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Hierarchical social networks shape gut microbial composition in wild Verreaux's sifaka
In wild primates, social behaviour influences exposure to environmentally acquired and directly transmitted microorganisms. Prior studies indicate that gut microbiota reflect pairwise social interactions among chimpanzee and baboon hosts. Here, we demonstrate that higher-order social network structure—beyond just pairwise interactions—drives gut bacterial composition in wild lemurs, which live in smaller and more cohesive groups than previously studied anthropoid species. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and social network analysis of grooming contacts, we estimate the relative impacts of hierarchical (i.e. multi...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Perofsky, A. C., Lewis, R. J., Abondano, L. A., Di Fiore, A., Meyers, L. A. Tags: behaviour, microbiology, ecology Source Type: research

Condition-dependent female preference for male genitalia length is based on male reproductive tactics
There is extensive morphological variation of male genitalia across animals with internal fertilization, even among closely related species. Most studies attempting to explain this extraordinary diversity have focused on processes that occur post-copula (e.g. sperm competition, cryptic female choice). Only a few studies have focused on the pre-copula process of female preference. In addition, the extent to which this variation could be associated with the use of different reproductive tactics has yet to be explored. Here, we show that female preference for male genitalia length in two livebearing fishes depends on the type...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Hernandez-Jimenez, A., Rios-Cardenas, O. Tags: behaviour, ecology, evolution Source Type: research

Coral calcification mechanisms facilitate adaptive responses to ocean acidification
Ocean acidification (OA) is a pressing threat to reef-building corals, but it remains poorly understood how coral calcification is inhibited by OA and whether corals could acclimatize and/or adapt to OA. Using a novel geochemical approach, we reconstructed the carbonate chemistry of the calcifying fluid in two coral species using both a pH and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) proxy (11B and B/Ca, respectively). To address the potential for adaptive responses, both species were collected from two sites spanning a natural gradient in seawater pH and temperature, and then subjected to three pHT levels (8.04, 7.88, 7.71) cross...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Schoepf, V., Jury, C. P., Toonen, R. J., McCulloch, M. T. Tags: physiology, ecology, environmental science Global change and conservation Source Type: research

Deep pelagic food web structure as revealed by in situ feeding observations
Food web linkages, or the feeding relationships between species inhabiting a shared ecosystem, are an ecological lens through which ecosystem structure and function can be assessed, and thus are fundamental to informing sustainable resource management. Empirical feeding datasets have traditionally been painstakingly generated from stomach content analysis, direct observations and from biochemical trophic markers (stable isotopes, fatty acids, molecular tools). Each approach carries inherent biases and limitations, as well as advantages. Here, using 27 years (1991–2016) of in situ feeding observations collected by rem...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Choy, C. A., Haddock, S. H. D., Robison, B. H. Tags: behaviour, ecology, environmental science Source Type: research

Rapid evolution rescues hosts from competition and disease but--despite a dilution effect--increases the density of infected hosts
Virulent parasites can depress the densities of their hosts. Taxa that reduce disease via dilution effects might alleviate this burden. However, ‘diluter’ taxa can also depress host densities through competition for shared resources. The combination of disease and interspecific competition could even drive hosts extinct. Then again, genetically variable host populations can evolve in response to both competitors and parasites. Can rapid evolution rescue host density from the harm caused by these ecological enemies? How might such evolution influence dilution effects or the size of epidemics? In a mesocosm exper...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Strauss, A. T., Hite, J. L., Shocket, M. S., Caceres, C. E., Duffy, M. A., Hall, S. R. Tags: ecology, evolution Source Type: research

The functional syndrome: linking individual trait variability to ecosystem functioning
Phenotypic variability is increasingly assessed through functional response and effect traits, which provide a mechanistic framework for investigating how an organism responds to varying ecological factors and how these responses affect ecosystem functioning. Covariation between response and effect traits has been poorly examined at the intraspecific level, thus hampering progress in understanding how phenotypic variability alters the role of organisms in ecosystems. Using a multi-trait approach and a nine-month longitudinal monitoring of individual red-swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), we demonstrated that most of the...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Raffard, A., Lecerf, A., Cote, J., Buoro, M., Lassus, R., Cucherousset, J. Tags: behaviour, ecology Source Type: research

Major histocompatibility complex-linked social signalling affects female fertility
Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) have been shown to influence social signalling and mate preferences in many species, including humans. First observations suggest that MHC signalling may also affect female fertility. To test this hypothesis, we exposed 191 female horses (Equus caballus) to either an MHC-similar or an MHC-dissimilar stimulus male around the time of ovulation and conception. A within-subject experimental design controlled for non-MHC-linked male characteristics, and instrumental insemination with semen of other males (n = 106) controlled for potential confounding effects of semen or embryo...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Burger, D., Thomas, S., Aepli, H., Dreyer, M., Fabre, G., Marti, E., Sieme, H., Robinson, M. R., Wedekind, C. Tags: behaviour, ecology, evolution Source Type: research

Intraspecific and interspecific variation in thermotolerance and photoacclimation in Symbiodinium dinoflagellates
We examined variations in physiology among 11 strains comprising five species of clade A Symbiodinium. We grew cultures at 26°C (control) and 32°C (high temperature) over a duration of 18 days while measuring growth and photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm). Responses to thermal stress ranged from susceptible to tolerant across species and strains. Most strains exhibited a decrease in cell densities and Fv/Fm when grown at 32°C. Tolerance to high temperature (T32) was calculated for all strains, ranging from 0 (unable to survive at high temperature) to 1 (able survive at high temperature). There was substantial vari...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Diaz-Almeyda, E. M., Prada, C., Ohdera, A. H., Moran, H., Civitello, D. J., Iglesias-Prieto, R., Carlo, T. A., LaJeunesse, T. C., Medina, M. Tags: microbiology, plant science, ecology Source Type: research

First satellite tracks of South Atlantic sea turtle 'lost years: seasonal variation in trans-equatorial movement
In the South Atlantic Ocean, few data exist regarding the dispersal of young oceanic sea turtles. We characterized the movements of laboratory-reared yearling loggerhead turtles from Brazilian rookeries using novel telemetry techniques, testing for differences in dispersal during different periods of the sea turtle hatching season that correspond to seasonal changes in ocean currents. Oceanographic drifters deployed alongside satellite-tagged turtles allowed us to explore the mechanisms of dispersal (passive drift or active swimming). Early in the hatching season turtles transited south with strong southward currents. Late...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Mansfield, K. L., Mendilaharsu, M. L., Putman, N. F., dei Marcovaldi, M. A. G., Sacco, A. E., Lopez, G., Pires, T., Swimmer, Y. Tags: behaviour, ecology Source Type: research

Inter-annual variation in seed production has increased over time (1900-2014)
Mast seeding, or masting, is the highly variable and spatially synchronous production of seeds by a population of plants. The production of variable seed crops is typically correlated with weather, so it is of considerable interest whether global climate change has altered the variability of masting or the size of masting events. We compiled 1086 datasets of plant seed production spanning 1900–2014 and from around the world, and then analysed whether the coefficient of variation (CV) in seed set, a measure of masting, increased over time. Over this 115-year period, seed set became more variable for plants as a whole ...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Pearse, I. S., LaMontagne, J. M., Koenig, W. D. Tags: plant science, ecology Source Type: research

Co-occurrence of related asexual, but not sexual, lineages suggests that reproductive interference limits coexistence
We used randomizations to analyse patterns of co-occurrence of sexual and apomictic (asexual) members of the North American Crepis agamic complex (Asteraceae). We expect strong asymmetry in reproductive interactions in Crepis: apomicts produce clonal seeds with no need for pollination and are not subject to reproductive interference from co-occurring relatives. However, because they still produce some viable pollen, apomicts can reduce reproductive success of nearby sexual relatives, potentially leading to eventual local exclusion of sexuals. Consistent with this, randomizations reveal that sexuals are over-represented in ...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Whitton, J., Sears, C. J., Maddison, W. P. Tags: ecology, evolution Source Type: research

A novel pathway of nutrient absorption in crustaceans: branchial amino acid uptake in the green shore crab (Carcinus maenas)
Estuaries are environments enriched with dissolved nutrients such as amino acids. To date, marine arthropods are the only invertebrate group that have not been demonstrated to access this potentially important nutrient resource. Using in vitro gill perfusion techniques, we sought to investigate the ability of the green shore crab (Carcinus maenas) to take up the amino acid l-leucine directly from the water. Investigation of the concentration-dependent transport kinetics of radiolabelled l-leucine showed that there are two specific transport pathways across Carcinus gills, one with high affinity and low capacity, and the ot...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Blewett, T. A., Goss, G. G. Tags: physiology, cellular biology, environmental science Development and physiology Source Type: research

The persistence of multiple strains of avian influenza in live bird markets
Multiple subtypes of avian influenza (AI) and novel reassortants are frequently isolated from live bird markets (LBMs). However, our understanding of the drivers of persistence of multiple AI subtypes is limited. We propose a stochastic model of AI transmission within an LBM that incorporates market size, turnover rate and the balance of direct versus environmental transmissibility. We investigate the relationship between these factors and the critical community size (CCS) for the persistence of single and multiple AI strains within an LBM. We fit different models of seeding from farms to two-strain surveillance data colle...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Pinsent, A., Pepin, K. M., Zhu, H., Guan, Y., White, M. T., Riley, S. Tags: computational biology, health and disease and epidemiology Ecology Source Type: research

Adaptation in response to environmental unpredictability
Understanding how organisms adaptively respond to environmental fluctuations is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. The Mediterranean region typically exhibits levels of environmental unpredictability that vary greatly in habitats over small geographical scales. In cyclically parthenogenetic rotifers, clonal proliferation occurs along with occasional bouts of sex. These bouts contribute to the production of diapausing eggs, which allows survival between growing seasons. Here, we studied two diapause-related traits in rotifers using clones from nine Brachionus plicatilis natural populations that vary in the degr...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - December 6, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Franch-Gras, L., Garcia-Roger, E. M., Serra, M., Jose Carmona, M. Tags: ecology, evolution Source Type: research

Selection bias in studies of human reproduction-longevity trade-offs
A shorter lifespan as a potential cost of high reproductive effort in humans has intrigued researchers for more than a century. However, the results have been inconclusive so far and despite strong theoretical expectations we do not currently have compelling evidence for the longevity costs of reproduction. Using Monte Carlo simulation, it is shown here that a common practice in human reproduction-longevity studies using historical data (the most relevant data sources for this question), the omission of women who died prior to menopausal age from the analysis, results in severe underestimation of the potential underlying t...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Helle, S. Tags: evolution, health and disease and epidemiology Source Type: research

A signature of dynamic biogeography: enclaves indicate past species replacement
Understanding how species have replaced each other in the past is important to predicting future species turnover. While past species replacement is difficult to detect after the fact, the process may be inferred from present-day distribution patterns. Species with abutting ranges sometimes show a characteristic distribution pattern, where a section of one species range is enveloped by that of the other. Such an enclave could indicate past species replacement: when a species is partly supplanted by a competitor, but a population endures locally while the invading species moves around and past it, an enclave forms. If the t...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Wielstra, B., Burke, T., Butlin, R. K., Arntzen, J. W. Tags: evolution Source Type: research

Evolutionary history of enigmatic bears in the Tibetan Plateau-Himalaya region and the identity of the yeti
Although anecdotally associated with local bears (Ursus arctos and U. thibetanus), the exact identity of ‘hominid’-like creatures important to folklore and mythology in the Tibetan Plateau–Himalaya region is still surrounded by mystery. Recently, two purported yeti samples from the Himalayas showed genetic affinity with an ancient polar bear, suggesting they may be from previously unrecognized, possibly hybrid, bear species, but this preliminary finding has been under question. We conducted a comprehensive genetic survey of field-collected and museum specimens to explore their identity and ultimately infe...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Lan, T., Gill, S., Bellemain, E., Bischof, R., Nawaz, M. A., Lindqvist, C. Tags: taxonomy and systematics, genetics, evolution Source Type: research

Selective harvest focused on sexual signal traits can lead to extinction under directional environmental change
Humans commonly harvest animals based on their expression of secondary sexual traits such as horns or antlers. This selective harvest is thought to have little effect on harvested populations because offtake rates are low and usually only the males are targeted. These arguments do not, however, take the relationship between secondary sexual trait expression and animal condition into account: there is increasing evidence that in many cases the degree of expression of such traits is correlated with an animal's overall well-being, which is partly determined by their genetic match to the environment. Using an individual-based ...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Knell, R. J., Martinez-Ruiz, C. Tags: ecology, evolution Source Type: research

A load-based mechanism for inter-leg coordination in insects
Animals rely on an adaptive coordination of legs during walking. However, which specific mechanisms underlie coordination during natural locomotion remains largely unknown. One hypothesis is that legs can be coordinated mechanically based on a transfer of body load from one leg to another. To test this hypothesis, we simultaneously recorded leg kinematics, ground reaction forces and muscle activity in freely walking stick insects (Carausius morosus). Based on torque calculations, we show that load sensors (campaniform sensilla) at the proximal leg joints are well suited to encode the unloading of the leg in individual step...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Dallmann, C. J., Hoinville, T., Dürr, V., Schmitz, J. Tags: neuroscience, behaviour, biomechanics Morphology and biomechanics Source Type: research

Testing differential use of payoff-biased social learning strategies in children and chimpanzees
Various non-human animal species have been shown to exhibit behavioural traditions. Importantly, this research has been guided by what we know of human culture, and the question of whether animal cultures may be homologous or analogous to our own culture. In this paper, we assess whether models of human cultural transmission are relevant to understanding biological fundamentals by investigating whether accounts of human payoff-biased social learning are relevant to chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We submitted 4- and 5-year-old children (N = 90) and captive chimpanzees (N = 69) to a token–reward exchange task. The resu...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Vale, G. L., Flynn, E. G., Kendal, J., Rawlings, B., Hopper, L. M., Schapiro, S. J., Lambeth, S. P., Kendal, R. L. Tags: behaviour, cognition, evolution Special feature Source Type: research

The genetic basis and enigmatic origin of melanic polymorphism in pomarine skuas (Stercorarius pomarinus)
A key outstanding issue in adaptive evolution is the relationship between the genetics of intraspecific polymorphism and interspecific evolution. Here, we show that the pale/dark ventral plumage polymorphism that occurs in both the pomarine skua (Stercorarius pomarinus) and Arctic skua (S. parasiticus) is the result of convergent evolution at the same locus (MC1R), involving some of the same amino acid sites. The dark melanic MC1R allele in the pomarine skua is strongly divergent from the pale MC1R alleles. Whereas the dark allele is closely related to MC1R alleles in three species of great skua (S. skua, S. maccormicki, S...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Janssen, K., Mundy, N. I. Tags: genetics, evolution Source Type: research

Cooperative breeding influences the number and type of vocalizations in avian lineages
Although communicative complexity is often predicted to correlate with social complexity in animal societies, few studies have employed large-scale comparative analyses to test whether socially complex species have more complex systems of communication. I tested this social complexity hypothesis in birds (Class: Aves) using the large amount of natural history information that describes both vocal repertoire and social system in these species. To do so, I marshalled data from primary and secondary records of avian vocal repertoires (n = 253), and for each of the species in the dataset I recorded the reported repertoire size...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Leighton, G. M. Tags: behaviour, evolution Source Type: research

Delayed behavioural shifts undermine the sustainability of social-ecological systems
Natural habitat destruction and fragmentation generate a time-delayed loss of species and associated ecosystem services. As social–ecological systems (SESs) depend on a range of ecosystem services, lagged ecological dynamics may affect their long-term sustainability. Here, we investigate the role of consumption changes for sustainability, under a time-delayed ecological feedback on agricultural production. We use a stylized model that couples the dynamics of biodiversity, technology, human demography and compliance with a social norm prescribing sustainable consumption. Compliance with the sustainable norm reduces bo...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Lafuite, A.- S., de Mazancourt, C., Loreau, M. Tags: theoretical biology, ecology, environmental science Global change and conservation Source Type: research

Skill not athleticism predicts individual variation in match performance of soccer players
Just as evolutionary biologists endeavour to link phenotypes to fitness, sport scientists try to identify traits that determine athlete success. Both disciplines would benefit from collaboration, and to illustrate this, we used an analytical approach common to evolutionary biology to isolate the phenotypes that promote success in soccer, a complex activity of humans played in nearly every modern society. Using path analysis, we quantified the relationships among morphology, balance, skill, athleticism and performance of soccer players. We focused on performance in two complex motor activities: a simple game of soccer tenni...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 29, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Wilson, R. S., David, G. K., Murphy, S. C., Angilletta, M. J., Niehaus, A. C., Hunter, A. H., Smith, M. D. Tags: behaviour, ecology, evolution Special feature Source Type: research

Correction to 'Deceptive vocal duets and multi-modal display in a songbird
(Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences)
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Rek, P., Magrath, R. D. Tags: behaviour Corrections Source Type: research

Perception of contextual size illusions by honeybees in restricted and unrestricted viewing conditions
How different visual systems process images and make perceptual errors can inform us about cognitive and visual processes. One of the strongest geometric errors in perception is a misperception of size depending on the size of surrounding objects, known as the Ebbinghaus or Titchener illusion. The ability to perceive the Ebbinghaus illusion appears to vary dramatically among vertebrate species, and even populations, but this may depend on whether the viewing distance is restricted. We tested whether honeybees perceive contextual size illusions, and whether errors in perception of size differed under restricted and unrestri...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Howard, S. R., Avargues-Weber, A., Garcia, J. E., Stuart-Fox, D., Dyer, A. G. Tags: neuroscience, behaviour, cognition Neuroscience and cognition Source Type: research

Embryonic origin of the gnathostome vertebral skeleton
The vertebral column is a key component of the jawed vertebrate (gnathostome) body plan, but the primitive embryonic origin of this skeleton remains unclear. In tetrapods, all vertebral components (neural arches, haemal arches and centra) derive from paraxial mesoderm (somites). However, in teleost fishes, vertebrae have a dual embryonic origin, with arches derived from somites, but centra formed, in part, by secretion of bone matrix from the notochord. Here, we test the embryonic origin of the vertebral skeleton in a cartilaginous fish (the skate, Leucoraja erinacea) which serves as an outgroup to tetrapods and teleosts. ...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Criswell, K. E., Coates, M. I., Gillis, J. A. Tags: developmental biology, evolution Source Type: research

Archaeogenomic analysis of the first steps of Neolithization in Anatolia and the Aegean
The Neolithic transition in west Eurasia occurred in two main steps: the gradual development of sedentism and plant cultivation in the Near East and the subsequent spread of Neolithic cultures into the Aegean and across Europe after 7000 cal BCE. Here, we use published ancient genomes to investigate gene flow events in west Eurasia during the Neolithic transition. We confirm that the Early Neolithic central Anatolians in the ninth millennium BCE were probably descendants of local hunter–gatherers, rather than immigrants from the Levant or Iran. We further study the emergence of post-7000 cal BCE north Aegean Neolithi...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Kılınc, G. M., Koptekin, D., Atakuman, C., Sümer, A. P., Dönertas, H. M., Yaka, R., Bilgin, C. C., Büyükkarakaya, A. M., Baird, D., Altınısık, E., Flegontov, P., Götherströ Tags: genomics, computational biology, evolution Genetics and genomics Source Type: research

Correlated individual differences suggest a common mechanism underlying metacognition in visual perception and visual short-term memory
Adaptive behaviour depends on the ability to introspect accurately about one's own performance. Whether this metacognitive ability is supported by the same mechanisms across different tasks is unclear. We investigated the relationship between metacognition of visual perception and metacognition of visual short-term memory (VSTM). Experiments 1 and 2 required subjects to estimate the perceived or remembered orientation of a grating stimulus and rate their confidence. We observed strong positive correlations between individual differences in metacognitive accuracy between the two tasks. This relationship was not accounted fo...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Samaha, J., Postle, B. R. Tags: behaviour, cognition Neuroscience and cognition Source Type: research

Fear of predation shapes social network structure and the acquisition of foraging information in guppy shoals
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 more strongly assorted by body size than those exposed to low ambient risk and promoted lo...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Hasenjager, M. J., Dugatkin, L. A. Tags: behaviour, ecology Source Type: research

Long-term archives reveal shifting extinction selectivity in China's postglacial mammal fauna
Ecosystems have been modified by human activities for millennia, and insights about ecology and extinction risk based only on recent data are likely to be both incomplete and biased. We synthesize multiple long-term archives (over 250 archaeological and palaeontological sites dating from the early Holocene to the Ming Dynasty and over 4400 historical records) to reconstruct the spatio-temporal dynamics of Holocene–modern range change across China, a megadiverse country experiencing extensive current-day biodiversity loss, for 34 mammal species over three successive postglacial time intervals. Our combined zooarchaeol...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Turvey, S. T., Crees, J. J., Li, Z., Bielby, J., Yuan, J. Tags: ecology Global change and conservation Source Type: research

Food-web dynamics under climate change
Climate change affects ecological communities through its impact on the physiological performance of individuals. However, the population dynamic of species well inside their thermal niche is also determined by competitors, prey and predators, in addition to being influenced by temperature changes. We use a trait-based food-web model to examine how the interplay between the direct physiological effects from temperature and the indirect effects due to changing interactions between populations shapes the ecological consequences of climate change for populations and for entire communities. Our simulations illustrate how isola...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Zhang, L., Takahashi, D., Hartvig, M., Andersen, K. H. Tags: theoretical biology, ecology, environmental science Source Type: research

Reply to comments by Olson et al. 2017 and Stien 2017
(Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences)
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Chapron, G., Treves, A. Tags: ecology Source Type: research

The effect of climate change on the duration of avian breeding seasons: a meta-analysis
Many bird species are advancing the timing of their egg-laying in response to a warming climate. Little is known, however, of whether this advancement affects the respective length of the breeding seasons. A meta-analysis of 65 long-term studies of 54 species from the Northern Hemisphere has revealed that within the last 45 years an average population has lengthened the season by 1.4 days per decade, which was independent from changes in mean laying dates. Multi-brooded birds have prolonged their seasons by 4 days per decade, while single-brooded have shortened by 2 days. Changes in season lengths covaried with local clima...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Halupka, L., Halupka, K. Tags: ecology, environmental science Global change and conservation Source Type: research

Genome diversity in the Neolithic Globular Amphorae culture and the spread of Indo-European languages
It is unclear whether Indo-European languages in Europe spread from the Pontic steppes in the late Neolithic, or from Anatolia in the Early Neolithic. Under the former hypothesis, people of the Globular Amphorae culture (GAC) would be descended from Eastern ancestors, likely representing the Yamnaya culture. However, nuclear (six individuals typed for 597 573 SNPs) and mitochondrial (11 complete sequences) DNA from the GAC appear closer to those of earlier Neolithic groups than to the DNA of all other populations related to the Pontic steppe migration. Explicit comparisons of alternative demographic models via approximate ...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Tassi, F., Vai, S., Ghirotto, S., Lari, M., Modi, A., Pilli, E., Brunelli, A., Susca, R. R., Budnik, A., Labuda, D., Alberti, F., Lalueza-Fox, C., Reich, D., Caramelli, D., Barbujani, G. Tags: genomics, evolution Source Type: research

Spatial memory shapes density dependence in population dynamics
Most population dynamics studies assume that individuals use space uniformly, and thus mix well spatially. In numerous species, however, individuals do not move randomly, but use spatial memory to visit renewable resource patches repeatedly. To understand the extent to which memory-based foraging movement may affect density-dependent population dynamics through its impact on competition, we developed a spatially explicit, individual-based movement model where reproduction and death are functions of foraging efficiency. We compared the dynamics of populations of with- and without-memory individuals. We showed that memory-ba...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Riotte-Lambert, L., Benhamou, S., Bonenfant, C., Chamaille-Jammes, S. Tags: behaviour, cognition, ecology Source Type: research

How fish eggs are preadapted for the evolution of matrotrophy
Teleost fishes evolved livebearing via egg retention 14 times. Matrotrophy has evolved within 12 of those lineages. By contrast, squamate reptiles evolved livebearing over 115 times, but only two to four of those lineages are known to have evolved matrotrophy. Is the discrepancy between these organisms in the probability of this transition caused by differences in their eggs? We show that the eggs of oviparous species in the superorder Atherinomorpha can acquire small organic molecules from their surrounding environment against a concentration gradient via mechanisms of active transport. Uptake rates were inhibited by comp...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Morrison, K. R., Ngo, V., Cardullo, R. A., Reznick, D. N. Tags: evolution Source Type: research

Flawed analysis and unconvincing interpretation: a comment on Chapron and Treves 2016
(Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences)
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Olson, E. R., Crimmins, S. M., Beyer, D. E., MacNulty, D. R., Patterson, B. R., Rudolph, B. A., Wydeven, A. P., Van Deelen, T. R. Tags: ecology, environmental science Source Type: research

Blood may buy goodwill: no evidence for a positive relationship between legal culling and poaching in Wisconsin
(Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences)
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 22, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Stien, A. Tags: ecology, environmental science Source Type: research

Landscape predictors of pathogen prevalence and range contractions in US bumblebees
Several species of bumblebees have recently experienced range contractions and possible extinctions. While threats to bees are numerous, few analyses have attempted to understand the relative importance of multiple stressors. Such analyses are critical for prioritizing conservation strategies. Here, we describe a landscape analysis of factors predicted to cause bumblebee declines in the USA. We quantified 24 habitat, land-use and pesticide usage variables across 284 sampling locations, assessing which variables predicted pathogen prevalence and range contractions via machine learning model selection techniques. We found th...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: McArt, S. H., Urbanowicz, C., McCoshum, S., Irwin, R. E., Adler, L. S. Tags: ecology, environmental science Source Type: research

Climate and foraging mode explain interspecific variation in snake metabolic rates
We examined variation of MR in snakes, a group characterized by a remarkable diversity of activity rates and a wide distribution. We collated previously published MR data (n = 491 observations) measured in 90 snake species at different trial temperatures. We tested for the effects of metabolic state (standard MR (SMR) versus resting MR (RMR)), foraging mode (active versus ambush foragers) and climate (temperature and precipitation) while accounting for non-independence owing to phylogeny, body mass and thermal dependence. We found that RMR was 40% higher than SMR, and that active foragers have higher MR than species that a...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Dupoue, A., Brischoux, F., Lourdais, O. Tags: ecology, evolution Source Type: research

Long necks enhance and constrain foraging capacity in aquatic vertebrates
Highly specialized diving birds display substantial dichotomy in neck length with, for example, cormorants and anhingas having extreme necks, while penguins and auks have minimized necks. We attached acceleration loggers to Imperial cormorants Phalacrocorax atriceps and Magellanic penguins Spheniscus magellanicus, both foraging in waters over the Patagonian Shelf, to examine the difference in movement between their respective heads and bodies in an attempt to explain this dichotomy. The penguins had head and body attitudes and movements that broadly concurred throughout all phases of their dives. By contrast, although the ...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Wilson, R. P., Gomez-Laich, A., Sala, J.-E., Dell'Omo, G., Holton, M. D., Quintana, F. Tags: behaviour, ecology, evolution Source Type: research

Males harm females less when competing with familiar relatives
Sexual conflict occurs when reproductive partners have different fitness optima, and can lead to the evolution of traits in one sex that inflict fitness costs on the opposite sex. Recently, it has been proposed that antagonism by males towards females should be reduced when they compete with relatives, because reducing the future productivity of a female would result in an indirect fitness cost for a harmful male. We tested this prediction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus, the males of which harm females with genital spines and pre-copulatory harassment. We compared lifespan, lifetime egg production and lifetime...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Lymbery, S. J., Simmons, L. W. Tags: behaviour, evolution Source Type: research

Indirectly connected: simple social differences can explain the causes and apparent consequences of complex social network positions
Animal societies are often structurally complex. How individuals are positioned within the wider social network (i.e. their indirect social connections) has been shown to be repeatable, heritable and related to key life-history variables. Yet, there remains a general lack of understanding surrounding how complex network positions arise, whether they indicate active multifaceted social decisions by individuals, and how natural selection could act on this variation. We use simulations to assess how variation in simple social association rules between individuals can determine their positions within emerging social networks. ...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Firth, J. A., Sheldon, B. C., Brent, L. J. N. Tags: behaviour, ecology, evolution Source Type: research

Female vervet monkeys fine-tune decisions on tolerance versus conflict in a communication network
In conclusion, vervet monkeys include both recent grooming and knowledge about third-party relationships to make complex decisions when trading grooming for tolerance, leading to a finely balanced trade-off between reciprocation and opportunities to reinforce rank relationships. (Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences)
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Borgeaud, C., Schnider, A., Krützen, M., Bshary, R. Tags: behaviour, cognition Source Type: research

Chromatic and achromatic monocular deprivation produce separable changes of eye dominance in adults
Temporarily depriving one eye of its input, in whole or in part, results in a transient shift in eye dominance in human adults, with the patched eye becoming stronger and the unpatched eye weaker. However, little is known about the role of colour contrast in these behavioural changes. Here, we first show that the changes in eye dominance and contrast sensitivity induced by monocular eye patching affect colour and achromatic contrast sensitivity equally. We next use dichoptic movies, customized and filtered to stimulate the two eyes differentially. We show that a strong imbalance in achromatic contrast between the eyes, wit...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Zhou, J., Reynaud, A., Kim, Y. J., Mullen, K. T., Hess, R. F. Tags: behaviour Neuroscience and cognition Source Type: research

Give one species the task to come up with a theory that spans them all: what good can come out of that?
Does the progress in understanding evolutionary theory depend on the species that is doing the investigation? This question is difficult to answer scientifically, as we are dealing with an n = 1 scenario: every individual who has ever written about evolution is a human being. I will discuss, first, whether we get the correct answer to questions if we begin with ourselves and expand outwards, and second, whether we might fail to ask all the interesting questions unless we combat our tendencies to favour taxa that are close to us. As a whole, the human tendency to understand general biological phenomena via ‘putting on...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Kokko, H. Tags: behaviour, evolution Special feature Source Type: research

Can birds do it too? Evidence for convergence in evaporative water loss regulation for birds and mammals
Birds have many physiological characteristics that are convergent with mammals. In the light of recent evidence that mammals can maintain a constant insensible evaporative water loss (EWL) over a range of perturbing environmental conditions, we hypothesized that birds might also regulate insensible EWL, reflecting this convergence. We found that budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) maintain EWL constant over a range of relative humidities at three ambient temperatures. EWL, expressed as a function of water vapour pressure deficit, differed from a physical model where the water vapour pressure deficit between the animal an...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Eto, E. C., Withers, P. C., Cooper, C. E. Tags: physiology Development and physiology Source Type: research

Global reef fish richness gradients emerge from divergent and scale-dependent component changes
Biodiversity varies from place to place due to environmental and historical factors. To improve our understanding of how history and the environment influence observed patterns, we need to address the limitations of the most commonly used biodiversity metric, species richness. Here, we show that scale-dependent dissections of species richness into components of total abundance, species relative abundances and spatial aggregations of species reveal that two well-known biogeographic reef fish species richness gradients emerge from very different underlying component patterns. Latitudinal richness is underpinned by scale-inde...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 15, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Blowes, S. A., Belmaker, J., Chase, J. M. Tags: ecology Source Type: research

Midbrain adaptation may set the stage for the perception of musical beat
The ability to spontaneously feel a beat in music is a phenomenon widely believed to be unique to humans. Though beat perception involves the coordinated engagement of sensory, motor and cognitive processes in humans, the contribution of low-level auditory processing to the activation of these networks in a beat-specific manner is poorly understood. Here, we present evidence from a rodent model that midbrain preprocessing of sounds may already be shaping where the beat is ultimately felt. For the tested set of musical rhythms, on-beat sounds on average evoked higher firing rates than off-beat sounds, and this difference wa...
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences - November 8, 2017 Category: Biology Authors: Rajendran, V. G., Harper, N. S., Garcia-Lazaro, J. A., Lesica, N. A., Schnupp, J. W. H. Tags: neuroscience Neuroscience and cognition Source Type: research