IGN 10
Constraints in Ecology

Wednesday, August 7, 2013: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
101C, Minneapolis Convention Center
Elita Baldridge, Utah State University
Ethan P. White, University of Florida
Elita Baldridge, Utah State University
All levels of ecological organization, from individuals to ecosystems, have constraints that place limits on the behavior of the system. These constraints range from biological constraints such as physiological constraints (critical temperature limits, maximum photosynthetic activity), evolutionary constraints (gestation length, litter/clutch size), and stoichiometric constraints (C: N ratios) to environmental constraints (temperature, precipitation) and statistical constraints. Biological constraints at one scale can influence the behavior of systems at different scales, both from a top down and from a bottom up perspective. Constraints can provide information about the variability inherent in the system and can also provide inference into central tendency. Statistical constraints can identify the potential limits of a distribution and the most probable form of the distribution. Observing the form of an empirical pattern relative to the statistical limits and central tendency of a distribution can allow inference into what processes could be driving the pattern. Understanding what the important constraints are at each level of the ecological hierarchy and how those constraints scale can indicate what processes are more likely to be important at different scales. This session will discuss the multiple roles of constraints in ecology, from defining possible states of a distribution with statistical or ecological constraints, to using constraints to make informed predictions about how species might respond under different conditions. A constraint-based approach to ecology offers a powerful framework for approaching ecological questions.
 Why constraint based approaches to ecology?
S.K. Morgan Ernest, Utah State University
 The feasible set: Putting pattern into perspective
Kenneth J. Locey, Indiana University; Ethan P. White, University of Florida
 Evolutionary constraints and information entropy in ecology
Andrew J. Rominger, University of California Berkeley
 Liebig is dead; long live Liebig
Michael Kaspari, University of Oklahoma; Adam D. Kay, University of St. Thomas; Jennifer S. Powers, University of Minnesota
 Constraints on carbon flux in extreme climates
Christine A. Lamanna, University of Maine
 Ecological constraints predict the spatial structure of biodiversity
Daniel J. McGlinn, Utah State University; Ethan P. White, University of Florida
 Physiological constraints and predicting responses to climate change
Sarah E. Diamond, North Carolina State University
See more of: Ignite ESA Sessions