A major aim in evolutionary biology is to understand altruistic help and reproductive partitioning in cooperative societies, where subordinate helpers forego reproduction to rear dominant breeders' offspring. Traditional models of cooperation in these societies typically make a key assumption: that the only alternative to staying and helping is solitary breeding, an often unfeasible task. Using large-scale field experiments on paper wasps (Polistes dominula), we show that individuals have high-quality alternative nesting options available that offer...
1. Subterranean detritivores such as earthworms can increase soil nutrient availability through their burrowing and casting activities. A number of recent studies have explored whether these changes caused by earthworms may in turn affect plant performance and resistance to herbivores, but no formal synthesis of this literature has been conducted to date. 2. We here formally tested for the effects of earthworms on plant growth, resistance and chemical defence against insect herbivores by performing a...
Data from: General and species-specific impacts of a neonicotinoid insecticide on the ovary development and feeding of wild bumblebee queensGemma L. Baron, Nigel E. Raine, Mark J.F. Brown & Mark J. F. Brown
Bumblebees are essential pollinators of crops and wild plants, but are in decline across the globe. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated as a potential driver of these declines, but most of our evidence base comes from studies of a single species. There is an urgent need to understand whether such results can be generalized across a range of species. Here, we present results of a laboratory experiment testing the impacts of field-relevant doses (1.87–5.32 ppb)...
Data from: Evolution of sociality in spiders leads to depleted genomic diversity at both population and species levelVirginia Settepani, Mads F. Schou, Michelle Greve, Lena Grinsted, Jesper Bechsgaard & Trine Bilde
Across several animal taxa, the evolution of sociality involves a suite of characteristics, a ‘social syndrome’, that includes cooperative breeding, reproductive skew, primary female biased sex-ratio, and the transition from outcrossing to inbreeding mating system, factors that are expected to reduce effective population size (Ne). This social syndrome may be favoured by short-term benefits but come with long-term costs, because the reduction in Ne amplifies loss of genetic diversity by genetic drift, ultimately restricting the...
Data from: Fear of predation shapes social network structure and the acquisition of foraging information in guppy shoalsMatthew J. Hasenjager & Lee A. Dugatkin
Spatio-temporal variation in predation risk is predicted to select for plastic anti-predator responses, which may in turn impact the fine-scale social structure of prey groups and processes mediated by that structure. To test these predictions, we manipulated the ambient predation risk experienced by Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) groups before quantifying their social networks and recording individual latencies to approach and solve a novel foraging task. High-risk conditions drove the formation of social networks that were...
Speciation can involve a transition from a few genetic loci that are resistant to gene flow to genome-wide differentiation. However, only limited data exist concerning this transition and the factors promoting it. Here, we study phases of speciation using data from >100 populations of 11 species of Timema stick insects. Consistent with early phases of genic speciation, adaptive colour-pattern loci reside in localized genetic regions of accentuated differentiation between populations experiencing gene flow. Transitions to...
Data from: Homing pigeons (Columba livia) modulate wingbeat characteristics as a function of route familiarityLucy A. Taylor, Steven J. Portugal & Dora Biro
Mechanisms of avian navigation have received considerable attention, but whether different navigational strategies are accompanied by different flight characteristics is unknown. Managing energy expenditure is critical for survival, therefore understanding how flight characteristics, and hence energy allocation, potentially change with birds familiarity with a navigational task could provide key insights into the costs of orientation. We addressed this question by examining changes in wingbeat characteristics and airspeed of homing pigeons (Columba livia) as they learned...
Royal Holloway University of London7
University of Pretoria1
Utah State University1
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology1
University of Neuchâtel1
University of North Carolina1
University of Louisville1
Simon Fraser University1
University of Connecticut1