28 Works

Ecological patterns of root nodule diversity in cultivated and wild rooibos populations: a community prediction approach

Josep Ramoneda, Jaco Le Roux, Emmanuel Frossard, Beat Frey & Hannes Andres Gamper
There is interest in understanding the factors behind the biogeography of root-associated bacteria due to the joint effects that plant host, climate, and soil conditions can have on bacterial diversity. For legume crops with remaining wild populations, this is of even more importance, because the effects of cropping on undisturbed root-associated bacterial communities can be addressed. Here, we used a community prediction approach to describe the diversity of the root nodule bacterial communities of rooibos...

Data from: Optimizing enrichment of deadwood for biodiversity by varying sun exposure and tree species: an experimental approach

Sebastian Vogel, Martin M. Gossner, Ulrich Mergner, Jörg Müller & Simon Thorn
1. The enrichment of deadwood is essential for the conservation of saproxylic biodiversity in managed forests. However, existing strategies focus on a cost-intensive increase of deadwood amount, while largely neglecting increasing deadwood diversity. 2. Deadwood objects, i.e. logs and branches, from six tree species were experimentally sun-exposed, canopy-shaded, and artificially shaded for four years, after which the alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity of saproxylic beetles, wood-inhabiting fungi, and spiders were analyzed. Analyses of beta-diversity included the...

Forest microclimate dynamics drive plant responses to warming

Florian Zellweger, Pieter De Frenne & David Coomes
Climate warming is causing a shift in biological communities in favor of warm-affinity species (i.e., thermophilisation). However, species responses often lag behind climate warming and local microclimates modulated by vegetation and topography are usually ignored. Here we analyze multidecadal understorey microclimate dynamics in European forests and show that thermophilisation and the climatic lag in forest plant communities are primarily controlled by microclimate. Increasing tree canopy cover reduces warming rates inside forests, but loss of canopy...

Influence of climate, soil and land cover on plant species distribution in the European Alps

Yohann Chauvier, Wilfried Thuiller, Philipp Brun, Sébastien Lavergne, Patrice Descombes, Dirk Karger, Julien Renaud & Niklaus Zimmermann
Although the importance of edaphic factors and habitat structure for plant growth and survival is known, both are often neglected in favor of climatic drivers when investigating the spatial patterns of plant species and diversity. Yet, especially in mountain ecosystems with complex topography, missing edaphic and habitat components may be detrimental for a sound understanding of biodiversity distribution. Here, we compare the relative importance of climate, soil and land cover variables when predicting the distributions...

Community functional structure modulates the responses of net primary productivity to application of various N compounds in a meadow steppe

Jiangping Cai, Wentao Luo, Xue Feng, Guojiao Yang, Xiao-Tao Lü, Mai-He Li, Yong Jiang & Xingguo Han
1. Increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition influences grassland productivity. The deposited N contains various N forms with different ecological effects on community functions. However, how grassland primary productivity responds to community functional structure in relation to different N compounds remains largely unclear. 2. In this study, we examined the responses of aboveground primary productivity (ANPP) and community function composition to addition of three different N compounds (NH4NO3, (NH4)2SO4, and CO(NH2)2) at the rates of 0,...

Within-crown variability in herbivore performance and leaf traits

Michael Eisenring, Unsicker Sybille B. & Lindroth Richard L.
Functional trait variation within individual plants is predicted to have important ecological consequences. However, our understanding of the sources contributing to subindividual trait heterogeneity, and the ramifications thereof, is poor. In a common garden, we sampled multiple genotypes of mature trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) at different vertical crown levels and quantified the contributions of genetic, spatial and biotic (herbivory) factors to subindividual morphological and chemical leaf trait variance. Bioassays using gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.)...

Data from: Large scale variation in birth timing and synchrony of a large herbivore along the latitudinal and altitudinal gradients

Marta Pelaez, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Kurt Bollmann, Marco Heurich & Maik Rehnus
1. Hopkins’ Bioclimatic Law predicts geographic patterns in phenological timing by establishing a correspondence between latitudinal and altitudinal gradients. First proposed for key phenological events of plants, such as leaf sprouting or flowering dates, this law has rarely been used to assess the geographical equivalence of key life history traits of mammals. 2. We hypothesize that (H1) parturition dates of European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) are delayed and more synchronized at higher latitudes and altitudes,...

Hummingbird torpor in context: duration, more than temperature, is the key to nighttime energy savings

Anusha Shankar, Rebecca J. Schroeder, Susan M. Wethington, Catherine H. Graham & Donald R. Powers
Torpor is an important energy saving strategy in some small birds, but it has rarely been studied in natural field conditions. We compared torpor use across 43 wild-caught individuals of eight hummingbird species across sites with different natural temperature regimes. Most laboratory studies focus on the relationship between metabolic rate and temperature, but our aim was to evaluate what environmental factors most influence hummingbird nighttime energy management under natural conditions. We found that the probability...

Including intraspecific trait variability to avoid distortion of functional diversity and ecological inference: lessons from natural assemblages

Carlos Carmona & Mark K. L. Wong
1. Functional diversity assessments are crucial and increasingly used for understanding ecological processes and managing ecosystems. The functional diversity of a community is assessed by sampling traits at one or more scales (individuals, populations, species) and calculating a summary index of the variation in trait values. However, it remains unclear how the scale at which traits are sampled and the indices used to estimate functional diversity may alter the patterns observed and inferences about ecological...

Dominant native and non-native graminoids differ in key leaf traits irrespective of nutrient availability

Arthur Broadbent, Jennifer Firn, James McGree, Elizabeth Borer, Yvonne Buckley, W. Stanley Harpole, Kimberly Komatsu, Andrew MacDougall, Kate Orwin, Nicholas Ostle, Eric Seabloom, Jonathan Bakker, Lori Biedermann, Maria Caldeira, Nico Eisenhauer, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Joslin Moore, Carla Nogueira, Pablo Peri, Anita Risch, Christiane Roscher, Martin Schuetz & Carly Stevens
Aim Nutrient enrichment is associated with plant invasions and biodiversity loss. Functional trait advantages may predict the ascendancy of invasive plants following nutrient enrichment but this is rarely tested. Here, we investigate 1) whether dominant native and non-native plants differ in important morphological and physiological leaf traits, 2) how their traits respond to nutrient addition, and 3) whether responses are consistent across functional groups. Location Australia, Europe, North America and South Africa Time period 2007...

Early-wilted forest following the Central European 2018 extreme drought

Philipp Brun, Achilleas Psomas, Christian Ginzler, Wilfried Thuiller, Massimiliano Zappa & Niklaus E. Zimmermann
During the summer of 2018, Central Europe experienced the most extreme drought and heat wave on record, leading to widespread early leaf-shedding and die-offs in forest trees. We quantified such early-wilting responses by associating Sentinel-2 time-series statistics of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index with visually classified orthophotos, using a random forest classifier. The predictions of our classifier achieved a high accuracy of 0.90 ±0.014 and estimated the area of affected forest at 21’500 ±2800 km2....

Long-term cloud forest response to climate warming revealed by insect speciation history

Antonia Salces-Castellano, Sean Stankowski, Paula Arribas, Jairo Patiño, Dirk N. Karger, Roger Butlin & Brent C. Emerson
Montane cloud forests are areas of high endemism, and are one of the more vulnerable terrestrial ecosystems to climate change. Thus, understanding how they both contribute to the generation of biodiversity, and will respond to ongoing climate change, are important and related challenges. The widely accepted model for montane cloud forest dynamics involves upslope forcing of their range limits with global climate warming. However, limited climate data provides some support for an alternative model, where...

The allometry of daily energy expenditure in hummingbirds: an energy budget approach

Anusha Shankar, Donald R Powers, Liliana M Dávalos & Catherine H Graham
1. Within-clade allometric relationships represent standard laws of scaling between energy and size, and their outliers provide new avenues for physiological and ecological research. According to the metabolic level boundaries hypothesis, metabolic rates as a function of mass are expected to scale closer to 0.67 when driven by surface-related processes (e.g., heat or water flux), while volume-related processes (e.g., activity) generate slopes closer to one. 2. In birds, daily energy expenditure (DEE) scales with body...

Hare's affairs: Lessons learnt from a noninvasive genetic monitoring for tracking mountain hare individuals

Laura Schenker, Kurt Bollmann, Maik Rehnus, Sabine Brodbeck & Felix Gugerli
Systematic monitoring of individuals and their abundance over time has become an important tool to provide information for conservation. For genetic monitoring studies, noninvasive sampling has emerged as a valuable approach, particularly so for elusive or rare animals. Here, we present the five-year results of an ongoing noninvasive genetic monitoring of mountain hares (Lepus timidus) in a protected area in the Swiss Alps. We used nuclear microsatellites and a sex marker to identify individuals and...

Data from: Disentangling the effects of geographic peripherality and habitat suitability on neutral and adaptive genetic variation in Swiss stone pine

Benjamin Dauphin, Rafael O. Wüest, Sabine Brodbeck, Stefan Zoller, Martin C. Fischer, Rolf Holderegger, Felix Gugerli & Christian Rellstab
It is generally accepted that the spatial distribution of neutral genetic diversity within a species’ native range mostly depends on effective population size, demographic history, and geographic position. However, it is unclear how genetic diversity at adaptive loci correlates with geographic peripherality or with habitat suitability within the ecological niche. Using exome-wide genomic data and distribution maps of the Alpine range, we first tested whether geographic peripherality correlates with four measures of population genetic diversity...

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...

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...

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....

Mobility costs and energy uptake mediate the effects of morphological traits on species’ distribution and abundance

Stefan Pinkert, Nicolas Friess, Dirk Zeuss, Martin Gossner, Roland Brandl & Stefan Brunzel
Individuals of large or dark-colored ectothermic species often have a higher reproduction and activity than small or light-colored ones. However, investments into body size or darker colors should negatively affect the fitness of individuals as they increase their growth and maintenance costs. Thus, it is unlikely that morphological traits directly affect species’ distribution and abundance. Yet, this simplification is frequently made in trait-based ecological analyses. Here, we integrated the energy allocation strategies of species into...

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:...

Rapid climate change results in long-lasting spatial homogenization of phylogenetic diversity

Bianca Saladin, Loïc Pellissier, Catherine H. Graham, Michael P. Nobis, Nicolas Salamin & Niklaus E. Zimmermann
Scientific understanding of biodiversity dynamics, resulting from past climate oscillations and projections of future changes in biodiversity, has advanced over the past decade. Little is known about how these responses, past or future, are spatially connected. Analyzing the spatial variability in biodiversity provides insight into how climate change affects the accumulation of diversity across space. Here, we evaluate the spatial variation of phylogenetic diversity of European seed plants among neighboring sites and assess the effects...

Data from: Nutrient availability controls the impact of mammalian herbivores on soil carbon and nitrogen pools in grasslands

Judith Sitters, E.R. Jasper Wubs, Elisabeth S. Bakker, Thomas W. Crowther, Peter B. Adler, Sumanta Bagchi, Jonathan D. Bakker, Lori Biederman, Elizabeth T. Borer, Elsa E. Cleland, Nico Eisenhauer, Jennifer Firn, Laureano Gherardi, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Sarah E. Hobbie, Johannes M.H. Knops, Andrew S. MacDougall, Rebecca L. McCulley, Joslin L. Moore, Brent Mortensen, Pablo L. Peri, Suzanne M. Prober, Charlotte Riggs, Anita C. Risch … &
Grasslands have been subject to considerable alteration due to human activities globally, including widespread changes in populations and composition of large mammalian herbivores and elevated supply of nutrients. Grassland soils remain important reservoirs of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). Herbivores may affect both C and N pools and these changes likely interact with increases in soil nutrient availability. Given the scale of grassland soil fluxes, such changes can have striking consequences for atmospheric C concentrations...

Data from: Contrasting leaf trait responses of conifer and broadleaved seedlings to altered resource availability are linked to resource strategies

Barbara Moser, Yan-Li Zhang, Mai-He Li, Thomas Wohlgemuth, Jing-Pin Lei & Christoph Bachofen
(1) Understanding tree seedling responses to water, nutrient and light availability is crucial to precisely predict potential shifts in composition and structure of forest communities under future climatic conditions. (2) We exposed seedlings of widespread central European tree species with contrasting leaf habit, deciduous broadleaves (DB) and evergreen conifers (EC), to factorial combinations of manipulated precipitation (100% and 50% of ambient), shade (40% and 60% of full sunlight) and nutrient availability (low and high NPK),...

Data from: Outcrossing mating system of the early-divergent moonwort fern (Botrychium lunaria, Ophioglossaceae) revealed in the European Alps

Benjamin Dauphin, Jason Grant & Donald Farrar
Premise of the Research. Vascular plants depend on sexual recombination for generating new genetic variability to meet environmental needs. Nevertheless, members of the early-divergent fern genus Botrychium (Ophioglossaceae) typically maintain gametophytic selfing and show strong inbreeding within populations. To explain this evolutionary anomaly, the existence of previous or current but undiscovered outcrossing, genetically rich, precursors of the existing genetically depauperate taxa has been hypothesized. Methodology. Using allele expression at thirteen independently assorting enzyme loci, we...

The effects of age on the demography of a perennial plant depend on interactions with size and environment

Heide Maria Baden, Johan P. Dahlgren, Deborah Ann Roach, Fritz Hans Schweingruber, Kasper Reitzel & Kim Lundgreen
Age-dependence of the demographic rates survival, fecundity and individual growth is a fundamental aspect of population biological theory. Knowledge about plant ageing can also be important for conservation and agriculture as it will improve the accuracy of population viability assessments and long-term performance assessments in perennial crops. Recent studies show age effects on demographic rates for several plant species, yet much remains to be learned about the patterns and mechanisms of plant ageing, particularly about...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
  • Iowa State University
  • Ghent University
  • University of Washington
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Queensland
  • George Fox University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Lausanne