Ecology Research Paper

 

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Most-cited in 2014 |Most cited of all time |Most-Downloaded in 2015|Most-Downloaded of all time|Highest altmetric score

Top 10 most cited papers published in 2014 (vol 83)

When and where does mortality occur in migratory birds? Direct evidence from long- term satellite tracking of raptors
Raymond H. G. Klaassen Mikael Hake, Roine Strandberg et al.

Temperature dependence of trophic interactions are driven by asymmetry of species responses and foraging strategy
Anthony I. Dell, Samraat Pawar & Van M. Savage

Linking manipulative experiments to field data to test the dilution effect
Matthew D. Venesky, Xuan Liu; Erin L. Sauer et al.

Changes in predator community structure shifts the efficacy of two warning signals in Arctiid moths
Ossi Nokelainen, Janne Valkonen, Carita Lindstedt et al.

Increasing density leads to generalization in both coarse-grained habitat selection and fine-grained resource selection in a large mammal
Floris M. van Beest, Antonio Uzal, Eric Vander Wal et al.

Spatio-temporal dynamics in the response of woodland caribou and moose to the passage of grey wolf
Guillaume Latombe, Daniel Fortin & Lael Parrott

Individual-based measurements of light intensity provide new insights into the effects of artificial light at night on daily rhythms of urban-dwelling songbirds
Davide M. Dominoni, Esther O. Carmona-Wagner, Michaela Hofmann et al.

Reconciling theories for metabolic scaling
James L Maino, Michael R. Kearney, Roger M. Nisbet et al.

Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears in Yellowstone
William J. Ripple, Robert L. Beschta, Jennifer K. Fortin et al.

The invasion of southern South America by imported bumblebees and associated parasites
Regula Schmid-Hempel, Michael Eckhardt, David Goulson et al.

Top 10 most cited papers of all time

Directions in conservation biology
G CAUGHLEY
Volume: 63 Issue: 2

A practical model of metapopulation dynamics
I HANSKI
Volume: 63 Issue: 1

A working guide to boosted regression trees
J. Elith, J. R. Leathwick, T. Hastie
Volume: 77 Issue: 4

Measuring beta diversity for presence-absence data
P. Koleff, K.J. Gaston, J.J.Lennon
Volume: 72 Issue: 3

Why do we still use stepwise modelling in ecology and behaviour?
Mark J Whittingham Philip A. Stephens, Richard B. Bradbury, et al.
Volume: 75 Issue: 5

Scaling of metabolic rate with body mass and temperature in teleost fish
A. Clarke, N.M. Johnston
Volume: 68 Issue: 5

Using stable isotopes to determine seabird trophic relationships
K.A. HOBSON, J.F. PIATT, J. PITOCCHELLI
Volume: 63 Issue: 4

Patterns of natal and breeding dispersal in birds
E. Paradis, S.R. Baillie, W.J. Sutherland, et al.
Volume: 67 Issue: 4

Variation in survivorship of a migratory songbird throughout its annual cycle
T.S. Sillett, R.T. Holmes
Volume: 71 Issue: 2

Forum
Determining trophic niche width: a novel approach using stable isotope analysis
S. Bearhop, C.E. Adams, S. Waldron, et al.
Volume: 73 Issue: 5

Top 10 Most downloaded papers published in 2015 (vol 84)

Unravelling the annual cycle in a migratory animal: breeding‐season habitat loss drives population declines of monarch butterflies
D. T. Tyler Flockhart, Jean-Baptiste Pichancourt, D. Ryan Norris and Tara G. Martin

‘How to…’ Paper
Constructing, conducting and interpreting animal social network analysis
Damien R. Farine and Hal Whitehead

A sting in the spit: widespread cross‐infection of multiple RNA viruses across wild and managed bees
Dino P. McMahon, Matthias A. Fürst, Jesicca Caspar et al.

Predator‐dependent functional response in wolves: from food limitation to surplus killing
Barbara Zimmermann, Håkan Sand, Petter Wabakken

Measuring β‐diversity with species abundance data
Louise J. Barwell, Nick J. B. Isaac and William E. Kunin

‘How to…’ Paper
On the variety of methods for calculating confidence intervals by bootstrapping
Marie-Therese Puth, Markus Neuhäuser and Graeme D. Ruxton

A continental scale trophic cascade from wolves through coyotes to foxes
Thomas M. Newsome and William J. Ripple

In hot and cold water: differential life‐history traits are key to success in contrasting thermal deep‐sea environments
Leigh Marsh, Jonathan T. Copley, Paul A. Tyler and Sven Thatje

Detailed monitoring of a small but recovering population reveals sublethal effects of disease and unexpected interactions with supplemental feeding
Simon Tollington, Andrew Greenwood, Carl G. Jones

How Ebola impacts social dynamics in gorillas: a multistate modelling approach
Céline Genton, Amandine Pierre, Romane Cristescu et al.

Top 10 most downloaded papers of all time

A working guide to boosted regression trees
J. Elith, J. R. Leathwick and T. Hastie
Volume: 77 Issue: 4

Scaling of metabolic rate with body mass and temperature in teleost fish
Andrew Clarke and Nadine M. Johnston
Volume: 68 Issue: 5

The species–accumulation curve and estimation of species richness
Karl I. Ugland, John S. Gray and Kari E. Ellingsen
Volume: 72 Issue: 5

Why do we still use stepwise modelling in ecology and behaviour?
MARK J. WHITTINGHAM, PHILIP A. STEPHENS, RICHARD B. BRADBURY and ROBERT P. FRECKLETON
Volume: 75 Issue: 5

Measuring beta diversity for presence–absence data
Patricia Koleff, Kevin J. Gaston, and Jack J. Lennon
Volume: 72 Issue: 3

Cascading top‐down effects of changing oceanic predator abundances
Julia K. Baum and Boris Worm
Volume: 78 Issue: 4

Unravelling the annual cycle in a migratory animal: breeding‐season habitat loss drives population declines of monarch butterflies
D. T. Tyler Flockhart, Jean-Baptiste Pichancourt, D. Ryan Norris and Tara G. Martin
Volume: 84 Issue: 1

Comparing isotopic niche widths among and within communities: SIBER – Stable Isotope Bayesian Ellipses in R
Andrew L. Jackson, Richard Inger, Andrew C. Parnell and Stuart Bearhop
Volume: 80 Issue: 3

‘How to…’ Paper
Quantifying individual variation in behaviour: mixed‐effect modelling approaches
Niels J. Dingemanse, and Ned A. Dochtermann
Volume: 82 Issue: 1

Alien species and interspecific competition: effects of introduced eastern grey squirrels on red squirrel population dynamics
John Gurnell, Luc A. Wauters, Peter W. W. Lurz and Guido Tosi
Volume: 73 Issue: 1
 

Top 10 Highest Altmetric scoring papers in 2015

Aggregation of Predators and Insect Parasites and its Effect on Stability
M. P. Hassell and R. M. May
Volume: 43 Issue: 2

Unravelling the annual cycle in a migratory animal: breeding‐season habitat loss drives population declines of monarch butterflies
D. T. Tyler Flockhart, Jean-Baptiste Pichancourt, D. Ryan Norris and Tara G. Martin
Volume: 84 Issue: 1

Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears in Yellowstone
William J. Ripple1, Robert L. Beschta, Jennifer K. Fortin and Charles T. Robbins
Volume: 83 Issue: 1

Resource specialists lead local insect community turnover associated with temperature – analysis of an 18-year full-seasonal record of moths and beetles
Philip Francis Thomsen1, Peter Søgaard Jørgensen, Hans Henrik Bruun et al
Volume: 85 Issue: 1

A sting in the spit: widespread cross‐infection of multiple RNA viruses across wild and managed bees
Dino P. McMahon, Matthias A. Fürst, Jesicca Caspar et al.
Volume: Issue:

Ocean sunfish rewarm at the surface after deep excursions to forage for siphonophores
Itsumi Nakamura, Yusuke Goto and Katsufumi Sato
Volume: 84 Issue: 3

No need for disease: testing extinction hypotheses for the thylacine using multi-species metamodels
Thomas A. A. Prowse, Christopher N. Johnson, Robert C. Lacy et al.
Volume: 82 Issue: 2

In hot and cold water: differential life‐history traits are key to success in contrasting thermal deep‐sea environments
Leigh Marsh, Jonathan T. Copley, Paul A. Tyler and Sven Thatje
Volume: 84 Issue: 4

Migration phenology and seasonal fidelity of an Arctic marine predator in relation to sea ice dynamics
Seth G. Cherry, Andrew E. Derocher, Gregory W. Thiemann and Nicholas J. Lunn
Volume: 82 Issue: 4

Causes and consequences of repeatability, flexibility and individual fine‐tuning of migratory timing in pike
Petter Tibblin, Anders Forsman, Tobias Borger and Per Larsson
Volume: 85 Issue: 1
 

 

Humans are known to alter the planet. One efficient way is by adding new species to ecosystems. People accidentally (and oftentimes deliberately) transport species from place to place in airplanes, boats and cars. Humans are known, too, to even remove a species entirely from its ecosystem by overhunting or by destroying the species' habitat. What, if any, are the consequences of such actions? How do they impact ecosystems?

In May 2014, Ashkaan K. Fahimipour, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology at the University of California, Riverside, and a colleague published a research paper in Ecology Letters, a top journal in the field of ecology, in which they manipulated many ecosystems at once to examine how the connections between species change over time.

That paper, titled "The Dynamics of Assembling Food Webs," has now been selected as this year's recipient of the Thomas M. Frost Award for Excellence in Graduate Research, sponsored by the aquatic section of the Ecological Society of America. Named for a creative scientist, the prize honors his commitment to aquatic ecology and graduate student education.

Fahimipour and coauthor Andrew M. Hein of Princeton University will receive a plaque and a cash award this month in Sacramento, Calif., at the 99th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.

"This study is really important because Ashkaan and his colleague followed the linkages among the species over a long time span; I know of no other experiment that does this," said Kurt E. Anderson, an assistant professor of biology at UC Riverside and Fahimipour's adviser. "The uniqueness of their data has already attracted great attention, with Ashkaan fielding many requests for data by researchers who are interested in conducting further analyses."

Fahimipour explained that ecosystems are collections of plants, animals, and other living things that grow and interact with one another around us. To protect and preserve our environment, we need to understand how they work, he said.

"If we're going to avoid destroying the environment around us, we need to understand how species are linked to one another and how our actions affect these linkages," he said. "But it's hard to look at a whole ecosystem such as an Alaskan forest or an African savanna at once because they are so big."

To circumvent this problem, ecologists often settle for smaller ecosystems to study and manipulate in a controlled way—which is just how Fahimipour and Hein proceeded. In their study, one of the few to look at how linkages between species change through time, they studied small ponds (42plastic wading pools) and more than 130 species—including algae, zooplankton, microcrustaceans, mosquitoes, flies, beetles, dragonflies, tadpoles and hitch-hiking mites—they encountered living in them. They found many patterns that have never been seen before—such as changes in the network structure of interacting plants and animals within these ecosystems.

To do the research, Fahimipour and Hein added species (a mixture of zooplankton and insects) to half of their artificial ponds. In the remaining half they added no species. They then laboriously tracked all the species in all the ponds for about 10 weeks, which allowed them to study how species' interactions changed over the course of the experiment.

"What our experiments showed us is that life is unfair in these little ponds—to put it simply," Fahimipour said. "A few species consume almost all of the resources and thrived. The rest did not, and dwindled in number. Many studies have shown that nature seems to exhibit striking regularities across habitats. So, if you look at a lake in North America and compare it to a community of soil microbes in Asia, they will have certain similarities, especially regarding the way in which species are connected to one another via interactions. Our study makes a step toward understanding how and why these regularities arise using a model system."

Because ecosystems are always changing, Fahimipour and Hein conclude that an ecosystem has to be examined more than once to understand how it works.

"These types of studies are rare," Fahimipour said. "It's a matter of theory far outpacing data in a scientific field. We have all of these ideas from mathematical models and simulations about how ecosystems should change through time, but no one has actually observed these hypothesized patterns before. We need to start understanding these changes over time. This is because ecosystems are so variable, and something that we learn about a particular ecosystem today may not be useful tomorrow because they change so rapidly."

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