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Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 2 Issue 4

April 2012

Volume 2, Issue 4

Pages i–i, 681–874

  1. Issue Information

    1. Top of page
    2. Issue Information
    3. Original Research
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Issue Information (page i)

      Article first published online: 13 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.275

  2. Original Research

    1. Top of page
    2. Issue Information
    3. Original Research
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Proteome of Aedes aegypti in response to infection and coinfection with microsporidian parasites (pages 681–694)

      Alison B. Duncan, Philip Agnew, Valérie Noel, Edith Demettre, Martial Seveno, Jean-Paul Brizard and Yannis Michalakis

      Article first published online: 23 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.199

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      This study explores how simultaneous infection with two different microsporidian parasite species influences the proteome of the mosquito Aedes aegyptii, compared to single infections of each parasite. We show that the mosquito response is mostly specific to each type of infection with few proteins with unanimously modified abundance across all infection types. We identify two vacuolar ATPases, proteins known to have a role in determining the infection success of intracellular parasites. This result suggests Microsporidia could influence the infection success of other intracellular pathogens, such as Plasmodium or dengue, that are vectored by mosquitoes.

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      Selection on plasticity of seasonal life-history traits using random regression mixed model analysis (pages 695–704)

      Jon E. Brommer, Pekka Kontiainen and Hannu Pietiäinen

      Article first published online: 27 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.60

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      In many bird species, females that lay late in the season produce a smaller clutch size, an example of a reaction norm. Authors demonstrate how sophisticated random regression methods can be used to explore the indivdual basis of such a reaction norm, and how to quantify selection on its properties. The method is exemplified using 31 years of clutch size/laying date data collected on 361 individually-marked Ural owl females.

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      Projected changes in distributions of Australian tropical savanna birds under climate change using three dispersal scenarios (pages 705–718)

      April E. Reside, Jeremy VanDerWal and Alex S. Kutt

      Article first published online: 28 FEB 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.197

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      We used species distribution modelling to predict geographic ranges for birds of Australian tropical savannas, and to project changes in species richness and ranges under a future climate scenario in 2080. We assess the effect of dispersal on model results by using three approaches: full dispersal, no dispersal and a partial-dispersal scenario permitting species to track climate change at a rate of 30 km per decade. Projected future range sizes were sensitive to dispersal scenario: ranges decreased for 66% of species if full dispersal was assumed, but for 89% of species when no dispersal was assumed.

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      Size distributions and dispersions along a 485-year chronosequence for sand dune vegetation (pages 719–726)

      Jennifer M. Waugh and Lonnie W. Aarssen

      Article first published online: 1 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.62

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      Across 485 years of sand-dune succession, nearest neighboring pairs of species are generally no different from each other in their relative body sizes than expected from a random assembly of resident species. These results suggest that size is not all that matters in defining competitive ability; the ability, under crowded conditions, to recruit offspring into future generations will depend also on the ability to survive (e.g. through shade tolerance) and produce offspring (e.g. through reproductive economy), despite intense competition. The persistent spatial randomness observed throughout the sand dune chronosequence is consistent with non-niche theories of community assembly, based on competitive equivalence.

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      Bacterial β-glucosidase function and metabolic activity depend on soil management in semiarid rainfed agriculture (pages 727–731)

      Rosa Cañizares, Beatriz Moreno and Emilio Benitez

      Article first published online: 10 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.88

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      Genomic and transcriptomic approaches were used to gain insights on the relationship between soil management and bacterial-mediated functions. Transcriptional activity of bacterial 16S rRNA genes increased in non covered soils with respect to soils permanently covered by spontaneous vegetation, indicating higher microbial maintenance requirements to thrive in less favorable environmental conditions. No relationship between total or soluble organic carbon and bacterial β-glucosidase transcription was found, indicating either that soluble organic carbon is not the main pool of enzyme-inducing substrates or that constitutive production of bacterial β-glucosidase enzymes increases as soil conditions worsen.

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      Egg incubation temperature differently affects female and male hatching dynamics and larval fitness in a leafhopper (pages 732–739)

      Julien Chuche and Denis Thiéry

      Article first published online: 14 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.89

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      “We examine how egg incubation temperature affects development and sex ratio in a leafhopper. It highlights that incubation temperatures experienced by eggs, or more generally the temperature experienced during a narrow window early in development, can have quite large effects on development rate and operational sex ratio in insects. This finding could help understanding the geographical colonization pattern of this grape disease vector.”

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      Identifying freshwater mussels (Unionoida) and parasitic glochidia larvae from host fish gills: a molecular key to the North and Central European species (pages 740–750)

      Alexandra Zieritz, Bernhard Gum, Ralph Kuehn and Juergen Geist

      Article first published online: 26 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.220

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      Efforts towards the conservation of freshwater mussels(unionoid) are currently hampered by difficulties in species identification by morphological means. Here we present the first complete molecular identification key for all North and Central European unionoid species, facilitating quick, low-cost and reliable identification of adult and larval specimens. In addition, we provide protocols for quick and reliable extraction and amplification of larval mussel DNA from complete host fish gill arches.

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      The genetics of phenotypic plasticity. X. Variation versus uncertainty (pages 751–767)

      Samuel M. Scheiner and Robert D. Holt

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.217

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      We examined the effects of variation and uncertainty on selection for plasticity using an individual-based computer simulation model. Variation and uncertainty affect whether or not plasticity is favored; different sources of variation — arising from the amount and timing of dispersal, from temporal variation, and even from the genetic architecture underlying the phenotype — having contrasting, interacting, and at times unexpected effects.

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      Seasonal dynamics of arboreal spider diversity in a temperate forest (pages 768–777)

      Yu-Lung Hsieh and Karl Eduard Linsenmair

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.221

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      The Würzburg University Forest (Bavaria, Germany) is dominated by European beech (Fagus sylvatica). Tree crowns in the temperate zone offer an excellent opportunity to investigate temporal variation, because the fauna is cleared annually by winter's onset and the appearance and disappearance of arboreal spiders can be measured across changing seasons.

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      Field-based insights to the evolution of specialization: plasticity and fitness across habitats in a specialist/generalist species pair (pages 778–791)

      Timothy Griffith and Sonia E. Sultan

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.202

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      In a large-scale comparative field experiment, we studied genotypes of a closely related generalist/specialist species pair in a range of natural conditions. The specialist out-performed the generalist in only one environment, while the generalist had higher lifetime reproduction in both canopy and dense neighbor shade and expressed greater adaptive plasticity in shaded conditions than the specialist. Although neither costs of plasticity nor fitness tradeoffs appear to constrain the evolution of generalization in this system, our results suggest a possible role for herbivory and demographic factors.

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      Early stages of divergence: phylogeography, climate modeling, and morphological differentiation in the South American lizard Liolaemus petrophilus (Squamata: Liolaemidae) (pages 792–808)

      Frank M. Fontanella, Natalia Feltrin, Luciano J. Avila, Jack W. Sites Jr. and Mariana Morando

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.78

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      This study examines the phylogeographic structure within the Patagonian lizard Liolaemus petrophilus and tests for patterns of between-clade morphological divergence and sexual dimorphism as well as demographic and niche changes associated with Pleistocene climate changes. We inferred intra-specific relationships, tested hypotheses for historical patterns of population expansion, and incorporated ecological niche modeling (ENM) with standard morphological and geometric morphometric analyses to examine between-clade divergence as indirect evidence for adaptation to different niches.

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      Aeolian process effects on vegetation communities in an arid grassland ecosystem (pages 809–821)

      Lorelei J. Alvarez, Howard E. Epstein, Junran Li and Gregory S. Okin

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.205

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      Many arid grassland communities are changing from grass dominance to shrub dominance, but the mechanisms involved in this conversion process are not completely understood. This article provides the results of an experiment designed to examine how wind erosion is involved in conversion of grassland to shrubland. We observed that wind erosion increases as the result of disturbance, that shrub expansion is related to grass reduction and increased wind erosion rates, and that the effects of this disturbance contribute to the conversion process downwind of the disturbed area.

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      The evolution of dispersal conditioned on migration status (pages 822–843)

      Sarder Mohammed Asaduzzaman and Geoff Wild

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.99

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      We study the evolution of the offspring dispersal rate when this rate depends on where offspring's parents were born. We find that locally born parents (natives) disperse their offspring at a higher rate than non-locals (non-natives). However, our predicted population-average dispersal rate does not deviate substantially from that predicted by standard models in which parents disperse offspring at the same rate, regardless of their own place of birth.

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      Small population size and extremely low levels of genetic diversity in island populations of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus (pages 844–857)

      Elise Furlan, J. Stoklosa, J. Griffiths, N. Gust, R. Ellis, R. M. Huggins and A. R. Weeks

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.195

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      Level of genetic diversity were found to be reduced on two island populations of the platypus in comparison to mainland populations. Modeling predicted the future decrease anticipated in these island populations if they are to remain isolated from gene flow.

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      Species-rich ecosystems are vulnerable to cascading extinctions in an increasingly variable world (pages 858–874)

      Linda Kaneryd, Charlotte Borrvall, Sofia Berg, Alva Curtsdotter, Anna Eklöf, Céline Hauzy, Tomas Jonsson, Peter Münger, Malin Setzer, Torbjörn Säterberg and Bo Ebenman

      Article first published online: 29 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.218

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      Using a modeling approach we here explore how species richness affects the response of food webs to high levels of environmental variability. We find that the risk of extinction cascades increases with increasing species richness, especially when correlation among species in their response to environmental fluctuations is low. Initial extinctions of primary producer species unleash bottom-up extinction cascades, especially in webs with specialist consumers.

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