240 Works

Manipulation of photoperiod perception advances gonadal growth but not laying date in the great tit

Lucia Salis, Samuel Caro, Roelof A. Hut, Louis Vernoij & Marcel E. Visser
In seasonal environments, organisms use biotic and abiotic cues to time various biological processes that are crucial for growth, survival and reproductive success. Photoperiod is the best-known cue used to regulate gonadal development, migration and moult of many animal species. In birds, the relationship between photoperiod and gonadal development is clearly established, but we have little understanding on whether photoperiod also regulates actual timing of egg laying under natural conditions. Elucidating the link between photoperiod...

Comparing two measures of phenological synchrony in a predator–prey interaction: simpler works better

Jip J.C. Ramakers, Phillip Gienapp & Marcel E. Visser
1. Global climate change has sparked a vast research effort into the demographic and evolutionary consequences of mismatches between consumer and resource phenology. Many studies have used the difference in peak dates to quantify phenological synchrony (match in dates, MD), but this approach has been suggested to be inconclusive, since it does not incorporate the temporal overlap between the phenological distributions (match in overlap, MO). 2. We used 24 years of detailed data on the...

Soil inoculation alters leaf metabolic profiles in genetically identical plants

Martine Huberty
Abiotic and biotic properties of soil can influence growth and chemical composition of plants. Although it is well-known that soil microbial composition can vary greatly spatially, how this variation affects plant chemical composition is poorly understood. We grew genetically identical Jacobaea vulgaris in sterilized soil inoculated with live soil collected from four natural grasslands and in 100% sterilized soil. Within each grassland we sampled eight plots, totalling 32 different inocula. Two samples per plot were...

Less is more: on-board lossy compression of accelerometer data increases biologging capacity

Rascha Nuijten, Theo Gerrits, Judy Shamoun-Baranes & Bart Nolet
GPS-tracking devices have been used in combination with a wide range of additional sensors to study animal behaviour, physiology and interaction with their environment. Tri-axial accelerometers allow researchers to remotely infer the behaviour of individuals, at all places and times. Collection of accelerometer data is relatively cheap in terms of energy usage, but the amount or raw data collected generally requires much storage space and is particularly demanding in terms of energy needed for data...

Data from: Testing for biases in selection on avian reproductive traits and partitioning direct and indirect selection using quantitative genetic models

Thomas E. Reed, Phillip Gienapp & Marcel E. Visser
Key life history traits such as breeding time and clutch size are frequently both heritable and under directional selection, yet many studies fail to document micro-evolutionary responses. One general explanation is that selection estimates are biased by the omission of correlated traits that have causal effects on fitness, but few valid tests of this exist. Here we show, using a quantitative genetic framework and six decades of life-history data on two free-living populations of great...

Data from: Functional and evolutionary consequences of cranial fenestration in birds

Sander W.S. Gussekloo, Michael A. Berthaume, Daniel R Pulaski, Irene Westbroek, Jan H. Waarsing, Robin Heinen, Ian R. Grosse, Elizabeth R. Dumont & Sander W. S. Gussekloo
Ostrich-like birds (Palaeognathae) show very little taxonomic diversity while their sister taxon (Neognathae) contains roughly 10000 species. The main anatomical differences between the two taxa are in the crania. Palaeognaths lack an element in the bill called the lateral bar that is present in both ancestral theropods and modern neognaths, have thin zones in the bones of the bill, and robust bony elements on the ventral surface of their crania. Here we use a combination...

Data from: Sperm competition games: a general model for pre-copulatory male-male competition

Geoff A. Parker, Catherine M. Lessells & Leigh W. Simmons
Reproductive males face a trade-off between expenditure on pre-copulatory male-male competition – increasing the number of females that they secure as mates – and sperm competition – increasing their fertilisation success with those females. Previous sperm allocation models have focused on scramble competition in which males compete by searching for mates and the number of matings rises linearly with pre-copulatory expenditure. However, recent studies have emphasised contest competition involving pre-copulatory expenditure on armaments, where winning...

Data from: Complementarity and selection effects in early and mid-successional plant communities are differentially affected by plant-soil feedback

Jingying Jing, T. Martijn Bezemer & Wim H. Van Der Putten
1. Many studies that provided evidence for a positive relationship between plant diversity and productivity have proposed that this effect may be explained by complementarity among species in resources utilization, or selection of particularly productive species in high-diversity plant communities. Recent studies have related the higher productivity in diverse plant communities to suppression of pathogenic soil biota. If soil biota plays a role in diversity–productivity relationships, the question remains about how they may influence complementarity...

Data from: Temperature effects on prey and basal resources exceed that of predators in an experimental community

Madhav P. Thakur, John N. Griffin, Tom Künne, Susanne Dunker, Andrea Fanesi & Nico Eisenhauer
Climate warming alters the structure of ecological communities by modifying species interactions at different trophic levels. Yet, the consequences of warming-led modifications in biotic interactions at higher trophic levels on lower trophic groups are lesser known. Here, we test the effects of multiple predator species on prey population size and traits, and subsequent effects on basal resources along an experimental temperature gradient (12-15C, 17-20C, and 22-25C). We experimentally assembled food web modules with two congeneric...

Data from: Tackling extremes: challenges for ecological and evolutionary research on extreme climatic events

Liam D. Bailey & Martijn Van De Pol
1. Extreme climatic events (ECEs) are predicted to become more frequent as the climate changes. A rapidly increasing number of studies - though few on animals - suggest that the biological consequences of ECEs can be severe. 2. However, ecological research on the impacts of extreme climatic events (ECEs) has been limited by a lack of cohesiveness and structure. ECEs are often poorly defined and have often been confusingly equated with climatic variability, making comparison...

Data from: Insect herbivory on native and exotic aquatic plants: phosphorus and nitrogen drive insect growth and nutrient release

Bart M. C. Grutters, Elisabeth M. Gross & Elisabeth S. Bakker
Eutrophication and globalisation facilitate the dominance of exotic plants in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Aquatic omnivores can provide biotic resistance to plant invasions, but little is known about whether obligate aquatic herbivores can do the same. Herbivores such as insects can decimate aquatic vegetation, but may not be able to consume exotic plants due to their more or less specialised nature of feeding. We experimentally tested the larval feeding of an aquatic insect, the moth Parapoynx...

Data from: Eggs brought in from afar: Svalbard-breeding pink-footed geese can fly their eggs across the Barents Sea

Marcel Klaassen, Steffen Hahn, Harry Korthals & Jesper Madsen
Many Arctic-breeding waterbirds are thought to bring nutrients for egg production from southern latitudes to allow early breeding. It has proved problematic to quantify the extent of such capital breeding and identify whether nutrients for egg production are brought in from nearby or from afar. Before reaching their breeding grounds on Svalbard, pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus fly ∼ 1100 km across the Barents Sea from Norway. Using abdominal profile indexing (API) we scored body stores...

Data from: Costs of sleeping in: circadian rhythms influence cuckoldry risk in a songbird

Timothy Greives, Sjouke Kingma, Bart Kranstauber, Kim Mortega, Martin Wikelski, Kees Van Oers, Christa Mateman, Glen Ferguson, Giulia Beltrami, Michaela Hau, Sjouke A. Kingma & Timothy J. Greives
1. Circadian (i.e. daily) regulation of behaviors is thought to provide fitness benefits to organisms by enabling them to anticipate diel changes in the environment, such as sunrise. 2. A common behavior among socially monogamous songbirds that usually takes place in the early mornings is extra-pair mating, i.e. copulating with partners outside of the social pair bond. 3. Thus, variation in when individuals begin their daily activity may influence their reproductive success; early risers may...

Data from: The influence of balanced and imbalanced resource supply on biodiversity-functioning relationship across ecosystems

Aleksandra M. Lewandowska, Antje Biermann, Elizabeth T. Borer, Miguel A. Cebrian-Piqueras, Steven A. J. Declerck, Luc De Meester, Ellen Van Donk, Lars Gamfeldt, Daniel S. Gruner, Nicole Hagenah, W. Stanley Harpole, Kevin P. Kirkman, Christopher A. Klausmeier, Michael Kleyer, Johannes M. H. Knops, Pieter Lemmens, Eric M. Lind, Elena Litchman, Jasmin Mantilla-Contreras, Koen Martens, Sandra Meier, Vanessa Minden, Joslin L. Moore, Harry Olde Venterink, Eric W. Seabloom … & Helmut Hillebrand
Numerous studies show that increasing species richness leads to higher ecosystem productivity. This effect is often attributed to more efficient portioning of multiple resources in communities with higher numbers of competing species, indicating the role of resource supply and stoichiometry for biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Here, we merged theory on ecological stoichiometry with a framework of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning to understand how resource use transfers into primary production. We applied a structural equation model to define patterns...

Data from: Warming enhances sedimentation and decomposition of organic carbon in shallow macrophyte-dominated systems with zero net effect on carbon burial

Mandy Velthuis, Sarian Kosten, Ralf Aben, Garabet Kazanjian, Sabine Hilt, Edwin T. H. M. Peeters, Ellen Van Donk & Elisabeth S. Bakker
Temperatures have been rising throughout recent decades and are predicted to rise further in the coming century. Global warming affects carbon cycling in freshwater ecosystems, which both emit and bury substantial amounts of carbon on a global scale. Currently, most studies focus on the effect of warming on overall carbon emissions from freshwater ecosystems, while net effects on carbon budgets may strongly depend on burial in sediments. Here, we tested whether year‐round warming increases the...

Data from: Foliar-feeding insects acquire microbiomes from the soil rather than the host plant

S. Emilia Hannula, Feng Zhu, Robin Heinen & T. Martijn Bezemer
Microbiomes of soils and plants are linked, but how this affects microbiomes of aboveground herbivorous insects is unknown. We first generated plant-conditioned soils in field plots, then reared leaf-feeding caterpillars on dandelion grown in these soils, and then assessed whether the microbiomes of the caterpillars were attributed to the conditioned soil microbiomes or the dandelion microbiome. Microbiomes of caterpillars kept on intact plants differed from those of caterpillars fed detached leaves collected from plants growing...

Data from: When the sun never sets: diverse activity rhythms under continuous daylight in free-living arctic-breeding birds

Silke S. Steiger, Mihai Valcu, Kamiel Spoelstra, Barbara Helm, Martin Wikelski & Bart Kempenaers
Circadian clocks are centrally involved in the regulation of daily behavioural and physiological processes. These clocks are synchronized to the 24 h day by external cues (Zeitgeber), the most important of which is the light–dark cycle. In polar environments, however, the strength of the Zeitgeber is greatly reduced around the summer and winter solstices (continuous daylight or continuous darkness). How animals time their behaviour under such conditions has rarely been studied in the wild. Using...

Data from: Resting metabolic rate in migratory and non-migratory geese following range expansion; go south, go low

Götz Eichhorn, Manfred R. Enstipp, Jean-Yves Georges, Dennis Hasselquist & Bart A. Nolet
While many species suffer from human activities, some like geese benefit and may show range expansions. In some cases geese (partially) gave up migration and started breeding at wintering and stopover grounds. Range expansion may be facilitated and accompanied by physiological changes, especially when associated with changes in migratory behaviour. Interspecific comparisons found that migratory tendency is associated with a higher basal or resting metabolic rate (RMR). We compared RMR of individuals belonging to a...

Data from: Environmental coupling of heritability and selection is rare and of minor evolutionary significance in wild populations

Jip J.C. Ramakers, Antica Culina, Marcel E. Visser & Phillip Gienapp
Predicting the rate of adaptation to environmental change in wild populations is important for understanding evolutionary change. However, predictions may be unreliable if the two key variables affecting the rate of evolutionary change, heritability and selection, are both affected by the same environmental variable. To determine how general such an environmentally induced coupling of heritability and selection is, and how this may influence the rate of adaptation, we made use of freely accessible, open data...


Raquel Peixoto, Phillipe Rosado, Deborah Leite, Gustavo Duarte, Ricardo Chaloub, Guillaume Jospin, Jonathan Eisen, David Bourne, Ulisses Da Rocha, João Saraiva & Francisco Dini-Andreote
Although the early coral reef-bleaching warning system (NOAA/USA) is established, there is no feasible treatment that can minimize temperature bleaching and/or disease impacts on corals in the field. Here, we present the first attempts to extrapolate the widespread and well-established use of bacterial consortia to protect or improve health in other organisms (e.g., humans and plants) to corals. Manipulation of the coral-associated microbiome was facilitated through addition of a consortium of native (isolated from Pocillopora...

Searching for the causes of decline in the Dutch population of turtle doves Streptopelia turtur

E.H.J. De Vries, Ruud.P.B. Foppen, Henk Van Der Jeugd & Eelke Jongejans
European Turtle Doves Streptopelia turtur have experienced a sharp decline in population numbers over past decades. Much uncertainty exists about the main cause or causes. Several pressures have been suggested, but because they affect different stages of the life cycle of the Turtle Dove, it is difficult to compare their contributions to population decline. Here we applied a full life cycle approach to study how different pressures may have resulted in the decline. This was...

Data from: Nonlinear responses of soil nematode community composition to increasing aridity

Dan Xiong, Cunzheng Wei, Jasper Wubs, G. F. Veen, Wenju Liang, Xiaobo Wang, Qi Li, Wim Van Der Putten & Xingguo Han
Aim: Increasing aridity under global change is predicted to have a profound impact on the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, yet we have poor understanding of how belowground communities respond. In order to understand the longer-term responses of different trophic levels in the soil food web to increasing aridity, we investigated the abundance, richness and community similarity of the soil nematode community along a 3200-km aridity gradient. Location: A transect across semi-arid and arid...

Interactive effects of rising temperature and nutrient enrichment on aquatic plant growth, stoichiometry, and palatability

Peiyu Zhang, Ayumi Kuramae, Casper Van Leeuwen, Mandy Velthuis, Ellen Van Donk, Jun Xu & Elisabeth Bakker
The abundance and stoichiometry of aquatic plants are crucial for nutrient cycling and energy transfer in aquatic ecosystems. However, the interactive effects of multiple global environmental changes, including temperature rise and eutrophication, on aquatic plant stoichiometry and palatability remain largely unknown. Here, we hypothesized that (1) plant growth rates increase faster with rising temperature in nutrient-rich than nutrient-poor sediments; (2) plant carbon (C): nutrient ratios (nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)) respond differently to rising temperatures...

Ectothermic omnivores increase herbivory in response to rising temperature

Peiyu Zhang, Casper Van Leeuwen, Dagmar Bogers, Marjolein Poelman, Ju Xu, Elisabeth Bakker, Casper H. A. Van Leeuwen, Marjolein Poelma, Jun Xu & Elisabeth S. Bakker
Higher temperatures as a consequence of global climate change may considerably alter trophic interactions. Ectothermic herbivores and carnivores generally ingest more food with rising temperature as their metabolic rates increase with rising temperature. However, omnivorous ectotherms may respond in two ways: quantitatively by consuming more food and qualitatively by altering their degree of herbivory or carnivory through a diet shift. We hypothesize that rising temperature will increase herbivory of ectothermic omnivores as herbivory increases towards...

Modeling multipartite virus evolution: the genome formula facilitates rapid adaptation to heterogeneous environments

Mark Peter Zwart, Mark Zwart & Santiago Elena
Multipartite viruses have two or more genome segments, and package different segments into different particle types. Although multipartition is thought to have a cost for virus transmission, its benefits are not clear. Recent experimental work has shown that the equilibrium frequency of viral genome segments, the setpoint genome formula (SGF), can be unbalanced and host-species dependent. These observations have reinvigorated the hypothesis that changes in genome-segment frequencies can lead to changes in virus-gene expression that...

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  • Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
  • Wageningen University & Research
  • Netherlands Institute of Ecology
  • University of Groningen
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  • University of Amsterdam
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  • University of Turku