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Abstract

Today's scientists are facing the enormous challenge of predicting how climate change will affect species distributions and species assemblages. To do so, ecologists are widely using phenomenological models of species distributions that mainly rely on the concept of species niche and generally ignore species' demography, species' adaptive potential, and biotic interactions. This review examines the potential role of the emerging synthetic discipline of evolutionary community ecology in improving our understanding of how climate change will alter future distribution of biodiversity. We review theoretical and empirical advances about the role of niche evolution, interspecific interactions, and their interplay in altering species geographic ranges and community assembly. We discuss potential ways to integrate complex feedbacks between ecology and evolution in ecological forecasting. We also point at a number of caveats in our understanding of the eco-evolutionary consequences of climate change and highlight several challenges for future research.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-102209-144628
2010-12-01
2024-04-16
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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