Journal of Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 103 Issue 3

May 2015

Volume 103, Issue 3

Pages 537–788

  1. Forum

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Biomass–density data analysis: a comment on Cabaço et al. (2013) (pages 537–540)

      Vasco M. N. C. S. Vieira, Francisco Leitão and Marcos Mateus

      Article first published online: 27 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12294

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      Some mistakes present in Cabaço et al. are of a generalistic nature, that is can occur in any other subject as they report to general xy data analysis. Besides, other mistakes were identified, specific to biomass–density relations. This presentation intends to help ecological researchers by pinpointing the sources of bias.

  2. Ecophysiology

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Nutrient resorption is associated with leaf vein density and growth performance of dipterocarp tree species (pages 541–549)

      Jiao-Lin Zhang, Shi-Bao Zhang, Ya-Jun Chen, Yi-Ping Zhang and Lourens Poorter

      Article first published online: 19 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12392

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      These results indicate that higher phloem transport capacity of the dipterocarp species is positively correlated with greater N resorption efficiency and that N resorption proficiency is closely linked with leaf nutrient conservation traits. Growth rates of the dipterocarps are more likely governed by photosynthetic rates associated with green-leaf N concentration than N resorption rates per se. Although P is generally deficient in tropical soils, it appears that N rather than P availability is the key limiting factor for the growth of the dipterocarp species.

  3. Habitat fragmentation

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Edge influence on vegetation at natural and anthropogenic edges of boreal forests in Canada and Fennoscandia (pages 550–562)

      Karen A. Harper, S. Ellen Macdonald, Michael S. Mayerhofer, Shekhar R. Biswas, Per-Anders Esseen, Kristoffer Hylander, Katherine J. Stewart, Azim U. Mallik, Pierre Drapeau, Bengt-Gunnar Jonsson, Daniel Lesieur, Jari Kouki and Yves Bergeron

      Article first published online: 1 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12398

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      Edges created by forest harvesting do not appear to have as strong, extensive or persistent influence on vegetation in boreal as in tropical or temperate forested ecosystems. We attribute this apparent resistance to shorter canopy heights, inherent heterogeneity in boreal forests and their adaptation to frequent natural disturbance. Nevertheless, notable differences between forest structure responses to natural (fire) and anthropogenic (cut) edges raise concerns about biodiversity implications of extensive creation of anthropogenic edges. By highlighting universal responses to edge influence in boreal forests that are significant irrespective of edge or forest type, and those which vary by edge type, we provide a context for the conservation of boreal forests.

  4. Plant–herbivore interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Early positive effects of tree species richness on herbivory in a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment influence tree growth (pages 563–571)

      Andreas Schuldt, Helge Bruelheide, Werner Härdtle, Thorsten Assmann, Ying Li, Keping Ma, Goddert von Oheimb and Jiayong Zhang

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12396

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      The results of stronger herbivory effects on tree growth with increasing tree species richness suggest a potentially important role of herbivory in regulating the functioning and development of species-rich forest ecosystems from the very start of secondary succession. Whether species compositions were assembled randomly or were informed by rarity or specific leaf area did not influence herbivory effects at this early stage of our experiment.

  5. Reproductive ecology

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. High-elevation range limit of an annual herb is neither caused nor reinforced by declining pollinator service (pages 572–584)

      Anna L. Hargreaves, Jennifer L. Weiner and Christopher G. Eckert

      Article first published online: 16 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12377

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      We found no evidence for pollination failure towards Rhinanthus minor's upper range edge. Floral density declined at the edge, but pollinator abundance, visitation rates, and seed set did not. Autonomous selfing contributed strongly to mating system and demography, buffering against pollination stochasticity. As many angiosperms are self-compatible, reproductive assurance may reduce pollination's importance in limiting plant distributions, compared to other biotic interactions.

    2. A spatially explicit model for flowering time in bamboos: long rhizomes drive the evolution of delayed flowering (pages 585–593)

      Yuuya Tachiki, Akifumi Makita, Yoshihisa Suyama and Akiko Satake

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12390

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      A spatially explicit evolutionary simulation revealed that the timing of flowering in clonal monocarps was impacted by the spatial arrangement of relatives formed through clonal growth. Our finding allows us to understand how rhizome length influences the evolution of the time to flower, and why geographic difference in the time to flower has been observed in bamboos.

    3. Tropical trees in a wind-exposed island ecosystem: height-diameter allometry and size at onset of maturity (pages 594–605)

      Sean C. Thomas, Adam R. Martin and Erin E. Mycroft

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12378

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      Height-diameter (H-D) allometry is an important axis of variation among tree species critical to predicting carbon stocks. Observed H-D allometries in the Dominica, West Indies, a global wind hotspot, diverge strongly from global continental patterns and are strongly asymptotic.

  6. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Long-term C, N and P allocation to reproduction in Bornean tropical rain forests (pages 606–615)

      Kanehiro Kitayama, Yuki Tsujii, Ryota Aoyagi and Shin-ichiro Aiba

      Article first published online: 19 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12379

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      We continued monitoring litterfall dynamics and estimated the amount of phosphorus that tropical trees invested to reproduction in eight Bornean rain forests over a 10-year period from 1996 to 2006. This graph demonstrates the dynamics of reproductive organs in two forests. Reproductive events appear to be highly irregular and gregarious. However, our study indicates that these irregular events are regulated by phosphorus at the level of overall long-term mean.

    2. Topology of tree–mycorrhizal fungus interaction networks in xeric and mesic Douglas-fir forests (pages 616–628)

      Kevin J. Beiler, Suzanne W. Simard and Daniel M. Durall

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12387

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      We describe the topology of tree–mycorrhizal fungus interaction networks in xeric and mesic Douglas-fir forests. Our results suggest the networks are resilient to the random loss of participants, and to soil water stress, but possibly susceptible to the loss of large trees or fungal genotypes. This information helps better understand forest stand dynamics and the resilience of forests to stress or disturbance.

    3. Disentangling plant and soil microbial controls on carbon and nitrogen loss in grassland mesocosms (pages 629–640)

      Franciska T. De Vries, Helene Bracht Jørgensen, Katarina Hedlund and Richard D. Bardgett

      Article first published online: 27 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12383

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      Our results show that changes in plant and microbial communities both individually and interactively modify C and N loss from grasslands. Moreover, our results suggest that soil microbial communities typical of extensively managed grassland might counteract, or delay, the negative consequences of fertilisation on plant diversity and ecosystem functioning.

    4. Complementarity and selection effects in early and mid-successional plant communities are differentially affected by plant–soil feedback (pages 641–647)

      Jingying Jing, T. Martijn Bezemer and Wim H. van der Putten

      Article first published online: 13 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12388

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      Soil biota that drive plant–soil feedback effects can influence the diversity–productivity relationship not only through decreased biomass production in monocultures compared to mixtures, but also through influencing complementarity and selection effects among species in mixed plant communities. Our results reveal that biodiversity–productivity relationships depend on plant–soil feedback interactions, which depend on the successional position of the plant. We propose that including successional position and trait-based analyses of plant–soil feedback in diversity-functioning studies will enhance understanding consequences of biodiversity loss for productivity and other ecosystem processes.

  7. Plant–climate interactions

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Daily environmental conditions determine the competition–facilitation balance for plant water status (pages 648–656)

      Alexandra Wright, Stefan A. Schnitzer and Peter B. Reich

      Article first published online: 30 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12397

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      In terms of plant water status, plant interactions among neighbours can flip from net negative (competition) to net positive (facilitation) depending on daily abiotic conditions. The relative importance of both positive and negative interactions for plant water status may affect the overall performance of plants over time.

    2. Long-term plant responses to climate are moderated by biophysical attributes in a North American desert (pages 657–668)

      Seth M. Munson, Robert H. Webb, David C. Housman, Kari E. Veblen, Kenneth E. Nussear, Erik A. Beever, Kristine B. Hartney, Maria N. Miriti, Susan L. Phillips, Robert E. Fulton and Nita G. Tallent

      Article first published online: 6 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12381

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      Our results emphasize the importance of understanding climate–vegetation relationships in the context of biophysical attributes that influence water availability and provide an important forecast of climate-change effects, including plant mortality and land degradation in the Mojave Desert and dryland regions throughout the world.

    3. Frost hollows of the boreal forest: a spatiotemporal perspective (pages 669–678)

      Catherine Plasse and Serge Payette

      Article first published online: 15 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12399

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      The distribution of frost hollows (FH) is related to the presence of dry lichen woodlands that exacerbate frost activity during the growing season. Synchronous frost-ring frequency across the biome also suggests that shared climatic conditions, in particular freezing temperature, humidity and cloudiness, are at the origin of the dynamics of FH. A longer growing season creates propitious conditions for a higher frequency of frost events and more intense soil cryoturbation. FH are climate-sensitive ecosystems which can be used as proxies of the impact of global change on the boreal biome.

    4. How do climate and topography influence the greening of the forest-tundra ecotone in northern Québec? A dendrochronological analysis of Betula glandulosa (pages 679–690)

      Pascale Ropars, Esther Lévesque and Stéphane Boudreau

      Article first published online: 1 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12394

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      Our results suggest that topography plays a major role in Betula glandulosa growth and therefore, in shrub community dynamics. Because terraces and hilltops represent 70% of the land surface, the sharp B. glandulosa growth increase at these sites promoted an important overall expansion of the shrub community in the region. However, the decline in B. glandulosa growth observed after 2002 suggests that the expansion could be slowed down in the near future, therefore limiting shrub growth contribution to the regional NDVI signal.

    5. Environmental drivers of mast-seeding in Mediterranean oak species: does leaf habit matter? (pages 691–700)

      Ignacio M. Pérez-Ramos, Carmen M. Padilla-Díaz, Walter D. Koenig and Teodoro Marañón

      Article first published online: 13 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12400

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      Comparison of the cumulative effect size () of different weather variables related to water resources and air temperature on mast-seeding in Mediterranean oaks. Data comes from a review of 22 case studies in Mediterranean ecosystems. Weather variables were grouped into three time categories (spring, summer and winter). values were also separated into evergreen (white bars) and deciduous species (black bars).

  8. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. Niche construction by growth forms is as strong a predictor of species diversity as environmental gradients (pages 701–713)

      Kari Anne Bråthen and Virve Tuulia Ravolainen

      Article first published online: 16 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12380

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      In this study, we provide conceptual and empirical evidence for collective niche construction as a powerful ecological process that affects species diversity and that can act independently of environmental conditions. Species sharing a single trait or species belonging to a growth form can act as collective niche constructors, and as exemplified for growth forms in this study, be important predictors of species diversity in ecological communities.

    2. Functional differences between dominant grasses drive divergent responses to large herbivore loss in mesic savanna grasslands of North America and South Africa (pages 714–724)

      Elisabeth J. Forrestel, Michael J. Donoghue and Melinda D. Smith

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12376

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      Our study demonstrates that savanna grassland communities with different biogeographic and grazing histories respond differently to the removal of large herbivores, and that climate, fire, and grazing are interactive forces in maintaining savanna grassland diversity and function. We show that the functional attributes of the dominant grasses, which are in part driven by the biogeographic and grazing history experienced, are the most relevant in predicting the response of savanna ecosystems to the loss of large herbivores.

    3. High incidence of dioecy in young successional tropical forests (pages 725–732)

      Maxime Réjou-Méchain and Pierre-Olivier Cheptou

      Article first published online: 20 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12393

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      Dioecious trees are significantly overrepresented in young successional areas, contrary to classical expectations, showing that sexual systems play an important role in community assembly. Our study thus emphasizes the need to revisit classical assumptions regarding the association between sexual system and community assembly.

    4. No influence of water limitation on the outcome of competition between diploid and tetraploid Chamerion angustifolium (Onagraceae) (pages 733–741)

      Ken A. Thompson, Brian C. Husband and Hafiz Maherali

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12384

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      Competition for limiting resources is often proposed as a mechanism causing ecological and geographic segregation between diploid and polyploid cytotypes. Our results do not support the hypothesis that tetraploid Chamerion angustifolium plants are stronger competitors than diploids when water is limited. A differential ability to compete for water is likely not responsible for the observed ecological and geographic segregation between cytotypes in this species. Competition may not be a general mechanism that causes segregation between diploid and polyploid cytotypes in nature.

    5. Phylogenetic turnover patterns consistent with niche conservatism in montane plant species (pages 742–749)

      Lanna S. Jin, Marc W. Cadotte and Marie-Josée Fortin

      Article first published online: 1 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12385

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      Taxonomic and phylogenetic beta-diversity complements each other to provide an enhanced perspective of the process governing community structure. Together, they depict patterns expected under niche conservatism for the Rocky Mountain angiosperm communities, that is, species’ names change faster than their evolutionary relationships across space.

    6. Testing the scaling effects and mechanisms of N-induced biodiversity loss: evidence from a decade-long grassland experiment (pages 750–760)

      Zhichun Lan, G. Darrel Jenerette, Shuxia Zhan, Wenhuai Li, Shuxia Zheng and Yongfei Bai

      Article first published online: 1 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12395

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      We conducted the first mechanistic test of the scale dependence of N effects on biodiversity from a decade-long grassland N enrichment experiment. We show that the proportional species loss decreased while the critical threshold for biodiversity losses increased with sampling area. The scaling effects were quantified as increasing slope of species–area relationship with N enrichment. As N deposition occurs at scales much larger than individual plots, N-induced biodiversity losses can be substantially overestimated without identifying the scaling effects.

  9. Plant population and community dynamics

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. When anthropogenic-related disturbances overwhelm demographic persistence mechanisms (pages 761–768)

      Alisha Duwyn and Andrew S. MacDougall

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12382

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      Our work demonstrates how rarity advantages have the potential to positively influence the population performance of a declining species, but are short-circuited by intense herbivory associated with human-based environmental change. Regionally, there appear to be few existing conditions on the contemporary landscape that favor juvenile survival, suggesting ongoing recruitment difficulties without intervention. Our work clarifies how extinction risk can in some cases be best defined by how anthropogenic disturbances affect, and are offset by, demographic-based persistence mechanisms, than simply by present-day abundance or distribution.

  10. Biological Flora of the British Isles

    1. Top of page
    2. Forum
    3. Ecophysiology
    4. Habitat fragmentation
    5. Plant–herbivore interactions
    6. Reproductive ecology
    7. Plant–soil (below-ground) interactions
    8. Plant–climate interactions
    9. Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
    10. Plant population and community dynamics
    11. Biological Flora of the British Isles
    1. You have free access to this content
      Biological Flora of the British Isles: Crambe maritima (pages 769–788)

      Anushree Sanyal and Guillaume Decocq

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12389

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      Crambe maritima (Sea-kale) is a perennial maritime plant, with a fleshy taproot and a succession of waxy, cabbage-like leaves produced above ground level in spring. It occurs in exposed, sunny positions on coastal shingle or sandy beaches, as far north as 64°N in Europe. It is threatened by habitat loss and land-use changes in many parts of Europe.

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