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Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Fernando Montealegre-Z, Jessica Ogden, Thorin Jonsson, Carl D Soulsbury
Male katydids produce mating calls by stridulation using specialized structures on the forewings. The right wing (RW) bears a scraper connected to a drum-like cell known as the mirror and a left wing (LW) that overlaps the RW and bears a serrated vein on the ventral side, the stridulatory file. Sound is generated with the scraper sweeping across the file, producing vibrations that are amplified by the mirror. Using this sound generator, katydids exploit a range of song carrier frequencies (CF) unsurpassed by any other insect group, with species singing as low as 600 Hz and others as high as 150 kHz...
September 16, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Boris Delahaie, Josselin Cornuault, Charline Masson, Joris A M Bertrand, Yann X C Bourgeois, Borja Milá, Christophe Thébaud
Patterns of phenotypic and genic frequencies across hybrid zones provide insight into the origin and evolution of reproductive isolation. The Reunion grey white-eye, Zosterops borbonicus, exhibits parapatrically distributed plumage colour forms across the lowlands of the small volcanic island of Reunion (Mascarene archipelago). These forms meet and hybridise in regions that are natural barriers to dispersal (rivers, lava fields). Here, we investigated the relationship among patterns of differentiation at neutral genetic (microsatellite) markers, phenotypic traits (morphology and plumage colour) and niche characteristics across three independent hybrid zones...
September 13, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
S A Deventer, M E Herberstein, D Mayntz, J C O'Hanlon, J M Schneider
Many hypotheses explaining the evolution and maintenance of sexual cannibalism incorporate the nutritional aspect of the consumption of males. Most studies have focused on a fecundity advantage through consumption of a male, however recent studies have raised the intriguing possibility that consumption of a male may also affect offspring quality. In particular, recent studies suggest prolonged survival for offspring from sexually cannibalistic females. Here we measured the protein and lipid content of males compared to insect prey (crickets), quantified female nutrient intake of both prey types, and finally assessed how sexual cannibalism affects female fecundity and spiderling quality in the orb-web spider Larinioides sclopetarius...
September 13, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Marie R G Attard, Iliana Medina, Naomi E Langmore, Emma Sherratt
Parasitic cuckoos lay their eggs in nests of host species. Rejection of cuckoo eggs by hosts has led to the evolution of egg mimicry by cuckoos, whereby their eggs mimic the colour and pattern of their host eggs to avoid egg recognition and rejection. There is also evidence of mimicry in egg size in some cuckoo-host systems, but currently it is unknown whether cuckoos can also mimic the egg shape of their hosts. In this study we test whether there is evidence of mimicry in egg form (shape and size) in three species of Australian cuckoos: the fan-tailed cuckoo Cacomantis flabelliformis which exploits dome nesting hosts, the brush cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus, which exploits both dome and cup nesting hosts, and the pallid cuckoo Cuculus pallidus, which exploits cup nesting hosts...
September 12, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Yiting Jiang, Anders Pape Møller
Predation is a common cause of death in numerous organisms, and a host of anti-predator defenses have evolved. Such defenses often have a genetic background as shown by significant heritability and micro-evolutionary responses towards weaker defenses in the absence of predators. Flight initiation distance (FID) is the distance at which an individual animal takes flight when approached by a human, and hence it reflects the life history compromise between risk of predation and the benefits of foraging. Here we analyzed FID in 128 species of birds in relation to three measures of genetic variation, band sharing coefficient for minisatellites, observed heterozygosity and inbreeding coefficient for microsatellites in order to test whether FID was positively correlated with genetic variation...
September 12, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Patrick G Meirmans, Julie Godbout, Manuel Lamothe, Stacey Lee Thompson, Nathalie Isabel
Hybridization between species is known to greatly affect their genetic diversity and, therefore, their evolution. Also, within species, there may be genetic clusters between which gene flow is limited, which may impact natural selection. However, few studies have looked simultaneously at the influence of among-species and within-species gene flow. Here, we study the influence of hybridization between Populus balsamifera and P. trichocarpa on population structure and adaptation in P. balsamifera. We did this by sampling a total of 1,517 individuals from across the ranges of these two species, and by genotyping them using a combination of 93 nuclear and 17 cpDNA SNPs...
September 1, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Jessica L Tingle, Gabriel E A Gartner, Bruce C Jayne, Theodore Garland
Understanding the origin and maintenance of functionally important subordinate traits is a major goal of evolutionary physiologists and ecomorphologists. Within the confines of a limbless body plan, snakes are diverse in terms of body size and ecology, but we know little about the functional traits that underlie this diversity. We used a phylogenetically diverse group of 131 snake species to examine associations between habitat use, sidewinding locomotion, and constriction behavior with the number of body vertebrae spanned by a single segment of the spinalis muscle, with total numbers of body vertebrae used as a covariate in statistical analyses...
August 31, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Heather R Votaw, E A Ostrowski
Reproductive division of labor is common in many societies, including those of eusocial insects, cooperatively breeding vertebrates, and most forms of multicellularity. However, conflict over what is best for the individual versus the group can prevent an optimal division of labor from being achieved. In the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, cells aggregate to become multicellular and a fraction behaves altruistically, forming a dead stalk that supports the rest. Theory suggests that intraorganismal conflict over spore-stalk cell fate can drive rapid evolutionary change in allocation traits, leading to polymorphisms within populations or rapid divergence between them...
August 28, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Isobel Booksmythe, Howard D Rundle, Göran Arnqvist
Sexual selection imposed by mating preferences is often implicated in the evolution of both sexual dimorphism and divergence between species in signalling traits. Epicuticular compounds (ECs) are important signalling traits in insects and show extensive variability among and within taxa. Here we investigate whether variation in the multivariate EC profiles of two sex role reversed beetle species, Megabruchidius dorsalis and M. tonkineus, predicts mate attractiveness and mating success in males and females. The two species had highly distinct EC profiles and both showed significant sexual dimorphism in ECs...
August 23, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Samuel Carleial, Mark van Kleunen, Marc Stift
Hermaphroditic plants can potentially self-fertilise, but most possess adaptations that promote outcrossing. However, evolutionary transitions to higher selfing rates are frequent. Selfing comes with a transmission advantage over outcrossing, but self-progeny may suffer from inbreeding depression, which forms the main barrier to the evolution of higher selfing rates. Here, we assessed inbreeding depression in the North American herb Arabidopsis lyrata, which is normally self-incompatible, with a low frequency of self-compatible plants...
August 22, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Katharina J Peters, Steven A Myers, Rachael Y Dudaniec, Jody A O'Connor, Sonia Kleindorfer
The consequences of hybridization for biodiversity depend on the specific ecological and evolutionary context in which it occurs. Understanding patterns of gene flow among hybridizing species is crucial for determining the evolutionary trajectories of species assemblages. The recently discovered hybridization between two species of Darwin's tree finches (Camarhynchus parvulus and C. pauper) on Floreana Island, Galápagos, presents an exciting opportunity to investigate the mechanisms causing hybridization and its potential evolutionary consequences under conditions of recent habitat disturbance and the introduction of invasive pathogens...
August 22, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Rayna C Bell, Grant N Webster, Martin J Whiting
Dynamic sexual dichromatism is a temporary colour change between the sexes and has evolved independently in a wide range of anurans, many of which are explosive breeders wherein males physically compete for access to females. Behavioural studies in a few species indicate that dynamic dichromatism functions as a visual signal in large breeding aggregations; however, the prevalence of this trait and the social and environmental factors underlying its expression are poorly understood. We compiled a database of 178 anurans with dynamic dichromatism that include representatives from 15 families and subfamilies...
August 22, 2017: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Matthew E Nielsen
Phenotypic plasticity can help organisms cope with variation in their current environment, including temperature variation, but not all environments are equally variable. In the least variable or extreme environments, plasticity may no longer be used. In this case, the plasticity could be lost all together, or it could persist with either the same or an altered reaction norm, depending on factors such as the plasticity's costs. In the pipevine swallowtail caterpillar (Battus philenor), I tested for changes in two forms of heat-avoidance plasticity, color change and refuge-seeking behavior, across the species' range in the United states, including the cooler eastern parts of its range where color change has not been observed and is unlikely to be needed...
August 22, 2017: 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
S Kecko, A Mihailova, K Kangassalo, D Elferts, T Krama, R Krams, S Luoto, M J Rantala, I 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
L Holman, F 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
D A Duchêne, X Hua, L 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
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