CEES Friday seminar: The biogeography of life histories

By Rob Salguero-Gomez from Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, U.K.


Life history principles applied to big-data in ecology are starting to produce powerful predictions on the strategies that are most resilient vs. sensitive to projected environmental changes. For instance, recent work using high-resolution demographic information for over 450 animal and plant species has showcased how, in a temporally autocorrelated environment, short-lived, highly iteroparous species are expected to suffer the most the projected climatic trends. These predictions will gain even more strength if we can link where around the globe species of a specific life history strategy (e.g. longlived semelparous, shortlived senescent, etc.) are found.

Here I use demographic, ecological and phylogenetic information for over 800 species from the COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database and COMADRE Animal Matrix Database, coupled with a spatially explicit phylogeographic model, to examine the biogeography of life histories around the globe. I find that key life history traits such as generation time, rate of senescence, average growth rate, and net reproductive rate are all related to a latitudinal and altitudinal clines. I will discuss the generality of these findings across diverse growth forms (sessile vs mobile; indeterminate vs determinate growers), and the implications for the future research agenda of macroecology and conservation biology. 

Dr Rob Salguero-Gomez, Associate Professor in Ecology
Tutorial Fellow of Pembroke College
NERC Independent Research Fellow

Published Feb. 12, 2019 5:33 PM - Last modified Mar. 8, 2021 9:28 AM