Evaluating early-warning indicators of critical transitions in natural aquatic ecosystems

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Evaluating early-warning indicators of critical transitions in natural aquatic ecosystems. / Gsell, Alena Sonia; Scharfenberger, Ulrike; Özkundakci, Deniz; Walters, Annika; Hansson, Lars Anders; Janssen, Annette B G; Nõges, Peeter; Reid, Philip C.; Schindler, Daniel E.; Donk, Ellen Van; Dakos, Vasilis; Adrian, Rita.

I: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 113, Nr. 50, 13.12.2016, s. E8089-E8095.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Harvard

Gsell, AS, Scharfenberger, U, Özkundakci, D, Walters, A, Hansson, LA, Janssen, ABG, Nõges, P, Reid, PC, Schindler, DE, Donk, EV, Dakos, V & Adrian, R 2016, 'Evaluating early-warning indicators of critical transitions in natural aquatic ecosystems', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 113, nr. 50, s. E8089-E8095. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1608242113

APA

CBE

Gsell AS, Scharfenberger U, Özkundakci D, Walters A, Hansson LA, Janssen ABG, Nõges P, Reid PC, Schindler DE, Donk EV, Dakos V, Adrian R. 2016. Evaluating early-warning indicators of critical transitions in natural aquatic ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 113(50):E8089-E8095. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1608242113

MLA

Vancouver

Author

Gsell, Alena Sonia ; Scharfenberger, Ulrike ; Özkundakci, Deniz ; Walters, Annika ; Hansson, Lars Anders ; Janssen, Annette B G ; Nõges, Peeter ; Reid, Philip C. ; Schindler, Daniel E. ; Donk, Ellen Van ; Dakos, Vasilis ; Adrian, Rita. / Evaluating early-warning indicators of critical transitions in natural aquatic ecosystems. I: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2016 ; Vol. 113, Nr. 50. s. E8089-E8095.

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Evaluating early-warning indicators of critical transitions in natural aquatic ecosystems

AU - Gsell, Alena Sonia

AU - Scharfenberger, Ulrike

AU - Özkundakci, Deniz

AU - Walters, Annika

AU - Hansson, Lars Anders

AU - Janssen, Annette B G

AU - Nõges, Peeter

AU - Reid, Philip C.

AU - Schindler, Daniel E.

AU - Donk, Ellen Van

AU - Dakos, Vasilis

AU - Adrian, Rita

PY - 2016/12/13

Y1 - 2016/12/13

N2 - Ecosystems can show sudden and persistent changes in state despite only incremental changes in drivers. Such critical transitions are difficult to predict, because the state of the system often shows little change before the transition. Early-warning indicators (EWIs) are hypothesized to signal the loss of system resilience and have been shown to precede critical transitions in theoretical models, paleo-climate time series, and in laboratory as well as whole lake experiments. The generalizability of EWIs for detecting critical transitions in empirical time series of natural aquatic ecosystems remains largely untested, however. Here we assessed four commonly used EWIs on long-term datasets of five freshwater ecosystems that have experienced sudden, persistent transitions and for which the relevant ecological mechanisms and drivers are well understood. These case studies were categorized by three mechanisms that can generate critical transitions between alternative states: competition, trophic cascade, and intraguild predation. Although EWIs could be detected in most of the case studies, agreement among the four indicators was low. In some cases, EWIs were detected considerably ahead of the transition. Nonetheless, our results show that at present, EWIs do not provide reliable and consistent signals of impending critical transitions despite using some of the best routinely monitored freshwater ecosystems. Our analysis strongly suggests that a priori knowledge of the underlying mechanisms driving ecosystem transitions is necessary to identify relevant state variables for successfully monitoring EWIs.

AB - Ecosystems can show sudden and persistent changes in state despite only incremental changes in drivers. Such critical transitions are difficult to predict, because the state of the system often shows little change before the transition. Early-warning indicators (EWIs) are hypothesized to signal the loss of system resilience and have been shown to precede critical transitions in theoretical models, paleo-climate time series, and in laboratory as well as whole lake experiments. The generalizability of EWIs for detecting critical transitions in empirical time series of natural aquatic ecosystems remains largely untested, however. Here we assessed four commonly used EWIs on long-term datasets of five freshwater ecosystems that have experienced sudden, persistent transitions and for which the relevant ecological mechanisms and drivers are well understood. These case studies were categorized by three mechanisms that can generate critical transitions between alternative states: competition, trophic cascade, and intraguild predation. Although EWIs could be detected in most of the case studies, agreement among the four indicators was low. In some cases, EWIs were detected considerably ahead of the transition. Nonetheless, our results show that at present, EWIs do not provide reliable and consistent signals of impending critical transitions despite using some of the best routinely monitored freshwater ecosystems. Our analysis strongly suggests that a priori knowledge of the underlying mechanisms driving ecosystem transitions is necessary to identify relevant state variables for successfully monitoring EWIs.

KW - Competition

KW - Intraguild predation

KW - Resilience indicators

KW - Time series

KW - Trophic cascade

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85006049076&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1073/pnas.1608242113

DO - 10.1073/pnas.1608242113

M3 - Article

VL - 113

SP - E8089-E8095

JO - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

T2 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

JF - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

SN - 1091-6490

IS - 50

ER -