David M Post

David M Post
Yale University | YU · Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

About

192
Publications
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19,910
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2002 - present
Yale University
August 2000 - June 2002
National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Position
  • NCEAS
January 1996 - July 2000
Cornell University

Publications

Publications (192)
Article
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All animals carry specialized microbiomes, and their gut microbiota are continuously released into the environment through excretion of waste. Here we propose the meta-gut as a novel conceptual framework that addresses the ability of the gut microbiome released from an animal to function outside the host and alter biogeochemical processes mediated...
Preprint
Full-text available
All animals carry specialized microbiomes, and their gut microbiotas in particular are continuously released into the environment through excretion of waste. Here we propose the meta-gut as a novel conceptual framework that addresses the ability of the gut microbiome released from an animal to function outside the host and potentially alter ecosyst...
Article
Full-text available
Hippopotami (hippos) are ecosystem engineers that subsidize aquatic ecosystems through the transfer of organic matter and nutrients from their terrestrial grazing, with potentially profound effects on aquatic biogeochemistry. We examined the influence of hippo subsidies on biogeochemical cycling in pools of varying hydrology and intensity of hippo...
Article
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Scavengers play an important role in nutrient recycling and disease control, and this role may be particularly critical after mass mortality events, such as those caused by epidemics, culling, or natural disasters. Current work on scavenger ecology has focused on use of single carcasses, but behaviors are likely to be different at mass mortality ev...
Article
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Animal carcasses can provide important resources for a suite of consumers, and bones may provide a largely overlooked component of this resource, as they contain a large proportion of the phosphorus (P) in a carcass and they can persist for decades to millennia. We synthesized several datasets from our research in the Mara River, in which annual ma...
Article
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Introduced species can have strong ecological, social and economic effects on their non-native environment. Introductions of megafaunal species are rare and may contribute to rewilding efforts, but they may also have pronounced socio-ecological effects because of their scale of influence. A recent introduction of the hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphi...
Article
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While the importance of grasslands in terrestrial silicon (Si) cycling and fluxes to rivers is established, the influence of large grazers has not been considered. Here, we show that hippopotamuses are key actors in the savannah biogeochemical Si cycle. Through a detailed analysis of Si concentrations and stable isotope compositions in multiple eco...
Article
Variation in eye size is ubiquitous across taxa. Increased eye size is correlated with improved vision and increased fitness via shifts in behavior. Tests of the drivers of eye size evolution have focused on macroevolutionary studies evaluating the importance of light availability. Predator‐induced mortality has recently been identified as a potent...
Article
The Mara River basin is a trans-boundary basin of international importance. It forms the headwaters of the Nile River and serves as the primary dry season water source for an estimated 1.1 million rural people and the largest remaining overland migration of 1.4 million wildebeest in the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem. Changes throughout the basin are imp...
Article
The transport of resource subsidies by animals has been documented across a range of species and ecosystems. Although many of these studies have shown that animal resource subsidies can have significant effects on nutrient cycling, ecosystem productivity, and food‐web structure, there is a great deal of variability in the occurrence and strength of...
Article
Animals can be important vectors for the movement of resources across ecosystem boundaries. Animals add resources to ecosystems primarily through egestion, excretion and carcasses, and the stoichiometry and bioavailability of these inputs likely interacts with characteristics of the recipient ecosystem to determine their effects on ecosystem functi...
Article
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Organic matter and nutrient loading into aquatic ecosystems affects ecosystem structure and function and can result in eutrophication and hypoxia. Hypoxia is often attributed to anthropogenic pollution and is not common in unpolluted rivers. Here we show that organic matter loading from hippopotami causes the repeated occurrence of hypoxia in the M...
Article
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The Mara River Basin in East Africa is a trans-boundary basin of international significance experiencing excessive levels of sediment loads. Sediment levels in this river are extremely high (turbidities as high as 6,000 NTU) and appear to be increasing over time. Large wildlife populations, unregulated livestock grazing, and agricultural land conve...
Article
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Human activity is causing wild populations to experience rapid trait change and local extirpation. The resulting effects on intraspecific variation could have substantial consequences for ecological processes and ecosystem services. Although researchers have long acknowledged that variation among species influences the surrounding environment, only...
Article
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Stability contributes to the persistence of ecological communities, yet the interactions among different stabilizing forces are poorly understood. We assembled mesocosms with an algal resource and 1-8 different clones of the consumer Daphnia ambigua and tracked algal and Daphnia abundances through time. We then fitted coupled ordinary differential...
Article
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Background Understanding the factors that affect water quality and the ecological services provided by freshwater ecosystems is an urgent global environmental issue. Predicting how water quality will respond to global changes not only requires water quality data, but also information about the ecological context of individual water bodies across br...
Article
The annual migration of ∼1.2 million wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) through the Serengeti Mara Ecosystem is the largest remaining overland migration in the world. One of the most iconic portions of their migration is crossing of the Mara River, during which thousands drown annually. These mass drownings have been noted, but their frequency, siz...
Article
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Animals can be important in modulating ecosystem-level nutrient cycling, although their importance varies greatly among species and ecosystems. Nutrient cycling rates of individual animals represent valuable data for testing the predictions of important frameworks such as the Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) and ecological stoichiometry (ES). They...
Article
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Winter conditions are rapidly changing in temperate ecosystems, particularly for those that experience periods of snow and ice cover. Relatively little is known of winter ecology in these systems, due to a historical research focus on summer 'growing seasons'. We executed the first global quantitative synthesis on under-ice lake ecology, including...
Article
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Anadromous fishes exhibit diverse life history and functional traits. Spawning anadromous fishes bring nutrients to freshwaters and their life history and functional traits can influence nutrient loading patterns. Past studies have overwhelmingly focused on Pacific salmons, which are typically semelparous and large-bodied, traits resulting in a lar...
Article
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Bycatch of mid-trophic level anadromous fishes that connect marine and freshwater ecosystems is a growing conservation concern. Anadromous alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (A. aestivalis) are important components of coastal freshwater and marine food webs, but have experienced dramatic declines in the abundances of spawning adult...
Article
Terrestrial carbon and nutrients can subsidize the detrital pool of freshwater ecosystems; yet, the importance of terrestrial subsidies to lake and pond food webs is uncertain and debated. Terrestrial detritus is expected to have the greatest impact on food webs when water bodies are small and shallow with low levels of incident light. Temporary fo...
Article
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Competitive diversification, that is, when increasing intraspecific competition promotes population niche expansion, is commonly invoked in evolutionary studies and currently plays a central role in how we conceptualize the process of adaptive diversification. Despite the frequency with which this idea is cited, the empirical evidence for the proce...
Data
Figure S1. Primary reasons for excluding studies from our analyses.
Data
Data S1. File containing the data collected as well as data summaries.
Data
Figure S2. Response of individual specialization to increasing competition.
Data
Data S2. R Code used for our analyses and figure creation.
Article
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Environmental signals can induce phenotypic changes that span multiple generations. Along with phenotypic responses that occur during development (i.e. ‘within-generation’ plasticity), such ‘transgenerational plasticity’ (TGP) has been documented in a diverse array of taxa spanning many environmental perturbations. Newtheory predicts that temporal...
Article
Warming global temperatures are driving changes in species distributions, growth and timing, but much uncertainty remains regarding how climate change will alter species interactions. 2.Consumer-Resource interactions in particular can be strongly impacted by changes to the relative performance of interacting species. While consumers generally gain...
Article
Consumer biodiversity has important impacts on aquatic communities and ecosystems. Ecological studies have traditionally focused on species-level diversity; however, recent work has shown that biodiversity within species can have important consequences for aquatic communities and ecosystems as well. We synthesized available information from studies...
Article
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Intraspecific phenotypic variation can strongly impact community and ecosystem dynamics. Effects of intraspecific variation in keystone species have been shown to propagate down through the food web by altering the adaptive landscape for other species and creating a cascade of ecological and evolutionary change. However, similar bottom-up eco-evolu...
Article
Hippopotami can play a significant role as ecosystem engineers and may play an important role as carbon and nutrient vectors from savanna grasslands to aquatic systems.We coupled the results of a feeding study of captive hippopotami, faeces leaching/mineralisation experiments, hippopotamus consumption estimates and the stoichiometry of savanna gras...
Article
Animal contributions to ecosystem productivity via nutrient regeneration are increasingly recognized as significant for ecosystem productivity. The paradigm in coastal upwelling systems, in contrast, remains centered around the idea that nutrient supply is extrinsic and sourced from deep water. Here we tested for both animal contributions to nitrog...
Conference Paper
Anadromous alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (A. aestivalis) are species of conservation concern across their ranges. Many populations are at historically low abundances, and bycatch in marine fisheries has been identified as a major threat to recovery efforts. Our prior research revealed that, for both species, genetically distin...
Article
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Evolutionary diversification within consumer species may generate selection on local ecological communities, affecting prey community structure. However, the extent to which this niche construction can propagate across food webs and shape trait variation in competing species is unknown. Here, we tested whether niche construction by different life-h...
Article
Ecological experiments showing large effects are predicted to drive contemporary trait changes resulting from evolution and phenotypic plasticity. However, few classic ecological experiments conducted in the wild have been investigated for evidence of contemporary trait change.We examined a classic experiment in trophic ecology, the introduction of...
Article
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Organisms experience competing selective pressures, which can obscure the mechanisms driving evolution. Daphnia ambigua is found in lakes where a predator, the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) either does (anadromous) or does not (landlocked) migrate between marine and freshwater. We previously reported an association between alewife variation and li...
Article
Rocky intertidal productivity is traditionally thought to be sustained almost solely by upwelled nitrate with remineralized forms of minor importance. Using tidepools as natural experimental mesocosms, we conducted 15N-tracer experiments to test whether ammonium remineralized within the rocky intertidal is also a significant source of fixed N to lo...
Article
Benthic communities in Long Island Sound (LIS) have experienced over 150 years of commercial shellfishing and excess nutrient loading (eutrophication) which causes hypoxia. We established an ecological baseline using a combination of live, dead, archaeological, and fossil material to investigate the impacts of these stressors on the molluscan commu...
Article
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A major challenge in conservation biology is the need to broadly prioritize conservation efforts when demographic data are limited. One method to address this challenge is to use population genetic data to define groups of populations linked by migration and then use demographic information from monitored populations to draw inferences about the st...
Article
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Contemporary insights from evolutionary ecology suggest that population divergence in ecologically important traits within predators can generate diversifying ecological selection on local community structure. Many studies acknowledging these effects of intraspecific variation assume that local populations are situated in communities that are uncon...
Article
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Recent work suggests that juvenile alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) share similar phenotypes among independently derived landlocked (freshwater resident) populations. Based on this observation, it is possible that the alewife life history forms represent a case of parallel adaptive divergence. To further evaluate this hypothesis, we describe pattern...
Data
Full-text available
Figure S1. Bayesian inference of the number of clusters (K) among populations sampled for alewife (a) and blueback herring (b) using plateau of log probability of data L(K) (• ± SD; Pritchard et al. 2000) and DK (⋆; Evanno et al. 2005). Figure S2. Alewife time series data for mean length of spawning adult females for the Northern New England Stock...
Data
Full-text available
Table S1. Alewife genetic diversity statistics: number of specimens genotyped (N), number of alleles per locus (Na), allelic richness (R; standardized to N = 24), observed heterozygosity (HO), expected heterozygosity (HE), and inbreeding coefficient (FIS). Table S2. Blueback herring genetic diversity statistics: number of specimens genotyped (N), n...
Conference Paper
Alewife and blueback herring, collectively referred to as river herring, are ecologically important anadromous fish in coastal watersheds across Eastern North America. River herring structure the food webs of the freshwater ecosystems in which they spawn, are important prey for freshwater and marine predators, and have the potential to contribute c...
Article
Predation has important cascading impacts on primary producer biomass and community composition in many ecosystems. While most studies have focused on the consequences of interspecific or density differences in predators, it is recognized that phenotypic variation within species can have strong and cascading community and ecosystem consequences at...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Competition among members of the same population is thought to be an important promoter of variation within natural populations. However, little work explores how consumer traits affect the relationship between competition and diversification. Consumer effectiveness, or the per-capita interaction strength of a consumer...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The relationship between competitor diversity and community productivity is well studied in ecology. Hypotheses that address this relationship generally recognize that “bottom-up” environmental factors, such as the availability of resources, frequently influence diversity and productivity simultaneously. However, it is...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods One of the most apparent impacts of global climate change on organisms has been the change in seasonal timing of events such as migration or emergence. Because changes in timing are not consistent across taxa, the relative abundance of organisms can be changed drastically by climate change. Here, we focus on temperate...
Conference Paper
Ecology and evolution interact across many temporal and spatial scales. Here I raise the question of when and where do these eco-evolutionary interactions change our understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes and dynamics. I will summarize the previous presentations and use additional empirical examples to a) address the general relevan...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Intraspecific competition is considered a principal driver of dietary variation, but empirical studies provide mixed support for this mechanism. Here we link comparative and experimental work testing the effects of competition and resource availability on the dietary variation of the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus). The alewife, a consumer...
Article
Prior to Euro-American contact, anadromous alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) were abundant throughout eastern North America. In the 400 yr since Euro-American settlement began in the region, anadromous alewife populations have declined by an order of magnitude or more while human land use has simultaneously intensified. Here we asked how lake nutrien...
Article
Full-text available
We tested the use of cladoceran remains as a proxy for the presence and life history type of alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) from pre-colonial times to present in a group of coastal lakes in southern New England. Alewife are a keystone predator that structure the zooplankton community through strong predation on large-bodied zooplankton species, whi...