40 Works

Data from: Internet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy

Jeffrey A. Harvey, Daphne Van Den Berg, Jacintha Ellers, Remko Kampen, Thomas W. Crowther, Peter Roessingh, Bart Verheggen, Rascha J. M. Nuijten, Eric Post, Stephan Lewandowsky, Ian Stirling, Meena Balgopal, Steven C. Amstrup & Michael E. Mann
Increasing surface temperatures, Arctic sea-ice loss, and other evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are acknowledged by every major scientific organization in the world. However, there is a wide gap between this broad scientific consensus and public opinion. Internet blogs have strongly contributed to this consensus gap by fomenting misunderstandings of AGW causes and consequences. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have become a “poster species” for AGW, making them a target of those denying AGW evidence....

Data from: The distribution and numbers of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in southern Africa

Florian J. Weise, Varsha Vijay, Andrew P. Jacobson, Rebecca F. Schoonover, Rosemary J. Groom, Jane Horgan, Derek Keeping, Rebecca Klein, Kelly Marnewick, Glyn Maude, Jorg Melzheimer, Gus Mills, Vincent Van Der Merwe, Esther Van Der Meer, Rudie J. Van Vuuren, Bettina Wacher, Stuart L. Pimm & Bettina Wachter
Assessing the numbers and distribution of threatened species is a central challenge in conservation, often made difficult because the species of concern are rare and elusive. For some predators, this may be compounded by their being sparsely distributed over large areas. Such is the case with the cheetah Acinonyx jubatus. The IUCN Red List process solicits comments, is democratic, transparent, widely-used, and has recently assessed the species. Here, we present additional methods to that process...

Data from: The SETDB2 locus: evidence for a genetic link between handedness and atopic disease

Bernard Crespi, Silven Read & Peter Hurd
The gene SETDB2, which mediates aspects of laterality in animal model systems, has recently been linked with human handedness as measured continuously on a scale from strong left to strong right. By contrast, it was marginally associated with a left-right dichotomous measure, and it showed no evidence of association with absolute handedness strength independent of direction. We genotyped the SETDB2 handedness-associated single nucleotide polymorphism, rs4942830, in a large healthy population likewise phenotyped for continuous, absolute,...

Data from: Checkerboard score-area relationships reveal spatial scales of plant community structure

Gordon G. McNickle, Eric G. Lamb, Mike Lavender, , Brandon S. Schamp, Steven D. Siciliano, Richard Condit, Stephen P. Hubbell, Jennifer L. Baltzer & James F Cahill
Identifying the spatial scale at which particular mechanisms influence plant community assembly is crucial to understanding the mechanisms structuring communities. It has long been recognized that many elements of community structure are sensitive to area; however the majority of studies examining patterns of community structure use a single relatively small sampling area. As different assembly mechanisms likely cause patterns at different scales we investigate how plant species co-occurrence patterns change with sampling unit scale. We...

Data from: Clones or clans: the genetic structure of a deep-sea sponge, Aphrocallistes vastus, in unique sponge reefs of British Columbia, Canada

Rachel R. Brown, Corey S. Davis & Sally P. Leys
Understanding patterns of reproduction, dispersal and recruitment in deep-sea communities is increasingly important with the need to manage resource extraction and conserve species diversity. Glass sponges are usually found in deep water (>1000 m) worldwide but form kilometre-long reefs on the continental shelf of British Columbia and Alaska that are under threat from trawling and resource exploration. Due to their deep-water habitat, larvae have not yet been found and the level of genetic connectivity between...

Data from: A novel pathway of nutrient absorption in crustaceans: branchial amino acid uptake in the green shore crab (Carcinus maenas)

Tamzin A. Blewett & Greg G. Goss
Estuaries are environments enriched with dissolved nutrients such as amino acids. To date, marine arthropods are the only invertebrate group that have not been demonstrated to access this potentially important nutrient resource. Using in vitro gill perfusion techniques, we sought to investigate the ability of the green shore crab (Carcinus maenas) to take up the amino acid l-leucine directly from the water. Investigation of the concentration-dependent transport kinetics of radiolabelled l-leucine showed that there are...

Data from: Density-dependent signaling: an alternative hypothesis on the function of chemical signaling in a non-territorial solitary carnivore

Clayton T. Lamb, Garth Mowat, Sophie L. Gilbert, Bruce N. McLellan, Scott E. Nielsen & Stan Boutin
Brown bears are known to use rubbing behavior as a means of chemical communication, but the function of this signaling is unclear. One hypothesis that has gained support is that male bears rub to communicate dominance to other males. We tested the communication of dominance hypothesis in a low-density brown bear population in southeast British Columbia. We contrasted rubbing rates for male and female bears during and after the breeding season using ten years of...

Data from: Fine-scale forest variability and biodiversity in the boreal mixedwood forest

Jaime Pinzon, Linhao Wu, Fangliang He & John R. Spence
Local spatial variation in species distributions is driven by a mix of abiotic and biotic factors, and understanding such hierarchical variation is important for conservation of biodiversity across larger scales. We sought to understand how variation in species composition of understory vascular plants, spiders, and carabid beetles is associated with concomitant spatial variation in forest structure on a 1-ha permanent plot in a never-cut mixedwood forest in central Alberta (Canada). Using correlations among dendrograms produced...

Data from: Soil biotic quality lacks spatial structure and is positively associated with fertility in a northern grassland

Pierre-Luc Chagnon, Charlotte Brown, Gisela C. Stotz & James F. Cahill
When placing roots in the soil, plants integrate information about soil nutrients, plant neighbours and beneficial/detrimental soil organisms. While the fine-scale spatial heterogeneity in soil nutrients and plant neighbours have been described previously, virtually nothing is known about the spatial structure in soil biotic quality (measured here as a soil Biota-Induced plant Growth Response, or BIGR), or its correlation with nutrients or neighbours. Such correlations could imply trade-offs in root placement decisions. Theory would predict...

Data from: Modeling seasonal surface temperature variations in secondary tropical dry forests

Sen Cao & Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa
Secondary tropical dry forests (TDFs) provide important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and nutrient cycle regulation. However, their biogeophysical processes at the canopy-atmosphere interface remain unknown, limiting our understanding of how this endangered ecosystem influences, and responds to the ongoing global warming. To facilitate future development of conservation policies, this study characterized the seasonal land surface temperature (LST) behavior of three successional stages (early, intermediate, and late) of a TDF, at the...

Data from: Genetic and genomic evidence of niche partitioning and adaptive radiation in mountain pine beetle fungal symbionts

Dario I. Ojeda Alayon, Clement K. M. Tsui, Nicolas Feau, Arnaud Capron, Braham Dhillon, Zhang Yiyuan, Sepideh Massoumi Alamouti, Celia K. Boone, Allan L. Carroll, Janice E.K. Cooke, Amanda D. Roe, Felix A. H. Sperling, Richard C. Hamelin, Janice E. K. Cooke & Yiyuan Zhang
Bark beetles form multipartite symbiotic associations with blue stain fungi (Ophiostomatales, Ascomycota). These fungal symbionts play an important role during the beetle's life cycle by providing nutritional supplementation, overcoming tree defences and modifying host tissues to favour brood development. The maintenance of stable multipartite symbioses with seemingly less competitive symbionts in similar habitats is of fundamental interest to ecology and evolution. We tested the hypothesis that the coexistence of three fungal species associated with the...

Data from: Incorporating interspecific competition into species-distribution mapping by upward scaling of small-scale model projections to the landscape

Mark Baah-Acheamfour, Charles P. A. Bourque, Fan-Rui Meng, D. Edwin Swift & Charles P.-A. Bourque
There are a number of overarching questions and debate in the scientific community concerning the importance of biotic interactions in species distribution models at large spatial scales. In this paper, we present a framework for revising the potential distribution of tree species native to the Western Ecoregion of Nova Scotia, Canada, by integrating the long-term effects of interspecific competition into an existing abiotic-factor-based definition of potential species distribution (PSD). The PSD model is developed by...

Data from: Territory surveillance and prey management: wolves keep track of space and time

Ulrike E. Schlägel, Evelyn H. Merrill & Mark A. Lewis
Identifying behavioral mechanisms that underlie observed movement patterns is difficult when animals employ sophisticated cognitive-based strategies. Such strategies may arise when timing of return visits is important, for instance to allow for resource renewal or territorial patrolling. We fitted spatially explicit random-walk models to GPS movement data of six wolves (Canis lupus; Linnaeus, 1758) from Alberta, Canada to investigate the importance of the following: (1) territorial surveillance likely related to renewal of scent marks along...

Data from: Multilevel and sex-specific selection on competitive traits in North American red squirrels.

David N. Fisher, Stan Boutin, Ben Dantzer, Murray M. Humphries, Jeffrey E. Lane & Andrew G. McAdam
Individuals often interact more closely with some members of the population (e.g. offspring, siblings or group members) than they do with other individuals. This structuring of interactions can lead to multilevel natural selection, where traits expressed at the group-level influence fitness alongside individual-level traits. Such multilevel selection can alter evolutionary trajectories, yet is rarely quantified in the wild, especially for species that do not interact in clearly demarcated groups. We quantified multilevel natural selection on...

Data from: Ecosystem memory of wildfires affects resilience of boreal mixedwood biodiversity after retention harvest

J.A. Colin Bergeron, Jaime Pinzon, Sonya Odsen, Samuel Bartels, S. Ellen Macdonald, John R. Spence & J. A. Colin Bergeron
The extent to which past states influence present and future ecosystem characteristics (ecosystem memory (EM)) is challenging to assess because signals of past ecological conditions fade with time. Using data about seven different taxa, we show that ecological gradients initiated by wildfires up to three centuries earlier affect biotic recovery after variable retention harvest in the boreal mixedwood forest. First, we show that fire history over the last 300 years is reflected in pre-harvest species-specific...

Data from: Lianas abundance is positively related with the avian acoustic community in tropical dry forests

Branko Hilje, Shauna Stack & Arturo Sánchez-Azofeifa
Dry forests are important sources of biodiversity where lianas are highly abundant given their ability to grow during times of drought and as a result of secondary growth processes. Lianas provide food and shelter for fauna such as birds, but there are no studies assessing the influence of liana abundance on birds in dry forests. Here we evaluate the influence of liana abundance on the avian acoustic community in the dry forests of Costa Rica...

Data from: Towards robust evolutionary inference with integral projection models

M. J. Janeiro, D. W. Coltman, M. Festa-Bianchet, F. Pelletier & M. B. Morrissey
Integral projection models (IPMs) are extremely flexible tools for ecological and evolutionary inference. IPMs track the distribution of phenotype in populations through time, using functions describing phenotype-dependent development, inheritance, survival and fecundity. For evolutionary inference, two important features of any model are the ability to (i) characterize relationships among traits (including values of the same traits across ages) within individuals, and (ii) characterize similarity between individuals and their descendants. In IPM analyses, the former depends...

Data from: Can terrestrial laser scanners (TLSs) and hemispherical photographs predict tropical dry forest succession with liana abundance?

Gerardo Arturo Sánchez-Azofeifa, J. Antonio Guzmán-Quesada, Mauricio Vega-Araya, Carlos A. Campos-Vargas, Sandra Milena Durán, Nikhil D'Souza, Thomas Gianoli, Carlos Portillo-Quintero, Iain Sharp, Carlos Campos-Vargas &
Tropical dry forests (TDFs) are ecosystems with long drought periods, a mean temperature of 25 °C, a mean annual precipitation that ranges from 900 to 2000 mm, and that possess a high abundance of deciduous species (trees and lianas). What remains of the original extent of TDFs in the Americas remains highly fragmented and at different levels of ecological succession. It is estimated that one of the main fingerprints left by global environmental and climate...

Data from: Probability matching in perceptrons: effects of conditional dependence and linear nonseparability

Michael R.W. Dawson, Maya Gupta & Michael R. W. Dawson
Probability matching occurs when the behavior of an agent matches the likelihood of occurrence of events in the agent's environment. For instance, when artificial neural networks match probability, the activity in their output unit equals the past probability of reward in the presence of a stimulus. Our previous research demonstrated that simple artificial neural networks (perceptrons, which consist of a set of input units directly connected to a single output unit) learn to match probability...

Data from: The K=2 conundrum

Jasmine K. Janes, Joshua M. Miller, Julian R. Dupuis, Rene M. Malenfant, Jamieson C. Gorrell, Catherine I. Cullingham & Rose L. Andrew
Assessments of population genetic structure have become an increasing focus as they can provide valuable insight into patterns of migration and gene flow. STRUCTURE, the most highly cited of several clustering-based methods, was developed to provide robust estimates without the need for populations to be determined a priori. STRUCTURE introduces the problem of selecting the optimal number of clusters and as a result the ΔK method was proposed to assist in the identification of the...

Data from: Using experimentation to understand the 10-year snowshoe hare cycle in the boreal forest of North America

Charles Krebs, Rudy Boonstra, Stan Boutin & Charles J. Krebs
1. Population cycles have long fascinated ecologists from the time of Charles Elton in the 1920s. The discovery of large population fluctuations in undisturbed ecosystems challenged the idea that pristine nature was in a state of balance. The 10-year cycle of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus Erxleben) across the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska is a classic cycle, recognized by fur traders for more than 300 years. 2. Since the 1930s ecologists have investigated the...

Data from: Bryophyte abundance, diversity and composition after retention harvest in boreal mixedwood forest

Samuel F. Bartels, S. Ellen Macdonald, Derek Johnson, Richard T. Caners & John R. Spence
1. Variable-retention harvest is widely recognised as an alternative to more intensive methods such as clear-cutting. However, present information is inadequate to judge impact of variable-retention on biodiversity of indigenous forest organisms intolerant of canopy removal, such as forest-inhabiting bryophytes. 2. We examined how bryophyte species cover, richness, diversity and composition change with time in response to a broad range of dispersed retention harvest treatments (2% (clear-cut), 10%, 20%, 50%, 75% retention of original basal...

Data from: Native freshwater species get out of the way: Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio) impacts both fish and benthic invertebrate communities in North America

Jonathan L.W. Ruppert, Cassandra Docherty, Kenton Neufeld, Kyle Hamilton, Laura MacPherson, Mark S. Poesch & Jonathan L. W. Ruppert
Prussian Carp (Carassius gibelio) are one of the most noxious non-native species in Eurasia. Recently, Prussian Carp, a non-native freshwater fish species, were genetically confirmed in Alberta, Canada and have been rapidly expanding their range in North America since establishment. Given their rapid range expansion, there is an increasing need to determine how Prussian Carp may impact native species. We assessed the severity of the Prussian Carp invasion by 1) determining their impact on fish...

Data from: Nowhere to hide: the impact of linear disturbances on the spatial dynamics of predator and prey in a large mammal system

Craig DeMars & Stan Boutin
Rapid landscape alteration associated with human activity is currently challenging the evolved dynamical stability of many predator-prey systems by forcing species to behaviorally respond to novel environmental stimuli. In many forested systems, linear features (LFs) such as roads, pipelines and resource exploration lines (i.e. seismic lines) are a ubiquitous form of landscape alteration that have been implicated in altering predator-prey dynamics. One hypothesized effect is that LFs facilitate predator movement into and within prey refugia,...

Data from: Deletion/loss of bone morphogenetic protein 7 changes tooth morphology and function in Mus musculus: implications for dental evolution in mammals

Chelsey Zurowski, Heather Jamniczky, Daniel Graf & Jessica Theodor
Quantifying regulatory gene effects on dental morphology and function has implications for the underlying mechanisms that generated dental diversity in mammals. We tested the hypothesis that regulatory gene expression changes lead to differences in molars using a neural crest knockout of bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7) in Mus musculus. 3D geometric morphometric methods were used to quantify the shape of the molar toothrow. BMP7 mutants have extra cusps on the first upper and lower molars,...

Registration Year

  • 2017

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Alberta
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Aarhus University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations
  • Canadian Forest Service
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research