Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 4 Issue 14

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: 1.184

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2012: 99/136 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 2045-7758

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  1. 1 - 27
  1. Original Research

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Spatial variation in the climatic predictors of species compositional turnover and endemism

      Giovanni Di Virgilio, Shawn W. Laffan, Malte C. Ebach and David G. Chapple

      Article first published online: 29 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1156

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      Previous studies focusing on broad-scale or geographically invariant species-environment dependencies suggest that temperature-related variables explain more of the variation in reptile distributions than precipitation or non-climatic predictors. Our research characterises the variation in reptile-environment relationships across spatial scales, locations and along different geographic gradients. We show that whilst reptile biodiversity is dependent upon temperature, variation in rainfall also has an important influence and it is most predictive in some locations at local scales. Broad-extent, spatially invariant analyses may mask this local variation and their findings may not generalise to different locations at local scales.

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      Visualization of species pairwise associations: a case study of surrogacy in bird assemblages

      Peter W. Lane, David B. Lindenmayer, Philip S. Barton, Wade Blanchard and Martin J. Westgate

      Article first published online: 29 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1182

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      We present a new method for assessing and visualizing patterns of co-occurrence of species. The method depicts interactions and associations in an analogous way to existing uses of network diagrams for studying pollination and trophic interactions, but adds the assessment of sign, strength and direction of the associations. We demonstrate the utility of our new approach by showing differences in associations among woodland bird species found in different habitats, and by illustrating the way these can be interpreted in terms of underlying ecological mechanisms.

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      A standardized method for quantifying unidirectional genetic introgression

      Sten Karlsson, Ola H. Diserud, Thomas Moen and Kjetil Hindar

      Article first published online: 27 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1169

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      Tools that can be used for monitoring unidirectional gene flow from domesticated to wild populations are needed for a large number of species. We develop a standardized method for quantifying and monitoring domesticated to wild gene flow. Expected probability distributions for belonging to wild and domesticated populations were generated from individual-based analyses of observed wild and domesticated genotypes.

  2. Original Articles

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      Historical and recent processes shaping the geographic range of a rocky intertidal gastropod: phylogeography, ecology, and habitat availability

      Phillip B. Fenberg, Karine Posbic and Michael E. Hellberg

      Article first published online: 27 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1181

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      Spatial patterns of gene genealogy can expose patterns hinting at the processes that have shaped the geographic range of a species over historic and recent time scales, especially when combined with range-wide ecological and temporal distribution data. Here we show that the geographic range of a rocky intertidal gastropod (Mexacanthina lugubris lugubris) can be characterised by three different events in its history: an old sundering in the mid-peninsular region of Baja California (~417 000 years ago) and more recent northern range expansion and southern range contraction. The mid-peninsular break is shared with many terrestrial and marine species, although M. l. lugubris represents the first mollusc to show it. Range-wide patterns of distribution and abundance of M. l. lugubris and its primary prey (the barnacle, Chthamalus fissus), along with surveys of habitat and past distributions inferred from museum collections, suggest that the underlying causes of recent range dynamism may be a partial result of the same but opposite trending ecological (local abundances, food availability) and physical (habitat availability) factors at the leading edges of its range.

  3. Original Research

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      Reversed brain size sexual dimorphism accompanies loss of parental care in white sticklebacks

      Kieran Samuk, Davis Iritani and Dolph Schluter

      Article first published online: 27 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1175

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      The parental brain hypothesis predicts that the sex performing parental care should have a larger brain than the non-caring sex. We test this idea by examining brains of a unique white form of threespined stickleback that, unlike the common stickleback it co-occurs with, does not perform paternal care. We found that male white sticklebacks have smaller relative brain weights than females – the opposite of the pattern in common sticklebacks.

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      The relationship of leaf photosynthetic traits – Vcmax and Jmax – to leaf nitrogen, leaf phosphorus, and specific leaf area: a meta-analysis and modeling study

      Anthony P. Walker, Andrew P. Beckerman, Lianhong Gu, Jens Kattge, Lucas A. Cernusak, Tomas F. Domingues, Joanna C. Scales, Georg Wohlfahrt, Stan D. Wullschleger and F. Ian Woodward

      Article first published online: 25 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1173

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      Great uncertainty exists in the global exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere. To reduce this uncertainty we analysed data collected in the literature from across the globe on the maximum rate of carboxylation (Vcmax) and the maximum rate of electron transport (Jmax) in relation to plant nutrient status indicated by the traits: leaf nitrogen (N), leaf phosphorus (P), and specific leaf area (SLA). Vcmax was strongly related to leaf N and increasing leaf P substantially increased the sensitivity of Vcmax to leaf N and in a model of photosynthesis we showed that at high leaf N (3 gm−2) increasing leaf P from 0.05 to 0.22 gm−2 nearly doubled assimilation rates. Finally we show that plants may employ a conservative strategy of Jmax to Vcmax co-ordination that restricts photoinhibition when carboxylation is limiting at the expense of maximising photosynthetic rates when light is limiting.

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      Blood parasite infection differentially relates to carotenoid-based plumage and bill color in the American goldfinch

      David C. Lumpkin, Troy G. Murphy and Keith A. Tarvin

      Article first published online: 23 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1164

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      We show that carotenoid-based condition-dependent plumage color strongly predicts trypanosome infection in American goldfinches, but carotenoid-based condition-dependent bill color, which dynamically signals other aspects of condition, does not. This contrast in the relationship between infection and different carotenoid-based signaling modalities raises questions about the physiological mechanisms that link carotenoid ornamentation and infection, perhaps suggesting that multiple pathways may exist even within a single species.

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      Stage-dependent responses to emergent habitat heterogeneity: consequences for a predatory insect population in a coffee agroecosystem

      Heidi Liere, Ivette Perfecto and John Vandermeer

      Article first published online: 23 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1161

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      Interactions among members of biological communities can create spatial patterns that effectively generate habitat heterogeneity for other members in the community and this heterogeneity might be crucial for their persistence. Here we report how a voracious predatory ladybeetle in a coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico undergoes an ontogenetic niche shift, not through shifting prey species, but through stage-specific vulnerability differences against a competitor that renders areas of abundant prey populations inaccessible for adults but not for larvae. Our study suggests that the resulting spatial separation of resources may be crucial for the predator population persistence.

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      Potential effects of climate change on the distribution range of the main silicate sinker of the Southern Ocean

      Stefan Pinkernell and Bánk Beszteri

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1138

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      We studied distribution patterns of the marine pelagic diatom Fragilariopsis kerguelensis, one of the main drivers of the biological silicate pump in the Southern Ocean. The study is based on Maxent models to predict current as well as future distributions expected for the year 2100.

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      Large-scale adaptive divergence in Boechera fecunda, an endangered wild relative of Arabidopsis

      Larry J. Leamy, Cheng-Ruei Lee, Vanessa Cousins, Ibro Mujacic, Antonio J. Manzaneda, Kasavajhala Prasad, Thomas Mitchell-Olds and Bao-Hua Song

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1148

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      This study integrated molecular variation, quantitative trait variation, as well as environmental analysis to provide evidence that despite the restricted geographical distribution of this endangered species, high levels of genetic variation and local adaptation exist at a large geographic scale. Conservation efforts should be directed to the preservation of populations in different regions rather than transplantation between regions.

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      Effects of experimental sedimentation on the phenological dynamics and leaf traits of replanted mangroves at Gazi bay, Kenya

      Judith A. Okello, Elisabeth M. R. Robert, Hans Beeckman, James G. Kairo, Farid Dahdouh-Guebas and Nico Koedam

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1154

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      (a) The benefits accruing from mangrove forests are multifaceted and their deterioration has been of a major concern worldwide. (b) The study specifically aimed at establishing the crown foliage dynamics of three mangrove tree species commonly found along the Kenyan coast and the eastern biogeographic region that were subjected to experimental sediment burial simulating large sedimentation events. (c) The results showed species specific responses with negative impacts only witnesed only during the first six months of exposure.

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      Ecological divergence and evolutionary transition of resprouting types in Banksia attenuata

      Tianhua He

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1143

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      This study revealed an association between population genetic differentiation and the morphological divergence of postfire resprouting types in Banksia attenuata. A microsatellite allele has been shown to be associated with epicormic populations, and an evolutionary transition from epicormic to lignotuberous resprouting was evident in B. attenuata.

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      Fitness consequences of maternal and grandmaternal effects

      Roshan Prizak, Thomas H. G. Ezard and Rebecca B. Hoyle

      Article first published online: 18 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1150

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      At equilibrium, negative maternal and negative grandmaternal effects maximise expected mean fitness. If, however, maternal effects are positive, negative grandmaternal effects maximise expected mean fitness.

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      Climate warming decreases the survival of the little auk (Alle alle), a high Arctic avian predator

      Johanna E. H. Hovinen, Jorg Welcker, Sébastien Descamps, Hallvard Strøm, Kurt Jerstad, Jørgen Berge and Harald Steen

      Article first published online: 18 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1160

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      For species with delayed maturity, low fecundity, and long life expectancy, even a small change in adult survival can strongly affect the population dynamics and viability. We examined the effects of both regional and local climatic variability on adult survival of the little auk, a long-lived and numerous Arctic seabird species. Our findings suggest that a predicted warmer climate in the Arctic will negatively affect the population dynamics of the little auk, mediated through a change in quality and/or availability of little auk's preferred prey: calanoid copepods.

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      Long-term colonization ecology of forest-dwelling species in a fragmented rural landscape – dispersal versus establishment

      Kertu Lõhmus, Taavi Paal and Jaan Liira

      Article first published online: 15 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1163

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      In contemporary human-dominated landscape rural parks serve as habitat for forest biodiversity. An average of 40% of local forest plants colonized parks. In long term forest species are not limited by dispersal in fragmented landscape, but by establishment success and habitat quality.

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      Plasticity of the thermal requirements of exotherms and adaptation to environmental conditions

      Alois Honek, Zdenka Martinkova, Jan Lukas and Anthony F. G. Dixon

      Article first published online: 15 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1170

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      In insects the rate of ecophysiological processes monotonically increases between the minimum and maximum temperatures leaving a approximately 20°C interval (thermal window) between them over which a species can develop. We established whether similarly restricted thermal requirements exist for germination in plants using seeds of 125 species of Central European wild herbaceous and crop plants germinated at nine constant temperatures between 5 and 37°C. Thermal windows for plants were significantly wider, varied more and development occurred at lower temperatures than recorded for insects probably because plants are poor at regulating their temperature, cannot move to a more suitable location and as a consequence have to cope with wider ranges in temperatures.

    13. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Diet quality determines interspecific parasite interactions in host populations

      Benjamin Lange, Max Reuter, Dieter Ebert, Koenraad Muylaert and Ellen Decaestecker

      Article first published online: 15 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1167

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      In nature, a vast range of diet qualities is available to host populations, which might influence parasite interactions. Here, we tested the effect of diet quality on parasite interactions in an experimental study of Daphnia populations. Our results suggest parasite interactions can depend on host diet quality, mediated by host population level effects.

    14. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Survival relative to new and ancestral host plants, phytoplasma infection, and genetic constitution in host races of a polyphagous insect disease vector

      Michael Maixner, Andreas Albert and Jes Johannesen

      Article first published online: 15 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1158

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      The tri-trophic interactions of pathogens, vectors and plants determine the epidemiology of plant diseases. We studied survival in host-race evolution of a plant disease vector in relation to genetic differentiation embedded in the framework of ecological specialisation, together with the effects of phytoplasma infection on the vector.

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      Can patterns of chromosome inversions in Drosophila pseudoobscura predict polyandry across a geographical cline?

      Paul Herrera, Michelle L. Taylor, Alison Skeats, Tom A. R. Price and Nina Wedell

      Article first published online: 10 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1165

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      Here we examine whether variation in female remating levels of Drosophila pseudoobscura from three locations in North America are associated with patterns of chromosome inversions, which may explain patterns of polyandry across the geographic range. Populations differed with respect to the frequency of polyandry and the presence of inversion polymorphisms on the third chromosome. However, we found no strong relationship between female remating levels and specific karyotypes between isolines.

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      Wildlife road traffic accidents: a standardized protocol for counting flattened fauna

      Wendy J. Collinson, Daniel M. Parker, Ric T. F. Bernard, Brian K. Reilly and Harriet T. Davies-Mostert

      Article first published online: 10 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1097

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      Previous assessments of wildlife road mortality have not used directly comparable methods and, at present, there is no standardized protocol for the collection of such data. Consequently, there are no internationally comparative statistics documenting roadkill rates. In this study, we used a combination of experimental trials and road transects to design a standardized protocol to assess roadkill rates on both paved and unpaved roads.

    17. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Life-history traits predict perennial species response to fire in a desert ecosystem

      Daniel F. Shryock, Lesley A. DeFalco and Todd C. Esque

      Article first published online: 10 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1159

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      We explored linkages between perennial species recovery, species traits, and fire in a desert ecosystem that has only recently become fire-prone. Life-history traits, including lifespan and seed size, were found to significantly influence how species responded to fire, and these traits could be used to classify species into plant-functional-types. Based on this classification, we show that dominant, long-lived species in this ecosystem possess a combination of traits rendering them susceptible to a novel fire regime.

    18. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      How the cascading effects of a single behavioral trait can generate personality

      Frédérique Dubois and Luc-Alain Giraldeau

      Article first published online: 10 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1157

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      Our study demonstrates that labile behavioral correlations can arise from nongenetic means when some key behavior, under some specific ecological circumstances, exert cascading effects on the range of behaviors available to individuals. More specifically our simulation model shows that boldness can be one such key behavior exerting its cascading effects on both aggregation tendency and foraging tactic use under conditions of high predation pressure.

    19. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Temporal and spatial dynamics of amphioxus population (Branchiostoma belcheri tsingtaneuse) and its influential factors in Luan River Estuary, China

      Luo Hao, Ma Minghui, Liang Bin and Bao Chenguang

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1152

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      Amphioxus density and biomass have shown a rapid decline in the Luan River Estuary. Highest density distribution of amphioxus occurs where >90% of the sediment particles are between 0.063 and 0.5 mm. Changes in the sedimentary environment may affect the amphioxus population distribution. The changes to the sediment in this region primarily result from the reduction in sediment discharge from Luan River and expansion of the raft-cultivation area.

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      Dosage and duration effects of nitrogen additions on ectomycorrhizal sporocarp production and functioning: an example from two N-limited boreal forests

      Niles J. Hasselquist and Peter Högberg

      Article first published online: 5 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1145

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      Increasing nitrogen availability was coupled to a reduction in the amount of carbon allocated to ectomycorrhizal sporocarps and a change in fungal species; however, this response was strongly dependent on the amount and duration of nitrogen additions. Despite the general negative effect, this response was not permanent and 20 years after the termination of nitrogen additions, the abundance and diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi was able to recover after high nitrogen loading. Results from this study also provide evidence that long-term nitrogen additions disrupts the tight coupling between the amount of carbon allocated to and nitrogen retained in ectomycorrhizal fungi, which could have important ramifications on the cycling of carbon and nitrogen in boreal forests.

    21. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Asymmetric dispersal structures a riverine metapopulation of the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera laevis

      Akira Terui, Yusuke Miyazaki, Akira Yoshioka, Kenzo Kaifu, Shin-ichiro S. Matsuzaki and Izumi Washitani

      Article first published online: 5 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1135

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      Unidirectional water flow results in the downstream-biased, asymmetric dispersal of many riverine organisms. However, little is known of how asymmetric dispersal influences riverine population structure and dynamics, limiting our ability to properly manage riverine organisms. Our finding suggests that upstream subpopulations can be disproportionately important as immigrant sources when dispersal is strongly asymmetric.

    22. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Patterns in root traits of woody species hosting arbuscular and ectomycorrhizas: implications for the evolution of belowground strategies

      Louise H. Comas, Hilary S. Callahan and Peter E. Midford

      Article first published online: 3 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1147

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      We examined root traits of 33 woody species co-existing in Northeastern US forests that form two of the most common types of mutualisms with fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) and ectomycorrhizas (EM). We found patterns of plants forming roots with thinner diameters as species diversified across time; and that the AM habit was associated with lower branching intensity (rPIC = −0.77) and thicker root diameter (rPIC = −0.41) and the EM habit. We discuss findings in light of selection pressures on root traits and trade-offs for supporting different types of fungal symbionts.

    23. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Protected areas alleviate climate change effects on northern bird species of conservation concern

      Raimo Virkkala, Juha Pöyry, Risto K. Heikkinen, Aleksi Lehikoinen and Jari Valkama

      Article first published online: 3 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1162

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      Protected area networks may enhance the resilience of regional populations of species of conservation concern, resulting in slower species loss in landscapes with a significant amount of protected habitat compared to unprotected landscapes. Based on national bird atlases compiled in 1974–89 and 2006–2010, this study examines the recent range shifts in 90 forest, mire, marshland and Arctic mountain heath bird species of conservation concern in Finland, as well as the changes in their species richness in protected vs. unprotected areas. Protected areas maintained a higher level of species richness than unprotected areas, and thus this finding provides support for the significance and resilience provision of protected area networks in preserving species of conservation concern under climate change.

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