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Ecology and Evolution

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[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2809.].
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Christopher D Beatty, Melissa Sánchez Herrera, Jeffrey H Skevington, Arash Rashed, Hans Van Gossum, Scott Kelso, Thomas N Sherratt
The study of island fauna has greatly informed our understanding of the evolution of diversity. We here examine the phylogenetics, biogeography, and diversification of the damselfly genera Nesobasis and Melanesobasis, endemic to the Fiji Islands, to explore mechanisms of speciation in these highly speciose groups. Using mitochondrial (COI, 12S) and nuclear (ITS) replicons, we recovered garli-part maximum likelihood and mrbayes Bayesian phylogenetic hypotheses for 26 species of Nesobasis and eight species/subspecies of Melanesobasis...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Vanessa E Rubio, Matteo Detto
We monitored soil CO 2 effluxes for over 3 years in a seasonally wet tropical forest in Central Panama using automated and manual measurements from 2013 to 2016. The measurements displayed a high degree of spatial and temporal variability. Temporal variability could be largely explained by surface soil water dynamics over a broad range of temporal scales. Soil moisture was responsible for seasonal cycles, diurnal cycles, intraseasonal variability such as rain-induced pulses following dry spells, as well as suppression during near saturated conditions, and ultimately, interannual variability...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Ivana Karanovic, Tatiana Ya Sitnikova
With 104 endemic species family Candonidae is one of the most diverse crustacean groups in Lake Baikal, yet their phylogenetic relationships and position in the family have not been addressed so far. Here, we study the phylogenetic position of Baikal candonids within the family and their evolutionary history using molecular markers for the first time since their original description. We choose 10 Baikal and 28 species from around the world, and three ribosomal RNA-s (18S, 28S, and 16S), and analyze individual and concatenated datasets using Bayesian Inference in MrBayes and BEAST...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Derek B Tucker, Stephen Blair Hedges, Guarino R Colli, Robert Alexander Pyron, Jack W Sites
The phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history of Caribbean island ameivas (Pholidoscelis) are not well-known because of incomplete sampling, conflicting datasets, and poor support for many clades. Here, we use phylogenomic and mitochondrial DNA datasets to reconstruct a well-supported phylogeny and assess historical colonization patterns in the group. We obtained sequence data from 316 nuclear loci and one mitochondrial marker for 16 of 19 extant species of the Caribbean endemic genus Pholidoscelis...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Simon J Brandl, Jordan M Casey, Nancy Knowlton, James Emmett Duffy
Anthropogenic habitats are increasingly prevalent in coastal marine environments. Previous research on sessile epifauna suggests that artificial habitats act as a refuge for nonindigenous species, which results in highly homogenous communities across locations. However, vertebrate assemblages that live in association with artificial habitats are poorly understood. Here, we quantify the biodiversity of small, cryptic (henceforth "cryptobenthic") fishes from marine dock pilings across six locations over 35° of latitude from Maine to Panama...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Michael A Spence, Alan J Turtle
Individual growth is an important parameter and is linked to a number of other biological processes. It is commonly modeled using the von Bertalanffy growth function (VBGF), which is regularly fitted to age data where the ages of the animals are not known exactly but are binned into yearly age groups, such as fish survey data. Current methods of fitting the VBGF to these data treat all the binned ages as the actual ages. We present a new VBGF model that combines data from multiple surveys and allows the actual age of an animal to be inferred...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Shuai Tan, Zhihong Wang, Lichun Jiang, Rui Peng, Tao Zhang, Quekun Peng, Fangdong Zou
Blue sheep, Pseudois nayaur, is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and the surrounding mountains, which are the highest-elevation areas in the world. Classical morphological taxonomy suggests that there are two subspecies in genus Pseudois (Bovidae, Artiodactyla), namely Pseudois nayaur nayaur and Pseudois nayaur szechuanensis. However, the validity and geographic characteristics of these subspecies have never been carefully discussed and analyzed. This may be partially because previous studies have mainly focused on the vague taxonomic status of Pseudois schaeferi (dwarf blue sheep)...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Carmelo Fruciano, Mélina A Celik, Kaylene Butler, Tom Dooley, Vera Weisbecker, Matthew J Phillips
Geometric morphometrics is routinely used in ecology and evolution and morphometric datasets are increasingly shared among researchers, allowing for more comprehensive studies and higher statistical power (as a consequence of increased sample size). However, sharing of morphometric data opens up the question of how much nonbiologically relevant variation (i.e., measurement error) is introduced in the resulting datasets and how this variation affects analyses. We perform a set of analyses based on an empirical 3D geometric morphometric dataset...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Keith Christian, Mirjam Kaestli, Karen Gibb
Photosynthetic microbial communities under translucent rocks (hypolithic) are found in many arid regions. At the global scale, there has been little intercontinental gene flow, and at a local scale, microbial composition is related to fine-scale features of the rocks and their environment. Few studies have investigated patterns of hypolithic community composition at intermediate distances. We examined hypolithic cyanobacterial diversity in semi-arid Australia along a 10-km transect by sampling six rocks from four adjacent 1 m(2) quadrats ("distance zero") and from additional quadrats at 10, 100, 1,000, and 10,000 m to test the hypothesis that diversity would increase with the number of rocks sampled and distance...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Giancarlo Sadoti, Miranda E Gray, Matthew L Farnsworth, Brett G Dickson
Changes to animal movement in response to human-induced changes to the environment are of growing concern in conservation. Most research on this problem has focused on terrestrial endotherms, but changes to herpetofaunal movement are also of concern given their limited dispersal abilities and specialized thermophysiological requirements. Animals in the desert region of the southwestern United States are faced with environmental alterations driven by development (e.g., solar energy facilities) and climate change...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Kristen E Sauby, John Kilmer, Mary C Christman, Robert D Holt, Travis D Marsico
Herbivory has long been recognized as a significant driver of plant population dynamics, yet its effects along environmental gradients are unclear. Understanding how weather modulates plant-insect interactions can be particularly important for predicting the consequences of exotic insect invasions, and an explicit consideration of weather may help explain why the impact can vary greatly across space and time. We surveyed two native prickly pear cactus species (genus Opuntia) in the Florida panhandle, USA, and their specialist insect herbivores (the invasive South American cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, and three native insect species) for five years across six sites...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Joshua W Chamberlin, Brian R Beckman, Correigh M Greene, Casimir A Rice, Jason E Hall
While individual growth ultimately reflects the quality and quantity of food resources, intra and interspecific interactions for these resources, as well as individual size, may have dramatic impacts on growth opportunity. Out-migrating anadromous salmonids make rapid transitions between habitat types resulting in large pulses of individuals into a given location over a short period, which may have significant impact on demand for local resources. We evaluated the spatial and temporal variation in IGF-1 concentrations (a proxy for growth rate) and the relationship between size and concentration for juvenile Chinook salmon in Puget Sound, WA, USA, as a function of the relative size and abundance of both Chinook salmon and Pacific herring, a species which commonly co-occurs with salmonids in nearshore marine habitats...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Farhat A Avin, Bhassu Subha, Yee-Shin Tan, Thomas W A Braukmann, Sabaratnam Vikineswary, Paul D N Hebert
DNA barcoding involves the use of one or more short, standardized DNA fragments for the rapid identification of species. A 648-bp segment near the 5' terminus of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene has been adopted as the universal DNA barcode for members of the animal kingdom, but its utility in mushrooms is complicated by the frequent occurrence of large introns. As a consequence, ITS has been adopted as the standard DNA barcode marker for mushrooms despite several shortcomings. This study employed newly designed primers coupled with cDNA analysis to examine COI sequence diversity in six species of Pleurotus and compared these results with those for ITS...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Jessica A Kettenbach, Nicole Miller-Struttmann, Zoë Moffett, Candace Galen
Under climate change, shrubs encroaching into high altitude plant communities disrupt ecosystem processes. Yet effects of encroachment on pollination mutualisms are poorly understood. Here, we probe potential fitness impacts of interference from encroaching Salix (willows) on pollination quality of the alpine skypilot, Polemonium viscosum. Overlap in flowering time of Salix and Polemonium is a precondition for interference and was surveyed in four extant and 25 historic contact zones. Pollinator sharing was ascertained from observations of willow pollen on bumble bees visiting Polemonium flowers and on Polemonium pistils...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Masaaki Hirano, Shota Sakaguchi, Koichi Takahashi
Plant species distributed along wide elevational or latitudinal gradients show phenotypic variation due to their heterogeneous habitats. This study investigated whether phenotypic variation in populations of the Solidago virgaurea complex along an elevational gradient is caused by genetic differentiation. A common garden experiment was based on seeds collected from nine populations of the S. virgaurea complex growing at elevations from 1,597 m to 2,779 m a.s.l. on Mt. Norikura in central Japan. Population genetic analyses with microsatellite markers were used to infer the genetic structure and levels of gene flow between populations...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Tobin D Northfield, Brandon T Barton, Oswald J Schmitz
Predator-prey interaction is inherently spatial because animals move through landscapes to search for and consume food resources and to avoid being consumed by other species. The spatial nature of species interactions necessitates integrating spatial processes into food web theory and evaluating how predators combine to impact their prey. Here, we present a spatial modeling approach that examines emergent multiple predator effects on prey within landscapes. The modeling is inspired by the habitat domain concept derived from empirical synthesis of spatial movement and interactions studies...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Wentao Luo, Mai-He Li, Jordi Sardans, Xiao-Tao Lü, Chao Wang, Josep Peñuelas, Zhengwen Wang, Xing-Guo Han, Yong Jiang
Plant carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stoichiometry play an important role in the maintenance of ecosystem structure and function. To decipher the influence of changing environment on plant C and N stoichiometry at the subcontinental scale, we studied the shoot and root C and N stoichiometry in two widely distributed and dominant genera along a 2,200-km climatic gradient in China's grasslands. Relationships between C and N concentrations and soil climatic variables factors were studied. In contrast to previous theory, plant C concentration and C:N ratios in both shoots and roots increased with increasing soil fertility and decreased with increasing aridity...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Vasco Elbrecht, Bianca Peinert, Florian Leese
Environmental bulk samples often contain many different taxa that vary several orders of magnitude in biomass. This can be problematic in DNA metabarcoding and metagenomic high-throughput sequencing approaches, as large specimens contribute disproportionately high amounts of DNA template. Thus, a few specimens of high biomass will dominate the dataset, potentially leading to smaller specimens remaining undetected. Sorting of samples by specimen size (as a proxy for biomass) and balancing the amounts of tissue used per size fraction should improve detection rates, but this approach has not been systematically tested...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Emi Martín-Queller, Cécile H Albert, Pierre-Jean Dumas, Arne Saatkamp
The fragmentation of natural habitats is a major threat for biodiversity. However, the impact and spatial scale of natural isolation mechanisms leading to species loss, compared to anthropogenic fragmentation, are not clear, mainly due to differences between fragments and islands, such as matrix permeability. We studied a 500 km(2) Mediterranean region in France, including urban habitat fragments, continuous habitat, and continental-shelf islands. On the basis of 295 floristic relevés, we built species-area relationships to compare isolation in fragments after urbanization, with continuous habitat and continental-shelf islands...
September 2017: Ecology and Evolution
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