Health and the Environment: A Unifying Framework from Individual Stress to Ecosystem Functioning
June 1 - August 31, 2016
Organizer: Dror Hawlena
Our Research Group aims to develop a general theory that provides novel, mechanistic understandings of the ways in which environmental changes regulate ecosystem processes via alteration of an animal's trophic functions.
We suggest using stress physiology as a common mechanism to scale plasticity in energy and elemental budgets at the individual level to processes occurring at the population, community and ecosystem levels. Trait expressions are shaped by evolution and are constrained by conservative biological processes. Thus, this evolutionary-based framework has much potential to reveal how ecological interactions emerge across levels of biological organization, and may assist in unifying existing, currently separated theories. Such an understanding is also crucial to better predict how human-induced rapid environmental changes will affect life-supporting ecosystem services.