49 Works

Opposite latitudinal patterns for bird and arthropod predation revealed in the experiments with differently colored artificial prey

Elena Zvereva, Bastien Castagneyrol, Tatiana Cornelissen, Anders Forsman, Juan Antonio Hernández-Agüero, Tero Klemola, Lucas Paolucci, Vicente Polo, Norma Salinas, K. Jurie Theron, Guorui Xu, Vitali Zverev & Mikhail Kozlov
The strength of biotic interactions is generally thought to increase towards the equator, but support for this hypothesis is contradictory. We explored whether predator attacks on artificial prey of eight different colours vary among climates and whether this variation affects the detection of latitudinal patterns in predation. The data set provides number of damage marks on each of 1320 plasticine caterpillars of eight different colours, which were attached to branches of woody plants and exposed...

Genetic diversity of Horsfieldia tetratepala (Myristicaceae), an endangered plant species with extremely small populations to China: implications for its conservation

Chaonan Cai
Genetic variation determines the evolutionary potential of a species and is vital for fully understanding the evolution of a species, as well as for developing optimal conservation strategies. Horsfieldia tetratepala is an economically important rainforest tree which has declined steadily, mainly though habitat destruction, and an endangered, narrow endemic in China where it is also classified as a Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations (PSESP). Effective conservation strategies for H. tetratepala are required urgently, but...

Data from: Stronger cooling effects of transpiration and morphology of the plants from a hot dry habitat than from a hot wet habitat

Hua Lin, Yajun Chen, Houlei Zhang, Pei-Li Fu, Ze-Xin Fan, Peili Fu & Zexin Fan
1. Leaf temperature exerts an important impact on the microenvironment and physiological processes of leaves. Plants from different habitats have different strategies to regulate leaf temperature. The relative importance of morphology and transpiration for leaf temperature regulation in the hot habitat is still unclear. 2. We investigated 22 leaf morphological traits, transpiration, and thermal properties of 38 canopy species of seedlings in a greenhouse, including 18 dominant species from a hot wet habitat (HW) and...

Data from: Changes in seed predation along a 2300-m elevational gradient on a tropical mountain in Myanmar: a standardized test with 32 non-native plant species

Myo Min Thein, La-Mei Wu, Richard Corlett, Rui-Chang Quan & Bo Wang
It has been hypothesized that biotic interactions are stronger towards lower latitudes and elevations. However, results vary among interaction systems and experimental protocols. Our goal was to examine the validity of this prediction by using a standardized method to investigate seed–animal interaction. We assessed removal by animals for 40960 seeds belonging to 32 non-native tree species along an elevation gradient from 600 m to 2910 m on Mount Victoria (Nat Ma Taung), western Myanmar. We...

Sampling biases shape our view of the natural world

Alice Hughes, Keping Ma, Mark Costello, John Waller, Pieter Provoost, Qinmin Yang, Chaodong Zhu, Huijie Qiao & Michael Orr
Spatial patterns of biodiversity are inextricably linked to their collection methods, yet no synthesis of bias patterns or their consequences exists. As such, views of organismal distribution and the ecosystems they make up may be incorrect, undermining countless ecological and evolutionary studies. Using 742 million records of 374,900 species, we explore the global patterns and impacts of biases related to taxonomy, accessibility, ecotype, and data type across terrestrial and marine systems. Pervasive sampling and observation...

The ability to disperse large seeds, rather than body mass alone, defines the importance of animals in a hyper-diverse seed dispersal network

Lisa Ong, Kim McConkey & Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz
1. Large-bodied animals play irreplaceable roles in seed dispersal, partly due to their capacity to disperse large seeds. Understanding this role at a community level has been limited by the paucity of network studies that include large vertebrates, and the almost complete absence of studies including synzoochoric dispersers. Synzoochoric dispersers can disperse seeds disproportionately large for their body size, potentially overlapping the roles of large-bodied animals. A comprehensive network, inclusive of large vertebrates and synzoochorous...

Type specimen information of Primula longistyla

Xing-Da Ma, Wen-Guang Wang, Ji-Pu Shi & Jian-Yong Shen
Primula longistyla, a new species of Primulaceae is described and submitted to the Nordic Journal of Botany. This species is similar to P. densa, but clearly differs in its leaves, corollas and styles. In this dataset, we provide details of the type specimens of the new species.

Do natural enemies mediate conspecific negative distance- and density-dependence of trees? A meta-analysis of exclusion experiments

Xiaoyang Song & Richard Corlett
Conspecific negative distance- and density-dependence is believed to be one of the most important mechanisms controlling forest community assembly and species diversity globally. Plant pathogens, and insect and mammalian herbivores, are the most common natural enemy types that have been implicated in this phenomenon, but their general effects at different plant life stages are still unclear. Here, we conduct a meta-analysis of studies that involved robust manipulative experiments, using fungicides, insecticides, or exclosures, to assess...

Morphological and behavioural differences facilitate tropical butterfly persistence in variable environments

Cheng Wenda, Shuang Xing, Akihiro Nakamura & Timothy C. Bonebrake
1. The thermal biology of ectotherms largely determines their abundance and distributions. In general, tropical species inhabiting warm and stable thermal environments tend to have low tolerance to cold and variable environments, which may restrict their expansion into temperate climates. However, the distribution of some tropical species does extend into cooler areas such as tropical borders and high elevation tropical mountains. Behavioural and morphological differences may therefore play important roles in facilitating tropical species to...

Assessing candidate DNA barcodes for Chinese and internationally traded timber species

Jian-Lin Hu, Xiu-Qin Ci, Zhi-Fang Liu, Eleanor E. Dormontt, John G. Conran, Jie Li & Andrew J. Lowe
Accurate identification of species from timber is an essential step to help control illegal logging and forest loss. However, current approaches to timber identification based on morphological and anatomical characteristics have limited species resolution. DNA barcoding is a proven tool for plant species identification, but there is a need to build reliable reference data across broad taxonomic and spatial scales. Here, we construct a species barcoding library consisting of 1,550 taxonomically diverse timber species from...

Data from: Intra-specific relatedness, spatial clustering and reduced demographic performance in tropical rainforest trees

Xiaona Shao, Calum Brown, Samantha J. Worthy, Lu Liu, Min Cao, Qiaoming Li, Luxiang Lin & Nathan G. Swenson
Intra-specific negative density dependence promotes species coexistence by regulating population sizes. Patterns consistent with such density dependence are frequently reported in diverse tropical tree communities. Empirical evidence demonstrating whether intra-specific variation is related to these patterns, however, is lacking. The present study addresses this important knowledge gap by genotyping all individuals of a tropical tree in a long-term forest dynamics plot in tropical China. We show that related individuals are often spatially clustered, but having...

Data from: Genetic structure and hybridization in the species group of Ficus auriculata: can closely related sympatric Ficus species retain their genetic identity while sharing pollinators?

Zuo-Dong Wei, Noppol Kobmoo, Astrid Cruaud, Finn Kjellberg & Z.-D. Wei
Obligate mutualistic nursery pollination systems between insects and plants have led to substantial co-diversification involving at least some parallel cladogenesis, as documented in Yucca, Ficus and Phyllanthaceae. In such systems pollinators are generally species specific thus limiting hybridization and introgression among interfertile host species. Nevertheless, in the three systems, cases of one insect pollinating several plant species are reported. In most cases host plants sharing pollinators are allopatric. However in the case of the species...

Data from: Higher predation risk for insect prey at low latitudes and elevations

Tomas Roslin, Bess Hardwick, Vojtech Novotny, William K. Petry, Nigel R. Andrew, Ashley Asmus, Isabel C. Barrio, Yves Basset, Andrea Larissa Boesing, Timothy C. Bonebrake, Erin K. Cameron, Wesley Dáttilo, David A. Donoso, Pavel Drozd, Claudia L. Gray, David S. Hik, Sarah J. Hill, Tapani Hopkins, Shuyin Huang, Bonny Koane, Benita Laird-Hopkins, Liisa Laukkanen, Owen T. Lewis, Sol Milne, Isaiah Mwesige … & Eleanor M. Slade
Biotic interactions underlie ecosystem structure and function, but predicting interaction outcomes is difficult. We tested the hypothesis that biotic interaction strength increases toward the equator, using a global experiment with model caterpillars to measure predation risk. Across an 11,660-kilometer latitudinal gradient spanning six continents, we found increasing predation toward the equator, with a parallel pattern of increasing predation toward lower elevations. Patterns across both latitude and elevation were driven by arthropod predators, with no systematic...

Data from: A complex pattern of post-divergence expansion, contraction, introgression and asynchronous responses to Pleistocene climate changes in two Dipelta sister species from western China

Bin Tian, Yi Fu, Richard Milne, Kangshan Mao, Yong-Shuai Sun, Xiangguang Ma & Hang Sun
The well-known vicariance and dispersal models dominate in understanding the allopatric pattern for related species and presume the simultaneous occurrence of speciation and biogeographic events. However, the formation of allopatry may postdate the species divergence. We examined this hypothesis using DNA sequence data from 3 chloroplast fragments and 5 nuclear loci of Dipelta floribunda and D. yunnanensis, two shrub species with the circum Sichuan Basin distribution, combining the climatic niche modeling approach. The best-fit model...

Data from: Pollinator sharing and gene flow among closely related sympatric dioecious fig taxa

Gang Wang, Charles H. Cannon & Jin Chen
Hybridization and insect pollination are widely believed to increase rates of plant diversification. The extreme diversity of figs (Ficus) and their obligate pollinators, fig wasps (Agaonidae), provides an opportunity to examine the possible role of pollinator-mediated hybridization in plant diversification. Increasing evidence suggests that pollinator sharing and hybridization occurs among fig taxa, despite relatively strict co-evolution with the pollinating wasp. Using five sympatric dioecious fig taxa and their pollinators, we examine the degree of pollinator...

Traits mediate a tradeoff in seedling growth response to light and conspecific density in a diverse subtropical forest

Xiaoyang Song, Jie Yang, Min Cao, Luxiang Lin, Zhenhua Sun, Handong Wen & Nathan Swenson
Understanding tree species responses to biotic and abiotic factors is fundamental for stronger predictions of community assembly and dynamics. However, several challenges remain. These include a failure to investigate whether there is evidence for key hypothesized life-history tradeoffs and to link these tradeoffs to functional traits. In this study, we seek to explicitly address the above outstanding challenges by constructing models for individual seedling growth in response to abiotic and biotic factors using three years...

Hydraulic prediction of drought-induced plant dieback and top-kill depends on leaf habit and growth form

Ya-Jun Chen, Brendan Choat, Frank Sterck, Phisamai Maenpuen, Masatoshi Katabuchi, Shu-Bin Zhang, Kyle Tomlinson, Rafael Oliveira, Yong-Jiang Zhang, Kun-Fang Cao & Steven Jansen
Hydraulic failure caused by severe drought contributes to aboveground dieback and whole-plant death. The extent to which dieback or whole-plant death can be predicted by plant hydraulic traits has rarely been tested among species with different leaf habits and/or growth forms. We investigated 19 hydraulic traits in 40 woody species in a tropical savanna and their potential correlations with drought response during an extreme drought event during the El Niño–Southern Oscillation in 2015. Plant hydraulic...

Data from: Intra-specific variation in tree growth responses to neighborhood composition and seasonal drought in a tropical forest

Jie Yang, Xiaoyang Song, Jenny Zambrano, Yuxin Chen, Min Cao, Xiaobao Deng, Wenfu Zhang, Xiaofei Yang, Guocheng Zhang, Yong Tang & Nathan Swenson
1. Functional traits are expected to provide insights into the abiotic and biotic drivers of plant demography. However, successfully linking traits to plant demographic performance likely requires the consideration of important contextual and individual-level information that is often ignored in trait-based ecology. 2. Here, we modeled 8 years of growth from 1,138 individual trees from 36 tropical rain forest species. We compared models of tree growth parameterized using individual-level versus species mean trait data. We...

Analysis of acoustic index against temperature and barometric pressure

Catharina Karlsson, Harold Tay, Paul Yambun & Alice Hughes
1. New low-cost options to long-term acoustic monitoring in terrestrial ecology are becoming increasingly available. However, integration of acoustic stations with sensors for logging of additional data, such as temperature and barometric pressure is rare. Separate environmental loggers often come at a cost of > US$100 whereas the same sensors for use with microprocessors come at a cost between US$. 1-15 The cost savings integration entails as well as the crucial need for the recording...

Ecological stoichiometry of the epiphyte community in a subtropical forest canopy

Junbiao Huang, Wenyao Liu, Su Li, Liang Song, Huazheng Lu, Xianmeng Shi, Xi Chen, Tao Hu, Shuai Liu & Tao Liu
Epiphytes in tree canopies make a considerable contribution to the species diversity, aboveground biomass, and nutrient pools in forest ecosystems. However, the nutrient status of epiphytes and their possible adaptations to nutrient deficiencies in the forest canopy remain unclear. Therefore, we analyzed the stoichiometry of five macroelements (C, N, P, K, and Ca) in four taxonomic groups (lichens, bryophytes, ferns, and spermatophytes) to investigate this issue in a subtropical montane moist evergreen broad-leaved forest in...

Spine and dine: A key defensive trait promotes ecological success in spiny ants

Benjamin Blanchard, Akihiro Nakamura, Min Cao, Stephanie Chen & Corrie Moreau
A key focus of ecologists is explaining the origin and maintenance of morphological diversity and its association with ecological success. We investigate potential benefits and costs of a common and varied morphological trait, cuticular spines, for foraging behavior, interspecific competition, and predator-prey interactions in naturally co-occurring spiny ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Polyrhachis) in an experimental setting. We expect that a defensive trait like spines might be associated with more conspicuous foraging, a greater number of workers...

Data from: Patterns of nitrogen-fixing tree abundance in forests across Asia and America

Duncan N. L. Menge, Ryan A. Chisholm, Stuart J. Davies, Kamariah Abu Salim, David Allen, Mauricio Alvarez, Norm Bourg, Warren Y. Brockelman, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, Nathalie Butt, Min Cao, Wirong Chanthorn, Wei-Chun Chao, Keith Clay, Richard Condit, Susan Cordell, João Batista Da Silva, H. S. Dattaraja, Ana Cristina Segalin De Andrade, Alexandre A. Oliveira, Jan Den Ouden, Michael Drescher, Christine Fletcher, Christian P. Giardina, C. V. Savitri Gunatilleke … & Tak Fung
Symbiotic nitrogen (N)‐fixing trees can provide large quantities of new N to ecosystems, but only if they are sufficiently abundant. The overall abundance and latitudinal abundance distributions of N‐fixing trees are well characterised in the Americas, but less well outside the Americas. Here, we characterised the abundance of N‐fixing trees in a network of forest plots spanning five continents, ~5,000 tree species and ~4 million trees. The majority of the plots (86%) were in America...

Data from: Higher fungal diversity is correlated with lower CO2 emissions from dead wood in a natural forest

Chunyan Yang, Douglas A. Schaefer, Weijie Liu, Viorel D. Popescu, Chenxue Yang, Xiaoyang Wang, Chunying Wu & Douglas W. Yu
Wood decomposition releases almost as much CO2 to the atmosphere as does fossil-fuel combustion, so the factors regulating wood decomposition can affect global carbon cycling. We used metabarcoding to estimate the fungal species diversities of naturally colonized decomposing wood in subtropical China and, for the first time, compared them to concurrent measures of CO2 emissions. Wood hosting more diverse fungal communities emitted less CO2, with Shannon diversity explaining 26 to 44% of emissions variation. Community...

Functional traits: Adaption of ferns in forest

Dongmei Jin, Xi-Le Zhou, Harald Schneider, Hong-Jin Wei, Hong-Yu Wei & Yue-Hong Yan
Ferns evolved from 400 million years ago show various functional traits and ecological strategies in extant species, and over 80% of them belong to the youngest order Polypodiales. How the functional traits and strategies of ferns have changed during their evolutionary history remains unexplored. Here, we measured functional traits that sensitive to environmental light and water availability of 345 fern species across the fern phylogeny, and reconstructed their evolutionary histories. We found that ferns, mainly...

Retention fraction of 15N-labelled deposited ammonium and nitrate in forests

Geshere Abdisa Gurmesa, Ang Wang, Shanlong Li, Shushi Peng, Wim De Vries, Per Gundersen, Philippe Ciais, Oliver L Phillips, Erik Hobbie, Weixing Zhu, Knute Nadelhoffer, Yi Xi, Edith Bai, Tao Sun, Dexiang Chen, Wenjun Zhou, Yiping Zhang, Yingrong Guo, Jiaojun Zhu, Lei Duan, Dejun Li, Keisuke Koba, Enzai Du, Guoyi Zhou, Xingguo Han … & Yunting Fang
The impacts of enhanced nitrogen (N) deposition on global forest carbon (C) sink and other ecosystem services may depend on whether N is deposited in reduced (mainly as ammonium) or oxidized forms (mainly as nitrate) and the subsequent fate of each. However, the fates of the two key reactive N forms and its contribution to forest C sink is unclear. We conducted ecosystem-scale paired 15N-labelling experiments in nine forests across China to quantify N retention...

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