Interspecific interactions between animals are key to their local population and community dynamics. At the community level, which is pertinent to species distributions, biodiversity patterns, and conservation, interactions are typically considered aggregated as effects of species’ densities on each other. However, interactions occur first and foremost at the individual level and through behaviour. To understand population dynamics fully and to build effective predictive models, we synergise the two perspectives. The project has three modules:
We can consider biodiversity at different scales, e.g. globally, regionally (meta-communities) or locally (communities). At the local scale, a key concept of how species coexistence is maintained is niche differentiation: species differ, at least partly, in their ecological niches and thus reduce competition. Typical aspects of niches are habitat and resources (e.g. food). Another aspect by which species may reduce competition, which is less studied, is spatiotemporal segregation though different movement strategies (while principally exploiting the same resources) or active avoidance of competing species. We study such mechanisms conceptually, theoretically (through modelling) and empirically (e.g. case study on a rodent community).
This is an associated project to BioMove.