Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Assessing species interactions using integrated predator-prey models

Matthieu Paquet, Frederic Barraquand

Published: 2022-12-16
Subjects: Biostatistics, Dynamic Systems, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology, Statistical Methodology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Inferring the strength of species interactions from demographic data is a challenging task. The Integrated Population Modelling (IPM) approach, bringing together population counts, capture-recapture, and individual-level fecundity data into a unified model framework, has been extended from single species to the community level. This allows to specify IPMs for multiple species with interactions [...]

Habitat destruction threatens jaguars in a mixed land use region of eastern Bolivia

René Meißner, Moritz Blumer, Merlin Weiß, et al.

Published: 2022-12-14
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Zoology

Large carnivores such as the jaguar (Panthera onca) are particularly susceptible to population decline and local extinction as a result of habitat loss. Here, we report on the long-term monitoring of a local jaguar population in a mixed land use area in the eastern lowlands of Bolivia from March 2017 to December 2019. We recorded 15 jaguar individuals and four reproduction events (five offspring [...]

Advances in the reconstruction of the Spider Tree of Life: a roadmap for spider systematics and comparative studies

Siddharth Kulkarni, Hannah Wood, Gustavo Hormiga

Published: 2022-12-14
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, Evolution, Genomics, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

In the last decade and a half, advances in genetic sequencing technologies have revolutionized systematics, transforming the field as studying morphological characters; a few genetic markers have given way to genomic data sets in the phylogenomic era. A plethora of molecular phylogenetic studies on many taxonomic groups have come about, converging on, or refuting prevailing morphology or [...]

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: 2022-12-11
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: 2022-12-08
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 [...]

Preference for conspecific mates in sympatric and allopatric darters (genus Etheostoma): comparative evidence for geographical and sex effects

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

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

A preference for mating with conspecifics over heterospecifics is fundamental to the maintenance of species diversity in sexually reproducing organisms. This type of assortative mating is often stronger between closely related sympatric species as compared to allopatric species, resulting from processes such as reinforcement or differential fusion. In animals, this pattern has been demonstrated [...]

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: 2022-12-07
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: 2022-12-06
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: 2022-11-27
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: 2022-11-24
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 [...]

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