Am Donnerstag, 6.2.2014 wird uns Dr. Florian Altermatt von der EAWAG (CH) besuchen. Im Rahmen seines Besuchs wird Florian einen öffentlichen Vortrag mit dem Titel “Diversity patterns and dispersal processes in riverine metacommunities” innerhalb des Biodiversitätskolloquiums halten.
Ort: ND 03/99
Alle Interessenten sind herzlich willkommen!
Understanding the effect of spatial habitat structure on population dynamics and diversity is one of the most challenging and active domains in ecology. Until recently, studies on dispersal or invasions have only considered minimally the specific structure of landscapes, or were done in landscapes with a simplified spatial structure. The spatial structure of many natural systems, however, is complex. In rivers for example, individual linear habitat segments are arranged in a spatially hierarchical, dendritic structure. Since rivers are (relative to their area) among the most diverse habitats on earth, the understanding of factors affecting diversity is of high priority.
In my lab we are using a combination of mathematical models and experiments with protist microcosms to understand how dispersal along complex, river-like networks, are affecting diversity patterns and community composition. We found that community composition and diversity patterns on the landscape level depend on the network structure and specific species traits. Specifically, we found that localized dispersal in dendritic networks resulted in diversity patterns (alpha and beta) commonly observed in rivers, and that these patterns were significantly different compared to other types of landscapes. In parallel, we are comparing these experimental and theoretical results with data on macroinvertebrate diversity from the Swiss river network. We analysed diversity of may-, stone-, and caddisflies and of amphipods, with respect to local habitat characteristics and connectivity within the aquatic metacommunity. Together, our results may help to better understand and protect diversity in natural metacommunities, specifically in river systems.