A hyper‐arid environment shapes an inverse pattern of the fast–slow plant economics spectrum for above‐, but not below‐ground resource acquisition strategies
Carvajal, D., Loayza, A., Rios, R., Delpiano, C., & Squeo, F.
The fast–slow plant economics spectrum predicts that because of evolutionary and biophysical constraints, different plant organs must be coordinated to converge in a unique ecological strategy within a continuum that shifts from fast to slow resource acquisition and conservation. Therefore, along a gradient of aridity, taxa with different strategies will be expected to be successful because selection pressures for slow resource acquisition become stronger as the environment becomes drier. In extremely arid and seasonal environments, however, a slow strategy may become disadvantageous because slow traits are costly to maintain. Additionally, as the availability of water decreases, selection pressures increase, reducing the variation in ecological strategies.
Using shrub assemblages along an aridity gradient in the Atacama Desert, we test the hypothesis that selection pressures imposed by hyper‐aridity act simultaneously on the variation and coordination of trait attributes, leading to an inverse pattern in the fast–slow plant economics spectrum, where strategies shift from slow to fast as the environment becomes drier.
We established 20–22 plots at each of four sites along the gradient to estimate plant community structure and functional variation. For all species recorded, we quantified a set of leaf, stem, and root traits.
Results revealed an inverse pattern of the fast–slow economics spectrum for leaf and stem traits, but not for root traits; that is, as aridity further increased, above‐ground traits exhibited a shift from a slow to a fast strategy with some level of coordination. Below‐ground traits, however, did not shift accordingly with our prediction, rather they showed more complex pattern of shift and coordination with above‐ground traits along the gradient. We also found that trait variation showed an idiosyncratic pattern of variation along the gradient, indicating that ecological strategies are driven by local processes within sites.
Synthesis. Our results increase our understanding of the fast–slow plant economics spectrum by showing that environmental gradients, as well as local process can simultaneously shape different below‐ and above‐ground resource acquisition strategies in extremely poor resource environments.
Palabras claves: Aridity gradient, Atacama Desert, Functional traits, Functional trait variation, Leaf root, Shrub communities, Stem.
First insight into the heritable variation and potential response to selection of phototaxis and locomotion behavior associated to the light/dark stimuli in the abalone Haliotis discus hannai
Defranchi, Y., Winkler, F., Farías, W., Herbinger, C., & Brokordt, K.
Abalones are especially susceptible to environmental lighting conditions. This factor greatly affects crucial biological process such as feeding rates, energy balance, physiological stress status, and consequently, growth and survival of farmed abalone. Most of these effects have been studied in the economically valuable abalone Haliotis discus hannai. The use of specific photoperiods, and/or light qualities and intensities, have been proposed as managing strategies to increase its production; however, for extensive off-shore or in intensive land-based farming systems, lighting conditions are not likely to be easily managed. Despite the great importance of the biological responses to the light/dark stimuli for abalone farming production, to the best of our knowledge the genetic control upon the variation associated behavioral traits have not been studied. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the heritable variation and potential responses to selection for the phototaxis [i.e., displacement towards (positive) or against (negative) the light source] and locomotion behaviors associated to the intensity of the response (i.e., crawling speed and displacement distance) to the light/dark stimuli in juvenile H. discus hannai. Genetic and phenotypic correlations between these traits were also estimated. Results showed moderate but significant heritable variations for phototaxis (h2 = 0.15) and locomotion responses (h2 = 0.18–0.37); and significant positive genetic correlations among them. Expected gain responses to selection per generation (with a selection intensity of 2.06, i.e., selecting 5% of the individuals from a population) were moderate for phototaxis variation (16%) and high for locomotion responses variation (33–67 or 36–73%, depending on the model used for the estimations). As a consequence, the potential for reducing (or incrementing, depending on the breeding goal) the reactivity or the sensibility to the light stimulus by selective breeding is good, and can be an attractive way of indirectly improving growth, survival and general welfare of farmed H. discus hannai.
Palabras claves: Abalone phototaxis, Locomotion to light/dark, Phototaxis heritability, Abalone farming, Selective breeding, Haliotis discus hannai
Travelling light: Fouling biota on macroplastics arriving on beaches of remote Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre
Rech, S., Thiel, M., Borrell Pichs, Y., & García-Vazquez, E.
Marine anthropogenic debris was sampled from two beaches on the remote South Pacific island Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Abundance, composition, and the attached fouling assemblages on stranded litter were analysed. Most litter (n = 172 items found) was composed of plastic material, and 34% of all litter items were fouled. The main fouling species was the encrusting bryozoan Jellyella eburnea. Transporting vectors were exclusively made from plastics and were mainly small items and fragments, probably stemming from the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre. We present the first report of Planes major, Halobates sericeus, and Pocillopora sp. on anthropogenic litter in the South Pacific.
Palabras claves: Non-indigenous species, Fouling assembly, Long-distance rafting, Marine anthropogenic litter, South Pacific Subtropical Gyre, Oceanic islands
Asymmetric competitive effects during species range expansion: An experimental assessment of interaction strength between “equivalent” grazer species in their range overlap
Aguilera, M., Valdivia, N., Jenkins, S., Navarrete, S., & Broitman, B.
Biotic interactions are central to the development of theory and concepts in community ecology; experimental evidence has shown their strong effects on patterns of population and community organization and dynamics over local spatial scales. The role of competition in determining range limits and preventing invasions at biogeographic scales is more controversial, partly because of the complexity of processes involved in species colonization of novel habitats and the difficulties in performing appropriate manipulations and controls.
We examined experimentally whether competition is likely to affect poleward range expansion hindering or facilitating the establishment of the limpet Scurria viridula along the south‐eastern Pacific rocky shore (30°S, Chile) in the region occupied by the congeneric S. zebrina. We also assessed whether competition with the “invader” or range‐expanding species could reduce individual performance of the “native” S. zebrina and depress local populations Geographic field surveys were conducted to characterize the abundance and identity of limpets along the south‐eastern Pacific coast from 18°S to 41°S, and the micro‐scale (few cm) spatial distribution across the range overlap of the two species. Field‐based competition experiments were conducted at the southern leading edge of the range of S. viridula (33°S) and at the northern limit of S. zebrina (30°S).
Field surveys showed poleward range expansion of S. viridula of ca. 210 km since year 2000, with an expansion rate of 13.1 km/year. No range shift was detected for S. zebrina. The resident S. zebrina had significant negative effects on the growth rate of the invading juvenile S. viridula, while no effect of the latter was found on S. zebrina. Spatial segregation between species was found at the scale of cms.
Our results provide novel evidence of an asymmetric competitive effect of a resident species on an invader, which may hamper further range expansion. No negative effect of the invader on the resident species was detected. This study highlights the complexities of evaluating the role of species interactions in setting range limits of species, but showed how interspecific competition might slow the advance of an invader by reducing individual performance and overall population size at the advancing front.
Palabras claves: Field experiments, Grazers, Pacific Ocean, Range overlap, Range shift, Transitional zone
Isolation and cross-amplification of the first set of polymorphic microsatellite markers of two high-Andean cushion plants
Acuña-Rodríguez, I., Gouin, N., Cifuentes-Lisboa, L., & Squeo, F.
In the southern Andes mountains (27– 39∘S ) Azorella madreporica and Laretia acaulis, two Apiaceae cushion plant species commonly known as yaretas, conform a well-established altitudinal vegetation belt along the lower Andean zone. These species have been considered as fundamental components of several ecological dynamics within their communities; however, high-mountain ecosystems are increasingly threatened worldwide by natural and anthropogenic pressures and the southern Andes are not the exception. Recognizing that genetic information is crucial for the success of any conservation or restoration initiative in wild populations, we developed and cross-amplified 28 specifically designed microsatellite markers (14 in A. madreporica and 14 in L. acaulis), and also tested the cross amplification of 25 markers from the related species Azorella selago. In a region which is particularly vulnerable to global change trends, this new polymorphic microsatellite loci will be useful in the study of the genetic diversity of these high-mountain cushion plants, which are pivotal in the structuring of their native ecosystems.
Palabras claves: Cushion plants, High-Andes, Microsatellite markers, Azorella madreporica, Laretia acaulis.
The 2017 coastal El Niño
Takahashi, K.; Aliaga-Nestares, V.; Avalos, G.; Bouchon, M.; Castro, A.; Cruzado, L.; Dewitte, B.; Gutiérrez, D.; Lavado-Casimiro, W.; Marengo, J.; Martínez, A. G.; Mosquera-Vásquez, K.; Quispe, N.
The original concept of El Niño consisted of anomalously high sea surface temperature and heavy rainfall along the arid northern coast of Peru (Carranza 1891; Carrillo 1893). The concept evolved into the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO; Bjerknes 1969), although the original El Niño and the Southern Oscillation do not necessarily have the same variability (Deser and Wallace 1987), and the strong El Niño episode in early 1925 coincided with cold-to-neutral ENSO conditions (Takahashi and Martínez 2017). To distinguish the near-coastal El Niño from the warm ENSO phase, Peru operationally defines the “coastal El Niño” based on the seasonal Niño 1+2 SST anomaly (ENFEN 2012; L’Heureux et al. 2017). While recent attention has been
brought to the concept of ENSO diversity (e.g., “central Pacific” vs “eastern Pacific” events; Capotondi et al. 2015), the coastal El Niño represents another facet of ENSO that requires further study in terms of its mechanisms and predictability.
Extreme El Niño Events
Dewitte, B., & Takahashi, K.
Every few years the tropical Pacific warms abnormally in association with a relaxation of the trade winds, a phenomenon known as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that represents the strongest fluctuation of the global climate system. Although the contemporary observational record indicates that all El Niño events are not alike, differing in amplitude, warming pattern, and teleconnection, there is a class of events that stands out in terms of the societal and economical impacts: the extreme El Niño events that have occurred every 15–20 years. In this chapter, we propose an overview of the state of knowledge and of some current lines of research dedicated to extreme El Niño events. Building on the recently proposed concept of ENSO diversity, we further synthesize our current understanding of the nonlinear dynamics of this class of events and their expected evolution in a warmer climate and highlight some challenges in ENSO research.
Palabras claves: El Niño, ENSO diversity, External forcing, Global warming, Teleconnection.
Is Precipitation a Good Metric for Model Performance?
Tapiador, F., Roca, R., Del Genio, A., Dewitte, B., Petersen, W., & Zhang, F.
Precipitation has often been used to gauge the performances of numerical weather and climate models, sometimes together with other variables such as temperature, humidity, geopotential, and clouds. Precipitation, however, is singular in that it can present a high spatial variability and probably the sharpest gradients among all meteorological fields. Moreover, its quantitative measurement is plagued with difficulties, and there are even notable differences among different reference datasets. Several additional issues sometimes lead to questions about its usefulness in model validation. This essay discusses the use of precipitation for model verification and validation and the crucial role of highly precise and reliable satellite estimates, such as those from NASA’s Global Precipitation Mission Core Observatory.
Chapter 29 – Chile: Environmental Status and Future Perspectives
Aguilera, M., Aburto, J., Bravo, L., Broitman, B., García, R., & Gaymer, C., Gelcich, S., López, B.A., Montecino, V., Pauchard, A., Ramos, M., Rutllant, J.A., Sáez, C.A., Valdivia, N., Thiel, M.
The coast of mainland Chile extends from 18°S to about 56°S, and is about 4200 km long. In the north, the coast is characterized by continuous, regular, and wave-exposed shores, while to south of 40°S it is highly fragmented, with extensive fjords and small archipelagos with many wave-protected zones. The Humboldt Current System (HCS) determines oceanographic and ecological processes in the northern part, with persistent upwelling fronts and episodic “El Niño” events. In the southern part the southward-flowing Magellan Current is important. Coastal upwelling along the HCS sustains a diverse pelagic and benthic food web structure. Rocky coastal habitats are dominated by large kelp forests and filter-feeding species like reef-forming mussels and tunicates.
The main coastal habitats along the coast of Chile are rocky shores, sandy beaches, coastal wetlands, and dunes. The main populated zones are concentrated between 33°S to 35°S in central Chile, with economically important trading ports. Sewage discharges from large cities have the potential to increase nutrients levels in nearshore habitats causing localized eutrophication. Mining activities in northern Chile contaminate coastal waters, while in the south intensive aquaculture affects the fjord ecosystem. Also, subsistence harvesting (of kelps, molluscs, fish) is dramatically reducing the abundance of top consumers or habitat-forming species.
The diverse and productive coastal marine ecosystems are used by different socioeconomic activities and exposed to interventions which are potentially harmful. Ecosystem services should be managed, and necessary interventions carefully planned. Achieving sustainable use of natural marine resources and coastal ecosystem integrity is challenging, and a basic understanding of ecosystem responses to direct human impacts and global climate change require better monitoring strategies. The establishment of a marine reserve “Humboldt Current System” would be a major step toward this goal.
Palabras claves: Continental Chile, Climate, Coastal Ecology, Human interventions, Humboldt Current System, Oceanography, Southeastern Pacific.
Cross-cultural invariances in the architecture of shame
Sznycer, D., Xygalatas, D., Agey, E., Alami, S., An, X., & Ananyeva, K., Atkinson, Q.D., Broitman, B.R., Conte, T.J., Flores, C., Fukushima, S., Hitokoto, H., Kharitonov, A.N., Onyishi, C.N., Onyishi, I.E., Romero, P.P., Schrock, J.M., Snodgrass, J., Sugiyama, L.S., Takemura, K., Townsend, C., Zhuang, , J-Y., Athena Aktipis, C., Cronk, L., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J.
Human foragers are obligately group-living, and their high dependence on mutual aid is believed to have characterized our species’ social evolution. It was therefore a central adaptive problem for our ancestors to avoid damaging the willingness of other group members to render them assistance. Cognitively, this requires a predictive map of the degree to which others would devalue the individual based on each of various possible acts. With such a map, an individual can avoid socially costly behaviors by anticipating how much audience devaluation a potential action (e.g., stealing) would cause and weigh this against the action’s direct payoff (e.g., acquiring). The shame system manifests all of the functional properties required to solve this adaptive problem, with the aversive intensity of shame encoding the social cost. Previous data from three Western(ized) societies indicated that the shame evoked when the individual anticipates committing various acts closely tracks the magnitude of devaluation expressed by audiences in response to those acts. Here we report data supporting the broader claim that shame is a basic part of human biology. We conducted an experiment among 899 participants in 15 small-scale communities scattered around the world. Despite widely varying languages, cultures, and subsistence modes, shame in each community closely tracked the devaluation of local audiences (mean r = +0.84). The fact that the same pattern is encountered in such mutually remote communities suggests that shame’s match to audience devaluation is a design feature crafted by selection and not a product of cultural contact or convergent cultural evolution.
Palabras claves: emotion, cognition, culture, cooperation, evolutionary psychology.