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DynaTrait conference 2017

About the conference

Offical registration has closed in July - late registrants please write inquiry to aboit@uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de for options.

The DynaTrait conference from Oct 09-13, 2017 in Hannover, Germany, will address trait-based ecology with a focus on biomass-trait feedbacks and eco-evolutionary dynamics typically arising from trophic interactions. We aim to bridge between theoretically guided empirical field and laboratory studies and data-informed development of theory and modeling. The meeting will provide opportunities to exchange ideas and results with members of the DFG Priority Program DynaTrait and guests through a series of contributed and invited talks, poster sessions and small working groups. The meeting focusses on aquatic systems, but other systems are welcome as well if results are sufficiently generalizable.

The DFG-funded priority program DynaTrait comprises 20 subprojects working experimentally and/or theoretically on the interplay between trait diversity and ecological dynamics in aquatic systems. The priority program aims to overcome the classical static species-based view where rigid properties are assigned to each organism or species independent of ambient conditions and develop an innovative, flexible, trait-based approach. The projects explicitly consider functional traits and include experimental approaches, field measurements and mathematical modeling using mostly plankton and biofilms as empirical model systems. These microbial food webs comprise multiple trophic levels with internal feedbacks and their small size and short generation times enables measuring and manipulating trait variations and estimating the major trade-off(s) among traits. Population dynamics can be quantified for many generations which reveals the effect of eco-evolutionary feedbacks within feasible time scales. We want to broaden our very limited quantitative knowledge and predictive power on how biodiversity affects the type of ecological dynamics (e.g. static or oscillating) and responses to environmental changes.

In particular, we want to quantitatively assess:

  1. how the potential to adjust to altered abiotic and biotic conditions increases with the phenotypic, genetic and species diversity of microbial food webs;
  2. how such a potential for adjustments influences the type of dynamics of producers and consumers and their responses to environmental change; and
  3. how the altered dynamics in turn influence the maintenance of biodiversity and thus the potential to adjust to future perturbations.

This will likely call for a profound reconsideration of classical “well-established” theoretical concepts and will enable us to identify and experimentally test mechanisms maintaining biodiversity that can then be implemented in (applied, forecasting) models to improve their validity.

Our aims are to advance ecological theory providing a basis for improved management practices to mitigate the consequences of environmental change and biodiversity loss, and to stimulate other disciplines such as cell biology, social science or  transportation that make also use of network science. 

Location: Stephansstift Hannover, Hannover, Germany

Organizers and Contact

Ursula Gaedke (Ecology and Ecosystem Modelling, University of Potsdam)
Lutz Becks (MPI Evolutionary Biology in Plön)
Alice Boit (Scientific coordinator, University of Potsdam)

If you have questions about the conference, please contact
Alice Boit (alice[ at ]boit.net or aboit[ at ]uni-potsdam.de)

Guests and speakers

Agostino Merico

Alan Wilson

Alexander Wacker

Birte Matthiessen

Brooks Miner

Claus Rüffler

Chris Klausmeier

Christian Mulder

Eric von Elert

Hans-Peter Grossart

Herwig Stibor

Katja Heubel

Luc deMeester

Lutz Becks

Maren Striebel

Maria Stockenreiter

Markus Pahlow

Nelson G. Hairston Jr

Patrick Fink

Ralph Tollrian

Stefanie Moorthi

Teppo Hiltunen

Ursula Gaedke

and many more.