You Are What You Grow by Rose Wong, graphite and digital.source:rebloggy.com
唧唧堂研究人：厦门大学的博士Minyue，为大家带来环境科学-生态学研究领域里的顶级期刊Ecology Letters七月最新论文：1.脑部的大小对男生来说“然并卵” —— 孔雀鱼脑的大小，影响捕食威胁下雌性孔雀鱼的生存；2.植物啪啪啪地图 —— 通过植物交配系统预测植物地理分布范围的大小；3.微生物恢复力vs.历史偶然性对环境变化的响应；4.环境变化和种群对全球变化的响应。
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Male Guppies Poecilia reticulata. source:thinkfish.co.uk
Brain size affects female but not male survival under predation threat
Alexander Kotrschal1,2,*, Séverine D. Buechel1,2, Sarah M. Zala2, Alberto Corral-Lopez1, Dustin J. Penn2 andNiclas Kolm1
Ecology Letters, Volume 18, Issue 7, pages 646–652, July 2015
There is remarkable diversity in brain size among vertebrates, but surprisingly little is known about how ecological species interactions impact the evolution of brain size. Using guppies, artificially selected for large and small brains, we determined how brain size affects survival under predation threat in a naturalistic environment. We cohoused mixed groups of small- and large-brained individuals in six semi-natural streams with their natural predator, the pike cichlid, and monitored survival in weekly censuses over 5 months. We found that large-brained females had 13.5% higher survival compared to small-brained females, whereas the brain size had no discernible effect on male survival. We suggest that large-brained females have a cognitive advantage that allows them to better evade predation, whereas large-brained males are more colourful, which may counteract any potential benefits of brain size. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that trophic interactions can affect the evolution of brain size.
综上所述，这些结果表明自主繁殖 —— 一个关键的生物特征，能够消除交配限制，从而增加物种建立的可能性，增加物种分布范围。
Geographic range size is predicted by plant mating system
Dena Grossenbacher1,*, Ryan Briscoe Runquist1, Emma E. Goldberg2 andYaniv Brandvain1
Ecology Letters, Volume 18, Issue 7, pages 706–713, July 2015
Species' geographic ranges vary enormously, and even closest relatives may differ in range size by several orders of magnitude. With data from hundreds of species spanning 20 genera in 15 families, we show that plant species that autonomously reproduce via self-pollination consistently have larger geographic ranges than their close relatives that generally require two parents for reproduction. Further analyses strongly implicate autonomous self-fertilisation in causing this relationship, as it is not driven by traits such as polyploidy or annual life history whose evolution is sometimes correlated with selfing. Furthermore, we find that selfers occur at higher maximum latitudes and that disparity in range size between selfers and outcrossers increases with time since their evolutionary divergence. Together, these results show that autonomous reproduction—a critical biological trait that eliminates mate limitation and thus potentially increases the probability of establishment—increases range size.
Resilience vs. historical contingency in microbial responses to environmental change
Christine V. Hawkes* andTimothy H. Keitt
Ecology Letters, Volume 18, Issue 7, pages 612–625, July 2015
How soil processes such as carbon cycling will respond to future climate change depends on the responses of complex microbial communities, but most ecosystem models assume that microbial functional responses are resilient and can be predicted from simple parameters such as biomass and temperature.
Here, we consider how historical contingencies might alter those responses because function depends on prior conditions or biota. Functional resilience can be driven by physiological, community or adaptive shifts; historical contingencies can result from the influence of historical environments or a combination of priority effects and biotic resistance.
By modelling microbial population responses to environmental change, we demonstrate that historical environments can constrain soil function with the degree of constraint depending on the magnitude of change in the context of the prior environment. For example microbial assemblages from more constant environments were more sensitive to change leading to poorer functional acclimatisation compared to microbial assemblages from more fluctuating environments. Such historical contingencies can lead to deviations from expected functional responses to climate change as well as local variability in those responses. Our results form a set of interrelated hypotheses regarding soil microbial responses to climate change that warrant future empirical attention.
Environmental variation and population responses to global change
Callum R. Lawson1,*, Yngvild Vindenes2, Liam Bailey3 andMartijn van de Pol1,3
Ecology Letters, Volume 18, Issue 7, pages 724–736, July 2015
Species' responses to environmental changes such as global warming are affected not only by trends in mean conditions, but also by natural and human-induced environmental fluctuations. Methods are needed to predict how such environmental variation affects ecological and evolutionary processes, in order to design effective strategies to conserve biodiversity under global change. Here, we review recent theoretical and empirical studies to assess: (1) how populations respond to changes in environmental variance, and (2) how environmental variance affects population responses to changes in mean conditions. Contrary to frequent claims, empirical studies show that increases in environmental variance can increase as well as decrease long-term population growth rates. Moreover, environmental variance can alter and even reverse the effects of changes in the mean environment, such that even if environmental variance remains constant, omitting it from population models compromises their ability to predict species' responses to changes in mean conditions. Drawing on theory relating these effects of environmental variance to the curvatures of population growth responses to the environment, we outline how species' traits such as phylogenetic history and body mass could be used to predict their responses to global change under future environmental variability.
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