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Srinivasan U.T.,Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Laboratory
Climate Policy | Year: 2010

The impacts of predicted climate change will not be distributed evenly around the world. As post-Kyoto negotiations unfold, relating the geographical distribution of projected impacts to responsibility for emissions among world regions is essential for achieving an equitable path forward. This article surveys the current knowledge of regional climate consequences, and delves into the regional predictions of economic assessment models to date, examining how the uncertainties, assumptions and ethical dimensions influence the portrayal of risk at this scale. The few studies that quantitatively compared regional risk and responsibility are reviewed, and the analytical framework from one such study is applied to the 2006 Stern Review's projections to give the first regional comparison to take purchasing power and welfare considerations into account. Synthesizing burden and blame in this way is informative for policy makers; the world's most vulnerable communities - in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Latin America, and small island states - accounted for less than 33% of global greenhouse gas emissions over the period 1961-2000, but may experience more than 75% of the ensuing climate damages this century. This analysis reinforces the call for industrialized nations to lead mitigation efforts, and to do so decisively and swiftly. © 2010 Earthscan. Source

Thompson R.M.,Monash University | Dunne J.A.,Santa Fe Institute | Dunne J.A.,Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Laboratory | Woodward G.,Queen Mary, University of London
Freshwater Biology | Year: 2012

Food webs are a powerful whole-system way to represent the patterns of biodiversity and energy flow in a readily quantifiable framework amenable to comparative analyses. Integrated theory and data on complex trophic interactions provide useful and novel ways to study ecosystem structure, dynamics, function and stability. Freshwater ecology has contributed considerably to the advancement of food-web ecology. This has occurred through early application of methodological advances such as stable isotope analysis and description of some of the most detailed food webs, including Little Rock Lake and the Broadstone Stream food webs. Freshwater food webs are often highly resolved, although the inclusion of components such as bacteria continues to be challenging. Characteristics of stream food webs appear to include high rates of omnivory and a strong role for body size as a structuring influence. While freshwater ecology has often included landscape factors, food webs from freshwaters have most often been collected at small spatial scales. There is a need to take a landscape approach to the study of food-web dynamics in freshwater ecosystems. Studies of food webs that take an experimental approach or utilise natural gradients remain rare but will be vital to untangling causative relationships between changing environmental conditions and food-web structure and dynamics. Emerging directions in freshwater food-web research involve integrating individual-level variation and information on traits into food-web studies. This is allowing a growing understanding of the ways in which food webs can be used to integrate community, evolutionary and population processes into studies of biodiversity. A Virtual Issue of Freshwater Biology entitled 'Advances in food-web research: a compendium of Freshwater Biology papers' brings together papers included in this review that have been published in the journal since 1985. The Virtual Issue can be located at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2427/homepage/virtual_issue_advances_in_food-web_research.htm. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Boit A.,University of Potsdam | Martinez N.D.,Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Laboratory | Williams R.J.,Microsoft | Williams R.J.,Quid Inc | Gaedke U.,University of Potsdam
Ecology Letters | Year: 2012

Mechanistic understanding of consumer-resource dynamics is critical to predicting the effects of global change on ecosystem structure, function and services. Such understanding is severely limited by mechanistic models' inability to reproduce the dynamics of multiple populations interacting in the field. We surpass this limitation here by extending general consumer-resource network theory to the complex dynamics of a specific ecosystem comprised by the seasonal biomass and production patterns in a pelagic food web of a large, well-studied lake. We parameterised our allometric trophic network model of 24 guilds and 107 feeding relationships using the lake's food web structure, initial spring biomasses and body-masses. Adding activity respiration, the detrital loop, minimal abiotic forcing, prey resistance and several empirically observed rates substantially increased the model's fit to the observed seasonal dynamics and the size-abundance distribution. This process illuminates a promising approach towards improving food-web theory and dynamic models of specific habitats. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS. Source

Cohen A.A.,Universite de Sherbrooke | Martin L.B.,University of South Florida | Wingfield J.C.,University of California at Davis | McWilliams S.R.,University of Rhode Island | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2012

Ecological and evolutionary physiology has traditionally focused on one aspect of physiology at a time. Here, we discuss the implications of considering physiological regulatory networks (PRNs) as integrated wholes, a perspective that reveals novel roles for physiology in organismal ecology and evolution. For example, evolutionary response to changes in resource abundance might be constrained by the role of dietary micronutrients in immune response regulation, given a particular pathogen environment. Because many physiological components impact more than one process, organismal homeostasis is maintained, individual fitness is determined and evolutionary change is constrained (or facilitated) by interactions within PRNs. We discuss how PRN structure and its system-level properties could determine both individual performance and patterns of physiological evolution. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Lafferty K.D.,U.S. Geological Survey | Dunne J.A.,Santa Fe Institute | Dunne J.A.,Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Laboratory
Theoretical Ecology | Year: 2010

Stochastic ecological network occupancy (SENO) models predict the probability that species will occur in a sample of an ecological network. In this review, we introduce SENO models as a means to fill a gap in the theoretical toolkit of ecologists. As input, SENO models use a topological interaction network and rates of colonization and extinction (including consumer effects) for each species. A SENO model then simulates the ecological network over time, resulting in a series of sub-networks that can be used to identify commonly encountered community modules. The proportion of time a species is present in a patch gives its expected probability of occurrence, whose sum across species gives expected species richness. To illustrate their utility, we provide simple examples of how SENO models can be used to investigate how topological complexity, species interactions, species traits, and spatial scale affect communities in space and time. They can categorize species as biodiversity facilitators, contributors, or inhibitors, making this approach promising for ecosystem-based management of invasive, threatened, or exploited species. © 2010 The Author(s). Source

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