The newest paper from the Davidson lab has been published in Ecology Letters:
Davidson TM, Altieri AH, Ruiz GM, Torchin ME. (2018) Bioerosion in a changing world: a conceptual framework. Ecology letters 21: 422–438 - Link
This review and synthesis paper examines how the process of bioerosion, the breakdown of hard substrata by organisms, affects the structure and biodiversity in ecosystems and the socioeconomics of human systems. Then it predicts how this process is exacerbated or mitigated by human impacts. Many different organisms from bacteria to elephants bioerode substrata and this widespread process occurs all over the world from the deep ocean to the tallest mountains. For example, bioeroders, such as sea urchins, breakdown coral reef or rock to create pits to live in, erosive crabs and rodents create burrows in marsh banks and levees, while others such as lichens may dissolve and grow into stone used in monuments and statues. Thus, this process can have large scale (and sometimes destructive) impacts to ecosystems and human-made infrastructure (such as docks and buildings).
Several human impacts, such as climate change, introductions of invasive species, and nutrient pollution are affecting bioerosion, which in turn can influence how these changes alter ecosystems and human infrastructure. However, these interactions are complex and interactive, and in many cases, we still do not have a strong understanding of how these human changes will influence bioerosion and future communities. Future work is needed to fully understand how bioerosion will be altered in an increasingly human-dominated world.