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. Original Research

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

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      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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

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      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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    14. 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.

    15. 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.

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

    17. 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.

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

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

    20. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      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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