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17 November 2016

Twitter Predicts Citation Rates of Ecological Research [PLOS One]

Subject Areas: Twitter, altmetrics, social media, ecology, biogeography, conservation science, ecological selection, social research

The relationship between traditional metrics of research impact (e.g., number of citations) and alternative metrics (altmetrics) such as Twitter activity are of great interest, but remain imprecisely quantified. We used generalized linear mixed modeling to estimate the relative effects of Twitter activity, journal impact factor, and time since publication on Web of Science citation rates of 1,599 primary research articles from 20 ecology journals published from 2012–2014. We found a strong positive relationship between Twitter activity (i.e., the number of unique tweets about an article) and number of citations. Twitter activity was a more important predictor of citation rates than 5-year journal impact factor. Moreover, Twitter activity was not driven by journal impact factor; the ‘highest-impact’ journals were not necessarily the most discussed online.(...)

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17 November 2016

Synergistic Ecoclimate Teleconnections from Forest Loss in Different Regions Structure Global Ecological Responses [PLOS One]

Subject Areas : forests, forest ecology, plant ecology, trees, theoretical ecology, climate change, North America, seasons

Forest loss in hotspots around the world impacts not only local climate where loss occurs, but also influences climate and vegetation in remote parts of the globe through ecoclimate teleconnections. The magnitude and mechanism of remote impacts likely depends on the location and distribution of forest loss hotspots, but the nature of these dependencies has not been investigated. We use global climate model simulations to estimate the distribution of ecologically-relevant climate changes resulting from forest loss in two hotspot regions: western North America (wNA), which is experiencing accelerated dieoff, and the Amazon basin, which is subject to high rates of deforestation. (....)

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16 November 2016

Fast–slow life history is correlated with individual differences in movements and prey selection in an aquatic predator in the wild [Journal of Animal Ecology]

Keywords : activity, animal personality, fast–slow continuum, life-history trade-offs, pace-of-life syndrome

1.Fast and slow life histories are proposed to covary with consistent individual differences in behaviour, but little is known whether it holds in the wild, where individuals experience natural fluctuations of the environment.
2.We investigated whether individual differences in behaviour, such as movement traits and prey selection, are linked to variation in life-history traits in Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) in the wild.(...)

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15 November 2016

Flight behaviour of honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers is altered by initial infections of the fungal parasite Nosema apis [Scientific Reports]

keywords : animal behaviour, behavioural ecology

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) host a wide range of parasites, some being known contributors towards dramatic colony losses as reported over recent years. To counter parasitic threats, honey bees possess effective immune systems. Because immune responses are predicted to cause substantial physiological costs for infected individuals, they are expected to trade off with other life history traits that ultimately affect the performance and fitness of the entire colony. Here, we tested whether the initial onset of an infection negatively impacts the flight behaviour of honey bee workers, which is an energetically demanding behaviour and a key component of foraging activities.(...)

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15 November 2016

Predicted trajectories of tree community change in Amazonian rainforest fragments [Ecography]

A great challenge for ecologists is predicting how communities in fragmented tropical landscapes will change in the future. Available evidence suggests that fragmented tropical tree communities are progressing along a trajectory of ‘retrogressive succession’, in which the community shifts towards an early or mid-successional state that will persist indefinitely. Here, we investigate the potential endpoint of retrogressive succession, examining whether it will eventually lead to the highly depauperate communities that characterise recently abandoned agricultural lands. We tested this hypothesis by using neural networks to construct an empirical model of Amazonian rainforest-tree-community responses to experimental habitat fragmentation. (...)

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