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Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Karl P Phillips, Tove H Jorgensen, Kevin G Jolliffe, David S Richardson
How individual genetic variability relates to fitness is important in understanding evolution and the processes affecting populations of conservation concern. Heterozygosity-fitness correlations (HFCs) have been widely used to study this link in wild populations, where key parameters that affect both variability and fitness, such as inbreeding, can be difficult to measure. We used estimates of parental heterozygosity and genetic similarity ('relatedness') derived from 32 microsatellite markers to explore the relationship between genetic variability and fitness in a population of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata...
August 8, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Andrea Romano, Nicola Saino, Anders Pape Møller
Sexual selection results in the evolution of exaggerated secondary sexual characters that can entail a viability cost. However, in species where sexual ornaments honestly reflect individual quality, the viability cost of secondary sexual characters may be overwhelmed by variation in individual quality, leading to expect that individuals with the largest secondary sexual characters show higher, rather than lower viability. Here, we used meta-analysis to test if such positive relationship between sexual ornamentation and viability exists in the barn swallow Hirundo rustica, which is one of the most studied model system of sexual selection under field conditions...
August 8, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
D Rakosy, M Cuervo, H F Paulus, M Ayasse
Many species of the sexually-deceptive genus Ophrys are characterized by insect-like flowers. Their form has been traditionally considered to play an important role in pollinator attraction and manipulation. Yet the evolution of the floral form remains insufficiently understood. We hypothesize that pollinator-mediated selection is essential for driving floral form evolution in Ophrys, but that form components are being subjected to varying selection pressures depending on their role in mediating interactions with pollinators...
August 8, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Sanita Kecko, Anna Mihailova, Katariina Kangassalo, Didzis Elferts, Tatjana Krama, Ronalds Krams, Severi Luoto, Markus J Rantala, Indrikis A Krams
Deficiency of food resources in ontogeny is known to prolong an organism's developmental time and affect body size in adulthood. Yet life history traits are plastic: an organism can increase its growth rate to compensate for a period of slow growth, a phenomenon known as 'compensatory growth'. We tested whether larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella can accelerate their growth after a fast of 12, 24 or 72 h. We found that a subgroup of female larvae showed compensatory growth when starved for 12 h...
August 3, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Luke Holman, Frances Jacomb
The capacity of a population to adapt to selection (evolvability) depends on whether the structure of genetic variation permits the evolution of fitter trait combinations. Selection, genetic variance, and genetic covariance can change under environmental stress, and males and females are not genetically independent, yet the combined effects of stress and dioecy on evolvability are not well understood. Here, we estimate selection, genetic (co)variance, and evolvability in both sexes of Tribolium castaneum flour beetles under stressful and benign conditions, using a half-sib breeding design...
August 1, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
David A Duchêne, Xia Hua, Lindell Bromham
Molecular phylogenies are increasingly being used to investigate the patterns and mechanisms of macroevolution. In particular, node heights in a phylogeny can be used to detect changes in rates of diversification over time. Such analyses rest on the assumption that node heights in a phylogeny represent the timing of diversification events, which in turn rests on the assumption that evolutionary time can be accurately predicted from DNA sequence divergence. But there are many influences on the rate of molecular evolution, which might also influence node heights in molecular phylogenies, and thus affect estimates of diversification rate...
July 31, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Josianne Lachapelle, Nick Colegrave, Graham Bell
Environments rarely remain the same over time, and populations are therefore frequently at risk of going extinct when changes are significant enough to reduce fitness. While many studies have investigated what attributes of the new environments and of the populations experiencing these changes will affect their probability of going extinct, limited work has been directed toward determining the role of population history on the probability of going extinct during severe environmental change. Here we compare the extinction risk of populations with a history of selection in a benign environment, to populations with a history of selection in one or two stressful environments...
July 18, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
R D Phillips, G R Brown, K W Dixon, C Hayes, C C Linde, R Peakall
The mechanism of pollinator attraction is predicted to strongly influence both plant diversification and the extent of pollinator sharing between species. Sexually deceptive orchids rely on mimicry of species-specific sex pheromones to attract their insect pollinators. Given that sex pheromones tend to be conserved among related species, we predicted that in sexually deceptive orchids, (i) pollinator sharing is rare, (ii) closely related orchids use closely related pollinators and (iii) there is strong bias in the wasp lineages exploited by orchids...
July 17, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Tess Driessens, Simon Baeckens, Manuela Balzarolo, Bieke Vanhooydonck, Katleen Huyghe, Raoul Van Damme
Animals communicate using a variety of signals that differ dramatically among and within species. The astonishing dewlap diversity in anoles has attracted considerable attention in this respect. Yet, the evolutionary processes behind it remain elusive and have mostly been explored for males only. Here, we considered Anolis sagrei males and females to study signal divergence among populations. First, we assessed the degree of variation in dewlap design (size, pattern, colour) and displays by comparing 17 populations distributed across the Caribbean...
July 17, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
M B Graça, P A C L Pequeno, E Franklin, J W Morais
Occurrence patterns are partly shaped by the affinity of species with habitat conditions. For winged organisms, flight-related attributes are vital for ecological performance. However, due to the different reproductive roles of each sex, we expect divergence in flight energy budget, and consequently different selection responses between sexes. We used tropical frugivorous butterflies as models to investigate coevolution between flight morphology, sex dimorphism and vertical stratification. We studied 94 species of Amazonian fruit-feeing butterflies sampled in seven sites across 3341 ha...
July 17, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Jennie A H Crawley, Hannah S Mumby, Simon N Chapman, Mirkka Lahdenperä, Khyne U Mar, Win Htut, Aung Thura Soe, Htoo Htoo Aung, Virpi Lummaa
The limited availability of resources is predicted to impose trade-offs between growth, reproduction and self-maintenance in animals. However, whilst some studies have shown that early reproduction suppresses growth, reproduction positively correlates with size in others. We use detailed records from a large population of semi-captive elephants in Myanmar to assess the relationships between size (height and weight), reproduction and survival in female Asian elephants, a species characterised by slow, costly life history...
July 13, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Morgane Tidière, Jean-François Lemaître, Christophe Pélabon, Olivier Gimenez, Jean-Michel Gaillard
How selection pressures acting within species interact with developmental constraints to shape macro-evolutionary patterns of species divergence is still poorly understood. In particular, whether or not sexual selection affects evolutionary allometry, the increase in trait size with body size across species, of secondary sexual characters, remains largely unknown. In this context, bovid horn size is an especially relevant trait to study because horns are present in both sexes, but the intensity of sexual selection acting on them is expected to vary both among species and between sexes...
July 13, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
C Ruth Archer, Robert M Stephens, Manmohan D Sharma, David J Hosken
The Y chromosome should degenerate because it cannot recombine. However, male limited transmission increases selection efficiency for male benefit alleles on the Y, and therefore Y-chromosomes should contribute significantly to variation in male-fitness. This means that although the Drosophila Y chromosome is small and gene-poor, Y-linked genes are vital for male fertility in D. melanogaster and the Y chromosome has large male-fitness effects. It is unclear if the same pattern is seen in the closely related D...
July 13, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Kimberly A Paczolt, Josephine A Reinhardt, Gerald S Wilkinson
Sex-linked segregation distorters cause offspring sex ratios to differ from equality. Theory predicts that such selfish alleles may either go to fixation and cause extinction, reach a stable polymorphism, or initiate an evolutionary arms race with genetic modifiers. The extent to which a sex ratio distorter follows any of these trajectories in nature is poorly known. Here we used X-linked sequence and simple tandem repeat data for three sympatric species of stalk-eyed flies (Teleopsis whitei and two cryptic species of T...
July 8, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Kathryn B McNamara, Leigh W Simmons
Group living can select for increased immunity, given the heightened risk of parasite transmission. Yet, it also may select for increased male reproductive investment, given the elevated risk of female multiple mating. Trade-offs between immunity and reproduction are well documented. Phenotypically, population density mediates both reproductive investment and immune function in the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella. However, the evolutionary response of populations to these traits is unknown. We created two replicated populations of P...
July 4, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
J M Serb, E Sherratt, A Alejandrino, D C Adams
An important question in evolutionary biology is how often, and to what extent, do similar ecologies elicit distantly related taxa to evolve towards the same phenotype? In some scenarios, the repeated evolution of particular phenotypes may be expected, for instance when species are exposed to common selective forces that result from strong functional demands. In bivalved scallops (Pectinidae), some species exhibit a distinct swimming behaviour (gliding), which requires specific biomechanical attributes to generate lift and reduce drag during locomotive events...
July 1, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
H Luu, A T Tate
In response to parasite exposure, organisms from a variety of taxa undergo a shift in reproductive investment that may trade off with other life-history traits including survival and immunity. By suppressing reproduction in favour of somatic and immunological maintenance, hosts can enhance the probability of survival and recovery from infection. By plastically enhancing reproduction through terminal investment, on the other hand, hosts under the threat of disease-induced mortality could enhance their lifetime reproductive fitness through reproduction rather than survival...
July 1, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Jocelyn M Stedman, Kelly K Hallinger, David W Winkler, Maren N Vitousek
Phenotypic flexibility is a central way that organisms cope with challenging and changing environments. As endocrine signals mediate many phenotypic traits, heritable variation in hormone levels, or their context-dependent flexibility, could present an important target for selection. Several studies have estimated the heritability of circulating glucocorticoid levels under acute stress conditions, but little is known about the potential for either baseline hormone levels or rapid endocrine flexibility to evolve...
June 30, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Erin S Morrison, Alexander V Badyaev
Interactions between the structure of a metabolic network and its functional properties underlie its evolutionary diversification, but the mechanism by which such interactions arise remains elusive. Particularly unclear is whether metabolic fluxes that determine the concentrations of compounds produced by a metabolic network, are causally linked to a network's structure or emerge independently of it. A direct empirical study of populations where both structural and functional properties vary among individuals' metabolic networks is required to establish whether changes in structure affect the distribution of metabolic flux...
June 30, 2017: 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
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