(Ophioblennius macclurei—Caribbean red lip blenny; photo: Carlos Estape)

The feeding rate of reef fishes

Nunes, Lucas; Barneche, Diego; Lastrucci, Naomi; Fraga, Alana; Nunes, José de Anchieta; Ferreira, Carlos Eduardo; Floeter, Sergio Many reef fishes feed constantly at the bottom of the reef from where they garner different types of food such as detritus, algae and invertebrates. Food consumption is extremely important for fish to achieve their energy targets, grow and reproduce. Unfortunately, quantifying fish food consumption in the field … Continue reading The feeding rate of reef fishes

Bugula neritina ovicells, where larvae are brooded. Photo credit: Canadian Academy of Science

Warmer mothers produce smaller offspring because it favours mothers but not necessarily their offspring

Dustin Marshall Warmer mothers tend to produce smaller offspring across a broad array of organisms. The reasons for this pattern are unclear and most hypotheses have focused on the early stages of offspring development. Here, I use a marine bryozoan, Bugula neritina, which is a model system for understanding marine life histories.  I report on a massive, ongoing field experiment in which I spawn adult … Continue reading Warmer mothers produce smaller offspring because it favours mothers but not necessarily their offspring

Water level draw-down induced vegetation change in the bog and fen sites in Lakkasuo. Image credits Nicola Kokkonen.

Long-term water level draw-down affects functional plant trait composition of northern peatlands

Anna M. Laine, Aino Korrensalo, Nicola A.K. Kokkonen and Eeva-Stiina Tuittila Peatlands form a significant soil carbon storage, but due to drying caused by climate change the rate of carbon accumulation may decrease. The carbon that accumulates into peat is fixed from the atmosphere by vegetation in photosynthesis. To predict carbon accumulation in the future it is therefore necessary to understand how vegetation responds to … Continue reading Long-term water level draw-down affects functional plant trait composition of northern peatlands

This figure illustrates how animal personality traits drive individual dietary breadth, diet quality and individual dietary specialisation of a mammalian herbivore.

Animal personality drives individual dietary specialisation across multiple dimensions in a mammalian herbivore

Anushika, P. H. M. Herath; Katie, K. Y. Wat; Peter, B. Banks; Clare, McArthur Consistent individual differences in behavior (i.e. animal personality) and in food resource use (i.e. individual dietary specialisation) both have important ecological and evolutionary implications. Animal personality should directly affect individual diet and dietary specialisation, by mediating the perceived costs and benefits associated with foraging. Uniting these two fields will be an … Continue reading Animal personality drives individual dietary specialisation across multiple dimensions in a mammalian herbivore

Conceptual figure showcasing the four processes of evolutionary biology (selection, gene flow, genetic drift and mutation) and community ecology (species sorting, dispersal, ecological drift and speciation). Each of these processes influences either genetic or community diversity, respectively. An eco-evolutionary view on community ecology envisions pairwise interactions between evolutionary and community processes resulting in a dynamical interplay between evolution and community dynamics.

Perspective: Integrating fundamental processes to understand eco-evolutionary community dynamics and patterns

Govaert, Lynn; Altermatt, Florian; De Meester, Luc; Leibold, Mathew; McPeek, Mark; Pantel, Jelena; Urban, Mark cumulating evidence for rapid and fine-scale evolution has made it clear that evolutionary and ecological processes should be studied together. Earlier work on the interaction between evolutionary and ecological dynamics mainly focused on the effect of evolution on population abundances, but lately, more and more studies demonstrate the potential for … Continue reading Perspective: Integrating fundamental processes to understand eco-evolutionary community dynamics and patterns

Two permanent forest plots at the Finnish site used for soil sampling in the SoilForEUROPE project in June 2017. A single tree species stand with Pinus sylvestris (left) and a mixed stand with the three species Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris and Betula pendula (right). Photo credit: L. Gillespie.

Forests with mixed tree species affect the functioning of soil microorganisms indirectly via root and litter traits in European forests

Gillespie, Lauren; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Milcu, Alexandru; Wambsganss, Janna; Shihan, Ammar; Fromin, Nathalie Forest soils harbour a highly diverse community of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, that play a crucial role in forest functioning and stability. Indeed, these microorganisms control the rate nutrients and carbon are released from dead organic matter, such as leaf litter, and made available to organisms. They concurrently release greenhouse gases, … Continue reading Forests with mixed tree species affect the functioning of soil microorganisms indirectly via root and litter traits in European forests

X-ray image of a female Neolamprologus pulcher originating from a study population with medium sand cover, intermediate predation risk and average shelter sizes. (c) Annika Freudiger

Ecological variation leads to body shape differences in a highly social fish

Annika Freudiger, Dario Josi, Timo Thunken, Fabian Herder, Jana M. Flury, David A. Marques, Michael Taborsky & Joachim G. Frommen The environment experienced by an organism can affect the expression of individual traits, such as body shape and behaviour. Furthermore, adjustments of one trait may inhibit or increase adaptation of another trait. Such adaptation of certain features might eventually feed back to higher organisational levels, … Continue reading Ecological variation leads to body shape differences in a highly social fish

Measuring leaf temperature by inserting tiny thermocouples into leaves of the desert species Myoporum montanum, helps us understand leaf thermal risk to climate change. Photographer Alicia Cook

Plant water availability alters thermal risk assessments

Cook, Alicia; Berry, Neil; Milner, Kirsty; Leigh, Andy Scientists are urgently investigating which plants and animals are more likely to survive increased temperature extremes under climate change. A useful tool to assess organisms’ potential vulnerability is the thermal safety margin. A thermal safety margin is the difference between the temperature an individual can tolerate and the temperature they experience. For plants, the photosynthetic machinery in … Continue reading Plant water availability alters thermal risk assessments

Photo by Inés Castejón-Silvo. Syngnathus typhle resting among the seagrass in the hydrodynamic flume.

Habitat hydrodynamic shelter reduces pipefish energy expenditure

Castejon-Silvo, Ines; Terrados, Jorge; Nguyen, Thanh; Jutfelt, Fredrik; Infantes, Eduardo The loss of coastal habitats may affect associated fauna by different ways: reducing food resources, shelter from predators and nursery grounds. The decline of coastal habitat, such as in kelp forests, coral reefs, mangroves or seagrass beds, often causes a local increase in current speed and wave exposure. Here we demonstrate that the loss of … Continue reading Habitat hydrodynamic shelter reduces pipefish energy expenditure

Lymantria dispar is one of the most destructive invasive insects in North American. We show that defoliation by this insect can kill oak trees by draining the trees’ energy reserves. Photo credit: Nathan Oalican.

Trees can starve to death from insect defoliation

Barker Plotkin, Audrey; Blumstein, Meghan; Laflower, Danelle; Pasquarella, Valerie; Chandler,Jennifer; Elkinton, Joseph S.; Thompson, Jonathan R. Invasive insects are a major threat to forests, and the Northeastern US is an invasion hotspot. It seems like every tree has a bug, and for oak, it’s Lymantria dispar. A recent severe outbreak of this insect killed thousands of acres of oaks across southern New England. But we … Continue reading Trees can starve to death from insect defoliation