Biotic interactions

BIOMAC participants: Daniel Kissling (PI), Renske Onstein (Postdoc) and MSc students

Biotic interactions among species are ubiquitous in nature. They occur within the same trophic level (e.g. competition) or across different trophic levels (e.g. in food webs or plant-animal interactions). We are interested in understanding how biotic interactions shape biological communities and ecosystem services. We particularily focus on

  • Quantifying the structure and complexity of multispecies interactions (e.g. via ecological network analysis)

  • Understanding how biotic interactions shape species distributions and biodiversity patterns (e.g. at regional, continental and global spatial scales)

  • Aggregating, integrating and synthesizing biotic interaction data across taxonomic, spatial and temporal scales.

Most of our work centers around frugivory (i.e. animal-mediated seed dispersal). This is particularily relevant in the tropics and subtropics where many vertebrates include fleshy fruits in their diet and up to 90 percent of all shrubs and trees depend on animal-mediated seed dispersal.

Neotropical palm-frugivore interaction network Toucans as important seed dispersers


Please also see our other research themes.