, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 47-52
Date: 02 Dec 2010

From genes to ecosystems: a genetic basis to ecosystem services

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Abstract

Ecosystems provide services, many of which are regulated through species interactions. Emerging research in the fields of community and ecosystem genetics indicate that genetic variation in one species can influence species interactions and affect subsequent patterns of energy flow and nutrient cycles. Because there can be a genetic basis to community- and ecosystem-level processes, evolutionary processes that alter standing genetic variation can have extended consequences that matter to patterns of biodiversity and ecosystem function that exist on the landscape. Here we explore some emerging areas of research in the field of community and ecosystem genetics and discuss the general importance of this approach to evolutionary ecology.

This manuscript was submitted for the special feature based on the symposium in Kyoto, held on 18 October 2009.