543 Works

Data from: The oxidative costs of reproduction are group-size dependent in a wild cooperative breeder

Dominic L. Cram, Jonathan D. Blount & Andrew J. Young
Life-history theory assumes that reproduction entails a cost, and research on cooperatively breeding societies suggests that the cooperative sharing of workloads can reduce this cost. However, the physiological mechanisms that underpin both the costs of reproduction and the benefits of cooperation remain poorly understood. It has been hypothesised that reproductive costs may arise in part from oxidative stress, as reproductive investment may elevate exposure to reactive oxygen species, compromising survival and future reproduction and accelerating...

Data from: Social learning in otters

Zosia Ladds, William Hoppitt & Neeltje J. Boogert
The use of information provided by others to tackle life's challenges is widespread, but should not be employed indiscriminately if it is to be adaptive. Evidence is accumulating that animals are indeed selective and adopt ‘social learning strategies’. However, studies have generally focused on fish, bird and primate species. Here we extend research on social learning strategies to a taxonomic group that has been neglected until now: otters (subfamily Lutrinae). We collected social association data...

Data from: Social effects on foraging behaviour and success depend on local environmental conditions

Harry H. Marshall, Alecia J. Carter, Alexandra Ashford, J. Marcus Rowcliffe & Guy Cowlishaw
In social groups, individuals' dominance rank, social bonds, and kinship with other group members have been shown to influence their foraging behavior. However, there is growing evidence that the particular effects of these social traits may also depend on local environmental conditions. We investigated this by comparing the foraging behavior of wild chacma baboons, Papio ursinus, under natural conditions and in a field experiment where food was spatially clumped. Data were collected from 55 animals...

Data from: Temporal dynamics of linkage disequilibrium in two populations of bighorn sheep

Joshua M. Miller, Jocelyn Poissant, René M. Malenfant, John T. Hogg & David W. Coltman
Linkage disequilibrium (LD) is the nonrandom association of alleles at two markers. Patterns of LD have biological implications as well as practical ones when designing association studies or conservation programs aimed at identifying the genetic basis of fitness differences within and among populations. However, the temporal dynamics of LD in wild populations has received little empirical attention. In this study, we examined the overall extent of LD, the effect of sample size on the accuracy...

Data from: Does fuel type influence the amount of charcoal produced in wildfires? Implications for the fossil record

Victoria A. Hudspith, Rory M. Hadden, Alastair I. Bartlett & Claire M. Belcher
Charcoal occurrence is extensively used as a tool for understanding wildfires over geological timescales. Yet, the fossil charcoal literature to date rarely considers that fire alone is capable of creating a bias in the abundance and nature of charcoal it creates, before it even becomes incorporated into the fossil record. In this study we have used state-of-the-art calorimetry to experimentally produce charcoal from twenty species that represent a range of surface fuels and growth habits,...

Data from: Fitness costs in spatially structured environments

Florence Débarre
The clustering of individuals that results from limited dispersal is a double-edged sword: while it allows for local interactions to be mostly among related individuals, it also results in increased local competition. Here I show that, because they mitigate local competition, fitness costs such as reduced fecundity or reduced survival are less costly in spatially structured environments than in non spatial settings. I first present a simple demographic example to illustrate how spatial structure weakens...

Data from: Fine-scale population structure, inbreeding risk and avoidance in a wild insect population

Amanda Bretman, Rolando Rodríguez-Muñoz, Craig Walling, Jon Slate & Tom Tregenza
The ecological and evolutionary importance of fine scale genetic structure within populations is increasingly appreciated. However, available data are largely restricted to wild vertebrates and eusocial insects. In addition there is the expectation that most insects tend to have such large and high density populations and are so mobile that they are unlikely to face inbreeding risks through fine scale population structuring. This has made the growing body of evidence for inbreeding avoidance in insects...

Data from: Contact networks structured by sex underpin sex-specific epidemiology of infection

Matthew J. Silk, Nicola L. Weber, Lucy C. Steward, David J. Hodgson, Michael Boots, Darren P. Croft, Richard J. Delahay, Robbie A. McDonald & Mike Boots
Contact networks are fundamental to the transmission of infection and host sex often affects the acquisition and progression of infection. However, the epidemiological impacts of sex-related variation in animal contact networks have rarely been investigated. We test the hypothesis that sex-biases in infection are related to variation in multilayer contact networks structured by sex in a population of European badgers Meles meles naturally infected with Mycobacterium bovis. Our key results are that male-male and between-sex...

Data from: Environmental heterogeneity, multivariate sexual selection and genetic constraints on cuticular hydrocarbons in Drosophila simulans

Fiona C. Ingleby, David J. Hosken, Kristy Flowers, Michael F. Hawkes, Sarah M. Lane, James Rapkin, Clarissa M. House, Manmohan D. Sharma & John Hunt
Sexual selection is responsible for the evolution of many elaborate traits, but sexual trait evolution could be influenced by opposing natural selection as well as genetic constraints. As such, the evolution of sexual traits could depend heavily on the environment if trait expression and attractiveness vary between environments. Here, male Drosophila simulans were reared across a range of diets and temperatures, and we examined differences between these environments in terms of (1) the expression of...

Data from: The availability of research data declines rapidly with article age

Timothy H. Vines, Arianne Y. K. Albert, Rose L. Andrew, Florence Débarre, Dan G. Bock, Michelle T. Franklin, Kimberly J. Gilbert, Jean-Sébastien Moore, Sébastien Renaut & Diana J. Rennison
Policies ensuring that research data are available on public archives are increasingly being implemented at the government, funding agency, and journal level. These policies are predicated on the idea that authors are poor stewards of their data, particularly over the long term, and indeed many studies have found that authors are often unable or unwilling to share their data. However, there are no systematic estimates of how the availability of research data changes with time...

Data from: Adaptation to abiotic conditions drives local adaptation in bacteria and viruses coevolving in heterogeneous environments

Florien A. Gorter, Pauline D. Scanlan & Angus Buckling
Parasite local adaptation, the greater performance of parasites on their local compared with foreign hosts, has important consequences for the maintenance of diversity and epidemiology. While the abiotic environment may significantly affect local adaptation, most studies to date have failed either to incorporate the effects of the abiotic environment, or to separate them from those of the biotic environment. Here, we tease apart biotic and abiotic components of local adaptation using the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens...

Data from: Pan-Atlantic analysis of the overlap of a highly migratory species, the leatherback turtle, with pelagic longline fisheries

Sabrina Fossette, Matthew J. Witt, Philip Miller, Michel A. Nalovic, Diego Albareda, Antonio P. Almeida, Annette C. Broderick, Didiher Chacón-Chaverri, Michael S. Coyne, Andres Domingo, Scott Eckert, Daniel Evans, Alejandro Fallabrino, Sandra Ferraroli, Angela Formia, Bruno Giffoni, Graeme C. Hays, George Hughes, Laurent Kelle, Aimee Leslie, Milagros López-Mendilaharsu, Paolo Luschi, Laura Prosdocimi, Sergio Rodriguez-Heredia, Avanaisa Turny … & Brendan J. Godley
Large oceanic migrants play important roles in ecosystems, yet many species are of conservation concern as a result of anthropogenic threats, of which incidental capture by fisheries is frequently identified. The last large populations of the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, occur in the Atlantic Ocean, but interactions with industrial fisheries could jeopardize recent positive population trends, making bycatch mitigation a priority. Here, we perform the first pan-Atlantic analysis of spatio-temporal distribution of the leatherback turtle...

Data from: Wing shape variation associated with mimicry in butterflies

Robert Tyrrell Jones, Yann Le Poul, Annabel C. Whibley, Claire Mérot, Richard H. Ffrench-Constant & Mathieu Joron
Mimetic resemblance in unpalatable butterflies has been studied by evolutionary biologists for over a century, but has largely focused on the convergence in wing color patterns. In Heliconius numata, discrete color-pattern morphs closely resemble co-mimics in the distantly-related genus Melinaea. We examine the possibility that the shape of the butterfly wing also shows adaptive convergence. First, simple measures of forewing dimensions were taken of individuals in a cross between H. numata morphs, and showed quantitative...

Data from: Maasai pastoralists kill lions in retaliation for depredation of livestock by lions

Enoch M. Ontiri, Martin Odino, Antony Kasanga, Paula Kahumbu, Lance W. Robinson, Tom Currie & Dave J. Hodgson
The borders of national parks in Kenya are hotspots for human–wildlife conflict. The deliberate killing of lions by Maasai pastoralists is illegal, but continues despite mitigation attempts. Currently, there is a somewhat pervasive opinion, within the human–wildlife conflict literature, that lions are killed by Maasai people either as cultural ceremony or indiscriminately in response to the loss of livestock. We reconsider the indiscriminate reputation of lion‐killing, using a combination of structured dialogue and quantitative analysis....

Data from: Artificial selection on walking distance suggests a mobility-sperm competitiveness trade-off

Kentarou Matsumura, C. Ruth Archer, David J. Hosken & Takahisa Miyatake
Securing matings is a key determinant of fitness and in many species males are the sex that engages in mate searching. Searching for mates is often associated with increased mobility. This elevated investment in movement is predicted to trade-off with sperm competitiveness, but few studies have directly tested whether this trade-off occurs. Here, we assessed whether artificial selection on mobility affected sperm competitiveness and mating behavior, and if increased mobility was due to increased leg...

Data from: The foot is more than a spring: human foot muscles perform work to adapt to the energetic requirements of locomotion

Ryan Riddick, Dominic J. Farris & Luke A. Kelly
The foot has been considered both as an elastic mechanism that increases the efficiency of locomotion by recycling energy, as well as an energy sink that helps stabilize movement by dissipating energy through contact with the ground. We measured the activity of two intrinsic foot muscles, Flexor Digitorum Brevis (FDB) and Abductor Hallucis (AH), as well as the mechanical work performed by the foot as a whole and at a modelled plantar muscle tendon unit...

Data from: Knock-on community impacts of a novel vector: spillover of emerging DWV-B from Varroa-infested honeybees to wild bumblebees

Robyn Manley, Ben Temperton, Toby Doyle, Daisy Gates, Sophie Hedges, Michael Boots & Lena Wilfert
Novel transmission routes can directly impact the evolutionary ecology of infectious diseases, with potentially dramatic effect on host populations and knock-on effects on the wider host community. The invasion of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic viral vector in Western honeybees, provides a unique opportunity to examine how a novel vector affects disease epidemiology in a host community. This specialist honeybee mite vectors deformed wing virus (DWV), an important re-emerging honeybee pathogen that also infects wild bumblebees....

Data from: Local forage fish abundance influences foraging effort and offspring condition in an Endangered marine predator

Kate J. Campbell, Antje Steinfurth, Les G. Underhill, Janet C. Coetzee, Bruce M. Dyer, Katrin Ludynia, Azwianewi B. Makhado, Dagmar Merkle, Johan Rademan, Leshia Upfold & Richard B. Sherley
1. Understanding the functional relationship between marine predators and their prey is vital to inform ecosystem-based management. However, collecting concurrent data on predator behaviour and their prey at relevant scales is challenging. Moreover, opportunities to study these relationships in the absence of industrial fishing are extremely rare. 2. We took advantage of an experimental fisheries closure to study how local prey abundance influences foraging success and chick condition of Endangered African penguins Spheniscus demersus in...

Data from: Sex-specific effects of fisheries and climate on the demography of sexually dimorphic seabirds

Dimas Gianuca, Stephen C. Votier, Deborah Pardo, Andrew G. Wood, Richard B. Sherley, Louise Ireland, Remi Choquet, Roger Pradel, Stuart Townley, Jaume Forcada, Geoffrey N. Tuck & Richard A. Phillips
1. Many animal taxa exhibit sex-specific variation in ecological traits, such as foraging and distribution. These differences could result in sex-specific responses to change, but such demographic effects are poorly understood. 2. Here we test for sex-specific differences in the demography of northern (NGP, Macronectes halli) and southern (SGP, M. giganteus) giant petrels - strongly sexually size-dimorphic birds that breed sympatrically at South Georgia, South Atlantic Ocean. Both species feed at sea or on carrion...

Data from: Structure from motion photogrammetry: does the choice of software matter for Ecology?

Joel Forsmoo, Karen Anderson, Christopher Macleod, Mark Wilkinson, Leon DeBell & Richard Brazier
Structure-from-Motion (SfM) and Multiview-Stereo (MVS) is emerging as a flexible, self-service, remote sensing tool for generating fine-grained digital surface models (DSMs) in the Earth sciences and ecology. However, drone-based SfM+MVS applications have developed at a rapid pace over the past decade and there are now many software options available for data processing. Consequently, understanding of reproducibility issues caused by variations in software choice and their influence on data quality is relatively poorly understood. This understanding...

Data from: Genotype reconstruction of paternity in European lobsters (Homarus gammarus)

Charlie D. Ellis, David J. Hodgson, Carl André, Tonje K. Sørdalen, Halvor Knutsen & Amber G. F. Griffiths
Decapod crustaceans exhibit considerable variation in fertilisation strategies, ranging from pervasive single paternity to the near-ubiquitous presence of multiple paternity, and such knowledge of mating systems and behaviour are required for the informed management of commercially-exploited marine fisheries. We used genetic markers to assess the paternity of individual broods in the European lobster, Homarus gammarus, a species for which paternity structure is unknown. Using 13 multiplexed microsatellite loci, three of which are newly described in...

Evidence for individual discrimination and numerical assessment in collective antipredator behaviour in wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula)

Jenny R. Coomes, Guillam E. McIvor & Alex Thornton
Collective responses to threats occur throughout the animal kingdom but little is known about the cognitive processes underpinning them. Antipredator mobbing is one such response. Approaching a predator may be highly risky, but the individual risk declines and the likelihood of repelling the predator increases in larger mobbing groups. The ability to appraise the number of conspecifics involved in a mobbing event could therefore facilitate strategic decisions about whether to join. Mobs are commonly initiated...

Data from: Comparative genomics to explore phylogenetic relationship, cryptic sexual potential and host specificity of Rhynchosporium species on grasses

Daniel Penselin, Martin Muensterkoetter, Susanne Kirsten, Marius Felder, Stefan Taudien, Matthias Platzer, Kevin Ashelford, Konrad H. Paskiewicz, Richard J. Harrison, David J. Hughes, Thomas Wolf, Ekaterina Shelest, Jenny Graap, Jan Hoffmann, Claudia Wenzel, Nadine Woeltje, Kevin M. King, Bruce D. L. Fitt, Ulrich Gueldener, Anna Avrova & Wolfgang Knogge
Background: The Rhynchosporium species complex consists of hemibiotrophic fungal pathogens specialized to different sweet grass species including the cereal crops barley and rye. A sexual stage has not been described, but several lines of evidence suggest the occurrence of sexual reproduction. Therefore, a comparative genomics approach was carried out to disclose the evolutionary relationship of the species and to identify genes demonstrating the potential for a sexual cycle. Furthermore, due to the evolutionary very young...

Data from: Egg mimicry by the pacific koel: mimicry of one host facilitates exploitation of other hosts with similar egg types

Virginia E. Abernathy, Jolyon Troscianko & Naomi E. Langmore
When brood parasites exploit multiple host species, egg rejection by hosts may select for the evolution of host-specific races, where each race mimics a particular host’s egg type. However, some brood parasites that exploit multiple hosts with the ability to reject foreign eggs appear to have only a single egg type. In these cases, it is unclear how the parasite egg escapes detection by its hosts. Three possible explanations are: (i) host-specific races are present,...

Provision of high meat content food and object play reduce predation of wild animals by domestic cats Felis catus

Martina Cecchetti, Sarah L. Crowley, Cecily E.D. Goodwin & Robbie A. McDonald
Predation by domestic cats Felis catus can be a threat to biodiversity conservation,​ but its mitigation is controversial.​​ Confinement and collar-mounted devices can impede cat hunting success and reduce numbers of animals killed,​ but some owners do not wish to inhibit what they see as natural behavior, perceive safety risks associated with collars, or are concerned about device loss and ineffectiveness.​ In a controlled and replicated trial, we tested novel, non-invasive interventions that aim to...

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