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Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Tracy E Douglas, David C Queller, Joan E Strassmann
Unequal investment by different sexes in their progeny is common and includes differential investment in the zygote and differential care of the young. The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has a sexual stage in which isogamous cells of any two of the three mating types fuse to form a zygote which then attracts hundreds of other cells to the macrocyst. The latter cells are cannibalized and so make no genetic contribution to reproduction. Previous literature suggests that this sacrifice may be induced in cells of one mating type by cells of another, resulting in a higher than expected production of macrocysts when the inducing type is rare and a giving a reproductive advantage to this social cheat...
February 17, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Joshka Kaufmann, Tobias L Lenz, Martin Kalbe, Manfred Milinski, Christophe Eizaguirre
Theory of local adaptation predicts that non-adapted migrants will suffer increased costs compared to local residents. Ultimately this process can result in the reduction of gene flow and culminate in speciation. Here, we experimentally investigated the relative fitness of migrants in foreign habitats, focusing on diverging lake and river ecotypes of three-spined sticklebacks. A reciprocal transplant experiment performed in the field revealed asymmetric costs of migration: while mortality of river fish was increased under lake conditions, lake migrants suffered from reduced growth relative to river residents...
February 17, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Jessica L McKenzie, Carol Bucking, Amanda Moreira, Patricia M Schulte
Understanding factors involved in maintaining stable hybrid zones is important for predicting the ultimate fate of the interacting taxa, but the relative importance of mechanisms such as ecological selection and intrinsic reproductive isolation remains unclear. Most studies of reproductive isolation in hybrid zones have focused either on zones with strongly bimodal patterns in genotype or phenotype frequencies, with relatively strong isolation, or unimodal zones with relatively weak isolation, whereas less is known about more intermediate classes of hybrid zone...
February 11, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Andrew W Bateman, Bradley R Anholt
R. A. Fisher predicted that individuals should invest equally in offspring of both sexes, and that the proportion of males and females produced (the primary sex ratio) should evolve towards 1:1 when unconstrained. For many species, sex determination is dependent on sex chromosomes, creating a strong tendency for balanced sex ratios, but in other cases multiple autosomal genes interact to determine sex. In such cases, the maintenance of multiple sex-determining alleles at multiple loci and the consequent between-family variability in sex ratios presents a puzzle, as theory predicts that such systems should be unstable...
February 10, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Alexander Hayward, Masahito Tsuboi, Christian Owusu, Alexander Kotrschal, Séverine D Buechel, Josefina Zidar, Charlie K Cornwallis, Hanne Løvlie, Niclas Kolm
Parasite diversity and abundance (parasite load) vary greatly among host species. However, the influence of host traits on variation in parasitism remains poorly understood. Comparative studies of parasite load have largely examined measures of parasite species richness, and are predominantly based on records obtained from published data. Consequently, little is known about the relationships between host traits and other aspects of parasite load, such as parasite abundance, prevalence, and aggregation. Meanwhile, understanding of parasite species richness may be clouded by limitations associated with data collation from multiple independent sources...
February 10, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Chang S Han, Niels J Dingemanse
Recent theory predicts that the magnitude of sexual antagonism should depend on how well populations are adapted to their environment. We tested this idea experimentally by comparing intersexual genetic correlations for adult survival in pedigreed populations of Southern field crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus) raised on naturally balanced (free-choice) vs. imbalanced (protein-deprived) diets. We tested for 1) sex differences in nutritional intake and preference, 2) sex-specific effects of protein deprivation on survival and 3) diet-dependence of the level of sexual antagonism...
February 10, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Julien G A Martin, Enrico Pirottay, Matthew B Petellez, Daniel T Blumstein
Between-individual variation in phenotypes within a population is the basis of evolution. However, evolutionary and behavioural ecologists have mainly focused on estimating between-individual variance in mean trait and neglected variation in within-individual variance, or predictability of a trait. In fact, an important assumption of mixed-effects models used to estimate between-individual variance in mean traits is that within-individual residual variance (predictability) is identical across individuals. Individual heterogeneity in the predictability of behaviours is a potentially important effect but rarely estimated and accounted for...
February 9, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Geoff Wild, Shana M Caro, Stuart A West
It is commonly assumed that in order for animal signals to be advantageous, the information being signaled could not have been obtained otherwise, and is therefore 'cryptic' or 'private'. Here, we suggest a scenario in which individuals can gain an advantage by signalling 'public' information that is neither cryptic nor private. In that scenario signaling increases the efficiency with which that 'public' information is transmitted. We formalize our idea with a game in which offspring can signal their condition to their parents...
February 9, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Felix Zajitschek, Timothy Connallon
Fitness depends on both the resources that individuals acquire and the allocation of those resources to traits that influence survival and reproduction. Optimal resource allocation differs between females and males as a consequence of their fundamentally different reproductive strategies. However, because most traits have a common genetic basis between the sexes, conflicting selection between the sexes over resource allocation can constrain the evolution of optimal allocation within each sex, and generate trade-offs for fitness between them (i...
February 9, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Nicolas Mongiardino Koch, F Sara Ceccarelli, Andrés A Ojanguren-Affilastro, Martín J Ramírez
Many paleontological studies have investigated the evolution of entire body plans, generally relying on discrete character-taxon matrices. In contrast, macroevolutionary studies performed by neontologists have mostly focused on morphometric traits. Although these data types are very different, some studies have suggested that they capture common patterns. Nonetheless, the tests employed to support this claim have not explicitly incorporated a phylogenetic framework, and may therefore be susceptible to confounding effects due to the presence of common phylogenetic structure...
February 9, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Michael Griesser, Gretchen F Wagner, Szymon M Drobniak, Jan Ekman
Life-history theory is an essential framework to understand the evolution of reproductive allocation. It predicts that individuals of long-lived species favour their own survival over current reproduction, leading individuals to refrain from reproducing under harsh conditions. Here we test this prediction in a long-lived bird species, the Siberian jay Perisoreus infaustus. Long-term data revealed that females rarely refrain from breeding, but lay smaller clutches in unfavourable years. Neither offspring body size, female survival nor offspring survival until the next year was influenced by annual condition, habitat quality, clutch size, female age, or female phenotype...
January 30, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Ken A Thompson, Kaitlin A Cory, Marc T J Johnson
Evolutionary biologists have long sought to understand the ecological processes that generate plant reproductive diversity. Recent evidence indicates that constitutive antiherbivore defenses can alter natural selection on reproductive traits, but it is unclear whether induced defenses will have the same effect and whether reduced foliar damage in defended plants is the cause of this pattern. In a factorial field experiment using common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca L., we induced plant defenses using jasmonic acid (JA) and imposed foliar damage using scissors...
January 30, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Magdalena D Pieczynska, Ryszard Korona, J Arjan G M de Visser
Fungi may carry cytoplasmic viruses that encode anticompetitor toxins. These so called killer viruses may provide competitive benefits to their host, but also incur metabolic costs associated with viral replication, toxin production and immunity. Mechanisms responsible for the stable maintenance of these endosymbionts are insufficiently understood. Here, we test whether co-adaptation of host and killer virus underlies their stable maintenance in seven natural and one laboratory strain of the genus Saccharomyces...
January 24, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Kristina Ottens, Isaac S Winkler, Matthew L Lewis, Sonja J Scheffer, Géssica A Gomes-Costa, Marty A Condon, Andrew A Forbes
Tropical herbivorous insects are astonishingly diverse and many are highly host-specific. Much evidence suggests that herbivorous insect diversity is a function of host-plant diversity; yet, the diversity of some lineages exceeds the diversity of plants. Although most species of herbivorous fruit flies in the Neotropical genus Blepharoneura are strongly host-specific (they deposit their eggs in a single host plant species and flower sex), some species are collected from multiple hosts or flowers and these may represent examples of lineages that are diversifying via changes in host use...
January 20, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Jack Colicchio
Trichomes, or leaf hairs, are epidermal extensions that take a variety of forms and perform many functions in plants, including herbivore defense. In this study, I document genetically determined variation, within-generation plasticity, and a direct role of trichomes in herbivore defense for Mimulus guttatus. After establishing the relationship between trichomes and herbivory, I test for transgenerational effects of wounding on trichome density and herbivore resistance. Patterns of inter-annual variation in herbivore density and the high cost of plant defense makes plant-herbivore interactions a system in which transgenerational phenotypic plasticity (TPP) is apt to evolve...
January 19, 2017: 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
C Vorburger, J Herzog, R 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
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