73 Works

Data from: How climate extremes—not means—define a species' geographic range boundary via a demographic tipping point

Heather J. Lynch, Marc Rhainds, Justin M. Calabrese, Stephen Cantrell, Chris Cosner & William F. Fagan
Species’ geographic range limits interest biologists and resource managers alike; however, scientists lack strong mechanistic understanding of the factors that set geographic range limits in the field, especially for animals. There exists a clear need for detailed case studies that link mechanisms to spatial dynamics and boundaries because such mechanisms allow us to predict whether climate change is likely to change a species’ geographic range and, if so, how abundance in marginal populations compares to...

Assessing changes in genomic divergence following a century of human mediated secondary contact among wild and captive-bred ducks

Philip Lavretsky, Nancy Rotzel McInerney, Jonathon Mohl, Joshua Brown, Helen James, Kevin McCracken & Robert Fleischer
Along with manipulating habitat, the direct release of domesticated individuals into the wild is a practice used world-wide to augment wildlife populations. We test between possible outcomes of human-mediated secondary contact using genomic techniques at both historical and contemporary time scales for two iconic duck species. First, we sequence several thousand ddRAD-seq loci for contemporary mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) throughout North America, and two domestic mallard-types (i.e., known game-farm mallards and feral Khaki Campbell’s). We show...

Data from: Parallel evolution of gene classes, but not genes: evidence from Hawai’ian honeycreeper populations exposed to avian malaria

Loren Cassin-Sackett, Taylor E. Callicrate & Robert C. Fleischer
Adaptation in nature is ubiquitous, yet characterizing its genomic basis is difficult because population demographics cause correlations with non-adaptive loci. Introduction events provide opportunities to observe adaptation over known spatial and temporal scales, facilitating the identification of genes involved in adaptation. The pathogen causing avian malaria, Plasmodium relictum, was introduced to Hawai’i in the 1930s and elicited extinctions and precipitous population declines in native honeycreepers. After a sharp initial population decline, the Hawai’i ‘amakihi (Chlorodrepanis...

Data from: Detecting slow introgression of invasive alleles in an extensively restocked game bird

Ines Sanchez-Donoso, Jisca Huisman, Jorge Echegaray, Manel Puigcerver, José Domingo Rodríguez-Teijeiro, Frank Hailer & Carles Vilà
Interbreeding of two species in the wild implies introgression of alleles from one species into the other only when admixed individuals survive and successfully backcross with the parental species. Consequently, estimating the proportion of first generation hybrids in a population may not inform about the evolutionary impact of hybridization. Samples obtained over a long time span may offer a more accurate view of the spreading of introgressed alleles in a species’ gene pool. Common quail...

Data from: Measures of effective population size in sea otters reveal special considerations for wide-ranging species

Roderick B. Gagne, M. Timothy Tinker, Kyle D. Gustafson, Katherine Ralls, Larson Shawn, L. Max Tarjan, Melissa A. Miller & Holly B. Ernest
Conservation genetic techniques and considerations of the evolutionary potential of a species are increasingly being applied to species conservation. For example, effective population size (Ne) estimates are useful for determining the conservation status of species, yet accurate estimates of current Ne remain difficult to obtain. The effective population size can contribute to setting federal delisting criteria, as was done for the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). After being hunted to near extinction during the...

Data from: Two-species occupancy modeling accounting for species misidentification and nondetection

Thierry Chambert, Evan H. Campbell Grant, David A. W. Miller, James D. Nichols, Kevin P. Mulder & Adrianne B. Brand
1.In occupancy studies, species misidentification can lead to false positive detections, which can cause severe estimator biases. Currently, all models that account for false positive errors only consider omnibus sources of false detections and are limited to single species occupancy. 2.However, false detections for a given species often occur because of the misidentification with another, closely-related species. To exploit this explicit source of false positive detection error, we develop a two-species occupancy model that accounts...

Data from: Drivers of site fidelity in ungulates

Thomas Morrison, Jerod Merkel, J. Grant Hopcraft, Ellen Aikens, Jeffrey Beck, Randall Boone, Alyson Courtemanch, Samantha Dwinnell, Sue Fairbanks, Brad Griffith, Arthur Middleton, Kevin Monteith, Brendan Oates, Louise Riotte-Lambert, Hall Sawyer, Kurt Smith, Jared Stabach, Kaitlyn Taylor & Matthew Kauffman
While the tendency to return to previously visited locations – termed ‘site fidelity’ – is common in animals, the cause of this behaviour is not well understood. One hypothesis is that site fidelity is shaped by an animal’s environment, such that animals living in landscapes with predictable resources have stronger site fidelity. Site fidelity may also be conditional on the success of animals’ recent visits to that location, and it may become stronger with age...

Data from: Islands within an island: repeated adaptive divergence in a single population

Kathryn M. Langin, T. Scott Sillett, W. Chris Funk, Scott A. Morrison, Michelle A. Desrosiers & Cameron K. Ghalambor
Physical barriers to gene flow were once viewed as prerequisites for adaptive evolutionary divergence. However, a growing body of theoretical and empirical work suggests that divergence can proceed within a single population. Here we document genetic structure and spatially-replicated patterns of phenotypic divergence within a bird species endemic to 250 km2 Santa Cruz Island, California, USA. Island scrub-jays (Aphelocoma insularis) in three separate stands of pine habitat had longer, shallower bills than jays in oak...

Data from: A comparative assessment of SNP and microsatellite markers for assigning parentage in a socially monogamous bird

Sara Kaiser, Scott A. Taylor, Nancy Chen, Scott Sillett, Eliana R. Bondra, Michael Webster, Sara A. Kaiser & T. Scott Sillett
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are preferred over microsatellite markers in many evolutionary studies, but have only recently been applied to studies of parentage. Evaluations of SNPs and microsatellites for assigning parentage have mostly focused on special cases that require a relatively large number of heterozygous loci, such as species with low genetic diversity or with complex social structures. We developed 120 SNP markers from a transcriptome assembled using RNA-sequencing of a songbird with the most common...

Data from: Mitogenomes and relatedness do not predict frequency of tool-use by sea otters

Kathy Ralls, Nancy Rotzel McInerney, Roderick B. Gagne, Holly B. Ernest, M. Tim Tinker, Jessica Fujii, Jesus Maldonado & Katherine Ralls
Many ecological aspects of tool-use in sea otters are similar to those in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Within an area, most tool-using dolphins share a single mitochondrial haplotype and are more related to each other than to the population as a whole. We asked whether sea otters in California showed similar genetic patterns by sequencing mitogenomes of 43 otters and genotyping 154 otters at 38 microsatellite loci. There were six variable sites in the mitogenome that...

Data from: The impact of even-aged and uneven-aged forest management on regional biodiversity of multiple taxa in European beech forests

Peter Schall, Martin M. Gossner, Steffi Heinrichs, Markus Fischer, Steffen Boch, Daniel Prati, Kirsten Jung, Vanessa Baumgartner, Stefan Blaser, Stefan Böhm, Francois Buscot, Rolf Daniel, Kezia Goldmann, Kirstin Kaiser, Tiemo Kahl, Markus Lange, Jörg Müller, Jörg Overmann, Swen C. Renner, Ernst-Detlef Schulze, Johannes Sikorski, Marco Tschapka, Manfred Türke, Wolfgang W. Weisser, Bernd Wemheuer … & Kristin Kaiser
For managed temperate forests, conservationists and policymakers favour fine-grained uneven-aged management over more traditional coarse-grained even-aged management, based on the assumption that within-stand habitat heterogeneity enhances biodiversity. There is, however, little empirical evidence to support this assumption. We investigated for the first time how differently grained forest management systems affect the biodiversity of multiple above- and below-ground taxa across spatial scales. We sampled 15 taxa of animals, plants, fungi and bacteria within the largest contiguous...

Cattle and wild vertebrate habitat use in a long-term exclosure experiment

Harry Wells
1. Cattle and other livestock graze more than a quarter of the world’s terrestrial area and are widely regarded to be drivers of global biodiversity declines. Studies often compare the effects of livestock presence/absence but, to our knowledge, no studies have tested for interactive effects between large wild herbivores and livestock at varying stocking rates on small-bodied wild vertebrates. 2. We investigated the effects of cattle stocking rates (none/moderate/high) on the diversity of wildlife 0.05-1000...

Correcting parentage relationships in the endangered California condor: Improving mean kinship estimates for conservation management

Brigid M. Moran, Steven M. Thomas, Jessica M. Judson, Asako Navarro, Heidi Davis, Lindsay Sidak-Loftis, Marisa Korody, Michael Mace, Katherine Ralls, Taylor Callicrate, Oliver A. Ryder, Leona G. Chemnick & Cynthia C. Steiner
Maintaining the existing biodiversity of endangered species is a goal of conservation management programs, and a major component of many collaborative efforts undertaken by zoos, field biologists, and conservation scientists. Over the past three decades, the San Diego Zoo has performed long-term genetic studies in support of the recovery program for the critically endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus). This work has included sex determination of hatchlings and parentage confirmation using microsatellite genotyping. This paper describes...

Data from: Cryptic phylogeographic history sheds light on the generation of species diversity in sky-island mountains

Kai He, Eliécer E. Gutiérrez, Neander M. Heming, Klaus-Peter Koepfli, Tao Wan, Shuiwang He, Jin Wei, Shao-Ying Liu & Xue-Long Jiang
Biodiversity hotspots should be given high priority for conservation under the situation of global climate change. The sky islands in southwestern China are characterized by extraordinarily high species diversity and are among one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots. However, neither the actual species diversity in this region or mechanisms generating this diversity are well explored. Here, we report on the phylogeographic analysis of the long-tailed mole (Scaptonyx fusicaudus), a semi-fossorial mammal that inhabits the...

Data from: Vertical sexual habitat segregation in a wintering migratory songbird

Nathan Cooper, Mark Thomas & Peter Marra
Sexual habitat segregation during the wintering period is a widespread phenomenon and has important implications for the ecology and conservation of migratory birds. We studied Black-and-white Warblers (Mniotilta varia) wintering in second-growth scrub and old-growth mangrove forest in Jamaica to quantify sexual habitat segregation and explore whether patterns of habitat occupation have consequences on physical condition. We then used this information along with a body size analysis and simulated territorial intrusions to assess whether behavioral...

Data from: Metabarcoding reveals diet diversity in an ungulate community in Thailand

William McShea, David Erickson, Dusit Ngoprasert, Ronglarp Sukmasuang, Naris Bhumpakphan, Valentine Herrmann & Stuart Davies
Asian dry forests contain diverse and abundant large herbivore communities whose diet breadth is largely unstudied. We examined the diet composition of eight ungulate species in a dry tropical forest using metabarcoding to determine if the diet separation of the diverse community was structured and if and obvious attributes (i.e. body size, phylogeny or ecology) can explain the structure. We collected fecal samples from the ungulates in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in the western...

Data from: Size-related scaling of tree form and function in a mixed-age forest

Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira, Jennifer C. McGarvey, Helene C. Muller-Landau, Janice Y. Park, Erika B. Gonzalez-Akre, Valentine Herrmann, Amy C. Bennett, Christopher V. So, Norman A. Bourg, Jonathan R. Thompson, Sean M. McMahon & William J. McShea
Many morphological, physiological and ecological traits of trees scale with diameter, shaping the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Understanding the mechanistic basis for such scaling relationships is key to understanding forests globally and their role in Earth's changing climate system. Here, we evaluate theoretical predictions for the scaling of nine variables in a mixed-age temperate deciduous forest (CTFS-ForestGEO forest dynamics plot at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Virginia, USA) and compare observed scaling parameters...

Data from: In-solution hybridization for mammalian mitogenome enrichment: pros, cons and challenges associated with multiplexing degraded DNA

Melissa T. R. Hawkins, Courtney A. Hofman, Taylor Callicrate, Molly M. McDonough, Mirian T. N. Tsuchiya, Eliécer E. Gutierrez, Kristofer M. Helgen & Jesús E. Maldonado
Here, we present a set of RNA-based probes for whole mitochondrial genome in-solution enrichment, targeting a diversity of mammalian mitogenomes. This probes set was designed from seven mammalian orders and tested to determine the utility for enriching degraded DNA. We generated 63 mitogenomes representing five orders and 22 genera of mammals that yielded varying coverage ranging from 0 to >5400X. Based on a threshold of 70% mitogenome recovery and at least 10× average coverage, 32...

Data from: Breeding timed to maximize reproductive success for a migratory songbird: the importance of phenological asynchrony

Nina K. Lany, Matthew P. Ayres, Erik E. Stange, T. Scott Sillett, Nicholas L. Rodenhouse & Richard T. Holmes
Phenological advances and trophic mismatches are frequently reported ecological consequences of climate warming. Trophic mismatches occur when phenological responses to environmental conditions differ among trophic levels such that the timing of resource demand by consumers becomes decoupled from supply. We used 25 years of demographic measurements of a migratory songbird (the black-throated blue warbler Setophaga caerulescens) to compare its breeding phenology to the phenology of both its caterpillar prey and the foliage on which caterpillars...

Data from: Climate, demography, and lek stability in an Amazonian bird

Thomas B. Ryder & T. Scott Sillett
Lekking is a rare, but iconic mating system where polygynous males aggregate and perform group displays to attract females. Existing theory postulates that demographic and environmental stability are required for lekking to be an evolutionarily viable reproductive strategy. However, we lack empirical tests for the hypotheses that lek stability is facilitated by age-specific variation in demographic rates, and by predictable, abundant resources. To address this knowledge gap, we use multistate models to examine how two...

Data from: Characterizing selection in black-throated blue warblers using a sexual network approach

Emily R.A. Cramer, Sara A. Kaiser, Michael S. Webster, T. Scott Sillett, T. Brandt Ryder, E. R. A. Cramer, T.S. Sillett & T.B. Ryder
Our understanding of trait evolution is built upon studies that examine the correlation between traits and fitness, most of which implicitly assume all individuals experience similar selective environments. However, accounting for differences in selective pressures, such as variation in the social environment, can advance our understanding of how selection shapes individual traits and subsequent fitness. In this study, we test whether variation in the social environment affects selection on individual phenotype. We apply a new...

Data from: Coupled range dynamics of brood parasites and their hosts responding to climate and vegetation changes

Guillaume Péron, Res Altwegg, Gabriel A. Jamie & Claire N. Spottiswoode
As populations shift their ranges in response to global change, local species assemblages can change, setting the stage for new ecological interactions, community equilibria, and evolutionary responses. Here we focus on the range dynamics of four avian brood parasite species and their hosts in southern Africa, in a context of bush encroachment (increase in woody vegetation density in places previously occupied by savanna-grassland mosaics) favouring some species at the expense of others. We first tested...

Data from: How bees deter elephants: beehive trials with forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) in Gabon

Steeve Ngama, Lisa Korte, Jérôme Bindelle, Cédric Vermeulen & John R. Poulsen
In Gabon, like elsewhere in Africa, crops are often sources of conflict between humans and wildlife. Wildlife damage to crops can drastically reduce income, amplifying poverty and creating a negative perception of wild animal conservation among rural people. In this context, crop-raiding animals like elephants quickly become “problem animals”. To deter elephants from raiding crops beehives have been successfully employed in East Africa; however, this method has not yet been tested in Central Africa. We...

Data from: Maintenance of genetic diversity in an introduced island population of Guanacos after seven decades and two severe demographic bottlenecks: implications for camelid conservation

Benito A. González, Pablo Orozco-TerWengel, Rainer Von Borries, Warren E. Johnson, William L. Franklin & Juan C. Marín
Fifteen Guanacos were introduced to Staats Island in Falklands/Malvinas archipelago from Patagonia in the 1930s. After introduction, the Guanaco population increased to almost 400 animals that retained a footprint of the founding effect and bottleneck reflected in the genetic status of this isolated population. The goals of this study were to (i) make a genetic assessment of this island population through comparisons with mainland populations and simulation, and (ii) assess the likely source population of...

Data from: Correcting for missing and irregular data in home-range estimation

Christen H. Fleming, Daniel Sheldon, William F. Fagan, Peter Leimgruber, Thomas Mueller, Dejid Nandintsetseg, Michael J. Noonan, Kirk A. Olson, Edy Setyawan, Abraham Sianipar & Justin M. Calabrese
Home-range estimation is an important application of animal tracking data that is frequently complicated by autocorrelation, sampling irregularity, and small effective sample sizes. We introduce a novel, optimal weighting method that accounts for temporal sampling bias in autocorrelated tracking data. This method corrects for irregular and missing data, such that oversampled times are downweighted and undersampled times are upweighted to minimize error in the home-range estimate. We also introduce computationally efficient algorithms that make this...

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