44 Works

Data from: Large-brained birds suffer less oxidative damage

Csongor I. Vágási, Orsolya Vincze, Laura Pătraș, Gergely Osváth, Attila Marton, Lőrinc Bărbos, Daniel Sol & Péter L. Pap
Large brains (relative to body size) might confer fitness benefits to animals. Although the putative costs of well-developed brains can constrain the majority of species to modest brain sizes, these costs are still poorly understood. Given that the neural tissue is energetically expensive and demands antioxidants, one potential cost of developing and maintaining large brains is increased oxidative stress (‘oxidation exposure’ hypothesis). Alternatively, because large-brained species exhibit slow-paced life histories, they are expected to invest...

Data from: The evolution of parental cooperation in birds

Vladimír Remeš, Robert P. Freckleton, Jácint Tökölyi, András Liker & Tamás Székely
Parents in many animal species care for their offspring. In some species, males care more; in other species, females care more; in still other species, the contribution of the sexes is equal. However, we do not know what explains these differences among species. Using the most comprehensive analyses of parental care to date, here we show that parents cooperate more when sexual selection is not intense and the adult sex ratio of males to females...

Data from: Both trait-neutrality and filtering effects are validated by the vegetation patterns detected in the functional recovery of sand grasslands

Péter Török, Gábor Matus, Edina Tóth, Mária Papp, András Kelemen, Judit Sonkoly & Béla Tóthmérész
Neutral theory of species assembly means that species assembly is governed by stochastic dispersal processes and fluctuations in established populations. An alternative theory suggests that assembly is strongly determined by functional trait filtering governed by abiotic and biotic filtering selecting species from the local species pool. To test these assumptions, in the current paper we analysed vegetation changes in the first 12 years of succession after heavy goose grazing on acidic sand. With trait-based analyses...

Are evolutionary transitions in sexual size dimorphism related to sex determination in reptiles? - Electronic supplementary material

Gergely Katona
Sex determination systems are highly variable in vertebrates, although neither the causes nor the implications of this diversity are fully understood. Theory suggests that sex determination is expected to relate to sexual size dimorphism, because environmental sex determination promotes sex-specific developmental bias in embryonic growth rates. Furthermore, selection for larger size in one sex or the other has been proposed to drive the evolution of different genetic sex determination systems. Here we investigate whether sex...

Climate and mating systems as drivers of global diversity of parental care in frogs

Balázs Vági, Zsolt Végvári, András Liker, Robert P. Freckleton & Tamás Székely
Aim Amphibians exhibit unusually diverse reproductive modes, including a wide array of parental care strategies. The evolutionary drivers of this diversity, however, remain unclear. Here we investigate three major factors which may predict interspecific variation in parental care strategies: climate, intrasexual selection and social environment. We hypothesise that some care forms evolved to cope with harsh conditions such as dry or unpredictable habitats. We contrast this prediction with the hypothesis that parental roles have coevolved...

Data from: High fidelity: extra-pair fertilisations in eight Charadrius plover species are not associated with parental relatedness or social mating system

Kathryn H. Maher, Luke J. Eberhart-Phillips, András Kosztolányi, Natalie Dos Remedios, María Cristina Carmona-Isunza, Medardo Cruz-López, Sama Zefania, James J. H. St Clair, Monif AlRashidi, Michael A. Weston, Martín A. Serrano-Meneses, Oliver Krüger, Joseph I. Hoffmann, Tamás Székely, Terry Burke, Clemens Küpper & Joseph I. Hoffman
Extra-pair paternity is a common reproductive strategy in many bird species. However, it remains unclear why extra-pair paternity occurs and why it varies among species and populations. Plovers (Charadrius spp.) exhibit considerable variation in reproductive behaviour and ecology, making them excellent models to investigate the evolution of social and genetic mating systems. We investigated inter- and intra-specific patterns of extra-pair parentage and evaluated three major hypotheses explaining extra-pair paternity using a comparative approach based on...

Data from: How feathered are birds? environment predicts both the mass and density of body feathers

Gergely Osváth, Timea Daubner, Gareth Dyke, Tibor I. Fuisz, Andreas Nord, Janka Pénzes, Dorottya Vargancsik, Csongor I. Vagasi, Orsolya Vincze & Péter L. Pap
1.Studies modelling heat transfer of bird plumage design suggest that insulative properties can be attributed to the density and structure of the downy layer, while waterproofing is the result of the outer layer, comprised of contour feathers. In this study, we test how habitat and thermal condition affect feather mass and density of body feathers (contour, semiplume and downy feathers) measured on the ventral and dorsal sides of the body, using a phylogenetic comparative analysis...

Data from: Towards a common methodology for developing logistic tree mortality models based on ring-width data

Maxime Cailleret, Christof Bigler, Harald Bugmann, J. Julio Camarero, Katarina Cufar, Hendrik Davi, Ilona Mészáros, Francesco Minunno, Mikko Peltoniemi, Elisabeth Robert, María-Laura Suarez, Roberto Tognetti & Jordi Martinez-Vilalta
Tree mortality is a key process shaping forest dynamics. Thus, there is a growing need for indicators of the likelihood of tree death. During the last decades, an increasing number of tree-ring based studies have aimed to derive growth–mortality functions, mostly using logistic models. The results of these studies, however, are difficult to compare and synthesize due to the diversity of approaches used for the sampling strategy (number and characteristics of alive and death observations),...

Data from: Great cormorants reveal overlooked secondary dispersal of plants and invertebrates by piscivorous waterbirds

Casper H. A. Van Leeuwen, Ádam Lovas-Kiss, Maria Ovegård & Andy J. Green
In wetland ecosystems, birds and fish are important dispersal vectors for plants and invertebrates, but the consequences of their interactions as vectors are unknown. Darwin suggested that piscivorous birds carry out secondary dispersal of seeds and invertebrates via predation on fish. We tested this hypothesis in the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo L.). Cormorants regurgitate pellets daily, which we collected at seven European locations and examined for intact propagules. One-third of pellets contained at least one...

Data from: Mercury exposure, stress and prolactin secretion in an Arctic seabird: an experimental study

Sabrina Tartu, Paco Bustamante, Frédéric Angelier, Ádám Z. Lendvai, Børge Moe, Pierre Blévin, Claus Bech, Geir W. Gabrielsen, Jan Ove Bustnes & Olivier Chastel
Life-history theory predicts that long-lived organisms should reduce parental effort under inclement environmental conditions in order to favour long-term survival. Seabirds are long-lived top predators often exposed to environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals such as mercury (Hg). Hg-contaminated birds show disrupted parental behaviour. Avian parental behaviour is governed by two key hormones in birds: corticosterone (CORT, a glucocorticoid hormone) and prolactin (PRL, a pituitary hormone involved in parental care). Any disruption of these hormones may alter...

Data from: Longevity and life history coevolve with oxidative stress in birds

Csongor I. Vágási, Orsolya Vincze, Laura Pătraș, Gergely Osváth, Janka Pénzes, Mark F. Haussmann, Zoltán Barta & Péter László Pap
1. The mechanisms that underpin the evolution of ageing and life histories remain elusive. Oxidative stress, which results in accumulated cellular damages, is one of the mechanisms suggested to play a role. 2. In this paper we set out to test the ‘oxidative stress theory of ageing’ and the ‘oxidative stress hypothesis of life histories’ using a comprehensive phylogenetic comparison based on an unprecedented dataset of oxidative physiology in 88 free-living bird species. 3. We...

Data from: Environmental selection is a main driver of divergence in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Romania and Bulgaria

Julia C. Geue, Csongor I. Vágási, Mona Schweizer, Péter L. Pap & Henri A. Thomassen
Both neutral and adaptive evolutionary processes can cause population divergence, but their relative contributions remain unclear. We investigated the roles of these processes in population divergence in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from Romania and Bulgaria, regions characterized by high landscape heterogeneity compared to Western Europe. We asked whether morphological divergence, complemented with genetic data in this human commensal species, was best explained by environmental variation, geographic distance, or landscape resistance—the effort it takes for an...

Data from: Social interactions predict genetic diversification: an experimental manipulation in shorebirds

Charles Cunningham, Jorge E. Parra, Lucy Coals, Marcela Beltrán, Sama Zefania & Tamás Székely
Mating strategy and social behaviour influence gene flow and thus affect levels of genetic differentiation and potentially speciation. Previous genetic analyses of closely related plovers Charadrius spp. found strikingly different population genetic structure in Madagascar: Kittlitz’s plovers are spatially homogenous whereas white-fronted plovers have well segregated and geographically distinct populations. Here we test the hypotheses that Kittlitz’s plovers are spatially interconnected and have extensive social interactions that facilitate gene flow, whereas white-fronted plovers are spatially...

Data from: The protected flora of long-established cemeteries in Hungary: using historical maps in biodiversity conservation

Viktor Löki, András Schmotzer, Attila Takács, Kristóf Süveges, Ádám Lovas-Kiss, Balázs Lukács, Jácint Tökölyi & Attila Molnár V.
The role of anthropogenically influenced habitats in conserving elements of the original wildlife has increased worldwide simultaneously with the disappearance of natural sites. Burial places are able to conserve original elements of the wildlife and this fact has been known for at least a century. To this day little is known about long-time changes, and the effect of long-time management methods in cemeteries on the flora they harbour. The utility of historical maps in research...

Surrounding landscape effect on roadside verges

Réka Fekete
Semi-natural habitats are declining throughout the world, thus the role of small anthropogenic habitats in the preservation of plants is becoming increasingly appreciated. Here we surveyed the orchid flora of roadside verges in five Central European countries (Austria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) and tested how the surrounding landscape matrix affects the overall number of species and individuals, and also different functional groups of orchids. We found more than 2000 individuals of 27 orchid species...

Social organization in ungulates: revisiting Jarman's hypotheses

Karola Szemán, András Liker & Tamás Székely
Ungulates (antelopes, deer and relatives) have some of the most diverse social systems among mammals. To understand the evolution of ungulate social organisation, Jarman (1974) proposed an ecological scenario of how distribution of resources, habitat and feeding style may have influenced social organisation. Although Jarman’s scenario makes intuitive sense and remain a textbook example of social evolution, it has not been scrutinised using modern phylogenetic comparative methods. Here we use 230 ungulate species from 10...

Data from: Sex-specific contributions to nest building in birds

Mark Mainwaring, Jenó Nagy & Mark Hauber
The causes and consequences of interspecific variation in sex-specific contributions to animal parental care are relatively well understood during pregnancy or incubation and during offspring provisioning, but comparative patterns of sex-biased investment during nest-, den-, or other shelter-building have been almost completely overlooked. This is surprising because birthing shelter properties have important fitness consequences for both parents and offspring. Here, we address this gap in our knowledge by testing predictions concerning sex-specific contributions to avian...

Post-restoration grassland management overrides the effects of restoration methods in propagule-rich landscapes

Csaba Tölgyesi, Csaba Vadász, Róbert Kun, András Csathó, Zoltán Bátori, Alida Hábenczyus, László Erdős & Péter Török
Grassland restoration is gaining momentum worldwide to tackle the loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. Restoration methods and their effects on ecological community reassembly have been extensively studied across various grassland types, while the importance of post-restoration management has so far received less attention. Grassland management is an important surrogate for natural disturbances, which most ancient grasslands have co-evolved with. Thus, without the reintroduction of management-related disturbance, restoration targets are unlikely to be achieved...

Seed mass, hardness and phylogeny determine the potential for endozoochory by granivorous waterbirds

Ádám Lovas-Kiss, Orsolya Vincze, Erik Kleyheeg, Gábor Sramkó, Levente Laczkó, Réka Fekete, Attila Molnár V. & Andy Green
Field studies have shown that waterbirds, especially members of the Anatidae family, are major vectors of dispersal for a broad range of plants whose propagules can survive gut passage. Widely adopted dispersal syndromes ignore this dispersal mechanism, and we currently have little understanding of what traits determine the potential of angiosperms for endozoochory by waterbirds. Results from previous experimental studies have been inconsistent as to how seed traits affect seed survival and retention time in...

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  • University of Debrecen
  • University of Bath
  • Babeș-Bolyai University
  • MTA Centre for Ecological Research
  • University of Sheffield
  • Estación Biológica de Doñana
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • University of Pannonia
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • University of Montana