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Plant Ecology Laboratory

Research in our lab focuses on diversity patterns in biological communities, and on the interactions underlying these patterns. The main questions we address are: how do communities vary along natural gradients and gradients of human impact? What are the major assembly rules shaping communities; and are they attributable to biotic interactions or environmental heterogeneity? What are the roles of different biotic interactions - including competition, facilitation, herbivory and symbiosis - in structuring communities? Read more

News archive - June

Excursion to Western-Estonia

June 2012

Together with fellow colleagues of other working groups from the department, several members of the plant ecology lab indulged on a 4 day trip across western Estonia. The trip was intended to follow the path of the pre- and post-symposium excursion of the IAVS 2013 meeting that will be held in Tartu. See the gallery for some pictures of this splendid - despite some rain - trip to see what beautiful sites and sights you can expect when you join one of the excursions next year.

New insights for addressing assembly rules

June 2012

Martin Zobel and Lars Götzenberger have contributed to a paper authored by Franceso de Bello that has recently been published in Ecology. In community assembly studies it is often practised to create species pools from pooling the sampled plots, and then compare the functional diversity of plots against that of the overall species pool. This bears the problem that higher as well as lower functional diversity in the focal plot can both be produced by biotic interactions (e.g. competition). The article proposes and investigates a new method to create species pools, that also considers the "dark diversity" of the communities, by using "environmental and dispersal limitation filters" to delimit the actual species pool. In this way, two kinds of  biotic assembly rules, i.e. niche limitation based and weaker competitor exclusion based assembly, can be infered from patterns of functional(and/or phylogenetic) diversity.

Defendings at Plant Ecology Lab

June 2012

Eva Lind defended a bachelor degree. Congratulations! 

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