– Popular Science USA from May 2015
– NEW SCIENTIST – 11 APRIL 2015
– LAB+LIFE SCIENTIST – APRIL 2015
– NAKED SCIENCE – MARCH-APRIL 2015 (Russian)
J. Philip Grime – Simon Pierce
The Evolutionary Strategies that Shape Ecosystems
In 1837 a young Charles Darwin took his notebook, wrote “I think”and then sketched a rudimentary, stick-like tree. Each branch ofDarwin’s tree of life told a story of survival and adaptation adaptation of animals and plants not just to theenvironment but also to life with other living things. However,more than 150 years since Darwin published his singular idea ofnatural selection, the science of ecology has yet to account forhow contrasting evolutionary outcomes affect the ability oforganisms to coexist in communities and to regulate ecosystemfunctioning. In this book Philip Grime and Simon Pierce explain how evidencefrom across the world is revealing that, beneath the wealth ofapparently limitless and bewildering variation in detailedstructure and functioning, the essential biology of all organismsis subject to the same set of basic interacting constraints onlife-history and physiology. The inescapable resulting predicamentduring the evolution of every species is that, according tohabitat, each must adopt a predictable compromise with regard tohow they use the resources at their disposal in order to survive.The compromise involves the investment of resources in either theeffort to acquire more resources, the tolerance of factors thatreduce metabolic performance, or reproduction. This three-waytrade-off is the irreducible core of the universal adaptivestrategy theory which Grime and Pierce use to investigate howtwo environmental filters selecting, respectively, for convergenceand divergence in organism function determine the identity oforganisms in communities, and ultimately how different evolutionarystrategies affect the functioning of ecosystems. This book reflectsan historic phase in which evolutionary processes are finallymoving centre stage in the effort to unify ecological theory, andanimal, plant and microbial ecology have begun to find a commontheoretical framework. Visit access the artwork from the book.