Paul M Brakefield's research while affiliated with University of Cambridge and other places

Publications (410)

Article
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Compared to other regions, the drivers of diversification in Africa are poorly understood. We studied a radiation of insects with over 100 species occurring in a wide range of habitats across the Afrotropics to investigate the fundamental evolutionary processes and geological events that generate and maintain patterns of species richness on the con...
Article
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Phenotypic plasticity in heterogeneous environments can provide tight environment‐phenotype matching. However, the pre‐requisite is a reliable environmental cue(s) that enables organisms to use current environmental information to induce the development of a phenotype with high fitness in a forthcoming environment. Here we quantify predictability i...
Article
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New ecological niches that may arise due to climate change can trigger diversification, but their colonisation often requires adaptations in a suite of life-history traits. We test this hypothesis in species-rich Mycalesina butterflies that have undergone parallel radiations in Africa, Asia, and Madagascar. First, our ancestral state reconstruction...
Article
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Development can bias the independent evolution of traits sharing ontogenetic pathways, making certain evolutionary changes less likely. The eyespots commonly found on butterfly wings each have concentric rings of differing colors, and these serially repeated pattern elements have been a focus for evo-devo research. In the butterfly family Nymphalid...
Article
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Many organisms inhabiting seasonal environments exhibit adaptive developmental plasticity, allowing them to optimally match life-history traits with fluctuating conditions. This critically relies on environmental cues, such as temperature, as predictors for seasonal transitions. In most seasonal environments, multiple factors vary together, but mig...
Article
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Lungworms of the genera Parafilaroides and Otostrongylus are responsible for parasitic bronchopneumonia, the foremost disease of eastern Atlantic common seals (EACS, Phoca vitulina vitulina) in the Dutch North Sea. Recently, there have been increased reports of lungworm cases and observations of unusually long Parafilaroides sp. adults in this loca...
Preprint
Full-text available
Development can bias the independent evolution of traits sharing ontogenetic pathways, making certain evolutionary changes less likely. The eyespots commonly found on butterfly wings each have concentric rings of differing colors and these serially repeated pattern elements have been a focus for evo-devo research. In the butterfly family Nymphalida...
Article
Many tropical environments experience cyclical seasonal changes, frequently with pronounced wet and dry seasons, leading to a highly uneven temporal distribution of resources. Short‐lived animals inhabiting such environments often show season‐specific adaptations to cope with alternating selection pressures. African Bicyclus butterflies show stron...
Preprint
Full-text available
Developmental plasticity in a seasonal environment allows an organism to optimally match its life-history traits with the fluctuating conditions. This critically relies on abiotic and biotic factors, such as temperature or food quality, that act as environmental cues and predict seasonal transitions. In most seasonal environments, multiple factors...
Article
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Augmentative biological control by predaceous ladybird beetles can be improved by using flightless morphs, which have longer residence times on the host plants. The two-spot ladybird beetle, Adalia bipunctata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), is used for the biological control of aphids in greenhouses and on urban trees. Flightlessness due to trunc...
Preprint
Many tropical environments experience cyclical seasonal changes, frequently with pronounced wet and dry seasons, leading to a highly uneven temporal distribution of resources. Short-lived animals inhabiting such environments often show season-specific adaptations to cope with alternating selection pressures. African Bicyclus butterflies show strong...
Article
Full-text available
Phenotypic variation is the raw material for selection that is ubiquitous for most traits in natural populations, yet the processes underlying phenotypic evolution or stasis often remain unclear. Here, we report phenotypic evolution in a mutant line of the butterfly Bicyclus anynana after outcrossing with the genetically polymorphic wild type popul...
Article
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A recurrent theme in evolutionary biology is to contrast natural selection and developmental constraint – two forces pitted against each other as competing explanations for organismal form. Despite its popularity, this juxtaposition is deeply misleading.... Phenotypic variation is generated by the processes of development, with some variants arisin...
Article
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Many organisms alter their investment in secondary sexual traits to optimise the fitness trade‐off between reproduction and survival. Though seasonal variation in the expression of sexual traits is evident (e.g. conspicuous breeding plumage in birds), little attention has been given to short‐lived organisms that inhabit relatively stable environmen...
Article
Developmental plasticity enables organisms to cope with environmental heterogeneity, such as seasonal variation in climatic conditions, and is thought to affect a species' capability to adapt to environments with novel seasonal and ecological dynamics. We studied developmental plasticity of the widespread tropical butterfly, Bicyclus safitza, which...
Preprint
The interaction between mutational (i.e. genetic) robustness, cryptic genetic variation and epistasis is currently under much debate, as is the question whether mutational robustness evolved under direct selection or as a by-product of environmental robustness. Here we report that mutational robustness was restored in a mutant line of the butterfly...
Article
Phenotypic plasticity is an important concept in life history evolution, and most organisms, including Drosophila melanogaster, show a plastic life-history response to diet. However, little is known about how these life-history responses are mediated. In this study, we compared adult female flies fed an alternating diet (yoyo flies) with flies fed...
Article
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Background: The mycalesine butterfly Bicyclus anynana, the ‘Squinting bush brown’, is a model organism in the study of lepidopteran ecology, development and evolution. Here, we present a draft genome sequence for B. anynana to serve as a genomics resource for current and future studies of this important model species. Findings: Seven libraries with...
Article
Background Developmental plasticity is thought to have profound macro-evolutionary effects, for example, by increasing the probability of establishment in new environments and subsequent divergence into independently evolving lineages. In contrast to plasticity optimized for individual traits, phenotypic integration, which enables a concerted respo...
Article
Populations of laboratory animals that are selected for increased lifespan often show negative correlated responses in early fecundity. However, late fecundity and/or total lifetime fecundity can be higher in the populations selected for increased lifespan. This has been interpreted by some as being at odds with the disposable soma theory, which pr...
Article
2016 The Authors. Functional Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society One of the most dramatic examples of biome shifts in the geological record is the rapid replacement of C 3 vegetation by C 4 grasses in (sub-) tropical regions during the Late Miocene–Pliocene. Climate-driven biome shifts of this magnitude are expected to have a major impact on...
Article
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The genus Bicyclus is one of the largest groups of African butterflies, but due to the generally cryptic nature and seasonal variation of adult wing patterns, there has been a lot of systematic confusion. With a large research community working with the model species Bicyclus anynana there has been increasing interest in the evolutionary history of...
Article
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Sexual traits are often the most divergent characters among closely related species, suggesting an important role of sexual traits in speciation. However, to prove this, we need to show that sexual trait differences accumulate before or during the speciation process, rather than being a consequence of it. Here, we contrast patterns of divergence am...
Data
Table S1. Detailed list of sampled individuals for the four Bicyclus species.
Data
Table S1. Between group post hoc comparisons of female oviposition preference, larval growth and survival.
Data
Table S2. Average values of leaf traits by treatment group and species.
Data
Figure S1. The relationship between female oviposition preference and the two principal components of larval performance.
Data
Table S3. Regression analyses of female oviposition preference and larval performance with respect to leaf traits of the host plants.
Article
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The mycalesine butterfly genus Heteropsis Westwood, 1850 (Satyrinae: Mycalesina) has recently been conceived to be represented in three major palaeotropical regions (Madagascar, Africa and Asia), but there has been no formal taxonomic treatment covering this entire group. Studies aimed at understanding the evolutionary success of Mycalesina in the...
Article
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The Miocene radiation of C4 grasses under high-temperature and low ambient CO2 levels occurred alongside the transformation of a largely forested landscape into savanna. This inevitably changed the host plant regime of herbivores, and the simultaneous diversification of many consumer lineages, including Bicyclus butterflies in Africa, suggests that t...
Article
Summary One of the most dramatic examples of biome shifts in the geological record is the rapid replacement of C3 vegetation by C4 grasses in (sub-) tropical regions during the Late Miocene–Pliocene. Climate-driven biome shifts of this magnitude are expected to have a major impact on diversification and ecological speciation, especially in grazing...
Article
The fossil record displays remarkable stasis in many species over long time periods, yet studies of extant populations often reveal rapid phenotypic evolution and genetic differentiation among populations. Recent advances in our understanding of the fossil record and in population genetics and evolutionary ecology point to the complex geographic st...
Data
Table S1. Basic location data for all investigated specimens.
Data
File S1. Revision of the Bicyclus sciathis species group (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) with descriptions of four new species and corrected distributional records.
Article
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In this paper we present a thorough revision of the sciathis species group of the butterfly genus Bicyclus (Kirby). Type materials are discussed and in several cases lectotypes are assigned to specimens from original type series. Four new, and morphologically distinct, species are described (B. elishiae Brattström sp.n., B. heathi Brattström sp.n.,...
Article
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The ignobilis-group of the genus Bicyclus Kirby 1871 is revised. The species-group contains six species with a distinct wing pattern, but limited intraspecific variation, distributed across tropical African rainforest. We investigate a set of more than 1000 specimens from a range of museum collections, including some type material, and thoroughly u...
Conference Paper
The molecular mechanisms controlling sex pheromone production in moths have been studied extensively both at molecular and biochemical level. The production of sex pheromones in females of many moth species is tightly regulated by a photoperiodic cue initiated with the release of the pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN) to the hemo...
Article
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Selection can facilitate diversification by inducing character displacement in mate choice traits that reduce the probability of maladaptive mating between lineages. Although reproductive character displacement (RCD) has been demonstrated in two-taxa case studies, the frequency of this process in nature is still debated. Moreover, studies have focu...
Data
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(a) Cumulative survival of the flies that were weighed (left), and (b) cumulative survival of the flies that were not weighed (right) of all flies, including the ones that died in the first 4 days.
Data
Individuals alive and dead after 4 days per line and weighing treatment.
Data
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Egg production for flies that are short- and long-lived within every treatment.
Data
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Individual plasticity in the average number of eggs on low and high food.
Data
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Average weight (in mg) for flies that are short- and long-lived within every treatment.
Data
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Weight loss and number of eggs produced per time step for low food (green) and high food (red).
Article
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Background The environmental regulation of development can result in the production of distinct phenotypes from the same genotype, and provide the means for organisms to cope with environmental heterogeneity. The effect of the environment on developmental outcomes is typically mediated by hormonal signals which convey information about external cue...
Article
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Many adult traits in Drosophila melanogaster show phenotypic plasticity, and the effects of diet on traits such as lifespan and reproduction are well explored. Although plasticity in response to food is still present in older flies, it is unknown how sustained environmental variation affects life-history traits. Here, we explore how such life-long...
Article
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The conditional expression of alternative life strategies is a widespread feature of animal life and a pivotal adaptation to life in seasonal environments. To optimally match suites of traits to seasonally changing ecological opportunities, animals living in seasonal environments need mechanisms linking information on environmental quality to resou...
Article
Full-text available
Many organisms display phenotypic plasticity as adaptation to seasonal environmental fluctuations. Often, such seasonal responses entails plasticity of a whole suite of morphological and life-history traits that together contribute to the adaptive phenotypes in the alternative environments. While phenotypic plasticity in general is a well-studied p...
Data
Table S1. Full models of the effect of developmental temperature, sex and their interaction on a suite of phenotypic traits in B. sanaos and B. anynana, related to Figures 1–4 & 6. See Table 1 in the main text for the minimum adequate models. The data for B. anynana have previously been used in another study (Oostra et al. 2011).
Article
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Representatives of the highly speciose tropical butterfly genus Bicyclus (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) are characterized by morphological differences in the male androconia, a set of scales and hair pencils located on the surface of the wings. These androconia are assumed to be associated with the release of courtship pheromones. In the present study,...
Article
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Due to an error made whilst producing a major butterfly book more than a century ago, a pair of specimens of the species Mydosama pitana (Staudinger, 1897) was used as the basis for the first published illustration of the species Mydosama marginata (Moore, 1881). This error is most likely the reason why today the specimen considered as the holotype...
Article
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Different components of heritability, including genetic variance (V G), are influenced by environmental conditions. Here, we assessed phenotypic responses of life-history traits to two different developmental conditions, temperature and food limitation. The former represents an environment that defines seasonal polyphenism in our study organism, th...