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Biased movement drives local cryptic coloration on distinct urban pavements.

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2019
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The Royal Society Publishing
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Explanations of how organisms might adapt to urban environments have mostly focused on divergent natural selection and adaptive plasticity. However, differential habitat choice has been suggested as an alternative. Here, we test for habitat choice in enhancing crypsis in ground-perching grasshoppers colonizing an urbanized environment, composed of a mosaic of four distinctly coloured substrates (asphalt roads and adjacent pavements). Additionally, we determine its relative importance compared to present-day natural selection and phenotypic plasticity. We found that grasshoppers are very mobile, but nevertheless approximately match the colour of their local substrate. By manipulating grasshopper colour, we confirm that grasshoppers increase the usage of those urban substrates that resemble their own colours. This selective movement actively improves crypsis. Colour divergence between grasshoppers on different substrates is not or hardly owing to present-day natural selection, because observed mortality rates are too low to counteract random substrate use. Additional experiments also show negligible contributions from plasticity in colour. Our results confirm that matching habitat choice can be an important driver of adaptation to urban environments. In general, studies should more fully incorporate that individuals are not only selective targets (i.e. selected on by the environment), but also selective agents (i.e. selecting their own environments).
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info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/MICINN//RYC-2011-07889/ES/RYC-2011-07889/
CGL-2012-35232
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/MINECO//CGL2013-49460-EXP/ES/PUEDE PRODUCIRSE LA ADAPTACION POR OTRO MECANISMO QUE POR LA SELECCION NATURAL? UNA PRUEBA EXPERIMENTAL/
CGL2016-79483-P
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/MINECO//BES-2013-062905/ES/BES-2013-062905/
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The data and R code supporting the results are archived in the Dryad Digital Repository: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.58bb05p. Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4671386. This work was supported by grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (grant nos RYC-2011-07889, CGL-2012-35232, CGL2013-49460-EXP and CGL2016-79483-P to P.E.; grant no. BES-2013-062905 to A.B.-V.) with support from the European Regional Development Fund, and from the National Science Foundation (grant no. DEB-1456462 to D.I.B.). We thank Dries Bonte, Carlos Camacho, Bart Kempenaers, Martine Maan, Yoel Stuart, Thor Veen, Jonathan Wright and all people at Axios Review for comments and discussion. Chad Brock provided R code to simulate natural selection.
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PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B 286: 20191343
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