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  • 1. Alberts, Susan C.
    et al.
    Altmann, Jeanne
    Brockman, Diane K.
    Cords, Marina
    Fedigan, Linda M.
    Pusey, Anne
    Stoinski, Tara S.
    Strier, Karen B.
    Morris, William F.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Bronikowski, Anne M.
    Reproductive aging patterns in primates reveal that humans are distinct2013In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 110, no 33, p. 13440-13445Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Women rarely give birth after similar to 45 y of age, and they experience the cessation of reproductive cycles, menopause, at similar to 50 y of age after a fertility decline lasting almost two decades. Such reproductive senescence in mid-lifespan is an evolutionary puzzle of enduring interest because it should be inherently disadvantageous. Furthermore, comparative data on reproductive senescence from other primates, or indeed other mammals, remains relatively rare. Here we carried out a unique detailed comparative study of reproductive senescence in seven species of nonhuman primates in natural populations, using long-term, individual-based data, and compared them to a population of humans experiencing natural fertility and mortality. In four of seven primate species we found that reproductive senescence occurred before death only in a small minority of individuals. In three primate species we found evidence of reproductive senescence that accelerated throughout adulthood; however, its initial rate was much lower than mortality, so that relatively few individuals experienced reproductive senescence before death. In contrast, the human population showed the predicted and well-known pattern in which reproductive senescence occurred before death for many women and its rate accelerated throughout adulthood. These results provide strong support for the hypothesis that reproductive senescence in midlife, although apparent in natural-fertility, natural-mortality populations of humans, is generally absent in other primates living in such populations.

  • 2. Doak, Daniel F.
    et al.
    Boor, Gina K. Himes
    Bakker, Victoria J.
    Morris, William F.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Louthan, Allison
    Morrison, Scott A.
    Stanley, Amanda
    Crowder, Larry B.
    Recommendations for Improving Recovery Criteria under the US Endangered Species Act2015In: BioScience, ISSN 0006-3568, E-ISSN 1525-3244, Vol. 65, no 2, p. 189-199Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recovery criteria, the thresholds mandated by the Endangered Species Act that define when species may be considered for downlisting or removal from the endangered species list, are a key component of conservation planning in the United States. We recommend improvements in the definition and scientific justification of recovery criteria, addressing both data-rich and data-poor situations. We emphasize the distinction between recovery actions and recovery criteria and recommend the use of quantitative population analyses to measure the impacts of threats and to explicitly tie recovery criteria to population status. To this end, we provide a brief tutorial on the legal and practical requirements and constraints of recovery criteria development. We conclude by contrasting our recommendations with other alternatives and by describing ways in which academic scientists can contribute productively to the planning process and to endangered species recovery.

  • 3. Ehrlen, Johan
    et al.
    Morris, William F.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Predicting changes in the distribution and abundance of species under environmental change2015In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 303-314Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental changes are expected to alter both the distribution and the abundance of organisms. A disproportionate amount of past work has focused on distribution only, either documenting historical range shifts or predicting future occurrence patterns. However, simultaneous predictions of abundance and distribution across landscapes would be far more useful. To critically assess which approaches represent advances towards the goal of joint predictions of abundance and distribution, we review recent work on changing distributions and on effects of environmental drivers on single populations. Several methods have been used to predict changing distributions. Some of these can be easily modified to also predict abundance, but others cannot. In parallel, demographers have developed a much better understanding of how changing abiotic and biotic drivers will influence growth rate and abundance in single populations. However, this demographic work has rarely taken a landscape perspective and has largely ignored the effects of intraspecific density. We advocate a synthetic approach in which population models accounting for both density dependence and effects of environmental drivers are used to make integrated predictions of equilibrium abundance and distribution across entire landscapes. Such predictions would constitute an important step forward in assessing the ecological consequences of environmental changes.

  • 4. Pironon, Samuel
    et al.
    Villellas, Jesus
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Morris, William F.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Doak, Daniel F.
    Garcia, Maria B.
    Do geographic, climatic or historical ranges differentiate the performance of central versus peripheral populations?2015In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, ISSN 1466-822X, E-ISSN 1466-8238, Vol. 24, no 6, p. 611-620Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    AimThe centre-periphery hypothesis' (CPH) predicts that species performance (genetics, physiology, morphology, demography) will decline gradually from the centre towards the periphery of the geographic range. This hypothesis has been subjected to continuous debate since the 1980s, essentially because empirical studies have shown contrasting patterns. Moreover, it has been proposed that species performance might not be higher at the geographic range centre but rather at the environmental optimum or at sites presenting greater environmental stability in time. In this paper we re-evaluate the CPH by disentangling the effects of geographic, climatic and historical centrality/marginality on the demography of three widely distributed plant species and the genetic diversity of one of them. LocationEurope and North America. MethodsBased on a species distribution modelling approach, we test whether demographic parameters (vital rates, stochastic population growth rates, density) of three plant species of contrasting life-forms, and the genetic diversity of one of them, are higher at their geographic range centres, climatic optima or projected glacial refugia. ResultsWhile geographic, climatic and historical centre-periphery gradients are often not concordant, overall, none of them explain well the distribution of species demographic performance, whereas genetic diversity responds positively only to a historical centrality, related to post-glacial range dynamics. Main conclusionsTo our knowledge, this is the first assessment of the response of species performance to three centrality gradients, considering all the components of different species life cycles and genetic diversity information across continental distributions. Our results are inconsistent with the idea that geographically, climatically or historically marginal populations generally perform worse than central ones. We particularly emphasize the importance of adopting an interdisciplinary approach in order to understand the relative effects of contemporary versus historical and geographic versus ecological factors on the distribution of species performance.

  • 5.
    Villellas, Jesus
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution. Duke Univ, Dept Biol, Durham, NC 27708 USA..
    Doak, Daniel F.
    Univ Colorado, Environm Studies Program, Boulder, CO 80309 USA..
    Garcia, Maria B.
    CSIC, Pyrenean Inst Ecol IPE, E-50080 Zaragoza, Spain..
    Morris, William F.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution. Duke Univ, Dept Biol, Durham, NC 27708 USA..
    Demographic compensation among populations: what is it, how does it arise and what are its implications?2015In: Ecology Letters, ISSN 1461-023X, E-ISSN 1461-0248, Vol. 18, no 11, p. 1139-1152Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most species are exposed to significant environmental gradients across their ranges, but vital rates (survival, growth, reproduction and recruitment) need not respond in the same direction to those gradients. Opposing vital rate trends across environments, a phenomenon that has been loosely called demographic compensation', may allow species to occupy larger geographical ranges and alter their responses to climate change. Yet the term has never been precisely defined, nor has its existence or strength been assessed for multiple species. Here, we provide a rigorous definition, and use it to develop a strong test for demographic compensation. By applying the test to data from 26 published, multi-population demographic studies of plants, we show that demographic compensation commonly occurs. We also investigate the mechanisms by which this phenomenon arises by assessing which demographic processes and life stages are most often involved. In addition, we quantify the effect of demographic compensation on variation in population growth rates across environmental gradients, a potentially important determinant of the size of a species' geographical range. Finally, we discuss the implications of demographic compensation for the responses of single populations and species' ranges to temporal environmental variation and to ongoing environmental trends, e.g. due to climate change.

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