The EcoNetLab Science Weblog

Andrew D. Barnes1, Amrei Binzer1, Christoph Digel1, Roswitha B. Ehnes1,
Katarina Fußmann1, Christian Guill1, Malte Jochum1, Gregor Kalinkat1,
Birgit Lang1, David Ott1, Björn C. Rall1, Florian D. Schneider1,2,
Florian Schwarzmüller1, Miriam Teuscher1, and Ulrich Brose1,3

This is a brand-new science weblog about life, the universe and everything. More specifically it's about ecological networks, so called food webs. This Blog is presented by the Systemic Conservation Biology Group at the Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany, headed by Ulrich Brose. For detailed information on our recent work, please visit our website.

keywords: group news | new ecology papers | indonesia | pictures | food web ecology | ecological modelling |
biodiversity | global change biology | bodymass and allometry | general science topics

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    Open Access

    Did you ever wonder why everyone complains about the publication system in science? Jonathan Eisen and Nick Shockey, together with Jorge Cham from PhD Comics present this very clear video-talk and explain why the old system of scientific publishing needs to be revised and why we need new, creative, open-access concepts. (FDS)

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    New papers on allometry and climate change

    Apologies for our recent lazyness in posting. The whole group was very busy with publishing in the past months. The upcoming issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, (#367) contains a bunch of interesting papers on allometric approaches on climate change issues. The papers discuss, how body size of species can help to estimate the consequences of warming and nutrient enrichment, by presenting studies carried out in various ecological systems as well as some high-end modelling approaches. The content is available as online early view. Please check out!

    Further, we attended a conference of the German Society for Ecology (GfÖ) in Lüneburg, took a students field trip to Crete and had a very nice group retreat at the Edersee.

    Another reason for the scarce postings is, that this tumblr-service has some major shortcommings for the usage as a working group blog. We look for alternative solutions but, since setting these things up is time-consuming, and we are busy scientists in the first place, it does not have highest priority. Anyway, please be patient and check out this blog once in a while, to see if there is something new. (FDS)

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    CRC 990 researchers back from Indonesia

    After two weeks of language course (Bahasa Indonesia) and the official Kick-Off workshop of the CRC 990 Andrew Barnes and Malte Jochum have returned to Göttingen and Miriam Teuscher will follow soon. During this time they were able to visit all four of the transformation systems where their research will take place. From this visit they were able to establish connections with Indonesian counterparts and get a first look at the working conditions in the field. The pictures below give a brief impression of their journey.
    (ADB & MJ)

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    (ADB & MJ)

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Web of Life 2012 - in a changing world

    We just returned from the Web of Life Conference in Montpellier. This great meeting was organised by a team around Sonia Kefi and Nicolas Mouquet from the CNRS in Montpellier. On tuesday we enjoyed brilliant talks from speakers from all over the world. I will try to report some details later. The talks will be available on the internet. (FDS)

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    CRC 990 researchers ready for take off to Indonesia

    Miriam Teuscher, Andrew Barnes and Malte Jochum are about to leave for Indonesia this weekend. As PhD researchers, they belong to the Collaborative Research Centre 990 “Ecological and socioeconomic functions of tropical lowland rainforest transformation systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)” in the projects B01 “Structure, stability and functioning of macro-invertebrate communities in rainforest transformation systems in Sumatra (Indonesia)” (Andrew and Malte) and B11 “Biodiversity enrichment in oil palm plantations: ecological and socio-economic impacts” (Miriam). The CRC will have its official start with a Kick-Off-Workshop from June 19th to 21st in Bogor, near Jakarta (Java) and Jambi (Sumatra). The three of them will attend a language course and afterwards they will stay near Jambi to conduct the first animal sampling and settle into their new work environment. They will make sure to keep us updated on their work progress and present some nice pictures of Southeast-Asian biodiversity. (MJ)

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012

    The Power of Networks

    In this brilliant talk of RSA Animate, Manuel Lima explains in mind-blowing 11 minutes how our view on complex systems changed over the centuries. Today we know, complex systems are networks and are built from many smaller parts. This is true for food webs, brains, companies, societies or universes. You definitely should watch this! Several times! (FDS)

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Amrei’s fortnight in Japan

    Ecologists - they’re in burning deserts, the steamy rainforest, the freezing Antarctic … and the kareoke bars of Seta. Why? Because they’d all been to the 59th annual meeting of the Japanese Ecological Society (together with the East Asian Ecological Societies) and headed for nearby Seta to continue the academic discussions. Around 2000 posters at the meeting, the biggest selection I’ve ever seen, and a great variety of talks, including sessions on interaction webs, on climate change, and on biodiversity. Biodiversity opened with my talk “The dynamics of food chains under climate change and nutrient enrichment”. After the conference I visited Michio Kondoh in Ryukoku university near Seta - inspiring discussions there. At the end of last week I visited the Center of Ecological Research of the Kyoto university and gave a seminar about trophic cascades and species extinction risk. Now I am packing my things and am off tomorrow for Hokkaido University, Sapporo, where I’m due to give another seminar to their ecologists. (AB)

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    all photos by AB

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Final presentations ahead in Angers

    Very busy clicking everywhere… All of us are preparing their presentation for this afternoon. We will hear about: landuse models (innovators vs. imitators in an agricultural framework), hydrological dynamics (pollution of a well), urban dynamics (street construction and urban sprawl) and a lot of ecological examples (competition between grass species, clustering of trees, butterfly corridors and predator-prey dynamics). I’m really looking forward to hear all of them, because all students did a very good job during the last week in coming up with own ideas and implementing them in NetLogo.
    Tonight will be the final Gala-Dinner and then the intensive program is over. I really liked the topic and the people…and France.
    Final greetings,
    (FS)

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    On the allometry of predator identity effects

    We are thrilled to present our new paper by Florian D. Schneider, Stefan Scheu and Ulrich Brose in Ecology Letters1. It is now available as online early view.
    We show by an integrated modelling approach that the apparently idiosyncratic effects of multiple predators in a microcosm experiment become comprehensible in the light of allometry. Furthermore, we present a novel type of experimental design for composition experiments. You should not miss this! (FDS)

    1 Schneider, F. D., Scheu, S. and Brose, U. (2012), Body mass constraints on feeding rates determine the consequences of predator loss. Ecology Letters. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01750.x

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    About indirectly derived parameters

    Recently in the Journal of Animal Ecology , Toshinori Okuyama described a problem that arises when the parameters for a functional response are derived indirectly by fitting a model to observations of feeding rates 1. The one parameter would take variance away from the other parameter, i.e. you could substitute the parameters with other parameters and get exactly the same prediction.
    Okuyama compared indirectly derived parameters for handling time and search time with parameters measured directly. He states that without making a strong assumption, e.g. by fixing the handling time and fitting only the other parameters, a model would be of no use. That would make it necessary to measure one of the parameters, e.g. the handling time, directly. I don’t understand yet, what happens when using more complex models with many more parameters, e.g. body mass dependences as in our previous work 2,3, but I guess this should be a point for discussion. (FDS)

    1 Okuyama, T. (2012) Flexible components of functional responses, Journal of Animal Ecology, 81, 185–189

    2 Rall, B. C., Kalinkat, G., Ott, D., Vucic-Pestic, O. and Brose, U. (2011), Taxonomic versus allometric constraints on non-linear interaction strengths, Oikos, 120: 483–492

    3 Vucic-Pestic, O., Rall, B. C., Kalinkat, G. and Brose, U. (2010), Allometric functional response model: body masses constrain interaction strengths. Journal of Animal Ecology, 79: 249–256.

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1J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology
University of Göttingen
Berliner Str. 28
D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
https://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/189430.html

2to whom technical issues and comments should be adressed:
f_schneider [insert "@"] bio.tu-darmstadt.de
3supervising author:
ubrose [insert "@"] gwdg.de