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Proceedings. Biological Sciences

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637861/epidemic-and-endemic-pathogen-dynamics-correspond-to-distinct-host-population-microbiomes-at-a-landscape-scale
#1
Andrea J Jani, Roland A Knapp, Cheryl J Briggs
Infectious diseases have serious impacts on human and wildlife populations, but the effects of a disease can vary, even among individuals or populations of the same host species. Identifying the reasons for this variation is key to understanding disease dynamics and mitigating infectious disease impacts, but disentangling cause and correlation during natural outbreaks is extremely challenging. This study aims to understand associations between symbiotic bacterial communities and an infectious disease, and examines multiple host populations before or after pathogen invasion to infer likely causal links...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637860/higher-order-neural-processing-tunes-motion-neurons-to-visual-ecology-in-three-species-of-hawkmoths
#2
A L Stöckl, D O'Carroll, E J Warrant
To sample information optimally, sensory systems must adapt to the ecological demands of each animal species. These adaptations can occur peripherally, in the anatomical structures of sensory organs and their receptors; and centrally, as higher-order neural processing in the brain. While a rich body of investigations has focused on peripheral adaptations, our understanding is sparse when it comes to central mechanisms. We quantified how peripheral adaptations in the eyes, and central adaptations in the wide-field motion vision system, set the trade-off between resolution and sensitivity in three species of hawkmoths active at very different light levels: nocturnal Deilephila elpenor, crepuscular Manduca sexta, and diurnal Macroglossum stellatarum...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637859/seeds-integrate-biological-information-about-conspecific-and-allospecific-neighbours
#3
Akira Yamawo, Hiromi Mukai
Numerous organisms integrate information from multiple sources and express adaptive behaviours, but how they do so at different developmental stages remains to be identified. Seeds, which are the embryonic stage of plants, need to make decisions about the timing of emergence in response to environmental cues related to survival. We investigated the timing of emergence of Plantago asiatica (Plantaginaceae) seed while manipulating the presence of Trifolium repens seed and the relatedness of neighbouring P. asiatica seed...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637858/maternal-and-nourishment-factors-interact-to-influence-offspring-developmental-trajectories-in-social-wasps
#4
Jennifer M Jandt, Sainath Suryanarayanan, John C Hermanson, Robert L Jeanne, Amy L Toth
The social and nutritional environments during early development have the potential to affect offspring traits, but the mechanisms and molecular underpinnings of these effects remain elusive. We used Polistes fuscatus paper wasps to dissect how maternally controlled factors (vibrational signals and nourishment) interact to induce different caste developmental trajectories in female offspring, leading to worker or reproductive (gyne) traits. We established a set of caste phenotype biomarkers in P. fuscatus females, finding that gyne-destined individuals had high expression of three caste-related genes hypothesized to have roles in diapause and mitochondrial metabolism...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637857/acute-peaks-of-testosterone-suppress-paternal-care-evidence-from-individual-hormonal-reaction-norms
#5
Wolfgang Goymann, Pamela Flores Dávila
A long-standing tenet of evolutionary endocrinology states that testosterone mediates the life-history trade-off between mating and paternal care. However, the support for a role of testosterone in suppressing paternal care is mixed: implantation studies in birds suggest that high-level testosterone implants suppress paternal care, but circulating levels of testosterone and paternal care are typically not correlated. Because any trade-off in real life must be realized with hormone levels that are within an individual's reaction norm, it is crucial to show that natural changes in the hormone can modulate behaviour...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637856/how-to-get-the-most-bang-for-your-buck-the-evolution-and-physiology-of-nutrition-dependent-resource-allocation-strategies
#6
REVIEW
Enoch Ng'oma, Anna M Perinchery, Elizabeth G King
All organisms use resources to grow, survive and reproduce. The supply of these resources varies widely across landscapes and time, imposing ultimate constraints on the maximal trait values for allocation-related traits. In this review, we address three key questions fundamental to our understanding of the evolution of allocation strategies and their underlying mechanisms. First, we ask: how diverse are flexible resource allocation strategies among different organisms? We find there are many, varied, examples of flexible strategies that depend on nutrition...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637855/fear-of-the-human-super-predator-reduces-feeding-time-in-large-carnivores
#7
Justine A Smith, Justin P Suraci, Michael Clinchy, Ayana Crawford, Devin Roberts, Liana Y Zanette, Christopher C Wilmers
Large carnivores' fear of the human 'super predator' has the potential to alter their feeding behaviour and result in human-induced trophic cascades. However, it has yet to be experimentally tested if large carnivores perceive humans as predators and react strongly enough to have cascading effects on their prey. We conducted a predator playback experiment exposing pumas to predator (human) and non-predator control (frog) sounds at puma feeding sites to measure immediate fear responses to humans and the subsequent impacts on feeding...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637854/fish-prey-change-strategy-with-the-direction-of-a-threat
#8
Arjun Nair, Kelsey Changsing, William J Stewart, Matthew J McHenry
Predation is a fundamental interaction between species, yet it is unclear what escape strategies are effective for prey survival. Classical theory proposes that prey should either escape in a direction that conforms to a performance optimum or that is random and therefore unpredictable. Here, we show that larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) instead use a mixed strategy that may be either random or directed. This was determined by testing classic theory with measurements of the escape direction in response to a predator robot...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637853/trophic-state-changes-can-affect-the-importance-of-methane-derived-carbon-in-aquatic-food-webs
#9
Jos Schilder, Maarten van Hardenbroek, Paul Bodelier, Emiliya P Kirilova, Markus Leuenberger, André F Lotter, Oliver Heiri
Methane-derived carbon, incorporated by methane-oxidizing bacteria, has been identified as a significant source of carbon in food webs of many lakes. By measuring the stable carbon isotopic composition (δ(13)C values) of particulate organic matter, Chironomidae and Daphnia spp. and their resting eggs (ephippia), we show that methane-derived carbon presently plays a relevant role in the food web of hypertrophic Lake De Waay, The Netherlands. Sediment geochemistry, diatom analyses and δ(13)C measurements of chironomid and Daphnia remains in the lake sediments indicate that oligotrophication and re-eutrophication of the lake during the twentieth century had a strong impact on in-lake oxygen availability...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637852/testing-the-molecular-clock-using-mechanistic-models-of-fossil-preservation-and-molecular-evolution
#10
Rachel C M Warnock, Ziheng Yang, Philip C J Donoghue
Molecular sequence data provide information about relative times only, and fossil-based age constraints are the ultimate source of information about absolute times in molecular clock dating analyses. Thus, fossil calibrations are critical to molecular clock dating, but competing methods are difficult to evaluate empirically because the true evolutionary time scale is never known. Here, we combine mechanistic models of fossil preservation and sequence evolution in simulations to evaluate different approaches to constructing fossil calibrations and their impact on Bayesian molecular clock dating, and the relative impact of fossil versus molecular sampling...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637851/island-rule-quantitative-genetics-and-brain-body-size-evolution-in-homo-floresiensis
#11
José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho, Pasquale Raia
Colonization of islands often activate a complex chain of adaptive events that, over a relatively short evolutionary time, may drive strong shifts in body size, a pattern known as the Island Rule. It is arguably difficult to perform a direct analysis of the natural selection forces behind such a change in body size. Here, we used quantitative evolutionary genetic models, coupled with simulations and pattern-oriented modelling, to analyse the evolution of brain and body size in Homo floresiensis, a diminutive hominin species that appeared around 700 kya and survived up to relatively recent times (60-90 kya) on Flores Island, Indonesia...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637850/hierarchical-complexity-and-the-size-limits-of-life
#12
Noel A Heim, Jonathan L Payne, Seth Finnegan, Matthew L Knope, Michał Kowalewski, S Kathleen Lyons, Daniel W McShea, Philip M Novack-Gottshall, Felisa A Smith, Steve C Wang
Over the past 3.8 billion years, the maximum size of life has increased by approximately 18 orders of magnitude. Much of this increase is associated with two major evolutionary innovations: the evolution of eukaryotes from prokaryotic cells approximately 1.9 billion years ago (Ga), and multicellular life diversifying from unicellular ancestors approximately 0.6 Ga. However, the quantitative relationship between organismal size and structural complexity remains poorly documented. We assessed this relationship using a comprehensive dataset that includes organismal size and level of biological complexity for 11 172 extant genera...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637849/breaking-out-of-the-comfort-zone-el-ni%C3%A3-o-southern-oscillation-as-a-driver-of-trophic-flows-in-a-benthic-consumer-of-the-humboldt-current-ecosystem
#13
José M Riascos, Marco A Solís, Aldo S Pacheco, Manuel Ballesteros
The trophic flow of a species is considered a characteristic trait reflecting its trophic position and function in the ecosystem and its interaction with the environment. However, climate patterns are changing and we ignore how patterns of trophic flow are being affected. In the Humboldt Current ecosystem, arguably one of the most productive marine systems, El Niño-Southern Oscillation is the main source of interannual and longer-term variability. To assess the effect of this variability on trophic flow we built a 16-year series of mass-specific somatic production rate (P/B) of the Peruvian scallop (Argopecten purpuratus), a species belonging to a former tropical fauna that thrived in this cold ecosystem...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637848/using-captain-scott-s-discovery-specimens-to-unlock-the-past-has-antarctic-cyanobacterial-diversity-changed-over-the-last-100-years
#14
Anne D Jungblut, Ian Hawes
Evidence of climate-driven environmental change is increasing in Antarctica, and with it comes concern that this will propagate to impacts on biological communities. Recognition and prediction of change needs to incorporate the extent and timescales over which communities vary under extant conditions. However, few observations of Antarctic microbial communities, which dominate inland habitats, allow this. We therefore carried out the first molecular comparison of Cyanobacteria in historic herbarium microbial mats from freshwater ecosystems on Ross Island and the McMurdo Ice Shelf, collected by Captain R...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28637847/asymmetric-competition-impacts-evolutionary-rescue-in-a-changing-environment
#15
Courtney L Van Den Elzen, Elizabeth J Kleynhans, Sarah P Otto
Interspecific competition can strongly influence the evolutionary response of a species to a changing environment, impacting the chance that the species survives or goes extinct. Previous work has shown that when two species compete for a temporally shifting resource distribution, the species lagging behind the resource peak is the first to go extinct due to competitive exclusion. However, this work assumed symmetrically distributed resources and competition. Asymmetries can generate differences between species in population sizes, genetic variation and trait means...
June 28, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28615505/topological-features-of-a-gene-co-expression-network-predict-patterns-of-natural-diversity-in-environmental-response
#16
David L Des Marais, Rafael F Guerrero, Jesse R Lasky, Samuel V Scarpino
Molecular interactions affect the evolution of complex traits. For instance, adaptation may be constrained by pleiotropic or epistatic effects, both of which can be reflected in the structure of molecular interaction networks. To date, empirical studies investigating the role of molecular interactions in phenotypic evolution have been idiosyncratic, offering no clear patterns. Here, we investigated the network topology of genes putatively involved in local adaptation to two abiotic stressors-drought and cold-in Arabidopsis thaliana Our findings suggest that the gene-interaction topologies for both cold and drought stress response are non-random, with genes that show genetic variation in drought expression response (eGxE) being significantly more peripheral and cold response genes being significantly more central than genes which do not show GxE...
June 14, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28615504/biological-markets-in-cooperative-breeders-quantifying-outside-options
#17
Lena Grinsted, Jeremy Field
A major aim in evolutionary biology is to understand altruistic help and reproductive partitioning in cooperative societies, where subordinate helpers forego reproduction to rear dominant breeders' offspring. Traditional models of cooperation in these societies typically make a key assumption: that the only alternative to staying and helping is solitary breeding, an often unfeasible task. Using large-scale field experiments on paper wasps (Polistes dominula), we show that individuals have high-quality alternative nesting options available that offer fitness payoffs just as high as their actual chosen options, far exceeding payoffs from solitary breeding...
June 14, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28615503/the-scaling-of-population-persistence-with-carrying-capacity-does-not-asymptote-in-populations-of-a-fish-experiencing-extreme-climate-variability
#18
LETTER
Richard S A White, Brendan A Wintle, Peter A McHugh, Douglas J Booker, Angus R McIntosh
Despite growing concerns regarding increasing frequency of extreme climate events and declining population sizes, the influence of environmental stochasticity on the relationship between population carrying capacity and time-to-extinction has received little empirical attention. While time-to-extinction increases exponentially with carrying capacity in constant environments, theoretical models suggest increasing environmental stochasticity causes asymptotic scaling, thus making minimum viable carrying capacity vastly uncertain in variable environments...
June 14, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28615502/empirical-links-between-natural-mortality-and-recovery-in-marine-fishes
#19
Jeffrey A Hutchings, Anna Kuparinen
Probability of species recovery is thought to be correlated with specific aspects of organismal life history, such as age at maturity and longevity, and how these affect rates of natural mortality (M) and maximum per capita population growth (rmax). Despite strong theoretical underpinnings, these correlates have been based on predicted rather than realized population trajectories following threat mitigation. Here, we examine the level of empirical support for postulated links between a suite of life-history traits (related to maturity, age, size and growth) and recovery in marine fishes...
June 14, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28615501/x-ray-micro-ct-scanning-reveals-temporal-separation-of-male-harm-and-female-kicking-during-traumatic-mating-in-seed-beetles
#20
Liam R Dougherty, Leigh W Simmons
In the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus, the male intromittent organ is covered in sharp spines that pierce the female copulatory tract wall during mating. Although the fitness consequences of traumatic mating are well studied in this species, we know much less about how the male and female genitalia interact during mating. This is partly due to the fact that genital interactions occur primarily inside the female, and so are difficult to observe. In this study, we use X-ray micro-CT scanning to examine the proximate mechanisms of traumatic mating in C...
June 14, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
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