Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Macroecological processes drive spiritual ecosystem services obtained from giant trees

Ryosuke Nakadai

Published: 2022-05-07
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Sociology, Sociology of Religion

Giant trees that have come to have their own unique identities are often named by local people and can inspire a sense of awe and become objects of faith. Although these giant trees provide various kinds of spiritual ecosystem services that are beneficial to the spiritual well-being of the human society, the drivers of these services remain unclear. Using structural equation modeling with 38,994 [...]

Community-sourced sightings of atypical birds can be used to understand the evolution of plumage color and pattern

Stepfanie M Aguillon, Allison J. Shultz

Published: 2022-05-03
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Birds are known for their brilliant colors and extraordinary patterns. Sightings of individuals with atypical plumage often cause considerable excitement in the birding public, but receive little attention beyond reporting one-off sightings by the scientific community. In this perspective, we argue that sightings of individuals with atypical plumage submitted to community science platforms hold [...]

Are we underestimating the ecological and evolutionary effects of warming? Interactions with other environmental drivers may increase species vulnerability to high temperatures

Elena Litchman, Mridul K. Thomas

Published: 2022-04-06
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Population Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Warming, the most prominent aspect of global environmental change, already affects most ecosystems on Earth. In recent years, biologists have increasingly integrated the effects of warming into their models by capturing how temperature shapes their physiology, ecology, behavior, evolutionary adaptation, and probability of extirpation/extinction. The more physiologically-grounded approaches to [...]

Surprising Abundant Mussel Beds in the Center of Boston Harbor in the Midst of a Regional Die-Back

Jarrett Edward Kaplan Byrnes, Laura Dissly, Kirk Bosma

Published: 2022-04-05
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Mussel beds in the rocky intertidal of New England have long been a paradigmatic example of how physical forces – wave action – reduces predator abundance and enables a distinct ecological community. These beds, however, have witnessed a precipitous >60% decline since the 1970s for currently unknown reasons. Here we report on the surprising persistence of large dense mussel beds in the middle [...]

Reducing the biases in false correlations between discrete characters

James Boyko, Jeremy Beaulieu

Published: 2022-04-01
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The correlation between two characters is often interpreted as evidence that there exists a significant and biologically important relationship between them. However, Maddison and FitzJohn (2015) recently pointed out that in certain situations find evidence of correlated evolution between two categorical characters is often spurious, particularly, when the dependent relationship stems from a [...]

Urban food forestry transforms fine-scale soil function for rapid and uniform carbon sequestration

Steven Bressan, Joseph McWilliams, Erika Díaz-Almeyda, et al.

Published: 2022-03-21
Subjects: Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Urbanization displaces agriculture and natural ecosystems, constraining food security and carbon (C) sinks. A proposed solution, Urban Food Forestry (UFF), promises local food from trees that can sequester C faster than other land cover types as long as soil function improves. We compared fine-scale variation in soil physical, chemical and biological properties within and between UFF and [...]

Summer temperature – but not growing season length – influences radial growth of Salix arctica in coastal Arctic tundra

Joseph Scott Boyle, Sandra Angers-Blondin, Jakob Johann Assmann, et al.

Published: 2022-03-07
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Arctic climate change is leading to an advance of plant phenology (the timing of life history events) with uncertain impacts on tundra ecosystems. Although the lengthening of the growing season is thought to lead to increased plant growth, we have few studies of how plant phenology change is altering tundra plant productivity. Here, we test the correspondence between 14 years of Salix arctica [...]

Acute blood parasite infections induce moderate physiological costs in juvenile raptor hosts

Tony Rinaud, Oliver Krüger, Meinolf Ottensmann, et al.

Published: 2022-02-24
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Immunology and Infectious Disease, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Parasitology

Parasites trigger reactions in hosts, leading to suppressive resistance and/or tolerance, aiming to limit the parasitic costs. Both colonization by parasites and defense activation can induce varying amount of costs for the host. Understanding parasite-induced effects on host fitness crucially depends on assessing parasitic costs in specific wild host-parasite systems. To evaluate potential [...]

Systemic racism alters wildlife genetic diversity

Chloé Schmidt, Colin Garroway

Published: 2022-02-18
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Humans are the defining feature of urban ecosystems. In the United States, systemic racism has had lasting effects on the structure of cities, specifically due to government-mandated “redlining” policies that produced racially segregated neighborhoods that persist today. However, it is not known whether varying habitat structure and natural resource availability associated with racial segregation [...]

Density dependence and disease dynamics: moving towards a predictive framework

Gregory Albery

Published: 2022-02-16
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

High population density is thought to exacerbate parasite exposure rates, leading to increased transmission and greater disease burdens. Different types of interactions exhibit different relationships with density, and therefore so do parasites that are spread by these interactions. Epidemiological models often assume a given density-transmission relationship, and the validity of this assumption [...]

Mismatch between IUCN range maps and species interactions data illustrated using the Serengeti food web

Gracielle Higino, Fredric Windsor, Francis Banville, et al.

Published: 2022-02-06
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Background. Range maps are a useful tool to describe the spatial distribution of species. However, they need to be used with caution, as they essentially represent a rough approximation of a species’ suitable habitats. When stacked together, the resulting communities in each grid cell may not always be realistic, especially when species interactions are taken into account. Here we show the extent [...]

Inferring trends in pollinator distributions across the Neotropics from publicly available data remains challenging despite mobilisation efforts

Rob James Boyd, Marcelo Aizen, Rodrigo Barahon-Segovia, et al.

Published: 2022-01-24
Subjects: Bioinformatics, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Aim: Aggregated species occurrence data are increasingly accessible through public databases for the analysis of temporal trends in species’ distributions. However, biases in these data present challenges for robust statistical inference. We assessed potential biases in data available through GBIF on the occurrences of four flower-visiting taxa: bees (Anthophila), hoverflies (Syrphidae), [...]

Plant community data from a statewide survey of paired serpentine and non-serpentine soils in California, USA

Jesse E. D. Miller, Stella Copeland, Kendi Davies, et al.

Published: 2022-01-13
Subjects: Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Soils derived from ultramafic parent materials (hereafter serpentine) provide habitat for unique plant communities containing species with adaptations to the low nutrient levels, high magnesium: calcium ratios, and high metal content (Ni, Zn) that characterize serpentine. Plants on serpentine have long been studied in evolution and ecology, and plants adapted to serpentine contribute [...]

Molecular Paleobiology of the Echinoderm Skeleton

Jeffrey Thompson

Published: 2022-01-09
Subjects: Cell and Developmental Biology, Developmental Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Molecular paleobiology provides a promising avenue to merge data from deep time, molecular biology and genomics, gaining insights into the evolutionary process at multiple levels. The echinoderm skeleton is a model for molecular paleobioloogical studies. I begin with an overview of the skeletogenic process in echinoderms, as well as a discussion of what gene regulatory networks are, and why they [...]

Identify, quantify, act: tackling the unused potential of ecological research

Marija Purgar, Tin Klanjscek, Antica Culina

Published: 2021-12-21
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

‘Ignorance is expensive’. The statement also applies to ignorance of research inefficiencies that can generate huge waste: 85% of health research, amounting to $170 billion annually, is avoidably wasted. This alarming finding elicited a number of responses that have since reduced the waste in health research. Commonality of research and dissemination practices implies that other scientific fields [...]

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