33 Works

Data from: Female butterflies modulate investment in reproduction and flight in response to monsoon-driven migrations

Vaishali Bhaumik & Krushnamegh Kunte
Migratory species may display striking phenotypic plasticity during individual lifetimes. This may include differential investment in body parts and functions, differential resource use and allocation, and behavioural changes between migratory and non-migratory phases. While migration-related phenotypic changes are well-reported, their underlying mechanisms are usually poorly understood. Here we compare individuals from migratory (reproductive diapause) and non-migratory (reproductive) phases of closely related aposematic butterfly species to study how sexual dimorphism and migratory behaviour underlie significant morphological...

Data from: Leaf traits of African woody savanna species across climate and soil fertility gradients: evidence for conservative vs. acquisitive resource use strategies

Benjamin J. Wigley, Jasper A. Slingsby, Sandra Diaz, William J. Bond, Herve Fritz & Corli Coetsee
1. Establishing trade-offs among traits and the degree to which they co-vary along environmental gradients has become a key focal point in the effort to develop community ecology into a predictive science. While there is evidence for these relationships across global datasets, they are often too broad in scale, and do not consider the particularities of local to regional species pools. This decreases their usefulness for developing predictive models at scales relevant for conservation and...

Data from: Responses of interspecific associations in mixed-species bird flocks to selective logging

Binod Borah, Suhel Quader & Umesh Srinivasan
1. Non-trophic interactions (or, inter-species associations) play a prominent role in determining community structure and function. Mixed-species bird flocks are networks of non-trophic associations that confer foraging and anti-predator benefits to participant species. Yet, the responses of these interspecific associations to anthropogenic environmental change are poorly understood. 2. Selective logging is pervasive in the tropics, and can affect associations in mixed-species bird flocks by altering resource availability and/or predation risk, or through the altered abundances...

Molding 3D curved structures by selective heating

Shankar Ghosh, Harsh Jain & Nitin Nitsure
It is of interest to fabricate curved surfaces in three dimensions from homogeneous material in the form of flat sheets. The aim is not just to obtain a surface which has a desired intrinsic Riemannian metric, but to get the desired embedding in R^3 up to translations and rotations. In this paper, we demonstrate three generic methods of molding a flat sheet of thermo-responsive plastic by selective contraction induced by targeted heating. These methods do...

Data from: Experimental evolution of insect immune memory versus pathogen resistance

Imroze Khan, Arun Prakash & Deepa Agashe
Under strong pathogen pressure, insects often evolve resistance to infection. Many insects are also protected via immune memory (‘immune priming’), whereby sub-lethal exposure to a pathogen enhances survival after secondary infection. Theory predicts that immune memory should evolve when the pathogen is highly virulent, or when pathogen exposure is relatively rare. However, there are no empirical tests of these hypotheses, and the adaptive benefits of immune memory relative to direct resistance against a pathogen are...

Data from: Social structure of the harem-forming promiscuous fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx, is the harem truly important?

Kritika M. Garg, Balaji Chattopadhyay & Uma Ramakrishnan
Bats are social animals and display a diverse variety of mating and social systems, with most species exhibiting some form of polygyny. Their social organization is fluid and individuals frequently switch partners and roosting sites. While harem-like social organization is observed in multiple tropical species, its importance is contested in many of them. In this study, we investigated the role of harems in the social organization of the old world fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx. Based...

Data from: Responses of aerial insectivorous bats to local and landscape-level features of coffee agroforestry systems in Western Ghats, India

Shasank Ongole, Mahesh Sankaran & Krithi K. Karanth
Shade coffee has shown great promise in providing crucial habitats for biodiversity outside formal protected areas. Insectivorous bats have been understudied in coffee, although they may provide pest control services. We investigated the influence of local and landscape-level features of coffee farms on aerial insectivorous bats in Chikmagalur district in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, India. Bats were monitored in 20 farm sites using ultrasound detectors, and the response of bat species richness and activity...

Data from: Pathogen susceptibility and fitness costs explain variation in immune priming across natural populations of flour beetles

Imroze Khan, Arun Prakash & Deepa Agashe
1. In many insects, individuals primed with low doses of pathogens early in life have higher survival after exposure to the same pathogen later in life. Yet, our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological history of priming of immune response in natural insect populations is limited. Previous work demonstrated population-, sex- and stage- specific variation in the survival benefit of priming response in flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum) infected with their natural pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis. However,...

Data from: Commensalism facilitates gene flow in mountains: a comparison between two Rattus species

Amruta Varudkar & Uma Ramakrishnan
Small mammal dispersal is strongly affected by geographical barriers. However, commensal small mammals may be passively transported over large distances and strong barriers by humans (often with agricultural products). This pattern should be especially apparent in topographically complex landscapes, such as mountain ranges, where valleys and/or peaks can limit dispersal of less vagile species. We predict that commensal species would have lower genetic differentiation and higher migration rates than related non-commensals in such landscapes. We...

Data from: Immunosenescence and the ability to survive bacterial infection in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum

Imroze Khan, Arun Prakash & Deepa Agashe
1. In most animals, ageing is associated with a decline in immune function (immune senescence). However, different components of the immune system seem to age differentially, and many studies do not measure the ultimate fitness consequences of immune function after infection. Previous work shows that immune function may be traded off with other fitness components such as reproduction. It is possible that age alters the nature of these trade-offs, particularly in conjunction with factors such...

Data from: Large mammal use of protected and community-managed lands in a biodiversity hotspot

Nandini Velho, Umesh Srinivasan, Priya Singh & William F. Laurance
In large parts of the biodiversity-rich tropics, various forest governance regimes often coexist, ranging from governmental administration to highly decentralized community management. Two common forms of such governance are protected areas, and community lands open to limited resource extraction. We studied wildlife occurrences in the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, where the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary (EWS) is situated adjacent to community lands governed by the Bugun and Sherdukpen tribes. We conducted transect-based mammal sign...

Data from: Effects of increased N and P availability on biomass allocation and root carbohydrate reserves differ between N‐fixing and non‐N‐fixing savanna tree seedlings

Varun Varma, Arockia M. Catherin & Mahesh Sankaran
In mixed tree‐grass ecosystems, tree recruitment is limited by demographic bottlenecks to seedling establishment arising from inter‐ and intra‐life‐form competition, and disturbances such as fire. Enhanced nutrient availability resulting from anthropogenic nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) deposition can alter the nature of these bottlenecks by changing seedling growth and biomass allocation patterns, and lead to longer‐term shifts in tree community composition if different plant functional groups respond differently to increased nutrient availability. However, the extent...

A reversal in sensory processing accompanies ongoing ecological divergence and speciation in Rhagoletis pomonella

Cheyenne Tait, Hinal Kharva, Marco Schubert, Daniel Kritsch, Andy Sombke, Jürgen Rybak, Jeffrey Feder & Shannon Olsson
Changes in behavior often drive rapid adaptive evolution and speciation. However, the mechanistic basis for behavioral shifts is largely unknown. The tephritid fruit fly Rhagoletis pomonella is an example of ecological specialization and speciation in action via a recent host plant shift from hawthorn to apple. These flies primarily utilize specific odors to locate fruit, and because they mate only on or near host fruit, changes in odor preference for apples versus hawthorns translate directly...

Data from: Effect of altitude on volatile organic and phenolic compounds of artemisia brevifolia wall ex Dc. from the Western Himalayas

Nandita Nataraj, Manzoor Hussain, Mohd Ibrahim, Alexander E. Hausmann, Srinivas Rao, Satwinderjeet Kaur, Jabeena Khazir, Bilal Ahmad Mir & Shannon B. Olsson
Adaptation to changing environmental conditions is a driver of plant diversification. Elevational gradients offer a unique opportunity for investigating adaptation to a range of climatic conditions. The use of specialized metabolites as volatile and phenolic compounds is a major adaptation in plants, affecting their reproductive success and survival by attracting pollinators and protecting themselves from herbivores and other stressors. The wormseed Artemisia brevifolia can be found across multiple elevations in the Western Himalayas, a region...

Data from: Early-life inflammation, immune response and ageing

Imroze Khan, Deepa Agashe & Jens Rolff
Age-related diseases are often attributed to immunopathology, which results in self-damage caused by an inappropriate inflammatory response. Immunopathology associated with early-life inflammation also appears to cause faster ageing, although we lack direct experimental evidence for this association. To understand the interactions between ageing, inflammation and immunopathology, we used the mealworm beetle Tenebrio molitor as a study organism. We hypothesized that phenoloxidase, an important immune effector in insect defence, may impose substantial immunopathological costs by causing...

Data from: Disrupting butterfly caterpillar microbiomes does not impact their survival and development

Kruttika Phalnikar, Deepa Agashe & Krushnamegh Kunte
Associations with gut microbes are believed to play crucial roles in the physiology, immune function, development and behaviour of insects. However, microbiome sequencing has recently suggested that butterflies are an anomaly, because their microbiomes do not show strong host- and developmental stage-specific associations. We experimentally manipulated butterfly larval gut microbiota and found that disrupting gut microbes had little influence on larval survival and development. Larvae of the butterflies Danaus chrysippus and Ariadne merione that fed...

Data from: Playing it safe? behavioural responses of mosquito larvae encountering a fish predator

Karthikeyan Chandrasegaran, Avehi Singh, Moumita Laha & Suhel Quader
Predation is a strong selective force that affects prey population and ecosystem dynamics. Detecting predators and associated levels of threat is crucial to prey responses. Once a predator is detected, anti-predatory responses improve the chances of survival of prey. We used Aedes aegypti larvae to study behavioural responses to predation threat from guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Specifically, we tested the relative importance of chemical cues, both in isolation and in combination with physical cues, in eliciting...

Data from: Islands within islands: two montane paleo-endemic birds impacted by recent anthropogenic fragmentation

V. V. Robin, Pooja Gupta, Prachi Thatte & Uma Ramakrishnan
Anthropogenic habitat fragmentation of species that live in naturally patchy metapopulations such as mountaintops or sky islands experiences two levels of patchiness. Effects of such multilevel patchiness on species have rarely been examined. Metapopulation theory suggests that patchy habitats could have varied impacts on persistence, dependent on differential migration. It is not known whether montane endemic species, evolutionarily adapted to natural patchiness, are able to disperse between anthropogenic fragments at similar spatial scales as natural...

Data from: Precise excitation-inhibition balance controls gain and timing in the hippocampus

Aanchal Bhatia, Sahil Moza & Upinder S. Bhalla
Excitation-inhibition (EI) balance controls excitability, dynamic range, and input gating in many brain circuits. Subsets of synaptic input can be selected or 'gated' by precise modulation of finely tuned EI balance, but assessing the granularity of EI balance requires combinatorial analysis of excitatory and inhibitory inputs. Using patterned optogenetic stimulation of mouse hippocampal CA3 neurons, we show that hundreds of unique CA3 input combinations recruit excitation and inhibition with a nearly identical ratio, demonstrating precise...

Data from: A thorny issue: woody plant defence and growth in an East African savanna

Benjamin J. Wigley, Corli Coetsee, David J. Augustine, Jayashree Ratnam, Dawood Hattas & Mahesh Sankaran
1. Recent work suggests that savanna woody plant species separate into two different strategies based on their defences against herbivory; a low nutrient/high chemical defence strategy and a nutrition paired with mostly architectural defences strategy. The concept that chemical and structural defences can augment each other and do not necessarily trade-off has emanated from this work. In this study we examine woody plant defence strategies, how these respond to herbivore removal and how they affect...

Data from: Promiscuous mating in the harem-roosting fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx

Kritika M. Garg, Balaji Chattopadhyay, Paramanatha Swami Doss D., A. K. Vinoth Kumar, Sripathi Kandula & Uma Ramakrishnan
Observations on mating behaviours and strategies guide our understanding of mating systems and variance in reproductive success. However, the presence of cryptic strategies often results in situations where social mating system is not reflective of genetic mating system. We present such a study of the genetic mating system of a harem-forming bat Cynopterus sphinx where harems may not be true indicators of male reproductive success. This temporal study using data from six seasons on paternity...

Data from: Genome sequencing of herb Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) unravels key genes behind its strong medicinal properties

Atul Kumar Upadhyay & Ramanathan Sowdhamini
Background: Krishna Tulsi, a member of Lamiaceae family, is a herb well known for its spiritual, religious and medicinal importance in India. The common name of this plant is ‘Tulsi’ (or ‘Tulasi’ or ‘Thulasi’) and is considered sacred by Hindus. We present the draft genome of Ocimum tenuiflurum L (subtype Krishna Tulsi) in this report. The paired-end and mate-pair sequence libraries were generated for the whole genome sequenced with the Illumina Hiseq 1000, resulting in...

Data from: Demographic superiority with increased logging in tropical understorey insectivorous birds

Umesh Srinivasan, James E. Hines & Suhel Quader
1. Selective logging is pervasive in the tropics and is among the most urgent threats to tropical biodiversity. The vast areas of logged tropical forest are often vulnerable to relogging, clear-felling, burning or conversion to plantations, despite evidence that logged forests retain a large proportion of tropical forest species at high abundances compared with alternate land uses. However, the demographic processes (e.g. survival, fecundity) that drive community or species properties (e.g. occurrence, density) in response...

Data from: Seed size predicts community composition and carbon storage potential of tree communities in rainforest fragments in India’s Western Ghats

Anand M. Osuri & Mahesh Sankaran
Fragmentation is ubiquitous across tropical forests and drives marked shifts in tree community composition by differentially affecting species’ dispersal, establishment and survival. Such compositional shifts can potentially alter ecosystem-level properties such as above-ground carbon storage, but our understanding of the factors linking compositional shifts to carbon storage is limited. We compared tree communities of contiguous and fragmented tropical rainforests in the Western Ghats (India) and assessed the ability of various plant functional traits associated with...

Data from: Climatic and geographic barriers drive distributional patterns of bird phenotypes within peninsular India

Vivek Ramachandran, V. V. Robin, Krishnapriya Tamma & Uma Ramakrishnan
Modern phylogenetic data provide unparalleled ability to test biogeographic paradigms, often suggested by differences in species distribution patterns. However, such approaches have been applied less at regional scales, particularly in Asia. In the absence of such data, we examine if concordance of distributional patterns for phenotypes (subspecies) suggest potential biogeographic barriers for birds in peninsular India. Specifically, we examine climatic and physical factors that might limit phenotype distributions in this region. Various physical, vegetation and...

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  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
  • Nature Conservation Foundation
  • University of Leeds
  • Princeton University
  • Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
  • University of Cape Town
  • Nelson Mandela University
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Notre Dame