120 Works

Data from: Current approaches using genetic distances produce poor estimates of landscape resistance to interindividual dispersal

Tabitha A. Graves, Paul Beier & Jeffrey Andrew Royle
Landscape resistance reflects how difficult it is for genes to move across an area with particular attributes (e.g., land cover, slope). An increasingly popular approach to estimate resistance uses Mantel and partial Mantel tests or causal modeling to relate observed genetic distances to effective distances under alternative sets of resistance parameters. Relatively few alternative sets of resistance parameters are tested, leading to relatively poor coverage of the parameter space. Although this approach does not explicitly...

Data from: From the individual to the landscape and back: Time-varying effects of climate and herbivory on tree sapling growth at distribution limits

Asier Herrero, Pablo Almaraz, Regino Zamora, Jorge Castro & José A. Hódar
1. As herbivory can modulate climate-induced shifts in species distribution, disentangling the relative importance of herbivory and climate on plant growth can help to predict and manage future changes in vegetation, such as those occurring at treeline areas. 2. An individual-based hierarchical Bayesian time-series model (Individual-Based Model; IBM) was developed to estimate the time-varying impact of climate and herbivory on individual pine-sapling height growth in woodland and treeline ecosystems of Southern Europe during a 16-year...

Data from: Genetics-based interactions of foundation species affect community diversity, stability, and network structure

Arthur R. Keith, Joseph K. Bailey, Matthew K. Lau & Thomas G. Whitham
We examined the hypothesis that genetics-based interactions between strongly interacting foundation species, the tree Populus angustifolia and the aphid Pemphigus betae, affect arthropod community diversity, stability and species interaction networks of which little is known. In a 2-year experimental manipulation of the tree and its aphid herbivore four major findings emerged: (i) the interactions of these two species determined the composition of an arthropod community of 139 species; (ii) both tree genotype and aphid presence...

Data from: Applying community ecological theory to maximize productivity of cultivated biocrusts

Matthew A. Bowker, Anita J. Antoninka & Rebecca A. Durham
Degraded rangelands around the world may benefit from the reestablishment of lost biological soil crusts (biocrusts, soil surface cryptogamic-microbial communities). Cultivation of biocrust organisms is the first step in this process, and may benefit from harnessing species interactions. Species interactions are a dominant force structuring ecological communities. One key element of community structure, species richness, is itself important because it can promote the productivity of the entire community. Here, we use biological soil crusts as...

The last pteraspids (Agnatha, Heterostraci): New material from the Middle Devonian of Alberta and Idaho

David Elliott, Linda Sue Lassiter & Kathryn Geyer
This report documents the last pteraspids, (armored, jawless members of the Heterostraci), which are otherwise only known from the Early Devonian of the Old Red Sandstone Continent. Tuberculate pteraspid heterostracans are described from the Middle Devonian beds of two formations in western North America. The late Givetian Yahatinda Formation of Alberta and British Columbia consists of channels cut into lower Paleozoic rocks and represents deposition in marine to littoral environments. Clavulaspis finis new genus new...

Plastic responses to hot temperatures homogenize riparian leaf litter, speed decomposition, and reduce detritivores

Joann Jeplawy, Hillary Cooper, Jane Marks, Richard Lindroth, Morgan Andrews, Zacchaeus Compson, Catherine Gehring, Kevin Hultine, Kevin Grady, Thomas Whitham, Gerard Allan & Rebecca Best
Efforts to maintain the function of critical ecosystems under climate change often begin with foundation species. In the southwestern US, cottonwood trees support diverse communities in riparian ecosystems that are threatened by rising temperatures. Genetic variation within cottonwoods shapes communities and ecosystems, but these effects may be modified by phenotypic plasticity, where genotype traits change in response to environmental conditions. Here, we investigated plasticity in Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii) leaf litter traits as well as...

Repeated genetic and adaptive phenotypic divergence across tidal elevation in a foundation plant species

Robyn Zerebecki, Erik E Sotka, Torrance C Hanley, Katherine L. Bell, Catherine Gehring, Chris C. Nice, Christina L. Richards & A Randall Hughes
Microgeographic genetic divergence can create fine-scale trait variation. When such divergence occurs within foundation species, then it might impact community structure and ecosystem function, and cause other cascading ecological effects. We tested for parallel microgeographic trait and genetic divergence in Spartina alterniflora , a foundation species that dominates salt marshes of the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Spartina is characterized by tall-form (1-2m) plants at lower tidal elevations and short-form (<0.5m) plants at higher tidal...

Community composition influences ecosystem resistance and productivity more than species richness or intraspecific diversity

Matthew Bowker, M. Cristina Rengifo-Faiffer, Anita Antoninka, Henry Grover, Kirsten Coe, Kirsten Fisher, Brent Mishler, Mel Oliver & Lloyd Stark
Biodiversity describes the variety of life and may influence properties and processes of ecosystems, such as biomass production and resistance to disturbance. We investigated the effects of multiple facets of biodiversity – species richness and composition of the community, and intraspecific diversity in two key species – on both production and resistance of experimentally-assembled biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We found that productivity was most strongly influenced by community composition (variation in the presence and relative...

Data from: Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the genus Diastatea (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae)

Elizabeth Johnson & Tina Ayers
Diastatea (Campanulaceae-Lobelioideae) is a genus of small, herbaceous annuals found mostly in Mexico. Differences in the number of recognized species in the historical treatments, and the lack of a phylogeny, suggested that a revision of the genus was necessary. Species boundaries and species level relationships were tested based on a sampling of nearly 50 individuals. Sequences of the chloroplast spacer regions, atpB-rbcL and ndhF-rpl32, as well as the ITS, were generated and then analyzed using...

Surface indicators are correlated with soil multifunctionality in global drylands

David Eldridge, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, José Luis Quero, Victoria Ochoa, Beatriz Gonzalo, Pablo García-Palacios, Cristina Escolar, Miguel Garcia-Gomez, Laura Beinticinco, Matthew Bowker, Donaldo Bran, Ignacio Castro, Alex Cea, Mchich Derak, Carlos Ivan Espinosa, Adriana Fronertino, Juan Gaitán, Gabriel Gatica, Susana Gómez-González, Wahida Ghiloufi, Julio Gutierrez, Elizabeth Gusmán-M., Rosa Hernandez, Frederic Hughes, Walter Muiño … & Fernando Maestre
1. Multiple ecosystem functions need to be considered simultaneously to manage and protect the many ecosystem services that are essential to people and their environments. Despite this, cost effective, tangible, relatively simple, and globally-relevant methodologies to monitor in situ soil multifunctionality, i.e. the provision of multiple ecosystem functions by soils, have not been tested at the global scale. 2. We combined correlation analysis and structural equation modelling to explore whether we could find easily measured,...

Rainfall continentality, via the winter GAMS angle, provides a new dimension to biogeographical distributions in the Western United States

Richard Michalet, Philippe Choler, Ragan M. Callaway & Thomas G. Whitham
Aim: Drought stress, and its effects on the biogeography of vegetation, has focused primarily on water availability during the growing season, thus focusing primarly on summer. However, variation in rainfall continentality (i.e., the continental interior being insulated from oceanic influences) can produce striking vegetation differences. We aim to disentangle summer water balance from the influence of rainfall continentality on winter rainfall, to better understand how climate regulated the distributions of woody plants in the Western...

Adaptive trait syndromes along multiple economic spectra define cold and warm adapted ecotypes in a widely distributed foundation tree species

Davis Blasini, Dan Koepke, Kevin Grady, Gerard Allan, Catherine Gehring, Samuel A. Cushman, Thomas Whitham & Kevin Hultine
1. The coordination of traits from individual organs to whole plants is under strong selection because of environmental constraints on resource acquisition and use. However, the tight coordination of traits may provide underlying mechanisms of how locally adapted plant populations can become maladapted because of climate change. 2. To better understand local adaptation in intraspecific trait coordination, we studied trait variability in the widely distributed foundation tree species, Populus fremontii using a common garden near...

Priority determines tribolium competitive outcome in a food-limited environment

Aaron Smith & Zane Holditch
Flour beetles are a classic model system for studying competitive dynamics between species occupying the same ecological niche. Competitive performance is often interpreted in terms of biological species traits such as fecundity, resource use, and predation. However, many studies only measure competitive ability when species enter an environment simultaneously, and thus do not consider how the relative timing of species’ arrival may determine competitive outcome (i.e., priority effects). Whether priority effects may influence competition in...

Data from: Climate and vegetation structure shape ant communities along elevational gradients on the Colorado Plateau

Derek Uhey & Richard Hofstetter
Aim: Terrestrial animal communities are largely shaped by vegetation and climate. With climate also shaping vegetation, can we attribute animal patterns solely to climate? To understand this, we compare the relative and interactive effects of climate and vegetation on an animal community. Our study observes ant community changes along climatic gradients (i.e. elevational gradients) within different habitat types (i.e. open and forest). We compare the explanatory powers and effect sizes of climate and vegetation variables...

Data from: Megafauna decline have reduced pathogen dispersal which may have increased emergent infectious diseases

Chris Doughty, Tomos Prys-Jones, Soren Faurby, Crystal Hepp, Viacheslav Fofanov, Andrew Abraham, Victor Leshyk, Nathan Nieto, Jens-Christian Svenning & Mauro Galetti
The Late Quaternary extinctions of megafauna (defined as animal species > 44.5 kg) reduced the dispersal of seeds and nutrients, and likely also microbes and parasites. Here we use body-mass based scaling and range maps for extinct and extant mammal species to show that these extinctions led to an almost seven-fold reduction in the movement of gut-transported microbes, such as Escherichia coli (3.3–0.5 km 2 d − 1 ). Similarly, the extinctions led to a...

Fungal infection alters the selection, dispersal, and drift processes structuring the amphibian skin microbiome

Mark Q Wilber, Andrea J Jani, Joseph R Mihaljevic & Cheryl J Briggs
Symbiotic microbial communities are important for host health, but the processes shaping these communities are poorly understood. Understanding how community assembly processes jointly affect microbial community composition is limited because inflexible community models rely on rejecting dispersal and drift before considering selection. We developed a flexible community assembly model based on neutral theory to ask: How do dispersal, drift, and selection concurrently affect the microbiome across environmental gradients? We applied this approach to examine how...

Identifying functional impacts of heat-resistant fungi on boreal forest recovery after wildfire

Nicola Day, Steve Cumming, Kari Dunfield, Jill Johnstone, Michelle Mack, Kirsten Reid, Merritt Turetsky, Xanthe Walker & Jennifer Baltzer
Fungi play key roles in carbon (C) dynamics of ecosystems: saprotrophs decompose organic material and return C in the nutrient cycle, and mycorrhizal species support plants that accumulate C through photosynthesis. The identities and functions of extremophile fungi present after fire can influence C dynamics, particularly because plant-fungal relationships are often species-specific. However, little is known about the function and distribution of fungi that survive fires. We aim to assess the distribution of heat-resistant soil...

Data from: Addition of nitrogen to canopy versus understory has different effects on leaf traits of understory plants in a subtropical evergreen broad–leaved forest

Songbo Tang, Lingling Zhang, Hans Lambers, Wendan Ren, Xiaofei Lu, Enqing Hou, Shenglei Fu & Yuanwen Kuang
Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has substantial effects on forest ecosystems. The effects of N deposition on understory plants have been simulated by spraying N on the forest floor. Such understory addition of N (UAN) might simulate atmospheric N deposition in a biased manner, because it bypasses the canopy. We compared the effects of UAN and canopy addition of N (CAN) at 0, 25, and 50 kg N ha–1 year–1 on specific leaf area (SLA), leaf...

Microbial community structure across grazing treatments and environmental gradients in the Serengeti

Bo Stevens, Derek Sonderegger & Nancy Johnson
Field-based observational research is the first step in understanding the factors that structure microbial communities and generate biogeography of soil microbes. As one of the last remaining naturally grazed ecosystems on Earth, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is an ideal location to study the influence of large migratory mammals on microbial communities. Also, active volcanoes generate strong environmental gradients due to ash deposition and a rain shadow. We used 16S rRNA amplicons to characterize...

Zapus eDNA detection data

Jacque Lyman, Daniel Sanchez, Samantha Hershauer, Colin Sobek, Carol Chambers, Jennifer Zahratka & Faith Walker
The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus) is a riparian obligate species native to the southwestern United States. The species was listed endangered in 2014 due to habitat loss by over-grazing, wildfire, and recreation. Jumping mice move through streamside, herbaceous vegetation, and may leave behind cells suitable for environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis. Use of eDNA to detect the presence of the animal from vegetation can complement current survey approaches (live capturing, track plating,...

Data from: Genotypic variation in plant traits shapes herbivorous insect and ant communities on a foundation tree species

Hilary L. Barker, Liza M. Holeski & Richard L. Lindroth
Community genetics aims to understand the effects of intraspecific genetic variation on community composition and diversity, thereby connecting community ecology with evolutionary biology. Multiple studies have shown that different plant genotypes harbor different communities of associated organisms, such as insects. Yet, the mechanistic links that tie insect community composition to plant genetics are still not well understood. To shed light on these relationships, we explored variation in both plant traits (e.g., growth, phenology, defense) and...

Data from: The role of hybridization during ecological divergence of southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) and limber pine (P. flexilis)

Mitra Menon, Justin C. Bagley, Christopher J. Friedline, Amy V. Whipple, Anna W. Schoettle, Alejandro Lael-Saenz, Christian Wehenkel, Francisco Molina-Freaner, Lluvia Flores-Renteria, M. Socorro Gonzalez-Elizondo, Richard A. Sniezko, Samuel A. Cushman, Kristen M. Waring & Andrew J. Eckert
Interactions between extrinsic factors, such as disruptive selection, and intrinsic factors, such as genetic incompatibilities among loci, often contribute towards the maintenance of species boundaries. The relative roles of these factors in the establishment of reproductive isolation can be examined using species pairs characterized by gene flow throughout their divergence history. We investigated the process of speciation and the maintenance of species boundaries between Pinus strobiformis and P. flexilis. Utilizing ecological niche modeling, demographic modeling,...

Data from: Major Histocompatibility Complex class IIb polymorphism influences gut microbiota composition and diversity

Daniel Bolnick, Lisa Snowberg, William Stutz, Greg Caporaso, Christian Lauber, Rob Knight, Daniel I. Bolnick, Chris Lauber, J. Gregory Caporaso, William E. Stutz & Lisa K. Snowberg
Individuals harbor diverse communities of symbiotic bacteria, which differ dramatically among host individuals. This heterogeneity poses an immunological challenge of distinguishing between mutualistic and pathogenic members of diverse and host-specific microbial communities. We propose that Major Histocompatibility class II (MHC) genotypes contribute to recognition and regulation of gut microbes, and thus MHC polymorphism contributes to microbial variation among hosts. Here, we confirm that, within a single wild vertebrate population of threespine stickleback, different MHC II...

Data from: Patterns of diversity and adaptation in Glomeromycota from three prairie grasslands

Baoming Ji, Catherine A. Gehring, Gail W. T. Wilson, R. M. Miller, Lluvia Flores-Rentería & Nancy Collins Johnson
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are widespread root symbionts that often improve the fitness of their plant hosts. We tested whether local adaptation in mycorrhizal symbioses would shape the community structure of these root symbionts in a way that maximizes their symbiotic functioning. We grew a native prairie grass (Andropogon gerardii) with all possible combinations of soils and AM fungal inocula from three different prairies that varied in soil characteristics and disturbance history (two native prairie...

Data from: Mutations in global regulators lead to metabolic selection during adaptation to complex environments

Gerda Saxer, Michael D. Krepps, Eric D. Merkley, Charles Ansong, Brooke L. Deatherage Kaiser, Marie-Thérèse Valovska, Nikola Ristic, Ping T. Yeh, Vittal P. Prakash, Owen P. Leiser, Luay Nakhleh, Henry S. Gibbons, Helen W. Kreuzer & Yousif Shamoo
Adaptation to ecologically complex environments can provide insights into the evolutionary dynamics and functional constraints encountered by organisms during natural selection. Adaptation to a new environment with abundant and varied resources can be difficult to achieve by small incremental changes if many mutations are required to achieve even modest gains in fitness. Since changing complex environments are quite common in nature, we investigated how such an epistatic bottleneck can be avoided to allow rapid adaptation....

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