Dynamics

Grazer-resource behavior, interactions, and feedbacks control kelp-forest dynamics and stability

How the direct and indirect effects of species interactions cascade to affect community struc- ture, functioning, and stability is a fundamental question in ecology. In temperate kelp forests, species interactions, in conjunction with environmental …

The intrinsic predictability of ecological time series and its potential to guide forecasting

Successfully predicting the future states of systems that are complex, stochastic, and potentially chaotic is a major challenge. Model forecasting error (FE) is the usual measure of success; however model predictions provide no insights into the …

Exact probabilities for the indeterminacy of complex networks as perceived through press perturbations

We consider the goal of predicting how complex networks respond to chronic (press) perturbations when characterizations of their network topology and interaction strengths are associated with uncertainty. Our primary result is the derivation of exact …

Rapid and direct recoveries of predators and prey through synchronized ecosystem management

One of the twenty-first century’s greatest environmental challenges is to recover and restore species, habitats and ecosystems. The decision about how to initiate restoration is best-informed by an understanding of the linkages between ecosystem …

Characterizing species interactions to understand press perturbations: What is the community matrix?

The community matrix is among ecology's most important mathematical abstractions, formally encapsulating the interconnected network of effects that species have on one another's populations. Despite its importance, the term “community matrix” has …

Ecosystem context and historical contingency in apex predator recoveries

Habitat loss, overexploitation, and numerous other stressors have caused global declines in apex predators. This “trophic downgrading” has generated widespread concern because of the fundamental role that apex predators can play in ecosystem …

Effects of predator introductions on population and community dynamics

There is increasing awareness that human activities are altering the ways that natural systems operate and that local shifts in species composition and abundance can lead to abrupt and irreversible global change. Therefore, understanding the …

Global patterns of kelp forest change over the past half-century

Kelp forests (Order Laminariales) form key biogenic habitats in coastal regions of temperate and Arctic seas worldwide, providing ecosystem services valued in the range of billions of dollars annually. Although local evidence suggests that kelp …

Selection on stability across ecological scales

Much of the focus in evolutionary biology has been on the adaptive differentiation among organisms. It is equally important to understand the processes that result in similarities of structure among systems. Here, we discuss examples of similarities …

A multi-decade time series of kelp forest community structure at San Nicolas Island, California (USA)

San Nicolas Island is surrounded by broad areas of shallow subtidal habitat, characterized by dynamic kelp forest communities that undergo dramatic and abrupt shifts in community composition. Although these reefs are fished, the physical isolation …