Journal of Ecology

Cover image for Vol. 103 Issue 2

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: 12/141 (Ecology); 12/199 (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. Daily environmental conditions determine the competition–facilitation balance for plant water status

      Alexandra Wright, Stefan A. Schnitzer and Peter B. Reich

      Article first published online: 30 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12397

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      In terms of plant water status, plant interactions among neighbours can flip from net negative (competition) to net positive (facilitation) depending on daily abiotic conditions. The relative importance of both positive and negative interactions for plant water status may affect the overall performance of plants over time.

    2. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Early positive effects of tree species richness on herbivory in a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment influence tree growth

      Andreas Schuldt, Helge Bruelheide, Werner Härdtle, Thorsten Assmann, Ying Li, Keping Ma, Goddert von Oheimb and Jiayong Zhang

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12396

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      The results of stronger herbivory effects on tree growth with increasing tree species richness suggest a potentially important role of herbivory in regulating the functioning and development of species-rich forest ecosystems from the very start of secondary succession. Whether species compositions were assembled randomly or were informed by rarity or specific leaf area did not influence herbivory effects at this early stage of our experiment.

  2. Biological Flora of the British Isles

    1. You have free access to this content
      Biological Flora of the British Isles: Crambe maritima

      Anushree Sanyal and Guillaume Decocq

      Article first published online: 28 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12389

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      Crambe maritima (Sea-kale) is a perennial maritime plant, with a fleshy taproot and a succession of waxy, cabbage-like leaves produced above ground level in spring. It occurs in exposed, sunny positions on coastal shingle or sandy beaches, as far north as 64°N in Europe. It is threatened by habitat loss and land-use changes in many parts of Europe.

  3. Standard Papers

    1. High incidence of dioecy in young successional tropical forests

      Maxime Réjou-Méchain and Pierre-Olivier Cheptou

      Article first published online: 20 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12393

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      Dioecious trees are significantly overrepresented in young successional areas, contrary to classical expectations, showing that sexual systems play an important role in community assembly. Our study thus emphasizes the need to revisit classical assumptions regarding the association between sexual system and community assembly.

    2. Nutrient resorption is associated with leaf vein density and growth performance of dipterocarp tree species

      Jiao-Lin Zhang, Shi-Bao Zhang, Ya-Jun Chen, Yi-Ping Zhang and Lourens Poorter

      Article first published online: 19 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12392

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      These results indicate that higher phloem transport capacity of the dipterocarp species is positively correlated with greater N resorption efficiency and that N resorption proficiency is closely linked with leaf nutrient conservation traits. Growth rates of the dipterocarps are more likely governed by photosynthetic rates associated with green-leaf N concentration than N resorption rates per se. Although P is generally deficient in tropical soils, it appears that N rather than P availability is the key limiting factor for the growth of the dipterocarp species.

    3. Complementarity and selection effects in early and mid-successional plant communities are differentially affected by plant–soil feedback

      Jingying Jing, T. Martijn Bezemer and Wim H. van der Putten

      Article first published online: 13 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12388

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      Soil biota that drive plant–soil feedback effects can influence the diversity–productivity relationship not only through decreased biomass production in monocultures compared to mixtures, but also through influencing complementarity and selection effects among species in mixed plant communities. Our results reveal that biodiversity–productivity relationships depend on plant–soil feedback interactions, which depend on the successional position of the plant. We propose that including successional position and trait-based analyses of plant–soil feedback in diversity-functioning studies will enhance understanding consequences of biodiversity loss for productivity and other ecosystem processes.

    4. When anthropogenic-related disturbances overwhelm demographic persistence mechanisms

      Alisha Duwyn and Andrew S. MacDougall

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12382

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      Our work demonstrates how rarity advantages have the potential to positively influence the population performance of a declining species, but are short-circuited by intense herbivory associated with human-based environmental change. Regionally, there appear to be few existing conditions on the contemporary landscape that favor juvenile survival, suggesting ongoing recruitment difficulties without intervention. Our work clarifies how extinction risk can in some cases be best defined by how anthropogenic disturbances affect, and are offset by, demographic-based persistence mechanisms, than simply by present-day abundance or distribution.

    5. Topology of tree–mycorrhizal fungus interaction networks in xeric and mesic Douglas-fir forests

      Kevin J. Beiler, Suzanne W. Simard and Daniel M. Durall

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12387

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      We describe the topology of tree–mycorrhizal fungus interaction networks in xeric and mesic Douglas-fir forests. Our results suggest the networks are resilient to the random loss of participants, and to soil water stress, but possibly susceptible to the loss of large trees or fungal genotypes. This information helps better understand forest stand dynamics and the resilience of forests to stress or disturbance.

    6. No influence of water limitation on the outcome of competition between diploid and tetraploid Chamerion angustifolium (Onagraceae)

      Ken A. Thompson, Brian C. Husband and Hafiz Maherali

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12384

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      Competition for limiting resources is often proposed as a mechanism causing ecological and geographic segregation between diploid and polyploid cytotypes. Our results do not support the hypothesis that tetraploid Chamerion angustifolium plants are stronger competitors than diploids when water is limited. A differential ability to compete for water is likely not responsible for the observed ecological and geographic segregation between cytotypes in this species. Competition may not be a general mechanism that causes segregation between diploid and polyploid cytotypes in nature.

    7. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Wave-induced changes in seaweed toughness entail plastic modifications in snail traits maintaining consumption efficacy

      Markus Molis, Ricardo A. Scrosati, Ehab F. El-Belely, Thomas J. Lesniowski and Martin Wahl

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12386

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      Experiments revealed that environmental stress (wave exposure) modulated a structural seaweed trait (thallus toughness) and, indirectly, feeding-relevant traits (radular morphology) in the seaweed's main consumer (snail), enabling snails to maintain consumption efficacy across the observed range in seaweed toughness. Thus, plasticity in consumers and their resource species may reduce the potential effects of physical stress on their interaction.

    8. A spatially explicit model for flowering time in bamboos: long rhizomes drive the evolution of delayed flowering

      Yuuya Tachiki, Akifumi Makita, Yoshihisa Suyama and Akiko Satake

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12390

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      A spatially explicit evolutionary simulation revealed that the timing of flowering in clonal monocarps was impacted by the spatial arrangement of relatives formed through clonal growth. Our finding allows us to understand how rhizome length influences the evolution of the time to flower, and why geographic difference in the time to flower has been observed in bamboos.

    9. Long-term plant responses to climate are moderated by biophysical attributes in a North American desert

      Seth M. Munson, Robert H. Webb, David C. Housman, Kari E. Veblen, Kenneth E. Nussear, Erik A. Beever, Kristine B. Hartney, Maria N. Miriti, Susan L. Phillips, Robert E. Fulton and Nita G. Tallent

      Article first published online: 6 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12381

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      Our results emphasize the importance of understanding climate–vegetation relationships in the context of biophysical attributes that influence water availability and provide an important forecast of climate-change effects, including plant mortality and land degradation in the Mojave Desert and dryland regions throughout the world.

    10. Disentangling plant and soil microbial controls on carbon and nitrogen loss in grassland mesocosms

      Franciska T. De Vries, Helene Bracht Jørgensen, Katarina Hedlund and Richard D. Bardgett

      Article first published online: 27 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12383

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      Our results show that changes in plant and microbial communities both individually and interactively modify C and N loss from grasslands. Moreover, our results suggest that soil microbial communities typical of extensively managed grassland might counteract, or delay, the negative consequences of fertilisation on plant diversity and ecosystem functioning.

    11. Long-term C, N and P allocation to reproduction in Bornean tropical rain forests

      Kanehiro Kitayama, Yuki Tsujii, Ryota Aoyagi and Shin-ichiro Aiba

      Article first published online: 19 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12379

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      We continued monitoring litterfall dynamics and estimated the amount of phosphorus that tropical trees invested to reproduction in eight Bornean rain forests over a 10-year period from 1996 to 2006. This graph demonstrates the dynamics of reproductive organs in two forests. Reproductive events appear to be highly irregular and gregarious. However, our study indicates that these irregular events are regulated by phosphorus at the level of overall long-term mean.

    12. Niche construction by growth forms is as strong a predictor of species diversity as environmental gradients

      Kari Anne Bråthen and Virve Tuulia Ravolainen

      Article first published online: 16 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12380

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      In this study, we provide conceptual and empirical evidence for collective niche construction as a powerful ecological process that affects species diversity and that can act independently of environmental conditions. Species sharing a single trait or species belonging to a growth form can act as collective niche constructors, and as exemplified for growth forms in this study, be important predictors of species diversity in ecological communities.

    13. High-elevation range limit of an annual herb is neither caused nor reinforced by declining pollinator service

      Anna L. Hargreaves, Jennifer L. Weiner and Christopher G. Eckert

      Article first published online: 16 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12377

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      We found no evidence for pollination failure towards Rhinanthus minor's upper range edge. Floral density declined at the edge, but pollinator abundance, visitation rates, and seed set did not. Autonomous selfing contributed strongly to mating system and demography, buffering against pollination stochasticity. As many angiosperms are self-compatible, reproductive assurance may reduce pollination's importance in limiting plant distributions, compared to other biotic interactions.

    14. Functional differences between dominant grasses drive divergent responses to large herbivore loss in mesic savanna grasslands of North America and South Africa

      Elisabeth J. Forrestel, Michael J. Donoghue and Melinda D. Smith

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12376

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      Our study demonstrates that savanna grassland communities with different biogeographic and grazing histories respond differently to the removal of large herbivores, and that climate, fire, and grazing are interactive forces in maintaining savanna grassland diversity and function. We show that the functional attributes of the dominant grasses, which are in part driven by the biogeographic and grazing history experienced, are the most relevant in predicting the response of savanna ecosystems to the loss of large herbivores.

    15. Tropical trees in a wind-exposed island ecosystem: height-diameter allometry and size at onset of maturity

      Sean C. Thomas, Adam R. Martin and Erin E. Mycroft

      Article first published online: 11 FEB 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12378

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      Height-diameter (H-D) allometry is an important axis of variation among tree species critical to predicting carbon stocks. Observed H-D allometries in the Dominica, West Indies, a global wind hotspot, diverge strongly from global continental patterns and are strongly asymptotic.

    16. Life history evolution under climate change and its influence on the population dynamics of a long-lived plant

      Jennifer L. Williams, Hans Jacquemyn, Brad M. Ochocki, Rein Brys and Tom E. X. Miller

      Article first published online: 31 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12369

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      Our results illustrate that long-lived organisms can exhibit complex demographic responses to changing climate regimes. Additionally, they highlight that long-term evolutionary responses may be in opposing directions to short-term responses to climate. Finally, they emphasize the need for demographic models to integrate ecological and evolutionary influences of climate across the life cycle.

  4. Forum

    1. Biomass–density data analysis: a comment on Cabaço et al. (2013)

      Vasco M. N. C. S. Vieira, Francisco Leitão and Marcos Mateus

      Article first published online: 27 JAN 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12294

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      Some mistakes present in Cabaço et al. are of a generalistic nature, that is can occur in any other subject as they report to general xy data analysis. Besides, other mistakes were identified, specific to biomass–density relations. This presentation intends to help ecological researchers by pinpointing the sources of bias.


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