178 Works

Data from: Modelling plant species distribution in alpine grasslands using airborne imaging spectroscopy

Julien Pottier, Zbyněk Malenovský, Achilleas Psomas, Lucie Homolová, Michael E. Schaepman, Philippe Choler, Wilfried Thuiller, Antoine Guisan & Niklaus E. Zimmermann
Remote sensing using airborne imaging spectroscopy (AIS) is known to retrieve fundamental optical properties of ecosystems. However, the value of these properties for predicting plant species distribution remains unclear. Here, we assess whether such data can add value to topographic variables for predicting plant distributions in French and Swiss alpine grasslands. We fitted statistical models with high spectral and spatial resolution reflectance data and tested four optical indices sensitive to leaf chlorophyll content, leaf water...

Data from: Seasonality of precipitation interacts with exotic species to alter composition and phenology of a semi-arid grassland

Janet S. Prevéy & Timothy R. Seastedt
While modeling efforts suggest that invasive species will track climate changes, empirical studies are few. A relevant and largely unaddressed research question is: how will the presence of exotic species interact with precipitation change to alter ecosystem structure and function? We studied the effects of changes in seasonal timing of precipitation on species composition and resource availability in a grassland community in Colorado, USA. We examined how seasonal precipitation patterns affect the abundance of historically...

Data from: The structural and functional connectivity of the grassland plant Lychnis flos-cuculi

Tsipe Aavik, Rolf Holderegger & Janine Bolliger
Understanding the relationship between structural and functional connectivity is essential for successful restoration and conservation management, particularly in intensely managed agricultural landscapes. We evaluated the relationship between structural and functional connectivity of the wetland plant Lychnis flos-cuculi in a fragmented agricultural landscape using landscape genetic and network approaches. First, we studied the effect of structural connectivity, such as geographic distance and various landscape elements (forest, agricultural land, settlements and ditch verges), on gene flow among...

Data from: Vertical distribution of the soil microbiota along a successional gradient in a glacier forefield

Thomas Rime, Martin Hartmann, Ivano Brunner, Franco Widmer, Josef Zeyer & Beat Frey
Spatial patterns of microbial communities have been extensively surveyed in well-developed soils, but few studies investigated the vertical distribution of microorganisms in newly developed soils after glacier retreat. We used 454-pyrosequencing to assess whether bacterial and fungal community structures differed between stages of soil development (SSD) characterized by an increasing vegetation cover from barren (vegetation cover: 0%/ age: 10 years), sparsely-vegetated (13%/ 60 years), transient (60%/ 80 years) to vegetated (95%/ 110 years) and depths...

Data from: Assessing the impact of beach nourishment on the intertidal food web through the development of a mechanistic-envelope model

Sarah Vanden Eede, Joke Van Tomme, Charlotte De Busschere, Martijn Vandegehuchte, Koen Sabbe, Eric W. M. Stienen, Steven Degraer, Magda Vincx, Dries Bonte, Martijn L. Vandegehuchte & Eric W.M. Stienen
Beach nourishment, the placement of sand onto a sediment-starved stretch of coast, is widely applied as a soft coastal protection measure because of its reduced ecological impact relative to hard coastal protection. In order to predict effects on the intertidal sandy beach ecosystem, we developed a simulation model that integrates species envelope-based projections for the dominant macrobenthos species and mechanistic food web modules for higher trophic levels. Species envelopes were estimated by using Bayesian inference...

Data from: Soil nutrients influence growth response of temperate tree species to drought

Mathieu Lévesque, Lorenz Walthert & Pascale Weber
Soil properties can buffer forest response to global climate change. However, it is unclear how soil characteristics, water availability and their interactions can affect drought response of trees. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of soil nutrients and physical soil properties on the growth sensitivity of Fagus sylvatica, Quercus spp., Fraxinus excelsior, Abies alba, Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris to drought in Central Europe. Yearly growth data from increment cores were...

Data from: The snow and the willows: earlier spring snowmelt reduces performance in the low-lying alpine shrub Salix herbacea

Julia A. Wheeler, Andres J. Cortés, Janosch Sedlacek, Sophie Karrenberg, Mark Van Kleunen, Sonja Wipf, Guenter Hoch, Oliver Bossdorf & Christian Rixen
Current changes in shrub abundance in alpine and arctic tundra ecosystems are primarily driven by climate change. However, while taller shrub communities are expanding, dwarf shrub communities show reductions under climate warming, and the mechanisms driving the latter (such as warming temperatures or accelerated spring snowmelt) may be complex. To determine and disentangle the response of a widespread arctic-alpine prostrate dwarf shrub to both climate warming and changes in snowmelt time, we investigated phenology, clonal...

Data from: The simultaneous inducibility of phytochemicals related to plant direct and indirect defences against herbivores is stronger at low elevation

Loïc Pellissier, Xoaquín Moreira, Holger Danner, Martha Serrano, Nicolas Salamin, Nicole M. Van Dam & Sergio Rasmann
Ecological theory indicates that warmer and more stable climates should result in stronger biotic interactions. Therefore, plant species growing at lower elevations and experiencing greater herbivore pressure, should invest in higher levels of defences than those at higher elevations. Nonetheless, there are a number of studies that have found no effect of elevational gradients on plant defensive traits. Several factors might explain the lack of consistency for the altitude-defence relationships; including 1) the reduction of...

Data from: Intransitive competition is common across five major taxonomic groups and is driven by productivity, competitive rank and functional traits.

Santiago Soliveres, Anika Lehmann, Steffen Boch, Florian Altermatt, Francesco Carrara, Thomas W. Crowther, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Anne Kempel, Daniel S. Maynard, Matthias C. Rillig, Brajesh K. Singh, Pankaj Trivedi & Eric Allan
1. Competition can be fully hierarchical or intransitive, and this degree of hierarchy is driven by multiple factors, including environmental conditions, the functional traits of the species involved or the topology of competition networks. Studies simultaneously analyzing these drivers of competition hierarchy are rare. Additionally, organisms compete either directly or via interference competition for resources or space, within a local neighbourhood or across the habitat. Therefore, the drivers of competition could change accordingly and depend...

Data from: Horn growth variation and hunting selection of the Alpine ibex

Ulf Büntgen, Juan Diego Galván, Atle Mysterud, Paul J. Krusic, Lisa Hülsmann, Hannes Jenny, Josef Senn & Kurt Bollmann
Selective hunting can affect demographic characteristics and phenotypic traits of the targeted species. Hunting systems often involve harvesting quotas based on sex, age and/or size categories to avoid selective pressure. However, it is difficult to assess whether such regulations deter hunters from targeting larger “trophy” animals with longer horns that may have evolutionary consequences. Here, we compile 44,088 annually resolved and absolutely dated measurements of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) horn growth increments from 8,355 males,...

Data from: Signatures of local adaptation in candidate genes of oaks (Quercus spp.) in respect to present and future climatic conditions

Christian Rellstab, Stefan Zoller, Lorenz Walthert, Isabelle Lesur, Andrea R. Pluess, René Graf, Catherine Bodénès, Christoph Sperisen, Antoine Kremer & Felix Gugerli
Testing how populations are locally adapted and predicting their response to their future environment is of key importance in view of climate change. Landscape genomics is a powerful approach to investigate genes and environmental factors involved in local adaptation. In a pooled amplicon sequencing approach of 94 genes in 71 populations, we tested if >3'500 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the three most common oak species in Switzerland (Quercus petraea, Q. pubescens, Q. robur) show...

Data from: Belowground complementarity effects in a grassland biodiversity experiment are related to deep-rooting species

Natalie J. Oram, Janneke M. Ravenek, Kathryn E. Barry, Alexandra Weigelt, Hongmei Chen, Arthur Gessler, Annette Gockele, Hans De Kroon, Jan Willem Van Der Paauw, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Annemiek Smit-Tiekstra, Jasper Van Ruijven & Liesje Mommer
1. Belowground resource partitioning is often proposed as the underlying mechanism for the positive relationship between plant species richness and productivity. For example, if species have different root distributions, a mixture of plant species may be able to use the available resources more completely than the individual species in a monoculture. However, there is little experimental evidence for differentiation in vertical root distributions among species and its contribution to biodiversity effects. 2. We determined species-specific...

Data from: Evaluating alternative explanations for an association of extinction risk and evolutionary uniqueness in multiple insular lineages.

Ben H. Warren, Oskar Hagen, Florian Gerber, Christophe Thebaud, Emmanuel Paradis & Elena Conti
Studies in insular environments have often documented a positive association of extinction risk and evolutionary uniqueness (i.e. how distant a species is from its closest living relative). However, the cause of this association is unclear. One explanation is that species threatened with extinction are evolutionarily unique because they are old, implying that extinction risk increases with time since speciation (age-dependent extinction). An alternative explanation is that such threatened species are last survivors of clades that...

Data from: The role of climatic tolerances and seed traits in reduced extinction rates of temperate Polygonaceae

Anna Kostikova, Nicolas Salamin & Peter B. Pearman
The latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG) is one of the most striking and consistent biodiversity patterns across taxonomic groups. We investigate the species richness gradient in the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae, which exhibits a reverse LDG and is, thus, decoupled from dominant gradients of energy and environmental stability that increase towards the tropics and confound mechanistic interpretations. We test competing age and evolutionary diversification hypotheses, which may explain the diversification of this plant family over the past...

Data from: Exotic or not, leaf trait dissimilarity modulates the effect of dominant species on mixed litter decomposition

Genevieve E. Finerty, Francesco De Bello, Karolína Bílá, Matty P. Berg, André T. C. Dias, Gianni B. Pezzatti & Marco Moretti
It has long been recognized that leaf traits exert a crucial control on litter decomposition, a key process for nutrient cycling, and that invading species can greatly alter such soil processes via changes in mixed litter trait composition. Trait effects on ecosystem processes are hypothesized to operate via changes in either dominant trait values in the community (often calculated as community weighted mean trait values; CWM) or trait functional diversity (dissimilarity between species trait values;...

Fine-scale invasion genetics of the quarantine pest, Anoplophora glabripennis, reconstructed in single outbreaks

Tetyana Tsykun, Marion Javal, Doris Hölling, Géraldine Roux & Simone Prospero
The xylophagous cerambycid Anoplophora glabripennis, the Asian long-horned beetle (ALB), is highly polyphagous and can colonize a wide range of broadleaved host trees causing significant economic damage. For this reason, it is considered a quarantine pest in Europe and North America. Although the global spread of ALB has been depicted recently, no comprehensive studies exist on the genetic pattern of populations’ establishment and dynamics at fine-scale (i.e. within invasive outbreaks), before eradication measures are applied....

Global gradients in intraspecific variation in vegetative and floral traits are partially associated with climate and species richness

Jonas Kuppler, Cécile H. Albert, Gregory M. Ames, W. Scott Armbruster, Gerhard Boenisch, Florian C. Boucher, Diane R. Campbell, Liedson T. Carneiro, Eduardo Chacón-Madrigal, Brian J. Enquist, Carlos R. Fonseca, José M. Gómez, Antoine Guisan, Pedro Higuchi, Dirk N. Karger, Jens Kattge, Michael Kleyer, Nathan J. B. Kraft, Anne-Amélie C. Larue-Kontić, Amparo Lázaro, Martin Lechleitner, Deirdre Loughnan, Vanessa Minden, Ülo Niinemets, Gerhard E. Overbeck … & Robert R. Junker
Aim Intraspecific trait variation (ITV) within natural plant communities can be large, influencing local ecological processes and dynamics. Here, we shed light on how ITV in vegetative and floral traits responds to large-scale abiotic and biotic gradients (i.e. climate and species richness). Specifically, we tested if associations of ITV with temperature, precipitation and species richness were consistent with any of from four hypotheses relating to stress-tolerance and competition. Furthermore, we estimated the degree of correlation...

Data from: Alteration of nitrous oxide emissions from floodplain soils by aggregate size, litter accumulation and plant–soil interactions

Martin Ley, Moritz F. Lehmann, Pascal A. Niklaus & Jörg Luster
Semi-terrestrial soils such as floodplain soils are considered potential hot spots of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Microhabitats in the soil – such as within and outside of aggregates, in the detritusphere, and/or in the rhizosphere – are considered to promote and preserve specific redox conditions. Yet our understanding of the relative effects of such microhabitats and their interactions on N2O production and consumption in soils is still incomplete. Therefore, we assessed the effect of aggregate...

Data from: Biomass partitioning in a future dry and CO2 enriched climate: shading aggravates drought effects in Scots pine but not European black pine seedlings

Christoph Bachofen, Tom Wohlgemuth, Barbara Moser & Thomas Wohlgemuth
1. Climate change alters both water and CO2 availability for plants, but it is largely unknown how they interact with light to affect tree seedling establishment and early growth. Light availability is often regulated by forest management, thus understanding how these resources co-limit the regeneration success of tree species and populations with contrasting drought tolerances is essential for adaptive forest management and particularly for assisted migration. 2.We studied biomass partitioning of 3-year-old Scots pine (Pinus...

Stability in subtropical forests: the role of tree-species diversity, stand structure, environmental and socio-economic conditions

Shuai Ouyang, Wenhua Xiang, Mengmeng Gou, Liang Chen, Pifeng Lei, Wenfa Xiao, Xiangwen Deng, Lixiong Zeng, Jiangrong Li, Tao Zhang, Changhui Peng & David I. Forrester
Aim: Tree species diversity can increase the stability of ecosystem productivity by increasing mean productivity and/or reducing the standard deviation in productivity. However, stand structure, environmental and socio-economic conditions influence plant diversity and may strongly influence the relationships between diversity and stability in natural forest communities. The relative importance of these factors on community stability remains poorly understood in complex (species-rich) subtropical forests. Location: Subtropical area of southern China. Time period: 1999-2014. Major taxa studied:...

Data from: Fine-scale spatial genetic structure across the species range reflects recent colonization of high elevation habitats in silver fir (Abies alba Mill.)

Enikő I. Major, Mária Höhn, Camilla Avanzi, Bruno Fady, Katrin Heer, Lars Opgenoorth, Andrea Piotti, Flaviu Popescu, Dragos Postolache, Giovanni G. Vendramin & Katalin Csilléry
Variation in genetic diversity across species ranges has long been recognized as highly informative for assessing populations’ resilience and adaptive potential. The spatial distribution of genetic diversity within populations, referred to as fine-scale spatial genetic structure (FSGS), also carries information about recent demographic changes, yet it has rarely been connected to range scale processes. We studied eight silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) population pairs (sites), growing at high and low elevations, representative of the main...

Alpine ibex simulation files

Deborah Leigh, Heidi Lischer, Frederic Guillaume, Christine Grossen & Torsten Gunther
Identifying local adaptation in bottlenecked species is essential for conservation management. Selection detection methods have an important role in species management plans, assessments of adaptive capacity, and looking for responses to climate change. Yet, the allele frequency changes exploited in selection detection methods are similar to those caused by the strong neutral genetic drift expected during a bottleneck. Consequently, it is often unclear what accuracy selection detection methods have across bottlenecked populations. In this study,...

Data from: Thermal differences between juveniles and adults increased over time in European forest trees

Maria Mercedes Caron, Florian Zellweger, Kris Verheyen, Lander Baeten, Radim Hédl, Bernhardt-Römermann Markus, Imre Berki, Jörg Brunet, Guillaume Decocq, Sandra Díaz, Thomas Dirnböck, Tomasz Durak, Thilo Heinken, Bogdan Jaroszewicz, Martin Kopecký, Jonathan Lenoir, Martin Macek, Malicki Marek, František Máliš, Thomas Nagel, Michael Perring, Petr Petřík, Kamila Reczyńska, Remigiusz Pielech, Wolfgang Schmidt … & Pieter De Frenne
Woody species’ requirements and environmental sensitivity change from seedlings to adults, a process referred to as ontogenetic shift. Such shifts can be increased by climate change. To assess the changes in the difference of temperature experienced by seedlings and adults in the context of climate change, it is essential to have reliable climatic data over long periods that capture the thermal conditions experienced by the individuals throughout their life cycle. Here we used a unique...

Data from: Declines in occurrence of plants characteristic for a nutrient-poor meadow habitat are partly explained by their responses to nutrient addition and competition

Stefanie Höckendorff, Markus Peintinger, Felicitas Fiedler, Marc Stift & Mark Van Kleunen
Species losses and local extinctions are alarmingly common, frequently as a consequence of habitat destruction. Nevertheless, many intact habitats also face species losses, most likely due to environmental changes. However, the exact drivers, and why they affect some species more than others in apparently intact habitats, are still poorly understood. Addressing these questions requires data on changes in occurrence frequency of many species, and comparisons of the responses of those species to experimental manipulations of...

Support for the habitat amount hypothesis from a global synthesis of species density studies

James Watling, Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Marion Pfeifer, Lander Baeten, Cristina Banks-Leite, Laura Cisneros, Rebecca Fang, Caroli Hamel-Leigue, Thibault Lachat, Inara Leal, Luc Lens, Hugh Possingham, Dinarzarde Raheem, Danilo Ribeiro, Eleanor Slade, Nicolas Urbina-Cardona, Eric Wood & Lenore Fahrig
Decades of research suggest that species richness depends on spatial characteristics of habitat patches, especially their size and isolation. In contrast, the habitat amount hypothesis predicts that: 1) species richness in plots of fixed size (species density) is more strongly and positively related to the amount of habitat around the plot than to patch size or isolation; 2) habitat amount better predicts species density than patch size and isolation combined, 3) there is no effect...

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  • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
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