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  1. Abstract

    Sex allocation theory predicts that mothers should bias investment in offspring toward the sex that yields higher fitness returns; one such bias may be a skewed offspring sex ratio. Sex allocation is well-studied in birds with cooperative breeding systems, with theory on local resource enhancement and production of helpers at the nest, but little theoretical or empirical work has focused on birds with brood parasitic breeding systems. Wood ducks (Aix sponsa) are a conspecific brood parasite, and rates of parasitism appear to increase with density. Because female wood ducks show high natal philopatry and nest sites are often limiting, local resource competition (LRC) theory predicts that females should overproduce male offspring—the dispersing sex—when competition (density) is high. However, the unique features of conspecific brood parasitism generate alternative predictions from other sex allocation theory, which we develop and test here. We experimentally manipulated nesting density of female wood ducks in 4 populations from 2013 to 2016, and analyzed the resulting sex allocation of >2000 ducklings. In contrast to predictions we did not find overproduction of male offspring by females in high-density populations, females in better condition, or parasitic females; modest support for LRC was found in overproduction of only female parasitic offspring with higher nest box availability. The lack of evidence for sex ratio biases, as expected for LRC and some aspects of brood parasitism, could reflect conflicting selection pressures from nest competition and brood parasitism, or that mechanisms of adaptive sex ratio bias are not possible.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 21, 2024
  3. Abstract

    We present numerical results from a parameter study of the standing accretion shock instability (SASI), investigating the impact of general relativity (GR) on the dynamics. Using GR hydrodynamics with GR gravity, and nonrelativistic (NR) hydrodynamics with Newtonian gravity, in an idealized model setting, we vary the initial radius of the shock, and by varying its mass and radius in concert, the proto-neutron star compactness. We investigate four compactnesses expected in a post-bounce core-collapse supernova (CCSN). We find that GR leads to a longer SASI oscillation period, with ratios between the GR and NR cases as large as 1.29 for the highest-compactness suite. We also find that GR leads to a slower SASI growth rate, with ratios between the GR and NR cases as low as 0.47 for the highest-compactness suite. We discuss implications of our results for CCSN simulations.

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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  5. Abstract Background and Aims

    Floral volatiles, visual traits and rewards mediate attraction and defence in plant–pollinator and plant–herbivore interactions, but these floral traits might be altered by global warming through direct effects of temperature or longer-term impacts on plant resources. We examined the effect of warming on floral and leaf volatile emissions, floral morphology, plant height, nectar production, and oviposition by seed predators.


    We used open-top chambers that warmed plants in the field by +2–3 °C on average (+6–11 °C increase in daily maxima) for 2–4 weeks across 1–3 years at three sites in Colorado, USA. Volatiles were sampled from two closely related species of subalpine Ipomopsis with different pollinators: Ipomopsis aggregata ssp. aggregata, visited mainly by hummingbirds, and Ipomopsis tenuituba ssp. tenuituba, often visited by hawkmoths.

    Key Results

    Although warming had no detected effects on leaf volatiles, the daytime floral volatiles of both I. aggregata and I. tenuituba responded in subtle ways to warming, with impacts that depended on the species, site and year. In addition to the long-term effect of warming, temperature at the time of sampling independently affected the floral volatile emissions of I. aggregata during the day and I. tenuituba at night. Warming had little effect on floral morphology for either species and it had no effect on nectar concentration, maximum inflorescence height or flower redness in I. aggregata. However, warming increased nectar production in I. aggregata by 41 %, a response that would attract more hummingbird visits, and it reduced oviposition by fly seed predators by ≥72 %.


    Our results suggest that floral traits can show different levels of plasticity to temperature changes in subalpine environments, with potential effects on animal behaviours that help or hinder plant reproduction. They also illustrate the need for more long-term field warming studies, as shown by responses of floral volatiles in different ways to weeks of warming vs. temperature at the time of sampling.

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  6. Abstract

    In ecological speciation, incipient species diverge due to natural selection that is ecologically based. In flowering plants, different pollinators could mediate that selection (pollinator-mediated divergent selection) or other features of the environment that differ between habitats of 2 species could do so (environment-mediated divergent selection). Although these mechanisms are well understood, they have received little rigorous testing, as few studies of divergent selection across sites of closely related species include both floral traits that influence pollination and vegetative traits that influence survival. This study employed common gardens in sites of the 2 parental species and a hybrid site, each containing advanced generation hybrids along with the parental species, to test these forms of ecological speciation in plants of the genus Ipomopsis. A total of 3 vegetative traits (specific leaf area, leaf trichomes, and photosynthetic water-use efficiency) and 5 floral traits (corolla length and width, anther insertion, petal color, and nectar production) were analyzed for impacts on fitness components (survival to flowering and seeds per flower, respectively). These traits exhibited strong clines across the elevational gradient in the hybrid zone, with narrower clines in theory reflecting stronger selection or higher genetic variance. Plants with long corollas and inserted anthers had higher seeds per flower at the Ipomopsis tenuituba site, whereas selection favored the reverse condition at the Ipomopsis aggregata site, a signature of divergent selection. In contrast, no divergent selection due to variation in survival was detected on any vegetative trait. Selection within the hybrid zone most closely resembled selection within the I. aggregata site. Across traits, the strength of divergent selection was not significantly correlated with width of the cline, which was better predicted by evolvability (standardized genetic variance). These results support the role of pollinator-­mediated divergent selection in ecological speciation and illustrate the importance of genetic variance in determining divergence across hybrid zones.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 23, 2024
  7. Abstract

    The hydrated electron, e(aq), has attracted much attention as a central species in radiation chemistry. However, much less is known about e(aq)at the water/air surface, despite its fundamental role in electron transfer processes at interfaces. Using time-resolved electronic sum-frequency generation spectroscopy, the electronic spectrum of e(aq)at the water/air interface and its dynamics are measured here, following photo-oxidation of the phenoxide anion. The spectral maximum agrees with that for bulk e(aq)and shows that the orbital density resides predominantly within the aqueous phase, in agreement with supporting calculations. In contrast, the chemistry of the interfacial hydrated electron differs from that in bulk water, with e(aq)diffusing into the bulk and leaving the phenoxyl radical at the surface. Our work resolves long-standing questions about e(aq)at the water/air interface and highlights its potential role in chemistry at the ubiquitous aqueous interface.

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  8. Vogelet al.reveals the stereochemical basis of alternative substrate cleavage byS. pyogenesSrtA for ligands with a P1′ Leu residue. The substrate adopts puckered alternative binding, whereby cleavage occurs between the P1′ and P2′ positions.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 3, 2025
  9. Directional Mn dopant migration (outward/inward) was achieved by inserting a CdZnS “atomic trap” with a small size mismatch with dopants in core/multi-shell QDs. A larger initial substitutional site allows for active trapping and dopant migration.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 13, 2024
  10. Ultracold polyatomic molecules are promising candidates for experiments in quantum science and precision searches for physics beyond the Standard Model. A key requirement is the ability to achieve full quantum control over the internal structure of the molecules. In this work, we established coherent control of individual quantum states in calcium monohydroxide (CaOH) and demonstrated a method for searching for the electron electric dipole moment (eEDM). Optically trapped, ultracold CaOH molecules were prepared in a single quantum state, polarized in an electric field, and coherently transferred into an eEDM-sensitive state where an electron spin precession measurement was performed. To extend the coherence time, we used eEDM-sensitive states with tunable, near-zero magnetic field sensitivity. Our results establish a path for eEDM searches with trapped polyatomic molecules.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 10, 2024