Reginald B. Cocroft

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Mate choice is considered an important influence in the evolution of mating signals and other sexual traits, and--since divergence in sexual traits causes reproductive isolation--it can be an agent of population divergence. The importance of mate choice in signal evolution can be evaluated by comparing male signal traits with female preference functions,(More)
Patterns of evolution in the acoustic signals of two groups of anuran amphibians were examined. Call character matrices for clades of Bufo (Bufonidae) and Pseudacris (Hylidae) were derived from analysis of tape-recorded calls, and these call characters were mapped onto phylogenetic trees based on morphological and biochemical data. It was found that the(More)
For specialized herbivorous insects, shifts to novel host plants can have dramatic evolutionary consequences. If mating traits diverge, assortative mating can develop between ancestral and novel host populations and facilitate speciation. Mating signals may diverge under a variety of scenarios. Signal differences may be a consequence of divergence in(More)
Many insects and other arthropods use substrate vibrations to communicate (Claridge 1985; Barth 1997; Cokl &Virant-Doberlet 2003) or to detect predators and prey (Barth et al. 1988; Pfannenstiel et al. 1995; Meyhofer et al. 1997). Among the substrates used to receive or transmit information, the stems and leaves of plants are the most widespread (Cocroft &(More)
Noise that masks communication signals can affect the evolution of signal form and decisions about when and where to communicate. For the many invertebrates that communicate using plant-borne vibrations, wind is considered to be the major source of environmental noise. However, the influence of wind-induced vibrations on signaling behavior has not been(More)
The defense of o}spring from predators is an important aspect of maternal care in the treehopper Umbonia crassicornis[ Nymphal o}spring develop in a dense cluster around a host plant stem\ and laboratory studies show that they can solicit maternal defense using synchronized vibrational signals[ Understanding the function of communication\ however\ requires(More)
Sexual communication can contribute to population divergence and speciation because of its effect on assortative mating. We examined the role of communication in assortative mating in the Enchenopa binotata species complex of treehoppers. These plant-feeding insects are a well studied case of sympatric speciation resulting from shifts to novel host-plant(More)
A combination of divergent natural and sexual selection is a powerful cause of speciation. This conjunction of evolutionary forces may often occur when divergence is initiated by ecological differences between populations because local adaptation to new resources can lead to changes in sexual selection. The hypothesis that differences in resource use(More)
Plant germination and growth can be influenced by sound, but the ecological significance of these responses is unclear. We asked whether acoustic energy generated by the feeding of insect herbivores was detected by plants. We report that the vibrations caused by insect feeding can elicit chemical defenses. Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) rosettes pre-treated with(More)