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Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29035010/ecosystem-regime-shifts-disrupt-trophic-structure
#1
Tessa N Hempson, Nicholas A J Graham, M Aaron MacNeil, Andrew S Hoey, Shaun K Wilson
Regime shifts between alternative stable ecosystem states are becoming commonplace due to the combined effects of local stressors and global climate change. Alternative states are characterised as substantially different in form and function to pre-disturbance states, disrupting the delivery of ecosystem services and functions. On coral reefs, regime shifts are typically characterised by a change in the benthic composition from coral- to macroalgal-dominance. Such fundamental shifts in the benthos are anticipated to impact associated fish communities that are reliant on the reef for food and shelter, yet there is limited understanding of how regime shifts propagate through the fish community over time, relative to initial or recovery conditions...
October 16, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29034532/feces-nitrogen-release-induced-by-different-large-herbivores-in-a-dry-grassland
#2
Jingzhi Wang, Deli Wang, Chunqiang Li, Timothy R Seastedt, Cunzhu Liang, Ling Wang, Wei Sun, Maowei Liang, Yu Li
Large herbivores have pronounced effects on nutrient cycling in grasslands. These organisms are known to alter the quality and quantity of plant production as well as the amounts and quality of plant litter and animal wastes. The generalization that the relative quality of detritus inputs is enhanced by herbivores is well known, but how this process is affected by diet selection processing and feces production of different large herbivores remains largely unstudied. Here, we measured how these differences for cattle and sheep on a dry grassland might influence nitrogen (N) mineralization from feces...
October 16, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29024180/modeling-plant-composition-as-community-continua-in-a-forest-landscape-with-lidar-and-hyperspectral-remote-sensing
#3
C R Hakkenberg, R K Peet, D L Urban, C Song
In light of the need to operationalize the mapping of forest composition at landscape scales, this study uses multi-scale nested vegetation sampling in conjunction with LiDAR-hyperspectral remotely-sensed data from the G-LiHT airborne sensor to map vascular plant compositional turnover in a compositionally- and structurally-complex North Carolina Piedmont forest. Reflecting a shift in emphasis from remotely sensing individual crowns to detecting aggregate optical-structural properties of forest stands, predictive maps reflect the composition of entire vascular plant communities - inclusive of those species smaller than the resolution of the remotely-sensed imagery, intertwined with proximate taxa, or otherwise obscured from optical sensors by dense upper canopies...
October 10, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29024139/chlorpyrifos-interacts-with-other-agricultural-stressors-to-alter-stream-communities-in-laboratory-microcosms
#4
Ana M Chará-Serna, John S Richardson
Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used agricultural insecticides in the world, but to date there is limited empirical information about its potential to interact with other common agricultural stressors. We conducted a 15-day, community-level microcosm experiment evaluating individual and combined effects of chlorpyrifos, nutrient enrichment, and sedimentation on stream invertebrate communities (abundance, biomass, richness, size structure, composition) and ecosystem processes (primary productivity and leaf decomposition)...
October 10, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28987028/fuel-reduction-management-alters-plant-composition-carbon-and-nitrogen-pools-and-soil-thaw-in-alaskan-boreal-forest
#5
April M Melvin, Gerardo Celis, Jill F Johnstone, A David McGuire, Helene Genet, Edward A G Schuur, T Scott Rupp, Michelle C Mack
Increasing wildfire activity in Alaska's boreal forests has led to greater fuel-reduction management. Management has been implemented to reduce wildfire spread, but the ecological impacts of these practices are poorly known. We quantified the effects of hand-thinning and shearblading on above- and belowground stand characteristics, plant species composition, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools, and soil thaw across 19 black spruce (Picea mariana) dominated sites in interior Alaska treated 2-12 years prior to sampling...
October 7, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28949046/invertebrate-community-response-to-coarse-woody-debris-removal-for-bioenergy-production-from-intensively-managed-forests
#6
Steven M Grodsky, Christopher E Moorman, Sarah R Fritts, Joshua W Campbell, Clyde E Sorenson, Matthew A Bertone, Steven B Castleberry, T Bently Wigley
Increased market viability of harvest residues as forest bioenergy feedstock may escalate removal of coarse woody debris in managed forests. Meanwhile, many forest invertebrates use coarse woody debris for cover, food, and reproduction. Few studies have explicitly addressed effects of operational-scale woody biomass harvesting on invertebrates following clearcutting. Therefore, we measured invertebrate community response to large-scale harvest residue removal and micro-site manipulations of harvest residue availability in recently clearcut, intensively managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forests in North Carolina (NC; n = 4) and Georgia (GA; n = 4), USA...
September 26, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28944610/last-century-forest-productivity-in-a-managed-dry-edge-scots-pine-population-the-two-sides-of-climate-warming
#7
Laura Marqués, Jaime Madrigal-González, Miguel A Zavala, J Julio Camarero, Florian Hartig
Climate change in the Mediterranean, associated with warmer temperatures and more frequent droughts, is expected to impact forest productivity and the functioning of forests ecosystems as carbon reservoirs in the region. Climate warming can positively affect forest growth by extending the growing season, whereas increasing summer drought generally reduces forest productivity and may cause growth decline, trigger dieback, hamper regeneration and increase mortality. Forest management could potentially counteract such negative effects by reducing stand density and thereby competition for water...
September 25, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28944528/using-species-traits-to-predict-detectability-of-animals-on-aerial-surveys
#8
S Schlossberg, M J Chase, C R Griffin
In animal surveys, detectability can vary widely across species. We hypothesized that detectability of animals should be a function of species traits such as mass, color, and mean herd size. We also hypothesized that models of detectability based on species traits can be used to predict detectability for new species not in the original dataset, leading to substantial benefits for ecology and conservation. We tested these hypotheses with double-observer aerial surveys of 10 mammal species in northern Botswana...
September 25, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28944518/scenarios-reveal-pathways-to-sustain-future-ecosystem-services-in-an-agricultural-landscape
#9
Jiangxiao Qiu, Stephen R Carpenter, Eric G Booth, Melissa Motew, Samuel C Zipper, Christopher J Kucharik, Xi Chen, Steven P Loheide, Jenny Seifert, Monica G Turner
Sustaining food production, water quality, soil retention, flood and climate regulation in agricultural landscapes is a pressing global challenge given accelerating environmental changes. Scenarios are stories about plausible futures, and scenarios can be integrated with biophysical simulation models to explore quantitatively how the future might unfold. However, few studies have incorporated a wide range of drivers (e.g., climate, land-use, management, population, human diet) in spatially explicit, process-based models to investigate spatial-temporal dynamics and relationships of a portfolio of ecosystem services...
September 25, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28940830/cultivar-mixtures-a-meta-analysis-of-the-effect-of-intraspecific-diversity-on-crop-yield
#10
Emily R Reiss, Laurie E Drinkwater
Extensive research has shown that greater plant community diversity leads to higher levels of productivity and other ecosystem services, and such increased diversity has been suggested as a way to improve yield and agricultural sustainability. Increasing intraspecific diversity with cultivar mixtures is one way to increase diversity in agricultural systems. We examined the relationship between intraspecific diversity and yield in cultivar mixtures using a meta-analysis of 91 studies and >3600 observations...
September 22, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28940452/template-for-using-biological-trait-groupings-when-exploring-large-scale-variation-in-seafloor-multifunctionality
#11
Anna Villnäs, Judi Hewitt, Martin Snickars, Mats Westerbom, Alf Norkko
Understanding large-scale spatial variation in ecosystem properties and associated functionality is key for successful conservation of ecosystems. This study provides a template for how to estimate differences in ecosystem functionality over large spatial scales by using groupings of biological traits. We focus on trait groupings that describe three important benthic ecosystem properties, namely bioturbation, community stability and juvenile dispersal. Recognizing that groups of traits interact and are constrained within an organism, we statistically define important functional trait subgroups that describe each ecosystem property...
September 22, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28922585/climatic-and-anthropogenic-drivers-of-northern-amazon-fires-during-the-2015-2016-el-ni%C3%A3-o-event
#12
Marisa G Fonseca, Liana O Anderson, Egidio Arai, Yosio E Shimabukuro, Haron A M Xaud, Maristela R Xaud, Nima Madani, Fabien H Wagner, Luiz E O C Aragão
The strong El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event that occurred in 2015/2016 caused extreme drought in the northern Brazilian Amazon, especially in the state of Roraima, increasing fire occurrence. Here we map the extent of precipitation and fire anomalies and quantify the effects of climatic and anthropogenic drivers on fire occurrence during the 2015/2016 dry season (from December 2015 to March 2016) in the state of Roraima. To achieve these objectives we first estimated the spatial pattern of precipitation anomalies, based on long-term data from the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission), and the fire anomaly, based on MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) active fire detections during the referred period...
September 18, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28922513/purpose-processes-partnerships-and-products-4ps-to-advance-participatory-socio-environmental-modeling
#13
Steven Gray, Alexey Voinov, Michael Paolisso, Rebecca Jordan, Todd BenDor, Pierre Bommel, Pierre Glynn, Beatrice Hedelin, Klaus Hubacek, Josh Introne, Nagesh Kolagani, Bethany Laursen, Christina Prell, Laura Schmitt-Olabisi, Alison Singer, Eleanor Sterling, Moira Zellner
Including stakeholders in environmental model building and analysis is an increasingly popular approach to understanding ecological change. This is because stakeholders often hold valuable knowledge about socio-environmental dynamics and collaborative forms of modeling produce important boundary objects used to collectively reason about environmental problems. Although the number of participatory modeling (PM) case studies and the number of researchers adopting these approaches has grown in recent years, the lack of standardized reporting and limited reproducibility have prevented PM's establishment and advancement as a cohesive field of study...
September 18, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28921808/long-term-agricultural-management-does-not-alter-the-evolution-of-a-soybean-rhizobium-mutualism
#14
Jennifer E Schmidt, Dylan J Weese, Jennifer A Lau
Leguminous crops, like soybeans, often rely on biologically fixed nitrogen via their symbiosis with rhizobia rather than synthetic nitrogen inputs. However, agricultural management practices may influence the effectiveness of biological nitrogen fixation. While the ecological effects of agricultural management on rhizobia have received some attention, the evolutionary effects have been neglected in comparison. Resource mutualism theory predicts that evolutionary effects are likely, however. Both fertilization and tillage are predicted to cause the evolution of rhizobia that provide fewer growth benefits to plant hosts and fix less nitrogen...
September 16, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28921765/assessing-fire-impacts-on-the-carbon-stability-of-fire-tolerant-forests
#15
Lauren T Bennett, Matthew J Bruce, Josephine Machunter, Michele Kohout, Saravanan Jangammanaidu Krishnaraj, Cristina Aponte
The carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests is often assumed but less frequently assessed, limiting potential to anticipate threats to forest carbon posed by predicted increases in forest fire activity. Assessing the carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests requires multi-indicator approaches that recognise the myriad of ways that fires influence the carbon balance including combustion, deposition of pyrogenic material, and tree death, post-fire decomposition, recruitment, and growth. Five years after a large-scale wildfire in south-eastern Australia, we assessed the impacts of low- and high-severity wildfire, with and without prescribed fire (≤ 10 years before), on carbon stocks in multiple pools, and on carbon stability indicators (carbon stock percentages in live trees and in small trees, and carbon stocks in char and fuels) in fire-tolerant eucalypt forests...
September 16, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28901043/survey-design-for-precise-fire-management-conservation-targets
#16
Holly Sitters, Julian Di Stefano, Timothy Wills, Matthew Swan, Alan York
Common goals of ecological fire management are to sustain biodiversity and minimize extinction risk. A novel approach to achieving these goals determines the relative proportions of vegetation growth stages (equivalent to successional stages, which are categorical representations of time since fire) that maximize a biodiversity index. The method combines data describing species abundances in each growth stage with numerical optimization to define an optimal growth-stage structure which provides a conservation-based operational target for managers...
September 12, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28873278/long-term-trends-in-trait-structure-of-riverine-communities-facing-predation-risk-increase-and-trophic-resource-decline
#17
Adrien Latli, Jean-Pierre Descy, Cédric P Mondy, Mathieu Floury, Laurent Viroux, William Otjacques, Jonathan Marescaux, Eric Depiereux, Michael Ovidio, Philippe Usseglio-Polatera, Patrick Kestemont
Many large European rivers have undergone multiple pressures which have strongly impaired ecosystem functioning at different spatial and temporal scales. Global warming and other environmental changes have favoured the success of invasive species, deeply modifying the structure of aquatic communities in large rivers. Some exogenous species could alter trophic interactions within assemblages by increasing the predation risk for potential prey species (top-down effect) and limiting the dynamics of others via resource availability limitation (bottom-up effect)...
September 5, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28873261/impacts-of-different-land-management-histories-on-forest-change
#18
Brandon M Collins, Danny L Fry, Jamie M Lydersen, Richard Everett, Scott L Stephens
Many western North American forest types have experienced considerable changes in ecosystem structure, composition, and function as a result of both fire exclusion and timber harvesting. These two influences co-occurred over a large portion of dry forests making it difficult to know the strength of either one on its own or the potential for an interaction between the two. In this study we used contemporary re-measurements of a systematic historical forest inventory to investigate forest change in the Sierra Nevada...
September 5, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28872731/urbanization-reduces-and-homogenizes-trait-diversity-in-stream-macroinvertebrate-communities
#19
Thomas R Barnum, Donald E Weller, Meghan Williams
More than half the world's population lives in urban areas, so quantifying the effects of urbanization on ecological communities is important for understanding whether anthropogenic stressors homogenize communities across environmental and climatic gradients. We examined the relationship of impervious surface coverage (a marker of urbanization) and the structure of stream macroinvertebrate communities across the state of Maryland and within each of Maryland's three ecoregions: Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Appalachian, which differ in stream geomorphology and community composition...
September 5, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28871655/predictive-mapping-of-the-biotic-condition-of-conterminous-usa-rivers-and-streams
#20
Ryan A Hill, Eric W Fox, Scott G Leibowitz, Anthony R Olsen, Darren J Thornbrugh, Marc H Weber
Understanding and mapping the spatial variation in stream biological condition could provide an important tool for conservation, assessment, and restoration of stream ecosystems. The USEPA's 2008-2009 National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) summarizes the percent of stream lengths within the conterminous US that are in good, fair, or poor biological condition based on a multimetric index of benthic invertebrate assemblages. However, condition is usually summarized at regional or national scales, and these assessments do not provide substantial insight into the spatial distribution of conditions at unsampled locations...
September 4, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
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