Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Inferring species interactions in ecological communities: a comparison of methods at different levels of complexity - Zurich Open Repository and Archive


Carrara, Francesco; Giometto, Andrea; Seymour, Mathew; Rinaldo, Andrea; Altermatt, Florian (2015). Inferring species interactions in ecological communities: a comparison of methods at different levels of complexity. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 6(8):895-906.

Abstract

Summary
1) Natural communities commonly contain many different species and functional groups, and multiple types of species interactions act simultaneously, such as competition, predation, commensalism or mutualism. However, experimental and theoretical investigations have generally been limited by focusing on one type of interaction at a time or by a lack of a common methodological and conceptual approach to measure species interactions.
2) We compared four methods to measure and express species interactions. These approaches are, with increasing degree of model complexity, an extinction-based model, a relative yield model and two generalized Lotka-Volterra (LV) models. All four approaches have been individually applied in different fields of community ecology, but rarely integrated. We provide an overview of the definitions, assumptions and data needed for the specific methods and apply them to empirical data by experimentally deriving the interaction matrices among 11 protist and rotifer species, belonging to three functional groups. Furthermore, we compare their advantages and limitations to predict multispecies community dynamics and ecosystem functioning.
3) The relative yield method is, in terms of final biomass production, the best method in predicting the 11-species community dynamics from the pairwise competition experiments. The LV model, which is considering equilibrium among the species, suffers from experimental constraints given the strict equilibrium assumption, and this may be rarely satisfied in ecological communities.
4) We show how simulations of a LV stochastic community model, derived from an empirical interaction matrix, can be used to predict multispecies community dynamics across multiple functional groups.
5) Our work unites available tools to measure species interactions under one framework. This improves our ability to make management-oriented predictions of species coexistence/extinction and to compare ecosystem processes across study systems.

Abstract

Summary
1) Natural communities commonly contain many different species and functional groups, and multiple types of species interactions act simultaneously, such as competition, predation, commensalism or mutualism. However, experimental and theoretical investigations have generally been limited by focusing on one type of interaction at a time or by a lack of a common methodological and conceptual approach to measure species interactions.
2) We compared four methods to measure and express species interactions. These approaches are, with increasing degree of model complexity, an extinction-based model, a relative yield model and two generalized Lotka-Volterra (LV) models. All four approaches have been individually applied in different fields of community ecology, but rarely integrated. We provide an overview of the definitions, assumptions and data needed for the specific methods and apply them to empirical data by experimentally deriving the interaction matrices among 11 protist and rotifer species, belonging to three functional groups. Furthermore, we compare their advantages and limitations to predict multispecies community dynamics and ecosystem functioning.
3) The relative yield method is, in terms of final biomass production, the best method in predicting the 11-species community dynamics from the pairwise competition experiments. The LV model, which is considering equilibrium among the species, suffers from experimental constraints given the strict equilibrium assumption, and this may be rarely satisfied in ecological communities.
4) We show how simulations of a LV stochastic community model, derived from an empirical interaction matrix, can be used to predict multispecies community dynamics across multiple functional groups.
5) Our work unites available tools to measure species interactions under one framework. This improves our ability to make management-oriented predictions of species coexistence/extinction and to compare ecosystem processes across study systems.

Citations

6 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 21 Jan 2016
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:21 Jan 2016 16:44
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:53
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:2041-210X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12363

Download

Preview Icon on Download
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 951kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations