Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 5 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: 2.32

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 63/144 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 2045-7758

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  1. 1 - 42
  1. Original Research

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Contrasting demographic history and gene flow patterns of two mangrove species on either side of the Central American Isthmus

      Ivania Cerón-Souza, Elena G. Gonzalez, Andrea E. Schwarzbach, Dayana E. Salas-Leiva, Elsie Rivera-Ocasio, Nelson Toro-Perea, Eldredge Bermingham and W. Owen McMillan

      Article first published online: 28 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1569

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      Comparative phylogeography offers a unique opportunity to understand the interplay between past environmental events and life-history traits on diversification of unrelated but co-distributed species. In this study we examined the effects of the quaternary climate fluctuations and palaeo and present-day marine currents on the extant patterns of genetic diversity in the two most conspicuous mangrove species of the Neotropics. The black (Avicennia germinans, Avicenniaceae) and the red (Rhizophora mangle, Rhizophoraceae) mangrove have similar geographic ranges but are very distantly related and show striking differences on their life-history traits. We performed coalescence simulations using microsatellite diversity to test for evidence of population change associated with quaternary climate fluctuations. In addition, we examined if patterns of genetic variation were consistent with the directions of major marine (historical and present-day) currents in the region. Despite the remarkable differences in life-history. We found traits of mangrove species, which should had a strong influence on seed dispersal capability and, thus, population connectivity, we found that vicariant events, climate fluctuations and marine currents have shaped the distribution of genetic diversity in strikingly similar ways.

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      Ecological connectivity assessment in a strongly structured fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) population

      Luciano Bani, Giulia Pisa, Massimiliano Luppi, Giulia Spilotros, Elena Fabbri, Ettore Randi and Valerio Orioli

      Article first published online: 27 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1617

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      We assessed the ecological connectivity of a strongly structured population of fire salamander Salamandra salamandra, by means of a landscape genetic approach. Genetic distances of populations living in the highly urbanized foothill lowland area resulted affected by the isolation by resistance (Ecological distance prevails), while those living in most continuous forested hilly areas resulted affected by the isolation by distance (Euclidean distance prevails). When population are strongly structured, the effect of Euclidean or Ecological distances on Genetic distances acting at local level could not be detected.

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      Indirect effects of habitat disturbance on invasion: nutritious litter from a grazing resistant plant favors alien over native Collembola

      Hans Petter Leinaas, Jan Bengtsson, Charlene Janion-Scheepers and Steven L. Chown

      Article first published online: 25 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1483

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      To understand the high density of the invasive springtail (Collembola), Hypogastrura manubrialis in an area of heavily grazed South African renosterveld vegetation, we placed out open cages with three types of naturally occurring litter with different nutrient content. H. manubrialis strongly preferred the nutrient-rich litter of the grazing resistant yellowbush (Galenia africana), implying that invasion of H. manubrialis has been facilitated by the positive effect that grazing has on the yellowbush. As indigenous Collembola were least abundant in yellowbush litter and negatively correlated with the abundance of H. manubrialis, we suggest that competitive interactions may underlie low abundance of the indigenous species at the patch level in the area.

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      Environmental effects on survival rates: robust regression, recovery planning and endangered Atlantic salmon

      Heather D. Bowlby and A. Jamie F. Gibson

      Article first published online: 24 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1614

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      We demonstrate how outliers and overdispersion relative to regression assumptions can influence our ecological understanding of survival relative to environmental change, and how Robust Regression can be used to more effectively describe such relationships. This has direct implications on recovery planning for species in decline given that understanding survival-environmental relationships is a prerequisite for recovery planning.

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      Freshwater wetlands: fertile grounds for the invasive Phragmites australis in a climate change context

      Marie-Andrée Tougas-Tellier, Jean Morin, Daniel Hatin and Claude Lavoie

      Article first published online: 24 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1576

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      We developed a habitat model to simulate the distribution of the common reed (an invasive species) seedbeds in freshwater wetlands of the St. Lawrence River under current climate conditions, and used this model to predict their future distribution under two climate change scenarios simulated for 2050. Common reed stands are not widespread along the St. Lawrence River (212 ha), but our model suggests that current climate conditions are already conducive to considerable further expansion (>16,000 ha). Climate change may also exacerbate the expansion, particularly if river water levels drop, which will expose large bare areas propitious to seed germination. After colonizing salt and brackishwater marshes, the common reed could considerably expand into the freshwater marshes of North America which cover several million ha.

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      Quantitative genetics of plumage color: lifetime effects of early nest environment on a colorful sexual signal

      Joanna K. Hubbard, Brittany R. Jenkins and Rebecca J. Safran

      Article first published online: 24 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1602

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      Quantifying the relative influence of genetic and environmental variation on phenotype allows evolutionary biologists to make predictions about the potential for a given trait to respond to selection and various aspects of environmental variation. Here, we demonstrate that early environment influences the expression of sexually selected plumage color. These results provide insight into the information color provides to potential mates.

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      Positive selection drives adaptive diversification of the 4-coumarate: CoA ligase (4CL) gene in angiosperms

      Haiyan Sun, Kai Guo, Shengqiu Feng, Weihua Zou, Ying Li, Chunfen Fan and Liangcai Peng

      Article first published online: 23 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1613

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      4CLs play important roles in both lignin and flavonoid biosynthesis. Lignin-biosynthetic 4CLs are subject to positive selection. The evolution of 4CLs involved in flavonoid biosynthesis is constrained by purifying selection.

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      The ubiquity of phenotypic plasticity in plants: a synthesis

      Kattia Palacio-López, Brian Beckage, Samuel Scheiner and Jane Molofsky

      Article first published online: 23 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1603

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      From reciprocal transplant plants studies, we quantified the frequency of five different possible responses to environmental heterogeneity: (1) canalized response-no differentiation, (2) canalized response-population differentiation, (3) perfect adaptive plasticity, (4) adaptive plasticity and 5) non-adaptive plasticity. We found that canalized responses are more common than adaptive plasticity as an evolutionary response to environmental.

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      Temporal dynamics of linkage disequilibrium in two populations of bighorn sheep

      Joshua M. Miller, Jocelyn Poissant, René M. Malenfant, John T. Hogg and David W. Coltman

      Article first published online: 23 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1612

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      We examined the overall extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD), the effect of sample size on the accuracy and precision of LD estimates, and the temporal dynamics of LD in two populations of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) with different demographic histories. We found that both populations exhibited high levels of LD concordant with their demographic histories, and there was little variation in LD among yearly cross-sections of either population once sample size was accounted for. Lack of pronounced inter-annual variability suggests that researchers may not have to worry about inter-annual variation when estimating LD in a population and can instead focus on obtaining the largest sample size possible.

    10. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Spore sensitivity to sunlight and freezing can restrict dispersal in wood-decay fungi

      Veera Norros, Elina Karhu, Jenni Nordén, Anssi V. Vähätalo and Otso Ovaskainen

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1589

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      We conducted laboratory experiments to study whether sunlight and freezing temperature are potentially significant sources of dispersal mortality in wood decay fungi. Our results show that both factors but especially sunlight reduces the viability of spores, and species with thin-walled spores were particularly light-sensitive. We also found a positive effect of spore size on spore viability, suggesting a trade-off between dispersal distance and establishment.

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      Improving inferences from short-term ecological studies with Bayesian hierarchical modeling: white-headed woodpeckers in managed forests

      Daniel W. Linden and Gary J. Roloff

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1618

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      We examine how forest management practices influence nesting probability and persistence of a woodpecker in managed forests, and illustrate the difference an additional year of field surveys can make to inferences. We show how Bayesian hierarchical modeling has the potential to maximize the utility of studies based on small sample sizes while fully accounting for uncertainty, thereby improving the ability of observational data to inform conservation and management strategies.

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      Spatio-temporal variation in European starling reproductive success at multiple small spatial scales

      Daisy Brickhill, Peter G.H. Evans and Jane M. Reid

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1615

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      It is often assumed that demography will be spatially homogeneous within populations that lack obvious subdivision. However, using data from a population of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) we demonstrate substantial spatial, temporal and spatio-temporal variation in reproductive success occurring at very small spatial scales and without clear subdivision. We show that the estimated magnitude of this variation depended on spatial scale, and that spatio-temporal variation would not have been detected if multiple breeding attempts had not been measured. Photo: © Rebecca Nason

    13. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Widespread positive but weak assortative mating by diet within stickleback populations

      Travis Ingram, Yuexin Jiang, Racine Rangel and Daniel I. Bolnick

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1609

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      Assortative mating is common within populations and may promote genetic diversity or speciation, but is rarely quantified in many replicated populations. We measure assortative mating based on an ecologically important trait, diet, in 16 unmanipulated lake populations of threespine stickleback. We find a weak tendency toward positive assortment on the littoral-pelagic axis, though variation among populations was low and was not explained by hypothesized ecological drivers.

    14. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Does Acacia dealbata express shade tolerance in Mediterranean forest ecosystems of South America?

      Narciso Aguilera, Carolina Sanhueza, Lubia M. Guedes, José Becerra, Sebastián Carrasco and Víctor Hernández

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1606

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      We investigated the shade tolerance of the invasive A. dealbata under the canopy of two native forests and one non-native for three consecutive years. Our study reveals that this species expressed apparent shade tolerance. This behavior is supported by the efficient photosynthetic that A. dealbata showed at low light intensities.

    15. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Dynamics of novel forests of Castilla elastica in Puerto Rico: from species to ecosystems

      Jéssica Fonseca da Silva

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1578

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      Differences between the introduced naturalized species in a complex and dynamic novel forest. Nature has incredible power to regenerate and rearrange, which may result in surprising novel ecosystems.

    16. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The avoidance strategy of environmental constraints by an aquatic plant Potamogeton alpinus in running waters

      Alicja Robionek, Krzysztof Banaś, Rafał Chmara and Józef Szmeja

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1598

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      In fast flowing waters the avoidance strategy of P. alpinus is reflected by the following: (1) the presence of floating leaves that stabilize the vertical position of the stem and protect the inflorescence against immersion; (2) elongation of submerged leaves (weakens the pressure of water); (3) shoot diameter reduction and increase in shoot density (weakens the pressure of water, increases shoot elasticity). By contrast in slow water flow: (4) the absence of floating leaves in high intensity of light (avoiding unnecessary outlays on a redundant organ); (5) the presence of floating leaves in low intensity of light (avoidance of stress caused by an insufficient assimilation area of submerged leaves).

    17. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Size matters: nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants

      Estelí Jiménez-Soto and Stacy M. Philpott

      Article first published online: 17 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1555

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      Twig-nesting ants are nest-site limited, and trees or shrubs with twigs of a diversity of entrance sizes likely support higher ant species richness.

    18. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Linking stream ecology with morphological variability in a native freshwater fish from semi-arid Australia

      Samantha Lostrom, Jonathan P. Evans, Pauline F. Grierson, Shaun P. Collin, Peter M. Davies and Jennifer L. Kelley

      Article first published online: 16 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1590

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      Understanding how an animal's environment can contribute to phenotypic variation is critical for understanding ecological and evolutionary processes. We found that body shape variation in an arid-zone freshwater fish was mostly explained by geographic region, but populations exposed to anthropogenic impacts did not fit the expected pattern. The isolation of arid habitats may promote localized specialization, but human-induced habitat alterations may also induce morphological change.

    19. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Lineage sorting in multihost parasites: Eidmanniella albescens and Fregatiella aurifasciata on seabirds from the Galapagos Islands

      Jose L. Rivera-Parra, Iris I. Levin, Kevin P. Johnson and Patricia G. Parker

      Article first published online: 16 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1587

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      We analyzed the effect of host species identity and the immediate local species assemblage within mixed species colonies of nesting seabirds on patterns of genetic clustering within two species of multi-host ectoparasitic lice. We found that host species identity was the only factor explaining patterns of genetic structure in both parasite species.

    20. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Ten years of life in compost: temporal and spatial variation of North German Caenorhabditis elegans populations

      Carola Petersen, Manja Saebelfeld, Camilo Barbosa, Barbara Pees, Ruben Joseph Hermann, Rebecca Schalkowski, Eike Andreas Strathmann, Philipp Dirksen and Hinrich Schulenburg

      Article first published online: 15 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1605

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      Our study characterizes short-term and long-term natural variation for the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, for which the natural life history is surprisingly poorly characterized. Long-term and to a lesser extent short-term differences are found for both genotypic variation and also two types of ecologically relevant phenotypes, population growth and bacterial choice behavior. The considered C. elegans isolates should provide a valuable resource for future dissection of naturally relevant gene functions.

    21. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Local habitat conditions explain the variation in the strength of self-thinning in a stream salmonid

      Knut Marius Myrvold and Brian P. Kennedy

      Article first published online: 15 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1591

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      Self-thinning patterns are frequently used to describe density dependence in populations on time scales shorter than the organism's life span, and have been used to infer carrying capacity of the environment. We studied the extent to which a population of steelhead (an anadromous salmonid) self-thin under natural conditions, and which abiotic factors can explain the variation in thinning across discrete stream reaches in a watershed in Idaho, USA. Our results show that the prevalence and strength of density dependence in natural fish populations can vary across heterogeneous watersheds; can be more pronounced during certain stages of a species' life history; and that environmental factors can mediate the extent to which density dependence is manifested in predictable ways.

    22. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Validation of daily increment formation in otoliths for Gymnocypris selincuoensis in the Tibetan Plateau, China

      Chengzhi Ding, Yifeng Chen, Dekui He and Juan Tao

      Article first published online: 15 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1572

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      We developed a otolith marking method using environmental stress. We validated the timing of the first microincrement formation and the daily increment deposition of G. selincuoensis. This study has validated the rhythm of otolith deposition of a Schizothoracine fish for the first time.

    23. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Determinants of between-year burrow re-occupation in a colony of the European bee-eater Merops apiaster

      Vera Brust, Hans-Valentin Bastian, Anita Bastian and Tim Schmoll

      Article first published online: 15 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1563

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      We analysed reuse of individual breeding burrows in a European bee-eater colony founded in 2003 over a period of eleven years. 54% of 179 broods took place in reused burrows. The probability of reuse declined with the age of the breeding wall due to a decreasing reuse probability of individual burrows with age.

    24. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Historical comparisons reveal multiple drivers of decadal change of an ecosystem engineer at the range edge

      Louise B. Firth, Nova Mieszkowska, Lisa M. Grant, Laura E. Bush, Andrew J. Davies, Matthew T. Frost, Paula S. Moschella, Michael T. Burrows, Paul N. Cunningham, Stephen R. Dye and Stephen J. Hawkins

      Article first published online: 15 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1556

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      This study presents data from 49 locations that were surveyed using the same sampling protocols during three different surveys spanning a warming period between 1984 and 2012. It describes the changes in distribution of an important ecosystem engineer in relation to short-term extreme weather events, recent warming and the construction of a network of artificial coastal defence structures near its northern range edge in Britain. We present new information regarding the temporal stability of this important habitat that has not previously been recorded in the published literature and it is anticipated that this will be of significant use to those tasked with the management and protection of these habitats.

    25. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Tetracycline-exposed Drosophila melanogaster males produce fewer offspring but a relative excess of sons

      Kaitlyn L. O'Shea and Nadia D. Singh

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1535

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      Tetracyline treatment reduces male but not female fitness in Drosophila. In addition, this treatment also yields a shift in sex ratio towards males; this shift is independent of Wolbachia infection.

    26. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The effects of forest conversion to oil palm on ground-foraging ant communities depend on beta diversity and sampling grain

      Wendy Y. Wang and William A. Foster

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1592

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      This study assesses the beta diversity of ground-dwelling ant communities in the oil palm and forest landscapes of Sabah, Malaysia, using transformed diversity measures independent of alpha diversity. We showed that oil palm ant communities are in general more heterogeneous than forest communities, at multiple sampling scales of sampling.

    27. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Migrating songbirds on stopover prepare for, and recover from, oxidative challenges posed by long-distance flight

      Megan M. Skrip, Ulf Bauchinger, Wolfgang Goymann, Leonida Fusani, Massimiliano Cardinale, Rebecca R. Alan and Scott R. McWilliams

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1601

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      Our study is the first to show that free-living migratory songbirds build circulating antioxidant capacity as they do fat stores before long flights, and that songbirds recover from oxidative damage while on stopover after long flights. These findings are key to understanding the physiological ecology of birds during migration.

    28. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Adaptive plasticity and niche expansion in an invasive thistle

      Kathryn G. Turner, Hélène Fréville and Loren H. Rieseberg

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1599

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      To distinguish between local adaptation and adaptive plasticity as drivers for invasion in diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa), we performed a field common garden and tested for genetically based phenotypic differentiation, resource allocation shifts in response to water limitation, and local adaptation to an environmental gradient in native and invasive populations. Invasive C. diffusa populations produced individuals which were larger, later maturing, and with a more generalist relationship to climate, than native populations. Adaptive plasticity and increased fitness homeostasis may play an important role in C. diffusa's invasion of North America.

    29. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The use and abuse of genetic marker-based estimates of relatedness and inbreeding

      Helen R. Taylor

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1541

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      The performance of genetic marker-based estimators of relatedness and inbreeding is known to be highly variable and repeated calls have been made for researchers using these tools to assess their likely performance for the marker set in question before implementing them; software such as COANCESTRY facilitates this a priori assessment. Using empirical allele frequencies from a species of conservation concern with low genetic variation, I demonstrate the pitfalls of relying on marker-based relatedness and inbreeding estimates. I also review the scientific literature and demonstrate that, though marker-based estimators of relatedness and inbreeding are widely used, the majority of studies fail to assess or report the likely reliability of their estimates, leaving their conclusions open to question. I suggest that a standardised format for evaluating the reliability of marker-based relatedness and inbreeding estimates is required and discuss the form this could take.

    30. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Postmating reproductive barriers contribute to the incipient sexual isolation of the United States and Caribbean Drosophila melanogaster

      Joyce Y. Kao, Seana Lymer, Sea H. Hwang, Albert Sung and Sergey V. Nuzhdin

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1596

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      We present here a phenotypic study examining the effects of genetically admixed populations on postmating postzygotic reproductive barriers. We have undertaken the task of characterizing several examples of postmating/postzygotic reproductive barriers influence in a genetically admixed system experiencing incipient sexual isolation. We illustrate that postmating isolation is concurrently acting with premating isolation influencing the beginning stages of gene flow reduction and relate our findings to genetic admixture.

    31. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Effects of host plant on life-history traits in the polyphagous spider mite Tetranychus urticae

      Cassandra Marinosci, Sara Magalhães, Emilie Macke, Maria Navajas, David Carbonell, Céline Devaux and Isabelle Olivieri

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1554

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      Studying antagonistic coevolution between host plants and herbivores is particularly relevant for polyphagous species that can experience a great diversity of host plants. Here, by using experimental evolution we show that the host plant species can affect critical parameters of population dynamics, and most importantly that maternal and environmental conditions can facilitate colonization and exploitation of a novel host in the polyphagous T. urticae, by affecting dispersal behaviour (host acceptance) and female fecundity.

    32. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Morphological divergence between three Arctic charr morphs – the significance of the deep-water environment

      Sigrid Skoglund, Anna Siwertsson, Per-Arne Amundsen and Rune Knudsen

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1573

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      The study demonstrates morphological adaptations related to different habitat and food resource utilization in three sympatric morphs of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) with differences in life-history and ecology. Morphs within the same deep-water habitat were morphologically the most similar, but still exhibiting significant differences in traits related to food acquisition. The diversity of deep-water charr documented in this study represents a novelty in the Arctic charr polymorphism, as a truly deep-water piscivore morph has to our knowledge not been described elsewhere.

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      Toxicity and utilization of chemical weapons: does toxicity and venom utilization contribute to the formation of species communities?

      Fabian L. Westermann, Iain S. McPherson, Tappey H. Jones, Lesley Milicich and Philip J. Lester

      Article first published online: 14 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1595

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      Toxicity and the utilization of venom is an essential feature in the ecology of many animal species and have been hypothesized to be an important factor contributing to the assembly of communities through competitive interactions. Ants of the genus Monomorium utilize a variety of venom compositions, which have been reported to give them a competitive advantage. Here we investigate two pairs of Monomorium species, which differ in the structural compositions of their venom and their co-occurrence patterns with the invasive Argentine ant.

    34. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Spatial structuring of the population genetics of a European subterranean termite species

      Stéphanie Bankhead-Dronnet, Elfie Perdereau, Magdalena Kutnik, Simon Dupont and Anne-Geneviève Bagnères

      Article first published online: 8 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1566

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      In social insects, the distribution of population-level genetic variability is generally linked to colony-level genetic structure. We analyzed 52 colonies of an endemic subterranean termite from southwestern France, at both mitochondrial and microsatellite markers. We demonstrated that it is especially crucial to conduct complementary analyses on such organisms to examine how spatial and social constraints interact to shape patterns of intraspecific diversity.

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      Naturally occurring variation in tadpole morphology and performance linked to predator regime

      James B. Johnson, Daniel Saenz, Cory K. Adams and Toby J. Hibbitts

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1538

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      Divergent natural selection drives a considerable amount of the phenotypic and genetic variation observed in natural populations. We show that predator regime is driving strong divergent selection on tadpole morphology and swimming performance.

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      Population genetic structure and colonization history of short ninespine sticklebacks (Pungitius kaibarae)

      Han-Gyu Bae and Ho Young Suk

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1594

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      The short ninespine stickleback, Pungitius kaibarae, is a small gasterosteid fish occurring in freshwater systems on the Korean Peninsula and in southeast Russia. On the Korean Peninsula, P. kaibarae populations are distributed in three geographically separated regions, the NE (northeast coast), SE (southeast coast) and a limited area in the ND (Nakdong River). In this study we used mitochondrial loci and microsatellites to investigate the complete evolutionary history of P. kaibarae populations by assessing their pattern of genetic structure.

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      The effect of hydroperiod and predation on the diversity of temporary pond zooplankton communities

      Marcus Zokan and John M. Drake

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1593

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      Hydroperiod length and predation pressure are hypothesized to be two of the most important forces effecting the diversity of temporary ponds. We test the impact of these forces on a diverse zooplankton community through a mesocosm experiment, manipulating hydroperiod and the presence/absence of salamander larvae. We found that a reduced hydroperiod length generally results in a decrease in zooplankton diversity, but that predation appeared to have no detectable effect.

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      Single nucleotide polymorphism-based dispersal estimates using noninvasive sampling

      Anita J. Norman and Göran Spong

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1588

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      Quantifying dispersal is an important but difficult task. Here we estimate dispersal distance for the Swedish brown bear using a highly-informative SNP-panel and pedigree-reconstruction from non-invasively collected samples by citizens. Our results are comparable to other methods and thereby illustrate the potential for other species requiring non-invasive sampling.

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      Low levels of hybridization between sympatric Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) highlights their genetic distinctiveness and ecological segregation

      Shannan L. May-McNally, Thomas P. Quinn and Eric B. Taylor

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1583

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      Determining the extent of natural hybridization and the ecological distribution of parental species and hybrids can contribute to our understanding of the role that ecology plays in reproductive isolation. The level of hybridization and differences in distribution between two closely related salmonid fishes, Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and Dolly Varden (S. malma), were assessed across a wide variety of habitats in two southwestern Alaskan lakes. Our findings showed that Arctic char and Dolly Varden rarely hybridize and segregate across lake and stream habitats, suggesting that post-zygotic, environmentally-dependent selection against hybrids may be an important factor constraining gene flow in addition to differential use of spawning habitats.

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      Sperm storage and spermatozoa interaction with epithelial cells in oviduct of Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis

      Shaofan Chen, Linli Zhang, Yuan Le, Yasir Waqas, Wei Chen, Qian Zhang, Shakeeb Ullah, Tengfei Liu, Lisi Hu, Quanfu Li and Ping Yang

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1575

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      Spermatozoa can be stored within isthmus, uterine and vagina for a long time in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle after natural mating. The protection or/and nutrition of the oviduct epithelium, and the small population of immune cells in the genital tract would facilitate long-term sperm storage. In addition, Chinese soft-shelled turtle may be a potential model for uncovering the mechanism behind the sperm storage phenomenon.

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      Hybridization in closely related Rhododendron species: half of all species-differentiating markers experience serious transmission ratio distortion

      Tobias Marczewski, David F. Chamberlain and Richard I. Milne

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1570

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      A pair of hybridising Rhododendron species was investigated with regards to differentiation at 146 AFLP loci. None of the loci showed fixed differences between the species, but over 45% of species differentiating markers showed significant transmission ratio distortion in early generation hybrids, indicating that they are affected by incompatibilities.

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      Discrimination of grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) diet and niche overlap using next-generation sequencing of gut contents

      Beverly McClenaghan, Joel F. Gibson, Shadi Shokralla and Mehrdad Hajibabaei

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1585

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      Multiple specimens of four species of grasshopper were collected and diet analysis was performed using DNA metabarcoding of the gut contents. The rbcLa gene region was amplified and sequenced using Illumina MiSeq sequencing. Niche overlap values did not follow predicted patterns, however, the low values suggest low competition between these species.

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