108 Works

Data from: Gene discovery in the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) skin transcriptome

Joseph I Hoffman
Next-generation sequencing provides a powerful new approach for developing functional genomic tools for nonmodel species, helping to narrow the gap between studies of model organisms and those of natural populations. Consequently, massively parallel 454 sequencing was used to characterize a normalized cDNA library derived from skin biopsy samples of twelve Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) individuals. Over 412 Mb of sequence data were generated, comprising 1.4 million reads of average length 286 bp. De novo...

Data from: Genome size variation affects song attractiveness in grasshoppers: evidence for sexual selection against large genomes

Holger Schielzeth, Corinna Streitner, Ulrike Lampe, Alexandra Franzke & Klaus Reinhold
Genome size is largely uncorrelated to organismal complexity and adaptive scenarios. Genetic drift as well as intragenomic conflict have been put forward to explain this observation. We here study the impact of genome size on sexual attractiveness in the bow-winged grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus. Grasshoppers show particularly large variation in genome size due to the high prevalence of supernumerary chromosomes that are considered (mildly) selfish, as evidenced by non-Mendelian inheritance and fitness costs if present in...

Data from: Global population structure and demographic history of the grey seal

Anastasia Klimova, Caleb D. Phillips, Katharina Fietz, Morten T. Olsen, John Harwood, William Amos & Joseph I. Hoffman
Although the grey seal Halichoerus grypus is one of the most familiar and intensively studied of all pinniped species, its global population structure remains to be elucidated. Little is also known about how the species as a whole may have historically responded to climate-driven changes in habitat availability and anthropogenic exploitation. We therefore analysed samples from over 1500 individuals collected from 22 colonies spanning the Western and Eastern Atlantic and the Baltic Sea regions, represented...

Data from: What triggers colour change? Effects of background colour and temperature on the development of an alpine grasshopper

J. Pablo Valverde & Holger Schielzeth
Background: Colour polymorphisms are a fascinating facet of many natural populations of plants and animals, and the selective processes that maintain such variation are as relevant as the processes which promote their development. Orthoptera, the insect group that encompasses grasshoppers and bush crickets, includes a particularly large number of species that are colour polymorphic with a marked green-brown polymorphism being particularly widespread. Colour polymorphism has been associated with the need for crypsis and background matching...

Data from: Ecologically dependent and intrinsic genetic signatures of postzygotic isolation between sympatric host races of the leaf beetle Lochmaea capreae

Shaghayegh Soudi, Klaus Reinhold & Leif Engqvist
The fitness of hybrids might be compromised as a result of intrinsic isolation and/or because they fall between ecological niches due to their intermediate phenotypes (“extrinsic isolation”). Here, we present data from several crosses (parental crosses, F1, F2 and backcrosses) between the two host races of Lochmaea capreae on willow and birch to test for extrinsic isolation, intrinsic isolation, and environmentally dependent genetic incompatibilities. We employed a reciprocal transplant design in which offspring were raised...

Data from: Intraguild predation leads to cascading effects on habitat choice, behaviour and reproductive performance

Anna-Katharina Mueller, Nayden Chakarov, Hanna Heseker & Oliver Krüger
Intraguild predation (IGP) is a commonly recognized mechanism influencing the community structure of predators, but the complex interactions are notoriously difficult to disentangle. The mesopredator suppression hypothesis predicts that a superpredator may either simultaneously repress two mesopredators, restrain the dominant one and thereby release the subdominant mesopredator, or elicit different responses by both mesopredators. We show the outcome arising from such conditions in a three-level predator assemblage (Eurasian eagle owl Bubo bubo L., northern goshawk...

Data from: Long-term effects of early nutrition and environmental matching on developmental and personality traits in zebra finches

E. Tobias Krause, Oliver Krüger & Holger Schielzeth
Developmental plasticity is a key feature of many organisms and individuals can benefit from early programming to optimize their phenotypes for the expected environmental conditions. However, environmental conditions may sometimes change unexpectedly. Mismatches between early and adult life, for example, can have important repercussions for adult phenotypes, potentially leading to better performance under matched than mismatched conditions as predicted by the predictive adaptive response hypothesis. We conducted a long-term experimental manipulation of dietary conditions in...

Data from: Intracontinental plant invader shows matching genetic and chemical profiles and might benefit from high defence variation within populations

Lisa Johanna Tewes, Florian Michling, Marcus A. Koch & Caroline Müller
1. Whereas many studies have revealed mechanisms driving plant invasions between continents, research on intracontinental range-expanders is scarce. Therefore, we studied genetic, chemical and ecological traits of a range-expanding Brassicaceae, assuming that high genetic diversity should maintain chemical variation, which potentially benefits the invasion success. Moreover, we expected that within-individual defence diversity plays an essential role in biotic interactions. 2. We compared Bunias orientalis plants from 16 populations of native, invasive or exotic non-invasive origin....

Data from: Disruption of skin microbiota contributes to salamander disease

Molly C. Bletz, Moira Kelly, Joana Sabino-Pinto, Emma Bales, Sarah Van Praet, Wim Bert, Miguel Vences, Sebastian Steinfartz, Frank Pasmans, A. Martel & Filip Boyen
Escalating occurrences of emerging infectious diseases underscore the importance of understanding microbiome-pathogen interactions. The amphibian cutaneous microbiome is widely studied for its potential to mitigate disease-mediated amphibian declines. Other microbial interactions in this system, however, have been largely neglected in the context of disease outbreaks. European fire salamanders have suffered dramatic population crashes as a result of the newly emerged Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans(Bsal). We investigate microbial interactions on multiple fronts within this system. We show that...

Data from: Hypodermic self-insemination as a reproductive assurance strategy

Steven A. Ramm, Aline Schlatter, Maude Poirier & Lukas Schärer
Self-fertilization occurs in a broad range of hermaphroditic plants and animals, and is often thought to evolve as a reproductive assurance strategy under ecological conditions that disfavour or prevent outcrossing. Nevertheless, selfing ability is far from ubiquitous among hermaphrodites, and may be constrained in taxa where the male and female gametes of the same individual cannot easily meet. Here, we report an extraordinary selfing mechanism in one such species, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum hystrix. To...

Data from: Release from natural enemies mitigates inbreeding depression in native and invasive Silene latifolia populations

Karin Schrieber, Sabrina Wolf, Catherina Wypior, Diana Höhlig, Stephen R. Keller, Isabell Hensen & Susanne Lachmuth
Inbreeding and enemy infestation are common in plants and can synergistically reduce their performance. This inbreeding × environment (I×E) interaction may be of particular importance for the success of plant invasions if introduced populations experience a release from attack by natural enemies relative to their native conspecifics. Here, we investigate whether inbreeding affects plant infestation damage, whether inbreeding depression in growth and reproduction is mitigated by enemy release and whether this effect is more pronounced...

Data from: Evolution of age at primiparity in pinnipeds in the absence of the quality-quantity trade-off in reproduction

Stephanie Kalberer, Eugene DeRango, Fritz Trillmich & Oliver Krüger
Age at primiparity (AP) is a key life history trait which is crucial to the evolution of life-history strategies. This trait is particularly interesting in pinnipeds (walrus, eared seals and true seals), which are monotocous animals. Thus, the commonly observed trade-off between offspring quality and quantity does not apply to this taxon. Therefore, comparative studies on the evolution of AP might shed light on other important evolutionary correlates when litter size is fixed. Using phylogenetic...

Data from: The repeatable opportunity for selection differs between pre- and post-copulatory fitness components

Lucas Marie-Orleach, Nikolas Vellnow & Lukas Schärer
In species with multiple mating, intense sexual selection may occur both before and after copulation. However, comparing the strength of pre- and postcopulatory selection is challenging, because i) postcopulatory processes are generally difficult to observe and ii) the often-used opportunity for selection (I) metric contains both deterministic and stochastic components. Here, we quantified pre- and postcopulatory male fitness components of the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm, Macrostomum lignano. We did this by tracking fluorescent sperm—using transgenics—through the...

Genotype-by-environment interactions for precopulatory mate guarding in a lek-mating insect

Nikolas Vellnow, Sonja Schindler & Tim Schmoll
In sexually reproducing species males often experience strong pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection leading to a wide variety of male adaptations. One example is mate guarding, where males prevent females from mating with other males either before or after they (will) have mated themselves. In case social conditions vary short-term and in an unpredictable manner and if there is genetic variation in plasticity of mate guarding (i.e. genotype-by-environment interaction, G x E), adaptive behavioral plasticity...

Evidence for an Allee effect in a declining fur seal population

Rebecca Nagel, Claire Stainfield, Cameron Fox-Clarke, Camille Toscani, Jaume Forcada & Joseph Hoffman
Allee effects play an important role in the dynamics of many populations and can increase the risk of local extinction. However, some authors have questioned the weight of evidence for Allee effects in wild populations. We therefore exploited a natural experiment provided by two adjacent breeding colonies of contrasting density to investigate the potential for Allee effects in an Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella) population that is declining in response to climate-change induced reductions in...

Data from: Evidence of female preference for odour of distant over local males in a bat with female dispersal

Karin Schneeberger, Michael Schulze, Ingo Scheffler & Barbara Caspers
Geographic variation of sexual selected male traits is common in animals. Female choice also varies geographically and several studies found female preference for local males, which is assumed to lead to local adaptation and therefore increases fitness. As females are the non-dispersing sex in most mammalian taxa, this preference for local males might be explained by learning of male characteristics. Studies on preference of females in female-dispersing species are lacking so far. To find out...

Disruption as the Dawn of Future Culinary Systems in Science-Fiction Short Stories

Pola Schiavone Kreibohm

Data from: Determinants of between-year burrow re-occupation in a colony of the European Bee-eater Merops apiaster

Vera Brust, Hans-Valentin Bastian, Anita Bastian & Tim Schmoll
Re-occupation of existing nesting burrows in the European bee-eater Merops apiaster has only rarely – and if so mostly anecdotically – been documented in the literature record, although such behavior would substantially save time and energy. In this study, we quantify burrow re-occupation in a German colony over a period of eleven years and identify ecological variables determining reuse probability. Of 179 recorded broods, 54% took place in a reused burrow and the overall probability...

Data from: Spatial analyses of two color polymorphisms in an alpine grasshopper reveal a role of small‐scale heterogeneity

Petra Dieker, Luisa Beckmann, Julia Teckentrup & Holger Schielzeth
Discrete color polymorphisms represent a fascinating aspect of intraspecific diversity. Color morph ratios often vary clinally, but in some cases, there are no marked clines and mixes of different morphs occur at appreciable frequencies in most populations. This poses the questions of how polymorphisms are maintained. We here study the spatial and temporal distribution of a very conspicuous color polymorphism in the club‐legged grasshopper Gomphocerus sibiricus. The species occurs in a green and a nongreen...

Data from: Transgenerational effects of ungulates and pre-dispersal seed predators on offspring success and resistance to herbivory

Martin Aguirrebengoa, Maite García-Planas, Caroline Müller & Adela González-Megías
Herbivorous mammals and insect pre-dispersal seed predators are two types of herbivores that, despite their functional and morphological differences, tend to severely impact many plant species, highly decreasing their seed production and even imperiling the performance of their offspring through transgenerational effects. However, how they influence offspring resistance to herbivory remains largely unknown. In this study we experimentally examined the effects of ungulates and pre-dispersal seed predators on seed quality as well as on the...

Data from: Physiological and social consequences of gastrointestinal nematode infection in a nonhuman primate

Nadine Müller-Klein, Michael Heistermann, Christina Strube, Zina M. Morbach, Navina Lilie, Mathias Franz, Oliver Schülke & Julia Ostner
Gastrointestinal nematodes are intensely studied models for host-pathogen interactions in wildlife, yet consequences of infections are not fully understood. Among the potential costs of nematode infection are physiological changes caused by immune system activation, reduction or reallocation of available energy, as well as potential social consequences in terms of decreased social activity or avoidance of infected individuals. We used experimental anthelmintic treatment to investigate effects of strongyle nematode infection in Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus), comparing...

Data from: No correlation between multi-locus heterozygosity and fitness in the common buzzard despite heterozygote advantage for plumage colour

Martina Boerner, Joseph I. Hoffman, William Amos, Nayden Chakarov & Oliver Kruger
Correlations between heterozygosity and fitness are frequently found but rarely well understood. Fitness can be affected by single loci of large effect which correlate with neutral markers via linkage disequilibrium, or as a result of variation in genome-wide heterozygosity following inbreeding. We explored these alternatives in the common buzzard, a raptor species in which three colour morphs differ in their lifetime reproductive success. Using 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci, we evaluated potential genetic differences among the...

Data from: Weber's law, the magnitude effect and discrimination of sugar concentrations in nectar-feeding animals

Vladislav Nachev, Kai Petra Stich & York Winter
Weber’s law quantifies the perception of difference between stimuli. For instance, it can explain why we are less likely to detect the removal of three nuts from a bowl if the bowl is full than if it is nearly empty. This is an example of the magnitude effect – the phenomenon that the subjective perception of a linear difference between a pair of stimuli progressively diminishes when the average magnitude of the stimuli increases. Although...

Data from: Sex-specific and individual preferences for hunting strategies in white sharks

Alison V. Towner, Vianey Leos-Barajas, Roland Langrock, Robert S. Schick, Malcolm J. Smale, Tami Kaschke, Oliver J.D. Jewell, Yannis P. Papastamatiou & Oliver J. D. Jewell
Fine-scale predator movements may be driven by many factors including sex, habitat, and distribution of resources. There may also be individual preferences for certain movement strategies within a population which can be hard to quantify. Within top predators, movements are also going to be directly related to the mode of hunting; for example sit-and-wait or actively searching for prey. Although there is mounting evidence that different hunting modes can cause opposing trophic cascades, there has...

Data from: Establishing a community-wide DNA barcode library as a new tool for arctic research

H. Wirta, G. Várkonyi, C. Rasmussen, R. Kaartinen, N. M. Schmidt, P. D. N. Hebert, M. Barták, G. Blagoev, H. Disney, S. Ertl, P. Gjelstrup, D. J. Gwiazdowicz, L. Huldén, J. Ilmonen, J. Jakovlev, M. Jaschhof, J. Kahanpää, T. Kankaanpää, P. H. Krogh, R. Labbee, C. Lettner, V. Michelsen, S. A. Nielsen, T. R. Nielsen, L. Paasivirta … & T. Roslin
DNA sequences offer powerful tools for describing the members and interactions of natural communities. In this study, we establish the to-date most comprehensive library of DNA barcodes for a terrestrial site, including all known macroscopic animals and vascular plants of an intensively studied area of the High Arctic, the Zackenberg Valley in Northeast Greenland. To demonstrate its utility, we apply the library to identify nearly 20 000 arthropod individuals from two Malaise traps, each operated...

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