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Biodiversity in agroecosystems: a multi-trophic approach to metacommunities

Titel Englisch Biodiversity in agroecosystems: a multi-trophic approach to metacommunities
Gesuchsteller/in Bersier Louis-Félix
Nummer 113843
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Unité d'Ecologie et Evolution Département de Biologie Université de Fribourg
Hochschule Universität Freiburg - FR
Hauptdisziplin Oekologie
Beginn/Ende 01.01.2007 - 31.12.2011
Bewilligter Betrag 412'573.00
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Keywords (6)

community ecology; food-webs; metacommunity; biodiversity; conservation biology; agroecosystem

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lay summary
The goal of the proposal is to explore the structure and functioning of metacommunities in ecological compensation areas at a multi-trophic level.First, we will assess the effect of plant diversity and herbivore and/or predator exclusion on metacommunity functioning in sown wildflower strips.We will document the communities inhabiting these experimental plots, paying attention at interactions between species, and with consideration of larger consumers linking these habitats with the surrounding matrix.Second, we will explore the relationship between various measures of the environment (isolation, habitat size) and descriptors of the metacommunities (diversity, composition, abundances, and productivity of various taxonomic groups, food-web structure, temporal variability, local invasions and extinctions). Third, using a high-quality dataset on quantitative food webs and the present data, we will conduct meta-analyses to test various models of community organisation (neutral models of biodiversity, species-area relationship in trophic levels, regional similarity hypothesis, food-web structure). Fourth, we will develop various models describing food-web structure and metacommunities dynamics.We will synthesize our results to develop a theory of “meta food-webs”.Fifth, we will apply the gained knowledge to improve current agri-environment schemes.The study of species interactions in spatially structured metacommunities is comprehensive and global. As such, this project has a strong potential to provide fundamental insight into conservation biology. This project is multidisciplinary, putting together practitioners, ecologists and mathematicians, and is expected to yield important results both of fundamental and conservation relevance.We will use various methodologies to reach our goals. For the first part, we will set up an experiment with replicated sown wildflower strips where plant species richness and the abundance of major predators (foxes and birds of prey) and/or of major herbivores (voles and slugs) will be controlled (balanced incomplete block design). The other parts will rely on classical meta-analyses, multivariate statistics, and mathematical modelling. For the latter part, we will develop stochastic models to explore the dynamics of communities.
Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.02.2013

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