Scheuerlein Alexander

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  • Article
    COMADRE : a global data base of animal demography
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2016-01-27) Salguero-Gomez, Roberto ; Jones, Owen R. ; Archer, C. Ruth ; Bein, Christoph ; de Buhr, Hendrik ; Farack, Claudia ; Gottschalk, France ; Hartmann, Alexander ; Henning, Anne ; Hoppe, Gabriel ; Romer, Gesa ; Ruoff, Tara ; Sommer, Veronika ; Wille, Julia ; Voigt, Jakob ; Zeh, Stefan ; Vieregg, Dirk ; Buckley, Yvonne M. ; Che-Castaldo, Judy ; Hodgson, David ; Scheuerlein, Alexander ; Caswell, Hal ; Vaupel, James W.
    The open-data scientific philosophy is being widely adopted and proving to promote considerable progress in ecology and evolution. Open-data global data bases now exist on animal migration, species distribution, conservation status, etc. However, a gap exists for data on population dynamics spanning the rich diversity of the animal kingdom world-wide. This information is fundamental to our understanding of the conditions that have shaped variation in animal life histories and their relationships with the environment, as well as the determinants of invasion and extinction. Matrix population models (MPMs) are among the most widely used demographic tools by animal ecologists. MPMs project population dynamics based on the reproduction, survival and development of individuals in a population over their life cycle. The outputs from MPMs have direct biological interpretations, facilitating comparisons among animal species as different as Caenorhabditis elegans, Loxodonta africana and Homo sapiens. Thousands of animal demographic records exist in the form of MPMs, but they are dispersed throughout the literature, rendering comparative analyses difficult. Here, we introduce the COMADRE Animal Matrix Database, an open-data online repository, which in its version 1.0.0 contains data on 345 species world-wide, from 402 studies with a total of 1625 population projection matrices. COMADRE also contains ancillary information (e.g. ecoregion, taxonomy, biogeography, etc.) that facilitates interpretation of the numerous demographic metrics that can be derived from its MPMs. We provide R code to some of these examples. Synthesis: We introduce the COMADRE Animal Matrix Database, a resource for animal demography. Its open-data nature, together with its ancillary information, will facilitate comparative analysis, as will the growing availability of databases focusing on other aspects of the rich animal diversity, and tools to query and combine them. Through future frequent updates of COMADRE, and its integration with other online resources, we encourage animal ecologists to tackle global ecological and evolutionary questions with unprecedented sample size.
  • Article
    The COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database : an open online repository for plant demography
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-11-09) Salguero-Gomez, Roberto ; Jones, Owen R. ; Archer, C. Ruth ; Buckley, Yvonne M. ; Che-Castaldo, Judy ; Caswell, Hal ; Hodgson, David ; Scheuerlein, Alexander ; Conde, Dalia A. ; Brinks, Erik ; de Buhr, Hendrik ; Farack, Claudia ; Gottschalk, France ; Hartmann, Alexander ; Henning, Anne ; Hoppe, Gabriel ; Romer, Gesa ; Runge, Jens ; Ruoff, Tara ; Wille, Julia ; Zeh, Stefan ; Davison, Raziel ; Vieregg, Dirk ; Baudisch, Annette ; Altwegg, Res ; Colchero, Fernando ; Dong, Ming ; de Kroon, Hans ; Lebreton, Jean-Dominique ; Metcalf, Charlotte J. E. ; Neel, Maile M. ; Parker, Ingrid M. ; Takada, Takenori ; Valverde, Teresa ; Velez-Espino, Luis A. ; Wardle, Glenda M. ; Franco, Miguel ; Vaupel, James W.
    Schedules of survival, growth and reproduction are key life-history traits. Data on how these traits vary among species and populations are fundamental to our understanding of the ecological conditions that have shaped plant evolution. Because these demographic schedules determine population growth or decline, such data help us understand how different biomes shape plant ecology, how plant populations and communities respond to global change and how to develop successful management tools for endangered or invasive species. Matrix population models summarize the life cycle components of survival, growth and reproduction, while explicitly acknowledging heterogeneity among classes of individuals in the population. Matrix models have comparable structures, and their emergent measures of population dynamics, such as population growth rate or mean life expectancy, have direct biological interpretations, facilitating comparisons among populations and species. Thousands of plant matrix population models have been parameterized from empirical data, but they are largely dispersed through peer-reviewed and grey literature, and thus remain inaccessible for synthetic analysis. Here, we introduce the compadre Plant Matrix Database version 3.0, an open-source online repository containing 468 studies from 598 species world-wide (672 species hits, when accounting for species studied in more than one source), with a total of 5621 matrices. compadre also contains relevant ancillary information (e.g. ecoregion, growth form, taxonomy, phylogeny) that facilitates interpretation of the numerous demographic metrics that can be derived from the matrices. Large collections of data allow broad questions to be addressed at the global scale, for example, in genetics (genbank), functional plant ecology (try, bien, d3) and grassland community ecology (nutnet). Here, we present compadre, a similarly data-rich and ecologically relevant resource for plant demography. Open access to this information, its frequent updates and its integration with other online resources will allow researchers to address timely and important ecological and evolutionary questions.
  • Preprint
    Diversity of ageing across the tree of life
    ( 2013-10) Jones, Owen R. ; Scheuerlein, Alexander ; Salguero-Gomez, Roberto ; Camarda, Carlo Giovanni ; Schaible, Ralf ; Casper, Brenda B. ; Dahlgren, Johan P. ; Ehrlen, Johan ; Garcia, María B. ; Menges, Eric S. ; Quintana-Ascencio, Pedro F. ; Caswell, Hal ; Baudisch, Annette ; Vaupel, James W.
    Evolution drives and is driven by demography. A genotype moulds its phenotype’s age-patterns of mortality and fertility in an environment; these two patterns in turn determine the genotype’s fitness in that environment. Hence, to understand the evolution of ageing, age-patterns of mortality and reproduction need to be compared for species across the tree of life. Yet few studies have done so and only for a limited range of taxa. Here we contrast standardised age patterns for 11 mammals, 12 other vertebrates, 10 invertebrates, 12 vascular plants, and a green alga. While it has been predicted that evolution should inevitably lead to increasing mortality and declining fertility with age after maturity, these species exhibit extraordinary variety, including increasing, constant, decreasing, humped and bowed trajectories for both long and short lived species. This diversity challenges theoreticians to develop broader perspectives on the evolution of ageing and empiricists to study the demography of more species.