Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Measuring the edges of species’ geographic ranges

Alexa Fredston

Published: 2024-07-12
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

1. The fundamental unit of spatial ecology is a species range: the geographic area that it occupies. Species ranges are delineated by range edges (also known as boundaries or limits). Why range edges occur where they do and not elsewhere, and what makes them move, has been an active area of research since the 19th century. In the present day, range edge dynamics are an important metric of [...]

A pattern-oriented simulation for forecasting species spread through time and space: A case study on an ecosystem engineer on the move

Rahil Jasminkumar Amin, Jessie C. Buettel, Matthew Fielding, et al.

Published: 2024-07-11
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Modelling the spread of introduced ecosystem engineers is a conservation priority due to their potential to cause irreversible ecosystem-level changes. Existing models predict potential distributions and spread capacities, but new approaches that simulate the trajectory of a species’ spread over time are needed. We have developed novel simulations that predict spatial and temporal spread, [...]

Marine resources alter tundra food web dynamics by subsidizing a terrestrial predator on the sea ice

Sean M Johnson-Bice, Frank B. Baldwin, Evan Richardson, et al.

Published: 2024-07-11
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Population Biology

Predator use of resource subsidies can strengthen top-down effects on prey when predators respond numerically to subsidies. Although allochthonous subsidies are generally transported along natural gradients, consumers can cross ecosystem boundaries to acquire subsidies, thereby linking disparate ecosystems. In coastal Arctic ecosystems, terrestrial predators can easily cross into the marine [...]

Variation in the diversity of Sotalia (Cetacea:Delphinidae) dolphin whistle repertoires at a continental scale

Gabriel Melo-Santos, Sam Froman Walmsley, Volker B. Deecke, et al.

Published: 2024-07-08
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Biodiversity, Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Social and Behavioral Sciences

1. While cetaceans are known to produce large and complex acoustic repertoires, the challenges of exhaustively sampling sounds at sea and counting relevant signals has precluded an understanding of their true repertoire diversity. 2. Here we quantify and compare the whistle repertoires of 16 populations in the genus Sotalia, belonging to two sister species, the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia [...]

A Regulatory Mirage: Non-compliance with Regulatory Requirements in Australian Human-induced Regeneration Projects

Andrew Macintosh, Megan Catherine Evans, Don Butler, et al.

Published: 2024-07-04
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The boom-and-bust nature of rangeland ecosystems makes them ill-suited to nature-based solution (NbS) carbon offset projects involving sequestration in vegetation and soils. The variability in these systems makes it difficult to determine whether observed stock changes are attributable to the project activities, creating additionality risks. The low and variable rainfall in rangelands also means [...]

Detection of energetic equivalence depends on food web architecture and estimators of energy use

Poppy Joaquina Romera, Benoit Gauzens, Ana Carolina Antunes, et al.

Published: 2024-07-04
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Ecologists have long debated the universality of the energetic equivalence rule (EER), which posits that population energy use should be invariant with average body size due to negative size–density scaling. We explored size–density and size–energy use scaling across 183 geographically–distributed soil invertebrate food webs to investigate the universality of these fundamental EER assumptions. [...]

Microbial functional diversity and redundancy: moving forward

Pierre Ramond, Pierre Galand, Ramiro Logares

Published: 2024-07-04
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Microbiology

Microbial functional ecology is expanding as we can now measure the traits of wild microbes that affect ecosystem functioning. Here, we review techniques and advances that could be the bedrock for a unified framework to study microbial functions. We then explore the technical, ecological, and evolutionary processes that could explain environmental patterns of microbial functional diversity and [...]

Strong small-scale differentiation but no cryptic species within the two isopod species Asellus aquaticus and Proasellus coxalis in a restored urban river system (Emscher, Germany)

Martina Weiss, Armin W. Lorenz, Christian K. Feld, et al.

Published: 2024-07-04
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Life Sciences, Zoology

Worldwide, humans have strongly altered river networks. Key changes resulted in modified hydromorphology, poor habitat quality and availability, migration barriers, and pollution. Restoration measures aim at mitigating anthropogenic stressors and to restore connectivity, but the biological success of the measures is not guaranteed. Analyzing genetic diversity and population structure of target [...]

The economic risk of the losses in pest control as frogs decline

Karoline Ceron, Diego José Santana, Mathias Mistretta Pires

Published: 2024-07-04
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Crop pests threaten agricultural productivity, causing significant economic losses and food security issues. Although various control methods exist, pesticide reliance raises health and environmental concerns. In this sense, the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a favored approach that minimizes pesticide use while incorporating diverse pest control methods. A key aspect of IPM is biological [...]

Topoclimate buffers floristic diversity from macroclimate in temperate mountain forests.

Jeremy Borderieux, Emiel De Lombaerde, Karen De Pauw, et al.

Published: 2024-07-04
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Forest Sciences, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Microclimates strongly influence the composition and diversity of forest plant communities. Recent studies have highlighted the role of tree canopies in shaping understory thermal conditions at small spatial scales, especially in lowland forests. In mountain forests, however, the influence of topography in environmental conditions (e.g. topoclimate) is ought to also influence plants’ perceived [...]

Phenological Patterns of Woody Plant Species in a Tropical Dry Forest, Bannerghatta National Park, Bengaluru

Balasubramanya Sharma, Akshay Kumar V G, Poorvashree P, et al.

Published: 2024-06-27
Subjects: Biodiversity, Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Forest Sciences, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

Phenology is the study of the timing of recurring natural stages in the life cycle of an organism. These natural stages, such as the plant's reproductive cycles, are being affected by the changing climate. The current study aims to understand the effect of weather parameters on the phenology of dry forests in Bannerghatta National Park. Two transects with 504 reproductively mature individuals [...]

Spatial bias in dietary studies can limit our understanding of the feeding ecology of large carnivores

Jacopo Cerri, Rudy Brogi, Carmela Musto, et al.

Published: 2024-06-26
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Many large carnivores have broad geographical ranges, encompassing ecosystems with a different prey base. Our understanding of their diet could therefore be biased by the spatial concentration of dietary studies into few areas. We propose a protocol to divide the geographical range of large carnivores, into areas that are homogeneous with respect to available food sources, by using the grey wolf [...]

ExActR: A Shiny app for creating ecosystem extent accounts

Anthony Gibbons, Francesco Martini, Cian White, et al.

Published: 2024-06-25
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Ecosystem accounting is a structured way to integrate nature into sustainable decision-making. The System of Environmental Economic Accounting-Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EA) was adopted by the United Nations as a set of international standards for the collection of habitat data and compiling ecosystem accounts. The ecosystem extent account is one of the four pillars of the SEEA-EA framework, [...]

Range size variably predicts genetic diversity in Gehyra geckos

Ching Ching Lau, Keith Allen Christian, Jessica Fenker, et al.

Published: 2024-06-25
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Life Sciences

Genetic diversity is a fundamental population genetic parameter, and predicts adaptive capacity. Neutral theory predicts a positive correlation between population (or range) size and genetic diversity, but this can be confounded by other demographic processes. To investigate the role of range size, population fluctuation and introgression in determining genetic diversity, we generate and analyse [...]

We need to talk about (sublinear) density dependence

Andrew D Letten

Published: 2024-06-24
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Sublinear density dependence has been reported in numerous empirical studies, and yet it is seemingly incompatible with most resource-explicit models of competition. Reconciling this disconnect will likely necessitate substantive revision of the assumptions of mechanistic models and/or empirical methods, but it also presents rich opportunities for original research with wide-ranging implications.

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