Journal of Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 102 Issue 4

July 2014

Volume 102, Issue 4

Pages 823–1100

  1. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY

    1. Top of page
    2. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY
    3. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    4. Reproductive ecology
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Plant–plant interactions
    7. Plant–climate interactions
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Special Feature – Editorial

      Advancing plant ecology through meta-analyses (pages 823–827)

      Lorena Gómez-Aparicio and Christopher J. Lortie

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12264

    2. Special Feature – Essay Review

      Uses and misuses of meta-analysis in plant ecology (pages 828–844)

      Julia Koricheva and Jessica Gurevitch

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12224

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      Over the past two decades, plant ecologists have embraced meta-analysis as a statistical tool to combine results across studies, and much has been learned as a result. However, as the popularity and usage of meta-analysis in the field of plant ecology has grown, establishment of quality standards, as has been done in other disciplines, becomes increasingly important. In order to improve the quality of future meta-analyses in plant ecology, we suggest adoption of a checklist of quality criteria for meta-analysis for use by research synthesists, peer reviewers and journal editors.

    3. Special Feature – Standard Papers

      You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Testing predictions of the Janzen–Connell hypothesis: a meta-analysis of experimental evidence for distance- and density-dependent seed and seedling survival (pages 845–856)

      Liza S. Comita, Simon A. Queenborough, Stephen J. Murphy, Jenalle L. Eck, Kaiyang Xu, Meghna Krishnadas, Noelle Beckman and Yan Zhu

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12232

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      Our study provides support for the idea that distance- and density-dependent mortality occurs in plant communities world-wide. Available evidence suggests that natural enemies are frequently the cause of such patterns, consistent with the Janzen–Connell hypothesis, but additional studies are needed to rule out other mechanisms (e.g. intraspecific competition). With the widespread existence of density and distance dependence clearly established, future research should focus on assessing the degree to which these effects permit species coexistence and contribute to the maintenance of diversity in plant communities.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Relationships between adaptive and neutral genetic diversity and ecological structure and functioning: a meta-analysis (pages 857–872)

      Raj Whitlock

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12240

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      In this study I use meta-analyses to assess the strength and direction of the relationship between genetic diversity and measures of higher-order ecological structure. Adaptive genotypic diversity was found to be weakly, but positively associated with species richness and productivity. Neutral genetic diversity was positively correlated with measures of ecological structure only in studies whose replicate communities represented demographical islands. These results provide the first meta-analytic assessments of both the strength and direction of effects in the community genetics literature.

    5. Effects of herbivory on leaf life span in woody plants: a meta-analysis (pages 873–881)

      Elena L. Zvereva and Mikhail V. Kozlov

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12252

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      Herbivory in general reduces the life span of the damaged leaves of woody plants. Insect feeding has a stronger effect than the same level of simulated herbivory. Natural herbivory similarly reduces leaf life span in deciduous and evergreen trees, but simulated herbivory imposes stronger effects on evergreens. Premature leaf abscission should be accounted for in estimation of plant losses to herbivory.

    6. Assessing the integrated effects of landscape fragmentation on plants and plant communities: the challenge of multiprocess–multiresponse dynamics (pages 882–895)

      Inés Ibáñez, Daniel S. W. Katz, Drew Peltier, Samantha M. Wolf and Benjamin T. Connor Barrie

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12223

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      Results of this integrated assessment indicate that broad generalizations about the effects of fragmentation on remnant vegetation may not be possible due the large variety of processes and responses associated with fragmentation. Results also identified key knowledge gaps and areas of research needed to improve assessment and future management of plant species and plant communities in fragmented landscapes (e.g., lag effects, the role of the matrix and the patch quality, and integrated effects along life cycles).

    7. Land management trumps the effects of climate change and elevated CO2 on grassland functioning (pages 896–904)

      Aurélie Thébault, Pierre Mariotte, Christopher J. Lortie and Andrew S. MacDougall

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12236

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      Using a meta-analysis, we tested the relative power of single and combined climate/CO2 change and land-use practices. Interacting factors always had higher explanatory power than any factor in isolation. Moreover, land management was the predominant force in determining the performance of plant communities and may thus be critical for influencing projected responses to future global change in grassland models.

  2. Palaeoecology and land-use history

    1. Top of page
    2. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY
    3. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    4. Reproductive ecology
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Plant–plant interactions
    7. Plant–climate interactions
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Influence of land use and climate on recent forest expansion: a case study in the Eurosiberian–Mediterranean limit of north-west Spain (pages 905–919)

      Jose Manuel Álvarez-Martínez, Susana Suárez-Seoane, Jetse J. Stoorvogel and Estanislao de Luis Calabuig

      Article first published online: 28 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12257

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      We monitored and modelled forest distribution during last decades in a mountainous region of north-west Spain. Results demonstrated that forest expansion is not a homogeneous process but varies spatially due to human and abiotic constraints. Vegetation dynamics are even more complex due to plant diversity in heterogeneous landscapes as the study area, located in the Eurosiberian–Mediterranean limit.

  3. Reproductive ecology

    1. Top of page
    2. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY
    3. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    4. Reproductive ecology
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Plant–plant interactions
    7. Plant–climate interactions
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Both flowering time and distance to conspecific plants affect reproduction in Echinacea angustifolia, a common prairie perennial (pages 920–929)

      Jennifer L. Ison and Stuart Wagenius

      Article first published online: 9 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12262

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      Our results illustrate that flowering time and distance to neighbouring conspecifics can cause reproductive failure in fragmented populations, even in the absence of mate limitation caused by mating incompatibility. These findings suggest that flowering time may be an underappreciated contributor to reproductive failure in small fragmented populations.

  4. Plant–herbivore interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY
    3. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    4. Reproductive ecology
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Plant–plant interactions
    7. Plant–climate interactions
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Differential allocation and deployment of direct and indirect defences by Vicia sepium along elevation gradients (pages 930–938)

      Sergio Rasmann, Aline Buri, Marie Gallot-Lavallée, Jessica Joaquim, Jessica Purcell and Loïc Pellissier

      Article first published online: 25 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12253

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      Dissecting drivers of plant defence investment remains central for understanding the assemblage of communities across different habitats. Here, we observed that high-elevation plants are less eaten by insect herbivores and are less visited by ants. However, when threatened by herbivores, high-elevation plants are as attractive to ants as low-elevation plants. This is indicative of elevation-driven trade-off between constitutive and inducible resistance and point to a feedback mechanism linking local herbivore pressure, predator abundance and the defence investment of plants.

    2. Plant traits predict inter- and intraspecific variation in susceptibility to herbivory in a hyperdiverse Neotropical rain forest tree community (pages 939–952)

      Rafael E. Cárdenas, Renato Valencia, Nathan J. B. Kraft, Adriana Argoti and Olivier Dangles

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12255

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      In the western Amazon, leaves are defended against herbivores through a combination of physical (toughness), chemical (toughness-related elements), and phenological (rapid leaf replacement) characteristics that do not appear to be subject to obvious trade-offs. Conventional strategies, such as condensed tannins or latex, do not seem to be strongly involved as a defence against herbivores in this community.

  5. Plant–plant interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY
    3. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    4. Reproductive ecology
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Plant–plant interactions
    7. Plant–climate interactions
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. The outcome of shared pollination services is affected by the density and spatial pattern of an attractive neighbour (pages 953–962)

      Merav Seifan, Eva-Maria Hoch, Sven Hanoteaux and Katja Tielbörger

      Article first published online: 23 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12256

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      We showed that complex interactions between density and spatial distribution of plant species at the patch scale are highly relevant for the interpretation of pollination services. Conspicuous neighbours received more pollinators when interspersed with an attractive species growing at low densities. With increasing densities, the interactions became competitive. Less conspicuous neighbours showed opposite results and benefitted more from a segregation of the species.

    2. An ideal free distribution explains the root production of plants that do not engage in a tragedy of the commons game (pages 963–971)

      Gordon G. McNickle and Joel S. Brown

      Article first published online: 7 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12259

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      The data in the literature are mixed, with species sometimes responding to nutrients only, and sometimes responding interactively to both nutrients and neighbours. At present, we lack a general understanding of the causes or consequences of this diversity of strategies. We suggest that a greater understanding of trade-offs among traits that are important for other biotic interactions (above-ground competition, enemy defence, mutualisms) will lead to a greater understanding of why some species over-proliferate roots when in competition but other species do not.

  6. Plant–climate interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY
    3. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    4. Reproductive ecology
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Plant–plant interactions
    7. Plant–climate interactions
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Decoupled evolution of foliar freezing resistance, temperature niche and morphological leaf traits in Chilean Myrceugenia (pages 972–980)

      Fernanda Pérez, Luis F. Hinojosa, Carmen G. Ossa, Francisca Campano and Fabiola Orrego

      Article first published online: 3 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12261

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      Our results show that freezing resistance evolved in association with temperature niche, but with some delay that could result from phylogenetic inertia. Our results also show that morphological leaf traits are more labile than realized climatic niche and frost tolerance and that the formers probably evolved in association with microhabitat preferences.

    2. Earlier leaf-out rather than difference in freezing resistance puts juvenile trees at greater risk of damage than adult trees (pages 981–988)

      Yann Vitasse, Armando Lenz, Günter Hoch and Christian Körner

      Article first published online: 10 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12251

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      In temperate climates, young trees have often been seen to be more sensitive to late-spring freezes than adult trees. Here, we demonstrated that seedlings and saplings are more prone to freeze damage than adult trees because of their earlier flushing rather than due to a higher sensitivity to freezing as such. Photo: Yann Vitasse.

    3. Desert shrub responses to experimental modification of precipitation seasonality and soil depth: relationship to the two-layer hypothesis and ecohydrological niche (pages 989–997)

      Matthew J. Germino and Keith Reinhardt

      Article first published online: 14 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12266

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      Sagebrush was more responsive to the seasonal timing of precipitation than to total annual precipitation. Factors that enhanced deep-water storage (deeper soils plus more winter precipitation) led to increases in Artemisia tridentata that were consistent with the two-layer hypothesis, and the contribution of shallow water to growth on these plots was consistent with the resource-pool hypothesis. However, shallow-soil water also had negative effects on sagebrush, suggesting an ecohydrological trade-off not considered in these or related theories. The interaction between precipitation timing and soil depth indicates that increased winter precipitation could lead to a mosaic of increases and decreases in A. tridentata across landscapes having variable soil depth.

  7. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure

    1. Top of page
    2. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY
    3. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    4. Reproductive ecology
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Plant–plant interactions
    7. Plant–climate interactions
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Hydrology, shore morphology and species traits affect seed dispersal, germination and community assembly in shoreline plant communities (pages 998–1007)

      Casper H. A. van Leeuwen, Judith M. Sarneel, José van Paassen, Winnie J. Rip and Elisabeth S. Bakker

      Article first published online: 14 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12250

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      An experimental spring drawdown water regime instead of a stable water level year-round enhances seed establishment on the shores of temperate wetlands. A drawdown water regime increases species richness and diversity, especially on gradually sloping shores. Germination from the seed bank was affected by the water regime and slope of the shore, but not by species traits. Establishment of dispersing seeds was affected by both water regime and species traits.

    2. Prevalence of phylogenetic clustering at multiple scales in an African rain forest tree community (pages 1008–1016)

      Ingrid Parmentier, Maxime Réjou-Méchain, Jérôme Chave, Jason Vleminckx, Duncan W. Thomas, David Kenfack, George B. Chuyong and Olivier J. Hardy

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12254

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      Using new methods to characterize the structure of communities across spatial and phylogenetic scales, we inferred the relative importance of the mechanisms underlying species coexistence in tropical forests. Our analysis confirms that environmental ltering processes are key in the structuring of natural communities at most spatial scales. Although negative-density tends to limit coexistence of closely related species at very short distance (<1 m), its influence is largely veiled by environmental filtering at larger distances.

    3. Beta diversity among prairie restorations increases with species pool size, but not through enhanced species sorting (pages 1017–1024)

      Emily Grman and Lars A. Brudvig

      Article first published online: 22 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12267

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      This work provides what is to our knowledge the first large-scale manipulative test of how species pool size influences beta diversity. We found higher beta diversity among restored prairies sown with species-rich seed mixes, but little evidence for species sorting as a causal mechanism. Our results, based on manipulated real-world communities, provide an important link between previous theoretical and observational studies and small-scale experimental approaches. Of applied importance, our findings show that by creating communities of high beta diversity, ecological restoration can counteract widespread anthropogenic biotic homogenization.

  8. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY
    3. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    4. Reproductive ecology
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Plant–plant interactions
    7. Plant–climate interactions
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Tropical forest wood production: a cross-continental comparison (pages 1025–1037)

      Lindsay Banin, Simon L. Lewis, Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez, Timothy R. Baker, Carlos A. Quesada, Kuo-Jung Chao, David F. R. P. Burslem, Reuben Nilus, Kamariah Abu Salim, Helen C. Keeling, Sylvester Tan, Stuart J. Davies, Abel Monteagudo Mendoza, Rodolfo Vásquez, Jon Lloyd, David A. Neill, Nigel Pitman and Oliver L. Phillips

      Article first published online: 9 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12263

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      North Bornean forests have much greater AGWP rates than those in north-western Amazon when soil conditions and rainfall are controlled for. Greater resource availability and the highly productive dipterocarps may, in combination, explain why these Asian forests produce wood half as fast again as comparable forests in the Amazon. Our results also suggest that taxonomic groups differ in their fundamental ability to capture carbon and that different tropical regions may therefore have different carbon uptake capacities due to biogeographic history.

    2. Above-ground herbivory by red milkweed beetles facilitates above- and below-ground conspecific insects and reduces fruit production in common milkweed (pages 1038–1047)

      Alexis C. Erwin, Tobias Züst, Jared G. Ali and Anurag A. Agrawal

      Article first published online: 1 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12248

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      Induced plant responses of common milkweed to above-ground damage by adult Tetraopes tetraophthalmus both facilitate further damage by adults and enhance the performance of their root-feeding larvae, most likely as a result of host plant manipulation. Although the same induction reduced monarch herbivory, the net effect of these interactions was negative for the plant as fruit production was substantially reduced. These results imply that host plant manipulation may be especially common by specialist herbivores that have sequential above- and below-ground life stages.

    3. Heterogeneity in plant–soil feedbacks and resident population dynamics affect mutual invasibility (pages 1048–1057)

      Jean H. Burns and Angela J. Brandt

      Article first published online: 28 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12258

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      We found results consistent with the theoretical prediction that spatiotemporal environmental heterogeneity generated by plant–soil feedbacks (PSF) interacts with resident population turnover. Thus, PSF can influence mutual invasibility. Diversity might be maintained in plant communities in part by plant-influenced soil heterogeneity, and this outcome depends on population dynamics.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Microbial community composition explains soil respiration responses to changing carbon inputs along an Andes-to-Amazon elevation gradient (pages 1058–1071)

      Jeanette Whitaker, Nicholas Ostle, Andrew T. Nottingham, Adan Ccahuana, Norma Salinas, Richard D. Bardgett, Patrick Meir and Niall P. McNamara

      Article first published online: 19 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12247

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      Using a 3200-m tropical forest elevation gradient in south-east Andean Peru, we demonstrated that the relative abundance of microbial functional groups is an important determinant of heterotrophic respiration responses to changing above-ground carbon inputs. These findings emphasize that better ecological metrics of soil microbial communities are needed to help predict carbon cycle responses to climate change in tropical biomes.

    5. You have free access to this content
      The interaction between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and soil phosphorus availability influences plant community productivity and ecosystem stability (pages 1072–1082)

      Gaowen Yang, Nan Liu, Wenjie Lu, Shuo Wang, Haiming Kan, Yingjun Zhang, Lan Xu and Yongliang Chen

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12249

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      The temporal stability of the plant community showed a significant reduction under the AMF suppression treatment relative to the control above an addition rate of 4.76 P2O5 m−2 year−1. These results indicate that AMF contribute to the temporal stability of plant communities and P addition mediates the importance of AMF on temporal stability.

  9. Biological Flora of the British Isles

    1. Top of page
    2. SPECIAL FEATURE: META-ANALYSIS IN PLANT ECOLOGY
    3. Palaeoecology and land-use history
    4. Reproductive ecology
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Plant–plant interactions
    7. Plant–climate interactions
    8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    9. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    10. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. You have free access to this content
      Biological Flora of the British Isles: Ruscus aculeatus (pages 1083–1100)

      Peter A. Thomas and Tarek A. Mukassabi

      Article first published online: 22 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12265

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      Ruscus aculeatus is a monocotyledonous shrub of Mediterranean origin, with photosynthetic stems, and rigid cladodes that replace leaves. It is very shade tolerant and drought resistant, and is native to shaded environments in southern England. Although rarely abundant in any habitat, it is widespread. Pollination and seed dispersal are largely ineffective, and survival is primarily dependent upon vegetative spread from the large rhizome.

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