630 Works

A global, cross-system meta-analysis of polychlorinated biphenyl biomagnification

Kimberly Prince
Studies evaluating the mechanisms underpinning the biomagnification of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a globally prevalent group of regulated persistent organic pollutants, commonly couple chemical and stable isotope analyses to identify bioaccumulation pathways. Due to analytical costs constraining the taxonomic and geographic scope, sample size, and the range of compounds analyzed for most studies, and study-to-study variation in methodologies and analytical resolution, how PCBs biomagnify at food web, regional, and global scales remains uncertain. To overcome these...

Screening for simple sequences repeat markers in Hemileia vastatrix

Luis A. Ramirez Camejo, Luis C. Mejía, Amnat Eamvijarn, Jorge Díaz-Valderram, Elena Karlsen-Ayala, Elizabeth Johnson, Sòlene Pruvot-Woehl, Christophe Montagnon & M. Catherine Aime
Hemileia vastatrix is the most important fungal pathogen affecting Coffea arabica and has invaded nearly every coffee-growing region in the world and the causal agent of recurrent disease epidemics. The development of resistant varieties of coffee against H. vastatrix requires fundamental understanding of the biology of the fungus. However, the complete life cycle of H. vastatrix remains unknown and conflicting studies exist as to whether the fungus is capable of sexual reproduction or not. Here...

The roles of wing color pattern and geography in the evolution of Neotropical Preponini butterflies

Elena Ortiz-Acevedo, Juan P. Gomez, Marianne Espeland, Emmanuel Toussaint & Keith R. Willmott
Diversification rates and evolutionary trajectories are known to be influenced by phenotypic traits and the geographic history of the landscapes that organisms inhabit. One of the most conspicuous traits in butterflies is their wing color pattern, which has been shown to be important in speciation. The evolution of many taxa in the Neotropics has also been influenced by major geological events. Using a dated, species-level molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for Preponini, a colorful Neotropical butterfly tribe,...

Optimizing whole-genomic prediction for autotetraploid blueberry breeding

Ivone De Bem Oliveira, Rodrigo R. Amadeu, Luis Felipe Ferrão & Patricio R. Munoz
Blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) is an important autopolyploid crop with significant benefits for human health. Apart from its genetic complexity, the feasibility of genomic prediction has been proven for blueberry, enabling a reduction in the breeding cycle time and increasing genetic gain. However, as for other polyploid crops, sequencing costs still hinder the implementation of genome-based breeding methods for blueberry. This motivated us to evaluate the effect of training population sizes and composition, as well as...

Honey bee virus causes context-dependent changes in host social behavior

Adam Dolezal, Tim Gernat, Geffre Amy, Gyan Harwood, Beryl Jones, Adam Hamilton, Bryony Bonning, Amy Toth, Gene Robinson & Deisy Morselli Gysi
Anthropogenic changes create evolutionarily novel environments that present opportunities for emerging diseases, potentially changing the balance between host and pathogen. Honey bees provide essential pollination services, but intensification and globalization of honey bee management has coincided with increased pathogen pressure, primarily due to a parasitic mite/virus complex. Here, we investigated how honey bee individual and social phenotypes are altered by a virus of concern, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV). Using automated and manual behavioral monitoring...

Is sexual conflict a driver of speciation? a case study with a tribe of brush-footed butterflies

Ana Paula Dos Santos De Carvalho, Ryan St Laurent, Emmanuel Toussaint, Caroline Storer, Kelly Dexter, Kwaku Aduse-Poku & Akito Kawahara
Understanding the evolutionary mechanisms governing the uneven distribution of species richness across the tree of life is a great challenge in biology. Scientists have long argued that sexual conflict is a key driver of speciation. This hypothesis, however, has been highly debated in light of empirical evidence. Recent advances in the study of macroevolution make it possible to test this hypothesis with more data and increased accuracy. In the present study, we use phylogenomics combined...

Development and field evaluation of a motion sensor activated suction trap to study vector-host interactions

Kristin Sloyer
1. Researchers elucidating vectors of zoonotic diseases encounter problems with inefficient surveillance techniques leading to underestimation of the importance of some species, and the overestimation of the importance of others. Carbon dioxide-baited light traps are the most widely used traps for sampling vector groups. However aspirating directly from the hosts is the most accurate method to incriminate vectors. 2. A novel vector trapping system was developed, consisting of a suction trap, activated by a motion...

Relative reproductive phenology and synchrony affect neonate survival in a nonprecocial ungulate

Eric Michel, Bronson Strickland, Stephen Demarais, Jerrold Belant, Todd Kautz, Jared Duquette, Dean Beyer, Michael Chamberlain, Karl Miller, Rebecca Shuman, John Kilgo, Duane Diefenbach, Bret Wallingford, Justin Vreeland, Steve Ditchkoff, Christopher DePerno, Christopher Moorman, Michael Chitwood & Marcus Lashley
1. Degree of reproductive synchronization in prey is hypothesized as a predator defense strategy reducing prey risk via predator satiation or predator avoidance. Species with precocial young, especially those exposed to specialist predators, should be highly synchronous to satiate predators (predator satiation hypothesis), while prey with nonprecocial (i.e., altricial) young, especially those exposed to generalist predators, should become relatively asynchronous to avoid predator detection (predator avoidance hypothesis). The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in North America...

Cost of step time asymmetry and step length asymmetry in human walking

Jan Stenum & Julia Choi
The metabolic cost of walking in healthy individuals increases with spatiotemporal gait asymmetries. Pathological gait, such as post-stroke, often has asymmetry in step lengths and step times which may contribute to an increased energy cost. But paradoxically, enforcing step length symmetry does not reduce metabolic cost of post-stroke walking. The isolated and interacting costs of asymmetry in step times and step lengths remain unclear, because previous studies did not simultaneously enforce spatial and temporal gait...

Disentangling the influence of water limitation and simultaneous above and belowground herbivory on plant tolerance and resistance to stress

Fabiane Mundim, Ernane Vieira-Neto, Hans Alborn & Emilio Bruna
1. Plants face multiple biotic and abiotic stressors simultaneously. Many species can tolerate and resist stress, but countermeasures differ between roots and leaves. Since herbivores and environmental conditions modulate costs and benefits of plant defense traits, stress responses are context-dependent. We examined whole-plant tolerance and resistance responses to individual and combined effects of above and belowground herbivory under variable water conditions. 2. We manipulated water availability and access by two common herbivores (Spodoptera exigua caterpillars...

The demographic contributions of connectivity versus local dynamics to population growth of an endangered bird

Brian Reichert, Robert Fletcher & Wiley Kitchens
1. Conservation and management increasingly focus on connectivity, because connectivity driven by variation in immigration rates across landscapes is thought to be crucial for maintaining local population and metapopulation persistence. Yet, efforts to quantify the relative role of immigration on population growth across the entire range of species and over time have been lacking. 2. We assessed whether immigration limited local and range-wide population growth of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) in Florida, USA,...

Digital biodiversity datasets reveal breeding phenology and its drivers in a widespread North American mammal

Bryan McLean & Robert Guralnick
Shifts in reproductive timing are among the most commonly documented responses of organisms to global climate change. However, our knowledge of these responses is biased towards taxa that are easily observable and abundant in existing biodiversity data sets. Mammals are common subjects in reproductive biology, but mammalian phenology and its drivers in the wild remain poorly understood because many species are small, secretive, or labor-intensive to monitor. We took an informatics-based approach to reconstructing breeding...

American crocodile captures in South Florida

Venetia Briggs-Gonzalez
The federally threatened American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is a flagship species and ecological indicator of hydrologic restoration in the Florida Everglades. we conducted a long-term capture-recapture study on the South Florida population of American crocodiles from 1978 to 2015 to evaluate the effects of restoration efforts to restore historic hydrologic conditions. The study produced 10,040 crocodile capture events of 9,865 individuals and more than 90% of captures were of hatchlings. Body condition and growth rates...

Code for: Threshold assessment, categorical perception, and the evolution of reliable signaling

James Peniston, Patrick Green, Matthew Zipple & Stephen Nowicki
Animals often use assessment signals to communicate information about their quality to a variety of receivers, including potential mates, competitors, and predators. But what maintains reliable signaling and prevents signalers from signaling a better quality than they actually have? Previous work has shown that reliable signaling can be maintained if signalers pay fitness costs for signaling at different intensities and these costs are greater for lower quality individuals than higher quality ones. Models supporting this...

Six-state amino acid recoding is not an effective strategy to offset compositional heterogeneity and saturation in phylogenetic analyses

Alexandra Hernandez & Joseph Ryan
Six-state amino acid recoding strategies are commonly applied to combat the effects of compositional heterogeneity and substitution saturation in phylogenetic analyses. While these methods have been endorsed from a theoretical perspective, their performance has never been extensively tested. Here, we test the effectiveness of 6-state recoding approaches by comparing the performance of analyses on recoded and non-recoded datasets that have been simulated under gradients of compositional heterogeneity or saturation. In our simulation analyses, non-recoding approaches...

Life history and environment predict variation in testosterone across vertebrates

Jerry Husak, Matthew Fuxjager, Michele A. Johnson, Maren Vitousek, Jeremy Donald, Clinton David Francis, Wolfgang Goymann, Michaela Hau, Bonnie Kircher, Rosemary Knapp, Lynn B. Martin, Eliot Miller, Laura Schoenle & Tony Williams
Endocrine systems act as key intermediaries between organisms and their environments. This interaction leads to high variability in hormone levels, but we know little about the ecological factors that influence this variation within and across major vertebrate groups. We study this topic by assessing how various social and environmental dynamics influence testosterone levels across the entire vertebrate tree of life. Our analyses show that breeding season length and mating system are the strongest predictors of...

Data from: Invasive grass fuel loads suppress native species by increasing fire intensity and soil heating

Giovanna Tomat-Kelly, Whalen W. Dillon & S. Luke Flory
Non-native invasive grasses are driving intense fires across the globe but the impacts of native versus invader-fueled fires on community assemblages are poorly understood. By increasing fire intensity, grass invasions might increase belowground mortality of heat-sensitive seeds and buds, thereby shifting community composition. We compared fuel loads in native and non-native invasive (cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica) plant dominated areas of pine savannas in Florida. Then, we conducted a field experiment to examine how fuel loads and...

Large herbivores transform plant-pollinator networks in an African savanna

Matthew C. Hutchinson, Travis J. Guy, Todd M. Palmer, Robert M. Pringle, Katherine C. R. Baldock, Elisha Kayser, Benjamin Baiser, Phillip P. A. Staniczenko, Jacob R. Goheen, Robert M. Pringle & Todd M. Palmer
Pollination by animals is a key ecosystem service1,2 and interactions between plants and their pollinators are a model system for the study of ecological networks3,4, yet plant-pollinator networks are typically studied in isolation from the broader ecosystems in which they are embedded. The plants visited by pollinators also interact with other consumer guilds that eat stems, leaves, fruits, or seeds. One such guild, large mammalian herbivores, are well-known ecosystem engineers5–7 and may have substantial impacts...

Castela senticosa (Simaroubaceae: Sapindales), a new species from the Caribbean clade endemic to seasonally dry tropical forest on Hispaniola

Lucas Majure, Kasey Pham & Teodoro Clase
Recent fieldwork in the Sierra Martín García in southwestern Dominican Republic has yielded a new species of the American clade Castela (Simaroubaceae), Castela senticosa sp. nov., from seasonally dry tropical forest. This species has been collected from two separate localities, including Môle St. Nicolas in northwestern Haiti in 1929, but until now fertile material with both flowers and fruit was unknown. We provide a photographic plate and illustration, place it phylogenetically using plastome data, and...

Moss growth, development, morphology, and physiology dataset and code

Leslie Kollar
A central problem in evolutionary biology is to identify the forces that maintain genetic variation for fitness in natural populations. Sexual antagonism, in which selection favors different variants in males and females, can slow the transit of a polymorphism through a population or can actively maintain fitness variation. The amount of sexually antagonistic variation to be expected depends in part on the genetic architecture of sexual dimorphism, about which we know relatively little. Here, we...

Data from: Hybrid coffee cultivars may enhance agroecosystem resilience to climate change

Emily Pappo, Chris H. Wilson & S. Luke Flory
Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to cause shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns that will be detrimental for global agriculture. Developing comprehensive strategies for building climate resilient agroecosystems is critical for maintaining future crop production. Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) is highly sensitive to the quantity and timing of precipitation, so alterations in precipitation patterns that are predicted under climate change are likely to be a major challenge for maintaining coffee agroecosystems. We assessed cultivar selection...

Dataset for: Trade-offs between weapons and testes do not manifest at high social densities

Christine Miller
Social conditions can alter the allocation of resources to reproductive traits. For example, an increase in social density during development is frequently associated with an increase in the testes mass of males. Sperm competition theory assumes that increased investment in testes should come at the expense of investing into precopulatory traits, such as sexually selected weaponry. However, much remains unknown about the role of the social context on the concurrent, relative investment in both testes...

Numbers of individuals and endemicity for birds in three study sites of the Himalayas-Hengduan mountains of China

Yiming Hu, Brett Scheffers, Xinyuan Pan, Huijian Hu, Zhixin Zhou, Dan Liang, Cheng Wenda, Zhixin Wen & Luke Gibson
1. Describing the patterns and revealing the underlying mechanisms responsible for variations in community structure remains a central focus in ecology. However, important gaps remain, including our understanding of species abundance. Most studies on abundance-based relationships are from either temperate ecosystems or tropical ecosystems, and few have explicitly tested abundance-based relationships across a temperate to tropical ecotone. 2. Here, we use a comprehensive dataset of breeding birds across elevation spanning a temperate to subtropical gradient...

Automated audio recording as a means of surveying Tinamous (Tinamidae) in the Peruvian Amazon

Reid Rumelt, Arianna Basto & Carla Mere Roncal
The use of machine learning technologies to process large quantities of remotely-collected audio data is a powerful emerging research tool in ecology and conservation. We applied these methods to a field study of tinamou (Tinamidae) biology in Madre de Dios, Peru, a region expected to have high levels of interspecies competition and niche partitioning as a result of high tinamou alpha diversity. We used autonomous recording units to gather environmental audio over a period of...

Data from: Multiple dimensions of bird beta diversity support that mountains are higher in the tropics

Flavia A. Montaño-Centellas, Bette Loiselle & Christy McCain
Aim We examine latitudinal effects of breeding bird taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional β-diversity (Tβ, Pβ and Fβ, respectively) along elevational gradients to test predictions derived from Janzen’s (1967) classic ideas that tropical mountains represent stronger dispersal barriers than temperate mountains. Location Global Taxon Birds Methods Using a global dataset from 46 mountains, we examine latitudinal patterns of Tβ, Pβ, and Fβ, and their components: β rich and β repl. For each mountain and each dimension...

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