Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Reader in Biodiversity Theory



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BibTex format

author = {Luiselli, J and Overcast, I and Rominger, A and Ruffley, M and Morlon, H and Rosindell, J},
doi = {10.1101/2021.05.11.442553},
title = {Detecting the ecological footprint of selection},
url = {},
year = {2021}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - <jats:p>The structure of communities is influenced by many processes, both ecological and evolutionary, but these processes are hard to distinguish from available data. The aim of this work is to distinguish the ecological footprint of selection from that of neutral processes that are invariant to species identity. To do this, we build on existing theory to produce a new mechanistic model of community structure incorporating ecology and evolution. We base our work on "massive eco-evolutionary synthesis simulations" (or MESS), which uses information from three biodiversity axes - species richness and abundance; population genetic diversity; and trait variation - to distinguish between processes with a mechanistic model. We added a new form of competition to MESS that explicitly compares the traits of each pair of individuals and allows us to distinguish between inter- and intra-specific competition. We find that this addition is essential to properly detect and characterise selection and it yields different results to the existing simpler model that only compares species' traits to the community mean. Neutral forces receive much less support from systems where trait data is incorporated into the inference mechanism.</jats:p>
AU - Luiselli,J
AU - Overcast,I
AU - Rominger,A
AU - Ruffley,M
AU - Morlon,H
AU - Rosindell,J
DO - 10.1101/2021.05.11.442553
PY - 2021///
TI - Detecting the ecological footprint of selection
UR -
ER -