Data from: Early genetic consequences of defaunation in a large-seeded vertebrate-dispersed palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)Mariano I. Giombini, Susana P. Bravo, Yanina V. Sica & Daniela S. Tosto
Plant populations are seriously threatened by anthropogenic habitat disturbance. In particular, defaunation may disrupt plant-disperser mutualisms, thus reducing levels of seed-mediated gene flow and genetic variation in animal-dispersed plants. This may ultimately limit their adaptive potential and ability to cope with environmental change. Tropical forest remnants are typically deprived of medium to large vertebrates upon which many large-seeded plants rely for accomplishing effective seed dispersal. Our main goal was to examine the potential early genetic...
Data from: Thick eggshells of brood parasitic cowbirds protect their eggs and damage host eggs during layingAnalia V. Lopez, Vanina D. Fiorini, Kevin Ellison & Brian D. Peer
Brood parasites lay thick-shelled eggs and numerous hypotheses have been proposed to explain the significance of this trait. We examined whether thick eggshells protect the parasite egg during laying events. We used eggs of the parasitic shiny cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) and its hosts, the house wren (Troglodytes aedon) and chalk-browed mockingbird (Mimus saturninus) in South America and the eggs of the parasitic brown-headed cowbird (M. ater) and its hosts the house wren and red-winged blackbird...
Data from: Jasmonic acid regulation of the anti-herbivory mechanism conferred by fungal endophytes in grassesDaniel A. Bastías, M. Alejandra Martínez-Ghersa, Jonathan A. Newman, Stuart D. Card, Wade J. Mace & Pedro E. Gundel
1. The most studied mechanism of protection against herbivores in grasses associated with Epichloë fungal endophytes has been the fungal production of alkaloids. However, the contribution of the plant immune responses on the level of resistance to herbivores in symbiotic grasses has been poorly explored. We studied the relationship between the plant hormone, jasmonic acid (JA), and Epichloë fungal endophytes on herbivore defenses in symbiotic grasses. We hypothesized that an exogenous application of methyl jasmonate...
From complex songs to simple honks, birds produce sounds using a unique vocal organ called the syrinx1, 2. Located close to the heart at the tracheobronchial junction, vocal folds or membranes attached to modified mineralized rings vibrate to produce sound1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Syringeal components were not thought to commonly enter the fossil record6, and the few reported fossilized parts of the syrinx are geologically young8, 9, 10, 11 (from the Pleistocene...
Rhynchocephalian lepidosaurs, though once widespread worldwide, are represented today only by the tuatara (Sphenodon) of New Zealand. After their apparent early Cretaceous extinction in Laurasia, they survived in southern continents. In South America, they are represented by different lineages of Late Cretaceous eupropalinal forms until their disappearance by the Cretaceous/Palaeogene (K/Pg) boundary. We describe here the only unambiguous Palaeogene rhynchocephalian from South America; this new taxon is a younger species of the otherwise Late Cretaceous...
Data from: Pinus ponderosa alters nitrogen dynamics and diminishes the climate footprint in natural ecosystems of PatagoniaLaura J. T. Hess & Amy T. Austin
1. Evaluating climate effects on plant-soil interactions in terrestrial ecosystems remains challenging due to the fact that floristic composition co-varies with climate, particularly along rainfall gradients. It is difficult to separate effects of precipitation per se from those mediated indirectly through changes in species composition. As such, afforestation (the intentional planting of woody species) in terrestrial ecosystems provides an ecological opportunity to assess the relative importance of climate and vegetation controls on ecosystem processes. 2....
Activation of forebrain circuitry during sleep has been variably characterized as ‘pre- or replay’ and has been linked to memory consolidation. The evolutionary origins of this mechanism, however, are unknown. Sleep activation of the sensori-motor pathways of learned birdsong is a particularly useful model system because the muscles controlling the vocal organ are activated, revealing syringeal activity patterns for direct comparison with those of day-time vocal activity. Here we show that suboscine birds, which develop...
Species complex diversification by host plant use in an herbivorous insect: The source of Puerto Rican cactus mealybug pest and implications for biological controlDaniel Poveda-Martínez, María Aguirre, Guillermo Logarzo, Stephen D. Hight, Serguei Triapitsyn, Hilda Diaz-Soltero, Marcelo Vitorino & Esteban Hasson
Cryptic taxa have often been observed in the form of host‐associated species that diverged as the result of adaptation to alternate host plants. Untangling cryptic diversity in species complexes that encompass invasive species is a mandatory task for pest management. Moreover, investigating the evolutionary history of a species complex may help to understand the drivers of their diversification. The mealybug Hypogeococcus pungens was believed to be a polyphagous species from South America and has been...
Data from: Selection on fruit traits is mediated by the interplay between frugivorous birds, fruit flies, parasitoid wasps, and seed-dispersing antsFacundo Palacio, Adam Siepielski, Mariela Lacoretz & Mariano Ordano
Every organism on Earth must cope with a multitude of species interactions both directly and indirectly throughout its life cycle. However, how selection from multiple species occupying different trophic levels affects diffuse mutualisms has received little attention. As a result, how a given species amalgamates the combined effects of selection from multiple mutualists and antagonists to enhance its own fitness remains little understood. We investigated how multispecies interactions (frugivorous birds, ants, fruit flies, and parasitoid...
Metapopulation dynamics and foraging plasticity in a highly vagile seabird, the southern rockhopper penguinNicolas Lois, Leonardo Campagna, Ulises Balza, Michael Polito, Klemens Pütz, Juliana Vianna, Annick Morgenthaler, Esteban Frere, Ricardo Saenz-Samaniego, Andrea Raya Rey & Bettina Mahler
Population connectivity is driven by individual dispersal potential and modulated by natal philopatry. In seabirds, high vagility facilitates dispersal yet philopatry is also common, with foraging area overlap often correlated with population connectivity. We assess the interplay between these processes by studying past and current connectivity and foraging niche overlap among southern rockhopper penguin colonies of the coast of southern South America using genomic and stable isotope analyses. We found two distinct genetic clusters and...
Understanding how animals move in dense environments where vision is compromised is a major challenge. We used GPS and dead-reckoning to examine the movement of Magellanic penguins commuting through vegetation that precluded long-distance vision. Birds leaving the nest followed the shortest, quickest route to the sea (the ‘ideal path’ [I-path]) but return tracks depended where the birds left the water. Penguins arriving at the beach departure spot mirrored the departure. Most of those landing at...
University of Buenos Aires61
National Scientific and Technical Research Council6
Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum4
University of California, Berkeley3
United States Department of Agriculture3
Sao Paulo State University2
University of Münster2
University of Guelph2