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American Naturalist

Mikael Mokkonen, Esa Koskela, Tanya Procyshyn, Bernard Crespi
Evolutionary conflicts between males and females can manifest over sexually antagonistic interactions at loci or over sexually antagonistic interests within a locus. The latter form of conflict, intralocus sexual conflict, arises from sexually antagonistic selection and constrains the fitness of individuals through a phenotypic compromise. These conflicts, and socio-reproductive interactions in general, are commonly mediated by hormones, and thus predictive insights can be gained from studying their mediating effects...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Peter A Biro, Theodore Garland, Christa Beckmann, Beata Ujvari, Frederic Thomas, John R Post
Behavioral ecologists have hypothesized that among-individual differences in resting metabolic rate (RMR) may predict consistent individual differences in mean values for costly behaviors or for behaviors that affect energy intake rate. This hypothesis has empirical support and presently attracts considerable attention, but, notably, it does not provide predictions for individual differences in (a) behavioral plasticity or (b) unexplained variation (residual variation from mean individual behavior, here termed predictability)...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Andrew W Bateman, Arpat Ozgul, Martin Krkošek, Tim H Clutton-Brock
For highly social species, population dynamics depend on hierarchical demography that links local processes, group dynamics, and population growth. Here, we describe a stage-structured matrix model of hierarchical demography, which provides a framework for understanding social influences on population change. Our approach accounts for dispersal and affords insight into population dynamics at multiple scales. The method has close parallels to integral projection models but focuses on a discrete characteristic (group size)...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Kathrin Näpflin, Paul Schmid-Hempel
The microbiome, especially the gut flora, is known to affect the interaction between parasites and their hosts. In this context, a parasitic infection can be viewed as an invasion into the preexisting microbial ecological community. Hence, in addition to the intrinsic defense mechanisms of the host itself, infection success depends on the colonization resistance of the microbiota. In the bumblebee Bombus terrestris, the microbiota provides resistance to the intestinal parasite Crithidia bombi, yet which properties actually provide protection remains largely unknown...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Tracey Chapman
Sexual conflict is acknowledged as pervasive, with the potential to generate and maintain genetic variation. Mechanistic studies of conflict have been important in providing direct evidence for the existence of sexual conflict. They have also led to the growing realization that there is a striking phenotypic diversity of adaptations whose evolution can be shaped by sexually antagonistic selection. The mechanisms involved range from the use of genital spines, claspers, songs, and smells to ejaculate molecules...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Camilo Sanín, Robert P Anderson
Understanding how abiotic, biotic, and historical factors shape species distributions remains a central question in ecology, but studies linking biotic factors to continental-scale patterns remain scarce. Here, we present a novel framework for simultaneously testing patterns expected when abiotic, biotic, or historical factors drive species range limits. We use ecological niche models to produce empirical estimates of the "biotic, abiotic, and movement" paradigm (BAM diagrams), which previously has been used only theoretically...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Nina Gerber, Isobel Booksmythe, Hanna Kokko
Adaptive explanations for dormancy often invoke bet hedging, where reduced mean fitness can be adaptive if it associates with reduced fitness variance. Sex allocation theory typically ignores variance effects and focuses on mean fitness. For many cyclical parthenogens, these themes become linked, as only sexually produced eggs undergo the dormancy needed to survive harsh conditions. We ask how sex allocation and the timing of sex evolve when this constraint exists in the form of a trade-off between asexual reproduction and sexual production of dormant eggs-the former being crucial for within-season success and the latter for survival across seasons...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Michael J Song, Sarah Schaack
The proportion of eukaryotic genomes composed of active or formerly active mobile elements (MEs) is known to vary widely across lineages, but the explanations for why remain largely unknown. Given that ME activity, like other forms of mutation, is thought to be (on average) slightly deleterious in terms of phenotypic effects, understanding the widespread proliferation of MEs in host genomes requires an evolutionary framework. To better develop such a framework, we review the spectrum of resolutions to the genetic conflict between MEs and their hosts: inactivation of MEs due to mutation accumulation, negative selection (or lack thereof) against hosts with high ME loads, silencing of MEs (by hosts or MEs), ME domestication by their hosts, and the horizontal transfer of MEs to new hosts...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Luis M San-Jose, Alexandre Roulin
Melanin is the most widespread pigment in organisms. Melanin-based coloration has been repeatedly observed to be associated with the same traits and in the same direction in different vertebrate and insect species. However, whether any factors that are common to different taxa account for the repeated evolution of melanin-phenotype associations remains unclear. We propose to approach this question from the perspective of convergent and parallel evolution to clarify to what extent different species have evolved the same associations owing to a shared genetic basis and being subjected to similar selective pressures...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Allison G Dedrick, Marissa L Baskett
Connectivity among populations can have counteracting effects on population stability. Demographically, connectivity can rescue local populations but increase the synchrony across populations. Genetically, connectivity can counteract drift locally but homogenize genotypes across populations. Population independence and diversity underlies system-level buffering against environmental variability, termed the portfolio effect. The portfolio effect has declined in California fall-run Chinook salmon, possibly in part because of the trucking of juvenile hatchery-reared fish for downstream release, which reduces juvenile mortality but increases the connectivity between rivers...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Ryan A Folk, Clayton J Visger, Pamela S Soltis, Douglas E Soltis, Robert P Guralnick
Elucidating the dynamic distribution of organismal lineages has been central to biology since the nineteenth century, yet the difficulty of combining biogeographic methods with shifts in habitat suitability remains a limitation. This integration, however, is critical to understanding geographic distributions, present and past, as well as the time-extended trajectories of lineages. Here, we link previous advances in phyloclimatic modeling to develop a framework that overcomes existing methodological gaps by predicting potential ecological and geographic overlap directly from estimated ancestral trait distributions...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Simone Immler, Sarah P Otto
As an immediate consequence of sexual reproduction, biphasic life cycles with alternating diploid and haploid phases are a common characteristic of sexually reproducing eukaryotes. Much of our focus in evolutionary biology has been directed toward dynamics in diploid or haploid populations, but we rarely consider selection occurring during both phases when studying evolutionary processes. One of the reasons for this apparent omission is the fact that many flowering plants and metazoans are predominantly diploid with a very short haploid gametic phase...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Gita Benadi, Robert J Gegear
Most pollinators have the foraging flexibility to visit a wide variety of plant species. Yet few studies of pollinator-mediated processes in plants have considered the effects of variation in individual foraging patterns on plant reproductive success. In this study, we use an individual-based model of pollinator foraging economics to predict how visitation rates and pollination success of two coflowering plant species change with their frequency (relative abundance). Whereas previous studies suggested that adaptive foraging of pollinators always favors pollination of abundant plant species (positive frequency dependence), here we show that under certain conditions the per capita pollination success of a rare plant species can exceed that of a more abundant species...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Locke Rowe, Stephen F Chenoweth, Aneil F Agrawal
Sexual dimorphism is a substantial contributor to the diversity observed in nature, extending from elaborate traits to the expression level of individual genes. Sexual conflict and sexually antagonistic coevolution are thought to be central forces driving the dimorphism of the sexes and its diversity. We have substantial data to support this at the phenotypic level but much less at the genetic level, where distinguishing the role of conflict from other forms of sex-biased selection and from other processes is challenging...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Frederick R Adler, Sean Quinonez, Nicola Plowes, Eldridge S Adams
Territory size in social insects depends on the rules by which border conflicts are resolved. We present three mechanistic mathematical models of conflict, inspired by the behavior of the pavement ant Tetramorium immigrans, to predict the advantage of larger colonies in pairwise contests and the resulting scaling of territory size with worker force. The models track the number of ants in the nest traveling to and from the boundary or engaged at the boundary. Ants at the boundary base their recruitment response on the relative numbers of ants from the two colonies...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Troy Day, David V McLeod
Evolutionary conflicts arise when the fitness interests of interacting individuals differ. Well-known examples include sexual conflict between males and females and antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites. A common feature of such conflicts is that compensating evolutionary change in each of the parties can lead to little overt change in the interaction itself. As a result, evolutionary conflict is expected to persist even if the evolutionary dynamic between the parties reaches an equilibrium. In these cases, it is of interest to know whether certain kinds of interactions are expected to lead to greater or lesser evolutionary conflict at such evolutionary stalemates...
August 2018: American Naturalist
Barbara Taborsky, Mikko Heino, Ulf Dieckmann
Body size is a key determinant of mortality risk. In natural populations, a broad range of relationships are observed between body size and mortality, including positive and negative correlations. Previous evolutionary modeling has shown that negatively size-dependent mortality can result in life-history bistability, with early maturation at small size and late maturation at large size representing alternative fitness optima. Here we present a general analysis of conditions under which such life-history bistabilities can occur, reporting the following findings...
July 2018: American Naturalist
Jeremy J Heath, Patrick Abbot, John O Stireman
Most studies of adaptive radiation in animals focus on resource competition as the primary driver of trait divergence. The roles of other ecological interactions in shaping divergent phenotypes during such radiations have received less attention. We evaluate natural enemies as primary agents of diversifying selection on the phenotypes of an actively diverging lineage of gall midges on tall goldenrod. In this system, the gall of the midge consists of a biotrophic fungal symbiont that develops on host-plant leaves and forms distinctly variable protective carapaces over midge larvae...
July 2018: American Naturalist
Rowan A Lymbery, W Jason Kennington, Jonathan P Evans
The widespread prevalence of sperm competition means that ejaculates face intense sexual selection. However, prior investigations of sexual selection on gametes have been hampered by two difficulties: (1) deriving estimates of relative fitness from sperm competition trials that are comparable across rival male and female genotypes and (2) obtaining measures of competitive fertilization success that are not confounded by postzygotic effects. Here, we exploit the experimental tractability of a broadcast spawning marine invertebrate to overcome these challenges and characterize multivariate sexual selection on sperm traits when multiple ejaculates compete...
July 2018: American Naturalist
Dori McCombe, Josef D Ackerman
Particle capture is important for ecological processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The current model is based on a stationary collector for which predictions about capture efficiency (η; flux of captured particles ∶ flux of particles) are based on the collector flow environment (i.e., collector Reynolds number, Rec ; inertial force ∶ viscous force). This model does not account for the movement of collectors in nature. We examined the effect of collector motion (transverse and longitudinal to the flow) on η using a cylindrical model in the lab and the grass species Phleum pratense in the field...
July 2018: American Naturalist
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