Ecologists commonly rely on proxies or surrogates to measure change in ecosystems; metrics of biodiversity that are assumed to be representative of the broader state of a particular ecosystem. While convenient, this approach has been criticised for being overly simplistic. Much of my current research involves evaluating the empirical basis of surrogate ecology, using long-term datasets from the Lindenmayer lab.
MJ Westgate, AIT Tulloch, PS Barton, JC Pierson & DB Lindenmayer (2017) Optimal taxonomic groups for biodiversity assessment: A meta-analytic approach. Ecography in press. http://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.02318 [PDF (author’s version)]
AIT Tulloch, I Chadés, Y Dujardin, MJ Westgate, PW Lane & DB Lindenmayer (2016) Dynamic species co-occurrence networks require dynamic biodiversity surrogates. Ecography 39(12) 1185-1196. http://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.02143
M Hunter Jr., M Westgate, P Barton, A Calhoun, J Pierson, A Tulloch, M Beger, C Branquino, T Caro, J Gross, J Heino, P Lane, C Longo, K Martin, WH McDowell, C Mellin, H Salo & D Lindenmayer (2016) Two roles for ecological surrogacy: indicator surrogates and management surrogates. Ecological Indicators 63: 121-125. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.11.049