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  • 1
    In: Oikos, October 2014, Vol.123(10), pp.1153-1156
    Description: To purchase or authenticate to the full-text of this article, please visit this link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/oik.01768/abstract Byline: Ulrich Brose, Stefan Scheu ***** No abstract is available for this article. *****
    Keywords: Soil Structure;
    ISSN: 0030-1299
    E-ISSN: 1600-0706
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Basic and Applied Ecology, 2011, Vol.12(7), pp.557-561
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2011.09.010 Byline: Ulrich Brose Keywords: Food webs; Extinctions; Biodiversity Author Affiliation: Systemic Conservation Biology, Georg-August University Goettingen, Berliner Str. 28, 37073 Goettingen, Germany Article History: Received 16 August 2011; Accepted 17 September 2011
    Keywords: Food Webs ; Extinctions ; Biodiversity ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Ecology
    ISSN: 1439-1791
    E-ISSN: 16180089
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  • 3
    In: Oikos, October 2014, Vol.123(10), pp.1224-1233
    Description: Soil systems maintain important ecosystem processes crucial for plant life and food production. Especially agricultural systems are strongly affected by climate change due to low vegetation cover associated with high temperatures and drought. Nevertheless, the response of soil systems to climate change is little explored. We used microcosms with a simplified soil community to address effects of climate change using independent temperature and dryness gradients and addressed their effects on top–down control and litter decomposition. The community consisted of maize litter as a basal resource, fungi, springtails and as top predators mites and centipedes. As the body‐size structure is of high importance for communities, we included differently‐sized springtails and predator species. After seven weeks, the experiment was terminated, and the impact of climate change on direct feeding interactions and indirect effects across trophic levels was analysed. With increasing temperature and dryness, consumption rates increased, thereby amplifying the negative influence of consumer populations on their resources. Hence, these climate‐change variables increased the top–down control of 1) predators (mainly mites) on springtails and 2) fungi on litter decomposition. In addition, we found that the climate‐change variables strengthened trophic cascades from predators on fungi whose density was thus increasingly decoupled from top–down control by their springtail consumers. Their increased decomposition rates are of high importance for carbon cycling and may result in accelerated nutrient turnover. In conclusion, our results suggest that climate change may strongly influence the structure and functioning of soil systems by strengthening consumption rates and trophic cascades, which will have far reaching consequences for the nutrient turnover and productivity of agricultural ecosystems.
    Keywords: Climate Change – Environmental Aspects ; Droughts – Environmental Aspects ; Agricultural Ecology – Environmental Aspects ; Ecosystems – Environmental Aspects;
    ISSN: 0030-1299
    E-ISSN: 1600-0706
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  • 4
    In: Ecology Letters, May 2012, Vol.15(5), pp.436-443
    Description: To authenticate to the full-text of this article, please visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01750.x Byline: Florian Dirk Schneider (1,2*), Stefan Scheu (1), Ulrich Brose (1) Keywords: Allometry; body size; biodiversity-ecosystem functioning; food web; identity effects; interaction strength; intraguild predation; predator-prey interactions; species traits; trophic cascade Abstract: Ecology Letters (2012) 15: 436-443 Abstract Understanding effects of species loss in complex food webs with multiple trophic levels is complicated by the idiosyncrasy of the predator effects on lower trophic levels: direct and indirect effects intermingle and may increase, decrease or not affect ecosystem functioning. We introduce a reductionist approach explaining a predator's trophic effect only by empirically well-founded body-mass constraints on abundance, diet breadth and feeding strength. We demonstrate that this mechanistic concept successfully explains the positive, negative and neutral net effects of predators on decomposers in a litter microcosm experiment. This approach offers a new perspective on the interplay of complex interactions within food webs and is easily extendable to include phylogenetic and other body-mass independent traits. We anticipate that allometry will substantially improve our understanding of idiosyncratic predator effects in experiments and the consequences of predator loss in natural ecosystems. Author Affiliation: (1)Georg August University Gottingen, J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Berliner Str. 28, 37073 Gottingen, Germany (2)Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Institute of Zoology, Schnittspahnstr. 10, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany Article History: Editor, Giulio De Leo Manuscript received 10 November 2011 First decision made 8 December 2011 Second decision made 27 December 2011 Third decision made 16 January 2012 Manuscript accepted 31 January 2012 Article note: (*) E-mail: f_schneider@bio.tu-darmstadt.de
    Keywords: Allometry ; Body Size ; Biodiversity–Ecosystem Functioning ; Food Web ; Identity Effects ; Interaction Strength ; Intraguild Predation ; Predator–Prey Interactions ; Species Traits ; Trophic Cascade
    ISSN: 1461-023X
    E-ISSN: 1461-0248
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  • 5
    In: Ecology Letters, March 2012, Vol.15(3), pp.243-250
    Description: To authenticate to the full-text of this article, please visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01733.x Byline: Lotta Heckmann (1*), Barbara Drossel (1), Ulrich Brose (2), Christian Guill (2) Keywords: Body mass; networks; optimal foraging; population dynamics; predator-prey; simulation Abstract: Ecology Letters (2012) Abstract Body-size structure of food webs and adaptive foraging of consumers are two of the dominant concepts of our understanding how natural ecosystems maintain their stability and diversity. The interplay of these two processes, however, is a critically important yet unresolved issue. To fill this gap in our knowledge of ecosystem stability, we investigate dynamic random and niche model food webs to evaluate the proportion of persistent species. We show that stronger body-size structures and faster adaptation stabilise these food webs. Body-size structures yield stabilising configurations of interaction strength distributions across food webs, and adaptive foraging emphasises links to resources closer to the base. Moreover, both mechanisms combined have a cumulative effect. Most importantly, unstructured random webs evolve via adaptive foraging into stable size-structured food webs. This offers a mechanistic explanation of how size structure adaptively emerges in complex food webs, thus building a novel bridge between these two important stabilising mechanisms. Author Affiliation: (1)Institut fur Festkorperphysik, TU Darmstadt, Hochschulstra[sz]e 6, 64289 Darmstadt, Germany (2)Systemic Conservation Biology, J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Georg-August-University Gottingen, Berliner Str. 28, 37073 Gottingen, Germany Article History: Editor, Gregor Fussmann Manuscript received 2 November 2011 First decision made 29 November 2011 Manuscript accepted 13 December 2011 Article note: (*) E-mail: lotta@fkp.tu-darmstadt.de
    Keywords: Body Mass ; Networks ; Optimal Foraging ; Population Dynamics ; Predator–Prey ; Simulation
    ISSN: 1461-023X
    E-ISSN: 1461-0248
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 19 May 2016, Vol.371(1694)
    Description: The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) and its consequence for ecosystem services has predominantly been studied by controlled, short-term and small-scale experiments under standardized environmental conditions and constant community compositions. However, changes in biodiversity occur in real-world ecosystems with varying environments and a dynamic community composition. In this theme issue, we present novel research on BEF in such dynamic communities. The contributions are organized in three sections on BEF relationships in (i) multi-trophic diversity, (ii) non-equilibrium biodiversity under disturbance and varying environmental conditions, and (iii) large spatial and long temporal scales. The first section shows that multi-trophic BEF relationships often appear idiosyncratic, while accounting for species traits enables a predictive understanding. Future BEF research on complex communities needs to include ecological theory that is based on first principles of species-averaged body masses, stoichiometry and effects of environmental conditions such as temperature. The second section illustrates that disturbance and varying environments have direct as well as indirect (via changes in species richness, community composition and species' traits) effects on BEF relationships. Fluctuations in biodiversity (species richness, community composition and also trait dominance within species) can severely modify BEF relationships. The third section demonstrates that BEF at larger spatial scales is driven by different variables. While species richness per se and community biomass are most important, species identity effects and community composition are less important than at small scales. Across long temporal scales, mass extinctions represent severe changes in biodiversity with mixed effects on ecosystem functions. Together, the contributions of this theme issue identify new research frontiers and answer some open questions on BEF relationships in dynamic communities of real-world landscapes.
    Keywords: Disturbance ; Food Webs ; Meta-Communities ; Spatial and Temporal Scales ; Species Richness ; Varying Environmental Conditions ; Biodiversity ; Ecosystem
    ISSN: 09628436
    E-ISSN: 1471-2970
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Biological Conservation, 2015, Vol.191, p.750(9)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.08.033 Byline: Steffen Mumme, Malte Jochum, Ulrich Brose, Noor Farikhah Haneda, Andrew D. Barnes Abstract: Tropical land-use intensification is rapidly increasing in regions that harbour high levels of biodiversity, thus posing a serious threat to the stability and resilience of tropical ecosystems and the important ecosystem services that they provide. We compared functional group richness and functional dispersion in litter-invertebrate communities among four different land-use systems, ranging in intensity from primary degraded lowland forest to oil-palm agriculture in two landscapes on Sumatra, Indonesia. We then investigated the consequences for functional stability and community resilience by calculating functional redundancy and response diversity of sampled communities. From primary degraded forest to intensively managed oil-palm systems, we found a 46% decrease in species richness and a 48% reduction in density, but weaker effects on functional group richness and an increase in functional dispersion. Although we detected no significant alteration of response diversity, functional redundancy of litter-invertebrate communities decreased clearly by losing 37% of functionally redundant species due to land-use change. Our results indicate that land-use change, from tropical rainforest to oil-palm agriculture, can alter both taxonomic and functional diversity of litter-invertebrate communities, resulting in the loss of functional redundancy and thus functional stability of these ecosystems. However, we also show that land-use systems of intermediate management intensity, such as jungle-rubber agroforestry, could serve as reservoirs of functional diversity and stability in monoculture-dominated production landscapes. Article History: Received 25 February 2015; Revised 14 August 2015; Accepted 24 August 2015
    Keywords: Biodiversity ; Land Use ; Land Use Controls
    ISSN: 0006-3207
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Oikos, 2014, Vol.123(10), p.1157(16)
    Description: To purchase or authenticate to the full-text of this article, please visit this link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/oik.00865/abstract Byline: Christoph Digel, Alva Curtsdotter, Jens Riede, Bernhard Klarner, Ulrich Brose Food web topologies depict the community structure as distributions of feeding interactions across populations. Although the soil ecosystem provides important functions for aboveground ecosystems, data on complex soil food webs is notoriously scarce, most likely due to the difficulty of sampling and characterizing the system. To fill this gap we assembled the complex food webs of 48 forest soil communities. The food webs comprise 89 to 168 taxa and 729 to 3344 feeding interactions. The feeding links were established by combining several molecular methods (stable isotope, fatty acid and molecular gut content analyses) with feeding trials and literature data. First, we addressed whether soil food webs (n = 48) differ significantly from those of other ecosystem types (aquatic and terrestrial aboveground, n = 77) by comparing 22 food web parameters. We found that our soil food webs are characterized by many omnivorous and cannibalistic species, more trophic chains and intraguild-predation motifs than other food webs and high average and maximum trophic levels. Despite this, we also found that soil food webs have a similar connectance as other ecosystems, but interestingly a higher link density and clustering coefficient. These differences in network structure to other ecosystem types may be a result of ecosystem specific constraints on hunting and feeding characteristics of the species that emerge as network parameters at the food-web level. In a second analysis of land-use effects, we found significant but only small differences of soil food web structure between different beech and coniferous forest types, which may be explained by generally strong selection effects of the soil that are independent of human land use. Overall, our study has unravelled some systematic structures of soil food-webs, which extends our mechanistic understanding how environmental characteristics of the soil ecosystem determine patterns at the community level.
    Keywords: Soil Structure – Analysis ; Forest Soils – Analysis
    ISSN: 0030-1299
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 9
    Article
    Article
    Language: English
    In: German Research, May, 2013, Vol.35(1), p.28(4)
    Description: Byline: Ulrich Brose(1) Abstract The sixth wave of species extinction on Earth has begun. Research is already looking to discover what natural ecosystems will have to contend with in the future. Analysing networks has led to some surprisingly clear predictions. Author Affiliation: (1)J. F. Blumenbach Institut fur Zoologie und Anthropologie, Berliner Stra[sz]e 28, 37073 Gottingen, Germany J. F. Blumenbach Institut fur Zoologie und Anthropologie, Berliner Stra[sz]e 28, 37073 Gottingen, Germany, http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/189430.html
    ISSN: 0172-1526
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Basic and applied ecology, 2010, Vol.11(1), pp.1-5
    Description: Over several decades nature conservancy research has gathered increasing evidence on the processes that drive species extinctions. Nevertheless, the world's ecosystems are currently exposed to a fast wave of species extinctions, and nature conservancy research has to face the challenge of predicting the consequences of extinctions. In the context of complex food webs that compose natural ecosystems, these primary extinctions affect the biomasses and growth rates of all co-existing species, which can eventually lead to secondary extinctions and extinction cascades of multiple species. Network theory provides a tool for predicting the consequences of extinctions for other species and ecosystem functions. In this sense, ecological network theory could become the next cornerstone of nature conservancy research. ; Includes references Summary in German. ; p. 1-5.
    Keywords: Habitat Conservation ; Probability Analysis ; Habitats ; Endangered Species ; Environmental Impact ; Prediction ; Environmental Protection ; Habitat Fragmentation ; Environmental Monitoring ; Threatened Species ; Ecosystem Management ; Extinction ; Environmental Assessment ; Food Webs ; Species Diversity ; Food Chain ; Conservation Practices ; Ecological Network Theory
    ISSN: 1439-1791
    E-ISSN: 16180089
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