Journal of Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 103 Issue 4

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

Edited By: David Gibson, Richard Bardgett, Mark Rees, Amy Austin

Impact Factor: 5.521

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 12/144 (Ecology); 13/200 (Plant Sciences)

Online ISSN: 1365-2745

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


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  1. Standard Papers

    1. Environmental gradients and the evolution of successional habitat specialization: a test case with 14 Neotropical forest sites

      Susan G. Letcher, Jesse R. Lasky, Robin L. Chazdon, Natalia Norden, S. Joseph Wright, Jorge A. Meave, Eduardo A. Pérez-García, Rodrigo Muñoz, Eunice Romero-Pérez, Ana Andrade, José Luis Andrade, Patricia Balvanera, Justin M. Becknell, Tony V. Bentos, Radika Bhaskar, Frans Bongers, Vanessa Boukili, Pedro H. S. Brancalion, Ricardo G. César, Deborah A. Clark, David B. Clark, Dylan Craven, Alexander DeFrancesco, Juan M. Dupuy, Bryan Finegan, Eugenio González-Jiménez, Jefferson S. Hall, Kyle E. Harms, José Luis Hernández-Stefanoni, Peter Hietz, Deborah Kennard, Timothy J. Killeen, Susan G. Laurance, Edwin E. Lebrija-Trejos, Madelon Lohbeck, Miguel Martínez-Ramos, Paulo E. S. Massoca, Rita C. G. Mesquita, Francisco Mora, Robert Muscarella, Horacio Paz, Fernando Pineda-García, Jennifer S. Powers, Ruperto Quesada-Monge, Ricardo R. Rodrigues, Manette E. Sandor, Lucía Sanaphre-Villanueva, Elisabeth Schüller, Nathan G. Swenson, Alejandra Tauro, María Uriarte, Michiel van Breugel, Orlando Vargas-Ramírez, Ricardo A. G. Viani, Amanda L. Wendt and G. Bruce Williamson

      Article first published online: 29 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12435

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      The niche conservatism evident in the habitat specialization of Neotropical trees suggests a role for radiation into different successional habitats in the evolution of species-rich genera, though the diversity of functional traits that lead to success in different successional habitats complicates analyses at the community scale. Examining the distribution of particular lineages with respect to successional gradients may provide more insight into the role of successional habitat specialization in the evolution of species-rich taxa.

    2. Nonlinear costs of reproduction in a long-lived plant

      Nina Sletvold and Jon Ågren

      Article first published online: 29 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12430

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      By inducing three to five levels of reproductive effort in two populations of the orchid Dactylorhiza lapponica, we demonstrate that the trade-off function between current reproduction and future performance is often nonlinear, with context-dependent intercept, slope and curvature. Because context-dependent trade-offs should lead to among-population variation in optimal life history, this information is vital for understanding adaptive differentiation and life-history evolution.

    3. Effects of climate on reproductive investment in a masting species: assessment of climatic predictors and underlying mechanisms

      Xoaquín Moreira, Luis Abdala-Roberts, Yan B. Linhart and Kailen A. Mooney

      Article first published online: 29 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12434

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      We propose a new mechanism for the origin and maintenance of masting: individuals initially respond to climatic cues that directly enhance reproduction (e.g. lower reproductive costs through weakened trade-offs) and this dynamic, expressed across multiple individuals, reinforces these benefits through the economies of scale associated with synchrony and masting.

    4. Divergent evolution in antiherbivore defences within species complexes at a single Amazonian site

      María-José Endara, Alexander Weinhold, James E. Cox, Natasha L. Wiggins, Phyllis D. Coley and Thomas A. Kursar

      Article first published online: 17 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12431

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      We present evidence for enemy-related differentiation among closely related species within two clades in the genus of trees Inga (a very species-rich tropical genus). Our results suggest that sister Inga species are more divergent in antiherbivore defences than in non-defence traits. Furthermore, the assemblages of insect herbivore communities are dissimilar between the populations of coexisting Inga species. Together, our results suggest that herbivores may have played a significant role on their phenotypic divergence and potentially in their diversification and coexistence.

    5. Fine-scale hydrological niche differentiation through the lens of multi-species co-occurrence models

      Andrew D. Letten, David A. Keith, Mark G. Tozer and Francis K.C. Hui

      Article first published online: 15 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12428

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      This study conrms the vital role of hydrological niches for the maintenance of within-community plant diversity, but also highlights the need for more rigorous analysis of scale dependencies to better understand the underlying coexistence mechanisms at play. In addition, it illustrates the inferential gains madepossible with model-based approaches to the analysis of species co-occurrence. R code illustrating model fitting and inference is provided as a supplement.

    6. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal effects on plant competition and community structure

      Guigang Lin, M. Luke McCormack and Dali Guo

      Article first published online: 15 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12429

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Despite large variations in AMF effects among studies, a unifying mechanism was observed that the mycorrhizal responsiveness (differences in plant growth between AMF and non-AMF colonization treatments) of target and neighboring plant species can determine AMF effects on the competitive outcome among plant species, which in turn influenced plant species diversity and community composition.

    7. Forest disturbance accelerates thermophilization of understorey plant communities

      Jens T. Stevens, Hugh D. Safford, Susan Harrison and Andrew M. Latimer

      Article first published online: 3 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12426

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      Canopy disturbance, created by the combination of fuel-reduction treatments and wildfire, is likely to accelerate plant community shifts towards species from warmer regions via its effects on understory microclimate at small scales. Understorey diversity can be enhanced by intermediate disturbance regimes that promote the coexistence of species with different biogeographic affinities.

    8. Termites amplify the effects of wood traits on decomposition rates among multiple bamboo and dicot woody species

      Guofang Liu, William K. Cornwell, Kunfang Cao, Yukun Hu, Richardus S. P. Van Logtestijn, Shijian Yang, Xiufang Xie, Yalin Zhang, Duo Ye, Xu Pan, Xuehua Ye, Zhenying Huang, Ming Dong and Johannes H. C. Cornelissen

      Article first published online: 3 JUN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12427

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      These previously unknown relationships among dead wood quality, diameter, termites and decomposing microbes of both woody monocots and dicots will advance our understanding of the driving mechanisms of (sub) tropical wood decomposition and its contribution to the global carbon cycle.

    9. Individual size inequality links forest diversity and above-ground biomass

      Yu Zhang and Han Y. H. Chen

      Article first published online: 14 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12425

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      Our results demonstrate positive diversity effects on above-ground biomass in natural forests of diverse forest ages and soil resource availability. Furthermore, we show that tree size inequality acts as a mechanism for the positive diversity effects on above-ground biomass, and as a mechanism in regulating above-ground biomass and species diversity simultaneously via interactions among individuals in natural forests.


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