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Clara Grilo, Michely R Coimbra, Rafaela C Cerqueira, Priscilla Barbosa, Rubem A P Dornas, Larissa O Gonçalves, Fernanda Z Teixeira, Igor Pfeifer Coelho, Brenda R Schmidt, Diana L K Pacheco, Gabriela Schuck, Isadora B Esperando, Juan A Anza, Júlia Beduschi, Nicole R Oliveira, Paula F Pinheiro, Alex Bager, Helio Secco, Marcello Guerreiro, Carine F Carvalho, Aline C Veloso, Ana E I Custódio, Oswaldo Marçal, Giordano Ciocheti, Julia Assis, Milton Cezar Ribeiro, Beatriz S S Francisco, Jorge J Cherem, Tatiane C Trigo, Márcia M A Jardim, Ingridi C Franceschi, Caroline Espinosa, Flávia P Tirelli, Vlamir J Rocha, Margareth L Sekiama, Gedimar P Barbosa, Helen R Rossi, Tainah C Moreira, Marcelo Cervini, Clarissa Alves Rosa, Lucas Gonçalves Silva, Claudia M M Ferreira, Augusto César, Janaina Casella, Sérgio L Mendes, Juliana Zina, Deivson F O Bastos, Ricardo A T Souza, Paulo A Hartmann, Angela C G Deffaci, Jéssica Mulinari, Siane C Luzzi, Tiago Rezzadori, Cassiane Kolcenti, Tiago Xavier Reis, Vanessa S C Fonseca, Camilo F Giorgi, Raissa P Migliorini, Carlos Benhur Kasper, Cecília Bueno, Marcela Sobanski, Ana P F G Pereira, Fernanda A G Andrade, Marcus E B Fernandes, Luiz L C Corrêa, Adriana Nepomuceno, Aureo Banhos, Wellington Hannibal, Rogério Fonseca, Lizit A Costa, Emilia P Medici, Aline Croce, Karin Werther, Juliana P Oliveira, Julia M Ribeiro, Mariele de Santi, Aline E Kawanami, Livia Perles, Caroline do Couto, Daniela S Figueiró, Eduardo Eizirik, Antonio A Correia, Fabio M Corrêa, Diego Queirolo, André L Quagliatto, Bruno H Saranholi, Pedro M Galetti, Karen G Rodriguez-Castro, Vivian S Braz, Frederico G R França, Gerson Buss, Josias A Rezini, Marília B Lion, Carolina C Cheida, Ana C R Lacerda, Carlos Henrique Freitas, Fernando Venâncio, Cristina H Adania, Augusto F Batisteli, Carla G Z Hegel, José A Mantovani, Flávio H G Rodrigues, Tathiana Bagatini, Nelson H A Curi, Luciano Emmert, Renato H Erdmann, Raoni R G F Costa, Agustín Martinelli, Clarice V F Santos, Andreas Kindel
Mortality from collision with vehicles is the most visible impact of road traffic on wildlife. Mortality due to roads (hereafter road-kill) can affect the dynamic of populations of many species and can, therefore, increase the risk of local decline or extinction. This is especially true in Brazil, where plans for road network upgrading and expansion overlaps biodiversity hotspot areas, which are of high importance for global conservation. Researchers, conservationists and road planners face the challenge to define a national strategy for road mitigation and wildlife conservation...
September 19, 2018: Ecology
Leandro João Carneiro de Lima Moraes
The vertebrate tear-feeding (lachryphagy) on birds by moths is a rarely documented event, with only two known records from Madagascar (Hilgartner et al. 2007) and Colombia (Sazima 2015). In these events, the moths insert their morphologically adapted proboscis (Zaspel et al. 2011) on the target species' ocular area to feed on their tears (Hilgartner et al. 2007, Zenker et al. 2011). Although one currently known moth is an obligatory lachryphagous species (Waage 1979), most of them feed on tears as a supplementary method to obtain nutrients, mainly sodium and proteins (Plotkin and Goddard 2013)...
September 17, 2018: Ecology
Melanie S Verlinden, Arne Ven, Erik Verbruggen, Ivan A Janssens, Håkan Wallander, Sara Vicca
Biomass production efficiency (BPE) - the ratio of biomass production to photosynthesis - varies greatly among ecosystems and typically increases with increasing nutrient availability. Reduced carbon partitioning to mycorrhizal fungi (i.e. per unit photosynthesis) is the hypothesized underlying mechanism, as mycorrhizal abundance and plant-dependence on these symbionts typically decrease with increasing nutrient availability. In a mesocosm experiment with Zea mays we investigated the effect of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) addition, and of mycorrhizal inoculation on BPE...
September 14, 2018: Ecology
Kaoru Tsuji, Tadashi Fukami
Intraspecific trait variation is receiving renewed interest as a factor affecting the structure of multi-species communities within and across trophic levels. One pervasive form of intraspecific trait variation is sexual dimorphism in animals and plants, which might exert large effects particularly on the communities of host-associated organisms, but the extent of these effects is not well understood. We investigated whether host-associated microbial communities developed differently in the floral nectar of female and male individuals of the dioecious shrubs, Eurya emarginata and E...
September 14, 2018: Ecology
Alan L Shanks, Steven G Morgan
We evaluated the Intermittent Upwelling Hypothesis (IUH) in Shanks and Morgan (Shanks and Morgan 2018), henceforth S&M. We presented five expectations, which must be true if the hypothesis is correct. We tested each of these expectations against available published results and, as part of this analysis, we reanalyzed data from Broitman et al. (Broitman et al. 2008). We concluded that available data do not support any of the five expectations and, hence, the IUH was not supported. Menge and Menge (this issue, henceforth M&M2) dispute our conclusions, and here we respond to their comments...
September 11, 2018: Ecology
J E Houlahan, D J Currie, K Cottenie, G S Cumming, C S Findlay, S D Fuhlendorf, P Legendre, E H Muldavin, D Noble, R Russell, R D Stevens, T J Willis, S M Wondzell
Effects of species diversity on population and community stability (or more precisely, the effects of species richness on temporal variability) have been studied for several decades, but there have been no large-scale tests in natural communities of predictions from theory. We used 91 data sets including plants, fish, small mammals, zooplankton, birds and insects, to examine the relationship between species richness and temporal variability in populations and communities. Seventy-eight of 91 data sets showed a negative relationship between species richness and population variability; 46 of these relationships were statistically significant...
September 10, 2018: Ecology
D Collins, C Alexander, C T Darimont
In May 2012 a lone wolf (Canis lupus) appeared in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, a metropolitan area on the southern tip of Vancouver Island with a population of 365,000 (Fig. 1A & B). After sightings in backyards over a few days, the wolf settled in the adjacent Chatham and Discovery Islands. This wolf traveled a minimum of 80 km from the nearest known wolf distribution, and through at least 30 km of suburbia before swimming 1.5 km to the islands. The island chain comprises only 1.9 km2 of terrestrial area, with 1...
September 10, 2018: Ecology
Chiara Paniccia, Mirko Di Febbraro, Luca Delucchi, Rocco Oliveto, Marco Marchetti, Anna Loy
The use of database technologies as a tool for implementing data for quantitative ecological studies and biodiversity conservation planning has recently attracted the attention of the biological community. Despite the fact that the number of biodiversity datasets is quickly rising, online databases of small mammals are still scarce, especially for the Mediterranean ecosystems. We implemented the first standardized and accessible georeferenced European database of small mammal occurrences, abundances and functional traits...
September 6, 2018: Ecology
Michał Bogdziewicz, Shealyn Marino, Raul Bonal, Rafał Zwolak, Michael A Steele
The predator satiation hypothesis posits that masting helps plants escape seed predation through starvation of predators in lean years, followed by satiation of predators in mast years. Importantly, successful satiation requires sufficiently delayed, bottom-up effects of seed availability on seed consumers. However, some seed consumers may be capable of quick aggregative and reproductive responses to masting which may jeopardize positive density-dependence of seed survival. We used a 17-year data set on seed production and insect (Curculio weevils) infestation of three North American oaks species (northern red Quercus rubra, white Q...
September 4, 2018: Ecology
Anna Sugiyama, Liza S Comita, Takashi Masaki, Richard Condit, Stephen P Hubbell
One of the hypothesized benefits of seed dispersal is to escape density- and distance-responsive host-specific natural enemies near maternal plants where conspecific seed and seedling densities are high. Such high conspecific neighbor densities typically result in lower offspring growth and survival (i.e. negative density-dependent effects), yet many dispersal modes result in clumped seed distributions. New World leaf-nosed bats transport fruits to their feeding roosts and deposit seeds, thereby creating high-density seed/seedling patches beneath feeding roosts in heterospecific trees away from maternal trees, which seemingly nullifies a key benefit of seed dispersal...
September 4, 2018: Ecology
Amanda L Subalusky, Christopher L Dutton, Laban Njoroge, Emma J Rosi, David M Post
Animals can be important vectors for the movement of resources across ecosystem boundaries. Animals add resources to ecosystems primarily through egestion, excretion and carcasses, and the stoichiometry and bioavailability of these inputs likely interacts with characteristics of the recipient ecosystem to determine their effects on ecosystem function. We studied the influence of hippopotamus excretion/egestion and wildebeest carcasses, and their interactions with discharge, in the Mara River, Kenya. We measured nutrient dissolution and decomposition rates of wildlife inputs, the influence of inputs on nutrient concentrations and nutrient limitation in the river and the influence of inputs on biofilm growth and function in both experimental streams and along a gradient of inputs in the river...
September 4, 2018: Ecology
Erin R Spear, Erin A Mordecai
Pathogen infection is common in wild plants and animals, and may regulate their populations. If pathogens have narrow host ranges and increase with the density of their favored hosts, they may promote host species diversity by suppressing common species to the benefit of rare species. Yet, because many pathogens infect multiple co-occurring hosts, they may not strongly respond to the relative abundance of a single host species. Are natural communities dominated by specialized pathogens that respond to the relative abundance of a specific host or by pathogens with broad host ranges and limited responses to the relative abundance of single host? The answer determines the potential for pathogens to promote host coexistence, as often hypothesized, or to have negligible or even negative effects on host coexistence...
September 4, 2018: Ecology
Shana M Sundstrom, David G Angeler, Chris Barichievy, Tarsha Eason, Ahjond Garmestani, Lance Gunderson, Melinda Knutson, Kirsty L Nash, Trisha Spanbauer, Craig Stow, Craig R Allen
The cross-scale resilience model suggests that system level ecological resilience emerges from the distribution of species' functions within and across the spatial and temporal scales of a system. It has provided a quantitative method for calculating the resilience of a given system, and so has been a valuable contribution to a largely qualitative field. As it is currently laid out, the model accounts for the spatial and temporal scales at which environmental resources and species are present and the functional roles species play, but does not inform us about how much resource is present, or how much function is provided...
September 3, 2018: Ecology
Cora A Johnston, Daniel S Gruner
Climate-driven global change is shifting the distribution and abundance of foundation species that form the base of ecosystems. The corresponding responses of inhabitant species to shifts in habitat-forming species are poorly understood, however we expect community responses to depend on how species perceive habitat patches and sort among them, particularly along range edges. We used the poleward shift of a mangrove-marsh ecotone to evaluate sorting of marine macrofauna (small fish and decapod crustaceans) among vegetation patches at a series of nested scales...
August 31, 2018: Ecology
Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi, Fabio Bulleri, Martina Dal Bello, Elena Maggi, Chiara Ravaglioli, Luca Rindi
Understanding how increasing human domination of the biosphere affects life on earth is a critical research challenge. This task is facilitated by the increasing availability of open-source data repositories, which allow ecologists to address scientific questions at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales. Large datasets are mostly observational, so they may have limited ability to uncover causal relations among variables. Experiments are better suited at attributing causation, but they are often limited in scope...
August 29, 2018: Ecology
Wentao Luo, Xiaoan Zuo, Wang Ma, Chong Xu, Ang Li, Qiang Yu, Alan K Knapp, Roberto Tognetti, Feike A Dijkstra, Mai-He Li, Guodong Han, Zhengwen Wang, Xingguo Han
The allocation and stoichiometry of plant nutrients in leaves reflect fundamental ecosystem processes, biotic interactions, and environmental drivers such as water availability. Climate change will lead to increases in drought severity and frequency, but how canopy nutrients will respond to drought, and how these responses may vary with community composition along aridity gradients is poorly understood. We experimentally addressed this issue by reducing precipitation amounts by 66% during two consecutive growing seasons at three sites located along a natural aridity gradient...
August 29, 2018: Ecology
Lynn S Adler, Kristen M Michaud, Stephen P Ellner, Scott H McArt, Philip C Stevenson, Rebecca E Irwin
Hotspots of disease transmission can strongly influence pathogen spread. Bee pathogens may be transmitted via shared floral use, but the role of plant species and floral trait variation in shaping transmission dynamics is almost entirely unexplored. Given the importance of pathogens for the decline of several bee species, understanding whether and how plant species and floral traits affect transmission could give us important tools for predicting which plant species may be hotspots for disease spread. We assessed variation in transmission via susceptibility (probability of infection) and mean intensity (cell count of infected bees) of the trypanosomatid gut pathogen Crithidia bombi to uninfected Bombus impatiens workers foraging on 14 plant species, and assessed the role of floral traits, bee size and foraging behavior on transmission...
August 29, 2018: Ecology
Christian Kuehne, Joshua Puhlick, Aaron Weiskittel, Andrew Cutko, Donald Cameron, Nancy Sferra, Justin Schlawin
A data set of common forest metrics was prepared using inventory data from Ecological Reserves in Maine, northeastern USA. An Ecological Reserve is generally defined as an area where timber harvesting does not occur and natural disturbance events are allowed to proceed without significant human influence. Beginning in the early 2000s, permanent, long term monitoring plots were established in Reserves across Maine. To date, 50 Reserves occupying approximately 70,820 ha with a total of 1103 monitoring plots make up Maine's Ecological Reserve System...
August 27, 2018: Ecology
A B Berdanier, J S Clark
Intensifying drought is increasingly linked to global forest diebacks. Improved understanding of drought impacts on individual trees has provided limited insight into drought vulnerability in part because tree moisture access and depletion is difficult to quantify. In forests, moisture reservoir depletion occurs through water use by the trees themselves. Here we show that drought impacts on tree fitness and demographic performance can be predicted by tracking the moisture reservoir available to trees as a mass balance, estimated in a hierarchical state-space framework...
August 24, 2018: Ecology
Peter W Glynn, Brian Coffman, Jeongran Vanderwoude, Nicolas Martinez, Joshua H Dominguez, Julie M Gross, D Abigail Renegar
Benthic ctenophores, members of the family Coeloplanidae (Order Platyctenida, Phylum Ctenophora) are more widespread and abundant in tropical and subtropical marine environments than formerly recognized. Coeloplanid ctenophores are members of the most speciose family of benthic ctenophores, with 33 recognized species of Coeloplana and one species of the genus Vallicula (Mills 1998). The majority of coeloplanids are ectosymbionts of algae and diverse benthic invertebrates (Matsumoto 1999, Alamaru et al. 2015)...
August 21, 2018: Ecology
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