112 Works

Crotalaria pallida chemical defence and ant attendance

Martin Pareja & Luiz Rezende
The efficiency of different plant defences is expected to vary depending on the combination and abundance of herbivores. Effectiveness of ant-mediated defences can also depend on ant activity and local ant assemblage, which can vary due to human activities such as intensive grazing. We used the plant Crotalaria pallida (Fabaceae), its two pod-boring herbivores and the ants that visit the extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) to understand how chemical defence and ant-plant associations affect plant damage. We...

Climate variability and aridity modulate the role of leaf shelters for arthropods: a global experiment

Gustavo Q Romero
Current climate change is disrupting biotic interactions and eroding biodiversity worldwide. However, species sensitive to aridity, high temperatures and climate variability might find shelter in microclimatic refuges, such as leaf rolls built by arthropods. To explore how the importance of leaf shelters for terrestrial arthropods changes with latitude, elevation, and climate, we conducted a distributed experiment comparing arthropods in leaf rolls vs. control leaves across 52 sites along an 11,790 km latitudinal gradient. We then...

Abandoned pastures and restored savannahs have distinct patterns of plant-soil feedback and nutrient cycling compared with native Brazilian savannahs.

André D'Angioli, André Giles, Patrícia Costa, Gabriel Wolfsdorf, Luísa Pecoral, Larissa Verona, Fernanda Piccolo, Alexandre Sampaio, Isabel Schmidt, Lucy Rowland, Hans Lambers, Ellen Kandeler, Rafael Oliveira & Anna Abrahão
Around 40% of the original Brazilian savannah territory is occupied by pastures dominated by fast-growing exotic C4 grasses, which impact ecosystem nutrient cycling. The restoration of these areas depends on the re-establishment of soil processes. We assessed how restoration of abandoned pastures through direct seeding of native species and land-management practices (burning and ploughing) affect soil nutrient cycling dynamics compared to native savannahs. We compared the activity of soil enzymes related to carbon (C), nitrogen...

Seasonality and interspecific competition shape individual niche variation in co-occurring tetra fish in Neotropical streams

Mayara Neves, Raul Costa-Pereira, Rosilene Luciana Delariva & Clarice Bernhardt Fialho
The drivers of intraspecific niche variation and its effects on species interactions are still unclear, especially in species-rich Neotropical environments. Here, we investigated how ecological opportunity and interspecific competition affect the degree of individual trophic specialization and the population niche breadth in tetra fish. We studied the four ecologically similar species (Psalidodon aff. gymnodontus, P. aff. paranae, P. bifasciatus, and Bryconamericus ikaa) in subtropical headwater streams (three sites with two co-occurring species and three sites...

Foraging and spatial ecology in a competitive environment: Polydomous carpenter ants (Camponotus leydigi) in a tropical savanna

& Paulo Oliveira
Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus) are considered to be predominantly omnivorous, mixing several feeding habits that include predation, scavenging of animal matter, and plant-derived resources. Nitrogen acquisition is crucial for the nutritional ecology of ant colonies since growing larvae require sustainable protein provisioning. Here, we investigate the foraging ecology and the spatial nesting structure of the carpenter ant Camponotus leydigi in Brazilian cerrado savanna. By marking workers from different nests with distinct colors, we revealed that...

Data from: A new subfamily classification of the Leguminosae based on a taxonomically comprehensive phylogeny

, Anne Bruneau, Nasim Azani, Marielle Babineau, Edeline Gagnon, Carole Sinou, Royce Steeves, Erin Zimmerman, C. Donovan Bailey, Lynsey Kovar, Madhugiri Nageswara-Rao, Hannah Banks, RuthP. Clark, Manuel De La Estrella, Peter Gasson, GeoffreyC. Kite, BenteB. Klitgaard, GwilymP. Lewis, Danilo Neves, Gerhard Prenner, María De Lourdes Rico-Arce, ArianeR. Barbosa, Maria Cristina López-Roberts, Luciano Paganucci De Queiroz, PétalaG. Ribeiro … & Tingshuang Yi
The classification of the legume family proposed here addresses the long-known non-monophyly of the traditionally recognised subfamily Caesalpinioideae, by recognising six robustly supported monophyletic subfamilies. This new classification uses as its framework the most comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of legumes to date, based on plastid matK gene sequences, and including near-complete sampling of genera (698 of the currently recognised 765 genera) and ca. 20% (3696) of known species. The matK gene region has been the most...

Influence of the diurnal cycle on the concentration of pollutants

Gabriel Perez, Thomas Kenzo, DJacinto Santos & Felipe Mammoli
This data set aims to provide data from Go Amazon project in order to study the diurnal cycle of atmospheric properties on site T2.

Data from: Effects of predatory ants within and across ecosystems in bromeliad food webs

Ana Z. Gonçalves, Diane S. Srivastava, Paulo S. Oliveira & Gustavo Q. Romero
Predation is one of the most fundamental ecological processes affecting biotic communities. Terrestrial predators that live at ecosystem boundaries may alter the diversity of terrestrial organisms, but they may also have cross-ecosystem cascading effects when they feed on organisms with complex life cycles (i.e. organisms that shift from aquatic juvenile stages to terrestrial adult stages) or inhibit female oviposition in the aquatic environment. The predatory ant Odontomachus hastatus establishes its colonies among roots of Vriesea...

Data from: Pleistocene niche stability and lineage diversification in the subtropical spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae)

Elen A. Peres, Thadeu Sobral-Souza, Manolo F. Perez, Isabel A. S. Bonatelli, Daniel P. Silva, Marcio J. Silva & Vera N. Solferini
The influence of Quaternary climate oscillations on the diversification of the South American fauna is being increasingly explored. However, most of these studies have focused on taxa that are endemic to tropical environments, and relatively few have treated organisms restricted to subtropical biomes. Here we used an integrative phylogeographical framework to investigate the effects of these climate events on the ecological niche and genetic patterns of the subtropical orb-weaver spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae). We analyzed...

Data from: Influence of plant-pollinator interactions on the assembly of plant and hummingbird communities

Marina Wolowski, Luísa G. Carvalheiro & Leandro Freitas
Understanding how ecological processes structure species assemblages is a central issue in community ecology. While the influence of plant–pollinator interactions on each other's evolution is well recognized, their role in the assembly of interdependent communities of plants and pollinators is still unclear. Using data from seven communities of hummingbirds and plants that they pollinate from two tropical rain forest types (lowland and montane), we evaluated phylogenetic relationships and signal of functional traits, over space and...

Data from: Legume abundance along successional and rainfall gradients in neotropical forests

Maga Gei, Danaë M. A. Rozendaal, Lourens Poorter, Frans Bongers, Janet I. Sprent, Mira D. Garner, T. Mitchell Aide, José Luis Andrade, Patricia Balvanera, Justin M. Becknell, Pedro H.S. Brancalion, George A. L. Cabral, Ricardo Gomes César, Robin L. Chazdon, Rebecca J. Cole, Gabriel Dalla Colletta, Ben De Jong, Julie S. Denslow, Daisy H. Dent, Saara J. DeWalt, Juan Manuel Dupuy, Sandra M. Durán, Mário Marcos Do Espírito Santo, G. Wilson Fernandes, Yule Roberta Ferreira Nunes … & Jennifer S. Powers
The nutrient demands of regrowing tropical forests are partly satisfied by nitrogen (N)-fixing legume trees, but our understanding of the abundance of those species is biased towards wet tropical regions. Here we show how the abundance of Leguminosae is affected by both recovery from disturbance and large-scale rainfall gradients through a synthesis of forest-inventory plots from a network of 42 Neotropical forest chronosequences. During the first three decades of natural forest regeneration, legume basal area...

Data from: Abandoned pastures cannot spontaneously recover the attributes of old-growth savannas

Mario G. B. Cava, Natashi A. L. Pilon, Milton Cezar Ribeiro & Giselda Durigan
1.Active restoration strategies have been recommended to recover Neotropical savannas in abandoned lands, but no studies have investigated the trajectories and speeds of spontaneous recovery for these systems. Research into the dynamics of degraded savannas is urgently needed to guide restoration decision-making. 2.We analysed the dynamics of secondary savannas in the Brazilian Cerrado by sampling 29 abandoned pastures (time since abandonment ranging from 3 to 25 years) and applying the space-for-time substitution method. We modelled...

Data from: Geographic shifts in the effects of habitat size on trophic structure and decomposition

Robin M. LeCraw, Gustavo Q. Romero & Diane S. Srivastava
Habitat size is known to affect community structure and ecosystem function, but few studies have examined the underlying mechanisms over sufficient size gradients or in enough geographic contexts to determine their generality. Our goal in this study was to determine if the relationship between habitat size and leaf decomposition varied across geographic sites, and which factors may be driving the differences. We conducted replicated observations in a coastal forest in Brazil, and in rainforests in...

Data from: Manifold influences of phylogenetic structure on a plant-herbivore network

Leonardo Lima Bergamini, Thomas M. Lewinsohn, Leonardo R. Jorge & Mário Almeida-Neto
Ecologists are increasingly aware of the interplay between evolutionary history and ecological processes in shaping current species interaction patterns. The inclusion of phylogenetic relationships in studies of species interaction networks has shown that closely related species commonly interact with sets of similar species. Notably, the degree of phylogenetic conservatism in antagonistic ecological interactions is frequently stronger among species at lower trophic levels than among those at higher trophic levels. One hypothesis that accounts for this...

Data from: Realized trophic niche driven by apparent competition: an example with marsupials

Vanessa V. Kuhnen, Marcus A. Martinez De Aguiar, Ana Zangirolame Gonçalves & Eleonore Zulnara Freire Setz.
According to apparent competition theory, the co-occurrence of two species that share the same predators appears to affect each other's population growth and abundance. However, due to habitat loss and over-hunting, top predators are being made rare worldwide. Considering that apparent competitors share similar resources, we would expect the absence of top predators to reflect in changes on prey realized trophic niches. To test our hypothesis, we developed a model to predict the abundance ratio...

Data from: Seed dispersal anachronisms: rethinking the fruits extinct megafauna ate

Mauro Galetti, , Pedro Jordano & Paulo R. Guimarães
BACKGROUND: Some neotropical, fleshy-fruited plants have fruits structurally similar to paleotropical fruits dispersed by megafauna (mammals >103 kg), yet these dispersers were extinct in South America 10–15 Kyr BP. Anachronic dispersal systems are best explained by interactions with extinct animals and show impaired dispersal resulting in altered seed dispersal dynamics. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We introduce an operational definition of megafaunal fruits and perform a comparative analysis of 103 Neotropical fruit species fitting this dispersal mode. We...

Data from: Characterization of C-ring component assembly in flagellar motors from amino acid coevolution

Ricardo Nascimento Dos Santos, Shahid Khan & Faruck Morcos
Bacterial flagellar motility, an important virulence factor, is energized by a rotary motor localized within the flagellar basal body. The rotor module consists of a large framework (C-ring), composed of the FliG, FliM and FliN proteins. FliN and FliM contacts the FliG torque ring to control the direction of flagellar rotation. We report that structure-based models constrained only by residue coevolution can recover the binding interface of atomic X-ray dimer complexes with remarkable accuracy (ca....

Data from: Incompatible ages for clearwing butterflies based on alternative secondary calibrations

Ivonne J. Garzón-Orduña, Karina L. Silva-Brandão, Keith R. Willmott, André V. L. Freitas & Andrew V. Z. Brower
The recent publication of a time-tree for the plant family Solanaceae (nightshades) provides the opportunity to use independent calibrations to test divergence times previously inferred for the diverse Neotropical butterfly tribe Ithomiini. Ithomiini includes clades that are obligate herbivores of Solanaceae, with some genera feeding on only one genus. We used 8 calibrations extracted from the plant tree in a new relaxed molecular-clock analysis to produce an alternative temporal framework for the diversification of ithomiines....

Fruit resource provisioning for avian frugivores: the overlooked side of effectiveness in seed dispersal mutualisms

Pedro Jordano, Elena Quintero & Marco Aurélio Pizo
1. Mutualistic interactions between frugivorous birds and fleshy fruited plants are key processes for both natural plant regeneration and the maintenance of birds relying on fruit resources. However, seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) has been frequently studied only from the plant’s perspective, i.e. the contribution of animals to plant fitness. 2. Using a sample of Atlantic rainforest avian frugivores, this study presents a first comparative, empirical study of fruit effectiveness as a nutritional food resource for...

Warming and top predator loss drive direct and indirect effects on multiple trophic groups within and across ecosystems

Pablo Antiqueira, Owen Petchey, Felipe Rezende, Luiz Felipe Velho, Luzia Rodrigues & Gustavo Romero
1. The interspecific interactions within and between adjacent ecosystems strongly depend on the changes in their abiotic and biotic components. However, little is known about how climate change and biodiversity loss in a specific ecosystem can impact the multiple trophic interactions of different biological groups within and across ecosystems. 2. We used natural micro-ecosystems (tank-bromeliads) as a model system to investigate the main and interactive effects of aquatic warming and aquatic top predator loss (i.e.,...

Phytogeographic origin determines Tropical Montane Cloud Forest hydraulic trait composition

Fernanda De Vasconcellos Barros, Fernanda Barros, Paulo Bittencourt, Cleiton Eller, Caroline Signori-Müller, Leonardo Meireles & Rafael Oliveira
Tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF) have unique climatic conditions, which allow the coexistence of plant lineages with different phytogeographic origins from tropical versus temperate climates. Future climate projections suggest TMCFs will be subjected to increasing drought stress due to fog uplift and higher temperatures, possibly leading to tree mortality and local extinctions, and consequently changes in forest composition and functioning. Characterising community functional composition, trade-offs among traits and the drivers of community assembly is of...

Acaulescence promotes speciation and shapes the distribution patterns of palms in Neotropical seasonally dry habitats

Cibele Cássia-Silva, Rafael Silva Oliveira, Lílian P. Sales, Cíntia G. Freitas, Lucas Jardim, Thaíse Emilio, Christine D. Bacon & Rosane G. Collevatti
Rainforests have been a source of lineages to open and seasonally dry habitats throughout Angiosperm evolution, especially in the Neotropics. However, the underlying mechanisms that allow such shifts remain poorly understood at large spatial scales. Here, we test whether acaulescence (an underground stem or a very short stem concealed in the ground) has affected the colonization and speciation in Neotropical seasonally dry habitats by cocosoid palms (Cocoseae). Acaulescent species maintain their growth underground, which increases...

Data from: Trait evolution, resource specialization and vulnerability to plant extinctions among Antillean hummingbirds

Bo Dalsgaard, Jonathan D. Kennedy, Benno I. Simmons, Andrea C. Baquero, Ana M. Martín González, Allan Timmermann, Pietro K. Maruyama, Jimmy A. McGuire, Jeff Ollerton, William J. Sutherland & Carsten Rahbek
Species traits are thought to predict feeding specialisation and the vulnerability of a species to extinctions of interaction partners, but the context in which a species evolved and currently inhabits may also matter. Notably, the predictive power of traits may require that traits evolved to fit interaction partners. Furthermore, local abiotic and biotic conditions may be important. On islands, for instance, specialised and vulnerable species are predicted to be found mainly in mountains, whereas species...

Data from: Historical dynamics of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Amazonia

C. Guilherme Becker, David Rodriguez, Carolina Lambertini, L. Felipe Toledo & Célio F. B. Haddad
The Amazon forest is known for its astonishing amphibian diversity, yet the potential distribution and underlying impacts of the most important amphibian pathogen is unknown for most of Amazonia. In this retrospective survey of preserved Leptodactylus frogs, collected over a 119 yr period, we used quantitative PCR to detect the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and performed spatial scan analyses to identify spatiotemporal clusters of Bd. We also quantified the potential effect of environmental factors...

Data from: Mating system and effective population size of the overexploited Neotropical tree (Myroxylon peruiferum L.f.) and their impact on seedling production

Ellida De Aguiar Silvestre, Kaiser Dias Schwarcz, Carolina Grando, Jaqueline Bueno De Campos, Patricia Sanae Sujii, Evandro Vagner Tambarussi, Camila Menezes Trindade Macrini, José Baldin Pinheiro, Pedro Henrique Santin Brancalion & Maria Imaculada Zucchi
The reproductive system of a tree species has substantial impact on genetic diversity and structure within and among natural populations. Such information, should be considered when planning tree planting for forest restoration. Here, we describe the mating system and genetic diversity of an overexploited Neotropical tree, Myroxylon peruiferum L.f. (Fabaceae) sampled from a forest remnant (10 seed trees and 200 seeds) and assess whether the effective population size of nursery-grown seedlings (148 seedlings) is sufficient...

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