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Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society

Stefan Mogk, Christian M Boßelmann, Celestin N Mudogo, Jasmin Stein, Hartwig Wolburg, Michael Duszenko
African trypanosomes induce sleeping sickness. The parasites are transmitted during the blood meal of a tsetse fly and appear primarily in blood and lymph vessels, before they enter the central nervous system. During the latter stage, trypanosomes induce a deregulation of sleep-wake cycles and some additional neurological disorders. Historically, it was assumed that trypanosomes cross the blood-brain barrier and settle somewhere between the brain cells. The brain, however, is a strictly controlled and immune-privileged area that is completely surrounded by a dense barrier that covers the blood vessels: this is the blood-brain barrier...
October 14, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Kurt B Petersen, Martin Burd
The primitive land plant life cycle featured the production of spores of unimodal size, a condition called homospory. The evolution of bimodal size distributions with small male spores and large female spores, known as heterospory, was an innovation that occurred repeatedly in the history of land plants. The importance of desiccation-resistant spores for colonization of the land is well known, but the adaptive value of heterospory has never been well established. It was an addition to a sexual life cycle that already involved male and female gametes...
October 11, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Johan Asplund, David A Wardle
Lichens occur in most terrestrial ecosystems; they are often present as minor contributors, but in some forests, drylands and tundras they can make up most of the ground layer biomass. As such, lichens dominate approximately 8% of the Earth's land surface. Despite their potential importance in driving ecosystem biogeochemistry, the influence of lichens on community processes and ecosystem functioning have attracted relatively little attention. Here, we review the role of lichens in terrestrial ecosystems and draw attention to the important, but often overlooked role of lichens as determinants of ecological processes...
October 11, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Joseph A LaManna, Thomas E Martin
Understanding the causes underlying changes in species diversity is a fundamental pursuit of ecology. Animal species richness and composition often change with decreased forest structural complexity associated with logging. Yet differences in latitude and forest type may strongly influence how species diversity responds to logging. We performed a meta-analysis of logging effects on local species richness and composition of birds across the world and assessed responses by different guilds (nesting strata, foraging strata, diet, and body size)...
October 10, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Eduardo S A Santos, Pedro P Bueno, James D J Gilbert, Glauco Machado
The intensity of biotic interactions varies around the world, in such a way that mortality risk imposed by natural enemies is usually higher in the tropics. A major role of offspring attendance is protection against natural enemies, so the benefits of this behaviour should be higher in tropical regions. We tested this macroecological prediction with a meta-regression of field experiments in which the mortality of guarded and unguarded broods was compared in arthropods. Mortality of unguarded broods was higher, and parental care was more beneficial, in warmer, less seasonal environments...
October 10, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Glenn J Tattersall, Bassel Arnaout, Matthew R E Symonds
The avian bill is a textbook example of how evolution shapes morphology in response to changing environments. Bills of seed-specialist finches in particular have been the focus of intense study demonstrating how climatic fluctuations acting on food availability drive bill size and shape. The avian bill also plays an important but under-appreciated role in body temperature regulation, and therefore in energetics. Birds are endothermic and rely on numerous mechanisms for balancing internal heat production with biophysical constraints of the environment...
October 7, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Maris Hindrikson, Jaanus Remm, Malgorzata Pilot, Raquel Godinho, Astrid Vik Stronen, Laima Baltrūnaité, Sylwia D Czarnomska, Jennifer A Leonard, Ettore Randi, Carsten Nowak, Mikael Åkesson, José Vicente López-Bao, Francisco Álvares, Luis Llaneza, Jorge Echegaray, Carles Vilà, Janis Ozolins, Dainis Rungis, Jouni Aspi, Ladislav Paule, Tomaž Skrbinšek, Urmas Saarma
The grey wolf (Canis lupus) is an iconic large carnivore that has increasingly been recognized as an apex predator with intrinsic value and a keystone species. However, wolves have also long represented a primary source of human-carnivore conflict, which has led to long-term persecution of wolves, resulting in a significant decrease in their numbers, genetic diversity and gene flow between populations. For more effective protection and management of wolf populations in Europe, robust scientific evidence is crucial...
September 28, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Andrea Romano, Alessandra Costanzo, Diego Rubolini, Nicola Saino, Anders Pape Møller
Sexual selection arises from competition among individuals for access to mates, resulting in the evolution of conspicuous sexually selected traits, especially when inter-sexual competition is mediated by mate choice. Different sexual selection regimes may occur among populations/subspecies within the same species. This is particularly the case when mate choice is based on multiple sexually selected traits. However, empirical evidence supporting this hypothesis at the among-populations level is scarce. We conducted a meta-analysis of the intensity of sexual selection on the largest database to date for a single species, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), relying on quantitative estimates of sexual selection...
September 12, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Paul S Maxwell, Johan S Eklöf, Marieke M van Katwijk, Katherine R O'Brien, Maricela de la Torre-Castro, Christoffer Boström, Tjeerd J Bouma, Dorte Krause-Jensen, Richard K F Unsworth, Brigitta I van Tussenbroek, Tjisse van der Heide
Seagrass meadows are vital ecosystems in coastal zones worldwide, but are also under global threat. One of the major hurdles restricting the success of seagrass conservation and restoration is our limited understanding of ecological feedback mechanisms. In these ecosystems, multiple, self-reinforcing feedbacks can undermine conservation efforts by masking environmental impacts until the decline is precipitous, or alternatively they can inhibit seagrass recovery in spite of restoration efforts. However, no clear framework yet exists for identifying or dealing with feedbacks to improve the management of seagrass ecosystems...
September 1, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Clara Malouines
Strong selection to secure paternity in polyandrous species leads to the evolution of numerous chemicals in the male's seminal content. These include antiaphrodisiac pheromones, which are transmitted from the male to the female during mating to render her unattractive to subsequent males. An increasing number of species have been shown to use these chemicals. Herein, I examine the taxonomic distribution of species using antiaphrodisiac pheromones, the selection pressures driving their evolution in both males and females, and the ecological interactions in which these pheromones are involved...
August 24, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Zofia F Bielecka, Kamila Maliszewska-Olejniczak, Ilan J Safir, Cezary Szczylik, Anna M Czarnecka
Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models are becoming increasingly popular in contemporary cancer research and drug resistance studies. Recently, scientists have begun incorporating cancer stem cells (CSCs) into 3D models and modifying culture components in order to mimic in vivo conditions better. Currently, the global cell culture market is primarily focused on either 3D cancer cell cultures or stem cell cultures, with less focus on CSCs. This is evident in the low product availability officially indicated for 3D CSC model research...
August 22, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Claudia Dislich, Alexander C Keyel, Jan Salecker, Yael Kisel, Katrin M Meyer, Mark Auliya, Andrew D Barnes, Marife D Corre, Kevin Darras, Heiko Faust, Bastian Hess, Stephan Klasen, Alexander Knohl, Holger Kreft, Ana Meijide, Fuad Nurdiansyah, Fenna Otten, Guy Pe'er, Stefanie Steinebach, Suria Tarigan, Merja H Tölle, Teja Tscharntke, Kerstin Wiegand
Oil palm plantations have expanded rapidly in recent decades. This large-scale land-use change has had great ecological, economic, and social impacts on both the areas converted to oil palm and their surroundings. However, research on the impacts of oil palm cultivation is scattered and patchy, and no clear overview exists. We address this gap through a systematic and comprehensive literature review of all ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations, including several (genetic, medicinal and ornamental resources, information functions) not included in previous systematic reviews...
August 11, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Simon W Townsend, Sonja E Koski, Richard W Byrne, Katie E Slocombe, Balthasar Bickel, Markus Boeckle, Ines Braga Goncalves, Judith M Burkart, Tom Flower, Florence Gaunet, Hans Johann Glock, Thibaud Gruber, David A W A M Jansen, Katja Liebal, Angelika Linke, Ádám Miklósi, Richard Moore, Carel P van Schaik, Sabine Stoll, Alex Vail, Bridget M Waller, Markus Wild, Klaus Zuberbühler, Marta B Manser
Language's intentional nature has been highlighted as a crucial feature distinguishing it from other communication systems. Specifically, language is often thought to depend on highly structured intentional action and mutual mindreading by a communicator and recipient. Whilst similar abilities in animals can shed light on the evolution of intentionality, they remain challenging to detect unambiguously. We revisit animal intentional communication and suggest that progress in identifying analogous capacities has been complicated by (i) the assumption that intentional (that is, voluntary) production of communicative acts requires mental-state attribution, and (ii) variation in approaches investigating communication across sensory modalities...
August 2, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
John N Maina
Among the extant air-breathing vertebrates, the avian respiratory system is structurally the most complex and functionally the most efficient gas exchanger. Having been investigated for over four centuries, some aspects of its biology have been extremely challenging and highly contentious and others still remain unresolved. Here, while assessing the most recent findings, four notable aspects of the structure and function of the avian respiratory system are examined critically to highlight the questions, speculations, controversies and debates that have arisen from past research...
July 28, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Rebecca E Koch, Chloe C Josefson, Geoffrey E Hill
Understanding the mechanisms that link ornamental displays and individual condition is key to understanding the evolution and function of ornaments. Immune function is an aspect of individual quality that is often associated with the expression of ornamentation, but a general explanation for why the expression of some ornaments seems to be consistently linked to immunocompetence remains elusive. We propose that condition-dependent ornaments may be linked to key aspects of immunocompetence through co-dependence on mitochondrial function...
July 25, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Scott C Burgess, Marissa L Baskett, Richard K Grosberg, Steven G Morgan, Richard R Strathmann
Recent syntheses on the evolutionary causes of dispersal have focused on dispersal as a direct adaptation, but many traits that influence dispersal have other functions, raising the question: when is dispersal 'for' dispersal? We review and critically evaluate the ecological causes of selection on traits that give rise to dispersal in marine and terrestrial organisms. In the sea, passive dispersal is relatively easy and specific morphological, behavioural, and physiological adaptations for dispersal are rare...
August 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Paul-Antoine Libourel, Anthony Herrel
Despite the ubiquitous nature of sleep, its functions remain a mystery. In an attempt to address this, many researchers have studied behavioural and electrophysiological phenomena associated with sleep in a diversity of animals. The great majority of vertebrates and invertebrates display a phase of immobility that could be considered as a sort of sleep. Terrestrial mammals and birds, both homeotherms, show two sleep states with distinct behavioural and electrophysiological features. However, whether these features have evolved independently in each clade or were inherited from a common ancestor remains unknown...
August 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Wilfredo A Matamoros, Christopher W Hoagstrom, Jacob F Schaefer, Brian R Kreiser
Although the conterminous USA has a long history of ichthyological exploration, the description of biogeographical provinces has been ad hoc. In this study we quantitatively determined fish faunal provinces and interpreted them in the context of the geological history of North America. We also evaluated influences of major river basin occupancy and contemporary environmental factors on provincial patterns. Our data set comprised 794 native fishes, which we used to generate a presence and absence matrix for U...
August 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Roman D Furrer, Gilberto Pasinelli
Assessing the role of local populations in a landscape context has become increasingly important in the fields of conservation biology and ecology. A growing number of studies attempt to determine the source-sink status of local populations. As the source-sink concept is commonly used for management decisions in nature conservation, accurate assessment approaches are crucial. Based on a systematic literature review of studies published between 2002 and 2013, we evaluated a priori predictions on methodological and biological factors that may influence the occurrence of source or sink populations...
August 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Dominik Thom, Rupert Seidl
In many parts of the world forest disturbance regimes have intensified recently, and future climatic changes are expected to amplify this development further in the coming decades. These changes are increasingly challenging the main objectives of forest ecosystem management, which are to provide ecosystem services sustainably to society and maintain the biological diversity of forests. Yet a comprehensive understanding of how disturbances affect these primary goals of ecosystem management is still lacking. We conducted a global literature review on the impact of three of the most important disturbance agents (fire, wind, and bark beetles) on 13 different ecosystem services and three indicators of biodiversity in forests of the boreal, cool- and warm-temperate biomes...
August 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
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