183 Works

Phenotypic variability can promote the evolution of adaptive plasticity by reducing the stringency of natural selection

Jeremy Draghi
Adaptive phenotypic plasticity is a potent but not ubiquitous solution to environmental heterogeneity, driving interest in what factors promote and limit its evolution. Here a novel computational model representing stochastic information flow in development is used to explore evolution from a constitutive phenotype to an adaptively plastic response. Results show that populations tend to evolve robustness to developmental stochasticity, but this evolved robustness limits evolvability; specifically, robust genotypes have less ability to evolve adaptive plasticity...

Cover crop and irrigation impacts on weeds and maize yield

Prashasti Agarwal, Brian Schutte, John Idowu, Rob Steiner & Erik Lehnhoff
Winter cover crops (CC) may facilitate weed management by inhibiting weed seed germination and seedling emergence and suppressing weed growth within the cash crop. In southern New Mexico, with scarce winter precipitation and limited irrigation water, producing sufficient CC biomass for effective weed suppression while conserving water resources is challenging. This study assessed the water requirement to produce a CC with enough biomass for weed suppression benefits during cash crop growth at two locations in...

Data used for analyzing a turning-ascending flight of a H. pratti bat

Aevelina Rahman, Peter Windes & Danesh Tafti
Bats exhibit a high degree of agility and provide an excellent model system for bioinspired flight. The current study investigates an ascending right turn of a H. pratti bat and elucidates on the kinematic features and aerodynamic mechanisms used to effectuate the maneuver. To initiate and sustain the turn, the bat utilizes roll and yaw rotations of the body to different extents synergistically to generate the centripetal force for a stable turn. The turning moments...

Host preferences inhibit transmission from potential superspreader host species

Skylar Hopkins, Cari McGregor, Lisa Belden & Jeremy Wojdak
Host species that are particularly abundant, infectious, and/or infected tend to contribute disproportionately to symbiont (parasite or mutualist) maintenance in multi-host systems. Therefore, in a facultative multi-host system where two host species had high densities, high symbiont infestation intensities, and high infestation prevalence, we expected interspecific transmission rates to be high. Instead, we found that interspecific symbiont transmission rates to caged sentinel hosts were an order of magnitude lower than intraspecific transmission rates in the...

Balancing carnivore conservation and sustainable hunting of a key prey species: a case study on the Florida panther and white-tailed deer

Florent Bled, Michael Cherry, Elina Garrison, Karl Miller, Mike Conner, Heather Abernathy, W. Ellsworth, Lydia Margenau, Daniel Crawford, Kristin Engebretsen, Brian Kelly, David Shindle & Richard Chandler
1. Large carnivore restoration programs are often promoted as capable of providing ecosystem services. However, these programs rarely measure effects of successful restoration on other economically and ecologically important species. In South Florida, while the endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) population has increased in recent years due to conservation efforts, the population of its main prey, the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), has declined in some regions. The extent to which panther predation has affected...

Data from: Threats to aquatic taxa in an arid landscape: knowledge gaps and areas of understanding for amphibians of the American Southwest

Meryl Mims
This dataset contains supporting information for WIREs Water Advanced Review: "Threats to aquatic taxa in an arid landscape: knowledge gaps and areas of understanding for amphibians of the American Southwest", by Mims et al., published in 2020 (doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1449). Please see the original article for additional information, and contact Dr. Meryl Mims (mims@vt.edu) with questions or specific requests.

Asymmetric evolvability leads to specialization without trade-offs

Jeremy Draghi
Many organisms are specialized, and these narrow niches are often explained with trade-offs—inability for one organism to express maximal performance in two or more environments. However, evidence is lacking that trade-offs are sufficient to explain specialists. Several lines of theoretical inquiry suggest that populations can specialize without explicit trade-offs, as a result of relaxed selection in generalists for their performance in rare environments. Here I synthesize and extend these approaches, showing that emergent asymmetries in...

Adaptive variation in the development of extraembryonic membranes of gekkotan lizards: a meta-analytical approach

Robin Andrews
Highly mineralized rigid-shelled eggs characterize one lineage of gekkotans. In contrast, poorly mineralized flexible-shelled eggs characterize basal lineages of gekkotans and all other squamates. Low oxygen permeability of rigid-shelled eggs is associated with small eggs and hatchlings, and long incubation lengths compared to flexible-shelled gekkotan eggs. These features represent a demographic cost for species with rigid-shelled eggs. This cost is offset, at least in part, because mortality due to desiccation and predation is reduced for...

New sphenodontian (Reptilia: Lepidosauria) from a novel Late Triassic palaeobiota in western North America sheds light on the earliest radiation of herbivorous lepidosaurs

Ben Kligman, Warren McClure, Mark Korbitz & Bruce Schumacher
Herbivory is a common ecological function among extant lepidosaurs, but little is known about the origin of this feeding strategy within Lepidosauria. Here we describe a sphenodontian (Lepidosauria) from the Late Triassic of western North America, Trullidens purgatorii n. gen. n. sp. that reveals new aspects of the earliest radiation of herbivorous lepidosaurs. This taxon is represented by an isolated lower jaw with robust structure bearing transversely widened dentition and extensive wear facets, suggesting a...

Assessing carnivore spatial co-occurrence and temporal overlap in the face of human interference in a semi-arid forest

Juan Ignacio Zanón Martínez, Javier Seoane, Marcella Kelly, José Sarasola & Alejandro Travaini
Apex predators drive top-down effects in ecosystems and the loss of such species can trigger mesopredator release. This ecological process has been well documented in human-modified small areas, but for management and conservation of ecological communities, it is important to know which human factors affect apex predator occurrence and which mediate mesopredators release at large scales. We hypothesized that mesopredators would avoid spatial and temporal overlap with the apex predator, the puma; but that human...

Data from: A new composite abundance metric detects stream fish declines and community homogenization during six decades of invasions

Logan Sleezer, Paul Angermeier, Emmanuel Frimpong & Bryan Brown
Aim: We developed a new technique, utilizing species-specific counts of individuals from historical fish community samples, to examine landscape-level, spatiotemporal trends in relative abundance distributions. Abundance-based historical distribution analyses are often plagued by data comparability issues, but provide critical information about community composition trends inaccessible to those using analyses based only on species presence-absence. We established trends in native and non-native fish abundance and community homogenization, uniqueness, and diversity to help local conservation managers prioritize...

Canopy cover data from: Applied nucleation facilitates tropical forest recovery

Karen D. Holl, J. Leighton Reid, Rebecca J. Cole, Federico Oviedo‐Brenes, Juan A. Rosales & Rakan A. Zahawi
Applied nucleation, mostly based upon planting tree islands, has been proposed as a cost‐effective strategy to meet ambitious global forest and landscape restoration targets. We review results from a 15‐year study, replicated at 15 sites in southern Costa Rica, that compares applied nucleation to natural regeneration and mixed‐species tree plantations as strategies to restore tropical forest. We have collected data on planted tree survival and growth, woody vegetation recruitment and structure, seed rain, litterfall, epiphytes,...

Hormonal pleiotropy structures genetic covariance

Tyler Wittman, Christopher Robinson, Joel McGlothlin & Robert Cox
Quantitative genetic theory proposes that phenotypic evolution is shaped by G, the matrix of genetic variances and covariances among traits. In species with separate sexes, the evolution of sexual dimorphism is also shaped by B, the matrix of between-sex genetic variances and covariances. Despite considerable focus on estimating these matrices, their underlying biological mechanisms are largely speculative. We experimentally tested the hypothesis that G and B are structured by hormonal pleiotropy, which occurs when one...

A non-native earthworm shifts the seed predation dynamics of a native weed

Stephen Hovick, Emilie Regnier, Jianyang Liu, S. Kent Harrison & Florian Diekmann
Seed predators both consume and disperse seeds, with important consequences for the population dynamics of many plant species. The net effect of multiple seed predators depends on the relative proportion of the seed pool each predator obtains, and this proportion should reflect species-specific habitat preferences. We studied the effect of the non-native earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, on seed loss dynamics in the native weed, Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed). Giant ragweed seeds are predated by mice, but...

Data from: Tradeoffs in moving citizen-based anuran call surveys online during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: lessons from rural Appalachia, USA

Walter Smith & Kevin Hamed
Citizen science approaches provide adaptable methodologies for enhancing the natural history knowledge of understudied taxa and engaging underserved populations with biodiversity. However, transitions to remote, virtual training and participant recruitment in response to public health crises like the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have the potential to disrupt citizen science projects. We present a comparison of outputs from a citizen science initiative built around call surveys for the Mountain Chorus Frog (Pseudacris brachyphona), an understudied anuran, in Appalachian...

Data from: Ant seed removal in a non-myrmecochorous Neotropical shrub: implications for seed dispersal

Seanne Clemente & Susan Whitehead
This study investigated ant seed removal of Piper sancti-felicis, an early successional Neotropical shrub. Neotropical Piper are a classic example of bat-dispersed plants, but we suggest that ants are underappreciated dispersal agents. We identified eleven ant species from the genera Aphaenogaster, Ectatomma, Paratrechina, Pheidole, Trachymyrmex, and Wasmannia recruiting to and harvesting P. sancti-felicis seeds in forest edge and secondary forest sites at La Selva, Costa Rica. We also tested for differences in ant recruitment to...

Data from: Conservation and convergence of genetic architecture in the adaptive radiation of anolis lizards

Joel W. McGlothlin, Megan E. Kobiela, Helen V. Wright, Jason J. Kolbe, Jonathan B. Losos & Edmund D. Brodie
The G matrix, which quantifies the genetic architecture of traits, is often viewed as an evolutionary constraint. However, G can evolve in response to selection and may also be viewed as a product of adaptive evolution. Convergent evolution of G in similar environments would suggest that G evolves adaptively, but it is difficult to disentangle such effects from phylogeny. Here, we use the adaptive radiation of Anolis lizards to ask whether convergence of G accompanies...

Data for: Africa’s oldest dinosaurs reveal early suppression of dinosaur distribution

Christopher Griffin, Brenen Wynd, Darlington Munyikwa, Timothy Broderick, Michel Zondo, Stephen Tolan, Max Langer, Sterling Nesbitt & Hazel Taruvinga
The vertebrate lineages that would shape Mesozoic and Cenozoic terrestrial ecosystems originated across Triassic Pangaea. By the Late Triassic (Carnian Stage, ~235 Ma), cosmopolitan ‘disaster faunas’ had given way to highly endemic assemblages on the supercontinent. Testing the tempo and mode of the establishment of this endemism is challenging—there were few geographic barriers to dispersal across Pangaea during the Late Triassic. Instead, palaeolatitudinal climate belts, and not continental boundaries, are hypothesized to have controlled distribution....

Central Administration of Agouti-Related Peptide Increases Food Intake in Japanese Quail

Tyler Lindskoog, Mark Bohler, Elizabeth R. Gilbert & Mark A. Cline
Agouti-related peptide is a 132-amino acid peptide associated with stimulating food intake in birds and mammals. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of AgRP in seven-day old Japanese quail. In Experiment 1, we tested 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 nmol AgRP and found no effect on food or water intake over a three-hour period. In Experiment 2, we tested 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 nmol AgRP and found no effect on food...

Data from: Hunting, exotic carnivores, and habitat loss: anthropogenic effects on a native carnivore community, Madagascar

Zach J. Farris, Christopher D. Golden, Sarah Karpanty, Asia Murphy, Dean Stauffer, Felix Ratelolahy, Vonjy Andrianjakarivelo, Christopher M. Holmes & Marcella J. Kelly
The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well...

Data from: Incomplete host immunity favors the evolution of virulence in an emergent pathogen

Arietta E. Fleming-Davies, Paul D. Williams, André A. Dhondt, Andrew P. Dobson, Wesley A. Hochachka, Ariel E. Leon, David H. Ley, Erik E. Osnas & Dana M. Hawley
Immune memory evolved to protect hosts from reinfection, but incomplete responses that allow future reinfection might inadvertently select for more harmful pathogens. We present empirical and modeling evidence that incomplete immunity promotes the evolution of higher virulence in a natural host-pathogen system. We performed sequential infections of house finches with Mycoplasma gallisepticum strains of varying virulence. Virulent bacterial strains generated stronger host protection against reinfection than less virulent strains, and thus excluded less virulent strains...

Data from: Body condition indices predict reproductive success but not survival in a sedentary, tropical bird

Olga Milenkaya, Daniel H. Catlin, Sarah Legge & Jeffrey R. Walters
Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch), a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival over four breeding seasons, and sampled them for...

Data from: An evaluation of transferability of ecological niche models

Huijie Qiao, Xiao Feng, Luis E. Escobar, A. Townsend Peterson, Jorge Soberon, Gengping Zhu & Monica Papeș
Ecological niche modeling (ENM) is used widely to study species’ geographic distributions. ENM applications frequently involve transferring models calibrated with environmental data from one region to other regions or times that may include novel environmental conditions. When novel conditions are present, transferability implies extrapolation, whereas, in absence of such conditions, transferability is an interpolation step only. We evaluated transferability of models produced using 11 ENM algorithms from the perspective of interpolation and extrapolation in a...

Data from: Parameterizing the robust design in the BUGS language: lifetime carry‐over effects of environmental conditions during growth on a long‐lived bird

Thomas V. Riecke, Alan G. Leach, Dan Gibson & James S. Sedinger
1. Since the initial development of the robust design, this capture‐recapture model structure has been modified to estimate temporary emigration, and expanded to include auxiliary information such as band recovery and live resight data using maximum likelihood approaches. These developments have allowed investigators to separately assess individual and group effects on true survival, site fidelity, and temporary emigration. Additionally, recent advances in the BUGS language have allowed researchers to develop increasingly complex, user‐specified models in...

Data from: Transcriptomic imprints of adaptation to fresh water: parallel evolution of osmoregulatory gene expression in the Alewife

Jonathan P. Velotta, Jill L. Wegrzyn, Samuel Ginzburg, Lin Kang, Sergiusz Czesny, Rachel J. O'Neill, Stephen D. McCormick, Pawel Michalak & Eric T. Schultz
Comparative approaches in physiological genomics offer an opportunity to understand the functional importance of genes involved in niche exploitation. We used populations of Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) to explore the transcriptional mechanisms that underlie adaptation to fresh water. Ancestrally anadromous Alewives have recently formed multiple, independently derived, landlocked populations, which exhibit reduced tolerance of saltwater and enhanced tolerance of fresh water. Using RNA-seq, we compared transcriptional responses of an anadromous Alewife population to two landlocked populations...

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