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Ecology Letters

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28941076/opposing-mechanisms-affect-taxonomic-convergence-between-tree-assemblages-during-tropical-forest-succession
#1
LETTER
Natalia Norden, Vanessa Boukili, Anne Chao, K H Ma, Susan G Letcher, Robin L Chazdon
Whether successional forests converge towards an equilibrium in species composition remains an elusive question, hampered by high idiosyncrasy in successional dynamics. Based on long-term tree monitoring in second-growth (SG) and old-growth (OG) forests in Costa Rica, we show that patterns of convergence between pairs of forest stands depend upon the relative abundance of species exhibiting distinct responses to the successional gradient. For instance, forest generalists contributed to convergence between SG and OG forests, whereas rare species and old-growth specialists were a source of divergence...
September 20, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28941071/species-richness-effects-on-grassland-recovery-from-drought-depend-on-community-productivity-in-a-multisite-experiment
#2
LETTER
Juergen Kreyling, Jürgen Dengler, Julia Walter, Nikolay Velev, Emin Ugurlu, Desislava Sopotlieva, Johannes Ransijn, Catherine Picon-Cochard, Ivan Nijs, Pauline Hernandez, Behlül Güler, Philipp von Gillhaussen, Hans J De Boeck, Juliette M G Bloor, Sigi Berwaers, Carl Beierkuhnlein, Mohammed A S Arfin Khan, Iva Apostolova, Yasin Altan, Michaela Zeiter, Camilla Wellstein, Marcelo Sternberg, Andreas Stampfli, Giandiego Campetella, Sándor Bartha, Michael Bahn, Anke Jentsch
Biodiversity can buffer ecosystem functioning against extreme climatic events, but few experiments have explicitly tested this. Here, we present the first multisite biodiversity × drought manipulation experiment to examine drought resistance and recovery at five temperate and Mediterranean grassland sites. Aboveground biomass production declined by 30% due to experimental drought (standardised local extremity by rainfall exclusion for 72-98 consecutive days). Species richness did not affect resistance but promoted recovery...
September 20, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28925074/biodiversity-and-ecosystem-functioning-relations-in-european-forests-depend-on-environmental-context
#3
LETTER
Sophia Ratcliffe, Christian Wirth, Tommaso Jucker, Fons van der Plas, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Kris Verheyen, Eric Allan, Raquel Benavides, Helge Bruelheide, Bettina Ohse, Alain Paquette, Evy Ampoorter, Cristina C Bastias, Jürgen Bauhus, Damien Bonal, Olivier Bouriaud, Filippo Bussotti, Monique Carnol, Bastien Castagneyrol, Ewa Chećko, Seid Muhie Dawud, Hans De Wandeler, Timo Domisch, Leena Finér, Markus Fischer, Mariangela Fotelli, Arthur Gessler, André Granier, Charlotte Grossiord, Virginie Guyot, Josephine Haase, Stephan Hättenschwiler, Hervé Jactel, Bogdan Jaroszewicz, François-Xavier Joly, Stephan Kambach, Simon Kolb, Julia Koricheva, Mario Liebersgesell, Harriet Milligan, Sandra Müller, Bart Muys, Diem Nguyen, Charles Nock, Martina Pollastrini, Oliver Purschke, Kalliopi Radoglou, Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen, Fabian Roger, Paloma Ruiz-Benito, Rupert Seidl, Federico Selvi, Ian Seiferling, Jan Stenlid, Fernando Valladares, Lars Vesterdal, Lander Baeten
The importance of biodiversity in supporting ecosystem functioning is generally well accepted. However, most evidence comes from small-scale studies, and scaling-up patterns of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) remains challenging, in part because the importance of environmental factors in shaping B-EF relations is poorly understood. Using a forest research platform in which 26 ecosystem functions were measured along gradients of tree species richness in six regions across Europe, we investigated the extent and the potential drivers of context dependency of B-EF relations...
September 18, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28925038/modelling-time-to-population-extinction-when-individual-reproduction-is-autocorrelated
#4
LETTER
Aline Magdalena Lee, Bernt-Erik Saether, Stine Svalheim Markussen, Steinar Engen
In nature, individual reproductive success is seldom independent from year to year, due to factors such as reproductive costs and individual heterogeneity. However, population projection models that incorporate temporal autocorrelations in individual reproduction can be difficult to parameterise, particularly when data are sparse. We therefore examine whether such models are necessary to avoid biased estimates of stochastic population growth and extinction risk, by comparing output from a matrix population model that incorporates reproductive autocorrelations to output from a standard age-structured matrix model that does not...
September 18, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28922708/plant-resistance-to-drought-depends-on-timely-stomatal-closure
#5
LETTER
Nicolas Martin-StPaul, Sylvain Delzon, Hervé Cochard
Stomata play a significant role in the Earth's water and carbon cycles, by regulating gaseous exchanges between the plant and the atmosphere. Under drought conditions, stomatal control of transpiration has long been thought to be closely coordinated with the decrease in hydraulic capacity (hydraulic failure due to xylem embolism). We tested this hypothesis by coupling a meta-analysis of functional traits related to the stomatal response to drought and embolism resistance with simulations from a soil-plant hydraulic model...
September 18, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28901046/combined-effects-of-agrochemicals-and-ecosystem-services-on-crop-yield-across-europe
#6
LETTER
Vesna Gagic, David Kleijn, András Báldi, Gergely Boros, Helene Bracht Jørgensen, Zoltán Elek, Michael P D Garratt, G Arjen de Groot, Katarina Hedlund, Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki, Lorenzo Marini, Emily Martin, Ines Pevere, Simon G Potts, Sarah Redlich, Deepa Senapathi, Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Stanislaw Świtek, Henrik G Smith, Viktória Takács, Piotr Tryjanowski, Wim H van der Putten, Stijn van Gils, Riccardo Bommarco
Simultaneously enhancing ecosystem services provided by biodiversity below and above ground is recommended to reduce dependence on chemical pesticides and mineral fertilisers in agriculture. However, consequences for crop yield have been poorly evaluated. Above ground, increased landscape complexity is assumed to enhance biological pest control, whereas below ground, soil organic carbon is a proxy for several yield-supporting services. In a field experiment replicated in 114 fields across Europe, we found that fertilisation had the strongest positive effect on yield, but hindered simultaneous harnessing of below- and above-ground ecosystem services...
September 12, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28901044/native-insect-herbivory-overwhelms-context-dependence-to-limit-complex-invasion-dynamics-of-exotic-weeds
#7
LETTER
Emily L Schultz, James O Eckberg, Sergey S Berg, Svata M Louda, Tom E X Miller
Understanding the role of consumers in density-dependent plant population dynamics is a long-standing goal in ecology. However, the generality of herbivory effects across heterogeneous landscapes is poorly understood due to the pervasive influence of context-dependence. We tested effects of native insect herbivory on the population dynamics of an exotic thistle, Cirsium vulgare, in a field experiment replicated across eight sites in eastern Nebraska. Using hierarchical Bayesian analysis and density-dependent population models, we found potential for explosive low-density population growth (λ > 5) and complex density fluctuations under herbivore exclusion...
September 12, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28901037/no-consistent-pollinator-mediated-impacts-of-alien-plants-on-natives
#8
REVIEW
Julia A Charlebois, Risa D Sargent
The introduction of an alien plant is widely assumed to have negative consequences for the pollinator-mediated fitness of nearby natives. Indeed, a number of studies, including a highly cited meta-analysis, have concluded that the trend for such interactions is competitive. Here we provide evidence that publication bias and study design have obscured our ability to assess the pollinator-mediated impacts of alien plants. In a meta-analysis of 76 studies, we demonstrate that alien/native status does not predict the outcome of pollinator-mediated interactions among plants...
September 12, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28901034/a-dynamic-landscape-of-fear-prey-responses-to-spatiotemporal-variations-in-predation-risk-across-the-lunar-cycle
#9
LETTER
M S Palmer, J Fieberg, A Swanson, M Kosmala, C Packer
Ambiguous empirical support for 'landscapes of fear' in natural systems may stem from failure to consider dynamic temporal changes in predation risk. The lunar cycle dramatically alters night-time visibility, with low luminosity increasing hunting success of African lions. We used camera-trap data from Serengeti National Park to examine nocturnal anti-predator behaviours of four herbivore species. Interactions between predictable fluctuations in night-time luminosity and the underlying risk-resource landscape shaped herbivore distribution, herding propensity and the incidence of 'relaxed' behaviours...
September 12, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28871636/age-specific-infectious-period-shapes-dynamics-of-pneumonia-in-bighorn-sheep
#10
LETTER
Raina K Plowright, Kezia R Manlove, Thomas E Besser, David J Páez, Kimberly R Andrews, Patrick E Matthews, Lisette P Waits, Peter J Hudson, E Frances Cassirer
Superspreading, the phenomenon where a small proportion of individuals contribute disproportionately to new infections, has profound effects on disease dynamics. Superspreading can arise through variation in contacts, infectiousness or infectious periods. The latter has received little attention, yet it drives the dynamics of many diseases of critical public health, livestock health and conservation concern. Here, we present rare evidence of variation in infectious periods underlying a superspreading phenomenon in a free-ranging wildlife system...
September 4, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28868784/direct-fitness-benefits-explain-mate-preference-but-not-choice-for-similarity-in-heterozygosity-levels
#11
LETTER
Lies Zandberg, Gerrit Gort, Kees van Oers, Camilla A Hinde
Under sexual selection, mate preferences can evolve for traits advertising fitness benefits. Observed mating patterns (mate choice) are often assumed to represent preference, even though they result from the interaction between preference, sampling strategy and environmental factors. Correlating fitness with mate choice instead of preference will therefore lead to confounded conclusions about the role of preference in sexual selection. Here we show that direct fitness benefits underlie mate preferences for genetic characteristics in a unique experiment on wild great tits...
September 3, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28868666/interactions-among-symbionts-operate-across-scales-to-influence-parasite-epidemics
#12
LETTER
Fletcher W Halliday, James Umbanhowar, Charles E Mitchell
Parasite epidemics may be influenced by interactions among symbionts, which can depend on past events at multiple spatial scales. Within host individuals, interactions can depend on the sequence in which symbionts infect a host, generating priority effects. Across host individuals, interactions can depend on parasite phenology. To test the roles of parasite interactions and phenology in epidemics, we embedded multiple cohorts of sentinel plants, grown from seeds with and without a vertically transmitted symbiont, into a wild host population, and tracked foliar infections caused by three common fungal parasites...
September 3, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28853241/metabolic-compensation-constrains-the-temperature-dependence-of-gross-primary-production
#13
LETTER
Daniel Padfield, Chris Lowe, Angus Buckling, Richard Ffrench-Constant, Simon Jennings, Felicity Shelley, Jón S Ólafsson, Gabriel Yvon-Durocher
Gross primary production (GPP) is the largest flux in the carbon cycle, yet its response to global warming is highly uncertain. The temperature dependence of GPP is directly linked to photosynthetic physiology, but the response of GPP to warming over longer timescales could also be shaped by ecological and evolutionary processes that drive variation in community structure and functional trait distributions. Here, we show that selection on photosynthetic traits within and across taxa dampens the effects of temperature on GPP across a catchment of geothermally heated streams...
August 29, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28853198/soil-fertility-shapes-belowground-food-webs-across-a-regional-climate-gradient
#14
LETTER
Etienne Laliberté, Paul Kardol, Raphael K Didham, François P Teste, Benjamin L Turner, David A Wardle
Changes in soil fertility during pedogenesis affect the quantity and quality of resources entering the belowground subsystem. Climate governs pedogenesis, yet how climate modulates responses of soil food webs to soil ageing remains unexplored because of the paucity of appropriate model systems. We characterised soil food webs along each of four retrogressive soil chronosequences situated across a strong regional climate gradient to show that belowground communities are predominantly shaped by changes in fertility rather than climate...
August 29, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28834087/boom-bust-dynamics-in-biological-invasions-towards-an-improved-application-of-the-concept
#15
REVIEW
David L Strayer, Carla M D'Antonio, Franz Essl, Mike S Fowler, Juergen Geist, Sabine Hilt, Ivan Jarić, Klaus Jöhnk, Clive G Jones, Xavier Lambin, Alexander W Latzka, Jan Pergl, Petr Pyšek, Peter Robertson, Menja von Schmalensee, Robert A Stefansson, Justin Wright, Jonathan M Jeschke
Boom-bust dynamics - the rise of a population to outbreak levels, followed by a dramatic decline - have been associated with biological invasions and offered as a reason not to manage troublesome invaders. However, boom-bust dynamics rarely have been critically defined, analyzed, or interpreted. Here, we define boom-bust dynamics and provide specific suggestions for improving the application of the boom-bust concept. Boom-bust dynamics can arise from many causes, some closely associated with invasions, but others occurring across a wide range of ecological settings, especially when environmental conditions are changing rapidly...
August 17, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28797136/decoupled-responses-of-soil-bacteria-and-their-invertebrate-consumer-to-warming-but-not-freeze-thaw-cycles-in-the-antarctic-dry-valleys
#16
LETTER
Matthew A Knox, Walter S Andriuzzi, Heather N Buelow, Cristina Takacs-Vesbach, Byron J Adams, Diana H Wall
Altered temperature profiles resulting in increased warming and freeze-thaw cycle (FTC) frequency pose great ecological challenges to organisms in alpine and polar ecosystems. We performed a laboratory microcosm experiment to investigate how temperature variability affects soil bacterial cell numbers, and abundance and traits of soil microfauna (the microbivorous nematode Scottnema lindsayae) from McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. FTCs and constant freezing shifted nematode body size distribution towards large individuals, driven by higher mortality among smaller individuals...
August 10, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28677329/negative-plant-phyllosphere-feedbacks-in-native-asteraceae-hosts-a-novel-extension-of-the-plant-soil-feedback-framework
#17
LETTER
Briana K Whitaker, Jonathan T Bauer, James D Bever, Keith Clay
Over the past 25 years, the plant-soil feedback (PSF) framework has catalyzed our understanding of how belowground microbiota impact plant fitness and species coexistence. Here, we apply a novel extension of this framework to microbiota associated with aboveground tissues, termed 'plant-phyllosphere feedback (PPFs)'. In parallel greenhouse experiments, rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbiota of con- and heterospecific hosts from four species were independently manipulated. In a third experiment, we tested the combined effects of soil and phyllosphere feedback under field conditions...
July 4, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28677298/priority-effects-are-interactively-regulated-by-top-down-and-bottom-up-forces-evidence-from-wood-decomposer-communities
#18
LETTER
Devin R Leopold, J Paula Wilkie, Ian A Dickie, Robert B Allen, Peter K Buchanan, Tadashi Fukami
Both top-down (grazing) and bottom-up (resource availability) forces can determine the strength of priority effects, or the effects of species arrival history on the structure and function of ecological communities, but their combined influences remain unresolved. To test for such influences, we assembled experimental communities of wood-decomposing fungi using a factorial manipulation of fungivore (Folsomia candida) presence, nitrogen availability, and fungal assembly history. We found interactive effects of all three factors on fungal species composition and wood decomposition 1 year after the fungi were introduced...
July 4, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28677157/fungal-interactions-reduce-carbon-use-efficiency
#19
LETTER
Daniel S Maynard, Thomas W Crowther, Mark A Bradford
The efficiency by which fungi decompose organic matter contributes to the amount of carbon that is retained in biomass vs. lost to the atmosphere as respiration. This carbon use efficiency (CUE) is affected by various abiotic conditions, including temperature and nutrient availability. Theoretically, the physiological costs of interspecific interactions should likewise alter CUE, yet the magnitude of these costs is untested. Here we conduct a microcosm experiment to quantify how interactions among wood-decay basidiomycete fungi alter growth, respiration and CUE across a temperature and nitrogen gradient...
July 4, 2017: Ecology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28669138/feedbacks-between-plant-n-demand-and-rhizosphere-priming-depend-on-type-of-mycorrhizal-association
#20
LETTER
Benjamin N Sulman, Edward R Brzostek, Chiara Medici, Elena Shevliakova, Duncan N L Menge, Richard P Phillips
Ecosystem carbon (C) balance is hypothesised to be sensitive to the mycorrhizal strategies that plants use to acquire nutrients. To test this idea, we coupled an optimality-based plant nitrogen (N) acquisition model with a microbe-focused soil organic matter (SOM) model. The model accurately predicted rhizosphere processes and C-N dynamics across a gradient of stands varying in their relative abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) trees. When mycorrhizal dominance was switched - ECM trees dominating plots previously occupied by AM trees, and vice versa - legacy effects were apparent, with consequences for both C and N stocks in soil...
July 2, 2017: Ecology Letters
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