207 Works

Data from: Efficient detection of novel nuclear markers for Brassicaceae by transcriptome sequencing

Reinhold Stockenhuber, Stefan Zoller, Rie Shimizu-Inatsugi, Felix Gugerli, Kentaro K. Shimizu, Alex Widmer & Martin C. Fischer
The lack of DNA sequence information for most non-model organisms impairs the design of primers that are universally applicable for the study of molecular polymorphisms in nuclear markers. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques nowadays provide a powerful approach to overcome this limitation. We present a flexible and inexpensive method to identify large numbers of nuclear primer pairs that amplify in most Brassicaceae species. We first obtained and mapped NGS transcriptome sequencing reads from two of the...

Data from: Interactions between C:N:P stoichiometry and soil macrofauna control dung decomposition of savanna herbivores

Judith Sitters, Marc-Jacques Maechler, Peter J. Edwards, Werner Suter & Harry Olde Venterink
1. Although dung of mammalian herbivores is an important pathway for nutrient return in savanna ecosystems, differences in dung decomposition rates among species have been little studied. 2. We measured rates of dung deposition and decomposition for various herbivores in a moist Tanzanian savanna, and related differences among species to nutrient concentrations and the activities of soil macrofauna (e.g., different mesh sizes of decomposition bags, or presence and absence of dung beetles). 3. Dung C:N:P...

Data from: Multiple factors modulate tree growth complementarity in central European mixed forests

Marco Mina, Markus O. Huber, David I. Forrester, Esther Thürig & Brigitte Rohner
Mixed species forests can often be more productive and deliver higher levels of ecosystem services and functions than monocultures. However, complementarity effects for any given tree species are difficult to generalize because they can vary greatly along gradients of climatic conditions and resource availability. Identifying the conditions where species diversity can positively influence productivity is crucial. To date, few studies have examined how growth complementarity across species and mixture types is modulated by stand and...

Data from: Mapping the imprint of biotic interactions on β-diversity

Marc Ohlmann, Florent Mazel, Loïc Chalmandrier, Stéphane Bec, Eric Coissac, Ludovic Gielly, Johan Pansu, Vincent Schilling, Pierre Taberlet, Lucie Zinger, Jerome Chave & Wilfried Thuiller
Investigating how trophic interactions influence the β-diversity of meta-communities is of paramount importance to understanding the processes shaping biodiversity distribution. Here, we apply a statistical method for inferring the strength of spatial dependencies between pairs of species groups. Using simulated community data generated from a multi-trophic model, we showed that this method can approximate biotic interactions in multi-trophic communities based on β-diversity patterns across groups. When applied to soil multi-trophic communities along an elevational gradient...

Data from: Plant species richness negatively affects root decomposition in grasslands

Hongmei Chen, Liesje Mommer, Jasper Van Ruijven, Hans De Kroon, Christine Fischer, Arthur Gessler, Anke Hildebrandt, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Christian Wirth & Alexandra Weigelt
Plant diversity enhances many ecosystem functions, including root biomass production, which drives soil carbon input. Although root decomposition accounts for a large proportion of carbon input for soil, little is known about plant diversity effect on this process. Plant diversity may affect root decomposition in two non-exclusive ways: by providing roots of different substrate quality (e.g. root chemistry) and/or by altering the soil environment (e.g. microclimate). To disentangle these two pathways, we conducted three decomposition...

Data from: European phylogeography of the epiphytic lichen fungus Lobaria pulmonaria and its green algal symbiont

Ivo Widmer, Francesco Dal Grande, Laurent Excoffier, Rolf Holderegger, Christine Keller, Vladimir S. Mikryukov & Christoph Scheidegger
In lichen symbiosis, fungal and algal partners form close associations, often co-dispersed by vegetative propagules. Due to the particular interdependence, processes such as colonization, dispersal or genetic drift are expected to result in congruent patterns of genetic structure in the symbionts. To study the population structure of an obligate symbiotic system in Europe, we genotyped the fungal and algal symbionts of the epiphytic lichen Lobaria pulmonaria at eight and seven microsatellite loci, respectively, and analyzed...

Data from: Directed dispersal by rotational shepherding supports landscape genetic connectivity in a calcareous grassland plant

Yessica Rico, Rolf Holderegger, Hans Juergen Boehmer & Helene H. Wagner
Directed dispersal by animal vectors has been found to have large effects on the structure and dynamics of plant populations adapted to frugivory. Yet, empirical data are lacking on the potential of directed dispersal by rotational grazing of domestic animals to mediate gene flow across the landscape. Here, we investigated the potential effect of large-flock shepherding on landscape-scale genetic structure in the calcareous grassland plant Dianthus carthusianorum, whose seeds lack morphological adaptations to dispersal to...

Data from: Peatland vascular plant functional types affect methane dynamics by altering microbial community structure

Bjorn J. M. Robroek, Vincent E. J. Jassey, Martine A. R. Kox, Roeland L. Berendsen, Robert T. E. Mills, Lauric Cécillon, Jéremy Puissant, Marion Meima–Franke, Peter A. H. M. Bakker, Paul L. E. Bodelier & Marion Meima-Franke
1. Peatlands are natural sources of atmospheric methane (CH4), an important greenhouse gas. It is established that peatland methane dynamics are controlled by both biotic and abiotic conditions, yet the interactive effect of these drivers is less studied and consequently poorly understood. 2. Climate change affects the distribution of vascular plant functional types (PFTs) in peatlands. By removing specific PFTs, we assessed their effects on peat organic matter chemistry, microbial community composition and on potential...

Arthropod (per year, 2008-2017) and environmental data (climate, land use, land cover) from grasslands used in \"Unravelling insect declines: can space replace time?\", Biology Letters

Michael Staab & Nico Blüthgen
To compare trends in arthropod species numbers between space and time, arthropod data from the sweep net samples (2008-2017) in grasslands were used. We tested whether trends over time are also found within single years (i.e. in space). The dataset contains, pooled per sampling year, arthropod individual numbers (Araneae, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Orthoptera) and associated environmental data (climate, land use, land cover). This data is only to complement the publication "Unravelling insect declines: can space replace...

Hummingbird torpor in context: duration, more than temperature, is the key to nighttime energy savings

Anusha Shankar, Rebecca J. Schroeder, Susan M. Wethington, Catherine H. Graham & Donald R. Powers
Torpor is an important energy saving strategy in some small birds, but it has rarely been studied in natural field conditions. We compared torpor use across 43 wild-caught individuals of eight hummingbird species across sites with different natural temperature regimes. Most laboratory studies focus on the relationship between metabolic rate and temperature, but our aim was to evaluate what environmental factors most influence hummingbird nighttime energy management under natural conditions. We found that the probability...

Data from: Large scale variation in birth timing and synchrony of a large herbivore along the latitudinal and altitudinal gradients

Marta Pelaez, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Kurt Bollmann, Marco Heurich & Maik Rehnus
1. Hopkins’ Bioclimatic Law predicts geographic patterns in phenological timing by establishing a correspondence between latitudinal and altitudinal gradients. First proposed for key phenological events of plants, such as leaf sprouting or flowering dates, this law has rarely been used to assess the geographical equivalence of key life history traits of mammals. 2. We hypothesize that (H1) parturition dates of European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) are delayed and more synchronized at higher latitudes and altitudes,...

Within-crown variability in herbivore performance and leaf traits

Michael Eisenring, Unsicker Sybille B. & Lindroth Richard L.
Functional trait variation within individual plants is predicted to have important ecological consequences. However, our understanding of the sources contributing to subindividual trait heterogeneity, and the ramifications thereof, is poor. In a common garden, we sampled multiple genotypes of mature trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) at different vertical crown levels and quantified the contributions of genetic, spatial and biotic (herbivory) factors to subindividual morphological and chemical leaf trait variance. Bioassays using gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.)...

Scale dependency of joint species distribution models challenges interpretation of biotic interactions

Christian König, Rafael O. Wüest, Catherine H. Graham, Dirk Nikolaus Karger, Thomas Sattler, Niklaus E. Zimmermann & Damaris Zurell
Aim: Separating the biotic and abiotic factors controlling species distributions has been a long-standing challenge in ecology and biogeography. Joint species distribution models (JSDMs) have emerged as a promising statistical framework towards this objective by simultaneously modeling the environmental responses of multiple species and approximating species associations based on patterns in their (co-)occurrences. However, the signature of biotic interactions should be most evident at fine spatial resolutions. Here, we test how the resolution of input...

Including intraspecific trait variability to avoid distortion of functional diversity and ecological inference: lessons from natural assemblages

Carlos Carmona & Mark K. L. Wong
1. Functional diversity assessments are crucial and increasingly used for understanding ecological processes and managing ecosystems. The functional diversity of a community is assessed by sampling traits at one or more scales (individuals, populations, species) and calculating a summary index of the variation in trait values. However, it remains unclear how the scale at which traits are sampled and the indices used to estimate functional diversity may alter the patterns observed and inferences about ecological...

Seasonal and annual dynamics of litterfall

Cunguo Wang, Xingbo Zheng, Anzhi Wang, Guanhua Dai, Baokun Zhu, Yueming Zhao, Shijie Dong, Weizhong Zu, Wei Wang, Yiguo Zheng & Mai-He Li
Long-term data of litterfall can indicate overall forest functions in forest ecosystems. We collected monthly (May – October) and annual (1981 – 2018) litterfall including leaves, twigs, bark, reproductive and miscellaneous fractions in a mixed mature Pinus koraiensis forest on Changbai Mountain in Northeast, China, across 30 years. Based on these long-term litterfall data, we analyzed the seasonal and annual variations in different litterfall fractions and their relationships with climatic factors. Climate data were obtained...

ANDEAN frugivory: data on plant–bird interactions and functional traits of plant and bird species from montane forests along the Andes

D. Matthias Dehling, Irene M. A. Bender, Pedro G. Blendinger, Marcia C. Muñoz, Marta Quitián, Francisco Saavedra, Vinicio Santillán, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Eike-Lena Neuschulz & Matthias Schleuning
Species differ in their resource use and their interactions with other species and, consequently, they fulfil different functional roles in ecological processes. Species with specialized functional roles (specialists) are considered important for communities because they often interact with species with which few other species interact, thereby contributing complementary functional roles to ecological processes. However, the contribution of specialists could be low if they only interact with a small range of interaction partners. In contrast, species...

Phenotypic plasticity versus ecotypic differentiation under recurrent summer drought in two drought-tolerant pine species

Christoph Bachofen, Anouchka Perret-Gentil, Tom Wohlgemuth, Pierre Vollenweider & Barbara Moser
1. Despite worldwide reports of high tree mortality, growing evidence indicates that many tree species are well adapted to survive repeated dry spells. The drought resilience of trees is related to their phenotypic plasticity and ecotypic differentiation. Whether these two mechanisms act at the same organisational level of a tree and involve similar plant traits is still unknown. 2. We assessed phenotypic plasticity and ecotypic differentiation across four populations of Pinus sylvestris and Pinus nigra...

Data from: How do climate change experiments alter plot-scale climate?

Ailene Ettinger & Elizabeth M. Wolkovich
To understand and forecast biological responses to climate change, scientists frequently use field experiments that alter temperature and precipitation. Climate manipulations can manifest in complex ways, however, challenging interpretations of biological responses. We reviewed publications to compile a database of daily plot‐scale climate data from 15 active‐warming experiments. We find that the common practices of analysing treatments as mean or categorical changes (e.g. warmed vs. unwarmed) masks important variation in treatment effects over space and...

Data from: Spatial variation in throughfall, soil, and plant water isotopes in a temperate forest

Gregory R. Goldsmith, Scott T. Allen, Sabine Braun, Nadine Engbersen, Clara Romero González-Quijano, James W. Kirchner & Rolf T.W. Siegwolf
Studies of stable isotopes of water in the environment have been fundamental to advancing our understanding of how water moves through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum; however, much of this research focuses on how water isotopes vary in time, rather than in space. We examined the spatial variation in the δ18O and δ2H of throughfall and bulk soil water, as well as branch xylem and bulk leaf water of Picea abies (Norway Spruce) and Fagus sylvatica (Beech),...

Data from: Integrating correlation between traits improves spatial predictions of plant functional composition

Rafael O. Wüest, Tamara Muenkenmuller, Sebastien Lavergne, Laura Pollock & Wilfried Thuiller
Functional trait composition is increasingly recognized as key to better understand and predict community responses to environmental gradients. Predictive approaches traditionally model the weighted mean trait values of communities (CWMs) as a function of environmental gradients. However, most approaches treat traits as independent regardless of known trade-offs between them, which could lead to spurious predictions. To address this issue, we suggest jointly modeling a suit of functional traits along environmental gradients while accounting for relationships...

Data from: Environmental changes drive the temporal stability of semi-arid natural grasslands through altering species asynchrony

Zhuwen Xu, Haiyan Ren, Mai-He Li, Jasper Van Ruijven, Xingguo Han, Shiqiang Wan, Hui Li, Qiang Yu, Yong Jiang & Lin Jiang
Stability is an important property of ecological systems, many of which are experiencing increasing levels of anthropogenic environmental changes. However, how these environmental changes influence ecosystem stability remains poorly understood. We conducted an 8-year field experiment in a semi-arid natural grassland to explore the effects of two common environmental changes, precipitation and nitrogen enrichment, on the temporal stability of plant above-ground biomass. A split-plot design, with precipitation as the main plot factor and nitrogen as...

Data from: Nutrient release from moose bioturbation in aquatic ecosystems

Joseph K. Bump, Brenda G. Bergman, Amy J. Schrank, Amy M. Marcarelli, Evan S. Kane, Anita C. Risch & Martin Schütz
While the ecological importance of bioturbation is well recognized and the prevalence of aquatic foraging by terrestrial ungulates is increasingly appreciated, research linking how terrestrial ungulates function as disturbance mechanisms via bioturbation in freshwater systems is lacking. The purpose of this study was to quantify potential nutrient pulses released from benthic sediments into the water column when moose Alces alces feed on aquatic plants. We also determined if we could experimentally mimic the benthic disturbance...

Data from: Trophic level, successional age and trait matching determine specialization of deadwood-based interaction networks of saproxylic beetles

Beate Wende, Martin M. Gossner, Ingo Grass, Tobias Arnstadt, Martin Hofrichter, Andreas Floren, Karl Eduard Linsenmair, Wolfgang W. Weisser & Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter
The specialization of ecological networks provides important insights into possible consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem functioning. However, mostly mutualistic and antagonistic interactions of living organisms have been studied, whereas detritivore networks and their successional changes are largely unexplored. We studied the interactions of saproxylic (deadwood-dependent) beetles with their dead host trees. In a large-scale experiment, 764 logs of 13 tree species were exposed to analyse network structure of three trophic groups of saproxylic beetles...

Data from: Estimating age-dependent extinction: contrasting evidence from fossils and phylogenies

Oskar Hagen, Tobias Andermann, Tiago B. Quental, Alexandre Antonelli & Daniele Silvestro
The estimation of diversification rates is one of the most vividly debated topics in modern systematics, with considerable controversy surrounding the power of phylogenetic and fossil-based approaches in estimating extinction. Van Valen’s seminal work from 1973 proposed the “Law of constant extinction” which states that the probability of extinction of taxa is not dependent on their age. This assumption of age-independent extinction has prevailed for decades with its assessment based on survivorship curves, which, however,...

Data from: Spatial heterogeneity in species composition constrains plant community responses to herbivory and fertilization

Dorothee Hodapp, Elizabeth T. Borer, W. Stanley Harpole, Eric M. Lind, Eric W. Seabloom, Peter B. Adler, Juan Alberti, Carlos A. Arnillas, Jonathan D. Bakker, Lori Biederman, Marc Cadotte, Elsa E. Cleland, Scott Collins, Philip A. Fay, Jennifer Firn, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Oscar Iribarne, Johannes M.H. Knops, Rebecca L. McCulley, Andrew MacDougall, Joslin L. Moore, John W. Morgan, Brent Mortensen, Kimberly J. La Pierre … & Johannes M. H. Knops
Environmental change can result in substantial shifts in community composition. The associated immigration and extinction events are likely constrained by the spatial distribution of species. Still, studies on environmental change typically quantify biotic responses at single spatial (time series within a single plot) or temporal (spatial beta-diversity at single time points) scales, ignoring their potential interdependence. Here, we use data from a global network of grassland experiments to determine how turnover responses to two major...

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