Browsing by Subject "ecology"

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  • Macias-Hernandez, Nuria; Ramos, Cândida; Domènech, Marc; Febles, Sara; Santos, Irene; Arnedo, Miquel A.; Borges, Paulo A. V.; Emerson, Brent C.; Cardoso, Pedro (2020)
    Background There is an increasing demand for databases including species trait information for biodiversity and community ecology studies. The existence of trait databases is useful for comparative studies within taxa or geographical regions, but there is low availability of databases for certain organisms. Here we present an open access functional trait database for spiders from Macaronesia and the Iberian Peninsula, recording several morphological and ecological traits related to the species life histories, microhabitat and trophic preferences. New information We present a database that includes 12 biological traits for 506 spider species present in natural forests of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) and three Macaronesian archipelagoes (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands). The functional trait database consists of two sections: 1. individual-level data for six morphological traits (total body size, prosoma length, prosoma width, prosoma height, tibia I length and fang length), based on direct measurements of 2844 specimens of all spider species; and 2. species-level aggregate data for 12 traits (same 6 morphological traits as in the previous section plus dispersal ability, vertical stratification, circadian activity, foraging strategy, trophic specialization and colonization status), based on either the average of the direct measurements or bibliographic searches. This functional trait database will serve as a data standard for currently ongoing analyses that require trait and functional diversity statistics.
  • Kuusipalo, Jussi (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1985)
    The vegetation and some physical and chemical soil properties were studied in 410 sample plots in a random sample of stands by two-way indicator species analysis, discriminant analysis and analysis of variance. Understorey vegetation was dependent on site fertility and on the tree stand (especially species composition). Although the forest vegetation was distributed in a rather continuous way along a soil fertility gradient, relatively unambiguous site classification was possible based on the appearance of indicator species and species groups.
  • Kunttu, Panu; Helo, Teppo; Kulju, Matti; Julkunen, Jari; Pennanen, Jorma; Shiryaev, Anton G.; Lehtonen, Hannu; Kotiranta, Heikki (Polish Botanical Society, 2019)
    Acta Mycologica 2019;54(2):1128
    Knowledge of the Finnish aphyllophoroid funga has increased substantially in recent years. In this article, we present two species new to Finland: Spiculogloea subminuta Hauerslev and Typhula suecica I. Olariaga, G. Corriol, I. Salcedo & K. Hansen, and document Sistotrema luteoviride Kotir. & K.-H. Larss. for the third time globally. We also contribute 50 new records of 33 nationally rare species (with a maximum of ten previous records in Finland) and list 52 regionally new species, found for the first time in a certain subzone of the boreal vegetation zone in Finland. Each record is enclosed and contains notes on the substrate. Furthermore, the ecology of the nationally new species and the distribution of rare species are discussed.
  • Pieterse, Arnold; Rytkönen, Mari; Hellsten, Seppo (Finnish Environment Institute, 2009)
    Reports of the Finnish Environment Institute 15/2009
  • Mattila, Anniina L. K. (Helsingin yliopisto. Bio- ja ympäristötieteiden laitos, 2007)
    Habitat fragmentation produces patches of suitable habitat surrounded by unfavourable matrix habitat. A species may persist in such a fragmented landscape in an equilibrium between the extinctions and recolonizations of local populations, thus forming a metapopulation. Migration between local populations is necessary for the long-term persistence of a metapopulation. The Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) forms a metapopulation in the Åland islands in Finland. There is migration between the populations, the extent of which is affected by several environmental factors and variation in the phenotype of individual butterflies. Different allelic forms of the glycolytic enzyme phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi) has been identified as a possible genetic factor influencing flight performance and migration rate in this species. The frequency of a certain Pgi allele, Pgi-f, follows the same pattern in relation to population age and connectivity as migration propensity. Furthermore, variation in flight metabolic performance, which is likely to affect migration propensity, has been linked to genetic variation in Pgi or a closely linked locus. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between Pgi genotype and the migration propensity in the Glanville fritillary both at the individual and population levels using a statistical modelling approach. A mark-release-recapture (MRR) study was conducted in a habitat patch network of M. cinxia in Åland to collect data on the movements of individual butterflies. Larval samples from the study area were also collected for population level examinations. Each butterfly and larva was genotyped at the Pgi locus. The MRR data was parameterised with two mathematical models of migration: the Virtual Migration Model (VM) and the spatially explicit diffusion model. VM model predicted and observed numbers of emigrants from populations with high and low frequencies of Pgi-f were compared. Posterior predictive data sets were simulated based on the parameters of the diffusion model. Lack-of-fit of observed values to the model predicted values of several descriptors of movements were detected, and the effect of Pgi genotype on the deviations was assessed by randomizations including the genotype information. This study revealed a possible difference in the effect of Pgi genotype on migration propensity between the two sexes in the Glanville fritillary. The females with and males without the Pgi-f allele moved more between habitat patches, which is probably related to differences in the function of flight in the two sexes. Females may use their high flight capacity to migrate between habitat patches to find suitable oviposition sites, whereas males may use it to acquire mates by keeping a territory and fighting off other intruding males, possibly causing them to emigrate. The results were consistent across different movement descriptors and at the individual and population levels. The effect of Pgi is likely to be dependent on the structure of the landscape and the prevailing environmental conditions.
  • Pykälä, Juha (Suomen Metsätieteellinen Seura ry, 2019)
    Metsätieteen aikakauskirja
    Metsien avainbiotooppien merkitystä epifyyttijäkälille selvitettiin kirjallisuuskatsauksen avulla. Avainbiotooppien merkitys riippuu siitä, miten ne määritetään sekä kuinka hyvin ne tunnistetaan ja jätetään hakkuiden ulkopuolelle. Avainbiotooppikäsite on potentiaalisesti hyvä epifyyttijäkälille tärkeiden metsien säästämisessä. Eri avainbiotooppityyppien merkitys epifyyttijäkälille on varsin erilainen. Puuston korkea ikä on vaateliaiden epifyyttijäkälien kannalta tärkein muuttuja. Tutki­musten mukaan avainbiotooppikäsitteen soveltaminen ei ole onnistunut hyvin. Suurimmat ongelmat ovat kohteiden tunnistamisessa, säästämisessä sekä niiden pienessä koossa. Hakkuiden ja pienen koon takia vaateliaiden epifyyttijäkälien esiintymien häviämiset ovat olleet avain­biotoopeilla varsin tavallisia. Häviämistä lisäävät ilmansaasteet ja ylisuuri hirvieläinkanta, joka estää lehtipuiden uusiutumista avainbiotoopeilla. Samat tekijät, jotka aiheuttavat populaatioiden häviämistä, estävät myös uusien jäkäläpopulaatioiden leviämistä avainbiotoopeille. Tässä katsauksessa käsiteltyjen tutkimusten perusteella voidaan arvioida, että jos avainbiotoopit säästettäisiin kaikilta hakkuilta, ilmanlaatua saataisiin parannettua ja hirvieläinten määrää voimakkaasti vähennettyä, suuri osa uhanalaisista jäkälistä voisi säilyä avainbiotoopeilla. Yhdessä riittävän suojelualueverkoston kanssa avainbiotoopit voisivat olla tehokas tapa epifyyttijäkälien monimuotoisuuden säilyttämisessä. Suomessa käytettyä avainbiotooppien määrittelyä on tarpeen korjata vastaamaan muissa maissa käytettyä uhanalaisen lajiston esiintymisen todennäköisyyttä painottavaa tulkintaa sen sijaan, että korostettaisiin kohteen pienialaisuutta.
  • Conenna, Irene (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    ABSTRACT Due to the perceived low biodiversity of arid environments, species inhabiting these regions have received less research compared to tropical areas and biodiversity hotspots. However, arid conditions are predicted to characterise a larger number of regions globally and there is a greater need to identify strategies that allow species to survive in these harsh environments. Bats occupy a wide variety of habitats, including some of the most arid habitats on Earth, thanks also to their nocturnal habits, ability of powered flight and species-specific physiological adaptations. However, knowledge of the mechanisms in place to face the variety of stressors linked with aridity is still relatively scarce, particularly concerning behaviour and in the light of the diversity characterising bats as a group. In this thesis, I investigate further the responses and strategies that bats employ to cope with aridity, with a particular focus on the role of functional traits and movement. First, I model functional trait variation of bat assemblages to identify trends along the gradient of aridity globally. Bat assemblages inhabiting conditions of higher aridity display morphological and echolocation features more suitable to move in open habitats thanks to the greater speed and cost efficiency of flight. Additionally, larger body sizes appear to be favoured at these conditions, potentially as an advantage to reduce the exposure to cutaneous evaporative water loss by retaining a lower surface-to-volume ratio. Despite these general trends, bat communities in arid environments still retain functional diversity, with manoeuvrable species taking benefit from their ability to hunt in the vicinity of the vegetation. Therefore, I then investigate how a low-mobility species, Lavia frons, copes with seasonal changes in aridity and the associated reduction in resources by following its movement using miniaturised GPS devices across a rainy and a dry season. Despite the overall low mobility observed, L. frons appears to respond to seasonal increases in aridity by moving over larger areas and for extended periods of time, supporting the role of movement as a strategy to offset for low prey densities during harsh periods. Finally, due to the lack of synthesis on the topic of bat responses to aridity, I propose a narrative review integrating current available knowledge and thus providing an overview to facilitate future research. In my literature review, I cover both physiological and behavioural mechanism, pinpointing gaps in knowledge and the need of more direct studies on behaviour. Additionally, I discuss potential trade-offs among responses, focusing on the role of movement and roosting conditions in mediating the impact of environmental stressors. This thesis brings advances in the study of bat responses to aridity, targeting some of the knowledge gaps present in the literature and setting the ground for further research. My results also highlight the importance of taking into account the interactions between physiological and behavioural mechanisms, as well as environmental conditions, when approaching the study of bat responses to aridity.
  • Kuliński, Karol; Rehder, Gregor; Asmala, Eero; Bartosova, Alena; Carstensen, Jacob; Gustafsson, Bo; Hall, Per O. J.; Humborg, Christoph; Jilbert, Tom; Jürgens, Klaus; Meier, H. E. Markus; Müller-Karulis, Bärbel; Naumann, Michael; Olesen, Jørgen E.; Savchuk, Oleg; Schramm, Andreas; Slomp, Caroline P.; Sofiev, Mikhail; Sobek, Anna; Szymczycha, Beata; Undeman, Emma (Copernicus Publ., 2022)
    Earth system dynamics
    Location, specific topography, and hydrographic setting together with climate change and strong anthropogenic pressure are the main factors shaping the biogeochemical functioning and thus also the ecological status of the Baltic Sea. The recent decades have brought significant changes in the Baltic Sea. First, the rising nutrient loads from land in the second half of the 20th century led to eutrophication and spreading of hypoxic and anoxic areas, for which permanent stratification of the water column and limited ventilation of deep-water layers made favourable conditions. Since the 1980s the nutrient loads to the Baltic Sea have been continuously decreasing. This, however, has so far not resulted in significant improvements in oxygen availability in the deep regions, which has revealed a slow response time of the system to the reduction of the land-derived nutrient loads. Responsible for that is the low burial efficiency of phosphorus at anoxic conditions and its remobilization from sediments when conditions change from oxic to anoxic. This results in a stoichiometric excess of phosphorus available for organic-matter production, which promotes the growth of N2-fixing cyanobacteria and in turn supports eutrophication. This assessment reviews the available and published knowledge on the biogeochemical functioning of the Baltic Sea. In its content, the paper covers the aspects related to changes in carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus (C, N, and P) external loads, their transformations in the coastal zone, changes in organic-matter production (eutrophication) and remineralization (oxygen availability), and the role of sediments in burial and turnover of C, N, and P. In addition to that, this paper focuses also on changes in the marine CO2 system, the structure and functioning of the microbial community, and the role of contaminants for biogeochemical processes. This comprehensive assessment allowed also for identifying knowledge gaps and future research needs in the field of marine biogeochemistry in the Baltic Sea.
  • García-Girón, Jorge; Heino, Jani; García-Criado, Francisco; Fernández-Aláez, Camino; Alahuhta, Janne (Wiley Online Library, 2020)
    Ecography 43 8 (2020)
    Biotic interactions are fundamental drivers governing biodiversity locally, yet their effects on geographical variation in community composition (i.e. incidence-based) and community structure (i.e. abundance-based) at regional scales remain controversial. Ecologists have only recently started to integrate different types of biotic interactions into community assembly in a spatial context, a theme that merits further empirical quantification. Here, we applied partial correlation networks to infer the strength of spatial dependencies between pairs of organismal groups and mapped the imprints of biotic interactions on the assembly of pond metacommunities. To do this, we used a comprehensive empirical dataset from Mediterranean landscapes and adopted the perspective that community assembly is best represented as a network of interacting organismal groups. Our results revealed that the co-variation among the beta diversities of multiple organismal groups is primarily driven by biotic interactions and, to a lesser extent, by the abiotic environment. These results suggest that ignoring biotic interactions may undermine our understanding of assembly mechanisms in spatially extensive areas and decrease the accuracy and performance of predictive models. We further found strong spatial dependencies in our analyses which can be interpreted as functional relationships among several pairs of organismal groups (e.g. macrophytes–macroinvertebrates, fish–zooplankton). Perhaps more importantly, our results support the notion that biotic interactions make crucial contributions to the species sorting paradigm of metacommunity theory and raise the question of whether these biologically-driven signals have been equally underappreciated in other aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Although more research is still required to empirically capture the importance of biotic interactions across ecosystems and at different spatial resolutions and extents, our findings may allow decision makers to better foresee the main consequences of human-driven impacts on inland waters, particularly those associated with the addition or removal of key species.
  • Rajakallio, Maria; Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Muotka, Timo; Aroviita, Jukka (Blackwell, 2021)
    Journal of Applied Ecology 58: 7, 1523-1532
    1. Growing bioeconomy is increasing the pressure to clear-cut drained peatland forests. Yet, the cumulative effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on the biodiversity of recipient freshwater ecosystems are largely unknown. 2. We studied the isolated and combined effects of peatland drainage and clear-cutting on stream macroinvertebrate communities. We further explored whether the impact of these forestry-driven catchment alterations to benthic invertebrates is related to stream size. We quantified the impact on invertebrate biodiversity by comparing communities in forestry-impacted streams to expected communities modelled with a multi-taxon niche model. 3. The impact of clear-cutting of drained peatland forests exceeded the sum of the independent effects of drainage and clear-cutting, indicating a synergistic interaction between the two disturbances in small streams. Peatland drainage reduced benthic biodiversity in both small and large streams, whereas clear-cutting did the same only in small streams. Small headwater streams were more sensitive to forestry impacts than the larger downstream sites. 4. We found 11 taxa (out of 25 modelled) to respond to forestry disturbances. These taxa were mainly different from those previously reported as sensitive to forestry-driven alterations, indicating the context dependence of taxonomic responses to forestry. In contrast, most of the functional traits previously identified as responsive to agricultural sedimentation also responded to forestry pressures. In particular, taxa that live temporarily in hyporheic habitats, move by crawling, disperse actively in water, live longer than 1 year, use eggs as resistance form and obtain their food by scraping became less abundant than expected, particularly in streams impacted by both drainage and clear-cutting. 5. Synthesis and applications. Drained peatland forests in boreal areas are reaching maturity and will soon be harvested. Clear-cutting of these forests incurs multiple environmental hazards but previous studies have focused on terrestrial ecosystems. Our results show that the combined impacts of peatland drainage and clear-cutting may extend across ecosystem boundaries and cause significant biodiversity loss in recipient freshwater ecosystems. This information supports a paradigm shift in boreal forest management, whereby continuous-cover forestry based on partial harvest may provide the most sustainable approach to peatland forestry.
  • Kaikkonen, Laura; Helle, Inari; Kostamo, Kirsi; Kuikka, Sakari; Törnroos, Anna; Nygård, Henrik; Venesjärvi, Riikka; Uusitalo, Laura (American Chemical Society, 2021)
    Environmental Science & Technology 55: 13, 8502-8513
    Seabed mining is approaching the commercial mining phase across the world’s oceans. This rapid industrialization of seabed resource use is introducing new pressures to marine environments. The environmental impacts of such pressures should be carefully evaluated prior to permitting new activities, yet observational data is mostly missing. Here, we examine the environmental risks of seabed mining using a causal, probabilistic network approach. Drawing on a series of interviews with a multidisciplinary group of experts, we outline the cause-effect pathways related to seabed mining activities to inform quantitative risk assessments. The approach consists of (1) iterative model building with experts to identify the causal connections between seabed mining activities and the affected ecosystem components, and (2) quantitative probabilistic modelling to provide estimates of mortality of benthic fauna in the Baltic Sea. The model is used to evaluate alternative mining scenarios, offering a quantitative means to highlight the uncertainties around the impacts of mining. We further outline requirements for operationalizing quantitative risk assessments, highlighting the importance of a cross-disciplinary approach to risk identification. The model can be used to support permitting processes by providing a more comprehensive description of the potential environmental impacts of seabed resource use, allowing iterative updating of the model as new information becomes available.
  • Kuglerová, Lenka; Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Ruffing, Claire; Muotka, Timo; Jonsson, Anna; Andersson, Elisabet; Richardson, John S. (American Geophysical Union, 2020)
    Water Resources Research 56 9 (2020)
    Forested riparian buffers are recommended to mitigate negative effects of forest harvesting on recipient freshwater ecosystems. Most of the current best practices of riparian buffer retention aim at larger streams. Riparian protection along small streams is thought to be lacking; however, it is not well documented. We surveyed 286 small streams flowing through recent clearcuts in three timber-producing jurisdictions—British Columbia, Canada (BC), Finland, and Sweden. The three jurisdictions differed in riparian buffer implementation. In BC, forested buffers are not required on the smallest streams, and 45% of the sites in BC had no buffer. The average (±SE) width of voluntarily retained buffers was 15.9 m (±2.1) on each side of the stream. An operation-free zone is mandatory around the smallest streams in BC, and 90% of the sites fulfilled these criteria. Finland and Sweden had buffers allocated to most of the surveyed streams, with average buffer width of 15.3 m (±1.4) in Finland and 4 m (±0.4) in Sweden. Most of the streams in the two Nordic countries had additional forestry-associated impairments such as machine tracks, or soil preparation within the riparian zone. Riparian buffer width somewhat increased with stream size and slope of the riparian area, however, not in all investigated regions. We concluded that the majority of the streams surveyed in this study are insufficiently protected. We suggest that a monitoring of forestry practices and revising present forestry guidelines is needed in order to increase the protection of our smallest water courses.
  • Hämäläinen, Heikki; Aroviita, Jukka; Jyväsjärvi, Jussi; Kärkkäinen, Salme (Ecological Society of America, 2018)
    Ecological Applications 28 (5): 1260-1272
    The ecological assessment of freshwaters is currently primarily based on biological communities and the reference condition approach (RCA). In the RCA, the communities in streams and lakes disturbed by humans are compared with communities in reference conditions with no or minimal anthropogenic influence. The currently favored rationale is using selected community metrics for which the expected values (E) for each site are typically estimated from environmental variables using a predictive model based on the reference data. The proportional differences between the observed values (O) and E are then derived, and the decision rules for status assessment are based on fixed (typically 10th or 25th) percentiles of the O/E ratios among reference sites. Based on mathematical formulations, illustrations by simulated data and real case studies representing such an assessment approach, we demonstrate that the use of a common quantile of O/E ratios will, under certain conditions, cause severe bias in decision making even if the predictive model would be unbiased. This is because the variance of O/E under these conditions, which seem to be quite common among the published applications, varies systematically with E. We propose a correction method for the bias and compare the novel approach to the conventional one in our case studies, with data from both reference and impacted sites. The results highlight a conceptual issue of employing ratios in the status assessment. In some cases using the absolute deviations instead provides a simple solution for the bias identified and might also be more ecologically relevant and defensible.
  • Suikkanen, Sanna; Uusitalo, Laura; Lehtinen, Sirpa; Lehtiniemi, Maiju; Kauppila, Pirkko; Mäkinen, Katja; Kuosa, Harri (Elsevier, 2021)
    Food Webs 28, e00202
    Blooms of cyanobacteria are recurrent phenomena in coastal estuaries. Their maximum abundance coincides with the productive period of zooplankton and pelagic fish. Experimental studies indicate that diazotrophic, i.e. dinitrogen (N2)-fixing cyanobacterial (taxonomic order Nostocales) blooms affect zooplankton, as well as other phytoplankton. We used multidecadal monitoring data from one archipelago station (1992–2013) and ten open sea stations (1979–2013) in the Baltic Sea to explore the potential bottom-up connections between diazotrophic and non-diazotrophic cyanobacteria and phyto- and zooplankton in natural plankton communities. Random forest regression, combined with linear regression analysis showed that the biomass of cyanobacteria (both diazotrophic and non-diazotrophic) was barely connected to any of the phytoplankton and zooplankton variables examined. Instead, physico-chemical variables (salinity, temperature, total phosphorus), as well as spatial and temporal variability seemed to have more significant connections to both phytoplankton and zooplankton variables. Zooplankton variables were also connected to the biomass of phytoplankton groups other than cyanobacteria (such as chrysophytes, cryptophytes and prymnesiophytes), and phytoplankton variables had connections with the biomass of different zooplankton groups, especially copepods. Overall, negative relationships between cyanobacteria and other plankton taxa were scarcer than expected based on previous experimental studies.
  • Luomajoki, Alpo (The Society of Forestry in Finland - The Finnish Forest Research Institute, 1999)
    Male flowering was studied at the canopy level in 10 silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) stands from 8 localities and in 14 downy birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) stands from 10 localities in Finland from 1963 to 1973. Distributions of cumulative pollen catches were compared to the normal Gaussian distribution. The basis for the timing of flowering was the 50 per cent point of the anthesis-fitted normal distribution. To eliminate effects of background pollen, only the central, normally distributed part of the cumulative distribution was used. Development up to the median point of the distribution was measured and tested in calendar days, in degree days (> 5 °C) and in period units. The count of each parameter began on and included March 19. Male flowering in silver birch occurred from late April to late June depending on latitude, and flowering in downy birch took place from early May to early July. The heat sums needed for male flowering varied in downy birch stands latitudinally but there was practically no latitudinal variation in heat sums needed for silver birch flowering. The amount of male flowering in stands of both birch species were found to have a large annual variation but without any clear periodicity. The between years pollen catch variation in stands of either birch species did not show any significant latitudinal correlation in contrast to Norway spruce stands. The period unit heat sum gave the most accurate forecast of the timing of flowering for 60 per cent of the silver birch stands and for 78.6 per cent of the for downy birch stands. Calendar days, however, gave the best forecast for silver birch in 25 per cent of the cases, while degree days gave the best forecast for downy birch in 21.4 per cent of the cases. Silver birch seems to have a local inclination for a more fixed flowering date compared to downy birch, which could mean a considerable photoperiodic influence on flowering time of silver birch. Silver birch and downy birch had different geographical correlations. Frequent hybridization of birch species occurs more often in northern Finland in than in more southern latitudes. The different timing in flowering caused increasing scatter in flowering times in the north, especially in the case of downy birch. The chance of simultaneous flowering of silver birch and downy birch so increased northwards due to a more variable climate and also higher altitudinal variations. Compared with conifers, the reproduction cycles of both birch species were found to be well protected from damage by frost.
  • Pekkonen, Minna; Koljonen, Saija; Raunio, Anne; Kostamo, Kirsi; Soimakallio, Sampo (Finnish Environment Institute, 2019)
    SYKE POLICY BRIEF / 20.11.2019
  • Brittain, John E.; Heino, Jani; Friberg, Nikolai; Aroviita, Jukka; Kahlert, Maria; Karjalainen, Satu‐Maaria; Keck, François; Lento, Jennifer; Liljaniemi, Petri; Mykrä, Heikki; Schneider, Susanne C.; Ylikörkkö, Jukka (Blackwell Scientific, 2022)
    Freshwater Biology
    1. Arctic freshwaters support biota adapted to the harsh conditions at these latitudes, but the climate is changing rapidly and so are the underlying environmental filters. Currently, we have limited understanding of broad-scale patterns of Arctic riverine biodiversity and the correlates of α- and β-diversity. 2. Using information from a database set up within the scope of the Arctic Council's Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Plan, we analysed patterns and correlates of α- and β-diversity in benthic diatom and macroinvertebrate communities across northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland. We analysed variation in total β-diversity and its replacement and richness difference components in relation to location of the river reach and its drainage basin (Baltic Sea in the south, the Barents Sea in the east and the north, and the Norwegian Sea in the west), in addition to climate and environmental variables. 3. In both macroinvertebrates and diatoms, the replacement and richness difference components showed wide variation. For macroinvertebrates, the richness difference component was the more important, whereas for diatoms, the replacement component was the more important in contributing to variation in β-diversity. There was no significant difference in β-diversity between the three main drainage basins, but species composition differed among the drainage basins. 4. Based on the richness difference component of β-diversity, climate variables were most strongly associated with community variation in macroinvertebrates. In diatoms, both environmental and climate variables were strongly correlated with community compositional variation. In both groups, there were also significant differences in α-diversity among the three main drainage basins, and several taxa were significant indicators of one of these drainage basins. Alpha diversity was greater in areas with a continental climate, while the oceanic areas in the west harboured greatly reduced flora and fauna. 5. The correlates of biodiversity were relatively similar in macroinvertebrates and diatoms. Climate variables, in particular temperature, were the most strongly associated with biodiversity patterns in the Arctic rivers of Fennoscandia. Sedimentary geology may be associated with increased productivity and, to a lesser extent, with sensitivity to acidification. There was considerable variation in community composition across Arctic Fennoscandia, indicating the necessity of protecting several stream reaches or even whole catchments within each region to conserve total riverine biodiversity. Furthermore, it is likely that the predicted changes in temperature in Arctic areas will influence riverine diversity patterns across Fennoscandia.
  • Meric, Guillaume; Miragaia, Maria; de Been, Mark; Yahara, Koji; Pascoe, Ben; Mageiros, Leonardos; Mikhail, Jane; Harris, Llinos G.; Wilkinson, Thomas S.; Rolo, Joana; Lamble, Sarah; Bray, James E.; Jolley, Keith A.; Hanage, William P.; Bowden, Rory; Maiden, Martin C. J.; Mack, Dietrich; de Lencastre, Herminia; Feil, Edward J.; Corander, Jukka; Sheppard, Samuel K. (2015)
    The opportunistic pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis represent major causes of severe nosocomial infection, and are associated with high levels of mortality and morbidity worldwide. These species are both common commensals on the human skin and in the nasal pharynx, but are genetically distinct, differing at 24% average nucleotide divergence in 1,478 core genes. To better understand the genome dynamics of these ecologically similar staphylococcal species, we carried out a comparative analysis of 324 S. aureus and S. epidermidis genomes, including 83 novel S. epidermidis sequences. A reference pan-genome approach and whole genome multilocus-sequence typing revealed that around half of the genome was shared between the species. Based on a BratNextGen analysis, homologous recombination was found to have impacted on 40% of the core genes in S. epidermidis, but on only 24% of the core genes in S. aureus. Homologous recombination between the species is rare, with a maximum of nine gene alleles shared between any two S. epidermidis and S. aureus isolates. In contrast, there was considerable interspecies admixture of mobile elements, in particular genes associated with the SaPIn1 pathogenicity island, metal detoxification, and the methicillin-resistance island SCCmec. Our data and analysis provide a context for considering the nature of recombinational boundaries between S. aureus and S. epidermidis and, the selective forces that influence realized recombination between these species.
  • Selonen, Vesa; Mäkeläinen, Sanna Liisa Maria (2017)
  • da Silva, Pedro Giovâni; Cañedo-Argüelles, Miguel; Bogoni, Juliano André; Heino, Jani (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021)
    Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9: 670212
    According to metacommunity theory (Leibold et al., 2004), the structure of local communities results from the interplay between local factors (e.g., environmental filtering, species interactions) and regional factors (e.g., dispersal rates, landscape configuration). The relative importance of these factors is highly dependent on the organisms’ biological traits, landscape connectivity, and the spatial and temporal scales considered (Heino et al., 2015; Tonkin et al., 2018; Viana and Chase, 2019; Almeida-Gomes et al., 2020; Cañedo-Argüelles et al., 2020; Lansac-Tôha et al., 2021). However, the differences in metacommunity assembly mechanisms found among studies are far from being fully understood. The evaluation of temporal dynamics of metacommunities has only emerged recently (Cañedo-Argüelles et al., 2020; Jabot et al., 2020; Li et al., 2020; Lindholm et al., 2021) and the application of the metacommunity theory in other fields, such as biomonitoring, conservation biology or ecosystem restoration, is yet to be fully explored (Bengtsson, 2010; Heino, 2013; Leibold and Chase, 2018; Chase et al., 2020; Cid et al., 2020; Heino et al., 2021). In this Research Topic, our aim was to invite researchers working in different biogeographic regions and ecological systems (Figure 1) to publish a number of innovative papers on metacommunity spatio-temporal dynamics. We expect to obtain a better understanding of how the factors and processes that structure metacommunities vary in space and time, as well as the implications of such dynamics for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management.