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Frontiers in Zoology

Stefan Ehl, Niklas Böhm, Manuel Wörner, László Rákosy, Thomas Schmitt
Background: Habitat quality is one main trigger for the persistence of butterflies. The effects of the influencing biotic and abiotic factors may be enhanced by the challenging conditions in high-alpine environments. To better our knowledge in this field, we performed a mark-release-recapture study with Boloria pales in the Southern Carpathians . Methods: We analysed population structure, movement and foraging behaviour to investigate special adaptations to the alpine environment and to reveal differences between sexes...
2019: Frontiers in Zoology
Tobias Lehmann, Roland R Melzer
Background: Only a few studies have examined the visual systems of Amblypygi (whip spiders) until now. To get new insights suitable for phylogenetic analysis we studied the axonal trajectories and neuropil architecture of the visual systems of several whip spider species ( Heterophrynus elaphus , Damon medius , Phrynus pseudoparvulus , and P. marginemaculatus ) with different neuroanatomical techniques. The R-cell axon terminals were identified with Cobalt fills. To describe the morphology of the visual neuropils and of the protocerebrum generally we used Wigglesworth stains and μCT...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Bao-Jun Sun, Yang Wang, Yong Wang, Hong-Liang Lu, Wei-Guo Du
Parental effects may produce adaptive or maladaptive plasticity that either facilitates persistence or increases the extinction risk of species and populations in a changing climate. However, empirical evidence of transgenerational adaptive plastic responses to climate change is still scarce. Here we conducted thermal manipulation experiments with a factorial design in a Chinese lacertid lizard ( Takydromus septentrionalis ) to identify the fitness consequences of parental effects in response to climate warming...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Adrian Brückner, Romina Schuster, Katja Wehner, Michael Heethoff
Background: Trait based functional and community ecology is en vogue . Most studies, however, ignore phenotypical diversity by characterizing entire species considering only trait means rather than their variability. Phenotypical variability may arise from genotypical differences or from ecological factors (e.g., nutritionally imbalanced diet), and these causes can usually not be separated in natural populations. We used a single genotype from a parthenogenetic model system (the oribatid mite Archegozetes longisetosus Aoki) to exclude genotypical differences...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Moshe Gish, Moshe Inbar
Background: Upon the detection of imminent peril, pea aphids ( Acyrthosiphon pisum ) often drop off their host plant. Dropping in response to insect enemies is intermittent in nature, but when a mammalian herbivore feeds on their host plant, a large mixed-age group of aphids usually drops off the plant at once. Aphids that reach the ground are confronted with new, hostile environmental conditions and must therefore quickly walk toward a suitable host plant. The longer it takes an aphid to reach a host plant, the more it is exposed to the risks of starvation, desiccation and predation...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Elena N Temereva, Igor A Kosevich
Introduction: Among bryozoans, cyclostome anatomy is the least studied by modern methods. New data on the nervous system fill the gap in our knowledge and make morphological analysis much more fruitful to resolve some questions of bryozoan evolution and phylogeny. Results: The nervous system of cyclostome Crisia eburnea was studied by transmission electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The cerebral ganglion has an upper concavity and a small inner cavity filled with cilia and microvilli, thus exhibiting features of neuroepithelium...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Xiuyun Yuan, Yun Xia, Xiaomao Zeng
Background: In the general model of sex chromosome evolution for diploid dioecious organisms, the Y (or W) chromosome is derived, while the homogametic sex presumably represents the ancestral condition. However, in the frog species Quasipaa boulengeri , heteromorphisms caused by a translocation between chromosomes 1 and 6 are not related to sex, because the same heteromorphic chromosomes are found both in males and females at the cytological level. To confirm whether those heteromorphisms are unrelated to sex, a sex-linked locus was mapped at the chromosomal level and sequenced to identify any haplotype difference between sexes...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Pedro Luiz Mailho-Fontana, Marta Maria Antoniazzi, Juliana Mozer Sciani, Daniel Carvalho Pimenta, Katia Cristina Barbaro, Carlos Jared
Background: Amphibian defence against predators and microorganisms is directly related to cutaneous glands that produce a huge number of different toxins. These glands are distributed throughout the body but can form accumulations in specific regions. When grouped in low numbers, poison glands form structures similar to warts, quite common in the dorsal skin of bufonids (toads). When accumulated in large numbers, the glands constitute protuberant structures known as macroglands, among which the parotoids are the most common ones...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Melinda A Fowler, Mélissa Paquet, Véronique Legault, Alan A Cohen, Tony D Williams
Background: It is widely assumed that variation in fitness components has a physiological basis that might underlie selection on trade-offs, but the mechanisms driving decreased survival and future fecundity remain elusive. Here, we assessed whether physiological variables are related to workload ability or immediate fitness consequences and if they mediate future survival or reproductive success. We used data on 13 physiological variables measured in 93 female European starlings ( Sturnus vulgaris ) at two breeding stages (incubation, chick-rearing), for first-and second-broods over two years (152 observations)...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Seogang Hyun
The mechanism that determines the specific body size of an animal is a fundamental biological question that remains largely unanswered. This aspect is now beginning to be understood in insect models, particularly in Drosophila melanogaster , with studies highlighting the importance of nutrient-responsive growth signaling pathways involving insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) and target of rapamycin (TOR) (IIS/TOR). These pathways operate in animals, from insects to mammals, adjusting the growth rate in response to the nutritional condition of the organism...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Jessica A Goodheart, Sabrina Bleidißel, Dorothee Schillo, Ellen E Strong, Daniel L Ayres, Angelika Preisfeld, Allen G Collins, Michael P Cummings, Heike Wägele
Background: A number of shelled and shell-less gastropods are known to use multiple defensive mechanisms, including internally generated or externally obtained biochemically active compounds and structures. Within Nudipleura, nudibranchs within Cladobranchia possess such a special defense: the ability to sequester cnidarian nematocysts - small capsules that can inject venom into the tissues of other organisms. This ability is distributed across roughly 600 species within Cladobranchia, and many questions still remain in regard to the comparative morphology and evolution of the cnidosac - the structure that houses sequestered nematocysts (called kleptocnides)...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Maarten Van Steenberge, Joost André Maria Raeymaekers, Pascal István Hablützel, Maarten Pieterjan Maria Vanhove, Stephan Koblmüller, Jos Snoeks
Background: Species delineation is particularly challenging in taxa with substantial intra-specific variation. In systematic studies of fishes, meristics and linear measurements that describe shape are often used to delineate species. Yet, little is known about the taxonomic value of these two types of morphological characteristics. Here, we used Tropheus (Teleostei, Cichlidae) from the southern subbasin of Lake Tanganyika to test which of these types of characters best matched genetic lineages that could represent species in this group of stenotypic rock-dwelling cichlids...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
M M Delgado, G Tikhonov, E Meyke, M Babushkin, T Bespalova, S Bondarchuk, A Esengeldenova, I Fedchenko, Y Kalinkin, A Knorre, G Kosenkov, V Kozsheechkin, A Kuznetsov, E Larin, D Mirsaitov, I Prokosheva, Y Rozhkov, A Rykov, I V Seryodkin, S Shubin, R Sibgatullin, N Sikkila, E Sitnikova, L Sultangareeva, A Vasin, L Yarushina, J Kurhinen, V Penteriani
Background: For brown bears ( Ursus arctos ), hibernation is a critical part of the annual life cycle because energy savings during hibernation can be crucial for overwintering, and females give birth to cubs at that time. For hibernation to be a useful strategy, timing is critical. However, environmental conditions vary greatly, which might have a negative effect on the functionality of the evolved biological time-keeping. Here, we used a long-term dataset (69 years) on brown bear denning phenology recorded in 12 Russian protected areas and quantified the phenological responses to variation in temperature and snow depth...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Aléssio Datovo, Pedro P Rizzato
Background: The facial musculature is a remarkable anatomical complex involved in vital activities of fishes, such as food capture and gill ventilation. The evolution of the facial muscles is largely unknown in most major fish lineages, such as the Actinopterygii. This megadiverse group includes all ray-finned fishes and comprises approximately half of the living vertebrate species. The Polypteriformes, Acipenseriformes, Lepisosteiformes, Amiiformes, Elopiformes, and Hiodontiformes occupy basal positions in the actinopterygian phylogeny and a comparative study of their facial musculature is crucial for understanding the cranial evolution of bony fishes (Osteichthyes) as a whole...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Rene Quispe, Elizabeth Yohannes, Manfred Gahr
Background: Birds, across their annual cycle, progress through sequences of life-history stages such as reproduction and molt. The mechanisms that control annual avian itineraries involve endocrine responses triggered by seasonal environmental factors, including changes in resource availability and/or photoperiod. However, at equatorial latitudes birds are exposed to different degrees of seasonality, and the mechanisms underlying phenology of birds near the equator remain less explored...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Luca Mattioli, Antonio Canu, Daniela Passilongo, Massimo Scandura, Marco Apollonio
Background: Density estimation is a key issue in wildlife management but is particularly challenging and labour-intensive for elusive species. Recently developed approaches based on remotely collected data and capture-recapture models, though representing a valid alternative to more traditional methods, have found little application to species with limited morphological variation. We implemented a camera trap capture-recapture study to survey wolf packs in a 560-km2 area of Central Italy...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Mirosława Bańbura, Michał Glądalski, Adam Kaliński, Marcin Markowski, Joanna Skwarska, Jarosław Wawrzyniak, Piotr Zieliński, Jerzy Bańbura
Background: Interspecies variation in avian egg shape and size is understandable in terms of adaptation, allometry and phylogeny. Within-species variation in egg properties influences offspring fitness and can be explained by differences in allocation of resources into reproductive components of life history in mulidimensionally variable environments. Egg size is inherently traded-off with clutch size, which may also be true of egg shape in some cases. We investigated long-term variation in egg shape and size between two geographically close populations of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus in relation to clutch size and habitat differences...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Alexandra Capodeanu-Nägler, Madlen A Prang, Stephen T Trumbo, Heiko Vogel, Anne-Katrin Eggert, Scott K Sakaluk, Sandra Steiger
Background: Immature stages of many animals can forage and feed on their own, whereas others depend on their parents' assistance to obtain or process food. But how does such dependency evolve, and which offspring and parental traits are involved? Burying beetles ( Nicrophorus ) provide extensive biparental care, including food provisioning to their offspring. Interestingly, there is substantial variation in the reliance of offspring on post-hatching care among species. Here, we examine the proximate mechanisms underlying offspring dependence, focusing on the larvae of N...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Svetlana Milošević-Zlatanović, Tanja Vukov, Srđan Stamenković, Marija Jovanović, Nataša Tomašević Kolarov
Background: As a small artiodactyl, the roe deer ( Capreolus capreolus L.) is characterized by biological plasticity and great adaptability demonstrated by their survival under a wide variety of environmental conditions. In order to depict patterns of phenotypic variation of roe deer body this study aims to quantify variation during ontogenetic development and determine how sex-specific reproductive investment and non-uniform habitat differences relate to phenotypic variation and do these differential investments mold the patterns of phenotypic variation through modular organisation...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Conrad Helm, Patrick Beckers, Thomas Bartolomaeus, Stephan H Drukewitz, Ioannis Kourtesis, Anne Weigert, Günter Purschke, Katrine Worsaae, Torsten H Struck, Christoph Bleidorn
Background: A median, segmented, annelid nerve cord has repeatedly been compared to the arthropod and vertebrate nerve cords and became the most used textbook representation of the annelid nervous system. Recent phylogenomic analyses, however, challenge the hypothesis that a subepidermal rope-ladder-like ventral nerve cord (VNC) composed of a paired serial chain of ganglia and somata-free connectives represents either a plesiomorphic or a typical condition in annelids. Results: Using a comparative approach by combining phylogenomic analyses with morphological methods (immunohistochemistry and CLSM, histology and TEM), we compiled a comprehensive dataset to reconstruct the evolution of the annelid VNC...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
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