The demand that anatomical structures work together to perform biological functions is thought to impose strong limits on morphological evolution. Breakthroughs in diversification can occur, however, when functional integration among structures is relaxed. Although such transitions are expected to generate variation in morphological diversification across the tree of life, empirical tests of this hypothesis are rare. Here we show that transitions between suction-based and biting modes of prey capture, which require different degrees of coordination...
Data from: Human disturbance causes the formation of a hybrid swarm between two naturally sympatric fish speciesDaniel J. Hasselman, Emily E. Argo, Meghan C. McBride, Paul Bentzen, Thomas F. Schultz, Anna A. Perez-Umphrey & Eric P. Palkovacs
Most evidence for hybrid swarm formation stemming from anthropogenic habitat disturbance comes from the breakdown of reproductive isolation between incipient species, or introgression between allopatric species following secondary contact. Human impacts on hybridization between divergent species that naturally occur in sympatry has received considerably less attention. Theory predicts that reinforcement should act to preserve reproductive isolation under such circumstances, potentially making reproductive barriers resistant to human habitat alteration. Using 15 microsatellites we examined hybridization between...
Data from: Host and pathogen ecology drive the seasonal dynamics of a fungal disease, white-nose syndromeKate E. Langwig, Winifred F. Frick, Rick Reynolds, Katy L. Parise, Kevin P. Drees, Joseph R. Hoyt, Tina L. Cheng, Thomas H. Kunz, Jeffrey T. Foster & A. Marm Kilpatrick
Seasonal patterns in pathogen transmission can influence the impact of disease on populations and the speed of spatial spread. Increases in host contact rates or births drive seasonal epidemics in some systems, but other factors may occasionally override these influences. White-nose syndrome, caused by the emerging fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans, is spreading across North America and threatens several bat species with extinction. We examined patterns and drivers of seasonal transmission of P. destructans by measuring...
Gelatinous polymers including extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) are fundamental to biophysical processes in aquatic habitats, including mediating aggregation processes and functioning as the matrix of biofilms. Yet insight into the impact of these sticky molecules on the environmental transmission of pathogens in the ocean is limited. We used the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii as a model to evaluate polymer-mediated mechanisms that promote transmission of terrestrially derived pathogens to marine fauna and humans. We show that...
Migratory birds often form flocks on their wintering grounds, but important details of social structure such as the patterns of association between individuals are virtually unknown. We analysed networks of co-membership in short-term flocks for wintering golden-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla) across three years and discovered social complexity unsuspected for migratory songbirds. The population was consistently clustered into distinct social communities within a relatively small area (~ 7 ha). Birds returned to the same community across...
Data from: Phenotypic constraints and community structure: linking trade-offs within and among speciesAmy L. Angert, Sarah Kimball, Megan Peterson, Travis E. Huxman & D. Lawrence Venable
Trade-offs are central to many topics in biology, from the evolution of life histories to ecological mechanisms of species coexistence. Trade-offs observed among species may reflect pervasive constraints on phenotypes that are achievable given biophysical and resource limitations. If so, then among-species trade-offs should be consistent with trade-offs within species. Alternatively, trait variation among co-occurring species may reflect historical contingencies during community assembly rather than within-species constraints. Here, we test whether a key trade-off between...
Toxic spills, hypoxia, disease outbreaks and toxin-producing algal blooms are all possible causes of mass mortality events, but in many cases it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of death. Here we present a new approach that we name ‘forensic genomics’, combining field surveys, toxin testing and genomic scans. Forensic genomics queries allele frequencies of surviving animals for signatures of agents causing mass mortality and, where genetic diversity is high, is uniquely suited to...
University of California, Santa Cruz7
University of California, Davis2
University of California System1
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries1
Northern Arizona University1
French National Centre for Scientific Research1
California Department of Fish and Wildlife1