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The costs of mischoosing are not uniform across individuals


Matching habitat choice is a particular form of habitat selection based on self?assessment of local performance that offers individuals a means to optimize the match of phenotype to the environment. Despite the advantages of this mechanism in terms of increased local adaptation, examples from natural populations are extremely rare. One possible reason for the apparent rarity of matching habitat choice is that it might be manifest only in those segments of a population for which the cost of a phenotype–environment mismatch is high. To test this hypothesis, we used a breeding population of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) exposed to size-dependent predation risk by bears, and evaluated the costs of mischoosing in discrete groups (e.g. male versus females, and ocean?age 2 versus ocean?age 3) using reproductive life span as a measure of individual performance. Bear preference for larger fish, especially in shallow water, translates into a performance trade-off that sockeye salmon can potentially use to guide their settlement decisions. Consistent with matching habitat choice, we found that salmon of similar ocean?age and size tended to cluster together in sites of similar water depth. However, matching habitat choice was only favoured in 3?ocean females – the segment of the population most vulnerable to bear predation. This study illustrates the unequal relevance of matching habitat choice to different segments of a population, and suggests that ‘partial matching habitat choice' could have resulted in an underestimation of the actual prevalence of this mechanism in nature. informacion[at] Camacho & Hendry (2020) Matching habitat choice: it's not for everyone. Oikos DOI 10.1111/oik.06932
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Complexity of translation of research outputs to society

Complexity of translation of research outputs to society

Researchers in multiple, related fields that address complex social and environmental challenges, have shown ongoing enthusiasm for applying transdisciplinary social-ecological systems research to promote sustainability. However, few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of social-ecological systems approach, assessed its achievements, and identified challenges to its implementation toward knowledge production for environmental conservation. Here, the results of a qualitative, participatory evaluation of several social-ecological systems projects across Europe are reported, using an evaluation methodology tailored to transdisciplinary projects. Sixty-six stakeholder interviews were conducted at four designated Long-Term Socio-ecological Research (LTSER) platforms – Danube Delta and Braila Island (Romania); Cairngorms (Scotland); and Doñana (Spain). Using qualitative analysis, data from interviews were synthesized and then researchers returned to the sites to present findings to stakeholders in focus group discussions in order to incorporate their feedback into conclusions. Although particular scientists at each platform have taken on entrepreneurial roles to operationalize transdisciplinary science, a business-as-usual attitude tends to dominate institutions, limiting meaningful progress toward transdisciplinary objectives, including: integration of social science research, giving non-researcher stakeholders a more meaningful role in advancing relevant research, and improving knowledge exchange among different stakeholder groups, among other issues. This evaluation reflect modest advancements toward reaching the goals of long-term, place-based, social-ecological systems research. In most cases, the components for creating dynamic "research-implementation spaces" are present: a charismatic leader, high-quality research institutions, relationships with stakeholders, and ongoing monitoring, research, and traditional knowledge on a variety of place-based topics. However, creating links, tools, communication, and coordination among these essential parts so that they constitute effective application of scientific knowledge to address societal challenges in environmental sustainability presents many challenges. In short, while all the components of transdisciplinary social-ecological systems research exist at the sites, there is no overarching strategy to link long-term planning and funding, knowledge integration, and priority-setting with stakeholders to ensure the relevance of research for policy and practice. informacion[at] Holzer et al (2019) Evaluating transdisciplinary science to open research-implementation spaces in European social-ecological systems. Biol Conserv 238 DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108228