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Ecology and Evolution

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[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2863.].
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Diogo F Ferreira, Ricardo Rocha, Adrià López-Baucells, Fábio Z Farneda, João M B Carreiras, Jorge M Palmeirim, Christoph F J Meyer
Seasonality causes fluctuations in resource availability, affecting the presence and abundance of animal species. The impacts of these oscillations on wildlife populations can be exacerbated by habitat fragmentation. We assessed differences in bat species abundance between the wet and dry season in a fragmented landscape in the Central Amazon characterized by primary forest fragments embedded in a secondary forest matrix. We also evaluated whether the relative importance of local vegetation structure versus landscape characteristics (composition and configuration) in shaping bat abundance patterns varied between seasons...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Dennis Rödder, Flora Ihlow, Julien Courant, Jean Secondi, Anthony Herrel, Rui Rebelo, G J Measey, Francesco Lillo, F A De Villiers, Charlotte De Busschere, Thierry Backeljau
Although of crucial importance for invasion biology and impact assessments of climate change, it remains widely unknown how species cope with and adapt to environmental conditions beyond their currently realized climatic niches (i.e., those climatic conditions existing populations are exposed to). The African clawed frog Xenopus laevis, native to southern Africa, has established numerous invasive populations on multiple continents making it a pertinent model organism to study environmental niche dynamics. In this study, we assess whether the realized niches of the invasive populations in Europe, South, and North America represent subsets of the species' realized niche in its native distributional range or if niche shifts are traceable...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Mimi Rebein, Charli N Davis, Helena Abad, Taylor Stone, Jillian Del Sol, Natalie Skinner, Matthew D Moran
Several North American trees are hypothesized to have lost their co-evolved seed disperser during the late-Pleistocene extinction and are therefore considered anachronistic. We tested this hypothesis for the American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) by studying the effects of gut passage of proposed seed dispersers on seedling survival and growth, natural fruiting characteristics, and modern animal consumption patterns. We tested gut passage effects on persimmon seeds using three native living species, the raccoon (Procyon lotor), Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), and coyote (Canis latrans), and two Pleistocene analogs; the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and alpaca (Vicugna pacos)...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Erik D Enbody, Samantha M Lantz, Jordan Karubian
The evolution of elaborate secondary sexual traits (i.e., ornaments) is well-studied in males but less so in females. Similarity in the appearance of ornaments between males and females supports the view that female ornaments arise as a neutral byproduct of selection on male traits due to genetic correlation between sexes, but recent research suggests an adaptive function of female ornaments in at least some contexts. Information on the degree to which production of ornaments differs between the sexes can shed light on these alternative perspectives...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Rui Zhang, Li Yang, Lin Ai, Qiuyuan Yang, Minhao Chen, Jingxi Li, Lei Yang, Xiaofeng Luan
Understanding historical context can help clarify the ecological and biogeographic characteristics of species population changes. The sable (Martes zibellina) population has decreased dramatically in Northeast China since the l950s, and understanding the changes in its distribution over time is necessary to support conservation efforts. To achieve this goal, we integrated ecological niche modeling and historical records of sables to estimate the magnitude of change in their distribution over time. Our results revealed a 51...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Jia Li, Fang Liu, Yadong Xue, Yu Zhang, Diqiang Li
Climate change might pose an additional threat to the already vulnerable giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Effective conservation efforts require projections of vulnerability of the giant panda in facing climate change and proactive strategies to reduce emerging climate-related threats. We used the maximum entropy model to assess the vulnerability of giant panda to climate change in the Qinling Mountains of China. The results of modeling included the following findings: (1) the area of suitable habitat for giant pandas was projected to decrease by 281 km(2) from climate change by the 2050s; (2) the mean elevation of suitable habitat of giant panda was predicted to shift 30 m higher due to climate change over this period; (3) the network of nature reserves protect 61...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Alastair M M Baylis, Rachael A Orben, Daniel P Costa, Megan Tierney, Paul Brickle, Iain J Staniland
Conditions experienced during the nonbreeding period have profound long-term effects on individual fitness and survival. Therefore, knowledge of habitat use during the nonbreeding period can provide insights into processes that regulate populations. At the Falkland Islands, the habitat use of South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) during the nonbreeding period is of particular interest because the population is yet to recover from a catastrophic decline between the mid-1930s and 1965, and nonbreeding movements are poorly understood...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Akira Yamawo, Nobuhiko Suzuki
Plants need to allocate some of their limited resources for defense against herbivores as well as for growth and reproduction. However, the priority of resource allocation within plants has not been investigated. We hypothesized that plants with extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) invest more chlorophyll around their EFNs-to support a high rate of carbon fixation there-than in other leaf parts of young leaves. Additionally, this chlorophyll may remain around EFNs rather than in the other leaf parts. We used Mallotus japonicus plants to investigate the chlorophyll content at leaf centers and edges and around EFNs at four stages of leaf development: middle-expanded young leaves, fully expanded mature leaves, senior leaves, and leaves prior to abscission...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Jundong He, Tingfa Dong, Kechao Huang, Yanxia Yang, Dadong Li, Xiao Xu, Xinhua He
Relationships between sex-specific floral traits and endogenous phytohormones associated with altitude are unknown particularly in dioecious trees. We thus examined the relationships between floral morphology or biomass and phytohormones in male and female flowers of dioecious Populus cathayana populations along an altitudinal gradient (1,500, 1,600, and 1,700 m above sea level) in the Xiaowutai Nature Reserve in northern China. The female and male flowers had the most stigma and pollen at 1,700 m, the largest ovaries and least pollen at 1,500 m, and the smallest ovaries and greater numbers of anthers at 1,600 m altitude...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Les G Firbank, Chiara Bertora, David Blankman, Gemini Delle Vedove, Mark Frenzel, Carlo Grignani, Elli Groner, Miklós Kertész, Eveline J Krab, Giorgio Matteucci, Christina Menta, Carsten W Mueller, Jutta Stadler, William E Kunin
The study of ecosystem processes over multiple scales of space and time is often best achieved using comparable data from multiple sites. Yet, long-term ecological observatories have often developed their own data collection protocols. Here, we address this problem by proposing a set of ecological protocols suitable for widespread adoption by the ecological community. Scientists from the European ecological research community prioritized terrestrial ecosystem parameters that could benefit from a more consistent approach to data collection within the resources available at most long-term ecological observatories...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Drew R Schield, Richard H Adams, Daren C Card, Blair W Perry, Giulia M Pasquesi, Tereza Jezkova, Daniel M Portik, Audra L Andrew, Carol L Spencer, Elda E Sanchez, Matthew K Fujita, Stephen P Mackessy, Todd A Castoe
Investigating secondary contact of historically isolated lineages can provide insight into how selection and drift influence genomic divergence and admixture. Here, we studied the genomic landscape of divergence and introgression following secondary contact between lineages of the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) to determine whether genomic regions under selection in allopatry also contribute to reproductive isolation during introgression. We used thousands of nuclear loci to study genomic differentiation between two lineages that have experienced recent secondary contact following isolation, and incorporated sampling from a zone of secondary contact to identify loci that are resistant to gene flow in hybrids...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
J P DeLong, J P Gibert, T M Luhring, G Bachman, B Reed, A Neyer, K L Montooth
A mechanistic understanding of the response of metabolic rate to temperature is essential for understanding thermal ecology and metabolic adaptation. Although the Arrhenius equation has been used to describe the effects of temperature on reaction rates and metabolic traits, it does not adequately describe two aspects of the thermal performance curve (TPC) for metabolic rate-that metabolic rate is a unimodal function of temperature often with maximal values in the biologically relevant temperature range and that activation energies are temperature dependent...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Jonathan B Puritz, Carson C Keever, Jason A Addison, Sergio S Barbosa, Maria Byrne, Michael W Hart, Richard K Grosberg, Robert J Toonen
Life-history traits, especially the mode and duration of larval development, are expected to strongly influence the population connectivity and phylogeography of marine species. Comparative analysis of sympatric, closely related species with differing life histories provides the opportunity to specifically investigate these mechanisms of evolution but have been equivocal in this regard. Here, we sample two sympatric sea stars across the same geographic range in temperate waters of Australia. Using a combination of mitochondrial DNA sequences, nuclear DNA sequences, and microsatellite genotypes, we show that the benthic-developing sea star, Parvulastra exigua, has lower levels of within- and among-population genetic diversity, more inferred genetic clusters, and higher levels of hierarchical and pairwise population structure than Meridiastra calcar, a species with planktonic development...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Lei Zeng, Lei Zhou, Ding-Li Guo, Dong-Hua Fu, Peng Xu, Shuang Zeng, Qin-Dong Tang, An-Luo Chen, Fei-Qiao Chen, Yong Luo, Gui-Feng Li
In this study, we aimed to characterize the fish community structure and identify the drivers contributing to homogenization/differentiation processes in four tributaries to the Pearl River, Guangxi Province, China, over the past few decades. We sampled 22 sites seasonally from 2013 through 2015, and these sites were selected based on archived records of previous sampling conducted in the 1980s. Jaccard's faunal similarity index, cluster analysis, and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) were applied to describe the homogenization/differentiation of fish community and illustrate the potential effectors...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Pierre Pistorius, Mark Hindell, Robert Crawford, Azwianewi Makhado, Bruce Dyer, Ryan Reisinger
King penguins make up the bulk of avian biomass on a number of sub-Antarctic islands where they have a large functional effect on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The same applies at Marion Island where a substantial proportion of the world population breeds. In spite of their obvious ecological importance, the at-sea distribution and behavior of this population has until recently remained entirely unknown. In addressing this information deficiency, we deployed satellite-linked tracking instruments on 15 adult king penguins over 2 years, April 2008 and 2013, to study their post-guard foraging distribution and habitat preferences...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Guillaume de Lafontaine, Jean Bousquet
Assessing directional bias in interspecific gene flow might be important in determining the evolutionary trajectory of closely related species pairs. Using a set of 300 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) having variable propensity to cross species boundary, we evaluated the genomic extent and direction of interspecific gene flow in a progenitor-derivative spruce species pair (black spruce and red spruce). A higher rate of gene flow was found from black spruce toward red spruce purebreds than vice versa...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Anna Skarin, Moudud Alam
Worldwide there is a rush toward wind power development and its associated infrastructure. In Fennoscandia, large-scale wind farms comprising several hundred windmills are currently built in important grazing ranges used for Sámi reindeer husbandry. In this study, reindeer habitat use was assessed using reindeer fecal pellet group counts in relation to two relatively small wind farms, with 8 and 10 turbines, respectively. In 2009, 1,315 15-m(2) plots were established and pellet groups were counted and cleaned from the plots...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Sara E Campbell, Nicholas E Mandrak
Darwin's naturalization conundrum describes the paradigm that community assembly is regulated by two opposing processes, environmental filtering and competitive interactions, which predict both similarity and distinctiveness of species to be important for establishment. Our goal is to use long-term, large-scale, and high-resolution temporal data to examine diversity patterns over time and assess whether environmental filtering or competition plays a larger role in regulating community assembly processes. We evaluated Darwin's naturalization conundrum and how functional diversity has changed in the Laurentian Great Lakes fish community from 1870 to 2010, which has experienced frequent introductions of non-native species and extirpations of native species...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Sam Van Wassenbergh, Christoffel Bonte, Krijn B Michel
Due to morphological resemblance, polypterid fishes are used as extant analogues of Late Devonian lobe-finned sarcopterygians to identify the features that allowed the evolution of a terrestrial lifestyle in early tetrapods. Previous studies using polypterids showed how terrestrial locomotion capacity can develop, and how air ventilation for breathing was possible in extinct tetrapodomorphs. Interestingly, one polypterid species, the reedfish Erpetoichthys calabaricus, has been noted being capable of capturing prey on land...
June 2017: Ecology and Evolution
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