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The large variation in brain size that exists in the animal kingdom has been suggested to have evolved through the balance between selective advantages of greater cognitive ability and the prohibitively high energy demands of a larger brain (the "expensive-tissue hypothesis"). Despite over a century of research on the evolution of brain size, empirical(More)
Vertebrate brain size is thought to evolve through a balance between positive selection on cognitive abilities and evolutionary costs (Striedter 2005). In a recent study we tested this hypothesis experimentally by investigating the costs and benefits of evolving a larger brain (Kotrschal et al. 2013). We selectively bred guppies, Poecilia reticulata, for(More)
The likelihood of speciation is assumed to increase when sexually selected traits diverge together with ecologically important traits. According to sexual selection theory, the evolution of exaggerated display behavior is driven by increased mating success, but limited by natural selection, for example, through predation. However, the evolution of(More)
The vertebrate brain is a remarkably plastic organ, which responds quickly to environmental changes. However, to date, studies investigating plasticity in brain morphology have focused mostly on the physical properties of the surrounding environment, and little is known about brain plasticity in response to the social environment. Moreover, sex differences(More)
Mito-nuclear gene interactions regulate energy conversion, and are fundamental to eukaryotes. Generally, mito-nuclear coadaptation would be most efficient if the interacting nuclear genes were X-linked, because this maximizes the probability of favorable mito-nuclear allelic combinations co-transmitting across generations. Thus, under a coadaptation (CA)(More)
It has been suggested that mating behaviours require high levels of cognitive ability. However, since investment into mating and the brain both are costly features, their relationship is likely characterized by energetic trade-offs. Empirical data on the subject remains equivocal. We investigated if early sexual maturation was associated with brain(More)
There is ample evidence that organisms adapt to their native environment when gene flow is restricted. However, evolution of plastic responses across discrete environments is less well examined. We studied divergence in means and plasticity across wild and hatchery populations of sea-run brown trout (Salmo trutta) in a common garden experiment with two(More)
We studied variation at the class II gene of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in Natterjack toad populations (Bufo [Epidalea] calamita) on islands off the west coast of Sweden. These isolated populations have previously been shown to exhibit low levels of neutral genetic variation. On seven investigated islands we found only two different MHC(More)
The evolution of life-history traits is characterized by trade-offs between different selection pressures, as well as plasticity across environmental conditions. Yet, studies on local adaptation are often performed under artificial conditions, leaving two issues unexplored: (i) how consistent are laboratory inferred local adaptations under natural(More)
Although loss of genetic variation is frequently assumed to be associated with loss of adaptive potential, only few studies have examined adaptation in populations with little genetic variation. On the Swedish west coast, the northern fringe populations of the natterjack toad Bufo calamita inhabit an atypical habitat consisting of offshore rock islands.(More)