301 Works

PhD Thesis: Tracing Molecular Patterns of Adaptation in Arctic Brassicaceae

Siri Birkeland
Extreme environments can function as natural laboratories for studying how different organisms adapt to similar selection pressures at the genetic level. This thesis explores how three Arctic plant species independently adapted to some of the coldest biomes on Earth, and how they evolved similar suites of adaptations to extremes in light and temperature. It addresses fundamental questions in plant evolutionary biology, such as the extent to which adaptation follows the same genetic trajectories in different...

The genome of Draba nivalis shows signatures of adaptation to the extreme environmental stresses of the Arctic

Michael Nowak, Siri Birkeland, Terezie Mandáková, Rimjhim Roy Choudhury, Xinyi Guo, Lovisa Gustafsson, Abel Gizaw, Audun Schrøder-Nielsen, Marco Fracassetti, Anne Brysting, Loren Rieseberg, Tanja Slotte, Christian Parisod, Martin Lysak & Christian Brochmann
The Arctic is one of the most extreme terrestrial environments on the planet. Here we present the first complete genome assembly of a plant adapted to the high Arctic, Draba nivalis (Brassicaceae), an attractive model species for studying plant adaptation to the stresses imposed by this harsh environment. We used an iterative scaffolding strategy with data from short-reads, single-molecule long reads, proximity ligation data, and a genetic map to produce a 302 Mb assembly that...

Niche differentiation and evolution of the wood decay machinery in the invasive fungus Serpula lacrymans

Jaqueline Hess, Sudhagar V. Balasundaram, Renee I Bakkemo, Elodie Drula, Bernard Henrissat, Nils Högberg, Daniel Eastwood & Inger Skrede
Ecological niche breadth and the mechanisms facilitating its evolution are fundamental to understanding adaptation to changing environments, persistence of generalist and specialist lineages and the formation of new species. Woody substrates are structurally complex resources utilized by organisms with specialized decay machinery. Wood-decaying fungi represent ideal model systems to study evolution of niche breadth, as they vary greatly in their host range and preferred decay stage of the substrate. In order to dissect the genetic...

The influence of intraspecific sequence variation during DNA metabarcoding: A case study of eleven fungal species

Eva Lena Estensmo, Sundy Maurice, Morgado Luis, Martin-Sanchez Pedro, Skrede Inger & Kauserud Håvard
DNA metabarcoding has become a powerful approach for analyzing complex communities from environmental samples, but there are still methodological challenges limiting its full potential. While conserved DNA markers, like 16S and 18S, often are not able to discriminate among closely related species, other more variable markers – like the fungal ITS region, may include considerable intraspecific variation, which can lead to over-splitting of species during DNA metabarcoding analyses. Here we assess the effects of intraspecific...

UV radiation affects anti-predatory defense traits in Daphnia pulex

Franceen Eshun-Wilson, Raoul Wolf, Tom Andersen, Dag Hessen & Erik Sperfeld
In aquatic environments prey perceive predator threats by chemical cues called kairomones, which can induce changes in their morphology, life histories and behavior. Predator-induced defenses have allowed for prey, such as Daphnia pulex, to avert capture by common invertebrate predators, such as Chaoborus sp. larvae. However, the influence of additional stressors, such as ultraviolet radiation (UVR), on the Daphnia-Chaoborus interaction is not settled as UVR may for instance deactivate the kairomone. In laboratory experiments, we...

Fungal sporocarps house diverse and host-specific communities of fungicolous fungi

Sundy Maurice, Gontran Arnault, Jenni Norden, Synnøve Smebye Botnen, Otto Miettinen & Håvard Kauserud
Sporocarps (fruit bodies) are the sexual reproductive stage in the life cycle of many fungi. They are highly nutritious and consequently vulnerable to grazing by birds and small mammals, and invertebrates, and can be infected by microbial and fungal parasites and pathogens. The complexity of communities thriving inside sporocarps is largely unknown. In this study, we revealed the diversity, taxonomic composition and host-preference of fungicolous fungi (i.e fungi that feed on other fungi) in sporocarps....

Data from: Extra-pair mating in a passerine bird with highly duplicated MHC class II: Preference for the golden mean

Silje Rekdal, Jarl Andreas Anmarkrud, Jan Lifjeld & Arild Johnsen
Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are essential in vertebrate adaptive immunity, and they are highly diverse and duplicated in many lineages. While it is widely established that pathogen-mediated selection maintains MHC diversity through balancing selection, the role of mate choice in shaping MHC diversity is debated. Here, we investigate female mating preferences for MHC class II (MHCII) in the bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), a passerine bird with high levels of extra-pair paternity and extremely...

Does the response of D. melanogaster males to intrasexual competitors influence sexual isolation?

Lucas Marie-Orleach, Annui M. Sanz, Nathan W. Bailey & Michael G. Ritchie
The evolutionary consequences of phenotypic plasticity are debated. For example, reproductive barriers between incipient species can depend on the social environment, but most evidence for this comes from studies focussing on the effects of experiencing heterospecific individuals of the opposite sex. In Drosophila melanogaster, males are well known to invest strategically in ejaculate components and show different courtship behaviour when reared in the presence of male competitors. It is unknown whether such plasticity in response...

Data from: Ecological explanations to island gigantism: dietary niche divergence, predation and size in an endemic lizard

Anna Runemark, Kostas Sagonas & Erik I. Svensson
Although rapid evolution of body size on islands has long been known, the ecological mechanisms behind this island phenomenon remain poorly understood. Diet is an important selective pressure for morphological divergence. Here we investigate if selection for novel diets has contributed to the multiple independent cases of island gigantism in the Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae) and if diet, predation, or both factors best explain island gigantism. We combined data on body size, shape, bite...

Data from: Ethnicity- and sex-based discrimination and the maintenance of self-esteem

Jan-Erik Lönnqvist, Heike Hennig-Schmidt & Gari Walkowitz
The psychological underpinnings of labor market discrimination were investigated by having participants from Israel, the West Bank and Germany (N = 205) act as employers in a stylized employment task in which they ranked, set wages, and imposed a minimum effort level on applicants. State self-esteem was measured before and after the employment task, in which applicant ethnicity and sex were salient. The applicants were real people and all behavior was monetarily incentivized. Supporting the...

Data from: Locomotion during digestion changes current estimates of seed dispersal kernels by fish

Casper H. A. Van Leeuwen, Rosanne Beukeboom, Bart A. Nolet, Elisabeth S. Bakker, Bart J. A. Pollux & Bart J.A. Pollux
Dispersal of seeds by animals is an important mechanism regulating plant diversity, range expansions and invasions. Many birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles regularly ingest, transport and excrete viable seeds (known as endozoochory). The effectiveness of endozoochory is modelled in dispersal kernels: functions that describe seed shadows in the landscape by combining movement of animals with experimentally obtained seed retention times and survival. Currently, dispersal kernels use experimental data from resting animals, yet only moving animals...

Data from: Frequent and seasonally variable sublethal anthrax infections are accompanied by short-lived immunity in an endemic system

Carrie A. Cizauskas, Steven E. Bellan, Wendy C. Turner, Russell E. Vance & Wayne M. Getz
1. Few studies have examined host-pathogen interactions in wildlife from an immunological perspective, particularly in the context of seasonal and longitudinal dynamics. In addition, though most ecological immunology studies employ serological antibody assays, endpoint titer determination is usually based on subjective criteria and needs to be made more objective. 2. Despite the fact that anthrax is an ancient and emerging zoonotic infectious disease found worldwide, its natural ecology is not well understood. In particular, little...

Data from: The evolutionary history of Afrocanarian blue tits inferred from genome-wide SNPs

Jostein Gohli, Erica Leder, Eduardo Garcia-Del-Rey, Lars Erik Johannessen, Arild Johnsen, Terje Laskemoen, Magnus Popp, Jan T. Lifjeld & Erica H. Leder
A common challenge in phylogenetic reconstruction is to find enough suitable genomic markers to reliably trace splitting events with short internodes. Here we present phylogenetic analyses based on genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of an enigmatic avian radiation, the subspecies complex of Afrocanarian blue tits (Cyanistes teneriffae). The two sister species, the Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and the azure tit (Cyanistes cyanus), constituted the outgroup. We generated a large data set of SNPs for analysis...

Data from: Fifty thousand years of arctic vegetation and megafaunal diet

Eske Willerslev, John Davison, Mari Moora, Martin Zobel, Eric Coissac, Mary E. Edwards, Eline D. Lorenzen, Mette Vestergård, Galina Gussarova, James Haile, Joseph Craine, Gaddy Bergmann, Ludovic Gielly, Sanne Boessenkool, Laura S. Epp, Peter B. Pearman, Rachid Cheddadi, David Murray, Karri Anne Bråthen, Nigel Yoccoz, Heather Binney, Corinne Cruaud, Patrick Wincker, Tomasz Goslar, Inger Greve Alsos … & Pierre Taberlet
Although it is generally agreed that the arctic flora is among the youngest and least diverse on Earth, the processes that shaped it are poorly understood. Here we present 50 thousand years (kyr) of arctic vegetation history, derived from the first large-scale ancient DNA metabarcoding study of circumpolar plant diversity. For this interval we additionally explore nematode diversity as a proxy for modelling vegetation cover and soil quality, and diets of herbivorous megafaunal mammals, many...

Data from: Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists

Annegret Kohler, Alan Kuo, Laszlo G. Nagy, Emmanuelle Morin, Kerrie W. Barry, Francois Buscot, Bjorn Canback, Cindy Choi, Nicolas Cichocki, Alicia Clum, Jan Colpaert, Alex Copeland, Mauricio D. Costa, Jeanne Dore, Dimitrios Floudas, Gilles Gay, Mariangela Girlanda, Bernard Henrissat, Sylvie Herrmann, Jaqueline Hess, Nils Hogberg, Tomas Johansson, Hassine-Radhouane Khouja, Kurt LaButti, Urs Lahrmann … & Francis Martin
To elucidate the genetic bases of mycorrhizal lifestyle evolution, we sequenced new fungal genomes, including 13 ectomycorrhizal (ECM), orchid (ORM) and ericoid (ERM) species, and five saprotrophs, which we analyzed along with other fungal genomes. Ectomycorrhizal fungi have a reduced complement of genes encoding plant cell wall–degrading enzymes (PCWDEs), as compared to their ancestral wood decayers. Nevertheless, they have retained a unique array of PCWDEs, thus suggesting that they possess diverse abilities to decompose lignocellulose....

Data from: Genetically distinct populations of northern shrimp, Pandalus borealis, in the North Atlantic: adaptation to different temperatures as an isolation factor

Per Erik Jorde, Guldborg Søvik, Jon-Ivar Westgaard, Jon Albretsen, Carl André, Carsten Hvingel, Torild Johansen, Anne Dagrun Sandvik, Michael Kingsley & Knut Eirik Jørstad
The large-scale population genetic structure of northern shrimp, Pandalus borealis, was investigated over the species’ range in the North Atlantic, identifying multiple genetically distinct groups. Genetic divergence among sample localities varied among 10 microsatellite loci (range: FST = −0.0002 to 0.0475) with a highly significant average (FST = 0.0149; P < 0.0001). In contrast, little or no genetic differences were observed among temporal replicates from the same localities (FST = 0.0004; P = 0.33). Spatial...

Data from: Indirect effects of habitat disturbance on invasion: nutritious litter from a grazing resistant plant favors alien over native Collembola

Hans Petter Leinaas, Jan Bengtsson, Charlene Janion-Scheepers & Steven L. Chown
Biological invasions are major threats to biodiversity, with impacts that may be compounded by other forms of environmental change. Observations of high density of the invasive springtail (Collembola), Hypogastrura manubrialis in heavily grazed renosterveld vegetation in the Western Cape, South Africa, raised the question of whether the invasion was favored by changes in plant litter quality associated with habitat disturbance in this vegetation type. To examine the likely mechanisms underlying the high abundance of H....

Data from: How many routes lead to migration? Comparison of methods to assess and characterise migratory movements

Francesca Cagnacci, Stefano Focardi, Anne Ghisla, Bram Van Moorter, Eliezer Gurarie, Marco Heurich, Atle Mysterud, John Linnell, Manuela Panzacchi, Evelyn Merrill, Roel May, Torgeir Nygård, Christer Rolandsen, Mark Hebblewhite & Evelyn H. Merrill
1. Decreasing rate of migration in several species as a consequence of climate change and anthropic pressure, together with increasing evidence of space-use strategies intermediate between residency and complete migration, are very strong motivations to evaluate migration occurrence and features in animal populations. 2. The main goal of this paper was to perform a relative comparison between methods for identifying and characterising migration at the individual and population level on the basis of animal location...

Data from: Early diversification of sperm size in the evolutionary history of the old world leaf warblers (Phylloscopidae)

K. Supriya, Melissah Rowe, Terje Laskemoen, Dhananjai Mohan, Trevor Price, Jan Lifjeld, J. T. Lifjeld & T. D. Price
Sperm morphological traits are highly variable among species and are commonly thought to evolve by post-copulatory sexual selection. However, little is known about the evolutionary dynamics of sperm morphology, and whether rates of evolutionary change are variable over time and among taxonomic groups. Here, we examine sperm morphology from 21 species of Old World leaf warblers (Phylloscopidae), a group of generally dull, sexually monochromatic birds, which are known to have high levels of extra-pair paternity....

Data from: Weak geographical structure in sperm morphology across the range of two willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus subspecies in Scandinavia

Hanna N. Støstad, Silje L. Rekdal, Oddmund Kleven, Terje Laskemoen, Gunnhild Marthinsen, Arild Johnsen & Jan T. Lifjeld
Sperm morphology is highly diversified among species and at higher taxonomic levels. In birds, there is also increasing evidence of geographical differentiation in sperm traits within species, especially in those with strong sperm competition. Geographical divergences in sperm traits might imply the formation of a reproductive barrier in a speciation process. Here we study sperm morphology variation of willow warblers Phylloscopus trochilus in a geographical context in Scandinavia, across the range of two subspecies that...

Data from: Low but contrasting neutral genetic differentiation shaped by winter temperature in European great tits

Mélissa Lemoine, Kay Lucek, Charles Perrier, Verena Saladin, Frank Adriaensen, Emilio Barba, Eduardo J. Belda, Anne Charmantier, Mariusz Cichon, Eeva Tapio, Arnaud Gregoire, Camilla A. Hinde, Arild Johnsen, Jan Komdeur, Raivo Mand, Erik Matthysen, Ana Claudia Norte, Natalia Pitala, Ben C. Sheldon, Tore Slagsvold, Joost M. Tinbergen, Janos Torok, Richard Ubels, Kees Van Oers, Marcel E. Visser … & Tapio Eeva
Gene flow is usually thought to reduce genetic divergence and impede local adaptation by homogenising gene pools between populations. However, evidence for local adaptation and phenotypic differentiation in highly mobile species, experiencing high levels of gene flow, is emerging. Assessing population genetic structure at different spatial scales is thus a crucial step towards understanding mechanisms underlying intraspecific differentiation and diversification. Here, we studied the population genetic structure of a highly mobile species – the great...

Data from: Persistent low toxoplasma IgG avidity is common in pregnancy: experience from antenatal testing in Norway

Gry Findal, Babill Stray-Pedersen, Ellen K. Holter, Tone Berge & Pål A. Jenum
The parasite Toxoplasma gondii might harm the fetus if a woman is infected during pregnancy. IgG seroconversion and significant increase in IgG antibody amount in pregnancy indicates maternal infection. Presence of toxoplasma immunoglobulin M (IgM), immunoglobulin G (IgG) and low IgG avidity in a single serum sample indicates possible maternal infection, but positive toxoplasma IgM and low IgG avidity may persist for months and even years. We aimed to evaluate avidity development during pregnancy in...

Data from: Commonness and ecology, but not bigger brains, predict urban living in birds

Svein Dale, Jan T. Lifjeld & Melissah Rowe
Background: Several life history and ecological variables have been reported to affect the likelihood of species becoming urbanized. Recently, studies have also focused on the role of brain size in explaining ability to adapt to urban environments. In contrast, however, little is known about the effect of colonization pressure from surrounding areas, which may confound conclusions about what makes a species urban. We recorded presence/absence data for birds in 93 urban sites in Oslo (Norway)...

Data from: Ecological speciation by temporal isolation in a population of the stonefly Leuctra hippopus (Plecoptera, Leuctridae)

Louis Boumans, Silje Hogner, John Brittain & Arild Johnsen
Stream dwelling invertebrates are ideal candidates for the study of ecological speciation as they are often adapted to particular environmental conditions within a stream and inhabit only certain reaches of a drainage basin, separated by unsuitable habitat. We studied an atypical population of the stonefly Leuctra hippopus at a site in central Norway, the Isterfoss rapids, in relation to three nearby and two remote conspecific populations. Adults of this population emerge about a month earlier...

Data from: Thermal plasticity in postembryonic life history traits of a widely distributed Collembola: Effects of macroclimate and microhabitat on genotypic differences

Sagnik Sengupta, Torbjørn Ergon & Hans Petter Leinaas
Life history traits in many ectotherms show complex patterns of variation among conspecific populations sampled along wide latitudinal or climatic gradients. However, few studies have assessed whether these patterns can be explained better by thermal reaction norms of multiple life history traits, covering major aspects of the life cycle. In this study, we compared five populations of a Holarctic, numerically dominant soil microarthropod species, Folsomia quadrioculata, sampled from a wide latitudinal gradient (56–81°N), for growth,...

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