171 Works

Saproxylic insects and fungi in deciduous forests along a rural–urban gradient

Sandro Meyer
Urbanisation is increasing worldwide and is regarded a major threat to biodiversity in forests. As consequences of intensive human use, the vegetation structure of naturally growing urban forests and their amount of deadwood can be reduced. Deadwood is an essential resource for various saproxylic insects and fungi. We assessed the effects of urbanisation and forest characteristics on saproxylic insects and fungi. We exposed standardized bundles consisting of each three fresh-cut beech and oak branches in...

Demography of the giant monocarpic herb Rheum nobile in the Himalayas and the effect of disturbances by grazing

Bo Song, Peter Stoll, Deli Peng, Hang Sun, Juerg Stoecklin & Jürg Stöcklin
Abstract Background Perennity of giant rosette species in combination with a single “big bang“ reproduction followed by death of the genetic individual is relatively rare among plants. Such long-lived monocarpic plants are usually slow growing and can be found in deserts, bogs or in alpine regions of the tropics or subtropics. Due to their longevity monocarpic perennials risk to lose everything before reproduction, which make them particularly susceptible to disturbances. Because of the inherent difficulties...

Data from: Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) predicts non-structural carbohydrate concentrations in different tissue types of a broad range of tree species

Jorge A. Ramirez, Juan M. Posada, I. Tanya Handa, Günter Hoch, Michael Vohland, Christian Messier & Björn Reu
1. The allocation of non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) to reserves constitutes an important physiological mechanism associated with tree growth and survival. However, procedures for measuring NSC in plant tissue are expensive and time-consuming. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a high-throughput technology that has the potential to infer the concentration of organic constituents for a large number of samples in a rapid and inexpensive way based on empirical calibrations with chemical analysis. 2. The main objectives of this...

Data from: Plasmodium vivax diversity and population structure across four continents

Cristian Koepfli, Priscila T. Rodrigues, Tiago Antao, Pamela Orjuela-Sánchez, Peter Van Den Eede, Dionicia Gamboa, Nguyen Van Hong, Jorge Bendezu, Annette Erhart, Céline Barnadas, Arsène Ratsimbasoa, Didier Menard, Carlo Severini, Michela Menegon, Baki Y. M. Nour, Nadira Karunaweera, Ivo Mueller, Marcelo U. Ferreira, Ingrid Felger & Bakri Y. M. Nour
Plasmodium vivax is the geographically most widespread human malaria parasite. To analyze patterns of microsatellite diversity and population structure across countries of different transmission intensity, genotyping data from 11 microsatellite markers was either generated or compiled from 841 isolates from four continents collected in 1999–2008. Diversity was highest in South-East Asia (mean allelic richness 10.0–12.8), intermediate in the South Pacific (8.1–9.9) Madagascar and Sudan (7.9–8.4), and lowest in South America and Central Asia (5.5–7.2). A...

Data from: Small-scale patterns in snowmelt timing affect gene flow and the distribution of genetic diversity in the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea

Andrés J. Cortés, Stephan Waeber, Christian Lexer, Janosch Sedlacek, Julia A. Wheeler, Mark Van Kleunen, Oliver Bossdorf, Günter Hoch, Christian Rixen, Sonja Wipf & Sophie Karrenberg
Current threats to biodiversity, such as climate change, are thought to alter the within-species genetic diversity among microhabitats in highly heterogeneous alpine environments. Assessing the spatial organization and dynamics of genetic diversity within species can help to predict the responses of organisms to environmental change. In this study, we evaluated whether small-scale heterogeneity in snowmelt timing restricts gene flow between microhabitats in the common long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea L. We surveyed 273 genets across...

Data from: Diversifying selection and color-biased dispersal in the asp viper

Sylvain Dubey, Valérie Zwahlen, Konrad Mebert, Jean-Claude Monney, Philippe Golay, Thomas Ott, Thierry Durand, Gilles Thiery, Laura Kaiser, Silvia N. Geser & Sylvain Ursenbacher
Background: The presence of intraspecific color polymorphism can have multiple impacts on the ecology of a species; as a consequence, particular color morphs may be strongly selected for in a given habitat type. For example, the asp viper (Vipera aspis) shows a high level of color polymorphism. A blotched morph (cryptic) is common throughout its range (central and western Europe), while a melanistic morph is frequently found in montane populations, presumably for thermoregulatory reasons. Besides,...

Data from: Regional environmental pressure influences population differentiation in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)

S. G. Vandamme, G. E. Maes, J. A. M. Raeymaekers, K. Cottenie, A. K. Imsland, B. Hellemans, G. Lacroix, E. Mac Aoidh, J. T. Martinsohn, P. Martínez, J. Robbens, R. Vilas & F. A. M. Volckaert
Unravelling the factors shaping the genetic structure of mobile marine species is challenging due to the high potential for gene flow. However, genetic inference can be greatly enhanced by increasing the genomic, geographic or environmental resolution of population genetic studies. Here we investigated the population structure of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) by screening 17 random and gene-linked markers in 999 individuals at 290 geographical locations throughout the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. A seascape genetics approach with the...

Data from: The response of the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea to altered snowmelt timing: lessons from a multi-site transplant experiment

Janosch Sedlacek, Julia A. Wheeler, Andrés J. Cortés, Oliver Bossdorf, Guenter Hoch, Christian Lexer, Sonja Wipf, Sophie Karrenberg, Mark Van Kleunen & Christian Rixen
Climate change is altering spring snowmelt patterns in alpine and arctic ecosystems, and these changes may alter plant phenology, growth and reproduction. To predict how alpine plants respond to shifts in snowmelt timing, we need to understand trait plasticity, its effects on growth and reproduction, and the degree to which plants experience a home-site advantage. We tested how the common, long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea responded to changing spring snowmelt time by reciprocally transplanting turfs...

Data from: Pollution-tolerant invertebrates enhance greenhouse gas flux in urban wetlands

Andrew S. Mehring, Perran L.M. Cook, Victor Evrard, Stanley B. Grant, Lisa A. Levin & Perran L. M. Cook
One of the goals of urban ecology is to link community structure to ecosystem function in urban habitats. Pollution-tolerant wetland invertebrates have been shown to enhance greenhouse gas (GHG) flux in controlled laboratory experiments, suggesting that they may influence urban wetland roles as sources or sinks of GHG. However, it is unclear if their effects can be detected in highly variable conditions in a field setting. Here we use an extensive dataset on carbon dioxide...

Data from: No evidence for strong cytonuclear conflict over sex allocation in a simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm

Nikolas Vellnow, Dita B. Vizoso, Gudrun Viktorin & Lukas Schärer
Background: Cytoplasmic sex allocation distorters, which arise from cytonuclear conflict over the optimal investment into male versus female reproductive function, are some of the best-researched examples for genomic conflict. Among hermaphrodites, many such distorters have been found in plants, while, to our knowledge, none have been clearly documented in animals. Methods: Here we provide a quantitative test for cytonuclear conflict over sex allocation in the simultaneously hermaphroditic flatworm Macrostomum lignano. We used a quantitative genetic...

Data from: A landscape of coexistence for a large predator in a human dominated landscape

Benedikt Gehr, Elizabeth J. Hofer, Stefanie Muff, Andreas Ryser, Eric Vimercati, Kristina Vogt & Lukas F. Keller
Human related mortality is a major threat for large carnivores all over the world and there is increasing evidence that large predators respond to human related risks in a similar way as prey respond to predation risk. This insight recently led to the conceptual development of a landscape of coexistence that can be used to identify areas which can sustain large predator populations in human dominated landscapes. In this study we applied the landscape of...

Data from: Convergence of gut microbiotas in the adaptive radiations of African cichlid fishes

Laura Baldo, Joan Lluís Pretus, Joan Lluís Riera, Zuzana Musilova, Arnold Roger Bitja Nyom & Walter Salzburger
Ecoevolutionary dynamics of the gut microbiota at the macroscale level, that is, in across-species comparisons, are largely driven by ecological variables and host genotype. The repeated explosive radiations of African cichlid fishes in distinct lakes, following a dietary diversification in a context of reduced genetic diversity, provide a natural setup to explore convergence, divergence and repeatability in patterns of microbiota dynamics as a function of the host diet, phylogeny and environment. Here we characterized by...

Data from: Export of ice nucleating particles from a watershed

Jarl Are Larsen, Franz Conen & Christine Alewell
Ice nucleating particles (INP) active at a few degrees below 0°C are produced by a range of organisms and released into the environment. They may affect cloud properties and precipitation when becoming airborne. So far, our knowledge about sources of biological INP is based on grab samples of vegetation, soil or water studied in the laboratory. By combining measurements of INP concentrations in river water with river water discharge rates over the course of 16...

Data from: No ecological opportunity signal on a continental scale? Diversification and life-history evolution of African true toads (Anura: Bufonidae)

H. Christoph Liedtke, Hendrik Müller, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Michele Menegon, LeGrand Nono Gonwouo, Michael F. Barej, Václav Gvoždík, Andreas Schmitz, Alan Channing, Peter Nagel & Simon P. Loader
The niche-filling process predicted by the “ecological opportunity” (EO) model is an often-invoked mechanism for generating exceptional diversity in island colonizers. Whether the same process governs lineage accumulation and trait disparity during continental colonization events is less clear. Here, we test this prediction by investigating the rate dynamics and trait evolution of one of Africa's most widespread amphibian colonizers, the true toads (Bufonidae). By reconstructing the most complete molecular phylogeny of African Bufonidae to date,...

Data from: Evolutionary potential in the Alpine: trait heritabilities and performance variation of the dwarf willow Salix herbacea from different elevations and microhabitats

Janosch Sedlacek, Andrés J. Cortés, Julia Wheeler, Oliver Bossdorf, Guenter Hoch, Jaroslav Klápště, Christian Lexer, Christian Rixen, Sonja Wipf, Sophie Karrenberg & Mark Van Kleunen
Alpine ecosystems are seriously threatened by climate change. One of the key mechanisms by which plants can adapt to changing environmental conditions is through evolutionary change. However, we still know little about the evolutionary potential in wild populations of long-lived alpine plants. Here, we investigated heritabilities of phenological traits, leaf size, and performance traits in natural populations of the long-lived alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea using relatedness estimates inferred from SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers....

Data from: Long-term balancing selection on chromosomal variants associated with crypsis in a stick insect

Dorothea Lindtke, Kay Lucek, Victor Soria-Carrasco, Romain Villoutreix, Timothy E. Farkas, Rüdiger Riesch, Stuart R. Dennis, Zach Gompert & Patrik Nosil
How polymorphisms are maintained within populations over long periods of time remains debated, because genetic drift and various forms of selection are expected to reduce variation. Here, we study the genetic architecture and maintenance of phenotypic morphs that confer crypsis in Timema cristinae stick insects, combining phenotypic information and genotyping-by-sequencing data from 1360 samples across 21 populations. We find two highly divergent chromosomal variants that span megabases of sequence and are associated with color polymorphism....

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: Coevolutionary feedbacks between family interactions and life history

Dimitri Stucki & Mathias Kölliker
Families with parental care show a parent–offspring conflict over the amount of parental investment. To date, the resolution of this conflict was modeled as being driven by either purely within-brood or between-brood competition. In reality the partitioning of parental resources within- versus between-broods is an evolving life history trait, which can be affected by parent–offspring interactions. This coevolutionary feedback between life history and family interactions may influence the evolutionary process and outcome of parent–offspring coadaptation....

Data from: Phenotypic and genetic divergence within a single whitefish form – detecting the potential for future divergence

Philipp Emanuel Hirsch, Reiner Eckmann, Claus Oppelt & Jasminca Behrmann-Godel
Human-induced nutrient input can change the selection regime and lead to the loss of biodiversity. For example, eutrophication caused speciation reversal in polymorphic whitefish populations through a flattening of littoral-pelagic selection gradients. We investigated the current state of phenotypic and genetic diversity in whitefish (Coregonus macrophthalmus) in a newly restored lake whose nutrient load has returned to pre-eutrophication levels and found that whitefish spawning at different depths varied phenotypically and genetically: individuals spawning at shallower...

Data from: Divergent strategies in pre- and postzygotic reproductive isolation between two closely related Dianthus species

Fabian Cahenzli, Christophe Bonetti & Andreas Erhardt
Quantifying the relative contribution of multiple isolation barriers to gene flow between recently diverged species is essential for understanding speciation processes. In parapatric populations, local adaptation is thought to be a major contributor to the evolution of reproductive isolation. However, extrinsic postzygotic barriers assessed in reciprocal transplant experiments are often neglected in empirical assessments of multiple isolation barriers. We analyzed multiple isolation barriers between two closely related species of the plant genus Dianthus, a genus...

Data from: Immigrant and extrinsic hybrid inviability contribute to reproductive isolation between lake and river cichlid ecotypes

Jelena Rajkov, Alexandra Anh-Thu Weber, Walter Salzburger & Bernd Egger
Understanding how reproductive barriers evolve and which barriers contribute to speciation requires the examination of organismal lineages that are still in the process of diversification and the study of the full range of reproductive barriers acting at different life stages. Lake and river ecotypes of the East African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni show habitat specific adaptations, despite different levels of genetic differentiation, and thus represent an ideal model to study the evolution of reproductive barriers....

Data from: No role for xylem embolism or carbohydrate shortage in temperate trees during the severe 2015 drought

Lars Dietrich, Sylvain Delzon, Guenter Hoch & Ansgar Kahmen
1. Temperate forests are predicted to experience an increased frequency and intensity of climate change-induced summer droughts and heat waves in the near future. Yet, while previous studies clearly showed a high drought sensitivity of different temperate tree species, the vulnerability of the physiological integrity of these trees remains unclear. 2. Here, we assessed the sensitivity of six temperate tree species to severe water limitation during three consecutive growing seasons including the exceptional 2015 central...

Data from: Environmental sources of bacteria and genetic variation in behavior influence host-associated microbiota

Alexandra A. Mushegian, Roberto Arbore, Jean-Claude Walser & Dieter Ebert
In many organisms, host-associated microbial communities are acquired horizontally after birth. This process is believed to be shaped by a combination of environmental and host genetic factors. We examined whether genetic variation in animal behavior could affect the composition of the animal’s microbiota in different environments. The freshwater crustacean Daphnia magna is primarily planktonic but exhibits variation in the degree to which it browses in benthic sediments. We performed an experiment with clonal lines of...

Data from: Resistance to a bacterial parasite in the Crustacean Daphnia magna shows Mendelian segregation with dominance

Pepijn Luijckx, Harris Fienberg, David Duneau & Dieter Ebert
The influence of host and parasite genetic background on infection outcome is a topic of great interest because of its pertinence to theoretical issues in evolutionary biology. In the present study we use a classical genetics approach to examine the mode of inheritance of infection outcome in the crustacean Daphnia magna when exposed to the bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa. In contrast to previous studies in this system we use a clone of P. ramosa, not...

Data from: Gene flow by larval dispersal in the Antarctic notothenioid fish Gobionotothen gibberifrons

Michael Matschiner, Reinhold Hanel & Walter Salzburger
The diversification of the teleost suborder Notothenioidei (Perciformes) in Antarctic waters provides one of the most striking examples of a marine adaptive radiation. Along with a number of adaptations to the cold environment, such as the evolution of antifreeze glycoproteins, notothenioids diversified into eight families and at least 130 species. Here, we investigate the genetic population structure of the humped rockcod (Gobionotothen gibberifrons), a benthic notothenioid fish. Six populations were sampled at different locations around...

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  • University of Basel
  • University of Zurich
  • University of Bern
  • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
  • University of Oslo
  • Uppsala University
  • University of Konstanz
  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University of Melbourne