89 Works

Lineage identification affects estimates of evolutionary mode in marine snails

Felix Vaux, Michael R Gemmell, Simon F K Hills, Bruce A Marshall, Alan G Beu, James S Crampton, Steve A Trewick & Mary Morgan-Richards
In order to study evolutionary pattern and process we need to be able to accurately identify species and the evolutionary lineages from which they are derived. Determining the concordance between genetic and morphological variation of living populations, and then directly comparing extant and fossil morphological data, provides a robust approach for improving our identification of lineages through time. We investigate genetic and shell morphological variation in extant species of Penion marine snails from New Zealand,...

Data from: Convergent morphological responses to loss of flight in rails (Aves: Rallidae)

Julien Gaspar, Gillian C. Gibb & Steven A. Trewick
The physiological demands of flight exert strong selection pressure on avian morphology and so it is to be expected that the evolutionary loss of flight capacity would involve profound changes in traits. Here we investigate morphological consequences of flightlessness in a bird family where the condition has evolved repeatedly. The Rallidae include more than 130 recognised species of which over 30 are flightless. Morphological and molecular phylogenetic data were used here to compare species with...

Incorporating evaporative water loss into bioenergetic models of hibernation to test for relative influence of host and pathogen traits on white-nose syndrome

Catherine Haase, Nathan Fuller, C. Reed Hranac, David Hayman, Liam McGuire, Kaleigh Norquay, Kirk Silas, Craig Willis, Raina Plowright & Sarah Olson
Hibernation consists of extended durations of torpor interrupted by periodic arousals. The ‘dehydration hypothesis’ proposes that hibernating mammals arouse to replenish water lost through evaporation during torpor. Arousals are energetically expensive, and increased arousal frequency can alter survival throughout hibernation. Yet we lack a means to assess the effect of evaporative water loss (EWL), determined by animal physiology and hibernation microclimate, on torpor bout duration and subsequent survival. White-nose syndrome (WNS), a devastating disease impacting...

Data from: The chemical basis of a signal of individual identity: Shell pigment concentrations track the unique appearance of Common Murre eggs

Mark E Hauber, Alexander L Bond, Amy-Lee Kouwenberg, Gregory J Robertson, Erpur S Hansen, Mande Holford, Miri Dainson, Alec Luro & James Dale
In group-living species with parental care, the accurate recognition of one’s own young is critical to fitness. Because discriminating offspring within a large colonial group may be challenging, progeny of colonial breeders often display familial or individual identity signals to elicit and receive costly parental provisions from their own parents. For instance, the Common Murre (or Common Guillemot: Uria aalge) is a colonially breeding seabird that does not build a nest and lays and incubates...

Pteridium nuclear gene phylogeny

Paul G. Wolf, Carol A. Rowe, Sylvia P. Kinosian, Joshua P. Der, Peter J. Lockhart, Lara D. Shepherd, Patricia A. McLenachan & John A. Thomson

Loss of ecologically important genetic variation in late generation hybrids reveals links between adaptation and speciation

Greg Walter, Thomas Richards, Melanie Wilkinson, Mark Blows, J. Aguirre & Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos
Adaptation to contrasting environments occurs when advantageous alleles accumulate in each population, but it remains largely unknown whether these same advantageous alleles create genetic incompatibilities that can cause intrinsic reproductive isolation leading to speciation. Identifying alleles that underlie both adaptation and reproductive isolation is further complicated by factors such as dominance and genetic interactions among loci, which can affect both processes differently and obscure potential links between adaptation and speciation. Here, we use a combination...

Body mass and hibernation microclimate may predict bat susceptibility to white-nose syndrome

Catherine Haase, Nathan Fuller, Yvonne Dzal, C. Reed Hranac, David Hayman, Cori Lausen, Kirk Silas, Sarah Olson & Raina Plowright
In multi-host disease systems, differences in mortality between species may reflect variation in host physiology, morphology, and behavior. In systems where the pathogen can persist in the environment, microclimate conditions, and the adaptation of the host to these conditions, may also impact mortality. White-nose syndrome is an emerging disease of hibernating bats caused by an environmentally persistent fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans. We assessed the effects of body mass, torpid metabolic rate, evaporative water loss, and hibernaculum...

Forecasting the publication and citation outcomes of Covid-19 preprints

Thomas Pfeiffer, Michael Gordon, Michael Bishop, Yiling Chen, Brandon Goldfedder, Anna Dreber, Felix Holzmeister, Magnus Johannesson, Yang Liu, Charles Twardy, Juntao Wang & Luisa Tran
The scientific community reacted quickly to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, generating an unprecedented increase in publications. Many of these publications were released on preprint servers such as medRxiv and bioRxiv. It is unknown however how reliable these preprints are, and if they will eventually be published in scientific journals. In this study, we use crowdsourced human forecasts to predict publication outcomes and future citation counts for a sample of 400 preprints with high Altmetric...

Data from: Carotenoid-based bill coloration functions as a social, not sexual, signal in songbirds (Aves: Passeriformes)

Cody J. Dey, Mihai Valcu, Bart Kempenaers & James Dale
Many animals use coloration to communicate with other individuals. While the signalling role of avian plumage colour is relatively well studied, there has been much less research on coloration in avian bare parts. However, bare parts could be highly informative signals as they can show rapid changes in coloration. We measured bill colour (a ubiquitous bare part) in over 1600 passerine species and tested whether interspecific variation in carotenoid-based coloration is consistent with signalling to...

Data from: Flirtation reduces males’ fecundity but not longevity

Kambiz Esfandi, Xiong Zhao He & Qiao Wang
Theory predicts that due to limited resources males should strategically adjust their investment in reproduction and survival. Based on different conceptual framework, experimental designs and study species, many studies support while others contradict this general prediction. Using a moth Ephestia kuehniella whose adults do not feed and thus have fixed resources for their lifetime fitness, we investigated whether males adjusted their investment in various life activities under dynamic socio-sexual environment. We allowed focal males to...

Data from: Long-lasting modification of soil fungal diversity associated with the introduction of rabbits to a remote sub-Antarctic archipelago

Johan Pansu, Richard C. Winkworth, Françoise Hennion, Ludovic Gielly, Pierre Taberlet & Philippe Choler
During the late nineteenth century, Europeans introduced rabbits to many of the sub-Antarctic islands, environments that prior to this had been devoid of mammalian herbivores. The impacts of rabbits on indigenous ecosystems are well studied; notably, they cause dramatic changes in plant communities and promote soil erosion. However, the responses of fungal communities to such biotic disturbances remain unexplored. We used metabarcoding of soil extracellular DNA to assess the diversity of plant and fungal communities...

Data from: Individual repeatability in laying behaviour does not support the migratory carry-over effect hypothesis of egg-size dimorphism in Eudyptes penguins

Kyle W. Morrison
Penguins of the genus Eudyptes are unique among birds in that their first-laid A-egg is 54–85% the mass of their second-laid B-egg. Although the degree of intra-clutch egg-size dimorphism varies greatly among the seven species of the genus, obligate brood reduction is typical of each, with most fledged chicks resulting from the larger B-egg. Many authors have speculated upon why Eudyptes penguins have evolved and maintained a highly dimorphic 2-egg clutch, and why it is...

Data from: Do cryptic species matter in macroecology? Sequencing European groundwater crustaceans yields smaller ranges but does not challenge biodiversity determinants

David Eme, Maja Zagmajster, Teo Delić, Cene Fiser, Jean-François Flot, Lara Konecny-Dupré, Snaebjorn Palsson, Fabio Stoch, Valerija Zakšek, Christophe J. Douady & Florian Malard
Ecologists increasingly rely on molecular delimitation methods (MMs) to identify species boundaries, thereby potentially increasing the number of putative species because of the presence of morphologically cryptic species. It has been argued that cryptic species could challenge our understanding of what determine large-scale biodiversity patterns which have traditionally been documented from morphology alone. Here, we used morphology and three MMs to derive four different sets of putative species among the European groundwater crustaceans. Then, we...

Data from: Decoupled responses of soil bacteria and their invertebrate consumer to warming, but not freeze-thaw cycles, in the Antarctic Dry Valleys

Matthew A. Knox, Walter S. Andriuzzi, Heather N. Buelow, Cristina Takacs-Vesbach, Byron J. Adams & Diana H. Wall
Altered temperature profiles resulting in increased warming and freeze–thaw cycle (FTC) frequency pose great ecological challenges to organisms in alpine and polar ecosystems. We performed a laboratory microcosm experiment to investigate how temperature variability affects soil bacterial cell numbers, and abundance and traits of soil microfauna (the microbivorous nematode Scottnema lindsayae) from McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. FTCs and constant freezing shifted nematode body size distribution towards large individuals, driven by higher mortality among smaller individuals....

Data from: Species identity and depth predict bleaching severity in reef building corals: shall the deep inherit the reef?

Paul R. Muir, Paul A. Marshall, Ameer Abdulla & J. David Aguirre
Mass bleaching associated with unusually high sea temperatures represents one of the greatest threats to corals and coral reef ecosystems. Deeper reef areas are hypothesized as potential refugia, but the susceptibility of Scleractinian species over depth has not been quantified. During the most severe bleaching event on record, we found up to 83% of coral cover severely affected on Maldivian reefs at a depth of 3–5 m, but significantly reduced effects at 24–30 m. Analysis...

Data from: Explaining large mitochondrial sequence differences within a population sample

Mary Morgan-Richards, Mariana Bulgarella, Louisa Sivyer, Edwina J. Dowle, Marie Hale, Rachael Van Heugten, Natasha E. McKean & Steven A. Trewick
Mitochondrial DNA sequence is frequently used to infer species' boundaries, as divergence is relatively rapid when populations are reproductively isolated. However, the shared history of a non-recombining gene naturally leads to correlation of pairwise differences, resulting in mtDNA clusters that might be mistaken for evidence of multiple species. There are four distinct processes that can explain high levels of mtDNA sequence difference within a single sample. Here, we examine one case in detail as an...

Data from: Diet and macronutrient niche of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) in two regions of Nepal during summer and autumn

Saroj Panthi, Achyut Aryal & Sean C. P. Coogan
Relatively little is known about the nutritional ecology of omnivorous Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) in Nepal. We characterized the diet of black bears in two seasons (June–July, “summer”; and October–November “autumn”) and two study areas (Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve [DHR]; and Kailash Sacred Landscape [KSL]). We then conducted nutritional analysis of species consumed by black bears in each study area, in combination with nutritional estimates from the literature, to estimate the proportions of macronutrients (i.e.,...

Polygenic basis for adaptive morphological variation in a threatened Aotearoa | New Zealand bird, the hihi (Notiomystis cincta)

Laura Duntsch, Barbara Tomotani, Pierre De Villemereuil, Patricia Brekke, Kate Lee, John Ewen & Anna Santure
To predict if a threatened species can adapt to changing selective pressures, it is crucial to understand the genetic basis of adaptive traits, especially in species historically affected by severe bottlenecks. We estimated the heritability of three hihi (Notiomystis cincta) morphological traits known to be under selection: nestling tarsus length, body mass and head-bill length, using 523 individuals and 39,699 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from a 50K Affymetrix SNP chip. We then examined the genetic...

Mixed mating in a multi-origin population suggests high potential for genetic rescue in North Island brown kiwi, Apteryx mantelli

Malin Undin
Reinforcement translocations are increasingly utilised in conservation with the goal of achieving genetic rescue. However, concerns regarding undesirable results, such as genetic homogenisation or replacement, are widespread. One factor influencing translocation outcomes is the rate at which the resident and the introduced individuals interbreed. Consequently, post-release mate choice is a key behaviour to consider in conservation planning. Here we studied mating, and its consequences for genomic admixture, in the North Island brown kiwi Apteryx mantelli...

Species-level coral bleaching data for Maldives and GBR

Paul Muir, Terence Done & David Aguirre
Response to coral bleaching for 7368 coral colonies exposed to similar levels of temperature stress at a similar depth of occurrence and similar subsequent mortality. Collected in situ following moderate thermal bleaching events in the GBR in 2002 and the Maldives in 2016. Data gives species, site, depth of occurence and bleaching response which was scored by tissue colour.

Climate change and alpine-adapted insects: modelling environmental envelopes of a grasshopper radiation

Emily Koot, Mary Morgan-Richards & Steven Trewick
Mountains create steep environmental gradients that are sensitive barometers of climate change. We modelled the environmental envelopes of twelve predominantly alpine, flightless grasshopper species in Aotearoa New Zealand, using current conditions and two future global climate change scenarios: representative concentration pathway (RCP) 2.6 (1.0 °C raise) and RCP8.5 (3.7 °C raise). Two thirds of our models suggested a reduced potential range across species by 2070, but surprisingly, for six species we predict an increase in...

Present and future distribution of bat hosts of sarbecoviruses: implications for conservation and public health

Renata Lara Muylaert, Tigga Kingston, Jinhong Luo, Maurício Humberto Vancine, Nikolas Galli, Colin Carlson, Reju Sam John, Maria Cristina Rulli & David Hayman
Global changes in response to human encroachment into natural habitats and carbon emissions are driving the biodiversity extinction crisis and increasing disease emergence risk. Host distributions are one critical component to identify areas at risk of viral spillover, and bats act as reservoirs of diverse viruses. We developed a reproducible ecological niche modelling pipeline for bat hosts of SARS-like viruses (subgenus Sarbecovirus), given that several closely-related viruses have been discovered and sarbecovirus-host interactions have gained...

Predicting harvest impact and establishment success when translocating highly mobile and endangered species

Johannes Fischer, Heiko Wittmer, Caio Kenup, Kevin Parker, Rosalind Cole, Igor Debski, Graeme Taylor, John Ewen & Doug Armstrong
Harvesting individuals for translocations can negatively impact source populations, a critical challenge for species reduced to small populations. Consequently, translocation cohorts often remain small, reducing the establishment probability at the destination. Balancing the potential benefits and risks of such translocations is further complicated by philopatry and natural metapopulation dynamics if the target species is highly mobile. These challenges highlight the importance of translocation feasibility assessments, but such assessments often remain qualitative to date. The critically...

Data from: Revaccination of cattle with Bacille Calmette-Guérin two years after first vaccination when immunity has waned, boosted protection against challenge with Mycobacterium bovis

Natalie A. Parlane, Dairu Shu, Supatsak Subharat, D. Neil Wedlock, Bernd H. A. Rehm, Geoffrey W. De Lisle & Bryce M. Buddle
In both humans and animals, controversy exists concerning the duration of protection induced by BCG vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) and whether revaccination enhances protection. A long-term study was undertaken to determine whether BCG-vaccinated calves would be protected against challenge with Mycobacterium bovis 2½ years after vaccination and to determine the effect of revaccination after 2 years. Seventy–nine calves were divided into five groups (n = 15–17 calves/group) with four of the groups vaccinated subcutaneously with...

Data from: Evaluating the reliability of microsatellite genotyping from low-quality DNA templates with a polynomial distribution model

Gang He, Kang Huang, SongTao Guo, WeiHong Ji, Yi Ren, XueLin Jin & BaoGuo Li
Molecular studies using trace DNA, such as from museum specimens, ancient or forensic samples and samples obtained noninvasively, often have a common problem of low quality of DNA templates. Amplification errors, such as allelic dropout and false allele, may arise during polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using such samples. A mathematical model which treats homozygotes and heterozygotes discriminately has been developed to measure sample quality and compute the confidence level of using multiple-tube approaches. We use...

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