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Meta-ecosystems 2.0: rooting the theory into the field


Gounand, Isabelle; Harvey, Eric; Little, Chelsea J; Altermatt, Florian (2018). Meta-ecosystems 2.0: rooting the theory into the field. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 33(1):36-46.

Abstract

The meta-ecosystem framework demonstrates the significance of among-eco-system spatial flows for ecosystem dynamics and has fostered a rich body of theory. The high level of abstraction of the models, however, impedes applications to empirical systems. We argue that further understanding of spatial dynamics in natural systems strongly depends on dense exchanges between field and theory. From empiricists, more and specific quantifications of spatial flows are needed, defined by the major categories of organismal movement (dispersal, foraging, life-cycle, and migration). In parallel, the theoretical frame-work must account for the distinct spatial scales at which these naturally common spatial flows occur. Integrating all levels of spatial connections among landscape elements will upgrade and unify landscape and meta-ecosystem ecology into a single framework for spatial ecology.

Abstract

The meta-ecosystem framework demonstrates the significance of among-eco-system spatial flows for ecosystem dynamics and has fostered a rich body of theory. The high level of abstraction of the models, however, impedes applications to empirical systems. We argue that further understanding of spatial dynamics in natural systems strongly depends on dense exchanges between field and theory. From empiricists, more and specific quantifications of spatial flows are needed, defined by the major categories of organismal movement (dispersal, foraging, life-cycle, and migration). In parallel, the theoretical frame-work must account for the distinct spatial scales at which these naturally common spatial flows occur. Integrating all levels of spatial connections among landscape elements will upgrade and unify landscape and meta-ecosystem ecology into a single framework for spatial ecology.

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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)
Uncontrolled Keywords:resource flow, meta-ecosystem; metacommunity; subsidy; animal movement; landscape
Language:English
Date:January 2018
Deposited On:05 Jan 2018 20:10
Last Modified:20 Feb 2018 09:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0169-5347
Funders:Funding is from the Swiss National Science Foundation Grant PP00P3_150698.
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2017.10.006
PubMed ID:29102408

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Embargo till: 2018-11-01