3,200 results match your criteria Biology letters[Journal]


Experimentally enhanced performance decreases survival in nature.

Biol Lett 2019 Apr;15(4):20190160

2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans , New Orleans, LA 70148 , USA.

Superior locomotor performance confers advantages in terms of male combat success, survival and fitness in a variety of organisms. In humans, investment in increased performance via the exercise response is also associated with numerous health benefits, and aerobic capacity is an important predictor of longevity. Although the response to exercise is conserved across vertebrates, no studies have tested whether non-human animals that invest in increased athletic performance through exercise realize a survival advantage in nature. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0160DOI Listing

How do morphological sharpness measures relate to puncture performance in viperid snake fangs?

Biol Lett 2019 Apr;15(4):20180905

1 Department of Animal Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , 515 Morrill Hall, 505 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801 , USA.

It makes intuitive sense that you need a sharp tool to puncture through a tough material. The typical approach to evaluating sharpness in biological puncturing tools is to treat morphological measurements as a proxy for puncture ability. However, there are multiple approaches to measuring sharpness, and the relative influence of morphology on function remains unclear. Read More

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http://www.royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0905DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

Signal complexity communicates aggressive intent during contests, but the process is disrupted by noise.

Biol Lett 2019 Apr;15(4):20180841

School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast , 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL , UK.

Contestants use displays to signal their aggressive intent and settle disputes before they escalate. For birds, this is often in the form of song, which can vary in structural complexity. The role of song complexity in signalling aggressive intent has not been fully established, and its efficacy could be influenced by background noise levels. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0841DOI Listing
April 2019
1 Read

Who let the cats out? A global meta-analysis on risk of parasitic infection in indoor versus outdoor domestic cats ( Felis catus).

Biol Lett 2019 Apr;15(4):20180840

1 School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University , Auburn, AL 36849 , USA.

Parasitic infection risks in domestic animals may increase as a result of outdoor activities, often leading to transmission events to and from owners, other domestic animals and wildlife. Furthermore, outdoor access has not been quantified in domestic animals as a risk factor with respect to latitude or parasite transmission pathway. Cats are an ideal model to test parasitic infection risk in outdoor animals because there have been many studies analysing this risk factor in this species; and there is a useful dichotomy in cat ownership between indoor-only cats and those with outdoor access. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0840DOI Listing

Facultative parasites as evolutionary stepping-stones towards parasitic lifestyles.

Biol Lett 2019 Apr;15(4):20190058

1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta , Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9.

Parasites and parasitic lifestyles have evolved from free-living organisms multiple times. How such a key evolutionary transition occurred remains puzzling. Facultative parasites represent potential transitional states between free-living and fully parasitic lifestyles because they can be either free-living or parasitic depending on environmental conditions. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0058DOI Listing

Spawning by the European eel across 2000 km of the Sargasso Sea.

Biol Lett 2019 Apr;15(4):20180835

4 Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology , Herwigstrasse 31, 27572 Bremerhaven , Germany.

It has been known for about a century that European eels have a unique life history that includes offshore spawning in the Sargasso Sea about 5000-7000 km away from their juvenile and adult habitats in Europe and northern Africa. Recently hatched eel larvae were historically collected during Danish, German and American surveys in specific areas in the southern Sargasso Sea. During a 31 day period of March and April 2014, Danish and German research ships sampled for European eel larvae along 15 alternating transects of stations across the Sargasso Sea. Read More

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http://www.royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0835DOI Listing
April 2019
7 Reads

Homophily around specialized foraging underlies dolphin social preferences.

Biol Lett 2019 Apr;15(4):20180909

1 Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina , Florianópolis, SC , Brazil.

Individuals often associate socially with those who behave the same way. This principle, homophily, could structure populations into distinct social groups. We tested this hypothesis in a bottlenose dolphin population that appeared to be clustered around a specialized foraging tactic involving cooperation with net-casting fishermen, but in which other potential drivers of such social structure have never been assessed. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0909DOI Listing

Recurrent evolution of extreme longevity in bats.

Biol Lett 2019 Apr;15(4):20180860

Department of Biology, University of Maryland , College Park 20742, MD , USA.

Bats live longer than similar-sized mammals, but the number of lineages that have independently evolved extreme longevity has not previously been determined. Here we reconstruct the evolution of size-corrected longevity on a recent molecular phylogeny and find that at least four lineages of bats have lifespans more than fourfold those of similar-sized placental mammals, with the ancestral bat projected to live 2.6 times as long. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0860DOI Listing

Avoided emissions and conservation of scrub mangroves: potential for a Blue Carbon project in the Gulf of California, Mexico.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180400

1 Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University , Nathan, QLD , Australia.

Mangroves are considered ideal ecosystems for Blue Carbon projects. However, because of their short stature, some mangroves ('scrub' mangroves, less than 2 m) do not fulfil the current definition of 'forests', which makes them ineligible for emission reduction programmes such as REDD+. Short stature mangroves can be the dominant form of mangroves in arid and nutrient-poor landscapes, and emissions from their deforestation and degradation could be substantial. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303510PMC
December 2018
1 Read

Migratory connectivity in the context of differential migration.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180679

Swiss Ornithological Institute , Seerose 1, 6204 Sempach , Switzerland.

Understanding how breeding populations are spatially and temporarily associated with one another over the annual cycle has important implications for population dynamics. Migratory connectivity typically assumes that populations mix randomly; yet, in many species and populations, sex-, age- or other subgroups migrate separately, and/or spend the non-breeding period separated from each other-a phenomenon coined differential migration. These subgroups likely experience varying environmental conditions, which may carry-over to affect body condition, reproductive success and survival. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0679DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303517PMC
December 2018

Female assortative mate choice functionally validates synthesized male odours of evolving stickleback river-lake ecotypes.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180730

1 Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology , August-Thienemann-Strasse 2, 24306 Plön , Germany.

During mate choice decisions, females of many vertebrates use male olfactory cues to achieve immunogenetic optimality of their offspring. Three-spined sticklebacks ( Gasterosteus aculeatus) populating habitats that differ in their parasite communities evolve locally adapted combinations of genetic variants encoded at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Such adaptation confers optimal resistance to the local parasite fauna. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0730DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303515PMC
December 2018

Symmetry breaking and inter-clonal behavioural variability in a slime mould.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180504

3 Chemical Physics and Theoretical Biology (CPTB), Université Libre de Bruxelles , 1050 Bruxelles , Belgium.

Cells are dynamic systems capable of switching from isotropic growth to polarized growth even in the absence of any pre-existing external asymmetry. Here, we study this process of symmetry breaking in the acellular slime mould Physarum polycephalum. In these experiments, slime moulds could grow on two identical opposed sources of calcium. Read More

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http://www.royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0504DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303507PMC
December 2018
3 Reads

Whole angiosperms Wolffia columbiana disperse by gut passage through wildfowl in South America.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180703

1 Laboratory of Ecology and Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos - UNISINOS , 950 Unisinos Avenue, São Leopoldo, RS , Brazil.

For the first time to our knowledge, we demonstrate that whole angiosperm individuals can survive gut passage through birds, and that this occurs in the field. Floating plants of the genus Wolffia are the smallest of all flowering plants. Fresh droppings of white-faced whistling duck Dendrocygna viduata ( n = 49) and coscoroba swan Coscoroba coscoroba ( n = 22) were collected from Brazilian wetlands. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0703DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303509PMC
December 2018

Migrating ospreys use thermal uplift over the open sea.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180687

5 Department of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, University of Siena , Strada Laterina, 8, 53100 Siena , Italy.

Most large raptors on migration avoid crossing the sea because of the lack of atmospheric convection over temperate seas. The osprey Pandion haliaetus is an exception among raptors, since it can fly over several hundred kilometres of open water. We equipped five juvenile ospreys with GPS-Accelerometer-Magnetometer loggers. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303520PMC
December 2018
1 Read

Minor environmental concentrations of antibiotics can modify bacterial virulence in co-infection with a non-targeted parasite.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180663

1 Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyvaskyla , PO Box 35, 40014 Jyvaskyla , Finland.

Leakage of medical residues into the environment can significantly impact natural communities. For example, antibiotic contamination from agriculture and aquaculture can directly influence targeted pathogens, but also other non-targeted taxa of commensals and parasites that regularly co-occur and co-infect the same host. Consequently, antibiotics could significantly alter interspecific interactions and epidemiology of the co-infecting parasite community. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0663DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303518PMC
December 2018
1 Read

Oviposition drives hatching order and developmental disparities with brood mates.

Authors:
Keith W Sockman

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180658

Department of Biology, University of North Carolina , Chapel Hill, NC 27599 , USA.

Birth or hatching order can affect fitness. It has long been assumed that the order in which a bird's egg is laid (its oviposition) and first exposed to incubation relative to other eggs in the nest determines the order in which it hatches and the subsequent effects on development and survival. To my knowledge, this cause of hatching order has not been tested while controlling for laying-order effects on egg composition. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0658DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303512PMC
December 2018
1 Read

Continuous and discrete quantity discrimination in tortoises.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180649

1 Laboratorio di Eco-Etologia, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell'Ambiente, Università di Pavia , 27100 Pavia , Italy.

The ability to estimate quantity, which is crucially important in several aspects of animal behaviour (e.g. foraging), has been extensively investigated in most taxa, with the exception of reptiles. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0649DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303513PMC
December 2018

Submerged freshwater plant communities do not show species complementarity effect in wetland mesocosms.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180635

1 Department of Bioscience, Aarhus Universitet , Ole Worms Alle 1, Aarhus 8000 , Denmark.

It is a generally accepted theory that ecological functions are enhanced with increased diversity in plant communities due to species complementarity effects. We tested this theory in a mesocosm study using freshwater submerged plant beds to determine if increasing species number caused overyielding and species complementarity. We applied a maximum of four species in the plant beds corresponding to the typical species number in natural freshwater plant beds. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0635DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303516PMC
December 2018
1 Read

Blue Carbon stocks of Great Barrier Reef deep-water seagrasses.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180529

1 Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, James Cook University , Cairns, Queensland 4870 , Australia.

Shallow-water seagrasses capture and store globally significant quantities of organic carbon (OC), often referred to as 'Blue Carbon'; however, data are lacking on the importance of deep-water (greater than 15 m) seagrasses as Blue Carbon sinks. We compared OC stocks from deep-, mid- and shallow-water seagrasses at Lizard Island within the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon. We found deep-water seagrass ( Halophila species) contained similar levels of OC to shallow-water species (e. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0529DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303514PMC
December 2018
1 Read

Host plant frequency and secondary metabolites are concurrently associated with insect herbivory in a dominant riparian tree.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180281

3 Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán , Tropical Ecology Department, Apartado Postal 4-116 , Itzimná 97000, Mérida , México.

Herbivory is strongly influenced by different sources of plant variation, from traits such as secondary metabolites to features associated with population- and community-level variation. However, most studies have assessed the influence of these drivers in isolation. We conducted a large-scale study to evaluate the associations between multiple types of plant-based variation and insect leaf herbivory in alder ( Alnus glutinosa) trees sampled in riparian forests throughout northwestern Spain. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303511PMC
December 2018

Substantial reduction in thermo-suitable microhabitat for a rainforest marsupial under climate change.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180189

1 Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University , Sydney, NSW 2753 , Australia.

Increases in mean temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change increase the frequency and severity of temperature extremes. Although extreme temperature events are likely to become increasingly important drivers of species' response to climate change, the impacts are poorly understood owing mainly to a lack of understanding of species' physiological responses to extreme temperatures. The physiological response of Pseudochirops archeri (green ringtail possum) to temperature extremes has been well studied, demonstrating that heterothermy is used to reduce evaporative water loss at temperatures greater than 30°C. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0189DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303506PMC
December 2018
2 Reads

Tracking dragons: stable isotopes reveal the annual cycle of a long-distance migratory insect.

Biol Lett 2018 Dec;14(12):20180741

1 Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute , Washington, DC 20008 , USA.

Insect migration is globally ubiquitous and can involve continental-scale movements and complex life histories. Apart from select species of migratory moths and butterflies, little is known about the structure of the annual cycle for migratory insects. Using stable-hydrogen isotope analysis of 852 wing samples from eight countries spanning 140 years, combined with 21 years of citizen science data, we determined the full annual cycle of a large migratory dragonfly, the common green darner ( Anax junius). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0741DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303508PMC
December 2018
1 Read

The revolution of crossdating in marine palaeoecology and palaeoclimatology.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180665

11 Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) , PO Box 140, 4400 AC Yerseke , the Netherlands.

Over the past century, the dendrochronology technique of crossdating has been widely used to generate a global network of tree-ring chronologies that serves as a leading indicator of environmental variability and change. Only recently, however, has this same approach been applied to growth increments in calcified structures of bivalves, fish and corals in the world's oceans. As in trees, these crossdated marine chronologies are well replicated, annually resolved and absolutely dated, providing uninterrupted multi-decadal to millennial histories of ocean palaeoclimatic and palaeoecological processes. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371903PMC
January 2019
1 Read

Ocean warming and acidification may challenge the riverward migration of glass eels.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180627

1 MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Laboratório Marítimo da Guia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa , Avenida Nossa Senhora do Cabo 939, 2750-374 Cascais , Portugal.

The dramatic decline of European eel ( Anguilla anguilla) populations over recent decades has attracted considerable attention and concern. Furthermore, little is known about the sensitivity of the early stages of eels to projected future environmental change. Here, we investigated, for the first time, the potential combined effects of ocean warming (OW; Δ + 4°C; 18°C) and acidification (OA; Δ - 0. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371910PMC
January 2019

Birds with high lifetime reproductive success experience increased telomere loss.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180637

2 Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University , Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków , Poland.

Lifetime reproductive success (LRS) is what counts in terms of evolution, but investments in reproduction entail costs for an organism. The idea that telomere dynamics may be shaped in response to such costs is already established; however, we still lack information on whether this relation translates to overall fitness. Here, we quantified LRS (number of fledged young) and longitudinal telomere dynamics of small passerine birds-the blue tits ( Cyanistes caeruleus). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0637DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371901PMC
January 2019
1 Read

Replicated evolutionary inhibition of a complex ancestral behaviour in an adaptive radiation.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180647

1 Department of Biology, Clark University , Worcester, MA 01610 , USA.

Adaptive radiations often exhibit high levels of phenotypic replication, a phenomenon that can be explained by selection on standing variation in repeatedly divergent environments or by the influence of ancestral plasticity on selection in divergent environments. Here, we offer the first evidence that plastic loss of expression of a complex display in a novel environment, followed by selection against expression, could lead to replicated evolutionary inhibition of the phenotype. In both ancestral (oceanic) and benthic (freshwater) populations of the threespine stickleback fish, cannibalism is common and males defending nests respond to approaching groups with a complex diversionary display. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0647DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371902PMC
January 2019
1 Read

Heart rate during hyperphagia differs between two bear species.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180681

1 Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Applied Ecology and Agricultural Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences , Campus Evenstad, 2418 Elverum , Norway.

Hyperphagia is a critical part of the yearly cycle of bears when they gain fat reserves before entering hibernation. We used heart rate as a proxy to compare the metabolic rate between the Asian black bear ( Ursus thibetanus) in Japan and the Eurasian brown bear ( Ursus arctos) in Sweden from summer into hibernation. In the hyperphagic period, black bears feed on fat- and carbohydrate-rich hard masts whereas brown bears feed on sugar-rich berries. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0681DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371904PMC
January 2019
1 Read

Oxygen limitation is not the cause of death during lethal heat exposure in an insect.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180701

2 Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University , Stellenbosch, 7602 , South Africa.

Oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) is a controversial hypothesis claiming to explain variation in, and mechanistically determine, animal thermal limits. The lack of support from Insecta is typically argued to be a consequence of their high-performance respiratory systems. However, no studies have reported internal body oxygen levels during thermal ramping so it is unclear if changes in ambient gas are partially or fully offset by a compensatory respiratory system. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0701DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371900PMC
January 2019

Gametophyte niche differences among sympatric tree ferns.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180659

1 School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland , Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142 , New Zealand.

Forest community assembly is usually framed in terms of sporophyte dynamics; however, the recruitment and maintenance of fern populations, frequently influential in forest composition and structure, are initially determined by gametophytes. Sporophytes of three Cyathea tree fern species show habitat partitioning along gradients of phosphorus and light; we asked whether gametophyte niche differences parallel this pattern. To compare niche characteristics among taxa we compared growth rates to a size threshold (≥3 mm) of gametophytes under controlled conditions using a multi-factorial, multi-level (3 × 4) experiment, varying irradiance (5. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0659DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371912PMC
January 2019

Measures of oxidative state are primarily driven by extrinsic factors in a long-distance migrant.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180750

1 Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter Penryn Campus , Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE , UK.

Oxidative stress is a likely consequence of hard physical exertion and thus a potential mediator of life-history trade-offs in migratory animals. However, little is known about the relative importance of intrinsic and extrinsic stressors on the oxidative state of individuals in wild populations. We quantified the relationships between air temperature, sex, body condition and three markers of oxidative state (malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase and total antioxidant capacity) across hundreds of individuals of a long-distance migrant (the brent goose Branta bernicla hrota) during wintering and spring staging. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0750DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371914PMC
January 2019
1 Read

Phagocyte chase behaviours: discrimination between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria by amoebae.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180607

1 Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston , Houston, TX 77204 , USA.

Phagocytes are cells that pursue, engulf and kill bacteria. They include macrophages and neutrophils of the mammalian immune system, as well as free-living amoebae that hunt and engulf bacteria for food. Phagocytosis can result in diverse outcomes, ranging from sustenance to infection and colonization by either pathogens or beneficial symbionts-and thus, discrimination may be necessary to seek out good bacteria while avoiding bad ones. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0607DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371911PMC
January 2019
1 Read

Increased expression diversity buffers the loss of adaptive potential caused by reduction of genetic diversity in new unfavourable environments.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180583

1 Key Laboratory of Plant Resources and Beijing Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100093 , People's Republic of China.

Mechanisms underlying adaptation to rapid environmental change are issues in evolutionary biology. It is widely accepted that reduction in genetic diversity when suddenly exposed to an unfavourable environment limits the adaptive potential of populations. With growing empirical evidence that expression diversity is likely to increase in the new environment, the role that expression diversity plays in adaptation needs to be theorized. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371898PMC
January 2019

Moonlight cycles synchronize oyster behaviour.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180299

1 University of Bordeaux , EPOC, UMR 5805, 33120 Arcachon , France.

Organisms possess endogenous clock mechanisms that are synchronized to external cues and orchestrate biological rhythms. Internal timing confers the advantage of being able to anticipate environmental cycles inherent in life on Earth and to prepare accordingly. Moonlight-entrained rhythms are poorly described, being much less investigated than circadian and circannual rhythms synchronized by sunlight. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371907PMC
January 2019
1 Read

Vertical differentiation in tropical forest butterflies: a novel mechanism generating insect diversity?

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180723

5 Department of Biology, University of New Orleans , New Orleans, LA 70148 , USA.

Many tropical fruit-feeding nymphalid butterflies are associated with either the forest canopy or the understorey; however, the exceptions offer insights into the origins of tropical diversity. As it occurs in both habitats of tropical forests in Ecuador and Peru, Archaeoprepona demophon is one such exception. We compared patterns of occurrence of A. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0723DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371905PMC
January 2019

Social affiliation predicts mitochondrial DNA copy number in female rhesus macaques.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180643

1 Department of Biology, Duke University , Durham, NC 27708 , USA.

In many social mammals, social adversity predicts compromised health and reduced fitness. These effects are thought to be driven in part by chronic social stress, but their molecular underpinnings are not well understood. Recent work suggests that chronic stress can affect mitochondrial copy number, heteroplasmy rates and function. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0643DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371908PMC
January 2019

Exploring the oxygen sensitivity of wetland soil carbon mineralization.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180407

1 Department of Biology, Villanova University , Villanova, PA , USA.

Soil oxygen availability may influence blue carbon, which is carbon stored in coastal wetlands, by controlling the decomposition of soil organic matter. We are beginning to quantify soil oxygen availability in wetlands, but we lack a precise understanding of how oxygen controls soil carbon dynamics. In this paper, we synthesize existing data from oxic and anoxic wetland soil incubations to determine how oxygen controls carbon mineralization. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0407DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371899PMC
January 2019

The effects of rainforest fragment area on the strength of plant-pathogen interactions.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180493

4 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut , Storrs, CT 06269 , USA.

Pathogenic interactions between fungi and plants facilitate plant species coexistence and tropical rainforest diversity. Such interactions, however, may be affected by forest fragmentation as fungi are susceptible to anthropogenic disturbance. To examine how fragmentation affects fungus-induced seed and seedling mortality, we sowed seeds of six plant species in soils collected from 21 forest fragments. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371897PMC
January 2019
1 Read

Rational choice of social group size in mosquitofish.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180693

Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin , 1 University Station C0990, Austin, TX 78712 , USA.

Choice of social group can affect the likelihood of survivorship and reproduction for social species. By joining larger social groups-shoals-small freshwater fish like the mosquitofish Gambusia affinis can reduce predation risk and forage more efficiently. We tested shoal choice in mosquitofish to determine whether such choices are economically rational, i. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0693DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371909PMC
January 2019

Maternal corticosterone increases thermal sensitivity of heart rate in lizard embryos.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180718

1 Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, The Pennsylvania State University , University Park, PA 16802 , USA.

While it is well established that maternal stress hormones, such as corticosterone (CORT), can induce transgenerational phenotypic plasticity, few studies have addressed the influence of maternal CORT on pre-natal life stages. We tested the hypothesis that experimentally increased CORT levels of gravid female eastern fence lizards ( Sceloporus undulatus) would alter within-egg embryonic phenotype, particularly heart rates. We found that embryos from CORT-treated mothers had heart rates that increased faster with increasing temperature, resulting in higher heart rates at developmentally relevant temperatures but similar heart rates at maintenance relevant temperatures, compared with embryos of control mothers. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0718DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371906PMC
January 2019

Fruit flies increase attention to their frontal visual field during fast forward optic flow.

Biol Lett 2019 Jan;15(1):20180767

Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University , Miami, FL 33199 , USA.

Fruit flies must compensate for the limited light gathered by the tiny facets of their eyes, and image motion during flight lowers light catch even further. Motion blur is especially problematic in fast regions of the visual field, perpendicular to forward motion, but flow fields also contain slower regions, less affected by blur. To test whether fruit flies shift their attention to predictably slower regions of a flow field, we placed flies in an arena simulating forward flight and measured responses to turning cues in different visual areas. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0767DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371913PMC
January 2019
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Correction to 'Postcranial diversity and recent ecomorphic impoverishment of North American gray wolves'.

Biol Lett 2019 02;15(2):20190055

1 Department of Anatomy, Des Moines University , Des Moines, IA , USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405457PMC
February 2019
1 Read

How accurately do behavioural observations predict reproductive success in free-ranging lizards?

Biol Lett 2019 Feb;15(2):20190030

4 School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney , Sydney, New South Wales 2006 , Australia.

Behavioural ecologists often use data on patterns of male-female association to infer reproductive success of free-ranging animals. For example, a male seen with several females during the mating season is predicted to father more offspring than a male not seen with any females. We explored the putative correlation between this behaviour and actual paternity (as revealed by microsatellite data) from a long-term study on sand lizards ( Lacerta agilis), including behavioural observations of 574 adult males and 289 adult females, and paternity assignment of more than 2500 offspring during 1998-2007. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405472PMC
February 2019

Lizards from suburban areas learn faster to stay safe.

Biol Lett 2019 Feb;15(2):20190009

Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science , Bangalore, Karnataka , India.

Enhanced cognitive ability is beneficial in unpredictable and harsh environments, as it enables animals to respond with flexibility. For animals living in urbanized areas, local environments not only are altered but can rapidly change during their lifetime. Urban residents are therefore challenged with identifying novel dangers and safe refuges in dynamic environments. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405467PMC
February 2019

The earliest equatorial record of frogs from the Late Triassic of Arizona.

Biol Lett 2019 Feb;15(2):20180922

2 Petrified Forest National Park , 1 Park Road, Petrified Forest, AZ 86028 , USA.

Crown-group frogs (Anura) originated over 200 Ma according to molecular phylogenetic analyses, though only a few fossils from high latitudes chronicle the first approximately 60 Myr of frog evolution and distribution. We report fossils that represent both the first Late Triassic and the earliest equatorial record of Salientia, the group that includes stem and crown-frogs. These small fossils consist of complete and partial ilia with anteriorly directed, elongate and distally hollow iliac blades. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0922DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405462PMC
February 2019

Proximity sensors on common noctule bats reveal evidence that mothers guide juveniles to roosts but not food.

Biol Lett 2019 Feb;15(2):20180884

1 Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science , Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin , Germany.

Female bats of temperate zones often communally rear their young, which creates ideal conditions for naive juveniles to find or learn about resources via informed adults. However, studying social information transfer in elusive and small-bodied animals in the wild is difficult with traditional tracking techniques. We used a novel 'next-generation' proximity sensor system (BATS) to investigate if and how juvenile bats use social information in acquiring access to two crucial resources: suitable roosts and food patches. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0884DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405471PMC
February 2019

Honeybees show a context-dependent rightward bias.

Biol Lett 2019 Feb;15(2):20180877

Department of Entomology, Louisiana State University , 404 Life Sciences Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 , USA.

Lateralized behaviour in social insects is of biological significance, as certain lateral biases appear to have emerged in tandem with eusociality, and thus can provide insights into its functioning. Here, I investigate behavioural asymmetry in an ecologically important social insect, the honeybee Apis mellifera. Experiments show that foraging bees exhibit a strong rightward turning bias, accompanied by reduced decision latency when entering open cavities, yet demonstrate no directional preference in sequential choice-mazes. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0877DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405468PMC
February 2019

High levels of functional divergence in toxicity towards prey among the venoms of individual pigmy rattlesnakes.

Biol Lett 2019 Feb;15(2):20180876

1 Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University , Columbus, OH 43210 , USA.

Venom is a complex molecular phenotype that shows high levels of variation in expressed proteins between individuals within and between populations. However, the functional significance of this variation in terms of toxicity towards prey is largely unknown. Here, we assessed the relative toxicity of venom from individual pygmy rattlesnakes ( Sistrurus miliarius) on brown anoles ( Anolis sagrei) using a novel assay involving tests of fixed doses of venom from individual snakes on individual lizards. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0876DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405466PMC
February 2019

Raw-material selectivity in hook-tool-crafting New Caledonian crows.

Biol Lett 2019 Feb;15(2):20180836

Centre for Biological Diversity, School of Biology, University of St Andrews , Sir Harold Mitchell Building, St Andrews KY16 9TH , UK.

Animals that manufacture foraging tools face the challenge of identifying suitable raw materials among a multitude of options. New Caledonian crows exhibit strong population-specific material preferences for the manufacture of hooked stick tools, but it is unknown how they identify their favourite plants. We investigated experimentally whether crows pay attention to the stems of plants (from which the tools are made) and/or their leaves (which are usually discarded during manufacture but may enable rapid and reliable species identification at a distance). Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0836DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405461PMC
February 2019
2 Reads

Competitive growth in a social fish.

Biol Lett 2019 Feb;15(2):20180737

Department of Biology, Boston University , 5 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215 , USA.

Many animal societies have dominance hierarchies in which social rank is correlated with size. In such societies, the growth and size of individuals can be a strategic response to their social environment: in fishes, individuals may decrease their growth rate to remain small and retain a subordinate position; in mammals, individuals may increase their growth rate to become large and attain a dominant position-a strategy called competitive growth. Here, we investigate whether the clown anemonefish, Amphiprion percula, exhibits competitive growth also. Read More

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405469PMC
February 2019