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Publications scientifiques RSS des Publications scientifiques

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6 décembre 2017

Threshold responses of Amazonian stream fishes to timing and extent of deforestation [Conservation Biology]

Keywords : Brazil Forest Code, change point, ecomorphology, extinction debt, time lag

Deforestation is a primary driver of biodiversity change through habitat loss and fragmentation. Stream biodiversity may not respond to deforestation in a simple linear relationship. Rather, threshold responses to extent and timing of deforestation may occur. Identification of critical deforestation thresholds is needed for effective conservation and management. We tested for threshold responses of fish species and functional groups to degree of watershed and riparian zone deforestation and time since impact in 75 streams in the western Brazilian Amazon. (...)

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6 décembre 2017

Local loss and spatial homogenization of plant diversity reduce ecosystem multifunctionality [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : biodiversity, community ecology, ecosystem services

Biodiversity is declining in many local communities while also becoming increasingly homogenized across space. Experiments show that local plant species loss reduces ecosystem functioning and services, but the role of spatial homogenization of community composition and the potential interaction between diversity at different scales in maintaining ecosystem functioning remains unclear, especially when many functions are considered (ecosystem multifunctionality). We present an analysis of eight ecosystem functions measured in 65 grasslands worldwide. We find that more diverse grasslands—those with both species-rich local communities (α-diversity) and large compositional differences among localities (β-diversity)—had higher levels of multifunctionality.(...)

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5 décembre 2017

The ecological importance of intraspecific variation [Nature Ecology & Evolution]

Keywords : biodiversity, evolution, evolutionary ecology

Human activity is causing wild populations to experience rapid trait change and local extirpation. The resulting effects on intraspecific variation could have substantial consequences for ecological processes and ecosystem services. Although researchers have long acknowledged that variation among species influences the surrounding environment, only recently has evidence accumulated for the ecological importance of variation within species. We conducted a meta-analysis comparing the ecological effects of variation within a species (intraspecific effects) with the effects of replacement or removal of that species (species effects). We evaluated direct and indirect ecological responses, including changes in abundance (or biomass), rates of ecological processes and changes in community composition.(...)

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5 décembre 2017

Dominant forest tree mycorrhizal type mediates understory plant invasions [Ecology Letters]

Keywords : Eastern USA, forest mycorrhizal type, nutrient cycling, plant-soil feedback, temperate forests, understory invasions

Forest mycorrhizal type mediates nutrient dynamics, which in turn can influence forest community structure and processes. Using forest inventory data, we explored how dominant forest tree mycorrhizal type affects understory plant invasions with consideration of forest structure and soil properties. We found that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) dominant forests, which are characterised by thin forest floors and low soil C : N ratio, were invaded to a greater extent by non-native invasive species than ectomycorrhizal (ECM) dominant forests. Understory native species cover and richness had no strong associations with AM tree dominance.(...)

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5 décembre 2017

Are the big and beautiful less bold ? Differences in avian fearfulness between the sexes in relation to body size and colour [Journal of Zoology]

Keywords : colour, conspicuousness, escape behaviour, flight-initiation distance, sexual selection, fearfulness, sexual dimorphism

Conspicuousness towards predators may influence escape behaviour (or ‘fearfulness’) among animals, with more conspicuous species initiating escape behaviour earlier. Among birds, for example, body size and colour may influence differences in escape behaviour between species, and possibly between the sexes of dimorphic species. We examined 19 bird species with varying degrees of body size and colour dimorphism (including individually marked and sexed monomorphic species), to examine whether these two potential measures of conspicuousness influence sex differences in flight-initiation distance (FID).(...)

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