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Showing 1 - 200 of 3030 Journals sorted alphabetically
AASRI Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20, SJR: 1.402, h-index: 51)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.008, h-index: 75)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 79, SJR: 1.109, h-index: 94)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22, SJR: 0.612, h-index: 27)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 2.515, h-index: 90)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.338, h-index: 19)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 303, SJR: 0.726, h-index: 43)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 2.02, h-index: 104)
Acta Colombiana de Cuidado Intensivo     Full-text available via subscription  
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Ecologica Sinica     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.172, h-index: 29)
Acta Haematologica Polonica     Free   (SJR: 0.123, h-index: 8)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.604, h-index: 38)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 196, SJR: 3.683, h-index: 202)
Acta Mathematica Scientia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.615, h-index: 21)
Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.442, h-index: 21)
Acta Oecologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.915, h-index: 53)
Acta Otorrinolaringologica (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.311, h-index: 16)
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Poética     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21, SJR: 1.365, h-index: 73)
Acta Sociológica     Open Access  
Acta Tropica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.059, h-index: 77)
Acta Urológica Portuguesa     Open Access  
Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Actas Urológicas Españolas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.383, h-index: 19)
Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.141, h-index: 3)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.112, h-index: 2)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Ad Hoc Networks     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.967, h-index: 57)
Addictive Behaviors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.514, h-index: 92)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.039, h-index: 5)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 120, SJR: 5.2, h-index: 222)
Advanced Engineering Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.265, h-index: 53)
Advanced Powder Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.739, h-index: 33)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.299, h-index: 15)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.071, h-index: 82)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.169, h-index: 4)
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Applied Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.054, h-index: 35)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.801, h-index: 26)
Advances in Applied Microbiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 1.286, h-index: 49)
Advances In Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 3.31, h-index: 42)
Advances in Biological Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.277, h-index: 43)
Advances in Botanical Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.619, h-index: 48)
Advances in Cancer Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26, SJR: 2.215, h-index: 78)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.9, h-index: 30)
Advances in Catalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.139, h-index: 42)
Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Membranes and Organelles     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Chemical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.183, h-index: 23)
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.665, h-index: 29)
Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 1.268, h-index: 45)
Advances in Clinical Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.938, h-index: 33)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, SJR: 2.314, h-index: 130)
Advances in Computers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.223, h-index: 22)
Advances in Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in Digestive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Drug Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 39, SJR: 3.25, h-index: 43)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.486, h-index: 10)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 38, SJR: 5.465, h-index: 64)
Advances in Exploration Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Fluorine Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 41, SJR: 0.674, h-index: 38)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.558, h-index: 54)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 2.325, h-index: 20)
Advances in Heat Transfer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, SJR: 0.906, h-index: 24)
Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.497, h-index: 31)
Advances in Human Factors/Ergonomics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.396, h-index: 27)
Advances in Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33, SJR: 4.152, h-index: 85)
Advances in Inorganic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.132, h-index: 42)
Advances in Insect Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.274, h-index: 27)
Advances in Integrative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Intl. Accounting     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Life Course Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.764, h-index: 15)
Advances in Lipobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Magnetic and Optical Resonance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Marine Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.645, h-index: 45)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 3.261, h-index: 65)
Advances in Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.489, h-index: 25)
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Microbial Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.44, h-index: 51)
Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21)
Advances in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Molecular Toxicology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.324, h-index: 8)
Advances in Nanoporous Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Oncobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Organometallic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.885, h-index: 45)
Advances in Parallel Computing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.148, h-index: 11)
Advances in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 2.37, h-index: 73)
Advances in Pediatrics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 0.4, h-index: 28)
Advances in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13, SJR: 1.718, h-index: 58)
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.384, h-index: 26)
Advances in Phytomedicine     Full-text available via subscription  
Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.248, h-index: 11)
Advances in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Plant Pathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Porous Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Advances in Protein Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17, SJR: 1.5, h-index: 62)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 56)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.478, h-index: 32)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access  
Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.1, h-index: 2)
Advances in Space Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 332, SJR: 0.606, h-index: 65)
Advances in Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Surgery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.823, h-index: 27)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 1.321, h-index: 56)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.878, h-index: 68)
Advances in Water Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 42, SJR: 2.408, h-index: 94)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.973, h-index: 22)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 304, SJR: 0.816, h-index: 49)
AEU - Intl. J. of Electronics and Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.318, h-index: 36)
African J. of Emergency Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.344, h-index: 6)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 3.289, h-index: 78)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 390, SJR: 1.385, h-index: 72)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal  
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.18, h-index: 116)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.275, h-index: 74)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 36, SJR: 1.546, h-index: 79)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access  
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48, SJR: 1.879, h-index: 120)
Ain Shams Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.434, h-index: 14)
Air Medical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.234, h-index: 18)
AKCE Intl. J. of Graphs and Combinatorics     Open Access   (SJR: 0.285, h-index: 3)
Alcohol     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.922, h-index: 66)
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Alergologia Polska : Polish J. of Allergology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Alexandria Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.436, h-index: 12)
Alexandria J. of Medicine     Open Access  
Algal Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 7, SJR: 2.05, h-index: 20)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Allergologia et Immunopathologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.46, h-index: 29)
Allergology Intl.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.776, h-index: 35)
ALTER - European J. of Disability Research / Revue Européenne de Recherche sur le Handicap     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.158, h-index: 9)
Alzheimer's & Dementia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45, SJR: 4.289, h-index: 64)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45, SJR: 3.157, h-index: 153)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 47, SJR: 2.063, h-index: 186)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 0.574, h-index: 65)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.091, h-index: 45)
American J. of Geriatric Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.653, h-index: 93)
American J. of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, SJR: 8.769, h-index: 256)
American J. of Infection Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 1.259, h-index: 81)
American J. of Kidney Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 2.313, h-index: 172)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48, SJR: 2.023, h-index: 189)
American J. of Medicine Supplements     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
American J. of Obstetrics and Gynecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 174, SJR: 2.255, h-index: 171)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 51, SJR: 2.803, h-index: 148)
American J. of Ophthalmology Case Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
American J. of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.249, h-index: 88)
American J. of Otolaryngology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22, SJR: 0.59, h-index: 45)
American J. of Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23, SJR: 2.653, h-index: 228)
American J. of Preventive Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21, SJR: 2.764, h-index: 154)
American J. of Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, SJR: 1.286, h-index: 125)
American J. of the Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.653, h-index: 70)
Ampersand : An Intl. J. of General and Applied Linguistics     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Anaerobe     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.066, h-index: 51)
Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 52, SJR: 0.124, h-index: 9)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.209, h-index: 27)
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría Continuada     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.104, h-index: 3)
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2, SJR: 2.577, h-index: 7)
Analytica Chimica Acta     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 38, SJR: 1.548, h-index: 152)
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 154, SJR: 0.725, h-index: 154)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.18, h-index: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Anesthésie & Réanimation     Full-text available via subscription  
Anesthesiology Clinics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 0.421, h-index: 40)
Angiología     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.124, h-index: 9)
Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular     Open Access  
Animal Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 143, SJR: 1.907, h-index: 126)
Animal Feed Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.151, h-index: 83)
Animal Reproduction Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.711, h-index: 78)
Annales d'Endocrinologie     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.394, h-index: 30)
Annales d'Urologie     Full-text available via subscription  
Annales de Cardiologie et d'Angéiologie     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.177, h-index: 13)
Annales de Chirurgie de la Main et du Membre Supérieur     Full-text available via subscription  
Annales de Chirurgie Plastique Esthétique     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.354, h-index: 22)
Annales de Chirurgie Vasculaire     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)

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Journal Cover Acta Oecologica
  [SJR: 0.915]   [H-I: 53]   [9 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1146-609X
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3030 journals]
  • Do forest soil microbes have the potential to resist plant invasion? A
           case study in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve (South China)
    • Authors: Bao-Ming Chen; Song Li; Hui-Xuan Liao; Shao-Lin Peng
      Pages: 1 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 81
      Author(s): Bao-Ming Chen, Song Li, Hui-Xuan Liao, Shao-Lin Peng
      Successful invaders must overcome biotic resistance, which is defined as the reduction in invasion success caused by the resident community. Soil microbes are an important source of community resistance to plant invasions, and understanding their role in this process requires urgent investigation. Therefore, three forest communities along successional stages and four exotic invasive plant species were selected to test the role of soil microbes of three forest communities in resisting the exotic invasive plant. Our results showed that soil microbes from a monsoon evergreen broadleaf forest (MEBF) (late-successional stage) had the greatest resistance to the invasive plants. Only the invasive species Ipomoea triloba was not sensitive to the three successional forest soils. Mycorrhizal fungi in early successional forest Pinus massonina forest (PMF) or mid-successional forest pine-broadleaf mixed forest (PBMF) soil promoted the growth of Mikania micrantha and Eupatorium catarium, but mycorrhizal fungi in MEBF soil had no significant effects on their growth. Pathogens plus other non-mycorrhizal microbes in MEBF soil inhibited the growth of M. micrantha and E. catarium significantly, and only inhibited root growth of E. catarium when compared with those with mycorrhizal fungi addition. The study suggest that soil mycorrhizal fungi of early-mid-successional forests benefit invasive species M. micrantha and E. catarium, while soil pathogens of late-successional forest may play an important role in resisting M. micrantha and E. catarium. The benefit and resistance of the soil microbes are dependent on invasive species and related to forest succession. The study gives a possible clue to control invasive plants by regulating soil microbes of forest community to resist plant invasion.

      PubDate: 2017-04-26T13:09:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.04.003
      Issue No: Vol. 81 (2017)
  • Taxa-specific eco-sensitivity in relation to phytoplankton bloom stability
           and ecologically relevant lake state
    • Authors: Agnieszka Napiórkowska-Krzebietke; Julita A. Dunalska; Elżbieta Zębek
      Pages: 10 - 21
      Abstract: Publication date: May 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 81
      Author(s): Agnieszka Napiórkowska-Krzebietke, Julita A. Dunalska, Elżbieta Zębek
      Phytoplankton (including plant-like, animal-like algae and Cyanobacteria) blooms have recently become a serious global threat to the sustenance of ecosystems, to human and animal health and to economy. This study focused on the composition and stability of blooms as well as their taxa-specific ecological sensitivity to the main causal factors (especially phosphorus and nitrogen) in degraded urban lakes. The analyzed lakes were assessed with respect to the trophic state as well as ecological status. Total phytoplankton biomass (ranging from 1.5 to 181.3 mg dm−3) was typical of blooms of different intensity, which can appear during a whole growing season but are the most severe in early or late summer. Our results suggested that steady-state and non-steady-state bloom assemblages including mono-, bi- and multi-species or heterogeneous blooms may occur in urban lakes. The most intense blooms were formed by the genera of Cyanobacteria: Microcystis, Limnothrix, Pseudanabaena, Planktothrix, Bacillariophyta: Cyclotella and Dinophyta mainly Ceratium and Peridinium. Considering the sensitivity of phytoplankton assemblages, a new eco-sensitivity factor was proposed (E-SF), based on the concept of Phytoplankton Trophic Index composed of trophic scores of phytoplankton taxa along the eutrophication gradient. The E-SF values of 0.5, 1.3, 6.7 and 15.1 were recognized in lakes having a high, good, moderate or poor ecological status, respectively. For lake restoration, each type of bloom should be considered separately because of different sensitivities of taxa and relationships with environmental variables. Proper recognition of the taxa-specific response to abiotic (especially to N and P enrichment) and biotic factors could have significant implications for further water protection and management.

      PubDate: 2017-04-26T13:09:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.04.002
      Issue No: Vol. 81 (2017)
  • Is the ecological belt zonation of the Swiss Alps relevant for moth
           diversity and turnover?
    • Authors: Jan Beck; Cecil M. Rüdlinger; Christy M. McCain
      Pages: 1 - 7
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 80
      Author(s): Jan Beck, Cecil M. Rüdlinger, Christy M. McCain
      Mountain ecosystems are traditionally envisioned as elevational belts of homogenous vegetation, separated by intervening ecotones. Recent research has cast doubt on such predictable layering at least in animal communities. We test the link of two a priori defined ecological belt zonations to noctuid moth distributions in the Swiss Alps. Predictions, in particular, were a coincidence of proposed ecotones with increased range endpoint frequencies and with increased species turnover or species richness between equidistant elevational bands. Using >320,000 distributional records for >500 noctuid species, we found no support for these three predictions despite several contrasting analytical approaches. Concurrent with recently published vertebrate data, we conclude that simple ecological belt zonations are unrelated to the moth communities found along mountain slopes. Rather, species are distributed idiosyncratically following their specific niche requirements. Additional rigorous evidence, particularly comparing insect clades spanning a spectrum of host-plant relationships, may be required to support the relevance of the ecological belt concept in structuring mountain ecosystems beyond tree and plant communities.

      PubDate: 2017-02-25T08:38:00Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.02.001
      Issue No: Vol. 80 (2017)
  • Long-term growth decline in Toona ciliata in a moist tropical forest in
           Bangladesh: Impact of global warming
    • Authors: Mizanur Rahman; Rofiqul Islam; Mahmuda Islam
      Pages: 8 - 17
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 80
      Author(s): Mizanur Rahman, Rofiqul Islam, Mahmuda Islam
      Tropical forests are carbon rich ecosystems and small changes in tropical forest tree growth substantially influence the global carbon cycle. Forest monitoring studies report inconsistent growth changes in tropical forest trees over the past decades. Most of the studies highlighted changes in the forest level carbon gain, neglecting the species-specific growth changes which ultimately determine community-level responses. Tree-ring analysis can provide historical data on species-specific tree growth with annual resolution. Such studies are inadequate in Bangladesh, which is one of the most climate sensitive regions in the tropics. In this study, we investigated long-term growth rates of Toona ciliata in a moist tropical forest of Bangladesh by using tree-ring analysis. We sampled 50 trees of varying size, obtained increment cores from these trees and measured tree-ring width. Analyses of growth patterns revealed size-dependent growth increments. After correcting for the effect of tree size on tree growth (ontogenetic changes) by two different methods we found declining growth rates in T. ciliata from 1960 to 2013. Standardized ring-width index (RWI) was strongly negatively correlated with annual mean and maximum temperatures suggesting that rising temperature might cause the observed growth decline in T. ciliata. Assuming that global temperatures will rise at the current rate, the observed growth decline is assumed to continue. The analysis of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes may reveal more insight on the physiological response of this species to future climatic changes.

      PubDate: 2017-03-09T15:38:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.02.004
      Issue No: Vol. 80 (2017)
  • A predictive relationship between population and genetic sex ratios in
           clonal species
    • Authors: D. Nicholas McLetchie; Gisela García-Ramos
      Pages: 18 - 23
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 80
      Author(s): D. Nicholas McLetchie, Gisela García-Ramos
      Sexual reproduction depends on mate availability that is reflected by local sex ratios. In species where both sexes can clonally expand, the population sex ratio describes the proportion of males, including clonally derived individuals (ramets) in addition to sexually produced individuals (genets). In contrast to population sex ratio that accounts for the overall abundance of the sexes, the genetic sex ratio reflects the relative abundance of genetically unique mates, which is critical in predicting effective population size but is difficult to estimate in the field. While an intuitive positive relationship between population (ramet) sex ratio and genetic (genet) sex ratio is expected, an explicit relationship is unknown. In this study, we determined a mathematical expression in the form of a hyperbola that encompasses a linear to a nonlinear positive relationship between ramet and genet sex ratios. As expected when both sexes clonally have equal number of ramets per genet both sex ratios are identical, and thus ramet sex ratio becomes a linear function of genet sex ratio. Conversely, if sex differences in ramet number occur, this mathematical relationship becomes nonlinear and a discrepancy between the sex ratios amplifies from extreme sex ratios values towards intermediate values. We evaluated our predictions with empirical data that simultaneously quantified ramet and genet sex ratios in populations of several species. We found that the data support the predicted positive nonlinear relationship, indicating sex differences in ramet number across populations. However, some data may also fit the null model, which suggests that sex differences in ramet number were not extensive, or the number of populations was too small to capture the curvature of the nonlinear relationship. Data with lack of fit suggest the presence of factors capable of weakening the positive relationship between the sex ratios. Advantages of this model include predicting genet sex ratio using population sex ratios given known sex differences in ramet number, and detecting sex differences in ramet number among populations.

      PubDate: 2017-03-09T15:38:54Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.02.002
      Issue No: Vol. 80 (2017)
  • Contrasting patterns of fine-scale herb layer species composition in
           temperate forests
    • Authors: Markéta Chudomelová; David Zelený; Ching-Feng Li
      Pages: 24 - 31
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 80
      Author(s): Markéta Chudomelová, David Zelený, Ching-Feng Li
      Although being well described at the landscape level, patterns in species composition of forest herb layer are rarely studied at smaller scales. Here, we examined fine-scale environmental determinants and spatial structures of herb layer communities in thermophilous oak- and hornbeam dominated forests of the south-eastern part of the Czech Republic. Species composition of herb layer vegetation and environmental variables were recorded within a fixed grid of 2 × 2 m subplots regularly distributed within 1-ha quadrate plots in three forest stands. For each site, environmental models best explaining species composition were constructed using constrained ordination analysis. Spatial eigenvector mapping was used to model and account for spatial structures in community variation. Mean Ellenberg indicator values calculated for each subplot were used for ecological interpretation of spatially structured residual variation. The amount of variation explained by environmental and spatial models as well as the selection of variables with the best explanatory power differed among sites. As an important environmental factor, relative elevation was common to all three sites, while pH and canopy openness were shared by two sites. Both environmental and community variation was mostly coarse-scaled, as was the spatially structured portion of residual variation. When corrected for bias due to spatial autocorrelation, those environmental factors with already weak explanatory power lost their significance. Only a weak evidence of possibly omitted environmental predictor was found for autocorrelated residuals of site models using mean Ellenberg indicator values. Community structure was determined by different factors at different sites. The relative importance of environmental filtering vs. spatial processes was also site specific, implying that results of fine-scale studies tend to be shaped by local conditions. Contrary to expectations based on other studies, overall dominance of spatial processes at fine scale has not been detected. Ecologists should keep this in mind when making generalizations about community dynamics.

      PubDate: 2017-03-17T10:27:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.02.003
      Issue No: Vol. 80 (2017)
  • Root responses to nitrogen pulse frequency under different nitrogen
    • Authors: Qing-Ye Yuan; Pu Wang; Lu Liu; Bi-Cheng Dong; Fei-Hai Yu
      Pages: 32 - 38
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 80
      Author(s): Qing-Ye Yuan, Pu Wang, Lu Liu, Bi-Cheng Dong, Fei-Hai Yu
      Responses of morphology and biomass allocation of roots to frequency of nitrogen (N) pulse potentially influence the fitness of plants, but such responses may be determined by root size. We grew 12 plant species of three functional groups (grasses, forbs, and legumes) under two N pulse frequencies (high vs. low supply frequency) and two N amounts (high vs. low supply amount). Compared to low-amount N supply, high-amount N supply stimulated biomass accumulation and root growth by either increasing the thickness and length of roots or decreasing the root mass fraction. Compared to low-frequency N supply, high-frequency N supply improved biomass accumulation and root growth in forbs or grasses, but not in legumes. Furthermore, the magnitude of the response to N frequency was significantly negatively correlated with root size at the species scale, but this was only true when the N amount was high. We conclude that root responses to N frequency are related to plant functional types, and non-legume species is more sensitive to N frequency than legume species. Our results also suggest that root size is a determinant of root responses to N frequency when N supply amount is high.

      PubDate: 2017-03-21T20:48:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.03.001
      Issue No: Vol. 80 (2017)
  • Differential endozoochory of aquatic invertebrates by two duck species in
           shallow lakes
    • Authors: Luis Valls; Andreu Castillo-Escrivà; Luis Barrera; Eulalia Gómez; José Antonio Gil-Delgado; Francesc Mesquita-Joanes; Xavier Armengol
      Pages: 39 - 46
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 80
      Author(s): Luis Valls, Andreu Castillo-Escrivà, Luis Barrera, Eulalia Gómez, José Antonio Gil-Delgado, Francesc Mesquita-Joanes, Xavier Armengol
      Animal vectors are essential for the movement of invertebrate resting eggs between water bodies. However, differences in habitat preferences and feeding behaviour between bird species may result in variations in the dispersal of invertebrates via these birds, even if the different bird species live in the same lake. To test such effects, faecal samples from Anas platyrhynchos (collected in autumn and spring) and Tadorna tadorna (collected in spring) were cultured in water at 20° C and 12 L: 12 D conditions in order to quantify the resting eggs which could be internally transported by these birds. One half of each faecal sample was initially cultured at a conductivity of 0.6 mS cm−1 and the other half at 6 mS cm−1. 1054 invertebrates hatched from a total of 60 faecal samples, including cladocerans, copepods, ostracods, rotifers and ciliates, with a wide variability among faeces. Autumn yielded a low proportion of samples with hatchlings (12.5%) compared to spring (90%). Significant differences were observed between birds, but not between conductivity treatments. Thus, our results imply different hatching dynamics affected by disperser and season, but most species transported as resting eggs by birds seem to have a wide tolerance to hatch under variable salinity conditions. These differences may largery influence the metacommunity dynamics of lake networks, and could be a key factor to consider in wetland conservation planning.

      PubDate: 2017-03-28T21:09:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.03.003
      Issue No: Vol. 80 (2017)
  • Temporal changes in native-exotic richness correlations during early
           post-fire succession
    • Authors: Qinfeng Guo
      Pages: 47 - 50
      Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 80
      Author(s): Qinfeng Guo
      The relationship between native and exotic richness has mostly been studied with respect to space (i.e., positive at larger scales, but negative or more variable at smaller scales) and its temporal patterns have rarely been investigated. Although some studies have monitored the temporal trends of both native and exotic richness, how these two groups of species might be related to each other and how their relative proportions vary through time in a local community remains unclear. Re-analysis of early post-fire successional data for a California chaparral community shows that, in the same communities and at small spatial scales, the native-exotic correlations varied through time. Both exotic richness and exotic fraction (i.e., the proportion of exotic species in the flora) quickly increased and then gradually declined, during the initial stages of succession following fire disturbance. This result sheds new light on habitat invasibility and has implications for timing the implementation of effective management actions to prevent and/or mitigate species invasions.

      PubDate: 2017-03-28T21:09:42Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.03.002
      Issue No: Vol. 80 (2017)
  • Local adaptation in oviposition choice of a specialist herbivore: The
           cinnabar moth
    • Authors: Xianqin Wei; Klaas Vrieling; Patrick P.J. Mulder; Peter G.L. Klinkhamer
      Pages: 1 - 7
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 79
      Author(s): Xianqin Wei, Klaas Vrieling, Patrick P.J. Mulder, Peter G.L. Klinkhamer
      Specialist herbivores feed on a restricted number of related plant species and may suffer food shortage if overexploitation leads to periodic defoliation of their food plants. The density, size and quality of food plants are important factors that determine the host plant choice of specialist herbivores. To explore how all these factors influence their oviposition behaviour, we used the cinnabar moth Tyria jacobaeae and the hybrids of a cross between Jacobaea vulgaris and J. aquatica as a study system. While defoliation by the cinnabar moth is common in the coastal area of The Netherlands, it is relatively rare in inland ragwort population. Ragworts contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) and those that are found in coastal areas are rich in jacobine-like PAs while those that occur inland are rich in erucifoline-like PAs. We tested how the oviposition preference was influenced by plant size, nitrogen and water content and PA composition. We used cinnabar moth populations from a regularly defoliated area, Meijendel, and Bertogne, a rarely defoliated area. Our results revealed no effects of nitrogen or water content on oviposition preference. Moths from both populations laid larger egg batches on the plants rich in jacobine-like PAs. Moths from Meijendel preferred larger plants and spread their eggs over more egg batches that were, on average, smaller than those of Bertogne moths. These results suggest that Meijendel moths adopted a oviposition strategy to cope with potential defoliation.

      PubDate: 2017-01-15T18:02:35Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.01.001
      Issue No: Vol. 79 (2017)
  • Changes in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities along a river delta
           island in northeastern Brazil
    • Authors: Iolanda Ramalho da Silva; Danielle Karla Alves da Silva; Francisco Adriano de Souza; Fritz Oehl; Leonor Costa Maia
      Pages: 8 - 17
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 79
      Author(s): Iolanda Ramalho da Silva, Danielle Karla Alves da Silva, Francisco Adriano de Souza, Fritz Oehl, Leonor Costa Maia
      Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play a key role in the maintenance of the balance of terrestrial ecosystems, but little is known about the biogeography of these fungi, especially on tropical islands. This study aims to compare AMF community structure along a transect crossing a fluvial-marine island and relate these communities with soil and vegetation parameters to shed light on the forces driving AMF community structure on a local scale. We tested the hypothesis that the composition of AMF communities changes across the island, even within short distances among sites, in response to differences in edaphic characteristics and vegetation physiognomies. We sampled roots and soils in five different natural and degraded habitats: preserved mangrove forest (MF), degraded mangrove forest (MD), natural Restinga forest (RF), and two regeneration Restinga forests (RR1 and RR2) on Ilha da Restinga, northeastern Brazil. We determined the mycorrhizal colonization rate and AMF community structure based on morphological spore identification. The island soils were sandy with pH varying from acid to neutral; higher levels of organic matter were registered in RF and lower in MF; other chemical and physical soil attributes differed along the habitat types on the island. In total, 22 AMF species were identified, without any difference in species richness. However, the diversity and composition of AMF communities, spore abundance per families, and mycorrhizal colonization were statistically different among the habitats. The composition of AMF communities was strongly related to soil characteristics, especially the sum of exchangeable bases. Our results indicate that the different habitat types have diverse AMF communities even within short distances among habitats. In conclusion, islands with high spatial heterogeneity in soil parameters and diverse vegetation are potential refuges for the diversity conservation of AM fungi.

      PubDate: 2017-01-22T18:21:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.011
      Issue No: Vol. 79 (2017)
  • Settlements as a source for the spread of non-native plants into Central
           European suburban forests
    • Authors: Luca Gaggini; Hans-Peter Rusterholz; Bruno Baur
      Pages: 18 - 25
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 79
      Author(s): Luca Gaggini, Hans-Peter Rusterholz, Bruno Baur
      Urbanization is considered as a major driver for biotic homogenization. Urbanization also promotes the dispersal of non-native species. This study examined the roles of suburban settlements and of the surrounding landscape composition for the spread of non-native plant species into adjacent mixed deciduous forests in Southern and Northwestern Switzerland. The number and abundance of native and non-native vascular plant species in both the ground vegetation and shrub layer were recorded in 15 forest sites situated adjacent to settlements and 15 control sites far from settlements. Various site and landscape characteristics were assessed in the surroundings (100 m radius) of the study sites. In both regions we found a higher number and larger abundance of non-native plant species in forest sites adjacent to settlements than in control forest sites. Furthermore, non-native plants were more frequently recorded close to roads and in sites surrounded by a large percentage cover of garden. All these effects were more pronounced in Southern Switzerland, a region with milder winter climate, than in Northwestern Switzerland. Our study showed that settlements are a source for the spread of non-native plant species into Central European suburban forests, and that the composition of the surrounding landscape matrix (e.g. traffic infrastructure, percentage cover of gardens) also affects the establishment of non-native plants.

      PubDate: 2017-01-22T18:21:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.008
      Issue No: Vol. 79 (2017)
  • Sexual segregation in foraging giraffe
    • Authors: Rosemary Peter Mramba; Obeid Mahenya; Annetjie Siyaya; Karen Marie Mathisen; Harry Peter Andreassen; Christina Skarpe
      Pages: 26 - 35
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 79
      Author(s): Rosemary Peter Mramba, Obeid Mahenya, Annetjie Siyaya, Karen Marie Mathisen, Harry Peter Andreassen, Christina Skarpe
      Sexual segregation in giraffe is known to vary between savannas. In this study, we compared sexual segregation in giraffe in one nutrient-rich savanna, the Serengeti National Park, one nutrient-poor, Mikumi National Park, and one medium rich savanna, Arusha National Park, (from here on referred to just by name) based on effects of sexual size dimorphism and related hypotheses. Data were collected in the wet and dry seasons, by driving road transects and making visual observations of browsing giraffe. Additional data were collected from literature (plant chemistry; mammal communities). There was a noticeable difference in browsing by females and males and in browsing between the three savannas. Females browsed a higher diversity of tree species in Serengeti whereas males browsed a higher diversity in Arusha, while the diversity of species browsed in Mikumi was high and about the same in both sexes. Females selected for high concentrations of nitrogen and low concentrations of tannins and phenolics compared to males in Serengeti but selection in Mikumi was more complex. Males browsed higher in the canopy than females in all sites, but the browsing height was generally higher in Serengeti than Mikumi and Arusha. Season had an effect on the browsing height independent of sex in Mikumi, where giraffes browsed higher in the dry season compared to the wet season. Males spent more time browsing per tree compared to females in all three sites; however, browsing time in Mikumi was also affected by season, where giraffes had longer browsing bouts in the wet season compared to the dry season. We suggest that sexual differences in forage requirement and in foraging interacts with differences in tree chemistry and in competing herbivore communities between nutrient rich and nutrient poor savanna in shaping the sexual segregation.

      PubDate: 2017-01-15T18:02:35Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.007
      Issue No: Vol. 79 (2017)
  • Nuclear DNA contents of Echinchloa crus-galli and its Gaussian
           relationships with environments
    • Authors: Dan-Dan Li; Yong-Liang Lu; Shui-Liang Guo; Li-Ping Yin; Ping Zhou; Yu-Xia Lou
      Pages: 36 - 47
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 79
      Author(s): Dan-Dan Li, Yong-Liang Lu, Shui-Liang Guo, Li-Ping Yin, Ping Zhou, Yu-Xia Lou
      Previous studies on plant nuclear DNA content variation and its relationships with environmental gradients produced conflicting results. We speculated that the relationships between nuclear DNA content of a widely-distributed species and its environmental gradients might be non-linear if it was sampled in a large geographical gradient. Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv. is a worldwide species, but without documents on its intraspecific variation of nuclear DNA content. Our objectives are: 1) to detect intraspecific variation scope of E. crus-galli in its nuclear DNA content, and 2) to testify whether nuclear DNA content of the species changes with environmental gradients following Gaussian models if its populations were sampled in a large geographical gradient. We collected seeds of 36 Chinese populations of E. crus-galli across a wide geographical gradient, and sowed them in a homogeneous field to get their offspring to determine their nuclear DNA content. We analyzed the relationships of nuclear DNA content of these populations with latitude, longitude, and nineteen bioclimatic variables by using Gaussian and linear models. (1) Nuclear DNA content varied from 2.113 to 2.410 pg among 36 Chinese populations of E. crus-galli, with a mean value of 2.256 pg. (2) Gaussian correlations of nuclear DNA content (y) with geographical gradients were detected, with latitude (x) following y = 2.2923 *e − ( x − 24.9360 ) 2 2 * 63.7945 2 (r = 0.546, P < 0.001), and with longitude (x) following y = 2.2933 *e − ( x − 116.1801 ) 2 2 * 44.7450 2 (r = 0.672, P < 0.001). (3) Among the nineteen bioclimatic variables, except temperature isothermality, precipitations of the wettest month, the wettest quarter and the warmest quarter, the others could be better fit with nuclear DNA content by using Gaussian models than by linear models. There exists intra-specific variation among 36 Chinese populations of E. crus-galli, Gaussian models could be applied to fit the correlations of its Nuclear DNA content with geographical and most bioclimatic gradients.

      PubDate: 2017-01-22T18:21:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.01.002
      Issue No: Vol. 79 (2017)
  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community composition associated with
           Juniperus brevifolia in native Azorean forest
    • Authors: Catarina Drumonde Melo; Sara Luna; Claudia Krüger; Christopher Walker; Duarte Mendonça; Henrique M.A.C. Fonseca; Maria Jaizme-Vega; Artur da Câmara Machado
      Pages: 48 - 61
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 79
      Author(s): Catarina Drumonde Melo, Sara Luna, Claudia Krüger, Christopher Walker, Duarte Mendonça, Henrique M.A.C. Fonseca, Maria Jaizme-Vega, Artur da Câmara Machado
      The communities of glomeromycotan fungi (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, AMF) under native Juniperus brevifolia forest from two Azorean islands, Terceira and São Miguel, were compared, mainly by spore morphology, and when possible, by molecular analysis. Thirty-nine morphotypes were detected from 12 genera. Glomeromycotan fungal richness was similar in Terceira and São Miguel, but significantly different among the four fragments of native forest. Spore diversity and community composition differed significantly between the two islands. The less degraded island, Terceira, showed 10 exclusive morphotypes including more rare types, whereas the more disturbed forest on São Miguel showed 13 morphs, mostly of common types. Forests from Terceira were dominated by Acaulosporaceae and Glomeraceae. Whereas members of Acaulosporaceae, Glomeraceae and Ambisporaceae were most frequent and abundant in those from São Miguel. Spore abundance was greatest on Terceira, and correlated with soil chemical properties (pH), average monthly temperature and relative humidity.

      PubDate: 2017-01-22T18:21:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.006
      Issue No: Vol. 79 (2017)
  • A minimum stochastic model evaluating the interplay between population
           density and drift for species coexistence
    • Authors: Rafael Dettogni Guariento; Adriano Caliman
      Pages: 62 - 69
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 79
      Author(s): Rafael Dettogni Guariento, Adriano Caliman
      Despite the general acknowledgment of the role of niche and stochastic process in community dynamics, the role of species relative abundances according to both perspectives may have different effects regarding coexistence patterns. In this study, we explore a minimum probabilistic stochastic model to determine the relationship of populations relative and total abundances with species chances to outcompete each other and their persistence in time (i.e., unstable coexistence). Our model is focused on the effects drift (i.e., random sampling of recruitment) under different scenarios of selection (i.e., fitness differences between species). Our results show that taking into account the stochasticity in demographic properties and conservation of individuals in closed communities (zero-sum assumption), initial population abundance can strongly influence species chances to outcompete each other, despite fitness inequalities between populations, and also, influence the period of coexistence of these species in a particular time interval. Systems carrying capacity can have an important role in species coexistence by exacerbating fitness inequalities and affecting the size of the period of coexistence. Overall, the simple stochastic formulation used in this study demonstrated that populations initial abundances could act as an equalizing mechanism, reducing fitness inequalities, which can favor species coexistence and even make less fitted species to be more likely to outcompete better-fitted species, and thus to dominate ecological communities in the absence of niche mechanisms. Although our model is restricted to a pair of interacting species, and overall conclusions are already predicted by the Neutral Theory of Biodiversity, our main objective was to derive a model that can explicitly show the functional relationship between population densities and community mono-dominance odds. Overall, our study provides a straightforward understanding of how a stochastic process (i.e., drift) may affect the expected outcome based on species selection (i.e., fitness inequalities among species) and the resulting outcome regarding unstable coexistence among species.

      PubDate: 2017-02-04T18:55:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.01.004
      Issue No: Vol. 79 (2017)
  • The role of nurse functional types in seedling recruitment dynamics of
           alternative states in rangelands
    • Authors: Dardo R. López; Laura Cavallero
      Pages: 70 - 80
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 79
      Author(s): Dardo R. López, Laura Cavallero
      In arid ecosystems, recruitment dynamics are limited by harsh environmental conditions and greatly depend on the net outcome of the balance between facilitation and competition. This outcome can change as a consequence of degradation caused by livestock overgrazing. Also, distinct plant species may show a differential response to a common neighbour under the same environmental conditions. Therefore, ecosystem degradation could affect the net balance of plant-plant interactions, which can also depend on the functional traits of potential nurse species. The aim of this study is to assess the influence of alternative degradation states on (i) the density of seedlings of perennial species emerging in four microsite types, and on (ii) the relative interaction intensity (RII) between seedlings and potential nurses belonging to three functional types (deep- and shallow-rooted shrubs, and tussock grasses). During three years, we recorded seedling density of perennial species in four alternative degradation states in grass-shrubby steppes from northwestern Patagonia. The density of emerged seedlings of perennial species decreased sharply as degradation increased, showing non-linear responses in most microsites. Seedling density underneath deep-rooted shrubs was higher than underneath shallow-rooted shrubs and tussock grasses. Also, deep-rooted shrubs were the only functional type that recorded seedling emergence in highly degraded states. Deep-rooted shrubs had facilitative effects on the seedlings emerging and surviving underneath them, independently of ecosystem degradation. In contrast, RII between shallow-rooted shrubs and recently emerged seedlings, switched from positive effects in the less degraded states, to negative effects in the most degraded state. Tussock grasses recorded the weakest intensity of facilitative interactions with recently emerged seedlings, switching to competitive interactions as degradation increased. Our results suggest that species with key functional traits should be considered in management and restoration plans for rangelands with different degradation levels, since they have a strong influence in the net outcome of plant-plant interactions and in the recruitment dynamics of arid ecosystems.

      PubDate: 2017-02-18T07:26:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2017.01.003
      Issue No: Vol. 79 (2017)
  • Scavenging efficiency and red fox abundance in Mediterranean mountains
           with and without vultures
    • Authors: Zebensui Morales-Reyes; José A. Sánchez-Zapata; Esther Sebastián-González; Francisco Botella; Martina Carrete; Marcos Moleón
      Pages: 81 - 88
      Abstract: Publication date: February 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 79
      Author(s): Zebensui Morales-Reyes, José A. Sánchez-Zapata, Esther Sebastián-González, Francisco Botella, Martina Carrete, Marcos Moleón
      Vertebrate scavenging assemblages include two major functional groups: obligate scavengers (i.e., vultures), which depend totally on carrion and are undergoing severe declines around the globe, and facultative scavengers, which exploit carrion opportunistically and are generally ubiquitous. Our goal was to investigate the hypothesis that vultures can indirectly regulate the abundance of mesopredators (i.e., facultative scavengers) through modulating their access to carrion resources. We studied scavenging efficiency and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) abundance in two neighbouring areas of South-eastern Spain where vultures (mainly griffon vultures Gyps fulvus) are present (Cazorla) and absent (Espuña). To do so, we monitored ungulate carcasses consumption during winter and summer, and counted red fox scats along walking transects as a proxy of fox density. Our results confirmed that scavenging efficiency was higher in Cazorla and in carcasses visited by vultures. This resulted in increasing scavenging opportunities for facultative scavengers where vultures were absent. Accordingly, mean red fox abundance was higher in Espuña. These results suggest the existence of a vulture-mediated mesopredator release (i.e., an increase of mesopredator numbers following vulture loss), which could trigger important indirect ecological effects. Also, our study demonstrates that facultative scavengers are hardly able to functionally replace vultures, mainly because the former exploit carrion on a slower time scale.

      PubDate: 2017-02-18T07:26:14Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.012
      Issue No: Vol. 79 (2017)
  • Nest site preferences of the Woodlark (Lullula arborea) and its
           association with artificial nest predation
    • Authors: Roman Buehler; Laura Bosco; Raphaël Arlettaz; Alain Jacot
      Pages: 41 - 46
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): Roman Buehler, Laura Bosco, Raphaël Arlettaz, Alain Jacot
      The Woodlark is an insectivorous bird, which is listed as a priority species in Switzerland. In Valais, a stronghold of this species in the country, the birds breed in intensively managed vineyards and show a preference for parcels with ground vegetation during territory establishment. As a ground-breeder, the species is highly vulnerable to nest predation by avian and mammal predators. The aims of our study were firstly to investigate nest site preferences of the woodlark within vineyards and secondly to compare the predation risk of artificial nests dependent of ground vegetation structure. Our results point out that the Woodlark prefers patches of tall and dense ground cover within vegetated vineyard parcels and avoids parcels that have been treated with herbicides. In a follow-up experiment we conducted a study comparing the predation rate of artificial nests between bare parcels (<20% vegetated area) and vegetated parcels (>40% vegetated area). Artificial nests equipped with one quail egg were distributed pairwise between two adjacent parcels that fulfilled the upper criteria and were monitored by trail cameras during 10–12 days. Predation rate was generally low (4 predation events) and only occurred in bare parcels. These data indicate that conspicuousness of avian nests may be decreased in vegetated parcels and that the amount of vegetation can lower the predation risk on ground breeding birds - another indication for the importance of ground vegetation for a successful conservation of the endangered Woodlark in Swiss vineyards.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T17:34:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.004
      Issue No: Vol. 78 (2017)
  • Nest-niche differentiation in two sympatric columbid species from a
           Mediterranean Tetraclinis woodland: Considerations for forest management
    • Authors: Saâd Hanane; Mohamed Yassin
      Pages: 47 - 52
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): Saâd Hanane, Mohamed Yassin
      Studies of niche partitioning among Columbid species have mainly addressed food habits and foraging activities, while partitioning in relation to nest-niche differentiation has been little studied. Here we investigate whether two sympatric columbid species—Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) and Turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur)—occupy similar niches. A total of 74 nests were monitored: 37 nests for each species. The study, conducted in June 2016, attempted to determine the factors that may play a role in nest-niche differentiation among the two sympatric columbid species in a Moroccan Thuya (Tetraclinis articulata) forest. We used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) to test the relevance of nest placement, proximity of food resources, forest edge and human presence variables in the nest distribution of the two species. The results show substantial niche segregation in the T. articulata nest-trees selected by Woodpigeons and Turtle doves, with selection depending primarily on the tree size and nest height. Observed nest-niche partitioning may diminish the potential for competition between these species and enhance opportunities for their coexistence. Management policies and practices aimed at ensuring the presence of mixed-sized class of Thuya trees must be prioritized. We recommend additional studies designed to: (1) reproduce the same experimental approach on other Mediterranean Thuya forests to improve our understanding of the effects of different levels of anthropogenic disturbance on the breeding behaviour of these two game species; (2) better understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of Woodpigeon and Turtle dove coexistence in the region; and (3) better identify the spatio-temporal extent of the effect of forest management on Woodpigeon and Turtle dove site occupancy.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T17:34:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.003
      Issue No: Vol. 78 (2017)
  • Demography of woody species in a semi-arid African savanna reserve
           following the re-introduction of elephants
    • Authors: Timothy G. O'Connor
      Pages: 61 - 70
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): Timothy G. O'Connor
      The hypothesis that African elephants may cause the local extirpation of selected woody species was evaluated in a medium-sized, semi-arid reserve following their reintroduction at low density. Mortality, state-change, and regeneration of 25 tree and 17 shrub species were studied between 1997 and 2010. Annual mortality of shrub species ranged from 0.2 to 8.0%, with six species experiencing 6–8%. Eight shrub species lost more than half their adult population (range 10–94%). Annual tree mortality ranged from 0.2 to 10.5%. The two dominant dryland tree species experienced <1% annual mortality, 18 species lost more than half their tree population, and one was eliminated. Elephants accounted for >63% and stress-related agents >20% of tree deaths. The manner in which elephants induced tree death depended on species. The proportion of individuals of a species killed by pollarding or uprooting ranged from 0 to 74%, and by debarking from 0 to 100%. Complete uprooting was a common cause of death for three shrub species. Regeneration ranged from zero for six tree and one shrub species to a seedling every 7 m2 for Colophospermum mopane and 23 m2 for Dichrostachys cinerea in riparian habitat. Three shrub and eight tree species were identified as vulnerable to local extirpation owing to a combination of high mortality and poor regeneration that is likely to result in a considerably simplified system. Reintroduction of elephants into medium-sized reserves without regulation of their numbers may not be a desirable action.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T17:34:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.009
      Issue No: Vol. 78 (2017)
  • Habitat-specific AMF symbioses enhance drought tolerance of a native
           Kenyan grass
    • Authors: Renee H. Petipas; Jonathan B. González; Todd M. Palmer; Alison K. Brody
      Pages: 71 - 78
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): Renee H. Petipas, Jonathan B. González, Todd M. Palmer, Alison K. Brody
      The role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in enhancing plant tolerance to drought is well known. However, the degree to which AMF-plant symbioses are locally adapted has been suggested but is less well understood, especially at small spatial scales. Here, we examined the effects of two arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities on drought tolerance of Themeda triandra, a native African perennial bunchgrass. In our study area, mound building activities of Odontotermes sp. termites produce heterogeneous habitat, particularly with respect to water availability, and do so over small spatial scales (<50 m). Thus, plants and their AMF symbionts may experience identical climatic conditions but very different edaphic conditions. We hypothesized that AMF from off-mound areas, where plants experience drought more intensely than on termite mounds, would confer greater protection from drought conditions than AMF from termite mound soils. To test this, we conducted a greenhouse experiment in which we grew plants in soils that we inoculated with fungi from on or off termite mounds, or with a sterilized control inoculum. Our results reveal habitat-specific AMF effects on host stomatal functioning and growth. Contrary to our expectations, drought stressed grasses inoculated with AMF from termite mounds closed stomata less, and produced 60% more leaves than those inoculated with off-mound AMF, thus exhibiting higher levels of tolerance. Mound-inoculated plants that were drought stressed also produced more than twice as many leaves as non-inoculated plants. Longer-term productivity measurements indicate both on- and off-mound inoculated plants were able to recover to a greater extent than non-inoculated plants, indicating that AMF associations in general help plants recover from drought. These findings highlight the important role that AMF play in mitigating drought stress and indicate that AMF affect how plants experience drought in a small scale, habitat-specific manner.

      PubDate: 2017-01-15T18:02:35Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.005
      Issue No: Vol. 78 (2017)
  • Inside Front Cover - Editorial Board Page/Cover image legend if applicable
    • Abstract: Publication date: April 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 80

      PubDate: 2017-04-12T10:55:53Z
  • The importance of traditional orchards for breeding birds: The preliminary
           study on Central European example
    • Authors: Kajtoch
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): Łukasz Kajtoch
      Orchards are parts of agriculture and apart from their economic role they may preserve biodiversity in highly transformed farmlands. An increasing intensity of orchards management is known to be threat for some species, especially pollinators and birds. On the other hand, the biodiversity of abandoned orchards was hardly investigated. Here, I present a survey of orchards in Poland to estimate how bird's diversities differ in response to the intensity of orchards management. In 2014, 66 orchards of three types – abandoned, extensively and intensively managed – were investigated. Bird species' richness and abundance were found to be highest in abandoned orchards but overall bird diversity and species composition in abandoned did not differ from these found in extensively managed orchards. In abandoned and extensively managed orchards, hollow-dwellers and insectivores (with some rare old-forest associated species) dominated, whereas in intensively managed orchards the most diverse were ground-dwellers. Among the several selected environmental features, the highest impact on bird diversity was related to the tree diversity, abundance of older trees, presence of multilayer understory and heterogeneous surrounding. The preliminary study point that traditional orchards could play a important role for wood-dwelling species in agriculture and because of that the removal or replacement of all traditional orchards by intensively managed orchards should be avoided and needs of orchard protection should be implemented into Agri-Environmental Schemes/High Nature Value farming systems and possibly also into habitat directive of EU. Unfortunately, the number of abandoned and extensively managed orchards is declining from agricultural landscapes, and traditional orchards are replaced by conventional fruit plantations.

      PubDate: 2017-01-06T17:34:05Z
  • Plant pathogens but not antagonists change in soil fungal communities
           across a land abandonment gradient in a Mediterranean landscape
    • Authors: L. Bosso; F. Lacatena; R. Varlese; S. Nocerino; G. Cristinzio; D. Russo
      Pages: 1 - 6
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): L. Bosso, F. Lacatena, R. Varlese, S. Nocerino, G. Cristinzio, D. Russo
      We assessed whether the presence and abundance of plant pathogens and antagonists change in soil fungal communities along a land abandonment gradient. The study was carried out in the Cilento area (Southern Italy) at a site with three different habitats found along a land abandonment gradient: agricultural land, Mediterranean shrubland and woodland. For all microbiological substrates the colony forming units were about 3.1 × 106 g−1 soil for agricultural land and about 1.1 × 106 g−1 soil for Mediterranean shrubland and woodland. We found the following genera in all habitats: Cladosporium, Mortierella, Penicillium and Trichoderma. In agricultural land, the significantly most abundant fungus genera were Aspergillus, Fusarium, Cylindrocarpon and Nectria; in Mediterranean shrubland, Rhizopus and Trichoderma; and in woodland, Bionectria, Mortierella, Cladosporium, Diplodia, Paecilomyces, Penicillium and Trichoderma. We found a total of 8, 8 and 9 species of fungal antagonist, and 16, 6 and 6 species of fungal plant pathogens in agricultural land, Mediterranean shrubland and woodland respectively. Fungal plant pathogens decreased significantly over a land abandonment gradient, while we no found significant differences among fungal antagonists in the three habitats. We conclude that a decrease in the number of fungal pathogen species occurs when formerly cultivated areas are abandoned. On the other hand, fungal antagonists seem not to be affected by this process.

      PubDate: 2016-12-05T19:18:07Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.11.002
      Issue No: Vol. 78 (2016)
  • Towards biodiversity hotspots effective for conserving mammals with small
           geographic ranges
    • Authors: Rodolfo Carrara; Germán San Blas; Federico Agrain; Sergio Roig-Juñent
      Pages: 7 - 14
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): Rodolfo Carrara, Germán San Blas, Federico Agrain, Sergio Roig-Juñent
      The main goal of using global biodiversity hotspots for conservation purposes is to protect taxa with small geographic ranges because these are highly vulnerable to extinction. However, the extent to what different hotspots types are effective for meeting this goal remains controversial because hotspots have been previously defined as either the richest or most threatened and richest sites in terms of total, endemic or threatened species. In this regard, the use of species richness to set conservation priorities is widely discussed because strategies focused on this diversity measure tend to miss many of the taxa with small geographic ranges. Here we use data on global terrestrial mammal distributions to show that, hotspots of total species, endemism and threat defined in terms of species richness are effective in including 27%, 29% and 11% respectively, of the taxa with small geographic ranges. Whilst, the same hotspot types defined in terms of a simple diversity index, which is a function of species richness and range-size rarity, include 68%, 44% and 90% respectively, of these taxa. In addition, we demonstrate that index hotspot types are highly efficient because they conserve 79% of mammal species (21% more species than richness hotspot types), with 59% of species shared by three hotspot types (31% more than richness hotspot types). These results suggest that selection of different diversity measures to define hotspots may strongly affect the achievement of conservation goals.

      PubDate: 2016-12-12T10:26:56Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.11.001
      Issue No: Vol. 78 (2016)
  • Intra- and interspecific interactions of Scots pine and European beech in
           mixed secondary forests
    • Authors: Yousef Erfanifard; Krzysztof Stereńczak
      Pages: 15 - 25
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): Yousef Erfanifard, Krzysztof Stereńczak
      By the mid successional stages, secondary forests of Scots pine in Europe are dominated by mixed stands of pioneer Scots pine and late-successional European beech. The objective of this study was to explore the interactions of pine and beech with their conspecific and heterospecific neighbours in these forests. To accomplish the objective, pine and beech trees were stem-mapped in forty 500 m2 plots randomly located within 18 mixed stands in Milomlyn Forest District, northern Poland. The interactions within and between the species were analysed through two structurally different univariate and bivariate second-order summary statistics, i.e. pair correlation function g(r) and mark correlation function k mm (r). Field measurements showed that the overstorey was dominated by even-aged pine, whereas uneven-aged beech was the only species in the understorey. Pine trees presented an aggregation, while beech trees exhibited a dispersed structure in all stands. In addition, pine trees showed strong attraction to beech trees at small spatial scales (0–2 m). Negative correlation was found between tree height and diameter at breast height of beech, while there was no correlation between height and diameter of pine trees. We conclude that pine trees exhibit negative intraspecific interactions at small spatial scales that are mostly driven by their competitive interactions. Beech trees show strong positive intraspecific interactions and form clumps within pine canopy cover. The strong positive interspecific interactions of pine and beech are the outcome of their different shade tolerance. Our results help to explain successful coexistence of pine and beech in the study site and highlight detailed tree-tree interactions of the species in mixed stands.

      PubDate: 2016-12-19T11:11:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.002
      Issue No: Vol. 78 (2016)
  • Variation in the effects of burial in different peatland successional
           stages on seed survival of four wetland species
    • Authors: Chika Egawa
      Pages: 26 - 33
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): Chika Egawa
      The availability of viable seeds in soil helps to determine the success of ecological restoration in disturbed habitats. Although seed survival in soil generally increases with an increase in burial depth, whether the effects of burial on seed survival are comparable across different sites is unclear. In this study, I tested the hypothesis that the positive effects of burial on seed survival decrease as vegetation develops through succession. Four wetland species, Drosera rotundifolia, Lobelia sessilifolia, Rhynchospora alba and Moliniopsis japonica, were used for the study. The four species differ in their light requirement for germination; i.e., D. rotundifolia, L. sessilifolia and R. alba germinate best in light, whereas M. japonica germinates equally well in light and darkness. The seeds of these species were buried for two years at three depths (litter, 0 and 4 cm) in three successional stages with different amounts of vegetation and litter in a post-mined peatland. The photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and temperature at each of litter layer, 0 cm and 4 cm depths were measured for each successional stage. The between-depth differences in PAR and temperature fluctuations decreased as succession progressed. For the three light-demanding species, burial promoted seed survival more in the initial successional stage than in the later successional stages, whereas for M. japonica, burial promoted seed survival equally in all successional stages. This study revealed significant variation in the effects of burial on seed survival, particularly for light-sensitive seeds, and that the soil surface layers in vegetated sites can contain persistent seeds, which could be used as a seed source in restoration.

      PubDate: 2016-12-19T11:11:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.12.001
      Issue No: Vol. 78 (2016)
  • Bryophyte spore germinability is inhibited by peatland substrates
    • Authors: Zhao-Jun Bu; Zhi Li; Li-Jie Liu; Sebastian Sundberg; Ya-Min Feng; Yun-He Yang; Shuang Liu; Xue Song; Xing-Lin Zhang
      Pages: 34 - 40
      Abstract: Publication date: January 2017
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 78
      Author(s): Zhao-Jun Bu, Zhi Li, Li-Jie Liu, Sebastian Sundberg, Ya-Min Feng, Yun-He Yang, Shuang Liu, Xue Song, Xing-Lin Zhang
      Bryophyte substrates and species may affect spore germination through allelopathy. Polytrichum strictum is currently expanding in peatlands in north-eastern China – is this an effect of its superior spore germinability or do its gametophytes have a stronger allelopathic effect than do Sphagnum? We conducted a spore burial experiment to test the effect of species identity, substrate and water table depth (WTD) on spore germinability and bryophyte allelopathic effect with P. strictum and two Sphagnum species (S. palustre and S. magellanicum). After 5 months of burial during a growing season, the spores were tested for germinability. Allelopathic effect of bryophyte substrates was assessed by the difference between spore germinability after being stored inside or outside the substrates. After burial, more than 90% of the spores lost their germinability across all three species due to ageing and allelopathy. Spore germinability differed among species, where the spores in S. palustre had a higher germination frequency than those in P. strictum. The three bryophytes maintained a higher germinability in Sphagnum than in Polytrichum hummocks, probably due to a stronger allelopathic effect of P. strictum. Water table drawdown by 10 cm increased germinability by more than 60% across the three species. The study indicates that P. strictum does not possess an advantage regarding spore germination but rather its gametophytes have a stronger allelopathic effect. Due to the weaker inhibitive effect of Sphagnum gametophytes, P. strictum may have a potential establishment superiority over Sphagnum in peatlands, in addition to a better drought tolerance, which may explain its current expansion.

      PubDate: 2016-12-19T11:11:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.11.003
      Issue No: Vol. 78 (2016)
  • Positive responses of coastal dune plants to soil conditioning by the
           invasive Lupinus nootkatensis
    • Authors: Hans Martin Hanslin; Johannes Kollmann
      Pages: 1 - 9
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Hans Martin Hanslin, Johannes Kollmann
      Invasive nitrogen-fixing plants drive vegetation dynamics and may cause irreversible changes in nutrient-limited ecosystems through increased soil resources. We studied how soil conditioning by the invasive alien Lupinus nootkatensis affected the seedling growth of co-occurring native plant species in coastal dunes, and whether responses to lupin-conditioned soil could be explained by fertilisation effects interacting with specific ecological strategies of the native dune species. Seedling performance of dune species was compared in a greenhouse experiment using field-collected soil from within or outside coastal lupin stands. In associated experiments, we quantified the response to nutrient supply of each species and tested how addition of specific nutrients affected growth of the native grass Festuca arundinacea in control and lupin-conditioned soil. We found that lupin-conditioned soil increased seedling biomass in 30 out of 32 native species; the conditioned soil also had a positive effect on seedling biomass of the invasive lupin itself. Increased phosphorus mobilisation by lupins was the major factor driving these positive seedling responses, based both on growth responses to addition of specific elements and analyses of plant available soil nutrients. There were large differences in growth responses to lupin-conditioned soil among species, but they were unrelated to selected autecological indicators or plant strategies. We conclude that Lupinus nootkatensis removes the phosphorus limitation for growth of native plants in coastal dunes, and that it increases cycling of other nutrients, promoting the growth of its own seedlings and a wide range of dune species. Finally, our study indicates that there are no negative soil legacies that prevent re-establishment of native plant species after removal of lupins.

      PubDate: 2016-09-08T01:43:09Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.08.007
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Testing ecological interactions between Gnomoniopsis castaneae and
           Dryocosmus kuriphilus
    • Authors: Guglielmo Lione; Luana Giordano; Chiara Ferracini; Alberto Alma; Paolo Gonthier
      Pages: 10 - 17
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Guglielmo Lione, Luana Giordano, Chiara Ferracini, Alberto Alma, Paolo Gonthier
      An emerging nut rot of chestnut caused by the fungus Gnomoniopsis castaneae was reported soon after the invasion of the exotic gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus in Italy. The goal of this work was to assess the association between the spread of the fungal pathogen and the infestation of the pest by testing if: I) viable inoculum of G. castaneae can be carried by adults of D. kuriphilus; II) the fungal colonization is related to the number of adults inhabiting the galls; III) the fungal colonization of chestnut buds and the oviposition are associated. Fungal isolations and PCR-based molecular assays were performed on 323 chestnut galls and on their emerging D. kuriphilus adults, whose number was compared between galls colonized and not colonized by G. castaneae. To test the association between fungal colonization and oviposition, Monte Carlo simulations assuming different scenarios of ecological interactions were carried out and validated through isolation trials performed on 597 and 688 chestnut buds collected before and after oviposition, respectively. Although DNA of G. castaneae was detected in a sample of 40% of the adults developed in colonized galls, the fungus could never be isolated from insects, suggesting that the pest is an unlikely vector of viable inoculum. On average, the emerging adults were significantly more abundant from galls colonized by G. castaneae than from not colonized ones (3.76 vs. 2.54, P < 0.05), indicating a possible fungus/pest synergy. The simulations implying no interaction between G. castaneae and D. kuriphilus after fungal colonization were confirmed as the most likely. In fact, G. castaneae was present in 33.8% of the buds before oviposition, while no association was detected between fungal colonization and oviposition (odds ratio 0.98, 0.71–1.33 95% CI). These findings suggest that the fungus/pest synergy is asymmetrically favorable to the pest and occurs after oviposition.

      PubDate: 2016-09-08T01:43:09Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.08.008
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Non-random co-occurrence of native and exotic plant species in
           Mediterranean grasslands
    • Authors: José M. de Miguel; Irene Martín-Forés; Belén Acosta-Gallo; Alejandro del Pozo; Carlos Ovalle; Laura Sánchez-Jardón; Isabel Castro; Miguel A. Casado
      Pages: 18 - 26
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): José M. de Miguel, Irene Martín-Forés, Belén Acosta-Gallo, Alejandro del Pozo, Carlos Ovalle, Laura Sánchez-Jardón, Isabel Castro, Miguel A. Casado
      Invasion by exotic species in Mediterranean grasslands has determined assembly patterns of native and introduced species, knowledge of which provides information on the ecological processes underlying these novel communities. We considered grasslands from Spain and Chile. For each country we considered the whole grassland community and we split species into two subsets: in Chile, species were classified as natives or colonizers (i.e. exotics); in Spain, species were classified as exclusives (present in Spain but not in Chile) or colonizers (Spanish natives and exotics into Chile). We used null models and co-occurrence indices calculated in each country for each one of 15 sites distributed along a precipitation gradient and subjected to similar silvopastoral exploitation. We compared values of species co-occurrence between countries and between species subsets (natives/colonizers in Chile; exclusives/colonizers in Spain) within each country and we characterised them according to climatic variables. We hypothesized that: a) the different coexistence time of the species in both regions should give rise to communities presenting a spatial pattern further from random in Spain than in Chile, b) the co-occurrence patterns in the grasslands are affected by mesoclimatic factors in both regions. The patterns of co-occurrence are similar in Spain and Chile, mostly showing a spatial pattern more segregated than expected by random. The colonizer species are more segregated in Spain than in Chile, possibly determined by the longer residence time of the species in the source area than in the invaded one. The segregation of species in Chile is related to water availability, being species less segregated in habitat with greater water deficit; in Spain no relationship with climatic variables was found. After an invasion process, our results suggest that the possible process of alteration of the original Chilean communities has not prevented the assembly between the native and colonizer species together.

      PubDate: 2016-09-14T01:58:13Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.08.011
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Effect of grazing on vegetation and soil of the heuweltjieveld in the
           Succulent Karoo, South Africa
    • Authors: Ute Schmiedel; Inga Ute Röwer; Jona Luther-Mosebach; Jürgen Dengler; Jens Oldeland; Alexander Gröngröft
      Pages: 27 - 36
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Ute Schmiedel, Inga Ute Röwer, Jona Luther-Mosebach, Jürgen Dengler, Jens Oldeland, Alexander Gröngröft
      We asked how historical and recent grazing intensity affect the patchy landscape of the heuweltjieveld in the semi-arid biodiversity hotspot Succulent Karoo. The study was carried out on a communal farmland 80 km south-west of Springbok, in Namaqualand. Heuweltjies are roughly circular earth mounds that are regularly distributed in this landscape. We sampled plant species and life-form composition, diversity measures, habitat and soil variables in 100 m2 plots, placed in three visually distinguishable heuweltjie zones (centre, fringe, and matrix) and distributed across grazing camps with different recent and historic grazing intensities. Differences between heuweltjie zones were assessed with ANOVAs and multiple linear regressions. The effect of past and recent grazing intensity on soil and plant variables was analysed by Generalized Linear Models for each heuweltjie zone separately. The three zones constituted clearly distinguishable units in terms of vegetation and soil characteristics. Soil pH and cover of annual plants increased from matrix to centres, while total vegetation cover, species richness and perennial plant cover decreased in the same direction. Historic (pre-2000) grazing patterns had the strongest effects on fringes, showing the strongest soil and vegetation-related signs of overutilization with increased stocking density. Centres showed signs of overutilization irrespective of the stocking density. The much shorter exposure to recent grazing pattern (post-2000), which was nearly inverse to the historic grazing pattern, showed increase of vegetation cover (centres) and species richness (matrix) with recent grazing intensity. We interpret these effects as still visible responses of the lower grazing intensity in these camps during the historic period. No recovery under recent grazing was observed at any of the zones. We conclude that irrespective of their conducive growing conditions, once transformed to a disturbed state, heuweltjie centres recover slowly, whereas the less impacted soil and vegetation of fringes are more responsive than centres and matrix.

      PubDate: 2016-09-14T01:58:13Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.08.012
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Seedling growth of a native (Ampelodesmos mauritanicus) and an exotic
           (Pennisetum setaceum) grass
    • Authors: Emilio Badalamenti; Marcello Militello; Tommaso La Mantia; Giovanni Gugliuzza
      Pages: 37 - 42
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Emilio Badalamenti, Marcello Militello, Tommaso La Mantia, Giovanni Gugliuzza
      Scarce information is available on the biological reasons why a small subset of introduced species can effectively establish within novel ecosystems. A comparison of early growth traits can help to explain the better performance of alien invasive species versus native co-occurring species. In one year-long experiment, we compared the early life stages of Ampelodesmos mauritanicus (Poir.) Dur. & Schinz (Amp), a native perennial Mediterranean grass, and Pennisetum setaceum (Forssk.) Chiov (Penn), an emerging invader grass in sub-arid and Mediterranean-climate areas. The Penn seedlings grew significantly faster and were approximately 2.5 times taller than the Amp seedlings, reaching a final average height of 90 cm. The shoot and root dry masses of the Penn seedlings were, respectively, more than 14 times and 4 times higher than those of the Amp seedlings. As a consequence, the shoot:root ratio was significantly higher in Penn, which resulted in a greater allocation of resources to the photosynthetic organs. Penn showed a more rapid life cycle compared with Amp. Penn produced seeds 9 months after sowing while no spikelet was produced by Amp until the end of the experiment. As a consequence, Penn may gain a reproductive advantage due to rapid seed dissemination. Ultimately, a suite of peculiar early growth traits makes Penn an aggressive competitor against Amp, which is an important floristic element of native Mediterranean grasslands. Penn seems better suited than Amp in colonizing frequently disturbed sites with fluctuating resource availability or irregular rainfall distribution and Penn is gradually replacing Amp.

      PubDate: 2016-09-14T01:58:13Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.08.013
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Successional colonization of temporary streams: An experimental approach
           using aquatic insects
    • Authors: Bruno Spacek Godoy; Luciano Lopes Queiroz; Sara Lodi; Jhonathan Diego Nascimento de Jesus; Leandro Gonçalves Oliveira
      Pages: 43 - 49
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Bruno Spacek Godoy, Luciano Lopes Queiroz, Sara Lodi, Jhonathan Diego Nascimento de Jesus, Leandro Gonçalves Oliveira
      The metacommunity concept studies the processes that structure communities on local and regional scales. This concept is useful to assess spatial variability. However, temporal patterns (e.g., ecological succession and colonization) are neglected in metacommunity studies, since such patterns require temporally extensive, and hard to execute studies. We used experimental habitats in temporary streams located within the Brazilian Cerrado to evaluate the importance of succession for the aquatic insect metacommunity. Five artificial habitats consisting of wrapped crushed rock were set transversally to the water flow in five streams. The habitats were sampled weekly to assess community composition, and replaced after sampling to identify new potential colonizers. We analyzed the accumulation of new colonizers after each week using a logistic model. We selected pairs of experimental habitats and estimated the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity index to assess the community composition trajectory during the experiment. We used the dissimilarity values in ANOVA tests, identifying the importance of time and space for the community. The number of new taxa stabilized in the third week, and we estimated a weekly increase of 1.61 new taxa in the community after stabilization. The overall pattern was a small change on community composition, but one stream had a higher weekly turnover. Our results showed a relevant influence of time in the initial communities of aquatic insects of temporary streams. However, we must observe the temporal pattern in a spatial context, once different streams have different successional history regarding number of taxa and community turnover. We highlight the importance of aerial dispersal and movement to seek oviposition sites as an important factor in determining colonization patterns.

      PubDate: 2016-09-21T15:39:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.08.010
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Is polychaete family-level sufficient to assess impact on tropical
           estuarine gradients?
    • Authors: Climélia Nóbrega-Silva; Joana Patrício; João Carlos Marques; Monalisa dos Santos Olímpio; Jéssica Natyelle Barros Farias; Joseline Molozzi
      Pages: 50 - 58
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Climélia Nóbrega-Silva, Joana Patrício, João Carlos Marques, Monalisa dos Santos Olímpio, Jéssica Natyelle Barros Farias, Joseline Molozzi
      Regular, robust monitoring programs set up to assess the environmental conditions of aquatic systems often target different biological groups. And, of these, macroinvertebrate communities and particularly the class Polychaeta are frequently used. Identifying these organisms takes time, money and specialized expertise to ensure correct identification to the lowest possible taxonomic level. Identification errors can lead to an erroneous assessment. The concept of taxonomic sufficiency has been proposed both to minimize errors and to save time and money. This study tested the usefulness of this concept in tropical estuaries in northeast Brazil. We selected two transitional systems with different degrees of human impact due to different land uses and different conservation systems: the Mamanguape estuary, which is in an environmental conservation unit for sustainable use, and the highly impacted, urban Paraíba do Norte estuary. The results clearly showed that nutrient concentrations were markedly higher in the Paraíba do Norte estuary in the dry season and that the composition of the polychaete assemblages differed between the two estuaries as well as along the spatial gradient of each estuary. The use of either genus or family level led to equivalent representation in each system in terms of taxon richness and both the Margalef and Shannon-Wiener diversity indices. Both taxonomic levels described similar changes in the polychaete assemblage along the estuarine gradients. Based on our findings, the use of a coarser taxonomic level (i.e., family) is a good option when the aim is to implement a monitoring program in tropical estuaries with the polychaete assemblages as one of the target groups. This time-efficient taxonomic resolution can help improve sampling designs and allow long-term monitoring studies without losing much vital information.

      PubDate: 2016-09-21T15:39:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.08.009
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Tolerance and resistance of invasive and native Eupatorium species to
           generalist herbivore insects
    • Authors: Rui-Fang Wang; Yu-Long Feng
      Pages: 59 - 66
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Rui-Fang Wang, Yu-Long Feng
      Invasive plants are exotic species that escape control by native specialist enemies. However, exotic plants may still be attacked by locally occurring generalist enemies, which can influence the dynamics of biological invasions. If invasive plants have greater defensive (resistance and tolerance) capabilities than indigenous plants, they may experience less damage from native herbivores. In the present study, we tested this prediction using the invasive plant Eupatorium adenophorum and two native congeners under simulated defoliation and generalist herbivore insect (Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera litura) treatments. E. adenophorum was less susceptible and compensated more quickly to damages in biomass production from both treatments compared to its two congeners, exhibiting greater herbivore tolerance. This strong tolerance to damage was associated with greater resource allocation to aboveground structures, leading to a higher leaf area ratio and a lower root: crown mass ratio than those of its native congeners. E. adenophorum also displayed a higher resistance index (which integrates acid detergent fiber, nitrogen content, carbon/nitrogen ratio, leaf mass per area, toughness, and trichome density) than its two congeners. Thus, H. armigera and S. litura performed poorly on E. adenophorum, with less leaf damage, a lengthened insect developmental duration, and decreased pupating: molting ratios compared to those of the native congeners. Strong tolerance and resistance traits may facilitate the successful invasion of E. adenophorum in China and may decrease the efficacy of leaf-feeding biocontrol agents. Our results highlight both the need for further research on defensive traits and their role in the invasiveness and biological control of exotic plants, and suggest that biocontrol of E. adenophorum in China would require damage to the plant far in excess of current levels.

      PubDate: 2016-09-21T15:39:36Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.09.001
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Natural selection on plant physiological traits in an urban environment
    • Authors: Susan C. Lambrecht; Stephanie Mahieu; Pierre-Olivier Cheptou
      Pages: 67 - 74
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Susan C. Lambrecht, Stephanie Mahieu, Pierre-Olivier Cheptou
      Current rates of urbanization are creating new opportunities for studying urban plant ecology, but our knowledge of urban plant physiology lags behind that of other ecosystems. Moreover, higher temperatures, elevated CO2, and increased inorganic nitrogen deposition along with altered moisture regimes of urban as compared to rural areas creates a compelling analog for studying adaptations of plants to climate change. We grew plants under common conditions in a greenhouse to determine whether populations of Crepis sancta (Asteraceae) differed in phenological, morphological, and physiological traits. We also used a field experiment to test for natural selection on these traits in urban Montpellier, France. Urban plants flowered and senesced later than rural plants, and natural selection favored later phenology in the urban habitat. Natural selection also favored larger plants with more leaves, and increased photosynthesis and leaf nitrogen concentration. Ours is the first study to document selection on plant functional traits in an urban habitat and, as such, advances our understanding of urban plant ecology and possible adaptations to climate change.

      PubDate: 2016-09-26T15:47:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.09.002
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Restriction limits and main drivers of fruit production in palm in central
    • Authors: Cintia Freitas; Flávia R.C. Costa; Carlos Eduardo Barbosa; Renato Cintra
      Pages: 75 - 84
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Cintia Freitas, Flávia R.C. Costa, Carlos Eduardo Barbosa, Renato Cintra
      Adult plants incapable of producing viable offspring inflate our perception of the size of population distribution. We propose that species occurrence is limited to a subset of the environmental gradient and that it changes as ontogenetic development progresses. Moreover, fruit production is associated with site-specific environmental conditions. We sampled 2988 adult individuals from nine palm species in 30 plots (40 × 250 m) and used a larger data set including 42 other plots distributed along a continuous topo-edaphic gradient in a terra firme forest near Manaus, Brazil. Five out of nine palm species were more restricted to a sub-section of the topo-edaphic gradient in the adult-size phase. More specifically, reproductive individuals of species Attalea attaleoides and A. microcarpa had even more restricted distributions than adult-sized, non-reproductive plants. Successive environmental filtering and competition probably acting through selective mortality led to increasing habitat restriction, with reproductive adults being restricted to a smaller part of the region than juveniles and adults. Water availability and nutrients limited both the ability to produce fruits and the amount of fruit production. Previous studies have reported stronger habitat associations for older plants than for seedlings or juveniles, but we show here that some species are more restricted at their reproductive stage. Plant specializations to local conditions may be more common than currently acknowledged, and a significant portion of individuals in a population might represent sinks. Such strong environmental limitations of reproductive plants should also be considered in management of species with economic value and in conservation planning.

      PubDate: 2016-09-26T15:47:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.09.003
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Weed communities of rain-fed lowland rice vary with infestation by
           Rhamphicarpa fistulosa
    • Authors: Tossimidé Houngbédji; Fabrice Dessaint; Bernard Nicolardot; Jacqui A. Shykoff; Stéphanie Gibot-Leclerc
      Pages: 85 - 90
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Tossimidé Houngbédji, Fabrice Dessaint, Bernard Nicolardot, Jacqui A. Shykoff, Stéphanie Gibot-Leclerc
      The facultative hemiparasitic plant Rhamphicarpa fistulosa (Orobanchaceae) thrives in seasonally wet soils in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly in marginal lowland rice growing environments where weeds are already a major constraint for rice production. Because lowland rice production is increasing in tropical Africa, it is important to ascertain the influence of R. fistulosa on weed plant communities in these rice-growing habitats. We investigated weed plant community richness and composition at four different levels of R. fistulosa infestation across two years of surveys from lowland rice fields in northern Togo (West Africa). Despite a lack of significant differences in community richness among sites with different R. fistulosa infestation levels, there were significant differences in community composition, both when estimated from presence-absence data and from relative abundance data, after controlling statistically for geographic proximity among sites. Rhamphicarpa fistulosa infestation, therefore, may influence the competitive balance between rice and its weeds and shape weed community structure. However, experimental studies are required to elucidate the weed host range of R. fistulosa and the direct and indirect effects of this hemiparasite in rice fields in order to predict its net impact on rice and its weed species.

      PubDate: 2016-10-10T10:28:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.09.004
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Population structure and fruit production of Pyrus bourgaeana D. are
           affected by land-use
    • Authors: Salvador Arenas-Castro; Juan Fernández-Haeger; Diego Jordano-Barbudo
      Pages: 91 - 99
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Salvador Arenas-Castro, Juan Fernández-Haeger, Diego Jordano-Barbudo
      The Iberian wild pear (Pyrus bourgaeana D.) is a rare, fleshy-fruited tree restricted to dehesas and evergreen sclerophyllous Mediterranean forests in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula. It produces palatable fruits and leaves attractive to different species groups, playing an important trophic role in the ecological networks of Mediterranean ecosystems. However, the intensification in the traditional land-use linked to these areas could threaten the stability of the wild pear populations in the short/medium-term. In order to determine the population dynamics of this relevant species in relation to the land-use history, we selected two populations (southern Spain) subjected to different land-use management, dehesa (D) and abandoned olive grove (AOG). An analysis of 122 adult trees reported an overall density of 0.6 trees ha−1. The tree age was estimated by tree-rings analysis in all adult trees. Dendrometric parameters, reproductive features, and germination rates were also measured. Regeneration was clearly biased, as evidenced by the truncated age structure. A low correlation (R2 = 34%) between age and DBH (diameter at breast height) (244 cores analysed) showed that diameter seems not to be a reliable predictor of tree age. Trees from AOG populations had significantly-higher values of DBH, height and crown diameter, but were less productive in terms of fruits and seeds. Nested analysis of variance showed significant variation in fruit production, fruit size, dry mass, water content and seed viability. There were also significant differences in masting. No evidence was found to demonstrate that fruit production, seed viability, or germination rate influence the low natural recruitment of this species. These findings indicate that the traditional agrosilvopastoral practices carried out in the study area for decades, and its subsequent intensification, have strongly influenced the ecological structure of the Iberian wild pear populations at the local scale, which could compromise its stability in the near future.

      PubDate: 2016-10-10T10:28:40Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.10.001
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Soil conditions moderate the effects of herbivores, but not mycorrhizae,
           on a native bunchgrass
    • Authors: Brian M. Connolly; John L. Orrock; Martha S. Witter
      Pages: 100 - 108
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Brian M. Connolly, John L. Orrock, Martha S. Witter
      Herbivores, microbial mutualists, and soil nutrients can affect plant survival, growth, and reproduction, demographic parameters that are essential to plant restoration. In this study we ask: 1) whether native plants that form early associations with mycorrhizal fungi are more tolerant of mammalian grazers, and 2) how early plant associations with mycorrhizal fungi influence mammalian grazing across gradients in soil nutrients. In eight grassland sites in California (USA), we transplanted seedlings of a native bunchgrass, Stipa pulchra, that were or were not pretreated with mycorrhizal fungi in exclosures designed to exclude different guilds of vertebrate grazers. Pretreated plants had greater establishment eight months after transplantation than untreated plants. Mycorrhizal inoculation resulted in twofold greater biomass and fourfold greater seed production when plants were protected from herbivores; inoculation with mycorrhizae resulted in twofold greater biomass and seed production when plants were accessible by all herbivores. Soil phosphate and potassium concentrations influenced herbivory: vertebrate grazing had less effect on transplant biomass and seed production at sites with high phosphate – low potassium soils, but the effects of grazing were more severe in low phosphate – high potassium soils. Pretreatment with mycorrhizal fungi can result in greater survival, growth, and reproduction of transplanted seedlings of native bunchgrass S. pulchra. Our results also illustrate that soil conditions may influence the extent to which the vertebrate herbivore community limits restoration of S. pulchra: the effects of some small mammalian herbivores (e.g., voles) was little affected by soil conditions, but grazing by larger herbivores had a greater effect on S. pulchra performance at sites with low phosphate – high potassium soils. In helping identify the contribution of soil nutrients, herbivores, and mycorrhizae to establishment and performance, our work has implications for the restoration of a species that is likely a fundamental component of pristine California grassland ecosystems.

      PubDate: 2016-10-16T11:02:48Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.09.005
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Climate affects the structure of mixed rain forest in southern sector of
           Atlantic domain in Brazil
    • Authors: Lucia Sevegnani; Alexandre Uhlmann; André Luís de Gasper; Leila Meyer; Alexander Christian Vibrans
      Pages: 109 - 117
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Lucia Sevegnani, Alexandre Uhlmann, André Luís de Gasper, Leila Meyer, Alexander Christian Vibrans
      This study aimed to analyze the influence of environmental factors in determining the variation in forest structure. We obtained the data through sampling units placed regularly in a grid of 10 km × 10 km in the state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. The axes of Detendred Correspondence Analysis summarized the vegetation structure and we used these as response variables in ordinary least square models, and environmental variables as predictors. Moran Eigenvector Maps were used as spatial predictors, enabling the variance partitioning. The results revealed influence of climatic factors, especially thermal and rainfall in determining the vegetation structure. The physical geography (high plateaus) and positioning below the Tropic of Capricorn line are the main static elements influencing the climate and therefore the vegetation.

      PubDate: 2016-10-16T11:02:48Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.10.002
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Ecotype-specific improvement of nitrogen status in European grasses after
           drought combined with rewetting
    • Authors: Mohammed A.S. Arfin Khan; Juergen Kreyling; Carl Beierkuhnlein; Anke Jentsch
      Pages: 118 - 127
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Mohammed A.S. Arfin Khan, Juergen Kreyling, Carl Beierkuhnlein, Anke Jentsch
      Drought stress and associated low soil moisture can decrease N status of forage plants by reducing nitrogen (N) uptake. Conversely, rainfall and associated favorable soil moisture can improve plant N status. Yet, it is unclear to which degree drought combined with rewetting can buffer negative effects of drought on N status of forage plants and their populations. Here, we compared shoot N status (N concentration, total N uptake and C/N ratio) of four temperate grass species. Particularly, we investigated ecotypes (populations) grown from seeds from four to six European provenances/species after a drought treatment combined with rewetting (10 day harvest delay) versus continuously watered conditions for control. The experimental combination of drought and rewetting significantly increased shoot N concentration (+96%), N uptake (+31%); and decreased C/N ratio (−46%), biomass production (−29%) and C concentration (−1.4%) compared to control. Shoot N status was found to be different between target grass species and also within their populations under drought combined with rewetting treatment. Presumably drought-adapted populations did not perform better than populations from moist sites indicating no evidence of local adaptation. The drought combined with rewetting event could buffer the negative effects of drought. Shoot N status of grasses after drought and rewetting even exceeded control plants. This surprising finding can potentially be explained by higher N uptake, lack of growth dilution effects or delayed plant maturation. Furthermore, within-species shoot N status responses to drought combined with rewetting event were ecotype-specific, hinting at diverse responses of different population. For rangeland management, we recommend that if a drought event occurs during the growing season, harvesting should be delayed beyond a following rain event.

      PubDate: 2016-10-16T11:02:48Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.10.004
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Dispersal of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plants during succession
    • Authors: David García de León; Mari Moora; Maarja Öpik; Teele Jairus; Lena Neuenkamp; Martti Vasar; C. Guillermo Bueno; Maret Gerz; John Davison; Martin Zobel
      Pages: 128 - 135
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): David García de León, Mari Moora, Maarja Öpik, Teele Jairus, Lena Neuenkamp, Martti Vasar, C. Guillermo Bueno, Maret Gerz, John Davison, Martin Zobel
      Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are important root symbionts that enhance plant nutrient uptake and tolerance to pathogens and drought. While the role of plant dispersal in shaping successional vegetation is well studied, there is very little information about the dispersal abilities of AM fungi. We conducted a trap-box experiment in a recently abandoned quarry at 10 different distances from the quarry edge (i.e. the potential propagule source) over eleven months to assess the short term, within-year, arrival of plant and AM fungal assemblages and hence their dispersal abilities. Using DNA based techniques we identified AM fungal taxa and analyzed their phylogenetic diversity. Plant diversity was determined by transporting trap soil to a greenhouse and identifying emerging seedlings. We recorded 30 AM fungal taxa. These contained a high proportion of ruderal AM fungi (30% of taxa, 79% of sequences) but the richness and abundance of AM fungi were not related to the distance from the presumed propagule source. The number of sequences of AM fungi decreased over time. Twenty seven plant species (30% of them ruderal) were recorded from the soil seed traps. Plant diversity decreased with distance from the propagule source and increased over time. Our data show that AM fungi with ruderal traits can be fast colonizers of early successional habitats.

      PubDate: 2016-10-16T11:02:48Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.10.006
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Forest loss increases insect herbivory levels in human-altered landscapes
    • Authors: Pavel Dodonov; José Carlos Morante-Filho; Eduardo Mariano-Neto; Eliana Cazetta; Edyla Ribeiro de Andrade; Larissa Rocha-Santos; Igor Inforzato; Francisco Sanches Gomes; Deborah Faria
      Pages: 136 - 143
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Pavel Dodonov, José Carlos Morante-Filho, Eduardo Mariano-Neto, Eliana Cazetta, Edyla Ribeiro de Andrade, Larissa Rocha-Santos, Igor Inforzato, Francisco Sanches Gomes, Deborah Faria
      Insect herbivory has been observed to be affected by habitat loss and fragmentation, although the mechanisms by which these anthropogenic disturbances affect this process are not well understood. To aid in clarifying this issue, we assessed the relation between forest cover and leaf damage caused by herbivorous insects on a representative tropical forest understory plant family, the Rubiaceae. We measured leaf area loss of Rubiaceae plants in 20 forest sites located in the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and also tested whether variation in forest cover, abundance of insectivorous birds (predators) and of Rubiaceae plants (resources) could explain the observed variation in leaf damage. Herbivory levels varied between 2.6 and 12.5 percent leaf area lost and increased with decreasing forest cover, whereas the other explanatory variables did not provide additional explanatory power. Therefore, forest loss appears to be the main driver of changes in local herbivory, and ecological processes such as top-down and bottom-up control may not account for the deforestation-related increase in herbivory levels. Other mechanisms, for example leaf quality and/or the influence of the adjoining land uses, have to be explored in future studies.

      PubDate: 2016-10-16T11:02:48Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.10.003
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
  • Seed dispersal potential of Asian elephants
    • Authors: Franziska K. Harich; Anna C. Treydte; Joseph O. Ogutu; John E. Roberts; Chution Savini; Jan M. Bauer; Tommaso Savini
      Pages: 144 - 151
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2016
      Source:Acta Oecologica, Volume 77
      Author(s): Franziska K. Harich, Anna C. Treydte, Joseph O. Ogutu, John E. Roberts, Chution Savini, Jan M. Bauer, Tommaso Savini
      Elephants, the largest terrestrial mega-herbivores, play an important ecological role in maintaining forest ecosystem diversity. While several plant species strongly rely on African elephants (Loxodonta africana; L. cyclotis) as seed dispersers, little is known about the dispersal potential of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). We examined the effects of elephant fruit consumption on potential seed dispersal using the example of a tree species with mega-faunal characteristics, Dillenia indica L., in Thailand. We conducted feeding trials with Asian elephants to quantify seed survival and gut passage times (GPT). In total, 1200 ingested and non-ingested control seeds were planted in soil and in elephant dung to quantify differences in germination rates in terms of GPT and dung treatment. We used survival analysis as a novel approach to account for the right-censored nature of the data obtained from germination experiments. The average seed survival rate was 79% and the mean GPT was 35 h. The minimum and maximum GPT were 20 h and 72 h, respectively. Ingested seeds were significantly more likely to germinate and to do so earlier than non-ingested control seeds (P = 0.0002). Seeds with the longest GPT displayed the highest germination success over time. Unexpectedly, seeds planted with dung had longer germination times than those planted without. We conclude that D. indica does not solely depend on but benefits from dispersal by elephants. The declining numbers of these mega-faunal seed dispersers might, therefore, have long-term negative consequences for the recruitment and dispersal dynamics of populations of certain tree species.

      PubDate: 2016-10-30T11:55:29Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2016.10.005
      Issue No: Vol. 77 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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