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fun-METANET

Species-functional METANETworks for biodiversity assessment at the regional scale

Background

In this project we propose to go a step further in metacommunity studies and use a species-functional network approach to better understand species contribution to the functional diversity of the systems at regional scale. Using this perspective different species roles at local level could be identified. These roles (e.g. regional hub species, local and peripheral species) could be linked to species traits and community properties (e.g. modular or nested structures), drawing the functional network structure. The project wants to test the viability to create Metanetworks by linking regional networks, since it would allow to approach functional web complexity at the broader metacommunity. In fact, the structure of such metanetworks (e.g. more modular or nested) will inform not only on the species-functional biodiversity relationship, and if there is functional redundancy or complementarity at regional scale, but also on the species-functional beta diversity (modular structures show higher beta diversity than nested ones).

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Our Goal

 To elaborate a general framework integrating species-functional networks under the metacommunity theory to disentangle the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

We will use Pondscapes as Model systems

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Background

  1. they are good examples of patchy habitats separated by a terrestrial matrix.

  2. they are abundant and thus their networks can cover a broad gradient of connectivity, i.e., from isolated to highly connected ponds.

  3. each pond encloses a discrete community (local ecological network) that can be easily compared to neighboring pond communities. 

  4. the local and regional scales can be clearly defined being the pond the local one  and the whole pond network (i.e. pondscape) the regional one.

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Macroinvertebrates as target communities

  1. macroinvertebrates are usually numerous in ponds.

  2. they are also taxonomic and functionally diverse.

  3. their functional traits are well studied which is essential in this project to obtain trustable species-functional networks.

  4. they encompass different trophic levels (primary consumers to top predators) and types of dispersion (passive aquatic dispersers to active aerial dispersers).

Project ID

PID2020-114440GB-I00

Funding Agency

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(MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033)
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Related projects & sites

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Institute of Aquatic Ecology

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Research Group on Ecology of Inland Waters (GRECO)

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Research group Limnology of Mediterranean lagoons and wetlands