11 Works

Data from: Inferring predator-prey interactions in food webs

Justin Page Pomeranz, Ross M. Thompson, Timothée Poisot, Jon S. Harding & Justin P. F. Pomeranz
1. Food webs are a powerful way to represent the diversity, structure, and function of ecological systems. However, the accurate description of food webs requires significant effort in time and resources, limiting their widespread use in ecological studies. Newly published methods allow for the inference of feeding interactions using proxy variables. Here, we compare the accuracy of two recently described methods, as well as describe a composite model of the two, for the inference of...

Data from: Capacity to support predators scales with habitat size

Angus R. McIntosh, Peter A. McHugh, Michael J. Plank, Phillip G. Jellyman, Helen J. Warburton, Hamish S. Grieg & Hamish S. Greig
Habitat reduction could drive biodiversity loss if the capacity of food webs to support predators is undermined by habitat-size constraints on predator body size. Assuming that (i) available space restricts predator body size, (ii) mass-specific energy needs of predators scale with their body size, and (iii) energy availability scales with prey biomass, we predicted that predator biomass per unit area would scale with habitat size (quarter-power exponent) and prey biomass (three-quarter–power exponent). We found that...

Data from: Accurate predictions of coexistence in natural systems require the inclusion of facilitative interactions and environmental dependency

Malyon D. Bimler, Daniel B. Stouffer, Hao Ran Lai & Margaret M. Mayfield
1. Coexistence between plant species is well known to depend on the outcomes of species interactions within an environmental context. The incorporation of environmental variation into empirical studies of coexistence are rare, however, due to the complex experiments needed to do so and the lack of feasible modelling approaches for determining how environmental factors alter specific coexistence mechanisms. 2. In this paper, we present a simple modelling framework for assessing how variation in species interactions...

Data from: Cyclic population dynamics and density-dependent intransitivity as pathways to coexistence between co-occurring annual plants

Daniel B. Stouffer, Claire E. Wainwright, Thomas Flanagan & Margaret M. Mayfield
1. Recent studies have brought renewed attention to the importance of complex species interactions - notably intransitive interactions - to patterns of plant community diversity. One underappreciated avenue through which intransitivity can occur is through cyclic population dynamics. Though such cyclic intransitive relationships have been extensively studied in predator-prey systems, evidence of their importance in competitive communities, notably plant communities, is more limited. Most studies of coexistence in plant communities assume fixed-point coexistence even while...

Data from: Forest disturbance and seasonal food availability influence a conditional seed dispersal mutualism

Babale Aliyu, Joshua A. Thia, Elena Moltchanova, Pierre-Michel Forget & Hazel M. Chapman
The interaction between granivorous scatter-hoarding mammals and plants is a conditional mutualism: scatter-hoarders consume seeds (acting as predators), but the movement of seed by scatter-hoarders may contribute to dispersal (acting as mutualists). Understanding the ecological factors that shape this relationship is highly relevant in anthropogenically disturbed tropical forests where large-bodied frugivores are extirpated. In such forests, large-seeded trees that once depended on these frugivores for dispersal may now only have scatter-hoarders as prospective dispersers. We...

Data from: Between-year changes in community composition shape species' roles in an Arctic plant-pollinator network

Alyssa R. Cirtwill, Tomas Roslin, Claus Rasmussen, Jens Mogens Olesen & Daniel B. Stouffer
Inter-annual turnover in community composition can affect the richness and functioning of ecological communities. If incoming and outgoing species do not interact with the same partners, ecological functions such as pollination may be disrupted. Here, we explore the extent to which turnover affects species' roles --as defined based on their participation in different motifs positions-- in a series of temporally replicated plant-pollinator networks from high-Arctic Zackenberg, Greenland. We observed substantial turnover in the plant and...

Data from: Genomic diversity of a nectar yeast clusters into metabolically, but not geographically, distinct lineages

Manpreet K. Dhami, Thomas Hartwig, Andrew D. Letten, Michael Banf & Tadashi Fukami
Both dispersal limitation and environmental sorting can affect genetic variation in populations, but their contribution remains unclear, particularly in microbes. We sought to determine the contribution of geographic distance (as a proxy for dispersal limitation) and phenotypic traits (as a proxy for environmental sorting), including morphology, metabolic ability, and interspecific competitiveness, to the genotypic diversity in a nectar yeast species, Metschnikowia reukaufii. To measure genotypic diversity, we sequenced the genomes of 102 strains of M....

Data from: Contemporary ecological interactions improve models of past trait evolution

Matthew C. Hutchinson, Marilia P. Gaiarsa & Daniel B. Stouffer
Despite the fact that natural selection underlies both traits and interactions, evolutionary models often neglect that ecological interactions may, and in many cases do, influence the evolution of traits. Here, we explore the interdependence of ecological interactions and functional traits in the pollination associations of hawkmoths and flowering plants. Specifically, we develop an adaptation of the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of trait evolution that allows us to study the influence of plant corolla depth and observed hawkmoth-plant...

Data from: Sexual conflict in action: an antagonistic relationship between maternal and paternal sex allocation in the tammar wallaby, Notamacropus eugenii

Amy M. Edwards, Elissa Z. Cameron, Janine E. Deakin, Tariq Ezaz, Jorge C. Pereira, Malcolm A. Ferguson-Smith & Kylie A. Robert
Sex ratio biases are often inconsistent, both among and within species and populations. While some of these inconsistencies may be due to experimental design, much of the variation remains inexplicable. Recent research suggests that an exclusive focus on mothers may account for some of the inconsistency, with an increasing number of studies showing variation in sperm sex ratios and seminal fluids. Using fluorescent in-situ hybridization we show a significant population level Y-chromosome bias in the...

Data from: The importance of core habitat for a threatened species in changing landscapes

Mark R. Herse, Kimberly A. With & W. Alice Boyle
1. Habitat loss, fragmentation and alteration of the landscape matrix are interdependent processes, collectively responsible for most recent species extinctions. Thus, determining the extent to which these landscape processes affect animals is critical for conservation. However, researchers have often assumed that interdependent effects are independently related to animals’ responses, underestimating the importance of one or several landscape processes in driving species declines. 2. We demonstrate how to disentangle the interdependent effects of habitat area, fragmentation,...

Data from: Anthropogenic mining alters macroinvertebrate size spectra in streams

Justin P. F. Pomeranz, Helen J. Warburton & Jon S. Harding
1. Food web properties can to be used in bioassessment as indicators of ecosystem stress, although logistical constraints restrict their widespread use. Size spectra (body mass – abundance relationships) are easier to produce, still incorporate much of the variation in feeding interactions and indicate the strength of the energy transfer efficiency. 2. Here we examined the effect of acid mine drainage on the size spectra of stream macroinvertebrate communities in 25 New-Zealand streams with a...

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