204 Works

Data from: Separated by sand, fused by dropping water: habitat barriers and fluctuating water levels steer the evolution of rock-dwelling cichlid populations in Lake Tanganyika

Stephan Koblmüller, Walter Salzburger, Beate Obermüller, Eva Eigner, Christian Sturmbauer & Kristina M Sefc
The conditions of phenotypic and genetic population differentiation allow inferences about the evolution, preservation and loss of biological diversity. In Lake Tanganyika, water level fluctuations are assumed to have had a major impact on the evolution of stenotopic littoral species, though this hypothesis has not been specifically examined so far. The present study investigates whether subtly differentiated color patterns of adjacent Tropheus moorii populations are maintained in isolation or in the face of continuous gene...

Data from: Cross-species infection trials reveal cryptic parasite varieties and a putative polymorphism shared among host species.

Pepijn Luijckx, David Duneau, Jason P. Andras & Dieter Ebert
A parasite's host range can have important consequences for ecological and evolutionary processes but can be difficult to infer. Successful infection depends on the outcome of multiple steps and only some steps of the infection process may be critical in determining a parasites host range. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the host range of the bacterium Pasteuria ramosa, a Daphnia parasite, and determined the parasites success in different stages of the infection process. Multiple...

Data from: A gene with major phenotypic effects as a target for selection versus homogenizing gene flow

Joost A. M. Raeymaekers, Nellie Konijnendijk, Maarten H. D. Larmuseau, Bart Hellemans, Luc De Meester & Filip A. M. Volckaert
Genes with major phenotypic effects facilitate quantifying the contribution of genetic vs. plastic effects to adaptive divergence. A classical example is Ectodysplasin (Eda), the major gene controlling lateral plate phenotype in three-spined stickleback. Completely plated marine stickleback populations evolved repeatedly towards low-plated freshwater populations, representing a prime example of parallel evolution by natural selection. However, many populations remain polymorphic for lateral plate number. Possible explanations for this polymorphism include relaxation of selection, disruptive selection, or...

Data from: Hosts are ahead in a marine host-parasite coevolutionary arms race: innate immune system adaptation in pipefish Syngnathus typhle against Vibrio phylotypes

Olivia Roth, Isabel Keller, Susanne H. Landis, Walter Salzburger & Thorsten B. H. Reusch
Microparasites have a higher evolutionary potential than their hosts due to an increased mutation rate and a shorter generation time which usually results in parasites being locally adapted to their sympatric hosts. This pattern may not apply to generalist pathogens as adaptation to sympatric host genotypes is disadvantageous due to a narrowing of the host range, in particular under strong gene flow among host populations. Under this scenario, we predict that the immune defence of...

Data from: The ecological and genetic basis of convergent thick-lipped phenotypes in cichlid fishes

Marco Colombo, Eveline T. Diepeveen, Moritz Muschick, M. Emilia Santos, Adrian Indermaur, Nicolas Boileau, Marta Barluenga & Walter Salzburger
The evolution of convergent phenotypes is one of the most interesting outcomes of replicate adaptive radiations. Remarkable cases of convergence involve the thick-lipped phenotype found across cichlid species flocks in the East African Great Lakes. Unlike most other convergent forms in cichlids, which are restricted to East Africa, the thick-lipped phenotype also occurs elsewhere, e.g. in the Central American Midas Cichlid assemblage. Here we use an ecological genomic approach to study the function, the evolution...

Data from: How mechanisms of habitat preference evolve and promote divergence with gene flow

Daniel Berner & Xavier Thibert-Plante
Habitat preference may promote adaptive divergence and speciation, yet the conditions under which this is likely are insufficiently explored. We use individual-based simulations to study the evolution and consequence of habitat preference during divergence with gene flow, considering four different underlying genetically-based behavioral mechanisms: natal habitat imprinting, phenotype-dependent, competition-dependent, and direct genetic habitat preference. We find that the evolution of habitat preference generally requires initially high dispersal, is facilitated by asymmetry in population sizes between...

Data from: Hypodermic self-insemination as a reproductive assurance strategy

Steven A. Ramm, Aline Schlatter, Maude Poirier & Lukas Schärer
Self-fertilization occurs in a broad range of hermaphroditic plants and animals, and is often thought to evolve as a reproductive assurance strategy under ecological conditions that disfavour or prevent outcrossing. Nevertheless, selfing ability is far from ubiquitous among hermaphrodites, and may be constrained in taxa where the male and female gametes of the same individual cannot easily meet. Here, we report an extraordinary selfing mechanism in one such species, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum hystrix. To...

Data from: Shrub expansion of Alnus viridis drives former montane grassland into nitrogen saturation

Tobias Bühlmann, Christian Körner & Erika Hiltbrunner
The N2-fixing shrub Alnus viridis is currently encroaching on montane grasslands in the Alps as a result of reduced land management and complete abandonment. Alnus introduces large amounts of nitrogen (N) into these formerly N-poor grasslands and restricts the succession to montane forests. We studied pools and fluxes of N and the associated C pools in pastures (controls) and adjacent Alnus shrublands at two elevations (1650 versus 1950 m a.s.l.) in three valleys in the...

Data from: Does multiple paternity influence offspring disease-resistance?

Kerstin E. Thonhauser, Shirley Raveh, Michaela Thoß & Dustin J. Penn
It has been suggested that polyandry allows females to increase offspring genetic diversity and reduce the prevalence and susceptibility of their offspring to infectious diseases. We tested this hypothesis in wild-derived house mice (Mus musculus) by experimentally infecting the offspring from 15 single- and 15 multiple-sired litters with two different strains of a mouse pathogen (Salmonella Typhimurium) and compared their ability to control infection. We found a high variation in individual infection resistance (measured with...

Data from: Reduced flight-to-light behaviour of moth populations exposed to long-term urban light pollution

Florian Altermatt & Dieter Ebert
The globally increasing light pollution is a well-recognized threat to ecosystems, with negative effects on human, animal and plant wellbeing. The most well-known and widely documented consequence of light pollution is the generally fatal attraction of nocturnal insects to artificial light sources. However, the evolutionary consequences are unknown. Here we report that moth populations from urban areas with high, globally relevant levels of light pollution over several decades show a significantly reduced flight-to-light behaviour compared...

Data from: The snow and the willows: earlier spring snowmelt reduces performance in the low-lying alpine shrub Salix herbacea

Julia A. Wheeler, Andres J. Cortés, Janosch Sedlacek, Sophie Karrenberg, Mark Van Kleunen, Sonja Wipf, Guenter Hoch, Oliver Bossdorf & Christian Rixen
Current changes in shrub abundance in alpine and arctic tundra ecosystems are primarily driven by climate change. However, while taller shrub communities are expanding, dwarf shrub communities show reductions under climate warming, and the mechanisms driving the latter (such as warming temperatures or accelerated spring snowmelt) may be complex. To determine and disentangle the response of a widespread arctic-alpine prostrate dwarf shrub to both climate warming and changes in snowmelt time, we investigated phenology, clonal...

Data from: Nitrogen deposition and multi-dimensional plant diversity at the landscape scale

Tobias Roth, Lukas Kohli, Beat Rihm, Valentin Amrhein & Beat Achermann
Estimating effects of nitrogen (N) deposition is essential for understanding human impacts on biodiversity. However, studies relating atmospheric N deposition to plant diversity are usually restricted to small plots of high conservation value. Here, we used data on 381 randomly selected 1 km2 plots covering most habitat types of Central Europe and an elevational range of 2900 m. We found that high atmospheric N deposition was associated with low values of six measures of plant...

Data from: Inbreeding within human Schistosoma mansoni: do host- specific factors shape the genetic composition of parasite populations?

Frederik Van Den Broeck, Lynn Meurs, Joost A. M. Raeymaekers, Nele Boon, Tandakha N. Dieye, Filip A. M. Volckaert, Katja Polman & Tine Huyse
The size, structure and distribution of host populations are key determinants of the genetic composition of parasite populations. Despite the evolutionary and epidemiological merits, there has been little consideration of how host heterogeneities affect the evolutionary trajectories of parasite populations. We assessed the genetic composition of natural populations of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni in northern Senegal. A total of 1346 parasites were collected from 14 snail and 57 human hosts within three villages and individually...

Data from: Effects of food restriction across stages of juvenile and early adult development on body weight, survival, and adult life history

Janine W. Y. Wong & Mathias Kölliker
Organisms have to allocate limited resources among multiple life-history traits, which can result in physiological trade-offs, and variation in environmental conditions experienced during ontogeny can influence reproduction later in life. Food restriction may lead to an adaptive reallocation of the limited resources among traits as a phenotypically plastic adjustment, or it can act as an overall constraint with detrimental effects throughout reproductive life. In this study, we investigated experimentally the effects of food restriction during...

Data from: Occurrence, costs and heritability of delayed selfing in a free-living flatworm

Steven A. Ramm, Dita B. Vizoso & Lukas Schärer
Evolutionary theory predicts that in the absence of outcrossing opportunities, simultaneously hermaphroditic organisms should eventually switch to self-fertilization as a form of reproductive assurance. Here we report the existence of facultative self-fertilization in the free-living flatworm Macrostomum hystrix, a species in which outcrossing occurs via hypodermic insemination of sperm into the parenchyma of the mating partner. First, we show that isolated individuals significantly delay the onset of reproduction compared to individuals with outcrossing opportunities (“delayed...

Data from: Fitness differences between parapatric lake and stream stickleback revealed by a field transplant

Dario Moser, Anja Frey & Daniel Berner
Molecular comparisons of populations diverging into ecologically different environments often reveal strong differentiation in localized genomic regions, with the remainder of the genome being weakly differentiated. This pattern of heterogeneous genomic divergence, however, is rarely connected to direct measurements of fitness differences among populations. We here do so by performing a field enclosure experiment in threespine stickleback fish residing in a lake and in three replicate adjoining streams, and displaying weak yet heterogeneous genomic divergence...

Data from: Variation of anal fin egg-spots along an environmental gradient in a haplochromine cichlid fish

Anya Theis, Olivia Roth, Fabio Cortesi, Fabrizia Ronco, Walter Salzburger & Bernd Egger
Male secondary sexual traits are targets of inter- and/or intrasexual selection, but can vary due to a correlation with life-history traits or as by-product of adaptation to distinct environments. Trade-offs contributing to this variation may comprise conspicuousness toward conspecifics versus inconspicuousness toward predators, or between allocating resources into coloration versus the immune system. Here, we examine variation in expression of a carotenoid-based visual signal, anal-fin egg-spots, along a replicate environmental gradient in the haplochromine cichlid...

Data from: How do cold-adapted plants respond to climatic cycles? interglacial expansion explains current distribution and genomic diversity in Primula farinosa L.

Spyros Theodoridis, Christophe Randin, Peter Szövényi, Florian C. Boucher, Theofania S. Patsiou & Elena Conti
Understanding the effects of past climatic fluctuations on the distribution and population-size dynamics of cold-adapted species is essential for predicting their responses to ongoing global climate change. In spite of the heterogeneity of cold-adapted species, two main contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain their responses to Late Quaternary glacial cycles, namely, the interglacial contraction versus the interglacial expansion hypotheses. Here, we use the cold-adapted plant Primula farinosa to test two demographic models under each...

Data from: The complex relationship of exposure to new Plasmodium infections and incidence of clinical malaria in Papua New Guinea

Natalie E. Hofmann, Stephan Karl, Rahel Wampfler, Benson Kiniboro, Albina Teliki, Jonah Iga, Andreea Waltmann, Inoni Betuela, Ingrid Felger, Leanne J. Robinson & Ivo Mueller
The molecular force of blood-stage infection (molFOB) is a quantitative surrogate metric for malaria transmission at population level and for exposure at individual level. Relationships between molFOB, parasite prevalence and clinical incidence were assessed in a treatment-to-reinfection cohort, where P.vivax (Pv) hypnozoites were eliminated in half the children by primaquine (PQ). Discounting relapses, children acquired equal numbers of new P. falciparum (Pf) and Pv blood-stage infections/year (Pf-molFOB=0-18, Pv-molFOB=0-23) resulting in comparable spatial and temporal patterns...

Data from: A dynamical model for invasive round goby populations reveals efficient and effective management options

Anouk N'Guyen, Philipp E. Hirsch, Claudio Bozzuto, Irene Adrian-Kalchhauser, Kristína Hôrková & Patricia Burkhardt-Holm
1. When prevention of invasive species’ introductions fails, society faces the challenge to manage these invasive species in an effective and efficient way. The success of this depends on biological aspects and on cooperation between decision makers and scientists. Using the case of the round goby Neogobius melanostomus, one of Europe’s worst invasive species, we propose an approach guiding scientists to co-produce effective and efficient population control measures in collaboration with decision makers. 2. We...

Data from: Positive selection on sperm ion channels in a brooding brittle star: consequence of life-history traits evolution

Alexandra A. T. Weber, Laurent Abi-Rached, Nicolas Galtier, Aurélien Bernard, Juan I. Montoya-Burgos, Anne Chenuil & A. A.-T. Weber
Closely related species are key models to investigate mechanisms leading to reproductive isolation and early stages of diversification, also at the genomic level. The brittle star cryptic species complex Ophioderma longicauda encompasses the sympatric broadcast spawning species C3 and the internal brooding species C5. Here we used de novo transcriptome sequencing and assembly in two closely related species displaying contrasting reproductive modes to compare their genetic diversity and to investigate the role of natural selection...

Data from: Parasitism drives host genome evolution: insights from the Pasteuria ramosa - Daphnia magna system

Yann Bourgeois, Anne C. Roulin, Kristina Muller & Dieter Ebert
Because parasitism is thought to play a major role in shaping host genomes, it has been predicted that genomic regions associated with resistance to parasites should stand out in genome scans, revealing signals of selection above the genomic background. To test whether parasitism is indeed such a major factor in host evolution and to better understand host-parasite interaction at the molecular level, we studied genome-wide polymorphisms in 97 genotypes of the planktonic crustacean Daphnia magna...

Data from: Bigger testes increase paternity in a simultaneous hermaphrodite, independently of the sperm competition level

Nikolas Vellnow, Lucas Marie-Orleach, Kira S. Zadesenets & Lukas Schärer
Hermaphroditic animals face the fundamental evolutionary optimization problem of allocating their resources to their male versus female reproductive function (e.g., testes and sperm versus ovaries and eggs) and this optimal sex allocation can be affected by both pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection. For example, local sperm competition (LSC)—the competition between related sperm for the fertilization of a partner’s ova—occurs in small mating groups and can favor a female-biased sex allocation, because, under LSC, investment into...

Data from: Serum neurofilament light: a biomarker of neuroaxonal injury after ischemic stroke

Steffen Tiedt, Marco Duering, Christian Barro, Asli Gizem Kaya, Julia Boeck, Felix J. Bode, Matthias Klein, Franziska Dorn, Benno Gesierich, Lars Kellert, Birgit Ertl-Wagner, Michael W. Goertler, Gabor C. Petzold, Jens Kuhle, Frank Arne Wollenweber, Nils Peters & Martin Dichgans
Objective: To explore the utility of serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) as a biomarker for primary and secondary neuroaxonal injury after ischemic stroke (IS) and study its value for the prediction of clinical outcome. Methods: We used an ultrasensitive single-molecule array (Simoa) assay to measure sNfL levels in healthy controls (HC, N=30) and two independent cohorts of patients with IS: (1) with serial serum sampling at hospital arrival (N=196), at days 2, 3, and 7...

Data from: Alteration of nitrous oxide emissions from floodplain soils by aggregate size, litter accumulation and plant–soil interactions

Martin Ley, Moritz F. Lehmann, Pascal A. Niklaus & Jörg Luster
Semi-terrestrial soils such as floodplain soils are considered potential hot spots of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Microhabitats in the soil – such as within and outside of aggregates, in the detritusphere, and/or in the rhizosphere – are considered to promote and preserve specific redox conditions. Yet our understanding of the relative effects of such microhabitats and their interactions on N2O production and consumption in soils is still incomplete. Therefore, we assessed the effect of aggregate...

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