46–51% for...

Data from: Machine learning to classify animal species in camera trap images: applications in ecology

Micheal A. Tabak, Mohammad Sadegh Norouzzadeh, Michael A. Tabak, David W. Wolfson, Steven J. Sweeney, Paul A. Di Salvo, Ryan S. Miller, Jesse S. Lewis, Jeff Clune, Ryan K. Brook, Elizabeth G. Mandeville, Paul M. Lukacs, Anna K. Moeller, Raoul K. Boughton, Bethany Wight, James C. Beasley & Peter E. Schlichting
Motion‐activated cameras (“camera traps”) are increasingly used in ecological and management studies for remotely observing wildlife and are amongst the most powerful tools for wildlife research. However, studies involving camera traps result in millions of images that need to be analysed, typically by visually observing each image, in order to extract data that can be used in ecological analyses. We trained machine learning models using convolutional neural networks with the ResNet‐18 architecture and 3,367,383 images...

Data from: Deterministic and stochastic processes lead to divergence in plant communities 25 years after the 1988 Yellowstone fires

William H. Romme, Timothy G. Whitby, Daniel B. Tinker & Monica G. Turner
Young, recently burned forests are increasingly widespread throughout western North America, but forest development after large wildfires is not fully understood, especially regarding effects of variable burn severity, environmental heterogeneity, and changes in drivers over time. We followed development of subalpine forests after the 1988 Yellowstone fires by periodically re-sampling permanent plots established soon after the fires. We asked two questions about patterns and processes over the past 25 years: (1) Are plant species richness...

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