Imperial College London

DrWillPearse

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Senior Lecturer in Applied Ecology
 
 
 
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Contact

 

will.pearse Website

 
 
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Location

 

1.5Centre for Population BiologySilwood Park

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

89 results found

Arce A, Cantwell-Jones A, Tansley M, Barnes I, Brace S, Mullin VE, Notton D, Ollerton J, Eatough E, Rhodes MW, Bian X, Hogan J, Hunter T, Jackson S, Whiffin A, Blagoderov V, Broad G, Judd S, Kokkini P, Livermore L, Dixit MK, Pearse WD, Gill Ret al., 2022, Signatures of increasing environmental stress in bumblebee wings over the past century: Insights from museum specimens, Journal of Animal Ecology, ISSN: 0021-8790

1. Determining when animal populations have experienced stress in the past is fundamental to understanding how risk factors drive contemporary and future species’ responses to environmental change. For insects, quantifying stress and associating it with environmental factors has been challenging due to a paucity of time-series data and because detectable population-level responses can show varying lag effects. One solution is to leverage historic entomological specimens to detect morphological proxies of stress experienced at the time stressors emerged, allowing us to more accurately determine population responses.2. Here we studied specimens of four bumblebee species, an invaluable group of insect pollinators, from five museums collected across Britain over the 20th century. We calculated the degree of fluctuating asymmetry (FA; random deviations from bilateral symmetry) between the right and left forewings as a potential proxy of developmental stress.3. We: i) investigated whether baseline FA levels vary between species, and how this compares between the first and second half of the century; ii) determined the extent of FA change over the century in the four bumblebee species, and whether this followed a linear or non-linear trend; iii) tested which annual climatic conditions correlated with increased FA in bumblebees.4. Species differed in their baseline FA, with FA being higher in the two species that have recently expanded their ranges in Britain. Overall, FA significantly increased over the century but followed a non-linear trend, with the increase starting c. 1925. We found relatively warm and wet years were associated with higher FA. 5. Collectively our findings show that FA in bumblebees increased over the 20th century and under weather conditions that will likely increase in frequency with climate change. By plotting FA trends and quantifying the contribution of annual climate conditions on past populations, we provide an important step towards impro

Journal article

Dobson B, Barry S, Maes-Prior R, Mijic A, Woodward G, Pearse WDet al., 2022, Predicting catchment suitability for biodiversity at national scales, WATER RESEARCH, Vol: 221, ISSN: 0043-1354

Journal article

Cavender-Bares J, Nelson E, Meireles JE, Lasky J, Miteva DA, Nowak D, Pearse W, Helmus M, Zanne AE, Fagan W, otherset al., 2022, The hidden value of trees: quantifying the ecosystem services of tree lineages and their major threats across the continental US, PLoS

Journal article

Dobson B, Barry S, Maes-Prior R, Mijic A, Woodward G, Pearse WDet al., 2022, Predicting catchment suitability for biodiversity at national scales

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Biomonitoring of water quality and catchment management are often disconnected, due to mismatching scales. Great effort and money is spent each year on routine reach-scale surveying across many sites, particularly in the UK, and typically with a focus on pre-defined indicators of organic pollution to compare observed vs expected subsets of common macroinvertebrate indicator species. Threatened species are often ignored due to their rarity as are many invasive species, which are seen as undesirable even though they are increasingly common in freshwaters, especially in urban ecosystems. However, these taxa are monitored separately for reasons related to biodiversity concerns rather than for gauging water quality. Repurposing such monitoring data could therefore provide important new biomonitoring tools that can help catchment managers to directly link the water quality that they aim to control with the biodiversity that they are trying to protect. Here we used the England Non-Native and Rare/Protected species records that track these two groups of species as a proof-of-concept for linking catchment scale management of freshwater ecosystems and biodiversity to a range of potential drivers across England. We used national land use (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology land cover map) and water quality indicator (Environment Agency water quality data archive) datasets to predict the presence or absence of 48 focal threatened or invasive species of concern routinely sampled by the English Environment Agency at catchment scale, with a median accuracy of 0.81 area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. A variety of water quality indicators and land-use types were useful in predictions, highlighting that future biomonitoring schemes could use such complementary measures to capture a wider spectrum of drivers and responses. In particular, the percentage of a catchment covered by freshwater was the single most

Journal article

Lembrechts JJ, van den Hoogen J, Aalto J, Ashcroft MB, De Frenne P, Kemppinen J, Kopecky M, Luoto M, Maclean IMD, Crowther TW, Bailey JJ, Haesen S, Klinges DH, Niittynen P, Scheffers BR, Van Meerbeek K, Aartsma P, Abdalaze O, Abedi M, Aerts R, Ahmadian N, Ahrends A, Alatalo JM, Alexander JM, Allonsius CN, Altman J, Ammann C, Andres C, Andrews C, Ardo J, Arriga N, Arzac A, Aschero V, Assis RL, Assmann JJ, Bader MY, Bahalkeh K, Barancok P, Barrio IC, Barros A, Barthel M, Basham EW, Bauters M, Bazzichetto M, Marchesini LB, Bell MC, Benavides JC, Benito Alonso JL, Berauer BJ, Bjerke JW, Bjork RG, Bjorkman MP, Bjornsdottir K, Blonder B, Boeckx P, Boike J, Bokhorst S, Brum BNS, Bruna J, Buchmann N, Buysse P, Camargo JL, Campoe OC, Candan O, Canessa R, Cannone N, Carbognani M, Carnicer J, Casanova-Katny A, Cesarz S, Chojnicki B, Choler P, Chown SL, Cifuentes EF, Ciliak M, Contador T, Convey P, Cooper EJ, Cremonese E, Curasi SR, Curtis R, Cutini M, Dahlberg CJ, Daskalova GN, Angel de Pablo M, Della Chiesa S, Dengler J, Deronde B, Descombes P, Di Cecco V, Di Musciano M, Dick J, Dimarco RD, Dolezal J, Dorrepaal E, Dusek J, Eisenhauer N, Eklundh L, Erickson TE, Erschbamer B, Eugster W, Ewers RM, Exton DA, Fanin N, Fazlioglu F, Feigenwinter I, Fenu G, Ferlian O, Fernandez Calzado MR, Fernandez-Pascual E, Finckh M, Higgens RF, Forte TGW, Freeman EC, Frei ER, Fuentes-Lillo E, Garcia RA, Garcia MB, Geron C, Gharun M, Ghosn D, Gigauri K, Gobin A, Goded I, Goeckede M, Gottschall F, Goulding K, Govaert S, Graae BJ, Greenwood S, Greiser C, Grelle A, Guenard B, Guglielmin M, Guillemot J, Haase P, Haider S, Halbritter AH, Hamid M, Hammerle A, Hampe A, Haugum S, Hederova L, Heinesch B, Helfter C, Hepenstrick D, Herberich M, Herbst M, Hermanutz L, Hik DS, Hoffren R, Homeier J, Hortnagl L, Hoye TT, Hrbacek F, Hylander K, Iwata H, Jackowicz-Korczynski MA, Jactel H, Jarveoja J, Jastrzebowski S, Jentsch A, Jimenez JJ, Jonsdottir IS, Jucker T, Jump AS, Juszczak R, Kanka R, Kaspar V, Kazakis Get al., 2022, Global maps of soil temperature, GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Vol: 28, Pages: 3110-3144, ISSN: 1354-1013

Journal article

Gallinat AS, Pearse WD, 2021, The abiotic and biotic environment together predict plant, mammal, and bird diversity and turnover across the United States

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The distribution of taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional biodiversity results from a combination of abiotic and biotic drivers which are scale dependent. Parsing the relative influence of these drivers is critical to understanding the processes underlying species assembly and generating predictions of biodiversity across taxonomic groups and for novel sites. However, doing so requires data that capture a spatial extent large enough to reflect broad-scale dynamics such as speciation and biogeography, and a spatial grain fine enough to detect local-scale dynamics like environmental filtering and biotic interactions. We used species inventories of vascular plants, birds, and mammals collected by the U.S. National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) at 38 terrestrial field sites, to explore the processes underlying taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity and turnover. We found that, for both species richness (alpha-diversity) and turnover (beta-diversity), taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity are weak proxies for one-another, and thus may capture different species assembly processes. All diversity metrics were best predicted by a combination of abiotic and biotic variables. Taxonomic and phylogenetic richness tended to be higher at warmer, wetter sites, reflecting the role energy inputs play in driving broad-scale diversity. However, plant diversity was negatively correlated with bird phylogenetic and mammal functional diversity, implying trait conservation in plant communities may limit niche availability for consumer species. Equally, turnover in bird and mammal species across sites were associated with plant turnover. That the biodiversity of one taxon is predictive of another across these North American sites, even when controlling for environment, supports a role for the cross-clade biotic environment in driving species assembly.</jats:p>

Journal article

Gallinat AS, Ellwood ER, Heberling JM, Miller-Rushing AJ, Pearse WD, Primack RBet al., 2021, Macrophenology: insights into the broad-scale patterns, drivers, and consequences of phenology, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY, Vol: 108, Pages: 2112-2126, ISSN: 0002-9122

Journal article

Stachewicz JD, Fountain-Jones NM, Koontz A, Woolf H, Pearse WD, Gallinat ASet al., 2021, Strong trait correlation and phylogenetic signal in North American ground beetle (Carabidae) morphology, ECOSPHERE, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2150-8925

Journal article

Simpson EG, Pearse WD, 2021, Fractal triads efficiently sample ecological diversity and processes across spatial scales, OIKOS, Vol: 130, Pages: 2136-2147, ISSN: 0030-1299

Journal article

Stemkovski M, Bell JR, Ellwood ER, Inouye BD, Kobori H, Lee SD, Lloyd-Evans T, Primack RB, Templ B, Pearse WDet al., 2021, Disorder or a new order: how climate change affects phenological variability

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Advancing spring phenology is a well-documented consequence of anthropogenic climate change, but it is not well understood how climate change will affect the variability of phenology year-to-year. Species’ phenological timings reflect adaptation to a broad suite of abiotic needs (e.g. thermal energy) and biotic interactions (e.g. predation and pollination), and changes in patterns of variability may disrupt those adaptations and interactions. Here, we present a geographically and taxonomically broad analysis of phenological shifts, temperature sensitivity, and changes in inter-annual variance encompassing nearly 10,000 long-term phenology time-series representing over 1,000 species across much of the northern hemisphere. We show that early-season species in colder and less seasonal regions were the most sensitive to temperature change and had the least variable phenologies. The timings of leaf-out, flowering, insect first-occurrence, and bird arrival have all shifted earlier and tend to be less variable in warmer years. This has led leaf-out and flower phenology to become moderately but significantly less variable over time. These simultaneous changes in phenological averages and the variation around them have the potential to influence mismatches among interacting species that are difficult to anticipate if shifts in average are studied in isolation.</jats:p>

Journal article

Smith TP, Stemkovski M, Koontz A, Pearse WDet al., 2021, AREAdata: a worldwide climate dataset averaged across spatial units at different scales through time, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title><jats:p>In an era of increasingly cross-discipline collaborative science, it is imperative to produce data resources which can be quickly and easily utilised by non-specialists. In particular, climate data often require heavy processing before they can be used for analyses. Here we describe AREAdata, a free-to-use online global climate dataset, pre-processed to provide the averages of various climate variables across differing administrative units (<jats:italic>e</jats:italic>.<jats:italic>g</jats:italic>., countries, states). These are daily estimates, based on the Copernicus Climate Data Store’s ERA-5 data, regularly updated to the near-present and provided as direct downloads from our website (<jats:ext-link xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" ext-link-type="uri" xlink:href="https://pearselab.github.io/areadata/">https://pearselab.github.io/areadata/</jats:ext-link>). The daily climate estimates from AREAdata are consistent with other openly available data, but at much finer-grained spatial and temporal scales than available elsewhere. AREAdata complements the existing suite of climate resources by providing these data in a form more readily usable by researchers unfamiliar with GIS data-processing methods, and we anticipate these resources being of particular use to environmental and epidemiological researchers.</jats:p>

Working paper

Smith TP, Flaxman S, Gallinat AS, Kinosian SP, Stemkovski M, Unwin HJT, Watson OJ, Whittaker C, Cattarino L, Dorigatti I, Tristem M, Pearse WDet al., 2021, Temperature and population density influence SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the absence of nonpharmaceutical interventions, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Vol: 118, ISSN: 0027-8424

Journal article

Koontz A, Pearse WD, Wolf P, 2021, Pronounced Genetic Separation Among Varieties of the<i>Primula cusickiana</i>Species Complex, a Great Basin Endemic

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Distinguishing between unique species and populations with strong genetic structure is a common challenge in population genetics, especially in fragmented habitats where allopatric speciation may be widespread and distinct groups may be morphologically similar. Such is often the case with species complexes across sky island environments. In these scenarios, biogeography may help to explain the relations between species complex members, and RADseq methods are commonly used to compare closely related species across thousands of genetic loci. Here we use RADseq to clarify the relations between geographically distinct but morphologically similar varieties of the<jats:italic>Primula cusickiana</jats:italic>species complex, and to contextualize past findings of strong genetic structure among populations within varieties. Our genomic analyses demonstrate pronounced separation between isolated populations of this Great Basin endemic, indicating that the current varietal classification of complex members is inaccurate and emphasizing their conservation importance. We discuss how these results correspond to recent biogeographical models used to describe the distribution of other sky island taxa in western North America. Our findings also fit into a wider trend observed for alpine<jats:italic>Primula</jats:italic>species complexes, and we consider how heterostylous breeding systems may be contributing to frequent diversification via allopatric speciation in this genus.</jats:p>

Journal article

Smith TP, Dorigatti I, Mishra S, Volz E, Walker PGT, Ragonnet-Cronin M, Tristem M, Pearse WDet al., 2021, Environmental drivers of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 transmission intensity

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Previous work has shown that environment affects SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but it is unclear whether emerging strains show similar responses. Here we show that, like other SARS-CoV-2 strains, lineage B.1.1.7 spread with greater transmission in colder and more densely populated parts of England. However, we also find evidence of B.1.1.7 having a transmission advantage at warmer temperatures compared to other strains. This implies that spring and summer conditions are unlikely to slow B.1.1.7’s invasion in Europe and across the Northern hemisphere - an important consideration for public health interventions.</jats:p>

Journal article

Weglarz KM, Saunders WC, Van Wagenen A, Pearse WDet al., 2021, Phylogenetic diversity efficiently and accurately prioritizes conservation of aquatic macroinvertebrate communities, ECOSPHERE, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2150-8925

Journal article

Stachewicz JD, Fountain-Jones NM, Koontz A, Woolf H, Pearse WD, Gallinat ASet al., 2021, Strong trait correlation and phylogenetic signal in North American ground beetle (Carabidae) morphology

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Functional traits mediate species’ responses to and roles within their environment, and are constrained by evolutionary history. While we have a strong understanding of trait evolution for macro-taxa such as birds and mammals, our understanding of invertebrates is comparatively limited. Here we address this gap in North American beetles with a sample of ground beetles (Carabidae), leveraging a large-scale collection and digitization effort by the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). For 154 ground beetle species, we measured seven morphological traits, which we placed into a recently-developed effect-response framework that characterizes traits by how they predict species’ effects on their ecosystems or responses to environmental stressors. We then used cytochrome oxidase one sequences from the same specimens to generate a phylogeny and tested evolutionary tempo and mode of the traits. We found strong phylogenetic signal in, and correlations among, morphological ground beetle traits. These results indicate that, for these species, beetle body shape trait evolution is constrained, and phylogenetic inertia is a stronger driver of beetle traits than (recent) environmental responses. Strong correlations among effect and response traits suggest that future environmental drivers are likely to affect both ecological composition and functioning in these beetles.</jats:p>

Journal article

Simpson EG, Pearse WD, 2021, Fractal triads efficiently sample ecological diversity and processes across spatial scales

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The relative influence of ecological assembly processes, such as environmental filtering, competition, and dispersal, vary across spatial scales. Changes in phylogenetic and taxonomic diversity across environments provide insight into these processes, however, it is challenging to assess the effect of spatial scale on these metrics. Here, we outline a nested sampling design that fractally spaces sampling locations to concentrate statistical power across spatial scales in a study area. We test this design in northeast Utah, at a study site with distinct vegetation types (including sagebrush steppe and mixed conifer forest), that vary across environmental gradients. We demonstrate the power of this design to detect changes in community phylogenetic diversity across environmental gradients and assess the spatial scale at which the sampling design captures the most variation in empirical data. We find clear evidence of broad-scale changes in multiple features of phylogenetic and taxonomic diversity across aspect. At finer scales, we find additional variation in phylo-diversity, highlighting the power of our fractal sampling design to efficiently detect patterns across multiple spatial scales. Thus, our fractal sampling design and analysis effectively identify important environmental gradients and spatial scales that drive community phylogenetic structure. We discuss the insights this gives us into the ecological assembly processes that differentiate plant communities found in northeast Utah.</jats:p>

Journal article

Koontz A, Brandt B, Dyreson C, Pearse Wet al., 2020, SymbiotaR2: An R Package for Accessing Symbiota2 Data, Journal of Open Source Software, Vol: 5, Pages: 2917-2917

Journal article

Pearse WD, 2020, ropensci/SymbiotaR2: SymbiotaR2 Initial Release

Symbiota is an open-source content management system designed to integrate virtual biodiversity databases. This R package, SymbiotaR2, allows users to access and download specimen- and observation-based data from a published portal of Symbiota2--the refactored and improved version of the original Symbiota framework. SymbiotaR2 is released through rOpenSci.

Software

Kinosian SP, Pearse WD, Wolf PG, 2020, Cryptic diversity in the model fern genus Ceratopteris (Pteridaceae), MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETICS AND EVOLUTION, Vol: 152, ISSN: 1055-7903

Journal article

Atwood TB, Valentine SA, Hammill E, McCauley DJ, Madin EMP, Beard KH, Pearse WDet al., 2020, Herbivores at the highest risk of extinction among mammals, birds, and reptiles, Science Advances, Vol: 6, Pages: eabb8458-eabb8458, ISSN: 2375-2548

As a result of their extensive home ranges and slow population growth rates, predators have often been perceived to suffer higher risks of extinction than other trophic groups. Our study challenges this extinction-risk paradigm by quantitatively comparing patterns of extinction risk across different trophic groups of mammals, birds, and reptiles. We found that trophic level and body size were significant factors that influenced extinction risk in all taxa. At multiple spatial and temporal scales, herbivores, especially herbivorous reptiles and large-bodied herbivores, consistently have the highest proportions of threatened species. This observed elevated extinction risk for herbivores is ecologically consequential, given the important roles that herbivores are known to play in controlling ecosystem function.

Journal article

Gallagher RV, Falster DS, Maitner BS, Salguero-Gómez R, Vandvik V, Pearse WD, Schneider FD, Kattge J, Poelen JH, Madin JS, Ankenbrand MJ, Penone C, Feng X, Adams VM, Alroy J, Andrew SC, Balk MA, Bland LM, Boyle BL, Bravo-Avila CH, Brennan I, Carthey AJR, Catullo R, Cavazos BR, Conde DA, Chown SL, Fadrique B, Gibb H, Halbritter AH, Hammock J, Hogan JA, Holewa H, Hope M, Iversen CM, Jochum M, Kearney M, Keller A, Mabee P, Manning P, McCormack L, Michaletz ST, Park DS, Perez TM, Pineda-Munoz S, Ray CA, Rossetto M, Sauquet H, Sparrow B, Spasojevic MJ, Telford RJ, Tobias JA, Violle C, Walls R, Weiss KCB, Westoby M, Wright IJ, Enquist BJet al., 2020, Publisher Correction: Open Science principles for accelerating trait-based science across the Tree of Life., Nat Ecol Evol, Vol: 4

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

Journal article

Gallagher RV, Falster DS, Maitner BS, Salguero-Gomez R, Vandvik V, Pearse WD, Schneider FD, Kattge J, Poelen JH, Madin JS, Ankenbrand MJ, Penone C, Feng X, Adams VM, Alroy J, Andrew SC, Balk MA, Bland LM, Boyle BL, Bravo-Avila CH, Brennan I, Carthey AJR, Catullo R, Cavazos BR, Conde DA, Chown SL, Fadrique B, Gibb H, Halbritter AH, Hammock J, Hogan JA, Holewa H, Hope M, Iversen CM, Jochum M, Kearney M, Keller A, Mabee P, Manning P, McCormack L, Michaletz ST, Park DS, Perez TM, Pineda-Munoz S, Ray CA, Rossetto M, Sauquet H, Sparrow B, Spasojevic MJ, Telford RJ, Tobias JA, Violle C, Walls R, Weiss KCB, Westoby M, Wright IJ, Enquist BJet al., 2020, Open Science principles for accelerating trait-based science across the Tree of Life, NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, Vol: 4, Pages: 294-303, ISSN: 2397-334X

Journal article

Stemkovski M, Pearse WD, Griffin SR, Pardee GL, Gibbs J, Griswold T, Neff JL, Oram R, Rightmyer MG, Sheffield CS, otherset al., 2020, Bee phenology is predicted by climatic variation and functional traits, Ecology Letters

Journal article

Kinosian SP, Pearse WD, Wolf PG, 2020, Cryptic diversity in the model fern genus Ceratopteris (Pteridaceae), BioRxiv

Journal article

Cavender-Bares J, Padullés Cubino J, Pearse WD, Hobbie SE, Lange AJ, Knapp S, Nelson KCet al., 2020, Horticultural availability and homeowner preferences drive plant diversity and composition in urban yards, Ecological Applications, Vol: 30, Pages: e02082-e02082

Journal article

Smith TP, Flaxman S, Gallinat AS, Kinosian SP, Stemkovski M, Unwin HJT, Watson OJ, Whittaker C, Cattarino L, Dorigatti I, otherset al., 2020, Environment influences SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the absence of non-pharmaceutical interventions, medRxiv

Journal article

Lembrechts JJ, Aalto J, Ashcroft MB, De Frenne P, Kopecky M, Lenoir J, Luoto M, Maclean IMD, Roupsard O, Fuentes-Lillo E, otherset al., 2020, SoilTemp: a global database of near-surface temperature, Global Change Biology

Journal article

Gallinat AS, Pearse WD, 2020, A novel framework for modeling the evolution of cross-scale ecological assembly, bioRxiv

Journal article

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