Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 6 Issue 3

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: 2.32

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 63/145 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 2045-7758

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  1. 1 - 45
  1. Original Research

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The role of local versus biogeographical processes in influencing diversity and body-size variation in mammal assemblages

      Luiz Carlos S. Lopez, Marcos S. L. Figueiredo, Maria Paula de Aguiar Fracasso, Daniel Oliveira Mesquita, Ulisses Umbelino Anjos and Carlos Eduardo Viveiros Grelle

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1978

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      Our objective was to estimate and analyze the body size distribution parameters of terrestrial mammal assemblages at different spatial scales, to determine whether these parameters are controlled by local ecological processes or by larger-scale ones. Mammal diversity decreased much faster as body size increased than predicted by fractal niche theory, both at continental and at local scales, with continental distributions showing steeper slopes than the localities within them. We also found that skewness and modal body size can show strikingly different correlations with predictor variables, such as species richness and median size, depending on the use of untransformed versus log-transformed data, due to changes in the distribution density generated by log-transformation.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Leaf traits in Chilean matorral: sclerophylly within, among, and beyond matorral, and its environmental determinants

      Jennifer Read, Gordon Sanson and María Fernanda Pérez Trautmann

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1970

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      Studies of leaf traits often focus on tradeoffs between growth and resource conservation, but little is known about variation in the mechanical traits that influence resource conservation. This study investigates first how leaf mechanical traits vary among types of matorral vegetation in central Chile and how they correlate with soil and climate, and then how these trends compare at a broader geographic scale. Flexural stiffness in Chilean matorral was positively associated with reference evapotranspiration, but variation in leaf strength and toughness among shrublands and woodlands at a broader geographic scale was associated with both soil P and evapotranspiration.

    3. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Chromosome numbers in three species groups of freshwater flatworms increase with increasing latitude

      Sven Lorch, Dirk Zeuss, Roland Brandl and Martin Brändle

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1969

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      Our study provides evidence for an increase in chromosome numbers within three groups of freshwater flatworms towards northern regions in Europe. This is associated with a loss of sexual reproduction. Both patterns support the hypothesis that polyploid parthenogenetic populations are able to cope particularly well with harsh climatic conditions at higher latitudes.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Scale dependence of sex ratio in wild plant populations: implications for social selection

      Brian J. Sanderson, Malcolm E. Augat, Douglas R. Taylor and Edmund D. Brodie III

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1958

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      When social context varies among interacting organisms, there is the potential for social selection to generate differences in fitness functions within populations at a fine scale. We demonstrate that in Silene vulgaris, the spatial distribution of the sexes creates the greatest variation in the experienced sex ratio of neighbors at the smallest spatial scales.

    5. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Evolutionary evidence on suitability of SecD as a target for development of antibacterial agents against Staphylococcus aureus

      Shaomin Yan and Guang Wu

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1951

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      SecD of Sec secretion system is an attractive target for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus because dysfunction of SecD leads to bacteria's death. SecD evolution was analyzed in order to determine whether SecD could serve as a target for drug development. The results show that SecD could be selected as a drug target from evolutionary viewpoint.

    6. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Different pitcher shapes and trapping syndromes explain resource partitioning in Nepenthes species

      Laurence Gaume, Vincent Bazile, Maïlis Huguin and Vincent Bonhomme

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1920

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      This study, based on quantitative data, investigates the differences in trap morphology and functional traits in a sample of lowland Nepenthes species. It shows an interspecific and ontogenetic morpho-functional diversity, which is correlated with the diversity in the plants' diet. This work highlights specific trapping syndromes that target specific guilds of arthropod prey. A niche-differentiation and resource partitioning are thus observed among species growing in the same site. They may explain species coexistence and give an insight into the probable adaptive radiation undergone by the genus Nepenthes.

    7. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Genetic differentiation and connectivity of morphological types of the broadcast-spawning coral Galaxea fascicularis in the Nansei Islands, Japan

      Yuichi Nakajima, Yuna Zayasu, Chuya Shinzato, Noriyuki Satoh and Satoshi Mitarai

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1981

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      Based upon morphology, the scleractinian reef-building coral, Galaxea fascicularis, is classified into soft and hard types. Significant genetic differentiation was detected between the types, using polymorphic microsatellite markers. Furthermore, we unexpectedly found a third genetic cluster in this species, which may represent a cryptic species.

    8. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Chromosomal rearrangements, phenotypic variation and modularity: a case study from a contact zone between house mouse Robertsonian races in Central Italy

      Paolo Franchini, Paolo Colangelo, Axel Meyer and Carmelo Fruciano

      Article first published online: 30 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1912

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      The Western European house mouse is an ideal model for studying the mechanisms of chromosomal speciation. With the aim of testing the effect of different karyotypic assets on the morphology of the mouse mandible and on its level of modularity, we performed morphometric analyses of mice from a contact area between two highly metacentric races in Central Italy. The mandible shape was found to be different between the two Robertsonian races and our results support the existence of two modules that indicate a certain degree of evolutionary independence.

    9. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Sperm performance in conspecific and heterospecific female fluid

      Emily R. A. Cramer, Even Stensrud, Gunnhild Marthinsen, Silje Hogner, Lars Erik Johannessen, Terje Laskemoen, Marie-Christine Eybert, Tore Slagsvold, Jan T. Lifjeld and Arild Johnsen

      Article first published online: 30 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1977

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      Within three pairs of bird taxa that have moderate-to-high levels of postcopulatory sexual selection, we tested how sperm perform in conspecific and heterospecific female environments. Despite diverged sperm characteristics within each pair of taxa, we found no evidence that females discriminate against heterospecific sperm. It may be uncommon for postcopulatory prezygotic barriers to arise between allopatric bird populations, at the stage that we tested.

    10. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      You eat what you are: personality-dependent filial cannibalism in a fish with paternal care

      Martin Vallon, Christina Grom, Nadine Kalb, Dennis Sprenger, Nils Anthes, Kai Lindström and Katja U. Heubel

      Article first published online: 29 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1966

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      We investigated the influence of intrinsic behavioural differences between individuals on filial cannibalism (consumption of own offspring). In this study, male common gobies (Pomatoschistus microps) consistently differed in general activity, which was in turn related to the amount of cannibalism shown. At the same time, cannibalism varied with the progressing breeding season and our findings highlight the interaction of animal personality and extrinsic factors in shaping filial cannibalism.

    11. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Decoupled genomic elements and the evolution of partner quality in nitrogen-fixing rhizobia

      Benjamin R. Gordon, Christie R. Klinger, Dylan J. Weese, Jennifer A. Lau, Patricia V. Burke, Bryn T. M. Dentinger and Katy D. Heath

      Article first published online: 28 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1953

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      We investigate the evolution of partner quality in natural populations of symbiotic rhizobia using Sanger sequencing combined with quantitative genetic and phylogenetic analyses. We analyze whether the chromosome and symbiotic plasmid (pSym) show congruent evolution and whether phylogenies at these loci predict partner quality phenotypes. We find that partner quality traits are largely predicted by the pSym phylogeny, particularly nifD, an important symbiosis gene, and suggest horizontal gene transfer between these genomic elements.

    12. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Niche partitioning in a sympatric cryptic species complex

      Jessica J. Scriven, Penelope R. Whitehorn, Dave Goulson and Matthew. C. Tinsley

      Article first published online: 28 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1965

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      We investigated interspecific niche differentiation within a complex of cryptic bumblebee species that co-occur extensively in the United Kingdom, to determine how they partition a niche to avoid competitive exclusion. Our results show varying levels of niche partitioning between the bumblebee species along three niche dimensions: phenology, response to weather conditions, and forage use. We suggest that these species provide unique ecosystem services and that a combination of ecological divergence in different niche dimensions and spatio-temporal heterogeneity in the environment may contribute to the persistence of cryptic species in sympatry.

    13. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Urban gardens promote bee foraging over natural habitats and plantations

      Benjamin F. Kaluza, Helen Wallace, Tim A. Heard, Alexandra-Maria Klein and Sara D. Leonhardt

      Article first published online: 28 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1941

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      Our study experimentally addresses the effect of different human altered landscapes (agricultural and suburban) on the foraging patterns and resource intake of a eusocial bee species compared to the bees' natural habitat (forest). We confirm the expected negative effect of agricultural areas on bee foraging success, and show that this is largely due to a generally low foraging activity and high numbers of unsuccessful foragers. We further reveal that resource intake and foraging success can be even higher in suburban than in the bees' natural habitats.

    14. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Hybridization in the Cetacea: widespread occurrence and associated morphological, behavioral, and ecological factors

      Carla A. Crossman, Eric B. Taylor and Lance G. Barrett-Lennard

      Article first published online: 28 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1913

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      Hybridization has been documented in a many different pairs of cetacean species both in captivity and in the wild. The widespread occurrence of hybridization indicates that post-mating barriers to interbreeding are incomplete within the order Cetacea. Our findings suggest the importance of divergent selection on morphological and behavioural traits within sympatric species in constraining opportunities for hybridization and preventing the collapse of parental species.

    15. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Are we overestimating the niche? Removing marginal localities helps ecological niche models detect environmental barriers

      Mariano Soley-Guardia, Eliécer E. Gutiérrez, Darla M. Thomas, José Ochoa-G, Marisol Aguilera and Robert P. Anderson

      Article first published online: 28 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1900

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      Records from the spatial margins of species ranges can lead to overestimation of species niches and their potential geographic distributions, obfuscating detection of important environmental barriers. We demonstrate how when such problematic records are present, a simple procedure involving retrieval of habitat descriptions for a few number of records can substantially improve niche models, yielding more realistic estimates of connectivity among populations.

    16. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Hawksbill turtle terra incognita: conservation genetics of eastern Pacific rookeries

      Alexander R. Gaos, Rebecca L. Lewison, Michael J. Liles, Velkiss Gadea, Eduardo Altamirano, Ana V. Henríquez, Perla Torres, José Urteaga, Felipe Vallejo, Andres Baquero, Carolina LeMarie, Juan Pablo Muñoz, Jaime A. Chaves, Catherine E. Hart, Alejandro Peña de Niz, Didiher Chácon, Luis Fonseca, Sarah Otterstrom, Ingrid L. Yañez, Erin L. LaCasella, Amy Frey, Michael P. Jensen and Peter H. Dutton

      Article first published online: 28 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1897

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      This study represents the first genetic characterization of critically endangered hawksbill turtle rookeries in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Despite low genetic diversity in the region, we found strong stock structuring among four rookeries. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that hawksbills colonized the eastern Pacific via the Indo-Pacific, rather than representing a relict population isolated from the Atlantic by the rising of the Panama Isthmus. We found haplotypes unique to hawksbills nesting in mangrove estuaries and this behavior is exclusive to hawksbills along Pacific Central America, indicating the existence of a novel mangrove estuary reproductive ecotype.

    17. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Iberian red deer: paraphyletic nature at mtDNA but nuclear markers support its genetic identity

      Juan Carranza, María Salinas, Damián de Andrés and Javier Pérez-González

      Article first published online: 28 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1836

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      We show that red deer in Iberia includes two genetically differentiated lineages on the basis of mtDNA, but microsatellites show that it maintains its differentiation at nuclear DNA from other subspecies in north Europe. Northern European populations originated from only one of those preglacial lineages. We conclude that the current Iberian red deer subspecies is paraphyletic but well differentiated from its descendants in north Europe.

    18. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Loss of genetic integrity and biological invasions result from stocking and introductions of Barbus barbus: insights from rivers in England

      Caterina Maria Antognazza, Demetra Andreou, Serena Zaccara and Robert J. Britton

      Article first published online: 28 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1906

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      We show that in the indigenous range, widespread stocking of hatchery-reared fish has significantly reduced genetic differentiation between river catchments and in the smaller rivers, populations are primarily comprised of fish of hatchery origin. In the non-indigenous range, genetic data largely aligned to historical stocking records, confirming that one particular river in southeast England was the original source of most invasive B. barbus in England.

    19. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Summer temperature can predict the distribution of wild yeast populations

      Heather A. Robinson, Ana Pinharanda and Douda Bensasson

      Article first published online: 27 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1919

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      Using field data, we show an association between summer temperature and the isolation rate of budding yeast from oak trees. By combining this result with published laboratory data, we predict global ranges where the wine yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and its sister species may naturally occur.

    20. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Old males reduce melanin-pigmented traits and increase reproductive outcome under worse environmental conditions in common kestrels

      David Lopez-Idiaquez, Pablo Vergara, Juan Antonio Fargallo and Jesús Martinez-Padilla

      Article first published online: 27 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1910

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      In this study we explore how the expression of secondary sexual traits changes throughout the life of individuals, and how environmental conditions shape their expression within an individual perspective. Using a long-term data set of Eurasian kestrels, we showed how food abundance mediates the expression of sexual traits later in life and their association with reproductive parameters.

    21. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Context-dependent outcomes in a reproductive mutualism between two freshwater fish species

      Brandon K. Peoples and Emmanuel A. Frimpong

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1979

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      We investigated context dependency in outcomes of a reproductive mutualism between two freshwater fishes. The outcome switched from commensalistic to mutualistic with improved spawning habitat quality.

    22. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Morphometric traits capture the climatically driven species turnover of 10 spruce taxa across China

      He Li, GuoHong Wang, Yun Zhang and WeiKang Zhang

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1971

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      Previous studies have characterized the overall influence of climate on spruce distribution and trait variation. However, most of the previous studies of these topics in spruce have focused on one or a few species, and little is known about the relationship between trait variation and species turnover for a wide array of spruce species at large scales, and even less has been clarified about relative roles of climate and phylogenetic background in driving morphometric trait variation. Using data from field surveys in the spruce forests across China, we showed that the climatically driven replacement of the spruces in question could be well indicated by the between-species variation in morphometric traits that carry weak phylogenetic signals but strong climatic signals and demonstrate a narrower temperature amplitude but wider ranges on the moisture gradient.

    23. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Fluctuating selection on basal metabolic rate

      Johan F. Nilsson and Jan-Åke Nilsson

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1954

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      We here show that BMR is under selection in a wild population of Blue tits. Interestingly the direction of selection differs between years, possibly due to environmental conditions.

    24. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Implications of recurrent disturbance for genetic diversity

      Ian D. Davies, Geoffrey J. Cary, Erin L. Landguth, David B. Lindenmayer and Sam C. Banks

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1948

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      We examine the relative importance of factors driving genetic diversity within and among populations that persist in an environment of recurrent disturbance. We demonstrate likely scenarios under which future changes to disturbance size, severity or frequency will have the strongest impacts on population genetic patterns. In addition, our findings have implications for the inference of biological processes from genetic data, because the effects of dispersal on genetic patterns were strongly mediated by disturbance regimes.

    25. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The use of Hardy–Weinberg Equilibrium in clonal plant systems

      Vladimir Douhovnikoff and Matthew Leventhal

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1946

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      There is an important risk of misinterpretation when HW calculations are applied to a clonal plant not recognized as clonal, as well as when the definition of the individual for those calculations is not clearly stated in a known clonal species. Focusing on heterozygosity values we investigate cases that demonstrate the extreme range of potential modeling outcomes and describe the different contexts where a particular definition could better meet ecological modeling goals. We emphasize that the HW model can be ecologically relevant when applied to clonal plants, but caution is necessary in how it is used, reported and interpreted.

    26. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Testosterone and cortisol concentrations vary with reproductive status in wild female red deer

      Alyson T. Pavitt, Josephine M. Pemberton, Loeske E. B. Kruuk and Craig A. Walling

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1945

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      Although hormones are key regulators of many fitness and life history traits, the causes of individual level variation in hormones, particularly in wild systems, remain poorly understood. Using faecal samples collected from females in a wild red deer population between 2001 and 2013, this study shows how faecal androgen and cortisol metabolite concentrations change with age and season, and how individual differences may arise due to variation in reproductive state. This ultimately illustrates the importance of accounting for a female's life history and current reproductive status, as well as temporal variation, when examining individual differences in hormone levels.

    27. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Female Salix viminalis are more severely infected by Melampsora spp. but neither sex experiences associational effects

      Kim K. Moritz, Christer Björkman, Amy L. Parachnowitsch and Johan A. Stenberg

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1923

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      We investigated sex effects of individual plants and associational effects of plant sex, in a large-scale field experiment. Female dioecious Salix viminalis were more severely infected by rust-causing Melampsora spp. Furthermore, a literature survey revealed that female-biased fungal infections are most common in dioecious plants.

    28. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Response of pest control by generalist predators to local-scale plant diversity: a meta-analysis

      Anicet Gbèblonoudo Dassou and Philippe Tixier

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1917

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      We conducted a meta-analysis of 32 papers containing 175 independent measures of the relationship between plant diversity and arthropod communities. We found that generalist predators and herbivores had a strong positive and a weak negative response to plant diversity, respectively. The response was negative for specialists and not significant for generalists. Our results suggest that the response of herbivores to plant diversity at the local scale is a balance between habitat and trophic effects that vary according to arthropod specialization and habitat type.

    29. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Intraspecific variation in seed dispersal of a Neotropical tree and its relationship to fruit and tree traits

      Carol K. Augspurger, Susan E. Franson, Katherine C. Cushman and Helene C. Muller-Landau

      Article first published online: 25 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1905

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      Variation in fruit traits among 20 parents of Platypodium elegans, a wind-dispersed tropical canopy tree, explained descent rate in still air, which predicted dispersal distance from a forest tower. Saplings of six parents were heavily concentrated in the 95th percentiles of seed shadow distributions. Variation among parents in these distribution tails are likely determined by wind conditions as they could not be explained by fruit or tree traits.

    30. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Molecular and iridescent feather reflectance data reveal recent genetic diversification and phenotypic differentiation in a cloud forest hummingbird

      Juan Francisco Ornelas, Clementina González, Blanca E. Hernández-Baños and Jaime García-Moreno

      Article first published online: 22 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1950

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      This study is the first to examine the alternative patterns of phylogeographic structure of hummingbird species on cloud forest communities in the Mesoamerican region. We found that both genetic and gorget coloration differentiation of amethyst-throated hummingbirds were highly geographically structured. Results of species distribution modelling and Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis fit a model of lineage divergence after the LGM when tested against competing scenarios, and that its suitable habitat was disjunct during current and past conditions. Our findings challenge the the generality of the contraction/expansion glacial model to cloud forest-interior species and urge management of cloud forest to prevent further loss of genetic diversity or extinction.

    31. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Using Africa's protected area network to estimate the global population of a threatened and declining species: a case study of the Critically Endangered White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Campbell Murn, Peter Mundy, Munir Z. Virani, Wendy D. Borello, Graham J. Holloway and Jean-Marc Thiollay

      Article first published online: 22 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1931

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      Africa's protected area network was used as the basis for estimating the White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) population, a critically endangered species restricted to protected areas. We estimate there are fewer than 2000 nests across a fragmented range of approximately 400 protected areas; only five protected areas are estimated to contain more than 20 nests.

    32. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Population genomics of divergence among extreme and intermediate color forms in a polymorphic insect

      Jeffrey D. Lozier, Jason M. Jackson, Michael E. Dillon and James P. Strange

      Article first published online: 22 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1928

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      Geographic variation in insect coloration is among the most intriguing examples of rapid phenotypic evolution and provides opportunities to study mechanisms of phenotypic change and diversification in closely related lineages. The bumble bee Bombus bifarius comprises two geographically disparate color groups characterized by red-banded and black-banded abdominal pigmentation, but with a range of spatially and phenotypically intermediate populations, and previous microsatellite studies revealed that B. bifarius are structured into two major groups concordant with geography and color pattern, but also suggest ongoing gene flow among regional populations. Here we analyze populations representing two extremes and an intermediate color form with RNAseq and RADtag sequencing, and find substantial divergence but little evidence for admixture in the intermediate population, illustrating the importance of taking a genome-wide perspective for understanding population genetic processes in recently diverging populations.

    33. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Genomic population structure of freshwater-resident and anadromous ide (Leuciscus idus) in north-western Europe

      Mikkel Skovrind, Morten Tange Olsen, Filipe Garrett Vieira, George Pacheco, Henrik Carl, M. Thomas P. Gilbert and Peter Rask Møller

      Article first published online: 22 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1909

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      Ide (Leuciscus idus) are stenohaline freshwater fish that primarily inhabits rivers, with frequent anadromous behavior when sea salinity does not exceed 15%. We used Genotyping-by-Sequencing to determine genomic population structure of both freshwater resident and anadromous ide populations in north-western Europe. In addition to providing a first insight into the population structure our results also demonstrate high level of differentiation between sites hosting freshwater resident populations, but little differentiation among anadromous populations. Thus ide exhibit the genomic population structure of both a typical freshwater species, and a typical anadromous species.

    34. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Effects of fertilization on microbial abundance and emissions of greenhouse gases (CH4 and N2O) in rice paddy fields

      Xianfang Fan, Haiyang Yu, Qinyan Wu, Jing Ma, Hua Xu, Jinghui Yang and Yiqing Zhuang

      Article first published online: 22 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1879

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      Effects of fertilization on microbial abundance and emissions of greenhouse gases (CH4 and N2O) in rice paddy fields.

    35. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Accounting for size-specific predation improves our ability to predict the strength of a trophic cascade

      Christine F. Stevenson, Kyle W. Demes and Anne K. Salomon

      Article first published online: 22 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1870

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      We estimated shifts in grazing pressure associated with changes in the abundance and per capita consumption rates of sea urchins triggered by size-selective predation by sea otters (Enhydra lutris). We provide strong evidence that incorporating size-specific parameters into ecological models enhances our ability to describe species interactions and predict trophic cascades by accounting for a common and large source of variation in per capita interaction strength: size.

    36. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      A conserved pattern in plant-mediated interactions between herbivores

      Jing Lu, Christelle A. M. Robert, Yonggen Lou and Matthias Erb

      Article first published online: 21 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1922

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      We investigated the influence of herbivore identity and plant genotype on the interaction between leaf-chewing and root-feeding herbivores in maize and found a highly conserved pattern. This finding opens up the possibility of adaptation of higher trophic levels and neighbouring plants and suggests that plant-mediated interactions may contribute more strongly to evolutionary dynamics in terrestrial (agro)ecosystems than previously assumed.

    37. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Fine root tradeoffs between nitrogen concentration and xylem vessel traits preclude unified whole-plant resource strategies in Helianthus

      Alan W. Bowsher, Chase M. Mason, Eric W. Goolsby and Lisa A. Donovan

      Article first published online: 20 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1947

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      Recent work suggests variation in plant growth strategies is governed by an evolutionary tradeoff in resource acquisition and use, ranging from a fast-growing, resource-acquisitive strategy to a resource-conservative, stress-tolerant strategy. Here, we investigated variation in fine root morphology, chemistry, and anatomy in 26 Helianthus species and compared root trait variation in this study with leaf trait variation previously reported for a parallel greenhouse study of these species. We found little evidence for correlated evolution of root traits or for a single acquisition–conservation tradeoff at the whole-plant level, likely reflecting the vastly different selection pressures shaping roots and leaves, and the different resources they are optimized to obtain.

    38. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Dominant male song performance reflects current immune state in a cooperatively breeding songbird

      Jenny E. York, Andrew N. Radford, Ton G. Groothuis and Andrew J. Young

      Article first published online: 20 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1938

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      Conspicuous displays are thought to have evolved as signals of individual “quality”, though precisely what they encode remains a focus of debate. We experimentally demonstrate that male song performance is impaired by immune system activation in the cooperatively breeding white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali). Impacts of current state on signaling may be of particular importance in social species, where subordinates may benefit from an ability to identify and subsequently challenge same-sex dominants in a weakened state.

    39. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Nested species interactions promote feasibility over stability during the assembly of a pollinator community

      Serguei Saavedra, Rudolf P. Rohr, Jens M. Olesen and Jordi Bascompte

      Article first published online: 20 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1930

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      In this manuscript, we introduce novel mathematical methods to investigate whether species mutualistic interactions are more conditioned by the community's need to be stable or feasible. We clearly demonstrate that there is a general trade-off between feasibility and stability in mutualistic communities. Additionally, we unveil that the nested architecture of interactions is responsible for increasing feasibility at the expense of stability.

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      Impacts of temperature on giant panda habitat in the north Minshan Mountains

      Gang Liu, Tianpei Guan, Qiang Dai, Huixin Li and Minghao Gong

      Article first published online: 20 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1901

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      We integrated temperature data with two main habitat parameters, vegetation and elevation, to evaluate the influence of climate change on giant panda habitat and temperature preferences using spatial analysis and a habitat assessment model in the north Minshan Mountains. The results suggest that giant pandas might have the potential to be resilient to climate change.

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      Varying foraging patterns in response to competition? A multicolony approach in a generalist seabird

      Anna-Marie Corman, Bettina Mendel, Christian C. Voigt and Stefan Garthe

      Article first published online: 20 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1884

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      In a multiyear tracking study, we tested whether the foraging behaviors of incubating lesser black-backed gulls differed between six island colonies varying in size (breeding pairs) and distance to mainland, and whether any differences could be related to the foraging habitats visited. Birds fed at terrestrial and marine habitats, although birds from colonies with larger sizes tended to utilize terrestrial habitats stronger than those from small-size colonies. The clearly segregated foraging patterns among all studied colonies might be a strategy to avoid intraspecific competition, which might in turn lead to a more intensive utilization of terrestrial foraging sites offering more predictable and easily available foraging compared with the marine environment.

    42. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Dispersal, niche, and isolation processes jointly explain species turnover patterns of nonvolant small mammals in a large mountainous region of China

      Zhixin Wen, Qing Quan, Yuanbao Du, Lin Xia, Deyan Ge and Qisen Yang

      Article first published online: 18 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1962

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      Our study indicates that dispersal, niche, and isolation processes are all important determinants of the spatial turnover patterns of nonvolant small mammals in the Hengduan Mountains. The spatial configuration of the landscape and geographic isolation can strongly influence the rate of species turnover in mountainous regions at multiple spatial scales.

    43. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The effects of habitat management on the species, phylogenetic and functional diversity of bees are modified by the environmental context

      Markus A. K. Sydenham, Stein R. Moe, Diana N. Stanescu-Yadav, Ørjan Totland and Katrine Eldegard

      Article first published online: 18 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1963

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      We used three treatments to manipulate the habitat conditions for bees in power line clearings: clearing woody vegetation and removing the debris; clearing woody vegetation and leaving debris within treatment plots; and leaving plots unmanipulated. Manipulated plots where the debris had been removed attracted more species from the local species assemblage. However, this response was only found in the most productive and floristically diverse sites, suggesting that management plans should be adapted to local habitat conditions.

    44. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Gillespie eco-evolutionary models (GEMs) reveal the role of heritable trait variation in eco-evolutionary dynamics

      John P. DeLong and Jean P. Gibert

      Article first published online: 18 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1959

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      We introduce a new type of eco-evolutionary model that (1) incorporates changes in heritable trait variation through time; and (2) does not require the specification of fitness functions. We show that these models – Gillespie eco-evolutionary models, or GEMs – provide a powerful tool for understanding and modeling a wide range of eco-evolutionary processes.

    45. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Bacterial characterization of Beijing drinking water by flow cytometry and MiSeq sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene

      Tingting Liu, Weiwen Kong, Nan Chen, Jing Zhu, Jingqi Wang, Xiaoqing He and Yi Jin

      Article first published online: 18 JAN 2016 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1955

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      Twelve water samples were analyzed by flow cytometry (FCM), heterotrophic plate count (HPC), and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. FCM was utilized in this study to obtain a better understanding of total and intact cell concentrations, which cannot be detected by HPC. The combined use of FCM to detect total bacteria concentrations and sequencing to determine the relative abundance of pathogenic bacteria resulted in the quantitative evaluation of drinking water distribution systems.

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