Anne Espeset's research while affiliated with University of Nevada, Reno and other places

Publications (18)

Article
Sexual selection is central to many theories on mate selection and individual behavior. Relatively little is known, however, about the impacts that human-induced rapid environmental change are having on secondary sexually selected characteristics. Honest signals function as an indicator of mate quality when there are differences in nutrient acquisi...
Preprint
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Sexual selection is an important and well-studied topic and is central to many theories on mate selection and individual behavior. Relatively little is known about the impacts that human-induced rapid environmental change are having on secondary sexually selected characteristics. In particular, we lack a clear understanding of the effects of the in...
Article
Nutrition has been hypothesized as an important constraint on brain evolution. However, it is unclear whether the availability of specific nutrients or the difficulty of locating high quality diets limits brain evolution, especially over long periods of time. We show that dietary nutrient content predicted brain size across 42 species of butterflie...
Article
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The small cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae , is a major agricultural pest of cruciferous crops and has been introduced to every continent except South America and Antarctica as a result of human activities. In an effort to reconstruct the near-global invasion history of P. rapae , we developed a citizen science project, the “Pieris Project,” a...
Article
Anthropogenic increases in nutrient availability offer opportunities to study evolutionary shifts in sexual selection dynamics in real time. A rapid increase in nutrient availability may reduce the utility of condition-dependent ornaments as signals of quality and lessen any nutritional benefits to females from re-mating. We explored these ideas us...
Preprint
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A major goal of invasion and climate change biology research is to understand the ecological and evolutionary responses of organisms to anthropogenic disturbance, especially over large spatial and temporal scales. One significant, and sometimes unattainable, challenge of these studies is garnering sufficient numbers of relevant specimens, especiall...
Article
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Phytochemical variation among plant species is one of the most fascinating and perplexing features of the natural world and has implications for both human health and the functioning of ecosystems. A key area of research on phytochemical variation has focused on insects that feed on plants and the enormous diversity of plant-derived compounds that...
Article
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Nutrition is a key component of life-history theory, yet we know little about how diet quality shapes life-history evolution across species. Here, we test whether quantitative measures of nutrition are linked to life-history evolution across 96 species of butterflies representing over 50 independent diet shifts. We find that butterflies feeding on...
Article
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Migratory animals pose unique challenges for conservation biologists, and we have much to learn about how migratory species respond to drivers of global change. Research has cast doubt on the stability of the eastern monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population in North America, but the western monarchs have not been as intensively examined. Usi...
Article
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Variation in life history traits can have major impacts on the ecological and evolutionary responses of populations to environmental change. Life history variation often results from tradeoffs that arise because individuals have a limited pool of resources to allocate among traits. However, human activities are increasing the availability of many o...
Article
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Climatic variation has been invoked as an explanation of population dynamics for a variety of taxa. Much work investigating the link between climatic forcings and population fluctuation uses single-taxon case studies. Here, we conduct comparative analyses of a multi-decadal dataset describing population dynamics of 50 co-occurring butterfly species...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The effects of shifting climatic conditions on populations of plants and animals have received increasing attention in the past decade. These studies have often focused on populations that are located in single locations, and little is known about how climate change affects migratory species that exist across broad regi...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Irruptive population dynamics have long fascinated ecologists, but analyses have typically focused on a relatively small number of well-studied species, often insect pests of crops. Here we utilize a long-term dataset (more than three decades at 10 sites along an altitudinal gradient) to investigate population dynamics...
Article
Full-text available
The development of organisms is changing drastically because of anthropogenic changes in once-limited nutrients. Although the importance of changing macronutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, is well-established, it is less clear how anthropogenic changes in micronutrients will affect organismal development, potentially changing dynamics of s...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Resource availability is known to impact organismal development and thus community dynamics. However what is less clear, is how resources impact trait evolution. Ideas from both life history theory and anthropology suggest that nutrient availability may constrain the evolution of traits requiring those nutrients. At th...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The honesty of traits important in female choice or male-male competition is often enforced by costs or physical constraints during development. Nutrient availability is commonly a limiting factor for such sexually selected traits. While scientists have long appreciated the link between nutritional ecology and sexual s...

Citations

... Lepidoptera provide excellent opportunities to study how variation in resource partitioning can shape life-history traits because they exhibit a variety of foraging ecologies as both larvae and adults (Slansky & Scriber, 1985;Swanson et al., 2016). As a resource, dietary nitrogen plays a crucial role in limiting developmental growth (Mattson, 1980) and constraining reproductive output (Fischer et al., 2004;Cahenzli & Erhardt, 2013;Swanson et al., 2016;Espeset et al., 2019). Since the majority of butterflies and moths feed on nectar (Slansky & Scriber, 1985), which is a poor source of amino acids (Baker & Baker, 1986), the nitrogenous requirements of adult butterflies and moths are largely provided for by nitrogen gathered during the larval phase from host-plant tissue (O'Brien et al., 2002). ...
... Our findings of a marked expansion the mushroom body in Heliconius are corroborated by our reanalysis of an independently collected neuroanatomical dataset of 41 species of North American butterflies, including H. charithonia and the Heliconiini Agraulis vanillae (54). Using the R package bayou v 2.0, we identified phylogenetic shifts in the scaling relationship between the mushroom body and the rest of the central brain. ...
... Furthermore, ABC can be used to analyze large datasets and to estimate demographic, historical, and genetic parameters . This method was used to investigate the possible invasion routes of certain non-native insects (e.g., Ryan et al. 2019;Mutitu et al. 2020), including species that were observed spreading quickly across Europe ) like the Harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis (Lombaert et al. 2010(Lombaert et al. , 2014a, the spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Fraimout et al. 2017), and the western conifer seed bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis (Lesieur et al. 2019). In these three cases, researchers observed that invasion dynamics and dispersal processes were complex, involving multiple introductions, admixture events, and bridgehead effects. ...
... In particular, the low genetic diversity of Pieris brassicae, a pest species with enormous current population sizes, is compatible with a rapid expansion which may have happened too recently to leave much signal in the data: Var[S] is not particularly low for P. brassicae (5.67 compared with the mean among species of 4.85). Interestingly, analysis of RAD-seq data from the closely related species P. rapae (the small white) suggests a population expansion ≈20,000 yBP (shortly after the last glacial maximum) followed by divergence into subspecies 1200 yBP when Brassica cultivation intensified 51 . It is therefore possible that, by contrast, the ancestral P. brassicae population remained small after the glacial maximum and only expanded as recently as ≈1200 yBP. ...
... With very few exceptions, these studies have focused on genetic variation in either herbivores or plants (refs. 15-19; but see ref. 20), but rarely both in the same study and never, to our knowledge, paired with modern metabolomic approaches that allow for untargeted discovery of influential compounds (21). This leaves us with considerable uncertainty concerning the relative importance of heritable traits in herbivores and in plants for determining the outcome of plant-insect interactions. ...
... Lepidoptera provide excellent opportunities to study how variation in resource partitioning can shape life-history traits because they exhibit a variety of foraging ecologies as both larvae and adults (Slansky & Scriber, 1985;Swanson et al., 2016). As a resource, dietary nitrogen plays a crucial role in limiting developmental growth (Mattson, 1980) and constraining reproductive output (Fischer et al., 2004;Cahenzli & Erhardt, 2013;Swanson et al., 2016;Espeset et al., 2019). ...
... These results seem to be in contrast to previous continental-scale modeling efforts that did not detect a strong signal of climatic factors in historic monarch population declines in the east (Flockhart et al., 2015;Stenoien et al., 2018;Zalucki et al., 2015), though climate factors have been associated with phenology and growth of the monarch population in specific parts of the eastern range (Zipkin et al., 2012;Zylstra et al., 2021). In comparison, studies in the western range generally suggest a stronger role for climatic factors, though the relative contributions of climatic and nonclimatic factors have been difficult to separate Espeset et al., 2016;Stevens & Frey, 2010 (Nail, Batalden, et al., 2015;York & Oberhauser, 2002;Zalucki, 1982), which allowed us to infer lethal and sublethal thermal constraints. In addition, it is also possible that the timing of our study allowed us to observe the effects of direct thermal stress that have become more apparent in recent years. ...
... The evolutionary trajectory of the Homo genus and especially Homo sapiens, is distinguishable by some trade-offs that are relevant to consider when attempting to understand the evolutionary dynamics of the host-microbiota symbiosis. Trade-offs are fundamental to life history theory, a central framework of evolutionary ecology (Flatt & Heyland, 2011;Snell-Rood et al., 2015;Wells & Stock, 2020). The life history strategy of an organism determines its fitness by affecting its main biological programs that are growth, survival, and reproduction; it can be seen as a sequence of energy allocation decisions towards traits that underpin these programs. ...
... df = 1, p < 0.001) showed a significant association with ENSO + (Table 1). These included 19 butterfly species in Canada and the USA (Vandenbosch, 2003;Harrison et al., 2015;Pardikes et al., 2015), two fruit fly species in Mexico (Aluja et al., 2012), 67 social wasp species in French Guiana (Dejean et al., 2011), one moth species in Argentina (Paritsis & Veblen, 2011), locusts in China (Zhang & Li, 1999), and two planthoppers in Japan (Morishita, 1992) (Table S1). Only eight species showed a significant association with ENSO − (Table 1): hessian fly and three butterfly species in the USA (Woli et al., 2014;Harrison et al., 2015), social wasps in Chile (Estay & Lima, 2010), locusts in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia (Todd et al., 2002), and two moth species in Australia (Maelzer & Zalucki, 2000) (Table S1). ...
... Sodium concentration in plant leaves is often less than 0.1% by mass (Ovington 1956, Botkin et al. 1973, Singh and Singh 1991 and sodium can be toxic to plants at high concentrations by disrupting potassium channels for osmotic regulation (Kronzucker et al. 2013). Insect herbivores can have up to one-thousand times higher sodium content than plants (Cromack et al. 1977) and sodium plays a crucial role in their neural and muscular function (Clausen et al. 1991, Zakon 2012, Snell-Rood et al. 2014). This inequality in demand for sodium suggests that sodium can be a limiting factor for herbivore populations and that insects may dedicate time and energy towards sodium assimilation to maintain normal metabolic function (Kaspari 2020), especially given the relatively high turnover of sodium in animal tissues (Blair-West et al. 1968). ...