81 Works

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: 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...

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: 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: 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...

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...

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: 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...

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...

Prevalence and molecular characterization of alpha and beta-Thalassemia mutations among Hakka people in southern China

XiangXing Zeng, ZhiFang Liu, CaiHua He, Jia Wang & LiXiang Yan
Abstract Our aim was to investigate molecular features of thalassemia for proper clinical consultation and prevention in Heyuan. In our research, a total of 25,437 positive screening subjects were further subjected to a genetic analysis of α-thalassemia (α-thal) and β-thalassemia (β-thal). The deletion of α-thal mutation was tested by Gap-PCR, while the non-deletion of α-thal and β-thal mutation were identified by the PCR-reverse dot blot (PCR-RDB) technique. Nested PCR detected Hkαα/-- SEA and Hkαα/αα. Among...

Comparative efficacy and safety of antiviral traditional Chinese medicine injections for viral pneumonia: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Meng-Ting Li, Jia Wang, Jia Hu, Han-Biao Wu, Wei-Shang Deng, Zhi-Kun Qiu & Ji-Sheng Chen
Viral pneumonia (VP) is becoming a persistent and pervasive burden of disease. Traditional Chinese medicine Injections (TCMIs) have been proved effective in the treatment of patients with VP, which are now widely used in China. The evidence of TCMIs for VP is evolving rapidly. This study aims to assess the comparative efficacy and safety of TCMIs to provide more evidence and sights for the treatment selection of VP. Seven databases were searched from their inception...

Comparative efficacy and safety of antiviral traditional Chinese medicine injections for viral pneumonia: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Meng-Ting Li, Jia Wang, Jia Hu, Han-Biao Wu, Wei-Shang Deng, Zhi-Kun Qiu & Ji-Sheng Chen
Viral pneumonia (VP) is becoming a persistent and pervasive burden of disease. Traditional Chinese medicine Injections (TCMIs) have been proved effective in the treatment of patients with VP, which are now widely used in China. The evidence of TCMIs for VP is evolving rapidly. This study aims to assess the comparative efficacy and safety of TCMIs to provide more evidence and sights for the treatment selection of VP. Seven databases were searched from their inception...

Data from: Fat, fibre and cancer risk in African Americans and rural Africans

Stephen J. D. O’Keefe, Jia V. Li, Leo Lahti, Junhai Ou, Franck Carbonero, Mohammed Khaled, Joram M. Posma, James Kinross, Elaine Wahl, Elizabeth Ruder, Kishore Vipperla, Vasudevan Naidoo, Lungile Mtshali, Sebastian Tims, Philippe G. B. Puylaert, James DeLany, Alyssa Krasinskas, Ann C. Benefiel, Hatem O. Kaseb, Keith Newton, Jeremy K. Nicholson, Willem M. De Vos, H. Rex Gaskins & Erwin G. Zoetendal
Rates of colon cancer are much higher in African Americans (65:100,000) than in rural South Africans (<5:100,000). The higher rates are associated with higher animal protein and fat, and lower fibre consumption, higher colonic secondary bile acids, lower colonic short-chain fatty acid quantities and higher mucosal proliferative biomarkers of cancer risk in otherwise healthy middle-aged volunteers. Here we investigate further the role of fat and fibre in this association. We performed 2-week food exchanges in...

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: The functional significance of complex floral colour pattern in a food-deceptive orchid

Xiaokai Ma, Jun Shi, Hans Banziger, Yangna Sun, Yanyan Guo, Zhongjian Liu, Steven D. Johnson & Yibo Luo
Many non-rewarding orchid species mimic the signals of co-occurring food flowers and thereby attract food-seeking animal pollinators. These signals are often visually complex with a colour pattern that contrasts between outer and central parts. The significance of this colour complexity for the pollination success of flowers of deceptive orchids has scarcely been investigated. We tested the effects of the colour patterns of the food-deceptive orchid Paphiopedilum micranthum on bumblebee visitation choices and pollination success using...

Data from: Fire frequency drives habitat selection by a diverse herbivore guild impacting top–down control of plant communities in an African savanna

Deron E. Burkepile, Dave I. Thompson, Richard W. S. Fynn, Sally E. Koerner, Stephanie Eby, Navashni Govender, Nicole Hagenah, Nathan P. Lemoine, Katherine J. Matchett, Kevin R. Wilcox, Scott L. Collins, Kevin P. Kirkman, Alan K. Knapp & Melinda D. Smith
In areas with diverse herbivore communities such as African savannas, the frequency of disturbance by fire may alter the top–down role of different herbivore species on plant community dynamics. In a seven year experiment in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, we examined the habitat use of nine common herbivore species across annually burned, triennially burned and unburned areas. We also used two types of exclosures (plus open access controls) to examine the impacts of...

Data from: Floral trait evolution associated with shifts between insect and wind pollination in the dioecious genus Leucadendron (Proteaceae)

Megan Rae Welsford, Nina Hobbhahn, Jeremy J. Midgley & Steven D. Johnson
Transitions between animal and wind pollination have occurred in many lineages and have been linked to various floral modifications, but these have seldom been assessed in a phylogenetic framework. In the dioecious genus Leucadendron (Proteaceae), transitions from insect to wind pollination have occurred at least four times. Using analyses that controlled for relatedness among Leucadendron species, we investigated how these transitions shaped the evolution of floral structural and signaling traits, including the degree of sexual...

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...

Data from: Demography and social dynamics of an African elephant population 35 years after reintroduction as juveniles

Timothy R. Kuiper, Dave J. Druce & Heleen C. Druce
1. Given their vulnerability to local extinction, the reintroduction of megafauna species (often long-lived, ecologically-influential and highly-social) is an increasingly relevant conservation intervention. Studies that evaluate past megafauna reintroductions are both critical and rare. 2. Between 1981 and 1996, 12 cohorts of a total of 200 juvenile (<5 years old) African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) were re-introduced to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP), South Africa, after 100 years of absence. Here we model the population’s long...

Data from: Foraging efficiency and size matching in a plant – pollinator community: the importance of sugar content and tongue length

Saskia G.T. Klumpers, Martina Stang & Peter G.L. Klinkhamer
A longstanding question in ecology is how species interactions are structured within communities. Although evolutionary theory predicts close size matching between floral nectar tube depth and pollinator proboscis length of interacting species, such size matching has seldom been shown and explained in multispecies assemblages. Here, we investigated the degree of size matching among Asteraceae and their pollinators and its relationship with foraging efficiency. The majority of pollinators, especially Hymenoptera, choose plant species on which they...

Data from: Thermal resilience may shape population abundance of two sympatric congeneric Cotesia species (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

Reyard Mutamiswa, Honest Machekano, Frank Chidawanyika & Casper Nyamukondiwa
Basal and plasticity of thermal tolerance determine abundance, biogeographical patterns and activity of insects over spatial and temporal scales. For coexisting stemborer parasitoids, offering synergistic impact to the efficacy of biological control, mismatches in thermal tolerance may influence their ultimate impact in biocontrol programs under climate variability. Using laboratory-reared congeneric parasitoid species Cotesia sesamiae and Cotesia flavipes Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), we examined basal thermal tolerance to understand potential impact of climate variability on their survival...

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...

Phylogenomics and species delimitation for effective conservation of manta and devil rays

Emily Humble, Jane Hosegood, Rob Ogden, Mark De Bruyn, Simon Creer, Guy Stevens, Mohammed Abudaya, Kim Bassos-Hull, Ramon Bonfil, Daniel Fernando, Andrew Foote, Helen Hipperson, Rima Jabado, Jenny Kaden, Muhammad Moazzam, Lauren Peel, Stephen Pollett, Alessandro Ponzo, Marloes Poortvliet, Jehad Salah, Helen Senn, Joshua Stewart, Sabine Wintner & Gary Carvalho
Practical biodiversity conservation relies on delineation of biologically meaningful units. Manta and devil rays (Mobulidae) are threatened worldwide, yet morphological similarities and a succession of recent taxonomic changes impede the development of an effective conservation strategy. Here, we generate genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from a geographically and taxonomically representative set of manta and devil ray samples to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and evaluate species boundaries under the general lineage concept. We show that nominal...

South African communal indigenous goats

Tlou Caswell Chokoe, Khanyisile Hadebe, Farai Muchadeyi, Edgar Dzomba, Khathutshelo Nephawe, Tumudi Mphahlele, Tlou Matelele & Bohani Mtileni
Indigenous goats form the majority of populations in smallholder; low input, low output production systems and are considered an important genetic resource due to their adaptability to different production environments and support communal farming. Effective population size (Ne), inbreeding levels, and the runs of homozygosity (ROHs) are effective tools for exploring the genetic diversity and understanding the demographic history in efforts to support breeding strategies to use and conserve genetic resources. Across populations, the current...

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