Carnicer J., Brotons L., Herrando S., Sol D. (2013) Improved empirical tests of area-heterogeneity tradeoffs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110: 0-0.EnllaçDoi: 10.1073/pnas.1222681110
[No abstract available]
García-Peña G.E., Sol D., Iwaniuk A.N., Székely T. (2013) Sexual selection on brain size in shorebirds (Charadriiformes). Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 26: 878-888.EnllaçDoi: 10.1111/jeb.12104
Natural selection is considered a major force shaping brain size evolution in vertebrates, whereas the influence of sexual selection remains controversial. On one hand, sexual selection could promote brain enlargement by enhancing cognitive skills needed to compete for mates. On the other hand, sexual selection could favour brain size reduction due to trade-offs between investing in brain tissue and in sexually selected traits. These opposed predictions are mirrored in contradictory relationships between sexual selection proxies and brain size relative to body size. Here, we report a phylogenetic comparative analysis that highlights potential flaws in interpreting relative brain size-mating system associations as effects of sexual selection on brain size in shorebirds (Charadriiformes), a taxonomic group with an outstanding diversity in breeding systems. Considering many ecological effects, relative brain size was not significantly correlated with testis size. In polyandrous species, however, relative brain sizes of males and females were smaller than in monogamous species, and females had smaller brain size than males. Although these findings are consistent with sexual selection reducing brain size, they could also be due to females deserting parental care, which is a common feature of polyandrous species. Furthermore, our analyses suggested that body size evolved faster than brain size, and thus the evolution of body size may be confounding the effect of the mating system on relative brain size. The brain size-mating system association in shorebirds is thus not only due to sexual selection on brain size but rather, to body size evolution and other multiple simultaneous effects. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
Gutiérrez F., Gárriz M., Peri J.M., Ferraz L., Sol D., Navarro J.B., Barbadilla A., Valdés M. (2013) Fitness costs and benefits of personality disorder traits. Evolution and Human Behavior. 34: 41-48.EnllaçDoi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2012.09.001
Extreme personality traits in humans often have detrimental life consequences, so they have long been supposed to be diseases. However, many other species display personality variants that are maintained due to their fitness advantages; in this case, they are construed as strategies. To examine the fitness costs and benefits of pathological personality traits in humans, we measured features of the A (socially odd, distrustful), B (incentive-seeking, selfish) and C (fearful, inhibited) clusters with the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4. + (PDQ-4. +) in a sample of 738 outpatients. Fitness relevant parameters like mating success, reproductive output, self preservation, and access to status were assessed with the Life Outcome Questionnaire. No fitness advantages were found for high-A subjects. In contrast, high-B subjects tripled low-B subjects with regard to mating success and had 39% more offspring. Further, high-C subjects outperformed low-C subjects in attaining status and avoiding risks. These findings help explain the commonness of some extreme personality traits in humans, and suggest that they should be seen as evolutionary strategies rather than as diseases. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Lefebvre L., Reader S.M., Sol D. (2013) Innovating innovation rate and its relationship with brains, ecology and general intelligence. Brain, Behavior and Evolution. 81: 143-145.EnllaçDoi: 10.1159/000348485
Lendvai A.Z., Bokony V., Angelier F., Chastel O., Sol D. (2013) Do smart birds stress less? An interspecific relationship between brain size and corticosterone levels. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 280: 0-0.EnllaçDoi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1734
Vertebrates respond to unpredictable noxious environmental stimuli by increasing secretion of glucocorticoids (CORT). Although this hormonal stress response is adaptive, high levels of CORT may induce significant costs if stressful situations are frequent. Thus, alternative coping mechanisms that help buffer individuals against environmental stressors may be selected for when the costs of CORT levels are elevated. By allowing individuals to identify, anticipate and cope with the stressful circumstances, cognition may enable stress-specific behavioural coping. Although there is evidence that behavioural responses allowanimals to cope with stressful situations, it is unclear whether or not cognition reduces investment in the neuroendocrine stress response. Here, we report that in birds, species with larger brains relative to their body size showlower baseline and peakCORTlevels than species with smaller brains. This relationship is consistent across life-history stages, and cannot be accounted for by differences in life history and geographical latitude. Because a large brain is a major feature of birds that base their lifetime in learning new things, our results support the hypothesis that enhanced cognition represents a general alternative to the neuroendocrine stress response. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Leung B., Roura-Pascual N., Bacher S., Heikkila J., Brotons L., Burgman M.A., Dehnen-Schmutz K., Essl F., Hulme P.E., Richardson D.M., Sol D., Vila M. (2013) Addressing a critique of the TEASI framework for invasive species risk assessment. Ecology Letters. 16: 1415-14.EnllaçDoi: 10.1111/ele.12172
We address criticism that the Transport, Establishment, Abundance, Spread, Impact (TEASI) framework does not facilitate objective mapping of risk assessment methods nor defines best practice. We explain why TEASI is appropriate for mapping, despite inherent challenges, and how TEASI offers considerations for best practices, rather than suggesting one best practice. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.
Sol D., Lapiedra O., Gonzalez-Lagos C. (2013) Behavioural adjustments for a life in the city. Animal Behaviour. 85: 1101-1112.EnllaçDoi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.01.023
While human-induced rapid environmental changes are putting many organisms at risk of extinction, others are doing better than ever. This raises the question of why organisms differ in their tolerance to environmental alterations. Here, we ask whether and how behavioural adjustments assist animals in dealing with the urbanization process, one of the primary causes of biodiversity loss and biotic homogenization. Based on a literature review, we present both theoretical and empirical arguments to show that behavioural adjustments to urban habitats are widespread and that they may potentially be important in facilitating resource use, avoiding disturbances and enhancing communication. While a growing number of studies report behavioural differences between urban and nonurban animals, very few studies directly address the underlying mechanisms. In some cases, the changes in behaviour occur very rapidly and involve learning, and hence can be attributed to behavioural plasticity. In other cases, however, it cannot be ruled out that behavioural differences between urban and nonurban animals result from natural selection or nonrandom sorting of individuals by behavioural traits that affect dispersal, habitat selection or establishment. Because the urbanization process is expected to continue to threaten biodiversity in the near future, there is some urgency to improve our understanding of the mechanisms through which behaviour helps animals to cope with such environmental alterations. © 2013 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
Bartomeus I., Sol D., Pino J., Vicente P., Font X. (2012) Deconstructing the native-exotic richness relationship in plants. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 21: 524-533.EnllaçDoi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00708.x
Aim Classic theory suggests that species-rich communities should be more resistant to the establishment of exotic species than species-poor communities. Although this theory predicts that exotic species should be less diverse in regions that contain more native species, macroecological analyses often find that the correlation between exotic and native species richness is positive rather than negative. To reconcile results with theory, we explore to what extent climatic conditions, landscape heterogeneity and anthropogenic disturbance may explain the positive relationship between native and exotic plant richness. Location Catalonia (western Mediterranean region). Methods We integrated floristic records and GIS-based environmental measures to make spatially explicit 10-km grid cells. We asked whether the observed positive relationship between native and exotic plant richness (R 2= 0.11) resulted from the addition of several negative correlations corresponding to different environmental conditions identified with cluster analysis. Moreover, we directly quantified the importance of common causal effects with a structural equation modelling framework. Results We found no evidence that the relationship between native and exotic plant richness was negative when the comparison was made within environmentally homogeneous groups. Although there were common factors explaining both native and exotic richness, mainly associated with landscape heterogeneity and human pressure, these factors only explained 17.2% of the total correlation. Nevertheless, when the comparison was restricted to native plants associated with human-disturbed (i.e. ruderal) ecosystems, the relationship was stronger (R 2= 0.52) and the fraction explained by common factors increased substantially (58.3%). Main conclusions While our results confirm that the positive correlation between exotic and native plant richness is in part explained by common extrinsic factors, they also highlight the great importance of anthropic factors that - by reducing biotic resistance - facilitate the establishment and spread of both exotic and native plants that tolerate disturbed environments. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Bartomeus I, Sol D, Griffin A (2012) Exploring or avoiding novel food resources? The novelty conflict in an invasive bird. Oral presentation, Animal Behavior Society conference, New Mexico (USA).
Sol D (2012) Unraveling the life history of successful invaders. Invited seminar. University of Fribourg (Switzerland) December 18, 2012.
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