Environmental variation and the evolution of large brains in birds

Sayol, F., Maspons, J., Lapiedra, O., Iwaniuk, A.N., Székely, T., Sol, D. (2016) Environmental variation and the evolution of large brains in birds. Nature Communications. 7: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1038/ncomms13971

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The life-history basis of behavioural innovations

Sol D., Sayol F., Ducatez S., Lefebvre L. (2016) The life-history basis of behavioural innovations. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 371: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0187

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The evolutionary origin of innovativeness remains puzzling because innovating means responding to novel or unusual problems and hence is unlikely to be selected by itself. A plausible alternative is considering innovativeness as a co-opted product of traits that have evolved for other functions yet together predispose individuals to solve problems by adopting novel behaviours. However, this raises the question of why these adaptations should evolve together in an animal. Here, we develop the argument that the adaptations enabling animals to innovate evolve together because they are jointly part of a life-history strategy for coping with environmental changes. In support of this claim, we present comparative evidence showing that in birds, (i) innovative propensity is linked to life histories that prioritize future over current reproduction, (ii) the link is in part explained by differences in brain size, and (iii) innovative propensity and life-history traits may evolve together in generalist species that frequently expose themselves to novel or unusual conditions. Combined with previous evidence, these findings suggest that innovativeness is not a specialized adaptation but more likely part of a broader general adaptive system to cope with changes in the environment. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Llegeix més

Competition, niche opportunities and the successful invasion of natural habitats

Vall-llosera, M., Llimona, F., de Cáceres, M., Sales, S., Sol, D. (2016) Competition, niche opportunities and the successful invasion of natural habitats. Biological Invasions. : 1-12.
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Doi: 10.1007/s10530-016-1246-7

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Large-brained birds suffer less oxidative damage

Vágási, C.I., Vincze, O., Pătraş, L., Osváth, G., Marton, A., Bărbos, L., Sol, D., Pap, P.L. (2016) Large-brained birds suffer less oxidative damage. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 29: 1968-1976.
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Doi: 10.1111/jeb.12920

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Random processes and phylogenetic loss caused by plant invasions

Lapiedra O., Sol D., Traveset A., Vila M. (2015) Random processes and phylogenetic loss caused by plant invasions. Global Ecology and Biogeography. : 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1111/geb.12310

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Aim: Although biological invasions represent a major cause of biodiversity loss, the actual mechanisms driving species extinctions remain insufficiently understood. Here we investigate the role of three processes as drivers of phylogenetic loss in invaded local plant communities, namely the 'biotic resistance', 'environmental filtering' and 'functional equivalence' hypotheses. Location: Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean). Methods: We quantified the phylogenetic diversity and structure of 109 pairs of invaded and non-invaded local plant communities from two Mediterranean islands. Each pair contained one control plot and one plot invaded either by the deciduous tree Ailanthus altissima, the succulent subshrubs Carpobrotus spp. or the pseudoannual geophyte Oxalis pes-caprae. We combined generalized linear models, analyses of phylogenetic community structure and generalized linear mixed models using a Markov chain Monte Carlo technique (MCMCglmm) to contrast the 'biotic resistance', 'environmental filtering' and 'functional equivalence' hypotheses. Results: While the phylogenetic structure of the non-invaded communities was not more clustered or overdispersed than expected by chance, minimum phylogenetic distance to the invasive species increased in invaded assemblages, in which the magnitude of phylogenetic diversity loss ranged from 6 to 37% depending on the invader's identity. Invader or island identity did not explain the probabilities of native species becoming locally extinct. Rather, the likelihood of extinction was mainly explained by species abundance, with scarcer species exhibiting a higher chance of becoming locally extinct. Species identity explained a small fraction of the variation in extinction risk (12%), independently of each species' evolutionary history. Main conclusions: The most relevant driver of local extinction is a stochastic process where less abundant species tend to disappear more frequently irrespective of their evolutionary history. This has strong implications for conservation because it suggests that in the study region the invaders are unlikely to drive regional and global extinctions except in cases where the native species is already rare. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Llegeix més

Singing in the city: High song frequencies are no guarantee for urban success in birds

Moiron M., Gonzalez-Lagos C., Slabbekoorn H., Sol D. (2015) Singing in the city: High song frequencies are no guarantee for urban success in birds. Behavioral Ecology. 26: 843-850.
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Doi: 10.1093/beheco/arv026

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Urbanization involves dramatic environmental alterations, which can limit survival and reproduction of organisms and contribute to loss of biodiversity. One such alteration is anthropogenic noise, which biases natural ambient noise spectra toward low frequencies where it may interfere with acoustic communication among birds. Because vocalizing at higher frequencies could prevent masking by noise, it has been hypothesized that species with higher song frequencies should be less affected by urbanization. Indeed, evidence is accumulating that urban birds often vocalize at higher frequency than nonurban birds. However, the extent to which singing frequency affects their success in cities is less clear. We tested this hypothesis with a comprehensive phylogenetic Bayesian analysis comparing song frequency of songbirds from 5 continents with 4 measures of success in urbanized environments. Tolerance to urbanization was not associated with dominant or minimum song frequencies, regardless of the metric used to quantify urban success and the intensity of the urban alterations. Although song frequency was related to habitat preferences and body size of the species, none of these factors explained the lack of association with urban success. Singing high may be beneficial for signal perception under noisy conditions, but these high frequencies are apparently no guarantee for the success of bird species in urbanized environments. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology.

Llegeix més

Integrating behavior into life-history theory: A comment on Wong and Candolin

Sol D., Maspons J. (2015) Integrating behavior into life-history theory: A comment on Wong and Candolin. Behavioral Ecology. 26: 677-678.
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Doi: 10.1093/beheco/arv025

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[No abstract available]

Llegeix més

The Evolution of Innovativeness: Exaptation or Specialized Adaptation?

Sol, D. (2015) The Evolution of Innovativeness: Exaptation or Specialized Adaptation?. Animal Creativity and Innovation. : 163-182.
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Doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800648-1.00006-1

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Urbanisation tolerance and the loss of avian diversity

Sol D., Gonzalez-Lagos C., Moreira D., Maspons J., Lapiedra O. (2014) Urbanisation tolerance and the loss of avian diversity. Ecology Letters. 17: 942-950.
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Doi: 10.1111/ele.12297

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Urbanisation is considered an important driver of current biodiversity loss, but the underlying causes are not fully understood. It is generally assumed that this loss reflects the fact that most organisms do not tolerate well the environmental alterations associated with urbanisation. Nevertheless, current evidence is inconclusive and the alternative that the biodiversity loss is the result of random mechanisms has never been evaluated. Analysing changes in abundance between urbanised environments and their non-urbanised surroundings of > 800 avian species from five continents, we show here that although random processes account for part of the species loss associated with urbanisation, much of the loss is associated with a lack of appropriate adaptations of most species for exploiting resources and avoiding risks of the urban environments. These findings have important conservation implications because the extinction of species with particular features should have higher impact on biodiversity and ecosystem function than a random loss. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

Llegeix més

Do close relatives make bad neighbors?

Sol D., Lapiedra O., Vila M. (2014) Do close relatives make bad neighbors?. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111: 0-0.
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Doi: 10.1073/pnas.1320729111

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[No abstract available]

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