Community ecology; Biodiversity; Assembly rules; Food-web ecology; Ecological networks; Reciprocal transplant experiments; Pitcher plants; Sown wildflower strips; Community stability
(2017), Effects of temperature variability on community structure in a natural microbial food web, in GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY
, 23(1), 56-67.
(2016), Matching-centrality decomposition and the forecasting of new links in networks., in Proceedings. Biological sciences
, 283(1824), 20152702.
(2016), Mismatch in microbial food webs: predators but not prey perform better in their local biotic and abiotic conditions., in Ecology and evolution
, 6(14), 4885-97.
(2016), Persist or Produce: A Community Trade-Off Tuned by Species Evenness, in AMERICAN NATURALIST
, 188(4), 411-422.
(2016), The feasibility of equilibria in large ecosystems: a primary but neglected concept in the complexity-stability debate
(2016), The perfect mixing paradox and the logistic equation: Verhulst vs. Lotka, in ECOSPHERE
, 7(11), e01599.
(2016), Top predators affect the composition of naive protist communities, but only in their early-successional stage, in OECOLOGIA
, 180(2), 519-528.
(2014), Do spiders respond to global change? A study on the phenology of ballooning spiders in Switzerland, in ECOSCIENCE
, 21(1), 79-95.
(2014), Including community composition in biodiversity-productivity models, in METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION
, 5(8), 815-823.
(2014), Plant diversity in a nutshell: testing for small-scale effects on trap nesting wild bees and wasps, in ECOSPHERE
, 5(2), article 18.
(2014), Structure Comparison of Binary and Weighted Niche-Overlap Graphs, 119-127.
(2013), Identification of chordless cycles in ecological networks, 316-324.
(2013), Structural Network Properties of Niche-Overlap Graphs, 478-482.
(2013), The importance of landscape and spatial structure for hymenopteran-based food webs in an agro-ecosystem., in The Journal of animal ecology
, 82(6), 1203-14.
(2012), Diversity protects plant communities against generalist molluscan herbivores., in Ecology and evolution
, 2(10), 2460-73.
(2012), Ecophylogenetics: advances and perspectives., in Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
, 87(4), 769-85.
, Statistical approaches for inferring and predicting food-web architecture.
, Structural instability of food webs and food-web models and its implications for management.
, The relative contributions of species richness and species composition to ecosystem functioning, in Oikos
Understanding how communities are organized in time and in space is a crucial need for science and society given the current biodiversity crisis and global changes. The study of the dynamics of ecological networks has been investigated for many years by ecologists; incorporation of the spatial aspect for communities - the metacommunity approach - is much more recent. Importantly, theoretical research on both themes abounds, while empirical and experimental studies are much scarcer, especially concerning the dynamics of ecological networks. The present project is aimed at testing current theories on metacommunities and dynamical stability of communities in two systems. The first is a large-scale metacommunity of 12 experimental wildflower strips in agroecosystems; the second consists of small-scale food-webs found in the pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea. Notably, the latter system allows exploration of question of “local adaptation” at the food-web level, a key aspect to understand the evolution of communities subjected to anthropogenic changes.In an earlier project, we installed 12 experimental wildflower strips in an agricultural landscape where plant species richness was manipulated. We have applied an extensive sampling protocol from automn 2007 to 2009, involving plants, arthropods and vertebrates, and several studies on specific systems are close to completion (e.g., on host-parasitoid or plant-pollinator webs). The first part of the present proposal will build on this data. The 12 local food-webs will be assembled and they will be analysed with respect to the local environment, the neighbouring landscape and their spatial dependence. We will test different hypotheses about food-webs organized at the local and at the landscape level. The second part of the project involves the study of food-webs in the water-filled leaves of S. purpurea, which was introduced in Switzerland about 100 y ago. This system allows replicated experiments to be performed on whole communities. We will tackle two main themes. The first concerns reciprocal transplant experiments to study local adaptation at the food-web level. The second will explore the dynamics of these systems under natural and experimental conditions. The experiment will consist of manipulating the presence of different functional groups, notably the so-called fast (bacterial) and slow (algal) channels, which have been hypothesized to account for much of the stability property of food-webs.The present project is interdisciplinary, as the skills of ecologists, taxonomists, molecular biologists and mathematicians are needed. It should yield results of great scientific value, but it will also be important for applied conservation. The project on wildflower strips has already provided published accounts of the ecological value of wildflower strips. The results of the “meta food-web” research will give further insights for better practices to improve the global functioning of ecological compensation areas. The Sarracenia part of the project should provide cutting-edge results for community dynamics and metacommunity theory, with the local adaptation experiment being of great interest for our understanding of potential effects of climate change on natural systems.