138 Works

Data from: Vocal characteristics of prairie dog alarm calls across an urban noise gradient

Graeme Shannon, Megan F. McKenna, Grete Wilson-Henjum, Lisa M. Angeloni, Kevin R. Crooks & George Wittemyer
Increasing anthropogenic noise is having a global impact on wildlife, particularly due to the masking of crucial acoustical communication. However, there have been few studies examining the impacts of noise exposure on communication in free-ranging terrestrial mammals. We studied alarm calls of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) across an urban gradient to explore vocal adjustment relative to different levels of noise exposure. There was no change in the frequency 5%, peak frequency or duration of...

Rethinking megafauna

Marcos Moleón, José Sánchez-Zapata, José Donázar, Eloy Revilla, Berta Martín-López, Cayetano Gutiérrez-Cánovas, Wayne Getz, Zebensui Morales-Reyes, Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, Larry Crowder, Mauro Galetti, Manuela González-Suárez, Fengzhi He, Pedro Jordano, Rebecca Lewison, Robin Naidoo, Norman Owen-Smith, Nuria Selva, Jens-Christian Svenning, José Tella, Christiane Zarfl, Sonja Jähnig, Matt Hayward, Søren Faurby, Nuria García … & Klement Tochner
Concern for megafauna is increasing among scientists and non-scientists. Many studies have emphasized that megafauna play prominent ecological roles and provide important ecosystem services to humanity. But, what precisely are “megafauna”? Here we critically assess the concept of megafauna and propose a goal-oriented framework for megafaunal research. First, we review definitions of megafauna and analyze associated terminology in the scientific literature. Second, we conduct a survey among ecologists and paleontologists to assess the species traits...

Genetic diversity and thermal performance in invasive and native populations of African fig flies

Aaron Comeault, Jeremy Wang, Silas Tittes, Kristin Isbell, Spencer Ingley, Allen Hurlbert & Daniel Matute
During biological invasions, invasive populations can suffer losses of genetic diversity that are predicted to negatively impact their fitness/performance. Despite examples of invasive populations harboring lower diversity than conspecific populations in their native range, few studies have linked this lower diversity to a decrease in fitness. Using genome sequences, we show that invasive populations of the African fig fly, Zaprionus indianus, have less genetic diversity than conspecific populations in their native range and that diversity...

Phylogenomics and species delimitation for effective conservation of manta and devil rays

Emily Humble, Jane Hosegood, Rob Ogden, Mark De Bruyn, Simon Creer, Guy Stevens, Mohammed Abudaya, Kim Bassos-Hull, Ramon Bonfil, Daniel Fernando, Andrew Foote, Helen Hipperson, Rima Jabado, Jenny Kaden, Muhammad Moazzam, Lauren Peel, Stephen Pollett, Alessandro Ponzo, Marloes Poortvliet, Jehad Salah, Helen Senn, Joshua Stewart, Sabine Wintner & Gary Carvalho
Practical biodiversity conservation relies on delineation of biologically meaningful units. Manta and devil rays (Mobulidae) are threatened worldwide, yet morphological similarities and a succession of recent taxonomic changes impede the development of an effective conservation strategy. Here, we generate genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from a geographically and taxonomically representative set of manta and devil ray samples to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and evaluate species boundaries under the general lineage concept. We show that nominal...

Data from: Population genetics provides new insights into biomarker prevalence in dab (Limanda limanda L.): a key marine biomonitoring species

Niklas Tysklind, Martin I. Taylor, Brett P. Lyons, Freya Goodsir, Ian D. McCarthy & Gary R. Carvalho
Bioindicators are species for which some quantifiable aspect of its biology, a biomarker, is assumed to be sensitive to ecosystem health. However, there is frequently a lack of information on the underlying genetic and environmental drivers shaping the spatiotemporal variance in prevalence of the biomarkers employed. Here, we explore the relative role of potential variables influencing the spatiotemporal prevalence of biomarkers in dab, Limanda limanda, a species used as a bioindicator of marine contaminants. Firstly,...

Data from: Estimating sensitivity of seabed habitats to disturbance by bottom trawling based on the longevity of benthic fauna

Adriaan D. Rijnsdorp, Stefan G. Bolam, Clement Garcia, Jan Geert Hiddink, Niels T. Hintzen, P. Daniel Van Denderen & Tobias Van Kooten
Bottom fishing such as trawling and dredging may pose serious risks to the seabed and benthic habitats, calling for a quantitative assessment method to evaluate the impact and guide management to develop mitigation measures. We provide a method to estimate the sensitivity of benthic habitats based on the longevity composition of the invertebrate community. We hypothesize that long-lived species are more sensitive to trawling mortality due to their lower pace of life (i.e. slower growth,...

Data from: Fencing solves human‐wildlife conflict locally but shifts problems elsewhere: a case study using functional connectivity modelling of the African elephant

Liudmila Osipova, Moses M. Okello, Steven J. Njumbi, Shadrack Ngene, David Western, Matt W. Hayward & Niko Balkenhol
1. Fencing is one of the commonest methods for mitigating human-wildlife conflicts. At the same time, fencing is considered to be of one of the most pressing emerging threats to conservation globally. Although fences act as barriers and eventually can cause population isolation and fragmentation, it is challenging to quantitatively predict the possible consequences fences have for wildlife. 2. Here, we model how fencing designed to mitigate human-elephant conflict (HEC) on the Borderlands between Kenya...

Data from: Evolutionary and structural analyses uncover a role for solvent interactions in the diversification of cocoonases in butterflies

Gilbert Smith, John E. Kelly, Aide Macias-Muñoz, Carter T. Butts, Rachel W. Martin & Adriana D. Briscoe
Multi-omic approaches promise to supply the power to detect genes underlying disease and fitness-related phenotypes. Optimal use of the resulting profusion of data requires detailed investigation of individual candidate genes, a challenging proposition. Here, we combine transcriptomic and genomic data with molecular modeling of candidate enzymes to characterize the evolutionary history and function of the serine protease cocoonase. Heliconius butterflies possess the unique ability to feed on pollen; recent work has identified cocoonase as a...

Data from: A global database and ‘state of the field’ review of research into ecosystem engineering by land animals.

Nicole V. Coggan, Matthew W. Hayward & Heloise Gibb
1. Ecosystem engineers have been widely studied for terrestrial systems, but global trends in research encompassing the range of taxa and functions have not previously been synthesised. 2. We synthesised contemporary understanding of engineer fauna in terrestrial habitats and assessed the methods used to document patterns and processes, asking: 1.Which species act as ecosystem engineers and with whom do they interact? 2. What are the impacts of ecosystem engineers in terrestrial habitats and how are...

Data from: Outlier SNP markers reveal fine-scale genetic structuring across European hake populations (Merluccius merluccius)

Ilaria Milano, Massimiliano Babbucci, Alessia Cariani, Miroslava Atanassova, Dorte Bekkevold, Gary R. Carvalho, Montserrat Espiñeira, Fabio Fiorentino, Germana Garofalo, Audrey J. Geffen, Einar E. Nielsen, Rob Ogden, Tomaso Patarnello, Marco Stagioni, Fausto Tinti & Luca Bargelloni
Shallow population structure is generally reported for most marine fish and explained as a consequence of high dispersal, connectivity and large population size. Targeted gene analyses and more recently genome-wide studies have challenged such view, suggesting that adaptive divergence might occur even when neutral markers provide genetic homogeneity across populations. Here, 381 SNPs located in transcribed regions were used to assess large- and fine-scale population structure in the European hake (Merluccius merluccius), a widely distributed...

Data from: Asymmetric competitive effects during species range expansion: an experimental assessment of interaction strength between ‘equivalent’ grazer species at their range overlap

Moises A. Aguilera, Nelson Valdivia, Stuart Jenkins, Sergio A. Navarrete & Bernardo Broitman
1. Biotic interactions are central to the development of theory and concepts in community ecology; experimental evidence has shown their strong effects on patterns of population and community organization and dynamics over local spatial scales. The role of competition in determining range limits and preventing invasions at biogeographic scales is more controversial, partly because of the complexity of processes involved in species colonization of novel habitats and the difficulties in performing appropriate manipulations and controls....

Data from: Contrasting patterns of insect herbivory and predation pressure across a tropical rainfall gradient

Anita Weissflog, Lars Markesteijn, Owen T. Lewis, Liza S. Comita, Bettina M. J. Engelbrecht. & Bettina M.J. Engelbrecht
One explanation for the extraordinarily high tree diversity of tropical lowland forests is that it is maintained by specialized natural enemies such as insect herbivores, which cause distance and density dependent mortality. Insect herbivory could also explain the positive correlation between tree species richness and rainfall if herbivory increases with rainfall, is higher on locally abundant versus rare species, and is not limited by predation pressure at wet sites. To test these predictions, insect herbivory...

Whole genome resequencing data enables a targeted SNP panel for conservation and aquaculture of Oreochromis cichlid fishes

Adam Ciezarek, Antonia Ford, Graham Etherington, Nasser Kasozi, Milan Malinsky, Tarang Mehta, Luca Penso-Dolfin, Benjamin Ngatunga, Asilatu Shechonge, Rashid Tamatamah, Wilfried Haerty, Federica Di Palma, Martin Genner & Turner George
Cichlid fish of the genus Oreochromis form the basis of the global tilapia aquaculture and fisheries industries. Broodstocks for aquaculture are often collected from wild populations, which in Africa may be from locations containing multiple Oreochromis species. However, many species are difficult to distinguish morphologically, hampering efforts to maintain good quality farmed strains. Additionally, non-native farmed tilapia populations are known to be widely distributed across Africa and to hybridize with native Oreochromis species, which themselves...

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