Phoebe Lehmann Zarnetske

Phoebe Lehmann Zarnetske
Michigan State University | MSU · Department of Integrative Biology

PhD

About

76
Publications
17,621
Reads
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2,042
Citations
Introduction
I am PI of the SpaCE Lab (Spatial and Community Ecology) at Michigan State University. My research program uses a combination of observational data, experiments, and modeling to connect observed patterns of biodiversity and community composition with underlying mechanisms. I am interested in how the composition and geographic distribution of ecological communities are affected by biotic interactions, species invasions, ​biophysical feedbacks, geodiversity, and climate change.
Additional affiliations
October 2011 - August 2013
Yale University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
July 2006 - September 2011
Oregon State University
Position
  • Graduate Fellow
September 2003 - May 2006
Utah State University
Position
  • Graduate Researcher
Education
July 2006 - September 2011
Oregon State University
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 2003 - May 2006
Utah State University
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 1997 - May 2001
Colby College
Field of study
  • Biology, Environmental Science

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
The spatial distribution of species is mediated by a combination of biotic interactions and environmental conditions. Understanding the relative importance of these factors and how they interact is particularly important for predicting the spread of non-native species and their impact on resident communities.We used a 3-species Lotka–Volterra model...
Article
Full-text available
Biotic interactions drive key ecological and evolutionary processes and mediate ecosystem responses to climate change. The direction, frequency, and intensity of biotic interactions can in turn be altered by climate change. Understanding the complex interplay between climate and biotic interactions is thus essential for fully anticipating how ecosy...
Article
We need accurate predictions about how climate change will alter species distributions and abundances around the world. Most predictions assume simplistic dispersal scenarios and ignore biotic interactions. We argue for incorporating the complexities of dispersal and species interactions. Range expansions depend not just on mean dispersal, but also...
Article
Full-text available
A focus on species interactions may improve predictions of the effects of climate change on ecosystems.
Article
Although it is recognized that ecological patterns are scale dependent, the exact scales over which specific ecological processes operate are still a matter of controversy. In particular, understanding the scales over which biotic interactions operate is critical for predicting changes in species distributions in the face of the ongoing biodiversit...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the drivers of community stability in times of increasing anthropogenic pressure is an urgent issue. Biodiversity is known to promote community stability, but studies of the biodiversity–stability relationship rarely consider the full complexity of biodiversity change. Furthermore, finding generalities that hold across taxonomic group...
Article
Full-text available
It is a critical time to reflect on the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) science to date as well as envision what research can be done right now with NEON (and other) data and what training is needed to enable a diverse user community. NEON became fully operational in May 2019 and has pivoted from planning and construction to operatio...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing interest in measuring ecological stability to understand how communities and ecosystems respond to broad-scale global changes. One of the most common approaches is to quantify the variation through time in community or ecosystem aggregate attributes (e.g. total biomass), referred to as aggregate variability. It is now widely rec...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding patterns and drivers of species distributions and abundances, and thus biodiversity, is a core goal of ecology. Despite advances in recent decades, research into these patterns and processes is currently limited by a lack of standardized, high-quality, empirical data that spans large spatial scales and long time periods. The National...
Article
Full-text available
Predictions from species distribution models (SDMs) are commonly used in support of environmental decision-making to explore potential impacts of climate change on biodiversity. However, because future climates are likely to differ from current climates, there has been ongoing interest in understanding the ability of SDMs to predict species respons...
Article
The geodiv R package calculates gradient surface metrics from imagery and other gridded datasets to provide continuous measures of landscape heterogeneity for landscape pattern analysis. geodiv is the first open‐source, command line toolbox for calculating many gradient surface metrics and easily integrates parallel computing for applications with...
Article
Full-text available
Global declines in biodiversity have the potential to affect ecosystem function, and vice versa, in both terrestrial and aquatic ecological realms. While many studies have considered biodiversity-ecosystem function (BEF) relationships at local scales within single realms, there is a critical need for more studies examining BEF linkages among ecolog...
Article
Full-text available
As the effects of anthropogenic climate change become more severe, several approaches for deliberate climate intervention to reduce or stabilize Earth’s surface temperature have been proposed. Solar radiation modification (SRM) is one potential approach to partially counteract anthropogenic warming by reflecting a small proportion of the incoming s...
Preprint
Full-text available
It is well recognized that within local communities, fluctuations of constituent species over time can alter both aggregate (e.g., total abundance or biomass) and compositional community properties. At broader spatial scales, recent evidence shows how spatial asynchrony can further stabilize aggregate properties at the regional, or metacommunity, s...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation Freshwater insects comprise 60% of freshwater animal diversity; they are widely used to assess water quality, and they provide prey for numerous freshwater and terrestrial taxa. Our knowledge of the distribution of freshwater insect diversity in the USA is incomplete because we lack comprehensive, standardized data on their distributions...
Article
Full-text available
Global loss of biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services is occurring at an alarming rate and is predicted to accelerate in the future. Metacommunity theory provides a framework to investigate multi-scale processes that drive change in biodiversity across space and time. Short-term ecological studies across space have progressed our unders...
Article
As the land-sea interface, foredunes buffer upland habitats with plants acting as ecosystem engineers shaping topography, and thereby, affecting storm response and recovery. However, many ecogeomorphic feedbacks in coastal foredune formation and recovery remain uncertain in this dynamic environment. We carried out a series of wind tunnel experiment...
Article
Full-text available
Climate warming and species traits interact to influence predator performance, including individual feeding and growth rates. However, the effects of an important trait-predator foraging strategy-are largely unknown. We investigated the interactions between predator foraging strategy and temperature on two ectotherm predators: an active predator, t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Two common approaches to conserving biodiversity are conserving the actors (species) and conserving the stage (habitat). Many management efforts focus on conserving the actors, but a major challenge to this strategy is uncertainty surrounding how species’ geographic ranges might shift in response to global change, including climate and land use cha...
Preprint
Full-text available
The competition for light has long been regarded as a key axis of niche partitioning that promotes forest diversity, but available evidence is contradictory. Despite strong tradeoffs between growth and survival with light, field tests suggest neutral forces govern tree composition across forest gaps and resource use between size classes. Here we in...
Article
We may be able to buffer biodiversity against the effects of ongoing climate change by prioritizing the protection of habitat with diverse physical features (high geodiversity) associated with ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that maintain high biodiversity. Nonetheless, the relationships between biodiversity and habitat vary with spatial and...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models (SDMs) project the outcome of community assembly processes – dispersal, the abiotic environment and biotic interactions – onto geographic space. Recent advances in SDMs account for these processes by simultaneously modeling the species that comprise a community in a multivariate statistical framework or by incorporating...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid environmental change is driving the need for complex and comprehensive scientific information that supports policies aimed at managing natural resources through international treaties, platforms, and networks. Although the current essential variables frameworks account for the biosphere, atmosphere, and some aspects of the hydrosphere, they l...
Article
Full-text available
Issue Geodiversity (i.e., the variation in Earth's abiotic processes and features) has strong effects on biodiversity patterns. However, major gaps remain in our understanding of how relationships between biodiversity and geodiversity vary over space and time. Biodiversity data are globally sparse and concentrated in particular regions. In contrast...
Article
Full-text available
Species richness of marine mammals and birds is highest in cold, temperate seas—a conspicuous exception to the general latitudinal gradient of decreasing diversity from the tropics to the poles. We compiled a comprehensive dataset for 998 species of sharks, fish, reptiles, mammals, and birds to identify and quantify inverse latitudinal gradients in...
Poster
Full-text available
Research into the relationships among climate, land use, and freshwater insect diversity at different spatial scales in the contiguous United States.
Article
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Climate change is expected to favor exotic plant species over native species, because exotics tend to have wider climatic tolerances and greater phenological plasticity, and also because climate change may intensify enemy release. Here, we examine direct effects of warming (+ 1.8 °C above ambient) on plant abundance and phenology, as well as indire...
Article
Full-text available
Background: There is ample evidence that biotic factors, such as biotic interactions and dispersal capacity, can affect species distributions and influence species' responses to climate change. However, little is known about how these factors affect predictions from species distribution models (SDMs) with respect to spatial grain and extent of the...
Data
Summary of data collected on each paper for each objective during the literature review. (DOCX)
Data
Citation information for papers included in the literature review. (XLSX)
Data
Scatterplots depicting the relationship between spatial grains and spatial extents of studies in S1 Table and S3 File. (DOCX)
Data
Data collected on each paper for the objectives outlined in S2 File. (XLSX)
Data
Dispersal and biotic interactions analyses data. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
A species' distribution and abundance are determined by abiotic conditions and biotic interactions with other species in the community. Most species distribution models correlate the occurrence of a single species with environmental variables only, and leave out biotic interactions. To test the importance of biotic interactions on occurrence and ab...
Article
Full-text available
Temperature is widely regarded as a major driver of species richness, but the mechanisms are debated. Niche theory suggests temperature may affect richness by filtering traits and species in colder habitats while promoting specialization in warmer ones. However, tests of this theory are rare because niche dimensions are challenging to quantify alon...
Chapter
Full-text available
Coastal foredunes are often the “first line of defense” for backshore infrastructure from the hazards of erosion and flooding, and they are key components of coastal ecosystems. The shape and growth characteristics of coastal foredunes, typically characterized by simple morphometrics such as dune toe and crest elevations, and dune volume, are a pro...
Article
Ecologists have often predicted that species' niche breadths should decline towards the Equator. Dan Janzen arrived at this prediction based on climatic constraints, while Robert MacArthur argued that a latitudinal gradient in resource specialization drives the pattern. This idea has some support when it comes to thermal niches, but has rarely been...
Article
Full-text available
Species distribution models are important tools used to study the distribution and abundance of organisms relative to abiotic variables. Dynamic local interactions among species in a community can affect abundance. The abundance of a single species may not be at equilibrium with the environment for spreading invasive species and species that are ra...
Article
Open-top chambers simulate global warming by passively increasing air temperatures in field experiments. They are commonly used in low-stature alpine and arctic ecosystems, but rarely in taller-stature plant communities because of their limited height. We present a modified International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) chamber design for year-round outdoo...
Article
Synopsis: Species distribution models typically use correlative approaches that characterize the species-environment relationship using occurrence or abundance data for a single species. However, species distributions are determined by both abiotic conditions and biotic interactions with other species in the community. Therefore, climate change is...
Article
Synopsis: As climates change, biologists need to prioritize which species to understand, predict, and protect. One way is to identify key species that are both sensitive to climate change and that disproportionately affect communities and ecosystems. These "biotic multipliers" provide efficient targets for research and conservation. Here, we propo...
Article
Full-text available
Landscape structure and biotic interactions are closely linked. We identify five aspects of landscape structure that contribute to the co-occurrence of species and restrict or enable different types of biotic interactions: patch size and habitat amount, isolation of patches, barriers to dispersal and movement, persistence of landscape structure, an...
Article
Full-text available
Biophysical feedbacks between vegetation and sediment are important for forming and modifying landscape features and their ecosystem services. These feedbacks are especially important where landscape features differ in their provision of ecosystem services. For example, the shape of coastal foredunes, a product of both physical and biological force...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species can alter the succession of ecological communities because they are often adapted to the disturbed conditions that initiate succession. The extent to which this occurs may depend on how widely they are distributed across environmental gradients and how long they persist over the course of succession. We focus on plant communities o...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Species distribution models (SDMs) are a primary tool used by ecologists in predicting species-specific distributional changes in the face of the ongoing biodiversity crisis. There is growing interest in improving the predictions of SDMs based on simple occurrence/environment correlations by incorporating ecologically...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Climate change requires that species move or adapt to changing climates. To date, most research has centered on understanding how climate change will shape new ranges by affecting abiotic components of the fundamental niche. Yet, we know that species interactions also can affect species ranges by affecting the realized...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Climate change is altering the environmental conditions that determine the distributions and abundances of species, and no-analog communities are expected to form as a result. Across taxa, significant distribution changes and local extinctions have already been documented. Models predicting the responses of species to...
Article
The world's coastal habitats are critical to human well-being, but are also highly sensitive to human habitat alterations and climate change. In particular, global climate is increasing sea levels and potentially altering storm intensities, which may result in increased risk of flooding in coastal areas. In the Pacific Northwest (USA), coastal dune...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Climate change is altering the environmental conditions that determine the distributions of species, and no-analog communities are expected to form as a result. Across taxa, significant distribution changes and local extinctions have been documented, providing evidence that climate change is already affecting communiti...
Article
Full-text available
Vegetation at the aquatic–terrestrial interface can alter landscape features through its growth and interactions with sediment and fluids. Even similar species may impart different effects due to variation in their interactions and feedbacks with the environment. Consequently, replacement of one engineering species by another can cause significant...
Article
Vegetation at the aquatic-terrestrial interface can alter landscape features through its growth and interactions with sediment and fluids. Even similar species may impart different effects due to variation in their interactions and feedbacks with the environment. Consequently, replacement of one engineering species by another can cause significant...
Article
Comparisons of congeneric species have provided unique insights into invasion ecology. Most often, non-native species are compared to native ones to look for traits predicting invasion success. In this study, we examine a different facet of congeneric comparisons in which both species are non-native. Ecological variability among non-native congener...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Biological invasions may alter diversity of communities and the subsequent successional processes of that community as well. Sand accreting dunes on the US West Coast provide a unique opportunity for studying the effects of plant invasions through time. Because dunes grow outward towards the ocean as they accumulate sa...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Invasive ecosystem engineers can strongly influence a system’s ecology and geomorphology. Conversely, physical processes can alter both geomorphology and ecological composition, including the influence of invasive species. Interactions among these biological and physical components result in biophysical feedbacks. These...
Conference Paper
Remotely sensed lidar and in situ beach profile data are analyzed to quantify interannual to decadal foredune evolution in a U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW) littoral cell. Significant regional variability exists in both foredune geomorphology and the remarkable rates of coastal change that occurred following the major E1 Niño winter of 1997/1998. Beac...
Conference Paper
Coastal dunes in the US Pacific Northwest, comprising approximately 45% of the Oregon and Washington coasts, were historically managed to maximize coastal protection through the planting of two invasive beach grass species, European beach grass (Ammophila arenaria), and American beach grass (Ammophila breviligulata). The switch in dominance from na...
Conference Paper
The development and modification of landscape features existing at the aquatic-terrestrial interface - estuaries, salt marshes, mangroves, lacustrine environments, rivers and streams, and coastal dunes - is one of the most striking outcomes from the interactions and feedbacks between ecology and geomorphology. These distinct biophysical features ar...
Article
Alteration of ecosystem processes by invasive species can lead to the decline of native species. Management actions targeted at removing these invaders and restoring native populations may have knock-on effects on non-target native species and ecosystems. For example, coastal dunes in the Pacific Northwest of North America are nearly monocultures o...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Biotic and abiotic forces often interact to produce distinct physical features. The US Pacific Northwest coastal dune system provides an excellent template to study these interactions, due to the dramatic changes in dune geomorphology resulting from the invasion and subsequent dominance of two beach grass species over th...
Article
The search for generality in ecology should include assessing the influence of studies done in one system on those done in other systems. Assuming generality is reflected in citation patterns, we analyzed frequencies of terrestrial, marine, and freshwater citations in papers categorized as terrestrial, marine and freshwater in high-impact “general”...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Coastal dune geomorphology results from the interplay between wind, waves, sediment supply, and vegetation. Over the last 100 years in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, two invasive beach grasses (Ammophila arenaria and A. breviligulata) have replaced much of the native beach grass (Elymus mollis). Large, continuous, and rela...