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The impact of rare but positive events on the design of organisms has been largely ignored, probably due to the paucity of recordings of such events and to the difficulty of estimating their impact on lifetime reproductive success. In this respect, we investigated the size of spider webs in relation to rare but large prey catches. First, we collected field(More)
Sexual selection theory traditionally considers choosiness for mates to be negatively related to intra-sexual competition. Males were classically considered to be the competing, but not the choosy, sex. However, evidence of male choosiness is now accumulating. Male choosiness is expected to increase with an individual's competitive ability, and to decrease(More)
Male choosiness for mates is an underexplored mechanism of sexual selection. A few theoretical studies suggest that males may exhibit--but only under rare circumstances--a reversed male mate choice (RMMC; i.e., highly competitive males focus on the most fecund females, while the low-quality males exclusively pair with less fecund mates to avoid being(More)
In numerous spider species, reproductive success of adult females has been shown to be positively correlated with their body mass. We suggest, however, that spiders may incur greater foraging costs as their body mass increases due to the numerous and complex locomotor bouts needed to build an orb-web. Such a body-mass-dependent cost should, in turn, affect(More)
Whereas the impact of endosymbionts on the ecology of their hosts is well known in some insect species, the question of whether host communities are influenced by endosymbionts remains largely unanswered. Notably, the coexistence of host species competing with each other, which is expected to be stabilized by their ecological differences, could be(More)
BACKGROUND One major challenge in understanding how biodiversity is organized is finding out whether communities of competing species are shaped exclusively by species-level differences in ecological traits (niche theory), exclusively by random processes (neutral theory of biodiversity), or by both processes simultaneously. Communities of species competing(More)
There is empirical evidence of many diversified ways for energy to be acquired and allocated to reproduction, notably with strategies ranging from strict income breeding (females fueling their gametes with energy gained concomitantly during reproduction) to strict capital breeding (females storing nutrients prior reproduction). Until now, the question of(More)
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