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InterSpe

Species interaction networks: a functional perspective

Leader: Anne LOISON

Biodiversity is globally declining as a result of global changes. When diversity of some taxonomic or functional group decreases, it can affect ecosystem functions and properties (primary productivity, nutrient cycling, resilience to changes) through complex pathways due to interactions among organisms. It is therefore crucial to understand how species are functionally interconnected to envision how modification of the diversity in one component of an ecosystem (e.g. plants) affects diversity of other trophic levels and ecosystem properties. Our aims here are (1) to identify and quantify functional relationships among above- and below- ground groups of organisms connected through trophic and non trophic processes, (2) estimate how the connectivity and properties of ecological networks affects ecosystem properties. We will focus more specifically on two networks, the first one being centred on the processes linking herbivores (large herbivores and insects) under the influence of human-related activity and climate change, to plants (diversity, functional traits) and the second on plants, under the influence of management and climate change, on litter and soil properties


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