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Abstract Frozen winters define life at high latitudes and altitudes. However, recent, rapid changes in winter conditions have highlighted our relatively poor understanding of ecosystem function in winter relative to other seasons. Winter ecological processes can affect reproduction, growth, survival, and fitness, whereas processes that occur during other seasons, such as summer production, mediate how organisms fare in winter. As interest grows in winter ecology, there is a need to clearly provide a thought-provoking framework for defining winter and the pathways through which it affects organisms. In the present article, we present nine maxims (concise expressions of a fundamentally held principle or truth) for winter ecology, drawing from the perspectives of scientists with diverse expertise. We describe winter as being frozen, cold, dark, snowy, less productive, variable, and deadly. Therefore, the implications of winter impacts on wildlife are striking for resource managers and conservation practitioners. Our final, overarching maxim, “winter is changing,” is a call to action to address the need for immediate study of the ecological implications of rapidly changing winters.more » « less
Climate change and other anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity change are unequally distributed across the world. Overlap in the distributions of different drivers have important implications for biodiversity change attribution and the potential for interactive effects. However, the spatial relationships among different drivers and whether they differ between the terrestrial and marine realm has yet to be examined.
We compiled global gridded datasets on climate change, land‐use, resource exploitation, pollution, alien species potential and human population density. We used multivariate statistics to examine the spatial relationships among the drivers and to characterize the typical combinations of drivers experienced by different regions of the world.
We found stronger positive correlations among drivers in the terrestrial than in the marine realm, leading to areas with high intensities of multiple drivers on land. Climate change tended to be negatively correlated with other drivers in the terrestrial realm (e.g. in the tundra and boreal forest with high climate change but low human use and pollution), whereas the opposite was true in the marine realm (e.g. in the Indo‐Pacific with high climate change and high fishing).
We show that different regions of the world can be defined by Anthropogenic Threat Complexes (ATCs), distinguished by different sets of drivers with varying intensities. We identify 11 ATCs that can be used to test hypotheses about patterns of biodiversity and ecosystem change, especially about the joint effects of multiple drivers.
Our global analysis highlights the broad conservation priorities needed to mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic change, with different priorities emerging on land and in the ocean, and in different parts of the world.
Traits are increasingly being used to quantify global biodiversity patterns, with trait databases growing in size and number, across diverse taxa. Despite growing interest in a trait‐based approach to the biodiversity of the deep sea, where the impacts of human activities (including seabed mining) accelerate, there is no single repository for species traits for deep‐sea chemosynthesis‐based ecosystems, including hydrothermal vents. Using an international, collaborative approach, we have compiled the first global‐scale trait database for deep‐sea hydrothermal‐vent fauna – sFDvent (
sDiv‐funded trait database for the Functional Diversity of vents). We formed a funded working group to select traits appropriate to: (a) capture the performance of vent species and their influence on ecosystem processes, and (b) compare trait‐based diversity in different ecosystems. Forty contributors, representing expertise across most known hydrothermal‐vent systems and taxa, scored species traits using online collaborative tools and shared workspaces. Here, we characterise the sFDvent database, describe our approach, and evaluate its scope. Finally, we compare the sFDvent database to similar databases from shallow‐marine and terrestrial ecosystems to highlight how the sFDvent database can inform cross‐ecosystem comparisons. We also make the sFDvent database publicly available online by assigning a persistent, unique DOI. Main types of variable contained
Six hundred and forty‐six vent species names, associated location information (33 regions), and scores for 13 traits (in categories: community structure, generalist/specialist, geographic distribution, habitat use, life history, mobility, species associations, symbiont, and trophic structure). Contributor IDs, certainty scores, and references are also provided.
Spatial location and grain
Global coverage (grain size: ocean basin), spanning eight ocean basins, including vents on 12 mid‐ocean ridges and 6 back‐arc spreading centres.
Time period and grain
sFDvent includes information on deep‐sea vent species, and associated taxonomic updates, since they were first discovered in 1977. Time is not recorded. The database will be updated every 5 years.
Major taxa and level of measurement
Deep‐sea hydrothermal‐vent fauna with species‐level identification present or in progress.
.csv and MS Excel (.xlsx).