57 Works

Data from: Micro- and macroparasite species richness in birds: the role of host life history and ecology

Jorge S. Gutiérrez, Theunis Piersma & David W. Thieltges
1.Identifying the factors shaping variation in parasite diversity among host species is crucial to understand wildlife diseases. Although micro‐ and macroparasites may exert different selective pressures on their hosts, studies investigating the determinants of parasite species richness in animals have rarely considered this divide. 2.Here, we investigated the role of host life history and ecology in explaining the species richness of helminths (macroparasites) and haemosporidians (microparasites) in birds worldwide. We collated data from multiple global...

Data from: Natural selection by pulsed predation: survival of the thickest

Allert I. Bijleveld, Sönke Twietmeyer, Julia Piechocki, Jan A. Van Gils & Theunis Piersma
Selective predation can lead to natural selection in prey populations and may alleviate competition among surviving individuals. The processes of selection and competition can have substantial effects on prey population dynamics, but are rarely studied simultaneously. Moreover, field studies of predator-induced short-term selection pressures on prey populations are scarce. Here we report measurements of density dependence in body composition in a bivalve prey (edible cockle, Cerastoderma edule) during bouts of intense predation by an avian...

Data from: Field measurements give biased estimates of functional response parameters, but help explain foraging distributions

Sjoerd Duijns, Ineke E. Knot, Theunis Piersma & Jan A. Van Gils
1. Mechanistic insights and predictive understanding of the spatial distributions of foragers are typically derived by fitting either field measurements on intake rates and food abundance, or observations from controlled experiments, to functional response models. It has remained unclear, however, whether and why one approach should be favoured above the other, as direct comparative studies are rare. 2. The field measurements required to parameterize either single or multi-species functional response models are relatively easy to...

Change in saltmarsh extent for six regions across Great Britain (1846-2016)

C.J.T. Ladd, M.F. Duggan-Edwards, T.J. Bouma, J.F. Pagès & M.W. Skov
Data are presented showing change in saltmarsh extent along 25 estuaries/embayments in six regions across Great Britain, between 1846 and 2016. Data were captured from maps and aerial photographs. Marsh extent was delineated a scale of 1:7,500 by placing vertices every 5 m along the marsh edge. Error introduced from: (i) inaccuracies in the basemap used to georeference maps and aerial photographs; (ii) the georeferencing procedure itself; (iii) the interpreter when placing vertices on the...

Data from: Vegetation recovery in tidal marshes reveals critical slowing down under increased inundation

Jim Van Belzen, Johan Van De Koppel, Matthew L. Kirwan, Daphne Van Der Wal, Peter M. J. Herman, Vasilis Dakos, Sonia Kéfi, Marten Scheffer, Glenn R. Guntenspergen & Tjeerd J. Bouma
A declining rate of recovery following disturbance has been proposed as an important early warning for impending tipping points in complex systems. Despite extensive theoretical and laboratory studies, this ‘critical slowing down’ remains largely untested in the complex settings of real-world ecosystems. Here, we provide both observational and experimental support of critical slowing down along natural stress gradients in tidal marsh ecosystems. Time series of aerial images of European marsh development reveal a consistent lengthening...

Data from: Personality drives physiological adjustments and is not related to survival

Allert I. Bijleveld, Georgina Massourakis, Annemarie Van Der Marel, Anne Dekinga, Bernard Spaans, Jan A. Van Gils & Theunis Piersma
The evolutionary function and maintenance of variation in animal personality is still under debate. Variation in the size of metabolic organs has recently been suggested to cause and maintain variation in personality. Here, we examine two main underlying notions: (i) that organ sizes vary consistently between individuals and cause consistent behavioural patterns, and (ii) that a more exploratory personality is associated with reduced survival. Exploratory behaviour of captive red knots (Calidris canutus, a migrant shorebird)...

Data from: Body shrinkage due to Arctic warming reduces red knot fitness in tropical wintering range

Jan A. Van Gils, Simeon Lisovski, Tamar Lok, Włodzimierz Meissner, Agnieszka Ożarowska, Jimmy De Fouw, Eldar Rakhiemberdiev, Mikhail Y. Soloviev, Theunis Piersma & Marcel Klaassen
Reductions in body size are increasingly being identified as a response to climate warming. Here we present evidence for a case of such body shrinkage, potentially due to malnutrition in early life. We show that an avian long-distance migrant (red knot, Calidris canutus canutus), which is experiencing globally unrivaled warming rates at its high-Arctic breeding grounds, produces smaller offspring with shorter bills during summers with early snowmelt. This has consequences half a world away at...

Data from: A three-stage symbiosis forms the foundation of seagrass ecosystems

Tjisse Van Der Heide, Laura L. Govers, Jimmy De Fouw, Han Olff, Matthijs Van Der Geest, Marieke M. Van Katwijk, Theunis Piersma, Johan Van De Koppel, Brian R. Silliman, Alfons J. P. Smolders & Jan A. Van Gils
Seagrasses evolved from terrestrial plants into marine foundation species around 100 million years ago. Their ecological success, however, remains a mystery because natural organic matter accumulation within the beds should result in toxic sediment sulfide levels. Using a meta-analysis, a field study, and a laboratory experiment, we reveal how an ancient three-stage symbiosis between seagrass, lucinid bivalves, and their sulfide-oxidizing gill bacteria reduces sulfide stress for seagrasses. We found that the bivalve–sulfide-oxidizer symbiosis reduced sulfide...

Data from: A novel integrative method for measuring body condition in ecological studies based on physiological dysregulation

Emmanuel Milot, Alan A. Cohen, François Vézina, Deborah M. Buehler, Kevin D. Matson, Theunis Piersman & Theunis Piersma
1. The body condition of free-ranging animals affects their response to stress, decisions, ability to fulfil vital needs and, ultimately, fitness. However, this key attribute in ecology remains difficult to assess, and there is a clear need for more integrative measures than the common univariate proxies. 2. We propose a systems biology approach that positions individuals along a gradient from a ‘normal/optimal’ to ‘abnormal/suboptimal’ physiological state based on Mahalanobis distance computed from physiological biomarkers. We...

Data from: Moving on with foraging theory: incorporating movement decisions into the functional response of a gregarious shorebird

Jan A. Van Gils, Matthijs Van Der Geest, Brecht De Meulenaer, Hanneke Gillis, Theunis Piersma & Eelke O. Folmer
1. Models relating intake rate to food abundance and competitor densities (generalized functional response models) can predict forager distributions and movements between patches, but we lack understanding of how distributions and small-scale movements by the foragers themselves affect intake rates. 2. Using a state-of-the-art approach based on continuous-time Markov chain dynamics, we add realism to classic functional response models by acknowledging that the chances to encounter food and competitors are influenced by movement decisions, and,...

Data from: Genetic architecture in a marine hybrid zone: comparing outlier detection and genomic clines analysis in the bivalve Macoma balthica

Pieternella C. Luttikhuizen, Jan Drent, Katja T. C. A. Peijnenburg, Henk W. Van Der Veer & Kerstin Johannesson
The role of natural selection in speciation has received increasing attention and support in recent years. Different types of approaches have been developed that can detect genomic regions influenced by selection. Here we address the question whether two highly different methods - Fst outlier analysis and admixture analysis - detect largely the same set of non-neutral genomic elements or, instead, complementary sets. We study genetic architecture in a natural secondary contact zone where extensive admixture...

Data from: Structure and functioning of intertidal food webs along an avian flyway: a comparative approach using stable isotopes

Teresa Catry, Pedro M. Lourenço, Ricardo J. Lopes, Camilo Carneiro, José A. Alves, Joana Costa, Hamid Rguibi-Idrissi, Stuart Bearhop, Theunis Piersma & José P. Granadeiro
Food webs and trophic dynamics of coastal systems have been the focus of intense research throughout the world, as they prove to be critical in understanding ecosystem processes and functions. However, very few studies have undertaken a quantitative comparison of entire food webs from a key consumer perspective across a broad geographical area, limiting relevant comparisons among systems with distinct biotic and abiotic components. We investigate the structure and functioning of food webs in four...

Data from: The shaping role of self-organization: linking vegetation patterning, plant traits and ecosystem functioning

Li-Xia Zhao, Chi Xu, Zhen-Ming Ge, Johan Van De Koppel & Quan-Xing Liu
Self-organized spatial patterns are increasingly recognized for their contribution to ecosystem functioning, in terms of enhanced productivity, ecosystem stability, and species diversity in terrestrial as well as marine ecosystems. Most studies on the impact of spatial self-organization have focused on systems that exhibit regular patterns. However, there is an abundance of patterns in many ecosystems which are not strictly regular. Understanding of how these patterns are formed and how they affect ecosystem function is crucial...

Data from: Reciprocal facilitation between annual plants and burrowing crabs: implications for the restoration of degraded salt marshes

Dongdong Qiu, Baoshan Cui, Xu Ma, Jiaguo Yan, Yanzi Cai, Tian Xie, Fang Gao, Fangfang Wang, Haochen Sui, Junhong Bai, Johan Van De Koppel & Han Olff
​​​​​​Increasing evidence shows that facilitative interactions between species play an essential role in coastal wetland ecosystems. However, there is a lack of understanding of how such interactions can be used for restoration purposes in salt marsh ecosystems. We, therefore, studied the mechanisms of reciprocal facilitative interactions between native annual plants, Suaeda salsa, and burrowing crabs, Helice tientsinensis, in a middle-elevation salt marsh (with generally high plant density and moderate tides) in the Yellow River Delta...

Data from: Seagrass coastal protection services reduced by invasive species expansion and megaherbivore grazing

Rebecca K. James, Marjolijn J. A. Christianen, Marieke Van Katwijk, Jaco De Smit, , Peter Herman & Tjeerd Bouma
1. Seagrasses provide an important ecosystem service by creating a stable erosion-resistant seabed that contributes to effective coastal protection. Variable morphologies and life history strategies, however, are likely to impact the sediment stabilisation capacity of different seagrass species. We question how opportunistic invasive species and increasing grazing by megaherbivores may alter sediment stabilisation services provided by established seagrass meadows, using the Caribbean as a case study. 2. Utilising two portable field-flumes that simulate unidirectional and...

An invasive species erodes the performance of coastal wetland protected areas

Junlin Ren, Jianshe Chen, Changlin Xu, Johan Van De Koppel, Mads Thomsen, Shi-Yun Qiu, Fangyan Cheng, Wanjuan Song, Quan-Xing Liu, Chi Xu, Junhong Bai, Yihui Zhang, Baoshan Cui, Mark Bertness, Brian Silliman, Bo Li & Qiang He
The world has increasingly relied upon protected areas (PAs) to rescue highly valued ecosystems from human activities, but whether PAs will fare well with bioinvasions remains unknown. By analyzing three decades of seven largest coastal PAs in China, including multiple World Natural Heritage and/or Wetlands of International Importance sites, we show that although PAs are achieving success in rescuing iconic wetlands and critical shorebird habitats from once widespread reclamation, this success is counteracted by escalating...

Data from: Cyanophage propagation in the freshwater cyanobacterium Phormidium is constrained by phosphorus limitation and enhanced by elevated pCO2

Dedmer Van De Waal, Kai Cheng, Thijs Frenken & Corina P. D. Brussaard
Intensification of human activities has led to changes in the availabilities of CO2 and nutrients in freshwater ecosystems, which may greatly alter the physiological status of phytoplankton. Viruses require hosts for their reproduction and shifts in phytoplankton host physiology through global environmental change may thus affect viral infections as well. Various studies have investigated the impacts of single environmental factors on phytoplankton virus propagation, yet little is known about the impacts of multiple factors, particularly...

Data from: Low-canopy seagrass beds still provide important coastal protection services

Marjolijn J. A. Christianen, Marieke M. Van Katwijk, Peter J. M. Van Leent, Jim Van Belzen, Peter M. J. Herman, Tjeerd J. Bouma & Leon P. M. Lamers
One of the most frequently quoted ecosystem services of seagrass meadows is their value for coastal protection. Many studies emphasize the role of above-ground shoots in attenuating waves, enhancing sedimentation and preventing erosion. This raises the question if short-leaved, low density (grazed) seagrass meadows with most of their biomass in belowground tissues can also stabilize sediments. We examined this by combining manipulative field experiments and wave measurements along a typical tropical reef flat where green...

Data from: Drivers shaping the diversity and biogeography of total and active bacterial communities in the South China Sea

Yao Zhang, Zihao Zhao, Minhan Dai, Nianzhi Jiao & Gerhard J. Herndl
To test the hypothesis that different drivers shape the diversity and biogeography of the total and active bacterial community, we examined the bacterial community composition along two transects, one from the inner Pearl River estuary to the open waters of the South China Sea (SCS) and the other from the Luzon Strait to the SCS basin, using 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA and 16S rRNA gene (V1-3 regions) and thereby, characterizing the active and...

Data from: Parasites affect food web structure primarily through increased diversity and complexity

Jennifer A. Dunne, Kevin D. Lafferty, Andrew P. Dobson, Ryan F. Hechinger, Armand M. Kuris, Neo D. Martinez, John P. McLaughlin, Kim N. Mouritsen, Robert Poulin, Karsten Reise, Daniel B. Stouffer, David W. Thieltges, Richard J. Williams & Claus Dieter Zander
Comparative research on food web structure has revealed generalities in trophic organization, produced simple models, and allowed assessment of robustness to species loss. These studies have mostly focused on free-living species. Recent research has suggested that inclusion of parasites alters structure. We assess whether such changes in network structure result from unique roles and traits of parasites or from changes to diversity and complexity. We analyzed seven highly resolved food webs that include metazoan parasite...

Data from: Validating the incorporation of 13C and 15N in a shorebird that consumes an isotopically distinct chemosymbiotic bivalve

Jan A. Van Gils & Mohamed Vall Ahmedou Salem
The wealth of field studies using stable isotopes to make inferences about animal diets require controlled validation experiments to make proper interpretations. Despite several pleas in the literature for such experiments, validation studies are still lagging behind, notably in consumers dwelling in chemosynthesis-based ecosystems. In this paper we present such a validation experiment for the incorporation of 13C and 15N in the blood plasma of a medium-sized shorebird, the red knot (Calidris canutus canutus), consuming...

Data from: A keystone mutualism underpins resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought

Christine Angelini, John N. Griffin, Johan Van De Koppel, Leon P. M. Lamers, Alfons J. P. Smolders, Marlous Derksen-Hooijberg, Tjisse Van Der Heide & Brian R. Silliman
Droughts are increasing in severity and frequency, yet the mechanisms that strengthen ecosystem resilience to this stress remain poorly understood. Here, we test whether positive interactions in the form of a mutualism between mussels and dominant cordgrass in salt marshes enhance ecosystem resistance to and recovery from drought. Surveys spanning 250 km of southeastern US coastline reveal spatially dispersed mussel mounds increased cordgrass survival during severe drought by 5- to 25-times. Surveys and mussel addition...

A 5.3-million-year history of monsoonal precipitation in northwestern Australia

Jan-Berend Willem Stuut , Patrick De Deckker , Mariem Saavedra-Pellitero , Franck Bassinot , Anna Joy Drury , Maureen Walczak & Kana Nagashima
NIOZ - Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, and Utrecht University, Texel, the Netherlands (1); MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, Bremen University, Bremen, Germany (2); Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands (3); ANU – Australian National University, Research School of Earth Sciences, Canberra, Australia (4); School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Birmingham, United Kingdom (5); LSCE - Laboratoire des Sciences du...

Data from: Phenotype-limited distributions: short-billed birds move away during times that prey bury deeply

Sjoerd Duijns, Jan A. Van Gils, Jennifer Smart & Theunis Piersma
In our seasonal world, animals face a variety of environmental conditions in the course of the year. To cope with such seasonality, animals may be phenotypically flexible, but some phenotypic traits are fixed. If fixed phenotypic traits are functionally linked to resource use, then animals should redistribute in response to seasonally changing resources, leading to a ‘phenotype-limited’ distribution. Here, we examine this possibility for a shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica; a long-billed and sexually...

Data from: Sex-specific winter distribution in a sexually dimorphic shorebird is explained by resource partitioning

Sjoerd Duijns, Jan A. Van Gils, Bernard Spaans, Job Ten Horn, Maarten Brugge & Theunis Piersma
Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) implies correlated differences in energetic requirements and feeding opportunities, such that sexes will face different trade-offs in habitat selection. In seasonal migrants, this could result in a differential spatial distribution across the wintering range. To identify the ecological causes of sexual spatial segregation, we studied a sexually dimorphic shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica, in which females have a larger body and a longer bill than males. With respect to the...

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  • Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
  • University of Groningen
  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Beijing Normal University
  • Duke University
  • Fudan University
  • Wageningen University & Research
  • Princeton University
  • Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie
  • East China Normal University