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BMC Ecology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29448932/interference-competition-as-a-key-determinant-for-spatial-distribution-of-mangrove-crabs
#1
Stefano Cannicci, Marco Fusi, Filippo Cimó, Farid Dahdouh-Guebas, Sara Fratini
BACKGROUND: The spatial distribution of mangrove crabs has been commonly associated with tree zonation and abiotic factors such as ground temperature and soil granulometry. Conversely, no studies were designed to investigate the role of competition for resources and predation in shaping crab distribution in mangroves, despite these biotic factors are recognised as key determinants for spatial patterns observed in the communities colonising rocky and sandy intertidal habitats.We studied floral and faunal assemblages in two zones of a Sri Lankan mangrove, a man-made upper intertidal level and a natural eulittoral, mid-shore one...
February 15, 2018: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29448923/data-driven-predictions-and-novel-hypotheses-about-zoonotic-tick-vectors-from-the-genus-ixodes
#2
Laura Hyesung Yang, Barbara A Han
BACKGROUND: With the resurgence of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and the emergence of new tick-borne pathogens such as Powassan virus, understanding what distinguishes vectors from non-vectors, and predicting undiscovered tick vectors is a crucial step towards mitigating disease risk in humans. We aimed to identify intrinsic traits that predict which Ixodes tick species are confirmed or strongly suspected to be vectors of zoonotic pathogens. METHODS: We focused on the well-studied tick genus Ixodes from which many species are known to transmit zoonotic diseases to humans...
February 15, 2018: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29415707/threatened-species-richness-along-a-himalayan-elevational-gradient-quantifying-the-influences-of-human-population-density-range-size-and-geometric-constraints
#3
Prakash Kumar Paudel, Jan Sipos, Jedediah F Brodie
BACKGROUND: A crucial step in conserving biodiversity is to identify the distributions of threatened species and the factors associated with species threat status. In the biodiversity hotspot of the Himalaya, very little is known about which locations harbour the highest diversity of threatened species and whether diversity of such species is related to area, mid-domain effects (MDE), range size, or human density. In this study, we assessed the drivers of variation in richness of threatened birds, mammals, reptiles, actinopterygii, and amphibians along an elevational gradient in Nepal Himalaya...
February 7, 2018: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29415702/eco-physiological-basis-of-shade-adaptation-of-camellia-nitidissima-a-rare-and-endangered-forest-understory-plant-of-southeast-asia
#4
Shengfeng Chai, Jianmin Tang, Azim Mallik, Yancai Shi, Rong Zou, Jitao Li, Xiao Wei
BACKGROUND: Camellia nitidissima, a rare and endangered shrub is narrowly distributed in South China and North Vietnam occurring in forest understory. Their light tolerance mechanism is unclear. We measured photosynthesis and related parameters on 2-years-old cuttings growing at 10, 30, 50 and 100% sunlight. Our research question was: At what light level are C. nitidissima cuttings responding most favorably, and what is the eco-physiological basis for their response to light? We hypothesized that as a forest understory growth of C...
February 7, 2018: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29409472/dietary-flexibility-of-bale-monkeys-chlorocebus-djamdjamensis-in-southern-ethiopia-effects-of-habitat-degradation-and-life-in-fragments
#5
Addisu Mekonnen, Peter J Fashing, Afework Bekele, R Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar, Eli K Rueness, Nils Chr Stenseth
BACKGROUND: Understanding the effects of habitat modification on the feeding strategies of threatened species is essential to designing effective conservation management plans. Bale monkeys (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) are endemic to the rapidly shrinking montane forests of the southern Ethiopian Highlands. Most populations inhabit continuous bamboo forest subsisting largely on the young leaves and shoots of a single species of bamboo. Because of habitat disturbance in recent decades, however, there are now also several dozen small populations inhabiting isolated forest fragments where bamboo has been degraded...
February 6, 2018: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29391060/inferring-ecological-explanations-for-biogeographic-boundaries-of-parapatric-asian-mountain-frogs
#6
Junhua Hu, Jianping Jiang
BACKGROUND: Identifying and understanding the mechanisms that shape barriers to dispersal and resulting biogeographic boundaries has been a longstanding, yet challenging, goal in ecology, evolution and biogeography. Characterized by stable, adjacent ranges, without any intervening physical barriers, and limited, if any, range overlap in a narrow contact zone, parapatric species are an interesting system for studying biogeographic boundaries. The geographic ranges of two parapatric frog species, Feirana quadranus and F...
February 2, 2018: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29361977/climate-change-jeopardizes-the-persistence-of-freshwater-zooplankton-by-reducing-both-habitat-suitability-and-demographic-resilience
#7
Tom Pinceel, Falko Buschke, Margo Weckx, Luc Brendonck, Bram Vanschoenwinkel
BACKGROUND: Higher temperatures and increased environmental variability under climate change could jeopardize the persistence of species. Organisms that rely on short windows of rainfall to complete their life-cycles, like desert annual plants or temporary pool animals, may be particularly at risk. Although some could tolerate environmental changes by building-up banks of propagules (seeds or eggs) that buffer against catastrophes, climate change will threaten this resilience mechanism if higher temperatures reduce propagule survival...
January 24, 2018: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29347979/altered-environmental-light-drives-retinal-change-in-the-atlantic-tarpon-megalops-atlanticus-over-timescales-relevant-to-marine-environmental-disturbance
#8
Lorian E Schweikert, Michael S Grace
BACKGROUND: For many fish species, retinal function changes between life history stages as part of an encoded developmental program. Retinal change is also known to exhibit plasticity because retinal form and function can be influenced by light exposure over the course of development. Aside from studies of gene expression, it remains largely unknown whether retinal plasticity can provide functional responses to short-term changes in environmental light quality. The aim of this study was to determine whether the structure and function of the fish retina can change in response to altered light intensity and spectrum-not over the course of a developmental regime, but over shorter time periods relevant to marine habitat disturbance...
January 18, 2018: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29273049/estimating-species-pools-for-a-single-ecological-assemblage
#9
Tsung-Jen Shen, Youhua Chen, You-Fang Chen
BACKGROUND: The species pool concept was formulated over the past several decades and has since played an important role in explaining multi-scale ecological patterns. Previous statistical methods were developed to identify species pools based on broad-scale species range maps or community similarity computed from data collected from many areas. No statistical method is available for estimating species pools for a single local community (sampling area size may be very small as ≤ 1 km2)...
December 22, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29273026/genetic-diversity-and-structure-related-to-expansion-history-and-habitat-isolation-stone-marten-populating-rural-urban-habitats
#10
Anna Wereszczuk, Raphaël Leblois, Andrzej Zalewski
BACKGROUND: Population genetic diversity and structure are determined by past and current evolutionary processes, among which spatially limited dispersal, genetic drift, and shifts in species distribution boundaries have major effects. In most wildlife species, environmental modifications by humans often lead to contraction of species' ranges and/or limit their dispersal by acting as environmental barriers. However, in species well adapted to anthropogenic habitat or open landscapes, human induced environmental changes may facilitate dispersal and range expansions...
December 22, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29258563/complementing-endozoochorous-seed-dispersal-patterns-by-donkeys-and-goats-in-a-semi-natural-island-ecosystem
#11
Julia Tabea Treitler, Tim Drissen, Robin Stadtmann, Stefan Zerbe, Jasmin Mantilla-Contreras
BACKGROUND: Endozoochory is, in grazing systems, a substantial vector for seed dispersal. It can play an important role in vegetation dynamics, especially in colonization processes through seed input on the vegetation and on the soil seed bank. We investigated the endozoochorous seed input of donkeys and goats on a semi-natural island ecosystem in the Mediterranean. Through germination experiments, we assessed the viable seed content of the dung of these grazing animals to estimate their suitability and efficiency for seed dispersal of the vegetation types of the island...
December 19, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29258497/non-invasive-genetic-monitoring-involving-citizen-science-enables-reconstruction-of-current-pack-dynamics-in-a-re-establishing-wolf-population
#12
Hanna Granroth-Wilding, Craig Primmer, Meri Lindqvist, Jenni Poutanen, Olaf Thalmann, Jouni Aspi, Jenni Harmoinen, Ilpo Kojola, Toni Laaksonen
BACKGROUND: Carnivores are re-establishing in many human-populated areas, where their presence is often contentious. Reaching consensus on management decisions is often hampered by a dispute over the size of the local carnivore population. Understanding the reproductive dynamics and individual movements of the carnivores can provide support for management decisions, but individual-level information can be difficult to obtain from elusive, wide-ranging species. Non-invasive genetic sampling can yield such information, but makes subsequent reconstruction of population history challenging due to incomplete population coverage and error-prone data...
December 19, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29258487/ephemeral-habitat-colonization-and-neotropical-species-richness-of-caenorhabditis-nematodes
#13
Céline Ferrari, Romain Salle, Nicolas Callemeyn-Torre, Richard Jovelin, Asher D Cutter, Christian Braendle
BACKGROUND: The drivers of species co-existence in local communities are especially enigmatic for assemblages of morphologically cryptic species. Here we characterize the colonization dynamics and abundance of nine species of Caenorhabditis nematodes in neotropical French Guiana, the most speciose known assemblage of this genus, with resource use overlap and notoriously similar external morphology despite deep genomic divergence. METHODS: To characterize the dynamics and specificity of colonization and exploitation of ephemeral resource patches, we conducted manipulative field experiments and the largest sampling effort to date for Caenorhabditis outside of Europe...
December 19, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29258485/diversity-of-root-knot-nematodes-in-moroccan-olive-nurseries-and-orchards-does-meloidogyne-javanica-disperse-according-to-invasion-processes
#14
Mohamed Aït Hamza, Nadine Ali, Johannes Tavoillot, Odile Fossati-Gaschignard, Hassan Boubaker, Abdelhamid El Mousadik, Thierry Mateille
BACKGROUND: Root-knot nematodes (RKN) are major pest of olive tree (Olea europaea ssp. europaea), especially in nurseries and high-density orchards. Soil samples were collected from main olive growing areas of Morocco, to characterize Meloidogyne species and to discuss the contribution of biotic and abiotic factors in their spatial distribution. RESULTS: RKN were found in 159 soil samples out of 305 from nurseries (52.1% occurrence) and in 11 out of 49 soil samples from orchards (23...
December 19, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29237449/high-altitude-population-of-arabidopsis-thaliana-is-more-plastic-and-adaptive-under-common-garden-than-controlled-condition
#15
Akanksha Singh, Sribash Roy
BACKGROUND: Population differentiation and their adaptation to a particular environment depend on their ability to respond to a new environment. This, in turn is governed to an extent, by the degree of phenotypic plasticity exhibited by the populations. The populations of same species inhabiting different climatic conditions may differ in their phenotypic plasticity. Himalayan populations of Arabidopsis thaliana originating from a steep altitude are exposed to different climatic conditions ranging from sub-tropical to temperate...
December 13, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29237445/cost-of-resistance-to-trematodes-in-freshwater-snail-populations-with-low-clonal-diversity
#16
Yael Dagan, Evsey Kosman, Frida Ben-Ami
BACKGROUND: The persistence of high genetic variability in natural populations garners considerable interest among ecologists and evolutionary biologists. One proposed hypothesis for the maintenance of high levels of genetic diversity relies on frequency-dependent selection imposed by parasites on host populations (Red Queen hypothesis). A complementary hypothesis suggests that a trade-off between fitness costs associated with tolerance to stress factors and fitness costs associated with resistance to parasites is responsible for the maintenance of host genetic diversity...
December 13, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29233135/biotic-and-abiotic-drivers-of-intraspecific-trait-variation-within-plant-populations-of-three-herbaceous-plant-species-along-a-latitudinal-gradient
#17
Kenny Helsen, Kamal P Acharya, Jörg Brunet, Sara A O Cousins, Guillaume Decocq, Martin Hermy, Annette Kolb, Isgard H Lemke, Jonathan Lenoir, Jan Plue, Kris Verheyen, Pieter De Frenne, Bente J Graae
BACKGROUND: The importance of intraspecific trait variation (ITV) is increasingly acknowledged among plant ecologists. However, our understanding of what drives ITV between individual plants (ITVBI) at the population level is still limited. Contrasting theoretical hypotheses state that ITVBI can be either suppressed (stress-reduced plasticity hypothesis) or enhanced (stress-induced variability hypothesis) under high abiotic stress. Similarly, other hypotheses predict either suppressed (niche packing hypothesis) or enhanced ITVBI (individual variation hypothesis) under high niche packing in species rich communities...
December 12, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29228938/habitat-modification-by-invasive-crayfish-can-facilitate-its-growth-through-enhanced-food-accessibility
#18
Shota Nishijima, Chisato Nishikawa, Tadashi Miyashita
BACKGROUND: Invasive ecosystem engineers can facilitate their invasions by modifying the physical environment to improve their own performance, but this positive feedback process has rarely been tested empirically except in sessile organisms. The invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii is an ecosystem engineer that destroys aquatic macrophytes, which provide a physical refuge for animal prey, and this destruction is likely to enhance vulnerability to predators. Using two series of mesocosm experiments, we tested the hypothesis that the invasive crayfish increases its feeding efficiency on animal prey by reducing submerged macrophytes, thus increasing its individual growth rate in a positive density-dependent manner...
December 12, 2017: BMC Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29183362/unifying-the-functional-diversity-in-natural-and-cultivated-soils-using-the-overall-body-mass-distribution-of-nematodes
#19
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
#20
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
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