Environmental variability in aquatic ecosystems: Avenues for future multifactorial experiments

Miriam Gerhard*, Apostolos Manuel Koussoroplis, Michael Raatz, Christian Pansch, Samuel B. Fey, Jahangir Vajedsamiei, Maria Calderó-Pascual, David Cunillera-Montcusí, Noël P.D. Juvigny-Khenafou, Francesco Polazzo, Patrick K. Thomas, Celia C. Symons, Meryem Beklioğlu, Stella A. Berger, Rosa M. Chefaoui, Kemal Ali Ger, Silke Langenheder, Jens C. Nejstgaard, Robert Ptacnik, Maren Striebel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The relevance of considering environmental variability for understanding and predicting biological responses to environmental changes has resulted in a recent surge in variability-focused ecological research. However, integration of findings that emerge across studies and identification of remaining knowledge gaps in aquatic ecosystems remain critical. Here, we address these aspects by: (1) summarizing relevant terms of variability research including the components (characteristics) of variability and key interactions when considering multiple environmental factors; (2) identifying conceptual frameworks for understanding the consequences of environmental variability in single and multifactorial scenarios; (3) highlighting challenges for bridging theoretical and experimental studies involving transitioning from simple to more complex scenarios; (4) proposing improved approaches to overcome current mismatches between theoretical predictions and experimental observations; and (5) providing a guide for designing integrated experiments across multiple scales, degrees of control, and complexity in light of their specific strengths and limitations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLimnology And Oceanography Letters
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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