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Title: Climatic warming destabilizes forest ant communities

Abstract

How will ecological communities change in response to climate warming? Direct effects of temperature and indirect cascading effects of species interactions are already altering the structure of local communities, but the dynamics of community change are still poorly understood. We explore the cumulative effects of warming on the dynamics and turnover of forest ant communities that were warmed as part of a 5-year climate manipulation experiment at two sites in eastern North America. At the community level, warming consistently increased occupancy of nests and decreased extinction and nest abandonment. This consistency was largely driven by strong responses of a subset of thermophilic species at each site. As colonies of thermophilic species persisted in nests for longer periods of time under warmer temperatures, turnover was diminished, and species interactions were likely altered. We found that dynamical (Lyapunov) community stability decreased with warming both within and between sites. These results refute null expectations of simple temperature-driven increases in the activity and movement of thermophilic ectotherms. The reduction in stability under warming contrasts with the findings of previous studies that suggest resilience of species interactions to experimental and natural warming. In the face of warmer, no-analog climates, communities of the future may becomemore » increasingly fragile and unstable.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ; ; ORCiD logo; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1536829
DOE Contract Number:  
FG02-08ER64510
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher:
AAAS
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Science & Technology - Other Topics

Citation Formats

Diamond, Sarah E., Nichols, Lauren M., Pelini, Shannon L., Penick, Clint A., Barber, Grace W., Cahan, Sara Helms, Dunn, Robert R., Ellison, Aaron M., Sanders, Nathan J., and Gotelli, Nicholas J. Climatic warming destabilizes forest ant communities. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1600842.
Diamond, Sarah E., Nichols, Lauren M., Pelini, Shannon L., Penick, Clint A., Barber, Grace W., Cahan, Sara Helms, Dunn, Robert R., Ellison, Aaron M., Sanders, Nathan J., & Gotelli, Nicholas J. Climatic warming destabilizes forest ant communities. United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1600842.
Diamond, Sarah E., Nichols, Lauren M., Pelini, Shannon L., Penick, Clint A., Barber, Grace W., Cahan, Sara Helms, Dunn, Robert R., Ellison, Aaron M., Sanders, Nathan J., and Gotelli, Nicholas J. Sat . "Climatic warming destabilizes forest ant communities". United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1600842.
@article{osti_1536829,
title = {Climatic warming destabilizes forest ant communities},
author = {Diamond, Sarah E. and Nichols, Lauren M. and Pelini, Shannon L. and Penick, Clint A. and Barber, Grace W. and Cahan, Sara Helms and Dunn, Robert R. and Ellison, Aaron M. and Sanders, Nathan J. and Gotelli, Nicholas J.},
abstractNote = {How will ecological communities change in response to climate warming? Direct effects of temperature and indirect cascading effects of species interactions are already altering the structure of local communities, but the dynamics of community change are still poorly understood. We explore the cumulative effects of warming on the dynamics and turnover of forest ant communities that were warmed as part of a 5-year climate manipulation experiment at two sites in eastern North America. At the community level, warming consistently increased occupancy of nests and decreased extinction and nest abandonment. This consistency was largely driven by strong responses of a subset of thermophilic species at each site. As colonies of thermophilic species persisted in nests for longer periods of time under warmer temperatures, turnover was diminished, and species interactions were likely altered. We found that dynamical (Lyapunov) community stability decreased with warming both within and between sites. These results refute null expectations of simple temperature-driven increases in the activity and movement of thermophilic ectotherms. The reduction in stability under warming contrasts with the findings of previous studies that suggest resilience of species interactions to experimental and natural warming. In the face of warmer, no-analog climates, communities of the future may become increasingly fragile and unstable.},
doi = {10.1126/sciadv.1600842},
journal = {Science Advances},
issn = {2375-2548},
number = 10,
volume = 2,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {10}
}