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August 04 , 2007

Ecology of Climate Change: The Importance of Biotic Interactions


Rising temperatures are affecting organisms in all of Earth's biomes, but the complexity of ecological responses to climate change has hampered the development of a conceptually unified treatment of them. In a remarkably comprehensive synthesis, this book presents past, ongoing, and future ecological responses to climate change in the context of two simplifying hypotheses, facilitation and interference, arguing that biotic interactions may be the primary driver of ecological responses to climate change across all levels of biological organization.

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Eric Post's synthesis and analyses of ecological consequences of climate change extend from the Late Pleistocene to the present, and through the next century of projected warming. His investigation is grounded in classic themes of enduring interest in ecology, but developed around novel conceptual and mathematical models of observed and predicted dynamics. Using stability theory as a recurring theme, Post argues that the magnitude of climatic variability may be just as important as the magnitude and direction of change in determining whether populations, communities, and species persist. He urges a more refined consideration of species interactions, emphasizing important distinctions between lateral and vertical interactions and their disparate roles in shaping responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to climate change.

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