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Proceedings. Biological Sciences

Jonathan Okerblom, William Fletes, Hemal H Patel, Simon Schenk, Ajit Varki, Ellen C Breen
Compared to other primates, humans are exceptional long-distance runners, a feature that emerged in genus Homo approximately 2 Ma and is classically attributed to anatomical and physiological adaptations such as an enlarged gluteus maximus and improved heat dissipation. However, no underlying genetic changes have currently been defined. Two to three million years ago, an exon deletion in the CMP-Neu5Ac hydroxylase ( CMAH ) gene also became fixed in our ancestral lineage. Cmah loss in mice exacerbates disease severity in multiple mouse models for muscular dystrophy, a finding only partially attributed to differences in immune reactivity...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Kristina U Wensing, Claudia Fricke
Transfer and receipt of seminal fluid proteins crucially affect reproductive processes in animals. Evolution in these male ejaculatory proteins is explained with post-mating sexual selection, but we lack a good understanding of the evolution of female post-mating responses (PMRs) to these proteins. Some of these proteins are expected to mediate sexually antagonistic coevolution generating the expectation that females evolve resistance. One candidate in Drosophila melanogaster is the sex peptide (SP) which confers cost of mating in females...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Christopher Krupenye, Jingzhi Tan, Brian Hare
A key feature of human prosociality is direct transfers , the most active form of sharing in which donors voluntarily hand over resources in their possession Direct transfers buffer hunter-gatherers against foraging shortfalls. The emergence and elaboration of this behaviour thus likely played a key role in human evolution by promoting cooperative interdependence and ensuring that humans' growing energetic needs (e.g. for increasing brain size) were more reliably met. According to the strong prosociality hypothesis , among great apes only humans exhibit sufficiently strong prosocial motivations to directly transfer food...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Janek S Lobmaier, Urs Fischbacher, Urs Wirthmüller, Daria Knoch
Individuals are thought to have their own distinctive body odour which reportedly plays an important role in mate choice. In the present study we investigated individual differences in body odours of women and examined whether some women generally smell more attractive than others or whether odour preferences are a matter of individual taste. We then explored whether levels of reproductive hormones explain women's body odour attractiveness, to test the idea that body odour attractiveness may act as a chemosensory marker of reproductive fitness...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Morgane Tidière, Xavier Thevenot, Adamantia Deligiannopoulou, Guillaume Douay, Mylisa Whipple, Aurélie Siberchicot, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Jean-François Lemaître
In humans, pronounced age differences between parents have deleterious fitness consequences. In particular, the number of children is lower when mothers are much older than fathers. However, previous analyses failed to disentangle the influence of differential parental age per se from a direct age effect of each parent. In this study, we analyse the fitness consequences of both parental age and parental age differences on litter size and offspring survival in two closely related species of lemurs living in captivity...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Evatt Chirgwin, Dustin J Marshall, Carla M Sgrò, Keyne Monro
Parental environments are regularly shown to alter the mean fitness of offspring, but their impacts on the genetic variation for fitness, which predicts adaptive capacity and is also measured on offspring, are unclear. Consequently, how parental environments mediate adaptation to environmental stressors, like those accompanying global change, is largely unknown. Here, using an ecologically important marine tubeworm in a quantitative-genetic breeding design, we tested how parental exposure to projected ocean warming alters the mean survival, and genetic variation for survival, of offspring during their most vulnerable life stage under current and projected temperatures...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Anahita J N Kazem, Yvonne Barth, Dana Pfefferle, Lars Kulik, Anja Widdig
Kin recognition is a key ability which facilitates the acquisition of inclusive fitness benefits and enables optimal outbreeding. In primates, phenotype matching is considered particularly important for the recognition of patrilineal relatives, as information on paternity is unlikely to be available via social familiarity. Phenotypic cues to both paternal and maternal relatedness exist in the facial features of humans and other primates. However, theoretical models suggest that in systems with uncertainty parentage it may be adaptive for offspring to conceal such cues when young, in order to avoid potential costs of being discriminated against by unrelated adults...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Rafał Nawrot, Daniele Scarponi, Michele Azzarone, Troy A Dexter, Kristopher M Kusnerik, Jacalyn M Wittmer, Alessandro Amorosi, Michał Kowalewski
Stratigraphic patterns of last occurrences (LOs) of fossil taxa potentially fingerprint mass extinctions and delineate rates and geometries of those events. Although empirical studies of mass extinctions recognize that random sampling causes LOs to occur earlier than the time of extinction (Signor-Lipps effect), sequence stratigraphic controls on the position of LOs are rarely considered. By tracing stratigraphic ranges of extant mollusc species preserved in the Holocene succession of the Po coastal plain (Italy), we demonstrated that, if mass extinction took place today, complex but entirely false extinction patterns would be recorded regionally due to shifts in local community composition and non-random variation in the abundance of skeletal remains, both controlled by relative sea-level changes...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Sämi Schär, Rodney Eastwood, Kimberly G Arnaldi, Gerard Talavera, Zofia A Kaliszewska, John H Boyle, Marianne Espeland, David R Nash, Roger Vila, Naomi E Pierce
The role of specialization in diversification can be explored along two geological axes in the butterfly family Lycaenidae. In addition to variation in host-plant specialization normally exhibited by butterflies, the caterpillars of most Lycaenidae have symbioses with ants ranging from no interactions through to obligate and specific associations, increasing niche dimensionality in ant-associated taxa. Based on mitochondrial sequences from 8282 specimens from 967 species and 249 genera, we show that the degree of ecological specialization of lycaenid species is positively correlated with genetic divergence, haplotype diversity and an increase in isolation by distance...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Joey R Bernhardt, Jennifer M Sunday, Patrick L Thompson, Mary I O'Connor
As thermal regimes change worldwide, projections of future population and species persistence often require estimates of how population growth rates depend on temperature. These projections rarely account for how temporal variation in temperature can systematically modify growth rates relative to projections based on constant temperatures. Here, we tested the hypothesis that time-averaged population growth rates in fluctuating thermal environments differ from growth rates in constant conditions as a consequence of Jensen's inequality, and that the thermal performance curves (TPCs) describing population growth in fluctuating environments can be predicted quantitatively based on TPCs generated in constant laboratory conditions...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Peng Wang, Yan Yang, Pu Mou, Qingzhou Zhao, Yunbin Li
Plants are thought to be able to regulate local root growth according to its overall nutrient status as well as nutrient contents in a local substrate patch. Therefore, root plastic responses to environmental changes are probably co-determined by local responses of root modules and systematic control of the whole plant. Recent studies showed that the contrast in nutrient availability between different patches could significantly influence the growth and death of local roots. In this study, we further explored, beside nutrient contrast, whether root growth and death in a local patch are also affected by relative root quantity in the patch...
September 12, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Edmund R Hunt, Brian Mi, Camila Fernandez, Brandyn M Wong, Jonathan N Pruitt, Noa Pinter-Wollman
The behavioural composition of a group and the dynamics of social interactions can both influence how social animals work collectively. For example, individuals exhibiting certain behavioural tendencies may have a disproportionately large impact on the group, and so are referred to as keystone individuals, while interactions between individuals can facilitate information transmission about resources. Despite the potential impact of both behavioural composition and interactions on collective behaviour, the relationship between consistent behaviours (also known as personalities) and social interactions remains poorly understood...
September 5, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Alice Baniel, Guy Cowlishaw, Elise Huchard
Female-female competition over paternal care has rarely been investigated in promiscuous mammals, where discreet forms of male care have recently been reported despite low paternity certainty. We investigated female competition over paternal care in a wild promiscuous primate, the chacma baboon ( Papio ursinus ), where pregnant and lactating females establish strong social bonds (friendships) with males that provide care to their offspring. We tested whether pregnant and lactating females interfere with the sexual activity of their male friend to prevent new conceptions that might lead to the subsequent dilution of his paternal care...
September 5, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Anne-Sophie Tribot, Julie Deter, Nicolas Mouquet
As a cultural ecosystem service, the aesthetic value of landscapes contributes to human well-being, but studies linking biodiversity and ecosystem services generally do not account for this particular service. Therefore, congruence between the aesthetic perception of landscapes, ecological value and biodiversity remains poorly understood. Here, we describe the conceptual background, current methodologies and future challenges of assessing landscape aesthetics and its relationship with biodiversity. We highlight the methodological gaps between the assessment of landscape aesthetics, ecological diversity and functioning...
September 5, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Mikus Abolins-Abols, Mark E Hauber
Host defences against avian brood parasites are the outcome of well-documented coevolutionary arms races, yet important questions about variation in hosts' antiparasitic response traits remain poorly understood. Why are certain defences employed by some species or individuals and not by others? Here, we propose that understanding variability in and the evolution of host defences can be facilitated by the study of the underlying physiological mechanisms. Specifically, because antiparasitic strategies involve behaviours that have been shown to be hormonally regulated in other contexts, we hypothesize that host responses to brood parasites are likely to be mediated by related endocrine mechanisms...
September 5, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Mouhammad Shadi Khudr, Samuel Alexander Purkiss, Reinmar Hager
Community genetic (CG) effects and ecological factors create a complex set of interactions that are key drivers of evolutionary dynamics in ecological systems. To date, most studies investigating trait variation have focused on either effects of intraspecific genetic variation or on genotype by environment (GxE) interactions in isolation. Poorly investigated but very important are the interactions between CGs and indirect ecological effects (IEEs) that are caused by plant-soil interactions. Here, we tested how CGs in a cabbage host and its aphid parasite depended on the ecological conditions under which the host was grown...
September 5, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Florian N Moser, Jacco C van Rijssel, Salome Mwaiko, Joana I Meier, Benjamin Ngatunga, Ole Seehausen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 5, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
C M Modahl, Frietze S Mrinalini, S P Mackessy
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 5, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Bryan Shirley, Madleen Grohganz, Michel Bestmann, Emilia Jarochowska
Conodont elements are the earliest mineralized vertebrate dental tools and the only ones capable of extensive repair. Two models of conodont growth, as well as the presence of a larval stage, have been hypothesized. We analysed normally and pathologically developed elements to test these hypotheses and identified three ontogenetic stages characterized by different anisometric growth and morphology. The distinction of these stages is independently corroborated by differences in tissue strontium (Sr) content...
September 5, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Samantha C Leigh, Yannis P Papastamatiou, Donovan P German
What an animal consumes and what an animal digests and assimilates for energetic demands are not always synonymous. Sharks, uniformly accepted as carnivores, have guts that are presumed to be well suited for a high-protein diet. However, the bonnethead shark ( Sphyrna tiburo ), which is abundant in critical seagrass habitats, has been previously shown to consume copious amounts of seagrass (up to 62.1% of gut content mass), although it is unknown if they can digest and assimilate seagrass nutrients. To determine if bonnetheads digest seagrass nutrients, captive sharks were fed a 13 C-labelled seagrass diet...
September 5, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
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