Journal of Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 101 Issue 6

November 2013

Volume 101, Issue 6

Pages 1369–1640

  1. Forum

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Plant-animal interactions
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Habitat fragmentation
    6. Plant–climate interactions
    7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    8. Plant population and community dynamics
    9. Reproductive ecology
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. The concept and measurement of importance: a comment on Rees et al. 2012 (pages 1369–1378)

      Rob Brooker, Zaal Kikvidze, Georges Kunstler, Pierre Liancourt and Merav Seifan

      Article first published online: 15 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12164

  2. Plant-animal interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Plant-animal interactions
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Habitat fragmentation
    6. Plant–climate interactions
    7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    8. Plant population and community dynamics
    9. Reproductive ecology
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. You have free access to this content
      Waiting for Gajah: an elephant mutualist's contingency plan for an endangered megafaunal disperser (pages 1379–1388)

      Nitin Sekar and Raman Sukumar

      Article first published online: 9 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12157

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      Dilleniaindica's strategy for dispersal allows it to realize the benefits of dispersal by megaherbivores without becoming fully reliant on these less abundant species. This risk-spreading dispersal behavior suggests D. indica will be able to persist even if its megafaunal disperser becomes extinct.

      Corrected by:

      Corrigendum: Corrigendum

      Vol. 102, Issue 3, 822, Article first published online: 6 MAR 2014

    2. Native ungulates of diverse body sizes collectively regulate long-term woody plant demography and structure of a semi-arid savanna (pages 1389–1399)

      Mahesh Sankaran, David J. Augustine and Jayashree Ratnam

      Article first published online: 28 AUG 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12147

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      Long-term exclusion of browsing ungulates from a semi-arid African savanna revealed that native browsers of different body sizes together exert dramatic ‘top-down’ controls over woody plant demography, even in the absence of fires. Browsers reduced seedling recruitment and the growth and survival of all size classes of woody vegetation. Intact communities of native browsers provide a critical ecosystem service in semi-arid rangelands – the regulation of woody cover – and their losses from these systems can lead to rapid woody encroachment.

  3. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Plant-animal interactions
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Habitat fragmentation
    6. Plant–climate interactions
    7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    8. Plant population and community dynamics
    9. Reproductive ecology
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Nitrogen and phosphorus interact to control tropical symbiotic N2 fixation: a test in Inga punctata (pages 1400–1408)

      Sarah A. Batterman, Nina Wurzburger and Lars O. Hedin

      Article first published online: 30 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12138

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      This study provides new knowledge about how nitrogen and phosphorus interact to regulate tropical N2 fixation by examining a suite of strategies that plants may employ to overcome nutrient limitation. These findings, focused at the organismal level, have broader implications for biogeochemical controls at the ecosystem level in tropical forests.

    2. The within-species leaf economic spectrum does not predict leaf litter decomposability at either the within-species or whole community levels (pages 1409–1419)

      Benjamin G. Jackson, Duane A. Peltzer and David A. Wardle

      Article first published online: 7 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12155

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      Our findings support the view that within species variation (WSV) of plant functional traits is an important component of plant community responses to environmental factors such as soil fertility. However, the apparent decoupling of WSV of leaf economic traits from WSV of litter decomposability suggests that consideration of WSV may not be necessary to understand the contributions of trait variation to determining the breakdown of plant litter and therefore, potentially, ecosystem processes.

    3. A role for below-ground biota in plant–plant facilitation (pages 1420–1428)

      Susana Rodríguez-Echeverría, Cristina Armas, Nuria Pistón, Sara Hortal and Francisco I. Pugnaire

      Article first published online: 9 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12159

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      Below-ground biota cultivated by nurse plant species increase plant number and biomass in plant communities and lead to a better performance of single plant species. In turn, plant identity and growth determine soil bacterial communities composition. Soil microbiota play a fundamental role in positive interactions among plants contributing to the preservation of diversity and the evolution of plant communities

  4. Habitat fragmentation

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Plant-animal interactions
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Habitat fragmentation
    6. Plant–climate interactions
    7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    8. Plant population and community dynamics
    9. Reproductive ecology
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Critical importance of large native trees for conservation of a rare Neotropical epiphyte (pages 1429–1438)

      Tyler R. Kartzinel, Dorset W. Trapnell and Richard P. Shefferson

      Article first published online: 2 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12145

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      Large native trees and microsites with closed canopies support significantly greater germination of a rare epiphytic orchid than smaller cultivated trees and microsites with open canopies. Removing large native trees may not only reduce epiphyte populations directly, but may also limit their recolonziation. Large and often isolated native trees are refuges for epiphytes that should become local conservation priorities.

    2. Decomposing recruitment limitation for an avian-dispersed rain forest tree in an anciently fragmented landscape (pages 1439–1448)

      Mariela C. Núñez-Ávila, María Uriarte, Pablo A. Marquet and Juan J. Armesto

      Article first published online: 1 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12148

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      In summary, we provide evidence for source, dispersal, and establishment limitation of this dioecious tree in an aridity-driven fragmented landscape. Small fragment size and edge effects had negative impacts on fecundity and seedling establishment. Although bird-mediated seed dispersal favored immigration between patches, recruitment from such seeds will be unlikely because of low quality of deposition sites.

    3. Plant β-diversity in fragmented rain forests: testing floristic homogenization and differentiation hypotheses (pages 1449–1458)

      Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Matthias Rös, Federico Escobar, Felipe P. L. Melo, Bráulio A. Santos, Marcelo Tabarelli and Robin Chazdon

      Article first published online: 8 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12153

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      Our findings indicate that patterns of floristic homogenization and differentiation depend on the landscape configuration and on the spatial scale of analysis. At the landscape scale, our results suggest that, in accordance with non-equilibrium dynamics and the landscape-divergence hypothesis, patches located in landscapes with different forest cover and different connectivity can experience contrasting successional pathways due to increasing levels of compositional differentiation between patches. These novel findings add further uncertainties to the maintenance of biodiversity in severely deforested tropical landscapes and have key ecological implications for biodiversity conservation planning.

  5. Plant–climate interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Plant-animal interactions
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Habitat fragmentation
    6. Plant–climate interactions
    7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    8. Plant population and community dynamics
    9. Reproductive ecology
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Slow-growing species cope best with drought: evidence from long-term measurements in a tropical semi-deciduous moist forest of Central Africa (pages 1459–1470)

      Dakis-Yaoba Ouédraogo, Frédéric Mortier, Sylvie Gourlet-Fleury, Vincent Freycon and Nicolas Picard

      Article first published online: 10 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12165

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      Shade-tolerant species, characterized by a low potential growth rate and thus a conservative strategy of resource use were found to be the least sensitive to drought. This supports the hypothesis of a single axis summarizing multiple traits that represents a general trade-off between the conservation and rapid acquisition of resources.

    2. Landscape and environmental controls over leaf and ecosystem carbon dioxide fluxes under woody plant expansion (pages 1471–1483)

      Greg A. Barron-Gafford, Russell L. Scott, G. Darrel Jenerette, Erik P. Hamerlynck and Travis E. Huxman

      Article first published online: 7 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12161

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      Given projections of more variable precipitation and increased temperatures, it is important to understand differences in physiological activity between growth forms, as they are likely to drive patterns of ecosystem-scale CO2 flux. As access to stable subsurface water declines with decreased precipitation, these differential patterns of temperature sensitivity among growth forms, which are dependent on connectivity to groundwater, will only become more important in determining ecosystem carbon source/sink status.

    3. Latitudinal shifts in species interactions interfere with resistance of southern but not of northern bog-plant communities to experimental climate change (pages 1484–1497)

      Christian Schwarzer, Thilo Heinken, Vera Luthardt and Jasmin Joshi

      Article first published online: 7 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12158

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      In a common-garden experiment, the impact of projected climatic changes on bog-plant communities sampled along a latitudinal gradient from northern to central Europe was assessed. Shifting interspecific interactions caused pronounced responses to changed climatic conditions in southern marginal, but not in northern subarctic communities. Geographical variation in species interactions is considered an important factor influencing community responses to climate change.

    4. Geographic variation and local adaptation in Oryza rufipogon across its climatic range in China (pages 1498–1508)

      Wen Zhou, Zhixiu Wang, Anthony J. Davy and Guihua Liu

      Article first published online: 25 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12143

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      Environmentally-determined variation in plant functional traits is complex, with both plastic trade-offs between traits and genetic differentiation between populations contributing to the location of the northern limit of Oryza rufipogon.

    5. Central European hardwood trees in a high-CO2 future: synthesis of an 8-year forest canopy CO2 enrichment project (pages 1509–1519)

      Martin K.-F. Bader, Sebastian Leuzinger, Sonja G. Keel, Rolf T.W. Siegwolf, Frank Hagedorn, Patrick Schleppi and Christian Körner

      Article first published online: 28 AUG 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12149

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      Synthesis. Our findings provide no evidence for carbon-limitation in in the studied trees in a central European hardwood forest at current ambient CO2 concentrations. The results of this long-term study challenge the idea of a universal CO2 fertilization effect on forests, as commonly assumed in climate-carbon cycle models.

    6. Phylogenetic conservatism in plant phenology (pages 1520–1530)

      T. Jonathan Davies, Elizabeth M. Wolkovich, Nathan J. B. Kraft, Nicolas Salamin, Jenica M. Allen, Toby R. Ault, Julio L. Betancourt, Kjell Bolmgren, Elsa E. Cleland, Benjamin I. Cook, Theresa M. Crimmins, Susan J. Mazer, Gregory J. McCabe, Stephanie Pau, Jim Regetz, Mark D. Schwartz and Steven E. Travers

      Article first published online: 8 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12154

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      Closely related species tend to resemble each other in the timing of their life-history events, a likely product of evolutionarily conserved responses to environmental cues. The search for the underlying drivers of phenology must therefore account for species' shared evolutionary histories.

    7. Correlates of tree species sorting along a temperature gradient in New Zealand rain forests: seedling functional traits, growth and shade tolerance (pages 1531–1541)

      Christopher H. Lusk, Teruko Kaneko, Ella Grierson and Michael Clearwater

      Article first published online: 1 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12152

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      Multivariate analysis of seedling growth, hydraulic, gas exchange and biomass partitioning traits of 17 temperate rainforest trees, using principal components analysis. Graphic shows species scores on the first two ordination axes, with vectors representing relationships with variables in the second matrix: Tmin = July minimum temperatures most commonly experienced throughout the range of each species (Leathwick ) and light compensation point of sapling growth measured in the field.

  6. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Plant-animal interactions
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Habitat fragmentation
    6. Plant–climate interactions
    7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    8. Plant population and community dynamics
    9. Reproductive ecology
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Gains in native species promote biotic homogenization over four decades in a human-dominated landscape (pages 1542–1551)

      Jenny L. McCune and Mark Vellend

      Article first published online: 7 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12156

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      We resurveyed 184 vegetation plots on southern Vancouver Island originally surveyed in the late 1960s. We found an increase in richness, for each plot and for all plots pooled, but a decline in variability among plant communities. This decline in beta diversity was not correlated with the spread of exotic species, but with the colonization of common, disturbance-tolerant natives.

  7. Plant population and community dynamics

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Plant-animal interactions
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Habitat fragmentation
    6. Plant–climate interactions
    7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    8. Plant population and community dynamics
    9. Reproductive ecology
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Effects of nutrient enrichment on seagrass population dynamics: evidence and synthesis from the biomass–density relationships (pages 1552–1562)

      Susana Cabaço, Eugenia T. Apostolaki, Patricia García-Marín, Renee Gruber, Ignacio Hernández, Begoña Martínez-Crego, Oriol Mascaró, Marta Pérez, Anchana Prathep, Cliff Robinson, Javier Romero, Allison L. Schmidt, Fred T. Short, Brigitta I. van Tussenbroek and Rui Santos

      Article first published online: 17 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12134

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      Contrasting short- and long-term responses of both biomass and density of seagrasses to nutrient enrichment suggest that the former, positive ones result from nutrient limitation whereas the later, negative ones are mediated by whole ecosystem responses. In general, shoot biomass of seagrasses increase with density and nutrient enrichment enhances this effect. Experimental testing of facilitation processes related to clonal integration in seagrasses needs to be done to reveal if they determine the low incidence of self-thinning and the intriguing biomass-density relationships of seagrass species. The increasing slopes and decreasing intercepts of the species-specific dynamic biomass-density relationships of seagrasses and the decreasing coefficients of variation of both biomass and density constitute relevant, easy-to-collect metrics that may be used in environmental monitoring.

    2. Defoliation and bark harvesting affect life-history traits of a tropical tree (pages 1563–1571)

      Orou G. Gaoue, Carol C. Horvitz, Tamara Ticktin, Ulrich K. Steiner and Shripad Tuljapurkar

      Article first published online: 5 AUG 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12140

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      Our results suggest that plant harvesting can affect life-history traits but in different ways across an environmental gradient. Failure to account for stochasticity in harvesting rate can mask some of these effects. Our results also indicate that processes driving plant life expectancy, at least for long-lived species, may differ from those driving population dynamics.

    3. Inferring seed bank from hidden Markov models: new insights into metapopulation dynamics in plants (pages 1572–1580)

      Hélène Fréville, Rémi Choquet, Roger Pradel and Pierre-Olivier Cheptou

      Article first published online: 25 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12141

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      Capturing metapopulation dynamics of plants that have seed banks is challenging, because of the difficulty in characterizing the seed bank in the field. We develop hidden Markov models that allow estimating colonization and extinction rates in the presence of a seed bank, using time series of presence-absence data.

    4. Pulp feeders alter plant interactions with subsequent animal associates (pages 1581–1588)

      José M. Fedriani and Miguel Delibes

      Article first published online: 30 AUG 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12146

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      We experimentally revealed for the first time how exploiters of plant-disperser mutualisms alter the frequency of plant interactions with subsequent mutualistic and antagonistic animal associates. We exemplify how fruiting plants and their consumers are valuable systems to further our understanding of how community context can alter ecological and evolutionary outcomes of multispecies interactions, opening up a new avenue of research.

    5. No evidence for long-term increases in biomass and stem density in the tropical rain forests of Australia (pages 1589–1597)

      Helen T. Murphy, Matt G. Bradford, Alicia Dalongeville, Andrew J. Ford and Daniel J. Metcalfe

      Article first published online: 9 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12163

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      The trend towards increasing biomass and stem density of tropical forests described for the neo-tropics does not necessarily reflect patterns in areas of the tropics where large-scale natural disturbances are relatively frequent. Australian tropical rainforests are either not increasing in productivity in response to global change, or cyclones and other regional and local mechanisms of change mask any evidence of larger-scale patterns.

    6. Facilitative or competitive effects of woody plants on understorey vegetation depend on N-fixation, canopy shape and rainfall (pages 1598–1603)

      Wilma J. Blaser, Judith Sitters, Simon P. Hart, Peter J. Edwards and Harry Olde Venterink

      Article first published online: 3 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12142

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      The effect of woody plants on understorey productivity depends not only on rainfall, but also on their growth form and their capacity to fix nitrogen. Facilitation occurs mostly when woody plants ameliorate both water and nitrogen conditions. However, a low canopy suppresses understorey vegetation by competing for light, regardless of water and nutrient relations.

  8. Reproductive ecology

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Plant-animal interactions
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Habitat fragmentation
    6. Plant–climate interactions
    7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    8. Plant population and community dynamics
    9. Reproductive ecology
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. You have free access to this content
      Dose-dependent effects of nectar alkaloids in a montane plant–pollinator community (pages 1604–1612)

      Jessamyn S. Manson, Daniel Cook, Dale R. Gardner and Rebecca E. Irwin

      Article first published online: 29 AUG 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12144

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      The ecological consequences of nectar secondary metabolites remain relatively unexplored. Delphinium barbeyi has nectar alkaloids at concentrations substantially lower than those found in its leaves or flowers. Nectar alkaloids had dose-dependent effects, with high concentrations negatively affecting pollinators and pollination, but natural concentrations having no effects on plant reproduction, suggesting that low nectar alkaloid concentrations incurred no ecological costs.

    2. Abiotic factors may explain the geographical distribution of flower colour morphs and the maintenance of colour polymorphism in the scarlet pimpernel (pages 1613–1622)

      Montserrat Arista, María Talavera, Regina Berjano and Pedro Luis Ortiz

      Article first published online: 28 AUG 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12151

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      Our results indicate that the mechanism of selection on flower colour seems to be related to differences in fitness of both morphs due to abiotic factors. These differences could explain the geographical distribution of flower colour morphs and the maintenance of the colour polymorphism. The marked difference in flowering time between morphs leaves open the potential for assortative mating and speciation in Lysimachia arvensis.

  9. Biological Flora of the British Isles

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Plant-animal interactions
    4. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    5. Habitat fragmentation
    6. Plant–climate interactions
    7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    8. Plant population and community dynamics
    9. Reproductive ecology
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. You have free access to this content
      Biological Flora of the British Isles: Robinia pseudoacacia (pages 1623–1640)

      Arne Cierjacks, Ingo Kowarik, Jasmin Joshi, Stefan Hempel, Michael Ristow, Moritz von der Lippe and Ewald Weber

      Article first published online: 3 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12162

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      Robinia pseudoacacia is a North-American introduction that has become a widely naturalized tree in southern Britain and warmer parts of continental Europe. It spreads clonally by root suckers and produces copious seeds. Its capacity for symbiotic di-nitrogen fixing has facilitated invasive behaviour, and further spread is likely with climate warming. Nevertheless, it provides ecosystem services, notably nectar for honey production, timber and soil stabilization.

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