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Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Nicholas A Levis, Antonio Serrato-Capuchina, David W Pfennig
Ecological character displacement is considered crucial in promoting diversification, yet relatively little is known of its underlying mechanisms. We examined whether evolutionary shifts in gene expression plasticity ('genetic accommodation') mediate character displacement in spadefoot toads. Where Spea bombifrons and S. multiplicata occur separately in allopatry (the ancestral condition), each produces alternative, diet-induced, larval ecomorphs: omnivores, which eat detritus, and carnivores, which specialize on shrimp...
June 14, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Hoi-Yee Chu, Kathleen Sprouffske, Andreas Wagner
The benefits and detriments of recombination for adaptive evolution have been studied both theoretically and experimentally, with conflicting predictions and observations. Most pertinent experiments examine recombination's effects in an unchanging environment and do not study its genome-wide effects. Here we evolved six replicate populations of either highly recombining R(+) or lowly recombining R(-) E. coli strains in a changing environment, by introducing the novel nutrients L-arabinose or indole into the environment...
June 14, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Vicente García-Navas, Víctor Noguerales, Pedro J Cordero, Joaquín Ortego
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is widespread and variable in nature. Although female-biased SSD predominates among insects, the proximate ecological and evolutionary factors promoting this phenomenon remain largely unstudied. Here, we employ modern phylogenetic comparative methods on 8 subfamilies of Iberian grasshoppers (85 species) to examine the validity of different models of evolution of body size and SSD and explore how they are shaped by a suite of ecological variables (habitat specialization, substrate use, altitude) and/or constrained by different evolutionary pressures (female fecundity, strength of sexual selection, length of the breeding season)...
June 13, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Juntao Hu, Rowan D H Barrett
Rapid climate change produces a range of new selection pressures on natural populations. While populations may respond by shifting their geographical range or the timing of growth or reproduction; these strategies can be interrupted by habitat fragmentation, natural barriers, or an inadequate ability to keep pace with the speed and magnitude of climate change. As a result, many species are vulnerable to decline and extinction (Hoffmann & Sgrò, 2011). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved...
June 9, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Ane Marlene Myhre, Steinar Engen, Bernt-Erik Saether
Density dependence in vital rates is a key feature affecting temporal fluctuations of natural populations. This has important implications for the rate of random genetic drift. Mating systems also greatly affect effective population sizes, but knowledge of how mating system and density regulation interact to affect random genetic drift is poor. Using theoretical models and simulations, we compare Ne in short-lived, density dependent animal populations with different mating systems. We study the impact of a fluctuating, density dependent sex ratio and consider both a stable and a fluctuating environment...
June 8, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
W M C Jarvis, S M Comeau, S F Colborne, B W Robinson
Gene flow is expected to limit adaptive divergence but the ecological and behavioural factors that govern gene flow are still poorly understood, particularly at the earliest stages of population divergence. Reduced gene flow through mate choice (sexual isolation) can evolve even under conditions of subtle population divergence if intermediate phenotypes have reduced fitness. We indirectly tested the hypothesis that mate choice has evolved between coexisting littoral and pelagic ecotypes of polyphenic pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) that have diverged in morphology and resource use and where intermediate phenotypes have reduced performance...
June 7, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Kim Nadine Kirchhoff, Torsten Hauffe, Björn Stelbrink, Christian Albrecht, Thomas Wilke
Species richness in freshwater bony fishes depends on two main processes: the transition into and the diversification within freshwater habitats. In contrast to bony fishes, only few cartilaginous fishes, mostly stingrays (Myliobatoidei), were able to colonize fresh water. Respective transition processes have been mainly assessed from a physiological and morphological perspective, indicating that the freshwater lifestyle is strongly limited by the ability to perform osmoregulatory adaptations. However, the transition history and the effect of physiological constraints on the diversification in stingrays remain poorly understood...
June 7, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
M Rafajlović, D Kleinhans, C Gulliksson, J Fries, D Johansson, A Ardehed, L Sundqvist, R T Pereyra, B Mehlig, P R Jonsson, K Johannesson
In species reproducing both sexually and asexually clones are often more common in recently established populations. Earlier studies have suggested that this pattern arises due to natural selection favouring generally or locally successful genotypes in new environments. Alternatively, as we show here, this pattern may result from neutral processes during species' range expansions. We model a dioecious species expanding into a new area in which all individuals are capable of both sexual and asexual reproduction, and all individuals have equal survival rates and dispersal distances...
May 30, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Joseph T Kilmer, Kasey D Fowler-Finn, David A Gray, Gerlinde Höbel, Darren Rebar, Michael S Reichert, Rafael L Rodríguez
Mate preferences are important causes of sexual selection. They shape the evolution of sexual ornaments and displays, sometimes maintaining genetic diversity and sometimes promoting speciation. Mate preferences can be challenging to study because they are expressed in animal brains, and because they are a function of the features of potential mates that are encountered. Describing them requires taking this into account. We present a method for describing and analyzing mate preference functions, and introduce a freely available computer program that implements the method...
May 28, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Adriana Alzate, Karen Bisschop, Rampal S Etienne, Dries Bonte
Dispersal and competition have both been suggested to drive variation in adaptability to a new environment, either positively or negatively. A simultaneous experimental test of both mechanisms is however lacking. Here, we experimentally investigate how population dynamics and local adaptation to a new host plant in a model species, the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae), is affected by dispersal from a stock population (no-adapted) and competition with an already adapted spider mite species (Tetranychus evansi)...
May 28, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Ryosuke Iritani, Pierre-Olivier Cheptou
Differential seed dispersal, in which selfed and outcrossed seeds possess different dispersal propensities, represents a potentially important individual-level association. A variety of traits can mediate differential seed dispersal, including inflorescence and seed size variation. However, how natural selection shapes such associations is poorly known. Here, we developed theoretical models for the evolution of mating system and differential seed dispersal in metapopulations, incorporating heterogeneous pollination, dispersal cost, cost of outcrossing, and environment-dependent inbreeding depression...
May 22, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Oscar Vedder, Simon Verhulst, Christina Bauch, Sandra Bouwhuis
The relationship between growth and age-specific telomere length, as a proxy of somatic state, is increasingly investigated, but observed patterns vary and a predictive framework is lacking. We outline expectations based on the assumption that telomere maintenance is costly and argue that individual heterogeneity in resource acquisition is predicted to lead to positive covariance between growth and telomere length. However, canalization of resource allocation to the trait with a larger effect on fitness, rendering that trait relatively invariant, can cause the absence of covariance...
May 19, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Ian C Kutch, Kenneth M Fedorka
Y and W chromosomes offer a theoretically powerful way for sexual dimorphism to evolve. Consistent with this possibility, Drosophila melanogaster Y-chromosomes can influence gene regulation throughout the genome; particularly immune-related genes. In order for Y-linked regulatory variation (YRV) to contribute to adaptive evolution it must be comprised of additive genetic variance, such that variable Ys induce consistent phenotypic effects within the local gene pool. We assessed the potential for Y-chromosomes to adaptively shape gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial defense by introgressing Ys across multiple genetic haplotypes from the same population...
May 16, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Mats Björklund, Lars Gustafsson
Understanding the magnitude and long-term patterns of selection in natural populations is of importance, for example, when analyzing the evolutionary impact of climate change. We estimated univariate and multivariate directional, quadratic and correlational selection on four morphological traits (adult wing, tarsus and tail length, body mass) over a time period of 33 years (≈ 19 000 observations) in a nest-box breeding population of collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis). In general, selection was weak in both males and females over the years regardless of fitness measure (fledged young, recruits and survival) with only few cases with statistically significant selection...
May 15, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Mattias Siljestam, Örjan Östman
Adaptive phenotypic plasticity is an important source of intraspecific variation, and for many plastic traits the costs or factors limiting plasticity seem cryptic. However, there are several different factors that may constrain the evolution of plasticity, but few models have considered costs and limiting factors simultaneously. Here we use a simulation model to investigate how the optimal level of plasticity in a population depends on a fixed fitness cost for maintaining a potential for plasticity or an incremental fitness cost for producing a plastic response in combination with environmental unpredictability (environmental fluctuation speed) limiting plasticity...
May 9, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Florian Menzel, Thomas Schmitt, Bonnie B Blaimer
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) are ubiquitous and highly diverse in insects, serving as communication signal and waterproofing agent. Despite their vital function, the causes, mechanisms and constraints on CHC diversification are still poorly understood. Here, we investigated phylogenetic constraints on the evolution of CHC profiles, using a global dataset of the species-rich and chemically diverse ant genus Crematogaster. We decomposed CHC profiles into quantitative (relative abundances, chain length) and qualitative traits (presence/absence of CHC classes)...
May 9, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Pascal I Hablützel, Maarten P M Vanhove, Pablo Deschepper, Arnout F Grégoir, Anna K Roose, Filip A M Volckaert, Joost A M Raeymaekers
Adaptive radiation occurs when species diversify rapidly to occupy an array of ecological niches. Since opportunities for parasite infection and transmission may greatly vary among these niches, adaptive radiation is expected to be associated with a turnover of the parasite community. As major agents of natural and sexual selection, parasites may play a central role in host diversification. The study of parasite turnover may thus be of general relevance and could significantly improve our understanding of adaptive radiation...
May 5, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Y Li, S Akimoto
Frequency-dependent selection is a fundamental principle of adaptive sex-ratio evolution in all sex ratio theories but has rarely been detected in the wild. Through long-term censuses, we confirmed large fluctuations in the population sex ratio of the aphid Prociphilus oriens and detected frequency-dependent selection acting on these fluctuations. Fluctuations in the population sex ratio were partly attributable to climatic factors during the growing season. Climatic factors likely affected the growth conditions of host plants, which in turn led to yearly fluctuations in maternal conditions and sex ratios...
April 27, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Tony Gamble, Eli Greenbaum, Todd R Jackman, Anthony P Russell, Aaron M Bauer
We published a phylogenetic comparative analysis that found geckos had gained and lost adhesive toepads multiple times over their long evolutionary history (Gamble et al. 2012). This was consistent with decades of morphological studies showing geckos had evolved adhesive toepads on multiple occasions and that the morphology of geckos with ancestrally padless digits can be distinguished from secondarily padless forms. Recently, Harrington and Reeder (2017) reanalyzed data from Gamble et al. (2012) and found little support for the multiple origins hypothesis...
April 23, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Ana Cristina R Gomes, Caterina Funghi, Masayo Soma, Michael D Sorenson, Gonçalo C Cardoso
Sexual traits (e.g., visual ornaments, acoustic signals, courtship behaviour) are often displayed together as multi-modal signals. Some hypotheses predict joint evolution of different sexual signals (e.g., to increase the efficiency of communication), or that different signals trade-off with each other (e.g., due to limited resources). Alternatively, multiple signals may evolve independently for different functions, or to communicate different information (multiple message hypothesis). We evaluated these hypotheses with a comparative study in the family Estrildidae, one of the largest songbird radiations, and one that includes many model species for research in sexual selection and communication...
April 23, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
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