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The emergent interactions that govern biodiversity change.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Clark, JS; Scher, CL; Swift, M
Published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
July 2020

Observational studies have not yet shown that environmental variables can explain pervasive nonlinear patterns of species abundance, because those patterns could result from (indirect) interactions with other species (e.g., competition), and models only estimate direct responses. The experiments that could extract these indirect effects at regional to continental scales are not feasible. Here, a biophysical approach quantifies environment- species interactions (ESI) that govern community change from field data. Just as species interactions depend on population abundances, so too do the effects of environment, as when drought is amplified by competition. By embedding dynamic ESI within framework that admits data gathered on different scales, we quantify responses that are induced indirectly through other species, including probabilistic uncertainty in parameters, model specification, and data. Simulation demonstrates that ESI are needed for accurate interpretation. Analysis demonstrates how nonlinear responses arise even when their direct responses to environment are linear. Applications to experimental lakes and the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) yield contrasting estimates of ESI. In closed lakes, interactions involving phytoplankton and their zooplankton grazers play a large role. By contrast, ESI are weak in BBS, as expected where year-to-year movement degrades the link between local population growth and species interactions. In both cases, nonlinear responses to environmental gradients are induced by interactions between species. Stability analysis indicates stability in the closed-system lakes and instability in BBS. The probabilistic framework has direct application to conservation planning that must weigh risk assessments for entire habitats and communities against competing interests.

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Published In

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

DOI

EISSN

1091-6490

ISSN

0027-8424

Publication Date

July 2020

Volume

117

Issue

29

Start / End Page

17074 / 17083

Related Subject Headings

  • Species Specificity
  • Models, Biological
  • Lakes
  • Food Chain
  • Environmental Science
  • Endangered Species
  • Climate Change
  • Birds
  • Biodiversity
  • Animals
 

Citation

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Clark, J. S., Scher, C. L., & Swift, M. (2020). The emergent interactions that govern biodiversity change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(29), 17074–17083. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2003852117
Clark, James S., C Lane Scher, and Margaret Swift. “The emergent interactions that govern biodiversity change.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 117, no. 29 (July 2020): 17074–83. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2003852117.
Clark JS, Scher CL, Swift M. The emergent interactions that govern biodiversity change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2020 Jul;117(29):17074–83.
Clark, James S., et al. “The emergent interactions that govern biodiversity change.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 117, no. 29, July 2020, pp. 17074–83. Epmc, doi:10.1073/pnas.2003852117.
Clark JS, Scher CL, Swift M. The emergent interactions that govern biodiversity change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2020 Jul;117(29):17074–17083.
Journal cover image

Published In

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

DOI

EISSN

1091-6490

ISSN

0027-8424

Publication Date

July 2020

Volume

117

Issue

29

Start / End Page

17074 / 17083

Related Subject Headings

  • Species Specificity
  • Models, Biological
  • Lakes
  • Food Chain
  • Environmental Science
  • Endangered Species
  • Climate Change
  • Birds
  • Biodiversity
  • Animals