Eco-evolutionary Dynamics of Living Systems

This project will improve models for assessing the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of living systems to allow a better understanding of human-induced impacts on the biosphere  

©2011 iStockphoto LP

©2011 iStockphoto LP

Living systems typically undergo two types of change, known as ecological or evolutionary dynamics. Ecological dynamics describe changes in the number or acquired features of organisms, such as their location, size, or condition. Evolutionary dynamics describe changes in the heritable features of organisms, such as their genotypes and resultant phenotypes, which in turn govern their sex, physiology, morphology, life history, and behavior. These two types of changes typically interact, giving rise to what is known as eco-evolutionary dynamics.

Methodological pluralism ensures that research questions are addressed by the most suitable modeling approaches. For example, because statistical models usually lose their predictive accuracy in the face of large deviations from previously observed conditions, and because such regime shifts are often brought about by human activities, process-based models are critical for successfully describing and forecasting eco-evolutionary dynamics.

This project’s goal is to advance methods for meeting the demands of ecosystems research. Specifically, new tools are being developed to describe ecological and evolutionary transitions in realistically complex systems. These methodological innovations will enable better predictions of how ecosystem processes and biodiversity patterns respond to anthropogenic environmental impacts.


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Last edited: 16 July 2012

CONTACT DETAILS

Ulf Dieckmann

Program Director

Evolution and Ecology

SA-YSSP Dean (IIASA)

Capacity Building and Academic Training

T +43(0) 2236 807 386

Timeframe

2011 - 2015

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313