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Ives A.R.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Helmus M.R.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
Ecological Monographs | Year: 2011

There is growing appreciation that ecological communities are phylogenetically structured, with phylogenetically closely related species either more or less likely to co-occur at the same site. Here, we present phylogenetic generalized linear mixed models (PGLMMs) that can statistically test a wide variety of phylogenetic patterns in community structure. In contrast to most current statistical approaches that rely on community metrics and randomization tests, PGLMMs are model-based statistics that fit observed presence/absence data to underlying hypotheses about the distributions of species among communities. We built four PGLMMs to address (1) phylogenetic patterns in community composition, (2) phylogenetic variation in species sensitivities to environmental gradients among communities, (3) phylogenetic repulsion in which closely related species are less likely to co-occur, and (4) trait-based variation in species sensitivities to environmental gradients. We also built a fifth PGLMM to test a key underlying assumption of phylogenetic community structure: that phylogenetic information serves as a surrogate for trait information about species; this model tests whether the introduction of trait information can explain all variation in species occurrences among communities, leaving no phylogenetic residual variation. We assessed the performance of these PGLMMs using community simulation models and show that PGLMMs have equal or greater statistical power than alternative approaches currently in the literature. Finally, we illustrate the PGLMM advantage of fitting a model to data by showing how variation in species occurrences among communities can be partitioned into phylogenetic and site-specific components, and how fitted models can be used to predict the co-occurrence of phylogenetically related species. © 2011 by the Ecological Society of America. Source

Corlett R.T.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2016

The increasing abandonment of marginal land creates new opportunities for restoration, reintroduction, and rewilding, but what do these terms mean in a rapidly and irreversibly changing world? The 're' prefix means 'back', but it is becoming clear that the traditional use of past ecosystems as targets and criteria for success must be replaced by an orientation towards an uncertain future. Current opinions in restoration and reintroduction biology range from a defense of traditional definitions, with some modifications, to acceptance of more radical responses, including assisted migration, taxon substitution, de-extinction, and genetic modification. Rewilding attempts to minimize sustained intervention, but this hands-off approach is also threatened by rapid environmental change. Abandonment of agricultural land provides an opportunity for creating new ecosystems, but the traditional use of past ecosystems as targets is likely to be inappropriate in a time of rapid environmental change.There is no agreement among conservationists about how to replace the historically based reference frame, with opinions ranging from minor modification to the acceptance of increasingly radical alternatives including moving species outside their current native ranges, using non-native taxon substitutions to maintain key functions, and the acceptance of novel ecosystems that are different from any past analogs.New technologies will facilitate the genetic modification of threatened species and make the 'de-extinction' of at least some species possible, providing new, controversial options for conservationists.Future debates seem likely to increasingly focus on the degree of human intervention that is desirable as 'wildness' is seen as an increasingly important attribute. Rewilding attempts to minimize sustained intervention, but this approach is also threatened by rapid environmental change. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Corlett R.T.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2015

The term 'Anthropocene' was first used in the year 2000 to refer to the current time period in which human impacts are at least as important as natural processes. It is currently being considered as a potential geological epoch, following on from the Holocene. While most environmental scientists accept that many key environmental parameters are now outside their Holocene ranges, there is no agreement on when the Anthropocene started, with plausible dates ranging from the Late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions to the recent globalization of industrial impacts. In ecology, the Anthropocene concept has focused attention on human-dominated habitats and novel ecosystems, while in conservation biology it has sparked a divisive debate on the continued relevance of the traditional biocentric aims. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Harrison R.D.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
BioScience | Year: 2011

More than 18% of tropical rainforests are now covered by totally protected areas. If these were well protected, we could feel reasonably confident that current conservation strategies might succeed in preserving a substantial proportion of tropical biodiversity. However, in most parts of the tropics, poachers enter and leave reserves with impunity. On the basis of reports from the hunting literature, it seems likely that a majority of tropical nature reserves may already be considered empty forestsmeaning that all bird and mammal species larger than approximately two kilogramsbarring a few hunting-tolerant specieshave either been extirpated or exist at densities well below natural levels of abundance. The disruption of ecological functions caused by the loss of symbionts further compromises the capacity of these reserves to conserve biodiversity over the long term. A substantial shift toward improving the management and enforcement of tropical protected-area networks is required. © 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Source

Song Y.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology | Year: 2014

2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) was the first synthetic herbicide to be commercially developed and has commonly been used as a broadleaf herbicide for over 60 years. It is a selective herbicide that kills dicots without affecting monocots and mimics natural auxin at the molecular level. Physiological responses of dicots sensitive to auxinic herbicides include abnormal growth, senescence, and plant death. The identification of auxin receptors, auxin transport carriers, transcription factors response to auxin, and cross-talk among phytohormones have shed light on the molecular action mode of 2,4-D as a herbicide. Here, the molecular action mode of 2,4-D is highlighted according to the latest findings, emphasizing the physiological process, perception, and signal transduction under herbicide treatment. © 2013 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Source

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