Ecology

  • Article | | open

    The geographical distribution and controlling factors of marine N2 fixation are understudied. Here the authors find increasing rates of N2 fixation from the Sargasso Sea to the coastal waters of North America, driven primarily by cyanobacterial diazotrophs and best correlated with phosphorus availability and chlorophyll-a concentrations.

    • Weiyi Tang
    • , Seaver Wang
    • , Debany Fonseca-Batista
    • , Frank Dehairs
    • , Scott Gifford
    • , Aridane G. Gonzalez
    • , Morgane Gallinari
    • , Hélène Planquette
    • , Géraldine Sarthou
    •  & Nicolas Cassar
  • Article | | open

    The nature of the microbial reactions occurring during cap rock formation is poorly understood. Here the authors find that sulfur and carbon isotope signatures indicate sulfate-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) as a primary driver of cap rock carbonate formation.

    • K. H. Caesar
    • , J. R. Kyle
    • , T. W. Lyons
    • , A. Tripati
    •  & S. J. Loyd
  • Article | | open

    Viruses can encode genes that regulate the host's translational machinery to their advantage. Here, the authors show that viruses encode ribosomal proteins that can be incorporated into the host’s ribosome and may affect translation.

    • Carolina M. Mizuno
    • , Charlotte Guyomar
    • , Simon Roux
    • , Régis Lavigne
    • , Francisco Rodriguez-Valera
    • , Matthew B. Sullivan
    • , Reynald Gillet
    • , Patrick Forterre
    •  & Mart Krupovic
  • Article | | open

    It is unclear whether CO2-stimulation of photosynthesis can propagate through slower ecosystem processes and lead to long-term increases in terrestrial carbon. Here the authors show that CO2-stimulation of photosynthesis leads to a 30% increase in forest regrowth over a decade of CO2 enrichment.

    • Anthony P. Walker
    • , Martin G. De Kauwe
    • , Belinda E. Medlyn
    • , Sönke Zaehle
    • , Colleen M. Iversen
    • , Shinichi Asao
    • , Bertrand Guenet
    • , Anna Harper
    • , Thomas Hickler
    • , Bruce A. Hungate
    • , Atul K. Jain
    • , Yiqi Luo
    • , Xingjie Lu
    • , Meng Lu
    • , Kristina Luus
    • , J. Patrick Megonigal
    • , Ram Oren
    • , Edmund Ryan
    • , Shijie Shu
    • , Alan Talhelm
    • , Ying-Ping Wang
    • , Jeffrey M. Warren
    • , Christian Werner
    • , Jianyang Xia
    • , Bai Yang
    • , Donald R. Zak
    •  & Richard J. Norby
  • Article | | open

    Historical and future trends in net primary productivity (NPP) and its sensitivity to global change are largely unknown because of the lack of long-term, high-resolution data. Here the authors show that tree-ring isotopes can be used for inferring interannual variability and long-term changes in NPP.

    • Mathieu Levesque
    • , Laia Andreu-Hayles
    • , William Kolby Smith
    • , A. Park Williams
    • , Martina L. Hobi
    • , Brady W. Allred
    •  & Neil Pederson
  • Article | | open

    Abandoned and degraded agricultural lands undergo ecological succession that sequesters atmospheric CO2 as soil carbon, but at low rates. Here the authors show that restoration of high plant diversity provides a greenhouse gas benefit by greatly increasing the rate of soil carbon sequestration on such lands.

    • Yi Yang
    • , David Tilman
    • , George Furey
    •  & Clarence Lehman
  • Article | | open

    Oxidation of magnetite has broad implications in geochemistry and environmental science, but its reaction mechanisms are not fully understood yet. Here the authors use Bragg coherent diffractive imaging to show oxidative dissolution of magnetite inducing a rich array of strain and defect structures.

    • Ke Yuan
    • , Sang Soo Lee
    • , Wonsuk Cha
    • , Andrew Ulvestad
    • , Hyunjung Kim
    • , Bektur Abdilla
    • , Neil C. Sturchio
    •  & Paul Fenter
  • Article | | open

    There has been a lack of multi-year landscape-scale studies on the effect of neonicotinoids on honeybee health. Here, Osterman et al. show that clothianidin exposure via seed-treated rapeseed has no negative impact on honeybee colony development, microbial pathogens/symbionts or immune gene expression.

    • Julia Osterman
    • , Dimitry Wintermantel
    • , Barbara Locke
    • , Ove Jonsson
    • , Emilia Semberg
    • , Piero Onorati
    • , Eva Forsgren
    • , Peter Rosenkranz
    • , Thorsten Rahbek-Pedersen
    • , Riccardo Bommarco
    • , Henrik G. Smith
    • , Maj Rundlöf
    •  & Joachim R. de Miranda
  • Article | | open

    Fire-derived organic matter (OM) is present throughout the environment, and its impact on nutrient cycling remains poorly understood. Here, the authors show that this pyrogenic OM can retain large quantities of ammonia through covalent bond formation, thereby exerting an important control on nitrogen cycling.

    • Rachel Hestrin
    • , Dorisel Torres-Rojas
    • , James J. Dynes
    • , James M. Hook
    • , Tom Z. Regier
    • , Adam W. Gillespie
    • , Ronald J. Smernik
    •  & Johannes Lehmann
  • Article | | open

    Changing rainfall patterns may drive changes in the structure of tropical savanna. Here Zhang et al. use satellite data from global tropical savannas, and find evidence to suggest that altered rainfall may be favouring woody plants over herbaceous plants in these ecosystems.

    • Wenmin Zhang
    • , Martin Brandt
    • , Josep Penuelas
    • , Françoise Guichard
    • , Xiaoye Tong
    • , Feng Tian
    •  & Rasmus Fensholt
  • Article | | open

    The pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa undergoes complex trait adaptation within cystic fibrosis patients. Here, Bartell, Sommer, and colleagues use statistical modeling of longitudinal isolates to characterize the joint genetic and phenotypic evolutionary trajectories of P. aeruginosa within hosts.

    • Jennifer A. Bartell
    • , Lea M. Sommer
    • , Janus A. J. Haagensen
    • , Anne Loch
    • , Rocio Espinosa
    • , Søren Molin
    •  & Helle Krogh Johansen
  • Article | | open

    Ferromanganese minerals are abundant in marine environments but the extent of these minerals in subseafloor sediments remains unknown. Here the authors find abundant ferromanganese microparticles in oxic pelagic clays, accounting for 14–16% of the new estimate of the global manganese budget (9.2–47.4 Tt).

    • Go-Ichiro Uramoto
    • , Yuki Morono
    • , Naotaka Tomioka
    • , Shigeyuki Wakaki
    • , Ryoichi Nakada
    • , Rota Wagai
    • , Kentaro Uesugi
    • , Akihisa Takeuchi
    • , Masato Hoshino
    • , Yoshio Suzuki
    • , Fumito Shiraishi
    • , Satoshi Mitsunobu
    • , Hiroki Suga
    • , Yasuo Takeichi
    • , Yoshio Takahashi
    •  & Fumio Inagaki
  • Article | | open

    Reversible phenotypic plasticity is expected to be favoured by long lifespan, as this increases the environmental variation individuals experience. Here, the authors develop a model showing how phenotypic plasticity can drive selection on lifespan, leading to coevolution of these traits.

    • Irja I. Ratikainen
    •  & Hanna Kokko
  • Article | | open

    Recent efforts have been made to apply ecological theory on succession to understand the dynamics of human microbiomes throughout development. Here, Guittar et al. use a trait-based approach to show how microbial traits putatively related to dispersal and environmental tolerance shift in the infant microbiome over the first three years of life.

    • John Guittar
    • , Ashley Shade
    •  & Elena Litchman
  • Article | | open

    Previous surveys of global ocean microbial diversity have focused on planktonic microbes. Here, Zhang et al. use metagenomics to study biofilm-forming marine microbes, increasing the known microbial diversity in the oceans by more than 20% and revealing new biosynthetic gene clusters and CRISPR-Cas systems.

    • Weipeng Zhang
    • , Wei Ding
    • , Yong-Xin Li
    • , Chunkit Tam
    • , Salim Bougouffa
    • , Ruojun Wang
    • , Bite Pei
    • , Hoyin Chiang
    • , Pokman Leung
    • , Yanhong Lu
    • , Jin Sun
    • , He Fu
    • , Vladimir B Bajic
    • , Hongbin Liu
    • , Nicole S. Webster
    •  & Pei-Yuan Qian
  • Article | | open

    It remains unclear when and why the world’s oceans, once largely occupied by bacteria, became dominated by photosynthetic algae. Here, using fossil lipids in million year old rocks, the authors show that predation after the Snowball Earth glaciations created the opportunity for a global shift to algal ecosystems.

    • Lennart M. van Maldegem
    • , Pierre Sansjofre
    • , Johan W. H. Weijers
    • , Klaus Wolkenstein
    • , Paul K. Strother
    • , Lars Wörmer
    • , Jens Hefter
    • , Benjamin J. Nettersheim
    • , Yosuke Hoshino
    • , Stefan Schouten
    • , Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté
    • , Nilamoni Nath
    • , Christian Griesinger
    • , Nikolay B. Kuznetsov
    • , Marcel Elie
    • , Marcus Elvert
    • , Erik Tegelaar
    • , Gerd Gleixner
    •  & Christian Hallmann
  • Article | | open

    The underlying mechanisms structuring dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition and reactivity in rivers remain poorly quantified. Here, the authors pair mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectroscopy to show that hydrology and river geomorphology both shape molecular patterns in DOM composition.

    • Laurel M. Lynch
    • , Nicholas A. Sutfin
    • , Timothy S. Fegel
    • , Claudia M. Boot
    • , Timothy P. Covino
    •  & Matthew D. Wallenstein
  • Article | | open

    The structure and distribution of strain-level diversity in host-associated bacterial communities is largely unexplored. Here, Ellegaard and Engel analyze strain level diversity of the honey bee gut microbiota, showing that bees from the same colony differ in strain but not phylotype composition.

    • Kirsten M. Ellegaard
    •  & Philipp Engel
  • Article | | open

    The continental record of the end Permian mass extinction is limited, especially from high paleolatitudes. Here, Fielding et al. report a multi-proxy Permo-Triassic record from Australia, resolving the timing of local terrestrial plant extinction and the relationship with environmental changes.

    • Christopher R. Fielding
    • , Tracy D. Frank
    • , Stephen McLoughlin
    • , Vivi Vajda
    • , Chris Mays
    • , Allen P. Tevyaw
    • , Arne Winguth
    • , Cornelia Winguth
    • , Robert S. Nicoll
    • , Malcolm Bocking
    •  & James L. Crowley
  • Article | | open

    It has been thought that land plants suffered a mass extinction along with animals at the end of the Permian. Here, Nowak et al. show that the apparent plant mass extinction is a result of biases in the fossil record and their reanalysis suggests a lower magnitude and more selective plant extinction.

    • Hendrik Nowak
    • , Elke Schneebeli-Hermann
    •  & Evelyn Kustatscher
  • Article | | open

    The utility of UV vision for visualizing habitat structure is poorly known. Here, the authors use optical models and multispectral imaging to show that UV vision reveals sharp visual contrasts between leaf surfaces, potentially an advantage in navigating forest environments.

    • Cynthia Tedore
    •  & Dan-Eric Nilsson
  • Article | | open

    Given the size differences between the autotrophs in aquatic and terrestrial systems, it is unclear whether the same metabolic scaling patterns apply in both groups. Here the authors unify previous datasets and show that plankton and trees follow similar power-law scaling of individual size distributions.

    • Daniel M. Perkins
    • , Andrea Perna
    • , Rita Adrian
    • , Pedro Cermeño
    • , Ursula Gaedke
    • , Maria Huete-Ortega
    • , Ethan P. White
    •  & Gabriel Yvon-Durocher
  • Article | | open

    Phylogenetic turnover measures the evolutionary distance between species assemblages. Here, Saladin et al. analyze the phylogenetic turnover of European tetrapods after controlling for geographic distance and show greater roles of environment in recent evolutionary history for ectotherms than for endotherms.

    • Bianca Saladin
    • , Wilfried Thuiller
    • , Catherine H. Graham
    • , Sébastien Lavergne
    • , Luigi Maiorano
    • , Nicolas Salamin
    •  & Niklaus E. Zimmermann
  • Article | | open

    Biological complexity has impeded our ability to predict the dynamics of mutualistic interactions. Here, the authors deduce a general rule to predict outcomes of mutualistic systems and introduce an approach that permits making predictions even in the absence of knowledge of mechanistic details.

    • Feilun Wu
    • , Allison J. Lopatkin
    • , Daniel A. Needs
    • , Charlotte T. Lee
    • , Sayan Mukherjee
    •  & Lingchong You
  • Article | | open

    Understanding the role of forest fires in Earth’s climate system is critical to predict future fire-climate interactions. Here the authors show that fire-induced forest loss accounts for ~15% of global forest loss and that its impact on surface temperature depends on evapotranspiration and albedo.

    • Zhihua Liu
    • , Ashley P. Ballantyne
    •  & L. Annie Cooper
  • Article | | open

    Stocking of hatchery produced fish is widely used to supplement wild fish populations. Here, the authors show that supplementary stocking can unintentionally favour introgressed individuals with domestic genotypes and compromise the fitness of a wild population of Atlantic salmon.

    • Ingerid J. Hagen
    • , Arne J. Jensen
    • , Geir H. Bolstad
    • , Ola H. Diserud
    • , Kjetil Hindar
    • , Håvard Lo
    •  & Sten Karlsson
  • Article | | open

    Increased extreme wet and dry years and forest growth loss from drought legacy effect lead to a question whether wetness events can conversely compensate for this loss. Here the authors report substantial growth enhancement after extreme wetness compensating for drought-induced growth loss globally.

    • Peng Jiang
    • , Hongyan Liu
    • , Shilong Piao
    • , Philippe Ciais
    • , Xiuchen Wu
    • , Yi Yin
    •  & Hongya Wang
  • Article | | open

    Primates utilise human-modified landscapes, and how they do so can provide key conservation insights. This study shows that primates using anthropic lands are less often threatened with extinction, but more often diurnal, not strictly arboreal, with medium or large body sizes, and habitat generalists.

    • Carmen Galán-Acedo
    • , Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez
    • , Ellen Andresen
    • , Luis Verde Arregoitia
    • , Ernesto Vega
    • , Carlos A. Peres
    •  & Robert M. Ewers
  • Article | | open

    Our knowledge of DNA methylation systems in prokaryotes is mostly limited to those of culturable microbes. Here, Hiraoka et al. analyse DNA methylation patterns in metagenomic data from a microbial community, revealing new methylated motifs and experimentally validating the methyltransferases’ specificities.

    • Satoshi Hiraoka
    • , Yusuke Okazaki
    • , Mizue Anda
    • , Atsushi Toyoda
    • , Shin-ichi Nakano
    •  & Wataru Iwasaki
  • Article | | open

    Changes in S-isotope ratios over time provide clues to understanding the co-evolution of Earth and its biosphere. Here the authors determine the isotope effect of the first reductive enzyme in the sulfate respiration pathway and reinterpret sedimentary S-isotope records based on this biochemical constraint.

    • Min Sub Sim
    • , Hideaki Ogata
    • , Wolfgang Lubitz
    • , Jess F. Adkins
    • , Alex L. Sessions
    • , Victoria J. Orphan
    •  & Shawn E. McGlynn
  • Article | | open

    Examples of overdominance are usually explained by deleterious effects in homozygotes. Here, Kellenberger et al. describe a case of overdominance in the floral color of the Alpine orchid Gymnadenia rhellicani apparently maintained by pollinator preferences without deleterious effects in homozygotes.

    • Roman T. Kellenberger
    • , Kelsey J. R. P. Byers
    • , Rita M. De Brito Francisco
    • , Yannick M. Staedler
    • , Amy M. LaFountain
    • , Jürg Schönenberger
    • , Florian P. Schiestl
    •  & Philipp M. Schlüter
  • Article | | open

    Flaviviruses have emerged or re-emerged in several regions, but factors underlying emergence are incompletely understood. Here, Pandit et al. identify potential sylvatic reservoirs of flaviviruses and, in combination with vector distribution data, predict regions of global vulnerability.

    • Pranav S. Pandit
    • , Megan M. Doyle
    • , Katrina M. Smart
    • , Cristin C. W. Young
    • , Gaylen W. Drape
    •  & Christine K. Johnson
  • Article | | open

    The occurrence and distribution of permafrost region disturbances (PRDs) remain poorly resolved across the Arctic and Subarctic. Here, the authors quantify the abundance and distribution of three primary PRDs using a time-series analysis of 30-m resolution Landsat imagery between 1999 and 2014.

    • I. Nitze
    • , G. Grosse
    • , B. M. Jones
    • , V. E. Romanovsky
    •  & J. Boike
  • Article | | open

    Here, Liu et al. compare the genomic signatures of two tree species, one of which had undergone population collapse. The declining species had low genetic diversity, but had more strongly purged severely deleterious recessive variations, likely due to inbreeding and perhaps mitigating extinction risk.

    • Yongzhi Yang
    • , Tao Ma
    • , Zefu Wang
    • , Zhiqiang Lu
    • , Ying Li
    • , Chengxin Fu
    • , Xiaoyong Chen
    • , Mingshui Zhao
    • , Matthew S. Olson
    •  & Jianquan Liu
  • Article | | open

    Particulate optical backscattering is key to studying the oceanic carbon pump though it remains unclear what particles are detected. Here the authors show that complex particles larger than 1 µm help reproduce all the measured backscattering across the Atlantic Ocean and explain the majority of the signal.

    • Emanuele Organelli
    • , Giorgio Dall’Olmo
    • , Robert J. W. Brewin
    • , Glen A. Tarran
    • , Emmanuel Boss
    •  & Annick Bricaud
  • Article | | open

    There has been recent interest in understanding why the biodiversity-productivity relationship varies among studies and across scales. Here Fei et al. show that climatic variation drives forest biodiversity-productivity relationships at large spatial scales, whilst biotic and abiotic factors are important in given climate units.

    • Songlin Fei
    • , Insu Jo
    • , Qinfeng Guo
    • , David A. Wardle
    • , Jingyun Fang
    • , Anping Chen
    • , Christopher M. Oswalt
    •  & Eckehard G. Brockerhoff
  • Article | | open

    The potential impact of neonicotinoid field exposure on bumblebee microbiota remains unclear. In a landscape—scale study, Wintermantel et al. show that whilst exposure to clothianidin impacts Bombus terrestris performance, it does not affect levels of gut bacteria, viruses or intracellular parasites.

    • Dimitry Wintermantel
    • , Barbara Locke
    • , Georg K. S. Andersson
    • , Emilia Semberg
    • , Eva Forsgren
    • , Julia Osterman
    • , Thorsten Rahbek Pedersen
    • , Riccardo Bommarco
    • , Henrik G. Smith
    • , Maj Rundlöf
    •  & Joachim R. de Miranda
  • Article | | open

    It is unclear whether the gut microbiome can mitigate or exacerbate arsenic toxicity. Here, Coryell et al. show that the human gut microbiome protects mice from arsenic-induced mortality, with protection levels correlating with the relative abundance of the human commensal Faecalibacterium.

    • Michael Coryell
    • , Mark McAlpine
    • , Nicholas V. Pinkham
    • , Timothy R. McDermott
    •  & Seth T. Walk
  • Article | | open

    Fires cause large perturbations to terrestrial carbon cycle through direct carbon emissions. Here the authors combine several models and measurement datasets and show that fires can indirectly worsen the carbon loss through the net negative impacts on ecosystem productivity from fire ozone and aerosols.

    • Xu Yue
    •  & Nadine Unger
  • Article | | open

    The impacts of climate change on summer carbon cycling in the northern hemisphere remain poorly resolved. Here the authors use atmospheric CO2 records from Point Barrow (Alaska) to show that summer CO2 drawdown is significantly negatively correlated with terrestrial temperature north of 50°N between 1979–2012.

    • Tao Wang
    • , Dan Liu
    • , Shilong Piao
    • , Yilong Wang
    • , Xiaoyi Wang
    • , Hui Guo
    • , Xu Lian
    • , John F Burkhart
    • , Philippe Ciais
    • , Mengtian Huang
    • , Ivan Janssens
    • , Yue Li
    • , Yongwen Liu
    • , Josep Peñuelas
    • , Shushi Peng
    • , Hui Yang
    • , Yitong Yao
    • , Yi Yin
    •  & Yutong Zhao
  • Article | | open

    Although components of animal mating signals are often studied separately, many animals produce complex multimodal displays. Here, the authors show that the courtship display of male broad-tailed hummingbirds consists of synchronized motions, sounds, and colors that occur within just 300 milliseconds.

    • Benedict G. Hogan
    •  & Mary Caswell Stoddard
  • Article | | open

    Sampling strategies may bias tree-ring datasets to not accurately represent the regional response to climate change. Here, Klesse et al. use a new representative dataset to show that the International Tree-Ring Data Bank in the U.S. Southwest overestimates climate sensitivity of forests by 41–59%

    • Stefan Klesse
    • , R. Justin DeRose
    • , Christopher H. Guiterman
    • , Ann M. Lynch
    • , Christopher D. O’Connor
    • , John D. Shaw
    •  & Margaret E. K. Evans
  • Article | | open

    Locations in the ocean where CO2 naturally seeps from the seafloor can be used to infer potential responses to ocean acidification. Here the authors explore the functional composition of benthic communities along a natural CO2 gradient, showing a loss of functional diversity at high-CO2 sites.

    • Nuria Teixidó
    • , Maria Cristina Gambi
    • , Valeriano Parravacini
    • , Kristy Kroeker
    • , Fiorenza Micheli
    • , Sebastien Villéger
    •  & Enric Ballesteros
  • Article | | open

    Short-lived natural bromocarbons, which contribute to ozone depletion in the atmosphere, are believed to be produced through light-driven processes, mainly in oceans. Here the authors present bromocarbon measurements in snow, sea ice, and air during polar winter that show an unexpected source of bromine to the polar atmosphere during periods of no sunlight.

    • Katarina Abrahamsson
    • , Anna Granfors
    • , Martin Ahnoff
    • , Carlos A. Cuevas
    •  & Alfonso Saiz-Lopez