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Journal of Animal Ecology

Maartje J Klapwijk, Jonathan A Walter, Anikó Hirka, György Csóka, Christer Björkman, Andrew M Liebhold
1.Studies of transient population dynamics have largely focused on temporal changes in dynamical behavior, such as the transition between periods of stability and instability. The present study explores a related dynamic pattern, namely transient synchrony during a 49-year period among populations of five sympatric species of forest insects that share host tree resources. The long time-series allows a more comprehensive exploration of transient synchrony patterns than most previous studies. Considerable variation existed in the dynamics of individual species, ranging from periodic to aperiodic...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Sylvain Losdat, Jonathan D Blount, Viviana Marri, Lea Maronde, Heinz Richner, Fabrice Helfenstein
1.Early-life stressful conditions can shape individual phenotypes and ultimately influence fitness. Oxidative stress is a pervasive threat that affects many fitness-related traits and can modulate life-history trade-offs. Yet, the extent to which exposure to oxidative stress during early life can have long-lasting effects on key fitness-related traits remains to be elucidated, particularly in natural populations of vertebrates. 2.Using a wild population of great tits Parus major, we experimentally dosed 11 day-old birds with paraquat, a pro-oxidant molecule, aiming at increasing oxidative stress...
March 8, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Talita Câmara, Inara R Leal, Nico Blüthgen, Fernanda M P Oliveira, Rubens T de Queiroz, Xavier Arnan
1.Anthropogenic disturbance and climate change might negatively affect the ecosystem services provided by mutualistic networks. However, the effects of such forces remain poorly characterized. They may be especially important in dry forests, which (1) experience chronic anthropogenic disturbances (CADs) as human populations exploit forest resources and (2) are predicted to face a 22% decline in rainfall under climate change. 2.In this study, we investigated the separate and combined effects of CADs and rainfall levels on the specialization of mutualistic networks in the Caatinga, a seasonally dry tropical forest typical of northeastern Brazil...
March 5, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Florian Müller, Cas Eikenaar, Zoe J Crysler, Philip D Taylor, Heiko Schmaljohann
1.Most migratory songbirds travel between their breeding areas and wintering grounds through a series of nocturnal flights. The timing of their departures defines the potential flight duration and thus the distance covered during a migratory night. Yet, migratory songbirds show substantial variation in their nocturnal departure timing. 2.With this study we aim to assess whether the respective challenges of the migration route, namely its distance and nature, help to explain this variation. 3.At a stopover site, we caught Northern Wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) of two subspecies that differ in distance and nature of their onward migration route in spring, but not in autumn...
March 5, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Martina Ferraguti, Josué Martínez-de la Puente, Staffan Bensch, David Roiz, Santigo Ruiz, Duarte S Viana, Ramon C Soriguer, Jordi Figuerola
Vector and host communities, as well as habitat characteristics, may have important but different impacts on the prevalence, richness and evenness of vector-borne parasites. We investigated the relative importance of (1) the mosquito community composition, (2) the vertebrate community composition and (3) landscape characteristics on the prevalence, richness and evenness of avian Plasmodium. We hypothesized that parasite prevalence will be more affected by vector-related parameters, while host parameters should be also important to explain Plasmodium richness and evenness...
March 1, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Nicole V Coggan, Matthew W Hayward, Heloise Gibb
1.Ecosystem engineers have been widely studied for terrestrial systems, but global trends in research encompassing the range of taxa and functions have not previously been synthesised. 2.We reviewed contemporary understanding of engineer fauna in terrestrial habitats and assessed the methods used to document patterns and processes, asking: 1.Which species act as ecosystem engineers and with whom do they interact? 2. What are the impacts of ecosystem engineers in terrestrial habitats and how are they distributed? 3...
February 28, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Duncan Mitchell, Edward P Snelling, Robyn S Hetem, Shane K Maloney, W Maartin Strauss, Andrea Fuller
1.The accuracy of predictive models (also known as mechanistic or causal models) of animal responses to climate change depends on properly incorporating the principles of heat transfer and thermoregulation into those models. Regrettably, proper incorporation of these principles is not always evident. 2.We have revisited the relevant principles of thermal physiology and analyzed how they have been applied in predictive models of large mammals, which are particularly vulnerable, to climate change. We considered dry heat exchange, evaporative heat transfer, the thermoneutral zone and homeothermy, and we examined the roles of size and shape in the thermal physiology of large mammals...
February 26, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Henri Weimerskirch
1.Population dynamics and foraging ecology are two fields of the population ecology that are generally studied separately. Yet foraging determines allocation processes and therefore demography. Studies on Wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans over the past 50 years have contributed to better understand the links between population dynamics and foraging ecology. This paper reviews how these two facets of population ecology have been combined to better understand ecological processes, but also have contributed fundamentally for the conservation of this long-lived threatened species...
February 24, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Pieter T J Johnson, Dana M Calhoun, Amber N Stokes, Calvin B Susbilla, Travis McDevitt-Galles, Cheryl J Briggs, Jason T Hoverman, Vasyl V Tkach, Jacobus C de Roode
1.Classical research on animal toxicity has focused on the role of toxins in protection against predators, but recent studies suggest these same compounds can offer a powerful defense against parasites and infectious diseases. 2.Newts in the genus Taricha are brightly colored and contain the potent neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX), which is hypothesized to have evolved as a defense against vertebrate predators such as garter snakes. However, newt populations often vary dramatically in toxicity, which is only partially explained by predation pressure...
February 24, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Nathaniel D Rayl, Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, John F Organ, Matthew A Mumma, Shane P Mahoney, Colleen E Soulliere, Keith P Lewis, Robert D Otto, Dennis L Murray, Lisette P Waits, Todd K Fuller
1.Prey abundance and prey vulnerability vary across space and time, but we know little about how they mediate predator-prey interactions and predator foraging tactics. To evaluate the interplay between prey abundance, prey vulnerability, and predator space use, we examined patterns of black bear (Ursus americanus) predation of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) neonates in Newfoundland, Canada using data from 317 collared individuals (9 bears, 34 adult female caribou, 274 caribou calves). 2.During the caribou calving season, we predicted that landscape features would influence calf vulnerability to bear predation, and that bears would actively hunt calves by selecting areas associated with increased calf vulnerability...
February 16, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
R J Kilgour, A G McAdam, G S Betini, D R Norris
1.Aggression can be beneficial in competitive environments if aggressive individuals are more likely to access resources than non-aggressive individuals. However, variation in aggressive behaviour persists within populations, suggesting that high levels of aggression might not always be favoured. 2.The goal of this study was to experimentally assess the effects of population density and phenotypic frequency on selection on aggression in a competitive environment. 3.We compared survival of two strains of Drosophila melanogaster that differ in aggression across three density treatments and five frequency treatments (single strain groups, equal numbers of each strain, and strains mixed at 3:1 and 1:3 ratios) during a period of limited resources...
February 15, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Danae Moore, Adam Stow, Michael Ray Kearney
1.For ectotherms such as lizards, the importance of behavioral thermoregulation in avoiding thermal extremes is well established and is increasingly acknowledged in modern studies of climate warming and its impacts. Less appreciated and understood are the buffering roles of retreat sites and activity phase, in part because of logistical challenges of studying below-ground activity. Burrowing and nocturnal activity are key behavioral adaptations that have enabled a diverse range of reptiles to survive extreme environmental temperatures within hot desert regions...
February 15, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Laurie A Hall, Nathan D Van Schmidt, Steven R Beissinger
1.Dispersal distances are commonly inferred from occupancy data but have rarely been validated. Estimating dispersal from occupancy data is further complicated by imperfect detection and the presence of unsurveyed patches. 2.We compared dispersal distances inferred from seven years of occupancy data for 212 wetlands in a metapopulation of the secretive and threatened California black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) to distances between parent-offspring dyads identified with 16 microsatellites. 3...
February 14, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Yue Huang, Ling Wang, Deli Wang, De-Hui Zeng, Yexing Li, Jun Liu, Yue Wang
1.Multiple-scale foraging decisions by large herbivores can cause associational effects of focal plant individuals neighbored with different species. Spatial micro-patterns between the focal plant and its neighboring species within patches can affect herbivore foraging selectivity at within- and between-patch scale, which may consequently lead to associational plant effects occurring at both plant individual and population levels. However, these associational effects have not been explored together in the plant-herbivore interaction studies...
February 11, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Jiří Reif, Radka Reifová, Anna Skoracka, Lechosław Kuczyński
1.The role of interspecific competition for generating patterns in species' distribution is hotly debated and studies taking into account processes occurring at both large and small spatial scales are almost missing. Theoretically, competition between species with overlapping niches should result in divergence of their niches in sympatry to reduce the costs of competition. Many species show a mosaic distribution within sympatric zones, with the syntopic sites occupied by both species, and allotopic sites where only one species occurs...
February 11, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Marlene Zuk, Nathan W Bailey, Brian Gray, John T Rotenberry
1.Sexual signals may be acquired or lost over evolutionary time, and are tempered in their exaggeration by natural selection. 2.In the Pacific field cricket, Teleogryllus oceanicus, a mutation ("flatwing") causing loss of the sexual signal, the song, spread in < 20 generations in two of three Hawaiian islands where the crickets have been introduced. Flatwing (as well as some normal-wing) males behave as satellites, moving towards and settling near calling males to intercept phonotactic females. 3.From 2005-2012, we surveyed crickets and their responses to conspecific song, noting the morph and number of males and females before and after experimental playbacks...
February 8, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
F G Blanchet, T Roslin, M T Kimura, T Huotari, R Kaartinen, S Gripenberg, A J M Tack
1.Within natural communities, different taxa display different dynamics in time. Why this is the case we do not fully know. This thwarts our ability to predict changes in community structure, which is important for both the conservation of rare species in natural communities and for the prediction of pest outbreaks in agriculture. 2.Species sharing phylogeny, natural enemies and/or life history traits have been hypothesized to share similar temporal dynamics. We operationalized these concepts into testing whether feeding guild, voltinism, similarity in parasitoid community, and/or phylogenetic relatedness explained similarities in temporal dynamics among herbivorous community members...
February 8, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Michelle Tseng, Katrina M Kaur, Sina Soleimani Pari, Karnjit Sarai, Denessa Chan, Christine H Yao, Paula Porto, Anmol Toor, Harpawantaj S Toor, Katrina Fograscher
Body size is a fundamental ecological trait and is correlated with population dynamics, community structure and function, and ecosystem fluxes. Laboratory data from broad taxonomic groups suggest that a widespread response to a warming world may be an overall decrease in organism body size. However, given the myriad of biotic and abiotic factors that can also influence organism body size in the wild, it is unclear whether results from these laboratory assays hold in nature. Here we use datasets spanning 30 to 100 years to examine whether the body size of wild-caught beetles has changed over time, whether body size changes are correlated with increased temperatures, and we frame these results using predictions derived from a quantitative review of laboratory responses of 22 beetle species to temperature...
January 30, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Kevin A Blecha, Randall B Boone, Mathew W Alldredge
1.Conflicts between large mammalian predators and humans present a challenge to conservation efforts, as these events drive human attitudes and policies concerning predator species. Unfortunately, generalities portrayed in many empirical carnivore landscape selection studies do not provide an explanation for a predator's occasional use of residential development preceding a carnivore-human conflict event. In some cases, predators may perceive residential development as a risk-reward tradeoff. 2.We examine whether state dependent mortality-risk sensitive foraging can explain an apex carnivore's (Puma concolor) occasional utilization of residential areas...
January 30, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Fabian Zimmermann, Daniel Ricard, Mikko Heino
1.Population regulation is a central concept in ecology, yet in many cases its presence and the underlying mechanisms are difficult to demonstrate. The current paradigm maintains that marine fish populations are predominantly regulated by density-dependent recruitment. 2.While it is known that density-dependent somatic growth can be present too, its general importance is unknown and most practical applications neglect it. This study aimed to close this gap by for the first time quantifying and comparing density dependence in growth and recruitment over a large set of fish populations...
January 30, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
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