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Maria Lazarina, Jelle Devalez, Lazaros Neokosmidis, Stefanos P Sgardelis, Athanasios S Kallimanis, Thomas Tscheulin, Panagiotis Tsalkatis, Marina Kourtidou, Vangelis Mizerakis, Georgios Nakas, Palaiologos Palaiologou, Konstantinos Kalabokidis, Ante Vujic, Theodora Petanidou
Fire, a frequent disturbance in the Mediterranean, affects pollinator communities. We explored the response of major pollinator guilds to fire severity, across a fire-severity gradient at different spatial scales. We show that the abundance of all pollinator groups responded to fire severity, and that bees and beetles showed in addition a significant species-diversity response. Bees, sawflies, and wasps responded to fire severity at relatively small spatial scales (250-300 m), whereas flies and beetles responded at larger spatial scales...
February 20, 2019: Ecology
Sebastian J Schreiber, Masato Yamamichi, Sharon Y Strauss
Stable coexistence relies on negative frequency-dependence, in which rarer species invading a patch benefit from a lack of conspecific competition experienced by residents. In nature, however, rarity can have costs, resulting in positive frequency-dependence (PFD) particularly when species are rare. Many processes can cause positive frequency-dependence, including a lack of mates, mutualist interactions, and reproductive interference from heterospecifics. When species become rare in the community, positive frequency-dependence creates vulnerability to extinction, if frequencies drop below certain thresholds...
February 17, 2019: Ecology
Maria Hock, Rainer W Hofmann, Caroline Müller, Alexandra Erfmeier
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation intensities differ among global regions, with significantly higher levels in the southern hemisphere. UV-B may act as an environmental filter during plant invasions, which might particularly apply to plant species from Europe introduced to New Zealand. Just like for any other abiotic or biotic filter, successful invaders can cope with novel environmental conditions via plastic responses and/or through rapid adaptation by natural selection in the exotic range. We conducted a multi-species experiment with herbaceous plants in two common gardens located in the species' 'native' and exotic ranges, in Germany and New Zealand, respectively...
February 15, 2019: Ecology
David W Armitage, Stuart E Jones
Identifying and quantifying the mechanisms influencing species coexistence remains a major challenge for the study of community ecology. These mechanisms, which stem from species' differential responses to competition and their environments, promote coexistence if they give each species a growth advantage when rare. Yet despite the widespread assumption that co-occurring species stably coexist, there have been few empirical demonstrations in support of this claim. Likewise, coexistence is often assumed to result from interspecific differences in life-history traits, but the relative contributions of these trait differences to coexistence are rarely quantified, particularly across environmental gradients...
February 15, 2019: Ecology
Jedediah F Brodie, Carl Roland, Sarah Stehn, Ekaterina Smirnova
The expansion of shrubs and trees across high-latitude ecosystems is one of the most dramatic ecological manifestations of climate change. Most of the work quantifying these changes has been done in small areas and over relatively recent time scales. These land cover transitions are highly spatially variable, and we have limited understanding of the factors underlying this variation. We use repeat photography to generate a dataset of land cover changes in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, stretching back a century and spanning a range of edaphic, topographic, and climatic conditions...
February 15, 2019: Ecology
Winsor H Lowe, Brett R Addis
Populations optimize the match of phenotype to environment by localized natural selection, adaptive phenotypic plasticity, and habitat choice. Habitat choice may also be achieved by several mechanisms, including matching habitat choice, where individuals distribute themselves based on self-assessment of the phenotype-environment match. Matching habitat choice is a relatively untested concept, but one that could advance our understanding of the interplay of movement ecology and intraspecific phenotypic variation...
February 15, 2019: Ecology
Danielle E M Ulrich, Christopher Still, J Renée Brooks, Youngil Kim, Frederick C Meinzer
In dealing with predicted changes in environmental conditions outside those experienced today, forest managers and researchers rely on process-based models to inform physiological processes and predict future forest growth responses. The carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of tree-ring cellulose (δ13 Ccell , δ18 Ocell ) reveal long-term, integrated physiological responses to environmental conditions. We incorporated a submodel of δ18 Ocell into the widely used Physiological Principles in Predicting Growth (3-PG) model for the first time, to complement a recently added δ13 Ccell submodel...
February 12, 2019: Ecology
Zuoqiang Yuan, Arshad Ali, Tommaso Jucker, Paloma Ruiz-Benito, Shaopeng Wang, Lin Jiang, Xugao Wang, Fei Lin, Ji Ye, Zhanqing Hao, Michel Loreau
Forests play a key role in regulating the global carbon cycle, and yet the abiotic and biotic conditions that drive the demographic processes which underpin forest carbon dynamics remain poorly understood in natural ecosystems. To address this knowledge gap, we used repeat forest inventory data from 92,285 trees across four large permanent plots (4-25 ha in size) in temperate mixed forests in northeast China to ask the following questions: 1) How do soil conditions and stand age drive biomass demographic processes?; 2) How do vegetation quality (i...
February 11, 2019: Ecology
Peter J Edmunds
Major tropical storms are destructive phenomena with large effects on the community dynamics of multiple biomes. On coral reefs, their impacts have been described for decades, leading to the expectation that future storms should have effects similar to those recorded in the past. This expectation relies on the assumption that storm intensities will remain unchanged, and the impacted coral reef communities are similar to those of the recent past; neither assumption is correct. This study quantified the effects of two category five hurricanes on the reefs of St...
February 9, 2019: Ecology
François P Teste, Paul Kardol, Benjamin L Turner, David A Wardle, Graham Zemunik, Michael Renton, Etienne Laliberté
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 7, 2019: Ecology
Ellen A R Welti, Nathan J Sanders, Kirsten M de Beurs, Michael Kaspari
Sodium (Na) has a unique role in food webs as a nutrient primarily limiting for plant consumers, but not other trophic levels. Environmental Na levels vary with proximity to coasts, local geomorphology, climate, and with anthropogenic inputs (e.g., road salt). We tested two key predictions across 54 grasslands in North America: Na shortfall commonly limits herbivore abundance, and the magnitude of this limitation varies inversely with environmental Na supplies. We tested them with a distributed pulse experiment and evaluated the relative importance of Na limitation to other classic drivers of climate, macronutrient levels, and plant productivity...
February 6, 2019: Ecology
Pradeep Pillai, Tarik C Gouhier
Understanding how biodiversity influences ecosystem functioning is one of the central goals of modern ecology. The early and often acrimonious debates about the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning were largely resolved following the advent of a statistical partitioning scheme that decomposed the net effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning into a "selection" effect and a "complementarity" effect. Here we show that both the biodiversity effect and its statistical decomposition into selection and complementarity are fundamentally flawed because these methods use a naïve null expectation based on neutrality, likely leading to an overestimate of the net biodiversity effect, and because they fail to account for the nonlinear abundance-ecosystem functioning relationships widely observed in nature...
February 4, 2019: Ecology
Megan K Nasto, Klaus Winter, Benjamin L Turner, Cory C Cleveland
Tropical forests play a dominant role in the global carbon (C) cycle, and models predict increases in tropical net primary productivity (NPP) and C storage in response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ) concentrations. The extent to which increasing CO2 will enhance NPP depends in part on the availability of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to support growth. Some tropical trees can potentially overcome nutrient limitation by acquiring N via symbiotic dinitrogen (N2 ) fixation, which may provide a benefit in acquiring P via investment in N-rich phosphatase enzymes or arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi...
February 3, 2019: Ecology
Adam E Rosenblatt, Katherine S Wyatt, Oswald J Schmitz
The inability of species to adapt to changing climate may cause ecological communities to disassemble and lose ecological functioning. However, theory suggests that communities may be resilient whenever populations within species exhibit variation in thermal plasticity or adaptation whereby thermally tolerant populations replace thermally sensitive ones. But will they maintain the functional roles of the populations being replaced? This study evaluated whether "like replaces like" functionally by measuring how four populations of a grasshopper herbivore and its co-occurring spider predator cope with environmental warming...
February 3, 2019: Ecology
Justin P Suraci, Laurence G Frank, Alayne Oriol-Cotterill, Steve Ekwanga, Terrie M Williams, Christopher C Wilmers
Co-occurrence with humans presents substantial risks for large carnivores, yet human-dominated landscapes are increasingly crucial to carnivore conservation as human land use continues to encroach on wildlife habitat. Flexibility in large carnivore behavior may be a primary factor mediating coexistence with people, allowing carnivores to calibrate their activity and habitat use to the perceived level of human risk. However, our understanding of how large carnivores adjust the timing and location of behaviors in response to variations in human activity across the landscape remains limited, impacting our ability to identify important habitat for populations outside of protected areas...
February 3, 2019: Ecology
John Terborgh, Kai Zhu, Patricia Alvarez Loayza, Fernando Cornejo Valverde
We monitored a close-spaced grid of 289 seed traps in 1.44 ha for 8.4 years in an Amazonian floodplain forest. In a tree community containing hundreds of species, a median of just 3-4 species of tree seeds falls annually into each 0.5 m2 establishment site. The number of seed species reaching a given site increased linearly with time for the duration of the monitoring period, indicating a roughly random arrival of seed species in a given site-year. The number of seed species captured each year over the entire grid ranged from a third to a half of the total captured over the 8...
February 3, 2019: Ecology
Thomas Michael Lavender, Brandon S Schamp, Shelley E Arnott, James A Rusak
Researchers have long viewed patterns of species association as key to understanding the processes that structure communities. Community-level tests of species association have received the most attention; however, pairwise species associations may offer greater opportunity for linking patterns to specific mechanisms. Although several tests of pairwise association have been developed, there remain gaps in our understanding of their performance. Consequently, it is unclear whether these methods reliably detect patterns of association, or if any one method is superior...
February 3, 2019: Ecology
Benjamin W Sullivan, Rachel L Nifong, Megan K Nasto, Silvia Alvarez-Clare, Camie Dencker, Fiona M Soper, Kevin T Shoemaker, F Yoko Ishida, Joana Zaragoza-Castells, Eric A Davidson, Cory C Cleveland
High rates of land conversion and land use change have vastly increased the proportion of secondary forest in the lowland tropics relative to mature forest. As secondary forests recover following abandonment, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) must be present in sufficient quantities to sustain high rates of net primary production and to replenish the nutrients lost during land use prior to secondary forest establishment. Biogeochemical theory and results from individual studies suggest that N can recuperate during secondary forest recovery, especially relative to P...
February 3, 2019: Ecology
Ellen Waddle, Lucas R Piedrahita, Elijah S Hall, Grace Kendziorski, William F Morris, Megan L Peterson, Daniel F Doak
Population-wide outcomes such as abundance, reproductive output, or mean survival can be stabilized by non-synchronous variation in the performance of individuals or subpopulations. Such "portfolio effects" have been increasingly documented at the scale of subpopulations and are thought to play an important role in generating stability of population phenomena in the face of environmental variation. However, few studies quantify the strength and origin of portfolio effects at the finer scale of individuals...
February 2, 2019: Ecology
Aaron N Johnston, Jason E Bruggeman, Aidan Beers, Erik A Beever, Roger Christophersen, Jason I Ransom
Although increased frequency of extreme-weather events is one of the most-secure predictions associated with contemporary climate change, effects of such events on distribution and abundance of climate-sensitive species remain poorly understood. Montane ecosystems may be especially sensitive to extreme weather because of complex abiotic and biotic interactions that propagate from climate-driven reductions in snowpack. Snowpack not only protects subnivean biotas from extreme cold, but also influences forage availability through timing of melt-off and water availability...
February 1, 2019: Ecology
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