178 Works

Data from: Pine afforestation decreases the long-term performance of understory shrubs in a semiarid Mediterranean ecosystem: a stable isotope approach.

Cristina Moreno-Gutiérrez, Giovanna Battipaglia, Paolo Cherubini, Antonio Delgado Huertas & José Ignacio Querejeta
1. Plant–plant interactions shape the structure and composition of plant communities, but shifts in interaction outcomes might occur in the face of ongoing climate change. 2. We assessed the influence of Pinus halepensis plantations on the long-term ecophysiological performance of understorey vegetation, by conducting a retrospective comparison (1989–2007) of growth-ring widths, δ13C and δ18O between Rhamnus lycioides shrubs from two contrasting vegetation types: P. halepensis plantations vs. open woodlands. We also measured the leaf δ13C,...

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: Observed forest sensitivity to climate implies large changes in 21st century North American forest growth

Noah D. Charney, Flurin Babst, Benjamin Poulter, Sydne Record, Valerie M. Trouet, David Frank, Brian J. Enquist & Margaret E. K. Evans
Predicting long-term trends in forest growth requires accurate characterisation of how the relationship between forest productivity and climatic stress varies across climatic regimes. Using a network of over two million tree-ring observations spanning North America and a space-for-time substitution methodology, we forecast climate impacts on future forest growth. We explored differing scenarios of increased water-use efficiency (WUE) due to CO2-fertilisation, which we simulated as increased effective precipitation. In our forecasts: (1) climate change negatively impacted...

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...

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: 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: 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: Fine-root exploitation strategies differ in tropical old-growth and logged-over forests in Ghana

Shalom D. Addo-Danso, Cindy E. Prescott, Stephen Adu-Bredu, Akwasi Duah-Gyamfi, Sam Moore, Robert D. Guy, David I. Forrester, Kennedy Owusu-Afriyie, Peter L. Marshall, Yadvinder Malhi. & Yadvinder Malhi
Understanding the changes in root exploitation strategies during post-logging recovery is important for predicting forest productivity and carbon dynamics in tropical forests. We sampled fine (diameter < 2 mm) roots using the soil-core method to quantify fine-root biomass, and architectural and morphological traits to determine root exploitation strategies in an old-growth forest and in a 54-year-old logged-over forest influenced by similar parent material and climate. Seven root traits were considered: four associated with resource exploitation...

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...

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...

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...

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.)...

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,...

Data from: Climate‐driven shifts in the distribution of koala browse species from the Last Interglacial to the near future

Farzin Shabani, Mohsen Ahmadi, Katharina J. Peters, Simon Haberle, Antoine Champreux, Frédérik Saltré & Corey J. A. Bradshaw
The koala's (Phascolarctos cinereus) distribution is currently restricted to eastern and south‐eastern Australia. However, fossil records dating from 70 ± 4 ka (ka = 103 years) from south‐western Australia and the Nullarbor Plain are evidence of subpopulation extinctions in the southwest at least after the Last Interglacial (128‐116 ka). We hypothesize that koala sub‐population extinctions resulted from the eastward retraction of the koala's main browse species in response to unsuitable climatic conditions. We further posit...

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: Mammal-induced trophic cascades in invertebrate food webs are modulated by grazing intensity in subalpine grassland

Martijn L. Vandegehuchte, Martin Schütz, Frederic De Schaetzen & Anita C. Risch
1. Even though mammalian herbivores can exert strong indirect effects on other animals by altering the vegetation, the study of trophic cascades retains a focus on apex predators and their top-down forces. Bottom-up trophic interaction chains induced by mammalian herbivores, particularly in invertebrate food webs, remain largely unexplored. 2. We tested whether effects of mammalian herbivores on the vegetation ricochet back up several trophic levels of the invertebrate food web. We further tested two alternative...

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...

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...

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: Seed perishability determines the caching behaviour of a food-hoarding bird

Eike Lena Neuschulz, Thomas Mueller, Kurt Bollmann, Felix Gugerli & Katrin Böhning-Gaese
1. Many animals hoard seeds for later consumption and establish seed caches that are often located at sites with specific environmental characteristics. One explanation for the selection of non-random caching locations is the avoidance of pilferage by other animals. Another possible hypothesis is that animals choose locations that hamper the perishability of stored food, allowing the consumption of unspoiled food items over long time periods. 2. We examined seed perishability and pilferage-avoidance as potential drivers...

Data from: Plant functional traits reveal the relative contribution of habitat and food preferences to the diet of grasshoppers

Sébastien Ibanez, Olivier Manneville, Christian Miquel, Pierre Taberlet, Alice Valentini, Serge Aubert, Eric Coissac, Marie-Pascale Colace, Quentin Duparc, Sandra Lavorel & Marco Moretti
Food preferences and food availability are two major determinants of the diet of generalist herbivores and of their spatial distribution. How do these factors interact and eventually lead to diet differentiation in co-occurring herbivores? We quantified the diet of four grasshopper species co-occurring in subalpine grasslands using DNA barcoding of the plants contained in the faeces of individuals sampled in the field. The food preferences of each grasshopper species were assessed by a choice (cafeteria)...

Ecosystem and biogeochemical coupling in terrestrial ecosystems under global change: A roadmap for synthesis and call for data

Raúl Ochoa-Hueso, Anita C. Risch, Scott L. Collins, Nico Eisenhauer & Wim H. van der Putten

Data from: Dynamics of deep soil carbon - insights from 14C time series across a climatic gradient

Tessa Sophia Van Der Voort, Utsav Mannu, Frank Hagedorn, Cameron McIntyre, Lorenz Walthert, Patrick Schleppi, Negar Haghipour & Timothy I. Eglinton
Quantitative constraints on soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics are essential for comprehensive understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle. Deep soil carbon is of particular interest, as it represents large stocks and its turnover times remain highly uncertain. In this study, SOM dynamics in both the top and deep soil across a climatic (average temperature ~1-9 °C) gradient are determined using time-series (~20 years) 14C data from bulk soil and water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC). Analytical measurements...

The allometry of daily energy expenditure in hummingbirds: an energy budget approach

Anusha Shankar, Donald R Powers, Liliana M Dávalos & Catherine H Graham
1. Within-clade allometric relationships represent standard laws of scaling between energy and size, and their outliers provide new avenues for physiological and ecological research. According to the metabolic level boundaries hypothesis, metabolic rates as a function of mass are expected to scale closer to 0.67 when driven by surface-related processes (e.g., heat or water flux), while volume-related processes (e.g., activity) generate slopes closer to one. 2. In birds, daily energy expenditure (DEE) scales with body...

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