Journal of Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 102 Issue 5

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

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

Impact Factor: 5.694

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 12/140 (Ecology); 12/196 (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. A prominent stepwise advance of the tree line in north-east Finland

      Tuomas Aakala, Pertti Hari, Sigrid Dengel, Sarah L. Newberry, Toshie Mizunuma and John Grace

      Article first published online: 26 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12308

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      Our study demonstrates a peculiar stepwise advance of a tree line in northern Fennoscandia. A positive relationship between individual tree growth and temperature was not reflected at the population level, and factors deemed important in earlier studies could not explain the advance. These findings suggest complex tree line dynamics, in which biotic agents may mediate tree line responses to environmental change.

    2. Direct and indirect impacts of climate change on microbial and biocrust communities alter the resistance of the N cycle in a semiarid grassland

      Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Fernando T. Maestre, Cristina Escolar, Antonio Gallardo, Victoria Ochoa, Beatriz Gozalo and Ana Prado-Comesaña

      Article first published online: 26 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12303

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      Our results indicate that climate change will have negative direct and indirect (i.e. through changes in biocrust and microbial communities) impacts on the resistance of the N cycle in dryland soils. While biocrusts can play an important role slowing down the impacts of climate change on the N cycle due to their positive and continued effects on the resistance of multiple variables from the N cycle, such change will progressively alter N cycling in biocrust-dominated ecosystems, enhancing both N availability and inorganic N dominance.

    3. Long-term expansion of juniper populations in managed landscapes: patterns in space and time

      Cristina García, Eva Moracho, Ricardo Díaz-Delgado and Pedro Jordano

      Article first published online: 20 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12297

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      Photointerpretation of aerial images shows that the influence of dispersal limitation versus factors mediating competitive responses changes throughout colonization stages. Whereas dispersal limitation is the main factor influencing colonization at early stages, competition for local resources controls population growth at later stages. Therefore, long-term studies are required to capture the overall combined influence of key ecological factors in shaping long-term spatial demographic trends.

    4. Canopy facilitates seaweed recruitment on subtidal temperate reefs

      Scott Bennett and Thomas Wernberg

      Article first published online: 11 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12302

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      Synthesis. Positive interactions and stress amelioration play an important and previously unrecognised role in determining the recruitment success and viability of seaweeds in subtidal marine ecosystems. These results challenge long held paradigms about the general importance of canopy competition and force a rethink of how seaweed interactions affect habitat resilience to disturbances in subtidal ecosystems.

    5. Fire-regime complacency and sensitivity to centennial-through millennial-scale climate change in Rocky Mountain subalpine forests, Colorado, USA

      Philip E. Higuera, Christy E. Briles and Cathy Whitlock

      Article first published online: 8 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12296

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      Fire history in Rocky Mountain subalpine forests reveals complacency and sensitivity to changing vegetation and hydroclimate over the past 6000 years. Results suggest that climate change may impact fire severity more so than fire frequency in these systems, through direct and indirect impacts on vegetation, fuels, and fuel moisture.

    6. Extreme climate events lower resilience of foundation seagrass at edge of biogeographical range

      Matthew W. Fraser, Gary A. Kendrick, John Statton, Renae K. Hovey, Andrea Zavala-Perez and Diana I. Walker

      Article first published online: 6 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12300

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      We show a drastic ecological response (defoliation) to two concurrent extreme events – a marine heatwave and flood - in a foundation seagrass species near its biogeographical range limit at the Shark Bay World Heritage Site. Where climatic events overlap, ecological responses are likely to be more extreme, particularly in ecosystems where foundation species exist near low latitude range limits.

    7. Species richness–productivity relationships of tropical terrestrial ferns at regional and local scales

      Michael Kessler, Laura Salazar, Jürgen Homeier and Jürgen Kluge

      Article first published online: 1 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12299

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      We evaluate the relation of diversity and productivity and related hypotheses by assessing species richness of ferns at two spatial scales (local, regional) and two levels of productivity (ecosystem, ferns). Only fern, but not ecosystem productivity, shows relations to fern diversity, positive at regional, but negative at local scales. This indicates a strong influence of competition on diversity at local scales.


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