170 Works

Data from: Puma responses to unreliable human cues suggest an ecological trap in a fragmented landscape

Anna Nisi, John Benson & Christopher C. Wilmers
Animals’ fear of people is widespread across taxa and can mitigate the risk of human-induced mortality, facilitating coexistence in human-dominated landscapes. However, humans can be unpredictable predators and anthropogenic cues that animals perceive may not be reliable indicators of the risk of being killed. In these cases, animal fear responses may be ineffective and may even exacerbate the risk of anthropogenic mortality. Here, we explore these questions using a 10-year dataset of movement and mortality...

A comparative phylogenomic analysis of birds reveals heterogeneous differentiation processes among Neotropical Savannas

Cássia Alves Lima-Rezende, Gustavo S. Cabanne, Amanda Vaz Rocha, Martin Carboni, Robert M. Zink & Renato Caparroz
The main objective of this study is to evaluate biogeographic hypotheses of diversification and connection between isolated savannas north (Amazonian savannas) and south (Cerrado core) of the Amazon River. To achieve our goal, we employed genomic markers (genotyping by sequencing) to evaluate the genetic structure, population phylogenetic relationships, and historical range shifts of four Neotropical passerines with peri-Atlantic distributions: the Narrow-billed Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes angustirostris), the Plain-crested Elaenia (Elaenia cristata), the Grassland Sparrow (Ammodramus humeralis), and...

Pea aphid winged and wingless males exhibit reproductive, gene expression, and lipid metabolism differences

Omid Saleh Ziabari, Qingyi Zhong, Swapna Purandare, Joel Reiter, Anthony Zera & Jennifer Brisson
Alternative, intraspecific phenotypes offer an opportunity to identify the mechanistic basis of differences associated with distinctive life-history strategies. Wing dimorphic insects, in which both flight-capable and flight-incapable individuals occur in the same population, are particularly well-studied in terms of why and how the morphs trade-off flight for reproduction. Yet despite a wealth of studies examining the differences between female morphs, little is known about male differences, which could arise from different causes than those acting...

Data from: Increased signal complexity is associated with increased mating success

Noori Choi, Matt Adams, Kasey Fowler-Finn, Elise Knowlton, Malcolm Rosenthal, Aaron Rundus, Roger Santer, Dustin Wilgers & Eileen Hebets
The evolution of complex signaling has often been explored by testing multiple functional hypotheses that vary in their underlying assumptions about how independent signal components provide selective benefits to offset the costs of their production. In the present study, we take a different approach to exploring the function of complexity per se. We test the hypothesis that increased vibratory signal complexity – based on both proportional and temporal patterning - provides selective benefits to courting...

Trophic cascades alter eco-evolutionary dynamics and body size evolution

Thomas Luhring & John DeLong
Trait evolution in predator-prey systems can feed back to the dynamics of interacting species as well as cascade to impact the dynamics of indirectly linked species (eco-evolutionary trophic cascades; EETC). A key mediator of trophic cascades is body mass, as it both strongly influences and evolves in response to predator-prey interactions. Here we use Gillespie Eco-Evolutionary Models to explore EETCs resulting from top predator loss and mediated by body mass evolution. Our four trophic level...

Using patterns in prey DNA digestion rates to quantify predator diets

Stella Uiterwaal & John DeLong
Dietary metabarcoding – the process of taxonomic identification of food species from DNA in consumer guts or feces – has been rapidly adopted by ecologists to gain insights into biocontrol, invasive species, and the structure of food webs. However, an outstanding issue with metabarcoding is the semi-quantitative nature of the data it provides: because metabarcoding is likely to produce false positives for some prey more often than for other prey, we cannot infer relative frequencies...

Phylogenomic variation at the population-species interface and assessment of gigantism in a model wolf spider genus (Lycosidae, Schizocosa)

Jason Bond, James Starrett, Ashley Bui, Rowan McGinley & Eileen Hebets
Animal body size has important evolutionary implications. The wolf spider genus Schizocosa has developed as a model for studies on courtship, with visual and vibratory signals receiving attention; however, body size has never been carefully evaluated. Although species of Schizocosa can be distinguished from their close relatives by differences in genitalic structures, male ornamentation, and behavior, some species are morphologically similar, making diagnosis, and identification difficult. Evaluation of species boundaries using genetic data across Schizocosa...

Data from: Evolution of the snake body form reveals homoplasy in amniote Hox gene function

Jason J. Head
Hox genes regulate regionalization of the axial skeleton in vertebrates, and changes in their expression have been proposed to be a fundamental mechanism driving the evolution of new body forms. The origin of the snake-like body form, with its deregionalized pre-cloacal axial skeleton, has been explained as either homogenization of Hox gene expression domains9, or retention of standard vertebrate Hox domains with alteration of downstream expression that suppresses development of distinct regions. Both models assume...

Data from: Comparative population genomics of latitudinal variation in D. simulans and D. melanogaster

Heather E. Machado, Alan O. Bergland, Emily L. Behrman, Katherine R. O'Brien, Paul S. Schmidt & Dmitri A. Petrov
Examples of clinal variation in phenotypes and genotypes across latitudinal transects have served as important models for understanding how spatially varying selection and demographic forces shape variation within species. Here we examine the selective and demographic contributions to latitudinal variation through the largest comparative genomic study to date of Drosophila simulans and D. melanogaster, with genomic sequence data from 382 individual fruit flies, collected across a spatial transect of 19 degrees latitude and at multiple...

Data from: Maize-nutrient response functions for Eastern and Southern Africa

Charles S. Wortmann, Catherine Senkoro, Athanase R. Cyamweshi, Catherine Kibunja, Davy Nkonde, Moses Munthali, Patson Nalivata, Léon N. Nabahungu, Kayuki Kaizzi & Charles Wortmann
Information is scarce for maize (Zea mays L.) response to nutrient application for many production areas in tropical Africa. Research was conducted to determine macronutrient response functions and to diagnose Mg–S–Zn–B deficiencies. Site–year × N-rate interactions within countries often accounted for little variation in yield relative to the N-rate effect. Country mean grain yield responses to N-rate were curvilinear to plateau, but linear in Malawi. Although mean yields differed, the response to N was similar...

Data from: Modification of wheat gluten for improvement of binding capacity with keratin in hair

Shukun Wang, Danyang Meng, Sisi Wang, Zhong Zhang, Ruijin Yang & Wei Zhao
In this study, enzymatic hydrolysis and cationization with epoxypropyldodecyldimethylammonium chloride of wheat protein, an economic protein complex containing great amount of disulfide bonds, were conducted to improve properties such as solubility and disassociation behaviour for recovery of damaged hair when used in shampoo. The optimal conditions for enzymatic hydrolysis were pH 8.2, 55°C with Alcalase for 60 min. After the selected hydrolysis, the degree of hydrolysis, nitrogen solubility index, foaming capacity index, foam stability index,...

Data from: Modeled and measured ecosystem respiration in maize–soybean systems over 10 years

Ming Zhan, Adam J. Liska, Anthony L. Nguy-Robertson, Andrew E. Suyker, Matthew P. Pelton & Haishun Yang
Crop residue is an abundant resource for the potential production of biofuels, but a better understanding of its use on net carbon emissions must be developed to mitigate climate change. This analysis combines two established crop growth models (Hybrid-Maize and Soysim) with a simple soil and crop residue respiration model to estimate daily ecosystem respiration (ERe) from maize and soybean; ERe was estimated to be the sum of CO2 emissions from the oxidation of the...

Data from: Extreme prescribed fire during drought reduces survival and density of woody resprouters

Dirac Twidwell, William E. Rogers, Carissa L. Wonkka, , Urs P. Kreuter & Charles A. Taylor
Management intervention in ecosystems with degraded environmental services requires innovative resource management strategies that go beyond conventional restoration and conservation practices. We established a unique study that experimentally targeted extreme fire conditions during drought in humid subtropical and semiarid ecoregions. In the southern Great Plains of North America, conventional restoration and conservation practices have been either historically ineffective or economically cost prohibitive at restoring grass-dominated ecosystems following conversion to resprouting shrublands. Our aim was to...

Data from: Field evidence challenges the often-presumed relationship between early male maturation and female-biased sexual size dimorphism

Marie-Claire Chelini & Eileen Hebets
Female‐biased sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is often considered an epiphenomenon of selection for the increased mating opportunities provided by early male maturation (i.e., protandry). Empirical evidence of the adaptive significance of protandry remains nonetheless fairly scarce. We use field data collected throughout the reproductive season of an SSD crab spider, Mecaphesa celer, to test two hypotheses: Protandry provides fitness benefits to males, leading to female‐biased SSD, or protandry is an indirect consequence of selection for...

Data from: Maternal loading of a small heat shock protein increases embryo thermal tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster

Brent L. Lockwood, Cole R. Julick & Kristi L. Montooth
Maternal investment is likely to have direct effects on offspring survival. In oviparous animals whose embryos are exposed to the external environment, maternal provisioning of molecular factors like mRNAs and proteins may help embryos cope with sudden changes in the environment. Here we sought to modify the maternal mRNA contribution to offspring embryos and test for maternal effects on acute thermal tolerance in early embryos of Drosophila melanogaster. We drove in vivo overexpression of a...

An ordinal severity scale for COVID-19 retrospective studies using electronic health record data

Maryam Khodaverdi, Bradley Price, Zachary Porterfield, Timothy Bunnell, Michael Vest, Jerrod Anzalone, Jeremy Harper, Wes Kimble, Hamidreza Moradi, Brian Hendricks, Susan Santangelo & Sally Hodder
Objectives: Although the World Health Organization (WHO) Clinical Progression Scale for COVID-19 is useful in prospective clinical trials, it cannot be effectively used with retrospective Electronic Health Record (EHR) datasets. Modifying the existing WHO Clinical Progression Scale, we developed an ordinal severity scale (OS) and assessed its usefulness in the analyses of COVID-19 patient outcomes using retrospective EHR data. Results: The data set used in this analysis consists of 2,880,456 patients. PCA of the day-to-day...

Individual or group signatures in spotted hyena whoops

Kenna Lehmann
In animal societies, identity signals mediate interactions within groups, and allow individuals to discriminate group-mates from out-group competitors. However, individual recognition becomes increasingly challenging as group size increases and as signals must be transmitted over greater distances. Group vocal signatures appear to evolve when successful in-group/out-group distinctions are at the crux of fitness-relevant decisions, but individual-based recognition systems may be favored when differentiated within-group relationships are important for decision-making. Spotted hyenas are social carnivores that...

Data from: Gene flow mediates the role of sex chromosome meiotic drive during complex speciation

Colin D. Meiklejohn, Emily L. Landeen, Kathleen E. Gordon, Thomas Rzatkiewicz, Sarah B. Kingan, Anthony J. Geneva, Jeffrey P. Vedanayagam, Christina A. Muirhead, Daniel Garrigan, David L. Stern & Daven C. Presgraves
During speciation, sex chromosomes often accumulate interspecific genetic incompatibilities faster than the rest of the genome. The drive theory posits that sex chromosomes are susceptible to recurrent bouts of meiotic drive and suppression, causing the evolutionary build-up of divergent cryptic sex-linked drive systems and, incidentally, genetic incompatibilities. To assess the role of drive during speciation, we combine high-resolution genetic mapping of X-linked hybrid male sterility with population genomics analyses of divergence and recent gene flow...

Data from: Evolutionary pressures on primate intertemporal choice

Jeffrey R. Stevens
From finding food to choosing mates, animals must make intertemporal choices that involve fitness benefits available at different times. Species vary dramatically in their willingness to wait for delayed rewards. Why does this variation across species exist? An adaptive approach to intertemporal choice suggests that time preferences should reflect the temporal problems faced in a species's environment. Here, I use phylogenetic regression to test whether allometric factors relating to body size, relative brain size and...

Data from: Plumage colouration and social context influence male investment in song

Lindsay J. Henderson, Kathleen R. Brazeal & Thomas P. Hahn
Animals use multiple signals to attract mates, including elaborate song, brightly coloured ornaments and physical displays. Female birds often prefer both elaborate male song, and intense carotenoid-based plumage colouration. This could lead less visually ornamented males to increase song production to maximize their attractiveness to females. We tested this possibility in the highly social and non-territorial house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus), in which females discriminate among males based on both song, and on the intensity of...

Data from: Genomic analysis and prediction within a US public collaborative winter wheat regional testing nursery

Trevor W. Rife, Robert A. Graybosch & Jesse A. Poland
The development of inexpensive, whole-genome profiling enables a transition to allele-based breeding using genomic prediction models. These models consider alleles shared between lines to predict phenotypes and select new lines based on estimated breeding values. This approach can leverage highly-unbalanced datasets common to breeding programs. The Southern Regional Performance Nursery (SRPN) is a public nursery established by the USDA-ARS in 1931 to characterize performance and quality of near-release wheat varieties from breeding programs in the...

Data from: On the probabilities of branch durations and stratigraphic gaps in phylogenies of fossil taxa when rates of diversification vary over time

Peter J. Wagner
The time separating the first appearances of species from their divergences from related taxa affects assessments of macroevolutionary hypotheses about rates of anatomical or ecological change. Branch durations necessarily posit stratigraphic gaps in sampling within a clade over which we have failed to sample predecessors (ancestors) and over which there are no divergences leading to sampled relatives (sister taxa). The former reflects only sampling rates whereas the latter reflects sampling, origination and extinction rates. Because...

Data from: Morphological and molecular evolution and their consequences for conservation and taxonomy in the Le Conte's Thrasher (Toxostoma lecontei)

Hernán Vázquez-Miranda, Josie A. Griffin, Jay M. Sheppard, Jordan M. Herman, Octavio Rojas-Soto & Robert M. Zink
We evaluated geographic variation and subspecific taxonomy in the Le Conte's Thrasher (Toxostoma lecontei) by analyzing DNA sequences from 16 nuclear loci, one mitochondrial DNA locus, and four study skin characters, and compared these data sets with previously published data on plumage coloration and different mtDNA genes. Morphological support for the southernmost taxon, T. l. arenicola, is relatively weak: multivariate analyses of morphometrics or back coloration do not provide diagnostic support, although one color character...

Data from: Ectoparasitism shortens the breeding season in a colonial bird

Charles R. Brown & Mary Bomberger Brown
When blood-feeding parasites increase seasonally, their deleterious effects may prevent some host species, especially those living in large groups where parasites are numerous, from reproducing later in the summer. Yet the role of parasites in regulating the length of a host's breeding season—and thus the host's opportunity for multiple brooding—has not been systematically investigated. The highly colonial cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota), a temperate-latitude migratory songbird in the western Great Plains, USA, typically has a relatively...

Data from: Binary-state speciation and extinction method is conditionally robust to realistic violations of its assumptions

Andrew G. Simpson, Peter J. Wagner, Scott L. Wing & Charles B. Fenster
Background: Phylogenetic comparative methods allow us to test evolutionary hypotheses without the benefit of an extensive fossil record. These methods, however, make simplifying assumptions, among them that clades are always increasing or stable in diversity, an assumption we know to be false. This study simulates hypothetical clades to test whether the Binary State Speciation and Extinction (BiSSE) method can be used to correctly detect relative differences in diversification rate between ancestral and derived character states...

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