Eco-evolutionary dynamics of species interactions
Although studies increasingly support a role for rapid evolution in shaping ecological interactions, the importance of contemporary evolutionary processes for the dynamics of ecological communities remains poorly understood. We have not answered the fundamental question of how important genetic diversity and evolution are to population abundance, the stability of species diversity, and ecosystem function. From a more applied standpoint, ecologists and evolutionary biologists are increasingly asking how evolution modulates the response of populations, biodiversity and ecosystems to environmental change. At the heart of these questions is fundamental uncertainty about when evolution is fast enough to interact with ecological dynamics, a problem central to the mission of ACE.