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Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Lesley T Lancaster, Rachael Y Dudaniec, Bengt Hansson, Erik I Svensson
Species exhibiting colour-polymorphism are thought to have an ecological advantage at the landscape scale, because spatial segregation of alternatively-adapted ecotypes into diverse habitats can increase the total species' niche breadth and thus confer greater geographic range size. However, morph frequencies are also influenced by intra-populational processes such as frequency- or density-dependent social interactions. To identify how social feedback may affect clinal variation in morph frequencies, we investigated reciprocal interactions between morph-specific thermal tolerance, local climatic conditions, and social environments, in the context of a colour-morph frequency cline associated with a recent range expansion in blue-tailed damselflies (Ischnura elegans) in Sweden...
January 6, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Christoph Vorburger, Jenny Herzog, Romain Rouchet
Specialization on different host plants can promote evolutionary diversification of herbivorous insects. Work on pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) has contributed significantly to the understanding of this process, demonstrating that populations associated with different host plants exhibit performance trade-offs across hosts, show adaptive host choice and genetic differentiation, and possess different communities of bacterial endosymbionts. Populations specialized on different secondary host plants during the parthenogenetic summer generations are also described for the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae complex) and are usually treated as different (morphologically cryptic) subspecies...
January 5, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Brian D Connelly, Eric L Bruger, Philip K McKinley, Christopher M Waters
Cooperation is abundant in nature, occurring at all levels of biological complexity. Yet cooperation is continually threatened by subversion from non-cooperating cheaters. Previous studies have shown that cooperation can nevertheless be maintained when the benefits that cooperation provides to relatives outweigh the associated costs. These fitness costs and benefits are not fixed properties, but can be affected by the environment in which populations reside. Here, we describe how one environmental factor, resource abundance, decisively affects the evolution of cooperative public goods production in two independent evolving systems...
December 30, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
M Polačik, C Smith, M Reichard
Organisms inhabiting unpredictable environments often evolve diversified reproductive bet-hedging strategies, expressed as production of multiple offspring phenotypes, thereby avoiding complete reproductive failure. To cope with unpredictable rainfall, African annual killifish from temporary savannah pools lay drought-resistant eggs that vary widely in the duration of embryo development. We examined the sources of variability in the duration of individual embryo development, egg production and fertilization rate in Nothobranchius furzeri...
December 30, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Yuexin Jiang, Catherine L Peichel, Fei Ling, Daniel I Bolnick
Gene flow is widely thought to homogenize spatially separate populations, eroding effects of divergent selection. The resulting theory of 'migration-selection balance' is predicated on a common assumption that all genotypes are equally prone to dispersal. If instead certain genotypes are disproportionately likely to disperse, then migration can actually promote population divergence. For example, previous work has shown that threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) differ in their propensity to move up- or down-stream ('rheotactic response'), which may facilitate genetic divergence between adjoining lake and stream populations of stickleback...
December 28, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
James Rapkin, Kim Jensen, Clarissa M House, Scott K Sakaluk, John K Sakaluk, John Hunt
The condition-dependence of male sexual traits plays a central role in sexual selection theory. Relatively little, however, is known about the condition-dependence of chemical signals used in mate choice and their subsequent effects on male mating success. Furthermore, few studies have isolated the specific nutrient(s) responsible for condition-dependent variation in male sexual traits. Here we used Nutritional Geometry to determine the effect of protein (P) and carbohydrate (C) intake on male cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) expression and mating success in male decorated crickets (Gryllodes sigillatus)...
December 28, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Robert Poulin, Gerardo Pérez-Ponce de León
The ubiquity of genetically distinct, cryptic species is limiting any attempt to estimate local or global biodiversity as well as impeding efforts to conserve species or control pests and diseases. Environmental factors or biological traits promoting rapid diversification into morphologically similar species remain unclear. Here, using a meta-analysis of 1230 studies using DNA sequences to search for cryptic diversity in metazoan taxa, we test two hypotheses regarding the frequency of cryptic taxa based on mode of life and habitat...
December 27, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Sarah E Kingston, Thomas L Parchman, Zachariah Gompert, C Alex Buerkle, Michael J Braun
The maintenance or breakdown of reproductive isolation are observable outcomes of secondary contact between species. In cases where hybrids beyond the F1 are formed, the representation of each species' ancestry can vary dramatically among genomic regions. This genomic heterogeneity in ancestry and introgression can offer insight into evolutionary processes, particularly if introgression is compared in multiple hybrid zones. Similarly, considerable heterogeneity exists across the genome in the extent to which populations and species have diverged, reflecting the combined effects of different evolutionary processes on genetic variation...
December 23, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Simon Baeckens, Raoul Van Damme, William E Cooper
The chemical senses are crucial for squamates (lizards and snakes). The extent to which squamates utilize their chemosensory system, however, varies greatly among taxa and species' foraging strategies, and played an influential role in squamate evolution. In lizards, Scleroglossa evolved a state where species use chemical cues to search for food (active-foragers), while Iguania retained the use of vision to hunt prey (ambush-foragers). However, such strict dichotomy is flawed since shifts in foraging modes have occurred in all clades...
December 23, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Audrey Bourret, Marc Bélisle, Fanie Pelletier, Dany Garant
Despite accumulating examples of selection acting on heritable traits in the wild, predicted evolutionary responses are often different from observed phenotypic trends. Various explanations have been suggested for these mismatches. These include within-individual changes across lifespan that can create important variation in genetic architecture of traits and selection acting on them, but also potential problems with the methodological approach used to predict evolutionary responses of traits. Here, we used an 8-year dataset on Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) to first assess the effects of differences among three nestling life-history stages on the genetic (co)variances of two morphological traits (body mass and primary feather length) and the selection acting on them over three generations...
December 21, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Kimberly J Gilbert, Michael C Whitlock
Range expansions are complex evolutionary and ecological processes. From an evolutionary standpoint, a populations' adaptive capacity can determine the success or failure of expansion. Using individual-based simulations we model range expansion over a two-dimensional, approximately continuous landscape. We investigate the ability of populations to adapt across patchy environmental gradients and examine how the effect sizes of mutations influence the ability to adapt to novel environments during range expansion...
December 19, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Koichi Ito, John M McNamara, Atsushi Yamauchi, Andrew D Higginson
Cooperative interactions among individuals are ubiquitous despite the possibility of exploitation by selfish free-riders. One mechanism that may promote cooperation is "negotiation": individuals altering their behaviour in response to the behaviour of others. Negotiating individuals decide their actions through a recursive process of reciprocal observation, thereby reducing the possibility of free-riding. Evolutionary games with response rules have shown that infinitely many forms of the rule can be evolutionarily stable simultaneously, unless there is variation in individual quality...
December 17, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Ruairi Donnelly, Andy White, Mike Boots
Host are typically challenged by multiple parasites, but to date theory on the evolution of resistance has mainly focused on single infections. We develop a series of models that examine the impact of multiple parasites on the evolution of resistance under the assumption that parasites coexist at the host population scale as a consequence of superinfection. In this way we are able to explicitly examine the impact of ecological dynamics on the evolutionary outcome. We use our models to address a key question of how host lifespan affects investment in resistance to multiple parasites...
December 16, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Stephen H Montgomery, Richard M Merrill
During speciation across ecological gradients diverging populations are exposed to contrasting sensory and spatial information that present new behavioural and perceptive challenges. These challenges may be met by heritable or environmentally-induced changes in brain function which mediate behaviour. However, few studies have investigated patterns of neural divergence at the early stages of speciation, inhibiting our understanding of the relative importance of these processes. Here, we provide a novel case study...
December 16, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
S N Gershman, H D Rundle
Although it is advantageous for males to express costly sexually selected signals when females are present, they may also benefit from suppressing these signals to avoid costly interactions with rival males. Cuticular chemical profiles frequently function as insect sexual signals; however, few studies have asked whether males alter these signals in response to their social environment. In Drosophila serrata, an Australian fly, there is sexual selection for a multivariate combination of male cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs)...
December 16, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
B C Genevcius, D S Caetano, C F Schwertner
Despite claims that genitalia are among the fastest evolving phenotypes, few studies have tested this trend in a quantitative and phylogenetic framework. In systems where male and female genitalia coevolve, there is a growing effort to explore qualitative patterns of evolution and their underlying mechanisms, but the temporal aspect remains overlooked. An intriguing question is how fast male and female genitalia may change in a coevolutionary scenario. Here, we apply a series of comparative phylogenetic analyses to reveal a scenario of correlated evolution and to investigate how fast male and female external, nonhomologous and functionally integrated genitalia change in a group of stink bugs...
December 16, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Joana Bernardes, Rike B Stelkens, Duncan Greig
The performance of hybrids relative to their parents is an important factor in speciation research. We measured the growth of 46 Saccharomyces yeast F1 inter-specific and intra-specific hybrids, relative to the growth of each of their parents, in pairwise competition assays. We found that the growth of a hybrid relative to the average of its parents, a measure of mid-parent heterosis, correlated with the difference in parental growth relative to their hybrid, a measure of phenotypic divergence, which is consistent with simple complementation of low fitness alleles in one parent by high fitness alleles in the other...
December 9, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
E D Burress, J M Holcomb, M Tan, J W Armbruster
Ecological opportunity is often regarded as a key factor that explains why diversity is unevenly distributed across life. Colonization of novel environments or adaptive zones may promote diversification. North American minnows exhibit an ancestral benthic-to-pelagic habitat shift that coincided with a burst in diversification. Here, we evaluate the phenotypic and ecological implications of this habitat shift by assessing craniofacial and dietary traits among 34 species and testing for morphology-diet covariation, convergence and adaptive optima...
December 7, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
C J Weadick, R J Sommer
Characterizing the genetic basis of among-species variation in lifespan is a major goal of evolutionary gerontology research, but the very feature that defines separate species - the inability to interbreed - makes achieving this goal impractical, if not impossible, for most taxa. Pristionchus nematodes provide an intriguing system for tackling this problem, as female lifespan varies among species that can be crossed to form viable (although infertile) hybrids. By conducting reciprocal crosses among three species - two dioecious (long-lived Pristionchus exspectatus and short-lived Pristionchus arcanus) and one androdioecious (short-lived Pristionchus pacificus) - we found that female lifespan was long for all hybrids, consistent with the hypothesis that the relatively short lifespans seen for P...
November 28, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
F C Almeida, R DeSalle
Accessory gland proteins (Acps) are part of the seminal fluid of male Drosophila flies. Some Acps have exceptionally high evolutionary rates and evolve under positive selection. Proper interactions between Acps and female reproductive molecules are essential for fertilization. These observations lead to suggestions that fast evolving Acps could be involved in speciation by promoting reproductive incompatibilities between emerging species. To test this hypothesis, we used population genetics data for three sibling species: D...
November 24, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
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