The wings of many insect species including crane flies and damselflies are petiolate (on stalks), with the wing planform beginning some distance away from the wing hinge, rather than at the hinge. The aerodynamic impact of flapping petiolate wings is relatively unknown, particularly on the formation of the lift-augmenting leading-edge vortex (LEV): a key flow structure exploited by many insects, birds and bats to enhance their lift coefficient. We investigated the aerodynamic implications of petiolation...
Duck populations are considered to be a reservoir of Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus H5N1 in some agricultural production systems, as they are able to shed the virus for several days without clinical signs. Countries endemically affected with HPAI in Asia are characterised by production systems where ducks are fed on post-harvest spilled rice. During this scavenging process it is common for ducks to come into contact with other duck flocks or wild birds,...
Data from: A tilt after-effect for images of buildings: evidence of selectivity for the orientation of everyday scenesAhamed Miflah Hussain Ismail, Joshua A. Solomon, Miles Hansard & Isabelle Mareschal
The tilt after-effect (TAE) is thought to be a manifestation of gain control in mechanisms selective for spatial orientation in visual stimuli. It has been demonstrated with luminance-defined stripes, contrast-defined stripes, orientation-defined stripes and even with natural images. Of course, all images can be decomposed into a sum of stripes, so it should not be surprising to find a TAE when adapting and test images contain stripes that differ by 15° or so. We show...
Data from: The predictability and magnitude of life-history divergence to ecological agents of selection: a meta-analysis in livebearing fishesMichael Moore, Rüdiger Riesch, Ryan A. Martin & Michael P. Moore
Environments causing variation in age-specific mortality – ecological agents of selection – mediate the evolution of reproductive life-history traits. However, the relative magnitude of life-history divergence across selective agents, whether divergence in response to specific selective agents is consistent across taxa and whether it occurs as predicted by theory, remains largely unexplored. We evaluated divergence in offspring size, offspring number, and the trade-off between these traits using a meta-analysis in livebearing fishes (Poeciliidae). Life-history divergence...
The colossal size and body plan of sauropod dinosaurs are unparalleled in terrestrial vertebrates. However, to date, there have been only limited attempts to examine temporal and phylogenetic patterns in the sauropod bauplan. Here, we combine three-dimensional computational models with phylogenetic reconstructions to quantify the evolution of whole-body shape and body segment properties across the sauropod radiation. Limitations associated with the absence of soft tissue preservation in fossils result in large error bars about mean...
Data from: Unidirectional diploid–tetraploid introgression among British birch trees with shifting ranges shown by restriction site-associated markersJasmin Zohren, Nian Wang, Igor Kardailsky, James S. Borrell, Anika Joecker, Richard A. Nichols & Richard J. A. Buggs
Hybridization may lead to introgression of genes among species. Introgression may be bidirectional or unidirectional, depending on factors such as the demography of the hybridizing species, or the nature of reproductive barriers between them. Previous microsatellite studies suggested bidirectional introgression between diploid Betula nana (dwarf birch) and tetraploid B. pubescens (downy birch) and also between B. pubescens and diploid B. pendula (silver birch) in Britain. Here, we analyse introgression among these species using 51 237...
Data from: Reconstructing the emergence of a lethal infectious disease of wildlife supports a key role for spread through translocations by humansStephen J. Price, Trenton W.J. Garner, Andrew A. Cunningham, Tom E.S. Langton & Richard A. Nichols
There have been few reconstructions of wildlife disease emergences, despite their extensive impact on biodiversity and human health. This is in large part attributable to the lack of structured and robust spatio-temporal datasets. We overcame logistical problems of obtaining suitable information by using data from a citizen science project and formulating spatio-temporal models of the spread of a wildlife pathogen (genus Ranavirus, infecting amphibians). We evaluated three main hypotheses for the rapid increase in disease...
Pesticide exposure has been implicated as a contributor to insect pollinator declines. In social bees, which are crucial pollination service providers, the effect of low-level chronic exposure is typically non-lethal leading researchers to consider whether exposure induces sublethal effects on behaviour and whether such impairment can affect colony development. Studies under laboratory conditions can control levels of pesticide exposure and elucidate causative effects, but are often criticized for being unrealistic. In contrast, field studies can...
Evaluating landscape connectivity and identifying and protecting corridors for animal movement have become central challenges in applied ecology and conservation. Currently, resource selection analyses are widely used to focus corridor planning where animal movement is predicted to occur. An animal's behavioural state (e.g. foraging, dispersing) is a significant determinant of resource selection patterns, yet has largely been ignored in connectivity assessments. We review 16 years of connectivity studies employing resource selection analysis to evaluate how...
Data from: Copy-when-uncertain: bumblebees rely on social information when rewards are highly variableMarco Smolla, Sylvain Alem, Lars Chittka & Susanne Shultz
To understand the relative benefits of social and personal information use in foraging decisions, we developed an agent-based model of social learning that predicts social information should be more adaptive where resources are highly variable and personal information where resources vary little. We tested our predictions with bumblebees and found that foragers relied more on social information when resources were variable than when they were not. We then investigated whether socially salient cues are used...
Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) have contributed significantly to the current biodiversity crisis, leading to widespread epidemics and population loss. Owing to genetic variation in pathogen virulence, a complete understanding of species decline requires the accurate identification and characterization of EIDs. We explore this issue in the Western honeybee, where increasing mortality of populations in the Northern Hemisphere has caused major concern. Specifically, we investigate the importance of genetic identity of the main suspect in mortality,...
University of London11
Queen Mary University of London4
University of Manchester2
Imperial College London2
Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology1
Queen's University Belfast1
University of Queensland1
University of California, Berkeley1
University of Melbourne1
German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research1