Att koppla biodiversitet och funktionell stabilitet i en miljö under förändring: Ekologisk realism och mekanistisk förståelse från plankton i sjöar

Tidsperiod: 2018-01-01 till 2020-12-31

Projektledare: Pablo Urrutia Cordero

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Bidrag för anställning eller stipendier

Budget: 3 150 000 SEK

A long-standing, yet unresolved issue in ecology is understanding if and how biodiversity stabilizes the functioning of ecosystems. A general scientific consensus exist that species richness can enhance the temporal stability of ecosystem functions (e.g. community-level biomass production), but (i) how consistent is this pattern in ecosystems subjected to current global environmental change?, (ii) can biodiversity enhance other components of ecological stability as well (resistance, resilience or recovery), (iii) do the stabilizing effects of biodiversity extend to communities across trophic levels and how their food web interactions shape these diversity-stability linkages? I propose a project using plankton communities and climate-driven environmental change (lake thermal stratification) as model system to answer these important knowledge gaps at the diverse and interdisciplinary lab of Prof. Helmut Hillebrand at Oldenburg University. By combining advanced statistical tools to analyze decadal observations from a natural lake and experimental methods to gain mechanistic understanding of processes, I anticipate the project to generate novel theories and hypotheses in current diversity-stability research to test across types of ecosystems and changing environments. The breadth of this unique experience that bridges physics, mathematics and ecology will furnish me with a suite of cutting edge statistical and experimental skills to begin a career as an independent scientist