• Issue

    Ecology and Evolution: Volume 9, Issue 6

    3013-3674
    March 2019

ISSUE INFORMATION

Open Access

Issue Information

  • Pages: 3013-3015
  • First Published: 26 March 2019

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Open Access

Genetic diversity and differentiation in narrow versus widespread taxa of Helianthemum (Cistaceae) in a hotspot: The role of geographic range, habitat, and reproductive traits

  • Pages: 3016-3029
  • First Published: 05 March 2019
Description unavailable

We analyzed microsatellite diversity and a set of biological and environmental factors in two strictly endemic taxa and two congeneric widespread of Helianthemum and obtained unexpected results contrasting with the theory illustrating the importance of soil conditions and mating systems in the diversification of the genus.

Open Access

A comparison of techniques for classifying behavior from accelerometers for two species of seabird

  • Pages: 3030-3045
  • First Published: 21 February 2019
Description unavailable

The behavior of many wild animals remains a mystery, as it is difficult to generate ethograms for animals that are impossible to follow. We assessed the accuracy of different behavioral assignment methods for two species of seabird using data from tri-axial accelerometers. Highly accurate daily activity budgets can be generated from accelerometer data using a wide range of methods and only a small number of input variables; therefore, identifying a suitable behavioral classification method should not be a barrier to greater adoption of accelerometers in studies of animal behavior and wildlife ecology.

Open Access

Hierarchical distance sampling to estimate population sizes of common lizards across a desert ecoregion

  • Pages: 3046-3058
  • First Published: 20 February 2019
Description unavailable

Lizards, and other reptiles, are often overlooked in multispecies monitoring programs because they are challenging to survey. In recognition of this issue, we demonstrate application of a recent innovation in distance sampling that adjusts for temporary emigration between repeat survey visits. We estimated a total population size of 82 million (90% CI: 65–99 million) for the three most common species of lizards across a 66,830 km2 desert ecoregion, and validated these results using independent data from a portion of the study area.

Open Access

Landscape genetic structure of Scirpus mariqueter reveals a putatively adaptive differentiation under strong gene flow in estuaries

  • Pages: 3059-3074
  • First Published: 28 February 2019
Description unavailable

In this study, we analyzed the genetic structure of Scirpus mariqueter in the CRE and the QRE and estimated the effects of gene flow, divergent selection, and population colonization history on the structure based on AFLP data. Results showed that there was a moderate-high level of genetic differentiation among populations, which was tested to be driven by both isolation by environment (IBE) and isolation by distance (IBD) but correlated to spatial scales and the degree of salinity difference. And also, past colonization history also play an important role in shaping genetic structure of S. mariqueter.

Open Access

Matriline effects on metamorphic traits in a natural system in the European common frog (Rana temporaria)

  • Pages: 3075-3088
  • First Published: 21 February 2019
Description unavailable

We show the variability of metamorphic traits in an natural ecosystem, by assigning anuran metamorphs to their respective matrilines, using multi-locus microsatellite data. We looked at multiple paternity within matrilines and how it affects metamorphic trait variability in the respective offspring.

Open Access

Chimerism and population dieback alter genetic inference related to invasion pathways and connectivity of biofouling populations on artificial substrata

  • Pages: 3089-3104
  • First Published: 21 February 2019
Description unavailable

The submitted manuscript uses nuclear microsatellite data and simple GIS-based modeling to investigate the influence of chimerism and winter regression on the genetic diversity and patterns of genetic population connectivity among colonies of an invasive colonial ascidian. The core findings of this manuscript highlight the importance of including seasonal sampling and imperative life history traits in genetic studies for clear interpretations and the successful management of introduced species.

Open Access

Toward accurate species-level metabarcoding of arthropod communities from the tropical forest canopy

  • Pages: 3105-3116
  • First Published: 04 March 2019
Description unavailable

Using real-world arthropod community samples for bulk metabarcoding, we show through a novel experimental method that recovery of OTUs is largely unaffected by biomass of the corresponding species, with taxonomy playing a larger role in recovery.

Open Access

Molecular diet analysis finds an insectivorous desert bat community dominated by resource sharing despite diverse echolocation and foraging strategies

  • Pages: 3117-3129
  • First Published: 23 February 2019
Description unavailable

Interspecific differences in traits can alter the relative niche use of species within the same environment. Here, we analyze the diet of 17 sympatric species in the Chihuahuan desert and find no significant correlation between dietary richness and their echolocation frequency but our data suggest that behaviourally flexible bats that use gleaning and aerial hawking have the broadest diets and are the most differentiated from clutter-tolerant aerial hawking species.

Open Access

A hierarchical Bayesian approach for handling missing classification data

  • Pages: 3130-3140
  • First Published: 02 March 2019
Description unavailable

We provide a novel approach for handling missing not at random partially observed classification count data. We developed two hierarchical Bayesian models to account for classification uncertainty and improve inference of population demographic ratios.

Open Access

Evolution of population structure in an estuarine-dependent marine fish

  • Pages: 3141-3152
  • First Published: 26 February 2019
Description unavailable

Population genomic analysis of red drum, an estuarine-dependent fish, sampled from throughout their range indicated three regional groupings the Atlantic, eastern Gulf, and western Gulf. A significant component of among-locality variation for outlier loci, putatively under directional selection, was explained by environmental variables that differ between the regions and outliers formed clusters on chromosomes. The results indicate that selection may be reducing gene flow across the northern Gulf of Mexico in red drum and may explain the observation of a genetic break present in the northern Gulf of Mexico for multiple species in the absence of a conspicuous physical barrier.

Open Access

A fine-scale phylogenetic assessment of digenean trematodes in central Alberta reveals we have yet to uncover their total diversity

  • Pages: 3153-3238
  • First Published: 28 February 2019
Description unavailable

This manuscript represents a large, single, collective examination of larval trematodes from snail hosts, using molecular markers and phylogenetic methods. We contribute 1,091 mitochondrial sequences (cox1 and nad1) that represent 79 species from 23 genera and eight families. Fifty-five of the species presented represent new geographical records, and 42 are novel lineages in molecular phylogenies. All trematode species found in this study were derived from only five snail first-intermediate hosts.

Open Access

Differentiations of determinants for the community compositions of bacteria, fungi, and nitrogen fixers in various steppes

  • Pages: 3239-3250
  • First Published: 22 February 2019
Description unavailable

The work reported here revealed that soil bacteria, fungi and diazotrophs exhibited different distribution patterns across steppe types. Soil bacterial communities homogeneously distributed among steppes while soil fungal and diazotrophic communities were closely related to steppe types. The similar soil parent material background might play important role in shaping the homogenous soil bacterial composition while the community distribution patterns of fungi and diazotrophs were strongly regulated by soil fertility and plant traits.

Open Access

Conservation of genetic diversity hotspots of the high-valued relic yellowhorn (Xanthoceras sorbifolium) considering climate change predictions

  • Pages: 3251-3263
  • First Published: March 2019
Description unavailable

A conservation strategy for the endangered yellowhorn was developed based on cpDNA variation. The populations responses to future climate change were considered.

Open Access

Chronology of reproductive investment determines predation risk aversion in a felid-ungulate system

  • Pages: 3264-3275
  • First Published: 26 February 2019
Description unavailable

We examined the activity patterns of sympatric white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), a sexually segregated polygynous ungulate, and Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) in the context of the “risky times – risky places hypothesis” and the reproductive strategy hypothesis. Contrary to studies in other taxa inversely correlating prey reproductive investment to predation risk, the sexes of deer were least risk averse during sex-specific seasons associated with intense reproductive investment. Our results suggest spatiotemporally variable predation risk influences sex-specific behavioral decision-making in deer such that reproductive success is maximized.

Open Access

A pathway for multivariate analysis of ecological communities using copulas

  • Pages: 3276-3294
  • First Published: 05 March 2019
Description unavailable

We propose a new pathway for multivariate analysis of ecological data consisting of counts of species abundances that relies on copula models. The pathway integrates the use of parametric copula models (for characterizing species and their associations, and simulating data under specified hypotheses) with dissimilarity-based methods (for visualizing community-level responses, model-based or permutation-based inference, and power analysis).

Open Access

Shared and unique features of bacterial communities in native forest and vineyard phyllosphere

  • Pages: 3295-3305
  • First Published: 20 February 2019
Description unavailable

Bacterial communities on leaves of native trees inhabiting sclerophyllous forests in central Chile were characterized. Results of 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequence analysis showed that 45% of OTUs were shared across all habitats.Forest and vineyard microbiomes are connected and integrated systems.

Open Access

Population genomics of rapidly invading lionfish in the Caribbean reveals signals of range expansion in the absence of spatial population structure

  • Pages: 3306-3320
  • First Published: 10 February 2019
Description unavailable

Range expansions driven by global change and species invasions are likely to have significant genomic, evolutionary, and ecological implications. The invasion of the Indo-Pacific lionfish, Pterois volitans, into waters off the US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea provides a natural system to study rapid range expansion in an invasive marine fish with high dispersal capabilities. Here, we report results from over 12,000 restriction enzyme-associated DNA sequencing generated loci that indicate that despite a lack of spatial metapopulation structure in the Caribbean region, patterns of genetic diversity correlate with invasion pathway.

Open Access

Sex and occupation time influence niche space of a recovering keystone predator

  • Pages: 3321-3334
  • First Published: 23 February 2019
Description unavailable

Niche partitioning is a dynamic property that can vary intraspecifically in traits such as sex and population size. We examined this concept in a reintroduced sea otter population and found that niche space varied between females and males, and over time as sea otter recovery progressed. If ecologists examine these dynamics in niche space, they will be able to better predict the conservation needs of recovering predators and to consider the ecological interactions that may have been important historically. Sea otter photograph by Joe Tomoleoni.

Open Access

Recovery of Abies alba and Picea abies saplings to browsing and frost damage depends on seed source

  • Pages: 3335-3354
  • First Published: 27 February 2019
Description unavailable

For Abies alba, frost damage and clipping resulted in reduced height growth in the first year after the stress and reduced height for several vegetation seasons, while for Picea abies such effects were only found after frost damage. Population differences were significant for both species for all investigated growth traits and the time lag between clipping and formation of a clear new leader shoot increased for A. albawith lower temperatures at the seed source. Differences in sapling recovery to stress increased the existing differences among populations.

Open Access

The effects of different cold-temperature regimes on development, growth, and susceptibility to an abiotic and biotic stressor

  • Pages: 3355-3366
  • First Published: 20 February 2019
Description unavailable

We investigated how embryonic exposure to different cold-temperature regimes affected compensatory larval development and growth, larval susceptibility to a common contaminant, and larval susceptibility to parasites. We found: no evidence of compensatory development or growth, tadpoles exposed to the cold-press treatment were more susceptible to NaCl at 4-days post-hatching but recovered by 17-days post-hatching, and tadpoles exposed to both cold treatments were less susceptible to parasites.

Open Access

Effects of different fencing regimes on community structure of degraded desert grasslands on Mu Us desert, China

  • Pages: 3367-3377
  • First Published: 28 February 2019
Description unavailable

This study indicated that differences in management regimes induced different changes of community structure. Moderate time fencing had positive effect on plant community of degraded grazing grassland. However, long-term completely fencing might cause redegradation of vegetation. Seasonal fencing is a practical artificial disturbance measures to restore degraded vegetation.

Open Access

Draft genome of the river water buffalo

  • Pages: 3378-3388
  • First Published: 18 February 2019
Description unavailable

We sequenced and assembled the high quality of river Bubalus bubalis genome (2n=50) with a size of 2.77 Gb and had a contig N50 of 25 kb and the scaffold N50 is 6.9 Mbp. Based on the assembled genome, we annotated 24,613 genes for future functional genomics studies. Phylogenetic tree analysis of cattle and water buffalo lineages showed these diverged about 5.8–9.8 million years ago

Open Access

Geographic patterns in morphometric and genetic variation for coyote populations with emphasis on southeastern coyotes

  • Pages: 3389-3404
  • First Published: 21 February 2019
Description unavailable

Morphometric and genetic analyses indicated that southeastern coyotes represented a distinct cluster compared to western and northeastern coyotes. We suggest that southeastern coyotes experienced lower immigration from source populations, and over time, diverged from other regional populations. We offer that the larger body size of eastern coyotes could reflect an adaptation that improved dispersal capabilities of individuals in the expanding range.

Open Access

Asymmetrical habitat coupling of an aquatic predator—The importance of individual specialization

  • Pages: 3405-3415
  • First Published: 23 February 2019
Description unavailable

Top predators should stabilize food webs because they can easily move between spatially separate habitats. However, predators that specialize, like Eurasian perch, may have reduced ability to couple habitats as they cannot feed across multiple resources. Our study suggests that habitat coupling might be constrained by morphological adaptation driven by differences in individual specialization, and this challenges the general expectation that predators should stabilize spatially separated food webs.

Open Access

Fish conservation in the land of steppe and sky: Evolutionarily significant units of threatened salmonid species in Mongolia mirror major river basins

  • Pages: 3416-3433
  • First Published: 27 February 2019

Description unavailable

Mongolia's salmonids are in decline; therefore, genetically valuable populations must be identified so management resources can be prioritized. Across all species, the most prominent pattern was strong differentiation among major basins with low differentiation and weak patterns of isolation by distance within basins corroborating the hypothesis of high within-basin connectivity. Conservation priority should focus on priority populations within each ESU, where an ecosystem-based management approach via the establishment of freshwater protected areas should be implemented.

Open Access

Developmental and genetic effects on behavioral and life-history traits in a field cricket

  • Pages: 3434-3445
  • First Published: 23 February 2019
Description unavailable

We tested for genotype, environment, and genotype-by-environment differences in behavior, morphology, and life-history traits in field crickets. Behavioral traits were not heritable and did not respond to developmental density, while morphology and life-history traits did respond to density and were likely heritable. Genotypes and social environment thus might play limited roles in directing the evolution of behaviors in this system.

Open Access

Transcriptomic changes during caste development through social interactions in the termite Zootermopsis nevadensis

  • Pages: 3446-3456
  • First Published: 23 February 2019
Description unavailable

This is the first study about the transcriptomic changes during the crucial periods responsible for caste determination in termites. By performing RNA-seq analysis, huge numbers of differentially expressed genes were identified between the soldier- and worker-destined individuals under the natural conditions in the damp-wood termite Zootermopsis nevadensis. Our results should provide a good opportunity to examine molecular mechanisms underlying polyphenic caste differentiations in termites.

Open Access

Implications of shared predation for space use in two sympatric leporids

  • Pages: 3457-3469
  • First Published: 20 February 2019
Description unavailable

Our objective was to test how prey species spent time among habitats that differ in riskiness, and how shared predation modulates the space use by prey species. Space use by predators and habitat riskiness affected space use by hares more strongly than space use by rabbits. Shared predation reversed the predator–prey space race between foxes and hares, whereas shared predation possibly also released a negative association and promoted a positive association between our two sympatric prey species.

Open Access

Identifying hybrids & the genomics of hybridization: Mallards & American black ducks of Eastern North America

  • Pages: 3470-3490
  • First Published: 27 February 2019
Description unavailable

Sample distribution of American black ducks (ABDU), mallards (MALL), and putative hybrids (MBDH). Visualization of population structure based on PCA scatter plots of PC1 (x-axis) and PC2 (y-axis) plotted for 3,037 Autosomal and 163 Z-chromosome ddRAD-seq loci. Additionally, we present ADMIXTURE based maximum likelihood estimation of individual assignment probabilities for K population values of 2 and 3 based on autosomal or Z-linked markers, respectively.

Open Access

The effects of Bacillus subtilis on Caenorhabditis elegans fitness after heat stress

  • Pages: 3491-3499
  • First Published: 18 February 2019
Description unavailable

We examine the importance of timing and environmental context in a bacterium–nematode interaction. We find that while the bacterium is costly under standard conditions, it benefits the nematode host when heat stressed, particularly when the interaction occurs at an early stage in the development of the host.

Open Access

A temporal beta-diversity index to identify sites that have changed in exceptional ways in space–time surveys

  • Pages: 3500-3514
  • First Published: 18 February 2019
Description unavailable

This paper describes a new method, temporal beta-diversity analysis, to study the changes in community composition through time from repeated surveys at several sites. (a) A temporal beta-diversity Index (TBI) is computed for each site, measuring the change in species composition between the first and second surveys. TBI indices can be tested for significance, allowing one to identify the sites that have changed in composition in exceptional ways. (b) It is often of interest to examine the species loss and gain components of the TBI indices because change through time is directional. Graphical procedures are demonstrated. Several examples from the ecological literature are provided.

Open Access

Invasion genetics from eDNA and thousands of larvae: A targeted metabarcoding assay that distinguishes species and population variation of zebra and quagga mussels

  • Pages: 3515-3538
  • First Published: 04 March 2019
Description unavailable

We develop and use a targeted high-throughput sequencing metabarcode assay to evaluate community-level species compositions, relative abundances, and population-level diversity differences of zebra and quagga mussels from two allopatric concurrent invasions in the Great Lakes (Lake Erie) and the Hudson River, having separate founding histories. Findings demonstrate application of this targeted assay approach to accurately and simultaneously discern species- and population-level differences across spatial and temporal scales, facilitating early detection and ecological understanding.

Open Access

Biogeography of the xerophytic genus Anabasis L. (Chenopodiaceae)

  • Pages: 3539-3552
  • First Published: 19 February 2019
Description unavailable

Using the extremophyte genus Anabasis, which includes c. 25 succulent, xerophytic C4 species, and is widely distributed in arid regions of Northern Africa, Arabia, and Asia, we investigate biogeographical relationships between the Irano-Turanian floristic region and its neighboring regions.

Open Access

Intergenerational paternal effect of adult density in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Pages: 3553-3563
  • First Published: 18 February 2019
Description unavailable

To the best of our knowledge, this is first unambiguous demonstration of the adaptive and maladaptive effect of paternal density. Contrary to the long-standing belief, our data suggest that paternal environment can be an important source of fitness variation—potentially impeding or facilitating adaptation.

Open Access

Release from natural enemies mitigates inbreeding depression in native and invasive Silene latifolia populations

  • Pages: 3564-3576
  • First Published: 18 February 2019
Description unavailable

We investigated whether a release from enemies in invaded habitats alleviates inbreeding depression in plants, which may explain the successful spread of bottlenecked founder populations during biological invasions, that is the “Genetic Paradox of Invasions.” Our results indicate that inbreeding × environment interactions may contribute to successful invasion and should thus be considered for the prediction and management of invaders.

Open Access

Small mammal herbivores mediate the effects of soil nitrogen and invertebrate herbivores on grassland diversity

  • Pages: 3577-3587
  • First Published: 21 February 2019
Description unavailable

Vertebrate consumers mediate the influence of soil nitrogen and invertebrate consumers to influence tallgrass prairie plant diversity, but acted alone to affect producer productivity. Taken together, ecological drivers of diversity and productivity differed; with vertebrate herbivores alone hindering plant productivity while the combination of vertebrate consumer and soil nitrogen altered plant diversity.

Open Access

Difference in reproductive mode rather than ploidy explains niche differentiation in sympatric sexual and apomictic populations of Potentilla puberula

  • Pages: 3588-3598
  • First Published: 05 March 2019
Description unavailable

Apomicts, which tend to have larger geographical distributional ranges and occur in ecologically more extreme environments than their sexual progenitors, are usually polyploids. To distinguish whether ecological differentiation is due to reproductive mode or ploidy, we screened and compared the ecological niches of 238 sympatric sexual and autopolyploid apomictic populations of Potentilla puberula in the Eastern European Alps. Our results show that reproductive mode rather than ploidy is the main driver of the observed differences.

Open Access

Gender differences in peer review outcomes and manuscript impact at six journals of ecology and evolution

  • Pages: 3599-3619
  • First Published: 04 March 2019
Description unavailable

Papers with female and male first authors were equally likely to be sent for peer review. However, papers with female first authors obtained, on average, slightly worse peer-review scores and were more likely to be rejected after peer review, though the difference varies among journals.

Open Access

Sampling related individuals within ponds biases estimates of population structure in a pond-breeding amphibian

  • Pages: 3620-3636
  • First Published: 06 March 2019
Description unavailable

We use SNP data from the pond-breeding amphibian Ambystoma mavortium generated using a ddRADseq approach to test the effect of within-pond relatedness on population and landscape genetic analyses. We find that both the inclusion of siblings, but also reduced sample sizes following sibling removal, affected analyses. In particular, we find that analyses dependent on allele frequencies are especially susceptible to sibling-induced biases and discuss the implications of these findings to future studies.

Open Access

Prairie plant phenology driven more by temperature than moisture in climate manipulations across a latitudinal gradient in the Pacific Northwest, USA

  • Pages: 3637-3650
  • First Published: 18 February 2019
Description unavailable

We conducted a manipulative climate change experiment embedded within three prairies across a 520 km latitudinal Mediterranean climate gradient in the Pacific Northwest, USA, and examined plant phenological responses at both the population and community levels. We found that warming exerted a stronger control than moisture and considerably advanced the timing of several phenological events. Our results emphasize that future temperature changes may heavily influence plant phenology, even in seasonally water-limited Mediterranean ecosystems.

Open Access

The role of fish life histories in allometrically scaled food-web dynamics

  • Pages: 3651-3660
  • First Published: 21 February 2019

Description unavailable

Here, we expand the Allometric Trophic Network (ATN) theory in the context of aquatic food webs to incorporate size-structure in the population dynamics of fish species. We do this by modifying a food web generating algorithm, the niche model, to produce food webs where different fish life-history stages are described as separate nodes which are connected through growth and reproduction.

Open Access

Postglacial colonization history reflects in the genetic structure of natural populations of Festuca rubra in Europe

  • Pages: 3661-3674
  • First Published: 04 March 2019
Description unavailable

We conducted a large-scale population genetic survey of the host grass Festuca rubra s.l. to evaluate genetic variation across the European populations with known rates of symbiotic fungus Epichloe festucae and ploidy levels. As predicted, we found decreased genetic diversity in previously glaciated areas in comparison with nonglaciated regions and discovered three major maternal genetic groups, in which independent formation of polyploids has been occurred. On contrary, we did not observe higher fungal infection rates in grass populations with lower levels of genetic variability as predicted, and thus, the wide genetic and symbiotic variability of the populations can rather be affected by differences in population histories and possible costs of systemic fungi in harsh environmental conditions.