142 Works

Clinging ability is related to particular aspects of foot morphology in salamanders

Erica Baken & Mary Kate O'Donnell
The interaction between morphology, performance, and ecology has long been studied in order to explain variation in the natural world. Within arboreal salamanders, diversification in foot morphology and microhabitat use are thought to be linked by the impact of foot size and shape on clinging and climbing performance, resulting in an ability to access new habitats. We examine whether various foot shape metrics correlate with stationary cling performance and microhabitat to explicitly quantify this performance...

Brown University Carpal Dataset

Bardiya Akhbari, Joseph J Crisco, Doublas C Moore, David H Laidlaw, Edward Akelman, Arnold-Peter C Weiss & Scott W Wolfe
This packaged folder contains the carpal bone anatomy for 120 wrists along with the calculated motion of the carpal bones in various postures. This version also contains the predictive quadratic surface model and the graphic user interface (GUI) that enables the user to observe the dataset. CT images of wrists from 90 healthy volunteers (43 males and 47 females) were acquired in various wrist positions. The outer cortical surfaces of the carpal bones, radius, and...

Data from: Statistical context dictates the relationship between feedback-related EEG signals and learning

Matthew R. Nassar, Rasmus Bruckner & Michael J. Frank
Learning should be adjusted according to the surprise associated with observed outcomes but calibrated according to statistical context. For example, when occasional changepoints are expected, surprising outcomes should be weighted heavily to speed learning. In contrast, when uninformative outliers are expected to occur occasionally, surprising outcomes should be less influential. Here we dissociate surprising outcomes from the degree to which they demand learning using a predictive inference task and computational modeling. We show that the...

Mitochondria as environments for the nuclear genome in Drosophila: Mitonuclear GxGxE

David Rand, Jim Mossman, Adam Spierer & John Santiago
Mitochondria evolved from a union of microbial cells belonging to distinct lineages that were likely anaerobic. The evolution of eukaryotes required a massive reorganization of the two genomes and eventual adaptation to aerobic environments. The nutrients and oxygen that sustain eukaryotic metabolism today are processed in mitochondria through coordinated expression of 37 mitochondrial genes and over 1000 nuclear genes. This puts mitochondria at the nexus of gene-by-gene (GxG) and gene-by-environment (GxE) interactions that sustain life....

An invasive species erodes the performance of coastal wetland protected areas

Junlin Ren, Jianshe Chen, Changlin Xu, Johan Van De Koppel, Mads Thomsen, Shi-Yun Qiu, Fangyan Cheng, Wanjuan Song, Quan-Xing Liu, Chi Xu, Junhong Bai, Yihui Zhang, Baoshan Cui, Mark Bertness, Brian Silliman, Bo Li & Qiang He
The world has increasingly relied upon protected areas (PAs) to rescue highly valued ecosystems from human activities, but whether PAs will fare well with bioinvasions remains unknown. By analyzing three decades of seven largest coastal PAs in China, including multiple World Natural Heritage and/or Wetlands of International Importance sites, we show that although PAs are achieving success in rescuing iconic wetlands and critical shorebird habitats from once widespread reclamation, this success is counteracted by escalating...

Diarrhea etiology prediction validation dataset - Bangladesh and Mali

Daniel Leung, Ben Brintz & Stephanie Garbern
Background: Diarrheal illness is a leading cause of antibiotic use for children in low- and middle-income countries. Determination of diarrhea etiology at the point-of-care without reliance on laboratory testing has the potential to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use. Methods: This prospective observational study aimed to develop and externally validate the accuracy of a mobile software application (“App”) for the prediction of viral-only etiology of acute diarrhea in children 0-59 months in Bangladesh and Mali. The App...

Large herbivores suppress liana infestation in an African savanna

Tyler C. Coverdale, Ryan D. O'Connell, Matthew C. Hutchinson, Amanda Savagian, Tyler R. Kartzinel, Todd M. Palmer, Jacob R. Goheen, David J. Augustine, Mahesh Sankaran, Corina E. Tarnita & Robert M. Pringle
African savannas are the last stronghold of diverse large-mammal communities, and a major focus of savanna ecology is to understand how these animals affect the relative abundance of trees and grasses. However, savannas support diverse plant life-forms, and human-induced changes in large-herbivore assemblages—declining wildlife populations and their displacement by livestock—may cause unexpected shifts in plant community composition. We investigated how herbivory affects the prevalence of lianas (woody vines) and their impact on trees in an...

Evaluating alternative study designs for optimal sampling of species’ climatic niches

Daniel Perret & Dov Sax
Ecologists have traditionally studied intraspecific variation by sampling species across their geographic ranges. However, whether this classic approach produces samples that accurately represent species’ climatic niches is largely unknown. Alternative, niche-based study designs using species’ climatic niches to inform sampling locations should more efficiently and completely capture the breadth of the niche, but the magnitude of this difference and how it may vary is unclear. Here we use conifers as a model system to explore...

Testosterone amplifies the negative valence of an agonistic gestural display by exploiting receiver perceptual bias

Nigel K. Anderson, Martina Grabner, Lisa A. Mangiamele, Doris Preininger & Matthew J. Fuxjager
Many animals communicate by performing elaborate displays that are incredibly extravagant and wildly bizarre. So, how do these displays evolve? One idea is that innate sensory biases arbitrarily favor the emergence of certain display traits over others, leading to the design of an unusual display. Here, we study how physiological factors associated with signal production influence this process, a topic that has received almost no attention. We focus on a tropical frog, whose males compete...

Data from: Phylogeny and generic delimitation in Molluginaceae, new pigment data in Caryophyllales, and the new family Corbichoniaceae

Mats Thulin, Abigail J. Moore, Hesham El-Seedi, Anders Larsson, Pascal-Antoine Christin & Erika J. Edwards
The circumscription of Molluginaceae has changed radically in recent years, with Corbichonia being moved to Lophiocarpaceae, Limeum to Limeaceae, Macarthuria to Macarthuriaceae and all species of Hypertelis, except the type, to Kewa in Kewaceae. In a broad analysis of core Caryophyllales using plastid trnK-matK and rbcL sequences, the position of Molluginaceae in a strict sense as sister to the Portulacineae clade is corroborated, as are the positions of Corbichonia, Limeum and Kewa outside the family....

Data from: Solute and sediment export from Amazon forest and soybean headwater streams

Shelby H. Riskin, Christopher Neill, KathiJo Jankowski, Alex V. Krusche, Richard McHorney, Helmut Elsenbeer, Marcia N. Macedo, Darlisson Costa Nunes & Stephen Porder
Intensive cropland agriculture commonly increases streamwater solute concentrations and export from small watersheds. In recent decades, the lowland tropics have become the world's largest and most important region of cropland expansion. Although the effects of intensive cropland agriculture on streamwater chemistry and watershed export have been widely studied in temperate regions, their effects in tropical regions are poorly understood. We sampled seven headwater streams draining watersheds in forest (n=3) or soybeans (n=4) to examine the...

Data from: Phylogenomic analyses reveal latitudinal population structure and polymorphisms in heat stress genes in the North Atlantic snail Nucella lapillus

Nathaniel D. Chu, Stefan T. Kaluziak, Geoffrey C. Trussell & Steven V. Vollmer
North Atlantic rocky intertidal species have been shaped by repeated glaciations and strong latitudinal temperature gradients, making them an excellent system to study postglacial phylogeography and thermal tolerance. Population genetics data from northwestern Atlantic species, however, often show patterns inconsistent with the prediction that high dispersal should generate weaker genetic structure among populations. Here we used next-generation sequencing restriction-associated DNA tags (RAD-seq) and a transcriptome assembled from RNA-seq data to analyze the genetic structure of...

Data from: Multivariate analysis of electrophysiological diversity of Xenopus visual neurons during development and plasticity

Christopher M. Ciarleglio, Arseny S. Khakhalin, Angelia F. Wang, Alexander C. Constantino, Sarah P. Yip & Carlos D. Aizenman
Biophysical properties of neurons become increasingly diverse over development, but mechanisms underlying and constraining this diversity are not fully understood. Here we investigate electrophysiological characteristics of Xenopus tadpole midbrain neurons across development and during homeostatic plasticity induced by patterned visual stimulation. We show that in development tectal neuron properties not only change on average, but also become increasingly diverse. After sensory stimulation, both electrophysiological diversity and functional differentiation of cells are reduced. At the same...

Data from: Phylogenomic analyses of deep gastropod relationships reject Orthogastropoda

Felipe Zapata, Nerida G. Wilson, Mark Howison, Sónia C. S. Andrade, Katharina M. Jörger, Michael Schrödl, Freya E. Goetz, Gonzalo Giribet & Casey W. Dunn
Gastropods are a highly diverse clade of molluscs that includes many familiar animals, such as limpets, snails, slugs and sea slugs. It is one of the most abundant groups of animals in the sea and the only molluscan lineage that has successfully colonized land. Yet the relationships among and within its constituent clades have remained in flux for over a century of morphological, anatomical and molecular study. Here, we re-evaluate gastropod phylogenetic relationships by collecting...

Data from: Interacting effects of genetic variation for seed dormancy and flowering time on phenology, life history, and fitness of experimental Arabidopsis thaliana populations over multiple generations in the field

Mark A. Taylor, Martha D. Cooper, Reena Sellamuthu, Peter Braun, Andrew Migneault, Alyssa Browning, Emily Perry & Johanna Schmitt
• Major alleles for seed dormancy and flowering time are well-studied, and can interact to influence seasonal timing and fitness within generations. However, little is known about how this interaction controls phenology, life history, and population fitness across multiple generations in natural seasonal environments. • To examine how seed dormancy and flowering time shape annual plant life cycles over multiple generations, we established naturally dispersing populations of recombinant inbred lines of Arabidopsis thaliana segregating early...

Data from: Sizing ocean giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafauna

Craig R. McClain, Meghan A. Balk, Mark C. Benfield, Trevor A. Branch, Catherine Chen, James Cosgrove, Alistair D. M. Dove, Leo C. Gaskins, Rebecca Helm, Frederick G. Hochberg, Frank B. Lee, Andrea Marshall, Steven E. McMurray, Caroline Schanche, Shane N. Stone, Andrew D. Thaler & Rebecca R. Helm
What are the greatest sizes that the largest marine megafauna obtain? This is a simple question with a difficult and complex answer. Many of the largest-sized species occur in the world’s oceans. For many of these, rarity, remoteness, and quite simply the logistics of measuring these giants has made obtaining accurate size measurements difficult. Inaccurate reports of maximum sizes run rampant through the scientific literature and popular media. Moreover, how intraspecific variation in the body...

Data from: Environmental controls on canopy foliar N distributions in a neotropical lowland forest

Christopher S. Balzotti, Gregory P. Asner, Philip G. Taylor, Cory C. Cleveland, Rebecca Cole, Roberta E. Martin, Megan Nasto, Brooke B. Osborne, Stephen Porder & Alan R. Townsend
Distributions of foliar nutrients across forest canopies can give insight into their plant functional diversity and improve our understanding of biogeochemical cycling. We used airborne remote sensing and Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) to quantify canopy foliar nitrogen (N) across ~164 km2 of wet lowland tropical forest in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. We determined the relative influence of climate and topography on the observed patterns of canopy foliar N using a gradient boosting model...

Data from: Reducing therapeutic misconception: a randomized intervention trial in hypothetical clinical trials

Paul P. Christopher, Paul S. Appelbaum, Debbie Truong, Karen Albert, Louise Maranda, Charles Lidz & Charles Lidz
Background: Participants in clinical trials frequently fail to appreciate key differences between research and clinical care. This phenomenon, known as therapeutic misconception, undermines informed consent to clinical research, but to date there have been no effective interventions to reduce it and concerns have been expressed that to do so might impede recruitment. We determined whether a scientific reframing intervention reduces therapeutic misconception without significantly reducing willingness to participate in hypothetical clinical trials. Methods: This prospective...

Data from: The fate of phosphorus fertilizer in Amazon soya bean fields

Shelby H. Riskin, Stephen Porder, Christopher Neill, Adelaine Michela E Silva Figueira, Carmen Tubbesing & Natalie Mahowald
Fertilizer-intensive soya bean agriculture has recently expanded in southeastern Amazônia, and whereas intensive fertilizer use in the temperate zone has led to widespread eutrophication of freshwater ecosystems, the effects in tropical systems are less well understood. We examined the fate of fertilizer P by comparing P forms and budgets across a chronosequence of soya bean fields (converted to soya beans between 2003 and 2008) and forests on an 800 km2 soya bean farm in Mato...

Data from: A tale of two studies: detection and attribution of the impacts of invasive plants in observational surveys

Kevin E. Mueller, Alexandra G. Lodge, Alexander M. Roth, Timothy J. S. Whitfeld, Sarah E. Hobbie & Peter B. Reich
1.Short-term experiments cannot characterize how long-lived, invasive shrubs influence ecological properties that can be slow to change, including native diversity and soil fertility. Observational studies are thus necessary, but often suffer from methodological issues. 2.To highlight ways of improving the design and interpretation of observational studies that assess the impacts of invasive plants, we compare two studies of nutrient cycling and earthworms along two separate gradients of invasive shrub abundance. By considering the divergent sampling...

Data from: Nutrient limitation in tropical secondary forests following different management practices

R. Chelsea Nagy, Edward B. Rastetter, Christopher Neill & Stephen Porder
Secondary forests now make up more than half of all tropical forests, and constraints on their biomass accumulation will influence the strength of the terrestrial carbon (C) sink in the coming decades. However the variance in secondary tropical forest biomass for a given stand age and climate is high and our understanding of why is limited. We constructed a model of terrestrial C, nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) cycling to examine the influence of disturbance...

Data from: Multiple stressors and the potential for synergistic loss of New England salt marshes

Sinead M. Crotty, Christine Angelini & Mark D. Bertness
Climate change and other anthropogenic stressors are converging on coastal ecosystems worldwide. Understanding how these stressors interact to affect ecosystem structure and function has immediate implications for coastal planning, however few studies quantify stressor interactions. We examined past and potential future interactions between two leading stressors on New England salt marshes: sea-level rise and marsh crab (Sesarma reticulatum) grazing driven low marsh die-off. Geospatial analyses reveal that crab-driven die-off has led to an order of...

Data from: Indirect human impacts reverse centuries of carbon sequestration and salt marsh accretion

Tyler C. Coverdale, Caitlin P. Brisson, Eric W. Young, Stephanie F. Yin, Jeffrey P. Donnelly & Mark D. Bertness
Direct and indirect human impacts on coastal ecosystems have increased over the last several centuries, leading to unprecedented degradation of coastal habitats and loss of ecological services. Here we document a two century temporal disparity between salt marsh accretion and subsequent loss to indirect human impacts. Field surveys, manipulative experiments and GIS analyses reveal that crab burrowing weakens the marsh peat base and facilitates further burrowing, leading to bank calving, disruption of marsh accretion, and...

Data from: Persistent differences between coastal and offshore kelp forest communities in a warming Gulf of Maine

Jon D. Witman & Robert W. Lamb
Kelp forests provide important ecosystem services, yet coastal kelp communities are increasingly altered by anthropogenic impacts. Kelp forests in remote, offshore locations may provide an informative contrast due to reduced impacts from local stressors. We tested the hypothesis that shallow kelp assemblages (12-15 m depth) and associated fish and benthic communities in the coastal southwest Gulf of Maine (GOM) differed significantly from sites on Cashes Ledge, 145 km offshore by sampling five coastal and three...

Data from: Molecular evolution of key metabolic genes during transitions to C4 and CAM photosynthesis

Eric W. Goolsby, Abigail J. Moore, Lillian P. Hancock, Jurriaan M. De Vos & Erika J. Edwards
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Next-generation sequencing facilitates rapid production of well-sampled phylogenies built from very large genetic datasets, which can then be subsequently exploited to examine the molecular evolution of the genes themselves. We present an evolutionary analysis of 83 gene families (19 containing carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) genes, 64 containing non-CCM genes) in the portullugo clade (Caryophyllales), a diverse lineage of mostly arid-adapted plants that contains multiple evolutionary origins of all known photosynthesis types in...

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