132 Works

Data from: Effects of macronutrient intake on the lifespan and fecundity of the marula fruit fly, Ceratitis cosyra (Tephritidae): extreme lifespan in a host specialist.

Kevin Malod, C. Ruth Archer, John Hunt, Susan W. Nicolson & Christopher W. Weldon
In insects, lifespan and reproduction are strongly associated with nutrition. The ratio and amount of nutrients individuals consume affects their life expectancy and reproductive investment. The geometric framework (GF) enables us to explore how animals regulate their intake of multiple nutrients simultaneously and determine how these nutrients interact to affect life history traits of interest. Studies using the GF on host-generalist tephritid flies have highlighted trade-offs between longevity and reproductive effort in females, mediated by...

Data from: Biogeography of Leptospira in wild animal communities inhabiting the insular ecosystem of the western Indian Ocean islands and neighboring Africa

Muriel Dietrich, Yann Gomard, Erwan Lagadec, Beza Ramasindrazana, Gildas Le Minter, Vanina Guernier, Aude Benlali, Gérard Rocamora, Wanda Markotter, Steve M. Goodman, Koussay Dellagi, Pablo Tortosa & Steven M. Goodman
Understanding the processes driving parasite assemblages is particularly important in the context of zoonotic infectious diseases. Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic bacterial infection caused by pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira. Despite a wide range of animal hosts, information is still lacking on the factors shaping Leptospira diversity in wild animal communities, especially in regions, such as tropical insular ecosystems, with high host species richness and complex biogeographical patterns. Using a large dataset (34 mammal...

Data from: High-throughput microsatellite marker development in two sparid species and verification of their transferability in the family Sparidae

Kerry Reid, Thierry B. Hoareau & Paulette Bloomer
Recently, 454 sequencing has emerged as a popular method for isolating microsatellites owing to cost-effectiveness and time saving. In this study, repeat-enriched libraries from two southern African endemic sparids (Pachymetopon blochii and Lithognathus lithognathus) were 454 GS-FLX sequenced. From these, 7370 sequences containing repeats (SCRs) were identified. A brief survey of 23 studies showed a significant difference between the number of SCRs when enrichment was performed first before 454 sequencing. We designed primers for 302...

Data from: Drought-induced starvation of aardvarks in the Kalahari: an indirect effect of climate change

Benjamin Rey, Andrea Fuller, Duncan Mitchell, Leith C.R. Meyer, Robyn S. Hetem & Leith C. R. Meyer
Aardvarks (Orycteropus afer) are elusive burrowing mammals, predominantly nocturnal and distributed widely throughout Africa except for arid deserts. Their survival may be threatened by climate change via direct and indirect effects of increasing heat and aridity. To measure their current physiological plasticity, we implanted biologgers into six adult aardvarks resident in the semi-arid Kalahari. Following a particularly dry and hot summer, five of the study aardvarks and 11 other aardvarks at the study site died....

Data from: Thermoregulation in free-ranging ground woodpeckers Geocolaptes olivaceus: no evidence of torpor

Ryno Kemp, Matthew J. Noakes & Andrew E. McKechnie
Heterothermic responses characterised by pronounced hypometabolism and reductions in body temperature (Tb) are one of the most effective ways in which small endotherms can offset the energetic cost of endothermic homeothermy. It remains unclear, therefore, why daily torpor and hibernation are restricted to only a subset of avian lineages. To further our understanding of the phylogenetic distribution of avian torpor, we investigated winter thermoregulation in the Southern African ground woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus). We considered this...

Data from: Moving in the Anthropocene: global reductions in terrestrial mammalian movements

Marlee A. Tucker, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, William F. Fagan, John M. Fryxell, Bram Van Moorter, Susan C. Alberts, Abdullahi H. Ali, Andrew M. Allen, Nina Attias, Tal Avgar, Hattie Bartlam-Brooks, Buuveibaatar Bayarbaatar, Jerrold L. Belant, Alessandra Bertassoni, Dean Beyer, Laura Bidner, Floris M. Van Beest, Stephen Blake, Niels Blaum, Chloe Bracis, Danielle Brown, P. J. Nico De Bruyn, Francesca Cagnacci, Justin M. Calabrese, Constança Camilo-Alves … & Thomas Mueller
Animal movement is fundamental for ecosystem functioning and species survival, yet the effects of the anthropogenic footprint on animal movements have not been estimated across species. Using a unique GPS-tracking database of 803 individuals across 57 species, we found that movements of mammals in areas with a comparatively high human footprint were on average one-half to one-third the extent of their movements in areas with a low human footprint. We attribute this reduction to behavioral...

Data from: Genetic diversity and population structure in South African, French and Argentinian Angora Goats from genome-wide SNP data

Carina Visser, Simon F. Lashmar, Este Van Marle Koster, Mario A. Poli, Daniel Allain & Este Van Marle-Köster
The Angora goat populations in Argentina (AR), France (FR) and South Africa (SA) have been kept geographically and genetically distinct. Due to country-specific selection and breeding strategies, there is a need to characterize the populations on a genetic level. In this study we analysed genetic variability of Angora goats from three distinct geographical regions using the standardized 50k Goat SNP Chip. A total of 104 goats (AR: 30; FR: 26; SA: 48) were genotyped. Heterozygosity...

Data from: Phenotypic selection and covariation in the life‐history traits of elephant seals: heavier offspring gain a double selective advantage

W. Chris Oosthuizen, Res Altwegg, Marie Nevoux, Marthán N. Bester, P.J. Nico De Bruyn & P. J. Nico De Bruyn
Early developmental conditions contribute to individual heterogeneity of both phenotypic traits and fitness components, ultimately affecting population dynamics. Although the demographic consequences of ontogenic growth are best quantified using an integrated measure of fitness, most analyses to date have instead studied individual fitness components in isolation. Here, wWe estimated phenotypic selection on weaning mass in female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) by analyzing individual-based data collected between 1986 and 2016 with capture-recapture and matrix projection...

Data from: Making use of multiple surveys: estimating breeding probability using a multievent-robust design capture-recapture model

W. Chris Oosthuizen, Roger Pradel, Marthán N Bester & P.J. Nico De Bruyn
Increased environmental stochasticity due to climate change will intensify temporal variance in the life-history traits, and especially breeding probabilities, of long-lived iteroparous species. These changes may decrease individual fitness and population viability and is therefore important to monitor. In wild animal populations with imperfect individual detection, breeding probabilities are best estimated using capture-recapture methods. However, in many vertebrate species (e.g., amphibians, turtles, seabirds), non-breeders are unobservable because they are not tied to a territory or...

Data from: Fenced and fragmented: conservation value of managed metapopulations

Susan M. Miller, Paulette Bloomer, Cindy K. Harper, Jennifer Hofmeyr & Paul J. Funston
Population fragmentation is threatening biodiversity worldwide. Species that once roamed vast areas are increasingly being conserved in small, isolated areas. Modern management approaches must adapt to ensure the continued survival and conservation value of these populations. In South Africa, a managed metapopulation approach has been adopted for several large carnivore species, all protected in isolated, relatively small, reserves that are fenced. As far as possible these approaches are based on natural metapopulation structures. In this...

Data from: Growth affects dispersal success in social mole-rats, but not the duration of philopatry

Miquel Torrents Ticó, Nigel C. Bennett, Jennifer U.M Jarvis & Markus Zoettl
In naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber), some non-breeding males show faster growth and are more likely to disperse than others. These differences have been suggested to be the result of a specialized developmental strategy leading to shorter philopatry and independent breeding, as opposed to extended philopatry as non-reproductive helpers. However, it is unclear whether fast-growing males disperse sooner than slow-growing males. An alternative explanation is that variation in quality between individuals causes high-quality individuals to grow...

Data from: An assessment of tree availability as a possible cause of population declines in scavenging raptors

Corinne J. Kendall, Daniel I. Rubenstein, Pamela L. Slater & Ara Monadjem
Lack of suitable nesting trees is an increasingly common issue for avian conservation given rampant habitat and tree destruction around the world. In the African savannah, habitat loss and particularly tree damage caused by elephants have been suggested as possible factors in the decline of large bird species. Given the recent declines of vultures and other scavenging raptors, it is critical to understand if nest availability is a limiting factor for these threatened populations. Loss...

Data from: Population differentiation in the context of Holocene climate change for a migratory marine species, the southern elephant seal

Laura J. Corrigan, Anna Fabiani, Lucas F. Chauke, Clive R. McMahon, Mark De Bruyn, Marthan N. Bester, Amanda Bastos, Claudio Campagna, Monica M.C. Muelbert & A. Rus Hoelzel
Understanding observed patterns of connectivity requires an understanding of the evolutionary processes that determine genetic structure among populations, with the most common models being associated with isolation by distance, allopatry or vicariance. Pinnipeds are annual breeders with the capacity for extensive range overlap during seasonal migrations, establishing the potential for the evolution of isolation by distance. Here we assess the pattern of differentiation among six breeding colonies of the southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina, based...

Data from: Genetic structure of fragmented southern populations of African Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer)

Nathalie Smitz, Daniel Cornélis, Philippe Chardonnet, Alexandre Caron, Michel De Garine-Wichatitsky, Ferran Jori, Alice Mouton, Alice Latinne, Lice-Marie Pigneur, Mario Melletti, Kimberly L. Kanapeckas, Jonathan Marescaux, Carlos Lopes Pereira & Johan Michaux
Background: African wildlife experienced a reduction in population size and geographical distribution over the last millennium, particularly since the 19th century as a result of human demographic expansion, wildlife overexploitation, habitat degradation and cattle-borne diseases. In many areas, ungulate populations are now largely confined within a network of loosely connected protected areas. These metapopulations face gene flow restriction and run the risk of genetic diversity erosion. In this context, we assessed the “genetic health” of...

Data from: Predictors of Phytophthora diversity and community composition in natural areas across diverse Australian ecoregions

Treena I. Burgess, Keith L. McDougall, Peter M. Scott, Giles E. Hardy, Jeff Garnas & Giles E. StJ. Hardy
Comprehensive understanding of the patterns and drivers of microbial diversity at a landscape scale is in its infancy, despite the recent ease by which soil communities can be characterized using massively parallel amplicon sequencing. Here we report on a comprehensive analysis of the drivers of diversity distribution and composition of the ecologically and economically important Phytophthora genus from 414 soil samples collected across Australia. We assessed 22 environmental and seven categorical variables as potential predictors...

Data from: Long-distance dispersal maximizes evolutionary potential during rapid geographic range expansion

Cécile Berthouly-Salazar, Cang Hui, Tim M. Blackburn, Coline Gaboriaud, Berndt J. Van Rensburg, Bettine Jansen Van Vuuren & Johannes J. Le Roux
Conventional wisdom predicts that sequential founder events will cause genetic diversity to erode in species with expanding geographic ranges, limiting evolutionary potential at the range margin. Here, we show that invasive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in South Africa preserve genetic diversity during range expansion, possibly as a result of frequent long-distance dispersal events. We further show that unfavourable environmental conditions trigger enhanced dispersal, as indicated by signatures of selection detected across the expanding range. This...

Data from: Spatio-temporal genetic structure and the effects of long-term fishing in two partially sympatric offshore demersal fishes

Romina Henriques, Sophie Von Der Heyden, Marek R. Lipinski, Nina Du Toit, Paulus Kainge, Paulette Bloomer & Conrad A. Matthee
Environmental gradients have been shown to disrupt gene flow in marine species, yet their influence in structuring populations at depth remains poorly understood. The Cape hakes (Merluccius paradoxus and M. capensis) are demersal species co-occurring in the Benguela Current system, where decades of intense fishing resulted in severely depleted stocks in the past. Previous studies identified conflicting mtDNA genetic substructuring patterns and thus contrasting evolutionary trajectories for both species. Using 10 microsatellite loci, the control...

Data from: Retracing the routes of introduction of invasive species: the case of the Sirex noctilio woodwasp.

Emilie Boissin, Brett Hurley, Michael J. Wingfield, Rimvydas Vasaitis, Jan Stenlid, Chuck Davis, Peter De Groot, Rodrigo Ahumeda, Angus Carnegie, Arturo Goldarazena, Paula Klasmer, Beat Wermelinger & Bernard Slippers
Understanding the evolutionary histories of invasive species is critical to adopt appropriate management strategies, but this process can be exceedingly complex to unravel. As illustrated in this study of the worldwide invasion of the woodwasp Sirex noctilio, population genetic analyses using coalescent-based scenario testing together with Bayesian clustering and historical records provide opportunities to address this problem. The pest spread from its native Eurasian range to the Southern Hemisphere in the 1900’s and recently to...

Not a melting pot: plant species aggregate in their non-native range

Gisela C. Stotz, James F. Cahill, Jonathan A. Bennett, Cameron N. Carlyle, Edward W. Bork, Diana Askarizadeh, Sandor Bartha, Carl Beierkuhnlein, Bazartseren Boldgiv, Leslie Brown, Marcelo Cabido, Giandiego Campetella, Stefano Chelli, Ofer Cohen, Sandra Díaz, Lucas Enrico, David Ensing, Batdelger Erdenetsetseg, Alessandra Fidelis, Heath W. Garris, Hugh A.L. Henry, Anke Jentsch, Mohammad Hassan Jouri, Kadri Koorem, Peter Manning … & Lauchlan H. Fraser
Aim: Plant species continue to be moved outside of their native range by human activities. Here, we aim at determining whether, once introduced, plants assimilate into native communities, or whether they aggregate, thus forming mosaics of native- and alien-rich communities. Alien species may aggregate in their non-native range due to shared habitat preferences, such as their tendency to establish in high-biomass, species-poor areas. Location: 22 herbaceous grasslands in 14 countries, mainly in the temperate zone....

Genomic evidence of introgression and adaptation in a model subtropical tree species, Eucalyptus grandis

Marja Mostert-O'Neill, Sharon Reynolds, Juan Acosta, David Lee, Justin Borevitz & Alexander Myburg
The genetic consequences of adaptation to changing environments can be deciphered using landscape genomics, which may help predict species’ responses to global climate change. Towards this, we used genome-wide SNP marker analysis to determine population structure and patterns of genetic differentiation in terms of neutral and adaptive genetic variation in the natural range of Eucalyptus grandis, a widely cultivated subtropical and temperate species, serving as genomic reference for the genus. We analysed introgression patterns at...

Stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans L. (Diptera: Muscidae), improve offspring fitness by avoiding oviposition substrates with competitors or parasites

Bernard Steve Soh Baleba, Torto Baldwyn, Daniel Masiga, Merid Negash Getahun & Christopher Weldon
Oviposition site selection by gravid female insects is an important determinant in species distribution, abundance, and population dynamics. Females may assess the suitability of a potential oviposition substrate by using cues from conspecific or heterospecific individuals already present. Here, we assessed whether the presence of conspecific or heterospecific larvae and parasites influenced oviposition decisions by the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (Linneaus). Using dual and multiple-choice oviposition bioassays, we found that gravid female S. calcitrans avoided...

Data from: Prediction and attenuation of seasonal spillover of parasites between wild and domestic ungulates in an arid mixed-use system

Josephine G. Walker, Kate E. Evans, Hannah Rose Vineer, Jan A. Van Wyk & Eric R. Morgan
1.Transmission of parasites between host species affects host population dynamics, interspecific competition, and ecosystem structure and function. In areas where wild and domestic herbivores share grazing land, management of parasites in livestock may affect or be affected by sympatric wildlife due to cross-species transmission. 2.We develop a novel method for simulating transmission potential based on both biotic and abiotic factors in a semi-arid system in Botswana. Optimal timing of antiparasitic treatment in livestock is then...

Data from: The development of individual differences in cooperative behaviour: maternal glucocorticoid hormones alter helping behaviour of offspring in wild meerkats

Ben Dantzer, Constance Dubuc, Ines Braga Goncalves, Dominic L. Cram, Nigel C. Bennett, Andre Ganswindt, Michael Heistermann, Chris Duncan, David Gaynor & Tim H. Clutton-Brock
The phenotype of parents can have long-lasting effects on the development of offspring as well as on their behaviour, physiology and morphology as adults. In some cases, these changes may increase offspring fitness but, in others, they can elevate parental fitness at a cost to the fitness of their offspring. We show that in Kalahari meerkats (Suricata suricatta), the circulating glucocorticoid (GC) hormones of pregnant females affect the growth and cooperative behaviour of their offspring....

Data from: Spatial and temporal patterns of neutral and adaptive genetic variation in the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)

Clare D. Marsden, Rosie Woodroffe, Michael G. L. Mills, J. Weldon McNutt, Scott Creel, Rosemary Groom, Masenga Emmanuel, Sarah Cleaveland, Pieter Kat, Gregory S. A. Rasmussen, Joshua Ginsberg, Robin Lines, Jean-Marc André, Colleen Begg, Robert K. Wayne & Barbara K. Mable
Deciphering patterns of genetic variation within a species is essential for understanding population structure, local adaptation and differences in diversity between populations. Whilst neutrally evolving genetic markers can be used to elucidate demographic processes and genetic structure, they are not subject to selection and therefore are not informative about patterns of adaptive variation. As such, assessments of pertinent adaptive loci, such as the immunity genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), are increasingly being incorporated...

Climate induced stress and mortality in vervet monkeys

Christopher Young, Tyler Bonnell, Leslie Brown, Marcus Dostie, André Ganswindt, Stefan Kienzle, Richard McFarland, Peter Henzi & Louise Barrett
As the effects of global climate change become more apparent, animal species will become increasingly affected by extreme climate and its effect on the environment. There is a pressing need to understand animal physiological and behavioural responses to climatic stressors. We used the reactive scope model as a framework to investigate the influence of drought conditions on vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) behaviour, physiological stress and survival across 2.5-years in South Africa. Data were collected on...

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