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Journal of Animal Ecology

Francesca Santicchia, Ben Dantzer, Freya van Kesteren, Rupert Palme, Adriano Martinoli, Nicola Ferrari, Lucas Wauters Armand
1.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. 2.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
1.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. 2.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
Morgan W Tingley, Andrew N Stillman, Robert L Wilkerson, Christine A Howell, Sarah C Sawyer, Rodney B Siegel
1.Fire creates challenges and opportunities for wildlife through rapid destruction, modification, and creation of habitat. Fire has spatially variable effects on landscapes, however, and for species that benefit from the ephemeral resource patches created by fire, it is critical to understand characteristics of fires that promote post-fire colonization and persistence, and the spatial scales on which they operate. 2.Using a model post-fire specialist, the black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus), we examined how colonization and persistence varied across two spatial scales as a function of four characteristics of fire regimes - fire severity, fire size, fire ignition date, and number of years since fire...
May 21, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Tamás János Urszán, László Zsolt Garamszegi, Gergely Nagy, Attila Hettyey, János Török, Gábor Herczeg
1.Behavioural consistency within and across behaviours (animal personality and behavioural syndrome, respectively) have been vigorously studied in the last decade, leading to the emergence of 'animal personality' research. It has been proposed recently that not only mean behaviour (behavioural type), but the environmentally induced behavioural change (behavioural plasticity) might also differ between individuals within populations. 2.While case studies presenting between-individual variation in behavioural plasticity have started to accumulate, the mechanisms behind its emergence are virtually unknown...
May 12, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Frank Groenewoud, Sjouke A Kingma, Martijn Hammers, Hannah L Dugdale, Terry Burke, David S Richardson, Jan Komdeur
1.In many cooperatively breeding animals, a combination of ecological constraints and benefits of philopatry favours offspring taking a subordinate position on the natal territory instead of dispersing to breed independently. However, in many species individuals disperse to a subordinate position in a non-natal group ("subordinate between-group" dispersal), despite losing the kin-selected and nepotistic benefits of remaining in the natal group. It is unclear which social, genetic and ecological factors drive between-group dispersal...
May 11, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Volker H W Rudolf
1.The vast majority of species interactions are seasonally structured and depend on species' relative phenologies. However, differences in the phenologies of species naturally vary across years and are altered by ongoing climate change around the world. 2.By combining experiments that shifted the relative hatching of two competing tadpole species across a productivity gradient with simulations of inter-annual variation in arrival times I tested how phenological variation across years can alter the strength and outcome of interspecific competition...
May 11, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Paulina L González-Gómez, Valentina Echeverria, Cristian F Estades, Jonathan H Perez, Jesse S Krause, Pablo Sabat, Jonathon Li, Dietmar Kültz, John C Wingfield
1.The timing and duration of life history stages (LHS) within the annual cycle can be affected by local environmental cues which are integrated through endocrine signaling mechanisms and changes in protein function. Most animals express a single LHS within a given period of the year because synchronous expression of LHSs is thought to be too costly energetically. However, in very rare and extremely stable conditions, breeding and molt have been observed to overlap extensively in Rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) living in valleys of the Atacama Desert - one of the most stable and aseasonal environments on Earth...
May 9, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Sean M Naman, Jordan S Rosenfeld, Peter M Kiffney, John S Richardson
1.Increasing habitat availability (i.e. habitat suitable for occupancy) is often assumed to elevate the abundance or production of mobile consumers; however, this relationship is often nonlinear (threshold or unimodal). Identifying the mechanisms underlying these nonlinearities is essential for predicting the ecological impacts of habitat change, yet the functional forms and ultimate causation of consumer-habitat relationships are often poorly understood. 2.Nonlinear effects of habitat on animal abundance may manifest through physical constraints on foraging that restrict consumers from accessing their resources...
May 8, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Joshua A Thia, Cynthia Riginos, Libby Liggins, Will F Figueira, Katrina McGuigan
1.Complex life-cycles may evolve to dissociate distinct developmental phases in an organism's lifetime. However, genetic or environmental factors may restrict trait independence across life stages, constraining ontogenetic trajectories. Quantifying covariance across life-stages and their temporal variability is fundamental in understanding life-history phenotypes and potential distributions and consequences for selection. 2.We studied developmental constraints in an intertidal fish (Bathygobius cocosensis: Gobiidae) with a discrete pelagic larval phase and benthic juvenile phase...
May 5, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Andréaz Dupoué, Alexis Rutschmann, Jean François Le Galliard, Jean Clobert, Pauline Blaimont, Barry Sinervo, Donald B Miles, Claudy Haussy, Sandrine Meylan
1.Climate change should lead to massive loss of biodiversity in most taxa but the detailed physiological mechanisms underlying population extinction remain largely elusive so far. In vertebrates, baseline levels of hormones such as glucocorticoids (GCs) may be indicators of population state since their secretion to chronic stress can impair survival and reproduction. However, the relationship between GC secretion, climate change and population extinction risk remains unclear. 2.In this study we investigated whether levels of baseline corticosterone (the main GCs in reptiles) correlate with environmental conditions and associated extinction risk across wild populations of the common lizard Zootoca vivipara...
April 27, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Jenni M M Kremer, Sabine S Nooten, James M Cook, James M W Ryalls, Craig V M Barton, Scott N Johnson
1.Animal mutualisms, which involve beneficial interactions between individuals of different species, are common in nature. Insect-insect mutualism, for example, is widely regarded as a keystone ecological interaction. Some mutualisms are anticipated to be modified by climate change, but the focus has largely been on plant-microbe and plant-animal mutualisms rather than those between animals. 2.Ant-aphid mutualisms, whereby ants tend aphids to harvest their honeydew excretions and, in return, provide protection for the aphids are widespread...
April 27, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
David H Hembry, Rafael L G Raimundo, Erica A Newman, Lesje Atkinson, Chang Guo, Paulo R Guimarães, Rosemary G Gillespie
1.Biological intimacy-the degree of physical proximity or integration of partner taxa during their life cycles-is thought to promote the evolution of reciprocal specialization and modularity in the networks formed by co-occurring mutualistic species, but this hypothesis has rarely been tested. 2.Here, we test this "biological intimacy hypothesis" by comparing the network architecture of brood pollination mutualisms, in which specialized insects are simultaneously parasites (as larvae) and pollinators (as adults) of their host plants to that of other mutualisms which vary in their biological intimacy (including ant-myrmecophyte, ant-extrafloral nectary, plant-pollinator, and plant-seed disperser assemblages)...
April 25, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Brittany L Enzmann, Peter Nonacs
1.Parents often face an investment trade-off between either producing many small or fewer large offspring. When environments vary predictably, the fittest parental solution matches available resources by varying only number of offspring and never optimal individual size. However when mismatches occur often between parental expectations and true resource levels, dynamic models like multifaceted parental investment (MFPI) and parental optimism (PO) both predict offspring size can vary significantly. MFPI is a "realist" strategy: parents assume future environments of average richness...
April 24, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
David T Iles, Robert F Rockwell, David N Koons
1.The effects of climate on wild populations are often channeled through species interactions. Population responses to climate variation can therefore differ across habitats, owing to variation in the biotic community. Theory predicts that consumer demography should be less variable and less responsive to climate in habitats with greater resource diversity. 2.We tested these predictions using a long-term study of breeding lesser snow geese along the western coast of Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada. Reproductive success was measured in 22 years from 114 locations, in either coastal or inland habitat types...
April 20, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Ulf Büntgen, Juan D Galván, Atle Mysterud, Paul J Krusic, Lisa Hülsmann, Hannes Jenny, Josef Senn, Kurt Bollmann
1.Selective hunting can affect demographic characteristics and phenotypic traits of the targeted species. Hunting systems often involve harvesting quotas based on sex, age and/or size categories to avoid selective pressure. However, it is difficult to assess if such regulations deter hunters from targeting larger 'trophy' animals with longer horns that may have evolutionary consequences. 2.Here, we compile 44'088 annually resolved and absolutely dated measurements of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) horn growth increments from 8'355 males, harvested between 1978 and 2013, in the eastern Swiss Canton of Grisons...
April 20, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Pierre-Marc Brousseau, Dominique Gravel, I Tanya Handa
1.The characterization of ecological communities with functional traits allows to consider simultaneously the ability of a species to survive and reproduce in an environment, its interactions with other species, and its effects on the ecosystem. 2.Functional traits have been studied mainly by plant ecologists, but are increasingly common in the study of other taxa including arthropods. Arthropods represent a group for which a functional trait approach could be highly profitable because of their high diversity, abundance, ubiquity and role in many important ecological processes...
April 19, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Cong Chen, Arjen Biere, Rieta Gols, Wouter Halfwerk, Kees van Oers, Jeffrey A Harvey
1.Wind is an important abiotic factor that influences an array of biological processes, but it is rarely considered in studies on plant-herbivore interactions. 2.Here, we tested whether wind exposure could directly or indirectly affect the performance of two insect herbivores, Plutella xylostella and Pieris brassicae, feeding on Brassica nigra plants. 3.In a greenhouse study using a factorial design, B. nigra plants were exposed to different wind regimes generated by fans before and after caterpillars were introduced on plants in an attempt to separate the effects of direct and indirect wind exposure on herbivores...
April 19, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Andrew Lucas, Owen Bodger, Berry J Brosi, Col R Ford, Dan W Forman, Carolyn Greig, Matthew Hegarty, Penelope J Neyland, Natasha de Vere
Pollination by insects is a key ecosystem service and important to wider ecosystem function. Most species-level pollination networks studied have a generalised structure, with plants having several potential pollinators, and pollinators in turn visiting a number of different plant species. This is in apparent contrast to a plant's need for efficient conspecific pollen transfer. The aim of this study was to investigate the structure of pollen transport networks at three levels of biological hierarchy: community, species and individual...
April 16, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Meredith C Miles, Matthew J Fuxjager
Integrated visual displays that combine gesture with colour are nearly ubiquitous in the animal world, where they are shaped by sexual selection for their role in courtship and competition. However, few studies assess how multiple selection regimens operate on different components of these complex phenotypes on a macroevolutionary scale. Here, we study this issue by assessing how both sexual and ecological selection work together to influence visual display complexity in the birds of paradise. We first find that sexual dichromatism is highest in lekking species, which undergo more intense sexual selection by female choice, than non-lekking species...
April 11, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Danielle M Linton, David W Macdonald
1.Climate is known to influence breeding phenology and reproductive success in temperate zone bats, but long-term population level studies and interspecific comparisons are rare. 2.Investigating the extent to which intrinsic (i.e. age), and extrinsic (i.e. spring weather conditions), factors influence such key demographic parameters as the proportion of females becoming pregnant, or completing lactation, each breeding season, is vital to understanding of bat population ecology and life-history traits. 3.Using data from twelve breeding seasons (2006 - 2017), encompassing the reproductive histories of 623 Myotis daubentonii and 436 M...
April 10, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
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