Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

A framework for improving the reproducibility of data extraction for meta-analysis

Edward Richard Ivimey-Cook, Daniel W.A. Noble, Shinichi Nakagawa, et al.

Published: 2022-12-14
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Psychology, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Extracting data from studies is the norm in meta-analyses, enabling researchers to generate effect sizes when raw data are otherwise not available. While there has been a general push for increased reproducibility throughout the many facets of meta-analysis, the transparency and reproducibility of the data extraction phase are still lagging be- hind. This particular meta-analytic facet is [...]

Evolutionary repeatability of emergent properties of ecological communities

Sandeep Venkataram, Sergey Kryazhimskiy

Published: 2022-12-10
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Most species belong to ecological communities where their interactions give rise to emergent community-level properties, such as diversity and productivity. Understanding and predicting how these properties change over time has been a major goal in ecology, with important practical implications for sustainability and human health. Less attention has been paid to the fact that community-level [...]

Power and limitations of the mutations-area relationship to assess within-species genetic diversity targets for post-2020 Sustainable Development Goals

Moises Exposito-Alonso, Jeffrey Spence, Megan Ruffley, et al.

Published: 2022-12-09
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Life Sciences

To evaluate the United Nation’s preliminary post-2020 sustainable goals on protecting high levels of genetic diversity per species, Exposito-Alonso et al. (2022) proposed a new framework to predict a species’ loss of genetic diversity given its loss of habitat area. This method, called the mutations-area relationship (MAR), is analogous to the species-area relationship (SAR), often used to assess [...]

Two species of montane redstarts (Myioborus) in Costa Rica differ in their elevational range shifts over four decades

Olivia Ann Steinmetz, Timothy H Parker

Published: 2022-12-07
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Tropical montane bird species may be vulnerable to climate change as they often have narrow elevational ranges that are expected to shift upslope in response to increasing temperatures. If highland endemics near mountaintops are forced upslope, these species may be especially at risk of local extinction. We investigated the elevational ranges of two species of montane cloud forest warblers, the [...]

Mate preference in sympatric and allopatric darters (genus Etheostoma): comparative evidence for a sex effect in reinforcement

Yseult Héjja-Brichard, Julien P Renoult, Tamra C Mendelson

Published: 2022-12-07
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution

Reinforcement is the strengthening of preference for conspecific mates as a byproduct of selection against hybrids. A hypothesis of reinforcement predicts that populations evolving in sympatry will have greater preferences for conspecific over heterospecific mates as compared to allopatric populations. In animals, this pattern was demonstrated across the genus Drosophila, however, most empirical [...]

Parasites during early life mediate the strength of phenotypic selection on sexual traits.

Jesus Martinez-Padilla, Carlos Camacho, David Canal, et al.

Published: 2022-12-07
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Sexually selected phenotypes are key to understanding population and eco-evolutionary dynamics since the expression of these traits is tightly linked to reproduction and population viability. Parasites are major agents of selection that alter both phenotypic expression and fitness. However, the carry-over effects of parasites in early life in selection on phenotypes expressed later in life are [...]

Quantifying between-individual variation using high-throughput phenotyping of behavioural traits in the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)

Erin L Macartney, Patrice Pottier, Samantha Burke, et al.

Published: 2022-12-06
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Behavioural phenotyping is often time and labour-intensive, which can come at a cost to sample size and statistical precision. This is particularly a concern given that behaviours are often highly variable within and between individuals, so naturally requires a larger sample size. Drosophila melanogaster is a common model system in many research fields, and behavioural observations are frequently [...]

Ecological Dynamics and Forecasting: A graduate course on the fundamentals of time series and forecasting in ecology

S.K. Morgan Ernest, Hao Ye, Ethan White

Published: 2022-12-05
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Ecological Dynamics and Forecasting is a semester-long course to introduce students to the fundamentals of ecological dynamics and forecasting. This course implements a combination of paper-based discussion to introduce students to concepts and ideas and R-based tutorials for hands-on application and training. The course material includes a reading list with prompting questions for discussions, [...]

Alternative reading frames are an underappreciated source of protein sequence novelty

Zachary Ardern

Published: 2022-12-05
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Genetics and Genomics, Genomics, Life Sciences

Alternative reading frames of protein coding genes are a major contributor to the evolution of novel protein products. Recent studies demonstrating this include examples across the three domains of cellular life and in viruses. Alternative frame sequences both increase the number of trials available for the evolutionary invention of new genes and have unusual properties which may facilitate gene [...]

Understanding local plant extinctions before it’s too late: bridging evolutionary genomics with global ecology.

Moises Exposito-Alonso

Published: 2022-12-01
Subjects: Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

Understanding evolutionary genomic and population processes within a species range is key to anticipating the extinction of plant species before it is too late. However, most models of biodiversity risk projections under global change do not account for the genetic variation and local adaptation of different populations. Population diversity is critical to understanding extinction because [...]

Describing posterior distributions of variance components: Problems and the use of null distributions to aid interpretation

Joel L Pick, Claudia Kasper, Hassen Allegue, et al.

Published: 2022-11-26
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Assessing the biological relevance of variance components estimated using MCMC-based mixed-effects models is not straightforward. Variance estimates are constrained to be greater than zero and their posterior distributions are often asymmetric. Different measures of central tendency for these distributions can therefore be very different, and credible intervals cannot overlap zero, making it [...]

Implications of microbial community assembly for ecosystem restoration: patterns, process, and potential

Emily Graham, Joseph E Knelman

Published: 2022-11-23
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Life Sciences, Life Sciences

While it is now widely accepted that microorganisms provide essential functions in restoration ecology, the nature of relationships between microbial community assembly and ecosystem recovery remain unclear. There has been a longstanding challenge to decipher whether microorganisms facilitate or simply follow ecosystem recovery, and evidence for each is mixed at best. We propose that [...]

Accounting for cloud cover and circannual variation puts the effect of lunar phase on deer-vehicle collisions into perspective

Jacopo Cerri, Laura Stendardi, Elena Bužan, et al.

Published: 2022-11-22
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Zoology

Although several studies have focused on the influence of moonlight over deer-vehicle collisions, findings have been inconsistent. This may be due to neglecting the effects of cloud cover, a major impediment to moon illumination, and circannual variation in both deer and human activity. We modeled how median cloud cover interacted with the illuminated fraction of the moon in affecting daily roe [...]

A tale of two genomes: What drives mitonuclear discordance in asexual lineages of a freshwater snail?

Maurine Neiman, Joel Sharbrough

Published: 2022-11-21
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

We use genomic information to tell us stories of evolutionary origins. But what does it mean when different genomes report wildly different accounts of lineage history? This “discordance” can be a consequence of a fascinating suite of natural history and evolutionary phenomena, from the different inheritance mechanisms of nuclear vs. cytoplasmic genomes to hybridization and introgression to [...]

High cryptic diversity in a caddisfly that co-occurs in lakes and streams

Christine Ann Parisek, Michael P Marchetti, Matthew R Cover

Published: 2022-11-18
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Lake and stream fauna are frequently studied, yet surprisingly little is known about ecological and evolutionary dynamics of species that inhabit both lentic and lotic habitats. There are few examples of species co-occurring in the different habitat flow types, which raises questions on how this may impact their ability to adapt to changing climatic conditions. The aquatic insect Limnephilus [...]

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