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Kelly R Sutherland, Hilarie L Sorensen, Olivia N Blondheim, Richard D Brodeur, Aaron W E Galloway
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 19, 2018: Ecology
Dorota L Porazinska, Emily C Farrer, Marko J Spasojevic, Clifton P Bueno de Mequita, Sam A Sartwell, Jane G Smith, Caitlin T White, Andrew J King, Katharine N Suding, Steve K Schmidt
Despite decades of interest, few studies have provided evidence supporting theoretical expectations for coupled relationships between aboveground and belowground diversity and ecosystem functioning in non-manipulated natural ecosystems. We characterized plant species richness and density, soil bacterial, fungal and eukaryotic species richness and phylogenetic diversity (using 16S, ITS, and 18S gene sequencing), and ecosystem function (levels of soil C and N, and rates of microbial enzyme activities) along a natural gradient in plant richness and density in high-elevation, C-deficient soils to examine the coupling between above- and belowground systems...
July 19, 2018: Ecology
Gerardo E Soto, Pablo M Vergara, Amanda D Rodewald
The endemic Magellanic Woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus), the southernmost and largest extant congener of the Ivory-billed woodpecker (C. principalis), is among the most iconic species of the Valdivian forest ecoregion. Threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation and with less than one-third of its original extent remaining, the Valdivian ecoregion is one of the world's 32 biodiversity hotspots (Olson et al. 2001). Within these forests, Magellanic Woodpeckers are foraging specialists and use their long, harpoon-tipped tongues to extract saproxylic insect larvae from the bark and heartwood of decayed Nothofagaceae trees...
July 19, 2018: Ecology
Niv DeMalach, Ronen Kadmon
The large variation in seed mass among species inspired a vast array of theoretical and empirical research attempting to explain this variation. So far, seed mass variation was investigated by two classes of studies: one class focuses on species varying in seed mass within communities, while the second focuses on variation between communities, most often with respect to resource gradients. Here, we develop a model capable of simultaneously explaining variation in seed mass within and between communities. The model describes resource competition (for both soil and light resources) in annual communities and incorporates two fundamental aspects: light asymmetry (higher light acquisition per unit biomass for larger individuals) and growth allometry (negative dependency of relative growth rate on plant biomass)...
July 14, 2018: Ecology
Allison Louthan, Daniel Doak
Integral projection and matrix population models are commonly used in ecological and conservation studies to assess the health and extinction risk of populations. These models use one (or more) measurable state variable(s), such as size or age, to predict individual performance which, ideally, is the sole determinant of an individual's expected fate. However, even if ecologists successfully identify and measure the observable state variable(s) that best predicts individual fate, we are rarely if ever able to perfectly measure state for many species, especially those with size structure, where total plant biomass or starch stores, for example, may be the best predictors of fate...
July 14, 2018: Ecology
Paul J Chisholm, Nyd Sertsuvalkul, Clare L Casteel, David W Crowder
Vector-borne viruses alter many physical and chemical traits of their plant hosts, indirectly affecting the fitness and behavior of vectors in ways that promote virus transmission. However, it is unclear whether viruses induce plant-mediated shifts in the behavior and fitness of non-vector herbivores, or if non-vectors affect the dynamics of vector-borne viruses. Here we evaluated reciprocal interactions between Pea enation mosaic virus (PEMV), a pathogen transmitted by the aphid Acrythosiphon pisum, and a non-vector weevil, Sitona lineatus...
July 12, 2018: Ecology
Sara E Miller, Sarah E Bluher, Emily Bell, Alessandro Cini, Rafael Carvalho da Silva, André Rodrigues de Souza, Kristine M Gandia, Jennifer Jandt, Kevin Loope, Amanda Prato, Jonathan N Pruitt, David Rankin, Erin Rankin, Robin J Southon, Floria M K Uy, Susan Weiner, Colin M Wright, Holly Downing, Raghavendra Gadagkar, M Cristina Lorenzi, Lidiya Rusina, Seirian Sumner, Elizabeth A Tibbetts, Amy Toth, Michael J Sheehan
Cooperative breeding decreases the direct reproductive output of subordinate individuals, but cooperation can be evolutionarily favored when there are challenges or constraints to breeding independently. Environmental factors, including temperature, precipitation, latitude, high seasonality and environmental harshness have been hypothesized to correlate with the presence of cooperative breeding. However, to test the relationship between cooperation and ecological constraints requires comparative data on the frequency and variation of cooperative breeding across differing environments, ideally replicated across multiple species...
July 12, 2018: Ecology
Jacob E Allgeier, Craig A Layman, Carmen G Montaña, Enie Hensel, Richard Appaldo, Amy D Rosemond
Humans are altering nutrient dynamics through myriad pathways globally. Concurrent with the addition of nutrients via municipal, industrial, and agricultural sources, widespread consumer exploitation is changing consumer-mediated nutrient dynamics drastically. Thus, altered nutrient dynamics can occur through changes in the supply of multiple nutrients, as well as through changes in the sources of these nutrients. Seagrass ecosystems are heavily impacted by human activities, with highly altered nutrient dynamics from multiple causes...
July 10, 2018: Ecology
James J Bell, Alberto Rovellini, Simon K Davy, Michael W Taylor, Elizabeth A Fulton, Matthew R Dunn, Holly M Bennett, Nora M Kandler, Heidi M Luter, Nicole S Webster
Anthropogenic stressors are impacting ecological systems across the world. Of particular concern are the recent rapid changes occurring in coral reef systems. With ongoing degradation from both local and global stressors, future reefs are likely to function differently to current coral-dominated ecosystems. Determining key attributes of future reef states is critical to reliably predict outcomes for ecosystem service provision. Here we explore the impacts of changing sponge dominance on coral reefs. Qualitative modelling of reef futures suggests that changing sponge dominance due to increased sponge abundance will have different outcomes for other trophic levels compared with increased sponge dominance as a result of declining coral abundance...
July 10, 2018: Ecology
Christiane Roscher, Jens Schumacher, Annett Lipowsky, Marlén Gubsch, Alexandra Weigelt, Bernhard Schmid, Nina Buchmann, Ernst-Detlef Schulze
Despite growing interest in incorporating intraspecific variation of functional traits in community-level studies, it remains unclear whether species classified into functional groups based on interspecific trait differences are similar regarding their variation in trait expression in response to varying plant diversity and composition in local communities. In a large biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment) designed on a trait-based a priori definition of functional groups (grasses, legumes, small herbs, tall herbs), we studied means, extent of variation (coefficient of variation across communities) and plasticity to increased plant diversity (slopes over a logarithmic species richness ranging from 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 to 60 species) for nine functional traits...
July 10, 2018: Ecology
Rebecca M Prather, Karl A Roeder, Nathan J Sanders, Michael Kaspari
As ecosystems warm, ectotherm consumer activity should also change. Here we use principles from metabolic and thermal ecology to explore how seasonal and diel temperature change shapes a prairie ant community's foraging rate and its demand for two fundamental resources: salt and sugar. From April through October 2016 we ran transects of vials filled with solutions of 0.5% NaCl and 1% sucrose. We first confirm a basic prediction rarely tested: the discovery rate of both food resources accelerated with soil temperature, but this increase was typically capped at midday due to extreme surface temperatures...
July 10, 2018: Ecology
Søren Faurby, Matt Davis, Rasmus Østergaard Pedersen, Simon D Schowanek, Alexandre Antonelli, Jens-Christian Svenning
Data needed for macroecological analyses are difficult to compile and often hidden away in supplementary material under non-standardized formats. Phylogenies, range data, and trait data often use conflicting taxonomies and require ad hoc decisions to synonymize species or fill in large amounts of missing data. Furthermore, most available data sets ignore the large impact that humans have had on species ranges and diversity. Ignoring these impacts can lead to drastic differences in diversity patterns and estimates of the strength of biological rules...
July 10, 2018: Ecology
Thomas C Parker, Jonathan Sanderman, Robert D Holden, Gesche Blume-Werry, Sofie Sjögersten, David Large, Miguel Castro-Díaz, Lorna E Street, Jens-Arne Subke, Philip A Wookey
Decomposition of plant litter is a key control over carbon (C) storage in the soil. The biochemistry of the litter being produced, the environment in which the decomposition is taking place, and the community composition and metabolism of the decomposer organisms exert a combined influence over decomposition rates. As deciduous shrubs and trees are expanding into tundra ecosystems as a result of regional climate warming, this change in vegetation represents a change in litter input to tundra soils and a change in the environment in which litter decomposes...
July 6, 2018: Ecology
Claire Fortunel, Jesse R Lasky, María Uriarte, Renato Valencia, S Joseph Wright, Nancy C Garwood, Nathan J B Kraft
Abiotic constraints and biotic interactions act simultaneously to shape communities. However, these community assembly mechanisms are often studied independently, which can limit understanding of how they interact to affect species dynamics and distributions. We develop a hierarchical Bayesian neighborhood modeling approach to quantify the simultaneous effects of topography and crowding by neighbors on the growth of 124,704 individual stems ≥1 cm DBH for 1,047 tropical tree species in a 25-ha mapped rainforest plot in Amazonian Ecuador...
July 5, 2018: Ecology
Andrew Rassweiler, Daniel C Reed, Shannon L Harrer, J Clint Nelson
The giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera forms subtidal forests on shallow reefs in temperate regions of the world. It is one of the fastest-growing multicellular autotrophs on Earth and its high productivity supports diverse marine food webs. In 2008, we published a method for estimating biomass and net primary production (NPP) of giant kelp along with five years of data, to provide a more integrated measure of NPP than those yielded by previous methods. Our method combines monthly field measurements of standing crop and loss rates with a model of kelp biomass dynamics to estimate instantaneous mass-specific growth rates and NPP for each season of each year...
June 29, 2018: Ecology
Maurício Humberto Vancine, Kauã da Silva Duarte, Yuri Silva de Souza, João Gabriel Ribeiro Giovanelli, Paulo Mateus Martins-Sobrinho, Ariel López, Rafael Parelli Bovo, Fábio Maffei, Marília Bruzzi Lion, José Wagner Ribeiro Júnior, Ricardo Brassaloti, Carolina Ortiz Rocha da Costa, Henrique Oliveira Sawakuchi, Lucas Rodriguez Forti, Pier Cacciali, Jaime Bertoluci, Célio Fernando Baptista Haddad, Milton Cezar Ribeiro
Amphibians are among the most threatened vertebrates in the world and this is also true for those inhabiting the Atlantic Forest hotspot, living in ecosystems that are highly degraded and threatened by anthropogenic activities. We present a data set containing information about amphibian communities sampled throughout the Atlantic Forest Biome in South America. The data were extracted from 389 bibliographic references (articles, books, theses, and dissertations) representing inventories of amphibian communities from 1940 to 2017...
June 28, 2018: Ecology
Margaret M Lamont, David R Seay, Kathleen Gault
Most freshwater and terrestrial turtle species that inhabit temperate environments hibernate to survive extreme cold periods. However, for sea turtles, the question of whether these species use hibernation as an overwintering strategy has not been resolved (Ultsch 2006). Felger et al. (1976) suggested that sea turtles bury themselves in mud on the seafloor and remain dormant throughout the winter, presumably not surfacing during that time. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
June 27, 2018: Ecology
Xingfeng Si, Marc W Cadotte, Yuhao Zhao, Haonan Zhou, Di Zeng, Jiaqi Li, Tinghao Jin, Peng Ren, Yanping Wang, Ping Ding, Morgan W Tingley
Incorporating imperfect detection when estimating species richness has become commonplace in the past decade. However, the question of how imperfect detection of species affects estimates of functional and phylogenetic community structure remains untested. We used long-term counts of breeding bird species that were detected at least once on islands in a land-bridge island system, and employed multi-species occupancy models to assess the effects of imperfect detection of species on estimates of bird diversity and community structure by incorporating species traits and phylogenies...
June 26, 2018: Ecology
Yvonne Tiede, Claudia Hemp, Antje Schmidt, Thomas Nauss, Nina Farwig, Roland Brandl
Morphological traits provide the interface between species and their environment. For example, body size affects the fitness of individuals in various ways. Yet especially for ectotherms, the applicability of general rules of interspecific clines of body size and even more so of other morphological traits is still under debate. Here we tested relationships between elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and productivity with four ecologically relevant morphological traits of orthopteran assemblages that are related to fecundity (body size), dispersal (wing length), jumping ability (hind femur length), and predator detection (eye size)...
June 26, 2018: Ecology
Tyler C Coverdale, Jacob R Goheen, Todd M Palmer, Robert M Pringle
Intraspecific variation in plant defense phenotype is common and has wide-ranging ecological consequences. Yet prevailing theories of plant defense allocation, which primarily account for interspecific differences in defense phenotype, often fail to predict intraspecific patterns. Furthermore, although individual variation in defense phenotype is often attributed to ecological interactions, few general mechanisms have been proposed to explain the ubiquity of variable defense phenotype within species. Here, we show experimentally that associational refuges and induced resistance interact to create predictable intraspecific variation in defense phenotype in African savanna plants...
June 25, 2018: Ecology
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