138 Works

Mind the outgroup and bare branches in total-evidence dating: a case study of Pimpliform Darwin Wasps (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae)

Tamara Spasojevic, Ilari E. Sääksjärvi, Masato Ito, Stanislav Korenko, Seraina Klopfstein, Gavin R. Broad & Martin Schwarz
Taxon sampling is a central aspect of phylogenetic study design, but it has received limited attention in the context of total-evidence dating, a widely used dating approach that directly integrates molecular and morphological information from extant and fossil taxa. We here assess the impact of commonly employed outgroup sampling schemes and missing morphological data in extant taxa on age estimates in a total-evidence dating analysis under the uniform tree prior. Our study group is Pimpliformes,...

To hop or not to hop? the answer is in the bird trees

Pauline Provini & Elizabeth Höfling
Birds can use different types of gaits to move on the ground: they either walk, hop, or run. Although velocity can easily explain a preference for running, it remains unclear what drives a bird species to favour hopping over walking. As many hopping birds are relatively small and arboreal, we wanted to test the link between size, arboreality and hopping ability. First, we carried out ancestral character state reconstructions of size range, hopping ability and...

Unravelling species co-occurrence in a steppe bird community of Inner Mongolia: insights for the conservation of the endangered Jankowski’s Bunting

Zheng Han, Lishi Zhang, Yunlei Jiang, Haitao Wang & Frédéric Jiguet
Aim: To evaluate the patterns of bird assemblage and distribution in an endangered grassland system, taking into accounts both environmental and biotic effects. To further focus on an endangered songbird and associated steppe birds. Location: Inner Mongolia, China Methods: We investigated the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors driving the abundance and co-occurrence of steppe birds in Inner Mongolia by using joint species distribution models. We examined the general patterns of species assemblage, with...

Phylogenomic analysis sheds light on the evolutionary pathways towards acoustic communication in Orthoptera

Hojun Song, Olivier Béthoux, Seunggwan Shin, Alexander Donath, Harald Letsch, Shanlin Liu, Duane D. McKenna, Guanliang Meng, Bernhard Misof, Lars Podsiadlowski, Xin Zhou, Benjamin Wipfler & Sabrina Simon
Acoustic communication is enabled by the evolution of specialised hearing and sound producing organs. In this study, we performed a large-scale macroevolutionary study to understand how both hearing and sound production evolved and affected diversification in the insect order Orthoptera, which includes many familiar singing insects, such as crickets, katydids, and grasshoppers. Using phylogenomic data, we firmly establish phylogenetic relationships among the major lineages and divergence time estimates within Orthoptera, as well as the lineage-specific...

Redescription of the cranial skeleton of the Early Devonian (Emsian) sarcopterygian Durialepis edentatus Otto, 2007 (Dipnomorpha; Porolepiformes)

Sam Giles, Jorge Mondéjar-Fernández & Matt Friedman
Porolepiforms represent a clade of Devonian stem lungfishes, divided into the cosmine-bearing and likely paraphyletic ‘Porolepidae’ (e.g., Porolepis, Heimenia) and the cosmine-free and stratigraphically younger Holoptychiidae (e.g., Holoptychius, Glyptolepis, Laccognathus). Data on the dermoskeleton are available for both groups, but are more limited for ‘porolepids’. Here we present new information on the ‘porolepid’ Durialepis edentatus from the Emsian (Early Devonian) of Germany based on micro-CT scanning. The material comprises an articulated skull of a single...

Modifications of the rainforest frugivore community are associated with reduced seed removal at the community level

Olivier Boissier
Tropical rainforests worldwide are under increasing pressure from human activities, which are altering key ecosystem processes such as plant-animal interactions. However, while the direct impact of anthropogenic disturbance on animal communities has been well studied, the consequences of such defaunation for mutualistic interactions such as seed dispersal remains chiefly understood at the plant species level. We asked whether communities of endozoochorous tree species had altered seed removal in forests affected by hunting and logging and...

Data from: Does recognized genetic management in supportive breeding prevent genetic changes in life-history traits?

Rémi Chargé, Gabriele Sorci, Michel Saint Jalme, Loïc Lesobre, Yves Hingrat, Frédéric Lacroix & Celine Teplitsky
Supportive breeding is one of the last resort conservation strategies to avoid species extinction. Management of captive populations is challenging because several harmful genetic processes need to be avoided. Several recommendations have been proposed to limit these deleterious effects, but empirical assessments of these strategies remain scarce. We investigated the outcome of a genetic management in a supportive breeding for the Houbara Bustard. At the phenotypic level, we found an increase over generations in the...

Data from: Functional homogenization of flower visitor communities with urbanization

Nicolas Deguines, Romain Julliard, Mathieu De Flores & Colin Fontaine
Land-use intensification and resulting habitat loss are put forward as the main causes of flower visitor decline. However, the impact of urbanization, the prime driver of land-use intensification in Europe, is poorly studied. In particular, our understanding of whether and how it affects the composition and functioning of flower visitor assemblages is scant, yet required to cope with increasing urbanization worldwide. Here, we use a nation-wide dataset of plant-flower visitor (Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera) interactions...

Data from: Does habitat specialization shape the evolutionary potential of wild bird populations?

Ivain Martinossi-Allibert, Joanne Clavel, Simon Ducatez, I. Le Viol & Celine Teplitsky
Because specialist species evolved in more temporally and spatially homogeneous environments than generalist species, they are supposed to experience less fluctuating selection. For this reason, we expect specialists to show lower overall genetic variation as compared to generalists. We also expect populations from specialist species to be smaller and more fragmented, with lower neutral genetic diversity. We tested these hypotheses by investigating patterns of genetic diversity along a habitat specialization gradient in wild birds, based...

Data from: Two widespread green Neottia species (Orchidaceae) show mycorrhizal preference for Sebacinales in various habitats and ontogenetic stages

Tamara Těšitelová, Milan Kotilínek, Jana Jersáková, François-Xavier Joly, Jiří Košnar, Irina Tatarenko & Marc-André Selosse
Plant dependence on fungal carbon (mycoheterotrophy) evolved repeatedly. In orchids, it is connected with a mycorrhizal shift from rhizoctonia to ectomycorrhizal fungi and a high natural 13C and 15N abundance. Some green relatives of mycoheterotrophic species show identical trends, but most of these remain unstudied, blurring our understanding of evolution to mycoheterotrophy. We analyzed mycorrhizal associations and 13C and 15N biomass content in two green species, Neottia ovata and N. cordata (tribe Neottieae), from a...

Data from: Barb geometry of asymmetrical feathers reveals a transitional morphology in the evolution of avian flight

Teresa J. Feo, Daniel J. Field & Richard O. Prum
The geometry of feather barbs (barb length and barb angle) determines feather vane asymmetry and vane rigidity, which are both critical to a feather's aerodynamic performance. Here, we describe the relationship between barb geometry and aerodynamic function across the evolutionary history of asymmetrical flight feathers, from Mesozoic taxa outside of modern avian diversity (Microraptor, Archaeopteryx, Sapeornis, Confuciusornis and the enantiornithine Eopengornis) to an extensive sample of modern birds. Contrary to previous assumptions, we find that...

Data from: Comparative multi-locus phylogeography confirms multiple vicariance events in co-distributed rainforest frogs

Rayna C Bell, Jason B MacKenzie, Michael J Hickerson, Krystle L Chavarría, Michael Cunningham, Stephen Williams, Craig Moritz, K. L. Chavarria, J. B. MacKenzie, S. Williams, R. C. Bell, M. Cunningham, C. Moritz & M. J. Hickerson
Though Pleistocene refugia are frequently cited as drivers of species diversification, comparisons of molecular divergence among sister species typically indicate a continuum of divergence times from the late Miocene, rather than a clear pulse of speciation events at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Community-scale inference methods that explicitly test for multiple vicariance events, and account for differences in ancestral effective population size and gene flow, are well suited for detecting heterogeneity of species’ responses to...

Data from: Citizen science reveals unexpected continental-scale evolutionary change in a model organism

Jonathan Silvertown, Laurence Cook, Robert Cameron, Mike Dodd, Kevin McConway, Jenny Worthington, Peter Skelton, Christian Anton, Oliver Bossdorf, Bruno Baur, Menno Schilthuizen, Benoît Fontaine, Helmut Sattmann, Giorgio Bertorelle, Maria Correia, Cristina Oliveira, Beata Pokryszko, Małgorzata Ożgo, Arturs Stalažs, Eoin Gill, Üllar Rammul, Péter Sólymos, Zoltan Féher & Xavier Juan
Organisms provide some of the most sensitive indicators of climate change and evolutionary responses are becoming apparent in species with short generation times. Large datasets on genetic polymorphism that can provide an historical benchmark against which to test for recent evolutionary responses are very rare, but an exception is found in the brown-lipped banded snail (Cepaea nemoralis). This species is sensitive to its thermal environment and exhibits several polymorphisms of shell colour and banding pattern...

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