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Biology Letters

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28539462/horizontal-and-vertical-species-turnover-in-tropical-birds-in-habitats-with-differing-land-use
#1
Rachakonda Sreekar, Richard T Corlett, Salindra Dayananda, Uromi Manage Goodale, Adam Kilpatrick, Sarath W Kotagama, Lian Pin Koh, Eben Goodale
Large tracts of tropical rainforests are being converted into intensive agricultural lands. Such anthropogenic disturbances are known to reduce species turnover across horizontal distances. But it is not known if they can also reduce species turnover across vertical distances (elevation), which have steeper climatic differences. We measured turnover in birds across horizontal and vertical sampling transects in three land-use types of Sri Lanka: protected forest, reserve buffer and intensive-agriculture, from 90 to 2100 m a...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28539461/contrasting-effects-of-aquatic-subsidies-on-a-terrestrial-trophic-cascade
#2
Nadin Graf, Roman Bucher, Ralf B Schäfer, Martin H Entling
Subsidies from adjacent ecosystems can alter recipient food webs and ecosystem functions, such as herbivory. Emerging aquatic insects from streams can be an important prey in the riparian zone. Such aquatic subsidies can enhance predator abundances or cause predators to switch prey, depending on the herbivores. This can lead to an increase or decrease of in situ herbivores and herbivory. We examined the effects of aquatic subsidies on a simplified terrestrial food web consisting of two types of herbivores, plants and predators (spiders)...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28539460/brain-size-hunting-and-the-risk-of-getting-shot-a-reply-to-zink-stuber-2017
#3
Anders Pape Møller, Johannes Erritzøe
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28539459/social-bet-hedging-in-vampire-bats
#4
Gerald G Carter, Damien R Farine, Gerald S Wilkinson
Helping kin or nonkin can provide direct fitness benefits, but helping kin also benefits indirect fitness. Why then should organisms invest in cooperative partnerships with nonkin, if kin relationships are available and more beneficial? One explanation is that a kin-limited support network is too small and risky. Even if additional weaker partnerships reduce immediate net cooperative returns, individuals extending cooperation to nonkin can maintain a larger social network which reduces the potential costs associated with losing a primary cooperation partner...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28539458/how-does-environment-influence-fighting-the-effects-of-tidal-flow-on-resource-value-and-fighting-costs-in-sea-anemones
#5
Alexandre V Palaoro, Mariana Velasque, Sandro Santos, Mark Briffa
An animal's decision to enter into a fight depends on the interaction between perceived resource value (V) and fighting costs (C). Both could be altered by predictable environmental fluctuations. For intertidal marine animals, such as the sea anemone Actinia equina, exposure to high flow during the tidal cycle may increase V by bringing more food. It may also increase C via energy expenditure needed to attach to the substrate. We asked whether simulated tidal cycles would alter decisions in fighting A. equina We exposed some individuals to still water and others to simulated tidal cycles...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28539457/mechanical-evidence-that-flamingos-can-support-their-body-on-one-leg-with-little-active-muscular-force
#6
Young-Hui Chang, Lena H Ting
Flamingos (Phoenicopteridae) often stand and sleep on one leg for long periods, but it is unknown how much active muscle contractile force they use for the mechanical demands of standing on one leg: body weight support and maintaining balance. First, we demonstrated that flamingo cadavers could passively support body weight on one leg without any muscle activity while adopting a stable, unchanging, joint posture resembling that seen in live flamingos. By contrast, the cadaveric flamingo could not be stably held in a two-legged pose, suggesting a greater necessity for active muscle force to stabilize two-legged versus one-legged postures...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28539456/no-relationship-between-brain-size-and-risk-of-being-shot-in-hunted-birds-a-comment-on-m%C3%A3-ller-erritz%C3%A3-e-2016
#7
Robert M Zink, Erica F Stuber
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28515332/the-unusual-tracheal-system-within-the-wing-membrane-of-a-dragonfly
#8
Rhainer Guillermo-Ferreira, Esther Appel, Paulina Urban, Pitágoras C Bispo, Stanislav N Gorb
Some consider that the first winged insects had living tissue inside the wing membrane, resembling larval gills or developing wing pads. However, throughout the developmental process of the wing membrane of modern insects, cells and tracheoles in the lumen between dorsal and ventral cuticle disappear and both cuticles become fused. This process results in the rather thin rigid stable structure of the membrane. The herewith described remarkable case of the dragonfly Zenithoptera lanei shows that in some highly specialized wings, the membrane can still be supplemented by tracheae...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28515331/cannibalism-by-damselflies-increases-with-rising-temperature
#9
Denon Start, Devin Kirk, Dylan Shea, Benjamin Gilbert
Trophic interactions are likely to change under climate warming. These interactions can be altered directly by changing consumption rates, or indirectly by altering growth rates and size asymmetries among individuals that in turn affect feeding. Understanding these processes is particularly important for intraspecific interactions, as direct and indirect changes may exacerbate antagonistic interactions. We examined the effect of temperature on activity rate, growth and intraspecific size asymmetries, and how these temperature dependencies affected cannibalism in Lestes congener, a damselfly with marked intraspecific variation in size...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28515330/post-fire-recovery-of-torpor-and-activity-patterns-of-a-small-mammal
#10
Clare Stawski, Taylor Hume, Gerhard Körtner, Shannon E Currie, Julia Nowack, Fritz Geiser
To cope with the post-fire challenges of decreased availability of food and shelter, brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii), a small marsupial mammal, increase the use of energy-conserving torpor and reduce activity. However, it is not known how long it takes for animals to resume pre-fire torpor and activity patterns during the recovery of burnt habitat. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that antechinus will adjust torpor use and activity after a fire depending on vegetation recovery. We simultaneously quantified torpor and activity patterns for female antechinus from three adjacent areas: (i) the area of a management burn 1 year post-fire, (ii) an area that was burned 2 years prior, and (iii) a control area...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28515329/inference-of-facultative-mobility-in-the-enigmatic-ediacaran-organism-parvancorina
#11
Simon A F Darroch, Imran A Rahman, Brandt Gibson, Rachel A Racicot, Marc Laflamme
Establishing how Ediacaran organisms moved and fed is critical to deciphering their ecological and evolutionary significance, but has long been confounded by their non-analogue body plans. Here, we use computational fluid dynamics to quantitatively analyse water flow around the Ediacaran taxon Parvancorina, thereby testing between competing models for feeding mode and mobility. The results show that flow was not distributed evenly across the organism, but was directed towards localized areas; this allows us to reject osmotrophy, and instead supports either suspension feeding or detritivory...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28490447/plant-spines-deter-herbivory-by-restricting-caterpillar-movement
#12
Rupesh R Kariyat, Sean B Hardison, Consuelo M De Moraes, Mark C Mescher
The spines of flowering plants are thought to function primarily in defence against mammalian herbivores; however, we previously reported that feeding by Manduca sexta caterpillars on the leaves of horsenettle plants (Solanum carolinense) induces increased development of internode spines on new growth. To determine whether and how spines impact caterpillar feeding, we conducted assays with three Solanaceous plant species that vary in spine numbers (S. carolinense, S. atropurpureum and S. aethiopicum) and also manipulated spine numbers within each species...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28490446/tolerance-to-herbivory-and-the-resource-availability-hypothesis
#13
Ernesto Gianoli, Cristian Salgado-Luarte
The resource availability hypothesis (RAH), the most successful theory explaining plant defence patterns, predicts that defence investment is related to the relative growth rate (RGR) of plant species, which is associated with habitat quality. Thus, fast-growing species should show lower resistance than slow-growing species, which would lead fast growers to sustain higher herbivory rates, but the fitness consequences of herbivory would be greater for slow growers. The latter is often assumed but rarely tested...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28468913/does-oxidative-stress-shorten-telomeres
#14
Jelle J Boonekamp, Christina Bauch, Ellis Mulder, Simon Verhulst
Oxidative stress shortens telomeres in cell culture, but whether oxidative stress explains variation in telomere shortening in vivo at physiological oxidative stress levels is not well known. We therefore tested for correlations between six oxidative stress markers and telomere attrition in nestling birds (jackdaws Corvus monedula) that show a high rate of telomere attrition in early life. Telomere attrition was measured between ages 5 and 30 days, and was highly variable (average telomere loss: 323 bp, CV = 45%)...
May 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28446619/candidate-genes-mediating-magnetoreception-in-rainbow-trout-oncorhynchus-mykiss
#15
Robert R Fitak, Benjamin R Wheeler, David A Ernst, Kenneth J Lohmann, Sönke Johnsen
Diverse animals use Earth's magnetic field in orientation and navigation, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms that underlie magnetoreception. Recent studies have focused on two possibilities: (i) magnetite-based receptors; and (ii) biochemical reactions involving radical pairs. We used RNA sequencing to examine gene expression in the brain of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) after exposure to a magnetic pulse known to disrupt magnetic orientation behaviour. We identified 181 differentially expressed genes, including increased expression of six copies of the frim gene, which encodes a subunit of the universal iron-binding and trafficking protein ferritin...
April 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28446618/the-role-of-feeding-morphology-and-competition-in-governing-the-diet-breadth-of-sympatric-stomatopod-crustaceans
#16
Maya S deVries
Competition for food drives divergence and specialization in feeding morphology. Stomatopod crustaceans have two kinds of highly specialized feeding appendages: either elongate spear-like appendages (spearers) used to ambush soft-bodied evasive prey or hammer-like appendages (smashers) that produce extremely high forces used both to break hard-shelled prey and to capture evasive prey. To evaluate associations between appendage type and feeding ecology, the diet of two small smasher and spearer species (size range: 21-27 mm) that co-occur were compared...
April 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28446617/is-embryonic-hypothermia-tolerance-common-in-birds
#17
Jin-Ming Zhao, Zhi-Ming Han, Yue-Hua Sun
Avian incubation temperatures oscillate within narrow limits to ensure proper embryonic development. However, field observations and experimental studies have found that some species can tolerate very low incubation temperatures, either regularly or occasionally. We artificially incubated eggs from five domestic species, which represent a range of egg sizes, to examine whether a diversity of avian species could exhibit an unusual hypothermia tolerance, as observed in the field. We found that eggs of the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), pigeon (Columba livia domestica), Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) survived the incubation period and hatched after experiencing 10°C hypothermia for 6 h each day...
April 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28424317/the-williams-syndrome-prosociality-gene-gtf2i-mediates-oxytocin-reactivity-and-social-anxiety-in-a-healthy-population
#18
Tanya L Procyshyn, Jason Spence, Silven Read, Neil V Watson, Bernard J Crespi
The neurohormone oxytocin plays a central role in human social behaviour and cognition, and oxytocin dysregulation may contribute to psychiatric disorders. However, genetic factors influencing individual variation in the oxytocinergic system remain poorly understood. We genotyped 169 healthy adults for a functional polymorphism in GTF2I (general transcription factor II-I), a gene associated with high prosociality and reduced social anxiety in Williams syndrome, a condition reported to involve high oxytocin levels and reactivity...
April 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28404823/noise-affects-resource-assessment-in-an-invertebrate
#19
Erin P Walsh, Gareth Arnott, Hansjoerg P Kunc
Anthropogenic noise is a global pollutant, affecting animals across taxa. However, how noise pollution affects resource acquisition is unknown. Hermit crabs (Pagurus bernhardus) engage in detailed assessment and decision-making when selecting a critical resource, their shell; this is crucial as individuals in poor shells suffer lower reproductive success and higher mortality. We experimentally exposed hermit crabs to anthropogenic noise during shell selection. When exposed to noise, crabs approached the shell faster, spent less time investigating it, and entered it faster...
April 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28404822/sperm-as-moderators-of-environmentally-induced-paternal-effects-in-a-livebearing-fish
#20
Jonathan P Evans, Rowan A Lymbery, Kyle S Wiid, Md Moshiur Rahman, Clelia Gasparini
Until recently, paternal effects-the influence of fathers on their offspring due to environmental factors rather than genes-were largely discarded or assumed to be confined to species exhibiting paternal care. It is now recognized that paternal effects can be transmitted through the ejaculate, but unambiguous evidence for them is scarce, because it is difficult to isolate effects operating via changes to the ejaculate from maternal effects driven by female mate assessment. Here, we use artificial insemination to disentangle mate assessment from fertilization in guppies, and show that paternal effects can be transmitted to offspring exclusively via ejaculates...
April 2017: Biology Letters
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