235 Works

Estimating on the fly: the approximate number system in rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus)

Mia Corliss, Theo Brown, T. Andrew Hurly, Susan D. Healy & Maria C. Tello-Ramos
When presented with resources that differ in quantity, many animals use a numerosity system to discriminate between them. One taxonomically widespread system is the approximate number system. This is a numerosity system that allows the rapid evaluation of the number of objects in a group and which is regulated by Weber’s Law. Here we investigated whether wild, free-living rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) possess an approximate number system. The hummingbirds were presented with two experiments. In...

A single pleiotropic locus influences the rate of hybridisation between two sibling species of Lygaeus bugs

Vicki Balfour, Daniella Black & David Shuker
The evolution of reproductive isolation lies at the heart of understanding the process of speciation. Of particular interest is the relationship between pre- and post-zygotic reproductive isolation, and the genetic architecture of traits that contribute to one or both forms of reproductive isolation. The sibling species of seed bug Lygaeus equestris and L. simulans show a classic pattern of asymmetric pre-zygotic reproductive isolation, with female L. equestris hybridising with male L. simulans, but with no...

Within-population sperm competition intensity does not predict asymmetry in conpopulation sperm precedence

Martin Garlovsky, Leeban Yusuf, Mike Ritchie Ritchie, Rhonda Snook, Martin D. Garlovsky, Leeban H. Yusuf, Michael G. Ritchie & Rhonda R. Snook
Postcopulatory sexual selection can generate evolutionary arms races between the sexes resulting in the rapid coevolution of reproductive phenotypes. As traits affecting fertilization success diverge between populations, postmating prezygotic (PMPZ) barriers to gene flow may evolve. Conspecific sperm precedence is a form of PMPZ isolation thought to evolve early during speciation yet has mostly been studied between species. Here , we show conpopulation sperm precedence (CpSP) between Drosophila montana populations. Using Pool-seq genomic data we...

Duet codes do not enhance neighbour recognition in two closely related species of neotropical wrens

Esmeralda Quiros-Guerrero & Esmeralda Quiros-Guerrero
Numerous studies have shown that territorial animals exhibit less aggression in response to neighbours than to strangers, a phenomenon known as dear enemy effect. The influence of acoustic features, such as song type sharing and repertoire sizes, in neighbour recognition has been widely documented in male songbirds. However, few studies have focused on duetting species, and particularly on those where pairs have pair-specific duet codes (consistent associations of their individual phrase types). Given that each...

Does the response of D. melanogaster males to intrasexual competitors influence sexual isolation?

Lucas Marie-Orleach, Annui M. Sanz, Nathan W. Bailey & Michael G. Ritchie
The evolutionary consequences of phenotypic plasticity are debated. For example, reproductive barriers between incipient species can depend on the social environment, but most evidence for this comes from studies focussing on the effects of experiencing heterospecific individuals of the opposite sex. In Drosophila melanogaster, males are well known to invest strategically in ejaculate components and show different courtship behaviour when reared in the presence of male competitors. It is unknown whether such plasticity in response...

Data from: Evolution of paternal care in diploid and haplodiploid populations

Nicholas G. Davies & Andy Gardner
W. D. Hamilton famously suggested that the inflated relatedness of full sisters under haplodiploidy explains why all workers in the social hymenoptera are female. This suggestion has not stood up to further theoretical scrutiny and is not empirically supported. Rather, it appears that altruistic sib-rearing in the social hymenoptera is performed exclusively by females because this behaviour has its origins in parental care, which was performed exclusively by females in the ancestors of this insect...

Data from: The costs and benefits of multiple mating in a mostly monandrous wasp

Rebecca A. Boulton & David M. Shuker
The taxonomically widespread nature of polyandry remains a puzzle. Much of the empirical work regarding the costs and benefits of multiple mating to females has, for obvious reasons, relied on species that are already highly polyandrous. However, this makes it difficult to separate the processes that maintain the current level of polyandry from the processes that facilitate its expression and initiated its evolution. Here we consider the costs and benefits of polyandry in Nasonia vitripennis,...

Data from: The genetic architecture of sexually selected traits in two natural populations of Drosophila montana

Paris Veltsos, Emma Gregson, Barbara Morrissey, Jon Slate, Anneli Hoikkala, Roger K. Butlin & Michael G. Ritchie
We investigated the genetic architecture of courtship song and cuticular hydrocarbon traits in two phygenetically distinct populations of Drosophila montana. In order to study natural variation in these two important traits, we analysed within-population crosses among individuals sampled from the wild. Hence, the genetic variation analysed should represent that available for natural and sexual selection to act upon. In contrast to previous between-population crosses in this species, no major QTLs were detected, perhaps because the...

Data from: Transcriptomes of parents identify parenting strategies and sexual conflict in a subsocial beetle

Darren J. Parker, Christopher B. Cunningham, Craig A. Walling, Clare E. Stamper, Megan L. Head, Eileen M. Roy-Zokan, Elizabeth C. McKinney, Michael G. Ritchie & Allen J. Moore
Parenting in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides is complex and, unusually, the sex and number of parents that can be present is flexible. Such flexibility is expected to involve specialized behaviour by the two sexes under biparental conditions. Here, we show that offspring fare equally well regardless of the sex or number of parents present. Comparing transcriptomes, we find a largely overlapping set of differentially expressed genes in both uniparental and biparental females and in...

Data from: Cultural traditions across a migratory network shape the genetic structure of southern right whales around Australia and New Zealand

E. L. Carroll, C. S. Baker, M. Watson, R. Alderman, J. Bannister, O. E. Gaggiotti, D. R. Gröcke, N. Patenaude & R. Harcourt
Fidelity to migratory destinations is an important driver of connectivity in marine and avian species. Here we assess the role of maternally directed learning of migratory habitats, or migratory culture, on the population structure of the endangered Australian and New Zealand southern right whale. Using DNA profiles, comprising mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes (500 bp), microsatellite genotypes (17 loci) and sex from 128 individually-identified whales, we find significant differentiation among winter calving grounds based on both...

Data from: A metagenetics approach to determine the diversity and distribution of cyst nematodes at the level of the country, the field and the individual

Sebastian Eves-Van Den Akker, Catherine Lilley, Alex Reid, Jon Pickup, Eric Anderson, Peter Cock, Mark Blaxter, Peter Urwin, John Jones, Vivian Blok, John T. Jones, Catherine J. Lilley, Peter E. Urwin, Vivian C. Blok & Peter J.A. Cock
Distinct populations of the potato cyst nematode (PCN) Globodera pallida exist in the UK that differ in their ability to overcome various sources of resistance. An efficient method for distinguishing between populations would enable pathogen-informed cultivar choice in the field. Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) annually undertake national DNA diagnostic tests to determine the presence of PCN in potato seed and ware land by extracting DNA from soil floats. These DNA samples provide...

Data from: An experimental evaluation of the effects of geolocator design and attachment method on between-year survival on whinchats Saxicola rubetra

Emma Blackburn, Malcolm Burgess, Benedictus Freeman, Alice Riseley, Arin Izang, Sam Ivande, Chris Hewson, Will Cresswell & Alice Risely
Data from location logging tags have revolutionised our understanding of migration ecology, but methods of tagging that do not compromise survival need to be identified. We compared resighting rates for 156 geolocator-tagged and 316 colour ringed-only whinchats on their African wintering grounds after migration to and from eastern Europe in two separate years. We experimentally varied both light stalk length (0, 5 and 10 mm) and harness material (elastic or non-elastic nylon braid tied on,...

Data from: Individual, unit, and vocal clan level identity cues in sperm whale codas

Shane Gero, Hal Whitehead & Luke Rendell
The ‘social complexity hypothesis’ suggests that complex social structure is a driver of diversity in animal communication systems. Sperm whales have a hierarchically structured society in which the largest affiliative structures, the vocal clans, are marked on ocean-basin scales by culturally transmitted dialects of acoustic signals known as ‘codas’. We examined variation in coda repertoires among both individual whales and social units—the basic element of sperm whale society—using data from nine Caribbean social units across...

Data from: The coevolution of innovation and technical intelligence in primates

Ana F. Navarrete, Simon M. Reader, Sally E. Street, Andrew Whalen & Kevin N. Laland
In birds and primates, the frequency of behavioural innovation has been shown to covary with absolute and relative brain size, leading to the suggestion that large brains allow animals to innovate, and/or that selection for innovativeness, together with social learning, may have driven brain enlargement. We examined the relationship between primate brain size and both technical (i.e. tool using) and non-technical innovation, deploying a combination of phylogenetically informed regression and exploratory causal graph analyses. Regression...

Data from: On the variety of methods for calculating confidence intervals by bootstrapping

Marie-Therese Puth, Markus Neuhäuser & Graeme D. Ruxton
1. Researchers often want to place a confidence interval around estimated parameter values calculated from a sample. This is commonly implemented by bootstrapping. There are several different frequently used bootstrapping methods for this purpose. 2. Here we demonstrate that authors of recent papers frequently do not specify the method they have used and that different methods can produce markedly different confidence intervals for the same sample and parameter estimate. 3. We encourage authors to be...

Data from: A multilevel society of herring-eating killer whales indicates adaptation to prey characteristics

Sara B. Tavares, Filipa I.P. Samarra & Patrick J.O. Miller
Non-social factors can influence animal social structure. In killer whales (Orcinus orca), fish- versus mammal-eating ecological differences are regarded as key ecological drivers of their multilevel society, including group size, but the potential importance of specific target prey remains unclear. Here, we investigate the social structure of herring-eating killer whales in Iceland and compare it to the described social structures of primarily salmon- and seal-eating populations in the Northeast Pacific, which form stable coherent basic...

Data from: Vestigial singing behaviour persists after the evolutionary loss of song in crickets

Will T. Schneider, Christian Rutz, Berthold Hedwig & Nathan W. Bailey
The evolutionary loss of sexual traits is widely predicted. Because sexual signals can arise from the coupling of specialised motor activity with morphological structures, disruption to a single component could lead to overall loss of function. Opportunities to observe this process and characterise any remaining signal components are rare, but could provide insight into the mechanisms, indirect costs, and evolutionary consequences of signal loss. We investigated the recent evolutionary loss of a long-range acoustic sexual...

Data from: Release from intralocus sexual conflict? Evolved loss of a male sexual trait demasculinises female gene expression

Jack G. Rayner, Sonia Pascoal & Nathan W. Bailey
The loss of sexual ornaments is observed across taxa, and pleiotropic effects of such losses provide an opportunity to gain insight into underlying dynamics of sex-biased gene expression and intralocus sexual conflict (IASC). We investigated this in a Hawaiian field cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus, in which an X-linked genotype (flatwing) feminises males’ wings and eliminates their ability to produce sexually selected songs. We profiled adult gene expression across somatic and reproductive tissues of both sexes. Despite...

Data from: Increases in local richness (α-diversity) following invasion are offset by biotic homogenization in a biodiversity hotspot

Alessandra R. Kortz & Anne E. Magurran
The world’s ecosystems are experiencing unparalleled rates of biodiversity change with invasive species implicated as one of the drivers that restructure local assemblages. Here we focus on the processes leading to biodiversity change in a biodiversity hotspot, the Brazilian Cerrado. The null expectation that invasion leads to increase in local species richness is supported by our investigation of the grass layer in two key habitats (campo sujo and campo úmido). Our analysis uncovered a linear...

Data from: Species richness change across spatial scales

Jonathan M. Chase, Brian J. McGill, Patrick L. Thompson, Laura H. Antão, Amanda E. Bates, Shane A. Blowes, Maria Dornelas, Andrew Gonzalez, Anne E. Magurran, Sarah R. Supp, Marten Winter, Anne D. Bjorkmann, Helge Bruelheide, Jarrett E.K. Byrnes, Juliano Sarmento Cabral, Robin Ehali, Catalina Gomez, Hector M. Guzman, Forest Isbell, Isla H. Myers-Smith, Holly P. Jones, Jessica Hines, Mark Vellend, Conor Waldock & Mary O'Connor
Humans have elevated global extinction rates and thus lowered global-scale species richness. However, there is no a priori reason to expect that losses of global species richness should always, or even often, trickle down to losses of species richness at regional and local scales, even though this relationship is often assumed. Here, we show that scale can modulate our estimates of species richness change through time in the face of anthropogenic pressures, but not in...

Data from: A genetic assessment of the human-facilitated colonization history of black swans in Australia and New Zealand

Valeria Montano, Wouter F.D. Van Dongen, Micheal A. Weston, Raoul A. Mulder, Randall W. Robinson, Mary Cowling, Patrick-Jean Guay & Michael A. Weston
Movement of species beyond their indigenous distribution can fundamentally alter the conservation status of the populations involved. If introductions are human-facilitated, introduced species could be considered pests. Characterizing the colonization history of introduced species can, therefore, be critical to formulating the objectives and nature of wildlife management strategies. The black swan (Cygnus atratus) is native to Australia but is considered a reintroduced species in New Zealand, where the endemic population was reported extinct during the...

Data from: Cultural turnover among Galápagos sperm whales

Mauricio Cantor, Hal Whitehead, Shane Gero & Luke Rendell
While populations may wax and wane, it is rare for an entire population to be replaced by a completely different set of individuals. We document the large-scale relocation of cultural groups of sperm whale off the Galápagos Islands, in which two sympatric vocal clans were entirely replaced by two different ones. Between 1985 and 1999, whales from two clans (called Regular and Plus-One) defined by cultural dialects in coda vocalizations were repeatedly photo-identified off Galápagos....

Data from: Perceived duration of brief visual events is mediated by timing mechanisms at the global stages of visual processing

Lee Beattie, William Curran, Christopher P. Benton, Julie M. Harris & Paul B. Hibbard
There is a growing body of evidence pointing to the existence of modality-specific timing mechanisms for encoding sub-second durations. For example, the duration compression effect describes how prior adaptation to a dynamic visual stimulus results in participants underestimating the duration of a sub-second test stimulus when it is presented at the adapted location. There is substantial evidence for the existence of both cortical and pre-cortical visual timing mechanisms; however, little is known about where in...

Data from: Chasing ghosts: allopolyploid origin of Oxyria sinensis (Polygonaceae) from its only diploid congener and an unknown ancestor

Xin Luo, Quanjun Hu, Pingping Zhou, Dan Zhang, Qian Wang, Richard J. Abbott, Yaling Wang & Jianquan Liu
Reconstructing the origin of a polyploid species is particularly challenging when an ancestor has become extinct. Under such circumstances, the extinct donor of a genome found in the polyploid may be treated as a ‘ghost’ species in that its prior existence is recognized through the presence of its genome in the polyploid. In this study, we aimed to determine the polyploid origin of Oxyria sinensis (2n = 40) for which only one congeneric species is...

Data from: Sexual selection and population divergence II. divergence in different sexual traits and signal modalities in field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus)

Sonia Pascoal, Magdalena Mendrok, Alastair J. Wilson, John Hunt & Nathan W. Bailey
Sexual selection can target many different types of traits. However, the relative influence of different sexually-selected traits during evolutionary divergence is poorly understood. We used the field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus to quantify and compare how five traits from each of three sexual signal modalities and components diverge among allopatric populations: male advertisement song, cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles and forewing morphology. Population divergence was unexpectedly consistent: we estimated the among-population (genetic) variance-covariance matrix, D, for all...

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