Isla H Myers-Smith

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A central current debate in community ecology concerns the relative importance of deterministic versus stochastic processes underlying community structure. However, the concept of stochasticity presents several profound philosophical, theoretical and empirical challenges, which we address here. The philosophical argument that nothing in nature is truly(More)
Inference about future climate change impacts typically relies on one of three approaches: manipulative experiments, historical comparisons (broadly defined to include monitoring the response to ambient climate fluctuations using repeat sampling of plots, dendroecology, and paleoecology techniques), and space-for-time substitutions derived from sampling(More)
[1] We measured CO 2 and CH 4 exchange from the center of a Sphagnum-dominated permafrost collapse, through an aquatic moat, and into a recently burned black spruce forest on the Tanana River floodplain in interior Alaska. In the anomalously dry growing season of 2004, both the collapse and the surrounding burned area were net sinks for CO 2 , with a mean(More)
Wetlands are the largest natural source of atmospheric methane. Here, we assess controls on methane flux using a database of approximately 19 000 instantaneous measurements from 71 wetland sites located across subtropical, temperate, and northern high latitude regions. Our analyses confirm general controls on wetland methane emissions from soil temperature,(More)
Shrubs are the largest plant life form in tundra ecosystems; therefore, any changes in the abundance of shrubs will feedback to influence biodiversity, ecosystem function, and climate. The snow-shrub hypothesis asserts that shrub canopies trap snow and insulate soils in winter, increasing the rates of nutrient cycling to create a positive feedback to shrub(More)
Oil development in the Arctic has wide-reaching effects on ecosystem health, including both direct habitat destruction and indirect cumulative impacts on the adjacent landscape (Walker & Walker, 1991; NRC, 2003). Vehicle transport is one of the most widespread forms of arctic disturbance (Forbes, Ebersole & Strandberg, 2001). The direct ecological impacts(More)
We present new data and analyses revealing fundamental flaws in a critique of two recent meta-analyses of local-scale temporal biodiversity change. First, the conclusion that short-term time series lead to biased estimates of long-term change was based on two errors in the simulations used to support it. Second, the conclusion of negative relationships(More)
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