Evolution in a Community Context: On Integrating Ecological Interactions and Macroevolution

Marjorie G. Weber, Catherine E. Wagner, Rebecca J. Best, Luke J. Harmon, Blake Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Despite a conceptual understanding that evolution and species interactions are inextricably linked, it remains challenging to study ecological and evolutionary dynamics together over long temporal scales. In this review, we argue that, despite inherent challenges associated with reconstructing historical processes, the interplay of ecology and evolution is central to our understanding of macroevolution and community coexistence, and cannot be safely ignored in community and comparative phylogenetic studies. We highlight new research avenues that foster greater consideration of both ecological and evolutionary dynamics as processes that occur along branches of phylogenetic trees. By promoting new ways forward using this perspective, we hope to inspire further integration that creatively co-utilizes phylogenies and ecological data to study eco-evolutionary dynamics over time and space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-304
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • adaptive radiation
  • community assembly
  • community phylogenetics
  • comparative phylogenetic methods
  • eco-evolutionary dynamics
  • ecological speciation
  • macroevolution
  • species interactions
  • trait evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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