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Ecology of Climate Change: The Importance of Biotic Interactions

Monograph

Series: Monographs in Population Biology Volume: 52

By: Eric S Post (Author)

373 pages, 124 b/w illustrations

Princeton University Press

Hardback | Jul 2013 | #203157 | ISBN-13: 9780691148472
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £41.95 $53/€50 approx

About this book

Rising temperatures are affecting organisms in all of Earth's biomes, but the complexity of ecological responses to climate change has hampered the development of a conceptually unified treatment of them. In a remarkably comprehensive synthesis, Ecology of Climate Change presents past, ongoing, and future ecological responses to climate change in the context of two simplifying hypotheses, facilitation and interference, arguing that biotic interactions may be the primary driver of ecological responses to climate change across all levels of biological organization.

Eric Post's synthesis and analyses of ecological consequences of climate change extend from the Late Pleistocene to the present, and through the next century of projected warming. His investigation is grounded in classic themes of enduring interest in ecology, but developed around novel conceptual and mathematical models of observed and predicted dynamics. Using stability theory as a recurring theme, Post argues that the magnitude of climatic variability may be just as important as the magnitude and direction of change in determining whether populations, communities, and species persist. He urges a more refined consideration of species interactions, emphasizing important distinctions between lateral and vertical interactions and their disparate roles in shaping responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to climate change.

"I believe that this book will become the go-to reference for gaining a foundational understanding of how global climate change has and will continue to transform ecological systems in the face of anthropogenic impacts. An encyclopedic synthesis of the field, it provides exemplary coverage of the vast literature. This is an authoritative treatment of an important topic in ecology and conservation."
– Oswald J. Schmitz, Yale University

"To predict the responses of species to climate change, Post shows how interactions between species may be as important as density-independent responses to changes in their abiotic environment. Most ecologists have focused on the latter. Post makes a great case that the response of species to climate change is likely to unfold in the context of their interactions with other species, through competition, predation, and, in the case of humans, land-use change."
– William H. Schlesinger, president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies


Contents

Preface: Purpose, Perspective, and Scope xiii
The Tension and Facilitation Hypotheses of Biotic Response to Climate Change xiv
Acknowledgments xxi

1. A Brief Overview of Recent Climate Change and Its Ecological Context 1
    Climate Change versus Global Warming 3
    Temperature Changes 3
    Precipitation Changes 9
    Changes in Snow and Ice Cover 11
    El Niño-Southern Oscillation 13
    Paleoclimatic Variation 15
    Studying the Ecological Effects of Climate Change 16
    The Study Site at Kangerlussuaq, Greenland 21

2. Pleistocene Warming and Extinctions 24
    The Pleistocene Environment As Indicated by Its Fauna 24
    Biogeography and Magnitude of Pleistocene Extinctions and Climate Change 29
    Case Studies of Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinctions 35
    Pleistocene Microfaunal Extinctions and Species Redistributions 44
    Spatial, Temporal, and Taxonomic Heterogeneity in
    Pleistocene Redistributions: Lessons to Be Learned 46
    Reconsidering the Megafaunal Extinctions: The Zimov Model 50
    Relevance to Contemporary Climate Change 52

3. Life History Variation and Phenology 54
    Geographic and Taxonomic Variation in Phenological Response to Climate Change 54
    Pattern and Scale in Phenological Dynamics 59
    Phenology and the Aggregate Life History Response to Climate Change 64
    Temporal Dependence and a Model of Phenological Dynamics 67
    The Iwasa-Levin Model and Its Relevance to Climate Change 75
    Modeling the Contribution of Phenology to Population Dynamics 86
    Trends and Statistical Considerations 88
    Empirical Examples Linking Climate, Phenology, and Abundance 91
    More Complex and Subtle Forms of Phenological Variation 92

4. Population Dynamics and Stability 96
    Establishing the Framework for Addressing Population Response to Climate Change 97
    Classic Treatments of Population Stability Viewed Afresh through the Lens of Climate Change 102
    Incorporation of Climate into Time Series Models 106
    Simultaneous Thresholds in Population-Intrinsic and Population-Extrinsic Factors 111
    Population Synchrony and Extinction Risk 119
    Erosion of Population Cycles 124
    Global Population Dynamics, Population Diversity, and the Portfolio Effect 128

5. The Niche Concept 132
    Grinnellian Niches and Climate Change 134
    Niche Vacancy 138
    Niche Evolution 139
    Phenotypic Plasticity and Evolutionary Response to Climate Change 144
    Niche Conservatism 146
    Modes of Niche Response to Climate Change 149
    Bioclimatic Envelope Modeling and Environmental Niche Models 155

6. Community Dynamics and Stability 163
    Communities Defined through Lateral and Vertical Structuring 164
    Regional versus Local Diversity and the Community Concept 165
    Exploitation and Interference Interactions 167
    Gleasonian and Clementsian Communities 169
    Non-analogues: The Community Is Dead-Long Live the Community 171
    The Role of Climate in Mediating Species Interactions versus the Role of Species Interactions in Mediating Community Response to Climate Change 176
    Phenology and the Ephemeral Nature of Communities 181
    The Green World Hypothesis, and Phenology As an Index of Resource Availability 186
    Asynchrony and Trophic Mismatch 187
    The Cafeteria Analogy of Trophic Mismatch in Time and Space 198
    Gleasonian Dynamics and Stability in Laterally Structured Communities 200
    Dynamics and Stability in Vertically Structured Communities 203
    Development of the Process-Oriented Model for Vertical Communities 205
    Derivation of the Predator-Level Statistical Model 207
    Derivation of the Herbivore-Level Statistical Model 208
    Derivation of the Vegetation-Level Statistical Model 210
    The Community Matrix and Its Stability Properties 211
    Trophic Interactions, Dynamic Complexity, and Stability in Vertical Communities 213

7. Biodiversity, Distributions, and Extinction 217
    Distributional Shifts in Species' Ranges 222
    Scale and Pattern in Distribution and Abundance 224
    Biodiversity Changes through Elevational Colonization and Extinction 226
    Amphibian Extinction and the Climate-Pathogen Hypothesis 230
    Biodiversity and Stability 233
    Tropical Deforestation and Climate Change 245
    Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Human Exploitation 248

8. Ecosystem Function and Dynamics 249
    Stability, Diversity, and Ecosystem Resilience 254
    Nutrient, Temperature, and CO2 Manipulations 257
    Carbon Dynamics and Projected Responses to Global Climate Change 265
    Tropical Deforestation, Carbon Turnover, and Model Projections of Changes in Carbon Dynamics 276
    Role of Animals in Ecosystems of Relevance to Climate Change 286
    Herbivores, Warming, and Ecosystem Carbon Dynamics 289

9. Brief Remarks on Some Especially Important Considerations 297
    Trends and Variability Revisited 297
    Community Response to Climate Change: Further Considerations 299
    The Scale-Invariant Nature of Non-analogues 300
    Lack of Detection Does Not Always Mean Lack of Response 300
    A Greater Emphasis on Phenology 301
    Direct versus Indirect Ecological Responses and the Thief in the Night 302

References 303
Index 359


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Biography

Eric Post is professor of biology and ecology at Pennsylvania State University. He has published dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters on ecological responses to climate change, and is coeditor of Wildlife Conservation in a Changing Climate.

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