451 Works

Data from: Localization of QTL for diapause and other photoperiodically regulated life-history traits important in adaptation to seasonally varying environments

Venera I. Tyukmaeva, Paris Veltsos, Jon Slate, Emma Gregson, Hannele Kauranen, Maaria Kankare, Michael G. Ritchie, Roger K. Butlin & Anneli Hoikkala
Seasonally changing environments at high latitudes present great challenges for the reproduction and survival of insects, and photoperiodic cues play an important role in helping them to synchronize their life cycle with prevalent and forthcoming conditions. We have mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) responsible for the photoperiodic regulation of four life history traits, female reproductive diapause, cold tolerance, egg-to-eclosion development time and juvenile body weight in Drosophila montana strains from different latitudes in Canada and...

Data from: Museum DNA reveals the demographic history of the endangered Seychelles warbler

Lewis G. Spurgin, David J. Wright, Nigel J. Collar, Marco Van Der Velde, Jan Komdeur, Terry Burke & David S. Richardson
The importance of evolutionary conservation – how understanding evolutionary forces can help guide conservation decisions – is widely recognized. However, the historical demography of many endangered species is unknown, despite the fact that this can have important implications for contemporary ecological processes and for extinction risk. Here, we reconstruct the population history of the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) – an ecological model species. By the 1960s, this species was on the brink of extinction, but...

Data from: The impact of reproductive investment and early-life environmental conditions on senescence: support for the disposable soma hypothesis

Martijn Hammers, David S. Richardson, Terry Burke & Jan Komdeur
Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain the evolution of senescence. One of the leading hypotheses, the disposable soma hypothesis, predicts a trade-off, whereby early-life investment in reproduction leads to late-life declines in survival (survival senescence). Testing this hypothesis in natural populations is challenging, but important for understanding the evolution of senescence. We used the long-term data set from a contained, predator-free population of individually marked Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis) to investigate how age-related...

Data from: Sexual conflict and interacting phenotypes: a quantitative genetic analysis of fecundity and copula duration in Drosophila melanogaster

Dominic Alexander Edward, Jocelyn Poissant, Alastair J. Wilson & Tracey Chapman
Many reproductive traits that have evolved under sexual conflict may be influenced by both sexes. Investigation of the genetic architecture of such traits can yield important insight into their evolution, but this entails that the heritable component of variation is estimated for males and females – as an interacting phenotype. We address the lack of research in this area through an investigation of egg production and copula duration in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Despite...

Data from: Fecundity selection on ornamental plumage colour differs between ages and sexes and varies over small spatial scales

Timothy H. Parker, Teddy A. Wilkin, Iain R. Barr, Ben C. Sheldon, Louise Rowe & Simon C. Griffith
Avian plumage colours are some of the most conspicuous sexual ornaments, and yet standardized selection gradients for plumage colour have rarely been quantified. We examined patterns of fecundity selection on plumage colour in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus L.). When not accounting for environmental heterogeneity, we detected relatively few cases of selection. We found significant disruptive selection on adult male crown colour and yearling female chest colour and marginally nonsignificant positive linear selection on adult female...

Data from: Candidate gene polymorphisms for behavioural adaptations during urbanization in blackbirds

Jakob C. Mueller, Jesko Partecke, Ben J. Hatchwell, Kevin J. Gaston & Karl L. Evans
Successful urban colonisation by formerly rural species represents an ideal situation in which to study adaptation to novel environments. We address this issue using candidate genes for behavioural traits that are expected to play a role in such colonisation events. We identified and genotyped 16 polymorphisms in candidate genes for circadian rhythms, harm avoidance, and migratory and exploratory behaviour in 12 paired urban and rural populations of the blackbird Turdus merula across the Western Palearctic....

Data from: Estimating genome-wide heterozygosity: effects of demographic history and marker type

Joshua M. Miller, René M. Malenfant, Patrice David, Corey S. Davis, Jocelyn Poissant, John T. Hogg, Marco Festa-Bianchet & David W. Coltman
Heterozygosity–fitness correlations (HFCs) are often used to link individual genetic variation to differences in fitness. However, most studies examining HFCs find weak or no correlations. Here, we derive broad theoretical predictions about how many loci are needed to adequately measure genomic heterozygosity assuming different levels of identity disequilibrium (ID), a proxy for inbreeding. We then evaluate the expected ability to detect HFCs using an empirical data set of 200 microsatellites and 412 single nucleotide polymorphisms...

Data from: Constraining the role of early land plants in Early Palaeozoic weathering and global cooling

Joe Quirk, Jonathan R. Leake, David A. Johnson, Lyla L. Taylor, Loredana Saccone & David J. Beerling
How the colonization of terrestrial environments by early land plants over 400 Ma influenced rock weathering, the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and phosphorus, and climate in the Palaeozoic is uncertain. Here we show experimentally that mineral weathering by liverworts—an extant lineage of early land plants—partnering arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, like those in 410 Ma-old early land plant fossils, amplified calcium weathering from basalt grains threefold to sevenfold, relative to plant-free controls. Phosphate weathering by mycorrhizal...

Data from: Hydrocarbon divergence and reproductive isolation in Timema stick insects

Tanja Schwander, Devin Arbuthnott, Regine Gries, Gerhard Gries, Patrik Nosil & Bernard J. Crespi
Background: Individuals commonly prefer certain trait values over others when choosing their mates. If such preferences diverge between populations, they can generate behavioral reproductive isolation and thereby contribute to speciation. Reproductive isolation in insects often involves chemical communication, and cuticular hydrocarbons, in particular, serve as mate recognition signals in many species. We combined data on female cuticular hydrocarbons, interspecific mating propensity, and phylogenetics to evaluate the role of cuticular hydrocarbons in diversification of Timema walking-sticks....

Data from: Managing Neotropical oil palm expansion to retain phylogenetic diversity

Graham W. Prescott, James J. Gilroy, Torbjørn Haugaasen, Claudia A. Medina Uribe, William A. Foster & David P. Edwards
The expansion of tropical agriculture is a major driver of the extinction crisis. A key question is whether biodiversity losses can be minimized by restricting future expansion to low-productivity farmland and retaining forest fragments, especially in rapidly changing Neotropical landscapes. We investigated these methods in the context of avian phylogenetic diversity, which summarizes the evolutionary history preserved within communities. Evidence suggests that phylogenetic diversity plays an important role in maintaining key ecosystem functions. We collected...

Data from: Large and fast human pyramidal neurons associate with intelligence

Natalia A Goriounova, Djai B Heyer, René Wilbers, Matthijs B Verhoog, Michele Giugliano, Christophe Verbist, Joshua Obermayer, Amber Kerkhofs, Harriët Smeding, Maaike Verberne, Sander Idema, Johannes C Baayen, Anton W Pieneman, Christiaan PJ De Kock, Martin Klein & Huibert D Mansvelder
It is generally assumed that human intelligence relies on efficient processing by neurons in our brain. Although gray matter thickness and activity of temporal and frontal cortical areas correlate with IQ scores, no direct evidence exists that links structural and physiological properties of neurons to human intelligence. Here, we find that high IQ scores and large temporal cortical thickness associate with larger, more complex dendrites of human pyramidal neurons. We show in silico that larger...

Data from: Reframing the evidence base for policy-relevance to increase impact: a case study on forest fragmentation in the oil palm sector

Jennifer M. Lucey, Georgina Palmer, K. Loong Yeong, David P. Edwards, Michael J. M. Senior, Sarah A. Scriven, Glen Reynolds & Jane K. Hill
It is necessary to improve knowledge exchange between scientists and decision-makers so that scientific evidence can be readily accessed to inform policy. To maximise impact of scientific evidence in policy development, the scientific community should engage more fully with decision-makers, building long-term working relationships in order to identify and respond to ‘policy windows’ with science that is reframed for policy-relevance. We illustrate the process and challenges using a case study in which we synthesised evidence...

Data from: Rubber agroforestry in Thailand provides some biodiversity benefits without reducing yields

Eleanor Warren-Thomas, Luke Nelson, Watinee Juthong, Sara Bumrungsri, Oskar Brattström, Laetitia Stroesser, Bénédicte Chambon, Éric Penot, Uraiwan Tongkaemkew, David P. Edwards & Paul M. Dolman
Monocultural rubber plantations have replaced tropical forest, causing biodiversity loss. While protecting intact or semi-intact biodiverse forest is paramount, improving biodiversity value within the 11.4 million hectares of existing rubber plantations could offer important conservation benefits, if yields are also maintained. Some farmers practice agroforestry with high-yielding clonal rubber varieties to increase and diversify incomes. Here, we ask whether such rubber agroforestry improves biodiversity value or affects rubber yields relative to monoculture. We surveyed birds,...

On the genetic architecture of rapidly adapting and convergent life history traits in guppies

James Whiting, Josephine Paris, Paul Parsons, Sophie Matthews, Yuridia Reynoso, Kimberly Hughes, David Reznick & Bonnie Fraser
The genetic basis of traits shapes and constrains how adaptation proceeds in nature; rapid adaptation can be facilitated by polygenic traits, which subsequently provide multiple, redundant, genetic routes to adaptive phenotypes, reducing re-use of the same genes (genetic convergence). Guppy life history traits evolve rapidly and convergently among natural high- (HP) and low-predation (LP) environments in northern Trinidad. This system has been studied extensively at the phenotypic level, but little is known about the underlying...

Coordination of care by breeders and helpers in the cooperatively breeding long-tailed tit, Aegithalos caudatus

Chay Halliwell, Andrew Beckerman, Marion Germain, Samantha Patrick, Amy Leedale & Ben Hatchwell
In species with biparental and cooperative brood care, multiple carers cooperate by contributing costly investment to raise a shared brood. However, shared benefits and individual costs also give rise to conflict among carers over investment. Coordination of provisioning visits has been hypothesized to facilitate the resolution of this conflict, preventing exploitation, and ensuring collective investment in the shared brood. We used a 26-year study of long-tailed tits, Aegithalos caudatus, a facultative cooperative breeder, to investigate...

Data from: Removing climbers more than doubles tree growth and biomass in degraded tropical forests

Catherine Finlayson, Anand Roopsind, Bronson. W. Griscom, David. P. Edwards & Robert. P. Freckleton
Huge areas of tropical forests are degraded, reducing their biodiversity, carbon, and timber value. The recovery of these degraded forests can be significantly inhibited by climbing plants such as lianas. Removal of super-abundant climbers thus represents a restoration action with huge potential for application across the tropics. While experimental studies largely report positive impacts of climber removal on tree growth and biomass accumulation, the efficacy of climber removal varies widely, with high uncertainty as to...

Climate and mating systems as drivers of global diversity of parental care in frogs

Balázs Vági, Zsolt Végvári, András Liker, Robert P. Freckleton & Tamás Székely
Aim Amphibians exhibit unusually diverse reproductive modes, including a wide array of parental care strategies. The evolutionary drivers of this diversity, however, remain unclear. Here we investigate three major factors which may predict interspecific variation in parental care strategies: climate, intrasexual selection and social environment. We hypothesise that some care forms evolved to cope with harsh conditions such as dry or unpredictable habitats. We contrast this prediction with the hypothesis that parental roles have coevolved...

The effects of tropical secondary forest regeneration on avian phylogenetic diversity.

Emma Hughes, David Edwards, Catherine Sayer, Philip Martin & Gavin Thomas
1. The conversion of tropical forests to farmland is a key driver of the current extinction crisis. With the present rate of deforestation unlikely to subside, secondary forests that regenerate on abandoned agricultural land may provide an option for safeguarding biodiversity. While species richness (SR) may recover as secondary forests get older, the extent to which phylogenetic diversity (PD)—the total amount of evolutionary history present in a community—is conserved is less clear. Maximising PD has...

Data from: Burning savanna for avian species richness and functional diversity

Teegan D.S. Docherty, Matthew G. Hethcoat, Lynne M. MacTavish, Dougal MacTavish, Stephen Dell, Philip A. Stephens & Stephen G. Willis
Prescribed fire is used throughout fire-prone landscapes to conserve biodiversity. Current best practice in managing savanna systems advocates methods based on the assumption that increased fire-mediated landscape heterogeneity (pyrodiversity) will promote biodiversity. However, considerable knowledge gaps remain in our understanding of how savanna wildlife responds to the composition and configuration of pyrodiverse landscapes. The effects of pyrodiversity on functional diversity has rarely been quantified and assessing this relationship at a landscape scale which is commensurate...

Leaf silicification provides herbivore defence regardless of the extensive impacts of water stress

Rebecca Vandegeer, Ximena Cibils-Stewart, Richard Wuhrer, Susan Hartley, David Tissue & Scott Johnson
Altered precipitation patterns due to climate change are likely to impose water-deficit stress in plants resulting in changes to specific leaf mass, leaf water content and chemical defences that may impact herbivorous arthropods. Grasses, in particular, accumulate large concentrations of silicon (Si) which provides physical defence against herbivores. Although Si uptake by plants may be affected by water availability, very few studies have investigated the combined effect of water-deficit stress and Si on insect herbivore...

Date From: The myriad of complex demographic responses of terrestrial mammals to climate change and gaps of knowledge: A global analysis

Maria Paniw, Tamora James, C. Ruth Archer, Gesa Römer, Sam Levin, Aldo Compagnoni, Judy Che-Castaldo, Joanne Bennett, Andrew Mooney, Dylan Childs, Arpat Ozgul, Owen Jones, Jean Burns, Andrew Beckerman, Abir Patwari, Nora Sanchez-Gassen, Tiffany Knight & Roberto Salguero-Gómez
Approximately 25% of mammals are currently threatened with extinction, a risk that is amplified under climate change. Species persistence under climate change is determined by the combined effects of climatic factors on multiple demographic rates (survival, development, reproduction), and hence, population dynamics. Thus, to quantify which species and regions on Earth are most vulnerable to climate-driven extinction, a global understanding of how different demographic rates respond to climate is urgently needed. Here, we perform a...

Developing hierarchical density-structured models to study the national-scale dynamics of an arable weed

Rob Goodsell
Population dynamics can be highly variable in the face of environmental heterogeneity, and understanding this variation is central in the study of ecology. Robust management decisions require that we understand how populations respond to management at a range of scales, and under a broad suite of conditions. Population models are potentially valuable tools in addressing this challenge. However, without adequate data, models can fail to produce useful results. Populations of arable weeds are particularly problematic...

Causes and consequences of telomere lengthening in a wild vertebrate population

Thomas Brown, David Richardson, Lewis Spurgin, Hannah Dugdale, Jan Komdeur, Terry Burke & David Richardson
Telomeres have been advocated to be important markers of biological age in evolutionary and ecological studies. Telomeres usually shorten with age, and shortening is frequently associated with environmental stressors and increased subsequent mortality. Telomere lengthening – an apparent increase in telomere length between repeated samples from the same individual – also occurs. However, the exact circumstances, and consequences, of telomere lengthening are poorly understood. Using longitudinal data from the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis), we tested...

Data from: Contemporary evolution of the innate immune receptor gene TLR3 in an isolated vertebrate population

Charli Davies, Martin Taylor, Martijn Hammers, Terry Burke, Jan Komdeur, Hannah Dugdale & David Richardson
Understanding where genetic variation exists, and how it influences fitness within populations is important from an evolutionary and conservation perspective. Signatures of past selection suggest that pathogen-mediated balancing selection is a key driver of immunogenetic variation, but studies tracking contemporary evolution are needed to help resolve the evolutionary forces and mechanism at play. Previous work in a bottlenecked population of Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis) show that functional variation has been maintained at the viral-sensing Toll-like...

Data from: Opposing effects of competition and selection on macroevolutionary dynamics

Alex Slavenko & Gavin Thomas
The diversity of species and traits is the outcome of multiple evolutionary processes operating over millions of years. These processes affect rates of trait evolution, speciation, and extinction. A key problem is identifying the relative importance of distinct processes in driving observed patterns in species traits and phylogenetic trees. Here, we show how two processes, competition and stabilising selection, can act opposingly but still leave identifiable traces in macroevolutionary data. Building on previous simulation studies,...

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