Although the monitoring and prediction of ecosystem dynamics under global change have been extensively assessed, large gaps remain in our knowledge, including a need for concepts in rapid evolution and phenotypic plasticity, and a lack of large-scale and long-term monitoring. Recent genomic studies using the model species Arabidopsis predict that plastic and evolutionary changes in phenology may affect plant reproduction. We propose that three genomic-scale methods would enhance global change studies. First, genome-wide RNA sequencing enables monitoring of diverse functional traits and phenology. Second, sequencing of DNA variants highlights the importance of genetic variation and evolution. Third, DNA metabarcoding provides efficient and unbiased ecosystem monitoring. Integrating these genomic-scale studies with remote sensing will promote the understanding and prediction of biodiversity change.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the University Research Priority Program of Global Change and Biodiversity (URPP GCB) for organizing the discussion at the conference ‘Global Change and Biodiversity: Integrating Mechanisms of Interactions, Feedbacks and Scale’ Congressi Stefano Franscini, ETHZ, University of Zurich, Michael Purugganan and other conference participants, NSF-NASA DEB 1342872 to JCB, Max Planck Society, Swiss National Science Foundation, and JST CREST (number JPMJCR16O3) and highly valuable comments by the reviewers.