Reconstructing a robust phylogenetic framework is key to understanding the ecology and evolution of many economically important taxa. The crambid moth genus Ostrinia contains multiple agricultural pests, and its classification and phylogeny has remained controversial due to the paucity of characters and the lack of clear morphological boundaries for its species. To address these issues, we inferred a molecular phylogeny of Ostrinia using a phylogenomic dataset containing 498 loci and 115,197 nucleotide sites and examined...
Datafile - In situ adaptation and ecological release facilitate the occupied niche expansion of an invasive Madagascan day gecko in FloridaThomas Fieldsend, Nicolas Dubos, Kenneth Krysko, Christopher Raxworthy & Sparkle Malone
Aim To investigate whether the frequently advocated climate-matching species distribution modelling approach could predict the well-characterized colonization of Florida by the Madagascar giant day gecko Phelsuma grandis. Location Madagascar and Florida, USA. Methods To determine the climatic conditions associated with the native range of P. grandis, we used native-range presence-only records and Bioclim climatic data to build a Maxent species distribution model and projected the climatic thresholds of the native range onto Florida. We then...
Here, we examine interactions between the spatangoid echinoid Meoma ventricosa and the drilling predatory gastropod Cassis tuberosa from a shallow tropical marine habitat (San Salvador Island, Bahamas) to assess the impact of drilling predation on the fossilization potential of echinoids, estimate drilling frequency, characterize drill hole morphology, and evaluate size and site selectivity of predators. Cassid gastropods commonly attack sea urchins today, creating a distinct circular hole in the urchin exoskeleton using the radula, often...
Evolutionary tradeoffs between male secondary sexual traits revealed by a phylogeny of the hyperdiverse tribe Eumaeini (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)Wendy A. Valencia-Montoya, Tiago B. Quental, João Filipe R. Tonini, Gerard Talavera, James D. Crall, Gerardo Lamas, Robert C. Busby, Ana Paula S. Carvalho, Ana B. Morais, Nicolás Oliveira Mega, Helena Piccoli Romanowski, Marjorie A. Liénard, Shayla Salzman, Melissa R. L. Whitaker, Akito Y. Kawahara, David J. Lohman, Robert K. Robbins & Naomi E. Pierce
Male butterflies in the hyperdiverse tribe Eumaeini possess an unusually complex and diverse repertoire of secondary sexual characteristics involved in pheromone production and dissemination. Maintaining multiple sexually selected traits is likely to be metabolically costly, potentially resulting in trade-offs in the evolution of male signals. However, a phylogenetic framework to test hypotheses regarding the evolution and maintenance of male sexual traits in Eumaeini has been lacking. Here, we infer a comprehensive, time-calibrated phylogeny from 379...
Pleistocene aridification underlies the evolutionary history of the Caribbean endemic, insular giant, Consolea (Opuntioideae)Lucas Majure, Duniel Barrios, Edgardo Díaz, Bethany Zumwalde, Weston Testo & Vivian Negrón-Ortíz
Premise: The Caribbean islands are renowned for their small size but high species diversity, and cacti make up a fascinating component of seasonally dry tropical forest (SDTF) there. Consolea consist of nine species of dioecious, hummingbird pollinated trees endemic to the West Indies, which form a conspicuous element of the SDTF. Several species are threatened by anthropogenic disturbance, disease, sea-level rise and invasive species, and are of conservation concern. However, no comprehensive phylogeny yet exists...
Spatial phylogenetics of butterflies in relation to environmental drivers and angiosperm diversity across North AmericaChandra Earl, Michael W. Belitz, Shawn W. Laffan, Vijay Barve, Narayani Barve, Douglas E. Soltis, Julie M. Allen, Pamela S. Soltis, Brent D. Mishler, Akito Y. Kawahara & Robert Guralnick
Broad-scale quantitative assessments of biodiversity and the factors shaping it remain particularly poorly explored in insects. Here, we undertook a spatial phylogenetic analysis of North American butterflies via assembly of a time-calibrated phylogeny of the region coupled with a unique, complete range assessment for ~75% of the known species. We utilized a suite of phylodiversity metrics and associated environmental data to test whether climate stability and temperature gradients have shaped North American butterfly phylogenetic diversity...
Predation traces found on fossilized prey remains can be used to quantify the evolutionary history of biotic interactions. Fossil mollusk shells bearing these types of traces provided key evidence for the rise of predation during the Mesozoic Marine Revolution (MMR), an event which is thought to have reorganized global marine ecosystems. However, predation pressure on prey groups other than mollusks has not been explored adequately. Consequently, the ubiquity, tempo, and synchronicity of the MMR cannot...
Most research on aposematism has focused on chemically defended prey, but the signaling difficulty of capture remains poorly explored. Similar to classical Batesian and Müllerian mimicry related to distastefulness, such ‘evasive aposematism' may also lead to convergence in warning colours, known as evasive mimicry. A prime candidate group for evasive mimicry areAdelphabutterflies, which are agile insects and show remarkable colour pattern convergence. We tested the ability of naive blue tits to learn to avoid and...
The evolution of flapping flight is linked to the prolific success of insects. Across Insecta, wing morphology diversified, strongly impacting aerodynamic performance. In the presence of ecological opportunity, discrete adaptive shifts and early bursts are two processes hypothesized to give rise to exceptional morphological diversification. Here, we use the diverse sister-families Sphingidae and Saturniidae to answer how the evolution of aerodynamically important traits is linked to clade divergence and through what process(es) these traits evolve....
Data from : Soil pH determines bacterial distribution and assembly processes in natural mountain forests of eastern ChinaYingying Ni, Teng Yang, Yuying Ma, Kaoping Zhang, Pamela Soltis, Douglas Soltis, Jack Gilbert, Yunpeng Zhao, Chengxin Fu & Haiyan Chu
Aim: There have been numerous studies of forest-soil microbial biogeography, but an integrated view of edaphic factors, plant, climatic factors, and geographic distance in determining the variation of bacterial community and assembly processes remains unclear at large spatial scales. Here, we analyzed the factors affecting the biogeographic pattern and assembly processes of soil bacterial communities under 58 tree species in five natural mountain forests. Location: Eastern China. Major taxa studied: Bacterial communities. Methods: Hierarchical partitioning...
Is the age of plant communities predicted by the age, stability and soil composition of the underlying landscapes? An investigation of OCBILsMaria Beatriz De Cortez, Ryan A Folk, Charles J Grady, Jonathan P Spoelhof, Stephen A Smith, Douglas E Soltis & Pamela S Soltis
Old, climatically buffered, infertile landscapes (OCBILs) have been hypothesized to harbour an elevated number of persistent plant lineages and are predicted to occur across different parts of the globe, interspersed with other types of landscapes. We tested whether the mean age of a plant community is associated with occurrence on OCBILs, as predicted by climatic stability and poor soil environments. Using digitized occurrence data for seed plants occurring in Australia (7033 species), sub-Saharan Africa (3990...
Castela senticosa (Simaroubaceae: Sapindales), a new species from the Caribbean clade endemic to seasonally dry tropical forest on HispaniolaLucas Majure, Kasey Pham & Teodoro Clase
Recent fieldwork in the Sierra Martín García in southwestern Dominican Republic has yielded a new species of the American clade Castela (Simaroubaceae), Castela senticosa sp. nov., from seasonally dry tropical forest. This species has been collected from two separate localities, including Môle St. Nicolas in northwestern Haiti in 1929, but until now fertile material with both flowers and fruit was unknown. We provide a photographic plate and illustration, place it phylogenetically using plastome data, and...
Florida Museum of Natural History12
University of Florida3
North West Agriculture and Forestry University1
National University of San Marcos1
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor1
City College of New York1
Botanical Institute of Barcelona1