74 Works

Data from: Fitness of an allopolyploid rupicolous fern compared to its diploid progenitors: From sporogenesis to sporophyte formation

Emilia Pangua, Santiago Pajarón & Luis G. Quintanilla
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: When two populations of related cytotypes grow in sympatry, the rarer cytotype tends to be excluded due to a frequency-dependent mating disadvantage. Evolutionary models predict that polyploids, which are typically the rarer cytotype upon first formation, should have higher relative fitness and/or higher selfing rates to establish and then coexist with diploid parents. METHODS: We compared performance in early recruitment among three co-occurring rupicolous fern species: the allotetraploid Cheilanthes tinaei and...

Data from: Differences in thallus chemistry are related to species-specific effects of biocrust-forming lichens on soil nutrients and microbial communities

Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Antonio Gallardo, Felisa Covelo, Ana Prado-Comesaña, Victoria Ochoa & Fernando T. Maestre
1. It is well-known that vascular plants have species-specific effects on soil properties. However, little is known on how individual species forming biocrusts, communities dominated by lichens, mosses and cyanobacteria that are prevalent in many ecosystems world-wide, affect microbial communities and soil variables related to nutrient cycling. 2. We evaluated the relationship of six biocrust-forming lichens (Buellia epipolia, Diploschistes diacapsis, Fulgensia subbracteata, Psora decipiens, Squamarina cartilaginea and Squamarina lentigera) with microbial abundance and multiple variables...

Data from: Lichen traits responding to aridity

Paula Matos, Pedro Pinho, Gregorio Aragón, Isabel Martinez, Alice Nunes, Amadeu M. V. M. Soares & Cristina Branquinho
1. Climate change is expected to cause several impacts at the global scale and drylands will be among the most affected areas. Thus, investigating how these changes will affect the composition, structure and functioning of dryland ecosystems has become a priority. From an ecological indicator point of view, several works have shown that functional diversity is better than species richness to understand ecosystem functioning or response to environmental factors. However most of these works focus...

Data from: Vascular plants mediate the effects of aridity and soil properties on ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea

Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Antonio Gallardo, Matthew D. Wallenstein & Fernando T. Maestre
An integrated perspective of the most important factors driving the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in natural ecosystems is lacking, especially in drylands. We evaluated how different climatic, abiotic, and nutrient-related factors determine AOA and AOB abundance in bare and vegetated microsites from grasslands throughout the Mediterranean Basin. We found a strong negative relationship between the abundance of AOA genes and soil fertility (availability of C, N, and P). Aridity and other...

Data from: Poor plant performance under simulated climate change is linked to mycorrhizal responses in a semiarid shrubland

Lupe León-Sánchez, Emilio Nicolás, Marta Goberna, Iván Prieto, Fernando T. Maestre & José Ignacio Querejeta
1.Warmer and drier conditions associated with ongoing climate change will increase abiotic stress for plants and mycorrhizal fungi in drylands worldwide, thereby potentially reducing vegetation cover and productivity and increasing the risk of land degradation and desertification. Rhizosphere microbial interactions and feedbacks are critical processes that could either mitigate or aggravate the vulnerability of dryland vegetation to forecasted climate change. 2.We conducted a four-year manipulative study in a semiarid shrubland in the Iberian Peninsula to...

Data from: Livestock overgrazing disrupts the positive associations between soil biodiversity and nitrogen availability

Ling Wang, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Xuan Zhao, Minna Zhang, Yueqing Song, Jinting Cai, Qing Chang, Zhiqiang Li, Ying Chen, Jushan Liu, Hui Zhu, Deli Wang, Guodong Han, Cunzhu Liang, Chengjie Wang & Xiao-Ping Xin
Livestock overgrazing influences both microbial communities and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the role of overgrazing in regulating the relationship between soil biodiversity and nitrogen availability remains largely unexplored. We performed long-term grazing exclusion experiments across eight sites along precipitation gradient covering three major types of grassland in northern China to compare the linkage between soil microbial diversity and N availability in overgrazed versus non-grazed conditions. We found a positive association between fungal diversity...

Data from: Facilitation beyond species richness

Julia Vega-Álvarez, José Antonio García Rodríguez & Luis Cayuela
1. Facilitation studies have previously focused on the effects of plant-plant interactions on species richness and, more recently, on functional traits or phylogenetic aspects. Little is known, however, about the simultaneous effects that facilitation have on overall biodiversity, jointly considering taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity. 2. In this study, we investigated shrub facilitation on herb communities in a Mediterranean grassland over a 9-year period (2007-2015), each year representing different water availability conditions. Taxonomic, functional and...

Data from: Untangling human and environmental effects on geographical gradients of mammal species richness: a global and regional evaluation

Erik Joaquin Torres-Romero & Miguel-Á Olalla-Tárraga
Different hypotheses (geographic, ecological, evolutionary or a combination of them) have been suggested to account for the spatial variation in species richness. However, the relative importance of environment and human impacts in explaining these patterns, either globally or at the biogeographic region level, remains largely unexplored. Here we jointly evaluate how current environmental conditions and human impacts shape global and regional gradients of species richness in terrestrial mammals. We processed IUCN global distributional data for...

Predation risk can modify the foraging behaviour of frugivorous carnivores: implications of rewilding apex predators for plant-animal mutualisms

Tamara Burgos, José M. Fedriani, Gema Escribano-Ávila, Javier Seoane, Javier Hernández-Hernández & Emilio Virgós
Apex predators play key roles in food webs and their recovery can trigger trophic cascades in some ecosystems. Intra-guild competition can reduce the abundances of smaller predators and perceived predation risk can alter their foraging behaviour thereby limiting seed dispersal by frugivorous carnivores. However, little is known about how plant-frugivore mutualism could be disturbed in the presence of larger predators. We evaluated the top-down effect of the regional superpredator, the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), on...

What feeds on Quercus ilex L.? A biogeographical approach to studying trophic interactions in a Mediterranean keystone species

Juan Antonio Hernández-Agüero, Ildefonso Ruiz-Tapiador & Luis Cayuela
Holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) is regarded as a keystone plant species. Although trophic interactions may affect the phytophagous species distribution and abundance, the number of arthropod species using holm oak as a food resource and their levels of host specificity is not yet known. Here we aim to quantify these species, their feeding strategies and conservation status, investigate the taxonomic relatedness in each trophic guild and assess their degree of host specificity with the...

Natural selection favours drought escape and an acquisitive resource-use strategy in semiarid Mediterranean shrubs

Mario Blanco-Sánchez, Marina Ramos-Muñoz, Beatriz Pías, Jose Alberto Ramirez-Valiente, Laura Díaz-Guerra, Adrián Escudero & Silvia Matesanz
1. Natural selection is the major force driving adaptive evolution in natural populations, varying in strength, direction, and form through space and time, especially in highly variable environments such as Mediterranean ecosystems. Although a conservative resource-use strategy has been hypothesized to be adaptive in Mediterranean taxa, patterns of selection at the intraspecific level, i.e., the suite of traits determining individual fitness, are largely unknown. 2. Using a phenotypic selection experiment in natural semiarid conditions, we...

Data from: GlobTherm, a global database on thermal tolerances for aquatic and terrestrial organisms

Joanne M. Bennett, Piero Calosi, Susana Clusella-Trullas, Brezo Martínez, Jennifer Sunday, Adam C. Algar, Miguel B. Araújo, Bradford A. Hawkins, Sally Keith, Ingolf Kühn, Carsten Rahbek, Laura Rodríguez, Alexander Singer, Fabricio Villalobos, Miguel Ángel Olalla-Tárraga & Ignacio Morales-Castilla
How climate affects species distributions is a longstanding question receiving renewed interest owing to the need to predict the impacts of global warming on biodiversity. Is climate change forcing species to live near their critical thermal limits? Are these limits likely to change through natural selection? These and other important questions can be addressed with models relating geographical distributions of species with climate data, but inferences made with these models are highly contingent on non-climatic...

Data from: A new non-parametric method for analyzing replicated point patterns in ecology

Pablo Ramón, Marcelino De La Cruz, Julia Chacón–Labella & Adrián Escudero
Most ecological studies that involve point pattern analyses are based on a single plot, which prevent the separation of the effects of various processes that could act simultaneously, as well as limiting the conclusions that can be extracted from these studies. However, considering the spatial distribution of individuals in several plots as replicates of the same process could help to differentiate its specific effects from those of other confounding processes. Thus, we introduce a new...

Data from: Do changes in grazing pressure and the degree of shrub encroachment alter the effects of individual shrubs on understorey plant communities and soil function?

Santiago Soliveres & David J. Eldridge
1. Shrub encroachment has dramatically altered the structure and functioning of many dryland ecosystems worldwide. While positive effects of shrubs on their understorey are commonly found (patch-level effects), these effects can be either positive or negative when scaled up to the community or landscape level (landscape-level effects). These contrasting results are likely to be caused by differences in the degree of shrub encroachment or grazing pressure among studies. No study has addressed the relationship between...

Data from: Warming reduces the growth and diversity of biological soil crusts in a semi-arid environment: implications for ecosystem structure and functioning

Cristina Escolar, Isabel Martínez, Matthew A. Bowker, Fernando T. Maestre & I. Martinez
Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are key biotic components of dryland ecosystems worldwide that control many functional processes, including carbon and nitrogen cycling, soil stabilization, and infiltration. Regardless of their ecological importance and prevalence in drylands, very few studies have explicitly evaluated how climate change will affect the structure and composition of BSCs, and the functioning of their constituents. Using a manipulative experiment conducted over three years in a semi-arid site from central Spain, we evaluated...

Data from: Nutrition in extreme food specialists: an illustration using termites

Laure-Anne Poissonnier, Sara Arganda, Stephen J. Simpson, Audrey Dussutour & Jerome Buhl
1. Recent nutritional ecology theories predict that an organism feeding on a single, highly predictable food should lack the typical active regulation of nutrient balance observed in all other organisms studied so far. It could instead limit itself to controlling the amount of food eaten alone. Such an animal would however be strongly affected by nutrient imbalances. 2. Termites are an ideal model animal to test those predictions. 3. We investigated how the nutritional content...

Data from: Shrub encroachment can reverse desertification in semi-arid Mediterranean grasslands

Fernando T. Maestre, Matthew A. Bowker, María D. Puche, M. Belén Hinojosa, Isabel Martínez, Pablo García-Palacios, Andrea P. Castillo, Santiago Soliveres, Arántzazu L. Luzuriaga, Ana M. Sánchez, José A. Carreira, Antonio Gallardo & Adrián Escudero
The worldwide phenomenon of shrub encroachment in grass-dominated dryland ecosystems is commonly associated with desertification. Studies of the purported desertification effects associated with shrub encroachment are often restricted to relatively few study areas, and document a narrow range of possible impacts upon biota and ecosystem processes. We conducted a study in degraded Mediterranean grasslands dominated by Stipa tenacissima to simultaneously evaluate the effects of shrub encroachment on the structure and composition of multiple biotic community...

Data from: Shrub encroachment does not reduce the activity of some soil enzymes in Mediterranean semiarid grasslands

Fernando T. Maestre, María D. Puche, César Guerrero & Adrián Escudero
Shrub encroachment is a worldwide phenomenon with implications for desertification and global change. We evaluated its effects on the activities of urease, phosphatase and b-glucosidase in Mediterranean semiarid grasslands dominated by Stipa tenacissima by sampling 12 sites with and without resprouting shrubs along a climatic gradient. The presence of shrubs affected the evaluated enzymes at different spatial scales. Soils under S. tenacissima tussocks and in bare ground areas devoid of vascular plants had higher values...

Data from: Deforestation and forest fragmentation in South Ecuador since the 1970s - losing a hotspot of biodiversity

María Fernanda Tapia-Armijos, Jürgen Homeier, Carlos Iván Espinosa, Cristoph Leuschner, Marcelino De La Cruz & Christoph Leuschner
Deforestation and fragmentation are major components of global change; both are contributing to the rapid loss of tropical forest area with important implications for ecosystem functioning and biodiversity conservation. The forests of South Ecuador are a biological ‘hotspot’ due to their high diversity and endemism levels. We examined the deforestation and fragmentation patterns in this area of high conservation value using aerial photographs and Aster satellite scenes. The registered annual deforestation rates of 0.75% (1976–1989)...

Data from: Measuring viability selection from prospective cohort mortality studies: a case study in Maritime pine

Juan J. Robledo-Arnuncio & Gregor M. Unger
By changing the genetic background available for selection at subsequent life stages, stage-specific selection can define adaptive potential across the life cycle. We propose and evaluate here a neutrality test and a Bayesian method to infer stage-specific viability selection coefficients using sequential random genotypic samples drawn from a longitudinal cohort mortality study, within a generation. The approach is suitable for investigating selective mortality in large natural or experimental cohorts of any organism in which individual...

Data from: Multiple late-Pleistocene colonisation events of the Antarctic pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae) reveal the recent arrival of native Antarctic vascular flora

E. M. Biersma, C. Torres-Díaz, K. K. Newsham, M. A. Vidal, G. Ballesteros, C. C. Figueroa, W. P. Goodall-Copestake, M.A. Leppe, M. Cuba-Díaz, M. A. Valladares, L. R. Pertierra, P. Convey, I. S. Acuña-Rodríguez, G. A. Collado & M. A. Molina-Montenegro
Aim: Antarctica’s remote and extreme terrestrial environments are inhabited by only two species of native vascular plants. We assessed genetic connectivity amongst Antarctic and South American populations of one of these species, Colobanthus quitensis, to determine its origin and age in Antarctica. Location: Maritime Antarctic, sub-Antarctic islands, South America Taxon: Antarctic pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae) Methods: Four chloroplast markers and one nuclear marker were sequenced from 270 samples from a latitudinal transect spanning 21–68° S....

Data from: Direct and indirect effects of shrub encroachment on alpine grasslands mediated by plant-flower visitor interactions

Carlos Lara-Romero, Crisitna García, Javier Morente-López & José M. Iriondo
Mutualistic interactions structure ecological communities and they are strongly influenced by the combined effect of different drivers of global change. Land-use changes and global warming have elicited rapid shrub encroachment in alpine grasslands in recent decades, which may have detrimental outcomes for native alpine forbs. In spite of the importance of this process, we lack knowledge about how shrub encroachment modifies community-wide patterns of plant–pollinator mutualistic interactions. Based on the functional biodiversity hypothesis (FBH), which...

Ecological and biogeographic processes drive the proteome evolution of snake venom

Tuany Siqueira-Silva, Luiz Lima, Jônatas Chaves-Silveira, Talita Amado, Julian Naipauer, Pablo Riul & Pablo Martinez
The emergence of venom is an evolutionary innovation that favored the diversification and survival of snakes. The composition of snake venoms is known in detail from venom gland proteomic data. However, there is still a gap of knowledge about the forces that lead to the expression of different toxins in different proportions in the venom cocktail across space and time. LOCATION World. TIME PERIOD Modern. MAJOR TAXA STUDIED Elapidae and Viperidae. We integrated proteomic data...

Data from: Intransitive competition is common across five major taxonomic groups and is driven by productivity, competitive rank and functional traits.

Santiago Soliveres, Anika Lehmann, Steffen Boch, Florian Altermatt, Francesco Carrara, Thomas W. Crowther, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Anne Kempel, Daniel S. Maynard, Matthias C. Rillig, Brajesh K. Singh, Pankaj Trivedi & Eric Allan
1. Competition can be fully hierarchical or intransitive, and this degree of hierarchy is driven by multiple factors, including environmental conditions, the functional traits of the species involved or the topology of competition networks. Studies simultaneously analyzing these drivers of competition hierarchy are rare. Additionally, organisms compete either directly or via interference competition for resources or space, within a local neighbourhood or across the habitat. Therefore, the drivers of competition could change accordingly and depend...

Data from: Sexual and natural selection in the evolution of extended phenotypes: the use of green nesting material in starlings

Juan G. Rubalcaba, Vicente Polo, Rafael Maia, Dustin R. Rubenstein & José P. Veiga
Although sexual selection is typically considered the predominant force driving the evolution of ritualized sexual behaviors, natural selection may also play an important and often underappreciated role. The use of green aromatic plants among nesting birds has been interpreted as a component of extended phenotype that evolved either via natural selection due to potential sanitary functions, or via sexual selection as a signal of male attractiveness. Here we compared both hypotheses using comparative methods in...

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  • King Juan Carlos University
  • Pablo de Olavide University
  • Universidade Federal de Goiás
  • Complutense University of Madrid
  • Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales
  • University of Adelaide
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Federal University of São Carlos
  • University of Lisbon
  • University of La Serena