Dmitry Kutcherov
BACKGROUND: The thermal plasticity of life-history traits receives wide attention in the recent biological literature. Of all the temperature-dependent traits studied, developmental rates of ectotherms are especially often addressed, and yet surprisingly little is known about embryonic responses to temperature, including changes in the thermal thresholds and thermal sensitivity during early development. Even postembryonic development of many cryptically living species is understood superficially at best...
September 11, 2020: BMC Ecology
Sorour Karimi, Mahmoud-Reza Hemami, Mostafa Tarkesh Esfahani, Christophe Baltzinger
BACKGROUND: Vertebrate-mediated seed dispersal is probably the main long distance dispersal mode. Through endozoochory, large mammals act as mobile links between habitats within and among forest patches. Along with other factors, their feeding regimes do affect their contribution as dispersal vectors. We conducted a cross-species comparative experiment involving two herbivores, red deer and roe deer; and two opportunistic omnivores, wild boar and brown bear, all occurring in the forest and steppe-forest ecotone habitats of the south-eastern Caspian region...
August 31, 2020: BMC Ecology
Maryam Saffariha, Ali Jahani, Daniel Potter
BACKGROUND: Salvia is a large, diverse, and polymorphous genus of the family Lamiaceae, comprising about 900 ornamentals, medicinal species with almost cosmopolitan distribution in the world. The success of Salvia limbata seed germination depends on a numerous ecological factors and stresses. We aimed to analyze Salvia limbata seed germination under four ecological stresses of salinity, drought, temperature and pH, with application of artificial intelligence modeling techniques such as MLR (Multiple Linear Regression), and MLP (Multi-Layer Perceptron)...
August 29, 2020: BMC Ecology
Willem van Hoesel, Diego Santiago-Alarcon, Alfonso Marzal, Swen C Renner
BACKGROUND: Forest habitats are important biodiversity refuges for a wide variety of bird species. Parasitism may modulate host species presence and abundance, and parasite effects can change according to forest management practices. Such processes are not well studied in vector-borne avian haemosporidians. We analyzed the effects of forest management on bird-dipteran-haemosporidian interactions, using seven common bird species in managed and unmanaged beech forest habitats in northeastern Germany...
August 19, 2020: BMC Ecology
Zhihang Zhuo, Danping Xu, Biao Pu, Rulin Wang, Meng Ye
BACKGROUND: With the growth of economic benefits brought by Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim. and the increasing market demand, this species has been widely introduced and cultivated in China. It is important to scientifically select suitable areas for artificial planting and promotion, and to understand the status and potential of Z. bungeanum resources. RESULTS: The maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model and ArcGIS technologies were used to analyze the climatic suitability of Z...
August 11, 2020: BMC Ecology
Alison L Cuff, Michel Baguette, Simon Blanchet, Luke M Jacobus, Dominique Mazzi, Josef Settele
The seventh BMC Ecology competition attracted entries from talented ecologists from around the world. Together, they showcase the beauty and diversity of life on our planet as well as providing an insight into the biological interactions found in nature. This editorial celebrates the winning images as selected by the Editor of BMC Ecology and senior members of the journal's editorial board. Enjoy!
August 7, 2020: BMC Ecology
J J Marion Meyer, Christiaan E Schutte, Jan W Hurter, Nicole S Galt, Petunia Degashu, Greg Breetzke, Denis Baranenko, Nicole L Meyer
BACKGROUND: In this multidisciplinary study we present soil chemical, phytochemical and GIS spatial patterning evidence that fairy circles studied in three separate locations of Namibia may be caused by Euphorbia species. RESULTS: We show that matrix sand coated with E. damarana latex resulted in faster water-infiltration rates. GC-MS analyses revealed that soil from fairy circles and from under decomposing E. damarana plants are very similar in phytochemistry. E...
August 3, 2020: BMC Ecology
Carsten F Dormann, Maurizio Bagnara, Steffen Boch, Judith Hinderling, Andrea Janeiro-Otero, Deborah Schäfer, Peter Schall, Florian Hartig
BACKGROUND: Temperate forest understorey vegetation poses an excellent study system to investigate whether increases in resource availability lead to an increase in plant species richness. Most sunlight is absorbed by the species-poor tree canopy, making the much more species-rich understorey species inhabit a severely resource-limited habitat. Additionally, the heterogeneity of light availability, resulting from management-moderated tree composition and age structure, may contribute to species coexistence...
July 29, 2020: BMC Ecology
Amélie Paoli, Robert B Weladji, Øystein Holand, Jouko Kumpula
BACKGROUND: The breeding time of many species has changed over the past 2-3 decades in response to climate change. Yet it is a key reproductive trait that affects individual's parturition time and reproductive success, and thereby population dynamics. In order to predict how climate change will affect species' viability, it is crucial to understand how species base their reproductive efforts on environmental cues. RESULTS: By using long-term datasets of mating behaviours and copulation dates recorded since 1996 on a semi-domesticated reindeer population, we showed that mating time occurred earlier in response to weather conditions at different key periods in their annual breeding cycle...
July 29, 2020: BMC Ecology
Wanrong Wei, Qiaoyan Zhen, Zhongmin Tang, Maria K Oosthuizen
BACKGROUND: The ability of a prey species to assess the risk that a predator poses can have important fitness advantages for the prey species. To better understand predator-prey interactions, more species need to be observed to determine how prey behavioral responses differ in intensity when approached by different types of predators. The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is preyed upon by all predators occurring in its distribution area. Therefore, it is an ideal species to study anti-predator behavior...
July 17, 2020: BMC Ecology
Nicole Seiler, Martha M Robbins
BACKGROUND: Competition within and between social groups determines access to resources and can be inferred from space use parameters that reflect depletion of food resources and competitive abilities of groups. Using location data from 1998 to 2017, we investigated within- and between-group competition in 12 groups of wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). As within-group feeding competition is expected to increase with group size, an increase in group size is predicted to lead to an increase in the size of annual home ranges and core areas, but to a decrease in fidelity (reuse of an area)...
July 16, 2020: BMC Ecology
Xiaodan Liu, Dengxiao Zhang, Huixin Li, Xiuxiu Qi, Ya Gao, Yibo Zhang, Yanlai Han, Ying Jiang, Hui Li
BACKGROUND: Manure and biochar soil amendments have shown many benefits to soil quality and crop productivity. This study aimed to reveal the effects of biochar and manure applications on soil fertility improvement and crop productivity in yellow cinnamon soil. RESULTS: This study based on a 5-year field experiment. Four treatments were designed, included the control (CK), biochar amendment, manure amendment, and both biochar and manure amendment (BM). The results showed that: after five years, both biochar and manure treatment improved soil structure by increasing soil mean weight diameter (MWD), and soil water and nutrient supply was also increased by increasing the contents of water content, available potassium and available phosphorus...
July 16, 2020: BMC Ecology
Anna M Solecki, Jeffrey H Skevington, Christopher M Buddle, Terry A Wheeler
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
July 9, 2020: BMC Ecology
Heiko Schmaljohann, Thomas Klinner
BACKGROUND: Migrant birds travel between their breeding areas and wintering grounds by alternating energetically and physiologically demanding flights with periods of rest and fuelling, so-called stopovers. An important intrinsic factor influencing the decision to resume migration is the amount of energy stores available for the next flight. Correlative studies with free-flying birds and experimental studies with caged birds have shown that the amount of energy stores affects the day-to-day, within-day and the directional decision of departure...
July 8, 2020: BMC Ecology
Casper Kraan, Simon F Thrush, Carsten F Dormann
BACKGROUND: Species distribution models are commonly used tools to describe diversity patterns and support conservation measures. There is a wide range of approaches to developing SDMs, each highlighting different characteristics of both the data and the ecology of the species or assemblages represented by the data. Yet, signals of species co-occurrences in community data are usually ignored, due to the assumption that such structuring roles of species co-occurrences are limited to small spatial scales and require experimental studies to be detected...
July 8, 2020: BMC Ecology
Ahmed El-Gabbas, Francis Gilbert, Carsten F Dormann
BACKGROUND: Spatial conservation prioritisation (SCP) is a set of computational tools designed to support the efficient spatial allocation of priority areas for conservation actions, but it is subject to many sources of uncertainty which should be accounted for during the prioritisation process. We quantified the sensitivity of an SCP application (using software Zonation) to possible sources of uncertainty in data-poor situations, including the use of different surrogate options; correction for sampling bias; how to integrate connectivity; the choice of species distribution modelling (SDM) algorithm; how cells are removed from the landscape; and two methods of assigning weights to species (red-list status or prediction uncertainty)...
June 26, 2020: BMC Ecology
Toshinori Okuyama
BACKGROUND: Although behavioral unpredictability is widely described within-individual variability in behavior, its adaptive significance is little understood. Using a dynamic state variable model, this study investigated the conditions under which behavioral unpredictability (a component of within-individual variability) in foraging behavior is advantageous. The model considers a situation in which a forager forages for a fixed period, represented by discrete time steps. The outcome of foraging may change the level of a state (e...
June 25, 2020: BMC Ecology
Matthew Z Brym, Cassandra Henry, Shannon P Lukashow-Moore, Brett J Henry, Natasja van Gestel, Ronald J Kendall
BACKGROUND: The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a conspicuous insect that has experienced a drastic population decline over the past two decades. While there are several factors contributing to dwindling monarch populations, habitat loss is considered the most significant threat to monarchs. In the United States, loss of milkweed, particularly in the Midwest, has greatly reduced the available breeding habitat of monarchs. This has led to extensive efforts to conserve and restore milkweed resources throughout the Midwest...
June 12, 2020: BMC Ecology
Douglas J Krause, Michael E Goebel, Carolyn M Kurle
BACKGROUND: Resolving the preferred prey items and dietary proportions of leopard seals is central to understanding food-web dynamics in the rapidly-warming Antarctic Peninsula region. Previous studies have identified a wide range of prey items; however, due to anecdotal or otherwise limited information, leopard seal diets remain unresolved by seal sex, individual, body size, region, and season. Over the 2013, 2014, and 2017 field seasons we collected scat, tissue samples (red blood cells and plasma; n = 23) for stable isotope analyses, and previously-reported animal-borne video from 19 adult leopard seals foraging near mesopredator breeding colonies at Cape Shirreff, Livingston Island...
June 3, 2020: BMC Ecology
Thiemo Karwinkel, Ingrid L Pollet, Sandra Vardeh, Helmut Kruckenberg, Petr Glazov, Julia Loshchagina, Alexander Kondratyev, Benjamin Merkel, Jochen Bellebaum, Petra Quillfeldt
BACKGROUND: The long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) was categorized as ´Vulnerable` by the IUCN after a study revealed a rapid wintering population decline of 65% between 1992-1993 and 2007-2009 in the Baltic Sea. As knowledge about the European long-tailed duck's life cycle and movement ecology is limited, we investigate its year-round spatiotemporal distribution patterns. Specifically, we aimed to identify the wintering grounds, timing of migration and staging of this population via light-level geolocation...
May 25, 2020: BMC Ecology
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