114 Works

Data from: Climatic niche evolution is faster in sympatric than allopatric lineages of the butterfly genus Pyrgus

Camille Pitteloud, Nils Arrigo, Tomasz Suchan, Alicia Mastretta-Yanes, Roger Vila, Vlad Dinca, Juan Hernández-Roldán, Ernst Brockmann, Yannick Chittaro, Irena Kleckova, Luca Fumagalli, Sven Buerki, Loïc Pellissier & Nadir Alvarez
Understanding how speciation relates to ecological divergence has long fascinated biologists. It is assumed that ecological divergence is essential to sympatric speciation, as a mechanism to avoid competition and eventually lead to reproductive isolation, while divergence in allopatry is not necessarily associated with niche differentiation. The impact of the spatial context of divergence on the evolutionary rates of abiotic dimensions of the ecological niche has rarely been explored for an entire clade. Here, we compare...

Data from: X-rays and virtual taphonomy resolve the first Cissus (Vitaceae) macrofossils from Africa as early diverging members of the genus

Neil F. Adams, Margaret E. Collinson, Selena Y. Smith, Marion K. Bamford, Félix Forest, Panagiota Malakasi, Federica Marone, Dan Sykes, N. F. Adams, M. E. Collinson, D. Sykes, F. Forest, P. Malakasi, S. Y. Smith & M. K. Bamford
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Fossilized seeds similar to Cissus (Vitaceae) have been recognized from the Miocene of Kenya, though some were previously assigned to the Menispermaceae. We undertook a comparative survey of extant African Cissus seeds to identify the fossils and consider their implications for the evolution and biogeography of Cissus and for African early Miocene paleoenvironments. METHODS: Micro-computed tomography (µCT) and synchrotron-based X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) were used to study seed morphology and anatomy....

Data from: Increases in sampling support the southern Gondwanan hypothesis for the origin of dinosaurs

Júlio C. A. Marsola, Gabriel S. Ferreira, Max C. Langer, David J. Button & Richard J. Butler
Dinosaurs were ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems through most of the Mesozoic and are still diversely represented in the modern fauna in the form of birds. Recent efforts to better understand the origins of the group have resulted in the discovery of many new species of early dinosaurs and their closest relatives (dinosauromorphs). In addition, recent re-examinations of early dinosaur phylogeny have highlighted uncertainties regarding the interrelationships of the main dinosaur lineages (Sauropodomorpha, Theropoda and Ornithischia),...

Data from: A large 28S rDNA-based phylogeny confirms the limitations of established morphological characters for classification of proteocephalidean tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda)

Alain De Chambrier, Andrea Waeschenbach, Makda Fisseha, Tomas Scholz & Jean Mariaux
Proteocephalidean tapeworms form a diverse group of parasites currently known from 315 valid species. Most of the diversity of adult proteocephalideans can be found in freshwater fishes (predominantly catfishes), a large proportion infects reptiles, but only a few infect amphibians, and a single species has been found to parasitize possums. Although they have a cosmopolitan distribution, a large proportion of taxa are exclusively found in South America. We analyzed the largest proteocephalidean cestode molecular dataset...

Data from: Evolution of cranial telescoping in echolocating whales (Cetacea: Odontoceti)

Morgan Churchill, Jonathan H. Geisler, Brian L. Beatty & Anjali Goswami
Odontocete (echolocating whale) skulls exhibit extreme posterior displacement and overlapping of facial bones, here referred to as retrograde cranial telescoping. To examine retrograde cranial telescoping across 40 million years of whale evolution, we collected 3D scans of whale skulls spanning odontocete evolution. We used a sliding semilandmark morphometric approach with Procrustes superimposition and PCA to capture and describe the morphological variation present in the facial region, followed by Ancestral Character State Reconstruction (ACSR) and evolutionary...

Data from: Repeated eye reduction events reveal multiple pathways to degeneration in a family of marine snails

Lauren Sumner-Rooney, Julia D. Sigwart, Jenny McAfee, Lisa Smith & Suzanne T. Williams
Eye reduction occurs in many troglobitic, fossorial, and deep-sea animals but there is no clear consensus on its evolutionary mechanism. Given the highly conserved and pleiotropic nature of many genes instrumental to eye development, degeneration might be expected to follow consistent evolutionary trajectories in closely related animals. We tested this in a comparative study of ocular anatomy in solariellid snails from deep and shallow marine habitats using morphological, histological, and tomographic techniques, contextualized phylogenetically. Of...

Data from: Episodic radiations in the fly tree of life

Brian M. Wiegmann, Michelle D. Trautwein, Isaac S. Winkler, Norman B. Barr, Jung-Wook Kim, Christine Lambkin, Matthew A. Bertone, Brian K. Cassel, Keith M. Bayless, Alysha M. Heimberg, Benjamin M. Wheeler, Kevin J. Peterson, Thomas Pape, Bradley J. Sinclair, Jeffrey H. Skevington, Vladimir Blagoderov, Jason Caravas, Sujatha Narayanan Kutty, Urs Schmidt-Ott, Gail E. Kampmeier, F. Christian Thompson, David A. Grimaldi, Andrew T. Beckenbach, Gregory W. Courtney, Markus Friedrich … & B. J. Sinclair
Flies are one of four superradiations of insects (along with beetles, wasps, and moths) that account for the majority of animal life on Earth. Diptera includes species known for their ubiquity (Musca domestica house fly), their role as pests (Anopheles gambiae malaria mosquito), and their value as model organisms across the biological sciences (Drosophila melanogaster). A resolved phylogeny for flies provides a framework for genomic, developmental, and evolutionary studies by facilitating comparisons across model organisms,...

Data from: High lability of sexual system over 250 million years of evolution in morphologically conservative tadpole shrimps

Thomas C. Mathers, Robert L. Hammond, Ronald A. Jenner, Thorid Zierold, Bernd Hänfling & Africa Gómez
Background: Sexual system is a key factor affecting the genetic diversity, population structure, genome structure and the evolutionary potential of species. The sexual system androdioecy -- where males and hermaphrodites coexist in populations -- is extremely rare, yet is found in three crustacean groups, barnacles, a genus of clam shrimps Eulimnadia, and in the order Notostraca, the tadpole shrimps. In the ancient crustacean order Notostraca, high morphological conservatism contrasts with a wide diversity of sexual...

Data from: A review of Western Amblyscelio and Baryconus (Hymenoptera: Platygastroidea, Platygastridae)

Ovidiu Alin Popovici, Lubomir Masner, David G. Notton & Mariana Popovici
The European species of the genera Amblyscelio and Baryconus are reviewed and revised based on morphological data. Females of Amblyscelio striaticeps Kieffer, 1913 and Baryconus graeffei (Kieffer, 1908) are described and the ovipositor of Amblyscelio is illustrated for the first time. The monotypic genus Amblyscelio was previously known only from a single male specimen. Baryconus graeffei is confirmed as a distinct species, while B. orbus Kononova, 2008 is recognized as a junior subjective synonym of...

Data from: Sampling bias and the fossil record of planktonic foraminifera on land and in the deep sea

Graeme T. Lloyd, Paul N. Pearson, Jeremy R. Young & Andrew B. Smith
Large-scale trends in planktonic foraminiferal diversity have so far been based on utilization of synoptic biostratigraphic range charts. Although this approach ensures the taxonomic consistency and quality of the data being used, it takes no formal account of any sampling biases that might exist in the fossil record. We demonstrate that the occurrence data of planktonic foraminifera, as recorded in the primary literature, are strongly biased by sampling. We do this by demonstrating that raw...

Data from: Liverworts to the rescue: an investigation of their efficacy as mycorrhizal inoculum for vascular plants

Jill Kowal, Silvia Pressel, Jeffrey G. Duckett & Martin I. Bidartondo
Pezoloma ericae (D.J. Read) Baral, a widespread mycorrhizal fungus of plants in the Ericales, is known to form intracellular associations with several families of leafy liverworts (Schistochilaceae, Lepidoziaceae, Cephaloziaceae, Cephaloziellaceae) in vitro. The ecological significance of this link between vascular and non-vascular plants is unknown. Fungal symbionts were isolated from rhizoids of the leafy liverworts Cephalozia connivens (Dicks.) Lindb. and C. bicuspidata (L.) Dum. (Cephaloziaceae), as well as from the hair roots of two dominant...

Data from: Epidemiological interactions between urogenital and intestinal human schistosomiasis in the context of praziquantel treatment across three West African countries

Sarah C. L. Knowles, Bonnie L. Webster, Amadou Garba, Moussa Sacko, Oumar T. Diaw, Alan Fenwick, David Rollinson & Joanne P. Webster
Background: In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis co-occur, and mixed species infections containing both Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni can be common. During co-infection, interactions between these two species are possible, yet the extent to which such interactions influence disease dynamics or the outcome of control efforts remains poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we analyse epidemiological data from three West African countries co-endemic for urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis (Senegal, Niger and...

Data from: Assessment of available anatomical characters for linking living mammals to fossil taxa in phylogenetic analyses

Thomas Guillerme & Natalie Cooper
Analyses of living and fossil taxa are crucial for understanding biodiversity through time. The total evidence method allows living and fossil taxa to be combined in phylogenies, using molecular data for living taxa and morphological data for living and fossil taxa. With this method, substantial overlap of coded anatomical characters among living and fossil taxa is vital for accurately inferring topology. However, although molecular data for living species are widely available, scientists generating morphological data...

Data from: Dramatic niche shifts and morphological change in two insular bird species

Per Alström, Jon Fjeldså, Knud Andreas Jønsson, Anders Ödeen, Per G. P. Ericson, Martin Irestedt, J. Fjeldsa, K. A. Jonsson, P. Alstrom, A. Odeen, P. G. P. Ericson & M. Irestedt
Colonizations of islands are often associated with rapid morphological divergence. We present two previously unrecognized cases of dramatic morphological change and niche shifts in connection with colonization of tropical forest-covered islands. These evolutionary changes have concealed the fact that the passerine birds madanga, Madanga ruficollis, from Buru, Indonesia, and São Tomé shorttail, Amaurocichla bocagii, from São Tomé, Gulf of Guinea, are forest-adapted members of the family Motacillidae (pipits and wagtails). We show that Madanga has...

Data from: Echinorhynchus brayi n. sp. (Acanthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) from Pachycara crassiceps (Roule) (Zoarcidae), a deep-sea fish

Matthew T. Wayland, Christina Sommerville & David I. Gibson
Echinorhynchus brayi n. sp. (Palaeacanthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) is described from Pachycara crassiceps (Roule) (Zoarcidae) from the Porcupine Seabight, Northeast Atlantic. The new species closely resembles E. canyonensis Huffman & Kliever, 1977, a parasite of a Pacific zoarcid, but has longer lemnisci, larger eggs and larger testes. E. brayi n. sp. can be readily differentiated from the ten other Echinorhynchus spp. recorded from deep-sea fishes (E. abyssicola, E. gadi, E. longiproboscis, E. malacocephali, E. melanoglaeae, E. muraenolepisi,...

Data from: Echinorhynchus salmonis Müller, 1784 (Acanthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) from the Bothnian Bay, Baltic Sea: morphological variability and radial asymmetry of proboscis hooks

Matthew T. Wayland, David I. Gibson & Christina Sommerville
Echinorhynchus salmonis is a common parasite of salmoniform and other fishes, occurring in fresh and brackish waters throughout the Holarctic. Presented here is the first analysis of the morphometric and meristic variation in a Palaearctic population of E. salmonis, collected from whitefish Coregonus lavaretus L. and smelt Osmerus eperlaus (L.) from the Bothnian Bay, northern Baltic Sea. Morphological data were compared with published descriptions of congeneric taxa. Nearctic populations of salmonid echinorhynchids considered by some...

Data from: A refined modelling approach to assess the influence of sampling on palaeobiodiversity curves: new support for declining Cretaceous dinosaur richness

Graeme T. Lloyd
Modelling has been underdeveloped with respect to constructing palaeobiodiversity curves, but it offers an additional tool for removing sampling from their estimation. Here an alternative to subsampling approaches, which often require large sample sizes, is explored by the extension and refinement of a pre-existing modelling technique that uses a geological proxy for sampling. Application of the model to the three main clades of dinosaurs suggests that much of their diversity fluctuations cannot be explained by...

Data from: Interspecific interactions through 2 million years: are competitive outcomes predictable?

Lee Hsiang Liow, Emanuela Di Martino, Kjetil Lysne Voje, Seabourne Rust & Paul D. Taylor
Ecological interactions affect the survival and reproduction of individuals. However, ecological interactions are notoriously difficult to measure in extinct populations, hindering our understanding of how the outcomes of interactions such as competition vary in time and influence long-term evolutionary changes. Here, the outcomes of spatial competition in a temporally continuous community over evolutionary timescales are presented for the first time. Our research domain is encrusting cheilostome bryozoans from the Wanganui Basin of New Zealand over...

Data from: Phylogenomic analyses of more than 4000 nuclear loci resolve the origin of snakes among lizard families

Jeffrey W. Streicher & John J. Wiens
Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) are the most diverse group of terrestrial vertebrates, with more than 10 000 species. Despite considerable effort to resolve relationships among major squamates clades, some branches have remained difficult. Among the most vexing has been the placement of snakes among lizard families, with most studies yielding only weak support for the position of snakes. Furthermore, the placement of iguanian lizards has remained controversial. Here we used targeted sequence capture to...

Data from: Barcoding snakeheads (Teleostei, Channidae) revisited: discovering greater species diversity and resolving perpetuated taxonomic confusions

Cecilia Conte-Grand, Ralf Britz, Neelesh Dahanukar, Rajeev Raghavan, Rohan Pethiyagoda, Hoek Hui Tan, Renny Kurnia Hadiaty, Norsham S. Yaakob, Lukas Rüber, Heok Hui Tan & Renny K. Hadiaty
Snakehead fishes of the family Channidae are predatory freshwater teleosts from Africa and Asia comprising 38 valid species. Snakeheads are important food fishes (aquaculture, live food trade) and have been introduced widely with several species becoming highly invasive. A channid barcode library was recently assembled by Serrao and co-workers to better detect and identify potential and established invasive snakehead species outside their native range. Comparing our own recent phylogenetic results of this taxonomically confusing group...

Data from: Plant controls on Late Quaternary whole ecosystem structure and function

Elizabeth S. Jeffers, Nicki J. Whitehouse, Adrian Lister, Gill Plunkett, Phil Barratt, Emma Smyth, Philip Lamb, Michael W. Dee, Stephen J. Brooks, Katherine J. Willis, Cynthia A. Froyd, Jenny E. Watson & Michael B. Bonsall
Plants and animals influence biomass production and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems; however their relative importance remains unclear. We assessed the extent to which mega-herbivore species controlled plant community composition and nutrient cycling, relative to other factors during and after the Late Quaternary extinction event in Britain and Ireland, when two-thirds of the region’s mega-herbivore species went extinct. Warmer temperatures, plant-soil and plant-plant interactions, and reduced burning contributed to the expansion of woody plants and...

Data from: Ancient plants with ancient fungi: liverworts associate with early-diverging arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

William R. Rimington, Silvia Pressel, Jeffrey G. Duckett, Katie J. Field, David J. Read & Martin I. Bidartondo
Arbuscular mycorrhizas are widespread in land plants including liverworts, some of the closest living relatives of the first plants to colonise land 500 MYA. Previous investigations reported near-exclusive colonisation of liverworts by the most recently evolved arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, the Glomeraceae, indicating a recent acquisition from flowering plants at odds with the widely-held notion that arbuscular mycorrhizal-like associations in liverworts represent the ancestral symbiotic condition in land plants. We performed an analysis of symbiotic fungi...

Data from: Contrasting genetic structure of sympatric congeneric gastropods: do differences in habitat preference, abundance, and distribution matter?

Edward J.G. Wort, Mark A. Chapman, Stephen John Hawkins, Lucy Henshall, Alfonso Pita, Marc Rius, Suzanne T. Williams & Phillip B. Fenberg
Aim: The relationship of population genetics with the ecology and biogeography of species may be explored by comparing phenotypically similar but ecologically different congeners with overlapping ranges. We compared genetic differentiation between two congeneric rocky intertidal gastropods across a major portion of their sympatric range. We hypothesized that the habitat generalist with high abundance and continuous distribution would exhibit comparatively less genetic differentiation than the habitat specialist with low abundance and a fragmented distribution. Location:...

Data from: The first multi-gene phylogeny of the Macrostomorpha sheds light on the evolution of sexual and asexual reproduction in basal Platyhelminthes

Toon Janssen, Dita B. Vizoso, Gregor Schulte, D. Timothy J. Littlewood, Andrea Waeschenbach & Lukas Schärer
The Macrostomorpha—an early branching and species-rich clade of free-living flatworms—is attracting interest because it contains Macrostomum lignano, a versatile model organism increasingly used in evolutionary, developmental, and molecular biology. We elucidate the macrostomorphan molecular phylogeny inferred from both nuclear (18S and 28S rDNA) and mitochondrial (16S rDNA and COI) marker genes from 40 representatives. Although our phylogeny does not recover the Macrostomorpha as a statistically supported monophyletic grouping, it (i) confirms many taxa previously proposed...

Data from: Horizontal gene flow from Eubacteria to Archaebacteria and what it means for our understanding of eukaryogenesis

Wasiu A. Akanni, Karen Siu-Ting, Christopher J. Creevey, James O. McInerney, Mark Wilkinson, Peter G. Foster & Davide Pisani
The origin of the eukaryotic cell is considered one of the major evolutionary transitions in the history of life. Current evidence strongly supports a scenario of eukaryotic origin in which two prokaryotes, an archaebacterial host and an α-proteobacterium (the free-living ancestor of the mitochondrion), entered a stable symbiotic relationship. The establishment of this relationship was associated with a process of chimerization, whereby a large number of genes from the α-proteobacterial symbiont were transferred to the...

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