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Journal of Animal Ecology

Yutaka Osada, Takehisa Yamakita, Etsuko Shoda-Kagaya, Andrew M Liebhold, Takehiko Yamanaka
1.Pine wilt disease (PWD) invaded southern Japan in the early 1900's and has gradually expanded its range to northern Honshu (Japanese mainland). The disease is caused by a pathogenic North American nematode, which is transmitted by native pine sawyer beetles. Recently the disease has invaded other portions of East Asia and Europe where extensive mortality of host pines is anticipated to resemble historical patterns seen in Japan. 2.There is a critical need to identify the main drivers of PWD invasion spread so as to predict future spread and evaluate containment strategies in newly invaded world regions...
July 16, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Jennifer R B Miller, Ross T Pitman, Gareth K H Mann, Angela K Fuller, Guy A Balme
1.Although interspecific competition plays a principle role in shaping species behaviour and demography, little is known about the population-level outcomes of competition between large carnivores, and the mechanisms that facilitate coexistence. 2.We conducted a multi-landscape analysis of two widely distributed, threatened large carnivore competitors to offer insight into coexistence strategies and assist with species-level conservation. 3.We evaluated how interference competition affects occupancy, temporal activity and population density of a dominant competitor, the lion (Panthera leo), and its subordinate competitor, the leopard (Panthera pardus)...
July 16, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Hannah J White, W Ian Montgomery, Jack J Lennon
1.Changes in species distributions through local extinction and colonisation events are a major consequence of climate change. The mechanisms underlying these processes, however, are yet to be fully understood. 2.We investigate the effects of climatic suitability and local rarity on local extinction and colonisation of British birds. We test the hypothesis that local extinction and colonisation on decadal scales are driven by both climatic suitability and the prevalence of the species within an area, and that the balance between these two is affected by species traits...
July 14, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Valentina S A Mella, Malcolm Possell, Sandra M Troxell-Smith, Clare McArthur
1.Foraging is a three-stage process during which animals visit patches, consume food and quit. Foraging theory exploring relative patch quality has mostly focused on patch use and quitting decisions, ignoring the first crucial step for any forager: finding food. Yet, the decision to visit a patch is just as important as the decision to quit, as quitting theories can only be used if animals visit patches in the first place. Therefore, to better understand the foraging process and predict its outcomes, it is necessary to explore its three stages together...
July 11, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Megan Murgatroyd, Staffan Roos, Richard Evans, Alex Sansom, D Philip Whitfield, David Sexton, Robin Reid, Justin Grant, Arjun Amar
1.For many species there is evidence that breeding performance changes as an individual ages. In iteroparous species, breeding performance often increases through early-life and is expected to level out or even decline (senesce) later in life. Furthermore, an individual's sex and conditions experienced in early-life can affect breeding performance and how this changes with age. 2.Long-term monitoring of individuals from reintroduced populations can provide unique opportunities to explore age-related trends in breeding performance that might otherwise be logistically challenging...
July 5, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Marie Fan, Niki Teunissen, Michelle L Hall, Nataly Hidalgo Aranzamendi, Sjouke A Kingma, Michael Roast, Kaspar Delhey, Anne Peters
The evolution of conspicuous male traits is thought to be driven by female mate choice or male-male competition. These two mechanisms are often viewed as distinct processes, with most studies focusing on female choice. However, both mechanisms of sexual selection can act simultaneously on the same trait (i.e., dual function) and/or interact in a synergistic or conflicting way. Dual-function traits are commonly assumed to originate through male-male competition before being used in female choice; yet, most studies focusing on such traits could not determine the direction of change, lacking phylogenetic information...
June 25, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Raul Costa-Pereira, Volker H W Rudolf, Franco L Souza, Márcio S Araújo
Although neglected by classic niche theory, individual variation is now recognized as a prevalent phenomenon in nature with evolutionary and ecological relevance. Recent theory suggests that differences in individual variation across competitors can affect species coexistence and community patterns. However, the degree of individual variation is flexible across wild populations and we still know little about the ecological drivers of this variation across populations of single species and, especially, across coexisting species...
June 25, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
John A Byers, Avraham Sadowsky, Anat Levi Zada
1.Animal species likely have different strengths of host habitat preference that might be characterized by a standardized index ranging from 0 (no preference) to 1 (maximum preference). We hypothesized that in some species host habitat preference may result from individuals dispersing out of the host habitat having a probability of turning back at the boundary, or after entering host habitat by reducing speed or increasing size of turning angles. 2.Computer simulations of individuals moving between various sized patches of host and non-host habitat were conducted based on these three behaviours hypothesized to affect host habitat preference...
June 25, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Clare H Benton, Richard J Delahay, Freya A P Smith, Andrew Robertson, Robbie A McDonald, Andrew J Young, Terry A Burke, Dave Hodgson
1.The mutation accumulation theory of senescence predicts that age-related deterioration of fitness can be exaggerated when inbreeding causes homozygosity for deleterious alleles. A vital component of fitness, in natural populations, is the incidence and progression of disease. 2.Evidence is growing for natural links between inbreeding and ageing; between inbreeding and disease; between sex and ageing; and between sex and disease. However, there is scant evidence, to date, for links among age, disease, inbreeding and sex in a single natural population...
June 25, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Alan M Tonin, Jesús Pozo, Silvia Monroy, Ana Basaguren, Javier Pérez, José F Gonçalves, Richard Pearson, Bradley J Cardinale, Luz Boyero
1. Understanding how biodiversity loss influences plant litter decomposition - i.e., the biologically mediated conversion of coarse to fine particulate organic matter - is crucial to predict changes in the functioning of many stream ecosystems, where detrital food webs are dominant. Rates of litter decomposition are influenced by detritivore diversity, but the mechanisms behind this relationship are uncertain. 2. As differences in detritivore body size are a major determinant of interspecific interactions, they should be key for predicting effects of detritivore diversity on decomposition...
June 21, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Zhengpei Ye, Ines M G Vollhardt, Nadia Parth, Oskar Rubbmark, Michael Traugott
1.Facultative bacterial endosymbionts can protect their aphid hosts from natural enemies such as hymenopteran parasitoids. As such, they have the capability to modulate interactions between aphids, parasitoids and hyperparasitoids. However, the magnitude of these effects in natural aphid populations and their associated parasitoid communities is currently unknown. Moreover, environmental factors such as plant fertilization and landscape complexity are known to affect aphid-parasitoid interactions but it remains unclear how such environmental factors affect the interplay between aphids, parasitoids and endosymbionts...
June 21, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Peter Santema, Bart Kempenaers
A central goal in evolutionary ecology is to identify factors that explain variation in reproductive success, i.e. in the number of offspring produced. In altricial birds, a substantial part of this variation is determined by the number of nestlings that die before fledging, but surprisingly little is known about the proximate causes of offspring mortality during the nestling period. We used a uniquely comprehensive dataset of parental nestbox visits from seven breeding seasons to investigate the association between parental behaviour and nestling mortality in a population of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus)...
June 12, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Clément Lagrue, Colin D MacLeod, Laurent Keller, Robert Poulin
Colonial organisms with division of labour are assumed to achieve increased colony-level efficiency in task performance through functional specialisation of individuals into distinct castes. In social insects, ratios of individuals in different castes can adjust adaptively in response to external threats. However, whether flexibility in caste ratio also occurs in other social organisms with division of labour remains unclear. Some parasitic trematodes, in which clonal colonies within the snail intermediate host comprise a reproductive caste and a soldier caste, offer good systems to test the general nature of adaptive caste ratio adjustments...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
David Villegas-Ríos, Denis Réale, Carla Freitas, Even Moland, Esben M Olsen
Although growing evidence supports the idea that animal personality can explain plasticity in response to changes in the social environment, it remains to be tested whether it can explain spatial responses of individuals in the face of natural environmental fluctuations. This is a major challenge in ecology and evolution as spatial dynamics link individual- and population-level processes. In this study, we investigated the potential of individual personalities to predict differences in fish behaviour in the wild...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Walter S Andriuzzi, Diana H Wall
Body size is a central functional trait in ecological communities. Despite recognition of the importance of above ground-below ground interactions, effects of above-ground herbivores on size and abundance-size relationships in soil fauna are almost uncharted. Depending on climate and soil properties, herbivores may increase basal resources of soil food webs, or reduce pore space, mechanisms expected to have contrasting effects on soil animal body size. We investigated how body size and shape of soil nematodes responded to mammalian grazers in three semi-arid grassland sites, along a gradient of soil texture and organic matter (OM) in a long-term herbivore removal study...
June 8, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Guillaume Péron, Antoine Duparc, Mathieu Garel, Pascal Marchand, Nicolas Morellet, Sonia Saïd, Anne Loison
When they visit and revisit specific areas, animals may reveal what they need from their home range and how they acquire information. The temporal dimension of such movement recursions, that is, periodicity, is however rarely studied, yet potentially bears a species, population or individual-specific signature. A recent method allows estimating the contribution of periodic patterns to the variance in a movement path. We applied it to 709 individuals from five ungulate species, looking for species signatures in the form of seasonal variation in the intensity of circadian patterns...
June 6, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Gabriel E Machovsky-Capuska, Mark G R Miller, Fabiola R O Silva, Christophe Amiot, Karen A Stockin, Alistair M Senior, Rob Schuckard, David Melville, David Raubenheimer
Our understanding of the niche concept will remain limited while the quantity and range of different food types eaten remain a dominant proxy for niche breadth, as this does not account for the broad ecological context that governs diet. Linking nutrition, physiology and behaviour is critical to predict the extent to which a species adjusts its nutritional niche breadth at the levels of prey ("prey composition niche," defined as the range of prey compositions eaten) and diet ("realized nutritional niche" is the range of diets composed through feeding on the prey)...
June 5, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Michael J Wade, Courtney L Fitzpatrick, Curtis M Lively
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Monte B. Lloyd's "Mean Crowding" (1967) paper, in which he introduced a metric that accounts for an individual's experience of conspecific density. Mean crowding allows ecologists to measure the degree of spatial aggregation of individuals in a manner relevant to intraspecific competition for resources. We take the concept of mean crowding a step beyond its most common usage and that it has a mathematical relationship to many of the most important concepts in ecology and evolutionary biology...
May 26, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Francesca Santicchia, Ben Dantzer, Freya van Kesteren, Rupert Palme, Adriano Martinoli, Nicola Ferrari, Lucas Armand Wauters
Invasive alien species can cause extinction of native species through processes including predation, interspecific competition for resources or disease-mediated competition. Increases in stress hormones in vertebrates may be associated with these processes and contribute to the decline in survival or reproduction of the native species. Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) have gone extinct across much of the British Isles and parts of Northern Italy following the introduction of North American invasive grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis)...
May 23, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Cameron Freshwater, Marc Trudel, Terry D Beacham, Stéphane Gauthier, Stewart C Johnson, Chrys-Ellen Neville, Francis Juanes
The phenology of long-distance migrations can influence individual fitness, moderate population dynamics and regulate the availability of ecosystem services to other trophic levels. Phenology varies within and among populations, and can be influenced by conditions individuals experience both prior to departure and encounter en route. Assessing how intrinsic and extrinsic factors (e.g., individual physical condition vs. environmental conditions) interact to influence variation in migratory phenologies across ecological scales is often limited due to logistical constraints associated with tracking large numbers of individuals from multiple populations simultaneously...
May 23, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
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