26 Works

Air temperatures overpredict changes to stream fish assemblages with climate warming compared to water temperatures

Mark Kirk & Frank Rahel
Studies predicting how the distribution of aquatic organisms will shift with climate change often use projected increases in air temperature or water temperature. However, the assumed correlations between water temperature change and air temperature change can be problematic, especially for mountainous, high elevation streams. Using stream fish assemblage data from 1,442 surveys across a mountain - plains gradient (Wyoming, USA; 1990-2018), we compared the responsiveness of thermal guilds, native status groups, and assemblage structure to...

Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) enamel phosphate δ18O values reflect climate seasonality: implications for paleoclimate reconstruction

Danielle Fraser, Mark Clementz, Jeffrey Welker & Sora Kim
Stable oxygen isotope compositions from vertebrate tooth enamel are commonly used as biogeochemical proxies for paleoclimate reconstructions. However, the utility of enamel isotopic values across species varies due to differences in rates of enamel deposition and mineralization as well as sources of ingested water, body water residence times, and species’ physiology. We evaluate the use of stable oxygen isotope compositions from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana Gray, 1866) enamel for the amplitude reconstruction of terrestrial paleoclimate seasonality....

Performance tradeoffs and resource availability drive variation in reproductive isolation between sympatrically diverging crossbills

Cody Porter & Craig Benkman
Theoretical models indicate that speciation, especially when the scope for gene flow is great (e.g., sympatric speciation), is most likely when strong performance tradeoffs coincide with reproduction. We tested this classic hypothesis using measures of the strength of three prezygotic reproductive isolating barriers (habitat isolation, reduced immigrant fecundity, and behavioral isolation) between two young (~2,000 yrs) and sympatric red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) ecotypes. All three isolating barriers increased with increases in performance tradeoffs, with total...

Data and code for: Rocky Mountain subalpine forests now burning more than any time in recent millennia

Philip Higuera, Bryan Shuman & Kyra Wolf
The 2020 fire season punctuated a decades-long trend of increased fire activity across the western United States, nearly doubling the total area burned in the central Rocky Mountains since 1984. Understanding the causes and implications of such extreme fire seasons, particularly in subalpine forests that have historically burned infrequently, requires a long-term perspective not afforded by observational records. We place 21st century fire activity in subalpine forests in the context of climate and fire history...

Ecological consequences of large herbivore exclusion in an African savanna: 12 years of data from the UHURU experiment

Jesse Alston, Courtney Reed, Leo Khasoha, Bianca Brown, Gilbert Busienei, Nathaniel Carlson, Tyler Coverdale, Megan Dudenhoeffer, Marissa Dyck, John Ekeno, Abdikadir Hassan, Rhianna Hohbein, Rhiannon Jakopak, Buas Kimiti, Samson Kurukura, Peter Lokeny, Allison Louthan, Simon Musila, Paul Musili, Tosca Tindall, Sarah Weiner, Tyler Kartzinel, Todd Palmer, Robert Pringle & Jacob Goheen
Diverse communities of large mammalian herbivores (LMH), once widespread, are now rare. LMH exert strong direct and indirect effects on community structure and ecosystem functions, and measuring these effects is important for testing ecological theory and for understanding past, current, and future environmental change. This in turn requires long-term experimental manipulations, owing to the slow and often nonlinear responses of populations and assemblages to LMH removal. Moreover, the effects of particular species or body-size classes...

Chinook salmon environmental data and allele frequency matrix

Yara Alshwairikh, Rebekah Horn, Travis Seaborn, Shawn Narum, Lisette Waits, William Swain, Steve Stephens-Cardenas, Jenny Olsson & Shayla Kroeze
Many species that undergo long breeding migrations, such as anadromous fishes, face highly heterogeneous environments along their migration corridors and at their spawning sites. These environmental challenges encountered at different life stages may act as strong selective pressures and drive local adaptation. However, the relative influence of environmental conditions along the migration corridor compared to the conditions at spawning sites on driving selection is still unknown. In this study, we performed genome-environment associations (GEA) to...

Burrow webs: Clawing the surface of interactions with burrows excavated by American badgers

Joseph Holbrook, Megan Andersen & Drew Bennett
Ecosystem engineers are organisms that influence their environment, which includes alteration leading to habitat provisioning for other species. Perhaps the most well examined guild of species provisioning habitat for other species is tree cavity excavators, or woodpeckers (Picidae). Many studies have examined the suite of secondary cavity users that rely on woodpeckers, and how the ecological network of secondary users, collectively referred to as the nest web, changes across communities. Despite similar habitat provisioning processes,...

Data from: Drivers of site fidelity in ungulates

Thomas Morrison, Jerod Merkel, J. Grant Hopcraft, Ellen Aikens, Jeffrey Beck, Randall Boone, Alyson Courtemanch, Samantha Dwinnell, Sue Fairbanks, Brad Griffith, Arthur Middleton, Kevin Monteith, Brendan Oates, Louise Riotte-Lambert, Hall Sawyer, Kurt Smith, Jared Stabach, Kaitlyn Taylor & Matthew Kauffman
While the tendency to return to previously visited locations – termed ‘site fidelity’ – is common in animals, the cause of this behaviour is not well understood. One hypothesis is that site fidelity is shaped by an animal’s environment, such that animals living in landscapes with predictable resources have stronger site fidelity. Site fidelity may also be conditional on the success of animals’ recent visits to that location, and it may become stronger with age...

Synthesizing existing phylogenetic data to advance phylogenetic research in Orobanchaceae

Sebastian M. E. Mortimer, James Boyko, Jeremy M. Beaulieu & David C. Tank
To date, no comprehensive phylogenetic analyses have been conducted in Orobanchaceae that include both a wide generic sampling and a large sampling of species. In addition, a lack of fossil evidence in the clade precludes the use of primary fossil calibrations for divergence time estimation, preventing the establishment of a comprehensive temporal framework for use in macroevolutionary studies. Here, we use a recently developed set of tools for synthesizing publicly available data, apply these to...

Large herbivores suppress liana infestation in an African savanna

Tyler C. Coverdale, Ryan D. O'Connell, Matthew C. Hutchinson, Amanda Savagian, Tyler R. Kartzinel, Todd M. Palmer, Jacob R. Goheen, David J. Augustine, Mahesh Sankaran, Corina E. Tarnita & Robert M. Pringle
African savannas are the last stronghold of diverse large-mammal communities, and a major focus of savanna ecology is to understand how these animals affect the relative abundance of trees and grasses. However, savannas support diverse plant life-forms, and human-induced changes in large-herbivore assemblages—declining wildlife populations and their displacement by livestock—may cause unexpected shifts in plant community composition. We investigated how herbivory affects the prevalence of lianas (woody vines) and their impact on trees in an...

Data from: Restoration of forest resilience to fire from old trees is possible across a large Colorado dry-forest landscape by 2060, but only under the Paris 1.5 deg. C goal

William Baker
Fire-prone dry forests often face increasing fires from climate change with low resistance and resilience due to logging of large, old fire-resistant trees. Their restoration across large landscapes is constrained by limited mature trees, physical settings, and protection. Active restoration has been costly and shown limited effectiveness, but lower cost passive restoration is less studied. I used GIS and machine learning to see if passive restoration of old trees could overcome constraints in time, by...

Grazing-induced biodiversity loss impairs grassland ecosystem stability at multiple scales

Maowei Liang, Cunzhu Liang, Yann Hautier, Kevin Wilcox & Shaopeng Wang
Livestock grazing is a major driver shaping grassland biodiversity, functioning, and stability. Whether grazing impacts on grassland ecosystems are scale-dependent remains unclear. Here, we conducted a sheep-grazing experiment in a temperate grassland to test grazing effects on the temporal stability of productivity across scales. We found that grazing increased species stability, but substantially decreased local community stability due to reduced asynchronous dynamics among species within communities. The negative effect of grazing on local community stability...

Do tradeoffs govern plant species responses to different global change treatments?

J. Adam Langley, Emily Grman, Kevin Wilcox, Meghan Avolio, Kimberly Komatsu, Scott Collins, Sally Koerner, Melinda Smith, Andrew Baldwin, William Bowman, Nona Chiariello, Anu Eskelinen, Harry Harmens, Mark Hovenden, Kari Klanderud, Rebecca McCulley, Vladimir Onipchenko, Clare Robinson & Katharine Suding
Plants are subject to tradeoffs among growth strategies such that adaptations for optimal growth in one condition can preclude optimal growth in another. Thus, we hypothesized that the response of plant species abundance to one global change treatment would relate inversely to the response to a second treatment, particularly for treatment combinations that accentuate distinct traits. To address this hypothesis, we examined plant species abundances in 39 global change experiments manipulating CO2, nitrogen, phosphorus, water,...

Probability of occurrence and phenology of pine wilt disease transmission by insect vectors in the Rocky Mountains

David Atkins, Seth Davis & Jane Stewart
1. Pine wilt disease, caused by pinewood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; PWN), is a damaging and globally distributed insect-vectored forest pathogen. Native forest tree mortality associated with PWN is newly reported from the Front Range of Colorado, but there is no regional information on PWN frequency or biology of local insect vectors, limiting management options. 2. A sampling array was established to survey PWN in native pines (Pinus ponderosa) and longhorn beetles (Monochamus clamator & Monochamus...

Data related to: Open-system evolution of a crustal-scale magma column, Klamath Mountains, California

Calvin Barnes, Nolwenn Coint, Melanie Barnes, Ariel Strickland, John Cottle, O. Ramo, Kevin Chamberlain & John Valley
Granitic magmas commonly display evidence for some level of interaction with and/or origins from crustal rocks. There is fundamental debate in the community as to the processes that control the origins of these magmas and the potential for their contamination as they pass through the crust. One approach to addressing these issues involves a combination of detailed field mapping combined with geochemical analysis of bulk-rock samples and their constituent minerals. In particular, resolution of debates...

Body size determines the thermal coupling between insects and plant surfaces

Sylvain Pincebourde, Michael Dillon & Arthur Woods
1. Most studies in global change biology predict biological impacts of warming from information on macroclimates. Most organisms, however, live in microhabitats with physical conditions which are decoupled to varying degrees from those in macroclimates depending partly on organism body size. 2. Small ectotherms of a few millimetres in length live deep in surface boundary layers such that their heat budgets are dominated by different processes compared to larger ectotherms, whose bodies emerge from surface...

Ecological and behavioral mechanisms of density-dependent habitat expansion in a recovering African ungulate population

Justine A. Becker, Matthew Hutchinson, Arjun Potter, Shinkyu Park, Jennifer Guyton, Kyler Abernathy, Victor Americo, Ana Gledis Da Conceiçāo, Tyler Kartzinel, Luca Kuziel, Naomi Leonard, Eli Lorenzi, Nuno Martins, Johan Pansu, William Scott, Maria Stahl, Kai Torrens, Marc Stalmans, Ryan Long & Robert Pringle
Major disturbances can temporarily remove factors that otherwise constrain population abundance and distribution. During such windows of relaxed top-down and/or bottom-up control, ungulate populations can grow rapidly, eventually leading to resource depletion and density-dependent expansion into less-preferred habitats. Although many studies have explored the demographic outcomes and ecological impacts of these processes, fewer have examined the individual-level mechanisms by which they occur. We investigated these mechanisms in Gorongosa National Park, where the Mozambican Civil War...

Informed breeding dispersal following stochastic changes to patch quality in a pond-breeding amphibian

Gabriel Barrile, Annika Walters, Matthew Webster & Anna Chalfoun
1. The unidirectional movement of animals between breeding patches (i.e., breeding dispersal) has profound implications for the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of spatially structured populations. In spatiotemporally variable environments, individuals are expected to adjust their dispersal decisions according to information gathered on the environmental and/or social cues that reflect the fitness prospects in a given breeding patch (i.e., informed dispersal). 2. A paucity of empirical work limits our understanding of the ability of animals to...

Large herbivores transform plant-pollinator networks in an African savanna

Matthew C. Hutchinson, Travis J. Guy, Todd M. Palmer, Robert M. Pringle, Katherine C. R. Baldock, Elisha Kayser, Benjamin Baiser, Phillip P. A. Staniczenko, Jacob R. Goheen, Robert M. Pringle & Todd M. Palmer
Pollination by animals is a key ecosystem service1,2 and interactions between plants and their pollinators are a model system for the study of ecological networks3,4, yet plant-pollinator networks are typically studied in isolation from the broader ecosystems in which they are embedded. The plants visited by pollinators also interact with other consumer guilds that eat stems, leaves, fruits, or seeds. One such guild, large mammalian herbivores, are well-known ecosystem engineers5–7 and may have substantial impacts...

Spatiotemporal analyses reveal infectious disease-driven selection in a free-ranging ungulate

Melanie E.F. LaCava, Jennifer L. Malmberg, William H. Edwards, Laura N.L. Johnson, Samantha E. Allen & Holly B. Ernest
Infectious diseases play an important role in wildlife population dynamics by altering individual fitness, but detecting disease-driven natural selection in free-ranging populations is difficult due to complex disease-host relationships. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal infectious prion disease in cervids for which mutations in a single gene have been mechanistically linked to disease outcomes, providing a rare opportunity to study disease-driven selection in wildlife. In Wyoming, USA, CWD has gradually spread across mule deer...

Short-term responses to a human-altered landscape do not affect fat dynamics of a migratory ungulate

Samantha Dwinnell, Hall Sawyer, , Jill Randall, Rusty Kaiser, Mark Thonhoff, Gary Fralick & Kevin Monteith
According to risk-sensitive foraging theory, animals should make foraging decisions that balance nutritional costs and gains to promote fitness. Human disturbance is a form of perceived risk that can prompt avoidance of risky habitat over the acquisition of food. Consequently, behavioral responses to perceived risk could induce nutritional costs. Population declines often coincide with increases in human disturbance, which likely is associated with direct and indirect habitat loss. Nevertheless, behavioral and physiological responses to perceived...

Environmental filters of freshwater fish community assembly along elevation and latitudinal gradients

Mark Kirk
Aim The aim was to identify drivers of historical freshwater fish community assembly by testing for interactions between functional traits and two climatic gradients, namely elevation and latitude. Many studies conclude that environmental filtering is the dominant process of community-wide trait convergence at high elevations and high latitudes, but a full understanding of which specific filters cause trait convergence is lacking. Location Great Plains–Rocky Mountains, USA. Time period 1960–2018. Major taxa studied Freshwater fish. Methods...

Data from: Whole-genome duplication and host genotype affect rhizosphere microbial communities

Julian Bennett Ponsford, Charley Hubbard & Joshua Harrison
The composition of microbial communities found in association with plants is influenced by host phenotype and genotype. Yet, the ways in which specific genetic architectures of host plants shape microbiomes is unknown. Genome duplication events are common in the evolutionary history of plants, influence many important plant traits, and, thus, they may affect associated microbial communities. Using experimentally induced whole genome duplication (WGD), we tested the effect of WGD on rhizosphere bacterial communities in Arabidopsis...

Functional connectivity in a continuously distributed, migratory species as revealed by landscape genomics

Melanie E. F. LaCava, Roderick B. Gagne, Kyle D. Gustafson, Sara J. Oyler-McCance, Kevin L. Monteith, Hall Sawyer, Matthew J. Kauffman, Daniel J. Thiele & Holly B. Ernest
Maintaining functional connectivity is critical for the long-term conservation of wildlife populations. Landscape genomics provides an opportunity to assess long-term functional connectivity by relating environmental variables to spatial patterns of genomic variation resulting from generations of movement, dispersal, and mating behaviors. Identifying landscape features associated with gene flow at large geographic scales for highly mobile species is becoming increasingly possible due to more accessible genomic approaches, improved analytical methods, and enhanced computational power. We characterized...

Staying close to home: Ecological constraints on space use and range fidelity of a mountain ungulate

Yasaman Shakeri, Kevin White & Jason Waite
Understanding patterns of animal space use and range fidelity has important implications for species and habitat conservation. For species that live in highly seasonal environments, such as mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), spatial use patterns are expected to vary in relation to seasonal changes in environmental conditions and sex‐ or age-specific selection pressures. To address hypotheses about sex, age, and seasonality influence on space use ecology, we collected GPS location data from 263 radio‐collared mountain goats...

Registration Year

  • 2021

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Wyoming
  • Princeton University
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Florida
  • Wyoming Game and Fish Department
  • University of Montana
  • United States Geological Survey
  • Brown University
  • City University of New York
  • Arkansas State University