141 Works

Data from: A tale of two morphs: modeling pollen transfer, magic traits, and reproductive isolation in parapatry

Benjamin C. Haller, Jurriaan M. De Vos, Barbara Keller, Andrew P. Hendry & Elena Conti
The evolution of the flower is commonly thought to have spurred angiosperm diversification. Similarly, particular floral traits might have promoted diversification within specific angiosperm clades. We hypothesize that traits promoting the precise positional transfer of pollen between flowers might promote diversification. In particular, precise pollen transfer might produce partial reproductive isolation that facilitates adaptive divergence between parapatric populations differing in their reproductive-organ positions. We investigate this hypothesis with an individual-based model of pollen transfer dynamics...

Data from: Community assembly of a euryhaline fish microbiome during salinity acclimation

Victor T. Schmidt, Katherine F. Smith, Donald W. Melvin & Linda A. Amaral-Zettler
Microbiomes play a critical role in promoting a range of host functions. Microbiome function, in turn, is dependent on its community composition. Yet, how microbiome taxa are assembled from their regional species pool remains unclear. Many possible drivers have been hypothesized, including deterministic processes of competition, stochastic processes of colonization and migration, and physiological ‘host-effect’ habitat filters. The contribution of each to assembly in nascent or perturbed microbiomes is important for understanding host–microbe interactions and...

Data from: A phylogenetic backbone for Bivalvia: an RNA-seq approach

Vanessa L. González, Sónia C. S. Andrade, Rüdiger Bieler, Timothy M. Collins, Casey W. Dunn, Paula M. Mikkelsen, John D. Taylor, Gonzalo Giribet & V. L. Gonzalez
Bivalves are an ancient and ubiquitous group of aquatic invertebrates with an estimated 10 000–20 000 living species. They are economically significant as a human food source, and ecologically important given their biomass and effects on communities. Their phylogenetic relationships have been studied for decades, and their unparalleled fossil record extends from the Cambrian to the Recent. Nevertheless, a robustly supported phylogeny of the deepest nodes, needed to fully exploit the bivalves as a model...

Consumer mobility predicts impacts of herbivory across a wave stress gradient

Robert Lamb, Franz Smith & Jon Witman
Environmental stress impedes predation and herbivory by limiting the ability of animals to search for and consume prey. We tested the contingency of this relationship on consumer traits, and specifically hypothesized that herbivore mobility relative to the return time of limiting environmental stress would predict consumer effects. We examined how wave-induced water motion affects marine communities via herbivory by highly mobile (fish) versus slow moving (pencil urchin) consumers at two wave-sheltered and two wave-exposed rocky...

Role of endogenous and exogenous attention in task-relevant visual perceptual learning

Kieu N. Nguyen, Takeo Watanabe & George J. Andersen
The present study examined the role of exogenous and endogenous attention in task relevant visual perceptual learning (TR-VPL). VPL performance was assessed by examining the learning to a trained stimulus feature and transfer of learning to an untrained stimulus feature. To assess the differential role of attention in VPL, two types of attentional cues were manipulated; exogenous and endogenous. In order to assess the effectiveness of the attentional cue, the two types of attentional cues...

Relaxed feeding constraints facilitate the evolution of mouthbrooding in Neotropical cichlids

Hannah Weller, Hernán López-Fernández, Caleb McMahan & Elizabeth Brainerd
Multifunctionality is often framed as a core constraint of phenotypic evolution. Mouthbrooding, a form of parental care where offspring develop inside a parent’s mouth, increases multifunctionality by adding a major function (reproduction) to a structure already serving other vital functions (feeding and respiration). Despite increasing multifunctionality, mouthbrooding has evolved repeatedly from other forms of parental care in at least 7 fish families. We hypothesized that mouthbrooding is more likely to evolve in lineages with feeding...

The precautionary principle and dietary DNA metabarcoding: commonly used abundance thresholds change ecological interpretation

Bethan Littleford-Colquhoun, Patrick Freeman, Violet Sackett, Camille Tulloss, Lauren McGarvey, Chris Geremia & Tyler Kartzinel
Dietary DNA metabarcoding enables researchers to identify and characterize trophic interactions with a high degree of taxonomic precision. It is also sensitive to sources of bias and contamination in the field and lab. One of the earliest and most common strategies for dealing with such sensitivities has been to filter resulting sequence data to remove low-abundance sequences before conducting ecological analyses based on the presence or absence of food taxa. Although this step is now...

Data For: The developing bird pelvis passes through ancestral Archosaurian and Dinosaurian conditions

Christopher Griffin, João Botelho, Michael Hanson, Matteo Fabbri, Daniel Smith-Paredes, Ryan Carney, Mark Norell, Shiro Egawa, Stephen Gatesy, Timothy Rowe, Ruth Elsey, Sterling Nesbitt & Bhart-Anjan Bhullar
Living birds (Aves) have bodies dramatically modified from the ancestral reptilian condition. The avian pelvis in particular experienced dramatic changes during the transition from early archosaurs to living birds. This stepwise transformation is well documented by an excellent fossil record; however, the ontogenetic alterations that underly it are less well-understood. We used embryological imaging techniques to examine the morphogenesis of avian pelvic tissues in three dimensions, allowing direct comparison with the fossil record. Many ancestral...

Data from: All-trans retinoic acid disrupts development in ex vivo cultured fetal rat testes. II: modulation of mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate toxicity

Daniel J. Spade, Susan J. Hall, Jeremy D. Wortzel, Gerardo Reyes & Kim Boekelheide
Humans are universally exposed to low levels of phthalate esters (phthalates), which are used to plasticize polyvinyl chloride. Phthalates exert adverse effects on the development of seminiferous cords in the fetal testis through unknown toxicity pathways. To investigate the hypothesis that phthalates alter seminiferous cord development by disrupting retinoic acid signaling in the fetal testis, gestational day 15 fetal rat testes were exposed for 1-3 days to 10-6 M all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) alone or...

Data from: Polygenic adaptation on height is overestimated due to uncorrected stratification in genome-wide association studies

Mashaal Sohail, Robert M. Maier, Andrea Ganna, Alex Bloemendal, Alicia R. Martin, Michael C. Turchin, Charleston W. K. Chang, Joel Hirschhorn, Mark J. Daly, Nick Patterson, Benjamin Neale, Iain Mathieson, David Reich & Shamil R. Sunyaev
Genetic predictions of height differ among human populations and these differences have been interpreted as evidence of polygenic adaptation. These differences were first detected using SNPs genome-wide significantly associated with height, and shown to grow stronger when large numbers of sub-significant SNPs were included, leading to excitement about the prospect of analyzing large fractions of the genome to detect polygenic adaptation for multiple traits. Previous studies of height have been based on SNP effect size...

Data from: Naturalized distributions show that climatic disequilibrium is structured by niche size in pines (Pinus L.)

Daniel L. Perret, Andrew B. Leslie & Dov F. Sax
Aim: The assumption that species’ native distributions are in equilibrium with climate has been shown to be frequently violated, despite its centrality to many niche model applications. We currently lack a framework that predicts these violations. Here we examine whether variation in climatic disequilibrium is structured by properties of species’ native distributions and climatic niches. Location: Global Methods: We built climatic niche models for 106 pine (Pinus L.) species, including 25 that have naturalized outside...

Data from: Environmental gradients and the evolution of successional habitat specialization: a test case with 14 Neotropical forest sites

Susan G. Letcher, Jesse R. Lasky, Robin L. Chazdon, Natalia Norden, S. Joseph Wright, Jorge A. Meave, Eduardo A. Pérez-García, Rodrigo Muñoz, Eunice Romero-Pérez, Ana Andrade, José Luis Andrade, Patricia Balvanera, Justin M. Becknell, Tony V. Bentos, Radika Bhaskar, Frans Bongers, Vanessa Boukili, Pedro H. S. Brancalion, Ricardo G. César, Deborah A. Clark, David B. Clark, Dylan Craven, Alexander DeFrancesco, Juan M. Dupuy, Bryan Finegan … & G. Bruce Williamson
1. Successional gradients are ubiquitous in nature, yet few studies have systematically examined the evolutionary origins of taxa that specialize at different successional stages. Here we quantify successional habitat specialization in Neotropical forest trees and evaluate its evolutionary lability along a precipitation gradient. Theoretically, successional habitat specialization should be more evolutionarily conserved in wet forests than in dry forests due to more extreme microenvironmental differentiation between early and late successional stages in wet forest. 2....

Data from: Predicting the evolutionary dynamics of seasonal adaptation to novel climates in Arabidopsis thaliana

Alexandre Fournier-Level, Emily O. Perry, Jonathan A. Wang, Peter T. Braun, Andrew Migneault, Martha D. Cooper, C. Jessica E. Metcalf & Johanna Schmitt
Anticipating the effect of climate change on plants requires understanding its evolutionary consequence on traits and genes in complex realistic environments. How seasonal variation has an impact on the dynamics of adaptation in natural populations remains unclear. We simulated adaptation to different climate change scenarios, grounding our analysis in experimental data and explicitly exploring seasonal variation. Seasonal variation dramatically affected the dynamics of adaptation: Marked seasonality led to genetic differentiation within the population to different...

Data from: Dopamine promotes motor cortex plasticity and motor skill learning via PLC activation

Mengia-Seraina Rioult-Pedotti, Ana Pekanivic, Clement Osei Atiemo, John Marshall, Andreas Rüdiger Luft & Ana Pekanovic
Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area, the major midbrain nucleus projecting to the motor cortex, play a key role in motor skill learning and motor cortex synaptic plasticity. Dopamine D1 and D2 receptor antagonists exert parallel effects in the motor system: they impair motor skill learning and reduce long-term potentiation. Traditionally, D1 and D2 receptor modulate adenylyl cyclase activity and cyclic adenosine monophosphate accumulation in opposite directions via different G-proteins and bidirectionally modulate protein...

Data from: A new framework for investigating biotic homogenization and exploring future trajectories: oceanic island plant and bird assemblages as a case study

Kyle C. Rosenblad & Dov F. Sax
Studies of biotic homogenization have focused primarily on characterizing changes that have occurred between some past baseline and the present day. In order to understand how homogenization may change in the future, it is important to contextualize the processes driving these changes. Here, we examine empirical patterns of change in taxonomic similarity among oceanic island plant and bird assemblages. We use these empirical cases to unpack dynamic properties of biotic homogenization, thereby elucidating two important...

Data from: Small and ugly? Phylogenetic analyses of the “selfing syndrome” reveal complex evolutionary fates of monomorphic primrose flowers

Jurriaan M. De Vos, Rafael O. Wüest & Elena Conti
One of the most common trends in plant evolution, loss of self-incompatibility and ensuing increases in selfing, is generally assumed to be associated with a suite of phenotypic changes, notably a reduction of floral size, termed the selfing syndrome. We investigate whether floral morphological traits indeed decrease in a deterministic fashion after losses of self-incompatibility, as traditionally expected, using a phylogeny of 124 primrose species containing nine independent transitions from heterostyly (heteromorphic incompatibility) to homostyly...

Data from: Paths to selection on life history loci in different natural environments across the native range of Arabidopsis thaliana

Alexandre Fournier-Level, Amity M. Wilczek, Martha D. Cooper, Judith L. Roe, Jillian Anderson, Deren Eaton, Brook T. Moyers, Renee H. Petipas, Robert N. Schaeffer, Bjorn Pieper, Matthieu Reymond, Maarten Koornneef, Stephen M. Welch, David L. Remington & Johanna Schmitt
Selection on quantitative trait loci (QTL) may vary among natural environments due to differences in the genetic architecture of traits, environment-specific allelic effects or changes in the direction and magnitude of selection on specific traits. To dissect the environmental differences in selection on life history QTL across climatic regions, we grew a panel of interconnected recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of Arabidopsis thaliana in four field sites across its native European range. For each environment, we...

Data from: Effects of neonatal size on maturity and escape performance in the Trinidadian guppy

Terry R. Dial, David N. Reznick & Elizabeth L. Brainerd
The livebearing Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) produces bigger offspring in populations exposed to low predation and produces smaller, more numerous offspring in populations subject to high predation (HP). Like most fishes, guppies respond to predator attacks with a fast-start escape response. From the scaling of teleost fast-start performance, we predict that larger guppy neonates should exhibit faster, more effective escape responses than smaller neonates. Increasing performance with increasing size could be due simply to size,...

Data from: Leaf-cutter ants engineer large nitrous oxide hot spots in tropical forests

Fiona M. Soper, Benjamin W. Sullivan, Brooke B. Osborne, Alanna N. Shaw, Laurent Philippot & Cory C. Cleveland
Though tropical forest ecosystems are among the largest natural sources of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), the spatial distribution of emissions across landscapes is often poorly resolved. Leaf-cutter ants (LCA, Atta and Acromyrmex, Myrmicinae) are dominant herbivores throughout Central and South America and influence multiple aspects of forest structure and function. In particular, their foraging creates spatial heterogeneity by concentrating large quantities of organic matter (including nitrogen, N) from the surrounding canopy into...

Data from: Curvature-induced stiffening of a fish fin

Khoi Nguyen, Ning Yu, Mahesh M. Bandi, Madhusudhan Venkadesan & Shreyas Mandre
How fish modulate their fin stiffness during locomotive manoeuvres remains unknown. We show that changing the fin's curvature modulates its stiffness. Modelling the fin as bendable bony rays held together by a membrane, we deduce that fin curvature is manifested as a misalignment of the principal bending axes between neighbouring rays. An external force causes neighbouring rays to bend and splay apart, and thus stretches the membrane. This coupling between bending the rays and stretching...

Data from: Muscle–spring dynamics in time-limited, elastic movements

Michael V. Rosario, Gregory P. Sutton, Sheila N. Patek & Gregory S. Sawicki
Muscle contractions that load in-series springs with slow speed over a long duration do maximal work and store the most elastic energy. However, time constraints, such as those experienced during escape and predation behaviours, may prevent animals from achieving maximal force capacity from their muscles during spring-loading. Here, we ask whether animals that have limited time for elastic energy storage operate with springs that are tuned to submaximal force production. To answer this question, we...

Data from: Counting with DNA in metabarcoding studies: how should we convert sequence reads to dietary data?

Bruce E. Deagle, Austen C. Thomas, Julie C. McInnes, Laurence J. Clarke, Eero J. Vesterinen, Elizabeth L. Clare, Tyler R. Kartzinel & J. Paige Eveson
Advances in DNA sequencing technology have revolutionised the field of molecular analysis of trophic interactions and it is now possible to recover counts of food DNA sequences from a wide range of dietary samples. But what do these counts mean? To obtain an accurate estimate of a consumer’s diet should we work strictly with datasets summarising frequency of occurrence of different food taxa, or is it possible to use relative number of sequences? Both approaches...

Data from: Anatomical enablers and the evolution of C4 photosynthesis in grasses

Pascal-Antoine Christin, Colin P. Osborne, David S. Chatelet, J. Travis Columbus, Guillaume Besnard, Trevor R. Hodkinson, Laura M. Garrison, Maria S. Vorontsova & Erika J. Edwards
C4 photosynthesis is a series of anatomical and biochemical modifications to the typical C3 pathway that increases the productivity of plants in warm, sunny, and dry conditions. Despite its complexity, it evolved more than 62 times independently in flowering plants. However, C4 origins are absent from most plant lineages and clustered in others, suggesting that some characteristics increase C4 evolvability in certain phylogenetic groups. The C4 trait has evolved 22–24 times in grasses, and all...

Data from: A new way to estimate neurologic disease prevalence in the United States

Lorene M. Nelson, Mitchell T. Wallin, Ruth Ann Marrie, W.J. Culpepper, Annette Langer-Gould, Jon Campbell, Stephen Buka, Helen Tremlett, Gary Cutter, Wendy Kaye, Laurie Wagner & Nicholas G. Larocca
Objective: Considerable gaps exist in knowledge regarding the prevalence of neurologic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), in the United States. Therefore, the MS Prevalence Working Group sought to review and evaluate alternative methods for obtaining a scientifically valid estimate of national MS prevalence in the current health care era. Methods: We carried out a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis for 3 approaches to estimate MS prevalence: population-based MS registries, national probability health...

Data from: Small RNAs in rat sperm are a predictive and sensitive biomarker of exposure to the testicular toxicant ethylene glycol monomethyl ether.

Angela R. Stermer, Gerardo Reyes, Susan J. Hall & Kim Boekelheide
Testicular histology and semen parameters are considered the gold standards when determining male reproductive toxicity. Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether (EGME) is a testicular toxicant with well-described effects on histopathology and sperm parameters. To compare the predictivity and sensitivity of molecular biomarkers of testicular toxicity to the traditional endpoints, small RNAs in the sperm were analyzed by next generation RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). Adult rats were exposed to 0, 50, 60, or 75 mg/kg EGME by oral gavage...

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