25 Works

Habitat structure mediates vulnerability to climate change through its effects on thermoregulatory behavior

Lauren Neel, Michael Logan, Daniel Nicholson, Christina Miller, Albert Chung, Inbar Maayan, Zach Degon, Madeline DuBois, John David Curlis, Q Taylor, Kaitlin Keegan, Owen McMillan, Jonathan Losos & Christian Cox
Tropical ectotherms are thought to be especially vulnerable to climate change because they are thermal specialists, having evolved in aseasonal thermal environments. However, even within the tropics, habitat structure can influence opportunities for behavioral thermoregulation. Open (and edge) habitats likely promote more effective thermoregulation due to the high spatial heterogeneity of the thermal landscape, while forests are thermally homogenous and may constrain opportunities for behavioral buffering of environmental temperatures. Nevertheless, the ways in which behavior...

Functional biogeography of Neotropical moist forests: trait-climate relationships and assembly patterns of tree communities

Bruno Pinho, Marcelo Tabarelli, Cajo Ter Braak, S. J. Wright, Victor Arroyo-Rodriguez, Maíra Benchimol, Bettina Engelbrecht, Simon Pierce, Peter Hietz, Bráulio Santos, Carlos Peres, Sandra Müller, Ian Wright, Frans Bongers, Madelon Lohbeck, Ülo Niinemets, Martijn Slot, Steven Jansen, Davi Jamelli, Renato Augusto Ferreira De Lima, Nathan Swenson, Richard Condit, Jos Barlow, Ferry Slik, Manuel Hernández-Ruedas … & Felipe Melo
Aim: Here we examine the functional profile of regional tree species pools across the latitudinal distribution of Neotropical moist forests, and test trait-climate relationships among local communities. We expected opportunistic strategies (acquisitive traits, small seeds) to be overrepresented in species pools further from the equator due to long-term instability, but also in terms of abundance in local communities in currently wetter, warmer and more seasonal climates. Location: Neotropics. Time period: Recent. Major taxa studied: Trees....

Differential effects of nematode infection on pollinating and non-pollinating fig wasps: can shared antagonism provide net benefits to a mutualism?

Justin Van Goor, Finn Piatscheck, Derek Houston & John Nason
1. Species pairs that form mutualistic associations are also components of broader organismal community networks. These network-level associations have shaped the evolution of individual mutualisms through interspecific interactions ranging from secondarily mutualistic to intensely antagonistic. Our understanding of this complex context remains limited because characterizing the impacts of species interacting with focal mutualists is often difficult. How is the fitness of mutualists impacted by the co-occurring interactive network of community associates? 2. We investigate this...

Tropical mammal functional diversity increases with productivity but decreases with anthropogenic disturbance

Daniel Gorczynski, Chia Hsieh, Jadelys Tonos Luciano, Jorge Ahumada, Santiago Espinosa, Steig Johnson, Francesco Rovero, Fernanda Santos, Mahandry Hugues Andrianarisoa, Johanna Hurtado Astaiza, Patrick A. Jansen, Charles Kayijamahe, Marcela Guimarães Moreira Lima, Julia Salvador & Lydia Beaudrot
A variety of factors can affect the biodiversity of tropical mammal communities, but their relative importance and directionality remain uncertain. Previous global investigations of mammal functional diversity have relied on range maps instead of observational data to determine community composition. We test the effects of species pools, habitat heterogeneity, primary productivity and human disturbance on the functional diversity (dispersion and richness) of mammal communities using the largest standardized tropical forest camera trap monitoring system, the...

Connectivity Matrices from biophysical modelling studies for A. millepora coral larvae in the Great Barrier Reef (Australia); present day and future scenarios

Christopher Thomas, Joana Figueiredo, Eric Deleersnijder, Jonathan Lambrechts, Andrew Baird, Sean Connolly & Emmanuel Hanert
These data contain connectivity matrices from biophysical modelling simulations of the dispersal of Acropora millepora coral larvae in the southern Great Barrier Reef (Australia), under present-day and future climate scenarios. The connectivity matrices represent modelled strength of larval transfer from one reef to another, and were obtained using a coupled reef-scale, high-resolution, depth-integrated finite element hydrodynamic model (SLIM) of water currents in the Great Barrier Reef, and Individual-Based particle tracking module. Biological parameters to model...

Balanced polymorphisms and their divergence in a Heliconius butterfly

James Ogilvie, Steven Van Belleghem, Ryan Range, Riccardo Papa, Owen McMillan, Mathieu Chouteau & Brian Counterman
The evolution of mimicry in similarly defended prey is well described by Müllerian mimicry theory, which predicts the convergence of warning patterns in order to gain the most protection from predators. However, despite this prediction, we can find great diversity of color patterns amongst Müllerian mimics such as Heliconius butterflies in the neotropics. Furthermore, some species have evolved the ability to maintain multiple distinct warning patterns in single populations, a phenomenon known as polymorphic mimicry....

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...

Phenotypic plasticity in chemical defence allows butterflies to diversify host use strategies

Erika De Castro, Jamie Musgrove, Søren Bak, Owen McMillan & Chris Jiggins
Hostplant specialization is a major force driving ecological niche partitioning and diversification in insect herbivores. The cyanogenic defences of Passiflora plants keeps most herbivores at bay, but not larvae of Heliconius butterflies, which can both sequester and biosynthesize cyanogenic compounds. Here, we demonstrate that both Heliconius cydno chioneus, a host plant generalist, and H. melpomene rosina, a specialist, have remarkable plasticity in their chemical defence. When feeding on Passiflora species with cyanogenic compounds they can...

Data from: Damage from intraspecific combat is costly

Zachary Emberts, Ummat Somjee & John J. Wiens
When individuals engage in fights with conspecifics over access to resources, injuries can occur. Most theory suggests that the costs associated with these injuries should influence an individual’s decision to retreat from a fight. Thus, damage from intraspecific combat is frequently noted and quantified. However, the fitness-related costs associated with this damage are not. Quantifying the cost of fighting-related damage is important because most theory assumes that it is the cost associated with the damage...

Invasion history shapes host transcriptomic response to a body-snatching parasite

Zachary Tobias, Amy Fowler, April Blakeslee, John Darling, Mark Torchin, Whitman Miller, Gregory Ruiz & Carolyn Tepolt
By shuffling biogeographic distributions, biological invasions can both disrupt long-standing associations between hosts and parasites and establish new ones. This creates natural experiments with which to study the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions. In estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico, the white-fingered mud crab (Rhithropanopeus harrisii) is infected by a native parasitic barnacle Loxothylacus panopaei (Rhizocephala), which manipulates host physiology and behavior. In the 1960s, L. panopaei was introduced to the Chesapeake Bay and...

Landslide age, elevation and residual vegetation determine tropical montane forest canopy recovery and biomass accumulation after landslide disturbances in the Peruvian Andes

Cathryn Freund, Kasey Clark, James Curran, Gregory Asner & Miles Silman
Landslides are common natural disturbances in tropical montane forests. While the geomorphic drivers of landslides in the Andes have been studied, factors controlling post-landslide forest recovery across the steep climatic and topographic gradients characteristic of tropical mountains are poorly understood. Here we use a LiDAR-derived canopy height map coupled with a 25-year landslide time series map to examine how landslide, topographic, and biophysical factors, along with residual vegetation, affect canopy height and heterogeneity in regenerating...

Cortex cis-regulatory switches establish scale colour identity and pattern diversity in Heliconius

Luca Livraghi, Joseph J. Hanly, Ling Sheng Loh, Anna Ren, Ian A. Warren, Carolina Concha, Charlotte Wright, Jonah M. Walker, Jessica Foley, Henry Arenas-Castro, Arnaud Martin, William O. McMillan, Chris D. Jiggins, Steven M. Van Bellghem, Gabriela Montejo-Kovacevich, James J. Lewis, Micheal W. Perry, Zachary H. Goldberg, Laura H. Lopez, Riccardo Papa & Eva S.M. Van Der Heijden
In Heliconius butterflies, wing pattern diversity is controlled by a few genes of large effect that regulate colour pattern switches between morphs and species across a large mimetic radiation. One of these genes, cortex, has been repeatedly associated with colour pattern evolution in butterflies. Here we carried out CRISPR knock-outs in multiple Heliconius species and show that cortex is a major determinant of scale cell identity. Chromatin accessibility profiling and introgression scans identified cis-regulatory regions...

Hamlet aggressive mimicry: permanovas and bootstraps results on dS, dL

Michele Pierotti
We tested the potential for aggressive mimicry by a group of coral reef fishes, the colour polymorphic Hypoplectrus hamlets, from the point of view of their most common prey, small epibenthic gobies and mysid shrimp. We build visual models based on the visual pigments and spatial resolution of the prey, the underwater light spectrum and colour reflectances of putative models and their hamlet mimics. We apply Maia & White 2018 two-step statistical approach to estimate...

Savanna woody plants responses to mammalian herbivory and implications for management of livestock-wildlife landscape

Staline Kibet, Moses Nyangito, Laban MacOpiyo & David Kenfack
1. The need to address wildlife conservation outside of protected areas has become more urgent than ever before to meet environmental and socio-economic goals. However, there is limited knowledge about how woody plants respond to herbivory within landscapes shared by wildlife and domestic herbivores in African savanna, thus management decisions might be based on inaccurate information and ultimately be ineffective. 2. We compared woody vegetation dynamics between two adjacent ranches with different management objectives and...

Data from: Fossil dermal denticles reveal the pre-exploitation baseline of a Caribbean coral reef shark community

Erin Dillon, Douglas McCauley, Jorge Manuel Morales-Saldaña, Nicole Leonard, Jian-Xin Zhao & Aaron O'Dea
Pre-exploitation shark baselines and the history of human impact on coral reef-associated shark communities in the Caribbean are poorly understood. We recovered shark dermal denticles from mid-Holocene (~7 ka) and modern reef sediments in Bocas del Toro, Caribbean Panama to reconstruct an empirical shark baseline before major human impact and quantify how much the modern shark community in the region had shifted from this historical reference point. We found that denticle accumulation rates, a proxy...

Investigating sources of conflict in deep phylogenomics of vetigastropod snails

Tauana Cunha, James Reimer & Gonzalo Giribet
Phylogenetic analyses may suffer from multiple sources of error leading to conflict between genes and methods of inference. The evolutionary history of the mollusc clade Vetigastropoda makes them susceptible to these conflicts, their higher level phylogeny remaining largely unresolved. Originating over 350 million years ago, vetigastropods were the dominant marine snails in the Paleozoic. Multiple extinction events and new radiations have resulted in both very long and very short branches and a large extant diversity...

Sensory ecology of the frog-eating bat, Trachops cirrhosus, from DNA metabarcoding and behavior

Patricia L Jones, Timothy Divoll, M. May Dixon, Dineilys Aparicio, Gregg Cohen, Ulrich Mueller, Michael Ryan & Rachel Page
Metabarcoding of prey DNA from fecal samples can be used to design behavioral experiments to study the foraging behavior and sensory ecology of predators. The frog-eating bat, Trachops cirrhosus, eavesdrops on the mating calls of its anuran prey. We captured wild T. cirrhosus and identified prey remains in the bats' fecal samples using DNA metabarcoding of two gene regions (CO1, 16S). Bats were preying on frogs previously unknown in their diet, such as species in...

Data for: Neural divergence and hybrid disruption between ecologically isolated Heliconius butterflies

Stephen Montgomery, Matteo Rossi, W. Owen McMillan & Richard Merrill
The importance of behavioral evolution during speciation is well established, but we know little about how this is manifest in sensory and neural systems. A handful of studies have linked specific neural changes to divergence in host or mate preferences associated with speciation. However, the degree to which brains are adapted to local environmental conditions, and whether this contributes to reproductive isolation between close relatives that have diverged in ecology, remains unknown. Here, we examine...

Life on a leaf: the development of spatial structure in epiphyll communities

Anna Mežaka, Noris Salazar Allen, Glenda Mendieta-Leiva & Maaike Y. Bader
1. The spatial structure of biotic communities can be shaped by niche-based or stochastic processes, and the importance of both can change through time. Niche-based processes include neighbour interactions, which can change in intensity and quality as communities develop in dependence of environmental conditions. Epiphylls, miniature communities of liverworts, lichens, algae and fungi on leaves, develop only in relatively moist forests, but their leaf-surface habitat is still characterised by moisture stress, especially in more exposed...

Tick microbiomes in neotropical forest fragments are best explained by tick-associated and environmental factors rather than host blood source

Jordan Kueneman
The composition of tick microbiomes varies both within and among tick species. Whether this variation is intrinsic (related to tick characteristics), or extrinsic (related to vertebrate host and habitat) is poorly understood but important, as microbiota can influence the reproductive success and vector competence of ticks. We aimed to uncover what intrinsic and extrinsic factors best explain the microbial composition and taxon richness of 11 species of Neotropical ticks, collected from eight species of small...

Data from: A shift from phenol to silica-based leaf defenses during long-term soil and ecosystem development

Félix De Tombeur, Etienne Laliberté, Hans Lambers, Michel-Pierre Faucon, Graham Zemunik, Benjamin Turner, Jean-Thomas Cornélis & Grégory Mahy
The resource availability hypothesis predicts that plants adapted to infertile soils have high levels of anti-herbivore leaf defenses. This hypothesis has been mostly explored for secondary metabolites such as phenolics, while it remains underexplored for silica-based defenses. We determined leaf concentrations of total phenols and silicon (Si) in plants growing along the 2-million-year Jurien Bay chronosequence, exhibiting an extreme gradient of soil fertility. We found that nitrogen (N) limitation on young soils led to a...

Data from: Age-related mushroom body expansion in male sweat bees and bumble bees

Mallory Hagadorn, Karlee Eck, Matthew Del Grosso, Xavier Haemmerle, William Wcislo & Karen Kapheim
A well-documented phenomenon among social insects is that brain changes occur prior to or at the onset of certain experiences, potentially serving to prime the brain for specific tasks. This insight comes almost exclusively from studies considering developmental maturation in females. As a result, it is unclear whether age-related brain plasticity is consistent across sexes, and to what extent developmental patterns differ. Using confocal microscopy and volumetric analyses, we investigated age-related brain changes coinciding with...

The contributions of lightning to biomass turnover, gap formation, and plant mortality in a tropical forest

Evan Gora, Phillip Bitzer, Jeffrey Burchfield, Cesar Gutierrez & Stephen Yanoviak
Lightning is a common source of disturbance, but its ecological effects in tropical forests are largely undescribed. Here we quantify the contributions of lightning strikes to forest turnover and plant mortality in a lowland Panamanian forest using a real-time lightning monitoring system. We examined 2195 lightning-damaged trees distributed among 93 different strikes. None exhibited scars or fires. On average, each strike disturbed 451 m2 (95% CI: 365-545 m2), created canopy gaps of 304 m2 (95%...

Data from: Dermal denticle shedding rates vary between two captive shark species

Erin Dillon, Anshika Bagla, Kiera Plioplys, Douglas McCauley, Kevin Lafferty & Aaron O'Dea
Shark dermal scale (denticle) accumulation in the fossil record can provide information about the abundance and composition of past shark communities. Denticles are shed continuously, such that a single shark leaves a scattered composite of many isolated denticles in sediments. However, the rate of denticle shedding as well as how these rates vary among shark species with different life modes and their consistency over time are unknown, limiting the interpretation of denticle assemblages. To better...

A dataset of ovariole number from more than 2,000 insect species

Samuel H. Church, Bruno A. S. De Medeiros, Seth Donoughe, Nicole L. Márquez Reyes & Cassandra G. Extavour
The number of offspring an organism can produce is a key component of its evolutionary fitness and life-history. This number differs widely between organisms, and its variation is the foundation for several hypotheses about life-history evolution, including the prediction that there is an evolutionary trade off between the number of offspring and their size. In insects, the number of egg-producing compartments in the ovary, called ovarioles, has been used as a proxy for potential offspring...

Registration Year

  • 2021

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Harvard University
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí
  • Rice University
  • Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech
  • Utah State University