229 Works

Data from: The relevance of gene flow in metapopulation dynamics of an oceanic island endemic, Olea europaea subsp guanchica

Carlos García-Verdugo, Alan D Forrest, Michael F Fay & Pablo Vargas
Theoretical and empirical studies suggest that geographical isolation and extinction-recolonization dynamics are two factors causing strong genetic structure in metapopulations. Here, we investigated the effect of population age structure and isolation by distance in the patterns of genetic diversity in a tree species (Olea europaea subsp. guanchica) sporadically affected by volcanic events across the Canarian archipelago. Genetic variation was assessed at six nuclear microsatellites (nDNA) and six chloroplast fragments (cpDNA) in nine subpopulations sampled on...

Data from: Phylogenetic ecology of widespread uncultured clades of the Kingdom Euryarchaeota

Albert Barberán, Antoni Fernández-Guerra, Jean-Christophe Auguet, Pierre E Galand & Emilio O Casamayor
Despite its widespread distribution and high levels of phylogenetic diversity, microbes are poorly understood creatures. We applied a phylogenetic ecology approach in the Kingdom Euryarchaeota (Archaea) to gain insight into the environmental distribution and evolutionary history of one of the most ubiquitous and largely unknown microbial groups. We compiled 16S rRNA gene sequences from our own sequence libraries and public genetic databases for two of the most widespread mesophilic Euryarchaeota clades, Lake Dagow Sediment (LDS)...

Data from: Deciphering the adjustment between environment and life history in annuals: lessons from a geographically-explicit approach in Arabidopsis thaliana

Esperanza Manzano-Piedras, Arnald Marcer, Carlos Alonso-Blanco & F. Xavier Picó
The role that different life-history traits may have in the process of adaptation caused by divergent selection can be assessed by using extensive collections of geographically-explicit populations. This is because adaptive phenotypic variation shifts gradually across space as a result of the geographic patterns of variation in environmental selective pressures. Hence, large-scale experiments are needed to identify relevant adaptive life-history traits as well as their relationships with putative selective agents. We conducted a field experiment...

Data from: Seed dispersal anachronisms: rethinking the fruits extinct megafauna ate

Mauro Galetti, , Pedro Jordano & Paulo R. Guimarães
BACKGROUND: Some neotropical, fleshy-fruited plants have fruits structurally similar to paleotropical fruits dispersed by megafauna (mammals >103 kg), yet these dispersers were extinct in South America 10–15 Kyr BP. Anachronic dispersal systems are best explained by interactions with extinct animals and show impaired dispersal resulting in altered seed dispersal dynamics. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We introduce an operational definition of megafaunal fruits and perform a comparative analysis of 103 Neotropical fruit species fitting this dispersal mode. We...

Data from: Medically important differences in snake venom composition are dictated by distinct postgenomic mechanisms

Nicholas R. Casewell, Simon C. Wagstaff, Wolfgang Wüster, Darren A. N. Cook, Fiona M. S. Bolton, Sarah I. King, Davinia Pla, Libia Sanz, Juan J. Calvete & Robert A. Harrison
Variation in venom composition is a ubiquitous phenomenon in snakes and occurs both interspecifically and intraspecifically. Venom variation can have severe outcomes for snakebite victims by rendering the specific antibodies found in antivenoms ineffective against heterologous toxins found in different venoms. The rapid evolutionary expansion of different toxin-encoding gene families in different snake lineages is widely perceived as the main cause of venom variation. However, this view is simplistic and disregards the understudied influence that...

Data from: Detecting slow introgression of invasive alleles in an extensively restocked game bird

Ines Sanchez-Donoso, Jisca Huisman, Jorge Echegaray, Manel Puigcerver, José Domingo Rodríguez-Teijeiro, Frank Hailer & Carles Vilà
Interbreeding of two species in the wild implies introgression of alleles from one species into the other only when admixed individuals survive and successfully backcross with the parental species. Consequently, estimating the proportion of first generation hybrids in a population may not inform about the evolutionary impact of hybridization. Samples obtained over a long time span may offer a more accurate view of the spreading of introgressed alleles in a species’ gene pool. Common quail...

Data from: Matrix composition and patch edges influence plant-herbivore interactions in marine landscapes

Jordi F. Pagès, Alessandro Gera, Javier Romero & Teresa Alcoverro
The functioning of ecosystems can be strongly driven by landscape attributes. Despite its importance, however, our understanding of how landscape influences ecosystem function derives mostly from species richness and abundance patterns, with few studies assessing how these relate to actual functional rates. We examined the influence of landscape attributes on the rates of herbivory in seagrass meadows, where herbivory has been identified as a key process structuring these relatively simple systems. The study was conducted...

Data from: Major histocompatability complex variation in insular populations of the Egyptian vulture: inferences about the roles of genetic drift and selection

Rosa Agudo, Miguel Alcaide, Ciro Rico, Jesus Angel Lemus, Guillermo Blanco, Fernando Hiraldo & Jose Antonio Donázar
Insular populations have attracted the attention of evolutionary biologists because of their morphological and ecological peculiarities with respect to their mainland counterparts. Founder effects and genetic drift are known to distribute neutral genetic variability in these demes. However, elucidating whether these evolutionary forces have also shaped adaptive variation is crucial to evaluate the real impact of reduced genetic variation in small populations. Genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) are classical examples of evolutionarily relevant...

Data from: Polyploidy and microsatellite variation in the relict tree Prunus lusitanica L.: how effective are refugia in preserving genotypic diversity of clonal taxa?

Carlos García-Verdugo, Juan Antonio Calleja, Pablo Vargas, Luis Silva, Orlanda Moreira & Fernando Pulido
Refugia are expected to preserve genetic variation of relict taxa, especially in polyploids, because high gene dosages could prevent genetic erosion in small isolated populations. However, other attributes linked to polyploidy, such as asexual reproduction, may strongly limit the levels of genetic variability in relict populations. Here, ploidy levels and patterns of genetic variation at nuclear microsatellite loci were analysed in Prunus lusitanica, a polyploid species with clonal reproduction that is considered a paradigmatic example...

Data from: Systems biology of tissue-specific response to Anaplasma phagocytophilum reveals differentiated apoptosis in the tick vector Ixodes scapularis

Nieves Ayllón, Margarita Villar, Ruth C. Galindo, Katherine M. Kocan, Radek Sima, Juan A. López, Jesús Vázquez, Pilar Alberdi, Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz, Petr Kopáček & José De La Fuente
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an emerging pathogen that causes human granulocytic anaplasmosis. Infection with this zoonotic pathogen affects cell function in both vertebrate host and the tick vector, Ixodes scapularis. Global tissue-specific response and apoptosis signaling pathways were characterized in I. scapularis nymphs and adult female midguts and salivary glands infected with A. phagocytophilum using a systems biology approach combining transcriptomics and proteomics. Apoptosis was selected for pathway-focused analysis due to its role in bacterial infection...

Data from: Bees explain floral variation in a recent radiation of Linaria

José Luis Blanco-Pastor, Concepción Ornosa, Daniel Romero, Isabel Liberal, José M. Gómez & Pablo Vargas
The role of pollinators in floral divergence has long attracted the attention of evolutionary biologists. Although abundant studies have reported the effect of pollinators on flower shape variation and plant speciation, the influence of pollinators on plant species differentiation during rapid radiations and the specific consequences of shifts among similar pollinators are not well understood. Here, we evaluate the association between pollinators and floral morphology in a closely related and recently diversifying clade of Linaria...

Data from: Bypass of genetic constraints during mutator evolution to antibiotic resistance

Alejandro Couce, Alexandro Rodríguez-Rojas, Jesús Blázquez, A. Rodriguez-Rojas & J. Blazquez
Genetic constraints can block many mutational pathways to optimal genotypes in real fitness landscapes, yet the extent to which this can limit evolution remains to be determined. Interestingly, mutator bacteria elevate only specific types of mutations, and therefore could be very sensitive to genetic constraints. Testing this possibility is not only clinically relevant, but can also inform about the general impact of genetic constraints in adaptation. Here, we evolved 576 populations of two mutator and...

Data from: Tackling intraspecific genetic structure in distribution models better reflects species geographical range

Arnald Marcer, Belén Méndez-Vigo, Carlos Alonso-Blanco & F. Xavier Picó
Genetic diversity provides insight into heterogeneous demographic and adaptive history across organisms’ distribution ranges. For this reason, decomposing single species into genetic units may represent a powerful tool to better understand biogeographical patterns as well as improve predictions of the effects of GCC (global climate change) on biodiversity loss. Using 279 georeferenced Iberian accessions, we used classes of three intraspecific genetic units of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana obtained from the genetic analyses of nuclear...

Data from: Active and reactive behaviour in human mobility: the influence of attraction points on pedestrians

Mario Gutiérrez-Roig, Oleguer Sagarra, Aitana Oltra, John R. B. Palmer, Frederic Bartumeus, Albert Diaz-Guilera & Josep Perelló
Human mobility is becoming an accessible field of study thanks to the progress and availability of tracking technologies as a common feature of smart phones. We describe an example of a scalable experiment exploiting these circumstances at a public, outdoor fair in Barcelona (Spain). Participants were tracked while wandering through an open space with activity stands attracting their attention. We develop a general modeling framework based on Langevin Dynamics, which allows us to test the...

Data from: Additive genetic variance in polyandry enables its evolution, but polyandry is unlikely to evolve through sexy or good sperm processes

Laura M. Travers, Leigh W. Simmons & Francisco Garcia-Gonzalez
Polyandry is widespread despite its costs. The sexually selected sperm hypotheses (‘sexy’ and ‘good’ sperm) posit that sperm competition plays a role in the evolution of polyandry. Two poorly studied assumptions of these hypotheses are the presence of additive genetic variance in polyandry and sperm competitiveness. Using a quantitative genetic breeding design in a natural population of Drosophila melanogaster, we first established the potential for polyandry to respond to selection. We then investigated whether polyandry...

Data from: Light accelerates plant responses to warming

Pieter De Frenne, Francisco Rodríguez-Sánchez, An De Schrijver, David A. Coomes, Martin Hermy, Pieter Vangansbeke & Kris Verheyen
Competition for light has profound effects on plant performance in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. Nowhere is this more evident than in forests, where trees create environmental heterogeneity that shapes the dynamics of forest-floor communities1,​2,​3. Observational evidence suggests that biotic responses to both anthropogenic global warming and nitrogen pollution may be attenuated by the shading effects of trees and shrubs4,​5,​6,​7,​8,​9. Here we show experimentally that tree shade is slowing down changes in below-canopy communities due to...

Data from: Detection of tephra layers in Antarctic sediment cores with hyperspectral imaging

Ismael F. Aymerich, Marc Oliva, Santiago Giralt & Julio Martín-Herrero
Tephrochronology uses recognizable volcanic ash layers (from airborne pyroclastic deposits, or tephras) in geological strata to set unique time references for paleoenvironmental events across wide geographic areas. This involves the detection of tephra layers which sometimes are not evident to the naked eye, including the so-called cryptotephras. Tests that are expensive, time-consuming, and/or destructive are often required. Destructive testing for tephra layers of cores from difficult regions, such as Antarctica, which are useful sources of...

Data from: Unusually limited pollen dispersal and connectivity of Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) refugial populations at the species' southern range margin

Eva Moracho, Gerardo Moreno, Arndt Hampe & Pedro Jordano
Low-latitudinal range margins of temperate and boreal plant species typically consist of scattered populations that persist locally in microrefugia. It remains poorly understood how their refugial habitats affect patterns of gene flow and connectivity, key components for their long-term viability and evolution. We examine landscape-scale patterns of historical and contemporary gene flow in refugial populations of the widespread European forest tree Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) at the species' southwestern range margin. We sampled all adult...

Data from: Candidate gene analysis suggests untapped genetic complexity in melanin-based pigmentation in birds

Yann X. C. Bourgeois, Joris A. M. Bertrand, Boris Delahaie, Josselin Cornuault, Thomas Duval, Borja Milá & Christophe Thébaud
Studies on melanin-based color variation in a context of natural selection have provided a wealth of information on the link between phenotypic and genetic variation. Here, we evaluated associations between melanic plumage patterns and genetic polymorphism in the Réunion grey white-eye (Zosterops borbonicus), a species in which mutations on MC1R do not seem to play any role in explaining melanic variation. This species exhibits five plumage color variants that can be grouped into three color...

Data from: Bet-hedging as a mechanism for the evolution of polyandry, revisited

Yukio Yasui & Francisco Garcia-Gonzalez
Females that mate with multiple males (polyandry) may reduce the risk that their eggs are fertilized by a single unsuitable male. About 25 years ago it was hypothesized that bet-hedging could function as a mechanism favoring the evolution of polyandry, but this idea is controversial because theory indicates that bet-hedging via polyandry can compensate the costs of mating only in small populations. Nevertheless, populations are often spatially structured, and even in the absence of spatial...

Data from: Immanent conditions determine imminent collapses: nutrient regimes define the resilience of macroalgal communities

Jordi Boada, Rohan Arthur, David Alonso, Jordi F. Pagès, Albert Pessarrodona, Silvia Oliva, Giulia Ceccherelli, Luigi Piazzi, Javier Romero & Teresa Alcoverro
Predicting where state-changing thresholds lie can be inherently complex in ecosystems characterized by nonlinear dynamics. Unpacking the mechanisms underlying these transitions can help considerably reduce this unpredictability. We used empirical observations, field and laboratory experiments, and mathematical models to examine how differences in nutrient regimes mediate the capacity of macrophyte communities to sustain sea urchin grazing. In relatively nutrient-rich conditions, macrophyte systems were more resilient to grazing, shifting to barrens beyond 1 800 g m−2...

Data from: Extreme genetic structure in a social bird species despite high dispersal capacity

Francisco Morinha, José A. Dávila, Bastos Estela, João A. Cabral, Óscar Frías, José L. González, Paulo Travassos, Diogo Carvalho, Borja Milá & Guillermo Blanco
Social barriers have been shown to reduce gene flow and contribute to genetic structure among populations in species with high cognitive capacity and complex societies, such as cetaceans, apes and humans. In birds, high dispersal capacity is thought to prevent population divergence unless major geographic or habitat barriers induce isolation patterns by dispersal, colonization or adaptation limitation. We report that Iberian populations of the red-billed chough, a social, gregarious corvid with high dispersal capacity, show...

Data from: Host nest site choice depends on risk of cuckoo parasitism in magpie hosts

Mónica Expósito-Granados, Deseada Parejo, Juan Gabriel Martínez, Marta Precioso, Mercedes Molina-Morales & Jesús M. Avilés
Avian brood parasites impose large fitness costs on their hosts and, thus, brood parasitism has selected for an array of host defensive mechanisms to avoid them. So far most studies have focused on antiparasite defenses operating at the egg and chick stages and neglected defenses that may work prior to parasite egg deposition. Here, we experimentally explore the possibility that hosts, as part of a front-line defense, might minimize parasitism costs through informed nest site...

Data from: A global perspective on the trophic geography of sharks

Christopher Stephen Bird, Ana Veríssimo, Sarah Magozzi, Kátya G. Abrantes, Alex Aguilar, Hassan Al-Reasi, Adam Barnett, Dana M. Bethea, Gérard Biais, Asuncion Borrell, Marc Bouchoucha, Mariah Boyle, Edward J. Brooks, Juerg Brunnschweiler, Paco Bustamante, Aaron Carlisle, Diana Catarino, Stéphane Caut, Yves Cherel, Tiphaine Chouvelon, Diana Churchill, Javier Ciancio, Julien Claes, Ana Colaço, Dean L. Courtney … & Clive N. Trueman
Sharks are a diverse group of mobile predators that forage across varied spatial scales and have the potential to influence food web dynamics. The ecological consequences of recent declines in shark biomass may extend across broader geographic ranges if shark taxa display common behavioural traits. By tracking the original site of photosynthetic fixation of carbon atoms that were ultimately assimilated into muscle tissues of 5,394 sharks from 114 species, we identify globally consistent biogeographic traits...

Data from: Agriculture shapes the trophic niche of a bat preying on multiple pest arthropods across Europe: evidence from DNA metabarcoding

Ostaizka Aizpurua, Ivana Budinski, Panagiotis Georgiakakis, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, Carlos Ibáñez, Vanessa Mata, Hugo Rebelo, Danilo Russo, Farkas Szodoray-Parádi, Violeta Zhelyazkova, Vida Zrncic, M. Thomas P. Gilbert & Antton Alberdi
The interaction between agricultural production and wildlife can shape, and even condition, the functioning of both systems. In this study we i) explored the degree to which a widespread European bat, namely the common bent-wing bat Miniopterus schreibersii, consumes crop-damaging insects at a continental scale, and ii) tested whether its dietary niche is shaped by the extension and type of agricultural fields. We employed a dual-primer DNA metabarcoding approach to characterise arthropod 16S and COI...

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