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    124 results match your criteria Behavioral Ecology [Journal]

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    Social interactions predict genetic diversification: an experimental manipulation in shorebirds.
    Behav Ecol 2018 May-Jun;29(3):609-618. Epub 2018 Feb 14.
    Milner Centre for Evolution, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, UK.
    Mating strategy and social behavior influence gene flow and hence affect levels of genetic differentiation and potentially speciation. Previous genetic analyses of closely related plovers spp. found strikingly different population genetic structure in Madagascar: Kittlitz's plovers are spatially homogenous whereas white-fronted plovers have well segregated and geographically distinct populations. Read More

    A marker of biological ageing predicts adult risk preference in European starlings, .
    Behav Ecol 2018 May-Jun;29(3):589-597. Epub 2018 Feb 24.
    Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience and Newcastle University Institute of Ageing, Henry Wellcome Building, Newcastle University, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
    Why are some individuals more prone to gamble than others? Animals often show preferences between 2 foraging options with the same mean reward but different degrees of variability in the reward, and such risk preferences vary between individuals. Previous attempts to explain variation in risk preference have focused on energy budgets, but with limited empirical support. Here, we consider whether biological ageing, which affects mortality and residual reproductive value, predicts risk preference. Read More

    Social and ecological drivers of reproductive seasonality in geladas.
    Behav Ecol 2018 May-Jun;29(3):574-588. Epub 2018 Feb 17.
    Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan, S. University Ave., West Hall, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
    Many nonseasonally breeding mammals demonstrate some degree of synchrony in births, which is generally associated with ecological factors that mediate fecundity. However, disruptive social events, such as alpha male replacements, also have the potential to affect the timing of female reproduction. Here, we examined reproductive seasonality in a wild population of geladas () living at high altitudes in an afro-alpine ecosystem in Ethiopia. Read More

    Temporal migration patterns and mating tactics influence size-assortative mating in .
    Behav Ecol 2018 Mar-Apr;29(2):418-428. Epub 2018 Jan 10.
    Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science, Berlin, Germany.
    Assortative mating is a common pattern in sexually reproducing species, but the mechanisms leading to assortment remain poorly understood. By using the European common frog () as a model, we aim to understand the mechanisms leading to size-assortative mating in amphibians. With data from natural populations collected over several years, we first show a consistent pattern of size-assortative mating across our 2 study populations. Read More

    Joint care can outweigh costs of nonkin competition in communal breeders.
    Behav Ecol 2018 Jan-Feb;29(1):169-178. Epub 2017 Oct 20.
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK.
    Competition between offspring can greatly influence offspring fitness and parental investment decisions, especially in communal breeders where unrelated competitors have less incentive to concede resources. Given the potential for escalated conflict, it remains unclear what mechanisms facilitate the evolution of communal breeding among unrelated females. Resolving this question requires simultaneous consideration of offspring in noncommunal and communal nurseries, but such comparisons are missing. Read More

    Parental investment in Tibetan populations does not reflect stated cultural norms.
    Behav Ecol 2018 Jan-Feb;29(1):106-116. Epub 2017 Oct 20.
    Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu Province, PRC.
    In this paper, we examined both stated norms of sex preference and actual sex-biases in parental investment in a Tibetan pastoralist society. We collected detailed demographic data on infant mortality, infant feeding, the length of interbirth intervals, and a decision when giving gifts, to examine sex-biased parental investment. Our results indicate a mismatch between self-reported son preference and measures of actual parental investment that favor daughters. Read More

    Selfish partners: resource partitioning in male coalitions of Asiatic lions.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Nov-Dec;28(6):1532-1539. Epub 2017 Sep 25.
    Department of Animal Ecology & Conservation Biology, Wildlife Institute of India, Chandrabani, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand 248 001, India.
    Behavioral plasticity within species is adaptive which directs survival traits to take multiple pathways under varying conditions. Male-male cooperation is an evolutionary strategy often exhibiting an array of alternatives between and within species. African male lions coalesce to safeguard territories and mate acquisition. Read More

    A case for considering individual variation in diel activity patterns.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Nov-Dec;28(6):1524-1531. Epub 2017 Sep 11.
    Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NO-1430 Ås, Norway.
    There is a growing recognition of the role of individual variation in patterns emerging at higher levels of biological organization. Despite the importance of the temporal configuration of ecological processes and patterns, intraspecific individual variation in diel activity patterns is almost never accounted for in behavioral studies at the population level. We used individual-based monitoring data from 98 GPS-collared brown bears in Scandinavia to estimate diel activity patterns before the fall hunting season. Read More

    Cognition, personality, and stress in budgerigars, .
    Behav Ecol 2017 Nov-Dec;28(6):1504-1516. Epub 2017 Sep 25.
    Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces MSC 3AF, 1200 Horseshoe Drive, NM 88003, USA.
    To study the fitness effects of individual variation in cognitive traits, it is paramount to understand whether traits such as personality and physiological stress influence cognitive performance. We first tested whether budgerigars showed both consistent personalities and cognitive performance across time and tasks. We tested object and food neophobia, and exploratory behavior. Read More

    Is male rhesus macaque facial coloration under intrasexual selection?
    Behav Ecol 2017 Nov-Dec;28(6):1472-1481. Epub 2017 Sep 11.
    Department of Anthropology, New York University, 25 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10003, USA.
    Exaggerated male traits can evolve under intra- or intersexual selection, but it remains less clear how often both mechanisms act together on trait evolution. While the males of many anthropoid primate species exhibit colorful signals that appear to be badges of status under intrasexual selection, the red facial coloration of male rhesus macaques () appears to have evolved primarily under intersexual selection and female mate choice. Nonetheless, experiments show that red color is salient to males, raising the question of whether the signal may also be under intrasexual selection. Read More

    Marginal predation: do encounter or confusion effects explain the targeting of prey group edges?
    Behav Ecol 2017 Sep-Oct;28(5):1283-1292. Epub 2017 Jul 27.
    School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK.
    Marginal predation, also known as the edge effect, occurs when aggregations of prey are preferentially targeted on their periphery by predators and has long been established in many taxa. Two main processes have been used to explain this phenomenon, the confusion effect and the encounter rate between predators and prey group edges. However, it is unknown at what size a prey group needs to be before marginal predation is detectable and to what extent each mechanism drives the effect. Read More

    Camouflaging moving objects: crypsis and masquerade.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Sep-Oct;28(5):1248-1255. Epub 2017 Jun 17.
    School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol Life Sciences Building, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK, and.
    Motion is generally assumed to "break" camouflage. However, although camouflage cannot conceal a group of moving animals, it may impair a predator's ability to single one out for attack, even if that discrimination is not based on a color difference. Here, we use a computer-based task in which humans had to detect the odd one out among moving objects, with "oddity" based on shape. Read More

    Allopreening in birds is associated with parental cooperation over offspring care and stable pair bonds across years.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Jul-Aug;28(4):1142-1148. Epub 2017 Jun 9.
    Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK, and.
    Individuals of many species form bonds with their breeding partners, yet the mechanisms maintaining these bonds are poorly understood. In birds, allopreening is a conspicuous feature of interactions between breeding partners and has been hypothesized to play a role in strengthening and maintaining pair bonds within and across breeding attempts. Many avian species, however, do not allopreen and the relationship between allopreening and pair bonding across species remains unexplored. Read More

    Cut your losses: self-amputation of injured limbs increases survival.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Jul-Aug;28(4):1047-1054. Epub 2017 Apr 22.
    Department of Biology, University of Florida, 876 Newell Drive Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
    Autotomy, self-induced limb loss, is an extreme trait observed throughout the animal kingdom; lizards drop their tails, crickets release their legs, and crabs drop their claws. These repeated evolutionary origins suggest that autotomy is adaptive. Yet, we do not have a firm understanding of the selective pressures that promote and maintain this extreme trait. Read More

    Mate choice in sticklebacks reveals that immunogenes can drive ecological speciation.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Jul-Aug;28(4):953-961. Epub 2017 Jun 1.
    Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Department of Evolutionary Ecology, August- Thienemann- Str. 2, D-24306, Ploen, Germany.
    Adaptation to ecologically contrasting niches can lead to the formation of new species. Theoretically, this process of ecological speciation can be driven by pleiotropic "magic traits" that genetically link natural and sexual selection. To qualify as a true magic trait, the pleiotropic function of a gene must be reflected in biologically relevant mechanisms underlying both local adaptation and mate choice. Read More

    Avoiding the misuse of BLUP in behavioural ecology.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Jul-Aug;28(4):948-952. Epub 2017 Mar 2.
    Centre of Ecology and Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Conrwall, TR10 9FE, UK.
    Having recognized that variation around the population-level "Golden Mean" of labile traits contains biologically meaningful information, behavioural ecologists have focused increasingly on exploring the causes and consequences of individual variation in behaviour. These are exciting new directions for the field, assisted in no small part by the adoption of mixed-effects modelling techniques that enable the partitioning of among- and within-individual behavioural variation. It has become commonplace to extract predictions of individual random effects from such models for use in subsequent analyses (for example, between a personality trait and other individual traits such as cognition, physiology, or fitness-related measures). Read More

    Specialists and generalists coexist within a population of spider-hunting mud dauber wasps.
    Behav Ecol 2017 May-Jun;28(3):890-898. Epub 2017 Apr 1.
    Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, 1881 Natural Area Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
    Individual foraging specialization describes the phenomenon where conspecifics within a population of generalists exhibit differences in foraging behavior, each specializing on different prey types. Individual specialization is widespread in animals, yet is understudied in invertebrates, despite potential impacts to food web and population dynamics (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae) is an excellent system to examine individual specialization. Females of these mud dauber wasps capture and paralyze spiders which they store in mud nests to provision their offspring. Read More

    Repeatable and heritable behavioural variation in a wild cooperative breeder.
    Behav Ecol 2017 May-Jun;28(3):668-676. Epub 2017 Feb 18.
    Nature Seychelles, PO Box 1310, Roche Caiman, Mahé, Republic of Seychelles.
    Quantifying consistent differences in behaviour among individuals is vital to understanding the ecological and evolutionary significance of animal personality. To quantify personality, the phenotypic variation of a behavioural trait is partitioned to assess how it varies among individuals, which is also known as repeatability. If pedigree data are available, the phenotypic variation can then be further partitioned to estimate the additive genetic variance and heritability. Read More

    Relative advantages of dichromatic and trichromatic color vision in camouflage breaking.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Mar-Apr;28(2):556-564. Epub 2017 Feb 4.
    University of Exeter, School of Biosciences, Penryn Campus, Penryn TR10 9FE, UK.
    There is huge diversity in visual systems and color discrimination abilities, thought to stem from an animal's ecology and life history. Many primate species maintain a polymorphism in color vision, whereby most individuals are dichromats but some females are trichromats, implying that selection sometimes favors dichromatic vision. Detecting camouflaged prey is thought to be a task where dichromatic individuals could have an advantage. Read More

    Environmental heterogeneity and population differences in blue tits personality traits.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Mar-Apr;28(2):448-459. Epub 2016 Dec 20.
    Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP-8888 Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada and.
    Environmental heterogeneity can result in spatial variation in selection pressures that can produce local adaptations. The pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis predicts that habitat-specific selective pressures will favor the coevolution of personality, physiological, and life-history phenotypes. Few studies so far have compared these traits simultaneously across different ecological conditions. Read More

    Consequences of sibling rivalry vary across life in a passerine bird.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Mar-Apr;28(2):407-418. Epub 2016 Dec 19.
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK.
    Many studies have assessed the costs of sibling rivalry in systems where offspring always have competitors, but conclusions about sibling rivalry in these species are restricted to interpreting the cost of changes in the relative level of competition and are often complicated by the expression of potentially costly rivalry related traits. Additionally, the majority of studies focus on early-life sibling rivalry, but the costs of competition can also affect later-life performance. We test a suite of hypothesized immediate (early-life body mass, telomere length, and survival) and delayed (adult reproductive potential and lifespan) costs of sibling rivalry for offspring of differing competitive ability in Seychelles warblers, where most offspring are raised singly and hence competitor success can be compared to a competition-free scenario. Read More

    Striving for transparent and credible research: practical guidelines for behavioral ecologists.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Mar-Apr;28(2):348-354. Epub 2017 Mar 14.
    Department of Computer Science, Regent Court, University of Sheffield, 211 Portobello, Sheffield S1 4DP, UK.
    Science is meant to be the systematic and objective study of the world but evidence suggests that scientific practices are sometimes falling short of this expectation. In this invited idea, we argue that any failure to conduct research according to a documented plan (lack of ) and/or any failure to ensure that reconducting the same project would provide the same finding (lack of ), will result in a low probability of independent studies reaching the same outcome (lack of ). After outlining the challenges facing behavioral ecology and science more broadly and incorporating advice from international organizations such as the Center for Open Science (COS), we present clear guidelines and tutorials on what we think open practices represent for behavioral ecologists. Read More

    Task switching is associated with temporal delays in ants.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Jan-Feb;28(1):319-327. Epub 2016 Nov 29.
    Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University , Corson-Mudd Hall, 215 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 , USA and.
    The major evolutionary transitions often result in reorganization of biological systems, and a component of such reorganization is that individuals within the system specialize on performing certain tasks, resulting in a division of labor. Although the traditional benefit of division of labor is thought to be a gain in work efficiency, one alternative benefit of specialization is avoiding temporal delays associated with switching tasks. While models have demonstrated that costs of task switching can drive the evolution of division of labor, little empirical support exists for this hypothesis. Read More

    Evolution of elaborate parental care: phenotypic and genetic correlations between parent and offspring traits.
    Behav Ecol 2017 Jan-Feb;28(1):39-48. Epub 2016 Aug 22.
    Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh , Charlotte Auerbach Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FL , UK.
    The evolution of elaborate forms of parental care is an important topic in behavioral ecology, yet the factors shaping the evolution of complex suites of parental and offspring traits are poorly understood. Here, we use a multivariate quantitative genetic approach to study phenotypic and genetic correlations between parental and offspring traits in the burying beetle . To this end, we recorded 2 prenatal traits (clutch size and egg size), 2 postnatal parental behaviors (direct care directed toward larvae and indirect care directed toward resource maintenance), 1 offspring behavior (begging), and 2 measures of breeding success (larval dispersal mass and number of dispersing larvae). Read More

    Exploration is dependent on reproductive state, not social state, in a cooperatively breeding bird.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Nov-Dec;27(6):1889-1896. Epub 2016 Aug 4.
    Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield , Sheffield S10 2TN , UK.
    Personality is an intriguing phenomenon in populations because it constrains behavioral flexibility. One theory suggests that personality could be generated and maintained if dependent on asset protection. It is predicted that trade-offs with fitness expectations and survival probability encourage consistent behavioral differences among individuals (personality). Read More

    The benefits of being toxic to deter predators depends on prey body size.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Nov-Dec;27(6):1650-1655. Epub 2016 Jun 21.
    Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Henry Wellcome Building, Framlington Place , Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH , UK.
    Many prey have evolved toxins as a defense against predation. Those species that advertise their toxicity to would-be predators with conspicuous warning signals are known as "aposematic." Investment in toxicity by aposematically signaling prey is thought to underpin how aversive prey are to predators; increasing toxicity means that predators learn to avoid prey faster and attack them at lower rates. Read More

    Adult helpers increase the recruitment of closely related offspring in the cooperatively breeding rifleman.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Nov-Dec;27(6):1617-1626. Epub 2016 Jun 15.
    Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield , Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN , UK and.
    Indirect fitness benefits gained through kin-selected helping are widely invoked to explain the evolution of cooperative breeding behavior in birds. However, the impact of helpers on productivity of helped broods can be difficult to determine if the effects are confounded by territory quality or if the benefit of helpers is apparent only in the long term. In riflemen , helping and group membership are effectively decoupled as adult helpers are individuals that have dispersed from their natal territory and live independently from breeders in "kin neighborhoods. Read More

    Dazzle camouflage, target tracking, and the confusion effect.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Sep-Oct;27(5):1547-1551. Epub 2016 May 31.
    Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol , 12a Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TU , UK.
    The influence of coloration on the ecology and evolution of moving animals in groups is poorly understood. Animals in groups benefit from the "confusion effect," where predator attack success is reduced with increasing group size or density. This is thought to be due to a sensory bottleneck: an increase in the difficulty of tracking one object among many. Read More

    Sexually selected sentinels? Evidence of a role for intrasexual competition in sentinel behavior.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Sep-Oct;27(5):1461-1470. Epub 2016 Apr 24.
    Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter , Cornwall Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ , UK and.
    Although the evolutionary mechanisms that favor investment in cooperative behaviors have long been a focus of research, comparatively few studies have considered the role that sexual selection may play. For example, evolutionary explanations for sentinel behavior (where 1 individual assumes an elevated position and scans the surroundings while other group members forage nearby) have traditionally focused on the inclusive fitness benefits arising from its effects on predation risk, while its potential role in defense against intrasexual competitors remains largely unexplored. Here, we provide experimental evidence of a role for sentinel behavior in intrasexual competition, in a cooperatively breeding songbird, the white-browed sparrow weaver (). Read More

    Not leaving home: grandmothers and male dispersal in a duolocal human society.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Sep-Oct;27(5):1343-1352. Epub 2016 Apr 6.
    Human Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Anthropology, UCL , Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW , UK.
    Models suggest that dispersal patterns will influence age- and sex-dependent helping behavior in social species. Duolocal social systems (where neither sex disperses and mating is outside the group) are predicted to be associated with mothers favoring sons over daughters (because the latter are in reproductive competition with each other). Other models predict daughter-biased investment when benefits of wealth to sons are less than daughters. Read More

    Imperfect past and present progressive: beak color reflects early-life and adult exposure to antigen.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Sep-Oct;27(5):1320-1330. Epub 2016 Apr 6.
    Department of Integrative Biology, Oklahoma State University , 501 Life Science West, Stillwater, OK 74078 , USA and.
    Secondary sexual traits may convey information about individual condition. We assessed the capacity for immune challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) during the prenatal and early postnatal stages to impact beak color development and expression in captive zebra finches. In addition, we tested whether adult immune challenge impacted beak color, and if early-life experience was influential. Read More

    Maternal age at maturation underpins contrasting behavior in offspring.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Sep-Oct;27(5):1280-1287. Epub 2016 May 10.
    Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, MVLS, University of Glasgow , University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland UK.
    In species where parental care occurs primarily via the provisioning of eggs, older females tend to produce larger offspring that have better fitness prospects. Remarkably however, a relationship between age of mother and fitness of offspring has also been reported independently of effects on offspring size suggesting that there may be other factors at play. Here, using experimental matings between wild Atlantic salmon that differed in their age at sexual maturation, we demonstrate distinct size-independent variation in the behavior of their offspring that was related to the maturation age of the mother (but not the father). Read More

    Wherever I may roam: social viscosity and kin affiliation in a wild population despite natal dispersal.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Jul-Aug;27(4):1263-1268. Epub 2016 Apr 1.
    Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford , South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS , UK.
    Dispersal affects the social contexts individuals experience by redistributing individuals in space, and the nature of social interactions can have important fitness consequences. During the vagrancy stage of natal dispersal, after an individual has left its natal site and before it has settled to breed, social affiliations might be predicted by opportunities to associate (e.g. Read More

    Manipulating carer number versus brood size: complementary but not equivalent ways of quantifying carer effects on offspring.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Jul-Aug;27(4):1247-1254. Epub 2016 Mar 28.
    Centre for Ecology & Conservation, College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter , Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE , UK and.
    Experiments designed to quantify the effects of increasing numbers of carers on levels of offspring care are rare in cooperative breeding systems, where offspring are reared by individuals additional to the breeding pair. This paucity might stem from disagreement over the most appropriate manipulations necessary to elucidate these effects. Here, we perform both carer removal and brood enhancement experiments to test the effects of numbers of carers and carer:offspring ratios on provisioning rates in the cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babbler (). Read More

    Paroxetine exposure skews litter sex ratios in mice suggesting a Trivers-Willard process.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Jul-Aug;27(4):1113-1121. Epub 2016 Feb 27.
    Department of Biology, University of Utah , 257 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 , USA.
    While conducting a toxicity assessment of the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil®), in wild-derived mice (), we observed that exposed dams (P) produced female biased litters (32:68 M:F). Though numerous experimental manipulations have induced sex ratio bias in mice, none have assessed the fitness of the offspring from these litters relative to controls. Here, we retrospectively analyze experimentally derived fitness data gathered for the purpose of toxicological assessment in light of 2 leading hypothesis (Trivers-Willard hypothesis [TWH] and cost of reproduction hypothesis [CRH]), seeking to test if this facultative sex ratio adjustment fits into an adaptive framework. Read More

    Drivers and fitness consequences of dispersive migration in a pelagic seabird.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Jul-Aug;27(4):1061-1072. Epub 2016 Feb 17.
    Oxford Navigation Group, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford , South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS , UK .
    Animals can be flexible in their migration strategies, using several wintering sites or a variety of routes. The mechanisms promoting the development of these migratory patterns and their potential fitness consequences are poorly understood. Here, we address these questions by tracking the dispersive migration of a pelagic seabird, the Atlantic puffin , using over 100 complete migration tracks collected over 7 years, including repeated tracks of individuals for up to 6 consecutive years. Read More

    Feeding habitat quality and behavioral trade-offs in chimpanzees: a case for species distribution models.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Jul-Aug;27(4):1004-1016. Epub 2016 Jan 31.
    Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University , Box 90383, Durham, NC 27708 , USA.
    The distribution and abundance of food resources are among the most important factors that influence animal behavioral strategies. Yet, spatial variation in feeding habitat quality is often difficult to assess with traditional methods that rely on extrapolation from plot survey data or remote sensing. Here, we show that maximum entropy species distribution modeling can be used to successfully predict small-scale variation in the distribution of 24 important plant food species for chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Read More

    Variable ecological conditions promote male helping by changing banded mongoose group composition.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Jul-Aug;27(4):978-987. Epub 2016 Jan 26.
    Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus , Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE , UK .
    Ecological conditions are expected to have an important influence on individuals' investment in cooperative care. However, the nature of their effects is unclear: both favorable and unfavorable conditions have been found to promote helping behavior. Recent studies provide a possible explanation for these conflicting results by suggesting that increased ecological variability, rather than changes in mean conditions, promote cooperative care. Read More

    Comparing pre- and post-copulatory mate competition using social network analysis in wild crickets.
    Behav Ecol 2016 May-Jun;27(3):912-919. Epub 2016 Jan 10.
    Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter , Penryn Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall TR109FE , UK.
    Sexual selection results from variation in success at multiple stages in the mating process, including competition before and after mating. The relationship between these forms of competition, such as whether they trade-off or reinforce one another, influences the role of sexual selection in evolution. However, the relationship between these 2 forms of competition is rarely quantified in the wild. Read More

    Internest food sharing within wood ant colonies: resource redistribution behavior in a complex system.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Mar-Apr;27(2):660-668. Epub 2015 Nov 30.
    Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK and; York System for Complex Systems Analysis, University of York, York YO10 5GE, UK.
    Resource sharing is an important cooperative behavior in many animals. Sharing resources is particularly important in social insect societies, as division of labor often results in most individuals including, importantly, the reproductives, relying on other members of the colony to provide resources. Sharing resources between individuals is therefore fundamental to the success of social insects. Read More

    "Parasite-induced aposematism" protects entomopathogenic nematode parasites against invertebrate enemies.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Mar-Apr;27(2):645-651. Epub 2015 Nov 27.
    Department of Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour, Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool , Crown Street, Liverpool L69 7ZB, Merseyside , UK.
    Aposematism is a well-known strategy in which prey defend themselves from predation by pairing defenses such as toxins, with warning signals that are often visually conspicuous color patterns. Here, we examine the possibility that aposematism can be induced in a host by colonies of infectious parasites in order to protect the parasites from the consequences of attacks on the host. Earlier studies show that avian predators are reluctant to feed on carcasses of host prey that are infected with the entomopathogenic nematode, . Read More

    An experimental conflict of interest between parasites reveals the mechanism of host manipulation.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Mar-Apr;27(2):617-627. Epub 2015 Nov 23.
    Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Biology , August-Thienemann-Straße 2, D-24306 Plön , Germany.
    Parasites can increase their host's predation susceptibility. It is a long-standing puzzle, whether this is caused by host manipulation, an evolved strategy of the parasite, or by side effects due to, for example, the parasite consuming energy from its host thereby changing the host's trade-off between avoiding predation and foraging toward foraging. Here, we use sequential infection of three-spined sticklebacks with the cestode so that parasites have a conflict of interest over the direction of host manipulation. Read More

    A lover or a fighter? Opposing sexual selection pressures on men's vocal pitch and facial hair.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Mar-Apr;27(2):512-519. Epub 2015 Nov 1.
    Department of Psychology, Northumbria University , Northumberland Building, Ellison Place, Newcastle NE1 8ST , UK.
    The traditional assumption within the research literature on human sexually dimorphic traits has been that many sex differences have arisen from intersexual selection. More recently, however, there has been a shift toward the idea that many male features, including male lower-pitched voices and male beard growth, might have arisen predominantly through intrasexual selection: that is, to serve the purpose of male-male competition instead of mate attraction. In this study, using a unique set of video stimuli, we measured people's perceptions of the dominance and attractiveness of men who differ both in terms of voice pitch (4 levels from lower to higher pitched) and beard growth (4 levels from clean shaven to a month's hair growth). Read More

    Temperature can shape a cline in polyandry, but only genetic variation can sustain it over time.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Mar-Apr;27(2):462-469. Epub 2015 Oct 25.
    Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Biosciences, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK and.
    Multiple mating by females (polyandry) is a widespread behavior occurring in diverse taxa, species, and populations. Polyandry can also vary widely within species, and individual populations, so that both monandrous and polyandrous females occur together. Genetic differences can explain some of this intraspecific variation in polyandry, but environmental factors are also likely to play a role. Read More

    Effect of competitive cues on reproductive morphology and behavioral plasticity in male fruitflies.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Mar-Apr;27(2):452-461. Epub 2015 Oct 25.
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia , Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ , UK.
    Phenotypic plasticity will be favored whenever there are significant fitness benefits of responding to environmental variation. The extent and nature of the plasticity that evolves depends on the rate of environmental fluctuations and the capacity to track and respond to that variability. Reproductive environments represent one arena in which changes can be rapid. Read More

    Social pairing of Seychelles warblers under reduced constraints: MHC, neutral heterozygosity, and age.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Jan-Feb;27(1):295-303. Epub 2015 Sep 28.
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, UK,; Nature Seychelles, Centre for Environment and Education, The Sanctuary, PO Box 1310, Roche Caiman, Victoria, Mahé, Republic of Seychelles.
    The prevalence and significance of precopulatory mate choice remains keenly debated. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a key role in vertebrate adaptive immunity, and variation at the MHC influences individual survival. Although MHC-dependent mate choice has been documented in certain species, many other studies find no such pattern. Read More

    Short-term and delayed effects of mother death on calf mortality in Asian elephants.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Jan-Feb;27(1):166-174. Epub 2015 Aug 20.
    Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank , Sheffield S10 2TN , UK.
    Long-lived, highly social species with prolonged offspring dependency can show long postreproductive periods. The Mother hypothesis proposes that a need for extended maternal care of offspring together with increased maternal mortality risk associated with old age select for such postreproductive survival, but tests in species with long postreproductive periods, other than humans and marine mammals, are lacking. Here, we investigate the Mother hypothesis with longitudinal data on Asian elephants from timber camps of Myanmar 1) to determine the costs of reproduction on female age-specific mortality risk within 1 year after calving and 2) to quantify the effects of mother loss on calf survival across development. Read More

    Who cares? Experimental attention biases provide new insights into a mammalian sexual signal.
    Behav Ecol 2016 Jan-Feb;27(1):68-74. Epub 2015 Aug 5.
    Department of Anthropology, New York University, 25 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10003, USA.
    The effects of intrasexual and intersexual selection on male trait evolution can be difficult to disentangle, especially based on observational data. Male-male competition can limit an observer's ability to identify the effect of female mate choice independently from sexual coercion. Here, we use an experimental approach to explore whether an ornament, the red facial skin exhibited by male rhesus macaques (), might be involved in both female mate choice and male-male competition. Read More

    Adjustment of costly extra-group paternity according to inbreeding risk in a cooperative mammal.
    Behav Ecol 2015 Nov-Dec;26(6):1486-1494. Epub 2015 Jul 3.
    College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter , Penryn TR10 9FE, UK.
    Females of many animal species seek mating opportunities with multiple males, despite being able to obtain sufficient sperm to father their offspring from a single male. In animals that live in stable social groups, females often choose to mate outside their group resulting in extra-group paternity (EGP). One reason proposed to explain female choice for extra-group males is to obtain compatible genes, for example, in order to avoid inbreeding depression in offspring. Read More

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