Journal of Animal Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 84 Issue 4

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: 4.504

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 2/153 (Zoology); 21/144 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1365-2656

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


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  1. Standard Papers

    1. Population density and climate shape early-life survival and recruitment in a long-lived pelagic seabird

      Rémi Fay, Henri Weimerskirch, Karine Delord and Christophe Barbraud

      Article first published online: 6 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12390

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      Using data from a 48-year longitudinal study, the authors estimate both early life survival and recruitment probability in the wandering albatross. In addition to providing the first 2 years of juvenile survival of an albatross species, this study documented the first evidence for density dependence juvenile mortality in a seabird species. Photo credit: Dominique Philippi.

    2. Quantifying the influence of measured and unmeasured individual differences on demography

      Floriane Plard, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Tim Coulson, Daniel Delorme, Claude Warnant, Jacques Michallet, Shripad Tuljapurkar, Siddharth Krishnakumar and Christophe Bonenfant

      Article first published online: 3 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12393

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      The authors used a mass-and-age structured model of a roe deer population to investigate the influence of unmeasured individual differences on population dynamics. It was found that unmeasured individual differences impacted weakly on parameters describing population dynamics once individual heterogeneity related to mass and age had been included in the model.

    3. Ecosystem-level effects of a globally spreading invertebrate invader are not moderated by a functionally similar native

      Marcin Penk, Kenneth Irvine and Ian Donohue

      Article first published online: 30 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12402

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      The authors show that introduced species can, irrespective of competition with functionally similar natives, induce complex and indirect whole-ecosystem changes that reach far beyond direct consumptive effects. They also show that the cascading indirect effects of invasion can exacerbate the impacts of other stressors in ecosystems.

    4. The sign of cascading predator effects varies with prey traits in a detrital system

      Xinwei Wu, John N. Griffin, Xinqiang Xi and Shucun Sun

      Article first published online: 26 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12403

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      The authors show that prey locomotion traits can determine the sign of cascading species interactions in a detrital system for the first time. This may stimulate both further tests of the presented hypothesis in other detrital systems and research into the importance of prey movement traits for trophic cascades more generally.

    5. Diet complexity in early life affects survival in released pheasants by altering foraging efficiency, food choice, handling skills and gut morphology

      Mark A. Whiteside, Rufus Sage and Joah R. Madden

      Article first published online: 25 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12401

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      A more natural diet early in life enhances survival of released pheasants. A more complex diet improves prey handling skills, increases foraging efficiency, reduces reliance on human-supplied food and alters gut structure. Simple changes to early life conditions promote a broad suite of adaptations in adults.

    6. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      The role of a dominant predator in shaping biodiversity over space and time in a marine ecosystem

      Kari E. Ellingsen, Marti J. Anderson, Nancy L. Shackell, Torkild Tveraa, Nigel G. Yoccoz and Kenneth T. Frank

      Article first published online: 24 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12396

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      The effects of over-fishing and collapse of large top predators on the broad-scale biodiversity of oceanic ecosystems remains largely unexplored. The results presented provide strong evidence that intensive harvesting (and collapse) of marine apex predators can have large impacts on biodiversity.

    7. Age-related effects of chronic hantavirus infection on female host fecundity

      Eva R. Kallio, Heikki Helle, Esa Koskela, Tapio Mappes and Olli Vapalahti

      Article first published online: 15 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12387

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      To predict the risks that zoonotic pathogens pose to humans, understanding fitness effects of pathogens upon animal host populations can help. The finding that zoonotic Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) affects the reproduction of its rodent host might influence the pathogen circulation in the host populations in the nature.

    8. You have free access to this content
      Microhabitat and body size effects on heat tolerance: implications for responses to climate change (army ants: Formicidae, Ecitoninae)

      Kaitlin M. Baudier, Abigail E. Mudd, Shayna C. Erickson and Sean O'Donnell

      Article first published online: 15 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12388

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      This study assesses the role microhabitat and body size play in setting critical thermal maxima (CTmax) among small-bodied ectotherms. The authors show that different microhabitat uses among army ants affect CTmax beyond what is explained by size. This challenges the ecological relevance of models for climate change that fail to account for species differences in habitat use.

    9. Disentangling direct and growth-mediated influences on early survival: a mechanistic approach

      Floriane Plard, Nigel G. Yoccoz, Christophe Bonenfant, François Klein, Claude Warnant and Jean-Michel Gaillard

      Article first published online: 13 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12378

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      This study shows, using data on a wild population of roe deer, that most factors influencing early survival have indirect effects on early survival though early growth.

    10. Double decomposition: decomposing the variance in subcomponents of male extra-pair reproductive success

      Sylvain Losdat, Peter Arcese and Jane M. Reid

      Article first published online: 11 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12389

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      The authors provide a new conceptual decomposition of extra-pair reproductive success (EPRS), a key component of male fitness in socially monogamous systems, into life-history subcomponents. They apply this decomposition to show that, in song sparrows, the probability of siring an available offspring is the primary source of genetic variation in EPRS.

    11. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Flexibility in metabolic rate confers a growth advantage under changing food availability

      Sonya K. Auer, Karine Salin, Agata M. Rudolf, Graeme J. Anderson and Neil B. Metcalfe

      Article first published online: 10 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12384

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      Plasticity in energy metabolism may help organisms cope with environmental change but the fitness consequences of such plasticity are not well known. The authors show here that shifts in baseline metabolism help to maximize the growth of juvenile brown trout under the constraints imposed by changes in food availability.

    12. Digestive capacity predicts diet diversity in Neotropical frugivorous bats

      Romeo A. Saldaña-Vázquez, Eduardo Ruiz-Sanchez, Leonel Herrera-Alsina and Jorge E. Schondube

      Article first published online: 6 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12383

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      This study estimates digestive performance to understand dietary diversity in the most common Neotropical Frugivorous bats. The authors demonstrate the usefulness of digestive physiology in general, and digestive capacity models in particular, for understanding the nutritional ecology of animals.

    13. When Siberia came to the Netherlands: the response of continental black-tailed godwits to a rare spring weather event

      Nathan R. Senner, Mo A. Verhoeven, José M. Abad-Gómez, Jorge S. Gutiérrez, Jos C. E. W. Hooijmeijer, Rosemarie Kentie, José A. Masero, T. Lee Tibbitts and Theunis Piersma

      Article first published online: 29 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12381

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      This is one of the first studies to document how extreme weather events affect populations at multiple spatial scales, ranging from the local to continental. This enabled the authors to identify how extreme events actually impact individuals and predict what future increases in their occurrence will mean for vulnerable populations.

    14. Social information from immigrants: multiple immigrant-based sources of information for dispersal decisions in a ciliate

      Staffan Jacob, Alexis S. Chaine, Nicolas Schtickzelle, Michèle Huet and Jean Clobert

      Article first published online: 26 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12380

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      This study provides the first experimental evidence for genotype-dependent use of multiple immigrant-based sources of information about neighbouring patches and matrix.

    15. Optimal population prediction of sandhill crane recruitment based on climate-mediated habitat limitations

      Brian D. Gerber, William L. Kendall, Mevin B. Hooten, James A. Dubovsky and Roderick C. Drewien

      Article first published online: 18 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12370

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      The authors demonstrate how the process of drought across multiple time-scales differentially negatively affects juvenile recruitment of sandhill cranes in the Rocky Mountains. They do so using a predictive framework that ecologists can simultaneously use to investigate ecological hypotheses and explore novel environmental scenarios to help conservation decision makers.

    16. You have free access to this content
      Exploiting the richest patch has a fitness pay-off for the migratory swift parrot

      Dejan Stojanovic, Aleks Terauds, Martin J. Westgate, Matthew H. Webb, David A. Roshier and Robert Heinsohn

      Article first published online: 14 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12375

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      Exploiting the richest patch allowed swift parrots to maintain stable reproductive outcomes irrespective of the particular location where they bred. Unlike sedentary species that often produce few or lower quality offspring when food is scarce, nomadic migration buffered swift parrots against extreme environmental variation.

    17. Shape up or ship out: migratory behaviour predicts morphology across spatial scale in a freshwater fish

      Ben B. Chapman, Kaj Hulthén, Christer Brönmark, P. Anders Nilsson, Christian Skov, Lars-Anders Hansson and Jakob Brodersen

      Article first published online: 11 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12374

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      The authors show that intraspecific variation in body morphology can be explained by variation in migratory strategy in a freshwater fish. Migrants exhibit shallower body morphologies than residents, at both the within- and between-population scale. The authors suggest that the migratory morphotype reduces the costs of migrating into high water velocity habitats.

    18. Antagonistic effect of helpers on breeding male and female survival in a cooperatively breeding bird

      Matthieu Paquet, Claire Doutrelant, Ben J. Hatchwell, Claire N. Spottiswoode and Rita Covas

      Article first published online: 30 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12377

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      The authors investigated for the first time whether the number of helpers was associated with survival probability considering both sex and age in the sociable weaver using multi-event CMR methods. The results illustrate the complexity of fitness costs and benefits underlying cooperative behaviours.

    19. Migration timing and its determinants for nocturnal migratory birds during autumn migration

      Frank A. La Sorte, Wesley M. Hochachka, Andrew Farnsworth, Daniel Sheldon, Daniel Fink, Jeffrey Geevarghese, Kevin Winner, Benjamin M. Van Doren and Steve Kelling

      Article first published online: 30 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12376

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      This study provides the first comprehensive empirical evaluation of the timing and determinants of autumn migration for North American birds. The findings indicate migration timing is dictated by optimality strategies, modified based on the breadth and flexibility of migrant's foraging guild, with declining ecological productivity defining possible resource thresholds during which migration occurs with greatest intensity under weak high-altitude winds. Breeding male blackpoll warbler, Setophaga striata. Photo credit: Brian L. Sullivan.

    20. Informed herbivore movement and interplant communication determine the effects of induced resistance in an individual-based model

      Ilan N. Rubin, Stephen P. Ellner, André Kessler and Kimberly A. Morrell

      Article first published online: 30 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12369

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      Plants can have complex strategies to defend themselves from attacking herbivores, including damage-induced resistance. These induced responses, along with the sharing of information between neighboring plants and from plants to herbivores, can result in unexpected spatial distributions of herbivores and provide a possible ecological benefit to plants.

    21. Flowering time of butterfly nectar food plants is more sensitive to temperature than the timing of butterfly adult flight

      Heather M. Kharouba and Mark Vellend

      Article first published online: 30 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12373

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      Understanding the phenological temperature sensitivities of interacting species is critical for predicting future changes in the relative timing of life cycle events. The authors compared this sensitivity of butterflies vs. their potential nectar food plants for many pairs of associating species at an unprecedented scale with novel results for plant-insect interactions.

    22. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Global patterns and predictors of fish species richness in estuaries

      Rita P. Vasconcelos, Sofia Henriques, Susana França, Stéphanie Pasquaud, Inês Cardoso, Marina Laborde and Henrique N. Cabral

      Article first published online: 23 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12372

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      Knowledge on global richness patterns and predictors for estuarine ecosystems is scarce. This study, based on published data, identifies fish species richness patterns and disentangles the relative importance of underlying predictors. Species richness at estuary scale seems defined by predictors that are spatially hierarchical.

    23. Plant resistance reduces the strength of consumptive and non-consumptive effects of predators on aphids

      Mônica F. Kersch-Becker and Jennifer S. Thaler

      Article first published online: 23 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12371

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      This study shows that predation risk accounts for most of the total effect of the predator on herbivore dispersal and performance, but the reduction in herbivore population growth occurs largely through consumption. These effects are strongly influenced by plant resistance, suggesting that they are context dependent.

    24. Ant-mediated ecosystem functions on a warmer planet: effects on soil movement, decomposition and nutrient cycling

      Israel Del Toro, Relena R. Ribbons and Aaron M. Ellison

      Article first published online: 23 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12367

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      The unique experimental approach of the work presented here, helps explain how ants mediate several key ecosystem processes and services. The authors highlight the consequences of climate warming on the activity of a widely distributed and key ecosystem engineer.

    25. Habitat fragmentation alters the properties of a host–parasite network: rodents and their helminths in South-East Asia

      Frédéric Bordes, Serge Morand, Shai Pilosof, Julien Claude, Boris R. Krasnov, Jean-François Cosson, Yannick Chaval, Alexis Ribas, Kittipong Chaisiri, Kim Blasdell, Vincent Herbreteau, Stéphane Dupuy and Annelise Tran

      Article first published online: 23 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12368

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      This study is the first that investigates the effects of habitat fragmentation on host-parasite network architecture taking into account the ongoing dynamics of habitat loss (i.e. the deforestation rate) using specifically developed land covers. The authors found that ongoing fragmentation strongly impacts host-parasite interactions as rodent-helminth network becomes less connected and more modular.

    26. Wolves adapt territory size, not pack size to local habitat quality

      Andrew M. Kittle, Morgan Anderson, Tal Avgar, James A. Baker, Glen S. Brown, Jevon Hagens, Ed Iwachewski, Scott Moffatt, Anna Mosser, Brent R. Patterson, Douglas E.B. Reid, Arthur R. Rodgers, Jen Shuter, Garrett M. Street, Ian D. Thompson, Lucas M. Vander Vennen and John M. Fryxell

      Article first published online: 6 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12366

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      This research addresses a fundamental, broad-scale ecological question – whether territorial carnivores adapt group size or territory size to match local habitat quality – and uses a novel adaptation of a well-established method to provide compelling evidence in support of one theory over another (Photo by Scott Moffatt).

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

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Can habitat selection predict abundance?

      Mark S. Boyce, Chris J. Johnson, Evelyn H. Merrill, Scott E. Nielsen, Erling J. Solberg and Bram van Moorter

      Article first published online: 16 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12359

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      Habitat is fundamental to the distribution and abundance of animals. The authors show how habitat selection models can be linked to population size thereby creating a direct link between habitats and population ecology.

  3. 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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