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Sökning: WFRF:(Ehrlén Johan) > (2005-2009)

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  • Föregående 123[4]
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  • von Zeipel, Hugo, 1973- (författare)
  • The spatial and temporal dynamics of plant-animal interactions in the forest herb Actaea spicata
  • 2007
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Landscape effects on species performance currently receives much attention. Habitat loss and fragmentation are considered major threats to species diversity. Deciduous forests in southern Sweden are previous wooded pastures that have become species-rich communities appearing as islands in agricultural landscapes, varying in species composition. Actaea spicata is a long-lived plant occurring in these forests. In 150 populations in a 10-km2 area, I studied pre-dispersal seed predation, seed dispersal and pollination. I investigated spatio-temporal dynamics of a tritrophic system including Actaea, a specialist seed predator, Eupithecia immundata, and its parasitoids. In addition, effects of biotic context on rodent fruit dispersal and effects of flowering time and flower number on seed set, seed predation and parasitization were studied. Insect incidences of both trophic levels were related to resource population size and small Eupithecia populations were maintained by the rescue effect. There was a unimodal relationship between seed predation and plant population size. Seed predator populations frequently went extinct in small plant populations, resulting in low average seed predation. Parasitoids were present in large plant populations but did not affect seed predator density. Seed predators aggregated at edges, relaxing seed predation in patch interiors. Flowering phenology was unrelated to seed set and insect incidence. A higher flower number did not influence seed predation but was associated with higher seed set and a tendency for a higher parasitization rate. In the study on fruit dispersal more fruits were removed inside than outside populations. Within plant populations more fruits were removed from large aggregations. Overall, this thesis underlines the importance of plant-animal interactions during different phases of the life cycle. The spatial configuration of host plants plays an important role for the outcome of plant-animal interactions and trophic cascades.
  • Wallin, Lotta, 1975- (författare)
  • Plant Population Dynamics and Conservation in Wooded Hay-Meadows – Effects of Intensified Management
  • 2007
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The decrease in number and area of managed hay-meadows over the last century, in combination with the reduction of traditional management, threatens the biodiversity connected to these habitats. I experimentally examined how management intensity affected meadow characteristics and long-term population viability of three vascular plant species in wooded hay-meadows on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. I discovered that intensified management (extra raking and/or extra mowing) reduced the amount of litter and biomass, even in well-managed meadows. The effects of intensified management on population growth rate varied among species. Deterministic demographic models revealed that intensified management increased population growth rate in Succisa pratensis. Stochastic modelling confirmed this; all meadows displayed larger projected population sizes 50 years into the future with intensified management. Polygala amarella responded with lower growth rates in raked plots, a consequence of the plant’s morphology, which makes it prone to being pulled out by raking. Hypochoeris maculata had population growth rates close to unity, and showed no response to an increase in management. Examination of the life-history characteristics of Polygala amarella showed that the species’ strategy is aimed at reproduction and fast growth, which is in contrast to the other two species, with their success relying on the survival of older plants. The species-specific responses to management show that several species should be considered when evaluating management practices for conservation of semi-natural grasslands. Furthermore, I suggest that data on stage distributions alone may not be sufficient for identifying threatened populations.In a study of artificial dispersal between meadows, I found that establishment was twice as successful for planted plug-plants compared to sown seeds. Both methods may be useful for introducing or augmenting meadow populations, depending on access to seed sources and possibilities to nurse plants.An electronic coordinate measurement device for gathering location data to be used in demographic studies was developed. In the field, the device proved to be a simple and reliable method for locating individuals in permanent plots.
  • Ågren, Jon, et al. (författare)
  • Selection on floral display in insect-pollinated Primula farinosa : Effects of vegetation height and litter accumulation
  • 2006
  • Ingår i: Oecologia. - 0029-8549 .- 1432-1939. ; 150:2, s. 225-232
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Grazing reduces litter thickness and vegetation height and may thereby indirectly affect reproductive success and selection on floral characters in plants with prostrate growth. Reductions in litter thickness and vegetation height should influence both the resource status of plants with leaves positioned close to the ground and the significance of inflorescence height for interactions with pollinators and seed predators. We experimentally examined how simulated grazing of surrounding vegetation affected pollen limitation, fruit predation and fecundity of short-scaped and long-scaped Primula farinosa, which differ markedly in floral display and therefore in expected attractiveness to pollinators. Litter removal and pruning of surrounding vegetation increased fruit and seed production per plant in the year of the treatment and the probability of flowering in the following year. Pollen limitation of fruit and seed production was stronger in the short-scaped morph than in the long-scaped morph, but was not significantly affected by litter removal and simulated grazing of surrounding vegetation. Supplemental hand-pollination reduced seed size in the year of the treatment and flowering probability in the second year, and these effects did not differ among scape morphs or grazing treatments. The results suggest that grazing indirectly favours seed production in P. farinosa, mainly because it increases the resource status of plants that escape damage. Contrary to expectation, there was no strong evidence that litter accumulation and tall vegetation increase the severity of pollen limitation or reduce the relative performance of the short-scaped morph.
  • Ågren, Jon, et al. (författare)
  • Spatio-temporal variation in fruit production and seed predation in a perennial herb influenced by habitat quality and population size
  • 2008
  • Ingår i: Journal of Ecology. - 0022-0477 .- 1365-2745. ; 96:2, s. 334-345
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • 1.  In patchily distributed plant species, seed production is likely to be influenced both by local abiotic factors affecting plant size and conditions for fruit maturation, and by population characteristics affecting the intensity of interactions with mutualists and antagonists. However, the relative importance of these effects is poorly known. 2. We used multiple regression and path models to examine the importance of abiotic factors (sun exposure, soil depth) and population characteristics (size, density and connectivity) for variation in flower and fruit production and intensity of seed predation among 39 populations of the long-lived herb Vincetoxicum hirundinaria in three consecutive years. In addition, we manipulated water availability in a field experiment and recorded short-term and long-term effects on fruit output, and conducted a supplemental hand-pollination experiment. 3.  Flower production varied little, while fruit initiation, fruit abortion and fruit predation varied considerably among years. Sun exposure and soil depth affected fruit production per plant indirectly and positively through their effects on flower number. Population density affected fruit production negatively through its effect on flower number. Both fruit initiation and the proportion of fruits attacked by the tephritid fly Euphranta connexa were related positively to population size. 4.  The number of full-size fruits per plant was related positively to sun exposure and population size in two years each, and related negatively to population density in one year. However, because of seed predation, the number of intact mature fruits was related significantly to population characteristics in only one of three years. 5.  The field experiments showed that both shortage of water and insufficient pollination may limit fruit set in V. hirundinaria. 6.  Synthesis. These results demonstrate that the relative importance of local abiotic conditions and population characteristics may vary considerably along the chain of events from flower formation to intact fruit, and also among years. They further show that, at least in species with a naturally patchy distribution, connectivity may be relatively unimportant for variation in reproductive output compared to effects of habitat quality, population size and density.  
  • Östergård, Hannah, 1969- (författare)
  • Plant-seed predator interactions – ecological and evolutionary aspects
  • 2008
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Plant-animal interactions are affected by both abundance and distribution of interacting species and the community context in which they occur. However, the relative importance of these factors is poorly known. I examined the effects of predator host range, environmental factors, host plant populations, plant traits and fruit abortion on the intensity of pre-dispersal seed predation in 46 host populations of the perennial herb Lathyrus vernus. I recorded damage by beetle pre-dispersal seed predators, mainly Apion opeticum and Bruchus atomarius with different host ranges on L. vernus as well as on two additional host plants. Local seed predator population size was mainly influenced by plant population size, current seed production and beetle population size in the previous year, but was not strongly affected by connectivity. The monophagous seed predator was less abundant and had lower densities than the oligophagous. Both predator species had a strong ability to track fluctuations in seed production; intensity of predation increased with relative increases in seed production. Oligophagous predation on L. vernus increased with the abundance of alternative hosts, but presence of L. vernus did not affect predation on alternative hosts. Abundances and trait preferences differed among three co-occurring seed predators, but were also associated with the abundance of the other species. Overall, seed predation influenced selection on flower number. I found clear indications of seed predator offence but no obvious plant defence. The pattern of fruit abortion was associated with reduced plant fitness since the seed predator had an advanced ability to locate fruits with high probability of retention. Taken together, different factors influencing abundance of the seed predator species, different preferences, and context dependent trait selection are likely to result in complex spatio-temporal variation in overall seed losses and trait selection in the common host plant.
  • Östergård, Hannah, et al. (författare)
  • Responses of a specialist and a generalist seed predator to variation in their common resource
  • 2009
  • Ingår i: Oikos. - 0030-1299 .- 1600-0706. ; 118:10, s. 1471-1476
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Fluctuations of resources in time and space will influence not only species abundance but also interactions among species. For plant–consumer interactions, the effects of resource variation have mostly been studied in systems with high resource variability. Systems with moderate variations are less studied, although ecological and evolutionary dynamics of plants and consumers are likely to be affected also by less extreme variability. The effects of variation in a particular resource should depend on consumer diet width.We examined how spatial and temporal variation in seed production in the perennial herb Lathyrus vernus influenced population dynamics and resource utilization in two beetle pre-dispersal seed predators with different host ranges over six years. The monophagous Apion opeticum occupied fewer patches and had lower densities than the oligophagous Bruchus atomarius. The proportion of seeds attacked increased with increases in seed production between years for both seed predators. A possible explanation for these patterns is that population dynamics of beetles are driven largely by local factors and that the same factors influence both beetle performance and seed production. In B. atomarius, patterns may also be influenced by a more pronounced preference for L. vernus in years with a high seed production in L. vernus. We conclude that relatively modest variation in seed production may result in responses that differ in both direction and extent from those usually observed in systems with high variation in seed production.
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  • Föregående 123[4]
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