Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 4 Issue 15

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: 85/140 (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
      Demographic histories and genetic diversities of Fennoscandian marine and landlocked ringed seal subspecies

      Tommi Nyman, Mia Valtonen, Jouni Aspi, Minna Ruokonen, Mervi Kunnasranta and Jukka U. Palo

      Article first published online: 19 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1193

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      Ringed seals inhabiting Lake Saimaa in Finland and Lake Ladoga in Russia descend from marine seals that became trapped in the lakes after the last Ice age. The critically endangered Saimaa ringed seals possess very little genetic variation in comparison to their relatives in Lake Ladoga, while the latter are nearly as diverse as the large source population in the Baltic Sea. Our approximate Bayesian computation analyses based on microsatellite and mtDNA data shed light on the demographic processes underlying the very disparate levels of genetic diversity in the three Fennoscandian ringed seal subspecies.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Genetic and metal analyses of fragmented populations of Betula papyrifera (Marsh) in a mining reclaimed region: identification of population–diagnostic molecular marker

      Gabriel Theriault, Kabwe K. Nkongolo and Paul Michael

      Article first published online: 19 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1195

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      The total heavy metal levels in soil were found to be high, but the availability of these metals was much lower. We found that Betula papyrifera is a Ni and Zn accumulator with a translocation factor of 6.4 and 81, respectively and an indicator of Cu and Pb. The levels of genetic variation were low to moderate. Contrary to our hypothesis, the gene flow among the fragmented B. papyrifera populations were low and population differentiation was relatively high in the reclaimed mining region. No association between soil metal content and population sustainability was established.

    3. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Insights from ecological niche modeling on the taxonomic distinction and niche differentiation between the black-spotted and red-spotted tokay geckoes (Gekko gecko)

      Yueyun Zhang, Chongtao Chen, Li Li, Chengjian Zhao, Weicai Chen and Yong Huang

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1183

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      Ecological differentiation between the the black- and red-spotted tokay was substantially detected, further supporting taxonomic distinct between them. Niche divergence along the environmental axes is highly associated with physiological temperature and precipitation, shaping their distribution patters.

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      Parasitism in early life: environmental conditions shape within-brood variation in responses to infection

      Hanna M. V. Granroth-Wilding, Sarah J. Burthe, Sue Lewis, Thomas E. Reed, Katherine A. Herborn, Mark A. Newell, Emi A. Takahashi, Francis Daunt and Emma J. A. Cunningham

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1192

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      We show that environmental conditions can alter how different family members respond to parasitism. Both can shape developmental trajectories of juvenile hosts, influence the outcome of family conflict and contribute to variation in individual success. Quantifying inter-annual differences in breeding conditions was key to explaining why responses to parasitism varied.

    5. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Changes in pollinator fauna affect altitudinal variation of floral size in a bumblebee-pollinated herb

      Yusuke Nagano, Kota Abe, Tomoaki Kitazawa, Mitsuru Hattori, Akira S. Hirao and Takao Itino

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1191

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      Altitudinal floral size variation of Campanula punctata var. hondoensis in 12 populations in three mountain regions of central Japan was correlated with the size of the local bumblebee pollinator, but not with altitude itself. Pollen removal from flower styles onto bees (plant's male fitness) was strongly influenced by the size match between flower style length and pollinator mouthpart length. These results strongly suggest that C. punctata floral size is under pollinator-mediated selection, and that a geographic mosaic of locally adapted C. punctata exists at fine spatial scale.

    6. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Inappropriate analysis does not reveal the ecological causes of evolution of stickleback armour: a critique of Spence et al.

      Andrew D. C. MacColl and Beth Aucott

      Article first published online: 14 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1179

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      In a recent paper Spence et al. sought to identify the ecological causes of morphological evolution in three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus, by examining phenotypic and environmental variation between populations on the island of North Uist, Scotland. However, by using simple qualitative assessments of phenotype and inappropriate measures of environmental variation Spence et al. have come to a conclusion that is diametrically opposite to that which we have arrived at in studying the same populations.

    7. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Can phenotypic rescue from harvest refuges buffer wild sheep from selective hunting?

      Fanie Pelletier, Marco Festa-Bianchet, Jon T. Jorgenson, Chiarastella Feder and Anne Hubbs

      Article first published online: 14 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1185

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      Very few articles have assessed the effectiveness of refuges to mitigate the effects of selective harvesting. Our analyses suggest that although rams shot near harvest refuges are slightly larger and older, refuges did not appear to buffer wild bighorn sheep from the selective effect of unlimited, phenotype-based trophy hunting.

    8. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Weakening density dependence from climate change and agricultural intensification triggers pest outbreaks: a 37-year observation of cotton bollworms

      Fang Ouyang, Cang Hui, Saiying Ge, Xin-Yuan Men, Zi-Hua Zhao, Pei-Jian Shi, Yong-Sheng Zhang and Bai-Lian Li

      Article first published online: 12 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1190

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      Time-series explained the mechanism in population dynamics of the cotton bollworm. Negative density dependence regulates the population dynamics of the pest, and warming and declining rainfall weaken the strength of density dependence. Weakening density dependence from exogenous factors triggers the pest outbreaks.

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      Experimental evidence that the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model best describes the evolution of leaf litter decomposability

      Xu Pan, Johannes H. C. Cornelissen, Wei-Wei Zhao, Guo-Fang Liu, Yu-Kun Hu, Andreas Prinzing, Ming Dong and William K. Cornwell

      Article first published online: 6 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1115

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      It is unknown how leaf litter decomposability, as an important effect trait, changed through plant history as a leaf ‘afterlife’ integrator of the evolution of multiple underlying traits upon which adaptive selection must have acted. We provided experimental evidence that Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model best describes the evolution of leaf litter decomposability.

    10. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The impact of transmission mode on the evolution of benefits provided by microbial symbionts

      Jason W. Shapiro and Paul E. Turner

      Article first published online: 6 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1166

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      We explore how symbiont-provided benefits evolve when there exists a mechanism (e.g., pleiotropy or partner choice by the host) that creates a positive covariance between the rate of horizontal transmission and the amount of benefits produced by the symbiont. In many cases, increasing the rate of susceptible host immigration can increase the rate of benefit evolution. Surprisingly, increasing the rate of vertical transmission does not always lead to stronger selection for greater benefits.

    11. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      A heterogeneous thermal environment enables remarkable behavioral thermoregulation in Uta stansburiana

      Maria Goller, Franz Goller and Susannah S. French

      Article first published online: 5 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1141

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      The availability of a variety of thermal microhabitats allows an individual to behaviorally thermoregulate. Structural complexity may therefore be an important factor in thermoregulatory potential. Mean lizard temperature was between 36°C and 38°C in a broad range of microhabitat temperatures (mean range of 11°C within 1–2 m2).

    12. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Inbreeding alters intersexual fitness correlations in Drosophila simulans.

      Eoin Duffy, Richa Joag, Jacek Radwan, Nina Wedell and David J. Hosken

      Article first published online: 5 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1153

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      Intersexual fitness correlations may vary the segregating genetic variation present, and one way to alter genetic variation is via inbreeding. We test the interesexual correlation for fitness at various stages of inbreeding and find the sign of the association changes. This has implications for sexual selection and the types of genetic variation maintained in populations.

    13. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Ecosystem fragmentation drives increased diet variation in an endemic livebearing fish of the Bahamas

      Márcio S. Araújo, R. Brian Langerhans, Sean T. Giery and Craig A. Layman

      Article first published online: 31 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1140

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      Fragmentation of Bahamian estuaries by road construction removes marine piscivores from fragmented areas. As a consequence, populations of prey, such as the Bahamas mosquitofish, Gambusia hubbsi, become extremely abundant and suffer stronger intraspecific competition for food, which results in increasing dietary diversity in fragmented areas.

    14. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Above- and belowground herbivory jointly impact defense and seed dispersal traits in Taraxacum officinale

      Eduardo de la Peña and Dries Bonte

      Article first published online: 31 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1172

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      We investigated the effect of aboveground and belowground herbivory on plant defences (trichome production) and seed dispersal traits using Taraxacum officinale as model species. Plants exposed to both above- and belowground herbivores showed fewer leaf trichomes than plants challenged only by one and consequently, suffered more leaf herbivory. In addition, joint herbivory had effects that reached beyond the individual plant by modifying seed morphology and decreasing germination success.

    15. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Control region sequences indicate that multiple externae represent multiple infections by Sacculina carcini (Cirripedia: Rhizocephala)

      David Rees and Henrik Glenner

      Article first published online: 29 JUL 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1177

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      We have developed DNA primers to the mitochondrial control region (CR) of the parasitic barnacle, S. carcini, parasitizing the Green Crab, Carcinus maenas. We use these to document that observed multiple infections is caused by genetically independent parasites, and not asexual reproduction.

    16. 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.

    17. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      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.

    18. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      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

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      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.

    7. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      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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