In a recent paper published in Nature Ecology and Evolution two EEC members, Oliver Kaltz and Emanuel Fronhofer, investigate how dispersal, a central life-history trait, is influenced by the food web context, specifically, bottom-up and top-down forces. Our work sheds a new light on the importance of behavioural decisions for dispersal ecology. Most importantly, our work calls for a rethinking of (evolutionary) metacommunity ecology, where dispersal is often seen as neutral and random. Our coordinated effort, that involved species from protists to vertrebrates and labs across Europe (dispNet), demonstrates the contrary and calls for an extension of theory.
Reference: Fronhofer E. A., Legrand D., Altermatt F., Ansart A., Blanchet S., Bonte D., Chaine A., Dahirel M., De Laender, F., De Raedt J., di Gesu L., Jacob S., Kaltz O., Laurent E., Little C. J., Madec L., Manzi F., Masier S., Pellerin F., Pennekamp F., Schtickzelle N., Therry L., Vong A., Winandy L. & Cote J. (online) Bottom-up and top-down control of dispersal across major organismal groups. Nature Ecology and Evolution.
Nature Ecology and Evolution New and Views: “Dispersal dilemmas” by Siqueira & Wunderlich
Blog: “Behind the paper