249 Works

Seasonal upwelling reduces herbivore control of tropical rocky intertidal algal communities

Andrew Sellers, Brian Leung, Andrew Altieri, Benjamin Turner, Jess Glanz & Mark Torchin
Communities are shaped by a variety of ecological and environmental processes, each acting at different spatial scales. Seminal research on rocky shores highlighted the effects of consumers as local determinants of primary productivity and community assembly. However, it is now clear that the species interactions shaping communities at local scales are themselves regulated by large-scale oceanographic processes that generate regional variation in resource availability. Upwelling events deliver nutrient-rich water to coastal ecosystems, influencing primary productivity...

Millennial-scale change on a Caribbean reef system that experiences hypoxia

Blanca Figuerola, Ethan L. Grossman, Noelle Lucey, Nicole D. Leonard & Aaron O'Dea
Coastal hypoxia has become an increasingly acknowledged threat to coral reefs that is potentially intensifying because of increased input of anthropogenic nutrients. Almirante Bay (Caribbean Panama) is a semi-enclosed system that experiences hypoxia in deeper waters which occasionally expand into shallow coral reefs, suffocating most aerobic benthic life. To explore the long-term history of reefs in the bay we extracted reef matrix cores from two reefs that today experience contrasting patterns of oxygenation. We constructed...

Data from: Chemical novelty facilitates herbivore resistance and biological invasions in some introduced plant species

Brian Sedio, John Devaney, Jamie Pullen, Geoffrey Parker, S. Joseph Wright & John Parker
Ecological release from herbivory due to chemical novelty is commonly predicted to facilitate biological invasions by plants, but has not been tested on a community scale. We used metabolomics based on mass spectrometry molecular networks to assess the novelty of foliar secondary chemistry of 15 invasive plant species compared to 46 native species at a site in eastern North America. Locally, invasive species were more chemically distinctive than natives. Among the 15 invasive species, the...

Data from: Asymmetric dispersal and colonization success of Amazonian plant-ants queens

Emilio M. Bruna, Thiago J. Izzo, Brian D. Inouye, Maria Uriarte & Heraldo L. Vasconcelos
Background: The dispersal ability of queens is central to understanding ant life-history evolution, and plays a fundamental role in ant population and community dynamics, the maintenance of genetic diversity, and the spread of invasive ants. In tropical ecosystems, species from over 40 genera of ants establish colonies in the stems, hollow thorns, or leaf pouches of specialized plants. However, little is known about the relative dispersal ability of queens competing for access to the same...

Data from: Changes in Bivalve functional and assemblage ecology in response to environmental change in the Caribbean Neogene

Jill S. Leonard-Pingel, Jeremy B. C. Jackson & Aaron O'Dea
We documented changes in the relative abundance of bivalve genera and functional groups in the southwest Caribbean over the past 11 Myr to determine their response to oceanographic changes associated with the closure of the Central American Seaway ca. 3.5 Ma. Quantitative bulk samples from 29 localities yielded 106,000 specimens in 145 genera. All genera were assigned to functional groups based on diet, relationship to the substrate, and mobility. Ordinations of assemblages based on quantitative...

Data from: A treefrog with reproductive mode plasticity reveals a changing balance of selection for non-aquatic egg-laying

Justin C. Touchon
Non-aquatic reproduction has evolved repeatedly, but the factors that select for laying eggs on land are not well understood. The treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus has plasticity in reproductive mode, laying eggs that successfully develop in or out of water. This permits the first experimental comparison of the selective agents that shape adult oviposition behavior and embryo developmental capacity. I quantified the sources and strength of arboreal and aquatic egg mortality, how mortality varies with weather patterns,...

Data from: Hybridization and barriers to gene flow in an island bird radiation

Ben H. Warren, Eldredge Bermingham, Yann Bourgeois, Laura K. Estep, Robert P. Prys-Jones, Dominique Strasberg & Christophe Thébaud
While reinforcement may play a role in all major modes of speciation, relatively little is known about the timescale over which species hybridize without evolving complete reproductive isolation. Birds have high potential for hybridization, and islands provide simple settings for uncovering speciation and hybridization patterns. Here we develop a phylogenetic hypothesis for a phenotypically-diverse radiation of finch-like weaver-birds (Foudia) endemic to the western Indian Ocean islands. We find that unlike Darwin’s finches, each island-endemic Foudia...

Data from: Warning signals are seductive: relative contributions of color and pattern to predator avoidance and mate attraction in Heliconius butterflies

Susan D. Finkbeiner, Adriana D. Briscoe & Robert D. Reed
Visual signaling in animals can serve many uses, including predator deterrence and mate attraction. In many cases, signals used to advertise unprofitability to predators are also used for intraspecific communication. Although aposematism and mate choice are significant forces driving the evolution of many animal phenotypes, the interplay between relevant visual signals remains little explored. Here, we address this question in the aposematic passion-vine butterfly Heliconius erato by using color- and pattern-manipulated models to test the...

Data from: Low plant density enhances gene dispersal in the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata

Marina Corrêa Côrtes, María Uriarte, Maristerra R. Lemes, Rogério Gribel, W. John Kress, Peter E. Smouse & Emilio M. Bruna
In theory, conservation genetics predicts that forest fragmentation will reduce gene dispersal, but in practice, genetic and ecological processes are also dependent on other population characteristics. We used Bayesian genetic analyses to characterize parentage and propagule dispersal in Heliconia acuminata L. C. Richard (Heliconiaceae), a common Amazonian understory plant that is pollinated and dispersed by birds. We studied these processes in two continuous forest sites and three 1-ha fragments in Brazil's Biological Dynamics of Forest...

Data from: Do pathogens limit the distributions of tropical trees across a rainfall gradient?

Erin R. Spear, Phyllis D. Coley & Thomas A. Kursar
1. Organisms are adapted to particular habitats; consequently, community composition changes across environmental gradients, enhancing regional diversity. In Panama, a rainfall gradient correlates with the spatial turnover of tree species. While strong evidence suggests that tree species common in the wetter forests are excluded from the drier forests by seasonal drought, the factor(s) excluding drought-tolerant species, common in the drier forests, from the wetter forests remain ambiguous. 2. Here, we show that seedlings were significantly...

Data from: Higher predation risk for insect prey at low latitudes and elevations

Tomas Roslin, Bess Hardwick, Vojtech Novotny, William K. Petry, Nigel R. Andrew, Ashley Asmus, Isabel C. Barrio, Yves Basset, Andrea Larissa Boesing, Timothy C. Bonebrake, Erin K. Cameron, Wesley Dáttilo, David A. Donoso, Pavel Drozd, Claudia L. Gray, David S. Hik, Sarah J. Hill, Tapani Hopkins, Shuyin Huang, Bonny Koane, Benita Laird-Hopkins, Liisa Laukkanen, Owen T. Lewis, Sol Milne, Isaiah Mwesige … & Eleanor M. Slade
Biotic interactions underlie ecosystem structure and function, but predicting interaction outcomes is difficult. We tested the hypothesis that biotic interaction strength increases toward the equator, using a global experiment with model caterpillars to measure predation risk. Across an 11,660-kilometer latitudinal gradient spanning six continents, we found increasing predation toward the equator, with a parallel pattern of increasing predation toward lower elevations. Patterns across both latitude and elevation were driven by arthropod predators, with no systematic...

Multimodal mechanosensing enables treefrog embryos to escape egg-predators

Julie Jung, Shirley J. Serrano-Rojas & Karen M. Warkentin
Mechanosensory-cued hatching (MCH) is widespread, diverse, and improves survival in many animals. From flatworms and insects to frogs and turtles, embryos use mechanosensory cues and signals to inform hatching timing, yet mechanisms mediating mechanosensing in ovo are largely unknown. The arboreal embryos of red-eyed treefrogs, Agalychnis callidryas, hatch prematurely to escape predation, cued by physical disturbance in snake attacks. When otoconial organs in the developing vestibular system become functional, this response strengthens, but its earlier...

Data from: Epiphyll specialization for leaf and forest successional stages in a tropical lowland rainforest

Anna Mežaka, Maaike Y. Bader, Noris Salazar Allen & Glenda Mendieta Leiva
Questions The importance of tropical rainforest gap dynamics in biodiversity maintenance is not fully understood, in particular for taxa other than trees and lianas. We used epiphylls on rainforest leaves to study the importance of leaf- and forest-scale succession in determining biodiversity patterns by characterizing community change with leaf age in gaps and closed-forest habitats. We asked: 1. Do epiphylls show specialization for leaf and forest successional stages? 2. Can early and late-successional epiphyllous species...

Millennial-scale change in Caribbean coral reef ecosystem structure and the role of human and natural disturbance

Katie Cramer, Aaron O'Dea, Jill Leonard-Pingel & Richard Norris
Caribbean coral reefs have transformed into algal-dominated habitats over the past half-century, but the role of specific anthropogenic drivers is unresolved due to the lack of ecosystem-level data predating human disturbance. To better understand the extent and causes of long-term Caribbean reef declines, we produced a continuous 3,000-year record of the ecosystem state of three reefs in Bocas del Toro, Caribbean Panama. From fossils and sediments obtained from reef matrix cores, we tracked changes in...

Data from: Comparative transcriptomics provides insights into reticulate and adaptive evolution of a butterfly radiation

Wei Zhang, Brian X. Leon-Ricardo, Bas Van Schooten, Steven Van Belleghem, Brian Counterman, W. Owen McMillan, Marcus R. Kronforst & Riccardo Papa
Butterfly eyes are complex organs that are composed of a diversity of proteins and they play a central role in visual signaling and ultimately, speciation and adaptation. Here, we utilized the whole eye transcriptome to obtain a more holistic view of the evolution of the butterfly eye while accounting for speciation events that co-occur with ancient hybridization. We sequenced and assembled transcriptomes from adult female eyes of eight species representing all major clades of the...

Data from: Long-term dynamics of liana seedlings suggest decelerating increases in liana relative abundance over time

Maria Natalia Umaña, Eric Manzané-Pinzón & Liza Comita
Over the past decades, tropical forests have experienced both compositional and structural changes. In the Neotropics, researchers at multiple sites have observed significant increases in the abundance and biomass of lianas (i.e. woody vines) relative to trees. However, the role of dynamics at early life stages in contributing to increasing liana abundance remains unclear. We took advantage of a unique dataset on seedling dynamics over 16 years in ~20,000 1-m2plots in a tropical forest in...

Oxygen-mediated plasticity confers hypoxia tolerance in a corallivorous polychaete

Noelle Lucey
There is mounting evidence that the deoxygenation of coastal marine ecosystems has been underestimated, particularly in the tropics. These physical conditions appear to have far-reaching consequences for marine communities, and have been associated with mass mortalities. Yet little is known about hypoxia in tropical habitats or about the effects it has on reef-associated benthic organisms. We explored patterns of dissolved oxygen (DO) throughout Almirante Bay, Panama and found a hypoxic gradient, with areas closest to...

Complete data from the Barro Colorado 50-ha plot: 423617 trees, 35 years

Richard Condit, Rolando Pérez, Salomón Aguilar, Suzanne Lao, Robin Foster & Stephen Hubbell
The 50-ha plot at Barro Colorado Island was initially demarcated and fully censused in 1982, and has been fully censused 7 times since, every 5 years from 1985 through 2015 (Hubbell and Foster 1983, Hubbell et al. 1990, Condit et al. 2012, Condit et al. 2017). Every measurement of every stem over 8 censuses is included in this archive. Most users will need only the 8 R Analytical Tables in the format tree, which come...

Data from: Long-term changes in liana loads and tree dynamics in a Malaysian forest

S. Joseph Wright, I-Fang Sun, Maria Pickering, Christine D. Fletcher & Yu-Yun Chen
The importance of lianas through time and their effect on tree reproduction are evaluated for the first time in a Southeast Asian Dipterocarp forest. We quantified flower and seed production by lianas and trees for 13 years, assessed liana loads in the crowns of all trees larger than 30 cm in diameter at breast height (1.3 m) in 2002 and 2014, and assessed levels of reproduction for the same trees during a strong general flowering...

Data from: Poison frog color morphs express assortative mate preferences in allopatry but not sympatry

Yusan Yang, Corinne L. Richards-Zawacki, Anisha Devar & Matthew B. Dugas
The concurrent divergence of mating traits and preferences is necessary for the evolution of reproductive isolation via sexual selection, and such coevolution has been demonstrated in diverse lineages. However, the extent to which assortative mate preferences are sufficient to drive reproductive isolation in nature is less clear. Natural contact zones between lineages divergent in traits and preferences provide exceptional opportunities for testing the predicted evolutionary consequences of such divergence. The strawberry poison frog (Oophaga pumilio)...

Data from: Male-male aggression is unlikely to stabilize a poison frog polymorphism

Yusan Yang, Matthew B. Dugas, Houston J. Sudekum, Sean N. Murphy & Corinne L. Richards-Zawacki
Phenotypic polymorphism is common in animals, and the maintenance of multiple phenotypes in a population requires forces that act against homogenizing drift and selection. Male-male competition can contribute to the stability of a polymorphism when males compete primarily with males of the same phenotype. In and around a contact zone between red and blue lineages of the poison frog Oophaga pumilio, we used simulated territorial intrusions to test the non-exclusive predictions that males would direct...

Data from: Population genomics of local adaptation versus speciation in coral reef fishes (Hypoplectrus spp, Serranidae)

Sophie Picq, Owen McMillan, Oscar Puebla & W. Owen McMillan
Are the population genomic patterns underlying local adaptation and the early stages of speciation similar? Addressing this question requires a system in which i. local adaptation and the early stages of speciation can be clearly identified and distinguished, ii. the amount of genetic divergence driven by the two processes is similar, and iii. comparisons can be repeated both taxonomically (for local adaptation) and geographically (for speciation). Here, we report just such a situation in the...

Data from: A trait-based trade-off between growth and mortality: evidence from 15 tropical tree species using size-specific RGRs

Christopher D. Philipson, Daisy H. Dent, Michael J. O’Brien, Juliette Chamagne, Dzaeman Dzulkifli, Reuben Nilus, Sam Philips, Glen Reynolds, Philippe Saner, Andy Hector & Michael J. O'Brien
A life-history trade-off between low mortality in the dark and rapid growth in the light is one of the most widely accepted mechanisms underlying plant ecological strategies in tropical forests. Differences in plant functional traits are thought to underlie these distinct ecological strategies; however, very few studies have shown relationships between functional traits and demographic rates within a functional group. We present 8 years of growth and mortality data from saplings of 15 species of...

Data from: Effective dispersal of Caribbean reef fish is smaller than current spacing among marine protected areas

Diana M. Beltran, Nikolaos V. Schizas, Richard S. Appeldoorn & Carlos Prada
The oceans are deteriorating at a fast pace. Conservation measures, such as Marine Protected Areas, are being implemented to relieve areas from local stressors and allow populations to restore to natural levels. Successful networks of MPAs operate if the space among MPAs is smaller than the dispersal capacity of the species under protection. We studied connectivity patterns across populations in a series of MPAs in the common yellowhead Jawfish, Opistognathus aurifrons. Using the power of...

Data from: The molecular biogeography of the Indo-Pacific: testing hypotheses with multispecies genetic patterns

Eric D. Crandall, Cynthia Riginos, Chris E. Bird, Libby Liggins, Eric Treml, Maria Beger, Paul H. Barber, Sean R. Connolly, Peter F. Cowman, Joseph D. Dibattista, Jeff A. Eble, Sharon F. Magnuson, John B. Horne, Marc Kochzius, Harilaos A. Lessios, Shang Yin Vanson Liu, William B. Ludt, Hawis Madduppa, John M. Pandolfi, Robert R. Toonen, Contributing Members Of Diversity Of The Indo-Pacific Network & Michelle R. Gaither
Aim: To test hypothesized biogeographic partitions of the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean with phylogeographic data from 56 taxa, and to evaluate the strength and nature of barriers emerging from this test. Location: The Indo-Pacific Ocean. Time Period: Pliocene through the Holocene. Major Taxa Studied: 56 marine species. Methods: We tested eight biogeographic hypotheses for partitioning of the Indo-Pacific using a novel modification to analysis of molecular variance. Putative barriers to gene flow emerging from this analysis...

Registration Year

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  • 2012

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • University of Minnesota
  • McGill University
  • University of Florida
  • Wageningen University & Research
  • University of Cambridge
  • Yale University
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • Harvard University
  • University of Western Australia