189 Works

Multilevel modeling of time-series cross-sectional data reveals the dynamic interaction between ecological threats and democratic development

Kodai Kusano
What is the relationship between environment and democracy? The framework of cultural evolution suggests that societal development is an adaptation to ecological threats. Pertinent theories assume that democracy emerges as societies adapt to ecological factors such as higher economic wealth, lower pathogen threats, less demanding climates, and fewer natural disasters. However, previous research confused within-country processes with between-country processes and erroneously interpreted between-country findings as if they generalize to within-country mechanisms. In this article, we...

Large herbivores facilitate a dominant grassland plant via multiple indirect effects

Zhiwei Zhong, Xiaofei Li, Christian Smit, Tianyun Li, Ling Wang, Valeria Aschero, Diego Vázquez, Mark Ritchie, Hall Cushman & Deli Wang
While large herbivores are critically important components of terrestrial ecosystems and can have pronounced top-down effects on plants, our understanding of the underlying mechanisms driving these effects remains incomplete. Large herbivores can alter plant growth, reproduction and abundance through direct effects (predominantly consumption) and through indirect effects via altered interactions with abiotic factors and other species. We know considerably less about these indirect effects than the direct effects. Here, we integrate medium- and small-scale field...

Caterpillars on a phytochemical landscape: the case of alfalfa and the Melissa blue butterfly

Matthew Forister, Su'ad Yoon, Casey Philbin, Craig Dodson, Bret Hart, Joshua Harrison, Oren Shelef, James Fordyce, Zachary Marion, Chris Nice, Lora Richards, Alex Buerkle & Zach Gompert
Modern metabolomic approaches that generate more comprehensive phytochemical profiles than were previously available are providing new opportunities for understanding plant-animal interactions. Specifically, we can characterize the phytochemical landscape by asking how a larger number of individual compounds affect herbivores and how compounds covary among plants. Here we use the recent colonization of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) by the Melissa blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa) to quantify plant metabolites and the performance of caterpillars as affected by both...

Recent hybrids recapitulate ancient hybrid outcomes

Zachariah Gompert, Samridhi Chaturvedi, Lauren Lucas, C. Alex Buerkle, James Fordyce, Matthew Forister & Chris Nice
Genomic outcomes of hybridization depend on selection and recombination in hybrids. Whether these processes have similar effects on hybrid genome composition in contemporary hybrid zones versus ancient hybrid lineages is unknown. Here we show that patterns of introgression in a contemporary hybrid zone in Lycaeides butterflies predict patterns of ancestry in geographically adjacent, older hybrid populations. We find a particularly striking lack of ancestry from one of the hybridizing taxa, Lycaeides melissa, on the Z...

Genome-wide RAD sequencing resolves the evolutionary history of serrate leaf Juniperus and reveals discordance with chloroplast phylogeny

Kathryn Uckele, Robert Adams, Thomas Parchman & Andrea Schwarzbach
Juniper (Juniperus) is an ecologically important conifer genus of the Northern Hemisphere, the members of which are often foundational tree species of arid regions. The serrate leaf margin clade is native to topologically variable regions in North America, where hybridization has likely played a prominent role in their diversification. Here we use a reduced-representation sequencing approach (ddRADseq) to generate a phylogenomic data set for 68 accessions representing all 22 species in the serrate leaf margin...

Fish abundance data in forest steppe and grassland river networks in Mongolia

Alain Maasri, Mark Pyron, Emily Arsenault, James Thorp, Bud Mendsaikhan, Flavia Tromboni, Mario Minder, Scott Kenner, John Costello, Sudeep Chandra, Amarbat Otgonganbat & Bazartseren Boldgiv
Fish abundance data (fish per m) collected during the MACRO project in Mongolia. We collected fish assemblages in river networks of two different ecoregions, the Forest Steppe (FS) and Grassland (G), in 2017 and 2019.

Data from: The geographic mosaic of arms race coevolution is closely matched to prey population structure

Michael Hague, Amber Stokes, Chris Feldman, Edmund Brodie &
Reciprocal adaptation is the hallmark of arms race coevolution. Local coadaptation between natural enemies should generate a geographic mosaic pattern where both species have roughly matched abilities across their shared range. However, mosaic variation in ecologically relevant traits can also arise from processes unrelated to reciprocal selection, such as population structure or local environmental conditions. We tested whether these alternative processes can account for trait variation in the geographic mosaic of arms race coevolution between...

Data from: Long-term and interactive effects of different mammalian consumers on growth, survival and recruitment of dominant tree species

J. Hall Cushman, Vanessa Dodge & Valerie Eviner
Throughout the world, numerous tree species are reported to be in decline, either due to increased mortality of established trees or reduced recruitment. The situation appears especially acute for oaks, which are dominant features of many landscapes in the northern hemisphere. Although numerous factors have been hypothesized to explain reductions in tree performance, vertebrate herbivores and granivores may serve as important drivers of these changes. Here, using data from 8- and 14-year-old exclosure experiments, we...

Disentangling sources of gene tree discordance in phylogenomic datasets: testing ancient hybridizations in Amaranthaceae s.l.

Diego F. Morales-Briones, Gudrun Kadereit, Delphine Tefarikis, Michael Moore, Stephen Smith, Samuel Brockington, Alfonso Timoneda, Won Yim, John Cushman & Ya Yang
Gene tree discordance in large genomic datasets can be caused by evolutionary processes such as incomplete lineage sorting and hybridization, as well as model violation, and errors in data processing, orthology inference, and gene tree estimation. Species tree methods that identify and accommodate all sources of conflict are not available, but a combination of multiple approaches can help tease apart alternative sources of conflict. Here, using a phylotranscriptomic analysis in combination with reference genomes, we...

Data from: Large-scale mutation in the evolution of a gene complex for cryptic coloration

Zachariah Gompert, Romain Villoutreix, Clarissa De Carvalho, Victor Soria-Carrasco, Dorothea Lindtke, Marisol De-La-Mora, Moritz Muschick, Jeffrey Feder, Thomas Parchman & Patrik Nosil
The types of mutations affecting adaptation in the wild are only beginning to be understood. In particular, whether structural changes shape adaptation by suppressing recombination or by creating new mutations is unresolved. Here we show that multiple, linked but recombining loci underlie cryptic color morphs of Timema chumash stick insects. In a related species, these loci are found in a region of suppressed recombination, forming a supergene. However, in seven species of Timema we find...

Context-Dependent Effects of a Reintroduced Ungulate on Soil Properties are Driven by Soil Texture, Moisture and Herbivore Activity

J. Hall Cushman
Although there is considerable evidence that large mammalian herbivores influence ecosystem-level processes, studies have reported such widely varying results that generalizations have remained elusive. Here, we use an 18-year-old exclosure experiment – stratified across a landscape heterogeneous with respect to soil texture, moisture and herbivore activity – to understand the variable effects of tule elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes), a native reintroduced herbivore, on soil properties along the coast of northern California. Elk significantly increased soil...

Climatic history, constraints, and the plasticity of phytochemical traits under water stress

Aramee Diethelm, Michael Reichelt, Thomas Dilts, James Farlin, Audrey Marlar & Elizabeth Pringle
Environmental stress can induce changes in organismal traits and in resulting intraspecific variation. The nature of such effects will depend on the plasticity of trait expression and on any ecological constraints to such expression. Plants can mitigate abiotic stress, like drought, by changing their chemistry, but the ability to induce costly metabolites may be under strong local selection and ecologically constrained. Here we asked whether climate at the seed source predicts plant chemical plasticity in...

Data from: A hierarchical model for jointly assessing ecological and anthropogenic impacts on animal demography

Thomas Riecke, Benjamin Sedinger, Todd Arnold, Dan Gibson, David Koons, Madeleine Lohman, Michael Schaub, Perry Williams & James Sedinger
1. The management of sustainable harvest of animal populations is of great ecological and conservation importance. Development of formal quantitative tools to estimate and mitigate the impacts of harvest on animal populations has positively impacted conservation efforts. 2. The vast majority of existing harvest models, however, do not simultaneously estimate ecological and harvest impacts on demographic parameters and population trends. Given that the impacts of ecological drivers are often equal to or greater than the...

Individual heterogeneity in fitness in a long‐lived herbivore

Madeleine Lohman, Thomas Riecke, Perry Williams, James Sedinger, Madeleine G. Lohman, Thomas V. Riecke, Perry J. Williams & James S. Sedinger
Heterogeneity in the intrinsic quality and nutritional condition of individuals affects reproductive success and consequently fitness. Black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) are long-lived, migratory, specialist herbivores. Long migratory pathways and short summer breeding seasons constrain the time and energy available for reproduction, thus magnifying life-history trade-offs. These constraints, combined with long lifespans and trade-offs between current and future reproductive value, provide a model system to examine the role of individual heterogeneity in driving life-history strategies...

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