54 Works

Data from: Divergent transcriptional responses to low temperature among populations of alpine and lowland species of New Zealand stick insects (Micrarchus)

Luke T. Dunning, Alice B. Dennis, Brent J. Sinclair, Richard D. Newcomb & Thomas R. Buckley
In widespread and genetically-structured populations, temperature variation may lead to among-population differentiation of thermal biology. The New Zealand stick insect genus Micrarchus contains four species that inhabit different thermal environments, two of which are geographically widespread. RNA-Seq and quantitative PCR were used to investigate the transcriptional responses to cold-shock among lowland and alpine species to identify cold-responsive transcripts that differ between the species, and to determine if there is intraspecific geographic variation in gene expression....

Data from: Convergence of soil nitrogen isotopes across global climate gradients

Joseph M. Craine, Andrew J. Elmore, Lixin Wang, Laurent Augusto, W. Troy Baisden, E. N. J. Brookshire, Michael D. Cramer, Niles J. Hasselquist, Erik A. Hobbie, Ansgar Kahmen, Keisuke Koba, J. Marty Kranabetter, Michelle C. Mack, Erika Marin-Spiotta, Jordan R. Mayor, Kendra K. McLauchlan, Anders Michelsen, Gabriela B. Nardoto, Rafael S. Oliveira, Steven S. Perakis, Pablo L. Peri, Carlos A. Quesada, Andreas Richter, Louis A. Schipper, Bryan A. Stevenson … & Bernd Zeller
Quantifying global patterns of terrestrial nitrogen (N) cycling is central to predicting future patterns of primary productivity, carbon sequestration, nutrient fluxes to aquatic systems, and climate forcing. With limited direct measures of soil N cycling at the global scale, syntheses of the 15N:14N ratio of soil organic matter across climate gradients provide key insights into understanding global patterns of N cycling. In synthesizing data from over 6000 soil samples, we show strong global relationships among...

Data from: A conifer–angiosperm divergence in the growth vs shade tolerance trade-off underlies the dynamics of a New Zealand warm-temperate rain forest

Christopher H. Lusk, Murray A. Jorgensen & Peter J. Bellingham
1. A central tenet of forest ecology is that succession and regeneration dynamics are driven by an interspecific trade-off between juvenile growth rates in high light and shade tolerance. There is evidence, however, that a single trade-off axis may fail to explain the dynamics of mixed conifer-angiosperm rainforests in the southern hemisphere, especially in New Zealand. 2. We tested for growth vs shade tolerance trade-offs by measuring juvenile growth of five podocarps and five broadleaved...

Data from: Genomic diversity of a nectar yeast clusters into metabolically, but not geographically, distinct lineages

Manpreet K. Dhami, Thomas Hartwig, Andrew D. Letten, Michael Banf & Tadashi Fukami
Both dispersal limitation and environmental sorting can affect genetic variation in populations, but their contribution remains unclear, particularly in microbes. We sought to determine the contribution of geographic distance (as a proxy for dispersal limitation) and phenotypic traits (as a proxy for environmental sorting), including morphology, metabolic ability, and interspecific competitiveness, to the genotypic diversity in a nectar yeast species, Metschnikowia reukaufii. To measure genotypic diversity, we sequenced the genomes of 102 strains of M....

Data from: Zooming in on mechanistic predator-prey ecology: integrating camera traps with experimental methods to reveal the drivers of ecological interactions

Justine Smith, Justin Suraci, Jennifer Hunter, Kaitlyn Gaynor, Carson Keller, Meredith Palmer, Justine Atkins, Irene Castañeda, Michael Cherry, Patrick Garvey, Sarah Huebner, Dana Morin, Lisa Teckentrup, Martijn Weterings & Lydia Beaudrot
1. Camera trap technology has galvanized the study of predator-prey ecology in wild animal communities by expanding the scale and diversity of predator-prey interactions that can be analyzed. While observational data from systematic camera arrays have informed inferences on the spatiotemporal outcomes of predator-prey interactions, the capacity for observational studies to identify mechanistic drivers of species interactions is limited. 2. Experimental study designs that utilize camera traps uniquely allow for testing hypothesized mechanisms that drive...

Data from: Drivers of plant traits that allow survival in wetlands

Yingji Pan, Ellen Cieraad, Bev Clarkson, Tim Colmer, Ole Pedersen, Eric Visser, Laurentius A.C.J. Voesenek & Peter Van Bodegom
Plants have developed a suite of traits to survive the anaerobic and anoxic soil conditions in wetlands. Previous studies on wetland plant adaptive traits have focused mainly on physiological aspects under experimental conditions, or compared the trait expression of the local species pool. Thus, a comprehensive analysis of potential factors driving wetland plant adaptive traits under natural environmental conditions is still missing. In this study, we analysed three important wetland adaptive traits, i.e. root porosity,...

Precision glycerine jelly swab for removing pollen from small and fragile insect specimens

Marion Donald, Nic Bolstridge & Johnathon Ridden
Historical datasets can establish a critical baseline of plant-animal interactions for understanding contemporary interactions in the context of global change. Pollen is often incidentally preserved on animals in natural history collections. Techniques for removing pollen from insects have largely been developed for fresh insect specimens or historical specimens with large amounts of pollen on specialised structures. However, many key pollinating insects do not have these specialised structures and thus, there is a need for a...

Data from: Regime shifts in marine communities: a complex systems perspective on food web dynamics

Johanna Yletyinen, Örjan Bodin, Marie Nordström, Benjamin Weigel, Erik Bonsdorff & Thorsten Blenckner
Species composition and habitats are changing at unprecedented rates in the world’s oceans, potentially causing entire food webs to shift to structurally and functionally different regimes. Despite the severity of these regime shifts, elucidating the precise nature of their underlying processes has remained difficult. We address this challenge with a new analytic approach to detect and assess the relative strength of different driving processes in food webs. Our study draws on complexity theory, and integrates...

Data from: Breaking and remaking a seed and seed predator interaction in the introduced range of Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) in New Zealand

Quentin Paynter, Yvonne M. Buckley, Paul Peterson, Allan Hugh Gourlay & Simon V. Fowler
Introduced plants may initially experience enemy release but some of those interactions may be reinstated through biological control. These cases provide opportunities to explore the dynamics of broken and re-made consumer-resource interactions. The European shrub broom (Cytisus scoparius) was introduced to New Zealand without a specialist seed predator (Bruchidius villosus) until a biological control programme reinstated this interaction in 1988. Broom produces substantially larger seeds throughout its non-native range and there are differences in seedling...

Data from: Interspecies interference and monitoring duration affect detection rates in chew cards

Olivia R. Burge, Dave Kelly & Janet M. Wilmshurst
Pest monitoring methods should provide unbiased accurate estimates of pest densities and locations, while also minimizing time-in-field and costs. Recent pest mammal monitoring studies have found that chew cards are more effective than conventional mammal monitoring methods, but little experimental work has been done to determine optimal experimental duration or quantify the risks of saturation by one species biasing detections of other species. Here, we used chew cards in three sites within Awarua wetland (Southland,...

Data from: A metatranscriptomic analysis of diseased social wasps (Vespula vulgaris) for pathogens, with an experimental infection of larvae and nests

Oliver Quinn, Monica A.M. Gruber, Robert L. Brown, James W. Baty, Mariana Bulgarella, Phil J. Lester, Monica A. M. Gruber & Philip J. Lester
Social wasps are a major pest in many countries around the world. Pathogens may influence wasp populations and could provide an option for population management via biological control. We investigated the pathology of nests of apparently healthy common wasps, Vespula vulgaris, with nests apparently suffering disease. First, next-generation sequencing and metatranscriptomic analysis were used to examine pathogen presence. The transcriptome of healthy and diseased V. vulgaris showed 27 known microbial phylotypes. Four of these were...

Dominant native and non-native graminoids differ in key leaf traits irrespective of nutrient availability

Arthur Broadbent, Jennifer Firn, James McGree, Elizabeth Borer, Yvonne Buckley, W. Stanley Harpole, Kimberly Komatsu, Andrew MacDougall, Kate Orwin, Nicholas Ostle, Eric Seabloom, Jonathan Bakker, Lori Biedermann, Maria Caldeira, Nico Eisenhauer, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Joslin Moore, Carla Nogueira, Pablo Peri, Anita Risch, Christiane Roscher, Martin Schuetz & Carly Stevens
Aim Nutrient enrichment is associated with plant invasions and biodiversity loss. Functional trait advantages may predict the ascendancy of invasive plants following nutrient enrichment but this is rarely tested. Here, we investigate 1) whether dominant native and non-native plants differ in important morphological and physiological leaf traits, 2) how their traits respond to nutrient addition, and 3) whether responses are consistent across functional groups. Location Australia, Europe, North America and South Africa Time period 2007...

The National Soils Data Repository (NSDR)

Age-related reproductive performance of the Adélie Penguin, a long-lived seabird exhibiting similar outcomes regardless of individual life-history strategy

Peter Kappes, Katie Dugger, Amélie Lescroël, David Ainley, Grant Ballard, Kerry Barton, Philip Lyver & Peter Wilson
1. Age-related variation in reproductive performance in long-lived iteroparous vertebrate species is common, with performance being influenced by within-individual processes, such as improvement and senescence, in combination with among-individual processes, such as selective appearance and disappearance. Few studies of age-related reproductive performance have compared the role of these drivers within a metapopulation, subject to varying degrees of resource competition. 2. We accounted for within- and among-individuals changes among known-aged Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) during 17...

Diversity change in forest plots of Blue Mountains, Jamaica

William Godsoe, Peter Bellingham & Elena Moltchanova
Beta diversity describes the differences in species composition among communities. Changes in beta diversity over time are thought to be due to selection based on species’ niche characteristics. For example, theory predicts that selection that favours habitat specialists will increase beta diversity. In practice, ecologists struggle to predict how beta diversity changes. To remedy this problem, we propose a novel solution that formally measures selection’s effects on beta diversity. Using the Price equation, we show...

Data from: Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution

Kieren J. Mitchell, Bastien Llamas, Julien Soubrier, Nicolas J. Rawlence, Trevor H. Worthy, Jamie Wood, Michael S. Y. Lee & Alan Cooper
The evolution of the ratite birds has been widely attributed to vicariant speciation, driven by the Cretaceous breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana. The early isolation of Africa and Madagascar implies that the ostrich and extinct Madagascan elephant birds (Aepyornithidae) should be the oldest ratite lineages. We sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of two elephant birds and performed phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that these birds are the closest relatives of the New Zealand kiwi and are distant...

Data from: Experimental evidence that even minor livestock trampling has severe effects on land snail communities in forest remnants

Lisa H. Denmead, Gary M. Barker, Rachel J. Standish & Raphael K. Didham
1. Land-use intensification is increasing dramatically in production systems world-wide. Livestock production is an important component of production land use, and increases in livestock densities have had a wide range of negative consequences. The off-site effects of livestock grazing and trampling on native vegetation adjacent to pastoral land have received less attention than on-farm effects. Moreover, where significant ecological effects of livestock spillover have been identified, the mechanistic determinants of these effects have not typically...

Data from: An invasive non-native mammal population conserves genetic diversity lost from its native range

Andrew J. Veale, Olivia J. Holland, Robbie A. McDonald, Mick N. Clout, Dianne Gleeson & D.M. Gleeson
Invasive, non-native species are one of the major causes of global biodiversity loss. Although they are, by definition, successful in their non-native range, their populations generally show major reductions in their genetic diversity during the demographic bottleneck they experience during colonization. By investigating the mitochondrial genetic diversity of an invasive non-native species, the stoat Mustela erminea, in New Zealand and comparing it to diversity in the species’ native range in Great Britain, we reveal the...

Data from: Defining functional biomes and monitoring their change globally

Steven I. Higgins, Robert Buitenwerf, Glenn Moncrieff & Glenn R. Moncrieff
Biomes are important constructs for organizing understanding of how the worlds’ major terrestrial ecosystems differ from one another and for monitoring change in these ecosystems. Yet existing biome schemes have been criticized for being overly subjective and for explicitly or implicitly invoking climate. We propose a new biome map and classification scheme that uses information on (i) an index of vegetation productivity, (ii) whether the minimum of vegetation activity is in the driest or coldest...

Data from: Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution

Bernhard Misof, Shanlin Liu, Karen Meusemann, Ralph S. Peters, Alexander Donath, Christoph Mayer, Paul B. Frandsen, Jessica Ware, Tomas Flouri, Rolf G. Beutel, Oliver Niehuis, Malte Petersen, Fernando Izquierdo-Carrasco, Torsten Wappler, Jes Rust, Andre J. Aberer, Ulrike Aspöck, Horst Aspöck, Daniela Bartel, Alexander Blanke, Simon Berger, Alexander Böhm, Thomas Buckley, Brett Calcott, Junqing Chen … & Xin Zhou
Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight...

Data from: Cooperation-mediated plasticity in dispersal and colonization

Staffan Jacob, Priscilla Wehi, Jean Clobert, Delphine Legrand, Nicolas Schtickzelle, Michele Huet & Alexis Chaine
Kin selection theory predicts that costly cooperative behaviors evolve most readily when directed toward kin. Dispersal plays a controversial role in the evolution of cooperation: dispersal decreases local population relatedness and thus opposes the evolution of cooperation, but limited dispersal increases kin competition and can negate the benefits of cooperation. Theoretical work has suggested that plasticity of dispersal, where individuals can adjust their dispersal decisions according to the social context, might help resolve this paradox...

Data from: Priority effects are interactively regulated by top-down and bottom-up forces: evidence from wood decomposer communities

Devin R. Leopold, J. Paula Wilkie, Ian A. Dickie, Robert B. Allen, Peter K. Buchanan & Tadashi Fukami
Both top-down (grazing) and bottom-up (resource availability) forces can determine the strength of priority effects, or the effects of species arrival history on the structure and function of ecological communities, but their combined influences remain unresolved. To test for such influences, we assembled experimental communities of wood-decomposing fungi using a factorial manipulation of fungivore (Folsomia candida) presence, nitrogen availability, and fungal assembly history. We found interactive effects of all three factors on fungal species composition...

Data from: Megaphylogeny resolves global patterns of mushroom evolution

Torda Varga, Krisztina Krizsán, Csenge Földi, Bálint Dima, Marisol Sánchez-García, Santiago Sánchez-Ramírez, Gergely J. Szöllősi, János G. Szarkándi, Viktor Papp, László Albert, William Andreopoulos, Claudio Angelini, Vladimír Antonín, Kerrie W. Barry, Neale L. Bougher, Peter Buchanan, Bart Buyck, Viktória Bense, Pam Catcheside, Mansi Chovatia, Jerry Cooper, Wolfgang Dämon, Dennis Desjardin, Péter Finy, József Geml … & László G. Nagy
Mushroom-forming fungi (Agaricomycetes) have the greatest morphological diversity and complexity of any group of fungi. They have radiated into most niches and fulfill diverse roles in the ecosystem, including wood decomposers, pathogens or mycorrhizal mutualists. Despite the importance of mushroom-forming fungi, large-scale patterns of their evolutionary history are poorly known, in part due to the lack of a comprehensive and dated molecular phylogeny. Here, using multigene and genome-based data, we assemble a 5,284-species phylogenetic tree...

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Multiple lineages of hyper-diverse Zopheridae beetles survived the New Zealand Oligocene Drowning

Thomas Buckley, Nathan Lord, Ana Ramon-Laca, Julia Allwood & Richard Leschen
Aim: During the late Oligocene (23 mya) the New Zealand landmass was reduced to approximately 18% of its current area. It has been hypothesized that this event, known as the Oligocene Drowning, caused population bottlenecking and mass extinction. Using phylogenetic methods, we examine the effect of this and other environmental events on the hyper-diverse Zopheridae beetles (162 morpho-species), which largely inhabit leaf litter and dead wood. Location: New Zealand Taxon: Zopheridae, Coleoptera Methods: Here we...

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