72 Works

Data from: Vascular plants mediate the effects of aridity and soil properties on ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea

Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Antonio Gallardo, Matthew D. Wallenstein & Fernando T. Maestre
An integrated perspective of the most important factors driving the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in natural ecosystems is lacking, especially in drylands. We evaluated how different climatic, abiotic, and nutrient-related factors determine AOA and AOB abundance in bare and vegetated microsites from grasslands throughout the Mediterranean Basin. We found a strong negative relationship between the abundance of AOA genes and soil fertility (availability of C, N, and P). Aridity and other...

Data from: Facilitation beyond species richness

Julia Vega-Álvarez, José Antonio García Rodríguez & Luis Cayuela
1. Facilitation studies have previously focused on the effects of plant-plant interactions on species richness and, more recently, on functional traits or phylogenetic aspects. Little is known, however, about the simultaneous effects that facilitation have on overall biodiversity, jointly considering taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity. 2. In this study, we investigated shrub facilitation on herb communities in a Mediterranean grassland over a 9-year period (2007-2015), each year representing different water availability conditions. Taxonomic, functional and...

Data from: Lichen traits responding to aridity

Paula Matos, Pedro Pinho, Gregorio Aragón, Isabel Martinez, Alice Nunes, Amadeu M. V. M. Soares & Cristina Branquinho
1. Climate change is expected to cause several impacts at the global scale and drylands will be among the most affected areas. Thus, investigating how these changes will affect the composition, structure and functioning of dryland ecosystems has become a priority. From an ecological indicator point of view, several works have shown that functional diversity is better than species richness to understand ecosystem functioning or response to environmental factors. However most of these works focus...

Data from: Livestock overgrazing disrupts the positive associations between soil biodiversity and nitrogen availability

Ling Wang, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Xuan Zhao, Minna Zhang, Yueqing Song, Jinting Cai, Qing Chang, Zhiqiang Li, Ying Chen, Jushan Liu, Hui Zhu, Deli Wang, Guodong Han, Cunzhu Liang, Chengjie Wang & Xiao-Ping Xin
Livestock overgrazing influences both microbial communities and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the role of overgrazing in regulating the relationship between soil biodiversity and nitrogen availability remains largely unexplored. We performed long-term grazing exclusion experiments across eight sites along precipitation gradient covering three major types of grassland in northern China to compare the linkage between soil microbial diversity and N availability in overgrazed versus non-grazed conditions. We found a positive association between fungal diversity...

Data from: Untangling human and environmental effects on geographical gradients of mammal species richness: a global and regional evaluation

Erik Joaquin Torres-Romero & Miguel-Á Olalla-Tárraga
Different hypotheses (geographic, ecological, evolutionary or a combination of them) have been suggested to account for the spatial variation in species richness. However, the relative importance of environment and human impacts in explaining these patterns, either globally or at the biogeographic region level, remains largely unexplored. Here we jointly evaluate how current environmental conditions and human impacts shape global and regional gradients of species richness in terrestrial mammals. We processed IUCN global distributional data for...

Data from: Fitness of an allopolyploid rupicolous fern compared to its diploid progenitors: From sporogenesis to sporophyte formation

Emilia Pangua, Santiago Pajarón & Luis G. Quintanilla
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: When two populations of related cytotypes grow in sympatry, the rarer cytotype tends to be excluded due to a frequency-dependent mating disadvantage. Evolutionary models predict that polyploids, which are typically the rarer cytotype upon first formation, should have higher relative fitness and/or higher selfing rates to establish and then coexist with diploid parents. METHODS: We compared performance in early recruitment among three co-occurring rupicolous fern species: the allotetraploid Cheilanthes tinaei and...

Data from: Differences in thallus chemistry are related to species-specific effects of biocrust-forming lichens on soil nutrients and microbial communities

Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Antonio Gallardo, Felisa Covelo, Ana Prado-Comesaña, Victoria Ochoa & Fernando T. Maestre
1. It is well-known that vascular plants have species-specific effects on soil properties. However, little is known on how individual species forming biocrusts, communities dominated by lichens, mosses and cyanobacteria that are prevalent in many ecosystems world-wide, affect microbial communities and soil variables related to nutrient cycling. 2. We evaluated the relationship of six biocrust-forming lichens (Buellia epipolia, Diploschistes diacapsis, Fulgensia subbracteata, Psora decipiens, Squamarina cartilaginea and Squamarina lentigera) with microbial abundance and multiple variables...

Data from: Poor plant performance under simulated climate change is linked to mycorrhizal responses in a semiarid shrubland

Lupe León-Sánchez, Emilio Nicolás, Marta Goberna, Iván Prieto, Fernando T. Maestre & José Ignacio Querejeta
1.Warmer and drier conditions associated with ongoing climate change will increase abiotic stress for plants and mycorrhizal fungi in drylands worldwide, thereby potentially reducing vegetation cover and productivity and increasing the risk of land degradation and desertification. Rhizosphere microbial interactions and feedbacks are critical processes that could either mitigate or aggravate the vulnerability of dryland vegetation to forecasted climate change. 2.We conducted a four-year manipulative study in a semiarid shrubland in the Iberian Peninsula to...

What feeds on Quercus ilex L.? A biogeographical approach to studying trophic interactions in a Mediterranean keystone species

Juan Antonio Hernández-Agüero, Ildefonso Ruiz-Tapiador & Luis Cayuela
Holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) is regarded as a keystone plant species. Although trophic interactions may affect the phytophagous species distribution and abundance, the number of arthropod species using holm oak as a food resource and their levels of host specificity is not yet known. Here we aim to quantify these species, their feeding strategies and conservation status, investigate the taxonomic relatedness in each trophic guild and assess their degree of host specificity with the...

Predation risk can modify the foraging behaviour of frugivorous carnivores: implications of rewilding apex predators for plant-animal mutualisms

Tamara Burgos, José M. Fedriani, Gema Escribano-Ávila, Javier Seoane, Javier Hernández-Hernández & Emilio Virgós
Apex predators play key roles in food webs and their recovery can trigger trophic cascades in some ecosystems. Intra-guild competition can reduce the abundances of smaller predators and perceived predation risk can alter their foraging behaviour thereby limiting seed dispersal by frugivorous carnivores. However, little is known about how plant-frugivore mutualism could be disturbed in the presence of larger predators. We evaluated the top-down effect of the regional superpredator, the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), on...

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: White-tailed deer as the last megafauna dispersing seeds in Neotropical dry forests: the role of fruit and seed traits

Andrea Jara-Guerrero, Gema Escribano-Avila, Carlos Iván Espinosa, Marcelino De La Cruz & Marcos Méndez
Endozoochory is a prominent form of seed dispersal in tropical dry forests. Most extant megafauna that perform such seed dispersal are ungulates, which can also be seed predators. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is one of the last extant megafauna of Neotropical dry forests, but whether it serves as a legitimate seed disperser is poorly understood. We studied seed dispersal patterns and germination after white-tailed deer gut passage in a tropical dry forest in southwest Ecuador....

Data from: Trait-matching and mass effect determine the functional response of herbivore communities to land use intensification

Gaëtane Le Provost, Nicolas Gross, Luca Börger, Hélène Deraison, Marilyn Roncoroni & Isabelle Badenhausser
1. Trait-based approaches represent a promising way to understand how trophic interactions shape animal communities. The approach relies on the identification of the traits that mediate the linkages between adjacent trophic levels, i.e. “trait-matching”. Yet, how trait-matching explains the abundance and diversity of animal communities has been barely explored. This question may be particularly critical in the context of land use intensification, currently threatening biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. 2. We collected a large dataset...

Data from: Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition

Daniel S. Karp, Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, Timothy D. Meehan, Emily A. Martin, Fabrice DeClerck, Heather Grab, Claudio Gratton, Lauren Hunt, Ashley E. Larsen, Alejandra Martínez-Salinas, Megan E. O’Rourke, Adrien Rusch, Katja Poveda, Mattias Jonsson, Jay A. Rosenheim, Nancy A. Schellhorn, Teja Tscharntke, Stephen D. Wratten, Wei Zhang, Aaron L. Iverson, Lynn S. Adler, Matthias Albrecht, Audrey Alignier, Gina M. Angelella, Muhammad Zubair Anjum … & Yi Zou
The idea that noncrop habitat enhances pest control and represents a win–win opportunity to conserve biodiversity and bolster yields has emerged as an agroecological paradigm. However, while noncrop habitat in landscapes surrounding farms sometimes benefits pest predators, natural enemy responses remain heterogeneous across studies and effects on pests are inconclusive. The observed heterogeneity in species responses to noncrop habitat may be biological in origin or could result from variation in how habitat and biocontrol are...

Data from: Evidence for a stochastic geometry of biodiversity: the effects of species abundance, richness and intraspecific clustering

Julia Chacón-Labella, Marcelino De La Cruz & Adrián Escudero
Most ecological theories that aim to explain coexistence in megadiverse communities employ a set of three rules to describe the stochastic geometry of biodiversity: (i) individuals exhibit intraspecific clustering; (ii) species abundances vary according to a log-normal distribution and (iii) the spatial arrangement between species is independent. The first two rules have received strong empirical support, but the third remains largely unexplored. To address this deficiency, we evaluated the independent species arrangement rule in a...

Data from: Sexual and natural selection in the evolution of extended phenotypes: the use of green nesting material in starlings

Juan G. Rubalcaba, Vicente Polo, Rafael Maia, Dustin R. Rubenstein & José P. Veiga
Although sexual selection is typically considered the predominant force driving the evolution of ritualized sexual behaviors, natural selection may also play an important and often underappreciated role. The use of green aromatic plants among nesting birds has been interpreted as a component of extended phenotype that evolved either via natural selection due to potential sanitary functions, or via sexual selection as a signal of male attractiveness. Here we compared both hypotheses using comparative methods in...

Data from: Shifts and disruptions in resource-use trait syndromes during the evolution of herbaceous crops

Rubén Milla, Javier Morente-López, Jose Miguel Alonso-Rodrigo, Nieves Martín-Robles, , F. Stuart Chapin, N. Martin-Robles & J. Morente-Lopez
Trait-based ecology predicts that evolution in high-resource agricultural environments should select for suites of traits that enable fast resource acquisition and rapid canopy closure. However, crop breeding targets specific agronomic attributes rather than broad trait syndromes. Breeding for specific traits, together with evolution in high-resource environments, might lead to reduced phenotypic integration, according to predictions from the ecological literature. We provide the first comprehensive test of these hypotheses, based on a trait-screening programme of 30...

Data from: Geographic variation of body size in new world anurans: energy and water in a balance

Talita F. Amado, Claudio J. Bidau & Miguel A. Olalla-Tárraga
The validity of Bergmann's rule, perhaps the best known ecogeographical rule, has been questioned for ectothermic species. Here, we explore the interspecific version of the rule documenting body size gradients for anurans across the whole New World and evaluating which environmental variables best explain the observed patterns. We assembled a dataset of body sizes for 2761 anuran species of the Western Hemisphere and conducted assemblage-based and cross-species analyses that consider the spatial and phylogenetic structure...

Reproductive allocation in plants in terms of biomass, energy or nutrients

Marcos Méndez & Enrique Pérez-Martínez
Reproductive allocation (RA), the proportion of total resources that are invested in reproductive structures, is a key component of plant life histories. A major methodological issue is to identify the allocation currency that better estimates RA: biomass, energy or some mineral nutrient. Despite considerable effort to ascertain whether biomass could serve as an integrated estimate of the allocation of other resources, no clear guideline has emerged from the currency issue. Here, we reappraised this problem...

Surface indicators are correlated with soil multifunctionality in global drylands

David Eldridge, Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, José Luis Quero, Victoria Ochoa, Beatriz Gonzalo, Pablo García-Palacios, Cristina Escolar, Miguel Garcia-Gomez, Laura Beinticinco, Matthew Bowker, Donaldo Bran, Ignacio Castro, Alex Cea, Mchich Derak, Carlos Ivan Espinosa, Adriana Fronertino, Juan Gaitán, Gabriel Gatica, Susana Gómez-González, Wahida Ghiloufi, Julio Gutierrez, Elizabeth Gusmán-M., Rosa Hernandez, Frederic Hughes, Walter Muiño … & Fernando Maestre
1. Multiple ecosystem functions need to be considered simultaneously to manage and protect the many ecosystem services that are essential to people and their environments. Despite this, cost effective, tangible, relatively simple, and globally-relevant methodologies to monitor in situ soil multifunctionality, i.e. the provision of multiple ecosystem functions by soils, have not been tested at the global scale. 2. We combined correlation analysis and structural equation modelling to explore whether we could find easily measured,...

The effect of inter-and intraspecific competition on individual and population niche widths – a four-decade study on two interacting salmonids

Sebastian Prati, Eirik Henriksen, Aslak Smalås, Rune Knudsen, Anders Klemetsen, Javier Sánchez-Hernández & Amundsen Per-Arne
Competition is assumed to shape niche widths, affecting species survival and coexistence. Expectedly, high interspecific competition will reduce population niche widths, whereas high intraspecific competition will do the opposite. Here we test in situ how intra- and interspecific competition affects trophic resource use and the individual and population niche widths of two lacustrine fish species, Arctic charr and brown trout, covering a 40 year study period with highly contrasting competitive impacts prior to and following...

Flexible diets enable pollinators to cope with changes in plant community composition

Teresa Morán López, Gita Benadi, Carlos Lara-Romero, Natalia Chacoff, Agustín Vitali, David Pescador, Silvia B Lomáscolo, Javier Morente-López, Diego P. Vázquez & Juan Manuel Morales
Switching plant species visited by pollinators (partner flexibility), has been proposed as a behavioural mechanism able to attenuate the negative impacts of shifts in plant communities on pollination. However, it is unclear if the magnitude of such response is generalizable or depends on the environmental context. Moreover, the ability of pollinators to exploit plants with dissimilar traits (trait flexibility) has been overlooked, even though it can affect the spectrum of new partners available. To shed...

Data from: Multiple late-Pleistocene colonisation events of the Antarctic pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae) reveal the recent arrival of native Antarctic vascular flora

E. M. Biersma, C. Torres-Díaz, K. K. Newsham, M. A. Vidal, G. Ballesteros, C. C. Figueroa, W. P. Goodall-Copestake, M.A. Leppe, M. Cuba-Díaz, M. A. Valladares, L. R. Pertierra, P. Convey, I. S. Acuña-Rodríguez, G. A. Collado & M. A. Molina-Montenegro
Aim: Antarctica’s remote and extreme terrestrial environments are inhabited by only two species of native vascular plants. We assessed genetic connectivity amongst Antarctic and South American populations of one of these species, Colobanthus quitensis, to determine its origin and age in Antarctica. Location: Maritime Antarctic, sub-Antarctic islands, South America Taxon: Antarctic pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae) Methods: Four chloroplast markers and one nuclear marker were sequenced from 270 samples from a latitudinal transect spanning 21–68° S....

Data from: Direct and indirect effects of shrub encroachment on alpine grasslands mediated by plant-flower visitor interactions

Carlos Lara-Romero, Crisitna García, Javier Morente-López & José M. Iriondo
Mutualistic interactions structure ecological communities and they are strongly influenced by the combined effect of different drivers of global change. Land-use changes and global warming have elicited rapid shrub encroachment in alpine grasslands in recent decades, which may have detrimental outcomes for native alpine forbs. In spite of the importance of this process, we lack knowledge about how shrub encroachment modifies community-wide patterns of plant–pollinator mutualistic interactions. Based on the functional biodiversity hypothesis (FBH), which...

Data from: A new non-parametric method for analyzing replicated point patterns in ecology

Pablo Ramón, Marcelino De La Cruz, Julia Chacón–Labella & Adrián Escudero
Most ecological studies that involve point pattern analyses are based on a single plot, which prevent the separation of the effects of various processes that could act simultaneously, as well as limiting the conclusions that can be extracted from these studies. However, considering the spatial distribution of individuals in several plots as replicates of the same process could help to differentiate its specific effects from those of other confounding processes. Thus, we introduce a new...

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