23 Works

Data from: Incongruence between mtDNA and nuclear data in the freshwater mussel genus Cyprogenia (Bivalvia: Unionidae) and its impact on species delineation

Jer Pin Chong, John L. Harris & Kevin J. Roe
Accurately identifying species is a crucial step for developing conservation strategies for freshwater mussels, one of the most imperiled faunas in North America. This study uses genetic data to re-examine species delineation in the genus Cyprogenia. Historically, Cyprogenia found west of the Mississippi River have been ascribed to Cyprogenia aberti (Conrad 1850), and those east of the Mississippi River were classified as Cyprogenia stegaria (Rafinesque 1820). Previous studies using mitochondrial DNA sequences indicated that C....

Evidence of nest material kleptoparasitism in Worm-eating Warblers (Helmitheros vermivorum) in east-central Arkansas, USA

Amy Wynia & James Bednarz
Nest material kleptoparasitism likely evolved in birds to reduce the cost of searching for and collecting material themselves. Although nest material kleptoparasitism has been reported commonly in colonially nesting species, reports for solitary breeding species are infrequent, especially for neotropical migratory species. Here we report potential and actual nest material kleptoparasitism in the Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum). We deployed video camera systems at passerine nests (n = 81) in east-central Arkansas during summers 2011–2012. In...

Transcriptional differentiation of UV-B protectant genes in maize landraces spanning an elevational gradient in Chiapas, Mexico

Matthew Kost, Kristin Mercer, Hugo Perales, Saranga Wijeratne, Asela Wijeratne & Eric Stockinger
Globally, farmers cultivate and maintain crop landraces (i.e., traditional varieties). Landraces contain unique diversity shaped in part by natural and human-mediated selection and are an indispensable resource to farmers. Since environmental conditions change with elevation, crop landraces grown along elevational gradients have provided ideal locations to explore patterns of local adaptation. To further probe traits underlying this differentiation, transcriptome signatures can help provide a foundation for understanding the ways in which functional genetic diversity may...

The geography of parasite local adaptation to host communities

Emily Bellis, Chloee McLaughlin, Claude DePamphilis & Jesse Lasky
Fitness responses to environment can shape species distributions, though opposing eco-evolutionary processes can obscure environmental effects. For example, host specificity influences parasite dynamics, but is unclear how adaptation of parasites to local host communities may scale up to continental distributions. Here, we develop a macroecological framework to determine how host community structure affects the distribution of specialist and generalist populations of Striga hermonthica, an African parasitic plant of cereal crops. Combining data from global crop...

High levels of inbreeding with spatial and host-associated structure in lice of an endangered freshwater seal

Stephany Virrueta Herrera, Tommi Nyman, Kevin Johnson, Andrew Sweet, Eeva Ylinen & Mervi Kunnasranta
Host-specialist parasites of endangered large vertebrates are in many cases more endangered than their hosts. In particular, low host population densities and reduced among-host transmission rates are expected to lead to inbreeding within parasite infrapopulations living on single host individuals. Furthermore, spatial population structures of directly-transmitted parasites should be concordant with those of their hosts. Using population genomic approaches, we investigated inbreeding and population structure in a host-specialist seal louse (Echinophthirius horridus) infesting the Saimaa...

Data from: Effects of a multidisciplinary approach to improve volume of diagnostic material in CT-guided lung biopsies

Philip E. Ferguson, Catherine M. Sales, Dalton C. Hodges & Elizabeth W. Sales
Background: Recent publications have emphasized the importance of a multidisciplinary strategy for maximum conservation and utilization of lung biopsy material for advanced testing, which may determine therapy. This paper quantifies the effect of a multidisciplinary strategy implemented to optimize and increase tissue volume in CT-guided transthoracic needle core lung biopsies. The strategy was three-pronged: (1) once there was confidence diagnostic tissue had been obtained and if safe for the patient, additional biopsy passes were performed...

Data from: The influence of herbivory and weather on the vital rates of two closely related cactus species

Kristen E. Sauby, John Kilmer, Mary C. Christman, Robert D. Holt & Travis D. Marsico
Herbivory has long been recognized as a significant driver of plant population dynamics, yet its effects along environmental gradients are unclear. Understanding how weather modulates plant–insect interactions can be particularly important for predicting the consequences of exotic insect invasions, and an explicit consideration of weather may help explain why the impact can vary greatly across space and time. We surveyed two native prickly pear cactus species (genus Opuntia) in the Florida panhandle, USA, and their...

Species richness and abundance of vascular epiphytes along an elevation gradient

Hazel Berrios
Because of the difficulty in sampling and the logistics of identifying canopy-dwelling plants, the number of inventories quantifying tropical epiphytes is limited. This has resulted in a substantial gap in knowledge, even though forest canopies contain significant biodiversity and forest biomass. In the case of Volcán Maderas, multiple ecological and taxonomic research initiatives have been conducted. However, for vascular epiphytes, georeferenced specific spatial descriptions were lacking and a standardized effort for documenting species richness was...

Data from: Compositional shifts in root-associated bacterial and archaeal microbiota track the plant life-cycle in field-grown rice

Joseph A. Edwards, Christian Santos-Medellín, Zachary S. Liechty, Bao Nguyen, Eugene Lurie, Shane Eason, Gregory Phillips, Venkatesan Sundaresan & Christian M. Santos-Medellín
Bacterial communities associated with roots impact the health and nutrition of the host plant. The dynamics of these microbial assemblies over the plant life cycle is however, not well understood. Here, we use dense temporal sampling of 1588 samples from root spatial compartments to characterize the bacterial and archaeal components of the root-associated microbiota of field grown rice (Oryza sativa) over the course of three consecutive growing seasons, as well as two sites in diverse...

Bergmann's rule is followed at multiple stages of post-embryonic development in a long-distance migratory songbird

Joseph Youtz, Kelly Miller, Emerson Bowers, Samantha Rogers, Lesley Bulluck, Matthew Johnson, Brian Peer, Katie Percy, Erik Johnson, Elizabeth Ames, Christopher Tonra & Than Boves
Aim: We assessed the presence of Bergmann’s rule in a model migratory species across all life stages on their breeding grounds. We then compared historic and contemporary egg sizes to understand if the biogeographic patterns during this developmental life stage have changed over time. Location: Eastern North America. Time period: 1865 to 2019. Major taxa: Prothonotary warbler, Protonotaria citrea Methods: We measured the size of eggs, young and old nestlings, and adults (of two age...

Data from: Population assignment reveals low migratory connectivity in a weakly structured songbird

Matthew G. DeSaix, Lesley P. Bulluck, Andrew J. Eckert, Catherine B. Viverette, Than J. Boves, Jessica A. Reese, Christopher M. Tonra & Rodney J. Dyer
Understanding migratory connectivity is essential for determining the drivers behind population dynamics and for implementing effective conservation strategies for migratory species. Genetic markers provide a means to describe migratory connectivity, however they can be uninformative for species with weak population genetic structure, which has limited their application. Here, we demonstrated a genomic approach to describing migratory connectivity in the prothonotary warbler, Protonotaria citrea, a Neotropical songbird of conservation concern. Using 26,189 SNPs, we revealed regional...

Spatiotemporal population dynamics of the Caddo Madtom (Noturus taylori), a narrow-range endemic of the Ouachita Highlands

Brittany L. McCall & Brook L. Fluker
The Caddo Madtom, Noturus taylori, is endemic to three river drainages of the Ouachita Highlands in the southeastern United States. Conservation concern for N. taylori has been heightened by recent studies based on analyses of allozyme data suggesting population decline and a possible extirpation event, which lead to N. taylori petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act in 2011. The objective of this study was to determine if contemporary factors, historic processes, or a...

Data from: Comparative host-pathogen associations of Snake Fungal Disease in sympatric species of water snakes (Nerodia)

David Rodriguez, Stephen Harding, C. Guilherme Becker, Jessica Yates, Paul Crump, Michael Forstner & Stephen Mullin
The ascomycete fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola (Oo) is the causative agent of ophidiomycosis (Snake Fungal Disease), which has been detected globally. However, surveillance efforts in the central U.S., specifically Texas, have been minimal. The threatened and rare Brazos water snake (Nerodia harteri harteri) is one of the most range restricted snakes in the U.S. and is sympatric with two wide-ranging congeners, N. erythrogaster transversa and N. rhombifer, in north central Texas; thus, providing an opportunity to...

Data from: The influence of life-history strategy on genetic differentiation and lineage divergence in darters (Percidae: Etheostomatinae)

Brook L. Fluker, Bernard R. Kuhajda & Phillip M. Harris
Recent studies determined that darters with specialized breeding strategies can exhibit deep lineage divergence over fine geographic scales without apparent physical barriers to gene flow. However, the extent to which intrinsic characteristics interact with extrinsic factors to influence population divergence and lineage diversification in darters is not well understood. This study employed comparative phylogeographic and population genetic methods to investigate the influence of life-history on gene flow, dispersal ability, and lineage divergence in two sympatric...

Data from: An invasive insect, hemlock woolly adelgid, indirectly impacts Louisiana Waterthrush nest site selection and nest survival in the southern Appalachians

Lee Bryant, Tiffany Beachy & Than Boves
Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is declining throughout the eastern United States due to hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand), an invasive insect from Asia. In the southern Appalachians, hemlock is concentrated in moist ravines and its decline threatens riparian ecosystems. Previous research on this invasion has focused on adelgid control and how hemlock decline affects community composition or forest processes; few studies have evaluated the consequences for demography of obligate riparian species. The Louisiana Waterthrush...

Radio-tracking reveals insight into survival and dynamic habitat selection of fledgling Cerulean Warblers

Douglas Raybuck, Scott Stoleson, Jeffery Larkin & Than Boves
The Cerulean Warbler is a declining Nearctic-Neotropical migrant species of concern that breeds in hardwood forests of the eastern United States and Canada. While much knowledge has been gained about the nesting period of this canopy species, little is known about the post-fledging period. During the 2014 and 2015 breeding seasons, after locating and monitoring nests within a matrix of habitat conditions created by various forest management strategies in NW Pennsylvania, USA, we captured fledglings...

Data from: Molecular signatures of host specificity linked to habitat specialization in Exaiptasia sea anemones.

Emily S. Bellis, Reid B. Edlund, Hazel K. Berrios, Harilaos A. Lessios, Dee R. Denver & Reid. B. Edlund
Rising ocean temperatures associated with global climate change induce breakdown of the symbiosis between coelenterates and photosynthetic microalgae of the genus Symbiodinium. Association with more thermotolerant partners could contribute to resilience, but the genetic mechanisms controlling specificity of hosts for particular Symbiodinium types are poorly known. Here we characterize wild populations of a sea anemone laboratory model system for anthozoan symbiosis, from contrasting environments in Caribbean Panama. Patterns of anemone abundance and symbiont diversity were...

Functional connectivity in a continuously distributed, migratory species as revealed by landscape genomics

Melanie E. F. LaCava, Roderick B. Gagne, Kyle D. Gustafson, Sara J. Oyler-McCance, Kevin L. Monteith, Hall Sawyer, Matthew J. Kauffman, Daniel J. Thiele & Holly B. Ernest
Maintaining functional connectivity is critical for the long-term conservation of wildlife populations. Landscape genomics provides an opportunity to assess long-term functional connectivity by relating environmental variables to spatial patterns of genomic variation resulting from generations of movement, dispersal, and mating behaviors. Identifying landscape features associated with gene flow at large geographic scales for highly mobile species is becoming increasingly possible due to more accessible genomic approaches, improved analytical methods, and enhanced computational power. We characterized...

Globally, plant-soil feedbacks are weak predictors of plant abundance

Kurt Reinhart, Jonathan Bauer, Sarah McCarthy-Neumann, Andrew MacDougall, José Hierro, Mariana Chiuffo, Scott Mangan, Johannes Heinze, Joana Bergmann, Jasmin Joshi, Richard Duncan, Jeff Diaz, Paul Kardol, Gemma Rutten, Markus Fischer, Wim Van Der Putten, T. Bezemer & John Klironomos
Plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) have been shown to strongly affect plant performance under controlled conditions, and PSFs are thought to have far reaching consequences for plant population dynamics and the structuring of plant communities. However, thus far the relationship between PSF and plant species abundance in the field is not consistent. Here, we synthesize PSF experiments from tropical forests to semiarid grasslands, and test for a positive relationship between plant abundance in the field and PSFs...

Conservation genetic assessment of the paleback darter (Etheostoma pallididorsum), a narrowly distributed endemic in the Ouachita Highlands, Arkansas, USA

Brittany McCall & Brook Fluker
The Paleback Darter is considered imperiled and has recently been petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Prior allozyme-based studies found evidence of small effective population size, warranting conservation concern. The objective of this study was to assess population dynamics and the phylogeographic history of the Paleback Darter, using a multilocus microsatellite approach and mitochondrial DNA. The predictions of this study were that Paleback Darter populations will exhibit low genetic diversity and minimal gene...

Data from: Independent evolution of highly variable, fragmented mitogenomes of parasitic lice

Andrew Sweet, Kevin Johnson & Stephen Cameron
The mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of bilaterian animals are highly conserved structures that usually consist of a single circular chromosome. However, several species of parasitic lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) possess fragmented mitogenomes, where the mitochondrial genes are present on separate, circular chromosomes. Nevertheless, the extent, causes, and consequences of this structural variation remain poorly understood. Here, we combined new and existing data to better understand the evolution of mitogenome fragmentation in major groups of parasitic lice. We...

Cerulean Warbler light-level geolocator data

Douglas Raybuck, Than Boves, Scott Stoleson, Jeffery Larkin, Nicholas Bayly, Lesley Bulluck, Gregory George, Kate Slankard, Laura Kearns, Sharon Petzinger, John Cox & David Buehler
The Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) is a declining Nearctic-Neotropical migratory species of conservation concern. Implementing full annual cycle conservation strategies to facilitate recovery has been difficult because we know little about the migratory period or connectivity between North American breeding regions and South American non-breeding regions. Between 2014–2017, we deployed geolocators on 282 males at 13 study sites throughout the species’ range with the objectives of a) evaluating the strength of connectivity between breeding and...

Genomic variation in the Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens) suggests divergence in a disjunct Atlantic Coastal Plain population (S. v. waynei)

John P Carpenter, David P L Toews, Alexander J Worm, Than J Boves, Andrew W Wood & Joseph P Poston
We used whole-genome resequencing to estimate genetic distinctiveness in the Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)—including S. v. waynei—a putative subspecies that occupies a narrow disjunct breeding range along the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Despite detecting low-global differentiation (FST = 0.027) across the entire species, the principal components analysis of genome-wide differences shows the main axis of variation separates S. v. waynei from all other S. v. virens samples. We also estimated a low-migration rate for S....

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