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Functional Ecology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29657351/habitat-heterogeneity-induces-rapid-changes-in-the-feeding-behaviour-of-generalist-arthropod-predators
#1
Karin Staudacher, Oskar Rennstam Rubbmark, Klaus Birkhofer, Gerard Malsher, Daniela Sint, Mattias Jonsson, Michael Traugott
The "habitat heterogeneity hypothesis" predicts positive effects of structural complexity on species coexistence. Increasing habitat heterogeneity can change the diversity (number of species, abundances) and the functional roles of communities. The latter, however, is not well understood as species and individuals may respond very differently and dynamically to a changing environment.Here, we experimentally test how habitat heterogeneity affects generalist arthropod predators, including epigaeic spiders, carabid and staphylinid beetles, under natural conditions by assessing their diversity and directly measuring their trophic interactions (which provide a proxy for their functional roles)...
March 2018: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29576673/trophic-consequences-of-introduced-species-comparative-impacts-of-increased-interspecific-versus-intraspecific-competitive-interactions
#2
J Robert Britton, Ana Ruiz-Navarro, Hugo Verreycken, Fatima Amat-Trigo
Invasive species can cause substantial ecological impacts on native biodiversity. While ecological theory attempts to explain the processes involved in the trophic integration of invaders into native food webs and their competitive impacts on resident species, results are equivocal. In addition, quantifying the relative strength of impacts from non-native species (interspecific competition) versus the release of native conspecifics (intraspecific competition) is important but rarely completed.Two model non-native fishes, the globally invasive Cyprinus carpio and Carassius auratus , and the model native fish Tinca tinca , were used in a pond experiment to test how increased intra- and interspecific competition influenced trophic niches and somatic growth rates...
February 2018: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29576672/cumulative-stress-restricts-niche-filling-potential-of-habitat-forming-kelps-in-a-future-climate
#3
Nathan G King, David C Wilcockson, Richard Webster, Dan A Smale, Laura S Hoelters, Pippa J Moore
Climate change is driving range contractions and local population extinctions across the globe. When this affects ecosystem engineers the vacant niches left behind are likely to alter the wider ecosystem unless a similar species can fulfil them.Here, we explore the stress physiology of two coexisting kelps undergoing opposing range shifts in the Northeast Atlantic and discuss what differences in stress physiology may mean for future niche filling.We used chlorophyll florescence ( F v /F m ) and differentiation of the heat shock response (HSR) to determine the capacity of the expanding kelp , Laminaria ochroleuca , to move into the higher shore position of the retreating kelp, Laminaria digitata ...
February 2018: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29540957/testing-the-stability-of-behavioural-coping-style-across-stress-contexts-in-the-trinidadian-guppy
#4
Thomas M Houslay, Maddalena Vierbuchen, Andrew J Grimmer, Andrew J Young, Alastair J Wilson
Within populations, individuals can vary in stress response, a multivariate phenomenon comprising neuroendocrine, physiological and behavioural traits.Verbal models of individual stress "coping style" have proposed that the behavioural component of this variation can be described as a single axis, with each individual's coping style being consistent across time and stress contexts.Focusing on this behavioural component of stress response and combining repeated measures of multiple traits with a novel multivariate modelling framework, we test for the existence of coping style variation and assess its stability across contexts in the Trinidadian guppy ( Poecilia reticulata )...
February 2018: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29398763/early-life-immune-activation-increases-song-complexity-and-alters-phenotypic-associations-between-sexual-ornaments
#5
Loren Merrill, Madeleine F Naylor, Merria Dalimonte, Sean McLaughlin, Tara E Stewart, Jennifer L Grindstaff
Early-life adversity can have long-lasting effects on physiological, behavioural, cognitive, and somatic processes. Consequently, these effects may alter an organism's life-history strategy and reproductive tactics.In response to early-life immune activation, we quantified levels of the acute phase protein haptoglobin (Hp) during development in male zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ). Then, we examined the long-term impacts of early-life immune activation on an important static sexual signal, song complexity, as well as effects of early-life immune activation on the relationship between song complexity and a dynamic sexual signal, beak colouration...
December 2017: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28979057/resting-vs-active-a-meta-analysis-of-the-intra-and-inter-specific-associations-between-minimum-sustained-and-maximum-metabolic-rates-in-vertebrates
#6
Sonya K Auer, Shaun S Killen, Enrico L Rezende
Variation in aerobic capacity has far reaching consequences for the physiology, ecology, and evolution of vertebrates. Whether at rest or active, animals are constrained to operate within the energetic bounds determined by their minimum (minMR) and sustained or maximum metabolic rates (upperMR). MinMR and upperMR can differ considerably among individuals and species but are often presumed to be mechanistically linked to one another. Specifically, minMR is thought to reflect the idling cost of the machinery needed to support upperMR...
September 2017: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28867865/mowing-exacerbates-the-loss-of-ecosystem-stability-under-nitrogen-enrichment-in-a-temperate-grassland
#7
Yunhai Zhang, Michel Loreau, Nianpeng He, Guangming Zhang, Xingguo Han
1. Global reactive nitrogen (N) is projected to further increase in the coming years. Previous studies have demonstrated that N enrichment weakens the temporal stability of the ecosystem and the primary productivity through decreased biodiversity and species asynchrony. Mowing is a globally common practise in grasslands; and infrequent mowing can maintain or increase plant diversity under N enrichment conditions. However, it is unclear how infrequent mowing affects ecosystem stability in the face of N enrichment...
August 4, 2017: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28757672/aggressive-behaviours-track-transitions-in-seasonal-phenotypes-of-female-siberian-hamsters
#8
Nikki M Rendon, Andrea C Amez, Melissa R Proffitt, Elizabeth R Bauserman, Gregory E Demas
Seasonally breeding animals exhibit profound physiological and behavioural responses to changes in ambient day length (photoperiod), including changes in reproductive function and territorial aggression.Species where aggression persists when gonads are regressed and circulating levels of gonadal hormones are low, such as Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) and song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), challenge the well-established framework that gonadal hormones are important mediators of aggression.A solution to this apparent paradox is that a season-specific increase in sensitivity to hormones in brain areas associated with aggression offsets low levels of gonadal hormones during periods of reproductive quiescence...
May 2017: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28584392/seasonal-shifts-in-sex-ratios-are-mediated-by-maternal-effects-and-fluctuating-incubation-temperatures
#9
Amanda W Carter, Rachel M Bowden, Ryan T Paitz
Sex-specific maternal effects can be adaptive sources of phenotypic plasticity. Reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) are a powerful system to investigate such maternal effects because offspring phenotype, including sex, can be sensitive to maternal influences such as oestrogens and incubation temperatures.In red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta), concentrations of maternally derived oestrogens and incubation temperatures increase across the nesting season; we wanted to determine if sex ratios shift in a seasonally concordant manner, creating the potential for sex-specific maternal effects, and to define the sex ratio reaction norms under fluctuating temperatures across the nesting season...
April 2017: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28286354/how-did-the-domestication-of-fertile-crescent-grain-crops-increase-their-yields
#10
Catherine Preece, Alexandra Livarda, Pascal-Antoine Christin, Michael Wallace, Gemma Martin, Michael Charles, Glynis Jones, Mark Rees, Colin P Osborne
The origins of agriculture, 10 000 years ago, led to profound changes in the biology of plants exploited as grain crops, through the process of domestication. This special case of evolution under cultivation led to domesticated cereals and pulses requiring humans for their dispersal, but the accompanying mechanisms causing higher productivity in these plants remain unknown. The classical view of crop domestication is narrow, focusing on reproductive and seed traits including the dispersal, dormancy and size of seeds, without considering whole-plant characteristics...
February 2017: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28344378/the-long-and-the-short-of-it-a-global-analysis-of-hawkmoth-pollination-niches-and-interaction-networks
#11
Steven D Johnson, Marcela Moré, Felipe W Amorim, William A Haber, Gordon W Frankie, Dara A Stanley, Andrea A Coccuci, Robert A Raguso
1. Proboscis length has been proposed as a key dimension of plant pollination niches, but this niche space has not previously been explored at regional and global scales for any pollination system. Hawkmoths are ideal organisms for exploring pollinator niches as they are important pollinators in most of the biodiverse regions of the earth and vary greatly in proboscis length, with some species having the longest proboscides of all insects. 2. Using datasets for nine biogeographical regions spanning the Old and New World, we ask whether it is possible to identify distinct hawkmoth pollination niches based on the frequency distribution of proboscis length, and whether these niches are reflected in the depths of flowers that are pollinated by hawkmoths...
January 2017: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27833242/socioecological-predictors-of-immune-defences-in-wild-spotted-hyenas
#12
Andrew S Flies, Linda S Mansfield, Emily J Flies, Chris K Grant, Kay E Holekamp
Social rank can profoundly affect many aspects of mammalian reproduction and stress physiology, but little is known about how immune function is affected by rank and other socio-ecological factors in free-living animals.In this study we examine the effects of sex, social rank, and reproductive status on immune function in long-lived carnivores that are routinely exposed to a plethora of pathogens, yet rarely show signs of disease.Here we show that two types of immune defenses, complement-mediated bacterial killing capacity (BKC) and total IgM, are positively correlated with social rank in wild hyenas, but that a third type, total IgG, does not vary with rank...
September 2016: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28824219/effects-of-temperature-and-resource-variation-on-insect-population-dynamics-the-bordered-plant-bug-as-a-case-study
#13
Christopher A Johnson, Renato M Coutinho, Erin Berlin, Kimberly E Dolphin, Johanna Heyer, Britney Kim, Alice Leung, Jamie Lou Sabellon, Priyanga Amarasekare
In species with complex life cycles, population dynamics result from a combination of intrinsic cycles arising from delays in the operation of negative density-dependent processes (e.g., intraspecific competition) and extrinsic fluctuations arising from seasonal variation in the abiotic environment. Abiotic variation can affect species directly through their life history traits and indirectly by modulating the species' interactions with resources or natural enemies.We investigate how the interplay between density-dependent dynamics and abiotic variability affects population dynamics of the bordered plant bug (Largus californicus), a Hemipteran herbivore inhabiting the California coastal sage scrub community...
July 2016: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27512241/chronic-exposure-to-a-neonicotinoid-pesticide-alters-the-interactions-between-bumblebees-and-wild-plants
#14
Dara A Stanley, Nigel E Raine
Insect pollinators are essential for both the production of a large proportion of world crops and the health of natural ecosystems. As important pollinators, bumblebees must learn to forage on flowers to feed both themselves and provision their colonies.Increased use of pesticides has caused concern over sublethal effects on bees, such as impacts on reproduction or learning ability. However, little is known about how sublethal exposure to field-realistic levels of pesticide might affect the ability of bees to visit and manipulate flowers...
July 2016: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27610000/perturbations-in-growth-trajectory-due-to-early-diet-affect-age-related-deterioration-in-performance
#15
Who-Seung Lee, Pat Monaghan, Neil B Metcalfe
Fluctuations in early developmental conditions can cause changes in growth trajectories that subsequently affect the adult phenotype. Here, we investigated whether compensatory growth has long-term consequences for patterns of senescence.Using three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), we show that a brief period of dietary manipulation in early life affected skeletal growth rate not only during the manipulation itself, but also during a subsequent compensatory phase when fish caught up in size with controls...
April 2016: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27546948/impact-of-disease-on-diversity-and-productivity-of-plant-populations
#16
Henry E Creissen, Tove H Jorgensen, James K M Brown
Experiments were conducted on the role of intra- and inter-genotypic competition in ecological processes operating at the population scale in diseased plant populations.Combinations of Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes showing variation for phenotypic traits relating to competitive ability and pathogen compatibility were infected with the oomycete Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis and Turnip yellows virus in separate experiments. Plant fitness and competitive ability were estimated from phenotypic measurements.Pathogen-induced reduction in competitive ability for susceptible genotypes increased the competitive ability of resistant genotypes, resulting in maintenance of yield via competitive release...
April 2016: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27478292/male-sexually-coercive-behaviour-drives-increased-swimming-efficiency-in-female-guppies
#17
Shaun S Killen, Darren P Croft, Karine Salin, Safi K Darden
Sexual coercion of females by males is widespread across sexually reproducing species. It stems from a conflict of interest over reproduction and exerts selective pressure on both sexes. For females, there is often a significant energetic cost of exposure to male sexually coercive behaviours.Our understanding of the efficiency of female resistance to male sexually coercive behaviour is key to understanding how sexual conflict contributes to population level dynamics and ultimately to the evolution of sexually antagonistic traits...
April 2016: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27546947/developmental-environment-mediates-male-seminal-protein-investment-in-drosophila-melanogaster
#18
Stuart Wigby, Jennifer C Perry, Yon-Hee Kim, Laura K Sirot
Males of many species fine-tune their ejaculates in response to sperm competition risk. Resource availability and the number of competitors during development can also strongly influence sperm production. However, despite the key role of seminal proteins in mediating reproductive processes, it is unclear whether seminal protein investment is dependent on the developmental environment.We manipulated the developmental environment of Drosophila melanogaster by rearing flies at low and high density. As expected, this resulted in large and small (i...
March 2016: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27546946/food-availability-energetic-constraints-and-reproductive-development-in-a-wild-seasonally-breeding-songbird
#19
Scott Davies, Thomas Cros, Damien Richard, Simone L Meddle, Kazuyoshi Tsutsui, Pierre Deviche
In many organisms, food availability is a proximate cue that synchronizes seasonal development of the reproductive system with optimal environmental conditions. Growth of the gonads and secondary sexual characteristics is orchestrated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. However, our understanding of the physiological mechanisms by which food availability modulates activity of the HPG axis is limited.It is thought that many factors, including energetic status, modulate seasonal reproductive activation...
November 2015: Functional Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/26937063/orientation-to-the-sun-by-animals-and-its-interaction-with-crypsis
#20
Olivier Penacchio, Innes C Cuthill, P George Lovell, Graeme D Ruxton, Julie M Harris
Orientation with respect to the sun has been observed in a wide range of species and has generally been interpreted in terms of thermoregulation and/or ultraviolet (UV) protection. For countershaded animals, orientation with respect to the sun may also result from the pressure to exploit the gradient of coloration optimally to enhance crypsis.Here, we use computational modelling to predict the optimal countershading pattern for an oriented body. We assess how camouflage performance declines as orientation varies using a computational model that incorporates realistic lighting environments...
September 2015: Functional Ecology
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