22 Works

Data from: Contrasting evolutionary history, anthropogenic declines and genetic contact in the northern and southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum)

Yoshan Moodley, Isa-Rita M. Russo, Jan Robovský, Desire Lee Dalton, Antoinette Kotze, Steve Smith, Jan Stejskal, Oliver A. Ryder, Robert Hermes, Chris Walzer & Michael W. Bruford
The white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) has a discontinuous African distribution, which is limited by the extent of sub-Saharan grasslands. The southern population (SWR) declined to its lowest number around the turn of the 19th century, but recovered to become the world’s most numerous rhinoceros. In contrast, the northern population (NWR) was common during much of the 20th century, declining rapidly since the 1970s, and now only two post-reproductive individuals remain. Despite this species’ conservation status,...

Data from: Sacrificial males: the potential role of copulation and predation in contributing to copepod sex-skewed ratios

Ryan J. Wasserman, Mark Weston, Olaf L.F. Weyl, P. William Froneman, Rebecca J. Welch, Tim J.F. Vink, Tatenda Dalu & Tim J. F. Vink
Predation is thought to play a selective role in the emergence of behavioural traits in prey. Differences in behaviour between prey demographics may, therefore, be driven by predation with select components of the population being less vulnerable to predators. While under controlled conditions prey demography has been shown to have consequences for predation success, investigations linking these implications to natural prey population demographics are scarce. Here we assess predator-prey dynamics between notonectid predators (backswimmers) and...

Data from: Venom gland size and venom complexity – essential trophic adaptations of venomous predators: a case study using spiders

Stano Pekár, Ondrej Bocanek, Ondrej Michalek, Lenka Petráková, Charles R. Haddad, Ondrej Sedo & Zbynek Zdrahal
Specialised predators possess variety of adaptations. In the venomous predators this may include size of the venom gland and venom composition. It is expected that due to different foraging strategies predators with a wide trophic niche (generalists) should possess larger venom glands that contain more diversified components than species with a narrow niche (specialists). We focused on spiders, as the most diversified group of venomous predators, in which a wide variety of trophic strategies has...

Data from: Predator size and prey size-gut capacity ratios determine kill frequency and carcass production in terrestrial carnivorous mammals

Annelies De Cuyper, Marcus Clauss, Chris Carbone, Daryl Codron, An Cools, Myriam Hesta & Geert P. J. Janssens
Carnivore kill frequency is a fundamental part of predator-prey interactions, which are important shapers of ecosystems. Current field kill frequency data are rare and existing models are insufficiently adapted to carnivore functional groups. We developed a kill frequency model accounting for carnivore mass, prey mass, pack size, partial consumption of prey and carnivore gut capacity. Two main carnivore functional groups, small prey-feeders vs large prey-feeders, were established based on the relationship between stomach capacity (C)...

Data from: Ion Torrent PGM as tool for fungal community analysis: a case study of endophytes in Eucalyptus grandis reveals high taxonomic diversity

Martin Kemler, Jeff Garnas, Michael J. Wingfield, Marieka Gryzenhout, Kerry-Anne Pillay & Bernard Slippers
The Kingdom Fungi adds substantially to the diversity of life, but due to their cryptic morphology and lifestyle, tremendous diversity, paucity of formally described specimens, and the difficulty in isolating environmental strains into culture, fungal communities are difficult to characterize. This is especially true for endophytic communities of fungi living in healthy plant tissue. The developments in next generation sequencing technologies are, however, starting to reveal the true extent of fungal diversity. One of the...

Data from: Habitat fragmentation, not habitat loss, drives the prevalence of blood parasites in a Caribbean passerine

Antón Pérez-Rodríguez, Aurélie Khimoun, Anthony Ollivier, Cyril Eraud, B. Faivre & S. Garnier
Habitat destruction due to human land-use activities is well recognized as a central threat to biodiversity. However, there is still debate about the relative influence of its two components, habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, mostly because few studies have been able to disentangle their respective effects. We studied mechanisms by which habitat destruction might influence the prevalence of vector-transmitted haemosporidian blood parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus the Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, Loxigilla noctis, on...

Data from: Genetic structure of the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in south-eastern Africa

Antoinette Kotzé, Desiré Lee Dalton, Raoul Du Toit, Natasha Anderson & Yoshan Moodley
Despite an on-going struggle to conserve the endangered black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) since the 1980’s, huge capital investment and several genetic surveys, the level of genetic structure and connectivity among populations in southern Africa is not well understood. Here, we undertake a major population genetic study of black rhinoceros in the Zimbabwe Lowveld, an area inhabited by over half of that country’s original Zambezi descendants plus one large population sourced from the relict KwaZulu stock...

Data from: Social and genetic population structure of free-ranging cheetah in Botswana: implications for conservation

Desiré L. Dalton, Pauline Charruau, Lorraine Boast & Antoinette Kotzé
Once widely distributed throughout Africa, cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) occur today within fragmented populations and are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. Botswana currently hosts the second largest cheetah population throughout the species’ range. This study initiated a molecular genetic survey of wild Botswana cheetah populations. It focused on the relatedness within presumed social groups using 14 microsatellite markers and revealed a higher proportion of unrelated male coalitions than was expected. Based on the unrelated cheetahs...

Data from: Mapping phosphorus hotspots in Sydney’s organic wastes: a spatially-explicit inventory to facilitate urban phosphorus recycling

Genevieve S. Metson, Dana Cordell, Brad Ridoutt & Steve Mohr
Phosphorus is an essential element for food production whose main global sources are becoming scarce and expensive. Furthermore, losses of phosphorus throughout the food production chain can also cause serious aquatic pollution. Recycling urban organic waste resources high in phosphorus could simultaneously address scarcity concerns for agricultural producers who reply on phosphorus fertilisers, and waste managers seeking to divert waste from landfills to decrease environmental burdens. Recycling phosphorus back to agricultural lands however requires careful...

Data from: The way wear goes – phytolith-based wear on the dentine-enamel system in guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus)

Louise F. Martin, Daniela Winkler, Thomas Tütken, Codron Daryl, Annelies De Cuyper, Jean-Michel Hatt & Marcus Clauss
The effect of phytoliths on tooth wear and function has been contested in studies of animal plant interactions. For herbivores whose occlusal chewing surface consists of enamel ridges in dentine tissue, the phytoliths might first erode the softer dentine, exposing the enamel ridges to different occlusal forces and thus leading to enamel wear. To test this hypothesis, we fed guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus; n=36 in 6 groups) for three weeks exclusively on dry or fresh...

Data from: Water for African elephants (Loxodonta Africana): faecal microbial loads affect use of artificial waterholes

Mduduzi Ndlovu, Antón Pérez-Rodríguez, Emma Devereux, Miranda Thomas, Alfredo Colina & Linford Molaba
In semi-arid protected areas artificial waterholes ensure that water is locally available to animals for extended periods. However, artificial waterholes may limit animal movement, which contributes towards habitat deterioration. Challenges of artificial water provisioning worsen in the presence of ecosystem engineers like African elephants Loxodonta africana, capable of transforming environments. Camera traps were used to monitor elephant visitation at 21 artificial waterholes in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. We also assessed if water quality...

Data from: Vulnerability mapping as a tool to manage the environmental impacts of oil and gas extraction

Surina Esterhuyse, Frank Sokolic, Nola Redelinghuys, Marinda Avenant, Andrzej Kijko, Jan Glazewski, Lisa Plit, Marthie Kemp, Ansie Smit, A. Tascha Vos & Michael J. Von Maltitz
Various biophysical and socio-economic impacts may be associated with unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction. A vulnerability map may assist governments during environmental assessments, spatial planning and the regulation of UOG extraction, as well as decision-making around UOG extraction in fragile areas. A regional interactive vulnerability map was developed for UOG extraction in South Africa. This map covers groundwater, surface water, vegetation, socio-economics and seismicity as mapping themes, based on impacts that may emanate from...

Data from: Impacts of landscape composition, marginality of distribution, soil fertility, and climatic stability on the patterns of woody plant endemism in the Cerrado

, Anete P. De Souza & Ingrid Koch
Aim: Although various theories have been proposed to explain the outstanding endemism of plants in the Cerrado, four hypotheses about the mechanisms of diversification and distribution are most supported: (1) plateau/valley, (2) stable/unstable climate, (3) core/peripheral distribution, and (4) soil fertility. The first argues that plateaus harbor more ancient lineages than valleys and therefore presents higher endemism. The second theory suggests that climatic stable environments maintained more paleoendemic species. The third scenario attributes the distribution...

Spiders sampled during student excursions at Bankfontein farm

Charles Haddad
As part of an undergraduate Entomology module, field excursions were undertaken to a mixed livestock farm in central South Africa, during March-April 2015, 2016 and 2018–2020. The aim was for groups to determine and compare terrestrial arthropod biodiversity in three strata of three contrasting biotopes, with particular emphasis on insects. To determine the contributions such excursions make to documenting biodiversity of a non-target taxon, the spider (Arachnida: Araneae) data generated by students was compared with...

The role of plant-pollinator interactions in structuring nectar microbial communities

Clara De Vega, Sergio Álvarez-Pérez, Rafael G. Albaladejo, Sandy-Lynn Steenhuisen, Marc-André Lachance, Steve D. Johnson & Carlos M. Herrera
1. Floral nectar harbours a diverse microbiome of yeasts and bacteria that depend predominantly on animal visitors for their dispersal. Since pollinators visit specific sets of flowers and carry their own unique microbiota, we hypothesize that plant species visited by the same set of pollinators may support non-random nectar microbial communities linked together by the type of pollinator. 2. Here we explore the importance of plant-pollinator interactions in the assembly of nectar microbiome and study...

Worldwide savanna monkey (Chlorocebus spp.) body measures

Christopher A. Schmitt, Trudy R. Turner, Jennifer Danzy Cramer, Joseph Lorenz, J. Paul Grobler, Clifford J. Jolly & Nelson B. Freimer
Objectives: Direct comparative work in morphology and growth on widely dispersed wild primate taxa is rarely accomplished, yet critical to understanding ecogeographic variation, plastic local varia- tion in response to human impacts, and variation in patterns of growth and sexual dimorphism. We investigated population variation in morphology and growth in response to geographic variables (i.e., latitude, altitude), climatic variables (i.e., temperature and rainfall), and human impacts in the vervet monkey (Chlorocebus spp.). Methods: We trapped...

Data from: The static allometry of sexual and non-sexual traits in vervet monkeys

Rafael L. Rodríguez, Jennifer Danzy Cramer, Christopher A. Schmitt, Tegan J. Gaetano, J. Paul Grobler, Nelson B. Freimer & Trudy R. Turner
Sexual traits vary tremendously in static allometry. This variation may be explained in part by body size-related differences in the strength of selection. We tested this hypothesis in two populations of vervet monkeys, using estimates of the level of condition dependence for different morphological traits as a proxy for body size-related variation in the strength of selection. In support of the hypothesis, we found that the steepness of allometric slopes increased with the level of...

Data from: Genetic basis of between-individual and within-individual variance of docility

Julien G.A. Martin, Enrico Pirottay, Matthew B. Petellez, Daniel T. Blumstein, J. G. A. Martin, E. Pirotta & M. B. Petelle
Between-individual variation in phenotypes within a population is the basis of evolution. However, evolutionary and behavioural ecologists have mainly focused on estimating between-individual variance in mean trait and neglected variation in within-individual variance, or predictability of a trait. In fact, an important assumption of mixed-effects models used to estimate between-individual variance in mean traits is that within-individual residual variance (predictability) is identical across individuals. Individual heterogeneity in the predictability of behaviours is a potentially important...

Data from: Adding ecological and evolutionary processes to restoration biodiversity offset models using neutral theory

Falko T. Buschke & Samuel P. Sinclair
Aim: Biodiversity offsets are being implemented or planned across all continents and biogeographical realms. Due to their popularity, new offset projects have developed faster than empirical evidence of their ecological effectiveness, so policy has been informed by quantitative models. However, these models have yet to incorporate ecological and evolutionary processes, which vary globally. Here we use the unified neutral theory of biodiversity to integrate speciation and dispersal into models of restoration biodiversity offsets. Location: A...

Mammalian intestinal allometry, phylogeny, trophic level and climate

María Duque-Correa, Daryl Codron, Carlo Meloro, Amanda McGrosky, Christiann Schiffmann, Mark Edwards & Marcus Clauss
An often-stated ecomorphological assumption that has the status of ‘textbook knowledge’ is that the dimensions of the digestive tract correlate with diet, where herbivores – consuming diets of lower digestibility – have longer intestinal tracts than faunivores – consuming diets of higher digestibility. However, statistical approaches have so far failed to demonstrate this link. Here, we collated data on the length of intestinal sections and body mass of 519 mammal species, and test for various...

Long-read genome sequencing of bread wheat facilitates disease resistance gene cloning

Naveenkumar Athiyannan, Michael Abrouk, Willem H. P. Boshoff, Stéphane Cauet, Nathalie Rodde, David A. Kudrna, Nahed Mohammed, Jan Bettgenhaeuser, Kirsty Botha, Shannon Derman, Rod A. Wing, Renée Prins & Simon G. Krattinger
Cloning agronomically important genes from large, complex crop genomes remains challenging. Here, we generate a 14.7-gigabase chromosome-scale assembly of the South African bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivar Kariega by combining high-fidelity long reads, optical mapping, and chromosome conformation capture. The resulting assembly is an order of magnitude more contiguous than previous wheat assemblies. Kariega shows durable resistance against the devastating fungal stripe rust disease. We identified the race-specific disease resistance gene Yr27, encoding an intracellular...

Revised taxonomy of the Arctotis Annual Clade (Arctotideae, Asteraceae) from Southern Africa: integration of molecular phylogenetic and morphological evidence

Robert McKenzie & Nigel Barker
Previous phylogenetic analysis of ITS nrDNA sequence data for Arctotidinae species resolved a highly supported clade containing all but one of the showy annual Arctotis species (informally designated the ‘Arctotis Annual Clade’). In the present study, phylogenetic relationships in the Arctotis Annual Clade were investigated by Bayesian inference and maximum parsimony analyses of cpDNA (trnT-trnL-trnF and trnH-psbA) and nrDNA (ITS) sequence data. The cpDNA and nrDNA phylogenies were notably incongruent. Arctotis venusta and a putative...

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Resource Types

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Affiliations

  • University of the Free State
    22
  • University of Pretoria
    3
  • University of Zurich
    3
  • University of Veterinary Medicine
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  • Ghent University
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  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    2
  • University of Venda
    2
  • University of Cape Town
    2
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  • National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment
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