Virtual Issue: Nutritional Ecology: January 2009

Edited by Carol L. Boggs & David Raubenheimer
January 2009

Research on nutritional ecology is extensive, yet the area is under-recognized as a distinct field (Raubenheimer & Boggs, 2009). This virtual issue of Functional Ecology highlights a selection of the articles appearing in the journal over the past two years that focus on nutritional ecology. Many of these articles address questions within the broad areas covered by the accompanying special issue on nutritional ecology (Caut et al., 2008; Lee et al., 2008; Tibbets et al., 2008; Hessen et al., 2007; Krockenberger & Hume, 2007). Others further expand the organismal focus to include work on plants (Butler & Ellison, 2007), phytoplankton (Danger et al., 2007), marine invertebrates (Byrne et al., 2008), and birds (Catoni et al., 2008; Schaefer et al., 2008; Tschirren et al., 2007). We expand the conceptual focus to studies of metabolic processes (Voigt & Speakman, 2007) and of phenotypic plasticity, including plastic reproductive responses (Banet & Reznick, 2008; Byrne et al., 2008).

We hope that this virtual issue will give the reader a picture of the pervasive importance of nutritional ecology within functional studies. Acquisition, processing and allocation of resources constitute an underlying mechanism for many ecological and evolutionary processes. A synthetic understanding of ecology and evolution must be built on this foundation.

Carol L. Boggs & David Raubenheimer, Guest Editors 

Do Placental Species Abort Offspring? Testing an Assumption of the Trexler-DeAngelis Model
A. I. Banet, D. N. Reznick

Nutritional ecology of sea urchin larvae: influence of endogenous and exogenous nutrition on echinopluteal growth and phenotypic plasticity in Tripneustes gratilla
M. Byrne, M. A. Sewell, T. A. A. Prowse

Fruit for health: The effect of flavonoids on humoral immune response and food selection in a frugivorous bird
C. Catoni, H. M. Schaefer, A. Peters

Discrimination factors (Delta15N and Delta13C) in an omnivorous consumer: effect of diet isotopic ratio
S. Caut, E. Angulo, F. Courchamp

Dietary protein quality influences melanization and immune function in an insect
K. P. Lee, S. J. Simpson, K. Wilson

Birds use fruit colour as honest signal of dietary antioxidant rewards
H. M. Schaefer, K. McGraw, C. Catoni

Isotopic enrichment without change in diet: an ontogenetic shift in delta15N during insect metamorphosis
T. M. Tibbets, L. A. Wheeless, C. M. del Rio

Nitrogen cycling dynamics in the carnivorous northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea
J. Butler, A. M. Ellison

Bacteria can control stoichiometry and nutrient limitation of phytoplankton
M. Danger, C. Oumarou, D. Benest, G. Lacroix

RNA responses to N- and P-limitation; reciprocal regulation of stoichiometry and growth rate in Brachinonus
D. Hessen, T. C. Jensen, M. Kyle, J. J. Elser

A flexible digestive strategy accommodates the nutritional demands of reproduction in a free-living folivore, the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
A. K. Krockenberger, I. D. Hume

Host condition and host immunity affect parasite fitness in a bird-ectoparasite system
B. Tschirren, L. L. Bischoff, V. Saladin, H. Richner

Nectar-feeding bats fuel their high metabolism directly with exogenous carbohydrates
C. C. Voigt, J. R. Speakman

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