104 Works

Coping with the worst of both worlds: phenotypic adjustments for cold acclimatization benefit northward migration and arrival in the cold in an Arctic breeding songbird

Audrey Le Pogam, Ryan S. O'Connor, Oliver P. Love, Magali Petit, Lyette Régimbald & François Vézina
Cold acclimatization (phenotypic adjustments to cope with cold conditions) is an imperative requirement for birds living at high latitudes during the cold depths of winter. Despite the significant remodelling of key phenotypic traits and energetic costs associated with elevating cold endurance, winter cold acclimatization can also provide further carryover benefits to subsequent stages in species wintering, migrating and breeding in cold environments (e.g., the Arctic). We tested this beneficial carryover hypothesis using outdoor captive Arctic-breeding...

Polar bears are inefficient predators of seabird eggs

Patrick Jagielski
Climate-mediated sea-ice loss is disrupting the foraging ecology of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) across much of their range. As a result, there have been increased reports of polar bears foraging on seabird eggs across parts of their range. Given that polar bears have evolved to hunt seals on ice, they may not be efficient predators of seabird eggs. We investigated bears’ foraging performance on common eider (Somateria mollissima) eggs on Mitivik Island, Nunavut, Canada to...

Population differences in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) DNA methylation: genetic drift and environmental factors

Clare Venney, Ben Sutherland, Terry D. Beacham & Daniel Heath
Local adaptation and phenotypic differences among populations have been reported in many species, though most studies focus on either neutral or adaptive genetic differentiation. With the discovery of DNA methylation, questions have arisen about its contribution to individual variation in and among natural populations. Previous studies have identified differences in methylation among populations of organisms, although most to date have been in plants and model animal species. Here we obtained eyed eggs from eight populations...

Muscle fiber size, myonuclear domain, and fat mass phenotypes in pre-migratory snow buntings

François Vézina, Ryan O'Connor, Audrey Le Pogam, Aliyah De Jesus, Oliver Love & Ana Jimenez
In long-distance migrants, preparation for migration is typically associated with increases in fat and body mass, and with an enlargement of pectoralis muscle mass that likely improves flight performance. Although changes in muscle mass or size have been well described in migratory birds, potential changes in muscle ultrastructure during this transition still deserves scrutiny. Using outdoor captive snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis n = 15) measured during their transition into a spring migratory phenotype as a...

Cumulative cultural evolution and mechanisms for cultural selection in wild bird songs

Heather Williams, Andrew Scharf, Anna R. Ryba, D. Ryan Norris, Daniel J. Mennill, Amy E. M. Newman, Stéphanie M. Doucet & Julie C. Blackwood
Cumulative cultural evolution, the accumulation of sequential changes within a single socially learned behaviour that results in improved function, is prominent in humans and has been documented in experimental studies of captive animals and managed wild populations. Here, we provide evidence that cumulative cultural evolution has occurred in the learned songs of Savannah sparrows. In a first step, “click trains” replaced “high note clusters” over a period of three decades. We use mathematical modeling to...

Data from: Exploring seascape genetics and kinship in the reef sponge Stylissa carteri in the Red Sea

Emily C. Giles, Pablo Saenz-Agudelo, Nigel E. Hussey, Timothy Ravasi & Michael L. Berumen
A main goal of population geneticists is to study patterns of gene flow to gain a better understanding of the population structure in a given organism. To date most efforts have been focused on studying gene flow at either broad scales to identify barriers to gene flow and isolation by distance or at fine spatial scales in order to gain inferences regarding reproduction and local dispersal. Few studies have measured connectivity at multiple spatial scales...

Data from: Predator-free space, functional responses and biological invasions

Daniel Barrios-O'Neill, Jaimie T. A. Dick, Mark C. Emmerson, Anthony Ricciardi & Hugh J. MacIsaac
Predator-prey interactions are mediated by the structural complexity of habitats, but disentangling the many facets of structure that contribute to this mediation remains elusive. In a world replete with altered landscapes and biological invasions, determining how structure mediates the interactions between predators and novel prey will contribute to our understanding of invasions and predator-prey dynamics in general. Here, using simplified experimental arenas, we manipulate predator-free space, whilst holding surface area and volume constant, to quantify...

Data from: Seascape drivers of Macrocystis pyrifera population genetic structure in the northeast Pacific

Mattias L. Johansson, Filipe Alberto, Daniel C. Reed, Peter T. Raimondi, Nelson C. Coelho, Mary A. Young, Patrick T. Drake, Christopher A. Edwards, Kyle Cavanaugh, Jorge Assis, Lydia B. Ladah, Tom W. Bell, James A. Coyer, David A. Siegel & Ester A. Serrão
At small spatial and temporal scales, genetic differentiation is largely controlled by constraints on gene flow, while genetic diversity across a species' distribution is shaped on longer temporal and spatial scales. We assess the hypothesis that oceanographic transport and other seascape features explain different scales of genetic structure of giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. We followed a hierarchical approach to perform a microsatellite-based analysis of genetic differentiation in Macrocystis across its distribution in the northeast Pacific....

Data from: Possible ballast water transfer of lionfish to the eastern Pacific Ocean

Hugh J. MacIsaac, Emma M. De Roy, Brian Leung, Alice Grgicak-Mannion & Gregory M. Ruiz
The Indo-Pacific Red Lionfish was first reported off the Florida coast in 1985, following which it has spread across much of the SE USA, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea. Lionfish negatively impact fish and invertebrate assemblages and abundances, thus further spread is cause for concern. To date, the fish has not been reported on the Pacific coast of North or Central America. Here we examine the possibility of ballast water transfer of lionfish from...

Data from: Baseline glucocorticoids are drivers of body mass gain in a diving seabird

Holly L. Hennin, Alicia M. Wells-Berlin & Oliver P. Love
Life-history trade-offs are influenced by variation in individual state, with individuals in better condition often completing life-history stages with greater success. Although resource accrual significantly impacts key life-history decisions such as the timing of reproduction, little is known about the underlying mechanisms driving resource accumulation. Baseline corticosterone (CORT, the primary avian glucocorticoid) mediates daily and seasonal energetics, responds to changes in food availability, and has been linked to foraging behavior, making it a strong potential...

Data from: Origins of the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus): impacts of ice-olation and introgression

Ryan P. Walter, Denis Roy, Nigel E. Hussey, Björn Stelbrink, Kit M. Kovacs, Christian Lydersen, Bailey C. McMeans, Jörundur Svavarsson, Steven T. Kessel, Sebastian Biton Porsmoguer, Sharon Wildes, Cindy A. Tribuzio, Steven E. Campana, Stephen D. Petersen, R. Dean Grubbs, Daniel D. Heath, Kevin J. Hedges & Aaron T. Fisk
Herein, we use genetic data from 277 sleeper sharks to perform coalescent-based modeling to test the hypothesis of early Quaternary emergence of the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) from ancestral sleeper sharks in the Canadian Arctic-Subarctic region. Our results show that morphologically cryptic somniosids S. microcephalus and Somniosus pacificus can be genetically distinguished using combined mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers. Our data confirm the presence of genetically admixed individuals in the Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic, and...

Data from: Two-current choice flumes for testing avoidance and preference in aquatic animals

Fredrik Jutfelt, Josefin Sundin, Graham D. Raby, Anna-Sara Krång & Timothy D. Clark
Aquatic chemical ecology is an important and growing field of research that involves understanding how organisms perceive and respond to chemical cues in their environment. Research assessing the preference or avoidance of a water source containing specific chemical cues has increased in popularity in recent years, and a variety of methods have been described in the scientific literature. Two-current choice flumes have seen the greatest increase in popularity, perhaps because of their potential to address...

Data from: Environmental and genetic determinants of transcriptional plasticity in Chinook salmon

Kyle W. Wellband, John W. Heath & Daniel D. Heath
Variation in gene transcription is widely believed to be the mechanistic basis of phenotypically plastic traits; however, comparatively little is known about the inheritance patterns of transcriptional variation that would allow us to predict its response to selection. In addition, acclimation to different environmental conditions influences acute transcriptional responses to stress and it is unclear if these effects are heritable. To address these gaps in knowledge, we assayed levels of messenger RNA for 14 candidate...

Data from: The relationship between plumage colouration, problem-solving and learning performance in great tits Parus major

Laure Cauchard, Stéphanie M. Doucet, Neeltje J. Boogert, Bernard Angers & Blandine Doligez
Recent studies suggest that individuals with better problem-solving and/or learning performance have greater reproductive success, and that individuals may thus benefit from choosing mates based on these performances. However, directly assessing these performances in candidate mates could be difficult. Instead, the use of indirect cues related to problem-solving and/or learning performance, such as condition-dependent phenotypic traits, might be favored. We investigated whether problem-solving and learning performance on a novel non-foraging task correlated with sexually selected...

Data from: Effect of temperature on oviposition behavior and egg load of blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

Krystal Rae Hans, Rebecca LeBouthillier & Sherah L. VanLaerhoven
Making optimal oviposition decisions is especially important for female carrion colonizing insects whose larvae often depend on ephemeral resources. Oviposition can be influenced by a variety of factors, including temperature. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of temperature on the oviposition behavior and egg load of two blow fly species native to southern Ontario: Phormia regina Meigen and Lucilia sericata Meigen (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Using fetal pig carcasses as an oviposition substrate,...

Data from: Higher rates of pre‐breeding condition gain positively impacts clutch size: a mechanistic test of the condition‐dependent individual optimization model

Holly L. Hennin, Cody J. Dey, Joel Bety, H. Grant Gilchrist, Pierre Legagneux, Tony D. Williams & Oliver P. Love
1. A combination of timing of and body condition (i.e., mass) at arrival on the breeding grounds interact to influence the optimal combination of the timing of reproduction and clutch size in migratory species. This relationship has been formalized by Rowe et al. in a condition-dependent individual optimization model (American Naturalist, 1994, 143, 689-722), which has been empirically tested and validated in avian species with a capital-based breeding strategy. 2. This model makes a key,...

Data from: Environmental DNA detection of rare and invasive fish species in two Great Lakes tributaries

Katherine D. Balasingham, Ryan P. Walter, Nicholas E. Mandrak & Daniel D. Heath
The extraction and characterization of DNA from aquatic environmental samples offers an alternative, non-invasive approach for the detection of rare species. Environmental DNA, coupled with PCR and next-generation sequencing (“metabarcoding”), has proven to be very sensitive for the detection of rare aquatic species. Our study used a custom designed group-specific primer set and next-generation sequencing for the detection of three species at risk; (Eastern Sand Darter, Ammocrypta pellucida; Northern Madtom, Noturus stigmosus; and Silver Shiner,...

Data from: Neutral genetic variation in adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) affects brain-to-body trade-off and brain laterality

Mallory L. Wiper, Sarah J. Lehnert, Daniel D. Heath & Dennis M. Higgs
Low levels of heterozygosity can have detrimental effects on life history and growth characteristics of organisms but more subtle effects such as those on trade-offs of expensive tissues and morphological laterality, especially of the brain, have not been explicitly tested. The objective of the current study was to investigate how estimated differences in heterozygosity may potentially affect brain-to-body trade-offs and to explore how these heterozygosity differences may affect differential brain growth, focusing on directional asymmetry...

Data from: Non-native species spread in a complex network: the interaction of global transport and local population dynamics determines invasion success

Hanno Seebens, Elizabeta Briski, Sara Ghabooli, Tamara Shiganova, Hugh MacIsaac & Bernd Blasius
The number of released individuals, which is a component of propagule pressure, is considered to be a major driver for the establishment success of non-native species. However, propagule pressure is often assumed to result from single or few release events, which does not necessarily apply to the frequent releases of invertebrates or other taxa through global transport. For instance, the high intensity of global shipping may result in frequent releases of large numbers of individuals,...

Data from: Social group signatures in hummingbird displays provide evidence of co-occurrence of vocal and visual learning

Marcelo Araya-Salas, Grace Smith-Vidaurre, Daniel J. Mennill, Paulina L. González-Gómez, James Cahill & Timothy F. Wright
Vocal learning, in which animals modify their vocalizations based on social experience, has evolved in several lineages of mammals and birds, including humans. Despite much attention, the question of how this key cognitive trait has evolved remains unanswered. The motor theory for the origin of vocal learning posits that neural centers specialized for vocal learning arose from adjacent areas in the brain devoted to general motor learning. One prediction of this hypothesis is that visual...

Snow bunting respirometry data

Ryan O'Connor, Audrey Le Pogam, Kevin Young, Francis Robitaille, Emily Choy, Oliver Love, Kyle Elliott, Anna Hargreaves, Dominique Berteaux, Andrew Tam & François Vézina
1. Arctic animals inhabit some of the coldest environments on the planet and have evolved physiological mechanisms for minimizing heat loss under extreme cold. However, the Arctic is warming faster than the global average and how well Arctic animals tolerate even moderately high air temperatures (Ta) is unknown. 2. Using flow-through respirometry we investigated the heat tolerance and evaporative cooling capacity of snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis; ≈ 31g, N = 42), a cold specialist, Arctic...

Sympatry drives colour and song divergence in wood-warblers (Parulidae)

Richard Simpson, David Wilson, Allison F. Mistakidis, Daniel Mennill & Stéphanie M. Doucet
Closely related species often exhibit similarities in appearance and behaviour, yet when related species exist in sympatry, signals may diverge to enhance species recognition. Prior comparative studies provided mixed support for this hypothesis, but the relationship between sympatry and signal divergence is likely non-linear. Constraints on signal diversity may limit signal divergence, especially when large numbers of species are sympatric. We tested the effect of sympatric overlap on plumage colour and song divergence in wood-warblers...

Warming in the land of the midnight sun: breeding birds may suffer greater heat stress at high- vs low-Arctic sites

Ryan O'Connor, Audrey Le Pogam, Kevin Young, Oliver Love, Christopher Cox, Gabrielle Roy, Francis Robitaille, Kyle Elliott, Anna Hargreaves, Emily Choy, Grant Gilchrist, Dominique Berteaux, Andrew Tam & François Vézina
Rising global temperatures are expected to increase reproductive costs for wildlife as greater thermoregulatory demands interfere with reproductive activities. However, predicting the temperatures at which reproductive performance is negatively impacted remains a significant hurdle. Using a thermoregulatory polygon approach, we derived a reproductive threshold temperature for an Arctic songbird–the snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis). We defined this threshold as the temperature at which individuals must reduce activity to suboptimal levels (i.e., < 4-times basal metabolic rate)...

Philanthropic donor perspectives about providing harm reduction services for people living with HIV/AIDS in a hospital setting

Katherine Rudzinski, Soo Chan Carusone, Andre Ceranto, Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco, Lisa McDonald, Dean Valentine, Adrian Guta, Elaine Hyshka, William O’Leary, Andra Cardow & Carol Strike
Abstract Background Hospital-based harm reduction services are needed to reduce drug-related harms, facilitate retention in care, and increase medical treatment adherence for people who use drugs. Philanthropic donor support plays a key role in delivering such innovative services which might fall outside current funding streams. However, little is known about how the principles, implementation, and practice of harm reduction services, which are often highly stigmatized, may impact donor behaviours. We explored this issue within Casey...

Philanthropic donor perspectives about providing harm reduction services for people living with HIV/AIDS in a hospital setting

Katherine Rudzinski, Soo Chan Carusone, Andre Ceranto, Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco, Lisa McDonald, Dean Valentine, Adrian Guta, Elaine Hyshka, William O’Leary, Andra Cardow & Carol Strike
Abstract Background Hospital-based harm reduction services are needed to reduce drug-related harms, facilitate retention in care, and increase medical treatment adherence for people who use drugs. Philanthropic donor support plays a key role in delivering such innovative services which might fall outside current funding streams. However, little is known about how the principles, implementation, and practice of harm reduction services, which are often highly stigmatized, may impact donor behaviours. We explored this issue within Casey...

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