Anna L K Nilsson, Thomas Skaugen, Trond Reitan, Jan Henning L'Abée-Lund, Marlène Gamelon, Kurt Jerstad, Ole Wiggo Røstad, Tore Slagsvold, Nils C Stenseth, L Asbjørn Vøllestad, Bjørn Walseng
BACKGROUND: Earlier breeding is one of the strongest responses to global change in birds and is a key factor determining reproductive success. In most studies of climate effects, the focus has been on large-scale environmental indices or temperature averaged over large geographical areas, neglecting that animals are affected by the local conditions in their home ranges. In riverine ecosystems, climate change is altering the flow regime, in addition to changes resulting from the increasing demand for renewable and clean hydropower...
December 17, 2020: BMC Ecology
Bertrand Andriatsitohaina, Daniel Romero-Mujalli, Malcolm S Ramsay, Frederik Kiene, Solofonirina Rasoloharijaona, Romule Rakotondravony, Shawn M Lehman, Ute Radespiel
BACKGROUND: Edge effects can influence species composition and community structure as a result of changes in microenvironment and edaphic variables. We investigated effects of habitat edges on vegetation structure, abundance and body mass of one vulnerable Microcebus species in northwestern Madagascar. We trapped mouse lemurs along four 1000-m transects (total of 2424 trap nights) that ran perpendicular to the forest edge. We installed 16 pairs of 20 m2 vegetation plots along each transect and measured nine vegetation parameters...
December 17, 2020: BMC Ecology
Takaaki Suzuki, Tohru Ikeda
BACKGROUND: The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is an invasive, non-native species in Japan. Throughout the country, it causes significant agricultural damage and negatively affects native biodiversity. Most of the responsibility for raccoon management lies with local government, and there are still many challenges to be overcome. Although raccoon populations have not been eradicated, intensive control campaigns such as focus on the early stages of invasion have controlled raccoons in some regions...
December 11, 2020: BMC Ecology
Yaowu Tian, Dong Qiao, Shaojun Xu, Ning Wang
BACKGROUND: Soil and microbial biomass stoichiometry plays an important role in understanding nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. However, studies on soil and microbial biomass stoichiometry in forests are rare. This study investigated the effect of tree species and topographic factors on the ecological stoichiometry of soil and soil microbial biomass. METHODS: Three types of forest stands (Quercus variabilis, Larix principis-ruprechtii, and Cotinus coggygria Scop...
December 9, 2020: BMC Ecology
Marcellin C Cokola, Yannick Mugumaarhahama, Grégoire Noël, Espoir B Bisimwa, David M Bugeme, Géant B Chuma, Adrien B Ndeko, Frédéric Francis
BACKGROUND: The fall Armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith), is currently a devastating pest throughout the world due to its dispersal capacity and voracious feeding behaviour on several crops. A MaxEnt species distributions model (SDM) was developed based on collected FAW occurrence and environmental data's. Bioclimatic zones were identified and the potential distribution of FAW in South Kivu, eastern DR Congo, was predicted. RESULTS: Mean annual temperature (bio1), annual rainfall (bio12), temperature seasonality (bio4) and longest dry season duration (llds) mainly affected the FAW potential distribution...
November 30, 2020: BMC Ecology
Shuntaro Watanabe, Kazuaki Sumi, Takeshi Ise
BACKGROUND: Classifying and mapping vegetation are crucial tasks in environmental science and natural resource management. However, these tasks are difficult because conventional methods such as field surveys are highly labor-intensive. Identification of target objects from visual data using computer techniques is one of the most promising techniques to reduce the costs and labor for vegetation mapping. Although deep learning and convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have become a new solution for image recognition and classification recently, in general, detection of ambiguous objects such as vegetation is still difficult...
November 27, 2020: BMC Ecology
Claudia Colesie, Zsofia Reka Stangl, Vaughan Hurry
BACKGROUND: Fast growing invasive alien species are highly efficient with little investment in their tissues. They often outcompete slower growing species with severe consequences for diversity and community composition. The plant economics trait-based approach provides a theoretical framework, allowing the classification of plants with different performance characteristics. However, in multifaceted background, this approach needs testing. The evaluation and prediction of plant performance outcomes in ecologically relevant settings is among the most pressing topics to understand and predict ecosystem functioning, especially in a quickly changing environment...
November 24, 2020: BMC Ecology
Ayoub Hallouti, Mohamed Ait Hamza, Abdelaziz Zahidi, Rachid Ait Hammou, Rachid Bouharroud, Abdellah Ait Ben Aoumar, Hassan Boubaker
BACKGROUND: Studying the ecology of biocontrol-agents is a prerequisite to effectively control medfly (Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae)) with entomopathogenic fungi. In this context, factors affecting the occurrence and distribution of medfly-associated entomopathogenic-fungi were studied. Soil samples (22) were collected from natural and cultivated areas of Souss-region Morocco. RESULTS: A total of 260 fungal isolates belonging to 22 species and 10 genera were obtained by using medfly pupae as bait...
November 24, 2020: BMC Ecology
Sigrid Hoyer-Fender
BACKGROUND: The Drosophila melanogaster mutant white-mottled is a well-established model for position-effect variegation (PEV). Transposition of the euchromatic white gene into the vicinity of the pericentric heterochromatin caused variegated expression of white due to heterochromatin spreading. The establishment of the euchromatin-heterochromatin boundary and spreading of silencing is regulated by mutually exclusive histone modifications, i.e. the methylations of histone H3 at lysine 9 and lysine 4...
November 23, 2020: BMC Ecology
Zahra Alsaffar, João Cúrdia, Xabier Irigoien, Susana Carvalho
BACKGROUND: Tropical habitats and their associated environmental characteristics play a critical role in shaping macroinvertebrate communities. Assessing patterns of diversity over space and time and investigating the factors that control and generate those patterns is critical for conservation efforts. However, these factors are still poorly understood in sub-tropical and tropical regions. The present study applied a combination of uni- and multivariate techniques to test whether patterns of biodiversity, composition, and structure of macrobenthic assemblages change across different lagoon habitats (two mangrove sites; two seagrass meadows with varying levels of vegetation cover; and an unvegetated subtidal area) and between seasons and years...
November 23, 2020: BMC Ecology
Mojtaba Amini, Ahmad Ali Hanafi-Bojd, Ali Ahmad Aghapour, Ali Reza Chavshin
BACKGROUND: The characteristics of a larval habitat is an important factor which affects the breeding pattern and population growth of mosquitoes Information about the larval habitat characteristics and pupal productivity can be utilized for the surveillance of the level of population growth, species diversity, and preferred breeding sites of mosquitoes, which are important aspects of integrated vector control. In the present study, mosquito larvae were collected from 22 natural habitats in five counties of the West Azerbaijan Province in the Northwest of Iran during May-November 2018...
November 19, 2020: BMC Ecology
Hongwei Yu, Ligong Wang, Chunhua Liu, Dan Yu, Jiuhui Qu
BACKGROUND: Clonal plants are important in maintaining wetland ecosystems. The main growth types of clonal plants are the guerrilla and phalanx types. However, little is known about the effects of these different clonal growth types on plant plasticity in response to heterogeneous resource distribution. We compared the growth performance of clonal wetland plants exhibiting the two growth forms (guerrilla growth form: Scirpus yagara, Typha orientalis, Phragmites australis and Sparganium stoloniferum; phalanx growth form: Acorus calamus, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani and Butomus umbellatus) grown in soil substrates that were either homogeneous or heterogeneous but had the same total amount of nutrients...
November 13, 2020: BMC Ecology
Kathrin Engel, Helga Pankoke, Sebastian Jünemann, Hanja B Brandl, Jan Sauer, Simon C Griffith, Jörn Kalinowski, Barbara A Caspers
BACKGROUND: So far, large numbers of studies investigating the microbiome have focused on gut microbiota and less have addressed the microbiome of the skin. Especially in avian taxa our understanding of the ecology and function of these bacteria remains incomplete. The involvement of skin bacteria in intra-specific communication has recently received attention, and has highlighted the need to understand what information is potentially being encoded in bacterial communities. Using next generation sequencing techniques, we characterised the skin microbiome of wild zebra finches, aiming to understand the impact of sex, age and group composition on skin bacteria communities...
November 13, 2020: BMC Ecology
Konstantinos M Kasiotis, Epameinondas Evergetis, Dimitrios Papachristos, Olympia Vangelatou, Spyridon Antonatos, Panagiotis Milonas, Serkos A Haroutounian, Kyriaki Machera
BACKGROUND: Invasive plant species pose a significant threat for fragile isolated ecosystems, occupying space, and consuming scarce local resources. Recently though, an additional adverse effect was recognized in the form of its secondary metabolites entering the food chain. The present study is elaborating on this subject with a specific focus on the Nicotiana glauca Graham (Solanaceae) alkaloids and their occurrence and food chain penetrability in Mediterranean ecosystems. For this purpose, a targeted liquid chromatography electrospray tandem mass spectrometric (LC-ESI-MS/MS) analytical method, encompassing six alkaloids and one coumarin derivative, utilizing hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) was developed and validated...
November 6, 2020: BMC Ecology
Jennifer A Doering, Tom Booth, Yolanda F Wiersma, Michele D Piercey-Normore
BACKGROUND: Landscape genetics is an interdisciplinary field that combines tools and techniques from population genetics with the spatially explicit principles from landscape ecology. Spatial variation in genotypes is used to test hypotheses about how landscape pattern affects dispersal in a wide range of taxa. Lichens, symbiotic associations between mycobionts and photobionts, are an entity for which little is known about their dispersal mechanism. Our objective was to infer the dispersal mechanism in the semi-aquatic lichen Dermatocarpon luridum using spatial models and the spatial variation of the photobiont, Diplosphaera chodatii...
October 15, 2020: BMC Ecology
Yeneayehu Fenetahun, Wang Yong-Dong, Yuan You, Xu Xinwen
BACKGROUND: The gradual conversion of rangelands into other land use types is one of the main challenges affecting the sustainable management of rangelands in Teltele. This study aimed to examine the changes, drivers, trends in land use and land cover (LULC), to determine the link between the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and forage biomass and the associated impacts of forage biomass production dynamics on the Teltele rangelands in Southern Ethiopia. A Combination of remote sensing data, field interviews, discussion and observations data were used to examine the dynamics of LULC between 1992 and 2019 and forage biomass production...
October 7, 2020: BMC Ecology
Manon A Peuker, Hannah Burger, Sabrina Krausch, Ulrich Neumüller, Manfred Ayasse, Jonas Kuppler
BACKGROUND: In flowering communities, plant species commonly share pollinators and therefore plant individuals receive heterospecific pollen (HP). However, the patterns of HP transfers can deviate from patterns of plant-pollinator visitations. Although flower-visitor interactions are known to be mediated by floral traits, e.g. floral size or nectar tube depth, the explanatory power of these traits for HP transfer patterns remains elusive. Here, we have explored pollen transfer patterns at three sites in Southern Germany on three dates (early, mid and late summer)...
October 6, 2020: BMC Ecology
Patrick G R Wright, Jason Newton, Paolo Agnelli, Ivana Budinski, Ivy Di Salvo, Carles Flaquer, Antonio Fulco, Panagiotis Georgiakakis, Adriano Martinoli, Maria Mas, Mirna Mazija, Mauro Mucedda, Eleni Papadatou, Boyan Petrov, Luisa Rodrigues, Fiona Mathews, Danilo Russo
BACKGROUND: The Schreiber's bat, Miniopterus schreibersii, is adapted to long-distance flight, yet long distance movements have only been recorded sporadically using capture-mark-recapture. In this study, we used the hydrogen isotopic composition of 208 wing and 335 fur specimens from across the species' European range to test the hypothesis that the species migrates over long distances. RESULTS: After obtaining the hydrogen isotopic composition (δ2 H) of each sample, we performed geographic assignment tests by comparing the δ2 H of samples with the δ2 H of sampling sites...
September 29, 2020: BMC Ecology
Xianfeng Jiang, Yanping Xie
BACKGROUND: Pollen limitation occurs widely and has an important effect on flowering plants. The East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains region is a global biodiversity hotspot. However, to our knowledge, no study has synthetically assessed the degree of pollen limitation in this area. The present study aims to reveal the degree of pollen limitation for the flowering plants growing on East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains and to test whether the reproductive features or the elevation is closely correlated with the degree of pollen limitation in this area...
September 29, 2020: BMC Ecology
Sefi Mekonen
Human-wildlife conflict occurs when the needs and behavior of wildlife impact negatively on humans or when humans negatively affect the needs of wildlife. To explore the nature, causes and mitigations of human wildlife conflict, the coexistence between human and wildlife assessment was conducted around Bale Mountains National Park. Data were collected by means of household questionnaires, focus group discussion, interview, field observation and secondary sources. The nature and extent of human wildlife conflict in the study area were profoundly impacted humans, wild animal and the environment through crop damage, habitat disturbance and destruction, livestock predation, and killing of wildlife and human...
September 14, 2020: BMC Ecology
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