Juvenile burrowing owls in Idaho, USA, Photo Credit: Darren Clark

Incubation behaviours of burrowing owls are shaped by nest temperature and trade-offs with offspring quality

Carl Lundblad, Courtney Conway Ecologists have long sought to understand why reproductive effort varies across and within species, because such variation underlies important principles of population regulation that are relevant to the conservation and management of wildlife populations. Animals have finite energetic resources to invest in reproduction, which they must balance against other activities including those related to their own self maintenance and survival. Avian … Continue reading Incubation behaviours of burrowing owls are shaped by nest temperature and trade-offs with offspring quality

Picture of three micro-plots taken in November 2016 at the Lusignan (France) common garden. An intense period of drought occurred at Lusignan during the summer of 2016. The population sown in the left-hand micro-plot did not survive the drought unlike the two other populations. Credit: Fabien Surault

To grow or to survive: what are the strategies of a perennial grass to face severe seasonal stress?

Thomas Keep, Jean-Paul Sampoux, Philippe Barre, José-Luis Blanco-Pastor, Klaus J. Dehmer, Jean-Louis Durand, Matt Hegarty, Thomas Ledauphin, Hilde Muylle, Isabel Roldán-Ruiz, Tom Ruttink, Fabien Surault, Evelin Willner, Florence Volaire For a given region, the assessment of the vulnerability of a species under predicted climate change should account for within species variability and notably for the diversity of climatic adaptations across populations. Our study compared 385 natural populations of perennial ryegrass which were collected right-across Europe. They were all … Continue reading To grow or to survive: what are the strategies of a perennial grass to face severe seasonal stress?

Text Box: Measuring mussel nutrient release rates in the field. A) Mussels from the Paint Rock River, USA. B) A filter-feeding mussel buried in the sediment C). Photos by G. Hopper (A), photos by C. Atkinson (B and C).Our study addresses these questions by measuring the amount and chemical composition of nutrients released by freshwater mussels occurring in large groups called mussel beds. Mussels are very diverse, with over 300 North American species, and provide many ecosystem services, such as filtering water. However, more than 70% of mussel species are threatened by human activities that degrade freshwater ecosystems.

Filter-feeder biomass and species composition matter to stream nutrient cycling

Garrett W. Hopper, Shuo Chen, Irene Sanchez Gonzalez, Jamie Bucholz, Yuehan Lu, Carla L. Atkinson Animals require specific elements to live and different species often require different ratios of those elements. When animals eat food, they retain required elements from their food and release those in excess as dissolved inorganic and organic forms of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous. These forms can be used by algae, … Continue reading Filter-feeder biomass and species composition matter to stream nutrient cycling

Solitary bee larvae prioritise carbohydrate over protein in parentally provided pollen

Gilbert, James; Austin, Alexander Most organisms must balance their diet in an environment full of complex food choices. This is made harder when control over diet is limited, as when parents choose food on behalf of young. Parents may give young a perfectly balanced diet for development. However, they also may make mistakes and provide the wrong food, or even deliberately skew diets given to … Continue reading Solitary bee larvae prioritise carbohydrate over protein in parentally provided pollen

The Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) occurring from Ecuador in the Andes to Costa Rica in Central America. Photo credit: Jesper Sonne

Hummingbird-plant interactions: bill morphology, biogeography and evolutionary history matters

Bo Dalsgaard, Pietro Kiyoshi Maruyama, Jesper Sonne, Katrine Hansen, Thais B. Zanata, Stefan Abrahamczyk, Ruben Alarcón, Andréa C. Araujo, Francielle P. Araújo, Silvana Buzato, Edgar Chávez-González, Aline G. Coelho, Peter A. Cotton, Román Díaz-Valenzuela, Maria F. Dufke, Paula L. Enríquez, Manoel Martins Dias Filho, Erich Fischer, Glauco Kohler, Carlos Lara, Flor Maria G. Las-Casas, Liliana Rosero Lasprilla, Adriana O. Machado, Caio G. Machado, María A. Maglianesi, Tiago S. Malucelli, Oscar H. Marín-Gómez, Vanessa Martínez-García, Severino Mendes de Azevedo-Júnior, Edvaldo Nunes da Silva Neto, Paulo E. Oliveira, Juan Francisco Ornelas, Raul Ortiz-Pulido, Ruth Partida-Lara, Blanca Itzel Patiño-González, Steffani Najara de Pinho … Continue reading Hummingbird-plant interactions: bill morphology, biogeography and evolutionary history matters

The experimental setup at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology that maintained 5 distinct nutrient treatments required an extensive amount of tubing. Photo credit: M. Fox

Strict coral hosts prevent their endosymbionts from over-indulging in nutrients

Michael D. Fox, Craig E. Nelson, Thomas A. Oliver, Zachary A. Quinlan, Kristina Remple, Jess Glanz, Jennifer E. Smith, Hollie M. Putnam Reef-building corals are very resourceful when it comes to acquiring the nutrients they need to survive. This is because most coral reefs occur in naturally nutrient-limited environments. One way that corals have adapted to this limitation is a symbiotic relationship with microscopic algae … Continue reading Strict coral hosts prevent their endosymbionts from over-indulging in nutrients

The aquatic nymph stage of the blue dasher dragonfly, Pachydiplax longipennis. Dragonfly nymphs are voracious predators of mosquito larvae. Photo by Andrew Davidson.

Asymmetrical effects of temperature on stage‐structured predator–prey interactions

Cold-blooded animals, such as insects, reptiles and fish, rely on their surroundings to warm their bodies to temperatures needed for basic activities, such as foraging for and digesting prey. Under warmer conditions, foraging and digestion typically occur more rapidly than they would under cooler conditions. Thus, global warming is expected to make cold-blooded predators “hungrier”, increasing the rate at which they hunt for and consume … Continue reading Asymmetrical effects of temperature on stage‐structured predator–prey interactions

Zebra finch illustration by Ilse Schrauwers (https://isontwerp.nl)

We need more energy as we age

Briga, Michael ; Verhulst, Simon In humans and in wild mammals and birds, the functioning of our bodies declines with age. Understanding how our organisms age and how this ageing associates with lifespan is crucial for improving our quality of life and lifespan. Our rate of energy consumption or metabolism determines many aspects of our activity, physiology, behaviour and personality. We know that in mammals … Continue reading We need more energy as we age

Lake in Brazil

Multiple trophic groups regulate the functioning of tropical shallow lakes

Moi, D; Romero, Gustavo Q.; Antiqueira, Pablo; Mormul, Roger Paulo; Teixeira de Mello, Franco; Bonecker, Claudia Human activities influence virtually all ecosystems around the globe, which has caused loss of trophic groups (trophic groups are defined as group of organisms within an ecosystem that occupy the same level in a food web) of the ecosystems in intensity never before recorded. Despite this, the importance of … Continue reading Multiple trophic groups regulate the functioning of tropical shallow lakes

Male Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna). Photo credit: Tony Varela Photography

When do hummingbirds use torpor? Body size and the environment make a difference

Spence, Austin; Tingley, Morgan Hummingbirds need a lot of energy. Their resting body temperature is around 40º C and their main method of flying, hovering, requires more energy than any other form of locomotion. Despite these energetic requirements, hummingbirds live across North and South America at a wide range of elevations. To live in these diverse environments while managing their energy needs, hummingbirds use a … Continue reading When do hummingbirds use torpor? Body size and the environment make a difference