Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 5 Issue 8

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Editors-in-Chief: Allen Moore, University of Georgia, USA and Andrew Beckerman, University of Sheffield, UK

Impact Factor: 1.658

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 85/141 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 2045-7758

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  1. Original Research

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Diet quality influences isotopic discrimination among amino acids in an aquatic vertebrate

      Yoshito Chikaraishi, Shawn A. Steffan, Yoshinori Takano and Naohiko Ohkouchi

      Article first published online: 25 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1491

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      Diet quality influences the trophic discrimination of stable nitrogen isotopic composition of amino acids in an aquatic vertebrate, although the isotopic composition has been employed as a powerful tool in ecological food web studies particularly for estimating the trophic position of animal species in food webs. Knowledge of how a nutritionally poor diet can influence the isotopic discrimination of amino acids will allow amino acid isotopic analyses to better estimate trophic position among free-roaming animals.

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      The evolution of pattern camouflage strategies in waterfowl and game birds

      Kate L. A. Marshall and Thanh-Lan Gluckman

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1482

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      In our manuscript we consider the evolution of patterns for anti-predator defences. Previous studies have focused on their presence or absence, or on one particular type of defence, but predominantly from a visual perspective. Here, we report an extensive analysis of the evolution of anti-predator patterns in waterfowl (Anseriformes – 118 spp.) and game birds (Galliformes – 170 spp.).

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      Mother–offspring distances reflect sex differences in fine-scale genetic structure of eastern grey kangaroos

      Wendy J. King, Dany Garant and Marco Festa-Bianchet

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1498

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      We found weak fine-scale genetic structure among adult female eastern grey kangaroos but no structure among adult males. Immature males moved away from their mothers at 18–25 months of age while immature females remained near their mothers until older, and more male (34%) than female (6%) subadults and young adults dispersed. Female kangaroos, although weakly philopatric, mostly encounter nonrelatives in fission-fusion groups at high density and therefore kinship is unlikely to strongly affect sociality.

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      Modeling ecological traps for the control of feral pigs

      Nick Dexter and Steven R. McLeod

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1489

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      In this paper we explore theoretically the possibility of We examine the outcomes for feral pigs using both logistic and interactive models with constant and density dependent control rates. We conclude that due to density dependent immigration broadscale control can be achieved outside the area controlled as well as inside. We also conclude that eradication can be achieved without controlling a species throughout its entire range.

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      Genetic structure and historical diversification of catfish Brachyplatystoma platynemum (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) in the Amazon basin with implications for its conservation

      Luz Eneida Ochoa, Luiz Henrique G. Pereira, Guilherme Jose Costa-Silva, Fábio F. Roxo, Jacqueline S. Batista, Kyara Formiga, Fausto Foresti and Claudio Oliveira

      Article first published online: 22 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1486

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      Analisys of genetic structure of B. platynemum in the Amazon basin, showed high levels of haplotype diversity and point to the occurrence of two highly structured populations. The divergence time estimated indicated that these populations diverged approximately between 1.0–1.4 Mya probably like consequence of climatic changes during the Pleistocene.

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      Behavioral responses of Atlantic cod to sea temperature changes

      Carla Freitas, Esben Moland Olsen, Even Moland, Lorenzo Ciannelli and Halvor Knutsen

      Article first published online: 17 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1496

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      Our study found a significant effect of sea temperature on cod depth use and activity level in coastal Skagerrak. Cod was found in deeper waters when sea surface temperature increased and this effect of temperature was stronger on larger cod. Our findings suggest that future and ongoing elevations in sea surface temperature may increasingly deprive cod in this region from shallow feeding areas during summer, which may be detrimental for local populations of the species.

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      Invasiveness of plants is predicted by size and fecundity in the native range

      Kim Jelbert, Iain Stott, Robbie A. McDonald and Dave Hodgson

      Article first published online: 17 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1432

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      We provide the first multi-species comparison of size and fecundity of invasive versus non-invasive plants in their native range. We find that invasive species are larger. Greater size yields greater fecundity, but we also find that invasives are more fecund per-unit-size.

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      Strategies of zooplanktivory shape the dynamics and diversity of littoral plankton communities: a mesocosm approach

      Laura K. Helenius, Anna Aymà Padrós, Elina Leskinen, Hannu Lehtonen and Leena Nurminen

      Article first published online: 16 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1488

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      We used mesocosm experiments to examine the contrasting effects of two fish predators with different feeding strategies on two seasonally distinct zooplankton communities. The selective particulate feeding stickleback was found to deplete the spring community and decrease its diversity to a greater extent than the cruising roach, while both predators had an effect on competition between zooplankton species. Predation effects on the summer community were less dependent on predator type.

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      Spatial and temporal variation in harvest probabilities for American black duck

      Christian Roy, Steven G. Cumming and Eliot J.B. McIntire

      Article first published online: 16 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1484

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      We analysed direct band recovery data from American Black ducks on the Canadian Breeding ground between 1970 and 2010 to estimate harvest probability at the scale of 1 degree grid. Recovery probabilities for juveniles were correlated with hunter effort while the adult recoveries were weakly correlated with the implementation of stricter harvest regulations in the early 1980s. Harvest probabilities for juveniles currently exceed 20% in southern Quebec and in the Atlantic provinces and should be monitored closely.

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      The relationship between manuscript title structure and success: editorial decisions and citation performance for an ecological journal

      Charles W. Fox and C. Sean Burns

      Article first published online: 16 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1480

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      Manuscript titles have changed in structure over time. Most features of manuscript titles have only weak relationships with success during editorial review or post-publication impact. The title feature that matters most: papers whose titles emphasize broader conceptual or comparative issues fare better both pre- and post-publication than do papers with organism-specific titles.

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      Elevation as a barrier: genetic structure for an Atlantic rain forest tree (Bathysa australis) in the Serra do Mar mountain range, SE Brazil

      Talita Soares Reis, Maísa Ciampi-Guillardi, Miklos Maximiliano Bajay, Anete Pereira de Souza and Flavio Antonio Maës dos Santos

      Article first published online: 14 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1501

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      We investigated the distribution of genetic diversity in six B. australis populations at two extreme sites along an elevation gradient: a lowland site (80–216 m) and an upland site (1010–1100 m.a.s.l.). The lowland populations had a higher allelic richness and showed higher rare allele counts than the upland ones. The upland site may be more selective, eliminating rare alleles, as we did not find any evidence for bottleneck. We also found a marked genetic structure on a scale as small as 6 km (FST = 0.21) and two distinct clusters were identified, each corresponding to a site. Although B. australis is continuously distributed along the elevation gradient, we have not observed a gene flow between the extreme populations. This might be related to B. australis biological features and creates a potential scenario for adaptation to the different conditions imposed by the elevation gradient.

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      Local and global pyrogeographic evidence that indigenous fire management creates pyrodiversity

      Clay Trauernicht, Barry W. Brook, Brett P. Murphy, Grant J. Williamson and David M. J. S. Bowman

      Article first published online: 14 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1494

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      People have intentionally manipulated fire both to alter resource availability and cope with fire as a recurrent threat for centuries to millennia on most continents, yet the effects of these practices on pyrodiversity – ecological heterogeneity wrought by fire – have been difficult to elucidate. We draw on field data from Aboriginal estates and a stochastic simulation to illustrate how spatial patterns in human-mediated disturbance affect both the spatial and temporal outcomes of habitat heterogeneity. We then use a literature survey to consider the global extent of the practice and how the potential outcomes of patch burning illustrated by the simulation are ultimately driven by a diverse array of objectives, suggesting that human coexistence with fire is closely tied to landscape management.

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      Seasonal cycles, phylogenetic assembly, and functional diversity of orchid bee communities

      Santiago R. Ramírez, Carlos Hernández, Andres Link and Margarita M. López-Uribe

      Article first published online: 13 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1466

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      Euglossine (or orchid) bees are a speciose lineage of insect pollinators distributed throughout the American tropics that pollinate a staggering diversity of flowering plant taxa. Elucidating the seasonal patterns of phylogenetic assembly and functional trait diversity of bee communities is crucial for understanding the potential effects of declining bee populations, particularly in threatened ecosystems such as tropical rainforests. We conducted monthly censuses of orchid bees in three sites in the Magdalena valley of Colombia—a region where Central and South American biotas converge—to investigate the structure, diversity, and assembly of euglossine bee communities through time in relation to seasonal climatic variables. In particular, we tested the hypothesis that phylogenetic community structure and functional trait diversity changed in response to seasonal rainfall fluctuations. Our results emphasize the importance of considering seasonal fluctuations in community assembly and provide a glimpse of the potential effects that climatic alterations may have on pollinator communities and the ecosystem services they provide.

    14. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Warming experiments elucidate the drivers of observed directional changes in tundra vegetation

      Robert D. Hollister, Jeremy L. May, Kelseyann S. Kremers, Craig E. Tweedie, Steven F. Oberbauer, Jennifer A. Liebig, Timothy F. Botting, Robert T. Barrett and Jessica L. Gregory

      Article first published online: 12 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1499

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      Few studies have clearly linked long-term monitoring with in-situ experiments to clarify potential drivers of observed change. Here we document vegetation change at four plant communities in northern Alaska occurring naturally and due to experimental warming over nearly two decades. This study suggests that the directional changes occurring in the control plots at the sites in northern Alaska are primarily due to climate warming and indicates that further changes are likely in the next two decades if the regional warming trend continues.

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      Indirect selection of thermal tolerance during experimental evolution of Drosophila melanogaster

      Catriona Condon, Ajjya Acharya, Gregory J. Adrian, Alex M. Hurliman, David Malekooti, Phivu Nguyen, Maximilian H. Zelic and Michael J. Angilletta Jr

      Article first published online: 12 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1472

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      Long standing models of thermal adaptation assume that tradeoffs exist between fitness at different temperatures, however experimental evolution often fails to reveal such tradeoffs. In this paper, we show that adaptation to benign temperatures in experimental populations Drosophila melanogaster resulted in correlated responses at the boundaries of the thermal niche.

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      Timing of flowering and intensity of attack by a butterfly herbivore in a polyploid herb

      Malin A. E. König, Christer Wiklund and Johan Ehrlén

      Article first published online: 12 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1470

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      Plants and herbivores differ in their response to environmental cues and spatial and temporal variation in environmental conditions might influence the synchrony between host plants and herbivores, and the intensity of their interactions. We investigated if differences in first day of flowering among and within 21 populations of the polyploid herb Cardamine pratensis influenced the probability of oviposition by the butterfly Anthocharis cardamines during four study years. Within populations timing of flowering influenced the probability of herbivore attack in some years while timing of flowering had no effect on the probability of becoming oviposited upon among populations; suggesting that a large proportion of the observed among population variation in herbivore attack intensity might sometimes be caused directly by differences in the environmental context, while genotypic or phenotypic differences in mean plant traits among populations play a smaller role.

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      When is it worth being a self-compatible hermaphrodite? Context-dependent effects of self-pollination on female advantage in gynodioecious Silene nutans

      Emna Lahiani, Pascal Touzet, Emmanuelle Billard and Mathilde Dufay

      Article first published online: 11 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1410

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      This study investigates empirically how self-pollination interplays with male sterilty, which are two major traits of plant reproductive systems. Such interactions have been considered by several theoretical studies but never fully verified empirically. In particular, we directly show that being self-compatible provides hermaphrodites with a reproductive assurance. Our study thus allows a better understanding of reproductive strategies in flowering plants.

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      Ecological gradients driving the distribution of four Ericaceae in boreal Quebec, Canada

      Nelson Thiffault, Pierre Grondin, Jean Noël and Véronique Poirier

      Article first published online: 9 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1476

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      We wanted to verify if the large-scale distribution of seemingly ubiquitous understory ericaceous species is rather heterogeneous and driven by interactions between forest stands, physical environment, disturbances and climatic variables. Using data from ecological survey plots distributed over 535,355 km2, we used numerical ecology to position, along ecological gradients, four ericaceous species of the boreal forest of Quebec (Canada). We then regionalised these ericaceous species into homogeneous landscape units, and estimated the relative importance of the ecological drivers (climate, disturbances, physical environment, tree cover) that control the species distribution and abundance.

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      Identification of ungulates used in a traditional Chinese medicine with DNA barcoding technology

      Jing Chen, Zhigang Jiang, Chunlin Li, Xiaoge Ping, Shaopeng Cui, Songhua Tang, Hongjun Chu and Binwan Liu

      Article first published online: 8 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1457

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      “Lingyangjiao”, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), was specified to be horns of Saiga antelope, but recently horns of the other seven species were sold as substitutes in TCM markets. Difficulty of diagnosis of these similar horns impeded not only management of trade of Saiga horns but also conservation strategies for these endangered species. We extracted genomic DNA from horns samples and implemented DNA barcoding technology to diagnose species whose horns were sold as “Lingyangjiao” in TCM markets.

    20. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Condition, not eyespan, predicts contest outcome in female stalk-eyed flies, Teleopsis dalmanni

      Eleanor Bath, Stuart Wigby, Claire Vincent, Joseph A. Tobias and Nathalie Seddon

      Article first published online: 8 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1467

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      Condition determines the outcome of intrasexual competition in female stalk-eyed flies (Teleopsis dalmanni). In addition, we find that an exaggerated condition-dependent trait (eyespan), which has previously been thought to be a better predictor of contest outcome in male stalk-eyed flies, does not provide any additional benefit to either sex in intrasexual competition.

    21. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Intervarietal and intravarietal genetic structure in Douglas-fir: nuclear SSRs bring novel insights into past population demographic processes, phylogeography, and intervarietal hybridization

      Marcela van Loo, Wolfgang Hintsteiner, Elisabeth Pötzelsberger, Silvio Schüler and Hubert Hasenauer

      Article first published online: 3 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1435

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      This study examined the genetic structure of the North American conifer Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and its two hybridising varieties, coastal and Rocky Mountain, at intervarietal and intravarietal level using 13 nuclear SSRs. The genetic structure was subsequently associated with the Pleistocene refugial history, postglacial migration and inter-varietal hybridisation/introgression.

    22. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Predicting dispersal of auto-gyrating fruit in tropical trees: a case study from the Dipterocarpaceae

      James R. Smith, Robert Bagchi, Judith Ellens, Chris J. Kettle, David F. R. P. Burslem, Colin R. Maycock, Eyen Khoo and Jaboury Ghazoul

      Article first published online: 2 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1469

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      This article experimentally investigates seed dispersal potential in the Dipterocarpaceae, a family of trees with winged, wind dispersed fruit which dominates the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Seed dispersal of all species was predominantly local, with 90% of seed dispersing <10 m. We present a generic seed dispersal model for dipterocarps based on attributes of seed morphology, and provide modelled seed dispersal kernels for all dipterocarp species with inverse wing loadings (area of fruit wings/mass of fruit) of 1–50, representing 75% of species in Borneo.

    23. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Seaweed fails to prevent ocean acidification impact on foraminifera along a shallow-water CO2 gradient

      Laura R. Pettit, Christopher W. Smart, Malcolm B. Hart, Marco Milazzo and Jason M. Hall-Spencer

      Article first published online: 31 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1475

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      There is a suggestion that photosynthetic organisms could mitigate ocean acidification on a local scale. Here, we used a natural gradient in calcium carbonate saturation to assess whether seaweed that is resistant to acidification (Padina pavonica) could prevent adverse effects of acidification on epiphytic foraminifera. We found that the assemblage shifted from one dominated by calcareous species at reference sites (pH ~8.19) to one dominated by agglutinated foraminifera at elevated levels of CO2 (pH ~7.71).

    24. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Explaining forest productivity using tree functional traits and phylogenetic information: two sides of the same coin over evolutionary scale?

      Alain Paquette, Simon Joly and Christian Messier

      Article first published online: 27 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1456

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      The importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning and for the provisioning of services to humanity is well established. Yet we still are looking for methods to quantify this biodiversity that are both relevant and efficient. Here we show that phylogenetic information can help, especially when key functional traits are unavailable, and how it relates to functional traits of species.

    25. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Effects of natural and artificial selection on survival of columnar cacti seedlings: the role of adaptation to xeric and mesic environments

      Susana Guillén, Teresa Terrazas and Alejandro Casas

      Article first published online: 25 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1478

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      Effect of incipient domestication on seedling survival of columnar cacti in wild and anthropogenic environments.

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