Coordinating theoretical and empirical efforts to understand the linkages between organisms and environments

Michael Angilletta, Michael W. Sears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Schwenk and colleagues challenged biologists to develop a deeper understanding of the linkages between organisms and environments. These linkages are captured by the concept of the niche, which has guided theoretical and empirical research in ecology for decades. Despite this research, we still cannot explain or predict much of the variation in niches over space and time. This shortcoming hinders efforts to forecast biological responses to environmental change. We believe that progress has been slowed by poor coordination between theoretical and empirical efforts to understand the evolution of niches. Therefore, progress should be sped by research programs that integrate modeling and experiments. Such research programs should focus on the structures of environmental variation, the constraints on phenotypes, and the relationships between phenotypes and fitness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-661
Number of pages9
JournalIntegrative and comparative biology
Volume51
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Plant Science

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