20 Works

Data from: Evolutionary potential in the Alpine: trait heritabilities and performance variation of the dwarf willow Salix herbacea from different elevations and microhabitats

Janosch Sedlacek, Andrés J. Cortés, Julia Wheeler, Oliver Bossdorf, Guenter Hoch, Jaroslav Klápště, Christian Lexer, Christian Rixen, Sonja Wipf, Sophie Karrenberg & Mark Van Kleunen
Alpine ecosystems are seriously threatened by climate change. One of the key mechanisms by which plants can adapt to changing environmental conditions is through evolutionary change. However, we still know little about the evolutionary potential in wild populations of long-lived alpine plants. Here, we investigated heritabilities of phenological traits, leaf size, and performance traits in natural populations of the long-lived alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea using relatedness estimates inferred from SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers....

Data from: Maternal programming of offspring in relation to food availability in an insect (Forficula auricularia)

Shirley Raveh, Dominik Vogt & Mathias Koelliker
Maternal effects can induce adjustments in offspring phenotype to the environment experienced by the mother. Of particular interest is if mothers can program their offspring to cope best under matching environmental conditions, but the evidence for such anticipatory maternal effects (AME) is limited. In this study, we manipulated experimentally the food availability experienced by mothers and their offspring in the European earwig (Forficula auricularia). Offspring produced by females that had access to high- or low-food...

Data from: Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of clade ages supports trans-atlantic dispersal of cichlid fishes

Michael Matschiner, Zuzana Musilová, Julia M.I. Barth, Zuzana Starostová, Walter Salzburger, Mike Steel & Remco Bouckaert
Divergence-time estimation based on molecular phylogenies and the fossil record has provided insights into fundamental questions of evolutionary biology. In Bayesian node dating, phylogenies are commonly time calibrated through the specification of calibration densities on nodes representing clades with known fossil occurrences. Unfortunately, the optimal shape of these calibration densities is usually unknown and they are therefore often chosen arbitrarily, which directly impacts the reliability of the resulting age estimates. As possible solutions to this...

Data from: Evidence of local adaptation to fine- and coarse-grained environmental variability in Poa alpina in the Swiss Alps

Elena Hamann, Halil Kesselring, Georg F. J. Armbruster, J. F. Scheepens & Jürg Stöcklin
In the alpine landscape, characterized by high spatiotemporal heterogeneity and barriers, divergent selection is likely to lead to local adaptation of plant populations either through adaptive genetic differentiation or through phenotypic plasticity. The relative importance of these processes has rarely been investigated in relation to the spatial scale of environmental heterogeneity. In this study, we used reciprocal transplantation experiments of populations across nearby and distant field sites to shed light on these complementary processes. We...

Data from: Experimentally evolved and phenotypically plastic responses to enforced monogamy in a hermaphroditic flatworm

Tim Janicke, Peter Sandner, Steven A. Ramm, Dita B Vizoso & Lukas Schärer
Sexual selection is considered a potent evolutionary force in all sexually reproducing organisms, but direct tests in terms of experimental evolution of sexual traits are still lacking for simultaneously hermaphroditic animals. Here, we tested how evolution under enforced monogamy affected a suite of reproductive traits (including testis area, sex allocation, genital morphology, sperm morphology and mating behaviour) in the outcrossing hermaphroditic flatworm Macrostomum lignano, using an assay that also allowed the assessment of phenotypically plastic...

Data from: The Red Queen lives: epistasis between linked resistance loci

César M. J. A. Metzger, Pepijn Luijckx, Gilberto Bento, Mahendra Mariadassou & Dieter Ebert
A popular theory explaining the maintenance of genetic recombination (sex) is the Red Queen Theory. This theory revolves around the idea that time-lagged negative frequency-dependent selection by parasites favors rare host genotypes generated through recombination. Although the Red Queen has been studied for decades, one of its key assumptions has remained unsupported. The signature host-parasite specificity underlying the Red Queen, where infection depends on a match between host and parasite genotypes, relies on epistasis between...

Data from: Genomics of speciation and introgression in Princess cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika

Hugo F. Gante, Michael Matschiner, Martin Malmstrøm, Kjetill S. Jakobsen, Sissel Jentoft & Walter Salzburger
How variation in the genome translates into biological diversity and new species originate has endured as the mystery of mysteries in evolutionary biology. African cichlid fishes are prime model systems to address speciation-related questions for their remarkable taxonomic and phenotypic diversity, and the possible role of gene flow in this process. Here, we capitalize on genome sequencing and phylogenomic analyses to address the relative impacts of incomplete lineage sorting, introgression and hybrid speciation in the...

Data from: Dynamics of non-structural carbohydrates in terrestrial plants: a global synthesis

Jordi Martinez-Vilalta, Anna Sala, Dolores Asensio, Lucia Galiano, Guenter Hoch, Sara Palacio, Frida I. Piper & Francisco Lloret
Plants store large amounts of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC). While multiple functions of NSC have long been recognized, the interpretation of NSC seasonal dynamics is often based on the idea that stored NSC is a reservoir of carbon that fluctuates depending on the balance between supply via photosynthesis and demand for growth and respiration (the source-sink dynamics concept). Consequently, relatively high NSC concentrations in some plants have been interpreted to reflect excess supply relative to demand....

Data from: Growth and carbon relations of mature Picea abies trees under 5 years of free-air CO2 enrichment

Tamir Klein, Martin K. F. Bader, Sebastian Leuzinger, Manuel Mildner, Patrick Schleppi, Rolf T. W. Siegwolf, Christian Koerner, Martin K.-F. Bader & Rolf T.W. Siegwolf
Are mature forests carbon limited? To explore this question, we exposed ca. 110-year-old, 40-m tall Picea abies trees to a 550-ppm CO2 concentration in a mixed lowland forest in NW Switzerland. The site receives substantial soluble nitrogen (N) via atmospheric deposition, and thus, trees are unlikely N-limited. We used a construction crane to operate the free-air CO2 release system and for canopy access. Here, we summarize the major results for growth and carbon (C) fluxes....

Data from: Sexual isolation promotes divergence between parapatric lake and stream stickleback

Daniel Berner, Matthias Ammann, Eleanor Spencer, Attila Rueegg, Daniel Luescher & Dario Moser
Speciation can be initiated by adaptive divergence between populations in ecologically different habitats, but how sexually based reproductive barriers contribute to this process is less well understood. We here test for sexual isolation between ecotypes of threespine stickleback fish residing in adjacent lake and stream habitats in the Lake Constance basin, Central Europe. Mating trials in outdoor mesocosms allowing for natural reproductive behavior reveal that mating occurs preferentially between partners of the same than of...

Data from: Managing cryptic biodiversity: Fine-scale intralacustrine speciation along a benthic gradient in Alpine whitefish (Coregonus spp.)

Alan G. Hudson, Baenz Lundsgaard-Hansen, Kay Lucek, Pascal Vonlanthen & Ole Seehausen
Whitefish (Coregonus spp.) are an important catch for many freshwater fisheries, particularly in Switzerland. In support of this, supplemental stocking of whitefish species is carried out, despite lacking complete knowledge of the extent, distribution and origin of whitefish diversity in these lakes, potentially threatening local endemics via artificial gene flow. Here, we investigate phenotypic and genetic differentiation among coexisting whitefish species spawning along a depth gradient in a subalpine Swiss lake to better delineate intralacustrine...

Data from: Community assembly in Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish: quantifying the contributions of both niche-based and neutral processes

Thijs Janzen, Adriana Alzate, Moritz Muschick, Martine E. Maan, Fons Van Der Plas & Rampal S. Etienne
The cichlid family features some of the most spectacular examples of adaptive radiation. Evolutionary studies have highlighted the importance of both trophic adaptation and sexual selection in cichlid speciation. However, it is poorly understood what processes drive the composition and diversity of local cichlid species assemblages on relatively short, ecological timescales. Here, we investigate the relative importance of niche-based and neutral processes in determining the composition and diversity of cichlid communities inhabiting various environmental conditions...

Data from: Breeding system, shell size and age at sexual maturity affect sperm length in stylommatophoran gastropods

Dénes Schmera, Julia Pizá, Ellen Reinartz, Sylvain Ursenbacher & Bruno Baur
Background: Sperm size and quality are key factors for fertilization success. There is increasing empirical evidence demonstrating that sperm form and function are influenced by selective pressures. Theoretical models predict that sperm competition could favour the evolution of longer sperm. In hermaphrodites, self-fertilizing species are expected to have shorter sperm than cross-fertilizing species, which use sperm stored from several mating partners for the fertilization of their eggs and thus are exposed to intense sperm competition....

Data from: Quantifying episodes of sexual selection: insights from a transparent worm with fluorescent sperm

Lucas Marie-Orleach, Tim Janicke, Dita Brigida Vizoso, Patrice David & Lukas Schärer
Sexual selection operates through consecutive episodes of selection that ultimately contribute to the observed variance in reproductive success between individuals. Understanding the relative importance of these episodes is challenging, particularly because the relevant post-copulatory fitness components are often difficult to assess. Here we investigate different episodes of sexual selection on the male sex function, by assessing how (pre-copulatory) mating success, and (post-copulatory) sperm-transfer efficiency and sperm-fertilising efficiency contribute to male reproductive success. Specifically, we used...

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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...

Registration Year

  • 2016

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Basel
  • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
  • University of Tübingen
  • University of Oslo
  • University of Zurich
  • University of Bern
  • Uppsala University
  • University of Konstanz
  • University of Montana
  • Ghent University