Lynn Govaert

Lynn Govaert
Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries | IGB · Department of Ecosystem Research

Doctor of Science (biology)

About

38
Publications
11,815
Reads
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942
Citations
Citations since 2016
37 Research Items
940 Citations
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Introduction
I aim to understand the dynamical interplay between ecological and evolutionary processes in a community and ecosystem context. I have a strong interest in developing conceptual frameworks that allow quantifying the contributions of ecology and evolution to population, community and ecosystem change in both a temporal and spatial setting. I also combine these conceptual frameworks with experimental approaches and theoretical modelling to improve our understanding on how relatively important evolution compared to ecology is in observed community and ecosystem dynamics.
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - present
KU Leuven
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
The finding that adaptive evolution can often be substantial enough to alter ecological dynamics challenges traditional views of community ecology that ignore evolution. Here, we propose that evolution might commonly alter both local and regional processes of community assembly. We show how adaptation can substantially affect community assembly and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eco-evolutionary dynamics, or eco-evolution for short, are thought to involve rapid demography (ecology) and equally rapid phenotypic changes (evolution) leading to novel, emergent system behaviours. This focus on contemporary dynamics is likely due to accumulating evidence for rapid evolution, from classical laboratory microcosms and natural popul...
Article
Full-text available
Research on the evolutionary ecology of urban areas reveals how human-induced evolutionary changes affect biodiversity and essential ecosystem services. In a rapidly urbanizing world imposing many selective pressures, a time-sensitive goal is to identify the emergent issues and research priorities that affect the ecology and evolution of species wi...
Article
1. Cyanobacterial dominance or blooms can influence ecosystem structure in reservoirs , yet there are only few studies of its effect on the resource use and trophic structure of zooplankton. We hypothesised that zooplankton traits would exhibit a strong response to the increase of invasive and toxic cyanobacteria. 2. We investigated the effect of a...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological and evolutionary processes can occur at similar time scales, and hence influence one another. There has been much progress in developing metrics that quantify contributions of ecological and evolutionary components to trait change over time. However, many empirical evolutionary ecology studies document trait differentiation among populat...
Article
Full-text available
Species react to environmental change via plastic and evolutionary responses. While both of them determine species’ survival, most studies quantify these responses individually. As species occur in communities, competing species may further influence their respective response to environmental change. Yet, how environmental change and competing spec...
Article
Full-text available
Global warming challenges the persistence of local populations, not only through heat‐induced stress, but also through indirect biotic changes. We study the interactive effects of temperature, competition and parasitism in the water flea Daphnia magna. We carried out a common garden experiment monitoring the dynamics of Daphnia populations along a...
Article
Full-text available
Shifts in microbial communities and their functioning in response to environmental change result from contemporary inter‐ and intraspecific diversity changes. Interspecific changes are driven by ecological shifts in species composition, while intraspecific changes are here assumed to be dominated by evolutionary shifts in genotype frequency. Quanti...
Article
Full-text available
There are currently few predictions about when evolutionary processes are likely to play an important role in structuring community features. Determining predictors that indicate when evolution is expected to impact ecological processes in natural landscapes can help researchers identify eco-evolutionary ‘hotspots', where eco-evolutionary interacti...
Article
Full-text available
1. Recent studies demonstrate that ecological and evolutionary processes can occur over similar temporal and spatial scales and might thus frequently interact. Although concepts such as the evolving metacommunity, diffuse (co)evolution, and community genetics integrate multi‐species dynamics, most experimental studies usually consider how evolution...
Article
During the last few decades, biologists have made remarkable progress in understanding the fundamental processes that shape life. But despite the unprecedented level of knowledge now available, large gaps still remain in our understanding of the complex interplay of eco-evolutionary mechanisms across scales of life. Rapidly changing environments on...
Article
Populations rely on already present plastic responses (ancestral plasticity) and evolution (including both evolution of mean trait values, constitutive evolution, and evolution of plasticity) to adapt to novel environmental conditions. Because of the lack of evidence from natural populations, controversy remains regarding the interplay between ance...
Article
Full-text available
Cities are uniquely complex systems regulated by interactions and feedbacks between natural and social processes. Characteristics of human society – including culture, economics, technology, and politics – underlie social patterns and activity, creating a heterogeneous environment that can influence and be influenced by both ecological and evolutio...
Chapter
Eco-evolutionary dynamics encompasses the simultaneous reciprocal interactions between ecological and evolutionary processes. We discuss how eco-evolutionary dynamics can be detected, and showcase five key examples of eco-evolutionary dynamics in freshwater systems as assessed in the laboratory, in the field, and in unconfined nature. We demonstrat...
Article
Many studies document genetic and phenotypic trait changes of species in response to climate change, or document how evolution of individual species can impact population abundances and community composition. An integration of population and community‐level responses requires, however, a multiple species approach. Here we quantify among‐ and within...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanization is changing Earth's ecosystems by altering the interactions and feedbacks between the fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes that maintain life. Humans in cities alter the eco-evolutionary play by simultaneously changing both the actors and the stage on which the eco-evolutionary play takes place. Urbanization modifies land...
Chapter
As urbanization leads to repeated, marked environmental gradients in space, it provides an ideal ‘natural’ experiment to study how evolving metacommunities, in which evolutionary and community ecological processes interact in a landscape context, respond to anthropogenic disturbances. An integrated approach that combines community data with data on...
Chapter
Cities occupy about 3 per cent of the Earth’s habitable land area and are home to one out of two humans worldwide; both estimates are predicted to grow. Urban space is thus becoming an important, novel ecological niche for humans and wildlife alike. Building on knowledge gathered by urban ecologists during the last half century, evidence of evoluti...
Article
The increasing urbanization process is hypothesized to drastically alter (semi‐)natural environments with a concomitant major decline in species abundance and diversity. Yet, studies on this effect of urbanization, and the spatial scale at which it acts, are at present inconclusive due to the large heterogeneity in taxonomic groups and spatial scal...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the effects of global warming on trait variation and trophic structure is a crucial challenge in the 21st century. However, there is a lack of general patterns that can be used to predict trait variation and community trophic structure under the ongoing environmental change. We investigated the responses of body size and community tro...
Article
Full-text available
When traits affecting species interactions evolve rapidly, ecological dynamics can be altered while they occur. These eco-evolutionary dynamics have been documented repeatedly in laboratory and mesocosm experiments. We show here that they are also important for understanding community functioning in a natural ecosystem. Daphnia is a major planktoni...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ecological and evolutionary processes can occur at similar time scales, and hence influence one another. There has been much progress in the development of metrics that quantify contributions of ecological and evolutionary components to trait change over time. However, many empirical evolutionary ecology studies document genetic differentiation amo...
Article
Full-text available
1.The field of eco‐evolutionary dynamics is developing rapidly, with a growing number of well‐designed experiments quantifying the impact of evolution on ecological processes and patterns, ranging from population demography to community composition and ecosystem functioning. The key challenge remains to transfer the insights of these proof‐of‐princ...
Article
Full-text available
It is well-known that ecological and evolutionary processes can occur on similar time scales resulting in eco-evolutionary dynamics. One of the main questions in eco-evolutionary dynamics involves the assessment of the relative contribution of evolution, ecology and their interaction in the eco-evolutionary change under study. This has led to the d...
Preprint
Full-text available
The logistic growth model is one of the most frequently used formalizations of density dependence affecting population growth, persistence and evolution. Ecological and evolutionary theory and applications to understand population change over time often include this model. However, the assumptions and limitations of this popular model are often not...
Article
1.Theoretical models pertaining to feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes are prevalent in multiple biological fields. An integrative overview is currently lacking, due to little crosstalk between the fields and the use of different methodological approaches. 2.Here, we review a wide range of models of eco‐evolutionary feedbacks an...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Theoretical models pertaining to feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes are prevalent in multiple biological fields. An integrative overview is currently lacking, due to little crosstalk between the fields and the use of different methodological approaches. 2. Here we review a wide range of models of eco-evolutionary feedbacks a...
Article
Full-text available
Body size is intrinsically linked to metabolic rate and life-history traits, and is a crucial determinant of food webs and community dynamics. The increased temperatures associated with the urban-heat-island effect result in increased metabolic costs and are expected to drive shifts to smaller body sizes. Urban environments are, however, also chara...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological stoichiometry has proven to be invaluable for understanding consumer response to changes in resource quality. Although interactions between trophic levels occur at the community level, most studies focus on single consumer species. In contrast to individual species, communities may deal with trophic mismatch not only through elemental pl...
Article
The concept of species niches has enhanced our understanding of community assembly and food web structure in a variety of ecosystem types. Niche-based species sorting profoundly determines community composition along strong environmental gradients, while interspecific interactions tend to be more important within habitats at local spatial scales. T...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanization causes both changes in community composition and evolutionary responses, but most studies focus on these responses in isolation. We performed an integrated analysis assessing the relative contribution of intra- and interspecific trait turnover to the observed change in zooplankton community body size in 83 cladoceran communities along...
Article
Interest in eco-evolutionary dynamics is rapidly increasing thanks to ground-breaking research indicating that evolution can occur rapidly and can alter the outcome of ecological processes. A key challenge in this sub-discipline is establishing how important the contribution of evolutionary and ecological processes and their interactions are to obs...
Article
A resurrection ecology reconstruction of 14 morphological, life history and behavioural traits revealed that a natural Daphnia magna population rapidly tracked changes in fish predation by integrating phenotypic plasticity and widespread evolutionary changes both in mean trait values and in trait plasticity. Increased fish predation mainly generate...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
In my project I aim at investigating genetic differentiation in Daphnia magna in response to urbanization. I perform common garden experiments with populations ordered along a well-defined gradient of urbanization. I mainly focus on the urban heat island effect and its consequences for the evolution of life history, morphology, stress physiology, heat tolerance, and grazing capacity in this water flea species. Moreover, I investigate the consequences of these evolutionary responses for ecological processes, such as predator-prey interactions between Daphnia magna and Ischnura elegans, a common damselfly species, which has recently been shown to also adapt to urbanization in the same study region. Additionally, I integrate responses observed in Daphnia magna at the population level, with patterns observed at the community level (zooplankton community), e.g. body size shifts along a strong urbanization gradient.
Project
The overall objective of SPEEDY is to obtain integrated insight into the responses of populations and communities to urbanization. The integrated nature of our research programme refers to the fact that we consider different biological levels (communities, populations) and we specifically address interactions between both ecological and evolutionary responses (eco-evolutionary dynamics). We also seek mechanistic explanations by looking at organismal traits, consider different stressors associated with urbanization, and perform concerted research on different organism groups and spatial scales. The research will translate into a capacity to provide improved predictions of responses of natural communities to urbanization by incorporating evolutionary responses. This main objective translates into the following specific objectives: To test the hypothesis that urbanization leads to strong selection pressures impacting both metacommunity dynamics, trait values of communities as well as of individual species (populations). This hypothesis will be tested for a wide variety of organism groups ranging from bacteria to birds. To test the hypothesis that the responses to the same urbanization gradients differ among organism groups as a function of life style, body size, generation time and dispersal capacity. To test the hypothesis that evolutionary responses impact community dynamics and vice versa, and that the impact of these eco-evolutionary dynamics differs among organism groups depending on their life style, body size, generation time and dispersal capacity. In addition to testing these broad hypotheses, SPEEDY will test a large number of more targeted hypotheses on the mechanisms of responses and strength of selection pressures associated with urbanization gradients that will be specific for each of the organism groups and focal species. In addition, by modelling exercises, we will explore the possibilities to extrapolate our findings to different settings and spatial and temporal scales, providing a framework to predict responses to urbanization and other (human-induced) environmental changes