System-level selection and climatic feedback in global ecosystems

Lee Worden, Princeton University

Models of evolutionary ecology often assume fixed, externally imposed selection pressures, while global climate models often ignore the effects of evolution. In reality, plant and animal species work together to modify the planet’s atmosphere and terrain, while these modifications affect the selective pressures that determine what future species will do. The feedback between biotic modification of the environment and environmental selective pressures on the biosphere is an underexplored aspect of climate and ecological modeling. We describe a model which allows us to explore these feedbacks, and present some model results.

Abstract Author(s): Lee Worden