Daniel Z. Atwater

Daniel Z. Atwater
Earlham College · Biology

PhD Ecology - University of Montana
Assistant Professor at Earlham College. Quantitative invasion ecologist.

About

40
Publications
8,147
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1,016
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2014 - June 2015
University of Nevada, Reno
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Species’ ranges are limited by both ecological and evolutionary constraints. While there is a growing appreciation that ecological constraints include interactions among species, like competition, we know relatively little about how interactions contribute to evolutionary constraints at species' niche and range limits. Building on concepts from com...
Article
This article is a Commentary on Oduor (2022), 233: 983–994.
Article
Full-text available
Species niches have been defined in different ways, variably encompassing abiotic and biotic parameters limiting an organism’s spatial distribution. Climate is often the primary component of the abiotic (fundamental) niche, especially among terrestrial plants. In invasion biology, there is an ongoing debate on the prevalence of niche shifts, which...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Introduced species often occupy different climates in their introduced than their native range, but to what degree do such ‘climatic niche shifts’ interfere with our ability to predict invasions? Answering this question is crucial if we are to understand the threat invasive species pose to human and natural systems, especially given the ever in...
Article
Aims Within-species genetic and phenotypic variations have well-known effects on evolutionary processes, but less is known about how within species variation may influence community-level processes. Ecologically meaningful intraspecific variation might be particularly important in the context of anthropogenic impacts on natural systems, such as agr...
Article
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Tolerance and suppression are distinct components of competition among plants, and recognizing how they affect competitive outcomes is important for understanding the mechanisms and consequences of competition. We used simulations informed by experimental trials to ask whether tolerance or suppression of competitors was more important for the survi...
Article
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Relatives often interact differently with each other than with nonrelatives, and whether kin cooperate or compete has important consequences for the evolution of mating systems, seed size, dispersal , and competition. Previous research found that the larger of the size dimorphic seeds produced by the annual plant Aegilops triuncialis suppressed ger...
Article
Plant–soil feedbacks have important effects on plant communities, but most theory has been derived from experiments on intraspecific plant–soil feedbacks. Much less is known about how interspecific plant–soil feedbacks affect coexistence and plant communities, due in part to experimental and analytical challenges. Here, we propose a framework for e...
Article
1.Many restoration projects use seeds to found new populations, and understanding phenotypic traits associated with seedling establishment in disturbed and invaded communities is important for restoration efforts worldwide. Focusing on the perennial grass Elymus elymoides, a native species common to sagebrush steppe communities in the Western Unite...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions provide opportunities to study evolutionary processes occurring over contemporary timescales. To explore the speed and repeatability of adaptation, we examined the divergence of life‐history traits to climate, using latitude as a proxy, in the native North American and introduced European and Australian ranges of the annual pla...
Preprint
Full-text available
Biological invasions provide opportunities to study evolutionary processes occurring over contemporary timescales. To explore the speed and repeatability of adaptation, we examined the divergence of life-history traits to climate, using latitude as a proxy, in the native North American and introduced European and Australian ranges of the annual pla...
Article
Full-text available
Aims As an exotic species colonises a new continent, it must overcome enormous environmental variation in its introduced range. Local adaptation of introduced species has frequently been observed at the continent scale, particularly in response to latitudinal climatic variation. However, significant environmental heterogeneity can also exist at the...
Article
Invasive species may alter selective pressures on native plant populations. Although there is some evidence that competition with invasive plants may lead to differences in competitive ability between populations that have experienced invasion and those that have not, previous results have varied among species but also among populations of the same...
Article
Full-text available
Our understanding of how climate influences species distributions and our ability to assess the risk of introduced species depend on the assumption that species' climatic niches remain stable across space and time. While niche shifts have been detected in individual invasive species, one assessment of ~50 plants in Europe and North America conclude...
Article
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Many species are characterized by high levels of intraspecific or ecotypic diversity, yet we know little about how diversity within species influences ecosystem processes. Using a common garden experiment, we studied how intraspecific diversity within the widespread and often dominant North American native Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) Á. Löve. a...
Article
Many introduced species are capable of both sexual and vegetative reproduction. Our understanding of the ecology of such species depends on the trade-offs between vegetative and sexual reproduction and the ecological conditions that favor both modes of reproduction and how those factors influence the population ecology of introduced species. Here,...
Article
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During the past 100 years, studies spanning thousands of taxa across almost all biomes have demonstrated that competition has powerful negative effects on the performance of individuals and can affect the composition of plant communities, the evolution of traits, and the functioning of whole ecosystems. In this review, we highlight new and importan...
Article
Full-text available
Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) is a striking example of a post-Columbian founder event. This natural experiment within ecological time-scales provides a unique opportunity for understanding patterns of continent-wide genetic diversity following range expansion. Microsatellite markers were used for population genetic analyses including leaf-optimi...
Article
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Exotic invasive plants can exert strong selective pressure for increased competitive ability in native plants. There are two fundamental components of competitive ability: suppression and tolerance, and the current paradigm that these components have equal influences on a species' overall competitive ability has been recently questioned. If these c...
Article
Full-text available
Plant community productivity can increase with increasing intraspecific genotypic diversity. Previous studies have attributed the genetic diversity-productivity pattern to differential resource use among genotypes, as many studies have found for species. But here we ask whether suppression of productivity at low intraspecific diversity by soil biot...
Article
Successful invasions result from species functional traits interacting with the receiving community. Some have proposed that propagule pressure, or the size and number of introductions, can overcome high invasion resistance. However, few studies empirically investigate the relationship among functional traits, community composition, and propagule p...
Article
Full-text available
An introduced species must contend with enormous environmental variation in its introduced range. In this study, we use niche models and ordination analyses to reconstruct changes in genotype, phenotype, and climatic niche of Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), which is regarded as one of the world's most threatening invasive plants. In the United St...
Article
Plant diversity enhances many ecosystem processes, including productivity, but these effects have been studied almost exclusively at the taxonomic scale of species. We explore the effect of intraspecific diversity on the productivity of a widespread and dominant grassland species using accessions collected from populations throughout its range. We...
Article
Full-text available
High species and functional group richness often has positive effects on ecosystem function including increasing productivity. Recently, intraspecific diversity has been found to have similar effects, but because traits vary far less within a species than among species we have a much poorer understanding of the mechanisms by which intraspecific div...
Article
RIZ (retinoblastoma protein-interacting zinc finger protein), also denoted PRDM2, is a transcriptional regulator and tumor suppressor. It was initially identified because of its ability to interact with another well-established tumor suppressor, the retinoblastoma protein (Rb). A short motif, IRCDE, in the acidic region (AR) of RIZ was reported to...
Article
Full-text available
Seedling survival is a limiting factor in arid-land restoration. We investigated how variation in the root traits of glasshouse-reared seedlings related to the field performance of different genotypes from two populations of Elymus elymoides (squirreltail), a common bunchgrass native to the Western United States. Seeds from 100 E. elymoides individ...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Ecologists generally evaluate the competitive ability of plant species based on the overall outcome of competition, measured as the size, survival, or fitness of a target individual growing with neighbors versus without neighbors. But there are two distinct components of competitive ability that influence this overall...
Article
Invasive plant species can have strong direct negative effects on native plants. Depending on the nature of interactions among competitors and consumers within a community, strong indirect interactions may either augment or offset direct effects. We used path analysis to estimate the relative importance of direct and indirect effects of Euphorbia e...
Article
To determine whether severity of periodontal disease (PD) was associated with systemic health indices in dogs and whether treatment of PD altered systemic health indices. Prospective cohort study. 38 dogs. Healthy dogs with clinical signs of PD were included in the study. Physical examination, serum biochemical analysis, a CBC, urine evaluation, me...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods For invasive species, introduction to a new range results in exposure to new biotic and abiotic environments. Therefore, it is not surprising that invasive species often adapt to conditions in their introduced range by responding to novel enemies, evolving to exploit novel resources, or adjusting to novel abiotic conditi...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Invasive plants often exert strong negative effects on native species. Researchers investigating the cause of these effects generally look for an unbalanced interaction that explains the invasiveness of a particular exotic species. However, this may lead researchers to focus on negative interactions and to overlook the...
Article
"Lyme nephritis" is a poorly characterized condition associated with proteinuria and often fatal renal failure in dogs with serological evidence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. The aim of this study was to determine if intact B. burgdorferi organisms were present in the kidneys of serologically Lyme-positive dogs with histopathologic featur...
Article
Feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the term applied to a group of poorly understood enteropathies that are considered a consequence of uncontrolled intestinal inflammation in response to a combination of elusive environmental, enteric microbial, and immunoregulatory factors in genetically susceptible cats. The present study sought to examin...
Article
Background: Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is caused by inappropriate secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) by autonomously functioning neoplastic or hyperplastic parathyroid “chief cells. Keeshonden are thought to be over-represented in studies on canine PHPT, but no proof of heritability or mode of inheritance has been published. The canine...
Article
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is caused by inappropriate secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) by autonomously functioning neoplastic or hyperplastic parathyroid "chief" cells. Keeshonden are thought to be over-represented in studies on canine PHPT, but no proof of heritability or mode of inheritance has been published. The canine disease cli...
Article
Full-text available
Larvae of two noctuid moths, Exyra fax and Papaipema appassionata, are obligate herbivores of Sarracenia purpurea (northern pitcher plant). We studied the relationship between presence of these larvae and plant size, the spatial clustering of herbivory, and effects of herbivory on subsequent plant size at Harvard Pond in central Massachusetts. Plan...
Article
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The northern pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) receives some of its nutrients from the decomposition of prey that fall into its pitcher-shaped leaves. The majority of prey consists of ants, beetles, spiders, and slugs, and in rare cases, frogs and lizards. Here we report on the unusual occurrence of 22 Red-spotted Newt larvae (Notophthalmus virid...

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Project (1)
Project
Local adaptation is a common feature of many species, yet its genetic and molecular basis is still poorly understood. Research on the genetic basis of adaptation increasingly focuses on the speed and repeatability of genomic and phenotypic adaptation and the effect of genomic architecture on evolutionary response. Unravelling such processes could provide insight into the predictability of adaptive shifts, key in the face of on-going environmental change. In this project, we aim to shed light on the genetic basis of local adaptation and investigate the speed and the direction of adaptive responses to environmental heterogeneity. To achieve this, we use samples of the invasive weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) across its widespread native North American and the non-native European and Australian ranges and combine phenotypic, genomic and environmental data. We explore neutral variation in molecular markers at a global scale, conduct phenotype-environment, genotype-environment and genotype-phenotype associations to examine signatures of natural selection experienced during multiple range expansions. Our results provide strong evidence for rapid local adaptation on a phenotypic and genomic level, where repeated patterns of adaptation evolved in <100 generations. Even though genetic variation and patterns of linkage disequilibrium were distinctly affected by alternative demographic histories, adaptive divergence was seemingly undeterred during range expansion. This research sheds light on processes determining the evolvability of populations and the predictability of adaptive shifts, as well as the underlying genomic basis of local adaptation.This project provides insight into the evolutionary processes that occur during the rapid spread of invasive species and the adaptive potential of species more generally.