409 Works

Data from: Seasonality in communication and collective decision-making in ants

Nathalie Stroeymeyt, Caroline Jordan, Gregory Mayer, Sarah Hovsepian, Martin Giurfa & Nigel R. Franks
The ability of animals to adjust their behaviour according to seasonal changes in their ecology is crucial for their fitness. Eusocial insects display strong collective behavioural seasonality, yet the mechanisms underlying such changes are poorly understood. We show that nest preference by emigrating Temnothorax albipennis ant colonies is influenced by a season-specific modulatory pheromone that may help tune decision-making according to seasonal constraints. The modulatory pheromone triggers aversion towards low-quality nests and enhances colony cohesion...

Data from: Insights into the development and evolution of exaggerated traits using de novo transcriptomes of two species of horned scarab beetles

Ian A. Warren, J. Cristobal Vera, Annika Johns, Robert Zinna, James H. Marden, Douglas J. Emlen, Ian Dworkin & Laura C. Lavine
Scarab beetles exhibit an astonishing variety of rigid exo-skeletal outgrowths, known as “horns”. These traits are often sexually dimorphic and vary dramatically across species in size, shape, location, and allometry with body size. In many species, the horn exhibits disproportionate growth resulting in an exaggerated allometric relationship with body size, as compared to other traits, such as wings, that grow proportionately with body size. Depending on the species, the smallest males either do not produce...

Data from: Population divergence with or without admixture: selecting models using an ABC approach

Vitor C. Sousa, Mark A. Beaumont, Pedro Fernandes, Maria M. Coelho & Lounès Chikhi
Genetic data have been widely used to reconstruct the demographic history of populations, including the estimation of migration rates, divergence times and relative admixture contribution from different populations. Recently, increasing interest has been given to the ability of genetic data to distinguish alternative models. One of the issues that has plagued this kind of inference is that ancestral shared polymorphism is often difficult to separate from admixture or gene flow. Here, we applied an Approximate...

Data from: Size-dependent physiological responses of shore crabs to single and repeated playback of ship noise

Matthew A. Wale, Stephen D. Simpson & Andrew N. Radford
Anthropogenic noise has fundamentally changed the acoustics of terrestrial and aquatic environments, and there is growing empirical evidence that even a single noise exposure can impact behaviour in a variety of vertebrate organisms. Here we use controlled experiments to investigate how the physiology of a marine invertebrate, the shore crab (Carcinus maenas), is affected by both single and repeated exposure to ship-noise playback. Crabs experiencing ship-noise playback consumed more oxygen, indicating a higher metabolic rate...

Data from: Camouflage, detection and identification of moving targets

Joanna R. Hall, Innes C. Cuthill, Roland Baddeley, Adam J. Shohet & Nicholas E. Scott-Samuel
Nearly all research on camouflage has investigated its effectiveness for concealing stationary objects. However, animals have to move, and patterns that only work when the subject is static will heavily constrain behaviour. We investigated the effects of different camouflages on the three stages of predation—detection, identification and capture—in a computer-based task with humans. An initial experiment tested seven camouflage strategies on static stimuli. In line with previous literature, background-matching and disruptive patterns were found to...

Data from: Singing in the moonlight: dawn song performance of a diurnal bird varies with lunar phase

Jennifer E. York, Andrew J. Young & Andrew N. Radford
It is well established that the lunar cycle can affect the behaviour of nocturnal animals, but its potential to have a similar influence on diurnal species has received less research attention. Here we demonstrate that the dawn song of a cooperative songbird, the white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali), varies with moon phase. When the moon was above the horizon at dawn, males began singing on average 10 minutes earlier if there was a full moon...

Data from: Evidence for evolutionary change associated with the recent range expansion of the British butterfly, Polyommatus agestis, in response to climate change

James Buckley, Roger K. Butlin & Jon R. Bridle
Poleward range expansions are a widespread response to recent climate change and are crucial for many species’ future persistence. However for many species evolutionary change in traits such as colonisation history and habitat preference may be necessary to track environmental change across a fragmented landscape. Understanding the likelihood and speed of such adaptive change has therefore become an important issue in determining the effect of ongoing climate change on extinction rates. We conducted an AFLP-based...

Data from: Fossil embryos from the Middle and Late Cambrian period of Hunan, south China

Xi-Ping Dong, Philip C. J. Donoghue, Hong Cheng & Jian-Bo Liu
Comparative embryology is integral to uncovering the pattern and process of metazoan phylogeny, but it relies on the assumption that life histories of living taxa are representative of their antecedents. Fossil embryos provide a crucial test of this assumption and, potentially, insight into the evolution of development, but because discoveries so far lack phylogenetic constraint, their significance is moot. Here we describe a collection of embryos from the Middle and Late Cambrian period (500 million...

Data from: Historical introgression and the persistence of ghost alleles in the intermediate horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus affinis)

Xiuguang Mao, Guimei He, Panyu Hua, Gareth Jones, Shuyi Zhang & Stephen J. Rossiter
Phylogenetic conflicts between genetic markers can help to disentangle complex histories of phylogeography and introgression among taxa. We previously proposed that the Chinese mainland subspecies of the intermediate horseshoe bat Rhinolophus affinis himalayanus colonized Hainan Island to form the subspecies R. a. hainanus. Subsequent recolonization of the mainland formed a third taxon, R. a macrurus, and a secondary contact zone with the ancestral himalayanus. To test for historical and recurrent genetic exchange between these mainland...

Data from: Moving in groups: how density and unpredictable motion affect predation risk

Nicholas E. Scott-Samuel, Gavin Holmes, Roland Baddeley & Innes C. Cuthill
One of the most widely applicable benefits of aggregation is a per capita reduction in predation risk. Many factors can contribute to this but, for moving groups, an increased difficulty in tracking and targeting one individual amongst many has received particular attention. This “confusion effect” has been proposed to result from a bottleneck in information processing, a hypothesis supported by both modelling and experiment. If the competition for limited attention is localised to the particular...

Data from: Partially incorrect fossil data augment analyses of discrete trait evolution in living species

Mark N. Puttick
Ancestral state reconstruction of discrete character traits is often vital when attempting to understand the origins and homology of traits in living species. The addition of fossils has been shown to alter our understanding of trait evolution in extant taxa, but researchers may avoid using fossils alongside extant species if only few are known, or if the designation of the trait of interest is uncertain. Here, I investigate the impacts of fossils and incorrectly coded...

Data from: Acoustic identification of Mexican bats based on taxonomic and ecological constraints on call design

Veronica Zamora-Gutierrez, Celia Lopez-Gonzalez, M. Cristina MacSwiney Gonzalez, Brock Fenton, Gareth Jones, Elisabeth K. V. Kalko, Sebastien J. Puechmaille, Vassilios Stathopoulos & Kate E. Jones
Monitoring global biodiversity is critical for understanding responses to anthropogenic change, but biodiversity monitoring is often biased away from tropical, megadiverse areas that are experiencing more rapid environmental change. Acoustic surveys are increasingly used to monitor biodiversity change, especially for bats as they are important indicator species and most use sound to detect, localise and classify objects. However, using bat acoustic surveys for monitoring poses several challenges, particularly in megadiverse regions. Many species lack reference...

Data from: A comparison of clearfelling and gradual thinning of plantations for the restoration of insect herbivores and woodland plants

Beth Atkinson, Sallie Bailey, Ian P. Vaughan & Jane Memmott
1. Testing restoration methods is essential for the development of restoration ecology as a science. It is also important to monitor a range of taxa, not just plants which have been the traditional focus of restoration ecology. Here we compare the effects on ground flora and leaf-miners, of two restoration practices used when restoring conifer plantations. 2. Two methods of restoration were investigated: clearfelling of plantations and the gradual thinning of conifers over time. Unrestored...

Data from: Cellular hypertrophy and increased susceptibility to spontaneous calcium-release of rat left atrial myocytes due to elevated afterload

Haifei Zhang, Mark Cannell, Shang Jin Kim, Judy J. Watson, Ruth Norman, Sarah C. Calaghan, Clive J. Orchard, Andrew F. James, Mark B. Cannell & Clive H. Orchard
Atrial remodeling due to elevated arterial pressure predisposes the heart to atrial fibrillation (AF). Although abnormal sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) function has been associated with AF, there is little information on the effects of elevated afterload on atrial Ca2+-handling. We investigated the effects of ascending aortic banding (AoB) on Ca2+-handling in rat isolated atrial myocytes in comparison to age-matched sham-operated animals (Sham). Myocytes were either labelled for ryanodine receptor (RyR) or loaded with fluo-3-AM and imaged...

Root and leaf phenology of Scandinavian subarctic plant communities, 2008-2009

V.L Sloan, B.J Fletcher & G.K Phoenix
This dataset consists of measurements of leaf and root growth, species abundance and soil temperature made in ten subarctic plant communities located at the Arctic Biosphere Atmosphere Coupling at Multiple Scales (ABACUS) project sites near to Abisko, Sweden, and Kevo, Finland. The data were collected during the summer growing seasons (May to September) in 2008 and 2009, and comprise field survey measurements, temperature logs and values derived from analyses of mini-rhizotron images.

Data from: Perceived duration of brief visual events is mediated by timing mechanisms at the global stages of visual processing

Lee Beattie, William Curran, Christopher P. Benton, Julie M. Harris & Paul B. Hibbard
There is a growing body of evidence pointing to the existence of modality-specific timing mechanisms for encoding sub-second durations. For example, the duration compression effect describes how prior adaptation to a dynamic visual stimulus results in participants underestimating the duration of a sub-second test stimulus when it is presented at the adapted location. There is substantial evidence for the existence of both cortical and pre-cortical visual timing mechanisms; however, little is known about where in...

Data from: Adjunctive clindamycin for cellulitis: clinical trial comparing flucloxacillin with or without clindamycin for the treatment of limb cellulitis

Richard Brindle, Owen Martin Williams, Paul Davies, Tim Harris, Heather Jarman, Alastair D. Hay & Peter Featherstone
Objective: To compare flucloxacillin with clindamycin to flucloxacillin alone for the treatment of limb cellulitis. Design: Parallel, double-blinded, randomised controlled trial. Setting: Emergency department attendances and general practice referrals within 20 hospitals in England. Interventions: Flucloxacillin, at a minimum of 500 mg 4 times per day for 5 days, with clindamycin 300 mg 4 times per day for 2 days given orally versus flucloxacillin given alone. Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was improvement at...

Data from: Low fossilization potential of keratin protein revealed by experimental taphonomy

Evan T. Saitta, Chris Rogers, Richard A. Brooker, Geoffrey D. Abbott, Sumit Kumar, Shane S. O'Reilly, Paul Donohoe, Suryendu Dutta, Roger E. Summons & Jakob Vinther
Recent studies have suggested the presence of keratin in fossils dating back to the Mesozoic. However, ultrastructural studies revealing exposed melanosomes in many fossil keratinous tissues suggest that keratin should rarely, if ever, be preserved. In this study, keratin's stability through diagenesis was tested using microbial decay and maturation experiments on various keratinous structures. The residues were analysed using pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and compared to unpublished feather and hair fossils and published fresh and fossil...

Data from: Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: exposing misleading argumentation techniques reduces their influence

John Cook, Ullrich Ecker, Ullrich K.H. Lewandowsky, Stephan Lewandowsky & Ullrich K. H. Ecker
Misinformation can undermine a well-functioning democracy. For example, public misconceptions about climate change can lead to lowered acceptance of the reality of climate change and lowered support for mitigation policies. This study experimentally explored the impact of misinformation about climate change and tested several pre-emptive interventions designed to reduce the influence of misinformation. We found that false-balance media coverage (giving contrarian views equal voice with climate scientists) lowered perceived consensus overall, although the effect was...

Data from: The evolution of cooperation by negotiation in a noisy world

Koichi Ito, John M. McNamara, Atsushi Yamauchi & Andrew D. Higginson
Cooperative interactions among individuals are ubiquitous despite the possibility of exploitation by selfish free-riders. One mechanism that may promote cooperation is “negotiation”: individuals altering their behaviour in response to the behaviour of others. Negotiating individuals decide their actions through a recursive process of reciprocal observation, thereby reducing the possibility of free-riding. Evolutionary games with response rules have shown that infinitely many forms of the rule can be evolutionarily stable simultaneously, unless there is variation in...

Data from: Biostratigraphy and geometric morphometrics of conchostracans (Crustacea, Branchiopoda) from the Late Triassic fissure deposits of Cromhall Quarry, UK

Jacob D. Morton, David I. Whiteside, Manja Hethke & Michael J. Benton
The enigmatic fissure deposits of south-eastern England and southern Wales are famous for their unique assemblage of Late Triassic vertebrates, although their age is contentious. While recent studies of palynomorphs have dated some as Rhaetian, their conchostracan (Crustacea, Branchiopoda) assemblages have not been described in detail nor used in biostratigraphy. We find that species determination of British Late Triassic conchostracans requires detailed observations of size, shape and ornamentation. We provide evidence that although Euestheria brodieana...

Data from: Red fluorescence of the triplefin Tripterygion delaisi is increasingly visible against background light with increasing depth

Pierre-Paul Bitton, Ulrike K. Harant, Roland Fritsch, Connor M. Champ, Shelby E. Temple & Nico K. Michiels
The light environment in water bodies changes with depth due to the absorption of short and long wavelengths. Below 10 m depth, red wavelengths are almost completely absent rendering any red-reflecting animal dark and achromatic. However, fluorescence may produce red coloration even when red light is not available for reflection. A large number of marine taxa including over 270 fish species are known to produce red fluorescence, yet it is unclear under which natural light...

Data from: Cultural evolution of military camouflage

Laszlo Talas, Roland J. Baddeley & Innes C. Cuthill
While one has evolved and the other been consciously created, animal and military camouflage are expected to show many similar design principles. Using a unique database of calibrated photographs of camouflage uniform patterns, processed using texture and colour analysis methods from computer vision, we show that the parallels with biology are deeper than design for effective concealment. Using two case studies we show that, like many animal colour patterns, military camouflage can serve multiple functions....

Data from: Bayesian methods outperform parsimony but at the expense of precision in the estimation of phylogeny from discrete morphological data

Joseph E. O'Reilly, Mark N. Puttick, Luke Parry, Alistair R. Tanner, James E. Tarver, James Fleming, Davide Pisani, Philip C. J. Donoghue & Alastair R. Tanner
Different analytical methods can yield competing interpretations of evolutionary history and, currently, there is no definitive method for phylogenetic reconstruction using morphological data. Parsimony has been the primary method for analysing morphological data, but there has been a resurgence of interest in the likelihood-based Mk-model. Here, we test the performance of the Bayesian implementation of the Mk-model relative to both equal and implied-weight implementations of parsimony. Using simulated morphological data, we demonstrate that the Mk-model...

Data from: Non-random latitudinal gradients in range size and niche breadth predicted by spatial patterns of climate

Erin E. Saupe, Corinne E. Myers, A. Townsend Peterson, Jorge Soberón, Joy Singarayer, Paul Valdes & Huijie Qiao
Aim. Tropical species are thought to experience and be adapted to narrow ranges of abiotic conditions. This idea has been invoked to explain a broad array of biological phenomena, including the latitudinal diversity gradient and differential rates of speciation and extinction. However, debate continues regarding the broad-scale applicability of this pattern and potential processes responsible. Here, we use a simulation approach to test two propositions: (1) strong geographic patterns of variation in realized niche breadth...

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