543 Works

Future of the human climate niche

Chi Xu, Timothy Kohler, Timothy Lenton, Jens-Christian Svenning & Marten Scheffer
All species have an environmental niche, and despite technological advances, humans are unlikely to be an exception. Here, we demonstrate that for millennia, human populations have resided in the same narrow part of the climatic envelope available on the globe, characterized by a major mode around ∼11 °C to 15 °C mean annual temperature (MAT). Supporting the fundamental nature of this temperature niche, current production of crops and livestock is largely limited to the same...

Adaptive strategies of high-flying migratory hoverflies in response to wind currents

Jason Chapman & Boya Gao
Large migrating insects, flying at high altitude, often exhibit complex behaviour. They frequently elect to fly on winds with directions quite different from the prevailing direction, and they show a degree of common orientation, both of which facilitate transport in seasonally beneficial directions. Much less is known about the migration behaviour of smaller (10–70 mg) insects. To address this issue, we used radar to examine the high-altitude flight of hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae), a group of...

Prior exposure to long day photoperiods alters immune responses and increases susceptibility to parasitic infection in stickleback

James Whiting, Muayad Mahmud, Janette Bradley & Andrew MacColl
Seasonal disease and parasitic infection are common across organisms, including humans, and there is increasing evidence for intrinsic seasonal variation in immune systems. Changes are orchestrated through organisms’ physiological clocks using cues such as day length. Ample research in diverse taxa has demonstrated multiple immune responses are modulated by photoperiod, but to date, there have been few experimental demonstrations that photoperiod cues alter susceptibility to infection. We investigated the interactions among photoperiod history, immunity, and...

Data from: The conservation status and population decline of the African penguin deconstructed in space and time

Richard Sherley, Robert Crawford, Andrew De Blocq, Bruce Dyer, Deon Geldenhuys, Christina Hagen, Jessica Kemper, Azwianewi Makhado, Lorien Pichegru, Desmond Tom, Leshia Upfold, Johan Visagie, Lauren Waller & Henning Winker
Understanding changes in abundance is crucial for conservation, but population growth rates often vary over space and time. We use 40 years of count data (1979–2019) and Bayesian state-space models to assess the African penguin Spheniscus demersus population under IUCN Red List Criterion A. We deconstruct the overall decline in time and space to identify where urgent conservation action is needed. The global African penguin population met the threshold for Endangered with a high probability...

Data from: Macronutrient intake and simulated infection threat independently affect life history traits of male decorated crickets

Kristin Duffield, Kylie Hampton, Thomas Houslay, James Rapkin, John Hunt, Ben Sadd & Scott Sakaluk
Nutritional geometry has advanced our understanding of how macronutrients (e.g., proteins and carbohydrates) influence the expression of life history traits and their corresponding trade-offs. For example, recent work has revealed that reproduction and immune function in male decorated crickets are optimized at very different protein:carbohydrate (P:C) dietary ratios. However, it is unclear how an individual’s macronutrient intake interacts with its perceived infection status to determine investment in reproduction or other key life history traits. Here,...

Mechanics of walking and running up and downhill: A joint-level perspective to guide design of lower-limb exoskeletons

Richard Nuckols, Kota Takahashi, Dominic Farris, Sarai Mizrachi, Raziel Riemer & Gregory Sawicki
Lower-limb wearable robotic devices can improve clinical gait and reduce energetic demand in healthy populations. To help enable real-world use, we sought to examine how assistance should be applied in variable gait conditions and suggest an approach derived from knowledge of human locomotion mechanics to establish a ‘roadmap’ for wearable robot design. We characterized the changes in joint mechanics during walking and running across a range of incline/decline grades and then provide an analysis that...

Resource quality determines the evolution of resistance and its genetic basis

Katherine Roberts, Sean Meaden, Stephen Sharpe, Toby Doyle, Suzanne Kay, Lewis Bartlett, Steve Paterson & Mike Boots
Parasites impose strong selection on their hosts, but the level of any evolved resistance may be constrained by the availability of resources. However, studies identifying the genomic basis of such resource-mediated selection are rare, particularly in non-model organisms. Here, we investigated the role of nutrition in the evolution of resistance to a DNA virus (PiGV), and any associated trade-offs in a lepidopteran pest species (Plodia interpunctella). Through selection experiments and whole genome re-sequencing we identify...

Comparison of categorical color perception in two Estrildid finches

Eleanor Caves, Patrick Green, Matthew Zipple, Dhanya Bharath, Susan Peters, Sönke Johnsen & Stephen Nowicki
Sensory systems are predicted to be adapted to the perception of important stimuli, such as signals used in communication. Prior work has shown that female zebra finches perceive the carotenoid-based orange-red coloration of male beaks—a mate choice signal—categorically. Specifically, females exhibited an increased ability to discriminate between colors from opposite sides of a perceptual category boundary than equally-different colors from the same side of the boundary. The Bengalese finch, an Estrildid finch related to the...

Goat collective decisions

Daniel Sankey, Lisa O'Bryan, Simon Garnier, Guy Cowlishaw, Phil Hopkins, Mark Holton, Ines Fürtbauer & Andrew King
For group-living animals to remain cohesive they must agree on where to travel. Theoretical models predict shared group decisions should be favoured, and a number of empirical examples support this. However, the behavioural mechanisms that underpin shared decision-making are not fully understood. Groups may achieve consensus of direction by active communication of individual preferences (i.e. voting), or by responding to each other’s orientation and movement (i.e. copying). For example, African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) are reported...

Chill coma recovery times and growth rates of early instar nymphs from populations of crickets (Gryllus campestris) from Northern Spain

Tom Tregenza
Understanding how species can thrive in a range of environments is a central challenge for evolutionary ecology. There is strong evidence for local adaptation along large-scale ecological clines in insects. However, potential adaptation among neighbouring populations differing in their environment has been studied much less. We used RAD-sequencing to quantify genetic divergence and clustering of ten populations of the field cricket Gryllus campestris in the Cantabrian Mountains of northern Spain, and an outgroup on the...

Spatial and temporal dynamics of space use by free-ranging domestic dogs Canis familiaris in rural Africa

Jared Wilson-Aggarwal, Cecily Goodwin, Tchonfienet Moundai, Metinou Sidouin, George Swan, Monique Léchenne & Robbie McDonald
Variation in the spatial ecology of animals influences the transmission of infections and so understanding host behaviour can improve the control of diseases. Despite the global distribution of free-ranging domestic dogs Canis familiaris and their role as reservoirs for zoonotic diseases, little is known about the dynamics of their space use. We deployed GPS loggers on free-ranging dogs from six villages in rural Chad, and tracked the movements of 174 individuals in the dry season...

Data from: Longitudinal evidence that older parents produce offspring with longer telomeres in a wild social bird

Antony Brown, Emma Wood, Pablo Capilla-Lasheras, Xavier Harrison & Andrew Young
As telomere length (TL) often predicts survival and lifespan, there is considerable interest in the origins of inter-individual variation in TL. Cross-generational effects of parental age on offspring TL are thought to be a key source of variation, but the rarity of longitudinal studies that examine the telomeres of successive offspring born throughout the lives of parents leaves such effects poorly understood. Here, we exploit TL measures of successive offspring produced throughout the long breeding...

Post-epizootic microbiome associations across communities of neotropical amphibians

Phillip Jervis, Pol Pintanel, Kevin Hopkins, Claudia Wierzbicki, Jennifer Shelton, Emily Skelly, Goncalo Rosa, Diego Almeida-Reinoso, Maria Eugenia-Ordonez, Santiago Ron, Xavier Harrison, Andres Merino-Viteri & Matthew Fisher
Microbiome-pathogen interactions are increasingly recognised as an important element of host immunity. While these host-level interactions will have consequences for community disease dynamics, the factors which influence host microbiomes at larger scales are poorly understood. We here describe landscape scale pathogen-microbiome associations within the context of post-epizootic amphibian chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by the panzootic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. We undertook a survey of Neotropical amphibians across altitudinal gradients in Ecuador ~30 years following the...

The influence of biogeographical and evolutionary histories on morphological trait-matching and resource specialization in mutualistic hummingbird-plant networks

Bo Dalsgaard, Pietro Maruyama, Jesper Sonne, Katrine Hansen, Thais Zanata, Stefan Abrahamczyk, Ruben Alarcon, Andréa Araujo, Francielle Araújo, Silvana Buzato, Edgar Chávez-González, Aline Coelho, Pete Cotton, Román Díaz-Valenzuela, Maria Dufke, Paula Enríquez, Manoel Martins Dias Filho, Erich Fischer, Glauco Kohler, Carlos Lara, Flor Maria Las-Casas, Liliana Rosero Lasprilla, Adriana Machado, Caio Machado, Maria Maglianesi … & Ana M. Martín González
Functional traits can determine pairwise species interactions, such as those between plants and pollinators. However, the effects of biogeography and evolutionary history on trait-matching and trait-mediated resource specialization remain poorly understood. We compiled a database of 93 mutualistic hummingbird-plant networks (including 181 hummingbird and 1,256 plant species), complemented by morphological measures of hummingbird bill and floral corolla length. We divided the hummingbirds into their principal clades and used knowledge on hummingbird biogeography to divide the...

Data from: Telomere length is highly heritable and independent of growth rate manipulated by temperature in field crickets

Jelle Boonekamp, Rolando Rodríguez-Muñoz, Paul Hopwood, Erica Zuidersma, Ellis Mulder, Alastair Wilson, Simon Verhulst & Tom Tregenza
Many organisms are capable of growing faster than they do. Restrained growth rate has functionally been explained by negative effects on lifespan of accelerated growth. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Telomere attrition has been proposed as a causal agent and has been mostly studied in endothermic vertebrates. We established that telomeres exist as chromosomal-ends in a model insect, the field cricket G. campestris, using terminal restriction fragment and Bal 31 methods. Telomeres comprised TTAGGn...

Sex differences in behavioural and anatomical estimates of visual acuity in the green swordtail Xiphophorus helleri

Eleanor M Caves, Fanny De Busserolles & Laura A Kelley
Among fishes in the family Poeciliidae, signals such as colour patterns, ornaments, and courtship displays play important roles in mate choice and male-male competition. Despite this, visual capabilities in Poeciliids are understudied, in particular visual acuity, the ability to resolve detail. We used three methods to quantify visual acuity in male and female green swordtails (Xiphophorus helleri), a species in which body size and the length of the male's extended caudal fin ('sword') serve as...

Data from 'Caroline Signori-Müller et al. 2021. Variation of non-structural carbohydrates across the fast-slow continuum in Amazon forest canopy trees. Functional Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.13971'

Caroline Signori-Müller, Rafael S. Oliveira, Julia Valentim Tavares, Francisco Carvalho Diniz, Martin Gilpin, Fernanda de V. Barros, Manuel J. Marca Zevallos, Carlos A. Salas Yupayccana, Alex Nina, Mauro Brum, Timothy R. Baker, Eric G. Cosio, Yadvinder Malhi, Abel Monteagudo Mendoza, Oliver L. Phillips, Lucy Rowland1, Norma Salinas, Rodolfo Vasquez, Maurizio Mencuccini & David Galbraith

Dataset for Toponym Resolution in Nineteenth-Century English Newspapers

Mariona Coll Ardanuy, David Beavan, Kaspar Beelen, Kasra Hosseini, Jon Lawrence, Katherine McDonough, Federico Nanni, Daniel van Strien & Daniel Wilson
We present a new dataset for the task of toponym resolution in digitised historical newspapers in English. It consists of 343 annotated articles from newspapers based in four different locations in England (Manchester, Ashton-under-Lyne, Poole and Dorchester), published between 1780 and 1870. The articles have been manually annotated with mentions of places, which are linked---whenever possible---to their corresponding entry on Wikipedia. The dataset is published on the British Library shared research repository, and is especially...

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  • University of Exeter
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  • University of Sussex
  • Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
  • Imperial College London