270 Works

A new two-fingered dinosaur sheds light on the radiation of Oviraptorosauria

Gregory Funston, Tsogtbaatar Chinzorig, Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar, Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, Corwin Sullivan & Philip Currie
Late Cretaceous trends in Asian dinosaur diversity are poorly understood, but recent discoveries have documented a radiation of oviraptorosaur theropods in China and Mongolia. However, little work has addressed the factors that facilitated this diversification. A new oviraptorid from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia sheds light on the evolution of the forelimb, which appears to have played a role in the radiation of oviraptorosaurs. Surprisingly, the reduced arm has only two functional digits, highlighting a...

Biodiversity and Forest structure one year following the 2016 Fort McMurray (Alberta) fire event

Jaime Pinzon, Anna Dabros, Federico Riva & James Glasier
Exploration practices for oil sands developments in the boreal forest of western Canada create a network of thousands of kilometers of linear features, particularly seismic lines that dissect these forests posing significant environmental challenges. As wildfire is one of the prevalent stand-replacing natural disturbances in the Canadian boreal forest, it is an important driver of environmental change and stand development that may contribute to the mitigation of such linear industrial footprint. Here, we evaluate the...

Supplementary data for \"Visual cues of predation risk outweigh acoustic cues: a field experiment in black-capped chickadees\"

Josue Arteaga-Torres, Jan Wijmenga & Kimberley Mathot
All data required for the analyses, including R code, presented in the paper "Visual cues of predation risk outweigh acoustic cues: a field experiment in black-capped chickadees" DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2002

The morphological diversity of the quadrate bone in squamate reptiles as revealed by high-resolution computed tomography and geometric morphometrics

Alessandro Palci, Michael Caldwell, Mark Hutchinson, Takuya Konishi & Michael Lee
We examined the morphological diversity of the quadrate bone in squamate reptiles (i.e. lizards, snakes, amphisbaenians). The quadrate is the principal splanchnocranial element involved in suspending the lower jaw from the skull, and its shape is of particular interest because it is potentially affected by several factors, such as phylogenetic history, allometry, ecology, skull kinesis and hearing capabilities (e.g. presence or absence of a tympanic ear). Due to its complexity, the quadrate bone is also...

Data from: Dissecting molecular evolution in the highly diverse plant clade Caryophyllales using transcriptome sequencing

Ya Yang, Michael J. Moore, Samuel F. Brockington, Douglas E. Soltis, Gane Ka-Shu Wong, Eric J. Carpenter, Yong Zhang, Li Chen, Zhixiang Yan, Yinlong Xie, Rowan F. Sage, Sarah Covshoff, Julian M. Hibberd, Matthew N. Nelson & Stephen A. Smith
Many phylogenomic studies based on transcriptomes have been limited to “single-copy” genes due to methodological challenges in homology and orthology inferences. Only a relatively small number of studies have explored analyses beyond reconstructing species relationships. We sampled 69 transcriptomes in the hyperdiverse plant clade Caryophyllales and 27 outgroups from annotated genomes across eudicots. Using a combined similarity- and phylogenetic tree-based approach, we recovered 10,960 homolog groups, where each was represented by at least eight ingroup...

Data from: Molecular phylogeny of the diverse parasitoid wasp genus Ophion Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Ophioninae)

Marla D. Schwarzfeld, Gavin R. Broad & Felix A. H. Sperling
Ophion Fabricius is a diverse genus of nocturnal ichneumonid wasps (Insecta: Hymenoptera) that is particularly species-rich in temperate areas, yet has received little taxonomic attention in the Holarctic region, where most species occur. While there have been some attempts to divide Ophion into monophyletic species groups, the vast majority of species have been lumped into a single, paraphyletic group, the O. luteus species group, which is defined only by the lack of characters specific to...

Data from: Assessing the evolutionary history of the class Synurophyceae (Heterokonta) using molecular, morphometric, and paleobiological approaches

Peter A. Siver, Bok Yeon Jo, Jong Im Kim, Woongghi Shin, Anne Marie Lizarralde, Alexander P. Wolfe & A. M. Lott
Premise of the study: Heterokont algae of the class Synurophyceae, characterized by distinctive siliceous scales that cover the surface of the cell, are ecologically important in inland waters, yet their evolutionary history remains enigmatic. We explore phylogenetic relationships within this group of algae relative to geologic time, with a focus on evolution of siliceous components. Methods: We combined an expansive five-gene and time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of synurophyte algae with an extensive array of fossil specimens...

Data from: The origin and evolution of phototropins

Fay-Wei Li, Kathleen M. Pryer, Gane K.-S. Wong, Carl J. Rothfels, Michael Melkonian, Sarah Mathews, Juan C. Villarreal & Sean W. Graham
Plant phototropism, the ability to bend toward or away from light, is predominantly controlled by blue-light photoreceptors, the phototropins. Although phototropins have been well-characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana, their evolutionary history is largely unknown. In this study, we complete an in-depth survey of phototropin homologs across land plants and algae using newly available transcriptomic and genomic data. We show that phototropins originated in an ancestor of Viridiplantae (land plants + green algae). Phototropins repeatedly underwent independent...

Data from: Influence of in-situ oil sands development on caribou (Rangifer tarandus) movement

Tyler B. Muhly, Robert Serrouya, Eric Neilson, Haitao Li, Stan Boutin & Tyler Muhly
In-situ oil sands development (ISD) involves a network of facilities, wells, roads and pipelines to extract and transport subsurface bitumen. This technology is rapidly expanding and there is uncertainty whether ISDs restrict animal movement, leading to increased extinction probabilities for some wide-ranging species. Here we test for effects of simulated future (i.e., 50 years from now) and current ISDs on simulated movements of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus), a threatened species across North America. In simulations...

Data from: Genetic subdivision and candidate genes under selection in North American gray wolves

Rena M. Schweizer, Bridgett M. VonHoldt, Ryan Harrigan, James C. Knowles, Marco Musiani, David Coltman, John Novembre & Robert K. Wayne
Previous genetic studies of the highly mobile gray wolf (Canis lupus) found population structure that coincides with habitat and phenotype differences. We hypothesized that these ecologically distinct populations (ecotypes) should exhibit signatures of selection in genes related to morphology, coat color, and metabolism. To test these predictions, we quantified population structure related to habitat using a genotyping array to assess variation in 42,036 SNPs in 111 North American gray wolves. Using these SNP data and...

Data from: Life-stage differences in spatial genetic structure in an irruptive forest insect: implications for dispersal and spatial synchrony

Patrick M. A. James, Barry Cooke, Bryan Brunet, Lisa Lumley, Felix Sperling, Marie-Josée Fortin, Vanessa S. Quinn, Brian R. Sturtevant, Bryan M. T. Brunet, Lisa M. Lumley & Felix A. H. Sperling
Dispersal determines the flux of individuals, energy, and information and is therefore a key determinant of ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Yet, it remains difficult to quantify its importance relative to other factors. This is particularly true in cyclic populations in which demography, drift, and dispersal contribute to spatio-temporal variability in genetic structure. Improved understanding of how dispersal influences spatial genetic structure is needed to disentangle the multiple processes that give rise to spatial synchrony in...

Data from: Comparing measures of breeding inequality and opportunity for selection with sexual selection on a quantitative character in bighorn rams

Alexandre M. Martin, Marco Festa-Bianchet, David W. Coltman & Fanie Pelletier
The reliability and consistency of the many measures proposed to quantify sexual selection have been questioned for decades. Realized selection on quantitative characters measured by the selection differential i was approximated by metrics based on variance in breeding success, using either the opportunity for sexual selection Is or indices of inequality. There is no consensus about which metric best approximates realized selection on sexual characters. Recently, the opportunity for selection on character mean OSM was...

Data from: Fifty thousand years of arctic vegetation and megafaunal diet

Eske Willerslev, John Davison, Mari Moora, Martin Zobel, Eric Coissac, Mary E. Edwards, Eline D. Lorenzen, Mette Vestergård, Galina Gussarova, James Haile, Joseph Craine, Gaddy Bergmann, Ludovic Gielly, Sanne Boessenkool, Laura S. Epp, Peter B. Pearman, Rachid Cheddadi, David Murray, Karri Anne Bråthen, Nigel Yoccoz, Heather Binney, Corinne Cruaud, Patrick Wincker, Tomasz Goslar, Inger Greve Alsos … & Pierre Taberlet
Although it is generally agreed that the arctic flora is among the youngest and least diverse on Earth, the processes that shaped it are poorly understood. Here we present 50 thousand years (kyr) of arctic vegetation history, derived from the first large-scale ancient DNA metabarcoding study of circumpolar plant diversity. For this interval we additionally explore nematode diversity as a proxy for modelling vegetation cover and soil quality, and diets of herbivorous megafaunal mammals, many...

Data from: Hybrid system increases efficiency of ballast water treatment

Esteban M. Paolucci, Marco R. Hernandez, Alexei Potapov, Mark A. Lewis & Hugh J. MacIsaac
1. Ballast water has been a principal pathway of nonindigenous species introduction to global ports for much of the 20th century. In an effort to reduce the scale of this pathway, and recognizing forthcoming global regulations that will supplant ballast water exchange (BWE) with ballast water treatment (BWT), we explore whether a combined hybrid treatment of BWE and chlorination (Cl) exceeds individual effects of either BWE or chlorination alone in reducing densities of bacteria, microplankton...

Data from: Unraveling conflicting density- and distance-dependent effects on plant reproduction using a spatially-explicit approach

José M. Fedriani, Thorsten Wiegand, Gemma Calvo, Alberto Suárez-Esteban, Miguel Jácome, Magdalena Żywiec & Miguel Delibes
1. Density- and distance-dependent (DDD) mechanisms are important determinants of plant reproductive success (PRS). Different components of sequential PRS can operate either in the same or in different directions and thus reinforce or neutralize each other, and they may also operate at different spatial scales. Thus, spatially-explicit approaches are needed to detect such complex DDD effects across multiple PRS components and spatial scales. 2. To reveal DDD effects of different components of early PRS of...

Data from: How many routes lead to migration? Comparison of methods to assess and characterise migratory movements

Francesca Cagnacci, Stefano Focardi, Anne Ghisla, Bram Van Moorter, Eliezer Gurarie, Marco Heurich, Atle Mysterud, John Linnell, Manuela Panzacchi, Evelyn Merrill, Roel May, Torgeir Nygård, Christer Rolandsen, Mark Hebblewhite & Evelyn H. Merrill
1. Decreasing rate of migration in several species as a consequence of climate change and anthropic pressure, together with increasing evidence of space-use strategies intermediate between residency and complete migration, are very strong motivations to evaluate migration occurrence and features in animal populations. 2. The main goal of this paper was to perform a relative comparison between methods for identifying and characterising migration at the individual and population level on the basis of animal location...

Data from: Intense selective hunting leads to artificial evolution in horn size

Gabriel Pigeon, Marco Festa-Bianchet, David W. Coltman & Fanie Pelletier
The potential for selective harvests to induce rapid evolutionary change is an important question for conservation and evolutionary biology, with numerous biological, social and economic implications. We analyze 39 years of phenotypic data on horn size in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) subject to intense trophy hunting for 23 years, after which harvests nearly ceased. Our analyses revealed a significant decline in genetic value for horn length of rams, consistent with an evolutionary response to artificial...

Data from: Paternal reproductive success drives sex allocation in a wild mammal

Mathieu Douhard, Marco Festa-Bianchet, Dave W. Coltman, Fanie Pelletier & David W. Coltman
Parents should bias sex allocation toward offspring of the sex most likely to provide higher fitness returns. Trivers and Willard proposed that for polygynous mammals, females should adjust sex-ratio at conception or bias allocation of resources toward the most profitable sex, according to their own body condition. However, the possibility that mammalian fathers may influence sex allocation has seldom been considered. Here, we show that the probability of having a son increased from 0.31 to...

Data from: Effects of ambient noise on detectability and localization of avian songs and tones by observers in grasslands

Nicola Koper, Lionel Leston, Tyne M. Baker, Claire Curry & Patricia Rosa
Probability of detection and accuracy of distance estimates in aural avian surveys may be affected by the presence of anthropogenic noise, and this may lead to inaccurate evaluations of the effects of noisy infrastructure on wildlife. We used arrays of speakers broadcasting recordings of grassland bird songs and pure tones to assess the probability of detection, and localization accuracy, by observers at sites with and without noisy oil and gas infrastructure in south-central Alberta from...

Data from: Using experimentation to understand the 10-year snowshoe hare cycle in the boreal forest of North America

Charles Krebs, Rudy Boonstra, Stan Boutin & Charles J. Krebs
1. Population cycles have long fascinated ecologists from the time of Charles Elton in the 1920s. The discovery of large population fluctuations in undisturbed ecosystems challenged the idea that pristine nature was in a state of balance. The 10-year cycle of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus Erxleben) across the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska is a classic cycle, recognized by fur traders for more than 300 years. 2. Since the 1930s ecologists have investigated the...

Data from: Native freshwater species get out of the way: Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio) impacts both fish and benthic invertebrate communities in North America

Jonathan L.W. Ruppert, Cassandra Docherty, Kenton Neufeld, Kyle Hamilton, Laura MacPherson, Mark S. Poesch & Jonathan L. W. Ruppert
Prussian Carp (Carassius gibelio) are one of the most noxious non-native species in Eurasia. Recently, Prussian Carp, a non-native freshwater fish species, were genetically confirmed in Alberta, Canada and have been rapidly expanding their range in North America since establishment. Given their rapid range expansion, there is an increasing need to determine how Prussian Carp may impact native species. We assessed the severity of the Prussian Carp invasion by 1) determining their impact on fish...

Data from: Nowhere to hide: the impact of linear disturbances on the spatial dynamics of predator and prey in a large mammal system

Craig DeMars & Stan Boutin
Rapid landscape alteration associated with human activity is currently challenging the evolved dynamical stability of many predator-prey systems by forcing species to behaviorally respond to novel environmental stimuli. In many forested systems, linear features (LFs) such as roads, pipelines and resource exploration lines (i.e. seismic lines) are a ubiquitous form of landscape alteration that have been implicated in altering predator-prey dynamics. One hypothesized effect is that LFs facilitate predator movement into and within prey refugia,...

Data from: The K=2 conundrum

Jasmine K. Janes, Joshua M. Miller, Julian R. Dupuis, Rene M. Malenfant, Jamieson C. Gorrell, Catherine I. Cullingham & Rose L. Andrew
Assessments of population genetic structure have become an increasing focus as they can provide valuable insight into patterns of migration and gene flow. STRUCTURE, the most highly cited of several clustering-based methods, was developed to provide robust estimates without the need for populations to be determined a priori. STRUCTURE introduces the problem of selecting the optimal number of clusters and as a result the ΔK method was proposed to assist in the identification of the...

Data from: How many cubs can a mum nurse? Maternal age and size influence litter size in polar bears

Dorinda Marie Folio, Jon Aars, Olivier Gimenez, Andrew E. Derocher, Oystein Wiig & Sarah Cubaynes
Life history theory predicts that females' age and size affect the level of maternal investment in current reproduction, balanced against future reproductive effort, maintenance and survival. Using long-term (30 years) individual data on 193 female polar bears (Ursus maritimus), we assessed age- and size-specific variation on litter size. Litter size varied with maternal age, younger females had higher chances of losing a cub during their first months of life. Results suggest an improvement of reproductive...

Data from: Bryophyte abundance, diversity and composition after retention harvest in boreal mixedwood forest

Samuel F. Bartels, S. Ellen Macdonald, Derek Johnson, Richard T. Caners & John R. Spence
1. Variable-retention harvest is widely recognised as an alternative to more intensive methods such as clear-cutting. However, present information is inadequate to judge impact of variable-retention on biodiversity of indigenous forest organisms intolerant of canopy removal, such as forest-inhabiting bryophytes. 2. We examined how bryophyte species cover, richness, diversity and composition change with time in response to a broad range of dispersed retention harvest treatments (2% (clear-cut), 10%, 20%, 50%, 75% retention of original basal...

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