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Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 4 Issue 1

January 2014

Volume 4, Issue 1

Pages i–ii, 1–112

  1. Issue Information

    1. Top of page
    2. Issue Information
    3. Original Research
    1. You have open access to this content
      Issue Information (pages i–ii)

      Article first published online: 3 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.795

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      Front Cover: A pregnant male dusky pipefish (Syngnathus floridae). Photo reproduced with permission of Joe O'Hop, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, USA.

  2. Original Research

    1. Top of page
    2. Issue Information
    3. Original Research
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Divergence of feeding channels within the soil food web determined by ecosystem type (pages 1–13)

      Felicity V. Crotty, Rod P. Blackshaw, Sina M. Adl, Richard Inger and Philip J. Murray

      Article first published online: 4 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.905

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      We defined the structure of the soil food web (SFW) in two habitats (grassland and woodland) on the same soil type, and test the hypothesis that land management would alter the SFW in these habitats. Stable isotope ratios of C and N from all invertebrates were used as a proxy for trophic niche. Our empirically derived C/N ratios differed from those previously reported, diverging from model predictions of global C and N cycling, which was unexpected. Differences between stable isotope ratios and community-wide metrics highlighted habitats with similar taxa had different SFWs, using different basal resources, either driven by root or litter derived resources.

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      Growing season net ecosystem CO2 exchange of two desert ecosystems with alkaline soils in Kazakhstan (pages 14–26)

      Longhui Li, Xi Chen, Christiaan van der Tol, Geping Luo and Zhongbo Su

      Article first published online: 4 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.910

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      Carbon cycle in alkaline desert is of great interest to communities. We used eddy covariance to demonstrate that biotic processes dominated the carbon processes, and the contribution of abiotic carbon process to net ecosystem CO2 exchange may be trivial in alkaline soil desert ecosystems over Central Asia.

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      Shared patterns of species turnover between seaweeds and seed plants break down at increasing distances from the sea (pages 27–34)

      Carlos F. D. Gurgel, Thomas Wernberg, Mads S. Thomsen, Bayden D. Russell, Paul Adam, Jonathan M. Waters and Sean D. Connell

      Article first published online: 5 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.893

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      We tested for correlations in the degree of spatial similarity between algal and terrestrial plants communities along 5500 km of temperate Australian coastline and whether the strength of correlation weakens with increasing distance from the coast. We identified strong correlations between macroalgal and terrestrial plant communities within the first 100 km from shore, where the strength of these marine-terrestrial correlations indeed weakens with increasing distance inland. Our analysis suggests underlying ecological and evolutionary processes that give rise to continental-scale biogeographic influence from sea to land. Photo: Head of the Great Australian Bight.

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      The effects of fire on ant trophic assemblage and sex allocation (pages 35–49)

      Stephane Caut, Michael J. Jowers, Xavier Arnan, Jessica Pearce-Duvet, Anselm Rodrigo, Xim Cerda and Raphaël R. Boulay

      Article first published online: 6 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.714

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      (A) Number of sexuals in the complete nests excavated in burned and unburned zones; and (B) Effect of fire on the numerical sex ratio (nSRT) and investment sex ratio (iSRT) as well as on the percentage of reproductive biomass (%RB), male biomass (%MB), and female biomass (%FB) of excavated nests.

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      Evidence of constant diversification punctuated by a mass extinction in the African cycads (pages 50–58)

      Kowiyou Yessoufou, Samuel O. Bamigboye, Barnabas H. Daru and Michelle van der Bank

      Article first published online: 11 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.880

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      Diversification rate of African cycads is constant through time but the diversification across lineages is not constant.

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      Acorns containing deeper plumule survive better: how white oaks counter embryo excision by rodents (pages 59–66)

      Mingming Zhang, Zhong Dong, Xianfeng Yi and Andrew W Bartlow

      Article first published online: 11 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.898

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      Several squirrel species excise the embryo of acorns of most white oak species to arrest germination for long-term storage. However, it is not clear how these acorns may counter embryo excision and survive. Our study, for the first time, has demonstrated the role of embryo position in acorns in countering embryo excision by squirrels.

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      No evidence for size-assortative mating in the wild despite mutual mate choice in sex-role-reversed pipefishes (pages 67–78)

      Kenyon B. Mobley, Maria Abou Chakra and Adam G. Jones

      Article first published online: 11 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.907

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      Many animals choose mates that look or act like themselves. Using empirical and modeling approaches, we explore patterns of pairing based on body size in two species of pipefishes. Despite laboratory experiments that show males and females have preferences for larger body size, we find no evidence of size-assortative mating, demonstrating a disconnect between preferences and real patterns of mating in nature.

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      Quantifying habitat impacts of natural gas infrastructure to facilitate biodiversity offsetting (pages 79–90)

      Isabel L. Jones, Joseph W. Bull, Eleanor J. Milner-Gulland, Alexander V. Esipov and Kenwyn B. Suttle

      Article first published online: 12 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.884

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      We measured the spatial impacts of natural gas infrastructure on the condition of vegetation in the Ustyurt plateau, Uzbekistan, to inform the design of biodiversity offset policy in the region. It was found that vegetation was only significantly impacted within the direct infrastructure footprint, where it was cleared entirely, and that scaled up this amounted to 220 ± 19 km2 of clearance across the plateau. This provides a partial basis for a biodiversity offset metric, but consideration should also be given to impacts of infrastructure upon fauna.

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      A meta-analysis of declines in local species richness from human disturbances (pages 91–103)

      Grace E. P. Murphy and Tamara N. Romanuk

      Article first published online: 12 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.909

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      This meta-analysis presents a synthesis of experimental and observational studies that report 327 measures of change in species richness between disturbed and undisturbed habitats. We find that, on average, human-mediated disturbances lead to an 18.3% decline in species richness, with the greatest decline occurring following land-use change (24.8%) and species invasions (23.7%). Along with revealing trends in the fraction of change in species richness for different disturbances, biomes, and taxa our results also identify critical knowledge gaps for predicting the effects of human disturbance on Earth's biomes.

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      The importance of rare species: a trait-based assessment of rare species contributions to functional diversity and possible ecosystem function in tall-grass prairies (pages 104–112)

      Meha Jain, Dan F.B. Flynn, Case M. Prager, Georgia M. Hart, Caroline M. DeVan, Farshid S. Ahrestani, Matthew I. Palmer, Daniel E. Bunker, Johannes M.H. Knops, Claire F. Jouseau and Shahid Naeem

      Article first published online: 12 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.915

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      The majority of species in ecosystems are rare, but the ecosystem consequences of losing rare species are poorly known. We examine the impacts that rare species have on functional diversity using trait-based metrics and four different definitions of rarity. We find that rare species contribute to functional diversity when rarity is defined by maximum abundance, geographic range, and habitat specificity; however, rare species are functionally redundant when defined by mean abundance.

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