A framework for understanding climate change impacts through intra- and
interspecific asymmetries in climate change responses
A crucial challenge in ecology is understanding and predicting population responses to climate change. A key component of population responses to climate change are asymmetries in which focal intra- or interspecific rates (e.g. population growth rates) change in response to climate change due to non-compensatory changes in underlying components (e.g. birth and death rates) determining the focal rates. Asymmetric climate change responses have been documented in a variety of systems and arise at multiple levels of organization within and across species. Yet, how these asymmetries combine to influence the demographics of populations is often unclear, as varied asymmetries are typically not mapped back to the fundamental demographic asymmetry – the differential changes in a species’ birth and death rates -- that underlies population and community change. We provide a flexible framework incorporating asymmetric changes in rates within and among species and mapping their consequences for additional rates across scales to their eventual effects on population growth rates. Throughout we provide specific applications of the framework. We hope this framework helps to unify research on asymmetric climate change responses, provides researchers with a common language to discuss asymmetric responses, and enhances our ability to understand how populations are responding to climate change.