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Proceedings. Biological Sciences

Jin-Hua Ran, Ting-Ting Shen, Ming-Ming Wang, Xiao-Quan Wang
After decades of molecular phylogenetic studies, the deep phylogeny of gymnosperms has not been resolved, and the phylogenetic placement of Gnetales remains one of the most controversial issues in seed plant evolution. To resolve the deep phylogeny of seed plants and to address the sources of phylogenetic conflict, we conducted a phylotranscriptomic study with a sampling of all 13 families of gymnosperms and main lineages of angiosperms. Multiple datasets containing up to 1 296 042 sites across 1308 loci were analysed, using concatenation and coalescence approaches...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Shota Shibasaki, Masakazu Shimada
Evolution of cooperation has been one of the most important problems in sociobiology, and many researchers have revealed mechanisms that can facilitate the evolution of cooperation. However, most studies deal only with one cooperative behaviour, even though some organisms perform two or more cooperative behaviours. The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum performs two cooperative behaviours in starvation: fruiting body formation and macrocyst formation. Here, we constructed a model that couples these two behaviours, and we found that the two behaviours are maintained because of the emergence of cyclic dominance, although cooperation cannot evolve if only either of the two behaviours is performed...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Nicolle Demandt, Benedikt Saus, Ralf H J M Kurvers, Jens Krause, Joachim Kurtz, Jörn Peter Scharsack
Trophically transmitted parasites frequently increase their hosts' risk-taking behaviour, to facilitate transmission to the next host. Whether such elevated risk-taking can spill over to uninfected group members is, however, unknown. To investigate this, we confronted groups of 6 three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus , containing 0, 2, 4 or 6 experimentally infected individuals with a simulated bird attack and studied their risk-taking behaviour. As a parasite, we used the tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus , which increases the risk-taking of infected sticklebacks, to facilitate transmission to its final host, most often piscivorous birds...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
D Rex Mitchell, Emma Sherratt, Justin A Ledogar, Stephen Wroe
Increasing body size is accompanied by facial elongation across a number of mammalian taxa. This trend forms the basis of a proposed evolutionary rule, cranial evolutionary allometry (CREA). However, facial length has also been widely associated with the varying mechanical resistance of foods. Here, we combine geometric morphometrics and computational biomechanical analyses to determine whether evolutionary allometry or feeding ecology have been dominant influences on facial elongation across 16 species of kangaroos and relatives (Macropodiformes)...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Ben Ashby, Emily Bruns
Infection prior to reproduction usually carries greater fitness costs for hosts than infection later in life, suggesting selection should tend to favour juvenile resistance. Yet, juveniles are generally more susceptible than adults across a wide spectrum of host taxa. While physiological constraints and a lack of prior exposure can explain some of this pattern, studies in plants and insects suggest that hosts may trade off juvenile susceptibility against other life-history traits. However, it is unclear precisely how trade-offs shape the evolution of juvenile susceptibility...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Eleanor M Caves, Patrick A Green, Sönke Johnsen
Cleaner shrimp and their reef fish clients are an interspecific mutualistic interaction that is thought to be mediated by signals, and a useful system for studying the dynamics of interspecific signalling. To demonstrate signalling, one must show that purported signals at minimum (a) result in a consistent state change in the receiver and (b) contain reliable information about the sender's intrinsic state or future behaviour. Additionally, signals must be perceptible by receivers. Here, we document fundamental attributes of the signalling system between the cleaner shrimp Ancylomenes pedersoni and its clients...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Tim Newbold
Land-use and climate change are among the greatest threats facing biodiversity, but understanding their combined effects has been hampered by modelling and data limitations, resulting in part from the very different scales at which land-use and climate processes operate. I combine two different modelling paradigms to predict the separate and combined (additive) effects of climate and land-use change on terrestrial vertebrate communities under four different scenarios. I predict that climate-change effects are likely to become a major pressure on biodiversity in the coming decades, probably matching or exceeding the effects of land-use change by 2070...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Jesus E Madrid, Tara M Mandalaywala, Sean P Coyne, Jamie Ahloy-Dallaire, Joseph P Garner, Christina S Barr, Dario Maestripieri, Karen J Parker
Research has increasingly highlighted the role that developmental plasticity-the ability of a particular genotype to produce variable phenotypes in response to different early environments-plays as an adaptive mechanism. One of the most widely studied genetic contributors to developmental plasticity in humans and rhesus macaques is a serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR), which determines transcriptional efficiency of the serotonin transporter gene in vitro and modifies the availability of synaptic serotonin in these species...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Claire Mérot, Emma L Berdan, Charles Babin, Eric Normandeau, Maren Wellenreuther, Louis Bernatchez
Large chromosomal rearrangements are thought to facilitate adaptation to heterogeneous environments by limiting genomic recombination. Indeed, inversions have been implicated in adaptation along environmental clines and in ecotype specialization. Here, we combine classical ecological studies and population genetics to investigate an inversion polymorphism previously documented in Europe among natural populations of the seaweed fly Coelopa frigida along a latitudinal cline in North America. We test if the inversion is present in North America and polymorphic, assess which environmental conditions modulate the inversion karyotype frequencies, and document the relationship between inversion karyotype and adult size...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Cecilia J Brothers, William J Van Der Pol, Casey D Morrow, Joseph A Hakim, Hyunmin Koo, James B McClintock
The microbiome of sea urchins plays a role in maintaining digestive health and innate immunity. Here, we investigated the effects of long-term (90 day) exposure to elevated seawater temperatures on the microbiome of the common, subtropical sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus The community composition and diversity of microbes varied according to the type of sample collected from the sea urchin (seawater, feed, intestines, coelomic fluid, digested pellet and faeces), with the lowest microbial diversity (predominately the order Campylobacterales) located in the intestinal tissue...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Pei-Yun Cong, Thomas H P Harvey, Mark Williams, David J Siveter, Derek J Siveter, Sarah E Gabbott, Yu-Jing Li, Fan Wei, Xian-Guang Hou
Chancelloriids are an extinct group of spiny Cambrian animals of uncertain phylogenetic position. Despite their sponge-like body plan, their spines are unlike modern sponge spicules, but share several features with the sclerites of certain Cambrian bilaterians, notably halkieriids. However, a proposed homology of these 'coelosclerites' implies complex transitions in body plan evolution. A new species of chancelloriid, Allonnia nuda , from the lower Cambrian (Stage 3) Chengjiang Lagerstätte is distinguished by its large size and sparse spination, with modified apical sclerites surrounding an opening into the body cavity...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Pat Barclay, Sandeep Mishra, Adam Maxwell Sparks
Who takes risks, and when? The relative state model proposes two non-independent selection pressures governing risk-taking: need-based and ability-based. The need-based account suggests that actors take risks when they cannot reach target states with low-risk options (consistent with risk-sensitivity theory). The ability-based account suggests that actors engage in risk-taking when they possess traits or abilities that increase the expected value of risk-taking (by increasing the probability of success, enhancing payoffs for success or buffering against failure)...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Laura J Dällenbach, Alexandra Glauser, Ka S Lim, Jason W Chapman, Myles H M Menz
Migration has evolved among many animal taxa and migratory species are found across all major lineages. Insects are the most abundant and diverse terrestrial migrants, with trillions of animals migrating annually. Partial migration, where populations consist of resident and migratory individuals, is ubiquitous among many taxa. However, the underlying mechanisms are relatively poorly understood and may be driven by physiological, behavioural or genetic variation within populations. We investigated the differences in migratory tendency between migratory and resident phenotypes of the hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus , using tethered flight mills...
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Christopher H Martin, Bruce J Turner
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
J R Knott, F M Phillips, M C Reheis, D Sada, A Jayko, G Axen
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 27, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
B Cooper, B Adriaenssens, S S Killen
Group living is widespread among animal species, and comes with a number of costs and benefits associated with foraging, predator avoidance and reproduction. It is largely unknown, however, whether individuals sacrifice exposure to their own preferred or optimal environmental conditions so they can remain part of a social group. Here, we demonstrate that individual three-spine sticklebacks vary in the degree to which they forego exposure to their preferred ambient temperature so they can associate with a group of conspecifics...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Renske E Onstein, William J Baker, Thomas L P Couvreur, Søren Faurby, Leonel Herrera-Alsina, Jens-Christian Svenning, W Daniel Kissling
Past global change may have forced animal-dispersed plants with megafaunal fruits to adapt or go extinct, but these processes have remained unexplored at broad spatio-temporal scales. Here, we combine phylogenetic, distributional and fruit size data for more than 2500 palm (Arecaceae) species in a time-slice diversification analysis to quantify how extinction and adaptation have changed over deep time. Our results indicate that extinction rates of palms with megafaunal fruits have increased in the New World since the onset of the Quaternary (2...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Peter Aerts, Kristiaan D'Août, Susannah Thorpe, Gilles Berillon, Evie Vereecke
The well-developed Achilles tendon in humans is generally interpreted as an adaptation for mechanical energy storage and reuse during cyclic locomotion. All other extant great apes have a short tendon and long-fibred triceps surae, which is thought to be beneficial for locomotion in a complex arboreal habitat as this morphology enables a large range of motion. Surprisingly, highly arboreal gibbons show a more human-like triceps surae with a long Achilles tendon. Evidence for a spring-like function similar to humans is not conclusive...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Peggy A Bevan, Isabella Gosetto, Eliza R Jenkins, Isobel Barnes, Christos C Ioannou
Although consistent behavioural differences between individuals (i.e. personality variation) are now well established in animals, these differences are not always expressed when individuals interact in social groups. This can be key in important social dynamics such as leadership, which is often positively related to personality traits such as boldness. Individuals consistently differ in how social they are (their sociability), so if other axes of personality variation, such as boldness, can be suppressed during social interactions, this suppression should be stronger in more sociable individuals...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Beth Gibson, Daniel J Wilson, Edward Feil, Adam Eyre-Walker
Generation time varies widely across organisms and is an important factor in the life cycle, life history and evolution of organisms. Although the doubling time (DT) has been estimated for many bacteria in the laboratory, it is nearly impossible to directly measure it in the natural environment. However, an estimate can be obtained by measuring the rate at which bacteria accumulate mutations per year in the wild and the rate at which they mutate per generation in the laboratory. If we assume the mutation rate per generation is the same in the wild and in the laboratory, and that all mutations in the wild are neutral, an assumption that we show is not very important, then an estimate of the DT can be obtained by dividing the latter by the former...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
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