WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolutionary ecology framework

  1. A Common, Conceptual Framework for Behavioral Ecology and Evolutionary Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald W. White

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Since evolutionary psychology and behavioral ecology have much in common despite their using different objects for their study, one might expect these disciplines to share a common conceptual framework with associated definitions. Unfortunately, such agreement does not entirely exist. To address the problem, we propose a common, conceptual framework, the Adaptive Behavioral System (ABS, which organizes behavior within an evolutionary framework around an organism's life history tasks. An ABS includes strategies that use decision rules and employs tactics administered by a hypothesized construct, the Evolved Processing Unit (EPU. The ABS also includes observed or predicted behavior which can be tested experimentally – the ultimate test of construct validity. Use of the proposed framework should help the two disciplines focus on their common, core business of behavior and, ultimately, be to the benefit of both.

  2. A multilevel evolutionary framework for sustainability analysis

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    Timothy M. Waring

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Sustainability theory can help achieve desirable social-ecological states by generalizing lessons across contexts and improving the design of sustainability interventions. To accomplish these goals, we argue that theory in sustainability science must (1 explain the emergence and persistence of social-ecological states, (2 account for endogenous cultural change, (3 incorporate cooperation dynamics, and (4 address the complexities of multilevel social-ecological interactions. We suggest that cultural evolutionary theory broadly, and cultural multilevel selection in particular, can improve on these fronts. We outline a multilevel evolutionary framework for describing social-ecological change and detail how multilevel cooperative dynamics can determine outcomes in environmental dilemmas. We show how this framework complements existing sustainability frameworks with a description of the emergence and persistence of sustainable institutions and behavior, a means to generalize causal patterns across social-ecological contexts, and a heuristic for designing and evaluating effective sustainability interventions. We support these assertions with case examples from developed and developing countries in which we track cooperative change at multiple levels of social organization as they impact social-ecological outcomes. Finally, we make suggestions for further theoretical development, empirical testing, and application.

  3. Testing the ecological consequences of evolutionary change using elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeyasingh, Punidan D; Cothran, Rickey D; Tobler, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Understanding the ecological consequences of evolutionary change is a central challenge in contemporary biology. We propose a framework based on the ˜25 elements represented in biology, which can serve as a conduit for a general exploration of poorly understood evolution-to-ecology links. In this framework, known as ecological stoichiometry, the quantity of elements in the inorganic realm is a fundamental environment, while the flow of elements from the abiotic to the biotic realm is due to the action of genomes, with the unused elements excreted back into the inorganic realm affecting ecological processes at higher levels of organization. Ecological stoichiometry purposefully assumes distinct elemental composition of species, enabling powerful predictions about the ecological functions of species. However, this assumption results in a simplified view of the evolutionary mechanisms underlying diversification in the elemental composition of species. Recent research indicates substantial intraspecific variation in elemental composition and associated ecological functions such as nutrient excretion. We posit that attention to intraspecific variation in elemental composition will facilitate a synthesis of stoichiometric information in light of population genetics theory for a rigorous exploration of the ecological consequences of evolutionary change.

  4. Evolutionary and Ecological Consequences of Interspecific Hybridization in Cladocerans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwenk, K.; Spaak, P.

    1995-01-01

    The evolutionary process of interspecific hybridization in cladocerans is reviewed based on ecological and population genetic data. The evolutionary consequences of hybridization, biogeographic patterns and fitness comparisons are analyzed within the conceptual framework of theories on

  5. An evolutionary ecology of individual differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall, Sasha R. X.; Bell, Alison M.; Bolnick, Daniel I.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2014-01-01

    Individuals often differ in what they do. This has been recognised since antiquity. Nevertheless, the ecological and evolutionary significance of such variation is attracting widespread interest, which is burgeoning to an extent that is fragmenting the literature. As a first attempt at synthesis, we focus on individual differences in behaviour within populations that exceed the day-to-day variation in individual behaviour (i.e. behavioural specialisation). Indeed, the factors promoting ecologically relevant behavioural specialisation within natural populations are likely to have far-reaching ecological and evolutionary consequences. We discuss such individual differences from three distinct perspectives: individual niche specialisations, the division of labour within insect societies and animal personality variation. In the process, while recognising that each area has its own unique motivations, we identify a number of opportunities for productive ‘crossfertilisation’ among the (largely independent) bodies of work. We conclude that a complete understanding of evolutionarily and ecologically relevant individual differences must specify how ecological interactions impact the basic biological process (e.g. Darwinian selection, development and information processing) that underpin the organismal features determining behavioural specialisations. Moreover, there is likely to be covariation amongst behavioural specialisations. Thus, we sketch the key elements of a general framework for studying the evolutionary ecology of individual differences. PMID:22897772

  6. Classifying the evolutionary and ecological features of neoplasms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maley, Carlo C.; Aktipis, Athena; Graham, Trevor A.; Sottoriva, Andrea; Boddy, Amy M.; Janiszewska, Michalina; Silva, Ariosto S.; Gerlinger, Marco; Yuan, Yinyin; Pienta, Kenneth J.; Anderson, Karen S.; Gatenby, Robert; Swanton, Charles; Posada, David; Wu, Chung-I; Schiffman, Joshua D.; Hwang, E. Shelley; Polyak, Kornelia; Anderson, Alexander R. A.; Brown, Joel S.; Greaves, Mel; Shibata, Darryl

    2018-01-01

    Neoplasms change over time through a process of cell-level evolution, driven by genetic and epigenetic alterations. However, the ecology of the microenvironment of a neoplastic cell determines which changes provide adaptive benefits. There is widespread recognition of the importance of these evolutionary and ecological processes in cancer, but to date, no system has been proposed for drawing clinically relevant distinctions between how different tumours are evolving. On the basis of a consensus conference of experts in the fields of cancer evolution and cancer ecology, we propose a framework for classifying tumours that is based on four relevant components. These are the diversity of neoplastic cells (intratumoural heterogeneity) and changes over time in that diversity, which make up an evolutionary index (Evo-index), as well as the hazards to neoplastic cell survival and the resources available to neoplastic cells, which make up an ecological index (Eco-index). We review evidence demonstrating the importance of each of these factors and describe multiple methods that can be used to measure them. Development of this classification system holds promise for enabling clinicians to personalize optimal interventions based on the evolvability of the patient’s tumour. The Evo- and Eco-indices provide a common lexicon for communicating about how neoplasms change in response to interventions, with potential implications for clinical trials, personalized medicine and basic cancer research. PMID:28912577

  7. Evolutionary ecology of virus emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennehy, John J

    2017-02-01

    The cross-species transmission of viruses into new host populations, termed virus emergence, is a significant issue in public health, agriculture, wildlife management, and related fields. Virus emergence requires overlap between host populations, alterations in virus genetics to permit infection of new hosts, and adaptation to novel hosts such that between-host transmission is sustainable, all of which are the purview of the fields of ecology and evolution. A firm understanding of the ecology of viruses and how they evolve is required for understanding how and why viruses emerge. In this paper, I address the evolutionary mechanisms of virus emergence and how they relate to virus ecology. I argue that, while virus acquisition of the ability to infect new hosts is not difficult, limited evolutionary trajectories to sustained virus between-host transmission and the combined effects of mutational meltdown, bottlenecking, demographic stochasticity, density dependence, and genetic erosion in ecological sinks limit most emergence events to dead-end spillover infections. Despite the relative rarity of pandemic emerging viruses, the potential of viruses to search evolutionary space and find means to spread epidemically and the consequences of pandemic viruses that do emerge necessitate sustained attention to virus research, surveillance, prophylaxis, and treatment. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  8. Theoretical Approaches in Evolutionary Ecology: Environmental Feedback as a Unifying Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lion, Sébastien

    2018-01-01

    Evolutionary biology and ecology have a strong theoretical underpinning, and this has fostered a variety of modeling approaches. A major challenge of this theoretical work has been to unravel the tangled feedback loop between ecology and evolution. This has prompted the development of two main classes of models. While quantitative genetics models jointly consider the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a focal population, a separation of timescales between ecology and evolution is assumed by evolutionary game theory, adaptive dynamics, and inclusive fitness theory. As a result, theoretical evolutionary ecology tends to be divided among different schools of thought, with different toolboxes and motivations. My aim in this synthesis is to highlight the connections between these different approaches and clarify the current state of theory in evolutionary ecology. Central to this approach is to make explicit the dependence on environmental dynamics of the population and evolutionary dynamics, thereby materializing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. This perspective sheds light on the interplay between environmental feedback and the timescales of ecological and evolutionary processes. I conclude by discussing some potential extensions and challenges to our current theoretical understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

  9. An evolutionary basis for pollination ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemstein, S.C.

    1987-01-01

    In the introduction and chapter 2 the incentives and way of reasoning are given for the description of an evolutionary basis of pollination ecology. Starting from the until recently rather anecdotical character of the study of pollination ecology as a whole, and in the absence of large-scale

  10. The evolutionary ecology of molecular replicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nee, Sean

    2016-08-01

    By reasonable criteria, life on the Earth consists mainly of molecular replicators. These include viruses, transposons, transpovirons, coviruses and many more, with continuous new discoveries like Sputnik Virophage. Their study is inherently multidisciplinary, spanning microbiology, genetics, immunology and evolutionary theory, and the current view is that taking a unified approach has great power and promise. We support this with a new, unified, model of their evolutionary ecology, using contemporary evolutionary theory coupling the Price equation with game theory, studying the consequences of the molecular replicators' promiscuous use of each others' gene products for their natural history and evolutionary ecology. Even at this simple expository level, we can make a firm prediction of a new class of replicators exploiting viruses such as lentiviruses like SIVs, a family which includes HIV: these have been explicitly stated in the primary literature to be non-existent. Closely connected to this departure is the view that multicellular organism immunology is more about the management of chronic infections rather than the elimination of acute ones and new understandings emerging are changing our view of the kind of theatre we ourselves provide for the evolutionary play of molecular replicators. This study adds molecular replicators to bacteria in the emerging field of sociomicrobiology.

  11. Ecological and evolutionary effects of stickleback on community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Des Roches

    Full Text Available Species' ecology and evolution can have strong effects on communities. Both may change concurrently when species colonize a new ecosystem. We know little, however, about the combined effects of ecological and evolutionary change on community structure. We simultaneously examined the effects of top-predator ecology and evolution on freshwater community parameters using recently evolved generalist and specialist ecotypes of three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus. We used a mesocosm experiment to directly examine the effects of ecological (fish presence and density and evolutionary (phenotypic diversity and specialization factors on community structure at lower trophic levels. We evaluated zooplankton biomass and composition, periphyton and phytoplankton chlorophyll-a concentration, and net primary production among treatments containing different densities and diversities of stickleback. Our results showed that both ecological and evolutionary differences in the top-predator affect different aspects of community structure and composition. Community structure, specifically the abundance of organisms at each trophic level, was affected by stickleback presence and density, whereas composition of zooplankton was influenced by stickleback diversity and specialization. Primary productivity, in terms of chlorophyll-a concentration and net primary production was affected by ecological but not evolutionary factors. Our results stress the importance of concurrently evaluating both changes in density and phenotypic diversity on the structure and composition of communities.

  12. Evolutionary game theory and organizational ecology: The case of resource-partitioning theory

    OpenAIRE

    ZHOU, Chaohong; VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen

    2009-01-01

    Abstract: In this paper, we construct a mathematical model that applies tools from evolutionary game theory to issues in organizational ecology. Evolutionary game theory shares the key feature of mathematical rigor with the industrial organization tradition, but is similar to organizational ecology by emphasizing evolutionary dynamics. Evolutionary game theory may well be a complementary modeling tool for the analytical study of organizational ecology issues, next to formal logic, standard ga...

  13. Ecological interactions drive evolutionary loss of traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellers, Jacintha; Kiers, E Toby; Currie, Cameron R; McDonald, Bradon R; Visser, Bertanne

    2012-10-01

    Loss of traits can dramatically alter the fate of species. Evidence is rapidly accumulating that the prevalence of trait loss is grossly underestimated. New findings demonstrate that traits can be lost without affecting the external phenotype, provided the lost function is compensated for by species interactions. This is important because trait loss can tighten the ecological relationship between partners, affecting the maintenance of species interactions. Here, we develop a new perspective on so-called `compensated trait loss' and how this type of trait loss may affect the evolutionary dynamics between interacting organisms. We argue that: (1) the frequency of compensated trait loss is currently underestimated because it can go unnoticed as long as ecological interactions are maintained; (2) by analysing known cases of trait loss, specific factors promoting compensated trait loss can be identified and (3) genomic sequencing is a key way forwards in detecting compensated trait loss. We present a comprehensive literature survey showing that compensated trait loss is taxonomically widespread, can involve essential traits, and often occurs as replicated evolutionary events. Despite its hidden nature, compensated trait loss is important in directing evolutionary dynamics of ecological relationships and has the potential to change facultative ecological interactions into obligatory ones. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Evolutionary conservatism and convergence both lead to striking similarity in ecology, morphology and performance across continents in frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel S; Irschick, Duncan J; Wiens, John J

    2013-12-22

    Many clades contain ecologically and phenotypically similar species across continents, yet the processes generating this similarity are largely unstudied, leaving fundamental questions unanswered. Is similarity in morphology and performance across assemblages caused by evolutionary convergence or by biogeographic dispersal of evolutionarily conserved ecotypes? Does convergence to new ecological conditions erase evidence of past adaptation? Here, we analyse ecology, morphology and performance in frog assemblages from three continents (Asia, Australia and South America), assessing the importance of dispersal and convergent evolution in explaining similarity across regions. We find three striking results. First, species using the same microhabitat type are highly similar in morphology and performance across both clades and continents. Second, some species on different continents owe their similarity to dispersal and evolutionary conservatism (rather than evolutionary convergence), even over vast temporal and spatial scales. Third, in one case, an ecologically specialized ancestor radiated into diverse ecotypes that have converged with those on other continents, largely erasing traces of past adaptation to their ancestral ecology. Overall, our study highlights the roles of both evolutionary conservatism and convergence in explaining similarity in species traits over large spatial and temporal scales and demonstrates a statistical framework for addressing these questions in other systems.

  15. Nutrition, ecology and nutritional ecology: towardan integrated framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Steven J.; Mayntz, David

    2009-01-01

    requirements: it should be nutritionally explicit, organismally explicit, and ecologically explicit. 4. We evaluate against these criteria four existing frameworks (Optimal Foraging Theory, Classical Insect Nutritional Ecology, the Geometric Framework for nutrition, and Ecological Stoichiometry), and conclude...... in its own right? 2. We suggest that the distinctive feature of nutritional ecology is its integrative nature, and that the field would benefit from more attention to formalizing a theoretical and quantitative framework for developing this. 3. Such a framework, we propose, should satisfy three minimal...

  16. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of niche construction for its agent.

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    Kylafis, Grigoris; Loreau, Michel

    2008-10-01

    Niche construction can generate ecological and evolutionary feedbacks that have been underinvestigated so far. We present an eco-evolutionary model that incorporates the process of niche construction to reveal its effects on the ecology and evolution of the niche-constructing agent. We consider a simple plant-soil nutrient ecosystem in which plants have the ability to increase the input of inorganic nutrient as an example of positive niche construction. On an ecological time scale, the model shows that niche construction allows the persistence of plants under infertile soil conditions that would otherwise lead to their extinction. This expansion of plants' niche, however, requires a high enough rate of niche construction and a high enough initial plant biomass to fuel the positive ecological feedback between plants and their soil environment. On an evolutionary time scale, we consider that the rates of niche construction and nutrient uptake coevolve in plants while a trade-off constrains their values. Different evolutionary outcomes are possible depending on the shape of the trade-off. We show that niche construction results in an evolutionary feedback between plants and their soil environment such that plants partially regulate soil nutrient content. The direct benefit accruing to plants, however, plays a crucial role in the evolutionary advantage of niche construction.

  17. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

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    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

    Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential-equation and difference-equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis for IBMs by describing five major types of individual variation in IBMs: spatial, ontogenetic, phenotypic, cognitive, and genetic. IBMs are now used in almost all subfields of ecology and evolutionary biology. We map those subfields and look more closely at selected key papers on fish recruitment, forest dynamics, sympatric speciation, metapopulation dynamics, maintenance of diversity, and species conservation. Theorists are currently divided on whether IBMs represent only a practical tool for extending classical theory to more complex situations, or whether individual-based theory represents a radically new research program. We feel that the tension between these two poles of thinking can be a source of creativity in ecology and evolutionary theory.

  18. Marine Dispersal Scales Are Congruent over Evolutionary and Ecological Time

    KAUST Repository

    Pinsky, Malin L.

    2016-12-15

    The degree to which offspring remain near their parents or disperse widely is critical for understanding population dynamics, evolution, and biogeography, and for designing conservation actions. In the ocean, most estimates suggesting short-distance dispersal are based on direct ecological observations of dispersing individuals, while indirect evolutionary estimates often suggest substantially greater homogeneity among populations. Reconciling these two approaches and their seemingly competing perspectives on dispersal has been a major challenge. Here we show for the first time that evolutionary and ecological measures of larval dispersal can closely agree by using both to estimate the distribution of dispersal distances. In orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) populations in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, we found that evolutionary dispersal kernels were 17 km (95% confidence interval: 12–24 km) wide, while an exhaustive set of direct larval dispersal observations suggested kernel widths of 27 km (19–36 km) or 19 km (15–27 km) across two years. The similarity between these two approaches suggests that ecological and evolutionary dispersal kernels can be equivalent, and that the apparent disagreement between direct and indirect measurements can be overcome. Our results suggest that carefully applied evolutionary methods, which are often less expensive, can be broadly relevant for understanding ecological dispersal across the tree of life.

  19. A taxonomic framework for emerging groups of ecologically important marine gammaproteobacteria based on the reconstruction of evolutionary relationships using genome-scale data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan eSpring

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In recent years a large number of isolates were obtained from saline environments that are phylogenetically related to distinct clades of oligotrophic marine gammaproteobacteria, which were originally identified in seawater samples using cultivation independent methods and are characterized by high seasonal abundances in coastal environments. To date a sound taxonomic framework for the classification of these ecologically important isolates and related species in accordance with their evolutionary relationships is missing.In this study we demonstrate that a reliable allocation of members of the oligotrophic marine gammaproteobacteria (OMG group and related species to higher taxonomic ranks is possible by phylogenetic analyses of whole proteomes but also of the RNA polymerase beta subunit, whereas phylogenetic reconstructions based on 16S rRNA genes alone resulted in unstable tree topologies with only insignificant bootstrap support. The identified clades could be correlated with distinct phenotypic traits illustrating an adaptation to common environmental factors in their evolutionary history. Genome wide gene-content analyses revealed the existence of two distinct ecological guilds within the analyzed lineage of marine gammaproteobacteria which can be distinguished by their trophic strategies. Based on our results a novel order within the class Gammaproteobacteria is proposed, which is designated Cellvibrionales ord. nov. and comprises the five novel families Cellvibrionaceae fam. nov., Halieaceae fam. nov., Microbulbiferaceae fam. nov., Porticoccaceae fam. nov., and Spongiibacteraceae fam. nov.

  20. Framework for ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodier, D.; Norton, S.

    1992-02-01

    Increased interest in ecological issues such as global climate change, habitat loss, acid deposition, reduced biological diversity, and the ecological impacts of pesticides and toxic chemicals prompts this U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, A Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment ('Framework Report'). The report describes basic elements, or a framework, for evaluating scientific information on the adverse effects of physical and chemical stressors on the environment. The framework offers starting principles and a simple structure as guidance for current ecological risk assessments and as a foundation for future EPA proposals for risk assessment guidelines

  1. Evolutionary heritage influences amazon tree ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, De Fernanda Coelho; Dexter, Kyle G.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Brienen, Roel J.W.; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R.; Gonzalez, Gabriela Lopez; Mendoza, Abel Monteagudo; Toby Pennington, R.; Poorter, Lourens; Arets, E.J.M.M.; Boot, Rene G.A.; Meer, van der Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of

  2. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  3. An open future for ecological and evolutionary data?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenall, Amye; Harold, Simon; Foote, Christopher

    2014-04-02

    As part of BioMed Central's open science mission, we are pleased to announce that two of our journals have integrated with the open data repository Dryad. Authors submitting their research to either BMC Ecology or BMC Evolutionary Biology will now have the opportunity to deposit their data directly into the Dryad archive and will receive a permanent, citable link to their dataset. Although this does not affect any of our current data deposition policies at these journals, we hope to encourage a more widespread adoption of open data sharing in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology by facilitating this process for our authors. We also take this opportunity to discuss some of the wider issues that may concern researchers when making their data openly available. Although we offer a number of positive examples from different fields of biology, we also recognise that reticence to data sharing still exists, and that change must be driven from within research communities in order to create future science that is fit for purpose in the digital age. This editorial was published jointly in both BMC Ecology and BMC Evolutionary Biology.

  4. Missing ecology: integrating ecological perspectives with the social-ecological system framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham Epstein

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The social-ecological systems framework was designed to provide a common research tool for interdisciplinary investigations of social-ecological systems. However, its origin in institutional studies of the commons belies its interdisciplinary ambitions and highlights its relatively limited attention to ecology and natural scientific knowledge. This paper considers the biophysical components of the framework and its epistemological foundations as it relates to the incorporation of knowledge from the natural sciences. It finds that the mixture of inductive and deductive reasoning associated with socially-oriented investigations of these systems is lacking on the ecological side, which relies upon induction alone. As a result the paper proposes the addition of a seventh core sub-system to the social-ecological systems framework, ecological rules, which would allow scholars to explicitly incorporate knowledge from the natural sciences for deductive reasoning. The paper shows, through an instructive case study, how the addition of ecological rules can provide a more nuanced description of the factors that contribute to outcomes in social-ecological systems.

  5. Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) as a bridge between ecology and evolutionary genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bybee, Seth; Córdoba-Aguilar, Alex; Duryea, M Catherine; Futahashi, Ryo; Hansson, Bengt; Lorenzo-Carballa, M Olalla; Schilder, Ruud; Stoks, Robby; Suvorov, Anton; Svensson, Erik I; Swaegers, Janne; Takahashi, Yuma; Watts, Phillip C; Wellenreuther, Maren

    2016-01-01

    Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) present an unparalleled insect model to integrate evolutionary genomics with ecology for the study of insect evolution. Key features of Odonata include their ancient phylogenetic position, extensive phenotypic and ecological diversity, several unique evolutionary innovations, ease of study in the wild and usefulness as bioindicators for freshwater ecosystems worldwide. In this review, we synthesize studies on the evolution, ecology and physiology of odonates, highlighting those areas where the integration of ecology with genomics would yield significant insights into the evolutionary processes that would not be gained easily by working on other animal groups. We argue that the unique features of this group combined with their complex life cycle, flight behaviour, diversity in ecological niches and their sensitivity to anthropogenic change make odonates a promising and fruitful taxon for genomics focused research. Future areas of research that deserve increased attention are also briefly outlined.

  6. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho de Souza, Fernanda; Dexter, Kyle G.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Brienen, Roel J. W.; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R.; Lopez Gonzalez, Gabriela; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Pennington, R. Toby; Poorter, Lourens; Alexiades, Miguel; Álvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luis E. O. C.; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J. M. M.; Aymard C, Gerardo A.; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G.; Bonal, Damien; Boot, Rene G. A.; Camargo, José L. C.; Comiskey, James A.; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; de Camargo, Plínio B.; Di Fiore, Anthony; Erwin, Terry L.; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Ferreira, Leandro; Fyllas, Nikolaos M.; Gloor, Emanuel; Herault, Bruno; Herrera, Rafael; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N.; Killeen, Timothy J.; Laurance, William F.; Laurance, Susan; Lloyd, Jon; Lovejoy, Thomas E.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Marimon-Junior, Ben H.; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morandi, Paulo; Neill, David A.; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Oliveira, Edmar A.; Lenza, Eddie; Palacios, Walter A.; Peñuela-Mora, Maria C.; Pipoly, John J.; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A.; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Salomão, Rafael P.; Silveira, Marcos; ter Steege, Hans; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; van der Hout, Peter; van der Heijden, Geertje M. F.; van der Meer, Peter J.; Vasquez, Rodolfo V.; Vieira, Simone A.; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A.; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R.; Zagt, Roderick J.; Baker, Timothy R.

    2016-01-01

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change. PMID:27974517

  7. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho de Souza, Fernanda; Dexter, Kyle G; Phillips, Oliver L; Brienen, Roel J W; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R; Lopez Gonzalez, Gabriela; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Pennington, R Toby; Poorter, Lourens; Alexiades, Miguel; Álvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luis E O C; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J M M; Aymard C, Gerardo A; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G; Bonal, Damien; Boot, Rene G A; Camargo, José L C; Comiskey, James A; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; de Camargo, Plínio B; Di Fiore, Anthony; Elias, Fernando; Erwin, Terry L; Feldpausch, Ted R; Ferreira, Leandro; Fyllas, Nikolaos M; Gloor, Emanuel; Herault, Bruno; Herrera, Rafael; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N; Killeen, Timothy J; Laurance, William F; Laurance, Susan; Lloyd, Jon; Lovejoy, Thomas E; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S; Marimon-Junior, Ben H; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morandi, Paulo; Neill, David A; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Oliveira, Edmar A; Lenza, Eddie; Palacios, Walter A; Peñuela-Mora, Maria C; Pipoly, John J; Pitman, Nigel C A; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Salomão, Rafael P; Silveira, Marcos; Stropp, Juliana; Ter Steege, Hans; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; van der Hout, Peter; van der Heijden, Geertje M F; van der Meer, Peter J; Vasquez, Rodolfo V; Vieira, Simone A; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R; Zagt, Roderick J; Baker, Timothy R

    2016-12-14

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change. © 2016 The Authors.

  8. Evolutionary computation in zoology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, Randall B

    2017-12-01

    Evolutionary computational methods have adopted attributes of natural selection and evolution to solve problems in computer science, engineering, and other fields. The method is growing in use in zoology and ecology. Evolutionary principles may be merged with an agent-based modeling perspective to have individual animals or other agents compete. Four main categories are discussed: genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, genetic programming, and evolutionary strategies. In evolutionary computation, a population is represented in a way that allows for an objective function to be assessed that is relevant to the problem of interest. The poorest performing members are removed from the population, and remaining members reproduce and may be mutated. The fitness of the members is again assessed, and the cycle continues until a stopping condition is met. Case studies include optimizing: egg shape given different clutch sizes, mate selection, migration of wildebeest, birds, and elk, vulture foraging behavior, algal bloom prediction, and species richness given energy constraints. Other case studies simulate the evolution of species and a means to project shifts in species ranges in response to a changing climate that includes competition and phenotypic plasticity. This introduction concludes by citing other uses of evolutionary computation and a review of the flexibility of the methods. For example, representing species' niche spaces subject to selective pressure allows studies on cladistics, the taxon cycle, neutral versus niche paradigms, fundamental versus realized niches, community structure and order of colonization, invasiveness, and responses to a changing climate.

  9. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DeAngelis, D.L.; Mooij, W.M.

    2005-01-01

    Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential and difference equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis

  10. The ecological and evolutionary implications of merging different types of networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fontaine, C.; Guimaraes, P.R.; Kéfi, S.; Loeuille, N.; Memmott, J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Veen, F.J.; Thébault, E.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions among species drive the ecological and evolutionary processes in ecological communities. These interactions are effectively key components of biodiversity. Studies that use a network approach to study the structure and dynamics of communities of interacting species have revealed many

  11. An Evolutionary Framework for Understanding the Origin of Eukaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil W. Blackstone

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Two major obstacles hinder the application of evolutionary theory to the origin of eukaryotes. The first is more apparent than real—the endosymbiosis that led to the mitochondrion is often described as “non-Darwinian” because it deviates from the incremental evolution championed by the modern synthesis. Nevertheless, endosymbiosis can be accommodated by a multi-level generalization of evolutionary theory, which Darwin himself pioneered. The second obstacle is more serious—all of the major features of eukaryotes were likely present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor thus rendering comparative methods ineffective. In addition to a multi-level theory, the development of rigorous, sequence-based phylogenetic and comparative methods represents the greatest achievement of modern evolutionary theory. Nevertheless, the rapid evolution of major features in the eukaryotic stem group requires the consideration of an alternative framework. Such a framework, based on the contingent nature of these evolutionary events, is developed and illustrated with three examples: the putative intron proliferation leading to the nucleus and the cell cycle; conflict and cooperation in the origin of eukaryotic bioenergetics; and the inter-relationship between aerobic metabolism, sterol synthesis, membranes, and sex. The modern synthesis thus provides sufficient scope to develop an evolutionary framework to understand the origin of eukaryotes.

  12. Book Review: Evolutionary Ecology of Birds: Life Histories, Mating ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. Book Title: Evolutionary Ecology of Birds: Life Histories, Mating Systems and Extinction. Book Authors: P.M. Bennett & I.P.F. Owens. Oxford University. Press. 2002. Pp. 272. Price £24.95 (paperback). ISBN 0 19 851089 6.

  13. A conceptual evolutionary aseismic decision support framework for hospitals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yufeng; Dargush, Gary F.; Shao, Xiaoyun

    2012-12-01

    In this paper, aconceptual evolutionary framework for aseismic decision support for hospitalsthat attempts to integrate a range of engineering and sociotechnical models is presented. Genetic algorithms are applied to find the optimal decision sets. A case study is completed to demonstrate how the frameworkmay applytoa specific hospital.The simulations show that the proposed evolutionary decision support framework is able to discover robust policy sets in either uncertain or fixed environments. The framework also qualitatively identifies some of the characteristicbehavior of the critical care organization. Thus, by utilizing the proposedframework, the decision makers are able to make more informed decisions, especially toenhance the seismic safety of the hospitals.

  14. Using Ancient DNA to Understand Evolutionary and Ecological Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre; Cooper, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Ancient DNA provides a unique means to record genetic change through time and directly observe evolutionary and ecological processes. Although mostly based on mitochondrial DNA, the increasing availability of genomic sequences is leading to unprecedented levels of resolution. Temporal studies of ...

  15. Marine Dispersal Scales Are Congruent over Evolutionary and Ecological Time

    KAUST Repository

    Pinsky, Malin L.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Salles, Océ ane C.; Almany, Glenn R.; Bode, Michael; Berumen, Michael L.; André fouë t, Serge; Thorrold, Simon R.; Jones, Geoffrey P.; Planes, Serge

    2016-01-01

    -distance dispersal are based on direct ecological observations of dispersing individuals, while indirect evolutionary estimates often suggest substantially greater homogeneity among populations. Reconciling these two approaches and their seemingly competing

  16. Ecological theatre and the evolutionary game: how environmental and demographic factors determine payoffs in evolutionary games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argasinski, K; Broom, M

    2013-10-01

    In the standard approach to evolutionary games and replicator dynamics, differences in fitness can be interpreted as an excess from the mean Malthusian growth rate in the population. In the underlying reasoning, related to an analysis of "costs" and "benefits", there is a silent assumption that fitness can be described in some type of units. However, in most cases these units of measure are not explicitly specified. Then the question arises: are these theories testable? How can we measure "benefit" or "cost"? A natural language, useful for describing and justifying comparisons of strategic "cost" versus "benefits", is the terminology of demography, because the basic events that shape the outcome of natural selection are births and deaths. In this paper, we present the consequences of an explicit analysis of births and deaths in an evolutionary game theoretic framework. We will investigate different types of mortality pressures, their combinations and the possibility of trade-offs between mortality and fertility. We will show that within this new approach it is possible to model how strictly ecological factors such as density dependence and additive background fitness, which seem neutral in classical theory, can affect the outcomes of the game. We consider the example of the Hawk-Dove game, and show that when reformulated in terms of our new approach new details and new biological predictions are produced.

  17. Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events: challenges and directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Pol, Martijn; Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Visser, Marcel E

    2017-06-19

    More extreme climatic events (ECEs) are among the most prominent consequences of climate change. Despite a long-standing recognition of the importance of ECEs by paleo-ecologists and macro-evolutionary biologists, ECEs have only recently received a strong interest in the wider ecological and evolutionary community. However, as with many rapidly expanding fields, it lacks structure and cohesiveness, which strongly limits scientific progress. Furthermore, due to the descriptive and anecdotal nature of many ECE studies it is still unclear what the most relevant questions and long-term consequences are of ECEs. To improve synthesis, we first discuss ways to define ECEs that facilitate comparison among studies. We then argue that biologists should adhere to more rigorous attribution and mechanistic methods to assess ECE impacts. Subsequently, we discuss conceptual and methodological links with climatology and disturbance-, tipping point- and paleo-ecology. These research fields have close linkages with ECE research, but differ in the identity and/or the relative severity of environmental factors. By summarizing the contributions to this theme issue we draw parallels between behavioural, ecological and evolutionary ECE studies, and suggest that an overarching challenge is that most empirical and theoretical evidence points towards responses being highly idiosyncratic, and thus predictability being low. Finally, we suggest a roadmap based on the proposition that an increased focus on the mechanisms behind the biological response function will be crucial for increased understanding and predictability of the impacts of ECE.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. The evolutionary ecology of clonally propagated domesticated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKey, Doyle; Elias, Marianne; Pujol, Benoît; Duputié, Anne

    2010-04-01

    While seed-propagated crops have contributed many evolutionary insights, evolutionary biologists have often neglected clonally propagated crops. We argue that widespread notions about their evolution under domestication are oversimplified, and that they offer rich material for evolutionary studies. The diversity of their wild ancestors, the diverse ecologies of the crop populations themselves, and the intricate mix of selection pressures, acting not only on the parts harvested but also on the parts used by humans to make clonal propagules, result in complex and diverse evolutionary trajectories under domestication. We examine why farmers propagate some plants clonally, and discuss the evolutionary dynamics of sexual reproduction in clonal crops. We explore how their mixed clonal/sexual reproductive systems function, based on the sole example studied in detail, cassava (Manihot esculenta). Biotechnology is now expanding the number of clonal crops, continuing the 10 000-yr-old trend to increase crop yields by propagating elite genotypes. In an era of rapid global change, it is more important than ever to understand how the adaptive potential of clonal crops can be maintained. A key component of strategies for preserving this adaptive potential is the maintenance of mixed clonal/sexual systems, which can be achieved by encouraging and valuing farmer knowledge about the sexual reproductive biology of their clonal crops.

  19. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games. PMID:26308326

  20. An Extensible Component-Based Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm Framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Jan Corfixen; Jørgensen, Bo Nørregaard

    2017-01-01

    The ability to easily modify the problem definition is currently missing in Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms (MOEA). Existing MOEA frameworks do not support dynamic addition and extension of the problem formulation. The existing frameworks require a re-specification of the problem definition...

  1. Evolutionary accounts of human behavioural diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Gillian R.; Dickins, Thomas E.; Sear, Rebecca; Laland, Kevin N.

    2011-01-01

    Human beings persist in an extraordinary range of ecological settings, in the process exhibiting enormous behavioural diversity, both within and between populations. People vary in their social, mating and parental behaviour and have diverse and elaborate beliefs, traditions, norms and institutions. The aim of this theme issue is to ask whether, and how, evolutionary theory can help us to understand this diversity. In this introductory article, we provide a background to the debate surrounding how best to understand behavioural diversity using evolutionary models of human behaviour. In particular, we examine how diversity has been viewed by the main subdisciplines within the human evolutionary behavioural sciences, focusing in particular on the human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology and cultural evolution approaches. In addition to differences in focus and methodology, these subdisciplines have traditionally varied in the emphasis placed on human universals, ecological factors and socially learned behaviour, and on how they have addressed the issue of genetic variation. We reaffirm that evolutionary theory provides an essential framework for understanding behavioural diversity within and between human populations, but argue that greater integration between the subfields is critical to developing a satisfactory understanding of diversity. PMID:21199836

  2. Urban Evolutionary Ecology and the Potential Benefits of Implementing Genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schell, Christopher J

    2018-02-14

    Urban habitats are quickly becoming exceptional models to address adaptation under rapid environmental change, given the expansive temporal and spatial scales with which anthropogenic landscape conversion occurs. Urban ecologists in the last 10-15 years have done an extraordinary job of highlighting phenotypic patterns that correspond with urban living, as well as delineating urban population structure using traditional genetic markers. The underpinning genetic mechanisms that govern those phenotypic patterns, however, are less well established. Moreover, the power of traditional molecular studies is constrained by the number of markers being evaluated, which limits the potential to assess fine-scale population structure potentially common in urban areas. With the recent proliferation of low-cost, high-throughput sequencing methods, we can begin to address an emerging question in urban ecology: are species adapted to local optima within cities or are they expressing latent phenotypic plasticity? Here, I provide a comprehensive review of previous urban ecological studies, with special focus on the molecular ecology and phenotypic adjustments documented in urban terrestrial and amphibious fauna. I subsequently pinpoint areas in the literature that could benefit from a genomic investigation and briefly discuss the suitability of specific techniques in addressing eco-evolutionary questions within urban ecology. Though many challenges exist with implementing genomics into urban ecology, such studies provide an exceptional opportunity to advance our understanding of eco-evolutionary processes in metropolitan areas. © The American Genetic Association 2018. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Pheromone-mediated aggregation in nonsocial arthropods: an evolutionary ecological perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wertheim, B.; van Baalen, E-J.A.; Dicke, M.; Vet, L.E.M.

    2005-01-01

    Although the use of aggregation pheromones has been reported for hundreds of nonsocial arthropod species, the evolutionary ecological aspects of this behavior have received little attention. Despite the elaborate literature on mechanisms, robust data on costs and benefits of aggregation pheromones

  4. Ecological and evolutionary drivers of the elevational gradient of diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laiolo, Paola; Pato, Joaquina; Obeso, José Ramón

    2018-05-02

    Ecological, evolutionary, spatial and neutral theories make distinct predictions and provide distinct explanations for the mechanisms that control the relationship between diversity and the environment. Here, we test predictions of the elevational diversity gradient focusing on Iberian bumblebees, grasshoppers and birds. Processes mediated by local abundance and regional diversity concur in explaining local diversity patterns along elevation. Effects expressed through variation in abundance were similar among taxa and point to the overriding role of a physical factor, temperature. This determines how energy is distributed among individuals and ultimately how the resulting pattern of abundance affects species incidence. Effects expressed through variation in regional species pools depended instead on taxon-specific evolutionary history, and lead to diverging responses under similar environmental pressures. Local filters and regional variation also explain functional diversity gradients, in line with results from species richness that indicate an (local) ecological and (regional) historical unfolding of diversity-elevation relationships. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Thermodynamics, ecology and evolutionary biology: A bridge over troubled water or common ground?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skene, Keith R.

    2017-11-01

    This paper addresses a key issue confronting ecological and evolutionary biology, namely the challenge of a cohesive approach to these fields given significant differences in the concepts and foundations of their study. Yet these two areas of scientific research are paramount in terms addressing the spatial and temporal dynamics and distribution of diversity, an understanding of which is needed if we are to resolve the current crisis facing the biosphere. The importance of understanding how nature responds to change is now of essential rather than of metaphysical interest as our planet struggles with increasing anthropogenic damage. Ecology and evolutionary biology can no longer remain disjointed. While some progress has been made in terms of synthetic thinking across these areas, this has often been in terms of bridge building, where thinking in one aspect is extended over to the other side. We review these bridges and the success or otherwise of such efforts. This paper then suggests that in order to move from a descriptive to a mechanistic understanding of the biosphere, we may need to re-evaluate our approach to the studies of ecology and evolutionary biology, finding a common denominator that will enable us to address the critical issues facing us, particularly in terms of understanding what drives change, what determines tempo and how communities function. Common ground, we argue, is essential if we are to comprehend how resilience operates in the natural world and how diversification can counter increasing extinction rates. This paper suggests that thermodynamics may provide a bridge between ecology and evolutionary biology, and that this will enable us to move forward with otherwise intractable problems.

  6. The evolutionary and ecological consequences of animal social networks: emerging issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurvers, Ralf H J M; Krause, Jens; Croft, Darren P; Wilson, Alexander D M; Wolf, Max

    2014-06-01

    The first generation of research on animal social networks was primarily aimed at introducing the concept of social networks to the fields of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology. More recently, a diverse body of evidence has shown that social fine structure matters on a broader scale than initially expected, affecting many key ecological and evolutionary processes. Here, we review this development. We discuss the effects of social network structure on evolutionary dynamics (genetic drift, fixation probabilities, and frequency-dependent selection) and social evolution (cooperation and between-individual behavioural differences). We discuss how social network structure can affect important coevolutionary processes (host-pathogen interactions and mutualisms) and population stability. We also discuss the potentially important, but poorly studied, role of social network structure on dispersal and invasion. Throughout, we highlight important areas for future research. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Unexpected Nongenetic Individual Heterogeneity and Trait Covariance in Daphnia and Its Consequences for Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cressler, Clayton E; Bengtson, Stefan; Nelson, William A

    2017-07-01

    Individual differences in genetics, age, or environment can cause tremendous differences in individual life-history traits. This individual heterogeneity generates demographic heterogeneity at the population level, which is predicted to have a strong impact on both ecological and evolutionary dynamics. However, we know surprisingly little about the sources of individual heterogeneity for particular taxa or how different sources scale up to impact ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Here we experimentally study the individual heterogeneity that emerges from both genetic and nongenetic sources in a species of freshwater zooplankton across a large gradient of food quality. Despite the tight control of environment, we still find that the variation from nongenetic sources is greater than that from genetic sources over a wide range of food quality and that this variation has strong positive covariance between growth and reproduction. We evaluate the general consequences of genetic and nongenetic covariance for ecological and evolutionary dynamics theoretically and find that increasing nongenetic variation slows evolution independent of the correlation in heritable life-history traits but that the impact on ecological dynamics depends on both nongenetic and genetic covariance. Our results demonstrate that variation in the relative magnitude of nongenetic versus genetic sources of variation impacts the predicted ecological and evolutionary dynamics.

  8. An open future for ecological and evolutionary data?

    OpenAIRE

    Kenall, Amye; Harold, Simon; Foote, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    As part of BioMed Central’s open science mission, we are pleased to announce that two of our journals have integrated with the open data repository Dryad. Authors submitting their research to either BMC Ecology or BMC Evolutionary Biology will now have the opportunity to deposit their data directly into the Dryad archive and will receive a permanent, citable link to their dataset. Although this does not affect any of our current data deposition policies at these journals, we hope to encourage...

  9. A quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantitative approaches to measure and assess resilience are needed to bridge gaps between science, policy, and management. In this paper, we suggest a quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience. Ecological resilience as an emergent ecosystem phenomenon can be de...

  10. Ecological and evolutionary impacts of changing climatic variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez, Diego P; Gianoli, Ernesto; Morris, William F; Bozinovic, Francisco

    2017-02-01

    While average temperature is likely to increase in most locations on Earth, many places will simultaneously experience higher variability in temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables. Although ecologists and evolutionary biologists widely recognize the potential impacts of changes in average climatic conditions, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential impacts of changes in climatic variability and extremes. We review the evidence on the impacts of increased climatic variability and extremes on physiological, ecological and evolutionary processes at multiple levels of biological organization, from individuals to populations and communities. Our review indicates that climatic variability can have profound influences on biological processes at multiple scales of organization. Responses to increased climatic variability and extremes are likely to be complex and cannot always be generalized, although our conceptual and methodological toolboxes allow us to make informed predictions about the likely consequences of such climatic changes. We conclude that climatic variability represents an important component of climate that deserves further attention. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  11. Beyond exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity: A response based ecological framework to assess species climate change vulnerability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortini, Lucas B.; Schubert, Olivia

    2017-01-01

    As the impacts of global climate change on species are increasingly evident, there is a clear need to adapt conservation efforts worldwide. Species vulnerability assessments (VAs) are increasingly used to summarize all relevant information to determine a species’ potential vulnerability to climate change and are frequently the first step in informing climate adaptation efforts. VAs commonly integrate multiple sources of information by utilizing a framework that distinguishes factors relevant to species exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. However, this framework was originally developed for human systems, and its use to evaluate species vulnerability has serious practical and theoretical limitations. By instead defining vulnerability as the degree to which a species is unable to exhibit any of the responses necessary for persistence under climate change (i.e., toleration of projected changes, migration to new climate-compatible areas, enduring in microrefugia, and evolutionary adaptation), we can bring VAs into the realm of ecological science without applying borrowed abstract concepts that have consistently challenged species-centric research and management. This response-based framework to assess species vulnerability to climate change allows better integration of relevant ecological data and past research, yielding results with much clearer implications for conservation and research prioritization.

  12. Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events : Challenges and directions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Pol, Martijn; Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Cornelissen, Johannes H.C.; Visser, Marcel E.

    2017-01-01

    More extreme climatic events (ECEs) are among the most prominent consequences of climate change. Despite a long-standing recognition of the importance of ECEs by paleo-ecologists and macro-evolutionary biologists, ECEs have only recently received a strong interest in the wider ecological and

  13. Space, time and thrips: biogeographic issues in the evolutionary ecology of Thysanoptera

    Science.gov (United States)

    John R. Grehan

    1991-01-01

    Most participants of this symposium will be concerned with understanding thrips ecology primarily in order to develop practical and effective control strategies. Questions dealing with historical aspects (evolution) may seem of only isolated "theoretical" interest with little significance for everyday pragmatic concerns. Evolutionary theory is widely...

  14. Interior Design Education within a Human Ecological Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaup, Migette L.; Anderson, Barbara G.; Honey, Peggy

    2007-01-01

    An education based in human ecology can greatly benefit interior designers as they work to understand and improve the human condition. Design programs housed in colleges focusing on human ecology can improve the interior design profession by taking advantage of their home base and emphasizing the human ecological framework in the design curricula.…

  15. Natural hybridization between Senecio jacobaea and Senecio aquaticus : ecological outcomes and evolutionary consequences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kirk, Heather Erin

    2009-01-01

    Plant hybridization has been shown to have important ecological and evolutionary consequences in a number of genera, including Senecio. Here, I investigate the possible consequences of natural hybridization between Senecio jacobaea and S. aquaticus. It is shown that many factors are involved in

  16. Leveraging ecological theory to guide natural product discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smanski, Michael J; Schlatter, Daniel C; Kinkel, Linda L

    2016-03-01

    Technological improvements have accelerated natural product (NP) discovery and engineering to the point that systematic genome mining for new molecules is on the horizon. NP biosynthetic potential is not equally distributed across organisms, environments, or microbial life histories, but instead is enriched in a number of prolific clades. Also, NPs are not equally abundant in nature; some are quite common and others markedly rare. Armed with this knowledge, random 'fishing expeditions' for new NPs are increasingly harder to justify. Understanding the ecological and evolutionary pressures that drive the non-uniform distribution of NP biosynthesis provides a rational framework for the targeted isolation of strains enriched in new NP potential. Additionally, ecological theory leads to testable hypotheses regarding the roles of NPs in shaping ecosystems. Here we review several recent strain prioritization practices and discuss the ecological and evolutionary underpinnings for each. Finally, we offer perspectives on leveraging microbial ecology and evolutionary biology for future NP discovery.

  17. Ecological divergence and evolutionary transition of resprouting types in Banksia attenuata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Tianhua

    2014-08-01

    Resprouting is a key functional trait that allows plants to survive diverse disturbances. The fitness benefits associated with resprouting include a rapid return to adult growth, early flowering, and setting seed. The resprouting responses observed following fire are varied, as are the ecological outcomes. Understanding the ecological divergence and evolutionary pathways of different resprouting types and how the environment and genetics interact to drive such morphological evolution represents an important, but under-studied, topic. In the present study, microsatellite markers and microevolutionary approaches were used to better understand: (1) whether genetic differentiation is related to morphological divergence among resprouting types and if so, whether there are any specific genetic variations associated with morphological divergence and (2) the evolutionary pathway of the transitions between two resprouting types in Banksia attenuata (epicormic resprouting from aerial stems or branch; resprouting from a underground lignotuber). The results revealed an association between population genetic differentiation and the morphological divergence of postfire resprouting types in B. attenuata. A microsatellite allele has been shown to be associated with epicormic populations. Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis revealed a likely evolutionary transition from epicormic to lignotuberous resprouting in B. attenuata. It is concluded that the postfire resprouting type in B. attenuata is likely determined by the fire's characteristics. The differentiated expression of postfire resprouting types in different environments is likely a consequence of local genetic adaptation. The capacity to shift the postfire resprouting type to adapt to diverse fire regimes is most likely the key factor explaining why B. attenuata is the most widespread member of the Banksia genus.

  18. An Evolutionary Optimization Framework for Neural Networks and Neuromorphic Architectures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuman, Catherine D [ORNL; Plank, James [University of Tennessee (UT); Disney, Adam [University of Tennessee (UT); Reynolds, John [University of Tennessee (UT)

    2016-01-01

    As new neural network and neuromorphic architectures are being developed, new training methods that operate within the constraints of the new architectures are required. Evolutionary optimization (EO) is a convenient training method for new architectures. In this work, we review a spiking neural network architecture and a neuromorphic architecture, and we describe an EO training framework for these architectures. We present the results of this training framework on four classification data sets and compare those results to other neural network and neuromorphic implementations. We also discuss how this EO framework may be extended to other architectures.

  19. Genes, communities & invasive species: understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdon, J J; Thrall, P H; Ericson, L

    2013-08-01

    Reciprocal interactions between hosts and pathogens drive ecological, epidemiological and co-evolutionary trajectories, resulting in complex patterns of diversity at population, species and community levels. Recent results confirm the importance of negative frequency-dependent rather than 'arms-race' processes in the evolution of individual host-pathogen associations. At the community level, complex relationships between species abundance and diversity dampen or alter pathogen impacts. Invasive pathogens challenge these controls reflecting the earliest stages of evolutionary associations (akin to arms-race) where disease effects may be so great that they overwhelm the host's and community's ability to respond. Viewing these different stabilization/destabilization phases as a continuum provides a valuable perspective to assessment of the role of genetics and ecology in the dynamics of both natural and invasive host-pathogen associations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. The AquaDEB project (phase I): Analysing the physiological flexibility of aquatic species and connecting physiological diversity to ecological and evolutionary processes by using Dynamic Energy Budgets

    OpenAIRE

    Alunno-bruscia, Marianne; Van Der Veer, Henk W.; Kooijman, Sebastiaan A.l.m.

    2009-01-01

    The European Research Project AquaDEB (2007–2011, http://www.ifremer.fr/aquadeb/) is joining skills and expertise of some French and Dutch research institutes and universities to analyse the physiological flexibility of aquatic organisms and to link it to ecological and evolutionary processes within a common theoretical framework for quantitative bioenergetics [Kooijman, S.A.L.M., 2000. Dynamic energy and mass budgets in biological systems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge]. The main sci...

  1. Human cognitive ecology: an instructive framework for comparative primatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Janet Dixon

    2004-03-01

    In this review, research on human cognitive ecology is compared with studies of the cognitive ecologies of apes-especially the common chimpanzee. The objective was to assess the feasibility of extending an activity-theory framework developed in studies of humans to an integrated approach for studying the cognitive accomplishments and skills of other primates living in the wild. Six generalizations were abstracted from studies of humans: 1) Social and material environments are arranged to facilitate production. 2) Human activity is shaped by conceptual and cultural principles that provide underlying logic for working knowledge and practice. 3) Schemata (multimodal, mental representations of procedures, strategies, and techniques) govern performance in a domain. 4) Working knowledge, skills, and social identities are co-constructed in communities of practice. 5) Rehearsal improves skilled performances, from which reputations as well as material products are derived. 6) Planning and emergence are in productive tension in human practices. These generalizations are applied to findings in the literature regarding the behavior of chimpanzees and other apes in the wild to assess the potential utility of a situated-activity approach for comparative studies of primate cognition. It is argued in the Discussion that schemata constitute a common core of higher primate intelligence. Planning, emergence, and alterations of the environment to facilitate production further characterize human and chimpanzee or gorilla behaviors to varying degrees. Less apparent in the nonhuman-primate literature is evidence of governing principles, rehearsal, and skill-based reputations or identities entailing theories of mind. Nonetheless, recent observations in the wild suggest that further research is warranted to explore the rudiments of each of these components to enhance our understanding of the ecology of primate cognition and its evolutionary history. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. The sociobiology of genes: the gene's eye view as a unifying behavioural-ecological framework for biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Tiège, Alexis; Van de Peer, Yves; Braeckman, Johan; Tanghe, Koen B

    2017-11-22

    Although classical evolutionary theory, i.e., population genetics and the Modern Synthesis, was already implicitly 'gene-centred', the organism was, in practice, still generally regarded as the individual unit of which a population is composed. The gene-centred approach to evolution only reached a logical conclusion with the advent of the gene-selectionist or gene's eye view in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas classical evolutionary theory can only work with (genotypically represented) fitness differences between individual organisms, gene-selectionism is capable of working with fitness differences among genes within the same organism and genome. Here, we explore the explanatory potential of 'intra-organismic' and 'intra-genomic' gene-selectionism, i.e., of a behavioural-ecological 'gene's eye view' on genetic, genomic and organismal evolution. First, we give a general outline of the framework and how it complements the-to some extent-still 'organism-centred' approach of classical evolutionary theory. Secondly, we give a more in-depth assessment of its explanatory potential for biological evolution, i.e., for Darwin's 'common descent with modification' or, more specifically, for 'historical continuity or homology with modular evolutionary change' as it has been studied by evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) during the last few decades. In contrast with classical evolutionary theory, evo-devo focuses on 'within-organism' developmental processes. Given the capacity of gene-selectionism to adopt an intra-organismal gene's eye view, we outline the relevance of the latter model for evo-devo. Overall, we aim for the conceptual integration between the gene's eye view on the one hand, and more organism-centred evolutionary models (both classical evolutionary theory and evo-devo) on the other.

  3. Phylogenetic niche conservatism and the evolutionary basis of ecological speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyron, R Alexander; Costa, Gabriel C; Patten, Michael A; Burbrink, Frank T

    2015-11-01

    Phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) typically refers to the tendency of closely related species to be more similar to each other in terms of niche than they are to more distant relatives. This has been implicated as a potential driving force in speciation and other species-richness patterns, such as latitudinal gradients. However, PNC has not been very well defined in most previous studies. Is it a pattern or a process? What are the underlying endogenous (e.g. genetic) and exogenous (e.g. ecological) factors that cause niches to be conserved? What degree of similarity is necessary to qualify as PNC? Is it possible for the evolutionary processes causing niches to be conserved to also result in niche divergence in different habitats? Here, we revisit these questions, codifying a theoretical and operational definition of PNC as a mechanistic evolutionary process resulting from several factors. We frame this both from a macroevolutionary and population-genetic perspective. We discuss how different axes of physical (e.g. geographic) and environmental (e.g. climatic) heterogeneity interact with the fundamental process of PNC to produce different outcomes of ecological speciation. We also review tests for PNC, and suggest ways that these could be improved or better utilized in future studies. Ultimately, PNC as a process has a well-defined mechanistic basis in organisms, and future studies investigating ecological speciation would be well served to consider this, and frame hypothesis testing in terms of the processes and expected patterns described herein. The process of PNC may lead to patterns where niches are conserved (more similar than expected), constrained (divergent within a limited subset of available niches), or divergent (less similar than expected), based on degree of phylogenetic relatedness between species. © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  4. Bridging developmental systems theory and evolutionary psychology using dynamic optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankenhuis, Willem E; Panchanathan, Karthik; Clark Barrett, H

    2013-07-01

    Interactions between evolutionary psychologists and developmental systems theorists have been largely antagonistic. This is unfortunate because potential synergies between the two approaches remain unexplored. This article presents a method that may help to bridge the divide, and that has proven fruitful in biology: dynamic optimization. Dynamic optimization integrates developmental systems theorists' focus on dynamics and contingency with the 'design stance' of evolutionary psychology. It provides a theoretical framework as well as a set of tools for exploring the properties of developmental systems that natural selection might favor, given particular evolutionary ecologies. We also discuss limitations of the approach. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Evolutionary impact assessment: accounting for evolutionary consequences of fishing in an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laugen, Ane T; Engelhard, Georg H; Whitlock, Rebecca; Arlinghaus, Robert; Dankel, Dorothy J; Dunlop, Erin S; Eikeset, Anne M; Enberg, Katja; Jørgensen, Christian; Matsumura, Shuichi; Nusslé, Sébastien; Urbach, Davnah; Baulier, Loїc; Boukal, David S; Ernande, Bruno; Johnston, Fiona D; Mollet, Fabian; Pardoe, Heidi; Therkildsen, Nina O; Uusi-Heikkilä, Silva; Vainikka, Anssi; Heino, Mikko; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D; Dieckmann, Ulf

    2014-03-01

    Managing fisheries resources to maintain healthy ecosystems is one of the main goals of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF). While a number of international treaties call for the implementation of EAF, there are still gaps in the underlying methodology. One aspect that has received substantial scientific attention recently is fisheries-induced evolution (FIE). Increasing evidence indicates that intensive fishing has the potential to exert strong directional selection on life-history traits, behaviour, physiology, and morphology of exploited fish. Of particular concern is that reversing evolutionary responses to fishing can be much more difficult than reversing demographic or phenotypically plastic responses. Furthermore, like climate change, multiple agents cause FIE, with effects accumulating over time. Consequently, FIE may alter the utility derived from fish stocks, which in turn can modify the monetary value living aquatic resources provide to society. Quantifying and predicting the evolutionary effects of fishing is therefore important for both ecological and economic reasons. An important reason this is not happening is the lack of an appropriate assessment framework. We therefore describe the evolutionary impact assessment (EvoIA) as a structured approach for assessing the evolutionary consequences of fishing and evaluating the predicted evolutionary outcomes of alternative management options. EvoIA can contribute to EAF by clarifying how evolution may alter stock properties and ecological relations, support the precautionary approach to fisheries management by addressing a previously overlooked source of uncertainty and risk, and thus contribute to sustainable fisheries.

  6. Making research relevant? Ecological methods and the ecosystem services framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root-Bernstein, Meredith; Jaksic, Fabián. M.

    2017-07-01

    We examine some unexpected epistemological conflicts that arise at the interfaces between ecological science, the ecosystem services framework, policy, and industry. We use an example from our own research to motivate and illustrate our main arguments, while also reviewing standard approaches to ecological science using the ecosystem services framework. While we agree that the ecosystem services framework has benefits in its industrial applications because it may force economic decision makers to consider a broader range of costs and benefits than they would do otherwise, we find that many alignments of ecology with the ecosystem services framework are asking questions that are irrelevant to real-world applications, and generating data that does not serve real-world applications. We attempt to clarify why these problems arise and how to avoid them. We urge fellow ecologists to reflect on the kind of research that can lead to both scientific advances and applied relevance to society. In our view, traditional empirical approaches at landscape scales or with place-based emphases are necessary to provide applied knowledge for problem solving, which is needed once decision makers identify risks to ecosystem services. We conclude that the ecosystem services framework is a good policy tool when applied to decision-making contexts, but not a good theory either of social valuation or ecological interactions, and should not be treated as one.

  7. The evolutionary ecology of cytonuclear interactions in angiosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Christina M; Case, Andrea L; Bailey, Maia F

    2012-11-01

    Interactions between cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes have significant evolutionary consequences. In angiosperms, the most common cytonuclear interaction is between mitochondrial genes that disrupt pollen production (cytoplasmic male sterility, CMS) and nuclear genes that restore it (nuclear male fertility restorers, Rf). The outcome of CMS/Rf interactions can depend on whether Rf alleles have negative pleiotropic effects on fitness. Although these fitness costs are often considered to be independent of the ecological context, we argue that the effects of Rf alleles on fitness should be context dependent. Thus, measuring the cost of restoration across a range of environments could help explain geographic and phylogenetic variation in the distribution of Rf alleles and the outcome of CMS/Rf interactions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Ecological opportunity and the adaptive diversification of lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellborn, Gary A; Langerhans, R Brian

    2015-01-01

    The tenet that ecological opportunity drives adaptive diversification has been central to theories of speciation since Darwin, yet no widely accepted definition or mechanistic framework for the concept currently exists. We propose a definition for ecological opportunity that provides an explicit mechanism for its action. In our formulation, ecological opportunity refers to environmental conditions that both permit the persistence of a lineage within a community, as well as generate divergent natural selection within that lineage. Thus, ecological opportunity arises from two fundamental elements: (1) niche availability, the ability of a population with a phenotype previously absent from a community to persist within that community and (2) niche discordance, the diversifying selection generated by the adaptive mismatch between a population's niche-related traits and the newly encountered ecological conditions. Evolutionary response to ecological opportunity is primarily governed by (1) spatiotemporal structure of ecological opportunity, which influences dynamics of selection and development of reproductive isolation and (2) diversification potential, the biological properties of a lineage that determine its capacity to diversify. Diversification under ecological opportunity proceeds as an increase in niche breadth, development of intraspecific ecotypes, speciation, and additional cycles of diversification that may themselves be triggered by speciation. Extensive ecological opportunity may exist in depauperate communities, but it is unclear whether ecological opportunity abates in species-rich communities. Because ecological opportunity should generally increase during times of rapid and multifarious environmental change, human activities may currently be generating elevated ecological opportunity - but so far little work has directly addressed this topic. Our framework highlights the need for greater synthesis of community ecology and evolutionary biology, unifying

  9. A Theoretical Framework for Ecological Interface Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vicente, Kim J.; Rasmussen, Jens

    1988-01-01

    A theoretical framework for designing interfaces for complex systems is de-scribed. The framework, called ecological interface design (EID), suggests a set of principles for designing interfaces in a way that supports the funda-mental properties of human cognition. The basis of EID is the skills...... of the task require. The EID approach extends the concept of direct manipulation inter-faces by taking into account the added complications introduced by complex systems. In this paper, we describe the development of the framework, its theoretical foundations, and examples of its application to various work...

  10. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges based on our review of the attributes of aquatic habitats and freshwater taxa (fishes and aquatic invertebrates) in arid Australia. We also identify methods of recognizing likely future refugia and approaches to assessing the vulnerability of arid-adapted freshwater biota to a warming and drying climate. Evolutionary refugia in arid areas are characterized as permanent, groundwater-dependent habitats (subterranean aquifers and springs) supporting vicariant relicts and short-range endemics. Ecological refuges can vary across space and time, depending on the dispersal abilities of aquatic taxa and the geographical proximity and hydrological connectivity of aquatic habitats. The most important are the perennial waterbodies (both groundwater and surface water fed) that support obligate aquatic organisms. These species will persist where suitable habitats are available and dispersal pathways are maintained. For very mobile species (invertebrates with an aerial dispersal phase) evolutionary refugia may also act as ecological refuges. Evolutionary refugia are likely future refugia because their water source (groundwater) is decoupled from local precipitation. However, their biota is extremely vulnerable to changes in local conditions because population extinction risks cannot be abated by the dispersal of individuals from other sites. Conservation planning must incorporate a high level of protection for aquifers that support refugial sites. Ecological refuges are vulnerable to changes in regional climate because they have little

  11. The extended evolutionary synthesis: its structure, assumptions and predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N.; Uller, Tobias; Feldman, Marcus W.; Sterelny, Kim; Müller, Gerd B.; Moczek, Armin; Jablonka, Eva; Odling-Smee, John

    2015-01-01

    Scientific activities take place within the structured sets of ideas and assumptions that define a field and its practices. The conceptual framework of evolutionary biology emerged with the Modern Synthesis in the early twentieth century and has since expanded into a highly successful research program to explore the processes of diversification and adaptation. Nonetheless, the ability of that framework satisfactorily to accommodate the rapid advances in developmental biology, genomics and ecology has been questioned. We review some of these arguments, focusing on literatures (evo-devo, developmental plasticity, inclusive inheritance and niche construction) whose implications for evolution can be interpreted in two ways—one that preserves the internal structure of contemporary evolutionary theory and one that points towards an alternative conceptual framework. The latter, which we label the ‘extended evolutionary synthesis' (EES), retains the fundaments of evolutionary theory, but differs in its emphasis on the role of constructive processes in development and evolution, and reciprocal portrayals of causation. In the EES, developmental processes, operating through developmental bias, inclusive inheritance and niche construction, share responsibility for the direction and rate of evolution, the origin of character variation and organism–environment complementarity. We spell out the structure, core assumptions and novel predictions of the EES, and show how it can be deployed to stimulate and advance research in those fields that study or use evolutionary biology. PMID:26246559

  12. Quantifying an Integral Ecology Framework: A Case Study of the Riverina, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Sarah A.; Haensch, Juliane; Edwards, Jane; Schirmer, Jackie; Zuo, Alec

    2018-02-01

    Communities in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin face the challenge of trying to achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainability; but experience entrenched conflict about the best way to achieve a sustainable future, especially for small rural communities. Integral ecology is a philosophical concept that seeks to address community, economic, social, and environmental sustainability simultaneously. Its inclusive processes are designed to reduce stakeholder conflict. However, to date the application of the integral ecology concept has been largely qualitative in nature. This study developed a quantitative integral ecology framework, and applied this framework to a case study of the Riverina, in the Murray-Darling Basin. Seventy-seven community-focused initiatives were assessed, ranked, and quantified. The majority of the community-focused ranked initiatives did not exhibit all aspects of integral ecology. Initiatives typically prioritized either (1) economic and community development or (2) environmental health; rarely both together. The integral ecology framework developed here enables recommendations on future community initiatives and may provide a pathway for community leaders and other policy-makers to more readily apply integral ecology objectives. Further research refining the framework's operationalization, application and implementation to a wider-scale may enhance communities' capacity to develop and grow sustainably.

  13. Techno-ecological synergy: a framework for sustainable engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakshi, Bhavik R; Ziv, Guy; Lepech, Michael D

    2015-02-03

    Even though the importance of ecosystems in sustaining all human activities is well-known, methods for sustainable engineering fail to fully account for this role of nature. Most methods account for the demand for ecosystem services, but almost none account for the supply. Incomplete accounting of the very foundation of human well-being can result in perverse outcomes from decisions meant to enhance sustainability and lost opportunities for benefiting from the ability of nature to satisfy human needs in an economically and environmentally superior manner. This paper develops a framework for understanding and designing synergies between technological and ecological systems to encourage greater harmony between human activities and nature. This framework considers technological systems ranging from individual processes to supply chains and life cycles, along with corresponding ecological systems at multiple spatial scales ranging from local to global. The demand for specific ecosystem services is determined from information about emissions and resource use, while the supply is obtained from information about the capacity of relevant ecosystems. Metrics calculate the sustainability of individual ecosystem services at multiple spatial scales and help define necessary but not sufficient conditions for local and global sustainability. Efforts to reduce ecological overshoot encourage enhancement of life cycle efficiency, development of industrial symbiosis, innovative designs and policies, and ecological restoration, thus combining the best features of many existing methods. Opportunities for theoretical and applied research to make this framework practical are also discussed.

  14. Anatomy, functional morphology, evolutionary ecology and systematics of the invasive gastropod Cipangopaludina japonica (Viviparidae: Bellamyinae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bocxlaer, Van B.; Strong, E.E.

    2016-01-01

    The anatomy, functional morphology and evolutionary ecology of the Viviparidae, and the subfamily Bellamyinae in particular, are incompletely known. Partly as a result, genealogical relationships within the family remain poorly understood. Because of this lack in knowledge, few informed hypotheses

  15. A Framework to Quantify the Strength of the Ecological Links ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthropogenic stressors such as climate change, fire, and pollution are driving shifts in ecosystem function and resilience. Scientists generally rely on biological indicators of these stressors to signal that ecosystem conditions have been altered beyond an acceptable amount. However, these biological indicators are not always capable of being directly related to ecosystem services that allow scientists to communicate the importance of the change to land managers and policy makers. Therefore, we developed the STEPS (STressor – Ecological Production function – final ecosystem goods and Services) Framework to link changes in a biological indicator of a stressor to Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS). The STEPS framework produces “chains” of ecological components that connect the change in a biological indicator to the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System (FEGS-CS). The series of ecological components is an ecological production functions (EPF) which links a biological indicator of a stressor to an ecological endpoint (i.e., FEGS) that is directly used, appreciated, or valued by humans. The framework uses a qualitative score (High, Medium, Low) for the Strength of Science (SOS) for the relationship between each of the components in the EPF to identify research gaps and prioritize decision making based on what research has been completed. The ecological endpoint of the EPF is a FEGS to which discrete Beneficiaries, or direct users

  16. The Sphagnome Project: enabling ecological and evolutionary insights through a genus-level sequencing project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weston, David J; Turetsky, Merritt R; Johnson, Matthew G; Granath, Gustaf; Lindo, Zoë; Belyea, Lisa R; Rice, Steven K; Hanson, David T; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Schmutz, Jeremy; Dorrepaal, Ellen; Euskirchen, Eugénie S; Stenøien, Hans K; Szövényi, Péter; Jackson, Michelle; Piatkowski, Bryan T; Muchero, Wellington; Norby, Richard J; Kostka, Joel E; Glass, Jennifer B; Rydin, Håkan; Limpens, Juul; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Ullrich, Kristian K; Carrell, Alyssa; Benscoter, Brian W; Chen, Jin-Gui; Oke, Tobi A; Nilsson, Mats B; Ranjan, Priya; Jacobson, Daniel; Lilleskov, Erik A; Clymo, R S; Shaw, A Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in ecological and evolutionary genetics with studies demonstrating how genes underlying plant and microbial traits can influence adaptation and even 'extend' to influence community structure and ecosystem level processes. Progress in this area is limited to model systems with deep genetic and genomic resources that often have negligible ecological impact or interest. Thus, important linkages between genetic adaptations and their consequences at organismal and ecological scales are often lacking. Here we introduce the Sphagnome Project, which incorporates genomics into a long-running history of Sphagnum research that has documented unparalleled contributions to peatland ecology, carbon sequestration, biogeochemistry, microbiome research, niche construction, and ecosystem engineering. The Sphagnome Project encompasses a genus-level sequencing effort that represents a new type of model system driven not only by genetic tractability, but by ecologically relevant questions and hypotheses. © 2017 UT-Battelle New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. Form of an evolutionary tradeoff affects eco-evolutionary dynamics in a predator-prey system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasada, Minoru; Yamamichi, Masato; Yoshida, Takehito

    2014-11-11

    Evolution on a time scale similar to ecological dynamics has been increasingly recognized for the last three decades. Selection mediated by ecological interactions can change heritable phenotypic variation (i.e., evolution), and evolution of traits, in turn, can affect ecological interactions. Hence, ecological and evolutionary dynamics can be tightly linked and important to predict future dynamics, but our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics is still in its infancy and there is a significant gap between theoretical predictions and empirical tests. Empirical studies have demonstrated that the presence of genetic variation can dramatically change ecological dynamics, whereas theoretical studies predict that eco-evolutionary dynamics depend on the details of the genetic variation, such as the form of a tradeoff among genotypes, which can be more important than the presence or absence of the genetic variation. Using a predator-prey (rotifer-algal) experimental system in laboratory microcosms, we studied how different forms of a tradeoff between prey defense and growth affect eco-evolutionary dynamics. Our experimental results show for the first time to our knowledge that different forms of the tradeoff produce remarkably divergent eco-evolutionary dynamics, including near fixation, near extinction, and coexistence of algal genotypes, with quantitatively different population dynamics. A mathematical model, parameterized from completely independent experiments, explains the observed dynamics. The results suggest that knowing the details of heritable trait variation and covariation within a population is essential for understanding how evolution and ecology will interact and what form of eco-evolutionary dynamics will result.

  18. An evolutionary framework for the Jovian and Saturnian satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stevenson, R.J.

    1987-01-01

    The position of the satellite within the protonebula, the influence of the parent planet, particularly the relative effects of tidal (gravitational) as opposed to radiogenic (internal) heat generating processes, as well as the type of ice, exert a control on the evolutionary histories of the Jovian and Saturnian satellites. The landscapes of the moons are modified by surface deformational processes (tectonic activity derived from within the body) and externally derived cratering. The geological history of the Galilean satellites is deduced from surface stratigraphic successions of geological units. Io and Europa, with crater-free surfaces, are tectonically more advanced than crater-saturated Callisto. Two thermal-drive models are proposed based on: an expression for externally derived gravitational influences between two bodies; and internal heat generation via radiogenic decay (expressed by surface area/volume ratio). Both parameters, for the Galilean satellites, are plotted against an inferred product of tectonic processes - the age of the surface terrain. From these diagrams, the tectonic evolutionary state of the more distant Saturnian system are predicted. These moons are fitted into an evolutionary framework for the Solar System. 34 refs.; 4 figs.; 2 tabs

  19. Does Gender Affect a Scientist's Research Output in Evolutionary Ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnet, Xavier; Shine, Richard; Lourdais, Olivier

    To examine how an author's gender influences his or her research output, the authors analyzed (not simply scored) more than 900 published articles in nine leading scientific journals in the field of evolutionary ecology. Women were strongly underrepresented in all countries, but this bias is decreasing. Men and women differed significantly in their fields of research, with women preferentially conducting projects on behavior rather than evolution or ecology. Most aspects of the structure of published articles and the level of conceptual generality were unaffected by an author's gender. Because discriminatory practices by reviewers and editors can be manifested in attributes of the articles that survive the review process, the latter result suggests a lack of gender-based discrimination during the review process. Gender differences in research output presumably reflect a complex array of genetic and social influences; a clearer understanding of these causal factors may help identify (and thus reduce) gender-based discrimination.

  20. Human drivers of ecological and evolutionary dynamics in emerging and disappearing infectious disease systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogalski, Mary A; Gowler, Camden D; Shaw, Clara L; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Duffy, Meghan A

    2017-01-19

    Humans have contributed to the increased frequency and severity of emerging infectious diseases, which pose a significant threat to wild and domestic species, as well as human health. This review examines major pathways by which humans influence parasitism by altering (co)evolutionary interactions between hosts and parasites on ecological timescales. There is still much to learn about these interactions, but a few well-studied cases show that humans influence disease emergence every step of the way. Human actions significantly increase dispersal of host, parasite and vector species, enabling greater frequency of infection in naive host populations and host switches. Very dense host populations resulting from urbanization and agriculture can drive the evolution of more virulent parasites and, in some cases, more resistant host populations. Human activities that reduce host genetic diversity or impose abiotic stress can impair the ability of hosts to adapt to disease threats. Further, evolutionary responses of hosts and parasites can thwart disease management and biocontrol efforts. Finally, in rare cases, humans influence evolution by eradicating an infectious disease. If we hope to fully understand the factors driving disease emergence and potentially control these epidemics we must consider the widespread influence of humans on host and parasite evolutionary trajectories.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. Molecular evolutionary rates are not correlated with temperature and latitude in Squamata: an exception to the metabolic theory of ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolland, Jonathan; Loiseau, Oriane; Romiguier, Jonathan; Salamin, Nicolas

    2016-05-20

    The metabolic theory of ecology stipulates that molecular evolutionary rates should correlate with temperature and latitude in ectothermic organisms. Previous studies have shown that most groups of vertebrates, such as amphibians, turtles and even endothermic mammals, have higher molecular evolutionary rates in regions where temperature is high. However, the association between molecular evolutionary rates and temperature or latitude has never been tested in Squamata. We used a large dataset including the spatial distributions and environmental variables for 1,651 species of Squamata and compared the contrast of the rates of molecular evolution with the contrast of temperature and latitude between sister species. Using major axis regressions and a new algorithm to choose independent sister species pairs, we found that temperature and absolute latitude were not associated with molecular evolutionary rates. This absence of association in such a diverse ectothermic group questions the mechanisms explaining current pattern of species diversity in Squamata and challenges the presupposed universality of the metabolic theory of ecology.

  2. Consumptive emasculation: the ecological and evolutionary consequences of pollen theft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, Anna L; Harder, Lawrence D; Johnson, Steven D

    2009-05-01

    Many of the diverse animals that consume floral rewards act as efficient pollinators; however, others 'steal' rewards without 'paying' for them by pollinating. In contrast to the extensive studies of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of nectar theft, pollen theft and its implications remain largely neglected, even though it affects plant reproduction more directly. Here we review existing studies of pollen theft and find that: (1) most pollen thieves pollinate other plant species, suggesting that theft generally arises from a mismatch between the flower and thief that precludes pollen deposition, (2) bees are the most commonly documented pollen thieves, and (3) the floral traits that typically facilitate pollen theft involve either spatial or temporal separation of sex function within flowers (herkogamy and dichogamy, respectively). Given that herkogamy and dichogamy occur commonly and that bees are globally the most important floral visitors, pollen theft is likely a greatly under-appreciated component of floral ecology and influence on floral evolution. We identify the mechanisms by which pollen theft can affect plant fitness, and review the evidence for theft-induced ecological effects, including pollen limitation. We then explore the consequences of pollen theft for the evolution of floral traits and sexual systems, and conclude by identifying key directions for future research.

  3. An integrated framework for health and ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, Glenn W.; Vermeire, Theo; Munns, Wayne R.; Sekizawa, Jun

    2005-01-01

    The worldHealth Organization's (WHO's) International Program for Chemical Safety has developed a framework for performing risk assessments that integrate the assessment of risks to human health and risks to nonhuman organisms and ecosystems. The WHO's framework recognizes that stakeholders and risk managers have their own processes that are parallel to the scientific process of risk assessment and may interact with the risk assessment at various points, depending on the context. Integration of health and ecology provides consistent expressions of assessment results, incorporates the interdependence of humans and the environment, uses sentinel organisms, and improves the efficiency and quality of assessments relative to independent human health and ecological risk assessments. The advantage of the framework to toxicologists lies in the opportunity to use understanding of toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics to inform the integrated assessment of all exposed species

  4. Riverscape genetics identifies replicated ecological divergence across an Amazonian ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Georgina M; Landguth, Erin L; Beheregaray, Luciano B

    2014-07-01

    Ecological speciation involves the evolution of reproductive isolation and niche divergence in the absence of a physical barrier to gene flow. The process is one of the most controversial topics of the speciation debate, particularly in tropical regions. Here, we investigate ecologically based divergence across an Amazonian ecotone in the electric fish, Steatogenys elegans. We combine phylogenetics, genome scans, and population genetics with a recently developed individual-based evolutionary landscape genetics approach that incorporates selection. This framework is used to assess the relative contributions of geography and divergent natural selection between environments as biodiversity drivers. We report on two closely related and sympatric lineages that exemplify how divergent selection across a major Amazonian aquatic ecotone (i.e., between rivers with markedly different hydrochemical properties) may result in replicated ecologically mediated speciation. The results link selection across an ecological gradient with reproductive isolation and we propose that assortative mating based on water color may be driving the divergence. Divergence resulting from ecologically driven selection highlights the importance of considering environmental heterogeneity in studies of speciation in tropical regions. Furthermore, we show that framing ecological speciation in a spatially explicit evolutionary landscape genetics framework provides an important first step in exploring a wide range of the potential effects of spatial dependence in natural selection. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Using an ecological ethics framework to make decisions about the relocation of wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Earl D; Berry, Kristin

    2008-12-01

    Relocation is an increasingly prominent conservation tool for a variety of wildlife, but the technique also is controversial, even among conservation practitioners. An organized framework for addressing the moral dilemmas often accompanying conservation actions such as relocation has been lacking. Ecological ethics may provide such a framework and appears to be an important step forward in aiding ecological researchers and biodiversity managers to make difficult moral choices. A specific application of this framework can make the reasoning process more transparent and give more emphasis to the strong sentiments about non-human organisms held by many potential users. Providing an example of the application of the framework may also increase the appeal of the reasoning process to ecological researchers and biodiversity managers. Relocation as a conservation action can be accompanied by a variety of moral dilemmas that reflect the interconnection of values, ethical positions, and conservation decisions. A model that is designed to address moral dilemmas arising from relocation of humans provides/demonstrates/illustrates a possible way to apply the ecological ethics framework and to involve practicing conservationists in the overall decision-making process.

  6. Perspectives on the evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolff, Jens; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2016-05-26

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important elements of the innate immune defence in multicellular organisms that target and kill microbes. Here, we reflect on the various points that are raised by the authors of the 11 contributions to a special issue of Philosophical Transactions on the 'evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides'. We see five interesting topics emerging. (i) AMP genes in insects, and perhaps in arthropods more generally, evolve much slower than most other immune genes. One explanation refers to the constraints set by AMPs being part of a finely tuned defence system. A new view argues that AMPs are under strong stabilizing selection. Regardless, this striking observation still invites many more questions than have been answered so far. (ii) AMPs almost always are expressed in combinations and sometimes show expression patterns that are dependent on the infectious agent. While it is often assumed that this can be explained by synergistic interactions, such interactions have rarely been demonstrated and need to be studied further. Moreover, how to define synergy in the first place remains difficult and needs to be addressed. (iii) AMPs play a very important role in mediating the interaction between a host and its mutualistic or commensal microbes. This has only been studied in a very small number of (insect) species. It has become clear that the very same AMPs play different roles in different situations and hence are under concurrent selection. (iv) Different environments shape the physiology of organisms; especially the host-associated microbial communities should impact on the evolution host AMPs. Studies in social insects and some organisms from extreme environments seem to support this notion, but, overall, the evidence for adaptation of AMPs to a given environment is scant. (v) AMPs are considered or already developed as new drugs in medicine. However, bacteria can evolve resistance to AMPs. Therefore, in the light of our

  7. The AquaDEB project (phase I): Analysing the physiological flexibility of aquatic species and connecting physiological diversity to ecological and evolutionary processes by using Dynamic Energy Budgets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alunno-Bruscia, Marianne; van der Veer, Henk W.; Kooijman, Sebastiaan A. L. M.

    2009-08-01

    The European Research Project AquaDEB (2007-2011, http://www.ifremer.fr/aquadeb/) is joining skills and expertise of some French and Dutch research institutes and universities to analyse the physiological flexibility of aquatic organisms and to link it to ecological and evolutionary processes within a common theoretical framework for quantitative bioenergetics [Kooijman, S.A.L.M., 2000. Dynamic energy and mass budgets in biological systems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge]. The main scientific objectives in AquaDEB are i) to study and compare the sensitivity of aquatic species (mainly molluscs and fish) to environmental variability of natural or human origin, and ii) to evaluate the related consequences at different biological levels (individual, population, ecosystem) and temporal scales (life cycle, population dynamics, evolution). At mid-term life, the AquaDEB collaboration has already yielded interesting results by quantifying bio-energetic processes of various aquatic species (e.g. molluscs, fish, crustaceans, algae) with a single mathematical framework. It has also allowed to federate scientists with different backgrounds, e.g. mathematics, microbiology, ecology, chemistry, and working in different fields, e.g. aquaculture, fisheries, ecology, agronomy, ecotoxicology, climate change. For the two coming years, the focus of the AquaDEB collaboration will be in priority: (i) to compare energetic and physiological strategies among species through the DEB parameter values and to identify the factors responsible for any differences in bioenergetics and physiology; and to compare dynamic (DEB) versus static (SEB) energy models to study the physiological performance of aquatic species; (ii) to consider different scenarios of environmental disruption (excess of nutrients, diffuse or massive pollution, exploitation by man, climate change) to forecast effects on growth, reproduction and survival of key species; (iii) to scale up the models for a few species from

  8. TINNITUS WHAT AND WHERE: AN ECOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grant Donald Searchfield

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Tinnitus is an interaction of the environment, cognition and plasticity. The connection between the individual with tinnitus and their world seldom receives attention in neurophysiological research. As well as changes in cell excitability, an individual’s culture and beliefs, work and social environs may all influence how tinnitus is perceived. In this review an ecological framework for current neurophysiological evidence is considered. The model defines tinnitus as the perception of an auditory object in the absence of an acoustic event. It is hypothesized that following deafferentation: adaptive feature extraction, schema and semantic object formation processes lead to tinnitus in a manner predicted by Adaptation Level Theory (1, 2. Evidence from physiological studies are compared to the tenants of the proposed ecological model. The consideration of diverse events within an ecological context may unite seemingly disparate neurophysiological models.

  9. Evolutionary adaptations: theoretical and practical implications for visual ergonomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fostervold, Knut Inge; Watten, Reidulf G; Volden, Frode

    2014-01-01

    The literature discussing visual ergonomics often mention that human vision is adapted to light emitted by the sun. However, theoretical and practical implications of this viewpoint is seldom discussed or taken into account. The paper discusses some of the main theoretical implications of an evolutionary approach to visual ergonomics. Based on interactional theory and ideas from ecological psychology an evolutionary stress model is proposed as a theoretical framework for future research in ergonomics and human factors. The model stresses the importance of developing work environments that fits with our evolutionary adaptations. In accordance with evolutionary psychology, the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) and evolutionarily-novel environments (EN) are used as key concepts. Using work with visual display units (VDU) as an example, the paper discusses how this knowledge can be utilized in an ergonomic analysis of risk factors in the work environment. The paper emphasises the importance of incorporating evolutionary theory in the field of ergonomics. Further, the paper encourages scientific practices that further our understanding of any phenomena beyond the borders of traditional proximal explanations.

  10. The deep subterranean environment as a potential model system in ecological, biogeographical and evolutionary research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sánchez-Fernández

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the main challenges in ecology, biogeography and evolution is to understand and predict how species may respond to environmental changes. Here we focus on the deep subterranean environment, a system that minimizes most of the typical uncertainties of studies on epigean (surface environments. Caves are relatively homogeneous habitats with nearly constant environmental conditions and simplified biological communities, allowing to control for biotic interactions. Thus, this particular system could be considered a natural habitat whose environmental conditions are similar to what can be reproduced in a laboratory, being an ideal model system for ecological, biogeographical and evolutionary studies. Subterranean species may potentially be used to assess the capability to persist in situ in a global change scenario, as they cannot accommodate to drastic changing conditions by behavioural plasticity, microhabitat use or by migrating to distant, more suitable areas, something frequent in epigean environments. In order to provide accurate predictions of the response of the subterranean biodiversity to climate change, we encourage evolutionary biologist, biogeographers and conservation biologist to work in this interesting ecosystem.

  11. An integrated conceptual framework for long-term social-ecological research

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.L. Collins; S.R. Carpenter; S.M. Swinton; D.E. Orenstein; D.L. Childers; T.L. Gragson; N.B. Grimm; J.M. Grove; S.L. Harlan; J.P. Kaye; A.K. Knapp; G.P. Kofinas; J.J. Magnuson; W.H. McDowell; J.M. Melack; L.A. Ogden; G.P. Robertson; M.D. Smith; A.C. Whitmer

    2010-01-01

    The global reach of human activities affects all natural ecosystems, so that the environment is best viewed as a social-ecological system. Consequently, a more integrative approach to environmental science, one that bridges the biophysical and social domains, is sorely needed. Although models and frameworks for social-ecological systems exist, few are explicitly...

  12. Using an ecological ethics framework to make decisions about the relocation of wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, E.D.; Berry, K.

    2008-01-01

    Relocation is an increasingly prominent conservation tool for a variety of wildlife, but the technique also is controversial, even among conservation practitioners. An organized framework for addressing the moral dilemmas often accompanying conservation actions such as relocation has been lacking. Ecological ethics may provide such a framework and appears to be an important step forward in aiding ecological researchers and biodiversity managers to make difficult moral choices. A specific application of this framework can make the reasoning process more transparent and give more emphasis to the strong sentiments about non-human organisms held by many potential users. Providing an example of the application of the framework may also increase the appeal of the reasoning process to ecological researchers and biodiversity managers. Relocation as a conservation action can be accompanied by a variety of moral dilemmas that reflect the interconnection of values, ethical positions, and conservation decisions. A model that is designed to address moral dilemmas arising from relocation of humans provides/demonstrates/illustrates a possible way to apply the ecological ethics framework and to involve practicing conservationists in the overall decision-making process. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  13. An evolutionary framework for cultural change: Selectionism versus communal exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabora, Liane

    2013-06-01

    Dawkins' replicator-based conception of evolution has led to widespread mis-application of selectionism across the social sciences because it does not address the paradox that necessitated the theory of natural selection in the first place: how do organisms accumulate change when traits acquired over their lifetime are obliterated? This is addressed by von Neumann's concept of a self-replicating automaton (SRA). A SRA consists of a self-assembly code that is used in two distinct ways: (1) actively deciphered during development to construct a self-similar replicant, and (2) passively copied to the replicant to ensure that it can reproduce. Information that is acquired over a lifetime is not transmitted to offspring, whereas information that is inherited during copying is transmitted. In cultural evolution there is no mechanism for discarding acquired change. Acquired change can accumulate orders of magnitude faster than, and quickly overwhelm, inherited change due to differential replication of variants in response to selection. This prohibits a selectionist but not an evolutionary framework for culture and the creative processes that fuel it. The importance non-Darwinian processes in biological evolution is increasingly recognized. Recent work on the origin of life suggests that early life evolved through a non-Darwinian process referred to as communal exchange that does not involve a self-assembly code, and that natural selection emerged from this more haphazard, ancestral evolutionary process. It is proposed that communal exchange provides an evolutionary framework for culture that enables specification of cognitive features necessary for a (real or artificial) societies to evolve culture. This is supported by a computational model of cultural evolution and a conceptual network based program for documenting material cultural history, and it is consistent with high levels of human cooperation.

  14. Deathly drool: evolutionary and ecological basis of septic bacteria in Komodo dragon mouths.

    OpenAIRE

    J J Bull; Tim S Jessop; Marvin Whiteley

    2010-01-01

    Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizard, dispatch their large ungulate prey by biting and tearing flesh. If a prey escapes, oral bacteria inoculated into the wound reputedly induce a sepsis that augments later prey capture by the same or other lizards. However, the ecological and evolutionary basis of sepsis in Komodo prey acquisition is controversial. Two models have been proposed. The ?bacteria as venom? model postulates that the oral flora directly benefits the lizard in prey capture ir...

  15. Lessons in modularity: the evolutionary ecology of colonial invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger N. Hughes

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Benthic colonial invertebrates share with higher plants a modular construction and a sessile adult life. Both types of organism show parallel evolutionary responses to common selective forces, but in contrast to the long-established focus on plants, comparable study of colonial invertebrates has developed relatively recently, largely owing to the application of new techniques in image processing and molecular biology. Species whose life cycles are readily completed under laboratory conditions and whose colonies are easily propagated from cuttings provide powerful models for experimentally investigating fundamental evolutionary problems, including metabolic allometry, the manifestation of ageing and the origin of allorecognition systems. Free of the confounding influences of behavioural manipulation and costs of copulation, colonial invertebrates whose water-borne sperm fertilize retained eggs lend themselves well to the experimental study of cryptic female choice, sperm competition and sexual conflict. In these respects, it will be productive to adopt and extend theoretical frameworks developed for flowering plants to guide experimental investigation of modular animals. Since mate choice occurs at the cellular level in modular animals, reproductive isolation is uncorrelated with morphology and cryptic speciation is likely to be widespread.

  16. EvoluCode: Evolutionary Barcodes as a Unifying Framework for Multilevel Evolutionary Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linard, Benjamin; Nguyen, Ngoc Hoan; Prosdocimi, Francisco; Poch, Olivier; Thompson, Julie D

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary systems biology aims to uncover the general trends and principles governing the evolution of biological networks. An essential part of this process is the reconstruction and analysis of the evolutionary histories of these complex, dynamic networks. Unfortunately, the methodologies for representing and exploiting such complex evolutionary histories in large scale studies are currently limited. Here, we propose a new formalism, called EvoluCode (Evolutionary barCode), which allows the integration of different evolutionary parameters (eg, sequence conservation, orthology, synteny …) in a unifying format and facilitates the multilevel analysis and visualization of complex evolutionary histories at the genome scale. The advantages of the approach are demonstrated by constructing barcodes representing the evolution of the complete human proteome. Two large-scale studies are then described: (i) the mapping and visualization of the barcodes on the human chromosomes and (ii) automatic clustering of the barcodes to highlight protein subsets sharing similar evolutionary histories and their functional analysis. The methodologies developed here open the way to the efficient application of other data mining and knowledge extraction techniques in evolutionary systems biology studies. A database containing all EvoluCode data is available at: http://lbgi.igbmc.fr/barcodes.

  17. A framework for understanding the concerns of ecological designers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DeKay, M.

    1992-01-01

    This paper creates a theoretical framework of analysis for understanding the concerns and methods of ecological designers. Various definitions of ecological design are reviewed to show its basis in natural ecological systems, either as analog or as context, and its purpose as creating sustainability. Ecological design methods are categorized as conceptual, factual, or integrative. The characteristics and definitions of these methods are explained and several practitioners and theorists classified. Lyle's concept of ecosystematic order is used to show the basis of methods in either a building architecture or a landscape architecture perspective. A matrix is generated and applied to a representative of each category, showing the concerns of each in terms of the integration of human and natural ecosystem structure, function, and location

  18. Life on a block of limestone: Evolutionary, ecological and geological dynamics of isolated malacofaunas on tropical karst

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilthuizen, M.

    2011-01-01

    The karst formations of southeast Asia are a wonderful evolutionary and ecological experiment, and a sad example of observable extinction (Clements et al., 2006). In this paper, I shall focus on those in Malaysia and, in particular, on the land snail faunas that they support.

  19. Symbioses: a key driver of insect physiological processes, ecological interactions, evolutionary diversification, and impacts on humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.D. Klepzig; A.S. Adams; J. Handelsman; K.F. Raffa

    2009-01-01

    Symbiosis is receiving increased attention among all aspects of biology because of the unifying themes it helps construct across ecological,evolutionary, developmental, semiochemical, and pest management theory. Insects show a vast array of symbiotic relationships with a wide diversity of microorganisms. These relationships may confer a variety of benefits to the host...

  20. Evolutionary Awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Gorelik

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we advance the concept of “evolutionary awareness,” a metacognitive framework that examines human thought and emotion from a naturalistic, evolutionary perspective. We begin by discussing the evolution and current functioning of the moral foundations on which our framework rests. Next, we discuss the possible applications of such an evolutionarily-informed ethical framework to several domains of human behavior, namely: sexual maturation, mate attraction, intrasexual competition, culture, and the separation between various academic disciplines. Finally, we discuss ways in which an evolutionary awareness can inform our cross-generational activities—which we refer to as “intergenerational extended phenotypes”—by helping us to construct a better future for ourselves, for other sentient beings, and for our environment.

  1. A conceptual framework for the evolutionary origins of multicellularity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Libby, Eric; B Rainey, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of multicellular organisms from unicellular counterparts involved a transition in Darwinian individuality from single cells to groups. A particular challenge is to understand the nature of the earliest groups, the causes of their evolution, and the opportunities for emergence of Darwinian properties. Here we outline a conceptual framework based on a logical set of possible pathways for evolution of the simplest self-replicating groups. Central to these pathways is the recognition of a finite number of routes by which genetic information can be transmitted between individual cells and groups. We describe the form and organization of each primordial group state and consider factors affecting persistence and evolution of the nascent multicellular forms. Implications arising from our conceptual framework become apparent when attempting to partition fitness effects at individual and group levels. These are discussed with reference to the evolutionary emergence of individuality and its manifestation in extant multicellular life—including those of marginal Darwinian status. (paper)

  2. How Facilitation May Interfere with Ecological Speciation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Liancourt

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Compared to the vast literature linking competitive interactions and speciation, attempts to understand the role of facilitation for evolutionary diversification remain scarce. Yet, community ecologists now recognize the importance of positive interactions within plant communities. Here, we examine how facilitation may interfere with the mechanisms of ecological speciation. We argue that facilitation is likely to (1 maintain gene flow among incipient species by enabling cooccurrence of adapted and maladapted forms in marginal habitats and (2 increase fitness of introgressed forms and limit reinforcement in secondary contact zones. Alternatively, we present how facilitation may favour colonization of marginal habitats and thus enhance local adaptation and ecological speciation. Therefore, facilitation may impede or pave the way for ecological speciation. Using a simple spatially and genetically explicit modelling framework, we illustrate and propose some first testable ideas about how, when, and where facilitation may act as a cohesive force for ecological speciation. These hypotheses and the modelling framework proposed should stimulate further empirical and theoretical research examining the role of both competitive and positive interactions in the formation of incipient species.

  3. Evolutionary dynamics of ecological niche in three Rhinogobio fishes from the upper Yangtze River inferred from morphological traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Meirong; Liu, Fei; Lin, Pengcheng; Yang, Shaorong; Liu, Huanzhang

    2015-01-01

    In the past decades, it has been debated whether ecological niche should be conserved among closely related species (phylogenetic niche conservatism, PNC) or largely divergent (traditional ecological niche theory and ecological speciation) and whether niche specialist and generalist might remain in equilibrium or niche generalist could not appear. In this study, we employed morphological traits to describe ecological niche and test whether different niche dimensions exhibit disparate evolutionary patterns. We conducted our analysis on three Rhinogobio fish species (R. typus,R. cylindricus, and R. ventralis) from the upper Yangtze River, China. Among the 32 measured morphological traits except body length, PCA extracted the first four principal components with their loading scores >1.000. To find the PNC among species, Mantel tests were conducted with the Euclidean distances calculated from the four principal components (representing different niche dimensions) against the pairwise distances calculated from mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence variations. The results showed that the second and the third niche dimension, both related to swimming ability and behavior, exhibited phylogenetic conservatism. Further comparison on niche breadth among these three species revealed that the fourth dimension of R. typus showed the greatest width, indicating that this dimension exhibited niche generalism. In conclusion, our results suggested that different niche dimensions could show different evolutionary dynamic patterns: they may exhibit PNC or not, and some dimensions may evolve generalism. PMID:25691981

  4. Should we stay or should we go: mechanisms and ecological consequences for biofilm dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougald, Diane; Rice, Scott A; Barraud, Nicolas; Steinberg, Peter D; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2011-11-28

    In most environments, bacteria reside primarily in biofilms, which are social consortia of cells that are embedded in an extracellular matrix and undergo developmental programmes resulting in a predictable biofilm 'life cycle'. Recent research on many different bacterial species has now shown that the final stage in this life cycle includes the production and release of differentiated dispersal cells. The formation of these cells and their eventual dispersal is initiated through diverse and remarkably sophisticated mechanisms, suggesting that there are strong evolutionary pressures for dispersal from an otherwise largely sessile biofilm. The evolutionary aspect of biofilm dispersal is now being explored through the integration of molecular microbiology with eukaryotic ecological and evolutionary theory, which provides a broad conceptual framework for the diversity of specific mechanisms underlying biofilm dispersal. Here, we review recent progress in this emerging field and suggest that the merging of detailed molecular mechanisms with ecological theory will significantly advance our understanding of biofilm biology and ecology.

  5. Ecological and evolutionary processes at expanding range margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, C D; Bodsworth, E J; Wilson, R J; Simmons, A D; Davies, Z G; Musche, M; Conradt, L

    2001-05-31

    Many animals are regarded as relatively sedentary and specialized in marginal parts of their geographical distributions. They are expected to be slow at colonizing new habitats. Despite this, the cool margins of many species' distributions have expanded rapidly in association with recent climate warming. We examined four insect species that have expanded their geographical ranges in Britain over the past 20 years. Here we report that two butterfly species have increased the variety of habitat types that they can colonize, and that two bush cricket species show increased fractions of longer-winged (dispersive) individuals in recently founded populations. Both ecological and evolutionary processes are probably responsible for these changes. Increased habitat breadth and dispersal tendencies have resulted in about 3- to 15-fold increases in expansion rates, allowing these insects to cross habitat disjunctions that would have represented major or complete barriers to dispersal before the expansions started. The emergence of dispersive phenotypes will increase the speed at which species invade new environments, and probably underlies the responses of many species to both past and future climate change.

  6. Eco-evolutionary dynamics in a coevolving host-virus system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frickel, Jens; Sieber, Michael; Becks, Lutz

    2016-04-01

    Eco-evolutionary dynamics have been shown to be important for understanding population and community stability and their adaptive potential. However, coevolution in the framework of eco-evolutionary theory has not been addressed directly. Combining experiments with an algal host and its viral parasite, and mathematical model analyses we show eco-evolutionary dynamics in antagonistic coevolving populations. The interaction between antagonists initially resulted in arms race dynamics (ARD) with selective sweeps, causing oscillating host-virus population dynamics. However, ARD ended and populations stabilised after the evolution of a general resistant host, whereas a trade-off between host resistance and growth then maintained host diversity over time (trade-off driven dynamics). Most importantly, our study shows that the interaction between ecology and evolution had important consequences for the predictability of the mode and tempo of adaptive change and for the stability and adaptive potential of populations. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  7. Reverse Ecology: from systems to environments and back.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Roie; Borenstein, Elhanan

    2012-01-01

    The structure of complex biological systems reflects not only their function but also the environments in which they evolved and are adapted to. Reverse Ecology-an emerging new frontier in Evolutionary Systems Biology-aims to extract this information and to obtain novel insights into an organism's ecology. The Reverse Ecology framework facilitates the translation of high-throughput genomic data into large-scale ecological data, and has the potential to transform ecology into a high-throughput field. In this chapter, we describe some of the pioneering work in Reverse Ecology, demonstrating how system-level analysis of complex biological networks can be used to predict the natural habitats of poorly characterized microbial species, their interactions with other species, and universal patterns governing the adaptation of organisms to their environments. We further present several studies that applied Reverse Ecology to elucidate various aspects of microbial ecology, and lay out exciting future directions and potential future applications in biotechnology, biomedicine, and ecological engineering.

  8. The community ecology of pathogens: coinfection, coexistence and community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Gross, Kevin; Kendig, Amy E; Lacroix, Christelle; Mitchell, Charles E; Mordecai, Erin A; Power, Alison G

    2015-04-01

    Disease and community ecology share conceptual and theoretical lineages, and there has been a resurgence of interest in strengthening links between these fields. Building on recent syntheses focused on the effects of host community composition on single pathogen systems, we examine pathogen (microparasite) communities using a stochastic metacommunity model as a starting point to bridge community and disease ecology perspectives. Such models incorporate the effects of core community processes, such as ecological drift, selection and dispersal, but have not been extended to incorporate host-pathogen interactions, such as immunosuppression or synergistic mortality, that are central to disease ecology. We use a two-pathogen susceptible-infected (SI) model to fill these gaps in the metacommunity approach; however, SI models can be intractable for examining species-diverse, spatially structured systems. By placing disease into a framework developed for community ecology, our synthesis highlights areas ripe for progress, including a theoretical framework that incorporates host dynamics, spatial structuring and evolutionary processes, as well as the data needed to test the predictions of such a model. Our synthesis points the way for this framework and demonstrates that a deeper understanding of pathogen community dynamics will emerge from approaches working at the interface of disease and community ecology. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  9. On the origins of anticipation as an evolutionary framework: functional systems perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurismaa, Andres

    2015-08-01

    This paper discusses the problem of anticipation from an evolutionary and systems-theoretical perspective, developed in the context of Russian/Soviet evolutionary biological and neurophysiological schools in the early and mid-twentieth century. On this background, an outline is given of the epigenetic interpretation of anticipatory capacities formulated and substantiated by the eminent Russian neurophysiologist academician Peter K. Anokhin in the framework of functional systems theory. It is considered that several key positions of this theory are well confirmed by recent evidence on anticipation as an evolutionarily basic adaptive capacity, possibly inherent to the organization of life. In the field of neuroscience, the theory of functional systems may potentially facilitate future studies at the intersection of learning, development and evolution by representing an integrative approach to the problem of anticipation.

  10. A regional-scale ecological risk framework for environmental flow evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Gordon C.; Dickens, Chris; Hines, Eleanor; Wepener, Victor; Stassen, Retha; Quayle, Leo; Fouchy, Kelly; MacKenzie, James; Graham, P. Mark; Landis, Wayne G.

    2018-02-01

    Environmental flow (E-flow) frameworks advocate holistic, regional-scale, probabilistic E-flow assessments that consider flow and non-flow drivers of change in a socio-ecological context as best practice. Regional-scale ecological risk assessments of multiple stressors to social and ecological endpoints, which address ecosystem dynamism, have been undertaken internationally at different spatial scales using the relative-risk model since the mid-1990s. With the recent incorporation of Bayesian belief networks into the relative-risk model, a robust regional-scale ecological risk assessment approach is available that can contribute to achieving the best practice recommendations of E-flow frameworks. PROBFLO is a holistic E-flow assessment method that incorporates the relative-risk model and Bayesian belief networks (BN-RRM) into a transparent probabilistic modelling tool that addresses uncertainty explicitly. PROBFLO has been developed to evaluate the socio-ecological consequences of historical, current and future water resource use scenarios and generate E-flow requirements on regional spatial scales. The approach has been implemented in two regional-scale case studies in Africa where its flexibility and functionality has been demonstrated. In both case studies the evidence-based outcomes facilitated informed environmental management decision making, with trade-off considerations in the context of social and ecological aspirations. This paper presents the PROBFLO approach as applied to the Senqu River catchment in Lesotho and further developments and application in the Mara River catchment in Kenya and Tanzania. The 10 BN-RRM procedural steps incorporated in PROBFLO are demonstrated with examples from both case studies. PROBFLO can contribute to the adaptive management of water resources and contribute to the allocation of resources for sustainable use of resources and address protection requirements.

  11. Lessons from applied ecology: cancer control using an evolutionary double bind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatenby, Robert A; Brown, Joel; Vincent, Thomas

    2009-10-01

    Because the metastatic cascade is largely governed by the ability of malignant cells to adapt and proliferate at the distant tissue site, we propose that disseminated cancers are analogous in many important ways to the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of exotic species. Although pests can be decimated through the application of chemical toxins, this strategy virtually never achieves robust control as evolution of resistant phenotypes typically permits population recovery to pretreatment levels. In general, biological strategies that introduce predators, parasitoids, or pathogens have achieved more durable control of pest populations even after emergence of resistant phenotypes. From this we propose that long term outcome from any treatment strategy for invasive pests, including cancer, is not limited by evolution of resistance, but rather by the phenotypic cost of that resistance. If a cancerous cell's adaptation to therapy is achieved by upregulating xenobiotic metabolism or a redundant signaling pathway, the required investment in resources is small, and the original malignant phenotype remains essentially intact. As a result, the cancer cells' initial high level of fitness is little changed and unconstrained proliferation will resume once resistance evolves. Robust population control is possible if resistance to therapy requires a substantial and costly phenotypic adaptation that also significantly reduces the organism's fitness in its original niche: an evolutionary double bind.

  12. The relative importance of regional, local, and evolutionary factors structuring cryptobenthic coral-reef assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadia, Gabby N.; Tornabene, Luke; Smith, David J.; Pezold, Frank L.

    2018-03-01

    Factors shaping coral-reef fish species assemblages can operate over a wide range of spatial scales (local versus regional) and across both proximate and evolutionary time. Niche theory and neutral theory provide frameworks for testing assumptions and generating insights about the importance of local versus regional processes. Niche theory postulates that species assemblages are an outcome of evolutionary processes at regional scales followed by local-scale interactions, whereas neutral theory presumes that species assemblages are formed by largely random processes drawing from regional species pools. Indo-Pacific cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes are highly evolved, ecologically diverse, temporally responsive, and situated on a natural longitudinal diversity gradient, making them an ideal group for testing predictions from niche and neutral theories and effects of regional and local processes on species assemblages. Using a combination of ecological metrics (fish density, diversity, assemblage composition) and evolutionary analyses (testing for phylogenetic niche conservatism), we demonstrate that the structure of cryptobenthic fish assemblages can be explained by a mixture of regional factors, such as the size of regional species pools and broad-scale barriers to gene flow/drivers of speciation, coupled with local-scale factors, such as the relative abundance of specific microhabitat types. Furthermore, species of cryptobenthic fishes have distinct microhabitat associations that drive significant differences in assemblage community structure between microhabitat types, and these distinct microhabitat associations are phylogenetically conserved over evolutionary timescales. The implied differential fitness of cryptobenthic fishes across varied microhabitats and the conserved nature of their ecology are consistent with predictions from niche theory. Neutral theory predictions may still hold true for early life-history stages, where stochastic factors may be more

  13. Patterns in Orthoptera biodiversity. I. Adaptations in ecological and evolutionary contexts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio J. Bidau

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The Orthoptera have inhabited the Earth for ca 300 million years and today include about 25,000 described species. Although orthopterans are mainly known to the general public by their most conspicuous species such as rangeland grasshoppers, locusts, katydids and crickets, they include an amazing diversity of forms and life-styles. In this review, I bring together a series of facts about orthopteran biology that demonstrate their enormous biodiversity, concentrating on ecological and evolutionary characteristics such as habitat variation, modes of feeding, defense mechanisms and phase transformation. In a second part of this review I will consider subjects of more direct human interest as their use as food, their importance in folk medicine and their role as entertainment.

  14. Evolution Theory Teaching and Learning: What Conclusions Can We Get from Comparisons of Teachers' and Students' Conceptual Ecologies in Greece and Turkey?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanasiou, Kyriacos; Papadopoulou, Penelope

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we make an effort to compare studies that explore the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among Greek and Turkish students-future teachers, using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as the theoretical framework. We aimed to look into the acceptance and the understanding of evolutionary theory and also to…

  15. Ecological and evolutionary patterns of freshwater maturation in Pacific and Atlantic salmonines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloat, Matthew R.; Fraser, Dylan J.; Dunham, Jason B.; Falke, Jeffery A.; Jordan, Chris E.; McMillan, John R.; Ohms, Haley A.

    2014-01-01

    Reproductive tactics and migratory strategies in Pacific and Atlantic salmonines are inextricably linked through the effects of migration (or lack thereof) on age and size at maturity. In this review, we focus on the ecological and evolutionary patterns of freshwater maturation in salmonines, a key process resulting in the diversification of their life histories. We demonstrate that the energetics of maturation and reproduction provides a unifying theme for understanding both the proximate and ultimate causes of variation in reproductive schedules among species, populations, and the sexes. We use probabilistic maturation reaction norms to illustrate how variation in individual condition, in terms of body size, growth rate, and lipid storage, influences the timing of maturation. This useful framework integrates both genetic and environmental contributions to conditional strategies for maturation and, in doing so, demonstrates how flexible life histories can be both heritable and subject to strong environmental influences. We review evidence that the propensity for freshwater maturation in partially anadromous species is predictable across environmental gradients at geographic and local spatial scales. We note that growth is commonly associated with the propensity for freshwater maturation, but that life-history responses to changes in growth caused by temperature may be strikingly different than changes caused by differences in food availability. We conclude by exploring how contemporary management actions can constrain or promote the diversity of maturation phenotypes in Pacific and Atlantic salmonines and caution against underestimating the role of freshwater maturing forms in maintaining the resiliency of these iconic species.

  16. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N; Odling-Smee, John; Feldman, Marcus W; Kendal, Jeremy

    2009-08-01

    In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, "niche construction". This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory.

  17. Essential Annotation Schema for Ecology (EASE)-A framework supporting the efficient data annotation and faceted navigation in ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfaff, Claas-Thido; Eichenberg, David; Liebergesell, Mario; König-Ries, Birgitta; Wirth, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Ecology has become a data intensive science over the last decades which often relies on the reuse of data in cross-experimental analyses. However, finding data which qualifies for the reuse in a specific context can be challenging. It requires good quality metadata and annotations as well as efficient search strategies. To date, full text search (often on the metadata only) is the most widely used search strategy although it is known to be inaccurate. Faceted navigation is providing a filter mechanism which is based on fine granular metadata, categorizing search objects along numeric and categorical parameters relevant for their discovery. Selecting from these parameters during a full text search creates a system of filters which allows to refine and improve the results towards more relevance. We developed a framework for the efficient annotation and faceted navigation in ecology. It consists of an XML schema for storing the annotation of search objects and is accompanied by a vocabulary focused on ecology to support the annotation process. The framework consolidates ideas which originate from widely accepted metadata standards, textbooks, scientific literature, and vocabularies as well as from expert knowledge contributed by researchers from ecology and adjacent disciplines.

  18. Essential Annotation Schema for Ecology (EASE-A framework supporting the efficient data annotation and faceted navigation in ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claas-Thido Pfaff

    Full Text Available Ecology has become a data intensive science over the last decades which often relies on the reuse of data in cross-experimental analyses. However, finding data which qualifies for the reuse in a specific context can be challenging. It requires good quality metadata and annotations as well as efficient search strategies. To date, full text search (often on the metadata only is the most widely used search strategy although it is known to be inaccurate. Faceted navigation is providing a filter mechanism which is based on fine granular metadata, categorizing search objects along numeric and categorical parameters relevant for their discovery. Selecting from these parameters during a full text search creates a system of filters which allows to refine and improve the results towards more relevance. We developed a framework for the efficient annotation and faceted navigation in ecology. It consists of an XML schema for storing the annotation of search objects and is accompanied by a vocabulary focused on ecology to support the annotation process. The framework consolidates ideas which originate from widely accepted metadata standards, textbooks, scientific literature, and vocabularies as well as from expert knowledge contributed by researchers from ecology and adjacent disciplines.

  19. The ecological and evolutionary consequences of noise-induced acoustic habitat loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennessen, Jennifer Beissinger

    Anthropogenic threats are facilitating rapid environmental change and exerting novel pressures on the integrity of ecological patterns and processes. Currently, habitat loss is the leading factor contributing to global biodiversity loss. Noise created by human activities is nearly ubiquitous in terrestrial and marine systems, and causes acoustic habitat loss by interfering with species' abilities to freely send and receive critical acoustic biological information. My dissertation investigates how novel sounds from human activities affect ecological and evolutionary processes in space and time in marine and terrestrial systems, and how species may cope with this emerging novel pressure. Using species from both marine and terrestrial systems, I present results from a theoretical investigation, and four acoustic playback experiments combining laboratory studies and field trials, that reveal a range of eco-evolutionary consequences of noiseinduced acoustic habitat loss. First, I use sound propagation modeling to assess how marine shipping noise reduces communication space between mother-calf pairs of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis ), an important unit of an endangered species. I show that shipping noise poses significant challenges for mother-calf pairs, but that vocal compensation strategies can substantially improve communication space. Next, in a series of acoustic playback experiments I show that road traffic noise impairs breeding migration behavior and physiology of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus ). This work reveals the first evidence that traffic noise elicits a physiological stress response and suppresses production of antimicrobial peptides (a component of the innate immune response) in anurans. Further, wood frogs from populations with a history of inhabiting noisy sites mounted reduced physiological stress responses to continuous traffic noise exposure. This research using wood frogs suggests that chronic traffic noise exposure has

  20. Phanerozoic changes in hardpart availability and utilization in benthic communities: evolutionary ecology or evolutionary stratigraphy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kidwell, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Published experiments on modern communities and quantitative data from Miocene assemblages indicate that the accumulation of dead hardparts can drive specific changes in the composition of benthic communities (taphonomic feedback). Both opportunities and pathways of taphonomic feedback have changed over the Phanerozoic, however, owing to the evolution and environmental expansion of hardpart producers, utilizers, and destroyers. These changes were tracked using semi-quantitative estimates of hardpart availability based on familial diversity of the most abundant taxa, scored according to preservation potential at or near the seafloor. The data suggest a dramatic increase in hardpart availability from the Cambrian into the later Paleozoic, with a decline through the Mesozoic and Cenozoic related to the loss or dramatic reduction in calcitic epifauna, recliners on soft substrata, and large shelled nekton/plankton. The reduction in opportunities for taphonomic feedback among epifauna was accompanied by an increase in levels of infaunal interactions in the Cenozoic, which is characterized by fully three-dimensional shell gravels. In addition to evolutionary change in body sizes of hardpart producers and biotically-driven declines in certain benthic life habits, the change in pathways of taphonomic feedback was also a consequence of the large-scale shift from predominantly carbonate sedimentation in the Paleozoic to predominantly terrigenous sedimentation in the Cenozoic. For example, the waning of epifauna-dominated communities is closely associated with the restriction of level-bottom carbonate environments through the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic. The global evolution of sedimentary environments and their relative representation is important not only in its consequences for sampling but as a driving mechanism of evolutionary ecology of marine benthos.

  1. The Impact of Organismal Innovation on Functional and Ecological Diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainwright, Peter C; Price, Samantha A

    2016-09-01

    Innovations in organismal functional morphology are thought to be a major force in shaping evolutionary patterns, with the potential to drive adaptive radiation and influence the evolutionary prospects for lineages. But the evolutionary consequences of innovation are diverse and usually do not result in adaptive radiation. What factors shape the macroevolutionary impact of innovations? We assert that little is known in general about the macroevolutionary outcomes associated with functional innovations and we discuss a framework for studying biological innovations in an evolutionary context. Innovations are novel functional mechanisms that enhance organismal performance. The ubiquity of trade-offs in functional systems means that enhanced performance on one axis often occurs at the expense of performance on another axis, such that many innovations result in an exchange of performance capabilities, rather than an expansion. Innovations may open up new resources for exploitation but their consequences for functional and ecological diversification depend heavily on the adaptive landscape around these novel resources. As an example of a broader program that we imagine, we survey five feeding innovations in labrid fishes, an exceptionally successful and ecologically diverse group of reef fishes, and explore their impact on the rate of evolution of jaw functional morphology. All of the innovations provide performance enhancements and result in changes in patterns of resource use, but most are not associated with subsequent functional diversification or substantial ecological diversification. Because selection acts on a specific performance enhancement and not on the evolutionary potential of an innovation, the enhancement of diversity may be highly serendipitous. The macroevolutionary potential of innovations depends critically on the interaction between the performance enhancement and the ecological opportunity that is exposed. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford

  2. Biodiversity, Extinction, and Humanity’s Future: The Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Human Population and Resource Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick L. Hindmarsh

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Human actions have altered global environments and reduced biodiversity by causing extinctions and reducing the population sizes of surviving species. Increasing human population size and per capita resource use will continue to have direct and indirect ecological and evolutionary consequences. As a result, future generations will inhabit a planet with significantly less wildlife, reduced evolutionary potential, diminished ecosystem services, and an increased likelihood of contracting infectious disease. The magnitude of these effects will depend on the rate at which global human population and/or per capita resource use decline to sustainable levels and the degree to which population reductions result from increased death rates rather than decreased birth rates.

  3. Operationalizing ecological resilience at a landscape scale: A framework and case study from Silicon Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beller, E.; Robinson, A.; Grossinger, R.; Grenier, L.; Davenport, A.

    2015-12-01

    Adaptation to climate change requires redesigning our landscapes and watersheds to maximize ecological resilience at large scales and integrated across urban areas, wildlands, and a diversity of ecosystem types. However, it can be difficult for environmental managers and designers to access, interpret, and apply resilience concepts at meaningful scales and across a range of settings. To address this gap, we produced a Landscape Resilience Framework that synthesizes the latest science on the qualitative mechanisms that drive resilience of ecological functions to climate change and other large-scale stressors. The framework is designed to help translate resilience science into actionable ecosystem conservation and restoration recommendations and adaptation strategies by providing a concise but comprehensive list of considerations that will help integrate resilience concepts into urban design, conservation planning, and natural resource management. The framework is composed of seven principles that represent core attributes which determine the resilience of ecological functions within a landscape. These principles are: setting, process, connectivity, redundancy, diversity/complexity, scale, and people. For each principle we identify several key operationalizable components that help illuminate specific recommendations and actions that are likely to contribute to landscape resilience for locally appropriate species, habitats, and biological processes. We are currently using the framework to develop landscape-scale recommendations for ecological resilience in the heavily urbanized Silicon Valley, California, in collaboration with local agencies, companies, and regional experts. The resilience framework is being applied across the valley, including urban, suburban, and wildland areas and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Ultimately, the framework will underpin the development of strategies that can be implemented to bolster ecological resilience from a site to

  4. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M; Bezbradica, Jelena S; Van Kaer, Luc; Joyce, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective.

  5. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M.; Bezbradica, Jelena S.; Van Kaer, Luc; Joyce, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective. PMID:29312339

  6. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amrendra Kumar

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Type I natural killer T (NKT cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo perspective.

  7. The hormetic zone: an ecological and evolutionary perspective based upon habitat characteristics and fitness selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, P A

    2001-12-01

    Fitness varies nonlinearly with environmental variables such as temperature, water availability, and nutrition, with maximum fitness at intermediate levels between more stressful extremes. For environmental agents that are highly toxic at exposures that substantially exceed background levels, fitness is maximized at concentrations near zero--a phenomenon often referred to as hormesis. Two main components are suggested: (1) background hormesis, which derives from the direct adaptation of organisms to their habitats; and (2) stress-derived hormonesis, which derives from metabolic reserves that are maintained as an adaptation to environmental stresses through evolutionary time. These reserves provide protection from lesser correlated stresses. This article discusses illustrative examples, including ethanol and ionizing radiation, aimed at placing hormesis into an ecological and evolutionary context. A unifying approach comes from fitness-stress continua that underlie responses to abiotic variables, whereby selection for maximum metabolic efficiency and hence fitness in adaptation to habitats in nature underlies hormetic zones. Within this reductionist model, more specific metabolic mechanisms to explain hormesis are beginning to emerge, depending upon the agent and the taxon in question. Some limited research possibilities based upon this evolutionary perspective are indicated.

  8. The causal pie model: an epidemiological method applied to evolutionary biology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wensink, Maarten; Westendorp, Rudi G J; Baudisch, Annette

    2014-05-01

    A general concept for thinking about causality facilitates swift comprehension of results, and the vocabulary that belongs to the concept is instrumental in cross-disciplinary communication. The causal pie model has fulfilled this role in epidemiology and could be of similar value in evolutionary biology and ecology. In the causal pie model, outcomes result from sufficient causes. Each sufficient cause is made up of a "causal pie" of "component causes". Several different causal pies may exist for the same outcome. If and only if all component causes of a sufficient cause are present, that is, a causal pie is complete, does the outcome occur. The effect of a component cause hence depends on the presence of the other component causes that constitute some causal pie. Because all component causes are equally and fully causative for the outcome, the sum of causes for some outcome exceeds 100%. The causal pie model provides a way of thinking that maps into a number of recurrent themes in evolutionary biology and ecology: It charts when component causes have an effect and are subject to natural selection, and how component causes affect selection on other component causes; which partitions of outcomes with respect to causes are feasible and useful; and how to view the composition of a(n apparently homogeneous) population. The diversity of specific results that is directly understood from the causal pie model is a test for both the validity and the applicability of the model. The causal pie model provides a common language in which results across disciplines can be communicated and serves as a template along which future causal analyses can be made.

  9. Polymorphic Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A

    2016-06-07

    In this paper, I present an analytical framework for polymorphic evolutionary games suitable for explicitly modeling evolutionary processes in diploid populations with sexual reproduction. The principal aspect of the proposed approach is adding diploid genetics cum sexual recombination to a traditional evolutionary game, and switching from phenotypes to haplotypes as the new game׳s pure strategies. Here, the relevant pure strategy׳s payoffs derived by summing the payoffs of all the phenotypes capable of producing gametes containing that particular haplotype weighted by the pertinent probabilities. The resulting game is structurally identical to the familiar Evolutionary Games with non-linear pure strategy payoffs (Hofbauer and Sigmund, 1998. Cambridge University Press), and can be analyzed in terms of an established analytical framework for such games. And these results can be translated into the terms of genotypic, and whence, phenotypic evolutionary stability pertinent to the original game. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Essential Annotation Schema for Ecology (EASE)—A framework supporting the efficient data annotation and faceted navigation in ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichenberg, David; Liebergesell, Mario; König-Ries, Birgitta; Wirth, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Ecology has become a data intensive science over the last decades which often relies on the reuse of data in cross-experimental analyses. However, finding data which qualifies for the reuse in a specific context can be challenging. It requires good quality metadata and annotations as well as efficient search strategies. To date, full text search (often on the metadata only) is the most widely used search strategy although it is known to be inaccurate. Faceted navigation is providing a filter mechanism which is based on fine granular metadata, categorizing search objects along numeric and categorical parameters relevant for their discovery. Selecting from these parameters during a full text search creates a system of filters which allows to refine and improve the results towards more relevance. We developed a framework for the efficient annotation and faceted navigation in ecology. It consists of an XML schema for storing the annotation of search objects and is accompanied by a vocabulary focused on ecology to support the annotation process. The framework consolidates ideas which originate from widely accepted metadata standards, textbooks, scientific literature, and vocabularies as well as from expert knowledge contributed by researchers from ecology and adjacent disciplines. PMID:29023519

  11. Evolutionary disarmament in interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisdi, E; Geritz, S A

    2001-12-22

    Competitive asymmetry, which is the advantage of having a larger body or stronger weaponry than a contestant, drives spectacular evolutionary arms races in intraspecific competition. Similar asymmetries are well documented in interspecific competition, yet they seldom lead to exaggerated traits. Here we demonstrate that two species with substantially different size may undergo parallel coevolution towards a smaller size under the same ecological conditions where a single species would exhibit an evolutionary arms race. We show that disarmament occurs for a wide range of parameters in an ecologically explicit model of competition for a single shared resource; disarmament also occurs in a simple Lotka-Volterra competition model. A key property of both models is the interplay between evolutionary dynamics and population density. The mechanism does not rely on very specific features of the model. Thus, evolutionary disarmament may be widespread and may help to explain the lack of interspecific arms races.

  12. Framework for analyzing ecological trait-based models in multidimensional niche spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biancalani, Tommaso; DeVille, Lee; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    2015-05-01

    We develop a theoretical framework for analyzing ecological models with a multidimensional niche space. Our approach relies on the fact that ecological niches are described by sequences of symbols, which allows us to include multiple phenotypic traits. Ecological drivers, such as competitive exclusion, are modeled by introducing the Hamming distance between two sequences. We show that a suitable transform diagonalizes the community interaction matrix of these models, making it possible to predict the conditions for niche differentiation and, close to the instability onset, the asymptotically long time population distributions of niches. We exemplify our method using the Lotka-Volterra equations with an exponential competition kernel.

  13. Insect herbivores drive real-time ecological and evolutionary change in plant populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Johnson, Marc T J; Maron, John L; Salminen, Juha-Pekka

    2012-10-05

    Insect herbivores are hypothesized to be major factors affecting the ecology and evolution of plants. We tested this prediction by suppressing insects in replicated field populations of a native plant, Oenothera biennis, which reduced seed predation, altered interspecific competitive dynamics, and resulted in rapid evolutionary divergence. Comparative genotyping and phenotyping of nearly 12,000 O. biennis individuals revealed that in plots protected from insects, resistance to herbivores declined through time owing to changes in flowering time and lower defensive ellagitannins in fruits, whereas plant competitive ability increased. This independent real-time evolution of plant resistance and competitive ability in the field resulted from the relaxation of direct selective effects of insects on plant defense and through indirect effects due to reduced herbivory on plant competitors.

  14. Integrating Ecological and Evolutionary Context in the Study of Maternal Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheriff, Michael J; Bell, Alison; Boonstra, Rudy; Dantzer, Ben; Lavergne, Sophia G; McGhee, Katie E; MacLeod, Kirsty J; Winandy, Laurane; Zimmer, Cedric; Love, Oliver P

    2017-09-01

    Maternal stress can prenatally influence offspring phenotypes and there are an increasing number of ecological studies that are bringing to bear biomedical findings to natural systems. This is resulting in a shift from the perspective that maternal stress is unanimously costly, to one in which maternal stress may be beneficial to offspring. However, this adaptive perspective is in its infancy with much progress to still be made in understanding the role of maternal stress in natural systems. Our aim is to emphasize the importance of the ecological and evolutionary context within which adaptive hypotheses of maternal stress can be evaluated. We present five primary research areas where we think future research can make substantial progress: (1) understanding maternal and offspring control mechanisms that modulate exposure between maternal stress and subsequent offspring phenotype response; (2) understanding the dynamic nature of the interaction between mothers and their environment; (3) integrating offspring phenotypic responses and measuring both maternal and offspring fitness outcomes under real-life (either free-living or semi-natural) conditions; (4) empirically testing these fitness outcomes across relevant spatial and temporal environmental contexts (both pre- and post-natal environments); (5) examining the role of maternal stress effects in human-altered environments-i.e., do they limit or enhance fitness. To make progress, it is critical to understand the role of maternal stress in an ecological context and to do that, we must integrate across physiology, behavior, genetics, and evolution. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Cancer: an emergent property of disturbed resource-rich environments? Ecology meets personalized medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducasse, Hugo; Arnal, Audrey; Vittecoq, Marion; Daoust, Simon P; Ujvari, Beata; Jacqueline, Camille; Tissot, Tazzio; Ewald, Paul; Gatenby, Robert A; King, Kayla C; Bonhomme, François; Brodeur, Jacques; Renaud, François; Solary, Eric; Roche, Benjamin; Thomas, Frédéric

    2015-07-01

    For an increasing number of biologists, cancer is viewed as a dynamic system governed by evolutionary and ecological principles. Throughout most of human history, cancer was an uncommon cause of death and it is generally accepted that common components of modern culture, including increased physiological stresses and caloric intake, favor cancer development. However, the precise mechanisms for this linkage are not well understood. Here, we examine the roles of ecological and physiological disturbances and resource availability on the emergence of cancer in multicellular organisms. We argue that proliferation of 'profiteering phenotypes' is often an emergent property of disturbed, resource-rich environments at all scales of biological organization. We review the evidence for this phenomenon, explore it within the context of malignancy, and discuss how this ecological framework may offer a theoretical background for novel strategies of cancer prevention. This work provides a compelling argument that the traditional separation between medicine and evolutionary ecology remains a fundamental limitation that needs to be overcome if complex processes, such as oncogenesis, are to be completely understood.

  16. Social-ecological system framework: initial changes and continuing challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D. McGinnis

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The social-ecological system (SES framework investigated in this special issue enables researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds working on different resource sectors in disparate geographic areas, biophysical conditions, and temporal domains to share a common vocabulary for the construction and testing of alternative theories and models that determine which influences on processes and outcomes are especially critical in specific empirical settings. We summarize changes that have been made to this framework and discuss a few remaining ambiguities in its formulation. Specifically, we offer a tentative rearrangement of the list of relevant attributes of governance systems and discuss other ways to make this framework applicable to policy settings beyond natural resource settings. The SES framework will continue to change as more researchers apply it to additional contexts; the main purpose of this article is to delineate the version that served as the basis for the theoretical innovations and empirical analyses detailed in other contributions to this special issue.

  17. Ecological Risk Assessment Framework for Low-Altitude Overflights by Fixed-Wing and Rotary-Wing Military Aircraft

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Efroymson, R.A.

    2001-01-12

    This is a companion report to the risk assessment framework proposed by Suter et al. (1998): ''A Framework for Assessment of Risks of Military Training and Testing to Natural Resources,'' hereafter referred to as the ''generic framework.'' The generic framework is an ecological risk assessment methodology for use in environmental assessments on Department of Defense (DoD) installations. In the generic framework, the ecological risk assessment framework of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1998) is modified for use in the context of (1) multiple and diverse stressors and activities at a military installation and (2) risks resulting from causal chains, e.g., effects on habitat that indirectly impact wildlife. Both modifications are important if the EPA framework is to be used on military installations. In order for the generic risk assessment framework to be useful to DoD environmental staff and contractors, the framework must be applied to specific training and testing activities. Three activity-specific ecological risk assessment frameworks have been written (1) to aid environmental staff in conducting risk assessments that involve these activities and (2) to guide staff in the development of analogous frameworks for other DoD activities. The three activities are: (1) low-altitude overflights by fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft (this volume), (2) firing at targets on land, and (3) ocean explosions. The activities were selected as priority training and testing activities by the advisory committee for this project.

  18. The movement ecology of seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kathryn; van Dijk, Kor-Jent; Ruiz-Montoya, Leonardo; Kendrick, Gary A; Krauss, Siegfried L; Waycott, Michelle; Verduin, Jennifer; Lowe, Ryan; Statton, John; Brown, Eloise; Duarte, Carlos

    2014-11-22

    A movement ecology framework is applied to enhance our understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of movement in seagrasses: marine, clonal, flowering plants. Four life-history stages of seagrasses can move: pollen, sexual propagules, vegetative fragments and the spread of individuals through clonal growth. Movement occurs on the water surface, in the water column, on or in the sediment, via animal vectors and through spreading clones. A capacity for long-distance dispersal and demographic connectivity over multiple timeframes is the novel feature of the movement ecology of seagrasses with significant evolutionary and ecological consequences. The space-time movement footprint of different life-history stages varies. For example, the distance moved by reproductive propagules and vegetative expansion via clonal growth is similar, but the timescales range exponentially, from hours to months or centuries to millennia, respectively. Consequently, environmental factors and key traits that interact to influence movement also operate on vastly different spatial and temporal scales. Six key future research areas have been identified.

  19. A criteria and indicators monitoring framework for food forestry embedded in the principles of ecological restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hyeone; Higgs, Eric

    2018-02-02

    Food forestry is a burgeoning practice in North America, representing a strong multifunctional approach that combines agriculture, forestry, and ecological restoration. The Galiano Conservancy Association (GCA), a community conservation, restoration, and educational organization on Galiano Island, British Columbia in Canada, recently has created two food forests on their protected forested lands: one with primarily non-native species and the other comprising native species. These projects, aimed at food production, education, and promotion of local food security and sustainability, are also intended to contribute to the overall ecological integrity of the landscape. Monitoring is essential for assessing how effectively a project is meeting its goal and thus informing its adaptive management. Yet, presently, there are no comprehensive monitoring frameworks for food forestry available. To fill this need, this study developed a generic Criteria and Indicators (C&I) monitoring framework for food forestry, embedded in ecological restoration principles, by employing qualitative content analysis of 61 literature resources and semi-structured interviews with 16 experts in the fields of food forestry and ecological restoration. The generic C&I framework comprises 14 criteria, 39 indicators, and 109 measures and is intended to guide a comprehensive and systematic assessment for food forest projects. The GCA adapted the generic C&I framework to develop a customized monitoring framework. The Galiano C&I monitoring framework has comprehensive suite of monitoring parameters, which are collectively address multiple values and goals.

  20. The Cladistic Basis for the Phylogenetic Diversity (PD Measure Links Evolutionary Features to Environmental Gradients and Supports Broad Applications of Microbial Ecology’s “Phylogenetic Beta Diversity” Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Knight

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The PD measure of phylogenetic diversity interprets branch lengths cladistically to make inferences about feature diversity. PD calculations extend conventional specieslevel ecological indices to the features level. The “phylogenetic beta diversity” framework developed by microbial ecologists calculates PD-dissimilarities between community localities. Interpretation of these PD-dissimilarities at the feature level explains the framework’s success in producing ordinations revealing environmental gradients. An example gradients space using PD-dissimilarities illustrates how evolutionary features form unimodal response patterns to gradients. This features model supports new application of existing species-level methods that are robust to unimodal responses, plus novel applications relating to climate change, commercial products discovery, and community assembly.

  1. GIS Framework for Large River Geomorphic Classification to Aid in the Evaluation of Flow-Ecology Relationships

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vernon, Christopher R.; Arntzen, Evan V.; Richmond, Marshall C.; McManamay, R. A.; Hanrahan, Timothy P.; Rakowski, Cynthia L.

    2013-02-01

    Assessing the environmental benefits of proposed flow modification to large rivers provides invaluable insight into future hydropower project operations and relicensing activities. Providing a means to quantitatively define flow-ecology relationships is integral in establishing flow regimes that are mutually beneficial to power production and ecological needs. To compliment this effort an opportunity to create versatile tools that can be applied to broad geographic areas has been presented. In particular, integration with efforts standardized within the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA) is highly advantageous (Poff et al. 2010). This paper presents a geographic information system (GIS) framework for large river classification that houses a base geomorphic classification that is both flexible and accurate, allowing for full integration with other hydrologic models focused on addressing ELOHA efforts. A case study is also provided that integrates publically available National Hydrography Dataset Plus Version 2 (NHDPlusV2) data, Modular Aquatic Simulation System two-dimensional (MASS2) hydraulic data, and field collected data into the framework to produce a suite of flow-ecology related outputs. The case study objective was to establish areas of optimal juvenile salmonid rearing habitat under varying flow regimes throughout an impounded portion of the lower Snake River, USA (Figure 1) as an indicator to determine sites where the potential exists to create additional shallow water habitat. Additionally, an alternative hydrologic classification useable throughout the contiguous United States which can be coupled with the geomorphic aspect of this framework is also presented. This framework provides the user with the ability to integrate hydrologic and ecologic data into the base geomorphic aspect of this framework within a geographic information system (GIS) to output spatiotemporally variable flow-ecology relationship scenarios.

  2. The Significance of Wild Plants in the Evolutionary Ecology of Three Major Viruses Infecting Cultivated Sweetpotato in Uganda

    OpenAIRE

    Tugume Kajungu, Arthur

    2010-01-01

    The studies presented in this thesis contribute to the understanding of evolutionary ecology of three major viruses threatening cultivated sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas Lam) in East Africa: Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV; genus Potyvirus; Potyviridae), Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV; genus Crinivirus; Closteroviridae) and Sweet potato mild mottle virus (SPMMV; genus Ipomovirus; Potyviridae). The viruses were serologically detected and the positive results confirmed b...

  3. Toward an evolutionary definition of cheating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghoul, Melanie; Griffin, Ashleigh S; West, Stuart A

    2014-02-01

    The term "cheating" is used in the evolutionary and ecological literature to describe a wide range of exploitative or deceitful traits. Although many find this a useful short hand, others have suggested that it implies cognitive intent in a misleading way, and is used inconsistently. We provide a formal justification of the use of the term "cheat" from the perspective of an individual as a maximizing agent. We provide a definition for cheating that can be applied widely, and show that cheats can be broadly classified on the basis of four distinctions: (i) whether cooperation is an option; (ii) whether deception is involved; (iii) whether members of the same or different species are cheated; and (iv) whether the cheat is facultative or obligate. Our formal definition and classification provide a framework that allow us to resolve and clarify a number of issues, regarding the detection and evolutionary consequences of cheating, as well as illuminating common principles and similarities in the underlying selection pressures. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges based on our review of the attributes of aquati...

  5. Are hotspots of evolutionary potential adequately protected in southern California?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandergast, A.G.; Bohonak, A.J.; Hathaway, S.A.; Boys, J.; Fisher, R.N.

    2008-01-01

    Reserves are often designed to protect rare habitats, or "typical" exemplars of ecoregions and geomorphic provinces. This approach focuses on current patterns of organismal and ecosystem-level biodiversity, but typically ignores the evolutionary processes that control the gain and loss of biodiversity at these and other levels (e.g., genetic, ecological). In order to include evolutionary processes in conservation planning efforts, their spatial components must first be identified and mapped. We describe a GIS-based approach for explicitly mapping patterns of genetic divergence and diversity for multiple species (a "multi-species genetic landscape"). Using this approach, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA datasets from 21 vertebrate and invertebrate species in southern California to identify areas with common phylogeographic breaks and high intrapopulation diversity. The result is an evolutionary framework for southern California within which patterns of genetic diversity can be analyzed in the context of historical processes, future evolutionary potential and current reserve design. Our multi-species genetic landscapes pinpoint six hotspots where interpopulation genetic divergence is consistently high, five evolutionary hotspots within which genetic connectivity is high, and three hotspots where intrapopulation genetic diversity is high. These 14 hotspots can be grouped into eight geographic areas, of which five largely are unprotected at this time. The multi-species genetic landscape approach may provide an avenue to readily incorporate measures of evolutionary process into GIS-based systematic conservation assessment and land-use planning.

  6. Ecology and evolution of plant–pollinator interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Randall J.; Irwin, Rebecca E.; Flanagan, Rebecca J.; Karron, Jeffrey D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Some of the most exciting advances in pollination biology have resulted from interdisciplinary research combining ecological and evolutionary perspectives. For example, these two approaches have been essential for understanding the functional ecology of floral traits, the dynamics of pollen transport, competition for pollinator services, and patterns of specialization and generalization in plant–pollinator interactions. However, as research in these and other areas has progressed, many pollination biologists have become more specialized in their research interests, focusing their attention on either evolutionary or ecological questions. We believe that the continuing vigour of a synthetic and interdisciplinary field like pollination biology depends on renewed connections between ecological and evolutionary approaches. Scope In this Viewpoint paper we highlight the application of ecological and evolutionary approaches to two themes in pollination biology: (1) links between pollinator behaviour and plant mating systems, and (2) generalization and specialization in pollination systems. We also describe how mathematical models and synthetic analyses have broadened our understanding of pollination biology, especially in human-modified landscapes. We conclude with several suggestions that we hope will stimulate future research. This Viewpoint also serves as the introduction to this Special Issue on the Ecology and Evolution of Plant–Pollinator Interactions. These papers provide inspiring examples of the synergy between evolutionary and ecological approaches, and offer glimpses of great accomplishments yet to come. PMID:19482881

  7. Ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Randall J; Irwin, Rebecca E; Flanagan, Rebecca J; Karron, Jeffrey D

    2009-06-01

    Some of the most exciting advances in pollination biology have resulted from interdisciplinary research combining ecological and evolutionary perspectives. For example, these two approaches have been essential for understanding the functional ecology of floral traits, the dynamics of pollen transport, competition for pollinator services, and patterns of specialization and generalization in plant-pollinator interactions. However, as research in these and other areas has progressed, many pollination biologists have become more specialized in their research interests, focusing their attention on either evolutionary or ecological questions. We believe that the continuing vigour of a synthetic and interdisciplinary field like pollination biology depends on renewed connections between ecological and evolutionary approaches. In this Viewpoint paper we highlight the application of ecological and evolutionary approaches to two themes in pollination biology: (1) links between pollinator behaviour and plant mating systems, and (2) generalization and specialization in pollination systems. We also describe how mathematical models and synthetic analyses have broadened our understanding of pollination biology, especially in human-modified landscapes. We conclude with several suggestions that we hope will stimulate future research. This Viewpoint also serves as the introduction to this Special Issue on the Ecology and Evolution of Plant-Pollinator Interactions. These papers provide inspiring examples of the synergy between evolutionary and ecological approaches, and offer glimpses of great accomplishments yet to come.

  8. An Evolutionary Psychology Approach to Consumer Choice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZURINA BT MOHAIDIN

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Human behaviour can be explained not only through experience and environments but also by incorporating evolutionary explanation. Consumer behaviour could not be understood accurately without infusing Darwinian evolutionary theory which has contributed in the knowledge of human nature. Evolutionary psychology revolves around the human’s evolved mental and the impact on human’s traits and behaviour where the influence of the environment to our genes would determine our individual behaviour and traits, resulting in variation among us. Foraging which is a part of behavioural ecology involves many sequences or repetitions of animals’ activities and decision making which is useful to relate these patterns of activities to the decisions made in human consumption. The aim of this research is to investigate the similarities of human consumption and ecological behaviour by employing interpretative and comparative approach. It is hoped that by applying the evolutionary theory in explaining consumer choice, this study is able to contribute to the development of behavioural ecology in human consumption. The analysis of the data is done aggregately for 200 consumers and individually for 20 consumers, who have purchased four product categories over a year. This study concludes that the theories of evolutionary psychology can fit to the consumers’ buying behaviour implicating its usefulness in explaining the consumers’ choice.

  9. [A process of aquatic ecological function regionalization: The dual tree framework and conceptual model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Shu Hai; Wu, Bo

    2017-12-01

    Aquatic ecological regionalization and aquatic ecological function regionalization are the basis of water environmental management of a river basin and rational utilization of an aquatic ecosystem, and have been studied in China for more than ten years. Regarding the common problems in this field, the relationship between aquatic ecological regionalization and aquatic ecological function regionalization was discussed in this study by systematic analysis of the aquatic ecological zoning and the types of aquatic ecological function. Based on the dual tree structure, we put forward the RFCH process and the diamond conceptual model. Taking Liaohe River basin as an example and referring to the results of existing regionalization studies, we classified the aquatic ecological function regions based on three-class aquatic ecological regionalization. This study provided a process framework for aquatic ecological function regionalization of a river basin.

  10. Ecological Dynamics as a Theoretical Framework for Development of Sustainable Behaviours towards the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brymer, Eric; Davids, Keith

    2013-01-01

    This paper proposes how the theoretical framework of ecological dynamics can provide an influential model of the learner and the learning process to pre-empt effective behaviour changes. Here we argue that ecological dynamics supports a well-established model of the learner ideally suited to the environmental education context because of its…

  11. Game theory as a conceptual framework for managing insect pests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Joel S; Staňková, Kateřina

    2017-06-01

    For over 100 years it has been recognized that insect pests evolve resistance to chemical pesticides. More recently, managers have advocated restrained use of pesticides, crop rotation, the use of multiple pesticides, and pesticide-free sanctuaries as resistance management practices. Game theory provides a conceptual framework for combining the resistance strategies of the insects and the control strategies of the pest manager into a unified conceptual and modelling framework. Game theory can contrast an ecologically enlightened application of pesticides with an evolutionarily enlightened one. In the former case the manager only considers ecological consequences whereas the latter anticipates the evolutionary response of the pests. Broader applications of this game theory approach include anti-biotic resistance, fisheries management and therapy resistance in cancer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Local and global control of ecological and biological networks

    OpenAIRE

    Alessandro Ferrarini

    2014-01-01

    Recently, I introduced a methodological framework so that ecological and biological networks can be controlled both from inside and outside by coupling network dynamics and evolutionary modelling. The endogenous control requires the network to be optimized at the beginning of its dynamics (by acting upon nodes, edges or both) so that it will then go inertially to the desired state. Instead, the exogenous control requires that exogenous controllers act upon the network at each time step. By th...

  13. Nutritional ecology beyond the individual: a conceptual framework for integrating nutrition and social interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Buhl, Jerome; Charleston, Michael A; Sword, Gregory A; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2015-03-01

    Over recent years, modelling approaches from nutritional ecology (known as Nutritional Geometry) have been increasingly used to describe how animals and some other organisms select foods and eat them in appropriate amounts in order to maintain a balanced nutritional state maximising fitness. These nutritional strategies profoundly affect the physiology, behaviour and performance of individuals, which in turn impact their social interactions within groups and societies. Here, we present a conceptual framework to study the role of nutrition as a major ecological factor influencing the development and maintenance of social life. We first illustrate some of the mechanisms by which nutritional differences among individuals mediate social interactions in a broad range of species and ecological contexts. We then explain how studying individual- and collective-level nutrition in a common conceptual framework derived from Nutritional Geometry can bring new fundamental insights into the mechanisms and evolution of social interactions, using a combination of simulation models and manipulative experiments. © 2015 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  14. Investigating intertemporal choice through experimental evolutionary robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paglieri, Fabio; Parisi, Domenico; Patacchiola, Massimiliano; Petrosino, Giancarlo

    2015-06-01

    In intertemporal choices, subjects face a trade-off between value and delay: achieving the most valuable outcome requires a longer time, whereas the immediately available option is objectively poorer. Intertemporal choices are ubiquitous, and comparative studies reveal commonalities and differences across species: all species devalue future rewards as a function of delay (delay aversion), yet there is a lot of inter-specific variance in how rapidly such devaluation occurs. These differences are often interpreted in terms of ecological rationality, as depending on environmental factors (e.g., feeding ecology) and the physiological and morphological constraints of different species (e.g., metabolic rate). Evolutionary hypotheses, however, are hard to verify in vivo, since it is difficult to observe precisely enough real environments, not to mention ancestral ones. In this paper, we discuss the viability of an approach based on evolutionary robotics: in Study 1, we evolve robots without a metabolism in five different ecologies; in Study 2, we evolve metabolic robots (i.e., robots that consume energy over time) in three different ecologies. The intertemporal choices of the robots are analyzed both in their ecology and under laboratory conditions. Results confirm the generality of delay aversion and the usefulness of studying intertemporal choice through experimental evolutionary robotics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. The ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA): A new framework for developing regional environmental flow standards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poff, N.L.; Richter, B.D.; Arthington, A.H.; Bunn, S.E.; Naiman, R.J.; Kendy, E.; Acreman, M.; Apse, C.; Bledsoe, B.P.; Freeman, Mary C.; Henriksen, J.; Jacobson, R.B.; Kennen, J.G.; Merritt, D.M.; O'Keeffe, J. H.; Olden, J.D.; Rogers, K.; Tharme, R.E.; Warner, A.

    2010-01-01

    The flow regime is a primary determinant of the structure and function of aquatic and riparian ecosystems for streams and rivers. Hydrologic alteration has impaired riverine ecosystems on a global scale, and the pace and intensity of human development greatly exceeds the ability of scientists to assess the effects on a river-by-river basis. Current scientific understanding of hydrologic controls on riverine ecosystems and experience gained from individual river studies support development of environmental flow standards at the regional scale. 2. This paper presents a consensus view from a group of international scientists on a new framework for assessing environmental flow needs for many streams and rivers simultaneously to foster development and implementation of environmental flow standards at the regional scale. This framework, the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA), is a synthesis of a number of existing hydrologic techniques and environmental flow methods that are currently being used to various degrees and that can support comprehensive regional flow management. The flexible approach allows scientists, water-resource managers and stakeholders to analyse and synthesise available scientific information into ecologically based and socially acceptable goals and standards for management of environmental flows. 3. The ELOHA framework includes the synthesis of existing hydrologic and ecological databases from many rivers within a user-defined region to develop scientifically defensible and empirically testable relationships between flow alteration and ecological responses. These relationships serve as the basis for the societally driven process of developing regional flow standards. This is to be achieved by first using hydrologic modelling to build a 'hydrologic foundation' of baseline and current hydrographs for stream and river segments throughout the region. Second, using a set of ecologically relevant flow variables, river segments within the

  16. Evolutionary institutionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürstenberg, Dr Kai

    Institutions are hard to define and hard to study. Long prominent in political science have been two theories: Rational Choice Institutionalism (RCI) and Historical Institutionalism (HI). Arising from the life sciences is now a third: Evolutionary Institutionalism (EI). Comparative strengths and weaknesses of these three theories warrant review, and the value-to-be-added by expanding the third beyond Darwinian evolutionary theory deserves consideration. Should evolutionary institutionalism expand to accommodate new understanding in ecology, such as might apply to the emergence of stability, and in genetics, such as might apply to political behavior? Core arguments are reviewed for each theory with more detailed exposition of the third, EI. Particular attention is paid to EI's gene-institution analogy; to variation, selection, and retention of institutional traits; to endogeneity and exogeneity; to agency and structure; and to ecosystem effects, institutional stability, and empirical limitations in behavioral genetics. RCI, HI, and EI are distinct but complementary. Institutional change, while amenable to rational-choice analysis and, retrospectively, to criticaljuncture and path-dependency analysis, is also, and importantly, ecological. Stability, like change, is an emergent property of institutions, which tend to stabilize after change in a manner analogous to allopatric speciation. EI is more than metaphorically biological in that institutional behaviors are driven by human behaviors whose evolution long preceded the appearance of institutions themselves.

  17. A social-ecological framework: A model for addressing ethical practice in nursing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Patricia; Rushton, Cynda Hylton; Kurtz, Melissa; Wise, Brian; Jackson, Debra; Beaman, Adam; Broome, Marion

    2018-03-01

    To develop a framework to enable discussion, debate and the formulation of interventions to address ethical issues in nursing practice. Social, cultural, political and economic drivers are rapidly changing the landscape of health care in our local environments but also in a global context. Increasingly, nurses are faced with a range of ethical dilemmas in their work. This requires investigation into the culture of healthcare systems and organisations to identify the root causes and address the barriers and enablers of ethical practice. The increased medicalisation of health care; pressures for systemisation; efficiency and cost reduction; and an ageing population contribute to this complexity. Often, ethical issues in nursing are considered within the abstract and philosophical realm until a dilemma is encountered. Such an approach limits the capacity to tangibly embrace ethical values and frameworks as pathways to equitable, accessible, safe and quality health care and as a foundation for strengthening a supportive and enabling workplace for nurses and other healthcare workers. Conceptual framework development. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken using the social-ecological framework as an organising construct. This framework views ethical practice as the outcome of interaction among a range of factors at eight levels: individual factors (patients and families); individual factors (nurses); relationships between healthcare professionals; relationships between patients and nurses; organisational healthcare context; professional and education regulation and standards; community; and social, political and economic. Considering these elements as discrete, yet interactive and intertwined forces can be useful in developing interventions to promote ethical practice. We consider this framework to have utility in policy, practice, education and research. Nurses face ethical challenges on a daily basis, considering these within a social-ecological framework can

  18. The effects of ecology and evolutionary history on robust capuchin morphological diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Kristin A; Wright, Barth W; Ford, Susan M; Fragaszy, Dorothy; Izar, Patricia; Norconk, Marilyn; Masterson, Thomas; Hobbs, David G; Alfaro, Michael E; Lynch Alfaro, Jessica W

    2015-01-01

    Recent molecular work has confirmed the long-standing morphological hypothesis that capuchins are comprised of two distinct clades, the gracile (untufted) capuchins (genus Cebus, Erxleben, 1777) and the robust (tufted) capuchins (genus Sapajus Kerr, 1792). In the past, the robust group was treated as a single, undifferentiated and cosmopolitan species, with data from all populations lumped together in morphological and ecological studies, obscuring morphological differences that might exist across this radiation. Genetic evidence suggests that the modern radiation of robust capuchins began diversifying ∼2.5 Ma, with significant subsequent geographic expansion into new habitat types. In this study we use a morphological sample of gracile and robust capuchin craniofacial and postcranial characters to examine how ecology and evolutionary history have contributed to morphological diversity within the robust capuchins. We predicted that if ecology is driving robust capuchin variation, three distinct robust morphotypes would be identified: (1) the Atlantic Forest species (Sapajus xanthosternos, S. robustus, and S. nigritus), (2) the Amazonian rainforest species (S. apella, S. cay and S. macrocephalus), and (3) the Cerrado-Caatinga species (S. libidinosus). Alternatively, if diversification time between species pairs predicts degree of morphological difference, we predicted that the recently diverged S. apella, S. macrocephalus, S. libidinosus, and S. cay would be morphologically comparable, with greater variation among the more ancient lineages of S. nigritus, S. xanthosternos, and S. robustus. Our analyses suggest that S. libidinosus has the most derived craniofacial and postcranial features, indicative of inhabiting a more terrestrial niche that includes a dependence on tool use for the extraction of imbedded foods. We also suggest that the cranial robusticity of S. macrocephalus and S. apella are indicative of recent competition with sympatric gracile capuchin

  19. Population genetics meets ecological genomics and community ecology in Cornus Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding evolutionary/ecological consequences of alien pests on native forests is important to conservation. Cornus florida L. subsp. florida is an ecologically important understory tree in forests of the eastern United States but faces heavy mortality from dogwood anthracnose. Understanding ge...

  20. Translating ecology, physiology, biochemistry and population genetics research to meet the challenge of tick and tick-borne diseases in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerging and re-emerging tick-borne diseases threaten public health and the wellbeing of domestic animals and wildlife globally. The adoption of an evolutionary ecology framework aimed to diminish the impact of tick-borne diseases needs to be part of strategies to protect human and animal population...

  1. Improving the reviewing process in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grossman, G. D.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available I discuss current issues in reviewing and editorial practices in ecology and evolutionary biology and suggest possible solutions for current problems. The reviewing crisis is unlikely to change unless steps are taken by journals to provide greater inclusiveness and incentives to reviewers. In addition, both journals and institutions should reduce their emphasis on publication numbers (least publishable units and impact factors and focus instead on article synthesis and quality which will require longer publications. Academic and research institutions should consider reviewing manuscripts and editorial positions an important part of a researcher’s professional activities and reward them accordingly. Rewarding reviewers either monetarily or via other incentives such as free journal subscriptions may encourage participation in the reviewing process for both profit and non–profit journals. Reviewer performance will likely be improved by measures that increase inclusiveness, such as sending reviews and decision letters to reviewers. Journals may be able to evaluate the efficacy of their reviewing process by comparing citations of rejected but subsequently published papers with those published within the journal at similar times. Finally, constructive reviews: 1 identify important shortcomings and suggest solutions when possible, 2 distinguish trivial from non–trivial problems, and 3 include editor’s evaluations of the reviews including identification of trivial versus substantive comments (i.e., those that must be addressed.

  2. Ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a model facultative pathogen: Agrobacterium and crown gall disease of plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Ian S; Fuqua, Clay; Platt, Thomas G

    2018-01-01

    Many important pathogens maintain significant populations in highly disparate disease and non-disease environments. The consequences of this environmental heterogeneity in shaping the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of these facultative pathogens are incompletely understood. Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the causative agent for crown gall disease of plants has proven a productive model for many aspects of interactions between pathogens and their hosts and with other microbes. In this review, we highlight how this past work provides valuable context for the use of this system to examine how heterogeneity and transitions between disease and non-disease environments influence the ecology and evolution of facultative pathogens. We focus on several features common among facultative pathogens, such as the physiological remodelling required to colonize hosts from environmental reservoirs and the consequences of competition with host and non-host associated microbiota. In addition, we discuss how the life history of facultative pathogens likely often results in ecological tradeoffs associated with performance in disease and non-disease environments. These pathogens may therefore have different competitive dynamics in disease and non-disease environments and are subject to shifting selective pressures that can result in pathoadaptation or the within-host spread of avirulent phenotypes. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Species co-evolutionary algorithm: a novel evolutionary algorithm based on the ecology and environments for optimization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Wuzhao; Wang, Lei; Cai, Xingjuan

    2015-01-01

    and affect each other in many ways. The relationships include competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism and pythogenesis. In this paper, we consider the five relationships between solutions to propose a co-evolutionary algorithm termed species co-evolutionary algorithm (SCEA). In SCEA, five operators...

  4. Hierarchical structure of ecological and non-ecological processes of differentiation shaped ongoing gastropod radiation in the Malawi Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bocxlaer, Bert

    2017-09-13

    Ecological processes, non-ecological processes or a combination of both may cause reproductive isolation and speciation, but their specific roles and potentially complex interactions in evolutionary radiations remain poorly understood, which defines a central knowledge gap at the interface of microevolution and macroevolution. Here I examine genome scans in combination with phenotypic and environmental data to disentangle how ecological and non-ecological processes contributed to population differentiation and speciation in an ongoing radiation of Lanistes gastropods from the Malawi Basin. I found a remarkable hierarchical structure of differentiation mechanisms in space and time: neutral and mutation-order processes are older and occur mainly between regions, whereas more recent adaptive processes are the main driver of genetic differentiation and reproductive isolation within regions. The strongest differentiation occurs between habitats and between regions, i.e. when ecological and non-ecological processes act synergistically. The structured occurrence of these processes based on the specific geographical setting and ecological opportunities strongly influenced the potential for evolutionary radiation. The results highlight the importance of interactions between various mechanisms of differentiation in evolutionary radiations, and suggest that non-ecological processes are important in adaptive radiations, including those of cichlids. Insight into such interactions is critical to understanding large-scale patterns of organismal diversity. © 2017 The Author(s).

  5. Adaptive developmental delay in Chagas disease vectors: an evolutionary ecology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Menu

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The developmental time of vector insects is important in population dynamics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and in their responses to global climatic change. In the triatomines (Triatominae, Reduviidae, vectors of Chagas disease, evolutionary ecology concepts, which may allow for a better understanding of their biology, have not been applied. Despite delay in the molting in some individuals observed in triatomines, no effort was made to explain this variability.We applied four methods: (1 an e-mail survey sent to 30 researchers with experience in triatomines, (2 a statistical description of the developmental time of eleven triatomine species, (3 a relationship between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability, (4 a mathematical optimization model of evolution of developmental delay (diapause.85.6% of responses informed on prolonged developmental times in 5(th instar nymphs, with 20 species identified with remarkable developmental delays. The developmental time analysis showed some degree of bi-modal pattern of the development time of the 5(th instars in nine out of eleven species but no trend between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability was observed. Our optimization model predicts that the developmental delays could be due to an adaptive risk-spreading diapause strategy, only if survival throughout the diapause period and the probability of random occurrence of "bad" environmental conditions are sufficiently high.Developmental delay may not be a simple non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity in development time, and could be a form of adaptive diapause associated to a physiological mechanism related to the postponement of the initiation of reproduction, as an adaptation to environmental stochasticity through a spreading of risk (bet-hedging strategy. We identify a series of parameters that can be measured in the field and laboratory to test this hypothesis. The importance of these findings is

  6. Temporal knowledge and autobiographical memory: an evolutionary perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Skowronski, John J.; Sedikides, Constantine

    2007-01-01

    Section I: Philosophical issues 1. Evolutionary pyschology in the round , Robin Dunbar & Louise Barrett 2. The power of culture , Henry Plotkin 3. Evolution and psychology in philosophical perspective , Matteo Mameli 4. Niche construction, human behavioural ecology and evolutionary psychology , Kevin N Laland 5. Group level evolutionary processes , David Sloan Wilson Section II: The comparative Approach 6. Homologizing the mind , Drew Rendall, Hugh Nottman & John ...

  7. Investigating the evolution of apoptosis in malaria parasites: the importance of ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pollitt Laura C

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Apoptosis is a precisely regulated process of cell death which occurs widely in multicellular organisms and is essential for normal development and immune defences. In recent years, interest has grown in the occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular organisms. In particular, as apoptosis has been reported in a wide range of species, including protozoan malaria parasites and trypanosomes, it may provide a novel target for intervention. However, it is important to understand when and why parasites employ an apoptosis strategy before the likely long- and short-term success of such an intervention can be evaluated. The occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular parasites provides a challenge for evolutionary theory to explain as organisms are expected to have evolved to maximise their own proliferation, not death. One possible explanation is that protozoan parasites undergo apoptosis in order to gain a group benefit from controlling their density as this prevents premature vector mortality. However, experimental manipulations to examine the ultimate causes behind apoptosis in parasites are lacking. In this review, we focus on malaria parasites to outline how an evolutionary framework can help make predictions about the ecological circumstances under which apoptosis could evolve. We then highlight the ecological considerations that should be taken into account when designing evolutionary experiments involving markers of cell death, and we call for collaboration between researchers in different fields to identify and develop appropriate markers in reference to parasite ecology and to resolve debates on terminology.

  8. Deathly drool: evolutionary and ecological basis of septic bacteria in Komodo dragon mouths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, J J; Jessop, Tim S; Whiteley, Marvin

    2010-06-21

    Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizard, dispatch their large ungulate prey by biting and tearing flesh. If a prey escapes, oral bacteria inoculated into the wound reputedly induce a sepsis that augments later prey capture by the same or other lizards. However, the ecological and evolutionary basis of sepsis in Komodo prey acquisition is controversial. Two models have been proposed. The "bacteria as venom" model postulates that the oral flora directly benefits the lizard in prey capture irrespective of any benefit to the bacteria. The "passive acquisition" model is that the oral flora of lizards reflects the bacteria found in carrion and sick prey, with no relevance to the ability to induce sepsis in subsequent prey. A third model is proposed and analyzed here, the "lizard-lizard epidemic" model. In this model, bacteria are spread indirectly from one lizard mouth to another. Prey escaping an initial attack act as vectors in infecting new lizards. This model requires specific life history characteristics and ways to refute the model based on these characteristics are proposed and tested. Dragon life histories (some details of which are reported here) prove remarkably consistent with the model, especially that multiple, unrelated lizards feed communally on large carcasses and that escaping, wounded prey are ultimately fed on by other lizards. The identities and evolutionary histories of bacteria in the oral flora may yield the most useful additional insights for further testing the epidemic model and can now be obtained with new technologies.

  9. Eco-Evo-Devo: developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity as evolutionary agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Scott F; Bosch, Thomas C G; Ledón-Rettig, Cristina

    2015-10-01

    The integration of research from developmental biology and ecology into evolutionary theory has given rise to a relatively new field, ecological evolutionary developmental biology (Eco-Evo-Devo). This field integrates and organizes concepts such as developmental symbiosis, developmental plasticity, genetic accommodation, extragenic inheritance and niche construction. This Review highlights the roles that developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity have in evolution. Developmental symbiosis can generate particular organs, can produce selectable genetic variation for the entire animal, can provide mechanisms for reproductive isolation, and may have facilitated evolutionary transitions. Developmental plasticity is crucial for generating novel phenotypes, facilitating evolutionary transitions and altered ecosystem dynamics, and promoting adaptive variation through genetic accommodation and niche construction. In emphasizing such non-genomic mechanisms of selectable and heritable variation, Eco-Evo-Devo presents a new layer of evolutionary synthesis.

  10. Studying the complexity of change: toward an analytical framework for understanding deliberate social-ecological transformations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele-Lee Moore

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Faced with numerous seemingly intractable social and environmental challenges, many scholars and practitioners are increasingly interested in understanding how to actively engage and transform the existing systems holding such problems in place. Although a variety of analytical models have emerged in recent years, most emphasize either the social or ecological elements of such transformations rather than their coupled nature. To address this, first we have presented a definition of the core elements of a social-ecological system (SES that could potentially be altered in a transformation. Second, we drew on insights about transformation from three branches of literature focused on radical change, i.e., social movements, socio-technical transitions, and social innovation, and gave consideration to the similarities and differences with the current studies by resilience scholars. Drawing on these findings, we have proposed a framework that outlines the process and phases of transformative change in an SES. Future research will be able to utilize the framework as a tool for analyzing the alteration of social-ecological feedbacks, identifying critical barriers and leverage points and assessing the outcome of social-ecological transformations.

  11. Two new species of Ateuchus with remarks on ecology, distributions, and evolutionary relationships (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moctezuma, Victor; Sánchez-Huerta, José Luis; Halffter, Gonzalo

    2018-01-01

    Two new species of the genus Ateuchus Weber are described from the region of Los Chimalapas, Oaxaca, Mexico: A. benitojuarezi sp. n. and A. colossus sp. n. A diagnosis for distinguishing these new species from the other species of this genus in North America is included. This paper is illustrated with pictures of the dorsal habitus and the male genitalia of the new species. The evolutionary relationships of the species are discussed, as well as their distribution and ecology. It is considered that the species of the genus Ateuchus present in North and Central America correspond to the Typical Neotropical and Mountain Mesoamerican distribution patterns.

  12. Algorithmic Mechanism Design of Evolutionary Computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Yan

    2015-01-01

    We consider algorithmic design, enhancement, and improvement of evolutionary computation as a mechanism design problem. All individuals or several groups of individuals can be considered as self-interested agents. The individuals in evolutionary computation can manipulate parameter settings and operations by satisfying their own preferences, which are defined by an evolutionary computation algorithm designer, rather than by following a fixed algorithm rule. Evolutionary computation algorithm designers or self-adaptive methods should construct proper rules and mechanisms for all agents (individuals) to conduct their evolution behaviour correctly in order to definitely achieve the desired and preset objective(s). As a case study, we propose a formal framework on parameter setting, strategy selection, and algorithmic design of evolutionary computation by considering the Nash strategy equilibrium of a mechanism design in the search process. The evaluation results present the efficiency of the framework. This primary principle can be implemented in any evolutionary computation algorithm that needs to consider strategy selection issues in its optimization process. The final objective of our work is to solve evolutionary computation design as an algorithmic mechanism design problem and establish its fundamental aspect by taking this perspective. This paper is the first step towards achieving this objective by implementing a strategy equilibrium solution (such as Nash equilibrium) in evolutionary computation algorithm.

  13. ECOLOGICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY APPLICATIONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SEX REVERSAL OF FISH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcnair, Alistair; Lokman, P Mark; Closs, Gerard P; Nakagawa, Shinichi

    2015-03-01

    Environmental sex reversal (ESR), which results in a mismatch between genotypic and phenotypic sex, is well documented in numerous fish species and may be induced by chemical exposure. Historically, research involving piscine ESR has been carried out with a view to improving profitability in aquaculture or to elucidate the processes governing sex determination and sexual differentiation. However, recent studies in evolution and ecology suggest research on ESR now has much wider applications and ramifications. We begin with an overview of ESR in fish and a brief review of the traditional applications thereof. We then discuss ESR and its potential demographic consequences in wild populations. Theory even suggests sex-reversed fish may be purposefully released to manipulate population dynamics. We suggest new research directions that may prove fruitful in understanding how ESR at the individual level translates to population-level processes. In the latter portion of the review we focus on evolutionary applications of ESR. Sex-reversal studies from the aquaculture literature provide insight in to the evolvability of determinants of sexual phenotype. Additionally, induced sex reversal can provide information about the evolution of sex chromosomes and sex-linked traits. Recently, naturally occurring ESR has been implicated as a mechanism contributing to the evolution of sex chromosomes.

  14. Phylogenetic Paleoecology: Tree-Thinking and Ecology in Deep Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamsdell, James C; Congreve, Curtis R; Hopkins, Melanie J; Krug, Andrew Z; Patzkowsky, Mark E

    2017-06-01

    The new and emerging field of phylogenetic paleoecology leverages the evolutionary relationships among species to explain temporal and spatial changes in species diversity, abundance, and distribution in deep time. This field is poised for rapid progress as knowledge of the evolutionary relationships among fossil species continues to expand. In particular, this approach will lend new insights to many of the longstanding questions in evolutionary biology, such as: the relationships among character change, ecology, and evolutionary rates; the processes that determine the evolutionary relationships among species within communities and along environmental gradients; and the phylogenetic signal underlying ecological selectivity in background and mass extinctions and in major evolutionary radiations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Temporal, spatial and ecological dynamics of speciation among amphi-Beringian small mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, Andrew G.; Takebayashi, Naoki; Galbreath, Kurt E.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.

    2013-01-01

    Quaternary climate cycles played an important role in promoting diversification across the Northern Hemisphere, although details of the mechanisms driving evolutionary change are still poorly resolved. In a comparative phylogeographical framework, we investigate temporal, spatial and ecological components of evolution within a suite of Holarctic small mammals. We test a hypothesis of simultaneous divergence among multiple taxon pairs, investigating time to coalescence and demographic change for each taxon in response to a combination of climate and geography.

  16. Applying the Policy Ecology Framework to Philadelphia’s Behavioral Health Transformation Efforts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Byron J.; Beidas, Rinad S.; Rubin, Ronnie M.; Stewart, Rebecca E.; Wolk, Courtney Benjamin; Matlin, Samantha L.; Weaver, Shawna; Hurford, Matthew O.; Evans, Arthur C.; Hadley, Trevor R.; Mandell, David S.

    2016-01-01

    Raghavan et al. (2008) proposed that effective implementation of evidence-based practices requires implementation strategies deployed at multiple levels of the “policy ecology,” including the organizational, regulatory or purchaser agency, political, and social levels. However, much of implementation research and practice targets providers without accounting for contextual factors that may influence provider behavior. This paper examines Philadelphia’s efforts to work toward an evidence-based and recovery-oriented behavioral health system, and uses the policy ecology framework to illustrate how multifaceted, multilevel implementation strategies can facilitate the widespread implementation of evidence-based practices. Ongoing challenges and implications for research and practice are discussed. PMID:27032411

  17. Recovery after mass extinction: evolutionary assembly in large-scale biosphere dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solé, Ricard V; Montoya, José M; Erwin, Douglas H

    2002-01-01

    Biotic recoveries following mass extinctions are characterized by a process in which whole ecologies are reconstructed from low-diversity systems, often characterized by opportunistic groups. The recovery process provides an unexpected window to ecosystem dynamics. In many aspects, recovery is very similar to ecological succession, but important differences are also apparently linked to the innovative patterns of niche construction observed in the fossil record. In this paper, we analyse the similarities and differences between ecological succession and evolutionary recovery to provide a preliminary ecological theory of recoveries. A simple evolutionary model with three trophic levels is presented, and its properties (closely resembling those observed in the fossil record) are compared with characteristic patterns of ecological response to disturbances in continuous models of three-level ecosystems. PMID:12079530

  18. Eco-evolutionary feedback and the invasion of cooperation in prisoner's dilemma games.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng Zhang

    Full Text Available Unveiling the origin and forms of cooperation in nature poses profound challenges in evolutionary ecology. The prisoner's dilemma game is an important metaphor for studying the evolution of cooperation. We here classified potential mechanisms for cooperation evolution into schemes of frequency- and density-dependent selection, and focused on the density-dependent selection in the ecological prisoner's dilemma games. We found that, although assortative encounter is still the necessary condition in ecological games for cooperation evolution, a harsh environment, indicated by a high mortality, can foster the invasion of cooperation. The Hamilton rule provides a fundamental condition for the evolution of cooperation by ensuring an enhanced relatedness between players in low-density populations. Incorporating ecological dynamics into evolutionary games opens up a much wider window for the evolution of cooperation, and exhibits a variety of complex behaviors of dynamics, such as limit and heteroclinic cycles. An alternative evolutionary, or rather succession, sequence was proposed that cooperation first appears in harsh environments, followed by the invasion of defection, which leads to a common catastrophe. The rise of cooperation (and altruism, thus, could be much easier in the density-dependent ecological games than in the classic frequency-dependent evolutionary games.

  19. Ecological opportunity and predator-prey interactions: linking eco-evolutionary processes and diversification in adaptive radiations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontarp, Mikael; Petchey, Owen L

    2018-03-14

    Much of life's diversity has arisen through ecological opportunity and adaptive radiations, but the mechanistic underpinning of such diversification is not fully understood. Competition and predation can affect adaptive radiations, but contrasting theoretical and empirical results show that they can both promote and interrupt diversification. A mechanistic understanding of the link between microevolutionary processes and macroevolutionary patterns is thus needed, especially in trophic communities. Here, we use a trait-based eco-evolutionary model to investigate the mechanisms linking competition, predation and adaptive radiations. By combining available micro-evolutionary theory and simulations of adaptive radiations we show that intraspecific competition is crucial for diversification as it induces disruptive selection, in particular in early phases of radiation. The diversification rate is however decreased in later phases owing to interspecific competition as niche availability, and population sizes are decreased. We provide new insight into how predation tends to have a negative effect on prey diversification through decreased population sizes, decreased disruptive selection and through the exclusion of prey from parts of niche space. The seemingly disparate effects of competition and predation on adaptive radiations, listed in the literature, may thus be acting and interacting in the same adaptive radiation at different relative strength as the radiation progresses. © 2018 The Authors.

  20. Is evolutionary psychology a metatheory for psychology? A discussion of four major issues in psychology from an evolutionary developmental perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ploeger, A.; van der Maas, H.L.J.; Raijmakers, M.E.J.

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary psychology has been proposed as a metatheoretical framework for psychology. We argue that evolutionary psychology should be expanded if it is to offer new insights regarding the major issues in psychology. Evolutionary developmental biology can provide valuable new insights into issues

  1. Obesity in sub-Saharan Africa: development of an ecological theoretical framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Alison; Ejikeme, Chinwe Stella; Clottey, Emmanuel Nii; Thomas, Joy Goens

    2013-03-01

    The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). There is a need for theoretical frameworks to catalyze further research and to inform the development of multi-level, context-appropriate interventions. In this commentary, we propose a preliminary ecological theoretical framework to conceptualize factors that contribute to increases in overweight and obesity in SSA. The framework is based on a Causality Continuum model [Coreil et al. Social and Behavioral Foundations of Public Health. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks] that considers distant, intermediate and proximate influences. The influences incorporated in the model include globalization and urbanization as distant factors; occupation, social relationships, built environment and cultural perceptions of weight as intermediate factors and caloric intake, physical inactivity and genetics as proximate factors. The model illustrates the interaction of factors along a continuum, from the individual to the global marketplace, in shaping trends in overweight and obesity in SSA. The framework will be presented, each influence elucidated and implications for research and intervention development discussed. There is a tremendous need for further research on obesity in SSA. An improved evidence base will serve to validate and develop the proposed framework further.

  2. Investigating ecological speciation in non-model organisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David

    2012-01-01

    Background: Studies of ecological speciation tend to focus on a few model biological systems. In contrast, few studies on non-model organisms have been able to infer ecological speciation as the underlying mechanism of evolutionary divergence. Questions: What are the pitfalls in studying ecological...... speciation in non-model organisms that lead to this bias? What alternative approaches might redress the balance? Organism: Genetically differentiated types of the killer whale (Orcinus orca) exhibiting differences in prey preference, habitat use, morphology, and behaviour. Methods: Review of the literature...... on killer whale evolutionary ecology in search of any difficulty in demonstrating causal links between variation in phenotype, ecology, and reproductive isolation in this non-model organism. Results: At present, we do not have enough evidence to conclude that adaptive phenotype traits linked to ecological...

  3. An improved shuffled frog leaping algorithm based evolutionary framework for currency exchange rate prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dash, Rajashree

    2017-11-01

    Forecasting purchasing power of one currency with respect to another currency is always an interesting topic in the field of financial time series prediction. Despite the existence of several traditional and computational models for currency exchange rate forecasting, there is always a need for developing simpler and more efficient model, which will produce better prediction capability. In this paper, an evolutionary framework is proposed by using an improved shuffled frog leaping (ISFL) algorithm with a computationally efficient functional link artificial neural network (CEFLANN) for prediction of currency exchange rate. The model is validated by observing the monthly prediction measures obtained for three currency exchange data sets such as USD/CAD, USD/CHF, and USD/JPY accumulated within same period of time. The model performance is also compared with two other evolutionary learning techniques such as Shuffled frog leaping algorithm and Particle Swarm optimization algorithm. Practical analysis of results suggest that, the proposed model developed using the ISFL algorithm with CEFLANN network is a promising predictor model for currency exchange rate prediction compared to other models included in the study.

  4. Formation of Ecological Culture of Young People within the Framework of Education for Steady Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S A Stepanov

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with the questions of the education reform, the crisis of which is one of the challenges of globalization, it also offers a wide argumentation to the conclusion that the ecological education and the formation of ecological culture is the basis of education in the interests of steady development and the methodological base to the contents of education modernization in the frameworks of Bologna process.

  5. Recent advances in primate nutritional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righini, Nicoletta

    2017-04-01

    Nutritional ecology seeks to explain, in an ecological and evolutionary context, how individuals choose, acquire, and process food to satisfy their nutritional requirements. Historically, studies of primate feeding ecology have focused on characterizing diets in terms of the botanical composition of the plants consumed. Further, dietary studies have demonstrated how patch and food choice in relation to time spent foraging and feeding are influenced by the spatial and temporal distribution of resources and by social factors such as feeding competition, dominance, or partner preferences. From a nutritional perspective, several theories including energy and protein-to-fiber maximization, nutrient mixing, and toxin avoidance, have been proposed to explain the food choices of non-human primates. However, more recently, analytical frameworks such as nutritional geometry have been incorporated into primatology to explore, using a multivariate approach, the synergistic effects of multiple nutrients, secondary metabolites, and energy requirements on primate food choice. Dietary strategies associated with nutrient balancing highlight the tradeoffs that primates face in bypassing or selecting particular feeding sites and food items. In this Special Issue, the authors bring together a set of studies focusing on the nutritional ecology of a diverse set of primate taxa characterized by marked differences in dietary emphasis. The authors present, compare, and discuss the diversity of strategies used by primates in diet selection, and how species differences in ecology, physiology, anatomy, and phylogeny can affect patterns of nutrient choice and nutrient balancing. The use of a nutritionally explicit analytical framework is fundamental to identify the nutritional requirements of different individuals of a given species, and through its application, direct conservation efforts can be applied to regenerate and protect specific foods and food patches that offer the opportunity of a

  6. The Metacity: A Conceptual Framework for Integrating Ecology and Urban Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. T. A. Pickett

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We introduce the term metacity as a conceptual framework that can be shared by ecologists and designers and applied across the wide variety of urban habitats found around the world. While the term metacity was introduced by UN-HABITAT to designate hyper cities of over twenty million people, for us it is not limited to large urban agglomerations, but rather refers to the proliferation of new forms of urbanization, each with distinct ecological and social attributes. These various urban configurations when combined with new digital sensing, communication and social networking technologies constitute a virtual meta-infrastructure, present in all cities today. This new metacity has the potential to integrate new activist forms of ecological and urban design research and practice in making the transition from sanitary to sustainable city models globally. The city of Baltimore, Maryland will be used both as a site to illustrate these recent urban trends, and also as an example of the integration of ecology and urban design pursued by the two authors over the past seven years [1,2]. Metacity theory is drawn from both an architectural analysis of contemporary forms of urbanism, new forms of digital monitoring and communication technologies, as well as metapopulation and metacommunity theories in ecology. We seek to provide tools and lessons from our experiences for realizing an integrated metacity approach to achieving social sustainability and ecological resilience on an increasingly urbanized planet.

  7. Deathly drool: evolutionary and ecological basis of septic bacteria in Komodo dragon mouths.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J J Bull

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizard, dispatch their large ungulate prey by biting and tearing flesh. If a prey escapes, oral bacteria inoculated into the wound reputedly induce a sepsis that augments later prey capture by the same or other lizards. However, the ecological and evolutionary basis of sepsis in Komodo prey acquisition is controversial. Two models have been proposed. The "bacteria as venom" model postulates that the oral flora directly benefits the lizard in prey capture irrespective of any benefit to the bacteria. The "passive acquisition" model is that the oral flora of lizards reflects the bacteria found in carrion and sick prey, with no relevance to the ability to induce sepsis in subsequent prey. A third model is proposed and analyzed here, the "lizard-lizard epidemic" model. In this model, bacteria are spread indirectly from one lizard mouth to another. Prey escaping an initial attack act as vectors in infecting new lizards. This model requires specific life history characteristics and ways to refute the model based on these characteristics are proposed and tested. Dragon life histories (some details of which are reported here prove remarkably consistent with the model, especially that multiple, unrelated lizards feed communally on large carcasses and that escaping, wounded prey are ultimately fed on by other lizards. The identities and evolutionary histories of bacteria in the oral flora may yield the most useful additional insights for further testing the epidemic model and can now be obtained with new technologies.

  8. Deathly Drool: Evolutionary and Ecological Basis of Septic Bacteria in Komodo Dragon Mouths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, J. J.; Jessop, Tim S.; Whiteley, Marvin

    2010-01-01

    Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizard, dispatch their large ungulate prey by biting and tearing flesh. If a prey escapes, oral bacteria inoculated into the wound reputedly induce a sepsis that augments later prey capture by the same or other lizards. However, the ecological and evolutionary basis of sepsis in Komodo prey acquisition is controversial. Two models have been proposed. The “bacteria as venom” model postulates that the oral flora directly benefits the lizard in prey capture irrespective of any benefit to the bacteria. The “passive acquisition” model is that the oral flora of lizards reflects the bacteria found in carrion and sick prey, with no relevance to the ability to induce sepsis in subsequent prey. A third model is proposed and analyzed here, the “lizard-lizard epidemic” model. In this model, bacteria are spread indirectly from one lizard mouth to another. Prey escaping an initial attack act as vectors in infecting new lizards. This model requires specific life history characteristics and ways to refute the model based on these characteristics are proposed and tested. Dragon life histories (some details of which are reported here) prove remarkably consistent with the model, especially that multiple, unrelated lizards feed communally on large carcasses and that escaping, wounded prey are ultimately fed on by other lizards. The identities and evolutionary histories of bacteria in the oral flora may yield the most useful additional insights for further testing the epidemic model and can now be obtained with new technologies. PMID:20574514

  9. An evolutionary framework for association testing in resequencing studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Ryan King

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Sequencing technologies are becoming cheap enough to apply to large numbers of study participants and promise to provide new insights into human phenotypes by bringing to light rare and previously unknown genetic variants. We develop a new framework for the analysis of sequence data that incorporates all of the major features of previously proposed approaches, including those focused on allele counts and allele burden, but is both more general and more powerful. We harness population genetic theory to provide prior information on effect sizes and to create a pooling strategy for information from rare variants. Our method, EMMPAT (Evolutionary Mixed Model for Pooled Association Testing, generates a single test per gene (substantially reducing multiple testing concerns, facilitates graphical summaries, and improves the interpretation of results by allowing calculation of attributable variance. Simulations show that, relative to previously used approaches, our method increases the power to detect genes that affect phenotype when natural selection has kept alleles with large effect sizes rare. We demonstrate our approach on a population-based re-sequencing study of association between serum triglycerides and variation in ANGPTL4.

  10. An Applied Ecological Framework for Evaluating Infrastructure to Promote Walking and Cycling: The iConnect Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, Fiona; Powell, Jane; Cooper, Ashley R.; Brand, Christian; Mutrie, Nanette; Preston, John; Rutter, Harry

    2011-01-01

    Improving infrastructure for walking and cycling is increasingly recommended as a means to promote physical activity, prevent obesity, and reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. However, limited evidence from intervention studies exists to support this approach. Drawing on classic epidemiological methods, psychological and ecological models of behavior change, and the principles of realistic evaluation, we have developed an applied ecological framework by which current theories about the behavioral effects of environmental change may be tested in heterogeneous and complex intervention settings. Our framework guides study design and analysis by specifying the most important data to be collected and relations to be tested to confirm or refute specific hypotheses and thereby refine the underlying theories. PMID:21233429

  11. Human genomic disease variants: a neutral evolutionary explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, Joel T; Kim, Yuseob; Liu, Li; Markov, Glenn J; Gerold, Kristyn; Chen, Rong; Butte, Atul J; Kumar, Sudhir

    2012-08-01

    Many perspectives on the role of evolution in human health include nonempirical assumptions concerning the adaptive evolutionary origins of human diseases. Evolutionary analyses of the increasing wealth of clinical and population genomic data have begun to challenge these presumptions. In order to systematically evaluate such claims, the time has come to build a common framework for an empirical and intellectual unification of evolution and modern medicine. We review the emerging evidence and provide a supporting conceptual framework that establishes the classical neutral theory of molecular evolution (NTME) as the basis for evaluating disease- associated genomic variations in health and medicine. For over a decade, the NTME has already explained the origins and distribution of variants implicated in diseases and has illuminated the power of evolutionary thinking in genomic medicine. We suggest that a majority of disease variants in modern populations will have neutral evolutionary origins (previously neutral), with a relatively smaller fraction exhibiting adaptive evolutionary origins (previously adaptive). This pattern is expected to hold true for common as well as rare disease variants. Ultimately, a neutral evolutionary perspective will provide medicine with an informative and actionable framework that enables objective clinical assessment beyond convenient tendencies to invoke past adaptive events in human history as a root cause of human disease.

  12. Educating toward Direct Democracy and Ecological Sustainability: Theory of Social Ecology as a Framework for Critical, Democratic, and Community-Based Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holohan, Kevin J.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this dissertation project was to explore and extrapolate the work of the left-libertarian social theorist, Murray Bookchin (1921-2006), paying particular attention to his theory of social ecology and to examine its implications for and use as a comprehensive philosophical/theoretical framework for alternative secondary education that…

  13. Lattice-work corridors for climate change: a conceptual framework for biodiversity conservation and social-ecological resilience in a tropical elevational gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia A. Townsend

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Rapid climate change poses complex challenges for conservation, especially in tropical developing countries where biodiversity is high while financial and technical resources are limited. The complexity is heightened by uncertainty in predicted effects, both for ecological systems and human communities that depend heavily on natural resource extraction and use. Effective conservation plans and measures must be inexpensive, fast-acting, and able to increase the resilience of both the ecosystem and the social-ecological system. We present conservation practitioners with a framework that strategically integrates climate change planning into connectivity measures for tropical mountain ecosystems in Costa Rica. We propose a strategy for doubling the amount of habitat currently protected in riparian corridors using measures that are relatively low cost and fast-acting, and will employ and expand human capital. We argue that habitat connectivity must be enhanced along latitudinal gradients, but also within the same elevational bands, via a lattice-work corridor system. This is needed to facilitate range shifts for mobile species and evolutionary adaptation for less mobile species. We think that conservation measures within the elevational bands must include conservation-friendly land uses that improve current and future human livelihoods under dynamic conditions. Key components include community involvement, habitat priority-setting, forest landscape restoration, and environmental services payments. Our approach is fundamentally adaptive in that the conservation measures employed are informed by on-the-ground successes and failures and modified accordingly, but are relatively low risk and fast-acting. Our proposal, if implemented, would satisfy tenets of climate-smart conservation, improve the resilience of human and ecological communities, and be a model for other locations facing similar challenges.

  14. Ecological and evolutionary variation in community nitrogen use traits during tropical dry forest secondary succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhaskar, Radika; Porder, Stephen; Balvanera, Patricia; Edwards, Erika J

    2016-05-01

    We assessed the role of ecological and evolutionary processes in driving variation in leaf and litter traits related to nitrogen (N) use among tropical dry forest trees in old-growth and secondary stands in western Mexico. Our expectation was that legumes (Fabaceae), a dominant component of the regional flora, would have consistently high leaf N and therefore structure phylogenetic variation in N-related traits. We also expected ecological selection during succession for differences in nitrogen use strategies, and corresponding shifts in legume abundance. We used phylogenetic analyses to test for trait conservatism in foliar and litter N, C:N, and N resorption. We also evaluated differences in N-related traits between old-growth and secondary forests. We found a weak phylogenetic signal for all traits, partly explained by wide variation within legumes. Across taxa we observed a positive relationship between leaf and litter N, but no shift in resorption strategies along the successional gradient. Despite species turnover, N-resorption, and N-related traits showed little change across succession, suggesting that, at least for these traits, secondary forests rapidly recover ecosystem function. Collectively, our results also suggest that legumes should not be considered a single functional group from a biogeochemical perspective.

  15. Comparative ecological transcriptomics and the contribution of gene expression to the evolutionary potential of a threatened fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauer, Chris J; Unmack, Peter J; Beheregaray, Luciano B

    2017-12-01

    Understanding whether small populations with low genetic diversity can respond to rapid environmental change via phenotypic plasticity is an outstanding research question in biology. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has recently provided the opportunity to examine variation in gene expression, a surrogate for phenotypic variation, in nonmodel species. We used a comparative RNA-seq approach to assess expression variation within and among adaptively divergent populations of a threatened freshwater fish, Nannoperca australis, found across a steep hydroclimatic gradient in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. These populations evolved under contrasting selective environments (e.g., dry/hot lowland; wet/cold upland) and represent opposite ends of the species' spectrum of genetic diversity and population size. We tested the hypothesis that environmental variation among isolated populations has driven the evolution of divergent expression at ecologically important genes using differential expression (DE) analysis and an anova-based comparative phylogenetic expression variance and evolution model framework based on 27,425 de novo assembled transcripts. Additionally, we tested whether gene expression variance within populations was correlated with levels of standing genetic diversity. We identified 290 DE candidate transcripts, 33 transcripts with evidence for high expression plasticity, and 50 candidates for divergent selection on gene expression after accounting for phylogenetic structure. Variance in gene expression appeared unrelated to levels of genetic diversity. Functional annotation of the candidate transcripts revealed that variation in water quality is an important factor influencing expression variation for N. australis. Our findings suggest that gene expression variation can contribute to the evolutionary potential of small populations. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Evolutionary squeaky wheel optimization: a new framework for analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jingpeng; Parkes, Andrew J; Burke, Edmund K

    2011-01-01

    Squeaky wheel optimization (SWO) is a relatively new metaheuristic that has been shown to be effective for many real-world problems. At each iteration SWO does a complete construction of a solution starting from the empty assignment. Although the construction uses information from previous iterations, the complete rebuilding does mean that SWO is generally effective at diversification but can suffer from a relatively weak intensification. Evolutionary SWO (ESWO) is a recent extension to SWO that is designed to improve the intensification by keeping the good components of solutions and only using SWO to reconstruct other poorer components of the solution. In such algorithms a standard challenge is to understand how the various parameters affect the search process. In order to support the future study of such issues, we propose a formal framework for the analysis of ESWO. The framework is based on Markov chains, and the main novelty arises because ESWO moves through the space of partial assignments. This makes it significantly different from the analyses used in local search (such as simulated annealing) which only move through complete assignments. Generally, the exact details of ESWO will depend on various heuristics; so we focus our approach on a case of ESWO that we call ESWO-II and that has probabilistic as opposed to heuristic selection and construction operators. For ESWO-II, we study a simple problem instance and explicitly compute the stationary distribution probability over the states of the search space. We find interesting properties of the distribution. In particular, we find that the probabilities of states generally, but not always, increase with their fitness. This nonmonotonocity is quite different from the monotonicity expected in algorithms such as simulated annealing.

  17. Biotic response to late Quaternary rapid climate switches in Santa Barbara Basin: Ecological and evolutionary implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cannariato, K.G.; Kennett, J.P.; Behl, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Benthic foraminiferal assemblages from Santa Barbara Basin exhibit major faunal and ecological switches associated with late Quaternary millennial- to decadal-scale global climate oscillations. Repeated turnovers of entire faunas occurred rapidly (<40--400 yr) without extinction or speciation in conjunction with Dansgaard-Oeschger shifts in thermohaline circulation, ventilation, and climate, confirming evolutionary model predictions of Roy et al. Consistent faunal successions of dysoxic taxa during successive interstadials reflect the extreme sensitivity and adaptation of the benthic ecosystem to the rapid environmental changes that marked the late Quaternary and possibly other transitional intervals in the history of the Earth's ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere system. These data support the hypothesis that broad segments of the biosphere are well adapted to rapid climate change

  18. An Evolutionary Framework for Understanding the Origin of Eukaryotes

    OpenAIRE

    Neil W. Blackstone

    2016-01-01

    Two major obstacles hinder the application of evolutionary theory to the origin of eukaryotes. The first is more apparent than real?the endosymbiosis that led to the mitochondrion is often described as ?non-Darwinian? because it deviates from the incremental evolution championed by the modern synthesis. Nevertheless, endosymbiosis can be accommodated by a multi-level generalization of evolutionary theory, which Darwin himself pioneered. The second obstacle is more serious?all of the major fea...

  19. Acculturation and Psychological Adjustment of Vietnamese Refugees: An Ecological Acculturation Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, Corrina D; Birman, Dina

    2015-12-01

    Acculturation to the culture of the host society as well as to one's heritage culture have been shown to impact immigrants' adjustment during the years following resettlement. While acculturation has been identified as an important factor in adjustment of Vietnamese immigrants (Birman and Tran in Am J Orthopsychiatr 78(1):109-120. doi: 10.1037/0002-9432.78.1.109 , 2008), no clear pattern of findings has emerged and too few studies have employed an ecological approach. The purpose of this paper is to contextualize the study of acculturation and adjustment by taking an ecological approach to exploring these relationships across several life domains, using a bilinear scale, and examining mediators of these relationships for adult Vietnamese refugees (N = 203) in the United States. We call this approach the Ecological Acculturation Framework (EAF). Results of a structural equation model (SEM) showed that job satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between American acculturation and psychological distress, demonstrating that this relationship was specific to an occupational domain. However, while Vietnamese acculturation predicted co-ethnic social support satisfaction, it did not predict reduced psychological distress. Implications for a life domains approach, including domain specificity, are discussed.

  20. Evolutionary Divergences in Root Exudate Composition among Ecologically-Contrasting Helianthus Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowsher, Alan W; Ali, Rifhat; Harding, Scott A; Tsai, Chung-Jui; Donovan, Lisa A

    2016-01-01

    Plant roots exude numerous metabolites into the soil that influence nutrient availability. Although root exudate composition is hypothesized to be under selection in low fertility soils, few studies have tested this hypothesis in a phylogenetic framework. In this study, we examined root exudates of three pairs of Helianthus species chosen as phylogenetically-independent contrasts with respect to native soil nutrient availability. Under controlled environmental conditions, seedlings were grown to the three-leaf-pair stage, then transferred to either high or low nutrient treatments. After five days of nutrient treatments, we used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for analysis of root exudates, and detected 37 metabolites across species. When compared in the high nutrient treatment, species native to low nutrient soils exhibited overall higher exudation than their sister species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs, providing support for repeated evolutionary shifts in response to native soil fertility. Species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils responded similarly to low nutrient treatments with increased exudation of organic acids (fumaric, citric, malic acids) and glucose, potentially as a mechanism to enhance nutrition acquisition. However, species native to low nutrient soils also responded to low nutrient treatments with a larger decrease in exudation of amino acids than species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs. This indicates that species native to low nutrient soils have evolved a unique sensitivity to changes in nutrient availability for some, but not all, root exudates. Overall, these repeated evolutionary divergences between species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils provide evidence for the adaptive value of root exudation, and its plasticity, in contrasting soil environments.

  1. A Framework to Evaluate Ecological and Social Outcomes of Collaborative Management: Lessons from Implementation with a Northern Arizona Collaborative Group

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Erickson, Tischa A.; Aguilar-González, Bernardo; Loeser, Matthew R. R.; Sisk, Thomas D.

    2010-01-01

    As collaborative groups gain popularity as an alternative means for addressing conflict over management of public lands, the need for methods to evaluate their effectiveness in achieving ecological and social goals increases. However, frameworks that examine both effectiveness of the collaborative process and its outcomes are poorly developed or altogether lacking. This paper presents and evaluates the utility of the holistic ecosystem health indicator (HEHI), a framework that integrates multiple ecological and socioeconomic criteria to evaluate management effectiveness of collaborative processes. Through the development and application of the HEHI to a collaborative in northern Arizona, the Diablo Trust, we present the opportunities and challenges in using this framework to evaluate the ecological and social outcomes of collaborative adaptive management. Baseline results from the first application of the HEHI are presented as an illustration of its potential as a co-adaptive management tool. We discuss lessons learned from the process of selecting indicators and potential issues to their long-term implementation. Finally, we provide recommendations for applying this framework to monitoring and adaptive management in the context of collaborative management.

  2. Bottom-up and top-down triggers of diversification: A new look at the evolutionary ecology of scavenging amphipods in the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havermans, Charlotte; Smetacek, Victor

    2018-05-01

    The initial, anthropocentric view of the deep ocean was that of a hostile environment inhabited by organisms rendered lethargic by constant high pressure, low temperature and sparse food supply, hence evolving slowly. This conceptual framework of a spatially and temporally homogeneous, connected, strongly bottom-up controlled habitat implied a strong constraint on, or poor incentive for, speciation. Hence, the discovery in the late 1960s of high species diversity of abyssal benthic invertebrates came as a surprise. Since then, the slow-motion view of deep-sea ecology and evolution has speeded up and diversified in the light of increasing evidence accumulating from in situ visual observations complemented by molecular and other tools. The emerging picture is that of a much livelier, highly diversified and more complex deep-sea fauna than previously assumed. In this review we examine the consequences of the incoming information for developing a broader view of evolutionary ecology in the deep sea, and for scavenging amphipods in particular. We revisit the food supply to the deep-sea floor and hypothesize that the dead bodies of animals, ranging from zooplankton to large fish are likely to be a more important source of food than their friable faeces. Camera observations of baited traps indicate that amphipod carrion-feeders arrive within hours at the bait which continues to draw new individuals for days to months later, presumably by scent trails in tidal currents. We explore the different stages of food acquisition upon which natural selection may have acted, from detection to ingestion, and discuss the possibility of a broader range of food acquisition strategies, including predation and specializations. Although currently neglected in deep-sea ecology, top-down factors are likely to play a more important role in the evolution of deep-sea organisms. Predation on amphipods at baits by bathyal and abyssal fishes, and large predatory crustaceans in the hadal zone, is

  3. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Applying Evolutionary Anthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. PMID:25684561

  5. Nutritional Ecology and Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2016-07-17

    In contrast to the spectacular advances in the first half of the twentieth century with micronutrient-related diseases, human nutrition science has failed to stem the more recent rise of obesity and associated cardiometabolic disease (OACD). This failure has triggered debate on the problems and limitations of the field and what change is needed to address these. We briefly review the two broad historical phases of human nutrition science and then provide an overview of the main problems that have been implicated in the poor progress of the field with solving OACD. We next introduce the field of nutritional ecology and show how its ecological-evolutionary foundations can enrich human nutrition science by providing the theory to help address its limitations. We end by introducing a modeling approach from nutritional ecology, termed nutritional geometry, and demonstrate how it can help to implement ecological and evolutionary theory in human nutrition to provide new direction and to better understand and manage OACD.

  6. Information and knowledge: an evolutionary framework for information science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcia J. Bates

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Many definitions of information, knowledge, and data have been suggested throughout the history of information science. In this article, the objective is to provide definitions that are usable for the physical, biological, and social meanings of the terms, covering the various senses important to our field. Argument. Information 1 is defined as the pattern of organization of matter and energy. Information 2 is defined as some pattern of organization of matter and energy that has been given meaning by a living being. Knowledge is defined as information given meaning and integrated with other contents of understanding. Elaboration. The approach is rooted in an evolutionary framework; that is, modes of information perception, processing, transmission, and storage are seen to have developed as a part of the general evolution of members of the animal kingdom. Brains are expensive for animals to support; consequently, efficient storage, including, particularly, storage at emergent levels-for example, storing the concept of chair, rather than specific memories of all chairs ever seen, is powerful and effective for animals. Conclusion. Thus, rather than being reductionist, the approach taken demonstrates the fundamentally emergent nature of most of what higher animals and human beings, in particular, experience as information.

  7. A framework for assessing ecological risks of petroleum-derived materials in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II

    1997-05-01

    Ecological risk assessment estimates the nature and likelihood of effects of human actions on nonhuman organisms, populations, and ecosystems. It is intended to be clearer and more rigorous in its approach to estimation of effects and uncertainties than previously employed methods of ecological assessment. Ecological risk assessment is characterized by a standard paradigm that includes problem formulation, analysis of exposure and effects, risk characterization, and communication with a risk manager. This report provides a framework that applies the paradigm to the specific problem of assessing the ecological risks of petroleum in soil. This type of approach requires that assessments be performed in phases: (1) a scoping assessment to determine whether there is a potential route of exposure for potentially significant ecological receptors; (2) a screening assessment to determine whether exposures could potentially reach toxic levels; and (3) a definitive assessment to estimate the nature, magnitude, and extent of risks. The principal technical issue addressed is the chemically complex nature of petroleum--a complexity that may be dealt with by assessing risks on the basis of properties of the whole material, properties of individual chemicals that are representative of chemical classes, distributions of properties of the constituents of chemical classes, properties of chemicals detected in the soil, and properties of indicator chemicals. The advantages and feasibility of these alternatives are discussed. The report concludes with research recommendations for improving each stage in the assessment process

  8. Reconstructing nursing altruism using a biological evolutionary framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Carol A

    2010-06-01

    This paper presents a discussion of the role of altruism in development of the discipline of nursing and an exploration of how nursing altruism compares with current thinking in biological evolutionary theory. There is an assumption that the role of the nurse has its foundations in altruistic behaviours; however, the source of this altruism is never analysed or debated. A search of the biological altruism, altruism and health-related literature encompassing the years 1975-2007 was performed using Google Scholar. The first element of the study is a brief overview of nursing altruism as a way of establishing the conceptual boundaries. Additionally, the major tenets of biological evolution are explored to clarify the theoretical underpinnings of the hypotheses presented. A key premise of this study is that nursing altruism is not solely a manifestation of disinterested sacrifice for the benefit of others, but is more concerned with ensuring the survival of a clearly defined social group. A re-evaluation of altruism as a motivating factor in nursing and as an element of the therapeutic relationship is long overdue. It is time that the nursing profession examined professional driving forces using more than traditional philosophical frameworks. Nursing altruism is programmed to ensure the survival of the meme rather than to act in the best interest of patients. Certainly patients reap the benefits of this selfish altruism, but that can be argued to be a side effect rather than a result.

  9. A Land Systems Science Framework for Bridging Land System Architecture and Landscape Ecology: A Case Study from the Southern High Plains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline M. Vadjunec

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Resource-use decisions affect the ecological and human components of the coupled human and natural system (CHANS, but a critique of some frameworks is that they do not address the complexity and tradeoffs within and between the two systems. Land system architecture (LA was suggested to account for these tradeoffs at multiple levels/scales. LA and landscape ecology (LE focus on landscape structure (i.e., composition and configuration of land-use and land-cover change [LULCC] and the processes (social-ecological resulting from and shaping LULCC. Drawing on mixed-methods research in the Southern Great Plains, we develop a framework that incorporates LA, LE, and governance theory. Public land and water are commons resources threatened by overuse, degradation, and climate change. Resource use is exacerbated by public land and water policies at the state- and local-levels. Our framework provides a foundation for investigating the mechanisms of land systems science (LSS couplings across multiple levels/scales to understand how and why governance impacts human LULCC decisions (LA and how those LULCC patterns influence, and are influenced by, the underlying ecological processes (LE. This framework provides a mechanism for investigating the feedbacks between and among the different system components in a CHANS that subsequently impact future human design decisions.

  10. Evolution in a Community Context: On Integrating Ecological Interactions and Macroevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Marjorie G; Wagner, Catherine E; Best, Rebecca J; Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake

    2017-04-01

    Despite a conceptual understanding that evolution and species interactions are inextricably linked, it remains challenging to study ecological and evolutionary dynamics together over long temporal scales. In this review, we argue that, despite inherent challenges associated with reconstructing historical processes, the interplay of ecology and evolution is central to our understanding of macroevolution and community coexistence, and cannot be safely ignored in community and comparative phylogenetic studies. We highlight new research avenues that foster greater consideration of both ecological and evolutionary dynamics as processes that occur along branches of phylogenetic trees. By promoting new ways forward using this perspective, we hope to inspire further integration that creatively co-utilizes phylogenies and ecological data to study eco-evolutionary dynamics over time and space. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Trade-offs in thermal adaptation: the need for a molecular to ecological integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pörtner, Hans O; Bennett, Albert F; Bozinovic, Francisco; Clarke, Andrew; Lardies, Marco A; Lucassen, Magnus; Pelster, Bernd; Schiemer, Fritz; Stillman, Jonathon H

    2006-01-01

    Through functional analyses, integrative physiology is able to link molecular biology with ecology as well as evolutionary biology and is thereby expected to provide access to the evolution of molecular, cellular, and organismic functions; the genetic basis of adaptability; and the shaping of ecological patterns. This paper compiles several exemplary studies of thermal physiology and ecology, carried out at various levels of biological organization from single genes (proteins) to ecosystems. In each of those examples, trade-offs and constraints in thermal adaptation are addressed; these trade-offs and constraints may limit species' distribution and define their level of fitness. For a more comprehensive understanding, the paper sets out to elaborate the functional and conceptual connections among these independent studies and the various organizational levels addressed. This effort illustrates the need for an overarching concept of thermal adaptation that encompasses molecular, organellar, cellular, and whole-organism information as well as the mechanistic links between fitness, ecological success, and organismal physiology. For this data, the hypothesis of oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance in animals provides such a conceptual framework and allows interpreting the mechanisms of thermal limitation of animals as relevant at the ecological level. While, ideally, evolutionary studies over multiple generations, illustrated by an example study in bacteria, are necessary to test the validity of such complex concepts and underlying hypotheses, animal physiology frequently is constrained to functional studies within one generation. Comparisons of populations in a latitudinal cline, closely related species from different climates, and ontogenetic stages from riverine clines illustrate how evolutionary information can still be gained. An understanding of temperature-dependent shifts in energy turnover, associated with adjustments in aerobic scope and performance

  12. Evolutionary Naturalism and the Logical Structure of Valuation: The Other Side of Error Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard A Richards

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available On one standard philosophical position adopted by evolutionary naturalists, human ethical systems are nothing more than evolutionary adaptations that facilitate social behavior. Belief in an absolute moral foundation is therefore in error. But evolutionary naturalism, by its commitment to the basic valutional concept of fitness, reveals another, logical error: standard conceptions of value in terms of simple predication and properties are mistaken. Valuation has instead, a relational structure that makes reference to respects, subjects and environments. This relational nature is illustrated by the analogy commonly drawn between value and color. Color perception, as recognized by the ecological concept, is relational and dependent on subject and environment. In a similar way, value is relational and dependent on subject and environment. This makes value subjective, but also objective in that it is grounded on facts about mattering. At bottom, values are complex relational facts. The view presented here, unlike other prominent relational and naturalistic conceptions of value, recognizes the full range of valuation in nature. The advantages of this relational conception are first, that it gets valuation right; second, it provides a framework to better explain and understand valuation in all its varieties and patterns.

  13. Evolutionary Naturalism and the Logical Structure of Valuation: The Other Side of Error Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard A Richards

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available On one standard philosophical position adopted by evolutionary naturalists, human ethical systems are nothing more than evolutionary adaptations that facilitate social behavior. Belief in an absolute moral foundation is therefore in error. But evolutionary naturalism, by its commitment to the basic valutional concept of fitness, reveals another, logical error: standard conceptions of value in terms of simple predication and properties are mistaken. Valuation has instead, a relational structure that makes reference to respects, subjects and environments. This relational nature is illustrated by the analogy commonly drawn between value and color. Color perception, as recognized by the ecological concept, is relational and dependent on subject and environment. In a similar way, value is relational and dependent on subject and environment. This makes value subjective, but also objective in that it is grounded on facts about mattering. At bottom, values are complex relational facts. The view presented here, unlike other prominent relational and naturalistic conceptions of value, recognizes the full range of valuation in nature. The advantages of this relational conception are first, that it gets valuation right; second, it provides a framework to better explain and understand valuation in all its varieties and patterns.

  14. Social monogamy vs. polyandry: ecological factors associated with sex roles in two closely related birds within the same habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goymann, W; Makomba, M; Urasa, F; Schwabl, I

    2015-07-01

    Why mainly males compete and females take a larger share in parental care remains an exciting question in evolutionary biology. Role-reversed species are of particular interest, because such 'exceptions' help to test the rule. Using mating systems theory as a framework, we compared the reproductive ecology of the two most contrasting coucals with regard to sexual dimorphism and parental care: the black coucal with male-only care and the biparental white-browed coucal. Both species occur in the same lush habitat and face similar ecological conditions, but drastically differ in mating system and sexual dimorphism. Black coucals were migratory and occurred at high breeding densities. With females being obligatory polyandrous and almost twice as heavy as males, black coucals belong to the most extreme vertebrates with reversed sexual dimorphism. Higher variance in reproductive success in fiercely competing females suggests that sexual selection is stronger in females than in males. In contrast, resident white-browed coucals bred at low densities and invariably in pairs. They were almost monomorphic and the variance in reproductive success was similar between the sexes. Black coucals were more likely to lose nests than white-browed coucals, probably facilitating female emancipation of parental care in black coucals. We propose that a combination of high food abundance, high population density, high degree of nest loss and male bias in the adult sex ratio represent ecological conditions that facilitate role reversal and polyandry in coucals and terrestrial vertebrates in general. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. A resilience framework for chronic exposures: water quality and ecosystem services in coastal social-ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    We outline a tailored resilience framework that applies ecosystem service concepts to coastal social-ecological systems (SES) affected by water quality degradation. Unlike acute coastal disturbances such as hurricanes or oil spills, water quality issues, particularly those relate...

  16. Evolutionary Game Theory Analysis of Tumor Progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Amy; Liao, David; Sturm, James; Austin, Robert

    2014-03-01

    Evolutionary game theory applied to two interacting cell populations can yield quantitative prediction of the future densities of the two cell populations based on the initial interaction terms. We will discuss how in a complex ecology that evolutionary game theory successfully predicts the future densities of strains of stromal and cancer cells (multiple myeloma), and discuss the possible clinical use of such analysis for predicting cancer progression. Supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Cancer Institute.

  17. Parasites and competitors suppress bacterial pathogen synergistically due to evolutionary trade-offs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Xiaofang; Wei, Zhong; Li, Mei; Wang, Xueqi; Shan, Anqi; Mei, Xinlan; Jousset, Alexandre; Shen, Qirong; Xu, Yangchun; Friman, Ville Petri

    2017-01-01

    Parasites and competitors are important for regulating pathogen densities and subsequent disease dynamics. It is, however, unclear to what extent this is driven by ecological and evolutionary processes. Here, we used experimental evolution to study the eco-evolutionary feedbacks among Ralstonia

  18. Species packing in eco-evolutionary models of seasonally fluctuating environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremer, Colin T; Klausmeier, Christopher A

    2017-09-01

    As ecology and evolution become ever more entwined, many areas of ecological theory are being re-examined. Eco-evolutionary analyses of classic coexistence mechanisms are yielding new insights into the structure and stability of communities. We examine fluctuation-dependent coexistence models, identifying communities that are both ecologically and evolutionarily stable. Members of these communities possess distinct environmental preferences, revealing widespread patterns of limiting similarity. This regularity leads to consistent changes in the structure of communities across fluctuation regimes. However, at high amplitudes, subtle differences in the form of fluctuations dramatically affect the collapse of communities. We also show that identical fluctuations can support multiple evolutionarily stable communities - a novel example of alternative stable states within eco-evolutionary systems. Consequently, the configuration of communities will depend on historical contingencies, including details of the adaptive process. Integrating evolution into the study of coexistence offers new insights, while enriching our understanding of ecology. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  19. The relative importance of rapid evolution for plant-microbe interactions depends on ecological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terhorst, Casey P; Lennon, Jay T; Lau, Jennifer A

    2014-06-22

    Evolution can occur on ecological time-scales, affecting community and ecosystem processes. However, the importance of evolutionary change relative to ecological processes remains largely unknown. Here, we analyse data from a long-term experiment in which we allowed plant populations to evolve for three generations in dry or wet soils and used a reciprocal transplant to compare the ecological effect of drought and the effect of plant evolutionary responses to drought on soil microbial communities and nutrient availability. Plants that evolved under drought tended to support higher bacterial and fungal richness, and increased fungal : bacterial ratios in the soil. Overall, the magnitudes of ecological and evolutionary effects on microbial communities were similar; however, the strength and direction of these effects depended on the context in which they were measured. For example, plants that evolved in dry environments increased bacterial abundance in dry contemporary environments, but decreased bacterial abundance in wet contemporary environments. Our results suggest that interactions between recent evolutionary history and ecological context affect both the direction and magnitude of plant effects on soil microbes. Consequently, an eco-evolutionary perspective is required to fully understand plant-microbe interactions.

  20. The Ecological Rise of Whales Chronicled by the Fossil Record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyenson, Nicholas D

    2017-06-05

    The evolution of cetaceans is one of the best examples of macroevolution documented from the fossil record. While ecological transitions dominate each phase of cetacean history, this context is rarely stated explicitly. The first major ecological phase involves a transition from riverine and deltaic environments to marine ones, concomitant with dramatic evolutionary transformations documented in their early fossil record. The second major phase involves ecological shifts associated with evolutionary innovations: echolocation (facilitating hunting prey at depth) and filter-feeding (enhancing foraging efficiency on small prey). This latter phase involves body size shifts, attributable to changes in foraging depth and environmental forcing, as well as re-invasions of freshwater systems on continental basins by multiple lineages. Modern phenomena driving cetacean ecology, such as trophic dynamics and arms races, have an evolutionary basis that remains mostly unexamined. The fossil record of cetaceans provides an historical basis for understanding current ecological mechanisms and consequences, especially as global climate change rapidly alters ocean and river ecosystems at rates and scales comparable to those over geologic time. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Parasites, ecosystems and sustainability: an ecological and complex systems perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horwitz, Pierre; Wilcox, Bruce A

    2005-06-01

    Host-parasite relationships can be conceptualised either narrowly, where the parasite is metabolically dependent on the host, or more broadly, as suggested by an ecological-evolutionary and complex systems perspective. In this view Host-parasite relationships are part of a larger set of ecological and co-evolutionary interdependencies and a complex adaptive system. These interdependencies affect not just the hosts, vectors, parasites, the immediate agents, but also those indirectly or consequentially affected by the relationship. Host-parasite relationships also can be viewed as systems embedded within larger systems represented by ecological communities and ecosystems. So defined, it can be argued that Host-parasite relationships may often benefit their hosts and contribute significantly to the structuring of ecological communities. The broader, complex adaptive system view also contributes to understanding the phenomenon of disease emergence, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms involved, and the role of parasitology in research and management of ecosystems in light of the apparently growing problem of emerging infectious diseases in wildlife and humans. An expanded set of principles for integrated parasite management is suggested by this perspective.

  2. Can Evolution Supply What Ecology Demands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokko, Hanna; Chaturvedi, Anurag; Croll, Daniel; Fischer, Martin C; Guillaume, Frédéric; Karrenberg, Sophie; Kerr, Ben; Rolshausen, Gregor; Stapley, Jessica

    2017-03-01

    A simplistic view of the adaptive process pictures a hillside along which a population can climb: when ecological 'demands' change, evolution 'supplies' the variation needed for the population to climb to a new peak. Evolutionary ecologists point out that this simplistic view can be incomplete because the fitness landscape changes dynamically as the population evolves. Geneticists meanwhile have identified complexities relating to the nature of genetic variation and its architecture, and the importance of epigenetic variation is under debate. In this review, we highlight how complexity in both ecological 'demands' and the evolutionary 'supply' influences organisms' ability to climb fitness landscapes that themselves change dynamically as evolution proceeds, and encourage new synthetic effort across research disciplines towards ecologically realistic studies of adaptation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Understanding Immigrant College Students: Applying a Developmental Ecology Framework to the Practice of Academic Advising

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stebleton, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Immigrant college student populations continue to grow, but the complexity of their unique needs and issues remain relatively unknown. To gain a better understanding of the multiple contextual factors impacting immigrant students from a systems-based approach, I applied Bronfenbrenner's (1977) human ecology framework to the study. Students…

  4. Interaction times change evolutionary outcomes: Two-player matrix games

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Křivan, Vlastimil; Cressman, R.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 416, MAR 07 (2017), s. 199-207 ISSN 0022-5193 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 690817 - FourCmodelling Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : evolutionary game theory * Hawk-Dove game * pair formation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 2.113, year: 2016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022519317300103

  5. Demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF): Apache Longbow - Hell Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Efroymson, R.A.

    2002-05-09

    This ecological risk assessment for a testing program at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, is a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF; Suter et al. 2001). The demonstration is intended to illustrate how risk assessment guidance concerning-generic military training and testing activities and guidance concerning a specific type of activity (e.g., low-altitude aircraft overflights) may be implemented at a military installation. MERAF was developed with funding from the Strategic Research and Development Program (SERDP) of the Department of Defense. Novel aspects of MERAF include: (1) the assessment of risks from physical stressors using an ecological risk assessment framework, (2) the consideration of contingent or indirect effects of stressors (e.g., population-level effects that are derived from habitat or hydrological changes), (3) the integration of risks associated with different component activities or stressors, (4) the emphasis on quantitative risk estimates and estimates of uncertainty, and (5) the modularity of design, permitting components of the framework to be used in various military risk assessments that include similar activities. The particular subject of this report is the assessment of ecological risks associated with a testing program at Cibola Range of Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. The program involves an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, i.e., M60-A1 tanks. Thus, the three component activities of the Apache-Hellfire test were: (1) helicopter overflight, (2) missile firing, and (3) tracked vehicle movement. The demonstration was limited, to two ecological endpoint entities (i.e., potentially susceptible and valued populations or communities): woody desert wash communities and mule deer populations. The core assessment area is composed of about 126 km{sup 2} between the Chocolate and Middle Mountains. The core time of the program is a three-week period, including fourteen days of

  6. Demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF): Apache Longbow - Hell Missile Test at Yuma Proving Ground

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Efroymson, R.A.

    2002-01-01

    This ecological risk assessment for a testing program at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, is a demonstration of the Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF; Suter et al. 2001). The demonstration is intended to illustrate how risk assessment guidance concerning-generic military training and testing activities and guidance concerning a specific type of activity (e.g., low-altitude aircraft overflights) may be implemented at a military installation. MERAF was developed with funding from the Strategic Research and Development Program (SERDP) of the Department of Defense. Novel aspects of MERAF include: (1) the assessment of risks from physical stressors using an ecological risk assessment framework, (2) the consideration of contingent or indirect effects of stressors (e.g., population-level effects that are derived from habitat or hydrological changes), (3) the integration of risks associated with different component activities or stressors, (4) the emphasis on quantitative risk estimates and estimates of uncertainty, and (5) the modularity of design, permitting components of the framework to be used in various military risk assessments that include similar activities. The particular subject of this report is the assessment of ecological risks associated with a testing program at Cibola Range of Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. The program involves an Apache Longbow helicopter firing Hellfire missiles at moving targets, i.e., M60-A1 tanks. Thus, the three component activities of the Apache-Hellfire test were: (1) helicopter overflight, (2) missile firing, and (3) tracked vehicle movement. The demonstration was limited, to two ecological endpoint entities (i.e., potentially susceptible and valued populations or communities): woody desert wash communities and mule deer populations. The core assessment area is composed of about 126 km 2 between the Chocolate and Middle Mountains. The core time of the program is a three-week period, including fourteen days of

  7. Understanding the mind from an evolutionary perspective: an overview of evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Todd K; Liddle, James R

    2014-05-01

    The theory of evolution by natural selection provides the only scientific explanation for the existence of complex adaptations. The design features of the brain, like any organ, are the result of selection pressures operating over deep time. Evolutionary psychology posits that the human brain comprises a multitude of evolved psychological mechanisms, adaptations to specific and recurrent problems of survival and reproduction faced over human evolutionary history. Although some mistakenly view evolutionary psychology as promoting genetic determinism, evolutionary psychologists appreciate and emphasize the interactions between genes and environments. This approach to psychology has led to a richer understanding of a variety of psychological phenomena, and has provided a powerful foundation for generating novel hypotheses. Critics argue that evolutionary psychologists resort to storytelling, but as with any branch of science, empirical testing is a vital component of the field, with hypotheses standing or falling with the weight of the evidence. Evolutionary psychology is uniquely suited to provide a unifying theoretical framework for the disparate subdisciplines of psychology. An evolutionary perspective has provided insights into several subdisciplines of psychology, while simultaneously demonstrating the arbitrary nature of dividing psychological science into such subdisciplines. Evolutionary psychologists have amassed a substantial empirical and theoretical literature, but as a relatively new approach to psychology, many questions remain, with several promising directions for future research. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. Feedback between Population and Evolutionary Dynamics Determines the Fate of Social Microbial Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Alvaro; Gore, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    The evolutionary spread of cheater strategies can destabilize populations engaging in social cooperative behaviors, thus demonstrating that evolutionary changes can have profound implications for population dynamics. At the same time, the relative fitness of cooperative traits often depends upon population density, thus leading to the potential for bi-directional coupling between population density and the evolution of a cooperative trait. Despite the potential importance of these eco-evolutionary feedback loops in social species, they have not yet been demonstrated experimentally and their ecological implications are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate the presence of a strong feedback loop between population dynamics and the evolutionary dynamics of a social microbial gene, SUC2, in laboratory yeast populations whose cooperative growth is mediated by the SUC2 gene. We directly visualize eco-evolutionary trajectories of hundreds of populations over 50–100 generations, allowing us to characterize the phase space describing the interplay of evolution and ecology in this system. Small populations collapse despite continual evolution towards increased cooperative allele frequencies; large populations with a sufficient number of cooperators “spiral” to a stable state of coexistence between cooperator and cheater strategies. The presence of cheaters does not significantly affect the equilibrium population density, but it does reduce the resilience of the population as well as its ability to adapt to a rapidly deteriorating environment. Our results demonstrate the potential ecological importance of coupling between evolutionary dynamics and the population dynamics of cooperatively growing organisms, particularly in microbes. Our study suggests that this interaction may need to be considered in order to explain intraspecific variability in cooperative behaviors, and also that this feedback between evolution and ecology can critically affect the demographic fate

  9. feedback between population and evolutionary dynamics determines the fate of social microbial populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro Sanchez

    Full Text Available The evolutionary spread of cheater strategies can destabilize populations engaging in social cooperative behaviors, thus demonstrating that evolutionary changes can have profound implications for population dynamics. At the same time, the relative fitness of cooperative traits often depends upon population density, thus leading to the potential for bi-directional coupling between population density and the evolution of a cooperative trait. Despite the potential importance of these eco-evolutionary feedback loops in social species, they have not yet been demonstrated experimentally and their ecological implications are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate the presence of a strong feedback loop between population dynamics and the evolutionary dynamics of a social microbial gene, SUC2, in laboratory yeast populations whose cooperative growth is mediated by the SUC2 gene. We directly visualize eco-evolutionary trajectories of hundreds of populations over 50-100 generations, allowing us to characterize the phase space describing the interplay of evolution and ecology in this system. Small populations collapse despite continual evolution towards increased cooperative allele frequencies; large populations with a sufficient number of cooperators "spiral" to a stable state of coexistence between cooperator and cheater strategies. The presence of cheaters does not significantly affect the equilibrium population density, but it does reduce the resilience of the population as well as its ability to adapt to a rapidly deteriorating environment. Our results demonstrate the potential ecological importance of coupling between evolutionary dynamics and the population dynamics of cooperatively growing organisms, particularly in microbes. Our study suggests that this interaction may need to be considered in order to explain intraspecific variability in cooperative behaviors, and also that this feedback between evolution and ecology can critically affect the

  10. A movement ecology paradigm for unifying organismal movement research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathan, Ran; Getz, Wayne M; Revilla, Eloy; Holyoak, Marcel; Kadmon, Ronen; Saltz, David; Smouse, Peter E

    2008-12-09

    Movement of individual organisms is fundamental to life, quilting our planet in a rich tapestry of phenomena with diverse implications for ecosystems and humans. Movement research is both plentiful and insightful, and recent methodological advances facilitate obtaining a detailed view of individual movement. Yet, we lack a general unifying paradigm, derived from first principles, which can place movement studies within a common context and advance the development of a mature scientific discipline. This introductory article to the Movement Ecology Special Feature proposes a paradigm that integrates conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and empirical frameworks for studying movement of all organisms, from microbes to trees to elephants. We introduce a conceptual framework depicting the interplay among four basic mechanistic components of organismal movement: the internal state (why move?), motion (how to move?), and navigation (when and where to move?) capacities of the individual and the external factors affecting movement. We demonstrate how the proposed framework aids the study of various taxa and movement types; promotes the formulation of hypotheses about movement; and complements existing biomechanical, cognitive, random, and optimality paradigms of movement. The proposed framework integrates eclectic research on movement into a structured paradigm and aims at providing a basis for hypothesis generation and a vehicle facilitating the understanding of the causes, mechanisms, and spatiotemporal patterns of movement and their role in various ecological and evolutionary processes. "Now we must consider in general the common reason for moving with any movement whatever." (Aristotle, De Motu Animalium, 4th century B.C.).

  11. The European Water Framework Directive: How Ecological Assumptions Frame Technical and Social Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Steyaert

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The European Water Framework Directive (WFD is built upon significant cognitive developments in the field of ecological science but also encourages active involvement of all interested parties in its implementation. The coexistence in the same policy text of both substantive and procedural approaches to policy development stimulated this research as did our concerns about the implications of substantive ecological visions within the WFD policy for promoting, or not, social learning processes through participatory designs. We have used a qualitative analysis of the WFD text which shows the ecological dimension of the WFD dedicates its quasi-exclusive attention to a particular current of thought in ecosystems science focusing on ecosystems status and stability and considering human activities as disturbance factors. This particular worldview is juxtaposed within the WFD with a more utilitarian one that gives rise to many policy exemptions without changing the general underlying ecological model. We discuss these policy statements in the light of the tension between substantive and procedural policy developments. We argue that the dominant substantive approach of the WFD, comprising particular ecological assumptions built upon "compositionalism," seems to be contradictory with its espoused intention of involving the public. We discuss that current of thought in regard to more functionalist thinking and adaptive management, which offers greater opportunities for social learning, i.e., place a set of interdependent stakeholders in an intersubjective position in which they operate a "social construction" of water problems through the co-production of knowledge.

  12. Evidence of Taxa-, Clone-, and Kin-discrimination in Protists: Ecological and Evolutionary Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, Avelina; Paz-Y-Miño-C, Guillermo

    2014-11-01

    Unicellular eukaryotes, or protists, are among the most ancient organisms on Earth. Protists belong to multiple taxonomic groups; they are widely distributed geographically and in all environments. Their ability to discriminate among con- and heterospecifics has been documented during the past decade. Here we discuss exemplar cases of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination in five major lineages: Mycetozoa ( Dictyostelium , Polysphondylium ), Dikarya ( Saccharomyces ), Ciliophora ( Tetrahymena ), Apicomplexa ( Plasmodium ) and Archamoebae ( Entamoeba ). We summarize the proposed genetic mechanisms involved in discrimination-mediated aggregation (self versus different), including the csA , FLO and trg (formerly lag ) genes, and the Proliferation Activation Factors (PAFs), which facilitate clustering in some protistan taxa. We caution about the experimental challenges intrinsic to studying recognition in protists, and highlight the opportunities for exploring the ecology and evolution of complex forms of cell-cell communication, including social behavior, in a polyphyletic, still superficially understood group of organisms. Because unicellular eukaryotes are the evolutionary precursors of multicellular life, we infer that their mechanisms of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination gave origin to the complex diversification and sophistication of traits associated with species and kin recognition in plants, fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates.

  13. Past, present and future distributions of an Iberian Endemic, Lepus granatensis: ecological and evolutionary clues from species distribution models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pelayo Acevedo

    Full Text Available The application of species distribution models (SDMs in ecology and conservation biology is increasing and assuming an important role, mainly because they can be used to hindcast past and predict current and future species distributions. However, the accuracy of SDMs depends on the quality of the data and on appropriate theoretical frameworks. In this study, comprehensive data on the current distribution of the Iberian hare (Lepus granatensis were used to i determine the species' ecogeographical constraints, ii hindcast a climatic model for the last glacial maximum (LGM, relating it to inferences derived from molecular studies, and iii calibrate a model to assess the species future distribution trends (up to 2080. Our results showed that the climatic factor (in its pure effect and when it is combined with the land-cover factor is the most important descriptor of the current distribution of the Iberian hare. In addition, the model's output was a reliable index of the local probability of species occurrence, which is a valuable tool to guide species management decisions and conservation planning. Climatic potential obtained for the LGM was combined with molecular data and the results suggest that several glacial refugia may have existed for the species within the major Iberian refugium. Finally, a high probability of occurrence of the Iberian hare in the current species range and a northward expansion were predicted for future. Given its current environmental envelope and evolutionary history, we discuss the macroecology of the Iberian hare and its sensitivity to climate change.

  14. Past, present and future distributions of an Iberian Endemic, Lepus granatensis: ecological and evolutionary clues from species distribution models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo, Pelayo; Melo-Ferreira, José; Real, Raimundo; Alves, Paulo Célio

    2012-01-01

    The application of species distribution models (SDMs) in ecology and conservation biology is increasing and assuming an important role, mainly because they can be used to hindcast past and predict current and future species distributions. However, the accuracy of SDMs depends on the quality of the data and on appropriate theoretical frameworks. In this study, comprehensive data on the current distribution of the Iberian hare (Lepus granatensis) were used to i) determine the species' ecogeographical constraints, ii) hindcast a climatic model for the last glacial maximum (LGM), relating it to inferences derived from molecular studies, and iii) calibrate a model to assess the species future distribution trends (up to 2080). Our results showed that the climatic factor (in its pure effect and when it is combined with the land-cover factor) is the most important descriptor of the current distribution of the Iberian hare. In addition, the model's output was a reliable index of the local probability of species occurrence, which is a valuable tool to guide species management decisions and conservation planning. Climatic potential obtained for the LGM was combined with molecular data and the results suggest that several glacial refugia may have existed for the species within the major Iberian refugium. Finally, a high probability of occurrence of the Iberian hare in the current species range and a northward expansion were predicted for future. Given its current environmental envelope and evolutionary history, we discuss the macroecology of the Iberian hare and its sensitivity to climate change.

  15. Rural Mental Health Ecology: A Framework for Engaging with Mental Health Social Capital in Rural Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Rhonda L; Wilson, G Glenn; Usher, Kim

    2015-09-01

    The mental health of people in rural communities is influenced by the robustness of the mental health ecosystem within each community. Theoretical approaches such as social ecology and social capital are useful when applied to the practical context of promoting environmental conditions which maximise mental health helping capital to enhance resilience and reduce vulnerably as a buffer for mental illness. This paper explores the ecological conditions that affect the mental health and illness of people in rural communities. It proposes a new mental health social ecology framework that makes full use of the locally available unique social capital that is sufficiently flexible to facilitate mental health helping capital best suited to mental health service delivery for rural people in an Australian context.

  16. Applying ecological and evolutionary theory to cancer: a long and winding road.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Frédéric; Fisher, Daniel; Fort, Philippe; Marie, Jean-Pierre; Daoust, Simon; Roche, Benjamin; Grunau, Christoph; Cosseau, Céline; Mitta, Guillaume; Baghdiguian, Stephen; Rousset, François; Lassus, Patrice; Assenat, Eric; Grégoire, Damien; Missé, Dorothée; Lorz, Alexander; Billy, Frédérique; Vainchenker, William; Delhommeau, François; Koscielny, Serge; Itzykson, Raphael; Tang, Ruoping; Fava, Fanny; Ballesta, Annabelle; Lepoutre, Thomas; Krasinska, Liliana; Dulic, Vjekoslav; Raynaud, Peggy; Blache, Philippe; Quittau-Prevostel, Corinne; Vignal, Emmanuel; Trauchessec, Hélène; Perthame, Benoit; Clairambault, Jean; Volpert, Vitali; Solary, Eric; Hibner, Urszula; Hochberg, Michael E

    2013-01-01

    Since the mid 1970s, cancer has been described as a process of Darwinian evolution, with somatic cellular selection and evolution being the fundamental processes leading to malignancy and its many manifestations (neoangiogenesis, evasion of the immune system, metastasis, and resistance to therapies). Historically, little attention has been placed on applications of evolutionary biology to understanding and controlling neoplastic progression and to prevent therapeutic failures. This is now beginning to change, and there is a growing international interest in the interface between cancer and evolutionary biology. The objective of this introduction is first to describe the basic ideas and concepts linking evolutionary biology to cancer. We then present four major fronts where the evolutionary perspective is most developed, namely laboratory and clinical models, mathematical models, databases, and techniques and assays. Finally, we discuss several of the most promising challenges and future prospects in this interdisciplinary research direction in the war against cancer.

  17. The ABCs of an evolutionary education science: The academic, behavioral, and cultural implications of an evolutionary approach to education theory and practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauffman, Rick, Jr.

    Calls for improving research-informed policy in education are everywhere. Yet, while there is an increasing trend towards science-based practice, there remains little agreement over which of the sciences to consult and how to organize a collective effort between them. What Education lacks is a general theoretical framework through which policies can be constructed, implemented, and assessed. This dissertation submits that evolutionary theory can provide a suitable framework for coordinating educational policies and practice, and can provide the entire field of education with a clearer sense of how to better manage the learning environment. This dissertation explores two broad paths that outline the conceptual foundations for an Evolutionary Education Science: "Teaching Evolution" and "Using Evolution to Teach." Chapter 1 introduces both of these themes. After describing why evolutionary science is best suited for organizing education research and practice, Chapter 1 proceeds to "teach" an overview of the "evolutionary toolkit"---the mechanisms and principles that underlie the modern evolutionary perspective. The chapter then employs the "toolkit" in examining education from an evolutionary perspective, outlining the evolutionary precepts that can guide theorizing and research in education, describing how educators can "use evolution to teach.". Chapters 2-4 expand on this second theme. Chapters 2 and 3 describe an education program for at-risk 9th and 10th grade students, the Regents Academy, designed entirely with evolutionary principles in mind. The program was rigorously assessed in a randomized control design and has demonstrated success at improving students' academic performance (Chapter 2) and social & behavioral development (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 examines current teaching strategies that underlie effective curriculum-instruction-assessment practices and proposes a framework for organizing successful, evidence-based strategies for neural

  18. Sympatric ecological divergence associated with a color polymorphism

    OpenAIRE

    Kusche, Henrik; Elmer, Kathryn R.; Meyer, Axel

    2015-01-01

    Background Color polymorphisms are a conspicuous feature of many species and a way to address broad ecological and evolutionary questions. Three potential major evolutionary fates of color polymorphisms are conceivable over time: maintenance, loss, or speciation. However, the understanding of color polymorphisms and their evolutionary implications is frequently impaired by sex-linkage of coloration, unknown inheritance patterns, difficulties in phenotypic characterization, and a lack of evolu...

  19. Credit of ecological interactions: A new conceptual framework to support conservation in a defaunated world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genes, Luísa; Cid, Bruno; Fernandez, Fernando A S; Pires, Alexandra S

    2017-03-01

    As defaunation spreads through the world, there is an urgent need for restoring ecological interactions, thus assuring ecosystem processes. Here, we define the new concept of credit of ecological interactions , as the number of interactions that can be restored in a focal area by species colonization or reintroduction. We also define rewiring time , as the time span until all the links that build the credit of ecological interactions of a focal area have become functional again. We expect that the credit will be gradually cashed following refaunation in rates that are proportional to (1) the abundance of the reintroduced species (that is expected to increase in time since release), (2) the abundance of the local species that interact with them, and (3) the traits of reintroduced species. We illustrated this approach using a theoretical model and an empirical case study where the credit of ecological interactions was estimated. This new conceptual framework is useful for setting reintroduction priorities and for evaluating the success of conservation initiatives that aim to restore ecosystem services.

  20. Development of ecological monitoring systems for near-boundary regions of Russia and Kazakhstan in the 'Integration' Federal program framework

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valyaev, A.N.; Kiselev, V.P.; Gerasimenko, N.N.; Dzhamanbalin, K.K.

    2003-01-01

    The present paper is devoted to description of basic works carrying out within framework of the International project 'Ecological monitoring of Russia and Kazakhstan boundary regions'. In 2002 the works were conducted by three directions: preparation of necessary boundary areas' electronic maps; overview of existing information sources (Kostanai and Chelyabinsk cities are as an example); implementation of ecological information data bases structures on boundary areas. The geographic information system MapInfo was selected in the capacity of geo-information system. The implementation information-simulating complex is planing as open developing system. In the framework of the complex the combined operation of a set of different-scale special-purpose information, simulating and geo-information systems have been provided

  1. Stochastic dynamics of adaptive trait and neutral marker driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billiard, Sylvain; Ferrière, Régis; Méléard, Sylvie; Tran, Viet Chi

    2015-11-01

    How the neutral diversity is affected by selection and adaptation is investigated in an eco-evolutionary framework. In our model, we study a finite population in continuous time, where each individual is characterized by a trait under selection and a completely linked neutral marker. Population dynamics are driven by births and deaths, mutations at birth, and competition between individuals. Trait values influence ecological processes (demographic events, competition), and competition generates selection on trait variation, thus closing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. The demographic effects of the trait are also expected to influence the generation and maintenance of neutral variation. We consider a large population limit with rare mutation, under the assumption that the neutral marker mutates faster than the trait under selection. We prove the convergence of the stochastic individual-based process to a new measure-valued diffusive process with jumps that we call Substitution Fleming-Viot Process (SFVP). When restricted to the trait space this process is the Trait Substitution Sequence first introduced by Metz et al. (1996). During the invasion of a favorable mutation, a genetical bottleneck occurs and the marker associated with this favorable mutant is hitchhiked. By rigorously analysing the hitchhiking effect and how the neutral diversity is restored afterwards, we obtain the condition for a time-scale separation; under this condition, we show that the marker distribution is approximated by a Fleming-Viot distribution between two trait substitutions. We discuss the implications of the SFVP for our understanding of the dynamics of neutral variation under eco-evolutionary feedbacks and illustrate the main phenomena with simulations. Our results highlight the joint importance of mutations, ecological parameters, and trait values in the restoration of neutral diversity after a selective sweep.

  2. Women, behavior, and evolution: understanding the debate between feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liesen, Laurette T

    2007-03-01

    Often since the early 1990s, feminist evolutionists have criticized evolutionary psychologists, finding fault in their analyses of human male and female reproductive behavior. Feminist evolutionists have criticized various evolutionary psychologists for perpetuating gender stereotypes, using questionable methodology, and exhibiting a chill toward feminism. Though these criticisms have been raised many times, the conflict itself has not been fully analyzed. Therefore, I reconsider this conflict, both in its origins and its implications. I find that the approaches and perspectives of feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists are distinctly different, leading many of the former to work in behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology. Invitingly to feminist evolutionists, these three fields emphasize social behavior and the influences of environmental variables; in contrast, evolutionary psychology has come to rely on assumptions deemphasizing the pliability of psychological mechanisms and the flexibility of human behavior. In behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology, feminist evolutionists have found old biases easy to correct and new hypotheses practical to test, offering new insights into male and female behavior, explaining the emergence and persistence of patriarchy, and potentially bringing closer a prime feminist goal, sexual equality.

  3. A Strategic Project Appraisal framework for ecologically sustainable urban infrastructure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrissey, John; Iyer-Raniga, Usha; McLaughlin, Patricia; Mills, Anthony

    2012-01-01

    Actors in the built environment are progressively considering environmental and social issues alongside functional and economic aspects of development projects. Infrastructure projects represent major investment and construction initiatives with attendant environmental, economic and societal impacts across multiple scales. To date, while sustainability strategies and frameworks have focused on wider national aspirations and strategic objectives, they are noticeably weak in addressing micro-level integrated decision making in the built environment, particularly for infrastructure projects. The proposed approach of this paper is based on the principal that early intervention is the most cost-effective and efficient means of mitigating the environmental effects of development projects, particularly macro infrastructure developments. A strategic overview of the various project alternatives, taking account for stakeholder and expert input, could effectively reduce project impacts/risks at low cost to the project developers but provide significant benefit to wider communities, including communities of future stakeholders. This paper is the first exploratory step in developing a more systematic framework for evaluating strategic alternatives for major metropolitan infrastructure projects, based on key sustainability principles. The developed Strategic Project Appraisal (SPA) framework, grounded in the theory of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), provides a means of practically appraising project impacts and alternatives in terms of quantified ecological limits; addresses the neglected topic of metropolitan infrastructure as a means of delivering sustainability outcomes in the urban context and more broadly, seeks to open a debate on the potential for SEA methodology to be more extensively applied to address sustainability challenges in the built environment. Practically applied and timed appropriately, the SPA framework can enable better decision-making and more

  4. Smartphones in ecology and evolution: a guide for the app-rehensive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teacher, Amber G F; Griffiths, David J; Hodgson, David J; Inger, Richard

    2013-12-01

    Smartphones and their apps (application software) are now used by millions of people worldwide and represent a powerful combination of sensors, information transfer, and computing power that deserves better exploitation by ecological and evolutionary researchers. We outline the development process for research apps, provide contrasting case studies for two new research apps, and scan the research horizon to suggest how apps can contribute to the rapid collection, interpretation, and dissemination of data in ecology and evolutionary biology. We emphasize that the usefulness of an app relies heavily on the development process, recommend that app developers are engaged with the process at the earliest possible stage, and commend efforts to create open-source software scaffolds on which customized apps can be built by nonexperts. We conclude that smartphones and their apps could replace many traditional handheld sensors, calculators, and data storage devices in ecological and evolutionary research. We identify their potential use in the high-throughput collection, analysis, and storage of complex ecological information.

  5. The eco-evolutionary impacts of domestication and agricultural practices on wild species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turcotte, Martin M; Araki, Hitoshi; Karp, Daniel S; Poveda, Katja; Whitehead, Susan R

    2017-01-19

    Agriculture is a dominant evolutionary force that drives the evolution of both domesticated and wild species. However, the various mechanisms of agriculture-induced evolution and their socio-ecological consequences are not often synthetically discussed. Here, we explore how agricultural practices and evolutionary changes in domesticated species cause evolution in wild species. We do so by examining three processes by which agriculture drives evolution. First, differences in the traits of domesticated species, compared with their wild ancestors, alter the selective environment and create opportunities for wild species to specialize. Second, selection caused by agricultural practices, including both those meant to maximize productivity and those meant to control pest species, can lead to pest adaptation. Third, agriculture can cause non-selective changes in patterns of gene flow in wild species. We review evidence for these processes and then discuss their ecological and sociological impacts. We finish by identifying important knowledge gaps and future directions related to the eco-evolutionary impacts of agriculture including their extent, how to prevent the detrimental evolution of wild species, and finally, how to use evolution to minimize the ecological impacts of agriculture.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Ecological niche dimensionality and the evolutionary diversification of stick insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Nosil

    Full Text Available The degree of phenotypic divergence and reproductive isolation between taxon pairs can vary quantitatively, and often increases as evolutionary divergence proceeds through various stages, from polymorphism to population differentiation, ecotype and race formation, speciation, and post-speciational divergence. Although divergent natural selection promotes divergence, it does not always result in strong differentiation. For example, divergent selection can fail to complete speciation, and distinct species pairs sometimes collapse ('speciation in reverse'. Widely-discussed explanations for this variability concern genetic architecture, and the geographic arrangement of populations. A less-explored possibility is that the degree of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between taxon pairs is positively related to the number of ecological niche dimensions (i.e., traits subject to divergent selection. Some data supporting this idea stem from laboratory experimental evolution studies using Drosophila, but tests from nature are lacking. Here we report results from manipulative field experiments in natural populations of herbivorous Timema stick insects that are consistent with this 'niche dimensionality' hypothesis. In such insects, divergent selection between host plants might occur for cryptic colouration (camouflage to evade visual predation, physiology (to detoxify plant chemicals, or both of these niche dimensions. We show that divergent selection on the single niche dimension of cryptic colouration can result in ecotype formation and intermediate levels of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between populations feeding on different hosts. However, greater divergence between a species pair involved divergent selection on both niche dimensions. Although further replication of the trends reported here is required, the results suggest that dimensionality of selection may complement genetic and geographic explanations for the degree of

  7. Evolution of egg coats: linking molecular biology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Longfei; Suter, Marc J-F; Räsänen, Katja

    2015-08-01

    One central goal of evolutionary biology is to explain how biological diversity emerges and is maintained in nature. Given the complexity of the phenotype and the multifaceted nature of inheritance, modern evolutionary ecological studies rely heavily on the use of molecular tools. Here, we show how molecular tools help to gain insight into the role of egg coats (i.e. the extracellular structures surrounding eggs and embryos) in evolutionary diversification. Egg coats are maternally derived structures that have many biological functions from mediating fertilization to protecting the embryo from environmental hazards. They show great molecular, structural and functional diversity across species, but intraspecific variability and the role of ecology in egg coat evolution have largely been overlooked. Given that much of the variation that influences egg coat function is ultimately determined by their molecular phenotype, cutting-edge molecular tools (e.g. proteomics, glycomics and transcriptomics), combined with functional assays, are needed for rigorous inferences on their evolutionary ecology. Here, we identify key research areas and highlight emerging molecular techniques that can increase our understanding of the role of egg coats in the evolution of biological diversity, from adaptation to speciation. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. The landscape of fear conceptual framework: definition and review of current applications and misuses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonny S. Bleicher

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Landscapes of Fear (LOF, the spatially explicit distribution of perceived predation risk as seen by a population, is increasingly cited in ecological literature and has become a frequently used “buzz-word”. With the increase in popularity, it became necessary to clarify the definition for the term, suggest boundaries and propose a common framework for its use. The LOF, as a progeny of the “ecology of fear” conceptual framework, defines fear as the strategic manifestation of the cost-benefit analysis of food and safety tradeoffs. In addition to direct predation risk, the LOF is affected by individuals’ energetic-state, inter- and intra-specific competition and is constrained by the evolutionary history of each species. Herein, based on current applications of the LOF conceptual framework, I suggest the future research in this framework will be directed towards: (1 finding applied management uses as a trait defining a population’s habitat-use and habitat-suitability; (2 studying multi-dimensional distribution of risk-assessment through time and space; (3 studying variability between individuals within a population; (4 measuring eco-neurological implications of risk as a feature of environmental heterogeneity and (5 expanding temporal and spatial scales of empirical studies.

  9. Low ecological disparity in Early Cretaceous birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S.; Makovicky, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological divergence is thought to be coupled with evolutionary radiations, yet the strength of this coupling is unclear. When birds diversified ecologically has received much less attention than their hotly debated crown divergence time. Here, we quantify how accurately skeletal morphology can predict ecology in living and extinct birds, and show that the earliest known assemblage of birds (= pygostylians) from the Jehol Biota (≈ 125 Ma) was substantially impoverished ecologically. The Jehol avifauna has few representatives of highly preservable ecomorphs (e.g. aquatic forms) and a notable lack of ecomorphological overlap with the pterosaur assemblage (e.g. no large or aerially foraging pygostylians). Comparisons of the Jehol functional diversity with modern and subfossil avian assemblages show that taphonomic bias alone cannot explain the ecomorphological impoverishment. However, evolutionary simulations suggest that the constrained ecological diversity of the Early Cretaceous pygostylians is consistent with what is expected from a relatively young radiation. Regardless of the proximate biological explanation, the anomalously low functional diversity of the Jehol birds is evidence both for ecological vacancies in Cretaceous ecosystems, which were subsequently filled by the radiation of crown Aves, and for discordance between taxonomic richness and ecological diversity in the best-known Mesozoic ecosystem. PMID:24870044

  10. The domestication and evolutionary ecology of apples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornille, A.; Giraud, T.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Roldán-Ruiz, I.; Gladieux, P.

    2014-01-01

    The cultivated apple is a major fruit crop in temperate zones. Its wild relatives, distributed across temperate Eurasia and growing in diverse habitats, represent potentially useful sources of diversity for apple breeding. We review here the most recent findings on the genetics and ecology of apple

  11. Molecular musings in microbial ecology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Case, Rebecca J; Boucher, Yan

    2011-11-10

    A few major discoveries have influenced how ecologists and evolutionists study microbes. Here, in the format of an interview, we answer questions that directly relate to how these discoveries are perceived in these two branches of microbiology, and how they have impacted on both scientific thinking and methodology.The first question is "What has been the influence of the 'Universal Tree of Life' based on molecular markers?" For evolutionists, the tree was a tool to understand the past of known (cultured) organisms, mapping the invention of various physiologies on the evolutionary history of microbes. For ecologists the tree was a guide to discover the current diversity of unknown (uncultured) organisms, without much knowledge of their physiology.The second question we ask is "What was the impact of discovering frequent lateral gene transfer among microbes?" In evolutionary microbiology, frequent lateral gene transfer (LGT) made a simple description of relationships between organisms impossible, and for microbial ecologists, functions could not be easily linked to specific genotypes. Both fields initially resisted LGT, but methods or topics of inquiry were eventually changed in one to incorporate LGT in its theoretical models (evolution) and in the other to achieve its goals despite that phenomenon (ecology).The third and last question we ask is "What are the implications of the unexpected extent of diversity?" The variation in the extent of diversity between organisms invalidated the universality of species definitions based on molecular criteria, a major obstacle to the adaptation of models developed for the study of macroscopic eukaryotes to evolutionary microbiology. This issue has not overtly affected microbial ecology, as it had already abandoned species in favor of the more flexible operational taxonomic units. This field is nonetheless moving away from traditional methods to measure diversity, as they do not provide enough resolution to uncover what lies

  12. Experimental test of an eco-evolutionary dynamic feedback loop between evolution and population density in the green peach aphid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turcotte, Martin M; Reznick, David N; Daniel Hare, J

    2013-05-01

    An eco-evolutionary feedback loop is defined as the reciprocal impacts of ecology on evolutionary dynamics and evolution on ecological dynamics on contemporary timescales. We experimentally tested for an eco-evolutionary feedback loop in the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, by manipulating initial densities and evolution. We found strong evidence that initial aphid density alters the rate and direction of evolution, as measured by changes in genotype frequencies through time. We also found that evolution of aphids within only 16 days, or approximately three generations, alters the rate of population growth and predicts density compared to nonevolving controls. The impact of evolution on population dynamics also depended on density. In one evolution treatment, evolution accelerated population growth by up to 10.3% at high initial density or reduced it by up to 6.4% at low initial density. The impact of evolution on population growth was as strong as or stronger than that caused by a threefold change in intraspecific density. We found that, taken together, ecological condition, here intraspecific density, alters evolutionary dynamics, which in turn alter concurrent population growth rate (ecological dynamics) in an eco-evolutionary feedback loop. Our results suggest that ignoring evolution in studies predicting population dynamics might lead us to over- or underestimate population density and that we cannot predict the evolutionary outcome within aphid populations without considering population size.

  13. Introduction to Ecological Landscaping: A Holistic Description and Framework to Guide the Study and Management of Urban Landscape Parcels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parwinder Grewal

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Urbanized ecosystems and urban human populations are expanding around the world causing many negative environmental effects. A challenge for achieving sustainable urban social-ecological systems is understanding how urbanized landscapes can be designed and managed to minimize negative outcomes. To this end, an interdisciplinary Ecological Landscaping conference was organized to examine the interacting sociocultural and ecological causes and consequences of landscaping practices and products. This special issue of Cities and the Environment contains a diverse set of articles arising from that conference. In this introductory paper, we describe the meaning of ecological landscaping and a new conceptual framework that helps organize the topic’s complex issues. The essence of ecological landscaping is a holistic systems-thinking perspective for understanding the interrelationships among physical-ecological and sociocultural variables that give rise to the patterns and processes of biodiversity, abiotic conditions, and ecosystem processes within and among individually-managed urban landscape parcels. This perspective suggests that 1 variables not considered part of traditional landscaping and 2 the effects of landscaping within an individual parcel on variables outside of it must both be considered when making design and management decisions about a parcel. To illustrate how these points help create a more holistic, ecological approach to landscaping, a traditional ecosystem model is used to create a framework for discussing how sociocultural and physical-ecological inputs to a landscape parcel affect its characteristics and outputs. As exemplified by papers in this issue, an integrated sociocultural-ecological approach to the study of urban landscaping practices and products is needed to 1 understand why and how humans design and mange urban landscape parcels, 2 describe how the combined characteristics and outputs of many parcels give rise to the

  14. Landscape fragmentation and pollinator movement within agricultural environments: a modelling framework for exploring foraging and movement ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rands, Sean A

    2014-01-01

    Pollinator decline has been linked to landscape change, through both habitat fragmentation and the loss of habitat suitable for the pollinators to live within. One method for exploring why landscape change should affect pollinator populations is to combine individual-level behavioural ecological techniques with larger-scale landscape ecology. A modelling framework is described that uses spatially-explicit individual-based models to explore the effects of individual behavioural rules within a landscape. The technique described gives a simple method for exploring the effects of the removal of wild corridors, and the creation of wild set-aside fields: interventions that are common to many national agricultural policies. The effects of these manipulations on central-place nesting pollinators are varied, and depend upon the behavioural rules that the pollinators are using to move through the environment. The value of this modelling framework is discussed, and future directions for exploration are identified.

  15. Landscape fragmentation and pollinator movement within agricultural environments: a modelling framework for exploring foraging and movement ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean A. Rands

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Pollinator decline has been linked to landscape change, through both habitat fragmentation and the loss of habitat suitable for the pollinators to live within. One method for exploring why landscape change should affect pollinator populations is to combine individual-level behavioural ecological techniques with larger-scale landscape ecology. A modelling framework is described that uses spatially-explicit individual-based models to explore the effects of individual behavioural rules within a landscape. The technique described gives a simple method for exploring the effects of the removal of wild corridors, and the creation of wild set-aside fields: interventions that are common to many national agricultural policies. The effects of these manipulations on central-place nesting pollinators are varied, and depend upon the behavioural rules that the pollinators are using to move through the environment. The value of this modelling framework is discussed, and future directions for exploration are identified.

  16. Evolutionary engineering for industrial microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanee, Niti; Fisher, Adam B; Fong, Stephen S

    2012-01-01

    Superficially, evolutionary engineering is a paradoxical field that balances competing interests. In natural settings, evolution iteratively selects and enriches subpopulations that are best adapted to a particular ecological niche using random processes such as genetic mutation. In engineering desired approaches utilize rational prospective design to address targeted problems. When considering details of evolutionary and engineering processes, more commonality can be found. Engineering relies on detailed knowledge of the problem parameters and design properties in order to predict design outcomes that would be an optimized solution. When detailed knowledge of a system is lacking, engineers often employ algorithmic search strategies to identify empirical solutions. Evolution epitomizes this iterative optimization by continuously diversifying design options from a parental design, and then selecting the progeny designs that represent satisfactory solutions. In this chapter, the technique of applying the natural principles of evolution to engineer microbes for industrial applications is discussed to highlight the challenges and principles of evolutionary engineering.

  17. Sexual division of labor: energetic and evolutionary scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panter-Brick, Catherine

    2002-01-01

    This article examines comparative energetic data on hunter-gatherers in the context of evolutionary scenarios of the sexual division of labor, with respect to both specific task allocation and overall levels of daily physical activity. The division of labor between men and women, well marked in contemporary foraging societies, was once posited as the "true watershed" for the evolution of the genus Homo. Some research on brain-wiring even links sex differences in cognitive and spatial abilities to sex-specific foraging activities. Most recent evolutionary arguments posit that men focus on hunting and women on gathering activities to realize potentially conflicting mating and parenting goals. A range of cooperative strategies (male/female and female/female) for child provisioning is also under investigation. Attention to energetic and reproductive trade-offs has usefully challenged the proposition that women are excluded from big-game hunting due to constraints of foraging ecology and reproduction. Simplistic assumptions about gender roles are thus increasingly questioned in anthropology, as well as in archaeology. Current models in behavioral ecology explore ways in which foraging practices vary with ecological circumstances, aiming to derive testable hypotheses from fine-grained data on the behavior of contemporary hunter-gatherers. Data on overall physical activity levels (PAL) can also serve to evaluate relative male/female workloads in modern groups, reconstruct hominid energy requirements and activity profiles, and examine changes with subsistence intensification. Male/female PAL ratios show that a task-specific division of labor does not readily extrapolate to 24-hour energy expenditure and that male/female differences in workloads were not necessarily reduced with the transition to agriculture. With respect to gender roles and PAL, a shift away from facile stereotypes of human behavior is evident. The challenge is to incorporate a range of behavioral

  18. Radiation, ecology and the invalid LNT model: the evolutionary imperative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Peter A

    2006-09-27

    Metabolic and energetic efficiency, and hence fitness of organisms to survive, should be maximal in their habitats. This tenet of evolutionary biology invalidates the linear-no threshold (LNT) model for the risk consequences of environmental agents. Hormesis in response to selection for maximum metabolic and energetic efficiency, or minimum metabolic imbalance, to adapt to a stressed world dominated by oxidative stress should therefore be universal. Radiation hormetic zones extending substantially beyond common background levels, can be explained by metabolic interactions among multiple abiotic stresses. Demographic and experimental data are mainly in accord with this expectation. Therefore, non-linearity becomes the primary model for assessing risks from low-dose ionizing radiation. This is the evolutionary imperative upon which risk assessment for radiation should be based.

  19. A guide to phylogenetic metrics for conservation, community ecology and macroecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadotte, Marc W.; Carvalho, Silvia B.; Davies, T. Jonathan; Ferrier, Simon; Fritz, Susanne A.; Grenyer, Rich; Helmus, Matthew R.; Jin, Lanna S.; Mooers, Arne O.; Pavoine, Sandrine; Purschke, Oliver; Redding, David W.; Rosauer, Dan F.; Winter, Marten; Mazel, Florent

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The use of phylogenies in ecology is increasingly common and has broadened our understanding of biological diversity. Ecological sub‐disciplines, particularly conservation, community ecology and macroecology, all recognize the value of evolutionary relationships but the resulting development of phylogenetic approaches has led to a proliferation of phylogenetic diversity metrics. The use of many metrics across the sub‐disciplines hampers potential meta‐analyses, syntheses, and generalizations of existing results. Further, there is no guide for selecting the appropriate metric for a given question, and different metrics are frequently used to address similar questions. To improve the choice, application, and interpretation of phylo‐diversity metrics, we organize existing metrics by expanding on a unifying framework for phylogenetic information. Generally, questions about phylogenetic relationships within or between assemblages tend to ask three types of question: how much; how different; or how regular? We show that these questions reflect three dimensions of a phylogenetic tree: richness, divergence, and regularity. We classify 70 existing phylo‐diversity metrics based on their mathematical form within these three dimensions and identify ‘anchor’ representatives: for α‐diversity metrics these are PD (Faith's phylogenetic diversity), MPD (mean pairwise distance), and VPD (variation of pairwise distances). By analysing mathematical formulae and using simulations, we use this framework to identify metrics that mix dimensions, and we provide a guide to choosing and using the most appropriate metrics. We show that metric choice requires connecting the research question with the correct dimension of the framework and that there are logical approaches to selecting and interpreting metrics. The guide outlined herein will help researchers navigate the current jungle of indices. PMID:26785932

  20. Assessing variation in life-history tactics within a population using mixture regression models: a practical guide for evolutionary ecologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamel, Sandra; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Gaillard, Jean-Michel

    2017-05-01

    violated in life-history data. Mixed models were quite robust to this violation in the sense that fixed effects were unbiased at the population level. However, fixed effects at the cluster level and random effects were better estimated using mixture models. Our empirical analyses demonstrated that using mixture models facilitates the identification of the diversity of growth and reproductive tactics occurring within a population. Therefore, using this modelling framework allows testing for the presence of clusters and, when clusters occur, provides reliable estimates of fixed and random effects for each cluster of the population. In the presence or expectation of clusters, using mixture models offers a suitable extension of mixed models, particularly when evolutionary ecologists aim at identifying how ecological and evolutionary processes change within a population. Mixture regression models therefore provide a valuable addition to the statistical toolbox of evolutionary ecologists. As these models are complex and have their own limitations, we provide recommendations to guide future users. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  1. Darwinian foundations for evolutionary economics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoelhorst, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    This paper engages with the methodological debate on the contribution of Darwinism to Veblen's (1898) evolutionary research program for economics. I argue that ontological continuity, generalized Darwinism, and multi-level selection are necessary building blocks for an explanatory framework that can

  2. Long-Term Research in Ecology and Evolution (LTREE): 2015 survey data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, Mark A; Leiserowitz, Anthony; Feinberg, Geoffrey; Rosenthal, Seth A; Lau, Jennifer A

    2017-11-01

    To systematically assess views on contributions and future activities for long-term research in ecology and evolution (LTREE), we conducted and here provide data responses and associated metadata for a survey of ecological and evolutionary scientists. The survey objectives were to: (1) Identify and prioritize research questions that are important to address through long-term, ecological field experiments; and (2) understand the role that these experiments might play in generating and applying ecological and evolutionary knowledge. The survey was developed adhering to the standards of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. It was administered online using Qualtrics Survey Software. Survey creation was a multi-step process, with questions and format developed and then revised with, for example, input from an external advisory committee comprising senior and junior ecological and evolutionary researchers. The final questionnaire was released to ~100 colleagues to ensure functionality and then fielded 2 d later (January 7 th , 2015). Two professional societies distributed it to their membership, including the Ecological Society of America, and it was posted to three list serves. The questionnaire was available through February 8th 2015 and completed by 1,179 respondents. The distribution approach targeted practicing ecologists and evolutionary biologists in the U.S. Quantitative (both ordinal and categorical) closed-ended questions used a predefined set of response categories, facilitating direct comparison across all respondents. Qualitative, open-ended questions, provided respondents the opportunity to develop their own answers. We employed quantitative questions to score views on the extent to which long-term experimental research has contributed to understanding in ecology and evolutionary biology; its role compared to other approaches (e.g., short-term experiments); justifications for and caveats to long-term experiments; and the relative importance

  3. Evolution of specialization and ecological character displacement: metabolic plasticity matters.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Egas, C.J.M.; Reydon, Th.A.C.; Hemerik, L.

    2005-01-01

    An important question in evolutionary biology, especially with respect to herbivorous arthropods, is the evolution of specialization. In a previous paper, the combined evolutionary dynamics of specialization and ecological character displacement was studied, focusing on the role of herbivore

  4. Data collection and storage in long-term ecological and evolutionary studies: The Mongoose 2000 system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Harry H; Griffiths, David J; Mwanguhya, Francis; Businge, Robert; Griffiths, Amber G F; Kyabulima, Solomon; Mwesige, Kenneth; Sanderson, Jennifer L; Thompson, Faye J; Vitikainen, Emma I K; Cant, Michael A

    2018-01-01

    Studying ecological and evolutionary processes in the natural world often requires research projects to follow multiple individuals in the wild over many years. These projects have provided significant advances but may also be hampered by needing to accurately and efficiently collect and store multiple streams of the data from multiple individuals concurrently. The increase in the availability and sophistication of portable computers (smartphones and tablets) and the applications that run on them has the potential to address many of these data collection and storage issues. In this paper we describe the challenges faced by one such long-term, individual-based research project: the Banded Mongoose Research Project in Uganda. We describe a system we have developed called Mongoose 2000 that utilises the potential of apps and portable computers to meet these challenges. We discuss the benefits and limitations of employing such a system in a long-term research project. The app and source code for the Mongoose 2000 system are freely available and we detail how it might be used to aid data collection and storage in other long-term individual-based projects.

  5. Life after Newton: an ecological metaphysic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulanowicz, R E

    1999-05-01

    Ecology may indeed be 'deep', as some have maintained, but perhaps much of the mystery surrounding it owes more simply to the dissonance between ecological notions and the fundamentals of the modern synthesis. Comparison of the axioms supporting the Newtonian world view with those underlying the organicist and stochastic metaphors that motivate much of ecosystems science reveals strong disagreements--especially regarding the nature of the causes of events and the scalar domains over which these causes can operate. The late Karl Popper held that the causal closure forced by our mechanical perspective on nature frustrates our attempts to achieve an 'evolutionary theory of knowledge.' He suggested that the Newtonian concept of 'force' must be generalized to encompass the contingencies that arise in evolutionary processes. His reformulation of force as 'propensity' leads quite naturally to a generalization of Newton's laws for ecology. The revised tenets appear, however, to exhibit more scope and allow for change to arise from within a system. Although Newton's laws survive (albeit in altered form) within a coalescing ecological metaphysic, the axioms that Enlightenment thinkers appended to Newton's work seem ill-suited for ecology and perhaps should yield to a new and coherent set of assumptions on how to view the processes of nature.

  6. Fifty important research questions in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwis, Rachael E; Griffiths, Sarah M; Harrison, Xavier A; Aranega-Bou, Paz; Arce, Andres; Bettridge, Aimee S; Brailsford, Francesca L; de Menezes, Alexandre; Devaynes, Andrew; Forbes, Kristian M; Fry, Ellen L; Goodhead, Ian; Haskell, Erin; Heys, Chloe; James, Chloe; Johnston, Sarah R; Lewis, Gillian R; Lewis, Zenobia; Macey, Michael C; McCarthy, Alan; McDonald, James E; Mejia-Florez, Nasmille L; O'Brien, David; Orland, Chloé; Pautasso, Marco; Reid, William D K; Robinson, Heather A; Wilson, Kenneth; Sutherland, William J

    2017-05-01

    Microbial ecology provides insights into the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities underpinning every ecosystem on Earth. Microbial communities can now be investigated in unprecedented detail, although there is still a wealth of open questions to be tackled. Here we identify 50 research questions of fundamental importance to the science or application of microbial ecology, with the intention of summarising the field and bringing focus to new research avenues. Questions are categorised into seven themes: host-microbiome interactions; health and infectious diseases; human health and food security; microbial ecology in a changing world; environmental processes; functional diversity; and evolutionary processes. Many questions recognise that microbes provide an extraordinary array of functional diversity that can be harnessed to solve real-world problems. Our limited knowledge of spatial and temporal variation in microbial diversity and function is also reflected, as is the need to integrate micro- and macro-ecological concepts, and knowledge derived from studies with humans and other diverse organisms. Although not exhaustive, the questions presented are intended to stimulate discussion and provide focus for researchers, funders and policy makers, informing the future research agenda in microbial ecology. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. On the methodology of feeding ecology in fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saikia Surjya Kumar

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Feeding ecology explains predator’s preference to some preys over others in their habitat and their competitions thereof. The subject, as a functional and applied biology, is highly neglected, and in case of fish, a uniform and consistent methodology is absent. The currently practiced methods are largely centred on mathematical indices and highly erroneous because of non-uniform outcomes. Therefore, it requires a relook into the subject to elucidate functional contributions and to make it more comparable and comprehensive science. In this article, approachable methodological strategies have been forwarded in three hierarchical steps, namely, food occurrence, feeding biology and interpretative ecology. All these steps involve wide ranges of techniques, within the scope of ecology but not limited to, and traverse from narrative to functional evolutionary ecology. The first step is an assumption-observation practice to assess food of fish, followed by feeding biology that links morphological, histological, cytological, bacteriological or enzymological correlations to preferred food in the environment. Interpretative ecology is the higher level of analysis in which the outcomes are tested and discussed against evolutionary theories. A description of possible pedagogics on the methods of feeding ecological studies has also been forwarded.

  8. Citizen science data reveal ecological, historical and evolutionary factors shaping interactions between woody hosts and wood-inhabiting fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilmann-Clausen, Jacob; Maruyama, Pietro K; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Laessøe, Thomas; Frøslev, Tobias Guldberg; Dalsgaard, Bo

    2016-12-01

    Woody plants host diverse communities of associated organisms, including wood-inhabiting fungi. In this group, host effects on species richness and interaction network structure are not well understood, especially not at large geographical scales. We investigated ecological, historical and evolutionary determinants of fungal species richness and network modularity, that is, subcommunity structure, across woody hosts in Denmark, using a citizen science data set comprising > 80 000 records of > 1000 fungal species on 91 genera of woody plants. Fungal species richness was positively related to host size, wood pH, and the number of species in the host genus, with limited influence of host frequency and host history, that is, time since host establishment in the area. Modularity patterns were unaffected by host history, but largely reflected host phylogeny. Notably, fungal communities differed substantially between angiosperm and gymnosperm hosts. Host traits and evolutionary history appear to be more important than host frequency and recent history in structuring interactions between hosts and wood-inhabiting fungi. High wood acidity appears to act as a stress factor reducing fungal species richness, while large host size, providing increased niche diversity, enhances it. In some fungal groups that are known to interact with live host cells in the establishment phase, host selectivity is common, causing a modular community structure. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  9. Postmenopausal Health and Disease from the Perspective of Evolutionary Medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew W. Froehle

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Menopause normally occurs between 45-55 years of age, marks the end of a woman’s reproductive lifespan, and is accompanied by a reduction in estrogen that has substantial physiological effects. The standard medical view is that these changes underlie high postmenopausal disease rates, defining menopause as an estrogen deficiency condition needing treatment. This view stems from the idea that extended postmenopausal longevity is a consequence of recent technological developments, such that women now outlive their evolutionarily-programmed physiological functional lifespan.Increasingly, however, researchers employing an evolutionary medicine framework have used data from comparative demography, comparative biology, and human behavioral ecology to challenge the mainstream medical view. Instead, these data suggest that a two-decade human postmenopausal lifespan is an evolved, species-typical trait that distinguishes humans from other primates, and has deep roots in our evolutionary past. This view rejects the inevitability of high rates of postmenopausal disease and the concept of menopause as pathology. Rather, high postmenopausal disease risk likely stems from specific lifestyle differences between industrialized societies and foraging societies of the type that dominated human evolutionary history. Women in industrialized societies tend to have higher estrogen levels during premenopausal life, and experience a greater reduction in estrogen across menopause than do women living in foraging societies, with potentially important physiological consequences. The anthropological approach to understanding postmenopausal disease risk reframes the postmenopausal lifespan as an integral period in the human life cycle, and offers alternative avenues for disease prevention by highlighting the importance of lifestyle effects on health.

  10. Sound therapy and aural rehabilitation for tinnitus: a person centred therapy framework based on an ecological model of tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Searchfield, Grant D; Linford, Tania; Durai, Mithila

    2018-03-23

    Tinnitus is a common oto-neurological complaint often accompanying hearing loss. In this perspective on rehabilitation we describe a framework for sound therapy and aural rehabilitation of tinnitus based on the ecological model of tinnitus. A thematic network analysis-based approach was used to relate aural rehabilitation methods to the ecological model of tinnitus and the client-oriented scale of improvement in tinnitus. Aural rehabilitation methods were mapped to concepts of: (1) Context, (2) presence of sound and (3) reaction to sound. A global theme was: adaptation to sound. The framework is the result of an iterative and cumulative research program exploring tinnitus as the outcome of the relationship between individual psychoacoustics and psychosocial factors including context of perception. The intent of this framework is to help guide audiologists managing tinnitus. The framework has been useful in our clinic as illustrated by a case study. The benefits of this approach relative to standard care needs to be independently ascertained. Implications for Rehabilitation Tinnitus is a common oto-neurological complaint that when severe can be very disabling. Tinnitus is very heterogeneous as a consequence of this no one treatment is suitable for everyone. The sound therapy and aural rehabilitation for tinnitus framework is designed to assist audiologists in clinical planning that addresses individual needs. The framework is the result of an iterative and cumulative research program exploring tinnitus as the outcome of the relationship between individual psychoacoustics and psychosocial factors including context of perception.

  11. Functional genetics of intraspecific ecological interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana

    OpenAIRE

    Wolf, Jason B.; Mutic, Joshua J.; Kover, Paula X.

    2011-01-01

    Studying the genetic basis of traits involved in ecological interactions is a fundamental part of elucidating the connections between evolutionary and ecological processes. Such knowledge allows one to link genetic models of trait evolution with ecological models describing interactions within and between species. Previous work has shown that connections between genetic and ecological processes in Arabidopsis thaliana may be mediated by the fact that quantitative trait loci (QTL) with ‘direct...

  12. Computational intelligence synergies of fuzzy logic, neural networks and evolutionary computing

    CERN Document Server

    Siddique, Nazmul

    2013-01-01

    Computational Intelligence: Synergies of Fuzzy Logic, Neural Networks and Evolutionary Computing presents an introduction to some of the cutting edge technological paradigms under the umbrella of computational intelligence. Computational intelligence schemes are investigated with the development of a suitable framework for fuzzy logic, neural networks and evolutionary computing, neuro-fuzzy systems, evolutionary-fuzzy systems and evolutionary neural systems. Applications to linear and non-linear systems are discussed with examples. Key features: Covers all the aspect

  13. The evolutionary legacy of diversification predicts ecosystem function

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Yguel, B.; Jactel, H.; Pearse, I. S.; Moen, D.; Winter, M.; Hortal, J.; Helmus, M. R.; Kühn, I.; Pavoine, S.; Purschke, O.; Weiher, E.; Violle, C.; Ozinga, W.; Brändle, M.; Bartish, Igor; Prinzing, A.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 188, č. 4 (2016), s. 398-410 ISSN 0003-0147 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) Fellowship J. E. Purkyně Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : community ecology * evolutionary history * phylogenetic diversity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.167, year: 2016

  14. Evolutionary public health: introducing the concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Jonathan C K; Nesse, Randolph M; Sear, Rebecca; Johnstone, Rufus A; Stearns, Stephen C

    2017-07-29

    The emerging discipline of evolutionary medicine is breaking new ground in understanding why people become ill. However, the value of evolutionary analyses of human physiology and behaviour is only beginning to be recognised in the field of public health. Core principles come from life history theory, which analyses the allocation of finite amounts of energy between four competing functions-maintenance, growth, reproduction, and defence. A central tenet of evolutionary theory is that organisms are selected to allocate energy and time to maximise reproductive success, rather than health or longevity. Ecological interactions that influence mortality risk, nutrient availability, and pathogen burden shape energy allocation strategies throughout the life course, thereby affecting diverse health outcomes. Public health interventions could improve their own effectiveness by incorporating an evolutionary perspective. In particular, evolutionary approaches offer new opportunities to address the complex challenges of global health, in which populations are differentially exposed to the metabolic consequences of poverty, high fertility, infectious diseases, and rapid changes in nutrition and lifestyle. The effect of specific interventions is predicted to depend on broader factors shaping life expectancy. Among the important tools in this approach are mathematical models, which can explore probable benefits and limitations of interventions in silico, before their implementation in human populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The Active Inference Approach to Ecological Perception: General Information Dynamics for Natural and Artificial Embodied Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Linson

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The emerging neurocomputational vision of humans as embodied, ecologically embedded, social agents—who shape and are shaped by their environment—offers a golden opportunity to revisit and revise ideas about the physical and information-theoretic underpinnings of life, mind, and consciousness itself. In particular, the active inference framework (AIF makes it possible to bridge connections from computational neuroscience and robotics/AI to ecological psychology and phenomenology, revealing common underpinnings and overcoming key limitations. AIF opposes the mechanistic to the reductive, while staying fully grounded in a naturalistic and information-theoretic foundation, using the principle of free energy minimization. The latter provides a theoretical basis for a unified treatment of particles, organisms, and interactive machines, spanning from the inorganic to organic, non-life to life, and natural to artificial agents. We provide a brief introduction to AIF, then explore its implications for evolutionary theory, ecological psychology, embodied phenomenology, and robotics/AI research. We conclude the paper by considering implications for machine consciousness.

  16. The Evolutionary Ecology of Multi-Queen Breeding in Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    on other ant species to better understand the social syndromes and how supercolonies function. Foremost, this would help to manage invasive supercolonies that harm humans and biodiversity, but could also provide contribution to our general understanding on how ecology, especially demography impacts upon......). Multi-queen breeding requires both social and life-history adaptations from individuals to decrease intra-colony conflicts and to ensure that sterile workers receive inclusive fitness benefits despite lowered relatedness. However, it remains unclear exactly what ecological and life-history covariates...

  17. Expanding the eco-evolutionary context of herbicide resistance research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neve, Paul; Busi, Roberto; Renton, Michael; Vila-Aiub, Martin M

    2014-09-01

    The potential for human-driven evolution in economically and environmentally important organisms in medicine, agriculture and conservation management is now widely recognised. The evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds is a classic example of rapid adaptation in the face of human-mediated selection. Management strategies that aim to slow or prevent the evolution of herbicide resistance must be informed by an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary factors that drive selection in weed populations. Here, we argue for a greater focus on the ultimate causes of selection for resistance in herbicide resistance studies. The emerging fields of eco-evolutionary dynamics and applied evolutionary biology offer a means to achieve this goal and to consider herbicide resistance in a broader and sometimes novel context. Four relevant research questions are presented, which examine (i) the impact of herbicide dose on selection for resistance, (ii) plant fitness in herbicide resistance studies, (iii) the efficacy of herbicide rotations and mixtures and (iv) the impacts of gene flow on resistance evolution and spread. In all cases, fundamental ecology and evolution have the potential to offer new insights into herbicide resistance evolution and management. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  18. Parasites and deleterious mutations: interactions influencing the evolutionary maintenance of sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, A W; Jokela, J; Michalakis, Y

    2010-05-01

    The restrictive assumptions associated with purely genetic and purely ecological mechanisms suggest that neither of the two forces, in isolation, can offer a general explanation for the evolutionary maintenance of sex. Consequently, attention has turned to pluralistic models (i.e. models that apply both ecological and genetic mechanisms). Existing research has shown that combining mutation accumulation and parasitism allows restrictive assumptions about genetic and parasite parameter values to be relaxed while still predicting the maintenance of sex. However, several empirical studies have shown that deleterious mutations and parasitism can reduce fitness to a greater extent than would be expected if the two acted independently. We show how interactions between these genetic and ecological forces can completely reverse predictions about the evolution of reproductive modes. Moreover, we demonstrate that synergistic interactions between infection and deleterious mutations can render sex evolutionarily stable even when there is antagonistic epistasis among deleterious mutations, thereby widening the conditions for the evolutionary maintenance of sex.

  19. A Penalized Likelihood Framework For High-Dimensional Phylogenetic Comparative Methods And An Application To New-World Monkeys Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julien, Clavel; Leandro, Aristide; Hélène, Morlon

    2018-06-19

    Working with high-dimensional phylogenetic comparative datasets is challenging because likelihood-based multivariate methods suffer from low statistical performances as the number of traits p approaches the number of species n and because some computational complications occur when p exceeds n. Alternative phylogenetic comparative methods have recently been proposed to deal with the large p small n scenario but their use and performances are limited. Here we develop a penalized likelihood framework to deal with high-dimensional comparative datasets. We propose various penalizations and methods for selecting the intensity of the penalties. We apply this general framework to the estimation of parameters (the evolutionary trait covariance matrix and parameters of the evolutionary model) and model comparison for the high-dimensional multivariate Brownian (BM), Early-burst (EB), Ornstein-Uhlenbeck (OU) and Pagel's lambda models. We show using simulations that our penalized likelihood approach dramatically improves the estimation of evolutionary trait covariance matrices and model parameters when p approaches n, and allows for their accurate estimation when p equals or exceeds n. In addition, we show that penalized likelihood models can be efficiently compared using Generalized Information Criterion (GIC). We implement these methods, as well as the related estimation of ancestral states and the computation of phylogenetic PCA in the R package RPANDA and mvMORPH. Finally, we illustrate the utility of the new proposed framework by evaluating evolutionary models fit, analyzing integration patterns, and reconstructing evolutionary trajectories for a high-dimensional 3-D dataset of brain shape in the New World monkeys. We find a clear support for an Early-burst model suggesting an early diversification of brain morphology during the ecological radiation of the clade. Penalized likelihood offers an efficient way to deal with high-dimensional multivariate comparative data.

  20. Adapting the social-ecological system framework for urban stormwater management: the case of green infrastructure adoption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carli D. Flynn

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Stormwater management has long been a critical societal and environmental challenge for communities. An increasing number of municipalities are turning to novel approaches such as green infrastructure to develop more sustainable stormwater management systems. However, there is a need to better understand the technological decision-making processes that lead to specific outcomes within urban stormwater governance systems. We used the social-ecological system (SES framework to build a classification system for identifying significant variables that influence urban stormwater governance decisions related to green infrastructure adoption. To adapt the framework, we relied on findings from observations at national stormwater meetings in combination with a systematic literature review on influential factors related to green infrastructure adoption. We discuss our revisions to the framework that helped us understand the decision by municipal governments to adopt green infrastructure. Remaining research needs and challenges are discussed regarding the development of an urban stormwater SES framework as a classification tool for knowledge accumulation and synthesis.

  1. Biology Needs Evolutionary Software Tools: Let’s Build Them Right

    Science.gov (United States)

    Team, Galaxy; Goecks, Jeremy; Taylor, James

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Research in population genetics and evolutionary biology has always provided a computational backbone for life sciences as a whole. Today evolutionary and population biology reasoning are essential for interpretation of large complex datasets that are characteristic of all domains of today’s life sciences ranging from cancer biology to microbial ecology. This situation makes algorithms and software tools developed by our community more important than ever before. This means that we, developers of software tool for molecular evolutionary analyses, now have a shared responsibility to make these tools accessible using modern technological developments as well as provide adequate documentation and training. PMID:29688462

  2. Increasing connectivity between metapopulation ecology and landscape ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Paige E; Muths, Erin; Hossack, Blake R; Sigafus, Brent H; Chandler, Richard B

    2018-05-01

    Metapopulation ecology and landscape ecology aim to understand how spatial structure influences ecological processes, yet these disciplines address the problem using fundamentally different modeling approaches. Metapopulation models describe how the spatial distribution of patches affects colonization and extinction, but often do not account for the heterogeneity in the landscape between patches. Models in landscape ecology use detailed descriptions of landscape structure, but often without considering colonization and extinction dynamics. We present a novel spatially explicit modeling framework for narrowing the divide between these disciplines to advance understanding of the effects of landscape structure on metapopulation dynamics. Unlike previous efforts, this framework allows for statistical inference on landscape resistance to colonization using empirical data. We demonstrate the approach using 11 yr of data on a threatened amphibian in a desert ecosystem. Occupancy data for Lithobates chiricahuensis (Chiricahua leopard frog) were collected on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR), Arizona, USA from 2007 to 2017 following a reintroduction in 2003. Results indicated that colonization dynamics were influenced by both patch characteristics and landscape structure. Landscape resistance increased with increasing elevation and distance to the nearest streambed. Colonization rate was also influenced by patch quality, with semi-permanent and permanent ponds contributing substantially more to the colonization of neighboring ponds relative to intermittent ponds. Ponds that only hold water intermittently also had the highest extinction rate. Our modeling framework can be widely applied to understand metapopulation dynamics in complex landscapes, particularly in systems in which the environment between habitat patches influences the colonization process. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  3. How similar can co-occurring species be in the presence of competition and ecological drift?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capitán, José A; Cuenda, Sara; Alonso, David

    2015-09-06

    If two species live on a single resource, the one with a slight advantage will out-compete the other: complete competitors cannot coexist. This is known as the competitive exclusion principle. If no extinction occurs, it is because evolutionary adaptation to slightly different niches takes place. Therefore, it is widely accepted that ecological communities are assembled by evolutionary differentiation and progressive adaptation of species to different niches. However, some ecologists have recently challenged this classic paradigm highlighting the importance of chance and stochasticity. Using a synthetic framework for community dynamics, here we show that, while deterministic descriptors predict coexistence, species similarity is limited in a more restrictive way in the presence of stochasticity. We analyse the stochastic extinction phenomenon, showing that extinction occurs as competitive overlap increases above a certain threshold well below its deterministic counterpart. We also prove that the extinction threshold cannot be ascribed only to demographic fluctuations around small population sizes. The more restrictive limit to species similarity is, therefore, a consequence of the complex interplay between competitive interactions and ecological drift. As a practical implication, we show that the existence of a stochastic limit to similarity has important consequences in the recovery of fragmented habitats. © 2015 The Author(s).

  4. Ecology and evolution of gall-forming insects. Forest Service general technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Price, P.W.; Mattson, W.J.; Baranchikov, Y.N.

    1994-09-21

    ;Partial Contents: Ecology and Population Dynamics; Effects of the Physical Environment on the Ecology of Gall Insects; Biodiversity and Distribution; Genetic Variation in Host Plant Resistance; Evolutionary Perspectives on Gall Insects.

  5. A stochastic dynamic model to assess land use change scenarios on the ecological status of fluvial water bodies under the Water Framework Directive

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hughes, Samantha Jane; Cabral, João Alexandre; Bastos, Rita; Cortes, Rui; Vicente, Joana; Eitelberg, David; Yu, Huirong; Honrado, João; Santos, Mário

    2016-01-01

    This method development paper outlines an integrative stochastic dynamic methodology (StDM) framework to anticipate land use (LU) change effects on the ecological status of monitored and non-monitored lotic surface waters under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Tested in the Alto Minho River

  6. An accidental resource: the social ecological system framework applied to small wetlands in Sierran foothill oak woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tracy V. Hruska; Lynn Huntsinger; Jose L. Oviedo

    2015-01-01

    An ongoing study of the small wetlands in the northern Sierra Nevada foothill oak woodlands that provide habitat for the state-threatened California black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) offers an example of the way that the social ecological systems (SES) framework can be used to analyze a natural resource problem. At the outset, it was...

  7. Molecular ecology of microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, H.; Cretoiu, M.S.; Stal, L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep

  8. Application of network methods for understanding evolutionary dynamics in discrete habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenbaum, Gili; Fefferman, Nina H

    2017-06-01

    In populations occupying discrete habitat patches, gene flow between habitat patches may form an intricate population structure. In such structures, the evolutionary dynamics resulting from interaction of gene-flow patterns with other evolutionary forces may be exceedingly complex. Several models describing gene flow between discrete habitat patches have been presented in the population-genetics literature; however, these models have usually addressed relatively simple settings of habitable patches and have stopped short of providing general methodologies for addressing nontrivial gene-flow patterns. In the last decades, network theory - a branch of discrete mathematics concerned with complex interactions between discrete elements - has been applied to address several problems in population genetics by modelling gene flow between habitat patches using networks. Here, we present the idea and concepts of modelling complex gene flows in discrete habitats using networks. Our goal is to raise awareness to existing network theory applications in molecular ecology studies, as well as to outline the current and potential contribution of network methods to the understanding of evolutionary dynamics in discrete habitats. We review the main branches of network theory that have been, or that we believe potentially could be, applied to population genetics and molecular ecology research. We address applications to theoretical modelling and to empirical population-genetic studies, and we highlight future directions for extending the integration of network science with molecular ecology. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. A stochastic dynamic model to assess land use change scenarios on the ecological status of fluvial water bodies under the Water Framework Directive

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hughes, Samantha Jane, E-mail: shughes@utad.pt [Fluvial Ecology Laboratory, CITAB – Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real (Portugal); Cabral, João Alexandre, E-mail: jcabral@utad.pt [Laboratory of Applied Ecology, CITAB – Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real (Portugal); Bastos, Rita, E-mail: ritabastos@utad.pt [Laboratory of Applied Ecology, CITAB – Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real (Portugal); Cortes, Rui, E-mail: rcortes@utad.pt [Fluvial Ecology Laboratory, CITAB – Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real (Portugal); Vicente, Joana, E-mail: jsvicente@fc.up.pt [Centro de Investigacão em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO), Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Porto (Portugal); Eitelberg, David, E-mail: d.a.eitelberg@vu.nl [Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands); Yu, Huirong, E-mail: h.yu@vu.nl [Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands); College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, 2 Yuanmingyuan W. Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100193 (China); and others

    2016-09-15

    This method development paper outlines an integrative stochastic dynamic methodology (StDM) framework to anticipate land use (LU) change effects on the ecological status of monitored and non-monitored lotic surface waters under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Tested in the Alto Minho River Basin District in North West Portugal, the model is an innovative step towards developing a decision-making and planning tool to assess the influence impacts such as LU change and climate change on these complex systems. Comprising a series of sequential steps, a Generalized Linear Model based, competing model Multi Model Inference (MMI) approach was used for parameter estimation to identify principal land use types (distal factors) driving change in biological and physicochemical support elements (proximal factors) in monitored water bodies. The framework integrated MMI constants and coefficients of selected LU categories in the StDM simulations and spatial projections to simulate the ecological status of monitored and non-monitored lotic waterbodies in the test area under 2 scenarios of (1) LU intensification and (2) LU extensification. A total of 100 simulations were run for a 50 year period for each scenario. Spatially dynamic projections of WFD metrics were obtained, taking into account the occurrence of stochastic wildfire events which typically occur in the study region and are exacerbated by LU change. A marked projected decline to “Moderate” ecological status for most waterbodies was detected under intensification but little change under extensification; only a few waterbodies fell to “moderate” status. The latter scenario describes the actual regional socio-economic situation of agricultural abandonment due to rural poverty, partly explaining the projected lack of change in ecological status. Based on the WFD “one out all out” criterion, projected downward shifts in ecological status were due to physicochemical support elements, namely increased

  10. A stochastic dynamic model to assess land use change scenarios on the ecological status of fluvial water bodies under the Water Framework Directive

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, Samantha Jane; Cabral, João Alexandre; Bastos, Rita; Cortes, Rui; Vicente, Joana; Eitelberg, David; Yu, Huirong

    2016-01-01

    This method development paper outlines an integrative stochastic dynamic methodology (StDM) framework to anticipate land use (LU) change effects on the ecological status of monitored and non-monitored lotic surface waters under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Tested in the Alto Minho River Basin District in North West Portugal, the model is an innovative step towards developing a decision-making and planning tool to assess the influence impacts such as LU change and climate change on these complex systems. Comprising a series of sequential steps, a Generalized Linear Model based, competing model Multi Model Inference (MMI) approach was used for parameter estimation to identify principal land use types (distal factors) driving change in biological and physicochemical support elements (proximal factors) in monitored water bodies. The framework integrated MMI constants and coefficients of selected LU categories in the StDM simulations and spatial projections to simulate the ecological status of monitored and non-monitored lotic waterbodies in the test area under 2 scenarios of (1) LU intensification and (2) LU extensification. A total of 100 simulations were run for a 50 year period for each scenario. Spatially dynamic projections of WFD metrics were obtained, taking into account the occurrence of stochastic wildfire events which typically occur in the study region and are exacerbated by LU change. A marked projected decline to “Moderate” ecological status for most waterbodies was detected under intensification but little change under extensification; only a few waterbodies fell to “moderate” status. The latter scenario describes the actual regional socio-economic situation of agricultural abandonment due to rural poverty, partly explaining the projected lack of change in ecological status. Based on the WFD “one out all out” criterion, projected downward shifts in ecological status were due to physicochemical support elements, namely increased

  11. Developing Sustainable Urban Water-Energy Infrastructures: Applying a Multi-Sectoral Social-Ecological-Infrastructural Systems (SEIS) Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramaswami, A.

    2016-12-01

    Urban infrastructure - broadly defined to include the systems that provide water, energy, food, shelter, transportation-communication, sanitation and green/public spaces in cities - have tremendous impact on the environment and on human well-being (Ramaswami et al., 2016; Ramaswami et al., 2012). Aggregated globally, these sectors contribute 90% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 96% of global water withdrawals. Urban infrastructure contributions to such impacts are beginning to dominate. Cities are therefore becoming the action arena for infrastructure transformations that can achieve high levels of service delivery while reducing environmental impacts and enhancing human well-being. Achieving sustainable urban infrastructure transitions requires: information about the engineered infrastructure, and its interaction with the natural (ecological-environmental) and the social sub-systems In this paper, we apply a multi-sector, multi-scalar Social-Ecological-Infrastructural Systems framework that describes the interactions among biophysical engineered infrastructures, the natural environment and the social system in a systems-approach to inform urban infrastructure transformations. We apply the SEIS framework to inform water and energy sector transformations in cities to achieve environmental and human health benefits realized at multiple scales - local, regional and global. Local scales address pollution, health, wellbeing and inequity within the city; regional scales address regional pollution, scarcity, as well as supply risks in the water-energy sectors; global impacts include greenhouse gas emissions and climate impacts. Different actors shape infrastructure transitions including households, businesses, and policy actors. We describe the development of novel cross-sectoral strategies at the water-energy nexus in cities, focusing on water, waste and energy sectors, in a case study of Delhi, India. Ramaswami, A.; Russell, A.G.; Culligan, P.J.; Sharma, K

  12. The ecological century

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Worthington, E. B.

    1981-01-01

    This essay attempts to reconstruct the evolution of Ecology as the scientific basis for environmental conservation and human progress, as seen through the eyes of a biologist who has exercised that science during a number of tasks in various parts of the world over most of the twentieth century. From its beginnings in evolutionary thinking during the nineteenth century, ecology emerged from natural history at the beginning of the twentieth. At first the running was made by botanists; but this was soon followed by zoologists, who dealt with more mobile communities. The first quarter-century was mainly exploratory; the second was mainly descriptive (although biological exploration was still dominant in the tropics). The third quarter saw ecology developing into an experimental science, and, as the environmental revolution got into its stride, ecology became organized both nationally and internationally. Although the term is now often misused and sometimes misunderstood by laymen, the last quarter-century is seeing the wide application of ecology in environmental and human affairs, and this gives some assurance that the twenty-first century will not become one of chaos.

  13. Cultural evolutionary theory: How culture evolves and why it matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creanza, Nicole; Kolodny, Oren; Feldman, Marcus W

    2017-07-24

    Human cultural traits-behaviors, ideas, and technologies that can be learned from other individuals-can exhibit complex patterns of transmission and evolution, and researchers have developed theoretical models, both verbal and mathematical, to facilitate our understanding of these patterns. Many of the first quantitative models of cultural evolution were modified from existing concepts in theoretical population genetics because cultural evolution has many parallels with, as well as clear differences from, genetic evolution. Furthermore, cultural and genetic evolution can interact with one another and influence both transmission and selection. This interaction requires theoretical treatments of gene-culture coevolution and dual inheritance, in addition to purely cultural evolution. In addition, cultural evolutionary theory is a natural component of studies in demography, human ecology, and many other disciplines. Here, we review the core concepts in cultural evolutionary theory as they pertain to the extension of biology through culture, focusing on cultural evolutionary applications in population genetics, ecology, and demography. For each of these disciplines, we review the theoretical literature and highlight relevant empirical studies. We also discuss the societal implications of the study of cultural evolution and of the interactions of humans with one another and with their environment.

  14. Tumor evolutionary directed graphs and the history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jiguang; Khiabanian, Hossein; Rossi, Davide; Fabbri, Giulia; Gattei, Valter; Forconi, Francesco; Laurenti, Luca; Marasca, Roberto; Del Poeta, Giovanni; Foà, Robin; Pasqualucci, Laura; Gaidano, Gianluca; Rabadan, Raul

    2014-12-11

    Cancer is a clonal evolutionary process, caused by successive accumulation of genetic alterations providing milestones of tumor initiation, progression, dissemination, and/or resistance to certain therapeutic regimes. To unravel these milestones we propose a framework, tumor evolutionary directed graphs (TEDG), which is able to characterize the history of genetic alterations by integrating longitudinal and cross-sectional genomic data. We applied TEDG to a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cohort of 70 patients spanning 12 years and show that: (a) the evolution of CLL follows a time-ordered process represented as a global flow in TEDG that proceeds from initiating events to late events; (b) there are two distinct and mutually exclusive evolutionary paths of CLL evolution; (c) higher fitness clones are present in later stages of the disease, indicating a progressive clonal replacement with more aggressive clones. Our results suggest that TEDG may constitute an effective framework to recapitulate the evolutionary history of tumors.

  15. Origins of altruism diversity I: The diverse ecological roles of altruistic strategies and their evolutionary responses to local competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dyken, J David; Wade, Michael J

    2012-08-01

    Nature abounds with a rich variety of altruistic strategies, including public resource enhancement, resource provisioning, communal foraging, alarm calling, and nest defense. Yet, despite their vastly different ecological roles, current theory typically treats diverse altruistic traits as being favored under the same general conditions. Here, we introduce greater ecological realism into social evolution theory and find evidence of at least four distinct modes of altruism. Contrary to existing theory, we find that altruistic traits contributing to "resource-enhancement" (e.g., siderophore production, provisioning, agriculture) and "resource-efficiency" (e.g., pack hunting, communication) are most strongly favored when there is strong local competition. These resource-based modes of helping are "K-strategies" that increase a social group's growth yield, and should characterize species with scarce resources and/or high local crowding caused by low mortality, high fecundity, and/or mortality occurring late in the process of resource-acquisition. The opposite conditions, namely weak local competition (abundant resource, low crowding), favor survival (e.g., nest defense) and fecundity (e.g., nurse workers) altruism, which are "r-strategies" that increase a social group's growth rate. We find that survival altruism is uniquely favored by a novel evolutionary force that we call "sunk cost selection." Sunk cost selection favors helping that prevents resources from being wasted on individuals destined to die before reproduction. Our results contribute to explaining the observed natural diversity of altruistic strategies, reveal the necessary connection between the evolution and the ecology of sociality, and correct the widespread but inaccurate view that local competition uniformly impedes the evolution of altruism. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Summary and perspective on evolutionary ecology of fishes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mehner, T.; Freyhof, J.; Reichard, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 3 (2011), s. 547-556 ISSN 0269-7653 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0815 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : non-model systems * ecological speciation * behavioural interactions * local adaptation Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.453, year: 2011

  17. A general framework for predicting delayed responses of ecological communities to habitat loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Youhua; Shen, Tsung-Jen

    2017-04-20

    Although biodiversity crisis at different spatial scales has been well recognised, the phenomena of extinction debt and immigration credit at a crossing-scale context are, at best, unclear. Based on two community patterns, regional species abundance distribution (SAD) and spatial abundance distribution (SAAD), Kitzes and Harte (2015) presented a macroecological framework for predicting post-disturbance delayed extinction patterns in the entire ecological community. In this study, we further expand this basic framework to predict diverse time-lagged effects of habitat destruction on local communities. Specifically, our generalisation of KH's model could address the questions that could not be answered previously: (1) How many species are subjected to delayed extinction in a local community when habitat is destructed in other areas? (2) How do rare or endemic species contribute to extinction debt or immigration credit of the local community? (3) How will species differ between two local areas? From the demonstrations using two SAD models (single-parameter lognormal and logseries), the predicted patterns of the debt, credit, and change in the fraction of unique species can vary, but with consistencies and depending on several factors. The general framework deepens the understanding of the theoretical effects of habitat loss on community dynamic patterns in local samples.

  18. Benthic Habitat-Based Framework for Ecological Production Functions: Case Study for Utilization by Estuarine Birds in a Northeast Pacific Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habitat-based frameworks have been proposed for developing Ecological Production Functions (EPFs) to describe the spatial distribution of ecosystem services. As proof of concept, we generated EPFs that compared bird use patterns among intertidal benthic habitats for Yaquina estu...

  19. Toward a general evolutionary theory of oncogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewald, Paul W; Swain Ewald, Holly A

    2013-01-01

    We propose an evolutionary framework, the barrier theory of cancer, which is based on the distinction between barriers to oncogenesis and restraints. Barriers are defined as mechanisms that prevent oncogenesis. Restraints, which are more numerous, inhibit but do not prevent oncogenesis. Processes that compromise barriers are essential causes of cancer; those that interfere with restraints are exacerbating causes. The barrier theory is built upon the three evolutionary processes involved in oncogenesis: natural selection acting on multicellular organisms to mold barriers and restraints, natural selection acting on infectious organisms to abrogate these protective mechanisms, and oncogenic selection which is responsible for the evolution of normal cells into cancerous cells. The barrier theory is presented as a first step toward the development of a general evolutionary theory of cancer. Its attributes and implications for intervention are compared with those of other major conceptual frameworks for understanding cancer: the clonal diversification model, the stem cell theory and the hallmarks of cancer. The barrier theory emphasizes the practical value of distinguishing between essential and exacerbating causes. It also stresses the importance of determining the scope of infectious causation of cancer, because individual pathogens can be responsible for multiple essential causes in infected cells.

  20. The ecology of cooperative breeding behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Sheng-Feng; Emlen, Stephen T; Koenig, Walter D; Rubenstein, Dustin R

    2017-06-01

    Ecology is a fundamental driving force for the evolutionary transition from solitary living to breeding cooperatively in groups. However, the fact that both benign and harsh, as well as stable and fluctuating, environments can favour the evolution of cooperative breeding behaviour constitutes a paradox of environmental quality and sociality. Here, we propose a new model - the dual benefits framework - for resolving this paradox. Our framework distinguishes between two categories of grouping benefits - resource defence benefits that derive from group-defended critical resources and collective action benefits that result from social cooperation among group members - and uses insider-outsider conflict theory to simultaneously consider the interests of current group members (insiders) and potential joiners (outsiders) in determining optimal group size. We argue that the different grouping benefits realised from resource defence and collective action profoundly affect insider-outsider conflict resolution, resulting in predictable differences in the per capita productivity, stable group size, kin structure and stability of the social group. We also suggest that different types of environmental variation (spatial vs. temporal) select for societies that form because of the different grouping benefits, thus helping to resolve the paradox of why cooperative breeding evolves in such different types of environments. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  1. A Framework to Analyze the Robustness of Social-ecological Systems from an Institutional Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M. Anderies

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available What makes social-ecological systems (SESs robust? In this paper, we look at the institutional configurations that affect the interactions among resources, resource users, public infrastructure providers, and public infrastructures. We propose a framework that helps identify potential vulnerabilities of SESs to disturbances. All the links between components of this framework can fail and thereby reduce the robustness of the system. We posit that the link between resource users and public infrastructure providers is a key variable affecting the robustness of SESs that has frequently been ignored in the past. We illustrate the problems caused by a disruption in this link. We then briefly describe the design principles originally developed for robust common-pool resource institutions, because they appear to be a good starting point for the development of design principles for more general SESs and do include the link between resource users and public infrastructure providers.

  2. An Evolutionary Perspective on Toxic Leadership

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Ovidia VREJA

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Charles Darwin’s prediction from 1859, that future psychology was going to be built on principles derived from evolutionary theory came at last to be fulfilled. Nowadays, there are at least four disciplines that attempt to explain human behaviours as evolutionary adaptations (or maladaptations to the natural and/or social environment: human sociobiology, human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology, memetics and gene–culture coevolution theory (in our view, the most adequate of all. According to gene–culture coevolution theory, articulated language was the singular phenomenon that permitted humans to become a cultural species, and from that moment on culture become itself a selection factor. Culture means transmission of information from one generation to the next and learning from other individuals’ experiences, trough language. So, it is of critical importance to have good criteria for the selection of those individuals from whom we should learn. Yet when humans also choose their leaders from among those role-models, according to the same criteria, this mechanism can become a maladaptation and the result can be toxic leadership.

  3. Molecular data and ecological niche modelling reveal a highly dynamic evolutionary history of the East Asian Tertiary relict Cercidiphyllum (Cercidiphyllaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xin-Shuai; Chen, Chen; Comes, Hans Peter; Sakaguchi, Shota; Liu, Yi-Hui; Tanaka, Nobuyuki; Sakio, Hitoshi; Qiu, Ying-Xiong

    2012-10-01

    East Asia's temperate deciduous forests served as sanctuary for Tertiary relict trees, but their ages and response to past climate change remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we elucidated the evolutionary and population demographic history of Cercdiphyllum, comprising species in China/Japan (Cercdiphyllum japonicum) and central Japan (Cercdiphyllum magnificum). Fifty-three populations were genotyped using chloroplast and ribosomal DNA sequences and microsatellite loci to assess molecular structure and diversity in relation to past (Last Glacial Maximum) and present distributions based on ecological niche modelling. Late Tertiary climate cooling was reflected in a relatively recent speciation event, dated at the Mio-/Pliocene boundary. During glacials, the warm-temperate C. japonicum experienced massive habitat losses in some areas (north-central China/north Japan) but increases in others (southwest/-east China, East China Sea landbridge, south Japan). In China, the Sichuan Basin and/or the middle-Yangtze were source areas of postglacial northward recolonization; in Japan, this may have been facilitated through introgressive hybridization with the cool-temperate C. magnificum. Our findings challenge the notion of relative evolutionary and demographic stability of Tertiary relict trees, and may serve as a guideline for assessing the impact of Neogene climate change on the evolution and distribution of East Asian temperate plants. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Adaptive evolution in ecological communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin M Turcotte

    Full Text Available Understanding how natural selection drives evolution is a key challenge in evolutionary biology. Most studies of adaptation focus on how a single environmental factor, such as increased temperature, affects evolution within a single species. The biological relevance of these experiments is limited because nature is infinitely more complex. Most species are embedded within communities containing many species that interact with one another and the physical environment. To understand the evolutionary significance of such ecological complexity, experiments must test the evolutionary impact of interactions among multiple species during adaptation. Here we highlight an experiment that manipulates species composition and tracks evolutionary responses within each species, while testing for the mechanisms by which species interact and adapt to their environment. We also discuss limitations of previous studies of adaptive evolution and emphasize how an experimental evolution approach can circumvent such shortcomings. Understanding how community composition acts as a selective force will improve our ability to predict how species adapt to natural and human-induced environmental change.

  5. Integrating Social Science into the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network: Social Dimensions of Ecological Change and Ecological Dimensions of Social Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles L. Redman; J. Morgan Grove; Lauren H. Kuby; Lauren H. Kuby

    2004-01-01

    The integration of the social sciences into long-term ecological research is an urgent priority. To address this need, a group of social, earth, and life scientists associated with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network have articulated a conceptual framework for understanding the human dimensions of ecological change...

  6. An Evolutionary Approach to the Climate Change Negotiation Game

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Courtois, P. [CIRED and University of Paris, Paris (France); Pereau, J.C. [OEP, University of Marne-la-Vallee, Marne-la-Vallee (France); Tazdait, T. [CIRED and OEP, University of Marne-la-Vallee, Marne-la-Vallee (France)

    2001-10-01

    We describe in this paper an evolutionary game theoretic model aiming at representing the climate change negotiation. The model is used to examine the outcome of climate change negotiations in a framework which seeks to closely represent negotiation patterns. Evolutionary setting allows us to consider a decision making structure characterised by agents with bounded knowledge practising mimics and learning from past events and strategies. We show on that framework that a third significant alternative to the binary coordination-defection strategies needs to be considered: a unilateral commitment as precautionary strategy. As a means to widen cooperation, we examine the influence of linking environmental and trade policies via the implementation of a trade penalty on non cooperative behaviours.

  7. An Evolutionary Approach to the Climate Change Negotiation Game

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Courtois, P.; Pereau, J.C.; Tazdait, T.

    2001-10-01

    We describe in this paper an evolutionary game theoretic model aiming at representing the climate change negotiation. The model is used to examine the outcome of climate change negotiations in a framework which seeks to closely represent negotiation patterns. Evolutionary setting allows us to consider a decision making structure characterised by agents with bounded knowledge practising mimics and learning from past events and strategies. We show on that framework that a third significant alternative to the binary coordination-defection strategies needs to be considered: a unilateral commitment as precautionary strategy. As a means to widen cooperation, we examine the influence of linking environmental and trade policies via the implementation of a trade penalty on non cooperative behaviours

  8. Evolutionary dynamics with fluctuating population sizes and strong mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chotibut, Thiparat; Nelson, David R.

    2015-08-01

    Game theory ideas provide a useful framework for studying evolutionary dynamics in a well-mixed environment. This approach, however, typically enforces a strictly fixed overall population size, deemphasizing natural growth processes. We study a competitive Lotka-Volterra model, with number fluctuations, that accounts for natural population growth and encompasses interaction scenarios typical of evolutionary games. We show that, in an appropriate limit, the model describes standard evolutionary games with both genetic drift and overall population size fluctuations. However, there are also regimes where a varying population size can strongly influence the evolutionary dynamics. We focus on the strong mutualism scenario and demonstrate that standard evolutionary game theory fails to describe our simulation results. We then analytically and numerically determine fixation probabilities as well as mean fixation times using matched asymptotic expansions, taking into account the population size degree of freedom. These results elucidate the interplay between population dynamics and evolutionary dynamics in well-mixed systems.

  9. Evolutionary dynamics with fluctuating population sizes and strong mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chotibut, Thiparat; Nelson, David R

    2015-08-01

    Game theory ideas provide a useful framework for studying evolutionary dynamics in a well-mixed environment. This approach, however, typically enforces a strictly fixed overall population size, deemphasizing natural growth processes. We study a competitive Lotka-Volterra model, with number fluctuations, that accounts for natural population growth and encompasses interaction scenarios typical of evolutionary games. We show that, in an appropriate limit, the model describes standard evolutionary games with both genetic drift and overall population size fluctuations. However, there are also regimes where a varying population size can strongly influence the evolutionary dynamics. We focus on the strong mutualism scenario and demonstrate that standard evolutionary game theory fails to describe our simulation results. We then analytically and numerically determine fixation probabilities as well as mean fixation times using matched asymptotic expansions, taking into account the population size degree of freedom. These results elucidate the interplay between population dynamics and evolutionary dynamics in well-mixed systems.

  10. [Evolutionary perspective in precocious puberty].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, Ze'ev

    2014-10-01

    Pubertal development is subject to substantial heritability, but much variation remains to be explained, including fast changes over the last 150 years, that cannot be explained by changes of gene frequency in the population. This article discusses the influence of environmental factors to adjust maturational tempo in the service of fitness goals. Utilizing evolutionary development thinking (evo-devo), the author examines adolescence as an evolutionary life-history stage in its developmental context. The transition from the preceding stage of juvenility entails adaptive plasticity in response to energy resources, social needs of adolescence and maturation toward youth and adulthood. Using Belsky's evolutionary theory of socialization, I show that familial psychosocial environment during the infancy-childhood and childhood-juvenility transitions foster a fast life-history and reproductive strategy rather than early maturation being just a risk factor for aggression and delinquency. The implications of the evo-devo framework for theory building, illuminates new directions in the understanding of precocious puberty other than a diagnosis of a disease.

  11. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Ibanez

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  12. Plant insecticidal toxins in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-04-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects' vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  13. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    , and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... to translate positivist readings of the environment and hermeneutical perspectives on socioecological interaction into a common framework or terminology....

  14. Ecological Interface Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vicente, Kim J.; Rasmussen, Jens

    1992-01-01

    A theoretical framework for designing interfaces for complex human-machine systems is proposed. The framework, called ecological interface design (EID), is based on the skills, rules, knowledge taxonomy of cognitive control. The basic goal of EID is twofold: first, not to force processing...

  15. Continental cichlid radiations: functional diversity reveals the role of changing ecological opportunity in the Neotropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

    Adaptive radiations have been hypothesized to contribute broadly to the diversity of organisms. Models of adaptive radiation predict that ecological opportunity and ecological release, the availability of empty ecological niches and the response by adapting lineages to occupy them, respectively, drive patterns of phenotypic and lineage diversification. Adaptive radiations driven by 'ecological opportunity' are well established in island systems; it is less clear if ecological opportunity influences continent-wide diversification. We use Neotropical cichlid fishes to test if variation in rates of functional evolution is consistent with changing ecological opportunity. Across a functional morphological axis associated with ram-suction feeding traits, evolutionary rates declined through time as lineages diversified in South America. Evolutionary rates of ram-suction functional morphology also appear to have accelerated as cichlids colonized Central America and encountered renewed opportunity. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity may play an important role in shaping patterns of morphological diversity of even broadly distributed lineages like Neotropical cichlids. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Individuality in Fish Behavior: Ecology and Comparative Psychology

    OpenAIRE

    Budaev, Dr. Sergey; Zworykin, Dr. Dmitry

    2002-01-01

    This work is a brief review of a series of studies of the phenotypic organization and ecological significance of individual differences in fish behavior. The following species were studied: guppy Poecilia retuculata, lion-headed cichlid Steatocranus cassuarius, and the convict cichlid Archocentrus nigrofasciatum. We developed methods for the analysis of individual differences in fish behavior and studied their structure, development, and ecological and evolutionary significance.

  17. Poverty alleviation strategies in eastern China lead to critical ecological dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Ke; Dearing, John A.; Dawson, Terence P.

    2015-01-01

    the likelihood of sustainable agriculture or ecological collapse.We show how the analyses of 55 time-series of social, economic and ecological conditions can provide an evolutionary perspective for the modern Lower Yangtze River Basin region since the 1950s with powerful insights about the sustainability...

  18. Open Source and Open Content: a Framework for Global Collaboration in Social-Ecological Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Schweik

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses opportunities for alternative collaborative approaches for social-ecological research in general and, in this context, for modeling land-use/land-cover change. In this field, the rate of progress in academic research is steady but perhaps not as rapid or efficient as might be possible with alternative organizational frameworks. The convergence of four phenomena provides new opportunities for cross-organizational collaboration: (1 collaborative principles related to "open source" (OS software development, (2 the emerging area of "open content" (OC licensing, (3 the World Wide Web as a platform for scientific communication, and (4 the traditional concept of peer review. Although private individuals, government organizations, and even companies have shown interest in the OS paradigm as an alternative model for software development, it is less commonly recognized that this collaborative framework is a potential innovation of much greater proportions. In fact, it can guide the collective development of any intellectual content, not just software. This paper has two purposes. First, we describe OS and OC licensing, dispense with some myths about OS, and relate these structures to traditional scientific process. Second, we outline how these ideas can be applied in an area of collaborative research relevant to the study of social-ecological systems. It is important to recognize that the concept of OS is not new, but the idea of borrowing OS principles and using OC licensing for broader scientific collaboration is new. Over the last year, we have been trying to initiate such an OS/OC collaboration in the context of modeling land use and land cover. In doing so, we have identified some key issues that need to be considered, including project initiation, incentives of project participants, collaborative infrastructure, institutional design and governance, and project finance. OS/OC licensing is not a universal solution suitable for all

  19. Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Ellison, Peter T.; Flier, Jeffrey S.; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R.; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S.; Perlman, Robert L.; Schwartz, Mark D.; Thomas, Mark G.; Stearns, Stephen C.; Valle, David

    2010-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease. PMID:19918069

  20. Toward the quantification of a conceptual framework for movement ecology using circular statistical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimatani, Ichiro Ken; Yoda, Ken; Katsumata, Nobuhiro; Sato, Katsufumi

    2012-01-01

    To analyze an animal's movement trajectory, a basic model is required that satisfies the following conditions: the model must have an ecological basis and the parameters used in the model must have ecological interpretations, a broad range of movement patterns can be explained by that model, and equations and probability distributions in the model should be mathematically tractable. Random walk models used in previous studies do not necessarily satisfy these requirements, partly because movement trajectories are often more oriented or tortuous than expected from the models. By improving the modeling for turning angles, this study aims to propose a basic movement model. On the basis of the recently developed circular auto-regressive model, we introduced a new movement model and extended its applicability to capture the asymmetric effects of external factors such as wind. The model was applied to GPS trajectories of a seabird (Calonectris leucomelas) to demonstrate its applicability to various movement patterns and to explain how the model parameters are ecologically interpreted under a general conceptual framework for movement ecology. Although it is based on a simple extension of a generalized linear model to circular variables, the proposed model enables us to evaluate the effects of external factors on movement separately from the animal's internal state. For example, maximum likelihood estimates and model selection suggested that in one homing flight section, the seabird intended to fly toward the island, but misjudged its navigation and was driven off-course by strong winds, while in the subsequent flight section, the seabird reset the focal direction, navigated the flight under strong wind conditions, and succeeded in approaching the island.

  1. Principles for ecologically based invasive plant management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy J. James; Brenda S. Smith; Edward A. Vasquez; Roger L. Sheley

    2010-01-01

    Land managers have long identified a critical need for a practical and effective framework for designing restoration strategies, especially where invasive plants dominate. A holistic, ecologically based, invasive plant management (EBIPM) framework that integrates ecosystem health assessment, knowledge of ecological processes, and adaptive management into a successional...

  2. Development and assessment of an integrated ecological modelling framework to assess the effect of investments in wastewater treatment on water quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holguin-Gonzalez, Javier E; Boets, Pieter; Everaert, Gert; Pauwels, Ine S; Lock, Koen; Gobeyn, Sacha; Benedetti, Lorenzo; Amerlinck, Youri; Nopens, Ingmar; Goethals, Peter L M

    2014-01-01

    Worldwide, large investments in wastewater treatment are made to improve water quality. However, the impacts of these investments on river water quality are often not quantified. To assess water quality, the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires an integrated approach. The aim of this study was to develop an integrated ecological modelling framework for the River Drava (Croatia) that includes physical-chemical and hydromorphological characteristics as well as the ecological river water quality status. The developed submodels and the integrated model showed accurate predictions when comparing the modelled results to the observations. Dissolved oxygen and nitrogen concentrations (ammonium and organic nitrogen) were the most important variables in determining the ecological water quality (EWQ). The result of three potential investment scenarios of the wastewater treatment infrastructure in the city of Varaždin on the EWQ of the River Drava was assessed. From this scenario-based analysis, it was concluded that upgrading the existing wastewater treatment plant with nitrogen and phosphorus removal will be insufficient to reach a good EWQ. Therefore, other point and diffuse pollution sources in the area should also be monitored and remediated to meet the European WFD standards.

  3. Ecological Status of Rivers and Streams in Saxony (Germany According to the Water Framework Directive and Prospects of Improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uwe Müller

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The Federal State of Saxony (Germany transposed the EU Water Framework Directive into state law, identifying 617 surface water bodies (rivers and streams for implementation of the water framework directive (WFD. Their ecological status was classified by biological quality elements (macrophytes and phytobenthos, benthic invertebrates and fish, and in large rivers, phytoplankton and specific synthetic and non-synthetic pollutants. Hydromorphological and physico-chemical quality elements were used to identify significant anthropogenic pressures, which surface water bodies are susceptible to, and to assess the effect of these pressures on the status of surface water bodies. In 2009, the data for classification of the ecological status and the main pressures and impacts on water bodies were published in the river basin management plans (RBMP of the Elbe and Oder rivers. To that date, only 23 (4% streams achieved an ecological status of “good”, while the rest failed to achieve the environmental objective. The two main reasons for the failure were significant alterations to the stream morphology (81% of all streams and nutrient enrichment (62% caused by point (industrial and municipal waste water treatment plants and non-point (surface run-off from arable fields, discharges from urban drainages and decentralized waste water treatment plants sources. It was anticipated that a further 55 streams would achieve the environmental objective by 2015, but the remaining 539 need extended deadlines.

  4. Can you sequence ecology? Metagenomics of adaptive diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marx, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    Few areas of science have benefited more from the expansion in sequencing capability than the study of microbial communities. Can sequence data, besides providing hypotheses of the functions the members possess, detect the evolutionary and ecological processes that are occurring? For example, can we determine if a species is adapting to one niche, or if it is diversifying into multiple specialists that inhabit distinct niches? Fortunately, adaptation of populations in the laboratory can serve as a model to test our ability to make such inferences about evolution and ecology from sequencing. Even adaptation to a single niche can give rise to complex temporal dynamics due to the transient presence of multiple competing lineages. If there are multiple niches, this complexity is augmented by segmentation of the population into multiple specialists that can each continue to evolve within their own niche. For a known example of parallel diversification that occurred in the laboratory, sequencing data gave surprisingly few obvious, unambiguous signs of the ecological complexity present. Whereas experimental systems are open to direct experimentation to test hypotheses of selection or ecological interaction, the difficulty in "seeing ecology" from sequencing for even such a simple system suggests translation to communities like the human microbiome will be quite challenging. This will require both improved empirical methods to enhance the depth and time resolution for the relevant polymorphisms and novel statistical approaches to rigorously examine time-series data for signs of various evolutionary and ecological phenomena within and between species.

  5. Constraints imposed by pollinator behaviour on the ecology and evolution of plant mating systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devaux, C; Lepers, C; Porcher, E

    2014-07-01

    Most flowering plants rely on pollinators for their reproduction. Plant-pollinator interactions, although mutualistic, involve an inherent conflict of interest between both partners and may constrain plant mating systems at multiple levels: the immediate ecological plant selfing rates, their distribution in and contribution to pollination networks, and their evolution. Here, we review experimental evidence that pollinator behaviour influences plant selfing rates in pairs of interacting species, and that plants can modify pollinator behaviour through plastic and evolutionary changes in floral traits. We also examine how theoretical studies include pollinators, implicitly or explicitly, to investigate the role of their foraging behaviour in plant mating system evolution. In doing so, we call for more evolutionary models combining ecological and genetic factors, and additional experimental data, particularly to describe pollinator foraging behaviour. Finally, we show that recent developments in ecological network theory help clarify the impact of community-level interactions on plant selfing rates and their evolution and suggest new research avenues to expand the study of mating systems of animal-pollinated plant species to the level of the plant-pollinator networks. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  6. A social-ecological impact assessment for public lands management: application of a conceptual and methodological framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda L. Bentley Brymer

    2016-09-01

    this SEIA framework, land managers and affected people have an opportunity to fulfill NEPA requirements and develop more comprehensive management plans that better reflect the linkages of social-ecological systems.

  7. Radiation, Ecology and the Invalid LNT Model: The Evolutionary Imperative

    OpenAIRE

    Parsons, Peter A.

    2006-01-01

    Metabolic and energetic efficiency, and hence fitness of organisms to survive, should be maximal in their habitats. This tenet of evolutionary biology invalidates the linear-nothreshold (LNT) model for the risk consequences of environmental agents. Hormesis in response to selection for maximum metabolic and energetic efficiency, or minimum metabolic imbalance, to adapt to a stressed world dominated by oxidative stress should therefore be universal. Radiation hormetic zones extending substanti...

  8. Cophylogenetic signal is detectable in pollination interactions across ecological scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, Matthew C; Cagua, Edgar Fernando; Stouffer, Daniel B

    2017-10-01

    That evolutionary history can influence the way that species interact is a basic tenet of evolutionary ecology. However, when the role of evolution in determining ecological interactions is investigated, focus typically centers on just one side of the interaction. A cophylogenetic signal, the congruence of evolutionary history across both sides of an ecological interaction, extends these previous explorations and provides a more complete picture of how evolutionary patterns influence the way species interact. To date, cophylogenetic signal has most typically been studied in interactions that occur between fine taxonomic clades that show high intimacy. In this study, we took an alternative approach and made an exhaustive assessment of cophylogeny in pollination interactions. To do so, we assessed the strength of cophylogenetic signal at four distinct scales of pollination interaction: (1) across plant-pollinator associations globally, (2) in local pollination communities, (3) within the modular structure of those communities, and (4) in individual modules. We did so using a globally distributed dataset comprised of 54 pollination networks, over 4000 species, and over 12,000 interactions. Within these data, we detected cophylogenetic signal at all four scales. Cophylogenetic signal was found at the level of plant-pollinator interactions on a global scale and in the majority of pollination communities. At the scale defined by the modular structure within those communities, however, we observed a much weaker cophylogenetic signal. Cophylogenetic signal was detectable in a significant proportion of individual modules and most typically when within-module phylogenetic diversity was low. In sum, the detection of cophylogenetic signal in pollination interactions across scales provides a new dimension to the story of how past evolution shapes extant pollinator-angiosperm interactions. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. Did you say reference conditions? Ecological and socio-economic perspectives on the European Water Framework Directive

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bouleau, Gabrielle; Pont, Didier

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Reference conditions refer to a stable state, ignoring non-linear and chaotic changes. • References were needed to set legally binding standards. • The DPSIR framework is based on a mitigation logic, which implies a stable reference. • Human activities do not equate pressures; Humans can create landscapes and ecosystems. • Setting goals for restoration requires a more adaptive management. - Abstract: Reference conditions are a key concept in the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). The WFD stipulates that the ecological status of a given water body shall be assessed by quantifying the deviation from a set of reference conditions that represent the stable state of an ecosystem in the absence of significant human disturbance. This concept is subject to criticism from several authors, particularly because underlying ecological concepts are weak and the distinction between natural variability and the effects of anthropogenic activities on ecosystem function will become increasingly artificial. In this paper, a sociologist and an aquatic ecologist examine the origin, successes and limits of the reference conditions concept and raise important questions about applying this concept in practice. We argue that this concept fitted specific needs from different institutions and stakeholders which promoted the WFD. Monitoring practices using this concept require some adaptations. Setting goals for restoration based on reference conditions is more problematic. A more adaptive management approach would be wiser

  10. Phylogenetic Pattern, Evolutionary Processes and Species Delimitation in the Genus Echinococcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lymbery, A J

    2017-01-01

    An accurate and stable alpha taxonomy requires a clear conception of what constitutes a species and agreed criteria for delimiting different species. An evolutionary or general lineage concept defines a species as a single lineage of organisms with a common evolutionary trajectory, distinguishable from other such lineages. Delimiting evolutionary species is a two-step process. In the first step, phylogenetic reconstruction identifies putative species as groups of organisms that are monophyletic (share a common ancestor) and exclusive (more closely related to each other than to organisms outside the group). The second step is to assess whether members of the group possess genetic exchangeability (where cohesion is maintained by gene flow among populations) or ecological exchangeability (where cohesion is maintained because populations occupy the same ecological niche). Recent taxonomic reviews have recognized nine species within the genus Echinococcus. Phylogenetic reconstructions of the relationships between these putative species using mtDNA and nuclear gene sequences show that for the most part these nine species are monophyletic, although there are important incongruences that need to be resolved. Applying the criteria of genetic and ecological exchangeability suggests that seven of the currently recognized species represent evolutionarily distinct lineages. The species status of Echinococcus canadensis and Echinococcus ortleppi could not be confirmed. Coalescent-based analyses represent a promising approach to species delimitation in these closely related taxa. It seems likely, from a comparison of sister species groups, that speciation in the genus has been driven by geographic isolation, but biogeographic scenarios are largely speculative and require further testing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Heritable symbiosis: The advantages and perils of an evolutionary rabbit hole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Gordon M; Moran, Nancy A

    2015-08-18

    Many eukaryotes have obligate associations with microorganisms that are transmitted directly between generations. A model for heritable symbiosis is the association of aphids, a clade of sap-feeding insects, and Buchnera aphidicola, a gammaproteobacterium that colonized an aphid ancestor 150 million years ago and persists in almost all 5,000 aphid species. Symbiont acquisition enables evolutionary and ecological expansion; aphids are one of many insect groups that would not exist without heritable symbiosis. Receiving less attention are potential negative ramifications of symbiotic alliances. In the short run, symbionts impose metabolic costs. Over evolutionary time, hosts evolve dependence beyond the original benefits of the symbiosis. Symbiotic partners enter into an evolutionary spiral that leads to irreversible codependence and associated risks. Host adaptations to symbiosis (e.g., immune-system modification) may impose vulnerabilities. Symbiont genomes also continuously accumulate deleterious mutations, limiting their beneficial contributions and environmental tolerance. Finally, the fitness interests of obligate heritable symbionts are distinct from those of their hosts, leading to selfish tendencies. Thus, genes underlying the host-symbiont interface are predicted to follow a coevolutionary arms race, as observed for genes governing host-pathogen interactions. On the macroevolutionary scale, the rapid evolution of interacting symbiont and host genes is predicted to accelerate host speciation rates by generating genetic incompatibilities. However, degeneration of symbiont genomes may ultimately limit the ecological range of host species, potentially increasing extinction risk. Recent results for the aphid-Buchnera symbiosis and related systems illustrate that, whereas heritable symbiosis can expand ecological range and spur diversification, it also presents potential perils.

  12. Our Social Roots: How Local Ecology Shapes Our Social Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mace, Ruth

    There is overwhelming evidence that wide-ranging aspects of human biology and human behavior can be considered as adaptations to different subsistence systems. Wider environmental and ecological correlates of behavioral and cultural traits are generally best understood as being mediated by differences in subsistence strategies. Modes of subsistence profoundly influence both human biology, as documented in genetic changes, and human social behavior and cultural norms, such as kinship, marriage, descent, wealth inheritance, and political systems. Thus both cultural and biological factors usually need to be considered together in studies of human evolutionary ecology, combined in specifically defined evolutionary models. Models of cultural adaptation to environmental conditions can be subjected to the same or similar tests that behavioral ecologists have used to seek evidence for adaptive behavior in other species. Phylogenetic comparative methods are proving useful, both for studying co-evolutionary hypotheses (cultural and/or gene-culture co-evolution), and for estimating ancestral states of prehistoric societies. This form of formal cross-cultural comparison is helping to put history back into anthropology, and helping us to understand cultural evolutionary processes at a number of levels.

  13. Naturalizing Perception Developing the Gibsonian Approach to Perception along Evolutionary Lines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, Rob; Chemero, Anthony

    We believe that one of the most important aspects of Gibson's ecological psychology is his attempted naturalization of perception, that is, his attempt to place perception in the context of evolutionary theory. However, the dominant neo-Gibsonian approach to perception has been criticized for being

  14. The painted turtle, Chrysemys picta: a model system for vertebrate evolution, ecology, and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenzuela, Nicole

    2009-07-01

    Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) are representatives of a vertebrate clade whose biology and phylogenetic position hold a key to our understanding of fundamental aspects of vertebrate evolution. These features make them an ideal emerging model system. Extensive ecological and physiological research provide the context in which to place new research advances in evolutionary genetics, genomics, evolutionary developmental biology, and ecological developmental biology which are enabled by current resources, such as a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of C. picta, and the imminent development of additional ones such as genome sequences and cDNA and expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries. This integrative approach will allow the research community to continue making advances to provide functional and evolutionary explanations for the lability of biological traits found not only among reptiles but vertebrates in general. Moreover, because humans and reptiles share a common ancestor, and given the ease of using nonplacental vertebrates in experimental biology compared with mammalian embryos, painted turtles are also an emerging model system for biomedical research. For example, painted turtles have been studied to understand many biological responses to overwintering and anoxia, as potential sentinels for environmental xenobiotics, and as a model to decipher the ecology and evolution of sexual development and reproduction. Thus, painted turtles are an excellent reptilian model system for studies with human health, environmental, ecological, and evolutionary significance.

  15. Evolution in Mind: Evolutionary Dynamics, Cognitive Processes, and Bayesian Inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchow, Jordan W; Bourgin, David D; Griffiths, Thomas L

    2017-07-01

    Evolutionary theory describes the dynamics of population change in settings affected by reproduction, selection, mutation, and drift. In the context of human cognition, evolutionary theory is most often invoked to explain the origins of capacities such as language, metacognition, and spatial reasoning, framing them as functional adaptations to an ancestral environment. However, evolutionary theory is useful for understanding the mind in a second way: as a mathematical framework for describing evolving populations of thoughts, ideas, and memories within a single mind. In fact, deep correspondences exist between the mathematics of evolution and of learning, with perhaps the deepest being an equivalence between certain evolutionary dynamics and Bayesian inference. This equivalence permits reinterpretation of evolutionary processes as algorithms for Bayesian inference and has relevance for understanding diverse cognitive capacities, including memory and creativity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Evolutionary history of Indian Ocean nycteribiid bat flies mirroring the ecology of their hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tortosa, Pablo; Dsouli, Najla; Gomard, Yann; Ramasindrazana, Beza; Dick, Carl W; Goodman, Steven M

    2013-01-01

    Bats and their parasites are increasingly investigated for their role in maintenance and transmission of potentially emerging pathogens. The islands of the western Indian Ocean hold nearly 50 bat species, mostly endemic and taxonomically well studied. However, investigation of associated viral, bacterial, and external parasites has lagged behind. In the case of their ectoparasites, more detailed information should provide insights into the evolutionary history of their hosts, as well as pathogen cycles in these wild animals. Here we investigate species of Nycteribiidae, a family of obligate hematophagous wingless flies parasitizing bats. Using morphological and molecular approaches, we describe fly species diversity sampled on Madagascar and the Comoros for two cave-roosting bat genera with contrasting ecologies: Miniopterus and Rousettus. Within the sampling area, 11 endemic species of insect-feeding Miniopterus occur, two of which are common to Madagascar and Comoros, while fruit-consuming Rousettus are represented by one species endemic to each of these zones. Morphological and molecular characterization of flies reveals that nycteribiids associated with Miniopterus bats comprise three species largely shared by most host species. Flies of M. griveaudi, one of the two bats found on Madagascar and certain islands in the Comoros, belong to the same taxon, which accords with continued over-water population exchange of this bat species and the lack of inter-island genetic structuring. Flies parasitizing Rousettus belong to two distinct species, each associated with a single host species, again in accordance with the distribution of each endemic bat species.

  17. Chasing Ecological Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, Pedro

    2016-09-01

    Basic research on biodiversity has concentrated on individual species-naming new species, studying distribution patterns, and analyzing their evolutionary relationships. Yet biodiversity is more than a collection of individual species; it is the combination of biological entities and processes that support life on Earth. To understand biodiversity we must catalog it, but we must also assess the ways species interact with other species to provide functional support for the Tree of Life. Ecological interactions may be lost well before the species involved in those interactions go extinct; their ecological functions disappear even though they remain. Here, I address the challenges in studying the functional aspects of species interactions and how basic research is helping us address the fast-paced extinction of species due to human activities.

  18. What is dental ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Teeth have long been used as indicators of primate ecology. Early work focused on the links between dental morphology, diet, and behavior, with more recent years emphasizing dental wear, microstructure, development, and biogeochemistry, to understand primate ecology. Our study of Lemur catta at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, has revealed an unusual pattern of severe tooth wear and frequent tooth loss, primarily the result of consuming a fallback food for which these primates are not dentally adapted. Interpreting these data was only possible by combining our areas of expertise (dental anatomy [FC] and primate ecology [MS]). By integrating theoretical, methodological, and applied aspects of both areas of research, we adopted the term "dental ecology"-defined as the broad study of how teeth respond to the environment. Specifically, we view dental ecology as an interpretive framework using teeth as a vehicle for understanding an organism's ecology, which builds upon earlier work, but creates a new synthesis of anatomy and ecology that is only possible with detailed knowledge of living primates. This framework includes (1) identifying patterns of dental pathology and tooth use-wear, within the context of feeding ecology, behavior, habitat variation, and anthropogenic change, (2) assessing ways in which dental development and biogeochemical signals can reflect habitat, environmental change and/or stress, and (3) how dental microstructure and macro-morphology are adapted to, and reflect feeding ecology. Here we define dental ecology, provide a short summary of the development of this perspective, and place our new work into this context. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Origin of the fittest: link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-07

    In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework-natural selection and inheritance-the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification.

  20. Comparative systems biology across an evolutionary gradient within the Shewanella genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T; Serres, Margrethe H; Romine, Margaret F; Rodrigues, Jorge L M; Auchtung, Jennifer; McCue, Lee-Ann; Lipton, Mary S; Obraztsova, Anna; Giometti, Carol S; Nealson, Kenneth H; Fredrickson, James K; Tiedje, James M

    2009-09-15

    To what extent genotypic differences translate to phenotypic variation remains a poorly understood issue of paramount importance for several cornerstone concepts of microbiology including the species definition. Here, we take advantage of the completed genomic sequences, expressed proteomic profiles, and physiological studies of 10 closely related Shewanella strains and species to provide quantitative insights into this issue. Our analyses revealed that, despite extensive horizontal gene transfer within these genomes, the genotypic and phenotypic similarities among the organisms were generally predictable from their evolutionary relatedness. The power of the predictions depended on the degree of ecological specialization of the organisms evaluated. Using the gradient of evolutionary relatedness formed by these genomes, we were able to partly isolate the effect of ecology from that of evolutionary divergence and to rank the different cellular functions in terms of their rates of evolution. Our ranking also revealed that whole-cell protein expression differences among these organisms, when the organisms were grown under identical conditions, were relatively larger than differences at the genome level, suggesting that similarity in gene regulation and expression should constitute another important parameter for (new) species description. Collectively, our results provide important new information toward beginning a systems-level understanding of bacterial species and genera.

  1. The ecology of cancer from an evolutionary game theory perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Jorge M; Santos, Francisco C; Dingli, David

    2014-08-06

    The accumulation of somatic mutations, to which the cellular genome is permanently exposed, often leads to cancer. Analysis of any tumour shows that, besides the malignant cells, one finds other 'supporting' cells such as fibroblasts, immune cells of various types and even blood vessels. Together, these cells generate the microenvironment that enables the malignant cell population to grow and ultimately lead to disease. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of tumour growth and response to therapy is incomplete unless the interactions between the malignant cells and normal cells are investigated in the environment in which they take place. The complex interactions between cells in such an ecosystem result from the exchange of information in the form of cytokines- and adhesion-dependent interactions. Such processes impose costs and benefits to the participating cells that may be conveniently recast in the form of a game pay-off matrix. As a result, tumour progression and dynamics can be described in terms of evolutionary game theory (EGT), which provides a convenient framework in which to capture the frequency-dependent nature of ecosystem dynamics. Here, we provide a tutorial review of the central aspects of EGT, establishing a relation with the problem of cancer. Along the way, we also digress on fitness and of ways to compute it. Subsequently, we show how EGT can be applied to the study of the various manifestations and dynamics of multiple myeloma bone disease and its preceding condition known as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. We translate the complex biochemical signals into costs and benefits of different cell types, thus defining a game pay-off matrix. Then we use the well-known properties of the EGT equations to reduce the number of core parameters that characterize disease evolution. Finally, we provide an interpretation of these core parameters in terms of what their function is in the ecosystem we are describing and generate

  2. Disparity changes in 370 Ma Devonian fossils: the signature of ecological dynamics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girard, Catherine; Renaud, Sabrina

    2012-01-01

    Early periods in Earth's history have seen a progressive increase in complexity of the ecosystems, but also dramatic crises decimating the biosphere. Such patterns are usually considered as large-scale changes among supra-specific groups, including morphological novelties, radiation, and extinctions. Nevertheless, in the same time, each species evolved by the way of micro-evolutionary processes, extended over millions of years into the evolution of lineages. How these two evolutionary scales interacted is a challenging issue because this requires bridging a gap between scales of observation and processes. The present study aims at transferring a typical macro-evolutionary approach, namely disparity analysis, to the study of fine-scale evolutionary variations in order to decipher what processes actually drove the dynamics of diversity at a micro-evolutionary level. The Late Frasnian to Late Famennian period was selected because it is punctuated by two major macro-evolutionary crises, as well as a progressive diversification of marine ecosystem. Disparity was estimated through this period on conodonts, tooth-like fossil remains of small eel-like predators that were part of the nektonic fauna. The study was focused on the emblematic genus of the period, Palmatolepis. Strikingly, both crises affected an already impoverished Palmatolepis disparity, increasing risks of random extinction. The major disparity signal rather emerged as a cycle of increase and decrease in disparity during the inter-crises period. The diversification shortly followed the first crisis and might correspond to an opportunistic occupation of empty ecological niche. The subsequent oriented shrinking in the morphospace occupation suggests that the ecological space available to Palmatolepis decreased through time, due to a combination of factors: deteriorating climate, expansion of competitors and predators. Disparity changes of Palmatolepis thus reflect changes in the structure of the ecological

  3. Disparity changes in 370 Ma Devonian fossils: the signature of ecological dynamics?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Girard

    Full Text Available Early periods in Earth's history have seen a progressive increase in complexity of the ecosystems, but also dramatic crises decimating the biosphere. Such patterns are usually considered as large-scale changes among supra-specific groups, including morphological novelties, radiation, and extinctions. Nevertheless, in the same time, each species evolved by the way of micro-evolutionary processes, extended over millions of years into the evolution of lineages. How these two evolutionary scales interacted is a challenging issue because this requires bridging a gap between scales of observation and processes. The present study aims at transferring a typical macro-evolutionary approach, namely disparity analysis, to the study of fine-scale evolutionary variations in order to decipher what processes actually drove the dynamics of diversity at a micro-evolutionary level. The Late Frasnian to Late Famennian period was selected because it is punctuated by two major macro-evolutionary crises, as well as a progressive diversification of marine ecosystem. Disparity was estimated through this period on conodonts, tooth-like fossil remains of small eel-like predators that were part of the nektonic fauna. The study was focused on the emblematic genus of the period, Palmatolepis. Strikingly, both crises affected an already impoverished Palmatolepis disparity, increasing risks of random extinction. The major disparity signal rather emerged as a cycle of increase and decrease in disparity during the inter-crises period. The diversification shortly followed the first crisis and might correspond to an opportunistic occupation of empty ecological niche. The subsequent oriented shrinking in the morphospace occupation suggests that the ecological space available to Palmatolepis decreased through time, due to a combination of factors: deteriorating climate, expansion of competitors and predators. Disparity changes of Palmatolepis thus reflect changes in the structure

  4. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Natalie; Whitaker, Briana K; Clay, Keith

    2015-01-01

    The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant-fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration). The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research.

  5. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie eChristian

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant-fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant-fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration. The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research.

  6. Microbiomes: unifying animal and plant systems through the lens of community ecology theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christian, Natalie; Whitaker, Briana K.; Clay, Keith

    2015-01-01

    The field of microbiome research is arguably one of the fastest growing in biology. Bacteria feature prominently in studies on animal health, but fungi appear to be the more prominent functional symbionts for plants. Despite the similarities in the ecological organization and evolutionary importance of animal-bacterial and plant–fungal microbiomes, there is a general failure across disciplines to integrate the advances made in each system. Researchers studying bacterial symbionts in animals benefit from greater access to efficient sequencing pipelines and taxonomic reference databases, perhaps due to high medical and veterinary interest. However, researchers studying plant–fungal symbionts benefit from the relative tractability of fungi under laboratory conditions and ease of cultivation. Thus each system has strengths to offer, but both suffer from the lack of a common conceptual framework. We argue that community ecology best illuminates complex species interactions across space and time. In this synthesis we compare and contrast the animal-bacterial and plant–fungal microbiomes using six core theories in community ecology (i.e., succession, community assembly, metacommunities, multi-trophic interactions, disturbance, restoration). The examples and questions raised are meant to spark discussion amongst biologists and lead to the integration of these two systems, as well as more informative, manipulatory experiments on microbiomes research. PMID:26441846

  7. Ecological diversification associated with the benthic-to-pelagic transition by North American minnows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burress, E D; Holcomb, J M; Tan, M; Armbruster, J W

    2017-03-01

    Ecological opportunity is often regarded as a key factor that explains why diversity is unevenly distributed across life. Colonization of novel environments or adaptive zones may promote diversification. North American minnows exhibit an ancestral benthic-to-pelagic habitat shift that coincided with a burst in diversification. Here, we evaluate the phenotypic and ecological implications of this habitat shift by assessing craniofacial and dietary traits among 34 species and testing for morphology-diet covariation, convergence and adaptive optima. There were several instances of morphology-diet covariation such as correlations between mouth angle and the consumption of terrestrial insects and between relative gut length and the consumption of algae. After accounting for size and phylogenetic nonindependence, benthic species had longer heads, longer snouts, eyes positioned higher on their head, smaller mouth angles and longer digestive tracts than pelagic minnows. Benthic minnows also consumed more algae but less terrestrial insects, by volume, than pelagic minnows. Lastly, there were three distinct evolutionary regimes and more convergence in morphology and dietary characteristics than expected under a Brownian motion model of evolution. These findings indicate that colonization of the pelagic zone by minnows involved myriad phenotypic and dietary changes associated with exploitation of terrestrial subsidies. Thus, minnows exhibit phenotype-dietary covariation, an expansion of ecological roles and a burst in diversification rates in response to the ecological opportunity afforded by the colonization of a novel habitat. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. Historical change and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masters, Roger D

    2007-09-01

    Despite advances in fields like genetics, evolutionary psychology, and human behavior and evolution--which generally focus on individual or small group behavior from a biological perspective--evolutionary biology has made little impact on studies of political change and social history. Theories of natural selection often seem inapplicable to human history because our social behavior is embedded in language (which makes possible the concepts of time and social identity on which what we call "history" depends). Peter Corning's Holistic Darwinism reconceptualizes evolutionary biology, making it possible to go beyond the barriers separating the social and natural sciences. Corning focuses on two primary processes: "synergy" (complex multivariate interactions at multiple levels between a species and its environment) and "cybernetics" (the information systems permitting communication between individuals and groups over time). Combining this frame of reference with inclusive fitness theory, it is possible to answer the most important (and puzzling) question in human history: How did a species that lived for millennia in hunter-gatherer bands form centralized states governing large populations of non-kin (including multi-ethnic empires as well as modern nation-states)? The fragility and contemporary ethnic violence in Kenya and the Congo should suffice as evidence that these issues need to be taken seriously. To explain the rise and fall of states as well as changes in human laws and customs--the core of historical research--it is essential to show how the provision of collective goods can overcome the challenge of self-interest and free-riding in some instances, yet fail to do so in others. To this end, it is now possible to consider how a state providing public goods can--under circumstances that often include effective leadership--contribute to enhanced inclusive fitness of virtually all its members. Because social behavior needs to adapt to ecology, but ecological

  9. Ecological venomics: How genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics can shed new light on the ecology and evolution of venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Morgenstern, David; Reitzel, Adam M; Moran, Yehu

    2016-03-01

    Animal venom is a complex cocktail of bioactive chemicals that traditionally drew interest mostly from biochemists and pharmacologists. However, in recent years the evolutionary and ecological importance of venom is realized as this trait has direct and strong influence on interactions between species. Moreover, venom content can be modulated by environmental factors. Like many other fields of biology, venom research has been revolutionized in recent years by the introduction of systems biology approaches, i.e., genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics. The employment of these methods in venom research is known as 'venomics'. In this review we describe the history and recent advancements of venomics and discuss how they are employed in studying venom in general and in particular in the context of evolutionary ecology. We also discuss the pitfalls and challenges of venomics and what the future may hold for this emerging scientific field. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. The ecology and evolutionary endocrinology of reproduction in the human female.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitzthum, Virginia J

    2009-01-01

    Human reproductive ecology (HRE) is the study of the mechanisms that link variation in reproductive traits with variation in local habitats. Empirical and theoretical contributions from biological anthropology, physiology, and demography have established the foundation necessary for developing a comprehensive understanding, grounded in life history theory (LHT), of temporal, individual, and populational variation in women's reproductive functioning. LHT posits that natural selection leads to the evolution of mechanisms that tend to allocate resources to the competing demands of growth, reproduction, and survival such that fitness is locally maximized. (That is, among alternative allocation patterns exhibited in a population, those having the highest inclusive fitness will become more common over generational time.) Hence, strategic modulation of reproductive effort is potentially adaptive because investment in a new conception may risk one's own survival, future reproductive opportunities, and/or current offspring survival. The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis is the principal neuroendocrine pathway by which the human female modulates reproductive functioning according to the changing conditions in her habitat. Adjustments of reproductive investment in a potential conception are manifested in temporal and individual variation in ovarian cycle length, ovulation, hormone levels, and the probability of conception. Understanding the extent and causes of adaptive and non-adaptive variation in ovarian functioning is fundamental to ascertaining the proximate and remote determinants of human reproductive patterns. In this review I consider what is known and what still needs to be learned of the ecology of women's reproductive biology, beginning with a discussion of the principal explanatory frameworks in HRE and the biometry of ovarian functioning. Turning next to empirical studies, it is evident that marked variation between cycles, women, and populations is the

  11. Editorial: Entropy in Landscape Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel A. Cushman

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics are the central organizing principles of nature, but the ideas and implications of the second law are poorly developed in landscape ecology. The purpose of this Special Issue “Entropy in Landscape Ecology” in Entropy is to bring together current research on applications of thermodynamics in landscape ecology, to consolidate current knowledge and identify key areas for future research. The special issue contains six articles, which cover a broad range of topics including relationships between entropy and evolution, connections between fractal geometry and entropy, new approaches to calculate configurational entropy of landscapes, example analyses of computing entropy of landscapes, and using entropy in the context of optimal landscape planning. Collectively these papers provide a broad range of contributions to the nascent field of ecological thermodynamics. Formalizing the connections between entropy and ecology are in a very early stage, and that this special issue contains papers that address several centrally important ideas, and provides seminal work that will be a foundation for the future development of ecological and evolutionary thermodynamics.

  12. How evolutionary principles improve the understanding of human health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gluckman, Peter D; Low, Felicia M; Buklijas, Tatjana; Hanson, Mark A; Beedle, Alan S

    2011-03-01

    An appreciation of the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology provides new insights into major diseases and enables an integrated understanding of human biology and medicine. However, there is a lack of awareness of their importance amongst physicians, medical researchers, and educators, all of whom tend to focus on the mechanistic (proximate) basis for disease, excluding consideration of evolutionary (ultimate) reasons. The key principles of evolutionary medicine are that selection acts on fitness, not health or longevity; that our evolutionary history does not cause disease, but rather impacts on our risk of disease in particular environments; and that we are now living in novel environments compared to those in which we evolved. We consider these evolutionary principles in conjunction with population genetics and describe several pathways by which evolutionary processes can affect disease risk. These perspectives provide a more cohesive framework for gaining insights into the determinants of health and disease. Coupled with complementary insights offered by advances in genomic, epigenetic, and developmental biology research, evolutionary perspectives offer an important addition to understanding disease. Further, there are a number of aspects of evolutionary medicine that can add considerably to studies in other domains of contemporary evolutionary studies.

  13. Predator attack rate evolution in space: the role of ecology mediated by complex emergent spatial structure and self-shading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messinger, Susanna M; Ostling, Annette

    2013-11-01

    Predation interactions are an important element of ecological communities. Population spatial structure has been shown to influence predator evolution, resulting in the evolution of a reduced predator attack rate; however, the evolutionary role of traits governing predator and prey ecology is unknown. The evolutionary effect of spatial structure on a predator's attack rate has primarily been explored assuming a fixed metapopulation spatial structure, and understood in terms of group selection. But endogenously generated, emergent spatial structure is common in nature. Furthermore, the evolutionary influence of ecological traits may be mediated through the spatial self-structuring process. Drawing from theory on pathogens, the evolutionary effect of emergent spatial structure can be understood in terms of self-shading, where a voracious predator limits its long-term invasion potential by reducing local prey availability. Here we formalize the effects of self-shading for predators using spatial moment equations. Then, through simulations, we show that in a spatial context self-shading leads to relationships between predator-prey ecology and the predator's attack rate that are not expected in a non-spatial context. Some relationships are analogous to relationships already shown for host-pathogen interactions, but others represent new trait dimensions. Finally, since understanding the effects of ecology using existing self-shading theory requires simplifications of the emergent spatial structure that do not apply well here, we also develop metrics describing the complex spatial structure of the predator and prey populations to help us explain the evolutionary effect of predator and prey ecology in the context of self-shading. The identification of these metrics may provide a step towards expansion of the predictive domain of self-shading theory to more complex spatial dynamics. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Advances in Ecological Speciation: an integrative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Rui; Renaut, Sebastien; Galindo, Juan; Pinho, Catarina; Melo-Ferreira, José; Melo, Martim; Jones, Felicity; Salzburger, Walter; Schluter, Dolph; Butlin, Roger

    2014-02-01

    The role of natural selection in promoting reproductive isolation has received substantial renewed interest within the last two decades. As a consequence, the study of ecological speciation has become an extremely productive research area in modern evolutionary biology. Recent innovations in sequencing technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to study the mechanisms involved in ecological speciation. Genome scans provide significant insights but have some important limitations; efforts are needed to integrate them with other approaches to make full use of the sequencing data deluge. An international conference 'Advances in Ecological Speciation' organized by the University of Porto (Portugal) aimed to review current progress in ecological speciation. Using some of the examples presented at the conference, we highlight the benefits of integrating ecological and genomic data and discuss different mechanisms of parallel evolution. Finally, future avenues of research are suggested to advance our knowledge concerning the role of natural selection in the establishment of reproductive isolation during ecological speciation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Eco-evolutionary spatial dynamics in the Glanville fritillary butterfly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanski, Ilkka A

    2011-08-30

    Demographic population dynamics, gene flow, and local adaptation may influence each other and lead to coupling of ecological and evolutionary dynamics, especially in species inhabiting fragmented heterogeneous environments. Here, I review long-term research on eco-evolutionary spatial dynamics in the Glanville fritillary butterfly inhabiting a large network of approximately 4,000 meadows in Finland. The metapopulation persists in a balance between frequent local extinctions and recolonizations. The genetic spatial structure as defined by neutral markers is much more coarse-grained than the demographic spatial structure determined by the fragmented habitat, yet small-scale spatial structure has important consequences for the dynamics. I discuss three examples of eco-evolutionary spatial dynamics. (i) Extinction-colonization metapopulation dynamics influence allele frequency changes in the phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi) gene, which leads to strong associations between genetic variation in Pgi and dispersal, recolonization, and local population dynamics. (ii) Inbreeding in local populations increases their risk for extinction, whereas reciprocal effects between inbreeding, population size, and emigration represent likely eco-evolutionary feedbacks. (iii) Genetically determined female oviposition preference for two host plant species exhibits a cline paralleling a gradient in host plant relative abundances, and host plant preference of dispersing females in relation to the host plant composition of habitat patches influences immigration (gene flow) and recolonization (founder events). Eco-evolutionary spatial dynamics in heterogeneous environments may not lead to directional evolutionary changes unless the environment itself changes, but eco-evolutionary dynamics may contribute to the maintenance of genetic variation attributable to fluctuating selection in space and time.

  16. Predictors for reproductive isolation in a ring species complex following genetic and ecological divergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Ricardo J; Monahan, William B; Wake, David B

    2011-07-06

    Reproductive isolation (RI) is widely accepted as an important "check point" in the diversification process, since it defines irreversible evolutionary trajectories. Much less consensus exists about the processes that might drive RI. Here, we employ a formal quantitative analysis of genetic interactions at several stages of divergence within the ring species complex Ensatina eschscholtzii in order to assess the relative contribution of genetic and ecological divergence for the development of RI. By augmenting previous genetic datasets and adding new ecological data, we quantify levels of genetic and ecological divergence between populations and test how they correlate with a restriction of genetic admixture upon secondary contact. Our results indicate that the isolated effect of ecological divergence between parental populations does not result in reproductively isolated taxa, even when genetic transitions between parental taxa are narrow. Instead, processes associated with overall genetic divergence are the best predictors of reproductive isolation, and when parental taxa diverge in nuclear markers we observe a complete cessation of hybridization, even to sympatric occurrence of distinct evolutionary lineages. Although every parental population has diverged in mitochondrial DNA, its degree of divergence does not predict the extent of RI. These results show that in Ensatina, the evolutionary outcomes of ecological divergence differ from those of genetic divergence. While evident properties of taxa may emerge via ecological divergence, such as adaptation to local environment, RI is likely to be a byproduct of processes that contribute to overall genetic divergence, such as time in geographic isolation, rather than being a direct outcome of local adaptation.

  17. Unifying ecology and macroevolution with individual-based theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rosindell, James; Harmon, Luke J.; Etienne, Rampal S.

    A contemporary goal in both ecology and evolutionary biology is to develop theory that transcends the boundary between the two disciplines, to understand phenomena that cannot be explained by either field in isolation. This is challenging because macroevolution typically uses lineage-based models,

  18. Temporal ecology in the Anthropocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkovich, E M; Cook, B I; McLauchlan, K K; Davies, T J

    2014-11-01

    Two fundamental axes - space and time - shape ecological systems. Over the last 30 years spatial ecology has developed as an integrative, multidisciplinary science that has improved our understanding of the ecological consequences of habitat fragmentation and loss. We argue that accelerating climate change - the effective manipulation of time by humans - has generated a current need to build an equivalent framework for temporal ecology. Climate change has at once pressed ecologists to understand and predict ecological dynamics in non-stationary environments, while also challenged fundamental assumptions of many concepts, models and approaches. However, similarities between space and time, especially related issues of scaling, provide an outline for improving ecological models and forecasting of temporal dynamics, while the unique attributes of time, particularly its emphasis on events and its singular direction, highlight where new approaches are needed. We emphasise how a renewed, interdisciplinary focus on time would coalesce related concepts, help develop new theories and methods and guide further data collection. The next challenge will be to unite predictive frameworks from spatial and temporal ecology to build robust forecasts of when and where environmental change will pose the largest threats to species and ecosystems, as well as identifying the best opportunities for conservation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  19. Integrating evo-devo with ecology for a better understanding of phenotypic evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, M Emília; Berger, Chloé S; Refki, Peter N; Khila, Abderrahman

    2015-11-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has provided invaluable contributions to our understanding of the mechanistic relationship between genotypic and phenotypic change. Similarly, evolutionary ecology has greatly advanced our understanding of the relationship between the phenotype and the environment. To fully understand the evolution of organismal diversity, a thorough integration of these two fields is required. This integration remains highly challenging because model systems offering a rich ecological and evolutionary background, together with the availability of developmental genetic tools and genomic resources, are scarce. In this review, we introduce the semi-aquatic bugs (Gerromorpha, Heteroptera) as original models well suited to study why and how organisms diversify. The Gerromorpha invaded water surfaces over 200 mya and diversified into a range of remarkable new forms within this new ecological habitat. We summarize the biology and evolutionary history of this group of insects and highlight a set of characters associated with the habitat change and the diversification that followed. We further discuss the morphological, behavioral, molecular and genomic tools available that together make semi-aquatic bugs a prime model for integration across disciplines. We present case studies showing how the implementation and combination of these approaches can advance our understanding of how the interaction between genotypes, phenotypes and the environment drives the evolution of distinct morphologies. Finally, we explain how the same set of experimental designs can be applied in other systems to address similar biological questions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

  20. Characterization of an artisanal fishery in Argentina using the social-ecological systems framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia London

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD studies how institutions (the rules of the game of a society determine the performance of a social-economic system. Elinor Ostrom extends the institutional analysis to the collective action for a particular case, the study of the social-ecological systems (SESs. Any group that attempts to manage a common resource (e.g. aquifers, pastures for optimal sustainable production must solve a set of problems in order to create institutions to facilitate collective action. Some evidences show that following a set of design principles in creating institutions can lead to overcome these problems. The aim of the paper is to apply the SES framework to an artisanal fishery community in Argentina in order to: 1 describe the principal features, key variables and relations of the small-scale fishery system; 2 detect the principal drivers of a potential common-management and the leading detractors from the current communal performance; and 3 analyze the possibility that a self-governing for sustainable fishery may appear. Several drivers for potential common-management and some detractors from the current common performance are summarized. Artisanal fishery SES is currently at a bifurcation point. A common historical and cultural root, the presence of leaderships, the relevance of local knowledge, the dependence on the resource to sustainable livelihoods and the threat of big-scale fisheries area have generated incentives to collective-action. But, simultaneously, internal conflicts are the most important barrier for an integrated community-based management. The heterogeneity among actors and the relevant external conditions have resulted in two groups diverging in their self-organization. The work is framed by the project COMET-LA (COmmunity-based Management of Environmental challenges in Latin America; European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme of Research and Development, which aims to identify sustainable

  1. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E; Safi, Kamran

    2011-09-12

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future.

  2. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E.; Safi, Kamran

    2011-01-01

    Mammals have incredible biological diversity, showing extreme flexibility in eco-morphology, physiology, life history and behaviour across their evolutionary history. Undoubtedly, mammals play an important role in ecosystems by providing essential services such as regulating insect populations, seed dispersal and pollination and act as indicators of general ecosystem health. However, the macroecological and macroevolutionary processes underpinning past and present biodiversity patterns are only beginning to be explored on a global scale. It is also particularly important, in the face of the global extinction crisis, to understand these processes in order to be able to use this knowledge to prevent future biodiversity loss and loss of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, efforts to understand mammalian biodiversity have been hampered by a lack of data. New data compilations on current species' distributions, ecologies and evolutionary histories now allow an integrated approach to understand this biodiversity. We review and synthesize these new studies, exploring the past and present ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity, and use these findings to speculate about the mammals of our future. PMID:21807728

  3. Robust permanence for ecological equations with internal and external feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Swati; Schreiber, Sebastian J

    2018-07-01

    Species experience both internal feedbacks with endogenous factors such as trait evolution and external feedbacks with exogenous factors such as weather. These feedbacks can play an important role in determining whether populations persist or communities of species coexist. To provide a general mathematical framework for studying these effects, we develop a theorem for coexistence for ecological models accounting for internal and external feedbacks. Specifically, we use average Lyapunov functions and Morse decompositions to develop sufficient and necessary conditions for robust permanence, a form of coexistence robust to large perturbations of the population densities and small structural perturbations of the models. We illustrate how our results can be applied to verify permanence in non-autonomous models, structured population models, including those with frequency-dependent feedbacks, and models of eco-evolutionary dynamics. In these applications, we discuss how our results relate to previous results for models with particular types of feedbacks.

  4. Evolutionary history of Indian Ocean nycteribiid bat flies mirroring the ecology of their hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Tortosa

    Full Text Available Bats and their parasites are increasingly investigated for their role in maintenance and transmission of potentially emerging pathogens. The islands of the western Indian Ocean hold nearly 50 bat species, mostly endemic and taxonomically well studied. However, investigation of associated viral, bacterial, and external parasites has lagged behind. In the case of their ectoparasites, more detailed information should provide insights into the evolutionary history of their hosts, as well as pathogen cycles in these wild animals. Here we investigate species of Nycteribiidae, a family of obligate hematophagous wingless flies parasitizing bats. Using morphological and molecular approaches, we describe fly species diversity sampled on Madagascar and the Comoros for two cave-roosting bat genera with contrasting ecologies: Miniopterus and Rousettus. Within the sampling area, 11 endemic species of insect-feeding Miniopterus occur, two of which are common to Madagascar and Comoros, while fruit-consuming Rousettus are represented by one species endemic to each of these zones. Morphological and molecular characterization of flies reveals that nycteribiids associated with Miniopterus bats comprise three species largely shared by most host species. Flies of M. griveaudi, one of the two bats found on Madagascar and certain islands in the Comoros, belong to the same taxon, which accords with continued over-water population exchange of this bat species and the lack of inter-island genetic structuring. Flies parasitizing Rousettus belong to two distinct species, each associated with a single host species, again in accordance with the distribution of each endemic bat species.

  5. Applying historical ecology to natural resource management institutions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petty, Aaron M.; Isendahl, Christian; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the linkages between social and ecological systems is key to developing sustainable natural resource management (NRM) institutions. Frequently, however, insufficient attention is paid to the historical development of NRM institutions. Instead, discussion largely focuses on models...... of economic efficiency at the expense of the cultural, historical, and ecological contexts within which institutions develop. Here we use the research program of historical ecology to explore the development, maintenance, and change of two contemporary fire management institutions in northern Australia...... and Colorado, USA, to demonstrate how social institutions and ecological systems change and resist change over time and how institutions interact across scales to negotiate contrasting goals and motivations. We argue that these NRM institutions are not strictly speaking evolutionary or adaptive...

  6. Effects of Clonal Reproduction on Evolutionary Lag and Evolutionary Rescue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orive, Maria E; Barfield, Michael; Fernandez, Carlos; Holt, Robert D

    2017-10-01

    Evolutionary lag-the difference between mean and optimal phenotype in the current environment-is of keen interest in light of rapid environmental change. Many ecologically important organisms have life histories that include stage structure and both sexual and clonal reproduction, yet how stage structure and clonality interplay to govern a population's rate of evolution and evolutionary lag is unknown. Effects of clonal reproduction on mean phenotype partition into two portions: one that is phenotype dependent, and another that is genotype dependent. This partitioning is governed by the association between the nonadditive genetic plus random environmental component of phenotype of clonal offspring and their parents. While clonality slows phenotypic evolution toward an optimum, it can dramatically increase population survival after a sudden step change in optimal phenotype. Increased adult survival slows phenotypic evolution but facilitates population survival after a step change; this positive effect can, however, be lost given survival-fecundity trade-offs. Simulations indicate that the benefits of increased clonality under environmental change greatly depend on the nature of that change: increasing population persistence under a step change while decreasing population persistence under a continuous linear change requiring de novo variation. The impact of clonality on the probability of persistence for species in a changing world is thus inexorably linked to the temporal texture of the change they experience.

  7. A framework for generating and analyzing movement paths on ecological landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getz, Wayne M; Saltz, David

    2008-12-09

    The movement paths of individuals over landscapes are basically represented by sequences of points (x(i), y(i)) occurring at times t(i). Theoretically, these points can be viewed as being generated by stochastic processes that in the simplest cases are Gaussian random walks on featureless landscapes. Generalizations have been made of walks that (i) take place on landscapes with features, (ii) have correlated distributions of velocity and direction of movement in each time interval, (iii) are Lévy processes in which distance or waiting-time (time-between steps) distributions have infinite moments, or (iv) have paths bounded in space and time. We begin by demonstrating that rather mild truncations of fat-tailed step-size distributions have a dramatic effect on dispersion of organisms, where such truncations naturally arise in real walks of organisms bounded by space and, more generally, influenced by the interactions of physiological, behavioral, and ecological factors with landscape features. These generalizations permit not only increased realism and hence greater accuracy in constructing movement pathways, but also provide a biogeographically detailed epistemological framework for interpreting movement patterns in all organisms, whether tossed in the wind or willfully driven. We illustrate the utility of our framework by demonstrating how fission-fusion herding behavior arises among individuals endeavoring to satisfy both nutritional and safety demands in heterogeneous environments. We conclude with a brief discussion of potential methods that can be used to solve the inverse problem of identifying putative causal factors driving movement behavior on known landscapes, leaving details to references in the literature.

  8. War, Trauma and Children's Development: Observations from a Modern Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belsky, Jay

    2008-01-01

    Lethal intergroup conflict has been part of the human experience ever since our species emerged on the African savannah. Modern evolutionary thinking suggests that children's development could have evolved a variety of responses to it, some of which are highlighted upon considering, from the field of behavioural ecology, life-history theory and,…

  9. Ecological neighborhoods as a framework for umbrella species selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Erica F.; Fontaine, Joseph J.

    2018-01-01

    Umbrella species are typically chosen because they are expected to confer protection for other species assumed to have similar ecological requirements. Despite its popularity and substantial history, the value of the umbrella species concept has come into question because umbrella species chosen using heuristic methods, such as body or home range size, are not acting as adequate proxies for the metrics of interest: species richness or population abundance in a multi-species community for which protection is sought. How species associate with habitat across ecological scales has important implications for understanding population size and species richness, and therefore may be a better proxy for choosing an umbrella species. We determined the spatial scales of ecological neighborhoods important for predicting abundance of 8 potential umbrella species breeding in Nebraska using Bayesian latent indicator scale selection in N-mixture models accounting for imperfect detection. We compare the conservation value measured as collective avian abundance under different umbrella species selected following commonly used criteria and selected based on identifying spatial land cover characteristics within ecological neighborhoods that maximize collective abundance. Using traditional criteria to select an umbrella species resulted in sub-maximal expected collective abundance in 86% of cases compared to selecting an umbrella species based on land cover characteristics that maximized collective abundance directly. We conclude that directly assessing the expected quantitative outcomes, rather than ecological proxies, is likely the most efficient method to maximize the potential for conservation success under the umbrella species concept.

  10. Ecologically Sound Procedural Generation of Natural Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benny Onrust

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Current techniques for the creation and exploration of virtual worlds are largely unable to generate sound natural environments from ecological data and to provide interactive web-based visualizations of such detailed environments. We tackle this challenge and propose a novel framework that (i explores the advantages of landscape maps and ecological statistical data, translating them to an ecologically sound plant distribution, and (ii creates a visually convincing 3D representation of the natural environment suitable for its interactive visualization over the web. Our vegetation model improves techniques from procedural ecosystem generation and neutral landscape modeling. It is able to generate diverse ecological sound plant distributions directly from landscape maps with statistical ecological data. Our visualization model integrates existing level of detail and illumination techniques to achieve interactive frame rates and improve realism. We validated with ecology experts the outcome of our framework using two case studies and concluded that it provides convincing interactive visualizations of large natural environments.

  11. Integrated evolutionary computation neural network quality controller for automated systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patro, S.; Kolarik, W.J. [Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX (United States). Dept. of Industrial Engineering

    1999-06-01

    With increasing competition in the global market, more and more stringent quality standards and specifications are being demands at lower costs. Manufacturing applications of computing power are becoming more common. The application of neural networks to identification and control of dynamic processes has been discussed. The limitations of using neural networks for control purposes has been pointed out and a different technique, evolutionary computation, has been discussed. The results of identifying and controlling an unstable, dynamic process using evolutionary computation methods has been presented. A framework for an integrated system, using both neural networks and evolutionary computation, has been proposed to identify the process and then control the product quality, in a dynamic, multivariable system, in real-time.

  12. European ecological networks and greenways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Ib; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Kulvik, Mart

    2004-01-01

    renewed. Within the framework of nature conservation, the notion of an ecological network has become increasingly important. Throughout Europe, regional and national approaches are in different phases of development, which are all based on recent landscape ecological principles. Ecological networks......In the context of European integration, networks are becoming increasingly important in both social and ecological sense. Since the beginning of the 1990s, societal and scientific exchanges are being restructured as the conceptual approaches towards new nature conservation strategies have been....... This complex interaction between cultural and natural features results in quite different ways for the elaboration of ecological networks and greenways....

  13. Visions of the past and dreams of the future in the Orient: the Irano-Turanian region from classical botany to evolutionary studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manafzadeh, Sara; Staedler, Yannick M; Conti, Elena

    2017-08-01

    Ever since the 19th century, the immense arid lands of the Orient, now called the Irano-Turanian (IT) floristic region, attracted the interest of European naturalists with their tremendous plant biodiversity. Covering approximately 30% of the surface of Eurasia (16000000 km 2 ), the IT region is one of the largest floristic regions of the world. The IT region represents one of the hotspots of evolutionary and biological diversity in the Old World, and serves as a source of xerophytic taxa for neighbouring regions. Moreover, it is the cradle of the numerous species domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. Over the last 200 years, naturalists outlined different borders for the IT region. Yet, the delimitation and evolutionary history of this area remain one of the least well-understood fields of global biogeography, even though it is crucial to explaining the distribution of life in Eurasia. No comprehensive review of the biogeographical delimitations nor of the role of geological and climatic changes in the evolution of the IT region is currently available. After considering the key role of floristic regions in biogeography, we review the history of evolving concepts about the borders and composition of the IT region over the past 200 years and outline a tentative circumscription for it. We also summarise current knowledge on the geological and climatic history of the IT region. We then use this knowledge to generate specific evolutionary hypotheses to explain how different geological, palaeoclimatic, and ecological factors contributed to range expansion and contraction, thus shaping patterns of speciation in the IT region over time and space. Both historical and ecological biogeography should be applied to understand better the floristic diversification of the region. This will ultimately require evolutionary comparative analyses based on integrative phylogenetic, geological, climatic, ecological, and species distribution studies on the region. Furthermore, an

  14. Elder Abuse by Adult Children: An Applied Ecological Framework for Understanding Contextual Risk Factors and the Intergenerational Character of Quality of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiamberg, Lawrence B.; Gans, Daphna

    2000-01-01

    Using an applied ecological model, this study focuses on contextual risk factors of elder abuse. Five levels of environment were used to interpret existing research on risk factors. Configuration of risk factors provides a framework for understanding the intergenerational character of quality of life for older adults, developing recommendations…

  15. Evolutionary ecology of the interactions between aphids and their parasitoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Ralec, Anne; Anselme, Caroline; Outreman, Yannick; Poirié, Marylène; van Baaren, Joan; Le Lann, Cécile; van Alphen, Jacques J-M

    2010-01-01

    Many organisms, including entomopathogenous fungi, predators or parasites, use aphids as ressources. Parasites of aphids are mostly endoparasitoid insects, i.e. insects which lay eggs inside the body of an other insect which will die as a result of their development. In this article, we review the consequences of the numerous pecularities of aphid biology and ecology for their endoparasitoids, notably the Aphidiinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). We first examine the various mechanisms used by aphids for defence against these enemies. We then explore the strategies used by aphidiine parasitoids to exploit their aphid hosts. Finally, we consider the responses of both aphids and parasitoids to ecological constraints induced by seasonal cycles and to environmental variations linked to host plants and climate. The fundamental and applied interest of studying these organisms is discussed. Copyright 2010 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  16. Eco-evolutionary interactions as a consequence of selection on a secondary sexual trait

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smallegange, I.M.; Deere, J.A.; Moya-Laraño, J.; Rowntree, J.; Woodward, G.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological and evolutionary population changes are often interlinked, complicating the understanding of how each is affected by environmental change. Using a male dimorphic mite as a model system, we studied concurrent changes in the expression of a conditional strategy and in the population in

  17. An evolutionary perspective on drug discovery in the plant genus Euphorbia L. (Euphorbiaceae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ernst, Madeleine

    herbivory and physical stresses or to attract pollinators. Consequently, specializedmetabolites, as well as plants used in traditional medicine, are not randomly distributed across phylogenetictrees. Evolutionary approaches to plant-based drug discovery suggest that this informationcan be used to guide...... healthcarethreats, urge for systematic and time-efficient approaches in finding new drug candidates. Manydrugs are derived from plant specialized metabolites, chemical compounds, which are synthesizedby the plants in response to evolutionary adaptation to environmental and ecological factors, for example,to combat...... evolution and diversification. Also, Euphorbia species producean often chemically highly diverse latex exhibiting an exceptional number of biological activities withpharmaceutical interest. In this PhD project, the genus Euphorbia was chosen as a model group forstudying evolutionary approaches to plant...

  18. Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Plant Mediation of Multi-Trophic Interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Abdala, Luis Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    Consumers are strongly influenced by plant phenotypic variation. Such variation may have a genetic or environmental basis, and occurs when plant genotypes or species vary in traits or when patches of co-occurring plants vary in the number of genotypes or species. However, these sources of plant variation have usually been studied separately, their underlying mechanisms are poorly understood, and the evolutionary consequences are largely unknown. This dissertation aims to fill these gaps in re...

  19. Evolutionary biology: a basic science for medicine in the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlman, Robert L

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary biology was a poorly developed discipline at the time of the Flexner Report and was not included in Flexner's recommendations for premedical or medical education. Since that time, however, the value of an evolutionary approach to medicine has become increasingly recognized. There are several ways in which an evolutionary perspective can enrich medical education and improve medical practice. Evolutionary considerations rationalize our continued susceptibility or vulnerability to disease; they call attention to the idea that the signs and symptoms of disease may be adaptations that prevent or limit the severity of disease; they help us understand the ways in which our interventions may affect the evolution of microbial pathogens and of cancer cells; and they provide a framework for thinking about population variation and risk factors for disease. Evolutionary biology should become a foundational science for the medical education of the future.

  20. Toward an analytical framework for understanding complex social-ecological systems when conducting environmental impact assessments in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Bowd

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Consideration of biophysical impacts has historically dominated environmental impact assessment (EIA practice. Despite the emergence of social impact assessment, the consideration of socioeconomic impacts in EIA is variable, as is the extent of their integration in EIA findings. There is growing recognition for the need to move EIA practice toward sustainability assessment, characterized by comprehensiveness, i.e., scope of impacts, integration, i.e., of biophysical and socioeconomic impacts, and a greater strategic focus. This is particularly the case in developing regions and in countries like South Africa, which have statutory requirements for the full consideration of socioeconomic impacts in EIA. We suggest that EIA practice could benefit from incorporating evolving theory around social-ecological systems (SES as an effective way of moving toward sustainability assessment. As far as we are aware, our study constitutes the first attempt to apply and formalize SES constructs to EIA practice within a regulated procedure. Our framework goes beyond conventional scoping approaches reliant on checklists and matrices by requiring the EIA practitioner to cocreate a conceptual model of the current and future social-ecological system with the implicated communities. This means social and biophysical impacts are assessed integratively, and that communities participate meaningfully in the EIA process, thereby helping address two of the most common shortfalls of EIA practice. The framework was applied in two case studies, establishment of community-based accommodation linked to existing tourism infrastructure (Eastern Cape, South Africa, and a proposed wine estate (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The framework revealed impacts, which would not be considered in a biophysically-oriented EIA, and helped identify development synergies and institutional and governance needs that are equally likely to have been overlooked. We suggest the framework has value as a

  1. Diversity spurs diversification in ecological communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagno, Vincent; Jarne, Philippe; Loreau, Michel; Mouquet, Nicolas; David, Patrice

    2017-06-01

    Diversity is a fundamental, yet threatened, property of ecological systems. The idea that diversity can itself favour diversification, in an autocatalytic process, is very appealing but remains controversial. Here, we study a generalized model of ecological communities and investigate how the level of initial diversity influences the possibility of evolutionary diversification. We show that even simple models of intra- and inter-specific ecological interactions can predict a positive effect of diversity on diversification: adaptive radiations may require a threshold number of species before kicking-off. We call this phenomenon DDAR (diversity-dependent adaptive radiations) and identify mathematically two distinct pathways connecting diversity to diversification, involving character displacement and the positive diversity-productivity relationship. Our results may explain observed delays in adaptive radiations at the macroscale and diversification patterns reported in experimental microbial communities, and shed new light on the dynamics of ecological diversity, the diversity-dependence of diversification rates, and the consequences of biodiversity loss.

  2. Diversity spurs diversification in ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagno, Vincent; Jarne, Philippe; Loreau, Michel; Mouquet, Nicolas; David, Patrice

    2017-06-09

    Diversity is a fundamental, yet threatened, property of ecological systems. The idea that diversity can itself favour diversification, in an autocatalytic process, is very appealing but remains controversial. Here, we study a generalized model of ecological communities and investigate how the level of initial diversity influences the possibility of evolutionary diversification. We show that even simple models of intra- and inter-specific ecological interactions can predict a positive effect of diversity on diversification: adaptive radiations may require a threshold number of species before kicking-off. We call this phenomenon DDAR (diversity-dependent adaptive radiations) and identify mathematically two distinct pathways connecting diversity to diversification, involving character displacement and the positive diversity-productivity relationship. Our results may explain observed delays in adaptive radiations at the macroscale and diversification patterns reported in experimental microbial communities, and shed new light on the dynamics of ecological diversity, the diversity-dependence of diversification rates, and the consequences of biodiversity loss.

  3. Ecological units of the Northern Region: Subsections

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Nesser; Gary L. Ford; C. Lee Maynard; Debbie Dumroese

    1997-01-01

    Ecological units are described at the subsection level of the Forest Service National Hierarchical Framework of Ecological Units. A total of 91 subsections are delineated on the 1996 map "Ecological Units of the Northern Region: Subsections," based on physical and biological criteria. This document consists of descriptions of the climate, geomorphology,...

  4. A social-ecological systems framework for food systems research: accommodating transformation systems and their products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham R. Marshall

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The social-ecological systems (SES framework was developed to support communication across the multiple disciplines concerned with sustainable provision and/or appropriation of common-pool resources (CPRs. Transformation activities (e.g. processing, distribution, retailing in which value is added to resource units appropriated from CPRs were assumed in developing the framework to be exogenous to the SES of focal concern. However, provision and appropriation of CPRs are nowadays often closely integrated with the market economy, so significant interdependence exists between many CPR provision/appropriation activities and the activities in which appropriated resource units are transformed into the products ultimately marketed. This paper presents a modified version of the SES framework designed to better account for transformation activities in order to be more suitable for diagnosing those sustainability problems where it is inappropriate to define all such activities as exogenous to the SES of focal concern. The need for such modification was identified in a research project examining the challenges faced by Cambodian cattle-owning smallholders in accessing value chains for premium-priced beef. Hence the immediate focus was on strengthening the SES framework’s value for facilitating a multi-disciplinary diagnostic approach to food system research projects of this kind. The modified SES framework’s potential in this respect was illustrated by a preliminary application that drew on literature reviewed for the Cambodian project. Significant further potential exists in using the modified framework as a foundation from which to develop a version that is suitable for application to SESs in which transformation systems are appropriately represented as endogenous. Maintaining consistency with the standard SES framework will enable communication to occur more effectively between food system researchers and CPR scholars more generally.

  5. Evolutionary history of the plant pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas axonopodis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia Mhedbi-Hajri

    Full Text Available Deciphering mechanisms shaping bacterial diversity should help to build tools to predict the emergence of infectious diseases. Xanthomonads are plant pathogenic bacteria found worldwide. Xanthomonas axonopodis is a genetically heterogeneous species clustering, into six groups, strains that are collectively pathogenic on a large number of plants. However, each strain displays a narrow host range. We address the question of the nature of the evolutionary processes--geographical and ecological speciation--that shaped this diversity. We assembled a large collection of X. axonopodis strains that were isolated over a long period, over continents, and from various hosts. Based on the sequence analysis of seven housekeeping genes, we found that recombination occurred as frequently as point mutation in the evolutionary history of X. axonopodis. However, the impact of recombination was about three times greater than the impact of mutation on the diversity observed in the whole dataset. We then reconstructed the clonal genealogy of the strains using coalescent and genealogy approaches and we studied the diversification of the pathogen using a model of divergence with migration. The suggested scenario involves a first step of generalist diversification that spanned over the last 25,000 years. A second step of ecology-driven specialization occurred during the past two centuries. Eventually, secondary contacts between host-specialized strains probably occurred as a result of agricultural development and intensification, allowing genetic exchanges of virulence-associated genes. These transfers may have favored the emergence of novel pathotypes. Finally, we argue that the largest ecological entity within X. axonopodis is the pathovar.

  6. Population and evolutionary dynamics in spatially structured seasonally varying environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Jane M; Travis, Justin M J; Daunt, Francis; Burthe, Sarah J; Wanless, Sarah; Dytham, Calvin

    2018-03-25

    Increasingly imperative objectives in ecology are to understand and forecast population dynamic and evolutionary responses to seasonal environmental variation and change. Such population and evolutionary dynamics result from immediate and lagged responses of all key life-history traits, and resulting demographic rates that affect population growth rate, to seasonal environmental conditions and population density. However, existing population dynamic and eco-evolutionary theory and models have not yet fully encompassed within-individual and among-individual variation, covariation, structure and heterogeneity, and ongoing evolution, in a critical life-history trait that allows individuals to respond to seasonal environmental conditions: seasonal migration. Meanwhile, empirical studies aided by new animal-tracking technologies are increasingly demonstrating substantial within-population variation in the occurrence and form of migration versus year-round residence, generating diverse forms of 'partial migration' spanning diverse species, habitats and spatial scales. Such partially migratory systems form a continuum between the extreme scenarios of full migration and full year-round residence, and are commonplace in nature. Here, we first review basic scenarios of partial migration and associated models designed to identify conditions that facilitate the maintenance of migratory polymorphism. We highlight that such models have been fundamental to the development of partial migration theory, but are spatially and demographically simplistic compared to the rich bodies of population dynamic theory and models that consider spatially structured populations with dispersal but no migration, or consider populations experiencing strong seasonality and full obligate migration. Second, to provide an overarching conceptual framework for spatio-temporal population dynamics, we define a 'partially migratory meta-population' system as a spatially structured set of locations that can

  7. Radiation hormesis: an ecological and energetic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, P A

    2001-09-01

    Organisms in natural habitats are exposed to an array of environmental stresses, which all have energetic costs. Under this ecological scenario, hormesis for ionizing radiation becomes an evolutionary expectation at exposures substantially exceeding background. This conclusion implies that some relaxation of radiation protection criteria is worthy of serious consideration. Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

  8. Retracing the evolutionary path that led to flea-borne transmission of Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yi-Cheng; Jarrett, Clayton O; Bosio, Christopher F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2014-05-14

    Yersinia pestis is an arthropod-borne bacterial pathogen that evolved recently from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, an enteric pathogen transmitted via the fecal-oral route. This radical ecological transition can be attributed to a few discrete genetic changes from a still-extant recent ancestor, thus providing a tractable case study in pathogen evolution and emergence. Here, we determined the genetic and mechanistic basis of the evolutionary adaptation of Y. pestis to flea-borne transmission. Remarkably, only four minor changes in the bacterial progenitor, representing one gene gain and three gene losses, enabled transmission by flea vectors. All three loss-of-function mutations enhanced cyclic-di-GMP-mediated bacterial biofilm formation in the flea foregut, which greatly increased transmissibility. Our results suggest a step-wise evolutionary model in which Y. pestis emerged as a flea-borne clone, with each genetic change incrementally reinforcing the transmission cycle. The model conforms well to the ecological theory of adaptive radiation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. An Analytical Framework for Runtime of a Class of Continuous Evolutionary Algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yushan Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although there have been many studies on the runtime of evolutionary algorithms in discrete optimization, relatively few theoretical results have been proposed on continuous optimization, such as evolutionary programming (EP. This paper proposes an analysis of the runtime of two EP algorithms based on Gaussian and Cauchy mutations, using an absorbing Markov chain. Given a constant variation, we calculate the runtime upper bound of special Gaussian mutation EP and Cauchy mutation EP. Our analysis reveals that the upper bounds are impacted by individual number, problem dimension number n, searching range, and the Lebesgue measure of the optimal neighborhood. Furthermore, we provide conditions whereby the average runtime of the considered EP can be no more than a polynomial of n. The condition is that the Lebesgue measure of the optimal neighborhood is larger than a combinatorial calculation of an exponential and the given polynomial of n.

  10. Non-equilibrium physics and evolution—adaptation, extinction, and ecology: a Key Issues review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kussell, E; Vucelja, M

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary dynamics in nature constitute an immensely complex non-equilibrium process. We review the application of physical models of evolution, by focusing on adaptation, extinction, and ecology. In each case, we examine key concepts by working through examples. Adaptation is discussed in the context of bacterial evolution, with a view toward the relationship between growth rates, mutation rates, selection strength, and environmental changes. Extinction dynamics for an isolated population are reviewed, with emphasis on the relation between timescales of extinction, population size, and temporally correlated noise. Ecological models are discussed by focusing on the effect of spatial interspecies interactions on diversity. Connections between physical processes—such as diffusion, turbulence, and localization—and evolutionary phenomena are highlighted. (key issues reviews)

  11. The covariance between genetic and environmental influences across ecological gradients: reassessing the evolutionary significance of countergradient and cogradient variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conover, David O; Duffy, Tara A; Hice, Lyndie A

    2009-06-01

    Patterns of phenotypic change across environmental gradients (e.g., latitude, altitude) have long captivated the interest of evolutionary ecologists. The pattern and magnitude of phenotypic change is determined by the covariance between genetic and environmental influences across a gradient. Cogradient variation (CoGV) occurs when covariance is positive: that is, genetic and environmental influences on phenotypic expression are aligned and their joint influence accentuates the change in mean trait value across the gradient. Conversely, countergradient variation (CnGV) occurs when covariance is negative: that is, genetic and environmental influences on phenotypes oppose one another, thereby diminishing the change in mean trait expression across the gradient. CnGV has so far been found in at least 60 species, with most examples coming from fishes, amphibians, and insects across latitudinal or altitudinal gradients. Traits that display CnGV most often involve metabolic compensation, that is, the elevation of various physiological rates processes (development, growth, feeding, metabolism, activity) to counteract the dampening effect of reduced temperature, growing season length, or food supply. Far fewer examples of CoGV have been identified (11 species), and these most often involve morphological characters. Increased knowledge of spatial covariance patterns has furthered our understanding of Bergmann size clines, phenotypic plasticity, species range limits, tradeoffs in juvenile growth rate, and the design of conservation strategies for wild species. Moreover, temporal CnGV explains some cases of an apparent lack of phenotypic response to directional selection and provides a framework for predicting evolutionary responses to climate change.

  12. Why Darwin would have loved evolutionary game theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Joel S

    2016-09-14

    Humans have marvelled at the fit of form and function, the way organisms' traits seem remarkably suited to their lifestyles and ecologies. While natural selection provides the scientific basis for the fit of form and function, Darwin found certain adaptations vexing or particularly intriguing: sex ratios, sexual selection and altruism. The logic behind these adaptations resides in frequency-dependent selection where the value of a given heritable phenotype (i.e. strategy) to an individual depends upon the strategies of others. Game theory is a branch of mathematics that is uniquely suited to solving such puzzles. While game theoretic thinking enters into Darwin's arguments and those of evolutionists through much of the twentieth century, the tools of evolutionary game theory were not available to Darwin or most evolutionists until the 1970s, and its full scope has only unfolded in the last three decades. As a consequence, game theory is applied and appreciated rather spottily. Game theory not only applies to matrix games and social games, it also applies to speciation, macroevolution and perhaps even to cancer. I assert that life and natural selection are a game, and that game theory is the appropriate logic for framing and understanding adaptations. Its scope can include behaviours within species, state-dependent strategies (such as male, female and so much more), speciation and coevolution, and expands beyond microevolution to macroevolution. Game theory clarifies aspects of ecological and evolutionary stability in ways useful to understanding eco-evolutionary dynamics, niche construction and ecosystem engineering. In short, I would like to think that Darwin would have found game theory uniquely useful for his theory of natural selection. Let us see why this is so. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Multiscale structure in eco-evolutionary dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacey, Blake C.

    In a complex system, the individual components are neither so tightly coupled or correlated that they can all be treated as a single unit, nor so uncorrelated that they can be approximated as independent entities. Instead, patterns of interdependency lead to structure at multiple scales of organization. Evolution excels at producing such complex structures. In turn, the existence of these complex interrelationships within a biological system affects the evolutionary dynamics of that system. I present a mathematical formalism for multiscale structure, grounded in information theory, which makes these intuitions quantitative, and I show how dynamics defined in terms of population genetics or evolutionary game theory can lead to multiscale organization. For complex systems, "more is different," and I address this from several perspectives. Spatial host--consumer models demonstrate the importance of the structures which can arise due to dynamical pattern formation. Evolutionary game theory reveals the novel effects which can result from multiplayer games, nonlinear payoffs and ecological stochasticity. Replicator dynamics in an environment with mesoscale structure relates to generalized conditionalization rules in probability theory. The idea of natural selection "acting at multiple levels" has been mathematized in a variety of ways, not all of which are equivalent. We will face down the confusion, using the experience developed over the course of this thesis to clarify the situation.

  14. Diagnosing Disaster Resilience of Communities as Multi-scale Complex Socio-ecological Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wei; Mochizuki, Junko; Keating, Adriana; Mechler, Reinhard; Williges, Keith; Hochrainer, Stefan

    2014-05-01

    Global environmental change, growing anthropogenic influence, and increasing globalisation of society have made it clear that disaster vulnerability and resilience of communities cannot be understood without knowledge on the broader social-ecological system in which they are embedded. We propose a framework for diagnosing community resilience to disasters, as a form of disturbance to social-ecological systems, with feedbacks from the local to the global scale. Inspired by iterative multi-scale analysis employed by Resilience Alliance, the related socio-ecological systems framework of Ostrom, and the sustainable livelihood framework, we developed a multi-tier framework for thinking of communities as multi-scale social-ecological systems and analyzing communities' disaster resilience and also general resilience. We highlight the cross-scale influences and feedbacks on communities that exist from lower (e.g., household) to higher (e.g., regional, national) scales. The conceptual framework is then applied to a real-world resilience assessment situation, to illustrate how key components of socio-ecological systems, including natural hazards, natural and man-made environment, and community capacities can be delineated and analyzed.

  15. Applying the system viability framework for cross-scalar governance of nested social-ecological systems in the Guiana Shield, South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Berardi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Linking and analyzing governance of natural resources at different scales requires the development of a conceptual framework for analyzing social-ecological systems that can be easily applied by a range of stakeholders whose interests lie at different scales, but where the results of the analysis can be compared in a straightforward way. We outline the system viability framework, which allows participants to characterize a range of strategies in response to environment challenges for maintaining the long-term survival of their particular system of interest. Working in the Guiana Shield, South America, and with a range of local, regional, and international stakeholders, our aim was to use system viability to (1 investigate synergies and conflicts between distinct scales of governance, (2 identify scale-related challenges, and (3 test the framework as a conceptual tool for supporting cross-scalar analysis for environmental governance. At the international and national levels, a number of civil society organizations explored system viability indicators that would measure the successful implementation of governance mechanisms relevant to sustainable development and natural resource management. At the local level, we used participatory video and photography within two indigenous territories to enable local participants to identify indicators of viability within community governance systems. A grounded theory approach was then used to identify common themes across the different scales of analysis. Five key themes emerged: land rights, leadership, partnerships, lifestyle, and identity. We found that although most categories of interest were theoretically aligned across scales, all perceived systems of interest were struggling to face up to various cross-scalar challenges undermining different system viability responses. In conclusion, we highlight how the system viability framework can be used with a disparate variety of stakeholders as a practical

  16. A field experiment demonstrating plant life-history evolution and its eco-evolutionary feedback to seed predator populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Johnson, Marc T J; Hastings, Amy P; Maron, John L

    2013-05-01

    The extent to which evolutionary change occurs in a predictable manner under field conditions and how evolutionary changes feed back to influence ecological dynamics are fundamental, yet unresolved, questions. To address these issues, we established eight replicate populations of native common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis). Each population was planted with 18 genotypes in identical frequency. By tracking genotype frequencies with microsatellite DNA markers over the subsequent three years (up to three generations, ≈5,000 genotyped plants), we show rapid and consistent evolution of two heritable plant life-history traits (shorter life span and later flowering time). This rapid evolution was only partially the result of differential seed production; genotypic variation in seed germination also contributed to the observed evolutionary response. Since evening primrose genotypes exhibited heritable variation for resistance to insect herbivores, which was related to flowering time, we predicted that evolutionary changes in genotype frequencies would feed back to influence populations of a seed predator moth that specializes on O. biennis. By the conclusion of the experiment, variation in the genotypic composition among our eight replicate field populations was highly predictive of moth abundance. These results demonstrate how rapid evolution in field populations of a native plant can influence ecological interactions.

  17. Integrating Evolutionary Game Theory into Mechanistic Genotype-Phenotype Mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xuli; Jiang, Libo; Ye, Meixia; Sun, Lidan; Gragnoli, Claudia; Wu, Rongling

    2016-05-01

    Natural selection has shaped the evolution of organisms toward optimizing their structural and functional design. However, how this universal principle can enhance genotype-phenotype mapping of quantitative traits has remained unexplored. Here we show that the integration of this principle and functional mapping through evolutionary game theory gains new insight into the genetic architecture of complex traits. By viewing phenotype formation as an evolutionary system, we formulate mathematical equations to model the ecological mechanisms that drive the interaction and coordination of its constituent components toward population dynamics and stability. Functional mapping provides a procedure for estimating the genetic parameters that specify the dynamic relationship of competition and cooperation and predicting how genes mediate the evolution of this relationship during trait formation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Estimation and Application of Ecological Memory Functions in Time and Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itter, M.; Finley, A. O.; Dawson, A.

    2017-12-01

    A common goal in quantitative ecology is the estimation or prediction of ecological processes as a function of explanatory variables (or covariates). Frequently, the ecological process of interest and associated covariates vary in time, space, or both. Theory indicates many ecological processes exhibit memory to local, past conditions. Despite such theoretical understanding, few methods exist to integrate observations from the recent past or within a local neighborhood as drivers of these processes. We build upon recent methodological advances in ecology and spatial statistics to develop a Bayesian hierarchical framework to estimate so-called ecological memory functions; that is, weight-generating functions that specify the relative importance of local, past covariate observations to ecological processes. Memory functions are estimated using a set of basis functions in time and/or space, allowing for flexible ecological memory based on a reduced set of parameters. Ecological memory functions are entirely data driven under the Bayesian hierarchical framework—no a priori assumptions are made regarding functional forms. Memory function uncertainty follows directly from posterior distributions for model parameters allowing for tractable propagation of error to predictions of ecological processes. We apply the model framework to simulated spatio-temporal datasets generated using memory functions of varying complexity. The framework is also applied to estimate the ecological memory of annual boreal forest growth to local, past water availability. Consistent with ecological understanding of boreal forest growth dynamics, memory to past water availability peaks in the year previous to growth and slowly decays to zero in five to eight years. The Bayesian hierarchical framework has applicability to a broad range of ecosystems and processes allowing for increased understanding of ecosystem responses to local and past conditions and improved prediction of ecological

  19. Evolutionary patterns and processes in the radiation of phyllostomid bats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monteiro Leandro R

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The phyllostomid bats present the most extensive ecological and phenotypic radiation known among mammal families. This group is an important model system for studies of cranial ecomorphology and functional optimisation because of the constraints imposed by the requirements of flight. A number of studies supporting phyllostomid adaptation have focused on qualitative descriptions or correlating functional variables and diet, but explicit tests of possible evolutionary mechanisms and scenarios for phenotypic diversification have not been performed. We used a combination of morphometric and comparative methods to test hypotheses regarding the evolutionary processes behind the diversification of phenotype (mandible shape and size and diet during the phyllostomid radiation. Results The different phyllostomid lineages radiate in mandible shape space, with each feeding specialisation evolving towards different axes. Size and shape evolve quite independently, as the main directions of shape variation are associated with mandible elongation (nectarivores or the relative size of tooth rows and mandibular processes (sanguivores and frugivores, which are not associated with size changes in the mandible. The early period of phyllostomid diversification is marked by a burst of shape, size, and diet disparity (before 20 Mya, larger than expected by neutral evolution models, settling later to a period of relative phenotypic and ecological stasis. The best fitting evolutionary model for both mandible shape and size divergence was an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process with five adaptive peaks (insectivory, carnivory, sanguivory, nectarivory and frugivory. Conclusions The radiation of phyllostomid bats presented adaptive and non-adaptive components nested together through the time frame of the family's evolution. The first 10 My of the radiation were marked by strong phenotypic and ecological divergence among ancestors of modern lineages, whereas the

  20. Evolutionary patterns and processes in the radiation of phyllostomid bats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background The phyllostomid bats present the most extensive ecological and phenotypic radiation known among mammal families. This group is an important model system for studies of cranial ecomorphology and functional optimisation because of the constraints imposed by the requirements of flight. A number of studies supporting phyllostomid adaptation have focused on qualitative descriptions or correlating functional variables and diet, but explicit tests of possible evolutionary mechanisms and scenarios for phenotypic diversification have not been performed. We used a combination of morphometric and comparative methods to test hypotheses regarding the evolutionary processes behind the diversification of phenotype (mandible shape and size) and diet during the phyllostomid radiation. Results The different phyllostomid lineages radiate in mandible shape space, with each feeding specialisation evolving towards different axes. Size and shape evolve quite independently, as the main directions of shape variation are associated with mandible elongation (nectarivores) or the relative size of tooth rows and mandibular processes (sanguivores and frugivores), which are not associated with size changes in the mandible. The early period of phyllostomid diversification is marked by a burst of shape, size, and diet disparity (before 20 Mya), larger than expected by neutral evolution models, settling later to a period of relative phenotypic and ecological stasis. The best fitting evolutionary model for both mandible shape and size divergence was an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process with five adaptive peaks (insectivory, carnivory, sanguivory, nectarivory and frugivory). Conclusions The radiation of phyllostomid bats presented adaptive and non-adaptive components nested together through the time frame of the family's evolution. The first 10 My of the radiation were marked by strong phenotypic and ecological divergence among ancestors of modern lineages, whereas the remaining 20 My were

  1. Evolutionary responses of native plant species to invasive plants: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

    Strong competition from invasive plant species often leads to declines in abundances and may, in certain cases, cause localized extinctions of native plant species. Nevertheless, studies have shown that certain populations of native plant species can co-exist with invasive plant species,suggesting the possibility of adaptive evolutionary responses of those populations to the invasive plants. Empirical inference of evolutionary responses of the native plant species to invasive plants has involved experiments comparing two conspecific groups of native plants for differences in expression of growth/reproductive traits: populations that have experienced competition from the invasive plant species (i.e. experienced natives) versus populations with no known history of interactions with the invasive plant species (i.e. naıve natives). Here, I employ a meta-analysis to obtain a general pattern of inferred evolutionary responses of native plant species from 53 such studies. In general, the experienced natives had significantly higher growth/reproductive performances than naıve natives, when grown with or without competition from invasive plants.While the current results indicate that certain populations of native plant species could potentially adapt evolutionarily to invasive plant species, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that probably underlie such evolutionary responses remain unexplored and should be the focus of future studies.

  2. Fire and fire ecology: Concepts and principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Cochrane; Kevin C. Ryan

    2009-01-01

    Fire has been central to terrestrial life ever since early anaerobic microorganisms poisoned the atmosphere with oxygen and multicellular plant life moved onto land. The combination of fuels, oxygen, and heat gave birth to fire on Earth. Fire is not just another evolutionary challenge that life needed to overcome, it is, in fact, a core ecological process across much...

  3. Assessing the ecological status in the context of the European Water Framework Directive: where do we go now?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyjol, Yorick; Argillier, Christine; Bonne, Wendy; Borja, Angel; Buijse, Anthonie D; Cardoso, Ana Cristina; Daufresne, Martin; Kernan, Martin; Ferreira, Maria Teresa; Poikane, Sandra; Prat, Narcís; Solheim, Anne-Lyche; Stroffek, Stéphane; Usseglio-Polatera, Philippe; Villeneuve, Bertrand; van de Bund, Wouter

    2014-11-01

    The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is now well established as the key management imperative in river basins across Europe. However, there remain significant concerns with the way WFD is implemented and there is now a need for water managers and scientists to communicate better in order to find solutions to these concerns. To address this, a Science-Policy Interface (SPI) activity was launched in 2010 led by Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and Onema (the French national agency for water and aquatic ecosystems), which provided an interactive forum to connect scientists and WFD end-users. One major aim of the SPI activity was to establish a list of the most crucial research and development needs for enhancing WFD implementation. This paper synthesises the recommendations from this event highlighting 10 priority issues relating to ecological status. For lakes, temporary streams and transitional and coastal waters, WFD implementation still suffers from a lack of WFD-compliant bioassessment methods. For rivers, special attention is required to assess the ecological impacts of hydromorphological alterations on biological communities, notably those affecting river continuity and riparian covering. Spatial extrapolation tools are needed in order to evaluate ecological status for water bodies for which no data are available. The need for more functional bioassessment tools as complements to usual WFD-compliant tools, and to connect clearly good ecological state, biodiversity and ecosystem services when implementing WFD were also identified as crucial issues. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. A DNA and morphology based phylogenetic framework of the ant genus Lasius with hypotheses for the evolution of social parasitism and fungiculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, Munetoshi; Steiner, Florian M; Stauffer, Christian; Akino, Toshiharu; Crozier, Ross H; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C

    2008-08-19

    Ants of the genus Lasius are ecologically important and an important system for evolutionary research. Progress in evolutionary research has been hindered by the lack of a well-founded phylogeny of the subgenera, with three previous attempts disagreeing. Here we employed two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, 16S ribosomal RNA), comprising 1,265 bp, together with 64 morphological characters, to recover the phylogeny of Lasius by Bayesian and Maximum Parsimony inference after exploration of potential causes of phylogenetic distortion. We use the resulting framework to infer evolutionary pathways for social parasitism and fungiculture. We recovered two well supported major lineages. One includes Acanthomyops, Austrolasius, Chthonolasius, and Lasius pallitarsis, which we confirm to represent a seventh subgenus, the other clade contains Dendrolasius, and Lasius sensu stricto. The subgenus Cautolasius, displaying neither social parasitism nor fungiculture, probably belongs to the second clade, but its phylogenetic position is not resolved at the cutoff values of node support we apply. Possible causes for previous problems with reconstructing the Lasius phylogeny include use of other reconstruction techniques, possibly more prone to instabilities in some instances, and the inclusion of phylogenetically distorting characters. By establishing an updated phylogenetic framework, our study provides the basis for a later formal taxonomic revision of subgenera and for studying the evolution of various ecologically and sociobiologically relevant traits of Lasius, although there is need for future studies to include nuclear genes and additional samples from the Nearctic. Both social parasitism and fungiculture evolved twice in Lasius, once in each major lineage, which opens up new opportunities for comparative analyses. The repeated evolution of social parasitism has been established for other groups of ants, though not for temporary social parasitism as found

  5. Self-consistent approach for neutral community models with speciation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haegeman, Bart; Etienne, Rampal S.

    Hubbell's neutral model provides a rich theoretical framework to study ecological communities. By incorporating both ecological and evolutionary time scales, it allows us to investigate how communities are shaped by speciation processes. The speciation model in the basic neutral model is

  6. The origin of snakes: revealing the ecology, behavior, and evolutionary history of early snakes using genomics, phenomics, and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiang, Allison Y; Field, Daniel J; Webster, Timothy H; Behlke, Adam D B; Davis, Matthew B; Racicot, Rachel A; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2015-05-20

    The highly derived morphology and astounding diversity of snakes has long inspired debate regarding the ecological and evolutionary origin of both the snake total-group (Pan-Serpentes) and crown snakes (Serpentes). Although speculation abounds on the ecology, behavior, and provenance of the earliest snakes, a rigorous, clade-wide analysis of snake origins has yet to be attempted, in part due to a dearth of adequate paleontological data on early stem snakes. Here, we present the first comprehensive analytical reconstruction of the ancestor of crown snakes and the ancestor of the snake total-group, as inferred using multiple methods of ancestral state reconstruction. We use a combined-data approach that includes new information from the fossil record on extinct crown snakes, new data on the anatomy of the stem snakes Najash rionegrina, Dinilysia patagonica, and Coniophis precedens, and a deeper understanding of the distribution of phenotypic apomorphies among the major clades of fossil and Recent snakes. Additionally, we infer time-calibrated phylogenies using both new 'tip-dating' and traditional node-based approaches, providing new insights on temporal patterns in the early evolutionary history of snakes. Comprehensive ancestral state reconstructions reveal that both the ancestor of crown snakes and the ancestor of total-group snakes were nocturnal, widely foraging, non-constricting stealth hunters. They likely consumed soft-bodied vertebrate and invertebrate prey that was subequal to head size, and occupied terrestrial settings in warm, well-watered, and well-vegetated environments. The snake total-group - approximated by the Coniophis node - is inferred to have originated on land during the middle Early Cretaceous (~128.5 Ma), with the crown-group following about 20 million years later, during the Albian stage. Our inferred divergence dates provide strong evidence for a major radiation of henophidian snake diversity in the wake of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K

  7. On the evolutionary origins of equity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane Debove

    Full Text Available Equity, defined as reward according to contribution, is considered a central aspect of human fairness in both philosophical debates and scientific research. Despite large amounts of research on the evolutionary origins of fairness, the evolutionary rationale behind equity is still unknown. Here, we investigate how equity can be understood in the context of the cooperative environment in which humans evolved. We model a population of individuals who cooperate to produce and divide a resource, and choose their cooperative partners based on how they are willing to divide the resource. Agent-based simulations, an analytical model, and extended simulations using neural networks provide converging evidence that equity is the best evolutionary strategy in such an environment: individuals maximize their fitness by dividing benefits in proportion to their own and their partners' relative contribution. The need to be chosen as a cooperative partner thus creates a selection pressure strong enough to explain the evolution of preferences for equity. We discuss the limitations of our model, the discrepancies between its predictions and empirical data, and how interindividual and intercultural variability fit within this framework.

  8. The ecological economics: An ecological economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castiblanco R, Carmenza

    2007-01-01

    Ecological Economics arise as a scientific discipline aimed to integrate concepts of economics, ecology, thermodynamics, ethic and other natural and social sciences in order to incorporate a biophysical and integrated perspective of the inter dependences between economies and environment, from a plural conception and a methodology beyond disciplines. Ecological Economics studies the black box of economic processes usually excluded of the traditional economics: thermodynamics and ecology. Although it is relatively a new field of study, it has been strengthening its theoretical framework with scientific basis and analytic principles that lead to its identification as a new discipline that show a whole new paradigm. The scope of this article is to show the conceptual and methodological bases, the main founders, approaches and central debates of this new discipline. This brief introduction is a preamble to the papers of the meeting Ecological Economics: a perspective for Colombia included in this number, that took place on September 22 - 27 of 2007, at the National University of Colombia at Bogota. During tree days national and international experts, professors, researchers, workers of environmental sector and people interested on environmental issues joined together to know the conceptual and methodological achievements reached of this discipline; as well as to analyse and evaluate the environmental problems of the country, from the systemic, interdisciplinary and general perspective that it promotes

  9. Preventive evolutionary medicine of cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, Michael E; Thomas, Frédéric; Assenat, Eric; Hibner, Urszula

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that once an individual reaches an age of sufficiently low Darwinian fitness, (s)he will have reduced chances of keeping cancerous lesions in check. While we clearly need to better understand the emergence of precursor states and early malignancies as well as their mitigation by the microenvironment and tissue architecture, we argue that lifestyle changes and preventive therapies based in an evolutionary framework, applied to identified high-risk populations before incipient neoplasms become clinically detectable and chemoresistant lineages emerge, are currently the most reliable way to control or eliminate early tumours. Specifically, the relatively low levels of (epi)genetic heterogeneity characteristic of many if not most incipient lesions will mean a relatively limited set of possible adaptive traits and associated costs compared to more advanced cancers, and thus a more complete and predictable understanding of treatment options and outcomes. We propose a conceptual model for preventive treatments and discuss the many associated challenges.

  10. When Reputation Enforces Evolutionary Cooperation in Unreliable MANETs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Changbing; Li, Ang; Li, Xiang

    2015-10-01

    In self-organized mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), network functions rely on cooperation of self-interested nodes, where a challenge is to enforce their mutual cooperation. In this paper, we study cooperative packet forwarding in a one-hop unreliable channel which results from loss of packets and noisy observation of transmissions. We propose an indirect reciprocity framework based on evolutionary game theory, and enforce cooperation of packet forwarding strategies in both structured and unstructured MANETs. Furthermore, we analyze the evolutionary dynamics of cooperative strategies and derive the threshold of benefit-to-cost ratio to guarantee the convergence of cooperation. The numerical simulations verify that the proposed evolutionary game theoretic solution enforces cooperation when the benefit-to-cost ratio of the altruistic exceeds the critical condition. In addition, the network throughput performance of our proposed strategy in structured MANETs is measured, which is in close agreement with that of the full cooperative strategy.

  11. Building Theory at the Intersection of Ecological Sustainability and Strategic Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borland, Helen; Ambrosini, Véronique; Lindgreen, Adam

    2016-01-01

    This article builds theory at the intersection of ecological sustainability and strategic management literature—specifically, in relation to dynamic capabilities literature. By combining industrial organization economics–based, resource-based, and dynamic capability–based views, it is possible...... to develop a better understanding of the strategies that businesses may follow, depending on their managers’ assumptions about ecological sustainability. To develop innovative strategies for ecological sustainability, the dynamic capabilities framework needs to be extended. In particular, the sensing......–seizing–maintaining competitiveness framework should operate not only within the boundaries of a business ecosystem but in relation to global biophysical ecosystems; in addition, two more dynamic capabilities should be added, namely, remapping and reaping. This framework can explicate core managerial beliefs about ecological...

  12. Towards Integrating Political Ecology into Resilience-Based Management

    OpenAIRE

    Amy Quandt

    2016-01-01

    One of the biggest challenges faced today is how to sustainably manage social-ecological systems for both ecological conservation and human wellbeing. This paper explores two approaches to understanding such systems: resilience thinking and political ecology. Resilience thinking is a framework that emerged over the last 40 years as a management strategy for social-ecological systems, and a resilient social-ecological system is capable of absorbing disturbances and still retaining its basic fu...

  13. Diversity from genes to ecosystems: A unifying framework to study variation across biological metrics and scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biological diversity is a key concept in the life sciences and plays a fundamental role in many ecological and evolutionary processes. Although biodiversity is inherently a hierarchical concept covering different levels of organization (genes, population, species, ecological communities and ecosyst...

  14. Synergistic selection between ecological niche and mate preference primes diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boughman, Janette W; Svanbäck, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The ecological niche and mate preferences have independently been shown to be important for the process of speciation. Here, we articulate a novel mechanism by which ecological niche use and mate preference can be linked to promote speciation. The degree to which individual niches are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent natural selection and population splitting. Similarly, the degree to which individual mate preferences are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent sexual selection and assortative mating between diverging forms. This novel perspective is inspired by the literature on ecological niches; it also explores mate preferences and how they may contribute to speciation. Unlike much comparative work, we do not search for evolutionary patterns using proxies for adaptation and sexual selection, but rather we elucidate how ideas from niche theory relate to mate preference, and how this relationship can foster speciation. Recognizing that individual and population niches are conceptually and ecologically linked to individual and population mate preference functions will significantly increase our understanding of rapid evolutionary diversification in nature. It has potential to help solve the difficult challenge of testing the role of sexual selection in the speciation process. We also identify ecological factors that are likely to affect individual niche and individual mate preference in synergistic ways and as a consequence to promote speciation. The ecological niche an individual occupies can directly affect its mate preference. Clusters of individuals with narrow, differentiated niches are likely to have narrow, differentiated mate preference functions. Our approach integrates ecological and sexual selection research to further our understanding of diversification processes. Such integration may be necessary for progress because these processes seem inextricably linked in the natural world. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution

  15. Ecological mechanisms underpinning climate adaptation services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavorel, Sandra; Colloff, Matthew J; McIntyre, Sue; Doherty, Michael D; Murphy, Helen T; Metcalfe, Daniel J; Dunlop, Michael; Williams, Richard J; Wise, Russell M; Williams, Kristen J

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem services are typically valued for their immediate material or cultural benefits to human wellbeing, supported by regulating and supporting services. Under climate change, with more frequent stresses and novel shocks, 'climate adaptation services', are defined as the benefits to people from increased social ability to respond to change, provided by the capability of ecosystems to moderate and adapt to climate change and variability. They broaden the ecosystem services framework to assist decision makers in planning for an uncertain future with new choices and options. We present a generic framework for operationalising the adaptation services concept. Four steps guide the identification of intrinsic ecological mechanisms that facilitate the maintenance and emergence of ecosystem services during periods of change, and so materialise as adaptation services. We applied this framework for four contrasted Australian ecosystems. Comparative analyses enabled by the operational framework suggest that adaptation services that emerge during trajectories of ecological change are supported by common mechanisms: vegetation structural diversity, the role of keystone species or functional groups, response diversity and landscape connectivity, which underpin the persistence of function and the reassembly of ecological communities under severe climate change and variability. Such understanding should guide ecosystem management towards adaptation planning. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Evolutionary biology and anthropology suggest biome reconstitution as a necessary approach toward dealing with immune disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, William; Ollerton, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    Industrialized society currently faces a wide range of non-infectious, immune-related pandemics. These pandemics include a variety of autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic diseases that are often associated with common environmental triggers and with genetic predisposition, but that do not occur in developing societies. In this review, we briefly present the idea that these pandemics are due to a limited number of evolutionary mismatches, the most damaging being 'biome depletion'. This particular mismatch involves the loss of species from the ecosystem of the human body, the human biome, many of which have traditionally been classified as parasites, although some may actually be commensal or even mutualistic. This view, evolved from the 'hygiene hypothesis', encompasses a broad ecological and evolutionary perspective that considers host-symbiont relations as plastic, changing through ecological space and evolutionary time. Fortunately, this perspective provides a blueprint, termed 'biome reconstitution', for disease treatment and especially for disease prevention. Biome reconstitution includes the controlled and population-wide reintroduction (i.e. domestication) of selected species that have been all but eradicated from the human biome in industrialized society and holds great promise for the elimination of pandemics of allergic, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

  17. Probability Weighting as Evolutionary Second-best

    OpenAIRE

    Herold, Florian; Netzer, Nick

    2011-01-01

    The economic concept of the second-best involves the idea that multiple simultaneous deviations from a hypothetical first-best optimum may be optimal once the first-best itself can no longer be achieved, since one distortion may partially compensate for another. Within an evolutionary framework, we translate this concept to behavior under uncertainty. We argue that the two main components of prospect theory, the value function and the probability weighting function, are complements in the sec...

  18. Environmental fluctuations restrict eco-evolutionary dynamics in predator-prey system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiltunen, Teppo; Ayan, Gökçe B; Becks, Lutz

    2015-06-07

    Environmental fluctuations, species interactions and rapid evolution are all predicted to affect community structure and their temporal dynamics. Although the effects of the abiotic environment and prey evolution on ecological community dynamics have been studied separately, these factors can also have interactive effects. Here we used bacteria-ciliate microcosm experiments to test for eco-evolutionary dynamics in fluctuating environments. Specifically, we followed population dynamics and a prey defence trait over time when populations were exposed to regular changes of bottom-up or top-down stressors, or combinations of these. We found that the rate of evolution of a defence trait was significantly lower in fluctuating compared with stable environments, and that the defence trait evolved to lower levels when two environmental stressors changed recurrently. The latter suggests that top-down and bottom-up changes can have additive effects constraining evolutionary response within populations. The differences in evolutionary trajectories are explained by fluctuations in population sizes of the prey and the predator, which continuously alter the supply of mutations in the prey and strength of selection through predation. Thus, it may be necessary to adopt an eco-evolutionary perspective on studies concerning the evolution of traits mediating species interactions. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Applying the social-ecological system framework to the diagnosis of urban lake commons in Bangalore, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harini Nagendra

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The south Indian city of Bangalore provides a challenging yet representative context within which to examine issues of governance of urban social-ecological commons. The city was once famous for its numerous large water bodies, which have witnessed tremendous encroachment and pollution in recent years. These water bodies, called tanks or lakes, were typically managed by adjacent village communities but are now administered by a number of government departments involved with aspects of lake management, with multiple overlapping jurisdictions. The public's perceptions of lakes has also changed with urbanization, transitioning from community spaces valued for water and cultural services to urban recreational spaces used largely by joggers and walkers. We focus on a set of seven lakes located in the urbanizing peripheral areas of southeast Bangalore. Some water bodies have been restored and managed effectively by newly forged collaborations between citizens and local government. Others are extremely polluted, and some have completely dried up and have been encroached. We use a social-ecological system (SES framework to investigate why some locations have been successful in negotiating changes in governance from community-based systems to state management following urbanization, whereas other lakes have deteriorated. We use seven second-tier SES variables that were associated with self-organization in previous research: size of resource system, number of actors, leadership, social capital, importance of resource, existence of operational-choice rules, and existence of informal mechanisms for monitoring. We also include three third-tier variables previously identified as important in urban lake commons in Bangalore: scale and type of pre-existing pollution, exclusion of socioeconomic groups from the planning process, and networking with government organizations. We use this subset of 10 variables to examine social outcomes of the lakes, which we

  20. Introduced species as evolutionary traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Sherman, P.W.; Blossey, B.; Runge, M.C.

    2005-01-01

    Invasive species can alter environments in such a way that normal behavioural decision-making rules of native species are no longer adaptive. The evolutionary trap concept provides a useful framework for predicting and managing the impact of harmful invasive species. We discuss how native species can respond to changes in their selective regime via evolution or learning. We also propose novel management strategies to promote the long-term co-existence of native and introduced species in cases where the eradication of the latter is either economically or biologically unrealistic.

  1. Statistical ecology comes of age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Olivier; Buckland, Stephen T.; Morgan, Byron J. T.; Bez, Nicolas; Bertrand, Sophie; Choquet, Rémi; Dray, Stéphane; Etienne, Marie-Pierre; Fewster, Rachel; Gosselin, Frédéric; Mérigot, Bastien; Monestiez, Pascal; Morales, Juan M.; Mortier, Frédéric; Munoz, François; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pavoine, Sandrine; Pradel, Roger; Schurr, Frank M.; Thomas, Len; Thuiller, Wilfried; Trenkel, Verena; de Valpine, Perry; Rexstad, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1–4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology. Important advances in the analysis of individual movement, and in the modelling of population dynamics and species distributions, are made possible by the increasing use of hierarchical and hidden process models. Exciting research perspectives include the development of methods to interpret citizen science data and of efficient, flexible computational algorithms for model fitting. Statistical ecology has come of age: it now provides a general and mathematically rigorous framework linking ecological theory and empirical data. PMID:25540151

  2. Statistical ecology comes of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Olivier; Buckland, Stephen T; Morgan, Byron J T; Bez, Nicolas; Bertrand, Sophie; Choquet, Rémi; Dray, Stéphane; Etienne, Marie-Pierre; Fewster, Rachel; Gosselin, Frédéric; Mérigot, Bastien; Monestiez, Pascal; Morales, Juan M; Mortier, Frédéric; Munoz, François; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pavoine, Sandrine; Pradel, Roger; Schurr, Frank M; Thomas, Len; Thuiller, Wilfried; Trenkel, Verena; de Valpine, Perry; Rexstad, Eric

    2014-12-01

    The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1-4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology. Important advances in the analysis of individual movement, and in the modelling of population dynamics and species distributions, are made possible by the increasing use of hierarchical and hidden process models. Exciting research perspectives include the development of methods to interpret citizen science data and of efficient, flexible computational algorithms for model fitting. Statistical ecology has come of age: it now provides a general and mathematically rigorous framework linking ecological theory and empirical data.

  3. Military Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (MERAF) for Assessment of Risks of Military Training and Testing to Natural Resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suter II, G.W.

    2003-06-18

    The objective of this research is to provide the DoD with a framework based on a systematic, risk-based approach to assess impacts for management of natural resources in an ecosystem context. This risk assessment framework is consistent with, but extends beyond, the EPA's ecological risk assessment framework, and specifically addresses DoD activities and management needs. MERAF is intended to be consistent with existing procedures for environmental assessment and planning with DoD testing and training. The intention is to supplement these procedures rather than creating new procedural requirements. MERAF is suitable for use for training and testing area assessment and management. It does not include human health risks nor does it address specific permitting or compliance requirements, although it may be useful in some of these cases. Use of MERAF fits into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process by providing a consistent and rigorous way of organizing and conducting the technical analysis for Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) (Sigal 1993; Carpenter 1995; Canter and Sadler 1997). It neither conflicts with, nor replaces, procedural requirements within the NEPA process or document management processes already in place within DoD.

  4. Is xenodontine snake reproduction shaped by ancestry, more than by ecology?

    OpenAIRE

    Bellini, Gisela P.; Arzamendia, Vanesa; Giraudo, Alejandro R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract One of the current challenges of evolutionary ecology is to understand the effects of phylogenetic history (PH) and/or ecological factors (EF) on the life?history traits of the species. Here, the effects of environment and phylogeny are tested for the first time on the reproductive biology of South American xenodontine snakes. We studied 60% of the tribes of this endemic and most representative clade in a temperate region of South America. A comparative method (canonical phylogenetic...

  5. Ecological effects of fuel cycle activities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnthouse, L; Cada, G; Kroodsma, R; Shriner, D; Tolbert, V; Turner, R

    1994-07-01

    The purpose of this paper is to summarize the approach used to characterize ecological impacts of the coal fuel cycle. The same approach is used for many of the impacts in other fuel cycles as well. The principal analytical approach being used in the study is an accounting framework - that is, a series of matrices that map each phase of the fuel cycle to a suite of possible. emissions, each emission to a suite of impact categories, and each impact category to an external cost. This paper summarizes the ecological impacts of all phases of the coal fuel cycle, defines the ecological impact categories used in the study's 'accounting framework', and discusses alternative approaches to quantification. Externalities associated with CO{sub 2}-induced global climate change are beyond the scope of this paper and are not discussed.

  6. Ecological effects of fuel cycle activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnthouse, L.; Cada, G.; Kroodsma, R.; Shriner, D.; Tolbert, V.; Turner, R.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to summarize the approach used to characterize ecological impacts of the coal fuel cycle. The same approach is used for many of the impacts in other fuel cycles as well. The principal analytical approach being used in the study is an accounting framework - that is, a series of matrices that map each phase of the fuel cycle to a suite of possible. emissions, each emission to a suite of impact categories, and each impact category to an external cost. This paper summarizes the ecological impacts of all phases of the coal fuel cycle, defines the ecological impact categories used in the study's 'accounting framework', and discusses alternative approaches to quantification. Externalities associated with CO 2 -induced global climate change are beyond the scope of this paper and are not discussed

  7. Protecting the larger fish: an ecological, economical and evolutionary analysis using a demographic model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verdiell, Nuria Calduch

    . Recently, there is increasing evidence that this size-selective fishing reduces the chances of maintaining populations at levels sufficient to produce maximum sustainable yields, the chances of recovery/rebuilding populations that have been depleted/collapsed and may causes rapid evolutionary changes...... and the consequent changes in yield. We attempt to evaluate the capability of the larger fish to mitigate the evolutionary change on life-history traits caused by fishing, while also maintaining a sustainable annual yield. This is achieved by calculating the expected selection response on three life-history traits......Many marine fish stocks are reported as overfished on a global scale. This overfishing not only removes fish biomass, but also causes dramatic changes in the age and size structure of fish stocks. In particular, targeting of the larger individuals truncates the age and size structure of stocks...

  8. Feedbacks between geomorphology and biota controlling Earth surface processes and landforms: A review of foundation concepts and current understandings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corenblit, Dov; Baas, Andreas C. W.; Bornette, Gudrun; Darrozes, José; Delmotte, Sébastien; Francis, Robert A.; Gurnell, Angela M.; Julien, Frédéric; Naiman, Robert J.; Steiger, Johannes

    2011-06-01

    This review article presents recent advances in the field of biogeomorphology related to the reciprocal coupling between Earth surface processes and landforms, and ecological and evolutionary processes. The aim is to present to the Earth Science community ecological and evolutionary concepts and associated recent conceptual developments for linking geomorphology and biota. The novelty of the proposed perspective is that (1) in the presence of geomorphologic-engineer species, which modify sediment and landform dynamics, natural selection operating at the scale of organisms may have consequences for the physical components of ecosystems, and particularly Earth surface processes and landforms; and (2) in return, these modifications of geomorphologic processes and landforms often feed back to the ecological characteristics of the ecosystem (structure and function) and thus to biological characteristics of engineer species and/or other species (adaptation and speciation). The main foundation concepts from ecology and evolutionary biology which have led only recently to an improved conception of landform dynamics in geomorphology are reviewed and discussed. The biogeomorphologic macroevolutionary insights proposed explicitly integrate geomorphologic niche-dimensions and processes within an ecosystem framework and reflect current theories of eco-evolutionary and ecological processes. Collectively, these lead to the definition of an integrated model describing the overall functioning of biogeomorphologic systems over ecological and evolutionary timescales.

  9. Evolutionary ecology of aging: time to reconcile field and laboratory research

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Reichard, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 9 (2016), s. 2988-3000 ISSN 2045-7758 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : condition-dependence * evolution of aging * gene-by-environment interaction * intrapopulation variability * intraspecific aging rate * mortality * senescence Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.440, year: 2016

  10. Quantifying evolutionary dynamics from variant-frequency time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khatri, Bhavin S.

    2016-09-01

    From Kimura’s neutral theory of protein evolution to Hubbell’s neutral theory of biodiversity, quantifying the relative importance of neutrality versus selection has long been a basic question in evolutionary biology and ecology. With deep sequencing technologies, this question is taking on a new form: given a time-series of the frequency of different variants in a population, what is the likelihood that the observation has arisen due to selection or neutrality? To tackle the 2-variant case, we exploit Fisher’s angular transformation, which despite being discovered by Ronald Fisher a century ago, has remained an intellectual curiosity. We show together with a heuristic approach it provides a simple solution for the transition probability density at short times, including drift, selection and mutation. Our results show under that under strong selection and sufficiently frequent sampling these evolutionary parameters can be accurately determined from simulation data and so they provide a theoretical basis for techniques to detect selection from variant or polymorphism frequency time-series.

  11. Ecological generalism facilitates the evolution of sociality in snapping shrimps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Katherine C; Maia, Rafael; Duffy, J Emmett; Hultgren, Kristin M; Rubenstein, Dustin R

    2017-12-01

    Evidence from insects and vertebrates suggests that cooperation may have enabled species to expand their niches, becoming ecological generalists and dominating the ecosystems in which they occur. Consistent with this idea, eusocial species of sponge-dwelling Synalpheus shrimps from Belize are ecological generalists with a broader host breadth and higher abundance than non-eusocial species. We evaluate whether sociality promotes ecological generalism (social conquest hypothesis) or whether ecological generalism facilitates the transition to sociality (social transition hypothesis) in 38 Synalpheus shrimp species. We find that sociality evolves primarily from host generalists, and almost exclusively so for transitions to eusociality. Additionally, sponge volume is more important for explaining social transitions towards communal breeding than to eusociality, suggesting that different ecological factors may influence the independent evolutionary origins of sociality in Synalpheus shrimps. Ultimately, our results are consistent with the social transition hypothesis and the idea that ecological generalism facilitates the transition to sociality. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  12. The Gradient Paradigm: A conceptual and analytical framework for landscape ecology [Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel A. Cushman; Kevin Gutzweiler; Jeffrey S. Evans; Kevin McGarigal

    2010-01-01

    Landscape ecology deals fundamentally with how, when, and why patterns of environmental factors influence the distribution of organisms and ecological processes, and reciprocally, how the actions of organisms and ecological processes influence ecological patterns (Urban et al. 1991; Turner 1989). The landscape ecologist's goal is to determine where and when...

  13. The art framework

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, C; Kowalkowski, J; Paterno, M; Fischler, M; Garren, L; Lu, Q

    2012-01-01

    Future “Intensity Frontier” experiments at Fermilab are likely to be conducted by smaller collaborations, with fewer scientists, than is the case for recent “Energy Frontier” experiments. art is a C++ event-processing framework designed with the needs of such experiments in mind. An evolution from the framework of the CMS experiment, art was designed and implemented to be usable by multiple experiments without imposing undue maintenance effort requirements on either the art developers or experiments using it. We describe the key requirements and features of art and the rationale behind evolutionary changes, additions and simplifications with respect to the CMS framework. In addition, our package distribution system and our collaborative model with respect to the multiple experiments using art helps keep the maintenance burden low. We also describe in-progress and future enhancements to the framework, including strategies we are using to allow multi-threaded use of the art framework in today's multi- and many-core environments.

  14. The feasibility of ecological taxation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paulus, A.T.G.

    1995-01-01

    From an analysis of the possibilities and complexities of ecological taxation, conducted within the context of the first NRP (research project 851051E), it follows that the feasibility of ecological taxes is determined by their design, the level at which they are implemented, the taxing authority by which they are imposed and by the constitutional, institutional and fiscal framework in which they are embedded

  15. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches.

  16. Deep Rationality: The Evolutionary Economics of Decision Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenrick, Douglas T; Griskevicius, Vladas; Sundie, Jill M; Li, Norman P; Li, Yexin Jessica; Neuberg, Steven L

    2009-10-01

    What is a "rational" decision? Economists traditionally viewed rationality as maximizing expected satisfaction. This view has been useful in modeling basic microeconomic concepts, but falls short in accounting for many everyday human decisions. It leaves unanswered why some things reliably make people more satisfied than others, and why people frequently act to make others happy at a cost to themselves. Drawing on an evolutionary perspective, we propose that people make decisions according to a set of principles that may not appear to make sense at the superficial level, but that demonstrate rationality at a deeper evolutionary level. By this, we mean that people use adaptive domain-specific decision-rules that, on average, would have resulted in fitness benefits. Using this framework, we re-examine several economic principles. We suggest that traditional psychological functions governing risk aversion, discounting of future benefits, and budget allocations to multiple goods, for example, vary in predictable ways as a function of the underlying motive of the decision-maker and individual differences linked to evolved life-history strategies. A deep rationality framework not only helps explain why people make the decisions they do, but also inspires multiple directions for future research.

  17. Intraspecific ecological niche divergence and reproductive shifts foster cytotype displacement and provide ecological opportunity to polyploids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karunarathne, Piyal; Schedler, Mara; Martínez, Eric J; Honfi, Ana I; Novichkova, Anastasiia; Hojsgaard, Diego

    2018-05-11

    Niche divergence between polyploids and their lower ploidy progenitors is one of the primary mechanisms fostering polyploid establishment and adaptive divergence. However, within-species chromosomal and reproductive variability have usually been neglected in community ecology and biodiversity analyses even though they have been recognized to play a role in the adaptive diversification of lineages. We used Paspalum intermedium, a grass species with diverging genetic systems (diploidy vs. autopolyploidy, allogamy vs. autogamy and sexuality vs. apomixis), to recognize the causality of biogeographic patterns, adaptation and ecological flexibility of cytotypes. Chromosome counts and flow cytometry were used to characterize within-species genetic systems diversity. Environmental niche modelling was used to evaluate intraspecific ecological attributes associated with environmental and climatic factors and to assess correlations among ploidy, reproductive modes and ecological conditions ruling species' population dynamics, range expansion, adaptation and evolutionary history. Two dominant cytotypes non-randomly distributed along local and regional geographical scales displayed niche differentiation, a directional shift in niche optima and signs of disruptive selection on ploidy-related ecological aptitudes for the exploitation of environmental resources. Ecologically specialized allogamous sexual diploids were found in northern areas associated with higher temperature, humidity and productivity, while generalist autogamous apomictic tetraploids occurred in southern areas, occupying colder and less productive environments. Four localities with a documented shift in ploidy and four mixed populations in a zone of ecological transition revealed an uneven replacement between cytotypes. Polyploidy and contrasting reproductive traits between cytotypes have promoted shifts in niche optima, and increased ecological tolerance and niche divergence. Ecologically specialized diploids

  18. Striding Toward Social Justice: The Ecologic Milieu of Physical Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Rebecca E.; Cubbin, Catherine

    2009-01-01

    Disparities in physical activity should be investigated in light of social justice principles. This manuscript critically evaluates evidence and trends in disparities research within an ecologic framework, focusing on multi-level factors such as neighborhood and racial discrimination that influence physical activity. Discussion focuses on strategies for integrating social justice into physical activity promotion and intervention programming within an ecologic framework. PMID:19098519

  19. The role of ecological factors in shaping bat cone opsin evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Eduardo de A; Schott, Ryan K; Preston, Matthew W; Loureiro, Lívia O; Lim, Burton K; Chang, Belinda S W

    2018-04-11

    Bats represent one of the largest and most striking nocturnal mammalian radiations, exhibiting many visual system specializations for performance in light-limited environments. Despite representing the greatest ecological diversity and species richness in Chiroptera, Neotropical lineages have been undersampled in molecular studies, limiting the potential for identifying signatures of selection on visual genes associated with differences in bat ecology. Here, we investigated how diverse ecological pressures mediate long-term shifts in selection upon long-wavelength ( Lws ) and short-wavelength ( Sws1 ) opsins, photosensitive cone pigments that form the basis of colour vision in most mammals, including bats. We used codon-based likelihood clade models to test whether ecological variables associated with reliance on visual information (e.g. echolocation ability and diet) or exposure to varying light environments (e.g. roosting behaviour and foraging habitat) mediated shifts in evolutionary rates in bat cone opsin genes. Using additional cone opsin sequences from newly sequenced eye transcriptomes of six Neotropical bat species, we found significant evidence for different ecological pressures influencing the evolution of the cone opsins. While Lws is evolving under significantly lower constraint in highly specialized high-duty cycle echolocating lineages, which have enhanced sonar ability to detect and track targets, variation in Sws1 constraint was significantly associated with foraging habitat, exhibiting elevated rates of evolution in species that forage among vegetation. This suggests that increased reliance on echolocation as well as the spectral environment experienced by foraging bats may differentially influence the evolution of different cone opsins. Our study demonstrates that different ecological variables may underlie contrasting evolutionary patterns in bat visual opsins, and highlights the suitability of clade models for testing ecological hypotheses of

  20. Patterns and processes in the evolutionary history of parrotfishes (Family Labridae)

    KAUST Repository

    Choat, John. H.; klanten, Oya. S.; Van Herwerden, Lynne; Robertson, D. Ross; Clements, Kendall D.

    2012-01-01

    Phylogenetic reconstruction of the evolutionary relationships among 61 of the 70 species of the parrotfish genera Chlorurus and Scarus (Family Labridae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences retrieved 15 well-supported clades with mid Pliocene/Pleistocene diversification. Twenty-two reciprocally monophyletic sister-species pairs were identified: 64% were allopatric, and the remainder were sympatric. Age of divergence was similar for allopatric and sympatric species pairs. Sympatric sister pairs displayed greater divergence in morphology, ecology, and sexually dimorphic colour patterns than did allopatric pairs, suggesting that both genetic drift in allopatric species pairs and ecologically adaptive divergence between members of sympatric pairs have played a role in diversification. Basal species typically have small geographical ranges and are restricted to geographically and ecologically peripheral reef habitats. We found little evidence that a single dominant process has driven diversification, nor did we detect a pattern of discrete, sequential stages of diversification in relation to habitat, ecology, and reproductive biology. The evolution of Chlorurus and Scarus has been complex, involving a number of speciation processes. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London.

  1. Patterns and processes in the evolutionary history of parrotfishes (Family Labridae)

    KAUST Repository

    Choat, John. H.

    2012-09-05

    Phylogenetic reconstruction of the evolutionary relationships among 61 of the 70 species of the parrotfish genera Chlorurus and Scarus (Family Labridae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences retrieved 15 well-supported clades with mid Pliocene/Pleistocene diversification. Twenty-two reciprocally monophyletic sister-species pairs were identified: 64% were allopatric, and the remainder were sympatric. Age of divergence was similar for allopatric and sympatric species pairs. Sympatric sister pairs displayed greater divergence in morphology, ecology, and sexually dimorphic colour patterns than did allopatric pairs, suggesting that both genetic drift in allopatric species pairs and ecologically adaptive divergence between members of sympatric pairs have played a role in diversification. Basal species typically have small geographical ranges and are restricted to geographically and ecologically peripheral reef habitats. We found little evidence that a single dominant process has driven diversification, nor did we detect a pattern of discrete, sequential stages of diversification in relation to habitat, ecology, and reproductive biology. The evolution of Chlorurus and Scarus has been complex, involving a number of speciation processes. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London.

  2. Comparative Ecophysiology and Evolutionary Biology of Island and Mainland Chaparral Communities

    OpenAIRE

    Ramirez, Aaron Robert

    2015-01-01

    The unique nature of island ecosystems have fascinated generations of naturalists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists. Studying island systems led to the development of keystone biological theories including: Darwin and Wallace's theories of natural selection, Carlquist's insights into the biology of adaptive radiations, MacArthur and Wilson's theory of island biogeography, and many others. Utilizing islands as natural laboratories allows us to discover the underlying fabric of ecology a...

  3. Fundamental ecology is fundamental.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courchamp, Franck; Dunne, Jennifer A; Le Maho, Yvon; May, Robert M; Thébaud, Christophe; Hochberg, Michael E

    2015-01-01

    The primary reasons for conducting fundamental research are satisfying curiosity, acquiring knowledge, and achieving understanding. Here we develop why we believe it is essential to promote basic ecological research, despite increased impetus for ecologists to conduct and present their research in the light of potential applications. This includes the understanding of our environment, for intellectual, economical, social, and political reasons, and as a major source of innovation. We contend that we should focus less on short-term, objective-driven research and more on creativity and exploratory analyses, quantitatively estimate the benefits of fundamental research for society, and better explain the nature and importance of fundamental ecology to students, politicians, decision makers, and the general public. Our perspective and underlying arguments should also apply to evolutionary biology and to many of the other biological and physical sciences. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R.; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-10-01

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic.

  5. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-10-26

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic.

  6. 2011 Archaea: Ecology, Metabolism, & Molecular Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keneth Stedman

    2011-08-05

    Archaea, one of three major evolutionary lineages of life, are a fascinating and diverse group of microbes with deep roots overlapping those of eukaryotes. The focus of the 'Archaea: Ecology Metabolism & Molecular Biology' GRC conference expands on a number of emerging topics highlighting new paradigms in archaeal metabolism, genome function and systems biology; information processing; evolution and the tree of life; the ecology and diversity of archaea and their viruses. The strength of this conference lies in its ability to couple a field with a rich history in high quality research with new scientific findings in an atmosphere of stimulating exchange. This conference remains an excellent opportunity for younger scientists to interact with world experts in this field.

  7. Evolutionary game theory using agent-based methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adami, Christoph; Schossau, Jory; Hintze, Arend

    2016-12-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a successful mathematical framework geared towards understanding the selective pressures that affect the evolution of the strategies of agents engaged in interactions with potential conflicts. While a mathematical treatment of the costs and benefits of decisions can predict the optimal strategy in simple settings, more realistic settings such as finite populations, non-vanishing mutations rates, stochastic decisions, communication between agents, and spatial interactions, require agent-based methods where each agent is modeled as an individual, carries its own genes that determine its decisions, and where the evolutionary outcome can only be ascertained by evolving the population of agents forward in time. While highlighting standard mathematical results, we compare those to agent-based methods that can go beyond the limitations of equations and simulate the complexity of heterogeneous populations and an ever-changing set of interactors. We conclude that agent-based methods can predict evolutionary outcomes where purely mathematical treatments cannot tread (for example in the weak selection-strong mutation limit), but that mathematics is crucial to validate the computational simulations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Resistance and relatedness on an evolutionary graph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maciejewski, Wes

    2012-01-01

    When investigating evolution in structured populations, it is often convenient to consider the population as an evolutionary graph—individuals as nodes, and whom they may act with as edges. There has, in recent years, been a surge of interest in evolutionary graphs, especially in the study of the evolution of social behaviours. An inclusive fitness framework is best suited for this type of study. A central requirement for an inclusive fitness analysis is an expression for the genetic similarity between individuals residing on the graph. This has been a major hindrance for work in this area as highly technical mathematics are often required. Here, I derive a result that links genetic relatedness between haploid individuals on an evolutionary graph to the resistance between vertices on a corresponding electrical network. An example that demonstrates the potential computational advantage of this result over contemporary approaches is provided. This result offers more, however, to the study of population genetics than strictly computationally efficient methods. By establishing a link between gene transfer and electric circuit theory, conceptualizations of the latter can enhance understanding of the former. PMID:21849384

  9. Approaches to understanding the impact of life-history features on plant-pathogen co-evolutionary dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy J. Burdon; Peter H. Thrall; Adnane Nemri

    2012-01-01

    Natural plant-pathogen associations are complex interactions in which the interplay of environment, host, and pathogen factors results in spatially heterogeneous ecological and epidemiological dynamics. The evolutionary patterns that result from the interaction of these factors are still relatively poorly understood. Recently, integration of the appropriate spatial and...

  10. An ecological framework for sexual minority women's health: factors associated with greater body mass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliason, Michele J; Fogel, Sarah C

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, many studies have focused on the body of sexual minority women, particularly emphasizing their larger size. These studies rarely offer theoretically based explanations for the increased weight, nor study the potential consequences (or lack thereof) of being heavier. This article provides a brief overview of the multitude of factors that might cause or contribute to larger size of sexual minority women, using an ecological framework that elucidates upstream social determinants of health as well as individual risk factors. This model is infused with a minority stress model, which hypothesizes excess strain resulting from the stigma associated with oppressed minority identities such as woman, lesbian, bisexual, woman of color, and others. We argue that lack of attention to the upstream social determinants of health may result in individual-level victim blaming and interventions that do not address the root causes of minority stress or increased weight.

  11. Evolutionary game dynamics in a growing structured population

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poncela, Julia; Gomez-Gardenes, Jesus; Moreno, Yamir [Institute for Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems (BIFI), University of Zaragoza, E-50009 Zaragoza (Spain); Traulsen, Arne [Emmy-Noether Group for Evolutionary Dynamics, Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, August-Thienemann-Strasse 2, 24306 Ploen (Germany)], E-mail: traulsen@evolbio.mpg.de

    2009-08-15

    We discuss a model for evolutionary game dynamics in a growing, network-structured population. In our model, new players can either make connections to random preexisting players or preferentially attach to those that have been successful in the past. The latter depends on the dynamics of strategies in the game, which we implement following the so-called Fermi rule such that the limits of weak and strong strategy selection can be explored. Our framework allows to address general evolutionary games. With only two parameters describing the preferential attachment and the intensity of selection, we describe a wide range of network structures and evolutionary scenarios. Our results show that even for moderate payoff preferential attachment, over represented hubs arise. Interestingly, we find that while the networks are growing, high levels of cooperation are attained, but the same network structure does not promote cooperation as a static network. Therefore, the mechanism of payoff preferential attachment is different to those usually invoked to explain the promotion of cooperation in static, already-grown networks.

  12. Evolutionary game dynamics in a growing structured population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poncela, Julia; Gomez-Gardenes, Jesus; Moreno, Yamir; Traulsen, Arne

    2009-01-01

    We discuss a model for evolutionary game dynamics in a growing, network-structured population. In our model, new players can either make connections to random preexisting players or preferentially attach to those that have been successful in the past. The latter depends on the dynamics of strategies in the game, which we implement following the so-called Fermi rule such that the limits of weak and strong strategy selection can be explored. Our framework allows to address general evolutionary games. With only two parameters describing the preferential attachment and the intensity of selection, we describe a wide range of network structures and evolutionary scenarios. Our results show that even for moderate payoff preferential attachment, over represented hubs arise. Interestingly, we find that while the networks are growing, high levels of cooperation are attained, but the same network structure does not promote cooperation as a static network. Therefore, the mechanism of payoff preferential attachment is different to those usually invoked to explain the promotion of cooperation in static, already-grown networks.

  13. Tendinous framework of anurans reveals an all-purpose morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fratani, Jéssica; Ponssa, María Laura; Abdala, Virginia

    2018-02-01

    Tendons are directly associated with movement, amplifying power and reducing muscular work. Taking into account habitat and locomotor challenges faced by anurans, we identify the more conspicuous superficial tendons of a neotropical anuran group and investigate their relation to the former factors. We show that tendons can be visualized as an anatomical framework connected through muscles and/or fascia, and describe the most superficial tendinous layer of the postcranium of Leptodactylus latinasus. To analyze the relation between tendon morphology and ecological characters, we test the relative length ratio of 10 tendon-muscle (t-m) elements in 45 leptodactylid species while taking phylogeny into account. We identify the evolutionary model that best explains our variables. Additionally, we optimize t-m ratio values, and the shape of the longissimus dorsi insertion onto a selected phylogeny of the species. Our data show the existence of an all-purpose morphology that seems to have evolved independently of ecology and functional requirements. This is indicated by no significant relation between morphometric data of the analyzed tendons and habitat use or locomotion, a strong phylogenetic component to most of the analyzed variables, and a generalized pattern of intermediate values for ancestral states. Ornstein-Uhlenbeck is the model that best explains most t-m variables, indicating that stabilizing selection or selective optima might be driving shifts in tendon length within Leptodactylidae. Herein, we show the substantial influence that phylogeny has on tendon morphology, demonstrating that a generalized and stable morphological configuration of tendons is adequate to enable versatile locomotor modes and habitat use. This is an attempt to present the tendinous system as a framework to body support in vertebrates, and can be considered a starting point for further ecomorphological research of this anatomical system in anurans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All

  14. Social life and sanitary risks: evolutionary and current ecological conditions determine waste management in leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Elizalde, Luciana; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Amador-Vargas, Sabrina

    2016-05-25

    Adequate waste management is vital for the success of social life, because waste accumulation increases sanitary risks in dense societies. We explored why different leaf-cutting ants (LCA) species locate their waste in internal nest chambers or external piles, including ecological context and accounting for phylogenetic relations. We propose that waste location depends on whether the environmental conditions enhance or reduce the risk of infection. We obtained the geographical range, habitat and refuse location of LCA from published literature, and experimentally determined whether pathogens on ant waste survived to the high soil temperatures typical of xeric habitats. The habitat of the LCA determined waste location after phylogenetic correction: species with external waste piles mainly occur in xeric environments, whereas those with internal waste chambers mainly inhabit more humid habitats. The ancestral reconstruction suggests that dumping waste externally is less derived than digging waste nest chambers. Empirical results showed that high soil surface temperatures reduce pathogen prevalence from LCA waste. We proposed that LCA living in environments unfavourable for pathogens (i.e. xeric habitats) avoid digging costs by dumping the refuse above ground. Conversely, in environments suitable for pathogens, LCA species prevent the spread of diseases by storing waste underground, presumably, a behaviour that contributed to the colonization of humid habitats. These results highlight the adaptation of organisms to the hygienic challenges of social living, and illustrate how sanitary behaviours can result from a combination of evolutionary history and current environmental conditions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  15. The Population Ecology of Technology: An Empirical Study of US Biotechnology Patents from 1976 to 2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Oord, Ad; van Witteloostuijn, Arjen

    2017-01-01

    A detailed understanding of technological change as an evolutionary process is currently not well understood. To increase our understanding, we build upon theory from organizational ecology to develop a model of endogenous technological growth and determine to what extent the pattern of technological growth can be attributed to the structural or systemic characteristics of the technology itself. Through an empirical investigation of patent data in the biotechnology industry from 1976 to 2003, we find that a technology’s internal (i.e., density and diversity) ecological characteristics have a positive effect on its growth rate. The niche’s external characteristics of crowding and status have a negative effect on its growth rate. Hence, applying theory from organizational ecology increases our understanding of technological change as an evolutionary process. We discuss the implications of our findings for the study of technological growth and evolution, and suggest avenues for further research. PMID:28081570

  16. Valuation of ecological resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, M.J.; Bilyard, G.R.; Link, S.O.; Ricci, P.F.; Seely, H.E.; Ulibarri, C.A.; Westerdahl, H.E.

    1995-04-01

    Ecological resources are resources that have functional value to ecosystems. Frequently, these functions are overlooked in terms of the value they provide to humans. Environmental economics is in search of an appropriate analysis framework for such resources. In such a framework, it is essential to distinguish between two related subsets of information: (1) ecological processes that have intrinsic value to natural ecosystems; and (2) ecological functions that are values by humans. The present study addresses these concerns by identifying a habitat that is being displaced by development, and by measuring the human and ecological values associated with the ecological resources in that habitat. It is also essential to determine which functions are mutually exclusive and which are, in effect, complementary or products of joint production. The authors apply several resource valuation tools, including contingent valuation methodology (CVM), travel cost methodology (TCM), and hedonic damage-pricing (HDP). One way to derive upper-limit values for more difficult-to-value functions is through the use of human analogs, because human-engineered systems are relatively inefficient at supplying the desired services when compared with natural systems. Where data on the relative efficiencies of natural systems and human analogs exist, it is possible to adjust the costs of providing the human analog by the relative efficiency of the natural system to obtain a more realistic value of the function under consideration. The authors demonstrate this approach in an environmental economic case study of the environmental services rendered by shrub-steppe habitats of Benton County, Washington State.

  17. The Evolutionary Puzzle of Suicide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henri-Jean Aubin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms of self-destruction are difficult to reconcile with evolution’s first rule of thumb: survive and reproduce. However, evolutionary success ultimately depends on inclusive fitness. The altruistic suicide hypothesis posits that the presence of low reproductive potential and burdensomeness toward kin can increase the inclusive fitness payoff of self-removal. The bargaining hypothesis assumes that suicide attempts could function as an honest signal of need. The payoff may be positive if the suicidal person has a low reproductive potential. The parasite manipulation hypothesis is founded on the rodent—Toxoplasma gondii host-parasite model, in which the parasite induces a “suicidal” feline attraction that allows the parasite to complete its life cycle. Interestingly, latent infection by T. gondii has been shown to cause behavioral alterations in humans, including increased suicide attempts. Finally, we discuss how suicide risk factors can be understood as nonadaptive byproducts of evolved mechanisms that malfunction. Although most of the mechanisms proposed in this article are largely speculative, the hypotheses that we raise accept self-destructive behavior within the framework of evolutionary theory.

  18. Unifying ecology and macroevolution with individual-based theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosindell, James; Harmon, Luke J; Etienne, Rampal S

    2015-05-01

    A contemporary goal in both ecology and evolutionary biology is to develop theory that transcends the boundary between the two disciplines, to understand phenomena that cannot be explained by either field in isolation. This is challenging because macroevolution typically uses lineage-based models, whereas ecology often focuses on individual organisms. Here, we develop a new parsimonious individual-based theory by adding mild selection to the neutral theory of biodiversity. We show that this model generates realistic phylogenies showing a slowdown in diversification and also improves on the ecological predictions of neutral theory by explaining the occurrence of very common species. Moreover, we find the distribution of individual fitness changes over time, with average fitness increasing at a pace that depends positively on community size. Consequently, large communities tend to produce fitter species than smaller communities. These findings have broad implications beyond biodiversity theory, potentially impacting, for example, invasion biology and paleontology. © 2015 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  19. Communicative interactions involving plants: information, evolution, and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mescher, Mark C; Pearse, Ian S

    2016-08-01

    The role of information obtained via sensory cues and signals in mediating the interactions of organisms with their biotic and abiotic environments has been a major focus of work on sensory and behavioral ecology. Information-mediated interactions also have important implications for broader ecological patterns emerging at the community and ecosystem levels that are only now beginning to be explored. Given the extent to which plants dominate the sensory landscapes of terrestrial ecosystems, information-mediated interactions involving plants should be a major focus of efforts to elucidate these broader patterns. Here we explore how such efforts might be enhanced by a clear understanding of information itself-a central and potentially unifying concept in biology that has nevertheless been the subject of considerable confusion-and of its relationship to adaptive evolution and ecology. We suggest that information-mediated interactions should be a key focus of efforts to more fully integrate evolutionary biology and ecology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Predicting and detecting reciprocity between indirect ecological interactions and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, James A; Brashares, Justin S; Power, Mary E

    2013-05-01

    Living nature can be thought of as a tapestry, defined not only by its constituent parts but also by how these parts are woven together. The weaving of this tapestry is a metaphor for species interactions, which can be divided into three broad classes: competitive, mutualistic, and consumptive. Direct interactions link together as more complex networks, for example, the joining of consumptive interactions into food webs. Food web dynamics are driven, in turn, by changes in the abundances of web members, whose numbers or biomass respond to bottom-up (resource limitation) and top-down (consumer limitation) forcing. The relative strengths of top-down and bottom-up forcing on the abundance of a given web member depend on its ecological context, including its topological position within the food web. Top-down effects by diverse consumers are nearly ubiquitous, in many cases influencing the structure and operation of ecosystems. While the ecological effects of such interactions are well known, far less is known of their evolutionary consequences. In this essay, we describe sundry consequences of these interaction chains on species and ecosystem processes, explain several known or suspected evolutionary effects of consumer-induced interaction chains, and identify areas where reciprocity between ecology and evolution involving the indirect effects of consumer-prey interaction chains might be further explored.

  1. Biology, ecology and evolution of the family Gigasporaceae, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomeromycota)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, Francisco Adriano de

    2005-01-01

    Research described in this thesis focused on biological, ecological and evolutionary aspects of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF), and in particular of the family Gigasporaceae (Gigaspora and Scutellospora, genera). This study had two major objectives. The first objective was to obtain better

  2. Ecological, historical and evolutionary determinants of modularity in weighted seed-dispersal networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schleuning, Matthias; Ingmann, Lili; Strauß, Rouven

    2014-01-01

    Modularity is a recurrent and important property of bipartite ecological networks. Although well-resolved ecological networks describe interaction frequencies between species pairs, modularity of bipartite networks has been analysed only on the basis of binary presence-absence data. We employ a new...... algorithm to detect modularity in weighted bipartite networks in a global analysis of avian seed-dispersal networks. We define roles of species, such as connector values, for weighted and binary networks and associate them with avian species traits and phylogeny. The weighted, but not binary, analysis...... identified a positive relationship between climatic seasonality and modularity, whereas past climate stability and phylogenetic signal were only weakly related to modularity. Connector values were associated with foraging behaviour and were phylogenetically conserved. The weighted modularity analysis...

  3. 'I am an Intensive Guy': The Possibility and Conditions of Reconciliation Through the Ecological Intensification Framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levain, Alix; Vertès, Françoise; Ruiz, Laurent; Delaby, Luc; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal; Barbier, Marc

    2015-11-01

    The need for better conciliation between food production and environmental protection calls for new conceptual approaches in agronomy. Ecological intensification (EI) is one of the most encouraging and successful conceptual frameworks for designing more sustainable agricultural systems, though relying upon semantic ambivalences and epistemic tensions. This article discusses abilities and limits of the EI framework in the context of strong social and environmental pressure for agricultural transition. The purpose is thus to put EI at stake in the light of the results of an interdisciplinary and participatory research project that explicitly adopted EI goals in livestock semi-industrialized farming systems. Is it possible to maintain livestock production systems that are simultaneously productive, sustainable, and viable and have low nitrate emissions in vulnerable coastal areas? If so, how do local stakeholders use these approaches? The main steps of the innovation process are described. The effects of political and social dynamics on the continuity of the transition process are analyzed, with a reflexive approach. This experiment invites one to consider that making EI operational in a context of socio-technical transition toward agroecology represents system innovation, requiring on-going dialogue, reflexivity, and long-term involvement by researchers.

  4. `I am an Intensive Guy': The Possibility and Conditions of Reconciliation Through the Ecological Intensification Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levain, Alix; Vertès, Françoise; Ruiz, Laurent; Delaby, Luc; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal; Barbier, Marc

    2015-11-01

    The need for better conciliation between food production and environmental protection calls for new conceptual approaches in agronomy. Ecological intensification (EI) is one of the most encouraging and successful conceptual frameworks for designing more sustainable agricultural systems, though relying upon semantic ambivalences and epistemic tensions. This article discusses abilities and limits of the EI framework in the context of strong social and environmental pressure for agricultural transition. The purpose is thus to put EI at stake in the light of the results of an interdisciplinary and participatory research project that explicitly adopted EI goals in livestock semi-industrialized farming systems. Is it possible to maintain livestock production systems that are simultaneously productive, sustainable, and viable and have low nitrate emissions in vulnerable coastal areas? If so, how do local stakeholders use these approaches? The main steps of the innovation process are described. The effects of political and social dynamics on the continuity of the transition process are analyzed, with a reflexive approach. This experiment invites one to consider that making EI operational in a context of socio-technical transition toward agroecology represents system innovation, requiring on-going dialogue, reflexivity, and long-term involvement by researchers.

  5. Testing evolutionary hypotheses for phenotypic divergence using landscape genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, W Chris; Murphy, Melanie A

    2010-02-01

    Understanding the evolutionary causes of phenotypic variation among populations has long been a central theme in evolutionary biology. Several factors can influence phenotypic divergence, including geographic isolation, genetic drift, divergent natural or sexual selection, and phenotypic plasticity. But the relative importance of these factors in generating phenotypic divergence in nature is still a tantalizing and unresolved problem in evolutionary biology. The origin and maintenance of phenotypic divergence is also at the root of many ongoing debates in evolutionary biology, such as the extent to which gene flow constrains adaptive divergence (Garant et al. 2007) and the relative importance of genetic drift, natural selection, and sexual selection in initiating reproductive isolation and speciation (Coyne & Orr 2004). In this issue, Wang & Summers (2010) test the causes of one of the most fantastic examples of phenotypic divergence in nature: colour pattern divergence among populations of the strawberry poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) in Panama and Costa Rica (Fig. 1). This study provides a beautiful example of the use of the emerging field of landscape genetics to differentiate among hypotheses for phenotypic divergence. Using landscape genetic analyses, Wang & Summers were able to reject the hypotheses that colour pattern divergence is due to isolation-by-distance (IBD) or landscape resistance. Instead, the hypothesis left standing is that colour divergence is due to divergent selection, in turn driving reproductive isolation among populations with different colour morphs. More generally, this study provides a wonderful example of how the emerging field of landscape genetics, which has primarily been applied to questions in conservation and ecology, now plays an essential role in evolutionary research.

  6. Human Dimensions of Coral Reef Social-Ecological Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John N. Kittinger

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on the planet but are declining because of human activities. Despite general recognition of the human role in the plight of coral reefs, the vast majority of research focuses on the ecological rather than the human dimensions of reef ecosystems, limiting our understanding of social relationships with these environments as well as potential solutions for reef recovery. General frameworks for social-ecological systems (SESs have been advanced, but system-specific approaches are needed to develop a more nuanced view of human-environmental interactions for specific contexts and resource systems, and at specific scales. We synthesize existing concepts related to SESs and present a human dimensions framework that explores the linkages between social system structural traits, human activities, ecosystem services, and human well-being in coral reef SESs. Key features of the framework include social-ecological reciprocity, proximate and underlying dimensions, and the directionality of key relationships and feedback loops. Such frameworks are needed if human dimensions research is to be more fully integrated into studies of ecosystem change and the sustainability of linked SESs.

  7. Evolutionary Nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Robert L

    2017-05-01

    Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as "maladaptive." In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic) adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ~40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons), evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (that provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff), and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension). Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), developmental programming and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

  8. Evolutionary Nephrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Chevalier

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as “maladaptive.” In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or from evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ∼40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons, evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (which provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff, and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension. Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout the life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo, developmental programming, and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

  9. Mutualistic interactions drive ecological niche convergence in a diverse butterfly community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Marianne; Gompert, Zachariah; Jiggins, Chris; Willmott, Keith

    2008-12-02

    Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Müllerian mimetic butterflies. Müllerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species' biology.

  10. Mutualistic interactions drive ecological niche convergence in a diverse butterfly community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Elias

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Müllerian mimetic butterflies. Müllerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species' biology.

  11. Structure versus time in the evolutionary diversification of avian carotenoid metabolic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Erin S; Badyaev, Alexander V

    2018-05-01

    Historical associations of genes and proteins are thought to delineate pathways available to subsequent evolution; however, the effects of past functional involvements on contemporary evolution are rarely quantified. Here, we examined the extent to which the structure of a carotenoid enzymatic network persists in avian evolution. Specifically, we tested whether the evolution of carotenoid networks was most concordant with phylogenetically structured expansion from core reactions of common ancestors or with subsampling of biochemical pathway modules from an ancestral network. We compared structural and historical associations in 467 carotenoid networks of extant and ancestral species and uncovered the overwhelming effect of pre-existing metabolic network structure on carotenoid diversification over the last 50 million years of avian evolution. Over evolutionary time, birds repeatedly subsampled and recombined conserved biochemical modules, which likely maintained the overall structure of the carotenoid metabolic network during avian evolution. These findings explain the recurrent convergence of evolutionary distant species in carotenoid metabolism and weak phylogenetic signal in avian carotenoid evolution. Remarkable retention of an ancient metabolic structure throughout extensive and prolonged ecological diversification in avian carotenoid metabolism illustrates a fundamental requirement of organismal evolution - historical continuity of a deterministic network that links past and present functional associations of its components. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Multi-objective thermodynamic optimization of an irreversible regenerative Brayton cycle using evolutionary algorithm and decision making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajesh Kumar

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Brayton heat engine model is developed in MATLAB simulink environment and thermodynamic optimization based on finite time thermodynamic analysis along with multiple criteria is implemented. The proposed work investigates optimal values of various decision variables that simultaneously optimize power output, thermal efficiency and ecological function using evolutionary algorithm based on NSGA-II. Pareto optimal frontier between triple and dual objectives is obtained and best optimal value is selected using Fuzzy, TOPSIS, LINMAP and Shannon’s entropy decision making methods. Triple objective evolutionary approach applied to the proposed model gives power output, thermal efficiency, ecological function as (53.89 kW, 0.1611, −142 kW which are 29.78%, 25.86% and 21.13% lower in comparison with reversible system. Furthermore, the present study reflects the effect of various heat capacitance rates and component efficiencies on triple objectives in graphical custom. Finally, with the aim of error investigation, average and maximum errors of obtained results are computed.

  13. Inferences from the historical distribution of wild and domesticated maize provide ecological and evolutionary insight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B Hufford

    Full Text Available The species Zea mays includes both domesticated maize (ssp. mays and its closest wild relatives known as the teosintes. While genetic and archaeological studies have provided a well-established history of Z. mays evolution, there is currently minimal description of its current and past distribution. Here, we implemented species distribution modeling using paleoclimatic models of the last interglacial (LI; ∼135,000 BP and the last glacial maximum (LGM; ∼21,000 BP to hindcast the distribution of Zea mays subspecies over time and to revisit current knowledge of its phylogeography and evolutionary history.Using a large occurrence data set and the distribution modeling MaxEnt algorithm, we obtained robust present and past species distributions of the two widely distributed teosinte subspecies (ssps. parviglumis and mexicana revealing almost perfect complementarity, stable through time, of their occupied distributions. We also investigated the present distributions of primitive maize landraces, which overlapped but were broader than those of the teosintes. Our data reinforced the idea that little historical gene flow has occurred between teosinte subspecies, but maize has served as a genetic bridge between them. We observed an expansion of teosinte habitat from the LI, consistent with population genetic data. Finally, we identified locations potentially serving as refugia for the teosintes throughout epochs of climate change and sites that should be targeted in future collections.The restricted and highly contrasting ecological niches of the wild teosintes differ substantially from domesticated maize. Variables determining the distributions of these taxa can inform future considerations of local adaptation and the impacts of climate change. Our assessment of the changing distributions of Zea mays taxa over time offers a unique glimpse into the history of maize, highlighting a strategy for the study of domestication that may prove useful for other

  14. Evolutionary molecular medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Ganten, Detlev; Gregory, T Ryan; Omenn, Gilbert S

    2012-05-01

    Evolution has long provided a foundation for population genetics, but some major advances in evolutionary biology from the twentieth century that provide foundations for evolutionary medicine are only now being applied in molecular medicine. They include the need for both proximate and evolutionary explanations, kin selection, evolutionary models for cooperation, competition between alleles, co-evolution, and new strategies for tracing phylogenies and identifying signals of selection. Recent advances in genomics are transforming evolutionary biology in ways that create even more opportunities for progress at its interfaces with genetics, medicine, and public health. This article reviews 15 evolutionary principles and their applications in molecular medicine in hopes that readers will use them and related principles to speed the development of evolutionary molecular medicine.

  15. Probabilistic Evaluation of Ecological and Economic Objectives of River Basin Management Reveals a Potential Flaw in the Goal Setting of the EU Water Framework Directive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hjerppe, Turo; Taskinen, Antti; Kotamäki, Niina; Malve, Olli; Kettunen, Juhani

    2017-04-01

    The biological status of European lakes has not improved as expected despite up-to-date legislation and ecological standards. As a result, the realism of objectives and the attainment of related ecological standards are under doubt. This paper gets to the bottom of a river basin management plan of a eutrophic lake in Finland and presents the ecological and economic impacts of environmental and societal drivers and planned management measures. For these purposes, we performed a Monte Carlo simulation of a diffuse nutrient load, lake water quality and cost-benefit models. Simulations were integrated into a Bayesian influence diagram that revealed the basic uncertainties. It turned out that the attainment of good ecological status as qualified in the Water Framework Directive of the European Union is unlikely within given socio-economic constraints. Therefore, management objectives and ecological and economic standards need to be reassessed and reset to provide a realistic goal setting for management. More effort should be put into the evaluation of the total monetary benefits and on the monitoring of lake phosphorus balances to reduce the uncertainties, and the resulting margin of safety and costs and risks of planned management measures.

  16. Feeding ecology and morphology of the upper canines in bears (carnivora: Ursidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Per

    2008-07-01

    The morphology and mechanical strength of the upper canines in all eight extant species of ursids is analyzed, and the findings are discussed in relation to feeding ecology. Ursids have proportionally smaller canines than other large carnivores with a specialized feeding ecology, such as large felids, and the upper canine morphology is both canid-like and felid-like. The giant panda is the most divergent species, and its short, blunt, and cone-like canines appear well adapted for tearing into bamboo. The almost equally herbivorous spectacled bear has a less derived canine morphology. The large canines of the sun bear are divergent from other ursine ursids, and may be an adaptation for tearing open tree trunks in search of insects. Discriminant Analysis is successful in separating ursid species on the basis of canine morphology, but the canines of ursine ursids, and also of the spectacled bear, show greater resemblance among the species than the marked differences in feeding ecology would suggest. This could be in part due to a short evolutionary history, and in part due to canines not having been subjected to much evolutionary selection as has been the case among other large carnivores, such as large felids. Ursids are probably evolutionarily and ecologically successful due to physical size and strength rather than a derived craniodental anatomy. Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Complex Outcomes from Insect and Weed Control with Transgenic Plants: Ecological Surprises?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Bøhn

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture is fundamental for human survival through food production and is performed in ecosystems that, while simplified, still operate along ecological principles and retain complexity. Agricultural plants are thus part of ecological systems, and interact in complex ways with the surrounding terrestrial, soil, and aquatic habitats. We discuss three case studies that demonstrate how agricultural solutions to pest and weed control, if they overlook important ecological and evolutionary factors, cause “surprises”: (i the fast emergence of resistance against the crop-inserted Bt-toxin in South Africa, (ii the ecological changes generated by Bt-cotton landscapes in China, and (iii the decline of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, in North America. The recognition that we work with complex systems is in itself important, as it should limit the belief in reductionist solutions. Agricultural practices lacking eco-evolutionary understanding result in “surprises” like resistance evolution both in weeds and pest insects, risking the reappearance of the “pesticide treadmill”—with increased use of toxic pesticides as the follow-up. We recommend prioritization of research that counteracts the tendencies of reductionist approaches. These may be beneficial on a short term, but with trade-off costs on a medium- to long-term. Such costs include loss of biodiversity, ecosystem services, long-term soil productivity, pollution, and reduced food quality.

  18. The great opportunity: Evolutionary applications to medicine and public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Stearns, Stephen C

    2008-02-01

    Evolutionary biology is an essential basic science for medicine, but few doctors and medical researchers are familiar with its most relevant principles. Most medical schools have geneticists who understand evolution, but few have even one evolutionary biologist to suggest other possible applications. The canyon between evolutionary biology and medicine is wide. The question is whether they offer each other enough to make bridge building worthwhile. What benefits could be expected if evolution were brought fully to bear on the problems of medicine? How would studying medical problems advance evolutionary research? Do doctors need to learn evolution, or is it valuable mainly for researchers? What practical steps will promote the application of evolutionary biology in the areas of medicine where it offers the most? To address these questions, we review current and potential applications of evolutionary biology to medicine and public health. Some evolutionary technologies, such as population genetics, serial transfer production of live vaccines, and phylogenetic analysis, have been widely applied. Other areas, such as infectious disease and aging research, illustrate the dramatic recent progress made possible by evolutionary insights. In still other areas, such as epidemiology, psychiatry, and understanding the regulation of bodily defenses, applying evolutionary principles remains an open opportunity. In addition to the utility of specific applications, an evolutionary perspective fundamentally challenges the prevalent but fundamentally incorrect metaphor of the body as a machine designed by an engineer. Bodies are vulnerable to disease - and remarkably resilient - precisely because they are not machines built from a plan. They are, instead, bundles of compromises shaped by natural selection in small increments to maximize reproduction, not health. Understanding the body as a product of natural selection, not design, offers new research questions and a framework for

  19. The Assessment of Current Biogeographic Patterns of Coral Reef Fishes in the Red Sea by Incorporating Their Evolutionary and Ecological Background

    KAUST Repository

    Robitzch Sierra, Vanessa S. N.

    2017-03-01

    The exceptional environment of the Red Sea has lead to high rates of endemism and biodiversity. Located at the periphery of the world’s coral reefs distribution, its relatively young reefs offer an ideal opportunity to study biogeography and underlying evolutionary and ecological triggers. Here, I provide baseline information on putative seasonal recruitment patterns of reef fishes along a cross shelf gradient at an inshore, mid-shelf, and shelf-edge reef in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. I propose a basic comparative model to resolve biogeographic patterns in endemic and cosmopolitan reef fishes. Therefore, I chose the genetically, biologically, and ecologically similar coral-dwelling damselfishes Dascyllus aruanus and D. marginatus as a model species-group. As a first step, basic information on the distribution, population structure, and genetic diversity is evaluated within and outside the Red Sea along most of their global distribution. Second, pelagic larval durations (PLDs) within the Red Sea environmental gradient are explored. For the aforementioned, PLDs of the only other Red Sea Dascyllus, D. trimaculatus, are included for a more comprehensive comparison. Third, to further assess ongoing pathways of connectivity and geneflow related to larval behavior and dispersal in Red Sea reef fishes, the genetic composition and kinship of a single recruitment cohort of D. aruanus arriving together at one single reef is quantified using single nuclear polymorphisms (SNPs). Genetic diversity and relatedness of the recruits are compared to that of the standing population at the settlement reef, providing insight into putative dispersal strategies and behavior of coral reef fish larvae. As a fourth component to study traits shaping biogeography, the ecology and adaptive potential of the cosmopolitan D. aruanus is described by studying morphometric-geometrics of the body structure in relation to the stomach content and prey type from specimen along the cross

  20. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, James C; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K; Konopka, Allan E

    2015-01-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.

  1. Estimating and Mapping Ecological Processes Influencing Microbial Community Assembly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Stegen

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal i