15 Works

The magnitude of large-scale tree mortality caused by the invasive pathogen Phytophthora ramorum

Richard Cobb, Sarah Haas, Nicholas Kruskamp, Whalen Dillon, Tedmund Swiecki, David Rizzo, Susan Frankel & Ross Meentemeyer
Forest pathogens are important drivers of tree mortality across the globe but it is exceptionally challenging to gather and build unbiased quantitative models of their impacts, which has resulted in few estimates matching the scale of disease. Here we harness the rare dataset matching the spatial scale of pathogen invasion, host, and disease heterogeneity to estimate infection and mortality for the four most susceptible host species of Phytophthora ramorum, an invasive pathogen that drives the...

Data from: Accurate genomic predictions for chronic wasting disease in U.S. white-tailed deer

Christopher M. Seabury, David L. Oldeschulte, Eric K. Bhattarai, Dhruti Legare, Pamela J. Ferro, Richard P. Metz, Charles D. Johnson, Mitchell A. Lockwood & Tracy A. Nichols
The geographic expansion of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in U.S. white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) has been largely unabated by best management practices, diagnostic surveillance, and depopulation of positive herds. Using a custom Affymetrix Axiom® single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array, we demonstrate that both differential susceptibility to CWD, and natural variation in disease progression, are moderately to highly heritable ( among farmed U.S. white-tailed deer, and that loci other than PRNP are involved. Genome-wide association analyses...

Lean mass dynamics in hibernating bats and implications for energy and water budgets

Liam McGuire, Nathan Fuller, Catherine Haase, Kirk Silas & Sarah Olson
Hibernation requires balancing energy and water demands over several months with no food intake for many species. Many studies have considered the importance of fat for hibernation energy budgets because it is energy dense and can be stored in large quantities. However, protein catabolism in hibernation has received less attention and whole animal changes in lean mass have not previously been considered. We used quantitative magnetic resonance body composition analysis to measure fat and lean...

Data from: External temperature and distance from nearest entrance influence microclimates of cave and culvert roosting tri-colored bats Perimyotis subflavus

Samantha Leivers, Melissa Meierhofer, Brian Pierce, Jonah Evans & Michael Morrison
Many North American bat species hibernate in both natural and artificial roosts. Although hibernacula can have high internal climate stability, they still retain spatial variability in their thermal regimes, resulting in various ‘microclimates’ throughout the roost that differ in their characteristics (e.g., temperature, air moisture). These microclimate components can be influenced by factors such as the number of entrances, the depth of the roost, and distance to the nearest entrance of the roost. Tri-colored bats...

Data from: What factors explain the geographic range of mammalian parasites?

James Byers, John Schmidt, Paula Pappalardo, Sarah Haas & Patrick Stephens
Free-living species vary substantially in the extent of their spatial distributions. However, distributions of parasitic species have not been comprehensively compared in this context. We investigated which factors most influence the geographic extent of mammal parasites. Using the Global Mammal Parasite Database we analyzed 17,818 individual geospatial records on 1,806 parasite species (encompassing viruses, bacteria, protozoa, arthropods, and helminths) that infect 396 carnivore, ungulate, and primate host species. As a measure of the geographic extent...

Mammals adjust diel activity across gradients of urbanization

Travis Gallo, Mason Fidino, Brian Gerber, Adam Ahlers, Julia Angstmann, Max Amaya, Amy Concilio, David Drake, Danielle Gray, Elizabeth Lehrer, Maureen Murray, Travis Ryan, Colleen St. Clair, Carmen Salsbury, Heather Sander, Theodore Stankowich, Jaque Williamson, Amy Belaire, Kelly Simone & Seth Magle
Time is a fundamental component of ecological processes. How animal behavior changes over time has been explored through well-known ecological theories like niche partitioning and predator-prey dynamics. Yet, changes in animal behavior within the shorter 24-hour light-dark cycle have largely gone unstudied. Understanding if an animal can adjust their temporal activity to mitigate or adapt to environmental change has become a recent topic of discussion and is important for effective wildlife management and conservation. While...

Similar hibernation physiology in bats across broad geographic ranges

Liam McGuire, Nathan Fuller, Yvonne Dzal, Catherine Haase, Kirk Silas, Craig Willis, Sarah Olson & Cori Lausen
Species with broad geographic ranges may experience varied environmental conditions throughout their range leading to local adaptation. Variation among populations reflects potential adaptability or plasticity, with implications for populations impacted by disease, climate change, and other anthropogenic influences. However, behavior may counteract divergent selection among populations. We studied intraspecific variation in hibernation physiology of Myotis lucifugus (little brown myotis) and Corynorhinus townsendii (Townsend’s big-eared bat), two species of bats with large geographic ranges. We studied...

Body mass and hibernation microclimate may predict bat susceptibility to white-nose syndrome

Catherine Haase, Nathan Fuller, Yvonne Dzal, C. Reed Hranac, David Hayman, Cori Lausen, Kirk Silas, Sarah Olson & Raina Plowright
In multi-host disease systems, differences in mortality between species may reflect variation in host physiology, morphology, and behavior. In systems where the pathogen can persist in the environment, microclimate conditions, and the adaptation of the host to these conditions, may also impact mortality. White-nose syndrome is an emerging disease of hibernating bats caused by an environmentally persistent fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans. We assessed the effects of body mass, torpid metabolic rate, evaporative water loss, and hibernaculum...

Interspecific variation in evaporative water loss and temperature response, but not metabolic rate, among hibernating bats

Liam McGuire, Nathan Fuller, Yvonne Dzal, Catherine Haase, Brandon Klüg-Baerwald, Kirk Silas, Raina Plowright, Cori Lausen, Craig Willis & Sarah Olson
Hibernation is widespread among mammals in a variety of environmental contexts. However, few experimental studies consider interspecific comparisons, and for many unstudied (or understudied) species we must assume the underlying physiology of hibernation is comparable to the relatively few species that have been studied in detail. Studies of interspecific variation provide insight into general patterns of hibernation strategies. We studied 13 species of free-living bats, including populations spread over thousands of kilometers and diverse habitats....

Data from: Comparative host-pathogen associations of Snake Fungal Disease in sympatric species of water snakes (Nerodia)

David Rodriguez, Stephen Harding, C. Guilherme Becker, Jessica Yates, Paul Crump, Michael Forstner & Stephen Mullin
The ascomycete fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola (Oo) is the causative agent of ophidiomycosis (Snake Fungal Disease), which has been detected globally. However, surveillance efforts in the central U.S., specifically Texas, have been minimal. The threatened and rare Brazos water snake (Nerodia harteri harteri) is one of the most range restricted snakes in the U.S. and is sympatric with two wide-ranging congeners, N. erythrogaster transversa and N. rhombifer, in north central Texas; thus, providing an opportunity to...

Data from: Demographic history of an elusive carnivore: using museums to inform management

Joseph D. Holbrook, Randy W. DeYoung, Michael E. Tewes & John H. Young
Elusive carnivores present a challenge to managers because traditional survey methods are not suitable. We applied a genetic approach using museum specimens to examine how historical and recent conditions influenced the demographic history of Puma concolor in western and southern Texas, USA. We used 10 microsatellite loci and indexed population trends by estimating historical and recent genetic diversity, genetic differentiation, and effective population size. Mountain lions in southern Texas exhibited a 10% decline in genetic...

Extinct plants of North America north of Mexico

Wesley Knapp, Anne Frances, Reed Noss, Robert Naczi, Alan Weakley, George Gann, Bruce Baldwin, James Miller, Patrick McIntyre, Brent Mishler, Gerry Moore, Richard Olmstead, Anna Strong, Daniel Gluesenkamp & Kathryn Kennedy
The recent study by Humphreys et al., reporting extinction of almost 600 plant species globally, represents a groundbreaking effort at compiling direct data on seed plants. We applaud Humphreys et al. for quantifying plant extinctions because they formulate an important and testable hypothesis. However, their study missed many extinctions and rediscoveries of seed plants in the United States and Canada. Our team of experts has been compiling a list of extinct plants of North America...

Data from: Transcriptome sequencing reveals signatures of positive selection in the spot-tailed earless lizard

Jose Maldonado, , Corey Roelke, Nathan Rains, Juliet Mwgiri & Matthew Fujita
The continual loss of threatened biodiversity is occurring at an accelerated pace. High-throughput sequencing technologies are now providing opportunities to address this issue by aiding in the generation of molecular data for many understudied species of high conservation interest. Our overall goal of this study was to begin building the genomic resources to continue investigations and conservation of the Spot-Tailed Earless lizard. Here we leverage the power of high-throughput sequencing to generate the liver transcriptome...

Data from: Reproductive effort and success of males in scramble competition polygyny: evidence for trade-offs between foraging and mate-search

Aaron M. Foley, David G. Hewitt, Randy W. DeYoung, Matthew J Schnupp, Mickey W Hellickson & Mitch A. Lockwood
1. Patterns of male reproductive allocation provide insight into life-history characteristics. The trade-offs associated with resource and female group defense are well-defined. However, less is understood about trade-offs in species that practice scramble-competition polygyny, where successful strategies may favor competitive mate-searching rather than contest competition and fighting. 2. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) practice scramble-competition polygyny where solitary males search for and assess receptivity of females scattered across the landscape. Physically mature males are expected to...

Why do parasites exhibit reverse latitudinal diversity gradients? Testing the roles of host diversity, habitat, and climate

Pieter Johnson & Sarah Haas
Aim: The latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG) – in which species richness decreases from the equator toward the poles – is among the most fundamental distributional patterns in ecology. Despite the expectation that the diversity of parasites tracks that of their hosts, available evidence suggests that many parasites exhibit reverse latitudinal gradients or no pattern, yet the rarity of large-scale datasets on host-parasite interactions calls into question the robustness of such trends. Here, we collected parasitological...

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  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Texas A&M University
  • Austin Peay State University
  • University of Waterloo
  • Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
  • University of Winnipeg
  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Montana State University
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • Texas A&M University System