177 Works

Data from: Nutrient availability controls the impact of mammalian herbivores on soil carbon and nitrogen pools in grasslands

Judith Sitters, E.R. Jasper Wubs, Elisabeth S. Bakker, Thomas W. Crowther, Peter B. Adler, Sumanta Bagchi, Jonathan D. Bakker, Lori Biederman, Elizabeth T. Borer, Elsa E. Cleland, Nico Eisenhauer, Jennifer Firn, Laureano Gherardi, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Sarah E. Hobbie, Johannes M.H. Knops, Andrew S. MacDougall, Rebecca L. McCulley, Joslin L. Moore, Brent Mortensen, Pablo L. Peri, Suzanne M. Prober, Charlotte Riggs, Anita C. Risch … &
Grasslands have been subject to considerable alteration due to human activities globally, including widespread changes in populations and composition of large mammalian herbivores and elevated supply of nutrients. Grassland soils remain important reservoirs of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). Herbivores may affect both C and N pools and these changes likely interact with increases in soil nutrient availability. Given the scale of grassland soil fluxes, such changes can have striking consequences for atmospheric C concentrations...

Globally, plant-soil feedbacks are weak predictors of plant abundance

Kurt Reinhart, Jonathan Bauer, Sarah McCarthy-Neumann, Andrew MacDougall, José Hierro, Mariana Chiuffo, Scott Mangan, Johannes Heinze, Joana Bergmann, Jasmin Joshi, Richard Duncan, Jeff Diaz, Paul Kardol, Gemma Rutten, Markus Fischer, Wim Van Der Putten, T. Bezemer & John Klironomos
Plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) have been shown to strongly affect plant performance under controlled conditions, and PSFs are thought to have far reaching consequences for plant population dynamics and the structuring of plant communities. However, thus far the relationship between PSF and plant species abundance in the field is not consistent. Here, we synthesize PSF experiments from tropical forests to semiarid grasslands, and test for a positive relationship between plant abundance in the field and PSFs...

Climatic and Vegetational Drivers of Insect Beta Diversity at the Continental Scale

Douglas Chesters, Douglas Chesters, Philip Beckschäfer, Michael Orr, Sarah Adamowicz, Kwok-Pan Chun & Chao-Dong ZHU
Aim We construct a framework for mapping pattern and drivers of insect diversity at the continental scale, and use it to test whether and which environmental gradients drive insect beta diversity. Location Global; North and Central America; Western Europe Time period 21st century Major taxa studied Insects Methods An informatics system was developed to integrate terrestrial data on insects with environmental parameters. We mined repositories of data for distribution, climatic data was retrieved (WorldClim), and...

Interspecific competition in bats and diet shifts in response to White-Nose Syndrome

Derek Morningstar, Chloe Robinson, Shadi Shokralla & Mehrdad Hajibabaei
Since the introduction of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in North America, numerous species of bat have dwindled in numbers. These declines observed are often species-specific and thus provides opportunity for a natural experiment to test for shifts in diet through relaxed resource partitioning in bat communities post-introduction of WNS. Acoustic monitoring at locations in Southern Ontario pre- (2009– 2011) and post-WNS (2012–2014) introduction showed an increase in activity of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) corresponding to...

Data from: Testing predictions of inclusive fitness theory in inbreeding relatives with biparental care

Elizabeth Gow, Peter Arcese, Danielle Dagenais, Rebecca Sardell, Scott Wilson & Jane Reid
Inclusive fitness theory predicts that parental care will vary with relatedness between potentially caring parents and offspring, potentially shaping mating system evolution. Systems with extra-pair paternity (EPP), and hence variable parent-brood relatedness, provide valuable opportunities to test this prediction. However, existing theoretical and empirical studies assume that a focal male is either an offspring’s father with no inbreeding, or is completely unrelated. We highlight that this simple dichotomy does not hold given reproductive interactions among...

Data from: Rapid and accurate taxonomic classification of insect (Class Insecta) cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) DNA barcode sequences using a naïve Bayesian classifier

Joel F. Gibson, Shadi Shokralla, G. Brian Golding, Mehrdad Hajibabaei, Teresita M. Porter & Donald J. Baird
Current methods to identify unknown insect (class Insecta) cytochrome c oxidase (COI barcode) sequences often rely on difficult to define thresholds of distances, sequence similarity cutoffs, or monophyly. Most methods do not provide a measure of confidence for the taxonomic assignments they provide. The aim of this study is to use a naïve Bayesian classifier (Wang et al., 2007) to automate unsupervised taxonomic assignments for large batches of insect COI sequences such as data obtained...

Data from: Functional mismatch in a bumble bee pollination mutualism under climate change

Nicole E. Miller-Struttmann, Jennifer C. Geib, James D. Franklin, Peter G. Kevan, Ricardo M. Holdo, Diane Ebert-May, Austin M. Lynn, Jessica A. Kettenbach, Elizabeth Hedrick & Candace Galen
Ecological partnerships, or mutualisms, are globally widespread, sustaining agriculture and biodiversity. Mutualisms evolve through the matching of functional traits between partners, such as tongue length of pollinators and flower tube depth of plants. Long-tongued pollinators specialize on flowers with deep corolla tubes, whereas shorter-tongued pollinators generalize across tube lengths. Losses of functional guilds because of shifts in global climate may disrupt mutualisms and threaten partner species. We found that in two alpine bumble bee species,...

Data from: Regional environmental pressure influences population differentiation in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)

S. G. Vandamme, G. E. Maes, J. A. M. Raeymaekers, K. Cottenie, A. K. Imsland, B. Hellemans, G. Lacroix, E. Mac Aoidh, J. T. Martinsohn, P. Martínez, J. Robbens, R. Vilas & F. A. M. Volckaert
Unravelling the factors shaping the genetic structure of mobile marine species is challenging due to the high potential for gene flow. However, genetic inference can be greatly enhanced by increasing the genomic, geographic or environmental resolution of population genetic studies. Here we investigated the population structure of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) by screening 17 random and gene-linked markers in 999 individuals at 290 geographical locations throughout the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. A seascape genetics approach with the...

Data from: Frequency-dependent fitness in gynodioecious Lobelia siphilitica

Lillian Ruth Rivkin, Andrea L. Case & Christina Marie Caruso
Selection is frequency dependent when an individual's fitness depends on the frequency of its phenotype. Frequency-dependent selection should be common in gynodioecious plants, where individuals are female or hermaphroditic; if the fitness of females is limited by the availability of pollen to fertilize their ovules, then they should have higher fitness when rare than when common. To test whether the fitness of females is frequency dependent, we manipulated the sex ratio in arrays of gynodioecious...

Data from: Discrimination of grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) diet and niche overlap using next-generation sequencing of gut contents

Beverly McClenaghan, Joel F. Gibson, Shadi Shokralla & Mehrdad Hajibabaei
Species of grasshopper have been divided into three diet classifications based on mandible morphology: forbivorous (specialist on forbs), graminivorous (specialist on grasses), and mixed feeding (broad-scale generalists). For example, Melanoplus bivittatus and Dissosteira carolina are presumed to be broad-scale generalists, Chortophaga viridifasciata is a specialist on grasses, and Melanoplus femurrubrum is a specialist on forbs. These classifications, however, have not been verified in the wild. Multiple specimens of these four species were collected, and diet...

Data from: A genome scan for selection signatures comparing farmed Atlantic salmon with two wild populations: testing co-localization among outlier markers, candidate genes, and QTLs for production traits

Lei Liu, Keng Pee Ang, J. A. K. Elliott, Matthew Peter Kent, Sigbjørn Lien, Danielle MacDonald & Elizabeth Grace Boulding
Comparative genome scans can be used to identify chromosome regions, but not traits, that are putatively under selection. Identification of targeted traits may be more likely in recently domesticated populations under strong artificial selection for increased production. We used a North American Atlantic salmon 6K SNP dataset to locate genome regions of an aquaculture strain (Saint John River) that were highly diverged from that of its putative wild founder population (Tobique River). First, admixed individuals...

Data from: CRISPR-induced null alleles show that Frost protects Drosophila melanogaster reproduction after cold exposure

Claire E. Newman, Jantina Toxopeus, Hiroko Udaka, Soohyun Ahn, David M. Martynowicz, Steffen P. Graether, Brent J. Sinclair & Anthony Percival-Smith
The ability to survive and reproduce after cold exposure is important in all kingdoms of life. However, even in a sophisticated genetic model system like Drosophila melanogaster, few genes have been identified as functioning in cold tolerance. The accumulation of the Frost (Fst) gene transcript increases after cold exposure, making it a good candidate for a gene that has a role in cold tolerance. However, despite extensive RNAi knockdown analysis, no role in cold tolerance...

Data from: Species-level predation network uncovers high prey specificity in a Neotropical army ant community

Philipp O. Hoenle, Nico Blüthgen, Adrian Brückner, Daniel J.C. Kronauer, Brigitte Fiala, David A. Donoso, M. Alex Smith, Bryan Ospina Jara & Christoph Von Beeren
Army ants are among the top arthropod predators and considered keystone species in tropical ecosystems. During daily mass raids with many thousand workers, army ants hunt live prey, likely exerting strong top-down control on prey species. Many tropical sites exhibit a high army ant species diversity (>20 species), suggesting that sympatric species partition the available prey niches. However, whether and to what extent this is achieved has not been intensively studied yet. We therefore conducted...

Data from: Responses of neurogenesis and neuroplasticity related genes to elevated CO2 levels in the brain of three teleost species

Floriana Lai, Cathrine E. Fagernes, Nicholas J. Bernier, Gabrielle M. Miller, Philip L. Munday, Fredrik Jutfelt & Göran E. Nilsson
The continuous increase of anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere resulting in ocean acidification has been reported to affect brain function in some fishes. During adulthood, cell proliferation is fundamental for fish brain growth and for it to adapt in response to external stimuli, such as environmental changes. Here we report the first expression study of genes regulating neurogenesis and neuroplasticity in brains of three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), cinnamon anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus) and spiny damselfish (Acanthochromis...

Data from: Acute embryonic anoxia exposure favours the development of a dominant and aggressive phenotype in adult zebrafish

Catherine M. Ivy, Cayleih E. Robertson & Nicholas J. Bernier
Eutrophication and climate change are increasing the incidence of severe hypoxia in fish nursery habitats, yet the programming effects of hypoxia on stress responsiveness in later life are poorly understood. In this study, to investigate whether early hypoxia alters the developmental trajectory of the stress response, zebrafish embryos were exposed to 4 h of anoxia at 36 h post-fertilization and reared to adults when the responses to secondary stressors were assessed. While embryonic anoxia did...

Data from: Climatic niche evolution is faster in sympatric than allopatric lineages of the butterfly genus Pyrgus

Camille Pitteloud, Nils Arrigo, Tomasz Suchan, Alicia Mastretta-Yanes, Roger Vila, Vlad Dinca, Juan Hernández-Roldán, Ernst Brockmann, Yannick Chittaro, Irena Kleckova, Luca Fumagalli, Sven Buerki, Loïc Pellissier & Nadir Alvarez
Understanding how speciation relates to ecological divergence has long fascinated biologists. It is assumed that ecological divergence is essential to sympatric speciation, as a mechanism to avoid competition and eventually lead to reproductive isolation, while divergence in allopatry is not necessarily associated with niche differentiation. The impact of the spatial context of divergence on the evolutionary rates of abiotic dimensions of the ecological niche has rarely been explored for an entire clade. Here, we compare...

Data from: Calcium interacts with temperature to influence Daphnia movement rates

Gustavo Betini, Jordan Roszell, Andreas Heyland, John M. Fryxell & Gustavo S. Betini
Predicting the ecological responses to climate change is particularly challenging, because organisms might be affected simultaneously by the synergistic effects of multiple environmental stressors. Global warming is often accompanied by declining calcium concentration in many freshwater ecosystems. Although there is growing evidence that these changes in water chemistry and thermal conditions can influence ecosystem dynamics, little information is currently available about how these synergistic environmental stressors could influence the behaviour of aquatic organisms. Here, we...

Data from: Genetic and environmental determinants of unreduced gamete production in Brassica napus, Sinapis arvensis and their hybrids

Dylan Sora, Paul Kron & Brian C. Husband
Unreduced gametes, sperm or egg cells with the somatic chromosome number, are an important mechanism of polyploid formation and gene flow between heteroploid plants. The meiotic processes leading to unreduced gamete formation are well documented, but the relative influence of environmental and genetic factors on the frequency of unreduced gametes remain largely untested. Furthermore, direct estimates of unreduced gametes based on DNA content are technically challenging and hence, uncommon. Here, we use flow cytometry to...

Data from: Do saline taxa evolve faster? comparing relative rates of molecular evolution between freshwater and marine eukaryotes

T. Fatima Mitterboeck, Alexander Y. Chen, Omar A. Zaheer, Eddie Y. T. Ma & Sarah J. Adamowicz
The major branches of life diversified in the marine realm, and numerous taxa have since transitioned between marine and freshwaters. Previous studies have demonstrated higher rates of molecular evolution in crustaceans inhabiting continental saline habitats as compared with freshwaters, but it is unclear whether this trend is pervasive or whether it applies to the marine environment. We employ the phylogenetic comparative method to investigate relative molecular evolutionary rates between 148 pairs of marine or continental...

Data from: Jasmonic acid regulation of the anti-herbivory mechanism conferred by fungal endophytes in grasses

Daniel A. Bastías, M. Alejandra Martínez-Ghersa, Jonathan A. Newman, Stuart D. Card, Wade J. Mace & Pedro E. Gundel
1. The most studied mechanism of protection against herbivores in grasses associated with Epichloë fungal endophytes has been the fungal production of alkaloids. However, the contribution of the plant immune responses on the level of resistance to herbivores in symbiotic grasses has been poorly explored. We studied the relationship between the plant hormone, jasmonic acid (JA), and Epichloë fungal endophytes on herbivore defenses in symbiotic grasses. We hypothesized that an exogenous application of methyl jasmonate...

Data from: Slippage of degenerate primers can cause variation in amplicon length

Vasco Elbrecht, Paul D. N. Hebert & Dirk Steinke
It is well understood that homopolymer regions should be avoided for primer binding to prevent off-target amplification. However, in metabarcoding, it is often difficult to avoid primer degeneracy in order to maximize taxa detection. We here investigate primer binding specificity using different primer sets from several invertebrate metabarcoding studies. Our results indicate that primers frequently bound 1-2 bp upstream in taxa where a homopolymer region was present in the amplification direction. Primer binding 1 bp...

Data from: Oxidative damage increases with reproductive energy expenditure and is reduced by food-supplementation

Quinn E. Fletcher, Colin Selman, Stan Boutin, Andrew G. McAdam, Sarah B. Woods, Arnold Y. Seo, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, John R. Speakman & Murray M. Humphries
A central principle in life-history theory is that reproductive effort negatively affects survival. Costs of reproduction are thought to be physiologically-based, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using female North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), we test the hypothesis that energetic investment in reproduction overwhelms investment in antioxidant protection, leading to oxidative damage. In support of this hypothesis we found that the highest levels of plasma protein oxidative damage in squirrels occurred during the...

Data from: Evolution of growth by genetic accommodation in Icelandic freshwater stickleback

Beren W. Robinson
Classical Darwinian adaptation to a change in environment can ensue when selection favours beneficial genetic variation. How plastic trait responses to new conditions affect this process depends on how plasticity reveals to selection the influence of genotype on phenotype. Genetic accommodation theory predicts that evolutionary rate may sharply increase when a new environment induces plastic responses and selects on sufficient genetic variation in those responses to produce an immediate evolutionary response, but natural examples are...

Data from: Large birds travel farther in homogeneous environments

Marlee A. Tucker, Olga Alexandrou, , Keith L. Bildstein, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Chloe Bracis, John N. Brzorad, Evan R. Buechley, David Cabot, Justin M. Calabrese, Carlos Carrapato, André Chiaradia, Lisa C. Davenport, Sarah C. Davidson, Mark Desholm, Christopher R. DeSorbo, Robert Domenech, Peter Enggist, William F. Fagan, Nina Farwig, Wolfgang Fiedler, Christen H. Fleming, Alastair Franke, John M. Fryxell, Clara García-Ripollés … & João Paulo Silva
Aim: Animal movement is an important determinant of individual survival, population dynamics, and ecosystem structure and function. Yet it is still unclear how local movements are related to resource availability and the spatial arrangement of resources. Using resident bird species and migratory bird species outside of the migratory period, we examined how the distribution of resources affect the movement patterns of both large terrestrial birds (e.g., raptors, bustards, hornbills) and waterbirds (e.g., cranes, storks, ducks,...

Data from: Approaches to integrating genetic data into ecological networks

Elizabeth L. Clare, Aron J. Fazekas, Natalia V. Ivanova, Robin M. Floyd, Paul D.N. Hebert, Amanda M. Adams, Juliet Nagel, Rebecca Girton, Steven G. Newmaster, M. Brock Fenton & Paul D. N. Hebert
As molecular tools for assessing trophic interactions become common, research is increasingly focused on the construction of interaction networks. Here we demonstrate three key methods for incorporating DNA data into network ecology and discuss analytical considerations using a model consisting of plants, insects, bats and their parasites from the Costa Rican dry forest. The simplest method involves the use of Sanger sequencing to acquire long sequences to validate or refine field identifications, for example of...

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  • University of Guelph
  • University of Alberta
  • McGill University
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Minnesota
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  • Monash University