124 Works

Data from: Extinction debt and delayed colonization have had comparable but unique effects on plant community-climate lags since the Last Glacial Maximum

Bradley J. Butterfield, R. Scott Anderson, Camille A. Holmgren & Julio L. Betancourt
Aim: Plant communities typically exhibit lagged responses to climate change due to poorly-understood effects of colonization and local extinction. Here, we quantify rates of change in mean cold tolerances, and contributions of colonization and local extinction to those rates, recorded in plant macrofossil assemblages from North American hot deserts over the last 30,000 years. Location: Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts Time period: 30-0 thousand years before present (kybp) Major taxa studied: Vascular plants Methods: Colonization...

Data from: Resistance in persisting bat populations after white-nose syndrome invasion

Kate E. Langwig, Joseph R. Hoyt, Katy L. Parise, Winifred F. Frick, Jeffrey T. Foster & A. Marm Kilpatrick
Increases in anthropogenic movement have led to a rise in pathogen introductions and the emergence of infectious diseases in naive host communities worldwide. We combined empirical data and mathematical models to examine changes in disease dynamics in little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) populations following the introduction of the emerging fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which causes the disease white-nose syndrome. We found that infection intensity was much lower in persisting populations than in declining populations where...

Data from: Chronic nitrogen addition induces a cascade of plant community responses with both seasonal and progressive dynamics

Xiaobing Zhou, Matthew Bowker, Ye Tao, Lin Wu, Yuanming Zhang & Matthew A. Bowker
Short-lived herbaceous plants provide a useful model to rapidly reveal how multiple generations of plants in natural plant communities of sensitive desert ecosystems will be affected by N deposition. We monitored dynamic responses of community structure, richness, evenness, density and biomass of herbaceous plants to experimental N addition (2:1 NH4+:NO3− added at 0, 0.5, 1, 3, 6 and 24 g N m− 2 a− 1) in three seasons in each of three years in the...

Data from: Reproduction as a bottleneck to treeline advance across the circumarctic forest tundra ecotone

Carissa D. Brown, Geneviève Dufour-Tremblay, Ryan G. Jameson, Steven D. Mamet, Andrew J. Trant, Xanthe J. Walker, Stéphane Boudraeu, Karen A. Harper, Greg H.R. Henry, Luise Hermanutz, Annika Hofgaard, Ludmila Isaeva, G. Peter Kershaw, Jill F. Johnstone & Gregory H. R. Henry
The fundamental niche of many species is shifting with climate change, especially in sub-arctic ecosystems with pronounced recent warming. Ongoing warming in sub-arctic regions should lessen environmental constraints on tree growth and reproduction, leading to increased success of trees colonising tundra. Nevertheless, variable responses of treeline ecotones have been documented in association with warming temperatures. One explanation for time lags between increasingly favourable environmental conditions and treeline ecotone movement is reproductive limitations caused by low...

Data from: Host and pathogen ecology drive the seasonal dynamics of a fungal disease, white-nose syndrome

Kate E. Langwig, Winifred F. Frick, Rick Reynolds, Katy L. Parise, Kevin P. Drees, Joseph R. Hoyt, Tina L. Cheng, Thomas H. Kunz, Jeffrey T. Foster & A. Marm Kilpatrick
Seasonal patterns in pathogen transmission can influence the impact of disease on populations and the speed of spatial spread. Increases in host contact rates or births drive seasonal epidemics in some systems, but other factors may occasionally override these influences. White-nose syndrome, caused by the emerging fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans, is spreading across North America and threatens several bat species with extinction. We examined patterns and drivers of seasonal transmission of P. destructans by measuring...

Data from: Repeatability of adaptive radiation depends on spatial scale: regional versus global replicates of stickleback in lake versus stream habitats

Antoine Paccard, Dieta Hanson, Yoel E Stuart, Frank A Von Hippel, Martin Kalbe, Tom Klepaker, Skúli Skúlason, Bjarni K Kristjánsson, Daniel I Bolnick, Andrew P Hendry & Rowan D H Barrett
The repeatability of adaptive radiation is expected to be scale dependent, with determinism decreasing as greater spatial separation among “replicates” leads to their increased genetic and ecological independence. Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) provide an opportunity to test whether this expectation holds for the early stages of adaptive radiation -their diversification in freshwater ecosystems has been replicated many times. To better understand the repeatability of that adaptive radiation, we examined the influence of geographic scale on...

Data from: Drought mildly reduces plant dominance in a temperate prairie ecosystem across years

Karen Castillioni, Kevin Wilcox, Lifen Jiang, Chang Gyo Jung, Yiqi Luo & Lara Souza
1. Shifts in dominance and species reordering can occur in response to global change. However, it is not clear how altered precipitation and disturbance regimes interact to affect species composition and dominance. 2. We explored community-level diversity and compositional similarity responses, both across and within years, to a manipulated precipitation gradient and annual clipping in a mixed-grass prairie in Oklahoma, USA. We imposed seven precipitation treatments (five water exclusion levels [-20%, -40%, -60%, -80%, and...

Data from: The genetic architecture of plant defense tradeoffs in a common monkeyflower

Nicholas Kooyers, Benjamin Blackman, Abigail Donofrio & Liza Holeski
Determining how adaptive combinations of traits arose requires understanding the prevalence and scope of genetic constraints. Frequently observed phenotypic correlations between plant growth, defenses, and/or reproductive timing have led researchers to suggest that pleiotropy or strong genetic linkage between variants affecting independent traits is pervasive. Alternatively, these correlations could arise via independent mutations in different genes for each trait and extensive correlational selection. Here we evaluate these alternatives by conducting a QTL mapping experiment involving...

Sperm limitation produces male biased family sex ratios

Stephen Shuster, Zane Holditch, Kayla Ochoa, Shauna Greene, Shay Allred & Jeffrey Baranowski
Haplo-diploid sex determination in the parasitoid wasp, Nasonia vitripennis (Walker), allows females to adjust their brood sex ratios. Females influence whether ova are fertilized, producing diploid females, or remain unfertilized, producing haploid males. Females appear to adjust their brood sex ratios to minimize “local mate competition,” i.e., competition among sons for mates. Because mating occurs between siblings, females may optimize mating opportunities for their offspring by producing only enough sons to inseminate daughters when ovipositing...

Selection and evolution at the community level using common garden data

Stephen Shuster, Arthur Keith & Thomas Whitham
A key issue in evolutionary biology is whether selection acting at levels higher than the individual can cause evolutionary change. If it can, then conceptual and empirical studies must consider how selection operates at multiple levels of biological organization. Here, we test the hypothesis that estimates of broad-sense community heritability, H2C, can be used to predict the evolutionary response by community-level phenotypes when community-level selection is imposed. Using an approach informed by classic quantitative genetics,...

Data from: Resolving neutral and deterministic contributions to genomic structure in Syntrichia ruralis (Bryophyta, Pottiaceae) informs propagule sourcing for dryland restoration

Rob Massatti, Kyle D. Doherty & Troy E. Wood
Syntrichia ruralis is a cosmopolitan moss that occupies steep environmental gradients. In arid to semi-arid regions of the world it is a key component of biological soil crusts, which are fundamental to healthy dryland ecosystem processes. As such, S. ruralis has attracted the attention of conservationists seeking to restore degraded biological soil crust communities and their associated vascular flora. Here, we generate genomic data for S. ruralis populations that span climatic gradients across the Colorado...

Data from: Independent and interactive effects of plant genotype and environment on plant traits and insect herbivore performance: a meta-analysis with Salicaceae

Hilary L. Barker, Liza M. Holeski & Richard L. Lindroth
1. Ecological research has increasingly highlighted the importance of intraspecific variation in shaping the structure and function of communities and ecosystems. Indeed, the effects of intraspecific variation can match or exceed those of interspecific variation. Previous reviews of intraspecific variation in plant traits across heterogeneous environments have focused primarily on mean phenotypic effects. We propose that a richer and fuller understanding of the ecological causes and consequences of intraspecific variation would be provided by partitioning...

Data from: Plant water potential improves prediction of empirical stomatal models

William R. L. Anderegg, Stephen Pacala, John S. Sperry, Brendan Choat, Daniel J. Chmura, Thomas Kolb, Frederick Meinzer, Pilar Pita, Víctor Resco De Dios & Brett T. Wolfe
Climate change is expected to lead to increases in drought frequency and severity, with deleterious effects on many ecosystems. Stomatal responses to changing environmental conditions form the backbone of all ecosystem models, but are based on empirical relationships and are not well-tested during drought conditions. Here, we use a dataset of 34 woody plant species spanning global forest biomes to examine the effect of leaf water potential on stomatal conductance and test the predictive accuracy...

Data from: Tracing the effects of eutrophication on molluscan communities in sediment cores: outbreaks of an opportunistic species coincide with reduced bioturbation and high frequency of hypoxia in the Adriatic Sea

Adam Tomasovych, Ivo Gallmetzer, Alexandra Haselmair, Darrell S. Kaufman, Martina Kralj, Daniele Cassin, Roberto Zonta & Martin Zuschin
Estimating the effects and timing of anthropogenic impacts on the composition of macrobenthic communities is challenging because early 20th century surveys are sparse and the corresponding intervals in sedimentary sequences are mixed by bioturbation. Here, to assess the effects of eutrophication on macrobenthic communities in the northern Adriatic Sea, we account for mixing with dating of the bivalve Corbula gibba at two stations with high sediment accumulation (Po prodelta) and one station with moderate accumulation...

Mangrove diversity enhances plant biomass production and carbon storage in Hainan Island, China

Jiankun Bai, Yuchen Meng, Ruikun Gou, Jiacheng Lyu, Zheng Dai, Xiaoping Diao, Hongsheng Zhang, Yiqi Luo, Xiaoshan Zhu & Guanghui Lin
Mangrove forests, one of the highest carbon density ecosystems, are very different from other forests as they occupy saline and tidal habitats. Although previous studies in forests, shrublands, and grasslands have shown a positive effect of biodiversity on plant biomass and carbon storage, it remains unclear whether this relation to biodiversity also exists in mangrove forests. Here, we evaluate the possible effects of mangrove species diversity, structural characteristics, and environmental factors on mangrove biomass production...

Environmental drivers of Sphagnum growth in peatlands across the Holarctic region

Fia Bengtsson, Håkan Rydin, Jennifer Baltzer, Luca Bragazza, Zhao-Jun Bu, Simon Caporn, Ellen Dorrepaal, Kjell Ivar Flatberg, Olga Galanina, Mariusz Gałka, Anna Ganeva, Irina Goia, Nadezhda Goncharova, Michal Hajek, Akira Haraguchi, Lorna Harris, Elyn Humphreys, Martin Jiroušek, Katarzyna Kajukało, Edgar Karofeld, Natalia Koronatova, Natalia Kosykh, Anna Laine, Mariusz Lamentowicz, Elena Lapshina … & Richard J. Payne
The relative importance of global versus local environmental factors for growth and thus carbon uptake of the bryophyte genus Sphagnum – the main peat-former and ecosystem engineer in northern peatlands – remains unclear. 2) We measured length growth and net primary production (NPP) of two abundant Sphagnum species across 99 Holarctic peatlands. We tested the importance of previously proposed abiotic and biotic drivers for peatland carbon uptake (climate, N deposition, water table depth, and vascular...

Data from: Local adaptation and rapid evolution of aphids in response to genetic interactions with their cottonwood hosts

David Smith, Stuart Wooley, Eric Lonsdorf, Sarah Brown, Thomas Whitham, Stephen Shuster & Richard Lindroth
Several studies have demonstrated the ecological consequences of genetic variation within a single plant species. For example, these studies show that individual plant genotypes support unique composition of the plants’ associated arthropod community. By contrast, fewer studies have explored how plant genetic variation may influence evolutionary dynamics in the plant’s associated species. Here, we examine how aphids respond evolutionarily to genetic variation in their host plant. We conducted two experiments to examine local adaptation and...

Microbiomes associated with avian malaria survival differ between susceptible Hawaiian honeycreepers and sympatric malaria-resistant introduced birds

Amanda Navine, Kristina Paxton, Eben Paxton, Patrick Hart, Jeffrey Foster, Nancy McInerney, Robert Fleischer & Elin Videvall
Of the estimated 55 Hawaiian honeycreepers (subfamily Carduelinae) only 17 species remain, 9 of which the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers endangered. Among the most pressing threats to honeycreeper survival is avian malaria, caused by the introduced blood parasite Plasmodium relictum, which is increasing in distribution in Hawai`i as a result of climate change. Preventing further honeycreeper decline will require innovative conservation strategies that confront malaria from multiple angles. Research on mammals revealed...

Vascular plant community data for Northwest Territories, Canada

Jennifer Baltzer, Nicola Day, Alison White, Kirsten Reid, Geneviève Degré-Timmons, Steve Cumming, Michelle Mack, Merritt Turetsky, Xanthe Walker & Jill Johnstone
Climate change is altering disturbance regimes outside of historical norms, which can impact biodiversity by selecting for plants with particular traits. The relative impact of disturbance characteristics on plant traits and community structure may be mediated by environmental gradients. We aimed to understand how wildfire impacted understory plant communities and plant regeneration strategies along gradients of environmental conditions and wildfire characteristics in boreal forests. We established 207 plots (60m2) in recently burned stands and 133...

Predicting tropical tree mortality with leaf spectroscopy

Chris Doughty, Alexander Cheesman, Terhi Ruitta & Andrew Nottingham
Do tropical trees close to death have a distinct change to their leaf spectral signature? Tree mortality rates have been increasing in tropical forests globally, reducing the global carbon sink. Upcoming hyperspectral satellites could be used to predict regions close to experiencing extensive tree mortality during periods of stress, such as drought. Here we show, for a tropical rainforest in Borneo, how imminent tropical tree mortality impacts leaf physiological traits and reflectance. We measured leaf...

Data from: A unified framework for quantifying land carbon sequestration

Yiqi Luo, Yuanyuan Huang, Carlos Sierra & Jianyang Xia
Land ecosystems offer an effective nature-based solution to climate change mitigation by absorbing approximately 30% of anthropically emitted carbon. This absorption is primarily based on constraints from atmospheric and oceanic measurements while quantification from direct studies of the land carbon cycle itself displays great uncertainty. The latter hinders prediction of the future fate of the land carbon sink. Here, we show a unified framework for quantifying land carbon sequestration. The framework unifies all carbon cycle...

A genomic perspective on the evolutionary diversification of turtles

Simone Gable, Michael Byars, Robert Literman & Marc Tollis
To examine phylogenetic heterogeneity in turtle evolution, we collected thousands of high-confidence single-copy orthologs from 19 genome assemblies representative of extant turtle diversity and estimated a phylogeny with multispecies coalescent and concatenated partitioned methods. We also collected next-generation sequences from 26 turtle species and assembled millions of biallelic markers to reconstruct phylogenies based on annotated regions from the western painted turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) genome (coding regions, introns, untranslated regions, intergenic, and others). We then...

Frequent burning causes large losses of carbon from deep soil layers in a temperate savanna

Adam Francis Pellegrini, Kendra K. McLauchlan, Sarah E. Hobbie, Michelle C. Mack, Abbey L. Marcotte, David M. Nelson, Steven Perakis, Peter B. Reich & Kyle Whittinghill
1. Fire activity is changing dramatically across the globe, with uncertain effects on ecosystem processes, especially belowground. Fire‐driven losses of soil carbon (C) are often assumed to occur primarily in the upper soil layers because the repeated combustion of aboveground biomass limits organic matter inputs into surface soil. However, C losses from deeper soil may occur if frequent burning reduces root biomass inputs of C into deep soil layers or stimulates losses of C via...

Maximum carboxylation rate estimation with chlorophyll content as a proxy of rubisco content

Xuehe Lu, Weimin Ju, Jing Li, Holly Croft, Jing M. Chen, Yiqi Luo, Hua Yu & Haijing Hu
The maximum carboxylation rate (Vcmax) is a key parameter in determining the plant photosynthesis rate per unit leaf area. However, most terrestrial biosphere models currently treat Vcmax as constants changing only with plant functional types, leading to large uncertainties in modelled carbon fluxes. Vcmax is tightly linked with Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). Here we investigated the relationship between leaf chlorophyll content and Rubisco (Chl-Rub) within a winter wheat paddock. With chlorophyll as a proxy of Rubisco,...

Zapus hudsonius luteus microsatellite and mtDNA datasets

Daniel Sanchez, Faith Walker & Carol Chambers
In the face of accelerated warming and drying, habitat specialists of riparian zones could be threatened with genetic erosion if their effective population sizes become small due to loss and fragmentation of habitat. The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus) is Endangered due to a suite of disturbances to their riparian habitat but the degree of functional connectivity within and among the drainages they occupy is unknown. Using microsatellite and mtDNA, we examined...

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