Andrew Gonzalez

Andrew Gonzalez
McGill University | McGill · Department of Biology

PhD Biology
co-Chair GEO BON, co-director Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science

About

246
Publications
197,651
Reads
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28,198
Citations
Introduction
My research group is broadly focused on the causes and consequences of biodiversity change. We combine theory, experiments, and data synthesis to study the dynamics of ecological systems, how they adapt to environmental change, especially anthropogenic forms. As a corollary we expect to gain a better understanding of how to prevent irreversible biodiversity loss. Recent topics include evolutionary rescue, network modularity, sustainability, stability, ecosystem functioning, climate change, green infrastructure and protected area networks.
Additional affiliations
September 2003 - present
McGill University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
September 1999 - March 2003
Sorbonne Université
Position
  • Maitre des Conferences
September 1999 - June 2003
Sorbonne Université
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (246)
Article
Despite substantial progress in understanding global biodiversity loss, major taxonomic and geographic knowledge gaps remain. Decision makers often rely on expert judgement to fill knowledge gaps, but are rarely able to engage with sufficiently large and diverse groups of specialists. To improve understanding of the perspectives of thousands of bio...
Article
Full-text available
Governments are negotiating actions intended to halt biodiversity loss and put it on a path to recovery by 2050. Here, we show that bending the curve for biodiversity is possible, but only if actions are implemented urgently and in an integrated manner. Connecting these actions to biodiversity outcomes and tracking progress remain a challenge.
Article
Full-text available
Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) such as Roundup formulations may have the unintended consequence of selecting for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), as demonstrated in previous experiments. However, the effects of GBHs on ARGs remain unknown in natural aquatic communities, which are often contaminated with pesticides from agricultural runoff.
Article
Primary parasitoid species, usually Hymenopteran wasp species, contribute to pest regulation services in agroecosystems by parasitizing crop pests and reducing their abundance. However, this positive effect can be limited if primary parasitoids themselves are parasitized by secondary parasitoids, also known as hyperparasitoids. These trophic dynami...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human impacts on the Earth’s biosphere are driving the global biodiversity crisis. Governments are preparing to agree on a set of actions intended to halt the loss of biodiversity and put it on a path to recovery by 2050. We provide evidence that the proposed actions can bend the curve for biodiversity, but only if these actions are implemented urg...
Article
When environmental stressors of high intensity are sustained for long periods of time, populations face high probabilities of being extirpated. However, depending on the intensity of the stressor, large populations with sufficient genetic diversity may persist. We report the results of an experiment that tracked the persistence of Daphnia populatio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Agrochemicals often contaminate freshwater bodies, affecting microbial communities that underlie aquatic food webs. For example, Roundup, a widely-used glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH), has the potential to indirectly select for antibiotic resistant bacteria. Such cross-selection could occur, for example, if the same genes ( e . g . encoding efflux...
Article
Full-text available
Networks of species interactions underpin numerous ecosystem processes, but comprehensively sampling these interactions is difficult. Interactions intrinsically vary across space and time, and given the number of species that compose ecological communities, it can be tough to distinguish between a true negative (where two species never interact) fr...
Article
Time is running out to limit further devastating losses of biodiversity and nature's contributions to humans. Addressing this crisis requires accurate predictions about which species and ecosystems are most at risk to ensure efficient use of limited conservation and management resources. We review existing biodiversity projection models and discove...
Article
Full-text available
Feedbacks are an essential feature of resilient socio-economic systems, yet the feedbacks between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human wellbeing are not fully accounted for in global policy efforts that consider future scenarios for human activities and their consequences for nature. Failure to integrate feedbacks in our knowledge frameworks...
Article
Environmental fluctuations influence patterns of synchrony and stability in species abundances. Most of our understanding of synchrony and stability stems from competitive community and metacommunity ecology, when in reality species interact in more complex ways. Hence, there is mounting need for the integration of multi‐trophic interactions into m...
Article
Anthropogenic environmental change is causing habitat deterioration at unprecedented rates in freshwater ecosystems. Despite increasing more rapidly than other agents of global change, synthetic chemical pollution -including agrochemicals such as pesticides- has received relatively little attention in freshwater community and ecosystem ecology. Det...
Article
Agricultural pollution with fertilizers and pesticides is a common disturbance to freshwater biodiversity. Bacterioplankton communities are at the base of aquatic food webs, but their responses to these potentially interacting stressors are rarely explored. To test the extent of resistance and resilience in bacterioplankton communities faced with a...
Article
Full-text available
Paz‐Vinas, Jensen et al. (2021) comment on data and methodological limits of Millette, Fugère, Debyser et al. (2020)—some affect a small proportion of our data sets and analyses and others need to be tackled more generally. These points do not refute our main conclusion of no strong signal of human impacts on COI variation globally.
Article
Full-text available
The global impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change are interlinked, but the feedbacks between them are rarely assessed. Areas with greater tree diversity tend to be more productive, providing a greater carbon sink, and biodiversity loss could reduce these natural carbon sinks. Here, we quantify how tree and shrub species richness could affe...
Article
Full-text available
Biological insurance theory predicts that, in a variable environment, aggregate ecosystem properties will vary less in more diverse communities because declines in the performance or abundance of some species or phenotypes will be offset, at least partly, by smoother declines or increases in others. During the past two decades, ecology has accumula...
Article
Ecosystem processes vary temporally due to environmental fluctuations, such as when variation in solar energy causes diurnal cycles in primary production. This normal variation in ecosystem functioning may be disrupted and even lost if taxa contributing to functioning go extinct due to environmental stress. However, when communities are exposed to...
Article
The biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationship is expected to be scale-dependent. The autocorrelation of environmental heterogeneity is hypothesized to explain this scale dependence because it influences how quickly biodiversity accumulates over space or time. However, this link has yet to be demonstrated in a formal model. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
Almost 50 years ago, Michael Rosenzweig pointed out that nutrient addition can destabilise food webs, leading to loss of species and reduced ecosystem function through the paradox of enrichment. Around the same time, David Tilman demonstrated that increased nutrient loading would also be expected to cause competitive exclusion leading to deleteriou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Networks of species interactions can capture meaningful information on the structure and functioning of ecosystems. Yet the scarcity of existing data, and the difficulty associated with comprehensively sampling interactions between species, means that to describe the structure, variation, and change of ecological networks over time and space, we ne...
Preprint
Paz-Vinas et al. (2021) comment on methodological and data-related limits of our paper (Millette et al. 2020), which affect a small proportion of our datasets and analyses. These points do not refute our conclusions. We address their comments and support the call for the development of best practices for future macrogenetics research.
Preprint
Full-text available
The biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) relationship is expected to be scale-dependent. The autocorrelation of environmental heterogeneity is hypothesized to explain this scale dependence because it influences how quickly biodiversity accumulates over space or time. However, this link has yet to be demonstrated in a formal model. Here we u...
Article
Full-text available
Variability in the environment defines the structure and dynamics of all living systems, from organisms to ecosystems. Species have evolved traits and strategies that allow them to detect, exploit and predict the changing environment. These traits allow organisms to maintain steady internal conditions required for physiological functioning through...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid evolution can sometimes prevent population extirpation in stressful environments, but the conditions leading to "evolutionary rescue" in metacommunities are unclear. Here we studied the eco-evolutionary response of microbial metacommunities adapting to selection by the antibiotic streptomycin. Our experiment tested how the history of antibiot...
Preprint
Anthropogenic environmental change is causing habitat deterioration at unprecedented rates in freshwater ecosystems. Despite increasing more rapidly than other agents of global change, synthetic chemical pollution –including agrochemicals such as pesticides– has received relatively little attention in freshwater biotic assessments. Determining the...
Article
Understanding how the three currencies of life - energy, material, and information - interact is a key step towards synthesis in ecology and evolution. However, current theory focuses on the role of matter as a resource and energy, and typically ignores how the same matter can have other important effects as a carrier of information or modifier of...
Article
Substantial environmental change can force a population onto a path towards extinction, but under some conditions, adaptation by natural selection can rescue the population and allow it to persist. This process, known as evolutionary rescue, is believed to be less likely to occur with greater magnitudes of random environmental fluctuations because...
Preprint
Full-text available
Variability in the environment defines the structure and dynamics of all living systems. Organisms have evolved traits and strategies that allow them to detect, exploit and predict the changing environment. Organisms maintain steady internal conditions required for physiological functioning through feedback mechanisms that allow internal conditions...
Article
Full-text available
Habitat destruction and degradation are the leading causes of species declines and extinctions in the world. Human altered landscapes often leave fragments of previously continuous habitat, which may be of significant conservation value. We assessed the effects of habitat fragmentation on the taxonomic diversity, community composition, and nestedne...
Article
Genetic diversity is expected to erode in disturbed habitats through strong selection, local extinctions, and recolonization associated with genetic bottlenecks and restricted gene flow. Despite this general prediction and over three decades of population genetics studies, our understanding of the long-term effect of environmental disturbance on lo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Almost 50 years ago, Michael Rosenzweig pointed out that nutrient addition can destabilize food webs, leading to loss of species and reduced ecosystem function through the paradox of enrichment. Around the same time, David Tilman demonstrated that increased nutrient loading would also be expected to cause competitive exclusion leading to deleteriou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Freshwater biodiversity is threatened by fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural sources. Microbial communities can be resistant (i.e., community composition stays largely the same) or resilient (i.e., composition changes but then returns to its initial state) to these contaminants. Even after changes in composition, communities may continue t...
Article
Full-text available
A rich body of knowledge links biodiversity to ecosystem functioning (BEF), but it is primarily focused on small scales. We review the current theory and identify six expectations for scale dependence in the BEF relationship: (1) a nonlinear change in the slope of the BEF relationship with spatial scale; (2) a scale‐dependent relationship between e...
Article
Full-text available
Community rescue occurs when ecological or evolutionary processes restore positive growth in a highly stressful environment that was lethal to the community in its ancestral form, thus averting biomass collapse in a deteriorating environment. Laboratory evidence suggests that community rescue is most likely in high-biomass communities that have pre...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ecosystem processes vary temporally due to environmental fluctuations, such as when variation in solar energy causes diurnal cycles in primary production. This normal variation in ecosystem functioning may be disrupted and even lost by novel stress if taxa contributing to functioning go extinct. However, when communities are exposed to the stress a...
Article
Full-text available
Human impacts on genetic diversity are poorly understood yet critical to biodiversity conservation. We used 175 247 COI sequences collected between 1980 and 2016 to assess the global effects of land use and human density on the intraspecific genetic diversity of 17 082 species of birds, fishes, insects and mammals. Human impacts on mtDNA diversity...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Cette recherche avait comme objectif de dresser le portrait écologique, social et économique des initiatives agroenvironnementales mises en place en milieu agricole depuis les dernières années au Québec. En plus de mettre en lumière ces initiatives, ce projet visait à étudier leur efficacité sur le déplacement de la faune et l’adhésion des producte...
Article
Ecosystem processes vary temporally due to variation in environmental variables, such as when diurnal variation in sunlight causes diurnal cycles in net primary production. This variability can be characterized by its frequency and amplitude, used to define “normal” functioning of an ecosystem. Relatively little research has addressed how normal mo...
Presentation
Full-text available
In freshwater environments, extreme heatwave events can modulate producer-consumer (a)synchrony and plankton phenology, but they can also reduce primary production and promote the occurrence of algal blooms. We used data on the dynamics of a natural phytoplankton and zooplankton community sampled during two whole-pond mesocosm experiments (2017 and...
Article
By 2030, an additional 1.2 billion people are forecast in urban areas globally. We review the scientific literature (n = 922 studies) to assess direct and indirect impacts of urban growth on habitat and biodiversity. Direct impacts are cumulatively substantial, with 290,000 km2 of natural habitat forecast to be converted to urban land uses between...
Article
Human activities are fundamentally altering biodiversity. Projections of declines at the global scale are contrasted by highly variable trends at local scales, suggesting that biodiversity change may be spatially structured. Here, we examined spatial variation in species richness and composition change using more than 50,000 biodiversity time serie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human impacts on genetic diversity are poorly understood yet critical to biodiversity conservation. We used 175,247 COI sequences collected between 1980 and 2016 to assess the global effects of land use and human density on the intraspecific genetic diversity of 17,082 species of birds, fishes, insects, and mammals. Human impacts on mtDNA diversity...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptation to pollution has been studied since the first observations of heavy metal tolerance in plants decades ago. To document micro‐evolutionary responses to pollution researchers have used phenotypic, molecular genetics, and demographic approaches. We reviewed 258 articles and evaluated the evidence for adaptive responses following exposure to...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary biologist tend to approach the study of the natural world within a framework of adaptation, inspired perhaps by the power of natural selection to produce fitness advantages that drive population persistence and biological diversity. In contrast, evolution has rarely been studied through the lens of adaptation’s complement, maladaptatio...
Article
Evolutionary biologists have long trained their sights on adaptation, focusing on the power of natural selection to produce relative fitness advantages while often ignoring changes in absolute fitness. Ecologists generally have taken a different tack, focusing on changes in abundance and ranges that reflect absolute fitness while often ignoring rel...
Article
Full-text available
The persistence of ecological systems in changing environments requires energy, materials, and information. Although the importance of information to ecological function has been widely recognized, the fundamental principles of ecological science as commonly expressed do not reflect this central role of information processing. We articulate five fu...
Article
Community rescue occurs when a community that experiences lethal stress persists only through the spread of rare types, either genotypes or species, resistant to the stress. Rescue interacts with trophic structure because physical stress experienced by a focal assemblage within the community may also be experienced by its predators and prey. In gen...
Article
Drawing upon the data deposited in publicly shared archives has the potential to transform the way we conduct ecological research. For this transformation to happen, we argue that data need to be more interoperable and easier to discover. One way to achieve these goals is to adopt domain-specific data representations.
Article
Although evidence suggests that humans have elevated global extinction rates and lowered global species richness, species richness at scales smaller than the globe can increase, decrease or remain the same. However, the role of spatial scale is rarely considered as a modifier in driving how richness change unfolds. We first observed richness change...
Chapter
Which ecosystem services are addressed? Provisioning: agricultural production (crops, pork), provision of clean water, maple syrup production, milk production
Article
Natural selection can favour cooperation, but it is unclear when cooperative populations should be larger than less cooperative ones. While experiments have shown that cooperation can increase population size, cooperation and population size can become negatively correlated if spatial processes affect both variables in opposite directions. We use a...
Article
Full-text available
Glyphosate is the most extensively used pesticide worldwide. In addition to raising ecotoxicological concerns, the use of glyphosate adds phosphorus (P) to agricultural landscapes, influencing the accumulation and cycling of P in soil and nearby surface waters. Yet pesticides have been largely ignored when monitoring anthropogenic sources of P in a...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This century will be remembered as the urban century. Our generation will witness the most signi cant urban growth in human history. By 2050, there will be 2.4 billion more people in cities, a rate of urban growth that is equivalent to building a city with the population of London every seven weeks. Humanity will urbanize an area of 1.2 million km2...
Preprint
Evolutionary rescue occurs when adaptation prevents local extinction in deteriorating environments. Laboratory experiments with microorganisms have shown that the likelihood of evolutionary rescue is greatest in large populations that have previously experienced sublethal doses of stress. To assess this result in natural communities, we conducted a...
Article
Full-text available
Cities are currently experiencing serious, multifaceted impacts from global environmental change, especially climate change, and the degree to which they will need to cope with and adapt to such challenges will continue to increase. A complex systems approach inspired by evolutionary theory can inform strategies for policies and interventions to de...