21 Works

Data supporting: Environmental RNA degrades more rapidly than environmental DNA across a broad range of pH conditions

Kaushar Kagzi, Robert Hechler, Gregor Fussmann & Melania Cristescu
Although the use and development of molecular biomonitoring tools based on environmental nucleic acids (eDNA and eRNA; collectively known as eNAs) have gained broad interest for the quantification of biodiversity in natural ecosystems, studies investigating the impact of site-specific physicochemical parameters on eNA-based detection methods (particularly eRNA) remain scarce. Here, we used a controlled laboratory microcosm experiment to comparatively assess the environmental degradation of eDNA and eRNA across an acid-base gradient following complete removal of...

Publication release: How well do species distribution models predict occurrences in exotic ranges?

Dat Nguyen & Brian Leung
Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used predictive tools to forecast potential biological invasions. However, the reliability of SDMs extrapolated to exotic ranges remains understudied, with most analyses restricted to few species and equivocal results. We examined the spatial transferability of SDMs for 647 non-indigenous species extrapolated across 1,867 invaded ranges, and identify what factors may help differentiate predictive success from failure. We performed a large-scale assessment of the transferability of SDMs using two modelling...

Paleolimnological assessment of a hyper-eutrophic lake (Nowlans Lake, N.S., Canada) Cladoceran communities

Abbie Gail Jones, Andrew Labaj, Julia Campbell, Nell Libera & Joshua Kurek
Mink fur farming was once a widespread agricultural activity in southwestern Nova Scotia. Some freshwaters near mink fur farm operations now show severe water quality issues. Notably, the watershed of Nowlans Lake (southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada) once contained six mink farms as well as a fish meal feed processing plant. It is now one of the most productive lakes in Atlantic Canada, with exceedingly high measured Total Phosphorus concentrations. Here, we provide data from a...

Ecological inference using data from accelerometers needs careful protocols

Baptiste Garde, Rory Wilson, Adam Fell, Nik Cole, Vikash Tatayah, Mark Holton, Kayleigh Rose, Richard Metcalfe, Hermina Robotka, Martin Wikelski, Fred Tremblay, Shannon Whelan, Kyle Elliott & Emily Shepard
1. Accelerometers in animal-attached tags have proven to be powerful tools in behavioural ecology, being used to determine behaviour and provide proxies for movement-based energy expenditure. Researchers are collecting and archiving data across systems, seasons and device types. However, in order to use data repositories to draw ecological inference, we need to establish the error introduced according to sensor type and position on the study animal and establish protocols for error assessment and minimization. 2....

Evolution of thermal physiology alters the projected range of threespine stickleback under climate change

Sara Wuitchik, Stephanie Mogensen, Tegan Barry, Antoine Paccard, Heather Jamniczky, Rowan Barrett & Sean Rogers
Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used to predict range shifts but could be unreliable under climate change scenarios because they do not account for evolution. The thermal physiology of a species is a key determinant of range and thus incorporating thermal trait evolution into SDMs might be expected to alter projected ranges. We identified a genetic basis for physiological and behavioural traits that evolve in response to temperature change in natural populations of threespine...

Genotyping-by-sequencing of Canada’s Apple Biodiversity Collection

Zoë Migicovsky, Gavin M. Douglas & Sean Myles
Canada’s Apple Biodiversity Collection (ABC) is one of the most diverse collections of apples in the world, which was designed to enable genetic mapping. The ABC is located at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Kentville Research and Development Centre in Nova Scotia, Canada. In addition to phenotypic descriptions of the ABC, sequencing the accessions in the collection provides a valuable resource not only for researchers working on the collection, but for those studying apples...

Where did the finch go? Insights from radio telemetry of the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis)

Marc-Olivier Beausoleil, Carlos Camacho, Julio Rabadán-González, Kristen Lalla, Roxanne Richard, Paola Carrion-Avilés, Andrew P. Hendry & Rowan D. H. Barrett
Movement patterns and habitat selection of animals have important implications for ecology and evolution. Darwin's finches are a classic model system for ecological and evolutionary studies, yet their spatial ecology remains poorly studied. We tagged and radio-tracked five (three females, two males) medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) to examine the feasibility of telemetry for understanding their movement and habitat use. Based on 143 locations collected during a three-week period, we analysed, for the first time,...

Graminoids vary in functional traits, carbon dioxide and methane fluxes in a restored peatland: implications for modeling carbon storage

Ellie Goud, Sabrina Touchette, Ian Strachan & Maria Strack
1. One metric of peatland restoration success is the re-establishment of a carbon sink, yet considerable uncertainty remains around the timescale of carbon sink trajectories. Conditions post-restoration may promote the establishment of vascular plants such as graminoids, often at greater density than would be found in undisturbed peatlands, with consequences for carbon storage. Although graminoid species are often considered as a single plant functional type (PFT) in land-atmosphere models, our understanding of functional variation among...

Data and code from: Opposite, but insufficient, phenological responses to climate in two circumpolar seabirds: relative roles of phenotypic plasticity and selection

Shannon Whelan, Scott A. Hatch, Anthony J. Gaston, H. Grant Gilchrist & Kyle H. Elliott
The magnitude of climate change has been greatest in the Arctic, accelerating climate-induced shifts in phenology, but wildlife responses vary. Variation may be due to the relative importance of phenotypic plasticity or phenotypic selection. Here, we examine and contrast the environmental drivers of plasticity in breeding phenology of two circumpolar seabirds at their receding summer range limit using unique datasets of marked individuals covering 25 and 30 years. Based on prior knowledge of the local...

Tree identity and diversity directly affect soil moisture and temperature but not soil carbon ten years after planting

Marc-Olivier Martin-Guay, Michaël Belluau, Benoît Côté, Ira Tanya Handa, Mark Jewell, Rim Khlifa, Alison Munson, Maxime Rivest, Joann Whalen & David Rivest
1. Soil C is the largest C pool in forest ecosystems that contributes to C sequestration and mitigates climate change. Tree diversity enhances forest productivity, so diversifying the tree species composition, notably in managed forests, could increase the quantity of organic matter being transferred to soils, and alter other soil properties relevant to the C cycle. 2. A ten-year-old tree diversity experiment was used to study the effects of tree identity and diversity (functional and...

Miniaturization eliminates detectable impacts of drones on bat activity

Kayla Kuhlmann, Amélie Fontaine, Émile Brisson-Curadeau, David Bird & Kyle Elliott
A new way to survey wildlife populations may be possible with advancements in drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that render aerial technology more accessible and promote surveying in inapproachable habitats. However, it remains unclear whether UAV disturbance deters animals, which would make this method inaccurate for data collection and hazardous to wildlife welfare. This study addresses the viability of UAV use for wildlife research by measuring the effects of UAV flight on acoustic bat...

mRNA expression analysis of the hippocampus in a Vervet monkey model of FASD

Roberta Palmour & Rob Gillis
The vervet monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops) has proven to be an invaluable tool for researching voluntary alcohol ingestion and the sequelae that can arise from such behaviour. In this study, a vervet monkey model for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder was generated by providing a cohort of alcohol preferring, pregnant dams the option to ingest alcohol between gestational days 90-165 with a corresponding sucrose matched control group. Subsequently, gene expression analysis of the hippocampus was contrasted at...

Relaxed selection and the evolution of Chasmogamous flower of Impatiens capensis

Daniel Schoen & Yi Zhao
We exploited ecotypic variation in Impatiens capensis to test the hypothesis that mutation accumulation accompanying relaxed selection on the chasmogamous (CH) flower leads to more variable flower shapes and smaller flowers. Sun ecotype populations of this species occur along sunny riverbanks and marshes and produce both CH and cleistogamous (CL) flowers, while shade ecotype populations occur in shady forest floors and produce only CL flowers. In the shade ecotype, it is assumed that selection on...

Data for: The hippocampal representation of context is preserved despite neural drift

Alexandra Keinath
The hippocampus is thought to mediate episodic memory through the instantiation and reinstatement of context-specific cognitive maps. However, recent longitudinal experiments have challenged this view, reporting that most hippocampal cells change their tuning properties over days even in the same environment. Often referred to as neural or representational drift, these dynamics raise questions about the capacity and content of the hippocampal code. One such question is whether and how these long-term dynamics impact the hippocampal...

Variation and correlation in the timing of breeding of North Atlantic seabirds across multiple scales

Katharine Keogan, Francis Daunt, Sarah Wanless, Richard Phillips, David Alvarez, Tycho Anker-Nilssen, Robert Barrett, Claus Bech, Peter Becker, Per-Arvid Berglund, Sandra Bouwhuis, Zofia Burr, Olivier Chastel, Signe Christensen-Dalsgaard, Sébastien Descamps, Tony Diamond, Kyle Elliott, Kjell Einar Erikstad, Mike Harris, Jonas Hentati-Sundberg, Martin Heubeck, Magdalene Langset, Svein Lorentsen, Heather Major, Mark Mallory … & Stephen Kress
Timing of breeding, an important driver of fitness in many populations, is widely studied in the context of global change, yet despite considerable efforts to identify environmental drivers of seabird nesting phenology, for most populations we lack evidence of strong drivers. Here we adopt an alternative approach, examining the degree to which different populations positively covary in their annual phenology to infer whether phenological responses to environmental drivers are likely to be (i) shared across...

Spatial probability maps of the superior parietal sulcus in the human brain

Kristina Drudik, Veronika Zlatkina & Michael Petrides
The superior parietal sulcus (SPS) is the defining sulcus within the superior parietal lobule. The morphological variability of the SPS was examined in individual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the human brain that were registered to the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) standard stereotaxic space. Two primary morphological patterns were consistently identified across hemispheres: 1) the SPS was identified as a single sulcus, separating the anterior from the posterior part of the superior parietal lobule...

Phased, chromosome-scale genome assemblies of tetraploid potato reveals a complex genome, transcriptome, and predicted proteome landscape underpinning genetic diversity

Genevieve Hoopes, Xiaoxi Meng, John P. Hamilton, Sai Reddy Achakkagari, Fernanda De Alves Freitas Guesdes, Marie E. Bolger, Joseph J. Coombs, Danny Esselink, Natalie R. Kaiser, Linda Kodde, Maria Kyriakidou, Brian Lavrijssen, Natascha Van Lieshout, Rachel Shereda, Heather K. Tuttle, Brieanne Vaillancourt, Joshua C. Wood, Jan M. De Boer, Nolan Bornowski, Peter Bourke, David Douches, Herman J. Van Eck, Dave Ellis, Max J. Feldman, Kyle M. Gardner … & Richard Finkers
Hoopes G., Meng X., Hamilton J.P., Achakkagari S.R., de Alves Freitas Guesdes F., Bolger M.E., Coombs J.J., Esselink D., Kaiser N.R., Kodde L., Kyriakidou M., Lavrijssen B., van Lieshout N., Shereda R., Tuttle H.K., Vaillancourt B., Wood J.C., de Boer J.M., Bornowski N., Bourke P., Douches D., van Eck H.J., Ellis D., Feldman M.J., Gardner K.M., Hopman J.C.P., Jiang J., De Jong W.S., Kuhl J.C., Novy R.G., Oome S., Sathuvalli V., Tan E.H., Ursum R.A.,...

Data for Interindividual variation in maximum aerobic metabolism varies with gill morphology and myocardial bioenergetics in Gulf killifish

Bernard Rees, Jessica Reemeyer & Brian Irving
This study asked whether interindividual variation in maximum and standard aerobic metabolic rates of the Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis, correlate with gill morphology and cardiac mitochondrial bioenergetics, traits reflecting critical steps in the O2 transport cascade from the environment to the tissues. Maximum metabolic rate (MMR) was positively related to body mass, total gill filament length, and myocardial oxygen consumption during maximum oxidative phosphorylation (multiple R2 = 0.836). Standard metabolic rate (SMR) was positively related...

Environmental nucleic acids: a field-based comparison for monitoring freshwater habitats using eDNA and eRNA

Joanne Littlefair, Michael Rennie & Melania Cristescu
Nucleic acids released by organisms and isolated from environmental substrates are increasingly being used for molecular biomonitoring. While environmental DNA (eDNA) has received attention recently, the potential of environmental RNA as a biomonitoring tool remains less explored. Several recent studies using paired DNA and RNA metabarcoding of bulk samples suggest that RNA might better reflect “metabolically active” parts of the community. However, such studies mainly capture organismal eDNA and eRNA. For larger eukaryotes, isolation of...

Density dependence of clutch size and offspring sex ratio in starling colonies

Juan Rubalcaba & Vicente Polo
Optimal life-history theory predicts that individuals should adjust both the number and the sex of their offspring to maximize fitness in response to environmental and social factors such as breeding density. While reductions in optimal clutch size are well-studied in birds, the evidence for sex ratio adjustments is still equivocal and, so far, we lack a thorough understanding of how these strategies interact to maximize fitness. Here, we investigate how breeding density simultaneously affects brood...

Telomere length correlates with physiological and behavioural responses of a long-lived seabird to an ecologically-relevant challenge

Z Morgan Benowitz-Fredericks, Lindsay Lacey, Shannon Whelan, Alexis Will, Scott Hatch & Alexander Kitaysky
Determinants of individual variation in reallocation of limited resources towards self-maintenance versus reproduction are not well known. We tested the hypothesis that individual heterogeneity in long-term “somatic state” a) explains variation in endocrine and behavioural responses to environmental challenges, and b) is associated with variation in strategies for allocating to self-maintenance versus reproduction. We used relative telomere length as an indicator of somatic state and experimentally generated an abrupt short-term reduction of food availability (withdrawal...

Registration Year

  • 2022

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • McGill University
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • University of Quebec at Montreal
  • Centre national de la recherche scientifique
  • University of Oviedo
  • TÉLUQ University
  • Acadia University
  • Bucknell University
  • UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology