Lavergne S., Mouquet N., Thuiller W., and Ronce O. (2010).

The Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics , 41,321-350, doi:10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102209-144628

Key message :Scientists are facing the enormous challenge of predicting how climate change will affect species distributions and species assemblages. To do so, ecologists are widely using phenomenological models of species distributions that mainly rely on the concept of species niche and generally ignore species’ demography, species adaptive potential, and biotic interactions. This review examines the potential role of the emerging synthetic discipline of evolutionary community ecology in improving our understanding of how climate change will alter future distribution of biodiversity. We review theoretical and empirical advances about the role of niche evolution, interspecific interactions, and their interplay in altering species geographic ranges and community assembly. We discuss potential ways to integrate complex feedbacks between ecology and evolution in ecological forecasting. We also point at a number of caveats in our understanding of the eco-evolutionary consequences of climate change and highlight several challenges for future research.

Mechanisms that should be considered in order to adequately project the effect of climate change on species ranges and species assemblages (red box). The blue box (A) and blue arrow represent the most widely used approaches of species distribution models. The green boxes (B1 and B2) and green arrows represent the mechanisms that have been little envisaged to forecast climate changes effects, so far, namely that species evolve and interact.

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OTHER TOPICS: Aesthetics of Biodiversity, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Functioning, Biogeography, Macroecology & Ecophylogenetics, Experimental Evolution, Functional Biogeography, Functional Rarity, Metacommunities, Metaecosystems, Reviews and Synthesis, Trophic Biogeography & Metaweb