208 Works

Climatic drivers and ecological impacts of a rapid range expansion by non-native smallmouth bass

Mark Kirk
Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) are a globally introduced fish species that have experienced widespread range expansions in recent decades and which can have deleterious effects on native fish communities. Rapidly assessing their expansions will aid conservation and management actions geared towards controlling their spread and mitigating their impacts. Smallmouth bass have recently experienced a rapid upstream expansion in a Great Plains river (Laramie River, Wyoming, USA), which provided an opportunity to evaluate the drivers and...

Phylogenomic analyses in Phrymaceae reveal extensive gene tree discordance in relationships among major clades

Diego F. Morales-Briones, Nan Lin, Eileen Huang, Dena Grossenbacher, James Sobel, Caroline Gilmore, David Tank & Ya Yang
• Premise of the study: Phylogenomic datasets using genomes and transcriptomes provide rich opportunities beyond resolving bifurcating phylogenetic relationships. Monkeyflower (Phrymaceae) is a model system for evolutionary ecology. However, it lacks a well-supported phylogeny for a stable taxonomy and for macroevolutionary comparisons. • Methods: We sampled 24 genomes and transcriptomes in Phrymaceae and closely related families, including eight newly sequenced transcriptomes. We reconstructed the phylogeny using IQ-TREE and ASTRAL, evaluated gene tree discordance using PhyParts,...

Responses to natural gas development differ by season for two migratory ungulates

Mallory Sandoval Lambert, Hall Sawyer & Jerod Merkle
While migrating, animals make directionally persistent movements and may only respond to human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC), such as climate and land-use change, once a threshold of HIREC is surpassed. In contrast, animals on other seasonal ranges (e.g., winter range) make more localized and tortuous movements while foraging and may have the flexibility to adjust the location of their range and the intensity of use within it to minimize interactions with HIREC. Because of these...

Mobile regulation of craving training (mROC-T) to improve dietary intake in rural adolescent girls

Grace Shearrer
The long-term objective of the present proposal is to improve the quality of dietary intake, measured with the healthy eating index, of rural Wyoming adolescent girls through a mobile phone regulation of craving training (mROC-T). Improving adolescent girls’ diets has the potential to prevent insulin resistance in the near future and break intergenerational type 2 diabetes (T2D). Using social justice (rather than simple healthy/unhealthy) messaging with the regulation of craving training builds on two previously...

Mobile regulation of craving training (mROC-T) to improve dietary intake in rural adolescent girls year long

Grace Shearrer
The long-term objective of the present proposal is to improve the quality of dietary intake, measured with the healthy eating index, of rural Wyoming adolescent girls through a mobile phone regulation of craving training (mROC-T). Improving adolescent girls’ diets has the potential to prevent insulin resistance in the near future and break intergenerational type 2 diabetes (T2D). Using social justice (rather than simple healthy/unhealthy) messaging with the regulation of craving training builds on two previously...

Data from: A nested association mapping panel in Arabidopsis thaliana for mapping and characterizing genetic architecture

Marcus Brock
Linkage and association mapping populations are crucial public resources that facilitate the characterization of trait genetic architecture in natural and agricultural systems. We define a large nested association mapping panel (NAM) from 14 publicly available recombinant inbred populations (RILs) of Arabidopsis thaliana, which share a common recurrent parent (Col-0). Using a genotype-by-sequencing approach (GBS), we identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; range 563-1525 per population) and subsequently built updated linkage maps in each of the 14...

Large herbivores transform plant-pollinator networks in an African savanna

Matthew C. Hutchinson, Travis J. Guy, Todd M. Palmer, Robert M. Pringle, Katherine C. R. Baldock, Elisha Kayser, Benjamin Baiser, Phillip P. A. Staniczenko, Jacob R. Goheen, Robert M. Pringle & Todd M. Palmer
Pollination by animals is a key ecosystem service1,2 and interactions between plants and their pollinators are a model system for the study of ecological networks3,4, yet plant-pollinator networks are typically studied in isolation from the broader ecosystems in which they are embedded. The plants visited by pollinators also interact with other consumer guilds that eat stems, leaves, fruits, or seeds. One such guild, large mammalian herbivores, are well-known ecosystem engineers5–7 and may have substantial impacts...

Spatiotemporal analyses reveal infectious disease-driven selection in a free-ranging ungulate

Melanie E.F. LaCava, Jennifer L. Malmberg, William H. Edwards, Laura N.L. Johnson, Samantha E. Allen & Holly B. Ernest
Infectious diseases play an important role in wildlife population dynamics by altering individual fitness, but detecting disease-driven natural selection in free-ranging populations is difficult due to complex disease-host relationships. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal infectious prion disease in cervids for which mutations in a single gene have been mechanistically linked to disease outcomes, providing a rare opportunity to study disease-driven selection in wildlife. In Wyoming, USA, CWD has gradually spread across mule deer...

Short-term responses to a human-altered landscape do not affect fat dynamics of a migratory ungulate

Samantha Dwinnell, Hall Sawyer, , Jill Randall, Rusty Kaiser, Mark Thonhoff, Gary Fralick & Kevin Monteith
According to risk-sensitive foraging theory, animals should make foraging decisions that balance nutritional costs and gains to promote fitness. Human disturbance is a form of perceived risk that can prompt avoidance of risky habitat over the acquisition of food. Consequently, behavioral responses to perceived risk could induce nutritional costs. Population declines often coincide with increases in human disturbance, which likely is associated with direct and indirect habitat loss. Nevertheless, behavioral and physiological responses to perceived...

Environmental filters of freshwater fish community assembly along elevation and latitudinal gradients

Mark Kirk
Aim The aim was to identify drivers of historical freshwater fish community assembly by testing for interactions between functional traits and two climatic gradients, namely elevation and latitude. Many studies conclude that environmental filtering is the dominant process of community-wide trait convergence at high elevations and high latitudes, but a full understanding of which specific filters cause trait convergence is lacking. Location Great Plains–Rocky Mountains, USA. Time period 1960–2018. Major taxa studied Freshwater fish. Methods...

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: Whole-genome duplication and host genotype affect rhizosphere microbial communities

Julian Bennett Ponsford, Charley Hubbard & Joshua Harrison
The composition of microbial communities found in association with plants is influenced by host phenotype and genotype. Yet, the ways in which specific genetic architectures of host plants shape microbiomes is unknown. Genome duplication events are common in the evolutionary history of plants, influence many important plant traits, and, thus, they may affect associated microbial communities. Using experimentally induced whole genome duplication (WGD), we tested the effect of WGD on rhizosphere bacterial communities in Arabidopsis...

Functional connectivity in a continuously distributed, migratory species as revealed by landscape genomics

Melanie E. F. LaCava, Roderick B. Gagne, Kyle D. Gustafson, Sara J. Oyler-McCance, Kevin L. Monteith, Hall Sawyer, Matthew J. Kauffman, Daniel J. Thiele & Holly B. Ernest
Maintaining functional connectivity is critical for the long-term conservation of wildlife populations. Landscape genomics provides an opportunity to assess long-term functional connectivity by relating environmental variables to spatial patterns of genomic variation resulting from generations of movement, dispersal, and mating behaviors. Identifying landscape features associated with gene flow at large geographic scales for highly mobile species is becoming increasingly possible due to more accessible genomic approaches, improved analytical methods, and enhanced computational power. We characterized...

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...

Pronghorn population genomics show connectivity at the core of their range

Melanie E.F. LaCava, Roderick B. Gagne, Sierra M. Love Stowell, Kyle D. Gustafson, C. Alex Buerkle, Lee Knox & Holly B. Ernest
Preserving connectivity in the core of a species’ range is crucial for long-term persistence. However, a combination of ecological characteristics, social behavior, and landscape features can reduce connectivity among wildlife populations and lead to genetic structure. Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), for example, exhibit fluctuating herd dynamics and variable seasonal migration strategies, but GPS-tracking studies show that landscape features such as highways impede their movements, leading to conflicting hypotheses about expected levels of genetic structure. Given that...

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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...

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  • University of Wyoming
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  • United States Geological Survey
  • Princeton University
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  • Wyoming Game and Fish Department