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  • 1.
    Amcoff, Mirjam
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Gonzalez-Voyer, A.
    Kolm, Niclas
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Evolution of egg dummies in Tanganyikan cichlid fishes: the roles of parental care and sexual selection2013In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 26, no 11, p. 2369-2382Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sexual selection has been suggested to be an important driver of speciation in cichlid fishes of the Great Lakes of Africa, and the presence of male egg dummies is proposed to have played a key role. Here, we investigate how mouthbrooding and egg dummies have evolved in Tanganyikan cichlids, the lineage which seeded the other African radiations, with a special emphasis on the egg dummies. Using modern phylogenetic comparative analyses and a phylogeny including 86% of the 200 described species, we provide formal evidence demonstrating correlated evolution between mouthbrooding and egg dummies in Tanganyikan cichlids. These results concur with existing evidence, suggesting that egg dummies have evolved through sensory exploitation. We also demonstrate that there is a strong evolutionary correlation between the presence of egg dummies and both pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection. Moreover, egg dummy evolution was contingent on the intensity of pre- and post-copulatory sexual selection in Tanganyikan cichlids. In sum, our results provide evidence supporting the hypothesis of egg dummies evolving through sensory exploitation and highlight the role of sexual selection in favouring the evolution and maintenance of this trait.

  • 2.
    Amcoff, Mirjam
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Kolm, Niclas
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Does female feeding motivation affect the response to a food-mimicking male ornament in the swordtail characin Corynopoma riisei?2013In: Journal of Fish Biology, ISSN 0022-1112, E-ISSN 1095-8649, Vol. 83, no 2, p. 343-354Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Female response to various aspects of male trait morphology and the effect of female feeding motivation were investigated in the swordtail characin Corynopoma riisei, a species where males are equipped with a flag-like food-mimicking ornament that grows from the operculum. Unfed females responded more strongly to the male ornament and showed a stronger preference for larger ornaments than did fed females. Females were shown not to discriminate between artificial male ornaments of either undamaged or damaged shape.

  • 3.
    Amcoff, Mirjam
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Kolm, Niclas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Multiple male sexual signals and female responsiveness in the swordtail characin, Corynopoma riisei2015In: Environmental Biology of Fishes, ISSN 0378-1909, E-ISSN 1573-5133, Vol. 98, no 7, p. 1731-1740Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the courtship process, multiple signals are often used between the signaller and the receiver. Here we describe female response to multiple male visual morphological and behavioural signals in the swordtail characin, Corynopoma riisei. The swordtail characin is a species in which males display several morphological ornaments as well as a rich courtship repertoire. Our results show that high courtship intensity was associated with an increased female response towards the male ornament, increased number of mating attempts and a reduction in female aggression. The morphological aspects investigated here did not seem to correlate with female response. This may indicate that, when both behaviour and morphology are considered simultaneously, courtship behaviour may have priority over morphological cues in this species.

  • 4.
    Amcoff, Mirjam
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Lindqvist, Charlotte
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Kolm, Niclas
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Sensory exploitation and plasticity in female mate choice in the swordtail characin2013In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 85, no 5, p. 891-898Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite extensive research in the field of sexual selection, the evolutionary origin and maintenance of preferences for sexual ornaments are still debated. Recent studies have pointed out that plasticity in mate choice might be more common than previously thought, but little is still known about the factors that affect such plasticity. The swordtail characin, Corynopoma riisei, is a tropical fish species in which males use a food-mimicking ornament to attract females. We tested whether ecological factors, more specifically prior foraging experience, can affect female preference for male ornaments. For this, we habituated females on a diet consisting of either red-coloured food or standard-coloured green food items and then we tested whether female preferences for artificially red-coloured male ornaments matched their previous foraging experience. We found a strong effect of food treatment: females trained on red food showed a stronger response to males with red-coloured ornaments than females trained on green food. Our results show that ecological variation can generate divergence of female preferences for male ornaments and that the response in preference to environmental change can be rapid if the bias is partly learnt.

  • 5.
    Kolm, Niclas
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Amcoff, Mirjam
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Mann, Richard P.
    Uppsala universitet, Analys och tillämpad matematik.
    Arnqvist, Göran
    Uppsala universitet, Zooekologi.
    Diversification of a Food-Mimicking Male Ornament via Sensory Drive2012In: Current Biology, ISSN 0960-9822, E-ISSN 1879-0445, Vol. 22, no 15, p. 1440-1443Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The evolutionary divergence of sexual signals is often important during the formation of new animal species, but our understanding of the origin of signal diversity is limited [1, 2]. Sensory drive, the optimization of communication signal efficiency through matching to the local environment, has been highlighted as a potential promoter of diversification and speciation [3]. The swordtail characin (Corynopoma riisei) is a tropical fish in which males display a flag-like ornament that elicits female foraging behavior during courtship. We show that the shape of the male ornament covaries with female diet across natural populations. More specifically, natural populations in which the female diet is more dominated by ants exhibit male ornaments more similar to the shape of an ant. Feeding experiments confirm that females habituated to a diet of ants prefer to bite at male ornaments from populations with a diet more dominated by ants. Our results show that the male ornament functions as a "fishing lure" that is diversifying in shape to match local variation in female search images employed during foraging. This direct link between variation in female feeding ecology and the evolutionary diversification of male sexual ornaments suggests that sensory drive may be a common engine of signal divergence.

  • 6. Sundin, Josefin
    et al.
    Amcoff, Mirjam
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. University of Texas, USA.
    Mateos-Gonzalez, Fernando
    Raby, Graham D.
    Jutfelt, Fredrik
    Clark, Timothy D.
    Long-term exposure to elevated carbon dioxide does not alter activity levels of a coral reef fish in response to predator chemical cues2017In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 71, no 8, article id UNSP 108Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Levels of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) projected to occur in the world's oceans in the near future have been reported to increase swimming activity and impair predator recognition in coral reef fishes. These behavioral alterations would be expected to have dramatic effects on survival and community dynamics in marine ecosystems in the future. To investigate the universality and replicability of these observations, we used juvenile spiny chromis damselfish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) to examine the effects of long-term CO 2 exposure on routine activity and the behavioral response to the chemical cues of a predator (Cephalopholis urodeta). Commencing at similar to 3-20 days post-hatch, juvenile damselfish were exposed to presentday CO2 levels (similar to 420 mu atm) or to levels forecasted for the year 2100 (similar to 1000 mu atm) for 3 months of their development. Thereafter, we assessed routine activity before and after injections of seawater (sham injection, control) or seawater-containing predator chemical cues. There was no effect of CO2 treatment on routine activity levels before or after the injections. All fish decreased their swimming activity following the predator cue injection but not following the sham injection, regardless of CO2 treatment. Our results corroborate findings from a growing number of studies reporting limited or no behavioral responses of fishes to elevated CO2. Significance statement Alarmingly, it has been reported that levels of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) forecasted for the year 2100 cause coral reef fishes to be attracted to the chemical cues of predators. However, most studies have exposed the fish to CO2 for very short periods before behavioral testing. Using long-term acclimation to elevated CO2 and automated tracking software, we found that fish exposed to elevated CO2 showed the same behavioral patterns as control fish exposed to present-day CO2 levels. Specifically, activity levels were the same between groups, and fish acclimated to elevated CO2 decreased their swimming activity to the same degree as control fish when presented with cues from a predator. These findings indicate that behavioral impacts of elevated CO2 levels are not universal in coral reef fishes.

  • 7. Sundin, Josefin
    et al.
    Amcoff, Mirjam
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. University of Texas, USA.
    Mateos-González, Fernando
    Raby, Graham D.
    Clark, Timothy D.
    Long-term acclimation to near-future ocean acidification has negligible effects on energetic attributes in a juvenile coral reef fish2019In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 190, no 3, p. 689-702Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Increased levels of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) drive ocean acidification and have been predicted to increase the energy use of marine fishes via physiological and behavioural mechanisms. This notion is based on a theoretical framework suggesting that detrimental effects on energy use are caused by plasma acid-base disruption in response to hypercapnic acidosis, potentially in combination with a malfunction of the gamma aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptors in the brain. However, the existing empirical evidence testing these effects primarily stems from studies that exposed fish to elevated CO2 for a few days and measured a small number of traits. We investigated a range of energetic traits in juvenile spiny chromis damselfish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) over 3months of acclimation to projected end-of-century CO2 levels (similar to 1000 mu atm). Somatic growth and otolith size and shape were unaffected by the CO2 treatment across 3months of development in comparison with control fish (similar to 420 mu atm). Swimming activity during behavioural assays was initially higher in the elevated CO2 group, but this effect dissipated within similar to 25min following handling. The transient higher activity of fish under elevated CO2 was not associated with a detectable difference in the rate of oxygen uptake nor was it mediated by GABA(A) neurotransmitter interference because treatment with a GABA(A) antagonist (gabazine) did not abolish the CO2 treatment effect. These findings contrast with several short-term studies by suggesting that end-of-century levels of CO2 may have negligible direct effects on the energetics of at least some species of fish.

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