44 Works

Data from: Sexual selection on cuticular hydrocarbons of male sagebrush crickets in the wild

Sandra Steiger, Geoffrey D. Ower, Johannes Stökl, Christopher Mitchell, John Hunt, Scott K. Sakaluk & J. Stokl
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) play an essential role in mate recognition in insects but the form and intensity of sexual selection on CHCs has only been evaluated in a handful of studies, and never in a natural population. We quantified sexual selection operating on CHCs in a wild population of sagebrush crickets, a species in which nuptial feeding by females imposes an unambiguous phenotypic marker on males. Multivariate selection analysis revealed a saddle-shaped fitness surface, suggesting...

Data from: Striking cuticular hydrocarbon dimorphism in the mason wasp Odynerus spinipes and its possible evolutionary cause (Hymenoptera: Chrysididae, Vespidae)

Mareike Wurdack, Sina Herbertz, Daniel Dowling, Johannes Kroiss, Erhard Strohm, Hannes Baur, Oliver Niehuis & Thomas Schmitt
Cleptoparasitic wasps and bees smuggle their eggs into the nest of a host organism. Here the larvae of the cleptoparasite feed upon the food provision intended for the offspring of the host. As cleptoparasitism incurs a loss of fitness for the host organism (offspring of the host fail to develop), hosts of cleptoparasites are expected to exploit cues that alert them to potential cleptoparasite infestation. Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) could serve as such cues, as insects...

Data from: Pheromone diversification and age-dependent behavioural plasticity decrease interspecific mating costs in Nasonia

Joachim Ruther, Jennifer McCaw, Lisa Böcher, Daniela Pothmann & Irina Putz
Interspecific mating can cause severe fitness costs due to the fact that hybrids are often non-viable or less fit. Thus, theory predicts the selection of traits that lessen reproductive interactions between closely related sympatric species. Males of the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis differ from all other Nasonia species by an additional sex pheromone component, but the ecological selective forces underlying this pheromone diversification are unknown. Here we present data from lab experiments suggesting that costly...

Data from: From inside to outside and back again: changing waste dump formation, defecation and worker localization in a clonal ant

A. Bernadou, T. J. Czaczkes & J. Heinze
Reproductive division of labor is a defining feature of all eusocial organisms. In the eusocial insects, non-reproductive labor is often also divided into safe tasks within the nest, such as nursing, and risky extranidal tasks, such as scouting and foraging. Within-nest (intranidal) tasks are usually performed by younger workers while older workers forage outside. This temporal specialization can be delayed, accelerated or even reversed if the need arises. Here, we studied reversion in the clonal...

Data from: Queen-worker ratio affects reproductive skew in a socially polymorphic ant

Bartosz Walter & Jürgen Heize
The partitioning of reproduction among individuals in communally breeding animals varies greatly among species, from the monopolization of reproduction (high reproductive skew) to similar contribution to the offspring in others (low skew). Reproductive skew models explain how relatedness or ecological constraints affect the magnitude of reproductive skew. They typically assume that individuals are capable of flexibly reacting to social and environmental changes. Most models predict a decrease of skew when benefits of staying in the...

Foliar summer frost resistance measured via electrolyte leakage approach as related to plant distribution, community composition and performance

Solveig Franziska Bucher & Sergey Rosbakh
1. Frost resistance (FR) is a fundamental process determining various aspects of plant life. Measurements of FR remain challenging as existing methods are time- and labour-intensive. 2. Here, we test the applicability of foliar summer FR measured via the ‘electrolyte leakage’ approach (FRPEL), a simple and inexpensive technique so far underused in ecological research to estimate FR. We tested the ability of this trait to predict i) species occurrence, ii) community composition along an elevational...

Data from: Ants disinfect fungus-exposed brood by oral uptake and spread of their poison

Simon Tragust, Barbara Mitteregger, Vanessa Barone, Matthias Konrad, Line V. Ugelvig & Sylvia Cremer
To fight infectious diseases, host immune defences are employed at multiple levels. Sanitary behaviour, such as pathogen avoidance and removal, acts as a first line of defence to prevent infection [1] before activation of the physiological immune system. Insect societies have evolved a wide range of collective hygiene measures and intensive health care towards pathogen-exposed group members [2]. One of the most common behaviours is allogrooming, in which nestmates remove infectious particles from the body...

Data from: Sex at the margins: parthenogenesis vs. facultative and obligate sex in a Neotropical ant

Katrin Kellner, Jon N. Seal & Juergen Heinze
Geographic parthenogenesis is a distribution pattern, in which parthenogenetic populations tend to live in marginal habitats, at higher latitudes and altitudes and island-like habitats compared with the sexual forms. The facultatively parthenogenetic ant Platythyrea punctata is thought to exhibit this general pattern throughout its wide range in Central America and the Caribbean Islands. Workers of P. punctata from the Caribbean produce diploid female offspring from unfertilized eggs by thelytokous parthenogenesis, and mated females and males...

Queen execution in a monogynous ant

Jürgen Heinze & Julia Giehr
Workers in many species of social insects are capable of laying unfertilized eggs, which can develop into haploid males. This causes a conflict about male parentage between queens and workers. In a few species, this may result in matricide, i.e., workers kill the colony’s queen. Queen killing has so far been observed mainly in multi-queen colonies or in annual species, when the queen’s fecundity declines at the end of the reproductive period. Here, we report...

MSAP and AFLP fingerprints

Ellen Pagel
Plant species differ in their ecological amplitude, with some species occurring in very different habitats under strongly differentiated environmental conditions. We were interested in to what extent the occurrence of Linum catharticum in dry calcareous grasslands (Bromion) and wet litter meadows (Molinion), two habitats on opposing ends concerning e.g., moisture level, is reflected on the genetic and epigenetic level. Using AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphisms) and MSAP (methylation sensitive amplification polymorphisms) analyses we studied the...

Data from: Stress and early experience underlie dominance status and division of labour in a clonal insect

Abel Bernadou, Lukas Schrader, Julia Pable, Elisabeth Hoffacker, Karen Meusemann & Juergen Heinze
Cooperation and division of labour are fundamental in the “major transitions” in evolution. While the factors regulating cell differentiation in multicellular organisms are quite well understood, we are just beginning to unveil the mechanisms underlying individual specialization in cooperative groups of animals. Clonal ants allow studying which factors influence task allocation without confounding variation in genotype and morphology. Here, we subjected larvae and freshly hatched workers of the clonal ant Platythyrea punctata to different rearing...

Data from: Family based guilds in the ant Pachycondyla inversa

Heikki Helanterä, Oliver Aehle, Maurice Roux, Jürgen Heinze & Patrizia D'Ettorre
High relatedness promotes the evolution of sociality because potentially costly cooperative behaviours are directed towards kin. However, societies, such as those of social insects, also benefit from genetic diversity, e.g. through enhanced disease resistance and division of labour. Effects of genetic diversity have been investigated in a few complex eusocial species. Here, we show that genetically based division of labour may also be important in ‘simple societies’, with fewer individuals and limited morphological caste differentiation....

An objective-based prioritization approach to support trophic complexity through ecological restoration

Emma Ladouceur, Jennifer McGowan, Patrick Huber, Hugh Possingham, Davide Scridel, Roel Van Klink, Peter Poschlod, Hans Cornelissen, Costantino Bonomi & Borja Jiménez-Alfaro
1. Reassembling ecological communities and rebuilding habitats through active restoration treatments requires curating the selection of plant species to use in seeding and planting mixes. Ideally, these mixes should be assembled based on attributes that support ecosystem function and services, promote plant and animal species interactions and ecological networks in restoration while balancing project constraints. Despite these critical considerations, it is common for species mixes to be selected opportunistically. Reframing the selection of seed mixes...

Data from: The biological significance of lipogenesis in Nasonia vitripennis

Joachim Ruther
Parasitic wasps have long been thought to be unable to synthesise fatty acids de novo, but recent 13C-labelling studies have challenged this view. It remained unclear, however, whether the reported biosynthesis rates are of biological relevance. Here, we show in Nasonia vitripennis that ageing females with partly depleted lipid reserves produce biologically relevant amounts of fatty acids de novo. Females with varying oviposition history (0-48 h) prior to feeding 20% 13C-labelled glucose solution showed 13C-incorporation...

Data from: Comparative transcriptomic analysis of the mechanisms underpinning ageing and fecundity in social insects

Judith Korb, Karen Meusemann, Denise Aumer, Abel Bernadou, Daniel Elsner, Barbara Feldmeyer, Susanne Foitzik, Jürgen Heinze, Romain Libbrecht, Silu Lin, Megha Majoe, José Manuel Monroy Kuhn, Volker Nehring, Matteo A. Negroni, Robert J. Paxton, Alice C. Séguret, Marah Stoldt & Thomas Flatt
Exceptional longevity of social insect queens despite their lifelong high fecundity remains poorly understood in ageing biology. To gain insights into the mechanisms that might underlie ageing in social insects, we compared gene expression patterns between young and old castes (both queens and workers) across different lineages of social insects (two termite, two bee and two ant species). After global analyses, we paid particular attention to genes of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 signalling (IIS)/target...

Cytoplasmic incompatibility between Old and New World populations of a tramp ant

Çigdem Ün, Eva Schultner, Alejandro Manzano-Marín, Laura V. Flórez, Bernhard Seifert, Antonia Klein, Jürgen Heinze & Jan Oettler
Reproductive manipulation by endosymbiotic Wolbachia can cause unequal inheritance, allowing the manipulator to spread and potentially impacting evolutionary dynamics in infected hosts. Tramp and invasive species are excellent models to study the dynamics of host-Wolbachia associations because introduced populations often diverge in their microbiomes after colonizing new habitats, resulting in infection polymorphisms between native and introduced populations. Ants are the most abundant group of insects on earth, and numerous ant species are classified as highly...

Data from: Species and genetic diversity are not congruent in fragmented dry grasslands

Christoph Reisch & Christoph Schmid
Biological diversity comprises both species diversity (SD) and genetic diversity (GD) and it has been postulated that both levels of diversity depend on similar mechanisms. Species-genetic diversity correlations (SGDC) are, therefore, supposed to be generally positive. However, in contrast to theory, empirical data are contradictory. Furthermore, there is a pronounced lack of multispecies studies including also the ecological factors potentially driving species and genetic diversity. We analysed the relationship between the species diversity of dry...

Data from: Pupal cocoons affect sanitary brood care and limit fungal infections in ant colonies

Simon Tragust, Line V. Ugelvig, Michel Chapuisat, Jürgen Heinze & Sylvia Cremer
Background: The brood of ants and other social insects is highly susceptible to pathogens, particularly those that penetrate the soft larval and pupal cuticle. We here test whether the presence of a pupal cocoon, which occurs in some ant species but not in others, affects the sanitary brood care and fungal infection patterns after exposure to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum. We use a) a comparative approach analysing four species with either naked or cocooned...

Data from: Cross-validation strategies for data with temporal, spatial, hierarchical, or phylogenetic structure

David R. Roberts, Volker Bahn, Simone Ciuti, Mark S. Boyce, Jane Elith, Gurutzeta Guillera-Arroita, Severin Hauenstein, José J. Lahoz-Monfort, Boris Schröder, Wilfried Thuiller, David I. Warton, Brendan A. Wintle, Florian Hartig & Carsten F. Dormann
Ecological data often show temporal, spatial, hierarchical (random effects), or phylogenetic structure. Modern statistical approaches are increasingly accounting for such dependencies. However, when performing cross-validation, these structures are regularly ignored, resulting in serious underestimation of predictive error. One cause for the poor performance of uncorrected (random) cross-validation, noted often by modellers, are dependence structures in the data that persist as dependence structures in model residuals, violating the assumption of independence. Even more concerning, because often...

Data from: Ranking and characterization of established BMI and lipid associated loci as candidates for gene-environment interactions

Dmitry Shungin, Wei Q. Deng, Tibor V. Varga, Jian'an Luan, Evelin Mihailov, Andres Metspalu, Andrew P. Morris, Nita G. Forouhi, Cecilia Lindgren, Patrik K. E. Magnusson, Nancy L. Pedersen, Göran Hallmans, Audrey Y. Chu, Anne E. Justice, Mariaelisa Graff, Thomas W. Winkler, Lynda M. Rose, Claudia Langenberg, L. Adrienne Cupples, Paul M. Ridker, Nicholas J. Wareham, Ken K. Ong, Ruth J. F. Loos, Daniel I. Chasman, Erik Ingelsson … & Paul W. Franks
Phenotypic variance heterogeneity across genotypes at a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) may reflect underlying gene-environment (G·E) or gene-gene interactions. We modeled variance heterogeneity for blood lipids and BMI in up to 44,211 participants and investigated relationships between variance effects (Pv), G·E interaction effects (with smoking and physical activity), and marginal genetic effects (Pm). Correlations between Pv and Pm were stronger for SNPs with established marginal effects (Spearman's ρ=0.401 for triglycerides, and ρ=0.236 for BMI) compared...

Data from: A hormone-related female anti-aphrodisiac signals temporary infertility and causes sexual abstinence to synchronize parental care

Katharina C. Engel, Johannes Stökl, Rebecca Schweizer, Heiko Vogel, Manfred Ayasse, Joachim Ruther & Sandra Steiger
The high energetic demand of parental care requires parents to direct their resources towards the support of existing offspring rather than investing into the production of additional young. However, how such a resource flow is channelled appropriately is poorly understood. In this study, we provide the first comprehensive analysis of the physiological mechanisms coordinating parental and mating effort in an insect exhibiting biparental care. We show a hormone-mediated infertility in female burying beetles during the...

Data from: The possible role of ant larvae in the defence against social parasites

Unni Pulliainen, Heikki Helanterä, Liselotte Sundstrom & Eva Schultner
Temporary social parasite ant queens initiate new colonies by entering colonies of host species, where they begin laying eggs. As the resident queen can be killed during this process, host colonies may lose their entire future reproductive output. Selection thus favours the evolution of defence mechanisms, before and after parasite intrusion. Most studies on social parasites focus on host worker discrimination of parasite queens and their offspring. However, ant larvae can also influence brood composition...

Source data for: Presynaptic NMDARs cooperate with local spikes toward GABA release from the reciprocal olfactory bulb granule cell spine

Veronica Egger, Vanessa Lage-Rupprecht, Li Zhou, Gaia Bianchini, S. Sara Aghvami, Balazs Rozsa, Marco Sassoe-Pognetto & Max Mueller
In the rodent olfactory bulb the smooth dendrites of the principal glutamatergic mitral cells (MCs) form reciprocal dendrodendritic synapses with large spines on GABAergic granule cells (GC), where unitary release of glutamate can trigger postsynaptic local activation of voltage-gated Na+-channels (Navs), i.e. a spine spike. Can such single MC input evoke reciprocal release? We find that unitary-like activation via two-photon uncaging of glutamate causes GC spines to release GABA both synchronously and asynchronously onto MC...

Environmental heterogeneity predicts global species richness patterns better than area

Kristy Udy, Matthias Fritsch, Katrin Meyer, Ingo Grass, Sebastian Hanß, Florian Hartig, Thomas Kneib, Hoger Kreft, Collins Kukuna, Guy Pe'er, Hannah Reininghaus, Britta Tietjen, Clara-Sophie Van Waveren, Kerstin Wiegand & Teja Tscharntke
Aim: It is widely accepted that biodiversity can be determined by niche-relate processes and by pure area effects from local to global scales. Their relative importance, however, is still disputed, and empirical tests are still surprisingly scarce at the global scale. We compare the explanatory power of area and environmental heterogeneity as a proxy for niche-related processes as drivers of native mammal species richnessworldwide and with biogeographical regions. Location: Global Time Period: Data was collated...

Data from: Parasitic wasps do not lack lipogenesis

Joachim Ruther, Lorena Prager & Tamara Pokorny
Fatty acids are crucial primary metabolites for virtually any creature on earth. Therefore, most organisms do not rely exclusively on nutritional supply with fatty acids but have the ability to synthesize fatty acids and triacylglycerides de novo from carbohydrates, a process called lipogenesis. The ubiquity of lipogenesis has been questioned by a series of studies reporting that many parasitic wasps (parasitoids) do not accumulate lipid mass despite having unlimited access to sugar. This has been...

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