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  1. Sherwin, William (Ed.)
    Abstract Estimation of the effective number of breeders per reproductive event (Nb) using single sample DNA-marker-based methods has rapidly grown in recent years. However, estimating Nb is difficult in age-structured populations because the performance of estimators is influenced by the Nb / Ne ratio, which varies among species with different life histories. We provide a computer program, AgeStrucNb, to simulate age-structured populations (including life history) and also estimate Nb. The AgeStrucNb program is composed of 4 major components to simulate, subsample, estimate, and then visualize Nb time series data. AgeStrucNb allows users to also quantify the precision and accuracy of any set of loci or sample size to estimate Nb for many species and populations. AgeStrucNb allows users to conduct power analysis to evaluate sensitivity to detect changes in Nb or the power to detect a correlation between trends in Nb and environmental variables (e.g., temperature, habitat quality, predator or pathogen abundance) that could be driving changes in Nb. The software provides Nb estimates for empirical data sets using the LDNe (linkage disequilibrium) method, includes publication-quality output graphs, and outputs genotype files in Genepop format for use in other programs. AgeStrucNb will help advance the application of genetic markers formore »monitoring Nb, which will help biologists to detect population declines and growth, which is crucial for research and conservation of natural and managed populations.« less
  2. Abstract

    Riverine floodplains exhibit high floral and faunal diversity as a consequence of their biophysical complexity. Extension of such niche partitioning processes to microbial communities is far less resolved or supported. Here, we evaluated the responses of aquatic biofilms diversity to environmental gradients across ten riverine floodplains with differing degrees of flow alteration and habitat diversity to assess whether complex floodplains support biofilm communities with greater biodiversity and species interactions. No significant evidence was found to support a central role for habitat diversity in promoting microbial diversity across 116 samples derived from 62 aquatic habitats, as neither α (H’: 2.8–4.1) nor β (Sørensen: 0.3–0.39) diversity were positively related to floodplain complexity across the ten floodplains. In contrast, our results documented the sensitivity of biofilm communities to regional templates manifested as gradients of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous availability. Large-scale conditions reflecting nitrogen limitation increased the relative abundance of N-fixing cyanobacteria (up to 0.34 as fraction of total reads), constrained the total number of interactions among bacterial taxa, and reinforced negative over positive interactions, generating unique microbial communities and networks that reflect large-scale species sorting in response to regional geochemical gradients.