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Selection: with tag ecology [at least 200 articles] 

 

Regulation of lake primary productivity by food web structure

  
Ecology, Vol. 68, No. 6. (December 1987), pp. 1863-1876, https://doi.org/10.2307/1939878

Abstract

We performed whole—lake manipulations of fish populations to test the hypothesis that higher trophic levels regulate zooplankton and phytoplankton community structure, biomass, and primary productivity. The study involved three lakes and spanned 2 yr. Results demonstrated hierarchical control of primary production by abiotic factors and a trophic cascade involving fish predation. In Paul Lake, the reference lake, productivity varied from year to year, illustrating the effects of climatic factors and the natural dynamics of unmanipulated food web interactions. In Tuesday Lake, ...

 

Population regulation in snowshoe hare and Canadian lynx: asymmetric food web configurations between hare and lynx

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 94, No. 10. (13 May 1997), pp. 5147-5152

Abstract

The snowshoe hare and the Canadian lynx in the boreal forests of North America show 9- to 11-year density cycles. These are generally assumed to be linked to each other because lynx are specialist predators on hares. Based on time series data for hare and lynx, we show that the dominant dimensional structure of the hare series appears to be three whereas that of the lynx is two. The three-dimensional structure of the hare time series is hypothesized to be due ...

 

Regulation and stability of host-parasite population interactions: II - Destabilizing processes

  
Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 47, No. 1. (February 1978), pp. 249-267, https://doi.org/10.2307/3934

Abstract

[::1] Three categories of biological processes are shown to have a destabilizing influence on the dynamical behaviour of model host-parasite associations: parasite induced reduction in host reproductive potential, parasite reproduction within a host which directly increases parasite population size and time delays in parasite reproduction and transmission. [::2] The importance of parasitic species as regulators of host population growth is examined in light of empirical evidence. Data from two particular laboratory studies used to indicate the magnitude of this regulatory influence. ...

 

Regulation and stability of host-parasite population interactions: I - Regulatory processes

  
Journal of Animal Ecology, Vol. 47, No. 1. (February 1978), pp. 219-247, https://doi.org/10.2307/3933

Abstract

[::1] Several models describing the dynamics of host-parasite associations are discussed. [::2] The models contain the central assumption that the parasite increases the rate of host mortalities. The parasite induced changes in this rate are formulated as functions of the parasite numbers per host and hence of the statistical distribution of the parasites within the host population. [::3] The parameters influencing the ability of the parasite to regulate the growth of its host's population, and the stability of parasite induced equilibria, ...

 

The real cost of energy

  
Nature, Vol. 553, No. 7682. (2017), pp. S145-S147, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-017-07510-3

Abstract

All energy production has environmental and societal effects. But calculating them — and pricing energy accordingly — is no easy task. [Excerpt] [...] Electricity production is rife with externalities. Mining for raw materials often causes water pollution, habitat destruction and socio-economic harm. Burning coal pollutes the air, sickening and killing people, and introduces toxic mercury into the aquatic food chain. Nuclear-power plants require the clean-up and maintenance of radioactive materials after decommissioning. Energy production uses water, sometimes at the expense of agriculture and ...

 

A wildfire risk management concept based on a social-ecological approach in the European Union: Fire Smart Territory

  
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Vol. 18 (September 2016), pp. 138-153, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2016.06.005

Abstract

The current wildfire policies in European Union countries have not solved the wildfire problem and probably will not be effective in the future, as all the initiatives focus on suppression and minimize the use of fire embedded in the Traditional Ecologic Knowledge of European communities. The traditional fire use as a tool for land management has been handled and almost criminalized by an urban-centric perspective and anti-fire bias. These policies are poorly adapted to, and cannot cope with, the complex nature ...

 

Impact of food and predation on the snowshoe hare cycle

  
Science, Vol. 269, No. 5227. (25 August 1995), pp. 1112-1115, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.269.5227.1112

Abstract

Snowshoe hare populations in the boreal forests of North America go through 10-year cycles. Supplemental food and mammalian predator abundance were manipulated in a factorial design on 1-square-kilometer areas for 8 years in the Yukon. Two blocks of forest were fertilized to test for nutrient effects. Predator exclosure doubled and food addition tripled hare density during the cyclic peak and decline. Predator exclosure combined with food addition increased density 11-fold. Added nutrients increased plant growth but not hare density. Food and ...

 

Rules of thumb for judging ecological theories

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 19, No. 3. (March 2004), pp. 121-126, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2003.11.004

Abstract

An impressive fit to historical data suggests to biologists that a given ecological model is highly valid. Models often achieve this fit at the expense of exaggerated complexity that is not justified by empirical evidence. Because overfitted theories complement the traditional assumption that ecology is `messy', they generally remain unquestioned. Using predation theory as an example, we suggest that a fit-driven appraisal of model value is commonly misdirected; although fit to historical data can be important, the simplicity and generality of ...

 

The problem of pattern and scale in ecology: what have we learned in 20 years?

  
Ecology Letters, Vol. 16 (1 May 2013), pp. 4-16, https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12048

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, major advances have clarified how ecological patterns inform theory, and how in turn theory informs applied ecology. Also, there has been an increased recognition that the problem of scale at which ecological processes should be considered is critical if we are to produce general predictions. Ecological dynamics is always stochastic at small scales, but variability is conditional on the scale of description. The radical changes in the scope and aims of ecology over the past decades reflect ...

 

Fluctuations of animal populations and a measure of community stability

  
Ecology, Vol. 36, No. 3. (1 July 1955), pp. 533-536, https://doi.org/10.2307/1929601

Abstract

[Excerpt] Three assumptions will be made and a conclusion will be deduced from these. Since the conclusion is not always correct, it mill be justifiable to conclude that one or more of the assumptions is responsible. First, temporarily assume that the amount of energy entering the community (at the lowest trophic level, of course) does not vary with time. Second, assume that the length of time that energy is retained by a species before being passed on to the next doesn't change ...

 

Community diversity: relative roles of local and regional processes

  
Science, Vol. 235, No. 4785. (09 January 1987), pp. 167-171, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.235.4785.167

Abstract

The species richness (diversity) of local plant and animal assemblages--biological communities--balances regional processes of species formation and geographic dispersal, which add species to communities, against processes of predation, competitive exclusion, adaptation, and stochastic variation, which may promote local extinction. During the past three decades, ecologists have sought to explain differences in local diversity by the influence of the physical environment on local interactions among species, interactions that are generally believed to limit the number of coexisting species. But diversity of the ...

 

Population biology of infectious diseases: part II

  
Nature, Vol. 280, No. 5722. (9 August 1979), pp. 455-461, https://doi.org/10.1038/280455a0

Abstract

In the first part of this two-part article (Nature 280, 361–367), mathematical models of directly transmitted microparasitic infections were developed, taking explicit account of the dynamics of the host population. The discussion is now extended to both microparasites (viruses, bacteria and protozoa) and macroparasites (helminths and arthropods), transmitted either directly or indirectly via one or more intermediate hosts. Consideration is given to the relation between the ecology and evolution of the transmission processes and the overall dynamics, and to the mechanisms ...

 

Effects of fish in river food webs

  
Science, Vol. 250, No. 4982. (09 November 1990), pp. 811-814, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.250.4982.811

Abstract

Experimental manipulations of fish in a Northern California river during summer base flow reveal that they have large effects on predators, herbivores, and plants in river food webs. California roach and juvenile steelhead consume predatory insects and fish fry, which feed on algivorous chironomid larvae. In the presence of fish, filamentous green algae are reduced to low, prostrate webs, infested with chironomids. When the absence of large fish releases smaller predators that suppress chironomids, algal biomass is higher, and tall upright ...

 

Competing species leave many potential niches unfilled

  
Nature Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 1, No. 10. (18 September 2017), pp. 1495-1501, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0295-3

Abstract

A cornerstone of biology is that coexisting species evolve to occupy separate ecological niches. Classical theory predicts that interspecific competition should lead to all potential niches being occupied, yet observational data suggest that many niches are unfilled. Here we show that theory can be reconciled with observational data by reconceptualizing competition in the Hutchinsonian niche space to distinguish between substitutable and non-substitutable resources. When resources are substitutable (for example, seeds of different size), the components of competition along the niche axes ...

 

The uncertain nature of absences and their importance in species distribution modelling

  
Ecography, Vol. 33, No. 1. (1 February 2010), pp. 103-114, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0587.2009.06039.x

Abstract

Species distribution models (SDM) are commonly used to obtain hypotheses on either the realized or the potential distribution of species. The reliability and meaning of these hypotheses depends on the kind of absences included in the training data, the variables used as predictors and the methods employed to parameterize the models. Information about the absence of species from certain localities is usually lacking, so pseudo-absences are often incorporated to the training data. We explore the effect of using different kinds of ...

 

To model or not to model, that is no longer the question for ecologists

  
Ecosystems, Vol. 20, No. 2. (2017), pp. 222-228, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-016-0068-x

Abstract

Here, I argue that we should abandon the division between “field ecologists” and “modelers,” and embrace modeling and empirical research as two powerful and often complementary approaches in the toolbox of 21st century ecologists, to be deployed alone or in combination depending on the task at hand. As empirical research has the longer tradition in ecology, and modeling is the more recent addition to the methodological arsenal, I provide both practical and theoretical reasons for integrating modeling more deeply into ecosystem ...

 

The concept of potential natural vegetation: an epitaph?

  
Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 21, No. 6. (December 2010), pp. 1172-1178, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2010.01218.x

Abstract

We discuss the usefulness of the concept of Potential Natural Vegetation (PNV), which describes the expected state of mature vegetation in the absence of human intervention. We argue that it is impossible to model PNV because of (i) the methodological problems associated to its definition and (ii) the issues related to the ecosystems dynamics.We conclude that the approach to characterizing PNV is unrealistic and provides scenarios with limited predictive power. In places with a long-term human history, interpretations of PNV need ...

 

Ecological stability of mixed-species forests

  
In Mixed-Species Forests (2017), pp. 337-382, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-54553-9_7

Abstract

In many parts of the world, forests are likely to face novel disturbance regimes as a result of global change processes, and there is concern that the capacity of forest ecosystems to withstand, recover from, or adapt to these novel disturbance regimes may decline. Creation and maintenance of species-diverse forests is seen as an important option to adapt forests to uncertain future disturbances. However, it is not known whether benefits of mixed-species forests consist mainly of risk spreading among tree species ...

 

Resistance and resilience to changing climate and fire regime depend on plant functional traits

  
Journal of Ecology, Vol. 102, No. 6. (November 2014), pp. 1572-1581, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12306

Abstract

[Summary] [::] Changing disturbance–climate interactions will drive shifts in plant communities: these effects are not adequately quantified by environmental niche models used to predict future species distributions. We quantified the effects of more frequent fire and lower rainfall – as projected to occur under a warming and drying climate – on population responses of shrub species in biodiverse Mediterranean-climate type shrublands near Eneabba, southwestern Australia. [::] Using experimental fires, we measured the density of all shrub species for four dominant plant functional groups ...

 

Behavioral self-organization underlies the resilience of a coastal ecosystem

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 30. (25 July 2017), pp. 8035-8040, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1619203114

Abstract

[Significance] Theoretical models suggest that spatial self-organization enhances the resistance of ecosystems to disturbance. However, experiments investigating this important prediction are lacking. Our paper provides clear experimental evidence that spatial self-organization profoundly increases the ability of ecosystems to persist in the face of disturbance. The mechanisms underlying this positive impact of self-organization are driven by the combination of ecological and behavioral processes. Specifically, large-scale banded patterns in mussel beds created by ecological feedback processes facilitate fast behavioral aggregation of individual mussels into ...

 

Regular patterns link individual behavior to population persistence

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 114, No. 30. (25 July 2017), pp. 7747-7749, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1709063114

Abstract

[Excerpt] Resisting and recovering from disturbances is a necessity for most species. The strategy is sometimes collective, depending on the aggregation of interacting individuals into regular patterns. However, relating patterns of abundance across scales to both individual behavior and population persistence remains a major challenge for ecology. Such patterns are found in many ecosystems, ranging from microbes to forests, with their regularity taking the form of evenly sized and spaced bands and patches of aggregated individuals. Regular patterns are said to ...

 

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. ...

 

Concluding remarks

  
Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, Vol. 22 (01 January 1957), pp. 415-427, https://doi.org/10.1101/sqb.1957.022.01.039

Abstract

This concluding survey of the problems considered in the Symposium naturally falls into three sections. In the first brief section certain of the areas in which there is considerable difference in outlook are discussed with a view to ascertaining the nature of the differences in the points of view of workers in different parts of the field; no aspect of the Symposium has been more important than the reduction of areas of dispute. In the second section a rather detailed analysis ...

 

Ecological limits to plant phenotypic plasticity

  
New Phytologist, Vol. 176, No. 4. (December 2007), pp. 749-763, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2007.02275.x

Abstract

Phenotypic plasticity is considered the major means by which plants cope with environmental heterogeneity. Although ubiquitous in nature, actual phenotypic plasticity is far from being maximal. This has been explained by the existence of internal limits to its expression. However, phenotypic plasticity takes place within an ecological context and plants are generally exposed to multifactor environments and to simultaneous interactions with many species. These external, ecological factors may limit phenotypic plasticity or curtail its adaptive value, but seldom have they been ...

 

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. ...

 

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 ...

 

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 ...

 

Fine-grain modeling of species’ response to climate change: holdouts, stepping-stones, and microrefugia

  
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 29, No. 7. (July 2014), pp. 390-397, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2014.04.006

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] Understanding of microclimates may revolutionize climate change biology. [::] Microrefugia will be rare under future climate change. [::] Conservation strategies should focus on managing holdouts and stepping stones. [Abstract] Microclimates have played a critical role in past species range shifts, suggesting that they could be important in biological response to future change. Terms are needed to discuss these future effects. We propose that populations occupying microclimates be referred to as holdouts, stepping stones and microrefugia. A holdout is a population that persists in a ...

 

Niches and distributional areas: concepts, methods, and assumptions

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, No. Supplement 2. (17 November 2009), pp. 19644-19650, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0901637106

Abstract

Estimating actual and potential areas of distribution of species via ecological niche modeling has become a very active field of research, yet important conceptual issues in this field remain confused. We argue that conceptual clarity is enhanced by adopting restricted definitions of “niche” that enable operational definitions of basic concepts like fundamental, potential, and realized niches and potential and actual distributional areas. We apply these definitions to the question of niche conservatism, addressing what it is that is conserved and showing ...

 

What does ecological modelling model? A proposed classification of ecological niche models based on their underlying methods

  
Ecological Modelling, Vol. 222, No. 8. (01 April 2011), pp. 1343-1346, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.01.018

Abstract

Species distribution model is the term most frequently used in ecological modelling, but other authors used instead predictive habitat distribution model or species-habitat models. A consensual ecological modelling terminology that avoids misunderstandings and takes into account the ecological niche theory does not exist at present. Moreover, different studies differ in the type of niche that is represented by similar distribution models. I propose to use as standard ecological modelling terminology the terms “ecological niche”, “potential niche”, “realized niche” models (for modelling ...

 

Ecological responses to recent climate change

  
Nature, Vol. 416 (2002), pp. 389-395, https://doi.org/10.1038/416389a

Abstract

There is now ample evidence of the ecological impacts of recent climate change, from polar terrestrial to tropical marine environments. The responses of both flora and fauna span an array of ecosystems and organizational hierarchies, from the species to the community levels. Despite continued uncertainty as to community and ecosystem trajectories under global change, our review exposes a coherent pattern of ecological change across systems. Although we are only at an early stage in the projected trends of global warming, ecological ...

 

Meta-ecosystems: a theoretical framework for a spatial ecosystem ecology

  
Ecology Letters, Vol. 6, No. 8. (August 2003), pp. 673-679, https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1461-0248.2003.00483.x

Abstract

This contribution proposes the meta-ecosystem concept as a natural extension of the metapopulation and metacommunity concepts. A meta-ecosystem is defined as a set of ecosystems connected by spatial flows of energy, materials and organisms across ecosystem boundaries. This concept provides a powerful theoretical tool to understand the emergent properties that arise from spatial coupling of local ecosystems, such as global source–sink constraints, diversity–productivity patterns, stabilization of ecosystem processes and indirect interactions at landscape or regional scales. The meta-ecosystem perspective thereby has ...

 

The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology

  
Ecology Letters, Vol. 7, No. 7. (04 June 2004), pp. 601-613, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00608.x

Abstract

The metacommunity concept is an important way to think about linkages between different spatial scales in ecology. Here we review current understanding about this concept. We first investigate issues related to its definition as a set of local communities that are linked by dispersal of multiple potentially interacting species. We then identify four paradigms for metacommunities: the patch-dynamic view, the species-sorting view, the mass effects view and the neutral view, that each emphasizes different processes of potential importance in metacommunities. These ...

 

Species’ geographic ranges and distributional limits: pattern analysis and statistical issues

  
Oikos, Vol. 108, No. 1. (January 2005), pp. 7-17, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0030-1299.2005.13146.x

Abstract

With the increasing concern about species conservation, a need exists for quantitaive characterization of species' geographic range and their borders. In this paper, we survey tools appropriate for the quantification of static spatial patterns related to geographical ranges and their borders. We then build on these static methods to consider the problem of changes in geographic range through time. Methods discussed are illustrated using lark sparrow data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey. While there is no such thing as ...

 

Downscaling future climate scenarios to fine scales for hydrologic and ecological modeling and analysis

  
Ecological Processes In Ecological Processes, Vol. 1, No. 1. (2012), pp. 2-15, https://doi.org/10.1186/2192-1709-1-2

Abstract

[Introduction] Evaluating the environmental impacts of climate change on water resources and biological components of the landscape is an integral part of hydrologic and ecological investigations, and the resultant land and resource management in the twenty-first century. Impacts of both climate and simulated hydrologic parameters on ecological processes are relevant at scales that reflect the heterogeneity and complexity of landscapes. At present, simulations of climate change available from global climate models [GCMs] require downscaling for hydrologic or ecological applications. [Methods] Using statistically ...

 

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 ...

 

Running an open experiment: transparency and reproducibility in soil and ecosystem science

  
Environmental Research Letters, Vol. 11, No. 8. (01 August 2016), 084004, https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/11/8/084004

Abstract

Researchers in soil and ecosystem science, and almost every other field, are being pushed—by funders, journals, governments, and their peers—to increase transparency and reproducibility of their work. A key part of this effort is a move towards open data as a way to fight post-publication data loss, improve data and code quality, enable powerful meta- and cross-disciplinary analyses, and increase trust in, and the efficiency of, publicly-funded research. Many scientists however lack experience in, and may be unsure of the benefits ...

 

Poisson point process models solve the “pseudo-absence problem” for presence-only data in ecology

  
The Annals of Applied Statistics, Vol. 4, No. 3. (September 2010), pp. 1383-1402, https://doi.org/10.1214/10-aoas331

Abstract

Presence-only data, point locations where a species has been recorded as being present, are often used in modeling the distribution of a species as a function of a set of explanatory variables—whether to map species occurrence, to understand its association with the environment, or to predict its response to environmental change. Currently, ecologists most commonly analyze presence-only data by adding randomly chosen “pseudo-absences” to the data such that it can be analyzed using logistic regression, an approach which has weaknesses in ...

 

Passing the point of no return

  
Science, Vol. 354, No. 6316. (02 December 2016), pp. 1109-1109, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aal2188

Abstract

[Excerpt] In the field of ecology, regime shifts are massive changes in function and character that occur when an ecosystem passes a tipping point. Regime shifts sometimes have severe consequences for human well-being through losses of ecosystem services, including desertification in arid regions and marine fisheries collapses. These changes are difficult to predict and sometimes impossible to reverse. For these reasons, understanding how to anticipate and prevent regime shifts is one of the most important challenges faced by environmental scientists. [\n] Theoretical analyses ...

 

Dam-building threatens Mekong fisheries

  
Science, Vol. 354, No. 6316. (02 December 2016), pp. 1084-1085, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.354.6316.1084

Abstract

[Excerpt] Every April, the pa nyawn catfish would make their way up the Mekong River to spawn, crowding through a narrow channel that skirts Khone Falls in southern Laos. Villagers netted the thumb-sized fish by the hundreds of thousands. Then, in 2014, work started on Don Sahong Dam, which straddles the channel. Although the dam won't be completed for another 2 years, construction has already cut off the migration and destroyed the fishing sites, says Zeb Hogan, a biologist with the ...

 

The status of our scientific understanding of lodgepole pine and mountain pine beetles - A focus on forest ecology and fire behavior

  
Global Fire Initiative technical report, Vol. 2008, No. 2. (2008), pp. 1-13

Abstract

A synthesis of our current knowledge about the effects of the mountain pine beetle epidemic on lodgepole pine forests and fire behavior, with a geographic focus on Colorado and southern Wyoming. [Excerpt: Implications for future forests] Models for predicting future climates have progressed dramatically in recent years, but their accuracy is questionable for planning purposes, particularly at local levels. Nonetheless, model predictions suggest significant alterations in climate from past observed patterns. These predictions are supported by recent climate events that themselves had largely been predicted several years ago. Therefore, the potential ...

 

A radiative transfer model-based method for the estimation of grassland aboveground biomass

  
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, Vol. 54 (February 2017), pp. 159-168, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2016.10.002

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] The PROSAILH radiative transfer model was presented to estimate grassland AGB. [::] The ill-posed inversion problem was alleviated by using the ecological criteria. [::] Multi-source satellite products were used to filter the unrealistic combinations of retrieved free parameters. [::] Three empirical methods were also used to estimate the grassland AGB. [Abstract] This paper presents a novel method to derive grassland aboveground biomass (AGB) based on the PROSAILH (PROSPECT + SAILH) radiative transfer model (RTM). Two variables, leaf area index (LAI, m2m−2, defined as a one-side ...

 

Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests

  
Science, Vol. 354, No. 6309. (14 October 2016), aaf8957, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf8957

Abstract

[Abstract] The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126 permanent plots, spanning 44 countries and most terrestrial biomes, we reveal a globally consistent positive concave-down BPR, showing that continued biodiversity loss would result in an accelerating decline in forest productivity worldwide. The value of biodiversity in maintaining commercial forest productivity alone—US$166 billion ...

 

The development of environmental thinking in economics

  
Environmental Values, Vol. 8, No. 4. (November 1999), pp. 413-435, https://doi.org/10.3197/096327199129341897

Abstract

There has always been a sub-group of established economists trying to convey an environmental critique of the mainstream. This paper traces their thinking into the late 20th century via the development of associations and journals in the USA and Europe. There is clearly a divergence between the conformity to neo-classical economics favoured by resource and environmental economists and the acceptance of more radical critiques apparent in ecological economics. Thus, the progressive elements of ecological economics are increasingly incompatible with those practising ...

 

Identifying refugia from climate change using coupled ecological and genetic data in a transitional Mediterranean-temperate tree species

  
Molecular Ecology, Vol. 22, No. 8. (April 2013), pp. 2128-2142, https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.12252

Abstract

Populations occurring in areas of overlap between the current and future distribution of a species are particularly important because they can represent “refugia from climate change”. We coupled ecological and range-wide genetic variation data to detect such areas and to evaluate the impacts of habitat suitability changes on the genetic diversity of the transitional Mediterranean-temperate tree Fraxinus angustifolia. We sampled and genotyped 38 natural populations comprising 1006 individuals from across Europe. We found the highest genetic diversity in western and northern ...

 

Climate change and the eco-hydrology of fire: will area burned increase in a warming western U.S.?

  
Ecological Applications (August 2016), https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.1420

Abstract

Wildfire area is predicted to increase with global warming. Empirical statistical models and process-based simulations agree almost universally. The key relationship for this unanimity, observed at multiple spatial and temporal scales, is between drought and fire. Predictive models often focus on ecosystems in which this relationship appears to be particularly strong, such as mesic and arid forests and shrublands with substantial biomass such as chaparral. We examine the drought-fire relationship, specifically the correlations between water-balance deficit and annual area burned, across ...

 

Social semantics: altruism, cooperation, mutualism, strong reciprocity and group selection

  
Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 20, No. 2. (1 March 2007), pp. 415-432, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2006.01258.x

Abstract

From an evolutionary perspective, social behaviours are those which have fitness consequences for both the individual that performs the behaviour, and another individual. Over the last 43 years, a huge theoretical and empirical literature has developed on this topic. However, progress is often hindered by poor communication between scientists, with different people using the same term to mean different things, or different terms to mean the same thing. This can obscure what is biologically important, and what is not. The potential for ...

 

Coordinate efforts on EU invasive species

  
Science, Vol. 353, No. 6303. (01 September 2016), pp. 998-998, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aah6700

Abstract

[Excerpt] An ambitious move by the European Union to eradicate, or at least contain, 37 invasive alien species across the region may fail if Member States do not coordinate their efforts. Despite calls for the establishment of a coordinating authority and the recognition of the cost-effectiveness of such a body, the European Parliament had little appetite to fund another centralized regulatory body. It thus elected to establish only a legal framework without a dedicated body or resources to oversee its ...

 

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 ...

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