17 Works

Data from: Defining functional biomes and monitoring their change globally

Steven I. Higgins, Robert Buitenwerf, Glenn Moncrieff & Glenn R. Moncrieff
Biomes are important constructs for organizing understanding of how the worlds’ major terrestrial ecosystems differ from one another and for monitoring change in these ecosystems. Yet existing biome schemes have been criticized for being overly subjective and for explicitly or implicitly invoking climate. We propose a new biome map and classification scheme that uses information on (i) an index of vegetation productivity, (ii) whether the minimum of vegetation activity is in the driest or coldest...

Data from: Spatial variation in climate mediates gene flow across an island archipelago

Michael Latter Logan, M. C. Duryea, Orsolya R. Molnar, Benji J. Kessler & Ryan Calsbeek
High levels of gene flow among partially isolated populations can overwhelm selection and limit local adaptation. This process, known as “gene swamping,” can homogenize genetic diversity among populations and reduce the capacity of a species to withstand rapid environmental change. We studied brown anole lizards (Anolis sagrei) distributed across seven islands in The Bahamas. We used microsatellite markers to estimate gene flow among islands and then examined the correlation between thermal performance and island temperature....

Data from: Dispersal propensity, but not flight performance, explains variation in dispersal ability

Vernon M. Steyn, Katherine A. Mitchell & John S. Terblanche
Enhanced dispersal ability may lead to accelerated range expansion and increased rates of population establishment, thereby affecting population genetic structure and evolutionary potential. Morphological, behavioural and physiological traits that characterize dispersive individuals from residents are poorly understood for many invertebrate systems, especially in non-polymorphic pterygote species. Here we examined phenotypic differences between dispersal-prone and philopatric individuals from repeated mark-release-recapture (MRR) experiments using an invasive agricultural pest, Ceratitis capitata. Comprehensive morphometric assessment and subsequent minimal adequate...

Data from: Using functional responses to quantify interaction effects among predators

Ryan J. Wasserman, Mhairi E. Alexander, Tatenda Dalu, Bruce R. Ellender, Horst Kaiser & Olaf L. F. Weyl
1. Predator diversity alterations have been observed in most ecosystems as a result of the loss and/ or addition of species. This has implications for predator-prey dynamics as non-trophic interactions among predators, so called multiple predator effects (MPE), are known to influence predation success. In addition, there is often a density-dependant relationship between prey availability and prey consumption (functional response). While MPE investigations are common in the literature, functional responses have rarely been incorporated into...

Data from: When homoplasy mimics hybridization: a case study of Cape hakes (Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus)

Romina Henriques, Sophie Von Der Heyden & Conrad A. Matthee
In the marine environment, an increasing number of studies have documented introgression and hybridization using genetic markers. Hybridization appears to occur preferentially between sister-species, with the probability of introgression decreasing with an increase in evolutionary divergence. Exceptions to this pattern were reported for the Cape hakes (Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus), two distantly related Merluciidae species that diverged 3–4.2 million years ago. Yet, it is expected that contemporary hybridization between such divergent species would result...

Data from: Evaluation of Xpert® MTB/RIF assay in induced sputum and gastric lavage samples from young children with suspected tuberculosis from the MVA85A TB vaccine trial

Erick Wekesa Bunyasi, Michele Tameris, Hennie Geldenhuys, Bey-Marrie Schmidt, Angelique Kany Kany Luabeya, Humphrey Mulenga, Thomas J. Scriba, Willem A. Hanekom, Hassan Mahomed, Helen McShane & Mark Hatherill
Objective: Diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis is limited by the paucibacillary respiratory samples obtained from young children with pulmonary disease. We aimed to compare accuracy of the Xpert® MTB/RIF assay, an automated nucleic acid amplification test, between induced sputum and gastric lavage samples from young children in a tuberculosis endemic setting. Methods: We analyzed standardized diagnostic data from HIV negative children younger than four years of age who were investigated for tuberculosis disease near Cape Town,...

Data from: Distinct effects of pollinator dependence and self-incompatibility on pollen limitation in South African biodiversity hotspots

James Rodger, Allan G. Ellis & James G. Rodger
Global synthesis indicates that limitation of plant fecundity by pollen receipt (pollen limitation) is positively related to regional plant diversity and is higher for self-incompatible than self-compatible species. While self-incompatible species are always dependent on pollinating agents, self-compatible species may be pollinator-dependent or autofertile. This should cause variation in pollen limitation among self-compatible species, with lower pollen limitation in autofertile species because they do not depend on pollinators. We hypothesized that the intensity of pollen...

Data from: Pollination, mating and reproductive fitness in a plant population with bimodal floral-tube length

Bruce Anderson, Anton Pauw, William W. Cole, Spencer C.H. Barrett & S. C. H. Barrett
Mating patterns and natural selection play important roles in determining whether genetic polymorphisms are maintained or lost. Here, we document an atypical population of Lapeirousia anceps (Iridaceae) with a bimodal distribution of floral-tube length and investigate the reproductive mechanisms associated with this pattern of variation. Flowers were visited exclusively by the long-proboscid fly Moegistorhynchus longirostris (Nemestrinidae), which exhibited a unimodal distribution of proboscis length and displayed a preference for long-tubed phenotypes. Despite being visited by...

Data from: Biotic and abiotic variables influencing plant litter breakdown in streams: a global study

Luz Boyero, Richard Pearson, Cang Hui, Mark Gessner, Javier Perez, Markos Alexandrou, Manuel Graça, Bradley Cardinale, Ricardo Albariño, M. Arunachalam, Leon Barmuta, Andrew Boulton, Andreas Bruder, Marcos Callisto, Eric Chauvet, Russell Death, David Dudgeon, Andrea Encalada, Veronica Ferreira, Ricardo Figueroa, Alex Flecker, , Julie Helson, Tomoya Iwata, Tajang Jinggut … & Catherine Yule
Plant litter breakdown is a key ecological process in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Streams and rivers, in particular, have high rates of carbon dioxide evasion and they contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes. However, there is little information available on the relative roles of different drivers of plant litter breakdown in fresh waters, particularly at large scales. We present a global-scale study of litter breakdown in streams to compare the roles of biotic, climatic and...

Data from: Experimental evidence for fundamental, and not realised, niche partitioning in a plant-herbivore community interaction network

Willem J. Augustyn, Bruce Anderson & Allan G. Ellis
Patterns of niche partitioning can result from local ecological interactions (e.g. interspecific competition) occurring within a contemporary time frame (realised niche partitioning). Alternatively they may represent the end-product of historical processes acting over long time frames (fundamental niche partitioning). Niche partitioning is often detected by analysing patterns of resource use within communities, but experiments are rarely conducted to test whether patterns of non-overlapping resource use reflect realised or fundamental niche partitioning. We studied a community...

Data from: Beauty is more than skin deep: a non-invasive protocol for in vivo anatomical study using micro-CT

Chris Broeckhoven, Anton Du Plessis, Stephan Gerhard Le Roux, Pieter Le Fras Nortier Mouton & Cang Hui
Microcomputed tomography (μCT) is a widely used tool in biomedical research, employed to investigate tissues and bone structures of small mammals in vivo. The application of in vivo μCT scanning in non-medical studies greatly lags behind the rapid advancements made in the biomedical field wherein the methodology has evolved to allow for longitudinal studies and eliminate the need to sacrifice the animal. Ecological and evolutionary studies often involve morphological measurements of a large sample of...

Data from: Investigating population differentiation in a major African agricultural pest: evidence from geometric morphometrics and connectivity suggests high invasion potential

Minette Karsten, Pia Addison, Bettine J. Van Vuuren & John S. Terblanche
The distribution, spatial pattern and population dynamics of a species can be influenced by differences in the environment across its range. Spatial variation in climatic conditions can cause local populations to undergo disruptive selection and ultimately result in local adaptation. However, local adaptation can be constrained by gene flow and may favour resident individuals over migrants—both are factors critical to the assessment of invasion potential. The Natal fruit fly (Ceratitis rosa) is a major agricultural...

Data from: Invariant antagonistic network structure despite high spatial and temporal turnover of interactions

Jurene E. Kemp, Darren M. Evans, Willem J. Augustyn & Allan G. Ellis
Recent work has suggested that emergent ecological network structure exhibits very little spatial or temporal variance despite changes in community composition. However, the changes in network interactions associated with turnover in community composition have seldom been assessed. Here we examine whether changes in ecological networks are best detected by standard emergent network metrics or by assessing internal network changes (i.e. interaction and composition turnover). To eliminate possible spatial or phylogenetic effects, that in large-scale studies...

Data from: Enemy at the gates: rapid defensive trait diversification in an adaptive radiation of lizards

Chris Broeckhoven, Genevieve Diedericks, Cang Hui, Buyisile G. Makhubo & Pieter Le Fras Nortier Mouton
Adaptive radiation, the product of rapid diversification of an ancestral species into novel adaptive zones, has become pivotal in our understanding of biodiversity. While it has widely been accepted that predators may drive the process of adaptive radiation by creating ecological opportunity (e.g. enemy-free space), the role of predators as selective agents in defensive trait diversification remains controversial. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we provide evidence for an ‘early burst’ in the diversification of antipredator phenotypes...

Data from: Spatio-temporal genetic structure and the effects of long-term fishing in two partially sympatric offshore demersal fishes

Romina Henriques, Sophie Von Der Heyden, Marek R. Lipinski, Nina Du Toit, Paulus Kainge, Paulette Bloomer & Conrad A. Matthee
Environmental gradients have been shown to disrupt gene flow in marine species, yet their influence in structuring populations at depth remains poorly understood. The Cape hakes (Merluccius paradoxus and M. capensis) are demersal species co-occurring in the Benguela Current system, where decades of intense fishing resulted in severely depleted stocks in the past. Previous studies identified conflicting mtDNA genetic substructuring patterns and thus contrasting evolutionary trajectories for both species. Using 10 microsatellite loci, the control...

Data from: Lizards paid a greater opportunity cost to thermoregulate in a less heterogeneous environment

Christine H. Basson, Ofir Levy, , Susana Clusella-Trullas & Michael J. Angilletta
The theory of thermoregulation has developed slowly, hampering efforts to predict how individuals can buffer climate change through behaviour. Mixed results of field and laboratory experiments underscore the need to test hypotheses about thermoregulation explicitly, while measuring costs and benefits in different thermal landscapes. We simulated body temperature and energy expenditure of a virtual lizard that either thermoregulates optimally or thermoconforms in a landscape of either low or high quality (one or four basking sites,...

Data from: Does diet drive the evolution of head shape and bite force in chameleons of the genus Bradypodion?

Alexis Y. Dollion, G. John Measey, Raphael Cornette, Liza Carne, Krystal A. Tolley, Jessica M. Da Silva, Renaud Boistel, Anne-Claire Fabre & Anthony Herrel
The head is a complex integrated system that is implicated in many vital functions. As such, its morphology is impacted by different and sometimes conflicting demands. Consequently, head shape varies greatly depending on the environment and dietary ecology of an organism. Moreover, given its role in territory defence and mating in lizards, it is also subjected to strong sexual selection in these animals. We investigated the relationships between head shape, bite performance and diet in...

Registration Year

  • 2016

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Stellenbosch University
  • Rhodes University
  • African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
  • University of Toronto
  • University of the Basque Country
  • National Museum
  • South African National Biodiversity Institute
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology