89 Works

Data from: Nest inheritance is the missing source of direct fitness in a primitively eusocial insect

Ellouise Leadbeater, Jonathan M. Carruthers, Jonathan P. Green, Neil S. Rosser & Jeremy P. Field
Animals that co-operate with non-relatives represent a challenge to inclusive fitness theory, unless co-operative behavior is shown to provide direct fitness benefits. Inheritance of breeding resources could provide such benefits, but this route to co-operation has been little investigated in the social insects. We show that nest inheritance can explain the presence of unrelated helpers in a classic social insect model, the primitively eusocial wasp Polistes dominulus. We found that subordinate helpers produced more direct...

Data from: Do differences in food web structure between organic and conventional farms affect the ecosystem service of pest control?

Sarina Macfadyen, Rachel Gibson, Andrew Polaszek, Rebecca J. Morris, Paul G. Craze, Robert Planqué, William O.C. Symondson & Jane Memmott
While many studies have demonstrated that organic farms support greater levels of biodiversity, it is not known whether this translates into better provision of ecosystem services. Here we use a food-web approach to analyse the community structure and function at the whole-farm scale. Quantitative food webs from 10 replicate pairs of organic and conventional farms showed that organic farms have significantly more species at three trophic levels (plant, herbivore and parasitoid) and significantly different network...

Data from: Audio-visual crossmodal correspondences in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris)

Anna Korzeniowska, Holly Root-Gutteridge, Julia Simner & David Reby
Crossmodal correspondences are intuitively held relationships between non-redundant features of a stimulus, such as auditory pitch and visual illumination. While a number of correspondences have been identified in humans to date (e.g. high pitch is intuitively felt to be luminant, angular, and elevated in space), their evolutionary and developmental origins remain unclear. Here we investigated the existence of audio-visual crossmodal correspondences in domestic dogs, and specifically, the known human correspondence in which high auditory pitch...

Data from: Integrating population genetics to define conservation units from the core to the edge of Rhinolophus ferrumequinum western range

Orianne Tournayre, Jean-Baptiste Pons, Maxime Leuchtmann, Raphael Leblois, Sylvain Piry, Anne Loiseau, Ondine Filippi-Codaccioni, Jeanne Duhayer, Inazio Garin, Fiona Mathews, Sébastien Puechmaille, Nathalie Charbonnel & Dominique Pontier
The greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) is among the most widespread bat species in Europe but it has experienced severe declines, especially in Northern Europe. This species is listed Near Threatened in the European IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals and it is considered to be highly sensitive to human activities and particularly to habitat fragmentation. Therefore, understanding the population boundaries and demographic history of populations of this species is of primary importance to assess...

Data from: Homogenisation of carnivorous mammal ensembles caused by global range reductions of large-bodied hypercarnivores during the late Quaternary

Owen Middleton, Jorn Scharlemann & Christopher Sandom
Carnivorous mammals play crucial roles in ecosystems by influencing prey densities and behaviour, and recycling carrion. Yet, the influence of carnivores on global ecosystems has been affected by extinctions and range contractions throughout the Late Pleistocene and Holocene (~130 000 years ago to the current). Large-bodied mammals were particularly affected, but how dietary strategies influenced species’ susceptibility to geographic range reductions remains unknown. We investigated 1) the importance of dietary strategies in explaining range reductions...

Data from: Colony-level differences in the scaling rules governing wood ant compound eye structure

Craig D. Perl & Jeremy E. Niven
Differential organ growth during development is essential for adults to maintain the correct proportions and achieve their characteristic shape. Organs scale with body size, a process known as allometry that has been studied extensively in a range of organisms. Such scaling rules, typically studied from a limited sample, are assumed to apply to all members of a population and/or species. Here we study scaling in the compound eyes of workers of the wood ant, Formica...

Data from: Niche partitioning in a sympatric cryptic species complex

Jessica J. Scriven, Penelope R. Whitehorn, David Goulson, Matthew C. Tinsley, Dave Goulson & Matthew. C. Tinsley
Competition theory states that multiple species should not be able to occupy the same niche indefinitely. Morphologically, similar species are expected to be ecologically alike and exhibit little niche differentiation, which makes it difficult to explain the co-occurrence of cryptic species. Here, we investigated interspecific niche differentiation within a complex of cryptic bumblebee species that co-occur extensively in the United Kingdom. We compared the interspecific variation along different niche dimensions, to determine how they partition...

Data from: Fractal measures of spatial pattern as a heuristic for return rate in vegetative systems

Michael A. Irvine, Emma L. Jackson, Emma J. Kenyon, Kevan J. Cook, Matthew J. Keeling & James C. Bull
Measurement of population persistence is a long-standing problem in ecology; in particular, whether it is possible to gain insights into persistence without long time-series. Fractal measurements of spatial patterns, such as the Korcak exponent or boundary dimension, have been proposed as indicators of the persistence of underlying dynamics. Here we explore under what conditions a predictive relationship between fractal measures and persistence exists. We combine theoretical arguments with an aerial snapshot and time series from...

Data from: Enhanced flight performance by genetic manipulation of wing shape in Drosophila

Robert P. Ray, Toshiyuki Nakata, Per Henningsson & Richard J. Bomphrey
Insect wing shapes are remarkably diverse and the combination of shape and kinematics determines both aerial capabilities and power requirements. However, the contribution of any specific morphological feature to performance is not known. Using targeted RNA interference to modify wing shape far beyond the natural variation found within the population of a single species, we show a direct effect on flight performance that can be explained by physical modelling of the novel wing geometry. Our...

Data from: Heritability of symbiont density reveals distinct regulatory mechanisms in a tripartite symbiosis

Jasmine F. Parkinson, Bruno Gobin & William O. H. Hughes
Beneficial eukaryotic–bacterial partnerships are integral to animal and plant evolution. Understanding the density regulation mechanisms behind bacterial symbiosis is essential to elucidating the functional balance between hosts and symbionts. Citrus mealybugs, Planococcus citri (Risso), present an excellent model system for investigating the mechanisms of symbiont density regulation. They contain two obligate nutritional symbionts, Moranella endobia, which resides inside Tremblaya princeps, which has been maternally transmitted for 100–200 million years. We investigate whether host genotype may...

Data from: Learning from the past to prepare for the future: felids face continued threat from declining prey richness

Christopher James Sandom, Soren Faurby, Jens C. Svenning, Dawn Burnham, Amy Dickman, Amy Hinks, Ewan A. Macdonald, Bill Ripple, Jake Williams, David Macdonald, W. J. Ripple, J.-C. Svenning, A. E. Hinks & D. W. Macdonald
Many contemporary species of large-felids (>15 kg) feed upon prey that are endangered, raising concern that prey population declines (defaunation) will further threaten felids. We assess the threat that defaunation presents by investigating a late Quaternary (LQ), ‘present-natural’ counterfactual scenario. Our present-natural counterfactual is based on predicted ranges of mammals today in the absence of any impacts of modern humans (Homo sapiens) through time. Data from our present-natural counterfactual are used to understand firstly how...

Data from: Data reliability in citizen science: learning curve and the effects of training method, volunteer background and experience on identification accuracy of insects visiting ivy flowers

Francis L. W. Ratnieks, Felix Schrell, Rebecca C. Sheppard, Emmeline Brown, Oliver E. Bristow & Mihail Garbuzov
Citizen science, the involvement of volunteers in collecting of scientific data, can be a useful research tool. However, data collected by volunteers are often of lower quality than those collected by professional scientists. We studied the accuracy with which the volunteers identified insects visiting ivy (Hedera) flowers in Sussex, England. In the first experiment, we examined the effects of training method, volunteer background and prior experience. Fifty-three participants were trained for the same duration using...

Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) recognise meaningful content in monotonous streams of read speech

Holly Root-Gutteridge, Victoria Ratcliffe, Anna Korzeniowska & David Reby
Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) can recognize basic phonemic information from human speech and respond to commands. Commands are typically presented in isolation with exaggerated prosody known as dog-directed speech (DDS) register. Here, we investigate whether dogs can spontaneously identify meaningful phonemic content in a stream of putatively irrelevant speech spoken in monotonous prosody, without congruent prosodic cues. To test this ability, dogs were played recordings of their owners reading a meaningless text in which we...

Data from: Rapid evolution of a floral trait following acquisition of novel pollinators

Christopher R. Mackin, Julián F. Peña, Mario A. Blanco, Nicholas J. Balfour & Maria Clara Castellanos
1. Changes in the pollinator assemblage visiting a plant can have consequences for reproductive success and floral evolution. We studied a recent plant trans-continental range expansion to test whether the acquisition of new pollinator functional groups can lead to rapid adaptive evolution of flowers. 2. In Digitalis purpurea, we compared flower visitors, floral traits and natural selection between native European populations and those in two Neotropical regions, naturalised after independent introductions. Bumblebees are the main...

Soil thaw depth from permafrost in subarctic Canada

C. Estop-Aragones, J.P. Fisher, M.A. Cooper, A. Thierry, R. Treharne, J.B. Murton, G.K. Phoenix, D.J. Charman, M. Williams & I.P. Hartley
This datasets contains measures of soil thaw depth from permafrost in subarctic Canada. Soil thaw depth was measured in 2013 and 2014 in sites from Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Soil temperature profiles from permafrost in subarctic Canada

C. Estop-Aragones, J.P. Fisher, M.A. Cooper, A. Thierry, R. Treharne, J.B. Murton, G.K. Phoenix, D.J. Charman, M. Williams & I.P. Hartley
This dataset consists of soil temperature profiles from permafrost in subarctic Canada. Soil temperature profiles were monitored during summer in 2013 and 2014 in Yukon and Northwest Territories. Monitored sites included peatland plateaus, thawing features of peatland plateaus, unburnt and burnt black spruce forests, and additional sites.

Larval nutrition impacts the scaling of adult metabolic rate with body mass in honeybees

Elizabeth Nicholls, Marta Rossi & Jeremy Niven
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a fundamental physiological measure linked to numerous aspects of organismal function, including lifespan. Although dietary restriction in insects during larval growth/development affects adult RMR, the impact of larval diet quality on adult RMR has not been studied. Using in vitro rearing to control larval diet quality, we determined the effect of dietary protein and carbohydrate on honeybee survival-to-adulthood, time-to-eclosion, body mass/size and adult RMR. High carbohydrate larval diets increased survival-to-adulthood...

Bulk density, carbon and nitrogen content in soil profiles from permafrost in subarctic Canada

C. Estop-Aragones, J.P. Fisher, M.A. Cooper, A. Thierry, R. Treharne, J.B. Murton, G.K. Phoenix, D.J. Charman, M. Williams & I.P. Hartley
This dataset consists of measurements of bulk density, carbon and nitrogen content in soil profiles from permafrost in subarctic Canada. Soil cores were sampled during early summer in 2013 and 2014. Soil cores were sampled from a peatland plateau and thawing features of the peatland plateau, and from an unburnt and burnt black spruce forest, and additional sites in Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Soil respired radiocarbon as CO2 and CH4 from peatland plateaus and thawing peatland plateaus and from burnt and unburnt forests from permafrost in subarctic Canada

C. Estop-Aragones, J.P. Fisher, M.A. Cooper, A. Thierry, R. Treharne, J.B. Murton, G.K. Phoenix, D.J. Charman, M. Williams & I.P. Hartley
This dataset contains measures of soil respired radiocarbon as CO2 and CH4 from peatland plateaus and thawing peatland plateaus and from burnt and unburnt forests from permafrost in subarctic Canada. The radiocarbon content of soil respired CO2 and CH4 was measured during summer in 2013 and 2014 in Yukon and Northwest Territories. Monitored sites included peatland plateaus, thawing features of peatland plateaus and unburnt and burnt black spruce forests.

Two-photon calcium recordings of cones

Takeshi Yoshimatsu, Philipp Bartel, Cornelius Schröder, Filip Janiak, Francois St-Pierre, Philipp Berens & Tom Baden
For colour vision, retinal circuits separate information about intensity and wavelength. This requires circuit-level comparison of at least two spectrally distinct photoreceptors. However, many vertebrates use all four ‘ancestral’ photoreceptors (‘red’, ‘green’, ‘blue’, ‘UV’), and in those cases the nature and implementation of this computation remains poorly understood. Here, we establish the complete circuit architecture of outer retinal circuits underlying colour processing in the tetrachromatic larval zebrafish, which involves all four ancestral cone types and...

Larval nutrition impacts survival to adulthood, body size, and the allometric scaling of metabolic rate in adult honeybees

Elizabeth Nicholls, Marta Rossi & Jeremy Niven
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a fundamental physiological measure linked to numerous aspects of organismal function, including lifespan. Although dietary restriction in insects during larval growth/development affects adult RMR, the impact of larval diet quality on adult RMR has not been studied. Using in vitro rearing to control larval diet quality, we determined the effect of dietary protein and carbohydrate on honeybee survival-to-adulthood, time-to-eclosion, body mass/size and adult RMR. High carbohydrate larval diets increased survival-to-adulthood...

Data from: Spectral inference reveals principal cone-integration rules of the zebrafish inner retina

Tom Baden, Philipp Bartel, Takeshi Yoshimatsu & Filip K Janiak
In the vertebrate retina, bipolar cells integrate the signals from different cone types at two main sites: directly, via dendritic inputs in the outer retina, and indirectly, via axonal inputs in the inner retina. Of these, the functional wiring of the indirect route, involving diverse amacrine cell circuits, remains largely uncharted. However, because cone-photoreceptor types differ in their spectral sensitivities, insights into the total functional cone-integration logic of bipolar cell might be gained by linking...

Data from: Emergent global patterns of ecosystem structure and function from a mechanistic General Ecosystem Model

Michael Brian James Harfoot, Tim Newbold, Derek P. Tittensor, Stephen Emmott, Jon Hutton, Vassily Lyutsarev, Matthew J. Smith, Jorn P. W. Scharlemann & Drew W. Purves
Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM) of ecosystem structure and function that is both global, and...

Lateralisation of short- and long-term visual memories in an insect

Ana Sofia David Fernandes & Jeremy Niven
The formation of memories within the vertebrate brain is lateralised between hemispheres across multiple modalities, however, in invertebrates evidence for lateralisation is restricted to olfactory memories, primarily from social bees. Here we use a classical conditioning paradigm with a visual conditioned stimulus to show that visual memories are lateralised in the wood ant, Formica rufa. We show that a brief contact between a sugar reward and either the right or left antenna (reinforcement) is sufficient...

Data from: Rewilding in the English Uplands: policy and practice

Christopher J. Sandom, Benedict Dempsey, David Bullock, Adrian Ely, Paul Jepson, Stefan Jimenez-Wisler, Adrian Newton, Nathalie Pettorelli & Rebecca A. Senior
Rewilding is gaining momentum as a new approach to restore and conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services, despite being imprecisely defined, controversial, and with limited explicit empirical supporting evidence (Lorimer et al., 2015; Pettorelli et al., 2018; Svenning et al., 2016). In a case study region (the English uplands), we discuss what rewilding means to practitioners and policy makers; the risks, opportunities, and barriers to implementation, and potential paths for policy and practice.

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