188 Works

Data from: Increasing plant diversity of experimental grasslands alters the age and growth of Plantago lanceolata from younger and faster to older and slower

Anna Roeder, Fritz H. Schweingruber, Markus Fischer & Christiane Roscher
The persistence of plant populations depends on the ability of individuals to cope with the conditions provided by the community. So far, it is not known whether differences in the diversity and composition of plant communities affect the age structure of plant populations or the expression of stem anatomical traits reflecting investment into plant growth and storage. We analyzed annual growth rings in the secondary xylem and measured stem anatomical traits in individuals from 18...

Data from: Fossils matter: improved estimates of divergence times in Pinus reveal older diversification

Bianca Saladin, Andrew B. Leslie, Rafael O. Wueest, Glenn Litsios, Elena Conti, Nicolas Salamin & Niklaus E. Zimmermann
Background: The taxonomy of pines (genus Pinus) is widely accepted and a robust gene tree based on entire plastome sequences exists. However, there is a large discrepancy in estimated divergence times of major pine clades among existing studies, mainly due to differences in fossil placement and dating methods used. We currently lack a dated molecular phylogeny that makes use of the rich pine fossil record, and this study is the first to estimate the divergence...

Ecological patterns of root nodule diversity in cultivated and wild rooibos populations: a community prediction approach

Josep Ramoneda, Jaco Le Roux, Emmanuel Frossard, Beat Frey & Hannes Andres Gamper
There is interest in understanding the factors behind the biogeography of root-associated bacteria due to the joint effects that plant host, climate, and soil conditions can have on bacterial diversity. For legume crops with remaining wild populations, this is of even more importance, because the effects of cropping on undisturbed root-associated bacterial communities can be addressed. Here, we used a community prediction approach to describe the diversity of the root nodule bacterial communities of rooibos...

Data from: Optimizing enrichment of deadwood for biodiversity by varying sun exposure and tree species: an experimental approach

Sebastian Vogel, Martin M. Gossner, Ulrich Mergner, Jörg Müller & Simon Thorn
1. The enrichment of deadwood is essential for the conservation of saproxylic biodiversity in managed forests. However, existing strategies focus on a cost-intensive increase of deadwood amount, while largely neglecting increasing deadwood diversity. 2. Deadwood objects, i.e. logs and branches, from six tree species were experimentally sun-exposed, canopy-shaded, and artificially shaded for four years, after which the alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity of saproxylic beetles, wood-inhabiting fungi, and spiders were analyzed. Analyses of beta-diversity included the...

Forest microclimate dynamics drive plant responses to warming

Florian Zellweger, Pieter De Frenne & David Coomes
Climate warming is causing a shift in biological communities in favor of warm-affinity species (i.e., thermophilisation). However, species responses often lag behind climate warming and local microclimates modulated by vegetation and topography are usually ignored. Here we analyze multidecadal understorey microclimate dynamics in European forests and show that thermophilisation and the climatic lag in forest plant communities are primarily controlled by microclimate. Increasing tree canopy cover reduces warming rates inside forests, but loss of canopy...

Data from: Scale-dependent adaptive evolution and morphological convergence to climatic niche in Californian eriogonoids (Polygonaceae)

Anna Kostikova, Nicolas Salamin, Peter B. Pearman, Glenn Litsios, Sarah Burgy & Laura Milani
Aim: Macroevolutionary patterns and processes change substantially depending on levels of taxonomic and ecological organization, and the resolution of environmental and spatial variability. In comparative methods, the resolution of environmental and spatial variability often defines the number of selective regimes used to test whether phenotypic characteristics are adaptively correlated with the environment. Here, we examine how investigator choice of the number of selective regimes, determined by varying the resolution of among-species variability in the species...

Data from: LiDAR-derived canopy structure supports the more-individuals hypothesis for arthropod diversity in temperate forests

Jörg Müller, Roland Brandl, Martin Brändle, Bernhard Förster, Bruno Cancian De Araujo, Martin M. Gossner, Alexander Ladas, Martin Wagner, Mark Maraun, Peter Schall, Stefan Schmidt, Marco Heurich, Simon Thorn & Sebastian Seibold
Despite considerable progress in the ability to measure the complex 3-D structure of forests with the improvement of remote-sensing techniques, our mechanistic understanding of how biodiversity is linked to canopy structure is still limited. Here we tested whether the increase in arthropod abundance and richness in beech forest canopies with increasing canopy complexity supports the more-individuals hypothesis or the habitat-heterogeneity hypothesis. We used fogging to collect arthropod samples from 80 standardized plots from canopies of...

Data from: Climatologies at high resolution for the earth's land surface areas

Dirk N. Karger, Olaf Conrad, Jürgen Böhner, Tobias Kawohl, Holger Kreft, Rodrigo W. Soria-Auza, Niklaus E. Zimmermann, H. Peter Linder & Michael Kessler
High-resolution information on climatic conditions is essential to many applications in environmental and ecological sciences. Here we present the CHELSA (Climatologies at high resolution for the earth’s land surface areas) data of downscaled model output temperature and precipitation estimates of the ERA-Interim climatic reanalysis to a high resolution of 30 arc sec. The temperature algorithm is based on statistical downscaling of atmospheric temperatures. The precipitation algorithm incorporates orographic predictors including wind fields, valley exposition, and...

Data from: Retracing the routes of introduction of invasive species: the case of the Sirex noctilio woodwasp.

Emilie Boissin, Brett Hurley, Michael J. Wingfield, Rimvydas Vasaitis, Jan Stenlid, Chuck Davis, Peter De Groot, Rodrigo Ahumeda, Angus Carnegie, Arturo Goldarazena, Paula Klasmer, Beat Wermelinger & Bernard Slippers
Understanding the evolutionary histories of invasive species is critical to adopt appropriate management strategies, but this process can be exceedingly complex to unravel. As illustrated in this study of the worldwide invasion of the woodwasp Sirex noctilio, population genetic analyses using coalescent-based scenario testing together with Bayesian clustering and historical records provide opportunities to address this problem. The pest spread from its native Eurasian range to the Southern Hemisphere in the 1900’s and recently to...

Data from: Mammalian herbivores affect leafhoppers associated with specific plant functional types at different timescales

Martijn L. Vandegehuchte, Valeria Trivellone, Martin Schütz, Jennifer Firn, Frederic De Schaetzen & Anita C. Risch
1. Theory predicts that mammalian herbivores affect the quantity and quality of plants on which they preferentially feed in the short term. In the longer term, they can promote either preferred or less preferred plants, depending on whether preferred plants are adapted or sensitive to grazing. Less clear are the short- and long-term responses of herbivorous insects to mammalian herbivory, and how these responses depend on the specific plants or plant functional types on which...

Data from: Diversity in form and function: vertical distribution of soil fauna mediates multidimensional trait variation

Jacintha Ellers, Matty P. Berg, André T.C. Dias, Simone Fontana, Astra Ooms & Marco Moretti
1. It has been widely recognized that species show extensive variation in form and function. Based on species’ attributes they can be positioned along major axes of variation, which are often defined by life history traits, such as number of offspring, age at maturity or generation time. Less emphasis has been given in this respect to tolerance traits, especially to resistance to abiotic stress conditions, which often determine community (dis)assembly and distribution. 2. Soil fauna...

Data from: Growth and carbon relations of mature Picea abies trees under 5 years of free-air CO2 enrichment

Tamir Klein, Martin K. F. Bader, Sebastian Leuzinger, Manuel Mildner, Patrick Schleppi, Rolf T. W. Siegwolf, Christian Koerner, Martin K.-F. Bader & Rolf T.W. Siegwolf
Are mature forests carbon limited? To explore this question, we exposed ca. 110-year-old, 40-m tall Picea abies trees to a 550-ppm CO2 concentration in a mixed lowland forest in NW Switzerland. The site receives substantial soluble nitrogen (N) via atmospheric deposition, and thus, trees are unlikely N-limited. We used a construction crane to operate the free-air CO2 release system and for canopy access. Here, we summarize the major results for growth and carbon (C) fluxes....

Data from: Concordant genetic breaks, identified by combining clustering and tessellation methods, in two co-distributed alpine plant species

Conny Thiel-Egenter, Rolf Holderegger, Sabine Brodbeck & Felix Gugerli
Natural genetic breaks may indicate limitations to gene flow or the presence of contact zones of previously isolated populations. Molecular evidence suggests that genetic breaks have aggregated in distinct geographical areas. We propose a new application of well-established statistical methods for analyzing multilocus genetic data in order to identify intraspecific genetic breaks. The methodological approach combines Bayesian clustering with a spatially explicit maximum-difference algorithm to visualize and quantify breaks between clusters. We used AFLP data...

Data from: The predictability of a lake phytoplankton community, over time-scales of hours to years

Mridul K. Thomas, Simone Fontana, Marta Reyes, Michael Kehoe & Francesco Pomati
Forecasting changes to ecological communities is one of the central challenges in ecology. However, nonlinear dependencies, biotic interactions and data limitations have limited our ability to assess how predictable communities are. We used a machine learning approach and environmental monitoring data (biological, physical and chemical) to assess the predictability of phytoplankton cell density in one lake across an unprecedented range of time scales. Communities were highly predictable over hours to months: model R2 decreased from...

Data from: Contemporary pollen flow as a multiscale process: evidence from the insect-pollinated herb, Pulsatilla vulgaris

Michelle F. DiLeo, Rolf Holderegger & Helene H. Wagner
1. Understanding the drivers and spatial scale of gene flow is essential for the management of species living in fragmented landscapes. In plants, contemporary pollen flow is typically modeled as a single spatial process, with pollen flow declining exponentially within a short distance of mother plants. However, growing evidence suggests that many species do not conform to this patterns, often showing an excess of long-distance dispersal events or sometimes even multimodality in dispersal kernels. This...

Data from: Towards a predictive model of species interaction beta diversity

Catherine H. Graham, Benjamin G. Weinstein & Ben G. Weinstein
Species interactions are fundamental to community dynamics and ecosystem processes. Despite significant progress in describing species interactions, we lack the ability to predict changes in interactions across space and time. We outline a Bayesian approach to separate the probability of species co‐occurrence, interaction and detectability in influencing interaction betadiversity. We use a multi‐year hummingbird–plant time series, divided into training and testing data, to show that including models of detectability and occurrence improves forecasts of mutualistic...

Data from: Predation risk shaped by habitat and landscape complexity in urban environments

David Frey, Kevin Vega, Florian Zellweger, Jaboury Ghazoul, Dennis Hansen & Marco Moretti
1. Habitat loss and modification are hallmarks of anthropogenic ecosystems, but the consequences for ecosystem functions and services often remain unclear. Understanding these links in cities is complicated by strong but fine-scale differences in habitat structure among green space patches, and a high variance in habitat amount across urban landscapes. 2. We used airborne laser scanning (ALS) data to disentangle the effects of 3D woody habitat heterogeneity of urban home gardens, and woody habitat amount...

Data from: Repetitive flanking sequences challenge SSR marker development: a case study in the lepidopteran Melanargia galathea

Max Schmid, Daniela Csencsics & Felix Gugerli
Microsatellite DNA families (MDF) are stretches of DNA that share similar or identical sequences beside nuclear simple-sequence repeat (nSSR) motifs, potentially causing problems during nSSR marker development. Primers positioned within MDFs can bind several times within the genome and might result in multiple banding patterns. It is therefore common practice to exclude MDF loci in the course of marker development. Here, we propose an approach to deal with multiple primer binding sites by purposefully positioning...

Data from: Comparative assessment of SSR and SNP markers for inferring the population genetic structure of the common fungus Armillaria cepistipes

Tetyana Tsykun, Christian Rellstab, Cyril Dutech, György Sipos & Simone Prospero
During the last years, simple sequence repeats (SSRs, also known as microsatellites) and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have become the most popular molecular markers for describing neutral genetic variation in populations of a wide range of organisms. However, only a limited number of studies has focused on comparing the performance of these two types of markers for describing the underlying genetic structure of wild populations. Moreover, none of these studies targeted fungi, the group of organisms...

Data from: Plant functional diversity modulates global environmental change effects on grassland productivity

Zhuwen Xu, Mai-He Li, Niklaus E. Zimmermann, Shaopeng Li, Hui Li, Haiyan Ren, Hao Sun, Xingguo Han, Yong Jiang, Lin Jiang & Shao-Peng Li
1. Although much research has explored changes in ecosystem functions associated with global environmental changes, the mechanistic pathways behind the observed changes remain poorly understood. 2. Using an 11-year experiment that increased growing season precipitation and nitrogen deposition in a temperate steppe, we explored the relative importance of direct and indirect environmental change effects on plant primary productivity. 3. We show that increases in water and nitrogen availability influenced plant productivity via both direct and...

Data from: Growth-competition-herbivore resistance trade-offs and the responses of alpine plant communities to climate change

Loïc Pellissier, Patrice Descombes, Oskar Hagen, Loïc Chalmandrier, Gaëtan Glauser, Alan Kergunteuil, Emmanuel Defossez & Sergio Rasmann
1. Climate change is expected to modify current ecological conditions sustaining the coexistence of species within cold-adapted plant communities, by influencing species growth, modifying competition and levels of herbivory. Climate change will act upon the existing structure of communities, whose response should depend on the functional differences governing coexistence among alpine species. We postulated that a possible trade-off between (i) plant growth in response to temperature, (ii) plant competition, and (iii) resistance to herbivory, should...

Data from: Herbivory and eutrophication mediate grassland plant nutrient responses across a global climatic gradient

T. Michael Anderson, Daniel M. Griffith, James B. Grace, Eric M. Lind, Peter B. Adler, Lori A. Biederman, Dana M. Blumenthal, Pedro Daleo, Jennifer Firn, Nicole Hagenah, W. Stanley Harpole, Andrew S. MacDougall, Rebecca L. McCulley, Suzanne M. Prober, Anita C. Risch, Mahesh Sankaran, Martin Schütz, Eric W. Seabloom, Carly J. Stevens, Lauren L. Sullivan, Peter D. Wragg & Elizabeth T. Borer
Plant stoichiometry, the relative concentration of elements, is a key regulator of ecosystem functioning and is also being altered by human activities. In this paper we sought to understand the global drivers of plant stoichiometry and compare the relative contribution of climatic vs. anthropogenic effects. We addressed this goal by measuring plant elemental (C, N, P and K) responses to eutrophication and vertebrate herbivore exclusion at eighteen sites on six continents. Across sites, climate and...

Data from: Terrestrial reproduction as an adaptation to steep terrain in African toads

H. Christoph Liedtke, Hendrik Müller, Julian Hafner, Johannes Penner, David J. Gower, Tomáš Mazuch, Mark-Oliver Rödel & Simon P. Loader
How evolutionary novelties evolve is a major question in evolutionary biology. It is widely accepted that changes in environmental conditions shift the position of selective optima, and advancements in phylogenetic comparative approaches allow the rigorous testing of such correlated transitions. A longstanding question in vertebrate biology has been the evolution of terrestrial life histories in amphibians and here, by investigating African bufonids, we test whether terrestrial modes of reproduction have evolved as adaptations to particular...

Data from: Dynamics of non-structural carbohydrates in terrestrial plants: a global synthesis

Jordi Martinez-Vilalta, Anna Sala, Dolores Asensio, Lucia Galiano, Guenter Hoch, Sara Palacio, Frida I. Piper & Francisco Lloret
Plants store large amounts of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC). While multiple functions of NSC have long been recognized, the interpretation of NSC seasonal dynamics is often based on the idea that stored NSC is a reservoir of carbon that fluctuates depending on the balance between supply via photosynthesis and demand for growth and respiration (the source-sink dynamics concept). Consequently, relatively high NSC concentrations in some plants have been interpreted to reflect excess supply relative to demand....

Influence of climate, soil and land cover on plant species distribution in the European Alps

Yohann Chauvier, Wilfried Thuiller, Philipp Brun, Sébastien Lavergne, Patrice Descombes, Dirk Karger, Julien Renaud & Niklaus Zimmermann
Although the importance of edaphic factors and habitat structure for plant growth and survival is known, both are often neglected in favor of climatic drivers when investigating the spatial patterns of plant species and diversity. Yet, especially in mountain ecosystems with complex topography, missing edaphic and habitat components may be detrimental for a sound understanding of biodiversity distribution. Here, we compare the relative importance of climate, soil and land cover variables when predicting the distributions...

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