The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Selection for Gaia across multiple scales

Selection for Gaia across multiple scales
Selection for Gaia across multiple scales

Recently postulated mechanisms and models can help explain the enduring ‘Gaia’ puzzle of environmental regulation mediated by life. Natural selection can produce nutrient recycling at local scales and regulation of heterogeneous environmental variables at ecosystem scales. However, global-scale environmental regulation involves a temporal and spatial decoupling of effects from actors that makes conventional evolutionary explanations problematic. Instead, global regulation can emerge by a process of ‘sequential selection’ in which systems that destabilize their environment are short-lived and result in extinctions and reorganizations until a stable attractor is found. Such persistence-enhancing properties can in turn increase the likelihood of acquiring further persistence-enhancing properties through ‘selection by survival alone’. Thus, Earth system feedbacks provide a filter for persistent combinations of macroevolutionary innovations.

biogeochemical cycling, climate, environmental regulation, feedback, Gaia hypothesis, selection
0169-5347
Lenton, Timothy M.
245a93ab-92e4-4719-a8b7-7ef66d65d048
Daines, Stuart J.
5e4f23cf-682e-41e0-8890-a74cab996501
Dyke, James G.
e2cc1b09-ae44-4525-88ed-87ee08baad2c
Nicholson, Arwen E.
502bc582-967e-4e23-bcb6-d0e47a93c607
Wilkinson, David M.
4ad8aeac-5d43-4404-be01-85cf314f5aad
Williams, Hywel T.P.
939804d2-c807-4b4f-9202-b4d2e9993e64
Lenton, Timothy M.
245a93ab-92e4-4719-a8b7-7ef66d65d048
Daines, Stuart J.
5e4f23cf-682e-41e0-8890-a74cab996501
Dyke, James G.
e2cc1b09-ae44-4525-88ed-87ee08baad2c
Nicholson, Arwen E.
502bc582-967e-4e23-bcb6-d0e47a93c607
Wilkinson, David M.
4ad8aeac-5d43-4404-be01-85cf314f5aad
Williams, Hywel T.P.
939804d2-c807-4b4f-9202-b4d2e9993e64

Lenton, Timothy M., Daines, Stuart J., Dyke, James G., Nicholson, Arwen E., Wilkinson, David M. and Williams, Hywel T.P. (2018) Selection for Gaia across multiple scales. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. (doi:10.1016/j.tree.2018.05.006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Recently postulated mechanisms and models can help explain the enduring ‘Gaia’ puzzle of environmental regulation mediated by life. Natural selection can produce nutrient recycling at local scales and regulation of heterogeneous environmental variables at ecosystem scales. However, global-scale environmental regulation involves a temporal and spatial decoupling of effects from actors that makes conventional evolutionary explanations problematic. Instead, global regulation can emerge by a process of ‘sequential selection’ in which systems that destabilize their environment are short-lived and result in extinctions and reorganizations until a stable attractor is found. Such persistence-enhancing properties can in turn increase the likelihood of acquiring further persistence-enhancing properties through ‘selection by survival alone’. Thus, Earth system feedbacks provide a filter for persistent combinations of macroevolutionary innovations.

Text
Selection for Gaia across multiple scales TREE accepted - Accepted Manuscript
Download (955kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2 July 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 July 2018
Keywords: biogeochemical cycling, climate, environmental regulation, feedback, Gaia hypothesis, selection

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422309
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422309
ISSN: 0169-5347
PURE UUID: 92f49c6d-6fe6-401b-af1a-3be7cad40c76
ORCID for James G. Dyke: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6779-1682

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Jul 2018 16:31
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 06:34

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Timothy M. Lenton
Author: Stuart J. Daines
Author: James G. Dyke ORCID iD
Author: Arwen E. Nicholson
Author: David M. Wilkinson
Author: Hywel T.P. Williams

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×