Most research on climate change ecology is limited to the impacts of a single climate variable, such as temperature or water availability, on one trophic level at a time — and often on a single species. For instance, many studies have shown that increasing carbon dioxide levels can increase plant growth.
While such studies can provide important insights, this narrow approach can also be ecologically and climatically unrealistic, according to a new paper by Yale researchers.
Writing in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution
, two Yale scholars make the case that overly simplistic studies or experiments avoid the inherent complexity and interconnectedness of natural systems. As a result, they can yield erroneous climate predictions, they write.