59 Works

Age-related pharmacodynamics in a bumblebee-microsporidian system mirror similar patterns in vertebrates

Arran J. Folly, Philip C. Stevenson & Mark J. F. Brown
Immune systems provide a key defence against diseases. However, they are not a panacea and so both vertebrates and invertebrates co-opt naturally occurring bioactive compounds to treat themselves against parasites and pathogens. In vertebrates this co-option is complex, with pharmacodynamics leading to differential effects of treatment at different life stages, which may reflect age-linked differences in the immune system. However, our understanding of pharmacodynamics in invertebrates is almost non-existent. Critically, this knowledge may elucidate broad...

Methane emissions from contrasting production regions within Alberta, Canada: Implications under new federal methane regulations

Elizabeth O'Connell, David Risk, Emmaline Atherton, Evelise Bourlon, Chelsea Fougère, Jennifer Baillie & David Lowry
Aggressive reductions of oil and gas sector methane, a potent greenhouse gas, have been proposed in Canada. Few large-scale measurement studies have been conducted to confirm a baseline. This study used a vehicle-based gas monitoring system to measure fugitive and vented gas emissions across Lloydminster (heavy oil), Peace River (heavy oil/bitumen), and Medicine Hat (conventional gas) developments in Alberta, Canada. Four gases (CO2, CH4, H2S, C2H6), and isotopic δ13CCH4 were recorded in real-time at 1...

Data from: Characterizing DNA preservation in degraded specimens of Amara alpina (Carabidae: Coleoptera)

Peter D. Heintzman, Scott A. Elias, Karen Moore, Konrad Paszkiewicz & Ian Barnes
DNA preserved in degraded beetle (Coleoptera) specimens, including those derived from dry-stored museum and ancient permafrost-preserved environments, could provide a valuable resource for researchers interested in species and population histories over timescales from decades to millenia. However, the potential of these samples as genetic resources is currently unassessed. Here, using Sanger and Illumina shotgun sequence data, we explored DNA preservation in specimens of the ground beetle Amara alpina, from both museum and ancient environments. Nearly...

Data from: Quantifying the impact of pesticides on learning and memory in bees

Harry Siviter, Julia Koricheva, Mark J.F. Brown, Ellouise Leadbeater & Mark J. F. Brown
1) Most insecticides are insect neurotoxins. Evidence is emerging that sublethal doses of these neurotoxins are affecting learning and memory of both wild and managed bee colonies; exacerbating the negative effects of pesticide exposure and reducing individual foraging efficiency. 2) Variation in methodologies and interpretation of results across studies has precluded the quantitative evaluation of these impacts that is needed to make recommendations for policy change. It is not clear whether robust effects occur under...

Data from: Host range expansion of native insects to exotic trees increases with area of introduction and presence of congeneric native trees

Manuela Branco, Eckehard G. Brockerhoff, Bastien Castagneyrol, Christophe Orazio & Hervé Jactel
1. Exotic tree species are widely used in forest plantations for their often high productivity and performance compared to native trees. However, these advantages may be compromised by herbivore damage. 2. A list of European insect species that have expanded their host range to one of 28 exotic tree species introduced to Europe was compiled from a systematic literature review. The number of successful expansions was analysed using three predictors: (1) phylogenetic relatedness between exotic...

Data from: A land classification protocol for pollinator ecology research: an urbanisation case study

Ash E. Samuelson & Ellouise Leadbeater
1. Land-use change is one of the most important drivers of widespread declines in pollinator populations. Comprehensive quantitative methods for land classification are critical to understanding these effects, but co-option of existing human-focussed land classifications is often inappropriate for pollinator research. 2. Here we present a flexible GIS-based land classification protocol for pollinator research using a bottom-up approach driven by reference to pollinator ecology, with urbanisation as a case study. Our multi-step method involves manually...

Data from: Limiting opportunities for cheating stabilizes virulence in insect parasitic nematodes

Ben Raymond & David Shapiro-Ilan
Cooperative secretion of virulence factors by pathogens can lead to social conflict when cheating mutants exploit collective secretion, but do not contribute to it. If cheats outcompete cooperators within hosts, this can cause loss of virulence. Insect parasitic nematodes are important biocontrol tools that secrete a range of significant virulence factors. Critically, effective nematodes are hard to maintain without live passage, which can lead to virulence attenuation. Using experimental evolution we tested whether social cheating...

Data from: Lower bumblebee colony reproductive success in agricultural compared to urban environments

Ash E. Samuelson, Richard J. Gill, Mark J.F. Brown, Ellouise Leadbeater & Mark J. F. Brown
Urbanisation represents a rapidly growing driver of land-use change. While it is clear that urbanisation impacts species abundance and diversity, direct effects of urban land-use on animal reproductive success are rarely documented. Here we show that urban land-use is linked to long-term colony reproductive output in a key pollinator. We reared colonies from wild-caught bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) queens, placed them at sites characterised by varying degrees of urbanisation from inner city to rural farmland, and...

Data from: Earthworms affect plant growth and resistance against herbivores: a meta-analysis

Zhenggao Xiao, Xie Wang, Julia Koricheva, Alan Kergunteuil, Renee-Claire Le Bayon, Manqiang Liu, Feng Hu & Sergio Rasmann
1. Subterranean detritivores such as earthworms can increase soil nutrient availability through their burrowing and casting activities. A number of recent studies have explored whether these changes caused by earthworms may in turn affect plant performance and resistance to herbivores, but no formal synthesis of this literature has been conducted to date. 2. We here formally tested for the effects of earthworms on plant growth, resistance and chemical defence against insect herbivores by performing a...

Data from: General and species-specific impacts of a neonicotinoid insecticide on the ovary development and feeding of wild bumblebee queens

Gemma L. Baron, Nigel E. Raine, Mark J.F. Brown & Mark J. F. Brown
Bumblebees are essential pollinators of crops and wild plants, but are in decline across the globe. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated as a potential driver of these declines, but most of our evidence base comes from studies of a single species. There is an urgent need to understand whether such results can be generalized across a range of species. Here, we present results of a laboratory experiment testing the impacts of field-relevant doses (1.87–5.32 ppb)...

Data from: Going undercover: increasing canopy cover around a host tree drives associational resistance to an insect pest

Evalyne W. Muiruri & Julia Koricheva
Neighbouring heterospecific plants are often observed to reduce the probability of herbivore attack on a given focal plant. While this pattern of associational resistance is frequently reported, experimental evidence for underlying mechanisms is rare particularly for potential plant species diversity effects on focal host plants and their physical environment. Here, we used an established forest diversity experiment to determine whether tree diversity effects on an important insect pest are driven by concomitant changes in host...

Data from: Evolution of sociality in spiders leads to depleted genomic diversity at both population and species level

Virginia Settepani, Mads F. Schou, Michelle Greve, Lena Grinsted, Jesper Bechsgaard & Trine Bilde
Across several animal taxa, the evolution of sociality involves a suite of characteristics, a ‘social syndrome’, that includes cooperative breeding, reproductive skew, primary female biased sex-ratio, and the transition from outcrossing to inbreeding mating system, factors that are expected to reduce effective population size (Ne). This social syndrome may be favoured by short-term benefits but come with long-term costs, because the reduction in Ne amplifies loss of genetic diversity by genetic drift, ultimately restricting the...

Data from: Unique evolutionary trajectories in repeated adaptation to hydrogen sulphide-toxic habitats of a neotropical fish (Poecilia mexicana)

Markus Pfenninger, Simit Patel, Lenin Arias-Rodriguez, Barbara Feldmeyer, Rüdiger Riesch & Martin Plath
Replicated ecological gradients are prime systems to study processes of molecular evolution underlying ecological divergence. Here, we investigated the repeated adaptation of the neotropical fish Poecilia mexicana to habitats containing toxic hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and compared two population pairs of sulphide-adapted and ancestral fish by sequencing population pools of >200 individuals (Pool-Seq). We inferred the evolutionary processes shaping divergence and tested the hypothesis of increase of parallelism from SNPs to molecular pathways. Coalescence analyses showed...

Fine-scale changes in speed and altitude suggest protean movements in homing pigeon flights

Baptiste Garde, Rory Wilson, Emmanouil Lempidakis, Luca Börger, Steven Portugal, Anders Hedenström, Giacomo Dell'Omo, Michael Quetting, Martin Wikelski & Emily L. C. Shepard
The power curve provides a basis for predicting adjustments that animals make in flight speed, for example in relation to wind, distance, habitat foraging quality and objective. However, relatively few studies have examined how animals respond to the landscape below them, which could affect speed and power allocation through modifications in climb rate and perceived predation risk. We equipped homing pigeons (Columba livia) with high-frequency loggers to examine how flight speed, and hence effort, varies...

Raw data set of pigeon body mass measurements

Steven Portugal & Craig White
1. Animal-borne logging devices are now commonly used to record and monitor the movements, physiology and behaviours of free-living animals. It is imperative that the impacts these devices have on the animals themselves is minimised. 2. One important consideration is the interaction between the body mass of the animal, and the mass of the device. 3. Using captive homing pigeons, we demonstrate that birds lose the equivalent amount of body mass compared to that of...

Teaching and learning in ecology: a horizon scan of emerging challenges and solutions

Zenobia Lewis, Julia Cooke, Yoseph Araya, Karen Bacon, Joanna Bagniewska, Lesley Batty, Tom Bishop, Moya Burns, Magda Charalambous, David Daversa, Liam Dougherty, Miranda Dyson, Adam Fisher, Dan Forman, Cristina Garcia, Ewan Harney, Thomas Hesselberg, Elizabeth John, Robert Knell, Kadmiel Maseyk, Alice Mauchline, Julie Peacock, Angelo Pernetto, Jeremy Pritchard, William Sutherland … & Nicholas Worsfold
We currently face significant, anthropogenic, global environmental challenges and therole of ecologists in mitigating these challenges is arguably more important than ever. Consequently there is an urgent need to recruit and train future generations of ecologists, both those whose main area is ecology, but also those involved in the geological, biological and environmental sciences. Here we present the results of a horizon scanning exercise that identified current and future challenges facing the teaching of ecology,...

Data from: Individual and combined impacts of sulfoxaflor and Nosema bombi on bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) larval growth

Harry Siviter, Arran Folly, Mark Brown & Ellouise Leadbeater
Sulfoxaflor is a globally important novel insecticide that can have negative impacts on the reproductive output of bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) colonies. However, it remains unclear as to which life-history stage is critically affected by exposure. One hypothesis is that sulfoxaflor exposure early in the colony’s life cycle can impair larval development, reducing the number of workers produced, and ultimately lowering colony reproductive output. Here we assess the influence of sulfoxaflor exposure on bumblebee larval mortality...

Data from: Sulfoxaflor exposure reduces egg laying in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

Harry Siviter, Jacob Horner, Mark Brown & Elli Leadbeater
Sulfoximine-based insecticides, such as sulfoxaflor, are of increasing global importance and have been registered for use in 81 countries, offering a potential alternative to neonicotinoid insecticides. Previous studies have demonstrated that sulfoxaflor exposure can have a negative impact on the reproductive output of bumblebee colonies, but the specific life-history variables that underlie these effects remain unknown. Here, we used a microcolony-based protocol to assess the sub-lethal effects of chronic sulfoxaflor exposure on egg laying, larval...

Micro CT Images of Sellafield Borehole 13B

Ryan Payton, Brett Clark & Mark Fellgett
These images were acquired using micro computed tomographic imaging of 7 sandstone plugs taken at various depths in the Sellafield borehole 13B. SF696 (63.8 m), SF697 (76.1 m), SF698 (96.98 m), SF699 (126.27 m), SF700 (144.03 m), SF701 (172.16 m) and SF702 (181.39 m). These samples are further detailed and analysed in the following article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/petgeo2020-092

Micro CT Images of Borehole GGC01

Ryan Payton, Brett Clark & Mark Fellgett
These images were acquired using micro computed tomographic imaging of 4 sandstone plugs taken at various depths in the Glasgow UKGEOS borehole GGC01. GG496 (170.07 m), GG497 (168.66 m), GG498 (73.37 m) and GG499 (135.06 m). These samples are further detailed and analysed in the following article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/petgeo2020-092.

Data from: Detecting and quantifying social transmission using network-based diffusion analysis

Matthew Hasenjager, Ellouise Leadbeater & William Hoppitt
1. Although social learning capabilities are taxonomically widespread, demonstrating that freely interacting animals (whether wild or captive) rely on social learning has proved remarkably challenging. 2. Network-based diffusion analysis (NBDA) offers a means for detecting social learning using observational data on freely interacting groups. Its core assumption is that if a target behaviour is socially transmitted, then its spread should follow the connections in a social network that reflects social learning opportunities. 3. Here, we...

Data from: Elevated virulence of an emerging viral genotype as a driver of honeybee loss

Dino P. McMahon, Myrsini E. Natsopoulou, Vincent Doublet, Matthias Fürst, Silvio Weging, Mark J. F. Brown, Andreas Gogol-Döring & Robert J. Paxton
Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) have contributed significantly to the current biodiversity crisis, leading to widespread epidemics and population loss. Owing to genetic variation in pathogen virulence, a complete understanding of species decline requires the accurate identification and characterization of EIDs. We explore this issue in the Western honeybee, where increasing mortality of populations in the Northern Hemisphere has caused major concern. Specifically, we investigate the importance of genetic identity of the main suspect in mortality,...

Data from: Fear of predation shapes social network structure and the acquisition of foraging information in guppy shoals

Matthew J. Hasenjager & Lee A. Dugatkin
Spatio-temporal variation in predation risk is predicted to select for plastic anti-predator responses, which may in turn impact the fine-scale social structure of prey groups and processes mediated by that structure. To test these predictions, we manipulated the ambient predation risk experienced by Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) groups before quantifying their social networks and recording individual latencies to approach and solve a novel foraging task. High-risk conditions drove the formation of social networks that were...

Data from: Transitions between phases of genomic differentiation during stick-insect speciation

Rüdiger Riesch, Moritz Muschick, Dorothea Lindtke, Romain Villoutreix, Aaron A. Comeault, Timothy E. Farkas, Kay Lucek, Elizabeth Hellen, Víctor Soria-Carrasco, Stuart R. Dennis, Clarissa F. De Carvalho, Rebecca J. Safran, Cristina P. Sandoval, Jeff Feder, Regine Gries, Bernard J. Crespi, Gerhard Gries, Zach Gompert & Patrik Nosil
Speciation can involve a transition from a few genetic loci that are resistant to gene flow to genome-wide differentiation. However, only limited data exist concerning this transition and the factors promoting it. Here, we study phases of speciation using data from >100 populations of 11 species of Timema stick insects. Consistent with early phases of genic speciation, adaptive colour-pattern loci reside in localized genetic regions of accentuated differentiation between populations experiencing gene flow. Transitions to...

Data from: Ecological and genetic determinants of plasmid distribution in Escherichia coli

Frances Medaney, Richard J. Ellis & Ben Raymond
Bacterial plasmids are important carriers of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes. Nevertheless, little is known of the determinants of plasmid distribution in bacterial populations. Here the factors affecting the diversity and distribution of the large plasmids of Escherichia coli were explored in cattle grazing on semi-natural grassland, a set of populations with low frequencies of antibiotic resistance genes. Critically, the population genetic structure of bacterial hosts was chararacterized. This revealed structured E. coli populations with...

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  • Royal Holloway University of London
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Exeter
  • University of London
  • North West Agriculture and Forestry University
  • University of Liège
  • University of Leeds
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Sheffield