Feedbacks between species life-history traits and biotic interactions can be critical in determining the impact of climate change on populations. We are developing theory and applications to quantify these feedbacks in complex natural systems. This research started with theMSCA-IF-2019 SEASON project.
The video below introduces some of the research.
We are developing and constantly improving simulations to create communities of interacting species from stage-specific or individual demographic rates. We are interested in understanding under what conditions (in which types of communities) forecasts of population dynamics and community compositions under climate change fail if they do not account for demography and species interactions. In terms of climate change, we have focused quite a bit on seasonality change.
We have made such multispecies demographic models available as a new module (vignette 6) in the cxr R package for modelling species co-existence.
We are working on including more species and interaction types. See here for detail.
If recruitment is negatively affected by climate change, is the population at risk of extinction? Not necessarily so because recruitment may not contribute strongly to population dynamics, survival may be improved under climate change, or abundances change more as a response to species interactions that direct climate effects. We are synthesising evidence on how such complexity of demographic responses to environmental change translates into persistence of populations. We are also exploring evidence of such complexity in a wide range of taxa that have been long ignored in demographic and life-history research.
Long-term data on individual or stage-specific demographic rates of several interacting species are rare. And so we work on data integration and developing efficient latent-state approaches to infer demographic rates from abundance datasets for near-term forecasting applications. We do this work in close collaboration with the Ecological Forecasting Initiative. We are an active part of the new European Chapter of EFI.
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