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Journal Articles Ecology Letters Year : 2019

Advancing our understanding of ecological stability

Virginia Domínguez-García
Ian Donohue
Elisa Thébault
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Abstract

The concept of ecological stability occupies a prominent place in both fundamental and applied ecological research. We review decades of work on the topic and examine how our understanding has progressed. We show that our understanding of stability has remained fragmented and is limited largely to simple or simplified systems. There has been a profusion of metrics proposed to quantify stability, of which only a handful are used commonly. Furthermore, studies typically quantify one to two metrics of stability at a time and in response to a single erturbation, with some of the main environmental pressures of today being the least studied. We argue that we need to build on the existing consensus and strong theoretical foundation of the stability concept to better understand its multidimensionality and the interdependencies between metrics, levels of organization and types of perturbations. Only by doing so can we make progress in the quantification of stability in theory and in practice and eventually build a more comprehensive understanding of how ecosystems will respond to ongoing environmental change.
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Dates and versions

hal-02322003 , version 1 (17-11-2020)

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Sonia Kéfi, Virginia Domínguez-García, Ian Donohue, Colin Fontaine, Elisa Thébault, et al.. Advancing our understanding of ecological stability. Ecology Letters, 2019, 22 (9), pp.1349-1356. ⟨10.1111/ele.13340⟩. ⟨hal-02322003⟩
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