Critical Impacts Detected

Early warning signals detect critical impacts of experimental warming. New research with UofG colleagues is published the open access journal Ecology and Evolution. Very exciting!

EcolEvo

Early warning signals detect critical impacts of experimental warming 

Lauren Jarvis, Kevin McCann, Tyler Tunney, Gabriel Gellner, John M Fryxell

Abstract

Earth’s surface temperatures are projected to increase by ~1–4°C over the next century, threatening the future of global biodiversity and ecosystem stability. While this has fueled major progress in the field of physiological trait responses to warming, it is currently unclear whether routine population monitoring data can be used to predict temperature-induced population collapse. Here, we integrate trait performance theory with that of critical tipping points to test whether early warning signals can be reliably used to anticipate thermally induced extinction events. We find that a model parameterized by experimental growth rates exhibits critical slowing down in the vicinity of an experimentally tested critical threshold, suggesting that dynamical early warning signals may be useful in detecting the potentially precipitous onset of population collapse due to global climate change.

The article can be accessed here.

Published online: 29 July 2016. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2339

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