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Community rescue in experimental metacommunities

Low-Décarie, E and Kolber, M and Homme, P and Lofano, A and Dumbrell, A and Gonzalez, A and Bell, G (2015) 'Community rescue in experimental metacommunities.' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112 (46). 14307 - 14312. ISSN 0027-8424

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The conditions that allow biodiversity to recover following severe environmental degradation are poorly understood. We studied community rescue, the recovery of a viable community through the evolutionary rescue of many populations within an evolving community, in metacommunities of soil microbes adapting to a herbicide. The metacommunities occupied a landscape of crossed spatial gradients of the herbicide (Dalapon) and a resource (glucose), whereas their constituent communities were either isolated or connected by dispersal. The spread of adapted communities across the landscape and the persistence of communities when that landscape was degraded were strongly promoted by dispersal, and the capacity to adapt to lethal stress was also related to community size and initial diversity. After abrupt and lethal stress, community rescue was most frequent in communities that had previously experienced sublethal levels of stress and had been connected by dispersal. Community rescue occurred through the evolutionary rescue of both initially common taxa, which remained common, and of initially rare taxa, which grew to dominate the evolved community. Community rescue may allow productivity and biodiversity to recover from severe environmental degradation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2016 17:04
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 17:16

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