Filtering by Subject: Research Methods in Life Sciences

Methods to identify silk gland activation patterns in spider spinning behaviours

Maitry M Jani, Martín Ramírez, Jonas Wolff

Published: 2024-05-30
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Animal Studies, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Spiders possess multiple types of silk glands, producing silk materials with contrasting properties, and which are deployed in distinct behavioural contexts, such as locomotion, prey capture and egg casing. Whereas the diversity of silk glands and spigots across different spider families is relatively well described, their biological functions (i.e., with which behaviour each gland type is [...]

Navigating phylogenetic conflict and evolutionary inference in plants with target capture data

Elizabeth M Joyce, Alexander N Schmidt-Lebuhn, Harvey K Orel, et al.

Published: 2024-05-27
Subjects: Bioinformatics, Biology, Botany, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Target capture has quickly become a preferred approach for plant systematic and evolutionary research, marking a step-change in the generation of data for phylogenetic inference. While this advancement has facilitated the resolution of many phylogenetic relationships, phylogenetic conflict continues to be reported, and often attributed to genome duplication, reticulation, deep coalescence or [...]

Global review of shorebird tracking publications: Gaps and priorities for research and conservation

Grégoire Michel, Josh Nightingale, Martin Beal, et al.

Published: 2024-05-07
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Ornithology, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Electronic tracking has enabled rapid advances in knowledge of the movement behaviour and habitat use of shorebirds (Charadriiformes), and is thus making a growing contribution to their conservation. However, developing a useful coherent global strategy for tracking these taxa requires an overview of the current availability of data and how it varies along regional and ecological lines. To this [...]

Historic residential segregation impacts biodiversity data availability disparately across the tree of life

Dexter H Locke, Melissa Chapman, Diego Ellis-Soto

Published: 2024-04-23
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Race and Ethnicity, Research Methods in Life Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Urban Studies and Planning

Urbanization alters species ranges and nature’s contributions to people, motivating urban conservation. Residential segregation policies have left an indelible impact on urban environments, greenspaces, and wildlife communities, creating socioeconomic heterogeneity and altering biota. However, the extent to which data sufficiently capture urban biodiversity patterns remains unclear, especially [...]

Quantifying taxon-specific habitat connectivity requirements of urban wildlife using structured expert judgement

Steph Courtney Jones, Luke O'Loughlin, Danswell Starrs, et al.

Published: 2024-02-28
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Urban planning which enhances native biodiversity in and around cities is needed to address the impacts of urbanisation and conserve urban biodiversity. The “Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design” (BSUD) framework incorporates ecological knowledge into urban planning to achieve positive biodiversity outcomes through improved urban design and infrastructure development. BSUD includes principles to [...]

Quantifying clearance rates of restored shellfish reefs using modular baskets

Maja Paulina Andersson, Karen L Cheney, Robbie Porter, et al.

Published: 2023-12-08
Subjects: Animal Experimentation and Research, Aquaculture and Fisheries Life Sciences, Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Research Methods in Life Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology, Water Resource Management, Zoology

Shellfish reefs are among the most degraded ecosystems globally, prompting substantial efforts to restore them. While biodiversity gains of restored reefs are well documented, other ecosystem services such as water filtration remain poorly quantified. We present a novel way of measuring water filtration by restored reefs using modular restoration structures called Robust Oyster Baskets (ROB 400). [...]

Covariance reaction norms: A flexible approach to estimating continuous environmental effects on quantitative genetic and phenotypic (co)variances

Jordan Scott Martin

Published: 2023-11-21
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Genetics, Integrative Biology, Life Sciences, Population Biology, Research Methods in Life Sciences, Zoology

Estimating quantitative genetic and phenotypic (co)variances plays a crucial role in investigating key evolutionary ecological phenomena, such as developmental integration, life history tradeoffs, and niche specialization, as well as in describing selection and predicting multivariate evolution in the wild. While most studies assume (co)variances are fixed over short timescales, environmental [...]

Same data, different analysts: variation in effect sizes due to analytical decisions in ecology and evolutionary biology

Elliot Gould, Hannah S. Fraser, Timothy H Parker, et al.

Published: 2023-10-04
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Although variation in effect sizes and predicted values among studies of similar phenomena is inevitable, such variation far exceeds what might be produced by sampling error alone. One possible explanation for variation among results is differences among researchers in the decisions they make regarding statistical analyses. A growing array of studies has explored this analytical variability in [...]

Growth and opportunities for drone surveillance in pinniped research

Gregory D Larsen, David W. Johnston

Published: 2023-09-03
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Integrative Biology, Marine Biology, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology, Research Methods in Life Sciences, Zoology

Pinniped species undergo uniquely amphibious life histories that make them valuable subjects for many domains of research. Pinniped research has often progressed hand-in-hand with technological frontiers of wildlife biology, and drones represent a leap forward for methods of aerial remote sensing, heralding data collection and integration at new scales of biological importance. Drone methods and [...]

Paws for thought: Impacts of animal husbandry on tundra greening in High Arctic Svalbard

Elise Gallois, Logan Berner, Kristine Bakke Westergaard, et al.

Published: 2023-08-07
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Plant Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Dog sledding in High Arctic Svalbard is a key tourist attraction, and the keeping of animals and livestock has historically been in practice in the settlements of the archipelago. The resulting waste disposal practices - particularly those involving the disposal of animal faeces and fodder - hugely enrich soils with excess nutrients. Here, we explore how animal husbandry affected changes in [...]

Application of crime theory in urban ecology, evolution and planning: factors influencing the disappearance of field equipment

Ignacy Stadnicki, Marta Szulkin, Michela Corsini

Published: 2023-07-15
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Other Social and Behavioral Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences, Urban Studies and Planning

1. Research in urban ecology and evolution relies on the use of deployable scientific equipment. If left unattended in the field, it may be prone to vandalism and theft, especially in the urban space. We empirically applied crime theory, specifically the Routine Activity Theory (RAT), to predict disappearance rates of scientific equipment in an on-going urban ecology research project. 2. [...]

Developing systems theory in soil agroecology: Incorporating heterogeneity and dynamic instability

Nicholas Medina, John Vandermeer

Published: 2023-03-21
Subjects: Agriculture, Applied Mathematics, Biogeochemistry, Biology, Dynamic Systems, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Longitudinal Data Analysis and Time Series, Research Methods in Life Sciences, Soil Science, Sustainability

Ecosystem management is integral to the future of soils, yet anthropogenic drivers represent a key source of uncertainty in ecosystem models. First- and new-generation soil models formulate many soil pools using first-order decomposition, which tends to generate simpler yet numerous parameters. Systems or complexity theory, developed across various scientific and social fields, may help improve [...]

ForageFeeder: a low-cost open source feeder for randomly distributing food

Maggie Zhang, Andrew Kyle Schulz, Josh Meyerchick, et al.

Published: 2022-12-30
Subjects: Animal Experimentation and Research, Life Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Automated feeders have long fed mice, livestock, and poultry, but are incapable of feeding zoo animals such as gorillas. Gorilla food, consisting of cut vegetables and fruits, is too large to be dispensed by automated feeders. Instead gorillas are manually at a set time and location, which decreases the exercise and enrichment that accompanies their natural foraging. We designed and built [...]

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 in meta-analysis, the transparency and reproducibility of the data extraction phase is still lagging behind. Unfortunately, there is little guidance of how to make this process more [...]

Repeatability of performance within and across contexts measuring behavioral flexibility

Kelsey McCune, Aaron Blaisdell, Zoe Johnson-Ulrich, et al.

Published: 2022-08-10
Subjects: Animal Experimentation and Research, Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences

Research into animal cognitive abilities is increasing quickly and often uses methods where behavioral performance on a task is assumed to represent variation in the underlying cognitive trait. However, because these methods rely on behavioral responses as a proxy for cognitive ability, it is important to validate that the task structure does, in fact, target the cognitive trait of interest [...]


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