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Eco‐evolutionary consequences of habitat warming and fragmentation in communities

Abstract : Eco-evolutionary dynamics can mediate species and community responses to habitat warming and fragmentation, two of the largest threats to biodiversity and ecosystems. The eco-evolutionary consequences of warming and fragmentation are typically studied independently, hindering our understanding of their simultaneous impacts. Here, we provide a new perspective rooted in trade-offs among traits for understanding their eco-evolutionary consequences. On the one hand, temperature influences traits related to metabolism, such as resource acquisition and activity levels. Such traits are also likely to have trade-offs with other energetically costly traits, like antipredator defences or dispersal. On the other hand, fragmentation can influence a variety of traits (e.g. dispersal) through its effects on the spatial environment experienced by individuals, as well as properties of populations, such as genetic structure. The combined effects of warming and fragmentation on communities should thus reflect their collective impact on traits of individuals and populations, as well as trade-offs at multiple trophic levels, leading to unexpected dynamics when effects are not additive and when evolutionary responses modulate them. Here, we provide a road map to navigate this complexity. First, we review single-species responses to warming and fragmentation. Second, we focus on consumer–resource interactions, considering how eco-evolutionary dynamics can arise in response to warming, fragmentation, and their interaction. Third, we illustrate our perspective with several example scenarios in which trait trade-offs could result in significant eco-evolutionary dynamics. Specifically, we consider the possible eco-evolutionary consequences of (i) evolution in thermal performance of a species involved in a consumer–resource interaction, (ii) ecological or evolutionary changes to encounter and attack rates of consumers, and (iii) changes to top consumer body size in tri-trophic food chains. In these scenarios, we present a number of novel, sometimes counter-intuitive, potential outcomes. Some of these expectations contrast with those solely based on ecological dynamics, for example, evolutionary responses in unexpected directions for resource species or unanticipated population declines in top consumers. Finally, we identify several unanswered questions about the conditions most likely to yield strong eco-evolutionary dynamics, how better to incorporate the role of trade-offs among traits, and the role of eco-evolutionary dynamics in governing responses to warming in fragmented communities.
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Contributor : Raymond Schiano <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 12:23:27 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 12:12:04 PM




Cara Faillace, Arnaud Sentis, José Montoya. Eco‐evolutionary consequences of habitat warming and fragmentation in communities. Biological Reviews, Wiley, 2021, ⟨10.1111/brv.12732⟩. ⟨hal-03313093⟩



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