A major challenge in network ecology is to describe the full-range of species interactions in a community to create highly-resolved food-webs. We developed a molecular approach based on DNA full barcoding and mini-barcoding to describe difficult to observe plant – leaf miner – parasitoid interactions, consisting of animals commonly regarded as agricultural pests and their natural enemies. We tested the ability of universal primers to amplify the remaining DNA inside leaf miner mines after the...
Data from: 'Selfish herds' of guppies follow complex rather than simple rules when information is not limitedHelen S. Kimbell & Lesley J. Morrell
Under the threat of predation, animals can decrease their level of risk by moving towards other individuals to form compact groups. A significant body of theoretical work has proposed multiple movement rules, varying in complexity, which might underlie this process of aggregation. However, if and how animals use these rules to form compact groups is still not well understood, and how environmental factors affect the use of these rules even less so. Here, we evaluate...
1. Bee populations and other pollinators face multiple, synergistically acting threats, which have led to population declines, loss of local species richness and pollination services, and extinctions. However, our understanding of the degree, distribution and causes of declines is patchy, in part due to inadequate monitoring systems, with the challenge of taxonomic identification posing a major logistical barrier. Pollinator conservation would benefit from a high-throughput identification pipeline. 2. We show that the metagenomic mining and...
In butterflies, bees, flies and true bugs specific mouthparts are in close contact or even fused to enable piercing, sucking or sponging of particular food sources. The common phenomenon behind these mouthpart types is a complex composed of several consecutive mouthparts which structurally interact during food uptake. The single mouthparts are thus only functional in conjunction with other adjacent mouthparts, which is fundamentally different to biting–chewing. It is, however, unclear when structural mouthpart interaction (SMI)...
Data from: Assessing the potential information content of multicomponent visual signals: a machine learning approachWilliam L. Allen & James P. Higham
Careful investigation of the form of animal signals can offer novel insights into their function. Here, we deconstruct the face patterns of a tribe of primates, the guenons (Cercopithecini), and examine the information that is potentially available in the perceptual dimensions of their multicomponent displays. Using standardized colour-calibrated images of guenon faces, we measure variation in appearance both within and between species. Overall face pattern was quantified using the computer vision ‘eigenface’ technique, and eyebrow...
Aphidiinae are mostly composed of specialist parasitoids and the few species described as generalist are suspected to be composed of cryptic specialists, almost indistinguishable based on morphological characteristics. The use of molecular markers has proven to be a useful tool for revealing cryptic species complexes and here we use seven mitochondrial and nuclear gene fragments to study possible genetic differentiation among seven Aphidiinae generalists. Maximum likelihood (ML) trees and Bayesian Poisson tree processes (bPTP) models...
Estimates of plant abundance (for leaf area, floral units and seed abundance, mass and energy) obtained from field-based sampling as part of a study of ecological interactions (food webs and plant-pollinator networks) on a single farm (Norwood Farm, Somerset, UK: 51.3128N 2.3206W) during 2007 and 2008. During the study, Norwood Farm was managed as an organic farm at relatively low intensity. The work was was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council [grant...
Why some organisms become invasive when introduced into novel regions while others fail to even establish is a fundamental question in ecology. Barriers to success are expected to filter species at each stage along the invasion pathway. No study to date, however, has investigated how species traits associate with success from introduction to spread at a large spatial scale in any group. Using the largest data set of mammalian introductions at the global scale and...
Data from: Transition in sexual system and sex chromosome evolution in the tadpole shrimp Triops cancriformisThomas C. Mathers, Robert L. Hammond, Ronald A. Jenner, Bernd Hänfling, Jennifer Atkins & Africa Gómez
Transitions in sexual system and reproductive mode may affect the course of sex chromosome evolution, for instance by altering the strength of sexually antagonistic selection. However, there have been few studies of sex chromosomes in systems where such transitions have been documented. The European tadpole shrimp, Triops cancriformis, has undergone a transition from dioecy to androdioecy (a sexual system where hermaphrodites and males coexist), offering an excellent opportunity to test the impact of this transition...
University of Hull9
University of Reading2
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology1
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology1
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig1
University of Rennes 11
New York University1
French National Institute for Agricultural Research1
Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute1
University of East Anglia1