Ecological Research


    Vol. 36 (2021)
    No. submitted articles: 267
    No. accepted articles: 92


    Statistics in the 6 months (2021.07-12)
    Days to First Decision (All Manuscripts): 40.9 (days)
    Days to First Decision (Mss. with Final Decisions Only): 37.8 (days)

    Current issue
    (vol. 37, issue 2)
    Days for acceptance:
    118.71 (58–257)
    Days for Early View:
    158.43 (90–320)
    Days for publication:
    227.86 (167–377)


  • Forest degradation impacts on carbon stocks, tree density and regeneration status in banj oak forests of Central Himalaya

    Anvita Pandey, Kusum Arunachalam, Rajesh Thadani, Vishal Singh


    Ecological Research vol.35, No. 1 pp. 208–218

    Keywords: banj; chronic; disturbance; moderate; restore

    Abstract The oak forests of the Himalaya are an important repository of carbon. Forest degradation, in terms of loss in biomass and carbon, is a more pressing problem than loss of forest area in the Himalaya. The altitudinal gradient between 1,000 m and 2,200 m is dominated by chir pine and banj oak forest. As a result of small‐scale chronic disturbances the structure and function of banj oak forest is rapidly changing, leaving few pristine patches. Forty permanent plots of 400 m2 in four disturbance categories of Central Himalayas (1,400 m–2,300 m asl) were studied over 3 years (2015, 2016 and 2017) to understand the impact of disturbance on banj oak forests. The study indicates that tree biomass declined by 62% from undisturbed to degraded forests, carbon sequestration rate declined by 73% and was maximum for Moderately disturbed‐A forests, total soil carbon dropped by 79% and mycorrhizal sporocarps declined by 78% from undisturbed to degraded forests. There was an overall decline in tree density by 56% from undisturbed forests to degraded forests. In degraded forests, the invasion of pine, a species tolerant of disturbance, helps in maintaining the forest status but the population structure changes and significant decline in carbon sequestration rate and total biomass stocks (above ground biomass and below ground biomass) was observed. The study indicates that moderate level disturbance promotes better carbon sequestration rates, tree density and the survival of seedlings.

  • Genecology and ecophysiology of the maintenance of foliar phenotypic polymorphisms of Leptospermum recurvum (Myrtaceae) under oscillating atmospheric desiccation in the tropical‐subalpine zone of Mount Kinabalu, Borneo

    Soichi Ando, Yuji Isagi, Kanehiro Kitayama


    Ecological Research vol.35, No. 5 pp. 792–806

    Keywords: common garden; divergent selection; leaf trichomes; microsatellite analysis; water-use efficiency

    Abstract We investigated genecology and ecophysiological mechanisms of the polymorphism of leaf trichome density of Leptospermum recurvum Hook. f. (Myrtaceae) in the deglaciated summit zone above 3,000 m a.s.l. of Mt. Kinabalu, Borneo. Various phenotypes with variable foliar trichome densities occurred sympatrically in the same population, and the composition of coexisting phenotypes varied substantially among populations. We conducted a common garden experiment by sowing seeds from multiple maternal trees of different leaf trichome densities. We found a significant relation between pubescence of maternal trees and offspring, which indicated that leaf trichome density had a genetic basis. Microsatellite analysis revealed that there was no barrier to gene flows among phenotypes or among populations, and very low neutral genetic differentiation among populations with high gene flows for both directions of phenotypes. The soils in the sites dominated by pubescent trees were significantly more desiccated than in the sites dominated by glabrous trees during a short drought. Glabrous trees had a significantly greater mortality rate than pubescent trees after an intensive El Niño drought (13.7 vs. 3.9%) in the same sites where both phenotypes occurred sympatrically. Pubescent individuals demonstrated a significantly greater photosynthetic water‐use efficiency than glabrous individuals. El Niño droughts could cause large difference in soil moisture among sites and that a greater desiccation stress removed glabrous phenotypes as one end of divergent natural selection to form pubescent populations. These results implied that the process shaping the phenotypic polymorphisms involved strong gene flows combined with ongoing divergent selection.

  • Geographic changes in pollinator species composition affect the corolla tube length of self‐heal (Prunella vulgaris L.): Evidence from three elevational gradients

    Shin Egawa, Koyo Hirose, Takao Itino


    Ecological Research vol.35, No. 5 pp. 819–825

    Keywords: elevational variation; floral morphology; insect-plant interaction; mountain biodiversity; pollination mutualism

    Abstract Geographic difference in pollinator fauna and variation in average pollinator size may lead to local adaptations of flower size that enhance pollen transfer efficiency. Here, we show that flower size (corolla tube length) of Prunella vulgaris varies both laterally and along elevational gradients, in parallel with local pollinator proboscis length. We measured geographic variation in corolla tube length and leaf length of P. vulgaris, and in proboscis length of its bumblebee pollinators, in 12 populations on three different mountains. In estimating pollinator proboscis length, we considered both the average proboscis length of each bumblebee species and the species composition of bumblebees visiting P. vulgaris flowers. We then ascertained whether pollinator proboscis length, elevation itself, or resource availability (indicated by leaf length) correlated with corolla tube length. We found that the local pollinator species composition varied along elevation and among mountain areas, and this variation corresponded to geographic variation in the average pollinator proboscis length. Similarly, corolla tube length of P. vulgaris varied along elevation and among mountain areas. We found that the corolla tube length variation was not associated with elevation itself or local resource availability but was strongly associated with local pollinator average proboscis length. Although corolla tube length was generally shorter at higher elevation, it was relatively longer in some high‐elevation populations, where bumblebees having long proboscis length (Bombus consobrinus and B. diversus) visited the flowers. Therefore, parallel changes in P. vulgaris corolla tube length and pollinator proboscis length occur across a wide geographic region in central Japan.

  • Testing a butterfly commonness hypothesis with data assembled by a citizen science program “Tokyo Butterfly Monitoring”

    Izumi Washitani, Mihoko Nagai, Masaki Yasukawa, Masaru Kitsuregawa


    Ecological Research vol.35, No. 6 pp. 1087–1094

    Keywords: butterfly; commonness; host plant; megacity; monitoring

    Abstract We tested a hypothesis regarding species commonness using a database compiled by a citizen science program called “Tokyo Butterfly Monitoring.” The data used were more than 34,000 butterfly records, which were cleansed through expert check after posted by monitoring participants from 2009 to 2017. We hypothesized that butterfly species with multiple annual reproductive cycles and food plants common in city environments are more common and would have more monitoring reports. The generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) analysis revealed significant effects of including “cultivated plants” in the larval food menu and “multivoltinism” on the number of individual species reported, which was compatible with the hypothesis. The species with the most records (12% of all records among 90 species) was Zizeeria maha, which reproduces 5–6 times annually and relies on Oxalis corniculata, a small weed common in urban open spaces. Argyreus hyperbius, a southern species that was very rare before the 1990s, ranked third in the current data. Its major host plant is a common garden plant, the pansy, which grows in most gardens and green spaces. The data collected by the monitoring program appear to represent the status of the butterfly community in Tokyo, a megacity subjected to rapid environmental changes.