55 Works

First field-based evidence that the seagrass-lucinid mutualism can mitigate sulfide stress in seagrasses

Matthijs Van Der Geest, Tjisse Van Der Heide, Marianne Holmer & Rutger De Wit
Seagrass meadows form vital ecological components of coastal zones worldwide, but are rapidly declining. Large-scale seagrass diebacks have been related to accumulation of toxic sulfide in the sediment, a phenomenon predicted to occur more frequently in the near future due to ongoing global warming and increasing organic loading of coastal systems worldwide. Recently, a facultative mutualism between seagrasses and lucinid bivalves with endosymbiotic sulfide-consuming gill bacteria was discovered that may prevent toxic sulfide accumulation in...

Data from: Identifying the African wintering grounds of hybrid flycatchers using a multi–isotope (δ2H, δ13C, δ15N) assignment approach

Thor Veen, Mårten B. Hjernquist, Steven L. Van Wilgenburg, Keith A. Hobson, Eelke Folmer, Laura Font & Marcel Klaassen
Migratory routes and wintering grounds can have important fitness consequences, which can lead to divergent selection on populations or taxa differing in their migratory itinerary. Collared (Ficedula albicollis) and pied (F. hypoleuca) flycatchers breeding in Europe and wintering in different sub-Saharan regions have distinct migratory routes on the eastern and western sides of the Sahara desert, respectively. In an earlier paper, we showed that hybrids of the two species did not incur reduced winter survival,...

Data from: Individual shifts toward safety explain age-related foraging distribution in a gregarious shorebird

Piet J. Van Den Hout, Theunis Piersma, Job Ten Horn, Bernard Spaans & Tamar Lok
Although age-related spatial segregation is ubiquitous, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we aim to elucidate the processes behind a previously established age-related foraging distribution of red knots (Calidris canutus canutus) in their main wintering area in West Africa (Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania). Based on 10 years of observations of 1232 uniquely color-ringed individuals of 1 to 18+ years old, we examined whether the observed age-related foraging distribution resulted from 1) spatial differences in mortality...

Data from: Understanding spatial distributions: negative density-dependence in prey causes predators to trade-off prey quantity with quality

Allert I. Bijleveld, Robert B. MacCurdy, Ying-Chi Chan, Emma Penning, Richard M Gabrielson, John Cluderay, Eric L. Spaulding, Anne Dekinga, Sander Holthuijsen, Job Ten Horn, Maarten Brugge, Jan A. Van Gils, David W. Winkler, Theunis Piersma & Rich M. Gabrielson
Negative density-dependence is generally studied within a single trophic level, thereby neglecting its effect on higher trophic levels. The ‘functional response’ couples a predator's intake rate to prey density. Most widespread is a type II functional response, where intake rate increases asymptotically with prey density; this predicts the highest predator densities at the highest prey densities. In one of the most stringent tests of this generality to date, we measured density and quality of bivalve...

Data from: Macroecological patterns of archaeal ammonia oxidizers in the Atlantic Ocean

Eva Sintes, Daniele De Corte, Natascha Ouillon & Gerhard J. Herndl
Macroecological patterns are found in animals and plants, but also in micro-organisms. Macroecological and biogeographic distribution patterns in marine Archaea, however, have not been studied yet. Ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (AOA) show a bipolar distribution (i.e. similar communities in the northernmost and the southernmost locations, separated by distinct communities in the tropical and gyral regions) throughout the Atlantic, detectable from epipelagic to upper bathypelagic layers (<2000 m depth). This tentatively suggests an influence of the epipelagic conditions...

Data from: When Siberia came to the Netherlands: the response of continental black-tailed godwits to a rare spring weather event

Nathan R. Senner, Mo A. Verhoeven, José M. Abad-Gómez, Jorge S. Gutiérrez, Jos C. E. W. Hooijmeijer, Rosemarie Kentie, José A. Masero, T. Lee Tibbitts & Theunis Piersma
1. Extreme weather events have the potential to alter both short- and long-term population dynamics as well as community- and ecosystem-level function. Such events are rare and stochastic, making it difficult to fully document how organisms respond to them and predict the repercussions of similar events in the future. 2. To improve our understanding of the mechanisms by which short-term events can incur long-term consequences, we documented the behavioural responses and fitness consequences for a...

Data from: Surviving in a marine desert: the sponge loop retains resources within coral reefs

Jasper M. De Goeij, Dick Van Oevelen, Mark J. A. Vermeij, Ronald Osinga, Jack J. Middelburg, Anton F. P. M. De Goeij & Wim Admiraal
Ever since Darwin’s early descriptions of coral reefs, scientists have debated how one of the world’s most productive and diverse ecosystems can thrive in the marine equivalent of a desert. It is an enigma how the flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM), the largest resource produced on reefs, is transferred to higher trophic levels. Here we show that sponges make DOM available to fauna by rapidly expelling filter cells as detritus that is subsequently consumed...

Data from: A red knot as a black swan: how a single bird shows navigational abilities during repeat crossings of the Greenland Icecap

Eva M. A. Kok, T. Lee Tibbitts, David C. Douglas, Paul W. Howey, Anne Dekinga, Benjamin Gnep & Theunis Piersma
Despite the wealth of studies on seasonal movements of birds between southern nonbreeding locations and High Arctic breeding locations, the key mechanisms of navigation during these migrations remain elusive. A flight along the shortest possible route between pairs of points on a sphere (‘orthodrome’) requires a bird to be able to assess its current location in relation to its migration goal and to make continuous adjustment of heading to reach that goal. Alternatively, birds may...

Pathways to the Denmark Strait Overflow: A Lagrangian Study in the Iceland Sea

Marieke Femke de Jong, Amy Bower, Henrik Søiland, Heather Furey & Andree L. Ramsey
The goal of this project was to directly measure the dense water pathways upstream of the Denmark Strait in the Iceland Sea and compare the results to existing ideas about the dynamics of the circulation by deploying 45 acoustically tracked RAFOS floats over a two year time period (24-Jul-2013 to 29-May-2015). The floats were ballasted to drift at a target depth of 500m, recording pressure, temperature, and Times Of Arrivals (TOAs) every six hours or...

Marine stepping-stones: Connectivity of Mytilus edulis populations between offshore energy installations

Joop W.P. Coolen, Arjen R. Boon, Richard Crooijmans, Hilde Van Pelt, Frank Kleissen, Daan Gerla, Jan Beermann, Silvana N.R. Birchenough, Lisa E. Becking & Pieternella C. Luttikhuizen
Recent papers postulate that epifaunal organisms use artificial structures as stepping-stones to spread to areas that are too distant to reach in a single generation. With thousands of artificial structures present in the North Sea, we test the hypothesis that these structures are connected by water currents and act as an interconnected reef. Population genetic structure of the Blue mussel, Mytilus edulis was expected to follow a pattern predicted by particle tracking models (PTM). Correlation...

Data from: Sex-specific and individual preferences for hunting strategies in white sharks

Alison V. Towner, Vianey Leos-Barajas, Roland Langrock, Robert S. Schick, Malcolm J. Smale, Tami Kaschke, Oliver J.D. Jewell, Yannis P. Papastamatiou & Oliver J. D. Jewell
Fine-scale predator movements may be driven by many factors including sex, habitat, and distribution of resources. There may also be individual preferences for certain movement strategies within a population which can be hard to quantify. Within top predators, movements are also going to be directly related to the mode of hunting; for example sit-and-wait or actively searching for prey. Although there is mounting evidence that different hunting modes can cause opposing trophic cascades, there has...

Data from: How habitat-modifying organisms structure the food web of two coastal ecosystems

Els M. Van Der Zee, Christine Angelini, Laura L. Govers, Marjolijn J. A. Christianen, Andrew H. Altieri, Karin J. Van Der Reijden, Brian R. Silliman, Johan Van De Koppel, Matthijs Van Der Geest, Jan A. Van Gils, Henk W. Van Der Veer, Theunis Piersma, Peter C. De Ruiter, Han Olff & Tjisse Van Der Heide
The diversity and structure of ecosystems has been found to depend both on trophic interactions in food webs and on other species interactions such as habitat modification and mutualism that form non-trophic interaction networks. However, quantification of the dependencies between these two main interaction networks has remained elusive. In this study, we assessed how habitat-modifying organisms affect basic food web properties by conducting in-depth empirical investigations of two ecosystems: North American temperate fringing marshes and...

2D and 3D coral models imaged in Curaçao: George, Mullinix, et al PeerJ 2021

Emma E. George, James A. Mullinix, Fanwei Meng, Barbara A. Bailey, Clinton Edwards, Ben Felts, Andreas F. Haas, Aaron Hartmann, Benjamin Mueller, Ty F. Roach, Peter Salamon, Cynthia Silveira, Mark Vermeij, Forest Rohwer & Antoni Luque
Abstract from the article associated with the dataset: George, Mullinix, et al PeerJ 2021. Reef-building corals are ecosystem engineers that compete with other benthic or- ganisms for space and resources. Corals harvest energy through their surface by photosynthesis and heterotrophic feeding, and they divert part of this energy to defend their outer colony perimeter against competitors. Here, we hypothesized that corals with a larger space-filling surface and smaller perimeters increase energy gain while reducing the...

Exploration speed in captivity predicts foraging tactics and diet in free-living red knots

Selin Ersoy, Christine Beardsworth, Anne Dekinga, Marcel Van Der Meer, Theunis Piersma, Ton Groothuis & Allert Bijleveld
Variation in foraging tactics and diet are usually attributed to differences in morphology, experience, and prey availability. Recently, consistent individual differences in behaviour (personality) have been shown to be associated with foraging strategies. Bolder or more exploratory individuals are predicted to have a faster pace-of-life and offset the costs of moving more or in risky areas, with higher energetic gains by encountering profitable foraging opportunities and prey. However, the relationship between personality, foraging, and diet...

Data from: Biotically driven vegetation mosaics in grazing ecosystems: the battle between bioturbation and biocompaction

Ruth A. Howison, Han Olff, Johan Van De Koppel & Christian Smit
Grazing ecosystems ranging from the arctic tundra to tropical savannas are often characterized by small-scale mosaics of herbivore-preferred and herbivore-avoided patches, promoting plant biodiversity and resilience. The three leading explanations for bistable patchiness in grazed ecosystems are: i) herbivore-driven nutrient cycling, ii) plant growth-water infiltration feedback under aridity, and iii) irreversible local herbivore-induced abiotic stress (topsoil erosion, salinity). However, these insufficiently explain the high temporal patch dynamics and wide-ranging distribution of grazing mosaics across productive...

Data from: An approach to estimate short-term, long-term, and reaction norm repeatability

Yimen G. Araya-Ajoy, Kimberley J. Mathot & Niels J. Dingemanse
Evolutionary ecologists increasingly study reaction norms that are expressed repeatedly within the same individual's lifetime. For example, foragers continuously alter anti-predator vigilance in response to moment-to-moment changes in predation risk. Variation in this form of plasticity occurs both among and within individuals. Among-individual variation in plasticity (individual by environment interaction or I×E) is commonly studied; by contrast, despite increasing interest in its evolution and ecology, within-individual variation in phenotypic plasticity is not. We outline a...

Data from: The role of flow velocity combined with habitat complexity as a top–down regulator in seagrass meadows

Rocío Jiménez-Ramos, Luis G. Egea, Juan José Vergara, Tjeerd J. Bouma & Fernando G. Brun
Large‐scale losses of seagrass areas have been associated with eutrophication events, which have led to an overproduction of photosynthetic organisms including epiphytes. Grazers that feed on epiphytes can exert a significant top–down control in the system, but the effects of physical factors on grazing activity and feeding behaviour have been rarely examined. We addressed the combination of hydrodynamic regime and seagrass shoot density can alter the feeding and foraging behaviours of mesograzers. A full factorial...

Data from: Field measurements give biased estimates of functional response parameters, but help explain foraging distributions

Sjoerd Duijns, Ineke E. Knot, Theunis Piersma & Jan A. Van Gils
1. Mechanistic insights and predictive understanding of the spatial distributions of foragers are typically derived by fitting either field measurements on intake rates and food abundance, or observations from controlled experiments, to functional response models. It has remained unclear, however, whether and why one approach should be favoured above the other, as direct comparative studies are rare. 2. The field measurements required to parameterize either single or multi-species functional response models are relatively easy to...

Data from: Simultaneous declines in summer survival of three shorebird species signals a flyway at risk

Theunis Piersma, Tamar Lok, Ying Chen, Chris J. Hassell, Hong-Yan Yang, Adrian Boyle, Matt Slaymaker, Ying-Chi Chan, David S. Melville, Zheng-Wang Zhang & Zhijun Ma
There is increasing concern about the world's animal migrations. With many land-use and climatological changes occurring simultaneously, pinning down the causes of large-scale conservation problems requires sophisticated and data-intensive approaches. Declining shorebird numbers along the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, in combination with data on habitat loss along the Yellow Sea (where these birds refuel during long-distance migrations), indicate a flyway under threat. If habitat loss at staging areas indeed leads to flyway-wide bird losses, we would...

Data from: Evaluating staging habitat quality to advance the conservation of a declining migratory shorebird, Red Knot Calidris canutus

Tong Mu, Shangxiao Cai, Hebo Peng, Chris J. Hassell, Adrian Boyle, Zhengwang Zhang, Theunis Piersma & David Wilcove
Identifying where and when population “bottlenecks” occur is critical to the conservation of migratory species, many of which are declining precipitously worldwide. Especially challenging is the evaluation of changes to staging sites. These sites are indispensable links in the migratory cycle but are typically used only briefly. We devised a field-based approach to assess the quality and carrying capacity of a critical staging site in Nanpu, China, for the declining, migratory Red Knot (Calidris canutus...

A systematic review of long-term avian studies on phenological changes of birds and their food

Mikhail Zhemchuzhnikov & Tom Versluijs
Many organisms reproduce in seasonal environments, where selection on timing of reproduction is particularly strong as consumers need to synchronize reproduction with the peaked occurrence of their food. When a consumer species changes its phenology at a slower rate than its resources, this may induce a trophic mismatch, i.e. offspring growing up after the peak in food availability, potentially leading to reductions in growth and survival. However, there is large variation in the degree of...

Data from: Nocturnal foraging lifts time-constraints in winter for migratory geese but hardly speeds up fueling

Thomas Lameris, Adriaan Dokter, Henk Van Der Jeugd, Willem Bouten, Jasper Koster, Stefan Sand, Coen Westerduin & Bart Nolet
Climate warming advances the optimal timing of breeding for many animals. For migrants to start breeding earlier, a concurrent advancement of migration is required, including pre-migratory fueling of energy reserves. We investigate whether barnacle geese are time-constrained during pre-migratory fueling and whether there is potential to advance or shorten the fueling period to allow an earlier migratory departure. We equipped barnacle geese with GPS-trackers and accelerometers to remotely record birds’ behavior, from which we calculated...

Data from: Interactive effects between physical forces and ecosystem engineers on seed burial: a case study using Spartina anglica

Zhenchang Zhu, Francesco Cozzoli, Nanyang Chu, Maria Salvador, Tom Ysebaert, Liquan Zhang, Peter M. J. Herman & Tjeerd J. Bouma
Seed burial (i.e. vertical seed dispersal) has become increasingly valued for its relevance for seed fate and plant recruitment. While ecosystem engineers have been generally considered as the most important drivers of seed burial, the role of physical forces, such as wind or water flow, has been largely overlooked. Using tidal habitats as a model system, and a combination of flume and mesocosm experiments, we investigated the effects of 1) currents, 2) benthic animals with...

Data from: The SCOC database – a large, open and global database with sediment community oxygen consumption rates

Tanja Stratmann, Karline Soetaert, Chih-Lin Wei, Yu-Shih Lin & Dick Van Oevelen
Sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC) rates provide important information about biogeochemical processes in marine sediments and the activity of benthic microorganisms and fauna. Therefore, several databases of sediment community oxygen consumption data have been compiled since the mid-1990s. However, these earlier databases contained much less data records and were not freely available. Additionally, the databases were not transparent in their selection procedure, so that other researchers could not assess the quality of the data. Here,...

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