First In Situ Identification of Ultradian and Infradian Rhythms, and Nocturnal Locomotion Activities of Four Colonies of Red Wood Ants ( Formica rufa-Group).
Berberich Gabriele M,Berberich Martin B,Ellison Aaron M,Grumpe Arne,Wöhler Christian
Journal of biological rhythms
In situ activity patterns of 2 Formica rufa-group species ( F. pratensis; F. polyctena) were continuously studied at 4 different red wood-ant nests for 6 months in each of the years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2016 and related to weather factors and variations in the Earth's magnetic field. The in situ activity patterns of both species were similarly periodic and exhibited ultradian, and short- and long infradian rhythms under natural LD conditions. Crepuscular and nocturnal activities shorter than or equal to 4 h were observed in both species, especially at the new moon and first quarter after the astronomical twilight in a period of darkness in fall. We hypothesize that local variability in the Earth's magnetic field affects these long-term activity patterns, whereas humidity and temperature were more strongly associated with ultradian rhythms (less than 20 h).
Broadening the ecological mindset.
Ellison Aaron M,Barker Plotkin Audrey A,Patel Manisha V,Record Sydne
Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America
Over the past three decades, the Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology (HF-SRPE) has been at the forefront of expanding the ecological tent for minoritized or otherwise marginalized students. By broadening the definition of ecology to include fields such as data science, software engineering, and remote sensing, we attract a broader range of students, including those who may not prioritize field experiences or who may feel unsafe working in rural or urban field sites. We also work towards a more resilient society in which minoritized or marginalized students can work safely, in part by building teams of students and mentors. Teams collaborate on projects that require a diversity of approaches and create opportunities for students and mentors alike to support one another and share leadership. Finally, HF-SRPE promotes an expanded view of what it means to become an ecologist. We value and support diverse career paths for ecologists to work in all parts of society, to diversify the face of ecology, and to bring different perspectives together to ensure innovations in environmental problem solving for our planet.
Foundation Species, Non-trophic Interactions, and the Value of Being Common.
Ellison Aaron M
Foundation species define ecosystems, control the biological diversity of associated species, modulate critical ecosystem processes, and often have important cultural values and resonance. This review summarizes current understanding of the characteristics and traits of foundation species and how to distinguish them from other "important" species in ecological systems (e.g., keystone, dominant, and core species); illustrates how analysis of the structure and function of ecological networks can be improved and enriched by explicit incorporation of foundation species and their non-trophic interactions; discusses the importance of pro-active identification and management of foundation species as a cost-effective and efficient method of sustaining valuable ecosystem processes and services and securing populations of associated rare, threatened, or endangered species; and suggests broader engagement of citizen-scientists and non-specialists in the identification and study of foundation species and their biological and cultural values.
Foundation species across a latitudinal gradient in China.
Qiao Xiujuan,Zhang Jiaxin,Wang Zhong,Xu Yaozhan,Zhou Tianyang,Mi Xiangcheng,Cao Min,Ye Wanhui,Jin Guangze,Hao Zhanqing,Wang Xugao,Wang Xihua,Tian Songyan,Li Xiankun,Xiang Wusheng,Liu Yankun,Shao Yingnan,Xu Kun,Sang Weiguo,Zeng Fuping,Ren Haibao,Jiang Mingxi,Ellison Aaron M
Foundation species structure forest communities and ecosystems but are difficult to identify without long-term observations or experiments. We used statistical criteria--outliers from size-frequency distributions and scale-dependent negative effects on alpha diversity and positive effects on beta diversity--to identify candidate foundation woody plant species in 12 large forest-dynamics plots spanning 26 degrees of latitude in China. We used these data (1) to identify candidate foundation species in Chinese forests, (2) to test the hypothesis--based on observations of a midlatitude peak in functional trait diversity and high local species richness but few numerically dominant species in tropical forests--that foundation woody plant species are more frequent in temperate than tropical or boreal forests, and (3) to compare these results with data from the Americas to suggest candidate foundation genera in northern hemisphere forests. Using the most stringent criteria, only two species of Acer, the canopy tree Acer ukurunduense and the shrubby treelet Acer barbinerve, were identified in temperate plots as candidate foundation species. Using more relaxed criteria, we identified four times more candidate foundation species in temperate plots (including species of Acer, Pinus, Juglans, Padus, Tilia, Fraxinus, Prunus, Taxus, Ulmus, and Corlyus) than in (sub)tropical plots (the treelets or shrubs Aporosa yunnanensis, Ficus hispida, Brassaiopsis glomerulata, and Orophea laui). Species diversity of co-occurring woody species was negatively associated with basal area of candidate foundation species more frequently at 5- and 10-m spatial grains (scale) than at a 20-m grain. Conversely, Bray-Curtis dissimilarity was positively associated with basal area of candidate foundation species more frequently at 5-m than at 10- or 20-m grains. Both stringent and relaxed criteria supported the hypothesis that foundation species are more common in mid-latitude temperate forests. Comparisons of candidate foundation species in Chinese and North American forests suggest that Acer be investigated further as a foundation tree genus.