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Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Benoit Talbot, Maarten J Vonhof, Hugh G Broders, Brock Fenton, Nusha Keyghobadi
Parasite-host relationships create strong selection pressures that can lead to adaptation and increasing specialization of parasites to their hosts. Even in relatively loose host-parasite relationships, such as between generalist ectoparasites and their hosts, we may observe some degree of specialization of parasite populations to one of the multiple potential hosts. Salivary proteins are used by blood-feeding ectoparasites to prevent hemostasis in the host and maximize energy intake. We investigated the influence of association with specific host species on allele frequencies of salivary protein genes in Cimex adjunctus, a generalist blood-feeding ectoparasite of bats in North America...
March 15, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Antoine Paccard, Ben A Wasserman, Dieta Hanson, Louis Astorg, Dan Durston, Sara Kurland, Travis M Apgar, Rana W El-Sabaawi, Eric P Palkovacs, Andrew P Hendry, Rowan D H Barrett
The evolutionary consequences of temporal variation in selection remain hotly debated. We explored these consequences by studying threespine stickleback in a set of bar-built estuaries along the central California coast. In most years, heavy rains induce water flow strong enough to break through isolating sand bars, connecting streams to the ocean. New sand bars typically re-form within a few weeks or months, thereby re-isolating populations within the estuaries. These breaching events cause severe and often extremely rapid changes in abiotic and biotic conditions, including shifts in predator abundance...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Jeffrey Lane, Andrew G McAdam, Eryn McFarlane, Cory Williams, Murray M Humphries, David Coltman, Jamieson Gorrell, Stan Boutin
Phenological shifts are the most widely reported ecological responses to climate change, but the requirements to distinguish their causes (i.e., phenotypic plasticity versus microevolution) are rarely met. To do so, we analyzed almost two decades of parturition data from a wild population of North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Although an observed advance in parturition date during the first decade provided putative support for climate change-driven microevolution, a closer look revealed a more complex pattern...
March 8, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Aud H Halbritter, Simone Fior, Irene Keller, Regula Billeter, Peter Edwards, Rolf Holderegger, Sophie Karrenberg, Andrea R Pluess, Alex Widmer, Jake M Alexander
Studies of genetic adaptation in plant populations along elevation gradients in mountains have a long history, but there has until now been neither a synthesis of how frequently plant populations exhibit adaptation to elevation nor an evaluation of how consistent underlying trait differences across species are. We reviewed studies of adaptation along elevation gradients (i) from a meta-analysis of phenotypic differentiation of three traits (height, biomass and phenology) from plants growing in 70 common garden experiments; (ii) by testing elevation adaptation using three fitness proxies (survival, reproductive output and biomass) from 14 reciprocal transplant experiments; (iii) by qualitatively assessing information at the molecular level, from ten genome-wide surveys and candidate gene approaches...
March 8, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Denon Start
Trait variation can structure interactions between individuals, thus shaping selection. While anti-predator strategies are an important component of many aquatic systems, how multiple anti-predator traits interact to influence consumption and selection remains contentious. Here, I use a common larval dragonfly (Epitheca canis) and its predator (Anax junius) to test for the joint effects of activity rate and algal camouflage on predation and survival selection. I found that active and poorly camouflaged Epitheca were more likely to be consumed, and thus survival selection favored inactive and well camouflaged individuals...
March 5, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Raphael Royauté, Elisabeth S Wilson, Bryan R Helm, Rachel E Mallinger, Jarrad Prasifka, Kendra J Greenlee, Julia H Bowsher
Structures such as nests and burrows are an essential component of many organisms' life-cycle and requires a complex sequence of behaviors. Because behaviors can vary consistently among individuals and be correlated with one another, we hypothesized that these structures would 1) show evidence of among-individual variation, 2) be organized into distinct functional modules, and 3) show evidence of trade-offs among functional modules due to limits on energy budgets. We tested these hypotheses using the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, a solitary bee and important crop pollinator...
March 2, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Zachary W Culumber, Michael Tobler
The role of ecology in phenotypic and species diversification is widely documented. Nonetheless, numerous non-adaptive processes can shape realized niches and phenotypic variation in natural populations, complicating inferences about adaptive evolution at macroevolutionary scales. We tested for evolved differences in thermal tolerances and their association with the realized thermal niche (including metrics describing diurnal and seasonal patterns of temperature extremes and variability) across a genus of tropical freshwater fishes reared in a standardized environment...
March 2, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Zoltán Tóth, Attila Hettyey
Predator-induced plasticity has been in the focus of evolutionary ecological research in the last decades, but the consequences of temporal variation in the presence of cues predicting offspring environment have remained controversial. This is partly due to the fact that the role of early environmental effects has scarcely been scrutinized in this context while also controlling for potential maternal effects. In this study we investigated how past environmental conditions, i.e. different combinations of risky or safe adult (pre-natal) and oviposition (early post-natal) environments affected offspring's plastic responses in hatching time and locomotor activity to predation risk during development in the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)...
February 27, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Erin S Morrison, Alexander V Badyaev
Historical associations of genes and proteins are thought to delineate pathways available to subsequent evolution, however the effects of past functional involvements on contemporary evolution are rarely quantified. Here we examined the extent to which the structure of a carotenoid enzymatic network persists in avian evolution. Specifically, we tested whether the evolution of carotenoid networks was most concordant with phylogenetically structured expansion from core reactions of common ancestors or with subsampling of biochemical pathway modules from an ancestral network...
February 27, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
D C Deeming, G Mayr
Numerous new fossils have driven an interest in reproduction of early birds but direct evidence remains elusive. No Mesozoic avian eggs can be unambiguously assigned to a species, which hampers our understanding of the evolution of contact incubation, which is a defining feature of extant birds. Compared to living species eggs of Mesozoic birds are relatively small, but whether the eggs of Mesozoic birds could actually have borne the weight of a breeding adult has not yet been investigated. We estimated maximal egg breadth for a range of Mesozoic avian taxa from the width of the pelvic canal defined by the pubic symphysis...
February 27, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
A Odorico, E Rünneburger, A Le Rouzic
Understanding the importance of non-genetic heredity in the evolutionary process is a major topic in modern evolutionary biology. We modified a classical gene network model by allowing parental transmission of gene expression, and studied its evolutionary properties through individual-based simulations. We identified ontogenetic time (i.e. the time gene networks have to stabilize before being submitted to natural selection) as a crucial factor in determining the evolutionary impact of this phenotypic inheritance...
February 23, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Anna Maria Skwierzyńska, Agata Plesnar-Bielak
Evolutionary interests of males and females are usually not the same, leading to different reproductive roles of the sexes. This results in sexual conflict, where a trait that is beneficial for one sex is detrimental to the other (Parker, 1979). Sexual conflict may take one of two forms. Intralocus sexual conflict is expressed when the direction of selection on a shared trait changes depending on the sex (Chippindale & Rice, 2001; Bonduriansky & Chenoweth, 2009). This article is protected by copyright...
February 22, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Sean Hackett, Graeme D Ruxton
Signals and cues are fundamental to social interactions. A well-established concept in the study of animal communication is an amplifier, defined as a trait that does not add extra information to that already present in the original cue or signal, but rather enhances the fidelity with which variation in the original cue or signal is correctly perceived. Attenuators as the logical compliment of amplifiers: attenuators act to reduce the fidelity with which variation in a signal or cue can be reliably evaluated by the perceivers...
February 22, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Tom Ratz, Per T Smiseth
Parental care is highly variable, reflecting that parents make flexible decisions in response to variation in the cost of care to themselves and the benefit to their offspring. Much of the evidence that parents respond to such variation derives from handicapping and brood size manipulations, the separate effects of which are well understood. However, little is known about their joint effects. Here we fill this gap by conducting a joint handicapping and brood size manipulation in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides...
February 22, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Amanda Kyle Gibson, Kayla S Stoy, Curtis M Lively
Asexual lineages can grow at a faster rate than sexual lineages. Why then is sexual reproduction so widespread? Much empirical evidence supports the Red Queen hypothesis. Under this hypothesis, coevolving parasites favor sexual reproduction by adapting to infect common asexual clones and driving them down in frequency. One limitation, however, seems to challenge the generality of the Red Queen: in theoretical models, parasites must be very virulent to maintain sex. Moreover, experiments show virulence to be unstable, readily shifting in response to environmental conditions...
February 20, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
H J Maclean, T N Kristensen, J G Sørensen, J Overgaard
Large comparative studies in animal ecology, physiology and evolution often use animals reared in the laboratory for many generations; however, the relevance of these studies hinges on the assumption that laboratory populations are still representative for their wild living conspecifics. In this study, we investigate whether laboratory-maintained and freshly collected animal populations are fundamentally different and whether data from laboratory-maintained animals are valid to use in large comparative investigations of ecological and physiological patterns...
February 15, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Alexander Blanke, Manuel Pinheiro, Peter J Watson, Michael J Fagan
Insect head shapes are remarkably variable but the influences of these changes on biomechanical performance are unclear. Among "basal" winged insects, such as dragonflies, mayflies, earwigs, and stoneflies, some of the most prominent anatomical changes are the general mouthpart orientation, eye size and the connection of the endoskeleton to the head. Here, we assess these variations as well as differing ridge and sclerite configurations using modern engineering methods including multibody dynamics modelling and finite element analysis in order to quantify and compare the influence of anatomical changes on strain in particular head regions and the whole head...
February 14, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Maaike A de Jong, Marjo Saastamoinen
Thermal tolerance has a major effect on individual fitness and species distributions, and can be determined by genetic variation as well as phenotypic plasticity. We investigate the effects of developmental and adult thermal conditions on cold tolerance, measured as chill coma recovery (CCR) time, during the early and late adult stage in the Glanville fritillary butterfly. We also investigate the genetic basis of cold tolerance by associating CCR variation with polymorphisms in candidate genes that have a known role in insect physiology...
February 9, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Vivek Philip Cyriac, Ullasa Kodandaramaiah
The tree of life is highly asymmetrical in its clade wise species richness and this has often been attributed to variation in diversification rates either across time or lineages. Variations across lineages are usually associated with traits that increase lineage diversification. Certain traits can also hinder diversification by increasing extinction and such traits are called evolutionary dead-ends. Ecological specialization has usually been considered as an evolutionary dead-end. However, recent analyses of specializations along single axes have provided mixed support for this model...
February 8, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Victor J Pahua, Peter J N Stokes, Amanda C Hollowell, John U Regus, Kelsey A Gano-Cohen, Camille E Wendlandt, Kenjiro W Quides, Jonathan Y Lyu, Joel L Sachs
Legumes can preferentially select beneficial rhizobial symbionts and sanction ineffective strains that fail to fix nitrogen. Yet paradoxically, rhizobial populations vary from highly beneficial to ineffective in natural and agricultural soils. Classic models of symbiosis focus on the single dimension of symbiont cost-benefit to sympatric hosts, but fail to explain the widespread persistence of ineffective rhizobia. Here we test a novel framework predicting that spatio-temporal and community dynamics can maintain ineffective strains in rhizobial populations...
February 8, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
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