54 Works

Data from: Divergent effects of forest edges on host distribution and seed disperser activity influence mistletoe distribution and recruitment

Ainhoa Magrach, Javier Rodriguez-Perez, Martin Piazzon & Luis Santamaria
1. Species interactions define functional diversity and community stability across ecosystems, and depend on the spatial distribution, the habitat requirements, and the sensitivity to disturbances of all interacting partners. Hence, assessing the effects of such anthropogenic disturbances on multi-species interactions may be essential to improve adaptation and mitigation measures for biodiversity conservation. 2. We determined the importance of edge effects on the interaction and distribution of three keystone species in South American temperate rainforests: the...

Data from: Forgotten Mediterranean calving grounds of gray and North Atlantic right whales: evidence from Roman archaeological records

Ana S.L. Rodrigues, Anne Charpentier, Darío Bernal-Casasola, Armelle Gardeisen, Carlos Nores, José Antonio Pis Millán, Krista McGrath, Camilla F. Speller & Ana S. L. Rodrigues
Right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) were extirpated from the eastern North Atlantic by commercial whaling. Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) disappeared from the entire North Atlantic in still-mysterious circumstances. Here we test the hypotheses that both of these species previously occurred in the Mediterranean Sea, an area not currently considered part of their historical range. We used ancient DNA barcoding and collagen fingerprinting methods to taxonomically identify a rare set of 10 presumed whale bones from Roman...

Data from: Seed dispersers help plants to escape global warming

Juan P. González-Varo, José V. López-Bao & José Guitián
Plants are shifting their ranges towards higher elevations in response to global warming, yet such shifts are occurring at a rate slower than is needed to keep pace with a rapidly changing climate. There is, however, an almost complete lack of knowledge on seed dispersal across altitude, a key process to understand what constrains climate-driven range shifts. Here, we report the first direct empirical evidence on altitudinal seed dispersal mediated by two common frugivorous mammals:...

Data from: From parasitism to mutualism: unexpected interactions between a cuckoo and its host

Daniela Canestrari, Diana Bolopo, Ted C. J. Turlings, Gregory Röder, José M. Marcos & Vittorio Baglione
Avian brood parasites lay eggs in the nests of other birds, which raise the unrelated chicks and typically suffer partial or complete loss of their own brood. However, carrion crows Corvus corone corone can benefit from parasitism by the great spotted cuckoo Clamator glandarius. Parasitized nests have lower rates of predation-induced failure due to production of a repellent secretion by cuckoo chicks, but among nests that are successful, those with cuckoo chicks fledge fewer crows....

Distances, climatic differences, and vegetation similarities of alpine grasslands in Europe

George Malanson & Borja Jiménez-Alfaro
The importance of environmental difference among sites and dispersal limitations of species to the explanation of diversity differs among biological systems and geographical regions. We hypothesized that climate and then dispersal limitation will predominantly explain the similarity of alpine vegetation at increasing distances between pairs of regions at sub-continental extent. We computed the similarity of all pairs of 23 European mountain regions below 50°N after dividing the species lists of each region by calcareous or...

Contrasting altitudinal variation of alpine plant communities along the Swedish mountains

Johannes Måsviken, Fredrik Dalerum & Sara Cousins
Changes in abiotic factors along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients cause powerful environmental gradients. The topography of alpine areas generates environmental gradients over short distances, and alpine areas are expected to experience greater temperature increase compared to the global average. In this study, we investigate alpha, beta and gamma diversity, as well as community structure, of vascular plant communities along altitudinal gradients at three latitudes in the Swedish mountains. Species richness and evenness decreased with altitude...

Data from: The Red Death meets the abdominal bristle: polygenic mutation for susceptibility to a bacterial pathogen in Caenorhabditis elegans

Veronique Etienne, Erik C. Andersen, José Miguel Ponciano, Dustin Blanton, Analucia Cadavid, Joanna Joyner-Matos, Chikako Matsuba, Brandon Tabman & Charles F. Baer
Understanding the genetic basis of susceptibility to pathogens is an important goal of medicine and of evolutionary biology. A key first step toward understanding the genetics and evolution of any phenotypic trait is characterizing the role of mutation. However, the rate at which mutation introduces genetic variance for pathogen susceptibility in any organism is essentially unknown. Here we quantify the per-generation input of genetic variance by mutation (VM) for susceptibility of Caenorhabditis elegans to the...

Data from: Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from Pleistocene sediments

Viviane Slon, Charlotte Hopfe, Clemens L. Weiss, Fabrizio Mafessoni, Marco De La Rasilla & Carles Lalueza-Fox
Although a rich record of Pleistocene human-associated archaeological assemblages exists, the scarcity of hominin fossils often impedes the understanding of which hominins occupied a site. Using targeted enrichment of mitochondrial DNA we show that cave sediments represent a rich source of ancient mammalian DNA that often includes traces of hominin DNA, even at sites and in layers where no hominin remains have been discovered. By automation-assisted screening of numerous sediment samples we detect Neandertal DNA...

Data from: Evolvability meets biogeography: evolutionary potential decreases at high and low environmental favourability

Jesús Martinez-Padilla, Alba Estrada, Regan Early & Francisco García-González
Understanding and forecasting the effects of environmental change on wild populations requires knowledge on a critical question: do populations have the ability to evolve in response to that change? However, our knowledge on how evolution works in wild conditions under different environmental circumstances is extremely limited. We investigated how environmental variation influences the evolutionary potential of phenotypic traits. We used published data to collect or calculate 135 estimates of evolvability of morphological traits of European...

Data from: Ecological and evolutionary drivers of the elevational gradient of diversity

Paola Laiolo, Joaquina Pato & J R Obeso
Ecological, evolutionary, spatial and neutral theories make distinct predictions and provide distinct explanations for the mechanisms that control the relationship between diversity and the environment. Here, we test predictions of the elevational diversity gradient focusing on Iberian bumblebees, grasshoppers and birds. Processes mediated by local abundance and regional diversity concur in explaining local diversity patterns along elevation. Effects expressed through variation in abundance were similar among taxa and point to the overriding role of a...

Data from: Frugivore biodiversity and complementarity in interaction networks enhance landscape-scale seed dispersal function

Daniel García, Isabel Donoso & Javier Rodríguez-Pérez
1. Animal biodiversity matters for the provision of ecosystem functions derived from trophic activity. However, the mechanisms underlying this pattern remain elusive since animal abundance and diversity, which are the components commonly used for representing biodiversity, provide poor information about ecological complementarity in species assemblages. An approach based on species interaction networks may overcome this constraint. 2. Here, we relate frugivore biodiversity and frugivore-plant network structure with landscape-scale seed dispersal function. We sampled, for two...

What defines insularity for plants in edaphic islands?

Francisco Emmanuel Méndez Castro, Luisa Conti, Milan Chytrý, Borja Jimenez-Alfaro, Michal Hajek, Michal Horsák, David Zeleny, Marco Malavasi & Gianluigi Ottaviani
The Theory of Island Biogeography postulates that size and isolation are key drivers of biodiversity on islands. This theory has been applied not only to true (e.g. oceanic) islands but also to terrestrial island-like systems (e.g. edaphic islands). Recently, a debate has opened as to whether terrestrial island-like systems function like true islands. However, identifying the effect of insularity in terrestrial systems is conceptually and methodologically challenging because recognizing species source(s) and measuring isolation is...

Variable relationships between trait diversity and avian ecological functions in agroecosystems

Rocío Peña, Matthias Schleuning, Marcos Miñarro & Daniel García
1) The diversity of traits within animal assemblages has been shown to affect the magnitude of animal-provided ecological functions. However, little is known about how consistent trait diversity effects are across ecological functions and ecosystems. More importantly, the importance of trait diversity in driving ecosystem functioning, relative to other components of biodiversity, has rarely been assessed. It also remains unclear how environmental gradients filter trait diversity and, ultimately, modulate ecological functions. 2) Here we test...

Source matrices used to obtain the trophic and spatial seed dispersal networks

Beatriz Rumeu, Isabel Donoso, Javier Rodríguez-Pérez & Daniel García
1. Trophic relationships have inherent spatial dimensions associated with the sites where species interactions, or their delayed effects, occur. Trophic networks among interacting species may thus be coupled with spatial networks linking species and habitats whereby animals connect patches across the landscape thanks to their high mobility. This trophic and spatial duality is especially inherent in processes like seed dispersal by animals, where frugivores consume fruit species and deposit seeds across habitats. 2. We analysed...

Data from: Dual function and associated costs of a highly exaggerated trait in a cichlid fish

Sina Julia Rometsch, Julián Torres-Dowdall, Gonzalo Machado-Schiaffino, Nidal Karagic & Axel Meyer
Exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics are apparently costly and seem to defy natural selection. This conundrum prompted Charles Darwin to propose the theory of sexual selection. Accordingly, exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics might be ornaments on which female choice is based and/or armaments used during male-male competition. Males of many cichlid fish species, including the adaptive radiation of Nicaraguan Midas cichlids, develop a highly exaggerated nuchal hump, which is thought to be a sexually selected trait. To...

Enhancing ecosystem services in apple orchards: Nest boxes increase pest control by insectivorous birds

Daniel García, Marcos Miñarro & Rodrigo Martínez-Sastre
Ecological intensification in croplands aims to enhance biodiversity-based ecosystem services, helping to increase yield while reducing agricultural environmental impacts. Identifying ecological intensification tools of wide applicability and easily implemented by farmers is, therefore, an imperative. Here, we verify the efficiency of provisioning artificial nest boxes for insectivorous birds to reinforce pest biological control in apple orchards. The study was conducted in 24 cider-apple orchards in Asturias (NW Spain) over three years. We compared the effect...

Data from: Postglacial determinants of regional species pools in alpine grasslands

Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Wolfgang Willner, Eszter Ruprecht, Kiril Vassilev, Nevena Kuzmanovic, Renata Ćušterevska, Djordjije Milanovic, Josef Sibik, Sylvain Abdulhak, Angela Stanisci, Maria Luisa Carranza, Ariel Bergamini, Corrado Marcenó & Gianpietro Giusso Del Galdo
Aim: Alpine habitats support unique biodiversity confined to high-elevation areas in the current interglacial. Plant diversity in these habitats responds to area, environment, connectivity and isolation, yet these factors have been rarely evaluated in concert. Here we investigate major determinants of regional species pools in alpine grasslands, and the responses of their constituent species groups. Location: European mountains below 50ºN. Time Period: Between 1928 and 2019. Major Taxa Studied: Vascular plants. Methods: We compiled species...

The roles of acclimation and behavior in buffering climate change impacts along elevational gradients

Urtzi Enriquez-Urzelai, Reid Tingley, Michael Kearney, Martina Sacco, Antonio Palacio, Miguel Tejedo & Alfredo Nicieza
1. The vulnerability of species to climate change is jointly influenced by geographic phenotypic variation, acclimation, and behavioral thermoregulation. The importance of interactions between these factors, however, remains poorly understood. 2. We demonstrate how advances in mechanistic niche modelling can be used to integrate and assess the influence of these sources of uncertainty in forecasts of climate change impacts. 3. We explored geographic variation in thermal tolerance (i.e. maximum and minimum thermal limits) and its...

Data from: Genomic variation, population history and within-archipelago adaptation between island bird populations

Claudia A. Martin, Claire Armstrong, Juan Carlos Illera, Brent C. Emerson, David Richardson & Lewis G. Spurgin
Oceanic island archipelagos provide excellent models to understand evolutionary processes. Colonisation events and gene flow can interact with selection to shape genetic variation at different spatial scales. Landscape-scale variation in biotic and abiotic factors may drive fine-scale selection within islands, while long-term evolutionary processes may drive divergence between distantly related populations. Here, we examine patterns of population history and selection between recently diverged populations of the Berthelot’s pipit (Anthus berthelotii), a passerine endemic to three...

Genetic structure and evolution of diploid Cochlearia in Iceland

Anne Krag Brysting, Luka Natassja Olsen, Marie Kristine Brandrud, Terezie Mandakova, Martin Lysak, Charlotte Sletten Bjorå, Eduardo Cires & Inger Nordal
Within the northern European Cochlearia (Brassicaceae), considerable chromosome variation has taken place without corresponding morphological differentiation, which has resulted in an intricate species complex including two base chromosome numbers and several ploidy levels. Here, we dig into the situation in Iceland. The distribution, genetic structure, taxonomy and origin of the two Cochlearia cytotypes (2n = 12 and 2n = 14) present in Iceland are discussed. Chromosome counts indicate that the 2n = 12 populations are...

Physiology and acclimation potential are tuned with phenology in larvae of a prolonged breeder amphibian

Urtzi Enriquez-Urzelai, Alfredo G. Nicieza, Albert Montori, Gustavo A. Llorente & Miren Bego Urrutia
Due to the speed of climate changes, rapid buffering mechanisms such as phenotypic plasticity – which may depend on breeding phenology – could be key to avoid extinction. The links between phenology and plasticity, however, remain understudied. Here we explored the matching between phenology and the thermal sensitivity of standard (SMR) and routine metabolic rates (RMR), metabolic scope (i.e. the difference between RMR and SMR), survival and growth-development trajectories in larvae of a prolonged breeder...

Data from: Time to monitor livestock carcasses for biodiversity conservation and public health

Patricia Mateo-Tomás, Pedro P. Olea & José Vicente López‐Bao
Law enforcement and integration of environmental issues into other policies able to affect species and ecosystems are cornerstones for the effective protection of biodiversity. We illustrate the necessity of monitoring and improving such enforcement and integration through the example of the European sanitary policies for managing livestock carcasses after the “mad cow disease” outbreak while supporting scavengers’ conservation. Continuous updates of EU sanitary regulations for reconciling scavenger conservation and public health have led to actions...

Data from: Altitude effects on spatial components of vascular plant diversity in a subarctic mountain tundra

Lucy Naud, Johannes Måsviken, Susana Freire, Anders Angerbjörn, Love Dalén & Fredrik Dalerum
Environmental gradients are caused by gradual changes in abiotic factors, which affect species abundances and distributions, and are important for the spatial distribution of biodiversity. One prominent environmental gradient is the altitude gradient. Understanding ecological processes associated with altitude gradients may help us to understand the possible effects climate change could have on species communities. We quantified vegetation cover, species richness, species evenness, beta diversity, and spatial patterns of community structure of vascular plants along...

Data from: Management trade-offs on ecosystem services in apple orchards across Europe: direct and indirect effects of organic production

Ulrika Samnegard, Georgina Alins, Virginie Boreux, Jordi Bosch, Daniel García, Anne-Kathrin Happe, Alexandra Klein, Marcos Miñarro, Karsten Mody, Mario Porcel, Anselm Rodrigo, Laura Roquer-Beni, Marco Tasin, Peter A. Hambäck & Alexandra-Maria Klein
1. Apple is considered the most important fruit crop in temperate areas and profitable production depends on multiple ecosystem services, including the reduction of pest damage and the provision of sufficient pollination levels. Management approaches present an inherent trade-off as each affects species differently. 2. We quantified the direct and indirect effects of management (organic versus integrated pest management (IPM)) on species richness, ecosystem services and fruit production in 85 apple orchards in three European...

Data from: Why do top predators engage in superpredation? From an empirical scenario to a theoretical framework

Rui Lourenço, Maria Del Mar Delgado, Letizia Campioni, Fernando Goytre, João E. Rabaça, Erkki Korpimäki & Vincenzo Penteriani
Lethal interactions can shape ecosystem structure, and consequently understanding their causes is ecologically relevant. To improve both empirical and theoretical knowledge on superpredation (i.e. predation on high-order predators), we studied an eagle owl population, including its main prey and mesopredators, and then we crossed these results with existing theories to provide a reasoning framework. We fitted our field data into four main causes explaining lethal interactions: food stress, opportunistic superpredation, removal of a competitor, and...

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Resource Types

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  • University of Oviedo
  • Estación Biológica de Doñana
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of East Anglia
  • Spanish National Research Council
  • Masaryk University
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario
  • Stockholm University
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research