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American Naturalist

David Berger, Ivain Martinossi-Allibert, Karl Grieshop, Martin I Lind, Alexei A Maklakov, Göran Arnqvist
The evolution of male traits that inflict direct harm on females during mating interactions can result in a so-called tragedy of the commons, where selfish male strategies depress population viability. This tragedy of the commons can be magnified by intralocus sexual conflict (IaSC) whenever alleles that reduce fecundity when expressed in females spread in the population because of their benefits in males. We evaluated this prediction by detailed phenotyping of 73 isofemale lines of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Kevin Gross, Andrew Snyder-Beattie
Latitudinal and elevational biodiversity gradients fascinate ecologists, and have inspired dozens of explanations. The geometry of the abiotic environment is sometimes thought to contribute to these gradients, yet evaluations of geometric explanations are limited by a fragmented understanding of the diversity patterns they predict. This article presents a mathematical model that synthesizes multiple pathways by which environmental geometry can drive diversity gradients. The model characterizes species ranges by their environmental niches and limits on range sizes and places those ranges onto the simplified geometries of a sphere or cone...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Bradley C Allf, Paul A P Durst, David W Pfennig
Environmentally induced behavior (behavioral plasticity) has long been hypothesized to promote the origins of novel morphological traits, but this idea remains controversial. One context in which this hypothesis can be evaluated is animal communication, where behavior and morphology are often linked. Here, we examined the evolution of one of nature's most spectacular communication signals: the rattlesnake rattle. We specifically evaluated whether rattlesnake rattling behavior-and, hence, the rattle-originated from a simple behavior: vibrating the tail when threatened...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Yun Tao, Luca Börger, Alan Hastings
Home range sizes of territorial animals are often observed to vary periodically in response to seasonal changes in foraging opportunities. Here we develop the first mechanistic model focused on the temporal dynamics of home range expansion and contraction in territorial animals. We demonstrate how simple movement principles can lead to a rich suite of range size dynamics, by balancing foraging activity with defensive requirements and incorporating optimal behavioral rules into mechanistic home range analysis...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Andrew J Bibian, Jennifer A Rudgers, Tom E X Miller
Heritable symbioses are widespread and ecologically important. Many host organisms have complex life cycles that include diverse opportunities for symbionts to affect their host and be lost during development. Yet, existing theory takes a simplified view of host demography. Here, we generalize symbiosis theory to understand how demographic "storage" in the form of dormant or prereproductive life stages can modify symbiosis dynamics. Using grass-endophyte symbioses as context, we developed models to contrast the role of the seed bank (a storage stage) against the reproductive stage in symbiont persistence and prevalence...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Holly L Hennin, Jöel Bêty, Pierre Legagneux, H Grant Gilchrist, Tony D Williams, Oliver P Love
The influence of variation in individual state on key reproductive decisions impacting fitness is well appreciated in evolutionary ecology. Rowe et al. (1994) developed a condition-dependent individual optimization model predicting that three key factors impact the ability of migratory female birds to individually optimize breeding phenology to maximize fitness in seasonal environments: arrival condition, arrival date, and ability to gain in condition on the breeding grounds. While empirical studies have confirmed that greater arrival body mass and earlier arrival dates result in earlier laying, no study has assessed whether individual variation in energetic management of condition gain effects this key fitness-related decision...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Roslyn C Henry, Aurélie Coulon, Justin M J Travis
Sex-biased natal dispersal is widespread, and its significance remains a central question in evolutionary biology. However, theory so far fails to predict some of the most common patterns found in nature. To address this, we present novel results from an individual-based model investigating the joint roles of inbreeding load, demographic stochasticity, environmental stochasticity, and dispersal costs for the evolution of sex-biased dispersal. Most strikingly, we found that male-biased natal dispersal evolved in polygynous systems as a result of the interplay between inbreeding avoidance and stochasticity, whereas previous theory, in contrast to empirical observations, predicted male philopatry and female-biased natal dispersal under inbreeding load alone...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Rudolf P Rohr, Serguei Saavedra, Guadalupe Peralta, Carol M Frost, Louis-Félix Bersier, Jordi Bascompte, Jason M Tylianakis
Understanding the effects of biodiversity on community persistence and productivity is key to managing both natural and production systems. Because rare species face greater danger of extinction, species evenness, a measure of how similar abundances are across species in a community, is seen as a key component of biodiversity. However, previous studies have failed to find a consistent association of species evenness with species survival and biomass production. Here we provide a theoretical framework for the relationship among these three elements...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Benjamin Yguel, Hervé Jactel, Ian S Pearse, Daniel Moen, Marten Winter, Joaquin Hortal, Matthew R Helmus, Ingolf Kühn, Sandrine Pavoine, Oliver Purschke, Evan Weiher, Cyrille Violle, Wim Ozinga, Martin Brändle, Igor Bartish, Andreas Prinzing
Theory suggests that the structure of evolutionary history represented in a species community may affect its functioning, but phylogenetic diversity metrics do not allow for the identification of major differences in this structure. Here we propose a new metric, ELDERness (for Evolutionary Legacy of DivERsity) to estimate evolutionary branching patterns within communities by fitting a polynomial function to lineage-through-time (LTT) plots. We illustrate how real and simulated community branching patterns can be more correctly described by ELDERness and can successfully predict ecosystem functioning...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Sean Hoban, Joanna L Kelley, Katie E Lotterhos, Michael F Antolin, Gideon Bradburd, David B Lowry, Mary L Poss, Laura K Reed, Andrew Storfer, Michael C Whitlock
Uncovering the genetic and evolutionary basis of local adaptation is a major focus of evolutionary biology. The recent development of cost-effective methods for obtaining high-quality genome-scale data makes it possible to identify some of the loci responsible for adaptive differences among populations. Two basic approaches for identifying putatively locally adaptive loci have been developed and are broadly used: one that identifies loci with unusually high genetic differentiation among populations (differentiation outlier methods) and one that searches for correlations between local population allele frequencies and local environments (genetic-environment association methods)...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Kevin D Lafferty, Thomas H Suchanek
"Food Web Complexity and Species Diversity" (Paine 1966) is the most-cited empirical article published in the American Naturalist. In short, Paine removed predatory sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus) from the rocky intertidal and watched the key prey species, mussels (Mytilus californianus), crowd out seven subordinate primary space-holding species. However, because these mussels are a foundational species, they provide three-dimensional habitat for over 300 associated species inhabiting the mussel beds; thus, removing sea stars significantly increases community-wide diversity...
October 2016: American Naturalist
Robert D Holt
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: American Naturalist
Glauco Machado, Bruno A Buzatto, Solimary García-Hernández, Rogelio Macías-Ordóñez
Abiotic factors exert direct and indirect influences on behavioral, morphological, and life-history traits. Because some of these traits are related to reproduction, there is a causal link between climatic conditions and the expression of reproductive traits. This link allows us to generate predictions on how reproductive traits vary in large geographic scales. Here we formalize this macroecological framework, present some general predictions, and explore empirical examples using harvestmen as study organisms...
September 2016: American Naturalist
Fabiane M Mundim, Emilio M Bruna
Climate change can drive major shifts in community composition and interactions between resident species. However, the magnitude of these changes depends on the type of interactions and the biome in which they take place. We review the existing conceptual framework for how climate change will influence tropical plant-herbivore interactions and formalize a similar framework for the temperate zone. We then conduct the first biome-specific tests of how plant-herbivore interactions change in response to climate-driven changes in temperature, precipitation, ambient CO2, and ozone...
September 2016: American Naturalist
Michael Kaspari, Jennifer S Powers
Biogeochemistry is a key but relatively neglected part of the abiotic template that underlies ecology. The template has a geography, one that is increasingly being rearranged in this era of global change. Justus von Liebig's law of the minimum has played a useful role in focusing attention on biogeochemical regulation of populations, but given that ∼25+ elements are required to build organisms and that these organisms use and deplete nutrients in aggregates of communities and ecosystems, we make the case that it is time to move on...
September 2016: American Naturalist
Kelly R Zamudio, Rayna C Bell, Renato C Nali, Célio F B Haddad, Cynthia P A Prado
Frog reproductive modes are complex phenotypes that include egg/clutch characteristics, oviposition site, larval development, and sometimes, parental care. Two evident patterns in the evolution of these traits are the higher diversity of reproductive modes in the tropics and the apparent progression from aquatic to terrestrial reproduction, often attributed to higher fitness resulting from decreased predation on terrestrial eggs and tadpoles. Here, we propose that sexual selection-and not only natural selection due to predation-favors terrestrial breeding by reducing the loss of fitness due to polyandry...
September 2016: American Naturalist
Bridget J M Stutchbury, Raafia Siddiqui, Kelly Applegate, Glen T Hvenegaard, Paul Mammenga, Nanette Mickle, Myrna Pearman, James D Ray, Anne Savage, Tim Shaheen, Kevin C Fraser
New discoveries from direct tracking of temperate-breeding passerines show that intratropical migration (ITM) occurs in a growing number of species, which has important implications for understanding their evolution of migration, population dynamics, and conservation needs. Our large sample size ([Formula: see text]) for purple martins (Progne subis subis) tracked with geolocators to winter sites in Brazil, combined with geolocator deployments at breeding colonies across North America, allowed us to test hypotheses for ITM, something which has not yet been possible to do for other species...
September 2016: American Naturalist
Marlene Zuk
Scientists have been observing the natural world for centuries and have long been intrigued by the high biodiversity and complexity of the tropics. They also usually had North American or European-in other words, outsider-perspectives and frequently concluded that the tropics were qualitatively different from the temperate regions in their ecology, evolution, and behavior. In particular, the tropics were seen as having a more benign abiotic environment, which in turn fostered more complex biotic relationships, with increased competition and other interactions...
September 2016: American Naturalist
Rebecca Dean, Judith E Mank
Genetic correlations between males and females are often thought to constrain the evolution of sexual dimorphism. However, sexually dimorphic traits and the underlying sexually dimorphic gene expression patterns are often rapidly evolving. We explore this apparent paradox by measuring the genetic correlation in gene expression between males and females (Cmf) across broad evolutionary timescales, using two RNA-sequencing data sets spanning multiple populations and multiple species. We find that unbiased genes have higher Cmf than sex-biased genes, consistent with intersexual genetic correlations constraining the evolution of sexual dimorphism...
September 2016: American Naturalist
Galen Holt, Peter Chesson
The maintenance of species diversity occurs at the regional scale but depends on interacting processes at the full range of lower scales. Although there is a long history of study of regional diversity as an emergent property, analyses of fully multiscale dynamics are rare. Here, we use scale transition theory for a quantitative analysis of multiscale diversity maintenance with continuous scales of dispersal and environmental variation in space and time. We develop our analysis with a model of a linear habitat, applicable to streams or coastlines, to provide a theoretical foundation for the long-standing interest in environmental variation and dispersal, including downstream drift...
September 2016: American Naturalist
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