58 Works

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: 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: 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...

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: Globally, functional traits are weak predictors of juvenile tree growth, and we do not know why

C. E. Timothy Paine, Lucy Amissah, Harald Auge, Christopher Baraloto, Martin Baruffol, Nils Bourland, Helge Bruelheide, Kasso Daïnou, Roland C. De Gouvenain, Jean-Louis Doucet, Susan Doust, Paul V. A. Fine, Claire Fortunel, Josephine Haase, Karen D. Holl, Hervé Jactel, Xuefei Li, Kaoru Kitajima, Julia Koricheva, Cristina Martínez-Garza, Christian Messier, Alain Paquette, Christopher Philipson, Daniel Piotto, Lourens Poorter … & Andy Hector
1. Plant functional traits, in particular specific leaf area (SLA), wood density and seed mass, are often good predictors of individual tree growth rates within communities. Individuals and species with high SLA, low wood density and small seeds tend to have faster growth rates. 2. If community-level relationships between traits and growth have general predictive value, then similar relationships should also be observed in analyses that integrate across taxa, biogeographic regions and environments. Such global...

Data from: Biological markets in cooperative breeders: quantifying outside options

Lena Grinsted & Jeremy Field
A major aim in evolutionary biology is to understand altruistic help and reproductive partitioning in cooperative societies, where subordinate helpers forego reproduction to rear dominant breeders' offspring. Traditional models of cooperation in these societies typically make a key assumption: that the only alternative to staying and helping is solitary breeding, an often unfeasible task. Using large-scale field experiments on paper wasps (Polistes dominula), we show that individuals have high-quality alternative nesting options available that offer...

Data from: Population connectivity and phylogeography of a coastal fish, Atractoscion aequidens (Sciaenidae), across the Benguela Current region: evidence of an ancient vicariant event.

Romina Henriques, Warren M. Potts, Carmen V. Santos, Warwick H. H. Sauer & Paul W. Shaw
Contemporary patterns of genetic diversity and population connectivity within species can be influenced by both historical and contemporary barriers to gene flow. In the marine environment, present day oceanographic features such as currents, fronts and upwelling systems can influence dispersal of eggs/larvae and/juveniles/adults, shaping population substructuring. The Benguela Current system in the southeastern Atlantic is one of the oldest upwelling systems in the world, and provides a unique opportunity to investigate the relative influence of...

Data from: US line-ups outperform UK line-ups

Travis M. Seale-Carlisle & Laura Mickes
In the USA and the UK, many thousands of police suspects are identified by eyewitnesses every year. Unfortunately, many of those suspects are innocent, which becomes evident when they are exonerated by DNA testing, often after having been imprisoned for years. It is, therefore, imperative to use identification procedures that best enable eyewitnesses to discriminate innocent from guilty suspects. Although police investigators in both countries often administer line-up procedures, the details of how line-ups are...

Data from: Investigating the impacts of field-realistic exposure to a neonicotinoid pesticide on bumblebee foraging, homing ability and colony growth

Dara A. Stanley, Avery L. Russell, Sarah J. Morrison, Catherine Rogers & Nigel E. Raine
The ability to forage and return home is essential to the success of bees as both foragers and pollinators. Pesticide exposure may cause behavioural changes that interfere with these processes, with consequences for colony persistence and delivery of pollination services. We investigated the impact of chronic exposure (5–43 days) to field-realistic levels of a neonicotinoid insecticide (2·4 ppb thiamethoxam) on foraging ability, homing success and colony size using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in free-flying...

Data from: Extremophile Poeciliidae: multivariate insights into the complexity of speciation along replicated ecological gradients

Rüdiger Riesch, Michael Tobler, Hannes Lerp, Jonas Jourdan, Tess Doumas, Patrik Nosil, R. Brian Langerhans & Martin Plath
Background: Replicate population pairs that diverge in response to similar selective regimes allow for an investigation of (a) whether phenotypic traits diverge in a similar and predictable fashion, (b) whether there is gradual variation in phenotypic divergence reflecting variation in the strength of natural selection among populations, (c) whether the extent of this divergence is correlated between multiple character suites (i.e., concerted evolution), and (d) whether gradual variation in phenotypic divergence predicts the degree of...

Data from: Moose browsing alters tree diversity effects on birch growth and insect herbivory

Evalyne W. Muiruri, Harriet T. Milligan, Simon Morath & Julia Koricheva
Producer diversity is known to affect a wide range of ecosystem processes including plant growth and insect pest resistance. Consumers such as mammalian herbivores too have been shown to modify plant growth and insect herbivory by triggering changes in host plants. However, few studies have investigated whether consumer effects interact with plant species diversity effects on a focal plant. To unravel consumer-diversity interactions, we recorded both the presence and intensity of winter browsing by moose...

Data from: The relative importance of plant intraspecific diversity in structuring arthropod communities: a meta-analysis

Julia Koricheva & Dexter Hayes
1. Understanding how plant diversity influences higher trophic levels is important for predicting the consequences of global biodiversity loss. While early studies have focused on the effects of plant species richness, more recently a growing number of experiments have explored the effects of plant intraspecific diversity by manipulating the genotypic richness of plant communities. 2. By combining 162 estimates of effect size from 60 experimental studies, we examined the effects of plant genotypic richness on...

Tree diversity is key for promoting the diversity and abundance of forest‐associated taxa in Europe

Eric Allan, Evy Ampoorter, Luc Barbaro, Hervé Jactel, Lander Baeten, Johanna Boberg, Monique Carnol, Bastien Castagneyrol, Yohan Charbonnier, Seid Muhie Dawud, Marc Deconchat, Pallieter De Smedt, Hans De Wandeler, Virginie Guyot, Stephan Hättenschwiler, François‐Xavier Joly, Julia Koricheva, Harriet Milligan, Bart Muys, Diem Nguyen, Sophia Ratcliffe, Karsten Raulund‐Rasmussen, Michael Scherer‐Lorenzen, Fons Plas, J. Van Keer … & Lars Vesterdal
Plant diversity is an important driver of diversity at other trophic levels, suggesting that cascading extinctions could reduce overall biodiversity. Most evidence for positive effects of plant diversity comes from grasslands. Despite the fact that forests are hotspots of biodiversity, the importance of tree diversity, in particular its relative importance compared to other management related factors, in affecting forest‐associated taxa is not well known. To address this, we used data from 183 plots, located in...

Learning strategies and long-term memory in Asian short-clawed otters (Aonyx cinereus) data

Alexander Saliveros, Eleanor Blyth, Carrie Easter, Georgina Hume, Fraser McAusland, William Hoppitt & Neeltje Boogert
Data submitted here, are those used in the writing of our manuscript entitled "Learning strategies and long-term memory in Asian short-clawed otters (Aonyx cinereus)" which has been submitted to Royal Society Open Science for publication. Abstract for that manuscript is below Social learning, namely learning from information acquired from others or their products, is widespread throughout the animal kingdom. There is growing evidence that animals selectively employ ‘social learning strategies’, which for example, determine when...

Data from: A regime shift from erosion to carbon accumulation in a temperate northern peatland

Alice Milner, Andy Baird, Sophie Green, Graeme Swindles, Dylan Young, Nicole Sanderson, Madeleine Timmins & Mariusz Gałka
Peatlands are globally important ecosystems but many are degraded and some are eroding. However, some degraded peatlands are undergoing apparently spontaneous recovery, with switches from erosion to renewed carbon accumulation—a type of ecological regime shift. We used a palaeoecological approach to investigate and help understand such a switch in a blanket peatland in North Wales, UK. Our data show: (a) a rapid accumulation of new peat after the switch from the eroding state, with between...

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...

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: 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...

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: 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: 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: 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)...

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