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Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 4 Issue 5

March 2014

Volume 4, Issue 5

Pages i–iii, 539–671

  1. Issue Information

    1. Top of page
    2. Issue Information
    3. Original Research
    1. You have full text access to this Open Access content
      Issue Information (pages i–iii)

      Version of Record online: 4 MAR 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.799

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      Front Cover: Bull African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Photo reproduced by permission of Anna Songhurst, Ecoexist Project, Maun, Botswana.

  2. Original Research

    1. Top of page
    2. Issue Information
    3. Original Research
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Domestication of the neotropical tree Chrysophyllum cainito from a geographically limited yet genetically diverse gene pool in Panama (pages 539–553)

      Jennifer J. Petersen, Ingrid M. Parker and Daniel Potter

      Version of Record online: 28 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.948

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      Chrysophyllum cainito (Sapotaceae), the star apple or caimito, is a semidomesticated tree widely cultivated for its edible fruits. Here, we report results of microsatellite marker analyses supporting the hypothesis that the center of domestication for caimito was the Isthmus of Panama, a region in which few crop species are believed to have originated, despite its importance as a crossroads for the dispersal of domesticated plants between North and South America. Our data suggest that caimito was domesticated in a geographically restricted area while incorporating a diverse gene pool.

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      Differing impact of a major biogeographic barrier on genetic structure in two large kangaroos from the monsoon tropics of Northern Australia (pages 554–567)

      Mark D. B. Eldridge, Sally Potter, Christopher N. Johnson and Euan G. Ritchie

      Version of Record online: 28 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.954

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      We determined variation in the mitochondrial DNA control region and at microsatellite loci to assess the historical and contemporary influence of the Carpentarian Barrier in Northern Australia on gene flow in two closely related, sympatric, large, vagile marsupials. Surprisingly we detected only limited differentiation between the disjunct populations of the antilopine wallaroo but the continuously distributed common wallaroo was highly divergent across the Carpentarian Barrier. Although unexpected, these contrasting responses appear related to minor differences in species ecology. Our results suggest that vicariance may not explain well the phylogeographic patterns in Australia's dynamic monsoonal environments.

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      Length of intervals between epidemics: evaluating the influence of maternal transfer of immunity (pages 568–575)

      Romain Garnier, Sylvain Gandon, Karin C. Harding and Thierry Boulinier

      Version of Record online: 28 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.955

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      Here, we provide a theoretical analysis of the role of the transfer of maternal immunity in the recurrence of epidemics. Using the Phocine Distemper Virus – European harbor seal system as an example, we show that accounting for maternal immunity always increases intervals between epidemics. This result is also influenced by the synchrony of reproduction of the host, and by stochastic emergence of the pathogen.

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      An Ixodes minor and Borrelia carolinensis enzootic cycle involving a critically endangered Mojave Desert rodent (pages 576–581)

      Janet Foley, Caitlin Ott-Conn, Joy Worth, Amanda Poulsen and Deana Clifford

      Version of Record online: 30 JAN 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.957

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      The Amargosa vole is an endangered, extremely isolated rodent found only in small marsh patches in the Amargosa River drainage in the Mojave Desert. We describe an enzootic cycle of the bacterium Borrelia carolinensis in Ixodes minor ticks at a site 3500 km distant from the American southeast where I. minor is known to occur. Photo by Judy Palmer.

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      Exploring the effects of spatial autocorrelation when identifying key drivers of wildlife crop-raiding (pages 582–593)

      Anna Songhurst and Tim Coulson

      Version of Record online: 7 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.837

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      Few universal trends in spatial patterns of wildlife crop-raiding have been found. Variations in wildlife ecology and movements, and human spatial use have been identified as causes of this apparent unpredictability. However, varying spatial patterns of spatial autocorrelation (SA) in human–wildlife conflict (HWC) data could also contribute. This study explicitly explores the effects of SA on wildlife crop-raiding data in order to facilitate the design of future HWC studies. We found that subsampling to remove the effects of SA may lose important biological information and patterns of SA vary spatially in our crop-raiding data. Spatial distribution of fields should therefore be considered when choosing the spatial scale for analyses of HWC studies. Spatial patterns of HWC are complex, determined by multiple factors acting at more than one scale; therefore, studies need to be designed with an understanding of the effects of SA on such data. Our methods can be used by a variety of practitioners to assess the effects of SA on regression estimates, thereby improving the reliability of conservation management actions.

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      Local adaptations to frost in marginal and central populations of the dominant forest tree Fagus sylvatica L. as affected by temperature and extreme drought in common garden experiments (pages 594–605)

      Juergen Kreyling, Constanze Buhk, Sabrina Backhaus, Martin Hallinger, Gerhard Huber, Lukas Huber, Anke Jentsch, Monika Konnert, Daniel Thiel, Martin Wilmking and Carl Beierkuhnlein

      Version of Record online: 7 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.971

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      Seedlings of F. sylvatica showed evidence for local adaptations to winter and spring frosts which were stronger developed in three marginal than in four central populations referring to the range of the species. We confirmed that preceding summer drought can improve frost tolerance and found no difference in the sensitivity of populations in this drought effect. The response of bud frost tolerance in winter to continuous warming, however, differed between central and marginal populations, thereby raising the question how marginal populations will be able to adapt to ongoing climate change.

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      Influence of drainage divides versus arid corridors on genetic structure and demography of a widespread freshwater turtle, Emydura macquarii krefftii, from Australia (pages 606–622)

      Erica V. Todd, David Blair and Dean R. Jerry

      Version of Record online: 11 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.968

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      Genetic data reveal population genetic structure in Krefft's river turtles primarily reflects isolation across drainage divides. Deep north-south regional divergence (2.2%, ND4 p-distance) was consistent with long-term isolation across a major drainage divide, not an adjacent arid corridor. Divergent regional lineages indicate local persistence of northern Krefft's populations through multiple phases of aridity, though with very low genetic diversity.

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      Alternative reproductive tactics and sex-biased gene expression: the study of the bulb mite transcriptome (pages 623–632)

      Michal T. Stuglik, Wiesław Babik, Zofia Prokop and Jacek Radwan

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.965

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      Using a species with male morphs differing in sexually selected phenotypes, we show that the degree of sexual dimorphism affects sex bias in gene expression. Furthermore, we show that male-biased genes evolve at the faster rate than female-biased or unbiased genes. Both these findings point to the role of sexual selection in shaping genome-wide expression patterns.

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      Relating microbial community structure to functioning in forest soil organic carbon transformation and turnover (pages 633–647)

      Yeming You, Juan Wang, Xueman Huang, Zuoxin Tang, Shirong Liu and Osbert J. Sun

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.969

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      We used PLFAs as biomarker to study soil microbial community structure and measured activities of five extracellular enzymes involved in the degradation of cellulose, chitin, and lignin as indicators of soil microbial functioning in carbon transformation or turnover across varying biotic and abiotic conditions in a typical temperate forest ecosystem in central China. We found that the abundance of soil bacterial communities is strongly linked with the extracellular enzymes involved in carbon transformation, whereas the abundance of saprophytic fungi is associated with activities of extracellular enzymes driving carbon oxidation.

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      Habitat-specific differences in plasticity of foliar δ13C in temperate steppe grasses (pages 648–655)

      Yanjie Liu, Lirong Zhang, Haishan Niu, Yue Sun and Xingliang Xu

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.970

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      Controlled watering experiments were conducted in northeast China at five sites along a west–east transect at latitude 44°N, which differed in the degree of temporal variation in annual precipitation, to test that populations adapted to a fluctuating environment should be more responsive (or plastic) to environmental change than those inhabiting a stable environment. We found that although similar linear regression slopes were obtained for populations of different species growing at the same site, significantly different slopes were obtained for populations of the same species growing at different sites. The steepest slopes were obtained for plants growing in the site with the highest fluctuation in annual precipitation.

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      Temperature thresholds of physically dormant seeds and plant functional response to fire: variation among species and relative impact of climate change (pages 656–671)

      Mark K. J. Ooi, Andrew J. Denham, Victor M. Santana and Tony D. Auld

      Version of Record online: 12 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.973

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      Variation in seed dormancy thresholds among species is rarely studied but may provide a strong basis to better understand the mechanisms controlling population persistence and species coexistence. In this study, we use dormancy thresholds as a basis for classifying groups and assess their utility for determining response to fire and the impact of changing climatic conditions.

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