Martin Plath

Martin Plath
Northwest A & F University · College of Animal Science and Technology

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil.

About

447
Publications
88,958
Reads
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6,806
Citations
Introduction
Nikolaas Tinbergen established the famous four “why”-questions regarding the mechanistic causation, ontogenetic development, phylogenetic origin, and adaptive significance of behavioral variation, and I am committed to applying these questions to the study of various evolutionary phenomena in general. My research has often used comparative approaches to study evolutionary divergence among different taxa, while highlighting the role of ecological factors as drivers of this divergence.
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - present
Northwest A & F University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
March 2009 - September 2014
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Position
  • Group Leader
July 2005 - February 2009
Universität Potsdam
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (447)
Article
Invasive species are increasingly replacing native species, especially in anthropogenically transformed or polluted habitats. This opens the possibility to use invasive species as indicator taxa for the biological assessment of pollution. Integrated biological assessment, however, additionally relies on the application of multiple approaches to qua...
Article
Multiple paternity (MP) increases offspring’s genetic variability, which could be linked to invasive species’ evolvability in novel distribution ranges. Shifts in MP can be adaptive, with greater MP in harsher/colder environments or towards the end of the reproductive season, but climate could also affect MP indirectly via its effect on reproductiv...
Article
Full-text available
Species reintroductions-the translocation of individuals to areas in which a species has been extirpated with the aim of re-establishing a self-sustaining population-have become a widespread practice in conservation biology. Reintroduction projects have tended to focus on terrestrial vertebrates and, to a lesser extent, fishes. Much less effort has...
Article
Otoliths in bony fishes play an important role in the senses of balance and hearing. Otolith mass and shape are, among others, likely to be decisive factors influencing otolith motion and thus ear functioning. Yet our knowledge of how exactly these factors influence otolith motion is incomplete. In addition, experimental studies directly investigat...
Article
Full-text available
1. Rising global temperatures force many species to shift their distribution ranges. However, whether or not (and how fast) such range shifts occur depends on species' dispersal capacities. In most ecological studies, dispersal‐related traits (such as the wing size or wing loading in insects) are treated as fixed, species‐specific characteristics,...
Article
Ecological gradients can drive adaptive phenotypic diversification, but the extent of local adaptation depends on the strength, temporal stability and spatial dimensions of selective forces at play. We examined diversification in morphology and life histories of a live-bearing fish (Poecilia mexicana) that has adapted to two concomitant gradients:...
Article
Invasive alien species (IAS) have become a major threat to ecosystems worldwide. From an evolutionary ecological perspective, they allow teasing apart the relative contributions of plasticity and evolutionary divergence in driving rapid phenotypic diversification. When IAS spread across extensive geographic ranges, climatic variation may represent...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic activities especially water pollution can affect the diversity and composition of microbial communities and promote the spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). In this study, water samples and guppies (Poecilia reticulata) were sampled from six sampling sites along the Uberabinha River in southeastern Brazil, both microbial comm...
Article
Sound manure management plans enable limitation of manure accumulation, potential detrimental effects, and environmental pollution. Black soldier fly larvae play an important role in organic waste management for achieving a circular economy, sustainable development, and eco-friendly technology in developing countries. The present study evaluated th...
Article
Self-care is an often-cited obligation of professional counselors in order to prevent compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, and burnout. Nearly all examples of counselor self-care in the peer-reviewed literature emphasizes abstract activities that engage self-reflection, emotions, or other processes similar to what counselors use in session...
Article
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Background In many species males face a higher predation risk than females because males display elaborate traits that evolved under sexual selection, which may attract not only females but also predators. Females are, therefore, predicted to avoid such conspicuous males under predation risk. The present study was designed to investigate predator-i...
Article
Anthropogenic habitat alterations have the potential to affect both, ecological dynamics of communities and populations, as well as evolutionary processes within populations. Invasive species may benefit from anthropogenic disturbance, such as water pollution, to which they sometimes seem more resistant than native ones. They also allow investigati...
Article
We still have a limited understanding of why animals colonize extreme environments, but one hypothesis (the Pathogen Refuge Hypothesis, PRH) posits that they might represent a safe haven from parasites and other pathogens. We tested this idea by quantifying endoparasite infections in five populations of the neotropical freshwater fish Poecilia mexi...
Article
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Various mammals, particularly carnivores, reportedly establish smaller home ranges in urban compared with rural areas. This may be because urban environments provide optimal resources within a small area, negating the requirement to range further, or because habitat fragmentation constrains ranging behavior. Comparable information on urban populati...
Article
Variation in risk-taking versus risk-averse behaviour can become a target of natural and/or sexual selection. However, the link between animal personality and mate choice—as a major component of sexual selection—remains understudied. We asked (1) whether females and males of the livebearing fish Poecilia mexicana prefer risk-taking mating partners...
Article
Full-text available
The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is declining in large parts of Europe but populations in some German cities remained so far unaffected by this decline. The question arises of how urbanization affects patterns of population genetic variation and differentiation in German rabbit populations, as urban habitat fragmentation may result in al...
Article
Predicting how environmental variation drives phenotypic diversification is one of the main aims of evolutionary ecology. Yet, we still only have a limited understanding of how it drives diversity, especially when multiple factors interact. To address this issue, the superfetating livebearing fish Phalloptychus januarius (Poeciliidae) was repeatedl...
Article
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Freshwater crabs play an important role for the diversification of shell morphologies in freshwater gastropods. For example, the radiation of the freshwater crab genus Platythelphusa in Lake Tanganyika is thought to have driven shell diversification of the lake’s snail fauna, promoting the evolution of thalassoid shells. No comparable thalassoid sn...
Preprint
Full-text available
Consistent individual differences in behaviour (animal personality) are widespread throughout the Animal Kingdom. This includes variation in risk-taking versus risk-averse behavioural tendencies. Variation in several personality dimensions is associated with distinct fitness consequences and thus, may become a target of natural and/or sexual select...
Article
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Lake Malawi is famous for the rapid speciation of cichlid fishes, but the potential diversification of its invertebrate fauna is poorly studied. Using two mitochondrial DNA sequence markers (partial ND1 and Cyt b genes), we investigated the population genetic structure of the only known species of freshwater crab inhabiting Lake Malawi (Potamonaute...
Article
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Background: Selective landscapes in rivers are made up by an array of selective forces that vary from source to downstream regions or between seasons, and local/temporal variation in fitness maxima can result in gradual spatio-temporal variation of phenotypic traits. This study aimed at establishing freshwater amphipods as future model organisms t...
Article
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Divergence of genital traits among lineages has the potential to serve as a reproductive isolating barrier when copulation, insemination, or fertilization are inhibited by incompatibilities between female and male genitalia. Despite widespread evidence for genital trait diversity among closely related lineages and coevolution of female and male gen...
Article
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Rwanda is a heavily overpopulated country that also suffers from overstocking with livestock, especially following the return of war refuges after the civil war (1991–1995). At present, approximately 20% of the human population in Nyagatare District in northeastern Rwanda has no access to clean drinking water and sanitation. We used a biotic index...
Article
Full-text available
The extent to which males exert mate choice (mate choosiness) depends on various environmental factors associated with the costs of mate acquisition and mate quality assessment, and the risk of remaining unmated. When low population densities translate into low mate encounter rates, this should result in reduced mate choosiness. In a system with ov...
Article
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While many mating preferences have a genetic basis, the question remains as to whether and how learning/experience can modify individual mate choice decisions. We used wild-caught (predator-experienced) and F1 laboratory-reared (predator-naïve) invasive Western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) from China to test whether mating preferences (assessed...
Article
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Adipose tissue plays central role in determining the gustatory quality of beef, but traditional Chinese beef cattle have low levels of fat content. We applied RNA-seq to study the molecular mechanisms underlying adipocyte differentiation in Qinchuan cattle. A total of 18,283 genes were found to be expressed in preadipocytes and mature adipocytes, r...
Article
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Recent studies on consistent individual differences in behavioural tendencies (animal personality) raised the question of whether individual differences in cognitive abilities can be linked to certain personality types. We tested female Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana) in two different classical conditioning experiments. For the first time, we...
Article
Within-species diversity is often driven by changing selective regimes along environmental gradients. Here, we pro- vide a direct test of the environmental factors underlying phenotypic diversity across the wide native distribution of eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). We investigated life-history and body-shape divergence (including mul- t...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species that rapidly spread throughout novel distribution ranges are prime models to investigate climate-driven phenotypic diversification on a contemporary scale. Previous studies on adaptive diversification along latitudinal gradients in fish have mainly considered body size and reported either increased or decreased body size towards hi...
Article
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are involved in the regulation of skeletal muscle development. In the present study, differentially expressed lncRNAs were identified from RNA-seq data derived from myoblasts and myotubes. We conducted studies to elucidate the function and molecular mechanism of action of Linc-smad7 during skeletal muscle development....
Article
Only few fish species have successfully colonized subterranean habitats, but the underlying biological constraints associated with this are still poorly understood. Here, we investigated the influence of permanent darkness on spinal-column development in one species (Midas cichlid, Amphilophus citrinellus) with no known cave form, and one (Atlantic...
Article
Full-text available
Consistent individual differences in behavioral tendencies (animal personality) can affect individual mate choice decisions. We asked whether personality traits affect male and female mate choice decisions similarly and whether potential personality effects are consistent across different mate choice situations. Using western mosquitofish (Gambusia...
Data
Schematic view of the isolation tank in which test subjects were maintained before and between the different behavioral assessments. (TIF)
Data
Results from independent-samples t-tests comparing SOP-values for large mating partners between large and small individuals and SOP-values for active mating partners between active and less active individuals in (a) female and (b) male G. affinis. (DOCX)
Data
Images of females (F1 –F24) and males (M1 –M24) used to generate computer animations. (TIF)
Data
Results from independent-samples t-tests comparing our three measures of personality between female and male G. affinis. (DOCX)
Data
Raw data of the study. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
Divergent selection between ecologically dissimilar habitats promotes local adaptation, which can lead to reproductive isolation (RI). Populations in the Poecilia mexicana species complex have independently adapted to toxic hydrogen sulfide and show varying degrees of RI. Here, we examined the variation in the mate choice component of prezygotic RI...
Article
Full-text available
Muscle development is regulated under a series of complicate processes, and non-coding RNAs, such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and circular RNAs (circRNAs), have been reported to play important roles in regulating myoblast proliferation and differentiation. We found that miR-107 expression was high in skeletal muscle of Qinchuan cattle. Overexpression of...
Article
Organisms adapted to physiochemical stressors provide ideal systems to study evolutionary mechanisms that drive adaptation and speciation. This review paper focuses on livebearing fishes of the Poecilia mexicana species complex (Poeciliidae), members of which have repeatedly colonized hydrogen sulfide (H2S) rich springs. H2S is a potent respiratory...
Article
Full-text available
The newly sequenced mitochondrial genomes of 107 Asian swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis carabensis) allowed the reconstruction of the matrilineal divergence since ~900 Kya. Phylogenetic trees and Bayesian skyline plots suggest a role of the glacial periods in the demographic history of swamp buffalo. The ancestral swamp-buffalo mitogenome is dated ~2...
Article
Full-text available
During adaptation to different habitat types, both morphological and behavioral traits can undergo divergent selection. Males often fight for status in dominance hierarchies and rank positions predict reproductive success. Ecotypes with reduced fighting abilities should have low reproductive success when migrating into habitats that harbor ecotypes...
Article
Full-text available
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been identified from various tissues and species, but their regulatory functions during developmental processes are not well understood. We examined circRNA expression profiles of two developmental stages of bovine skeletal muscle (embryonic and adult musculus longissimus) to provide first insights into their potential...
Article
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been identified in various tissues and cell types from human, monkey, porcine and mouse. However, knowledge on circRNAs in bovine muscle development is limited. We downloaded and analyzed the circRNAs sequencing data of bovine skeletal muscle tissue, and further characterized the role of a candidate circRNA (circFUT10)...