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Ecology and Evolution

Monica Granados, Sean Duffy, Christopher W McKindsey, Gregor F Fussmann
Intraguild predation (IGP) is an omnivorous food web configuration in which the top predator consumes both a competitor (consumer) and a second prey that it shares with the competitor. This omnivorous configuration occurs frequently in food webs, but theory suggests that it is unstable unless stabilizing mechanisms exist that can decrease the strength of the omnivore and consumer interaction. Although these mechanisms have been documented in native food webs, little is known about whether they operate in the context of an introduced species...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Nathan F Bendik
Insights into the ecology and natural history of the neotenic salamander, Eurycea tonkawae, are provided from eight years of capture-recapture data from 10,041 captures of 7,315 individuals at 16 sites. Eurycea tonkawae exhibits seasonal reproduction, with peak gravidity occurring in the fall and winter. Size frequency data indicated recruitment occurred in the spring and summer. Open-population capture-recapture models revealed a similar seasonal pattern at two of three sites, while recruitment was dependent on flow at the third site...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Elizabeth P Derryberry, Katherine Gentry, Graham E Derryberry, Jennifer N Phillips, Raymond M Danner, Julie E Danner, David A Luther
The soundscape acts as a selective agent on organisms that use acoustic signals to communicate. A number of studies document variation in structure, amplitude, or timing of signal production in correspondence with environmental noise levels thus supporting the hypothesis that organisms are changing their signaling behaviors to avoid masking. The time scale at which organisms respond is of particular interest. Signal structure may evolve across generations through processes such as cultural or genetic transmission...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Jinning Zhu, Xuan Xu, Qing Tao, Panpan Yi, Dan Yu, Xinwei Xu
Ecological niche modeling is an effective tool to characterize the spatial distribution of suitable areas for species, and it is especially useful for predicting the potential distribution of invasive species. The widespread submerged plant Hydrilla verticillata (hydrilla) has an obvious phylogeographical pattern: Four genetic lineages occupy distinct regions in native range, and only one lineage invades the Americas. Here, we aimed to evaluate climatic niche conservatism of hydrilla in North America at the intraspecific level and explore its invasion potential in the Americas by comparing climatic niches in a phylogenetic context...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Gaétan Moreau, Eldon S Eveleigh, Christopher J Lucarotti, Benoit Morin, Dan T Quiring
Despite extensive research on mechanisms generating biases in sex ratios, the capacity of natural enemies to shift or further skew operational sex ratios following sex allocation and parental care remains largely unstudied in natural populations. Male cocoons of the sawfly Neodiprion abietis (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae) are consistently smaller than those of females, with very little overlap, and thus, we were able to use cocoon size to sex cocoons. We studied three consecutive cohorts of N. abietis in six forest stands to detect cocoon volume-associated biases in the attack of predators, pathogens, and parasitoids and examine how the combined effect of natural enemies shapes the realized operational sex ratio...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Arne N Linløkken, Thrond O Haugen, Matthew P Kent, Sigbjørn Lien
To study effects from natural selection acting on brown trout in a natural stream habitat compared with a hatchery environment, 3,781 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were analyzed in three closely related groups of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.). Autumn (W/0+, n = 48) and consecutive spring (W/1+, n = 47) samples of brown trout individuals belonging to the same cohort and stream were retrieved using electrofishing. A third group (H/1+, n = 48) comprised hatchery-reared individuals, bred from a mixture of wild parents of the strain of the two former groups and from a neighboring stream...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Bo Zhang, Yan-Hong Zhang, Xin Wang, Hui-Xian Zhang, Qiang Lin
The deep sea is one of the most extensive ecosystems on earth. Organisms living there survive in an extremely harsh environment, and their mitochondrial energy metabolism might be a result of evolution. As one of the most important organelles, mitochondria generate energy through energy metabolism and play an important role in almost all biological activities. In this study, the mitogenome of a deep-sea sea anemone (Bolocera sp.) was sequenced and characterized. Like other metazoans, it contained 13 energy pathway protein-coding genes and two ribosomal RNAs...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Dilli P Rijal, Torbjørn Alm, Lennart Nilsen, Inger G Alsos
The impact of invasion on diversity varies widely and remains elusive. Despite the considerable attempts to understand mechanisms of biological invasion, it is largely unknown whether some communities' characteristics promote biological invasion, or whether some inherent characteristics of invaders enable them to invade other communities. Our aims were to assess the impact of one of the massive plant invaders of Scandinavia on vascular plant species diversity, disentangle attributes of invasible and noninvasible communities, and evaluate the relationship between invasibility and genetic diversity of a dominant invader...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Anastasia Klimova, Joseph I Hoffman, Jesus N Gutierrez-Rivera, Jose Leon de la Luz, Alfredo Ortega-Rubio
The complex geological and ecological processes that have generated high levels of biodiversity and endemism in the Baja California Peninsula have been the subject of intensive study. However, relatively little is known about phylogeography of the iconic endemic palm species of this region. We therefore analyzed a total of 2,294 bp of chloroplast and 738 bp of nuclear sequence data in 169 samples of five native palm species from Baja California, Sonora and Guadalupe Island. We found that Washingtonia and Brahea palms had low levels of genetic diversity and were highly structured, with the majority of species and major geographic regions being characterized by distinct haplotypes...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Norman W H Mason, David J Palmer, Alvaro Romera, Deanne Waugh, Paul L Mudge
Agricultural production systems face increasing threats from more frequent and extreme weather fluctuations associated with global climate change. While there is mounting evidence that increased plant community diversity can reduce the variability of ecosystem functions (such as primary productivity) in the face of environmental fluctuation, there has been little work testing whether this is true for intensively managed agricultural systems. Using statistical modeling techniques to fit environment-productivity relationships offers an efficient means of leveraging hard-won experimental data to compare the potential variability of different mixtures across a wide range of environmental contexts...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Néstor E Bosch, Jorge M S Gonçalves, Karim Erzini, Fernando Tuya
Understanding changes in biodiversity requires the implementation of monitoring programs encompassing different dimensions of biodiversity through varying sampling techniques. In this work, fish assemblages associated with the "outer" and "inner" sides of four marinas, two at the Canary Islands and two at southern Portugal, were investigated using three complementary sampling techniques: underwater visual censuses (UVCs), baited cameras (BCs), and fish traps (FTs). We firstly investigated the complementarity of these sampling methods to describe species composition...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Wladimir Moya, Gabriel Jacome, ChangKyoo Yoo
In order to enhance in terms of accuracy and predict the modeling of the potential distribution of species, the integration of using principal components of environmental variables as input of maximum entropy (MaxEnt) has been proposed in this study. Principal components selected previously from the principal component analysis results performed in ArcGIS in the environmental variables was used as an input data of MaxEnt instead of raw data to model the potential distribution of red spiny lobster from the year 1997 to 2015 and for three different future scenarios 2020, 2050, and 2070...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Julia E Schäfer, Marcel M Janocha, Sebastian Klaus, Dieter Thomas Tietze
Previous studies detected an influence of urban characteristics on song traits in passerine birds, that is, song adjustments to ambient noise in urban areas. Several studies already described the effect of weather conditions on the behavior of birds, but not the effect on song traits. We investigate, if song trait variability changes along a continuous urbanity gradient in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. We examined, for the first time on a larger scale, the influence of weather on song parameters. We made song recordings of three common passerine species: the blue and great tit (Cyanistes caeruleus (Linnaeus, 1758) and Parus major Linnaeus, 1758) and the European blackbird (Turdus merula Linnaeus, 1758)...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Emilio Moreno, José M Conde-Porcuna, Africa Gómez
The biodiversity of Mediterranean freshwater bodies is among the most threatened worldwide; therefore, its accurate estimation is an urgent issue. However, traditional methods are likely to underestimate freshwater zooplankton biodiversity due to its high species seasonality and cryptic diversity. We test the value of applying DNA barcoding to diapausing egg banks, in combination with the creation of a reference collection of DNA barcodes using adult individual samples, to characterize rotifer communities. We use monogonont rotifers from two lakes in Doñana National Park and one from Ruidera Natural Park in Spain as models to create a reference collection of DNA barcodes for taxonomically diagnosed adult individuals sampled from the water column, to compare with the sequences obtained from individual eggs from the diapausing egg banks...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Monique J Rivera, Kirsten S Pelz-Stelinski, Xavier Martini, Lukasz L Stelinski
Plants can defend themselves against herbivores through activation of defensive pathways and attraction of third-trophic-level predators and parasites. Trophic cascades that mediate interactions in the phytobiome are part of a larger dynamic including the pathogens of the plant itself, which are known to greatly influence plant defenses. As such, we investigated the impact of a phloem-limited bacterial pathogen, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), in cultivated citrus rootstock on a well-studied belowground tritrophic interaction involving the attraction of an entomopathogenic nematode (EPN), Steinernema diaprepesi, to their root-feeding insect hosts, Diaprepes abbreviatus larvae...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Carlo Ricotta
The amount of variation in species composition among sampling units or beta diversity has become a primary tool for connecting the spatial structure of species assemblages to ecological processes. Many different measures of beta diversity have been developed. Among them, the total variance in the community composition matrix has been proposed as a single-number estimate of beta diversity. In this study, I first show that this measure summarizes the compositional variation among sampling units after nonlinear transformation of species abundances...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Nicholas K Schooler, Jenifer E Dugan, David M Hubbard, Dale Straughan
Evaluating impacts to biodiversity requires ecologically informed comparisons over sufficient time spans. The vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to anthropogenic and climate change-related impacts makes them potentially valuable indicators of biodiversity change. To evaluate multidecadal change in biodiversity, we compared results from intertidal surveys of 13 sandy beaches conducted in the 1970s and 2009-11 along 500 km of coast (California, USA). Using a novel extrapolation approach to adjust species richness for sampling effort allowed us to address data gaps and has promise for application to other data-limited biodiversity comparisons...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Joshua H Schmidt, Tammy L Wilson, William L Thompson, Joel H Reynolds
Obtaining useful estimates of wildlife abundance or density requires thoughtful attention to potential sources of bias and precision, and it is widely understood that addressing incomplete detection is critical to appropriate inference. When the underlying assumptions of sampling approaches are violated, both increased bias and reduced precision of the population estimator may result. Bear (Ursus spp.) populations can be difficult to sample and are often monitored using mark-recapture distance sampling (MRDS) methods, although obtaining adequate sample sizes can be cost prohibitive...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Louise van Oudenhove, Ludovic Mailleret, Xavier Fauvergue
Many parasitoid species use olfactory cues to locate their hosts. In tritrophic systems, parasitoids of herbivores can exploit the chemical blends emitted by plants in reaction to herbivore-induced damage, known as herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs). In this study, we explored the specificity and innateness of parasitoid responses to HIPVs using a meta-analysis of data from the literature. Based on the concept of dietary specialization and infochemical use, we hypothesized that (i) specialist parasitoids (i...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Rachael A Bay, Stephen R Palumbi
Concern over rapid environmental shifts associated with climate change has led to a search for molecular markers of environmental tolerance. Climate-associated gene expression profiles exist for a number of systems, but have rarely been tied to fitness outcomes, especially in nonmodel organisms. We reciprocally transplanted corals between two backreef locations with more and less variable temperature regimes to disentangle effects of recent and native environment on survival and growth. Coral growth over 12 months was largely determined by local environment...
July 2017: Ecology and Evolution
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