Top 10 Biorxiv Papers Today in Ecology


2.047 Mikeys
#1. Plant cheaters preferentially target arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi that are highly connected to mutualistic plants
Sofia Gomes, Miguel Fortuna, Jordi Bascompte, Vincent Merckx
To address how arbuscular mycorrhizal networks sustain cheaters - mycoheterotrophic plants that obtain both carbon and soil nutrients from fungi - here we investigate how mutualistic and antagonistic mycorrhizal networks are interlinked. We sampled root tips of mutualistic and cheater plants in two tropical forest plots and assembled the combined network between fungi linked to mutualistic and cheater plants (i.e., tripartite network) using DNA sequencing. We compared the interactions of the fungi in the mutualistic and antagonistic networks and searched for motifs (simple subgraphs that are overrepresented in complex networks) representing simultaneous links of particular mutualist and cheater plants to pairs of fungi to investigate fungal association preferences. Within the tripartite network, cheater plants are highly connected and interact with the majority of available fungal partners (74%), and we find that fungi that share interactions with the same mutualistic plants also share interactions with sets of cheaters. The motif...
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biorxivpreprint: Plant cheaters preferentially target arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi that are highly connected to mutualistic plants https://t.co/BCmccgjDx5 #bioRxiv
biorxiv_ecology: Plant cheaters preferentially target arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi that are highly connected to mutualistic plants https://t.co/B1kwUrJ6mU #biorxiv_ecology
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Authors: 4
Total Words: 0
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2.042 Mikeys
#2. Growth and mortality of the oak processionary moth, Thaumetopoea processionea L., on two oak species: direct and trait-mediated effects of host and neighbour species identity
Thomas Damestoy, Xoaquin Moreira, Herve Jactel, Elena Valdes-Correcher, Christophe Plomion, Bastien Castagneyrol
The presence of heterospecific neighbours can affect damage caused by pest insects on focal plants. However, how plant neighbours influence herbivore performance is poorly understood. We tested the independent and interactive effects of tree species identity and tree neighbour type (conspecific vs. heterospecific) on the performance of a major oak pest, the oak processionary moth larvae (OPM, Thaumetopoea processionea) fed on Quercus robur and Q. petraea. We performed a factorial greenhouse experiment in which we grew two oak saplings per pot, either from the same species or from both species. We quantified growth and mortality of OPM larvae, leaf phenolic compounds, C:N ratio and bud phenology. OPM larvae performed significantly better on Q. petraea than on Q. robur, regardless of plant neighbour type. Phenolic compounds and C:N, but not phenology, differed between oak species and neighbour species identity. Only bud phenology had a significant effect on OPM performance, which was better when young larvae had access to recently...
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biorxivpreprint: Growth and mortality of the oak processionary moth, Thaumetopoea processionea L., on two oak species: direct and trait-mediated effects of host and neighbour species identity https://t.co/vvEmluIpls #bioRxiv
biorxiv_ecology: Growth and mortality of the oak processionary moth, Thaumetopoea processionea L., on two oak species: direct and trait-mediated ... https://t.co/55EzwmRR3l #biorxiv_ecology
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Authors: 6
Total Words: 0
Unqiue Words: 0

2.019 Mikeys
#3. Plant community functional composition and diversity drive fine-scale variability in carbon cycling in the tundra
Konsta Happonen, Anna-Maria Virkkala, Julia Kemppinen, Pekka Niittynen, Miska Luoto
We investigated how plant functional traits influence fine-scale patterns of tundra carbon cycling, and how carbon cycling responds to climate warming. We built a hierarchical model that included abiotic conditions (summer air and winter soil temperatures, and soil resources), plant community functional composition and diversity (plant size and leaf economics), and carbon cycling (above-ground and soil organic carbon stocks, and photosynthetic and respiratory fluxes). We also simulated warming effects on the peak-season CO2 budget. Plant size was the strongest predictor for most carbon cycling variables. Communities of larger plants were associated with larger CO2 fluxes and above-ground carbon stocks. Communities with fast leaf economics had higher rates of photosynthesis and soil respiration, but lower soil organic carbon stocks. Leaf economic diversity increased CO2 fluxes, while size diversity increased the above-ground carbon stock. Simulations suggested that warmer summer air temperatures increase plant size and accelerate...
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biorxivpreprint: Plant community functional composition and diversity drive fine-scale variability in carbon cycling in the tundra https://t.co/J7VRNI21fN #bioRxiv
biorxiv_ecology: Plant community functional composition and diversity drive fine-scale variability in carbon cycling in the tundra https://t.co/g0PXPuLLQZ #biorxiv_ecology
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Authors: 5
Total Words: 0
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2.007 Mikeys
#4. Room without a view – den construction in relation to body size in brown bears.
Shotaro Shiratsuru, Andrea Friebe, Jon E. Swenson, Andreas Zedrosser
Hibernation is an adaptive strategy to survive harsh winter conditions and food shortage. The use of well-insulated winter dens helps animals minimize energy loss during hibernation. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) commonly use excavated dens for hibernation. Physical properties of excavated dens, such as the amount of space between a bear and the inner wall, wall/roof thickness, and bedding materials, are expected to impact heat retention and energy conservation of bears. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of physical properties of excavated dens on energy conservation in hibernating bears. Our hypothesis was that bears excavate dens in a way to minimize heat loss and optimize energy conservation during hibernation. We predicted that physical properties of excavated dens would significantly affect the bears' post-hibernation body condition. To test our hypothesis and prediction, we analyzed data collected from brown bears in Sweden with linear mixed effects models, examining (i) what factors affect den-excavation...
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biorxivpreprint: Room without a view - den construction in relation to body size in brown bears. https://t.co/WlhFOi67M6 #bioRxiv
biorxiv_ecology: Room without a view - den construction in relation to body size in brown bears. https://t.co/pEP2LsxaG7 #biorxiv_ecology
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1.998 Mikeys
#5. Summer drought decreases the predictability of local extinctions in a butterfly metapopulation
Erik van Bergen, Tad Dallas, Michelle F. DiLeo, Aapo Kahilainen, Anniina L. K. Mattila, Miska Luoto, Marjo Saastamoinen
The ecological impacts of extreme climatic events on population dynamics and/or community composition are profound and predominantly negative. Here, using extensive data of an ecological model system, we test whether predictions from ecological models remain robust when environmental conditions are outside the bounds of observation. First, we report a 10-fold demographic decline of the Glanville fritillary butterfly metapopulation on the Aland islands (Finland). Next, using climatic and satellite data we show that the summer of 2018 was an anomaly in terms of water balance and vegetation productivity indices across the habitats of the butterfly, and demonstrate that population growth rates are strongly associated with spatio-temporal variation in climatic water balance. Finally, we demonstrate that covariates that have previously been identified to impact the extinction probability of local populations in this system are less informative when populations are exposed to (severe) drought during the summer months. Our results...
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Sample Sizes : [54]
Authors: 7
Total Words: 8085
Unqiue Words: 2908

1.997 Mikeys
#6. Variation of bacterial communities along the vertical gradient in Lake Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan
Keilor Rojas-Jimenez, Alex Araya-Lobo, Fabio Quesada-Perez, Johana Akerman-Sanchez, Brayan Delgado-Duran, Lars Ganzert, Peter O. Zavialov, Salmor Alymkulov, Georgiy Kirillin, Hans Peter Grossart
In this study, we explored the diversity and community composition of bacteria along a vertical gradient in Lake Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan, one of the largest and deepest brackish lakes in in the world. We identified 4904 bacterial ASVs based on analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences and determined significant changes in the composition responding mainly to the variables depth and salinity. A higher abundance of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes was observed in the surface waters and the lake tributaries. Cyanobacteria were more abundant in the deep chlorophyll maximum (28.5 to 128 m), while Planctomycetes and Chloroflexi were dominant at depths between 128 to 600 m. According to our machine learning analysis used for identifying the most critical environmental factors, depth and temperature revealed the strongest effect on members of Proteobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Chloroflexi, while oxygen is associated with the variations in Cyanobacteria. Also, a notable increase in alpha diversity estimations was observed with increasing water...
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Authors: 10
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1.997 Mikeys
#7. The trade-offs of sharing pollinators: pollination service is determined by the community context
E. Fernando Cagua, Hugo J Marrero, Jason M Tylianakis, Daniel B Stouffer
A fundamental feature of pollination systems is the indirect facilitation and competition that arises when plants species share pollinators. When plants share pollinators, the pollination service can be influenced. This depends not only on how many partners plant species share, but also by multiple intertwined factors like the plant species' abundance, visitation, or traits. These factors inherently operate at the community level. However, most of our understanding of how these factors may affect the pollination service is based on systems of up to a handful of species. By examining comprehensive empirical data in eleven natural communities, we show here that the pollination service is, surprisingly, only partially influenced by the number of shared pollinators. Instead, the factors that most influence the pollination service (abundance and visit effectiveness) also introduce a trade-off between the absolute amount of conspecific pollen received and the amount relative to heterospecific pollen. Importantly, the ways plants appear...
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biorxivpreprint: The trade-offs of sharing pollinators: pollination service is determined by the community context https://t.co/7rUF2x9gWO #bioRxiv
biorxiv_ecology: The trade-offs of sharing pollinators: pollination service is determined by the community context https://t.co/zrJibsE20o #biorxiv_ecology
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Authors: 4
Total Words: 7727
Unqiue Words: 2453

1.995 Mikeys
#8. Combining machine learning and a universal acoustic feature-set yields efficient automated monitoring of ecosystems
Sarab S Sethi, Nick S Jones, Ben D Fulcher, Lorenzo Picinali, Dena J Clink, Holger Klinck, C David L Orme, Peter H Wrege, Robert M Ewers
Natural habitats are being impacted by human pressures at an alarming rate. Monitoring these ecosystem-level changes often requires labour-intensive surveys that are unable to detect rapid or unanticipated environmental changes. Here we developed a generalisable, data-driven solution to this challenge using eco-acoustic data. We exploited a convolutional neural network to embed ecosystem soundscapes from a wide variety of biomes into a common acoustic space. In both supervised and unsupervised modes, this allowed us to accurately quantify variation in habitat quality across space and in biodiversity through time. On the scale of seconds, we learned a typical soundscape model that allowed automatic identification of anomalous sounds in playback experiments, paving the way for real-time detection of irregular environmental behaviour including illegal activity. Our highly generalisable approach, and the common set of features, will enable scientists to unlock previously hidden insights from eco-acoustic data and offers promise as a...
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Authors: 9
Total Words: 0
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1.994 Mikeys
#9. Marine water environmental DNA metabarcoding provides a comprehensive fish diversity assessment and reveals spatial patterns in a large oceanic area
Natalia Fraija-Fernandez, Marie-Catherine Bouquieaux, Anais Rey, Inaki Mendibil, Unai Cotano, Xabier Irigoien, Maria Santos, Naiara Rodriguez-Ezpeleta
Current methods for monitoring marine fish diversity mostly rely on trawling surveys, which are invasive, costly and time-consuming. Moreover, these methods are selective, targeting a subset of species at the time, and can be inaccessible to certain areas. Here, we explore the potential of environmental DNA (eDNA), the DNA present in the water column as part of shed cells, tissues or mucus, to provide comprehensive information about fish diversity in a large marine area. Further, eDNA results were compared to the fish diversity obtained in pelagic trawls. A total of 44 5L-water samples were collected onboard a wide-scale oceanographic survey covering about 120,000 square kilometres in Northeast Atlantic Ocean. A short region of the 12S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced through metabarcoding generating almost 3,5 million quality-filtered reads. Trawl and eDNA samples resulted in the same most abundant species (European anchovy, European pilchard, Atlantic mackerel and blue whiting), but eDNA metabarcoding resulted in more...
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Authors: 8
Total Words: 10966
Unqiue Words: 3658

1.994 Mikeys
#10. Bacteria contribute to plant secondary compound degradation in a generalist herbivore system
Charlotte B Francoeur, Lily Khadempour, Rolando D Moreira-Soto, Kirsten Gotting, Adam J Book, Adrian A Pinto-Tomás, Ken Keefover-Ring, Cameron R Currie
Insects and plants engage in a multitude of complex interactions. In antagonistic cases, such as herbivory, insects often specialize on a few closely related plant species to overcome physical and chemical defences. More rarely, herbivorous insects can feed on a range of plant species. Leaf-cutter ants are generalist herbivores that forage from a variety of plant species, which the ants bring to the fungus they farm, Leucoagaricus sp. While we show that anti-herbivory plant compounds can harm Leucoagaricus sp. in vitro , it is unknown how the ants' fungus gardens are able to incorporate a large diversity of plants with differing plant chemistry. Here, we investigate the fungus garden bacterial community's ability to degrade plant secondary compounds. We cultured fungus garden bacteria, sequenced the genomes of 42 isolates, and found genes involved in plant secondary compound degradation, including monoterpene epsilon-lactone hydrolase. Some of these genes show in situ expression in metatranscriptomes, such as...
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Authors: 8
Total Words: 4425
Unqiue Words: 2322

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