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Biology Letters

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28330978/editor-s-note-on-putting-fossils-in-trees-special-issue
#1
April M Wright
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28330977/correction-to-experimental-maturation-of-feathers-implications-for-reconstructions-of-fossil-feather-colour
#2
Maria E McNamara, Derek E G Briggs, Patrick J Orr, Daniel J Field, Zhengrong Wang
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28330976/when-environmental-factors-become-stressors-interactive-effects-of-vermetid-gastropods-and-sedimentation-on-corals
#3
Julie A Zill, Michael A Gil, Craig W Osenberg
Environmental stressors often interact, but most studies of multiple stressors have focused on combinations of abiotic stressors. Here we examined the potential interaction between a biotic stressor, the vermetid snail Ceraesignum maximum, and an abiotic stressor, high sedimentation, on the growth of reef-building corals. In a field experiment, we subjected juvenile massive Porites corals to four treatments: (i) neither stressor, (ii) sedimentation, (iii) vermetids or (iv) both stressors. Unexpectedly, we found no effect of either stressor in isolation, but a significant decrease in coral growth in the presence of both stressors...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28330975/mitogenomes-and-relatedness-do-not-predict-frequency-of-tool-use-by-sea-otters
#4
Katherine Ralls, Nancy Rotzel McInerney, Roderick B Gagne, Holly B Ernest, M Tim Tinker, Jessica Fujii, Jesus Maldonado
Many ecological aspects of tool-use in sea otters are similar to those in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Within an area, most tool-using dolphins share a single mitochondrial haplotype and are more related to each other than to the population as a whole. We asked whether sea otters in California showed similar genetic patterns by sequencing mitogenomes of 43 otters and genotyping 154 otters at 38 microsatellite loci. There were six variable sites in the mitogenome that yielded three haplotypes, one found in only a single individual...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28298596/dietary-restriction-increases-variability-in-longevity
#5
A M Senior, S Nakagawa, D Raubenheimer, S J Simpson, D W A Noble
Nutritional environments, particularly those experienced during early life, are hypothesized to affect longevity. A recent cross-taxa meta-analysis found that, depending upon circumstance, average longevity may be increased or decreased by early-life dietary restriction. Unstudied are the effects of diet during development on among-individual variance in longevity. Here, we address this issue using emerging methods for meta-analysis of variance. We found that, in general, standard deviation (s.d.) in longevity is around 8% higher under early-life dietary restriction than a standard diet...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28298595/incubation-under-climate-warming-affects-learning-ability-and-survival-in-hatchling-lizards
#6
Buddhi Dayananda, Jonathan K Webb
Despite compelling evidence for substantial individual differences in cognitive performance, it is unclear whether cognitive ability influences fitness of wild animals. In many animals, environmental stressors experienced in utero can produce substantial variation in the cognitive abilities of offspring. In reptiles, incubation temperatures experienced by embryos can influence hatchling brain function and learning ability. Under climate warming, the eggs of some lizard species may experience higher temperatures, which could affect the cognitive abilities of hatchlings...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28298594/impacts-of-silicon-based-grass-defences-across-trophic-levels-under-both-current-and-future-atmospheric-co2-scenarios
#7
James M W Ryalls, Susan E Hartley, Scott N Johnson
Silicon (Si) has important functional roles in plants, including resistance against herbivores. Environmental change, such as increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2, may alter allocation to Si defences in grasses, potentially changing the feeding behaviour and performance of herbivores, which may in turn impact on higher trophic groups. Using Si-treated and untreated grasses (Phalaris aquatica) maintained under ambient (400 ppm) and elevated (640 and 800 ppm) CO2 concentrations, we show that Si reduced feeding by crickets (Acheta domesticus), resulting in smaller body mass...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28298593/learning-and-robustness-to-catch-and-release-fishing-in-a-shark-social-network
#8
Johann Mourier, Culum Brown, Serge Planes
Individuals can play different roles in maintaining connectivity and social cohesion in animal populations and thereby influence population robustness to perturbations. We performed a social network analysis in a reef shark population to assess the vulnerability of the global network to node removal under different scenarios. We found that the network was generally robust to the removal of nodes with high centrality. The network appeared also highly robust to experimental fishing. Individual shark catchability decreased as a function of experience, as revealed by comparing capture frequency and site presence...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28275167/novel-opsin-gene-variation-in-large-bodied-diurnal-lemurs
#9
Rachel L Jacobs, Tammie S MacFie, Amanda N Spriggs, Andrea L Baden, Toni Lyn Morelli, Mitchell T Irwin, Richard R Lawler, Jennifer Pastorini, Mireya Mayor, Runhua Lei, Ryan Culligan, Melissa T R Hawkins, Peter M Kappeler, Patricia C Wright, Edward E Louis, Nicholas I Mundy, Brenda J Bradley
Some primate populations include both trichromatic and dichromatic (red-green colour blind) individuals due to allelic variation at the X-linked opsin locus. This polymorphic trichromacy is well described in day-active New World monkeys. Less is known about colour vision in Malagasy lemurs, but, unlike New World monkeys, only some day-active lemurs are polymorphic, while others are dichromatic. The evolutionary pressures underlying these differences in lemurs are unknown, but aspects of species ecology, including variation in activity pattern, are hypothesized to play a role...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28275166/living-in-stable-social-groups-is-associated-with-reduced-brain-size-in-woodpeckers-picidae
#10
Natalia Fedorova, Cara L Evans, Richard W Byrne
Group size predicts brain size in primates and some other mammal groups, but no such relationship has been found in birds. Instead, stable pair-bonding and bi-parental care have been identified as correlates of larger brains in birds. We investigated the relationship between brain size and social system within the family Picidae, using phylogenetically controlled regression analysis. We found no specific effect of duration or strength of pair-bonds, but brain sizes were systematically smaller in species living in long-lasting social groups of larger sizes...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28250210/dipteran-larvae-and-microbes-facilitate-nutrient-sequestration-in-the-nepenthes-gracilis-pitcher-plant-host
#11
Weng Ngai Lam, Kwek Yan Chong, Ganesh S Anand, Hugh Tiang Wah Tan
The fluid-containing traps of Nepenthes carnivorous pitcher plants (Nepenthaceae) are often inhabited by organisms known as inquilines. Dipteran larvae are key components of such communities and are thought to facilitate pitcher nitrogen sequestration by converting prey protein into inorganic nitrogen, although this has never been demonstrated in Nepenthes Pitcher fluids are also inhabited by microbes, although the relationship(s) between these and the plant is still unclear. In this study, we examined the hypothesis of digestive mutualism between N...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28250209/artificial-night-lighting-inhibits-feeding-in-moths
#12
Frank van Langevelde, Roy H A van Grunsven, Elmar M Veenendaal, Thijs P M Fijen
One major, yet poorly studied, change in the environment is nocturnal light pollution, which strongly alters habitats of nocturnally active species. Artificial night lighting is often considered as driving force behind rapid moth population declines in severely illuminated countries. To understand these declines, the question remains whether artificial light causes only increased mortality or also sublethal effects. We show that moths subjected to artificial night lighting spend less time feeding than moths in darkness, with the shortest time under light conditions rich in short wavelength radiation...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28250208/evolution-of-mutation-rates-in-hypermutable-populations-of-escherichia-coli-propagated-at-very-small-effective-population-size
#13
Tanya Singh, Meredith Hyun, Paul Sniegowski
Mutation is the ultimate source of the genetic variation-including variation for mutation rate itself-that fuels evolution. Natural selection can raise or lower the genomic mutation rate of a population by changing the frequencies of mutation rate modifier alleles associated with beneficial and deleterious mutations. Existing theory and observations suggest that where selection is minimized, rapid systematic evolution of mutation rate either up or down is unlikely. Here, we report systematic evolution of higher and lower mutation rates in replicate hypermutable Escherichia coli populations experimentally propagated at very small effective size-a circumstance under which selection is greatly reduced...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28250207/capturing-goats-documenting-two-hundred-years-of-mitochondrial-dna-diversity-among-goat-populations-from-britain-and-ireland
#14
Lara M Cassidy, Matthew D Teasdale, Seán Carolan, Ruth Enright, Raymond Werner, Daniel G Bradley, Emma K Finlay, Valeria Mattiangeli
The domestic goat (Capra hircus) plays a key role in global agriculture, being especially prized in regions of marginal pasture. However, the advent of industrialized breeding has seen a dramatic reduction in genetic diversity within commercial populations, while high extinction rates among feral herds have further depleted the reservoir of genetic variation available. Here, we present the first survey of whole mitochondrial genomic variation among the modern and historical goat populations of Britain and Ireland using a combination of mtDNA enrichment and high throughput sequencing...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28250206/inter-group-cooperation-in-humans-and-other-animals
#15
REVIEW
Elva J H Robinson, Jessica L Barker
Social interactions are often characterized by cooperation within groups and conflict or competition between groups. In certain circumstances, however, cooperation can arise between social groups. Here, we examine the circumstances under which inter-group cooperation is expected to emerge and present examples with particular focus on groups in two well-studied but dissimilar taxa: humans and ants. Drivers for the evolution of inter-group cooperation include overarching threats from predators, competitors or adverse conditions, and group-level resource asymmetries...
March 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28228475/parallel-evolution-of-mound-building-and-grass-feeding-in-australian-nasute-termites
#16
Daej A Arab, Anna Namyatova, Theodore A Evans, Stephen L Cameron, David K Yeates, Simon Y W Ho, Nathan Lo
Termite mounds built by representatives of the family Termitidae are among the most spectacular constructions in the animal kingdom, reaching 6-8 m in height and housing millions of individuals. Although functional aspects of these structures are well studied, their evolutionary origins remain poorly understood. Australian representatives of the termitid subfamily Nasutitermitinae display a wide variety of nesting habits, making them an ideal group for investigating the evolution of mound building. Because they feed on a variety of substrates, they also provide an opportunity to illuminate the evolution of termite diets...
February 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28202685/high-protein-paternal-diet-confers-an-advantage-to-sons-in-sperm-competition
#17
Felix Zajitschek, Susanne Zajitschek, Mollie Manier
Parental environment can widely influence offspring phenotype, but paternal effects in the absence of parental care remain poorly understood. We asked if protein content in the larval diet of fathers affected paternity success and gene expression in their sons. We found that males reared on high-protein diet had sons that fared better during sperm competition, suggesting that postcopulatory sexual selection is subject to transgenerational paternal effects. Moreover, immune response genes were downregulated in sons of low-protein fathers, while genes involved in metabolic and reproductive processes were upregulated...
February 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28202684/aging-parasites-produce-offspring-with-poor-fitness-prospects
#18
Cédric Lippens, Bruno Faivre, Clothilde Lechenault, Gabriele Sorci
Senescing individuals have poor survival prospects and low fecundity. They can also produce offspring with reduced survival and reproductive success. We tested the effect of parental age on the performance of descendants in the nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus, an intestinal parasite of rodents. We found that offspring of senescing worms had reduced within-host survival and reduced egg shedding over the first month post-infection compared with offspring produced by young parents. These results suggest that declining offspring quality is a component of senescence in parasitic nematodes and might have evolutionary consequences for the optimal schedule of age-dependent investment into reproductive effort...
February 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28202683/adult-exposure-to-ocean-acidification-is-maladaptive-for-larvae-of-the-sydney-rock-oyster-saccostrea-glomerata-in-the-presence-of-multiple-stressors
#19
Laura M Parker, Wayne A O'Connor, Maria Byrne, Ross A Coleman, Patti Virtue, Michael Dove, Mitchell Gibbs, Lorraine Spohr, Elliot Scanes, Pauline M Ross
Parental effects passed from adults to their offspring have been identified as a source of rapid acclimation that may allow marine populations to persist as our surface oceans continue to decrease in pH. Little is known, however, whether parental effects are beneficial for offspring in the presence of multiple stressors. We exposed adults of the oyster Saccostrea glomerata to elevated CO2 and examined the impacts of elevated CO2 (control = 392; 856 µatm) combined with elevated temperature (control = 24; 28°C), reduced salinity (control = 35; 25) and reduced food concentration (control = full; half diet) on their larvae...
February 2017: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28179410/gliding-lizards-use-the-position-of-the-sun-to-enhance-social-display
#20
Danielle A Klomp, Devi Stuart-Fox, Indraneil Das, Terry J Ord
Effective communication requires animal signals to be readily detected by receivers in the environments in which they are typically given. Certain light conditions enhance the visibility of colour signals and these conditions can vary depending on the orientation of the sun and the position of the signaller. We tested whether Draco sumatranus gliding lizards modified their position relative to the sun to enhance the conspicuousness of their throat-fan (dewlap) during social display to conspecifics. The dewlap was translucent, and we found that lizards were significantly more likely to orient themselves perpendicular to the sun when displaying...
February 2017: Biology Letters
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