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Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society

Mark K L Wong, Benoit Guénard, Owen T Lewis
In focusing on how organisms' generalizable functional properties (traits) interact mechanistically with environments across spatial scales and levels of biological organization, trait-based approaches provide a powerful framework for attaining synthesis, generality and prediction. Trait-based research has considerably improved understanding of the assembly, structure and functioning of plant communities. Further advances in ecology may be achieved by exploring the trait-environment relationships of non-sessile, heterotrophic organisms such as terrestrial arthropods, which are geographically ubiquitous, ecologically diverse, and often important functional components of ecosystems...
December 13, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Michael Heads
The biota of New Caledonia is one of the most unusual in the world. It displays high diversity and endemism, many peculiar absences, and far-flung biogeographic affinities. For example, New Caledonia is the only place on Earth with both main clades of flowering plants - the endemic Amborella and 'all the rest', and it also has the highest concentration of diversity in conifers. The discovery of Amborella's phylogenetic position led to a surge of interest in New Caledonian biogeography, and new studies are appearing at a rapid rate...
December 6, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Byron B Lamont, Tianhua He, Zhaogui Yan
Fire has shaped the evolution of many plant traits in fire-prone environments: fire-resistant tissues with heat-insulated meristems, post-fire resprouting or fire-killed but regenerating from stored seeds, fire-stimulated flowering, release of on-plant-stored seeds, and germination of soil-stored seeds. Flowering, seed release and germination fit into three categories of response to intensifying fire: fire not required, weakly fire-adapted or strongly fire-adapted. Resprouting also has three categories but survival is always reduced by increasing fire intensity...
November 28, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Robin M Hare, Leigh W Simmons
For sexual selection to act on a given sex, there must exist variation in the reproductive success of that sex as a result of differential access to mates or fertilisations. The mechanisms and consequences of sexual selection acting on male animals are well documented, but research on sexual selection acting on females has only recently received attention. Controversy still exists over whether sexual selection acts on females in the traditional sense, and over whether to modify the existing definition of sexual selection (to include resource competition) or to invoke alternative mechanisms (usually social selection) to explain selection acting on females in connection with reproduction...
November 28, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Margaret Byrne, Siegfried L Krauss, Melissa A Millar, Carole P Elliott, David J Coates, Colin Yates, Rachel M Binks, Paul Nevill, Heidi Nistelberger, Grant Wardell-Johnson, Todd Robinson, Ryonen Butcher, Matthew Barrett, Neil Gibson
The high species endemism characteristic of many of the world's terrestrial island systems provides a model for studying evolutionary patterns and processes, yet there has been no synthesis of studies to provide a systematic evaluation of terrestrial island systems in this context. The banded iron formations (BIFs) of south-western Australia are ancient terrestrial island formations occurring within a mosaic of alluvial clay soils, sandplains and occasional granite outcropping, across an old, gently undulating, highly weathered, plateau...
November 26, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
José María Gómez, Eugene W Schupp, Pedro Jordano
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 22, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Ananya Barui, Pallab Datta
Stem cells are a promising cell source for regenerative medicine due to their characteristics of self-renewal and differentiation. The intricate balance between these two cell fates is maintained by precisely controlled symmetric and asymmetric cell divisions. Asymmetric division has a fundamental importance in maintaining tissue homeostasis and in the development of multi-cellular organisms. For example, during development, asymmetric cell divisions are responsible for the formation of the body axis. Mechanistically, mitotic spindle dynamics determine the assembly and separation of chromosomes and regulate the orientation of cell division...
November 22, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Andrea J Reid, Andrew K Carlson, Irena F Creed, Erika J Eliason, Peter A Gell, Pieter T J Johnson, Karen A Kidd, Tyson J MacCormack, Julian D Olden, Steve J Ormerod, John P Smol, William W Taylor, Klement Tockner, Jesse C Vermaire, David Dudgeon, Steven J Cooke
In the 12 years since Dudgeon et al. (2006) reviewed major pressures on freshwater ecosystems, the biodiversity crisis in the world's lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams and wetlands has deepened. While lakes, reservoirs and rivers cover only 2.3% of the Earth's surface, these ecosystems host at least 9.5% of the Earth's described animal species. Furthermore, using the World Wide Fund for Nature's Living Planet Index, freshwater population declines (83% between 1970 and 2014) continue to outpace contemporaneous declines in marine or terrestrial systems...
November 22, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Martina Prazeres, Willem Renema
Large benthic Foraminifera (LBF) are major carbonate producers on coral reefs, and are hosts to a diverse symbiotic microbial community. During warm episodes in the geological past, these reef-building organisms expanded their geographical ranges as subtropical and tropical belts moved into higher latitudes. During these range-expansion periods, LBF were the most prolific carbonate producers on reefs, dominating shallow carbonate platforms over reef-building corals. Even though the fossil and modern distributions of groups of species that harbour different types of symbionts are known, the nature, mechanisms, and factors that influence their occurrence remain elusive...
November 18, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Carolann R Schack, Dennis P Gordon, Ken G Ryan
Modularity is a fundamental concept in biology. Most taxa within the colonial invertebrate phylum Bryozoa have achieved division of labour through the development of specialized modules (polymorphs), and this group is perhaps the most outstanding exemplar of the phenomenon. We provide a comprehensive description of the diversity, morphology and function of these polymorphs and the significance of modularity to the evolutionary success of the phylum, which has >21000 described fossil and living species. Modular diversity likely arose from heterogeneous microenvironmental conditions, and cormidia (repeated clusters of associated modules) are an emergent property of the cue thresholds governing zooid plasticity...
November 18, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Benjamin M Winger, Giorgia G Auteri, Teresa M Pegan, Brian C Weeks
This paper advances an hypothesis that the primary adaptive driver of seasonal migration is maintenance of site fidelity to familiar breeding locations. We argue that seasonal migration is therefore principally an adaptation for geographic persistence when confronted with seasonality - analogous to hibernation, freeze tolerance, or other organismal adaptations to cyclically fluctuating environments. These ideas stand in contrast to traditional views that bird migration evolved as an adaptive dispersal strategy for exploiting new breeding areas and avoiding competitors...
November 4, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Xiang-Yi Li, Hanna Kokko
Dispersal is ubiquitous throughout the tree of life: factors selecting for dispersal include kin competition, inbreeding avoidance and spatiotemporal variation in resources or habitat suitability. These factors differ in whether they promote male and female dispersal equally strongly, and often selection on dispersal of one sex depends on how much the other disperses. For example, for inbreeding avoidance it can be sufficient that one sex disperses away from the natal site. Attempts to understand sex-specific dispersal evolution have created a rich body of theoretical literature, which we review here...
October 24, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Maria R Depaoli, Jesse C Hay, Wolfgang F Graier, Roland Malli
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a functionally and morphologically complex cellular organelle largely responsible for a variety of crucial functions, including protein folding, maturation and degradation. Furthermore, the ER plays an essential role in lipid biosynthesis, dynamic Ca2+ storage, and detoxification. Malfunctions in ER-related processes are responsible for the genesis and progression of many diseases, such as heart failure, cancer, neurodegeneration and metabolic disorders. To fulfill many of its vital functions, the ER relies on a sufficient energy supply in the form of adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP), the main cellular energy source...
October 19, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Alessio Capobianco, Matt Friedman
Widespread fish clades that occur mainly or exclusively in fresh water represent a key target of biogeographical investigation due to limited potential for crossing marine barriers. Timescales for the origin and diversification of these groups are crucial tests of vicariant scenarios in which continental break-ups shaped modern geographic distributions. Evolutionary chronologies are commonly estimated through node-based palaeontological calibration of molecular phylogenies, but this approach ignores most of the temporal information encoded in the known fossil record of a given taxon...
October 19, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Yosef Kiat, Ido Izhaki, Nir Sapir
Although feathers are the unifying characteristic of all birds, our understanding of the causes, mechanisms, patterns and consequences of the feather moult process lags behind that of other major avian life-history phenomena such as reproduction and long-distance migration. Migration, which evolved in many species of the temperate and arctic zones, requires high energy expenditure to endure long-distance journeys. About a third of Western-Palearctic passerines perform long-distance migrations of thousands of kilometres each year using various morphological, physiological, biomechanical, behavioural and life-history adaptations...
October 18, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Rosalind K Humphreys, Graeme D Ruxton
Dropping is a common antipredator defence that enables rapid escape from a perceived threat. However, despite its immediate effectiveness in predator-prey encounters (and against other dangers such as a parasitoid or an aggressive conspecific), it remains an under-appreciated defence strategy in the scientific literature. Dropping has been recorded in a wide range of taxa, from primates to lizards, but has been studied most commonly in insects. Insects have been found to utilise dropping in response to both biotic and abiotic stimuli, sometimes dependent on mechanical or chemical cues...
October 9, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Allan Raffard, Frédéric Santoul, Julien Cucherousset, Simon Blanchet
Understanding the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has major implications. Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships are generally investigated at the interspecific level, although intraspecific diversity (i.e. within-species diversity) is increasingly perceived as an important ecological facet of biodiversity. Here, we provide a quantitative and integrative synthesis testing, across diverse plant and animal species, whether intraspecific diversity is a major driver of community dynamics and ecosystem functioning...
October 7, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Friederike C Bolam, Matthew J Grainger, Kerrie L Mengersen, Gavin B Stewart, William J Sutherland, Michael C Runge, Philip J K McGowan
Conservation decisions are challenging, not only because they often involve difficult conflicts among outcomes that people value, but because our understanding of the natural world and our effects on it is fraught with uncertainty. Value of Information (VoI) methods provide an approach for understanding and managing uncertainty from the standpoint of the decision maker. These methods are commonly used in other fields (e.g. economics, public health) and are increasingly used in biodiversity conservation. This decision-analytical approach can identify the best management alternative to select where the effectiveness of interventions is uncertain, and can help to decide when to act and when to delay action until after further research...
October 2, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Uroš Cerkvenik, Dimitra Dodou, Johan L van Leeuwen, Sander W S Gussekloo
Hemipterans, mosquitoes, and parasitic wasps probe in a variety of substrates to find hosts for their larvae or food sources. Probes capable of sensing and precise steering enable insects to navigate through solid substrates without visual information and to reach targets that are hidden deep inside the substrate. The probes belong to non-related taxa and originate from abdominal structures (wasps) or mouthparts (hemipterans and mosquitoes), but nevertheless share several morphological characteristics. Although the transport function clearly differs (egg laying and acquisition of liquid food), the functional demands on the mechanical behaviour of the probe within the substrate tend to be similar...
September 26, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Javier Sánchez-Hernández, Andy D Nunn, Colin E Adams, Per-Arne Amundsen
Ontogenetic dietary shifts (ODSs), the changes in diet utilisation occurring over the life span of an individual consumer, are widespread in the animal kingdom. Understanding ODSs provides fundamental insights into the biological and ecological processes that function at the individual, population and community levels, and is critical for the development and testing of hypotheses around key concepts in trophic theory on model organisms. Here, we synthesise historic and contemporary research on ODSs in fishes, and identify where further research is required...
September 24, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
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