ResearchPad - column https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Wacht Een Sociale Crisis?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12820 <![CDATA[Playing with Creativity Across the Lifespan: a Conversation with Dr. Sandra Russ]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11019 <![CDATA[Adolf Meyer: the neuroanatomist and neuropsychiatrist behind Meyer's loop and its significance in neurosurgery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1de98029-936f-43c2-b59e-771f41a7672c

Psychiatrist Adolf Meyer’s work as a neuroanatomist is less well-known among the medical community. Using manuscripts by Harvey Cushing and by Meyer himself, Schijns and Koehler explore how Meyer’s anatomical studies enabled him to describe the temporal loop of the optic radiation, known today as ‘Meyer’s loop’.

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<![CDATA[Clarification on mask use during droplet precautions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nca501af0-7655-48c4-82cd-94637cce704d ]]> <![CDATA[The New Coronavirus, the Current King of China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb8e08f98-e401-4bdf-a7ff-08c71c8ae0f6 ]]> <![CDATA[Komkommertijd]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N56de2d1c-fb32-4283-92b7-afb2c58d9d27 ]]> <![CDATA[Male mate choice, female competition, and female ornaments as components of sexual selection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255ccd5eed0c48487dbbc ]]> <![CDATA[Female mating competition alters female mating preferences in common gobies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255d7d5eed0c48487dc2b

Abstract

Mating decisions can be affected by intrasexual competition and sensitive to operational sex-ratio (OSR) changes in the population. Conceptually, it is assumed that both male and female mate-competition may interfere with female reproductive decisions. Experimentally, however, the focus has been on the effect of male competition on mate choice. In many species with paternal care as in the common goby Pomatoschistus microps, the OSR is often female-biased and female mate-competition for access to available nesting males occurs. Using the same protocol for 3 experiments testing the effect of a perceived risk of female mate-competition, I studied female preferences for nest-holding males differing in its nest size (large/small), body size (large/small), and nest status (with/without eggs already in nest) and measured mating decisions, spawning latencies, and clutch size. Regardless of the social context, females preferred males with larger nests. A preference for large males was only expressed in presence of additional females. For nest status, there was a tendency for females to prefer mating with males with an empty nest. Here, female–female competition increased the propensity to mate. The results of this study show that females are sensitive to a female competitive social environment and suggest that in choice situations, females respond to the social context mainly by mating decisions per se rather than by adjusting the clutch size or spawning latency. Females base their mating decisions not only on a male’s nest size but also on male size as an additional cue of mate quality in the presence of additional females.

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<![CDATA[Male mate choice as differential investment in contest competition is affected by female ornament expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255d1d5eed0c48487dbf9

Abstract

High male mating effort and high variation in female quality select for male mate choice, which may be expressed as differential investment of reproductive effort based on female value. Male reproductive effort includes investment in direct contest competition with rival males for access to females, yet variation in male–male contest behavior is rarely examined in the context of male mate choice. We examine such male response to variation in female body size, reproductive state, and female-specific ornamentation in the striped plateau lizard, Sceloporus virgatus. We housed lizards in trios of 2 size-matched males and one female for 5 days, such that all 3 lizards were physically isolated and the males could see the female but not each other. We then placed males simultaneously into the female’s cage and scored the interaction. Male–male aggression was not significantly affected by female body size, reproductive state, nor ornament color, but was influenced by ornament size which reliably signals the phenotypic quality of the female and her offspring. In the presence of larger-ornamented females, males engaged in more male–male aggressive display behavior more quickly, and performed fewer high-intensity contact behaviors but were equally likely to escalate to this riskier level of fighting. Our data suggest that males adjust their energetic investment during intrasexual competitive interactions in response to variation in the contested female which, assuming males gain direct or indirect benefits from their strategic allocation of reproductive effort, fits the modern understanding of male mate choice.

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<![CDATA[The evolution of male mate choice and female ornamentation: a review of mathematical models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255ced5eed0c48487dbd0

Abstract

The evolution of male preferences and of female ornaments in species with traditional sex roles (i.e., polygyny) have been highlighted as areas in need of more active research by an accumulation of recent findings. The theoretical literature on these topics is relatively small and has centered on the evolution of male choice. Mathematical models have emphasized that, under polygyny, the evolution of male preferences faces much greater competition costs than does the evolution of female preferences. We discuss ways in which costly male choice can nonetheless evolve, via (1) direct selection that favors preferences, primarily through mating with highly fecund females, (2) mechanisms that rely on indirect selection, which weakly counters competitive costs of male preferences, and (3) genetic constraints, primarily in the form of pleiotropy of male and female preferences and traits. We also review a variety of mathematical models that have elucidated how costs to male preferences can be avoided. Finally, we turn our attention to the relatively scant theoretical literature on the effects of male mate choice on the evolution of female traits. We emphasize the finding that the presence of male preferences cannot be assumed to lead to the evolution of female ornaments during polygyny, and point out situations where models have elucidated ways in which female ornaments can nevertheless evolve.

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<![CDATA[Sex roles and sexual selection: lessons from a dynamic model system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255cad5eed0c48487dba9

Abstract

Our understanding of sexual selection has greatly improved during the last decades. The focus is no longer solely on males, but also on how female competition and male mate choice shape ornamentation and other sexually selected traits in females. At the same time, the focus has shifted from documenting sexual selection to exploring variation and spatiotemporal dynamics of sexual selection, and their evolutionary consequences. Here, I review insights from a model system with exceptionally dynamic sexual selection, the two-spotted goby fish Gobiusculus flavescens. The species displays a complete reversal of sex roles over a 3-month breeding season. The reversal is driven by a dramatic change in the operational sex ratio, which is heavily male-biased at the start of the season and heavily female-biased late in the season. Early in the season, breeding-ready males outnumber mature females, causing males to be highly competitive, and leading to sexual selection on males. Late in the season, mating-ready females are in excess, engage more in courtship and aggression than males, and rarely reject mating opportunities. With typically many females simultaneously courting available males late in the season, males become selective and prefer more colorful females. This variable sexual selection regime likely explains why both male and female G. flavescens have ornamental colors. The G. flavescens model system reveals that sexual behavior and sexual selection can be astonishingly dynamic in response to short-term fluctuations in mating competition. Future work should explore whether sexual selection is equally dynamic on a spatial scale, and related spatiotemporal dynamics.

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<![CDATA[Ecological variation along the salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea Area and its consequences for reproduction in the common goby]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255b0d5eed0c48487da8a

Abstract

Although it has become clear that sexual selection may shape mating systems and drive speciation, the potential constraints of environmental factors on processes and outcomes of sexual selection are largely unexplored. Here, we investigate the geographic variation of such environmental factors, more precisely the quality and quantity of nest resources (bivalve shells) along a salinity gradient in the Baltic Sea Area (Baltic Sea, Sounds and Belts, and Kattegat). We further test whether we find any salinity-associated morphological differences in body size between populations of common gobies Pomatoschistus microps, a small marine fish with a resource-based mating system. In a geographically expansive field study, we sampled 5 populations of P. microps occurring along the salinity gradient (decreasing from West to East) in the Baltic Sea Area over 3 consecutive years. Nest resource quantity and quality decreased from West to East, and a correlation between mussel size and male body size was detected. Population density, sex ratios, mating- and reproductive success as well as brood characteristics also differed between populations but with a less clear relation to salinity. With this field study we shed light on geographic variation of distinct environmental parameters possibly acting on population differentiation. We provide insights on relevant ecological variation, and draw attention to its importance in the framework of context-dependent plasticity of sexual selection.

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<![CDATA[Ecology and evolution along environmental gradients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255b4d5eed0c48487daaf ]]> <![CDATA[Opposed elevational variation in prevalence and intensity of endoparasites and their vectors in a lizard]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255b5d5eed0c48487dabf

Abstract

Studying the causes of parasite geographic distribution is relevant to understand ecological and evolutionary processes that affect host populations as well as for species conservation. Temperature is one of the most important environmental variables affecting parasite distribution, as raising temperatures positively affect development, reproduction, and rate of transmission of both endo- and ectoparasites. In this context, it is generally accepted that, in mountains, parasite abundance decreases with elevation. However, empirical evidence on this topic is limited. In the present study, we analyzed the elevational variation of hemoparasites and ectoparasites of a lizard, Psammodromus algirus, along a 2,200-m elevational gradient in Sierra Nevada (SE Spain). As predicted, ectoparasite (mites, ticks, mosquitoes, and sandflies) abundance decreased with elevation. However, hemoparasite prevalence and intensity in the lizard augmented with altitude, showing a pattern contrary to their vectors (mites). We suggest that tolerance to hemoparasites may increase with elevation as a consequence of lizards at high altitudes taking advantage of increased body condition and food availability, and reduced oxidative stress. Moreover, lizards could have been selected for higher resistance against hemoparasites at lowlands (where higher rates of replication are expected), thus reducing hemoparasite prevalence and load. Our findings imply that, in a scenario of climate warming, populations of lizards at high elevation may face increased abundance of ectoparasites, accompanied with strong negative effects.

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<![CDATA[Brain differences in ecologically differentiated sticklebacks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255b2d5eed0c48487da9e

Abstract

Populations that have recently diverged offer a powerful model for studying evolution. Ecological differences are expected to generate divergent selection on multiple traits, including neurobiological ones. Animals must detect, process, and act on information from their surroundings and the form of this information can be highly dependent on the environment. We might expect different environments to generate divergent selection not only on the sensory organs, but also on the brain regions responsible for processing sensory information. Here, we test this hypothesis using recently evolved reproductively isolated species pairs of threespine stickleback fish Gasterosteus aculeatus that have well-described differences in many morphological and behavioral traits correlating with ecological differences. We use a state-of-the-art method, magnetic resonance imaging, to get accurate volumetric data for 2 sensory processing regions, the olfactory bulbs and optic tecta. We found a tight correlation between ecology and the size of these brain regions relative to total brain size in 2 lakes with intact species pairs. Limnetic fish, which rely heavily on vision, had relatively larger optic tecta and smaller olfactory bulbs compared with benthic fish, which utilize olfaction to a greater extent. Benthic fish also had larger total brain volumes relative to their body size compared with limnetic fish. These differences were erased in a collapsed species pair in Enos Lake where anthropogenic disturbance has led to intense hybridization. Together these data indicate that evolution of sensory processing regions can occur rapidly and independently.

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<![CDATA[Effects of a sex ratio gradient on female mate-copying and choosiness in Drosophila melanogaster]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255bdd5eed0c48487db0f

Abstract

In many sexually reproducing species, individuals can gather information about potential mates by observing their mating success. This behavioral pattern, that we call mate-copying, was reported in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster where females choosing between 2 males of contrasting phenotypes can build a preference for males of the phenotype they previously saw being chosen by a demonstrator female. As sex ratio is known to affect mate choice, our goal was to test whether mate-copying is also affected by encountered sex ratios. Thus, we created a gradient of sex ratio during demonstrations of mate-copying experiments by changing the number of females observing from a central arena 6 simultaneous demonstrations unfolding in 6 peripheral compartments of a hexagonal device. We also tested whether the sex ratio experienced by females during demonstrations affected their choosiness (male courtship duration and double courtship rate) in subsequent mate-choice tests. Experimental male:female sex ratio during demonstrations did not affect mate-copying indices, but positively affected the proportion of both males courting the female during mate-choice tests, as well as male courtship duration, the latter potentially explaining the former relationship. As expected, the sex ratio affected female choosiness positively, and Drosophila females seem to have evolved a mate-copying ability independently of sex ratio, and a capacity to adapt their choosiness to male availability. This suggests that, as in many animal species, individuals, especially females, can adapt their mate choice depending on the current sex ratio.

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<![CDATA[Gradients in predation risk in a tropical river system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255bfd5eed0c48487db1f

Abstract

The importance of predation risk as a key driver of evolutionary change is exemplified by the Northern Range in Trinidad, where research on guppies living in multiple parallel streams has provided invaluable insights into the process of evolution by natural selection. Although Trinidadian guppies are now a textbook example of evolution in action, studies have generally categorized predation as a dichotomous variable, representing high or low risk. Yet, ecologists appreciate that community structure and the attendant predation risk vary substantially over space and time. Here, we use data from a longitudinal study of fish assemblages at 16 different sites in the Northern Range to quantify temporal and spatial variation in predation risk. Specifically we ask: 1) Is there evidence for a gradient in predation risk? 2) Does the ranking of sites (by risk) change with the definition of the predator community (in terms of species composition and abundance currency), and 3) Are site rankings consistent over time? We find compelling evidence that sites lie along a continuum of risk. However, site rankings along this gradient depend on how predation is quantified in terms of the species considered to be predators and the abundance currency is used. Nonetheless, for a given categorization and currency, rankings are relatively consistent over time. Our study suggests that consideration of predation gradients will lead to a more nuanced understanding of the role of predation risk in behavioral and evolutionary ecology. It also emphasizes the need to justify and report the definition of predation risk being used.

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<![CDATA[Male mate choice in livebearing fishes: an overview]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255d0d5eed0c48487dbe8

Abstract

Although the majority of studies on mate choice focus on female mate choice, there is growing recognition of the role of male mate choice too. Male mate choice is tightly linked to 2 other phenomena: female competition for males and ornamentation in females. In the current article, I review the existing literature on this in a group of fishes, Poeciliidae. In this group, male mate choice appears to be based on differences in female quality, especially female size, which is a proxy for fecundity. Some males also have to choose between heterospecific and conspecific females in the unusual mating system of the Amazon molly. In this case, they typically show a preference for conspecific females. Whereas male mate choice is relatively well documented for this family, female ornamentation and female competition are not.

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<![CDATA[Changes in feeding selectivity of freshwater invertebrates across a natural thermal gradient]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255c2d5eed0c48487db46

Abstract

Environmental warming places physiological constraints on organisms, which may be mitigated by their feeding behavior. Theory predicts that consumers should increase their feeding selectivity for more energetically valuable resources in warmer environments to offset the disproportionate increase in metabolic demand relative to ingestion rate. This may also result in a change in feeding strategy or a shift towards a more specialist diet. This study used a natural warming experiment to investigate temperature effects on the feeding selectivity of three freshwater invertebrate grazers: the snail Radix balthica, the blackfly larva Simulium aureum, and the midgefly larva Eukiefferiella minor. Chesson’s Selectivity Index was used to compare the proportional abundance of diatom species in the guts of each invertebrate species with corresponding rock biofilms sampled from streams of different temperature. The snails became more selective in warmer streams, choosing high profile epilithic diatoms over other guilds and feeding on a lower diversity of diatom species. The blackfly larvae appeared to switch from active collector gathering of sessile high profile diatoms to more passive filter feeding of motile diatoms in warmer streams. No changes in selectivity were observed for the midgefly larvae, whose diet was representative of resource availability in the environment. These results suggest that key primary consumers in freshwater streams, which constitute a major portion of invertebrate biomass, can change their feeding behavior in warmer waters in a range of different ways. These patterns could potentially lead to fundamental changes in the flow of energy through freshwater food webs.

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<![CDATA[Variation in female aggression in 2 three-spined stickleback populations with female throat and spine coloration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1255c8d5eed0c48487db89

Abstract

Despite growing interest in female ornament evolution, we still have a rudimentary understanding of female display traits relative to similar traits in males. Under one popular adaptive scenario, female ornaments are hypothesized to function in female–female competition and serve as badges of status, such that their expression is linked with elevated aggression in some cases. In this study, we investigated the relationship between 2 female ornaments—male-like red throat color and red spine coloration—and female aggression in 2 independently derived stream-resident populations of three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. Using simulated intrusions, we tested whether females with redder ornaments were generally more aggressive, and for variation in aggressive and social behaviors between the 2 populations. We found that the red intensity of the throat and spine did not predict aggression levels in either population, suggesting a limited role for both female ornaments during female–female interaction. The 2 populations exhibited different levels of aggressive behaviors, unrelated to the color patches. Our results suggest that variation in selective pressures between populations may promote interpopulation variance in aggressive behavior but not the correlation between female ornamentation and aggression, and raise the possibility that red coloration may have evolved through different mechanisms or processes in the 2 populations.

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