274 Works

Species mixture effects and climate influence growth, recruitment and mortality in Interior West U.S.A. Populus tremuloides - conifer communities

Christopher Looney, Wilfred Previant, John Bradford & Linda Nagel
Tree-species mixture effects (e.g., complementarity and facilitation) have been found to increase individual-tree productivity, lessen mortality, and improve recruitment in forests worldwide. By promoting more efficient and complete resource use, mixture effects may also lessen individual-tree-level water stress, thus improving drought-resistance. We investigated the influence of mixture effects on tree productivity, mortality, and recruitment across broad compositional and moisture gradients in high-elevation Interior West US mixed-conifer communities, where Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen) is the major...

Leveraging genomics to understand threats to migratory birds

Brenda Larison, Alec R. Lindsay, Christen Bossu, Michael D. Sorenson, Joseph D. Kaplan, David C. Evers, James Paruk, Jeffrey M. DaCosta, Thomas B. Smith & Kristen Ruegg
Understanding of how risk factors affect populations across their annual cycle is a major challenge for conserving migratory birds. For example, disease outbreaks may happen on the breeding grounds, the wintering grounds, or during migration, and are expected to accelerate under climate change. The ability to identify the geographic origins of individuals impacted, especially outside of breeding areas, might make it possible to predict demographic trends and inform conservation decision making. However, such an effort...

Vegetation characteristics and precipitation jointly influence grassland bird abundance beyond the effects of grazing management

Kristin Davis, David Augustine, Adrian Monroe & Cameron Aldridge
Grassland birds have experienced some of the steepest population declines of any guild of birds in North America. The shortgrass steppe contains some of North America’s most-intact grasslands, which makes the region particularly important for these species. Grassland birds differentially respond to variation in vegetation structure generated by spatiotemporally-varying disturbance like grazing management. However, understanding how species respond to characteristics beyond vegetation structure or grazing could better inform management for these species in the shortgrass...

The lion's mane: sexual and natural selection on pollen morphology in Taraxacum

Austin Lynn, Emelyn Piotter, Ellie Harrison & Candace Galen
Premise of the study: Spiny pollen has evolved independently in multiple entomophilous lineages. Sexual selection may act on exine traits that facilitate male mating success by influencing the transfer of pollen from the anther to the body of the pollinator, while natural selection acts to increase pollen survival. We postulated that relative to sexual congeners, apomictic dandelions undergo relaxed selection on traits associated with male mating success. Methods: We explored sexual selection on exine traits...

A genetically based ecological trade-off contributes to setting a geographic range limit

Alexander Mauro, Julian Torres-Dowdall, Craig Marshall & Cameron Ghalambor
Understanding the ecological factors that shape geographic range limits and the evolutionary constraints that prevent populations from adaptively evolving beyond these limits is an unresolved question. Here, we investigated why the euryhaline fish, Poecila reticulata, is confined to freshwater within its native range, despite being tolerant of brackish water. We hypothesized that competitive interactions with a close relative, Poecilia picta, in brackish water prevents P. reticulata from colonizing brackish water. Using a combination of field...

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: Interspecific hybridization transfers a previously unknown glyphosate resistance mechanism in Amaranthus species

Todd A Gaines, Sarah M Ward, Bekir Bukun, Christopher Preston, Jan E Leach & Philip Westra
A previously unknown glyphosate resistance mechanism, amplification of the 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) gene, was recently reported in Amaranthus palmeri. This evolved mechanism could introgress to other weedy Amaranthus species through interspecific hybridization, representing an avenue for acquisition of a novel adaptive trait. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential for this glyphosate resistance trait to transfer via pollen from A. palmeri to five other weedy Amaranthus species (A. hybridus, A. powellii,...

Data from: Hybridization and invasion: an experimental test with diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa Lam.)

Amy C Blair, Dana Blumenthal & Ruth A Hufbauer
A number of studies have suggested a link between hybridization and invasion. In this study, we experimentally test the potential for hybridization to influence invasion through a greenhouse common garden study. Diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa Lam.) was introduced to North America with admixture from spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe subsp. stoebe L.). Comparisons between North American diffuse knapweed (including hybrid phenotypes) and native (European) diffuse knapweed in a common garden did not reveal enhanced performance or...

Data from: Gene flow and pathogen transmission among bobcats (Lynx rufus) in a fragmented urban landscape

Justin S. Lee, Emily W. Ruell, Erin E. Boydston, Lisa M. Lyren, Robert S. Alonso, Jennifer L. Troyer, Kevin R. Crooks & Sue VandeWoude
Urbanization can result in the fragmentation of once contiguous natural landscapes into a patchy habitat interspersed within a growing urban matrix. Animals living in fragmented landscapes often have reduced movement among habitat patches due to avoidance of intervening human development, which potentially leads to both reduced gene flow and pathogen transmission between patches. Mammalian carnivores with large home ranges, such as bobcats (Lynx rufus), may be particularly sensitive to habitat fragmentation. We performed genetic analyses...

Data from: Cross-biome metagenomic analyses of soil microbial communities and their functional attributes

Noah Fierer, Jonathan W. Leff, Byron J. Adams, Uffe N. Nielsen, Scott Thomas Bates, Christian L. Lauber, Sarah Owens, Jack A. Gilbert, Diana H. Wall & J. Gregory Caporaso
For centuries ecologists have studied how the diversity and functional traits of plant and animal communities vary across biomes. In contrast, we have only just begun exploring similar questions for soil microbial communities despite soil microbes being the dominant engines of biogeochemical cycles and a major pool of living biomass in terrestrial ecosystems. We used metagenomic sequencing to compare the composition and functional attributes of 16 soil microbial communities collected from cold deserts, hot deserts,...

Data from: Current approaches using genetic distances produce poor estimates of landscape resistance to interindividual dispersal

Tabitha A. Graves, Paul Beier & Jeffrey Andrew Royle
Landscape resistance reflects how difficult it is for genes to move across an area with particular attributes (e.g., land cover, slope). An increasingly popular approach to estimate resistance uses Mantel and partial Mantel tests or causal modeling to relate observed genetic distances to effective distances under alternative sets of resistance parameters. Relatively few alternative sets of resistance parameters are tested, leading to relatively poor coverage of the parameter space. Although this approach does not explicitly...

Data from: Ecological correlates of the distribution limits of two poeciliid species across a salinity gradient

Julián Torres-Dowdall, Felipe Dargent, Corey A. Handelsman, Indar W. Ramnarine & Cameron K. Ghalambor
Identifying the environmental factors responsible for the formation of a species' distribution limit is challenging because organisms interact in complex ways with their environments. However, the use of statistical niche models in combination with the analysis of phenotypic variation along environmental gradients can help to reduce such complexity and identify a subset of candidate factors. In the present study, we used such approaches to describe and identify factors responsible for the parapatric distribution of two...

Data from: A hybrid phylogenetic–phylogenomic approach for species tree estimation in African Agama lizards with applications to biogeography, character evolution, and diversification

Adam D. Leaché, Philipp Wagner, Charles W. Linkem, Wolfgang Böhme, Theodore J. Papenfuss, Rebecca A. Chong, Brian R. Lavin, Aaron M. Bauer, Stuart V. Nielsen, Eli Greenbaum, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Andreas Schmitz, Matthew LeBreton, Ivan Ineich, Laurent Chirio, Caleb Ofori-Boateng, Edem A. Eniang, Sherif Baha El Din, Alan R. Lemmon & Frank T. Burbrink
Africa is renowned for its biodiversity and endemicity, yet little is known about the factors shaping them across the continent. African Agama lizards (45 species) have a pan-continental distribution, making them an ideal model for investigating biogeography. Many species have evolved conspicuous sexually dimorphic traits, including extravagant breeding coloration in adult males, large adult male body sizes, and variability in social systems among colorful versus drab species. We present a comprehensive time-calibrated species tree for...

Data from: Fine scale genetic correlates to condition and migration in a wild Cervid

Joseph M. Northrup, Aaron B. A. Shafer, , David W. Coltman, George Wittemyer & Charles R. Anderson
The relationship between genetic variation and phenotypic traits is fundamental to the study and management of natural populations. Such relationships often are investigated by assessing correlations between phenotypic traits and heterozygosity or genetic differentiation. Using an extensive data set compiled from free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), we combined genetic and ecological data to (i) examine correlations between genetic differentiation and migration timing, (ii) screen for mitochondrial haplotypes associated with migration timing, and (iii) test whether...

Data from: Interactions among herbivory, climate, topography, and plant age shape riparian willow dynamics in northern Yellowstone National Park, USA

Kristin N. Marshall, David J. Cooper & N. Thompson Hobbs
Understanding how the environmental context modifies the strength of trophic interactions within food webs forms a central challenge in community ecology. Here, we demonstrate the necessity of considering the influence of climate, landscape heterogeneity and demographics for understanding trophic interactions in a well-studied food web in Yellowstone National Park, USA. We studied riparian willow (Salix spp.) establishment and stem growth reconstructed from tree rings on the northern range of Yellowstone over a 30-year period that...

Data from:Differential induction of plant chemical defenses by parasitized and unparasitized herbivores: consequences for reciprocal, multitrophic interactions

Paul J. Ode, Jeffrey A. Harvey, Michael Riechelt, Jonathan Gershenzon & Rieta Gols
Insect parasitoids can play ecologically important roles in virtually all terrestrial plant–insect herbivore interactions, yet whether parasitoids alter the defensive traits that underlie interactions between plants and their herbivores remains a largely unexplored question. Here, we examined the reciprocal trophic interactions among populations of the wild cabbage Brassica oleracea that vary greatly in their production of defensive secondary compounds – glucosinolates (GSs), a generalist herbivore, Trichoplusia ni, and its polyembryonic parasitoid Copidosoma floridanum. In a...

Data from: Hybridization of an invasive shrub affects tolerance and resistance to defoliation by a biological control agent

Wyatt I. Williams, Jonathan M. Friedman, John F. Gaskin & Andrew P. Norton
Evolution has contributed to the successful invasion of exotic plant species in their introduced ranges, but how evolution affects particular control strategies is still under evaluation. For instance, classical biological control, a common strategy involving the utilization of highly specific natural enemies to control exotic pests, may be negatively affected by host hybridization because of shifts in plant traits, such as root allocation or chemical constituents. We investigated introgression between two parent species of the...

Data from: Simulating the distribution of individual livestock farms and their populations in the united states: an example using domestic swine (Sus scrofa domesticus) farms

Christopher L. Burdett, Brian R. Kraus, Sarah J. Garza, Ryan S. Miller & Kathe E. Bjork
Livestock distribution in the United States (U.S.) can only be mapped at a county-level or worse resolution. We developed a spatial microsimulation model called the Farm Location and Agricultural Production Simulator (FLAPS) that simulated the distribution and populations of individual livestock farms throughout the conterminous U.S. Using domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus) as an example species, we customized iterative proportional-fitting algorithms for the hierarchical structure of the U.S. Census of Agriculture and imputed unpublished state-...

Data from: De novo genome assembly of Geosmithia morbida, the causal agent of thousand cankers disease

Taruna A. Schuelke, Anthony Westbrook, Kirk Broders, Keith Woeste & Matthew D. MacManes
Geosmithia morbida is a filamentous ascomycete that causes thousand cankers disease in the eastern black walnut tree. This pathogen is commonly found in the western U.S.; however, recently the disease was also detected in several eastern states where the black walnut lumber industry is concentrated. G. morbida is one of two known phytopathogens within the genus Geosmithia, and it is vectored into the host tree via the walnut twig beetle. We present the first de...

Data from: Exposure to dairy manure leads to greater antibiotic resistance and increased mass-specific respiration in soil microbial communities

Carl Wepking, Bethany Avera, Brian Badgley, John E. Barrett, Josh Franklin, Katharine F. Knowlton, Partha P. Ray, Crystal Smitherman & Michael S. Strickland
Intensifying livestock production to meet the demands of a growing global population coincides with increases in both the administration of veterinary antibiotics and manure inputs to soils. These trends have the potential to increase antibiotic resistance in soil microbial communities. The effect of maintaining increased antibiotic resistance on soil microbial communities and the ecosystem processes they regulate is unknown. We compare soil microbial communities from paired reference and dairy manure-exposed sites across the USA. Given...

Data from: The power of evolutionary rescue is constrained by genetic load

Gavin S. Stewart, Madeline R. Morris, Allison B. Genis, Marianna Szűcs, Brett A. Melbourne, Simon J. Tavener & Ruth A. Hufbauer
Extinction risk of small isolated populations in changing environments can be reduced by rapid adaptation and subsequent growth to larger, less vulnerable sizes. Whether this process, called evolutionary rescue, is able to reduce extinction risk and sustain population growth over multiple generations is largely unknown. To understand the consequences of adaptive evolution as well as maladaptive processes in small isolated populations, we subjected experimental Tribolium castaneum populations founded with 10 or 40 individuals to novel...

Data from: Nonselective bottlenecks control the divergence and diversification of phase-variable bacterial populations

Jack Aidley, Shweta Rajopadhye, Nwanekka M. Akinyemi, Lea Lango-Scholey & Christopher D. Bayliss
Phase variation occurs in many pathogenic and commensal bacteria and is a major generator of genetic variability. A putative advantage of phase variation is to counter reductions in variability imposed by nonselective bottlenecks during transmission. Genomes of Campylobacter jejuni, a widespread food-borne pathogen, contain multiple phase-variable loci whose rapid, stochastic variation is generated by hypermutable simple sequence repeat tracts. These loci can occupy a vast number of combinatorial expression states (phasotypes) enabling populations to rapidly...

Data from: Precipitation and environmental constraints on three aspects of flowering in three dominant tallgrass species

Nathan P. Lemoine, John D. Dietrich & Melinda D. Smith
Flower production can comprise up to 70% of aboveground primary production in grasslands. Yet we know relatively little about how the environment and timing of rainfall determine flower productivity. Evidence suggests that deficits or additions of rainfall during phenlologically relevant periods (i.e. growth, storage, initiation of flowering, and reproduction) can determine flower production in grasslands. We used long-term data from the Konza Prairie LTER to test how fire, soil topography, and precipitation amounts during four...

Data from: Factors influencing ocelot occupancy in Brazilian Atlantic Forest reserves

Rodrigo Lima Massara, Ana Maria De Oliveira Paschoal, Larissa Lynn Bailey, , André Hirsch, Adriano Garcia Chiarello & Paul F. Doherty
Over 80% of Atlantic Forest remnants are <50 ha and protected areas are embedded in a matrix dominated by human activities, undermining the long-term persistence of carnivores. The ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is an opportunistic species, but little is known about its tolerance to habitat alterations and the influence of other species on its occupancy in Atlantic Forest remnants. We used camera traps to assess ocelot occupancy in protected areas of Atlantic Forest in southeastern Brazil....

Data from: Robust extraction of quantitative structural information from high-variance histological images of livers from necropsied Soay sheep

Quentin Caudron, Romain Garnier, Jill G. Pilkington, Kathryn A. Watt, Christina Hansen, Bryan T. Grenfell, Tawfik Aboellail & Andrea L. Graham
Quantitative information is essential to the empirical analysis of biological systems. In many such systems, spatial relations between anatomical structures is of interest, making imaging a valuable data acquisition tool. However, image data can be difficult to analyse quantitatively. Many image processing algorithms are highly sensitive to variations in the image, limiting their current application to fields where sample and image quality may be very high. Here, we develop robust image processing algorithms for extracting...

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