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Martino E Malerba, Craig R White, Dustin J Marshall
Many studies examine how body size mediates energy use, but few examine how size simultaneously regulates energy acquisition. Furthermore, rarely energy fluxes are examined while accounting for the role of biotic and abiotic factors in which they are nested. These limitations contribute to an incomplete understanding of how size affects the transfer of energy through individuals, populations, and communities. Here we characterized photosynthesis-irradiance (P-I) curves and per-cell net-energy use for 21 phytoplankton species spanning across 4 orders of magnitude of size and 7 phyla, each measured across 6 light intensities and 4 population densities...
September 22, 2017: Ecology
Dennis D Tarasi, Robert K Peet
Biological invasions can have dramatic impacts on communities and biodiversity, and are critical considerations in conservation and management decisions. We present a novel analysis to determine how exotic species success varies with community richness and scale of measurement. Using 5022 plots representing natural vegetation of the Carolinas, we calculated native and exotic species richness of all vascular plants at five grain sizes. To avoid spatial pseudoreplication, we randomly selected unique subplots from each larger plot, re-selecting 100 times to develop an empirical distribution of the native-exotic richness relationship (NERR)...
September 21, 2017: Ecology
Matthew H Lurie, Kasey E Barton, Curtis C Daehler
Plant-herbivore interactions have been predicted to play a fundamental role in plant invasions, although support for this assertion from previous research is mixed. While plants may escape from specialist herbivores in their introduced ranges, herbivory from generalists is common. Tolerance traits may allow non-native plants to mitigate the negative consequences of generalist herbivory that they cannot avoid in their introduced range. Here we address whether tolerance to herbivory, quantified as survival and compensatory growth, is associated with plant invasion success in Hawaii and investigate traits that may enhance tolerance in seedlings, the life stage most susceptible to herbivory...
September 21, 2017: Ecology
Eric M Lind, Kimberly J La Pierre, Eric W Seabloom, Juan Alberti, Oscar Iribarne, Jennifer Firn, Daniel S Gruner, Adam D Kay, Jesus Pascal, Justin P Wright, Louie Yang, Elizabeth T Borer
Increases in nutrient availability and alterations to mammalian herbivore communities are a hallmark of the Anthropocene, with consequences for the primary producer communities in many ecosystems. While progress has advanced understanding of plant community responses to these perturbations, the consequences for energy flow to higher trophic levels in the form of secondary production are less well understood. We quantified arthropod biomass after manipulating soil nutrient availability and wild mammalian herbivory, using identical methods across 13 temperate grasslands...
September 21, 2017: Ecology
Marcus A Lashley, Heather R Jordan, Jeffery K Tomberlin, Brandon T Barton
Mass mortality events are characterized by rapid die-offs of many individuals within a population at a specific location. These events produce a high concentration of remains within a given locale and the frequency and magnitude of these events may be increasing (Fey et al. 2015). Mass mortality events may be caused by physical (e.g., lightning strikes, fire), chemical (e.g., pollutants, hypoxia), or biological processes (e.g., disease, phenological mismatch with food source). This article is protected by copyright...
September 15, 2017: Ecology
Halvor M Halvorson, Erik Sperfeld, Michelle A Evans-White
Resource quantity and quality are fundamental bottom-up constraints on consumers. Best understood in autotroph-based systems, co-occurrence of these constraints may be common but remains poorly studied in detrital-based systems. Here, we used a laboratory growth experiment to test limitation of the detritivorous caddisfly larvae Pycnopsyche lepida across a concurrent gradient of oak litter quantity (food supply) and quality (phosphorus:carbon, P:C ratios). Growth increased simultaneously with quantity and quality, indicating co-limitation across the resource gradients...
September 13, 2017: Ecology
Eric A Riddell, Michael W Sears
Christian et al. (2017) proposed several possible flaws in the methods and logic presented by Riddell et al. (2017) that included potential activity of salamanders during measurements, trimming of the agar model's legs, misinterpretations of the empirical data, limitations on agar models, and the relationship between body size and skin resistance to water loss (ri ). We argue that these criticisms are easily addressable, and here, we reinforce our original claim that the agar method for determination of resistance to water loss is flawed...
September 13, 2017: Ecology
Rafael D'Andrea, Annette Ostling
Niche differentiation is normally regarded as a promoter of species coexistence in competitive systems, as it stabilizes species abundances. One might therefore expect lower extinction rates and higher species richness and local persistence times in niche-differentiated communities than in neutral assemblages. Here we compare stochastic niche and neutral dynamics in simulated assemblages, and find that when local dynamics combine with immigration from a regional pool, the effect of niches can be more complex...
September 12, 2017: Ecology
Elizabeth G Pringle, Ian Ableson, Jennifer Kerber, Rachel L Vannette, Leiling Tao
Predictable effects of resource availability on plant growth-defense strategies provide a unifying theme in theories of direct anti-herbivore defense, but it is less clear how resource availability modulates plant indirect defense. Ant-plant-hemipteran interactions produce mutualistic trophic cascades when hemipteran-tending ants reduce total herbivory, and these interactions are a key component of plant indirect defense in most terrestrial ecosystems. Here we conducted an experiment to test how ant-plant-hemipteran interactions depend on nitrogen (N) availability by manipulating the presence of ants and aphids under different N fertilization treatments...
September 9, 2017: Ecology
Jussi Vesterinen, Shawn P Devlin, Jari Syväranta, Roger I Jones
The role of littoral habitats in lake metabolism has been underrated, especially in humic lakes, based on an assumption of low benthic primary production (PP) due to low light penetration into water. This assumption has been challenged by recent recognition of littoral epiphyton dominance of whole-lake PP in a small highly humic lake and of epiphyton as an important basal food source for humic lake biota. However, as these studies have mostly concerned single lakes, there is a need to test their wider generality...
September 9, 2017: Ecology
Myriam R Hirt, Tobias Lauermann, Ulrich Brose, Lucas P J J Noldus, Anthony I Dell
Speed is a key trait of animal movement, and while much is already known about vertebrate speed and how it scales with body mass, studies on invertebrates are sparse, especially across diverse taxonomic groups. Here, we used automated image-based tracking to characterize the exploratory (voluntary) speed of 173 invertebrates comprising 57 species across 6 taxonomic groups (Arachnida, Chilopoda, Diplopoda, Entognatha, Insecta, Malacostraca) and 4 feeding types (carnivore, detritivore, herbivore, omnivore). Across all individuals, exploratory speed scaled with body mass following a power-law relationship with a scaling exponent of 0...
September 8, 2017: Ecology
Mark A Bradford, Anthony Leiserowitz, Geoffrey Feinberg, Seth A Rosenthal, Jennifer A Lau
To systematically assess views on contributions and future activities for long-term research in ecology and evolution (LTREE), we conducted and here provide data responses and associated metadata for a survey of ecological and evolutionary scientists. The survey objectives were to: 1) Identify and prioritize research questions that are important to address through long-term, ecological field experiments; and 2) Understand the role that these experiments might play in generating and applying ecological and evolutionary knowledge...
September 8, 2017: Ecology
B C Norman, M R Whiles, S M Collins, A S Flecker, S K Hamilton, S L Johnson, E J Rosi-Marshall, L R Ashkenas, W B Bowden, C L Crenshaw, T Crowl, W K Dodds, R O Hall, R El-Sabaawi, N A Griffiths, E Marti, W H McDowell, S D Peterson, H M Rantala, T Riis, K S Simon, J L Tank, S A Thomas, D von Schiller, J R Webster
Studies of trophic-level material and energy transfers are central to ecology. The use of isotopic tracers has now made it possible to measure trophic transfer efficiencies of important nutrients and to better understand how these materials move through food webs. We analyzed data from thirteen (15) N-ammonium tracer addition experiments to quantify N transfer from basal resources to animals in headwater streams with varying physical, chemical, and biological features. N transfer efficiencies from primary uptake compartments (PUCs; heterotrophic microorganisms and primary producers) to primary consumers was lower (mean: 11...
September 7, 2017: Ecology
Walter D Koenig, Johannes M H Knops, Mario B Pesendorfer, David N Zaya, Mary V Ashley
We investigated spatial synchrony of acorn production by valley oaks (Quercus lobata) among individual trees at the within-population, local level and at the among-population, statewide level spanning the geographic range of the species. At the local level, the main drivers of spatial synchrony were water availability and flowering phenology of individual trees, while proximity, temperature differences between trees, and genetic similarity failed to explain a significant proportion of variance in spatial synchrony...
September 7, 2017: Ecology
Andrew Kulmatiski, Karen H Beard, Jeanette Norton, Justin Heavilin, Leslie Forero, Josephine Grenzer
Plant soil feedbacks (PSFs) are thought to be important to plant growth and species coexistence, but most support for these hypotheses is derived from short-term greenhouse experiments. Here we use a seven-year, common garden experiment to measure PSFs for seven native and six non-native species common to the western USA. We use these long-term, field-based estimates to test correlations between PSF and plant landscape abundance, species origin, functional type and lifespan. To assess potential PSF mechanisms, we also measured soil microbial community composition, root biomass, nitrogen cycling, bulk density, penetration resistance, and shear strength...
September 7, 2017: Ecology
Todd M Palmer, Corinna Riginos, Rachel E Damiani, Natalya Morgan, John S Lemboi, James Lengingiro, Juan Carlos Ruiz-Guajardo, Robert M Pringle
Ant-plant protection symbioses, in which plants provide food and/or shelter for ants in exchange for protection from herbivory, are model systems for understanding the ecology of mutualism. While interactions between ants, host plants, and herbivores have been intensively studied, we know little about how plant-plant interactions influence the dynamics of these mutualisms-despite strong evidence that plants compete for resources, that hosting ants can be costly, and that host-plant provisioning to ants can therefore be constrained by resource availability...
September 6, 2017: Ecology
Renata de Lara Muylaert, Richard D Stevens, Carlos Eduardo Lustosa Esbérard, Marco Aurelio Ribeiro Mello, Guilherme Siniciato Terra Garbino, Luiz H Varzinczak, Deborah Faria, Marcelo de Moraes Weber, Patricia Kerches Rogeri, André Luis Regolin, Hernani Fernandes Magalhães de Oliveira, Luciana de Moraes Costa, Marília A S Barros, Gilberto Sabino-Santos, Mara Ariane Crepaldi de Morais, Vinicius Silva Kavagutti, Fernando C Passos, Emma-Liina Marjakangas, Felipe Gonçalves Motta Maia, Milton Cezar Ribeiro, Mauro Galetti
Bats are the second most diverse mammal order and they provide vital ecosystem functions (e.g., pollination, seed dispersal, and nutrient flux in caves) and services (e.g., crop pest suppression). Bats are also important vectors of infectious diseases, harboring more than 100 different virus types. In the present study, we compiled information on bat communities from the Atlantic Forests of South America, a species-rich biome that are highly threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. ATLANTIC BATS dataset comprises 135 quantitative studies carried out in 205 sites, which cover most vegetation types of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Forest: dense ombrophilous forest, mixed ombrophilous forest, semideciduous forest, deciduous forest, savanna, steppe, and open ombrophilous forest...
September 6, 2017: Ecology
Marcos S L Figueiredo, Camila S Barros, Ana C Delciellos, Edú B Guerra, Pedro Cordeiro-Estrela, Maja Kajin, Martin R Alvarez, Paulo H Asfora, Diego Astúa, Helena G Bergallo, Rui Cerqueira, Lena Geise, Rosana Gentile, Carlos Eduardo V Grelle, Gilson E Iack-Ximenes, Leonardo C Oliveira, Marcelo Weksler, Marcus V Vieira
Local abundance results from the interaction between populational and environmental processes. The abundance of the species in a community is also one of the most basic descriptors of its structure. Despite its importance, information about species abundances is fragmentary, creating a knowledge gap about species abundances known as Prestonian Shortfall. Here we present a comprehensive dataset of small mammal abundance in the Atlantic Forest. Data were extracted from 114 published sources and from unpublished data collected by our research groups spanning from 1943 to 2017...
September 6, 2017: Ecology
Cameron Wagg, Michael J O'Brien, Anja Vogel, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Nico Eisenhauer, Bernhard Schmid, Alexandra Weigelt
Increasing frequency of extreme climatic events can disrupt ecosystem processes and destabilize ecosystem functioning. Biodiversity may dampen these negative effects of environmental perturbations to provide greater ecosystem stability. We assessed the effects of plant diversity on the resistance, recovery and stability of experimental grassland ecosystems in response to recurring summer drought over seven years. Plant biomass production was reduced during the summer drought treatment compared with control plots...
September 4, 2017: Ecology
Anne Chao, Chun-Huo Chiu, Robert K Colwell, Luiz Fernando S Magnago, Robin L Chazdon, Nicholas J Gotelli
Estimating the species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity of a community is challenging because rare species are often undetected, even with intensive sampling. The Good-Turing frequency formula, originally developed for cryptography, estimates in an ecological context the true frequencies of rare species in a single assemblage based on an incomplete sample of individuals. Until now, this formula has never been used to estimate undetected species, phylogenetic, and functional diversity. Here, we first generalize the Good-Turing formula to incomplete sampling of two assemblages...
September 4, 2017: Ecology
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