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8 June 2017

Dramatic impact of alien carp Cyprinus carpio on globally threatened diving ducks and other waterbirds in Mediterranean shallow lakes [Biological Conservation]

Keywords : exotic fish, multi-trophic impacts, threatened waterbirds, whole-lake experiment, Mediterranean wetlands, eradication methods

Mediterranean shallow lakes support high biodiversity but suffer many anthropogenic threats, including introductions of alien fish. We studied the impact of introduction of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) to Medina and Zoñar lakes in SW Spain. Both lakes were protected as Ramsar sites because of their importance for waterbirds, particularly the globally threatened white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala IUCN Endangered) and common pochard (Aythya ferina IUCN Vulnerable). Two carp introduction events in Medina lake, with total eradication of carp in between, provided a unique opportunity to study the impacts of carp on the waterbird community (counted monthly from 2001 to 2013, with up to 69 species) and submerged macrophyte cover (quantified with satellite images). A comparison of waterbird abundance before and after carp eradication in the smaller Zoñar lake supported the results from Medina lake.(...)

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8 June 2017

And, not or: Quality, quantity in scientific publishing [PLOS One]

Subject Areas : scientists, scientific publishing, careers, test statistics, bibliometrics, database searching, research laboratories, statistical distributions

Scientists often perceive a trade-off between quantity and quality in scientific publishing: finite amounts of time and effort can be spent to produce few high-quality papers or subdivided to produce many papers of lower quality. Despite this perception, previous studies have indicated the opposite relationship, in which productivity (publishing more papers) is associated with increased paper quality (usually measured by citation accumulation). We examine this question in a novel way, comparing members of the National Academy of Sciences with themselves across years, and using a much larger dataset than previously analyzed. (...)

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8 June 2017

Biogeography of Amazon birds: rivers limit species composition, but not areas of endemism [Scientific Reports]

Keywords : biodiversity, biogeography, community ecology

Amazonian rivers are usually suggested as dispersal barriers, limiting biogeographic units. This is evident in a widely accepted Areas of Endemism (AoEs) hypothesis proposed for Amazonian birds. We empirically test this hypothesis based on quantitative analyses of species distribution. We compiled a database of bird species and subspecies distribution records, and used this dataset to identify AoEs through three different methods.(...)

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8 June 2017

Mycelium-mediated transfer of water and nutrients stimulates bacterial activity in dry and oligotrophic environments [Nature Communications]

Keywords : ecosystem ecology, fungal ecology, soil microbiology

Fungal–bacterial interactions are highly diverse and contribute to many ecosystem processes. Their emergence under common environmental stress scenarios however, remains elusive. Here we use a synthetic microbial ecosystem based on the germination of Bacillus subtilis spores to examine whether fungal and fungal-like (oomycete) mycelia reduce bacterial water and nutrient stress in an otherwise dry and nutrient-poor microhabitat.(...)

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7 June 2017

Toward a community ecology of landscapes: predicting multiple predator-prey interactions across geographic space [Ecology]

Keywords : food web modules, geospatial movement analysis, habitat domain, landscape of fear, multiple predator-prey interactions, predator consumptive effects, predator non-consumptive effects, predator hunting mode, spatial movement analysis, utilization distribution

Community ecology was traditionally an integrative science devoted to studying interactions between species and their abiotic environments in order to predict species’ geographic distributions and abundances. Yet for philosophical and methodological reasons it has become divided into two enterprises: one devoted to local experimentation on species interactions to predict community dynamics; the other devoted to statistical analyses of abiotic and biotic information to describe geographic distribution. Our goal here is to instigate thinking about ways to reconnect the two enterprises and thereby return to a tradition to do integrative science. We focus specifically on the community ecology of predators and prey, which is ripe for integration. This is because there is active, simultaneous interest in experimentally resolving the nature and strength of predator-prey interactions as well as explaining pattern across landscapes and seascapes. We begin by describing a conceptual theory rooted in classical analyses of non-spatial food web modules used to predict species interactions. We show how such modules can be extended to consideration of spatial context using the concept of habitat domain.(...)

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