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J C Buck, R F Hechinger, A C Wood, T E Stewart, A M Kuris, K D Lafferty
Most species aggregate in local patches. High host density in patches increases contact rate between hosts and parasites, increasing parasite transmission success. At the same time, for environmentally-transmitted parasites, high host density can decrease infection risk to individual hosts, because infective stages are divided among all hosts in a patch, leading to safety in numbers. We tested these predictions using the California horn snail, Cerithideopsis californica (=Cerithidea californica), which is the first intermediate host for at least 19 digenean trematode species in California estuaries...
May 18, 2017: Ecology
Noah W Sokol, Sara E Kuebbing, Mark A Bradford
Invasive species frequently co-occur with other human disturbances, which can impact the same ecosystem functions as the invader. Yet invasion studies rarely control for the presence of these other disturbances, although their overlapping effects may influence the direction and magnitude of impacts attributed to the invader alone. Here, we ask whether controlling for the presence of a co-occurring disturbance, as well as the time since disturbance, yields different values of an invader's ecosystem effects than when these factors remain unaddressed...
May 18, 2017: Ecology
David W Kikuchi, Gustavo H Kattan, Carolina Murcia, Fernando Montealegre
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 17, 2017: Ecology
Corie L Charpentier, Alexander J Wright, Jonathan H Cohen
Specialized defense strategies are induced in zooplankton upon detection of predator chemical cues or kairomones. These defenses are well-described for freshwater zooplankters, with morphological defenses being particularly striking, but few studies have reported kairomone-induced morphological defenses in marine zooplankton. Here, we compare morphological responses to kairomones in the larvae of two marine crab species, estuarine mud crabs (Rhithropanopeus harrisii) and Asian shore crabs (Hemigrapsus sanguineus)...
May 17, 2017: Ecology
Tomas Pärt, Jonas Knape, Matthew Low, Meit Öberg, Debora Arlt
The seasonal timing of reproduction is a major fitness factor in many organisms. Commonly, individual fitness declines with time in the breeding season. We investigated three suggested but rarely tested hypotheses for this seasonal fitness decline: (1) time per se (date hypothesis), (2) late breeders are of lower quality than early ones (individual quality hypothesis), and (3) late breeders are breeding at poorer territories than early ones (territory quality hypothesis). We used Bayesian variance component analyses to examine reproductive output (breeding success, number fledged, and number of recruits) from repeated observations of female northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) and individual territories from a 20-year population study...
May 16, 2017: Ecology
David A Steen, Dawn Kelly
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 15, 2017: Ecology
Madison M Laughlin, Erik R Olson, Jonathan G Martin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 15, 2017: Ecology
Shelley D Crausbay, Philip E Higuera, Douglas G Sprugel, Linda B Brubaker
Disturbance can catalyze rapid ecological change by causing widespread mortality and initiating successional pathways, and during times of climate change, disturbance may contribute to ecosystem state changes by initiating a new successional pathway. In the Pacific Northwest of North America (PNW), disturbance by wildfires strongly shapes the composition and structure of lowland forests, but understanding the role of fire over periods of climate change is challenging, because fire-return intervals are long (e...
May 13, 2017: Ecology
Ricardo S Bovendorp, Nacho Villar, Edson F de Abreu-Junior, Carolina Bello, André L Regolin, Alexandre R Percequillo, Mauro Galetti
The contribution of small mammal ecology to the understanding of macroecological patterns of biodiversity, population dynamics and community assembly has been hindered by the absence of large datasets of small mammal communities from tropical regions. Here we compile the largest dataset of inventories of small mammal communities for the Neotropical region. The dataset reviews small mammal communities from the Atlantic forest of South America, one of the regions with the highest diversity of small mammals and a global biodiversity hotspot, though currently covering less than 12% of its original area due to anthropogenic pressures...
May 13, 2017: Ecology
Camille S Delavaux, Lauren M Smith-Ramesh, Sara E Kuebbing
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can increase plant fitness under certain environmental conditions. Among the mechanisms that may drive this mutualism, the most studied is provisioning of nutrients by AMF in exchange for carbon from plant hosts. However, AMF may also provide a suite of non-nutritional benefits to plants including improved water uptake, disease resistance, plant chemical defense, soil aggregation, and allelochemical transport and protection. Here, we use a meta-analysis of 93 studies to assess the relative effect of AMF on nutritional and non-nutritional factors that may influence plant fitness...
May 13, 2017: Ecology
Michael Kaspari, Jelena Bujan, Michael D Weiser, Daliang Ning, Sean T Michaletz, He Zhili, Brian J Enquist, Robert B Waide, Jizhong Zhou, Benjamin L Turner, S Joseph Wright
Humans are both fertilizing the world and depleting its soils, decreasing the diversity of aquatic ecosystems and terrestrial plants in the process. We know less about how nutrients shape the abundance and diversity of the prokaryotes, fungi, and invertebrates of Earth's soils. Here we explore this question in the soils of a Panama forest subject to a 13-year fertilization with factorial combinations of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) and a separate micronutrient cocktail. We contrast three hypotheses linking biogeochemistry to abundance and diversity...
May 13, 2017: Ecology
Rachel C Wooliver, Zachary H Marion, Christopher R Peterson, Brad M Potts, John K Senior, Joseph K Bailey, Jennifer A Schweitzer
Increasing rates of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) enrichment to soils often lead to the dominance of nitrophilic plant species and reduce plant diversity in natural ecosystems. Yet, we lack a framework to predict which species will be winners or losers in soil N enrichment scenarios, a framework that current literature suggests should integrate plant phylogeny, functional trade-offs, and nutrient co-limitation. Using a controlled fertilization experiment, we quantified biomass responses to N enrichment for 23 forest tree species within the genus Eucalyptus that are native to Tasmania, Australia...
May 13, 2017: Ecology
E A McKinnon, C Artuso, O P Love
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 12, 2017: Ecology
Camille L Stagg, Donald R Schoolmaster, Ken W Krauss, Nicole Cormier, William H Conner
Coastal wetlands significantly contribute to global carbon storage potential. Sea-level rise and other climate change-induced disturbances threaten coastal wetland sustainability and carbon storage capacity. It is critical that we understand the mechanisms controlling wetland carbon loss so that we can predict and manage these resources in anticipation of climate change. However, our current understanding of the mechanisms that control soil organic matter decomposition, in particular the impacts of elevated salinity, are limited, and literature reports are contradictory...
May 10, 2017: Ecology
Thijs van Overveld, Manuel de la Riva, José Antonio Donázar
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 8, 2017: Ecology
J Sean Doody, David Rhind, Brian Green, Christina Castellano, Colin McHenry, Simon Clulow
Invasive species can trigger trophic cascades in animal communities, but published cases involving their removal of top predators are extremely rare. An exception is the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina) in Australia, which has caused severe population declines in monitor lizards, triggering trophic cascades that facilitated dramatic and sometimes unexpected increases in several prey of the predators, including smaller lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles, and birds. Persistence of isolated populations of these predators with a decades-long sympatry with toads suggests the possibility of recovery, but alternative explanations are possible...
May 6, 2017: Ecology
Gregory M Ames, Steven M Anderson, Eric A Ungberg, Justin P Wright
Understanding and predicting the response of plant communities to environmental changes and disturbances such as fire requires an understanding of the functional traits present in the system, including within and across species variability, and their dynamics over time. These data are difficult to obtain as few studies provide comprehensive information for more than a few traits or species, rarely cover more than a single growing season, and usually present only summary statistics of trait values. As part of a larger study seeking to understand the dynamics of plant communities in response to different prescribed fire regimes, we measured the functional traits of the understory plant communities located in over 140 permanent plots spanning strong gradients in soil moisture in a pyrogenic longleaf pine forest in North Carolina, USA, over a four-year period from 2011 and 2014...
May 5, 2017: Ecology
Mareike Wieczorek, Stefan Kruse, Laura S Epp, Alexei Kolmogorov, Anatoly N Nikolaev, Ingo Heinrich, Florian Jeltsch, Lyudmila A Pestryakova, Romy Zibulski, Ulrike Herzschuh
Arctic and alpine treelines worldwide differ in their reactions to climate change. A northward advance of or densification within the treeline ecotone will likely influence climate-vegetation feedback mechanisms. In our study, which was conducted in the Taimyr Depression in the North Siberian Lowlands, w present a combined field- and model-based approach helping us to better understand the population processes involved in the responses of the whole treeline ecotone, spanning from closed forest to single-tree tundra, to climate warming...
May 5, 2017: Ecology
David A De Angelis
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 5, 2017: Ecology
Scott Creel, Egil Dröge, Jassiel M'soka, Daan Smit, Matt Becker, Dave Christianson, Paul Schuette
Most species adjust their behavior to reduce the likelihood of predation. Many experiments have shown that antipredator responses carry energetic costs that can affect growth, survival and reproduction, so that the total cost of predation depends on a trade-off between direct predation and risk effects. Despite these patterns, few field studies have examined the relationship between direct predation and the strength of antipredator responses, particularly for complete guilds of predators and prey. We used scan sampling in 344 observation periods over a four-year field study to examine behavioral responses to the immediate presence of predators for a complete antelope guild (dominated by wildebeest, zebra and oribi) in Liuwa Plains National Park, testing for differences in response to all large carnivores in the ecosystem (lions, spotted hyenas, cheetahs and African wild dogs)...
May 5, 2017: Ecology
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