Filtering by Subject: Desert Ecology

The Distraction Function of Extrafloral Nectaries: Keeping Ants Away From Flowers and Preventing Disruption of Pollination

Mario A. Sandoval Molina, Emilio González-Camarena, Jessica Rosas-Sánchez, et al.

Published: 2024-01-30
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

In exchange for extrafloral nectar, ants deter herbivores from the plants, reducing the amount of herbivory they suffered. However, this defensive mutualism can sometimes have negative effects on plants, as ants may also visit flowers, deterring pollinators and reducing plant fitness. The Distraction Hypothesis posits that extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) have the function of attracting ants and [...]

Predation and biophysical context control long-term carcass nutrient inputs in an Andean ecosystem

Julia D. Monk, Emiliano Donadio, Justine A. Smith, et al.

Published: 2023-05-30
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology, Zoology

Animal carcass decomposition is an often-overlooked component of nutrient cycles. The importance of carcass decomposition for increasing nutrient availability has been demonstrated in several ecosystems, but impacts in arid lands are poorly understood. In a protected high desert landscape in Argentina, puma predation of vicuñas is a main driver of carcass distribution. Here, we sampled puma kill [...]

Multi-species dependencies improve forecasts of population dynamics in a long-term monitoring study

Nicholas Joshua Clark, SKM Ernest, Henry Senyondo, et al.

Published: 2023-03-13
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Multivariate Analysis, Population Biology, Statistical Methodology, Statistical Models, Statistics and Probability

Forecasts of community dynamics are essential for the management of biodiversity. Theory suggests these predictions can be improved by leveraging multi-species dependencies to improve models, but empirical support for this is lacking. We test whether models that learn from multiple species, both to estimate nonlinear environmental effects and temporal dependence, improve forecasts for a semi-arid [...]

Solar radiation drives potential demographic collapse in a perennial bunchgrass via dramatically reduced seedling establishment

Timothy H Parker, Alex Gerber, Erin Campbell, et al.

Published: 2023-02-20
Subjects: Biology, Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Other Plant Sciences, Plant Sciences, Population Biology, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Many perennial plants in semi-arid rangelands have experienced population declines, and understanding the ecological and demographic processes behind these declines is important to slowing or reversing them. Although anthropogenic disturbances drive many declines, other sorts of environmental variability, such as the differences in solar radiation with aspect, may impact population success [...]

Fuel connectivity, burn severity, and seedbank survivorship drive ecosystem transformation in a semi-arid shrubland.

Adam Lee Mahood, Michael J Koontz, Jennifer Balch

Published: 2021-08-27
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

A key challenge in ecology is understanding how multiple drivers interact to precipitate persistent vegetation state changes. These state changes may be both precipitated and maintained by disturbances, but predicting whether the state change is fleeting or persistent requires an understanding of the mechanisms by which disturbance affects the alternative communities. In the sagebrush shrublands [...]

Incubation mound-building by megapodes creates novel, high-resource patches in a semi-arid woodland

Heather Neilly, Peter Cale, David Eldridge

Published: 2021-05-31
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

1. Desert ecosystems have sparse and heterogeneous resources. Discrete high-resource patches, associated with landscape modulators such as perennial vegetation, act as nutrient sinks in contrast to open, low-resource areas (interpatch matrix). In semi-arid mallee woodlands, malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata: Megapodiidae) create large incubation mounds by raking leaf litter and soil from high-resource [...]

Ecological mechanisms underlying aridity thresholds in global drylands

Miguel Berdugo, Blai Vidiella Rocamora, Ricard Solé, et al.

Published: 2021-04-01
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

With ongoing climate change, the probability of crossing environmental thresholds promoting abrupt changes in ecosystem structure and functioning is higher than ever. In drylands (sites where it rains less than 60% of what is evaporated), recent research has shown how the crossing of three particular aridity thresholds (defining three consecutive phases, namely vegetation decline, soil disruption [...]

Diversity and structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal commmunities and their chemical drivers across dryland habitats in Qatar

Sakeenah Adenan, Jane Oja, Juha M. Alatalo, et al.

Published: 2020-11-22
Subjects: Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Qatar is largely characterized by a hyper-arid climate and low soil fertility, which combine to create a stressful soil environment for arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Here we present a study on AM fungi communities and their relationship to soil chemical characteristics. We used high-throughput seqeuncing technique for identifying AM fungal diversity and community composition from different [...]

A synthesis of dryland restoration lessons relevant to the San Joaquin Valley

cj lortie, Alessandro Filazzola, M. Florencia Miguel

Published: 2020-02-28
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Scientific synthesis is a set of tools relevant to evidence-informed decision making for the drylands of California. Tools include comprehensive theory and formal scientific syntheses of the published primary literature examining restoration in drylands. Restoration lessons consistently reported in the literature provide insights into applicable theory, species-specific practices, and [...]

The need for a nationally consistent ecosystem monitoring framework for Australian rangelands.

Ben Sparrow, Greg Guerin, Andrew Lowe

Published: 2019-12-12
Subjects: Desert Ecology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

The need for a national ecosystem monitoring system for the Australian rangelands has been regularly identified. Against a background of natural variability, rangeland ecosystems face both short and longer-term impacts. These pressures, including overstocking, climate change, deforestation, altered fire regimes and invasion by feral species, are expected to drive changes to the structure, [...]

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