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NOVOMULTI - Exploring novel techniques to measure multi-trophic interactions across broad biogeographic regions

 

In the face of alarming environmental change we lack the tools to predict how biodiversity and related ecosystem processes will respond. This project will test novel rapid assessment methods for capturing fine-scale variation in multitrophic interactions within a bird-insect-plant food web. We will (i) fill an existing methodological gap by testing new approaches to study biotic interactions; (ii) evaluate how well these approaches capture co-occurrence based interaction data assessed by traditional costly methods; (iii) provide conceptual advance in the field of interaction ecology; and (iv) if successful, provide a new tool to more broadly evaluate how land-use and climate induced phenological changes will influence not only biodiversity and ecosystem functions but the mechanisms linking these. This knowledge can be used to improve ecological theory by linking interactions and ecosystem processes with an ultimate goal of predicting how these might be impacted by future global change.