118 Works

Phylogeography of the widespread Caribbean spiny orb weaver Gasteracantha cancriformis

Lisa Chamberland, Fabian C. Salgado-Roa, Alma Basco, Amanda Crastz-Flores, Greta Binford & Ingi Agnarsson
Background. Modern molecular analyses are often inconsistent with pre-cladistic taxonomic hypotheses, frequently indicating higher richness than morphological taxonomy estimates. Among Caribbean spiders, widespread species are relatively few compared to the prevalence of single island endemics. The taxonomic hypothesis Gasteracantha cancriformis circumscribes a species with profuse variation in size, color, and body form. Distributed throughout the Neotropics, G. cancriformis is the only morphological species of Gasteracantha in the New World in this globally distributed genus. Methods....

Data from: Salty, mild, and low plant biomass grasslands increase top-heaviness of invertebrate trophic pyramids

Ellen Welti, Lucie Kuczynski, Katharine Markse, Nathan Sanders, Kirsten De Beurs & Michael Kaspari
Aim Multiple hypotheses predict how gradients of nutrient availability, plant biomass, and temperature shape trophic pyramids. We aim to disentangle the simultaneous influence of those different factors and their indirect effects on trophic structure and individual trophic levels. Location United States Time period 2017 Major taxa studied Invertebrates Methods To examine differences in trophic pyramid shape and abundance within trophic levels across ecological gradients, we used a structural equation modeling approach to analyze 54 standardized...

Response of lion demography and dynamics to the loss of preferred larger prey

Milan Vinks, Scott Creel, Paul Schuette, Matthew Becker, Elias Rosenblatt, Carolyn Sanguinetti, Kambwiri Banda, Ben Goodheart, Kim Young-Overton, Xia Stevens, Clive Chifunte, Neil Midlane & Chuma Simukonda
Large carnivores are experiencing range contraction and population declines globally. Prey depletion due to illegal offtake is considered a major contributor, but the effects of prey depletion on large carnivore demography are rarely tested. We measured African lion density and tested the factors that affect survival using mark-recapture models fit to six years of data from known individuals in Kafue National Park (KNP), Zambia. KNP is affected by prey depletion, particularly for large herbivores that...

The eco-evolutionary history of Madagascar presents unique challenges to tropical forest restoration

Katherine A. Culbertson, Timothy L.H. Treuer, Ariadna Mondragon Botero, Tanjona Ramiadantsoa & J. Leighton Reid
High biodiversity and endemism combined with persistently high deforestation rates mark Madagascar as one of the hottest of biodiversity hotspots. Contemporary rising interest in large-scale reforestation, both globally and throughout Madagascar itself, presents a promising impetus for forest restoration and biodiversity conservation across the island. However, Madagascar may face unique restoration challenges due to its equally unique eco-evolutionary trajectory, which must be understood to enable successful ecological restoration. We conducted a systematic review of potential...

Pollinator visitation to Na-enriched plants

Nathan Sanders & Carrie Finkelstein
Plants have evolved a variety of approaches to attract pollinators, including enriching their nectar with essential nutrients. Because sodium is an essential nutrient for pollinators, and sodium concentration in nectar can vary both within and among species, we explored whether experimentally enriching floral nectar with sodium in five plant species would influence pollinator visitation and diversity. We found that the number of visits by pollinators increased on plants with sodium-enriched nectar, regardless of plant species,...

Abundance data of anuran species in forest fragments

M Almeida-Gomes, NJ Gotelli, CFD Rocha, MV Vieira & JA Prevedello
Understanding the effects of random versus niche-based processes on biodiversity patterns is a central theme in ecology, and an important tool for predicting effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. We investigated the predictive power of random processes to explain species richness and species dissimilarity of amphibian assemblages in a fragmented tropical landscape of the Atlantic Forest of South America. We analyzed a large database of amphibian abundance and occupancy, sampled in 21 forest...

Chemosensory genes in Leptinotarsa decemlineata

Sean Schoville, Yolanda Chen, Zach Cohen, Michael Crossley, Patamarerk Engsontia & Robert Mitchell
Plants and plant-feeding insects comprise the majority of global species diversity, and their coevolutionary dynamics provide an important window into the mechanisms that mediate niche evolution. In particular, there is considerable interest in understanding the nature of genetic changes that allow host-plant shifts to occur and to determine whether functional genomic diversity varies predictably in relation to host-plant breadth. Insect chemosensory proteins play a central role in mediating insect-plant interactions, as they directly influence plant...

Data from: New records of very high nitrous oxide fluxes from rice cannot be generalized for water management and climate impacts

Reiner Wassmann, Bjoern Ole Sander, Sudhir Yadav, Bas Bouman, Grant Singleton, Alexander Stuart, Jonathan Hellin, David Johnson, Jacqueline Hughes, Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, Ralf Kiese, David Kraus, Baldur Janz, Bruce Linquist, Yam Kanta Gaihre, Ngonidzashe Chirinda & Eva Wollenberg
This supplement aims to substantiate and expand our comments made in the Letter to the Editor. This format as a separate document was necessary due to the complexity of the issues raised in our comments vis-à-vis the word limit of PNAS Letters (500 words). The text elaborates on individual concerns raised in the letter and also adds new aspects on the research quality that have not yet been discussed in the letter. Moreover, the supplement...

Data from: Long-term population dynamics of dreissenid mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. rostriformis): a cross-system analysis

David L. Strayer, Boris V. Adamovich, Rita Adrian, David C. Aldridge, Csilla Balogh, Lyubov E. Burlakova, Hannah B. Fried-Petersen, László G.‐Tóth, Amy L. Hetherington, Thomas S. Jones, Alexander Y. Karatayev, Jacqueline B. Madill, Oleg A. Makarevich, J. Ellen Marsden, Andre L. Martel, Dan Minchin, Thomas F. Nalepa, Ruurd Noordhuis, Timothy J. Robinson, Lars G. Rudstam, Astrid N. Schwalb, David R. Smith, Alan D. Steinman & Jonathan M. Jeschke
Dreissenid mussels (including the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha and the quagga mussel D. rostriformis) are among the world's most notorious invasive species, with large and widespread ecological and economic effects. However, their long‐term population dynamics are poorly known, even though these dynamics are critical to determining impacts and effective management. We gathered and analyzed 67 long‐term (>10 yr) data sets on dreissenid populations from lakes and rivers across Europe and North America. We addressed five...

Data from: Density-dependent vulnerability of forest ecosystems to drought

Alessandra Bottero, Anthony W. D'Amato, Brian J. Palik, John B. Bradford, Shawn Fraver, Michael A. Battaglia, Lance A. Asherin & Mike A. Battaglia
Climate models predict increasing drought intensity and frequency for many regions, which may have negative consequences for tree recruitment, growth, and mortality, as well as forest ecosystem services. Furthermore, practical strategies for minimizing vulnerability to drought are limited. Tree population density, a metric of tree abundance in a given area, is a primary driver of competitive intensity among trees, which influences tree growth and mortality. Manipulating tree population density may be a mechanism for moderating...

Data from: Ecosystem context illuminates conflicting roles of plant diversity in carbon storage

E. Carol Adair, David U. Hooper, Alain Paquette & Bruce A. Hungate
Plant diversity can increase biomass production in plot‐scale studies, but applying these results to ecosystem carbon (C) storage at larger spatial and temporal scales remains problematic. Other ecosystem controls interact with diversity and plant production, and may influence soil pools differently from plant pools. We integrated diversity with the state‐factor framework, which identifies key controls, or ‘state factors’, over ecosystem properties and services such as C storage. We used this framework to assess the effects...

Data from: Large mammal declines and the incipient loss of mammal-bird mutualisms in an African savanna ecosystem

Nathan Diplock, Kate Johnston, Antoine Mellon, Laura Mitchell, Madison Moore, Daniel Schneider, Alyssa Taylor, Jess Whitney, Kera Zegar, John Kioko & Christian Kiffner
Over the past half-century, large mammal populations have declined substantially throughout East Africa, mainly due to habitat loss and unsustainable direct exploitation. While it has been acknowledged that the loss of large mammals can have direct and cascading effects on community composition and ecosystem characteristics, limited quantitative work has been done on how declines of large herbivore populations impacts the abundance of mutualistic symbionts. Using a space-for-time observational approach, we quantified the large mammal community...

Data from: Phylogenomics resolves a spider backbone phylogeny and rejects a prevailing paradigm for orb web evolution

Jason E. Bond, Nicole L. Garrison, Chris A. Hamilton, Rebecca L. Godwin, Marshal Hedin & Ingi Agnarsson
Spiders represent an ancient predatory lineage known for their extraordinary biomaterials, including venoms and silks. These adaptations make spiders key arthropod predators in most terrestrial ecosystems. Despite ecological, biomedical, and biomaterial importance, relationships among major spider lineages remain unresolved or poorly supported. Current working hypotheses for a spider “backbone” phylogeny are largely based on morphological evidence, as most molecular markers currently employed are generally inadequate for resolving deeper-level relationships. We present here a phylogenomic analysis...

Data from: A test of the hierarchical model of litter decomposition

Mark A. Bradford, G. F. Veen, Anne Bonis, Ella M. Bradford, Aimee T. Classen, J. Hans C. Cornelissen, Thomas W. Crowther, Jonathan R. De Long, Gregoire T. Freschet, Paul Kardol, Marta Manrubia-Freixa, Daniel S. Maynard, Gregory S. Newman, Richard S. P. Van Logtestijn, Maria Viketoft, David A. Wardle, William R. Wieder, Stephen A. Wood & Wim H. Van Der Putten
Our basic understanding of plant litter decomposition informs the assumptions underlying widely applied soil biogeochemical models, including those embedded in Earth system models. Confidence in projected carbon cycle-climate feedbacks therefore depends on accurate knowledge about the controls regulating the rate at which plant biomass is decomposed into products such as CO2. Here, we test underlying assumptions of the dominant conceptual model of litter decomposition. The model posits that a primary control on the rate of...

Data from: Dissecting the basis of novel trait evolution in a radiation with widespread phylogenetic discordance

Meng Wu, Jamie L. Kostyun, Matthew W. Hahn & Leonie C. Moyle
Phylogenetic analyses of trait evolution can provide insight into the evolutionary processes that initiate and drive phenotypic diversification. However, recent phylogenomic studies have revealed extensive gene tree-species tree discordance, which can lead to incorrect inferences of trait evolution if only a single species tree is used for analysis. This phenomenon—dubbed “hemiplasy”—is particularly important to consider during analyses of character evolution in rapidly radiating groups, where discordance is widespread. Here we generate whole-transcriptome data for a...

Data from: Golden orbweavers ignore biological rules: phylogenomic and comparative analyses unravel a complex evolution of sexual size dimorphism

Matjaz Kuntner, Chris Hamilton, Ren-Chung Cheng, Matjaz Gregoric, Nik Lupse, Tjasa Lokovsek, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Alan R. Lemmon, Ingi Agnarsson, Jonathan A. Coddington, Jason Bond, Chris A Hamilton & Jason E Bond
Instances of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) provide the context for rigorous tests of biological rules of size evolution, such as Cope’s Rule (phyletic size increase), Rensch’s Rule (allometric patterns of male and female size), as well as male and female body size optima. In certain spider groups, such as the golden orbweavers (Nephilidae), extreme female-biased SSD (eSSD, female:male body length ≥ 2) is the norm. Nephilid genera construct webs of exaggerated proportions, which can be...

Data from: Temporal constraints on the potential role of fry odors as cues of past reproductive success for spawning lake trout

Tyler J. Buchinger, J. Ellen Marsden, Thomas R. Binder, Mar Huertas, Ugo Bussy, Ke Li, James A. Hanson, Charles C. Krueger, Weiming Li, Nicholas S. Johnson & James E. Hanson
Deciding where to reproduce is a major challenge for most animals. Many select habitats based upon cues of successful reproduction by conspecifics, such as the presence of offspring from past reproductive events. For example, some fishes select spawning habitat following odors released by juveniles whose rearing habitat overlaps with spawning habitat. However, juveniles may emigrate before adults begin to search for spawning habitat; hence, the efficacy of juvenile cues could be constrained by degradation or...

Data from: Changes in African large carnivore diets over the past half-century reveal the loss of large prey

Scott Creel, Wigganson Matandiko, Paul Schuette, Elias Rosenblatt, Carolyn Sanguinetti, Kambwiri Banda, Milan Vinks & Matthew Becker
1. Globally, large carnivores are declining due to direct persecution, habitat loss and prey depletion. The effects of prey depletion could be amplified by changes in the composition of the herbivore (prey) community that provoke changes in carnivore diets, but this possibility has received little attention. 2. Here, we tested for changes over the past half century in prey selection by the large carnivore guild in Zambia’s Kafue National Park. 3. Across 52 predator-prey dyads,...

Data from: Opportunities for biodiversity gains under the world’s largest reforestation programme

Fangyuan Hua, Xiaoyang Wang, Xinlei Zheng, Robert Dorazio, Brendan Fisher, Lin Wang, Jianguo Zhu, Ya Tang, Douglas W. Yu & David S. Wilcove
Reforestation is a critical means of addressing the environmental and social problems of deforestation. China’s Grain-for-Green Program (GFGP) is the world’s largest reforestation scheme. Here we provide the first nationwide assessment of the tree composition of GFGP forests and the first combined ecological and economic study aimed at understanding GFGP’s biodiversity implications. Across China, GFGP forests are overwhelmingly monocultures or compositionally simple mixed forests. Focusing on birds and bees in Sichuan Province, we find that...

Data from: Interaction rewiring and the rapid turnover of plant-pollinator networks

Paul J. CaraDonna, William K. Petry, Ross M. Brennan, James L. Cunningham, Judith L. Bronstein, Nickolas M. Waser & Nathan J. Sanders
Whether species interactions are static or change over time has wide-reaching ecological and evolutionary consequences. However, species interaction networks are typically constructed from temporally aggregated interaction data, thereby implicitly assuming that interactions are fixed. This approach has advanced our understanding of communities, but it obscures the timescale at which interactions form (or dissolve) and the drivers and consequences of such dynamics. We address this knowledge gap by quantifying the within-season turnover of plant–pollinator interactions from...

Data from: Influence of range position on locally adaptive gene-environment associations in Populus flowering time genes

Stephen R. Keller, Vikram E. Chhatre & Matthew C. Fitzpatrick
Local adaptation is pervasive in forest trees, which are characterized by large effective population sizes spanning broad climatic gradients. In addition to having relatively contiguous populations, many species also form isolated populations along the rear edge of their range. These rear-edge populations may contain unique adaptive diversity reflecting a history of selection in marginal environments. Thus, discovering genomic regions conferring local adaptation in rear edge populations is a key priority for landscape genomics to ensure...

Data from: Habitat disturbance selects against both small and large species across varying climates

Heloise Gibb, Nathan J. Sanders, Robert R. Dunn, Xavier Arnan, Heraldo L. Vasconcellos, David A. Donoso, Alan N. Andersen, Rogerio R. Silva, Tom R. Bishop, Crisanto Gomez, Blair F. Grossman, Kalsum M. Yusah, Sarah H. Luke, Renata Pacheco, Jessica Pearce-Duvet, Javier Retana, Melanie Tista, Catherine L. Parr & H. L. Vasconcelos
Global extinction drivers, including habitat disturbance and climate change, are thought to affect larger species more than smaller species. However, it is unclear if such drivers interact to affect assemblage body size distributions. We asked how these two key global change drivers differentially affect the interspecific size distributions of ants, one of the most abundant and ubiquitous animal groups on earth. We also asked whether there is evidence of synergistic interactions and whether effects are...

Data from: Ultrasound evaluation of the combined effects of thoracolumbar fascia injury and movement restriction in a porcine model

James H. Bishop, James R. Fox, Rhonda Maple, Caitlin Loretan, Gary J. Badger, Sharon M. Henry, Margaret A. Vizzard & Helene M. Langevin
The persistence of back pain following acute back “sprains” is a serious public health problem with poorly understood pathophysiology. The recent finding that human subjects with chronic low back pain (LBP) have increased thickness and decreased mobility of the thoracolumbar fascia measured with ultrasound suggest that the fasciae of the back may be involved in LBP pathophysiology. This study used a porcine model to test the hypothesis that similar ultrasound findings can be produced experimentally...

Data from: Long-term impacts of variable retention harvesting on ground-layer plant communities in Pinus resinosa forests

Margaret W. Roberts, Anthony W. D'Amato, Christel C. Kern & Brian J. Palik
Concerns about loss of biodiversity and structural complexity in managed forests have recently increased and led to the development of new management strategies focused on restoring or maintaining ecosystem functions while also providing wood outputs. Variable Retention Harvest (VRH) systems, in which mature overstorey trees are retained in various spatial arrangements across harvested areas, represent one potential approach to this problem. However, long-term evaluations of the effectiveness of this strategy at sustaining plant community composition...

Data from: On the widespread capacity for and functional significance of extreme inbreeding in ferns

Emily B. Sessa, Weston L. Testo, & James E. Watkins
Homosporous vascular plants utilize three different mating systems, one of which, gametophytic selfing, is an extreme form of inbreeding only possible in homosporous groups. This mating system results in complete homozygosity in all progeny and has important evolutionary and ecological implications. Ferns are the largest group of homosporous land plants, and the significance of extreme inbreeding for fern evolution has been the subject of debate for decades. We cultured gametophytes in the laboratory and quantified...

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