Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 5 Issue 2

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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  2. 21 - 36
  1. Original Research

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Metabolic variation in natural populations of wild yeast

      Pedram Samani, Etienne Low-Decarie, Kyra McKelvey, Thomas Bell, Austin Burt, Vassiliki Koufopanou, Christian R. Landry and Graham Bell

      Article first published online: 14 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1376

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      Ecological diversification depends on the extent of genetic variation and on the pattern of covariation with respect to ecological opportunities. We investigated the pattern of utilization of carbon substrates in wild populations of budding yeast Saccharomyces paradoxus.

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      Hierarchical analysis of genetic structure in the habitat-specialist Eastern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta pellucida)

      Robert Ginson, Ryan P. Walter, Nicholas E. Mandrak, Courtney L. Beneteau and Daniel D. Heath

      Article first published online: 13 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1392

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      Using microsatellite data we characterize genetic variation across the species range of the Eastern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta pellucida), a small riverine percid that is highly dependent on sandy substrate microhabitats. We found significant genetic structure among rivers but little within-river genetic structure, suggesting stratified dispersal resulting from unstable sand bar habitat degradation precluding isolation within rivers. We suggest that for habitat-specific fishes, such as the Eastern Sand Darter, the evolution of novel dispersal strategies can overcome fragmented and temporally unstable habitats.

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      Assessing the phylogeographic history of the montane caddisfly Thremma gallicum using mitochondrial and restriction-site-associated DNA (RAD) markers

      Jan-Niklas Macher, Andrey Rozenberg, Steffen U. Pauls, Ralph Tollrian, Rüdiger Wagner and Florian Leese

      Article first published online: 13 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1366

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      Molecular markers can help uncovering the phylogeographic history of species, yet mostly single gene analyses have been performed. Here we assessed the phylogeographic history of the montane aquatic caddisfly, Thremma gallicum by sequencing a 658-bp fragment of the mitochondrial CO1 gene and 12,514 nuclear RAD loci. Our result reveal patterns of long-term isolation between the different montane regions and a recolonisation of northern Europe from the Iberian Peninsula.

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      Adaptive plasticity and epigenetic variation in response to warming in an Alpine plant

      Adrienne B. Nicotra, Deborah L. Segal, Gemma L. Hoyle, Aaron W. Schrey, Koen J. F. Verhoeven and Christina L. Richards

      Article first published online: 13 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1329

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      Our work presents an exciting fusion of research on epigenetics (DNA methylation in particular) and adaptive phenotypic plasticity. The relationship between epigenetic mechanisms and phenotypic plasticity has been the subject of increasing speculation in ecological studies. Our results demonstrate that adaptive plasticity in temperature response of an alpine herb varies over remarkably fine geographic scales and indicates the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in this response.

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      Sexual segregation in North American elk: the role of density dependence

      Kelley M. Stewart, Danielle R. Walsh, John G. Kie, Brian L. Dick and R. Terry Bowyer

      Article first published online: 13 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1397

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      We investigated the effects of density dependence on timing of sexual segregation and selection of resources in Rocky Mountain elk. The duration of sexual segregation was 2 months longer in the high-density population, and likely was influenced by individuals in poorer nutritional condition, which corresponded with later conception and parturition than at low density. Individuals in the low-density population partitioned resources to a greater extent, likely resulting from lower intraspecific competition and greater resource availability. Photo credit: Jim Ward

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      Naturally rare versus newly rare: demographic inferences on two timescales inform conservation of Galápagos giant tortoises

      Ryan C. Garrick, Brittney Kajdacsi, Michael A. Russello, Edgar Benavides, Chaz Hyseni, James P. Gibbs, Washington Tapia and Adalgisa Caccone

      Article first published online: 13 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1388

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      From a conservation perspective, there is considerable value in making a distinction between a recently bottlenecked population that was previously large and stable, versus one that has always been small or had a long history of repeated size reductions. We develop and apply an analytical framework for reconstructing demographic history of Galápagos giant tortoises on two timescales. For 15 populations of Galápagos giant tortoises (Chelonoidis sp.) we used 12 microsatellite loci, and DNA sequences from the mitochondrial control region and a nuclear intron, to reconstruct demographic history on shallow (past ~100 generations, ~2500 years) and deep (pre-Holocene, >10 thousand years ago) timescales. Overall, our data suggest that idiosyncratic and geographically localized forces shaped the demographic history of tortoise populations, and permitted the identification of naturally rare vs. newly rare populations. This should facilitate prioritization of management action.

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      Discordance between morphological and molecular species boundaries among Caribbean species of the reef sponge Callyspongia

      Melissa B. DeBiasse and Michael E. Hellberg

      Article first published online: 13 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1381

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      Sponges are among the most species-rich and ecologically important taxa on coral reefs yet documenting their diversity is difficult due to the simplicity and plasticity of their morphological characters. Here we determined species boundaries in the Caribbean coral reef sponge genus Callyspongia using a multi-locus, model-based approach and found evolutionarily distinct lineages were not concordant with current species designations. While C. fallax, C. tenerrima, and C. plicifera were reciprocally monophyletic, four taxa with different morphologies (C. armigera, C. longissima, C. ?eschrichtii, and C. vaginalis) formed a monophyletic group and genetic distances among these taxa overlapped distances within them.

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      How integrated are behavioral and endocrine stress response traits? A repeated measures approach to testing the stress-coping style model

      Kay Boulton, Elsa Couto, Andrew J. Grimmer, Ryan L. Earley, Adelino V. M. Canario, Alastair J. Wilson and Craig A. Walling

      Article first published online: 11 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1395

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      It is widely expected that physiological and behavioural stress responses will be integrated within divergent stress coping styles (SCS) and that these may represent opposite ends of a continuously varying reactive-proactive axis. If this model is valid, then stress response traits should be repeatable and physiological and behavioural responses should change in an integrated manner along a major axis of among-individual variation. In a study of the sheepshead swordtail, Xiphophorus birchmanni we show that among-individual differences in behavioural and endocrine traits are present, but that the correlation structure between these is not consistent with the SCS model.

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      America's red gold: multiple lineages of cultivated cochineal in Mexico

      Michael G. Campana, Nelly M. Robles García and Noreen Tuross

      Article first published online: 8 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1398

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      Cultivated cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) produces carminic acid, a red dye used to color textiles, cosmetics and food. Native D. coccus derives from two populations in the Mexican and the Andean highlands, although the insect's domestication center remains unclear. We identified two divergent D. coccus populations in highland Mexico: one unique to Mexico and another that was more closely related to extant Andean cochineal.

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      Do mothers prefer helpers or smaller litters? Birth sex ratio and litter size adjustment in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)

      Rebecca A. Boulton and Alison W. Fletcher

      Article first published online: 8 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1396

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      The helper repayment (HR) also named the local resource enhancement (LRE) hypothesis predicts that, in cooperatively breeding species, mothers invest more in the sex which assists with rearing future offspring, and that this bias will be more pronounced in mothers who require extra assistance (i.e. due to inexperience or a lack of available alloparents). We tested these hypotheses in captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) utilising the international studbook and birth records obtained through a questionnaire from ISIS registered institutions. We found little support for helper repayment at the individual level; primiparous females did not exhibit more extreme tendencies to produce the helpful sex, however, they were more likely to produce singleton litters.

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      Estimating the spatial position of marine mammals based on digital camera recordings

      Jeroen P. A. Hoekendijk, Jurre de Vries, Krissy van der Bolt, Jens Greinert, Sophie Brasseur, Kees C. J. Camphuysen and Geert Aarts

      Article first published online: 8 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1353

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      Estimating the spatial position of animals is important in many ecological and behavioural studies, but can be extremely challenging for marine mammals who only appear at the surface briefly. This study shows how photogrammetric methods applied to land-based Digital HD recordings of harbour porpoises can be used to accurately estimate their spatiotemporal fine-scale distribution.

    12. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Are we underestimating the genetic variances of dimorphic traits?

      Matthew E. Wolak, Derek A. Roff and Daphne J. Fairbairn

      Article first published online: 8 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1361

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      Quantitative genetic analyses of populations containing discrete classes or morphs can either be estimated independently for each morph or in a combined analysis by considering morph as a fixed effect. Although common in a literature survey, the latter approach produces downwardly biased estimates of additive genetic variance and heritability unless the additive genetic effects of traits is perfectly correlated between morphs. In this paper, we advocate for the independent estimation of genetic parameters for each morph and caution against simply entering morph as a fixed effect in quantitative genetic models.

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      Evolutionary dynamics of ecological niche in three Rhinogobio fishes from the upper Yangtze River inferred from morphological traits

      Meirong Wang, Fei Liu, Pengcheng Lin, Shaorong Yang and Huanzhang Liu

      Article first published online: 7 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1386

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      We employed morphological traits to describe ecological niche and test whether different niche dimensions exhibit disparate evolutionary patterns. Then we suggested that different niche dimensions could show different evolutionary dynamic patterns: they may exhibit PNC or not, and some dimensions may evolve generalism.

    14. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Quantitative genetics of learning ability and resistance to stress in Drosophila melanogaster

      Virginie Nepoux, Aurélie Babin, Christoph Haag, Tadeusz J. Kawecki and Arnaud Le Rouzic

      Article first published online: 7 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1379

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      Learning is thought to be generally adaptive, in particular in variable environments. Here, we investigate the properties of the genetic architecture of learning in Drosophila, based on a diallel cross design. Our results show that there is a large amount of natural genetic variation for learning. Learning is negatively affected by inbreeding, but we found no evidence for trade-offs with other fitness components or malnutrition tolerance.

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      Diversity patterns of ground beetles and understory vegetation in mature, secondary, and plantation forest regions of temperate northern China

      Yi Zou, Weiguo Sang, Shunzhong Wang, Eleanor Warren-Thomas, Yunhui Liu, Zhenrong Yu, Changliu Wang and Jan Christoph Axmacher

      Article first published online: 7 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1367

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      We studied three regions representing mature, secondary and plantation forests. The α-diversity of study taxa was highest at plantation forests, while mature forests harboured the most distinctive species composition. Results suggest that China's large-scale larch plantations might be useful in biodiversity conservation.

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      Biomarkers of animal health: integrating nutritional ecology, endocrine ecophysiology, ecoimmunology, and geospatial ecology

      Robin W. Warne, Glenn A. Proudfoot and Erica J. Crespi

      Article first published online: 7 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1360

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      This study illustrates the depth of knowledge about animal heath, across both time and space, that can be gained by coupling extraction methods and physiological assays from diverse fields of research on easily obtained tissues. While these assays are common within each field, there is a great lack of awareness of how assays from diverse fields like stable isotope ecology and endocrinology can be methodologically integrated, or the great range of temporal knowledge that can be gained from differing fractions of the same tissue. This study brings to the forefront the great opportunities that exist to integrate already existing methods and biomarkers to better detail animal condition and health.

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