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BMC Ecology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29183362/unifying-the-functional-diversity-in-natural-and-cultivated-soils-using-the-overall-body-mass-distribution-of-nematodes
#1
Christian Mulder, Rob Maas
BACKGROUND: Sustainable use of our soils is a key goal for environmental protection. As many ecosystem services are supported belowground at different trophic levels by nematodes, soil nematodes are expected to provide objective metrics for biological quality to integrate physical and chemical soil variables. Trait measurements of body mass carried out at the individual level can in this way be correlated with environmental properties that influence the performance of soil biota. RESULTS: Soil samples were collected across 200 sites (4 soil types and 5 land-use types resulting in 9 combinations) during a long-term monitoring programme in the Netherlands and the functional diversity of nematode communities was investigated...
November 28, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29137616/foraging-dispersion-of-ryukyu-flying-foxes-and-relationships-with-fig-abundance-in-east-asian-subtropical-island-forests
#2
Ya-Fu Lee, Yen-Min Kuo, Hsin-Yi Chang, Chi-Feng Tsai, Shigeyuki Baba
BACKGROUND: Figs are widely distributed key resources to many tropical-subtropical animals, and flying-foxes are major consumers and seed dispersers of figs. Bat-fig interrelationships, however, may vary among species differing in fruiting traits, i.e., bat- versus bird-dispersed figs. We examined Ryukyu flying-fox foraging dispersion and the relationships with tree species composition and fig abundance in forests of Iriomote Island. RESULTS: Bat foraging dispersion showed no spatial patterns with respect to different areas of the island, and was not explained by heterogeneity, density, or basal area (BA) of total trees, nor by relative density or BA of fruiting trees or total fruiting figs among sites...
November 14, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29126411/thermal-conditions-during-early-life-influence-seasonal-maternal-strategies-in-the-three-spined-stickleback
#3
Sin-Yeon Kim, Neil B Metcalfe, Alberto da Silva, Alberto Velando
BACKGROUND: Conditions experienced by a female during early life may affect her reproductive strategies and maternal investment later in life. This effect of early environmental conditions is a potentially important mechanism by which animals can compensate for the negative impacts of climate change. In this study, we experimentally tested whether three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) change their maternal strategy according to environmental temperatures experienced earlier in life...
November 10, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29084533/analysing-taxonomic-structures-and-local-ecological-processes-in-temperate-forests-in-north-eastern-china
#4
Chunyu Fan, Lingzhao Tan, Chunyu Zhang, Xiuhai Zhao, Klaus von Gadow
BACKGROUND: One of the core issues of forest community ecology is the exploration of how ecological processes affect community structure. The relative importance of different processes is still under debate. This study addresses four questions: (1) how is the taxonomic structure of a forest community affected by spatial scale? (2) does the taxonomic structure reveal effects of local processes such as environmental filtering, dispersal limitation or interspecific competition at a local scale? (3) does the effect of local processes on the taxonomic structure vary with the spatial scale? (4) does the analysis based on taxonomic structures provide similar insights when compared with the use of phylogenetic information? Based on the data collected in two large forest observational field studies, the taxonomic structures of the plant communities were analyzed at different sampling scales using taxonomic ratios (number of genera/number of species, number of families/number of species), and the relationship between the number of higher taxa and the number of species...
October 30, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28915877/vole-abundance-and-reindeer-carcasses-determine-breeding-activity-of-arctic-foxes-in-low-arctic-yamal-russia
#5
Dorothee Ehrich, Maite Cerezo, Anna Y Rodnikova, Natalya A Sokolova, Eva Fuglei, Victor G Shtro, Aleksandr A Sokolov
BACKGROUND: High latitude ecosystems are at present changing rapidly under the influence of climate warming, and specialized Arctic species at the southern margin of the Arctic may be particularly affected. The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), a small mammalian predator endemic to northern tundra areas, is able to exploit different resources in the context of varying tundra ecosystems. Although generally widespread, it is critically endangered in subarctic Fennoscandia, where a fading out of the characteristic lemming cycles and competition with abundant red foxes have been identified as main threats...
September 16, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28874197/environmental-drivers-of-ixodes-ricinus-abundance-in-forest-fragments-of-rural-european-landscapes
#6
Steffen Ehrmann, Jaan Liira, Stefanie Gärtner, Karin Hansen, Jörg Brunet, Sara A O Cousins, Marc Deconchat, Guillaume Decocq, Pieter De Frenne, Pallieter De Smedt, Martin Diekmann, Emilie Gallet-Moron, Annette Kolb, Jonathan Lenoir, Jessica Lindgren, Tobias Naaf, Taavi Paal, Alicia Valdés, Kris Verheyen, Monika Wulf, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen
BACKGROUND: The castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus) transmits infectious diseases such as Lyme borreliosis, which constitutes an important ecosystem disservice. Despite many local studies, a comprehensive understanding of the key drivers of tick abundance at the continental scale is still lacking. We analyze a large set of environmental factors as potential drivers of I. ricinus abundance. Our multi-scale study was carried out in deciduous forest fragments dispersed within two contrasting rural landscapes of eight regions, along a macroclimatic gradient stretching from southern France to central Sweden and Estonia...
September 6, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28859635/hair-cortisol-concentrations-correlate-negatively-with-survival-in-a-wild-primate-population
#7
Josué H Rakotoniaina, Peter M Kappeler, Eva Kaesler, Anni M Hämäläinen, Clemens Kirschbaum, Cornelia Kraus
BACKGROUND: Glucocorticoid hormones are known to play a key role in mediating a cascade of physiological responses to social and ecological stressors and can therefore influence animals' behaviour and ultimately fitness. Yet, how glucocorticoid levels are associated with reproductive success or survival in a natural setting has received little empirical attention so far. Here, we examined links between survival and levels of glucocorticoid in a small, short-lived primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), using for the first time an indicator of long-term stress load (hair cortisol concentration)...
September 1, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28818045/bmc-ecology-image-competition-2017-the-winning-images
#8
EDITORIAL
Christopher Foote, Chris T Darimont, Michel Baguette, Simon Blanchet, Luke M Jacobus, Dominique Mazzi, Josef Settele
For the fifth year, BMC Ecology is proud to present the winning images from our annual image competition. The 2017 edition received entries by talented shutterbug-ecologists from across the world, showcasing research that is increasing our understanding of ecosystems worldwide and the beauty and diversity of life on our planet. In this editorial we showcase the winning images, as chosen by our Editorial Board and guest judge Chris Darimont, as well as our selection of highly commended images. Enjoy!
August 18, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28797249/wind-conditions-on-migration-influence-the-annual-survival-of-a-neotropical-migrant-the-western-yellow-breasted-chat-icteria-virens-auricollis
#9
Andrew C Huang, Christine A Bishop, René McKibbin, Anna Drake, David J Green
BACKGROUND: Long-distance migratory birds in North America have undergone precipitous declines over the past half-century. Although the trend is clear, for many migrating species underpinning the exact causes poses a challenge to conservation due to the numerous stressors that they encounter. Climate conditions during all phases of their annual cycle can have important consequences for their survival. Here, using 15 years of capture-recapture dataset, we determined the effects of various climate factors during the breeding, wintering, and migrating stages on the annual survival of a western yellow-breasted chat (Icteria virens auricollis) population breeding in southwestern Canada...
August 10, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28705156/diet-segregation-in-american-bison-bison-bison-of-yellowstone-national-park-wyoming-usa
#10
John L Berini, Catherine Badgley
BACKGROUND: Body size is a major factor in the nutritional ecology of ruminant mammals. Females, due to their smaller size and smaller rumen, have more rapid food-passage times than males and thereby require higher quality forage. Males are more efficient at converting high-fiber forage into usable energy and thus, are more concerned with quantity. American bison are sexually dimorphic and sexually segregate for the majority of their adult lives, and in Yellowstone National Park, they occur in two distinct subpopulations within the Northern and Central ranges...
July 14, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28693550/evidence-of-indirect-symbiont-conferred-protection-against-the-predatory-lady-beetle-harmonia-axyridis-in-the-pea-aphid
#11
Jennifer L Kovacs, Candice Wolf, Dené Voisin, Seth Wolf
BACKGROUND: Defensive symbionts can provide significant fitness advantages to their hosts. Facultative symbionts can protect several species of aphid from fungal pathogens, heat shock, and parasitism by parasitoid wasps. Previous work found that two of these facultative symbionts can also indirectly protect pea aphids from predation by the lady beetle Hippocampus convergens. When aphids reproduce asexually, there is extremely high relatedness among aphid clone-mates and often very limited dispersal...
July 11, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28659130/what-makes-a-successful-species-traits-facilitating-survival-in-altered-tropical-forests
#12
Mareike Hirschfeld, Mark-Oliver Rödel
BACKGROUND: Ongoing conversion, disturbance and fragmentation of tropical forests stress this ecosystem and cause the decline or disappearance of many species. Particular traits have been identified which indicate an increasing extinction risk of a species, but traits facilitating survival in altered habitats have mostly been neglected. Here we search for traits that make a species tolerant to disturbances, thus independent of pristine forests. We identify the fauna that have an increasing effect on the ecosystem and its functioning in our human-dominated landscapes...
June 28, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28651557/amphibian-and-reptile-road-kills-on-tertiary-roads-in-relation-to-landscape-structure-using-a-citizen-science-approach-with-open-access-land-cover-data
#13
Florian Heigl, Kathrin Horvath, Gregor Laaha, Johann G Zaller
BACKGROUND: Amphibians and reptiles are among the most endangered vertebrate species worldwide. However, little is known how they are affected by road-kills on tertiary roads and whether the surrounding landscape structure can explain road-kill patterns. The aim of our study was to examine the applicability of open-access remote sensing data for a large-scale citizen science approach to describe spatial patterns of road-killed amphibians and reptiles on tertiary roads. Using a citizen science app we monitored road-kills of amphibians and reptiles along 97...
June 26, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28623883/no-consistent-effect-of-plant-species-richness-on-resistance-to-simulated-climate-change-for-above-or-below-ground-processes-in-managed-grasslands
#14
Carsten F Dormann, Lars von Riedmatten, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen
BACKGROUND: Species richness affects processes and functions in many ecosystems. Since management of temperate grasslands is directly affecting species composition and richness, it can indirectly govern how systems respond to fluctuations in environmental conditions. Our aim in this study was to investigate whether species richness in managed grasslands can buffer the effects of drought and warming manipulations and hence increase the resistance to climate change. We established 45 plots in three regions across Germany, each with three different management regimes (pasture, meadow and mown pasture)...
June 17, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28619108/scavenging-on-a-pulsed-resource-quality-matters-for-corvids-but-density-for-mammals
#15
Gjermund Gomo, Jenny Mattisson, Bjørn Roar Hagen, Pål Fossland Moa, Tomas Willebrand
BACKGROUND: Human food subsidies can provide predictable food sources in large quantities for wildlife species worldwide. In the boreal forest of Fennoscandia, gut piles from moose (Alces alces) harvest provide a potentially important food source for a range of opportunistically scavenging predators. Increased populations of predators can negatively affect threatened or important game species. As a response to this, restrictions on field dressing of moose are under consideration in parts of Norway...
June 15, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28592264/adaptation-to-new-nutritional-environments-larval-performance-foraging-decisions-and-adult-oviposition-choices-in-drosophila-suzukii
#16
Nuno F Silva-Soares, A Nogueira-Alves, P Beldade, Christen Kerry Mirth
BACKGROUND: Understanding how species adapt to new niches is a central issue in evolutionary ecology. Nutrition is vital for the survival of all organisms and impacts species fitness and distribution. While most Drosophila species exploit rotting plant parts, some species have diversified to use ripe fruit, allowing earlier colonization. The decomposition of plant material is facilitated by yeast colonization and proliferation. These yeasts serve as the main protein source for Drosophila larvae...
June 7, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28521755/high-dietary-quality-of-non-toxic-cyanobacteria-for-a-benthic-grazer-and-its-implications-for-the-control-of-cyanobacterial-biofilms
#17
Sophie Groendahl, Patrick Fink
BACKGROUND: Mass occurrences of cyanobacteria frequently cause detrimental effects to the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Consequently, attempts haven been made to control cyanobacterial blooms through naturally co-occurring herbivores. Control of cyanobacteria through herbivores often appears to be constrained by their low dietary quality, rather than by the possession of toxins, as also non-toxic cyanobacteria are hardly consumed by many herbivores. It was thus hypothesized that the consumption of non-toxic cyanobacteria may be improved when complemented with other high quality prey...
May 18, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28438203/genetic-diversity-of-calcareous-grassland-plant-species-depends-on-historical-landscape-configuration
#18
Christoph Reisch, Sonja Schmidkonz, Katrin Meier, Quirin Schöpplein, Carina Meyer, Christian Hums, Christina Putz, Christoph Schmid
BACKGROUND: Habitat fragmentation is considered to be a main reason for decreasing genetic diversity of plant species. However, the results of many fragmentation studies are inconsistent. This may be due to the influence of habitat conditions, having an indirect effect on genetic variation via reproduction. Consequently we took a comparative approach to analyse the impact of habitat fragmentation and habitat conditions on the genetic diversity of calcareous grassland species in this study...
April 24, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28427391/fish-with-red-fluorescent-eyes-forage-more-efficiently-under-dim-blue-green-light-conditions
#19
Ulrike Katharina Harant, Nicolaas Karel Michiels
BACKGROUND: Natural red fluorescence is particularly conspicuous in the eyes of some small, benthic, predatory fishes. Fluorescence also increases in relative efficiency with increasing depth, which has generated speculation about its possible function as a "light organ" to detect cryptic organisms under bluish light. Here we investigate whether foraging success is improved under ambient conditions that make red fluorescence stand out more, using the triplefin Tripterygion delaisi as a model system...
April 20, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28427386/heterogeneous-distributional-responses-to-climate-warming-evidence-from-rodents-along-a-subtropical-elevational-gradient
#20
Zhixin Wen, Yi Wu, Deyan Ge, Jilong Cheng, Yongbin Chang, Zhisong Yang, Lin Xia, Qisen Yang
BACKGROUND: Understanding whether species' elevational range is shifting in response to directional changes in climate and whether there is a predictable pattern in that response is one of the major challenges in ecology. However, so far very little is known about the distributional responses of subtropical species to climate change, especially for small mammals. In this study, we examined the elevational range shifts at three range points (upper and lower range limits and abundance-weighted range centre) of rodents over a 30-year period (1986 to 2014-2015), in a subtropical forest of Southwest China...
April 20, 2017: BMC Ecology
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