451 Works

Data from: Plasmid stability is enhanced by higher-frequency pulses of positive selection

Cagla H. Stevenson, James P. J. Hall, Michael A. Brockhurst, Ellie Harrison & Cagla Stevenson
Plasmids accelerate bacterial adaptation by sharing ecologically important traits between lineages. However, explaining plasmid stability in bacterial populations is challenging due to their associated costs. Previous theoretical and experimental studies suggest that pulsed positive selection may explain plasmid stability by favouring gene mobility and promoting compensatory evolution to ameliorate plasmid cost. Here we test how the frequency of pulsed positive selection affected the dynamics of a mercury resistance plasmid, pQBR103, in experimental populations of Pseudomonas...

Data from: Neighbouring-group composition and within-group relatedness drive extra-group paternity rate in the European badger (Meles meles)

Geetha Annavi, Chris Newman, Hannah L. Dugdale, Christina C. Buesching, Yung W. Sin, Terry Burke & David W. Macdonald
Extra-group paternity (EGP) occurs commonly among group-living mammals and plays an important role in mating systems and the dynamics of sexual selection; however, socio-ecological and genetic correlates of EGP have been underexplored. We use 23 years of demographic and genetic data from a high-density European badger (Meles meles) population, to investigate the relationship between the rate of EGP in litters and mate availability, mate incompatibility and mate quality (heterozygosity). Relatedness between within-group assigned mothers and...

Data from: Telomere length and dynamics predict mortality in a wild longitudinal study

Emma L. B. Barrett, Terry A. Burke, Martijn Hammers, Jan Komdeur & David S. Richardson
Explaining variation in life expectancy between individuals of the same age is fundamental to our understanding of population ecology and life-history evolution. Variation in the length and rate of loss of the protective telomere chromosome caps has been linked to cellular lifespan. Yet, the extent to which telomere length and dynamics predict organismal lifespan in nature is still contentious. Using longitudinal samples taken from a closed population of Acrocephalus sechellensis (Seychelles warblers) studied for over...

Data from: Range expansion and retraction along a moving contact zone has no effect on the genetic diversity of two passerine birds

Jan O. Engler, Jean Secondi, Deborah A. Dawson, Ortwin Elle & Axel Hochkirch
Disentangling the factors shaping species distributions remains a central goal in biogeography, ecology and evolutionary biology. The extrinsic pressures that may facilitate range shifts, such as climatic factors or biotic interactions are well known. However, in contrast, the possible intrinsic factors are manifold and hard to generalize across taxa. Recently, several theoretical studies have investigated the consequences of moving range borders on genetic diversity. However, empirical studies that support or refute these theoretical predictions are...

Data from: Genomic landscape of early ecological speciation initiated by selection on nuptial colour

David Alexander Marques, Kay Lucek, Marcel Philipp Haesler, Anna Fiona Feller, Joana Isabel Meier, Catherine Wagner, Laurent Excoffier, Ole Seehausen & Catherine E. Wagner
Ecological speciation is the evolution of reproductive isolation as a consequence of direct divergent natural selection or ecologically mediated divergent sexual selection. While the genomic signature of the former has been extensively studied in recent years, only few examples exist for genomic differentiation where environment-dependent sexual selection has played an important role. Here, we describe a very young (~90 years old) population of threespine sticklebacks exhibiting phenotypic and genomic differentiation between two habitats within the...

Data from: Development of conserved microsatellite markers of high cross-species utility in bat species (Vespertilionidae, Chiroptera, Mammalia)

Camille Jan, Deborah A. Dawson, John D. Altringham, Terry Burke & Roger K. Butlin
Comparative ecological and behavioural studies of the widespread and diverse Vespertilionidae, which comprise almost 400 of the 1,100 bat species, have been limited by the availability of markers. The potential of new methods for developing conserved microsatellite markers which possess enhanced cross-species utility has recently been illustrated in studies of birds. We have applied these methods to develop enhanced microsatellite markers for vespertilionid bats, in particular for the genus Myotis (103 species). We compared published...

Data from: Experimental evidence for phonemic contrasts in a nonhuman vocal system

Sabrina Engesser, Jodie M. S. Crane, James L. Savage, Andrew F. Russell & Simon W. Townsend
The ability to generate new meaning by rearranging combinations of meaningless sounds is a fundamental component of language. Although animal vocalizations often comprise combinations of meaningless acoustic elements, evidence that rearranging such combinations generates functionally distinct meaning is lacking. Here, we provide evidence for this basic ability in calls of the chestnut-crowned babbler (Pomatostomus ruficeps), a highly cooperative bird of the Australian arid zone. Using acoustic analyses, natural observations, and a series of controlled playback...

Data from: Heterozygosity-fitness correlations of conserved microsatellite markers in Kentish plovers Charadrius alexandrinus

Clemens Küpper, Jakob Augustin, Deborah A. Dawson, Terry Burke, András Kosztolányi & Tamás Székely
Heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFCs) are frequently used to examine the relationship between genetic diversity and fitness. Most studies have reported positive HFCs, although there is a strong bias towards investigating HFCs in genetically impoverished populations. We investigated HFCs in a large genetically diverse breeding population of Kentish plovers Charadrius alexandrinus in Southern Turkey. This small shorebird exhibits highly variable mating and care systems and it is becoming an ecological model species to understand breeding system evolution....

Data from: Social cues trigger differential immune investment strategies in a non-social insect, Tenebrio molitor

Joe D. Gallagher, Michael T. Siva-Jothy, Sophie E.F. Evison & Sophie E. F. Evison
Social immunisation is a horizontal transfer of immunity which protects naïve hosts against infection following exposure to infected nestmates. Whilst mainly documented in eusocial insects, non-social species also share similar ecological features which favour the development of group-level immunity. Here we investigate social immunisation in Tenebrio molitor, by pairing naïve females with a pathogen-challenged conspecific for 72 h before measuring a series of immune and fitness traits. We found no evidence for social immunisation, as...

Data from: Sperm morphology, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration and swimming velocity: unexpected relationships in a passerine bird

Clair Bennison, Nicola Hemmings, Lola Brookes, Jon Slate & Tim Birkhead
The relationship between sperm energetics and sperm function is poorly known, but is central to our understanding of the evolution of sperm traits. The aim of this study was to examine how sperm morphology and ATP content affect sperm swimming velocity in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata. We exploited the high inter-male variation in this species and created extra experimental power by increasing the number of individuals with very long or short sperm through artificial...

Data from: C4 anatomy can evolve via a single developmental change

Marjorie R. Lundgren, Luke T. Dunning, Jill K. Olofsson, Jose J. Moreno Villena, Jacques W. Bouvier, Tammy L. Sage, Roxana Khosravesh, Stefanie Sultmanis, Matt Stata, Brad S. Ripley, Maria S. Vorontsova, Guillaume Besnard, Claire Adams, Nicholas Cuff, Anthony Mapaura, Matheus E. Bianconi, Christine M. Long, Pascal-Antoine Christin, Colin P. Osborne, Roxana Khoshravesh & Jose J. Moreno-Villena
C4 photosynthesis boosts productivity in warm environments. Paradoxically, this complex physiological process evolved independently in numerous plant lineages, despite requiring specialized leaf anatomy. The anatomical modifications underlying C4 evolution have previously been evaluated through interspecific comparisons, which capture numerous changes besides those needed for C4 functionality. Here, we quantify the anatomical changes accompanying the transition between non-C4 and C4 phenotypes by sampling widely across the continuum of leaf anatomical traits in the grass Alloteropsis semialata....

Data from: Whisker touch sensing guides locomotion in small, quadrupedal mammals

Robyn A. Grant, Vicki Breakell & Tony J. Prescott
All small mammals have prominent facial whiskers that they employ as tactile sensors to guide navigation and foraging in complex habitats. Nocturnal, arboreal mammals tend to have the longest and most densely-packed whiskers, and semi-aquatic mammals have the most sensitive. Here we present evidence to indicate that many small mammals use their whiskers to tactually guide safe foot positioning. Specifically, in eleven, small, non-flying mammal species we demonstrate that forepaw placement always falls within the...

Data from: Anatomical enablers and the evolution of C4 photosynthesis in grasses

Pascal-Antoine Christin, Colin P. Osborne, David S. Chatelet, J. Travis Columbus, Guillaume Besnard, Trevor R. Hodkinson, Laura M. Garrison, Maria S. Vorontsova & Erika J. Edwards
C4 photosynthesis is a series of anatomical and biochemical modifications to the typical C3 pathway that increases the productivity of plants in warm, sunny, and dry conditions. Despite its complexity, it evolved more than 62 times independently in flowering plants. However, C4 origins are absent from most plant lineages and clustered in others, suggesting that some characteristics increase C4 evolvability in certain phylogenetic groups. The C4 trait has evolved 22–24 times in grasses, and all...

Data from: Fine-scale genetic structure in a wild bird population: the role of limited dispersal and environmentally-based selection as causal factors

Colin Garroway, Reinder J. Radersma, Irem Sepil, Anna W. Santure, Isabelle De Cauwer, Jon Slate, Ben C. Sheldon, Colin J. Garroway & Reinder Radersma
Individuals are typically not randomly distributed in space; consequently ecological and evolutionary theory depends heavily on understanding the spatial structure of populations. The central challenge of landscape genetics is therefore to link spatial heterogeneity of environments to population genetic structure. Here, we employ multivariate spatial analyses to identify environmentally induced genetic structures in a single breeding population of 1174 great tits Parus major genotyped at 4701 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci. Despite the small spatial scale...

Data from: Individual variation and the source-sink group dynamics of extra-group paternity in a social mammal

Paula H. Marjamaki, Hannah L. Dugdale, Deborah A. Dawson, Robbie A. McDonald, Richard Delahay, Terry Burke & Alastair J. Wilson
Movement of individuals, or their genes, can influence eco-evolutionary processes in structured populations. We have limited understanding of the extent to which spatial behaviour varies among groups and individuals within populations. Here we use genetic pedigree reconstruction in a long-term study of European badgers (Meles meles) to characterise the extent of extra-group paternity, occurring as a consequence of breeding excursions, and to test hypothesised drivers of variation at multiple levels. We jointly estimate parentage and...

Data from: Comparing life histories across taxonomic groups in multiple dimensions: how mammal-like are insects?

Adam Thomas Bakewell, Katie E. Davis, Nick J. B. Isaac, Robert P. Freckleton & Peter J. Mayhew
Explaining variation in life histories remains a major challenge because they are multi-dimensional and there are many competing explanatory theories and paradigms. An influential concept in life history theory is the 'fast-slow continuum', exemplified by mammals. Determining the utility of such concepts across taxonomic groups requires comparison of the groups' life histories in multidimensional space. Insects display enormous species richness and phenotypic diversity, but testing hypotheses like the 'fast-slow continuum' has been inhibited by incomplete...

Data from: The role of structural genomic variants in population differentiation and ecotype formation in Timema cristinae walking sticks

Kay Lucek, Zach Gompert & Patrik Nosil
Theory predicts that structural genomic variants such as inversions can promote adaptive diversification and speciation. Despite increasing empirical evidence that adaptive divergence can be triggered by one or a few large inversions, the degree to which widespread genomic regions under divergent selection are associated with structural variants remains unclear. Here we test for an association between structural variants and genomic regions that underlie parallel host-plant associated ecotype formation in Timema cristinae stick insects. Using mate-pair...

Data from: Phenotypic sexual dimorphism is associated with genomic signatures of resolved sexual conflict

Alison E Wright, Thea F Rogers, Matteo Fumagalli, Christopher R Cooney & Judith E Mank
Intra-locus sexual conflict, where an allele benefits one sex at the expense of the other, has an important role in shaping genetic diversity of populations through balancing selection. However, the potential for mating systems to exert balancing selection through sexual conflict on the genome remains unclear. Furthermore, the nature and potential for resolution of sexual conflict across the genome has been hotly debated. To address this, we analysed de novo transcriptomes from six avian species,...

Data from: An endemic flora of dispersed spores from the Middle Devonian of Iberia

Alexander J. Askew & Charles H. Wellman
Diverse assemblages of dispersed spores have been recovered from Middle Devonian rocks in northern Spain, revealing a significant endemism in the flora. Middle Devonian Iberia was part of a relatively isolated island complex (Armorican Terrane Assemblage), separated by considerable tracts of ocean from Laurussia to the northwest and Gondwana to the southeast. The Middle Devonian deposits of the Cantabrian Zone of northern Spain are entirely marine and comprise a thick clastic unit sandwiched between extensive...

Data from: Strong responses from weakly interacting species

Sean Tuck, Janielle Porter, Mark Rees, Lindsay A. Turnbull & Sean L. Tuck
The impact of species loss from competitive communities partly depends on how populations of the surviving species respond. Predicting the response should be straightforward using models that describe population growth as a function of competitor densities; but these models require accurate estimates of interaction strengths. Here, we quantified how well we could predict responses to competitor removal in a community of annual plants, using a combination of observation and experiment. It was straightforward to fit...

Data from: What can mixed-species flock movement tell us about the value of Amazonian secondary forests? insights from spatial behavior

Karl Mokross, Jonathan R. Potts, Cameron L. Rutt & Philip C. Stouffer
The value of secondary forest for rainforest species remains an important question for conservation in the 21st century. Here, we describe the spatial behavior of understory mixed-species flocks in a heterogeneous landscape in central Amazonia. Understory mixed-species flocks represent a diverse, highly organized component of the rich Amazonian avifauna. We recorded movements within 26 flock home ranges in primary forest, secondary forest, interfaces between forest types, and forest fragments. We describe frequency and movement orientation...

Data from: Age-dependent trajectories differ between within-pair and extra-pair paternity success

Yu-Hsun Hsu, Mirre J. P. Simons, Julia Schroeder, Antje Girndt, Isabel S. Winney, Terry Burke, Shinichi Nakagawa & Y.-H. Hsu
Reproductive success is associated with age in many taxa, increasing in early life followed by reproductive senescence. In socially monogamous, but genetically polygamous species, this generates the interesting possibility of differential trajectories of within-pair and extra-pair siring success with age in males. We investigate these relationships simultaneously using within-individual analyses with 13 years of data from an insular house sparrow (Passer domesticus) population. As expected, we found that both within- and extra-pair paternity success increased...

Data from: The alignment between phenotypic plasticity, the major axis of genetic variation and the response to selection

Martin I. Lind, Kylie Yarlett, Julia Reger, Mauricio J. Carter & Andrew P. Beckerman
Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a genotype to produce more than one phenotype in order to match the environment. Recent theory proposes that the major axis of genetic variation in a phenotypically plastic population can align with the direction of selection. Therefore, theory predicts that plasticity directly aids adaptation by increasing genetic variation in the direction favoured by selection and reflected in plasticity. We evaluated this theory in the freshwater crustacean Daphnia pulex, facing...

Data from: The dynamics of recovery and growth: how defoliation affects stored resources

Rebecca R. L. Atkinson, Mike M. Burrell, Karen E. Rose, Colin P. Osborne & Mark Rees
Growth rate varies widely among species and the trade-off between growth rate and storage or maintenance traits is a principal axis of variation between species. Many plant species have substantial root stores, but very little is known about how growth rate modifies responses of these stores to defoliation and other stresses. Species with different growth rates are predicted to respond in distinct ways, because of variation in the pre-defoliation allocation to storage. Here, we quantified...

Data from: The impact of rate heterogeneity on inference of phylogenetic models of trait evolution

Angela M. Chira & Gavin H. Thomas
Rates of trait evolution are known to vary across phylogenies; however, standard evolutionary models assume a homogeneous process of trait change. These simple methods are widely applied in small-scale phylogenetic studies, whereas models of rate heterogeneity are not, so the prevalence and patterns of potential rate variation in groups up to hundreds of species remain unclear. The extent to which trait evolution is modelled accurately on a given phylogeny is also largely unknown because studies...

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