110 Works

Data from: Including community composition in biodiversity-productivity models

Nadine Sandau, Rudolf P. Rohr, Russell E. Naisbit, Yvonne Fabian, Odile T. Bruggisser, Patrik Kehrli, Alexandre Aebi & Louis-Félix Bersier
1. Studies on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) have elicited debate over the interpretation of the positive relationship between species richness and plant productivity. Manipulating richness cannot be achieved without affecting composition; it is thus essential to consider the latter in statistical models. 2. We firstly review existing approaches that use species richness as an explanatory variable and propose modifications to improve their performance. We use an original dataset to illustrate the analyses. The classical...

Data from: Age and sex affect quantitative genetic parameters for dominance rank and aggression in free-living greylag geese

Brigitte M. Weiß & Katharina Foerster
Knowledge of the genetic and environmental influences on a character is pivotal for understanding evolutionary changes in quantitative traits in natural populations. Dominance and aggression are ubiquitous traits that are selectively advantageous in many animal societies and have the potential to impact the evolutionary trajectory of animal populations. Here we provide age- and sex-specific estimates of additive genetic and environmental components of variance for dominance rank and aggression rate in a free-living, human-habituated bird population...

Data from: Social network analysis shows direct evidence for social transmission of tool use in wild chimpanzees.

Catherine Hobaiter, Timothée Poisot, Klaus Zuberbühler, William Hoppitt & Thibaud Gruber
Claims of culture in animals have been stimulated by studies on a wide range of taxa revealing group-specific behavior patterns that remain stable through generations, consistent with different behavioral innovations spreading within groups by social transmission in a manner similar to human culture. In chimpanzees, 39 behaviors have been identified as 'cultural', because alternative genetic and environmental explanations for the observed regional variation appear less plausible. This interpretation is supported by experimental data from captive...

Data from: Modification of sperm quality after sexual abstinence in Seba's short-tailed bat, Carollia perspicillata.

Charlotte Wesseling, Nicolas Fasel, Heinz Richner & Fabrice Helfenstein
In polygynous mating systems, few males have stable access to sexual mates. With an expected higher copulation rate, harem males may deplete seminal fluids or increase epididymal sperm maturation, generating poor sperm quality. In a first study, we reported a higher sperm quality in sneaker males of Carollia perspicillata. To test whether the lower sperm quality observed in harem males was generated by an elevated copulation rate, we temporarily removed males of both social statuses...

Data from: Test of biotic and abiotic correlates of latitudinal variation in defences in the perennial herb Ruellia nudiflora

Luis Abdala-Roberts, Xoaquín Moreira, Sergio Rasmann, Victor Parra-Tabla & Kailen A. Mooney
1. Geographic variation in abiotic factors and species interactions is widespread and is hypothesized to generate concomitant patterns of species trait variation. For example, higher rates of herbivory at lower latitudes are thought to select for increased plant defences, although latitudinal variation in defences may also be influenced directly by abiotic factors and indirectly by predators and parasitoids reducing herbivore pressure. 2. We measured defences of the herb Ruellia nudiflora among 30 populations spanning a...

Data from: Evolution of plant defences along an invasion chronosequence: defence is lost due to enemy release- but not forever

Michal Gruntman, Udi Segev, Gaetan Glauser & Katja Tielbörger
The success of invasive plants has often been attributed to their rapid evolution at the introduced range. In particular, release from native enemies has been suggested to select for an evolutionary shift in resource allocation patterns from herbivore defence to increased size. Such evolutionary processes can take place not only between the native and invasive ranges but also within the invasive range over time, but this premise has been very seldom studied. In this study,...

Data from: Growth-competition-herbivore resistance trade-offs and the responses of alpine plant communities to climate change

Loïc Pellissier, Patrice Descombes, Oskar Hagen, Loïc Chalmandrier, Gaëtan Glauser, Alan Kergunteuil, Emmanuel Defossez & Sergio Rasmann
1. Climate change is expected to modify current ecological conditions sustaining the coexistence of species within cold-adapted plant communities, by influencing species growth, modifying competition and levels of herbivory. Climate change will act upon the existing structure of communities, whose response should depend on the functional differences governing coexistence among alpine species. We postulated that a possible trade-off between (i) plant growth in response to temperature, (ii) plant competition, and (iii) resistance to herbivory, should...

Data from: Effects of an early-life paraquat exposure on adult resistance to oxidative stress, plumage colour and sperm performance in a wild bird

Sylvain Losdat, Jonathan D. Blount, Viviana Marri, Lea Maronde, Heinz Richner & Fabrice Helfenstein
1. Early-life stressful conditions can shape individual phenotypes and ultimately influence fitness. Oxidative stress is a pervasive threat that affects many fitness-related traits and can modulate life-history trade-offs. Yet, the extent to which exposure to oxidative stress during early life can have long-lasting effects on key fitness-related traits remains to be elucidated, particularly in natural populations of vertebrates. 2. Using a wild population of great tits Parus major, we experimentally dosed 11 day-old birds with...

Data from: To bee or not to bee: the “raison d’être” of toxic secondary compounds in the pollen of Boraginaceae

Christophe Praz, Vincent Trunz, Matteo Lucchetti, Dimitri Bénon, Achik Dorchin, Gaylord Desurmont, Christina Kast, Sergio Rasmann & Gaëtan Glauser
This dataset contains all data analyzed in the article "To bee or not to bee: The “raison d’être” of toxic secondary compounds in the pollen of Boraginaceae", by V. Trunz et al, published in Functional Ecology. List of files: in "PGLS" folder, "PA_values.csv" gives the transformed PA values for pollen and corolla. "Group" stands for Borago-Group (1) or other species (0). The tree ("tree_Boraginaceae.txt") is in Nexus format. This dataset can be used for CAPER...

Data from: Heritable variation in root secondary metabolites is associated with recent climate

Zoe Bont, Tobias Züst, Carla Arce, Meret Huber & Matthias Erb
1. Plants can adapt to changing environments by adjusting the production and maintenance of diverse sets of bioactive secondary metabolites. To date, the impact of climatic conditions relative to other factors such as soil abiotic factors and herbivore pressure on the evolution of plant secondary metabolites is poorly understood, especially for plant roots. 2. We explored associations between root latex secondary metabolites in 63 Taraxacum officinale populations across Switzerland and climatic conditions, soil abiotic parameters,...

Data from: Latitudinal variation in plant chemical defences drives latitudinal patterns of leaf herbivory

Xoaquón Moreira, Bastien Castagneyrol, Luis Abdala-Roberts, Jorge C. Berny-Mier Y Terán, Bart G. H. Timmermans, Hans Henrik Kehlet Bruun, Felisa Covelo, Gaétan Glauser, Sergio Rasmann, Ayco J. M. Tack & Hans Henrik Bruun
A long-standing paradigm in ecology holds that herbivore pressure and thus plant defences increase towards lower latitudes. However, recent work has challenged this prediction where studies have found no relationship or opposite trends where herbivory or plant defences increase at higher latitudes. Here we tested for latitudinal variation in herbivory, chemical defences (phenolic compounds), and nutritional traits (phosphorus and nitrogen) in leaves of a long-lived tree species, the English oak Quercus robur. We further investigated...

Data from: Sequential co-infections drive parasite competition and the outcome of infection

Giacomo Zilio & Jacob Koella
1) Co-infections by multiple parasites are common in natural populations. Some of these are likely to be the result of sequential rather than simultaneous infections. The timing of the co-infections may affect their competitive interactions, thereby influencing the success of the parasites and their impact on the host. This may have important consequence for epidemiological and eco-evolutionary dynamics. 2) We examined in two ecological conditions the effect of sequential co-infection on the outcome of infection...

Constitutive and induced phenolics and volatiles in Quercus pyrenaica

Andrea Galmán, Luis Abdala-Roberts, Pola Wartalska, Felisa Covelo, Gregory Röder, Mark A. Szenteczki, Xoaquín Moreira & Sergio Rasmann
With this dataset, we studied elevational gradients and their underlying climatic factors in constitutive and induced phenolics and volatile organic compounds in Oak trees. Oak defences were measured in leaves in a field study. The dataset includes data for 18 populations of Quercus pyrenaica spanning a 1300 m elevational gradient (from 370 to 1614 m) with their correspondence coordinates. In each population we sampled six saplings that were randomly assigned to one of two treatments:...

Data from: Adaptations and responses of the common dandelion to low atmospheric pressure in high altitude environments

Carla Arce, Zoe Bont, Ricardo Machado, Paulo Cristaldo & Matthias Erb
Atmospheric pressure is an important, yet understudied factor that may shape plant ecology and evolution. By growing plants under controlled conditions at different experimental stations in the Swiss alps, we evaluated the impact of ecologically realistic atmospheric pressures between 660 and 950 hPa on the growth and defence of different dandelion populations. Low atmospheric pressure was associated with reduced root growth and defensive sesquiterpene lactone production. Defence suppression only occurred in populations originating from lower...

Evolutionary changes in an invasive plant support the defensive role of plant volatiles

Carlos Bustos-Segura, Tiantian Lin, Klaas Vrieling, Diane Laplanche, Peter G. L. Klinkhamer, Yonggen Lou, Leon Bekooy, Thomas Degen, Ted Turlings & Gaylord Desurmont
It is increasingly evident that plants interact with their outside world through the production of volatile organic compounds, but whether the volatiles have evolved to serve in plant defense is still a topic of considerable debate. Unharmed leaves constitutively release small amounts of volatiles, but when the leaves are damaged by herbivorous arthropods, they emit substantially more volatiles. These herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) attract parasitoids and predators that kill insect herbivores, and this can benefit...

Dataset for: Interactive effects of tree species composition and water availability on growth and direct and indirect defences in Quercus ilex

Andrea Galmán, Carla Vázquez-González, Gregory Röder & Bastien Castagneyrol
Plant diversity has often been reported to decrease insect herbivory in plants. Of the numerous mechanisms that have been proposed to explain this phenomenon, how plant diversity influences plant defences via effects on growth has received little attention. In addition, plant diversity effects may be contingent on abiotic conditions (e.g., resource and water availability). Here, we used a long-term experiment to explore the interactive effects of tree species composition and water availability on growth, direct...

Call combinations in chimpanzees: a social tool?

Maël Leroux, Bosco Chandia, Alexandra Bosshard, Klaus Zuberberbuehler & Simon Townsend
A growing body of evidence suggests the capacity for animals to combine calls into larger communicative structures is more common than previously assumed. Despite its cross-taxa prevalence, little is known regarding the evolutionary pressures driving such combinatorial abilities. One dominant hypothesis posits that social complexity and vocal complexity are linked, with changes in social structuring (e.g. group size) driving the emergence of ever-more complex vocal abilities, such as call sequencing. In this paper, we tested...

No evidence that lionfish Pterois miles coordinate and reciprocate during hunts

Hanaa Sarhan
Collaborative hunting can be defined as predators coordinating their movements in time and space, assuming different roles in catching prey. As lionfishes are naturally solitary hunters; an experimental study documenting active recruitment, coordination and alternating (potentially reciprocal) striking in dwarf lionfish Dendrochirus zebra received major attention. A hypothesis was that collaborative hunting may contribute to the successful invasion of another lionfish species, Pterois miles, in the Caribbean. A first study on P. miles in the...

Identification and characterization of epicuticular proteins of nematodes sharing motifs with cuticular proteins of arthropods

Bruno Betschart, Marco Bisoffi & Ferial Alaeddine
Specific collagens and insoluble proteins called cuticlins are major constituents of the nematode cuticles. The epicuticle, which forms the outermost electron-dense layer of the cuticle, is composed of another category of insoluble proteins called epicuticlins. It is distinct from the insoluble cuticlins localized in the cortical layer and the fibrous ribbon underneath lateral alae. Our objective was to identify and characterize genes and their encoded proteins forming the epicuticle. The combination between previously obtained laboratory...

Detailed genome comparisons results in a table from Spatial scales of competition and a growth-motility tradeoff interact to determine bacterial coexistence

Thierry Kuhn, Marine Mamin, Saskia Bindschedler, Redouan Bshary, Aislinn Estoppey, Diego Gonzalez, Fabio Palmieri, Pilar Junier & Xiang-Yi Li Richter
The coexistence of competing species is a long-lasting puzzle in evolutionary ecology research. Despite abundant experimental evidence showing that the opportunity for coexistence decreases as niche overlap increases between species, bacterial species and strains competing for the same resources are commonly found across diverse spatially heterogeneous habitats. We thus hypothesized that the spatial scale of competition may play a key role in determining bacterial coexistence, and interact with other mechanisms that promote coexistence, including a...

Data from: From parasitism to mutualism: unexpected interactions between a cuckoo and its host

Daniela Canestrari, Diana Bolopo, Ted C. J. Turlings, Gregory Röder, José M. Marcos & Vittorio Baglione
Avian brood parasites lay eggs in the nests of other birds, which raise the unrelated chicks and typically suffer partial or complete loss of their own brood. However, carrion crows Corvus corone corone can benefit from parasitism by the great spotted cuckoo Clamator glandarius. Parasitized nests have lower rates of predation-induced failure due to production of a repellent secretion by cuckoo chicks, but among nests that are successful, those with cuckoo chicks fledge fewer crows....

Data from: The importance of landscape and spatial structure for hymenopteran-based food webs in an agro-ecosystem

Yvonne Fabian, Nadine Sandau, Odile T. Bruggisser, Alexandre Aebi, Patrik Kehrli, Rudolf P. Rohr, Russell E. Naisbit, Louis-Félix Bersier & Alex Aebi
1. Understanding the environmental factors that structure biodiversity and food webs among communities is central to assess and mitigate the impact of landscape changes. 2. Wildflower strips are ecological compensation areas established in farmland to increase pollination services and biological control of crop pests, and to conserve insect diversity. They are arranged in networks in order to favour high species richness and abundance of the fauna. 3. We describe results from experimental wildflower strips in...

Data from: A new species of the paper wasp genus Polistes (Hymenoptera, Vespidae, Polistinae) in Europe revealed by morphometrics and molecular analyses

Rainer Neumeyer, Hannes Baur, Gaston-Denis Guex & Christophe Praz
We combine multivariate ratio analysis (MRA) of body measurements and analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear data to examine the status of several species of European paper wasps (Polistes Latreille, 1802) closely related to P. gallicus. Our analyses unambiguously reveal the presence of a cryptic species in Europe, as two distinct species can be recognized in what has hitherto been considered Polistes bischoffi Weyrauch, 1937. One species is almost as light coloured as P. gallicus, and...

Data from: The effects of inbreeding, genetic dissimilarity and phenotype on male reproductive success in a dioecious plant

Frédéric Austerlitz, Gabriela Gleiser, Sara Teixeira & Giorgina Bernasconi
Pollen fate can strongly affect the genetic structure of populations with restricted gene flow and significant inbreeding risk. We established an experimental population of inbred and outbred Silene latifolia plants to evaluate the effects of (i) inbreeding depression, (ii) phenotypic variation and (iii) relatedness between mates on male fitness under natural pollination. Paternity analysis revealed that outbred males sired significantly more offspring than inbred males. Independently of the effects of inbreeding, male fitness depended on...

Data from: The influence of genetic drift and selection on quantitative traits in a plant pathogenic fungus

Tryggvi S. Stefansson, Bruce A. McDonald & Yvonne Willi
Genetic drift and selection are ubiquitous evolutionary forces acting to shape genetic variation in populations. While their relative importance has been well studied in plants and animals, less is known about their relative importance in fungal pathogens. Because agro-ecosystems are more homogeneous environments than natural ecosystems, stabilizing selection may play a stronger role than genetic drift or diversifying selection in shaping genetic variation among populations of fungal pathogens in agro-ecosystems. We tested this hypothesis by...

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  • University of Neuchâtel
  • University of Lausanne
  • University of Bern
  • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
  • University of Zurich
  • Misión Biológica de Galicia
  • Autonomous University of Yucatán
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
  • University of Fribourg
  • Agroscope