12 Works

Are offspring begging levels exaggerated beyond the parental optimum? Evidence from a bidirectional selection experiment

Nolwenn Fresneau, Natalia Estramil & Wendt Müller
Parental care involves elaborate behavioural interactions between parents and their offspring, with offspring stimulating their parents via begging to provision resources. Thus, begging has direct fitness benefits as it enhances offspring growth and survival. It is nevertheless subject to a complex evolutionary trajectory, because begging may serve as a means for the offspring to manipulate parents in the context of evolutionary conflicts of interest. Furthermore, it has been hypothesized that begging is coadapted and potentially...

Anisogamy is unrelated to the intensity of sexual selection

Judit Mokos, István Scheuring, András Liker, Robert P. Freckelton & Tamás Székely
Males and females often display different behaviours and, in the context of reproduction, these behaviours are labelled sex roles. The Darwin–Bateman paradigm argues that the root of these differences is anisogamy (i.e., differences in size and/or function of gametes between the sexes) that leads to biased sexual selection, and sex differences in parental care and body size. This evolutionary cascade, however, is contentious since some of the underpinning assumptions have been questioned. Here we investigate...

Data from: Multiple aspects of plasticity in clutch size vary among populations of a globally distributed songbird

David F. Westneat, Veronika Bókony, Terry Burke, Olivier Chastel, Henrik Jensen, Thomas Kvalnes, Ádám Z. Lendvai, András Liker, Douglas Mock, Julia Schroeder, P. L. Schwagmeyer, Gabriele Sorci & Ian R. K. Stewart
1. Plasticity in life-history characteristics can influence many ecological and evolutionary phenomena, including how invading organisms cope with novel conditions in new locations or how environmental change affects organisms in native locations. Variation in reaction norm attributes is a critical element to understanding plasticity in life history, yet we know relatively little about the ways in which reaction norms vary within and among populations. 2. We amassed data on clutch size from marked females in...

Data from: Parental care and the evolution of terrestriality in frogs

Balázs Vági, Zsolt Végvári, András Liker, Robert P. Freckleton & Tamás Székely
Frogs and toads (Anura) exhibit some of the most diverse parental strategies in vertebrates. Identifying the evolutionary origins of parenting is fundamental to understanding the relationships between sexual selection, social evolution and parental care systems of contemporary Anura. Moreover, parenting has been hypothesized to allow the invasion of terrestrial habitats by the ancestors of terrestrial vertebrates. Using comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of frogs and toads based on data from over 1000 species that represent 46 out...

How mouthings interplay with sign morphology. Cross-modal strategies for inflectional marking in Hungarian Sign Language

Sziliárd Engelhardt
The paper focuses on the cross-modal expressions of inflectional marking found in Deaf bilingual Hungarian Sign Language users. To date there have been various findings on mouthings in sign languages. However, the impact of spoken morphology on mouthings gained far less attention and has never been studied systematically. The research on Hungarian Sign Language (Magyar Jelnyelv, MJNY) is devoted to expand our horizon in this regard. In doing so, it has been exploring unique cross-modal...

Social organization in ungulates: revisiting Jarman's hypotheses

Karola Szemán, András Liker & Tamás Székely
Ungulates (antelopes, deer and relatives) have some of the most diverse social systems among mammals. To understand the evolution of ungulate social organisation, Jarman (1974) proposed an ecological scenario of how distribution of resources, habitat and feeding style may have influenced social organisation. Although Jarman’s scenario makes intuitive sense and remain a textbook example of social evolution, it has not been scrutinised using modern phylogenetic comparative methods. Here we use 230 ungulate species from 10...

Data from: Sex differences in parental care: gametic investment, sexual selection and social environment

András Liker, Robert P. Freckleton, Vladimir Remes & Tamás Székely
Male and female parents often provide different type and amount of care to their offspring. Three major drivers have been proposed to explain parental sex roles: (i) differential gametic investment by males and females that precipitates into sex difference in care, (ii) different intensity of sexual selection acting on males and females, and (iii) biased social environment that facilitates the more common sex to provide more care. Here we provide the most comprehensive assessment of...

Climate and mating systems as drivers of global diversity of parental care in frogs

Balázs Vági, Zsolt Végvári, András Liker, Robert P. Freckleton & Tamás Székely
Aim Amphibians exhibit unusually diverse reproductive modes, including a wide array of parental care strategies. The evolutionary drivers of this diversity, however, remain unclear. Here we investigate three major factors which may predict interspecific variation in parental care strategies: climate, intrasexual selection and social environment. We hypothesise that some care forms evolved to cope with harsh conditions such as dry or unpredictable habitats. We contrast this prediction with the hypothesis that parental roles have coevolved...

Data from: The evolution of parental cooperation in birds

Vladimír Remeš, Robert P. Freckleton, Jácint Tökölyi, András Liker & Tamás Székely
Parents in many animal species care for their offspring. In some species, males care more; in other species, females care more; in still other species, the contribution of the sexes is equal. However, we do not know what explains these differences among species. Using the most comprehensive analyses of parental care to date, here we show that parents cooperate more when sexual selection is not intense and the adult sex ratio of males to females...

Data from: Impact of urbanization on abundance and phenology of caterpillars and consequences for breeding in an insectivorous bird

Gábor Seress, Tamás Hammer, Veronika Bókony, Ernő Vincze, Bálint Preiszner, Ivett Pipoly, Csenge Sinkovics, Karl Evans, András Liker & Karl L. Evans
Urbanization can have marked effects on plant and animal populations’ phenology, population size, predator-prey interactions and reproductive success. These aspects are rarely studied simultaneously in a single system, and some are rarely investigated, e.g. how insect phenology responds to urban development. Here, we study a tri-trophic system of trees – phytophagous insects (caterpillars) – insectivorous birds (great tits) to assess how urbanization influences i) the phenology of each component of this system, ii) insect abundance...

Food availability limits avian reproduction in the city: an experimental study on great tits (Parus major)

Gábor Seress, Krisztina Sándor, Karl Evans & András Liker
1. The altered ecological and environmental conditions in towns and cities strongly affect demographic traits of urban animal populations, for example avian reproductive success is often reduced. Previous work suggests that this is partly driven by low insect availability during the breeding season, but robust experimental evidence that supports this food limitation hypothesis is not yet available. 2. We tested core predictions of the food limitation hypothesis using a controlled experiment that provided supplementary insect...

Evolution of large males is associated with female-skewed adult sex ratios in amniotes

András Liker, Veronika Bókony, Ivett Pipoly, Jean-François Lemaître, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Tamas Szekely & Robert P. Freckleton
Body size often differs between the sexes (leading to sexual size dimorphism, SSD), as a consequence of differential responses by males and females to selection pressures. Adult sex ratio (the proportion of males in the adult population, ASR) should influence SSD because ASR relates to both the number of competitors and available mates, which shape the intensity of mating competition and thereby promotes SSD evolution. However, whether ASR correlates with SSD variation among species has...

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