286 Works

Influence of Climate and Human Preferences on Patterns of Taxonomic and Functional Biodiversity of Recreational Parks

Peter Ibsen, Dorothy Borowy, Mia Rochford, Christopher Swan & G Darrel Jenerette
Recreational urban parks support diverse assemblages of plants that contribute ecosystem services to billions of individuals in cities throughout the world. Drivers of ecosystem services in parks are complex, as climate and human preferences interact with multiple species of vegetation types. Yet, informal observations suggest that recreational parks are built consistently to a specific typology. Here we ask: what are the patterns of ecosystem services and vegetation biodiversity in cities of varying climate in the...

Experimental N and P additions relieve stoichiometric constraints on organic-matter flows through five stream food webs

Lee Demi, Jonathan Benstead, Amy Rosemond & John Maerz
1. Human activities have dramatically altered global patterns of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability. This pervasive nutrient pollution is changing basal resource quality in food webs, thereby affecting rates of biological productivity and the pathways of energy and material flow to higher trophic levels. 2. Here, we investigate how the stoichiometric quality of basal resources modulates patterns of material flow through food webs by characterizing the effects of experimental N and P enrichment on...

Conflicting signal in transcriptomic markers leads to a poorly resolved backbone phylogeny of Chalcidoid wasps

Junxia Zhang, Amelia R.I. Lindsey, Ralph S. Peters, John M. Heraty, Keith R. Hopper, John H. Werren, Ellen O. Martinson, James B. Woolley, Matt J. Yoder & Lars Krogmann
Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera) are a megadiverse superfamily of wasps with astounding variation in both morphology and biology. Most species are parasitoids and important natural enemies of insects in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we explored a transcriptome-based phylogeny of Chalcidoidea and found that poorly resolved relationships could only be marginally improved by adding more genes (a total of 5,591) and taxa (a total of 65), proof-checking for errors of homology and contamination, and decreasing missing data....

More than DNA methylation: does pleiotropy drive the complex pattern of evolution of Dnmt1?

Patricia Moore, Ashley Amukamara, Joshua Washington, Zachary Sanchez, Elizabeth McKinney, Allen Moore & Robert Schmitz
DNA methylation is an important chromatin modification that can stably alter gene expression in cells and maintain genome integrity in plants and vertebrates. The function of DNA methylation outside of these well-studied systems, however, is unclear. Insects, in particular, represent an understudied group. Variation in the level of DNA methylation and gains and losses in the maintenance methyltransferase, DNMT1, across the insect tree of life suggests that there is much we don’t understand about DMNT1...

Landscape context mediates the physiological stress response of birds to farmland diversification

Christopher Latimer, Olivia Smith, Joseph Taylor, Amanda Edworthy, Jeb Owen, William Snyder & Christina M. Kennedy
1. Farmland diversification practices are increasingly adopted to help reverse biodiversity declines in agroecosystems. However, evidence for the effectiveness of this approach often comes from documenting the species attracted to particular farming systems or landscapes, rather than their underlying physiological states that ultimately determine population growth or decline over the longer term. 2. Across 38 organic, mixed-produce farms spanning the U.S. west coast, we quantified three physiological biomarkers that are widely used to capture variation...

Fitness consequences of a non-recombining sex-ratio drive chromosome can explain its prevalence in the wild

Kelly Dyer & David Hall
Understanding the pleiotropic consequences of gene drive systems on host fitness is essential to predict their spread through a host population. Here we study Sex-ratio (SR) X-chromosome drive in the fly Drosophila recens, where SR causes the death of Y-bearing sperm in male carriers. SR males only sire daughters, which all carry SR, thus giving the chromosome a transmission advantage. The prevalence of the SR chromosome appears stable, suggesting pleiotropic costs. It was previously shown...

Freeze-tolerance of poleward-spreading mangrove species weakened by soil properties of resident salt marsh competitor

Enjian Chen, Julie Blaze, Rachel Smith, Shaolin Peng & James Byers
1. Background: Increasing temperatures associated with climate change are shifting plant species to higher latitudes. Soil communities could aid the plants’ shift into novel areas by harbouring fewer soil-borne antagonists or more mutualists that influence the fitness and stress tolerance of the shifting species. Alternatively, they could contain novel antagonists or fewer mutualists. Thus, soil communities could positively or negatively affect plant range expansion, particularly if they influence plants’ responses to climate, such as freeze...

Assessing the effects of elephant foraging on the structure and diversity of an Afrotropical forest

Cooper Rosin, Kendall Beals, Michael Belovitch, Ruby Harrison, Megan Pendred, Megan Sullivan, Nicolas Yao & John Poulsen
African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) are ecosystem engineers that browse and damage large quantities of vegetation during their foraging and movement. Though elephant trail networks and clearings are conspicuous features of many African forests, the consequences of elephant foraging for forest structure and diversity are poorly documented. In this study in northeastern Gabon, we compare stem size, stem density, proportional damage, species diversity, and species relative abundance of seedlings and saplings in the vicinity of...

Data from: The multispecies coalescent model outperforms concatenation across diverse phylogenomic

Xiaodong Jiang, Scott Edwards & Liang Liu
A statistical framework of model comparison and model validation is essential to resolving the debates over concatenation and coalescent models in phylogenomic data analysis. A set of statistical tests are here applied and developed to evaluate and compare the adequacy of substitution, concatenation, and multispecies coalescent (MSC) models across 47 phylogenomic data sets collected across tree of life. Tests for substitution models and the concatenation assumption of topologically concordant gene trees suggest that a poor...

Predaceous Toxorhynchites mosquitoes require a living gut microbiota to develop

Kerri Coon, Luca Valzania, Mark R. Brown & Michael R. Strand
Most species of mosquitoes are detritivores that feed on decaying plant and animal materials in their aquatic environment. Studies of several detritivorous mosquito species indicate they host relatively low diversity communities of microbes that are acquired from the environment while feeding. Our recent results also indicate that detritivorous species require a living gut microbiota in order to grow beyond the first instar. Less well known is that some mosquitoes, including those belonging to the genus...

Geographic patterns in morphometric and genetic variation for coyote populations with emphasis on southeastern coyotes

Joseph W Hinton, Elizabeth Heppenheimer, Danny Caudill, Melissa L Karlin, Margaret Walch, Bridgett VonHoldt, Michael J Chamberlain, Kyla M. West, John C. Kilgo, John Joseph Mayer & Karl V. Miller
Prior to 1900, coyotes (Canis latrans) were restricted to the western and central regions of North America, but by the early 2000s coyotes became ubiquitous throughout the eastern United States. Information regarding morphological and genetic structure of coyote populations in the southeastern United States is limited, and where data exist, they are rarely compared to those from other regions of North America. We assessed geographic patterns in morphology and genetics of coyotes with special consideration...

Data from: Higher-level phylogeny and reclassification of Lampyridae (Coleoptera: Elateroidea)

Gavin Martin, Kathrin Stanger-Hall, Marc Branham, Luiz Da Silveira, Sarah Lower, David Hall, Xue-Yan Li, Alan Lemmon, Emily Lemmon & Seth Bybee
Fireflies (Lampyridae) are a diverse family of beetles which exhibit an array of morphologies including varying antennal and photic organ morphologies. Due in part to their morphological diversity, the classification within the Lampyridae has long been in flux. Here we use an anchored hybrid enrichment approach to reconstruct the most extensive molecular phylogeny of Lampyridae to date (436 loci and 98 taxa) and to evaluate firefly higher-level classification. We propose several classification changes supported by...

Mass ratio effects underlie ecosystem responses to environmental change

Melinda Smith, Sally Koerner, Alan Knapp, Meghan Avolio, Francis Chaves, Elsie Denton, John Dietrich, David Gibson, Jesse Gray, Ava Hoffman, David Hoover, Kimberly Komatsu, Andrea Silletti, Kevin Wilcox, Qiang Yu & John Blair
1. Random species loss has been shown experimentally to reduce ecosystem function, sometimes more than other anthropogenic environmental changes. Yet, controversy surrounds the importance of this finding for natural systems where species loss is non-random. 2. We compiled data from 16 multi-year experiments located at a single site in native tallgrass prairie. These experiments included responses to 11 anthropogenic environmental changes, as well as non-random biodiversity loss - either the removal of uncommon/rare plant species...

Data from: Mass ratio effects underlie ecosystem responses to environmental change

Melinda Smith & Andrea Silletti
1. Random species loss has been shown experimentally to reduce ecosystem function, sometimes more than other anthropogenic environmental changes. Yet, controversy surrounds the importance of this finding for natural systems where species loss is non-random. 2. We compiled data from 16 multi-year experiments located at a single site in native tallgrass prairie. These experiments included responses to 11 anthropogenic environmental changes, as well as non-random biodiversity loss - either the removal of uncommon/rare plant species...

Data from: Preservation-induced morphological change in salamanders and failed DNA extraction from a decades-old museum specimen: implications for Plethodon ainsworthi

Todd Pierson, Troy Kieran, Adam Clause & Nikole Castleberry
Natural history collections are important data repositories, but different chemical treatments of specimens can influence morphological measurements and DNA extraction, complicating taxonomic and conservation decisions dependent upon these data. One such example is the Bay Springs Salamander (Plethodon ainsworthi), the only United States amphibian categorized as Extinct by the IUCN. Recent research has proposed that P. ainsworthi is an invalid taxon, arguing that the 55-year-old type specimens’ morphological distinctiveness from syntopic P. mississippi is a...

Deer movement and resource selection during Hurricane Irma: implications for extreme climatic events and wildlife

Heather Abernathy, Daniel Crawford, Elina Garrison, Richard Chandler, L. Mike Conner, Karl Miller & Michael Cherry
Extreme climatic events (ECEs) are increasing in frequency and intensity and this necessitates understanding their influence on organisms. Animal behavior may mitigate the effects of ECEs, but field studies are rare because ECEs are infrequent and unpredictable. Hurricane Irma made landfall in southwestern Florida where we were monitoring white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus seminolus) with GPS collars. We report on an opportunistic case study of behavioral responses exhibited by a large mammal during an ECE, mitigation...

Data from: Spatial transitions in tree cover are associated with soil hydrology, but not with grass biomass, fire frequency, or herbivore biomass in Serengeti savannahs

Ricardo Holdo, Daphne Onderdonk, Annabelle Barr, Meshak Mwita & T. Michael Anderson
1. Although there is a well-known association between tree cover and soil texture in savannahs, the hydrological drivers of tree cover variation have not been systematically explored, particularly in parallel with factors such as fire, herbivory, and tree-grass interactions. The relationship between hydrological factors and tree cover is important for resolving the relative contribution of bottom-up vs. top-down factors in structuring savannah vegetation. 2. We quantified soil moisture dynamics across eight 1-km transects spanning tree...

Data from: Chronology of reproductive investment determines predation risk aversion in a felid-ungulate system

Daniel Crawford, Michael J Cherry, Brian D Kelly, Elina P Garrison, David Shindle, L Mike Conner, Richard B Chandler & Karl V Miller
Fear of predators can behaviorally mediate prey population dynamics, particularly when predation risk influences reproductive investment. However, the costs of reproductive investment may mitigate predation risk aversion relative to periods when the link between reproductive output and prey behavior is weaker. We posit that intensity of reproductive investment in ungulates may predict their response to predation risk such that the sexes increase risk exposure during biological seasons that are pivotal to reproductive success, such as...

Data from: Rational time investment during collective decision making in Temnothorax ants

Takao Sasaki, Benjamin Stott & Stephen Pratt
The study of rational choice in humans and other animals typically focuses on decision outcomes, but rationality also applies to decision latencies. For example, the smaller the difference in quality between two options, the faster a rational actor should decide between them. This is because the consequences of choosing the inferior option are less severe if the options are similar. Experiments have shown, however, that humans irrationally spend more time choosing between similar options. In...

Data from: Predicting functional responses in agro-ecosystems from animal movement data to improve management of invasive pests

Mark Wilber, Sarah Chinn, James Beasley, Raoul Boughton, Ryan Brook, Stephen Ditchkoff, Justin Fischer, Steve Hartley, Lindsey Holstrom, John Kilgo, Jesse Lewis, Ryan Miller, Nathan Snow, Kurt VerCauteren, Samantha Wisely, Colleen Webb & Kim Pepin
Functional responses describe how changing resource availability affects consumer resource use, thus providing a mechanistic approach to prediction of the invasibility and potential damage of invasive alien species (IAS). However, functional responses can be context-dependent, varying with resource characteristics and availability, consumer attributes, and environmental variables. Identifying context-dependencies can allow invasion and damage risk to be predicted across different ecoregions. Understanding how ecological factors shape the functional response in agro-ecosystems can improve predictions of hotspots...

Data from: Comparing methods for mapping global parasite diversity

Paula Pappalardo, Ignacio Morales-Castilla, Andrew Park, Shan Huang, John Schmidt & Patrick Stephens
Aim Parasites are a major component of global ecosystems, yet spatial variation in parasite diversity is poorly known, largely because their occurrence data are limited and thus difficult to interpret. Using a recently compiled database of parasite occurrences, we compare different models which we use to infer parasite geographic ranges and parasite species richness across the globe. Innovation To date, most studies exploring spatial patterns of parasite diversity assumed, with little validation, that the geographic...

Data from: Testing adaptive hypotheses on the evolution of larval life history in acorn and stalked barnacles

Christine Ewers-Saucedo & Paula Pappalardo
Despite strong selective pressure to optimize larval life history in marine environments, there is a wide diversity with regard to developmental mode, size and time larvae spend in the plankton. In the present study, we assessed if adaptive hypotheses explain the distribution of the larval life history of thoracican barnacles within a strict phylogenetic framework. We collected environmental and larval trait data for 170 species from the literature, and utilized a complete thoracican synthesis tree...

Data from: City sicker? a meta-analysis of wildlife health and urbanization

Maureen H. Murray, Cecilia A. Sanchez, Daniel J. Becker, Kaylee A. Byers, Katherine E. L. Worsley-Tonks & Meggan E. Craft
Urban development can alter resource availability, land use, and community composition, in turn influencing wildlife health. Generalizable relationships between wildlife health and urbanization have yet to be quantified, and could vary across health metrics and animal taxonomy. We present a phylogenetic meta-analysis of 516 records spanning 81 wildlife species from 106 studies comparing the toxicant loads, parasitism, body condition, or stress of urban and non-urban wildlife populations in 30 countries. We find a significantly negative...

Data from: Age-structure and transient dynamics in epidemiological systems

Felicia Maria G. Magpantay, Aaron A. King & Pejman Rohani
Mathematical models of childhood diseases date back to the early twentieth century. In several cases, models that make the simplifying assumption of homogeneous time-dependent transmission rates give good agreement with data in the absence of secular trends in population demography or transmission. The prime example is afforded by the dynamics of measles in industrialized countries in the pre-vaccine era. Accurate description of the transient dynamics following the introduction of routine vaccination has proved more challenging,...

Data from: Genetic dissection of hybrid male sterility across stages of spermatogenesis

Denise J. Schwahn, Richard J. Wang, Michael A. White & Bret A. Payseur
Hybrid sterility is a common form of reproductive isolation between nascent species. Although hybrid sterility is routinely documented and genetically dissected in speciation studies, its developmental basis is rarely examined, especially in generations beyond the F1. To identify phenotypic and genetic determinants of hybrid male sterility from a developmental perspective, we characterized testis histology in 312 F2 hybrids generated by intercrossing inbred strains of Mus musculus domesticus and M. m. musculus, two subspecies of house...

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  • University of Georgia
  • University of California System
  • University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • University of Florida
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Exeter
  • Cornell University
  • Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
  • University of Minnesota
  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • Indiana University Bloomington
  • University of British Columbia
  • Pennsylvania State University