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How life-history traits affect ecosystem properties: effects of dispersal in meta-ecosystems


Massol, François; Altermatt, Florian; Gounand, Isabelle; Gravel, Dominique; Leibold, Mathew A.; Mouquet, Nicolas (2017). How life-history traits affect ecosystem properties: effects of dispersal in meta-ecosystems. Oikos, 126(4):532-546.

Abstract

The concept of life-history traits and the study of these traits are the hallmark of population biology. Acknowledging their variability and evolution has allowed us to understand how species adapt in response to their environment. e same traits are also involved in how species alter ecosystems and shape their dynamics and functioning. Some theories, such as the metabolic theory of ecology, ecological stoichiometry or pace-of-life theory, already recognize this junction, but only do so in an implicitly non-spatial context. Meanwhile, for a decade now, it has been argued that ecosystem properties have to be understood at a larger scale using meta-ecosystem theory because source–sink dynamics, community assembly and ecosystem stability are all modi ed by spatial structure. Here, we argue that some ecosystem properties can be linked to a single life-history trait, dispersal, i.e. the tendency of organisms to live, compete and reproduce away from their birth place. By articulating recent theoretical and empirical studies linking ecosystem functioning and dynamics to species dispersal, we aim to highlight both the known connections between life-history traits and ecosystem properties and the unknown areas, which deserve further empirical and theoretical developments.

Abstract

The concept of life-history traits and the study of these traits are the hallmark of population biology. Acknowledging their variability and evolution has allowed us to understand how species adapt in response to their environment. e same traits are also involved in how species alter ecosystems and shape their dynamics and functioning. Some theories, such as the metabolic theory of ecology, ecological stoichiometry or pace-of-life theory, already recognize this junction, but only do so in an implicitly non-spatial context. Meanwhile, for a decade now, it has been argued that ecosystem properties have to be understood at a larger scale using meta-ecosystem theory because source–sink dynamics, community assembly and ecosystem stability are all modi ed by spatial structure. Here, we argue that some ecosystem properties can be linked to a single life-history trait, dispersal, i.e. the tendency of organisms to live, compete and reproduce away from their birth place. By articulating recent theoretical and empirical studies linking ecosystem functioning and dynamics to species dispersal, we aim to highlight both the known connections between life-history traits and ecosystem properties and the unknown areas, which deserve further empirical and theoretical developments.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:3 April 2017
Deposited On:08 Sep 2017 15:44
Last Modified:08 Sep 2017 15:44
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0030-1299
Funders:FM was supported by the CNRS and through the ANR-funded project ARSENIC (ANR-14-CE02-0012)., DG was supported by the NSERC and the Canada Research Chair Program., MAL was supported by NSF-DEB 1353919., NM was supported by the CNRS., FA and IG were supported by Swiss National Sci- ence Foundation Grant PP00P3_150698, University of Zurich and Eawag.
Additional Information:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Massol, F., Altermatt, F., Gounand, I., Gravel, D., Leibold, M. A. and Mouquet, N. (2017), How life-history traits affect ecosystem properties: effects of dispersal in meta-ecosystems. Oikos, 126: 532–546, which has been published in final form at doi:10.1111/oik.03893.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.03893

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