Scaling-up Trait Variation from Individuals to Ecosystems

Journal Article (Chapter)

Ecology has traditionally focused on species diversity as a way of characterizing the health of an ecosystem. In recent years, however, the focus has increasingly shifted towards trait diversity both within and across species. As we increasingly recognize that ecological and evolutionary timescales may not be all that different, understanding the ecological effects of trait variation becomes paramount. Trait variation is thus the keystone to our understanding of how evolutionary processes may affect ecological dynamics as they unfold, and how these may in turn alter evolutionary trajectories. However, a multi-level understanding of how trait variation scales up from individuals to whole communities or ecosystems is still a work in progress. The chapters in this volume explore how functional trait diversity affects ecological processes across levels of biological organization. This chapter aims at binding the messages of the different contributions and considers how they advance our understanding of how trait variation can be scaled up to understand the interplay between ecological and evolutionary dynamics from individuals to ecosystems.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gibert, JP; Dell, AI; DeLong, JP; Pawar, S

Published Date

  • December 31, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 52 /

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 17

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0065-2504

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/bs.aecr.2015.03.001

Citation Source

  • Scopus