1,679 Works

Traffic Incident Management Dashboard

Xu Zhang, Reginald R. Souleyrette, Alex Wang, Paul Ross, Eric R. Green & Mei Chen
Traffic incidents remain all-too-common events on Kentucky’s roadways. They negatively impact the safety of the traveling public and emergency responders and cause significant traffic delays. Congestion associated with incidents can instigate secondary crashes, exacerbating safety risks and economic costs. Traffic incident management (TIM) provides an effective approach for managing highway incidents and reducing their occurrence and impacts. This report discusses the establishment of and methods of calculation for five TIM performance measures that can be...

Data from: Surprising flexibility in parental care revealed by experimental changes in offspring demand

Katherine Pelletier, Chelsey Oedewaldt & David F. Westneat
Parental behaviour often exhibits plasticity to factors expected to affect the benefits or costs of care. For example, parent songbirds typically increase their provisioning behaviour as nestlings mature. Several mechanisms exist that could allow parents to track nestling age and provide appropriate care. We performed a short-term experiment on house sparrows, Passer domesticus, in which offspring of different ages were exchanged to assess the level of flexibility parents exhibit and the likely cues they use....

Data from: Reconstructing the microbial diversity and function of pre-agricultural tallgrass prairie soils in the United States

Noah Fierer, Joshua Ladau, Jose C. Clemente, Jonathan W. Leff, Sarah M. Owens, Katherine S. Pollard, Rob Knight, Jack A. Gilbert & Rebecca L. McCulley
Native tallgrass prairie once dominated much of the midwestern United States, but this biome and the soil microbial diversity that once sustained this highly productive system have been almost completely eradicated by decades of agricultural practices. We reconstructed the soil microbial diversity that once existed in this biome by analyzing relict prairie soils and found that the biogeographical patterns were largely driven by changes in the relative abundance of Verrucomicrobia, a poorly studied bacterial phylum...

Data from: Comparing rates of springtail predation by web-building spiders using Bayesian inference

Kelton D. Welch, Matthew R. Schofield, Eric G. Chapman & James D. Harwood
A major goal of gut-content analysis is to quantify predation rates by predators in the field, which could provide insights into the mechanisms behind ecosystem structure and function, as well as quantification of ecosystem services provided. However, percent-positive results from molecular assays are strongly influenced by factors other than predation rate, and thus can only be reliably used to quantify predation rates under very restrictive conditions. Here, we develop two statistical approaches, one using a...

Data from: Experimental manipulation of brood size affects several levels of phenotypic variance in offspring and parent pied flycatchers

David F. Westneat, Ariane Mutzel, Simon Bonner & Jonathan Wright
Parental provisioning of offspring should reflect selection on life history aspects of parenting and on foraging behavior. Life history and foraging theory generally make predictions about mean behavior, but some circumstances might favor changes in the variance of parent and offspring behaviors. We analyzed data on free-living pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) experiencing a brood size manipulation. We used double hierarchical generalized linear models to investigate patterns in means and variances of provisioning, brood begging, and...

Data from: Effects of roads and land use on frog distributions across spatial scales and regions in the eastern and central United States

David M. Marsh, Bradley J. Cosentino, Kara S. Jones, Joseph J. Apodaca, Karen H. Beard, Jane M. Bell, Christine Bozarth, Derrick Carper, Julie F. Charbonnier, Andreia Dantas, Elizabeth Forys, Miran Foster, Jaquelyn General, Kristen S. Genet, Macie Hanneken, Kyle R. Hess, Shane A. Hill, Faisal Iqbal, Nancy E. Karraker, Eran S. Kilpatrick, Tom A. Langen, James Langford, Kathryn Lauer, Alison J. McCarthy, Joseph Neale … & Mohammad Tasleem
Aim: Understanding the scales over which land use affects animal populations is critical for conservation planning, and it can provide information about the mechanisms that underlie correlations between species distributions and land use. We used a citizen-science database of anuran surveys to examine the relationship between road density, land use, and the distribution of frogs and toads across spatial scales and regions of the United States. Location: Eastern and Central United States Methods: We compiled...

Data from: Genomic data reject the hypothesis of sympatric ecological speciation in a clade of Desmognathus salamanders

Kara S. Jones & David W. Weisrock
Closely related taxa with dissimilar morphologies are often considered to have diverged via natural selection favoring different phenotypes. However, some studies have found these scenarios to be paired with limited or no genetic differentiation. Desmognathus quadramaculatus and D. marmoratus are sympatric salamander species thought to represent a case of ecological speciation based on distinct morphologies, but the results of previous studies have not resolved corresponding patterns of lineage divergence. Here, we use genome-wide data to...

Data from: Prey size and dietary niche of Rafinesque’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii)

Luke E. Dodd, Michael J. Lacki, Joseph S. Johnson & Lynne K. Rieske
Bats in the genus Corynorhinus possess a suite of morphological characters that permit them to effectively use both gleaning and aerial-hawking foraging strategies to capture Lepidoptera. Consequently, they occupy a specialized feeding niche within North American bat assemblages and are of particular interest for dietary studies. We collected fecal pellets from a colony of C. rafinesquii (Rafinesque's Big-Eared Bat) at Mammoth Cave National Park during August–October 2011 and amplified cytochrome-c oxidase subunit 1 fragments of...

Data from: Substantial red wolf genetic ancestry persists in wild canids of southwestern Louisiana

Sean M. Murphy, Jennifer R. Adams, John J. Cox & Lisette P. Waits
Concerns over red wolf (Canis rufus) extinction caused by hybridization with coyotes (C. latrans) led to the capture and removal of remnant wild wolves from southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas, USA, during the 1970s. Here we show that despite decades of unmitigated hybridization, and declaration of endangered red wolves as functionally extinct in the wild, red wolf mitochondrial or nuclear DNA ancestry persists in ~55% of contemporary wild canids sampled in southwestern Louisiana. Surprisingly, one...

Data from: Spatial genetic structure in American black bears (Ursus americanus): female philopatry is variable and related to population history

Thea V. Kristensen, Emily E. Puckett, Erin L. Landguth, Jerrold L. Belant, John T. Hast, Colin Carpenter, Jaime L. Sajecki, Jeff Beringer, Myron Means, John J. Cox, Lori S. Eggert, & Kimberly G. Smith
Previously, American black bears (Ursus americanus) were thought to follow the pattern of female philopatry and male-biased dispersal. However, recent studies have identified deviations from this pattern. Such flexibility in dispersal patterns can allow individuals greater ability to acclimate to changing environments. We explored dispersal and spatial genetic relatedness patterns across ten black bear populations—including long established (historic), with known reproduction >50 years ago, and newly established (recent) populations, with reproduction recorded <50 years ago—in...

Data from: Nonconsumptive predator effects modify crayfish-induced bioturbation as mediated by limb loss: field and mesocosm experiments

Luc Dunoyer, Dakota Coomes & Philip Crowley
1. We addressed the implications of limb loss and regeneration for multi-species interactions and their impacts on ecosystem engineering in freshwater stream environments. 2. We included regenerative and non-regenerative crayfish as well as fish predators in a 2x2 factorial design to assess the effects on water turbidity of interactions between crayfish ecosystem engineers differing in regenerative status and their fish predators. 3. We demonstrated that crayfish limb loss and predation risks lead to more turbidity...

Data from: Lake regionalization and diatom metacommunity structuring in tropical South America

Xavier Benito, Sherilyn C. Fritz, Miriam Steinitz-Kannan, Maria I. Vélez & Michael M. McGlue
Lakes and their topological distribution across Earth’s surface impose ecological and evolutionary constraints on aquatic metacommunities. In this study, we group similar lake ecosystems as metacommunity units influencing diatom community structure. We assembled a database of 195 lakes from the tropical Andes and adjacent lowlands (8ºN–30ºS and 58–79ºW) with associated environmental predictors to examine diatom metacommunity patterns at two different levels: taxon and functional (deconstructed species matrix by ecological guilds). We also derived spatial variables...

Data from: A genomic assessment of population structure and gene flow in an aquatic salamander identifies the roles of spatial scale, barriers, and river architecture

Mason O. Murphy, Kara S. Jones, Steven J. Price & David W. Weisrock
Population structure and gene flow of species in lotic environments can be constrained by river network architecture, species life history and heterogeneous local barriers. Identifying the factors that influence population structure and gene flow, especially in species limited to movement within a river network, is vital for understanding the evolutionary and demographic history of a species. We explored population structure and gene flow for a fully aquatic salamander, the common mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus), in Kentucky...

Data from: The effectiveness of journals as arbiters of scientific quality

C.E. Timothy Paine, Charles W. Fox & C. E. Timothy Paine
Academic publishers purport to be arbiters of knowledge, aiming to publish studied that advance the frontiers of their research domain. Yet the effectiveness of journal editors at identifying novel and important research is generally unknown, in part because of the confidential nature of the editorial and peer-review process. Using questionnaires, we evaluated the degree to which journals are effective arbiters of scientific impact in the domain of Ecology, quantified by three key criteria. First, journals...

Data from: Differential aphid toxicity to ladybeetles is not a function of host plant or facultative bacterial symbionts

Jennifer A. White, Joshua S. McCord, Kelly A. Jackson, Allison C. Dehnel & Paul A. Lenhart
Herbivores often defend themselves from predation by transmitting toxic plant-produced chemicals to their enemies. Polyphagous herbivores sometimes exhibit differential toxicity when found on various host plant species, which is generally assumed to reflect variation in plant chemistry. Here, however, we provide evidence that host-associated herbivore lineages can intrinsically differ in their toxic properties. Lineages of Aphis craccivora originating from black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) are unsuitable food for the ladybeetle Harmonia axyridis, resulting in death of...

Data from: Foraging modality and plasticity in foraging traits determine the strength of competitive interactions among carnivorous plants, spiders, and toads

David E. Jennings, James J. Krupa & Jason R. Rohr
1. Foraging modalities (e.g., passive, sit-and-wait, active) and traits are plastic in some species, but the extent to which this plasticity affects interspecific competition remains unclear. 2. Using a long-term laboratory mesocosm experiment, we quantified competition strength and the plasticity of foraging traits in a guild of generalist predators of arthropods with a range of foraging modalities. 3. Each mesocosm contained eight passively foraging pink sundews, and we employed an experimental design where treatments were...

Data from: Phylogenetic patterns of trait and trait plasticity evolution: Insights from amphibian embryos

Rick Relyea, Patrick R. Stephens, Lisa N. Barrow, Andrew Blaustein, Paul Bradley, Julia Buck, Ann Chang, Brian I Crother, James Collins, Julia Earl, Stephanie S. Gervasi, Jason T. Hoverman, Olliver Hyman, Emily Claire Moriarty Lemmon, Thomas Luhring, Moses Michelsohn, Christopher M. Murray, Steven Price, Raymond Semlitsch, Andy Sih, Aaron Stoler, Nick VandenBroek, Alexa Warwick, Greta Wengert, John Hammond … & Aaron B. Stoler
Environmental variation favors the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. For many species, we understand the costs and benefits of different phenotypes, but we lack a broad understanding of how plastic traits evolve across large clades. Using identical experiments conducted across North America, we examined prey responses to predator cues. We quantified five life history traits and the magnitude of their plasticity for 23 amphibian species/populations (spanning three families and five genera) when exposed to no cues,...

Data from: Editor and reviewer gender influence the peer review process but not peer review outcomes at an ecology journal

Charles W. Fox, C. Sean Burns & Jennifer A. Meyer
Lack of diversity on editorial boards might generate disparities in editorial and peer review that contribute to gender and geographic disparities in scholarly publishing. We use a comprehensive data set of the peer review process for all papers submitted to the journal Functional Ecology from January 2004 to June 2014 to examine how gender, seniority and geographic location of editors and reviewers influence reviewer recruitment and scores given to papers by reviewers. The gender ratio...

Data from: Genomic data detect corresponding signatures of population size change on an ecological time scale in two salamander species

Schyler O. Nunziata, Stacey L. Lance, David E. Scott, Emily Moriarty Lemmon & David W. Weisrock
Understanding the demography of species over recent history (e.g., < 100 years) is critical in studies of ecology and evolution, but records of population history are rarely available. Surveying genetic variation is a potential alternative to census-based estimates of population size, and can yield insight into the demography of a population. However, to assess the performance of genetic methods it is important to compare their estimates of population history to known demography. Here, we leveraged...

Data from: Mitochondrial phylogenomics of Hemiptera reveals adaptive innovations driving the diversification of true bugs

Hu Li, , Eric G. Chapman, Daniel Burkhardt, Fan Song, Pei Jiang, Jinpeng Liu, Xuguo Zhou, Wanzhi Cai & John M. Leavengood
Hemiptera, the largest non-holometabolous order of insects, represents ~7% of metazoan diversity. With extraordinary life histories and highly specialized morphological adaptations, hemipterans have exploited diverse habitats and food sources through ~300 million years of evolution. To elucidate the phylogeny and evolutionary history of Hemiptera, we carried out the most comprehensive mitogenomics analysis on the richest taxon sampling to date covering all the suborders and infraorders, including 34 newly sequenced and 94 published mitogenomes. With optimized...

Data from: Gender differences in peer review outcomes and manuscript impact at six journals of ecology and evolution

Charles W. Fox & C. E. Timothy Paine
The productivity and performance of men is generally rated more highly than that of women in controlled experiments, suggesting conscious or unconscious gender biases in assessment. The degree to which editors and reviewers of scholarly journals exhibit gender biases that influence outcomes of the peer review process remains uncertain due to substantial variation among studies. We test whether gender predicts the outcomes of editorial and peer review for >23,000 research manuscripts submitted to six journals...

Does breeding season variation affect evolution of a sexual signaling trait in a tropical lizard clade?

Levi Gray, Anthony Barley, David Hillis, Carlos Pavón-Vázquez, Steven Poe & Brittney White
Sexually selected traits can be expected to increase in importance when the period of sexual behavior is constrained, such as in seasonally restricted breeders. Anolis lizard male dewlaps are classic examples of multifaceted signaling traits, with demonstrated intraspecific reproductive function reflected in courtship behavior. Fitch and Hillis found a correlation between dewlap size and seasonality in mainland Anolis using traditional statistical methods. Here, we present two tests of the Fitch-Hillis Hypothesis using new phylogenetic and...

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...

Ancestral state reconstruction for regeneration and autotomy in arthopods and reptiles

Jeremy Van Cleve, Luc Dunoyer & Ashley Seifert
Some form of regeneration occurs in all lifeforms and extends from single-cell organisms to humans. The degree to which regenerative ability is distributed across different taxa, however, is harder to ascertain given the potential for phylogenetic constraint or inertia, and adaptive processes to shape this pattern. Here, we examine the phylogenetic history of regeneration in two groups where the trait has been well-studied: arthropods and reptiles. Because autotomy is often present alongside regeneration in these...

Toxin or medication? Immunotherapeutic effects of nicotine on a specialist caterpillar

Michael Garvey, Justin Bredlau, Karen Kester, Curtis Creighton & Ian Kaplan
1. A core tenant in the field of ecological immunology is that immune responses trade off with other physiological functions due to resource-allocation costs. Caterpillars, for example, tend to exhibit reduced immune responses when reared on more toxic food plants due to a cost from detoxifying or sequestering secondary metabolites, also known as the “vulnerable host hypothesis”. However, support for this hypothesis is mixed, and studies have not yet mechanistically isolated the relative contributions of...

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