skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Sih, Andrew"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Host behavior and parasite infection reciprocally interact, but this dynamic is rarely studied experimentally in the field with multiple behaviors. We investigated the interplay between parasitism and host behavior via an in situ experimental tick infestation of a wild population of sleepy lizards, Tiliqua rugosa. Using Bayesian models, we assessed the relationship between experimental infestation and lizard aggression and boldness before and after infestation. First, we tested whether lizard aggression and boldness prior to infestation predicted the probability of tick attachment in the infestation experiment. Second, we evaluated whether experimental infestation affected subsequent lizard aggression and boldness. We found that aggression and boldness related interactively with infestation: for unaggressive lizards, higher boldness was associated with reduced experimental infestation success, but the opposite occurred for aggressive individuals. Second, increased tick infestation did not affect post-infestation aggression, but tended to increase boldness. Taken together, these results highlight the potential for feedbacks between parasites and multi-dimensional host behaviors.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Understanding the mechanisms by which individual organisms respond and populations adapt to global climate change is a critical challenge. The role of plasticity and acclimation, within and across generations, may be essential given the pace of change. We investigated plasticity across generations and life stages in response to ocean acidification (OA), which poses a growing threat to both wild populations and the sustainable aquaculture of shellfish. Most studies of OA on shellfish focus on acute effects, and less is known regarding the longer term carryover effects that may manifest within or across generations. We assessed these longer term effects in red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) using a multi‐generational split‐brood experiment. We spawned adults raised in ambient conditions to create offspring that we then exposed to high pCO2(1180 μatm; simulating OA) or low pCO2(450 μatm; control or ambient conditions) during the first 3 months of life. We then allowed these animals to reach maturity in ambient common garden conditions for 4 years before returning the adults into high or low pCO2treatments for 11 months and measuring growth and reproductive potential. Early‐life exposure to OA in the F1 generation decreased adult growth rate even after 5 years especially when abalone were re‐exposed to OA as adults. Adult but not early‐life exposure to OA negatively impacted fecundity. We then exposed the F2 offspring to high or low pCO2treatments for the first 3 months of life in a fully factorial, split‐brood design. We found negative transgenerational effects of parental OA exposure on survival and growth of F2 offspring, in addition to significant direct effects of OA on F2 survival. These results show that the negative impacts of OA can last within and across generations, but that buffering against OA conditions at critical life‐history windows can mitigate these effects.

    more » « less
  3. Many plant species worldwide are dispersed by scatter-hoarding granivores: animals that hide seeds in numerous, small caches for future consumption. Yet, the evolution of scatter-hoarding is difficult to explain because undefended caches are at high risk of pilferage. Previous models have attempted to solve this problem by giving cache owners large advantages in cache recovery, by kin selection, or by introducing reciprocal pilferage of ‘shared’ seed resources. However, the role of environmental variability has been so far overlooked in this context. One important form of such variability is masting, which is displayed by many plant species dispersed by scatterhoarders. We use a mathematical model to investigate the influence of masting on the evolution of scatter-hoarding. The model accounts for periodically varying annual seed fall, caching and pilfering behaviour, and the demography of scatterhoarders. The parameter values are based mostly on research on European beech ( Fagus sylvatica ) and yellow-necked mice ( Apodemus flavicollis ). Starvation of scatterhoarders between mast years decreases the population density that enters masting events, which leads to reduced seed pilferage. Satiation of scatterhoarders during mast events lowers the reproductive cost of caching (i.e. the cost of caching for the future rather than using seeds for current reproduction). These reductions promote the evolution of scatter-hoarding behaviour especially when interannual variation in seed fall and the period between masting events are large. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The ecology and evolution of synchronized seed production in plants’. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Transgenerational plasticity (TGP)—when a parent or previous generation's environmental experience affects offspring phenotype without involving a genetic change—can be an important mechanism allowing for rapid adaptation. However, despite increasing numbers of empirical examples of TGP, there appears to be considerable variation in its strength and direction, yet limited understanding of what causes this variation. We compared patterns of TGP in response to stress across two populations with high versus low historical levels of stress exposure. Specifically, we expected that exposure to acute stress in the population experiencing historically high levels of stress would result in adaptive TGP or alternatively fixed tolerance (no parental effect), whereas the population with low levels of historical exposure would result in negative parental carryover effects. Using a common sessile marine invertebrate,Bugula neritina, and a split brood design, we exposed parents from both populations to copper or control treatments in the laboratory and then had them brood copper‐naïve larvae. We then exposed half of each larval brood to copper and half to control conditions before allowing them to grow to maturity in the field. Maternal copper exposure had a strong negative carryover effect on adult offspring growth and survival in the population without historical exposure, especially when larvae themselves were exposed to copper. We found little to no maternal or offspring treatment effect on adult growth and survival in the population with a history of copper exposure. However, parents from this population produced larger larvae on average and were able to increase the size of their larvae in response to copper exposure, providing a potential mechanism for maintaining fitness and suggesting TGP through maternal provisioning. These results indicate that the ability to adjust offspring phenotype via TGP may be a locally adapted trait and potentially influenced by past patterns of exposure.

    more » « less

    While a large body of research has focused on the physiological effects of multiple environmental stressors, how behavioural and life‐history plasticity mediate multiple‐stressor effects remains underexplored. Behavioural plasticity can not only drive organism‐level responses to stressors directly but can also mediate physiological responses. Here, we provide a conceptual framework incorporating four fundamental trade‐offs that explicitly link animal behaviour to life‐history‐based pathways for energy allocation, shaping the impact of multiple stressors on fitness. We first address how small‐scale behavioural changes can either mediate or drive conflicts between the effects of multiple stressors and alternative physiological responses. We then discuss how animal behaviour gives rise to three additional understudied and interrelated trade‐offs: balancing the benefits and risks of obtaining the energy needed to cope with stressors, allocation of energy between life‐history traits and stressor responses, and larger‐scale escape from stressors in space or timevialarge‐scale movement or dormancy. Finally, we outline how these trade‐offs interactively affect fitness and qualitative ecological outcomes resulting from multiple stressors. Our framework suggests that explicitly considering animal behaviour should enrich our mechanistic understanding of stressor effects, help explain extensive context dependence observed in these effects, and highlight promising avenues for future empirical and theoretical research.

    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    Predators and prey are often engaged in a game where their expected fitnesses are affected by their relative spatial distributions. Game models generally predict that when predators and prey move at similar temporal and spatial scales that predators should distribute themselves to match the distribution of the prey's resources and that prey should be relatively uniformly distributed. These predictions should better apply to sit‐and‐pursue and sit‐and‐wait predators, who must anticipate the spatial distributions of their prey, than active predators that search for their prey. We test this with an experiment observing the spatial distributions and estimating the causes of movements between patches for Pacific tree frog tadpoles (Pseudacris regilla), a sit‐and‐pursue dragonfly larvae predator (Rhionaeschna multicolor), and an active salamander larval predator (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium) when a single species was in the arena and when the prey was with one of the predators. We find that the sit‐and‐pursue predator favors patches with more of the prey's algae resources when the prey is not in the experimental arena and that the prey, when in the arena with this predator, do not favor patches with more resources. We also find that the active predator does not favor patches with more algae and that prey, when with an active predator, continue to favor these higher resource patches. These results suggest that the hunting modes of predators impact their spatial distributions and the spatial distributions of their prey, which has potential to have cascading effects on lower trophic levels.

    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    Enemy‐risk effects, often referred to as non‐consumptive effects (NCEs), are an important feature of predator–prey ecology, but their significance has had little impact on the conceptual underpinning or practice of biological control. We provide an overview of enemy‐risk effects in predator–prey interactions, discuss ways in which risk effects may impact biocontrol programs and suggest avenues for further integration of natural enemy ecology and integrated pest management. Enemy‐risk effects can have important influences on different stages of biological control programs, including natural enemy selection, efficacy testing and quantification of non‐target impacts. Enemy‐risk effects can also shape the interactions of biological control with other pest management practices. Biocontrol systems also provide community ecologists with some of the richest examples of behaviourally mediated trophic cascades and demonstrations of how enemy‐risk effects play out among species with no shared evolutionary history, important topics for invasion biology and conservation. We conclude that the longstanding use of ecological theory by biocontrol practitioners should be expanded to incorporate enemy‐risk effects, and that community ecologists will find many opportunities to study enemy‐risk effects in biocontrol settings.

    more » « less