Community Ecology Research


We are community ecologists in a wide sense. We would like to understand how species occur in space and time, how dispersal and landscape structure affect community composition and diversity and how processes such as climate change or species invasions affect dynamics within and between communities.

Our research is centered around the following questions:

  • How do spatial dynamics affect biodiversity and ecosystem functioning?
  • How are species interactions affected by global changes?
  • How to fundamentally assess biodiversity using environmental DNA (eDNA)?

Metacommunity and meta-ecosystem dynamics in dendritic riverine landscapes

We are interested how the topology of natural landscapes, especially of riverine networks, affects community and ecosystem dynamics. Riverine ecosystems are typical examples of dendritic networks. Their shapes vary greatly in complexity, and for most aquatic organisms, there is only one direct path to travel from one place to another within a dendritic system. Using mathematical models, experiments and field studies, we study how dispersal and resource flows in dendritic systems affect diversity and ecosystem processes at the catchment level.