618 Works

Data from: Demography and growth of subadult savanna trees: interactions of life history, size, fire season, and grassy understory

Patricia A. Werner & Lynda D. Prior
Tree populations in mesic (>650 mm precipitation/yr) savannas of the world have strong demographic bottlenecks to the transition of subadult trees to the canopy layer. Although such bottlenecks are a major determinant of savanna physiognomy, the factors that allow subadults to traverse the bottleneck are little studied. In a landscape-scale field experiment in a northern Australia savanna, we determined the survival and growth of 1506 permanently marked juveniles (<150 cm tall) and saplings (150–599 cm...

Data from: Parasitic plants have increased rates of molecular evolution across all three genomes

Lindell Bromham, Peter F. Cowman & Robert Lanfear
Background: Theoretical models and experimental evidence suggests that rates of nucleotide substitution could be raised in parasitic organisms compared to non-parasitic taxa. Parasitic plants provide an ideal test for these predictions, as there are at least a dozen independent origins of the parasitic lifestyle in angiosperms. Studies of a number of parasitic plant lineages have suggested faster rates of molecular evolution, but the results of some studies have been mixed. Comparative analysis of all parasitic...

Data from: Alarming features: birds use specific acoustic properties to identify heterospecific alarm calls

Pamela M. Fallow, Benjamin J. Pitcher & Robert D. Magrath
Vertebrates that eavesdrop on heterospecific alarm calls must distinguish alarms from sounds that can safely be ignored, but the mechanisms for identifying heterospecific alarm calls are poorly understood. While vertebrates learn to identify heterospecific alarms through experience, some can also respond to unfamiliar alarm calls that are acoustically similar to conspecific alarm calls. We used synthetic calls to test the role of specific acoustic properties in alarm call identification by superb fairy wrens, Malurus cyaneus....

Data from: The evolution of queen pheromones in the ant genus Lasius

Luke Holman, Robert Lanfear & Patrizia D'Ettorre
Queen pheromones are among the most important chemical messages regulating insect societies yet they remain largely undiscovered, hindering research into interesting proximate and ultimate questions. Identifying queen pheromones in multiple species would give new insight into the selective pressures and evolutionary constraints acting on these ubiquitous signals. Here, we present experimental and phylogenetic evidence that 3-methylalkanes, hydrocarbons present on the queen’s cuticle, are a queen pheromone throughout the ant genus Lasius. Phylogenetic analyses of the...

Data from: Hybridization promotes color polymorphism in the aposematic harlequin poison frog, Oophaga histrionica

Iliana Medina, Ian J. Wang, Camilo Salazar & Adolfo Amezquita
Whether hybridization can be a mechanism that drives phenotypic diversity is a widely debated topic in evolutionary biology. In poison frogs (Dendrobatidae), assortative mating has been invoked to explain how new color morphs persist despite the expected homogenizing effects of natural selection. Here, we tested the complementary hypothesis that new morphs arise through hybridization between different color morphs. Specifically, we (1) reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships among the studied populations of a dart-poison frog to provide...

Data from: Inbreeding avoidance, patch isolation and matrix permeability influence dispersal and settlement choices by male agile antechinus in a fragmented landscape

Sam C. Banks & David B. Lindenmayer
1. Animal dispersal is highly non-random and has important implications for the dynamics of populations in fragmented habitat. We identified interpatch dispersal events from genetic tagging, parentage analyses and assignment tests and modelled the factors associated with apparent emigration and post-dispersal settlement choices by individual male agile antechinus (Antechinus agilis, a marsupial carnivore of south-east Australian forests). 2. Emigration decisions were best modelled with on data patch isolation and inbreeding risk. 3. The choice of...

Data from: Strategic promiscuity helps avoid inbreeding at multiple levels in a cooperative breeder where both sexes are philopatric

Lyanne Brouwer, Martijn Van De Pol, Els Atema & Andrew Cockburn
In cooperative breeders the tension between the opposing forces of kin-selection and kin-competition is at its most severe. Although philopatry facilitates kin-selection, it also increases the risk of inbreeding. When dispersal is limited, extra-pair paternity might be an important mechanism to avoid inbreeding, but evidence for this is equivocal. The red-winged fairy-wren is part of a genus of cooperative breeders with extreme levels of promiscuity and male philopatry, but is unique in that females are...

Data from: Using probability modelling and genetic parentage assignment to test the role of local mate availability in mating system variation.

Michaela D J Blyton, Sam C Banks, Rod Peakall & David B Lindenmayer
The formal testing of mating system theories with empirical data is important for evaluating the relative importance of different processes in shaping mating systems in wild populations. Here we present a generally applicable probability modelling framework to test the role of local mate availability in determining a population’s level of genetic monogamy. We provide a significance test for detecting departures in observed mating patterns from model expectations based on mate availability alone, allowing the presence...

Data from: An informational diversity framework, illustrated with sexually deceptive orchids in early stages of speciation

Peter E. Smouse, Michael R. Whitehead & Rod Peakall
Reconstructing evolutionary history for emerging species complexes is notoriously difficult, with newly isolated taxa often morphologically cryptic and the signature of reproductive isolation often restricted to a few genes. Evidence from multiple loci and genomes is highly desirable, but multiple inputs require ‘common currency’ translation. Here we deploy a Shannon information framework, converting into diversity analogue, which provides a common currency analysis for maternally inherited haploid and bi-parentally inherited diploid nuclear markers, and then extend...

Data from: “Direct PCR” optimization yields a rapid, cost-effective, non-destructive, and efficient method for obtaining DNA barcodes without DNA extraction

Wing Hing Wong, Ywee Chieh Tay, Jayanthi Puniamoorthy, Michael Balke, Peter S. Cranston & Rudolf Meier
Macroinvertebrates that are collected in large numbers pose major problems in basic and applied biodiversity research: identification to species via morphology is often difficult, slow, and/or expensive. DNA barcodes are an attractive alternative or complementary source of information. Unfortunately obtaining DNA barcodes from specimens requires many steps and thus time and money. Here, we promote a short-cut to DNA barcoding; i.e., a non-destructive PCR method that skips DNA extraction (“direct PCR”) and that can be...

Data from: The hawk-dove game in a sexually reproducing species explains a colorful polymorphism of an endangered bird

Hanna Kokko, Simon C. Griffith & Sarah R. Pryke
The hawk–dove game famously introduced strategic game theory thinking into biology and forms the basis of arguments for limited aggression in animal populations. However, aggressive ‘hawks’ and peaceful ‘doves’, with strategies inherited in a discrete manner, have never been documented in a real animal population. Thus, the applicability of game-theoretic arguments to real populations might be contested. Here, we show that the head-colour polymorphism of red and black Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) provides a real-life...

Data from: Polyandrous females found fitter populations

Daniel J. Power & Luke Holman
Multiple mating by females (polyandry) requires an evolutionary explanation, because it carries fitness costs in many species. When mated females disperse alone to a new habitat, their offspring may have no option but to mate with their siblings and incur inbreeding depression. However, some of the offspring of polyandrous females may only be half siblings, reducing inbreeding depression when isolated groups of siblings only have each other as mates. We investigated this putative benefit of...

Data from: Spatially heterogeneous impact of climate change on small mammals of montane California

Kevin C. Rowe, Karen M. C. Rowe, Morgan W. Tingley, Michelle S. Koo, James L. Patton, Christopher J. Conroy, John D. Perrine, Steven R. Beissinger & Craig Moritz
Resurveys of historical collecting localities have revealed range shifts, primarily leading edge expansions, which have been attributed to global warming. However, there have been few spatially replicated community-scale resurveys testing whether species' responses are spatially consistent. Here we repeated early twentieth century surveys of small mammals along elevational gradients in northern, central and southern regions of montane California. Of the 34 species we analysed, 25 shifted their ranges upslope or downslope in at least one...

Data from: Assessing the alignment of sexual and natural selection using radio-mutagenized seed beetles

Daniel J. Power & Luke Holman
A major unsolved question in evolutionary biology concerns the relationship between natural and sexual selection. Sexual selection might augment natural selection, e.g. if mutations that harm female fecundity also reduce male mating success. Conversely, sexual selection might favor traits that impair naturally-selected fitness components. We induced detrimental mutations in Callosobruchus maculatus beetles using X-ray irradiation, and then experimentally measured the effect of pre-copulatory sexual selection on offspring number and survival rate. Sexual selection treatment had...

Data from: The effect of sex-biased dispersal on opposite-sexed spatial genetic structure and inbreeding risk

Michaela D. J. Blyton, Sam C. Banks & Rod Peakall
Natal sex-biased dispersal has long been thought to reduce the risk of inbreeding by spatially separating opposite-sexed kin. Yet, comprehensive and quantitative evaluations of this hypothesis are lacking. In this study, we quantified the effectiveness of sex-biased dispersal as an inbreeding avoidance strategy by combining spatially explicit simulations and empirical data. We quantified the extent of kin clustering by measuring the degree of spatial autocorrelation among opposite-sexed individuals (FM structure). This allowed us to systematically...

Data from: Why pair? Evidence of aggregative mating in a socially monogamous marine fish (Siganus doliatus, Siganidae)

Rebecca J. Fox, David R. Bellwood & Michael D. Jennions
Many species live in stable pairs, usually to breed and raise offspring together, but this cannot be assumed. Establishing whether pairing is based on mating, or an alternative cooperative advantage, can be difficult, especially where species show no obvious sexual dimorphism and where the act of reproduction itself is difficult to observe. In the tropical marine fishes known as rabbitfish (Siganidae), half of extant species live in socially monogamous, territorial pairs. It has been assumed...

Data from: Tackling extremes: challenges for ecological and evolutionary research on extreme climatic events

Liam D. Bailey & Martijn Van De Pol
1. Extreme climatic events (ECEs) are predicted to become more frequent as the climate changes. A rapidly increasing number of studies - though few on animals - suggest that the biological consequences of ECEs can be severe. 2. However, ecological research on the impacts of extreme climatic events (ECEs) has been limited by a lack of cohesiveness and structure. ECEs are often poorly defined and have often been confusingly equated with climatic variability, making comparison...

Data from: Parental effects alter the adaptive value of an adult behavioural trait

Rebecca M. Kilner, Giuseppe Boncoraglio, Jono M. Henshaw, Benjamin J. M. Jarrett, Ornela De Gasperin, Hanna Kokko, Benjamin JM Jarrett, Alfredo Attisano & Jonathan M Henshaw
The parents' phenotype, or the environment they create for their young, can have long-lasting effects on their offspring, with profound evolutionary consequences. Yet virtually no work has considered how such parental effects might change the adaptive value of behavioural traits expressed by offspring upon reaching adulthood. To address this problem, we combined experiments on burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides) with theoretical modelling, and focussed on one adult behavioural trait in particular: the supply of parental care....

Data from: Do aggressive signals evolve toward higher reliability or lower costs of assessment?

Paweł Ręk
It has been suggested that the evolution of signals must be a wasteful process for the signaller, aimed at the maximization of signal honesty. However, the reliability of communication depends not only on the costs paid by signallers but also on the costs paid by receivers during assessment, and less attention has been given to the interaction between these two types of costs during the evolution of signalling systems. A signaller and receiver may accept...

Data from: Lifespan and reproductive cost explain interspecific variation in the optimal onset of reproduction

Emeline Mourocq, Pierre Bize, Sandra Bouwhuis, Russell Bradley, Anne Charmantier, Carlos De La Cruz, Szymon Marian Obniak, Richard H. M. Espie, Márton Herenyi, Hermann Hötker, Oliver Kruger, John Marzluff, Anders P. Møller, Shinichi Nakagawa, Richard A. Phillips, Andrew N. Radford, Alexandre Roulin, János Török, Juliana Valencia, Martijn Van De Pol, Ian G. Warkentin, Isabel S. Winney, Andrew G. Wood, Michael Griesser & Szymon M. Drobniak
Fitness can be profoundly influenced by the age at first reproduction (AFR), but to date the AFR-fitness relationship only has been investigated intraspecifically. Here we investigated the relationship between AFR and average lifetime reproductive success (LRS) across 34 bird species. We assessed differences in the deviation of the Optimal AFR (i.e., the species-specific AFR associated with the highest LRS) from the age at sexual maturity, considering potential effects of life-history as well as social and...

Data from: Computational performance and statistical accuracy of *BEAST and comparisons with other methods

Huw A. Ogilvie, Joseph Heled, Dong Xie & Alexei J. Drummond
Under the multispecies coalescent model of molecular evolution, gene trees have independent evolutionary histories within a shared species tree. In comparison, supermatrix concatenation methods assume that gene trees share a single common genealogical history, thereby equating gene coalescence with species divergence. The multispecies coalescent is supported by previous studies which found that its predicted distributions fit empirical data, and that concatenation is not a consistent estimator of the species tree. *BEAST, a fully Bayesian implementation...

Data from: Predation can select for later and more synchronous arrival times in migrating species

Anna M. F. Harts, Nadiah P. Kristensen & Hanna Kokko
For migratory species, the timing of arrival at breeding grounds is an important determinant of fitness. Too early arrival at the breeding ground is associated with various costs, and we focus on one understudied cost: that migrants can experience a higher risk of predation if arriving earlier than the bulk of the breeding population. We show, using both a semi-analytic and simulation model, that predation can select for later arrival. This is because of safety...

Data from: Mate choice and the operational sex ratio: an experimental test with robotic crabs

Catherine L. Hayes, Sophie Callander, Isobel Booksmythe, Michael D. Jennions & Patricia R. Y. Backwell
The operational sex ratio (OSR) (sexually active males: receptive females) predicts the intensity of competition for mates. It is less clear, however, under what circumstances the OSR predicts the strength of sexual selection – that is, the extent to which variation in mating success is attributable to traits that increase the bearer's attractiveness and/or fighting ability. To establish causality experiments are required that manipulate OSR. Furthermore, if it is possible to control for any OSR-dependent...

Data from: The impact of seasonality on niche breadth, distribution range and species richness: a theoretical exploration of Janzen's hypothesis

Xia Hua
Being invoked as one of the candidate mechanisms for the latitudinal patterns in biodiversity, Janzen's hypothesis states that the limited seasonal temperature variation in the tropics generates greater temperature stratification across elevations, which makes tropical species adapted to narrower ranges of temperatures and have lower effective dispersal across elevations than species in temperate regions. Numerous empirical studies have documented latitudinal patterns in species elevational ranges and thermal niche breadths that are consistent with the hypothesis,...

Data from: Where do animals come from during post-fire population recovery? Implications for ecological and genetic patterns in post-fire landscapes

Sam C. Banks, Lachlan McBurney, David Blair, Ian D. Davies & David B. Lindenmayer
Identifying where animals come from during population recovery can help to understand the impacts of disturbance events and regimes on species distributions and genetic diversity. Alternative recovery processes for animal populations affected by fire include external recolonization, nucleated recovery from refuges, or in situ survival and population growth. We used simulations to develop hypotheses about ecological and genetic patterns corresponding to these alternative models. We tested these hypotheses in a study of the recovery of...

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