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    410 results match your criteria BMC Ecology [Journal]

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    Foraging dispersion of Ryukyu flying-foxes and relationships with fig abundance in East-Asian subtropical island forests.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Nov 14;17(1):35. Epub 2017 Nov 14.
    Tropical Biosphere Research Center and Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.
    Background: Figs are widely distributed key resources to many tropical-subtropical animals, and flying-foxes are major consumers and seed dispersers of figs. Bat-fig interrelationships, however, may vary among species differing in fruiting traits, i.e. Read More

    Thermal conditions during early life influence seasonal maternal strategies in the three-spined stickleback.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Nov 10;17(1):34. Epub 2017 Nov 10.
    Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Universidade de Vigo, 36310, Vigo, Spain.
    Background: Conditions experienced by a female during early life may affect her reproductive strategies and maternal investment later in life. This effect of early environmental conditions is a potentially important mechanism by which animals can compensate for the negative impacts of climate change. In this study, we experimentally tested whether three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) change their maternal strategy according to environmental temperatures experienced earlier in life. Read More

    Analysing taxonomic structures and local ecological processes in temperate forests in North Eastern China.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Oct 30;17(1):33. Epub 2017 Oct 30.
    Department of Forest and Wood Science, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
    Background: One of the core issues of forest community ecology is the exploration of how ecological processes affect community structure. The relative importance of different processes is still under debate. This study addresses four questions: (1) how is the taxonomic structure of a forest community affected by spatial scale? (2) does the taxonomic structure reveal effects of local processes such as environmental filtering, dispersal limitation or interspecific competition at a local scale? (3) does the effect of local processes on the taxonomic structure vary with the spatial scale? (4) does the analysis based on taxonomic structures provide similar insights when compared with the use of phylogenetic information? Based on the data collected in two large forest observational field studies, the taxonomic structures of the plant communities were analyzed at different sampling scales using taxonomic ratios (number of genera/number of species, number of families/number of species), and the relationship between the number of higher taxa and the number of species. Read More

    Vole abundance and reindeer carcasses determine breeding activity of Arctic foxes in low Arctic Yamal, Russia.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Sep 16;17(1):32. Epub 2017 Sep 16.
    Arctic Research Station of Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 629400, Zelenaya Gorka Str., 21, Labytnangi, Russia.
    Background: High latitude ecosystems are at present changing rapidly under the influence of climate warming, and specialized Arctic species at the southern margin of the Arctic may be particularly affected. The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), a small mammalian predator endemic to northern tundra areas, is able to exploit different resources in the context of varying tundra ecosystems. Although generally widespread, it is critically endangered in subarctic Fennoscandia, where a fading out of the characteristic lemming cycles and competition with abundant red foxes have been identified as main threats. Read More

    Environmental drivers of Ixodes ricinus abundance in forest fragments of rural European landscapes.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Sep 6;17(1):31. Epub 2017 Sep 6.
    Geobotany, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, Schänzlestr. 1, 79104, Freiburg, Germany.
    Background: The castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus) transmits infectious diseases such as Lyme borreliosis, which constitutes an important ecosystem disservice. Despite many local studies, a comprehensive understanding of the key drivers of tick abundance at the continental scale is still lacking. We analyze a large set of environmental factors as potential drivers of I. Read More

    Hair cortisol concentrations correlate negatively with survival in a wild primate population.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Sep 1;17(1):30. Epub 2017 Sep 1.
    Department of Sociobiology/Anthropology, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Kellnerweg 6, 37077, Göttingen, Germany.
    Background: Glucocorticoid hormones are known to play a key role in mediating a cascade of physiological responses to social and ecological stressors and can therefore influence animals' behaviour and ultimately fitness. Yet, how glucocorticoid levels are associated with reproductive success or survival in a natural setting has received little empirical attention so far. Here, we examined links between survival and levels of glucocorticoid in a small, short-lived primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), using for the first time an indicator of long-term stress load (hair cortisol concentration). Read More

    BMC ecology image competition 2017: the winning images.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Aug 18;17(1):28. Epub 2017 Aug 18.
    UFZ Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany.
    For the fifth year, BMC Ecology is proud to present the winning images from our annual image competition. The 2017 edition received entries by talented shutterbug-ecologists from across the world, showcasing research that is increasing our understanding of ecosystems worldwide and the beauty and diversity of life on our planet. In this editorial we showcase the winning images, as chosen by our Editorial Board and guest judge Chris Darimont, as well as our selection of highly commended images. Read More

    Wind conditions on migration influence the annual survival of a neotropical migrant, the western yellow-breasted chat (Icteria virens auricollis).
    BMC Ecol 2017 Aug 10;17(1):29. Epub 2017 Aug 10.
    Department of Biological Sciences, Center for Wildlife Ecology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.
    Background: Long-distance migratory birds in North America have undergone precipitous declines over the past half-century. Although the trend is clear, for many migrating species underpinning the exact causes poses a challenge to conservation due to the numerous stressors that they encounter. Climate conditions during all phases of their annual cycle can have important consequences for their survival. Read More

    Diet segregation in American bison (Bison bison) of Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, USA).
    BMC Ecol 2017 Jul 14;17(1):27. Epub 2017 Jul 14.
    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, 1109 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1079, USA.
    Background: Body size is a major factor in the nutritional ecology of ruminant mammals. Females, due to their smaller size and smaller rumen, have more rapid food-passage times than males and thereby require higher quality forage. Males are more efficient at converting high-fiber forage into usable energy and thus, are more concerned with quantity. Read More

    Evidence of indirect symbiont conferred protection against the predatory lady beetle Harmonia axyridis in the pea aphid.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Jul 11;17(1):26. Epub 2017 Jul 11.
    University of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine, 89 Beaumont Ave, Burlington, VT, 05405, USA.
    Background: Defensive symbionts can provide significant fitness advantages to their hosts. Facultative symbionts can protect several species of aphid from fungal pathogens, heat shock, and parasitism by parasitoid wasps. Previous work found that two of these facultative symbionts can also indirectly protect pea aphids from predation by the lady beetle Hippocampus convergens. Read More

    What makes a successful species? Traits facilitating survival in altered tropical forests.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Jun 28;17(1):25. Epub 2017 Jun 28.
    Department Diversity Dynamics, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin-Leibniz Institute for Evolutionary and Biodiversity Science, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115, Berlin, Germany.
    Background: Ongoing conversion, disturbance and fragmentation of tropical forests stress this ecosystem and cause the decline or disappearance of many species. Particular traits have been identified which indicate an increasing extinction risk of a species, but traits facilitating survival in altered habitats have mostly been neglected. Here we search for traits that make a species tolerant to disturbances, thus independent of pristine forests. Read More

    Amphibian and reptile road-kills on tertiary roads in relation to landscape structure: using a citizen science approach with open-access land cover data.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Jun 26;17(1):24. Epub 2017 Jun 26.
    Institute of Zoology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Gregor Mendel Straße 33, 1180, Vienna, Austria.
    Background: Amphibians and reptiles are among the most endangered vertebrate species worldwide. However, little is known how they are affected by road-kills on tertiary roads and whether the surrounding landscape structure can explain road-kill patterns. The aim of our study was to examine the applicability of open-access remote sensing data for a large-scale citizen science approach to describe spatial patterns of road-killed amphibians and reptiles on tertiary roads. Read More

    No consistent effect of plant species richness on resistance to simulated climate change for above- or below-ground processes in managed grasslands.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Jun 17;17(1):23. Epub 2017 Jun 17.
    Geobotany, Faculty of Biology, Schänzlestr. 1, 79104, Freiburg, Germany.
    Background: Species richness affects processes and functions in many ecosystems. Since management of temperate grasslands is directly affecting species composition and richness, it can indirectly govern how systems respond to fluctuations in environmental conditions. Our aim in this study was to investigate whether species richness in managed grasslands can buffer the effects of drought and warming manipulations and hence increase the resistance to climate change. Read More

    Scavenging on a pulsed resource: quality matters for corvids but density for mammals.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Jun 15;17(1):22. Epub 2017 Jun 15.
    Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, 2418, Elverum, Norway.
    Background: Human food subsidies can provide predictable food sources in large quantities for wildlife species worldwide. In the boreal forest of Fennoscandia, gut piles from moose (Alces alces) harvest provide a potentially important food source for a range of opportunistically scavenging predators. Increased populations of predators can negatively affect threatened or important game species. Read More

    Adaptation to new nutritional environments: larval performance, foraging decisions, and adult oviposition choices in Drosophila suzukii.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Jun 7;17(1):21. Epub 2017 Jun 7.
    Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande nº6, 2780-156, Oeiras, Portugal.
    Background: Understanding how species adapt to new niches is a central issue in evolutionary ecology. Nutrition is vital for the survival of all organisms and impacts species fitness and distribution. While most Drosophila species exploit rotting plant parts, some species have diversified to use ripe fruit, allowing earlier colonization. Read More

    High dietary quality of non-toxic cyanobacteria for a benthic grazer and its implications for the control of cyanobacterial biofilms.
    BMC Ecol 2017 May 18;17(1):20. Epub 2017 May 18.
    Cologne Biocenter, Workgroup Aquatic Chemical Ecology, University of Cologne, Zuelpicher Strasse 47b, 50674, Koeln, Germany.
    Background: Mass occurrences of cyanobacteria frequently cause detrimental effects to the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. Consequently, attempts haven been made to control cyanobacterial blooms through naturally co-occurring herbivores. Control of cyanobacteria through herbivores often appears to be constrained by their low dietary quality, rather than by the possession of toxins, as also non-toxic cyanobacteria are hardly consumed by many herbivores. Read More

    Genetic diversity of calcareous grassland plant species depends on historical landscape configuration.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Apr 24;17(1):19. Epub 2017 Apr 24.
    German Research Center for Environmental Health, Research Group Comparative Microbiome Analysis, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764, Neuherberg, Germany.
    Background: Habitat fragmentation is considered to be a main reason for decreasing genetic diversity of plant species. However, the results of many fragmentation studies are inconsistent. This may be due to the influence of habitat conditions, having an indirect effect on genetic variation via reproduction. Read More

    Fish with red fluorescent eyes forage more efficiently under dim, blue-green light conditions.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Apr 20;17(1):18. Epub 2017 Apr 20.
    Department of Animal Evolutionary Ecology, Institution for Evolution and Ecology, University of Tuebingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, 72076, Tuebingen, Germany.
    Background: Natural red fluorescence is particularly conspicuous in the eyes of some small, benthic, predatory fishes. Fluorescence also increases in relative efficiency with increasing depth, which has generated speculation about its possible function as a "light organ" to detect cryptic organisms under bluish light. Here we investigate whether foraging success is improved under ambient conditions that make red fluorescence stand out more, using the triplefin Tripterygion delaisi as a model system. Read More

    Heterogeneous distributional responses to climate warming: evidence from rodents along a subtropical elevational gradient.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Apr 20;17(1):17. Epub 2017 Apr 20.
    Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen West Road, Beijing, 100101, China.
    Background: Understanding whether species' elevational range is shifting in response to directional changes in climate and whether there is a predictable pattern in that response is one of the major challenges in ecology. However, so far very little is known about the distributional responses of subtropical species to climate change, especially for small mammals. In this study, we examined the elevational range shifts at three range points (upper and lower range limits and abundance-weighted range centre) of rodents over a 30-year period (1986 to 2014-2015), in a subtropical forest of Southwest China. Read More

    Broad and flexible stable isotope niches in invasive non-native Rattus spp. in anthropogenic and natural habitats of central eastern Madagascar.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Apr 17;17(1):16. Epub 2017 Apr 17.
    Association Vahatra, BP 3972, 101, Antananarivo, Madagascar.
    Background: Rodents of the genus Rattus are among the most pervasive and successful invasive species, causing major vicissitudes in native ecological communities. A broad and flexible generalist diet has been suggested as key to the invasion success of Rattus spp. Here, we use an indirect approach to better understand foraging niche width, plasticity, and overlap within and between introduced Rattus spp. Read More

    Propagule pressure increase and phylogenetic diversity decrease community's susceptibility to invasion.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Apr 11;17(1):15. Epub 2017 Apr 11.
    Department of Biological and Environmental Science, Centre of Excellence in Biological Interactions, University of Jyvaskyla, P.O. Box 35, 40014, Jyvaskyla, Finland.
    Background: Invasions pose a large threat to native species, but the question of why some species are more invasive, and some communities more prone to invasions than others, is far from solved. Using 10 different three-species bacterial communities, we tested experimentally if the phylogenetic relationships between an invader and a resident community and the propagule pressure affect invasion probability.

    Results: We found that greater diversity in phylogenetic distances between the members of resident community and the invader lowered invasion success, and higher propagule pressure increased invasion success whereas phylogenetic distance had no clear effect. Read More

    Reciprocal transplants support a plasticity-first scenario during colonisation of a large hyposaline basin by a marine macro alga.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Apr 5;17(1):14. Epub 2017 Apr 5.
    Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Tjärnö, Strömstad, Sweden.
    Background: Establishing populations in ecologically marginal habitats may require substantial phenotypic changes that come about through phenotypic plasticity, local adaptation, or both. West-Eberhard's "plasticity-first" model suggests that plasticity allows for rapid colonisation of a new environment, followed by directional selection that develops local adaptation. Two predictions from this model are that (i) individuals of the original population have high enough plasticity to survive and reproduce in the marginal environment, and (ii) individuals of the marginal population show evidence of local adaptation. Read More

    Cold spell en route delays spring arrival and decreases apparent survival in a long-distance migratory songbird.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Apr 4;17(1):11. Epub 2017 Apr 4.
    Department of Zoology, Palacký University, tř. 17. listopadu 50, 77146, Olomouc, Czech Republic.
    Background: Adjusting the timing of annual events to gradual changes in environmental conditions is necessary for population viability. However, adaptations to weather extremes are poorly documented in migratory species. Due to their vast seasonal movements, long-distance migrants face unique challenges in responding to changes as they rely on an endogenous circannual rhythm to cue the timing of their migration. Read More

    Transient recovery dynamics of a predator-prey system under press and pulse disturbances.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Apr 4;17(1):13. Epub 2017 Apr 4.
    Department of Environmental Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04318, Leipzig, Germany.
    Background: Species recovery after disturbances depends on the strength and duration of disturbance, on the species traits and on the biotic interactions with other species. In order to understand these complex relationships, it is essential to understand mechanistically the transient dynamics of interacting species during and after disturbances. We combined microcosm experiments with simulation modelling and studied the transient recovery dynamics of a simple microbial food web under pulse and press disturbances and under different predator couplings to an alternative resource. Read More

    Moose-tree interactions: rebrowsing is common across tree species.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Apr 4;17(1):12. Epub 2017 Apr 4.
    Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Applied Ecology and Agricultural Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Pb 400, 2418, Elverum, Norway.
    Background: Plant strategies to resist herbivory include tolerance and avoidance. Tolerance strategies, such as rapid regrowth which increases the palatability of new shoots, can lead to positive feedback loops between plants and herbivores. An example of such a positive feedback occurs when moose (Alces alces) browse trees in boreal forests. Read More

    Puumala hantavirus infections in bank vole populations: host and virus dynamics in Central Europe.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Feb 28;17(1). Epub 2017 Feb 28.
    Institute for Plant Protection in Horticulture and Forests, Vertebrate Research, Julius Kühn-Institute, Toppheideweg 88, 48161, Muenster, Germany.
    Background: In Europe, bank voles (Myodes glareolus) are widely distributed and can transmit Puumala virus (PUUV) to humans, which causes a mild to moderate form of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, called nephropathia epidemica. Uncovering the link between host and virus dynamics can help to prevent human PUUV infections in the future. Bank voles were live trapped three times a year in 2010-2013 in three woodland plots in each of four regions in Germany. Read More

    Alternative reproductive tactics and inverse size-assortment in a high-density fish spawning aggregation.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Feb 28;17(1):10. Epub 2017 Feb 28.
    Oceans and Coasts Program, Nature Conservation Foundation, 3076/5, 4th Cross, Gokulam Park, Mysore, Karnataka, 570002, India.
    Background: At high densities, terrestrial and marine species often employ alternate reproductive tactics (ARTs) to maximize reproductive benefits. We describe ARTs in a high-density and unfished spawning aggregation of the squaretail grouper (Plectropomus areolatus) in Lakshadweep, India.

    Results: As previously reported for this species, territorial males engage in pair-courtship, which is associated with a pair-spawning tactic. Read More

    Predator cues reduce intraspecific trait variability in a marine dinoflagellate.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Feb 27;17(1). Epub 2017 Feb 27.
    Department of Ecological Chemistry, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 27570, Bremerhaven, Germany.
    Background: Phenotypic plasticity is commonplace and enables an organism to respond to variations in the environment. Plastic responses often modify a suite of traits and can be triggered by both abiotic and biotic changes. Here we analysed the plastic response towards a grazer of two genotypes of the marine dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense, evaluated the similarity of this response and discuss potential strain-specific trade-offs. Read More

    Shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa (L.) Rydb.) mapping in Northwestern Estonia based upon site similarities.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Feb 21;17(1). Epub 2017 Feb 21.
    Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu, Estonia.
    Background: Different methods have been used to map species and habitat distributions. In this paper, similarity-based reasoning-a methodological approach that has received less attention-was applied to estimate the distribution and coverage of Dasiphora fruticosa for the region in the Baltic states where grows the most abundant population of this species.

    Methods: Field observations, after thinning to at least 50 m interval, included 1480 coverage estimations in the species presence locations and 8317 absence locations. Read More

    Wild pollinators enhance oilseed rape yield in small-holder farming systems in China.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Feb 21;17(1). Epub 2017 Feb 21.
    Centre for Crop Systems Analysis, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 430, 6700 AK, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
    Background: Insect pollinators play an important role in crop pollination, but the relative contribution of wild pollinators and honey bees to pollination is currently under debate. There is virtually no information available on the strength of pollination services and the identity of pollination service providers from Asian smallholder farming systems, where fields are small, and variation among fields is high. We established 18 winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L. Read More

    Sequential above- and belowground herbivory modifies plant responses depending on herbivore identity.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Feb 8;17(1). Epub 2017 Feb 8.
    Functional Biodiversity, Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences, Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 1-3, 14195, Berlin, Germany.
    Background: Herbivore-induced changes in plant traits can cause indirect interactions between spatially and/or temporally separated herbivores that share the same host plant. Feeding modes of the herbivores is one of the major factors that influence the outcome of such interactions. Here, we tested whether the effects of transient aboveground herbivory for seven days by herbivores of different feeding guilds on tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) alters their interaction with spatially as well as temporally separated belowground herbivores. Read More

    How anthropogenic changes may affect soil-borne parasite diversity? Plant-parasitic nematode communities associated with olive trees in Morocco as a case study.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Feb 6;17(1). Epub 2017 Feb 6.
    IRD, UMR CBGP, 755 Avenue du Campus Agropolis, CS30016, 34988, Montferrier-sur-Lez Cedex, France.
    Background: Plant-parasitic nematodes (PPN) are major crop pests. On olive (Olea europaea), they significantly contribute to economic losses in the top-ten olive producing countries in the world especially in nurseries and under cropping intensification. The diversity and the structure of PPN communities respond to environmental and anthropogenic forces. Read More

    Testing the potential significance of different scion/rootstock genotype combinations on the ecology of old cultivated olive trees in the southeast Mediterranean area.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Feb 6;17(1). Epub 2017 Feb 6.
    Institut für Spezielle Botanik und Botanischer Garten, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, 55099, Mainz, Germany.
    Background: A previous multi-locus lineage (MLL) analysis of SSR-microsatellite data of old olive trees in the southeast Mediterranean area had shown the predominance of the Souri cultivar (MLL1) among grafted trees. The MLL analysis had also identified an MLL (MLL7) that was more common among rootstocks than other MLLs. We here present a comparison of the MLL combinations MLL1 (scion)/MLL7 (rootstock) and MLL1/MLL1 in order to investigate the possible influence of rootstock on scion phenotype. Read More

    Non-associative versus associative learning by foraging predatory mites.
    BMC Ecol 2017 Jan 14;17(1). Epub 2017 Jan 14.
    Group of Arthropod Ecology and Behavior, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
    Background: Learning processes can be broadly categorized into associative and non-associative. Associative learning occurs through the pairing of two previously unrelated stimuli, whereas non-associative learning occurs in response to a single stimulus. How these two principal processes compare in the same learning task and how they contribute to the overall behavioural changes brought about by experience is poorly understood. Read More

    A temporal assessment of nematode community structure and diversity in the rhizosphere of cisgenic Phytophthora infestans-resistant potatoes.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Dec 1;16(1):55. Epub 2016 Dec 1.
    Dept. Crop Science, Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow, Ireland.
    Background: Nematodes play a key role in soil processes with alterations in the nematode community structure having the potential to considerably influence ecosystem functioning. As a result fluctuations in nematode diversity and/or community structure can be gauged as a 'barometer' of a soil's functional biodiversity. However, a deficit exists in regards to baseline knowledge and on the impact of specific GM crops on soil nematode populations and in particular in regard to the impact of GM potatoes on the diversity of nematode populations in the rhizosphere. Read More

    Collapse of an iconic conifer: long-term changes in the demography of Widdringtonia cedarbergensis using repeat photography.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Nov 30;16(1):53. Epub 2016 Nov 30.
    Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
    Background: Conifer populations appear disproportionately threatened by global change. Most examples are, however, drawn from the northern hemisphere and long-term rates of population decline are not well documented as historical data are often lacking. We use a large and long-term (1931-2013) repeat photography dataset together with environmental data and fire records to account for the decline of the critically endangered Widdringtonia cedarbergensis. Read More

    Feeding preferences of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Nepal.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Nov 17;16(1):54. Epub 2016 Nov 17.
    Human Wildlife Interaction Research Group, Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 102 904, Albany, Auckland, 0745, New Zealand.
    Background: Nepal provides habitat for approximately 100-125 wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Although a small proportion of the world population of this species, this group is important for maintaining the genetic diversity of elephants and conservation of biodiversity in this region. Knowledge of foraging patterns of these animals, which is important for understanding their habitat requirements and for assessing their habitat condition, is lacking for the main areas populated by elephants in Nepal. Read More

    Palaeoenvironmental drivers of vertebrate community composition in the Belly River Group (Campanian) of Alberta, Canada, with implications for dinosaur biogeography.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Nov 15;16(1):52. Epub 2016 Nov 15.
    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
    Background: The Belly River Group of southern Alberta is one of the best-sampled Late Cretaceous terrestrial faunal assemblages in the world. This system provides a high-resolution biostratigraphic record of terrestrial vertebrate diversity and faunal turnover, and it has considerable potential to be a model system for testing hypotheses of dinosaur palaeoecological dynamics, including important aspects of palaeoecommunity structure, trophic interactions, and responses to environmental change. Vertebrate fossil microsites (assemblages of small bones and teeth concentrated together over a relatively short time and thought to be representative of community composition) offer an unparalleled dataset to better test these hypotheses by ameliorating problems of sample size, geography, and chronostratigraphic control that hamper other palaeoecological analyses. Read More

    Siberian flying squirrels do not anticipate future resource abundance.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Nov 14;16(1):51. Epub 2016 Nov 14.
    Department of Biology, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland.
    Background: One way to cope with irregularly occurring resources is to adjust reproduction according to the anticipated future resource availability. In support of this hypothesis, few rodent species have been observed to produce, after the first litter born in spring, summer litters in anticipation of autumn's seed mast. This kind of behaviour could eliminate or decrease the lag in population density normally present in consumer dynamics. Read More

    BioVeL: a virtual laboratory for data analysis and modelling in biodiversity science and ecology.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Oct 20;16(1):49. Epub 2016 Oct 20.
    Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Celsiusstrasse 1, 28359, Bremen, Germany.
    Background: Making forecasts about biodiversity and giving support to policy relies increasingly on large collections of data held electronically, and on substantial computational capability and capacity to analyse, model, simulate and predict using such data. However, the physically distributed nature of data resources and of expertise in advanced analytical tools creates many challenges for the modern scientist. Across the wider biological sciences, presenting such capabilities on the Internet (as "Web services") and using scientific workflow systems to compose them for particular tasks is a practical way to carry out robust "in silico" science. Read More

    A century of morphological variation in Cyprinidae fishes.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Oct 20;16(1):48. Epub 2016 Oct 20.
    Department of Biology, Aquatic Biology and Fisheries Center, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, 47306, USA.
    Background: Aquatic habitats have been altered over the past century due to a variety of anthropogenic influences. Ecomorphology is an area of aquatic ecology that can both directly and indirectly assess the effects of habitat alterations on organisms. However, few studies have explored long term trends in morphological variation. Read More

    Insect herbivory in a mature Eucalyptus woodland canopy depends on leaf phenology but not CO2 enrichment.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Oct 19;16(1):47. Epub 2016 Oct 19.
    Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW, 2751, Australia.
    Background: Climate change factors such as elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations (e[CO2]) and altered rainfall patterns can alter leaf composition and phenology. This may subsequently impact insect herbivory. In sclerophyllous forests insects have developed strategies, such as preferentially feeding on new leaf growth, to overcome physical or foliar nitrogen constraints, and this may shift under climate change. Read More

    High genetic diversity in the offshore island populations of the tephritid fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Oct 13;16(1):46. Epub 2016 Oct 13.
    Laboratory of Insect Ecology, Department of Entomology, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510640, China.
    Background: Geographic isolation is an important factor that limit species dispersal and thereby affects genetic diversity. Because islands are often small and surrounded by a natural water barrier to dispersal, they generally form discrete isolated habitats. Therefore, islands may play a key role in the distribution of the genetic diversity of insects, including flies. Read More

    Hunting as a management tool? Cougar-human conflict is positively related to trophy hunting.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Oct 11;16(1):44. Epub 2016 Oct 11.
    Department of Geography, University of Victoria, PO Box 3060, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W 3R4, Canada.
    Background: Overexploitation and persecution of large carnivores resulting from conflict with humans comprise major causes of declines worldwide. Although little is known about the interplay between these mortality types, hunting of predators remains a common management strategy aimed at reducing predator-human conflict. Emerging theory and data, however, caution that such policy can alter the age structure of populations, triggering increased conflict in which conflict-prone juveniles are involved. Read More

    Ecological status of high altitude medicinal plants and their sustainability: Lingshi, Bhutan.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Oct 11;16(1):45. Epub 2016 Oct 11.
    Renewable Natural Resources Research and Development Center, Bajo, Wangdue, Bhutan.
    Background: Human beings use plants for a multitude of purposes of which a prominent one across the globe is for their medicinal values. Medicinal plants serve as one of the major sources of income for high altitude inhabitants in the Himalaya, particularly in countries like Nepal, and Bhutan. People here harvest huge volumes of medicinal plants indiscriminately, risking their sustainability. Read More

    Loss and conservation of evolutionary history in the Mediterranean Basin.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Oct 7;16(1):43. Epub 2016 Oct 7.
    Centre d'Ecologie et des Sciences de la Conservation (CESCO UMR7204), Sorbonne Universités, MNHN, CNRS, UPMC, CP51, 43-61 rue Buffon, 75005, Paris, France.
    Background: Phylogenetic diversity and evolutionary distinctiveness are highly valuable components of biodiversity, but they are rarely considered in conservation practices. Focusing on a biodiversity hotspot, the Mediterranean Basin, we aimed to identify those areas where evolutionary history is highly threatened and range-restricted in the region. Using null models, we first compared the spatial distributions of three indices: two measured threatened evolutionary history-Expected PDloss and Heightened Evolutionary distinctiveness and Global Endangerment-and one measured endemic evolutionary history-Biogeographically Evolutionary Distinctiveness. Read More

    Application of fundamental equations to species-area theory.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Oct 7;16(1):42. Epub 2016 Oct 7.
    Institute of Plant Quarantine, Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine, Beijing, 100029, China.
    Background: Species-area relationship (SAR), endemics-area relationship (EAR) and overlap-area relationship (OAR) are three important concepts in biodiversity study. The application of fundamental equations linking the SAR, EAR and OAR, can enrich the axiomatic framework of the species-area theory and deepen our understanding of the mechanisms of community assembly.

    Results: Two fundamental equations are derived and extended to power law model and random replacement model of species-area distribution. Read More

    Seasonal rainfall at long-term migratory staging sites is associated with altered carry-over effects in a Palearctic-African migratory bird.
    BMC Ecol 2016 Oct 4;16(1):41. Epub 2016 Oct 4.
    Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, UK.
    Background: An understanding of year-round habitat use is essential for determining how carry-over effects shape population dynamics in long-distance migratory songbirds. The recent discovery of long-term migratory staging sites in many species, prior to arrival at final wintering sites, adds complexity to efforts to decipher non-breeding habitat use and connections between sites. We investigated whether habitat conditions during migratory staging carry over to influence great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) body condition at final wintering sites in Zambia. Read More

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