Journal of Applied Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 49 Issue 3

June 2012

Volume 49, Issue 3

Pages 535–752

  1. Applied ecology in emerging economies

    1. Top of page
    2. Applied ecology in emerging economies
    3. Special Profile: Adapting conservation to a changing climate
    4. Habitat management
    5. Environmental drivers
    6. Agroecosystems
    7. Invasives
    1. You have free access to this content
      Towards environmentally sustainable agriculture in Brazil: challenges and opportunities for applied ecological research (pages 535–541)

      Joice Ferreira, Renata Pardini, Jean Paul Metzger, Carlos Roberto Fonseca, Paulo S. Pompeu, Gerd Sparovek and Julio Louzada

      Article first published online: 30 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02145.x

      Increased efforts are needed from both researchers and policy makers to engage from the earliest stage possible in the identification, assessment and communication of environmental issues and possible management solutions. Narrowing the gap between research and policy is essential if the academic community is to capitalize effectively on recent governmental investments in research and provide the necessary evidence basis for reconciling agricultural production and environmental conservation in Brazil.

  2. Special Profile: Adapting conservation to a changing climate

    1. Top of page
    2. Applied ecology in emerging economies
    3. Special Profile: Adapting conservation to a changing climate
    4. Habitat management
    5. Environmental drivers
    6. Agroecosystems
    7. Invasives
    1. You have free access to this content
      Climate change as a main driver of ecological research (pages 542–545)

      Nathalie Pettorelli

      Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02146.x

      Climate change is only starting to shape the ecological research agenda, as the complexity of the impact of this phenomenon on biodiversity and ecosystem services slowly unveils. Because changes in climatic conditions are expected to hit everyone everywhere, effective solutions for climate change mitigation will require science to truly engage with society and support decision-making processes at local, national and international scales.

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      Adapting conservation to a changing climate (page 546)

      Mike D. Morecroft

      Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02147.x

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      Resilience to climate change: translating principles into practice (pages 547–551)

      Michael D. Morecroft, Humphrey Q. P. Crick, Simon J. Duffield and Nicholas A. Macgregor

      Article first published online: 25 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02136.x

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      Local and landscape management of an expanding range margin under climate change (pages 552–561)

      Callum R. Lawson, Jonathan J. Bennie, Chris D. Thomas, Jenny A. Hodgson and Robert J. Wilson

      Article first published online: 23 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2011.02098.x

      Podcast; Previous studies on facilitating range shifts have stressed the need to increase landscape-scale connectivity to remove constraints on colonization, and our data substantiate this advice. However, we show that enhancing population survival can also help to facilitate range expansions, because populations at leading range edges face high extinction risk. Population survival can be improved directly through local management actions, such as enlarging patch size and increasing habitat quality, or indirectly by improving connectivity. Thus, local management can secure vulnerable populations at the range edge and provide larger and more stable migrant sources for future expansion and deserves consideration when facilitating range shifts under climate change.

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      Microclimate and vegetation function as indicators of forest thermodynamic efficiency (pages 562–570)

      Catherine Norris, Peter Hobson and Pierre L. Ibisch

      Article first published online: 9 NOV 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2011.02084.x

      Our results suggest an important thermodynamic basis for conservation in the context of climate change. Conservation practice and management policy, which is based on preserving ecosystem complexity and function, can aid in mitigating the effects of extreme temperatures, enhancing vital services such as climate regulation, primary production and water retention. Old-growth forests have a significant climate mitigation role alongside other recognised ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration.

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      Cost–benefit analysis of ecological networks assessed through spatial analysis of ecosystem services (pages 571–580)

      Adrian C. Newton, Kathy Hodder, Elena Cantarello, Lorretta Perrella, Jennifer C. Birch, James Robins, Sarah Douglas, Christopher Moody and Justine Cordingley

      Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02140.x

      Establishment of ecological networks through ecological restoration is unlikely to deliver net economic benefits in landscapes dominated by agricultural land use. This reflects the high costs of ecological restoration in such landscapes. The cost-effectiveness of ecological networks will depend on how the benefits provided to people are valued, and on how the value of non-market benefits are weighted against the costs of reduced agricultural and timber production. Future plans for ecological restoration should incorporate local stakeholder values, to ensure that benefits to people are maximised.

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      Population density but not stability can be predicted from species distribution models (pages 581–590)

      Tom H. Oliver, Simon Gillings, Marco Girardello, Giovanni Rapacciuolo, Tom M. Brereton, Gavin M. Siriwardena, David B. Roy, Richard Pywell and Robert J. Fuller

      Article first published online: 30 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02138.x

      Species distribution models are often constructed using species occupancy data because, for the majority of species and regions, these are the best data available. The models are then often used for projecting species’ distributions in the future and identifying areas where management could be targeted to improve species’ prospects. However, our results suggest that an overreliance on these SDMs may result in an exclusive focus on landscape management approaches that promote patch occupancy and density, but may overlook features important for long-term population persistence such as population stability. Other landscape metrics that take into account habitat heterogeneity or configuration may be required to predict population stability. To understand species persistence under rapid environmental change, count data from standardised monitoring schemes are an invaluable resource. These data provide additional insights into the factors affecting species’ extinction risks, which cannot easily be inferred from species’ occupancy data.

  3. Habitat management

    1. Top of page
    2. Applied ecology in emerging economies
    3. Special Profile: Adapting conservation to a changing climate
    4. Habitat management
    5. Environmental drivers
    6. Agroecosystems
    7. Invasives
    1. Ecological networks act as extensions of protected areas for arthropod biodiversity conservation (pages 591–600)

      James S. Pryke and Michael J. Samways

      Article first published online: 26 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02142.x

      Ecological networks are established to conserve biodiversity in areas of intensive land use. Provided that ecological networks are wide enough (i.e. >64 m) to overcome edge effects, they can support similar levels and quality of arthropod biodiversity as protected areas. Remnant grassland ecological networks in agroforestry can provide natural finger-like extensions from neighbouring protected areas and therefore have conservation value.

    2. Evaluating population recovery for sea turtles under nesting beach protection while accounting for nesting behaviours and changes in availability (pages 601–610)

      James T. Thorson, André E. Punt and Ronel Nel

      Article first published online: 27 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02143.x

      Based on study results, we recommend that future tag-resighting programmes for sea turtles and birds are accompanied periodically by count surveys beyond the regularly monitored nesting areas to evaluate evidence of range expansion. However, the identification of range expansion in historical data is only possible using model-based inference and robust design methods such as presented in this study.

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      Multi-level functional responses for wildlife conservation: the case of threatened caribou in managed boreal forests (pages 611–620)

      Guillaume Moreau, Daniel Fortin, Serge Couturier and Thierry Duchesne

      Article first published online: 4 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02134.x

      Reliable characterization of disturbance effects on animals is necessary for conservation planning. Multi-level functional responses can accurately describe animal distribution, and we provided a framework for modelling these responses. Our multi-level functional responses indicate that fixing habitat requirements based on patterns of habitat selection for the average amount of disturbance can be misleading because it overlooks plasticity in the response of animals to habitat heterogeneity. For example, selection of closed-canopy conifer forests by caribou generally became stronger with increasing disturbance levels. Anthropogenic disturbance thus could not only lead to the functional loss of residual habitat, but it can also increase the ‘relative value’ of residual patches. Our study provides a tool for more thorough assessments of spatial variation in the attractiveness of resource patches and, presumably, in the fitness benefits.

    4. Brown bear habitat suitability in the Pyrenees: transferability across sites and linking scales to make the most of scarce data (pages 621–631)

      Jodie Martin, Eloy Revilla, Pierre-Yves Quenette, Javier Naves, Dominique Allainé and Jon E. Swenson

      Article first published online: 3 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02139.x

      Our study illustrates how a nested-scale approach, combining coarse data from a different population and fine-scale local data, can aid in the management of small populations with limited data. This was applied to remnant brown bear populations to identify priorities for conservation management.

    5. Long-term responses of Mediterranean birds to forest fuel management (pages 632–643)

      Joana Santana, Miguel Porto, Luís Gordinho, Luís Reino and Pedro Beja

      Article first published online: 16 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02141.x

      Our study confirmed that mechanical fuel management has positive effects on some early-successional bird species of conservation concern, although its effects were limited. These benefits should be compared with the strong negative impacts on key bird species such as wintering frugivores, which play a pivotal role in ecosystems by promoting seed dispersal. To reconcile the positive and negative aspects, fuel management should be used to create heterogeneous mosaics of forest patches encompassing a range of sizes (10–100 ha) and successional stages of understorey vegetation, including stands undisturbed for >50 years. This management strategy will likely maintain conditions for a wide range of species with contrasting ecological requirements while also reducing fire hazard.

    6. The effect of postfire salvage logging on bird communities in Mediterranean pine forests: the benefits for declining species (pages 644–651)

      Josep Rost, Miguel Clavero, Lluís Brotons and Pere Pons

      Article first published online: 20 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02127.x

      In the Mediterranean Basin, some postfire salvage logging of pine forests can be compatible with bird conservation. We recommend that managers retain some standing dead trees during logging operations and that logged forest is interspersed with unlogged stands. This will provide suitable habitat for the widest range of species.

    7. Reduced pesticide toxicity and increased woody vegetation cover account for enhanced native bird densities in organic orchards (pages 652–660)

      Catriona J. MacLeod, Grant Blackwell and Jayson Benge

      Article first published online: 25 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02135.x

      A complete conversion to an organic system may not be required to improve biodiversity in agroecosystems. Instead, the transfer of specific land management practices known to benefit biodiversity in organic systems has the potential to enhance biodiversity in other more intensively managed systems (e.g. integrated management). This may be a path towards attaining biodiversity benefits at a larger scale, because such changes may be more straightforward than conversion to an organic system.

    8. Predator reduction results in compensatory shifts in losses of avian ground nests (pages 661–669)

      Susan N. Ellis-Felege, Michael J. Conroy, William E. Palmer and John P. Carroll

      Article first published online: 20 MAR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02126.x

      Our findings suggest that reductions in predation risk from one predator guild can be compensated by an increased risk from other predators in complex ecosystems. Predator removal within one group may not translate to additive increases in overall nest success, but rather results in shifts in the identity of predators responsible for nest failures. Management efforts focused on manipulating predator communities to enhance avian reproduction are encouraged to examine cause-specific nest fates to determine the effectiveness of predator reduction programmes.

  4. Environmental drivers

    1. Top of page
    2. Applied ecology in emerging economies
    3. Special Profile: Adapting conservation to a changing climate
    4. Habitat management
    5. Environmental drivers
    6. Agroecosystems
    7. Invasives
    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Exploring the role of environmental variables in shaping patterns of seabed biodiversity composition in regional-scale ecosystems (pages 670–679)

      C. Roland Pitcher, Peter Lawton, Nick Ellis, Stephen J. Smith, Lewis S. Incze, Chih-Lin Wei, Michelle E. Greenlaw, Nicholas H. Wolff, Jessica A. Sameoto and Paul V. R. Snelgrove

      Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02148.x

      Gradient Forest offers a new capability for exploring relationships between biodiversity and environmental gradients, generating new information on multispecies responses at a detail not available previously. Importantly, given the scarcity of data, Gradient Forest enables the combined use of information from disparate data sets. The gradient response curves provide biologically informed transformations of environmental layers to predict and map expected patterns of biodiversity composition that represent sampled composition better than uninformed variables. The approach can be applied to support marine spatial planning and management and has similar applicability in terrestrial realms.

    2. Environmental conditions associated with bat white-nose syndrome mortality in the north-eastern United States (pages 680–689)

      Abigail R. Flory, Sunil Kumar, Thomas J. Stohlgren and Paul M. Cryan

      Article first published online: 20 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02129.x

      This study mapped the most likely environmental surface conditions associated with bat mortality owing to WNS in the north-eastern United Sates; maps can be used for selection of priority monitoring sites. Our results provide a starting point from which to investigate and predict the potential spread and population impacts of this catastrophic emerging disease.

  5. Agroecosystems

    1. Top of page
    2. Applied ecology in emerging economies
    3. Special Profile: Adapting conservation to a changing climate
    4. Habitat management
    5. Environmental drivers
    6. Agroecosystems
    7. Invasives
    1. Managing ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes: are the solutions the same? (pages 690–694)

      Sarina Macfadyen, Saul A. Cunningham, Alejandro C. Costamagna and Nancy A. Schellhorn

      Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02132.x

      Synergies between agricultural productivity and biodiversity conservation can only be achieved if an understanding of ecosystem services leads to a change in management practice that supports greater biodiversity.

    2. Interactive effects of landscape context constrain the effectiveness of local agri-environmental management (pages 695–705)

      Elena D. Concepción, Mario Díaz, David Kleijn, András Báldi, Péter Batáry, Yann Clough, Doreen Gabriel, Felix Herzog, Andrea Holzschuh, Eva Knop, E. Jon P. Marshall, Teja Tscharntke and Jort Verhulst

      Article first published online: 26 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02131.x

      We used models to investigate how and why effects of local management intensity on species richness vary along wide gradients of landscape complexity. We conclude that landscape-scale management options should take priority over local extensification measures within agri-environmental programmes. These programmes should follow a hierarchical multi-scale approach directed to address landscape-scale constraints on local diversity.

    3. Agricultural intensification drives landscape-context effects on host–parasitoid interactions in agroecosystems (pages 706–714)

      Mattias Jonsson, Hannah L. Buckley, Bradley S. Case, Steve D. Wratten, Roddy J. Hale and Raphael K. Didham

      Article first published online: 20 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02130.x

      Our work suggests that increased land-use intensity (e.g. higher insecticide inputs and greater levels of disturbance associated with increasing area of annual crops) has been underestimated as a driver of landscape effects on host–parasitoid interactions. These findings have important implications for the maintenance of ecosystem services such as biological control. The promotion of low-intensity farming practices that limit the extent and frequency of agrochemical inputs and habitat disturbances will be essential for the maintenance of effective biological control by parasitoids in agroecosystems.

    4. Designing an effective trap cropping strategy: the effects of attraction, retention and plant spatial distribution (pages 715–722)

      Matthew H. Holden, Stephen P. Ellner, Doo-Hyung Lee, Jan P. Nyrop and John P. Sanderson

      Article first published online: 26 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02137.x

      The predictions from our model confirm the anecdotal evidence that trap cropping failures may be attributed to a focus on attraction at the expense of retention. A very high retention rate is required for effective reduction of pest densities. Therefore, additional practices that prevent insects from dispersing back into the cash crop may be essential for effective trap cropping designs. These techniques include trap vacuuming, trap harvesting, sticky traps, planting a high proportion of trap plants or applications of pesticides or natural enemies to the trap crop.

    5. Wild pollination services to California almond rely on semi-natural habitat (pages 723–732)

      Alexandra-Maria Klein, Claire Brittain, Stephen D. Hendrix, Robbin Thorp, Neal Williams and Claire Kremen

      Article first published online: 27 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02144.x

      The restoration of high quality habitat strips along the edges of crop fields in highly intensified agricultural landscapes should be encouraged and monitored to conserve pollinators and to determine whether benefits for agriculture can be realized. Although honeybees are the main and most important pollinating insects for many plants, wild pollinators may be necessary to ensure high fruit set. Organic farming alone will not sustain wild pollination services for almond in California.

  6. Invasives

    1. Top of page
    2. Applied ecology in emerging economies
    3. Special Profile: Adapting conservation to a changing climate
    4. Habitat management
    5. Environmental drivers
    6. Agroecosystems
    7. Invasives
    1. Hotspots of exotic free-spawning sex: man-made environment facilitates success of an invasive seastar (pages 733–741)

      Scott D. Ling, Craig R. Johnson, Craig N. Mundy, Alice Morris and D. Jeff Ross

      Article first published online: 31 MAY 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02133.x

      In the absence of effective pest control solutions, focusing on reproductive hotspots has the potential to reduce further spread of established marine pests and to alleviate ongoing ecological impacts. In the case of the northern Pacific seastar, elimination of highly localized wharf populations annually prior to spawning can reduce overall zygote production by up to estimated ∼90%. The long-term protection of key sources of larval production is a common goal for marine reserve design and fisheries management. However, the same concept but in reverse, whereby larval production is minimized at key sources, could be effective in the management of introduced pests in subtidal marine environments.

    2. Inferring habitat suitability and spread patterns from large-scale distributions of an exotic invasive pasture grass in north Australia (pages 742–752)

      Aaron M. Petty, Samantha A. Setterfield, Keith B. Ferdinands and Piers Barrow

      Article first published online: 25 APR 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02128.x

      Large-scale surveys across multiple sites are critical to understanding the dynamics of recent alien species invasions where little is known about the pattern and potential range of spread. The application of quantile regression and aerial surveys shows promise as aerial surveys are efficient at capturing a large amount of data. The novel quantile regression technique we demonstrate here can account for both spatial autocorrelation and noisy ecological data from aerial surveys while returning robust results. We were thus able to demonstrate widespread colonisation of creek lines by gamba grass and recommend that management focuses on detection and eradication along drainage lines in addition to the present focus on transport corridors.