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Selection: with tag complexity [194 articles] 

 

Beyond pairwise mechanisms of species coexistence in complex communities

  
Nature, Vol. 546, No. 7656. (31 May 2017), pp. 56-64, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature22898

Abstract

The tremendous diversity of species in ecological communities has motivated a century of research into the mechanisms that maintain biodiversity. However, much of this work examines the coexistence of just pairs of competitors. This approach ignores those mechanisms of coexistence that emerge only in diverse competitive networks. Despite the potential for these mechanisms to create conditions under which the loss of one competitor triggers the loss of others, we lack the knowledge needed to judge their importance for coexistence in nature. ...

 

How to fight corruption

  
Science, Vol. 356, No. 6340. (26 May 2017), pp. 803-804, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aan0815

Abstract

Anticorruption initiatives are often put forth as solutions to problems of waste and inefficiency in government programs. It's easy to see why. So often, somewhere along the chain that links the many participants in public service provision or other government activities, funds may get stolen or misdirected, bribes exchanged for preferential treatment, or genuine consumers of public services supplemented by “ghost” users. As a result, corruption reduces economic growth and leaves citizens disillusioned and distrustful of government (1). It is tempting ...

 

Divergence of species responses to climate change

  
Science Advances, Vol. 3, No. 5. (17 May 2017), e1603055, https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1603055

Abstract

Climate change can have profound impacts on biodiversity and the sustainability of many ecosystems. Various studies have investigated the impacts of climate change, but large-scale, trait-specific impacts are less understood. We analyze abundance data over time for 86 tree species/groups across the eastern United States spanning the last three decades. We show that more tree species have experienced a westward shift (73%) than a poleward shift (62%) in their abundance, a trend that is stronger for saplings than adult trees. The ...

 

System-of-Systems engineering management: a review of modern history and a path forward

  
IEEE Systems Journal, Vol. 2, No. 4. (18 December 2008), pp. 484-499, https://doi.org/10.1109/jsyst.2008.2007163

Abstract

As our knowledge of system of systems (SoS) has grown and evolved, so has our understanding of how to engineer and manage them. In systems engineering, we develop architectures and frameworks to bring meaning to this kind of uncertainty, but for SoS engineering (SoSE) we are still in search of how we can structure this understanding. In this paper, we review the SoS literature to illustrate the need to create an SoSE management framework based on the demands of constant technological ...

 

Multitrait successional forest dynamics enable diverse competitive coexistence

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 13. (28 March 2017), pp. E2719-E2728, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1610206114

Abstract

[Significance] Walking through any forest, one is struck by the variety of plant forms coexisting. Given that all plants compete for the same basic resources, why is there not a single winner? Our study shows that when key ingredients common to all forests are accounted for—including disturbance events, competition for light, and two widely observed trait-based tradeoffs—models of niche differentiation predict forests of considerably greater diversity than was previously thought possible. In particular, our model accurately predicts the proliferation of species occupying ...

 

Fitness of multidimensional phenotypes in dynamic adaptive landscapes

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 30, No. 8. (August 2015), pp. 487-496, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2015.06.003

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] Integrating fitness into community ecology will improve trait-based predictions. [::] Dynamic adaptive landscapes link phenotypes to fitness across environments. [::] Fitness is a function of multidimensional phenotype–environment interactions. [::] Intraspecific trait covariation constrains environmental niche breadth. [Abstract] Phenotypic traits influence species distributions, but ecology lacks established links between multidimensional phenotypes and fitness for predicting species responses to environmental change. The common focus on single traits rather than multiple trait combinations limits our understanding of their adaptive value, and intraspecific trait covariation has been neglected in ...

 

Evolutionary and plastic responses to climate change in terrestrial plant populations

  
Evolutionary Applications, Vol. 7, No. 1. (January 2014), pp. 123-139, https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.12112

Abstract

As climate change progresses, we are observing widespread changes in phenotypes in many plant populations. Whether these phenotypic changes are directly caused by climate change, and whether they result from phenotypic plasticity or evolution, are active areas of investigation. Here, we review terrestrial plant studies addressing these questions. Plastic and evolutionary responses to climate change are clearly occurring. Of the 38 studies that met our criteria for inclusion, all found plastic or evolutionary responses, with 26 studies showing both. These responses, ...

 

Post-normal institutional identities: quality assurance, reflexivity and ethos of care

  

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] Given the current crises of legitimacy and quality in mainstream science, institutions that produce and govern science and those that provide scientific advice to policy need to change their modus operandis; we advocate for an ethos of care. [::] Post-normal science and other frameworks of scientific knowledge production may inspire trustfulness in institutions that provide scientific advice to policy. [::] In Europe, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has the necessary scaffolding to advise policy in view of public interest, ...

 

Individuals and the variation needed for high species diversity in forest trees

  
Science, Vol. 327, No. 5969. (25 February 2010), pp. 1129-1132, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1183506

Abstract

In the past, explanations for high species diversity have been sought at the species level. Theory shows that coexistence requires substantial differences between species, but species-level data rarely provide evidence for such differences. Using data from forests in the southeastern United States, I show here that variation evident at the individual level provides for coexistence of large numbers of competitors. Variation among individuals within populations allows species to differ in their distributions of responses to the environment, despite the fact that ...

 

Resolving the biodiversity paradox

  
Ecology Letters, Vol. 10, No. 8. (August 2007), pp. 647-659, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01041.x

Abstract

The paradox of biodiversity involves three elements, (i) mathematical models predict that species must differ in specific ways in order to coexist as stable ecological communities, (ii) such differences are difficult to identify, yet (iii) there is widespread evidence of stability in natural communities. Debate has centred on two views. The first explanation involves tradeoffs along a small number of axes, including ‘colonization-competition’, resource competition (light, water, nitrogen for plants, including the ‘successional niche’), and life history (e.g. high-light growth vs. ...

 

Competition theory, evolution, and the concept of an ecological niche

  
Acta Biotheoretica, Vol. 31, No. 3. (1982), pp. 165-179, https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01857239

Abstract

This article examines some of the main tenets of competition theory in light of the theory of evolution and the concept of an ecological niche. The principle of competitive exclusion and the related assumption that communities exist at competitive equilibrium - fundamental parts of many competition theories and models - may be violated if non-equilibrium conditions exist in natural communities or are incorporated into competition models. Furthermore, these two basic tenets of competition theory are not compatible with the theory of ...

 

Ecology and the ratchet of events: climate variability, niche dimensions, and species distributions

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, No. Supplement 2. (17 November 2009), pp. 19685-19692, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0901644106

Abstract

Climate change in the coming centuries will be characterized by interannual, decadal, and multidecadal fluctuations superimposed on anthropogenic trends. Predicting ecological and biogeographic responses to these changes constitutes an immense challenge for ecologists. Perspectives from climatic and ecological history indicate that responses will be laden with contingencies, resulting from episodic climatic events interacting with demographic and colonization events. This effect is compounded by the dependency of environmental sensitivity upon life-stage for many species. Climate variables often used in empirical niche models ...

 

Multiple dimensions of climate change and their implications for biodiversity

  
Science, Vol. 344, No. 6183. (01 May 2014), pp. 1247579-1247579, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1247579

Abstract

[Structured Abstract] [::Background] Changes in Earth’s climate over time can be measured in many ways. The different metrics available represent alternative dimensions of climate change, each with distinct implications for biodiversity conservation and other sectors. However, this diversity is rarely recognized. At any given locality, average temperature or precipitation can increase or decrease, extreme values can become more intense or frequent, and the timing of specific climatic events can shift. At the same time, climatic conditions are redistributed at broader spatial extents. Across ...

 

A review of the combination among global change factors in forests, shrublands and pastures of the Mediterranean Region: beyond drought effects

  
Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 148 (January 2017), pp. 42-54, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2016.11.012

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] Different global change factors combine causing unprecedented ecological effects. [::] Much more complex interactions arise when combinations occur together. [::] Drought should be considered when designing and applying management policies. [::] Conserving Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems is a collective effort. [Abstract] Climate change, alteration of atmospheric composition, land abandonment in some areas and land use intensification in others, wildfires and biological invasions threaten forests, shrublands and pastures all over the world. However, the impacts of the combinations between global change factors are not well understood despite ...

 

Viewing forests through the lens of complex systems science

  
Ecosphere, Vol. 5, No. 1. (January 2014), art1, https://doi.org/10.1890/es13-00182.1

Abstract

Complex systems science provides a transdisciplinary framework to study systems characterized by (1) heterogeneity, (2) hierarchy, (3) self-organization, (4) openness, (5) adaptation, (6) memory, (7) non-linearity, and (8) uncertainty. Complex systems thinking has inspired both theory and applied strategies for improving ecosystem resilience and adaptability, but applications in forest ecology and management are just beginning to emerge. We review the properties of complex systems using four well-studied forest biomes (temperate, boreal, tropical and Mediterranean) as examples. The lens of complex systems ...

 

From management to stewardship: viewing forests as complex adaptive systems in an uncertain world

  
Conservation Letters, Vol. 8, No. 5. (September 2015), pp. 368-377, https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12156

Abstract

The world's forests and forestry sector are facing unprecedented biological, political, social, and climatic challenges. The development of appropriate, novel forest management and restoration approaches that adequately consider uncertainty and adaptability are hampered by a continuing focus on production of a few goods or objectives, strong control of forest structure and composition, and most importantly the absence of a global scientific framework and long-term vision. Ecosystem-based approaches represent a step in the right direction, but are limited in their ability to ...

 

Keep it complex

  
Nature, Vol. 468, No. 7327. (23 December 2010), pp. 1029-1031, https://doi.org/10.1038/4681029a

Abstract

When knowledge is uncertain, experts should avoid pressures to simplify their advice. Render decision-makers accountable for decisions, says Andy Stirling. ...

 

Predicting the impacts of climate change on the distribution of species: are bioclimate envelope models useful?

  
Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 12, No. 5. (1 September 2003), pp. 361-371, https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1466-822x.2003.00042.x

Abstract

Modelling strategies for predicting the potential impacts of climate change on the natural distribution of species have often focused on the characterization of a species’ bioclimate envelope. A number of recent critiques have questioned the validity of this approach by pointing to the many factors other than climate that play an important part in determining species distributions and the dynamics of distribution changes. Such factors include biotic interactions, evolutionary change and dispersal ability. This paper reviews and evaluates criticisms of bioclimate ...

 

Constraints on global fire activity vary across a resource gradient

  
Ecology, Vol. 92, No. 1. (2011), pp. 121-132, https://doi.org/10.1890/09-1843.1

Abstract

We provide an empirical, global test of the varying constraints hypothesis, which predicts systematic heterogeneity in the relative importance of biomass resources to burn and atmospheric conditions suitable to burning (weather/climate) across a spatial gradient of long-term resource availability. Analyses were based on relationships between monthly global wildfire activity, soil moisture, and mid-tropospheric circulation data from 2001 to 2007, synthesized across a gradient of long-term averages in resources (net primary productivity), annual temperature, and terrestrial biome.We demonstrate support for the varying ...

 

Predictors of elevational biodiversity gradients change from single taxa to the multi-taxa community level

  
Nature Communications, Vol. 7 (22 December 2016), 13736, https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13736

Abstract

The factors determining gradients of biodiversity are a fundamental yet unresolved topic in ecology. While diversity gradients have been analysed for numerous single taxa, progress towards general explanatory models has been hampered by limitations in the phylogenetic coverage of past studies. By parallel sampling of 25 major plant and animal taxa along a 3.7 km elevational gradient on Mt. Kilimanjaro, we quantify cross-taxon consensus in diversity gradients and evaluate predictors of diversity from single taxa to a multi-taxa community level. While single ...

 

Forest value: more than commercial - Response

  
Science, Vol. 354, No. 6319. (23 December 2016), pp. 1541-1542, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aal2612

Abstract

[Excerpt] Paul and Knoke address the commercial value and profitability of forest biodiversity, which differs fundamentally from the economic value that we outlined in our Research Article. [...] Our estimates pertain to the sole contribution of tree species diversity, as it exists today, to global forest productivity, from which the economic value accrues. Our analysis—which includes nonmarket values not commonly captured in commercial forestry but excludes the contribution of forest biodiversity to carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, and aesthetic and cultural values—reflects ...

 

Complex responses to global change at alpine treeline

  
Physical Geography, Vol. 22, No. 4. (1 July 2001), pp. 333-342, https://doi.org/10.1080/02723646.2001.10642747

Abstract

A focus of geography is the study of complexity: we include many interacting processes when we study places. Another view of complexity in geography is that complex pattern, in particular spatial pattern, can arise from few or simple interactions, if they are nonlinear. Environmental responses to global change are likely to be nonlinear and thus complex. Shifts in ecotones–the boundaries of vegetation types or biomes–may be indicative of such complex response to global change. One reason for expecting nonlinearity is that ...

 

Welcome to postnormal times

  
Futures, Vol. 42, No. 5. (20 June 2010), pp. 435-444, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2009.11.028

Abstract

All that was ‘normal’ has now evaporated; we have entered postnormal times, the in-between period where old orthodoxies are dying, new ones have not yet emerged, and nothing really makes sense. To have any notion of a viable future, we must grasp the significance of this period of transition which is characterised by three c's: complexity, chaos and contradictions. These forces propel and sustain postnormal times leading to uncertainty and different types of ignorance that make decision-making problematic and increase risks ...

 

Climate, CO2 and human population impacts on global wildfire emissions

  
Biogeosciences, Vol. 13, No. 1. (15 January 2016), pp. 267-282, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-267-2016

Abstract

Wildfires are by far the largest contributor to global biomass burning and constitute a large global source of atmospheric traces gases and aerosols. Such emissions have a considerable impact on air quality and constitute a major health hazard. Biomass burning also influences the radiative balance of the atmosphere and is thus not only of societal, but also of significant scientific interest. There is a common perception that climate change will lead to an increase in emissions as hot and dry weather ...

 

Relationships between human population density and burned area at continental and global scales

  
PLoS ONE, Vol. 8, No. 12. (16 December 2013), e81188, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0081188

Abstract

We explore the large spatial variation in the relationship between population density and burned area, using continental-scale Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) based on 13 years of satellite-derived burned area maps from the global fire emissions database (GFED) and the human population density from the gridded population of the world (GPW 2005). Significant relationships are observed over 51.5% of the global land area, and the area affected varies from continent to continent: population density has a significant impact on fire over most ...

 

Defining pyromes and global syndromes of fire regimes

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, No. 16. (16 April 2013), pp. 6442-6447, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1211466110

Abstract

Fire is a ubiquitous component of the Earth system that is poorly understood. To date, a global-scale understanding of fire is largely limited to the annual extent of burning as detected by satellites. This is problematic because fire is multidimensional, and focus on a single metric belies its complexity and importance within the Earth system. To address this, we identified five key characteristics of fire regimes—size, frequency, intensity, season, and extent—and combined new and existing global datasets to represent each. We ...

 

System crash as dynamics of complex networks

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 42. (18 October 2016), pp. 11726-11731, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1612094113

Abstract

[Significance] System crash, as an essential part of system evolution, sometimes happens in peculiar manners: Weakened systems may survive for a surprisingly long time before suddenly meeting their final ends, whereas seemingly unbeatable giants may drastically crash to virtual nonexistence. We propose a model that describes system crash as a consequence of some relatively simple local information-based individual behaviors: Individuals leave networks according to some most straightforward assessment of current and future benefits/risks. Of note, such a simple rule may enable a ...

 

Partial connectivity increases cultural accumulation within groups

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 11. (15 March 2016), pp. 2982-2987, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1518798113

Abstract

[Significance] The remarkable ecological success of the human species has been attributed to our capacity to overcome environmental challenges through the development of complex technologies. Complex technologies are typically beyond the inventive capacities of individuals and result from a population process by which innovations are gradually added to existing cultural traits across many generations. Recent work suggests that a population’s ability to develop technologies is positively affected by its size and connectedness. Here, we present an experiment demonstrating that partially connected groups ...

 

Biodiversity and ecosystem services: a multilayered relationship

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 27, No. 1. (1 January 2012), pp. 19-26, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2011.08.006

Abstract

The relationship between biodiversity and the rapidly expanding research and policy field of ecosystem services is confused and is damaging efforts to create coherent policy. Using the widely accepted Convention on Biological Diversity definition of biodiversity and work for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment we show that biodiversity has key roles at all levels of the ecosystem service hierarchy: as a regulator of underpinning ecosystem processes, as a final ecosystem service and as a good that is subject to valuation, whether ...

 

Hyperauthorship: a postmodern perversion or evidence of a structural shift in scholarly communication practices?

  
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 52, No. 7. (2001), pp. 558-569, https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.1097

Abstract

Classical assumptions about the nature and ethical entailments of authorship (the standard model) are being challenged by developments in scientific collaboration and multiple authorship. In the biomedical research community, multiple authorship has increased to such an extent that the trustworthiness of the scientific communication system has been called into question. Documented abuses, such as honorific authorship, have serious implications in terms of the acknowledgment of authority, allocation of credit, and assigning of accountability. Within the biomedical world it has been proposed ...

 

Recent advances and remaining uncertainties in resolving past and future climate effects on global fire activity

  
Current Climate Change Reports, Vol. 2, No. 1. (2016), pp. 1-14, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40641-016-0031-0

Abstract

Fire is an integral component of the Earth system that will critically affect how terrestrial carbon budgets and living systems respond to climate change. Paleo and observational records document robust positive relationships between fire activity and aridity in many parts of the world on interannual to millennial timescales. Observed increases in fire activity and aridity in many areas over the past several decades motivate curiosity as to the degree to which anthropogenic climate change will alter global fire regimes and subsequently ...

 

Progress in wilderness fire science: embracing complexity

  
Journal of Forestry (May 2016), pp. 373-383, https://doi.org/10.5849/jof.15-008

Abstract

Wilderness has played an invaluable role in the development of wildland fire science. Since Agee's review of the subject 15 years ago, tremendous progress has been made in the development of models and data, in understanding the complexity of wildland fire as a landscape process, and in appreciating the social factors that influence the use of wilderness fire. Regardless of all we have learned, though, the reality is that fire remains an extraordinarily complex process with variable effects that create essential ...

 

The bio-economy concept and knowledge base in a public goods and farmer perspective

  
Bio-based and Applied Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1. (2012), pp. 47-63

Abstract

Currently an industrial perspective dominates the EU policy framework for a European bio-economy. The Commission’s proposal on the bio-economy emphasises greater resource-efficiency, largely within an industrial perspective on global economic competitiveness, benefiting capital-intensive industries at higher levels of the value chain. However a responsible bio-economy must initially address the sustainable use of resources. Many farmers are not only commodity producers but also providers of quality food and managers of the eco-system. A public goods-oriented bio-economy emphasises agro-ecological methods, organic and low ...

 

Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity

  
Nature, Vol. 537, No. 7618. (24 August 2016), pp. 93-96, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature19324

Abstract

Niche dimensionality provides a general theoretical explanation for biodiversitymore niches, defined by more limiting factors, allow for more ways that species can coexist. Because plant species compete for the same set of limiting resources, theory predicts that addition of a limiting resource eliminates potential trade-offs, reducing the number of species that can coexist. Multiple nutrient limitation of plant production is common and therefore fertilization may reduce diversity by reducing the number or dimensionality of belowground limiting factors. At the same time, ...

 

Grassland species loss resulting from reduced niche dimension

  
Nature, Vol. 446, No. 7137. (25 March 2007), pp. 791-793, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05684

Abstract

Intact ecosystems contain large numbers of competing but coexisting species. Although numerous alternative theories have provided potential explanations for this high biodiversity, there have been few field experiments testing between these theories. In particular, theory predicts that higher diversity of coexisting competitors could result from greater niche dimensionality1, for example larger numbers of limiting resources or factors. Alternatively, diversity could be independent of niche dimensionality because large numbers of species can coexist when limited by just one or two factors if ...

 

Size asymmetry of resource competition and the structure of plant communities

  
Journal of Ecology, Vol. 104, No. 4. (July 2016), pp. 899-910, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12557

Abstract

Plant communities show two general responses to gradients of soil resources: a decrease in species richness at high levels of resource availability and an associated shift in species composition from small and slow-growing species to large and fast-growing species. Models attempting to explain these responses have usually focused on a single pattern and provided contradicting predictions concerning the underlying mechanisms. [\n] We use an extension of Tilman's resource competition model to investigate the hypothesis that both patterns may ...

 

Size asymmetry of resource competition and the structure of plant communities: commentary on DeMalach et al 2016

  
Journal of Ecology, Vol. 104, No. 4. (July 2016), pp. 911-912, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12591

Abstract

[Excerpt] The hump-back relationship between diversity and productivity is one of the well-known patterns in ecology that have defied unequivocal explanation (Mittelbach et al. 2001; Šímová, Li & Storch 2013). While it has often been argued that the decline of species richness under high productivity is due to more intense competition, it has never been made fully clear why extinction under high productivity should be more likely compared to low productivity. DeMalach et al. (2016) present a simple and elegant explanation: it ...

 

Effects of resource additions on species richness and ANPP in an alpine meadow community

  
Journal of Plant Ecology, Vol. 3, No. 1. (01 March 2010), pp. 25-31, https://doi.org/10.1093/jpe/rtp034

Abstract

[Aims] Theories based on resource additions indicate that plant species richness is mainly determined by the number of limiting resources. However, the individual effects of various limiting resources on species richness and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) are less well understood. Here, we analyzed potential linkages between additions of limiting resources, species loss and ANPP increase and further explored the underlying mechanisms. [Methods] Resources (N, P, K and water) were added in a completely randomized block design to alpine meadow plots in ...

 

Nutrient co-limitation of primary producer communities

  
Ecology Letters, Vol. 14, No. 9. (September 2011), pp. 852-862, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01651.x

Abstract

Synergistic interactions between multiple limiting resources are common, highlighting the importance of co-limitation as a constraint on primary production. Our concept of resource limitation has shifted over the past two decades from an earlier paradigm of single-resource limitation towards concepts of co-limitation by multiple resources, which are predicted by various theories. Herein, we summarise multiple-resource limitation responses in plant communities using a dataset of 641 studies that applied factorial addition of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in freshwater, marine and terrestrial ...

 

Where, why and how? Explaining the low-temperature range limits of temperate tree species

  
Journal of Ecology, Vol. 104, No. 4. (July 2016), pp. 1076-1088, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12574

Abstract

Attempts at explaining range limits of temperate tree species still rest on correlations with climatic data that lack a physiological justification. Here, we present a synthesis of a multidisciplinary project that offers mechanistic explanations. Employing climatology, biogeography, dendrology, population and reproduction biology, stress physiology and phenology, we combine results from in situ elevational (Swiss Alps) and latitudinal (Alps vs. Scandinavia) comparisons, from reciprocal common garden and phytotron studies for eight European broadleaf tree species. [\n] We show that ...

 

Higher-order organization of complex networks

  
Science, Vol. 353, No. 6295. (26 July 2016), pp. 163-166, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aad9029
Keywords: complexity   connectivity   networks   pattern  

Abstract

[Resolving a network of hubs] Graphs are a pervasive tool for modeling and analyzing network data throughout the sciences. Benson et al. developed an algorithmic framework for studying how complex networks are organized by higher-order connectivity patterns (see the Perspective by Pržulj and Malod-Dognin). Motifs in transportation networks reveal hubs and geographical elements not readily achievable by other methods. A motif previously suggested as important for neuronal networks is part of a “rich club” of subnetworks. [Abstract] Networks are a fundamental tool for understanding ...

 

Modeling monthly near-surface air temperature from solar radiation and lapse rate: application over complex terrain in Yellowstone national park

  
Physical Geography, Vol. 29, No. 2. (1 March 2008), pp. 158-178, https://doi.org/10.2747/0272-3646.29.2.158

Abstract

Spatially distributed surface temperature over complex topography is important to many ecological processes, but it varies spatially and temporally in complex ways and is difficult to measure at landscape scales at tens of meters resolution. Our goal is to develop a methodology that accurately predicts surface temperature in mountain ecosystems. First, we modeled monthly incoming solar radiation (insolation) based on topography and observed variation in atmospheric conditions, and accounting for site latitude, elevation, and surface orientation (slope and aspect), daily and ...

 

Extraordinary intelligence and the care of infants

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 25. (21 June 2016), pp. 6874-6879, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1506752113

Abstract

[Significance] One mystery of human evolution is why our cognition differs qualitatively from our closest evolutionary relatives. Here we show how natural selection for large brains may lead to premature newborns, which themselves require more intelligence to raise, and thus may select for even larger brains. As we show, these dynamics can be self-reinforcing and lead to runaway selection for extremely high intelligence and helpless newborns. We test a prediction of this account: the helplessness of a primate’s newborns should strongly predict ...

 

The effect of biodiversity on tree productivity: from temperate to boreal forests

  
Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 20, No. 1. (1 January 2011), pp. 170-180, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00592.x

Abstract

[Aim] An important issue regarding biodiversity concerns its influence on ecosystem functioning. Experimental work has led to the proposal of mechanisms such as niche complementarity. However, few attempts have been made to confirm these in natural systems, especially in forests. Furthermore, one of the most interesting unresolved questions is whether the effects of complementarity on ecosystem functioning (EF) decrease in favour of competitive exclusions over an increasing productivity gradient. Using records from permanent forest plots, we asked the following questions. (1) ...

 

Unfalsifiability of security claims

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 23. (07 June 2016), pp. 6415-6420, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1517797113

Abstract

[Significance] Much in computer security involves recommending defensive measures: telling people how they should choose and maintain passwords, manage their computers, and so on. We show that claims that any measure is necessary for security are empirically unfalsifiable. That is, no possible observation contradicts a claim of the form “if you don’t do X you are not secure.” This means that self-correction operates only in one direction. If we are wrong about a measure being sufficient, a successful attack will demonstrate that ...

 

How green are biofuels?

  
Science, Vol. 319, No. 5859. (04 January 2008), pp. 43-44, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1153103

Abstract

Many biofuels are associated with lower greenhouse-gas emissions but have greater aggregate environmental costs than gasoline. [Excerpt] Global warming and escalating petroleum costs are creating an urgent need to find ecologically friendly fuels. Biofuels—such as ethanol from corn (maize) and sugarcane—have been increasingly heralded as a possible savior. But others have argued that biofuels will consume vast swaths of farmland and native habitats, drive up food prices, and result in little reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions . An innovative study by Zah et ...

 

A new modeling approach for water resources policy analysis

  
Water Resources Research, Vol. 35, No. 1., null, https://doi.org/10.1029/1998wr900023

Abstract

Water resources policy analysis deals with the protection of people from the harmful effects of water and assurance of a consistent, adequate supply of usable water. Population and regulatory pressures, political and economic instabilities, and climatic variations can all be expected to further stress water supply resources. Developing policy for managing water systems for human needs in such an environment is difficult, slow, and very costly. The approach to water resources policy analysis developed in this paper is that of the ...

 

The use of system dynamics simulation in water resources management

  
Water Resources Management In Water Resources Management, Vol. 23, No. 7. (1 May 2009), pp. 1301-1323, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-008-9328-7

Abstract

In this paper we discuss the use of system dynamics as a methodology with which to address dynamically complex problems in water resources management. Problems in regional planning and river basin management, urban water management, flooding and irrigation exhibit important short-term and long-term effects, and are often contentious issues with high potential for conflict. We argue that system dynamics combined with stakeholder involvement provides an appropriate methodology to address these issues effectively. We trace the theoretical and practical evolution of system ...

 

Changes in climatic water balance drive downhill shifts in plant species' optimum elevations

  
Science, Vol. 331, No. 6015. (2011), pp. 324-327, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1199040

Abstract

Uphill shifts of species' distributions in response to historical warming are well documented, which leads to widespread expectations of continued uphill shifts under future warming. Conversely, downhill shifts are often considered anomalous and unrelated to climate change. By comparing the altitudinal distributions of 64 plant species between the 1930s and the present day within California, we show that climate changes have resulted in a significant downward shift in species' optimum elevations. This downhill shift is counter to what would be expected ...

 

Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems

  
Science, Vol. 293, No. 5530. (2001), pp. 629-637, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1059199

Abstract

Ecological extinction caused by overfishing precedes all other pervasive human disturbance to coastal ecosystems, including pollution, degradation of water quality, and anthropogenic climate change. Historical abundances of large consumer species were fantastically large in comparison with recent observations. Paleoecological, archaeological, and historical data show that time lags of decades to centuries occurred between the onset of overfishing and consequent changes in ecological communities, because unfished species of similar trophic level assumed the ecological roles of overfished species until they too were ...

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