Modeling problems in conservation genetics using captive Drosophila populations: Rapid genetic adaptation to captivity

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430110505.abs Long-term captive breeding programs for endangered species generally aim to preserve the option of release back into the wild. However, the success of re-release programs will be jeopardized if there is significant genetic adaptation to the captive environment. Since it is difficult to study this problem in rare and endangered species, a convenient […]

The Darwinian concept of stress: benefits of allostasis and costs of allostatic load and the trade-offs in health and disease

Why do we get the stress-related diseases we do? Why do some people have flare ups of autoimmune disease, whereas others suffer from melancholic depression during a stressful period in their life? In the present review possible explanations will be given by using different levels of analysis. First, we explain in evolutionary terms why different […]

Is Optimism Optimal? Functional Causes of Apparent Behavioural Biases

We review the use of the terms ‘optimism’ and ‘pessimism’ to characterize particular types of behaviour in non-human animals. Animals can certainly behave as though they are optimistic or pessimistic with respect to specific motivations, as documented by an extensive range of examples in the literature. However, in surveying such examples we find that these […]

Social network analysis of mixed-species flocks: exploring the structure and evolution of interspecific social behaviour

Mixed-species social aggregations are common across taxa. There are two, nonexclusive, hypotheses typically proposed to explain the formation of social groups: increased predator vigilance and greater foraging efficiency. In mixed-species groups, these hypotheses are typically tested with species-level summary measures such as flocking propensity, the assignment of species-level roles, mean body size, and foraging and […]

What role does heritability play in transgenerational phenotypic responses to captivity? Implications for managing captive populations

Animals maintained in captivity exhibit rapid changes in phenotypic traits, which may be maladaptive for natural environments. The phenotype can shift away from the wild phenotype via transgenerational effects, with the environment experienced by parents influencing the phenotype and fitness of offspring. There is emerging evidence that controlling transgenerational effects could help mitigate the effects […]