Zurück zur Übersicht

Effect of spatial processes on the evolution of ecological niche and dispersal in metacommunity systems

Titel Englisch Effect of spatial processes on the evolution of ecological niche and dispersal in metacommunity systems
Gesuchsteller/in Perrin Nicolas
Nummer 112511
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Département d'Ecologie et d'Evolution Faculté de Biologie et de Médecine Université de Lausanne
Hochschule Universität Lausanne - LA
Hauptdisziplin Oekologie
Beginn/Ende 01.04.2006 - 30.09.2009
Bewilligter Betrag 169'479.00
Alle Daten anzeigen

Alle Disziplinen (2)


Keywords (8)

ecological niche; dispersal; evolution; habitat; potential spatial distribution; spatial processes; community assebly; neutral theory

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lay summary
The successes of neutral theory at predicting some patterns of community composition and biodiversity have stimulated a tremendous interest for community ecology in the last decade. In spite of these successes, the basic assumption of neutrality - niche equivalence among species - has found little empirical support. Moreover, neutral community models cannot address issues related to adaptation, habitat selection, vulnerability to invading species, responses to environmental changes, etc., all issues that are of crucial importance in the current context of biodiversity erosion and global climate change. Accordingly, while the neutral theory is now being largely accepted for its heuristic value, the need for merging neutral and niche theories has been recognised and is under way. This project contributes to this endeavour by bringing landscape heterogeneity and life-history trait evolution into the system.Specifically, the project aim is to investigate how the spatial distribution of an environmental condition (say, temperature) affects 1) community patterns and 2) the evolution of niche and dispersal. The model uses numerical, individual-based simulations in which a number of trophically-equivalent species, whose fitness is controlled by the same environmental condition, compete for a resource in a heterogeneous landscape. The landscape is randomly generated with a controllable spatial autocorrelation. Each species is defined by a particular trade-off between niche breadth, dispersal ability and competitiveness. The species reproduce and disperse throughout the landscape, competing for the areas that best fit their niche, while possibly getting extinct in the process. The community evolves either through immigration of new species from a regional pool, or through gradual mutation of the initial species.We shall vary the landscape geometry and community initial conditions and analyse how this affects the equilibrium community in terms of biodiversity patterns (species-area relationship, relative abundances, local/regional biodiversity partitioning, etc.), life-history traits stable strategies (specialist/generalist ratio, fast-/slow disperser ratio, etc.) and evolutionary forces. The insights gained from this project will contribute to a better understanding and integration of niche theory, spatial ecology and community ecology. Moreover, our results will provide realistic answers to crucial issues of conservation biology, such as: How to delineate protected areas in order to preserve biodiversity? Which kind of systems is more vulnerable to invading species? How vulnerable to habitat changes are various landscapes and communities?
Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.02.2013

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende


Name Institut