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Current Issue of Trends Ecology Evolution


Issue: Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Oct 01, 2021

Volume 36Issue 10p875-956, e1-e2
The silk tents built by western tent caterpillars (Malacosoma californicum), shown here, alter the local temperatures experienced by caterpillars—providing warmth on cool, sunny days while raising the risk of overheating on hot days. Built structures such as these can be considered extended phenotypes. On pages 889–898, Art Woods and colleagues discuss how extended phenotypes influence how organisms will experience and respond to climate change. Photo: Art Woods...
The silk tents built by western tent caterpillars (Malacosoma californicum), shown here, alter the local temperatures experienced by caterpillars—providing warmth on cool, sunny days while raising the risk of overheating on hot days. Built structures such as these can be considered extended phenotypes. On pages 889–898, Art Woods and colleagues discuss how extended phenotypes influence how organisms will experience and respond to climate change. Photo: Art Woods

Science & Society

  • Poor groundwater governance threatens ancient subterranean fishes

    • Rajeev Raghavan,
    • Ralf Britz,
    • Neelesh Dahanukar
    Groundwater depletion is a significant global issue, but its impact on the often-enigmatic subterranean biodiversity and its conservation remains poorly understood. In the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot of India, poor governance of groundwater resources is threatening its evolutionarily distinct subterranean freshwater fauna, some taxa of which represent Gondwanan relics.
  • Biodiversity conservation cannot afford COVID-19 communication bungles

    • Emily A. Gregg,
    • Alexander M. Kusmanoff,
    • Georgia E. Garrard,
    • Lindall R. Kidd,
    • Sarah A. Bekessy
    With COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) dominating headlines, highlighting links between the pandemic and biodiversity may increase public awareness of the biodiversity crisis. However, ill-considered messages that frame nature as the problem rather than the solution could inadvertently propagate problematic narratives and undermine motivations and individual self-efficacy to conserve nature.

Book Review

  • How to obtain satisfying explanations of brain evolution

    • Tom V. Smulders
    A complete understanding of the evolution of an organ or trait requires an understanding of the evolutionary history of the trait, of how the trait relates to similar (homologous or convergently evolved) traits in other lineages, of how the trait develops, and of the selective pressures that have shaped that trait. No less is true of the brain; however, the brain is a complex organ with multiple functions and, therefore, presumably has many different selective pressures acting on it at the same time.

Forum

Opinions

  • Extended phenotypes: buffers or amplifiers of climate change?

    • H. Arthur Woods,
    • Sylvain Pincebourde,
    • Michael E. Dillon,
    • John S. Terblanche
    Historic approaches to understanding biological responses to climate change have viewed climate as something external that happens to organisms. Organisms, however, at least partially influence their own climate experience by moving within local mosaics of microclimates. Such behaviors are increasingly being incorporated into models of species distributions and climate sensitivity. Less attention has focused on how organisms alter microclimates via extended phenotypes: phenotypes that extend beyond the organismal surface, including structures that are induced or built.
  • Plant phosphorus-acquisition and -use strategies affect soil carbon cycling

    • Wenli Ding,
    • Wen-Feng Cong,
    • Hans Lambers
    Increased anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition is driving N-limited ecosystems towards phosphorus (P) limitation. Plants have evolved strategies to respond to P limitation which affect N cycling in plant‐soil systems. A comprehensive understanding of how plants with efficient P‐acquisition or ‐use strategies influence carbon (C) and N cycling remains elusive. We highlight how P‐acquisition/-use strategies, particularly the release of carboxylates into the rhizosphere, accelerate soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and soil N mineralisation by destabilising aggregates and organic‐mineral associations.
  • Next-generation cophylogeny: unravelling eco-evolutionary processes

    • Isabel Blasco-Costa,
    • Alexander Hayward,
    • Robert Poulin,
    • Juan A. Balbuena
    Open Access
    A fundamental question in evolutionary biology is how microevolutionary processes translate into species diversification. Cophylogeny provides an appropriate framework to address this for symbiotic associations, but historically has been primarily limited to unveiling patterns. We argue that it is essential to integrate advances from ecology and evolutionary biology into cophylogeny, to gain greater mechanistic insights and transform cophylogeny into a platform to advance understanding of interspecific interactions and diversification more widely.
  • Beyond organic farming – harnessing biodiversity-friendly landscapes

    • Teja Tscharntke,
    • Ingo Grass,
    • Thomas C. Wanger,
    • Catrin Westphal,
    • Péter Batáry
    We challenge the widespread appraisal that organic farming is the fundamental alternative to conventional farming for harnessing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Certification of organic production is largely restricted to banning synthetic agrochemicals, resulting in limited benefits for biodiversity but high yield losses despite ongoing intensification and specialisation. In contrast, successful agricultural measures to enhance biodiversity include diversifying cropland and reducing field size, which can multiply biodiversity while sustaining high yields in both conventional and organic systems.

Reviews

  • Climate sensitivity across latitude: scaling physiology to communities

    • Allison M. Louthan,
    • Megan L. Peterson,
    • Lauren G. Shoemaker
    While we know climate change will impact individuals, populations, and communities, we lack a cross-scale synthesis for understanding global variation in climate change impacts and predicting their ecological effects. Studies of latitudinal variation in individuals’ thermal responses have developed primarily in isolation from studies of natural populations’ warming responses. Further, it is unclear whether latitudinal variation in temperature-dependent population responses will manifest into latitudinal patterns in community stability.
  • Archaeology and agriculture: plants, people, and past land-use

    • Anne de Vareilles,
    • Ruth Pelling,
    • Jessie Woodbridge,
    • Ralph Fyfe
    As a specialised branch of archaeology requiring specific field and laboratory methodologies, the contributions of archaeobotany have often been overlooked by the ecological research community. Developments in the fields of botany, chemistry, and ancient DNA analyses have greatly increased the potential for archaeobotany to contribute to topical questions relating to the Anthropocene and landscape transformations. We review the role of archaeobotany in identifying and describing past arable land use.

Correction

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Trends in Ecology & Evolution