472 Works

Data from: Soil microbes alter plant fitness under competition and drought

Connor Fitzpatrick, Zainab Mustafa & Joani Viliunas
Plants exist across varying biotic and abiotic environments, including variation in the composition of soil microbial communities. The ecological effects of soil microbes on plant communities are well known, whereas less is known about their importance for plant evolutionary processes. In particular, the net effects of soil microbes on plant fitness may vary across environmental contexts and among plant genotypes, setting the stage for microbially mediated plant evolution. Here we assess the effects of soil...

Data from: Examining community stability in the face of mass extinction in communities of digital organisms

Tian-Tong Luo, Lise Heier, Zaki Ahmad Khan, Faraz Hasan, Trond Reitan, , Zi-Xuan Xie, Jian-Long Zhu & Gabriel Yedid
Digital evolution is a computer-based instantiation of Darwinian evolution in which short self-replicating computer programs compete, mutate, and evolve. It is an excellent platform for addressing topics in long-term evolution and paleobiology, such as mass extinction and recovery, with experimental evolutionary approaches. We evolved model communities with ecological interdependence among community members, which were subjected to two principal types of mass extinction: a pulse extinction that killed randomly, and a selective press extinction involving an...

Data from: Abiotic heterogeneity underlies trait-based competition and assembly

Isabela L. Borges, Leila Z. Forsyth, Denon Start & Benjamin Gilbert
1. The fitness of individual species depends on their ability to persist and establish at low densities, just as the diversity of ecological communities depends on the establishment and persistence of low-density, ‘invader’ species. Theory predicts that abiotic conditions and the competitive make-up of resident communities jointly shape invader fitness, limiting the phenotypic identity of successful invaders. 2. We use an invasion experiment to ask how competitive traits of 20 introduced plant species alter their...

Trajectory Based Classification of Recovery In Sensorimotor Complete Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury – Individual Recovery Trajectory Data

Jefferson Wilson
Objective To test the hypothesis that sensorimotor complete traumatic cervical spinal cord injury is a heterogenous clinical entity comprising several subpopulations that follow fundamentally different trajectories of neurological recovery. Methods We analyzed demographic and injury data from 655 patients who were pooled from four prospective longitudinal multicenter studies. Group based trajectory modeling was applied to model neurological recovery trajectories over the initial 12-months postinjury and to identify predictors of recovery trajectories. Neurological outcomes included: Upper...

Data from: Interactions between seed-dispersing ant species affect plant community composition in field mesocosms

Kirsten Prior, Shannon Meadley-Dunphy & Megan Frederickson
1. In generalized mutualisms, species vary in the quality of services they provide to their partners directly via traits that affect partner fitness and indirectly via traits that influence interactions with mutualist species that play similar functional roles. Myrmecochory, or seed dispersal by ants, is a generalized mutualism with ant species varying in the quality of dispersal services they provide to their plant partners. Variation in ant species identity can directly impact seed dispersal patterns...

Data from: A prospective harmonized multicentre DTI study of cerebral white matter degeneration in ALS

Sanjay Kalra, Hans-Peter Müller, Abdullah Ishaque, Lorne Zinman, Lawrence Korngut, Angela Genge, Christian Beaulieu, Richard Frayne, Simon J. Graham & Jan Kassubek
Objective: To evaluate progressive white matter (WM) degeneration in ALS. Methods: Sixty-six patients with ALS and 43 healthy controls were enrolled in a prospective, longitudinal, multicentre study in the Canadian ALS Neuroimaging Consortium (CALSNIC). Participants underwent a harmonized neuroimaging protocol across 4 centres including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for assessment of WM integrity. Three visits were accompanied by clinical assessments of disability (ALSFRS-R) and upper motor neuron (UMN) function. Voxel-wise whole brain and quantitative tractwise...

An experimental application of Hypena opulenta as a biocontrol agent for the invasive vine Vincetoxicum rossicum

Stuart Livingstone, Sandy Smith, Robert Bourchier, Kathleen Ryan, Adriano Roberto & Marc Cadotte
1. Pre-release testing for biological control agents is focused primarily on assessment of host-range specificity and safety of potential agents. Agent impact is considered pre-release, however the ultimate assessment of an agent must occur following release in the field under the target population levels and conditions of the invaded ecosystems. The invasive Eurasian vine, Vincetoxicum rossicum, has spread aggressively through its invaded range of eastern North America since its initial introduction in the late 1800’s....

The genome of the Xingu Scale-backed Antbird (Willisornis vidua nigrigula) reveals lineage-specific adaptations

Else K. Mikkelsen & Jason Weir
Antbirds (Thamnophilidae) are a large neotropical family of passerine bird renowned for the ant-following foraging strategies of several members of this clade. The high diversity of antbirds provides ample opportunity for speciation studies, however these studies can be hindered by the lack of an annotated antbird reference genome. In this study, we produced a high-quality annotated reference genome for the Xingu Scale-backed Antbird (Willisornis vidua nigrigula) using 10X Genomics Chromium linked-reads technology. The assembly is...

Parallel responses of species diversity and functional diversity to changes in patch size are driven by distinct processes

Leila Forsyth & Benjamin Gilbert
1. Do species and functional trait diversity respond similarly to deterministic and random processes? Theory predicts that the contributions of random and deterministic processes to species diversity depend on patch size. Smaller patches are more strongly influenced by random sampling effects, by having fewer individuals, as well as ecological drift, which propagates the effects of small samples through stochastic birth and death processes. These random processes decrease species richness and increase compositional differences among small...

Data from: Influence of habitat availability and fire disturbance on the northern range boundary of eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.)

Bronwyn Rayfield, Véronique Paul, Francine Tremblay, Marie-Josée Fortin, Christelle Hely & Yves Bergeron
Aim Non-climatic constraints on species northern range boundaries are often overlooked in attempts to predict climate-induced range shifts. Here, we examined the effects of habitat availability and fire disturbance on the distribution of eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) at the northern boundary of its range. Location North-western Quebec, Canada (46-51° N and 74-79° W) Methods We used forest inventory data (n=4,987) to characterize white-cedar habitat based on edaphic and topographic conditions at sampled sites...

Experimental evidence of warming-induced disease emergence and its prediction by a trait-based mechanistic model

Devin Kirk, Pepijn Luijckx, Natalie Jones, Leila Krichel, Clara Pencer, Peter Molnar & Martin Krkosek
Predicting the effects of seasonality and climate change on the emergence and spread of infectious disease remains difficult, in part because of poorly understood connections between warming and the mechanisms driving disease. Trait-based mechanistic models combined with thermal performance curves arising from the Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) have been highlighted as a promising approach going forward; however, this framework has not been tested under controlled experimental conditions that isolate the role of gradual temporal...

Dispersal of Drosophila melanogaster over landscapes with different food patch structures

Allan Edelsparre
Theoretical and empirical studies often show that within populations, individuals vary in their propensity to disperse. We aspired to understand how this behavioural variation is impacted by the distribution and pattern of food patches across a landscape. In a series of experiments, we examined how inter-patch distance and the distribution of food patches influenced dispersal in wild-type strains of Drosophila melanogaster with natural allelic variants of the foraging (for) gene known to influence dispersal in...

Glucose transporter expression and regulation following a fast in the ruby-throated hummingbird, Archilochus colubris

Raafay Syed Ali, Morag F. Dick, Saad Muhammad, Dylan Sarver, Lily Hou, G. William Wong & Kenneth C. Welch
Hummingbirds, subsisting almost exclusively on nectar sugar, face extreme challenges to blood sugar regulation. The capacity for transmembrane sugar transport is mediated by the activity of facilitative glucose transporters (GLUTs) and their localisation to the plasma membrane (PM). In this study, we determined the relative protein abundance of GLUT1, GLUT2, GLUT3, and GLUT5 via immunoblot using custom antibodies in whole-tissue and PM fractions of flight-muscle, heart, and liver of ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris). GLUTs examined...

Data from: In situ filamentous communities from the Ediacaran (~563 Ma) of Brazil

Bruno Becker-Kerber, Gabriel De Barros, Paulo Paim, Gustavo Prado, Ana Zucatti, Abderrazak El Albani & Marc Laflamme
Precambrian filamentous microfossils are common and diverse. Nevertheless, their taxonomic assignment can be difficult due to their overall simple shapes typically lacking in diagnostic features. Here, we report in situ communities of well-preserved, large filamentous impressions from the Ediacaran Itajaí Basin (ca. 563 Ma) of Brazil. The filaments are uniserial (unbranched) and can reach up to 200 µm in width and up to 44 mm in length. They occur as both densely packed or sparsely...

Conception and Execution: Critical Knowledge and its Construction in Alternative and Autonomous Media

Robert Bertuzzi

Maternal provisioning and fluctuating thermal regimes enhance immune response in a reptile with temperature-dependent sex determination

Jessica A Leivesley & Njal Rollinson
The Charnov-Bull model of differential fitness is often used to explain the evolution and maintenance of temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Most tests of the model focus on morphological proxies of fitness, such as size traits, whereas early life physiological traits that are closely related to lifetime fitness might provide a framework for generalising the Charnov-Bull model across taxa. One such trait is the strength of early life immune response, which is strongly linked to early...

Data from: Climate and local environment structure asynchrony and the stability of primary production in grasslands

Benjamin Gilbert, Andrew MacDougall, Taku Kadoya, Munemitsu Akasaka, Joseph Bennett, Eric Lind, Habacuc Flores-Moreno, Jennifer Firn, Yann Hautier, Elizabeth Borer, Eric Seabloom, Peter Adler, Elsa Cleland, James Grace, W. Harpole, Ellen Esch, Joslin Moore, Jean Knops, Rebecca McCulley, B. Mortensen, J. Bakker & Philip Fay
Aim: Climate variability threatens to destabilize production in many ecosystems. Asynchronous species dynamics may buffer against such variability when decreased performance by some species is offset by increased performance of others. However, high climatic variability can eliminate species through stochastic extinctions or cause similar stress responses among species, reducing buffering. Local conditions, such as soil nutrients, can further alter production stability directly or by influencing asynchrony. We test these hypotheses using a globally distributed sampling...

Data from: Network ecology in dynamic landscapes

Marie-Josee Fortin, Mark Dale & Chris Brimacombe
Network ecology is an emerging field that allows researchers to conceptualize and analyze ecological networks and their dynamics. Here, we focus on the dynamics of ecological networks in response to environmental changes. Specifically, we formalize how network topologies constrain the dynamics of ecological systems into a unifying framework in network ecology that we refer to as the “ecological network dynamics framework”. This framework stresses that the interplay between species interaction networks and the spatial layout...

The influence of bat ecology on viral diversity and reservoir status

Cylita Guy, John Ratcliffe & Nicole Mideo
Bats host a diversity of viruses, some zoonotic. Repeated emergence of diseases that jump into humans from bat reservoirs highlights a need for predictive approaches to pre-emptively identify virus-carrying species. We use a machine learning approach to examine drivers of viral diversity in bats, and differences in those drivers between RNA and DNA viruses. We find bat species with longer lifespans, broad geographic distributions in the eastern hemisphere, and large group sizes carry more viruses....

Multiple mutualism effects generate synergistic selection and strengthen fitness alignment in the interaction between legumes, rhizobia, and mycorrhizal fungi

Michelle Afkhami, Maren Friesen & John Stinchcombe
Nearly all organisms participate in multiple mutualisms, and complementarity within these complex interactions can result in synergistic fitness effects. However, it remains largely untested how multiple mutualisms impact eco-evolutionary dynamics in interacting species. We tested how multiple microbial mutualists-- N-fixing bacteria and mycorrrhizal fungi-- affected selection and heritability of traits in their shared host plant (Medicago truncatula), as well as fitness alignment between partners. Our results demonstrate for the first time that multiple mutualisms synergistically...

Data from: Dietary shifts in a group of early Eocene euarchontans (Microsyopidae) in association with climatic change

Keegan Selig, Amy Chew & Mary Silcox
The Microsyopidae, a family of plesiadapiforms known from over 1,500 stratigraphically controlled specimens from the southern Bighorn Basin of Wyoming, span the first three million years of the early Eocene. The early Eocene is characterized by rapid fluctuations in climate during the period represented by this collection of microsyopids, making this an ideal sample to examine how climate influenced early stem primate biology, particularly dietary ecology. An evolving lineage of microsyopine microsyopids is known from...

Data from: Trait hierarchies are stronger than trait dissimilarities in structuring spatial co-occurrence patterns of common tree species in a subtropical forest

Deyi Yin, Yu Liu, Qing Ye, Marc Cadotte & Fangliang He
1. The dissimilarity and hierarchy of trait values that characterize niche and fitness differences, respectively, have been increasingly applied to infer mechanisms driving community assembly and to explain species co-occurrence patterns. Here, we predict that limiting similarity should result in the spatial segregation of functionally similar species, while functionally similar species will be more likely to co-occur either due to environmental filtering or competitive exclusion of inferior competitors (hereafter hierarchical competition). 2. We used a...

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