Evolutionary Ecology

http://link.springer.com/journal/10682

List of Papers (Total 55)

Nectar discovery speeds and multimodal displays: assessing nectar search times in bees with radiating and non-radiating guides

Floral displays are often composed of areas of contrasting stimuli which flower visitors use as guides, increasing both foraging efficiency and the likelihood of pollen transfer. Many aspects of how these displays benefit foraging efficiency are still unexplored, particularly those surrounding multimodal signals and the spatial arrangement of the display components. We compare the ...

Refugial debate: on small sites according to their function and capacity

The occurrence and location of long-term refugia determine the current patterns of biodiversity on Earth. The importance of the refugial debate is certain to increase in response to observed and expected species extinctions caused by climate change. Small areas where species survive outside their core range are important, as unique natural phenomena and model systems for observing ...

Third-party mutualists have contrasting effects on host invasion under the enemy-release and biotic-resistance hypotheses

Plants engage in complex multipartite interactions with mutualists and antagonists, but these interactions are rarely included in studies that explore plant invasiveness. When considered in isolation, we know that beneficial microbes can enhance an exotic plant’s invasive ability and that herbivorous insects often decrease an exotic plant’s likeliness of success. However, the ...

Heterozygosity–fitness correlations in blue tit nestlings (Cyanistis caeruleus) under contrasting rearing conditions

Understanding the relation between genetic variation and fitness remains a key question in evolutionary biology. Although heterozygosity has been reported to correlate with many fitness-related traits, the strength of the heterozygosity–fitness correlations (HFCs) is usually weak and it is still difficult to assess the generality of these associations in natural populations. It has ...

Predation pressure shapes brain anatomy in the wild

There is remarkable diversity in brain anatomy among vertebrates and evidence is accumulating that predatory interactions are crucially important for this diversity. To test this hypothesis, we collected female guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from 16 wild populations and related their brain anatomy to several aspects of predation pressure in this ecosystem, such as the biomass of the ...

Why mussels stick together: spatial self-organization affects the evolution of cooperation

Cooperation with neighbours may be crucial for the persistence of populations in stressful environments. Yet, cooperation is often not evolutionarily stable, since non-cooperative individuals can reap the benefits of cooperation without having to pay the costs associated with cooperation. Here we show that active aggregation leading to self-organized spatial pattern formation can ...

Distinct song parts of the endemic marsh grassbird of China vary with latitude and climate among migratory and sedentary populations

Birdsong can act as a premating barrier to gene flow through its role in mate attraction and territorial defence. The link between geographic variation in song structure and ecological factors is key to the process of acoustically guided population divergence and isolation. Migratory behaviour is an example of such an ecological factor. In this study, we asked whether latitude and ...

Herbivory-induced changes in the olfactory and visual display of flowers and extrafloral nectaries affect pollinator behavior

Plants communicate with animals by means of multimodal displays and reward mutualistic partners with resources such as nectar. Floral nectar is a key resource for pollinators, whereas extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) support indirect plant defense. Animal-pollinated flowers advertise their rewards using modalities such as scent, color and morphology. In EFNs the role of olfactory and ...

Immune responses link parasite genetic diversity, prevalence and plumage morphs in common buzzards

The evolution and maintenance of conspicuous phenotypic polymorphisms has challenged evolutionary ecologists for centuries. Polymorphisms in pleiotropic cascades or genetic linkage may lead to correlations of life history traits such as immunity, parasite infection levels, pigmentation and lifetime reproductive success. The common buzzard Buteo buteo is a bird of prey occurring in ...

No evidence of intrinsic reproductive isolation between two reciprocally non-monophyletic, ecologically differentiated mountain plants at an early stage of speciation

Adaptation to dissimilar habitats can trigger phenotypic and genetic differences between populations, which may, in the absence of gene flow, ultimately lead to ecological speciation. Reproductive isolation of diverging populations is a critical step at the onset of speciation. An excellent example for exploring the extent of reproductive isolation at early stages of speciation is ...

Parameterising a public good: how experiments on predation can be used to predict cheat frequencies

Chemical defence is superficially easy to understand as a means for individuals to protect themselves from enemies. The evolution of chemical defence is however potentially complex because such defences may cause the generation of a public good, protecting members of the population as a whole as well as individuals that deploy toxins defensively. If a public good of protection ...

Cultural niche construction of repertoire size and learning strategies in songbirds

Birdsong is a complex cultural and biological system, and the selective forces driving evolutionary changes in aspects of song learning vary considerably among species. The extent to which repertoire size, the number of syllables or song types sung by a bird, is subject to sexual selection is unknown, and studies to date have provided inconsistent evidence. Here, we propose that ...

An introduction to niche construction theory

Niche construction refers to the modification of selective environments by organisms. Theoretical and empirical studies of niche construction are increasing in importance as foci in evolutionary ecology. This special edition presents theoretical and empirical research that illustrates the significance of niche construction to the field. Here we set the scene for the following ...

Evolution of regulated phenotypic expression during a transition to multicellularity

Multicellular organisms coordinate growth and differentiation from single cell starting points with developmental programs. While the evolutionary origins of these programs are unknown, it is likely that they are closely tied to the evolution of regulated—not stochastic—phenotypic expression. To determine how such regulation might arise, we consider experimental populations of ...

Social immunity of the family: parental contributions to a public good modulated by brood size

Social immunity refers to any immune defence that benefits others, besides the individual that mounts the response. Since contributions to social immunity are known to be personally costly, they are contributions to a public good. However, individuals vary in their contributions to this public good and it is unclear why. Here we investigate whether they are responding to ...

Adaptation of timing of life history traits and population dynamic responses to climate change in spatially structured populations

Changes in the seasonal timing of life history events are documented effects of climate change. We used a general model to study how dispersal and competitive interactions affect eco-evolutionary responses to changes in the temporal distribution of resources over the season. Specifically, we modeled adaptation of the timing of reproduction and population dynamic responses in two ...

Optimal foraging behavior with an explicit consideration of within-individual behavioral variation: an example of predation

Animal behavior is flexible, and the same individual can exhibit variable expressions under the equivalent ecological situations (i.e., within-individual behavioral variation). This study examines the evolution of within-individual behavioral variation using an individual-based model. A common predation scenario is considered where a predator spends a period h to handle and consume ...

Opposing selective pressures may act on the colony size in a waterbird species

In theory, larger colony size should be favoured by lower per-capita predation rates, whereas smaller colony size should be favoured by reduced parasitism, social stress and competition for food. We conducted an experimental cross-fostering of young between colonies of different size to test whether differences in fitness had an environmental or genetic basis. We induced formation ...

Mate-guarding in a promiscuous insect: species discrimination influences context-dependent behaviour

Mating strategy is often informed by social context. However, information on social environment may be sensitive to interference by nearby heterospecifics, a process known as reproductive interference (RI). When heterospecific individuals are present in the environment, failures in species discrimination can lead to sub-optimal mating behaviours, such as misplaced courtship, ...

The mating brain: early maturing sneaker males maintain investment into the brain also under fast body growth in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

It has been suggested that mating behaviours require high levels of cognitive ability. However, since investment into mating and the brain both are costly features, their relationship is likely characterized by energetic trade-offs. Empirical data on the subject remains equivocal. We investigated if early sexual maturation was associated with brain development in Atlantic salmon ...

Sensory drive speciation and patterns of variation at selectively neutral genes

Speciation by sensory drive can occur if divergent adaptation of sensory systems causes rapid evolution of mating traits and the resulting development of assortative mating. Previous theoretical studies have shown that sensory drive can cause rapid divergent adaptive evolution from one to two phenotypes. In this study, we examined two topics: the possibility of adaptive radiation ...

Species size affects hatching response to different temperature regimes in a rotifer cryptic species complex

The strategy of decreasing size with increasing temperature known as Bergmann’s rule operates at geographic scale and in spite of extensive studies still presents a puzzle to researches. The aim of this work was to verify whether patterns of diapausing egg hatching of closely related species are consistent with the expectations from Bergmann’s rule. In a laboratory study of the ...

Genetically differentiated races and speciation-with-gene-flow in the sunflower maggot, Strauzia longipennis

The ecological interactions parasitic insects have with their hosts may contribute to their prodigious diversity, which is unrivaled among animals. Many insects assumed to be polyphagous generalists have been shown to consist of several differentiated races, each occupying a different host-niche. The sunflower maggot fly, Strauzia longipennis, has long been thought to consist of ...

MHC influences infection with parasites and winter survival in the root vole Microtus oeconomus

Selective pressure from parasites is thought to maintain the polymorphism of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes. Although a number of studies have shown a relationship between the MHC and parasitic infections, the fitness consequences of such associations are less well documented. In the present paper, we characterised the variation in exon 2 of MHC class II DRB gene in ...