Widespread shifts in body size within populations and assemblages

Martins, I., Schrodt, F., Blowes, S., Bates, A., Bjorkman, A., Brambilla, V., Carvajal-Quintero, J., Chow, C., et al. (2023). Widespread shifts in body size within populations and assemblages. Science 381 (6662) 1067-1071. 10.1126/science.adg6006.

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Biotic responses to global change include directional shifts in organismal traits. Body size, an integrative trait that determines demographic rates and ecosystem functions, is thought to be shrinking in the Anthropocene. Here, we assessed the prevalence of body size change in six taxon groups across 5025 assemblage time series spanning 1960 to 2020. Using the Price equation to partition this change into within-species body size versus compositional changes, we detected prevailing decreases in body size through time driven primarily by fish, with more variable patterns in other taxa. We found that change in assemblage composition contributes more to body size changes than within-species trends, but both components show substantial variation in magnitude and direction. The biomass of assemblages remains quite stable as decreases in body size trade off with increases in abundance.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2023 11:05
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2023 11:05
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/19045

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