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Zachary H Marion, James A Fordyce, Benjamin M Fitzpatrick
Recently there have been major theoretical advances in the quantification and partitioning of diversity within and among communities, regions, and ecosystems. However, applying those advances to real data remains a challenge. Ecologists often end up describing their samples rather than estimating the diversity components of an underlying study system, and existing approaches do not easily provide statistical frameworks for testing ecological questions. Here we offer one avenue to do all of the above using a hierarchical Bayesian approach...
March 15, 2018: Ecology
Jessica A Haines, David W Coltman, Ben Dantzer, Jamieson C Gorrell, Murray M Humphries, Jeffrey E Lane, Andrew G McAdam, Stan Boutin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 15, 2018: Ecology
Vanessa Julie Roden, Ádám T Kocsis, Martin Zuschin, Wolfgang Kiessling
Beta diversity, the compositional variation among communities or assemblages, is crucial to understanding the principles of diversity assembly. The mean pairwise proportional dissimilarity expresses overall heterogeneity of samples in a dataset and is among the most widely used and most robust measures of beta diversity. Obtaining a complete list of taxa and their abundances requires substantial taxonomic expertise and is time-consuming. In addition, the information is generally incomplete due to sampling biases...
March 8, 2018: Ecology
Elise R Morton, Michael J McGrady, Ian Newton, Chris J Rollie, George D Smith, Richard Mearns, Madan K Oli
Population density around the natal site is often invoked as an explanation for variation in dispersal distance, with the expectation that competition for limiting resources, coupled with increased intra-specific aggression at high densities, should drive changes in dispersal distances. However, tests of the density-dependent dispersal hypothesis in long-lived vertebrates have yielded mixed results. Furthermore, conclusions from dispersal studies may depend on the spatial and temporal scales at which density and dispersal patterns are examined, yet multi-scale studies of dispersal are rare...
March 6, 2018: Ecology
Sean B Menke, Philip S Ward, David A Holway
The ecological effects of species introductions can change in magnitude over time, but an understanding of how and why they do so remains incompletely understood. Clarifying this issue requires consideration of how temporal variation in invader traits affects invasion impacts (e.g., through differential effects on the diversity and composition of native species assemblages). We examine the temporal dynamics of Argentine ant invasions in northern California by resurveying 202 sites first sampled 30-40 years ago...
March 5, 2018: Ecology
Marina L LaForgia, Marko J Spasojevic, Erica J Case, Andrew M Latimer, Susan P Harrison
Extreme droughts such as the one that affected California in 2012-2015 have been linked to severe ecological consequences in perennial-dominated communities such as forests. In annual communities, drought impacts are difficult to assess because many species persist through facultative multiyear seed dormancy, which leads to the development of seed banks. Impacts of extreme drought on the abundance and composition of the seed banks of whole communities are little known. In 80 heterogeneous grassland plots where cover is dominated by ~15 species of exotic annual grasses and diversity is dominated by ~70 species of native annual forbs, we grew out seeds from soil cores collected early in the California drought (2012) and later in the multiyear drought (2014), and analyzed drought-associated changes in the seed bank...
March 1, 2018: Ecology
Tye L Kindinger
The importance of competition and predation in structuring ecological communities is typically examined separately such that interactions between these processes are seldom understood. By causing large reductions in native prey, invasive predators may modify native species interactions. I conducted a manipulative field experiment in The Bahamas to investigate the possibility that the invasive Pacific red lionfish (Pterois volitans) alters competition between planktivorous fairy and blackcap basslets (Gramma loreto and Gramma melacara, respectively)...
February 28, 2018: Ecology
Bert W Hoeksema, Jessica Bouwmeester, Pedro Range, Radhouan Ben-Hamadou
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 27, 2018: Ecology
Rodrigo F Fadini, Erich Fischer, Sônia J Castro, Andréa C Araujo, Juan Francisco Ornelas, Paulo R de Souza
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 27, 2018: Ecology
Jorge Durán, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Andrew J Dougill, Reginald T Guuroh, Anja Linstädter, Andrew D Thomas, Fernando T Maestre
The relationship between the spatial variability of soil multifunctionality (i.e. the capacity of soils to conduct multiple functions; SVM) and major climatic drivers, such as temperature and aridity, has never been assessed globally in terrestrial ecosystems. We surveyed 236 dryland ecosystems from six continents to evaluate the relative importance of aridity and mean annual temperature, and of other abiotic (e.g., texture) and biotic (e.g., plant cover) variables as drivers of SVM, calculated as the averaged coefficient of variation for multiple soil variables linked to nutrient stocks and cycling...
February 27, 2018: Ecology
Victor S Saito, Fabien Laroche, Tadeu Siqueira, Sandrine Pavoine
The role of niche differences and competition is invoked when one finds coexisting species to be more dissimilar in trait composition than expected at random in community assembly studies. This approach has been questioned as competition has been hypothesized to either lead to communities assembled by similar or dissimilar species, depending on whether species similarity reflects fitness or niche differences, respectively. A current problem is that the arguments used to draw relationships between competition and species similarity are based on pairwise theoretical examples, while in nature competition can occurs among a constellation of species with different levels of versatility in resources used...
February 26, 2018: Ecology
Robert A Andrus, Brian J Harvey, Kyle C Rodman, Sarah J Hart, Thomas T Veblen
In the absence of broad-scale disturbance, many temperate coniferous forests experience successful seedling establishment only when abundant seed production coincides with favorable climate. Identifying the frequency of past establishment events and the climate conditions favorable for seedling establishment is essential to understanding how climate warming could affect the frequency of future tree establishment events and therefore future forest composition or even persistence of a forest cover. In the southern Rocky Mountains, USA, research on the sensitivity of establishment of Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa)-two widely distributed, co-occurring conifers in North America-to climate variability has focused on the alpine treeline ecotone, leaving uncertainty about the sensitivity of these species across much of their elevation distribution...
February 22, 2018: Ecology
Charles B Yackulic, Josh Korman, Michael D Yard, Maria Dzul
Introduced species are frequently implicated in declines of native species. In many cases, however, evidence linking introduced species to native declines is weak. Failure to make strong inferences regarding the role of introduced species can hamper attempts to predict population viability and delay effective management responses. For many species, mark-recapture analysis is the more rigorous form of demographic analysis. However, to our knowledge, there are no mark-recapture models that allow for joint modeling of interacting species...
February 21, 2018: Ecology
Daniel S Maynard, Kristofer R Covey, Thomas W Crowther, Noah W Sokol, Eric W Morrison, Serita D Frey, Linda T A van Diepen, Mark A Bradford
Environmental conditions exert strong controls on the activity of saprotrophic microbes, yet abiotic factors often fail to adequately predict wood decomposition rates across broad spatial scales. Given that species interactions can have significant positive and negative effects on wood-decay fungal activity, one possibility is that biotic processes serve as the primary controls on community function, with abiotic controls emerging only after species associations are accounted for. Here we explore this hypothesis in a factorial field warming- and nitrogen-addition experiment by examining relationships among wood decomposition rates, fungal activity, and fungal community structure...
February 21, 2018: Ecology
Carmen K Blubaugh, Jacob S Asplund, Sanford D Eigenbrode, Matthew J Morra, Christopher R Philips, Inna E Popova, John P Reganold, William E Snyder
Plant defenses often mediate whether competing chewing and sucking herbivores indirectly benefit or harm one another. Dual guild herbivory also can muddle plant signals used by specialist natural enemies to locate prey, further complicating the net impact of herbivore-herbivore interactions in naturally diverse settings. While dual guild herbivore communities are common in nature, their community trilevel consequences are unclear, as chemically mediated tri-trophic interactions are rarely evaluated in field environments...
February 21, 2018: Ecology
Winslow D Hansen, Kristin H Braziunas, Werner Rammer, Rupert Seidl, Monica G Turner
Environmental change is accelerating in the 21st century, but how multiple drivers may interact to alter forest resilience remains uncertain. In forests affected by large high-severity disturbances, tree regeneration is a resilience linchpin that shapes successional trajectories for decades. We modeled stands of two widespread western US conifers, Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia), in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, USA) to ask: (1) What combinations of distance to seed source, fire return interval and warming-drying conditions cause postfire tree-regeneration failure? (2) If postfire tree regeneration was successful, how does early tree density differ under future climate relative to historical climate? We conducted a stand-level (1 ha) factorial simulation experiment using the individual-based forest process model iLand to identify combinations of fire return interval (11 to 100 years), distance to seed source (50 to 1000 m), and climate (historical, mid-21st century, late-21st century) where trees failed to regenerate by 30-years postfire...
February 21, 2018: Ecology
Hugo Cayuela, Roger Pradel, Pierre Joly, Eric Bonnaire, Aurélien Besnard
Dispersal is a key process in ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Spatiotemporal variation in habitat availability and characteristics has been suggested to be the main cause involved in dispersal evolution and has a strong influence on metapopulation dynamics. In recent decades, the study of dispersal has led to the development of capture-recapture (CR) models that allow movement between sites to be quantified, while handling imperfect detection. For studies involving numerous recapture sites, Lagrange et al...
February 20, 2018: Ecology
S Joseph Wright, Benjamin L Turner, Joseph B Yavitt, Kyle E Harms, Michael Kaspari, Edmund V J Tanner, Jelena Bujan, Eric A Griffin, Jordan R Mayor, Sarah C Pasquini, Merlin Sheldrake, Milton N Garcia
We present a meta-analysis of plant responses to fertilization experiments conducted in lowland, species-rich, tropical forests. We also update a key result and present the first species-level analyses of tree growth rates for a 15-year factorial nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) experiment conducted in central Panama. The update concerns community-level tree growth rates, which responded significantly to the addition of N and K together after 10 years of fertilization (Wright et al. 2011) but not after 15 years (this study)...
February 20, 2018: Ecology
Rebecca T Batstone, Kelly A Carscadden, Michelle E Afkhami, Megan E Frederickson
For a mutualism to remain evolutionarily stable, theory predicts that mutualists should limit their associations to high-quality partners. However, most mutualists either simultaneously or sequentially associate with multiple partners that confer the same type of reward. By viewing mutualisms through the lens of niche breadth evolution, we outline how the environment shapes partner availability and relative quality, and ultimately a focal mutualist's partner breadth. We argue that mutualists that associate with multiple partners may have a selective advantage compared to specialists for many reasons, including sampling, complementarity, and portfolio effects, as well as the possibility that broad partner breadth increases breadth along other niche axes...
February 17, 2018: Ecology
Amanda Burson, Maayke Stomp, Emma Greenwell, Julia Grosse, Jef Huisman
A key challenge in ecology is to understand how nutrients and light affect the biodiversity and community structure of phytoplankton and plant communities. According to resource competition models, ratios of limiting nutrients are major determinants of the species composition. At high nutrient levels, however, species interactions may shift to competition for light, which might make nutrient ratios less relevant. The "nutrient-load hypothesis" merges these two perspectives, by extending the classic model of competition for two nutrients to include competition for light...
February 17, 2018: Ecology
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