Biography:

In the past David M. Wilkinson has collaborated on articles with H. Martin Schaefer and Thomas N. Sherratt. One of their most recent publications is Research FocusCatastrophes on Daisyworld. Which was published in journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

More information about David M. Wilkinson research including statistics on their citations can be found on their Copernicus Academic profile page.

David M. Wilkinson's Articles: (5)

Research FocusCatastrophes on Daisyworld

AbstractFor 20 years, a research tradition based on ‘Daisyworld’ models, which have strong coupling between life and the abiotic environment, has developed largely independently of mainstream theoretical ecology. A new paper in this tradition shows how small changes in external forcing can lead to catastrophic environmental change on this virtual planet. This has potential implications for the way that we view the Earth system, both in respect to the effects of human actions and for testing Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis.

Research FocusRed leaves, insects and coevolution: a red herring?

W.D. (Bill) Hamilton proposed that coevolution between plants and herbivorous insects explains the bright autumnal colouration of leaves. Accordingly, plants invest in bright signals to reduce their herbivore load, whereas insects use these bright signals to identify less-defended hosts more efficiently. Archetti and Brown have recently revisited this theory by explaining its basic predictions and providing new research perspectives. Their work presents an important basis to our understanding of non-green leaf colouration, provided that alternative adaptive explanations on the photoprotective and antioxidant role of leaf pigments, or their possible function in crypsis to herbivores are incorporated into future research.

UpdateResearch FocusTestate amoebae and nutrient cycling: peering into the black box of soil ecology

In some areas of ecology and evolution, such as the behavioural ecology of many well-studied bird species, it is increasingly difficult to make surprising new discoveries. However, this is not the case in many areas of soil and/or microbial ecology. Two recent studies suggest that the testate amoebae, a microbial group unfamiliar to most biologists, might play a much larger role in soil nutrient cycling than has hitherto been suspected.

Why fruits rot, seeds mold and meat spoils: A reappraisal

AbstractIt has been argued that micro-organisms may gain a selective advantage by rendering fruit, seeds and meat as objectionable to larger animals as possible, thereby increasing the likelihood that the micro-organisms retain the resource. Here, we demonstrate that if spoiling carries a cost then not even group selection can enable a spoiling strategy to persist. In the absence of such a cost, then spoilers will be able to persist even without the actions of a larger animal, yet spread from rarity only under a limited set of conditions. We therefore question whether this verbally attractive theory is tenable, and offer alternative explanations for why rotting fruit, seeds and meat tend to be repellent to larger animals.

Hominin home ranges and habitat variability: Exploring modern African analogues using remote sensing

Highlights•Spatial structure of hominin habitats is usually invisible in the fossil record.•We develop a novel approach using modern African vegetation and remote sensing.•We see how many types of vegetation appear in estimated hominin home range sizes.•We compare these results with East African pedogenic carbonate isotopes as an example.•We investigate the implications of hominin range size on habitat use.

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