Improving projections of trait and population dynamics

SPECIES PERSISTENCE IN CHANGING SEASONAL ENVIRONMENTS

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A new holistic framework integrating demography and biotic interactions (SEASON)

Funded by  MSCA-IF-2019

Starting July 2020... More info soon...


ABSTRACT

Most species show seasonal variation in survival and reproduction, which determines and is affected by biotic (intra- and interspecific) interactions. Such demography-biotic-interaction feedbacks, in turn, mediate community responses to seasonal patterns in environmental factors. Changing these seasonal patterns, which then results in adverse effects on the demography of interacting species, is one important way in which global environmental change alters biodiversity. However, as population and community responses to changes in seasonality are typically studied separately, we lack a mechanistic understanding of the processes that threaten the persistence of interacting species, posing a major challenge to biodiversity conservation. SEASON aims to bridge this fundamental knowledge gap by linking demographic processes and biotic interactions under changes in the seasonality of environmental factors across time and space. Integrating theoretical and empirical analyses, the two main objectives of this project are to (i) develop an analytical framework which assesses how demography-biotic-interaction feedbacks mediate multi-species population responses to seasonality change; and (ii) apply the framework on empirical systems to synthesize novel information on the importance of the feedbacks.