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1. Variation in post-natal growth rates is substantial among organisms and especially strong among latitudes because tropical and south temperate species typically have slower growth than north temperate relatives. Metabolic rate is thought to be a critical mechanism underlying growth rates after accounting for allometric effects of body mass. However, comparative tests on a large spatial scale are lacking, and the importance of metabolism for growth rates remains unclear both within and particularly across latitudes. 2. Songbirds exhibit strong interspecific variation in growth rates across geographic space, although within latitudes an association between metabolic rate and growth rate has not always been observed....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
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1. The immune system plays an important role in fitness, and interindividual variation in immunocompetence is due to several factors including food supply. 2. Seasonal variation in food resources may therefore explain why immunocompetence in bird nestlings usually declines throughout the breeding season, with chicks born early in the season receiving more food than chicks born later, and thereby possibly developing a more potent immune system. Although there are studies supporting this hypothesis, none has been experimental. 3. We performed an experiment in the kittiwake Rissa tridactyla by manipulating the food supply of pairs that were left to produce a first brood, and of pairs that were induced to produce a...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
The benthic community was analyzed to evaluate pollution-induced changes for the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated site at Hunters Point (HP) relative to 30 reference sites in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. An analysis based on functional traits of feeding, reproduction, and position in the sediment shows that HP is depauperate in deposit feeders, subsurface carnivores, and species with no protective barrier. Sediment chemistry analysis shows that PCBs are the major risk drivers at HP (1,570 ppb) and that the reference sites contain very low levels of PCB contamination (9 ppb). Different feeding traits support the existence of direct pathways of exposure, which can be mechanistically linked to PCB...
1. At the heart of the body of research on biodiversity effects on ecosystem function is the debate over whether different species tend to be functionally singular or redundant. When we consider ecosystem multi-function, the provision of multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously, we may find that seemingly redundant species may in fact play unique roles in ecosystems. 2. Over the last few decades, the significance of biological soil crusts (BSCs) as ecological boundaries and ecosystem engineers, and their multi-functional nature, has become increasingly well documented. We compiled ‘functional profiles’ of the organisms in this understudied community, to determine whether functional singularity emerges when...
1. Soil microbes are fed primarily by root-derived substrates, fulfil functions such as mineralization, immobilization, decomposition, pathogeneity and improvement of plant nutrition, and form the basis of the below-ground food web. Hitherto, below-ground processes have generally been monitored using a `black-box' approach, thereby ignoring effects of global change at a finer level of resolution. We describe shifts in the activity between microbial functional groups associated with roots of Artemisia tridentata, and the influence of this change on higher trophic levels. 2. We tested the hypothesis that elevated atmospheric CO2 causes the soil community to change qualitatively. We measured the responses of several...
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1. Shifts in bacterial community composition along temporal and spatial temperature gradients occur in a wide range of habitats and have potentially important implications for ecosystem functioning. However, it is often challenging to empirically link an adaptation or acclimation that defines environmental niche or biogeography with a quantifiable phenotype, especially in micro-organisms. 2. Here we evaluate a possible mechanistic explanation for shifts in bacterioplankton community composition in response to temperature by testing a previously hypothesized membrane mediated trade-off between resource acquisition and respiratory costs. 3. We isolated two strains of Flavobacterium sp. at two temperatures (cold...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
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Rodents frequently forage in a density-dependent manner, increasing harvesting in patches with greater seed densities. Although seldom considered, seed harvesting may also depend on the species identities of other individuals in the seed neighbourhood. When the seed harvest of a focal species increases in association with another seed species, the focal species suffers from Associational Susceptibility. In contrast, if seeds of the focal species are harvested less when in association with a second species, the focal species benefits from Associational Resistance.To evaluate density dependence and associational effects among seeds in mixtures, we conducted seed removal experiments using a completely additive design...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
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1. The ability to store energy endogenously is an important ecological mechanism that allows animals to buffer predictable and unpredictable variation in allostatic load. The secretion of glucocorticoids, which reflects changes in allostatic load, is suggested to play a major role in the adjustment of endogenous stores to these varying conditions. 2. Although crucially important, the relationship between allostatic load and energy stores remains largely unexplored. Two contrasting hypotheses describe how stores may be adjusted: animals may use low allostatic loads to increase stores to a maximum possible (‘fat and fit’), or they can attain a lean physique due to fitness advantages of a low body mass (‘lean and fit’)....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
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This dataset includes two series of data. The first series contains growth model coefficients for >90 fish species in the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). These models were fit form empirical length and weight data observed from 1993-2007 during routine annual scientific monitoring of the UMRS fish community under a federal/state partnership program known as the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) program (see: https://umesc.usgs.gov/ltrm-home.html, accessed 3/18/2020). To achieve growth model coefficients for each fish species, length and weight data were log10 transformed and fit using statistical regression techniques (Proc GLM in SAS v 9.4). Model coefficients representing the regression y-intercept,...
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1. The gelatinous cyanobacterial Collema tenax is a dominant lichen of biotic soil crusts in the western United States. In laboratory experiments, we studied CO2 exchange of this species as dependent on water content (WC), light and temperature. Results are compared with performance of green-algal lichens of the same site investigated earlier.2. As compared with published data, photosynthetic capacity of C. tenax is higher than that of other cyanobacterial and green-algal soil-crust species studied. At all temperatures and photon flux densities of ecological relevance, net photosynthesis (NP) shows a strong depression at high degrees of hydration; maximal apparent quantum-use efficiency of CO2 fixation is also reduced....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
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Parental investment strategies are considered to represent a trade-off between the benefits of investment in current offspring and costs to future reproduction. Due to their high residual reproductive value, long-lived organisms are predicted to be more reluctant to increase parental effort. 2. We tested the hypothesis that breeding little auks (Alle alle) have a fixed level of reproductive investment, and thus reduce parental effort when costs associated with reproduction increase. 3. To test this hypothesis we experimentally increased the flight costs of breeding little auks via feather clipping. In 2005 we examined changes in the condition of manipulated parents, of the mates of manipulated parents, and of their...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), an alien annual grass, has become naturalized in a variety of habitats ranging from arid steppe to mesic forest communities within the intermountain region of western North America. To examine the contribution of genetic differentiation to the success of cheatgrass, we measured photosynthesis, growth, phenology and biomass allocation in populations collected as seed from contrasting habitats and grown in a glasshouse. In addition, we examined the effects of drought and population seed source on characteristics of photosynthesis and growth. In general, leaf-level photosynthetic response to variation in light, temperature and soil moisture did not vary significantly among the different...
1. Hydraulic redistribution may have important consequences for ecosystem water balance where plant root systems span large gradients in soil water potential. To assess seasonal patterns of hydraulic redistribution, we measured the direction and rate of sap flow in tap-roots, lateral roots and main stems of three mature Prosopis velutina Woot. trees occurring on a floodplain terrace in semiarid south-eastern Arizona, USA. Sap-flow measurements on two of the trees were initiated before the end of the winter dormancy period, prior to leaf flush. 2 Despite the absence of crown transpiration during the dormant season, sap flow was detected in lateral roots and tap-roots of P. velutina. Reverse flow (away from the stem)...
1 The ability of drought-stressed Bouteloua gracilis H.B.K. Lag. ex Steud. to respond rapidly to a small rainfall event with increases in leaf water potential and leaf conductance directed our attention to the role of the roots in these responses. Our first objective was to determine whether new root growth was required to restore the water status to that of a non-stressed plant, following a small rainfall event. The results indicated that surviving roots were able to absorb water at approximately 40% of the rate of new roots, which was sufficient to restore non-stressed leaf water potentials within one day of watering. 2 The second objective was to estimate the rate and amount of new root growth following simulated...
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The nature of the relationship between water limitation and facilitation has been one of the most contentious debates surrounding the stress-gradient hypothesis (SGH), which states that plant-plant interactions shift from competition to facilitation with increasing environmental stress. We take a closer look at the potential role of soil moisture in mediating plant-plant interaction outcomes by assessing effects of climate and soil texture on plant modulation of soil moisture. Using an empirically-parameterized soil moisture model, we simulated soil moisture dynamics beneath shrubs and in un-vegetated coarse and fine soils for 1000 sites in the Western United States with <700 mm mean annual precipitation. This threshold...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
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1. Photosynthetic pathway diversity was evaluated for the dominant species in a seasonally aquatic community in the south-western USA using 14C pulse-chase techniques.2. Under submerged conditions, only about half of the species were clearly C3, three of the 15 dominants were CAM, one species was C4 and three were potentially assimilating carbon with both C3 and C4 fixation.3. During the brief terrestrial stage in the life history of these amphibious plants, both the CAM and the C3 + C4 species switched to C3, whereas the C4 species did not switch.4. Numerous variations were apparent; for example, the C4 species, while exhibiting a biochemical pathway indistinguishable from terrestrial C4 plants, lacked Kranz anatomy...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
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Trait-based models of ecological communities typically assume intraspecific variation in functional traits is not important, though such variation can change species trait rankings along gradients in resources and environmental conditions, and thus influence community structure and function.We examined the degree of intraspecific relative to interspecific variation, and reaction norms of 11 functional traits for 57 forest understory plant species, including: intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE), Δ15N, 5 leaf traits, 2 stem traits and 2 root traits along gradients in light, nitrogen, moisture and understory cover.Our results indicate that interspecific trait variation exceeded intraspecific variation by at least...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
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1. Dwarf stands of the mangrove Rhizophora mangle L. are extensive in the Caribbean. We fertilized dwarf trees in Almirante Bay, Bocas del Toro Province, north-eastern Panama with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to determine (1) if growth limitations are due to nutrient deficiency; and (2) what morphological and/or physiological factors underlie nutrient limitations to growth. 2. Shoot growth was 10-fold when fertilized with P and twofold with N fertilization, indicating that stunted growth of these mangroves is partially due to nutrient deficiency. 3. Growth enhancements caused by N or P enrichment could not be attributed to increases in photosynthesis on a leaf area basis, although photosynthetic nutrient-use...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
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1. The seasonal dynamics of body condition (BC), circulating corticosterone levels (baseline, BL) and the adrenocortical response to acute stress (SR) were examined in long-lived Black-legged Kittiwakes, Rissa tridactyla, breeding at Duck (food-poor colony) and Gull (food-rich colony) Islands in lower Cook Inlet, Alaska. It was tested whether the dynamics of corticosterone levels reflect a seasonal change in bird physiological condition due to reproduction and/or variation in foraging conditions. 2. BC declined seasonally, and the decline was more pronounced in birds at the food-poor colony. BL and SR levels of corticosterone rose steadily through the reproductive season, and BL levels were significantly higher...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Functional Ecology
1. It has been suggested that much of the elevated CO2 effect on plant productivity and N cycling in semi-arid grasslands is related to a CO2-induced increase in soil moisture, but the relative importance of moisture-mediated and direct effects of CO2 remain unclear. 2. We grew five grassland species common to the semi-arid grasslands of northern Colorado, USA, as monocultures and as mixtures of all five species in pots. We examined the effects of atmospheric CO2 concentration (ambient vs. 780 p.p.m.) and soil moisture (15 vs. 20% m/m) on plant biomass and plant N uptake. Our objective was to separate CO2 effects not related to water from water-mediated CO2 effects by frequently watering the pots, thereby eliminating...


map background search result map search result map Fish growth model coefficients and functional guild categories for Upper Mississippi River System fishes data Fish growth model coefficients and functional guild categories for Upper Mississippi River System fishes data