193 Works

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: Meta‐analysis of chromosome‐scale crossover rate variation in eukaryotes and its significance to evolutionary genomics

Quiterie Haenel, Telma G. Laurentino, Marius Roesti & Daniel Berner
Understanding the distribution of crossovers along chromosomes is crucial to evolutionary genomics because the crossover rate determines how strongly a genome region is influenced by natural selection. Nevertheless, generalities in the chromosome-scale distribution of crossovers have not been investigated formally. We fill this gap by synthesizing joint information on genetic and physical maps across 62 animal, plant, and fungal species. Our quantitative analysis reveals a strong and taxonomically wide-spread reduction of the crossover rate in...

Data from: Predictable genome-wide sorting of standing genetic variation during parallel adaptation to basic versus acidic environments in stickleback fish

Quiterie Haenel, Marius Roesti, Dario Moser, Andrew D. C. MacColl & Daniel Berner
Genomic studies of parallel (or convergent) evolution often compare multiple populations diverged into two ecologically different habitats to search for loci repeatedly involved in adaptation. Because the shared ancestor of these populations is generally unavailable, the source of the alleles at adaptation loci, and the direction in which their frequencies were shifted during evolution, remain elusive. To shed light on these issues, we here use multiple populations of stickleback fish adapted to two different types...

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: Point-Combination Transect (PCT): incorporation of small underwater cameras to study fish communities

Lukas Widmer, Elia Heule, Marco Colombo, Attila Rueegg, Adrian Indermaur, Fabrizia Ronco & Walter Salzburger
1. Available underwater visual census methods such as line transects or point count observations are widely used to obtain community data of underwater species assemblages, despite their known pit-falls. As interest in the community structure of aquatic life is growing, there is need for more standardized and replicable methods for acquiring underwater census data. 2. Here, we propose a novel approach, Point-Combination Transect (PCT), which makes use of automated image recording by small digital cameras...

Data from: How clonal are clones? A quest for loss of heterozygosity during asexual reproduction in Daphnia magna

Marinela Dukic, Daniel Berner, Christoph R. Haag & Dieter Ebert
Due to the lack of recombination, asexual organisms are predicted to accumulate mutations and show high levels of within-individual allelic divergence (heterozygosity) however, empirical evidence for this prediction is largely missing. Instead, evidence of genome homogenization during asexual reproduction is accumulating. Ameiotic crossover recombination is a mechanism that could lead to long genomic stretches of loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and unmasking of mutations that have little or no effect in heterozygous state. Therefore, LOH might...

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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...

Integrating stakeholders’ perspectives and spatial modelling to develop scenarios of future land use and land cover change in northern Tanzania

Rebecca Kariuki, Linus Munishi, Colin Courtney-Mustaphi, Claudia Capitani, Anna Shoemaker, Paul Lane & Rob Marchant
Rapid rates of land use and land cover change (LULCC) in eastern Africa and limited instances of genuinely equal partnerships involving scientists, communities and decision makers challenge the development of robust pathways toward future environmental and socioeconomic sustainability. We use a participatory modelling tool, Kesho, to assess the biophysical, socioeconomic, cultural and governance factors that influenced past (1959-1999) and present (2000-2018) LULCC in northern Tanzania and to simulate four scenarios of land cover change to...

Data from: Rearing temperature and fatty acid supplementation jointly affect lipid fluorescence polarization and heat tolerance in Daphnia

Dominik Martin-Creuzburg, Bret L. Coggins, Dieter Ebert & Lev Yampolsky
The homeoviscous adaptation hypothesis states that the relative abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in membrane phospholipids of ectothermic organisms decreases with increasing temperatures to maintain vital membrane properties. We reared Daphnia magna at 15°, 20°, and 25°C and increasing dietary concentrations of the long-chain PUFA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to test the hypothesis that the well-documented increase in heat tolerance of high-temperature-reared Daphnia is due to a reduction in body PUFA concentrations. Heat tolerance was...

Gene expression dynamics during rapid organismal diversification of African cichlid fishes

Athimed El Taher, Astrid Böhne, Nicolas Boileau, Fabrizia Ronco, Adrian Indermaur, Lukas Widmer & Walter Salzburger
Changes in gene expression play a fundamental role in phenotypic evolution. Transcriptome evolutionary dynamics have so far mainly been compared among distantly related species and remain largely unexplored during rapid organismal diversification, in which gene regulatory changes have been suggested as particularly effective drivers of phenotypic divergence. Here, we studied gene expression evolution in a model system of adaptive radiation, the cichlid fishes of African Lake Tanganyika. By comparing gene expression profiles of six different...

Data from: Where Am I? Niche constraints due to morphological specialisation in two Tanganyikan cichlid fish species

Lukas Widmer, Adrian Indermaur, Bernd Egger & Walter Salzburger
Food resource specialisation within novel environments is considered a common axis of diversification in adaptive radiations. Feeding specialisations are often coupled with striking morphological adaptations and exemplify the relation between morphology and diet (phenotype-environment correlations), as seen in, for example, Darwin finches, Hawaiian spiders and, in particular, the cichlid radiations in East Africa. The cichlids’ potential to rapidly exploit and occupy a variety of different habitats has previously been attributed to the variability and adaptability...

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