This blog post is provided by Isobel Ollard and tells the #StoryBehindthePaper for the paper ‘Declines in freshwater mussel density, size and productivity in the River Thames over the past half century‘, which was recently published in Journal of Animal Ecology. The authors replicated a survey of freshwater mussels in the River Thames from the 1960s and mussel populations had declined to less than 10% … Continue reading Historical data show serious threats facing freshwater mussels in major UK river
Plants exhibit impressive genetic and chemical diversity, and this variation is important for structuring ecological communities. A recent paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology investigated this with regard to aphids and their host-plant tansy. Lead author Dr Sharon Zytynska from the Technical University of Munich tells us more about this study. The perennial tansy plant (Tanacetum vulgare) grows steadily throughout the spring, producing heads … Continue reading The invisible interplay between herbivorous insects and their monitoring ants on a chemically diverse plant
Understanding the trade-offs between survival and reproduction is essential for the study of population dynamics. A recent paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology used a novel statistical framework to reveal previously unknown life-cycle trends for two sympatric bat species. Lead author Dr Antica Culina from the University of Oxford and Netherlands Institute of Ecology, explains the research. Survival and reproduction both require energy, which is generally … Continue reading Live fast, don’t die young
A recent paper published in the Journal of Animal Ecology has found that a chronic shortage of females in a critically endangered parrot species has led to love triangles, sneaky sex on the side, increased fighting between males, and fewer babies. Here to tell us more are three of the authors: Rob Heinsohn, George Olah, and Dejan Stojanovic. Most birds are at least socially monogamous, … Continue reading A high cost of infidelity for swift parrots
For many species, breeding performance changes as an individual ages. So in order to properly monitor and manage animal populations, it is important to understand how different species age. But this is easier said than done! A recent paper published in the Journal of Animal Ecology used a unique dataset from a reintroduced population of white‐tailed eagles in Scotland to study age‐ and sex‐specific trends. Lead author … Continue reading Aging in Eagles
We are in great need of an integrative framework that allows ecologists to predict life history strategies from functional traits that inform on population performance. The aim of a recent British Ecological Society cross-journal Special Feature is to link organismal functions, life history strategies and population performance. Here, Dr Isabel Smallegange discusses a test published within this Special Feature that shows how a recently developed dynamic energy … Continue reading Can traits of individuals inform on how populations respond to change?
This guest post by Professor Charles J. Krebs (Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia) looks back at his experiences studying population cycles across several decades, his work with Charles Elton and the team of people who made such work possible. In 1959 I began my Ph.D. research on lemming cycles under Dr. Ian McTaggart Cowan at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. To … Continue reading Population Cycles: Historical Notes from the Bureau of Animal Population to 2018
Today the paper that introduces the COMADRE Animal Matrix Database was published in Journal of Animal Ecology (Salguero-Gómez et al. 2016). This is an international effort in collaboration with ca. 10 other institutions. Our main goal was to replicate the impact that its sister database, the COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database (Salguero-Gómez et al. 2015) has had for plant ecology and evolution, but in the rich animal kingdom. Open access to the database itself can be gained from the COMADRE website.
Continue reading “Global demography in the animal kingdom”