Brian McGill

Brian McGill
University of Maine | UM · School of Biology and Ecology

About

24
Publications
15,850
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1,777
Citations

Publications

Publications (24)
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...
Article
β‐diversity (variation in community composition) is a fundamental component of biodiversity, with implications for macroecology, community ecology and conservation. However, its scaling properties are poorly understood. Here, we systematically assessed the spatial scaling of β‐diversity using 12 empirical large‐scale datasets including different ta...
Article
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The concept of the biome has a long history dating back to Carl Ludwig Willdenow and Alexander von Humboldt. However, while the association between climate and the structure and diversity of vegetation has a long history, scientists have only recently begun to develop a more synthetic understanding of biomes based on the evolution of plant diversit...
Preprint
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Human activities have fundamentally altered biodiversity. Extinction rates are elevated and model projections suggest drastic biodiversity declines. Yet, observed temporal trends in recent decades are highly variable, despite consistent change in species composition. Here, we uncover clear spatial patterns within this variation. We estimated trends...
Article
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Motivation: The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using a broad range of metrics. BioTIME is being developed as a community-led open-source database of biodiversity time se...
Article
Full-text available
Decline in tree species diversity is a widespread trend in eastern US forests, with implications for ecosystem functions and services, biodiversity and vulnerability to climate change and other stressors. While some impacts on diversity are widespread such as forest pests, forest management practices vary across the landscape. For example, forests...
Article
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There is an urgent need for large-scale botanical data to improve our understanding of community assembly, coexistence, biogeography, evolution, and many other fundamental biological processes. Understanding these processes is critical for predicting and handling human-biodiversity interactions and global change dynamics such as food and energy sec...
Article
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Correlative species distribution models are based on the observed relationship between species’occurrence and macroclimate or other environmental variables. In climates predicted less favourable, populations are expected to decline, and in favourable climates they are expected to persist. However, little comparative empirical support exists for a r...
Article
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There is growing evidence to support that paleo-timescale events are important determinants in the present-day distribution of organisms. We explored the relationship between community composition of tidal marsh birds in the northeastern United States and potential drivers of biodiversity patterns across timescales to explore the relevance of histo...
Article
The coupling between community composition and climate change spans a gradient from no lags to strong lags. The no-lag hypothesis is the foundation of many ecophysiological models, correlative species distribution modelling and climate reconstruction approaches. Simple lag hypotheses have become prominent in disequilibrium ecology, proposing that c...
Article
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The objective of science is to understand the natural world; we argue that prediction is the only way to demonstrate scientific understanding, implying that prediction should be a fundamental aspect of all scientific disciplines. Reproducibility is an essential requirement of good science and arises from the ability to develop models that make accu...
Article
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Coastal marshes are one of the world's most productive ecosystem's. Consequently, they have been heavily used by humans for centuries, resulting in ecosystem loss. Direct human modifications such as road crossings and ditches and climatic stressors such as sea-level rise and extreme storm events have the potential to further degrade the quantity an...
Article
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We analyzed land-cover and forest vegetation data from nearly 25,000 permanent plots distributed across 50 national parks in the eastern United States, along with the matrix around each park, to examine structural characteristics of park forests in relation to their surrounding landscape. Over 2000 of these plots are part of the National Park Servi...
Article
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Although there is a well developed theory on the relationship between the intrinsic growth rate r and temperature T, it is not yet clear how r relates to abundance, and how abundance relates to T. Many species often have stable enough population dynamics that one can talk about a stochastic equilibrium population size N*. There is sometimes an assu...
Chapter
An assemblage is a group of related species co-occurring at one spatial location at one point in time. They are a central object of study for ecologists. There are a few important commonly measured properties of organisms (e.g., body mass, energy flux, functional traits such as leaf mass per unit area) and properties of species (e.g., abundance and...
Article
The debate about whether ecological systems behave in an equilibrial or nonequilibrial fashion is a thread that runs through the entire history of ecology. The debate between Clements’s super-organism (Clements, 1936) vs. Gleason’s individualistic assortment (Gleason, 1926) is one of the earliest well-known examples. The density-dependent (Nicholso...
Article
Biological Diversity provides an up-to-date, authoritative review of the methods of measuring and assessing biological diversity, together with their application. The book's emphasis is on quantifying the variety, abundance, and occurrence of taxa, and on providing objective and clear guidance for both scientists and managers. This is a fast-moving...

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Project (1)
Project
REACT is an interdisciplinary four-year project funded by by the STEREO-III program of the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO). The project involves the use of a wide suite of remotely sensed variables at different spatial and temporal resolutions, and different modelling approaches, with two main goals: i) Improve our knowledge of intra-urban malaria risk. ii) Improve our knowledge of inter-urban malaria risk.