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Many predators and parasites eavesdrop on the communication signals of their prey. Eavesdropping is typically studied as dyadic predator prey species interactions; yet in nature, most predators target multiple prey species and most prey must evade multiple predator species. The impact of predator communities on prey signal evolution is not well understood. Predators could converge in their preferences for conspicuous signal properties, generating competition among predators and natural selection on particular prey signal features. Alternatively, predator species could vary in their preferences for prey signal properties, resulting in sensory-based niche partitioning of prey resources. In the Neotropics, many substrate-gleaning bats use the mate-attraction songs of male katydids to locate them as prey. We studied mechanisms of niche partitioning in four substrate-gleaning bat species and found they are similar in morphology, echolocation signal design and prey-handling ability, but each species preferred different acoustic features of male song in 12 sympatric katydid species. This divergence in predator preference probably contributes to the coexistence of many substrate-gleaning bat species in the Neotropics, and the substantial diversity in the mate-attraction signals of katydids. Our results provide insight into how multiple eavesdropping predator species might influence prey signal evolution through sensory-based niche partitioning.
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Five well-supported fossil calibrations within the "Waterbird" assemblage (Tetrapoda, Aves)
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A comprehensive analysis of photosynthetic pathways in relation to phylogeny and elevational distribution was conducted in Bromeliaceae, an ecologically diverse Neotropical family containing large numbers of both terrestrial and epiphytic species. Tissue carbon isotope ratio (d13C) was used to determine the occurrence of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) and C3 photosynthesis in 1893 species, representing 57% of species and all 56 genera in the family. The frequency of d13C values showed a strongly bimodal distribution: 1074 species (57%) had values more negative than -20 (mode?=?-26.7 ), typical of predominantly daytime carbon fixation via the C3 pathway, whereas 819 species (43%) possessed values less negative than -20 (mode?=?-13.3 ), indicative of predominantly nocturnal fixation of carbon via the CAM pathway. Amongst the six almost exclusively terrestrial subfamilies in Bromeliaceae, Brocchinioideae, Lindmanioideae and Navioideae consisted entirely of C3 species, with CAM species being restricted to Hechtioideae (all species of Hechtia tested), Pitcairnioideae (all species belonging to a xeric clade comprising Deuterocohnia, Dyckia and Encholirium) and Puyoideae (21% of Puya spp.). Of the other two subfamilies, in the overwhelmingly epiphytic (plus lithophytic) Tillandsioideae, 28% of species possessed CAM photosynthesis, all restricted to the derived genus Tillandsia and tending towards the more extreme epiphytic atmospheric life-form. In Bromelioideae, with comparable numbers of terrestrial and epiphytic species, 90% of taxa showed CAM; included in these are the first records of CAM photosynthesis in Androlepis, Canistropsis, Deinacanthon, Disteganthus, Edmundoa, Eduandrea, Hohenbergiopsis, Lymania, Pseudananas, Ronnbergia and Ursulaea. With respect to elevational gradients, the greatest number of C3 bromeliad species were found at mid-elevations between 500 and 1500?m, whereas the frequency of CAM species declined monotonically with increasing elevation. However, in Puya, at least ten CAM species have been recorded at elevations >?3000?m, showing that CAM photosynthesis is not necessarily incompatible with low temperatures. This survey identifies five major origins of CAM photosynthesis at a higher taxonomic level in Bromeliaceae, but future phylogenetic work is likely to reveal a more fine-scale pattern of gains and losses of this trait, especially in ecologically diverse and widely distributed genera such as Tillandsia and Puya. © 2014 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2014, ??, ?? ??.
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