The species in a given habitat interact with each other in very different ways; such interactions can vary from the consumption of one organism by another (herbivory, predation, parasitism) to mutualistic relationships (pollination, seed dispersal). These interactions form networks which can prove to be quite complex and even encompass indirect interactions - for instance those that occur when two species compete for the same resource, or when a species indirectly favors another by consuming one of its predators. Analyzing the structure of these interactions is essential for understanding population dynamics and ecosystem function. In the current context of biodiversity loss, it is important to keep in mind that some interactions may disappear before the species involved are removed from the ecosystem. With this context, it is CREAF's mission to analyze the structure and the robustness of interaction networks as they face different pressures of global change (climate change, land use change, agricultural intensification, biological invasions). We study the effects of these factors on different trophic networks (soil organisms, mountain ecosystems, lacustrine systems) and relationships (seed dispersal, pollination), as well as implications for ecosystem function (biogeochemical cycles, forest growth, production of fruits and seeds).
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