Research groups

Department members

Selected publications

December 2020
BioScience. - 70(2020)9, S. 772-793

The complexity of urban eco-evolutionary dynamics

Marina Alberti; Eric P. Palkovacs; Simone Des Roches; Luc De Meester; Kristien I. Brans; Lynn Govaert; Nancy B. Grimm; Nyeema C. Harris; Andrew P. Hendry; Christopher J. Schell; Marta Szulkin , Jason Munshi-South; Mark C. Urban; Brian C. Verrelli

Urbanization is a complex process that impacts both the ecology and evolution of species. The researchers identified five key urban drivers of this change and highlight the direct consequences of urbanization-driven eco-evolutionary change for nature’s contributions to people. They subsequently explored five emerging complexities that need to be tackled in future research.

November 2020
Limnology and Oceanography. - 65(2020)10, S. 2529-2540

Food nutrient availability affects epibiont prevalence and richness in natural Daphnia populations

Lien Reyserhove; Lore Bulteel; Jing Liu; Caroline Souffreau; Kristien I. Brans; Jessie M.T. Engelen; Luc De Meester; Frederik Hendrickx; Koenraad Muylaert; Steven A. J. Declerck; Ellen Decaestecker

A field survey along a food quantity and quality gradient revealed that both host population density as well as prevalence and diversity of epibionts (i.e. organisms living on a host) in the water flea Daphnia pulex are significantly affected by phytoplankton N:P ratio. A laboratory experiment using Daphnia magna confirmed that P‐limitation affects infestation by epibionts.

November 2020
Science. - 370(2020)6515, S. 411-413

Set ambitious goals for biodiversity and sustainability

Sandra Díaz; Noelia Zafra-Calvo; Andy Purvis; Peter H. Verburg; David Obura; Paul Leadley; Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer; Luc De Meester; Ehsan Dulloo; Berta Martín-López; M. Rebecca Shaw; Piero Visconti; Wendy Broadgate; Michael W. Bruford; Neil D. Burgess; Jeannine Cavender-Bares; Fabrice DeClerck; José María Fernández-Palacios; Lucas A. Garibaldi; Samantha L. L. Hill; Forest Isbell; Colin K. Khoury; Cornelia B. Krug; Jianguo Liu; Martine Maron; Philip J. K. McGowan; Henrique M. Pereira; Victoria Reyes-García; Juan Rocha; Carlo Rondinini; Lynne Shannon; Yunne-Jai Shin; Paul V. R. Snelgrove; Eva M. Spehn; Bernardo Strassburg; Suneetha M. Subramanian; Joshua J. Tewksbury; James E. M. Watson; Amy E. Zanne

The deep biodiversity crisis calls for effective targets for its preservation. The authors argue for a “safety net” made up of multiple interlinked and ambitious goals to tackle nature’s alarming decline. No single target captures the broad range of biodiversity components that are dependent on each other. The study outlines the scientific basis for redesigning the new set of biodiversity goals.

November 2020
Global Change Biology. - 26(2020)3, S. 1196-1211

Urbanization drives cross-taxon declines in abundance and diversity at multiple spatial scales

Elena Piano; Caroline Souffreau; Thomas Merckx; Lisa F. Baardsen; Thierry Backeljau; Dries Bonte; Kristien I. Brans; Marie Cours; Maxime Dahirel; Nicolas Debortoli; Ellen Decaestecker; Katrien De Wolf; Jessie M. T. Engelen; Diego Fontaneto; Andros T. Gianuca; Lynn Govaert; Fabio T. T. Hanashiro; Janet Higuti; Luc Lens; Koen Martens; Hans Matheve; Erik Matthysen; Eveline Pinseel; Rose Sablon; Isa Schön; Robby Stoks; Karine Van Doninck; Hans Van Dyck; Pieter Vanormelingen; Jeroen Van Wichelen; Wim Vyverman; Luc De Meester; Frederik Hendrickx

This comprehensive study analyses the relationship between urbanization and biodiversity across multiple aquatic and terrestrial animal groups and at multiple spatial scales. The study reveals an overall strong negative impact of urbanization on both abundance and species richness within habitat patches. The study highlights the importance of considering multiple spatial scales and taxa.

November 2020
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. - 116(2019)31, S. 15336-15337

Evolutionary origins for ecological patterns in space

Mark C. Urban; Sharon Y. Strauss; Fanie Pelletier; Eric P. Palkovacs; Mathew A. Leibold; Andrew P. Hendry; Luc De Meester; Stephanie M. Carlson; Amy L. Angert and Sean T. Giery

Does evolution influence ecological patterns in space? The authors synthesized 500 studies to develop a predictive framework for whether and when evolution amplifies, dampens, or creates ecological patterns. They show that local adaptation can alter spatial variation in population, community and ecosystem features. Dampening of ecological differences is the most prominent effect of evolution.  

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