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Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Daniel Shane Wright, Nicolle Demandt, Jeroen T Alkema, Ole Seehausen, Ton G G Groothuis, Martine E Maan
Local adaptation can be a potent force in speciation, with environmental heterogeneity leading to niche specialization and population divergence. However, local adaption often requires non-random mating in order to generate reproductive isolation. Population divergence in sensory properties can be particularly consequential in speciation, affecting both ecological adaptation and sexual communication. Pundamilia pundamila and Pundamilia nyererei are two closely related African cichlid species that differ in male coloration, blue vs...
October 22, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Peri E Bolton, Lee Ann Rollins, James Brazill-Boast, Kang-Wook Kim, Terry Burke, Simon C Griffith
In socially monogamous species, individuals can use extra-pair paternity and offspring sex allocation as adaptive strategies to ameliorate costs of genetic incompatibility with their partner. Previous studies on domesticated Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) demonstrated a genetic incompatibility between head colour morphs, the effects of which are more severe in female offspring. Domesticated females use differential sex allocation, and extra-pair paternity with males of compatible head colour, to reduce fitness costs associated with incompatibility in mixed-morph pairings...
October 18, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Louise M Alissa, Danilo G Muniz, Glauco Machado
When there is a temporal trade-off between mating effort and parental care, theoretical models predict that intense sexual selection on males leads to reduced paternal care. Thus, high-quality males should invest more in mating effort because they have higher chances of acquiring mates, whereas low-quality males should bias their investment toward parental care. Once paternal care has evolved, offspring value should also influence males' decisions to invest in offspring attendance. Here we performed a manipulation under field conditions to investigate the factors that influence male allocation in either mating effort or parental care...
October 18, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
K D Fowler-Finn, D C Cruz, R L Rodríguez
Many animals exhibit social plasticity-changes in phenotype or behavior in response to experience with conspecifics-that change how evolutionary processes like sexual selection play out. Here, we asked whether social plasticity arising from variation in local population density in male advertisement signals and female mate preferences influences the form of sexual selection. We manipulated local density and determined whether this changed how the distribution of male signals overlapped with female preferences-i...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Ivain Martinossi-Allibert, Göran Arnqvist, David Berger
Sexual selection can increase rates of adaptation by imposing stronger selection in males, thereby allowing efficient purging of the mutation load on population fitness at a low demographic cost. Indeed, sexual selection tends to be male-biased throughout the animal kingdom, but little empirical work has explored the ecological sensitivity of this sex difference. In this study, we generated theoretical predictions of sex-specific strengths of selection, environmental sensitivities and genotype-by-environment interactions, and tested them in seed beetles by manipulating either larval host plant or rearing temperature...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Martha S Hunter, Peter Asiimwe, Anna G Himler, Suzanne E Kelly
Arthropods commonly carry maternally-inherited intracellular bacterial symbionts that may profoundly influence host biology and evolution. The intracellular symbiont Rickettsia sp. nr. bellii swept rapidly into populations of the sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci in the southwestern USA. Previous laboratory experiments showed female-bias and fitness benefits were associated with Rickettsia infection, potentially explaining the high frequencies of infection observed in field populations, but the effects varied with whitefly genetic line...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Masahito Tsuboi, Adam Chee Ooi Lim, Boon Leong Ooi, Mei Yee Yip, Ving Ching Chong, Ingrid Ahnesjö, Niclas Kolm
Brain size varies greatly at all taxonomic levels. Feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection have been proposed as key components in generating contemporary diversity in brain size across vertebrates. Analyses of brain size evolution have, however, been limited to lineages where males predominantly compete for mating and females choose mates. Here, we present the first original data set of brain sizes in pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae) a group in which intense female mating competition occurs in many species...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Charlotte E Regan, Jill G Pilkington, Camillo Bérénos, Josephine M Pemberton, Per T Smiseth, Alastair J Wilson
When estimating heritability in free-living populations, it is common practice to account for common environment effects, because of their potential to generate phenotypic covariance among relatives thereby biasing heritability estimates. In quantitative genetic studies of natural populations, however, philopatry, which results in relatives being clustered in space, is rarely accounted for. The two studies to have done so suggest absolute declines in heritability estimates of up to 43% when accounting for space sharing by relatives...
October 17, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Stefan Abrahamczyk, Michael Kessler, Daniel Hanley, Dirk N Karger, Matthias P J Müller, Anina C Knauer, Felix Keller, Michael Schwerdtfeger, Aelys M Humphreys
A longstanding debate concerns whether nectar sugar composition evolves as an adaptation to pollinator dietary requirements or whether it is 'phylogenetically constrained'. Here we use a modeling approach to evaluate the hypothesis that nectar sucrose proportion (NSP) is an adaptation to pollinators. We analyze ~2,100 species of asterids, spanning several plant families and pollinator groups (PGs), and show that the hypothesis of adaptation cannot be rejected: NSP evolves toward two optimal values, high NSP for specialist-pollinated and low NSP for generalist-pollinated plants...
October 16, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Haley L Kenyon, Miguel Alcaide, David P L Toews, Darren E Irwin
Elucidating the relationship between genetic and cultural evolution is important in understanding speciation, as learned premating barriers might be involved in maintaining species differences. Here we test this relationship by examining a widely recognized premating barrier, bird song, in a hybrid zone between black-throated green (Setophaga virens) and Townsend's warblers (S. townsendi). We use song analysis, genomic techniques and playback experiments to characterize the cultural and genetic backgrounds of individuals in this region, expecting that if song is an important reproductive barrier between these species, there should be a strong relationship between song and genotype...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Subhash Rajpurohit, Robert Hanus, Vladimír Vrkoslav, Emily L Behrman, Alan O Bergland, Dmitri Petrov, Josef Cvačka, Paul S Schmidt
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are hydrophobic compounds deposited on the arthropod cuticle that are of functional significance with respect to stress tolerance, social interactions, and mating dynamics. We characterized CHC profiles in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster at five levels: across a latitudinal transect in the eastern U.S., as a function of developmental temperature during culture, across seasonal time in replicate years, and as a function of rapid evolution in experimental mesocosms in the field...
October 8, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Hanna Koch, Lutz Becks
A species reproductive mode, along with its associated costs and benefits, can play a significant role in its evolution and survival. Facultative sexuality, being able to reproduce both sexually and asexually, has been deemed evolutionary favourable as the benefits of either mode may be fully realized. In fact, many studies have focused on identifying the benefits of sex and/or the forces selecting for increased rates of sex using facultative sexual species. The costs of either mode however can also have a profound impact on a population's evolutionary trajectory...
October 7, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
J T Kilmer, R L Rodríguez
When it comes to fitting simple allometric slopes through measurement data, evolutionary biologists have been torn between regression methods. On the one hand, there is the ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, which is commonly used across many disciplines of biology to fit lines through data, but which has a reputation for underestimating slopes when measurement error is present. On the other hand, there is the reduced major axis (RMA) regression, which is often recommended as a substitute for OLS regression in studies of allometry, but which has several weaknesses of its own...
October 6, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Alison B Duncan, Eike Dusi, Franck Jacob, Johan Ramsayer, Michael E Hochberg, Oliver Kaltz
Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites is a key process in the genesis and maintenance of biological diversity. Whereas coevolutionary dynamics show distinct patterns under favourable environmental conditions, the effects of more realistic, variable conditions are largely unknown. We investigated the impact of a fluctuating environment on antagonistic coevolution in experimental microcosms of Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and lytic phage SBWΦ2. High-frequency temperature fluctuations caused no deviations from typical coevolutionary arms-race dynamics...
October 6, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
M J Monroe, T Amundsen, A C Utne-Palm, K B Mobley
Genetic parentage analyses reveal considerable diversity in alternative reproductive behaviours (e.g. sneaking) in many taxa. However, little is known about whether these behaviours vary seasonally and between populations. Here, we investigate seasonal variation in male reproductive behaviours in a population of two-spotted gobies (Gobiusculus flavescens) in Norway. Male two-spotted gobies guard nests, attract females and care for fertilized eggs. We collected clutches and nest-guarding males early and late in the breeding season in artificial nests and used microsatellite markers to reconstruct parentage from a subset of offspring from each nest...
October 6, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
D Hoops, J F P Ullmann, A L Janke, M Vidal-Garcia, T Stait-Gardner, Y Dwihapsari, T Merkling, W S Price, J A Endler, M J Whiting, J S Keogh
Phenotypic traits such as ornaments and armaments are generally shaped by sexual selection, which often favours larger and more elaborate males compared to females. But can sexual selection also influence the brain? Previous studies in vertebrates report contradictory results with no consistent pattern between variation in brain structure and the strength of sexual selection. We hypothesize that sexual selection will act in a consistent way on two vertebrate brain regions that directly regulate sexual behaviour: the medial preoptic nucleus (MPON) and the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN)...
October 1, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Jacqueline Codron, Jennifer Botha-Brink, Daryl Codron, Adam K Huttenlocker, Kenneth D Angielczyk
Unlike modern mammalian communities, terrestrial Paleozoic and Mesozoic vertebrate systems were characterized by carnivore faunas that were as diverse as their herbivore faunas. The comparatively narrow food base available to carnivores in these paleosystems raises the possibility that predator-prey interactions contributed to unstable ecosystems by driving populations to extinction. Here we develop a model of predator-prey interactions based on diversity, abundance, and body size patterns observed in the Permo-Triassic vertebrate fossil record of the Karoo Basin, South Africa...
October 1, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
J Corso, N I Mundy, N J R Fagundes, T R O de Freitas
In the last decades, researchers have been able to determine the molecular basis of some phenotypes, to test for evidence of natural selection upon them, and to demonstrate that the same genes or genetic pathways can be associated with convergent traits. Colour traits are often subject to natural selection because even small changes in these traits can have a large effect on fitness via camouflage, sexual selection or other mechanisms. The melanocortin-1 receptor locus (MC1R) is frequently associated with intraspecific coat colour variation in vertebrates, but it has been far harder to demonstrate that this locus is involved in adaptive interspecific colour differences...
September 21, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
P-J G Malé, C Leroy, P Humblot, A Dejean, A Quilichini, J Orivel
Comparative studies of the population genetics of closely associated species are necessary to properly understand the evolution of these relationships because gene flow between populations affects the partners' evolutionary potential at the local scale. As a consequence (at least for antagonistic interactions), asymmetries in the strength of the genetic structures of the partner populations can result in one partner having a co-evolutionary advantage. Here, we assess the population genetic structure of partners engaged in a species-specific and obligatory mutualism: the Neotropical ant-plant, Hirtella physophora, and its ant associate, Allomerus decemarticulatus...
September 21, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
A M Chira, G H Thomas
Rates of trait evolution are known to vary across phylogenies; however, standard evolutionary models assume a homogeneous process of trait change. These simple methods are widely applied in small-scale phylogenetic studies, whereas models of rate heterogeneity are not, so the prevalence and patterns of potential rate variation in groups up to hundreds of species remain unclear. The extent to which trait evolution is modelled accurately on a given phylogeny is also largely unknown because studies typically lack absolute model fit tests...
September 21, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
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