Male Teleopsis dalmanni showing his sexually selected eyestalks. Photo by Rob Knell.
Issue 86:1 is now out including an editorial announcing some new journal initiatives a paper on ‘How to…’ include genetic groups in quantitative genetic animal models by Matthew Wolak and Jane Reid and of course a great collection of original research papers.
The In Focus written by Ruth Hufbauer looks at the paper by Natalie Wagner on how the genetic mixture of multiple source populations accelerates invasive range expansion.
To make the most of all the great photos from our authors below is a slideshow of the best images.
Read the full January 2017 issue here.
The authors tested for an ecological trap (ET) in south-east British Columbia where human settlement and rich grizzly bear habitat overlap. Bears occupying the ET faced survival consequences, which produced source–sink dynamics with far-reaching effects. To date, this is the most rigorous test of an ET for a large mammal. Lamb et al. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12589
In this paper, the authors show that in stark opposition to common wisdom, tail autotomy, a well-known antipredator defence mechanism in lizards, is more strongly driven by intraspecific aggression and is negatively associated with predation across insular and mainland populations of Mediterranean geckos. Itescu et al. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12591
Light-level geolocators revealed that African departure rather than migration speed determines variation in spring arrival in Dutch pied flycatchers. This implies that advancements in spring arrival to respond to environmental change at the breeding grounds require changes in spring departure from Africa, with little opportunity for faster migration. Ouwehand & Both. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12599
American kestrels, inhabiting a mosaic of habitats, nested earlier in response to earlier prey availability in agriculture, but not wildlands. Prey in agriculture were earlier because farmers planted crops earlier following warmer winters. This suggests an association between human adaptation to climate change and shifts in breeding phenology of wildlife. Smith et al. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12604
Choosy females and males with bright or loud displays can change how a population responds to environmental stress. Large populations are made more resilient to stress, but small populations are more vulnerable. Martínez-Ruiz & Knell. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12601
The unprecedented rates of defaunation, that is the loss of medium and large animals from ecosystems, are among the main features distinguishing the Anthropocene. With the fading of their populations, all their trophic interactions are also vanishing with unanticipated effects on the coexistence of other non-target species. Peguero et al. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12590
Shrub cover has increased throughout Earth’s rangelands. The authors propose a novel model accounting for this ‘shrub encroachment’: trophic cascades induced by apex predator extirpation facilitate shrub recruitment and success. GIS tools, field data and statistical techniques are used to test this model in arid Australia. Gordon et al. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12607
The authors explored detailed spatiotemporal effects of male hunting on juvenile survival in brown bears, a species with sexually selected infanticide. The distribution of kills might be more important for juvenile survival than the number of males killed. Thus, reducing harvest intensity might not always increase population growth. Gosselin et al. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12576
Few estimates of pair bond duration are available for social species, especially for carnivores. The authors found that wolf pair bond duration in Scandinavia was short (half of the dissolution events occurred after three consecutive winters), and dissolutions were mostly caused by humans. This shows the impact of extrinsic factors (i.e. humans) on the social unit of this large carnivore population. Milleret et al. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12587
Assistant Editor, Journal of Animal Ecology