Filtering by Subject: Evolution

A global analysis reveals the dynamic relationship between sexual selection and population abundance in space and time

Joshua Markovski, Corey T Callaghan, William K Cornwell, et al.

Published: 2023-09-17
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution

Sexual selection leads to the evolution of extravagant weaponry or ornamental displays, with the bearer of these traits gaining a reproductive advantage, potentially at a cost to the individual’s survival. The consequences of sexual selection can therefore impact species demographic processes and overall abundance. Currently, evidence connecting the effects of sexual selection to demography and [...]

Relative abundance distributions reveal constraints on tetrapod community diversity

Neil Brocklehurst, Bethany Allen, Emma M Dunne

Published: 2023-08-22
Subjects: Biodiversity, Evolution

Previous efforts to understand the pace of species diversification through time have disagreed over whether species diversity is unbounded or limited by a carrying capacity. Tetrapods (limbed vertebrates) have frequently been employed as a case-study in examinations of this issue, with studies of diversity being used to support both sides. Here, we examine the shape of relative abundance [...]

The unfulfilled potential of dogs in studying behavioural evolution during the Anthropocene

Christina Hansen Wheat, Clive DL Wynne

Published: 2023-08-07
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Zoology

Dogs are an exceptional resource for studying ecological, behavioural and evolutionary processes, but remain under-represented within these fields due to the anthropomorphisation of dog behaviour, and the view that dog domestication was human-driven. These widespread misconceptions limit our understanding of dog behaviour and inhibit the use of dogs as study systems in diverse areas of biological [...]

The potential of phage model systems as therapeutic agents

Jordan Romeyer Dherbey, Frederic Bertels

Published: 2023-07-28
Subjects: Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Medical Microbiology, Microbiology

With the emergence of widespread antibiotic resistance, phages are an appealing alternative to antibiotics in the fight against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Over the past few years, many phages have been isolated from various environments to treat bacterial pathogens. While isolating novel phages for treatment has had some success, this method is very fastidious because phage isolation, [...]

Fixation probability and fixation time under strong recurrent mutation

Martin Pontz, Remus Stana, Yoav Ram

Published: 2023-07-16
Subjects: Evolution, Life Sciences

When the mutation rate is high and/or the population size is large, recurrent mutation can lead to multiple, independently generated copies of the same beneficial allele spreading through the population. However, classical analyses of fixation probability and time assume that the mutation rate is low and therefore, that fixation and extinction of a beneficial allele occur faster than the [...]

Hypotheses on the extended phenotype of the mitochondrion: sex, mortality, and aging

Gordon Irlam

Published: 2023-06-19
Subjects: Biology, Evolution

How did sex evolve, how is sex evolutionary stable, why do eukaryotes appear mortal, and why do eukaryotes age, are all pressing questions. This paper presents a mitochondrial perspective on the evolution of the eukaryotic cell that appears capable of answering these questions. Rather than viewing a mitochondrion as a passive entity taken up by an archaeal host that remains in the driving seat, [...]

Plio-Pleistocene African megaherbivore losses associated with community biomass restructuring

Faysal Bibi, Juan L. Cantalapiedra

Published: 2023-06-09
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution

Fossil abundance data can reveal ecological dynamics underpinning taxonomic declines. Using fossil dental metrics, we reconstructed body mass and mass-abundance distributions in Late Miocene to recent African large mammal communities. Despite collection biases, fossil and extant mass-abundance distributions are highly similar, with unimodal distributions likely reflecting savanna environments. [...]

Combining the resurrection approach with transplant experiments to investigate adaptation of plant populations to environmental change

Pascal Karitter, Martí March-Salas, Andreas Ensslin, et al.

Published: 2023-05-25
Subjects: Evolution, Plant Sciences, Population Biology

Recent climatic changes, such as more frequent droughts and heatwaves, can lead to rapid evolutionary adaptations in plant populations. Such rapid evolution can be investigated using the resurrection approach by comparing plants raised from stored ancestral and contemporary seeds from the same population. This approach has so far only been used in common garden experiments, allowing to reveal [...]

Repeated evolution of extreme locomotor performance independent of changes in extended phenotype use in spiders

Michael B. J. Kelly, Kawsar Khan, Kaja Wierucka, et al.

Published: 2023-04-24
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Behavior and Ethology, Biodiversity, Biology, Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, Evolution, Integrative Biology, Life Sciences, Zoology

Many animals utilize self-built structures – so-called extended phenotypes – to enhance body functions, such as thermoregulation, prey capture or defence. Yet, it is unclear whether the evolution of animal constructions supplements or substitutes body functions. Here, using Austral brown spiders, we explored if the evolutionary loss and gain of silken webs as extended prey capture devices [...]

Interspecific behavioural interference and range dynamics: current insights and future directions

Christophe Patterson, Jonathan Drury

Published: 2023-04-24
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Ornithology, Other Animal Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology, Zoology

Novel biotic interactions in shifting communities play a key role in determining the ability of species’ ranges to track suitable habitat. To date, the impact of biotic interactions on range dynamics have predominantly been studied in the context of interactions between different trophic levels or, to a lesser extent, exploitative competition between species of the same trophic level. Yet, both [...]

How do microbes grow in nature? The role of population dynamics in microbial ecology and evolution

Justus Wilhelm Fink, Michael Manhart

Published: 2023-02-26
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Life Sciences, Evolution, Life Sciences, Microbiology, Systems Biology

The growth of microbial populations in nature is dynamic, as the cellular physiology and environment of these populations change. Population dynamics have wide-ranging consequences for ecology and evolution, determining how species interact and which mutations fix. Understanding these dynamics is also critical for clinical and environmental applications in which we need to promote or inhibit [...]

Extra-pair paternity, breeding density and synchrony in natural cavities versus nestboxes in two passerine birds

Irene Di Lecce, Charles Perrier, Marta Szulkin, et al.

Published: 2023-02-17
Subjects: Behavior and Ethology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Ornithology

Most of what is known about extra-pair paternity in hole-nesting birds derives from studies using artificial nesting sites, such as nestboxes. However, it has rarely been investigated whether inference drawn from breeding events taking place in nestboxes matches what would be observed under natural conditions, i.e. in natural cavities. We here report on a variation in promiscuity in blue tits and [...]

Prestige bias in cultural evolutionary dynamics

Saar Egozi, Yoav Ram

Published: 2023-02-16
Subjects: Evolution, Life Sciences, Social and Cultural Anthropology

If the traits of more successful individuals are more likely to be adopted, the resulting cultural transmission is described as being success-biased. Prestige may be used as a proxy for success. Here, we model prestige bias as a combination of indirect success bias and influence bias, the latter meaning that the choice of a role-model depends on the number of individuals that have already copied [...]

Heritability and age-dependent changes in genetic variation of telomere length in a wild house sparrow population

Heung Ying Janet Chik, Aaron Sibma, Maria-Elena Mannarelli, et al.

Published: 2023-02-13
Subjects: Evolution

Telomeres are a popular biomarker of senescence, as telomere dynamics are linked with survival and lifespan. However, the evolutionary potential of telomere dynamics, and the selection pattern that gives rise to senescence, are not well known. To better understand this, it is necessary to quantify genetic variation in telomere length, and how such variation changes with age. Here, we analysed a [...]

Keep your cool: Overwintering physiology in response to urbanization in the acorn ant, Temnothorax curvispinosus

Eric Grant Prileson, Jordan Clark, Sarah E Diamond, et al.

Published: 2023-02-10
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences

Winter presents a challenge for survival, yet temperate ectotherms have remarkable physiological adaptations to cope with low-temperature conditions. Under recent climate change, rather than strictly relaxing pressure on overwintering survival, warmer winters can instead disrupt these low-temperature trait-environment associations, with negative consequences for populations. While there is [...]


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