115 Works

Data from: Transgenerational effects modulate density-dependent prophylactic resistance to viral infection in a lepidopteran pest

Kenneth Wilson & Robert I. Graham
There is an increasing appreciation of the importance of transgenerational effects on offspring fitness, including in relation to immune function and disease resistance. Here, we assess the impact of parental rearing density on offspring resistance to viral challenge in an insect species expressing density-dependent prophylaxis (DDP); i.e. the adaptive increase in resistance or tolerance to pathogen infection in response to crowding. We quantified survival rates in larvae of the cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis) from either...

Data from: Plant, soil and microbial controls on grassland diversity restoration: a long-term, multi-site mesocosm experiment

Ellen L. Fry, Emma S. Pilgrim, Jerry R.B. Tallowin, Roger S. Smith, Simon R. Mortimer, Deborah A. Beaumont, Janet Simkin, Stephanie J. Harris, Robert S. Shiel, Helen Quirk, Kate A. Harrison, Clare S. Lawson, Phil A. Hobbs & Richard D. Bardgett
The success of grassland biodiversity restoration schemes is determined by many factors; as such their outcomes can be unpredictable. There is a need for improved understanding of the relative importance of belowground factors to restoration success, such as contrasting soil type and management intensities, as well as plant community composition and order of assembly. We carried out an eight-year mesocosm experiment across three locations in the UK to explore the relative and interactive roles of...

Data from: Mesoclosures – increasing realism in mesocosm studies of ecosystem functioning

Saija Lähteenmäki, Eleanor M. Slade, Bess Hardwick, Gustavo Schiffler, Júlio Louzada, Jos Barlow & Tomas Roslin
1. Experimental studies linking community composition to functioning are typically confined to small and closed micro- or mesocosms. Such restricted conditions may affect both species’ biology and their environment. Yet, targeting simple features in the behaviour of species may circumvent these constraints. Focusing on ecological functions provided by dung beetles, we test whether large, open-top cages – MESOCLOSURES – will intercept the flight trajectories of beetles, thereby allowing manipulation of local community composition. 2. MESOCLOSURES...

A large-scale assessment of plant dispersal mode and seed traits across human-modified Amazonian forests

Joseph Hawes, Ima Vieira, Luiz Magnago, Erika Berenguer, Joice Ferreira, Luiz Aragão, Amanda Cardoso, Alexander Lees, Gareth Lennox, Joseph Tobias, Anthony Waldron & Jos Barlow
1. Quantifying the impact of habitat disturbance on ecosystem function is critical for understanding and predicting the future of tropical forests. Many studies have examined post-disturbance changes in animal traits related to mutualistic interactions with plants, but the effect of disturbance on plant traits in diverse forests has received much less attention. 2. Focusing on two study regions in the eastern Brazilian Amazon, we used a trait-based approach to examine how seed dispersal functionality within...

Data from: Differential effects of fertilisers on pollination and parasitoid interaction networks

Edith Villa-Galaviz, Simon M. Smart, Elizabeth L. Clare, Susan E. Ward & Jane Memmott
Grassland fertilisation drives non-random plant loss resulting in areas dominated by perennial grass species. How these changes cascade through linked trophic levels, however, is not well understood. We studied how grassland fertilisation propagates change through the plant assemblage into the plant-flower visitor, plant-leaf miner and leaf miner-parasitoid networks using a year’s data collection from a long-term grassland fertiliser application experiment. Our experiment had three fertiliser treatments each applied to replicate plots 15 m2 in size:...

Spatial scaling properties of coral reef benthic communities

Helen Ford, Jamison Gove, Andrew Davies, Nicholas Graham, John Healey, Eric Conklin & Gareth Williams
The spatial structure of ecological communities on tropical coral reefs across seascapes and geographies have historically been poorly understood. Here we addressed this for the first time using spatially expansive and thematically resolved benthic community data collected around five uninhabited central Pacific oceanic islands, spanning 6° latitude and 17° longitude. Using towed-diver digital image surveys over ~140 linear km of shallow (8 – 20 m depth) tropical reef, we highlight the autocorrelated nature of coral...

Survey of British calcareous grasslands, 1990 and 2007

T.C.G. Rich, E.A. Cooper, J.S. Rodwell, A.J.C. Malloch, L.J.L. Van Den Berg, P. Vergeer, S.M. Smart, D Guest & M.R Ashmore
Vegetation species and soil data from a large national survey of calcareous grasslands, carried out in Great Britain in 1990-1993 (referred to as 1990) and 2006-2009 (referred to as 2007). Up to 128 12x12m plots were surveyed from across the country, selected on the basis of being representative of the calcareous grassland type. Details about plant species and soils were collected using standardized survey methods. The 1990 survey was completed under a contract from the...

Measures of peatland carbon cycling from peat mesocosm incubation experiments

H. Richardson, S. Waldron, J. Whitaker & N. Ostle
Data from two laboratory-based studies, both investigating the interactive effects of abiotic and biotic controls on peatland carbon cycling. Data comprise carbon dioxide and methane fluxes in peat, litter mass remaining and respiration rate data from litter bags on peat mesocosms, and biochemical and physical properties of peat. Data was collected in from the first laboratory study, which focused on identifying the interactive effects of small-scale temperature change, water table level and plant functional type...

Ecosystem function and vegetation data from Parsonage Down, UK, in 2013

E.L. Fry, A.L. Hall, J. Savage, R.D. Bardgett, N. Ostle, R.F. Pywell & J.M. Bullock
This dataset contains vegetation survey data and nitrate and ammonium concentrations, microbial biomass data, particle size, and nitrification and mineralisation rates within soils from an experiment based at Parsonage Down, UK. The vegetation survey comprises total species percentage cover and species richness data from four 50 cm by 50 cm quadrats. The experiment investigated the effect of different plant groups on soil carbon stores and nutrient cycling, by using a mixture of hand weeding and...

Field measurements of peatland carbon cycling at a wind farm hosting peatland in Scotland, UK

A. Armstrong, H. Richardson, S. Waldron, N.J. Ostle & J. Whitaker
Data from a field-based investigation into the spatio-temporal variability of abiotic and biotic controls on peatland carbon cycling. Data was collected between February 2011 and April 2013, across an area of blanket bog peatland at Black Law Wind Farm, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Plant-soil properties data includes total carbon content, total nitrogen content and carbon to nitrogen ratio of vegetation, litter and peat, carbon and nitrogen stock for litter and peat, bulk density, soil moisture content, pH...

Reliably predicting pollinator abundance: challenges of calibrating process-based ecological models

Emma Gardner, Tom Breeze, Yann Clough, Henrik Smith, Katherine Baldock, Alistair Campbell, Michael Garratt, Mark Gillespie, William Kunin, Megan McKerchar, Jane Memmott, Simon Potts, Deepa Senapathi, Graham Stone, Felix Wäckers, Duncan Westbury, Andrew Wilby & Thomas Oliver
1. Pollination is a key ecosystem service for global agriculture but evidence of pollinator population declines is growing. Reliable spatial modelling of pollinator abundance is essential if we are to identify areas at risk of pollination service deficit and effectively target resources to support pollinator populations. Many models exist which predict pollinator abundance but few have been calibrated against observational data from multiple habitats to ensure their predictions are accurate. 2. We selected the most...

The effectiveness of flower strips and hedgerows on pest control, pollination services and crop yield: a quantitative synthesis

Matthias Albrecht, David Kleijn, Neal Williams, Matthias Tschumi, Brett Blaauw, Riccardo Bommarco, Alistair Campbell, Matteo Dainese, Frank Drummond, Martin Entling, Dominik Ganser, Arjen De Groot, David Goulson, Heather Grab, Hannah Hamilton, Felix Herzog, Rufus Isaacs, Katja Jacot, Philippe Jeanneret, Mattias Jonsson, Eva Knop, Claire Kremen, Doug Landis, Greg Loeb, Lorenzo Marini … & Louis Sutter
Floral plantings are promoted to foster ecological intensification of agriculture through provisioning of ecosystem services. However, a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of different floral plantings, their characteristics and consequences for crop yield is lacking. Here we quantified the impacts of flower strips and hedgerows on pest control (18 studies) and pollination services (17 studies) in adjacent crops in North America, Europe and New Zealand. Flower strips, but not hedgerows, enhanced pest control services in...

Data from: Nectar accessibility determines fitness, flower choice and abundance of hoverflies that provide natural pest control

Paul C.J. Van Rijn, Felix L. Wäckers & Paul C. J. Van Rijn
1. In modern agricultural landscapes many organisms providing ecosystem services such as pollination and natural pest control are likely constrained by shortage of nectar and/or pollen required for adult nutrition. More and more flower-rich field margin strips and other habitats are created to eliminate these constraints. For most target organisms, however, it is not well known which (types of) flowers are effective in providing suitable pollen and nectar. 2. We studied the suitability of a...

Data from: Exploring preferences for variable delays over fixed delays to high-value food rewards as a model of food-seeking behaviours in humans

Laura-Jean G. Stokes, Anna Davies, Paul Lattimore, Catharine Winstanley & Robert D. Rogers
Foraging and operant models suggest that animals will tolerate uncertainty or risk to obtain food quickly. In modern food environments, sustained access to quick energy-dense foods can promote weight gain. Here, we used a discrete-choice procedure to examine peoples' decisions about when next to eat high-value, palatable food rewards, probabilistically delivered immediately or following longer delays. In Experiment 1, moderately hungry young females showed consistent preferences for a variable delay option that delivered food rewards...

Data from: Combining fish and benthic communities into multiple regimes reveals complex reef dynamics

Mary K. Donovan, Alan M. Friedlander, Joey Lecky, Jean-Baptiste Jouffray, Gareth J. Williams, Lisa M. Wedding, Larry B. Crowder, Ashley L. Erickson, Nick A. J. Graham, Jamison M. Gove, Carrie V. Kappel, Kendra Karr, John N. Kittinger, Albert V. Norström, Magnus Nyström, Kirsten L. L. Oleson, Kostantinos A. Stamoulis, Crow White, Ivor D. Williams & Kimberly A. Selkoe
Coral reefs worldwide face an uncertain future with many reefs reported to transition from being dominated by corals to macroalgae. However, given the complexity and diversity of the ecosystem, research on how regimes vary spatially and temporally is needed. Reef regimes are most often characterised by their benthic components; however, complex dynamics are associated with losses and gains in both fish and benthic assemblages. To capture this complexity, we synthesised 3,345 surveys from Hawai‘i to...

Data from: Bacterial communities associated with honeybee food stores are correlated with land use

Philip Donkersley, Glenn Rhodes, Roger W. Pickup, Kevin C. Jones & Kenneth Wilson
Microbial communities, associated with almost all metazoans, can be inherited from the environment. Although the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) gut microbiome is well documented, studies of the gut focus on just a small component of the bee microbiome. Other key areas such as the comb, propolis, honey, and stored pollen (bee bread) are poorly understood. Furthermore, little is known about the relationship between the pollinator microbiome and its environment. Here we present a study of...

Data from: Real-time decision-making during emergency disease outbreaks

William J. M. Probert, Chris P. Jewell, Marleen Werkman, Christopher J. Fonnesbeck, Yoshitaka Goto, Michael C. Runge, Satoshi Sekiguchi, Katriona Shea, Matt J. Keeling, Matthew J. Ferrari & Michael J. Tildesley
In the event of a new infectious disease outbreak, mathematical and simulation models are commonly used to inform policy by evaluating which control strategies will minimize the impact of the epidemic. In the early stages of such outbreaks, substantial parameter uncertainty may limit the ability of models to provide accurate predictions, and policymakers do not have the luxury of waiting for data to alleviate this state of uncertainty. For policymakers, however, it is the selection...

Data from: Nutrient limitation of woody debris decomposition in a tropical forest: contrasting effects of N and P addition

Yao Chen, Emma J. Sayer, Zhian Li, Qifeng Mo, Yingwen Li, Yongzhen Ding, Jun Wang, Xiankai Lu, Jianwu Tang & Faming Wang
Tropical forests represent a major terrestrial store of carbon (C), a large proportion of which is contained in the soil and decaying organic matter. Woody debris plays a key role in forest C dynamics because it contains a sizeable proportion of total forest C. Understanding the factors controlling the decomposition of organic matter in general, and woody debris in particular, is hence critical to assessing changes in tropical C storage. We conducted a factorial fertilization...

Data from: Understanding willingness to use oral pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention among men who have sex with men in China

Xia Wang, Adam Bourne, Pulin Liu, Jiangli Sun, Thomas Cai, Gitau Mburu, Matteo Cassolato, Bangyuan Wang & Wang Zhou
Background: Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is recommended as an additional prevention choice for men who have sex with men (MSM) at substantial risk of HIV. The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent, and reasons, for MSM’s willingness to use oral PrEP in Wuhan and Shanghai, China. Methods: Between May and December 2015, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among 487 MSM recruited through snowball sampling in physical locations frequented by MSM and through...

Data from: Neonicotinoid pesticide reduces bumblebee colony growth and queen production

Penelope R. Whitehorn, Stephanie O'Connor, Felix L. Wackers & Dave Goulson
Growing evidence for declines in bee populations has caused great concern because of the valuable ecosystem services they provide. Neonicotinoid insecticides have been implicated in these declines because they occur at trace levels in the nectar and pollen of crop plants. We exposed colonies of the bumble bee Bombus terrestris in the laboratory to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, then allowed them to develop naturally under field conditions. Treated colonies had a significantly reduced...

Data from: Scaling up effects of measures mitigating pollinator loss from local- to landscape-level population responses

David Kleijn, Theo E. W. Linders, Anthonie Stip, Jacobus C. Biesmeijer, Felix L. Wäckers & Tibor Bukovinszky
1. Declining pollinator populations have caused concern about consequences for food production, and have initiated an increasing number of initiatives that aim to mitigate pollinator loss through enhancement of floral resources. Studies evaluating effects of mitigation measures generally demonstrate positive responses of pollinators to floral resource enhancement. However, it remains unclear whether this represents landscape-level population effects or results from a spatial redistribution of individuals from otherwise unaffected populations. 2. Here we present a method...

Data from: Disentangling the pathways of land use impacts on the functional structure of fish assemblages in Amazon streams

Rafael P. Leitão, Jansen Zuanon, David Mouillot, Cecília G. Leal, Robert M. Hughes, Philip R. Kaufmann, Sébastien Villéger, Paulo S. Pompeu, Daniele Kasper, Felipe R. De Paula, Silvio F. B. Ferraz & Toby A. Gardner
Agricultural land use is a primary driver of environmental impacts on streams. However, the causal processes that shape these impacts operate through multiple pathways and at several spatial scales. This complexity undermines the development of more effective management approaches, and illustrates the need for more in-depth studies to assess the mechanisms that determine changes in stream biodiversity. Here we present results of the most comprehensive multi-scale assessment of the biological condition of streams in the...

Data from: Herbivory and eutrophication mediate grassland plant nutrient responses across a global climatic gradient

T. Michael Anderson, Daniel M. Griffith, James B. Grace, Eric M. Lind, Peter B. Adler, Lori A. Biederman, Dana M. Blumenthal, Pedro Daleo, Jennifer Firn, Nicole Hagenah, W. Stanley Harpole, Andrew S. MacDougall, Rebecca L. McCulley, Suzanne M. Prober, Anita C. Risch, Mahesh Sankaran, Martin Schütz, Eric W. Seabloom, Carly J. Stevens, Lauren L. Sullivan, Peter D. Wragg & Elizabeth T. Borer
Plant stoichiometry, the relative concentration of elements, is a key regulator of ecosystem functioning and is also being altered by human activities. In this paper we sought to understand the global drivers of plant stoichiometry and compare the relative contribution of climatic vs. anthropogenic effects. We addressed this goal by measuring plant elemental (C, N, P and K) responses to eutrophication and vertebrate herbivore exclusion at eighteen sites on six continents. Across sites, climate and...

Data from: Attenuated accumulation of jasmonates modifies stomatal responses to water deficit

Carlos De Ollas, Vicent Arbona, Aurelio Gómez-Cadenas & Ian C. Dodd
To determine whether drought-induced root jasmonate [jasmonic acid (JA) and jasmonic acid-isoleucine (JA-Ile)] accumulation affected shoot responses to drying soil, near-isogenic wild-type (WT) tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Castlemart) and the def-1 mutant (which fails to accumulate jasmonates during water deficit) were self- and reciprocally grafted. Rootstock hydraulic conductance was entirely rootstock dependent and significantly lower in def-1, yet def-1 scions maintained a higher leaf water potential as the soil dried due to their lower stomatal...

Thinner bark increases sensitivity of wetter Amazonian tropical forests to fire

Ann Carla Staver, Paulo M. Brando, Jos Barlow, Douglas C. Morton, C.E. Timothy Paine, Yadvinder Malhi, Alejandro Araujo Murakami & Jhon Pasquel
Understory fires represent an accelerating threat to Amazonian tropical forests and can, during drought, affect larger areas than deforestation itself. These fires kill trees at rates varying from < 10 to c. 90% depending on fire intensity, forest disturbance history and tree functional traits. Here, we examine variation in bark thickness across the Amazon. Bark can protect trees from fires, but it is often assumed to be consistently thin across tropical forests. Here, we show...

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