Convergence in Multispecies Interactions

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Convergence in Multispecies Interactions

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Title: Convergence in Multispecies Interactions
Author: Bittleston, Leonora Sophia; Pierce, Naomi E.; Ellison, Aaron M.; Pringle, Anne

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Citation: Bittleston, Leonora S., Naomi E. Pierce, Aaron M. Ellison, and Anne Pringle. 2016. “Convergence in Multispecies Interactions.” Trends in Ecology & Evolution (February). doi:10.1016/j.tree.2016.01.006.
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Abstract: The concepts of convergent evolution and community convergence highlight how selective pressures can shape unrelated organisms or communities in similar ways. We propose a related concept, convergent interactions, to describe the independent evolution of multispecies interactions with similar physiological or ecological functions. A focus on convergent interactions clarifies how natural selection repeatedly favors particular kinds of associations among species. Characterizing convergent interactions in a comparative context is likely to facilitate prediction of the ecological roles of organisms (including microbes) in multispecies interactions, and selective pressures acting in poorly understood or newly discovered multispecies systems. We illustrate the concept of convergent interactions with examples: vertebrates and their gut bacteria; ectomycorrhizae; insect-fungal-bacterial interactions; pitcherplant food webs; and ants and ant-plants.
Published Version: 10.1016/j.tree.2016.01.006
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