175 Works

Data from: Identification of source-sink dynamics in mountain lions of the Great Basin

Alyson M. Andreasen, Kelley M. Stewart, William S. Longland, Jon P. Beckmann & Matthew L. Forister
Natural and anthropogenic boundaries have been shown to affect population dynamics and population structure for many species with movement patterns at the landscape level. Understanding population boundaries and movement rates in the field for species that are cryptic and occur at low densities is often extremely difficult and logistically prohibitive; however genetic techniques may offer insights that have previously been unattainable. We analyzed thirteen microsatellite loci for 739 mountain lions (Puma concolor) using muscle tissue...

Data from: Differential hippocampal gene expression is associated with climate-related natural variation in memory and the hippocampus in food-caching chickadees

Vladimir V. Pravosudov, , Matthew L. Forister, Lara D. LaDage, Robin Kramer, Faye Schilkey, Alexander M. Van Der Linden & T. C. Roth
There is significant and often heritable variation in cognition and its underlying neural mechanisms, yet specific genetic contributions to such variation are not well characterized. Black-capped chickadees present a good model to investigate the genetic basis of cognition because they exhibit tremendous climate-related variation in memory, hippocampal morphology and neurogenesis rates throughout the North American continent, and these cognitive traits appear to have a heritable basis. We examined the hippocampal transcriptome profiles of laboratory-reared chickadees...

Data from: Colour learning when foraging for nectar and pollen: bees learn two colours at once

Felicity Muth, Daniel R. Papaj & Anne S. Leonard
Bees are model organisms for the study of learning and memory, yet nearly all such research to date has used a single reward, nectar. Many bees collect both nectar (carbohydrates) and pollen (protein) on a single foraging bout, sometimes from different plant species. We tested whether individual bumblebees could learn colour associations with nectar and pollen rewards simultaneously in a foraging scenario where one floral type offered only nectar and the other only pollen. We...

Data from: Evaluation of downscaled, gridded climate data for the conterminous United States

Ruben Behnke, Stephen Vavrus, Andrew Allstadt, Thomas Albright, Wayne E. Thogmartin & Volker C. Radeloff
Weather and climate affect many ecological processes, making spatially continuous yet fine-resolution weather data desirable for ecological research and predictions. Numerous downscaled weather data sets exist, but little attempt has been made to evaluate them systematically. Here we address this shortcoming by focusing on four major questions: (1) How accurate are downscaled, gridded climate data sets in terms of temperature and precipitation estimates? (2) Are there significant regional differences in accuracy among data sets? (3)...

Data from: A well-defined readily releasable pool with fixed capacity for storing vesicles at calyx of held

Kashif Mahfooz, Robert Renden & John F. Wesseling
The readily releasable pool (RRP) of vesicles is a core concept in studies of presynaptic function. However, operating principles lack consensus definition and the utility for quantitative analysis has been questioned. Here we confirm that RRPs at calyces of Held from 14 to 21 day old mice have a fixed capacity for storing vesicles that is not modulated by Ca2+. Discrepancies with previous studies are explained by a dynamic flow-through pool, established during heavy use,...

Data from: Convergent adaptation to dangerous prey proceeds through the same first-step mutation in the garter snake Thamnophis sirtalis

Michael Thomas Jonathan Hague, Chris R. Feldman, , , Michael T.J. Hague & Edmund D. Brodie
Convergent phenotypes often result from similar underlying genetics, but recent work suggests convergence may also occur in the historical order of substitutions en route to an adaptive outcome. We characterized convergence in the mutational steps to two independent outcomes of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in separate geographic lineages of the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) that coevolved with toxic newts. Resistance is largely conferred by amino acid changes in the skeletal muscle sodium channel (NaV1.4) that...

Data from: Proximate controls on semiarid soil greenhouse gas fluxes across 3 million years of soil development

Benjamin W. Sullivan, Megan K. Nasto, Stephen C. Hart & Bruce A. Hungate
Soils are important sources and sinks of three greenhouse gases (GHGs): carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). However, it is unknown whether semiarid landscapes are important contributors to global fluxes of these gases, partly because our mechanistic understanding of soil GHG fluxes is largely derived from more humid ecosystems. We designed this study with the objective of identifying the important soil physical and biogeochemical controls on soil GHG fluxes in semiarid soils...

Data from: Parameterizing the robust design in the BUGS language: lifetime carry‐over effects of environmental conditions during growth on a long‐lived bird

Thomas V. Riecke, Alan G. Leach, Dan Gibson & James S. Sedinger
1. Since the initial development of the robust design, this capture‐recapture model structure has been modified to estimate temporary emigration, and expanded to include auxiliary information such as band recovery and live resight data using maximum likelihood approaches. These developments have allowed investigators to separately assess individual and group effects on true survival, site fidelity, and temporary emigration. Additionally, recent advances in the BUGS language have allowed researchers to develop increasingly complex, user‐specified models in...

Data from: A strong response to selection on mass-independent maximal metabolic rate without a correlated response in basal metabolic rate

Bernard W. M. Wone, Per Madsen, Edward R. Donovan, Marta K. Labocha, Michael W. Sears, Cynthia J. Downs, Daniel A. Sorensen & Jack P. Hayes
Metabolic rates are correlated with many aspects of ecology, but how selection on different aspects of metabolic rates affects their mutual evolution is poorly understood. Using laboratory mice, we artificially selected for high maximal mass-independent metabolic rate (MMR) without direct selection on mass-independent basal metabolic rate (BMR). Then we tested for responses to selection in MMR and correlated responses to selection in BMR. In other lines, we antagonistically selected for mice with a combination of...

Data from: Bees use the taste of pollen to determine which flowers to visit

Felicity Muth, Francis S. Jacob, Anne S. Leonard & Jacob S. Francis
Pollen plays a dual role as both a gametophyte and a nutritional reward for pollinators. Although pollen chemistry varies across plant species, its functional significance in pollination has remained obscure, in part because little is known about how floral visitors assess it. Bees rely on pollen for protein, but whether foragers evaluate its chemistry is unclear, as it is primarily consumed by larvae. We asked whether the chemical composition of pollen influences bumblebees' foraging behaviour....

Data from: Genome divergence and diversification within a geographic mosaic of coevolution

Thomas L. Parchman, C. Alex Buerkle, Victor Soria-Carrasco & Craig W. Benkman
Despite substantial interest in coevolution's role in diversification, examples of coevolution contributing to speciation have been elusive. Here, we build upon past studies that have shown both coevolution between South Hills crossbills and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), and high levels of reproductive isolation between South Hills crossbills and other ecotypes in the North American red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) complex. We used genotyping by sequencing to generate population genomic data and applied phylogenetic and population genetic...

Seeds of success: a conservation and restoration investment in the future of US lands

Sarah Barga, Elizabeth Leger, Peggy Olwell, Fred Edwards & Leah Prescott
Seeds of Success (SOS) is a national seed collection program led by the Bureau of Land Management. SOS represents the most comprehensive native seed repository in the US, supporting native plant restoration, management, and research. Since inception in 2000, SOS has collected seeds from over 24,400 native plant populations from ~5,600 taxa from 43 states. Collections include species important to wildlife, pollinators, and indigenous people, and over 10,000 collections have been shared for restoration and...

LeafByte: A mobile application that measures leaf area and herbivory quickly and accurately

Zoe Getman-Pickering, Adam Campbell, Julie Davis, Nicholas Aflitto, Ari Grele, Todd Ugine, Zoe L. Getman‐Pickering, Julie K. Davis & Todd A. Ugine
In both basic and applied studies, quantification of herbivory on foliage is a key metric in characterizing plant-herbivore interactions, which underpin many ecological, evolutionary, and agricultural processes. Current methods of quantifying herbivory are slow or inaccurate. We present LeafByte, a free iOS application for measuring leaf area and herbivory. LeafByte can save data automatically, read and record barcodes, handle both light and dark colored plant tissue, and be used non-destructively. We evaluate its accuracy and...

Data from: Changes in behavior are unable to disrupt a trophic cascade involving a specialist herbivore and its food plant

Madeleine G. Lohman, Thomas V. Riecke, Cheyenne R. Acevedo, Brian T. Person, Joel A. Schmutz, Brian D. Uher-Koch & James S. Sedinger
Changes in ecological conditions can induce changes in behavior and demography of wild organisms, which in turn may influence population dynamics. Black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) nesting in colonies on the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) in western Alaska have declined substantially (~50%) since the turn of the century. Black brant are herbivores that rely heavily on Carex subspathacea (Hoppner's sedge) during growth and development. The availability of C. subspathacea affects gosling growth rates, which subsequently affect...

Data from: Strong patterns of intraspecific variation and local adaptation in Great Basin plants revealed through a review of 75 years of experiments

Owen W. Baughman, Alison C. Agneray, Matthew L. Forister, Francis F. Kilkenny, Erin K. Espeland, Rob Fiegener, Matthew E. Horning, Richard C. Johnson, Thomas N. Kaye, Jeffery Ott, John Bradley St. Clair & Elizabeth A. Leger
Variation in natural selection across heterogeneous landscapes often produces 1) among-population differences in phenotypic traits, 2) trait-by-environment associations, and 3) higher fitness of local populations. Using a broad literature review of common garden studies published between 1941 and 2017, we documented the commonness of these three signatures in plants native to North America’s Great Basin, an area of extensive restoration and revegetation efforts, and asked which traits and environmental variables were involved. We also asked,...

Data from: Effects of native bryophytes on exotic grass invasion across an environmental gradient

Andrew R. Kleinhesselink & J. Hall Cushman
Understanding the role that native biodiversity plays in controlling exotic species invasion is a critical goal in ecology. In terrestrial plant communities, most research has focused on the effects of native vascular plants on invasion by exotic vascular plants. However, in many ecosystems, native bryophytes and other non-vascular plants are common and can affect the establishment, survival and growth of vascular plants. A more complete picture of how native biodiversity affects exotic plant invasion, demands...

Data from: Assessing thermal adaptation using family-based association and FST-outlier tests in a threatened trout

Stephen J. Amish, Omar Ali, Mary Peacock, Michael Miller, Morgan Robinson, Seth Smith, Gordon Luikart & Helen Neville
Discovering genetic markers associated with phenotypic or ecological characteristics can improve our understanding of adaptation and guide conservation of key evolutionary traits. The Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi) of the northern Great Basin Desert, USA, demonstrated exceptional tolerance to high temperatures in the desert lakes where it resided historically. This trait is central to a conservation hatchery effort to protect the genetic legacy of the nearly extinct lake ecotype. We genotyped full‐sibling families from...

Data from: Proximity to canopy mediates changes in the defensive chemistry and herbivore loads of an understory tropical shrub, Piper kelleyi

Andrea E. Glassmire, Casey Philbin, Lora A. Richards, Christopher S. Jeffrey, Joshua S. Snook & Lee A. Dyer
Phytochemical traits are a key component of plant defense theory. Chemical ecology has been biased towards studying effects of individual metabolites even though effective plant defenses are comprised of diverse mixtures of metabolites. We tested the phytochemical landscape hypothesis, positing that trophic interactions are contingent upon their spatial location across a phytochemically diverse landscape. Specifically, intraspecific phytochemical changes associated with vertical strata in forests were hypothesized to affect herbivore communities of the neotropical shrub Piper...

Pinus contorta landscape genetics and common garden data

Sarah Bisbing
Aim: Climate change poses significant challenges for tree species, which are slow to adapt and migrate. Insight into genetic and phenotypic variation under current landscape conditions can be used to gauge persistence potential to future conditions and determine conservation priorities, but landscape effects have been minimally tested in trees. Here, we use Pinus contorta, one of the most widely-distributed conifers in North America, to evaluate the influence of landscape heterogeneity on genetic structure as well...

Specialized spatial cognition is associated with reduced cognitive senescence in a food-caching bird

Virginia Heinen, Angela Pitera, Ben Sonnenberg, Lauren Benedict, Carrie Branch, Eli Bridge & Vladimir Pravosudov
Senescence, the gradual reduction and loss of function as organisms age, is a widespread process that is especially pronounced in cognitive abilities. Senescence appears to have a genetic basis and can be affected by evolutionary processes. If cognitive senescence is shaped by natural selection, it may be linked with selection on cognitive abilities needed for survival and reproduction, such that species in which fitness is directly related to cognitive abilities should evolve delayed cognitive senescence....

Unifying community detection across scales from genomes to landscapes

Andrii Zaiats, Stephanie F. Hudon, Anna Roser, Anand Roopsind, Cristina Barber, Brecken C. Robb, Britt A. Pendleton, Meghan J. Camp, Patrick E. Clark, Merry M. Davidson, Jonas Frankel-Bricker, Marcella Fremgen-Tarantino, Jennifer Sorensen Forbey, Eric J. Hayden, Lora A. Richards, Olivia K. Rodrigues & T. Trevor Caughlin
Biodiversity science encompasses multiple disciplines and biological scales from molecules to landscapes. Nevertheless, biodiversity data are often analyzed separately with discipline-specific methodologies, constraining resulting inferences to a single scale. To overcome this, we present a topic modeling framework to analyze community composition in cross-disciplinary datasets, including those generated from metagenomics, metabolomics, field ecology, and remote sensing. Using topic models, we demonstrate how community detection in different datasets can inform the conservation of interacting plants and...

Let it snow? Spring snowpack and microsite characterize the regeneration niche of high-elevation pines

Lacey Hankin & Sarah Bisbing
Aim: The persistence potential of forests under rapid climate change will depend on species-specific tolerances to increasing growing season soil moisture stress as snowpack declines. High-elevation tree species may be particularly vulnerable to increasing water stress and associated changes to disturbance regimes because they occur at the environmental margins of tree distributions and are considered snowpack dependent. Here, we evaluate the interacting effects of climate, disturbance, and microsite conditions on tree regeneration in high-elevation, migration-limited...

The cost of travel: how dispersal ability limits local adaptation in host-parasite interactions

Pieter Johnson, Dana Calhoun, Wynne Moss, Travis McDevitt-Galles, Tawni Riepe, Joshua Hallas, Thomas Parchman, Chris Feldman, Josh Cropanzano, Jay Bowerman, Tyler Achatz, Vasyl Tkach & Janet Koprivnikar
Classical theory suggests that parasites will exhibit higher fitness in sympatric relative to allopatric host populations (local adaptation). However, evidence for local adaptation in natural host-parasite systems is often equivocal, emphasizing the need for cross-infection experiments conducted over realistic geographic scales and comparisons among species with varied life history traits. Here, we conducted cross-infection experiments to test how two trematode (flatworm) species (Paralechriorchis syntomentera and Ribeiroia ondatrae) with differing dispersal abilities varied in the strength...

Food discovery is associated with different reliance on social learning and lower cognitive flexibility across environments in a food caching bird

Virginia Heinen, Angela Pitera, Ben Sonnenberg, Lauren Benedict, Eli Bridge, Damien Farine & Vladimir Pravosudov
Social learning is a primary mechanism for information acquisition in social species. Despite many benefits, social learning may be disadvantageous when independent learning is more efficient. For example, searching independently may be more advantageous when food sources are ephemeral and unpredictable. Individual differences in cognitive abilities such as spatial memory, which affect an individual’s environmental predictability, can also be expected to influence social information use. We investigated how resident food-caching chickadees discovered multiple novel food...

Phenology-based classification of invasive annual grasses to the species level

Peter Weisberg, Thomas Dilts, Jonathan Greenberg, Kerri Johnson, Henry Pai, Chris Sladek, Christopher Kratt, Scott Tyler & Alice Ready
The ability to detect and map invasive plants to the species level, both at high resolution and over large extents, is essential for their targeted management. Yet development of such remote sensing methodology is challenged by the spectral and structural similarities among many invasive and native plant species. We developed a multi-temporal classification approach that uses unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery to map two invasive annual grasses to the species level, and to distinguish these...

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