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DynaMETE: A Hybrid MaxEnt-plus-Mechanism Theory of Dynamic Macroecology
  • John Harte,
  • Kaito Umemura,
  • Micah Brush
John Harte
University of California, Ecology Letters Open Research
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Kaito Umemura
University of California Berkeley
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Micah Brush
UC Berkeley, University of California, Berkeley
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Abstract

The Maximum Entropy Theory of Ecology (METE) predicts the shapes of macroecological metrics in relatively static ecosystems using constraints imposed by static state variables. In disturbed ecosystems, however, with time-varying state variables, its predictions often fail. We extend macroecological theory from static to dynamic by combining the MaxEnt inference procedure with explicit mechanisms governing disturbance. In the static limit, the resulting theory, DynaMETE, reduces to METE but also predicts new scaling relationships among static state variables. Under disturbances, expressed as shifts in demographic, ontogenic growth, or migration rates, DynaMETE predicts the time trajectories of the state variables as well as the time-varying shapes of macroecological metrics such as the species abundance distribution and the distribution of metabolic rates over individuals. An iterative procedure for completely solving the dynamic theory is presented. In a lowest-order iteration, characteristic signatures of the deviation from static predictions of macroecolgoical patterns are shown to result from different kinds of disturbance. Because DynaMETE combines MaxEnt inference with explicit dynamical mechanisms, but does not assume any specific trait distributions over species or individuals, it is widely applicable across diverse ecosystems. This makes it a promising theory of macroecology for ecosystems responding to anthropogenic or natural disturbances.

Peer review status:Published

01 Oct 2020Submitted to Ecology Letters
05 Oct 2020Submission Checks Completed
05 Oct 2020Assigned to Editor
15 Oct 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
13 Nov 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
19 Nov 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
15 Dec 20201st Revision Received
16 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
16 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
21 Dec 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
14 Jan 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 Jan 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
01 Feb 20212nd Revision Received
02 Feb 2021Assigned to Editor
02 Feb 2021Submission Checks Completed
03 Feb 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Feb 2021Editorial Decision: Accept
06 Mar 2021Published in Ecology Letters. 10.1111/ele.13714