Linking Community and Ecosystem Dynamics

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Linking Community and Ecosystem Dynamics

To be announced


The research fields community and ecosystem ecology have diverged more or less independently over the last decennia. In community ecology progress is made in understanding shifts in community composition under the influence of environmental change and how these shifts can be explained by functional trait approaches of component species. Also, the importance of positive feedbacks in community dynamics is more and more appreciated, and merged with trophic interactions in ecological networks. Studies in ecosystem ecology traditionally have a strong focus on energy and nutrient fluxes and how deviation in these fluxes affect ecosystem functioning and stability. Recent studies reveal tight links between these sub-disciplines that enforce us to rethink how communities and ecosystems interact.

This course focuses on theoretical concepts, such as autocatalytic loops and positive and negative feedbacks between organisms in ecological networks as well as the importance of non-trophic interactions by ecosystem engineers. The course will address how these principles can be used to link communities to ecosystems enabling a better understanding of how environmental changes affect community and ecosystem dynamics. Students will construct ecological networks of their own study system or based on literature data and analyse these using structural equation modelling.:​


The programme of the last edition of this course (October 2018) can be found here. This should provide you with an indication of the general build-up of this course. The precise structure of the next edition of this course, may of course differ somewhat. The University of Groningen is responsible for the organisation of this course but we will keep you updated if there is any new information.

General information
Target Group The course is aimed at PhD candidates and other academics
Group Size Min. 14, max. 20 participants
Course duration 5 days
Language of instruction English
Frequency of recurrence Every two years
Number of credits 2 ECTS
Lecturers to be announced
Prior knowledge Course participants need to read some articles that will be made available beforehand and prepare some challenging questions as well as prepare a poster in PDF format on their own work..
Location to be announced
Options for accommodation to be announced
More information


Registration of interest

At this moment, the University of Groningen has not scheduled this course yet. However, if you register your interest in this activity below, we will inform you as soon as the course is scheduled and registration of participation is opened.