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Trends in Ecology & Evolution
This journal offers authors two options (open access or subscription) to publish research

Sep 01, 2021

Volume 36Issue 9p763-874, e1-e2
Sex pheromones are important species-recognition signals and therefore have traditionally been thought to show little intraspecific variation. On pages 848–859, Chiara De Pasqual and colleagues review the evidence for intraspecific variation in insect sex pheromones and show that sex pheromones can be plastic and affected by a range of factors. Intraspecific pheromone variation can affect mate choice and may therefore affect species' evolution. The cover image shows the successful attraction of a mate by a wood tiger moth female, Arctia plantaginis. Photo: Bibiana Rojas....
Sex pheromones are important species-recognition signals and therefore have traditionally been thought to show little intraspecific variation. On pages 848–859, Chiara De Pasqual and colleagues review the evidence for intraspecific variation in insect sex pheromones and show that sex pheromones can be plastic and affected by a range of factors. Intraspecific pheromone variation can affect mate choice and may therefore affect species' evolution. The cover image shows the successful attraction of a mate by a wood tiger moth female, Arctia plantaginis. Photo: Bibiana Rojas.

In Memoriam

  • Professor Barry Sinervo (1960–2021)

    • Donald B. Miles,
    • Martin J. Whiting
    Professor Barry Sinervo, an influential evolutionary biologist, died 15 March 2021 at the age of 60 after a long battle with cancer (Figure 1). Over the course of his career, Barry made seminal contributions to life history theory, behavioral ecology, and most recently, predicting species responses to climate change. Most of his major contributions were derived from his 30+ year study of the side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana) at a site near Los Banos, California, USA, which was known as ‘Lizard Land’.

Scientific Life

  • Making ecology really global

    • Martin A. Nuñez,
    • Mariana C. Chiuffo,
    • Aníbal Pauchard,
    • Rafael D. Zenni
    Ecology must flourish globally, especially in a period of unprecedented anthropogenic global change. However, some regions dominate the ecological literature. Multiple barriers prevent global production and exchange of ecological knowledge. The first step towards solutions is acknowledging and diagnosing this inequality and embracing our geographical and cultural diversity.

Science & Society

  • A way forward for biodiversity conservation: high-quality landscapes

    • Fernando G. Soley,
    • Ivette Perfecto
    We are losing biodiversity quickly, not simply because of development but due to poor spatial planning. Recent findings propose thoughtful configurations and management of human-modified landscapes to protect biodiversity while allowing food production. This opens up a range of feasible actions in the conservation agenda, which overlap with food sovereignty initiatives.
  • Farm robots: ecological utopia or dystopia?

    • Thomas Daum
    Farm robots may lead to an ecological utopia where swarms of small robots help in overcoming the yield penalties and labor requirements associated with agroecological farming – or a dystopia with large robots cultivating monocultures. Societal discussions and policy action are needed to harness the potential of robots to serve people and the planet.

Opinions

  • The latitudinal taxonomy gradient

    • Benjamin G. Freeman,
    • Matthew W. Pennell
    Emerging large-scale datasets coupled with statistical advances have provided new insights into the processes that generate the latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG). But many of these studies run into an old, if often underappreciated, problem: The interpretation of the data critically depends on the consistent application of criteria to define what constitutes a species. This is particularly pernicious for the LDG because good species have been easier to recognize in temperate than in tropical regions.
  • Fungal behaviour: a new frontier in behavioural ecology

    • Kristin Aleklett,
    • Lynne Boddy
    Open Access
    As human beings, behaviours make up our everyday lives. What we do from the moment we wake up to the moment we go back to sleep at night can all be classified and studied through the concepts of behavioural ecology. The same applies to all vertebrates and, to some extent, invertebrates. Fungi are, in most people’s eyes perhaps, the eukaryotic multicellular organisms with which we humans share the least commonalities. However, they still express behaviours, and we argue that we could obtain a better understanding of their lives – although they are very different from ours – through the lens of behavioural ecology.
  • Rethinking the ecological drivers of hominin evolution

    • J. Tyler Faith,
    • Andrew Du,
    • Anna K. Behrensmeyer,
    • Benjamin Davies,
    • David B. Patterson,
    • John Rowan,
    • Bernard Wood
    A central goal of paleoanthropology is understanding the role of ecological change in hominin evolution. Over the past several decades researchers have expanded the hominin fossil record and assembled detailed late Cenozoic paleoclimatic, paleoenvironmental, and paleoecological archives. However, effective use of these data is precluded by the limitations of pattern-matching strategies for inferring causal relationships between ecological and evolutionary change. We examine several obstacles that have hindered progress, and highlight recent research that is addressing them by (i) confronting an incomplete fossil record, (ii) contending with datasets spanning varied spatiotemporal scales, and (iii) using theoretical frameworks to build stronger inferences.
  • The mismeasure of conservation

    • Robert L. Pressey,
    • Piero Visconti,
    • Madeleine C. McKinnon,
    • Georgina G. Gurney,
    • Megan D. Barnes,
    • Louise Glew,
    • Martine Maron
    Open Access
    One of the basic purposes of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation interventions is to achieve conservation impact, the sum of avoided biodiversity loss and promoted recovery relative to outcomes without protection. In the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s negotiations on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, we find that targets for area-based interventions are framed overwhelmingly with measures that fail to inform decision-makers about impact and that risk diverting limited resources away from achieving it.

Feature Review

  • Functional trait effects on ecosystem stability: assembling the jigsaw puzzle

    • Francesco de Bello,
    • Sandra Lavorel,
    • Lauren M. Hallett,
    • Enrique Valencia,
    • Eric Garnier,
    • Christiane Roscher,
    • Luisa Conti,
    • Thomas Galland,
    • Marta Goberna,
    • Maria Májeková,
    • Alicia Montesinos-Navarro,
    • Juli G. Pausas,
    • Miguel Verdú,
    • Anna E-Vojtkó,
    • Lars Götzenberger,
    • Jan Lepš
    Under global change, how biological diversity and ecosystem services are maintained in time is a fundamental question. Ecologists have long argued about multiple mechanisms by which local biodiversity might control the temporal stability of ecosystem properties. Accumulating theories and empirical evidence suggest that, together with different population and community parameters, these mechanisms largely operate through differences in functional traits among organisms. We review potential trait-stability mechanisms together with underlying tests and associated metrics.

Reviews

  • What can phylodynamics bring to animal health research?

    • Claire Guinat,
    • Timothee Vergne,
    • Arthur Kocher,
    • Debapryio Chakraborty,
    • Mathilde C. Paul,
    • Mariette Ducatez,
    • Tanja Stadler
    Infectious diseases are a major burden to global economies, and public and animal health. To date, quantifying the spread of infectious diseases to inform policy making has traditionally relied on epidemiological data collected during epidemics. However, interest has grown in recent phylodynamic techniques to infer pathogen transmission dynamics from genetic data. Here, we provide examples of where this new discipline has enhanced disease management in public health and illustrate how it could be further applied in animal health.
  • Evolutionary importance of intraspecific variation in sex pheromones

    • Chiara De Pasqual,
    • Astrid T. Groot,
    • Johanna Mappes,
    • Emily Burdfield-Steel
    Sex pheromones in many insect species are important species-recognition signals that attract conspecifics and inhibit attraction between heterospecifics; therefore, sex pheromones have predominantly been considered to evolve due to interactions between species. Recent research, however, is uncovering roles for these signals in mate choice, and that variation within and between populations can be drivers of species evolution. Variation in pheromone communication channels arises from a combination of context-dependent, condition-dependent, or genetic mechanisms in both signalers and receivers.
  • Linking ecomechanical models and functional traits to understand phenotypic diversity

    • Timothy E. Higham,
    • Lara A. Ferry,
    • Lars Schmitz,
    • Duncan J. Irschick,
    • Samuel Starko,
    • Philip S.L. Anderson,
    • Philip J. Bergmann,
    • Heather A. Jamniczky,
    • Leandro R. Monteiro,
    • Dina Navon,
    • Julie Messier,
    • Emily Carrington,
    • Stacy C. Farina,
    • Kara L. Feilich,
    • L. Patricia Hernandez,
    • Michele A. Johnson,
    • Sandy M. Kawano,
    • Chris J. Law,
    • Sarah J. Longo,
    • Christopher H. Martin,
    • Patrick T. Martone,
    • Alejandro Rico-Guevara,
    • Sharlene E. Santana,
    • Karl J. Niklas
    Open Access
    Physical principles and laws determine the set of possible organismal phenotypes. Constraints arising from development, the environment, and evolutionary history then yield workable, integrated phenotypes. We propose a theoretical and practical framework that considers the role of changing environments. This ‘ecomechanical approach’ integrates functional organismal traits with the ecological variables. This approach informs our ability to predict species shifts in survival and distribution and provides critical insights into phenotypic diversity.
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