What drives and limits species abilities to keep pace with current human induced rapid environmental change?
In several onging projects, we exploit “large-scale experiments” of current fast environmental change to learn important lessons on evolution and ecology. Using small mammals as study species, we study responses to human induced rapid environmental change at different levels of ecological variation (i) based on reaction norms of energy-saving strategies to climatic change, (ii) on adjustment and adaptation to urban environments, and (iii) on effects of invasive species on indigeneous communities.
Individuals of the same species differ in what they are, what they do, how, where and when; does this matter for ecologcial interactions?
In several projects with carnivores, rodents and primates, we empirically test whether intra-specific trait variation in behaviour, physiology, cognition and life-history matter for ecological interactions within- and between-species and across trophic levels. Using ecological modelling, we further test the generality of observed patterns and derive new predictions.
What determines high functional biodiversity in local mammal communities?
Using field studies on the ecology of sympatric congeneric species and stable isotope analysis of whole communities, we illuminate niche differentiation in cryptic species-rich communities, test species coexistence theory and study within-species niche differentiation.
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