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Predicting spatial and temporal variation in species interaction networks

Grant number: 15/03275-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): June 14, 2015
Effective date (End): July 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Leonor Patricia Cerdeira Morellato
Grantee:Daniel Wisbech Carstensen
Supervisor abroad: Dominque Gravel
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:14/01594-4 - Variation of plant-pollinator networks and pairwise interactions across space and time, BP.PD


Networks have been increasingly used to model ecological community structure and function. While structural properties of such networks are conserved over time and space, it is now well established that the identities of interactions within them are highly variable. However, we know very little about the underlying mechanisms and drivers of this variation. Here we propose that ecological networks could be perceived as processing chains where energy flows between nodes, represented by links. With enough knowledge on how flow is distributed and redistributed throughout networks we expect that our ability to predict networks and their variation over time and space will be strongly improved. We further aim to address an essential issue when modelling networks, namely sampling completeness. The presence, absence, and strength of interactions can be highly dependent upon sampling effort, and evaluating this is thus of high importance. In this project we propose new and promising advances in the field of network ecology and our objectives represent important steps towards a better understanding of species interactions. (AU)