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Ecology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29160898/variation-in-range-size-and-dispersal-capabilities-of-microbial-taxa
#1
Mallory J Choudoir, Albert Barberán, Holly L Menninger, Rob R Dunn, Noah Fierer
Geographic range size can span orders of magnitude for plant and animal species, with the study of why range sizes vary having preoccupied biogeographers for decades. In contrast, there have been few comparable studies of how range size varies across microbial taxa and what traits may be associated with this variation. We determined the range sizes of 74,134 bacterial and archaeal taxa found in settled dust collected from 1,065 locations across the United States. We found that most microorganisms have small ranges and few have large ranges, a pattern similar to the range size distributions commonly observed for macrobes...
November 21, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29159859/identifiability-in-n-mixture-models-a-large-scale-screening-test-with-bird-data
#2
Marc Kéry
Binomial N-mixture models have proven very useful in ecology, conservation and monitoring: they allow estimation and modeling of abundance separately from detection probability using simple counts. Recently, doubts about parameter identifiability have been voiced. I conducted a large-scale screening test with 137 bird data sets from 2,037 sites. I found virtually no identifiability problems for Poisson and zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) binomial N-mixture models, but negative-binomial (NB) models had problems in 25% of all data sets...
November 21, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29155453/large-scale-bleaching-of-corals-on-the-great-barrier-reef
#3
T P Hughes, J T Kerry, T Simpson
In 2015-2016, record temperatures triggered a pan-tropical episode of coral bleaching. In the southern hemisphere summer of March-April 2016, we used aerial surveys to measure the level of bleaching on 1,156 individual reefs throughout the 2,300 km length of the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system. The accuracy of the aerial scores was ground-truthed with detailed underwater surveys of bleaching at 260 sites (104 reefs), allowing us to compare aerial and underwater bleaching data with satellite-derived temperatures and with associated model predictions of bleaching...
November 20, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29155446/the-china-plant-trait-database-towards-a-comprehensive-regional-compilation-of-functional-traits-for-land-plants
#4
Han Wang, Sandy P Harrison, I Colin Prentice, Yanzheng Yang, Fan Bai, Henrique Furstenau Togashi, Meng Wang, Shuangxi Zhou, Jian Ni
Plant functional traits provide information about adaptations to climate and environmental conditions, and can be used to explore the existence of alternative plant strategies within ecosystems. Trait data are also increasingly being used to provide parameter estimates for vegetation models. Here we present a new database of plant functional traits from China. Most global climate and vegetation types can be found in China, and thus the database is relevant for global modelling. The China Plant Trait Database contains information on morphometric, physical, chemical and photosynthetic traits from 122 sites spanning the range from boreal to tropical, and from deserts and steppes through woodlands and forests, including montane vegetation...
November 20, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29141104/thaw-circles-around-tree-trunks-provide-spring-ephemeral-plants-with-a-big-head-start-on-the-growing-season
#5
Mark Vellend, Amanda B Young, Gabriel Letendre, Sébastien Rivest
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 15, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29141097/fighting-an-uphill-battle-the-recovery-of-frogs-in-australia-s-wet-tropics
#6
Donald T McKnight, Ross A Alford, Conrad J Hoskin, Lin Schwarzkopf, Sasha E Greenspan, Kyall R Zenger, Deborah S Bower
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 15, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29136275/subterranean-flowers-of-aspidistra-elatior-are-mainly-pollinated-by-not-terrestrial-amphipods-but-fungus-gnats
#7
Kenji Suetsugu, Masahiro Sueyoshi
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 14, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29131311/hemiparasites-can-transmit-indirect-effects-from-their-host-plants-to-herbivores
#8
Nathan L Haan, Jonathan D Bakker, M Deane Bowers
Parasitic plants can serve as critical intermediaries between their hosts and other organisms; however these relationships are not well understood. To investigate the relative importance of plant traits in such interactions, we studied the role of the root hemiparasite, Castilleja levisecta (Orobanchaceae), as a mediator of interactions between the host plants it parasitizes and the lepidopteran herbivore Euphydryas editha (Nymphalidae), whose caterpillars feed on Castilleja and sequester iridoid glycosides from it...
November 13, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29121406/multiple-mechanisms-of-early-plant-community-assembly-with-stochasticity-driving-the-process
#9
Bryndís Marteinsdóttir, Kristín Svavarsdóttir, Thóra Ellen Thórhallsdóttir
Initial plant establishment is one of the most critical phases in ecosystem development, where an early suite of physical (environmental filtering), biological (seed limitation, species interactions) and stochastic factors may affect successional trajectories and rates. While functional traits are commonly used to study processes that influence plant community assembly in late successional communities, few studies have applied them to primary succession. The objective here was to determine the importance of these factors in shaping early plant community assembly on a glacial outwash plain, Skeiðarársandur, in SE Iceland using a trait based approach...
November 9, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29121390/dynamic-preferential-allocation-to-arbuscular-mycorrhizal-fungi-explains-fungal-succession-and-coexistence
#10
Benedicte Bachelot, Charlotte T Lee
Evidence accumulates about the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in shaping plant communities, but little is known about the factors determining the biomass and coexistence of several types of AM fungi in a plant community. Here, using a consumer-resource framework that treats the relationship between plants and fungi as simultaneous, reciprocal exploitation, we investigated what patterns of dynamic preferential plant carbon allocation to empirically-defined fungal types (on-going partner choice) would be optimal for plants, and how these patterns depend on successional dynamics...
November 9, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29121389/analyzing-community-weighted-trait-means-across-environmental-gradients-should-phylogeny-stay-or-should-it-go
#11
Leandro D S Duarte, Vanderlei Julio Debastiani, Marcos Bergmann Carlucci, José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho
Functional traits mediate ecological responses of organisms to the environment, determining community structure. Community-weighted trait means (CWM) are often used to characterize communities by combining information on species traits and distribution. Relating CWM variation to environmental gradients allows for evaluating species sorting across the metacommunity, either based on correlation tests or ordinary least squares (OLS) models. Yet, it is not clear if phylogenetic signal in both traits and species distribution affect those analyses...
November 9, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29112775/remotely-sensed-canopy-height-reveals-three-pantropical-ecosystem-states-reply
#12
LETTER
Chi Xu, Arie Staal, Stijn Hantson, Milena Holmgren, Egbert H van Nes, Marten Scheffer
The idea that the tropics may have alternative vegetation states of forest, savanna and treeless has gained growing support from both theoretical and empirical studies over the past years (Hirota et al. 2011, Staver et al. 2011, Van Nes et al. 2014, Wuyts et al. 2017). In our previous work, we combined multi-sourced remote sensing data to demonstrate correspondence between multimodal distributions of tree cover and canopy height, and further suggested that at a global scale, tropical forest, savanna and treeless landscapes represent distinct vegetation states separated by tipping points at 600, 1500 and 2000 mm mean annual precipitation (Xu et al...
November 7, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29106700/resource-availability-underlies-the-plant-fungal-diversity-relationship-in-a-grassland-ecosystem
#13
Lauren C Cline, Sarah E Hobbie, Michael Madritch, Christopher R Buyarski, David Tilman, Jeannine M Cavender-Bares
It is commonly assumed that microbial communities are structured by 'bottom-up' ecological forces, although few experimental manipulations have rigorously tested the mechanisms by which resources structure soil communities. We investigated how plant substrate availability might structure fungal communities and belowground processes along an experimental plant richness gradient in a grassland ecosystem. We hypothesized that variation in total plant-derived substrate inputs, plant functional group diversity, as well as the relative abundance of C4 grasses and legumes would modulate fungal α- and β-diversity and their rates of soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling...
November 6, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29106697/navigational-efficiency-in-a-biased-and-correlated-random-walk-model-of-individual-animal-movement
#14
Joseph D Bailey, Jamie Wallis, Edward A Codling
Understanding how an individual animal is able to navigate through its environment is a key question in movement ecology that can give insight into observed movement patterns and the mechanisms behind them. Efficiency of navigation is important for behavioural processes at a range of different spatio-temporal scales, including foraging and migration. Random walk models provide a standard framework for modelling individual animal movement and navigation. Here we consider a vector-weighted biased and correlated random walk (BCRW) model for directed movement (taxis), where external navigation cues are balanced with forward persistence...
November 6, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29105759/freshwater-eutrophication-drives-sharp-reductions-in-temporal-beta-diversity
#15
Stephen C Cook, Lauren Housley, Jeffrey A Back, Ryan S King
Eutrophication has become one of the most widespread anthropogenic forces impacting freshwater biological diversity. One potentially important mechanism driving biodiversity changes in response to eutrophication is the alteration of seasonal patterns of succession, particularly among species with short, synchronous life cycles. We tested the hypothesis that eutrophication reduces seasonally driven variation in species assemblages by focusing on an understudied aspect of biodiversity: temporal beta diversity (βt )...
November 5, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29094338/life-history-traits-and-functional-processes-generate-multiple-pathways-to-ecological-stability
#16
John P DeLong, Torrance C Hanley, Jean P Gibert, Linda M Puth, David M Post
Stability contributes to the persistence of ecological communities, yet the interactions among different stabilizing forces are poorly understood. We assembled mesocosms with an algal resource and 1-8 different clones of the consumer Daphnia ambigua and tracked algal and Daphnia abundances through time. We then fitted coupled ordinary differential equations (ODEs) to the consumer-resource time series. We show that variation in different components of stability (local stability and the magnitude of population fluctuations) across mesocosms arises through variation in life history traits and the functional processes represented by ODE model parameters...
November 1, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29083481/synergistic-effects-of-parental-and-embryonic-exposure-to-predation-risk-on-prey-offspring-size-at-emergence
#17
Sarah C Donelan, Geoffrey C Trussell
Cues signaling predation risk can strongly influence prey phenotypes both within and between generations. Parental and embryonic effects have been shown to operate independently in response to predation risk, but how they interact to shape offspring life history traits remains largely unknown. Here, we conducted experiments to examine the synergistic impacts of parental and embryonic experiences with predation risk on offspring size at emergence in the snail, Nucella lapillus, which is an ecologically important intermediate consumer on rocky intertidal shores...
October 30, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29083479/frequency-dependent-seed-predation-by-rodents-on-sonoran-desert-winter-annual-plants
#18
Jonathan L Horst, D Lawrence Venable
Numerous mechanisms may allow species to coexist. We tested for frequency-dependent predation, a mechanism predicted by theory and established as a foraging behavior for many types of animals. Our field test included multiple prey species exposed in situ to multiple predator species and individuals to determine whether the prey species experienced predation patterns that were frequency-dependent. The prey were seeds of three species of Sonoran Desert winter annual plants while the predator species were a guild of nocturnal seed foraging heteromyid and murid rodents that co-occur naturally in the same community as the desert annuals at Tumamoc Hill near Tucson...
October 30, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29083475/stabilizing-effects-in-temporal-fluctuations-management-traits-and-species-richness-in-high-diversity-communities
#19
Jan Lepš, Maria Májeková, Alena Vítová, Jiří Doležal, Francesco de Bello
The loss of biodiversity is thought to have adverse effects on multiple ecosystem functions, including the decline of community stability. Decreased diversity reduces the strength of the portfolio effect, a mechanism stabilizing community temporal fluctuations. Community stability is also expected to decrease with greater variability in individual species populations and with synchrony of their fluctuations. In semi-natural meadows, eutrophication is one of the most important drivers of diversity decline; it is expected to increase species fluctuations and synchrony among them, all effects leading to lower community stability...
October 30, 2017: Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29083472/latitude-temperature-and-habitat-complexity-predict-predation-pressure-in-eelgrass-beds-across-the-northern-hemisphere
#20
Pamela L Reynolds, John J Stachowicz, Kevin Hovel, Christoffer Boström, Katharyn Boyer, Mathieu Cusson, Johan S Eklöf, Friederike G Engel, Aschwin H Engelen, Britas Klemens Eriksson, F Joel Fodrie, John N Griffin, Clara Hereu, Masakazu Hori, Torrance Hanley, Mikhail Ivanov, Pablo Jorgensen, Claudia Kruschel, Kun-Seop Lee, Karen McGlathery, Per Olav Moksnes, Masahiro Nakaoka, Mary I O'Connor, Nessa O'Connor, Robert J Orth, Francesca Rossi, Jennifer Ruesink, Erik Sotka, Fiona Tomas, Richard K F Unsworth, Matthew A Whalen, J Emmett Duffy
Latitudinal gradients in species interactions are widely cited as potential causes or consequences of global patterns of biodiversity. However, mechanistic studies documenting changes in interactions across broad geographic ranges are limited. We surveyed predation intensity on common prey (live amphipods and gastropods) in communities of eelgrass (Zostera marina) at 48 sites across its Northern Hemisphere range, encompassing over 37(0) of latitude and four continental coastlines. Predation on amphipods declined with latitude on all coasts but declined more strongly along western ocean margins where temperature gradients are steeper...
October 30, 2017: Ecology
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