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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Breeding latitude ; Long-distance migrant ; Moult-breeding overlap ; Time constraint
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Organisms that reproduce at high latitudes are assumed to have evolved several adaptations to the short summer. For birds, and especially for long-distance migrants, there is a time constraint because both reproduction and moult must be completed before autumn migration. It has therefore been assumed that birds at northern latitudes must initiate their moult during reproduction more often than birds at low latitudes. To investigate how passerine birds breeding at different latitudes allocate their time between reproduction and moult, we compared timing of these activities during three consecutive breeding seasons in three widely separated populations of the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca. Our results show that the frequency of individuals with moult-breeding overlap, and moult initiation in relation to breeding stage, varied considerably among populations and years. In all three populations, female moult initiation was restricted to the late nestling period. The males had a more pronounced moult-breeding overlap than the females, but its duration was similar in all three study areas. Thus, there was no evidence for a more pronounced moult-breeding overlap at high compared with low latitudes. These results suggest that pied flycatchers sometimes accept a moult-breeding overlap, but that the time gained by having too extensive an overlap between reproduction and moult does not outweigh the associated costs. Long-distance migrants breeding at northern latitudes apparently experience a trade-off between reproduction and somatic investment during moult. We therefore suggest that a pronounced moult-breeding overlap is not a typical strategy used by long-distance migrants to adjust to the short breeding season at northern latitudes.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Brood parasitism ; Clamator glandarius ; Coevolution ; Parasite counter-defences ; Pica pica
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract A long-term study of the interactions between a brood parasite, the great spotted cuckoo Clamator glandarius, and its primary host the magpie Pica pica, demonstrated local changes in the distribution of both magpies and cuckoos and a rapid increase of rejection of both mimetic and non-mimetic model eggs by the host. In rich areas, magpies improved three of their defensive mechanisms: nest density and breeding synchrony increased dramatically and rejection rate of cuckoo eggs increased more slowly. A stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that parasitism rate decreased as host density increased and cuckoo density decreased. A logistic regression analysis indicated that the probability of changes in magpie nest density in the study plots was significantly affected by the density of magpie nests during the previous year (positively) and the rejection rate of mimetic model eggs (negatively). These results are consistent with a hypothesis (the intermittent arms race hypothesis) of spatially structured cyclic changes in parasitism. During periods of parasitism, host defences continuously improve, and as a consequence, the fitness gains for parasites decrease. When host defences against parasites reach a high level, dispersing parasites have a selective advantage if they are able to emigrate to areas of low resistance. Once parasites have left an area hosts will lose their defensive adaptations due to their cost in the absence of parasitism. The scene is then set for re-colonization by great spotted cuckoos.
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  • 3
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Oecologia 117 (1998), S. 391-395 
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key wordsErythronium japonicum ; Female-biased sex allocation ; Hermaphroditic plants ; Sink-limited fruit growth
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Using four populations of the liliaceous perennial Erythronium japonicum, I examined the hypothesis that sex allocation will be female-biased if the duration of sink-limited growth of fruits, during which fruits grow exponentially, is long. I found that all marked fruits in each population had a period of sink-limited growth. Among the four populations, the mean length of sink-limited growth increased, and the mean dry mass ratio of the sum of the corolla and androecium/fruit decreased, in a consistent order. Thus, plants in populations where the duration of sink-limited growth was long allocated relatively more of their resources to their female functions. This result was consistent with the above hypothesis.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Food web structure ; Resource availability ; Predation ; Nematode ; Soil microcosm
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Previous theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that species composition within trophic levels may profoundly affect the response of trophic-level biomasses to enhanced basal resources. To test whether species composition of microbivorous nematodes has such an effect in microbial-based soil food webs, I created three microcosm food webs, consisting of bacteria, fungi, bacterial-feeding nematodes (Acrobeloides tricornus, Caenorhabditis elegans), fungal-feeding nematodes (Aphelenchus avenae, Aphelenchoides sp.) and a predatory nematode (Prionchulus punctatus). The food webs differed in species composition at the second trophic level: food web A included A. tricornus and Aph. avenae, food web B included C. elegans and Aphelenchoides sp., and food web AB included all four species. I increased basal resources by adding glucose to half of the replicates of each food web, and sampled microcosms destructively four times during a 22-week experiment to estimate the biomass of organisms at each trophic level. Microbivore species composition significantly affected bacterivore and fungivore biomass but not bacterial, fungal or predator biomass. Greatest bacterivore and fungivore biomass was found in food web A, intermediate biomass in food web AB, and smallest biomass in food web B. Basal resource addition increased the biomass of microbes and microbivores but did not affect predator biomass. Importantly, microbivore species composition did not significantly modify the effect of additional resources on trophic-level biomasses. The presence of a competitor reduced the biomass of A. tricornus and Aph. avenae, in that the biomass of these species was less in food web AB than in food web A, whereas the biomass of C. elegans and Aphelenchoides sp. was not affected by their potential competitors. The biomass of Aph. avenae increased with additional resources in the absence of the competitor only, while the biomass of A. tricornus and Aphelenchoides sp. increased also in the presence of their competitors. The results imply that microbivore species composition may determine the second-level biomass in simple microbe-nematode food webs, but may not significantly affect biomass at other levels or modify the response of trophic-level biomasses to enhanced basal resources. The study also shows that even if the role of predation in a food web is diminished, the positive response of organisms to increased resource availability may still be hindered by competition.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Anolis ; Habitat partitioning ; Interspecific interactions ; Intraguild predation ; Puerto Rico
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract We analyzed the impact of interspecific interactions between two ecologically and morphologically distinct Puerto Rican lizards, Anolis gundlachi and A. evermanni, in an experimental design consisting of six 20 × 20 m plots divided into three blocks, each consisting of a pair of experimental and control plots. We removed A. gundlachi from experimental plots and monitored the response of A. evermanni. The reduction in the number of A. gundlachi resulted in a significant increase in the abundance of both adult and juvenile A. evermanni. We found no evidence for a shift in structural habitat use in A. evermanni in experimental plots. Two possible mechanisms, interspecific competition and intraguild predation, could explain the increase in abundance of A. evermanni after the removal of A. gundlachi. These results make clear that interactions still occur between A. gundlachi and A. evermanni even given their morphological and ecological differences.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Nitrogen ; Salt marsh ; Positive interaction ; Insect herbivory ; Trophic interaction
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Nutrients can structure communities by influencing both plant interactions and plant herbivore interactions, though rarely do studies integrate these processes. In this study we examined how nitrogen fertilization influenced (1) the positive interaction between the marsh elder, Iva frutescens, and the black rush, Juncusgerardi, and (2) the quality of Iva as a host plant for the aphid, Uroleuconambrosiae. Previous studies have shown that by mitigating soil salt accumulation and hypoxia, Juncus is essential to the survival of Iva and its aphid herbivore at mid-marsh elevations. To address the effects of nitrogen on this interaction, we compared fertilized and unfertilized Iva plants subject to Juncus removal and control treatments in the field. Additionally, we measured the monthly population growth rates of aphids transplanted onto these Iva plants. Iva leaf biomass and flower number results indicated that fertilizing Iva eliminated its dependence upon Juncus, such that fertilized plants grown without Juncus were not different from unmanipulated plants. Aphid monthly population growth rates through mid-summer revealed that fertilization also eliminated the indirect dependency of aphids on Juncus, so that aphid growth rates on fertilized Iva without Juncus neighbors were similar to rates on unmanipulated Iva. Results also indicated that fertilizing Iva grown with Juncus increased Iva size, potentially enabling these plants to support larger aphid populations. Our results suggest that only under conditions of nitrogen limitation are the positive effects of Juncus essential to the mid-marsh persistence of Iva and its aphid herbivore. Furthermore, we found that nitrogen effects on aphid populations may arise not only from a direct effect of nutrients on Iva size but also through the indirect effects of nitrogen on the interaction between Juncus and Iva. We argue that studies integrating processes occurring both within and between trophic levels, are important to fully understanding the community-wide effects of nutrients.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Water striders  ;  Predation risk  ;  Mating systems  ;  Multiple predators
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Many studies have experimentally addressed the effects of a particular predator species on prey behavior. In nature, however, prey frequently face multiple species of predators that often vary in their predatory mode and in their level of predation risk. Relatively few studies have considered prey responses under these complex conditions. In Kentucky, the stream-dwelling water strider (Aquariusremigis) coexists with many potentially dangerous predators, two of which are the green sunfish (Lepomiscyanellus) and the fishing spider (Dolomedesvittatus). Green sunfish occupy stream pools and attack water striders from below. In contrast, fishing spiders hunt along stream shorelines where they perch on overhanging vegetation or rocks and attack water striders near shore. We compared how A. remigis individuals respond to these two very different predators in pools with one or both predators. The presence of sunfish in pools had strong effects on male water strider behavior, including increased use of three types of refuge from sunfish (riffles, climbing out of the water, sitting on the water but at the edges of pools), decreased activity and a decreased number of aggressive males on the water. Spiders also influenced water strider behavior; male water striders avoided spiders by shifting away from the edges of pools. Comparisons of the effects of the two predator species showed that in general, antipredator responses by male water striders were stronger in pools with fish alone than in those with spiders alone. In the presence of both predators, male water strider behavior (microhabitat use and activity) was generally similar to behavior in the presence of fish alone. In contrast, female water striders showed no significant response to the presence of sunfish, and little response to the presence of spiders. This lack of response could be because females spent much of their time in refuges even in the absence of predators (apparently hiding from harassment by males). Both spiders and fish caused decreases in water strider mating activity. The presence of fish reduced both the number of matings per pool (mating frequency), and mean mating durations. Spiders induced a decrease in mean mating duration, but not in mating frequency. The largest reductions in mating activity occurred in pools with both predators present. Pools with either spiders or fish alone suffered 15–20% water strider mortality during our experiment (versus no mortality in predator-free pools). Extant theory suggests that when prey face conflicting microhabitat responses to two predators (as in this study), the predators should have facilitative effects on predation rates (i.e., prey that avoid one predator are often killed by the other and vice versa). Mortality rates in pools with both predators present, however, were not significantly different from that predicted by a null model of multiple predator effects. The lack of predator facilitation can be explained by the compensatory reductions in water strider activity and mating activity in the presence of both predators.
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  • 8
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Oecologia 117 (1998), S. 300-300 
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
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  • 9
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Interspecific interactions ; Competition ; Coccinellidae ; Biological control ; Intraguild predation
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Coccinella septempunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a Palearctic coccinellid, has established and rapidly spread throughout the United States. This quantitative examination of larval interactions between C. septempunctata and Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), a Nearctic coccinellid, was conducted under controlled prey densities. Larvae of both coccinellid species are affected by a limited diet [one pea aphid per day Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) (Homoptera: Aphididae)] compared with an excess diet (〉20 aphids per day). Larval survival decreased from 86 to 63% in C. maculata and from 84 to 33% in C. septempunctata; mean preimaginal developmental time increased from 20.6 to 26.7 days in C. maculata, and from 18.1 to 32.0 days in C. septempunctata. Additionally, on one aphid per day, mean adult weight was reduced from 12.39 to 9.79 mg in C. maculata, and from 39.57 to 14.44 mg in C. septempunctata. Interspecific interactions, favoring C. septempunctata over C. maculata at a␣low prey density (one aphid per day), take the form of␣reduced survival of C. maculata compared with C.␣septempunctata (14 versus 66%). Reduced survival of␣C. maculata may be the result of competition for aphids or intraguild predation by C. septempunctata on C.␣maculata. No interspecific interactions (measured as effects on larval survival, preimaginal developmental time, and adult weight) were observed between larvae of these two species at a high prey density (〉20 aphids per predator per day).
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  • 10
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key words Brood parasitism ; Clamator glandarius ; Egg laying ; Multiple parasitism ; Territory
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract We analysed the spatial and temporal pattern of egg laying in great spotted cuckoo females using microsatellite typing to determine parentage of the eggs and nestlings found in host (magpie) nests. The results showed that there were no exclusive laying territories in the study area. Cases of multiparasitism could be due to single females laying two or more eggs in a nest, or to several females using the same nest. In the latter case multiparasitism was due to a shortage of available host nests. We argue that the need for very large laying areas and the likely small cost of sharing parental care for chicks make the costs of defending territories higher than the benefits, which has constrained the evolution of territoriality in this species.
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