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  Subjects -> ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (Total: 820 journals)
    - ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (746 journals)
    - POLLUTION (23 journals)
    - WASTE MANAGEMENT (10 journals)

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (746 journals)            First | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8     

Journal of Tropical Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Journal of Urban and Environmental Engineering     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Vietnamese Environment     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Water Security     Open Access  
Journal of Wetlands Environmental Management     Open Access  
Julius-Kühn-Archiv     Open Access  
Kleio     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Knowledge Management Research & Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Lake and Reservoir Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Landscape Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30)
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Large Marine Ecosystems     Full-text available via subscription  
Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Latin American Journal of Management for Sustainable Development     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Legal Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Letras Verdes. Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Socioambientales     Open Access  
Leviathan : A Journal of Melville Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Limnological Review     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Living Reviews in Landscape Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Low Carbon Economy     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Luna Azul     Open Access  
M+A. Revista Electrónica de Medioambiente     Open Access  
Macquarie Journal of International and Comparative Environmental Law     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Madagascar Conservation & Development     Open Access  
Management International Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Management of Sustainable Development     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Marine Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Marine Environmental Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Marine Pollution Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences     Free  
Mathematical Population Studies: An International Journal of Mathematical Demography     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Medieval Sermon Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Medio Ambiente y Urbanizacion     Full-text available via subscription  
Membranes     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Michigan Journal of Sustainability     Open Access  
Midwest Studies In Philosophy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Mine Water and the Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Modern Asian Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Modern Cartography Series     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Mountain Research and Development     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Multequina     Open Access  
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Nativa     Open Access  
Natur und Recht     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Natural Areas Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Natural Hazards     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 162)
Natural Resources     Open Access  
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Nature and Culture     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
NeuroToxicology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Neurotoxicology and Teratology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Noise Mapping     Open Access  
Noise Notes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Novos Cadernos NAEA     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Observatorio Medioambiental     Open Access  
Occupational and Environmental Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Ocean Acidification     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Ochrona Srodowiska i Zasobów Naturalnych : Environmental Protection and Natural Resources     Open Access  
Oecologia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34)
Oikos     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34)
Open Journal of Ecology     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Open Journal of Marine Science     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Open Journal of Modern Hydrology     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Our Nature     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Pace Environmental Law Review     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Pace Environmental Law Review Online Companion     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Packaging, Transport, Storage & Security of Radioactive Material     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Particle and Fibre Toxicology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Pastos y Forrajes     Open Access  
Pesquisa em Educação Ambiental     Open Access  
Pharmacology & Therapeutics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Philosophical Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Physio-Géo     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Planet     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Planning & Environmental Law: Issues and decisions that impact the built and natural environments     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Plant Ecology & Diversity     Partially Free   (Followers: 13)
Plant Knowledge Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Plant, Cell & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Polar Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Policy Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Policy Studies Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Polish Polar Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Political Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25)
Political Studies Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Population and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Population Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)

  First | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8     

Journal Cover   Theoretical Ecology
  [SJR: 1.456]   [H-I: 13]   [11 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1874-1746 - ISSN (Online) 1874-1738
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2276 journals]
  • Interaction strength revisited—clarifying the role of energy flux
           for food web stability
    • Abstract: Abstract Interaction strength (IS) has been theoretically shown to play a major role in governing the stability and dynamics of food webs. Nonetheless, its definition has been varied and problematic, including a range of recent definitions based on biological rates associated with model parameters (e.g., attack rate). Results from food web theory have been used to argue that IS metrics based on energy flux ought to have a clear relationship with stability. Here, we use simple models to elucidate the actual relationship between local stability and a number of common IS metrics (total flux and per capita fluxes) as well as a more recently suggested metric. We find that the classical IS metrics map to stability in a more complex way than suggested by existing food web theory and that the new IS metric has a much clearer, and biologically interpretable, relationship with local stability. The total energy flux metric falls off existing theoretical predictions when the total resource productivity available to the consumer is reduced despite increased consumer attack rates. The density of a consumer can hence decrease when its attack rate increases. This effect, called the paradox of attack rate, is similar to the well-known hydra effect and can even cascade up a food chain to exclude a predator when consumer attack rate is increased.
      PubDate: 2015-11-23
  • Heterogeneity in patch quality buffers metapopulations from pathogen
    • Abstract: Abstract Many wildlife species persist on a network of ephemerally occupied habitat patches connected by dispersal. Provisioning of food and other resources for conservation management or recreation is frequently used to improve local habitat quality and attract wildlife. Resource improvement can also facilitate local pathogen transmission, but the landscape-level consequences of provisioning for pathogen spread and habitat occupancy are poorly understood. Here, we develop a simple metapopulation model to investigate how heterogeneity in patch quality resulting from resource improvement influences long-term metapopulation occupancy in the presence of a virulent pathogen. We derive expressions for equilibrium host–pathogen outcomes in terms of provisioning effects on individual patches (through decreased patch extinction rates) and at the landscape level (the fraction of high-quality, provisioned patches), and highlight two cases of practical concern. First, if occupancy in the unprovisioned metapopulation is sufficiently low, a local maximum in occupancy occurs for mixtures of high- and low-quality patches, such that further increasing the number of high-quality patches both lowers occupancy and allows pathogen invasion. Second, if the pathogen persists in the unprovisioned metapopulation, further provisioning can result in all patches becoming infected and in a global minimum in occupancy. This work highlights the need for more empirical research on landscape-level impacts of local resource provisioning on pathogen dynamics.
      PubDate: 2015-11-04
  • Erratum to: Sensitivity analysis of continuous-time models for ecological
           and evolutionary theories
    • PubDate: 2015-10-30
  • A theory for species co-occurrence in interaction networks
    • Abstract: Abstract The study of species co-occurrences has been central in community ecology since the foundation of the discipline. Co-occurrence data are, nevertheless, a neglected source of information to model species distributions and biogeographers are still debating about the impact of biotic interactions on species distributions across geographical scales. We argue that a theory of species co-occurrence in ecological networks is needed to better inform interpretation of co-occurrence data, to formulate hypotheses for different community assembly mechanisms, and to extend the analysis of species distributions currently focused on the relationship between occurrences and abiotic factors. The main objective of this paper is to provide the first building blocks of a general theory for species co-occurrences. We formalize the problem with definitions of the different probabilities that are studied in the context of co-occurrence analyses. We analyze three species interactions modules and conduct multi-species simulations in order to document five principles influencing the associations between species within an ecological network: (i) direct interactions impact pairwise co-occurrence, (ii) indirect interactions impact pairwise co-occurrence, (iii) pairwise co-occurrence rarely are symmetric, (iv) the strength of an association decreases with the length of the shortest path between two species, and (v) the strength of an association decreases with the number of interactions a species is experiencing. Our analyses reveal the difficulty of the interpretation of species interactions from co-occurrence data. We discuss whether the inference of the structure of interaction networks is feasible from co-occurrence data. We also argue that species distributions models could benefit from incorporating conditional probabilities of interactions within the models as an attempt to take into account the contribution of biotic interactions to shaping individual distributions of species.
      PubDate: 2015-10-27
  • Many weak interactions and few strong; food-web feasibility depends on the
           combination of the strength of species’ interactions and their
           correct arrangement
    • Abstract: Abstract Ecological communities consist of generalists who interact with proportionally many species, and specialists who interact with proportionally few. The strength of these interactions also varies, with communities typically exhibiting a few strong links embedded within many weak links. Historically, it has been argued that generalists should interact more weakly with their partners than specialists and, since weak interactions are thought to increase community stability, that this pattern increases the stability of diverse communities. Here, we studied model-generated predator-prey communities to explicitly investigate the validity of this argument. In feasible communities—those which were both locally stable and all species had positive biomass—we indeed found that species with many predators or prey are affected by them more weakly than species with few. This relationship, however, is only part of the story. While species with many predators (or prey) tend to be only weakly affected by each of them, these many weak interactions are balanced by a few strong interactions with prey (or predators). These few strong interactions are large enough that, when the effect of predator and prey interactions are combined, it seems that species with many interactions actually interact more strongly than species with few interactions. Though past research has tended to focus on either the arrangement of species interactions or the strength of those interactions, we show here that the two are in fact inextricably linked. This observation has implications for both the realistic design of theoretical models, and the conservation of ecological communities, especially those in which the strength and arrangement of species’ interactions are impacted by biodiversity-loss disturbances such as habitat alteration.
      PubDate: 2015-10-20
  • How Levins’ dynamics emerges from a Ricker metapopulation model
    • Abstract: Abstract Understanding the dynamics of metapopulations close to extinction is of vital importance for management. Levins-like models, in which local patches are treated as either occupied or empty, have been used extensively to explore the extinction dynamics of metapopulations, but they ignore the important role of local population dynamics. In this paper, we consider a stochastic metapopulation model where local populations follow a stochastic, density-dependent dynamics (the Ricker model), and use this framework to investigate the behaviour of the metapopulation on the brink of extinction. We determine under which circumstances the metapopulation follows a time evolution consistent with Levins’ dynamics. We derive analytical expressions for the colonisation and extinction rates (c and e) in Levins-type models in terms of reproduction, survival and dispersal parameters of the local populations, providing an avenue to parameterising Levins-like models from the type of information on local demography that is available for a number of species. To facilitate applying our results, we provide a numerical algorithm for computing c and e.
      PubDate: 2015-09-24
  • Viewing tropical forest succession as a three-dimensional dynamical system
    • Abstract: Abstract As tropical forests are complex systems, they tend to be modelled either roughly via scaling relationships or in a detailed manner as high-dimensional systems with many variables. We propose an approach which lies between the two whereby succession in a tropical forest is viewed as a trajectory in the configuration space of a dynamical system with just three dependent variables, namely, the mean leaf-area index (LAI) and its standard deviation (SD) or coefficient of variation along a transect, and the mean diameter at breast height (DBH) of trees above the 90th percentile of the distribution of tree DBHs near the transect. Four stages in this forest succession are identified: (I) naturally afforesting grassland: the initial stage with scattered trees in grassland; (II) very young forest: mostly covered by trees with a few remaining gaps; (III) young smooth forest: almost complete cover by trees of mostly similar age resulting in a low SD; and (IV) old growth or mature forest: the attracting region in configuration space characterized by fluctuating SD from tree deaths and regrowth. High-resolution LAI measurements and other field data from Khao Yai National Park, Thailand show how the system passes through these stages in configuration space, as do simple considerations and a crude cellular automaton model.
      PubDate: 2015-09-19
  • Dealing with stochastic environmental variation in space and time: bet
           hedging by generalist, specialist, and diversified strategies
    • Abstract: Abstract Building on previous work, we derive an optimization model for a two-state stochastic environment and evaluate the fitnesses of five reproductive strategies across generations. To do this, we characterize spatiotemporal variation and define grain (=patch) size as the scale of fitness autocorrelation. Fitness functions of environmental condition are Gaussian. The strategies include two specialists on each of the environmental conditions; two generalists that each fare equally well under both conditions, but one (a conservative bet hedger) optimizes the shape of the fitness function; and a diversified bet hedger producing an optimal mix of the two specialists within individual broods. When the environment is primarily in one of the two states, the specialist on that state achieves the highest fitness. In the more interesting situation where the two environments are equally prevalent in the long term, with low-moderate environmental variation, a generalist strategy (that copes with both states well) does best. Higher variation favors diversified bet hedgers, or surprisingly, specialists, depending mainly on whether spatial or temporal variation predominates. These strategies reduce variance in fitness and optimize the distribution of offspring among patches differently: specialists by spreading offspring among many independently varying patches, while diversified bet hedgers put all offspring into a few patches or a single patch. We distinguish features consistent with strategies like diversified bet hedgers that spread risk in time from features linked to strategies like specialists that spread risk in space. Finally, we present testable hypotheses arising from this study and suggest directions for future work.
      PubDate: 2015-09-10
  • Pattern of functional extinctions in ecological networks with a variety of
           interaction types
    • Abstract: Abstract There is a strong trend of declining populations in many species of both animals and plants. Dwindling numbers of species can eventually lead to their functional extinction. Functional, or ecological, extinction occurs when a species becomes too rare to fulfill its ecological, interactive role in the ecosystem, leading to true (numerical) extinction of other depending species. Recent theoretical work on food webs suggests that the frequency of functional extinction might be surprisingly high. However, little is known about the risk of functional species extinctions in networks with other types of interactions than trophic ones. Here, we explore the frequency of functional extinctions in model ecological networks having different proportions of antagonistic and mutualistic links. Furthermore, we investigate the topological relationship between functionally and numerically extinct species. We find that (1) the frequency of functional extinctions is higher in networks containing a mixture of antagonistic and mutualistic interactions than in networks with only one type of interaction, (2) increased mortality rate of species having both mutualistic and antagonistic links is more likely to lead to extinction of another species than to extinction of the species itself compared to species having only mutualistic or antagonistic links, and (3) trophic distance (shortest path) between functionally and numerically extinct species is, on average, longer than one, indicating the importance of indirect effects. These results generalize the findings of an earlier study on food webs, demonstrating the potential importance of functional extinction in a variety of ecological network types.
      PubDate: 2015-09-09
  • An updated perspective on the role of environmental autocorrelation in
           animal populations
    • Abstract: Abstract Ecological theory predicts that the presence of temporal autocorrelation in environments can considerably affect population extinction risk. However, empirical estimates of autocorrelation values in animal populations have not decoupled intrinsic growth and density feedback processes from environmental autocorrelation. In this study, we first discuss how the autocorrelation present in environmental covariates can be reduced through nonlinear interactions or by interactions with multiple limiting resources. We then estimated the degree of environmental autocorrelation present in the Global Population Dynamics Database using a robust, model-based approach. Our empirical results indicate that time series of animal populations are affected by low levels of environmental autocorrelation, a result consistent with predictions from our theoretical models. Claims supporting the importance of autocorrelated environments have been largely based on indirect empirical measures and theoretical models seldom anchored in realistic assumptions. It is likely that a more nuanced understanding of the effects of autocorrelated environments is necessary to reconcile our conclusions with previous theory. We anticipate that our findings and other recent results will lead to improvements in understanding how to incorporate fluctuating environments into population risk assessments.
      PubDate: 2015-08-30
  • Autochthonous or allochthonous resources determine the characteristic
           population dynamics of ecosystem engineers and their impacts
    • Abstract: Abstract Ecosystem engineering, or the modification of physical environments by organisms, can influence trophic interactions and thus food web dynamics. Although existing theory exclusively considers engineers using autochthonous resources, many empirical studies show that they often depend on allochthonous resources. By developing a simple mathematical model involving an ecosystem engineer that modifies the physical environment through its activities, its resource, and physical environment modified by the engineer, we compare the effects of autochthonous and allochthonous resources on the dynamics and stability of community with ecosystem engineers. To represent a variety of real situations, we consider engineers that alter either resource productivity, engineer feeding rate on the resource, or engineer mortality, and incorporate time-lagged responses of the physical environment. Our model shows that the effects of ecosystem engineering on community dynamics depend greatly on resource types. When the engineer consumes autochthonous resources, the community can exhibit oscillatory dynamics if the engineered environment affects engineer’s feeding rate or mortality. These cyclic behaviors are, however, stabilized by a slowly responding physical environment. When allochthonous resources are supplied as donor-controlled, on the other hand, the engineer population is unlikely to oscillate but instead can undergo unbounded growth if the engineered environment affects resource productivity or engineer mortality. This finding suggests that ecosystem engineers utilizing allochthonous resources may be more likely to reach high abundance and cause strong impacts on ecosystems. Our results highlight that community-based, compounding effects of trophic and physical biotic interactions of ecosystem engineers depend crucially on whether the engineers utilize autochthonous or allochthonous resources.
      PubDate: 2015-08-29
  • The phylogenetic component of food web structure and intervality
    • Abstract: Abstract Despite the exceptional complexity formed by species and their interactions in ecological networks, such as food webs, regularities in the network structures are repeatedly demonstrated. The interactions are determined by the characteristics of a species. The characteristics are in turn determined by the species’ phylogenetic relationships, but also by factors not related to evolutionary history. Here, we test whether species’ phylogenetic relationships provides a significant proxy for food web intervality. We thereafter quantify the degree to which different species traits remain valuable predictors of food web structure after the baseline effect of species’ relatedness has been removed. We find that the phylogenetic relationships provide a significant background from which to estimate food web intervality and thereby structure. However, we also find that there is an important, non-negligible part of some traits, e.g., body size, in food webs that is not accounted for by the phylogenetic relationships. Additionally, both these relationships differ depending if a predator or a prey perspective is adopted. Clearly, species’ evolutionary history as well as traits not determined by phylogenetic relationships shapes predator-prey interactions in food webs, and the underlying evolutionary processes take place on slightly different time scales depending on the direction of predator-prey adaptations.
      PubDate: 2015-08-04
  • Egg limitation in host-parasitoid dynamics: an individual-based
    • Abstract: Abstract Theoretical models of parasitoid-host dynamics predict that egg limitation in parasitoids destabilizes community dynamics. However, although egg limitation is experienced by individual parasitoids with variable success of encountering hosts, such details were neglected in previous models. This study developed an individual-based parasitoid-host model that explicitly incorporates egg limitation and host encounters of individual parasitoids. The model indicates that the combination of egg limitation and variation in the success of encountering hosts stabilizes parasitoid-host dynamics. The stabilizing mechanism emerges from Jensen’s inequality because egg limitation makes the number of offspring inherently concave down in the number of encountered hosts. Reasons for the inconsistent predictions of the effect of egg limitation between the current model and previous models are discussed.
      PubDate: 2015-08-01
  • Immigration can destabilize tri-trophic interactions: implications for
           conservation of top predators
    • Abstract: Abstract Top predators often have large home ranges and thus are especially vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation. Increasing connectance among habitat patches is therefore a common conservation strategy, based in part on models showing that increased migration between subpopulations can reduce vulnerability arising from population isolation. Although three-dimensional models are appropriate for exploring consequences to top predators, the effects of immigration on tri-trophic interactions have rarely been considered. To explore the effects of immigration on the equilibrium abundances of top predators, we studied the effects of immigration in the three-dimensional Rosenzweig-MacArthur model. To investigate the stability of the top predator equilibrium, we used MATCONT to perform a bifurcation analysis. For some combinations of model parameters with low rates of top predator immigration, population trajectories spiral towards a stable focus. Holding other parameters constant, as immigration rate is increased, a supercritical Hopf bifurcation results in a stable limit cycle and thus top predator populations that cycle between high and low abundances. Furthermore, bistability arises as immigration of the intermediate predator is increased. In this case, top predators may exist at relatively low abundances while prey become extinct, or for other initial conditions, the relatively higher top predator abundance controls intermediate predators allowing for non-zero prey population abundance and increased diversity. Thus, our results reveal one of two outcomes when immigration is added to the model. First, over some range of top predator immigration rates, population abundance cycles between high and low values, making extinction from the trough of such cycles more likely than otherwise. Second, for relatively higher intermediate predator migration rates, top predators may exist at low values in a truncated system with impoverished diversity, again with extinction more likely.
      PubDate: 2015-08-01
  • How do generalist consumers coexist over evolutionary time? An
           explanation with nutrition and tradeoffs
    • Abstract: Abstract Generalist consumers commonly coexist in many ecosystems. Yet, eco-evolutionary theory poses a problem with this observation: generalist consumers (usually) cannot coexist stably. To provide a solution to this theory-observation dissonance, we analyzed a simple eco-evolutionary consumer resource model. We modeled consumption of two nutritionally interactive resources by species which evolve their resource encounter rates subject to a tradeoff. As shown previously, consumers can ecologically coexist through tradeoffs in resource encounter rates; however, this coexistence is evolutionary unstable. Here, we find that nutritional interactions between resources and the shape of acquisition tradeoffs produce very similar evolutionary outcomes in isolation. Specifically, they produce evolutionarily stable communities composed either of two specialists (concave acquisition tradeoff or antagonistic nutrition) or a single generalist (convex acquisition tradeoff or complementary nutrition). Thus, the generalist-coexistence problem remains. However, the combination of nonlinear resource acquisition tradeoffs with nonlinear resource nutritional relationships creates selection forces that can push and pull against each other. Ultimately, this push-pull dynamic can stabilize the coexistence of two competing generalist consumers—but only when we coupled a convex acquisition tradeoff with antagonistic nutrition. Thus, our model here offers some resolution to the generalist-coexistence problem in eco-evolutionary, consumer-resource theory.
      PubDate: 2015-08-01
  • Population spread in patchy landscapes under a strong Allee effect
    • Abstract: Abstract Many species of invasive insects establish and spread in regions around the world, causing enormous economical and environmental damage, in particular in forests. Some of these insects are subject to an Allee effect whereby the population must surpass a certain threshold in order to establish. Recent studies have examined the possibility of exploiting an Allee effect to improve existing control strategies. Forests and most other ecosystems show natural spatial variation, and human activities frequently increase the degree of spatial heterogeneity. It is therefore imperative to understand how the interplay between this spatial variation and individual movement behavior affects the overall speed of spread of an invasion. To this end, we study an integrodifference equation model in a patchy landscape and with Allee growth dynamics. Movement behavior of individuals varies according to landscape quality. Our study focuses on how the speed of the resulting traveling periodic wave depends on the interaction between landscape fragmentation, patch-dependent dispersal, and Allee population dynamics.
      PubDate: 2015-08-01
  • Interactions among mutualism, competition, and predation foster species
           coexistence in diverse communities
    • Abstract: Abstract In natural systems, organisms are simultaneously engaged in mutualistic, competitive, and predatory interactions. Theory predicts that species persistence and community stability are feasible when the beneficial effects of mutualisms are balanced by density-dependent negative feedbacks. Enemy-mediated negative feedbacks can foster plant species coexistence in diverse communities, but empirical evidence remains mixed. Disparity between theoretical expectations and empirical results may arise from the effects of mutualistic mycorrhizal fungi. Here, we build a multiprey species/predator model combined with a bidirectional resource exchange system, which simulates mutualistic interactions between plants and fungi. To reach population persistence, (1) the per capita rate of increase of all plant population must exceed the sum of the negative per capita effects of predation, interspecific competition, and costs of mycorrhizal association, and (2) the per capita numerical response of enemies to mycorrhizal plants must exceed the magnitude of the per capita enemy rate of mortality. These conditions reflect the balance between regulation and facilitation in the system. Interactions between plant natural enemies and mycorrhizal fungi lead to shifts in the strength and direction of net mycorrhizal effects on plants over time, with common plant species deriving greater benefits from mycorrhizal associations than rare plant species.
      PubDate: 2015-08-01
  • Landmarking and strong Allee thresholds
    • Abstract: Abstract Mate-finding difficulties in small populations are often postulated to create strong demographic Allee effects that increase the probability of extinction of native species or, similarly, decrease the probability that non-native species will successfully invade. Many species make use of a restricted number of mating locations, detectable from long-distance, that are not selected for habitat reasons (e.g., hilltopping in butterflies). This ‘landmarking’ strategy may specifically address the problem of overcoming mate-finding difficulties. Using a variant of the birthday problem, we demonstrate that populations which locate a restricted number of mate-finding sites using landmark features may have high probability of successful mating even at very low population densities. Therefore, a strong Allee threshold, if it exists, may be very small, and non-native species that make use of this strategy may have a very good chance of population establishment at low density.
      PubDate: 2015-08-01
  • The effect of predator avoidance and travel time delay on the stability of
           predator-prey metacommunities
    • Abstract: Abstract The stability conditions for an isolated specialist predator-prey community are fairly well understood. The spatial coupling of several such systems through dispersal of individuals can generate new dynamic behavior that is not yet completely understood. Many factors are known to be stabilizing or neutral, e.g., random dispersal or time delays, while others may induce instabilities in some cases but not others, e.g., density-dependent movement. We study the combination of two stabilizing mechanisms in a two-patch Rosenzweig-MacArthur model with a novel density-dependent movement term. Specifically, we assume that prey move between patches according to their perceived predation risk, and we include travel time between patches as a time delay. We show that the combination of mechanisms may be destabilizing even though each mechanism by itself is stabilizing. Our results show that a detailed knowledge of mechanisms and their temporal scales is necessary to correctly predict the stability of a metacommunity.
      PubDate: 2015-06-05
  • The influence of host competition and predation on tick densities and
           management implications
    • Abstract: Abstract Host community composition and biodiversity can limit and regulate tick abundance which can have profound impacts on the incidence and severity of tick-borne diseases. Our understanding of the relationship between host community composition and tick abundance is still very limited. Here, we present a novel mathematical model of a stage-structured tick population to study the influence of host behaviour and competition in the presence of heterospecifics and the influence of host predation on tick densities. We examine the influence of specific changes in biodiversity that modify the competition among and the predation on small and large host populations. We find that increasing biodiversity will not always reduce tick populations, but depends on changes in species composition affecting the degree and type competition among hosts, and the host the predation is acting on. With indirect competition, tick densities are not regulated by increasing biodiversity; however, with direct competition, increased biodiversity will regulate tick densities. Generally, we find that biodiversity will regulate tick densities when it affects tick-host encounter rates. We also find that predation on small hosts have a limited influence on reducing tick populations, but when the predation was on large hosts this increased the magnitude of tick population oscillations. Our results have tick-management implications: while controlling large host populations (e.g. deer) and adult ticks will decrease tick densities, measures that directly control the nymph ticks could also be effective.
      PubDate: 2015-05-22
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