DynaCom (Sp 10)
Participating people and labs
This subproject will integrate information from all the other subprojects to address fundamental questions of spatial ecology: which species establish where and what kind of interactions do they have with each other? To answer these questions it is necessary to synthesize information on the characteristics (traits) of various organismal groups collected at different spatial scales within DynaCom. For example, we will analyze how well the distribution of body masses and resource needs within a population predict its rates of emigration, dispersal and establishment on experimental and real islands.
We will also investigate how the interactions between populations, and therefore the structure and functioning of the whole community, depend on the trait compositions. We complement data analysis with developing simulation models. On one hand, the models are used to generate hypotheses that can be tested in experiments. For example, on how the match or mismatch between the supply of resources and the needs of species influence ecosystem functioning. Models also help to disentangle the mechanisms that lead to observed patterns (like spatial occurrences of traits) in the data. Ultimately, the improved understanding of the role of species’ characteristics in driving natural processes could be used to better inform ecological restoration and conservation planning.