Journal of Animal Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 84 Issue 1

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Edited By: Ken Wilson, Tim Coulson, Jean-Michel Gaillard and Ben Sheldon

Impact Factor: 4.726

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 1/152 (Zoology); 21/140 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1365-2656

Associated Title(s): Functional Ecology, Journal of Applied Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Methods in Ecology and Evolution


  1. 1 - 42
  1. Standard Papers

    1. Effects of temperature on consumer–resource interactions

      Priyanga Amarasekare

      Article first published online: 14 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12320

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      Understanding how temperature variation influences consumer–resource interactions (e.g. predator–prey, plant–herbivore, host–parasite) is an important research priority. Previous work on this topic has yielded conflicting outcomes, with some studies predicting that warming should increase consumer–resource oscillations and others predicting that warming should decrease consumer–resource oscillations. Here, the author develops a consumer–resource model that both synthesizes previous findings in a common framework and yields novel insights about temperature effects on consumer–resource interactions

    2. Weather-driven dynamics in a dual-migrant system: moths and bats

      Jennifer J. Krauel, John K. Westbrook and Gary F. McCracken

      Article first published online: 10 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12327

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      The authors present evidence for return migrations in pest moths, and show clear links between migratory behaviours in a predator-prey system; both are rarely studied areas in migration ecology. Understanding the weather systems underlying these migrations is important to predicting results of long-term climate change on these ecological processes.

    3. The effects of experimental warming on the timing of a plant–insect herbivore interaction

      Heather M. Kharouba, Mark Vellend, Rana M. Sarfraz and Judith H. Myers

      Article first published online: 9 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12328

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      This is the first study to experimentally compare the direct effects of warming on individual performance to those effects mediated by warming-driven phenological shifts. The authors found that warming advanced the timing of larval but not leaf emergence and that warming had no net effect on insect performance.

    4. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Concomitant predation on parasites is highly variable but constrains the ways in which parasites contribute to food web structure

      Alyssa R. Cirtwill and Daniel B. Stouffer

      Article first published online: 8 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12323

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      The authors use a novel species- and link-centred perspective to relate network-level consequences of adding parasites to food-webs to the effects of concomitant predation on the roles of parasites. Concomitant predation not only induces parasites to have unique structural roles, it reduces the redundancy of parasites' contributions to food-web structure.

    5. Predicting rates of isotopic turnover across the animal kingdom: a synthesis of existing data

      Stephen M. Thomas and Thomas W. Crowther

      Article first published online: 8 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12326

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      The stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen represent powerful tools in food-web ecology, providing a wide range of dietary information in animal consumers. However, identifying the temporal window over which a consumer's isotopic signature reflects its diet requires an understanding of elemental incorporation. This paper is the first to show empirically how body size and temperature are the major drivers of this process.

    6. Cruising the rain forest floor: butterfly wing shape evolution and gliding in ground effect

      Ann Cespedes, Carla M. Penz and Philip J. DeVries

      Article first published online: 7 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12325

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      Forewing shapes in rain forest understory butterflies fall into two categories corresponding to flight behaviour and vertical flight environment. Field observations and morphometric analyses indicate most Haeterini butterflies glide in ground effect while distant relatives employ flapping flight. Flight behaviour has likely driven diversity of wing morphology in these butterflies.

    7. ‘Trophic whales’ as biotic buffers: weak interactions stabilize ecosystems against nutrient enrichment

      Florian Schwarzmüller, Nico Eisenhauer and Ulrich Brose

      Article first published online: 29 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12324

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      Natural ecosystems inherit structural components that buffer against external stressors such as nutrient enrichment. In this study, the authors provide methods for a-priori identification of one class of structural important species, the ‘trophic whales’. They examine their role in exemplary model analyses and test the concept empirically in a microcosm experiment.

    8. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Density- and trait-mediated effects of a parasite and a predator in a tri-trophic food web

      Aabir Banerji, Alison B. Duncan, Joanne S. Griffin, Stuart Humphries, Owen L. Petchey and Oliver Kaltz

      Article first published online: 29 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12317

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      The authors have used a classic system to gain new insights into how a single-host parasite can alter interactions between the host, the host's predator, and the host's prey over time.

    9. Top-down and bottom-up forces interact at thermal range extremes on American lobster

      Stephanie A. Boudreau, Sean C. Anderson and Boris Worm

      Article first published online: 26 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12322

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      This study explores competing hypotheses to explain variation in American lobster abundance along a strong thermal gradient. The results provide support of both top-down (predator release) and bottom-up (large-scale climate) regulation of lobster abundance in the NW Atlantic, with evidence being strongest at the edges of the range. (Photo by S.C. Anderson)

    10. Different foraging preferences of hummingbirds on artificial and natural flowers reveal mechanisms structuring plant–pollinator interactions

      María A. Maglianesi, Katrin Böhning-Gaese and Matthias Schleuning

      Article first published online: 17 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12319

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      Morphological constraints are one important mechanism structuring trophic networks, albeit other factors, such as competition, additionally define interaction niches of consumer species in real–world communities. Experimental and observational approaches are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the causes determining patterns of interactions in plant–pollinator networks.

    11. Density-dependent movement and the consequences of the Allee effect in the model organism Tetrahymena

      Emanuel A. Fronhofer, Tabea Kropf and Florian Altermatt

      Article first published online: 17 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12315

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      Movement is a key process influencing ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Importantly, movement may be plastic. The authors analysed the functional relationship between population density and movement using microcosm experiments. The authors show that density-dependent movement exhibits a fundamentally u-shaped relationship in species harbouring an Allee effect.

    12. Age-dependent trait variation: the relative contribution of within-individual change, selective appearance and disappearance in a long-lived seabird

      He Zhang, Oscar Vedder, Peter H. Becker and Sandra Bouwhuis

      Article first published online: 16 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12321

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      The authors compare two methods to attribute age-dependent variation in seven phenological and reproductive traits to within-individual change (improvement, senescence, terminal effects) and/or selective (dis)appearance of certain phenotypes among older age classes, in a long-lived seabird, the common tern (Sterna hirundo). Both methods identify within-individual change as the main process underlying improvement with age in six out of seven traits, but while the decomposition method is ideal for visualising processes underlying population change in performance from one age class to the next, a mixed-modelling method is required to investigate the significance and relative contribution of age-effects.

    13. Untangling human and environmental effects on geographical gradients of mammal species richness: a global and regional evaluation

      Erik Joaquín Torres-Romero and Miguel Á. Olalla-Tárraga

      Article first published online: 16 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12313

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      Human impacts coupled with climatic variation drive the geographic variation in mammal richness in the Palearctic, Nearctic and Oriental regions. Using a human accessibility variable the authors show for the first time that the zones most accessible to humans are often those where lower mammal species richness is found.

    14. Climatic conditions cause complex patterns of covariation between demographic traits in a long-lived raptor

      Ivar Herfindal, Martijn van de Pol, Jan T. Nielsen, Bernt-Erik Sæther and Anders P. Møller

      Article first published online: 10 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12318

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      This article demonstrates how climate early in life can have long-lasting effects on lifetime fitness of goshawks. Climate also had short-term effects on reproductive performance, and these effects were in the opposite direction compared to the long-term effects. This causes negative co-variations between the immediate and delayed responses to climate.

    15. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Adult acclimation to combined temperature and pH stressors significantly enhances reproductive outcomes compared to short-term exposures

      Coleen C. Suckling, Melody S. Clark, Joelle Richard, Simon A. Morley, Michael A. S. Thorne, Elizabeth M. Harper and Lloyd S. Peck

      Article first published online: 9 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12316

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      This paper shows that acclimation to altered pH takes up to 8 months in Antarctic sea urchins and also that gonads matured for their full development time (2 years) in altered pH significantly enhances reproductive outcomes compared to short term exposures.

    16. Rat eradication and the resistance and resilience of passerine bird assemblages in the Falkland Islands

      Michael A. Tabak, Sally Poncet, Ken Passfield, Jacob R. Goheen and Carlos Martinez del Rio

      Article first published online: 3 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12312

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      Rat eradications are an effective means of restoring passerine bird diversity in the Falkland Islands. However, the recovery in diversity is not accompanied by a recovery in community structure. These results suggest that diversity is resilient, while community structure is not.

    17. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Age and sex-selective predation moderate the overall impact of predators

      Sarah R. Hoy, Steve J. Petty, Alexandre Millon, D. Philip Whitfield, Michael Marquiss, Martin Davison and Xavier Lambin

      Article first published online: 3 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12310

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      This study revealed superpredation was age and sex-selective and suggests that selective predation of individuals with a low reproductive value may mitigate the overall impact of predators on prey population dynamics. Consequently, accounting for type of selective predation occurring is likely to improve predictions of the overall impact of predation.

    18. Robust estimates of environmental effects on population vital rates: an integrated capture–recapture model of seasonal brook trout growth, survival and movement in a stream network

      Benjamin H. Letcher, Paul Schueller, Ronald D. Bassar, Keith H. Nislow, Jason A. Coombs, Krzysztof Sakrejda, Michael Morrissey, Douglas B. Sigourney, Andrew R. Whiteley, Matthew J. O'Donnell and Todd L. Dubreuil

      Article first published online: 3 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12308

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      Robust estimates of the effects of environmental change on populations are critical to effective management. The authors provide an integrated modeling approach that can take full advantage of detailed, individual-based field data and use the model to identify key pathways of environmental effects.

    19. Do intraspecific or interspecific interactions determine responses to predators feeding on a shared size-structured prey community?

      Hanna ten Brink, Abul Kalam Azad Mazumdar, Joseph Huddart, Lennart Persson and Tom C. Cameron

      Article first published online: 24 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12305

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      How predators interact with each other, via their shared impacts of prey populations is a key question to understand what impacts humans have on natural environments as we continue to exploit top predators and large herbivores for food. This study empirically tests a new theory that links the health of animal communities to positive indirect interactions between predators that differ in size or prey preferences. We find no evidence for such positive facilitative interactions and instead find predators that differ in size are more likely to eat each other.

    20. Land-use history alters contemporary insect herbivore community composition and decouples plant–herbivore relationships

      Philip G. Hahn and John L. Orrock

      Article first published online: 23 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12311

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      This paper highlights how agricultural land-use legacies can decouple otherwise well-established relationships between plant productivity and herbivore abundance. These results suggest that management efforts should consider the role of historic land use on herbivore assemblages, in addition to plant communities

    21. Field measurements give biased estimates of functional response parameters, but help explain foraging distributions

      Sjoerd Duijns, Ineke E. Knot, Theunis Piersma and Jan A. van Gils

      Article first published online: 19 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12309

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      In the experimental setting, female bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica) obeyed both assumptions of the type II functional response. This could not be confirmed in a field-based study, as the levelling off of intake rate at higher food densities was caused by a digestive constraint.

    22. Maternal effects and population regulation: maternal density-induced reproduction suppression impairs offspring capacity in response to immediate environment in root voles Microtus oeconomus

      Jiang-Hui Bian, Shou-Yang Du, Yan Wu, Yi-Fan Cao, Xu-Heng Nie, Hui He and Zhi-Bing You

      Article first published online: 19 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12307

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      The authors found that intrinsic state alterations induced by maternal stress impair offspring capacity in response to immediate environment, and these alterations are likely mediated by maternal stress system. The maladaptive reproduction suppression seen in HL group suggests intrinsic population density as one of ecological factors generating delayed density-dependent effects.

    23. Diapause induction and relaxed selection on alternative developmental pathways in a butterfly

      Inger M. Aalberg Haugen and Karl Gotthard

      Article first published online: 19 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12291

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      In this paper field and experimental data from five Swedish populations of Pararge aegeria are used to investigate latitudinal variation in voltinism, local adaptation in the diapause switch, and effects of relaxed selection on pathway-specific regulation of life-history traits and sexual dimorphism in larval development.

    24. Hot spots of mutualistic networks

      Luis J. Gilarranz, Malena Sabatino, Marcelo A. Aizen and Jordi Bascompte

      Article first published online: 17 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12304

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      In this paper, Gilarranz and colleagues unveil the significant role played by the spatial structure of the landscape in shaping the networks of interactions between species. Their work provides further understanding of the spatial distribution of ecosystem services that help to stabilize ecological communities.

    25. The consequences of co-infections for parasite transmission in the mosquito Aedes aegypti

      Alison B. Duncan, Philip Agnew, Valérie Noel and Yannis Michalakis

      Article first published online: 15 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12302

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      This paper investigates the effect of the abiotic food environment on parasite transmission in co-infections comprising two different microsporidian parasites in the mosquito host Aedes aegypti. The authors show that both parasites suffer reduced transmission in co-infections compared to corresponding single infections, but one parasite considerably more than the other. The impact of low food availability further reduced transmission, but did not modify the effect of co-infection.

    26. Linking niche theory to ecological impacts of successful invaders: insights from resource fluctuation-specialist herbivore interactions

      Cindy Gidoin, Lionel Roques and Thomas Boivin

      Article first published online: 15 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12303

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      The authors use long-term field observations combined with mechanistic-statistical modelling to assess how fluctuation-dependent and fluctuation-independent mechanisms govern the long-term impacts of biological invasions. They demonstrate that species differences can have a greater influence on interspecific competition outcomes than a fluctuating resource within animal communities.

    27. Drivers of parasite sharing among Neotropical freshwater fishes

      Mariana P. Braga, Emanuel Razzolini and Walter A. Boeger

      Article first published online: 3 NOV 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12298

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      In this study, the factors that influence broad patterns of parasite sharing were investigated, including phylogenetic relationships, environmental preferences, biological traits and the geographic distribution of host species. The importance of evolutionary history on ecological associations is highlighted, with implications for emerging infectious diseases, biological invasions and biotic responses to climate change.

    28. Moving on with foraging theory: incorporating movement decisions into the functional response of a gregarious shorebird

      Jan A. van Gils, Matthijs van der Geest, Brecht De Meulenaer, Hanneke Gillis, Theunis Piersma and Eelke O. Folmer

      Article first published online: 31 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12301

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      The authors integrate aspects of movement ecology with consumer-resource theory by developing a multi-state functional response model, which is applied to free-ranging molluscivore shorebirds. Explicitly adding movement behavior to functional response models helps to better understand foraging distributions and foraging processes such as area-restricted search and cryptic interference.

    29. Ant–caterpillar antagonism at the community level: interhabitat variation of tritrophic interactions in a neotropical savanna

      Sebastián F. Sendoya and Paulo S. Oliveira

      Article first published online: 27 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12286

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      Ants are major predators of insect herbivores in tropical habitats. In the Brazilian savanna, negative effects by predatory ants on herbivores (caterpillars) are detectable at the community level, affecting patterns of host plant use by lepidopteran communities. The study highlights the importance of a tritrophic perspective in this ant-rich environment.

    30. Phylogenetic diversity and co-evolutionary signals among trophic levels change across a habitat edge

      Guadalupe Peralta, Carol M. Frost, Raphael K. Didham, Arvind Varsani and Jason M. Tylianakis

      Article first published online: 24 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12296

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      This study provides the first empirical evidence that phylogenetic diversity responds differently across a habitat edge gradient depending on the trophic level considered, and that the signal of coevolution between higher trophic levels (measured as phylogenetic congruence among interacting species) can also be affected by a change in land use.

    31. Density-dependent habitat selection of spawning Chinook salmon: broad-scale evidence and implications

      Matthew R. Falcy

      Article first published online: 24 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12297

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      Taking 26 years of data the author of this study uses novel applications of modelling techniques to assess mechanisms of habitat selection by spawning Chinook salmon. These techniques have important uses in the emerging field of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

    32. Latitudinal and photic effects on diel foraging and predation risk in freshwater pelagic ecosystems

      Adam G. Hansen and David A. Beauchamp

      Article first published online: 24 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12295

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      This study asks: how does natural variation in photic conditions shape the foraging-risk environment for visually feeding planktivores and piscivores in freshwater pelagic ecosystems? Authors show that diel-seasonal foraging and predation risk in these ecosystems changes considerably with latitude, turbidity and cloud cover. These changes alter the structure of pelagic predator–prey interactions, and in turn, the broader role of pelagic consumers in habitat coupling in lakes.

    33. Spatial patterns of extra-pair paternity: beyond paternity gains and losses

      Lotte Schlicht, Mihai Valcu and Bart Kempenaers

      Article first published online: 23 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12293

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      This paper presents a novel approach for analysing behaviours that arise from interactions of two individuals, for example extra-pair behaviour. It takes into account the spatial setting of the involved individuals and both individuals’ characteristics and neighbourhoods. The paper demonstrates this using a case study on extra-pair paternity in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    34. Assembly patterns of mixed-species avian flocks in the Andes

      Gabriel J. Colorado and Amanda D. Rodewald

      Article first published online: 20 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12300

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      This paper makes a novel contribution by applying principles of community assembly, in particular assembly rules, to study patterns of aggregation in social systems in birds (namely mixed-species bird flocks). By evaluating several assembly models, findings suggest that deterministic factors associated to competitive interactions are important contributors to mixed-species flock assemblages.

    35. Season-specific and guild-specific effects of anthropogenic landscape modification on metacommunity structure of tropical bats

      Laura M. Cisneros, Matthew E. Fagan and Michael R. Willig

      Article first published online: 20 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12299

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      This study is the first to evaluate multiple metacommunity structures (meso-scale structure) in human-modified landscapes. This approach revealed that bat metacommunities were likely structured by differential resource use or interspecific relationships. Furthermore, the interaction between landscape characteristics and seasonal variation in resources resulted in season-specific and guild-specific distributional patterns

    36. Persistent sex-by-environment effects on offspring fitness and sex-ratio adjustment in a wild bird population

      E. Keith Bowers, Charles F. Thompson and Scott K. Sakaluk

      Article first published online: 20 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12294

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      Sex-specific sibling rivalry and sensitivity to the quality of the rearing environment favours sex-ratio adjustment by parents. At the same time, however, increased sensitivity of males to these environmental conditions reduces the fitness returns from highly male-biased broods and, thus, the extent of sex-ratio adjustment in wild populations.

    37. Hidden semi-Markov models reveal multiphasic movement of the endangered Florida panther

      Madelon van de Kerk, David P. Onorato, Marc A. Criffield, Benjamin M. Bolker, Ben C. Augustine, Scott A. McKinley and Madan K. Oli

      Article first published online: 20 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12290

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      By applying hidden semi-Markov models and the Viterbi algorithm to long-term GPS telemetry data, authors show that differences in movement patterns of male and female Florida panthers are caused by sex-specific differences in diurnal patterns of state occupancy and sex-specific differences in state-specific movement parameters, whereas the differences between females with and without dependent kittens were caused solely by variation in state occupancy. Photo credit: Tim Donovan, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    38. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies

      Rachel A. Paterson, Jaimie T. A. Dick, Daniel W. Pritchard, Marilyn Ennis, Melanie J. Hatcher and Alison M. Dunn

      Article first published online: 20 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12292

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      In this study the authors integrated functional responses within a four-species community module approach (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to reflect patterns of field impact and reveal context dependencies of parasitism and higher-order predators.

    39. Elements of regional beetle faunas: faunal variation and compositional breakpoints along climate, land cover and geographical gradients

      Jani Heino and Janne Alahuhta

      Article first published online: 20 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12287

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      Many biogeographical and macroecological studies neglect developments in the statistical methods of community ecology, examining basically the same questions, i.e., how assemblages are structured and which patterns they show. The novelty of our paper lies in the application of community ecology methods to understand large-scale faunal patterns of beetles.

    40. Changes in host–parasitoid food web structure with elevation

      Sarah C. Maunsell, Roger L. Kitching, Chris J. Burwell and Rebecca J. Morris

      Article first published online: 20 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12285

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      This is the first study to show elevational changes in quantitative host-parasitoid food web structure, indicating that the way in which species interact is altered by the changes in environmental conditions along elevational gradients. These findings have important implications for predicting how insect communities may respond to climate change.

    41. Phantom alternatives influence food preferences in the eastern honeybee Apis cerana

      Ken Tan, Shihao Dong, Xiwen Liu, Weiweng Chen, Yuchong Wang, Benjamin P. Oldroyd and Tanya Latty

      Article first published online: 20 OCT 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12288

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      Our paper demonstrates that bees which encounter ‘sold-out’ feeders are more likely to select alternative feeders which have similar characteristics to the sold-out alternative. This is the first demonstration of the ‘phantom alternative’ effect in an insect.

  2. Special Feature: Stuck In Motion? Reconnecting Questions And Tools In Movement Ecology

    1. ‘You shall not pass!’: quantifying barrier permeability and proximity avoidance by animals

      Hawthorne L. Beyer, Eliezer Gurarie, Luca Börger, Manuela Panzacchi, Mathieu Basille, Ivar Herfindal, Bram Van Moorter, Subhash R. Lele and Jason Matthiopoulos

      Article first published online: 25 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12275

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      Here, the authors develop a framework for simultaneously quantifying the effects of habitat preference, barrier permeability and intrinsic movement ability on space use, based on a time series of telemetry locations. This approach provides insight into the effects of barriers on animal distribution and movement.


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