28 Works

Data from: Pelvis morphology suggests that early Mesozoic birds were too heavy to contact incubate their eggs

D. Charles Deeming & Gerald Mayr
Numerous new fossils have driven an interest in reproduction of early birds but direct evidence remains elusive. No Mesozoic avian eggs can be unambiguously assigned to a species, which hampers our understanding of the evolution of contact incubation, which is a defining feature of extant birds. Compared to living species eggs of Mesozoic birds are relatively small, but whether the eggs of Mesozoic birds could actually have borne the weight of a breeding adult has...

Data from: Homogenous population genetic structure of the non-native raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Europe as a result of rapid population expansion

Frank Drygala, Николай Кораблев, Hermann Ansorge, Joerns Fickel, Marja Isomursu, Morten Elmeros, Rafal Kowalczyk, Laima Baltrunaite, Linas Balciauskas, Urmas Saarma, Christoph Schulze, Peter Borkenhagen, Alain C. Frantz & Rafał Kowalczyk
The extent of gene flow during the range expansion of non-native species influences the amount of genetic diversity retained in expanding populations. Here, we analyse the population genetic structure of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in north-eastern and central Europe. This invasive species is of management concern because it is highly susceptible to fox rabies and an important secondary host of the virus. We hypothesized that the large number of introduced animals and the species’...

How the west was won: genetic reconstruction of rapid wolf recolonization into Germany’s anthropogenic landscapes

Anne Jarausch, Verena Harms, Gesa Kluth, Ilka Reinhardt & Carsten Nowak
Following massive persecution and eradication, strict legal protection facilitated a successful reestablishment of wolf packs in Germany, which has been ongoing since 2000. Here, we describe this recolonization process by mitochondrial DNA control-region sequencing, microsatellite genotyping, and sex identification based on 1341 mostly non-invasively collected samples. We reconstructed the genealogy of German wolf packs between 2005 and 2015 to provide information on trends in genetic diversity, dispersal patterns, and pack dynamics during the early expansion...

Data from: Targeted re-sequencing of coding DNA sequences for SNP discovery in non-model species

Daniel W. Förster, James K. Bull, Dorina Lenz, Marijke Autenrieth, Johanna L.A. Paijmans, Robert H.S. Kraus, Carsten Nowak, Helmut Bayerl, Ralph Kuehn, Alexander P. Saveljev, Magda Sindičić, Michael Hofreiter, Krzysztof Schmidt, Joerns Fickel, Johanna L. A. Paijmans & Robert H. S. Kraus
Targeted capture coupled with high throughput sequencing can be used to gain information about nuclear sequence variation at hundreds to thousands of loci. Divergent reference capture makes use of molecular data of one species to enrich target loci in other (related) species. This is particularly valuable for non-model organisms, for which often no a priori knowledge exists regarding these loci. Here, we have used targeted capture to obtain data for 809 nuclear coding DNA sequences...

Data from: Germination performance of native and non-native Ulmus pumila populations

Heidi Hirsch, Catherina Wypior, Henrik Von Wehrden, Karsten Wesche, Daniel Renison & Isabell Hensen
Germination is a crucial step for invasive plants to extend their distribution under different environmental conditions in a new range. Therefore, information on germination characteristics of invasive plant species provides invaluable knowledge about the factors which might contribute to the invasion success. Moreover, intra-specific comparisons under controlled conditions will show if different responses between non-native and native populations are caused by evolutionary changes or by phenotypic plasticity towards different environmental influences. This paper focuses on...

Data from: Temperature and consumer type dependencies of energy flows in natural communities

Birgit Lang, Roswitha B. Ehnes, Ulrich Brose & Björn C. Rall
With the world continuously warming, a mechanistic understanding of how temperature affects interaction strengths, which are fundamental to food-web stability, is needed. As interaction strengths are determined by the flows of energy from resources to consumers, we investigated effects of temperature on animal energetics. We used newly compiled datasets on respiration rates and assimilation efficiencies to assess how temperature affects the energy use (respiration rates) and the efficiency of energy gain (assimilation efficiency) for different...

Data from: Informing conservation strategies with museum genomics: Long-term effects of past anthropogenic persecution on the elusive European wildcat

Alina Von Thaden, Berardino Cocchiararo, Sarah Ashley Mueller, Tobias Erik Reiners, Katharina Reinert, Iris Tuchscherer, Axel Janke & Carsten Nowak
Like many carnivore species, European wildcats (Felis silvestris) have suffered severe anthropogenic population declines in the past, resulting in a strong population bottleneck in the beginning of the 20th century. In Germany, the species has managed to survive its near-extinction in small isolated areas and is currently recolonizing former habitats owing to legal protection and concerted conservation efforts. Here, we SNP genotyped and mtDNA sequenced 56 historical and 650 contemporary samples to assess the impact...

Data from: Pleistocene expansion of the bipolar lichen Cetraria aculeata into the Southern hemisphere

Fernando Fernandez-Mendoza & Christian Printzen
Many boreal and polar lichens occupy bipolar distributional ranges that frequently extend into high mountains at lower latitudes. Although such disjunctions are more common among lichens than in other groups of organisms, the geographic origin of bipolar lichen taxa, and the way and time frame in which they colonized their ranges have not been studied in detail. We used the predominantly vegetative, widespread lichen Cetraria aculeata as a model species. We surveyed the origin and...

Data from: Thermal regime drives a latitudinal gradient in morphology and life history in a livebearing fish

Rüdiger Riesch, Ryan A. Martin, Sarah E. Diamond, Jonas Jourdan, Martin Plath & R. Brian Langerhans
Within-species diversity is often driven by changing selective regimes along environmental gradients. Here, we provide a direct test of the environmental factors underlying phenotypic diversity across the wide native distribution of eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). We investigated life-history and body-shape divergence (including multiple measures of body size) across more than 14 degrees of latitude in North America, and used Akaike’s information criterion-based model selection to determine the relative contributions of thermal regime, population densities and...

Data from: Climate outweighs native vs. non-native range-effects for genetics and common garden performance of a cosmopolitan weed

Christoph Rosche, Isabell Hensen, Adrian Schaar, Uzma Zehra, Marie Jasieniuk, Ragan M. Callaway, Damase P. Khasa, Mohammad M. Al-Gharaibeh, Ylva Lekberg, David U. Nagy, Robert W. Pal, Miki Okada, Karin Schrieber, Kathryn G. Turner, Susanne Lachmuth, Andrey Erst, Tomonori Tsunoda, Min Sheng, Robin Schmidt, Yanling Peng, Wenbo Luo, Yun Jäschke, Zafar A. Reshi & Manzoor A. Shah
Comparing genetic diversity, genetic differentiation and performance between native and non-native populations has advanced our knowledge of contemporary evolution and its ecological consequences. However, such between-range comparisons can be complicated by high among-population variation within native and non-native ranges. For example, native vs. non-native comparisons between small and non-representative subsets of populations for species with very large distributions have the potential to mislead because they may not sufficiently account for within-range adaptation to climatic conditions,...

Repositories for taxonomic data: Where we are and what is missing

Aurélien Miralles, Teddy Bruy, Katherine Wolcott, Mark Scherz, Dominik Begerow, Bank Beszteri, Michael Bonkowski, Janine Felden, Birgit Gemeinholzer, Frank Glaw, Frank Oliver Glöckner, Oliver Hawlitschek, Ivaylo Kostadinov, Tim Nattkemper, Christian Printzen, Jasmin Renz, Nataliya Rybalka, Marc Stadler, Tanja Weibulat, Thomas Wilke, Susanne Renner & Miguel Vences
Natural history collections are leading successful large-scale projects of specimen digitization (images, metadata, DNA barcodes), transforming taxonomy into a big data science. Yet, little effort has been directed towards safeguarding and subsequently mobilizing the considerable amount of original data generated during the process of naming 15–20,000 species every year. From the perspective of alpha-taxonomists, we provide a review of the properties and diversity of taxonomic data, assess their volume and use, and establish criteria for...

Evolution and phylogeny of the deep-sea isopod families Desmosomatidae Sars, 1897 and Nannoniscidae Hansen, 1916 (Isopoda: Asellota)

Robert Jennings, Saskia Brix, Christoph Held, Stefanie Kaiser, Amy Driskell & Angelika Brandt
In the deep sea, the phylogeny and biogeography of only a few taxa have been well studied. Although more than 200 species in 32 genera have been described for the asellote isopod families Desmosomatidae Sars, 1897 and Nannoniscidae Hansen, 1916 from all ocean basins, their phylogenetic relationships are not completely understood. There is little doubt about the close relationship of these families, but the taxonomic position of a number of genera is so far unknown....

Data from: Multidecadal changes in functional diversity lag behind the recovery of taxonomic diversity

Nathan Jay Baker, Francesca Pilotto, Phillip J. Haubrock, Burkhard Beudert & Peter Haase
1. While there has been increasing interest in how taxonomic diversity is changing over time, less is known about how long-term taxonomic changes may affect ecosystem functioning and resilience. Exploring long-term patterns of functional diversity can provide key insights into the capacity of a community to carry out ecological processes and the redundancy of species’ roles. 2. We focus on a protected freshwater system located in a national park in southeast Germany. We use a...

Data from: A summary of eight traits of Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Orthoptera and Araneae, occurring in grasslands in Germany

Martin M. Gossner, Nadja K. Simons, Roland Achtziger, Theo Blick, Wolfgang H. O. Dorow, Frank Dziock, Frank Köhler, Wolfgang Rabitsch & Wolfgang W. Weisser
Analyses of species traits have increased our understanding of how environmental drivers such as disturbances affect the composition of arthropod communities and related processes. There are, however, few studies on which traits in the arthropod community are affected by environmental changes and which traits affect ecosystem functioning. The assembly of arthropod traits of several taxa is difficult because of the large number of species, limited availability of trait databases and differences in available traits. We...

Data from: Discrimination of hybrid classes using cross-species amplification of microsatellite loci: methodological challenges and solutions in Daphnia

Anne Thielsch, Elke Völker, Robert H. S. Kraus & Klaus Schwenk
Microsatellite markers are important tools in population, conservation and forensic studies and are frequently used for species delineation, the detection of hybridization and introgression. Therefore, marker sets that amplify variable DNA regions in two species are required; however, cross-species amplification is often difficult, as genotyping errors such as null alleles may occur. In order to estimate the level of potential misidentifications based on genotyping errors, we compared the occurrence of parental alleles in laboratory and...

Data from: Origins of global mountain plant biodiversity: testing the “mountain-geobiodiversity hypothesis”

Alexandra Muellner-Riehl, Jan Schnitzler, W. Daniel Kissling, Volker Mosbrugger, Kenneth Rijsdijk, Arie Seijmonsbergen, Hannes Versteegh & Adrien Favre
Aim Our objective is to analyse global-scale patterns of mountain biodiversity (vascular plants) and the driving forces leading to the observed patterns. More specifically, we test the “mountain geobiodiversity hypothesis” (MGH) which is based on the assumption that it is not mountain-uplift alone which drives the evolution of mountain biodiversity, but rather the combination of geodiversity evolution and Neogene and Pleistocene climate changes. Hence, we address the following questions: 1) Do areas of high geodiversity...

Data from: Low rates of hybridization between European wildcats and domestic cats in a human-dominated landscape

Katharina Steyer, Annika Tiesmeyer, Violeta Muñoz-Fuentes & Carsten Nowak
Hybridization between wild species and their domestic congeners is considered a major concern for species conservation. Genetic integrity of the European wildcat, for instance, is of interest as the species is outnumbered by domestic cats by several orders of magnitude throughout its range. We genotyped 1071 individual wildcat samples obtained from hair traps and roadkills collected across the highly fragmented forests of western central Europe, in Germany and Luxembourg, to assess domestic cat introgression in...

Data from: A single-nucleotide polymorphism-based approach for rapid and cost-effective genetic wolf monitoring in Europe based on noninvasively collected samples

Robert H. S. Kraus, Bridgett VonHoldt, Berardino Cocchiararo, Verena Harms, Helmut Bayerl, Ralph Kühn, Daniel W. Förster, Jörns Fickel, Christian Roos & Carsten Nowak
Noninvasive genetics based on microsatellite markers has become an indispensable tool for wildlife monitoring and conservation research over the past decades. However, microsatellites have several drawbacks, such as the lack of standardisation between laboratories and high error rates. Here, we propose an alternative single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based marker system for noninvasively collected samples, which promises to solve these problems. Using nanofluidic SNP genotyping technology (Fluidigm), we genotyped 158 wolf samples (tissue, scats, hairs, urine) for 192...

Data from: Cross-taxa generalities in the relationship between population abundance and ambient temperatures

Diana E. Bowler, Peter Haase, Christian Hof, Ingrid Kröncke, Léon Baert, Wouter Dekoninck, Sami Domisch, Frederik Hendrickx, Thomas Hickler, Hermann Neumann, Robert B. O'Hara, Anne F. Sell, Moritz Sonnewald, Stefan Stoll, Michael Türkay, Roel Van Klink, Oliver Schweiger, Rikjan Vermeulen & Katrin Boehning-Gaese
Identifying patterns in the effects of temperature on species' population abundances could help develop a general framework for predicting the consequences of climate change across different communities and realms. We used long-term population time series data from terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species communities within central Europe to compare the effects of temperature on abundance across a broad range of taxonomic groups. We asked whether there was an average relationship between temperatures in different seasons and...

Cytoplasmic incompatibility between Old and New World populations of a tramp ant

Çigdem Ün, Eva Schultner, Alejandro Manzano-Marín, Laura V. Flórez, Bernhard Seifert, Antonia Klein, Jürgen Heinze & Jan Oettler
Reproductive manipulation by endosymbiotic Wolbachia can cause unequal inheritance, allowing the manipulator to spread and potentially impacting evolutionary dynamics in infected hosts. Tramp and invasive species are excellent models to study the dynamics of host-Wolbachia associations because introduced populations often diverge in their microbiomes after colonizing new habitats, resulting in infection polymorphisms between native and introduced populations. Ants are the most abundant group of insects on earth, and numerous ant species are classified as highly...

Data from: Historical invasion records can be misleading: genetic evidence for multiple introductions of invasive raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Germany

Marietta L. Fischer, Axel Hochkirch, Mike Heddergott, Christoph Schulze, Helena E. Anheyer-Behmenburg, Johannes Lang, Frank-Uwe Michler, Ulf Hohmann, Hermann Ansorge, Lothar Hoffmann, Roland Klein & Alain C. Frantz
Biological invasions provide excellent study systems to understand evolutionary, genetic and ecological processes during range expansions. There is strong evidence for positive effects of high propagule pressure and the associated higher genetic diversity on invasion success, but some species have become invasive despite small founder numbers. The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is often considered as a typical example for such a successful invasion resulting from a small number of founders. The species’ largest non-native population in...

Data from: Best practices for justifying fossil calibrations

James F. Parham, Philip C. J. Donoghue, Christopher J. Bell, Tyler D. Calway, Jason J. Head, Patricia A. Holroyd, Jun G. Inoue, Randall B. Irmis, Walter G. Joyce, Daniel T. Ksepka, José S. L. Patané, Nathan D. Smith, James E. Tarver, Marcel Van Tuinen, Ziheng Yang, Kenneth D. Angielczyk, Jenny M. Greenwood, Christy A. Hipsley, Jacobs Louis, Peter J. Makovicky, Johannes Müller, Krister T. Smith, Jessica M. Theodor, Rachel C. M. Warnock, Michael J. Benton … & Louis Jacobs
Our ability to correlate biological evolution with climate change, geological evolution, and other historical patterns is essential to understanding the processes that shape biodiversity. Combining data from the fossil record with molecular phylogenetics represents an exciting synthetic approach to this challenge. The first molecular divergence dating analysis (Zuckerkandl and Pauling 1962) was based on a measure of the amino acid differences in the hemoglobin molecule; with replacement rates established (calibrated) using inaccurate paleontological age estimates...

Data from: Environmental controls override grazing effects on plant functional traits in Tibetan rangelands

Yun Jäschke, Karsten Wesche & Gwendolyn Heberling
Plant functional traits are key to predict community responses to abiotic and biotic disturbances. Grazing is the dominant land use form in drylands and alpine environments, especially in Central Asian rangelands. Here, we address grazing effects and their relative importance against environmental controls on plant traits. We sampled 14 plant traits, which are potentially sensitive to grazing, from 127 taxa distributed across three grassland types in Tibetan pastures exposed to increasing levels of precipitation: steppe,...

Data from: ‘In and out of’ the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Himalayas: centers of origin and diversification compared across five clades of Eurasian montane and alpine passerine birds

Martin Päckert, Adrien Favre, Jan Schnitzler, Jochen Martens, Yue-Hua Sun, Dieter Thomas Tietze, Frank Hailer, Ingo Michalak & Patrick Strutzenberger
Encompassing some of the major hotspots of biodiversity on Earth, large mountain systems have long held the attention of evolutionary biologists. The region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) is considered a biogeographic source for multiple colonization events into adjacent areas including the northern Palearctic. The faunal exchange between the QTP and adjacent regions could thus represent a one-way street (‘out of’ the QTP). However, immigration into the QTP region has so far received only little...

The only complete articulated early Miocene chameleon skull (Rusinga Island, Kenya) suggests an African origin for Madagascar’s endemic chameleons

Andrej Cernansky, Anthony Herrel, Job Kibii, Christopher Anderson, Renaud Boistel & Thomas Lehmann
We here present the first detailed study of the specimen KNM-RU 18340 from Rusinga Island (Kenya), the only known complete early Miocene chameleon skull, using micro-CT. This specimen represents one of the oldest chameleon fossils ever recovered. For the first time, the skull bone internal surfaces, their sutures, and elements contained inside the rocky matrix are observed. Our morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analyses place this specimen confidently in the genus Calumma and a new species,...

Registration Year

  • 2021
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  • 2011

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Senckenberg Museum
  • German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research
  • Technical University Munich
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
  • New Mexico State University
  • Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre
  • Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • Bielefeld University
  • Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research