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  • Assessing seasonal demographic covariation to understand environmental‐change impacts on a hibernating mammal
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-23
    Maria Paniw; Dylan Z. Childs; Kenneth B. Armitage; Daniel T. Blumstein; Julien G. A. Martin; Madan K. Oli; Arpat Ozgul
  • Neural hierarchical models of ecological populations
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-23
    Maxwell B. Joseph
  • Social immunity modulates competition between coinfecting pathogens
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-16
    Barbara Milutinović; Miriam Stock; Anna V. Grasse; Elisabeth Naderlinger; Christian Hilbe; Sylvia Cremer
  • Relationships between population densities and niche‐centroid distances in North American birds
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-15
    Luis Osorio‐Olvera; Carlos Yañez‐Arenas; Enrique Martínez‐Meyer; A. Townsend Peterson
  • 更新日期:2020-01-14
  • Best be(e) on low fat: linking nutrient perception, regulation and fitness
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-13
    Fabian A. Ruedenauer; David Raubenheimer; Daniela Kessner‐Beierlein; Nils Grund‐Mueller; Lisa Noack; Johannes Spaethe; Sara D. Leonhardt
  • Brain expansion in early hominins predicts carnivore extinctions in East Africa
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-13
    Søren Faurby; Daniele Silvestro; Lars Werdelin; Alexandre Antonelli
  • Abrupt declines in marine phytoplankton production driven by warming and biodiversity loss in a microcosm experiment
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-11
    Elvire Bestion; Samuel Barton; Francisca C. García; Ruth Warfield; Gabriel Yvon‐Durocher
  • Local forest structure variability increases resilience to wildfire in dry western U.S. coniferous forests
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-10
    Michael J. Koontz; Malcolm P. North; Chhaya M. Werner; Stephen E. Fick; Andrew M. Latimer
  • 更新日期:2020-01-11
  • Sensitivity of primary production to precipitation across the United States
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-07
    Gregory E. Maurer; Alesia J. Hallmark; Renée F. Brown; Osvaldo E. Sala; Scott L. Collins
  • A chemically triggered transition from conflict to cooperation in burying beetles
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-07
    Bo‐Fei Chen; Mark Liu; Dustin R. Rubenstein; Syuan‐Jyun Sun; Jian‐Nan Liu; Yu‐Heng Lin; Sheng‐Feng Shen
  • The effect of climate change on the resilience of ecosystems with adaptive spatial pattern formation
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2020-01-07
    Robbin Bastiaansen; Arjen Doelman; Maarten B. Eppinga; Max Rietkerk
  • The evolution of eusociality: no risk‐return tradeoff but the ecology matters
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-29
    Jeremy Field; Hiroshi Toyoizumi
  • Biotic resistance to invasion is ubiquitous across ecosystems of the United States
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-25
    Evelyn M. Beaury; John T. Finn; Jeffrey D. Corbin; Valerie Barr; Bethany A. Bradley
  • Habitat fragmentation and species diversity in competitive communities
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-20
    Joel Rybicki; Nerea Abrego; Otso Ovaskainen
  • From theory to experiments for testing the proximate mechanisms of mast seeding: an agenda for an experimental ecology
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-19
    Michał Bogdziewicz; Davide Ascoli; Andrew Hacket‐Pain; Walter D. Koenig; Ian Pearse; Mario Pesendorfer; Akiko Satake; Peter Thomas; Giorgio Vacchiano; Thomas Wohlgemuth; Andrew Tanentzap
  • A 450 million years long latitudinal gradient in age‐dependent extinction
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-18
    Daniele Silvestro; Silvia Castiglione; Alessandro Mondanaro; Carmela Serio; Marina Melchionna; Paolo Piras; Mirko Di Febbraro; Francesco Carotenuto; Lorenzo Rook; Pasquale Raia
  • Dietary stress increases the total opportunity for sexual selection and modifies selection on condition‐dependent traits
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-15
    Silvia Cattelan; Jonathan P. Evans; Francisco Garcia‐Gonzalez; Elisa Morbiato; Andrea Pilastro
  • The new kid on the block: immigrant males win big whereas females pay fitness cost after dispersal
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-12
    April Robin Martinig; Andrew G. McAdam; Ben Dantzer; Jeffrey E. Lane; David W. Coltman; Stan Boutin
  • Agricultural intensification drives changes in hybrid network robustness by modifying network structure
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-08
    Beth M. L. Morrison, Berry J. Brosi, Rodolfo Dirzo
  • Can network metrics predict vulnerability and species roles in bird‐dispersed plant communities? Not without behaviour
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-08
    Teresa Morán‐López, Walter D. Espíndola, Benjamin S. Vizzachero, Antonio Fontanella, Letty Salinas, César Arana, Guillermo Amico, Marco A. Pizo, Tomás A. Carlo, Juan M. Morales
  • Individual differences in behaviour explain variation in survival: a meta‐analysis
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-06
    Maria Moiron, Kate L. Laskowski, Petri T. Niemelä
  • Substrate stoichiometry determines nitrogen fixation throughout succession in southern Chinese forests
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    Mianhai Zheng, Hao Chen, Dejun Li, Yiqi Luo, Jiangming Mo
  • Mismatched outcomes for biodiversity and ecosystem services: testing the responses of crop pollinators and wild bee biodiversity to habitat enhancement
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    Charlie C. Nicholson, Kimiora L. Ward, Neal M. Williams, Rufus Isaacs, Keith S. Mason, Julianna K. Wilson, Julia Brokaw, Larry J. Gut, Nikki L. Rothwell, Thomas J. Wood, Sujaya Rao, George D. Hoffman, Jason Gibbs, Robbin W. Thorp, Taylor H. Ricketts
  • Shared morphological consequences of global warming in North American migratory birds
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    Brian C. Weeks, David E. Willard, Marketa Zimova, Aspen A. Ellis, Max L. Witynski, Mary Hennen, Benjamin M. Winger

    Increasing temperatures associated with climate change are predicted to cause reductions in body size, a key determinant of animal physiology and ecology. Using a four‐decade specimen series of 70 716 individuals of 52 North American migratory bird species, we demonstrate that increasing annual summer temperature over the 40‐year period predicts consistent reductions in body size across these diverse taxa. Concurrently, wing length – an index of body shape that impacts numerous aspects of avian ecology and behaviour – has consistently increased across species. Our findings suggest that warming‐induced body size reduction is a general response to climate change, and reveal a similarly consistent and unexpected shift in body shape. We hypothesise that increasing wing length represents a compensatory adaptation to maintain migration as reductions in body size have increased the metabolic cost of flight. An improved understanding of warming‐induced morphological changes is important for predicting biotic responses to global change.

  • The association between stressors and telomeres in non‐human vertebrates: a meta‐analysis
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-27
    Marion Chatelain, Szymon M. Drobniak, Marta Szulkin
  • Partitioning plant spectral diversity into alpha and beta components
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-27
    Etienne Laliberté, Anna K. Schweiger, Pierre Legendre
  • Alarm communication networks as a driver of community structure in African savannah herbivores
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-27
    Kristine Meise, Daniel W. Franks, Jakob Bro‐Jørgensen
  • Strong habitat and weak genetic effects shape the lifetime reproductive success in a wild clownfish population
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-26
    Océane C. Salles, Glenn R. Almany, Michael L. Berumen, Geoffrey P. Jones, Pablo Saenz‐Agudelo, Maya Srinivasan, Simon R. Thorrold, Benoit Pujol, Serge Planes
  • Climate drives community‐wide divergence within species over a limited spatial scale: evidence from an oceanic island
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-25
    Antonia Salces‐Castellano, Jairo Patiño, Nadir Alvarez, Carmelo Andújar, Paula Arribas, Juan José Braojos‐Ruiz, Marcelino del Arco‐Aguilar, Víctor García‐Olivares, Dirk N. Karger, Heriberto López, Ioanna Manolopoulou, Pedro Oromí, Antonio J. Pérez‐Delgado, William E. Peterman, Kenneth F. Rijsdijk, Brent C. Emerson

    Geographic isolation substantially contributes to species endemism on oceanic islands when speciation involves the colonisation of a new island. However, less is understood about the drivers of speciation within islands. What is lacking is a general understanding of the geographic scale of gene flow limitation within islands, and thus the spatial scale and drivers of geographical speciation within insular contexts. Using a community of beetle species, we show that when dispersal ability and climate tolerance are restricted, microclimatic variation over distances of only a few kilometres can maintain strong geographic isolation extending back several millions of years. Further to this, we demonstrate congruent diversification with gene flow across species, mediated by Quaternary climate oscillations that have facilitated a dynamic of isolation and secondary contact. The unprecedented scale of parallel species responses to a common environmental driver for evolutionary change has profound consequences for understanding past and future species responses to climate variation.

  • Mean growth rate when rare is not a reliable metric for persistence of species
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-21
    Jayant Pande, Tak Fung, Ryan Chisholm, Nadav M. Shnerb
  • Rapid decreases in relative testes mass among monogamous birds but not in other vertebrates
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-21
    Joanna Baker, Stuart Humphries, Henry Ferguson‐Gow, Andrew Meade, Chris Venditti
  • The spatial frequency of climatic conditions affects niche composition and functional diversity of species assemblages: the case of Angiosperms
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-21
    Bertrand Fournier, Héctor Vázquez‐Rivera, Sylvie Clappe, Louis Donelle, Pedro Henrique Pereira Braga, Pedro R. Peres‐Neto
  • Spatial connectedness imposes local‐ and metapopulation‐level selection on life history through feedbacks on demography
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-19
    Stefano Masier, Dries Bonte

    Dispersal evolution impacts the fluxes of individuals and hence, connectivity in metapopulations. Connectivity is therefore decoupled from the structural connectedness of the patches within the spatial network. Because of demographic feedbacks, local selection also drives the evolution of other life history traits. We investigated how different levels of connectedness affect trait evolution in experimental metapopulations of the two‐spotted spider mite. We separated local‐ and metapopulation‐level selection and linked trait divergence to population dynamics. With lower connectedness, an increased starvation resistance and delayed dispersal evolved. Reproductive performance evolved locally by transgenerational plasticity or epigenetic processes. Costs of dispersal, but also changes in local densities and temporal fluctuations herein are found to be putative drivers. In addition to dispersal, demographic traits are able to evolve in response to metapopulation connectedness at both the local and metapopulation level by genetic and/or non‐genetic inheritance. These trait changes impact the persistence of spatially structured populations.

  • Migratory divides coincide with reproductive barriers across replicated avian hybrid zones above the Tibetan Plateau
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-19
    Elizabeth S. C. Scordato, Chris C. R. Smith, Georgy A. Semenov, Yu Liu, Matthew R. Wilkins, Wei Liang, Alexander Rubtsov, Gomboobaatar Sundev, Kazuo Koyama, Sheela P. Turbek, Michael B. Wunder, Craig A. Stricker, Rebecca J. Safran
  • Predicting evolutionary responses to interspecific interference in the wild
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-15
    Gregory F. Grether, Jonathan P. Drury, Kenichi W. Okamoto, Shawn McEachin, Christopher N. Anderson
  • Climate change disrupts local adaptation and favours upslope migration
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-14
    Jill T. Anderson, Susana M. Wadgymar

    Contemporary climate change is proceeding at an unprecedented rate. The question remains whether populations adapted to historical conditions can persist under rapid environmental change. We tested whether climate change will disrupt local adaptation and reduce population growth rates using the perennial plant Boechera stricta (Brassicaceae). In a large‐scale field experiment conducted over five years, we exposed > 106 000 transplants to historical, current, or future climates and quantified fitness components. Low‐elevation populations outperformed local populations under simulated climate change (snow removal) across all five experimental gardens. Local maladaptation also emerged in control treatments, but it was less pronounced than under snow removal. We recovered local adaptation under snow addition treatments, which reflect historical conditions. Our results revealed that low elevation populations risk rapid decline, whereas upslope migration could enable population persistence and expansion at higher elevation locales. Local adaptation to historical conditions could increase vulnerability to climate change, even for geographically widespread species.

  • The many dimensions of phytochemical diversity: linking theory to practice
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-14
    William C. Wetzel, Susan R. Whitehead

    Research on the ecological and evolutionary roles of phytochemicals has recently progressed from studying single compounds to examining chemical diversity itself. A key conceptual advance enabling this progression is the use of species diversity metrics for quantifying phytochemical diversity. In this perspective, we extend the theory developed for species diversity to further our understanding of what exactly phytochemical diversity is and how its many dimensions impact ecological and evolutionary processes. First, we discuss the major dimensions of phytochemical diversity – richness, evenness, functional diversity, and alpha, gamma and beta diversity. We describe their potential independent roles in biotic interactions and the practical challenges associated with their analysis. Second, we re‐analyse the published and unpublished datasets to reveal that the phytochemical diversity experienced by an organism (or observed by a researcher) depends strongly on the scale of the interaction and the total amount of phytochemicals involved. We argue that we must account for these frames of reference to meaningfully understand diversity. Moving from a general notion of phytochemical diversity as a single measure to a precise definition of its multidimensional and multiscale nature yields overlooked testable predictions that will facilitate novel insights about the evolutionary ecology of plant biotic interactions.

  • Phenology responses of temperate butterflies to latitude depend on ecological traits
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-13
    Zdeněk Faltýnek Fric, Michal Rindoš, Martin Konvička

    Global change influences species’ seasonal occurrence, or phenology. In cold‐adapted insects, the activity is expected to start earlier with a warming climate, but contradictory evidence exists, and the reactions may be linked to species‐specific traits. Using data from the GBIF database, we selected 105 single‐brooded Holarctic butterflies inhabiting broad latitudinal ranges. We regressed patterns of an adult flight against latitudes of the records, controlling for altitude and year effects. Species with delayed flight periods towards the high latitudes, or stable flight periods across latitudes, prevailed over those that advanced their flight towards the high latitudes. The responses corresponded with the species’ seasonality (flight of early season species was delayed and flight of summer species was advanced at high latitudes) and oceanic vs. continental climatic niches (delays in oceanic, stability in continental species). Future restructuring of butterfly seasonal patterns in high latitudes will reflect climatic niches, and hence the evolutionary history of participating species.

  • Foreseeing the future of mutualistic communities beyond collapse
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-10
    J. Jelle Lever, Ingrid A. van de Leemput, Els Weinans, Rick Quax, Vasilis Dakos, Egbert H. van Nes, Jordi Bascompte, Marten Scheffer

    Changing conditions may lead to sudden shifts in the state of ecosystems when critical thresholds are passed. Some well‐studied drivers of such transitions lead to predictable outcomes such as a turbid lake or a degraded landscape. Many ecosystems are, however, complex systems of many interacting species. While detecting upcoming transitions in such systems is challenging, predicting what comes after a critical transition is terra incognita altogether. The problem is that complex ecosystems may shift to many different, alternative states. Whether an impending transition has minor, positive or catastrophic effects is thus unclear. Some systems may, however, behave more predictably than others. The dynamics of mutualistic communities can be expected to be relatively simple, because delayed negative feedbacks leading to oscillatory or other complex dynamics are weak. Here, we address the question of whether this relative simplicity allows us to foresee a community's future state. As a case study, we use a model of a bipartite mutualistic network and show that a network's post‐transition state is indicated by the way in which a system recovers from minor disturbances. Similar results obtained with a unipartite model of facilitation suggest that our results are of relevance to a wide range of mutualistic systems.

  • Temporal population variability in local forest communities has mixed effects on tree species richness across a latitudinal gradient
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-07
    Tak Fung, Ryan A. Chisholm, Kristina Anderson‐Teixeira, Norm Bourg, Warren Y. Brockelman, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, Chia‐Hao Chang‐Yang, Rutuja Chitra‐Tarak, George Chuyong, Richard Condit, Handanakere S. Dattaraja, Stuart J. Davies, Corneille E. N. Ewango, Gary Fewless, Christine Fletcher, C. V. Savitri Gunatilleke, I. A. U. Nimal Gunatilleke, Zhanqing Hao, J. Aaron Hogan, Robert Howe, Chang‐Fu Hsieh, David Kenfack, YiChing Lin, Keping Ma, Jean‐Remy Makana, Sean McMahon, William J. McShea, Xiangcheng Mi, Anuttara Nathalang, Perry S. Ong, Geoffrey Parker, E‐Ping Rau, Jessica Shue, Sheng‐Hsin Su, Raman Sukumar, I‐Fang Sun, Hebbalalu S. Suresh, Sylvester Tan, Duncan Thomas, Jill Thompson, Renato Valencia, Martha I. Vallejo, Xugao Wang, Yunquan Wang, Pushpa Wijekoon, Amy Wolf, Sandra Yap, Jess Zimmerman

    Among the local processes that determine species diversity in ecological communities, fluctuation‐dependent mechanisms that are mediated by temporal variability in the abundances of species populations have received significant attention. Higher temporal variability in the abundances of species populations can increase the strength of temporal niche partitioning but can also increase the risk of species extinctions, such that the net effect on species coexistence is not clear. We quantified this temporal population variability for tree species in 21 large forest plots and found much greater variability for higher latitude plots with fewer tree species. A fitted mechanistic model showed that among the forest plots, the net effect of temporal population variability on tree species coexistence was usually negative, but sometimes positive or negligible. Therefore, our results suggest that temporal variability in the abundances of species populations has no clear negative or positive contribution to the latitudinal gradient in tree species richness.

  • Heterogeneity–diversity relationships in sessile organisms: a unified framework
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-06
    Eyal Ben‐Hur, Ronen Kadmon

    The hypothesis that environmental heterogeneity promotes species richness by increasing opportunities for niche partitioning is a fundamental paradigm in ecology. However, recent studies suggest that heterogeneity–diversity relationships (HDR) are more complex than expected from this niche‐based perspective, and often show a decrease in richness at high levels of heterogeneity. These findings have motivated ecologists to propose new mechanisms that may explain such deviations. Here we provide an overview of currently recognised mechanisms affecting the shape of HDRs and present a conceptual model that integrates all previously proposed mechanisms within a unified framework. We also translate the proposed framework into an explicit community dynamic model and use the model as a tool for generating testable predictions concerning how landscape properties interact with species traits in determining the shape of HDRs. Our main finding is that, despite the enormous complexity of such interactions, the predicted HDRs are rather simple, ranging from positive to unimodal patterns in a highly consistent and predictable manner.

  • Temperature drives pre‐reproductive selection and shapes the biogeography of a female polymorphism
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-06
    Erik I. Svensson, Beatriz Willink, Mary Catherine Duryea, Lesley T. Lancaster

    Conflicts of interests between males and females over reproduction is a universal feature of sexually reproducing organisms and has driven the evolution of intersexual mimicry, mating behaviours and reproductive polymorphisms. Here, we show how temperature drives pre‐reproductive selection in a female colour polymorphic insect that is subject to strong sexual conflict. These species have three female colour morphs, one of which is a male mimic. This polymorphism is maintained by frequency‐dependent sexual conflict caused by male mating harassment. The frequency of female morphs varies geographically, with higher frequency of the male mimic at higher latitudes. We show that differential temperature sensitivity of the female morphs and faster sexual maturation of the male mimic increases the frequency of this morph in the north. These results suggest that sexual conflict during the adult stage is shaped by abiotic factors and frequency‐independent pre‐reproductive selection that operate earlier during ontogeny of these female morphs.

  • Erratum.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2019-11-09

  • Ecological intensification to mitigate impacts of conventional intensive land use on pollinators and pollination.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2017-03-28
    Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki,Anahí Espíndola,Adam J Vanbergen,Josef Settele,Claire Kremen,Lynn V Dicks

    Worldwide, human appropriation of ecosystems is disrupting plant-pollinator communities and pollination function through habitat conversion and landscape homogenisation. Conversion to agriculture is destroying and degrading semi-natural ecosystems while conventional land-use intensification (e.g. industrial management of large-scale monocultures with high chemical inputs) homogenises landscape structure and quality. Together, these anthropogenic processes reduce the connectivity of populations and erode floral and nesting resources to undermine pollinator abundance and diversity, and ultimately pollination services. Ecological intensification of agriculture represents a strategic alternative to ameliorate these drivers of pollinator decline while supporting sustainable food production, by promoting biodiversity beneficial to agricultural production through management practices such as intercropping, crop rotations, farm-level diversification and reduced agrochemical use. We critically evaluate its potential to address and reverse the land use and management trends currently degrading pollinator communities and potentially causing widespread pollination deficits. We find that many of the practices that constitute ecological intensification can contribute to mitigating the drivers of pollinator decline. Our findings support ecological intensification as a solution to pollinator declines, and we discuss ways to promote it in agricultural policy and practice.

  • Disease spread in age structured populations with maternal age effects.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2017-03-08
    Jessica Clark,Jennie S Garbutt,Luke McNally,Tom J Little

    Fundamental ecological processes, such as extrinsic mortality, determine population age structure. This influences disease spread when individuals of different ages differ in susceptibility or when maternal age determines offspring susceptibility. We show that Daphnia magna offspring born to young mothers are more susceptible than those born to older mothers, and consider this alongside previous observations that susceptibility declines with age in this system. We used a susceptible-infected compartmental model to investigate how age-specific susceptibility and maternal age effects on offspring susceptibility interact with demographic factors affecting disease spread. Our results show a scenario where an increase in extrinsic mortality drives an increase in transmission potential. Thus, we identify a realistic context in which age effects and maternal effects produce conditions favouring disease transmission.

  • Fast life history traits promote invasion success in amphibians and reptiles.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2017-01-05
    William L Allen,Sally E Street,Isabella Capellini

    Competing theoretical models make different predictions on which life history strategies facilitate growth of small populations. While 'fast' strategies allow for rapid increase in population size and limit vulnerability to stochastic events, 'slow' strategies and bet-hedging may reduce variance in vital rates in response to stochasticity. We test these predictions using biological invasions since founder alien populations start small, compiling the largest dataset yet of global herpetological introductions and life history traits. Using state-of-the-art phylogenetic comparative methods, we show that successful invaders have fast traits, such as large and frequent clutches, at both establishment and spread stages. These results, together with recent findings in mammals and plants, support 'fast advantage' models and the importance of high potential population growth rate. Conversely, successful alien birds are bet-hedgers. We propose that transient population dynamics and differences in longevity and behavioural flexibility can help reconcile apparently contrasting results across terrestrial vertebrate classes.

  • Modelling nutritional mutualisms: challenges and opportunities for data integration.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2017-07-26
    Teresa J Clark,Colleen A Friel,Emily Grman,Yair Shachar-Hill,Maren L Friesen

    Nutritional mutualisms are ancient, widespread, and profoundly influential in biological communities and ecosystems. Although much is known about these interactions, comprehensive answers to fundamental questions, such as how resource availability and structured interactions influence mutualism persistence, are still lacking. Mathematical modelling of nutritional mutualisms has great potential to facilitate the search for comprehensive answers to these and other fundamental questions by connecting the physiological and genomic underpinnings of mutualisms with ecological and evolutionary processes. In particular, when integrated with empirical data, models enable understanding of underlying mechanisms and generalisation of principles beyond the particulars of a given system. Here, we demonstrate how mathematical models can be integrated with data to address questions of mutualism persistence at four biological scales: cell, individual, population, and community. We highlight select studies where data has been or could be integrated with models to either inform model structure or test model predictions. We also point out opportunities to increase model rigour through tighter integration with data, and describe areas in which data is urgently needed. We focus on plant-microbe systems, for which a wealth of empirical data is available, but the principles and approaches can be generally applied to any nutritional mutualism.

  • Reproductive effort accelerates actuarial senescence in wild birds: an experimental study.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2014-05-13
    Jelle J Boonekamp,Martijn Salomons,Sandra Bouwhuis,Cor Dijkstra,Simon Verhulst

    Optimality theories of ageing predict that the balance between reproductive effort and somatic maintenance determines the rate of ageing. Laboratory studies find that increased reproductive effort shortens lifespan, but through increased short-term mortality rather than ageing. In contrast, high fecundity in early life is associated with accelerated senescence in free-living vertebrates, but these studies are non-experimental. We performed lifelong brood size manipulation in free-living jackdaws. Actuarial senescence--the increase in mortality rate with age--was threefold higher in birds rearing enlarged- compared to reduced broods, confirming a key prediction of the optimality theory of ageing. Our findings contrast with the results of single-year brood size manipulation studies carried out in many species, in which there was no overall discernible manipulation effect on mortality. We suggest that our and previous findings are in agreement with predictions based on the reliability theory of ageing and propose further tests of this proposition.

  • Evidence for shared broad-scale climatic niches of diploid and polyploid plants.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2014-05-13
    K L Glennon,M E Ritchie,K A Segraves

    Whole-genome duplication (polyploidy) occurs frequently and repeatedly within species, often forming new lineages that contribute to biodiversity, particularly in plants. Establishment and persistence of new polyploids may be thwarted by competition with surrounding diploids; however, climatic niche shifts, where polyploids occupy different niches than diploid progenitors, may help polyploids overcome this challenge. We tested for climatic niche shifts between cytotypes using a new ordination approach and an unprecedentedly large data set containing young, conspecific diploids and polyploids. Despite expectations of frequent niche shifts, we show evidence for alternative patterns, such as niche conservatism and contraction, rather than a prevalent pattern of niche shifts. In addition, we explore how interpreting climatic niches plotted on environmental niche (principal component) axes can generate hypotheses about processes underlying niche dynamics. Dispersal capabilities or other life-history traits, rather than shifts to new climatic niches, could better explain polyploid persistence in the long term.

  • Trade-offs between constitutive and induced defences drive geographical and climatic clines in pine chemical defences.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2014-05-13
    Xoaquín Moreira,Kailen A Mooney,Sergio Rasmann,William K Petry,Amparo Carrillo-Gavilán,Rafael Zas,Luis Sampedro

    There is increasing evidence that geographic and climatic clines drive the patterns of plant defence allocation and defensive strategies. We quantified early growth rate and both constitutive and inducible chemical defences of 18 Pinaceae species in a common greenhouse environment and assessed their defensive allocation with respect to each species' range across climatic gradients spanning 31° latitude and 2300 m elevation. Constitutive defences traded-off with induced defences, and these defensive strategies were associated with growth rate such that slow-growing species invested more in constitutive defence, whereas fast-growing species invested more in inducible defence. The position of each pine species along this trade-off axis was in turn associated with geography; moving poleward and to higher elevations, growth rate and inducible defences decreased, while constitutive defence increased. These geographic patterns in plant defence were most strongly associated with variation in temperature. Climatic and geographical clines thus act as drivers of defence profiles by mediating the constraints imposed by trade-offs, and this dynamic underlays global patterns of defence allocation.

  • Emergent insights from the synthesis of conceptual frameworks for biological invasions.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2011-04-26
    J Gurevitch,G A Fox,G M Wardle,Inderjit,D Taub

    A general understanding of biological invasions will provide insights into fundamental ecological and evolutionary problems and contribute to more efficient and effective prediction, prevention and control of invasions. We review recent papers that have proposed conceptual frameworks for invasion biology. These papers offer important advances and signal a maturation of the field, but a broad synthesis is still lacking. Conceptual frameworks for invasion do not require invocation of unique concepts, but rather should reflect the unifying principles of ecology and evolutionary biology. A conceptual framework should incorporate multicausality, include interactions between causal factors and account for lags between various stages. We emphasize the centrality of demography in invasions, and distinguish between explaining three of the most important characteristics by which we recognize invasions: rapid local population increase, monocultures or community dominance, and range expansion. As a contribution towards developing a conceptual synthesis of invasions based on these criteria, we outline a framework that explicitly incorporates consideration of the fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes involved. The development of a more inclusive and mechanistic conceptual framework for invasion should facilitate quantitative and testable evaluation of causal factors, and can potentially lead to a better understanding of the biology of invasions.

  • Diversification of honest signals in a predator-prey system.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2010-07-06
    Michael P Speed,Graeme D Ruxton,Jon D Blount,Philip A Stephens

    Many animals use bright colouration to advertise their toxicity to predators. It is now well established that both toxicity and colouration are often variable within prey populations, yet it is an open question whether or not brighter signals should be used by the more toxic members of the population. We therefore describe a model in which signal honesty can easily be explained. We assumed that prey toxicity is environmentally conferred and variable between individuals, and that signalling bears a cost through attracting the attention of predators. A key assumption is that predators know the mean toxicity associated with each signalling level, so that the probability of attack for each signal value declines as mean toxicity associated with that signal increases. The probability of death given attack for each individual, however, declines with the precise value of its own toxicity, and prey must evolve the optimal level of signal to match the toxicity level that they acquire from their environments. At the start of our simulations there is no signalling system, as neither prey nor predators have biases that favour signal diversification. Over evolutionary time, however, a positive correlation emerges between signal strength and the mean toxicity associated with each signal level. When stability is reached, predators change their behaviour so that they now tend to avoid prey that signal conspicuously. In addition to predicting within-species signal reliability, our model can explain the initial evolution of aposematic displays without the need to assume special biases in predators.

  • Prospects for tropical forest biodiversity in a human-modified world.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2009-06-09
    Toby A Gardner,Jos Barlow,Robin Chazdon,Robert M Ewers,Celia A Harvey,Carlos A Peres,Navjot S Sodhi

    The future of tropical forest biodiversity depends more than ever on the effective management of human-modified landscapes, presenting a daunting challenge to conservation practitioners and land use managers. We provide a critical synthesis of the scientific insights that guide our understanding of patterns and processes underpinning forest biodiversity in the human-modified tropics, and present a conceptual framework that integrates a broad range of social and ecological factors that define and contextualize the possible future of tropical forest species. A growing body of research demonstrates that spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity are the dynamic product of interacting historical and contemporary human and ecological processes. These processes vary radically in their relative importance within and among regions, and have effects that may take years to become fully manifest. Interpreting biodiversity research findings is frequently made difficult by constrained study designs, low congruence in species responses to disturbance, shifting baselines and an over-dependence on comparative inferences from a small number of well studied localities. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the potential prospects for biodiversity conservation can be explained by regional differences in biotic vulnerability and anthropogenic legacies, an ever-tighter coupling of human-ecological systems and the influence of global environmental change. These differences provide both challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation. Building upon our synthesis we outline a simple adaptive-landscape planning framework that can help guide a new research agenda to enhance biodiversity conservation prospects in the human-modified tropics.

  • Ecological implications of plants ability to tell the time.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2009-06-09
    Víctor Resco,James Hartwell,Anthony Hall

    The circadian clock (the endogenous mechanism that anticipates diurnal cycles) acts as a central coordinator of plant activity. At the molecular and organism level, it regulates key traits for plant fitness, including seed germination, gas exchange, growth and flowering, among others. In this article, we explore current evidence on the effect of the clock for the scales of interest to ecologists. We begin by synthesizing available knowledge on the effect of the clock on biosphere-atmosphere interactions and observe that, at least in the systems where it has been tested, the clock regulates gas exchange from the leaf to the ecosystem level, and we discuss its implications for estimates of the carbon balance. Then, we analyse whether incorporating the action of the clock may help in elucidating the effects of climate change on plant distributions. Circadian rhythms are involved in regulating the range of temperatures a species can survive and affects plant interactions. Finally, we review the involvement of the clock in key phenological events, such as flowering time and seed germination. Because the clock may act as a common mechanism affecting many of the diverse branches of ecology, our ultimate goal is to stimulate further research into this pressing, yet unexplored, topic.

  • Global change and species interactions in terrestrial ecosystems.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2008-12-09
    Jason M Tylianakis,Raphael K Didham,Jordi Bascompte,David A Wardle

    The main drivers of global environmental change (CO2 enrichment, nitrogen deposition, climate, biotic invasions and land use) cause extinctions and alter species distributions, and recent evidence shows that they exert pervasive impacts on various antagonistic and mutualistic interactions among species. In this review, we synthesize data from 688 published studies to show that these drivers often alter competitive interactions among plants and animals, exert multitrophic effects on the decomposer food web, increase intensity of pathogen infection, weaken mutualisms involving plants, and enhance herbivory while having variable effects on predation. A recurrent finding is that there is substantial variability among studies in both the magnitude and direction of effects of any given GEC driver on any given type of biotic interaction. Further, we show that higher order effects among multiple drivers acting simultaneously create challenges in predicting future responses to global environmental change, and that extrapolating these complex impacts across entire networks of species interactions yields unanticipated effects on ecosystems. Finally, we conclude that in order to reliably predict the effects of GEC on community and ecosystem processes, the greatest single challenge will be to determine how biotic and abiotic context alters the direction and magnitude of GEC effects on biotic interactions.

  • No evidence for an interactive effect of herbivore and predator diversity on herbivore abundance in the experimental mesocosms of Douglass et al. (2008).
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2008-09-09
    Paul A Murtaugh

    Douglass et al. (Ecol. Lett., 11, 2008, 1) concluded that grazer diversity and predator diversity have an interactive effect on herbivore abundance in experimental marine mesocosms. Re-analysis of their data fails to support this conclusion, which was apparently based on a statistical miscalculation.

  • Interspecific interactions in phytophagous insects revisited: a quantitative assessment of competition theory.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2007-09-15
    Ian Kaplan,Robert F Denno

    The importance of interspecific competition is a highly controversial and unresolved issue for community ecology in general, and for phytophagous insects in particular. Recent advancements, however, in our understanding of indirect (plant- and enemy-mediated) interactions challenge the historical paradigms of competition. Thus, in the context of this rapidly developing field, we re-evaluate the evidence for interspecific competition in phytophagous insects using a meta-analysis of published studies. Our analysis is specifically designed to test the assumptions underlying traditional competition theory, namely that competitive interactions are symmetrical, necessitate spatial and temporal co-occurrence, and increase in intensity as the density, phylogenetic similarity, and niche overlap of competing species increase. Despite finding frequent evidence for competition, we found very little evidence that plant-feeding insects conform to theoretical predictions for interspecific competition. Interactions were highly asymmetrical, similar in magnitude within vs. between feeding guilds (chewers vs. sap-feeders), and were unaffected by the quantity of resources removed (% defoliation). There was mixed support for the effects of phylogeny, spatial/temporal separation, and the relative strength of intra- vs. interspecific competition. Clearly, a new paradigm that accounts for indirect interactions and facilitation is required to describe how interspecific competition contributes to the organization of phytophagous insect communities, and perhaps to other plant and animal communities as well.

  • Long-range seasonal migration in insects: mechanisms, evolutionary drivers and ecological consequences.
    Ecol. Lett. (IF 8.699) Pub Date : 2015-01-23
    Jason W Chapman,Don R Reynolds,Kenneth Wilson

    Myriad tiny insect species take to the air to engage in windborne migration, but entomology also has its 'charismatic megafauna' of butterflies, large moths, dragonflies and locusts. The spectacular migrations of large day-flying insects have long fascinated humankind, and since the advent of radar entomology much has been revealed about high-altitude night-time insect migrations. Over the last decade, there have been significant advances in insect migration research, which we review here. In particular, we highlight: (1) notable improvements in our understanding of lepidopteran navigation strategies, including the hitherto unsuspected capabilities of high-altitude migrants to select favourable winds and orientate adaptively, (2) progress in unravelling the neuronal mechanisms underlying sun compass orientation and in identifying the genetic complex underpinning key traits associated with migration behaviour and performance in the monarch butterfly, and (3) improvements in our knowledge of the multifaceted interactions between disease agents and insect migrants, in terms of direct effects on migration success and pathogen spread, and indirect effects on the evolution of migratory systems. We conclude by highlighting the progress that can be made through inter-phyla comparisons, and identify future research areas that will enhance our understanding of insect migration strategies within an eco-evolutionary perspective.

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