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Ecology Letters

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28103631/individual-variation-in-behavioural-responsiveness-to-humans-leads-to-differences-in-breeding-success-and-long-term-population-phenotypic-changes
#1
LETTER
Beatriz Arroyo, François Mougeot, Vincent Bretagnolle
Whether human disturbance can lead to directional selection and phenotypic change in behaviour in species with limited behavioural plasticity is poorly understood in wild animal populations. Using a 19-year study on Montagu's harrier, we report a long-term increase in boldness towards humans during nest visits. The probability of females fleeing or being passive during nest visits decreased, while defence intensity steadily increased over the study period. These behavioural responses towards humans were significantly repeatable...
January 19, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28093844/dispersal-and-neutral-sampling-mediate-contingent-effects-of-disturbance-on-plant-beta-diversity-a-meta-analysis
#2
LETTER
Christopher P Catano, Timothy L Dickson, Jonathan A Myers
A major challenge in ecology, conservation and global-change biology is to understand why biodiversity responds differently to similar environmental changes. Contingent biodiversity responses may depend on how disturbance and dispersal interact to alter variation in community composition (β-diversity) and assembly mechanisms. However, quantitative syntheses of these patterns and processes across studies are lacking. Using null-models and meta-analyses of 22 factorial experiments in herbaceous plant communities across Europe and North America, we show that disturbance diversifies communities when dispersal is limited, but homogenises communities when combined with increased immigration from the species pool...
January 17, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28090754/emergence-patterns-of-novelty-in-european-vegetation-assemblages-over-the-past-15%C3%A2-000%C3%A2-years
#3
LETTER
Walter Finsinger, Thomas Giesecke, Simon Brewer, Michelle Leydet
Plant communities are not stable over time and biological novelty is predicted to emerge due to climate change, the introduction of exotic species and land-use change. However, the rate at which this novelty may arise over longer time periods has so far received little attention. We reconstruct the emergence of novelty in Europe for a set of baseline conditions over the past 15 000 years to assess past rates of emergence and investigate underlying causes. The emergence of novelty is baseline specific and, during the early-Holocene, was mitigated by the rapid spread of plant taxa...
January 16, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28090753/inferring-infection-hazard-in-wildlife-populations-by-linking-data-across-individual-and-population-scales
#4
Kim M Pepin, Shannon L Kay, Ben D Golas, Susan S Shriner, Amy T Gilbert, Ryan S Miller, Andrea L Graham, Steven Riley, Paul C Cross, Michael D Samuel, Mevin B Hooten, Jennifer A Hoeting, James O Lloyd-Smith, Colleen T Webb, Michael G Buhnerkempe
Our ability to infer unobservable disease-dynamic processes such as force of infection (infection hazard for susceptible hosts) has transformed our understanding of disease transmission mechanisms and capacity to predict disease dynamics. Conventional methods for inferring FOI estimate a time-averaged value and are based on population-level processes. Because many pathogens exhibit epidemic cycling and FOI is the result of processes acting across the scales of individuals and populations, a flexible framework that extends to epidemic dynamics and links within-host processes to FOI is needed...
January 16, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28090737/a-framework-for-how-environment-contributes-to-cancer-risk
#5
Michael E Hochberg, Robert J Noble
Evolutionary theory explains why metazoan species are largely protected against the negative fitness effects of cancers. Nevertheless, cancer is often observed at high incidence across a range of species. Although there are many challenges to quantifying cancer epidemiology and assessing its causes, we claim that most modern-day cancer in animals - and humans in particular - are due to environments deviating from central tendencies of distributions that have prevailed during cancer resistance evolution. Such novel environmental conditions may be natural and/or of anthropogenic origin, and may interface with cancer risk in numerous ways, broadly classifiable as those: increasing organism body size and/or life span, disrupting processes within the organism, and affecting germline...
January 16, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074597/convergence-of-bark-investment-according-to-fire-and-climate-structures-ecosystem-vulnerability-to-future-change
#6
LETTER
Adam F A Pellegrini, William R L Anderegg, C E Timothy Paine, William A Hoffmann, Tyler Kartzinel, Sam S Rabin, Douglas Sheil, Augusto C Franco, Stephen W Pacala
Fire regimes in savannas and forests are changing over much of the world. Anticipating the impact of these changes requires understanding how plants are adapted to fire. In this study, we test whether fire imposes a broad selective force on a key fire-tolerance trait, bark thickness, across 572 tree species distributed worldwide. We show that investment in thick bark is a pervasive adaptation in frequently burned areas across savannas and forests in both temperate and tropical regions where surface fires occur...
January 11, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28058801/natural-enemies-govern-ecosystem-resilience-in-the-face-of-extreme-droughts
#7
LETTER
Qiang He, Brian R Silliman, Zezheng Liu, Baoshan Cui
Severe droughts are on the rise in many regions. But thus far, attempts to predict when drought will cause a major regime shift or when ecosystems are resilient, often using plant drought tolerance models, have been frustrated. Here, we show that pressure from natural enemies regulates an ecosystem's resilience to severe droughts. Field experiments revealed that in protected salt marshes experiencing a severe drought, plant-eating grazers eliminated drought-stressed vegetation that could otherwise survive and recover from the climate extreme, transforming once lush marshes into persistent salt barrens...
January 6, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28052550/fast-life-history-traits-promote-invasion-success-in-amphibians-and-reptiles
#8
LETTER
William L Allen, Sally E Street, Isabella Capellini
Competing theoretical models make different predictions on which life history strategies facilitate growth of small populations. While 'fast' strategies allow for rapid increase in population size and limit vulnerability to stochastic events, 'slow' strategies and bet-hedging may reduce variance in vital rates in response to stochasticity. We test these predictions using biological invasions since founder alien populations start small, compiling the largest dataset yet of global herpetological introductions and life history traits...
January 4, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28032461/mixotrophy-everywhere-on-land-and-in-water-the-grand-%C3%A3-cart-hypothesis
#9
REVIEW
Marc-André Selosse, Marie Charpin, Fabrice Not
There is increasing awareness that many terrestrial and aquatic organisms are not strictly heterotrophic or autotrophic but rather mixotrophic. Mixotrophy is an intermediate nutritional strategy, merging autotrophy and heterotrophy to acquire organic carbon and/or other elements, mainly N, P or Fe. We show that both terrestrial and aquatic mixotrophs fall into three categories, namely necrotrophic (where autotrophs prey on other organisms), biotrophic (where heterotrophs gain autotrophy by symbiosis) and absorbotrophic (where autotrophs take up environmental organic molecules)...
December 28, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28029730/historical-foundations-and-future-directions-in-macrosystems-ecology
#10
Kevin C Rose, Rose A Graves, Winslow D Hansen, Brian J Harvey, Jiangxiao Qiu, Stephen A Wood, Carly Ziter, Monica G Turner
Macrosystems ecology is an effort to understand ecological processes and interactions at the broadest spatial scales and has potential to help solve globally important social and ecological challenges. It is important to understand the intellectual legacies underpinning macrosystems ecology: How the subdiscipline fits within, builds upon, differs from and extends previous theories. We trace the rise of macrosystems ecology with respect to preceding theories and present a new hypothesis that integrates the multiple components of macrosystems theory...
December 28, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28000378/the-intermediate-distance-hypothesis-of-biological-invasions
#11
LETTER
Hanno Seebens, Franz Essl, Bernd Blasius
Biological invasions are a worldwide phenomenon, but the global flows between native and alien regions have rarely been investigated in a cross-taxonomic study. We therefore lack a thorough understanding of the global patterns of alien species spread. Using native and alien ranges of 1380 alien species, we show that the number of alien species follows a hump-shaped function of geographic distance. We observe distinct variations in the relationship between alien species exchanges and distance among taxonomic groups, which relate to the taxa-specific dispersal modes and their pathways of introduction...
December 21, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28000369/arctic-and-boreal-plant-species-decline-at-their-southern-range-limits-in-the-rocky-mountains
#12
LETTER
Peter Lesica, Elizabeth E Crone
Climate change is predicted to cause a decline in warm-margin plant populations, but this hypothesis has rarely been tested. Understanding which species and habitats are most likely to be affected is critical for adaptive management and conservation. We monitored the density of 46 populations representing 28 species of arctic-alpine or boreal plants at the southern margin of their ranges in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, USA, between 1988 and 2014 and analysed population trends and relationships to phylogeny and habitat...
December 21, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28000368/extensions-of-island-biogeography-theory-predict-the-scaling-of-functional-trait-composition-with-habitat-area-and-isolation
#13
Claire Jacquet, David Mouillot, Michel Kulbicki, Dominique Gravel
The Theory of Island Biogeography (TIB) predicts how area and isolation influence species richness equilibrium on insular habitats. However, the TIB remains silent about functional trait composition and provides no information on the scaling of functional diversity with area, an observation that is now documented in many systems. To fill this gap, we develop a probabilistic approach to predict the distribution of a trait as a function of habitat area and isolation, extending the TIB beyond the traditional species-area relationship...
December 21, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27873482/incorporating-evolutionary-adaptation-in-species-distribution-modelling-reduces-projected-vulnerability-to-climate-change
#14
LETTER
Alex Bush, Karel Mokany, Renee Catullo, Ary Hoffmann, Vanessa Kellermann, Carla Sgrò, Shane McEvey, Simon Ferrier
Based on the sensitivity of species to ongoing climate change, and numerous challenges they face tracking suitable conditions, there is growing interest in species' capacity to adapt to climatic stress. Here, we develop and apply a new generic modelling approach (AdaptR) that incorporates adaptive capacity through physiological limits, phenotypic plasticity, evolutionary adaptation and dispersal into a species distribution modelling framework. Using AdaptR to predict change in the distribution of 17 species of Australian fruit flies (Drosophilidae), we show that accounting for adaptive capacity reduces projected range losses by up to 33% by 2105...
November 22, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27873470/migration-highways-and-migration-barriers-created-by-host-parasite-interactions
#15
LETTER
Quan-Guo Zhang, Angus Buckling
Co-evolving parasites may play a key role in host migration and population structure. Using co-evolving bacteria and viruses, we test general hypotheses as to how co-evolving parasites affect the success of passive host migration between habitats that can support different intensities of host-parasite interactions. First, we show that parasites aid migration from areas of intense to weak co-evolutionary interactions and impede migration in the opposite direction, as a result of intraspecific apparent competition mediated via parasites...
November 22, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27790825/adult-trees-cause-density-dependent-mortality-in-conspecific-seedlings-by-regulating-the-frequency-of-pathogenic-soil-fungi
#16
LETTER
Minxia Liang, Xubing Liu, Gregory S Gilbert, Yi Zheng, Shan Luo, Fengmin Huang, Shixiao Yu
Negative density-dependent seedling mortality has been widely detected in tropical, subtropical and temperate forests, with soil pathogens as a major driver. Here we investigated how host density affects the composition of soil pathogen communities and consequently influences the strength of plant-soil feedbacks. In field censuses of six 1-ha permanent plots, we found that survival was much lower for newly germinated seedlings that were surrounded by more conspecific adults. The relative abundance of pathogenic fungi in soil increased with increasing conspecific tree density for five of nine tree species; more soil pathogens accumulated around roots where adult tree density was higher, and this greater pathogen frequency was associated with lower seedling survival...
October 28, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27790817/extrapolating-demography-with-climate-proximity-and-phylogeny-approach-with-caution
#17
LETTER
Shaun R Coutts, Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Anna M Csergő, Yvonne M Buckley
Plant population responses are key to understanding the effects of threats such as climate change and invasions. However, we lack demographic data for most species, and the data we have are often geographically aggregated. We determined to what extent existing data can be extrapolated to predict population performance across larger sets of species and spatial areas. We used 550 matrix models, across 210 species, sourced from the COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database, to model how climate, geographic proximity and phylogeny predicted population performance...
October 28, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27781365/asynchronous-demographic-responses-to-pleistocene-climate-change-in-eastern-nearctic-vertebrates
#18
LETTER
Frank T Burbrink, Yvonne L Chan, Edward A Myers, Sara Ruane, Brian Tilston Smith, Michael J Hickerson
Pleistocene climatic cycles altered species distributions in the Eastern Nearctic of North America, yet the degree of congruent demographic response to the Pleistocene among codistributed taxa remains unknown. We use a hierarchical approximate Bayesian computational approach to test if population sizes across lineages of snakes, lizards, turtles, mammals, birds, salamanders and frogs in this region expanded synchronously to Late Pleistocene climate changes. Expansion occurred in 75% of 74 lineages, and of these, population size trajectories across the community were partially synchronous, with coexpansion found in at least 50% of lineages in each taxonomic group...
October 25, 2016: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28000436/corrigendum-for-lu-et%C3%A2-al-2015-doi-10-1111-ele-12391
#19
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28000435/intraspecific-chemical-diversity-among-neighbouring-plants-correlates-positively-with-plant-size-and-herbivore-load-but-negatively-with-herbivore-damage
#20
LETTER
Carlos Bustos-Segura, Erik H Poelman, Michael Reichelt, Jonathan Gershenzon, Rieta Gols
Intraspecific plant diversity can modify the properties of associated arthropod communities and plant fitness. However, it is not well understood which plant traits determine these ecological effects. We explored the effect of intraspecific chemical diversity among neighbouring plants on the associated invertebrate community and plant traits. In a common garden experiment, intraspecific diversity among neighbouring plants was manipulated using three plant populations of wild cabbage that differ in foliar glucosinolates...
January 2017: Ecology Letters
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