The isolation barriers restricting gene flow between populations or species are of crucial interest for understanding how biological species arise and how they are maintained. Few studies have examined the entire range of possible isolation barriers from geographic isolation to next generation hybrid viability. Here we present a detailed analysis of isolation barriers between two flowering plant species of the genus Petunia (Solanaceae). Petunia integrifolia and P. axillaris feature divergent pollination syndromes but can produce...
Data from: Are gastropods, rather than ants, important dispersers of seeds of myrmecochorous forest herbs?Manfred Türke, Kerstin Andreas, Martin M. Gossner, Esther Kowalski, Markus Lange, Steffen Boch, Stephanie A. Socher, Jörg Müller, Daniel Prati, Markus Fischer, Rainer Meyhöfer & Wolfgang W. Weisser
Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is widespread and seed adaptations to myrmecochory are common, especially in the form of fatty appendices (elaiosomes). In a recent study, slugs were identified as seed dispersers of myrmecochores in a Central European beech forest. Here we used 105 beech forest sites to test whether myrmecochore presence and abundance is related to ant or to gastropod abundance and whether experimentally exposed seeds are removed by gastropods. Myrmecochorous plant cover was...
Data from: Tolerance requires the right smell: first evidence for interspecific selection on chemical recognition cuesFlorian Menzel & Thomas Schmitt
The integument of insects is generally covered with cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC). They serve multiple functions, most prominent among them waterproofing and – especially among social insects – as communication signal. CHC profiles are incredibly diverse within and across species. However, the causes for CHC variation between species, and potential selection pressures that may shape CHC profiles, are hardly understood. Here, we investigated potential selection pressures on ant CHC. We tested the hypotheses that living in...
Why do individuals have an imperfect immune system? Most studies suggest trade-offs associated with immunity and metabolism, and neglect ecological factors, such as predation. We provide one of the first experimental studies demonstrating a context-dependent survival cost to immune activation. In the presence of a predator, immune-challenged male field crickets showed significantly lower survival than controls, whilst there was no difference in a predator-free environment. Immune-challenged males spent more time outside their burrows and reacted...
Generalized reciprocity (“help anyone, if helped by someone”) is a minimal strategy capable of supporting cooperation between unrelated individuals. Its simplicity makes it an attractive model to explain the evolution of reciprocal altruism in animals that lack the information or cognitive skills needed for other types of reciprocity. Yet, generalized reciprocity is anonymous and thus defenseless against exploitation by defectors. Recognizing that animals hardly ever interact randomly, we investigate whether social network structure can mitigate...
Data from: On the equivalence of host local adaptation and parasite maladaptation: an experimental testMélissa Lemoine, Blandine Doligez & Heinz Richner
In spatio-temporally varying environments, host-parasite coevolution may lead to either host or parasite local adaptation. Using reciprocal infestations over 11 pairs of plots, we tested local adaptation in the hen flea and its main host, the great tit. Flea reproductive success (number of adult at host fledging) was lower on host individuals from the same plot compared to foreign hosts (from another plot), revealing flea local maladaptation. Host reproductive success (number of fledged young) was...
Data from: Citizen science reveals unexpected continental-scale evolutionary change in a model organismJonathan Silvertown, Laurence Cook, Robert Cameron, Mike Dodd, Kevin McConway, Jenny Worthington, Peter Skelton, Christian Anton, Oliver Bossdorf, Bruno Baur, Menno Schilthuizen, Benoît Fontaine, Helmut Sattmann, Giorgio Bertorelle, Maria Correia, Cristina Oliveira, Beata Pokryszko, Małgorzata Ożgo, Arturs Stalažs, Eoin Gill, Üllar Rammul, Péter Sólymos, Zoltan Féher & Xavier Juan
Organisms provide some of the most sensitive indicators of climate change and evolutionary responses are becoming apparent in species with short generation times. Large datasets on genetic polymorphism that can provide an historical benchmark against which to test for recent evolutionary responses are very rare, but an exception is found in the brown-lipped banded snail (Cepaea nemoralis). This species is sensitive to its thermal environment and exhibits several polymorphisms of shell colour and banding pattern...
Data from: Population genomic tests of models of adaptive radiation in Lake Victoria region cichlid fish.Etienne Bezault, Salome Mwaiko & Ole Seehausen
Adaptive radiation is usually thought to be associated with speciation, but the evolution of intraspecific polymorphisms without speciation is also possible. The radiation of cichlid fish in Lake Victoria is perhaps the most impressive example of a recent rapid adaptive radiation, with 600+ very young species. Key questions about its origin remain poorly characterized, such as the importance of speciation versus polymorphism, whether species persist on evolutionary time scales, and if speciation happens more commonly...
Data from: Range-wide genetic population structure of common pochard (Aythya ferina): a potentially important vector of highly pathogenic avian influenza virusesIrene Keller, Yang Liu & Gerald Heckel
An understanding of the distribution and spatial structure of the natural vectors of zoonothic pathogens is of interest for effective disease control and prevention. Here, we investigate the range-wide population genetic structure of common pochard (Aythya ferina), a long distance migratory duck and potential vector of highly pathogenic avian influenza. We collected several hundred samples from breeding and wintering grounds across Eurasia including some H5N1 positive individuals and generated partial sequences of the mitochondrial control...
University of Bern9
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research1
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology1
University of Wrocław1
University of Alberta1
University of Lyon System1
University of Freiburg1
University of Manchester1