135 Works

Data from: Migratory constraints on yolk precursors limit yolk androgen deposition and underlie a brood reduction strategy in rockhopper penguins

Glenn T. Crossin, Maud Poisbleau, Laurent Demongin, Olivier Chastel, Tony D. Williams, Marcel Eens & Petra Quillfeldt
Hormonally mediated maternal effects link maternal phenotype and environmental conditions to offspring phenotype. The production of lipid-rich maternal yolk precursors may provide a mechanism by which lipophilic steroid hormones can be transported to developing yolks, thus predicting a positive correlation between yolk precursors in mothers and androgen levels in eggs. Using rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome), which produce a two-egg clutch characterized by extreme egg-size dimorphism, reversed hatching asynchrony and brood-reduction, we examined correlations between circulating...

Data from: How environmental conditions shape the chemical signal design of lizards

Simon Baeckens, José Martín, Roberto García-Roa, Panayiotis Pafilis, Katleen Huyghe & Raoul Van Damme
1. The signals that animals use to communicate often differ considerably among species. Part of this variation in signal design may derive from differential natural selection on signal efficacy; the ability of the signal to travel efficiently through the environment and attract the receiver’s attention. For the visual and acoustic modalities, the effect of the physical environment on signal efficacy is a well-studied selective force. Still, very little is known on its impact on the...

Data from: Carotenoids, birdsong and oxidative status: administration of dietary lutein is associated with an increase in song rate and circulating antioxidants (albumin and cholesterol) and a decrease in oxidative damage

Stefania Casagrande, Rianne Pinxten, Erika Zaid & Marcel Eens
Despite the appealing hypothesis that carotenoid-based colouration signals oxidative status, evidence supporting the antioxidant function of these pigments is scarce. Recent studies have shown that lutein, the most common carotenoid used by birds, can enhance the expression of non-visual traits, such as birdsong. Nevertheless, the underlying physiological mechanisms remain unclear. In this study we hypothesized that male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) fed extra lutein increase their song rate as a consequence of an improved oxidative...

Data from: Patterns and drivers of biodiversity-stability relationships under climate extremes

Hans J. De Boeck, Juliette M. G. Bloor, Juergen Kreyling, Johannes C. G. Ransijn, Ivan Nijs, Anke Jentsch & Michaela Zeiter
Interactions between biodiversity loss and climate change present significant challenges for research, policy and management of ecosystems. Evidence suggests that high species diversity tends to increase plant community stability under interannual climate fluctuations and mild dry and wet events, but the overall pattern of diversity–stability relationships under climate extremes is unclear. We comprehensively review results from observational and experimental studies to assess the importance of diversity effects for ecosystem function under climate extremes. Both the...

Data from: Predator-prey interactions shape thermal patch use in a newt larvae-dragonfly nymph model

Lumír Gvoždík, Eva Černická & Raoul Van Damme
Thermal quality and predation risk are considered important factors influencing habitat patch use in ectothermic prey. However, how the predator’s food requirement and the prey’s necessity to avoid predation interact with their respective thermoregulatory strategies remains poorly understood. The recently developed ‘thermal game model’ predicts that in the face of imminent predation, prey should divide their time equally among a range of thermal patches. In contrast, predators should concentrate their hunting activities towards warmer patches....

Data from: Response of bats to light with different spectra: light-shy and agile bat presence is affected by white and green, but not red light

Kamiel Spoelstra, Roy H. A. Van Grunsven, Jip J. C. Ramakers, Kim B. Ferguson, Thomas Raap, Maurice Donners, Elmar M. Veenendaal & Marcel E. Visser
Artificial light at night has shown a remarkable increase over the past decades. Effects are reported for many species groups, and include changes in presence, behaviour, physiology and life-history traits. Among these, bats are strongly affected, and how bat species react to light is likely to vary with light colour. Different spectra may therefore be applied to reduce negative impacts. We used a unique set-up of eight field sites to study the response of bats...

Data from: Environment-dependent prey-capture in the Atlantic mudskipper (Periophthalmus barbarus)

Krijn B. Michel, Peter Aerts & Sam Van Wassenbergh
Few vertebrates capture prey in both the aquatic and the terrestrial environment due to the conflicting biophysical demands of feeding in water versus air. The Atlantic mudskipper (Periophthalmus barbarus) is known to be proficient at feeding in the terrestrial environment and feeds predominately in this environment. Given the considerable forward flow of water observed during the mouth opening phase to assist with feeding on land, the mudskipper must alter the function of its feeding system...

Data from: Sharing the burden: on the division of parental care and vocalizations during incubation

Marwa M. Kavelaars, Luc Lens & Wendt Müller
In species with biparental care, individuals only have to pay the costs for their own parental investment, while the contribution of their partner comes for free. Each parent hence benefits if its partner works harder, creating an evolutionary conflict of interest. How parents resolve this conflict and how they achieve the optimal division of parental tasks often remains elusive. In this study, we investigated whether lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) divide parental care during incubation...

Data from: High quality statistical shape modelling of the human nasal cavity and applications

William Keustermans, Toon Huysmans, Femke Danckaers, Andrzej Zarowski, Bert Schmelzer, Jan Sijbers & Joris J. J. Dirckx
The human nose is a complex organ that shows large morphological variations and has many important functions. However, the relation between shape and function is not yet fully understood. In this work, we present a high quality statistical shape model of the human nose based on clinical CT data of 46 patients. A technique based on cylindrical parametrization was used to create a correspondence between the nasal shapes of the population. Applying principal component analysis...

Data from: Artificial light at night does not affect telomere shortening in a developing free-living songbird: a field experiment

Melissa L. Grunst, Thomas Raap, Andrea S. Grunst, Rianne Pinxten & Marcel Eens
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is an increasingly pervasive anthropogenic disturbance factor. ALAN can seriously disrupt physiological systems that follow circadian rhythms, and may be particularly influential early in life, when developmental trajectories are sensitive to stressful conditions. Using great tits (Parus major) as a model species, we experimentally examined how ALAN affects physiological stress in developing nestlings. We used a repeated-measure design to assess effects of ALAN on telomere shortening, body mass, tarsus length...

Data from: Local adaptation and the potential effects of a contaminant on predator avoidance and antipredator responses under global warming: a space-for-time substitution approach

Lizanne Janssens, Khuong Dinh Van, Sara Debecker, Lieven Bervoets & Robby Stoks
The ability to deal with temperature-induced changes in interactions with contaminants and predators under global warming is one of the outstanding, applied evolutionary questions. For this, it is crucial to understand how contaminants will affect activity levels, predator avoidance and antipredator responses under global warming and to what extent gradual thermal evolution may mitigate these effects. Using a space-for-time substitution approach, we assessed the potential for gradual thermal evolution shaping activity (mobility and foraging), predator...

Data from: Microclimate variability in alpine ecosystems as stepping stones for non-native plant establishment above their current elevational limit

Jonas J. Lembrechts, Jonathan Lenoir, Martin A. Nuñez, Aníbal Pauchard, Charly Geron, Gilles Bussé, Ann Milbau & Ivan Nijs
Alpine environments are currently relatively free from non-native plant species, although their presence and abundance have recently been on the rise. It is however still unclear whether the observed low invasion levels in these areas are due to an inherent resistance of the alpine zone to invasions or whether an exponential increase in invasion is just a matter of time. Using a seed-addition experiment on north- and south-facing slopes (cf. microclimatic gradient) on two mountains...

Changes in selection pressure can facilitate hybridization during biological invasion in a Cuban lizard

Dan Bock, Simon Baeckens, Jessica Pita-Aquino, Zachary Chejanovski, Sozos Michaelides, Pavitra Muralidhar, Oriol Lapiedra, Sungdae Park, Douglas Menke, Anthony Geneva, Jonathan Losos & Jason Kolbe
Hybridization is among the evolutionary mechanisms most frequently hypothesized to drive the success of invasive species, in part because hybrids are common in invasive populations. One explanation for this pattern is that biological invasions coincide with a change in selection pressures that limit hybridization in the native range. To investigate this possibility, we studied the introduction of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in the southeastern United States. We find that native populations are highly genetically...

Springtail coloration at a finer scale: mechanisms behind vibrant Collembolan metallic colours

Bram Vanthournout, Anastasia Rousaki, Thomas Parmentier, Frans Janssens, Johan Mertens, Peter Vandenabeele, Liliana D'Alba & Matthew Shawkey
The mechanisms and evolution of metallic structural colours are of both fundamental and applied interest, yet most work in arthropods has focused on derived butterflies and beetles with distinct hues. In particular, basal hexapods - groups with many scaled, metallic representatives – are currently poorly studied and controversial, with some recent studies suggesting either that thin- film (lamina thickness) or diffraction grating elements (longitudinal ridges, crossribs) produce these colors in early Lepidoptera and one springtail...

Investment in chemical signalling glands facilitates the evolution of sociality in lizards

Simon Baeckens & Martin Whiting
The evolution of sociality and traits that correlate with, or predict, sociality, have been the focus of considerable recent study. In order to reduce the social conflict that ultimately comes with group living, and foster social tolerance, individuals need reliable information about group members and potential rivals. Chemical signals are one such source of information and are widely used in many animal taxa, including lizards. Here, we take a phylogenetic comparative approach to test the...

Dsuite - fast D-statistics and related admixture evidence from VCF files

Milan Malinsky, Michael Matschiner & Hannes Svardal
Patterson’s D, also known as the ABBA-BABA statistic, and related statistics such as the f4-ratio, are commonly used to assess evidence of gene flow between populations or closely related species. Currently available implementations often require custom file formats, implement only small subsets of the available statistics, and are impractical to evaluate all gene flow hypotheses across datasets with many populations or species due to computational inefficiencies. Here we present a new software package Dsuite, an...

Data from: Hurricane effects on Neotropical lizards span geographic and phylogenetic scales

Colin Donihue, Alex Kowaleski, Jonathan Losos, Adam Algar, Simon Baeckens, Robert Buchkowski, Anne-Claire Fabre, Hannah Frank, Anthony Geneva, Graham Reynolds, James Stroud, Julián Velasco, Jason Kolbe, Luke Mahler & Anthony Herrel
Extreme climate events such as droughts, cold snaps, and hurricanes can be powerful agents of natural selection, producing acute selective pressures very different from the everyday pressures acting on organisms. However, it remains unknown whether these infrequent but severe disruptions are quickly erased by quotidian selective forces, or whether they have the potential to durably shape biodiversity patterns across regions and clades. Here, we show that hurricanes have enduring evolutionary impacts on the morphology of...

Rapid and repeated divergence of animal chemical signals in an island introduction experiment

Colin Donihue, Anthony Herrel, José Martín, Johannes Foufopoulos, Panayiotis Pafilis & Simon Baeckens
Studies of animal communication have documented myriad rapid, context-dependent changes in visual and acoustic signal design. In contrast, relatively little is known about the capacity of vertebrate chemical signals to rapidly respond, either plastically or deterministically, to changes in context. Four years following an experimental introduction of lizards to replicate experimental islets, we aimed to determine if chemical signal design of the experimental populations differed from that of the source population. In 2014, we translocated...

Heritable variation in host quality as measured through an ectoparasite's performance

Gerardo Fracasso, Erik Matthysen & Dieter Heylen
Obligate parasites need one or more hosts to complete their life cycle. However, hosts might show intraspecific variation in quality with respect to the parasites themselves, thus affecting on-host and off-host parasite performance. High heritability in host quality for the parasite may therefore exert long-lasting selective pressures on the parasite and influence host–parasite coevolution. However, the amount of variation and heritability in host quality are unknown for most parasite species, especially in wild populations of...

Data from: Developmental stress and telomere dynamics in a genetically polymorphic species

Andrea S. Grunst, Melissa L. Grunst, Rusty A. Gonser & Elaina M. Tuttle
A central objective of evolutionary biology is understanding variation in life-history trajectories and aging rate, or senescence. Senescence can be affected by tradeoffs and behavioral strategies in adults, but may also be affected by developmental stress. Developmental stress can accelerate telomere degradation, with long-term longevity and fitness consequences. Little is known regarding whether variation in developmental stress and telomere dynamics contribute to patterns of senescence during adulthood. We investigated this question in the dimorphic white-throated...

Data from: A fish that uses its hydrodynamic tongue to feed on land

Krijn B. Michel, Egon Heiss, Peter Aerts & Sam Van Wassenbergh
To capture and swallow food on land, a sticky tongue supported by the hyoid and gill arch skeleton has evolved in land vertebrates from aquatic ancestors that used mouth-cavity-expanding actions of the hyoid to suck food into the mouth. However, the evolutionary pathway bridging this drastic shift in feeding mechanism and associated hyoid motions remains unknown. Modern fish that feed on land may help to unravel the physical constraints and biomechanical solutions that led to...

Data from: Low but contrasting neutral genetic differentiation shaped by winter temperature in European great tits

Mélissa Lemoine, Kay Lucek, Charles Perrier, Verena Saladin, Frank Adriaensen, Emilio Barba, Eduardo J. Belda, Anne Charmantier, Mariusz Cichon, Eeva Tapio, Arnaud Gregoire, Camilla A. Hinde, Arild Johnsen, Jan Komdeur, Raivo Mand, Erik Matthysen, Ana Claudia Norte, Natalia Pitala, Ben C. Sheldon, Tore Slagsvold, Joost M. Tinbergen, Janos Torok, Richard Ubels, Kees Van Oers, Marcel E. Visser … & Tapio Eeva
Gene flow is usually thought to reduce genetic divergence and impede local adaptation by homogenising gene pools between populations. However, evidence for local adaptation and phenotypic differentiation in highly mobile species, experiencing high levels of gene flow, is emerging. Assessing population genetic structure at different spatial scales is thus a crucial step towards understanding mechanisms underlying intraspecific differentiation and diversification. Here, we studied the population genetic structure of a highly mobile species – the great...

Data from: Heritabilities of directional asymmetry in the fore- and hindlimbs of rabbit fetuses

Matteo Breno, Jessica Bots & Stefan Van Dongen
Directional asymmetry (DA), where at the population level symmetry differs from zero, has been reported in a wide range of traits and taxa, even for traits in which symmetry is expected to be the target of selection such as limbs or wings. In invertebrates, DA has been suggested to be non-adaptive. In vertebrates, there has been a wealth of research linking morphological asymmetry to behavioural lateralisation. On the other hand, the prenatal expression of DA...

Data from: Quantifying population divergence on short timescales

Joost A. M. Raeymaekers, Luc Lens, Frederik Van Den Broeck, Stefan Van Dongen & Filip A. M. Volckaert
Quantifying the contribution of the various processes that influence population genetic structure is important, but difficult. One of the reasons is that no single measure appropriately quantifies all aspects of genetic structure. An increasing number of studies is analyzing population structure using the statistic D, which measures genetic differentiation, next to GST, which is the standardized variance in allele frequencies among populations. Few studies have evaluated which statistic is most appropriate in particular situations. In...

Data from: On dangerous ground: the evolution of body armour in cordyline lizards

Chris Broeckhoven, Yousri El Adak, Cang Hui, Raoul Van Damme & Theodore Stankowich
Animal body armour is often considered an adaptation that protects prey against predatory attacks, yet comparative studies that link the diversification of these allegedly protective coverings to differential predation risk or pressure are scarce. Here, we examine the evolution of body armour, including spines and osteoderms, in Cordylinae, a radiation of southern African lizards. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we attempt to identify the ecological and environmental correlates of body armour that may hint at the...

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