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Comparative support for the expensive tissue hypothesis: Big brains are correlated with smaller gut and greater parental investment in Lake Tanganyika cichlids
Uppsala universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Biologiska sektionen, Institutionen för ekologi och genetik, Zooekologi.
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2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 69, nr 1, s. 190-200Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

The brain is one of the most energetically expensive organs in the vertebrate body. Consequently, the energetic requirements of encephalization are suggested to impose considerable constraints on brain size evolution. Three main hypotheses concerning how energetic constraints might affect brain evolution predict covariation between brain investment and (1) investment into other costly tissues, (2) overall metabolic rate, and (3) reproductive investment. To date, these hypotheses have mainly been tested in homeothermic animals and the existing data are inconclusive. However, there are good reasons to believe that energetic limitations might play a role in large-scale patterns of brain size evolution also in ectothermic vertebrates. Here, we test these hypotheses in a group of ectothermic vertebrates, the Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes. After controlling for the effect of shared ancestry and confounding ecological variables, we find a negative association between brain size and gut size. Furthermore, we find that the evolution of a larger brain is accompanied by increased reproductive investment into egg size and parental care. Our results indicate that the energetic costs of encephalization may be an important general factor involved in the evolution of brain size also in ectothermic vertebrates.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2015. Vol. 69, nr 1, s. 190-200
Nyckelord [en]
Brain evolution, constraints, encephalization, phylogenetic comparative methods, the expensive tissue hypothesis, trade-offs
Nationell ämneskategori
Biologiska vetenskaper
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-243668DOI: 10.1111/evo.12556ISI: 000347462800015PubMedID: 25346264OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-243668DiVA, id: diva2:789792
Tillgänglig från: 2015-02-20 Skapad: 2015-02-11 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-04Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Thinking in water: Brain size evolution in Cichlidae and Syngnathidae
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Thinking in water: Brain size evolution in Cichlidae and Syngnathidae
2015 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Brain size varies greatly among vertebrates. It has been proposed that the diversity of brain size is produced and maintained through a balance of adaptations to different types and levels of cognitive ability and constraints for adaptive evolution. Phylogenetic comparative studies have made major contributions to our understanding of brain size evolution. However, previous studies have nearly exclusively focused on mammalian and avian taxa and almost no attempts have been made to investigate brain size evolution in ectothermic vertebrates.

In my thesis, I studied brain size evolution in two groups of fish with extreme diversity in ecology, morphology and life history, Cichlidae and Syngnathidae. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, I investigated four key questions in vertebrate brain size evolution; cognitive adaptation, sexual selection, phenotypic integration and energetic constraints.

I have demonstrated i) that phenotypic integration can link functionally unrelated traits, and this may constrain independent evolution of each part involved or promote concerted evolution of an integrated whole, ii) that brain-body static allometry constrains the direction of brain size evolution, even though the static-allometry showed ability to evolve, allowing evolution of relative brain size under allometric constraints, iii) that the energetic constraints of development and maintenance of brain tissue is an important factor in forming the diversity in brain size in cichlids and syngnathids, both at macroevolutionary and microevolutionary time scales, and iv) that adaptation for feeding and female mating competition may have played key roles in the adaptive evolution of brain size in pipefishes and seahorses. To conclude, my thesis shows the strong benefit of using fish as a model system to study brain size evolution with a phylogenetic comparative framework.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. s. 50
Serie
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1286
Nyckelord
brain evolution, phylogenetic comparative method, the expensive tissue hypothesis, cichlid, pipefish, seahorse
Nationell ämneskategori
Evolutionsbiologi
Forskningsämne
Biologi med inriktning mot zooekologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-262216 (URN)978-91-554-9333-2 (ISBN)
Disputation
2015-10-29, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, tr.2, Uppsala, 10:15 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2015-10-07 Skapad: 2015-09-10 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-06-26

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