Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 4 Issue 24

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
      A general model of intra-annual tree growth using dendrometer bands

      Sean M. McMahon and Geoffrey G. Parker

      Article first published online: 21 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1117

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      We present a workflow for optimizing the fit and interpretation of intra-annual tree growth. Postfit processing provides a number of important ecological metrics, such as start and stop of growth, total growth, and deviations in growth trajectory through the season.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Ecophysiological responses to different forest patch type of two codominant tree seedlings

      Renyan Duan, Minyi Huang, Xiaoquan Kong, Zhigao Wang and Weiyi Fan

      Article first published online: 21 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1368

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      According to gap-phase dynamics theory, forests can be divided into four distinct patch types: gap patch (G), building patch (B), mature patch (M) and degeneration patch (D). Varying light conditions across patch types are one of the most important factors affecting the coexistence of vegetation, and ecophysiological trait partitioning of response to light in different patches provide a possible explanation of coexistence mechanism.

    3. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Bryozoans are returning home: recolonization of freshwater ecosystems inferred from phylogenetic relationships

      Nikola Koletić, Maja Novosel, Nives Rajević and Damjan Franjević

      Article first published online: 21 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1352

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      Comparative analysis of existing knowledge about the phylogeny of bryozoans and the expansion of known evolutionary hypotheses is proposed with the model of settlement of marine and freshwater ecosystems by the bryozoans group during their evolutionary past. In this case study, brackish bryozoan taxons represent a link for this ecological-phylogenetic hypothesis. Comparison of brackish bryozoan species Lophopus crystallinus and Conopeum seurati confirmed a dual colonization of freshwater ecosystems throughout evolution of this group of animals.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Local adaptations in bryophytes revisited: the genetic structure of the calcium-tolerant peatmoss Sphagnum warnstorfii along geographic and pH gradients

      Eva Mikulášková, Michal Hájek, Adam Veleba, Matthew G. Johnson, Tomáš Hájek and Jonathan A. Shaw

      Article first published online: 19 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1351

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      We studied genetic variability of Sphagnum warnstorfii, with detailed focus to the populations growing on the wide pH/calcium gradient in Central Europe. Our results suggest an adaptive role of pH, however the main gradient remains unclear, possibly mirroring the introgression of phylogenetically allied species.

    5. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      An appraisal of how the vitamin A-redox hypothesis can maintain honesty of carotenoid-dependent signals

      Mirre J. P. Simons, Ton G. G. Groothuis and Simon Verhulst

      Article first published online: 18 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1364

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      The vitamin A-redox hypothesis provides an explanation for honest signaling of phenotypic quality by carotenoid-dependent traits. We performed a meta-analysis and find that vitamin A levels are positively related to carotenoid plasma levels (r = 0.50, P = 0.0002). On the basis of this finding and further theoretical considerations we propose that the vitamin A-redox hypothesis is unlikely to explain carotenoid-dependent honest signaling.

    6. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Projecting the impacts of rising seawater temperatures on the distribution of seaweeds around Japan under multiple climate change scenarios

      Shintaro Takao, Naoki H. Kumagai, Hiroya Yamano, Masahiko Fujii and Yasuhiro Yamanaka

      Article first published online: 18 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1358

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      In this study, we quantitatively evaluated the effects of warming seawater on the spatial extent of suitable versus unsuitable habitats for temperate seaweed using the most recent multiple climate projection models and emission scenarios. Our results suggest that continued warming may drive a poleward shift of temperate seaweeds, with large differences depending on the severity of warming, and most of seaweeds' populations would be exposed to intensified grazing by herbivores, even if it were possible to mitigate regional warming.

  2. Reviews

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Ecological opportunity and the adaptive diversification of lineages

      Gary A. Wellborn and R. Brian Langerhans

      Article first published online: 17 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1347

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      The tenet that ecological opportunity drives adaptive diversification has been central to theories of speciation since Darwin, yet there is currently no widely accepted definition or mechanistic framework for the concept. We propose an explicit definition and mechanism for ecological opportunity that includes its two fundamental elements: (1) niche availability, the opportunity for initial persistence of a new phenotype within a community, and (2) niche discordance, the rearrangement of ecological constraints that generates diversifying selection.

  3. Original Research

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Temporal dynamics of a local fish community are strongly affected by immigration from the surrounding metacommunity

      Rick J. Stoffels, Kenneth Robert Clarke and Danielle S. Linklater

      Article first published online: 17 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1369

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      Prior to a strong, flood-induced immigration episode a local floodplain fish community was shaped by local niche effects, with the dominant species (a catfish) exhibiting positive growth. Episodic immigration of species from the surrounding metacommunity significantly and strongly altered the structure of the local community, and catfish growth and condition declined markedly; an effect likely due to transient intensification of species interactions. Flood frequency mediates (1) the relative influence of regional and local processes, and (2) the capacity for storage effects to facilitate species coexistence in river-floodplain metacommunities.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      An increasing citation black hole in ecology and evolution

      Anthony R. Rafferty, Bob B. M. Wong and David G. Chapple

      Article first published online: 17 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1356

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      Citations published in online supplementary material (OSM) are invisible to search engines used to calculate citation counts, potentially negatively impacting popular performance indices and journal rankings that rely on citation counts for quantification. We conducted a systematic survey of historical supplementary citation practices in four journals from two geographical locations (Europe and North America) and found a significant increase in the number of references invisible to citation counting services over the last two decades. A solution to this problem is urgently required and could include journal indexing of citations in OSM or the inclusion of all references in the main text.

    3. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      4P: fast computing of population genetics statistics from large DNA polymorphism panels

      Andrea Benazzo, Alex Panziera and Giorgio Bertorelle

      Article first published online: 11 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1261

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      4P is a new computer program for parallel computation of basic population genetics statistics (including the joint allele frequency spectrum) from large panel of SNPs. 4P is fast and simple to use, read files with genomic data saved in classical formats, do not require ad hoc scripts, and it very fast with servers but also when multi-core stand-alone computers are used. It is particularly suitable to analyse multiple data sets produced in simulation studies.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Emergence timing and fitness consequences of variation in seed oil composition in Arabidopsis thaliana

      Sandra E. Pelc and C. Randal Linder

      Article first published online: 10 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1265

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      Seed oil composition (the types and relative amounts of fatty acids in the oils) may play an important role in determining emergence timing in oil seeds which in turn can affect relative fitness. Here, we tested the adaptive hypothesis that low melting point seeds (low proportion of saturated fatty acids) should be favored under colder germination temperatures due to earlier germination and faster growth before photosynthesis, while at warmer germination temperatures seeds with a higher amount of energy (high proportion of saturated fatty acids) should be favored.

    5. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Predicting fine-scale distributions of peripheral aquatic species in headwater streams

      Christopher R. DeRolph, Stacy A. C. Nelson, Thomas J. Kwak and Ernie F. Hain

      Article first published online: 9 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1331

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      We predicted distributions of peripheral, headwater wild trout populations at a fine scale to serve as a planning and management tool for resource managers to maximize resistance and resilience of these populations in the face of anthropogenic stressors. The underrepresentation of headwater streams in commonly used hydrography datasets is an important consideration that warrants close examination when forecasting headwater species distributions and range estimates. It appears that a relative watershed position metric (e.g. stream order) is an important surrogate variable (even when elevation is included) for biotic interactions across the landscape in areas where headwater species distributions are influenced by topographical gradients.

    6. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Genetic fingerprinting proves cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals as highly efficient in large capture–mark–recapture studies

      Axel Drechsler, Tobias Helling and Sebastian Steinfartz

      Article first published online: 8 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1340

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      Capture-mark-recapture (CMR) of individuals is the backbone of many studies in population ecology. Automated processes for photographic re-identification of individuals have been recently established but their performance in large datasets have rarely been tested thoroughly. By applying genetic fingerprinting we show that cross-correlated automatic photo-identification of individuals is highly efficient in large capture-mark–recapture studies.

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    8. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Habitat selection and consumption across a landscape of multiple predators

      Jeff S. Wesner, Peter Meyers, Eric J. Billman and Mark C. Belk

      Article first published online: 8 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1256

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We found no evidence that predatory trout or dragonflies altered colonization of adjacent mesocosms by aquatic dipterans (i.e., larvae of the adult Chironomid pictured above). However, both trout and dragonflies (but not trout + dragonflies) had consumptive effects on the colonized larval community. We interpret our results in light of previous studies as a function of (1) a failure of colonizing insects to differentiate predator risk at small scales; and (2) possible spatial contagion effects that override colonization decisions at small scales.

    9. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Vegetation changes associated with a population irruption by Roosevelt elk

      Heath D. Starns, Floyd W. Weckerly, Mark A. Ricca and Adam Duarte

      Article first published online: 7 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1327

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      Interactions between large herbivores and their food supply are central to the study of population dynamics. We assessed temporal and spatial patterns in meadow plant biomass over a 23-year period for meadow complexes that are spatially linked to distinct populations of irruptive and non-irruptive Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti) populations. Our findings suggest that the meadow complex used by an irruptive elk population may have undergone changes in plant community composition favoring plants that were resistant to elk grazing.

    10. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The neglected tool in the Bayesian ecologist's shed: a case study testing informative priors' effect on model accuracy

      William K. Morris, Peter A. Vesk, Michael A. McCarthy, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin and Patrick J. Baker

      Article first published online: 5 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1346

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      Despite benefits for precision, ecologists rarely use informative priors. One reason ecologists prefer vague priors is the perception that informative priors reduce accuracy. To date no ecological study has evaluated informative priors' effects on precision and accuracy. To determine impacts of priors, we evaluated mortality models for tree species using data from a forest dynamics plot in Thailand.

    11. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Patterns of shrub expansion in Alaskan arctic river corridors suggest phase transition

      Adam T. Naito and David M. Cairns

      Article first published online: 5 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1341

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      We examined the historic variability of landscape-scale tall shrub expansion patterns in nine river valleys in northern Alaska between the 1950s and circa 2010 using aerial and satellite imagery, pattern metric analysis, and the multi-scale information fractal dimension. Although fine-scale heterogeneity is still present, historic landscape-scale patterns of shrub expansion suggest that river corridors in northern Alaska are in a state of phase transition from tundra to shrubland or are progressing towards spatial homogeneity for shrubland.

    12. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The relative influence of habitat amount and configuration on genetic structure across multiple spatial scales

      Katie L. Millette and Nusha Keyghobadi

      Article first published online: 5 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1325

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      We explore a long-standing question in landscape ecology on the relative importance of habitat amount and configuration on spatial patterns of genetic differentiation. Using a spatially nested empirical system, we show that the importance of habitat amount and configuration depends on spatial scale and that they can interact to drive spatial genetic patterns.

    13. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Increase in body size is correlated to warmer winters in a passerine bird as inferred from time series data

      Mats Björklund, Antoni Borras, Josep Cabrera and Juan Carlos Senar

      Article first published online: 5 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1323

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      We found a correlation between change in winter temperature and mean wing length over 20–25 years in the citril finch. By testing several models we conclude that the response is due to selection possibly in combination with some degree of plasticity.

    14. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Tracing the radiation of Maniola (Nymphalidae) butterflies: new insights from phylogeography hint at one single incompletely differentiated species complex

      Angelina J. Kreuzinger, Konrad Fiedler, Harald Letsch and Andrea Grill

      Article first published online: 4 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1338

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      We present a study on the phylogeny of Maniola sp. (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae), evaluating the taxonomy of this genus by generating and analysing a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear sequence datasets and discuss our findings against the background of taxonomic over-splitting and the phylogeographic history of this species. In addition, we surveyed the usefulness of DNA barcoding identification and inferred the evolutionary history of the two resulting genetic lineages, describing a possible “Out of Africa” scenario.

    15. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Population history, gene flow, and bottlenecks in island populations of a secondary seed disperser, the southern grey shrike (Lanius meridionalis koenigi)

      David P. Padilla, Lewis G. Spurgin, Eleanor A. Fairfield, Juan Carlos Illera and David S. Richardson

      Article first published online: 4 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1334

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      We used molecular markers to determine the population history of the southern grey shrike (Lanius meridionalis koenigi) in the Canary Islands, where it is an endemic subspecies and an important secondary seed disperser. We show close relationships between Canarian populations and North African subspecies, and that three of the Canarian populations have undergone recent population declines, probably due to human disturbance. The implications for the ecology and conservation of shrikes are discussed.

  4. Hypotheses

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Recent insertion/deletion (reINDEL) mutations: increasing awareness to boost molecular-based research in ecology and evolution

      Birgit C. Schlick-Steiner, Wolfgang Arthofer, Karl Moder and Florian M. Steiner

      Article first published online: 4 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1330

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      In contrast to nucleotide substitutions, insertion/deletion (INDEL) mutations are largely considered uninformative, due to our lacking knowledge on their evolution. As a practical approach to better understanding INDEL evolution in general, we propose the study of recent INDEL (reINDEL) mutations – mutations where both ancestral and derived state are seen in the sample. We hypothesize that reINDELs are underreported and that increased reINDEL awareness should allow gathering data rapidly, which will then allow the improved modelling needed for including INDELs in the down-stream analysis of molecular data.

  5. Original Research

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Population divergence in compensatory growth responses and their costs in sticklebacks

      Nurul Izza Ab Ghani and Juha Merilä

      Article first published online: 3 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1342

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      Compensatory growth (CG) may be an adaptive mechanism that helps to restore an organisms’ growth trajectory and adult size from deviations caused by early life resource limitation. Here, we show that nine-spined sticklebacks show clear evidence for true compensatory growth, but these responses differ between two phenotypically and genetically divergent populations. Evidence is also provided for costs of compensatory growth.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Trait-specific consequences of inbreeding on adaptive phenotypic plasticity

      Mads F. Schou, Torsten N. Kristensen and Volker Loeschcke

      Article first published online: 3 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1339

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      Effects of inbreeding often interact with the environment and can decrease fitness of inbred individuals exposed to stress more so than that of outbred individuals. In this study we investigate the effects of inbreeding on adaptive phenotypic plasticity of abdominal pigmentation and wing size and shape across a developmental thermal gradient in Drosophila melanogaster. We find that a reduced ability to induce an adaptive phenotypic response is not a general consequence of inbreeding, and thus not a general explanation of inbreeding-environment interaction effects on fitness components.

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