The study of species interactions has greatly improved our appreciation of the importance of network structure for ecological community stability, sensitivity to invasion, and extinction. Because species interactions reflect past evolutionary constraints and niche partitioning within a particular local context, they constitute the underlying fabric of ecosystem dynamics, driving biomass and body size distributions, and ecosystem level processes. Here I propose that beyond being a simple witness of global change, species interactions can actually mediate their effects on population and ecosystem dynamics either locally via bottom-up or top-down mechanisms or regionally via spatial cascade processes. I will present case studies for each scenario and conclude with a discussion of future perspectives and challenges for the use of ecological networks in conservation biology.
Eric Harvey, PhD
Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
University of Zurich
This week’s Roundtable will be a community discussion on credit and collaboration in science today, motivated by this recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Changing-Face-of/237451/
Here are a few questions we’ll use to structure the discussion:
Do you agree with the author’s assertion that the drive to apportion credit is hurting the spirit of collaboration in science?
Even if you disagree with the author’s argument, can you see any ways in which more precise accounting for credit in scientific collaboration might impact the spirit of collaboration?
What approaches could be used to help someone on the other side of this issue see and appreciate your point of view?
Please read the article and come to discuss evidence and experience you might have on this interesting and very relevant topic. Hope you can join us!