154 Works

Data from: Comparative transcriptomics of Entelegyne spiders (Araneae, Entelegynae), with emphasis on molecular evolution of orphan genes

David E. Carlson & Marshal Hedin
Next-generation sequencing technology is rapidly transforming the landscape of evolutionary biology, and has become a cost-effective and efficient means of collecting exome information for non-model organisms. Due to their taxonomic diversity, production of interesting venom and silk proteins, and the relative scarcity of existing genomic resources, spiders in particular are excellent targets for next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods. In this study, the transcriptomes of six entelegyne spider species from three genera (Cicurina travisae, C. vibora, Habronattus...

Data from: Eating down the food chain: generalism is not an evolutionary dead end for herbivores

Danny Rojas, Maria João Ramos Pereira, Carlos Fonseca & Liliana M. Dávalos
The role of trophic specialisation in taxonomic diversification remains unclear. Plant specialists diversify faster than omnivores and animalivores, but at shorter macroevolutionary scales this pattern sometimes reverses. Here, we estimate the effect of diet diversification on speciation rates in noctilionoid bats, controlling for tree shape, rate heterogeneity and macroevolutionary regimes. We hypothesise that niche subdivision among herbivores positively relates to speciation rates, differing between macroevolutionary regimes. We found the rate at which new herbivorous lineages...

Data from: Moving in the Anthropocene: global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements

Marlee A. Tucker, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, William F. Fagan, John M. Fryxell, Bram Van Moorter, Susan C. Alberts, Abdullahi H. Ali, Andrew M. Allen, Nina Attias, Tal Avgar, Hattie Bartlam-Brooks, Buuveibaatar Bayarbaatar, Jerrold L. Belant, Alessandra Bertassoni, Dean Beyer, Laura Bidner, Floris M. Van Beest, Stephen Blake, Niels Blaum, Chloe Bracis, Danielle Brown, P. J. Nico De Bruyn, Francesca Cagnacci, Justin M. Calabrese, Constança Camilo-Alves … & Thomas Mueller
Animal movement is fundamental for ecosystem functioning and species survival, yet the effects of the anthropogenic footprint on animal movements have not been estimated across species. Using a unique GPS-tracking database of 803 individuals across 57 species, we found that movements of mammals in areas with a comparatively high human footprint were on average one-half to one-third the extent of their movements in areas with a low human footprint. We attribute this reduction to behavioral...

Data from: Variation in the ecstatic display call of the Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) across regional geographic scales

Maureen A. Lynch & Heather J. Lynch
Geographic variation in bird vocalizations is common and has been associated with genetic differences and speciation, as well as with short-term changes in response to anthropogenic noise. Because vocalizations are used for individual recognition in many species, geographic variation in these traits may affect mate choice, pair bonding, and territory defense. Anecdotal evidence suggests the existence of geographic variation in vocalizations between isolated populations of Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua), but there have been no comprehensive...

Data from: Social and ecological drivers of reproductive seasonality in geladas

Elizabeth Tinsley Johnson, Noah Snyder-Mackler, Amy Lu, Thore J. Bergman & Jacinta C. Beehner
Many non-seasonally breeding mammals demonstrate some degree of synchrony in births, which is generally associated with ecological factors that mediate fecundity. However, disruptive social events, such as alpha male replacements, also have the potential to affect the timing of female reproduction. Here, we examined reproductive seasonality in a wild population of geladas (Theropithecus gelada) living at high altitudes in an afro-alpine ecosystem in Ethiopia. Using 9 years of demographic data (2006-2014) we determined that, while...

Data from: Optimal group size in a highly social mammal

A. Catherine Markham, Laurence R. Gesquiere, Susan C. Alberts & Jeanne Altmann
What are the costs and benefits for animals living in groups of different sizes? Balancing the trade-offs between within-group competition (which favors smaller groups) and between-group competition (which favors larger groups) suggests that intermediate-sized groups may be best, yet empirical support for this prediction has largely been lacking. Using long-term data on wild baboons, we provide novel evidence that individuals living in intermediate-sized groups have energetically optimal space-use strategies and lower glucocorticoid (stress hormone) concentrations...

Data from: Horizontal and vertical movements of Caribbean reef sharks (Carcharhinus perezi): conservation implications of limited migration in a marine sanctuary

Oliver N. Shipley, Lucy A. Howey, Emily R. Tolentino, Lance K.B. Jordan, Jonathan L.W. Ruppert, Edward J. Brooks & Jonathan L. W. Ruppert
Despite the ecological and economic importance of the Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi), little data exist regarding the movements and habitat use of this predator across its range. We deployed 11 pop-up satellite archival tags on Caribbean reef sharks captured in the northeast Exuma Sound, The Bahamas, to assess their horizontal and vertical movements throughout the water column. Sharks showed high site fidelity to The Bahamas suggesting Bahamian subpopulations remain protected within the Bahamian Shark...

Data from: A free lunch? No cost for acquiring defensive plant pyrrolizidine alkaloids in a specialist arctiid moth (Utetheisa ornatrix)

Rodrigo Cogni, José R. Trigo & Douglas J. Futuyma
Many herbivorous insects sequester defensive chemicals from their host plants. We tested sequestration fitness costs in the specialist moth Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae). We added pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) to an artificial diet at different concentrations. Of all the larval and adult fitness components measured, only development time was negatively affected by PA concentration. These results were repeated under stressful laboratory conditions. On the other hand, the amount of PAs sequestered greatly increased with the diet...

Data from: Edge effects on components of diversity and above-ground biomass in a tropical rainforest

Onja H. Razafindratsima, Kerry A. Brown, Fabio Carvalho, Steig E. Johnson, Patricia C. Wright & Amy E. Dunham
1. Edge effects are among the most significant consequences of forest fragmentation. Therefore, understanding the impacts of edge creation on biodiversity is crucial for forest management and biological conservation. 2. In this study, we used trait-based and phylogenetic approaches to examine the effects of fragmentation on components of diversity and above-ground biomass of rainforest tree communities in Madagascar in forest edge vs. interior habitats. 3. Tree communities in forest edges showed lower phylogenetic diversity relative...

Data from: Environmental variation is a major predictor of global trait turnover in mammals

Ben G. Holt, Gabriel C. Costa, Caterina Penone, Jean-Philippe Lessard, Thomas M. Brooks, Ana D. Davidson, S. Blair Hedges, Volker C. Radeloff, Carsten Rahbek, Carlo Rondinini & Catherine H. Graham
Aim: To evaluate how environment and evolutionary history interact to influence global patterns of mammal trait diversity (a combination of 14 morphological and life-history traits). Location: The global terrestrial environment. Taxon: Terrestrial mammals. Methods: We calculated patterns of spatial turnover for mammalian traits and phylogenetic lineages using the mean nearest taxon distance. We then used a variance partitioning approach to establish the relative contribution of trait conservatism, ecological adaptation and clade specific ecological preferences on...

Data from: Community functional trait composition at the continental scale: the effects of non-ecological processes

A. Michelle Lawing, Jussi T. Eronen, Jessica L. Blois, Catherine H. Graham & P. David Polly
Ecological communities and their response to environmental gradients are increasingly being described by measures of trait composition at the community level – the trait-based approach. Whether ecological or non-ecological processes influence trait composition between communities has been debated. Understanding the processes that influence trait composition is important for reconstructing paleoenvironmental conditions from fossil deposits and for understanding changes in community functionality through time. Here, we assess the influence of ecological and non-ecological processes on the...

Data from: Laetoli footprints reveal bipedal gait biomechanics different from those of modern humans and chimpanzees

Kevin G. Hatala, Brigitte Demes & Brian G. Richmond
Bipedalism is a key adaptation that shaped human evolution, yet the timing and nature of its evolution remain unclear. Here we use new experimentally based approaches to investigate the locomotor mechanics preserved by the famous Pliocene hominin footprints from Laetoli, Tanzania. We conducted footprint formation experiments with habitually barefoot humans and with chimpanzees to quantitatively compare their footprints to those preserved at Laetoli. Our results show that the Laetoli footprints are morphologically distinct from those...

Data from: Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments

Thomas M. Brooks, H. Resit Akçakaya, Neil D. Burgess, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Craig Hilton-Taylor, Michael Hoffmann, Diego Juffe-Bignoli, Naomi Kingston, Brian MacSharry, Mike Parr, Laurence Perianin, Eugenie C. Regan, Ana S. L. Rodrigues, Carlo Rondinini, Yara Shennan-Farpon & Bruce E. Young
Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites),...

Data from: Correlates of extinction risk in squamate reptiles: the relative importance of biology, geography, threat and range size

Monika Böhm, Rhiannon Williams, Huw R. Bramhall, Kirsten M. McMillan, Ana D. Davidson, Andrés Garcia, Lucie M. Bland, Jon Bielby & Ben Collen
Aim Evaluating the relative roles of biological traits and environmental factors that predispose species to an elevated risk of extinction is of fundamental importance to macroecology. Identifying species that possess extinction-promoting traits allows targeted conservation action before precipitous declines occur. Such analyses have been carried out for several vertebrate groups, with the notable exception of reptiles. We identify traits correlating with high extinction risk in squamate reptiles, assess whether these differ with geography, taxonomy and...

Uncovering structural features that underlie coexistence in an invaded woody plant community with interaction networks at multiple life stages

Nicole Kinlock
Understanding the patterns of competitive and facilitative interactions within and among species in plant communities is a central goal of plant ecology, because these patterns determine species coexistence and community dynamics. Network theory provides tools that allow these patterns to be quantified, and can provide greater understanding of important community properties, including community stability, than can documenting pairwise species interactions. I characterized the interactions of multiple, co-occurring invasive and native species in an old field...

Hemotological and morphometric measurements from geladas

Kenneth L. Chiou, Mareike C. Janiak, India A. Schneider-Crease, Sharmi Sen, Ferehiwot Ayele, Idrissa S. Chuma, Sascha Knauf, Alemayehu Lemma, Anthony V. Signore, Anthony M. D’Ippolito, Belayneh Abebe, Abebaw Azanaw Haile, Fanuel Kebede, Peter J. Fashing, Nga Nguyen, Colleen McCann, Marlys L. Houck, Jeffrey D. Wall, Andrew S. Burrell, Christina M. Bergey, Jeffrey Rogers, Jane E. Phillips-Conroy, Clifford J. Jolly, Amanda D. Melin, Jay F. Storz … & Noah Snyder-Mackler
Primates have adapted to numerous environments and lifestyles but very few species are native to high elevations. Here, we investigated high-altitude adaptations in the gelada (Theropithecus gelada), a monkey endemic to the Ethiopian Plateau. We examined genome-wide variation in conjunction with measurements of haematological and morphological traits. Our new gelada reference genome is highly intact and assembled at chromosome-length levels. Unexpectedly, we identified a chromosomal polymorphism in geladas that could potentially contribute to reproductive barriers...

The loss of the ‘pelvic step’ in human evolution

Nathan Thompson, Danielle Rubinstein, William Parrella-O'Donnell, Matthew Brett, Brigitte Demes, Susan Larson & Matthew O'Neill
Human bipedalism entails relatively short strides compared with facultatively bipedal primates. Unique non-sagittal-plane motions associated with bipedalism may account for part of this discrepancy. Pelvic rotation anteriorly translates the hip, contributing to bipedal stride length (i.e. the ‘pelvic step’). Facultative bipedalism in non-human primates entails much larger pelvic rotation than in humans, suggesting that a larger pelvic step may contribute to their relatively longer strides. We collected data on the pelvic step in bipedal chimpanzees...

Foraging shifts and visual preadaptation in ecologically diverse bats

Kalina T. J. Davies, Laurel R. Yohe, Jesus Almonte, Miluska K. R. Sánchez, Edgardo M. Rengifo, Elizabeth R. Dumont, Karen E. Sears, Liliana M. Dávalos & Stephen J. Rossiter
Changes in behaviour may initiate shifts to new adaptive zones, with physical adaptations for novel environments evolving later. While new mutations are commonly considered engines of adaptive change, sensory evolution enabling access to new resources might also arise from standing genetic diversity, and even gene loss. We examine the relative contribution of molecular adaptations, measured by positive and relaxed selection, acting on eye expressed genes associated with shifts to new adaptive zones in ecologically diverse...

Ecological and evolutionary drivers of hemoplasma infection and genotype sharing in a Neotropical bat community

Daniel Becker, Kelly Speer, Alexis Brown, Alex Washburne, Brock Fenton, Sonia Altizer, Daniel Streicker, Raina Plowright, Vladimir Chizhikov, Nancy Simmons & Dmitriy Volokhov
Most emerging pathogens can infect multiple species, underscoring the importance of understanding the ecological and evolutionary factors that allow some hosts to harbor greater infection prevalence and share pathogens with other species. However, our understanding of pathogen jumps is primarily based around viruses, despite bacteria accounting for the greatest proportion of zoonoses. Because bacterial pathogens in bats (Order: Chiroptera) can have conservation and human health consequences, studies that examine the ecological and evolutionary drivers of...

Reproductive hormones mediate changes in the gut microbiome during pregnancy and lactation in Phayre’s leaf monkeys

Elizabeth Mallott, Carola Borries, Andreas Koenig, Amy Lu & Katherine R. Amato
Studies in multiple host species have shown that gut microbial diversity and composition change during pregnancy and lactation. However, the specific mechanisms underlying these shifts are not well understood. Here, we use longitudinal data from wild Phayre’s leaf monkeys to test the hypothesis that fluctuations in reproductive hormone concentrations contribute to gut microbial shifts during pregnancy. We described the microbial taxonomic composition of 91 fecal samples from 15 females (n=16 cycling, n=36 pregnant, n=39 lactating)...

Multiple Wh-Movement is not Special: The Subregular Complexity of Persistent Features in Minimalist Grammars

Thomas Graf & Kalina Kostyszyn

The evolution of multi-gene families and metabolic pathways in the evening primroses (Oenothera: Onagraceae): a comparative transcriptomics approach

Eunice Kariñho-Betancourt, Dave Carlson, Jesse Hollister, Axel Fischer, Stephan Greiner & Marc Johnson
The plant genus Oenothera has played an important role in the study of genome evolution and plant defense and reproduction. Here, we built on the 1kp transcriptomic dataset and developed a molecular resource of 63 transcriptomes and present a large-scale comparative study across 29 Oenothera species. We produced 2.3 million transcripts and 25.4 Mb of total length assembly per individual. We used this transcriptome resource to examine genome-wide evolutionary patterns and functional diversification by searching...

Across borders: external factors and prior behavior influence North Pacific albatross associations with fishing vessels

Rachael Orben, Josh Adams, Michelle Hester, Scott Shaffer, Robert Suryan, Tomohiro Deguchi, Kiyoaki Ozaki, Fumio Sato, Lindsay Young, Corey Clatterbuck, Melinda Conners, David Kroodsma & Leigh Torres
1. Understanding encounters between marine predators and fisheries across national borders and outside national jurisdictions offers new perspectives on unwanted interactions to inform ocean management and predator conservation. Although seabird-fisheries overlap has been documented at many scales, remote identification of vessel encounters has lagged because vessel movement data often is lacking. 2. Here, we reveal albatross-fisheries associations throughout the North Pacific Ocean. We identified commercial fishing operations using Global Fishing Watch data and algorithms to...

Large‐scale genome sampling reveals unique immunity and metabolic adaptations in bats

Diana Daniela Moreno Santillan, Tanya Lama, Yocelyn T Gutierrez Guerrero, Zixia Huang, Graham Hughes, Alexis Brown, Paul Donat, Huabin Zhao, Stephen Rossiter, Laurel Yohe, Joshua Potter, Emma Teeling, Sonja Vernes, Kalina Davies, Eugene Myers, Federico Hoffmann, Angelique Corthals, David Ray & Liliana Davalos
Comprising more than 1,400 species, bats possess adaptations unique among mammals including powered flight, unexpected longevity given small body size, and extraordinary immunity. Some of the molecular mechanisms underlying these unique adaptations includes DNA repair, metabolism and immunity. However, analyses have been limited to a few divergent lineages, reducing the scope of inferences on gene family evolution across the Order Chiroptera. We conducted an exhaustive comparative genomic study of 37 bat species encompassing a large...

Data and R code from: Fire-induced loss of the world’s most biodiverse forests in Latin America

Dolors Armenteras, Liliana María Davalos, Joan Sebastian Barreto, Angela Hernandez-Moreno, Carlos Zamorano-Elgueta, Tania Gonzalez-Delgado, Maria Constanza Meza, Alejandro Miranda & Javier Retana
Fire plays a dominant role in deforestation, particularly in the tropics, but the relative extent of transformations and influence of fire frequency on eventual forest loss remain unclear. Here we analyze the frequency of fire and its influence on post-fire forest trajectories between 2001-2018. We account for ~1.1% of Latin American forests burnt in 2002-2003 (8,465,850 ha). Although 40.1% of forests (3,393,250 ha) burned only once, by 2018~48% of the evergreen forests converted to other,...

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