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Structural changes within trophic levels are constrained by within-family assembly rules at lower trophic levels


Song, Chuliang; Altermatt, Florian; Pearse, Ian; Saavedra, Serguei (2018). Structural changes within trophic levels are constrained by within-family assembly rules at lower trophic levels. Ecology Letters, 21(8):1221-1228.

Abstract

Historical contingency broadly refers to the proposition that even random historical events can constrain the ecological and evolutionary pathways of organisms and that of entire communities. Focusing on communities, these pathways can be reflected into specific structural changes within and across trophic levels – how species interact with and affect each other – which has important consequences for species coexistence. Using the registry of the last 2000 years of plant introductions and their novel herbivores encountered in Central Europe, we find that the order of arrival of closely related (but not of distantly related) plant species constrained the structural changes within the trophic level formed by herbivore species across the observation period. Because it is difficult for field and lab experiments to be conducted over hundreds of years to record and replay the assembly history of a community, our study provides an alternative to understand how structural changes have occurred across extensive periods of time.

Abstract

Historical contingency broadly refers to the proposition that even random historical events can constrain the ecological and evolutionary pathways of organisms and that of entire communities. Focusing on communities, these pathways can be reflected into specific structural changes within and across trophic levels – how species interact with and affect each other – which has important consequences for species coexistence. Using the registry of the last 2000 years of plant introductions and their novel herbivores encountered in Central Europe, we find that the order of arrival of closely related (but not of distantly related) plant species constrained the structural changes within the trophic level formed by herbivore species across the observation period. Because it is difficult for field and lab experiments to be conducted over hundreds of years to record and replay the assembly history of a community, our study provides an alternative to understand how structural changes have occurred across extensive periods of time.

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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:Community assembly, ecological networks, historical contingency, species coexistence, structural stability.
Language:English
Date:1 August 2018
Deposited On:11 Dec 2018 15:35
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:56
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1461-023X
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13091
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P3_150698
  • : Project TitleBridging biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dendritic networks: a meta-ecosystem perspective

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