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

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  • Dahlgren, Johan, et al. (författare)
  • Linking environmental variation to population dynamics of a forest herb
  • 2009
  • Ingår i: Journal of Ecology. - : Wiley. - 0022-0477 .- 1365-2745. ; 97:4, s. 666-674
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • . Although necessary for understanding and predicting population dynamics, abiotic and biotic interactions have only rarely been coupled to demography and population dynamics. 2. We estimated effects of 11 environmental factors on survival, growth and fertility of the perennial herb Actaea spicata and incorporated significant factors into integral projection models to assess their effect on population dynamics. 3. Statistical models suggested that high soil potassium concentration increased individual growth and that seed predation and, to a lesser extent, canopy cover reduced seed production. 4. Demographic models showed that both soil potassium concentration and pre-dispersal seed predation could reverse population growth from positive to negative. The observed range of soil potassium concentration corresponded to growth rates (lambda) between 0.96 and 1.07, at mean observed seed predation intensity. At observed mean potassium concentration, growth rate ranged from 0.99 to 1.02 over observed seed predation intensities. 5. Sensitivity of population growth rate to different vital rates strongly influenced the relative effects of the two factors. Elasticity analysis suggested that proportional changes in soil potassium concentration result in seven times larger effects on population growth rate than changes in seed predation. 6. Synthesis. We conclude that relatively weak associations between environmental factors and vital rates can have substantial long-term effects on population growth. Approaches based on detailed demographic models, that simultaneously assess abiotic and biotic effects on population growth rate, constitute important tools for establishing the links between the environment and dynamics of populations and communities.
  • Dahlgren, Johan Petter, 1978- (författare)
  • Linking plant population dynamics to the local environment and forest succession
  • 2008
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt/konstnärligt)abstract
    • Linking environmental variation to population dynamics is necessary to understand and predict how the environment influences species abundances and distributions. I used demographic, environmental and trait data of forest herbs to study effects of spatial variation in environmental factors on populations as well as environmental change in terms of effects of forest succession on field layer plants. The results show that abundances of field layer species during forest succession are correlated with their functional traits; species with high specific leaf area increased more in abundance. I also found that soil nutrients affect vegetative and flowering phenology of the forest herb Actaea spicata. The effect of nutrients shows that a wider range of environmental factors than usually assumed can influence plant phenology. Moreover, local environmental factors affected also the demography of A. spicata through effects on vital rates. An abiotic factor, soil potassium affecting individual growth rate, was more important for population growth rate than seed predation, the most conspicuous biotic interaction in this system. Density independent changes in soil potassium during forest succession, and to a lesser extent plant population size dependent seed predation, were predicted to alter population growth rate, and thereby the abundance, of A. spicata over time. Because these environmental factors had effects on population projections, they can potentially influence the occupancy pattern of this species along successional gradients. I conclude that including deterministic, as opposed to stochastic, environmental change in demographic models enables assessments of the effects of processes such as succession, altered land-use, and climate change on population dynamics. Models explicitly incorporating environmental factors are useful for studying population dynamics in a realistic context, and to guide management of threatened species in changing environments.
  • Arvanitis, Leena, et al. (författare)
  • Butterfly seed predation: effects of landscape characteristics, plant ploidy level and population structure
  • 2007
  • Ingår i: Oecologia. - : Springer Science and Business Media LLC. - 0029-8549 .- 1432-1939. ; 152:2, s. 275-285
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Polyploidization has been suggested as one of the most common mechanisms for plant diversification. It is often associated with changes in several morphological, phenological and ecological plant traits, and therefore has the potential to alter insect–plant interactions. Nevertheless, studies evaluating the effect of plant polyploidy on interspecific interactions are still few. We investigated pre-dispersal seed predation by the butterfly Anthocharis cardamines in 195 populations of two ploidy levels of the herb Cardamine pratensis (tetraploid ssp. pratensis, 2n = 30 vs. octoploid ssp. paludosa, 2n = 56–64). We asked if differences in incidence and intensity of predation among populations were related to landscape characteristics, plant ploidy level and population structure. The incidence of the seed predator increased with increasing plant population size and decreasing distance to nearest population occupied by A. cardamines. The intensity of predation decreased with increasing plant population size and was not affected by isolation. Probability of attack decreased with increasing shading, and intensity of predation was higher in grazed than in non-grazed habitats. The attack intensity increased with increasing mean flower number of plant population, but was not affected by flowering phenology. Individuals in tetraploid populations suffered on average from higher levels of seed predation, had higher mean flower number, were less shaded and occurred more often in grazed habitats than octoploid populations. When accounting for differences in habitat preferences between ploidy levels there was no longer a difference in intensity of predation, suggesting that the observed differences in attack rates among populations of the two ploidy levels are mediated by the habitat. Overall, our results suggest that polyploidization is associated with differentiation in habitat preferences and phenotypic traits leading to differences in interspecific interaction among plant populations. This, in turn, may facilitate further divergence of ploidy levels.
  • Arvanitis, Leena, et al. (författare)
  • Plant ploidy level influences selection by butterfly seed predators
  • 2008
  • Ingår i: Oikos. ; 117, s. 1020-1025
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Polyploidization is a common route to plant diversification. Polyploids often differ from their progenitors in size, flower number, flower size and flowering phenology. Such differences may translate into differences in the intensity of interactions with animals. Here we investigated the impact of the ploidy-related differences in tetraploids and octoploids of the perennial herb Cardamine pratensis on pre-dispersal seed predation by the butterfly Anthocharis cardamines. The probability of escaping attack was lower for octoploids than for tetraploids, even after accounting for the fact that octoploids were larger and had fewer flowers than tetraploids. Flower shoot size was correlated with probability of attack in tetraploids but not in octoploids. Differences in plant traits associated with polyploidization can alter interactions with animals, and animal-mediated differences in trait selection between ploidy types can contribute to their further divergence.
  • Arvanitis, Leena, 1959- (författare)
  • Plant polyploidy and interactions with insect herbivores
  • 2007
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt/konstnärligt)abstract
    • Polyploidization has been suggested to be a common mechanism for plant speciation. Polyploidy is associated with changes in plant traits and altered habitat preference. Antagonistic and mutualistic animals are known to discriminate between plants based on variation in such plant traits, suggesting that interactions may have an important role in divergence of plant polyploids after the polyploidization. In this thesis, I investigated the effect of insect herbivores on divergence of plant polyploids in a system consisting of the predispersal seed predator butterfly Anthocharis cardamines, the bud gall forming midge Dasineura cardaminis, and tetraploids and octoploids of the herb Cardamine pratensis. Octoploid populations occurred more often in shaded and nongrazed habitats than tetraploids. Octoploid plants were larger and had fewer but larger flowers than tetraploids. Butterfly attack rates were higher in tetraploid than in octoploid populations, whereas the gall midge attacked only octoploids. These differences were associated with higher abundance of butterflies in sunny habitats and gall midges in shaded habitats. In contrast to the pattern at the population level, octoploid flower shoots were more likely to be attacked by the butterfly in sympatric populations. Also trait selection differed between ploidy levels, both in the absence and in the presence of herbivores. In a field experiment, butterfly preference did not alter the trait selection in tetraploids. In octoploids, the two herbivores did not change selection considered separately. However, their joint effect resulted in significant selection for smaller flower shoots and reduced selection on number of flowers. This thesis demonstrates that differences in habitat preference and phenotypic plant traits between polyploid cytotypes can lead to altered interactions with herbivores. Such differences in interactions with animals may alter not only the relative fitness of cytotypes but also trait selection within the respective ploidy type.
  • Boalt, Elin, 1976- (författare)
  • Ecology and evolution of tolerance in two cruciferous species
  • 2008
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt/konstnärligt)abstract
    • Tolerance to herbivory is the ability of plants to maintain fitness in spite of damage. The goal of this thesis is to investigate the genetic variation and expression of tolerance within species, determine whether and in what conditions tolerance has negative side-effects, and how tolerance is affected by different ecological factors. Tolerance is investigated with special focus on the effects of different damage types, competitive regimes, history of herbivory, and polyploidization in plants. Studies are conducted as a literature review and three experiments on two cruciferous species Raphanus raphanistrum and Cardamine pratensis.In the tolerance experiments, plants are subjected to artificial damage solely, or in a combination with natural damage. A literature review was conducted in order to investigate the effects of damage method. We found that traits related to tolerance, such as growth and fitness were not as sensitive in regard to damage method as measures of induced chemical traits, or measures of secondary herbivory.Genetic variation of tolerance was demonstrated within populations of R. raphanistrum and between subspecies of C. pratensis. In R. raphanistrum, traits involved in floral display and male fitness were positively associated with plant tolerance to herbivore damage. A potential cost of tolerance was demonstrated as a negative correlation between levels of tolerance in high and low competitive regimes. I found no evidence of other proposed costs of tolerance in terms of highly tolerant plants suffering of reduced fitness in the absence of herbivores or trade-offs in terms of a negative association between tolerance to apical and leaf damage, or between tolerance and competitive ability. In C. pratensis, higher ploidy level in plants involved higher levels of tolerance measured as clonal reproduction. Furthermore, populations exposed to higher levels of herbivory had better tolerance than populations exposed to lower levels of herbivory. In this thesis, I demonstrate evidence of different components for the evolution of tolerance in plants: genotypic variation, selective factors in terms of costs and ploidization, and selective agents in terms of changing environment or herbivore pressure.
  • Ehrlén, Johan, et al. (författare)
  • Land use and population growth of Primula veris : an experimental demographic approach
  • 2005
  • Ingår i: Journal of Applied Ecology. - : Wiley. - 0021-8901 .- 1365-2664. ; 42:2, s. 317-326
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • 1. Changes in land use are the primary cause of decline for many plant species. Efficient management actions for such species must be based on knowledge of the key phases of the plant life cycles that respond most to changes in environmental factors. 2. To assess how grazing influences population viability of the perennial rosette herb Primula veris, we applied four experimental treatments to abandoned grasslands and recorded the demographic response in permanent plots and seed sowing experiments over 3 years. 3. Treatments had strong effects on population viability. Transition matrix models showed that cutting the surrounding vegetation had no effect on population growth rate (lambda). However, when this was combined with litter removal lambda increased to 1.46, compared with 1.11 in controls. With disturbance and complete removal of the surrounding vegetation the effect was even stronger, and lambda increased to 1.60. 4. Increases in lambda were primarily a result of increased growth of the smallest rosettes, and increased seedling production. In contrast, the performance of larger P. veris individuals was not affected by experimental treatments. 5. The higher the elasticity of a particular life cycle transition, the less the change in the transition rate caused by treatments. This suggests that plants are able partly to buffer the effects of environmental variation by minimizing changes in the life cycle transitions that are most important to population growth rate. 6. Synthesis and applications. Experimental demographic approaches provide an important tool for assessing how grazing and other types of management influence species viability, and help to unravel the mechanisms underlying such relationships. With such information it is possible to predict the effects of novel types of management and land-use scenarios on population viability. For P. veris, we identified seedling establishment as a key phase in the life cycle, and litter accumulation as a key environmental factor, suggesting that these should be prime targets for management. One practice that is likely to favour as well as seedling establishment preventing litter accumulation is late summer grazing.
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