111 Works

Data from: Nutrient availability controls the impact of mammalian herbivores on soil carbon and nitrogen pools in grasslands

Judith Sitters, E.R. Jasper Wubs, Elisabeth S. Bakker, Thomas W. Crowther, Peter B. Adler, Sumanta Bagchi, Jonathan D. Bakker, Lori Biederman, Elizabeth T. Borer, Elsa E. Cleland, Nico Eisenhauer, Jennifer Firn, Laureano Gherardi, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Sarah E. Hobbie, Johannes M.H. Knops, Andrew S. MacDougall, Rebecca L. McCulley, Joslin L. Moore, Brent Mortensen, Pablo L. Peri, Suzanne M. Prober, Charlotte Riggs, Anita C. Risch … &
Grasslands have been subject to considerable alteration due to human activities globally, including widespread changes in populations and composition of large mammalian herbivores and elevated supply of nutrients. Grassland soils remain important reservoirs of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). Herbivores may affect both C and N pools and these changes likely interact with increases in soil nutrient availability. Given the scale of grassland soil fluxes, such changes can have striking consequences for atmospheric C concentrations...

Contrasted histories of organelle and nuclear genomes underlying physiological diversification in a grass species

Matheus Bianconi, Luke Dunning, Emma Curran, Oriane Hidalgo, Robyn Powell, Sahr Mian, Ilia Leitch, Marjorie Lundgren, Sophie Manzi, Maria Vorontsova, Guillaume Besnard, Colin Osborne, Jill Olofsson & Pascal-Antoine Christin
C4 photosynthesis evolved multiple times independently in angiosperms, but most origins are relatively old so that the early events linked to photosynthetic diversification are blurred. The grass Alloteropsis semialata is an exception, as this species encompasses C4 and non-C4 populations. Using phylogenomics and population genomics, we infer the history of dispersal and secondary gene flow before, during, and after photosynthetic divergence in A. semialata. We further analyse the genome composition of individuals with varied ploidy...

Mapping species richness using opportunistic samples: a case study on ground-floor bryophyte species richness in the Belgian province of Limburg

Thomas Neyens, Peter Diggle, Christel Faes, Natalie Beenaerts, Tom Artois & Emanuele Giorgi
In species richness studies, citizen-science surveys where participants make individual decisions regarding sampling strategies provide a cost-effective approach to collect a large amount of data. However, it is unclear to what extent the bias inherent to opportunistically collected samples may invalidate our inferences. Here, we compare spatial predictions of forest ground-floor bryophyte species richness in Limburg (Belgium), based on crowd- and expert-sourced data, where the latter are collected by adhering to a rigorous geographical randomisation...

Data from: Nectar bacteria affect life history of a generalist aphid parasitoid by altering nectar chemistry

Marijke Lenaerts, Tim Goelen, Caro Paulussen, Beatriz Herrera-Malaver, Jan Steensels, Wim Van Den Ende, Kevin Verstrepen, Felix Wäckers, Hans Jacquemyn & Bart Lievens
1. Nectar is a crucial energy resource that strongly mediates the interactions between plants and animal pollinators or plant defenders. Previous research has shown that nectar is commonly colonized by microorganisms, most commonly bacteria and yeasts, which can have a strong impact on nectar chemistry. However, at present little is known about the effects of microorganisms on the fitness of animals feeding on nectar. 2. We used three nectar bacteria representing different metabolic groups (Asaia...

Data from: The Automated Root Exudate System (ARES): a method to apply solutes at regular intervals to soils in the field

Luis Lopez-Sangil, Charles T. George, Eduardo Medina-Barcenas, Ali J. Birkett, Catherine Baxendale, Laetitia M. Bréchet, Eduard Estradera-Gumbau, Emma J. Sayer & Charles George
1) Root exudation is a key component of nutrient and carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems. Exudation rates vary widely by plant species and environmental conditions but our understanding of how root exudates affect soil functioning is incomplete, in part because there are few viable methods to manipulate root exudates in situ. To address this, we devised the Automated Root Exudate System (ARES), which simulates increased root exudation by applying small amounts of labile solutes at...

Data from: Associational resistance or susceptibility: the indirect interaction between chemically-defended and non-defended herbivore prey via a shared predator

Christopher M. Nesbit, Rosa Menéndez, Mike R. Roberts & Andrew Wilby
Many organisms possess chemical defences against their natural enemies, which render them unpalatable or toxic when attacked or consumed. These chemically-defended organisms commonly occur in communities with non- or less-defended prey, leading to indirect interactions between prey species, mediated by natural enemies. Although the importance of enemy-mediated indirect interactions have been well documented (e.g. apparent competition), how the presence of prey chemical defences may affect predation of non-defended prey in terrestrial communities remains unclear. Here,...

Data from: Ecosystem nitrogen retention is regulated by plant community trait interactions with nutrient status in an alpine meadow

Fangping Wang, Guoxi Shi, Ostle Nicholas, Buqing Yao, Mingfei Ji, Wenying Wang, Zhen Ma, Huakun Zhou & Xinquan Zhao
1.Biotic nitrogen (N) retention is an important ecosystem function in the context of ongoing land use intensification, N deposition and global warming. However, a paucity of experimental evidence limits understanding of how different plant community components influence N retention in terrestrial ecosystems. 2.In this investigation we conducted a 15N labelling experiment to test how plant community properties, including plant species richness/diversity, dominance and functional traits, influence plant N uptake and retention under different nutrient availabilities....

Data from: Fine-scale genetic structure and helping decisions in a cooperatively breeding bird

Amy E. Leedale, Stuart P. Sharp, Michelle Simeoni, Elva J.H. Robinson, Ben J. Hatchwell & Elva J. H. Robinson
In animal societies, characteristic demographic and dispersal patterns may lead to genetic structuring of populations, generating the potential for kin selection to operate. However, even in genetically structured populations, social interactions may still require kin discrimination for cooperative behaviour to be directed towards relatives. Here, we use molecular genetics and long-term field data to investigate genetic structure in an adult population of long-tailed tits Aegithalos caudatus, a cooperative breeder in which helping occurs within extended...

Plant and soil responses to simulated summer drought in 2013 on Colt Park grassland restoration experiment

A.J. Cole, R.I. Griffiths, S.E. Ward, J. Whitaker, N.J. Ostle & R.D. Bardgett
Data comprise measurements of plant biomass and community composition, soil microbial community composition, greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon and nitrogen pools from a drought experiment superimposed on a the long-term Colt Park grassland restoration experiment in northern England. Rainfall was manipulated using rain-out shelters on experimental grassland plots where fertiliser application and seed addition have been managed to enhance plant species diversity. The scientific purpose was to test the hypothesis that management aimed at...

Derived annual statistics of rainfall, streamflow and acidity for the Nant Trawsnant catchment, Llyn Brianne, Mid Wales, UK. (1982 to 2012)

N. Chappell, T.D. Jones & C. Broderick
This dataset comprises of derived annual statistics for measures of rainfall, streamflow, temperature and stream acidity (pH) for a stream, draining a small, approximately 1.2 square kilometres, upland conifer catchment. The stream, Nant Trawsnant, drains into the Llyn Brianne reservoir, Powys, United Kingdom. The data are for a 31 year period covering 1st April 1982 to 1st April 2012. The streamflow and acidity data are derived from 15 minute resolution observations throughout the calendar year...

Ecosystem function data from Winklebury Hill, UK, in 2013

E.L. Fry, A.L. Hall, J. Savage, R.D. Bardgett, N. Ostle, R.F. Pywell & J.M. Bullock
This dataset contains nitrate and ammonium concentrations, nitrification and mineralisation rates, particle size and microbial biomass data from soils taken from an experiment based at Winklebury Hill, UK. The experiment used seeds and plug plants to create different plant communities on the bare chalk on Winklebury Hill and tested the resulting carbon and nutrient cycling rates and compared these to the characteristics of different plant functional groups. The experiment ran from 2013 to 2016 and...

Ecosystem functions and vegetation data for Winklebury Hill, Salisbury Plain, UK in 2015

E.L. Fry, A.L. Hall, J. Savage, R.D. Bardgett, N. Ostle, R.F. Pywell, J.M. Bullock & S. Oakley
This dataset contains vegetation survey data, and nitrate and ammonium concentrations, nitrification and mineralisation rates, microbial biomass and carbon and nitrogen stock data from soils taken from an experiment based at Winklebury Hill, UK. The vegetation survey comprises total species percentage cover and species richness data from four 50 cm by 50 cm quadrats. Net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange, photosynthesis and respiration data were measured with an Infra-red Gas Analyser (IRGA); methane, carbon dioxide and...

Avifauna occurrence data from a longitudinal experiment in human-modified Amazonian forests affected by the 2015-16 El Niño drought and associated fires

A. Lees, N. Moura, F.M. Franca, J.N. Ferreira, T. Gardner, E. Berenguer, L. Chesini, C. Andertti & J. Barlow
This data set includes longitudinal occurrence of bird species at 36 forest plots – half of which burned during the 2015-16 El Niño drought – distributed across a gradient of prior human disturbance in the Brazilian Amazon. Data was collected in 2010 and 2016 (around 6 years before, and one year after the 2015-16 El Niño, respectively) as part of the projects ‘Assessing ENSO-induced Fire Impacts in tropical Rainforest Ecosystems’ (AFIRE) and ‘Biodiversity and Ecosystem...

Data from: Endemic infection reduces transmission potential of an epidemic parasite during co-infection

Joanna Randall, Joanne Cable, Irina A. Guschina, John L. Harwood & Joanne Lello
Endemic, low-virulence parasitic infections are common in nature. Such infections may deplete host resources, which in turn could affect the reproduction of other parasites during co-infection. We aimed to determine whether the reproduction, and therefore transmission potential, of an epidemic parasite was limited by energy costs imposed on the host by an endemic infection. Total lipids, triacylglycerols (TAG) and polar lipids were measured in cockroaches (Blattella germanica) that were fed ad libitum, starved or infected...

Data from: Dynamics of macronutrient self-medication and illness-induced anorexia in virally-infected insects

Sonia Povey, Kenneth Wilson, Sheena C. Cotter & Stephen J. Simpson
1. Some animals change their feeding behaviour when infected with parasites, seeking out substances that enhance their ability to overcome infection. This “self-medication” is typically considered to involve the consumption of toxins, minerals or secondary compounds. However, recent studies have shown that macronutrients can influence the immune response, and that pathogen-challenged individuals can self-medicate by choosing a diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. Infected individuals might also reduce food intake when infected (i.e....

Data from: Little impact of over-winter parasitism on a free-ranging ungulate in the high Arctic

Anja Morven Carlsson, Steve D. Albon, Stephen J. Coulson, Erik Ropstad, Audun Stien, Ken Wilson, Leif Egil Loe, Vebjørn Veiberg, Robert Justin Irvine & Kenneth Wilson
1.Macroparasites have a central place in wildlife ecology because they have the potential to regulate host populations through effects on reproduction and/or survival. However, there remains a paucity of studies that have demonstrated the regulatory role of these parasites in free-ranging animals. 2.Previous work on Svalbard reindeer demonstrated that the experimental removal of the parasitic gastrointestinal nematode Ostertagia gruehneri transmitted in summer, improved reindeer fecundity, and that the species was capable of mediating a density-dependent...

Data from: Mass extinctions over the last 500 myr: an astronomical cause?

Anatoly D. Erlykin, David A. T. Harper, Terry Sloan & Arnold W. Wolfendale
A Fourier analysis of the magnitudes and timing of the Phanerozoic mass extinctions (MEs) demonstrates that many of the periodicities claimed in other analyses are not statistically significant. Moreover we show that the periodicities associated with oscillations of the Solar System about the galactic plane are too irregular to give narrow peaks in the Fourier periodograms. This leads us to conclude that, apart from possibly a small number of major events, astronomical causes for MEs...

Data from: Plant, soil and microbial controls on grassland diversity restoration: a long-term, multi-site mesocosm experiment

Ellen L. Fry, Emma S. Pilgrim, Jerry R.B. Tallowin, Roger S. Smith, Simon R. Mortimer, Deborah A. Beaumont, Janet Simkin, Stephanie J. Harris, Robert S. Shiel, Helen Quirk, Kate A. Harrison, Clare S. Lawson, Phil A. Hobbs & Richard D. Bardgett
The success of grassland biodiversity restoration schemes is determined by many factors; as such their outcomes can be unpredictable. There is a need for improved understanding of the relative importance of belowground factors to restoration success, such as contrasting soil type and management intensities, as well as plant community composition and order of assembly. We carried out an eight-year mesocosm experiment across three locations in the UK to explore the relative and interactive roles of...

Data from: The value of trophic interactions for ecosystem function: dung beetle communities influence seed burial and seedling recruitment in tropical forests

Hannah M. Griffiths, Richard D. Bardgett, Julio Louzada & Jos Barlow
Anthropogenic activities are causing species extinctions, raising concerns about the consequences of changing biological communities for ecosystem functioning. To address this, we investigated how dung beetle communities influence seed burial and seedling recruitment in the Brazilian Amazon. First, we conducted a burial and retrieval experiment using seed mimics. We found that dung beetle biomass had a stronger positive effect on the burial of large than small beads, suggesting that anthropogenic reductions in large-bodied beetles will...

Data from: Mesoclosures – increasing realism in mesocosm studies of ecosystem functioning

Saija Lähteenmäki, Eleanor M. Slade, Bess Hardwick, Gustavo Schiffler, Júlio Louzada, Jos Barlow & Tomas Roslin
1. Experimental studies linking community composition to functioning are typically confined to small and closed micro- or mesocosms. Such restricted conditions may affect both species’ biology and their environment. Yet, targeting simple features in the behaviour of species may circumvent these constraints. Focusing on ecological functions provided by dung beetles, we test whether large, open-top cages – MESOCLOSURES – will intercept the flight trajectories of beetles, thereby allowing manipulation of local community composition. 2. MESOCLOSURES...

Data from: Transgenerational effects modulate density-dependent prophylactic resistance to viral infection in a lepidopteran pest

Kenneth Wilson & Robert I. Graham
There is an increasing appreciation of the importance of transgenerational effects on offspring fitness, including in relation to immune function and disease resistance. Here, we assess the impact of parental rearing density on offspring resistance to viral challenge in an insect species expressing density-dependent prophylaxis (DDP); i.e. the adaptive increase in resistance or tolerance to pathogen infection in response to crowding. We quantified survival rates in larvae of the cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis) from either...

Data from: On potential ocular artefacts in infant electroencephalogram: a reply to comments by Köster

Dora Kampis, Eugenio Parise, Gergely Csibra & Ágnes M. Kovács
Dataset for Kampis, Parise, Csibra, & Kovacs (2016)EEG Dataset for article "On potential ocular artifacts in infant EEG: A reply to comments by Köster"dataset_reply_to_comment_procb_kampisetal.xls

A large-scale assessment of plant dispersal mode and seed traits across human-modified Amazonian forests

Joseph Hawes, Ima Vieira, Luiz Magnago, Erika Berenguer, Joice Ferreira, Luiz Aragão, Amanda Cardoso, Alexander Lees, Gareth Lennox, Joseph Tobias, Anthony Waldron & Jos Barlow
1. Quantifying the impact of habitat disturbance on ecosystem function is critical for understanding and predicting the future of tropical forests. Many studies have examined post-disturbance changes in animal traits related to mutualistic interactions with plants, but the effect of disturbance on plant traits in diverse forests has received much less attention. 2. Focusing on two study regions in the eastern Brazilian Amazon, we used a trait-based approach to examine how seed dispersal functionality within...

Data from: Relationships between plant traits, soil properties and carbon fluxes differ between monocultures and mixed communities in temperate grassland

Jonathan R. De Long, Benjamin G. Jackson, Anna Wilkinson, William J. Pritchard, Simon Oakley, Kelly E. Mason, Jörg G. Stephan, Nicholas J. Ostle, David Johnson, Elizabeth M. Baggs & Richard D. Bardgett
1. The use of plant traits to predict ecosystem functions has been gaining growing attention. Aboveground plant traits, such as leaf nitrogen (N) content and specific leaf area (SLA), have been shown to strongly relate to ecosystem productivity, respiration, and nutrient cycling. Further, increasing plant functional trait diversity has been suggested as a possible mechanism to increase ecosystem carbon (C) storage. However, it is uncertain whether belowground plant traits can be predicted by aboveground traits,...

Spatial scaling properties of coral reef benthic communities

Helen Ford, Jamison Gove, Andrew Davies, Nicholas Graham, John Healey, Eric Conklin & Gareth Williams
The spatial structure of ecological communities on tropical coral reefs across seascapes and geographies have historically been poorly understood. Here we addressed this for the first time using spatially expansive and thematically resolved benthic community data collected around five uninhabited central Pacific oceanic islands, spanning 6° latitude and 17° longitude. Using towed-diver digital image surveys over ~140 linear km of shallow (8 – 20 m depth) tropical reef, we highlight the autocorrelated nature of coral...

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  • Lancaster University
  • Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
  • University of Manchester
  • UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • University of Pretoria
  • Federal University of Lavras
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Guelph