Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

No time to die: Temporal patterns of nest predation in a multi-brooded Southern Hemisphere passerine bird

Richard S. Turner, Helen L. Osmond, Robert D. Magrath, et al.

Published: 2024-01-18
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ornithology

1. Nest predation is frequently the primary cause of early-life mortality in wild avian populations, generating selection for optimising the timing of reproduction to reduce predation risk. Investigating temporal patterns of nest predation is therefore necessary for understanding the intricate relationships between birds and their predators. 2. In this study, we considered the role of temporal [...]

Opportunity Begets Opportunity to Drive Macroevolutionary Dynamics of a Diverse Lizard Radiation

Laura Alencar, Orlando Schwery, Meaghan R. Gade, et al.

Published: 2024-01-18
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Evolution proceeds unevenly across the tree of life, with some lineages accumulating diversity more rapidly than others. Explaining this disparity is challenging as similar evolutionary triggers often do not result in analogous shifts across the tree, and similar shifts may reflect different evolutionary triggers. We used a combination of approaches to directly consider such context-dependency [...]

neonPlantEcology: an R package for preparing NEON plant data for use in ecological research.

Adam Lee Mahood, Jacob Macdonald, Ranjan Muthukrishnan, et al.

Published: 2024-01-17
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale endeavor of ecological data collection for 30 years. We created a software package, neonPlantEcology that automatically arranges the raw data from the plant presence and percent cover (DP1.10058.001) data product from NEON into tables familiar to plant ecologists. Because of the broad scale of the observatory, it is [...]

Asteraceae in isolation: diversity and island biogeography of the largest plant family

Lizzie Roeble, Koen van Benthem, Patrick Weigelt, et al.

Published: 2024-01-16
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

The hyperdiverse plant family Asteraceae, with over 32,000 species globally, forms an iconic component of island floras, including many spectacular radiations, but a global picture of their insular diversity is lacking. Here, we uncover the global biogeographical and evolutionary patterns of Asteraceae on islands to reveal the magnitude and potential causes of their evolutionary success. We [...]

A big data and machine learning approach for monitoring the condition of ecosystems

Miguel Equihua, Octavio Pérez-Maqueo, Julián Equihua, et al.

Published: 2024-01-16
Subjects: Applied Statistics, Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Forest Biology, Forest Sciences, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Statistical Methodology, Statistical Models, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Ecosystems are highly valuable as a source of goods and services and as a heritage for future generations. Knowing their condition is extremely important for all management and conservation activities and public policies. Until now, the evaluation of ecosystem condition has been unsatisfactory and thus lacks practical implementation for most countries. We propose that ecosystem integrity is a [...]

Incubation behaviour of a boreal, food-caching passerine nesting in sub-zero temperatures

Joseph Burant, Roxan Chicalo, Emily J Williams, et al.

Published: 2024-01-14
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Our understanding of avian incubation behaviour is primarily derived from species that nest in the temperate conditions of spring and summer. This leaves uncertainties about strategies employed by a relatively small number of species adapted to breed under sub-zero, winter-like conditions. We used in-nest temperature loggers (iButtons) to monitor incubation behaviours of Canada Jays, [...]

Dense Sampling Phylogenomics Reveals Highly Dynamic Evolution of Batesian Mimicry Accuracy in Two Clades of Myrmecomorphic Spiders

Michael Kelly, Shahan Derkarabetian, Jim McLean, et al.

Published: 2024-01-14
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Genomics

Batesian mimicry is an impressive example of convergent evolution driven by predation. However, the observation that many mimics only superficially resemble their models despite strong selective pressures is an apparent paradox. Here, we tested whether inaccurate mimicry represents an optimized or transitional stage at the macro-evolutionary scale by performing the hereto largest phylogenetic [...]

Animal social networks are robust to changing association definitions

Alex Hoi Hang Chan, Jamie Dunning, Terry Burke, et al.

Published: 2024-01-12
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Ornithology

The interconnecting links (edges) between individuals (nodes) in an animal social network are often defined by discrete, directed behaviours (interactions). However, where interactions are difficult to observe, a network edge is instead defined as individuals sharing space or overlapping in time (an association). Despite an increasingly accessible toolkit to assemble and analyse animal social [...]

Vulnerability of amphibians to global warming

Patrice Pottier, Michael R. Kearney, Nicholas C. Wu, et al.

Published: 2024-01-11
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrates, yet their resilience to rising temperatures remains poorly understood. This is primarily because knowledge of thermal tolerance is taxonomically and geographically biased, compromising global climate vulnerability assessments. Here, we employed a novel data imputation approach to predict the heat tolerance of 60% of amphibian species and assessed [...]

Meta-analysis reveals that the effects of precipitation change on soil and litter fauna in forests depends on body size

Philip Martin, Leonora Fisher, Leticia Pérez-Izquierdo, et al.

Published: 2024-01-11
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Anthropogenic climate change is altering precipitation regimes at a global scale. While precipitation changes have been linked to changes in the abundance and diversity of soil and litter invertebrate fauna in forests, general trends have remained elusive due to mixed results from primary studies. We used a meta-analysis based on 352 comparisons from 30 primary studies to address associated [...]

The role of deadwood in the carbon cycle: Implications for models, forest management, and future climates

Baptiste Joseph Wijas, Steven D Allison, Amy T Austin, et al.

Published: 2024-01-10
Subjects: Biogeochemistry, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Forest Biology, Forest Management, Forest Sciences, Life Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Natural Resources Management and Policy, Plant Biology, Plant Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Deadwood represents a significant carbon pool in forests and savannas. Although previous research has focused mainly on forests, we synthesise deadwood studies across all ecosystems with woody vegetation. Storage and release of carbon from deadwood is controlled by interacting decomposition drivers including biotic consumers (animals, microbes) and abiotic factors (water, fire, sunlight, [...]

An integrated open population distance sampling approach for modelling age-structured populations

Erlend Birkeland Nilsen, Chloé R. Nater

Published: 2024-01-09
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Population Biology

Estimation of abundance and demographic rates for populations of wild species is a challenging but fundamental issue for both management and research into ecology and evolution. One set of approaches that has been used extensively to estimate abundance of wildlife populations is Distance Sampling (DS) methods for line or point transect survey data. Historically, DS models were only available as [...]

Solving the “small outbreak problem” in climate epidemiology

Colin J Carlson

Published: 2024-01-04
Subjects: Climate, Diseases, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, Environmental Public Health, Epidemiology, Life Sciences, Microbiology, Parasitic Diseases, Public Health, Virus Diseases

Climate change can cause outbreaks of infectious diseases in unfamiliar locations — but how do we know which unusual outbreaks are the result of climate change? Scientists often hesitate to guess, leaving the task to journalists or the public. All of these audiences would benefit from a clear and consistent framework for thinking about causality, especially in situations where outbreaks are too [...]

Quantifying heritability of the environment using animal models: a case study

Gabriel Munar-Delgado, Marion Nicolaus, Christiaan Both, et al.

Published: 2024-01-03
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Evolutionary ecology has traditionally studied how natural selection shapes the phenotypes of individuals in response to their environment, which increases population fitness. It is also well known how habitat choice can affect individual local adaptation. However, recent work has highlighted the incompleteness of the link between habitat choice and its evolutionary consequences. By treating the [...]

Biogeographical diet variation within and between the rabbitfishes Siganus corallinus, Siganus virgatus, Siganus doliatus and Siganus trispilos

Salvador Zarco-Perello, Andrew Hoey, Storm Martin

Published: 2023-12-27
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Feeding habits of herbivorous fish play an important role in the form and function of coastal marine ecosystems. Rabbitfishes (Siganidae) have been recognized as important consumers of macroalgae in the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific region. However, it is unclear how their diet varies among and within species at biogeographical scales. The present study assessed the inter- and intra-specific [...]

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