Holobionts are dynamic ecosystems that may respond to abiotic drivers with compositional changes. Uncovering elevational diversity patterns within these microecosystems can further our understanding of community-environment interactions. Here we assess how the major components of lichen holobionts – fungal hosts, green algal symbionts, and the bacterial community – collectively respond to an elevational gradient. We analyze populations of two lichen symbioses, Umbilicaria pustulata and U. hispanica, along an elevational gradient spanning 2100 altitudinal meters and...
Research on resource partitioning in plant-pollinator mutualistic systems is mainly concentrated at the levels of species and communities, whereas differences between males and females are typically ignored. Nevertheless, pollinators often show large sexual differences in behaviour and morphology, which may lead to sex-specific patterns of resource use with the potential to differentially affect plant reproduction and diversification. We investigated variation in behavioural and morphological traits between sexes of hummingbird species as potential mechanisms underlying sex-specific...
The framework of the plant economics spectrum advanced our understanding of plant ecology and proved as a unifying concept across plant taxonomy, growth forms and biomes. Similar approaches for animals mostly focus on linking life-history and metabolic theory, but not on their application in ecosystem research. To fill this gap, we propose the animal economics spectrum (AES) based on broadly available traits that describe organismal size, biological times and rates. To exemplify the feasibility and...
Bird-mediated seed dispersal is crucial for the regeneration and viability of ecosystems, often resulting in complex mutualistic species networks. Yet, how this mutualism drives the evolution of seed dispersing birds is still poorly understood. In the present study we combine whole genome re-sequencing analyses and morphometric data to assess the evolutionary processes that shaped the diversification of the Eurasian nutcracker (Nucifraga), a seed disperser known for its mutualism with pines (Pinus). Our results show that...
Independent variation of avian sensitivity to climate change and trait-based adaptive capacity along a tropical elevational gradientLarissa Nowak, Matthias Schleuning, Irene Bender, W. Daniel Kissling & Susanne Fritz
Aim: How species respond to climate change is influenced by their sensitivity to climatic conditions (i.e., their climatic niche) and aspects of their adaptive capacity (e.g., their dispersal ability, ecological niche). To date, it is largely unknown whether and how species’ sensitivity to climate change and their adaptive capacity covary. However, understanding this relationship is important to predict the potential consequences of a changing climate for species assemblages. Here, we test how species’ sensitivity to...
1) The diversity of traits within animal assemblages has been shown to affect the magnitude of animal-provided ecological functions. However, little is known about how consistent trait diversity effects are across ecological functions and ecosystems. More importantly, the importance of trait diversity in driving ecosystem functioning, relative to other components of biodiversity, has rarely been assessed. It also remains unclear how environmental gradients filter trait diversity and, ultimately, modulate ecological functions. 2) Here we test...
Population analysis of retrotransposons in giraffe genomes supports RTE decline and widespread LINE1 activity in GiraffidaeMalte Petersen, Sven Winter, Raphael T. F. Coimbra, Menno J. De-Jong, Vladimir V. Kapitonov & Maria A. Nilsson
The majority of structural variation in genomes is caused by insertions of transposable elements (TEs). In mammalian genomes, the main TE fraction is made up of autonomous and non-autonomous non-LTR retrotransposons commonly known as LINEs and SINEs (Long and Short Interspersed Nuclear Elements). Here we present one of the first population-level analysis of TE insertions in a non-model organism, the giraffe. Giraffes are ruminant artiodactyls, one of the few mammalian groups with genomes that are...
Avian seed dispersal may be insufficient for plants to track future temperature change on tropical mountainsLarissa Nowak, Matthias Schleuning, Irene M. A. Bender, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, D. Matthias Dehling, Susanne A. Fritz, W. Daniel Kissling, Thomas Mueller, Eike Lena Neuschulz, Alex L. Pigot, Marjorie C. Sorensen & Isabel Donoso
Abstract Aim: Climate change causes species’ range shifts globally. Terrestrial plant species often lag behind temperature shifts, and it is unclear to what extent animal-dispersed plants can track climate change. Here, we estimate the ability of bird-dispersed plant species to track future temperature change on a tropical mountain. Location: Tropical elevational gradient (500–3500 m a.s.l.) in the Manú biosphere reserve, Peru Time period: 1960–1990 to 2061–2080 Taxa: Fleshy-fruited plants, avian frugivores Methods: Using simulations based...
Late Cenozoic climate change led to the progressive aridification of Australia over the past 15 million years. This gradual biome turnover fundamentally changed Australia’s ecosystems, opening new niches and prompting diversification of plants and animals. One example are termites of the Australian Amitermes Group (AAG), consisting of the Australian Amitermes and affiliated genera. Although the most speciose and diverse higher termite group in Australia, little is known about its evolutionary history. We used ancestral range...
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre9
National University of Tucumán2
Goethe University Frankfurt2
University of Amsterdam2
University of Oviedo1
University of Quindío1
Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden1
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais1
University of Lausanne1
Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso1