Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 5 Issue 10

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. 1 - 26
  1. Original Research

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Long-term livestock exclusion facilitates native woody plant encroachment in a sandy semiarid rangeland

      Hua Su, Wei Liu, Hong Xu, Zongshuai Wang, Huifang Zhang, Haixiao Hu and Yonggeng Li

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1531

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      In the long-term absence of fire and livestock, native woody plants encroachment tends to take place in sandy rangelands, with woody plant demography dramatically changed.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Climate change creates rapid species turnover in montane communities

      Daniel K. Gibson-Reinemer, Kimberly S. Sheldon and Frank J. Rahel

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1518

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      Climate change creates shifts in the geographical distribution of species. As species shift their ranges, species turnover occurs, creating new co-occurrences and breaking previous co-occurrences. Ectothermic assemblages appear to be experiencing higher turnover than endothermic assemblages.

    3. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Black liquor and the hangover effect: fish assemblage recovery dynamics following a pulse disturbance

      Kyle R. Piller and Aaron D. Geheber

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1530

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      We tested the effects of a weak black liquor spill from a paper mill on fish assemblage recovery dynamics in a temperate US stream. The 2 months following the disturbance represented a time period of uncertainty and stochasticity in regards to species richness and abundance, and were followed by a rapid return to pre-disturbance assemblage structure. We term this recovery period the “hangover effect” as it represents the time frame from the cessation of the perturbation to the assemblage's return to stability, or pre-disturbance conditions.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Variation in the population structure between a natural and a human-modified forest for a pioneer tropical tree species not restricted to large gaps

      Milene Silvestrini and Flavio Antonio Maës dos Santos

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1528

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      In this study, we evaluated the distribution of Croton floribundus individuals in the gaps of a primary forest and compared the plant density of two size classes between a primary and an early successional forest in order to understand the pioneer plant distribution under the variable environmental conditions generated by natural or human disturbances. Croton floribundus was found to be widespread and equally distributed along the gap-size gradient in the primary forest. Overall density did not vary with gap size or age, and while juveniles were found to have a higher density in the early successional forest, tree density was found to be similar between forests. Our results indicate that the population structure of a pioneer tree species with long lifespan and a broad gap-size niche preference varied between natural and human disturbed forests, but not with the level of natural disturbance.

    5. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Ecosystem recharge by volcanic dust drives broad-scale variation in bird abundance

      Tómas Grétar Gunnarsson, Ólafur Arnalds, Graham Appleton, Verónica Méndez and Jennifer A. Gill

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1523

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      Across the globe, deserts and volcanic eruptions produce large volumes of atmospheric dust which greatly affects ecosystems. In Iceland, steep gradients in dust deposition rates were linked to the distribution and abundance of common landbirds. Bird abundance was strongly and positively related to dust deposition rates. Average bird density increased two to threefold between lowest and highest dust deposition categories in wet and dry habitats but not in agricultural habitats.

    6. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Invasive plants may promote predator-mediated feedback that inhibits further invasion

      Lauren M. Smith and Oswald J. Schmitz

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1525

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      Understanding the impacts of invasive species requires placing invasion within a full community context. Invasive plants often promote predators, generally by providing improved habitat. Here, we show that predator-promoting invaders may initiate a negative feedback loop that inhibits invasion.

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      An approach to consider behavioral plasticity as a source of uncertainty when forecasting species' response to climate change

      Antonio-Román Muñoz, Ana Luz Márquez and Raimundo Real

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1519

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      This study demonstrates that projected species-range changes expected to occur under climate change could be wrongly estimated if the capacity of species to adapt to new conditions is completely ignored. Considering the capability of species to respond to the opportunities and challenges represented by different climate change scenarios may mean a more realistic approach to the assessment of the consequences of global change on species' distribution.

    8. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Cryptic or pseudocryptic: can morphological methods inform copepod taxonomy? An analysis of publications and a case study of the Eurytemora affinis species complex

      Dmitry Lajus, Natalia Sukhikh and Victor Alekseev

      Article first published online: 25 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1521

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      Here we do not focus on the biological nature of cryptic species, but rather consider methodological questions. “Cryptic or pseudocryptic” dilemma speaks to the resolution of morphological analysis and its utility for identifying species. Based on our findings we assume that some newly described cryptic species are actually pseudocryptic if adequate morphological analysis would be used.

    9. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Sex-specific foraging behavior in response to fishing activities in a threatened seabird

      Manuel García-Tarrasón, Juan Bécares, Santiago Bateman, José Manuel Arcos, Lluís Jover and Carolina Sanpera

      Article first published online: 22 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1492

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      Sex-differences in the foraging behaviour were found in relation to fishing activities. Females tended to perform longer at-sea foraging trips in the absence of trawling activities.

    10. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Plant-soil feedbacks from 30-year family-specific soil cultures: phylogeny, soil chemistry and plant life stage

      Zia Mehrabi, Thomas Bell and Owen T. Lewis

      Article first published online: 22 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1487

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      In our manuscript, we use long-term, family-specific soil cultures to investigate the importance of phylogenetic relatedness in plant-soil feedbacks. Our article is the first multi-species test of this hypothesis to consider multiple life stages, and to account for the potentially confounding effects of soil chemistry.

    11. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Dispersal depends on body condition and predation risk in the semi-aquatic insect, Notonecta undulata

      Celina B. Baines, Shannon J. McCauley and Locke Rowe

      Article first published online: 20 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1508

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      Previous studies have demonstrated that dispersal is influenced by body condition; however, few studies have been able to separate the effects of body condition from correlated variables such as body size. We imposed diet treatments on backswimmers in the laboratory, and measured the effects of food availability on body condition and dispersal in the field. We found that dispersal was a positive function of body condition, which may have important consequences for population characteristics such as the rate of gene flow and population growth.

    12. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Intersexual allometry differences and ontogenetic shifts of coloration patterns in two aquatic turtles, Graptemys oculifera and Graptemys flavimaculata

      Joshua R. Ennen, Peter V. Lindeman and Jeffrey E. Lovich

      Article first published online: 20 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1517

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      Coloration can play critical roles in a species' biology, such as camouflage, thermoregulation, and signaling (i.e., interspecific and intraspecific), and the allometry of coloration traits may be useful for elucidating the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for shaping the traits. our model selection analysis found support for nonlinear exponential and power models describing the relationship between body size and color traits, suggestive of an ontogenetic shift in coloration traits for both sexes at maturity. Although color is critical for many species' biology and therefore under strong selective pressure in many other species, our results are likely explained by an epiphenomenon related to the different selection pressures on body size and growth rates between juveniles and adults and less attributable to the evolution of color patterns themselves.

    13. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Population genetics of four heavily exploited shark species around the Arabian Peninsula

      Julia L. Y. Spaet, Rima W. Jabado, Aaron C. Henderson, Alec B. M. Moore and Michael L. Berumen

      Article first published online: 20 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1515

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      Here we investigate the genetic population structure of four commercially exploited shark species with different biological characteristics between the Red Sea and all other water bodies surrounding the Arabian Peninsula. To assess intra-specific patterns of connectivity, we constructed statistical parsimony networks among haplotypes and estimated (1) population structure; and (2) time of most recent population expansion, based on mitochondrial control region DNA (mtDNA) and a total of 20 microsatellites. Our analysis indicates that, even in smaller, less vagile shark species, there are no contemporary barriers to gene flow across the region, while historical events, e.g. Pleistocene glacial cycles, may have affected connectivity in C. sorrah and R. acutus.

    14. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Does flower phenology mirror the slowdown of global warming?

      Susanne Jochner and Annette Menzel

      Article first published online: 15 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1503

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      Does flower phenology mirror the slowdown of global warming? Using a multiple change-point approach we found that phenology often mirrored temperature changes; however, in some cases phenological trends were not related to temperature trends. To predict future phenology most recent data should be integrated in order not to over- or underestimate phenological changes.

    15. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Toward accurate molecular identification of species in complex environmental samples: testing the performance of sequence filtering and clustering methods

      Jullien M. Flynn, Emily A. Brown, Frédéric J. J. Chain, Hugh J. MacIsaac and Melania E. Cristescu

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1497

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      Here we use a zooplankton mock community to evaluate the performance of various computational methods for analyzing 18S metabarcoding data. We emphasize issues specific to distinguishing species in complex communities using length-variable ribosomal markers. We make recommendations as to which sequence filtering and clustering procedures should be used in order to accurately estimate species diversity.

    16. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Divergence thresholds and divergent biodiversity estimates: can metabarcoding reliably describe zooplankton communities?

      Emily A. Brown, Frédéric J. J. Chain, Teresa J. Crease, Hugh J. MacIsaac and Melania E. Cristescu

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1485

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      Using four mock zooplankton communities, we validate the metabarcoding method by evaluating the accuracy of species richness estimates generated when clustering hypervariable sequences into operational taxonomic units (OTUs). By individually tagging single individuals and “populations” of various species in our communities, we examine the impact of intra- and interspecific diversity on OTU clustering. Our results suggest that intraspecific variation in the V4 region of 18S can often exceed 3% in metazoans, and advocate the use of group-specific divergence thresholds when OTU clustering.

    17. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Development of diagnostic microsatellite markers from whole-genome sequences of Ammodramus sparrows for assessing admixture in a hybrid zone

      Adrienne I. Kovach, Jennifer Walsh, Jordan Ramsdell and W. Kelley Thomas

      Article first published online: 13 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1514

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      Diagnostic microsatellite loci were identified from in silico screening of whole genome sequences of two tidal marsh birds, Ammodramus nelsoni and Ammodramus caudacutus. A panel of 12 diagnostic loci was found to have high resolution in classifying pure and admixed individuals in this sparrow hybrid zone. These markers may be associated with regions of the genome important in speciation.

    18. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Can changes in the distributions of resident birds in China over the past 50 years be attributed to climate change?

      Jianguo Wu and Guobin Zhang

      Article first published online: 11 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1513

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      Detecting changes in the distributions of nine resident birds over the past 50 years in China and confirming their relationship to climate change. Among 20 subspecies of resident birds, the northern limits of over half have shifted northward since the 1960s, and the changes in most were related to the thermal index. And the changes of almost half of the subspecies can be attributed to climate change over the past 50 years.

    19. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Antibodies to Pseudogymnoascus destructans are not sufficient for protection against white-nose syndrome

      Joseph S. Johnson, DeeAnn M. Reeder, Thomas M. Lilley, Gábor Á. Czirják, Christian C. Voigt, James W. McMichael III, Melissa B. Meierhofer, Christopher W. Seery, Shayne S. Lumadue, Alexander J. Altmann, Michael O. Toro and Kenneth A. Field

      Article first published online: 11 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1502

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      We directly measured antibody-mediated immune responses in free-ranging bats to the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome (WNS). Several lines of evidence demonstrated that antibody-mediated immune resistance does not explain the survival of certain species infected with Pseudogymnoascus destructans in North America or Europe. By eliminating antibody-mediated immunity as a pathway for surviving WNS, this study raises important additional questions about the ability of North American bats to adapt to WNS.

    20. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Impacts of invasive fish removal through angling on population characteristics and juvenile growth rate

      Charlotte Evangelista, Robert J. Britton and Julien Cucherousset

      Article first published online: 9 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1471

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      Selective removal through recreational angling of the invasive Lepomis gibbosus affected life-history traits, with changes acting at both population and individual levels. Population abundance of medium-bodied individuals had a U-shaped curve response to removal pressure. Individual lengths at age and juvenile growth rates decreased as removal pressure increased. The efficiency of selective management strategy currently used is challenging, suggesting the use of more proactive strategy to control invasive populations.

    21. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Separation in flowering time contributes to the maintenance of sympatric cryptic plant lineages

      Stefan G. Michalski and Walter Durka

      Article first published online: 8 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1481

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      Sympatric cryptic lineages are a challenge for the understanding of species coexistence and lineage diversification. Here, we show that two homoploid and sympatrically coexisting lineages within a common wetland plant are genetically highly differentiated but morphologically cryptic. We argue that the strong differentiation in flowering time contributes to reproductive isolation and the maintenance of these lineages.

    22. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Heteroskedasticity as a leading indicator of desertification in spatially explicit data

      David A. Seekell and Vasilis Dakos

      Article first published online: 8 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1510

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      Vegetation patterns change predictably prior to desertification. Statistical indicators summarize these changes, warning that adaptive management may be necessary.

    23. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Occurrence of an invasive coral in the southwest Atlantic and comparison with a congener suggest potential niche expansion

      Lélis A. Carlos-Júnior, Danilo M. Neves, Newton P. U. Barbosa, Timothy P. Moulton and Joel C. Creed

      Article first published online: 6 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1506

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      The coral Tubastraea tagusensis is native to the Galapagos Archipelago and has successfully invaded the Brazilian coast. A Species Distribution Model (SDM) did not predict the invasion. Niche conservatism, an assumption of the SDM procedure, did not hold and the use of SDMs should be treated with caution when applied to biological invasion (or climate change) scenarios.

    24. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Extreme heat changes post-heat wave community reassembly

      Linda I. Seifert, Guntram Weithoff and Matthijs Vos

      Article first published online: 6 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1490

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Investigating the effects of different heat wave intensities to a bi-trophic plankton community, we could show that community reassembly was significantly changed as it was more variable, and hence less predictable, after an extreme heat wave, and more canalized after a moderate one. Our results suggest that ecological legacies introduced by extremely high temperature events may change subsequent ecological recovery and even prevent the successful re-establishment of lost species.

    25. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Does sex-biased dispersal account for the lack of geographic and host-associated differentiation in introduced populations of an aphid parasitoid?

      Francisca Zepeda-Paulo, Blas Lavandero, Frédérique Mahéo, Emilie Dion, Yannick Outreman, Jean-Christophe Simon and Christian C. Figueroa

      Article first published online: 6 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1504

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      We studied the extent of gene flow mediated by female and male parasitoids and its impact on genetic differentiation in the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi. The results support a high gene flow among parasitoid populations. The high gene flow among parasitoid populations was found to be largely male-mediated.

    26. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Virulence of oomycete pathogens from Phragmites australis-invaded and noninvaded soils to seedlings of wetland plant species

      Ellen V. Crocker, Mary Ann Karp and Eric B. Nelson

      Article first published online: 5 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1468

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      We examined the diversity and virulence of soil oomycete pathogens in wetland soils invaded by non-native Phragmites australis (European common reed) to better understand the potential impacts of invasive plant species on soil pathogen communities and the potential feedback of these pathogen species to influence invasive success. We isolated oomycetes from four sites over a 2-year period, collecting nearly 500 isolates belonging to 36 different species. Many of the Pythium species were differentially virulent to a range of native and non-native plant species and isolates from invaded and non-invaded soils exhibited similar levels of virulence to individual plant species with no apparent differences between native and non-native plant species were observed.

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