12 Works

A new method to reconstruct quantitative food webs and nutrient flows from isotope tracer addition experiments

Andres Lopez-Sepulcre, Matthieu Bruneaux, Sarah Michelle Collins, Rana El-Sabaawi, Alexander S Flecker & Steven A Thomas
Understanding how nutrients flow through food webs is central in ecosystem ecology. Tracer addition experiments are powerful tools to reconstruct nutrient flows by adding an isotopically enriched element into an ecosystem, and tracking its fate through time. Historically, the design and analysis of tracer studies have varied widely, ranging from descriptive studies to modeling approaches of varying complexity. Increasingly, isotope tracer data is being used being used to compare ecosystems and analyze experimental manipulations. Currently,...

Data from: A high-throughput method to quantify feeding rates in aquatic organisms: A case study with Daphnia

Jessica Hite, Alaina Pfenning-Butterworth, Rachel Vetter & Clayton Cressler
Food ingestion is one of the most basic features of all organisms. However, obtaining precise — and high-throughput — estimates of feeding rates remains challenging, particularly for small, aquatic herbivores such as zooplankton, snails, and tadpoles. These animals typically consume low volumes of food that are time consuming to accurately measure. We extend a standard high-throughput fluorometry technique, which uses a microplate reader and 96-well plates, as a practical tool for studies in ecology, evolution,...

Sister-Species Diverge in Modality-Specific Courtship Signal Form and Function

Eileen Hebets, Rowan McGinley, Mitch Bern, Andrew Roberts, Arik Kershenbaum, James Starrett & Jason Bond
Understanding the relative importance of different sources of selection (e.g. the environment, social/sexual selection) on the divergence or convergence of reproductive communication can shed light on the origin, maintenance, or even disappearance of species boundaries. Using a multi-step approach, we tested the hypothesis that two presumed sister-species of wolf spider with overlapping ranges and microhabitat use, yet differing degrees of sexual dimorphism, have diverged in their reliance on modality-specific courtship signaling. We predicted that male...

Data from: Are capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.) sensitive to lost opportunities? The role of opportunity costs in intertemporal choice

Elsa Addessi, Valeria Tierno, Valentina Focaroli, Federica Rossi, Serena Gastaldi, Francesca De Petrillo, Fabio Paglieri & Jeffrey Stevens
Principles of economics predict that the costs associated with obtaining rewards can influence choice. When individuals face choices between a smaller, immediate option and a larger, later option, they often experience opportunity costs associated with waiting for delayed rewards because they must forego the opportunity to make other choices. We evaluated how reducing opportunity costs affects delay tolerance in capuchin monkeys. After choosing the larger option, in the High cost condition subjects had to wait...

Phenotypic divergence in two sibling species of shorebird: Common Snipe and Wilson's Snipe (Charadriiformes: Scolopacidae)

Tiago M Rodrigues, Edward Miller, Sergei V Drovetski, Robert M Zink, Jon Fjeldså & David Gonçalves
Natural selection and social selection are among the main shapers of biological diversity, but their relative importance in divergence remains understudied. Additionally, although neutral evolutionary processes may promote phenotypic divergence, their potential contribution in speciation is often overlooked in studies of comparative morphology. In this study, we investigated phenotypic differentiation in two allopatric shorebirds: the Palearctic Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago and the Nearctic Wilson’s Snipe G. delicata. Specimens of Common Snipe (n = 355 skins,...

Genome-wide association mapping to identify genetic loci for cold tolerance and cold recovery during germination in rice

Michael Thomson, Ranjita Thapa & Endang Septiningsih
To investigate the genetic architecture underlying cold tolerance during germination in rice (Oryza sativa), we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using a novel diversity panel of 257 rice accessions from around the world and 5,185 SNP markers from a 7K SNP marker array. Genotyping was performed using a 7K Illumina iSelect custom-designed array by following the Infinium HD Array Ultra Protocol. The 7K array, called the C7AIR, was designed by Dr. Susan McCouch’s Lab...

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...

Moving Mentorship to Opportunity for Women University Presidents

Tania Carlson Reis & Marilyn L. Grady
Women remain underrepresented in U.S. university presidential positions. Mentorship is a tool used to support women in gaining access to the position. In this qualitative study, eight U.S. women university presidents of public doctoral granting universities were interviewed about their mentorship experiences. Interviews were then coded and analyzed to understand the mentorship construct. Findings from the data show an interconnection between mentorship, informal relationships, and opportunity. Participants also gained greater support from male mentors versus...

Juvenile rank acquisition is associated with fitness independent of adult rank

Eli Strauss, Shizuka Daizaburo & Holekamp Kay
Social rank has been identified as a significant determinant of fitness in a variety of species. The importance of social rank suggests that the process by which juveniles come to establish their position in the social hierarchy is a critical component of development. Here, we use the highly predictable process of rank acquisition in spotted hyenas to study the consequences of variation in rank acquisition in early life. In spotted hyenas, rank is ‘inherited’ through...

Data from: Changes in the diet and body size of a small herbivorous mammal (Sigmodon hispidus, hispid cotton rat) following the Late Pleistocene megafauna extinction

Catalina P. Tome, Emma A. Elliott Smith, S. Kathleen Lyons, Seth D. Newsome & Felisa A. Smith
The catastrophic loss of large-bodied mammals during the terminal Pleistocene likely led to cascading effects within communities. While the extinction of the top consumers probably expanded the resources available to survivors of all body sizes, little work has focused on the responses of the smallest mammals. Here, we use a detailed fossil record from the southwestern United States to examine the response of the hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) to biodiversity loss and climatic change...

Coordinated changes across the O2 transport pathway underlie adaptive increases in thermogenic capacity in high-altitude deer mice

Graham Scott, Kevin Tate, Oliver Wearing, Catherine Ivy, Zachary Cheviron, Jay Storz & Grant McClelland
Animals native to the hypoxic and cold environment at high altitude provide an excellent opportunity to elucidate the integrative mechanisms underlying the adaptive evolution of complex traits. The capacity for aerobic thermogenesis can be a critical determinant of survival for small mammals at high altitude, but the physiological mechanisms underlying the evolution of thermogenic capacity remain unresolved. We examined this issue by comparing high-altitude deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) to low-altitude deer mice and white-footed mice...

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