40 Works

Data from: Molecular investigation of genetic assimilation during the rapid adaptive radiations of East African cichlid fishes

Helen M. Gunter, Ralf F. Schneider, Immanuel Karner, Christian Sturmbauer & Axel Meyer
Adaptive radiations are characterized by adaptive diversification intertwined with rapid speciation within a lineage resulting in many ecologically specialized, phenotypically diverse species. It has been proposed that adaptive radiations can originate from ancestral lineages with pronounced phenotypic plasticity in adaptive traits, facilitating ecologically-driven phenotypic diversification that is ultimately fixed through genetic assimilation of gene regulatory regions. This study aimed to investigate how phenotypic plasticity is reflected in gene expression patterns in the trophic apparatus of...

Data from: Mining for NRPS and PKS genes revealed a high diversity in the Sphagnum bog metagenome

Christina A. Müller, Lisa Oberauner-Wappis, Armin Peyman, Gregory C. A. Amos, Elizabeth M. H. Wellington & Gabriele Berg
Sphagnum bog ecosystems are among the oldest vegetation forms harboring a specific microbial community and are known to produce an exceptionally wide variety of bioactive substances. Although the Sphagnum metagenome shows a rich secondary metabolism, the genes have not yet been explored. To analyze nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) and polyketide synthases (PKSs), the diversity of NRPS and PKS genes in Sphagnum-associated metagenomes was investigated by in silico data mining and sequence-based screening (PCR amplification of...

Data from: Mating system variability in a mouthbrooding cichlid fish from a tropical lake

Kristina Sefc, Caroline Hermann & Stephan Koblmüller
Intraspecific variability in mating behavior and disparities between social and reproductive behavior add complexity to the description of animal mating systems. A previously published field study on a population of the maternally mouthbrooding cichlid fish Ctenochromis horei in the north of Lake Tanganyika suggested mate monopolization by the most dominant male. In the present study, genetic reconstructions of paternity in a population in the south of the lake provided no evidence for male mate monopolization,...

Data from: Same school, different conduct: rates of multiple paternity vary within a mixed-species breeding school of semi-pelagic cichlid fish (Cyprichromis spp.)

Caleb Anderson, Alexandra Werdenig, Stephan Koblmueller & Kristina M. Sefc
Mating system variability is known to exist between and within species, often due to environmental influences. An open question is whether, vice versa, similar environmental conditions entail congruent mating behavior, for example in terms of multiple paternity, in species or populations sharing largely comparable breeding modes. This study employed microsatellite markers to investigate the incidence of multiple paternity in Cyprichromis coloratus and Cyprichromis leptosoma, two sympatric, closely related, mouthbrooding Lake Tanganyika cichlids with similar ecological...

Impact of dietary treatments on longevity and body weight of Apis mellifera winter bees

Gina Retschnig, Johannes Rich, Karl Crailsheim, Judith Pfister, Vincent Perreten & Peter Neumann
In eusocial honey bees, Apis mellifera, diet, gut microbiota and nestmates can all contribute to the health of freshly-emerged individual workers, but their relative importance for longevity and body weight is currently unknown. Here, we show that diet is most relevant, followed by gut microbiota and the presence of nestmates. Freshly emerged workers were randomly assigned to eight treatments (with or without honey/pollen, protein-substitute lactalbumin, antibiotic tetracycline and nestmates for 24 h) and maintained under...

A graphical null model for scaling biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships

Kathryn Barry, Gabriella Pinter, Joseph Strini, Karrisa Yang, Istvan Lauko, Stefan Schnizter, Adam Clark, Jane Cowles, Akira Mori, Laura Williams, Peter Reich & Alexandra Wright
1. Global biodiversity is declining at rates faster than at any other point in human history. Experimental manipulations at small spatial scales have demonstrated that communities with fewer species consistently produce less biomass than higher diversity communities. Understanding how the global extinction crisis is likely to impact global ecosystem functioning requires applying these local experimental results at substantially larger spatial and temporal scales. 2. Here we propose a null model for scaling biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships...

Data from: Taking the discovery approach in integrative taxonomy: decrypting a complex of narrow-endemic Alpine harvestmen (Opiliones: Phalangiidae: Megabunus)

Gregor A. Wachter, Christoph Muster, Wolfgang Arthofer, Günther Raspotnig, Petra Föttinger, Christian Komposch, Florian M. Steiner & Birgit C. Schlick-Steiner
Species delimitation is fundamental for biological studies, yet precise delimitation is not an easy task, and every involved approach has an inherent failure rate. Integrative taxonomy, a method that merges multiple lines of evidence, can profoundly contribute to reliable alpha taxonomy and shed light on the processes behind speciation. In this study, we explored and validated species limits in a group of closely related Megabunus harvestmen (Eupnoi, Phalangiidae) endemic to the European Alps. Without a...

Data from: Late Triassic (Julian) conodont biostratigraphy of a transition from reefal limestones to deep-water environments on the Cimmerian terranes (Taurus mountains, southern Turkey)

Yanlong Chen & Alexander Lukeneder
Sections at Aşağiyaylabel and Yukariyaylabel, Taurus Mountains, southern Turkey, provide a rare opportunity to investigate conodont faunas in detail across a reef to slope transition. Intensive sampling of limestone beds (wackestones to packstones) through approximately 3 m at these locations has led to the recognition of a new lower Carnian (Julian 1/2) conodont fauna within the Kartoz and Kasimlar formations. Members of the subfamilies Paragondolellinae and Pseudofurnishiinae are recognized. The genus Kraussodontus is reported for...

Data from: Visuo-spatial cueing in children with differential reading and spelling profiles

Chiara Banfi, Ferenc Kemény, Melanie Gangl, Gerd Schulte-Körne, Kristina Moll & Karin Landerl
Dyslexia has been claimed to be causally related to deficits in visuo-spatial attention. In particular, inefficient shifting of visual attention during spatial cueing paradigms is assumed to be associated with problems in graphemic parsing during sublexical reading. The current study investigated visuo-spatial attention performance in an exogenous cueing paradigm in a large sample (N = 191) of third and fourth graders with different reading and spelling profiles (controls, isolated reading deficit, isolated spelling deficit, combined...

Data from: AFLP genome scans suggest divergent selection on colour patterning in allopatric colour morphs of a cichlid fish

Karin Mattersdorfer, Stephan Koblmüller & Kristina M. Sefc
Genome scan-based tests for selection are directly applicable to natural populations to study the genetic and evolutionary mechanisms behind phenotypic differentiation. We conducted AFLP genome scans in three distinct geographic colour morphs of the cichlid fish Tropheus moorii to assess whether the extant, allopatric colour pattern differentiation can be explained by drift and to identify markers mapping to genomic regions possibly involved in colour patterning. The tested morphs occupy adjacent shore sections in southern Lake...

Data from: Brood-tending males in a biparental fish suffer high paternity losses but rarely cuckold

Aneesh P. H. Bose, Holger Zimmermann, Jonathan M. Henshaw, Karoline Fritzsche & Kristina M. Sefc
Extra-pair paternity within socially monogamous mating systems is well-studied in birds and mammals but rather neglected in other animal taxa. In fishes, social monogamy has evolved several times but few studies have investigated the extent to which pair-bonded male fish lose fertilizations to cuckolders and gain extra-pair fertilizations themselves. We address this gap and present genetic paternity data collected from a wild population of Variabilichromis moorii, a socially monogamous African cichlid with biparental care of...

Data from: Brood mixing and reduced polyandry in a maternally mouthbrooding cichlid with elevated among-breeder relatedness

Kristina M. Sefc, Caroline M. Hermann, Barbara Taborsky & Stephan Koblmüller
Uniparental maternal brood care often coincides with multiple paternity and single maternity of broods, possibly reflecting benefits of polyandry and costs of uniparental care. Genetic data from the maternally mouthbrooding cichlid fish Simochromis pleurospilus revealed the opposite pattern – low polyandry and allomaternal care. More than 70% of the investigated females had mated with a single male, and 14% of the females had unrelated fry in their broods. Broods with foreign fry were in the...

WegenerNet climate station network Level 2 data

Juergen Fuchsberger, Gottfried Kirchengast, Christoph Bichler, Thomas Kabas & Armin Leuprecht
The WegenerNet weather and climate station network dataset provides highly space-time resolved measurements of meteorological parameters for two regions in the state of Styria, Austria. The WegenerNet Feldbach region is located in the southeast of Styria and has an extent of about 22 km x 16 km. It comprises 155 meteorological stations which are placed on a tightly spaced grid, with an average station density of 1 station per ~2 km². Data are available at...

Data from: Testing the potential of DNA barcoding in vertebrate radiations: the case of the littoral cichlids (Pisces, Perciformes, Cichlidae) from Lake Tanganyika

Floris C. Breman, Sara Loix, Kurt Jordaens, Jos Snoeks & Maarten Van Steenberge
We obtained 398 cytochrome c oxidase subunit I barcodes of 96 morphospecies of Lake Tanganyika (LT) cichlids from the littoral zone. The potential of DNA barcoding in these fishes was tested using both species identification and species delineation methods. The best match (BM) and best close match (BCM) methods were used to evaluate the overall identification success. For this, three libraries were analysed in which the specimens were categorized into Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU) in...

Data from: A review of the evolution, biostratigraphy, provincialism and diversity of Middle and early Late Triassic conodonts

Yanlong Chen, Leopold Krystyn, Michael J. Orchard, Xu-Long Lai & Sylvain Richoz
The taxonomy, diversity, evolutionary lineages, and stratigraphical distributions of Middle and early Late Triassic conodonts are reviewed and re-evaluated. Twenty-five genera are recognized in the Middle and early Late Triassic, including a new genus cited in open nomenclature. Of these, 24 genera are assigned to two families and seven subfamilies. The family Gondolellidae consists of the subfamilies Cornudininae, Epigondolellinae, Neogondolellinae, Novispathodinae, Paragondolellinae and Pseudofurnishiinae. The family Gladigondolellidae is monotypic, consisting of the subfamily Gladigondolellinae. The...

Data from: A rigorous comparison of sexual selection indexes via simulations of diverse mating systems

Jonathan M. Henshaw, Andrew T. Kahn & Karoline Fritzsche
Sexual selection is a cornerstone of evolutionary theory, but measuring it has proved surprisingly difficult and controversial. Various proxy measures—e.g., the Bateman gradient and the opportunity for sexual selection—are widely used in empirical studies. However, we do not know how reliably these measures predict the strength of sexual selection across natural systems, and most perform poorly in theoretical worst-case scenarios. Here we provide a rigorous comparison of eight commonly used indexes of sexual selection. We...

Data from: Allometry in Anisian (Middle Triassic) segminiplanate conodonts and its implications for conodont taxonomy

Yanlong Chen, Thomas A. Neubauer, Leopold Krystyn & Sylvain Richoz
Conodonts are a clade of chordates and are valuable indicator fossils for biostratigraphy. The segminiplanate (neogondolelliform) conodonts represent a major morphological group ranging from upper Carboniferous to Upper Triassic marine sediments. However, the morphological similarity of segminiplanate P1 elements generates problems for taxonomy, especially in the Permian and Triassic clades. This paper represents the first study of morphological variation in Triassic segminiplanate conodonts using a geometric morphometric approach. The laminar microstructures observed in conodont cross-sections...

Get a grip - evolution of claw shape in relation to microhabitat use in intertidal arthropods (Acari, Oribatida)

Tobias Pfingstl, Michaela Kerschbaumer & Satoshi Shimano
Claws may be the most common biological attachment devices in animals but relatively few studies have examined the ecological and evolutionary significance of their morphology. We performed the first geometric morphometric investigation of arthropod claws ever using 15 intertidal oribatid mite species from two different families living in three different habitat types to determine if claw shape is correlated with ecology. Our results show that species living on rocky shores show remarkably high and strongly...

Data from: Separated by sand, fused by dropping water: habitat barriers and fluctuating water levels steer the evolution of rock-dwelling cichlid populations in Lake Tanganyika

Stephan Koblmüller, Walter Salzburger, Beate Obermüller, Eva Eigner, Christian Sturmbauer & Kristina M Sefc
The conditions of phenotypic and genetic population differentiation allow inferences about the evolution, preservation and loss of biological diversity. In Lake Tanganyika, water level fluctuations are assumed to have had a major impact on the evolution of stenotopic littoral species, though this hypothesis has not been specifically examined so far. The present study investigates whether subtly differentiated color patterns of adjacent Tropheus moorii populations are maintained in isolation or in the face of continuous gene...

Data from: Male courtship preferences demonstrate discrimination against allopatric colour morphs in a cichlid fish

Peter Zoppoth, Stephan Koblmüller & Kristina M. Sefc
Whether premating isolation is achieved by male-specific, female-specific or sex-independent assortative preferences often depends on the underlying evolutionary processes. Here we test mate preferences of males presented with females of different allopatric colour variants of the cichlid fish Tropheus, a Lake Tanganyika endemic with rich geographic colour pattern variation, in which the strength of sexual isolation varies between populations. We conducted two-way mate choice experiments to compare behaviour of males of a red-bodied morph (population...

Data from: Escape from the cryptic species trap: lichen evolution on both sides of a cyanobacterial acquisition event

Kevin Schneider, Philipp Resl & Toby Spribille
Large, architecturally complex lichen symbioses arose only a few times in evolution, increasing thallus size by orders of magnitude over those from which they evolved. The innovations that enabled symbiotic assemblages to acquire and maintain large sizes are unknown. We mapped morphometric data against an eight-locus fungal phylogeny across one of the best-sampled thallus size transition events, the origins of the Placopsis lichen symbiosis, and used a phylogenetic comparative framework to explore the role of...

Data from: The evolution of fungal substrate specificity in a widespread group of crustose lichens

Philipp Resl, Fernando Fernández-Mendoza, Helmut Mayrhofer & Toby Spribille
Lichens exhibit varying degrees of specialization with regard to the surfaces they colonize, ranging from substrate generalists to strict substrate specialists. Though long recognized, the causes and consequences of substrate specialization are poorly known. Using a phylogeny of a 150-200 MYA clade of lichen fungi, we asked whether substrate niche is phylogenetically conserved, which substrates are ancestral, whether specialists arise from generalists or vice versa, and how specialization affects speciation/extinction processes. We found strong phylogenetic...

Data from: Inclusive fitness benefits mitigate costs of cuckoldry to socially paired males

Aneesh P. H. Bose, Jonathan M. Henshaw, Holger Zimmermann, Karoline Fritzsche & Kristina M. Sefc
Background: In socially monogamous species, reproduction is not always confined to paired males and females. Extra-pair males commonly also reproduce with paired females, which is traditionally thought to be costly to the females’ social partners. However, we suggest that when the relatedness between reproducing individuals is considered, cuckolded males can suffer lower fitness losses than otherwise expected, especially when the rate of cuckoldry is high. We combine theoretical modeling with a detailed genetic study on...

Congruent geographic variation in saccular otolith shape across multiple species of African cichlids

Aneesh Bose, Holger Zimmermann, Georg Winkler, Alexandra Kaufmann, Thomas Strohmeier, Stephan Koblmüller & Kristina Sefc
The otoliths of teleost fishes exhibit a great deal of inter- and intra-species shape variation. The ecomorphology of the saccular otolith is often studied by comparing its shape across species and populations inhabiting a range of environments. However, formal tests are often lacking to examine how closely variation in otolith shape follows the genetic drift of a neutral trait. Here, we examine patterns of saccular otolith shape variation in four species of African cichlid fishes,...

Testing for phylogenetic signal in claws suggests great influence of ecology on Caribbean intertidal arthropods (Acari, Oribatida)

Michaela Kerschbaumer & Tobias Pfingstl
Claws are common biological attachment devices that can be found in a wide variety of animal groups. Their curvature and size are supposed to be parameters related to ecological aspects. Mites, known as very small arthropods, occupy a wide range of ecological niches and are a perfect model system to investigate correlations of claw morphology with ecology. There is only one study regarding this question in littoral mites but the phylogenetic impact, which plays an...

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  • University of Graz
  • Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
  • Royal Museum for Central Africa
  • University of Bath
  • Australian National University
  • National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • University of Bern
  • University of Vienna
  • Leipzig University
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology