3 min read

ESA 2014 -- day 2

ESA is in full swing now at its second day.

I went to two ignite sessions about tools and tips for working with ecological data, though I did not stay there for the whole sessions. Amber Budden introduced and walked through DataOne, which is a public data repository. Carly Strasser then gave us four tips about making high quality data. You can download her slides here. There were also some other cool talks but I missed them. Especially the talk given by Karthik Ram about rOpenSci project.

David Storch gave a fantastic talk about relationships between species richness and number of individuals. Based on the energy hypothesis, more energy available will lead to more NPP, thus more individual stems, ending with more species. However, David et al found that the variation of individual numbers is not responsible to variation of species richness, though number of individuals may contribute to species richness regulation. However, this probably dependents on spatial scale and clade.

Vigdis Vandvik’s lab did some really cool plant transplantation experiments. In alpine grassland of Norway, they transplanted turfs to warmer and wetter locations. They also transplanted turfs within the same site to serve as control. Then they looked at species composition and community abundance weighed trait value for the turfs and controls and their neighbor quadrats. They found that precipitation does not matter too much in their system, even precipitation varied from 600 - 3000 mm. Instead, temperature explained most of the variations. It is also interesting that the species composition changes as well as two traits (leaf area and seed mass) actually not differ from expected by chance. However, SLA and maximum height did differ significantly from random expectation. The bigger in initial dissimilarities among transplanted turfs and the sites the turfs transplanted to, the larger of the changes in functional traits of plants in that transplanted turf. So, I guess that filtering effects are really strong here!

Peter Adler analyzed coexistence of five perennial plants using Chesson 2000’s framework and long-term demographic data. They found that stabilizing niche differences among these five species were large but fitness differences were small. They also found that niche of recruitment is the most important factor in their model. Intraspecific competition in these systems is stronger than interspecific competition.

Tadashi Fukami found priority effects between yeast and bacteria in flower nectar. Pollinators do not like bacteria but like yeast in nectar. Thus yeast have negative effects on bacteria, which then have negative on plant-pollinator relationships (i.e. more bacteria, less pollinator visitation). Thus, yeast have positive effects on plant-pollinator relationships! In order to understand the microbial effects of nectar on plant-pollinator relationship, we need to study microbial community assembly! Neat story. I did not think too much about community assembly at this scale, but it is much easy to conduct manipulation experiments at this scale!

It seems that you sorted out all things and you do not need my help.

This sentences made me a really nice day, thanks, Nick.