209 Works

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...

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: 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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

Climate disequilibrium of fishes along elevation and latitudinal gradients: implications for climate tracking

Mark Kirk
Aim: Differences in realized and fundamental thermal niches can reveal how temperature constrains species distributions. Because climate-induced range shifts assume that temperature influences distribution limits (i.e., climate equilibrium assumption), understanding the factors that determine the realized thermal niche of species is critical for understanding their climate tracking abilities. Location: Thermal niches were evaluated for two scales: Globally (n = 95 species) and across the Great Plains – Rocky Mountain region, U.S.A (n = 28 species)...

Genomics‐informed delineation of conservation units in a desert amphibian

Brenna Forester, Melanie Murphy, Chad Mellison, Jeffrey Petersen, David Pilliod, Rachel Van Horne, Jim Harvey & W. Chris Funk
Delineating conservation units (CUs, e.g., evolutionarily significant units, ESUs, and management units, MUs) is critical to the recovery of declining species because CUs inform both listing status and management actions. Genomic data have strengths and limitations in informing CU delineation and related management questions in natural systems. We illustrate the value of using genomic data in combination with landscape, dispersal, and occupancy data, to inform CU delineation in Nevada populations of the Great Basin Distinct...

Wild herbivores enhance resistance to invasion by exotic cacti in an African savanna

Harry Wells, Ramiro Crego, Jesse Alston, S. Kimani Ndung'u, Leo Khasoha, Courtney Reed, Abdikadir Hassan, Samson Kurukura, Jackson Ekadeli, Mathew Namoni, Peter Stewart, Duncan Kimuyu, Amelia Wolf, Truman Young, Tyler Kartzinel, Todd Palmer, Jacob Goheen & Robert Pringle
1. Whether wild herbivores confer biotic resistance to invasion by exotic plants remains a key question in ecology. There is evidence that wild herbivores can impede invasion by exotic plants, but it is unclear whether and how this generalises across ecosystems with varying wild herbivore diversity and functional groups of plants, particularly over long-term (decadal) time frames. 2. Using data from three long-term (13- to 26-year) exclosure experiments in central Kenya, we tested the effects...

Data from: The evolutionary origins of modularity

Jeff Clune, Jean-Baptiste Mouret & Hod Lipson
A central biological question is how natural organisms are so evolvable (capable of quickly adapting to new environments). A key driver of evolvability is the widespread modularity of biological networks--their organization as functional, sparsely connected subunits--but there is no consensus regarding why modularity itself evolved. While most hypotheses assume indirect selection for evolvability, here we demonstrate that the ubiquitous, direct selection pressure to reduce the cost of connections between network nodes causes the emergence of...

Data from: Genome-wide association genetics of an adaptive trait in lodgepole pine

Thomas L. Parchman, Zachariah Gompert, Craig W. Benkman, Faye D. Schilkey, Joann Mudge & C. Alex Buerkle
Pine cones that remain closed and retain seeds until fire causes the cones to open (cone serotiny) represent a key adaptive trait in a variety of pine species. In lodgepole pine, there is substantial geographic variation in serotiny across the Rocky Mountain region. This variation in serotiny has evolved as a result of geographically divergent selection, with consequences that extend to forest communities and ecosystems. An understanding of the genetic architecture of this trait is...

Data from: Genomic regions with a history of divergent selection affect fitness of hybrids between two butterfly species

Zachariah Gompert, Lauren K. Lucas, Chris Clark Nice, James Andrew Fordyce, Matthew L. Forister & C. Alex Buerkle
Speciation is the process by which reproductively isolated lineages arise, and is one of the fundamental means by which the diversity of life increases. Whereas numerous studies have documented an association between ecological divergence and reproductive isolation, relatively little is known about the role of natural selection in genome divergence during the process of speciation. Here we use genome-wide DNA sequences and Bayesian models to test the hypothesis that loci under divergent selection between two...

Data from: The genomic consequences of adaptive divergence and reproductive isolation between species of manakins

Thomas L. Parchman, Zachariah Gompert, Michael J. Braun, Robb T. Brumfield, D. B. McDonald, J. Albert C. Uy, G. Zhang, Erich D. Jarvis, B. A. Schlinger & C. A. Buerkle
The processes of adaptation and speciation are expected to shape genomic variation within and between diverging species. Here we analyze genomic heterogeneity of genetic differentiation and introgression in a hybrid zone between two bird species (Manacus candei and M. vitellinus) using 59 100 SNPs, a whole genome assembly, and Bayesian models. Measures of genetic differentiation (inline image) and introgression (genomic cline center [α] and rate [β]) were highly heterogeneous among loci. We identified thousands of...

Data from: Reliability of macrofossils in woodrat (Neotoma) middens for detecting low-density tree populations

Mark R Lesser & Stephen T. Jackson
Macrofossils from woodrat (Neotoma) middens serve as an important proxy for reconstructing past vegetation in arid and semiarid regions of North America. The presence/absence of plant macrofossils in middens can provide valuable information on temporal and spatial patterns of plant migration and range boundaries. The primary aim of this study was to determine how local plant abundance, distance of plant populations from midden sites, and species population density on the landscape affect the probability of...

Data from: Bayesian estimation of genomic clines

Zachariah Gompert & C. Alex Buerkle
We developed a Bayesian genomic cline model to study the genetic architecture of adaptive divergence and reproductive isolation between hybridizing lineages. This model quantifies locus-specific patterns of introgression with two cline parameters that describe the probability of locus-specific ancestry as a function of genome-wide admixture. "Outlier" loci with extreme patterns of introgression relative to most of the genome can be identified. These loci are potentially associated with adaptive divergence or reproductive isolation. We simulated genetic...

Data from: An experimental analysis of the heritability of variation in glucocorticoid concentrations in a wild avian population

Brittany R. Jenkins, Maren N. Vitousek, Joanna K. Hubbard & Rebecca J. Safran
Glucocorticoid hormones (CORT) are predicted to promote adaptation to variable environments, yet little is known about the potential for CORT secretion patterns to respond to selection in free-living populations. We assessed the heritable variation underlying differences in hormonal phenotypes using a cross-foster experimental design with nestling North American barn swallows (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster). Using a bivariate animal model, we partitioned variance in baseline and stress-induced CORT concentrations into their additive genetic and rearing environment components...

Data from: Toward a mechanistic understanding of human-induced rapid environmental change: a case study linking energy development, nest predation, and predators

Matthew G. Hethcoat & Anna D. Chalfoun
1. Demographic consequences of human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC) have been widely documented for many populations. The mechanisms underlying such patterns, however, are rarely investigated and yet are critical to understand for effective conservation and management. 2. We investigated the mechanisms underlying reduced avian nest survival with intensification of natural gas development, an increasing source of HIREC globally. We tested the hypothesis that energy development increased the local activity of important nest predator species thereby...

Data from: The genetic architecture of hybrid incompatibilities and their effect on barriers to introgression in secondary contact

Dorothea Lindtke & C. Alex Buerkle
Genetic incompatibilities are an important component of reproductive isolation. Although theoretical studies have addressed their evolution, little is known about their maintenance when challenged by potentially high migration rates in secondary contact. Whereas theory predicts that recombination can erode barriers, many empirical systems have been found to retain species-specific differences despite substantial gene flow. By simulating whole genomes in individuals of hybridizing species, we find that the genetic architecture of two contrasting models of epistatic...

Data from: Colonization from divergent ancestors: glaciation signatures on contemporary patterns of genomic variation in Collared Pikas (Ochotona collaris)

Hayley C. Lanier, Rob Massatti, Qixin He, Link E. Olson & L. Lacey Knowles
Identifying the genetic structure of a species and the factors that drive it is an important first step in modern population management, in part because populations evolving from separate ancestral sources may possess potentially different characteristics. This is especially true for climate-sensitive species such as pikas, where the delimitation of distinct genetic units and the characterization of population responses to contemporary and historical environmental pressures are of particular interest. We combined a restriction site-associated DNA...

Data from: Population genomics of divergence among extreme and intermediate color forms in a polymorphic insect

Jeffrey D. Lozier, Jason M. Jackson, Michael E. Dillon & James P. Strange
Geographic variation in insect coloration is among the most intriguing examples of rapid phenotypic evolution and provides opportunities to study mechanisms of phenotypic change and diversification in closely related lineages. The bumble bee Bombus bifarius comprises two geographically disparate color groups characterized by red-banded and black-banded abdominal pigmentation, but with a range of spatially and phenotypically intermediate populations across western North America. Microsatellite analyses have revealed that B. bifarius in the USA are structured into...

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