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Journal of Animal Ecology

Vojtěch Brlík, Jaroslav Koleček, Malcolm Burgess, Steffen Hahn, Diana Humple, Miloš Krist, Janne Ouwehand, Emily L Weiser, Peter Adamík, José A Alves, Debora Arlt, Sanja Barišić, Detlef Becker, Eduardo J Belda, Václav Beran, Christiaan Both, Susana P Bravo, Martins Briedis, Bohumír Chutný, Davor Ćiković, Nathan W Cooper, Joana S Costa, Víctor R Cueto, Tamara Emmenegger, Kevin Fraser, Olivier Gilg, Marina Guerrero, Michael T Hallworth, Chris Hewson, Frédéric Jiguet, James A Johnson, Tosha Kelly, Dmitry Kishkinev, Michel Leconte, Terje Lislevand, Simeon Lisovski, Cosme López, Kent P McFarland, Peter P Marra, Steven M Matsuoka, Piotr Matyjasiak, Christoph M Meier, Benjamin Metzger, Juan S Monrós, Roland Neumann, Amy Newman, Ryan Norris, Tomas Pärt, Václav Pavel, Noah Perlut, Markus Piha, Jeroen Reneerkens, Christopher C Rimmer, Amélie Roberto-Charron, Chiara Scandolara, Natalia Sokolova, Makiko Takenaka, Dirk Tolkmitt, Herman van Oosten, Arndt H J Wellbrock, Hazel Wheeler, Jan van der Winden, Klaudia Witte, Brad Woodworth, Petr Procházka
Currently, the deployment of tracking devices is one of the most frequently used approaches to study movement ecology of birds. Recent miniaturisation of light-level geolocators enabled studying small bird species whose migratory patterns were widely unknown. However, geolocators may reduce vital rates in tagged birds and may bias obtained movement data. There is a need for a thorough assessment of the potential tag effects on small birds, as previous meta-analyses did not evaluate unpublished data and impact of multiple life-history traits, focused mainly on large species and the number of published studies tagging small birds has increased substantially...
February 16, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Ana Teresa Marques, Carlos David Santos, Frank Hanssen, Antonio-Román Muñoz, Alejandro Onrubia, Martin Wikelski, Francisco Moreira, Jorge Manuel Palmeirim, João Paulo Silva
1.Wind energy production has expanded to meet climate change mitigation goals, but negative impacts of wind turbines have been reported on wildlife. Soaring birds are among the most affected groups with alarming fatality rates by collision with wind turbines and an escalating occupation of their migratory corridors. These birds have been described as changing their flight trajectories to avoid wind turbines, but this behaviour may lead to functional habitat loss, as suitable soaring areas in the proximity of wind turbines will likely be underused...
February 14, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Emily M Tompkins, David J Anderson
Under life-history theories of ageing, increased senescence should follow relatively high reproductive effort. This expectation has rarely been tested against senescence varying between and within the two sexes, although such an approach may clarify the origins of sex-specific ageing in the context of a given mating system. Nazca boobies (Sula granti; a seabird) practise serial monogamy and biparental care. A male-biased population sex ratio results in earlier and more frequent breeding by females. Based on sex-specific reproductive schedules, females were expected to show faster age-related decline for survival and reproduction...
February 12, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
A Culina, D M Linton, R Pradel, S Bouwhuis, D W Macdonald
1.Trade-offs between survival and reproduction are at the core of life-history theory, and essential to understanding the evolution of reproductive tactics as well as population dynamics and stability. Factors influencing these trade-offs are multiple and often addressed in isolation. Further problems arise as reproductive states and survival in wild populations are estimated based on imperfect and potentially biased observation processes, which might lead to flawed conclusions. 2.In this study we aimed at elucidating trade-offs between current reproduction (both pregnancy and lactation), survival and future reproduction, including the specific costs of first reproduction, in long-lived, income breeding small mammals, an under-studied group...
February 8, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Ole Petter Laksforsmo Vindstad, Jane Uhd Jepsen, Nigel Gilles Yoccoz, Ottar N Bjørnstad, Michel D S Mesquita, Rolf Anker Ims
1.Spatial synchrony in population dynamics can be caused by dispersal or spatially correlated variation in environmental factors like weather (Moran effect). Distinguishing between these mechanisms is challenging for natural populations, and the study of dispersal-induced synchrony in particular has been dominated by theoretical modelling and laboratory experiments. 2.The goal of the present study was to evaluate the evidence for dispersal as a cause of meso-scale (distances of tens of kilometers) spatial synchrony in natural populations of the two cyclic geometrid moths Epirrita autumnata and Operophtera brumata in sub-arctic mountain birch forest in northern Norway...
February 8, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
L Cruz-Font, B J Shuter, P J Blanchfield, C K Minns, M D Rennie
1.We used acoustic telemetry and acceleration sensors to compare population-specific measures of the metabolic costs of an apex fish predator living in four separate lakes. We chose our study species and populations to provide a strong test of recent theoretical predictions that optimal foraging by an apex fish predator in a typical aquatic environment would be consistent with feeding to satiation rather than continuous feeding. We chose four populations where the primary prey type differed along a body size gradient (from small invertebrates to large planktivorous fish) and along a thermal accessibility gradient (from easily accessible cold-water pelagic prey to less accessible warm-water epilimnetic and littoral prey)...
February 3, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Elliott L Price, Mirela Sertić Perić, Gustavo Q Romero, Pavel Kratina
1.The changes to physical and chemical ecosystem characteristics as a response to pervasive and intensifying land use have the potential to alter the consumer-resource interactions and to rewire the flow of energy through entire food webs. 2.We investigated these structural and functional properties of food webs in stream ecosystems distributed across woodland, agricultural and urban areas in the Zagreb region of Croatia. We compared resource availability and consumer diet composition using stable isotope mixing models and tested how the isotopic variance of basal resources, primary consumers, macroinvertebrate predators, and other food-web characteristics change with different land use types...
February 3, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Megan A M Kutzer, Joachim Kurtz, Sophie A O Armitage
1.Hosts can alter their strategy towards pathogens during their lifetime, i.e., they can show phenotypic plasticity in immunity or life history. Immune priming is one such example, where a previous encounter with a pathogen confers enhanced protection upon secondary challenge, resulting in reduced pathogen load (i.e. resistance) and improved host survival. However, an initial encounter might also enhance tolerance, particularly to less virulent opportunistic pathogens that establish persistent infections. In this scenario, individuals are better able to reduce the negative fitness consequences that result from a high pathogen load...
January 29, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Alicia Valdés, Johan Ehrlén
1.The effects of consumers on fitness of resource organisms are a complex function of the spatio-temporal distribution of the resources, consumer functional responses and trait preferences, and availability of other resources. 2.The ubiquitous variation in the intensity of species interactions has important consequences for the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of natural populations. Nevertheless, little is known about the processes causing this variation and their operational scales. Here, we examine how variation in the intensity of a consumer-resource interaction is related to resource timing, resource density and abundance of other resources...
January 28, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Moritz D Lürig, Rebecca J Best, Marek Svitok, Jukka Jokela, Blake Matthews
1.Cryptic pigmentation of prey is often thought to evolve in response to predator-mediated selection, but pigmentation traits can also be plastic, and change with respect to both abiotic and biotic environmental conditions. In such cases, identifying the presence of, and drivers of, trait plasticity is useful for understanding the evolution of crypsis. 2.Previous work suggests that cryptic pigmentation of freshwater isopods (Asellus aquaticus) has evolved in response to predation pressure by fish in habitats with varying macrophyte cover and coloration...
January 21, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Eli D Strauss, Kay E Holekamp
1.Social inequality is a consistent feature of animal societies, often manifesting as dominance hierarchies, in which each individual is characterized by a dominance rank denoting its place in the network of competitive relationships among group-members. Most studies treat dominance hierarchies as static entities despite their true longitudinal, and sometimes highly dynamic, nature. 2.To guide study of the dynamics of dominance, we propose the concept of a longitudinal hierarchy: the characterization of a single, latent hierarchy and it's dynamics over time...
January 21, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Chima J Nwaogu, Will Cresswell, Maaike A Versteegh, B Irene Tieleman
1.Seasonal variation in innate immunity is often attributed to either temporal environmental variation or to life history trade-offs that arise from specific annual cycle stages but decoupling them is difficult in natural populations. 2.Here, we effectively decouple seasonal environmental variation from annual cycle stage effects by exploiting cross-seasonal breeding and moult in the tropical Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus. We test how annual cycle stage interacts with a key seasonal environmental variable, rainfall, to determine immunity at population and individual level...
January 19, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
S Sniegula, M J Golab, F Johansson
1.A shift in the relative arrival of offspring, e.g., a shift in hatching time, can affect competition at the intraspecific level through size-mediated priority effects, where the larger individuals gain more resources. These priority effects are likely to be affected by climate warming and the rate of intraspecific predation, i.e., cannibalism. 2.In a laboratory experiment, we examined size-mediated priority effects in larvae of the univoltine damselfly, Lestes sponsa, at two different temperatures (21°C and 23°C)...
January 19, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Julie Verheyen, Robby Stoks
1.To assess long-term impacts of global warming on species there is growing interest in latitudinal intraspecific patterns in thermal adaptation. Yet, while both mean temperatures and daily temperature fluctuations (DTFs) are expected to increase under global warming, latitudinal differences in the effects of DTFs have not been documented. 2.We tested whether low-latitude populations of an ectotherm deal better with greater DTF than high-latitude populations, especially at a high mean temperature close to the optimal temperature for growth where DTF causes exposure to extreme high temperatures...
January 13, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Charlotte F Narr, Dieter Ebert, Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, Paul C Frost
Defining the relationship between nutrients and parasitism is complicated by shifts in host physiology and population density, which can both mediate the effects of host diet on parasites and vice versa. We examined the relationship between nutrient availability and an abundant parasite capable of both horizontal and vertical transmission (Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis) of a planktonic crustacean, Daphnia magna, in rock pools on Baltic Sea Skerry islands. We found that the relative availability of nutrients directly affected infection prevalence; parasite prevalence was higher in pools with higher particulate N:P ratios...
January 12, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Jean-François Hamel, Jiamin Sun, Bruno L Gianasi, Emaline M Montgomery, Ellen L Kenchington, Benoit Burel, Sherrylynn Rowe, Paul D Winger, Annie Mercier
While the study of dispersal and connectivity in the ocean typically centers on pelagic species and planktonic larval stages of benthic species, the present work explores an overlooked locomotor means in post-settlement benthic stages that redefines their dispersal potential. Members of the echinoderm class Holothuroidea colonize a diversity of marine environments worldwide, where they play key ecological and economical roles, making their conservation a priority. Holothuroids are commonly called sea cucumbers or sea slugs to reflect their slow movements and are assumed to disperse chiefly through pelagic larvae...
January 12, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Piotr Minias
1.Lymphocytes and heterophils are the two most abundant leukocyte types, which play a major role in adaptive and innate immune defence, respectively. The ratio of heterophils to lymphocytes (H/L ratio) may reflect a readiness to cope with infection through injury (via heterophils) rather than with a communicable disease (via lymphocytes). Since elevated H/L ratio constitutes a corticosterone-mediated response to external stressors, this trait is generally acknowledged as the robust measure of physiological stress in vertebrates...
January 10, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Miguel L Reyes, Alice M Laughton, Benjamin J Parker, Hannah Wichmann, Maretta Fan, Daniel Sok, Jan Hrček, Tarik Acevedo, Nicole M Gerardo
1.Environmental stressors can be key drivers of phenotypes, including reproductive strategies and morphological traits. The response to stress may be altered by the presence of microbial associates. For example, in aphids, facultative (secondary) bacterial symbionts can provide protection against natural enemies and stress induced by elevated temperatures. Furthermore, aphids exhibit phenotypic plasticity, producing winged (rather than wingless) progeny that may be better able to escape danger, and the combination of these factors improve the response to stress...
January 10, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Christina N Service, Andrew W Bateman, Megan S Adams, Kyle A Artelle, Thomas E Reimchen, Paul C Paquet, Chris T Darimont
Resource waves-spatial variation in resource phenology that extends feeding opportunities for mobile consumers-can affect the behaviour and productivity of recipient populations. Interspecific diversity among Pacific salmon species (Oncorhynchus spp.) creates staggered spawning events across space and time, thereby prolonging availability to terrestrial wildlife. We sought to understand how such variation might influence consumption by terrestrial predators compared with resource abundance and intra- and interspecific competition...
January 7, 2019: Journal of Animal Ecology
Felicitas Demann, K Mathias Wegner
1.Parasite spillover from invasive aliens to native species increases the risk of disease emergence within native biota - either by direct harm to the new host or by indirect effects like increased risks of secondary infection. 2.One example for such a detrimental effect is the parasitic copepod Mytilicola intestinalis that infected blue mussels Mytilus edulis after being introduced into the North Sea in the early 20th century. Since 1949, the parasite was blamed for multiple mass mortalities of infested blue mussels but evidence for a direct causal involvement of M...
December 13, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
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