Assessing ecosystem functions mediated by multi-trophic trait interactions: Current knowledge and future perspectives
Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Suisse email@example.com
(Seminar in English)
Ecosystem functions and underlying services are strongly influenced by multitrophic relationships with functional traits playing a central role in structuring them. Assessing which traits and functional components of biodiversity mediate such interactions and affect ecosystem function under different stressors is still poorly known. Most studies on trophic interactions have been focused at the species level, limiting our mechanistic understanding on biotic control over ecosystem service delivery. Also very rarely, negative interactions meditated by e.g. antipredatory strategies have been considered. In my talk I will provide an overview of the major attempts proposed to extend trait-based approaches of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research from one single trophic level to multiple trophic levels. I will then present examples of trophic interactions between single species and whole communities, illustrating them with examples from herbivory, pollination, and soil decomposition. Finally, I will discuss current gaps and future perspectives in this field.
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