218 Works

Invertebrate activity data from an experiment in Malaysian Borneo, 2014-16 [HMTF]

H.M. Griffiths, L.A. Ashton, A.E. Walker, R. Hasan, T. Evans, P. Eggleton & C.L. Parr
This resource comprises a time series dataset of ant and other invertebrate abundance measured fortnightly at bait monitoring cards on an experimental plot in the Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Malaysian Borneo. The resource includes data regarding the amount of food resource removed from experimental plots when either ants or vertebrates were excluded from the resource. The data were collected to assess the roles that the different groups (ants, invertebrates, vertebrates) play in ecosystem function, and...

Data from: Effect of the early social environment on behavioural and genomic responses to a social challenge in a cooperatively breeding vertebrate

Cecilia Nyman, Stefan Fischer, Nadia Aubin-Horth & Barbara Taborsky
The early social environment can have substantial, lifelong effects on vertebrate social behaviour, which can be mediated by developmental plasticity of brain gene expression. Early life effects can influence immediate behavioural responses towards later-life social challenges and can activate different gene expression responses. However, while genomic responses to social challenges have been reported frequently, how developmental experience influences the shape of these genomic reaction norms remains largely unexplored. We tested how manipulating the early social...

Data from: Using social parasitism to test reproductive skew models in a primitively eusocial wasp

Jonathan P. Green, Michael A. Cant & Jeremy Field
Remarkable variation exists in the distribution of reproduction (skew) among members of cooperatively breeding groups, both within and between species. Reproductive skew theory has provided an important framework for understanding this variation. In the primitively eusocial Hymenoptera, two models have been routinely tested: concessions models, which assume complete control of reproduction by a dominant individual, and tug-of-war models, which assume on-going competition among group members over reproduction. Current data provide little support for either model,...

Data from: Superparasitism drives heritable symbiont epidemiology and host sex ratio in a wasp

Steven R. Parratt, Crystal L. Frost, Martijn A. Schenkel, Annabel Rice, Gregory D. D. Hurst & Kayla C. King
Heritable microbial symbionts have profound impacts upon the biology of their arthropod hosts. Whilst our current understanding of the dynamics of these symbionts is typically cast within a framework of vertical transmission only, horizontal transmission has been observed in a number of cases. For instance, several symbionts can transmit horizontally when their parasitoid hosts share oviposition patches with uninfected conspecifics, a phenomenon called superparasitism. Despite this, horizontal transmission, and the host contact structures that facilitates...

Data from: Perceptions of research bronchoscopy in Malawian adults with pulmonary tuberculosis: a cross-sectional study.

Andrew D. McCallum, Deborah Nyirenda, Wezzie Lora, Saye H. Khoo, Derek J. Sloan, Henry C. Mwandumba, Nicola Desmond & Geraint R. Davies
Bronchoscopy is an established research tool in Malawi, enabling collection of pulmonary samples for immunological, pharmacological, and microbiological studies. It is, however, an invasive clinical procedure that offers no direct benefit to volunteering participants when used in a research capacity alone, and thus informed consent is essential. This study aimed to explore TB patients’ understanding of research bronchoscopy, what would motivate them to participate in research bronchoscopy, and their concerns, in order to inform consenting...

Data from: Multiple adaptive and non-adaptive processes determine responsiveness to heterospecific alarm calls in African savannah herbivores

Kristine Meise, Daniel W. Franks & Jakob Bro-Jorgensen
Heterospecific alarm calls may provide crucial survival benefits shaping animal behaviour. Multispecies studies can disentangle the relative importance of the various processes determining these benefits, but previous studies have included too few species for alternative hypotheses to be tested quantitatively in a comprehensive analysis. In a community-wide study of African savannah herbivores, we here, for the first time to our knowledge, partition alarm responses according to distinct aspects of the signaller–receiver relationship and thereby uncover...

Data from: Microbe-mediated host defence drives the evolution of reduced pathogen virulence

Suzanne A. Ford, Damian Kao, David Williams & Kayla C. King
Microbes that protect their hosts from pathogens are widespread in nature and are attractive disease control agents. Given that pathogen adaptation to barriers against infection can drive changes in pathogen virulence, ‘defensive microbes’ may shape disease severity. Here we show that co-evolving a microbe with host-protective properties (Enterococcus faecalis) and a pathogen (Staphylococcus aureus) within Caenorhabditis elegans hosts drives the evolution of reduced pathogen virulence as a by-product of adaptation to the defensive microbe. Using...

Data from: Boldness predicts an individual's position along an exploration-exploitation foraging trade-off

Samantha C. Patrick, David Pinaud & Henri Weimerskirch
Individuals do not have complete information about the environment and therefore they face a trade-off between gathering information (exploration) and gathering resources (exploitation). Studies have shown individual differences in components of this trade-off but how stable these strategies are in a population and the intrinsic drivers of these differences is not well understood. Top marine predators are expected to experience a particularly strong trade-off as many species have large foraging ranges and their prey often...

Personality predicts foraging site fidelity and trip repeatability in a marine predator

Stephanie M. Harris, Sébastien Descamps, Lynne U. Sneddon, Philip Bertrand, Olivier Chastel & Samantha C. Patrick
1. Animal populations are often comprised of both foraging specialists and generalists. For instance, some individuals show higher foraging site fidelity (spatial specialisation) than others. Such individual differences in degree of specialisation can persist over timescales of months or even years in long-lived animals, but the mechanisms leading to these different individual strategies are not fully understood. 2. There is accumulating evidence that individual variation in foraging behaviour is shaped by animal personality traits, such...

European soil seed bank communities across a climate and land-cover gradient

Jan Plue, Hans Van Calster, Inger Auestad, Sofia Basto, Reneé M. Bekker, Hans Henrik Bruun, Richard Chevalier, Guillaume Decocq, Ulf Grandin, Martin Hermy, Hans Jacquemyn, Anna Jakobsson, Rein Kalamees, Rob H. Marrs, Bryndis Marteinsdóttir, Per Milberg, Robin J. Pakeman, Gareth Phoenix, Ken Thompson, Vigdis Vandvik, Markus Wagner, Sara A.O. Cousins, Ove Eriksson, Jamshid Ghorbani, Małgorzata Jankowska-Błaszczuk … & Alistair G. Auffret
This is the data set used for the publication Buffering effects of soil seed banks on plant community composition in response to land use and climate, published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. Aim. Climate and land use are key determinants of biodiversity, with past and ongoing changes posing serious threats to global ecosystems. Unlike most other organism groups, plant species can possess dormant life-history stages such as soil seed banks, which may help...

Sex-specific sterility caused by extreme temperatures is likely to create cryptic changes to the operational sex ratio in Drosophila virilis

Benjamin S. Walsh, Natasha L. M. Mannion, Tom A. R. Price & Steven R. Parratt
Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of short-term heat shocks that threaten the persistence of natural populations. The effect of thermal stress on natural selection is a common topic of debate, but high temperatures can also influence sexual selection. Typically, males and females of a species can survive at similar extreme temperatures, but males have been shown to lose fertility at lower temperatures than females. Here, we examine how a brief exposure of...

Data from: Investigating cat predation as the cause of bat wing tears using forensic DNA analysis

Kirsty Shaw, Rana Khayat, Robyn Grant, Hazel Ryan, Gary Dougill & David Killick
Cat predation upon bat species has been reported to have significant effects on bat populations in both rural and urban areas. The majority of research in this area has focussed on observational data from bat rehabilitators documenting injuries, and cat owners, when domestic cats present prey. However, this has the potential to underestimate the number of bats killed or injured by cats. Here, we use forensic DNA analysis techniques to analyse swabs taken from injured...

Data from: The impact of personality, morphotype and shore-height on temperature-mediated behavioural responses in the beadlet anemone (Actinia equina)

Daniel Maskrey, Lynne Sneddon, Kathryn Arnold, David Wolfenden & Jack Thomson
1. Between-individual variation in behavioural phenotype, termed personality, is an important determinant of how populations cope with acute environmental fluctuation related to climate change. 2. Personality in the beadlet sea anemone (Actinia equina) is linked to genetically distinct morphotypes, which are associated with different heights on the shore. In the intertidal zone, high-shore environments experience more environmental fluctuation due to longer periods of exposure, and animals adapted to live in these environments are predicted to...

Increased sperm production linked to competition in the maternal social environment

Liane Hobson, Jane Hurst & Paula Stockley
Maternal or early life effects may prepare offspring for similar social conditions to those experienced by their mothers. For males, the ability to achieve mating and fertilisation success is a key social challenge. Competitive conditions may therefore favour increased body size or ejaculate production in male offspring. We tested this experimentally by comparing reproductive traits of adult male bank voles (Myodes glareolus), whose mothers had experienced contrasting encounter regimes with female conspecifics while breeding. We...

A framework for mapping the distribution of seabirds by integrating tracking, demography and phenology

Ana P. B. Carneiro, Elizabeth J. Pearmain, Steffen Oppel, Thomas A. Clay, Richard A. Phillips, Anne-Sophie Bonnet-Lebrun, Ross M. Wanless, Edward Abraham, Yvan Richard, Joel Rice, Jonathan Handley, Tammy E. Davies, Ben J. Dilley, Peter G. Ryan, Cleo Small, Javier Arata, John P. Y. Arnould, Elizabeth Bell, Leandro Bugoni, Letizia Campioni, Paulo Catry, Jaimie Cleeland, Lorna Deppe, Graeme Elliott, Amanda Freeman … & Maria P. Dias
1. The identification of geographic areas where the densities of animals are highest across their annual cycles is a crucial step in conservation planning. In marine environments, however, it can be particularly difficult to map the distribution of species, and the methods used are usually biased towards adults, neglecting the distribution of other life-history stages even though they can represent a substantial proportion of the total population. 2. Here we develop a methodological framework for...

Prey density affects predator foraging strategy in an Antarctic ecosystem

Karl Busdieker, Samantha Patrick, Alice Trevail & Sébastien Descamps
Studying the effects of prey distribution on predator behaviour is complex in systems where there are multiple prey species. The role of prey density in predator behaviour is rarely studied in closed ecosystems of one predator species and one prey species, despite these being an ideal opportunity to test these hypotheses. In this study, we investigate the effect of prey density on the foraging behaviour of a predatory species in an isolated Antarctic ecosystem of...

Selection for increased male size predicts variation in sexual size dimorphism among fish species

Curtis Horne, Andrew Hirst & David Atkinson
Variation in the degree of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) among taxa is generally considered to arise from differences in the relative intensity of male-male competition and fecundity selection. One might predict, therefore, that SSD will vary systematically with: 1) the intensity of sexual selection for increased male size, and 2) the intensity of fecundity selection for increased female size. To test these two fundamental hypotheses, we conducted a phylogenetic comparative analysis of SSD in fish....

Data from: Geographical variation in ant foraging activity and resource use is driven by climate and net primary productivity

Chaim J. Lasmar, Tom R. Bishop, Catherine L. Parr, Antônio C.M. Queiroz, Fernando A. Schmidt & Carla R. Ribas
Aim: Foraging activity is critical for animal survival. Comprehending how ecological drivers influence foraging behavior would benefit our understanding of the link between animals and ecological processes. Here, we evaluated the influence of ecological drivers on ant foraging activity and relative resource use. Location: Six Brazilian biomes: Amazon, Atlantic rainforest, Caatinga, Cerrado, Pampa and Pantanal. Taxon: Formicidae. Methods: We assessed ant foraging activity and resource use by sampling across 60 sites. We placed baited tubes...

Spatiotemporal variation in drivers of parasitism in a wild wood mouse population

Amy Sweeny, Gregory Albery, Saudamini Venkatesan, Andy Fenton & Amy Pedersen
Host-parasite interactions in nature are driven by a range of factors across several ecological scales, so observed relationships are often context-dependent. Importantly, if these factors vary across space and time, practical sampling limitations can limit or bias inferences, and the relative importance of different drivers can be hard to discern. Here we ask to what degree environmental, host, and within-host influences on parasitism are shaped by spatiotemporal variation. We use a replicated, longitudinal dataset of...

Data from: Associations between age at first calving and subsequent lactation performance in UK Holstein and Holstein-Friesian dairy cows

Neil T. Eastham, Amy Coates, Peter Cripps, Henry Richardson, Robert Smith & Georgios Oikonomou
Lactation records from 396,534 pedigree Holstein and Holstein-Friesian primiparous cows from 6,985 UK milk recorded herds, calving for the first time during the period between the 1st of January 2006 and the 31st of December 2008, were examined in order to determine the associations between age at first calving (AFC) and subsequent production, udder health, fertility and survivability parameters. Heifers were grouped by AFC into single month classes ranging from 21 to 42 months. Mixed...

Data from: Remarkably divergent regions punctuate the genome assembly of the Caenorhabditis elegans Hawaiian strain CB4856

Owen A. Thompson, L. Basten Snoek, Harm Nijveen, Mark G. Sterken, Rita J. M. Volkers, Rachel Brenchley, Arjen Van't Hof, Roel P. J. Bevers, Andrew R. Cossins, Itai Yanai, Alex Hajnal, Tobias Schmid, Jaryn D. Perkins, David Spencer, Leonid Kruglyak, Erik C. Andersen, Donald G. Moerman, LaDeana W. Hillier, Jan E. Kammenga & Robert H. Waterston
The Hawaiian strain (CB4856) of Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most divergent from the canonical laboratory strain N2 and has been widely used in developmental, population and evolutionary studies. To enhance the utility of the strain, we have generated a draft sequence of the CB4856 genome, exploiting a variety of resources and strategies. The CB4856 genome when compared against the N2 reference has 327,050 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and 79,529 insertion-deletion events (indels) that...

Data from: Insect temperature-body size trends common to laboratory, latitudinal and seasonal gradients are not found across altitudes

Curtis R. Horne, Andrew G. Hirst & David Atkinson
1. Body size affects rates of most biological and ecological processes, from individual performance to ecosystem function, and is fundamentally linked to organism fitness. Within species, size at maturity can vary systematically with environmental temperature in the laboratory and across seasons, as well as over latitudinal gradients. Recent meta-analyses have revealed a close match in the magnitude and direction of these size gradients in various arthropod orders, suggesting that these size responses share common drivers....

Data from: Burning for biodiversity: highly resilient ant communities respond only to strongly contrasting fire regimes in Australia’s seasonal tropics

Alan N. Andersen, Relena R. Ribbons, Magen Pettit & Catherine L. Parr
1. According to the pyrodiversity paradigm, a wide range of fire regimes is required to maintain biodiversity in fire-prone landscapes. However, the requisite level of pyrodiversity has seldom been tested and may actually be very low. 2. Here, we examine the sensitivity of tropical savanna ants to variation in fire regimes using results from a long-term fire experiment near Darwin, Australia. Six experimental fire regimes, with varying fire frequency and seasonality, have been applied to...

Data from: Continent-level drivers of African pyrodiversity

Gareth P. Hempson, Catherine L. Parr, Sally Archibald, T. Michael Anderson, Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi, Andrew P. Dobson, Jason E. Donaldson, Thomas A. Morrison, James Probert & Colin M. Beale
Pyrodiversity, which describes fire variability over space and time, is believed to increase habitat heterogeneity and thereby promote biodiversity. However, to date there is no standardised metric for quantifying pyrodiversity, and so broad geographic patterns and drivers of pyrodiversity remain unexplored. We present the first generalizable method to quantify pyrodiversity, and use it to address the fundamental questions of what drives pyrodiversity, which fire attributes constrain pyrodiversity under different conditions, and whether pyrodiversity is spatial...

Data from: Contrasting patterns of local richness of seedlings, saplings and trees may have implications for regeneration in rainforest remnants

Gail Stride, Chris D. Thomas, Suzan Benedick, Jenny A. Hodgson, Ahmad Jelling, Michael J.M. Senior & Jane K. Hill
Remnants of lowland rainforest remain following deforestation, but the longer-term effects of fragmentation remain poorly understood, partly due to the long generation times of trees. We study rainforest trees in three size classes: seedlings (<1 cm dbh), saplings (1-5 cm dbh) and trees (>5 cm), that broadly reflect pre- and post-fragmentation communities, and we examine the impacts of fragmentation on forest regeneration in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. We found that seedling richness (measured as the number...

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