Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 4 Issue 22

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
      Herbivory drives large-scale spatial variation in reef fish trophic interactions

      Guilherme O. Longo, Carlos Eduardo L. Ferreira and Sergio R. Floeter

      Article first published online: 22 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1310

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      We explored large-scale variation in reef fish trophic interactions, encompassing tropical and subtropical reefs with different abiotic conditions and trophic structure of reef fish community. There were remarkable changes in the intensity and composition of fish feeding pressure on the benthos across the studied sites, driven by the decline in the feeding pressure of roving herbivores from the northernmost to the southernmost site. Comparing how species with different feeding ecology affect the strength and distribution of trophic interactions across large spatial scales can shed light to new interaction-based approaches to functional redundancy and conservation of reef ecosystems.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Variation in wing pattern and palatability in a female-limited polymorphic mimicry system

      Elizabeth C. Long, Thomas P. Hahn and Arthur M. Shapiro

      Article first published online: 20 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1308

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      The Variable Checkerspot, Euphydryas chalcedona, occurs in a palatable red form and an unpalatable black form (shown). The Northern Checkerspot is a palatable Female-limited Batesian mimic of the Variable Checkerspot. Only females of the Northern Checkerspot occur in the black form.

    3. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Nest destruction elicits indiscriminate con- versus heterospecific brood parasitism in a captive bird

      Rachael C. Shaw, William E. Feeney and Mark E. Hauber

      Article first published online: 19 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1243

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      In response to experimental nest destruction, captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) laid physiologically committed eggs (ovulated, yolked, and making their way through the oviduct) indiscriminately between nests containing conspecific eggs and nests containing heterospecific eggs (from Bengalese finches, Lonchura striata vars. domestica). This indiscriminate laying occurred despite the con- and heterospecific eggs differing in both size and colouration. This is the first experimental evidence that nest destruction may provide a pathway for the evolution of interspecific brood parasitism in birds.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Direct and indirect selection on flowering time, water-use efficiency (WUE, δ13C), and WUE plasticity to drought in Arabidopsis thaliana

      Amanda M. Kenney, John K. McKay, James H. Richards and Thomas E. Juenger

      Article first published online: 19 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1270

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      Using a combination of experimental manipulation, quantitative genetics, and genetic selection analyses, we investigated the evolutionary significance of natural genetic variation in water-use efficiency (WUE), flowering time, and WUE plasticity to drought in spring flowering accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results indicate that strong genetic correlation between WUE and flowering time may facilitate the evolution of drought escape, or constrain independent evolution of these traits. Terminal drought favored drought escape (earlier flowering and lower WUE), rather than a more conservative avoidance strategy in these spring flowering accessions of A. thaliana. Finally, WUE plasticity to drought may be favored over completely fixed development in environments with periodic drought.

    5. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Under what conditions do climate-driven sex ratios enhance versus diminish population persistence?

      Maria Boyle, Jim Hone, Lisa E. Schwanz and Arthur Georges

      Article first published online: 19 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1316

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      For many reptile species, vital demographic parameters (e.g. juvenile survival, individual sex) depend on incubation temperature. The role of climate on offspring sex ratios in TSD species has been previously emphasised, but not how limiting male abundance is to female fecundity, and whether a climatic effect on juvenile survival overwhelms or interacts with sex ratio, in determining population persistence.

    6. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      DNA barcoding reveals novel insights into pterygophagy and prey selection in distichodontid fishes (Characiformes: Distichodontidae)

      Jairo Arroyave and Melanie L. J. Stiassny

      Article first published online: 19 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1321

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      DNA barcoding was used to investigate dietary habits and prey selection in members of the African-endemic family Distichodontidae noteworthy for displaying highly specialized ectoparasitic fin-eating behaviors (pterygophagy). Our findings suggest that, despite the possession of highly specialized trophic anatomies, fin-eating distichodontids are opportunistic generalists, preying on fishes from a wide phylogenetic spectrum and to the extent of engaging in cannibalism.

    7. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Carryover effects and climatic conditions influence the postfledging survival of greater sage-grouse

      Erik J. Blomberg, James S. Sedinger, Daniel Gibson, Peter S. Coates and Michael L. Casazza

      Article first published online: 12 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1139

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      We evaluated the effect of body condition at fledging on postfledging survival of greater sage-grouse monitored at three study sites in the American Great Basin. Concurrent variation in annual temperature and precipitation affected postfledging survival, but were not associated with body condition at fledging. We show that both carryover effects and direct effects influence the survival of sage-grouse to recruitment and discuss implications for sage-grouse ecology and conservation.

    8. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Evaluating indices of body condition in two cricket species

      Clint D. Kelly, Brittany R. Tawes and Amy M. Worthington

      Article first published online: 11 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1257

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      Body condition refers to an animal's energetic state and is generally considered to be an indicator of an animal's health, quality, and vigour. Although condition is an important concept in evolutionary ecology, the methods workers use to investigate it are often incorrect and erroneous. Our study on two cricket species, Acheta domesticus and Gryllus texensis, shows that three popular methods (i.e., residual mass, the scaled mass index, or analysis of covariance) are ineffective in the analysis of body condition and their use leads to erroneous biological conclusions.

    9. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Impact of global warming at the range margins: phenotypic plasticity and behavioral thermoregulation will buffer an endemic amphibian

      Manuel Ruiz-Aravena, Avia Gonzalez-Mendez, Sergio A. Estay, Juan D. Gaitán-Espitia, Ismael Barria-Oyarzo, José L. Bartheld and Leonardo D. Bacigalupe

      Article first published online: 10 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1315

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      When dispersal is not an option to evade warming temperatures, compensation through behaviour, plasticity or evolutionary adaptation is essential to prevent extinction. In this work we evaluated if there is physiological plasticity in physiological performance in individuals acclimated to current and projected temperatures and if there is an opportunity for behavioural thermoregulation in the desert landscape where inhabits the northernmost population of the frog Pleurodema thaul. Our results suggest that this population will be able to endure the worst projected scenario of climate warming as it has not only the physiological capacities but also the environmental opportunities to regulate its body temperature behaviourally.

    10. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Reduced plant competition among kin can be explained by Jensen's inequality

      Anna K. Simonsen, Theresa Chow and John R. Stinchcombe

      Article first published online: 10 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1312

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      Plants often compete with closely related individuals due to limited dispersal. Here, we provide empirical evidence for fitness patterns predicted by kin selection theory by showing that leguminous plant groups comprised of competing kin had higher than expected fitness compared to groups of competing non-kin. Non-kin groups showed higher competitive asymmetry, as indicated by higher plant size inequality, which can be explained by heritable differences in size among differing plant genotypes. We show that fitness differences between kin and non-kin competitive environments can be generated by a combination of saturating curvi-linear relationships between plant size and seed production and higher competitive asymmetry in non-kin groups - a mathematical expectation called Jensen's inequality. We also show that differences in rhizobia soil bacteria composition can modify plant competition among kin and non-kin, and facilitate detection of group fitness differences potentially generated by kin selection. Our results suggest that specialized plastic responses or kin recognition mechanisms are not required in plants for kin selection.

    11. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Top-down effects of a lytic bacteriophage and protozoa on bacteria in aqueous and biofilm phases

      Ji Zhang, Anni-Maria Örmälä-Odegrip, Johanna Mappes and Jouni Laakso

      Article first published online: 10 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1302

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      Lytic bacteriophages and protozoan predators are major causes of bacterial mortality in natural microbial communities, which also makes them potential candidates for biological control of bacterial pathogens.We found that ciliates were most efficient in reducing bacterial biomass in the open water, but least efficient in reducing the biofilm biomass, whereas amoebas reduced the biomass significantly both in the biofilm and in the open water phase. Bacteriophages had only a minor long-term negative effect on bacterial biomass in open water and biofilm phases.

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      A lack of response of the financial behaviors of biodiversity conservation nonprofits to changing economic conditions

      Eric R. Larson, Alison G. Boyer and Paul R. Armsworth

      Article first published online: 3 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1281

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      The effectiveness of conservation organizations is determined in part by how they adapt to changing conditions. We examined how biodiversity conservation nonprofits in the US responded to changing economic conditions between 2000–2009 through their financial behaviors, and found that these organizations were largely unresponsive.


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