115 Works

Multiple factors affect discrimination learning performance, but not between-individual variation, in wild mixed-species flocks of birds

Michael Reichert, Sam Crofts, Gabrielle Davidson, Josh Firth, Ipek Kulahci & John Quinn
Cognition arguably drives most behaviours in animals, but whether and why individuals in the wild vary consistently in their cognitive performance is scarcely known, especially under mixed-species scenarios. One reason for this is that quantifying the relative importance of individual, contextual, ecological and social factors remains a major challenge. We examined how many of these factors, and sources of bias, affected participation, and performance, in an initial discrimination learning experiment and two reversal learning experiments...

Spatial sampling bias and model complexity in stream-based species distribution models: a case study of Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) in the Arkansas River basin, U.S.A.

Andrew Taylor, Thomas Hafen, Colt Holley, Alin González & James Long
Leveraging existing presence records and geospatial datasets, species distribution modeling has been widely applied to informing species conservation and restoration efforts. Maxent is one of the most popular modeling algorithms, yet recent research has demonstrated Maxent models are vulnerable to prediction errors related to spatial sampling bias and model complexity. Despite elevated rates of biodiversity imperilment in stream systems, the application of Maxent models to stream networks has lagged, as has the availability of tools...

Fine-scale habitat selection limits trade-offs between foraging and temperature in a grassland bird

David Londe, R. Dwayne Elmore, Craig Davis, Samuel Fuhlendorf, Torre Hovick, Barney Luttbeg & Jimmy Rutledge
Many species are frequently faced with the decision about how to balance the use of thermal refuge against access to food resources. We evaluated the habitat use of female greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) to assess the potential for trade-offs between thermal conditions and food resources during the habitat selection process. Our objectives were to 1) compare near-ground temperatures, invertebrate availability, and vegetation characteristics at sites used by greater prairie-chickens to conditions at random landscape locations...

Quantitative genetics of phosphorus content in the freshwater herbivore, Daphnia pulicaria

Ryan Sherman, Rachel Hartnett, Emily Kiehnau, Lawrence Weider & Punidan Jeyasingh
1. Phosphorus (P) is essential for growth of all organisms, and P content is correlated with growth in most taxa. Although P content was initially considered to be a trait fixed at the species level, there is growing evidence for considerable intraspecific variation. Selection on such variation can thus alter the rates at which P fluxes through food webs. 2. Nevertheless, prior work describing the sources and extent of intraspecific variation in P content were...

Supplementary files from: Improving inference and avoiding over-interpretation of hidden-state diversification models: Specialized plant breeding has no effect on diversification in frogs

Daniel Moen
The hidden-state speciation and extinction (HiSSE) model helps avoid spurious results when testing whether a character affects diversification rates. However, care must be taken to optimally analyze models and interpret results. Recently, Tonini et al. (2020; TEA hereafter) studied anuran (frog and toad) diversification with HiSSE methods. They concluded that their focal state, breeding in phytotelmata, increases net diversification rates. Yet this conclusion is counterintuitive, because the state that purportedly increases net diversification rates is...

Cognition and covariance in the producer-scrounger game

Michael Reichert, Julie Morand-Ferron, Ipek Kulahci, Josh Firth, Gabrielle Davidson, Sam Crofts & John Quinn
1. The producer-scrounger game is a key element of foraging ecology in many systems. Producing and scrounging typically covary negatively, but partitioning this covariance into contributions of individual plasticity and consistent between individual differences is key to understanding population level consequences of foraging strategies. Furthermore, little is known about the role cognition plays in the producer-scrounger game. 2. We investigated the role of cognition in these alternative foraging tactics in wild mixed-species flocks of great...

Nutrient content of Northern bobwhite arthropod prey collected in Western OK

Jacob Reeves
Insectivores gain macronutrients and elements from consuming arthropod prey, but must also deal with indigestible components (i.e., exoskeleton) of prey. For example, avian chicks (e.g. northern bobwhites; Colinus virginianus) have limited gut space, and ingesting prey with relatively higher proportions of indigestible components may impact assimilation efficiency, growth, and survival. The ability of insectivores to choose higher quality prey would depend on prey taxa varying consistently in nutritional content. We tested if there were consistent...

Information signals impacting perceptions of gluten-free diets

Bailey Norwood
Understanding how people assimilate different types of information for food choices is integral to improving knowledge about diet and human health. This study evaluates the impact that ten information signals have on the perceived healthiness of gluten. Signals include non-social signals like personal eating experiences, scientific studies, and advice from doctors, but also includes social signals like recommendations from attractive people, social media, the layout of a grocery store, and celebrities. In a survey of...

Data from: Wintering grounds, population size and evolutionary history of a cryptic passerine species from isotopic and genetic data

Ivan De La Hera, Jordi Gomez, Eileen Dillane, Azaitz Unanue, Anton Perez-Rodriguez, Javier Perez-Tris & Maria Torres-Sanchez
Cryptic species pose a particular challenge to biologists in the context of life history investigations because of the difficulty in their field discrimination. Additionally, there is normally a lag in their widespread acceptance by the scientific community once they are formally recognised. These two factors might constrain our ability to properly assess the conservation status of the different species conforming a cryptic complex. In this study, we analysed isotopic and genetic data to shed light...

Testing for adaptive radiation: a new approach applied to Madagascar frogs

Daniel Moen, Rojo Ravelojaona, Carl Hutter & John Wiens
Adaptive radiation is a key topic at the intersection of ecology and evolutionary biology. Yet the definition and identification of adaptive radiation both remain contentious. Here, we introduce a new approach for identifying adaptive radiations which combines key aspects of two widely used definitions. Our approach compares evolutionary rates in morphology, performance, and diversification between the candidate radiation and other clades. We then apply this approach to a putative adaptive radiation of frogs from Madagascar...

Structural implications of traditional agricultural landscapes on the functional diversity of birds near the Korean Demilitarized Zone

Jae Hyun Kim, Shinyeong Park, Seung Ho Kim, Keunwon Kang, Bruce Waldman, Myung Hwa Lee, Minhye Yu, Hyunyoung Yang, Hyun Yong Chung & Eun Ju Lee
Bird assemblages are sensitive to changes in landscape composition and the environment, such as those that result from drought. In this study, the relationship between landscape composition and avian functional diversity in traditional agricultural ecosystems in the Civilian Control Zone (CCZ) of Korea was examined. In addition, the resilience of biodiversity to changes in landscape elements resulting from drought conditions was investigated. The traditional agricultural landscape (TAL) of the sites studied was divided into three...

Pinyon jay (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) nest site selection in central New Mexico: Habitat Data to be used with AICc

Michael Novak, Loren Smith & Scott McMurry
Pinyon Jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) are experiencing range wide population declines primarily in response to habitat degradation. Studies examining Pinyon Jay nest site selection in pinyon-juniper woodlands would be helpful in determining potential habitat management prescriptions. Therefore, we conducted a nest site selection study in Pinyon Jay breeding habitat in central New Mexico. We compared size and foliage characteristics of pinyon and juniper trees in 42 17.5-m radius plots around Pinyon Jay nests to 41 same-sized...

Data from: Evolution in extreme environments: replicated phenotypic differentiation in livebearing fish inhabiting sulfidic springs

Michael Tobler, Maura Palacios, Lauren J Chapman, Igor Mitrofanov, David Bierbach, Martin Plath, Lenin Arias-Rodriguez, Francisco J García De León & Mariana Mateos
We investigated replicated ecological speciation in the livebearing fishes Poecilia mexicana and P. sulphuraria (Poeciliidae), which inhabit freshwater habitats and have also colonized multiple sulfidic springs in southern Mexico. These springs exhibit extreme hypoxia and high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, which is lethal to most metazoans. We used phylogenetic analyses to test whether springs were independently colonized, performed phenotypic assessments of body and gill morphology variation to identify convergent patterns of trait differentiation, and conducted...

Data from: Eutrophication and predation risk interact to affect sexual trait expression and mating success

Rickey Duane Cothran, Andy R Stiff, Punidan D Jeyasingh & Rick A Relyea
Sexual traits are especially sensitive to low food resources. Other environmental parameters (e.g., predation) should also affect sexual trait expression by favoring investment in viability traits rather than sexual traits. We know surprisingly little about how predators alter investment in sexual traits, or how predator and resource environments interact to affect sexual trait investment. We explored how increasing phosphorous (P) availability, at a level mimicking cultural eutrophication, affects the development of sexual, non-sexual, and viability...

Data from: Relationships between spatio-temporal environmental and genetic variation reveal an important influence of exogenous selection in a pupfish hybrid zone

Evan W. Carson, Michael Tobler, W. L. Minckley, Ryan J. Ainsworth & Thomas E. Dowling
The importance of exogenous selection in a natural hybrid zone between the pupfishes Cyprinodon atrorus and C. bifasciatus was tested via spatio-temporal analyses of environmental and genetic change over winter, spring, and summer for three consecutive years. A critical influence of exogenous selection on hybrid zone regulation was demonstrated by a significant relationship between environmental (salinity and temperature) and genetic (three diagnostic nuDNA loci) variation over space and time (seasons) in the Rio Churince system,...

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