Here you can find some post-publication reviews written for Faculty of 1000 Biology written by various folks in the DEEP lab and its affiliates. Be sure to go to Faculty1000 for the orginal reviews as well as other folks thoughts on these and other papers!

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ET Kiers TM Palmer AIJBJB (2010), "Mutualisms in a changing world: an evolutionary perspective", Ecology Letters. Vol. 13, pp. 1459-1474.
Review: Mutualisms are increasingly recognized for their importance in various ecosystems, yet anthropogenic changes are endangering the maintenance of mutualistic interactions. Kiers, Palmer, Ives, Bruno, and Bronstein concisely summarize a good portion of the literature on mutualisms in a changing environment and outline future directions for research in this area. For those unable to read the whole article, the authors provide an excellent, one-page figure summarizing the numerous pressures on mutualistic relationships, current ecological and evolutionary responses, and critical questions for researchers.
Mutualisms - or cooperative interactions among different species - are notable because of the interdependence of the partners. Changing environmental conditions can directly and indirectly modify the parameters that promote mutualistic partnerships. Two considerations are integral to assessing whether mutualisms are maintained: are mutualisms resilient in the face of anthropogenic changes and, if not, can the partners evolve quickly enough? The authors outline the three most-common responses. First, a shift to antagonism (e.g., relaxed environmental pressures or the absence of third-party antagonists remove selection for mutualism). Second, switches to novel partners, which begs the question of whether generalists (with many potential partners) or specialists (with few tightly-coevolved partners) are better-equipped for change. Third, abandonment of the mutualism, in which one or both partners survive, but the ecological effects of the mutualism, such as nutrient fixing or carbon sequestration, are limited or gone. The authors provide a detailed summary of the literature in these areas, but also provide [counter]examples of mutualisms that may be unaffected or flourishing in the face of change, and call for further research into the evolutionary processes in mutualistic communities. Finally, Kiers et al. discuss the characteristics of a resilient mutualism and the essential ingredients for future research including deeper explorations of the ecological and evolutionary history of systems, and examining how current trajectories compare to historical conditions.
Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewer: Nicholas Fabina
See Faculty1000 for the orginal review as well as other folks thoughts on this and other papers!

BibTeX:
@article{keirs-etal-10,
  author = {ET Kiers, TM Palmer, AR Ives, JF Bruno, JL Bronstein},
  title = {Mutualisms in a changing world: an evolutionary perspective},
  journal = {Ecology Letters},
  year = {2010},
  volume = {13},
  pages = {1459-1474}
}
Graham N, Nash K and Kool J (2011), "Coral reef recovery dynamics in a changing world", Coral Reefs. Vol. 30, pp. 283-294.
Review: Graham et al. analyze coral recovery dynamics and find that reef management status, reef geographic location, and disturbance severity are highly correlated with the speed of coral recovery. This study shows what factors influence the trajectories of healthy reefs, which are critical to maintaining marine biodiversity. One caveat is that each of the datasets in Graham et al.'s analysis are recovering. Graham et al.'s results show which factors are influential on recovering reefs, but provide no insight as to whether these factors are important to degraded reefs or to distinguishing between degraded and recovering reefs.

Graham et al. also point out that their analysis is limited by the paucity of environmental information. There is not enough data on coral diversity, percentage cover of different corals, structural complexity, fish diversity, densities of different functional groups, and other, potentially important factors. For instance, reef structural complexity may be a contributing factor to the quicker recovery from crown of thorns starfish disturbances than storm disturbances. This highlights the need for more contextual ecological and environmental information to be included in published datasets. The researchers use coral cover data from reefs that have recovered from disturbances. The datasets needed explicit coral cover data, sufficiently severe initial mortality (>10%) and at least three years of monitoring. Forty-eight sites from twenty-two publications meet these criteria. Graham et al. explore whether various disturbance characteristics, reef characteristics, or anthropogenic influences affect coral recovery. Coral recovery rate is measured as the difference between final and initial coral cover divided by the number of years in the dataset. Management status, reef geographic location, and disturbance severity are highly correlated with the speed of coral recovery. Other factors that are expected to be correlated - such as human population density and reef connectivity - are unimportant.

Recommendation: Recommended

Reviewer: Nicholas Fabina

See Faculty1000 for the orginal review as well as other folks thoughts on this and other papers!

BibTeX:
@article{,
  author = {N.A.J. Graham and K.L. Nash and J.T. Kool},
  title = {Coral reef recovery dynamics in a changing world},
  journal = {Coral Reefs},
  year = {2011},
  volume = {30},
  pages = {283--294}
}
Morris D (2011), "Adaptation and habitat selection in the eco-evolutionary process", Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Vol. online
Review: A fundamental challenge at the interface of evolutionary and ecological theory is to explain how species geographical distributions may shift in response to habitat destruction, climate change, and invasive species. This paper provides an inspired review of how habitat selection theory can predict future patterns of habitat use due to evolutionary responses to environmental change.

The authors starts by outlining a 'world view' for an ecology-evolution synthesis based on six principles: mechanics, function, structure, scale, dynamics, and adaptive change. Mechanics, as the name suggests, are the nuts and bolts underlying trait variation. For habitat selection theory, the mechanics include the physiology underlying perception and motility that determine the ability of individuals to select a habitat. The function mapping habitat selection preferences to survivorship and reproductive success determines the fitness consequences of these preferences. In classical habitat selection theory, this function corresponds to a weighted sum of habitat specific per-capita growth rates. The structure of the fitness landscape emerges from this function and describes how selection pressures depend on total population size and habitat selection preferences. For example, the fitness landscape exhibits much steeper valleys at high population densities than low population densities. Intuitively, packing a large population into the worst habitat reduces fitness more than packing a few individuals into the worst habitat.

A fundamental issue of the applicability of habitat selection theory involves identifying the appropriate spatial and temporal scales for which to apply the theory. At too small spatial scales, there are no habitats to select from. At too large spatial scales (and too short time scales), geographical barrier may impede the habitat selection processes. This paper discusses the potentially profound influence of spatial and temporal scales to the dynamics of adaptive change as captured by Vincent and Brown's G-function approach to evolutionary dynamics.

With this framework in hand, the paper discusses the enticing possibility of making forecasts about evolutionary shifts in species distributions due to environmental change (i.e. changes in the fitness-generating functions). To illustrate this potential, the theory is applied to small mammals living in xeric and mesic tundras that are expected to become drier through climate change. The paper concludes by highlighting areas for future research. Most notably, fully extending this framework to account for the effects of temporal stochasticity and multiple species interactions on habitat selection. I, for one, hope to see a similar review paper in a few years discussing progress made on these important extensions to the theory.

Reviewer: Sebastian Schreiber

Rating: Recommended

See Faculty1000 for the orginal review as well as other folks thoughts on this and other papers!

BibTeX:
@article{morris-11,
  author = {Morris, D.W.},
  title = {Adaptation and habitat selection in the eco-evolutionary process},
  journal = {Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences},
  year = {2011},
  volume = {online},
  url = {http://f1000.com/11483957},
  doi = {10.1098/rspb.2011.0604}
}
Yang L and Rudolf VH (2010), "Phenology, ontogeny and the effects of climate change on the timing of species interactions", Ecology Letters. Vol. 13, pp. 1-10.
Review: The authors discuss the need for studies that consider the combined effects of phenology and ontogeny on species' fitness. After presenting the arguments for a more integrative approach, they present a framework -- the phenology-ontogeny landscape -- for analyzing the fitness consequences of changing interactions over the lifetime of an organism. Yang and Rudolf make an excellent case for integrating knowledge on phenology and ontogeny to come to a more complete understanding of species interactions.
Yang and Rudolf review how species interactions and strengths are variable with respect to phenology and ontogeny. Many species use environmental cues to time their development over the course of the season, and many species-pairs experience shifts in the interaction type and strength according to time-sensitive characteristics such as life stages or size. Climate change is altering correlations in abiotic cues and species are now experiencing novel interaction patterns.

The authors propose a mechanistic framework for evaluating the fitness effects of different lifetime interaction patterns -- the phenology-ontogeny landscape. The utility of this approach is evident when imagining a hypothetical interaction between a butterfly and a plant. The fitness effects for the butterfly are dependent on the life stages of the plant -- plant tissue may be more nutritious, have fewer defenses, or produce more nectar at certain ages or sizes. Likewise, the fitness of the plant is dependent on the life stages of the butterfly -- a herbivorous caterpillar is markedly different from a nectarivorous butterfly. The framework accounts for these different interactions by mapping the interaction pattern of the two species with regards to different phenological starting points and presenting the overall fitness effects.

While many researchers have studied the effects of changes in phenology or interactions with respect to ontogeny, few have considered the interplay between the two.

Recommendation: Must read

Reviewer: Nicholas Fabina

See Faculty1000 for the orginal review as well as other folks thoughts on this and other papers!

BibTeX:
@article{,
  author = {L.H. Yang and V. H. Rudolf},
  title = {Phenology, ontogeny and the effects of climate change on the timing of species interactions},
  journal = {Ecology Letters},
  year = {2010},
  volume = {13},
  pages = {1-10},
  url = {http://f1000.com/2119956},
  doi = {10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01402.x}
}
Created by JabRef on 23/09/2011.