226 Works

Atmospheric transport is a major pathway of microplastics to remote regions

Nikolaos Evangeliou, Henrik Grythe, Zbigniew Klimont, Chris Heyes, Sabine Eckhardt, Susana Lopez-Aparicio & Andreas Stohl
In the recent years, a large attention has been given to pollution from plastic products as a major environmental problem. Plastics degrade into smaller particles in the environment via photodegradation, physical abrasion, hydrolysis and biodegradation. Microplastics (1 um to 5 mm size particles) have been reported to affect coral reefs, marine and terrestrial animals, as well as humans. It has been reported that about 30% of microplastics in freshwater and oceanic ecosystems are tire wear...

Detecting phylogenetic signal and adaptation in papionin cranial shape by decomposing variation at different spatial scales

Nicole Grunstra, Anne Le Maítre, Silvester Bartsch & Philipp Mitteroecker
Phylogenetic reconstruction based on morphometric data is hampered by homoplasies. For example, many similarities in cranial form between primate taxa more strongly reflect ecological similarities rather than phylogenetic relatedness. However, the way in which the different cranial bones constitute cranial form is, if at all, of less functional relevance and thus largely hidden from selection. We propose that these “constructional details” are better indicators of phylogenetic history than any large-scale shape feature or raw form...

Data from: Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution

Bernhard Misof, Shanlin Liu, Karen Meusemann, Ralph S. Peters, Alexander Donath, Christoph Mayer, Paul B. Frandsen, Jessica Ware, Tomas Flouri, Rolf G. Beutel, Oliver Niehuis, Malte Petersen, Fernando Izquierdo-Carrasco, Torsten Wappler, Jes Rust, Andre J. Aberer, Ulrike Aspöck, Horst Aspöck, Daniela Bartel, Alexander Blanke, Simon Berger, Alexander Böhm, Thomas Buckley, Brett Calcott, Junqing Chen … & Xin Zhou
Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight...

Data from: Genetic diversity in widespread species is not congruent with species richness in alpine plant communities

Pierre Taberlet, Niklaus E. Zimmermann, Thorsten Englisch, Andreas Tribsch, Rolf Holderegger, Nadir Alvarez, Harald Niklfeld, Zbigniew Mirek, Atte Moilanen, Wolfgang Ahlmer, Paolo Ajmone Marsan, Enzo Bona, Maurizio Bovio, Philippe Choler, Elżbieta Cieślak, Gheorghe Coldea, Licia Colli, Vasile Cristea, Jean-Pierre Dalmas, Božo Frajman, Luc Garraud, Myriam Gaudeul, Ludovic Gielly, Walter Gutermann, Nejc Jogan … & Karol Marhold
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims at the conservation of all three levels of biodiversity, i.e. ecosystems, species and genes. Genetic diversity represents evolutionary potential and is important for ecosystem functioning. Unfortunately, genetic diversity in natural populations is hardly considered in conservation strategies because it is difficult to measure and has been hypothesized to co-vary with species richness. This means that species richness is taken as a surrogate of genetic diversity in conservation planning,...

Data from: Polyploidisation and geographic differentiation drive diversification in a European high mountain plant group (Doronicum clusii aggregate, Asteraceae)

Clemens Pachschwöll, Pedro Escobar García, Manuela Winkler, Gerald M. Schneeweiss & Peter Schönswetter
Range shifts (especially during the Pleistocene), polyploidisation and hybridization are major factors affecting high-mountain biodiversity. A good system to study their role in the European high mountains is the Doronicum clusii aggregate (Asteraceae), whose four taxa (D. clusii s.s., D. stiriacum, D. glaciale subsp. glaciale and D. glaciale subsp. calcareum) are differentiated geographically, ecologically (basiphilous versus silicicolous) and/or via their ploidy levels (diploid versus tetraploid). Here, we use DNA sequences (three plastid and one nuclear...

Data from: Specificity in diversity: single origin of a widespread ciliate-bacteria symbiosis

Brandon K.B. Seah, Thomas Schwaha, Jean-Marie Volland, Bruno Huettel, Nicole Dubilier & Harald R. Gruber-Vodicka
Symbioses between eukaryotes and sulfur-oxidizing (thiotrophic) bacteria have convergently evolved multiple times. Although well described in at least eight classes of metazoan animals, almost nothing is known about the evolution of thiotrophic symbioses in microbial eukaryotes (protists). In this study, we characterized the symbioses between mouthless marine ciliates of the genus Kentrophoros, and their thiotrophic bacteria, using comparative sequence analysis and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Ciliate small-subunit rRNA sequences were obtained from 17 morphospecies collected...

Data from: Tracing the effects of eutrophication on molluscan communities in sediment cores: outbreaks of an opportunistic species coincide with reduced bioturbation and high frequency of hypoxia in the Adriatic Sea

Adam Tomasovych, Ivo Gallmetzer, Alexandra Haselmair, Darrell S. Kaufman, Martina Kralj, Daniele Cassin, Roberto Zonta & Martin Zuschin
Estimating the effects and timing of anthropogenic impacts on the composition of macrobenthic communities is challenging because early 20th century surveys are sparse and the corresponding intervals in sedimentary sequences are mixed by bioturbation. Here, to assess the effects of eutrophication on macrobenthic communities in the northern Adriatic Sea, we account for mixing with dating of the bivalve Corbula gibba at two stations with high sediment accumulation (Po prodelta) and one station with moderate accumulation...

Data from: The effects of sexual selection on trait divergence in a peripheral population with gene flow

Maria R. Servedio & Reinhard Bürger
The unique aspects of speciation and divergence in peripheral populations have long sparked much research. Unidirectional migration, received by some peripheral populations, can hinder the evolution of distinct differences from their founding populations. Here we explore the effects that sexual selection, long hypothesized to drive the divergence of distinct traits used in mate choice, can play in the evolution of such traits in a partially isolated peripheral population. Using population genetic continent-island models, we show...

Data from: A dedicated target capture approach reveals variable genetic markers across micro- and macro-evolutionary time scales in palms

Marylaure De La Harpe, Jaqueline Hess, Oriane Loiseau, Nicolas Salamin, Christian Lexer & Margot Paris
Understanding the genetics of biological diversification across micro- and macro-evolutionary time scales is a vibrant field of research for molecular ecologists as rapid advances in sequencing technologies promise to overcome former limitations. In palms, an emblematic, economically and ecologically important plant family with high diversity in the tropics, studies of diversification at the population and species levels are still hampered by a lack of genomic markers suitable for the genotyping of large numbers of recently...

Data from: Allometry in Anisian (Middle Triassic) segminiplanate conodonts and its implications for conodont taxonomy

Yanlong Chen, Thomas A. Neubauer, Leopold Krystyn & Sylvain Richoz
Conodonts are a clade of chordates and are valuable indicator fossils for biostratigraphy. The segminiplanate (neogondolelliform) conodonts represent a major morphological group ranging from upper Carboniferous to Upper Triassic marine sediments. However, the morphological similarity of segminiplanate P1 elements generates problems for taxonomy, especially in the Permian and Triassic clades. This paper represents the first study of morphological variation in Triassic segminiplanate conodonts using a geometric morphometric approach. The laminar microstructures observed in conodont cross-sections...

Data from: Long live the alien: is high genetic diversity a pivotal aspect of crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) long-lasting and successful invasion?

Emiliano Trucchi, Benoit Facon, Paolo Gratton, Emiliano Mori, Nils Chr. Stenseth & Sissel Jentoft
Studying the evolutionary dynamics of an alien species surviving and continuing to expand after several generations can provide fundamental information on the relevant features of clearly successful invasions. Here, we tackle this task by investigating the dynamics of the genetic diversity in invasive crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) populations, introduced to Italy about 1500 years ago, which are still growing in size, distribution range and ecological niche. Using genome-wide RAD markers, we describe the structure of...

Data from: Evolution in situ: hybrid origin and establishment of willows (Salix L.) on alpine glacier forefields

Susanne Gramlich, Patrick Sagmeister, Stefan Dullinger, Franz Hadacek & Elvira Hörandl
Little attention has been paid to the evolutionary consequences of the colonizing dynamics and succession processes following glacier retreat. Here we studied hybrid populations that have recently formed and established on glacier forefields of the European Alps owing to secondary contact of a lowland colonizer with a subalpine species. We analyzed the composition of two hybrid populations between Salix purpurea and Salix helvetica with nine microsatellite markers by using Bayesian methods (structure and NewHybrids), and...

Data from: Multivariate analysis of genotype-phenotype association

Philipp Mitteroecker, James M. Cheverud & Mihaela Pavlicev
With the advent of modern imaging and measurement technology, complex phenotypes are increasingly represented by large numbers of measurements, which may not bear biological meaning one by one. For such multivariate phenotypes, studying the pairwise associations between all measurements and all alleles is highly inefficient and prevents insight into the genetic pattern underlying the observed phenotypes. We present a new method for identifying patterns of allelic variation (genetic latent variables) that are maximally associated—in terms...

Data from: The impact of reconstruction methods, phylogenetic uncertainty and branch lengths on inference of chromosome number evolution in American daisies (Melampodium, Asteraceae)

Jamie McCann, Gerald M. Schneeweiss, Tod F. Stuessy, Jose L. Villaseñor & Hanna Weiss-Schneeweiss
Chromosome number change (polyploidy and dysploidy) plays an important role in plant diversification and speciation. Investigating chromosome number evolution commonly entails ancestral state reconstruction performed within a phylogenetic framework, which is, however, prone to uncertainty, whose effects on evolutionary inferences are insufficiently understood. Using the chromosomally diverse plant genus Melampodium (Asteraceae) as model group, we assess the impact of reconstruction method (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, Bayesian methods), branch length model (phylograms versus chronograms) and phylogenetic...

Data from: Difference in reproductive mode rather than ploidy explains niche differentiation in sympatric sexual and apomictic populations of Potentilla puberula

Henar Alonso-Marcos, Flavia Domizia Nardi, Susanne Scheffknecht, Andreas Tribsch, Karl Hülber & Christoph Dobes
Apomicts tend to have larger geographical distributional ranges and to occur in ecologically more extreme environments than their sexual progenitors. However, the expression of apomixis is typically linked to polyploidy. Thus, it is a priori not clear whether intrinsic effects related to the change in the reproductive mode or rather in the ploidy drive ecological differentiation. We used sympatric sexual and apomictic populations of Potentilla puberula to test for ecological differentiation. To distinguish the effects...

Data from: Decisive datasets in phylogenomics: lessons from studies on the phylogenetic relationships of primarily wingless insects

Emiliano Dell'Ampio, Karen Meusemann, Nikolaus U. Szucsich, Ralph S. Peters, Benjamin Meyer, Janus Borner, Malte Petersen, Andre J. Aberer, Alexandros Stamatakis, Manfred G. Walzl, Bui Quang Minh, Arndt Von Haeseler, Ingo Ebersberger, Günther Pass & Bernhard Misof
Phylogenetic relationships of the primarily wingless insects are still considered unresolved. Even the most comprehensive phylogenomic studies that addressed this question did not yield congruent results. In order to get a grip on these problems, we here analyzed the sources of incongruence in these phylogenomic studies using an extended transcriptome dataset.Our analyses showed that unevenly distributed missing data can be severely misleading by inflating node support despite the absence of phylogenetic signal. In consequence, only...

Data from: The influence of fluctuating population densities on evolutionary dynamics

Hanja Pisa, Joachim Hermisson & Jitka Polechova
The causes and consequences of fluctuating population densities are an important topic in ecological literature. Yet, the effects of such fluctuations on maintenance of variation in spatially structured populations have received little analytic treatment. We analyze what happens when two habitats coupled by migration not only differ in their trade-offs in selection but also in their demographic stability -- and show that equilibrium allele frequencies can change significantly due to ecological feedback arising from locally...

Data from: Hierarchical decision-making balances current and future reproductive success

Eva Ringler, Georgine Szipl, Ryan J. Harrigan, Petra Bartl-Binder, Rosanna Mangione, Max Ringler & Perta Bartl-Binder
Parental decisions in animals are often context-dependent and shaped by fitness trade-offs between parents and offspring. For example, the selection of breeding habitats can considerably impact the fitness of both offspring and parents, and therefore parents should carefully weigh the costs and benefits of available options for their current and future reproductive success. Here we show that resource-use preferences are shaped by a trade-off between parental effort and offspring safety in a tadpole-transporting frog. In...

Avian vampire fly (Philornis downsi) intensity and mortality

Lauren K Common, Petra Sumasgutner, Rachael Y Dudaniec, Diane Colombelli-Negrel & Sonia Kleindorfer
In invasive parasites, generalism is considered advantageous during the initial phase of introduction. Thereafter, fitness costs to parasites, such as host-specific mortality, can drive parasites towards specialism to avoid costly hosts. It is important to determine changes in host specificity of invasive populations to understand host-parasite dynamics and their effects on vulnerable host populations. We examined changes in mortality in the introduced avian vampire fly (Philornis downsi) (Diptera: Muscidae), a generalist myasis-causing ectoparasite, between 2004...

Pacific Introduced Flora (PacIFLora)

Michael Wohlwend, Dylan Craven, Patrick Weigelt, Hanno Seebens, Marten Winter, Holger Kreft, Wayne Dawson, Franz Essl, Mark Van Kleunen, Jan Pergl, Petr Pyšek, James Space, Philip Thomas & Tiffany Knight
The Pacific region has the highest density of naturalized plant species worldwide, which makes it an important area for research on the ecology, evolution and biogeography of biological invasions. While different data sources on naturalized plant species exist for the Pacific, there is no taxonomically and spatially harmonized database available for different subsets of species and islands. A comprehensive, accessible database containing the distribution of naturalized vascular plant species in the Pacific will enable new...

Stamen dimorphism in bird-pollinated flowers – investigating alternative hypotheses on the evolution of heteranthery

Agnes Dellinger
Heteranthery, the presence of distinct stamen types within a flower, is commonly explained as functional adaptation to alleviate the ‘pollen dilemma’, defined as the dual and conflicting function of pollen as pollinator food resource and male reproductive agent. A single primary hypothesis, ‘division of labour’, has been central in studies on heteranthery. This hypothesis postulates that one stamen type functions in rewarding pollen-collecting pollinators and the other in reproduction, thereby minimizing pollen loss. Only recently,...

Data from: An integrative skeletal and paleogenomic analysis of stature variation suggests relatively reduced health for early European farmers

Stephanie Marciniak, Christina Bergey, Ana Maria Silva, Agata Hałuszko, Mirosław Furmanek, Barbara Veselka, Petr Velemínský, Giuseppe Vercellotti, Joachim Wahl, Gunita Zarina, Cristina Longhi, Jan Kolář, Rafael Garrido-Pena, Raúl Flores-Fernández, Ana M. Herrero-Corral, Angela Simalcsik, Werner Müller, Alison Sheridan, Žydrūnė Miliauskienė, Rimantas Jankauskas, Vyacheslav Moiseyev, Kitti Köhler, Ágnes Király, Beatriz Gamarra, Olivia Cheronet … & George H. Perry
Human culture, biology, and health were shaped dramatically by the onset of agriculture ~12,000 years before present (BP). This shift is hypothesized to have resulted in increased individual fitness and population growth as evidenced by archaeological and population genomic data alongside a decline in physiological health as inferred from skeletal remains. Here, we consider osteological and ancient DNA data from the same prehistoric individuals to study human stature variation as a proxy for health across...

Archive data supporting the results in the paper: Long-term soil warming alters fine root dynamics and morphology, and their ectomycorrhizal fungal community in a temperate forest soil\"

Steve Kwatcho Kengdo, Derek Peršoh, Andreas Schindlbacher, Jakob Heinzle, Ye Tian, Wolfgang Wanek & Werner Borken
Climate warming is predicted to affect temperate forests severely, but the response of fine roots, key to plant nutrition, water uptake, soil carbon and nutrient cycling is unclear. Understanding how fine roots will respond to increasing temperature is a prerequisite for predicting the functioning of forests in a warmer climate. We studied the response of fine roots and their ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungal and root-associated bacterial communities to soil warming by 4 °C in a mixed...

Genetic structure and evolution of diploid Cochlearia in Iceland

Anne Krag Brysting, Luka Natassja Olsen, Marie Kristine Brandrud, Terezie Mandakova, Martin Lysak, Charlotte Sletten Bjorå, Eduardo Cires & Inger Nordal
Within the northern European Cochlearia (Brassicaceae), considerable chromosome variation has taken place without corresponding morphological differentiation, which has resulted in an intricate species complex including two base chromosome numbers and several ploidy levels. Here, we dig into the situation in Iceland. The distribution, genetic structure, taxonomy and origin of the two Cochlearia cytotypes (2n = 12 and 2n = 14) present in Iceland are discussed. Chromosome counts indicate that the 2n = 12 populations are...

Dataset, statistical analysis code, and supplementary material of juvenile ravens' responses towards acoustic cues of different social categories

Mario Gallego-Abenza
Social competence i.e., defined as the ability to adjust the expression of social behaviour to the available social information, is known to be influenced by early-life conditions. Brood size might be one of the factors determining such early conditions, particularly in species with extended parental care. We here tested in ravens, whether growing up in families of different sizes affects the chicks’ responsiveness to social information. We experimentally manipulated the brood size of 20 captive...

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