Distinctive macroinvertebrate communities in a subtropical river network

Macroinvertebrates are widely used as bio-indicators in streams and rivers, and it is usually assumed that their community composition is primarily controlled by local environmental conditions. We examined the distribution of macroinvertebrates …

Synchrony in metacommunities

A new year, a new publication, this time with Shubha and Jurek: “Population synchrony decreases with richness and increases with environmental fluctuations in an experimental metacommunity” in Oecologia. We continued our work with specialization in metacommunities, but this time looked at the implications on population synchrony. Key figure: We found, as predicted, that: the synchrony between populations of a specialist species within a metacommunity is more influenced by environmental fluctuations compared to a generalist speciesthat increasing species richness decreased individual population synchronyWhile these results make perfect sense from an ecological point of view, getting this paper published was not so straightforward because of the unbalanced experimental design we had to use.

Variation decomposition is a zombie idea?

Another post as a response to something written by Jeremy Fox! I think it becomes time that I meet him in person so that I can address him by “Jeremy” instead of “Dr. Fox”, “Fox”, or “the author”. I tried to remove all the salesmanship from my response, though, because I wanted to make sure that 1) I summarized his blog post correctly, and 2) expressed my thoughts as clearly as possible.

Distribution of unionid freshwater mussels depends on the distribution of host fishes on a regional scale

Aim The successful conservation of endangered mussel communities requires, in part, a thorough understanding of the processes that shape their distribution. Therefore, we tested the prediction that (1) the distribution of host fishes explains a …

Why consistent terminology is important

Some time ago, I received this email from a grad student:“Do you know the blog zombies ideas in ecology?? I think this is the kind of ideas that could interest you. After reading all these chase papers I just find myself completely lost in the meaning and use of words such as stochastic, random and neutral…. This text kind of help me (it’s a critic of the use of these terms in community ecology) http://oikosjournal.

Colonization rates and species richness

Our first publication from the amazing spanish pond system set-up by Andy Green and his group, but especially with the hard work of Dagmar Frisch, who has the patience of a saint to keep collaborating with me: “Strong Spatial Influence on Colonization Rates in a Pioneer Zooplankton Metacommunity” in Plos One. Each published article is unique in its calvary to publication. Most often, this is not visible to the reader, although sometimes you can tell that certain parts in the manuscript are clearly added on to satisfy a reviewer’s pet peeve.

Metacommunity terminology

The title of my “Teaching Philosophy” statement (that I completely rewrite every year), is “Research-Teaching-Learning Link”. In it, I try to point out the obvious and maybe not so obvious connections between these different aspects of my professional life. One of the items that is hardest to prove, though, is how teaching can inform my day-to-day research focus. And now I can finally provide evidence for this: our comment in Trends in Ecology and Evolution “The terminology of metacommunity ecology”.

Common versus rare species in a metacommunity context

It is finally online, the first publication from the Brazilian side of the lab ;-). In this article, we made competing predictions about how common and rare species should behave in a metacommunity context. The, very surprising, result was that both common and rare species reacted very similarly to environmental gradients, which was very counterintuitive from both a metacommunity and macro-ecology point of view. Another side effect of this study was our new definition for rareness, based on a slightly subjective but less arbitrary definition compared to other studies.

Happy day - sad day, part 1

All good things come to an end. And now it is Amanda's time to leave. She successfully defended her thesis "Zooplankton metacommunity responses to environmental change in the sub-arctic". At this point, there are 3 manifestations of her work:Amanda's electronic thesis link: the UoG library now provides an electronic reference for all theses, which will increase the exposure and accessibility of the research.Her presentation, that is the perfect example of how we should present results to a larger audience

Dispersal limitation of unionid mussels and implications for their conservation

1. Freshwater unionid mussels are a highly imperilled group. Their dispersal abilities depend on the availability and the movement of host fish on which their parasitic mussel larvae develop. 2. We examined the relationship between the dispersal …