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Journal Cover Ecology Letters
  [SJR: 8.63]   [H-I: 184]   [250 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1461-023X - ISSN (Online) 1461-0248
   Published by John Wiley and Sons Homepage  [1592 journals]
  • When things don't add up: quantifying impacts of multiple stressors from
           individual metabolism to ecosystem processing
    • Authors: Nika Galic; Lauren L. Sullivan, Volker Grimm, Valery E. Forbes
      Abstract: Ecosystems are exposed to multiple stressors which can compromise functioning and service delivery. These stressors often co-occur and interact in different ways which are not yet fully understood. Here, we applied a population model representing a freshwater amphipod feeding on leaf litter in forested streams. We simulated impacts of hypothetical stressors, individually and in pairwise combinations that target the individuals' feeding, maintenance, growth and reproduction. Impacts were quantified by examining responses at three levels of biological organisation: individual-level body sizes and cumulative reproduction, population-level abundance and biomass and ecosystem-level leaf litter decomposition. Interactive effects of multiple stressors at the individual level were mostly antagonistic, that is, less negative than expected. Most population- and ecosystem-level responses to multiple stressors were stronger than expected from an additive model, that is, synergistic. Our results suggest that across levels of biological organisation responses to multiple stressors are rarely only additive. We suggest methods for efficiently quantifying impacts of multiple stressors at different levels of biological organisation.
      PubDate: 2018-02-19T21:20:47.091381-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12923
  • Node self-connections and metapopulation persistence: reply to Saura
    • Authors: Jessica Zamborain-Mason; Garry R. Russ, Rene A. Abesamis, Abner A. Bucol, Sean R. Connolly
      Abstract: Saura () claims that studies using the Probability of Connectivity metric (PC) had already demonstrated the importance of including node self-connections in network metrics. As originally defined and used, PC cannot test the importance of self-connections. However, with key terms redefined, PC could be a useful tool in future work.
      PubDate: 2018-02-19T21:10:45.572975-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12924
  • Going through the motions: incorporating movement analyses into disease
    • Authors: Eric R. Dougherty; Dana P. Seidel, Colin J. Carlson, Orr Spiegel, Wayne M. Getz
      Abstract: Though epidemiology dates back to the 1700s, most mathematical representations of epidemics still use transmission rates averaged at the population scale, especially for wildlife diseases. In simplifying the contact process, we ignore the heterogeneities in host movements that complicate the real world, and overlook their impact on spatiotemporal patterns of disease burden. Movement ecology offers a set of tools that help unpack the transmission process, letting researchers more accurately model how animals within a population interact and spread pathogens. Analytical techniques from this growing field can also help expose the reverse process: how infection impacts movement behaviours, and therefore other ecological processes like feeding, reproduction, and dispersal. Here, we synthesise the contributions of movement ecology in disease research, with a particular focus on studies that have successfully used movement-based methods to quantify individual heterogeneity in exposure and transmission risk. Throughout, we highlight the rapid growth of both disease and movement ecology and comment on promising but unexplored avenues for research at their overlap. Ultimately, we suggest, including movement empowers ecologists to pose new questions, expanding our understanding of host–pathogen dynamics and improving our predictive capacity for wildlife and even human diseases.
      PubDate: 2018-02-14T21:26:33.371365-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12917
  • Elevated success of multispecies bacterial invasions impacts community
           composition during ecological succession
    • Authors: Damian W. Rivett; Matt L. Jones, Josep Ramoneda, Shorok B. Mombrikotb, Emma Ransome, Thomas Bell
      Abstract: Successful microbial invasions are determined by a species’ ability to occupy a niche in the new habitat whilst resisting competitive exclusion by the resident community. Despite the recognised importance of biotic factors in determining the invasiveness of microbial communities, the success and impact of multiple concurrent invaders on the resident community has not been examined. Simultaneous invasions might have synergistic effects, for example if resident species need to exhibit divergent phenotypes to compete with the invasive populations. We used three phylogenetically diverse bacterial species to invade two compositionally distinct communities in a controlled, naturalised in vitro system. By initiating the invader introductions at different stages of succession, we could disentangle the relative importance of resident community structure, invader diversity and time pre-invasion. Our results indicate that multiple invaders increase overall invasion success, but do not alter the successional trajectory of the whole community.
      PubDate: 2018-02-14T21:15:36.876788-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12916
  • Density-dependent survival varies with species life-history strategy in a
           tropical forest
    • Authors: Y. Zhu; S. A. Queenborough, R. Condit, S. P. Hubbell, K. P. Ma, L. S. Comita
      Abstract: Species coexistence in diverse communities likely results from multiple interacting factors. Mechanisms such as conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD) and varying life-history strategies related to resource partitioning are known to influence plant fitness, and thereby community composition and diversity. However, we have little understanding of how these mechanisms interact and how they vary across life stages. Here, we document the interaction between CNDD and life-history strategy, based on growth-mortality trade-offs, from seedling to adult tree for 47 species in a tropical forest. Species’ life-history strategies remained consistent across stages: fast-growing species had higher mortality than slow-growing species at all stages. In contrast, mean CNDD was strongest at early life stages (i.e. seedling, sapling). Fast-growing species tended to suffer greater CNDD than slow-growing species at several, but not all life stages. Overall, our results demonstrate that coexistence mechanisms interact across multiple life stages to shape diverse tree communities.
      PubDate: 2018-02-14T20:55:36.282161-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12915
  • Increased socially mediated plasticity in gene expression accompanies
           rapid adaptive evolution
    • Authors: Sonia Pascoal; Xuan Liu, Yongxiang Fang, Steve Paterson, Michael G. Ritchie, Nichola Rockliffe, Marlene Zuk, Nathan W. Bailey
      Abstract: Recent theory predicts that increased phenotypic plasticity can facilitate adaptation as traits respond to selection. When genetic adaptation alters the social environment, socially mediated plasticity could cause co-evolutionary feedback dynamics that increase adaptive potential. We tested this by asking whether neural gene expression in a recently arisen, adaptive morph of the field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus is more responsive to the social environment than the ancestral morph. Silent males (flatwings) rapidly spread in a Hawaiian population subject to acoustically orienting parasitoids, changing the population's acoustic environment. Experimental altering crickets’ acoustic environments during rearing revealed broad, plastic changes in gene expression. However, flatwing genotypes showed increased socially mediated plasticity, whereas normal-wing genotypes exhibited negligible expression plasticity. Increased plasticity in flatwing crickets suggests a coevolutionary process coupling socially flexible gene expression with the abrupt spread of flatwing. Our results support predictions that phenotypic plasticity should rapidly evolve to be more pronounced during early phases of adaptation.
      PubDate: 2018-02-14T02:00:01.458757-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12920
  • Pyrodiversity interacts with rainfall to increase bird and mammal richness
           in African savannas
    • Authors: Colin M. Beale; Colin J. Courtney Mustaphi, Thomas A. Morrison, Sally Archibald, T. Michael Anderson, Andrew P. Dobson, Jason E. Donaldson, Gareth P. Hempson, James Probert, Catherine L. Parr
      Abstract: Fire is a fundamental process in savannas and is widely used for management. Pyrodiversity, variation in local fire characteristics, has been proposed as a driver of biodiversity although empirical evidence is equivocal. Using a new measure of pyrodiversity (Hempson et al.), we undertook the first continent-wide assessment of how pyrodiversity affects biodiversity in protected areas across African savannas. The influence of pyrodiversity on bird and mammal species richness varied with rainfall: strongest support for a positive effect occurred in wet savannas (> 650 mm/year), where species richness increased by 27% for mammals and 40% for birds in the most pyrodiverse regions. Range-restricted birds were most increased by pyrodiversity, suggesting the diversity of fire regimes increases the availability of rare niches. Our findings are significant because they explain the conflicting results found in previous studies of savannas. We argue that managing savanna landscapes to increase pyrodiversity is especially important in wet savannas.
      PubDate: 2018-02-14T02:00:00.568215-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12921
  • Extreme streams: species persistence and genomic change in montane insect
           populations across a flooding gradient
    • Authors: N. LeRoy Poff; Erin I. Larson, Patricia E. Salerno, Scott G. Morton, Boris C. Kondratieff, Alexander S. Flecker, Kelly R. Zamudio, W. Chris Funk
      Abstract: The ecological and evolutionary consequences of extreme events are poorly understood. Here, we tested predictions about species persistence and population genomic change in aquatic insects in 14 Colorado mountain streams across a hydrological disturbance gradient caused by a one in 500-year rainfall event. Taxa persistence ranged from 39 to 77% across sites and declined with increasing disturbance in relation to species' resistance and resilience traits. For taxa with mobile larvae and terrestrial adult stages present at the time of the flood, average persistence was 84% compared to 25% for immobile taxa that lacked terrestrial adults. For two of six species analysed, genomic diversity (allelic richness) declined after the event. For one species it greatly expanded, suggesting resilience via re-colonisation from upstream populations. Thus, while resistance and resilience traits can explain species persistence to extreme disturbance, population genomic change varies among species, challenging generalisations about evolutionary responses to extreme events at landscape scales.
      PubDate: 2018-02-12T00:00:43.640058-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12918
  • Competing for blood: the ecology of parasite resource competition in human
           malaria–helminth co-infections
    • Authors: Sarah A. Budischak; Aprilianto E. Wiria, Firdaus Hamid, Linda J. Wammes, Maria M. M. Kaisar, Lisette Lieshout, Erliyani Sartono, Taniawati Supali, Maria Yazdanbakhsh, Andrea L. Graham
      Abstract: Ecological theory suggests that co-infecting parasite species can interact within hosts directly, via host immunity and/or via resource competition. In mice, competition for red blood cells (RBCs) between malaria and bloodsucking helminths can regulate malaria population dynamics, but the importance of RBC competition in human hosts was unknown. We analysed infection density (i.e. the concentration of parasites in infected hosts), from a 2-year deworming study of over 4000 human subjects. After accounting for resource-use differences among parasites, we find evidence of resource competition, priority effects and a competitive hierarchy within co-infected individuals. For example reducing competition via deworming increased Plasmodium vivax densities 2.8-fold, and this effect is limited to bloodsucking hookworms. Our ecological, resource-based perspective sheds new light into decades of conflicting outcomes of malaria–helminth co-infection studies with significant health and transmission consequences. Beyond blood, investigating within-human resource competition may bring new insights for improving human health.
      PubDate: 2018-02-08T02:00:03.375292-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12919
  • Network spandrels reflect ecological assembly
    • Authors: Daniel S. Maynard; Carlos A. Serván, Stefano Allesina
      Abstract: Ecological networks that exhibit stable dynamics should theoretically persist longer than those that fluctuate wildly. Thus, network structures which are over-represented in natural systems are often hypothesised to be either a cause or consequence of ecological stability. Rarely considered, however, is that these network structures can also be by-products of the processes that determine how new species attempt to join the community. Using a simulation approach in tandem with key results from random matrix theory, we illustrate how historical assembly mechanisms alter the structure of ecological networks. We demonstrate that different community assembly scenarios can lead to the emergence of structures that are often interpreted as evidence of ‘selection for stability’. However, by controlling for the underlying selection pressures, we show that these assembly artefacts—or spandrels—are completely unrelated to stability or selection, and are instead by-products of how new species are introduced into the system. We propose that these network-assembly spandrels are critically overlooked aspects of network theory and stability analysis, and we illustrate how a failure to adequately account for historical assembly can lead to incorrect inference about the causes and consequences of ecological stability.
      PubDate: 2018-01-29T00:15:59.86229-05:0
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12912
  • Geographical and experimental contexts modulate the effect of warming on
           top-down control: a meta-analysis
    • Authors: Nicholas dos Anjos Cristiano Marino; Gustavo Quevedo Romero, Vinicius Fortes Farjalla
      Abstract: Ecologists have extensively investigated the effect of warming on consumer–resource interactions, with experiments revealing that warming can strengthen, weaken or have no net effect on top-down control of resources. These experiments have inspired a body of theoretical work to explain the variation in the effect of warming on top-down control. However, there has been no quantitative attempt to reconcile theory with outcomes from empirical studies. To address the gap between theory and experiment, we performed a meta-analysis to examine the combined effect of experimental warming and top-down control on resource biomass and determined potential sources of variation across experiments. We show that differences in experimental outcomes are related to systematic variation in the geographical distribution of studies. Specifically, warming strengthened top-down control when experiments were conducted in colder regions, but had the opposite effect in warmer regions. Furthermore, we found that differences in the thermoregulation strategy of the consumer and openness of experimental arenas to dispersal can contribute to some deviation from the overall geographical pattern. These results reconcile empirical findings and support the expectation of geographical variation in the response of consumer–resource interactions to warming.
      PubDate: 2018-01-24T22:25:37.314678-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12913
  • Seed-dispersal interactions in fragmented landscapes – a metanetwork
    • Authors: Carine Emer; Mauro Galetti, Marco A. Pizo, Paulo R. Guimarães, Suelen Moraes, Augusto Piratelli, Pedro Jordano
      Abstract: Mutualistic interactions repeatedly preserved across fragmented landscapes can scale-up to form a spatial metanetwork describing the distribution of interactions across patches. We explored the structure of a bird seed-dispersal (BSD) metanetwork in 16 Neotropical forest fragments to test whether a distinct subset of BSD-interactions may mediate landscape functional connectivity. The metanetwork is interaction-rich, modular and poorly connected, showing high beta-diversity and turnover of species and interactions. Interactions involving large-sized species were lost in fragments
      PubDate: 2018-01-24T22:20:53.470759-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12909
  • Survival rates indicate that correlations between community-weighted mean
           traits and environments can be unreliable estimates of the adaptive value
           of traits
    • Authors: Daniel C. Laughlin; Robert T. Strahan, Peter B. Adler, Margaret M. Moore
      Abstract: Correlations between community-weighted mean (CWM) traits and environmental gradients are often assumed to quantify the adaptive value of traits. We tested this assumption by comparing these correlations with models of survival probability using 46 perennial species from long-term permanent plots in pine forests of Arizona. Survival was modelled as a function of trait × environment interactions, plant size, climatic variation and neighbourhood competition. The effect of traits on survival depended on the environmental conditions, but the two statistical approaches were inconsistent. For example, CWM-specific leaf area (SLA) and soil fertility were uncorrelated. However, survival was highest for species with low SLA in infertile soil, a result which agreed with expectations derived from the physiological trade-off underpinning leaf economic theory. CWM trait–environment relationships were unreliable estimates of how traits affected survival, and should only be used in predictive models when there is empirical support for an evolutionary trade-off that affects vital rates.
      PubDate: 2018-01-22T21:42:46.528584-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12914
  • Reconstructing geographical parthenogenesis: effects of niche
           differentiation and reproductive mode on Holocene range expansion of an
           alpine plant
    • Authors: Bernhard Kirchheimer; Johannes Wessely, Andreas Gattringer, Karl Hülber, Dietmar Moser, Christoph C. F. Schinkel, Marc Appelhans, Simone Klatt, Marco Caccianiga, Agnes Dellinger, Antoine Guisan, Michael Kuttner, Jonathan Lenoir, Luigi Maiorano, Diego Nieto-Lugilde, Christoph Plutzar, Jens-Christian Svenning, Wolfgang Willner, Elvira Hörandl, Stefan Dullinger
      Abstract: Asexual taxa often have larger ranges than their sexual progenitors, particularly in areas affected by Pleistocene glaciations. The reasons given for this ‘geographical parthenogenesis’ are contentious, with expansion of the ecological niche or colonisation advantages of uniparental reproduction assumed most important in case of plants. Here, we parameterized a spread model for the alpine buttercup Ranunculus kuepferi and reconstructed the joint Holocene range expansion of its sexual and apomictic cytotype across the European Alps under different simulation settings. We found that, rather than niche broadening or a higher migration rate, a shift of the apomict's niche towards colder conditions per se was crucial as it facilitated overcoming of topographical barriers, a factor likely relevant for many alpine apomicts. More generally, our simulations suggest potentially strong interacting effects of niche differentiation and reproductive modes on range formation of related sexual and asexual taxa arising from their differential sensitivity to minority cytotype disadvantage.
      PubDate: 2018-01-19T02:00:00.187678-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12908
  • Operational sex ratio predicts the opportunity and direction of sexual
           selection across animals
    • Authors: Tim Janicke; Edward H. Morrow
      Abstract: The operational sex ratio (OSR) has long been assumed to be a key ecological factor determining the opportunity and direction of sexual selection. However, recent theoretical work has challenged this view, arguing that a biased OSR does not necessarily result in greater monopolisation of mates and therefore stronger sexual selection in the mate-limited sex. Hence, the role of the OSR for shaping animal mating systems remains a conundrum in sexual selection research. Here we took a meta-analytic approach to test whether OSR explains interspecific variation in sexual selection metrics across a broad range of animal taxa. Our results demonstrate that the OSR predicts the opportunity for sexual selection in males and the direction of sexual selection in terms of sex differences in both the opportunity for sexual selection and the Bateman gradient (i.e. the selection differential of mating success), as predicted by classic theory.
      PubDate: 2018-01-16T20:25:27.749116-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12907
  • Eating down the food chain: generalism is not an evolutionary dead end for
    • Authors: Danny Rojas; Maria João Ramos Pereira, Carlos Fonseca, Liliana M. Dávalos
      Abstract: The role of trophic specialisation in taxonomic diversification remains unclear. Plant specialists diversify faster than omnivores and animalivores, but at shorter macroevolutionary scales this pattern sometimes reverses. Here, we estimate the effect of diet diversification on speciation rates in noctilionoid bats, controlling for tree shape, rate heterogeneity and macroevolutionary regimes. We hypothesise that niche subdivision among herbivores positively relates to speciation rates, differing between macroevolutionary regimes. We found the rate at which new herbivorous lineages originate decreases as rates of diet evolution increase. Herbivores experience higher speciation rates, but generalist herbivores and predominantly herbivorous omnivores speciate faster than specialised herbivores, omnivores and animalivores. Generalised herbivory is not a dead end. We show that analysing ecological traits and diversification requires accounting for macroevolutionary regimes and within- and between-clade variation in evolutionary rates. Our approach overcomes the high false-positive rates of other methods and illuminates the roles of herbivory and specialisation in speciation.
      PubDate: 2018-01-16T20:05:28.719465-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12911
  • C4 photosynthesis evolved in warm climates but promoted migration to
           cooler ones
    • Authors: Teera Watcharamongkol; Pascal-Antoine Christin, Colin P. Osborne
      Abstract: C4 photosynthesis is considered an adaptation to warm climates, where its functional benefits are greatest and C4 plants achieve their highest diversity and dominance. However, whether inherent physiological barriers impede the persistence of C4 species in cool environments remains debated. Here, we use large grass phylogenetic and geographical distribution data sets to test whether (1) temperature influences the rate of C4 origins, (2) photosynthetic types affect the rate of migration among climatic zones, and (3) C4 evolution changes the breadth of the temperature niche. Our analyses show that C4 photosynthesis in grasses originated in tropical climates, and that C3 grasses were more likely to colonise cold climates. However, migration rates among tropical and temperate climates were higher in C4 grasses. Therefore, while the origins of C4 photosynthesis were concentrated in tropical climates, its physiological benefits across a broad temperature range expanded the niche into warmer climates and enabled diversification into cooler environments.
      PubDate: 2018-01-10T01:10:51.138793-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12905
  • Artificial light at night confounds broad-scale habitat use by migrating
    • Authors: James D. McLaren; Jeffrey J. Buler, Tim Schreckengost, Jaclyn A. Smolinsky, Matthew Boone, E. Emiel van Loon, Deanna K. Dawson, Eric L. Walters
      Abstract: With many of the world's migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad-scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light-polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne migrants and lead to collisions with structures, but might also influence selection of migratory stopover habitat and thereby acquisition of food resources. We demonstrate, using multi-year weather radar measurements of nocturnal migrants across the northeastern U.S., that autumnal migrant stopover density increased at regional scales with proximity to the brightest areas, but decreased within a few kilometers of brightly-lit sources. This finding implies broad-scale attraction to artificial light while airborne, impeding selection for extensive forest habitat. Given that high-quality stopover habitat is critical to successful migration, and hindrances during migration can decrease fitness, artificial lights present a potentially heightened conservation concern for migratory bird populations.
      PubDate: 2018-01-09T02:00:02.106506-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12902
  • On the prevalence and dynamics of inverted trophic pyramids and otherwise
           top-heavy communities
    • Authors: Douglas J. McCauley; Gabriel Gellner, Neo D. Martinez, Richard J. Williams, Stuart A. Sandin, Fiorenza Micheli, Peter J. Mumby, Kevin S. McCann
      Abstract: Classically, biomass partitioning across trophic levels was thought to add up to a pyramidal distribution. Numerous exceptions have, however, been noted including complete pyramidal inversions. Elevated levels of biomass top-heaviness (i.e. high consumer/resource biomass ratios) have been reported from Arctic tundra communities to Brazilian phytotelmata, and in species assemblages as diverse as those dominated by sharks and ants. We highlight two major pathways for creating top-heaviness, via: (1) endogenous channels that enhance energy transfer across trophic boundaries within a community and (2) exogenous pathways that transfer energy into communities from across spatial and temporal boundaries. Consumer–resource models and allometric trophic network models combined with niche models reveal the nature of core mechanisms for promoting top-heaviness. Outputs from these models suggest that top-heavy communities can be stable, but they also reveal sources of instability. Humans are both increasing and decreasing top-heaviness in nature with ecological consequences. Current and future research on the drivers of top-heaviness can help elucidate fundamental mechanisms that shape the architecture of ecological communities and govern energy flux within and between communities. Questions emerging from the study of top-heaviness also usefully draw attention to the incompleteness and inconsistency by which ecologists often establish definitional boundaries for communities.
      PubDate: 2018-01-09T00:25:48.624495-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12900
  • Thermal biology mediates responses of amphibians and reptiles to habitat
    • Authors: A. Justin Nowakowski; James I. Watling, Michelle E. Thompson, George A. Brusch, Alessandro Catenazzi, Steven M. Whitfield, David J. Kurz, Ángela Suárez-Mayorga, Andrés Aponte-Gutiérrez, Maureen A. Donnelly, Brian D. Todd
      Abstract: Human activities often replace native forests with warmer, modified habitats that represent novel thermal environments for biodiversity. Reducing biodiversity loss hinges upon identifying which species are most sensitive to the environmental conditions that result from habitat modification. Drawing on case studies and a meta-analysis, we examined whether observed and modelled thermal traits, including heat tolerances, variation in body temperatures, and evaporative water loss, explained variation in sensitivity of ectotherms to habitat modification. Low heat tolerances of lizards and amphibians and high evaporative water loss of amphibians were associated with increased sensitivity to habitat modification, often explaining more variation than non-thermal traits. Heat tolerances alone explained 24–66% (mean = 38%) of the variation in species responses, and these trends were largely consistent across geographic locations and spatial scales. As habitat modification alters local microclimates, the thermal biology of species will likely play a key role in the reassembly of terrestrial communities.
      PubDate: 2018-01-04T20:30:34.061393-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12901
  • Bioerosion in a changing world: a conceptual framework
    • Authors: Timothy M. Davidson; Andrew H. Altieri, Gregory M. Ruiz, Mark E. Torchin
      Abstract: Bioerosion, the breakdown of hard substrata by organisms, is a fundamental and widespread ecological process that can alter habitat structure, biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling. Bioerosion occurs in all biomes of the world from the ocean floor to arid deserts, and involves a wide diversity of taxa and mechanisms with varying ecological effects. Many abiotic and biotic factors affect bioerosion by acting on the bioeroder, substratum, or both. Bioerosion also has socio-economic impacts when objects of economic or cultural value such as coastal defences or monuments are damaged. We present a unifying definition and advance a conceptual framework for (a) examining the effects of bioerosion on natural systems and human infrastructure and (b) identifying and predicting the impacts of anthropogenic factors (e.g. climate change, eutrophication) on bioerosion. Bioerosion is responding to anthropogenic changes in multiple, complex ways with significant and wide-ranging effects across systems. Emerging data further underscore the importance of bioerosion, and need for mitigating its impacts, especially at the dynamic land–sea boundary. Generalised predictions remain challenging, due to context-dependent effects and nonlinear relationships that are poorly resolved. An integrative and interdisciplinary approach is needed to understand how future changes will alter bioerosion dynamics across biomes and taxa.
      PubDate: 2018-01-04T20:25:48.749449-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12899
  • The phosphorus-rich signature of fire in the soil–plant system: a
           global meta-analysis
    • Authors: Orpheus M. Butler; James J. Elser, Tom Lewis, Brendan Mackey, Chengrong Chen
      Abstract: The biogeochemical and stoichiometric signature of vegetation fire may influence post-fire ecosystem characteristics and the evolution of plant ‘fire traits’. Phosphorus (P), a potentially limiting nutrient in many fire-prone environments, might be particularly important in this context; however, the effects of fire on P cycling often vary widely. We conducted a global-scale meta-analysis using data from 174 soil studies and 39 litter studies, and found that fire led to significantly higher concentrations of soil mineral P as well as significantly lower soil and litter carbon:P and nitrogen:P ratios. These results demonstrate that fire has a P-rich signature in the soil–plant system that varies with vegetation type. Further, they suggest that burning can ease P limitation and decouple the biogeochemical cycling of P, carbon and nitrogen. These effects resemble a transient reversion to an earlier stage of ecosystem development, and likely underpin at least some of fire's impacts on ecosystems and organisms.
      PubDate: 2018-01-04T00:20:39.861849-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12896
  • The extent and predictability of the biodiversity–carbon correlation
    • Authors: Moreno Di Marco; James E. M. Watson, David J. Currie, Hugh P. Possingham, Oscar Venter
      Abstract: Protecting biomass carbon stocks to mitigate climate change has direct implications for biodiversity conservation. Yet, evidence that a positive association exists between carbon density and species richness is contrasting. Here, we test how this association varies (1) across spatial extents and (2) as a function of how strongly carbon and species richness depend on environmental variables. We found the correlation weakens when moving from larger extents, e.g. realms, to narrower extents, e.g. ecoregions. For ecoregions, a positive correlation emerges when both species richness and carbon density vary as functions of the same environmental variables (climate, soil, elevation). In 20% of tropical ecoregions, there are opportunities to pursue carbon conservation with direct biodiversity co-benefits, while other ecoregions require careful planning for both species and carbon to avoid potentially perverse outcomes. The broad assumption of a linear relationship between carbon and biodiversity can lead to undesired outcomes.
      PubDate: 2018-01-04T00:15:48.009124-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12903
  • Issue Information
    • Pages: 321 - 322
      PubDate: 2018-02-12T18:38:02.765041-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12838
  • New innovations for 2018 and beyond
    • Authors: Tim Coulson; Peter Thrall, Jon Chase, Helmut Hillebrand, Vanessa Ezenwa, John Drake, Nathalie Espuno, Stephane Hello
      Pages: 323 - 323
      PubDate: 2018-02-12T18:38:07.076906-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12922
  • Corrigendum for Spaak et al. (2017) DOI: 10.1111/ele.12828
    • Pages: 467 - 467
      PubDate: 2018-02-12T18:38:03.439629-05:
      DOI: 10.1111/ele.12906
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