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Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society

John Archer
The aims of this article are: (i) to provide a quantitative overview of sex differences in human psychological attributes; and (ii) to consider evidence for their possible evolutionary origins. Sex differences were identified from a systematic literature search of meta-analyses and large-sample studies. These were organized in terms of evolutionary significance as follows: (i) characteristics arising from inter-male competition (within-sex aggression; impulsiveness and sensation-seeking; fearfulness; visuospatial and object-location memory; object-centred orientations); (ii) those concerning social relations that are likely to have arisen from women's adaptations for small-group interactions and men's for larger co-operative groups (person-centred orientation and social skills; language; depression and anxiety); (iii) those arising from female choice (sexuality; mate choice; sexual conflict)...
March 20, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Kaspar Delhey
Gloger's rule is an ecogeographical rule that links animal colouration with climatic variation. This rule is named after C.W.L. Gloger who was one of the first to summarise the associations between climatic variation and animal colouration, noting in particular that birds and mammals seemed more pigmented in tropical regions. The term 'Gloger's rule' was coined by B. Rensch in 1929 and included different patterns of variation from those described by Gloger. Rensch defined the rule in two ways: a simple version stating that endothermic animals are predicted to be darker in warmer and humid areas due to the increased deposition of melanin pigments; and a complex version that includes the differential effects of humidity and temperature on both main types of melanin pigments - eu- and phaeo-melanin...
March 20, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Erica H Odell, Nigel E Stork, Roger L Kitching
Woody climbers or, 'lianas', are one of the features that characterise rainforests. They contribute substantially to plant diversity and leaf biomass which makes them a potentially important food source for herbivores. Here, we focus on insect herbivores, folivores in particular, to show how disparities in the quantitative and qualitative availability of leaves between lianas and trees may differentially influence insect folivory and the herbivore communities themselves. We develop a conceptual model and show that lianas in general have lower structural and chemical defences, a greater nutritional profile and a preferable phenology in comparison with trees, which, contrary to our expectations, has led to assemblages of more-specialised insects...
March 18, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Paul P A Mazza, Antonella Buccianti, Andrea Savorelli
Natural rafting is an easy, non-evidence-based solution often used to explain the presence of a variety of species on isolated islands. The question arises as to whether this solution is based on solid scientific grounds. It is a plausible colonisation route only if intricate networks of variables are considered and many different conditions satisfied. This review provides a descriptive account of some of the most critical issues underlying the theory of natural rafting that should be addressed by its supporters...
March 12, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Anna Kondratyeva, Philippe Grandcolas, Sandrine Pavoine
The concept of biological diversity, or biodiversity, is at the core of evolutionary and ecological studies. Many indices of biodiversity have been developed in the last four decades, with species being one of the central units of these indices. However, evolutionary and ecological studies need a precise description of species' characteristics to best quantify inter-species diversity, as species are not equivalent and exchangeable. One of the first concepts characterizing species in biodiversity studies was abundance-based rarity...
March 12, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Camille Le Roy, Vincent Debat, Violaine Llaurens
Butterflies display extreme variation in wing shape associated with tremendous ecological diversity. Disentangling the role of neutral versus adaptive processes in wing shape diversification remains a challenge for evolutionary biologists. Ascertaining how natural selection influences wing shape evolution requires both functional studies linking morphology to flight performance, and ecological investigations linking performance in the wild with fitness. However, direct links between morphological variation and fitness have rarely been established...
February 21, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Wensu Yuan, Carlos F Ibáñez, Zhi Lin
The death domain (DD) is a globular protein motif with a signature feature of an all-helical Greek-key motif. It is a primary mediator of a variety of biological activities, including apoptosis, cell survival and cytoskeletal changes, which are related to many neurodegenerative diseases, neurotrauma, and cancers. DDs exist in a wide range of signalling proteins including p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR ), a member of the tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily. The specific signalling mediated by p75NTR in a given cell depends on the type of ligand engaging the extracellular domain and the recruitment of cytosolic interactors to the intracellular domain, especially the DD, of the receptor...
February 14, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Ulrika Candolin
Human activities by altering environmental conditions are influencing the mate choice of animals. This is by impacts on: (i) the production and expression of traits evaluated by mate choosers; (ii) the transmission of information about potential mates to choosers; (iii) the reception and processing of the information by choosers; and (iv) the final mate choice. Here, I first discuss how these four stages of the mate-choice process can be altered by environmental change, and how these alterations, in turn, can influence individuals, populations, and communities...
February 14, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Fons van der Plas
Approximately 25 years ago, ecologists became increasingly interested in the question of whether ongoing biodiversity loss matters for the functioning of ecosystems. As such, a new ecological subfield on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (BEF) was born. This subfield was initially dominated by theoretical studies and by experiments in which biodiversity was manipulated, and responses of ecosystem functions such as biomass production, decomposition rates, carbon sequestration, trophic interactions and pollination were assessed...
February 6, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Paula J Rudall, Richard M Bateman
Stomata play a critical ecological role as an interface between the plant and its environment. Although the guard-cell pair is highly conserved in land plants, the development and patterning of surrounding epidermal cells follow predictable pathways in different taxa that are increasingly well understood following recent advances in the developmental genetics of the plant epidermis in model taxa. Similarly, other aspects of leaf development and evolution are benefiting from a molecular-genetic approach. Applying this understanding to extinct taxa known only from fossils requires use of extensive comparative morphological data to infer 'fossil fingerprints' of developmental evolution (a 'palaeo-evo-devo' perspective)...
February 4, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Cátia D Pereira, Joana B Serrano, Filipa Martins, Odete A B da Cruz E Silva, Sandra Rebelo
The production of highly specialized spermatozoa from undifferentiated spermatogonia is a strictly organized and programmed process requiring extensive restructuring of the entire cell. One of the most remarkable cellular transformations accompanying the various phases of spermatogenesis is the profound remodelling of the nuclear architecture, in which the nuclear envelope (NE) seems to be crucially involved. In recent years, several proteins from the distinct layers forming the NE (i.e. the inner and outer nuclear membranes as well as the nuclear lamina) have been associated with meiosis and/or spermiogenesis in different mammalian species...
January 31, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Marcelo Dos S Silva, Ligia S Funch, Lazaro B da Silva
The concept of growth rings is little discussed in the literature and their treatment remains somewhat confusing in terms of the diversity of structures described. This situation has a major impact on the study of growth rings in tropical species, in which variations and complexity are greater and accuracy of identification less good. The rigid conceptual delimitations used by dendrochronologists and wood anatomists of temperate regions cannot be applied to the study of growth rings in most tropical species, which has led to neglect of this subject...
January 25, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Harrison J F Eyck, Katherine L Buchanan, Ondi L Crino, Tim S Jessop
Developmental stressors are increasingly recognised for their pervasive influence on the ecology and evolution of animals. In particular, many studies have focused on how developmental stress can give rise to variation in adult behaviour, physiology, and performance. However, there remains a poor understanding of whether general patterns exist in the effects and magnitude of phenotypic responses across taxonomic groups. Furthermore, given the extensive phenotypic variation that arises from developmental stressors, it remains important to ascertain how multiple processes may explain these responses...
January 4, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Sérgio P Ávila, Carlos Melo, Björn Berning, Nuno Sá, Rui Quartau, Kenneth F Rijsdijk, Ricardo S Ramalho, Ricardo Cordeiro, Nuno C De Sá, Adriano Pimentel, Lara Baptista, António Medeiros, Artur Gil, Markes E Johnson
A synthetic model is presented to enlarge the evolutionary framework of the General Dynamic Model (GDM) and the Glacial Sensitive Model (GSM) of oceanic island biogeography from the terrestrial to the marine realm. The proposed 'Sea-Level Sensitive' dynamic model (SLS) of marine island biogeography integrates historical and ecological biogeography with patterns of glacio-eustasy, merging concepts from areas as diverse as taxonomy, biogeography, marine biology, volcanology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, palaeontology, geochronology and geomorphology...
January 4, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Alessandra Donato, Konstantinos Kagias, Yun Zhang, Massimo A Hilliard
Neurons are highly polarized cells that consist of three main structural and functional domains: a cell body or soma, an axon, and dendrites. These domains contain smaller compartments with essential roles for proper neuronal function, such as the axonal presynaptic boutons and the dendritic postsynaptic spines. The structure and function of these compartments have now been characterized in great detail. Intriguingly, however, in the last decade additional levels of compartmentalization within the axon and the dendrites have been identified, revealing that these structures are much more complex than previously thought...
January 4, 2019: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Péter Apari, Viktor Müller
The aetiology of cancer involves intricate cellular and molecular mechanisms that apparently emerge on the short timescale of a single lifetime. Some of these traits are remarkable not only for their complexity, but also because it is hard to conceive selection pressures that would favour their evolution within the local competitive microenvironment of the tumour. Examples include 'niche construction' (re-programming of tumour-specific target sites) to create permissive conditions for distant metastases; long-range feedback loops of tumour growth; and remarkably 'plastic' phenotypes (e...
December 27, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Anna Ziomkiewicz, Szymon Wichary, Grazyna Jasienska
Life-history theory predicts that access to limited resources leads to trade-offs between competing body functions. Women, who face higher costs of reproduction when compared to men, should be especially vulnerable to these trade-offs. We propose the 'cognitive costs of reproduction hypothesis', which states that energy trade-offs imposed by reproduction may lead to a decline in maternal cognitive function during gestation. In particular, we hypothesize that the decline in cognitive function frequently observed during pregnancy is associated with the allocation of resources between the competing energetic requirements of the mother's brain and the developing foetus...
December 26, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Kimberley J Mathot, Niels J Dingemanse, Shinichi Nakagawa
Energy metabolism has received much attention as a potential driver of repeatable among-individual differences in behaviour (animal personality). Several factors have been hypothesized to mediate this relationship. We performed a systematic review with a meta-analysis of >70 studies comprised of >8000 individuals reporting relationships between measures of maintenance metabolic rates (i.e. basal metabolic rate, resting metabolic rate, and standard metabolic rate) and behaviour. We evaluated support for three hypothesized mediators: (i) type of behaviour, (ii) opportunities for energy re-allocation, and (iii) magnitude of energetic constraints...
December 26, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Geoffrey E Hill, Justin C Havird, Daniel B Sloan, Ronald S Burton, Chris Greening, Damian K Dowling
Metazoans exist only with a continuous and rich supply of chemical energy from oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria. The oxidative phosphorylation machinery that mediates energy conservation is encoded by both mitochondrial and nuclear genes, and hence the products of these two genomes must interact closely to achieve coordinated function of core respiratory processes. It follows that selection for efficient respiration will lead to selection for compatible combinations of mitochondrial and nuclear genotypes, and this should facilitate coadaptation between mitochondrial and nuclear genomes (mitonuclear coadaptation)...
December 26, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Paul R Kemp, Mark Griffiths, Michael I Polkey
Skeletal muscle wasting is a common clinical feature of many chronic diseases and also occurs in response to single acute events. The accompanying loss of strength can lead to significant disability, increased care needs and have profound negative effects on quality of life. As muscle is the most abundant source of amino acids in the body, it appears to function as a buffer for fuel and substrates that can be used to repair damage elsewhere and to feed the immune system. In essence, the fundamentals of muscle wasting are simple: less muscle is made than is broken down...
December 26, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
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