119 Works

Individual quality and extra-pair paternity in the blue tit: sexy males bear the costs

Elisa P Badás, Amaia Autor, Javier Martínez, Juan Rivero-De Aguilar & Santiago Merino
Adaptive explanations for the evolution of extra-pair paternity (EPP) suggest that females seek extra-pair copulations with high quality males. Still, the link between ornamentation, individual quality and paternity remains unclear. Moreover, honest signaling is essential when explaining EPP because it is needed for sexual selection to occur; yet, it is understudied in multiple ornaments. Because blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) show variable color expression in several plumage patches, we tested: (i) over two seasons, whether males...

Taxonomic revision of Australian Copelatus Erichson, 1832 (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae, Copelatinae)

Michael Balke, Hendrich Lars, Shaverdo Helena & Hajek Jiri
The genus Copelatus Erichson, 1832 in Australia is revised and nine species are recognised. One new species, Copelatus martinbaehri sp. n., is described from Cape York Peninsula (Iron Range NP and Mt Tozer) and Papua New Guinea (Central Province). Copelatus divisus Watts, 1978 syn. n., is considered a junior synonym of C. portior Guignot, 1956, described from New Guinea. Species delimitation is based on the morphological characters and Cox1 data. All species are (re)described, and...

Data from: Diverse guilds provide complementary dispersal services in a woodland expansion process after land abandonment

Gema Escribano-Avila, María Calviño-Cancela, Beatriz Pías, Emilio Virgós, Fernando Valladares & Adrián Escudero
1. Land abandonment due to increasing depopulation of rural areas is an ongoing trend in developed countries worldwide. Abandoned lands represent an opportunity for ecosystem recovery, an urgent need for biodiversity conservation. Seed dispersal services provided by animals are a key feature for this process. Different dispersers may differentially contribute to plant recruitment under different ecological conditions, leading to complementary dispersal services. 2. We studied the dispersal services, quantified as the contribution to plant recruitment,...

Data from: Environmental heterogeneity leads to higher plasticity in dry-edge populations of a semiarid Chilean shrub: insights into climate change responses

Ana Lázaro-Nogal, Silvia Matesanz, Alice Godoy, Fernanda Pérez-Trautman, Ernesto Gianoli & Fernando Valladares
1.Interannual variability in climatic conditions should be taken into account in climate change studies in semiarid ecosystems. It may determine differentiation in phenotypic plasticity among populations, with populations experiencing higher environmental heterogeneity showing higher levels of plasticity. 2.The ability of populations to evolve key functional traits and plasticity may determine the survival of plant populations under the drier and more variable climate expected for semiarid ecosystems. 3.Working with populations of the semiarid Chilean shrub Senna...

Data from: Nest decoration as social signals by males and females: greenery and feathers in starling colonies

Juan G. Rubalcaba, Daniel Fuentes, José P. Veiga & Vicente Polo
The expression of elaborated displays provides reliable information to conspecifics about the quality of the signaler. Competition for breeding resources or mates is predicted to affect the expression of signals in both males and females; however, the literature has been typically focused on male behaviors. The spotless starling is an interesting example where both sexes decorate the nest to signal their condition and social status: males add green plants at the beginning of the breeding...

Data from: The role of partial incubation and egg repositioning within the clutch in hatching asynchrony and subsequent effects on breeding success

David Diez-Méndez, Samuel Rodríguez, Elena Álvarez & Emilio Barba
The main mechanism to achieve hatching asynchrony (HA) for incubating birds is to start heating the eggs before clutch completion. This might be achieved through partial incubation and/or early incubation. Even in the absence of incubation behaviour during the laying phase, clutches still experience a certain degree of asynchrony. Recent studies have shown that eggs located in the centre of the nest receive more heat than peripheral ones during incubation. Since eggs receiving more heat...

Data from: Functional anatomy of the cervical region in the late Miocene amphicyonid Magericyon anceps (Carnivora, Amphicyonidae): implications for its feeding behaviour

Gema Siliceo, Manuel J. Salesa, Mauricio Antón, Stéphane Peigné & Jorge Morales
We describe the skull and neck morphology of the late Miocene amphicyonid Magericyon anceps, focusing on aspects related to functional anatomy. This species, recorded only from the Vallesian sites of Batallones-1 and Batallones-3 (Madrid, Spain), is the last known amphicyonid in the fossil record of Western Europe, with the Batallones populations being one of the best-known of the family. The morphology of its skull and cervical vertebrae allows us to infer aspects of its associated...

Data from: Divergent trophic responses to biogeographic and environmental gradients

Miguel G. Matias, Cátia Lúcio Pereira, Pedro Miguel Raposeiro, Vítor Gonçalves, Ana Mafalda Cruz, Ana Cristina Costa & Miguel Bastos Araújo
Following environmental changes, communities disassemble and reassemble in seemingly unpredictable ways. Whether species respond to such changes individualistically or collectively (e.g. as functional groups) is still unclear. To address this question, we used an extensive new dataset for the lake communities in the Azores' archipelago to test whether: 1) individual species respond concordantly within trophic groups; 2) trophic groups respond concordantly to biogeographic and environmental gradients. Spatial concordance in individual species distributions within trophic groups...

Data from: Genetic diversity and population history of the endangered killifish Aphanius baeticus

Elena G. Gonzalez, Carlos Pedraza-Lara & Ignacio Doadrio
The secondary freshwater fish fauna of the western-Iberian Peninsula basin is primarily restricted to local coastal streams, and man-made salt evaporation ponds, etc., which are susceptible to periodical flood and drought events. Despite its uniqueness in ecological adaptation to high saltwater tolerance, very little is known about this fauna’s population dynamics and evolutionary history. The killifish, Aphanius baeticus (Cyprinodontidae) is an endemic species restricted to river basins on Spain’s southern Atlantic coastline, considered as “Endangered.”...

Data from: Nest size and aromatic plants in the nest as sexually selected female traits in blue tits

Gustavo Tomás, Santiago Merino, Josué Martínez-De La Puente, Juan Moreno, Judith Morales & Juan Rivero-De Aguilar
Besides the direct functionality of nests driven by natural selection, accumulating evidence shows that nest building behaviors and nests may also evolve under sexual selection. Empirical research on the potential role of nests or nest features as sexual signals, however, is comparatively scarce for avian species in which the female is the only sex involved in its construction because of a male bias in the study of sexual traits, even though maternally built nests may...

Data from: On the specificity of avian blood parasites: revealing specific and generalist relationships between haemosporidians and biting midges

Josué Martínez-De La Puente, Javier Martínez, Juan Rivero-De Aguilar, Jessica Herrero & Santiago Merino
The study of host-parasite relationships involving vector-borne parasites requires understanding interactions between parasites and vectors. The capacity of haemosporidians to infect insects has clear evolutionary consequences for the transmission of diseases. Here we investigated (1) the associations between blood parasites, biting midges and birds and (2) the potential specificity between biting midge and haemosporidian haplotypes. A total of 629 parous biting midges Culicoides and 224 wild birds (belonging to seven species) from a locality of...

Data from: The origin of modern frogs (Neobatrachia) was accompanied by acceleration in mitochondrial and nuclear substitution rates

Iker Irisarri, Diego San Mauro, Federico Abascal, Annemarie Ohler, Miguel Vences & Rafael Zardoya
BACKGROUND: Understanding the causes underlying heterogeneity of molecular evolutionary rates among lineages is a long-standing and central question in evolutionary biology. Although several earlier studies showed that modern frogs (Neobatrachia) experienced an acceleration of mitochondrial gene substitution rates compared to non-neobatrachian relatives, no further characterization of this phenomenon was attempted. To gain new insights on this topic, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes and nine nuclear loci of one pelobatoid (Pelodytes punctatus) and five neobatrachians,...

Data from: Independent sources of condition dependency and multiple pathways determine a composite trait: lessons from carotenoid-based plumage colouration

Cristina Romero-Díaz, Heinz Richner, Fernando Granado-Lorencio, Barbara Tschirren, Patrick Fitze & C. Romero-Diaz
Many color ornaments are composite traits consisting of at least four components, which themselves may be more complex, determined by independent evolutionary pathways, and potentially being under different environmental control. To date, little evidence exists that several different components of color elaboration are condition-dependent and no direct evidence exists that different ornamental components are affected by different sources of variation. For example, in carotenoid-based plumage coloration, one of the best-known condition-dependent ornaments, color elaboration stems...

Data from: Multivariate heredity of melanin-based coloration, body mass and immunity

Sin-Yeon Kim, Juan A. Fargallo, Pablo Vergara & Jesús Martínez-Padilla
The genetic covariation among different traits may cause the appearance of correlated response to selection on multivariate phenotypes. Genes responsible for the expression of melanin-based color traits are also involved in other important physiological functions such as immunity and metabolism by pleiotropy, suggesting the possibility of multivariate evolution. However, little is known about the relationship between melanin coloration and these functions at the additive genetic level in wild vertebrates. From a multivariate perspective, we simultaneously...

Data from: A cost for high levels of sperm competition in rodents: increased sperm DNA fragmentation

Javier DelBarco-Trillo, Olga García-Álvarez, Ana Soler, Maximiliano Tourmente, Julian Garde & Eduardo R. S. Roldan
Sperm competition, a prevalent evolutionary process in which the spermatozoa of two or more males compete for the fertilization of the same ovum, leads to morphological and physiological adaptations, including increases in energetic metabolism that may serve to propel sperm faster but that may have negative effects on DNA integrity. Sperm DNA damage is associated with reduced rates of fertilization, embryo and foetal loss, offspring mortality, and mutations leading to genetic disease. We tested whether...

Dietary carotenoid supplementation facilitates egg laying in a wild passerine

Jorge García-Campa, Wendt Müller, Sonia González-Braojos, Emilio García-Juárez & Judith Morales
During egg laying, females face a trade-off between self-maintenance and investment into current reproduction, since providing eggs with resources is energetically demanding, in particular if females lay one egg per day. However, the costs of egg laying not only relate to energetic requirements, but also depend on the availability of specific resources that are vital for egg production and embryonic development. One of these compounds are carotenoids, pigments with immuno-stimulatory properties, which are crucial during...

Deconstructing incubation behaviour in response to ambient temperature over different timescales

David Diez-Méndez, Caren Cooper, Juan José Sanz, Jose Verdejo & Emilio Barba
Avian embryos need a stable thermal environment to develop optimally, while incubating females need to allocate time to self-maintenance off the nest. In species with female-only incubation, eggs are exposed to ambient temperatures that usually cool them down during female absences. The lower the ambient temperature the sooner females should return to re-warm the eggs. When incubation constraints ease at increasing ambient temperatures, females respond by increasing either incubation effort or self-maintenance time. These responses...

Environmental data from: Potential distributions of invasive vertebrates in the Iberian Peninsula under projected changes in climate extreme events

Rocío A. Baquero, A. Márcia Barbosa, Daniel Ayllón, Carlos Guerra, Enrique Sánchez, Miguel B. Araújo & Graciela G. Nicola
This dataset includes climatic variables representing extreme events indices defined by the World Meteorological Organization (https://public.wmo.int/en). The variables were calculated based on five Regional Climate Models or RCMs (UAHE-REM, UCAN-WRA, UCAN-WRB, UCLM-PRO and UMUR-MM5) for the periods 1971-2000 (‘current climate’) and 2021-2050 (‘future climate’) under the SRES A1B Emissions Scenario. We used RCMs instead of global climate models (GCMs) because the latter have an overly coarse resolution compared to the spatial resolution of our species...

Linking behavioural thermoregulation, boldness and individual state in male Carpetan rock lizards

Gergely Horváth, Octavio Jiménez-Robles, José Martín, Pilar López, Ignacio De La Riva & Gábor Herczeg
Mechanisms affecting consistent inter-individual behavioural variation (i.e. animal personality) are of wide scientific interest. In poikilotherms, ambient temperature is one of the most important environmental factors with a direct link to a variety of fitness-related traits. Recent empirical evidence suggests that individual differences in boldness are linked to behavioural thermoregulation strategy in heliothermic species, as individuals are regularly exposed to predators during basking. Here, we tested for links between behavioural thermoregulation strategy, boldness and individual...

Data from: Candidate genes for colour and vision exhibit signals of selection across the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) breeding range

Paula K. Lehtonen, Toni Laaksonen, Aleksandr V. Artemyev, Eugen Belskii, Paul R. Berg, Christiaan Both, Laura Buggiotti, Stanislav Bureš, Malcolm D. Burgess, Andrey V. Bushuev, Indrikis Krams, Juan Moreno, Marko Mägi, Andreas Nord, Jaime Potti, Pierre-Alain Ravussin, Glenn Peter Sætre, Paivi Sirkiä, Wolfgang Winkel & Craig R. Primmer
The role of natural selection in shaping adaptive trait differentiation in natural populations has long been recognized. Determining its molecular basis, however, remains a challenge. Here, we search for signals of selection in candidate genes for colour and its perception in a passerine bird. Pied flycatcher plumage varies geographically in both its structural and pigment-based properties. Both characteristics appear to be shaped by selection. A single-locus outlier test revealed two of fourteen loci to exhibit...

Data from: The ecological and genetic basis of convergent thick-lipped phenotypes in cichlid fishes

Marco Colombo, Eveline T. Diepeveen, Moritz Muschick, M. Emilia Santos, Adrian Indermaur, Nicolas Boileau, Marta Barluenga & Walter Salzburger
The evolution of convergent phenotypes is one of the most interesting outcomes of replicate adaptive radiations. Remarkable cases of convergence involve the thick-lipped phenotype found across cichlid species flocks in the East African Great Lakes. Unlike most other convergent forms in cichlids, which are restricted to East Africa, the thick-lipped phenotype also occurs elsewhere, e.g. in the Central American Midas Cichlid assemblage. Here we use an ecological genomic approach to study the function, the evolution...

Data from: Experimental design in phylogenetics: testing predictions from expected information

Diego San Mauro, David J. Gower, James A. Cotton, Rafael Zardoya, Mark Wilkinson & Tim Massingham
Taxon and character sampling is central to phylogenetic experimental design yet we lack general rules. Goldman introduced a method to construct efficient sampling designs in phylogenetics, based on the calculation of expected Fisher information given a probabilistic model of sequence evolution. The considerable potential of this approach remains largely unexplored. In an earlier study, we applied Goldman’s method to a problem in the phylogenetics of caecilian amphibians and made an a priori evaluation and testable...

Data from: Molecular phylogenetics of Gobioidei and phylogenetic placement of European gobies

Ainhoa Agorreta, Diego San Mauro, Ulrich Schliewen, James L. Van Tassell, Marcelo Kovačić, Rafael Zardoya & Lukas Rüber
Gobioidei is one of the largest suborders of teleost fishes, with nearly 2000 extant species currently recognized. They have a worldwide distribution and show a spectacular variety in morphology, ecology, and behavior. Despite their importance, phylogenetic relationships among many groups of gobioids (including some of the major lineages) still remain poorly understood. In this study, we analyze sequence data of five molecular markers (two mitochondrial and three nuclear) averaging 6000 bp for 222 species of...

Data from: Individual genetic diversity and probability of infection by avian malaria parasites in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Esperanza S. Ferrer, Vicente García-Navas, Juan Jose Sanz & Joaquin Ortego
Understanding the importance of host genetic diversity for coping with parasites and infectious diseases is a long-standing goal in evolutionary biology. Here, we study the association between probability of infection by avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) and individual genetic diversity in three blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) populations that strongly differ in prevalence of this parasite. For this purpose, we screened avian malaria infections and genotyped 789 blue tits across 26 microsatellite markers. We used two different...

Data from: Cumulative frequency-dependent selective episodes allow for rapid morph cycles and rock-paper-scissors dynamics in species with overlapping generations

Luis M. San-Jose, Miguel Peñalver-Alcázar, Borja Milá, Virginia Gonzalez-Jimena, Patrick S. Fitze, B. Mila & M. Penalver-Alcazar
Rock-paper-scissors (RPS) dynamics, which maintain genetic polymorphisms over time through negative frequency-dependent (FD) selection, can evolve in short-lived species with no generational overlap, where they produce rapid morph frequency cycles. However, most species have overlapping generations and thus, rapid RPS dynamics are thought to require stronger FD selection, the existence of which yet needs to be proved. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that two cumulative selective episodes, FD sexual selection reinforced by FD selection on offspring...

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