Liliana M. Davalos

Liliana M. Davalos
Stony Brook University | Stony Brook · Department of Ecology and Evolution

About

255
Publications
81,254
Reads
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5,517
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2007 - May 2008
The Open University (UK)
Position
  • Lecturer
August 2005 - October 2006
Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2004 - June 2005
The University of Arizona
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (255)
Article
Full-text available
Fire plays a dominant role in deforestation, particularly in the tropics, but the relative extent of transformations and influence of fire frequency on eventual forest loss remain unclear. Here, we analyze the frequency of fire and its influence on postfire forest trajectories between 2001 and 2018. We account for ~1.1% of Latin American forests bu...
Article
Full-text available
Population growth with weak economic development can promote tropical deforestation, but government infrastructure investment can also open new frontiers and thus increase deforestation. In the Andean region of South America, population growth has been a leading explanation for both deforestation and coca cultivation, but coca generates armed confl...
Article
In most vertebrates, the demand for glucose as the primary substrate for cellular respiration is met by the breakdown of complex carbohydrates, or energy is obtained by protein and lipid catabolism. In contrast, a few bat and bird species have convergently evolved to subsist on nectar, a sugar-rich mixture of glucose, fructose, and sucrose.1-4 How...
Article
Despite the widespread notion that animal-mediated seed dispersal led to the evolution of fruit traits that attract mutualistic frugivores, the dispersal syndrome hypothesis remains controversial, particularly for complex traits such as fruit scent. Here, we test this hypothesis in a community of mutualistic, ecologically important neotropical bats...
Article
Full-text available
Mammalian olfactory receptor genes (ORs) are a diverse family of genes encoding proteins that directly interact with environmental chemical cues. ORs evolve via gene duplication in a birth-death fashion, neofunctionalizing and pseudogenizing over time. Olfaction is a primary sense used for food detection in plant-visiting bats, but the relationship...
Preprint
Madagascar's biota has suffered recent extinctions and many of its unique species are threatened. However, the severity of recent and potential extinctions in a global evolutionary context is unquantified. We compiled a phylogenetic dataset for the complete non-marine mammalian biota of Madagascar and estimated natural rates of extinction, coloniza...
Article
While evolvability of genes and traits may promote specialization during species diversification, how ecology subsequently restricts such variation remains unclear. Chemosensation requires animals to decipher a complex chemical background to locate fitness‐related resources, and thus the underlying genomic architecture and morphology must cope with...
Article
Full-text available
Relationships among laurasiatherian clades represent one of the most highly disputed topics in mammalian phylogeny. In this study, we attempt to disentangle laurasiatherian interordinal relationships using two independent genome-level approaches: (1) quantifying retrotransposon presence/absence patterns, and (2) comparisons of exon datasets at the...
Article
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Scientists recognize the Caribbean archipelago as a biodiversity hotspot and employ it for their research as a “natural laboratory”. Yet, they do not always appreciate that these ecosystems are in fact palimpsests shaped by multiple human cultures over millennia. Although post-European anthropogenic impacts are well documented, human influx into th...
Preprint
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Human impacts on the Earth’s biosphere are driving the global biodiversity crisis. Governments are preparing to agree on a set of actions intended to halt the loss of biodiversity and put it on a path to recovery by 2050. We provide evidence that the proposed actions can bend the curve for biodiversity, but only if these actions are implemented urg...
Technical Report
Full-text available
EXPERT INPUT TO THE POST-2020 GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY FRAMEWORK: TRANSFORMATIVE ACTIONS ON ALL DRIVERS OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS ARE URGENTLY REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE THE GLOBAL GOALS BY 2050
Chapter
Forests and aquatic ecosystems are the basis for ecosystem services, which play a crucial role in people’s livelihoods, human well-being, and health. Some of the most relevant and challenging current health problems in Amazonia are associated with deforestation and degradation of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including the risk of contracting...
Chapter
Full-text available
This Report provides a comprehensive, objective, open, transparent, systematic, and rigorous scientific assessment of the state of the Amazon’s ecosystems, current trends, and their implications for the long-term well-being of the region, as well as opportunities and policy relevant options for conservation and sustainable development.
Article
Full-text available
Critical thinking (CT) underpins the analytical and systems-thinking capacities needed for effective conservation in the 21st century but is seldom adequately fostered in most postsecondary courses and programs. Many instructors fear that devoting time to process skills will detract from content gains and struggle to define CT skills in ways releva...
Preprint
Full-text available
While evolvability of genes and traits may promote specialization during species diversification, how ecology subsequently restricts such variation remains unclear. Chemosensation requires animals to decipher a complex chemical background to locate fitness-related resources, and thus the underlying genomic architecture and morphology must cope with...
Article
The United Nations set “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a collection of 17 global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. Although only mentioned in one of the seventeen goals (goal 3), we argue that drugs in general, and growi...
Chapter
Full-text available
Los bosques Amazónicos y los ecosistemas acuáticos son la base de varios servicios ecosistémicos, los cuales desempeñan un papel crucial en los medios de vida, bienestar y salud de los seres humanos. Algunos de los problemas de salud más relevantes y desafiantes de la Amazonía están relacionados con la deforestación y la degradación de los ecosiste...
Article
Negative environmental impacts of violent conflict have been observed worldwide. Whether or not active global conflicts are declining in number remains hotly debated, the number of countries entering post-conflict periods is on the rise, and the impact of this transition on land cover changes remains poorly understood. In Colombia, though large-sca...
Article
Comprising more than 1,400 species, bats possess adaptations unique among mammals including powered flight, unexpected longevity, and extraordinary immunity. Some of the molecular mechanisms underlying these unique adaptations includes DNA repair, metabolism and immunity. However, analyses have been limited to a few divergent lineages, reducing the...
Article
The role of mechanical morphologies in the exploitation of novel niche space is well characterized, however, the role of sensory structures in unlocking new niches is less clear. Here we investigate the relationship between the evolution of sensory structures and diet during the radiation of noctilionoid bats. With a broad range of foraging ecologi...
Article
Full-text available
Preventing extinctions requires understanding macroecological patterns of vulnerability or persistence. However, correlates of risk can be nonlinear, within-species risk varies geographically, and current-day threats cannot reveal drivers of past losses. We investigated factors that regulated survival or extinction in Caribbean mammals, which have...
Article
Full-text available
Populations along steep environmental gradients are subject to differentiating selection that can result in local adaptation, despite countervailing gene flow and genetic drift. In montane systems, where species are often restricted to narrow ranges of elevation, it is unclear whether selection is strong enough to influence functional differentiati...
Article
Full-text available
Dietary adaptation is a major feature of phenotypic and ecological diversification, yet the genetic basis of dietary shifts is poorly understood. Among mammals, Neotropical leaf-nosed bats (family Phyllostomidae) show unmatched diversity in diet; from a putative insectivorous ancestor, phyllostomids have radiated to specialize on diverse food sourc...
Preprint
Comprising more than 1400 species, bats possess adaptations unique among mammals including powered flight, unexpected longevity given small body size, and extraordinary immunity. Some of the molecular mechanisms underlying these unique adaptations includes DNA repair, metabolism and immunity. However, analyses have been limited to a few divergent l...
Preprint
Full-text available
Comprising more than 1400 species, bats possess adaptations unique among mammals including powered flight, unexpected longevity given small body size, and extraordinary immunity. Some of the molecular mechanisms underlying these unique adaptations includes DNA repair, metabolism and immunity. However, analyses have been limited to a few divergent l...
Preprint
Comprising more than 1400 species, bats possess adaptations unique among mammals including powered flight, unexpected longevity given small body size, and extraordinary immunity. Some of the molecular mechanisms underlying these unique adaptations includes DNA repair, metabolism and immunity. However, analyses have been limited to a few divergent l...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mammalian olfactory receptors ( OR s) are a diverse family of genes encoding proteins that directly interact with environmental chemical cues. OR s evolve via gene duplication in a birth-death fashion, neofunctionalizing and pseudogenizing over time. Olfaction is a primary sense used for food detection in plant-visiting bats, but the relationship b...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book discusses in detail the adaptive radiation of American leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae), the most diverse family morphologically, behaviorally, and trophically of all bats. It is divided into five major sections that cover the family’s evolution, classification, and historical biogeography; many aspects of its basic biology; its trophic,...
Article
Full-text available
Diversification and adaptive radiations are tied to evolvability, which in turn is linked to morphological integration. Tightly integrated structures typically evolve in unison, whereas loosely integrated structures evolve separately. Highly integrated structures are therefore thought to constrain evolutionary change by limiting morphological dispa...
Article
Full-text available
Bats possess extraordinary adaptations, including flight, echolocation, extreme longevity and unique immunity. High-quality genomes are crucial for understanding the molecular basis and evolution of these traits. Here we incorporated long-read sequencing and state-of-the-art scaffolding protocols¹ to generate, to our knowledge, the first reference-...
Article
Although cases of independent adaptation to the same dietary niche have been documented in mammalian ecology, the molecular correlates of such shifts are seldom known. Here we used genome‐wide analyses of molecular evolution to examine two lineages of bats that, from an insectivorous ancestor, have both independently evolved obligate frugivory: the...
Article
Within‐clade allometric relationships represent standard laws of scaling between energy and size, and their outliers provide new avenues for physiological and ecological research. According to the metabolic level boundaries hypothesis, metabolic rates as a function of mass are expected to scale closer to 0.67 when driven by surface‐related processe...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in behaviour may initiate shifts to new adaptive zones, with physical adaptations for novel environments evolving later. While new mutations are commonly considered engines of adaptive change, sensory evolution enabling access to new resources might also arise from standing genetic diversity, and even gene loss. We examine the relative cont...
Preprint
Full-text available
Gene duplication is a key source of evolutionary innovation, and multigene families evolve in a birth-death process, continuously duplicating and pseudogenizing through time. To empirically test hypotheses about adaptive expansion and contraction of multigene families across species, models infer gene gain and loss in light of speciation events and...
Book
Full-text available
ABOUT THIS BOOK With more than two hundred species distributed across most of mainland Mexico, Central and South America, and islands in the Caribbean Sea, the Phyllostomidae bat family (American leaf-nosed bats) is one of the world’s most diverse mammalian families in terms of its trophic, or feeding, diversity. From an insectivorous ancestry, ex...
Preprint
Full-text available
Bats account for ~20% of all extant mammal species and are considered exceptional given their extraordinary adaptations, including biosonar, true flight, extreme longevity, and unparalleled immune systems. To understand these adaptations, we generated reference-quality genomes of six species representing the key divergent lineages. We assembled the...
Article
Full-text available
Despite international conservation efforts1, deforestation in the Amazon continues apace. While the current focus is on immediate responses to the crisis, the roots of deforestation are deep, institutional and societal. Institutional incentives for land speculation coupled with extreme inequality in tenure are the main engine of deforestation. With...
Article
Full-text available
Multigene families evolve from single‐copy ancestral genes via duplication, and typically encode proteins critical to key biological processes. Molecular analyses of these gene families require high‐confidence sequences, but the high sequence similarity of the members can create challenges for sequencing and downstream analyses. Focusing on the com...
Article
Colombia is the largest supplier of coca leaf in the world, and fields smaller than one-hectare account for more than 60 per cent of cultivation. Despite the obvious relevance of smallholding growers to the strategies to control illicit crops, there are few insights into what motivates these smallholders to cultivate coca. We analyse the motivation...
Article
Full-text available
In mammals, social and reproductive behaviors are mediated by chemical cues encoded by hyperdiverse families of receptors expressed in the vomeronasal organ. Between species, the number of intact receptors can vary by orders of magnitude. However, the evolutionary processes behind variation in receptor number, and its link to fitness-related behavi...
Article
Full-text available
High-elevation organisms experience shared environmental challenges that include low oxygen availability, cold temperatures, and intense UV radiation. Consequently, repeated evolution of the same genetic mechanisms may occur across high-elevation taxa. To test this prediction, we investigated the extent to which the same biochemical pathways, genes...
Preprint
Full-text available
Multigene families evolve from single-copy ancestral genes via duplication, and typically encode proteins critical to key biological processes. Molecular analyses of these gene families require high-confidence sequences, but the high sequence similarity of the members can create challenges for both sequencing and downstream analyses. Focusing on th...
Chapter
Gene duplication is an important process in the evolution of gene content in eukaryotic genomes. Understanding when gene duplicates contribute new molecular functions to genomes through molecular adaptation is one important goal in comparative genomics. In large gene families, however, characterizing adaptation and neofunctionalization across speci...
Article
Full-text available
Armed conflict, and its end, can have powerful effects on natural resources, but the influence of war and peace on highly biodiverse tropical forests remains disputed. We found a sixfold increase in fires in protected areas across biodiversity hotspots following guerrilla demobilization in Colombia, and a 52% increase in the probability of per-pixe...
Chapter
Full-text available
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its distribution, presumed large population, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Article
Full-text available
The loss of previously adaptive traits is typically linked to relaxation in selection, yet the molecular steps leading to such repeated losses are rarely known. Molecular studies of loss have tended to focus on gene sequences alone, but overlooking other aspects of protein expression might underestimate phenotypic diversity. Insights based almost s...
Article
Full-text available
What factors led to the surprise defeat of the Colombian peace referendum? Initial analyses suggested a link between support for peace and the experience of violence, but economic conditions and political support for incumbent parties also affect electoral outcomes. We use Bayesian hierarchical models to test links between referendum result and pre...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the processes responsible for phenotypic variation is one of the central tasks of evolutionary biology. While the importance of acoustic traits for foraging and communication in echolocating mammals suggests adaptation, the seldom-tested null hypothesis to explain trait divergence is genetic drift. Here we derive FST values from multi-l...
Article
Full-text available
The IUCN provides a spatial database for many species, including terrestrial mammals. This database includes shapefiles with taxonomic information and the extent of occurrence for each species, and has been used in hundreds of studies in ecology, biogeography and conservation. Here we provide updated distribution maps that comprise the extent of oc...
Article
Full-text available
The increased accessibility of soft-tissue data through diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography (diceCT) enables comparative biologists to increase the taxonomic breadth of their studies with museum specimens. However, it is still unclear how soft-tissue measurements from preserved specimens reflect values from freshly collect...
Book
In the 1960s, the governments of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia launched agricultural settlement programs in each country’s vast Amazonian frontier lowlands. Two decades later, these exact same zones had transformed into the centers of the illicit cocaine boom of the Americas. Drawing on concepts from both history and anthropology, The Origins of Coca...
Chapter
For decades coca cultivation has been proposed as a cause of deforestation and attractor of migration to the forest frontiers of western Amazonia. To prevent deforestation and reduce carbon emissions in the Amazon, evaluating the effects of coca cultivation has become a regional priority. Here we use models of tropical deforestation, one based on i...
Article
Full-text available
Rates of speciation (or diversification) estimated in BAMM, either from the tips or path‐wise rates, must not be used in phylogenetic regressions in the way presented in our paper (Rojas et al. 2018), as we will explain in this correction. Different approaches have been recently developed to study the joint dynamics of trait evolution and species d...