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Ecol Evol ; 9(24): 13902-13918, 2019 Dec.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31938490


Despite the enormous advances in genetics, links between phenotypes and genotypes have been made for only a few nonmodel organisms. However, such links can be essential to understand mechanisms of ecological speciation. The Costa Rican endemic Mangrove Warbler subspecies provides an excellent subject to study differentiation with gene flow, as it is distributed along a strong precipitation gradient on the Pacific coast with no strong geographic barriers to isolate populations. Mangrove Warbler populations could be subject to divergent selection driven by precipitation, which influences soil salinity levels, which in turn influences forest structure and food resources. We used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and morphological traits to examine the balance between neutral genetic and phenotypic divergence to determine whether selection has acted on traits and genes with functions related to specific environmental variables. We present evidence showing: (a) associations between environmental variables and SNPs, identifying candidate genes related to bill morphology (BMP) and osmoregulation, (b) absence of population genetic structure in neutrally evolving markers, (c) divergence in bill size across the precipitation gradient, and (d) strong phenotypic differentiation (P ST) which largely exceeds neutral genetic differentiation (F ST) in bill size. Our results indicate an important role for salinity, forest structure, and resource availability in maintaining phenotypic divergence of Mangrove Warblers through natural selection. Our findings add to the growing body of literature identifying the processes involved in phenotypic differentiation along environmental gradients in the face of gene flow.

PLoS Biol ; 15(12): e2002760, 2017 Dec.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29232375


The scholars comprising journal editorial boards play a critical role in defining the trajectory of knowledge in their field. Nevertheless, studies of editorial board composition remain rare, especially those focusing on journals publishing research in the increasingly globalized fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Using metrics for quantifying the diversity of ecological communities, we quantified international representation on the 1985-2014 editorial boards of 24 environmental biology journals. Over the course of 3 decades, there were 3,827 unique scientists based in 70 countries who served as editors. The size of the editorial community increased over time-the number of editors serving in 2014 was 4-fold greater than in 1985-as did the number of countries in which editors were based. Nevertheless, editors based outside the "Global North" (the group of economically developed countries with high per capita gross domestic product [GDP] that collectively concentrate most global wealth) were extremely rare. Furthermore, 67.18% of all editors were based in either the United States or the United Kingdom. Consequently, geographic diversity-already low in 1985-remained unchanged through 2014. We argue that this limited geographic diversity can detrimentally affect the creativity of scholarship published in journals, the progress and direction of research, the composition of the STEM workforce, and the development of science in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia (i.e., the "Global South").

Biología , Ecología , Políticas Editoriales , Internacionalidad , Edición , Estados Unidos
Ecol Evol ; 2(11): 2829-42, 2012 Nov.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23170217


Red colobus monkeys, due to their sensitivity to environmental change, are indicator species of the overall health of their tropical rainforest habitats. As a result of habitat loss and overhunting, they are among the most endangered primates in the world, with very few viable populations remaining. Traditionally, extant indicator species have been used to signify the conditions of their current habitats, but they have also been employed to track past environmental conditions by detecting previous population fluctuations. Kibale National Park (KNP) in Uganda harbors the only remaining unthreatened large population of red colobus. We used microsatellite DNA to evaluate the historical demography of these red colobus and, therefore, the long-term stability of their habitat. We find that the red colobus population throughout KNP has been stable for at least ∼40,000 years. We interpret this result as evidence of long-term forest stability because a change in the available habitat or population movement would have elicited a corresponding change in population size. We conclude that the forest of what is now Kibale National Park may have served as a Late Pleistocene refuge for many East African species.

G3 (Bethesda) ; 2(12): 1497-503, 2012 Dec.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23275873


Evidence is accumulating that individuals in poor physiologic condition may accumulate mutational damage faster than individuals in good condition. If poor condition results from pre-existing deleterious mutations, the result is "fitness-dependent mutation rate," which has interesting theoretical implications. Here we report a study in which 10 mutation accumulation (MA) lines of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that had previously accumulated mutations for 250 generations under relaxed selection were expanded into sets of "second-order" MA lines and allowed to accumulate mutations for an additional 150 generations. The 10 lines were chosen on the basis of the relative change in fitness over the first 250 generations of MA, five high-fitness lines and five low-fitness lines. On average, the mutational properties (per-generation change in mean relative fitness, mutational variance, and Bateman-Mukai estimates of genomic mutation rate and average mutational effect) of the high-fitness and low-fitness did not differ significantly, and averaged over all lines, the point estimates were extremely close to those of the first-order MA experiment after 200 generations of MA. However, several nonsignificant trends indicate that low-fitness lines may in fact be more likely to suffer mutational damage than high-fitness lines.

Caenorhabditis elegans/genética , Mutación , Animales , Modelos Genéticos , Modelos Estadísticos , Selección Genética
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 106(22): 8959-62, 2009 Jun 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19451622


Practically all animals are affected by humans, especially in urban areas. Although most species respond negatively to urbanization, some thrive in human-dominated settings. A central question in urban ecology is why some species adapt well to the presence of humans and others do not. We show that Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos) nesting on the campus of a large university rapidly learn to assess the level of threat posed by different humans, and to respond accordingly. In a controlled experiment, we found that as the same human approached and threatened a nest on 4 successive days, mockingbirds flushed from their nest at increasingly greater distances from that human. A different human approaching and threatening the nest identically on the fifth day elicited the same response as the first human on the first day. Likewise, alarm calls and attack flights increased from days 1-4 with the first human, and decreased on day 5 with the second human. These results demonstrate a remarkable ability of a passerine bird to distinguish one human from thousands of others. Also, mockingbirds learned to identify individual humans extraordinarily quickly: after only 2 30-s exposures of the human at the nest. More generally, the varying responses of mockingbirds to intruders suggests behavioral flexibility and a keen awareness of different levels of threat posed by individuals of another species: traits that may predispose mockingbirds and other species of urban wildlife to successful exploitation of human-dominated environments.

Conducta Animal , Aprendizaje , Passeriformes/fisiología , Animales , Humanos