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Evolutionary responses of communities to extinctions

Johansson, Jacob LU and Dieckmann, Ulf (2009) In Evolutionary Ecology Research 11(4). p.561-588
Abstract
Question: What are the evolutionary consequences of extinctions in ecological communities? Can evolution restore pre-extinction communities by replacing lost ecological strategies with similar ones, or will communities change in fundamental ways and never be the same again? Mathematical approach: We develop and explore a new framework based on evolutionary domains of attraction (EDAs), defined as sets of strategy combinations from which a particular ESS community can be attained through gradual evolution. The latter dynamics may include three types of evolutionary processes: continuous strategy adaptation in response to directional selection, evolutionary branching in response to disruptive selection, and evolutionarily driven extinction.... (More)
Question: What are the evolutionary consequences of extinctions in ecological communities? Can evolution restore pre-extinction communities by replacing lost ecological strategies with similar ones, or will communities change in fundamental ways and never be the same again? Mathematical approach: We develop and explore a new framework based on evolutionary domains of attraction (EDAs), defined as sets of strategy combinations from which a particular ESS community can be attained through gradual evolution. The latter dynamics may include three types of evolutionary processes: continuous strategy adaptation in response to directional selection, evolutionary branching in response to disruptive selection, and evolutionarily driven extinction. Key assumptions: We consider gradual frequency-dependent evolution in ecological communities, with evolutionary dynamics being fully determined by the strategy composition of a community's resident species. Results: The EDA approach distinguishes ESS communities that gradual evolution can restore after extinctions from ESS communities for which this option does not exist or is constrained. The EDA approach also offers a natural definition of 'evolutionary keystone species' as species whose removal causes a community to shift from one EDA to another. Our study highlights that environmentally driven extinctions can readily cause such shifts. We explain why the evolutionary attainability of an ESS Community through gradual evolution from a single precursor species does not imply its evolutionary restorability after extinctions. This shows that evolution driven by frequency-dependent selection may lead to 'Humpty-Dumpty' effects and community closure on an evolutionary time scale. By establishing EDAs for several example food webs, we discover that evolutionarily driven extinctions may be crucially involved in the evolutionary restoration of ESS communities. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
extinctions, gradual, evolutionary restoration, of attraction, evolutionary domain, evolution, community closure, community evolution, keystone species
in
Evolutionary Ecology Research
volume
11
issue
4
pages
561 - 588
publisher
Evolutionary Ecology Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000268303100004
  • scopus:70350160343
ISSN
1522-0613
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
438011da-bffb-40cf-b761-2947b87a8307 (old id 1460645)
date added to LUP
2009-08-24 15:22:33
date last changed
2017-03-26 04:05:59
@article{438011da-bffb-40cf-b761-2947b87a8307,
  abstract     = {Question: What are the evolutionary consequences of extinctions in ecological communities? Can evolution restore pre-extinction communities by replacing lost ecological strategies with similar ones, or will communities change in fundamental ways and never be the same again? Mathematical approach: We develop and explore a new framework based on evolutionary domains of attraction (EDAs), defined as sets of strategy combinations from which a particular ESS community can be attained through gradual evolution. The latter dynamics may include three types of evolutionary processes: continuous strategy adaptation in response to directional selection, evolutionary branching in response to disruptive selection, and evolutionarily driven extinction. Key assumptions: We consider gradual frequency-dependent evolution in ecological communities, with evolutionary dynamics being fully determined by the strategy composition of a community's resident species. Results: The EDA approach distinguishes ESS communities that gradual evolution can restore after extinctions from ESS communities for which this option does not exist or is constrained. The EDA approach also offers a natural definition of 'evolutionary keystone species' as species whose removal causes a community to shift from one EDA to another. Our study highlights that environmentally driven extinctions can readily cause such shifts. We explain why the evolutionary attainability of an ESS Community through gradual evolution from a single precursor species does not imply its evolutionary restorability after extinctions. This shows that evolution driven by frequency-dependent selection may lead to 'Humpty-Dumpty' effects and community closure on an evolutionary time scale. By establishing EDAs for several example food webs, we discover that evolutionarily driven extinctions may be crucially involved in the evolutionary restoration of ESS communities.},
  author       = {Johansson, Jacob and Dieckmann, Ulf},
  issn         = {1522-0613},
  keyword      = {extinctions,gradual,evolutionary restoration,of attraction,evolutionary domain,evolution,community closure,community evolution,keystone species},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {561--588},
  publisher    = {Evolutionary Ecology Ltd},
  series       = {Evolutionary Ecology Research},
  title        = {Evolutionary responses of communities to extinctions},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2009},
}