Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Life Sciences

Probing the functional significance of wild animal microbiomes using omics data

Sarah F Worsley, Florent Mazel, Elin Videvall, et al.

Published: 2024-02-13
Subjects: Life Sciences

Host-associated microbiomes are thought to play a key role in host physiology and fitness, but this conclusion mainly derives from studies of a handful of animal models and humans. To test the generality of this conclusion, studies in non-model and wild animals are needed. However, whilst microbiome taxonomic diversity has recently received much attention, characterization of its functional [...]

Smartphones as a new tool for biodiversity research

Peter Dietrich, Jan Bumberger, Stanley Harpole, et al.

Published: 2024-02-13
Subjects: Life Sciences

Assessing the risk of climate maladaptation for Canadian polar bears

Ruth Rivkin, Evan Richardson, Joshua Miller, et al.

Published: 2024-02-10
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Abstract The Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the world, threatening the persistence of Arctic species. It is uncertain if Arctic wildlife will have sufficient time to adapt to such rapidly warming environments. We used genetic forecasting to measure the risk of maladaptation to warming temperatures and sea ice loss in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled across the Canadian [...]

Balancing production and environmental outcomes in Australia’s tropical savanna under global change

Rebecca K Runting, Darran King, Martin Nolan, et al.

Published: 2024-02-10
Subjects: Life Sciences

Livestock production is an integral part of the global food system and the livelihoods of local people, but it also raises issues of environmental sustainability due to issues such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity decline, land degradation, and water use. Further challenges to the social and environmental sustainability of extensive livestock systems may arise from changes in [...]

Barcoding Brazilian mammals to monitor biological diversity and threats: trends, perspectives, and knowledge gaps

Hernani Oliveira, Geraldo Brito Freire-Jr., Daiana Cardoso Silva, et al.

Published: 2024-02-10
Subjects: Life Sciences

DNA barcoding and environmental DNA (eDNA) represent an important advance for biomonitoring the world's biodiversity and its threats. However, these methods are highly dependent on the presence of species sequences on molecular databases. Brazil is one of the largest and most biologically diverse countries in the world. However, many knowledge gaps still exist for the description, identification, [...]

Evolutionary perspectives on thiamine supplementation of managed Pacific salmonid populations

Avril Harder, Freya E. Rowland, Aimee N. Reed

Published: 2024-02-10
Subjects: Life Sciences

Thiamine deficiency complex (TDC) in fishes has been identified in an ever-expanding list of species and populations. In many documented occurrences of TDC in fishes, rates of juvenile mortality have reached 90% at the population level, with many females producing no surviving offspring. Such sweeping demographic losses and concomitant decreases in genetic diversity due to TDC can be prevented by [...]

Selection versus Transmission: Quantitative and Organismic Biology in Antibiotic Resistance

Fernando Baquero, Ana Elena Pérez-Cobas, Sonia Aracil-Gisbert, et al.

Published: 2024-02-01
Subjects: Life Sciences, Medicine and Health Sciences

We aimed to determine the importance of selection (mostly dependent on the anthropogenic use of antimicrobials) and transmission (mostly dependent on hygiene and sanitation) as drivers of the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacterial populations. The first obstacle to estimating the relative weight of both independent variables is the lack of detailed quantitative data concerning the number of [...]

How bottlenecks shape adaptive potential: from theory and microbiology to conservation biology

Jasmine Gamblin, Loïc Marrec, Laure Olazcuaga

Published: 2024-02-01
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Wild populations frequently undergo demographic changes that can destabilize their persistence and, thus, the equilibrium of ecosystems. For instance, habitat loss due to human activities leads to a drastic population size reduction, a process called a bottleneck. By reducing genetic diversity, a bottleneck may prevent a population from adapting to subsequent environmental changes. In the context [...]

The relative contribution of acoustic signals versus movement cues in group coordination and collective decision-making

Chun-Chieh Liao, Robert D. Magrath, Marta B Manser, et al.

Published: 2024-01-30
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

To benefit from group living, individuals need to maintain cohesion and coordinate their activities. Effective communication thus becomes critical, facilitating rapid coordination of behaviours and reducing consensus costs when group members have differing needs and information. In many bird and mammal species, collective decisions rely on acoustic signals in some contexts but on movement cues in [...]

Satellite observations reveal a positive relationship between trait-based diversity and drought response in temperate forests

Isabelle Salomé Helfenstein, Joan T. Sturm, Bernhard Schmid, et al.

Published: 2024-01-30
Subjects: Life Sciences

Mapping and predicting ecosystem responses to climate extremes is crucial in the face of global change. To what extent the behavior of non-experimental systems at large scales corresponds to the relationships discovered in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiments remains unclear. We investigated the relationship between remotely-sensed trait-based diversity and drought responses in [...]

The Distraction Function of Extrafloral Nectaries: Keeping Ants Away From Flowers and Preventing Disruption of Pollination

Mario A. Sandoval Molina, Emilio González-Camarena, Jessica Rosas-Sánchez, et al.

Published: 2024-01-30
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

In exchange for extrafloral nectar, ants deter herbivores from the plants, reducing the amount of herbivory they suffered. However, this defensive mutualism can sometimes have negative effects on plants, as ants may also visit flowers, deterring pollinators and reducing plant fitness. The Distraction Hypothesis posits that extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) have the function of attracting ants and [...]

Evolutionary outcomes arising from bistability in ecosystem dynamics

Sirine Boucenna, Vasilis Dakos, Gael Raoul

Published: 2024-01-29
Subjects: Life Sciences

While it is known that shallow lakes ecosystems may experience abrupt shifts (ie tipping points) from one state to a contrasting degraded alternative state as a result of gradual envi- ronmental changes, the role of evolutionary processes and the impact of trait variation in this context remain largely unexplored. It is crucial to elucidate how eco-evolutionary feedbacks affect abrupt ecological [...]

Impacts of Changing Winters on Lake Ecosystems will Increase with Latitude

Ted Ozersky, Amanda Poste, Milla Rautio, et al.

Published: 2024-01-29
Subjects: Life Sciences

Climate warming is especially pronounced in winter and at high latitudes. Warming winters are leading to loss of lake ice and changing snow cover on seasonally freezing lakes. Past neglect of the ice cover period by lake scientists has resulted in critical data and theory gaps about the role of winter conditions in lake ecosystem function and the effects of changing winters on aquatic systems. [...]

A non-invasive approach to measuring body dimensions of wildlife with camera-traps: a felid field trial

Alexandra Jane Paton, Barry W. Brook, Jessie C. Buettel

Published: 2024-01-29
Subjects: Life Sciences

Dimensions of body size are an important measurement in animal ecology, though they can be difficult to obtain due to the effort and cost associated with the invasive nature of these measurements. We avoid these limitations by using camera-trap images to derive dimensions of animal size. To obtain measurements of object dimensions using this method, the size of the object in pixels, the focal [...]

Experimental protocol for validation of Computational Fluid Dynamics palaeoecological simulations

Harriet B. Drage, Stephen Pates, Nicholas J. Minter

Published: 2024-01-29
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations are increasingly used to test palaeoecological hypotheses. These analyses output simulated velocity and pressure flow profiles, and drag and lift force values acting on a model. These outputs are presumed to be internally consistent, assuming consistently applied parameters, but it is unclear whether these reflect real-world force measurements. [...]

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