474 Works

Data from: Early life expenditure in sexual competition is associated with increased reproductive senescence in male red deer

Jean-François Lemaître, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Josephine M. Pemberton, Tim H. Clutton-Brock, Daniel H. Nussey, J.-F. Lemaitre & J.-M. Gaillard
The evolutionary theories of senescence predict that investment in reproduction in early life should come at the cost of reduced somatic maintenance, and thus earlier or more rapid senescence. There is now growing support for such trade-offs in wild vertebrates, but these exclusively come from females. Here, we test this prediction in male red deer (Cervus elaphus) using detailed longitudinal data collected over a 40-year field study. We show that males which had larger harems...

Data from: Impact on offspring methylation patterns of maternal gestational diabetes mellitus and intrauterine growth restraint suggest common genes and pathways linked to subsequent type 2 diabetes risk

Claire R. Quilter, Wendy N. Cooper, Kerry M. Cliffe, Benjamin M. Skinner, Philippa M. Prentice, LaTasha Nelson, Julien Bauer, Ken K. Ong, Constância Miguel, William L. Lowe, Nabeel A. Affara & David B. Dunger
Size at birth, postnatal weight gain, and adult risk for type 2 diabetes may reflect environmental exposures during developmental plasticity and may be mediated by epigenetics. Both low birth weight (BW), as a marker of fetal growth restraint, and high birth weight (BW), especially after gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), have been linked to increased risk of adult type 2 diabetes. We assessed DNA methylation patterns using a bead chip in cord blood samples from infants...

Data from: Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalised defences in its host

William E. Feeney, Jolyon Troscianko, Naomi E. Langmore & Claire N. Spottiswoode
Mimicry of a harmless model (aggressive mimicry) is used by egg, chick and fledgling brood parasites that resemble the host's own eggs, chicks and fledglings. However, aggressive mimicry may also evolve in adult brood parasites, to avoid attack from hosts and/or manipulate their perception of parasitism risk. We tested the hypothesis that female cuckoo finches (Anomalospiza imberbis) are aggressive mimics of female Euplectes weavers, such as the harmless, abundant and sympatric southern red bishop (Euplectes...

Data from: Neural tuning functions underlie both generalization and interference

Ian S. Howard & David W. Franklin
In sports, the role of backswing is considered critical for generating a good shot, even though it plays no direct role in hitting the ball. We recently demonstrated the scientific basis of this phenomenon by showing that immediate past movement affects the learning and recall of motor memories. This effect occurred regardless of whether the past contextual movement was performed actively, passively, or shown visually. In force field studies, it has been shown that motor...

Data from: Addicted? Reduced host resistance in populations with defensive symbionts

Julien Martinez, Rodrigo Cogni, Chuan Cao, Sophie Smith, Christopher J.R. Illingworth, Francis M. Jiggins & Christopher J. R. Illingworth
Heritable symbionts that protect their hosts from pathogens have been described in a wide range of insect species. By reducing the incidence or severity of infection, these symbionts have the potential to reduce the strength of selection on genes in the insect genome that increase resistance. Therefore, the presence of such symbionts may slow down the evolution of resistance. Here we investigated this idea by exposing Drosophila melanogaster populations to infection with the pathogenic Drosophila...

Data from: The effects of archipelago spatial structure on island diversity and endemism: predictions from a spatially-structured neutral model

Fanny Gascuel, Fabien Laroche, Anne-Sophie Bonnet-Lebrun & Ana S. L. Rodrigues
Islands are particularly suited to testing hypotheses about the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms underpinning community assembly. Yet the complex spatial arrangements of real island systems have received little attention from both empirical studies and theoretical models. Here, we investigate the extent to which the spatial structure of archipelagos affects species diversity and endemism. We start by proposing a new spatially-structured neutral model that explicitly considers archipelago structure, and then investigate its predictions under a diversity...

Data from: Australian spiny mountain crayfish and their temnocephalan ectosymbionts: an ancient association on the edge of coextinction?

Jennifer F. Hoyal Cuthill, Kim B. Sewell, Lester R. G. Cannon, Michael A. Charleston, Susan Lawler, D. Timothy J. Littlewood, Peter D. Olson & David Blair
Australian spiny mountain crayfish (Euastacus, Parastacidae) and their ecotosymbiotic temnocephalan flatworms (Temnocephalida, Platyhelminthes) may have co-occurred and interacted through deep time, during a period of major environmental change. Therefore, reconstructing the history of their association is of evolutionary, ecological, and conservation significance. Here, time-calibrated Bayesian phylogenies of Euastacus species and their temnocephalans (Temnohaswellia and Temnosewellia) indicate near-synchronous diversifications from the Cretaceous. Statistically significant cophylogeny correlations between associated clades suggest linked evolutionary histories. However, there is...

Data from: The global antigenic diversity of swine influenza A viruses

Nicola S. Lewis, Colin A. Russell, Tavis K. Anderson, Kathryn Berger, David F. Burke, Judith M. Fonville, Ronald A.M. Fouchier, Paul Kellam, Bjorn F. Koel, Tung Nguyen, Bundit Nuansrichy, J. S. Malik Peiris, Takehiko Saito, Gaelle Simon, Eugene Skepner, Nobuhiro Takemae, ESNIP3 Consortium, Richard J. Webby, Kristien Van Reeth, Sharon M. Brookes, Lars Larsen, Ian H. Brown, Amy L. Vincent, Pinky Langat, Filip Bielejec … & JS Malik Peiris
Swine influenza presents a substantial disease burden for pig populations worldwide and poses a potential pandemic threat to humans. There is considerable diversity in both H1 and H3 influenza viruses circulating in swine due to the frequent introductions of viruses from humans and birds coupled with geographic segregation of global swine populations. Much of this diversity is characterized genetically but the antigenic diversity of these viruses is poorly understood. Critically, the antigenic diversity shapes the...

Data from: The transcriptome response of Heliconius melpomene larvae to a novel host plant

Quan-You Yu, Shou-Min Fang, Ze Zhang & Chris D. Jiggins
In the warfare between herbivore and host plant, insects have evolved a variety of defensive mechanisms, including allelochemical transformation and excretion. Several studies have explored the transcriptome responses of insects after host plant shifts to understand these mechanisms. We investigated the plastic responses of Heliconius melpomene larvae feeding on a native host Passiflora menispermifolia and a less strongly defended nonhost species, Passiflora biflora. In total, 326 differentially expressed genes were identified, with a greater number...

To mate, or not to mate: the evolution of reproductive diapause facilitates insect radiation into African savannahs in the Late Miocene

Sridhar Halali, Paul M Brakefield, Steve C Collins & Oskar Brattström
1. Many tropical environments experience cyclical seasonal changes, frequently with pronounced wet and dry seasons, leading to a highly uneven temporal distribution of resources. Short-lived animals inhabiting such environments often show season-specific adaptations to cope with alternating selection pressures. 2. African Bicyclus butterflies show strong seasonal polyphenism in a suite of phenotypic and life-history traits, and their adults are thought to undergo reproductive diapause associated with the lack of available larval host plants during the...

Sex-independent senescence in a cooperatively breeding mammal

Jack Thorley
1. Researchers studying mammals have frequently interpreted earlier or faster rates of ageing in males as resulting from polygyny and the associated higher costs of reproductive competition. 2. Yet few studies conducted on wild populations have compared sex-specific senescence trajectories outside of polygynous species, making it difficult to make generalised inferences on the role of reproductive competition in driving senescence, particularly when other differences between males and females might also contribute to sex-specific changes in...

A major locus controls a biologically active pheromone component in Heliconius melpomene

Kelsey Byers, Kathy Darragh, Jamie Musgrove, Diana Abondano Almeida, Sylvia Fernanda Garza, Ian Warren, Pasi Rastas, Marek Kučka, Yingguang Frank Chan, Richard Merrill, Stefan Schulz, W. Owen McMillan & Chris Jiggins
Understanding the production, response, and genetics of signals used in mate choice can inform our understanding of the evolution of both intraspecific mate choice and reproductive isolation. Sex pheromones are important for courtship and mate choice in many insects, but we know relatively little of their role in butterflies. The butterfly Heliconius melpomene uses a complex blend of wing androconial compounds during courtship. Electroantennography in H. melpomene and its close relative H. cydno showed that...

Data from: Rapid local adaptation linked with phenotypic plasticity

Syuan-Jyun Sun, Andrew Catherall, Sonia Pascoal, Benjamin Jarrett, Sara Miller, Michael Sheehan & Rebecca Kilner
Models of ‘plasticity-first’ evolution are attractive because they explain the rapid evolution of new complex adaptations. Nevertheless, it is unclear whether plasticity can facilitate rapid microevolutionary change between diverging populations. Here we show how plasticity may have generated adaptive differences in fecundity between neighbouring wild populations of burying beetles Nicrophorus vespilloides. These populations occupy distinct Cambridgeshire woodlands that are just 2.5km apart and that probably originated from a common ancestral population c. 1000-4000 years ago....

Data from: Rapid generation of ecologically relevant behavioural novelty in experimental cichlid hybrids

Anna Fiona Feller, Oliver M. Selz, Matthew D. McGee, Joana I. Meier, Salome Mwaiko & Ole Seehausen
The East African cichlid radiations are characterised by repeated and rapid diversification into many distinct species with different ecological specialisations and by a history of hybridization events between non-sister species. Such hybridization might provide important fuel for adaptive radiation. Interspecific hybrids can have extreme trait values or novel trait combinations and such transgressive phenotypes may allow some hybrids to explore ecological niches neither of the parental species could tap into. Here, we investigate the potential...

Data from: Adaptive phenotypic plasticity for life-history and less fitness-related traits

Cristina Acasuso-Rivero, Courtney J. Murren, Carl D. Schlichting & Ulrich Karl Steiner
Organisms are faced with variable environments and one of the most common solutions to cope with such variability is phenotypic plasticity, a modification of the phenotype to the environment. These modifications are commonly modelled in evolutionary theories as adaptive, influencing ecological and evolutionary processes. If plasticity is adaptive, we would predict that the closer to fitness a trait is, the less plastic it would be. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a meta-analysis of 213...

Multiple factors affect discrimination learning performance, but not between-individual variation, in wild mixed-species flocks of birds

Michael Reichert, Sam Crofts, Gabrielle Davidson, Josh Firth, Ipek Kulahci & John Quinn
Cognition arguably drives most behaviours in animals, but whether and why individuals in the wild vary consistently in their cognitive performance is scarcely known, especially under mixed-species scenarios. One reason for this is that quantifying the relative importance of individual, contextual, ecological and social factors remains a major challenge. We examined how many of these factors, and sources of bias, affected participation, and performance, in an initial discrimination learning experiment and two reversal learning experiments...

Data from: The smallest known Devonian tetrapod shows unexpectedly derived features, Part 2 of 2

Per Ahlberg & Jennifer Clack
A new genus and species of Devonian tetrapod, Brittagnathus minutus gen. et sp. nov., is described from a single complete right lower jaw ramus recovered from the Acanthostega mass-death deposit in the upper part of the Britta Dal Formation (upper Famennian) of Stensiö Bjerg, Gauss Peninsula, East Greenland. Visualisation by propagation phase contrast synchrotron microtomography (PPC-SRμCT) allows a complete digital dissection of the specimen. With a total jaw ramus length of 44.8 mm, Brittagnathus is...

Data on three Baltic species of Corynosoma Lühe, 1905 (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) from Baltic grey (Halichoerus grypus) and ringed seals (Pusa hispida)

Sonja Leidenberger, Sven Boström & Matthew T. Wayland
We analyzed Baltic Corynosoma material (C. magdaleni Montreuil, 1958, C. semerme (Forssell, 1904) Lühe, 1911 and C. strumosum (Rudolphi, 1802) Lühe, 1904) from grey (Halichoerus grypus) and ringed seals (Pusa hispida) for the variation of hook morphology and for finding possible morphotypes, by using the proboscis profiler (Wayland 2010) and Meristogram (Wayland 2016).

The effects of tropical secondary forest regeneration on avian phylogenetic diversity.

Emma Hughes, David Edwards, Catherine Sayer, Philip Martin & Gavin Thomas
1. The conversion of tropical forests to farmland is a key driver of the current extinction crisis. With the present rate of deforestation unlikely to subside, secondary forests that regenerate on abandoned agricultural land may provide an option for safeguarding biodiversity. While species richness (SR) may recover as secondary forests get older, the extent to which phylogenetic diversity (PD)—the total amount of evolutionary history present in a community—is conserved is less clear. Maximising PD has...

Data from: Rubber agroforestry in Thailand provides some biodiversity benefits without reducing yields

Eleanor Warren-Thomas, Luke Nelson, Watinee Juthong, Sara Bumrungsri, Oskar Brattström, Laetitia Stroesser, Bénédicte Chambon, Éric Penot, Uraiwan Tongkaemkew, David P. Edwards & Paul M. Dolman
Monocultural rubber plantations have replaced tropical forest, causing biodiversity loss. While protecting intact or semi-intact biodiverse forest is paramount, improving biodiversity value within the 11.4 million hectares of existing rubber plantations could offer important conservation benefits, if yields are also maintained. Some farmers practice agroforestry with high-yielding clonal rubber varieties to increase and diversify incomes. Here, we ask whether such rubber agroforestry improves biodiversity value or affects rubber yields relative to monoculture. We surveyed birds,...

Global Diversification Dynamics Since the Jurassic: Low Dispersal and Habitat-Dependent Evolution Explain Hotspots of Diversity and Shell Disparity in River Snails (Viviparidae)

Björn Stelbrink, Romy Richter, Frank Köhler, Frank Riedel, Ellen Strong, Bert Van Bocxlaer, Christian Albrecht, Torsten Hauffe, Timothy Page, David Aldridge, Arthur Bogan, Li-Na Du, Marivene Manuel-Santos, Ristiyanti Marwoto, Alena Shirokaya & Thomas Von Rintelen
The Viviparidae, commonly known as River Snails, is a dominant group of freshwater snails with a nearly worldwide distribution that reaches its highest taxonomic and morphological diversity in Southeast Asia. The rich fossil record is indicative of a probable Middle Jurassic origin on the Laurasian supercontinent where the group started to diversify during the Cretaceous. However, it remains uncertain when and how the biodiversity hotspot in Southeast Asia was formed. Here, we used a comprehensive...

Is mere exposure enough? the effects of bilingual environments on infant cognitive development

Dean D'Souza, Daniel Brady, Jennifer Haensel & Hana D'Souza
Bilinguals purportedly outperform monolinguals in nonverbal tasks of cognitive control (the ‘bilingual advantage’). The most common explanation is that managing two languages during language production constantly draws upon, and thus strengthens, domain general inhibitory mechanisms (Green, 1998). However, this theory cannot explain why a bilingual advantage has been found in preverbal infants (Kovacs & Mehler, 2009). An alternative explanation is needed. We propose that exposure to more varied, less predictable (language) environments drive infants to...

Human influences on antipredator behaviour in Darwin’s finches

Kiyoko Gotanda
1) Humans exert dramatic influences upon the environment, creating novel selective pressures to which organisms must adapt. On the Galapagos, humans have established a permanent presence and have altered selective pressures through influences such as invasive predators and urbanization, affecting iconic species such as Darwin’s finches. 2) Here, I ask two key questions: (i) does antipredator behaviour (e.g. flight initiation distance – FID) change depending on whether invasive predators are historically absent, present, or eradicated?...

Complexity within an oil palm monoculture: the effects of habitat variability and rainfall on adult dragonfly (Odonata) communities.

Sarah H. Luke, Andreas Dwi Advento, Rory A. Dow, Anak Agung Ketut Aryawan, Holly Barclay, Amy E. Eycott, Julie K. Hinsch, Candra Kurniawan, Mohammad Naim, Darren J. Mann, Pujianto Pujianto, Dedi Purnomo, T. Dzulfikar S. Rambe, Eleanor M. Slade, Soeprapto Soeprapto, Sudharto Ps, Suhardi Suhardi, Ribka Sionita Tarigan, Resti Wahyuningsih, Rudy Harto Widodo, Jean-Pierre Caliman, Jake L. Snaddon, William A. Foster & Edgar C. Turner
Recent expansion of oil palm agriculture has resulted in loss of forest habitat and forest-dependent species. However, large numbers of species – particularly insects – can persist within plantations. This study focuses on Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies): a charismatic indicator taxon, and a potentially valuable pest control agent. We surveyed adult Odonata populations biannually over three years within an industrial oil palm plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia. We assessed the effects of rainfall (including an El...

Optimising nature conservation outcomes for a given region-wide level of food production

Tom Finch, Rhys Green, Dario Massimino, Will Peach & Andrew Balmford
The land sharing-sparing framework aims to quantify the trade-off between food production and biodiversity conservation, but it has been criticised for offering, for reasons of simplicity, an unrealistically limited set of different land uses. Here, we develop the framework to evaluate a much larger suite of land-use strategies in which the areas and yields of three land-use compartments, natural habitat, high-yield farmland, and lower-yield farmland, are varied simultaneously. For two regions of England, we use...

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