Data from: Bayesian inference of selection in a heterogeneous environment from genetic time-series dataZachariah Gompert
Evolutionary geneticists have sought to characterize the causes and molecular targets of selection in natural populations for many years. Although this research program has been somewhat successful, most statistical methods employed were designed to detect consistent, weak to moderate selection. In contrast, phenotypic studies in nature show that selection varies in time and that individual bouts of selection can be strong. Measurements of the genomic consequences of such fluctuating selection could help test and refine...
Data from: The evolution of life cycle complexity in aphids: ecological optimization, or historical constraint?Nate B. Hardy, Daniel A. Peterson & Carol D. Von Dohlen
For decades, biologists have debated why many parasites have obligate multi-host life cycles. Here, we use comparative phylogenetic analyses of aphids to evaluate the roles of ecological optimization and historical constraint in the evolution of life cycle complexity. If life cycle complexity is adaptive, it should be evolutionarily labile, i.e., change in response to selection. We provide evidence that this is true in some aphids (aphidines), but not others (non-aphidines) – groups that differ in...
Data from: Large niche differences emerge at the recruitment stage to stabilize grassland coexistenceChengjin Chu & Peter B. Adler
Niche differences and average fitness differences jointly determine coexistence. However, little empirical information about the magnitude of these two mechanisms is available. Using multispecies population models fit to long-term demographic data for common, co-occurring species in five grassland and shrubland plant communities in western North America, we estimated the strength of stabilizing niche differences and average fitness differences. In all five communities, both pairwise and full community comparisons showed evidence for strong stabilizing mechanisms and...
Data from: Covariation in abscission force and terminal velocity of wind-borne sibling seeds alters long distance dispersal projectionsBrittany J. Teller, James H. Marden & Katriona Shea
1. Despite the fact that seeds are unlikely to be identical—even among siblings within a maternal individual—dispersal models typically use one mean trait value to represent the ability of an entire species to disperse. Previous work has shown that the environmental conditions under which individuals leave the maternal site strongly affect how far seeds will travel. However, less is known about how trait variation within individuals contributes to dispersal or how such variation might interact...
Phenotypic variability in horn characteristics, such as their size, number and shape, offers the opportunity to elucidate the molecular basis of horn development. The objective of this study was to map the genetic determinant controlling the production of four horns in two breeds, Jacob sheep and Navajo-Churro, and examine whether an eyelid abnormality occurring in the same populations is related. Genome-wide association mapping was performed using 125 animals from the two breeds that contain two-...
Data from: Food restriction and chronic stress alter energy use and affect immunity in an infrequent feederLorin A. Neuman-Lee, H. Bobby Fokidis, Austin Spence, Marilize Van Der Walt, Geoffrey D. Smith, Susan Durham, Susannah S. French & Austin R. Spence
Glucocorticoids are important mediators of energy utilization for key physiological processes, including immune function. Much work has focused on the effects of energy limitation and stress for key physiological processes such as reproduction and immunity. However, it is unclear how stress alters energy use across different energy states, and the physiological ramifications of such effects are even less clear. In this study, we altered energy and stress states of an infrequent feeder, the Terrestrial Gartersnake...
Evidence shows the important role biota play in the carbon cycle, and strategic management of plant and animal populations could enhance CO2 uptake in aquatic ecosystems. However, it is currently unknown how management-driven changes to community structure may interact with climate warming and other anthropogenic perturbations to alter CO2 fluxes. Here we showed that under ambient water temperatures, predators (three-spined stickleback) and nutrient enrichment synergistically increased primary producer biomass, resulting in increased CO2 uptake by...
Data from: Comparing process-based and constraint-based approaches for modeling macroecological patternsXiao Xiao, James P. O'Dwyer & Ethan P. White
Ecological patterns arise from the interplay of many different processes, and yet the emergence of consistent phenomena across a diverse range of ecological systems suggests that many patterns may in part be determined by statistical or numerical constraints. Differentiating the extent to which patterns in a given system are determined statistically, and where it requires explicit ecological processes, has been difficult. We tackled this challenge by directly comparing models from a constraint-based theory, the Maximum...
Anthropogenic disturbances involving land use change, climate disruption, pollution, and invasive species have been shown to impact immune function of wild animals. These immune changes have direct impacts on the fitness of impacted animals and, also, potentially indirect effects on other species and on ecological processes, notably involving the spread of infectious disease. Here, we investigate whether the selective loss of large wildlife can also drive changes in immune function of other consumer species. Using...
1. Disturbance is a crucial determinant of animal abundance, distribution and community structure in many ecosystems, but the ways in which multiple disturbance types interact remain poorly understood. The effects of multiple-disturbance interactions can be additive, subadditive or super-additive (synergistic). Synergistic effects in particular can accelerate ecological change; thus, characterizing such synergies, the conditions under which they arise, and how long they persist has been identified as a major goal of ecology. 2. We factorially...
Data from: Population genomics of divergence among extreme and intermediate color forms in a polymorphic insectJeffrey D. Lozier, Jason M. Jackson, Michael E. Dillon & James P. Strange
Geographic variation in insect coloration is among the most intriguing examples of rapid phenotypic evolution and provides opportunities to study mechanisms of phenotypic change and diversification in closely related lineages. The bumble bee Bombus bifarius comprises two geographically disparate color groups characterized by red-banded and black-banded abdominal pigmentation, but with a range of spatially and phenotypically intermediate populations across western North America. Microsatellite analyses have revealed that B. bifarius in the USA are structured into...
Experimental evolution has provided little support for the hypothesis that the narrow diets of herbivorous insects reflect trade-offs in performance across hosts; selection lines can sometimes adapt to an inferior novel host without a decline in performance on the ancestral host. An alternative approach for detecting trade-offs would be to measure adaptation decay after selection is relaxed, i.e., when populations newly adapted to a novel host are reverted to the ancestral one. Lines of the...
Data from: Genetic architecture, biochemical underpinnings, and ecological impact of floral UV patterningMarcus Brock, Lauren Lucas, Nickolas Anderson, Matthew Rubin, R. J. Markelz, Michael Covington, Upendra Devisetty, Clint Chapple, Julin Maloof, Cynthia Weinig, Nickolas A. Anderson, Lauren K. Lucas, Marcus T. Brock, Matthew J. Rubin, R. J. Cody Markelz, Michael F. Covington, Upendra K. Devisetty & Julin N. Maloof
Floral attraction traits can significantly affect pollinator visitation patterns, but adaptive evolution of these traits may be constrained by correlations with other traits. In some cases, molecular pathways contributing to floral attraction are well-characterized, offering the opportunity to explore loci potentially underlying variation among individuals. Here, we quantify the range of variation in floral UV patterning (i.e., UV “bulls-eye” nectar guides) among crop and wild accessions of Brassica rapa. We then use experimental crosses to...
Data from: The evolution of novel host use is unlikely to be constrained by tradeoffs or a lack of genetic variationZachariah Gompert, Joshua P. Jahner, Cynthia F. Scholl, Joseph S. Wilson, Lauren K. Lucas, Victor Soria-Carrasco, James A. Fordyce, Chris C. Nice, C. Alex Buerkle & Matthew L. Forister
The genetic and ecological factors that shape the evolution of animal diets remain poorly understood. For herbivorous insects, the expectation has been that trade-offs exist, such that adaptation to one host plant reduces performance on other potential hosts. We investigated the genetic architecture of alternative host use by rearing individual Lycaeides melissa butterflies from two wild populations in a crossed design on two hosts (one native and one introduced) and analysing the genetic basis of...
The interplay between selection and aspects of the genetic architecture of traits (such as linkage, dominance, and epistasis) can either drive or constrain speciation. Despite accumulating evidence that speciation can progress to “intermediate” stages—with populations evolving only partial reproductive isolation—studies describing selective mechanisms that impose constraints on speciation are more rare than those describing drivers. The stick insect Timema cristinae provides an example of a system in which partial reproductive isolation has evolved between populations...
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