68 Works

Data from: Evolution and biogeography of Memecylon

Prabha Amarasinghe, Sneha Joshi, Navendu Page, Lahiru S. Wijedasa, Mary Merello, Hashendra Kathriarachchi, Robert Douglas Stone, Walter Judd, Ullasa Kodandaramaiah & Nico Cellinese
Premise The woody plant group Memecylon (Melastomataceae) is a large clade occupying diverse forest habitats in the Old World tropics and exhibiting high regional endemism. Its phylogenetic relationships have been previously studied using ribosomal DNA with extensive sampling from Africa and Madagascar. However, divergence times, biogeography, and character evolution of Memecylon remain uninvestigated. We present a phylogenomic analysis of Memecylon to provide a broad evolutionary perspective of this clade. Methods One hundred supercontigs of 67...

Data from: Competition and specialization in an African forest carnivore community

David Mills, Emmanuel Do Linh San, Hugh Robinson, Sam Isoke, Rob Slotow & Luke Hunter
Globally, human activities have led to the impoverishment of species assemblages and the disruption of ecosystem function. Determining whether this poses a threat to future ecosystem stability necessitates a thorough understanding of mechanisms underpinning community assembly and niche selection. Here, we tested for niche segregation within an African small carnivore community in Kibale National Park, Uganda. We used occupancy modelling based on systematic camera trap surveys and fine-scale habitat measures, to identify opposing preferences between...

Data from: Herbivore size matters for productivity-richness relationships in African savannas

Deron E. Burkepile, Richard W. S. Fynn, Dave I. Thompson, Nathan P. Lemoine, Sally E. Koerner, Stephanie Eby, Nicole Hagenah, Kevin R. Wilcox, Scott L. Collins, Kevin P. Kirkman, Alan K. Knapp & Melinda D. Smith
1.Productivity and herbivory often interact to shape plant community composition and species richness with levels of production mediating the impact of herbivory. Yet, differences in herbivore traits such as size, feeding guild, and dietary requirements may result in different impacts of diverse herbivore guilds across productivity gradients. 2.We used size-selective herbivore exclosures to separate the effects of herbivory by larger herbivores, such as elephant, Burchell's zebra, and blue wildebeest from those of medium/smaller herbivores, such...

Data from: Delays and loss to follow up before treatment of drug-resistant TB following implementation of Xpert MTB/RIF in South Africa: a retrospective cohort study

Helen Cox, Lindy Dickson-Hall, Norbert Ndjeka, Anja Van't Hoog, Alison Grant, Frank Cobelens, Wendy Stevens, Mark Nicol & Anja Van’t Hoog
Background: South Africa has a large burden of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB), with 18,734 patients diagnosed in 2014. The number of diagnosed patients has increased substantially with the introduction of the Xpert MTB/RIF test, used for TB diagnosis for all patients with presumptive TB. Routine aggregate data suggest a large treatment gap (pre-treatment loss to follow up) between the numbers of laboratory confirmed RR-TB patients and those reported to have started second-line treatment. We aimed to...

Data from: Carnivore carcasses are avoided by carnivores

Marcos Moleon, Carlos Martínez-Carrasco, Oliver Muellerklein, Wayne Getz, Carlos Muñoz-Lozano, José Antonio Sánchez-Zapata & Wayne M. Getz
1. Ecologists have traditionally focused on herbivore carcasses as study models in scavenging research. However, some observations of scavengers avoiding feeding on carnivore carrion suggest that different types of carrion may lead to differential pressures. Untested assumptions about carrion produced at different trophic levels could therefore lead ecologists to overlook important evolutionary processes and their ecological consequences. 2. Our general goal was to investigate the use of mammalian carnivore carrion by vertebrate scavengers. In particular,...

Data from: The influence of balanced and imbalanced resource supply on biodiversity-functioning relationship across ecosystems

Aleksandra M. Lewandowska, Antje Biermann, Elizabeth T. Borer, Miguel A. Cebrian-Piqueras, Steven A. J. Declerck, Luc De Meester, Ellen Van Donk, Lars Gamfeldt, Daniel S. Gruner, Nicole Hagenah, W. Stanley Harpole, Kevin P. Kirkman, Christopher A. Klausmeier, Michael Kleyer, Johannes M. H. Knops, Pieter Lemmens, Eric M. Lind, Elena Litchman, Jasmin Mantilla-Contreras, Koen Martens, Sandra Meier, Vanessa Minden, Joslin L. Moore, Harry Olde Venterink, Eric W. Seabloom … & Helmut Hillebrand
Numerous studies show that increasing species richness leads to higher ecosystem productivity. This effect is often attributed to more efficient portioning of multiple resources in communities with higher numbers of competing species, indicating the role of resource supply and stoichiometry for biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Here, we merged theory on ecological stoichiometry with a framework of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning to understand how resource use transfers into primary production. We applied a structural equation model to define patterns...

Data from: Topographic mapping of the interfaces between human and aquatic mosquito habitats to enable barrier-targeting of interventions against malaria vectors

Victoria M. Mwakalinga, Benn K.D. Sartorius, Alex J. Limwagu, Yeromin P. Mlacha, Daniel F. Msellemu, Prosper P. Chaki, Nicoderm J. Govella, Maureen Coetzee, Stefan Dongus, Gerry F. Killeen, Nicodem J. Govella & Benn K. D. Sartorius
Geophysical topographic metrics of local water-accumulation potential are freely available and have long been known as high resolution predictors of where aquatic habitats for immature Anopheles mosquitoes are most abundant, resulting in elevated densities of adult malaria vectors and human infection burden. Using existing entomological and epidemiological survey data, here we illustrate how topography can also be used to map out the interfaces between wet, unoccupied valleys and dry, densely populated uplands, where malaria vector...

Data from: Context-dependent reproductive isolation mediated by floral scent and color

Mascha Bischoff, Robert A. Raguso, Andreas Jürgens & Diane R. Campbell
Reproductive isolation due to pollinator behavior is considered a key mode of speciation in flowering plants. Although floral scent is thought to mediate pollinator behavior, little is known about its effects on pollinator attraction and floral visitation in the wild. We used field experiments with wild hawkmoths and laboratory experiments with naïve hawkmoths to investigate attraction to and probing of flowers in response to indole, a volatile emitted by Ipomopsis tenuituba but not its close...

Data from: Herbivory and eutrophication mediate grassland plant nutrient responses across a global climatic gradient

T. Michael Anderson, Daniel M. Griffith, James B. Grace, Eric M. Lind, Peter B. Adler, Lori A. Biederman, Dana M. Blumenthal, Pedro Daleo, Jennifer Firn, Nicole Hagenah, W. Stanley Harpole, Andrew S. MacDougall, Rebecca L. McCulley, Suzanne M. Prober, Anita C. Risch, Mahesh Sankaran, Martin Schütz, Eric W. Seabloom, Carly J. Stevens, Lauren L. Sullivan, Peter D. Wragg & Elizabeth T. Borer
Plant stoichiometry, the relative concentration of elements, is a key regulator of ecosystem functioning and is also being altered by human activities. In this paper we sought to understand the global drivers of plant stoichiometry and compare the relative contribution of climatic vs. anthropogenic effects. We addressed this goal by measuring plant elemental (C, N, P and K) responses to eutrophication and vertebrate herbivore exclusion at eighteen sites on six continents. Across sites, climate and...

Data from: Structural habitat predicts functional dispersal habitat of a large carnivore: how leopards change spots

Julien Fattebert, Hugh S. Robinson, Guy Balme, Rob Slotow & Luke Hunter
Natal dispersal promotes inter-population linkage, and is key to spatial distribution of populations. Degradation of suitable landscape structures beyond the specific threshold of an individual's ability to disperse can therefore lead to disruption of functional landscape connectivity and impact metapopulation function. Because it ignores behavioral responses of individuals, structural connectivity is easier to assess than functional connectivity and is often used as a surrogate for landscape connectivity modeling. However using structural resource selection models as...

Data from: Community-level responses of African carnivores to prescribed burning

Laura Gigliotti, Goncalo Curveira-Santos, Rob Slotow, Craig Sholto-Douglas, Lourens Swanepoel & David Jachowski
Fires are common in many ecosystems worldwide, and are frequently used as a management tool. Although the responses of herbivores to fire have been well-studied, the responses of carnivores to fire remain unclear. In particular, post-fire habitat changes, and the associated changes in prey availability, might affect the coexistence or competition of carnivore species within the larger carnivore community, but few studies have focused on how fires influence multiple carnivore species simultaneously. Using South African...

Pollinator community predicts trait-matching between oil-producing flowers and a guild of oil-collecting bees

Hilke Hollens-Kuhr, Timotheüs Van Der Niet, Ruth Cozien & Michael Kuhlmann
The impact of pollinator community diversity on trait-matching in plant-pollinator interactions is poorly studied, even though many mutualisms involve multiple interaction partners. We studied ten communities in which one to three species of oil-collecting Rediviva bee pollinate the long-spurred, oil-producing flowers of Diascia ‘floribunda’ to examine how pollinator diversity affects covariation of functional traits across sites and trait-matching within sites. Floral spur-length was significantly correlated with weighted grand mean foreleg length of the local bee...

Comparative performance of rural water supplies during drought - dataset

DJ. MacAllister, A.M. MacDonald, S Kebede, &
Ethiopia experienced severe drought in 2015-16. Many rural communities experienced declines in the performance of their water supply systems. As a result UNICEF commissioned a real-time monitoring and responsive operation and maintenance programme for point source rural water supplies across Central, Northern and Eastern Ethiopia. The water point monitoring survey was coordinated by UNICEF and conducted by World Vision Ethiopia and Oxfam Ethiopia. Data was collected between January and May 2016. Akvo Flow, a mobile...

Data from: Species-specific spatiotemporal patterns of leopard, lion and tiger attacks on humans

Craig Packer, Shweta Shivakumar, Vidya Athreya, Meggan E. Craft, Harshawardhen Dhanwatey, Poonam Dhanwatey, Bhim Gurung, Anup Joshi, Hadas Kushnir, John D.C. Linnell, Nicholas M. Fountain-Jones & John D. C. Linnell
1. Large carnivores of the genus Panthera can pose serious threats to public safety. Although the annual number of attacks on humans is rare compared to livestock depredation, such incidents undermine popular support for wildlife conservation and require immediate responses to protect human life. 2. We used a space-time scan method to perform a novel spatiotemporal analysis of 908 attacks on humans by lions, leopards and tigers to estimate the risks of further attacks in...

Data from: Flexibility in the duration of parental care: female leopards prioritise cub survival over reproductive output

Guy A. Balme, Hugh S. Robinson, Ross T. Pitman & Luke T. B. Hunter
1.Deciding when to terminate care of offspring is a key consideration for parents. Prolonging care may increase fitness of current offspring, but it can also reduce opportunities for future reproduction. Despite its evolutionary importance, few studies have explored the optimal duration of parental care, particularly among large carnivores. 2.We used a 40-year dataset to assess the trade-offs associated with the length of maternal care in leopards in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa. We...

Data from: Functional traits explain variation in plant life history strategies

Peter B. Adler, Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Aldo Compagnoni, Joanna S. Hsu, Jayanti Ray-Mukherjee, Cyril Mbeau-Ache & Miguel Franco
Ecologists seek general explanations for the dramatic variation in species abundances in space and time. An increasingly popular solution is to predict species distributions, dynamics and responses to environmental change based on easily measured anatomical and morphological traits. Trait-based approaches assume that simple functional traits influence fitness and life history evolution, but rigorous tests of this assumption are lacking because they require quantitative information about the full life-cycles of many species representing different life histories....

Data from: Genome wide assessment of genetic variation and population distinctiveness of the pig family in South Africa

Nompilo L Hlongwane, Khanyisile Hadebe, Pranisha Soma, Edgar F Dzomba & Farai C Muchadeyi
Genetic diversity is of great importance and a prerequisite for genetic improvement and conservation programs in pigs and other livestock populations. The present study provides a genome wide analysis of the genetic variability and population structure of pig populations from different production systems in South Africa relative to global populations. A total of 234 pigs sampled in South Africa and consisting of village (n = 91), commercial (n = 60), indigenous (n = 40), Asian...

Data from: Seasonal patterns of hormones, macroparasites, and microparasites in wild African ungulates: the interplay between stress, reproduction, and disease

Carrie A. Cizauskas, Wendy C. Turner, Neville I. Pitts, Wayne M. Getz & Neville Pitts
Sex hormones, reproductive status, and pathogen load all affect stress. Together with stress, these factors can modulate the immune system and affect disease incidence. Thus, it is important to concurrently measure these factors, along with their seasonal fluctuations, to better understand their complex interactions. Using steroid hormone metabolites from fecal samples, we examined seasonal correlations among zebra and springbok stress, reproduction, gastrointestinal (GI) parasite infections, and anthrax infection signatures in zebra and springbok in Etosha...

Data from: Local adaptation: mechanical fit between floral ecotypes of Nerine humilis (Amaryllidaceae) and pollinator communities

Ethan Newman, John Manning & Bruce Anderson
Geographic variation in floral morphology is often assumed to reflect geographic variation in pollinator communities and associated divergence in selective pressures. We studied populations of Nerine humilis (Amaryllidaceae) to assess whether geographic variation in floral form is the result of local adaptation to different pollinator communities. We first tested for associations between floral traits and visitor communities, and found that populations with similar floral morphologies were visited by similar insect communities. Mean style length in...

Cross-continental analysis of coastal biodiversity change

Helmut Hillebrand, Gavin M. Rishworth, Janine B. Adams, Matthew S. Bird, Nicola K. Carrasco, Andreas Dänhardt, Jennifer Dannheim, Daniel A. Lemley, Pierre A. Pistorius & Gregor Scheiffarth
Whereas the anthropogenic impact on marine biodiversity is undebated, the quantification and prediction of this change is not trivial. Simple traditional measures of biodiversity (e.g., richness, diversity indices) do not capture the magnitude and direction of changes in species or functional composition. In this paper, we apply recently developed methods for measuring biodiversity turnover to time-series data of four broad taxonomic groups from two coastal regions: the southern North Sea (Germany) and the South African...

Data from: Urbanization is associated with increased breeding rate, but decreased breeding success in an urban population of near-threatened African Crowned Eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus)

Colleen Downs, Shane McPherson, Rebecca Muller, Petra Sumasgutner & Arjun Amar
Urban areas can be attractive to certain species because of increased food abundance and nesting availability which in turn may increase productivity or breeding rates. However, there are also potential costs associated with urban living such as higher nest failure, poorer body condition or increased prevalence of disease. These costs may result in species trading off the number of young produced against the condition of their young. African Crowned Eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus) are a rare...

Large tree mortality census KNP (2006-2018)

Maria Thaker, Abi Tamim Vanak & Rob Slotow
Fire and elephant herbivory are major drivers of large tree mortality in savanna ecosystems. While the spatial variation of these agents is well-studied, less attention has been paid to how disturbance history influences mortality risk for trees over time. In a long-term cohort study, we examined how the sequence of fire- and elephant-induced damage influences mortality of trees, and determined whether risk of mortality is compounded with time. Data on over 2500 large trees were...

Comparative performance of rural water supplies during drought - dataset

DJ. MacAllister, A.M. MacDonald, S. Kebede, S. Godfrey & R. Calow
Ethiopia experienced severe drought in 2015-16. Many rural communities experienced declines in the performance of their water supply systems. As a result UNICEF commissioned a real-time monitoring and responsive operation and maintenance programme for point source rural water supplies across Central, Northern and Eastern Ethiopia. The water point monitoring survey was coordinated by UNICEF and conducted by World Vision Ethiopia and Oxfam Ethiopia. Data was collected between January and May 2016. Akvo Flow, a mobile...

Data from: Influence of killing method on Lepidoptera DNA barcode recovery

Sandi Willows-Munro & M. Corrie Schoeman
The global DNA barcoding initiative has revolutionized the field of biodiversity research. Such large-scale sequencing projects require the collection of large numbers of specimens, which need to be killed and preserved in a way that is both DNA-friendly and which will keep voucher specimens in good condition for later study. Factors such as time since collection, correct storage (exposure to free water and heat) and DNA extraction protocol are known to play a role in...

Data from: Cryptic diversity in black rats Rattus rattus of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Sandi Willows-Munro, Robert C. Dowler, Michael R. Jarcho, Reese B. Phillips, Howard L. Snell, Tammy R. Wilbert & Cody W. Edwards
Human activity has facilitated the introduction of a number of alien mammal species to the Galápagos Archipelago. Understanding the phylogeographic history and population genetics of invasive species on the Archipelago is an important step in predicting future spread and designing effective management strategies. In this study, we describe the invasion pathway of Rattus rattus across the Galápagos using microsatellite data, coupled with historical knowledge. Microsatellite genotypes were generated for 581 R. rattus sampled from 15...

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