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Towards an applied metaecology

Luís Schiesari 1, * Miguel Matias 2 Paulo Prado 3 Mathew A. Leibold 4 Cécile Albert 5, 6 Jennifer Howeth 7 Shawn Leroux 8 Renata Pardini 3 Tadeu Siqueira 9 Pedro H.S. Brancalion 10 Mar Cabeza 11 Renato Mendes Coutinho 12 José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho 1 Bertrand Fournier 13 Daniel J.G. Lahr 3 Thomas Lewinsohn 14 Ayana Martins 15 Carla Morsello 1 Pedro Peres-Neto 13 Valério Pillar 16 Diego Vázquez 17
Abstract : The complexity of ecological systems is a major challenge for practitioners and decision-makers who work to avoid, mitigate and manage environmental change. Here, we illustrate how metaecology-the study of spatial interdependencies among ecological systems through fluxes of organisms, energy, and matter-can enhance understanding and improve managing environmental change at multiple spatial scales. We present several case studies illustrating how the framework has leveraged decision-making in conservation, restoration and risk management. Nevertheless, an explicit incorporation of metaecology is still uncommon in the applied ecology literature, and in action guidelines addressing environmental change. This is unfortunate because the many facets of environmental change can be framed as modifying spatial context, connectedness and dominant regulating processes-the defining features of metaecolog-ical systems. Narrowing the gap between theory and practice will require incorporating system-specific realism in otherwise predominantly conceptual studies, as well as deliberately studying scenarios of environmental change. ଝ Dedicated to the memory of Ilkka Hanski (1953-2016), whose lifetime contribution to ecology has been pivotal in inspiring and facilitating the applied side of metapopulation theory. ଝଝ Authorship follows alphabetical order between the fifth and ninth authors, and between the tenth and twenty-first authors.
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Luís Schiesari, Miguel Matias, Paulo Prado, Mathew A. Leibold, Cécile Albert, et al.. Towards an applied metaecology. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, 2019, ⟨10.1016/j.pecon.2019.11.001⟩. ⟨hal-02400023⟩

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