Ecology and Evolution

Cover image for Vol. 5 Issue 16

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. Original Research

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Large-scale spatial variation in feather corticosterone in invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Mexico is related to climate

      Gillian D. Treen, Keith A. Hobson, Tracy A. Marchant and Gary R. Bortolotti

      Article first published online: 21 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1638

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      We assessed variation in the hormone corticosterone (CORT) in feathers of invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) across their range in Mexico. Feather CORT levels were highest in north-central Mexico and the Baja peninsula, areas with low levels of precipitation and more variable temperatures; feather CORT was also negatively associated with temperature and precipitation. Our results show that feather CORT can be a powerful tool for understanding how physiology limits species distributions; furthermore linking feather CORT to climate may allow us to predict how species will respond to future climate change.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Maintenance of brucellosis in Yellowstone bison: linking seasonal food resources, host–pathogen interaction, and life-history trade-offs

      John J. Treanor, Chris Geremia, Michael A. Ballou, Duane H. Keisler, Patrick J. White, John J. Cox and Philip H. Crowley

      Article first published online: 20 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1633

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      Susceptibility to infectious disease may be influenced by the seasonal availability of food resources. In Yellowstone bison, active brucellosis infection was negatively associated with bison age and nutritional condition, with infection intensities most pronounced in young animals. Our results illustrate how seasonal food restriction might drive physiological trade-offs, which suppress immune function and create infection and transmission opportunities for pathogens.

    3. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Mining from transcriptomes: 315 single-copy orthologous genes concatenated for the phylogenetic analyses of Orchidaceae

      Hua Deng, Guo-Qiang Zhang, Min Lin, Yan Wang and Zhong-Jian Liu

      Article first published online: 20 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1642

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      We offered an efficient and reliable method for orchid phylogenic analyses, especially for the holomycotrophic species or those whose DNA sequences have been difficult to amplify. Meanwhile, a total of 315 single-copy orthologous genes of orchids are offered for orchid phylogenetic studies.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Effects of spatial scale of sampling on food web structure

      Spencer A. Wood, Roly Russell, Dieta Hanson, Richard J. Williams and Jennifer A. Dunne

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1640

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      This study investigates whether commonly studied properties of network structure vary with spatial scale, using highly resolved empirical food webs for the marine intertidal of the Sanak Archipelago in the Eastern Aleutian Islands. We find through analyses using niche and power-law scaling models that although raw structural properties of networks vary systematically with sampling extent, across six orders of magnitude, many of these apparent sensitivities are attributable to the increasing richness and decreasing connectance of larger-scale food webs.

    5. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Interrelated effects of mycorrhiza and free-living nitrogen fixers cascade up to aboveground herbivores

      Botir Khaitov, José David Patiño-Ruiz, Tatiana Pina and Peter Schausberger

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1654

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      Our study provides a key example of the interrelated effects of two primarily plant-mutualistic microorganisms, mycorrhizal fungi and free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria, on herbivorous spider mites feeding on aboveground plant parts. It breaks new ground in multi-trophic below-aboveground research by providing first insights into the implications of plant-mediated belowground fungi-bacteria interactions on fitness of aboveground herbivores.

    6. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Potential merger of ancient lineages in a passerine bird discovered based on evidence from host-specific ectoparasites

      Nicholas L. Block, Steven M. Goodman, Shannon J. Hackett, John M. Bates and Marie J. Raherilalao

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1639

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      Xanthomixis zosterops comprises four deeply divergent, broadly sympatric, cryptic mtDNA clades that likely began diverging approximately 3.6 million years ago. Despite this level of divergence, microsatellite data indicate that the X. zosterops mtDNA clades are virtually panmictic. The presence of three distinct phylogroups of host-specific Myrsidea lice on X. zosterops support previous allopatry and potential lineage merger of the X. zosterops clades.

    7. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Context matters: sexual signaling loss in digital organisms

      Emily G. Weigel, Nicholas D. Testa, Alex Peer and Sara C. Garnett

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1631

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      Sexual signals are important in attracting and choosing mates; however, these signals and their associated preferences are often costly and frequently lost. Here we used the Avida digital life platform to explore the conditions (population size, genetic linkage, strength of preference, and requirement of signal to initial mating) under which signal loss occurs. Our findings suggest that (1) signaling loss is often dependent on not just preference for signals, population size, and genetic linkage, but also whether signals are required to initiate mating, and (2) complete signal loss may be harder to obtain that previously thought.

    8. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Baiting improves CPUE in nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) minnow trap fishery

      Juha Merilä

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1635

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      Whether or not baiting influences catch per unit effort (CPUE) in stickleback fisheries remains a matter of debate among researchers in lack of quantitative data. A field experiment conducted with nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) shows that bating improves CPUE. CPUE is also influenced by trap type, and CPUE of different size and age classes of fish differ depending on the trap type.

    9. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Persistence at distributional edges: Columbia spotted frog habitat in the arid Great Basin, USA

      Robert S. Arkle and David S. Pilliod

      Article first published online: 18 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1627

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      A common challenge in the conservation of broadly distributed or imperiled species is understanding which factors facilitate persistence at distributional edges, locations where populations are often vulnerable to extirpation due to changes in climate, land use, or distributions of other species. For Columbia spotted frogs in the Great Basin, a genetically distinct population segment of conservation concern, we found that persistence has been largely facilitated by habitat stability from permanent hydroperiods, aquatic connectivity, predator-free refugia, and a commensalistic interaction with an ecosystem engineer, the American beaver.

    10. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Host range and community structure of avian nest parasites in the genus Philornis (Diptera: Muscidae) on the island of Trinidad

      Mariana Bulgarella and George E. Heimpel

      Article first published online: 15 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1621

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      Host range, parasite species load, and community similarity are important descriptors of host-parasite interactions. We used a phylogenetic approach to explore host-associations between birds and their Philornis parasites on the island of Trinidad.

    11. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      An example of phenotypic adherence to the island rule? – Anticosti gray jays are heavier but not structurally larger than mainland conspecifics

      Dan Strickland and D. Ryan Norris

      Article first published online: 14 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1557

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      The island-rule proposes that small animals become larger when isolated on islands whereas large animals tend towards dwarfism. We found that gray jays (Perisoreus canadensis) on Anticosti Island, Québec were ca 10% heavier but not structurally larger, than three mainland populations, suggesting suggests that Anticosti jays are not necessarily genetically distinct from mainland gray jays and that they may achieve their greater body masses solely through packing more mass onto mainland-sized body frames. This is the first known example of a proposed, purely phenotypic initial step in the adherence to the island-rule by an insular population.

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      Induced responses to grazing by an insect herbivore (Acentria ephemerella) in an immature macrophyte (Myriophyllum spicatum): an isotopic study

      Karl-Otto Rothhaupt, Felix Fornoff and Elizabeth Yohannes

      Article first published online: 13 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1624

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      The means by which young aquatic plants defend themselves from herbivory are little studied. This study addresses this gap in knowledge. Nitrogen tracers were used in two mesocosm experiments investigating the response of young Myriophyllum spicatum plants to grazing by the generalist insect herbivore Acentria ephemerella. Results indicate (1) exposure to an insect herbivore induces a rapid (within 48 h) reduction in the nutritional value of vulnerable tissues, (2) high level grazing intensity did not limit the ability of young plants to induce resistance; (3) young plants exposed to herbivory exhibit differential patterns of nutrient allocation in vulnerable and secure tissues.

    13. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Tracking changes in life-history traits related to unnecessary virulence in a plant-parasitic nematode

      Philippe Castagnone-Sereno, Karine Mulet and Cathy Iachia

      Article first published online: 13 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1643

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      Evaluating trade-offs in life-history traits of plant pathogens is essential to understand the evolution and epidemiology of diseases. Here, we designed experiments to investigate whether traits directly linked to the establishment of host–parasite interactions, that is, ability to locate and move toward the roots of the host plant, and to invade roots and develop into mature females, are affected in an asexual nematode adapted to plant resistance.

    14. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      American pika in a low-elevation lava landscape: expanding the known distribution of a temperature-sensitive species

      Matt Shinderman

      Article first published online: 13 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1626

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      This study documents persistence of a newly discovered population of American pika at elevations below those predicted as optimal for the species. Like other lava environments where pika have been recently documented, lava flows at NNVM appear to be serving as thermal refugia for pika, despite summer temperatures which regularly exceed thermal maxima for the species. It is likely that pika inhabit other low-elevation lava flows in areas that have never been surveyed.

    15. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Insect responses to host plant provision beyond natural boundaries: latitudinal and altitudinal variation in a Chinese fig wasp community

      Rong Wang, Stephen G. Compton, Rupert J. Quinnell, Yan-Qiong Peng, Louise Barwell and Yan Chen

      Article first published online: 13 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1622

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      The fig wasps associated with a single plant resource (ovules of Ficus microcarpa) along a 1200 km transect in SW China that extended for 1000 km beyond the tree's natural northern range margin were recorded. The proportion of figs utilized by any fig wasps declined with increasing latitude, as did the proportion of ovules that were occupied and the species richness, diversity and abundance of fig wasps. Parasitoids declined more steeply with latitude than phytophages.

    16. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Candidate gene–environment interactions and their relationships with timing of breeding in a wild bird population

      Audrey Bourret and Dany Garant

      Article first published online: 11 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1630

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      Monitoring and predicting evolutionary changes underlying current environmental modifications are complex challenges and these objectives can be achieved by assessing the genetic variation and effects of candidate genes on traits indicating adaptive potential. Here, we studied a population of Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) to assess the relationships between four candidate genes (CLOCK, NPAS2, ADCYAP1, CREB1) and two phenological traits related to reproduction (laying date and incubation duration), and also determine the importance of GxE in this system. Our results suggest that all four candidate genes potentially affect timing of breeding in birds and that gene-environment interactions (GxE) are more prevalent and important than previously reported in this context.

    17. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      An experimental test on time constraint and sexual conflict over parental care

      Matteo Griggio

      Article first published online: 7 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1620

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      If the main advantage of brood desertion is remating, then this will be a time constraint, because the deserting individual will require a certain minimum period of time to breed again in the same breeding season. I experimentally created two groups of pairs: the control pairs that started to breed as soon as they were ready and the experimental pairs that were forced to postpone their breeding phase because the breeding sites were available later. As predicted, I found that in the experimental pairs the percentage of deserting individuals was significantly higher than in the control groups. To my knowledge, this is the first experimental study that demonstrates a direct link between time constraint and brood desertion.

    18. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Quantification of correlational selection on thermal physiology, thermoregulatory behavior, and energy metabolism in lizards

      Paulina Artacho, Julia Saravia, Beatriz Decencière Ferrandière, Samuel Perret and Jean-François Le Galliard

      Article first published online: 7 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1548

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      The annual survival and total fecundity of common lizards were significantly influenced by correlational selection acting on body mass and resting metabolic rate, but with opposite directions for the two life history traits.

    19. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Living in isolation – population structure, reproduction, and genetic variation of the endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus (Cheddar pink)

      Christina M. Putz, Christoph Schmid and Christoph Reisch

      Article first published online: 7 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1611

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      We analysed the population structure, reproduction and genetic variation of the endangered plant species Dianthus gratianopolitanus from two geographic regions with a different magnitude of isolation. We observed differences in population structure but similar reproduction and genetic variation. We concluded that the isolation of populations of naturally rare species must not necessarily result in the loss of fitness and genetic variation.

    20. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Phylogenetic and ecological patterns in nighttime transpiration among five members of the genus Rubus co-occurring in western Oregon

      Brandon McNellis and Ava R. Howard

      Article first published online: 6 AUG 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1608

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      Nighttime transpiration was measured in a greenhouse common garden in five species of Rubus. A phylogenetic signal was detected in the data, while nighttime and daytime transpiration were not correlated across the genus. This suggests that interspecific differences may contribute to differences in nighttime water use.

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