139 Works

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: Metamorphosis revealed: time-lapse three-dimensional imaging inside a living chrysalis

Tristan Lowe, Russell J. Garwood, Thomas J. Simonsen, Robert S. Bradley & Philip J. Withers
Studies of model insects have greatly increased our understanding our animal development. Yet they are limited in scope to this small pool of model species: a small number of representatives for a hyperdiverse group with highly varied developmental processes. One factor behind this narrow scope is the challenging nature of traditional methods of study, such as histology and dissection, which can preclude quantitative analysis and do not allow the development of a single individual to...

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: 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: A reliable DNA barcode reference library for the identification of the European shelf fish fauna

Thomas Knebelsberger, Gary R. Carvalho, Silke Laakmann, Michael J. Raupach, Hermann Neumann, Patrick D. Campbell, Monica Landi & Filipe O. Costa
Valid fish species identification is an essential step both for fundamental science and fisheries management. The traditional identification is mainly based on external morphological diagnostic characters, leading to inconsistent results in many cases. Here, we provide a sequence reference library based on mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) for a valid identification of 93 North Atlantic fish species originating from the North Sea and adjacent waters, including many commercially exploited species. Neighbour-joining analysis based...

Data from: Reversal to air-driven sound production revealed by a molecular phylogeny of tongueless frogs, family Pipidae

Iker Irisarri, Miguel Vences, Diego San Mauro, Frank Glaw & Rafael Zardoya
BACKGROUND: Evolutionary novelties often appear by conferring completely new functions to pre- existing structures or by innovating the mechanism through which a particular function is performed. Sound production plays a central role in the behavior of frogs, which use their calls to delimit territories and attract mates. Therefore, frogs have evolved complex vocal structures capable of producing a wide variety of advertising sounds. It is generally acknowledged that most frogs call by moving an air...

Data from: Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution

Bernhard Misof, Shanlin Liu, Karen Meusemann, Ralph S. Peters, Alexander Donath, Christoph Mayer, Paul B. Frandsen, Jessica Ware, Tomas Flouri, Rolf G. Beutel, Oliver Niehuis, Malte Petersen, Fernando Izquierdo-Carrasco, Torsten Wappler, Jes Rust, Andre J. Aberer, Ulrike Aspöck, Horst Aspöck, Daniela Bartel, Alexander Blanke, Simon Berger, Alexander Böhm, Thomas Buckley, Brett Calcott, Junqing Chen … & Xin Zhou
Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight...

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
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: A new exceptionally preserved Cambrian priapulid from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte

Xiaoya Ma, Richard J. Aldridge, David J. Siveter, Derek J. Siveter, Xianguang Hou & Gregory D. Edgecombe
A fossil priapulid, Eximipriapulus globocaudatus new genus new species, is described from the Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte of Yunnan, China. The exceptional preservation of the animal reveals morphological details that allow direct comparison with extant priapulids. The body is divisible into a partially eversible pharynx, a smooth collar, a scalid-bearing introvert, a neck with triangular scalids, an unsegmented trunk with annulations, and a distinctly expanded terminal region. Several specialized regions of the alimentary canal are recognized:...

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: Exploring the universal ecological responses to climate change in a univoltine butterfly

Phillip B. Fenberg, Angela Self, John R. Stewart, Rebecca J. Wilson & Stephen J. Brooks
1. Animals with distinct life stages are often exposed to different temperatures during each stage. Thus, how temperature affects these life stages should be considered for broadly understanding the ecological consequences of climate warming on such species. For example, temperature variation during particular life stages may affect respective change in body size, phenology and geographic range, which have been identified as the “universal” ecological responses to climate change. While each of these responses has been...

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: 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: Phylogenetic community ecology of soil biodiversity using mitochondrial metagenomics

Carmelo Andújar, Paula Arribas, Filip Ruzicka, Alexandra Crampton Platt, Martijn J. T. N. Timmermans, Alfried P. Vogler & Alex Crampton-Platt
High-throughput DNA methods hold great promise for the study of taxonomically intractable mesofauna of the soil. Here, we assess species diversity and community structure in a phylogenetic framework, by sequencing total DNA from bulk specimen samples and assembly of mitochondrial genomes. The combination of mitochondrial metagenomics and DNA barcode sequencing of 1494 specimens in 69 soil samples from three geographic regions in southern Iberia revealed >300 species of soil Coleoptera (beetles) from a broad spectrum...

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...

Taxonomic identification using virtual palaeontology and geometric morphometrics: a case study of Jurassic nerineoidean gastropods

Yael Leshno Afriat, Yael Edelman-Furstenberg, Rivka Rabinovich, Jonathan Todd & Hila May
Taxonomic identification of fossils is fundamental to a wide range of geological and biological disciplines. Many fossil groups are identified based on expert judgment, which requires extensive experience and is not always available for the specific taxonomic group at hand. Nerineoideans, a group of extinct gastropods that formed a major component of Mesozoic shallow marine environments, have distinctive internal spiral folds that form the basis for their classification at the genus level. However, their identification...

Spatial patterns of phylogenetic diversity and endemism in the Western Ghats, India: a case study using ancient predatory arthropods

D. K. Bharti, Greg Edgecombe, Praveen Karanth & Jahnavi Joshi
The Western Ghats (WG) mountain chain in peninsular India is a global biodiversity hotspot, one in which patterns of phylogenetic diversity and endemism remain to be documented across taxa. We used a well-characterized community of ancient soil predatory arthropods from the WG to understand diversity gradients, identify hotspots of endemism and conservation importance, and highlight poorly-studied areas with unique biodiversity. We compiled an occurrence dataset for 19 species of scolopendrid centipedes, which was used to...

Functional constraints during development limit jaw shape evolution in marsupials

Anne-Claire Fabre, Carys Dawling, Roberto Portela Miguez, Vincent Fernandez, Eve Noirault & Anjali Goswami
Differences in jaw function experienced through ontogeny can have striking consequences for evolutionary outcomes, as has been suggested for the major clades of mammals. In contrast to placentals, marsupial newborns have an accelerated development of the head and forelimbs, allowing them to crawl to the mother’s teats to suckle within just a few weeks of conception. The different functional requirements that marsupial newborns experience in early postnatal development have been hypothesized to have constrained their...

DiSSCo Prepare Milestone report MS3.4 \"Proposed Content for a DiSSCo Digital Maturity Tool\"

Helen Hardy, Laurence Livermore, Anne Koivunen, Quentin Groom, Patricia Mergen, Frederik Berger, Peter Giere, Sabine von Mering, Rui Figueira, Pedro Arsénio & Alexandra Cartaxana

Microsatellite genotypes of the freshwater bryozoan species Cristatella mucedo and Fredericella sultana

P Ruggeri & B Okamura
This dataset contains genotypes (in three digit-format) for unique clones of the freshwater bryozoan species Cristatella mucedo and Fredericella sultana at microsatellite loci and representing sampling sites across the UK. Cristatella mucedo data additionally covers Northern Ireland.

Data from: Discovery of an unknown diversity of Leucinodes species damaging Solanaceae fruits in sub-Saharan Africa and moving in trade (Insecta, Lepidoptera, Pyraloidea)

Richard Mally, Anastasia Korycinska, David J. L. Agassiz, Jayne Hall, Jennifer Hodgetts & Matthias Nuss
The larvae of the Old World genera Leucinodes Guenée, 1854 and Sceliodes Guenée, 1854 are internal feeders in the fruits of Solanaceae, causing economic damage to cultivated plants like Solanum melongena and S. aethiopicum. In sub-Saharan Africa five nominal species of Leucinodes and one of Sceliodes occur. One of these species, the eggplant fruit and shoot borer L. orbonalis Guenée, 1854, is regarded as regularly intercepted from Africa and Asia in Europe, North and South...

Data from: Comparative phylogeography reveals a shared impact of Pleistocene environmental change in shaping genetic diversity within nine Anopheles mosquito species across the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot

Katy Morgan, Samantha M. O’Loughlin, Bin Chen, Yvonne-Marie Linton, Damrongpan Thongwat, Pradya Somboon, Mun Yik Fong, Roger Butlin, Robert Verity, Anil Prakash, Thaung Hlaing, Simone Nambanya, Duong Socheat, Trung Ho Dinh & Catherine Walton
Southeast Asia is one of the world’s richest regions in terms of biodiversity. An understanding of the distribution of diversity and the factors shaping it is lacking, yet essential for identifying conservation priorities for the region’s highly threatened biodiversity. Here we take a large scale comparative approach, combining data from nine forest associated Anopheles mosquito species and using statistical phylogeographic methods to disentangle the effects of environmental history, species specific ecology, and random coalescent effects....

Data from: The oldest erect cheilostome bryozoan: Jablonskipora gen. nov. from the upper Albian of south-west England

Silviu O. Martha & Paul D. Taylor
Although dominant at the present day, the bryozoan order Cheilostomata did not appear until the Late Jurassic. For over 55 million years after their first appearance, cheilostomes remained low in diversity and disparity, exclusively encrusting and scant in the fossil record. During the late Albian, however, cheilostomes began an explosive diversification coinciding with the appearance of several key novelties. In this paper, we describe a new monospecific cheilostome genus, Jablonskipora gen. nov. (type species Jablonskipora...

Data from: Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a UK wetland

Francine M. R. Hughes, Kelvin S. H. Peh, Andrew Balmford, Rob H. Field, Anthony Lamb, Jennifer C. Birch, Richard B. Bradbury, Claire Brown, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Martin Lester, Ross Morrison, Isabel Sedgwick, Chris Soans, Alison J. Stattersfield, Peter A. Stroh, Ruth D. Swetnam, David H. L. Thomas, Matt Walpole, Stuart Warrington & Kelvin S.-H. Peh
Restoration of degraded land is recognized by the international community as an important way of enhancing both biodiversity and ecosystem services, but more information is needed about its costs and benefits. In Cambridgeshire, U.K., a long-term initiative to convert drained, intensively farmed arable land to a wetland habitat mosaic is driven by a desire both to prevent biodiversity loss from the nationally important Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve (Wicken Fen NNR) and to increase the...

Data from: Do differences in food web structure between organic and conventional farms affect the ecosystem service of pest control?

Sarina Macfadyen, Rachel Gibson, Andrew Polaszek, Rebecca J. Morris, Paul G. Craze, Robert Planqué, William O.C. Symondson & Jane Memmott
While many studies have demonstrated that organic farms support greater levels of biodiversity, it is not known whether this translates into better provision of ecosystem services. Here we use a food-web approach to analyse the community structure and function at the whole-farm scale. Quantitative food webs from 10 replicate pairs of organic and conventional farms showed that organic farms have significantly more species at three trophic levels (plant, herbivore and parasitoid) and significantly different network...

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