132 Works

Data from: Serological evidence of lyssaviruses among bats on southwestern Indian Ocean islands

Julien Mélade, Stewart McCulloch, Beza Ramasindrazana, Erwan Lagadec, Magali Turpin, Hervé Pascalis, Steven M. Goodman, Wanda Markotter & Koussay Dellagi
We provide serological evidence of lyssavirus circulation among bats on southwestern Indian Ocean (SWIO) islands. A total of 572 bats belonging to 22 species were collected on Anjouan, Mayotte, La Réunion, Mauritius, Mahé and Madagascar and screened by the Rapid Fluorescent Focus Inhibition Test for the presence of neutralising antibodies against the two main rabies related lyssaviruses circulating on the African continent: Duvenhage lyssavirus (DUVV) and Lagos bat lyssavirus (LBV), representing phylogroups I and II,...

Data from: Within guild co-infections influence parasite community membership: a longitudinal study in African Buffalo

Brian Henrichs, Marinda C. Oosthuizen, Milana Troskie, Erin Gorsich, Carmen Gondhalekar, Brianna Beechler, Vanessa O. Ezenwa, Anna E. Jolles & Brianna R. Beechler
1. Experimental studies in laboratory settings have demonstrated a critical role of parasite interactions in shaping parasite communities. The sum of these interactions can produce diverse effects on individual hosts as well as influence disease emergence and persistence at the population level. 2. A predictive framework for the effects of parasite interactions in the wild remains elusive, largely because of limited longitudinal or experimental data on parasite communities of free-ranging hosts. 3. This four year...

Data from: Variation in growth of Damaraland mole-rats is explained by competition rather than by functional specialization for different tasks

Markus Zöttl, Jack Thorley, David Gaynor, Nigel C. Bennett & Tim Clutton-Brock
In some eusocial insect societies, adaptation to the division of labour results in multimodal size variation among workers. It has been suggested that variation in size and growth among non-breeders in naked and Damaraland mole-rats may similarly reflect functional divergence associated with different cooperative tasks. However, it is unclear whether individual growth rates are multimodally distributed (as would be expected if variation in growth is associated with specialization for different tasks) or whether variation in...

Data from: Leaf nutrients, not specific leaf area, are consistent indicators of elevated nutrient inputs

Jennifer Firn, James M. McGree, Eric Harvey, Habacuc Flores-Moreno, Martin Schütz, Yvonne M. Buckley, Elizabeth T. Borer, Eric W. Seabloom, Kimberly J. La Pierre, Andrew M. MacDougall, Suzanne M. Prober, Carly J. Stevens, Lauren L. Sullivan, Erica Porter, Emma Ladouceur, Charlotte Allen, Karine H. Moromizato, John W. Morgan, W. Stanley Harpole, Yann Hautier, Nico Eisenhauer, Justin P. Wright, Peter B. Adler, Carlos Alberto Arnillas, Jonathan D. Bakker … & Anita C. Risch
Leaf traits are frequently measured in ecology to provide a ‘common currency’ for predicting how anthropogenic pressures impact ecosystem function. Here, we test whether leaf traits consistently respond to experimental treatments across 27 globally distributed grassland sites across 4 continents. We find that specific leaf area (leaf area per unit mass)—a commonly measured morphological trait inferring shifts between plant growth strategies—did not respond to up to four years of soil nutrient additions. Leaf nitrogen, phosphorus...

Data from: Sensitivity of global soil carbon stocks to combined nutrient enrichment

Thomas W. Crowther, Charlotte Riggs, Eric M. Lind, Elizabeth T. Borer, Eric W. Seabloom, Sarah E. Hobbie, E. R. Jasper Wubs, Peter B. Adler, Jennifer Firn, Laureano Gherardi, Nicole Hagenah, Kirsten S. Hofmockel, Johannes M. H. Knops, Rebecca L. McCulley, Andrew MacDougall, Pablo L. Peri, Suzanne M. Prober, Carly J. Stevens & Devin Routh
Soil stores approximately twice as much carbon as the atmosphere and fluctuations in the size of the soil carbon pool directly influence climate conditions. We used the Nutrient Network global change experiment to examine how anthropogenic nutrient enrichment might influence grassland soil carbon storage at a global scale. In isolation, enrichment of nitrogen and phosphorous had minimal impacts on soil carbon storage. However, when these nutrients were added in combination with potassium and micronutrients, soil...

Data from: Locomotor activity and body temperature patterns over a temperature gradient in the highveld mole-rat (Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae)

Meghan Haupt, Nigel C. Bennett & Maria K. Oosthuizen
African mole-rats are strictly subterranean mammals that live in extensive burrow systems. High humidity levels in the burrows prevent mole-rats from thermoregulating using evaporative cooling. However, the relatively stable environment of the burrows promotes moderate temperatures and small daily temperature fluctuations. Mole-rats therefore display a relatively wide range of thermoregulation abilities. Some species cannot maintain their body temperatures at a constant level, whereas others employ behavioural thermoregulation. Here we test the effect of ambient temperature...

Data from: Using the Spatial Population Abundance Dynamics Engine for conservation management

Nicholas J. Beeton, Clive R. McMahon, Grant Williamson, Joanne Potts, Jonathan Bloomer, Marthán N. Bester, Lawrence K. Forbes, Christopher N. Johnson, Grant J. Williamson, Chris N. Johnson & Larry K. Forbes
1. An explicit spatial understanding of population dynamics is often critical for effective management of wild populations. Sophisticated approaches are available to simulate these dynamics, but are largely either spatially homogeneous or agent-based, and thus best suited to small spatial or temporal scales. These approaches also often ignore financial decisions crucial to choosing management approaches on the basis of cost-effectiveness. 2. We created a user-friendly and flexible modelling framework for simulating these population issues at...

Data from: Solar radiation during rewarming from torpor in elephant shrews: supplementation or substitution of endogenous heat production?

Michelle L. Thompson, Nomakwezi Mzilikazi, Nigel C. Bennett & Andrew E. McKechnie
Many small mammals bask in the sun during rewarming from heterothermy, but the implications of this behaviour for their energy balance remain little understood. Specifically, it remains unclear whether solar radiation supplements endogenous metabolic thermogenesis (i.e., rewarming occurs through the additive effects of internally-produced and external heat), or whether solar radiation reduces the energy required to rewarm by substituting (i.e, replacing) metabolic heat production. To address this question, we examined patterns of torpor and rewarming...

Data from: Ancient landscapes of the Namib Desert harbour high levels of genetic variability and deeply divergent lineages for Collembola

Gemma Collins, Ian Hogg, Janine Baxter, Gillian Maggs-Kölling & Don Cowan
Aim To assess spatial patterns of genetic and species-level diversity for Namib Desert Collembola using mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences. Location Namib Desert gravel plains Taxon Collembola (springtails) Methods A total of 77 soil samples was collected along a NE-SW (60 km) and E-W (160 km) transects from within a 4000 km2 area of the Namib Desert gravel plains. We extracted 434 springtails from the 37 samples which contained Collembola...

Data from: Serendipitous meta-transcriptomics: the fungal community of Norway spruce (Picea abies)

Nicolas Delhomme, Görel Sundström, Neda Zamani, Henrik Lantz, Yao-Cheng Lin, Torgeir R. Hvidsten, Marc P. Höppner, Patric Jern, Yves Van De Peer, Joakim Lundeberg, Manfred G. Grabherr & Nathaniel R. Street
After performing de novo transcript assembly of >1 billion RNA-Sequencing reads obtained from 22 samples of different Norway spruce (Picea abies) tissues that were not surface sterilized, we found that assembled sequences captured a mix of plant, lichen, and fungal transcripts. The latter were likely expressed by endophytic and epiphytic symbionts, indicating that these organisms were present, alive, and metabolically active. Here, we show that these serendipitously sequenced transcripts need not be considered merely as...

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: Body mass affects short term heterothermy in Neotropical bats

Zenon J. Czenze & Miranda B. Dunbar
Recent work in Australia and Africa has shown that heterothermy is widespread among phylogenetically diverse tropical and subtropical mammalian taxa. However, data on the use of heterothermy by Neotropical mammals are relatively scant, and those studies that exist focus on insect-eating bats. We investigated the capacity of fruit-eating Neotropical bats to use heterothermy when exposed to acute cold temperatures, and compared this to previous data focused on insect-eating bats sampled from the same region and...

Dominant native and non-native graminoids differ in key leaf traits irrespective of nutrient availability

Arthur Broadbent, Jennifer Firn, James McGree, Elizabeth Borer, Yvonne Buckley, W. Stanley Harpole, Kimberly Komatsu, Andrew MacDougall, Kate Orwin, Nicholas Ostle, Eric Seabloom, Jonathan Bakker, Lori Biedermann, Maria Caldeira, Nico Eisenhauer, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Joslin Moore, Carla Nogueira, Pablo Peri, Anita Risch, Christiane Roscher, Martin Schuetz & Carly Stevens
Aim Nutrient enrichment is associated with plant invasions and biodiversity loss. Functional trait advantages may predict the ascendancy of invasive plants following nutrient enrichment but this is rarely tested. Here, we investigate 1) whether dominant native and non-native plants differ in important morphological and physiological leaf traits, 2) how their traits respond to nutrient addition, and 3) whether responses are consistent across functional groups. Location Australia, Europe, North America and South Africa Time period 2007...

Animal lifestyle affects acceptable mass limits for attached tags

Rory Wilson, Kayleigh Rose, Richard Gunner, Mark Holton, Nikki Marks, Nigel Bennett, Stephen Bell, Joshua Twining, Jamie Hesketh, Carlos Duarte, Neil Bezodis, Milos Jezek, Michael Painter, Vaclav Silovsky, Margaret Crofoot, Roi Harel, John Arnould, Blake Allan, Desley Whisson, Abdulaziz Alagaili & David Scantlebury
Animal-attached devices have transformed our understanding of vertebrate ecology. To minimize any associated harm, researchers have long advocated that tag masses should not exceed 3% of carrier body mass. However, this ignores tag forces resulting from animal movement. Using data from collar-attached accelerometers on 10 diverse free-ranging terrestrial species from koalas to cheetahs, we detail a tag-based acceleration method to clarify acceptable tag mass limits. We quantify animal athleticism in terms of fractions of animal...

Traces of air and body temperature in six hummingbird species in the Andes

Blair Wolf, Andrew McKechnie, Jonathan Schmitt, Zenon Czenze, Andrew Johnson & Christopher Witt
Torpor is thought to be particularly important for small endotherms occupying cold environments and with limited fat reserves to fuel metabolism. It remains mysterious why, among birds, torpor is both rare and variable in extent. We investigated torpor in a hummingbird community at ~3,800 m a.s.l. in the tropical Andes by monitoring body temperature (Tb) in 26 individuals of six species held captive overnight and experiencing natural air temperature (Ta) patterns. All species used pronounced...

Exposing wind stress as a driver of fine-scale variation in plant communities

Mia Momberg, David Hedding, Miska Luoto & Peter Le Roux
The effects of temperature and precipitation, and the impacts of changes in these climatic conditions, on plant communities have been investigated extensively. The roles of other climatic factors are, however, comparatively poorly understood, despite potentially also strongly structuring community patterns. Wind, for example, is seldom considered when forecasting species responses to climate change, despite having direct physiological and mechanical impacts on plants. It is, therefore, important to understand the magnitude of potential impacts of changing...

Data from: Maternal, social and abiotic environment effects on growth vary across life stages in a cooperative mammal

Sinead English, Andrew W. Bateman, Rafael Mares, Arpat Ozgul & Tim H. Clutton-Brock
1. Resource availability plays a key role in driving variation in somatic growth and body condition, and the factors determining access to resources vary considerably across life stages. Parents and carers may exert important influences in early life, when individuals are nutritionally dependent, with abiotic environmental effects having stronger influences later in development as individuals forage independently. 2. Most studies have measured specific factors influencing growth across development, or have compared relative influences of different...

Data from: Population dynamics of owned, free-roaming dogs: implications for rabies control

Anne Conan, Oluyemisi Akerele, Greg Simpson, Bjorn Reininghaus, Jacques Van Rooyen & Darryn Knobel
Background: Rabies is a serious yet neglected public health threat in resource-limited communities in Africa, where the virus is maintained in populations of owned, free-roaming domestic dogs. Rabies elimination can be achieved through the mass vaccination of dogs, but maintaining the critical threshold of vaccination coverage for herd immunity in these populations is hampered by their rapid turnover. Knowledge of the population dynamics of free-roaming dog populations can inform effective planning and implementation of mass...

Data from: Genetic responsiveness of African buffalo to environmental stressors: a role for epigenetics in balancing autosomal and sex chromosome interactions?

Pim Van Hooft, Eric R. Dougherty, Wayne M. Getz, Barend J. Greyling, Bas J. Zwaan, Armanda D.S. Bastos & Armanda D. S. Bastos
In the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of the Kruger National Park (South Africa) a primary sex-ratio distorter and a primary sex-ratio suppressor have been shown to occur on the Y chromosome. A subsequent autosomal microsatellite study indicated that two types of deleterious alleles with a negative effect on male body condition, but a positive effect on relative fitness when averaged across sexes and generations, occur genome-wide and at high frequencies in the same population....

Data from: Landscape determinants of fine-scale genetic structure of a small rodent in a heterogeneous landscape (Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa)

Isa-Rita M. Russo, Catherine L. Sole, Mario Barbato, Ullrich Von Bramann & Michael W. Bruford
Small mammals provide ecosystem services, acting, for example, as pollinators and seed dispersers. In addition, they are also disease reservoirs that can be detrimental to human health and they can also act as crop pests. Knowledge of their dispersal preferences is therefore useful for population management and landscape planning. Genetic data were used alongside landscape data to examine the influence of the landscape on the demographic connectedness of the Natal multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) and...

Data from: Climate change leads to increasing population density and impacts of a key island invader

Greg T.W. McClelland, Res Altwegg, Rudi J. Van Aarde, Sam Ferreira, Alan E. Burger, Steven L. Chown & Gregory T. W. McClelland
The considerable threats of invasive rodents to island biodiversity are likely to be compounded by climate change. Forecasts for such interactions have been most pronounced for the Southern Ocean islands where ameliorating conditions are expected to decrease thermal and resource restrictions on rodents. Firm evidence for changing rodent populations in response to climate change, and demonstrations of associated impacts on the terrestrial environment, are nonetheless entirely absent for the region. Using data collected over three...

Data from: Positive selection of deleterious alleles through interaction with a sex-ratio suppressor gene in African buffalo: a plausible new mechanism for a high frequency anomaly

Pim Van Hooft, Ben J. Greyling, Wayne M. Getz, Paul D. Van Helden, Bas J. Zwaan & Armanda D. S. Bastos
Although generally rare, deleterious alleles can become common through genetic drift, hitchhiking or reductions in selective constraints. Here we present a possible new mechanism that explains the attainment of high frequencies of deleterious alleles in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park, through positive selection of these alleles that is ultimately driven by a sex-ratio suppressor. We have previously shown that one in four Kruger buffalo has a Y-chromosome profile that, despite...

Data from: Friends and Family: a software program for identification of unrelated individuals from molecular marker data. And from: Genetic diversity, relatedness and inbreeding of ranched and fragmented Cape buffalo populations in southern Africa

Deon De Jager, Petrus Swarts, Cindy Harper & Paulette Bloomer
The identification of related and unrelated individuals from molecular marker data is often difficult, particularly when no pedigree information is available and the data set is large. High levels of relatedness or inbreeding can influence genotype frequencies and thus genetic marker evaluation, as well as the accurate inference of hidden genetic structure. Identification of related and unrelated individuals is also important in breeding programmes, to inform decisions about breeding pairs and translocations. We present Friends...

Data from: Cryptic species, native populations and biological invasions by a eucalypt forest pathogen

Guillermo Perez, Bernard Slippers, Michael J. Wingfield, Brenda D. Wingfield, Angus J. Carnegie & Treena I. Burgess
Human associated introduction of pathogens and consequent invasions are very evident in areas where no related organisms existed before. In areas where related but distinct populations or closely related cryptic species already exist, the invasion process is much harder to unravel. In this study, the population structure of the Eucalyptus leaf pathogen Teratosphaeria nubilosa was studied within its native range in Australia, including both commercial plantations and native forests. A collection of 521 isolates from...

Data from: First circumglobal assessment of Southern Hemisphere humpback whale mitochondrial genetic variation and implications for management

Howard C. Rosenbaum, Francine Kershaw, Martin Mendez, Cristina Pomilla, Matthew S. Leslie, Ken P. Findlay, Peter B. Best, Timothy Collins, Michel Vely, Marcia H. Engel, Robert Baldwin, Gianna Minton, Michael Meyer, Lillian Florez-Gonzalez, M. Michael Poole, Nan Hauser, Claire Garrigue, Muriel Brasseur, John Bannister, Megan Anderson, Carlos Olavarria & C. Scott Baker
The description of genetic population structure over a species’ geographic range can provide insights into its evolutionary history and also support effective management efforts. Assessments for globally distributed species are rare, however, requiring significant international coordination and collaboration. The global distribution of demographically discrete populations for the humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae is not fully known, hampering the definition of appropriate management units. Here, we present the first circumglobal assessment of mitochondrial genetic population structure across...

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