sTraitChange – How do trait responses to climate change translate into demographic rates and population dynamics?

1st date: 08.-11.10.2018
2nd date: 08.-11.04.2019

PIs: Viktoriia Radchuk, Marcel E. Visser

Climate change affects biodiversity at different levels of organization, from the traits of individuals to populations and communities. These effects at different levels are typically the focus of different disciplines. Effects on phenotypic traits, such as body size (morphological) and the timing of reproduction (phenological traits), are often studied separately from the effects of climate change on demographic rates, such as survival and reproduction. But these effects on demographic rates come about via effects on traits. Moreover, at the population level, the effects of trait changes on one demographic rate may be buffered by opposing changes in other demographic rates. Therefore, a hierarchical framework that integrates traits and demographic rates when considering the climate effects on population dynamics is required to obtain a mechanistic understanding of climate-driven impacts on biodiversity. Changes in traits and demographic rates are triggered by both long-term changes in means of climatic factors, and by short spells of extreme weather, which are best captured by temporal climatic variability. Therefore, we here propose to consider changes in both climatic means and variability when assessing how traits moderate the effects of climate on population dynamics. To this end we will complement analyses of a recently-assembled data set (applying hierarchical population models and meta-analysis) with simulations. The proposed research will advance biodiversity research by developing a mechanistic framework that improves our ability to predict climate-induced changes across levels of organization, and by deriving generalizations of how species with different life-histories respond to climate change.


Thomas Banitz   (UFZ), Steve Beissinger (University of California at Berkeley), Ulrich Brose (iDiv), Anne Charmantier (CNRS), Guillaume Chero (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research), Jean Clobert (SETE CNRS), Stephanie Jenouvrier (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Carys Jones (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research ), Stephanie Kramer-Schadt (Leibniz-Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research), Callum Lawson (iDiv), Erik Matthysen (University of Antwerp), Nina McLean (Netherlands Institute of Ecology NIOO-KNAW), Viktoriia Radchuk (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research), Thomas Reed (University College Cork), Bernt-Erik Saether (Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Holger Schielzeth (Friedrich Schiller University Jena), Celine Teplitsky (CEFE – CNRS), Martijn van de Pol (Netherlands Institute of Ecology), Marcel Visser (Netherlands Institute of Ecology NIOO-KNAW)

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