Learn More
World governments have committed to halting human-induced extinctions and safeguarding important sites for biodiversity by 2020, but the financial costs of meeting these targets are largely unknown. We estimate the cost of reducing the extinction risk of all globally threatened bird species (by ≥1 International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List(More)
Changing environmental conditions and human encroachment on natural habitats bring human populations closer to novel sources of parasites, which might then develop into new emerging diseases. Diseases transmitted by host generalist vectors are of special interest due to their capacity to move pathogens into novel hosts. We hypothesize that humans using(More)
Fundamental concepts about the diversity and evolution of signals have been developed mainly in the context of sexual selection. Here, we review the functional ecology of signals in a different context, that of plant–animal interactions. The visual signals of fruits and flowers are relatively constant and clear in the message that they convey. Thus, plant(More)
Natural selection shapes the evolution of anti-predator defences, such as camouflage. It is currently contentious whether crypsis and disruptive coloration are alternative mechanisms of camouflage or whether they are interrelated anti-predator defences. Disruptively coloured prey is characterized by highly contrasting patterns to conceal the body shape,(More)
Understanding the influence of human-induced changes on the evolutionary trajectories of populations is a fundamental problem [1, 2]. The evolution of reproductive isolation in sympatry is rare, relying on strong selection along steep ecological gradients [3-7]. Improved wintering conditions owing to human activities promoted the recent establishment of a(More)
The colors of fruits and flowers are traditionally viewed as an adaptation to increase the detectability of plant organs to animal vectors. The detectability of visual signals increases with increasing contrasts between target and background. Contrasts consist of a chromatic aspect (color) and an achromatic aspect (light intensity), which are perceived(More)
The Dispersal Syndrome hypothesis remains contentious, stating that apparently nonrandom associations of fruit characteristics result from selection by seed dispersers. We examine a key assumption under this hypothesis, i.e. that fruit traits can be used as reliable signals by frugivores. We first test this assumption by looking at whether fruit colour(More)
High-contrast markings, called distractive or dazzle markings, have been suggested to draw and hold the attention of a viewer, thus hindering detection or recognition of revealing prey characteristics, such as the body outline. We tested this hypothesis in a predation experiment with blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and artificial prey. We also tested(More)
Two recent hypotheses have proposed that non-green plant colouration evolved as a defence against herbivores, either as protective colouration promoting handicap signals indicating plant fitness or by undermining their crypsis. The handicap hypothesis posits a co-evolutionary process between plants and herbivores, whereas the anti-crypsis hypothesis(More)
Thermal stress leads to increased production of reactive oxygen species. If an organism is not able to simultaneously mount an efficient antioxidant defense system, this may lead to increased oxidative damage, which is potentially deleterious in terms of health and fitness. Exposure to cold or heat is therefore expected to be associated with a high demand(More)