Posted by: cjlortie | October 29, 2013

Editor’s choice November: Dispersal and climate change.

Will climate change ever have positive impacts 🙂 In many respects, climate change and invasive species both challenge our notions of community assembly and the relative importance of various drivers in structuring both populations and communities. For the first editor’s choice for November, we selected the following paper.

Travis, J. M. J., Delgado, M., Bocedi, G., Baguette, M., BartoĹ„, K., Bonte, D., Boulangeat, I., Hodgson, J. A., Kubisch, A., Penteriani, V., Saastamoinen, M., Stevens, V. M. and Bullock, J. M. 2013. Dispersal and species’ responses to climate change. – Oikos 122: 1532-1540.

doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.00399.x

Rationale & novel synthesis
Dispersal describes a fascinating set of processes in ecology and evolution. However, the semantics are not that well articulated. In this article, the terminology and scope of dispersal is well developed. Importantly, the capacity for dispersal to evolve under climate is examined and the reciprocal concept, how dispersal should be included in predictive models is also summarized. The direct and indirect causes of changed dispersal are summarized with an excellent graphic, and the predicted impacts on emigration and transfer phases are provided separately. A central role for dispersal is proposed for considering the climate change versus land use drivers on the realized population dynamics. I like this idea. I am not an dispersal expert at the scale but this seemed like a very reasonable,if not challenging, novel conceptual model.

Five priority areas for conservation are identified.
1. Protocols must be developed to gather/aggregate high-res datasets on dispersal at all scales.
2. Mechanistic movement models and more realistic models in general must now be used.
3. Predictive models must now included more nuanced handling of within species variation.
4. Include relationships between evolution and dispersal in models when examining trait sets (and plasticity, selection processes, etc).
5. Use models to most effectively intervene in managed dispersal processes.

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