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The diversity of eco-evolutionary dynamics: Comparing the feedbacks between ecology and evolution across scales

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Evidence of reciprocal influences between ecological and evolutionary processes (eco‐evolutionary dynamics) is accumulating at different levels of biological organisation, ranging from populations to communities and even ecosystems. This special feature showcases the state‐of‐the art knowledge on eco‐evolutionary dynamics and dissects the feedback types, the biological and spatial scales as well as the agents of selection underlying the interactions between ecology and evolution. Theoretical approaches to eco‐evolutionary feedbacks can draw on a wide range of fields and have a long history within evolutionary ecology. The integration of theoretical approaches from quantitative genetics, evolutionary ecology, and metapopulation ecology is necessary to advance our understanding of rapid evolution and associated eco‐evolutionary dynamics. Empirical studies in this special feature focus on the evolution‐to‐ecology pathway by which evolutionary processes influence ecological dynamics (the direction in eco‐evolutionary dynamics less well studied). Advancing towards the study of complete (i.e. reciprocal) eco‐evolutionary feedbacks requires unravelling both the ecology‐to‐evolution and the evolution‐to‐ecology pathways in isolation and understanding how they are coupled. This endeavour will require a combination of laboratory, semi‐natural (e.g. mesocosm) and field studies. As the field of eco‐evolutionary dynamics matures, it moves from proof‐of‐principle studies to understanding increasingly complex biological systems. This Special Feature provides necessary tools and approaches, both theoretical and empirical, to achieve this new aim.
Journal: Functional Ecology
ISSN: 0269-8463
Issue: 1
Volume: 33
Pages: 7 - 12
Number of pages: 6
Publication year:2019
Keywords:Pure & applied ecology