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Integrating abiotic covariates, traits

Foto: AG Naturschutz

The proposed project aims at linking trait diversity of communities with herbivory and other ecological processes along environmental gradients (climate and land-use change). To achieve this, we will 1) carry out experimental work to investigate how herbivory and the traits of herbivores changes along environmental gradients. 2) We will use a trait-based approach to combine abiotic covariates, trait and process data collected in the proposed research unit (RU) to understand the impact and importance of traits and biotic interactions for biomass production and water fluxes. This will allow us to understand the role of traits and their distribution within communities for the level of herbivory and to provide a statistical synthesis on the importance of traits to predict the effects of climate and land-use change for the two target ecosystem functions that are within the focus of the proposed research unit. Relating these community responses to biotic interactions and associated ecosystem processes and functions along environmental gradients will provide insights into a system's ability to resist environmental change and thus maintain its original state after disturbance.

PIs: Roland Brandl and Nina Farwig

Team: Yvonne Tiede and Jana Schön

Cooperation partner: David Donoso (Escuela Politécnica Nacional) and Carlos Ivan Espinosa (Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja)

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Project funding: DFG