Pathogen persistence in host communities is influenced by a hierarchy of heterogeneities from individual host to landscape-level attributes, but isolating the relative contributions of these heterogeneities is challenging. We developed theory to partition the influence of host species, habitat patches, and landscape connectivity on pathogen persistence within host-pathogen metacommunities. We used the framework to quantify the contributions of host species composition and habitat patch identity on the persistence of an amphibian pathogen across the landscape. By sampling over 11,000 hosts of six amphibian species, we found that a single host species could maintain the pathogen in 91% of the metacommunities we observed. Moreover, this dominant maintenance species contributed, on average, twice as much to landscape-level pathogen persistence compared to the most influential source patch in a metacommunity. Our analysis demonstrates substantial inequality in how species and patches contribute to pathogen persistence, with important implications for targeted disease management.
The comment by Gamisch (2020) draws the attention of users of the R-package RPANDA (Morlon et al. 2016) on situations when properly interpreting the results of linear diversification dependencies requires caution. Here we provide clarifications to help users interpreting their results when using any type of functional diversification dependencies with time or the environment.
Plant-soil feedback is commonly pointed out as driver of plant community dynamics and species co-existence. However, experimental evidence for soil legacy effects of conditioning plant communities on responding plant communities under natural conditions is lacking. We conditioned 192 grassland plots with plant communities with different ratios of grasses and forbs and fast and slow-growing plants. Soil microbial legacies were most evident for soil fungi. Soil abiotic parameters did not change in response to conditioning. The soil legacies affected the composition of the succeeding vegetation. Plant communities of a specific functional type caused negative feedbacks on succeeding plants when they belonged to the same functional type. Richness, relative species cover and belowground biomass of the responding vegetation were all influenced by the growth rate of the conditioning community. We conclude that plant-soil feedbacks play an important role in vegetation assembly of natural communities.
Long-distance migrations by marine fish have long fascinated scientists, but are difficult to track by visual surveys. Here, we propose a new method to easily and precisely track such migrations using stable nitrogen isotopic composition at the base of the food web (δ15NBase), which can be estimated by using compound-specific isotope analysis. δ15NBase exclusively reflects the δ15N of nitrate in the ocean at a regional scale and is not affected by the trophic position of sampled organisms. We initially constructed a δ15NBase isoscape in the northern North Pacific, and determined retrospective δ15NBase values of chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) from their vertebral centra. Then, we estimated the migration routes of chum salmon during their skeletal growth by using a state-space model. Our isotope tracking method successfully reproduced a known chum salmon migration route between the Okhotsk and Bering seas, and indicates the presence of a novel migration route to the eastern Bering Sea Shelf during a later growth stage.
Grassland ecosystems account for more than 10% of the global CH4 sink in soils. A 4-year field experiment found that addition of P alone did not affect CH4 uptake and experimental addition of N alone significantly suppressed CH4 uptake, while concurrent N and P additions suppressed CH4 uptake to a lesser degree. A meta-analysis including 382 data points in global grasslands corroborated these findings. Global extrapolation with an empirical modeling approach estimated that contemporary N addition suppresses CH4 sink in global grassland by 11% and concurrent N and P deposition alleviates this suppression by 6%. The P alleviation of N-suppressed CH4 sink is primarily attributed to substrate competition, defined as the competition between ammonium and CH4 for the methane monooxygenase enzyme. The N and P impacts on CH4 uptake indicate that projected increases in N and P depositions might substantially affect CH4 uptake and alter the global CH4 cycle.
Underpinnings of the distribution of allopolyploid species (hybrids with duplicated genome) along spatial and ecological gradients are elusive. As allopolyploid speciation combines the range of genetic and ecological characteristics of divergent diploids, allopolyploids initially show their additivity and are predicted to evolve differentiated ecological niches to establish in face of their competition. Here, we use four diploid wild wheats that differentially combined into four independent allopolyploid species to test for such additivity and assess the impact of ecological constraints on species ranges. Divergent genetic variation from diploids being fixed in heterozygote allopolyploids supports their genetic additivity. Spatial integration of comparative phylogeography and modeling of climatic niches supports ecological additivity of locally adapted diploid progenitors into allopolyploid species which subsequently colonized wide ranges. Allopolyploids fill suitable range to a larger extent than diploids and conservative evolution following the combination of divergent species appears to support their expansion under environmental changes.