WK 3 - Analysing biodiversity experiments using Diversity-Interaction models

Sunday, August 7, 2011: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
14, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: John Connolly
Co-organizer: Caroline Brophy
Speakers: John Connolly and Caroline Brophy
Biodiversity experiments are at the centre of attempts to investigate the effect of species loss on ecosystem function. In this workshop we will cover the fundamentals of Diversity-Interaction modeling of Biodiversity-Ecosystem-Function (BEF) relationships. Modelling BEF relationships has received considerable attention in recent years. Diversity-Interaction models provide a flexible modeling framework for developing and assessing hypotheses about BEF relationships at the level of individual species and their pairwise interactions. Already a wide range of possible Diversity-Interaction models is available, linked to biologically based hypotheses about the factors underlying relationships. Particular features of these models are that they give greater understanding of how species composition and community evenness affect ecosystem function in addition to species richness. The workshop will also discuss the extensions of these models to high richness datasets, the incorporation of trait based indices in the explanatory framework and implications of models for the nature of species interaction. The workshop programme comprises a mixture of lectures, discussion and hands-on experience. Participants with R or SAS on their laptops will have the opportunity to apply Diversity-Interaction models to a number of datasets to develop their skill in fitting and interpreting them. Datasets, basic programs and worked annotated examples will be available to participants prior to the workshop. This workshop should appeal to those interested in learning to use simple, intuitive and powerful methods for modelling the outcomes of biodiversity experiments.
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