Insights into Oikos papers

Are moderate dispersal abilities best for species richness?

Beetles come in all shapes and sizes. [Source: Insects Unlocked project at the University of Texas at Austin]. "An inordinate fondness for species with intermediate dispersal abilities" (Ashby et al. 2019) JBS Haldane, one of the most influential evolutionary...

Effects of habitat instability on toad populations

Most wildlife populations live in habitats that show variation in biotic and abiotic conditions across space and time. This means any given species needs to find ways to deal with such variation in environmental conditions (e.g., local adaptation, phenotypic plasticity...

Beauty of collaborative experiments

I always am fascinated by the possibility of tweaking certain parameters and seeing their effects on a given process or a pattern. Experiments are usually my way of doing it. During my post-doc at iDiv, my office was next to a fungal ecologist-Ainhoa Martinez. We often...

Do water plants clean up water?

Anyone who has had an aquarium or a garden pond is likely to be familiar with the concept of water plants (macrophytes) helping to keep the water clean. In freshwater lakes, macrophytes are doing exactly that. Recall the lakes that you may have visited—you might notice...

Citizen science shows how predation risk effects can reduce lifetime fitness

Simple observations can sometimes lead to unexpected scientific discoveries. In 1996, wildlife biologist and educator Dick Thiel was musing about the abundance of North American porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) near his home in central Wisconsin. That winter he started...

What happens in the ecosystem if an apex predator is removed?

Our study reports the results of the first broad-scale field study investigating the ecological role of Australia’s largest terrestrial predator, the dingo, in tropical savannah ecosystems. We did this by comparing the abundances of herbivores, an introduced...

Water and the lack of it shape tundra vegetation patterns

Water has a control over vegetation. Whether there is too much or too little of it, it has an impact on the spatial patterns of plants, mosses and lichens. This is evident in arid ecosystems – about but what about cold ecosystems which are considered as temperature...

How long time does a T. Rex take to digest a seed?

When an animal ingests a seed, how long does it take for the seed to pass through its gut? This is an important question for plant ecologists, because seed retention time (SRT) can determine the distance the seed can travel. A number of studies have measured SRT for a...

WHY this variation in vulnerability?

As I child, I could only dream about the Amazon Rainforest. Few places had such a stronghold on my imagination – a mystical and remote place teeming with unparalleled diversity and exotic creatures. But when, decades later, I made my inaugural trip to Manaus, Brazil, I...

Generalists are the most urban-tolerant birds

What makes an urban bird (Figure 1)? Are there certain ecological and life history traits which make some species predisposed to urban living (Figure 2)? This is a longstanding question in urban ecology: see here, here, and here for just a few select examples. Much of...

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