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Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Andrew D Barnes, Malte Jochum, Jonathan S Lefcheck, Nico Eisenhauer, Christoph Scherber, Mary I O'Connor, Peter de Ruiter, Ulrich Brose
Relating biodiversity to ecosystem functioning in natural communities has become a paramount challenge as links between trophic complexity and multiple ecosystem functions become increasingly apparent. Yet, there is still no generalised approach to address such complexity in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) studies. Energy flux dynamics in ecological networks provide the theoretical underpinning of multitrophic BEF relationships. Accordingly, we propose the quantification of energy fluxes in food webs as a powerful, universal tool for understanding ecosystem functioning in multitrophic systems spanning different ecological scales...
January 8, 2018: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Kathryn C Grabenstein, Scott A Taylor
Hybridization between naturally co-occurring species that normally do not interbreed is being documented following anthropogenic habitat modifications for an increasing number of taxa. Here, we evaluate the mechanisms by which disturbance promotes hybridization and highlight the utility of human-caused hybridization for understanding evolution. Monitoring hybridization dynamics before, and following, disturbance over multiple timescales offers a unique opportunity to understand how disturbances alter species interactions and to pinpoint the mechanisms that cause species barriers to fail...
January 3, 2018: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
David Díez-Del-Molino, Fatima Sánchez-Barreiro, Ian Barnes, M Thomas P Gilbert, Love Dalén
Many species have undergone dramatic population size declines over the past centuries. Although stochastic genetic processes during and after such declines are thought to elevate the risk of extinction, comparative analyses of genomic data from several endangered species suggest little concordance between genome-wide diversity and current population sizes. This is likely because species-specific life-history traits and ancient bottlenecks overshadow the genetic effect of recent demographic declines. Therefore, we advocate that temporal sampling of genomic data provides a more accurate approach to quantify genetic threats in endangered species...
December 27, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Sheela P Turbek, Elizabeth S C Scordato, Rebecca J Safran
Seasonal journeys between breeding and non-breeding habitat are undertaken by a diverse array of animals. Parallel developments in tracking and genomic methods are enabling finer resolution of these movements and their role in the evolutionary process. Evidence from allopatric and co-occurring breeding populations indicates that variation in migratory behavior is often associated with genetic differentiation. While assortative mating and selection against hybrids due to divergent migratory phenotypes can contribute to reproductive isolation, the details of these mechanisms remain unclear...
December 27, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Ben C Scheele, Claire N Foster, Sam C Banks, David B Lindenmayer
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 26, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Louis Bernatchez, Maren Wellenreuther
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 26, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Sean R Connolly, Sally A Keith, Robert K Colwell, Carsten Rahbek
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 23, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Anna Kuparinen, Silva Uusi-Heikkilä
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 22, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Brian J McGill, Angela Potochnik
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 21, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Tim S Doherty, Don A Driscoll
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 20, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Paul V R Snelgrove, Karline Soetaert, Martin Solan, Simon Thrush, Chih-Lin Wei, Roberto Danovaro, Robinson W Fulweiler, Hiroshi Kitazato, Baban Ingole, Alf Norkko, R John Parkes, Nils Volkenborn
Diverse biological communities mediate the transformation, transport, and storage of elements fundamental to life on Earth, including carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. However, global biogeochemical model outcomes can vary by orders of magnitude, compromising capacity to project realistic ecosystem responses to planetary changes, including ocean productivity and climate. Here, we compare global carbon turnover rates estimated using models grounded in biological versus geochemical theory and argue that the turnover estimates based on each perspective yield divergent outcomes...
December 13, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Torsten H Struck, Jeffrey L Feder, Mika Bendiksby, Siri Birkeland, José Cerca, Vladimir I Gusarov, Sonja Kistenich, Karl-Henrik Larsson, Lee Hsiang Liow, Michael D Nowak, Brita Stedje, Lutz Bachmann, Dimitar Dimitrov
Cryptic species could represent a substantial fraction of biodiversity. However, inconsistent definitions and taxonomic treatment of cryptic species prevent informed estimates of their contribution to biodiversity and impede our understanding of their evolutionary and ecological significance. We propose a conceptual framework that recognizes cryptic species based on their low levels of phenotypic (morphological) disparity relative to their degree of genetic differentiation and divergence times as compared with non-cryptic species...
December 11, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Pierre Mariotte, Zia Mehrabi, T Martijn Bezemer, Gerlinde B De Deyn, Andrew Kulmatiski, Barbara Drigo, G F Ciska Veen, Marcel G A van der Heijden, Paul Kardol
In agricultural and natural systems researchers have demonstrated large effects of plant-soil feedback (PSF) on plant growth. However, the concepts and approaches used in these two types of systems have developed, for the most part, independently. Here, we present a conceptual framework that integrates knowledge and approaches from these two contrasting systems. We use this integrated framework to demonstrate (i) how knowledge from complex natural systems can be used to increase agricultural resource-use efficiency and productivity and (ii) how research in agricultural systems can be used to test hypotheses and approaches developed in natural systems...
December 11, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Andrew D Foote
Sympatric speciation has been of key interest to biologists investigating how natural and sexual selection drive speciation without the confounding variable of geographic isolation. The advent of the genomic era has provided a more nuanced and quantitative understanding of the different and often complex modes of speciation by which sympatric sister taxa arose, and a reassessment of some of the most compelling empirical case studies of sympatric speciation. However, I argue that genomic studies based on contemporary populations may never be able to provide unequivocal evidence of true primary sympatric speciation, and there is a need to incorporate palaeogenomic studies into this field...
November 30, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
William J Sutherland, Stuart H M Butchart, Ben Connor, Caroline Culshaw, Lynn V Dicks, Jason Dinsdale, Helen Doran, Abigail C Entwistle, Erica Fleishman, David W Gibbons, Zhigang Jiang, Brandon Keim, Xavier Le Roux, Fiona A Lickorish, Paul Markillie, Kathryn A Monk, Diana Mortimer, James W Pearce-Higgins, Lloyd S Peck, Jules Pretty, Colleen L Seymour, Mark D Spalding, Femke H Tonneijck, Rosalind A Gleave
This is our ninth annual horizon scan to identify emerging issues that we believe could affect global biological diversity, natural capital and ecosystem services, and conservation efforts. Our diverse and international team, with expertise in horizon scanning, science communication, as well as conservation science, practice, and policy, reviewed 117 potential issues. We identified the 15 that may have the greatest positive or negative effects but are not yet well recognised by the global conservation community...
November 27, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Rachel M Germain, Jennifer L Williams, Dolph Schluter, Amy L Angert
Character displacement is one of the most studied phenomena in evolutionary biology, yet research has narrowly focused on demonstrating whether or not displacement has occurred. We propose a new experimental approach, adopted from the coexistence literature, that directly measures interspecific competition among sympatric and allopatric populations of species. Doing so allows increased ability to (i) test predictions of character displacement without biases inherent to character-centric tests, (ii) quantify its effect on the stability of coexistence, (iii) resolve the phenotypic pathways through which competitive divergence is achieved, and (iv) perform comparative tests...
November 24, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Richard J Hobbs, Leonie E Valentine, Rachel J Standish, Stephen T Jackson
Increased attention to species movement in response to environmental change highlights the need to consider changes in species distributions and altered biological assemblages. Such changes are well known from paleoecological studies, but have accelerated with ongoing pervasive human influence. In addition to species that move, some species will stay put, leading to an array of novel interactions. Species show a variety of responses that can allow movement or persistence. Conservation and restoration actions have traditionally focused on maintaining or returning species in particular places, but increasingly also include interventions that facilitate movement...
November 21, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Nate G McDowell, Sean T Michaletz, Katrina E Bennett, Kurt C Solander, Chonggang Xu, Reed M Maxwell, Craig D Allen, Richard S Middleton
Society increasingly demands the stable provision of ecosystem resources to support our population. Resource risks from climate-driven disturbances, including drought, heat, insect outbreaks, and wildfire, are growing as a chronic state of disequilibrium results from increasing temperatures and a greater frequency of extreme events. This confluence of increased demand and risk may soon reach critical thresholds. We explain here why extreme chronic disequilibrium of ecosystem function is likely to increase dramatically across the globe, creating no-analog conditions that challenge adaptation...
November 13, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Alexandra J R Carthey, Daniel T Blumstein
Through natural as well as anthropogenic processes, prey can lose historically important predators and gain novel ones. Both predator gain and loss frequently have deleterious consequences. While numerous hypotheses explain the response of individuals to novel and familiar predators, we lack a unifying conceptual model that predicts the fate of prey following the introduction of a novel or a familiar (reintroduced) predator. Using the concept of eco-evolutionary experience, we create a new framework that allows us to predict whether prey will recognize and be able to discriminate predator cues from non-predator cues and, moreover, the likely persistence outcomes for 11 different predator-prey interaction scenarios...
November 10, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
José M Montoya, Ian Donohue, Stuart L Pimm
The notion of a 'safe operating space for biodiversity' is vague and encourages harmful policies. Attempts to fix it strip it of all meaningful content. Ecology is rapidly gaining insights into the connections between biodiversity and ecosystem stability. We have no option but to understand ecological complexity and act accordingly.
November 7, 2017: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
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