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Reassembly of interaction networks - Resistance, resilience and functional recovery of a rainforest ecosystem (2021 – 2025)


NothofagusWe will investigate a chronosequence (forest sites recovering for different time spans from a former use as pasture or plantation) to assess and compare the reassembly of interaction networks and trajectories of ecosystem processes. We will quantify the effects of functional traits that are predicted to be important for network reassembly and resilience to perturbations: response traits to environmental conditions, and interaction traits as determinants of network links.

Overall, our research unit will unravel how, to what extent, and how fast a forest ecosystem can re-establish after deforestation, including the diverse species communities, complex interaction networks, and relevant processes that characterize such forest ecosystems.

Interaction between speciesThe research site is located in the Chocó lowland forest of North-West Ecuador in collaboration with Fundación Jocotoco, a private Ecuadorian conservation foundation. Sites include the Canandé Reserve and Tesoro Escondido Reserve.

Together with Nina Farwig (Marburg) and Sybille Unsicker (Jena), I will be responsible for subproject 5,  studying seedling recruitment along the chronosequence. Specifically, we focus on the dynamics of tree seedling-herbivore interactions during forest recovery.

The research unit is coordinated by Nico Blüthgen (Darmstadt) & funded by the DFG (HE 7345/11-1).

More information can be found on our project website and on Twitter.