By altering expression of phenotypic traits during development, species can survive changes in environment without dispersal or extinction. Phenotypic plasticity is common in animals, although some species have more plasticity than others. We are working to provide realistic tests demonstrating the consistency and consequences of the influence of environment on flexible phenotypic traits, which can can include differences in behavior, morphology, physiology, and life history. These traits provide a mechanistic link between environmental conditions, animal fitness, and consumer driven ecosystem processes.
Hines, J.E., M. Reyes, M.O. Gessner. 2016. Density constrains cascading consequences of warming and nitrogen from invertebrate growth to litter decomposition. Ecology 97: 1635-1642 pdf