Roberto García-Roa

Roberto García-Roa
Lund University | LU · Department of Biology

PhD

About

59
Publications
13,951
Reads
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413
Citations
Citations since 2016
45 Research Items
408 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Important part of the multivariate selection shaping social and interspecific interactions among and within animal species emerges from communication. Therefore, understanding the diversification of signals for animal communication is a central endeavor in evolutionary biology. Over the last decade, the rapid development of phylogenetic approaches...
Article
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Chemical communication plays a central role in social, sexual and ecological interactions among animals. However, the macroevolutionary diversification of traits responsible for chemical signaling remains fundamentally unknown. Most research investigating evolutionary diversification of glands responsible for the production of chemical signals has...
Article
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1. The signals that animals use to communicate often differ considerably among species. Part of this variation in signal design may derive from differential natural selection on signal efficacy; the ability of the signal to travel efficiently through the environment and attract the receiver's attention. For the visual and acoustic modalities, the e...
Preprint
Full-text available
Strong sexual selection frequently leads to sexual conflict and ensuing male harm, whereby males increase their reproductive success at the expense of harming females. Male harm is a widespread evolutionary phenomenon with a strong bearing on population viability. Thus, understanding how it unfolds in the wild is a current priority. Here, we sample...
Chapter
Much of the knowledge we treasure about evolution, and biology in general, rests on Darwin’s ideas about sexual selection put forward 150 years ago. In his work The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Darwin posited two fundamental mechanisms of competition for reproduction: intrasexual competition and mate choice. Since then, we have...
Preprint
Full-text available
One of the most pressing questions we face as biologists is to understand how climate change will affect the evolutionary dynamics of natural populations and how these dynamics will in turn affect population recovery. Increasing evidence shows that sexual selection favours population viability and local adaptation. However, sexual selection can als...
Article
Full-text available
Arid climates are characterized by a summer drought period to which animals seem adapted. However, in some years, the drought can extend for unusually longer periods. Examining the effects of these current extreme weather events on biodiversity can help to understand the effects of climate change, as models predict an increase in drought severity....
Article
Sensory perception of environmental cues has been shown to trigger plastic responses that can induce important fitness costs, including the dramatic modulation of aging across distant taxa. For example, male Drosophila melanogaster suffer a marked decrease in fitness, characterized by faster reproductive and actuarial aging, if they perceive female...
Article
From inbreeding avoidance to kin-selected cooperation, social behaviours are frequently reliant on kin recognition. However, kin recognition mechanisms are costly to evolve and currently not very well understood. Recent evidence suggests that, by altering their host's odour, gut and other host-associated microorganisms may provide a promising avenu...
Article
Full-text available
Much of the knowledge we treasure about evolution, and biology in general, rests on Darwin’s ideas about sexual selection, put forward 150 years ago. In his work The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, Darwin explains two fundamental mechanisms competition for reproduction: to understand intra-sexual competition and mate choice. Today...
Cover Page
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This issue's cover image shows an Asian green pitviper (Trimeresurus sabahi) hanging from a tree branch in the Malaysian rainforest. The picture succeeds in capturing the topographical complexity of the scaly surface of snake skin. In their article, Martinez et al. examine the diversity and ecological correlates of skin surface topography in snakes...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sensory perception of environmental cues can dramatically modulate ageing across distant taxa. For example, male Drosophila melanogaster age faster if they perceive female cues but fail to mate (ageing via sexual perception). This finding has been a breakthrough for our understanding of the mechanisms of ageing, yet we ignore how and why such respo...
Article
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Background The movement and spatial ecology of an animal depends on its morphological and functional adaptations to its environment. In fossorial animals, adaptations to the underground life help to face peculiar ecological challenges, very different from those of epigeal species, but may constrain their movement ability. Methods We made a long-te...
Preprint
Strong sexual selection frequently favours males that increase their reproductive success by harming females, with potentially negative consequences for the growth of populations. Understanding what factors may resolve this reproductive “tragedy of the commons” is a key question in evolutionary biology. Studies addressing the evolution of sexual co...
Article
A central question in ecology and evolution is to understand why sexual selection varies so much in strength across taxa; it has long been known that ecological factors are crucial to this. Temperature is a particularly salient abiotic ecological factor that modulates a wide range of physiological, morphological and behavioural traits, impacting in...
Article
Disentangling the relationship between age and reproduction is central to understand life‐history evolution, and recent evidence shows that considering condition‐dependent mortality is a crucial piece of this puzzle. For example, non‐random mortality of “low‐condition” individuals can lead to an increase in average lifespan. However, selective disa...
Article
Body size correlates with most structural and functional components of an organism’s phenotype – brain size being a prime example of allometric scaling with animal size. Therefore, comparative studies of brain evolution in vertebrates rely on controlling for the scaling effects of body size variation on brain size variation by calculating brain wei...
Article
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When encountering predators, prey animals often signal their ability to fight or flee to discourage the predator from an attack or pursuit. A key requirement for evolutionary stability of these predator-deterrent signals is that they convey honest information on the prey’s fighting or fleeing performance. In this study, we investigate the enigmatic...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic climate change ranks among the major global-scale threats to modern biodiversity. Extinction risks are known to increase via the interactions between rapid climatic alterations and environmentally-sensitive species traits that fail to adapt to those changes. Accumulating evidence reveals the influence of ecophysiological, ecological a...
Article
Full-text available
1. Sexual conflict is a fundamental driver of male/female adaptations, an engine of biodiversity, and a crucial determinant of population viability. Sexual conflict frequently leads to behavioural adaptations that allow males to displace their rivals, but in doing so harm those same females they are competing to access, which can decrease populatio...
Article
Understanding what factors modulate sexual selection intensity is crucial to a wide variety of evolutionary processes. Recent studies show that perception of sex pheromones can severely impact male mortality when it is not followed by mating (perception costs of reproduction). Here, we examine the idea that this may magnify sexual selection by furt...
Article
Full-text available
Chemical communication plays a pivotal role in shaping sexual and ecological interactions among animals. In lizards, fundamental mechanisms of sexual selection such as female mate choice have rarely been shown to be influenced by quantitative phenotypic traits (e.g., ornaments), while chemical signals have been found to potentially influence multip...
Article
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Animal signals can differ considerably in complexity and composition, even among closely related species. Work on vocal and visual signals has revealed how sexual selection can elaborate signals relevant in mate choice or rival assessment, but few studies have investigated this process in chemical signals. In this study, we correlated chemical sign...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge about chemical communication in some vertebrates is still relatively limited. Squamates are a glaring example of this, even when recent evidences indicate that scents are involved in social and sexual interactions. In lizards, where our understanding of chemical communication has considerably progressed in the last few years, many questio...
Article
Full-text available
Communicative traits are strikingly diverse and may vary among populations of the same species. Within a population, these traits may also display seasonal variation. Chemical signals play a key role in the communication of many taxa. However, we still know far too little about chemical communication in some vertebrate groups. In lizards, only a fe...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of key innovations promotes adaptive radiations by opening access to new ecological opportunity. The acquisition of viviparity (live-bearing reproduction) has emerged as one such innovation explaining reptile proliferations into extreme climates. By evolving viviparity, females provide embryos with internally stable environments to co...
Cover Page
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Article
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Lizards communicate with others via chemical signals, the composition of which may vary among species. Although the selective pressures and constraints affecting chemical signal diversity at the species level remain poorly understood, the possible role of diet has been largely neglected. The chemical signals of many lizards originate from the femor...
Article
Chemical signaling is a widespread mode of communication among living organisms that is used to establish social organization, territoriality and/or for mate choice. In lizards, femoral and precloacal glands are important sources of chemical signals. These glands protrude chemical secretions used to mark territories and also, to provide valuable in...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the factors that underlie signal divergences remains challenging in studies of animal communication. Regarding the chemical signalling, different compounds can be found in some species but be absent in others. We hypothesized that if the costs that are associated with the expression of some compounds are too high, their presence in the...
Article
Species whose geographical distribution encompasses both mainland and island populations provide ideal systems for examining potential isolation and genetic divergence. This has also interest from a conservationist point of view, as it is important to protect “evolutionarily significant units”. We report a phylogenetic mitochondrial DNA analysis co...
Article
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Limbless animals that burrow head-first are often considered to be evolutionarily constrained in the development of a large head, due to limitations imposed while penetrating the soil. Whilst animals with a small head experience less resistance when digging, they are believed to have a weak bite, hence restricting their potential dietary spectrum t...
Article
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Sound production plays a key role in a broad range of animal interactions among both conspecifics and heterospecifics.Yet less attention has been paid to acoustic communication in reptiles than to other sensorial modalities. Within lacertidae, the presence or absence of vocal behavior has been referred as a distinctive trait between their two subfa...
Article
Blood parasites such as haemogregarines and haemosporidians have been identified in almost all groups of vertebrates. However, very little is known about biodiversity of these parasites and their effects on some major groups of reptiles such as amphisbaenians, a distinctive group with many morphological and ecological adaptations to fossorial life....
Article
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In this study, several species of Isospora infecting lizards were genetically characterized. Specifically, five described and four newly described species of Isospora were included in a phylogeny of the family Eimeriidae. These species were isolated from hosts originally inhabiting all geographic continents except Europe. Phylogenetic analyses of t...
Article
Chemical signals play an important role in intraspecific communication and social organization of many animals, but they also may be useful in interspecific recognition. In lizards, chemical signals are often contained in femoral gland secretions, of which composition may vary between species and populations. This may be especially important in rec...
Article
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Reptiles are the animals with the most described coccidian species among all vertebrates. However, the co-evolutionary relationships in this host–parasite system have been scarcely studied. Paperna & Landsberg (South African Journal of Zoology, 24, 1989, 345) proposed the independent evolutionary origin of the Eimeria-like species isolated from rep...
Article
The two-fingered skink, Chalcides mauritanicus, is a fossorial species from North Africa, where it has only been found at a few localities in sandy sea shores. Virtually nothing is known about its ecology. For the first time, we report the occurrence of an apparently large and well-preserved population of C. mauritanicus at the Chafarinas Islands (...
Article
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Tarentola mauritanica is the most common gecko species in the Iberian Peninsula. It is widespread in most of the anthropogenic areas, where it shows predating behavior and male territoriality, especially during breeding season. In this note, we report an atypical aggregation of this species found in the streetlamps of the most frequented area of a...
Article
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The infectious disease chytridiomycosis caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is considered one of the main culprits causing major amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide. It is known to occur on every continent except Antarctica and is particularly damaging to amphibian tropical populations. We studied 18 different...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The use of chemicals to provide information has proved very influential in social and sexual interactions. My interest is focused on studying these social and sexual dealings from a perspective where chemicals could have a key role. In short, how does chemical communication operate?
Project
How environmental and phylogenetic variables influence life history traits? I investigate large-scale ecological questions through macroecological and evolutionary techniques and analyses to give answers to that question. Reptiles and amphibians are the main models that I usually employ in this project.
Project
I investigate different factors that could modulate sexual selection as a whole and particularly, their effects in sexual conflict.