119 Works

Geography, seasonality, and host‐associated population structure influence the fecal microbiome of a genetically depauparate Arctic mammal

Samantha Bird, Erin Prewer, Susan Kutz, Lisa-Marie Leclerc, Sibelle T. Vilaça & Christopher J. Kyle
The Canadian Arctic is an extreme environment with low floral and faunal diversity characterized by major seasonal shifts in temperature, moisture and daylight. Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) are one of few large herbivores able to survive this harsh environment. Microbiome research of the gastrointestinal tract may hold clues as to how muskoxen exist in the Arctic, but also how this species may respond to rapid environmental changes. In this study, we investigated the effects of season...

Genetic structure in hybrids and progenitors provides insight into processes underlying an invasive cattail (Typha x glauca) hybrid zone

Sara Pieper, Marcel Dorken & Joanna Freeland
Traditional models of hybrid zones have assumed relatively low hybrid fitness, and thus focussed more on interspecific gene flow than on hybrid dispersal. Therefore, when hybrids have high fitness and the potential for autonomous dispersal, we have limited understanding of whether hybrid dispersal or repeated local hybrid formation is more important for maintaining hybrid zones. The invasive hybrid cattail Typha × glauca occupies an extensive hybrid zone in northeastern North America where it is sympatric...

Increased spatial-genetic structure in a population of the clonal aquatic plant Sagittaria latifolia (Alismataceae) following disturbance

Marcel Dorken, Ryan Holt & Allison Kwok
The spatial genetic structure (SGS) of plant populations is determined by the outcome of key ecological processes, including pollen and seed dispersal, the intensity of local resource competition among newly recruited plants, and patterns of mortality among established plants. Changes in the magnitude of SGS over time can provide insights into the operation of these processes. We measured SGS in a population of the clonal aquatic plant, Sagittaria latifolia that had been disturbed by flooding,...

Data from: Directed dispersal by rotational shepherding supports landscape genetic connectivity in a calcareous grassland plant

Yessica Rico, Rolf Holderegger, Hans Juergen Boehmer & Helene H. Wagner
Directed dispersal by animal vectors has been found to have large effects on the structure and dynamics of plant populations adapted to frugivory. Yet, empirical data are lacking on the potential of directed dispersal by rotational grazing of domestic animals to mediate gene flow across the landscape. Here, we investigated the potential effect of large-flock shepherding on landscape-scale genetic structure in the calcareous grassland plant Dianthus carthusianorum, whose seeds lack morphological adaptations to dispersal to...

SRP54 locus genotypes of white-tailed deer from Jamieson et al.

Aaron Shafer
Estimating heritability (h2) is required to predict the response to selection and is useful in species that are managed or farmed using trait information. Estimating h2 in free-ranging populations is challenging due to the need for pedigrees; genomic-relatedness matrices (GRMs) circumvent this need and can be implemented in nearly any system where phenotypic and genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data are available. We estimated the heritability of five body and three antler traits in a...

Habitat use of co-occurring burying beetles (genus Nicrophorus) in southeastern Ontario, Canada

Kevin Burke, Jillian Wettlaufer, David Beresford & Paul Martin
The coexistence of closely related species plays an important role in shaping local diversity. However, competition for shared resources can limit the ability of species to coexist. Many species avoid the costs of coexistence by diverging in habitat use, known as habitat partitioning. We examine patterns of habitat use in seven co-occurring species of burying beetles (genus Nicrophorus Fabricius, 1775), testing the hypothesis that Nicrophorus species partition resources by occupying distinct habitats. We surveyed Nicrophorus...

Data from: An assessment of sampling designs using SCR analyses to estimate abundance of boreal caribou

Samantha McFarlane, Micheline Manseau, Robin Steenweg, Dave Hervieux, Troy Hegel, Simon Slater & Paul Wilson
Accurately estimating abundance is a critical component of monitoring and recovery of rare and elusive species. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models are an increasingly popular method for robust estimation of ecological parameters. We provide an analytical framework to assess results from empirical studies to inform SCR sampling design, using both simulated and empirical data from non-invasive genetic sampling of seven boreal caribou populations (Rangifer tarandus caribou) which varied in range size and estimated population density. We...

Experimental evidence for the recovery of mercury-contaminated fish populations

Lee Hrenchuk, Paul Blanchfield, John Rudd, Marc Amyot, Christopher Babiarz, Ken Beaty, Drew Bodaly, Brian Branfireun, Cynthia Gilmour, Jennifer Graydon, Britt Hall, Reed Harris, Andrew Heyes, Holger Hintelmann, James Hurley, Carol Kelly, David Krabbenhoft, Steve Lindberg, Robert Mason, Michael Paterson, Cheryl Podemski, Ken Sandilands, George Southworth, Vincent St. Louis, Lori Tate … & Michael Tate
Anthropogenic releases of mercury (Hg) are a human health issue because the potent toxicant methylmercury (MeHg), formed primarily by microbial methylation of inorganic Hg in aquatic ecosystems, bioaccumulates to high concentrations in fish consumed by humans. Predicting the efficacy of Hg pollution controls on fish MeHg concentrations is complex because many factors influence the production and bioaccumulation of MeHg. Here we conducted a 15-year whole-ecosystem, single-factor experiment to determine the magnitude and timing of reductions...

DNA metabarcoding sequence data for diet analysis of caribou

Greniqueca Mitchell, Paul Wilson, Bridget Redquest, Brent Patterson, Micheline Manseau & Linda Rutledge
Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) are threatened in Canada due to the drastic decline in population size caused primarily by human-induced landscape changes that decrease habitat and increase predation risk. Conservation efforts have largely focused on reducing predators and protecting critical habitat, whereas research on dietary niches and the role of potential food constraints in lichen-poor environments is limited. To improve our understanding of dietary niche variability, we used a next-generation sequencing approach with metabarcoding...

Data from: Consistent declines in wing lengths of Calidridine sandpipers suggest a rapid morphometric response to environmental change

Alexandra M. Anderson, Christian Friis, Cheri L. Gratto-Trevor, R.I. Guy Morrison, Paul A. Smith & Erica Nol
A recent study demonstrated that semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) wing lengths have shortened from the 1980s to the present-day. We examined alternative and untested hypotheses for this change at an important stopover site, James Bay, Ontario, Canada. We evaluated morphometric patterns in wing length and bill length by age and sex, when possible, and assessed if wing shape has also changed during this time-period. We investigated patterns of morphological change in two additional Calidridine sandpipers,...

Data from: Multi-species genetic connectivity in a terrestrial habitat network

Robby R. Marrotte, Jeff Bowman, Michael G. C. Brown, Chad Cordes, Kimberley Y. Morris, Melanie B. Prentice & Paul J. Wilson
Background: Habitat fragmentation reduces genetic connectivity for multiple species, yet conservation efforts tend to rely heavily on single-species connectivity estimates to inform land-use planning. Such conservation activities may benefit from multi-species connectivity estimates, which provide a simple and practical means to mitigate the effects of habitat fragmentation for a larger number of species. To test the validity of a multi-species connectivity model, we used neutral microsatellite genetic datasets of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), American marten...

Data from: Evidence of degradation of hair corticosterone in museum specimens

Nathan D. Stewart, Aoife Reilly, Christine Gilman, Gabriela F. Mastromonaco, Gary Burness & N.D. Stewart
Researchers increasingly rely on non-invasive physiological indices, such as glucocorticoid (GC) levels, to interpret how vertebrates respond to changes in their environment. Recently, hair GCs have been of particular interest, because they are presumed stable over long periods of storage, which may facilitate the study of large-scale spatial and temporal patterns of stress in mammals. In the current study, we evaluated the stability of hair corticosterone levels in museum specimens, and the potential effects of...

Data from: Using multiple imputation to estimate missing data in meta-regression

E. Hance Ellington, Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, Cayla Austin, Kristen N. Landolt, Bruce A. Pond, Erin E. Rees, Nicholas Robar & Dennis L. Murray
1. There is a growing need for scientific synthesis in ecology and evolution. In many cases, meta-analytic techniques can be used to complement such synthesis. However, missing data is a serious problem for any synthetic efforts and can compromise the integrity of meta-analyses in these and other disciplines. Currently, the prevalence of missing data in meta-analytic datasets in ecology and the efficacy of different remedies for this problem have not been adequately quantified. 2. We...

Data from: Differential impacts of vaccination on wildlife disease spread during epizootic and enzootic phases

Erica J. Newton, Bruce A. Pond, Rowland R. Tinline, Kevin Middel, Denise Belanger & Erin E. Rees
1. Dissemination of oral vaccine baits is a cost-effective method to contain and control infectious wildlife diseases. The effectiveness of vaccine barriers in slowing or halting the disease spread depends on host ecology and landscape variability. It is not clear, however, how the success of vaccine barriers to manage disease may change from an epizootic to an enzootic phase of a disease invasion, and if this depends on the quality and configuration of host habitat....

Data from: Self-fertilization and the role of males in populations of tadpole shrimp (Branchiopoda: Notostraca: Triops)

Rebekah L. Horn & David E. Cowley
Self-fertilization has both negative and positive fitness effects on species evolution. Selfing can increase inbreeding depression, thereby decreasing genetic diversity. In contrast, self-fertilization can preserve beneficial gene combinations and facilitate colonization success. Within the class of crustaceans Branchiopoda, selfing is a primary reproductive mode. Some species of Triops, in the family Notostraca, are a few of the animal species thought to have a mixed mating system between hermaphrodites and males termed androdioecy. The objective of...

Data from: Linking isotopes and panmixia: high within-colony variation in feather δ2H, δ13C, and δ15N across the range of the American white pelican

Matthew W. Reudink, Christopher J. Kyle, Ann E. McKellar, Christopher M. Somers, Robyn L.F. Reudink, T. Kurt Kyser, Samantha E. Franks & Joseph J. Nocera
Complete panmixia across the entire range of a species is a relatively rare phenomenon; however, this pattern may be found in species that have limited philopatry and frequent dispersal. American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhyncos) provide a unique opportunity to examine the role of long-distance dispersal in facilitating gene flow in a species recently reported as panmictic across its broad breeding range. This species is also undergoing a range expansion, with new colonies arising hundreds of...

Data from: Maternal immunization increases nestling energy expenditure, immune function, and fledging success in a passerine bird

Gary Burness, Deanna Moher, Noah Ben-Ezra, Ryan J Kelly, Dennis Hasselquist & Eunice H Chin
Female birds transfer maternally-derived antibodies (matAb) to their nestlings, via the egg yolk. These antibodies are thought to provide passive protection, and allow nestlings to avoid the costs associated with mounting an innate immune response. To test whether there is an energetic benefit to nestlings of receiving matAb, we challenged adult female tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) prior to clutch initiation with either lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or saline (Control). Following hatching, one half of each females nestlings...

Data from: Cyclic bouts of extreme bradycardia counteract the highmetabolism of frugivorous bats

M. Teague O'Mara, Martin Wikelski, Christian C. Voigt, Andries Ter Maat, Henry S. Pollock, Gary Burness, Lanna M. Desantis, Dina K. N. Dechmann & Dina KN Dechmann
Active flight requires the ability to efficiently fuel bursts of costly locomotion while maximizing energy conservation during non-flying times. We took a multi-faceted approach to estimate how fruit-eating bats (Uroderma bilobatum) manage a high-energy lifestyle fueled primarily by fig juice. Miniaturized heart rate telemetry shows that they use a novel, cyclic, bradycardic state that reduces daily energetic expenditure by 10% and counteracts heart rates as high as 900 bpm during flight. Uroderma bilobatum support flight...

Data from: Environmental estrogens cause predation-induced population decline in a freshwater fish

Daniel C. Rearick, Jessica Ward, Paul Venturelli & Heiko Schoenfuss
Understanding population-level effects of environmental stressors on aquatic biota requires knowledge of the direct adverse effects of pollutants on individuals and species interactions that relate to survival and reproduction. Here, we connect behavioral assays with survival trials and a modeling approach to quantify changes in antipredator escape performance of a larval freshwater fish following exposure to an environmental estrogen, and predict changes in population abundance. We quantified the effects of short-term (21 d) exposure to...

Data from: Evolutionary reconstruction supports the presence of a Pleistocene Arctic refugium for a large mammal species

Cornelya F. C. Klütsch, Micheline Manseau, Morgan Anderson, Peter Sinkins & Paul J. Wilson
Aim: The presence of refugia in the Canadian High Arctic has been subject to debate for decades. We investigated the potential existence of Arctic refugia during the Pleistocene for a large mammal species in the Canadian Archipelago because if these refugia were present, reconsideration of the evolutionary histories of North American fauna and flora beyond the major refugia of Beringia and south of the Laurentide and Cordilleran Ice Sheets would be required. Peary caribou (Rangifer...

Data from: Loss of connectivity among island-dwelling Peary caribou following sea ice decline

Deborah A. Jenkins, Nicolas Lecomte, James A. Schaefer, Steffen M. Olsen, Didier Swingedouw, Steeve D. Côté, Loïc Pellissier & Glenn Yannic
Global warming threatens to reduce population connectivity for terrestrial wildlife through significant and rapid changes to sea ice. Using genetic fingerprinting, we contrasted extant connectivity in island-dwelling Peary caribou in northern Canada with continental-migratory caribou. We next examined if sea-ice contractions in the last decades modulated population connectivity and explored the possible impact of future climate change on long-term connectivity among island caribou. We found a strong correlation between genetic and geodesic distances for both...

Data from: Wolves adapt territory size, not pack size to local habitat quality

Andrew M. Kittle, Morgan Anderson, Tal Avgar, James A. Baker, Glen S. Brown, Jevon Hagens, Ed Iwachewski, Scott Moffatt, Anna Mosser, Brent R. Patterson, Douglas E.B. Reid, Arthur R. Rodgers, Jen Shuter, Garrett M. Street, Ian D. Thompson, Lucas M. Vander Vennen & John M. Fryxell
1. Although local variation in territorial predator density is often correlated with habitat quality, the causal mechanism underlying this frequently observed association is poorly understood and could stem from facultative adjustment in either group size or territory size. 2. To test between these alternative hypotheses, we used a novel statistical framework to construct a winter population-level utilization distribution for wolves (Canis lupus) in northern Ontario, which we then linked to a suite of environmental variables...

Data from: A test of somatic mosaicism in the androgen receptor gene of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)

Melanie B. Prentice, Jeff Bowman & Paul J. Wilson
Background: The androgen receptor, an X-linked gene, has been widely studied in human populations because it contains highly polymorphic trinucleotide repeat motifs that have been associated with a number of adverse human health and behavioral effects. A previous study on the androgen receptor gene in carnivores reported somatic mosaicism in the tissues of a number of species including Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx). We investigated this claim in a closely related species, Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)....

Data from: Hyperabundant herbivores limit habitat availability and influence nest-site selection of Arctic-breeding birds

Scott A. Flemming, Erica Nol, Lisa V. Kennedy & Paul A. Smith
1. Understanding an organism’s habitat selection and behavioural flexibility in the face of environmental change can help managers plan for future conservation of that species. Hyperabundant tundra-nesting geese are influencing Arctic environments through their foraging activities. Goose-induced habitat change in Arctic wetlands may influence the availability of habitat for numerous shorebird species that breed sympatrically with geese. 2. Here, we explore whether goose-induced habitat alteration affects shorebird breeding density and nest-site selection. Using habitat data...

Data from: High ambient temperatures induce aggregations of chimney swifts (Chaetura pelagica) inside a roost

Melanie L. Farquhar, Annie Morin & Joseph J. Nocera
One proposed advantage of communal roosting in birds is a reduction in the costs of thermoregulation. As thermoregulatory benefits are directly linked to the distance between roosting birds, we examined whether temperature is related to inter‐bird spacing in roosting chimney swifts (Chaetura pelagica). To test the hypothesis that huddling is used to reduce the costs of thermoregulation, we predicted that swifts would cluster more at colder temperatures. We mounted an all‐weather camera atop a 61...

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