Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

The implications of niche construction and ecosystem engineering for conservation biology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although strategies to conserve biodiversity (e.g., the establishment of reserves and the management offlagship, umbrella, indicator, and keystone species) are valuable, they entail practical and conceptual difficulties. A focus on niche construction and ecosystem engineering, however, could provide new insights and methods for conservation biology. Many organisms modulate the availability of resources to other species by causing state changes in biotic or abiotic materials (ecosystem engineering), in the process frequently changing the selection to which the ecosystem engineers and other organisms are exposed (niche construction). We describe growing evidence that organisms have significant nontrophic impacts on ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity, and outline established means of identifying key species involved in niche construction. On the basis of this engineering perspective, wepropose a number of measures that could be employed to enhance conservation efforts.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-578
Number of pages9
JournalBioscience
Volume56
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006

    Research areas

  • niche construction, ecosystem engineering, conservation strategies, keystone species, biodiversity, KEYSTONE-SPECIES CONCEPT, PROTECTED AREAS, MUSCULISTA-SENHOUSIA, BIODIVERSITY, ORGANISMS, HABITAT, CONSEQUENCES, COMMUNITIES, CHALLENGES, MANAGEMENT

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Integrating field and laboratory approaches for ripple development in mixed sand–clay–EPS

    Baas, J. H., Baker, M. L., Malarkey, J., Bass, S. J., Manning, A. J., Hope, J. A., Peakall, J., Lichtman, I. D., Ye, L., Davies, A. G., Parsons, D. R., Paterson, D. M. & Thorne, P. D., 5 Jun 2019, In : Sedimentology. Early View, 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Social transmission favours the ‘morally good’ over the ‘merely arousing’

    Stubbersfield, J. M., Dean, L. G., Sheikh, S., Laland, K. N. & Cross, C. P., 4 Jun 2019, In : Palgrave Communications. 5, 11 p., 3.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. The reach of gene-culture coevolution in animals

    Whitehead, H., Laland, K. N., Rendell, L., Thorogood, R. & Whiten, A., 3 Jun 2019, In : Nature Communications. 10, 10 p., 2405.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  4. Factors affecting the spatial and temporal distribution of E. coli in intertidal estuarine sediments

    Wyness, A. J., Paterson, D. M., Mendo, T., Defew, E. C., Stutter, M. I. & Avery, L. M., 15 Apr 2019, In : Science of the Total Environment. 661, p. 155-167

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Chemical dispersant enhances microbial exopolymer (EPS) production and formation of marine oil/dispersant snow in surface waters of the subarctic northeast Atlantic

    Suja, L. D., Chen, X., Summers, S., Paterson, D. M. & Gutierrez, T., 20 Mar 2019, In : Frontiers in Microbiology. 10, 13 p., 553.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Temperature-driven biodiversity change: disentangling space and time

    Waldock, C., Dornelas, M. & Bates, A. E., 1 Nov 2018, In : Bioscience. 68, 11, p. 873-884 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Synthesis centers as critical research infrastructure

    Baron, J., Specht, A., Garnier, E., Bishop, P., Campbell, A., Davis, F., Fady, B., Field, D., Gross, L., Guru, S., Halpern, B., Hampton, S., Leavitt, P., Meagher, T. R., Ometto, J., Parker, J., Price, R., Rawson, C., Rodrigo, A., Sheble, L. & 1 othersWinter, M., Aug 2017, In : Bioscience. 67, 8, p. 750-759 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Social learning in animals: Empirical studies and theoretical models.

    Galef Jr., B. G. & Laland, K. N., Jun 2005, In : Bioscience. 55, 6, p. 489-499 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Marine reserves as a tool for ecosystem-based management: the potential inportance of megafauna.

    Hooker, S. K. & Gerber, LR., Jan 2004, In : Bioscience. 54, 1, p. 27-39 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 676261