227 Works

Data from: Climate mediates the effects of disturbance on ant assemblage structure

Heloise Gibb, Nathan J. Sanders, Robert R. Dunn, Simon Watson, Manoli Photakis, Silvia Abril, Alan N. Andersen, Elena Angulo, Inge Armbrecht, Xavier Arnan, Fabricio B. Baccaro, Tom R. Bishop, Raphael Boulay, Cristina Castracani, Israel Del Toro, Thibaut Delsinne, Mireia Diaz, David A. Donoso, Martha L. Enríquez, Tom M. Fayle, Donald H. Feener, Matthew C. Fitzpatrick, Crisanto Gómez, Donato A. Grasso, Sarah Groc … & C. Gomez
Many studies have focused on the impacts of climate change on biological assemblages, yet little is known about how climate interacts with other major anthropogenic influences on biodiversity, such as habitat disturbance. Using a unique global database of 1128 local ant assemblages, we examined whether climate mediates the effects of habitat disturbance on assemblage structure at a global scale. Species richness and evenness were associated positively with temperature, and negatively with disturbance. However, the interaction...

Data from: The rediscovery of a long described species reveals additional complexity in speciation patterns of poeciliid fishes in sulfide springs

Maura Palacios, Lenin Arias-Rodrigues, Martin Plath, Constanze Eifert, Hannes Lerp, Anton Lamboj, Gary Voelker, Michael Tobler & Lenin Arias-Rodriguez
The process of ecological speciation drives the evolution of locally adapted and reproductively isolated populations in response to divergent natural selection. In Southern Mexico, several lineages of the freshwater fish species of the genus Poecilia have independently colonized toxic, hydrogen sulfide-rich springs. Even though ecological speciation processes are increasingly well understood in this system, aligning the taxonomy of these fish with evolutionary processes has lagged behind. While some sulfide spring populations are classified as ecotypes...

Evolution, diversity, and disparity of the tiger shark lineage Galeocerdo in deep time

Julia Türtscher, Faviel A. López-Romero, Patrick L. Jambura, René Kindlimann, David J. Ward & Jürgen Kriwet
Sharks have a long and rich fossil record that consists predominantly of isolated teeth due to the poorly mineralized cartilaginous skeleton. Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo), which represent apex predators in modern oceans, have a known fossil record extending back into the early Eocene (ca. 56 Ma) and comprise 22 recognised extinct and one extant species to date. However, many of the fossil species remain dubious, resulting in a still unresolved evolutionary history of the tiger shark...

Central and Northern European caterpillar assemblages show strong phylogenetic structure

Patrick Strutzenberger & Konrad Fiedler
Phylogenetic diversity metrics have been used to tackle an increasing number of questions in ecology and evolutionary biology. Here we present a novel use of phylogenetic diversity metrics namely the investigation of insect herbivore assemblages on select plant species in order to investigate possible drivers shaping the phylogenetic structure of those assemblages. We investigated the phylogenetic structure of lepidopteran herbivore assemblages on 208 species of central European vascular plants. A dataset of 2553 species of...

Data from: Mosses reduce soil nitrogen availability in a subarctic birch forest via effects on soil thermal regime and sequestration of deposited nitrogen

Marianne Koranda & Anders Michelsen
In high-latitude ecosystems, bryophytes are important drivers of ecosystem functions. Alterations in abundance of mosses due to global change may thus strongly influence carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling and hence cause feedback on climate. The effects of mosses on soil microbial activity are, however, still poorly understood. Our study aims at elucidating how and by which mechanisms bryophytes influence microbial decomposition processes of soil organic matter and thus soil nutrient availability. We present results...

Native biodiversity collapse in the Eastern Mediterranean

Paolo G. Albano, Jan Steger, Marija Bošnjak, Beata Dunne, Zara Guifarro, Elina Turapova, Quan Hua, Darrell Kaufman, Gil Rilov & Martin Zuschin
Global warming causes the poleward shift of the trailing edges of marine ectotherm species distributions. In the semi-enclosed Mediterranean Sea, continental masses and oceanographic barriers do not allow natural connectivity with thermophilic species pools: as trailing edges retreat, a net diversity loss occurs. We quantify this loss on the Israeli shelf, among the warmest areas in the Mediterranean, by comparing current native molluscan richness with the historical one obtained from surficial death assemblages. We recorded...

Morphometric variation at different spatial scales: coordination and compensation in the emergence of organismal form

Philipp Mitteroecker, Silvester Bartsch, Nicole Grunstra, Anne Le Maitre, Fred Bookstein & Corinna Erkinger
It is a classic aim of quantitative and evolutionary biology to infer genetic architecture and potential evolutionary responses to selection from the variance-covariance structure of measured traits. But a meaningful genetic or developmental interpretation of raw covariances is difficult, and classic concepts of morphological integration do not directly apply to modern morphometric data. Here we present a new morphometric strategy based on the comparison of morphological variation across different spatial scales. If anatomical elements vary...

Scale dependence of drilling predation in the Holocene of the northern Adriatic Sea across benthic habitats and nutrient regimes

Martin Zuschin, Rafal Nawrot, Markus Dengg, Ivo Gallmetzer, Alexandra Haselmair, Sandra Wurzer & Adam Tomašových
Predation has strongly shaped past and modern marine ecosystems, but the scale dependency of patterns in drilling predation, the most widely used proxy for predator-prey interactions in the fossil record, is a matter of debate. To assess the effects of spatial and taxonomic scale on temporal trends in the drilling frequencies (DF), we analyzed Holocene molluscan assemblages of different benthic habitats and nutrient regimes from the northern Adriatic shelf in a sequence stratigraphic context. Although...

Data from: Postglacial determinants of regional species pools in alpine grasslands

Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Wolfgang Willner, Eszter Ruprecht, Kiril Vassilev, Nevena Kuzmanovic, Renata Ćušterevska, Djordjije Milanovic, Josef Sibik, Sylvain Abdulhak, Angela Stanisci, Maria Luisa Carranza, Ariel Bergamini, Corrado Marcenó & Gianpietro Giusso Del Galdo
Aim: Alpine habitats support unique biodiversity confined to high-elevation areas in the current interglacial. Plant diversity in these habitats responds to area, environment, connectivity and isolation, yet these factors have been rarely evaluated in concert. Here we investigate major determinants of regional species pools in alpine grasslands, and the responses of their constituent species groups. Location: European mountains below 50ºN. Time Period: Between 1928 and 2019. Major Taxa Studied: Vascular plants. Methods: We compiled species...

Nesting success and nesting height in the critically endangered Medium Tree Finch (Camarhynchus pauper)

Sonia Kleindorfer
When different introduced species across trophic levels (ectoparasite, predator) invade island systems, they may pose significant threats to nesting birds. In this study, we measure nesting height and causes of offspring mortality in the critically endangered Medium Tree Finch (Camarhynchus pauper), an island endemic restricted to Floreana Island on the Galápagos archipelago. Considering all nests at which a male built a nest, sang and attempted to attract a female (N = 222 nests), only 10.4%...

Data from: Strong male/male competition allows for nonchoosy females: high levels of polygynandry in a territorial frog with paternal care

Eva Ursprung, Max Ringler, Robert Jehle & Walter Hödl
Our knowledge about genetic mating systems and the underlying causes for and consequences of variation in reproductive success has substantially improved in recent years. When linked to longitudinal population studies, cross-generational pedigrees across wild populations can help answer a wide suite of questions in ecology and evolutionary biology. We used microsatellite markers and exhaustive sampling of two successive adult generations to obtain population-wide estimates of individual reproductive output of males and females in a natural...

Data from: Evolution of brain region volumes during artificial selection for relative brain size

Alexander Kotrschal, Hong-Li Zeng, Wouter Van Der Bijl, Caroline Öhman-Mägi, Kurt Kotrschal, Kristiaan Pelckmans & Niclas Kolm
The vertebrate brain shows an extremely conserved layout across taxa. Still, the relative sizes of separate brain regions vary markedly between species. One interesting pattern is that larger brains seem associated with increased relative sizes only of certain brain regions, for instance telencephalon and cerebellum. Till now, the evolutionary association between separate brain regions and overall brain size is based on comparative evidence and remains experimentally untested. Here we test the evolutionary response of brain...

Data from: Functional trait differences and trait plasticity mediate biotic resistance to potential plant invaders

Luisa Conti, Svenja Block, Madalin Parepa, Tamara Münkemüller, Wilfried Thuiller, Alicia T.R. Acosta, Mark Van Kleunen, Stefan Dullinger, Franz Essl, Iwona Dullinger, Dietmar Moser, Günther Klonner, Oliver Bossdorf, Marta Carboni & Alicia T. R. Acosta
1. Biotic resistance represents an important natural barrier to potential invaders throughout the world, yet the underlying mechanisms that drive such resistance are still debated. In theory, native communities should repel both functionally similar invaders which compete for the same resources, and invaders which possess less competitive traits. However, environmental stress, trade-offs across vital rates and competition-induced plastic trait shifts may modify expected competitive outcomes, thereby influencing invasion dynamics. 2. In order to test these...

Data from: Altered gene expression and ecological divergence in sibling allopolyploids of Dactylorhiza (Orchidaceae)

Ovidiu Paun, Richard M. Bateman, Michael F. Fay, Javier A. Luna, Justin Moat, Mikael Hedrén & Mark W Chase
Background: Hybridization and polyploidy are potent forces that have regularly stimulated plant evolution and adaptation. Dactylorhiza majalis s.s., D. traunsteineri s.l. and D. ebudensis are three allopolyploid species of a polyploid complex formed through unidirectional (and, in the first two cases, recurrent) hybridization between the widespread diploids D. fuchsii and D. incarnata. Differing considerably in geographical extent and ecological tolerance, the three allopolyploids together provide a useful system to explore genomic responses to allopolyploidization and...

Data from: Attacked ravens flexibly adjust signalling behaviour according to audience composition

Georgine Szipl, Eva Ringler & Thomas Bugnyar
A fundamental attribute of social intelligence is the ability to monitor third party relationships, which has been repeatedly demonstrated in primates, and recently also in captive ravens. It is yet unknown how ravens make use of this ability when dealing with different types of social relationships simultaneously during complex real-life situations. Free-ranging non-breeder ravens live in societies characterized by high fission-fusion dynamics and structured by age, pair-bond status, and kinship. Here, we show that free-ranging...

Data from: Establishing a community-wide DNA barcode library as a new tool for arctic research

H. Wirta, G. Várkonyi, C. Rasmussen, R. Kaartinen, N. M. Schmidt, P. D. N. Hebert, M. Barták, G. Blagoev, H. Disney, S. Ertl, P. Gjelstrup, D. J. Gwiazdowicz, L. Huldén, J. Ilmonen, J. Jakovlev, M. Jaschhof, J. Kahanpää, T. Kankaanpää, P. H. Krogh, R. Labbee, C. Lettner, V. Michelsen, S. A. Nielsen, T. R. Nielsen, L. Paasivirta … & T. Roslin
DNA sequences offer powerful tools for describing the members and interactions of natural communities. In this study, we establish the to-date most comprehensive library of DNA barcodes for a terrestrial site, including all known macroscopic animals and vascular plants of an intensively studied area of the High Arctic, the Zackenberg Valley in Northeast Greenland. To demonstrate its utility, we apply the library to identify nearly 20 000 arthropod individuals from two Malaise traps, each operated...

Data from: Bounds to parapatric speciation: A dobzhansky-muller incompatibility model involving autosomes, X chromosomes and mitochondria

Ilse Höllinger & Joachim Hermisson
We investigate the conditions for the origin and maintenance of postzygotic isolation barriers, so called (Bateson-)Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities or DMIs, among populations that are connected by gene flow. Specifically, we compare the relative stability of pairwise DMIs among autosomes, X chromosomes, and mitochondrial genes. In an analytical approach based on a continent-island framework, we determine how the maximum permissible migration rates depend on the genomic architecture of the DMI, on sex bias in migration rates, and...

Data from: Similarities and differences in altitudinal versus latitudinal variation for morphological traits in Drosophila melanogaster

Peter Klepsatel, Martina Gáliková, Christian D. Huber & Thomas Flatt
Understanding how natural environments shape phenotypic variation is a major aim in evolutionary biology. Here, we have examined clinal, likely genetically-based variation in morphology among 19 populations of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) from Africa and Europe, spanning a range from sea level to 3000 m altitude and including locations approximating the southern and northern range limit. We were interested in testing whether latitude and altitude have similar phenotypic effects, as has often been postulated....

Data from: Integrating restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) with morphological cladistic analysis clarifies evolutionary relationships among major species groups of bee orchids

Richard M. Bateman, Gábor Sramkó & Ovidiu Paun
Background and Aims. Bee orchids (Ophrys) have become the most popular model system for studying reproduction via insect-mediated pseudo-copulation and for exploring the consequent, putatively adaptive, evolutionary radiations. However, despite intensive past research, both the phylogenetic structure and species diversity within the genus remain highly contentious. Here, we integrate next-generation sequencing and morphological cladistics techniques to clarify the phylogeny of the genus. Methods. At least two accessions of each of the ten species groups previously...

Source pools and disharmony of the world’s island floras

Christian König, Patrick Weigelt, Amanda Taylor, Anke Stein, Wayne Dawson, Franz Essl, Jan Pergl, Petr Pysek, Mark Van Kleunen, Marten Winter, Cyrille Chatelain, Jan Wieringa, Pavel Krestov & Holger Kreft
Island disharmony refers to the biased representation of higher taxa on islands compared to their mainland source regions and represents a central concept in island biology. Here, we develop a generalizable framework for approximating these source regions and conduct the first global assessment of island disharmony and its underlying drivers. We compiled vascular plant species lists for 178 oceanic islands and 735 mainland regions. Using mainland data only, we modelled species turnover as a function...

Data from: A unique hybodontiform skeleton provides novel insights into Mesozoic chondrichthyan life

Sebastian Stumpf, Faviel A. López-Romero, René Kindlimann, Frederic Lacombat, Burkhard Pohl & Jürgen Kriwet
Asteracanthus apparently was one of the most common Mesozoic hybodontiform chondrichthyans, as remains traditionally referred to this genus have been reported almost worldwide from Middle Triassic to Late Cretaceous strata so far. Asteracanthus was erected by Louis Agassiz for Late Jurassic fin spines with stellate tubercles. Later, Arthur Smith Woodward synonymized Strophodus, originally introduced by Agassiz for distinctive crushing teeth of Triassic to Cretaceous age, with Asteracanthus based on associated teeth and spines from the...

Learned predators enhance biological control via organizational upward and trophic top-down cascades

Peter Schausberger, Demet Cekin & Alena Litin
1. Learning is a behavioral change based on memory of previous experiences and a ubiquitous phenomenon in animals. Learning effects are commonly life stage- and age-specific. In many animals, early life experiences lead to pervasive and persistent behavioral changes. 2. There is broad consensus that learning has far-reaching implications to biological control. Proximate and ultimate factors of individual learning by parasitoids and true predators are relatively well understood, yet the consequences of learning to higher...

Glucocorticoids link forest type to local abundance in tropical birds

Simone Messina, David Edwards, Valeria Marasco, Virginie Canoine, Cindy Cosset, Suzanne Tomassi, Suzan Benedick, Marcel Eens & David Costantini
Selective logging is a major driver of environmental changes in the tropics. Recently, there has been increasing interest in understanding which traits make bird species resilient or vulnerable to such changes. Physiological stress mediated by the steroid hormone corticosterone (CORT) might underlie changes in local abundance of species because it regulates a range of body functions and behaviours to maintain homeostasis in changing environments. We conducted a three-year study to assess: (i) the variation in...

Data from: Ecological regime shift preserved in the Anthropocene stratigraphic record

Adam Tomasovych, Paolo Albano, Tomas Fuksi, Ivo Gallmetzer, Alexandra Haselmair, Michal Kowalewski, Rafał Nawrot, Vedrana Nerlovic, Daniele Scarponi & Martin Zuschin
Paleoecological data are unique historical archives that extend back far beyond the last several decades of ecological observations. However, the fossil record of continental shelves has been perceived as too coarse and incomplete to detect processes occurring at decadal scales relevant to ecology and conservation. Here we show that the youngest (Anthropocene) fossil record on a continental shelf of the Adriatic Sea provides decadal-scale temporal resolution that is adequate for documenting an abrupt ecological shift...

Data from: ‘In and out of’ the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Himalayas: centers of origin and diversification compared across five clades of Eurasian montane and alpine passerine birds

Martin Päckert, Adrien Favre, Jan Schnitzler, Jochen Martens, Yue-Hua Sun, Dieter Thomas Tietze, Frank Hailer, Ingo Michalak & Patrick Strutzenberger
Encompassing some of the major hotspots of biodiversity on Earth, large mountain systems have long held the attention of evolutionary biologists. The region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) is considered a biogeographic source for multiple colonization events into adjacent areas including the northern Palearctic. The faunal exchange between the QTP and adjacent regions could thus represent a one-way street (‘out of’ the QTP). However, immigration into the QTP region has so far received only little...

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  • University of Vienna
  • University of Göttingen
  • University of Innsbruck
  • University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
  • University of Cambridge
  • Durham University
  • University of Oslo
  • University of Zurich
  • University of Konstanz