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Trends Ecol Evol. 2016 Nov;31(11):831-841. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2016.08.003. Epub 2016 Sep 15.

When Climate Reshuffles Competitors: A Call for Experimental Macroecology.

Author information

1
Institute of Integrative Biology, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland. Electronic address: jake.alexander@unil.ch.
2
Institute of Integrative Biology, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
3
Institute of Integrative Biology, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Climate change will likely reshuffle ecological communities, causing novel species interactions that could profoundly influence how populations and communities respond to changing conditions. Nonetheless, predicting the impacts of novel interactions is challenging, partly because many methods of inference are contingent on the current configuration of climatic variables and species distributions. Focusing on competition, we argue that experiments designed to quantify novel interactions in ways that can inform species distribution models are urgently needed, and suggest an empirical agenda to pursue this goal, illustrated using plants. An emerging convergence of ideas from macroecology and demographically focused competition theory offers opportunities to mechanistically incorporate competition into species distribution models, while forging closer ties between experimental ecology and macroecology.

KEYWORDS:

climate change; competition; demography; range dynamics; species distribution model

PMID:
27640784
PMCID:
PMC5159619
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2016.08.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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