68 Works

Groundwater recharge in Africa from ground based measurements

Alan MacDonald, Murray Lark, Richard Taylor, Tamiru Abiye, Helen Fallas, Guillaume Favreau, Ibrahim Goni, Seifu Kebede, Bridget Scanlon, James Sorenson, Moshood Tijani, Kirsty Upton & Charles West
This dataset comprises a map of groundwater recharge for Africa and a database of the 134 observations used to generate the map. The map shows long term average annual groundwater recharge in mm per annum relevant to the period 1970 to 2020. It is in the form of a GIS shapefile and is available as a layer package for ESRI and also as a georeferenced TIFF and BIL file for easy exchange with other software....

Context dependency of top‐down, bottom‐up and density‐dependent influences on cheetah demography

Laura C. Gigliotti, Rob Slotow, Luke T. B. Hunter, Julien Fattebert, Craig Sholto-Douglas & David S. Jachowski
1. Research on drivers of demographic rates has mostly focused on top predators and their prey, and comparatively less research has considered the drivers of mesopredator demography. Of those limited studies, most focused on top-down effects of apex predators on mesopredator population dynamics, whereas studies investigating alternative mechanisms are less common. 2. In this study, we tested hypotheses related to top-down, bottom-up, and density-dependent regulation of demographic rates in an imperiled mesopredator, the cheetah (Acinonyx...

Data from: Ecological opportunity drives individual dietary specialisation in leopards

Guy Balme, Nikki Le Roex, Matthew Rogan & Luke Hunter
1. Individual specialisation, when individuals exploit only a subset of resources utilised by the population, is a widespread phenomenon. It provides the basis for evolutionary diversification and can impact population and community dynamics. Both phenotypic traits and environmental conditions are predicted to influence individual specialisation; however, its adaptive consequences are poorly understood, particularly among large mammalian carnivores that play an important role in shaping ecosystems. 2. We used observations of 2960 kills made by 49...

Data from: Genetic responsiveness of African buffalo to environmental stressors: a role for epigenetics in balancing autosomal and sex chromosome interactions?

Pim Van Hooft, Eric R. Dougherty, Wayne M. Getz, Barend J. Greyling, Bas J. Zwaan, Armanda D.S. Bastos & Armanda D. S. Bastos
In the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of the Kruger National Park (South Africa) a primary sex-ratio distorter and a primary sex-ratio suppressor have been shown to occur on the Y chromosome. A subsequent autosomal microsatellite study indicated that two types of deleterious alleles with a negative effect on male body condition, but a positive effect on relative fitness when averaged across sexes and generations, occur genome-wide and at high frequencies in the same population....

Data from: Positive selection of deleterious alleles through interaction with a sex-ratio suppressor gene in African buffalo: a plausible new mechanism for a high frequency anomaly

Pim Van Hooft, Ben J. Greyling, Wayne M. Getz, Paul D. Van Helden, Bas J. Zwaan & Armanda D. S. Bastos
Although generally rare, deleterious alleles can become common through genetic drift, hitchhiking or reductions in selective constraints. Here we present a possible new mechanism that explains the attainment of high frequencies of deleterious alleles in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population of Kruger National Park, through positive selection of these alleles that is ultimately driven by a sex-ratio suppressor. We have previously shown that one in four Kruger buffalo has a Y-chromosome profile that, despite...

Data from: Weak population structure of the Spot-tail shark Carcharhinus sorrah and the Blacktip shark C. limbatus along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan and South Africa

Dareen Almojil, Geremy Cliff, Julia L.Y. Spaet & Julia L. Y. Spaet
The increase in demand for shark meat and fins has placed shark populations worldwide under high fishing pressure. In the Arabian region, the Spot-tail shark Carcharhinus sorrah and the Blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus are among the most exploited species. In this study we investigated the population genetic structure of C. sorrah (n= 327) along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula and of C. limbatus (n= 525) along the Arabian coasts, Pakistan and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa...

Data from: Global population genetic dynamics of a highly migratory, apex predator shark

Andrea M. Bernard, Kevin A. Feldheim, Michael R. Heithaus, Sabine P. Wintner, Bradley M. Wetherbee & Mahmood S. Shivji
Knowledge of genetic connectivity dynamics in the world's large-bodied, highly migratory, apex predator sharks across their global ranges is limited. One such species, the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), occurs worldwide in warm temperate and tropical waters, uses remarkably diverse habitats (nearshore to pelagic) and possesses a generalist diet that can structure marine ecosystems through top-down processes. We investigated the phylogeography and the global population structure of this exploited, phylogenetically enigmatic shark by using 10 nuclear...

Data from: Cool sperm: why some placental mammals have a scrotum

Barry G. Lovegrove
Throughout the Cenozoic, the fitness benefits of the scrotum in placental mammals presumably outweighed the fitness costs through damage, yet a definitive hypothesis for its evolution remains elusive. Here, I present an hypothesis (Endothermic Pulses Hypothesis) which argues that the evolution of the scrotum was driven by Cenozoic pulses in endothermy, that is, increases in normothermic body temperature, which occurred in Boreotheria (rodents, primates, lagomorphs, carnivores, bats, lipotyphylans and ungulates) in response to factors such...

Data from: Genetic diversity of white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, in the northwest Atlantic and southern Africa

Shannon J. O'Leary, Kevin A. Feldheim, Andrew T. Fields, Lisa J. Natanson, Sabine Wintner, Nigel Hussey, Mahmood S. Shivji & Demian D. Chapman
The white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, is both one of the largest apex predators in the world and among the most heavily protected marine fish. Population genetic diversity is in part shaped by recent demographic history and can thus provide information complementary to more traditional population assessments, which are difficult to obtain for white sharks and have at times been controversial. Here, we use the mitochondrial control region and 14 nuclear-encoded microsatellite loci to assess white...

Data from: Cats, connectivity and conservation: incorporating datasets and integrating scales for wildlife management

Ross T. Pitman, Julien Fattebert, Samual T. Williams, Kathryn S. Williams, Russell A. Hill, Luke T. B. Hunter, Hugh Robinson, John Power, Lourens Swanepoel, Rob Slotow & Guy A. Balme
Understanding resource selection and quantifying habitat connectivity are fundamental to conservation planning for both land-use and species management plans. However, datasets available to management authorities for resource selection and connectivity analyses are often highly limited and fragmentary. As a result, measuring connectivity is challenging, and often poorly integrated within conservation planning and wildlife management. To exacerbate the challenge, scale-dependent resource use makes inference across scales problematic, resource use is often modelled in areas where the...

Data from: Landscape genomics and pathway analysis to understand genetic adaptation of South African indigenous goat populations

Khanyisile Mdladla, Edgar F. Dzomba & Farai C. Muchadeyi
Extensively raised livestock populations in most smallholder farming communities are exposed to harsh and heterogeneous climates and disease pathogen that they adapt to in order to survive. Majority of these livestock species including goats are of non-descript breeds and their response to natural selection presented by heterogeneous environments is still unresolved. This study investigated genetic diversity and its association with environmental and geographic conditions in 194 South African indigenous goats from different geographic using Illumina...

Data from: Specialized mutualisms may constrain the geographical distribution of flowering plants

Karl J. Duffy & Steven D. Johnson
It is commonly assumed that the geographical distributions of plants are governed mainly by abiotic variables. However, interactions with other organisms, such as pollinators, also have the potential to influence plant distributions. To investigate this, we developed niche models for 32 plant taxa that have specialized pollination systems and which are native to a biodiversity hotspot (South Africa). We found that the distributions of these taxa are best explained by a combination of biotic (pollinators)...

Data from: The effect of trap colour and trap-flower distance on prey and pollinator capture in carnivorous Drosera species

Andreas Jürgens, Taina Witt, Amber Sciligo & Ashraf M. El-Sayed
1. The functional features of carnivorous plants’ traps have been mostly interpreted as adaptations to capture prey. Carnivorous plants that feed on insects, however, run the risk that increasing trapping effectiveness might in turn reduce reproductive success through capture of pollinators. Such a pollinator–prey conflict might play an important role in the evolution of trap features. In carnivorous plants with sticky leaves (e.g. Drosera, Pinguicula), both spatial distance between traps and flowers and their visual...

Data from: Frequent and seasonally variable sublethal anthrax infections are accompanied by short-lived immunity in an endemic system

Carrie A. Cizauskas, Steven E. Bellan, Wendy C. Turner, Russell E. Vance & Wayne M. Getz
1. Few studies have examined host-pathogen interactions in wildlife from an immunological perspective, particularly in the context of seasonal and longitudinal dynamics. In addition, though most ecological immunology studies employ serological antibody assays, endpoint titer determination is usually based on subjective criteria and needs to be made more objective. 2. Despite the fact that anthrax is an ancient and emerging zoonotic infectious disease found worldwide, its natural ecology is not well understood. In particular, little...

Data from: The evolution of mammal body sizes: responses to Cenozoic climate change in North American mammals

Barry G. Lovegrove & Metobor O. Mowoe
Explanations for the evolution of body size in mammals have remained surprisingly elusive despite the central importance of body size in evolutionary biology. Here, we present a model which argues that the body sizes of Nearctic mammals were moulded by Cenozoic climate and vegetation changes. Following the early Eocene Climate Optimum, forests retreated and gave way to open woodland and savannah landscapes, followed later by grasslands. Many herbivores that radiated in these new landscapes underwent...

Data from: Nectar sugar composition of European Caryophylloideae (Caryophyllaceae) in relation to flower length, pollination biology and phylogeny

Taina Witt, Andreas Jürgens & Gerhard Gottsberger
Floral nectar composition has been explained as an adaptation to factors that are either directly or indirectly related to pollinator attraction. However, it is often unclear whether the sugar composition is a direct adaptation to pollinator preferences. Firstly, the lower osmolality of sucrose solutions means that they evaporate more rapidly than hexose solutions, which might be one reason why sucrose-rich nectar is typically found in flowers with long tubes (adapted to long-tongued pollinators), where it...

Data from: Food quality and quantity is more important in explaining foraging of an intermediate-sized mammalian herbivore than predation risk or competition

Martijn J.A. Weterings, Sander Moonen, Herbert H.T. Prins, Sipke E. Van Wieren, Frank Van Langevelde, Martijn J. A. Weterings & Herbert H. T. Prins
During times of high activity by predators and competitors, herbivores may be forced to forage in patches of low-quality food. However, the relative importance in determining where and what herbivores forage still remains unclear, especially for small and intermediate-sized herbivores. Our objective was to test the relative importance of predator and competitor activity, and forage quality and quantity on the proportion of time spent in a vegetation type and the proportion of time spent foraging...

Does rapid utilisation of elevated nutrient availability allow eucalypts to dominate in the tropical savannas of Australia?

Harinandanan Paramjyothi, Brett Murphy, Michael Lawes, Natalie Rossitet-Rachor & Anna Richards
Northern Australia's savannas are amongst the most fire-prone biomes on Earth, and are dominated by eucalypts (Eucalyptus and Corymbia spp.). It is not clear what processes allows this group to dominate under such extreme fire frequencies and if a superior ability to compete for nutrients and water might play a role. There is evidence that eucalypts are adapted to frequent fires; juvenile eucalypts escape the fire trap by growing rapidly in height between fires. However,...

Registration Year

  • 2022
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  • 2013

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Minnesota
  • Panthera Corporation
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • University of Montana
  • University College London
  • Agricultural Research Council
  • Wageningen University & Research