Journal of Animal Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 84 Issue 3

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: 1/153 (Zoology); 21/141 (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. 1 - 38
  1. Standard Papers

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

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      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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. The interaction between the spatial distribution of resource patches and population density: consequences for intraspecific growth and morphology

      Bailey Jacobson, James W. A. Grant and Pedro R. Peres-Neto

      Article first published online: 6 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12365

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      While within-population growth variance is largely attributed to patch quality variance, this study tested whether the spatial distribution of resource patches, an overlooked landscape characteristic, and population density interact to influence individual growth and variance. The influence of functional morphology, rather than fish size/length, on competitive ability was also investigated.

    14. 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).

    15. Drivers of climate change impacts on bird communities

      James W. Pearce-Higgins, Sarah M. Eglington, Blaise Martay and Dan E. Chamberlain

      Article first published online: 6 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12364

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      English bird populations are shown to be particularly sensitive to winter cold, spring temperature and hot, dry summer conditions. Resident and short-distance migrants have increased in response to warming, whilst long-distance migrants, habitat-specialists and cold-associated species have declined, along with species with greatest sensitivity to precipitation extremes.

    16. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Patterns of trophic niche divergence between invasive and native fishes in wild communities are predictable from mesocosm studies

      Thi Nhat Quyen Tran, Michelle C. Jackson, Danny Sheath, Hugo Verreycken and J. Robert Britton

      Article first published online: 30 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12360

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      This paper reveals that the trophic consequences of invasive species in complex communities in large spatial areas can be predicted from the interactions of the species in simplified, controlled and replicated systems. The authors show trophic niche divergence, not convergence, in species following an invasion, an important ecological outcome.

    17. Ecological opportunity leads to the emergence of an alternative behavioural phenotype in a tropical bird

      Janeene M. Touchton and Martin Wikelski

      Article first published online: 27 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12341

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      This study takes advantage of a rare opportunity by using a natural experiment to test a major idea in evolutionary ecology. Specifically, it provides empirical evidence for one of the possibilities suggested by the ecological theory of speciation by documenting behavioural shifts associated with new ecological opportunity following competitive release.

    18. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Measuring β-diversity with species abundance data

      Louise J. Barwell, Nick J. B. Isaac and William E. Kunin

      Article first published online: 21 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12362

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      There are many ways to measure beta-diversity with abundance data. The authors test the performance of 29 metrics against 18 desirable properties and five, more subjective, personality properties. A number of trade-offs and redundancies among metrics are identified and the implications for different kinds of ecological question are discussed.

    19. Resources, key traits and the size of fungal epidemics in Daphnia populations

      David J. Civitello, Rachel M. Penczykowski, Aimee N. Smith, Marta S. Shocket, Meghan A. Duffy and Spencer R. Hall

      Article first published online: 21 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12363

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      Here the authors establish links among resources, traits, and epidemics in a host-parasite system in the field. They show that resource availability can robustly drive the traits that shape epidemics through energetic mechanisms. These results prompt a synthetic approach to the community ecology of disease.

    20. Space-use behaviour of woodland caribou based on a cognitive movement model

      Tal Avgar, James A. Baker, Glen S. Brown, Jevon S. Hagens, Andrew M. Kittle, Erin E. Mallon, Madeleine T. McGreer, Anna Mosser, Steven G. Newmaster, Brent R. Patterson, Douglas E. B. Reid, Art R. Rodgers, Jennifer Shuter, Garrett M. Street, Ian Thompson, Merritt J. Turetsky, Philip A. Wiebe and John M. Fryxell

      Article first published online: 20 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12357

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      Using a recently developed cognitive-movement model, woodland caribou positional data, and empirically derived forage-availability and predation-risk maps, the authors evaluate multiple hypotheses regarding caribou ecology and cognition while demonstrating, for the first time, how ecological landscapes interact with sensory, memory and motion capacities to shape movement decisions by free-ranging animals.

    21. Parasitoid wasps indirectly suppress seed production by stimulating consumption rates of their seed-feeding hosts

      Xinqiang Xi, Nico Eisenhauer and Shucun Sun

      Article first published online: 20 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12361

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      The authors show that parasitoid herbivore interactions can completely reverse the sign of cascading species interactions as predicted by traditional trophic cascading theory for prey-predator interactions.

    22. Context-dependent survival, fecundity and predicted population-level consequences of brucellosis in African buffalo

      Erin E. Gorsich, Vanessa O. Ezenwa, Paul C. Cross, Roy G. Bengis and Anna E. Jolles

      Article first published online: 18 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12356

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      This paper reports the infection patterns and fitness correlates of bovine brucellosis in African buffalo. The authors combine field data with a matrix population model to explore how condition-driven variability in vital rates and disease effects among buffalo herds may translate into differing outcomes of brucellosis infection for buffalo population growth.

    23. Population size-structure-dependent fitness and ecosystem consequences in Trinidadian guppies

      Ronald D. Bassar, Thomas Heatherly II, Michael C. Marshall, Steven A. Thomas, Alexander S. Flecker and David N. Reznick

      Article first published online: 18 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12353

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      Decades of theory and recent empirical results have shown that biological diversity is the result of feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. The results presented here suggest that in structured populations, the ecological and evolutionary outcomes of these eco-evolutionary feedbacks will likely involve some aspect of the population structure.

    24. Determinants of individual foraging specialization in large marine vertebrates, the Antarctic and subantarctic fur seals

      Laëtitia Kernaléguen, John P. Y. Arnould, Christophe Guinet and Yves Cherel

      Article first published online: 18 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12347

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      To perceive the mechanisms of individual specialisation, it is important to understand in which ecological contexts inter-individual variation is more likely to occur. However, due to methodological limitations, it has been little studied, especially in long-lived species with large home ranges. This study addresses these questions in free-ranging fur seals.

    25. Host age modulates parasite infectivity, virulence and reproduction

      Rony Izhar and Frida Ben-Ami

      Article first published online: 18 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12352

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      This paper suggests that age-dependent effects on host susceptibility, virulence and parasite transmission could pose an important challenge for experimental and theoretical studies of infectious disease dynamics and disease ecology. The results present a call for a more explicit stage-structured theory for disease, which will incorporate age-dependent epidemiological parameters.

    26. Discriminative host sanction together with relatedness promote the cooperation in fig/fig wasp mutualism

      Rui-Wu Wang, Bao-Fa Sun and Yan Yang

      Article first published online: 16 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12351

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      The results presented in this paper imply that in asymmetric systems, symbionts might be forced to evolve to be cooperative or even altruistic through discriminative sanction against the non-cooperative symbiont and reward to the cooperative symbiont by the host (i.e., through a game of ‘carrot and stick’). This result has never been reported before.

    27. Habitat traits and species interactions differentially affect abundance and body size in pond-breeding amphibians

      Brittany H. Ousterhout, Thomas L. Anderson, Dana L. Drake, William E. Peterman and Raymond D. Semlitsch

      Article first published online: 16 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12344

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      The density of salamander larvae was best predicted by habitat features and increased with congener density, while larval body size was predicted by and decreased with interspecific density. This discrepancy highlights a shortcoming in using density or abundance as a metric of habitat quality or population health.

    28. Differences in host species relationships and biogeographic influences produce contrasting patterns of prevalence, community composition and genetic structure in two genera of avian malaria parasites in southern Melanesia

      Sophie Olsson-Pons, Nicholas J. Clark, Farah Ishtiaq and Sonya M. Clegg

      Article first published online: 16 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12354

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      Host–parasite interactions have the potential to influence broad scale ecological and evolutionary processes. In southern Melanesian bird communities, the potential for avian malaria infections to affect host populations is revealed by heterogeneous infection patterns across space and among host species that vary depending on the parasite genus in question.

    29. Spatial variation in age structure among colonies of a marine snake: the influence of ectothermy

      Xavier Bonnet, François Brischoux, David Pinaud, Catherine Louise Michel, Jean Clobert, Richard Shine and Thomas Fauvel

      Article first published online: 16 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12358

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      All terrestrial colonies of marine tetrapods (e.g. seabirds, seals) contain all age classes. Sea kraits do not conform to this paradigm: many colonies are comprised of a single age cohort (e.g. neonates, adults). This flexibility is not available to endothermic marine taxa because of the need for obligate parental care.

  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. Standard Papers

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Detailed monitoring of a small but recovering population reveals sublethal effects of disease and unexpected interactions with supplemental feeding

      Simon Tollington, Andrew Greenwood, Carl G. Jones, Paquita Hoeck, Aurélie Chowrimootoo, Donal Smith, Heather Richards, Vikash Tatayah and Jim J. Groombridge

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12348

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      Using long-term monitoring data of a once critically endangered parakeet species, the authors document the effect on reproductive parameters of an epidemic outbreak of infectious disease. The negative effect on the population characterised by reduced hatch success was remarkably short-lived and associated only with individuals which consumed supplemental food.

    2. The path to host extinction can lead to loss of generalist parasites

      Maxwell J. Farrell, Patrick R. Stephens, Lea Berrang-Ford, John L. Gittleman and T. Jonathan Davies

      Article first published online: 4 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12342

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      This study investigates patterns of parasite specificity among threatened and non-threatened host species. Current theories of coextinction predict that single-host parasites should be most susceptible to extinction following host declines. However, the authors show that as ungulate hosts become threatened they lose multi-host parasites more often than single-host parasites

    3. Indirect effects of predators control herbivore richness and abundance in a benthic eelgrass (Zostera marina) mesograzer community

      Sarah L. Amundrud, Diane S. Srivastava and Mary I. O'Connor

      Article first published online: 3 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12350

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      Indirect effects of predators influence herbivore communities, overwhelming the signal of trophic processes on herbivore assemblages that are mediated through simple direct effects. By shifting the emphasis from clear trophic cascades, this study contributes to an understanding of the role of predation that advances a general view of top-down control.

    4. To each its own: differential response of specialist and generalist herbivores to plant defence in willows

      Martin Volf, Jan Hrcek, Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto and Vojtech Novotny

      Article first published online: 3 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12349

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      The novelty of this study lies in analysing response to defensive traits by diverse insect assemblages within a phylogenetic context. The results show that the response to plant traits by insect assemblages have major implications for plant defence evolution as interactions governing plant-insect coevolution tend to be diffuse rather than reciprocal.

    5. No apparent benefits of allonursing for recipient offspring and mothers in the cooperatively breeding meerkat

      Kirsty J. MacLeod, Katie E. McGhee and Tim H. Clutton-Brock

      Article first published online: 3 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12343

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      In this paper the authors test the common assumption that allonursing is a cooperative behaviour, using long term data from a meerkat population, and structural equation modelling, and find no apparent benefits of this behaviour to recipients.

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      In hot and cold water: differential life-history traits are key to success in contrasting thermal deep-sea environments

      Leigh Marsh, Jonathan T. Copley, Paul A. Tyler and Sven Thatje

      Article first published online: 2 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12337

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      This paper reveals key features of the life-history biology of the visually dominant species at newly discovered Antarctic deep-sea hydrothermal vents, demonstrating contrasting influences of hydrothermal and polar deep-sea conditions on distribution, population structure, sex-ratio, reproductive development and global biogeography of vent endemic species.

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      Demographic mechanisms of inbreeding adjustment through extra-pair reproduction

      Jane M. Reid, A. Bradley Duthie, Matthew E. Wolak and Peter Arcese

      Article first published online: 24 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12340

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      The authors propose three general demographic processes that could potentially cause mean coefficient of inbreeding to differ between females' extra-pair and within-pair offspring given random extra-pair reproduction with available males, without necessarily requiring explicit kin discrimination. They then quantify these three processes using long-term pedigree and pairing data from song sparrows.

  4. 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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