21 Works

Organic farming benefits birds most in regions with more intensive agriculture

David Anthony Kirk, Amanda Martin & Kathryn Freemark Lindsay
1. Organic farming is considered beneficial for biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes but the role of agricultural land use intensity (‘agricultural intensity’), particularly at regional scales, has often been neglected. 2. We used breeding season bird abundance estimates from paired organic-conventional fields in Saskatchewan (31 pairs), Ontario (36), and Québec (15), Canada to test two alternative predictions: That the positive effect of organic farming on bird abundance was; a) smaller when controlling for overall effects...

Data from: Is repeatability of metabolic rate influenced by social separation? a test with a teleost fish

Huang Yan, Shijian Fu, Steven Cooke & Jigang Xia
Metabolic rates are typically thought to have important influences on fitness and more broadly be relevant to the ecology and evolution of animals. Previous studies demonstrate that metabolic rates are repeatable to a certain extent under constant conditions, but how social conditions influence the repeatability of metabolic rate remains largely unknown. In this study we investigated the repeatability of resting metabolic rate (RMR) in the highly-social crucian carp (Carassius auratus) after being socially separated for...

Data from: Delusions of grandeur: seed count is not a good fitness proxy under individual variation in phenology

Lina Wen & Andrew Simons
The concept of fitness is central to evolutionary biology, yet it is difficult to define and to measure. In plant biology, fitness is often measured as seed count. However, under an array of circumstances, seed count may be a biased proxy of fitness; for example, when individuals vary in allocation to sexual vs. asexual reproduction. A more subtle example, but also likely to be important in natural populations, is when interindividual variation in conditions during...

The influence of a priori grouping on inference of genetic clusters: simulation study and literature review of the DAPC method

Joshua Miller, Catherine Cullingham & Rhiannon Peery
Inference of genetic clusters is a key aim of population genetics, sparking development of numerous analytical methods. Within these, there is a conceptual divide between finding de novo structure versus assessment of a priori groups. Recently developed, Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components (DAPC), combines discriminant analysis (DA) with principal component (PC) analysis. When applying DAPC, the groups used in the DA (specified a priori or described de novo) need to be carefully assessed. While DAPC...

Data from: Latitudinal variation in norms of reaction of phenology in the greater duckweed Spirodela polyrhiza

Harry Hitsman & Andrew Simons
Variable environments may result in the evolution of adaptive phenotypic plasticity when cues reliably indicate an appropriate phenotype-environment match. Although adaptive plasticity is well established for phenological traits expressed across environments, local differentiation in norms of reaction is less well studied. The switch from the production of regular fronds to overwintering “turions” in the greater duckweed Spirodela polyrhiza is vital to fitness and is expressed as a norm of reaction induced by falling temperatures associated...

Environmental drivers of Sphagnum growth in peatlands across the Holarctic region

Fia Bengtsson, Håkan Rydin, Jennifer Baltzer, Luca Bragazza, Zhao-Jun Bu, Simon Caporn, Ellen Dorrepaal, Kjell Ivar Flatberg, Olga Galanina, Mariusz Gałka, Anna Ganeva, Irina Goia, Nadezhda Goncharova, Michal Hajek, Akira Haraguchi, Lorna Harris, Elyn Humphreys, Martin Jiroušek, Katarzyna Kajukało, Edgar Karofeld, Natalia Koronatova, Natalia Kosykh, Anna Laine, Mariusz Lamentowicz, Elena Lapshina … & Richard J. Payne
The relative importance of global versus local environmental factors for growth and thus carbon uptake of the bryophyte genus Sphagnum – the main peat-former and ecosystem engineer in northern peatlands – remains unclear. 2) We measured length growth and net primary production (NPP) of two abundant Sphagnum species across 99 Holarctic peatlands. We tested the importance of previously proposed abiotic and biotic drivers for peatland carbon uptake (climate, N deposition, water table depth, and vascular...

Trophic structure and mercury transfer in the subarctic fish community of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada

John Chételat, Jillian Rohonczy, Peter A. Cott, Amanda Benwell, Mark R. Forbes, Stacey A. Robinson, Maikel R. Rosabal & Marc Amyot
In recent decades, mercury concentrations have increased in fish of Great Slave Lake (GSL), a subarctic great lake in northern Canada with important recreational, subsistence, and commercial fisheries. This study characterized habitat use and trophic position of common fish species in GSL near the City of Yellowknife (Northwest Territories, Canada), measured mercury concentrations in water and in taxa from lower trophic levels of the food web, and examined trophic and biological influences on mercury concentrations...

Canada's first known dinosaurs: Palaeontology and collecting history of upper Cretaceous vertebrates in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, 1874-1889

Brigid Christison, Darren Tanke & Jordan Mallon
The early collecting history of dinosaurs and other fossil vertebrates in Western Canada during the 1870s and 1880s is poorly documented. Initial finds were made by the British North American Boundary Commission and the Geological Survey of Canada in modern Saskatchewan and Alberta but, beyond a few well-publicized examples, little is known about precisely what was found and where. Much of the collected material is now housed in the collections of the Canadian Museum of...

Data from: Do traits of plant species predict the efficacy of species distribution models for finding new occurrences?

J. L. McCune, Hanna Rosner-Katz, Joseph Bennett, Richard Schuster & Heather Kharouba
Species distribution models (SDMs) are used to test ecological theory and to direct targeted surveys for species of conservation concern. Several studies have tested for an influence of species traits on the predictive accuracy of SDMs. However, most used the same set of environmental predictors for all species and/or did not use truly independent data to test SDM accuracy. We built eight SDMs for each of 24 plant species of conservation concern, varying the environmental...

Configurational crop heterogeneity increases within-field plant diversity

Audrey Alignier, Xavier Solé-Senan, Irene Robleño, Barbara Baraibar, Fahrig Lenore, David Giralt, Nicolas Gross, Jean-Louis Martin, Jordi Recasens, Clelia Sirami, Gavin Siriwardena, Aliette Bosem Baillod, Colette Bertrand, Romain Carrie, Annika Hass, Laura Henckel, Paul Miguet, Isabelle Badenhausser, Jacques Baudry, Gerard Bota, Vincent Bretagnolle, Lluis Brotons, Francoise Burel, François Calatayud, Yann Clough … & Péter Batáry
1. Increasing landscape heterogeneity by restoring semi-natural elements to reverse farmland biodiversity declines is not always economically feasible or acceptable to farmers due to competition for land. We hypothesized that increasing the heterogeneity of the crop mosaic itself, hereafter referred to as crop heterogeneity, can have beneficial effects on within-field plant diversity. 2. Using a unique multi-country dataset from a cross-continent collaborative project covering 1451 agricultural fields within 432 landscapes in Europe and Canada, we...

Data for: Birth order as a source of within-genotype diversification in the clonal duckweed, Spirodela polyrhiza (Araceae: Lemnoideae)

Riley Morris, Andrew Simons & Mary Compton
Organismal persistence attests to adaptive response to environmental variation. Diversification bet hedging, in which risk is reduced at the cost of expected fitness, is increasingly recognized as an adaptive response, yet mechanisms by which a single genotype generates diversification remain obscure. The clonal greater duckweed, Spirodela polyrhiza (L.), facultatively expresses a seed-like but vegetative form, the “turion”, that allows survival through otherwise lethal conditions. Turion reactivation phenology is a key fitness component, yet little is...

Joint Mitnor Cave T-LiDAR Scan data

Donald McFarlane, Guy Van Rentergem & Joyce Lundberg
Here we present the first detailed, modern survey of Joint Mitnor Cave, Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK. The cave is an extremely important Last Interglacial palaeontological site because it is the type site for the hippopotamus-dominated British Pleistocene mammal assemblage of that period, “The Joint Mitnor Cave Mammal Assemblage Zone”; and because it is the least damaged Last Interglacial cave bone bed still remaining in Britain. The survey, meticulously drawn from terrestrial LIDAR scans, offers a precise...

Genotype-environment interaction and the maintenance of genetic variation: an empirical study of Lobelia inflata (Campanulaceae)

Kristen Côté & Andrew Simons
Genetic variation in natural populations often occurs at levels suggesting the action of processes such as frequency-dependent selection, heterozygote advantage, and variable selection. However, the maintenance of genetic variation in fitness-related traits remains incompletely explained. Obligately self-fertilizing populations of Lobelia inflata(Campanulaceae L.) are characterized by high levels of genetic variation, strongly implying balancing selection. L. inflataoffers an exceptional opportunity for an empirical test of genotype-environment interaction (GxE) as a variance-maintaining mechanism under fluctuating selection: L....

Support for the habitat amount hypothesis from a global synthesis of species density studies

James Watling, Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Marion Pfeifer, Lander Baeten, Cristina Banks-Leite, Laura Cisneros, Rebecca Fang, Caroli Hamel-Leigue, Thibault Lachat, Inara Leal, Luc Lens, Hugh Possingham, Dinarzarde Raheem, Danilo Ribeiro, Eleanor Slade, Nicolas Urbina-Cardona, Eric Wood & Lenore Fahrig
Decades of research suggest that species richness depends on spatial characteristics of habitat patches, especially their size and isolation. In contrast, the habitat amount hypothesis predicts that: 1) species richness in plots of fixed size (species density) is more strongly and positively related to the amount of habitat around the plot than to patch size or isolation; 2) habitat amount better predicts species density than patch size and isolation combined, 3) there is no effect...

Data from: Paleolimnological assessment of wildfire-derived atmospheric deposition of trace metal(loid)s and major ions to subarctic lakes (Northwest Territories, Canada)

John Chételat, Nicolas Pelletier, Olivier Blarquez & Jesse Vermaire
Wildfires release terrestrial elements to the atmosphere as aerosols, and these events are becoming more frequent and intense in the Arctic boreal forest as the climate is warming. We quantified the impact of atmospheric deposition of aerosols from local wildfires on metal(loid) fluxes using macroscopic charcoal accumulation rates, historical fire mapping, and element concentrations in 210Pb‐dated lake sediment from five subarctic lakes with small catchments. Lake sediments showed small but significant increases in fluxes (median...

Data from: Host sex and age typically explain variation in parasitism of Rock Ptarmigan: implications for identifying determinants of exposure and susceptibility

Ólafur Nielsen, André Morrill, Karl Skírnisson, Ute Stenkewitz, Guðný Pálsdóttir & Mark Forbes
Measures of parasitism often differ between hosts. This variation is thought due in part to age or sex differences in exposure to parasites and/or susceptibility to parasitism. We assessed how often age or sex biases in parasitism were found using a large, multi-year (2006 – 2017) dataset of 12 parasite species of Icelandic Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta). We found host traits (i.e. age and/or sex) accounted for significant variation in abundance of 11 of the...

Data from: State-dependent decision-making by predators and its consequences for mimicry

Thomas G. Aubier & Thomas N. Sherratt
The mimicry of one species by another provides one of the most celebrated examples of evolution by natural selection. Edible Batesian mimics deceive predators into believing they may be defended, whereas defended Müllerian mimics have evolved a shared warning signal, more rapidly educating predators to avoid them. However, it may benefit hungry predators to attack defended prey, while the benefits of learning about unfamiliar prey depends on the future value of this information. Previous energetic...

Data from: Going the distance: Influence of distance between boat noise and nest site on the behavior of paternal smallmouth bass

Katharine MacLean, Tanya Prystay, Michael Lawrence, Aarron Zolderdo, Lee Gutowsky, Erica Staaterman, Austin Gallagher & Steven Cooke
The effects of anthropogenic noise have garnered significant attention in marine ecosystems, but comparatively less is known about its impacts on freshwater ecosystems. For fish that provide parental care, the effects of acoustic disturbance could have fitness-level consequences if nest tending behavior is altered. This study explored the effects of motorboat noise on the parental behavior of nesting male smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu; Lacépède, 1802), an important freshwater game fish in North America that provides...

Threats from the air: damselfly predation on diverse prey taxa

Eero J. Vesterinen, Kari Kaunisto, , Mark Forbes, Andre Morrill, Anna Puisto, Ilari Sääksjärvi & Thomas Lilley
1. To understand the diversity and strength of predation in natural communities, researchers must quantify the total amount of prey species in the diet of predators. Metabarcoding approaches have allowed widespread characterization of predator diets with high taxonomic resolution. To determine the wider impacts of predators, researchers should combine DNA techniques with estimates of population size of predators using mark-release-recapture (MRR) methods, and with accurate metrics of food consumption by individuals. 2. Herein, we estimate...

Data from: Prey with hidden colour defences benefit from their similarity to aposematic signals

Yongsu Kim, Yerin Hwang, Sangryong Bae, Thomas N. Sherratt, Jeongseop An, Sei-Woong Choi, Jeffrey C. Miller & Changku Kang
Some camouflaged animals hide colour signals and display them only transiently. These hidden colour signals are often conspicuous and are used as a secondary defence to warn or startle predators (deimatic displays) and/or to confuse them (flash displays). The hidden signals used in these displays frequently resemble typical aposematic signals, so it is possible that prey with hidden signals have evolved to employ colour patterns of a form that predators have previously learned to associate...

The preservation potential of terrestrial biogeographic patterns

Simon Darroch, Danielle Fraser & Michelle Casey
Extinction events in the geological past are similar to the present-day biodiversity crisis in that they have a pronounced biogeography, producing dramatic changes in the spatial distributions of species. Reconstructing paleobiogeographic patterns from fossils therefore allows us to examine the long-term processes governing the formation of regional biotas, and potentially helps build spatially-explicit models for future biodiversity loss in a potential ‘6th mass extinction’ event. However, the extent to which biogeographic patterns can be preserved...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Carleton University
  • University of Montreal
  • John Carroll University
  • University of Quebec at Montreal
  • Ecosystèmes, Biodiversité, Evolution
  • Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive
  • National Institute of Ecology
  • Icelandic Institute of Natural History
  • Ghent University
  • University of Eastern Finland