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Quarterly Review of Biology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27405223/do-symptoms-of-illness-serve-signaling-functions-hint-yes
#1
REVIEW
Leonid Tiokhin
Symptoms of illness provide information about an organism's underlying state. This notion has inspired a burgeoning body of research on organisms' adaptations for detecting and changing behavior toward ill individuals. However, little attention has been paid to a likely outcome of these dynamics. Once an organism's fitness is affected by others' responses to symptoms of illness, natural selection can favor individuals who alter symptom expression to influence the behavior of others. That is, many symptoms may originate as cues, but will evolve into signals...
June 2016: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27405222/resilience-to-droughts-in-mammals-a-conceptual-framework-for-estimating-vulnerability-of-a-single-species
#2
REVIEW
Tasmin L Rymer, Neville Pillay, Carsten Schradin
ABSTRACT The frequency and severity of droughts in certain areas is increasing as a consequence of climate change. The associated environmental challenges, including high temperatures, low food, and water availability, have affected, and will affect, many populations. Our aims are to review the behavioral, physiological, and morphological adaptations of mammals to arid environments, and to aid research- ers and nature conservationists about which traits they should study to assess whether or not their study species will be able to cope with droughts...
June 2016: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27405221/yes-there-are-resilient-generalizations-or-laws-in-ecology
#3
REVIEW
Stefan Linquist, T Ryan Gregory, Tyler A Elliott, Brent Saylor, Stefan C Kremer, Karl Cottenie
ABSTRACT It is often argued that ecological communities admit of no useful generalizations or "laws" because these systems are especially prone to contingent historical events. Detractors respond that this argument assumes an overly stringent definition of laws of nature. Under a more relaxed conception, it is argued that ecological laws emerge at the level of communities and elsewhere. A brief review of this debate reveals an issue with deep philosophical roots that is unlikely to be resolved by a better understanding of generalizations in ecology...
June 2016: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27192779/how-mate-availability-influences-filial-cannibalism
#4
REVIEW
Nicholas D S Deal, Bob B M Wong
Parents sometimes eat their young to reduce the consequences of brood overcrowding, for nutritional gain, and/or to redirect investment toward future reproduction. It has been predicted that filial cannibalism should be more prevalent when mate availability is high as parents can more easily replace consumed young. Reviewing the available evidence--which comes almost exclusively from studies of paternal caring fish--we find support in some species, but not others. To explain this, we hypothesize that sexual selection against filial cannibalism and/or the tendency to acquire larger broods under conditions of high mate availability discourages filial cannibalism...
March 2016: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27192778/insurmountable-heat-the-evolution-and-persistence-of-defensive-hyperthermia
#5
REVIEW
Edward Clint, Daniel M T Fessler
Fever, the rise in body temperature set point in response to infection or injury, is a highly conserved trait among vertebrates, and documented in many arthropods. Fever is known to reduce illness duration and mortality. These observations present an evolutionary puzzle: why has fever continued to be an effective response to fast-evolving pathogenic microbes across diverse phyla, and probably over countless millions of years? Framing fever as part of a more general thermal manipulation strategy that we term defensive hyperthermia, we hypothesize that the solution lies in the independent contributions to pathogen fitness played by virulence and infectivity...
March 2016: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27192777/collective-vortex-behaviors-diversity-proximate-and-ultimate-causes-of-circular-animal-group-movements
#6
REVIEW
Johann Delcourt, Nikolai W F Bode, Mathieu Denoël
Ant mill, caterpillar circle, bat doughnut, amphibian vortex, duck swirl, and fish torus are different names for rotating circular animal formations, where individuals turn around a common center. These "collective vortex behaviors" occur at different group sizes from pairs to several million individuals and have been reported in a large number of organisms, from bacteria to vertebrates, including humans. However, to date, no comprehensive review and synthesis of the literature on vortex behaviors has been conducted...
March 2016: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26714351/the-genetics-of-epigenetic-inheritance-modes-molecules-and-mechanisms
#7
REVIEW
Sabine Schaefer, Joseph H Nadeau
Organisms adapt developmental and physiological features to local and transient conditions in part by modulating transcription, translation, and protein functions, usually without changing DNA sequences. Remarkably, these epigenetic changes sometimes endure through meiosis and gametogenesis, thereby affecting phenotypic variation across generations, long after epigenetic changes were triggered. Transgenerational effects challenge our traditional understanding of inheritance. In this review, we focus on patterns of inheritance, molecular features, mechanisms that lead from environmental and genetic perturbations to phenotypic variation in later generations, and issues about study design and replication...
December 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26714350/integrating-parasites-and-pathogens-into-the-study-of-geographic-range-limits
#8
REVIEW
Brooke A Bozick, Leslie A Real
The geographic distributions of all species are limited, and the determining factors that set these limits are of fundamental importance to the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. Plant and animal ranges have been of primary concern, while those of parasites, which represent much of the Earth's biodiversity, have been neglected. Here, we review the determinants of the geographic ranges of parasites and pathogens, and explore how parasites provide novel systems with which to investigate the ecological and evolutionary processes governing host/parasite spatial distributions...
December 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26591852/human-altruism-and-cooperation-explainable-as-adaptations-to-past-environments-no-longer-fully-evident-in-the-modern-world
#9
Tim Phillips
Evolutionary theory predicts rigorous competition in nature and selfish behavior is thus seen as its inevitable consequence. Evidence of altruistic and cooperative behavior therefore appears at odds with evolutionary theory. However, evolutionary psychology suggests that past environments may be different from the current environments that humans inhabit. Here it is hypothesized that competition in two past environments might have led to strategies that favored altruism and cooperation toward nonkin. First, the expansion of the human brain is seen as requiring long-term, quality parental investment to sustain it...
September 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26591851/how-do-microbial-populations-and-communities-function-as-model-systems
#10
REVIEW
Maureen A O'Malley, Michael Travisano, Gregory J Velicer, Jessica A Bolker
Microbial model systems have made major contributions across the life sciences. Their influence extends beyond strictly microbiological research to inform and enhance general biological understanding. To cast light on how microbial populations and communities function as model systems, we examine their use in historical and contemporary research on evolutionary and ecological dynamics. We assess the pros and cons of microbial model systems, and identify specific ways in which they benefit research. Analyzing microbial model systems is of particular value as biologists become increasingly aware of the microbial world and its interactions with the rest of life...
September 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26591850/the-importance-of-dietary-carbohydrate-in-human-evolution
#11
REVIEW
Karen Hardy, Jennie Brand-Miller, Katherine D Brown, Mark G Thomas, Les Copeland
ABSTRACT We propose that plant foods containing high quantities of starch were essential for the evolution of the human phenotype during the Pleistocene. Although previous studies have highlighted a stone tool-mediated shift from primarily plant-based to primarily meat-based diets as critical in the development of the brain and other human traits, we argue that digestible carbohydrates were also necessary to accommodate the increased metabolic demands of a growing brain. Furthermore, we acknowledge the adaptive role cooking played in improving the digestibility and palatability of key carbohydrates...
September 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26285354/how-to-study-adaptation-and-why-to-do-it-that-way
#12
REVIEW
Mark E Olson, Alfonso Arroyo-Santos
Some adaptationist explanations are regarded as maximally solid and others fanciful just-so stories. Just-so stories are explanations based on very little evidence. Lack of evidence leads to circular-sounding reasoning: "this trait was shaped by selection in unseen ancestral populations and this selection must have occurred because the trait is present." Well-supported adaptationist explanations include evidence that is not only abundant but selected from comparative, populational, and optimality perspectives, the three adaptationist subdisciplines...
June 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26285353/promoting-resilience
#13
REVIEW
Eric Desjardins, Gillian Barker, Zoë Lindo, Catherine Dieleman, Antoine C Dussault
Broadening contingents of ecologists and environmental scientists have recently begun to promote ecological resilience both as a conceptual framework and as a practical goal. As some critics have noted, this growing interest has brought with it a multiplication of notions of ecological resilience. This paper reviews how and why the notion of ecological resilience has been adopted, used, and defended in ecology since its introduction by C. S. Holling in 1973. We highlight the many faces of ecological resilience, but unlike other reviewers who see these as disunified and confused, we interpret ecological resilience as an evolving, multidimensional, theoretical concept unified by its role in guiding practical response to ecological and environmental challenges...
June 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26285352/thaliaceans-the-neglected-pelagic-relatives-of-ascidians-a-developmental-and-evolutionary-enigma
#14
REVIEW
Jacques Piette, Patrick Lemaire
Most developmental biologists equate tunicates to the sessile ascidians, including Ciona intestinalis, and the pelagic appendicularians, in particular Oikopleura dioica. However, there exists a third group of tunicates with a pelagic lifestyle, the thaliaceans, which include salps, pyrosomes, and doliolids. Although thaliaceans have raised the curiosity offamous zoologists since the 18th century, the difficulty of observing and experimentally manipulating them has led to many controversies and speculations about their life cycles and developmental strategies, the phylogenetic relationship within the group and with other tunicates, and the drivers of speciation in these widely distributed animals living in a seemingly uniform environment...
June 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26434165/rewriting-ecological-succession-history-did-carrion-ecologists-get-there-first
#15
REVIEW
Jean-Philippe Michaud, Kenneth G Schoenly, Gaétan Moreau
Ecological succession is arguably the most enduring contribution of plant ecologists and its origins have never been contested. However, we show that French entomologist Pierre Mégnin, while collaborating with medical examiners in the late 1800s, advanced the first formal definition and testable mechanism of ecological succession. This discovery gave birth to the twin disciplines of carrion ecology and forensic entomology. As a novel case of multiple independent discovery, we chronicle how the disciplines of plant and carrion ecology (including forensic entomology) accumulated strikingly similar parallel histories and contributions...
March 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26434164/ecological-and-evolutionary-applications-for-environmental-sex-reversal-of-fish
#16
REVIEW
Alistair Mcnair, P Mark Lokman, Gerard P Closs, Shinichi Nakagawa
Environmental sex reversal (ESR), which results in a mismatch between genotypic and phenotypic sex, is well documented in numerous fish species and may be induced by chemical exposure. Historically, research involving piscine ESR has been carried out with a view to improving profitability in aquaculture or to elucidate the processes governing sex determination and sexual differentiation. However, recent studies in evolution and ecology suggest research on ESR now has much wider applications and ramifications...
March 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26434163/health-selection-theory-an-explanation-for-the-paradox-between-perceived-male-well-being-and-mortality
#17
REVIEW
Susan G Brown, Susan Shirachi, Danielle Zandbergen
Paradoxically, men report better health and quality of life than women, but men experience higher mortality rates than women at most ages. One conclusion from these findings is that men have been selected to disregard signs of ill health, or even to deceive themselves about their health, to their detriment because presenting themselves as healthy has fitness benefits. We hypothesize that men have been sexually selected to present themselves to women as healthy but that the cost of not attending to their minor health problems results in earlier mortality than women...
March 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26434162/foreword-ninety-years-ago-raymond-pearl-a-professor-of-biology-at-johns-hopkins-university
#18
Albert D Carlson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2015: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/25510079/where-does-cognition-occur-in-one-s-head-or-in-one-s-embodied-extended-environment
#19
Paul E Tibbetts
Turning points in science occur when an issue has reached maturity, when a critical mass of new facts cries out for a new synthesis, and when there is a general sense of urgency to reconsider basic assumptions" (von der Malsburg et al. 2010:xiii).
December 2014: Quarterly Review of Biology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/25510078/blood-bulbs-and-bunodonts-on-evolutionary-ecology-and-the-diets-of-ardipithecus-australopithecus-and-early-homo
#20
REVIEW
Ken Sayers, C Owen Lovejoy
Beginning with Darwin, some have argued that predation on other vertebrates dates to the earliest stages of hominid evolution, and can explain many uniquely human anatomical and behavioral characters. Other recent workers have focused instead on scavenging, or particular plant foods. Foraging theory suggests that inclusion of any food is influenced by its profitability and distribution within the consumer's habitat. The morphology and likely cognitive abilities of Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, and early Homo suggest that while hunting and scavenging occurred, their profitability generally would have been considerably lower than in extant primates and/or modern human hunter-gatherers...
December 2014: Quarterly Review of Biology
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