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Nature Ecology & Evolution

Diego Salazar, John Lokvam, Italo Mesones, Magno Vásquez Pilco, Jacqueline Milagros Ayarza Zuñiga, Perry de Valpine, Paul V A Fine
Plant secondary metabolites play important ecological and evolutionary roles, most notably in the deterrence of natural enemies. The classical theory explaining the evolution of plant chemical diversity is that new defences arise through a pairwise co-evolutionary arms race between plants and their specialized natural enemies. However, plant species are bombarded by dozens of different herbivore taxa from disparate phylogenetic lineages that span a wide range of feeding strategies and have distinctive physiological constraints that interact differently with particular plant metabolites...
May 14, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Anna K Schweiger, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Philip A Townsend, Sarah E Hobbie, Michael D Madritch, Ran Wang, David Tilman, John A Gamon
Biodiversity promotes ecosystem function as a consequence of functional differences among organisms that enable resource partitioning and facilitation. As the need for biodiversity assessments increases in the face of accelerated global change, novel approaches that are rapid, repeatable and scalable are critical, especially in ecosystems for which information about species identity and the number of species is difficult to acquire. Here, we present 'spectral diversity'-a spectroscopic index of the variability of electromagnetic radiation reflected from plants measured in the visible, near-infrared and short-wave infrared regions (400-2,400 nm)...
May 14, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Anna Deplazes-Zemp, Samuel Abiven, Peter Schaber, Michael Schaepman, Gabriela Schaepman-Strub, Bernhard Schmid, Kentaro K Shimizu, Florian Altermatt
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 14, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
David G Pearce, Adelphine Bonneau
In the version of this News & Views originally published, the name Hoffmann was incorrectly spelt as Hoffman in two instances. This has been corrected.
May 9, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Marius Somveille, Ana S L Rodrigues, Andrea Manica
The uneven distribution of biodiversity on Earth is one of the most general and puzzling patterns in ecology. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain it, based on evolutionary processes or on constraints related to geography and energy. However, previous studies investigating these hypotheses have been largely descriptive due to the logistical difficulties of conducting controlled experiments on such large geographical scales. Here, we use bird migration-the seasonal redistribution of approximately 15% of bird species across the world-as a natural experiment for testing the species-energy relationship, the hypothesis that animal diversity is driven by energetic constraints...
May 7, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
José Vicente López-Bao, Antoni Margalida
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 7, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Dan G Bock, Michael B Kantar, Celine Caseys, Remi Matthey-Doret, Loren H Rieseberg
Invasion success of species introduced to novel environments may be facilitated by adaptive evolution and by phenotypic plasticity. Here we investigate the independent and joint contribution of both mechanisms as drivers of invasiveness in the perennial sunflower Helianthus tuberosus. We show that invasive genotypes have multiple origins, and that invasive spread was facilitated by the repeated evolution of extreme values in a single trait, clonality. In line with genetic accommodation theory, we establish that this evolutionary transition occurred by refining a preexisting plastic response of clonality to water availability...
May 7, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Ian L Boyd
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 30, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Chuan Li, Jianzhi Zhang
A fitness landscape (FL) describes the genotype-fitness relationship in a given environment. To explain and predict evolution, it is imperative to measure the FL in multiple environments because the natural environment changes frequently. Using a high-throughput method that combines precise gene replacement with next-generation sequencing, we determine the in vivo FL of a yeast tRNA gene comprising over 23,000 genotypes in four environments. Although genotype-by-environment interaction is abundantly detected, its pattern is so simple that we can transform an existing FL to that in a new environment with fitness measures of only a few genotypes in the new environment...
April 23, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Mark McMullan, Maryam Rafiqi, Gemy Kaithakottil, Bernardo J Clavijo, Lorelei Bilham, Elizabeth Orton, Lawrence Percival-Alwyn, Ben J Ward, Anne Edwards, Diane G O Saunders, Gonzalo Garcia Accinelli, Jonathan Wright, Walter Verweij, Georgios Koutsovoulos, Kentaro Yoshida, Tsuyoshi Hosoya, Louisa Williamson, Philip Jennings, Renaud Ioos, Claude Husson, Ari M Hietala, Adam Vivian-Smith, Halvor Solheim, Dan MaClean, Christine Fosker, Neil Hall, James K M Brown, David Swarbreck, Mark Blaxter, J Allan Downie, Matthew D Clark
Accelerating international trade and climate change make pathogen spread an increasing concern. Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, the causal agent of ash dieback, is a fungal pathogen that has been moving across continents and hosts from Asian to European ash. Most European common ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior) are highly susceptible to H. fraxineus, although a minority (~5%) have partial resistance to dieback. Here, we assemble and annotate a H. fraxineus draft genome, which approaches chromosome scale. Pathogen genetic diversity across Europe and in Japan, reveals a strong bottleneck in Europe, though a signal of adaptive diversity remains in key host interaction genes...
April 23, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Danna R Gifford, Victoria Furió, Andrei Papkou, Tom Vogwill, Antonio Oliver, R Craig MacLean
There is an urgent need to develop novel approaches for predicting and preventing the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Here, we show that the ability to evolve de novo resistance to a clinically important β-lactam antibiotic, ceftazidime, varies drastically across the genus Pseudomonas. This variation arises because strains possessing the ampR global transcriptional regulator evolve resistance at a high rate. This does not arise because of mutations in ampR. Instead, this regulator potentiates evolution by allowing mutations in conserved peptidoglycan biosynthesis genes to induce high levels of β-lactamase expression...
April 23, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Malcolm D Burgess, Ken W Smith, Karl L Evans, Dave Leech, James W Pearce-Higgins, Claire J Branston, Kevin Briggs, John R Clark, Chris R du Feu, Kate Lewthwaite, Ruedi G Nager, Ben C Sheldon, Jeremy A Smith, Robin C Whytock, Stephen G Willis, Albert B Phillimore
Increasing temperatures associated with climate change may generate phenological mismatches that disrupt previously synchronous trophic interactions. Most work on mismatch has focused on temporal trends, whereas spatial variation in the degree of trophic synchrony has largely been neglected, even though the degree to which mismatch varies in space has implications for meso-scale population dynamics and evolution. Here we quantify latitudinal trends in phenological mismatch, using phenological data on an oak-caterpillar-bird system from across the UK...
April 23, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Sreejith J Varma, Kamila B Muchowska, Paul Chatelain, Joseph Moran
Autotrophic theories for the origin of life propose that CO2 was the carbon source for primordial biosynthesis. Among the six known CO2 fixation pathways in nature, the acetyl-CoA (AcCoA; or Wood-Ljungdahl) pathway is the most ancient, and relies on transition metals for catalysis. Modern microbes that use the AcCoA pathway typically fix CO2 with electrons from H2 , which requires complex flavin-based electron bifurcation. This presents a paradox: how could primitive metabolic systems have fixed CO2 before the origin of proteins? Here, we show that native transition metals (Fe0 , Ni0 and Co0 ) selectively reduce CO2 to acetate and pyruvate-the intermediates and end-products of the AcCoA pathway-in near millimolar concentrations in water over hours to days using 1-40 bar CO2 and at temperatures from 30 to 100 °C...
April 23, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Shannon M Smith, Deborah S Kent, Jacobus J Boomsma, Adam J Stow
The lifetime monogamy hypothesis claims that the evolution of permanently unmated worker castes always requires maximal full-sibling relatedness to be established first. The long-lived diploid ambrosia beetle Austroplatypus incompertus (Schedl) is known to be highly social, but whether it has lifetime sterile castes has remained unclear. Here we show that the gallery systems of this beetle inside the heartwood of live Eucalyptus trees are always inhabited by a single core family, consisting of a lifetime-inseminated mother, permanently unmated daughter workers, and immatures that are always full siblings to each other and their adult caretakers...
April 23, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Nicholas G Davies
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 23, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Phillip J Clapham, Yulia V Ivashchenko
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 16, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Alain Paquette, Andy Hector, Bastien Castagneyrol, Margot Vanhellemont, Julia Koricheva, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Kris Verheyen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 16, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Christopher F Clements, Julia L Blanchard, Kirsty L Nash, Mark A Hindell, Arpat Ozgul
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 16, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Nuria Galiana, Miguel Lurgi, Bernat Claramunt-López, Marie-Josée Fortin, Shawn Leroux, Kevin Cazelles, Dominique Gravel, José M Montoya
Species-area relationships (SARs) are pivotal to understand the distribution of biodiversity across spatial scales. We know little, however, about how the network of biotic interactions in which biodiversity is embedded changes with spatial extent. Here we develop a new theoretical framework that enables us to explore how different assembly mechanisms and theoretical models affect multiple properties of ecological networks across space. We present a number of testable predictions on network-area relationships (NARs) for multi-trophic communities...
April 16, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Christoph Ratzke, Jonas Denk, Jeff Gore
The growth and survival of organisms often depend on interactions between them. In many cases, these interactions are positive and caused by a cooperative modification of the environment. Examples are the cooperative breakdown of complex nutrients in microbes or the construction of elaborate architectures in social insects, in which the individual profits from the collective actions of her peers. However, organisms can similarly display negative interactions by changing the environment in ways that are detrimental for them, for example by resource depletion or the production of toxic byproducts...
April 16, 2018: Nature Ecology & Evolution
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