Journal of Animal Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 85 Issue 4

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

Edited By: Ken Wilson, Ben Sheldon, Jean-Michel Gaillard and Nate Sanders

Impact Factor: 4.827

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 2/160 (Zoology); 18/149 (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. Hoverfly preference for high honeydew amounts creates enemy-free space for aphids colonizing novel host plants

      Ilka Vosteen, Jonathan Gershenzon and Grit Kunert

      Version of Record online: 26 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12564

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      The authors identify a mechanism that reduces the fitness disadvantages that aphids have to face when they colonize novel, less suitable hosts. The preference of hoverflies for plants with more aphid honeydew creates an enemy-free space on less suitable hosts that facilitates host race formation.

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      Piscivorous fish exhibit temperature-influenced binge feeding during an annual prey pulse

      Nathan B. Furey, Scott G. Hinch, Matthew G. Mesa and David A. Beauchamp

      Version of Record online: 26 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12565

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      Short-term binge-feeding by bull trout in the laboratory and in the field (during a prey pulse) were quantified and found to be extreme and largely not limited by low temperatures. Thus, the ability for predators to maximize short-term consumption when prey are available is greater than traditional bioenergetics models suggest.

    3. Allometric and temporal scaling of movement characteristics in Galapagos tortoises

      Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, Charles B. Yackulic, Jacqueline L. Frair, Freddy Cabrera and Stephen Blake

      Version of Record online: 21 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12561

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      Allometric scaling of home-range size has been much studied and is generally predictable but one-dimensional movement metrics scale more consistently with body size. Yet, evaluating movement parameters in one-dimensional space requires a priori definition of a temporal scale. The authors illustrate the importance of scale using movement of giant Galapagos tortoises.

    4. Evaluating random search strategies in three mammals from distinct feeding guilds

      Marie Auger-Méthé, Andrew E. Derocher, Craig A. DeMars, Michael J. Plank, Edward A. Codling and Mark A. Lewis

      Version of Record online: 21 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12562

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      Searching allows animals to find food and mates. Recently developed methods to distinguish between movement patterns of search strategy models found stronger support for combined correlated random walks than Lévy walks in three species. However, these models were often inadequate, suggesting standard models do not represent search behaviour adequately. (Caribou photo by Craig DeMars. Bear photos by Andrew Derocher)

    5. Fitness costs of animal medication: antiparasitic plant chemicals reduce fitness of monarch butterfly hosts

      Leiling Tao, Kevin M. Hoang, Mark D. Hunter and Jacobus C. de Roode

      Version of Record online: 21 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12558

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      The costs of non-immunological defences against parasites, such as behavioural defences, are not well characterized. Monarch butterflies can use cardenolides from their host plants as medication against their parasites. Here, the authors showed that while cardenolides increased both monarch tolerance and resistance to disease, they also reduced their survival and life spans.

    6. The dominant detritus-feeding invertebrate in Arctic peat soils derives its essential amino acids from gut symbionts

      Thomas Larsen, Marc Ventura, Kristine Maraldo, Xavier Triadó-Margarit, Emilio O. Casamayor, Yiming V. Wang, Nils Andersen and Diane M. O'Brien

      Version of Record online: 21 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12563

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      For soil detritivores feeding on nutrient poor diets it may be challenging obtaining sufficient proteins and essential amino acids. To investigate how a bulk feeder of soil organic matter, the enchytraeid worm, make up for dietary deficiencies the authors employed isotope fingerprinting of amino acids. They found that worms feeding on high fibre diets received most of their essential amino acids from gut symbiotic bacteria.

    7. Field-based experimental acidification alters fouling community structure and reduces diversity

      Norah E. M. Brown, Thomas W. Therriault and Christopher D. G. Harley

      Version of Record online: 11 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12557

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      Ocean acidification is one of the primary threats to marine species and ecosystems. Most studies have focused on responses of individual species in laboratory settings, and there is a need for in situ community- and ecosystem-level experiments. The authors address this gap by studying the patterns of succession and community assembly under acidification.

    8. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Causes and consequences of spatial variation in sex ratios in a declining bird species

      Catriona A. Morrison, Robert A. Robinson, Jacquie A. Clark and Jennifer A. Gill

      Version of Record online: 8 JUL 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12556

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      Small populations of migratory warblers are more likely to be male-biased and these small biased populations are increasingly widespread throughout Britain.

    9. Impact of changing wind conditions on foraging and incubation success in male and female wandering albatrosses

      Tina Cornioley, Luca Börger, Arpat Ozgul and Henri Weimerskirch

      Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12552

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      This study contributes to our understanding of the ecological impacts of climate change in the Subantarctic. Using tracking and demographic data from a long-term study on wandering albatrosses, the authors assessed the impact of wind on foraging success, morphology and reproductive performance of the wandering albatross, and predicted changes under future wind conditions.

    10. Predator identity influences metacommunity assembly

      Nicole K. Johnston, Zhichao Pu and Lin Jiang

      Version of Record online: 28 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12551

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      Although predation plays a fundamental role in structuring natural communities, there remains only a basic understanding of its role in metacommunity assembly. This experiment examined the impact of two predators, one specialist and one generalist, on metacommunities to determine the role predator identity has on local and regional community structure.

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      Phenological mismatch and ontogenetic diet shifts interactively affect offspring condition in a passerine

      Jelmer M. Samplonius, Elena F. Kappers, Stef Brands and Christiaan Both

      Version of Record online: 23 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12554

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      The authors studied prey switching and ontogenetic niche shifts in a woodland bird that was experimentally mismatched with its main prey. They show that alternative prey types that are rarely considered play a key role in offspring development and shed light on compensation mechanisms animals can use when faced with climate change.

    12. Experimental insight into the process of parasite community assembly

      Sarah A. Budischak, Eric P. Hoberg, Art Abrams, Anna E. Jolles and Vanessa O. Ezenwa

      Version of Record online: 22 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12548

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      Community assembly processes shape the diversity and stability of biological assemblages, yet knowledge of assembly processes for parasites lags behind free-living communities. Taking a novel experimental removal approach, we show that both deterministic and stochastic processes contribute to parasite community assembly in wild hosts, but their importance shifts as communities reassemble.

    13. The price of associating with breeders in the cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babbler: foraging constraints, survival and sociality

      Enrico Sorato, Simon C. Griffith and Andy F. Russell

      Version of Record online: 20 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12539

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      Using the cooperatively breeding chestnut-crowned babbler, the authors show that living in groups containing breeders may be costly and that such costs may increase with group size. The authors suggest that costs of associating with breeders may impede group living in species where constraints to independent breeding and costs of dispersal are not acute.

    14. Diet preferences as the cause of individual differences rather than the consequence

      Thomas Oudman, Allert I. Bijleveld, Marwa M. Kavelaars, Anne Dekinga, John Cluderay, Theunis Piersma and Jan A. van Gils

      Version of Record online: 16 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12549

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      Behavioural differences between animals are often explained by their physiology or morphology. The authors studied the causality between physiomorphic and behavioural differences in red knots, migratory shorebirds that feed on bivalves. They show that differences in gut size and movement patterns are likely caused by diet preferences, rather than vice versa. Photo credit: Jeroen Onrust.

  2. Erratum

    1. You have free access to this content

      Version of Record online: 15 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12553

      This article corrects:
  3. Standard Papers

    1. Street lighting: sex-independent impacts on moth movement

      Tobias Degen, Oliver Mitesser, Elizabeth K. Perkin, Nina-Sophie Weiß, Martin Oehlert, Emily Mattig and Franz Hölker

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12540

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      The authors results provide evidence that street lights have a sex-independent impact on moth movement. Thus, public lighting is likely to divide suitable landscapes into many small habitats. Inevitably attracted insects are eliminated directly or temporarily from the mating pool possibly followed by a substantial impact on population dynamics.

    2. Simple settlement decisions explain common dispersal patterns in territorial species

      James J. Gilroy and Julie L. Lockwood

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12545

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      Why do some animals wander far from their place of birth, while others stay put? The authors' models suggest that the answer may be beguilingly simple, lying a set of basic rules that individuals use to make movement and settlement decisions. These rules can help us understand population movement in space.

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      Trade-offs and mixed infections in an obligate-killing insect pathogen

      Elizabeth M. Redman, Kenneth Wilson and Jenny S. Cory

      Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12547

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      Pathogens are often highly variable but what maintains this diversity is a key focus of disease ecology. In addition, within host pathogen dynamics can have a strong impact of infection outcome and the evolution of virulence. The authors compare eight genetically distinct strains with the mixed parent virus and show that a mixed strain insect virus kills more hosts than any of its component strains, but with a cost in terms of a reduction in the number of transmission stages. Theory suggests that their are likely to be trade-offs between virulence determinants. The authors also demonstrate a trade-off between the length of the infection period and the number of transmission stages produced (infections that kill faster produce less). However, there was no evidence for a trade-off between mortality and speed of kill or transmission potential.

    4. Coupled range dynamics of brood parasites and their hosts responding to climate and vegetation changes

      Guillaume Péron, Res Altwegg, Gabriel A. Jamie and Claire N. Spottiswoode

      Version of Record online: 9 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12546

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      As populations shift their ranges in response to global change, local species assemblages can change, setting the stage for new ecological interactions, community equilibria and evolutionary responses. In South Africa, avian brood parasites did not hinder range expansion by their hosts, but range shifts are creating opportunities for new host–parasite and parasite–parasite interactions.

    5. Parasite specialization in a unique habitat: hummingbirds as reservoirs of generalist blood parasites of Andean birds

      Michaël A. J. Moens, Gediminas Valkiūnas, Anahi Paca, Elisa Bonaccorso, Nikolay Aguirre and Javier Pérez-Tris

      Version of Record online: 9 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12550

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      Based on a comprehensive analysis of the process of colonization of unique hosts, this paper challenges our current concept of host specificity of avian blood parasites. Photo credit: Jaime Garcia Dominguez.

    6. Alternative prey use affects helminth parasite infections in grey wolves

      Olwyn C. Friesen and James D. Roth

      Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12544

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      Wolves typically consume the most abundant ungulates, but this study suggests consuming alternative prey (beavers) can reduce wolf parasite loads. Long-term, increased use of alternative prey could interrupt parasite life cycles and influence parasite distributions on the landscape, ultimately benefiting ungulates that serve as intermediate hosts. Photo: Daniel Dupont

    7. Slowing them down will make them lose: a role for attine ant crop fungus in defending pupae against infections?

      Sophie A. O. Armitage, Hermógenes Fernández-Marín, Jacobus J. Boomsma and William T. Wcislo

      Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12543

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      Some fungus-growing ants have co-opted their symbiotic cultivar to create a cocoon-like mycelial matrix over their brood. The authors found that this cover suppresses the growth and subsequent spread of a fungal pathogen, buying the ants time to control disease and adding a novel layer of protection to ant defence portfolios. Photograph credit: David Nash.

    8. Kin effects on energy allocation in group-living ground squirrels

      Vincent A. Viblanc, Claire Saraux, Jan O. Murie and F. Stephen Dobson

      Version of Record online: 6 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12541

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      This study highlights the effects of the social environment (kin numbers) on a fundamental life history trade-off: the allocation of energy to reproductive or somatic functions.

    9. The effects of food web structure on ecosystem function exceeds those of precipitation

      M. Kurtis Trzcinski, Diane S. Srivastava, Bruno Corbara, Olivier Dézerald, Céline Leroy, Jean-François Carrias, Alain Dejean and Régis Céréghino

      Version of Record online: 1 JUN 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12538

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      The authors' results show stronger effects of food web structure than precipitation change on the functioning of bromeliad ecosystems. They predict that ecosystem function in bromeliads throughout the Americas will be more sensitive to changes in the distribution of species, rather than to the direct effects caused by changes in precipitation.

    10. Contrasting patterns of short-term indirect seed–seed interactions mediated by scatter-hoarding rodents

      Zhishu Xiao and Zhibin Zhang

      Version of Record online: 31 MAY 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12542

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      Failure to consider scatter hoarding behavior strongly changed our impression of the indirect effects among animal-dispersed species and their consequences for plant demography and diversity. The framework established in this study contributes to measure and understand indirect effects between co-occurring seeds mediated by scatter-hoarding rodents as seed predators and dispersers.

    11. Energy storage and fecundity explain deviations from ecological stoichiometry predictions under global warming and size-selective predation

      Chao Zhang, Mieke Jansen, Luc De Meester and Robby Stoks

      Version of Record online: 12 MAY 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12531

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      This paper demonstrates that global warming and size-selective predation risk can independently shape Daphnia magna body stoichiometry, which are largely driven by changes in energy storage molecules. Also, the trade-offs between energy storage and rapid development and the increased investment in fecundity under size-selective predation could explain deviations from ecological stoichiometry predictions. Photo credit: Joachim Mergeay.

    12. A test of the effects of timing of a pulsed resource subsidy on stream ecosystems

      Takuya Sato, Rana W. El-Sabaawi, Kirsten Campbell, Tamihisa Ohta and John S. Richardson

      Version of Record online: 21 APR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12516

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      While most of the spatial subsidies are temporally variable, less is known about how the timing of these subsidies affects communities and ecosystems. Here, the authors demonstrate that the timing of a pulsed subsidy can mediate stream community and ecosystem functions predominantly through a timing-dependent consumer response.

    13. Beyond neutral and forbidden links: morphological matches and the assembly of mutualistic hawkmoth–plant networks

      Federico D. Sazatornil, Marcela Moré, Santiago Benitez-Vieyra, Andrea A. Cocucci, Ian J. Kitching, Boris O. Schlumpberger, Paulo E. Oliveira, Marlies Sazima and Felipe W. Amorim

      Version of Record online: 4 APR 2016 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12509

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      The authors assessed whether hawkmoths more frequently visit plants with floral tube lengths similar to their proboscis lengths beyond abundance-based processes and ecological trait mismatches constraints. The findings highlight the importance of morphological traits matching, revealing that the role of niche-based processes can be much more complex than previously known.


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