26 Works

Data from: Extremely fast feeding strikes are powered by elastic recoil in a seahorse relative, the snipefish, Macroramphosus scolopax

Sarah J. Longo, Tyler Goodearly & Peter C. Wainwright
Among over 30,000 species of ray-finned fishes, seahorses and pipefishes have a unique feeding mechanism whereby the elastic recoil of tendons allows them to rotate their long snouts extremely rapidly in order to capture small elusive prey. To understand the evolutionary origins of this feeding mechanism, its phylogenetic distribution among closely related lineages must be assessed. We present evidence for elastic recoil powered feeding in the snipefish (Macroramphosus scolopax) from kinematics, dynamics, and morphology. High-speed...

Data from: Estimation of inhalation flow profile using audio-based methods to assess inhaler medication adherence

Terence E. Taylor, Helena Lacalle Muls, Richard W. Costello & Richard B. Reilly
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients are required to inhale forcefully and deeply to receive medication when using a dry powder inhaler (DPI). There is a clinical need to objectively monitor the inhalation flow profile of DPIs in order to remotely monitor patient inhalation technique. Audio-based methods have been previously employed to accurately estimate flow parameters such as the peak inspiratory flow rate of inhalations, however, these methods required multiple calibration inhalation audio...

Data from: Silver nanoparticles as a medical device in healthcare settings: a five-step approach for candidate screening of coating agents

Valentina Marassi, Luisana Di Cristo, Steven G. J. Smith, Simona Ortelli, Magda Blosi, Anna L. Costa, Pierluigi Reschiglian, Yuri Volkov, Adriele Prina-Mello & Stephen G. J. Smith
Silver nanoparticle-based antimicrobials can promote a long lasting bactericidal effect without detrimental toxic side effects. However, there is not a clear and complete protocol to define and relate the properties of the particles (size, shape, surface charge, ionic content) with their specific activity. In this paper, we propose an effective multi-step approach for the identification of a ‘purpose-specific active applicability window’ to maximize the antimicrobial activity of medical devices containing silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) (such...

Data from: Selective logging intensity in an East African rain forest predicts reductions in ant diversity

Samuel R. P-J. Ross, Francisco Hita Garcia, Georg Fischer, Marcell K. Peters & Samuel R. P.-J. Ross
As natural forest ecosystems increasingly face pressure from deforestation, it is ever more important to understand the impacts of habitat fragmentation and degradation on biodiversity. Most studies of anthropogenic change in the tropics come from Southeast Asia and South America, and impacts of habitat modification are often taxon-specific. Here we empirically assessed the impact of habitat fragmentation and recent (within 25 years) and historic (>25 years ago) selective logging on the diversity of ants in...

Data from: The effects of spatial scale and isoscape on consumer isotopic niche width

Carl J. Reddin, John H. Bothwell, Nessa E. O'Connor & Chris Harrod
1. The mean and variance of ecological variables are dependent on sampling attributes such as the coverage of environmental heterogeneity (sampling extent) and spatial scale. Trophic niche width is often approximated by bulk tissue stable isotopes of C and N, i.e. the population isotopic niche. However, recent studies suggest that environmental heterogeneity (experienced by individuals) may be more important in defining the isotopic niche width than trophic variability. We hypothesised that isotopic niche width will...

Ontogenetic development underlies population response to mortality

Benjamin Toscano, Alexandra Figel & Volker Rudolf
Understanding demographic responses to mortality is crucial to predictive ecology. While classic ecological theory posits reductions in population biomass in response to extrinsic mortality, models containing realistic developmental change predict the potential for counterintuitive increase in stage-specific biomass, i.e., biomass overcompensation. Patterns of biomass overcompensation should be predictable based on differences in the relative energetic efficiencies of juvenile maturation and adult reproduction. Specifically, in populations where reproduction is the limiting process, adult-specific mortality should enhance...

Rationalising The Construction Materials Purchasing Process

Louis Gunnigan, Alan Hore & Trevor Orr

Data from: Investigating evolutionary lag using the species-pairs evolutionary lag test (SPELT)

Charles L. Nunn & Natalie Cooper
For traits showing correlated evolution, one trait may evolve more slowly than the other, producing evolutionary lag. The species-pairs evolutionary lag test (SPELT) uses an independent contrasts based approach to detect evolutionary lag on a phylogeny. We investigated the statistical performance of SPELT in relation to degree of lag, sample size (species pairs), and strength of association between traits. We simulated trait evolution under two models: one in which trait X changes during speciation and...

Data from: Dietary niche constriction when invaders meet natives: evidence from freshwater decapods

Michelle C. Jackson, Jonathan Grey, Katie Miller, J. Robert Britton & Ian Donohue
1. Invasive species are a key driver of global environmental change, with frequently strong negative consequences for native biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Understanding competitive interactions between invaders and functionally similar native species provides an important benchmark for predicting the consequences of invasion. However, even though having a broad dietary niche is widely considered a key factor determining invasion success, little is known about the effects of competition with functionally similar native competitors on the dietary...

Season of prescribed fire determines grassland restoration outcomes after fire exclusion and overgrazing

Erin N. Novak, Michelle Bertelsen, Dick Davis, Devin M. Grobert, Kelly G. Lyons, Jason P. Martina, W. Matt McCaw, Matthew O'Toole & Joseph W. Veldman
Fire exclusion and mismanaged grazing are globally important drivers of environmental change in mesic C4 grasslands and savannas. Although interest is growing in prescribed fire for grassland restoration, we have little long-term experimental evidence of the influence of burn season on the recovery of herbaceous plant communities, encroachment by trees and shrubs, and invasion by exotic grasses. We conducted a prescribed fire experiment (seven burns between 2001 and 2019) in historically fire-excluded and overgrazed grasslands...

Data from: Temporal variability of a single population can determine the vulnerability of communities to perturbations

Robert J. Mrowicki, Nessa E. O'Connor & Ian Donohue
Many aspects of global change affect the variability of species population densities, in terms of both the magnitude and pattern of density fluctuations. However, we have limited empirical understanding of the consequences of altered temporal variability of populations, independent of changes in their mean densities, for the structure and stability of natural communities and the responses of ecosystems to additional stressors. We used a field experiment to test the effects of altered temporal variability of...

Data from: Predators inhibit brain cell proliferation in natural populations of electric fish, Brachyhypopomus occidentals

Kent D. Dunlap, Alex Tran, Michael Ragazzi, Rudiger Krahe, Vielka Salazar, Michael A. Ragazzi & Vielka L. Salazar
Compared to laboratory environments, complex natural environments promote brain cell proliferation and neurogenesis. Predators are one important feature of many natural environments, and, in the laboratory, predatory stimuli tend to inhibit brain cell proliferation. Often, laboratory predator stimuli also elevate plasma glucocorticoids, which can then reduce brain cell proliferation. However, it is unknown how natural predators affect cell proliferation or whether glucocorticoids mediate the neurogenic response to natural predators. We examined brain cell proliferation in...

Data from: Biocontrol insect impacts population growth of its target plant species but not an incidentally used nontarget

Haley A. Catton, Robert G. Lalonde, Yvonne M. Buckley & Rosemarie A. De Clerck-Floate
Understanding the impact of herbivory on plant populations is a fundamental goal of ecology. Damage to individual plants can be visually striking and affect the fates of individuals, but these impacts do not necessarily translate into population-level differences in vital rates (survival, growth, or fecundity) or population growth rates. In biological control of weeds, quantitative assessments of population-level impacts of released agents on both target invasive plants and native, nontarget plants are needed to inform...

Data from: Electrophysiological correlates of semantic dissimilarity reflect the comprehension of natural, narrative speech

Michael P. Broderick, Andrew J. Anderson, Giovanni M. Di Liberto, Michael J. Crosse & Edmund C. Lalor
People routinely hear and understand speech at rates of 120–200 words per minute [1, 2]. Thus, speech comprehension must involve rapid, online neural mechanisms that process words’ meanings in an approximately time-locked fashion. However, in the context of continuous speech, electrophysiological evidence for such time-locked processing has been lacking. Whilst valuable insights into the semantic processing of speech have been provided by the “N400 component” of the event-related potential [3-6], this literature has been dominated...

Data from: Capturing goats: documenting two hundred years of mitochondrial DNA diversity among goat populations from Britain and Ireland

Lara M. Cassidy, Matthew D. Teasdale, Seán Carolan, Ruth Enright, Raymond Werner, Daniel G. Bradley, Emma K. Finlay & Valeria Mattiangeli
The domestic goat (Capra hircus) plays a key role in global agriculture, being especially prized in regions of marginal pasture. However, the advent of industrialized breeding has seen a dramatic reduction in genetic diversity within commercial populations, while high extinction rates among feral herds have further depleted the reservoir of genetic variation available. Here, we present the first survey of whole mitochondrial genomic variation among the modern and historical goat populations of Britain and Ireland...

Data from: Less favorable climates constrain demographic strategies in plants

Anna M. Csergo, Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Olivier Broennimann, Shaun R. Coutts, Antoine Guisan, Amy L. Angert, Erik Welk, Iain Stott, Brian J. Enquist, Brian McGill, Jens-Christian Svenning, Cyrille Violle & Yvonne M. Buckley
Correlative species distribution models are based on the observed relationship between species’ occurrence and macroclimate or other environmental variables. In climates predicted less favourable populations are expected to decline, and in favourable climates they are expected to persist. However, little comparative empirical support exists for a relationship between predicted climate suitability and population performance. We found that the performance of 93 populations of 34 plant species worldwide – as measured by in situ population growth...

Data from: Breaking and remaking a seed and seed predator interaction in the introduced range of Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) in New Zealand

Quentin Paynter, Yvonne M. Buckley, Paul Peterson, Allan Hugh Gourlay & Simon V. Fowler
Introduced plants may initially experience enemy release but some of those interactions may be reinstated through biological control. These cases provide opportunities to explore the dynamics of broken and re-made consumer-resource interactions. The European shrub broom (Cytisus scoparius) was introduced to New Zealand without a specialist seed predator (Bruchidius villosus) until a biological control programme reinstated this interaction in 1988. Broom produces substantially larger seeds throughout its non-native range and there are differences in seedling...

Data from: Competition between co-occurring invasive and native consumers switches between habitats

Nadescha Zwerschke, Henk Van Rein, Chris Harrod, Carl Reddin, Mark C. Emmerson, Dai Roberts, Nessa E. O'Connor & Henk Rein
1. The introduction of a non-native species frequently has adverse direct effects on native species. The underlying mechanisms, however, often remain unclear, in particular where native and invasive species are taxonomically similar. 2. We found evidence of direct competitive interactions between a globally distributed invasive species (the Pacific oyster, Magallana gigas) and its native counterpart (the European oyster, Ostrea edulis). We also discovered that the competitive outcome differed between different habitat types and structures by...

Developmental change in predators drives different community configurations

Benjamin Toscano & Volker Rudolf
Theoreticians who first observed alternative stable states in simple ecological models warned of grave implications for unexpected and irreversible collapses of natural systems (i.e., regime shifts). Recent ecosystem-level shifts engendering considerable economic losses have validated this concern, positioning bistability at the vanguard of coupled human-environment systems management. While the perturbations that induce regime shifts are known, the ecological forces that uphold alternative stable states are often unresolved or complex and system-specific. Thus, the search continues...

Data from: Predation drives the evolution of brain cell proliferation and brain allometry in male Trinidadian killifish, Rivulus hartii

Kent Dunlap, Joshua Corbo, Margarita Vergara, Shannon Beston & Matthew Walsh
The external environment influences brain cell proliferation, and this might contribute to brain plasticity underlying adaptive behavioural changes. Additionally, internal genetic factors influence brain cell proliferation rate. However, to date, researchers have not examined the importance of environmental vs. genetic factors in causing natural variation in brain cell proliferation. Here, we examine brain cell proliferation and brain growth trajectories in free-living populations of Trinidadian killifish, Rivulus hartii, exposed to contrasting predation environments. Compared to populations...

Data from: Reproductive biology including evidence for superfetation in the European badger Meles meles (Carnivora: Mustelidae)

Leigh A. L. Corner, Lynsey J. Stuart, David J. Kelly & Nicola M. Marples
The reproductive biology of the European badger (Meles meles) is of wide interest because it is one of the few mammal species that show delayed implantation and one of only five which are suggested to show superfetation as a reproductive strategy. This study aimed to describe the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers with a view to increasing our understanding of the process of delayed implantation and superfetation. We carried out a detailed histological examination...

Data from: Plant toxin levels in nectar vary spatially across native and introduced populations

Paul A. Egan, Phillip C. Stevenson, Erin Jo Tiedeken, Geraldine A. Wright, Fabio Boylan & Jane C. Stout
Secondary compounds in nectar can function as toxic chemical defences against floral antagonists, but may also mediate plant-pollinator interactions. Despite their ecological importance, few studies have investigated patterns of spatial variation in toxic nectar compounds in plant species, and none outside their native range. Grayanotoxin I (GTX I) occurs in nectar of invasive Rhododendron ponticum where it is toxic to honeybees and some solitary bee species. We examined (i) geographic variation in the composition of...

Data from: Prioritizing management actions for invasive populations using cost, efficacy, demography, and expert opinion for 14 plant species worldwide

Natalie Z. Kerr, Peter W. J. Baxter, Roberto Salguero-Gomez, Glenda M. Wardle, Yvonne M. Buckley & Peter W.J. Baxter
Management of invasive populations is typically investigated case-by-case. Comparative approaches have been applied to single aspects of management, such as demography, with cost or efficacy rarely incorporated. We present an analysis of the ranks of management actions for 14 species in five countries that extends beyond the use of demography alone to include multiple metrics for ranking management actions, which integrate cost, efficacy and demography (cost-effectiveness) and managers’ expert opinion of ranks. We use content...

Data from: The effect of agriculture on the seasonal dynamics and functional diversity of benthic biofilm in tropical headwater streams

Ricardo H. Taniwaki, Christoph D. Matthaei, Tatima K. M. Cardoso, Silvio F. B. Ferraz, Luiz A. Martinelli & Jeremy J. Piggott
Tropical streams are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world due to the constant pressures from human activities. Among these activities, agriculture represents a land use that is crucial for human development but also a key driver of stream degradation and biodiversity decline in the tropics. Against this background, we investigated indirect effects of agriculture (alterations in stream flow and nutrient availability) and climate characteristics (water temperature) on benthic biofilm communities in tropical...

Data from: The York Gospels: a 1000-year biological palimpsest

Matthew D. Teasdale, Sarah Fiddyment, Jiří Vnouček, Valeria Mattiangeli, Camilla Speller, Annelise Binois, Martin Carver, Catherine Dand, Timothy P. Newfield, Christopher C. Webb, Daniel G. Bradley & Matthew J. Collins
Medieval manuscripts, carefully curated and conserved, represent not only an irreplaceable documentary record but also a remarkable reservoir of biological information. Palaeographic and codicological investigation can often locate and date these documents with remarkable precision. The York Gospels (York Minster Ms. Add. 1) is one such codex, one of only a small collection of pre-conquest Gospel books to have survived the Reformation. By extending the non-invasive triboelectric (eraser-based) sampling technique eZooMS, to include the analysis...

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