88 Works

Niche differentiation and evolution of the wood decay machinery in the invasive fungus Serpula lacrymans

Jaqueline Hess, Sudhagar V. Balasundaram, Renee I Bakkemo, Elodie Drula, Bernard Henrissat, Nils Högberg, Daniel Eastwood & Inger Skrede
Ecological niche breadth and the mechanisms facilitating its evolution are fundamental to understanding adaptation to changing environments, persistence of generalist and specialist lineages and the formation of new species. Woody substrates are structurally complex resources utilized by organisms with specialized decay machinery. Wood-decaying fungi represent ideal model systems to study evolution of niche breadth, as they vary greatly in their host range and preferred decay stage of the substrate. In order to dissect the genetic...

Data from: Turning defence into offence? intrusion of cladoceran brood chambers by a green alga leads to reproductive failure

Dania Albini, Mike Fowler, Carole Llewellyn & Kam Tang
Microalgae are the foundation of aquatic food webs. Their ability to defend against grazers is paramount to their survival, and modulates their ecological functions. Here we report a novel anti-grazer strategy in the common green alga Chlorella vulgaris against two grazers, Daphnia magna and Simocephalus sp. The algal cells entered the brood chamber of both grazers, presumably using the brood current generated by the grazer’s abdominal appendages. Once inside, the alga densely colonised the eggs,...

Data from: Maze learning and memory in a decapod crustacean

Ross Davies, Mary Gagen & Edward Pope
Spatial learning is an ecologically important trait well studied in vertebrates and a few invertebrates yet poorly understood in crustaceans. We investigated the ability of European shore crabs, Carcinus maenas, to learn a complex maze over four consecutive weeks using food as a motivator. Crabs showed steady improvement during this conditioning period in both the time taken to find the food and in the number of wrong turns taken whilst doing so. Crabs also clearly...

Data from: Rapid host switching in generalist Campylobacter strains erodes the signal for tracing human infections

Bethany L. Dearlove, Alison J. Cody, Ben Pascoe, Guillaume Méric, Daniel J. Wilson & Samuel K. Sheppard
Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the biggest causes of bacterial gastroenteritis in the developed world, with human infections typically arising from zoonotic transmission associated with infected meat. Because Campylobacter is not thought to survive well outside the gut, host-associated populations are genetically isolated to varying degrees. Therefore, the likely origin of most strains can be determined by host-associated variation in the genome. This is instructive for characterizing the source of human infection. However, some...

Data from: Effects of trophy hunting leftovers on the ranging behaviour of large carnivores: a case study on spotted hyenas

Gabriele Cozzi, Luca Börger, Pascale Hutter, Daniela Abegg, Celine Beran, John Weldon McNutt & Arpat Ozgul
Human-related food resources such as garbage dumps and feeding sites have been shown to significantly influence space use, breeding success and population dynamics in a variety of animal species. In contrast, relatively little is known on the effects of unpredictable sources of food, such as carcasses discarded by hunters, on carnivore species. We evaluated the effect of elephant carcasses, mainly deriving from trophy hunting, on the ranging and feeding behavior of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta)...

Data from: The landscape of realized homologous recombination in pathogenic bacteria

Koji Yahara, Xavier Didelot, Keith A. Jolley, Ichizo Kobayashi, Martin C. J. Maiden, Samuel K. Sheppard & Daniel Falush
Recombination enhances the adaptive potential of organisms by allowing genetic variants to be tested on multiple genomic backgrounds. Its distribution in the genome can provide insight into the evolutionary forces that underlie traits such as the emergence of pathogenicity. Here we examined landscapes of realized homologous recombination of 500 genomes from ten bacterial species, and found all species have ‘hot’ regions with elevated rates relative to the genome average. We examined the size, gene content...

Individual life history data from a resource degradation and temperature variation life history experiment in the Plodia-Venturia host-parasitoid interaction

M. Mugabo, D. Gilljam, L. Petteway, C. Yuan, M. S. Fowler & S. M. Sait
This dataset contains information on life history traits of the host Plodia interpunctella (Pyralidae; Hübner) and the parasitoid wasp Venturia canescens (Ichneumonidae; Gravenhorst). The data was collected from a single generation life history experiment investigating the combined effects of daily stochastic temperature fluctuations and resource degradation on individual life history in the Plodia-Venturia host-parasitoid trophic interaction. The Plodia interpunctella data include egg viability, egg status, hatching date, adult emergence date, date of death, sex, egg...

Data from: Inbred and furious: negative association between aggression and genetic diversity in highly inbred fish

Amy Ellison, Sofia Consuegra & Carlos Garcia De Leaniz
Aggressive behaviour plays an important role in securing resources, defending against predators and shaping social interactions. Although aggression can have positive effects on growth and reproductive success, it is also energetically costly and may increase injury and compromise survival. Individual genetic diversity has been positively associated with aggression, but the cause for such an association is not clear, and it might be related to the ability to recognize kin. To disentangle the relationships between genetic...

Data from: Global patterns in helminth host specificity: phylogenetic and functional diversity of regional host species pools matter

Konstans Wells, David I. Gibson & Nicholas J. Clark
Host specificity has a major influence on a parasite’s ability to shift between human and animal host species. Yet there is a dearth of quantitative approaches to explore variation in host specificity across biogeographical scales, particularly in response to the varying community compositions of potential hosts. We built a global dataset of intermediate host associations for nine of the world’s most widespread helminth parasites (all of which infect humans). Using hierarchical models, we asked if...

Data from: Incorporating alternative interaction modes, forbidden links and trait-based mechanisms increases the minimum trait dimensionality of ecological networks

Diogenis A. Kiziridis, Lynne Boddy, Daniel C. Eastwood, Chenggui Yuan & Mike S. Fowler
Individual-level traits mediate interaction outcomes and community structure. It is important, therefore, to identify the minimum number of traits that characterise ecological networks, i.e. their 'minimum dimensionality'. Existing methods for estimating minimum dimensionality often lack three features associated with increased trait numbers: alternative interaction modes (e.g. feeding strategies such as active vs. sit-and-wait feeding), trait-mediated 'forbidden links' and a mechanistic description of interactions. Omitting these features can underestimate the trait numbers involved, and therefore, minimum...

Unstandardized breeding choice grouped by maternal litter

David Arthur Wells, Hazel Nichols, Joseph Hoffman, Michael Cant, Faye Thompson, Harry Marshall & Emma Vitikainen
Banded mongooses play a delicate balancing act between incest and warfare. Some females have to choose between mating with a relative within their own social group or trying to sneakily mate with a male from a rival group during fights between groups. We show that females are more likely to mate with extra-group males when the risk of inbreeding within their group is high, but not all females get this opportunity for extra-group mating.

Data from: Spirobifluorene-based polymers of intrinsic microporosity for the adsorption of methylene blue from wastewater: effect of surfactants

Entesar Al-Hetlani, Mohamed Amin, Grazia Bezzu & Mariolino Carta
Owing to their high surface area and superior adsorption properties, spirobifluorene PIMs namely, PIM-SBF-Me (methyl) and PIM-SBF-tBu (tert-butyl) were used for the first time for the removal of methylene blue (MB) dye from wastewater. Spirobifluorene PIMs are known to have large surface area (can be up to 1100 m2/g) and have been previously used mainly for gas storage applications. Dispersion of the polymers in aqueous solution was challenging due to their extreme hydrophobic nature leading...

Data from: Predictable gene expression related to behavioral variation in parenting

Kyle M. Benowitz, Elizabeth C. McKinney, Christopher B. Cunningham & Allen J. Moore
Differential gene expression has been associated with transitions between behavioral states for a wide variety of organisms and behaviors. Heterochrony, genetic toolkits, and predictable pathways underlying behavioral transitions have been hypothesized to explain the relationship between transcription and behavioral changes. Less studied is how variation in transcription is related to variation within a behavior, and if the genes that are associated with this variation are predictable. Here we adopt an evolutionary systems biology perspective to...

Data from: Why don’t long-finned pilot whales have post-reproductive lifespan? insights from genetic data

Hazel Nichols
In a handful of mammals, females show an extended post-reproductive lifespan (PRLS), leading to questions over why they spend a substantial portion of their lifespan non-reproductive. Theoretical and empirical studies suggest that PRLS may evolve when (1) demographic patterns lead to increasing local relatedness as females age, and (2) females come into reproductive competition with their daughters, as these conditions lead to high relative benefits of helping kin versus reproducing in later life. However, evolutionary...

Data from: A keystone mutualism underpins resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought

Christine Angelini, John N. Griffin, Johan Van De Koppel, Leon P. M. Lamers, Alfons J. P. Smolders, Marlous Derksen-Hooijberg, Tjisse Van Der Heide & Brian R. Silliman
Droughts are increasing in severity and frequency, yet the mechanisms that strengthen ecosystem resilience to this stress remain poorly understood. Here, we test whether positive interactions in the form of a mutualism between mussels and dominant cordgrass in salt marshes enhance ecosystem resistance to and recovery from drought. Surveys spanning 250 km of southeastern US coastline reveal spatially dispersed mussel mounds increased cordgrass survival during severe drought by 5- to 25-times. Surveys and mussel addition...

Data from: Floral resource partitioning by individuals within generalised hoverfly pollination networks revealed by DNA metabarcoding

Andrew Lucas, Owen Bodger, Berry J. Brosi, , Dan W. Forman, Carolyn Greig, Matthew Hegarty, Laura Jones, Penelope J. Neyland & Natasha De Vere
Pollination is a key ecosystem service for agriculture and wider ecosystem function. However, most pollination studies focus on Hymenoptera, with hoverflies (Syrphidae) frequently treated as a single functional group. We tested this assumption by investigating pollen carried by eleven species of hoverfly in five genera, Cheilosia, Eristalis, Rhingia, Sericomyia and Volucella, using DNA metabarcoding. Hoverflies carried pollen from 59 plant taxa, suggesting they visit a wider number of plant species than previously appreciated. Most pollen...

Data from: Efficient inference of recombination hot regions in bacterial genomes

Koji Yahara, Xavier Didelot, M Azim. Ansari, Samuel K. Sheppard & Daniel Falush
In eukaryotes, detailed surveys of recombination rates have shown variation at multiple genomic scales and the presence of “hotspots” of highly elevated recombination. In bacteria, studies of recombination rate variation are less developed, in part because there are few analysis methods that take into account the clonal context within which bacterial evolution occurs. Here we focus in particular on identifying “hot regions” of the genome where DNA is transferred frequently between isolates. We present a...

Data from: Symbiont-mediated RNA interference in insects

Miranda M. A. Whitten, Paul D. Facey, Ricardo Del Sol, Lorena T. Fernandez, Meirwyn C. Evans, Jacob J. Mitchell, Owen G. Bodger & Paul J. Dyson
RNA interference (RNAi) methods for insects are often limited by problems with double-stranded (ds) RNA delivery, which restricts reverse genetics studies and the development of RNAi-based biocides. We therefore delegated to insect symbiotic bacteria the task of: (i) constitutive dsRNA synthesis and (ii) trauma-free delivery. RNaseIII-deficient, dsRNA-expressing bacterial strains were created from the symbionts of two very diverse pest species: a long-lived blood-sucking bug, Rhodnius prolixus, and a short-lived globally invasive polyphagous agricultural pest, Western...

Data from: Temperature effects on prey and basal resources exceed that of predators in an experimental community

Madhav P. Thakur, John N. Griffin, Tom Künne, Susanne Dunker, Andrea Fanesi & Nico Eisenhauer
Climate warming alters the structure of ecological communities by modifying species interactions at different trophic levels. Yet, the consequences of warming-led modifications in biotic interactions at higher trophic levels on lower trophic groups are lesser known. Here, we test the effects of multiple predator species on prey population size and traits, and subsequent effects on basal resources along an experimental temperature gradient (12-15C, 17-20C, and 22-25C). We experimentally assembled food web modules with two congeneric...

Data from: The fungus that came in from the cold: dry rot’s pre-adapted ability to invade buildings

Sudhagard V. Balasundaram, Jaqueline Hess, Michael B. Durling, S. C. Moody, Lisbeth Thorbek, Cinzia Progida, Kurt LaButti, Andrea Aerts, Kerrie Barry, Igor V. Grigoriev, Lynne Boddy, Nils Högberg, Håvard Kauserud, Daniel C. Eastwood & Inger Skrede
Many organisms benefit from being pre-adapted to niches shaped by human activity, and have successfully invaded man-made habitats. One such species is the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans, which has a wide distribution in buildings in temperate and boreal regions, where it decomposes coniferous construction wood. Comparative genomic analyses and growth experiments using this species and its wild relatives revealed that S. lacrymans evolved a very effective brown rot decay compared to its wild relatives,...

Data from: Combined analysis of variation in core, accessory and regulatory genome regions provides a super-resolution view into the evolution of bacterial populations

Alan McNally, Yaara Oren, Darren Kelly, Ben Pascoe, Steven Dunn, Tristan Seecharan, Minna Vehkala, Niko Välimäki, Michael B. Prentice, Amgad Ashour, Oren Avram, Tal Pupko, Ulrich Dobrindt, Ivan Literak, Sebastian Guenther, Katharina Schauffler, Lothar H. Wieler, Zong Zhiyong, Samuel K. Sheppard, James O. McInerney, Jukka Corander & Tristan Sreecharan
The use of whole-genome phylogenetic analysis has revolutionized our understanding of the evolution and spread of many important bacterial pathogens due to the high resolution view it provides. However, the majority of such analyses do not consider the potential role of accessory genes when inferring evolutionary trajectories. Moreover, the recently discovered importance of the switching of gene regulatory elements suggests that an exhaustive analysis, combining information from core and accessory genes with regulatory elements could...

Data from: Opsin genes of select treeshrews resolve ancestral character states within Scandentia

Gwen Duytschaever, Mareike C. Janiak, Perry S. Ong, Konstans Wells, Nathaniel J. Dominy & Amanda D. Melin
Treeshrews are small, squirrel-like mammals in the order Scandentia, which is nested together with Primates and Dermoptera in the superordinal group Euarchonta. They are often described as living fossils, and researchers have long turned to treeshrews as a model or ecological analogue for ancestral primates. A comparative study of colour vision-encoding genes within Scandentia found a derived amino acid substitution in the long-wavelength sensitive opsin gene (OPN1LW) of the Bornean smooth-tailed treeshrew (Dendrogale melanura). The...

Micro-personality traits and their implications for behavioural and movement ecology research

Andrew King, Joseph Bailey, Edward Codling, Ashley Short, Gemma Johns & Ines Fürtbauer
Many animal personality traits have implicit movement‐based definitions, and can directly or indirectly influence ecological and evolutionary processes. It has therefore been proposed that animal movement studies could benefit from acknowledging and studying consistent inter-individual differences (personality), and, conversely, animal personality studies could adopt a more quantitative representation of movement patterns. Using high-resolution tracking data of three-spined stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus), we examined the repeatability of four movement parameters commonly used in the analysis of...

Historical analysis of seagrass loss in the United Kingdom

Alix E. Green, Michael A. Chadwick, Richard K.F. Unsworth & Peter J.S. Jones
This dataset includes empirical and qualitative data from a multitude of sources using systematic review methods to provide analysis on seagrass occurrence and loss in the United Kingdom. We document 8,493 ha of recently mapped seagrass in the UK since 1998.

Data from: The symmetry of children’s knees is linked to their adult sprinting speed and their willingness to sprint in a long-term Jamaican study

Robert Trivers, Brian G. Palestis & John T. Manning
Jamaican athletes are prominent in sprint running but the reasons for their success are not clear. Here we consider the possibility that symmetry, particularly symmetry of the legs, in Jamaican children is linked to high sprinting speed in adults. Our study population was a cohort of 288 rural children, mean age 8.2 (±1 SD = 1.7) years in 1996. Symmetry was measured in 1996 and 2006 from the fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of three lower-body traits...

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