DynaTrait Meeting 2017

"Flexibility matters: Interplay between trait diversity and ecological dynamics using aquatic communities as model systems"

9th-13th October 2017
Stephansstift Hannover


Meeting 2017: The conference will address trait-based ecology with a focus on biomass-trait feedbacks and eco-evolutionary dynamics typically arising from trophic interactions. We aim to bridge between theoretically guided empirical field and laboratory studies and data-informed development of theory and modelling. The meeting will provide opportunities to exchange ideas and results with members of the DFG funded Priority Program DynaTrait and guests through a series of contributed and invited talks, poster sessions and small working groups. The meeting focuses on aquatic systems, but other systems are welcome as well if results are sufficiently generalizable.

DynaTrait: The DFG-funded priority program DynaTrait comprises 20 projects working experimentally and/or theoretically on the interplay between trait diversity and ecological dynamics in aquatic systems. The priority program aims to overcome the classical static species-based view where rigid properties are assigned to each organism or species independent of ambient conditions and develop an innovative, flexible, trait-based approach. The projects explicitly consider functional traits and include experimental approaches, field measurements and mathematical modeling using mostly plankton and biofilms as empirical model systems. These microbial food webs comprise multiple trophic levels with internal feedbacks and their small size and short generation times enables measuring and manipulating trait variations and estimating the major trade-off(s) among traits. Population dynamics can be quantified for many generations which reveals the effect of eco-evolutionary feedbacks within feasible time scales. We want to broaden our very limited quantitative knowledge and predictive power on how biodiversity affects the type of ecological dynamics (e.g. static or oscillating) and responses to environmental changes.

In particular, we want to quantitatively assess:

  • how the potential to adjust to altered abiotic and biotic conditions increases with the phenotypic, genetic and species diversity of microbial food webs;
  • how such a potential for adjustments influences the type of dynamics of producers and consumers and their responses to environmental change; and
  • how the altered dynamics in turn influence the maintenance of biodiversity and thus the potential to adjust to future perturbations.

This will likely call for a profound reconsideration of classical “well-established” theoretical concepts and will enable us to identify and experimentally test mechanisms maintaining biodiversity that can then be implemented in (applied, forecasting) models to improve their validity.

Our aims are to advance ecological theory providing a basis for improved management practices to mitigate the consequences of environmental change and biodiversity loss, and to stimulate other disciplines such as cell biology, social science or  transportation that make also use of network science.

For a list of speakers see http://web.evolbio.mpg.de/dynatrait/Site_2/DynaTrait_Meeting_2017.html.

The meeting will take place 9th-13th October 2017 in Hannover, Germany. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Alice Boit (alice@boit.net) .

Organizers and Contact
Ursula Gaedke (University Potsdam) & Lutz Becks (MPI Evolutionary Biology)

Location: Stephansstift Hannover, Germany (http://www.stephansstift.de/200.html)

For more information see http://www.dynatrait.de/

© 30.11.2016 Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V., DZG