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BMC Ecology

A Oldén, V A O Selonen, E Lehkonen, J S Kotiaho
BACKGROUND: Riparian forests surrounding streams host high biodiversity values, but are threatened by clear-cut logging. Narrow buffer strips of about 15 m are commonly left between the stream and the clear-cut, but studies suggest that the buffer width should be at least 30 m to protect riparian plant communities. Moreover, selective logging is often allowed on the buffer strips in order to increase economic gain. We used an experiment of 43 riparian sites where buffer strip width and selective logging within the strip were manipulated and supplemented with unlogged control sites...
February 9, 2019: BMC Ecology
Ranja Andriantsoa, Sina Tönges, Jörn Panteleit, Kathrin Theissinger, Vitor Coutinho Carneiro, Jeanne Rasamy, Frank Lyko
BACKGROUND: The marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) is a monoclonal, parthenogenetically reproducing freshwater crayfish species that has formed multiple stable populations worldwide. Madagascar hosts a particularly large and rapidly expanding colony of marbled crayfish in a unique environment characterized by a very high degree of ecological diversity. RESULTS: Here we provide a detailed characterization of five marbled crayfish populations in Madagascar and their habitats...
February 6, 2019: BMC Ecology
Leigh C Latta, K Nathaniel Tucker, Robert A Haney
BACKGROUND: A proposed mediator of trade-offs between survival and reproduction is oxidative stress resistance. Investments in reproduction are associated with increased oxidative stress that reduces lifespan. We used the bdelloid rotifer Adineta vaga to examine baseline patterns of survival, reproduction, and measures of oxidative stress, as well as how these patterns change in the face of treatments known to induce oxidative stress. RESULTS: We discovered that under standard laboratory conditions late-life mortality may be explained by increased levels of oxidative stress induced by reproduction...
February 1, 2019: BMC Ecology
Joel C Creed, Vasco M N C S Vieira, Trevor A Norton, Debora Caetano
BACKGROUND: As plants, algae and some sessile invertebrates may grow in nearly monospecific assemblies, their collective biomass increases and if they compete hard enough some die, freeing up space. The concurrent increase in biomass and decrease in density is called self-thinning, and its trajectory over time or maximum values represent a boundary condition. For a single stand developing over time the boundary defines the carrying capacity of the environment but the most extreme trajectories emulate the efficiency of species in packing biomass into space...
January 31, 2019: BMC Ecology
Kaja Johnsen, Olivier Devineau, Harry P Andreassen
BACKGROUND: Social behaviour has been linked to hypotheses explaining multiannual population cycles of small rodents. In this paper we aimed to test empirically that the degree of space sharing among adult breeding female voles is higher during the increase phase than in the crash phase, and that the degree of sociality is positively related to population growth rate as suggested by Lambin and Krebs (Oikos 61:126-132, 1991) and Andreassen et al. (Oikos 122:507-515, 2013). We followed 24 natural bank vole Myodes glareolus populations over an area of 113 km2 by monthly live trapping throughout a complete population cycle of three summers and two winters...
January 25, 2019: BMC Ecology
Vasco M N C S Vieira, Inês E Lopes, Joel C Creed
BACKGROUND: Seagrasses are foundation species in estuarine and lagoon systems, providing a wide array of services for the ecosystem and the human population. Understanding the dynamics of their stands is essential in order to better assess natural and anthropogenic impacts. It is usually considered that healthy seagrasses aim to maximize their stand biomass (g DW m-2 ) which may be constrained by resource availability i.e., the local environment sets a carrying capacity. Recently, this paradigm has been tested and reassessed, and it is believed that seagrasses actually maximize their efficiency of space occupation-i...
January 25, 2019: BMC Ecology
T Marlène Ngansop, Elvire H Biye, F Evariste Fongnzossie, Preasious F Forbi, D Cédric Chimi
BACKGROUND: Understanding the variation in distribution and abundance of non-timber forest products (NTFP) species is a crucial step in achieving their conservation and sustainable use. At the northern periphery of the Boumba-Bek National Park in Southeast Cameroon, little is known about which habitat type contain the highest abundance of NTFP species. In this study, we assessed habitat diversity and variation in the abundance of eight priority NTFP species comprising: Afrostyrax lepidophyllus, Baillonella toxisperma, Irvingia gabonensis, Panda oleosa, Pentaclethra macrophylla, Ricinodendron heudelotii, Scorodophloeus zenkeri and Tetrapleura tetraptera...
January 22, 2019: BMC Ecology
Tue Sparholt Jørgensen, Per Meyer Jepsen, H Cecilie B Petersen, Dennis Steven Friis, Benni Winding Hansen
BACKGROUND: Copepods make up the largest zooplankton biomass in coastal areas and estuaries and are pivotal for the normal development of fish larva of countless species. During spring in neritic boreal waters, the copepod pelagic biomass increases rapidly from near absence during winter. In the calanoid species Acartia tonsa, a small fraction of eggs are dormant regardless of external conditions and this has been hypothesized to be crucial for sediment egg banks and for the rapid biomass increase during spring...
January 15, 2019: BMC Ecology
Michael G Walsh
BACKGROUND: Ross River virus (RRV) is Australia's most important arbovirus given its annual burden of disease and the relatively large number of Australians at risk for infection. This mosquito-borne arbovirus is also a zoonosis, making its epidemiology and infection ecology complex and cryptic. Our grasp of enzootic, epizootic, and zoonotic RRV transmission dynamics is imprecise largely due to a poor understanding of the role of wild mammalian hosts in the RRV system. METHODS: The current study applied a piecewise structural equation model (PSEM) toward an interspecific comparison of sylvatic Australian mammals to characterize the ecological and life history profile of species with a history of RRV infection relative to those species with no such history among all wild mammalian species surveyed for RRV infection...
January 15, 2019: BMC Ecology
Pierrick Blanchard, Christine Lauzeral, Simon Chamaillé-Jammes, Clément Brunet, Arnaud Lec'hvien, Guillaume Péron, Dominique Pontier
BACKGROUND: Our picture of behavioral management of risk by prey remains fragmentary. This partly stems from a lack of studies jointly analyzing different behavioral responses developed by prey, such as habitat use and fine-scale behavior, although they are expected to complement each other. We took advantage of a simple system on the Kerguelen archipelago, made of a prey species, European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus, a predator, feral cat Felis catus, and a mosaic of closed and open foraging patches, allowing reliable assessment of spatio-temporal change in predation risk...
December 20, 2018: BMC Ecology
M G Bacher, O Fenton, G Bondi, R E Creamer, M Karmarkar, O Schmidt
BACKGROUND: Grazed grassland management regimes can have various effects on soil fauna. For example, effects on earthworms can be negative through compaction induced by grazing animals, or positive mediated by increases in sward productivity and cattle dung pats providing a food source. Knowledge gaps exist in relation to the behaviour of different earthworm species i.e. their movement towards and aggregation under dung pats, the legacy effects of pats and the spatial area of recruitment...
December 19, 2018: BMC Ecology
Yoseph T Delelegn, Witoon Purahong, Hans Sandén, Birru Yitaferu, Douglas L Godbold, Tesfaye Wubet
BACKGROUND: Land use changes and related land management practices significantly alter soil physicochemical properties; however, their effects on the soil microbial community structure are still unclear. In this study, we used automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis to determine the fungal and bacterial community composition in soils from different land use areas in the Ethiopian highlands. Soil samples were collected from five areas with different land uses, natural forest, eucalyptus plantation, exclosure, grassland and cropland, which had all historically been natural forest...
December 17, 2018: BMC Ecology
Elizabeth Yohannes, Karl-Otto Rothhaupt
BACKGROUND: The relative importance of nutrients derived from different sources for tissue synthesis is crucial for predicting a species responds to changes in food availability. The ecological and physiological strategies that govern the incorporation and routing of nutrients for reproduction are often well understood. However, the role and adaptive value of both species and individual variation during early life-stage remain elusive. In freshwater systems, dietary nutrient allocation to somatic tissue should be favoured when dietary source peaks and resource limitation may hinder flexible resource allocation...
December 14, 2018: BMC Ecology
Francesc Cuscó, Laura Cardador, Gerard Bota, Manuel B Morales, Santi Mañosa
BACKGROUND: Identifying the factors that affect ranging behavior of animals is a central issue to ecology and an essential tool for designing effective conservation policies. This knowledge provides the information needed to predict the consequences of land-use change on species habitat use, especially in areas subject to major habitat transformations, such as agricultural landscapes. We evaluate inter-individual variation relative to environmental predictors and spatial constraints in limiting ranging behavior of female little bustards (Tetrax tetrax) in the non-breeding season...
December 5, 2018: BMC Ecology
M Cianchetti-Benedetti, G Dell'Omo, T Russo, C Catoni, P Quillfeldt
BACKGROUND: Fishing activities can influence foraging behaviour of many seabird species worldwide. Seabirds are attracted by fishing vessels which can facilitate access to demersal fish as a novel food resource that otherwise would be unavailable. On the other hand, intense fishing activities cause depletion of fish stocks with a reduction of natural prey available for seabirds. Moreover, fisheries discards can have lower nutritional value than natural prey. However, the importance of fisheries discard for seabirds and the possible implications on their foraging ecology is still poorly understood...
December 4, 2018: BMC Ecology
James M W Ryalls, Ben D Moore, Scott N Johnson
BACKGROUND: Grasses are hyper-accumulators of silicon (Si) and often up-regulate Si following herbivory. Positive correlations exist between Si and plant water content, yet the extent to which Si uptake responses can be mediated by changes in soil water availability has rarely been studied and never, to our knowledge, under field conditions. We used field-based rain-exclusion shelters to investigate how simulated grazing (shoot clipping) and altered rainfall patterns (drought and elevated precipitation, representing 50% and 150% of ambient precipitation levels, respectively) affected initial patterns of root- and shoot-Si uptake in a native Australian grass (Microlaena stipoides) in Si-supplemented and untreated soils...
December 4, 2018: BMC Ecology
Riyaz Ahmad Rather, Vijayalakshmi Srinivasan, Mumtaz Anwar
BACKGROUND: Fungal endophytes are the living symbionts which cause no apparent damage to the host tissue. The distribution pattern of these endophytes within a host plant is mediated by environmental factors. This study was carried out to explore the fungal endophyte community and their distribution pattern in Asparagus racemosus and Hemidesmus indicus growing in the study area. RESULTS: Foliar endophytes were isolated for 2 years from A. racemosus and H. indicus at four different seasons (June-August, September-November, December-February, March-May)...
December 4, 2018: BMC Ecology
Constanze Buhk, Rainer Oppermann, Arno Schanowski, Richard Bleil, Julian Lüdemann, Christian Maus
BACKGROUND: Intensively cultivated agricultural landscapes often suffer from substantial pollinator losses, which may be leading to decreasing pollination services for crops and wild flowering plants. Conservation measures that are easy to implement and accepted by farmers are needed to halt a further loss of pollinators in large areas under intensive agricultural management. Here we report the results of a replicated long-term study involving networks of mostly perennial flower strips covering 10% of a conventionally managed agricultural landscape in southwestern Germany...
December 4, 2018: BMC Ecology
Susanne Dunker, David Boho, Jana Wäldchen, Patrick Mäder
BACKGROUND: Phytoplankton species identification and counting is a crucial step of water quality assessment. Especially drinking water reservoirs, bathing and ballast water need to be regularly monitored for harmful species. In times of multiple environmental threats like eutrophication, climate warming and introduction of invasive species more intensive monitoring would be helpful to develop adequate measures. However, traditional methods such as microscopic counting by experts or high throughput flow cytometry based on scattering and fluorescence signals are either too time-consuming or inaccurate for species identification tasks...
December 3, 2018: BMC Ecology
Theresa Walter, Richard Zink, Gregor Laaha, Johann G Zaller, Florian Heigl
BACKGROUND: Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes L.) have become successful inhabitants of urban areas in recent years. However, our knowledge about the occurrence, distribution and association with land uses of these urban foxes is poor, partly because many favoured habitats are on private properties and therefore hardly accessible to scientists. We assumed that citizen science, i.e. the involvement of the public, could enable researchers to bridge this information gap. We analysed 1179 fox sightings in the city of Vienna, Austria reported via citizen science projects to examine relationships between foxes and the surrounding land use classes as well as sociodemographic parameters...
November 29, 2018: BMC Ecology
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