275 Works

Deer density drives habitat use of establishing wolves in the Western European Alps

Stefanie Roder, François Biollaz, Stéphane Mettaz, Fridolin Zimmermann, Ralph Manz, Marc Kery, Sergio Vignali, Luca Fumagalli, Raphaël Arlettaz & Veronika Braunisch
1. The return of top carnivores to their historical range triggers conflicts with the interests of different stakeholder groups. Anticipating such conflicts is key to appropriate conservation management, which calls for reliable spatial predictions of future carnivore occurrence. Previous models have assessed general habitat suitability for wolves, but the factors driving the settlement of dispersing individuals remain ill-understood. In particular, little attention has been paid to the role of prey availability in the recolonization process....

Experimental predator intrusions in a cooperative breeder reveal threat-dependent task partitioning

Dario Josi, Annika Freudiger, Michael Taborsky & Joachim G. Frommen
In cooperatively breeding species, non-breeding individuals provide alloparental care and help in territory maintenance and defence. Antipredator behaviours of subordinates can enhance offspring survival, which may provide direct and indirect fitness benefits to all group members. Helping abilities and involved costs and benefits, risks and outside options (e.g. breeding independently) usually diverge between group members, which calls for status-specific differentiated behavioural responses. Such role differentiation within groups may generate task-specific division of labour, as exemplified...

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...

Data from: Plasticity via feedback reduces the cost of developmental instability

Remi Matthey-Doret
Costs of plasticity are thought to have important physiological and evolutionary consequences. A commonly predicted cost to plasticity is that plastic genotypes are likely to suffer from developmental instability. Adaptive plasticity requires that the developing organism can in some way sense what environment it is in or how well it is performing in that environment. These two information pathways—an “environmental signal” or a “performance signal” that indicates how well a developing phenotype matches the optimum...

Light availability and light demand of plants shape the arbuscular fungal communities in their roots

Lena Neuenkamp, Martin Zobel, Kadri Koorem, Teele Jairus, John Davison, Maarj Öpik, Martti Vasar & Mari Moora
Plants involved in the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis trade photosynthetically derived carbon for fungal-provided soil nutrients. However, little is known about how plant light demand and ambient light conditions influence root-associating AM fungal communities. We conducted a manipulative field experiment to test whether plants’ shade tolerance influences their root AM fungal communities in open and shaded grassland sites. We found similar light-dependent shifts shifts in AM fungal community structure for experimental bait plant roots and...

Predator-induced maternal effects via eggs shape offspring behaviour and their expression of growth genes in a highly social fish

Sakshi Sharda, Tobias Zuest, Matthias Erb & Barbara Taborsky
Predator-induced non-genetic maternal effects may influence how offspring cope with predation theat. However, the underlying physiological mechanisms and the stages in ontogeny when these take effect effects operate are still largely unresolved. In this integrative study, we investigated maternal effects via egg composition on offspring gene expression, growth, survival and anti-predator escape behaviour. We exposed pairs of the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologous pulcher to visual and chemical cues of its natural predator Lepidolamprogous elongatus, or...

Data from: Seedling resistance, tolerance and escape from herbivores: insights from co-dominant canopy tree species in a resource-poor African rain forest

Julian M. Norghauer, Gaёtan Glauser & David M. Newbery
Although plants can reduce the impacts of herbivory in multiple ways, these defensive traits are often studied in isolation and an understanding of the resulting strategies is incomplete. In the study reported here, empirical evidence was simultaneously evaluated for the three main sets of traits available to plants: (1) resistance through constitutive leaf traits, (2) tolerance to defoliation, and (3) escape in space, for three caesalpiniaceous tree species Microberlinia bisulcata, Tetraberlinia bifoliolata and T. korupensis,...

Data from: Contemporary ecotypic divergence during a recent range expansion was facilitated by adaptive introgression

Kay Lucek, Mélissa Lemoine & Ole Seehausen
Although rapid phenotypic evolution during range expansion associated with colonization of contrasting habitats has been documented in several taxa, the evolutionary mechanisms that underlie such phenotypic divergence have less often been investigated. A strong candidate for rapid ecotype formation within an invaded range is the three-spine stickleback in the Lake Geneva region of central Europe. Since its introduction only about 140 years ago, it has undergone a significant expansion of its range and its niche,...

Data from: Relaxed trait covariance in interspecific cichlid hybrids predicts morphological diversity in adaptive radiations

Oliver M. Selz, Kay Lucek, Kyle A. Young & Ole Seehausen
The process of adaptive radiation involves multiple events of speciation in short succession, associated with ecological diversification. Understanding this process requires identifying the origins of heritable phenotypic variation that allows adaptive radiation to progress. Hybridization is one source of genetic and morphological variation that may spur adaptive radiation. We experimentally explored the potential role of hybridization in facilitating the onset of adaptive radiation. We generated first- and second-generation hybrids of four species of African cichlid...

Data from: The past ecology of Abies alba provides new perspectives on future responses of silver fir forests to global warming

Willy Tinner, Daniele Colombaroli, Oliver Heiri, Paul Henne, Marco Steinacher, Johanna Untenecker, Elisa Vescovi, Judy Allen, Gabriele Carraro, Marco Conedera, Fortunat Joos, André Lotter, Jürg Luterbacher, Stephanie Samartin & Verushka Valsecchi
Paleoecology can provide valuable insights into the ecology of species that complement observation and experiment-based assessments of climate-impact dynamics. New paleoecological records (e.g. pollen, macrofossils) from the Italian Peninsula suggest a much wider climatic niche of the important European tree species Abies alba (silver fir) than observed in its present spatial range. To explore this discrepancy between current and past distribution we analyse climatic data (e.g. temperature, precipitation, frost, humidity, sunshine) and vegetation-independent paleoclimatic reconstructions...

Data from: Reproductive performance of a declining forest passerine in relation to environmental and social factors: implications for species conservation

Alexander Grendelmeier, Raphaël Arlettaz, Michael Gerber, Gilberto Pasinelli & Alex Grendelmeier
Identifying factors influencing a species’ ecological niche and demography is a prerequisite for species conservation. However, our understanding of the interplay between demographic rates and biotic/abiotic factors is still poor for most species of conservation concern. We evaluated relevance of eight hypotheses relating to timing of breeding, temporal nest exposure, nest concealment, topography, tree structure, predation risk and disturbance, density dependence and weather for explaining variation in reproductive performance of the declining wood warbler Phylloscopus...

Data from: Validation of network communicability metrics for the analysis of brain structural networks.

Jennifer Andreotti, Kay Jann, Lester Melie-Garcia, Stéphanie Giezendanner, Eugenio Abela, Roland Wiest, Thomas Dierks & Andrea Federspiel
Computational network analysis provides new methods to analyze the brain's structural organization based on diffusion imaging tractography data. Networks are characterized by global and local metrics that have recently given promising insights into diagnosis and the further understanding of psychiatric and neurologic disorders. Most of these metrics are based on the idea that information in a network flows along the shortest paths. In contrast to this notion, communicability is a broader measure of connectivity which...

Data from: Hybridisation increases invasive knotweed success

Madalin Parepa, Markus Fischer, Christine Krebs & Oliver Bossdorf
Hybridization is one of the fundamental mechanisms by which rapid evolution can occur in exotic species. If hybrids show increased vigour, this could significantly contribute to invasion success. Here, we compared the success of the two invasive knotweeds, Fallopia japonica and F. sachalinensis, and their hybrid, F. × bohemica, in competing against experimental communities of native plants. Using plant material from multiple clones of each taxon collected across a latitudinal gradient in Central Europe, we...

Data from: Genome-Wide Analyses Suggest Mechanisms Involving Early B-Cell Development in Canine IgA Deficiency

Mia Olsson, Katarina Tengvall, Marcel Frankowiack, Marcin Kierczak, Kerstin Bergvall, Erik Axelsson, Linda Tintle, Eliane Marti, Petra Roosje, Tosso Leeb, Åke Hedhammar, Lennart Hammarström & Kerstin Lindblad-Toh
Immunoglobulin A deficiency (IgAD) is the most common primary immune deficiency disorder in both humans and dogs, characterized by recurrent mucosal tract infections and a predisposition for allergic and other immune mediated diseases. In several dog breeds, low IgA levels have been observed at a high frequency and with a clinical resemblance to human IgAD. In this study, we used genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify genomic regions associated with low IgA levels in dogs...

Data from: First- and second-order sociality determine survival and reproduction in cooperative cichlids

Arne Jungwirth & Michael Taborsky
Cooperative breeders are model organisms for the study of cooperation. The costs and benefits involved in cooperation are typically scrutinised only at the group level. However, multi-level social organisations, involving interactions among individuals at various levels, are often observed. To understand the adaptive value of cooperation and the evolution of complex social organisation, the importance of different levels of social organisation for direct and indirect fitness components should be identified. Here we show that in...

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: Plio-Pleistocene phylogeography of the Southeast Asian Blue Panchax killifish, Aplocheilus panchax

Samantha V. Beck, Gary R. Carvalho, Axel Barlow, Lukas Rüber, Heok Hui Tan, Estu Nugroho, Daisy Wowor, Siti Azizah Mohd Nor, Fabian Herder, Zainal A. Muchlisin & Mark De Bruyn
The complex climatic and geological history of Southeast Asia has shaped this region’s high biodiversity. In particular, sea level fluctuations associated with repeated glacial cycles during the Pleistocene both facilitated, and limited, connectivity between populations. In this study, we used data from two mitochondrial and three anonymous nuclear markers to determine whether a fresh/brackish water killifish, Aplocheilus panchax, Hamilton, 1822, could be used to further understand how climatic oscillations and associated sea level fluctuations have...

Data from: No evidence for larger leaf trait plasticity in ecological generalists compared to specialists

Petr Dostál, Markus Fischer, Milan Chytrý & Daniel Prati
Aim: Phenotypic plasticity is hypothesized to contribute to a species’ capacity to occupy broader ranges of conditions and to optimally exploit resource-rich environments. Although this is supported by case studies of individual species, we do not know whether larger plasticity in functional traits is generally associated with ecological characteristics of species such as their niche breadth or niche position. Here, we test whether there is such a relationship for plasticity in leaf functional traits. Location:...

Data from: The effect of top-predator presence and phenotype on aquatic microbial communities

Karen E. Sullam, Blake Matthews, Thierry Aebischer, Ole Seehausen & Helmut Bürgmann
The presence of predators can impact a variety of organisms within the ecosystem, including microorganisms. Because the effects of fish predators and their phenotypic differences on microbial communities have not received much attention, we tested how the presence/absence, genotype, and plasticity of the predatory three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) influence aquatic microbes in outdoor mesocosms. We reared lake and stream stickleback genotypes on contrasting food resources to adulthood, and then added them to aquatic mesocosm ecosystems...

Data from: Developmental effects of visual environment on species-assortative mating preferences in Lake Victoria cichlid fish

Daniel S. Wright, Nicolle Demandt, Jeroen T. Alkema, Ole Seehausen, Ton G.G. Groothuis & Martine E. Maan
Local adaptation can be a potent force in speciation, with environmental heterogeneity leading to niche specialization and population divergence. However, local adaption often requires non-random mating in order to generate reproductive isolation. Population divergence in sensory properties can be particularly consequential in speciation, affecting both ecological adaptation and sexual communication. Pundamilia pundamila and Pundamilia nyererei are two closely related African cichlid species that differ in male coloration, blue vs. red. They co-occur at rocky islands...

Data from: The summary-likelihood method and its implementation in the Infusion package

Francois Rousset, Alexandre Gouy, Camille Martinez-Almoyna & Alexandre Courtiol
In recent years, simulation methods such as approximate Bayesian computation have extensively been used to infer parameters of population genetic models where the likelihood is intractable. We describe an alternative approach, summary likelihood, that provides a likelihood-based analysis of the information retained in the summary statistics whose distribution is simulated. We provide an automated implementation as a standard R package, Infusion, and we test the method, in particular for a scenario of inference of population-size...

Data from: Differences in male coloration are predicted by divergent sexual selection between populations of a cichlid fish

Oliver M. Selz, Rahel Thommen, Michele R. Pierotti, Jaime M. Anaya-Rojas, Ole Seehausen & M. E. R. Pierotti
Female mating preferences can influence both intraspecific sexual selection and interspecific reproductive isolation, and have therefore been proposed to play a central role in speciation. Here, we investigate experimentally in the African cichlid fish Pundamilia nyererei if differences in male coloration between three para-allopatric populations (i.e. island populations with gene flow) of P. nyererei are predicted by differences in sexual selection by female mate choice between populations. Second, we investigate if female mating preferences are...

Data from: Genome-wide SNP data suggests complex ancestry of sympatric North Pacific killer whale ecotypes

Andrew D. Foote & Phillip A. Morin
Three ecotypes of killer whale occur in partial sympatry in the North Pacific. Individuals assortatively mate within the same ecotype, resulting in correlated ecological and genetic differentiation. A key question is whether this pattern of evolutionary divergence is an example of incipient sympatric speciation from a single panmictic ancestral population, or whether sympatry could have resulted from multiple colonisations of the North Pacific and secondary contact between ecotypes. Here, we infer multilocus coalescent trees from...

Data from: Snowbeds are more affected than other subalpine-alpine plant communities by climate change in the Swiss Alps

Magali Matteodo, Klaus Ammann, Eric Pascal Verrecchia & Pascal Vittoz
While the upward shift of plant species has been observed on many alpine and nival summits, the reaction of the subalpine and lower alpine plant communities to the current warming and lower snow precipitation has been little investigated so far. To this aim, 63 old, exhaustive plant inventories, distributed along a subalpine–alpine elevation gradient of the Swiss Alps and covering different plant community types (acidic and calcareous grasslands; windy ridges; snowbeds), were revisited after 25–50...

Data from: Genomic landscape of early ecological speciation initiated by selection on nuptial colour

David Alexander Marques, Kay Lucek, Marcel Philipp Haesler, Anna Fiona Feller, Joana Isabel Meier, Catherine Wagner, Laurent Excoffier, Ole Seehausen & Catherine E. Wagner
Ecological speciation is the evolution of reproductive isolation as a consequence of direct divergent natural selection or ecologically mediated divergent sexual selection. While the genomic signature of the former has been extensively studied in recent years, only few examples exist for genomic differentiation where environment-dependent sexual selection has played an important role. Here, we describe a very young (~90 years old) population of threespine sticklebacks exhibiting phenotypic and genomic differentiation between two habitats within the...

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