Data from: Smaller beaks for colder winters: Thermoregulation drives beak size evolution in Australasian songbirdsNicholas R. Friedman, Lenka Harmáčková, Evan P. Economo & Vladimir Remes
Birds’ beaks play a key role in foraging, and most research on their size and shape has focused on this function. Recent findings suggest that beaks may also be important for thermoregulation, and this may drive morphological evolution as predicted by Allen's rule. However, the role of thermoregulation in the evolution of beak size across species remains largely unexplored. In particular, it remains unclear whether the need for retaining heat in the winter or dissipating...
Pteropods are a widespread group of holoplanktonic gastropod molluscs and are uniquely suitable for study of long-term evolutionary processes in the open ocean because they are the only living metazoan plankton with a good fossil record. Pteropods have been proposed as bioindicators to monitor the impacts of ocean acidification and in consequence have attracted considerable research interest, however, a robust evolutionary framework for the group is still lacking. Here we reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships and...
Data from: Incorporating intraspecific trait variation into functional diversity: impacts of selective logging on birds in BorneoSamuel R. P-J. Ross, Christopher Hassall, William J. E. Hoppitt, Felicity A. Edwards, David P. Edwards, Keith C. Hamer & Samuel R. P.-J. Ross
As conservation increasingly recognizes the importance of species’ functional roles in ecosystem processes, studies are shifting away from measuring species richness towards measures that account for the functional differences between species in a community. These functional diversity (FD) indices have received much recent attention and refinement, but their greatest limitation remains their inability to incorporate information about intraspecific trait variation (ITV). We use an individual-based model to account for ITV when calculating the functional diversity...
Data from: Mountain metacommunities: climate and spatial connectivity shape ant diversity in a complex landscapeCong Liu, Kenneth L. Dudley, Zheng-Hui Xu & Evan P. Economo
Understanding what drives biodiversity patterns across scales is the central goal of ecology. Both environmental gradients and spatial landscape structure have been found to be important factors influencing species distributions and community composition, and partly reflect the balance of underlying deterministic and stochastic community processes. In some systems, environmental gradients and spatial connectivity are intertwined in that steep environmental gradients serve as boundaries on species movements and impose environment-derived complex spatial structure to metacommunities. Mountainous...
Data from: Next-generation morphological character discovery and evaluation: an X-ray micro-CT enhanced revision of the ant genus Zasphinctus Wheeler (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Dorylinae) in the AfrotropicsFrancisco Hita Garcia, Georg Fischer, Cong Liu, Tracy L. Audisio & Evan P. Economo
New technologies for imaging and analysis of morphological characters offer opportunities to enhance revisionary taxonomy and better integrate it with the rest of biology. In this study, we revise the Afrotropical fauna of the ant genus Zasphinctus Wheeler, and use high-resolution X-ray microtomography (micro-CT) to analyse a number of morphological characters of taxonomic and biological interest. We recognise and describe three new species: Z. obamai sp. n., Z. sarowiwai sp. n., and Z. wilsoni sp....
What is the tempo and mode of evolution – how fast and in what pattern do traits evolve – is a major question of evolutionary biology. Here we studied patterns of evolutionary change in visual and acoustic signals in Old World orioles. Since producing multiple signals may be costly, we also tested whether there was an evolutionary trade-off between the elaboration of those two types of signals. We studied 30 Oriolus taxa using comparative methods...
Data from: X-ray microtomography for ant taxonomy: an exploration and case study with two new Terataner (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) species from MadagascarFrancisco Hita Garcia, Georg Fischer, Cong Liu, Tracy L. Audisio, Gary D. Alpert, Brian L. Fisher & Evan P. Economo
We explore the potential of x-ray micro computed tomography (μCT) for the field of ant taxonomy by using it to enhance the descriptions of two remarkable new species of the ant genus Terataner: T. balrog sp. n. and T. nymeria sp. n.. We provide an illustrated worker-based species identification key for all species found on Madagascar, as well as detailed taxonomic descriptions, which include diagnoses, discussions, measurements, natural history data, high-quality montage images and distribution...
Data from: Structure of FlgK reveals the divergence of the bacterial hook-filament junction of CampylobacterPaula V. Bulieris, Nausad H. Shaikh, Peter L. Freddolino & Fadel A. Samatey
Evolution of a nano-machine consisting of multiple parts, each with a specific function, is a complex process. A change in one part should eventually result in changes in other parts, if the overall function is to be conserved. In bacterial flagella, the filament and the hook have distinct functions and their respective proteins, FliC and FlgE, have different three-dimensional structures. The filament functions as a helical propeller and the hook as a flexible universal joint....
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology8
Palacký University, Olomouc2
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor1
University of California System1
Natural History Museum1
University of Leeds1
University College London1
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute1
California Academy of Sciences1
Natural History Museum1