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  Subjects -> ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (Total: 799 journals)
    - ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (729 journals)
    - POLLUTION (22 journals)
    - WASTE MANAGEMENT (9 journals)

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (729 journals)            First | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8     

Lake and Reservoir Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Landscape Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Landscapes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Large Marine Ecosystems     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Latin American Journal of Management for Sustainable Development     Hybrid Journal  
Legal Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
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: 7)
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: 6)
Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Management of Sustainable Development     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Marine Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Marine Environmental Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Marine Pollution Bulletin     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
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: 4)
Medio Ambiente y Urbanizacion     Full-text available via subscription  
Membranes     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Michigan Journal of Sustainability     Open Access  
Midwest Studies In Philosophy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
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: 7)
Modern Cartography Series     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Mountain Research and Development     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
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: 7)
Natural Hazards     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 329)
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  
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 Notes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Novos Cadernos NAEA     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Observatorio Medioambiental     Open Access  
Occupational and Environmental Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Ocean Acidification     Open Access  
Ochrona Srodowiska i Zasobów Naturalnych     Open Access  
Oecologia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Oikos     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 33)
Open Journal of Ecology     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Open Journal of Marine Science     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Open Journal of Modern Hydrology     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Our Nature     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Oxford Journal of Legal Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Pace Environmental Law Review     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Packaging, Transport, Storage and Security of Radioactive Material     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
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: 9)
Physio-Géo     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Planet     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Planning & Environmental Law: Issues and decisions that impact the built and natural environments     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Plant Ecology & Diversity     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Plant Knowledge Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Plant, Cell & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Polar Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Policy Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Policy Studies Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Polish Polar Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Political Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Political Studies Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Population and Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Population Ecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Population Studies: A Journal of Demography     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Postcolonial Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Presence Teleoperators & Virtual Environments     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Presidential Studies Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Procedia Environmental Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Proceedings of ICE, Waste and Resource Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Proceedings of the International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Process Safety and Environmental Protection     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Psychological Assessment     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Public Money & Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)

  First | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8     

Journal Cover   Theoretical Ecology
  [SJR: 1.456]   [H-I: 13]   [12 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  [2302 journals]
  • Adaptive movement and food-chain dynamics: towards food-web theory without
           birth–death processes
    • Abstract: Abstract Population density can be affected by its prey [resource] and predator [consumer] abundances through two different mechanisms: the alternation of birth [or somatic growth] or death rate and inter-habitat movement. While the food-web theory has traditionally been built on the former mechanism, the latter mechanism has formed the basis of a successful theory explaining the spatial distribution of organisms in the context of behavioral and evolutionary ecology. Yet, few studies have compared these two mechanisms, leaving the question of how similar (or different) predictions derived from birth–death-based and movement-based food-web theories unanswered. Here, theoretical models of the tri-trophic (resource–consumer-top predator) food chain were used to compare food-web patterns arising from these two mechanisms. Specifically, we evaluated the response of the food-chain structure to inter-patch differences in productivity for movement-based models and birth–death-based models. Model analysis reveals that adaptive movements give rise to positively correlated responses of all trophic levels to increased productivity; however, this pattern was not observed in the corresponding birth–death-based model. The movement-based model predicts that the food chain response to productivity is determined by the sensitivity of animal movement to the environmental conditions. More specifically, increasing sensitivity of a consumer or top predator leads to smaller inter-patch variance of the resource or consumer density, while increasing inter-patch variance in the consumer or resource density. In conclusion, adaptive movement provides an alternative mechanism correlating the food-web structure to environmental conditions.
      PubDate: 2015-04-26
  • Sensitivity analysis of continuous-time models for ecological and
           evolutionary theories
    • Abstract: Abstract Sensitivity analyses are of paramount importance in ecological and evolutionary theories, but their application to continuous time models has been virtually ignored from these fields. We present a simple and general method that makes this analysis possible for any model specified by a system of ordinary differential equations, using the direct method from mathematical theory. The resulting analysis may be used to study the effect of parameter perturbation on the whole trajectories of the state variables as well as for deriving the sensitivity of composite metrics such as the population growth rate. We also present methods for analyzing the sensitivity of discrete events within a continuous-time framework, such as the age at maturation, where timing may be affected by the perturbation. These methods are applied to a model for the energetics of individual growth, reproduction, and mortality. The method is versatile and can be applied to study transient as well as asymptotic dynamics, and its application may benefit many fields of ecology and evolution.
      PubDate: 2015-04-19
  • The social benefits of private infectious disease-risk mitigation
    • Abstract: Abstract Does society benefit from private measures to mitigate infectious disease risks? Since mitigation reduces both peak prevalence and the number of people who fall ill, the answer might appear to be yes. But mitigation also prolongs epidemics and therefore the time susceptible people engage in activities to avoid infection. These avoidance activities come at a cost—in lost production or consumption, for example. Whether private mitigation yields net social benefits depends on the social weight given to the costs of illness and illness avoidance, now and into the future. We show that, for a large class of infectious diseases, private risk mitigation is socially beneficial. However, in cases where society discounts the future at either very low or very high rates relative to private individuals, or where it places a low weight on the private cost of illness, the social cost of illness under proportionate mixing (doing nothing) may be lower than the social cost of illness under preferential mixing (avoiding infectious individuals). That is, under some circumstances, society would prefer shorter, more intense epidemics without avoidance costs over longer, less intense epidemics with avoidance costs. A sobering (although not surprising) implication of this is that poorer societies should be expected to promote less private disease-risk mitigation than richer societies.
      PubDate: 2015-04-17
  • Departures from neutrality induced by niche and relative fitness
    • Abstract: Abstract Breaking the core assumption of ecological equivalence in Hubbell’s “neutral theory of biodiversity” requires a theory of species differences. In one framework for characterizing differences between competing species, non-neutral interactions are said to involve both niche differences, which promote stable coexistence, and relative fitness differences, which promote competitive exclusion. We include both in a stochastic community model in order to determine if relative fitness differences compensate for changes in community structure and dynamics induced by niche differences, possibly explaining neutral theory’s apparent success. We show that species abundance distributions are sensitive to both niche and relative fitness differences, but that certain combinations of differences result in abundance distributions that are indistinguishable from the neutral case. In contrast, the distribution of species’ lifetimes, or the time between speciation and extinction, differs under all combinations of niche and relative fitness differences. The results from our model experiment are inconsistent with the hypothesis of “emergent neutrality” and support instead a hypothesis that relative fitness differences counteract effects of niche differences on distributions of abundance. However, an even more developed theory of interspecific variation appears necessary to explain the diversity and structure of non-neutral communities.
      PubDate: 2015-04-08
  • The effects of space and diversity of interaction types on the stability
           of complex ecological networks
    • Abstract: Abstract The relationship between structure and stability in ecological networks and the effect of spatial dynamics on natural communities have both been major foci of ecological research for decades. Network research has traditionally focused on a single interaction type at a time (e.g. food webs, mutualistic networks). Networks comprising different types of interactions have recently started to be empirically characterized. Patterns observed in these networks and their implications for stability demand for further theoretical investigations. Here, we employed a spatially explicit model to disentangle the effects of mutualism/antagonism ratios in food web dynamics and stability. We found that increasing levels of plant-animal mutualistic interactions generally resulted in more stable communities. More importantly, increasing the proportion of mutualistic vs. antagonistic interactions at the base of the food web affects different aspects of ecological stability in different directions, although never negatively. Stability is either not influenced by increasing mutualism—for the cases of population stability and species’ spatial distributions—or is positively influenced by it—for spatial aggregation of species. Additionally, we observe that the relative increase of mutualistic relationships decreases the strength of biotic interactions in general within the ecological network. Our work highlights the importance of considering several dimensions of stability simultaneously to understand the dynamics of communities comprising multiple interaction types.
      PubDate: 2015-04-03
  • Resource distribution drives the adoption of migratory, partially
           migratory, or residential strategies
    • Abstract: Abstract Organismal movement can take on a variety of spatial and temporal forms. These forms depend in part on the type and scale of environment experienced as well as the internal state of the individual. However, individuals experiencing seemingly the same environment on the same time scale can display different movement strategies. While theorists have mathematically analyzed patch models and simulated spatially-explicit models, few studies have provided a mathematical analysis of migration in spatially-explicit models. Here, we consider a spatially explicit one-dimensional model where movement is costly and individuals must return to a common breeding ground annually to reproduce. We derive the optimal movement strategy, given specific movement costs and environmental resource distributions, obtaining closed-form solutions and results in several important special cases. We find, intuitively, that steep resource clines favor migratory behavior and shallow resource clines favor residential behavior, while lower movement efficiencies and shorter breeding cycles favor residency. However, we also show that when resource clines are sharp, migrants and residents can coinvade with each exploiting a locally optimal behavior. This can be interpreted as an example of partial migration (if migrants and residents are members of the same species). Alternatively, this can also be interpreted as two recently divergent species coinvading on a single resource, using different movement strategies to share the niche. We conclude with a discussion of density-dependent pressures on movement, including local resource depletion, and show that the density-independent results are relevant to density-dependent situations by calculating some stable strategy allocations analogous to ideal free distributions.
      PubDate: 2015-03-26
  • Stability of a diamond-shaped module with multiple interaction types
    • Abstract: Abstract Indirect interactions among species emerge from the complexity of ecological networks and can strongly affect the response of communities to disturbances. To determine these indirect interactions and understand better community dynamics, ecologists focused on the interactions within small sets of species or modules. Thanks to their analytical tractability, modules bring insights on the mechanisms occurring in complex interaction networks. So far, most studies have considered modules with a single type of interaction although numerous species are involved in mutualistic and antagonistic interactions simultaneously. In this study, we analyse the dynamics of a diamond-shaped module with multiple interaction types: two resource species sharing a mutualist and a consumer. We describe the different types of indirect interaction occurring between the resource species and the conditions for a stable coexistence of all species. We show that the nature of indirect interactions between resource species (i.e. apparent facilitation, competition or antagonism), as well as stable coexistence, depend on the species generalism and asymmetry of interactions, or in other words, on the distribution of interaction strengths among species. We further unveil that a balance between mutualistic and antagonistic interactions at the level of resource species favours stable coexistence, and that species are more likely to coexist stably if there is apparent facilitation between the two resource species rather than apparent competition. Our results echo existing knowledge on the trophic diamond-shaped module, and confirm that our understanding of communities combining different interaction types can gain from module analyses.
      PubDate: 2015-03-21
  • 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: 2015-03-11
  • Coevolution-driven predator-prey cycles: predicting the characteristics of
           eco-coevolutionary cycles using fast-slow dynamical systems theory
    • Abstract: Abstract Eco-coevolutionary theory predicts that predator-prey coevolution occurring on the time scale of ecological dynamics (e.g., changes in population abundances) can drive novel kinds of predator-prey cycles, e.g., cryptic cycles where one species cycles while the other remains effectively constant and clockwise cycles where peaks in predator density precede peaks in prey density. However, because this body of theory has focused on particular models and studied the different cycle types in isolation, it is unclear what biological characteristics (e.g., costs for offense or defense) determine when a particular cycle type will arise. In this study, I explore the kinds of predator-prey cycles that arise in a general eco-coevolutionary model where there is disruptive selection and the coevolutionary dynamics are fast relative to the ecological dynamics of the system. With a graphical tool created using the theory of fast-slow dynamical systems, I predict what kinds of cycles can arise in the model and how cycle type depends on the costs for prey defense and predator offense. Fast-slow dynamical systems theory requires a separation of time scales between the ecological and evolutionary processes; however, numerical simulations show that this tool can help predict how coevolution drives populations cycles in systems where the speeds of ecological and evolutionary dynamics are comparable. Thus, this work is a step forward in building a general eco-coevolutionary theory.
      PubDate: 2015-03-08
  • Combining mechanism and drift in community ecology: a novel statistical
           mechanics approach
    • Abstract: Abstract A key challenge for models of community ecology is to combine deterministic mechanism and stochastic drift in a systematic, transparent and tractable manner. Another challenge is to explain and unify different ecological patterns, hitherto modelled in isolation, within a single modelling framework. Here, we show that statistical mechanics provides an effective way to meet both challenges. We apply the statistical principle of maximum entropy (MaxEnt) to a simple resource-based, non-neutral model of a plant community. In contrast to previous ecological applications of MaxEnt, our use of MaxEnt emphasises its theoretical basis in the combinatorics of sampling frequencies, an approach that clarifies its ecological interpretation. In this approach, mechanism and drift are identified, respectively, with ecological resource constraints and entropy maximization. We obtain realistic predictions for species abundance distributions as well as contrasting stability-diversity relationships at community and population levels. The model also predicts critical behaviour that may provide a basis for understanding desertification and other ecological tipping points. Our results complement and extend previous ecological applications of MaxEnt to new areas of community ecology, and further illustrate MaxEnt as a powerful yet simple modelling tool for combining mechanism and drift in a way that unifies disparate ecological patterns.
      PubDate: 2015-03-06
  • The potential for alternative stable states in nutrient-enriched invaded
    • Abstract: Abstract Nutrient enrichment of native grasslands can promote invasion by exotic plant species, leading to reduced biodiversity and altered ecosystem function. Empirical evidence suggests that positive feedbacks may make such transitions difficult to reverse. We developed a mathematical model of grassland dynamics in which one group of species (native) is a better competitor for nitrogen (N) and another group (exotic) is a better competitor for light. We parameterized the model for a grassland community and reproduced observed transitions from a native- to an exotic-dominated state under N loading. Within known bounds of parameter values, both smooth and hysteretic transitions are plausible. The model also predicts that N loading alone is insufficient to achieve a transition to an exotic-dominated state on a timescale relevant to grassland management (a few decades), and that therefore some other disturbance (e.g., fire suppression or heaving grazing) must be present to accelerate it. The model predicts that to restore a grassland to a native-dominated state after N inputs have been reduced, fire and carbon supplements would be most effective. Further field research in N-enriched invaded grasslands is required to establish the strengths of positive feedbacks and, in turn, the consequences of anthropogenic modification of grasslands worldwide.
      PubDate: 2015-02-18
  • The effect of dispersal between patches on the stability of large trophic
           food webs
    • Abstract: Abstract Using computer simulations for the population dynamics of systems with many species, we investigate the stability of food webs distributed over several patches that are connected by migration. We evaluate the proportion of persisting species (robustness) and the probability that dynamics reach a fixed point in dependence of food-web complexity, patch arrangement, and migration rule. We find that migration in general increases robustness. This increase is strongest for intermediate migration rates and for star-like patch arrangements. The probability of reaching a fixed point decreases for intermediate migration rate, and has a large peak at larger migration rate for the star topology. We explain these various observations by the rescue effect, by dynamical coexistence of species, and by the buildup of biomass reservoirs in highly connected patches. As the species number becomes larger, differences between different patch arrangements become smaller, and the decrease in the probability of reaching a fixed point vanishes. This means that complex food webs are in some sense dynamically simpler than food webs consisting of less species.
      PubDate: 2015-02-13
  • 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: 2015-02-11
  • How nested and monogamous infection networks in host-phage communities
           come to be
    • Abstract: Abstract We show that a chemostat community of bacteria and bacteriophage in which bacteria compete for a single nutrient and for which the bipartite infection network is perfectly nested is permanent, a.k.a. uniformly persistent, provided that bacteria that are superior competitors for nutrient devote the least effort to defence against infection and the virus that are the most efficient at infecting host have the smallest host range. This confirms an earlier work of Jover et al. (J. Theor. Biol. 332:65–77, 2013) who raised the issue of whether nested infection networks are permanent. In addition, we provide sufficient conditions that a bacteria-phage community of arbitrary size with nested infection network can arise through a succession of permanent subcommunties each with a nested infection network by the successive addition of one new population. The same permanence results hold for the monogamous infection network considered by Thingstad (Limnol Oceanogr 45:1320–1328, 2000) but without the trade-offs.
      PubDate: 2015-02-01
  • Modeling the dynamics of soil erosion and vegetative control —
           catastrophe and hysteresis
    • Abstract: Abstract Wildfire events and anthropogenic activities such as agriculture and livestock grazing may denude the landscape from vegetation cover, resulting in systems prone to soil loss and degradation. Soil dynamics is an intricate process balanced between pedogenesis, which is a relatively slow process, and erosion which depends on many inert (e.g., soil texture, slope, precipitation, and wind) and biological factors such as vegetation properties, grazing intensity, and human disturbance. We develop here a theoretical model of the global dynamics of the interactions between vegetation and soil. Assuming a double feedback between them—plants control erosion, and soil availability facilitates plants growth—a system of nonlinear differential equations is derived, and the outcomes are investigated. The range of realistic parameter values were taken from the literature. Complex properties emerge from this model. For some ranges of parameter values, the model predicts one of two types of steady states—full recovery of vegetation cover or a degraded barren system. For another range of parameter values, bistability appears. We identify the parameter combinations which determine the qualitative behavior of the system and the threshold values beyond which the system becomes bistable. The model predicts that certain ecosystems are highly stable. Others might be bistable transitioning between these two states through perturbations. Therefore, the possibly of hysteresis as parameters vary arises, as well as the ability of the system to shift between steady states, possibly leading to sudden and dramatic changes.
      PubDate: 2015-02-01
  • Assessing the efficacy of population-level models of mast seeding
    • Abstract: Abstract We compare five models of mast seeding: the well-established resource-based model of Isagi et al. (J Theor Biol 187:231–239, 1997) and Satake and Iwasa (J Theor Biol 203:63–84, 2000), the regression based model of Masaka and Maguchi (Ann Bot 88:1049–1055, 2001), the more recent Delta temperature (ΔT) model of Kelly et al. (Ecol Lett 16:90–98, 2013), the resource model of Pearse et al. (Oikos 123:179–184, 2014) and the long-used temperature model. We discuss fitting methods for each model and compare the theoretical overlap between the models. Population level data from 28 seed sets and corresponding mean summer temperature are used and the error of each model is compared. On average, the ΔT model provides a better fit than the other models tested.
      PubDate: 2015-02-01
  • Heterogeneity in symbiotic effects facilitates Wolbachia establishment in
           insect populations
    • Abstract: Abstract Facultative vertically transmitted bacterial symbionts often manipulate its host’s reproductive biology and thus facilitate their persistence. Wolbachia is one such symbiont where frequency-dependent reproductive benefits are opposed by frequency-independent fitness costs leading to bistable dynamics. Introduction of carriers does not assure invasion unless the initial frequency is above a threshold determined by the balance of costs and benefits. Recent laboratory experiments have uncovered that Wolbachia also protects their hosts from pathogens. The expected consequence of this phenotype in natural environments is to lower the invasion threshold by a factor that increases with the extent of pathogen exposure. Here, we introduce a series of mathematical models to address how pathogen protection affects Wolbachia invasion. First, under homogeneous symbiotic effects, we obtain an analytical expression for the invasion threshold in terms of pathogen exposure, and find a regime where symbiont releases may result in elimination of the entire host population provided that abundance of virulent pathogens is high. Second, we distribute Wolbachia effects such that some carriers are totally protected and others not at all, and explore how this interplays with different pathogen intensities, to conclude that heterogeneity further lowers the threshold for Wolbachia invasion. Third, we replicate the analysis using a realistic distribution of protective effects and confirm that heterogeneity increases system resilience by reducing the odds of population collapse.
      PubDate: 2015-02-01
  • Resource availability determines stability for
           mutualist–pathogen–host interactions
    • Abstract: Abstract Traditional explorations of interspecific interactions have generated extensive bodies of theory on mutualism and disease independently, but few studies have considered the interaction between them. We developed a model exploring the interactions among a fungal mutualist, a viral pathogen, and their shared plant host. Both microbes were assumed to alter the uptake and use of nutrients by the plant. We found that the productivity of the system and the strength of the plant–fungal mutualism influenced community dynamics. In particular, at low productivity, the pathogen may depend on the presence of the fungal mutualist for persistence. Furthermore, under some conditions, both the productivity of the system and the strength of the plant–fungal mutualism may simultaneously cause the mutualist to go extinct. We note the presence of cyclic plant–pathogen population dynamics only in the presence of the mutualist. As found in other models of consumer–resource interactions, cyclic dynamics were driven by high productivity, but, in contrast to simpler systems, high pathogen effectiveness did not consistently lead to cyclic dynamics. In total, association with mutualists can alter host–pathogen interactions, and the reverse is also true in that pathogens may alter host–mutualist interactions.
      PubDate: 2015-02-01
  • Inferring topology from dynamics in spatial networks
    • Abstract: Abstract We examine the dynamics of oscillating populations in habitats described as networks of connected patches where the connections are not regular. This system would be typically analysed focusing either on the population dynamics, or measuring dispersal directly or indirectly. We focus on the question of the degree to which the dynamical patterns, as reflected in synchrony, reveal the underlying dispersal pathways. This would represent a bridge between two major spatial approaches: topological and dynamical. We show how local populations can be synchronized even if there is no direct dispersal route between them, while the stepping-stone populations are not synchronized. This leads to the surprising result that the topological structure of the underlying network is not reflected simply in patterns of synchrony across space in population dynamics. This shows that, with our current tools, the complex relationship between the underlying dispersal patterns and population dynamics prevent us from determining network structure through the observation of population dynamics.
      PubDate: 2015-02-01
  • A niche remedy for the dynamical problems of neutral theory
    • Abstract: Abstract We demonstrate how niche theory and Hubbell’s original formulation of neutral theory can be blended together into a general framework modeling the combined effects of selection, drift, speciation, and dispersal on community dynamics. This framework connects many seemingly unrelated ecological population models and allows for quantitative predictions to be made about the impact of niche stabilizing and destabilizing forces on population extinction times and abundance distributions. In particular, the existence of niche stabilizing forces in our blended framework can simultaneously resolve two major problems with the dynamics of neutral theory, namely predictions of species lifetimes that are too short and species ages that are too long.
      PubDate: 2014-11-13
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