What's on the horizon for macroecology?

Jan Beck, Liliana Ballesteros-Mejia, Carsten Buchmann, Jurgen Dengler, Susanne Fritz, Bernd Gruber, Christian Hof, Florian Jansen, Sonja Knapp, Holger Kreft, Anne-Kathrin Schneider, Marten Winter, Carsten Dorman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    110 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Over the last two decades, macroecology â¿¿ the analysis of large-scale, multi-species ecological patterns and processes â¿¿ has established itself as a major line of biological research. Analyses of statistical links between environmental variables and biotic responses have long and successfully been employed as a main approach, but new developments are due to be utilized. Scanning the horizon of macroecology, we identified four challenges that will probably play a major role in the future. We support our claims by examples and bibliographic analyses. 1) Integrating the past into macroecological analyses, e.g. by using paleontological or phylogenetic information or by applying methods from historical biogeography, will sharpen our understanding of the underlying reasons for contemporary patterns. 2) Explicit consideration of the local processes that lead to the observed larger-scale patterns is necessary to understand the fine-grain variability found in nature, and will enable better prediction of future patterns (e.g. under environmental change conditions). 3) Macroecology is dependent on large-scale, high quality data from a broad spectrum of taxa and regions. More available data sources need to be tapped and new, small-grain large-extent data need to be collected. 4) Although macroecology already lead to mainstreaming cuttingedge statistical analysis techniques, we find that more sophisticated methods are needed to account for the biases inherent to sampling at large scale. Bayesian methods may be particularly suitable to address these challenges. To continue the vigorous development of the macroecological research agenda, it is time to address these challenges and to avoid becoming too complacent with current achievements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)673-683
    Number of pages11
    JournalEcography
    Volume35
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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    macroecology
    ecology
    Bayesian theory
    data quality
    biogeography
    environmental change
    statistical analysis
    methodology
    phylogenetics
    environmental factors
    prediction
    phylogeny
    sampling
    method

    Cite this

    Beck, J., Ballesteros-Mejia, L., Buchmann, C., Dengler, J., Fritz, S., Gruber, B., ... Dorman, C. (2012). What's on the horizon for macroecology? Ecography, 35(8), 673-683. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07364.x
    Beck, Jan ; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana ; Buchmann, Carsten ; Dengler, Jurgen ; Fritz, Susanne ; Gruber, Bernd ; Hof, Christian ; Jansen, Florian ; Knapp, Sonja ; Kreft, Holger ; Schneider, Anne-Kathrin ; Winter, Marten ; Dorman, Carsten. / What's on the horizon for macroecology?. In: Ecography. 2012 ; Vol. 35, No. 8. pp. 673-683.
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    title = "What's on the horizon for macroecology?",
    abstract = "Over the last two decades, macroecology {\^a}¿¿ the analysis of large-scale, multi-species ecological patterns and processes {\^a}¿¿ has established itself as a major line of biological research. Analyses of statistical links between environmental variables and biotic responses have long and successfully been employed as a main approach, but new developments are due to be utilized. Scanning the horizon of macroecology, we identified four challenges that will probably play a major role in the future. We support our claims by examples and bibliographic analyses. 1) Integrating the past into macroecological analyses, e.g. by using paleontological or phylogenetic information or by applying methods from historical biogeography, will sharpen our understanding of the underlying reasons for contemporary patterns. 2) Explicit consideration of the local processes that lead to the observed larger-scale patterns is necessary to understand the fine-grain variability found in nature, and will enable better prediction of future patterns (e.g. under environmental change conditions). 3) Macroecology is dependent on large-scale, high quality data from a broad spectrum of taxa and regions. More available data sources need to be tapped and new, small-grain large-extent data need to be collected. 4) Although macroecology already lead to mainstreaming cuttingedge statistical analysis techniques, we find that more sophisticated methods are needed to account for the biases inherent to sampling at large scale. Bayesian methods may be particularly suitable to address these challenges. To continue the vigorous development of the macroecological research agenda, it is time to address these challenges and to avoid becoming too complacent with current achievements.",
    author = "Jan Beck and Liliana Ballesteros-Mejia and Carsten Buchmann and Jurgen Dengler and Susanne Fritz and Bernd Gruber and Christian Hof and Florian Jansen and Sonja Knapp and Holger Kreft and Anne-Kathrin Schneider and Marten Winter and Carsten Dorman",
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    Beck, J, Ballesteros-Mejia, L, Buchmann, C, Dengler, J, Fritz, S, Gruber, B, Hof, C, Jansen, F, Knapp, S, Kreft, H, Schneider, A-K, Winter, M & Dorman, C 2012, 'What's on the horizon for macroecology?', Ecography, vol. 35, no. 8, pp. 673-683. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07364.x

    What's on the horizon for macroecology? / Beck, Jan; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Buchmann, Carsten; Dengler, Jurgen; Fritz, Susanne; Gruber, Bernd; Hof, Christian; Jansen, Florian; Knapp, Sonja; Kreft, Holger; Schneider, Anne-Kathrin; Winter, Marten; Dorman, Carsten.

    In: Ecography, Vol. 35, No. 8, 2012, p. 673-683.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Beck, Jan

    AU - Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana

    AU - Buchmann, Carsten

    AU - Dengler, Jurgen

    AU - Fritz, Susanne

    AU - Gruber, Bernd

    AU - Hof, Christian

    AU - Jansen, Florian

    AU - Knapp, Sonja

    AU - Kreft, Holger

    AU - Schneider, Anne-Kathrin

    AU - Winter, Marten

    AU - Dorman, Carsten

    PY - 2012

    Y1 - 2012

    N2 - Over the last two decades, macroecology â¿¿ the analysis of large-scale, multi-species ecological patterns and processes â¿¿ has established itself as a major line of biological research. Analyses of statistical links between environmental variables and biotic responses have long and successfully been employed as a main approach, but new developments are due to be utilized. Scanning the horizon of macroecology, we identified four challenges that will probably play a major role in the future. We support our claims by examples and bibliographic analyses. 1) Integrating the past into macroecological analyses, e.g. by using paleontological or phylogenetic information or by applying methods from historical biogeography, will sharpen our understanding of the underlying reasons for contemporary patterns. 2) Explicit consideration of the local processes that lead to the observed larger-scale patterns is necessary to understand the fine-grain variability found in nature, and will enable better prediction of future patterns (e.g. under environmental change conditions). 3) Macroecology is dependent on large-scale, high quality data from a broad spectrum of taxa and regions. More available data sources need to be tapped and new, small-grain large-extent data need to be collected. 4) Although macroecology already lead to mainstreaming cuttingedge statistical analysis techniques, we find that more sophisticated methods are needed to account for the biases inherent to sampling at large scale. Bayesian methods may be particularly suitable to address these challenges. To continue the vigorous development of the macroecological research agenda, it is time to address these challenges and to avoid becoming too complacent with current achievements.

    AB - Over the last two decades, macroecology â¿¿ the analysis of large-scale, multi-species ecological patterns and processes â¿¿ has established itself as a major line of biological research. Analyses of statistical links between environmental variables and biotic responses have long and successfully been employed as a main approach, but new developments are due to be utilized. Scanning the horizon of macroecology, we identified four challenges that will probably play a major role in the future. We support our claims by examples and bibliographic analyses. 1) Integrating the past into macroecological analyses, e.g. by using paleontological or phylogenetic information or by applying methods from historical biogeography, will sharpen our understanding of the underlying reasons for contemporary patterns. 2) Explicit consideration of the local processes that lead to the observed larger-scale patterns is necessary to understand the fine-grain variability found in nature, and will enable better prediction of future patterns (e.g. under environmental change conditions). 3) Macroecology is dependent on large-scale, high quality data from a broad spectrum of taxa and regions. More available data sources need to be tapped and new, small-grain large-extent data need to be collected. 4) Although macroecology already lead to mainstreaming cuttingedge statistical analysis techniques, we find that more sophisticated methods are needed to account for the biases inherent to sampling at large scale. Bayesian methods may be particularly suitable to address these challenges. To continue the vigorous development of the macroecological research agenda, it is time to address these challenges and to avoid becoming too complacent with current achievements.

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    Beck J, Ballesteros-Mejia L, Buchmann C, Dengler J, Fritz S, Gruber B et al. What's on the horizon for macroecology? Ecography. 2012;35(8):673-683. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07364.x