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What is macroecology? Macroecology deals with ecological patterns and processes at various scales In particular macroecology tries to identify and to explain.

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Presentation on theme: "What is macroecology? Macroecology deals with ecological patterns and processes at various scales In particular macroecology tries to identify and to explain."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is macroecology? Macroecology deals with ecological patterns and processes at various scales In particular macroecology tries to identify and to explain regional to global patterns of species diversity, spatial and temporal distributions and energy use Macroecology is closely linked to biogeography and evolutionary ecology

2 Biogeography Tries to understand large scale distributions of living thinks Evolutionary Ecology Tries to understand patterns of species diversity through evolutionary history Macroecology Tries to link both disciplines and to explain larges scale ecological patterns and processes in space and time Important: The focus is on explanation and model building and not on simple description. Modern ecology is not a faunistic or floristic exercise. It uses larges scale data sets to build and verify its theories about the causes of observed patterns. A standard method of macroecology is meta-analysis.

3 Macroecology has deep ecological roots but only recent times saw the tranformation to an analytical explanatory science Land plant of Britain from Watson (1859) Species – area relationship Neutral models, Ecological scaling and Metabolic theory Description Explanation

4 Ecological processes Evolutionary processes Ecological processes Predation Disturbance Competition Dispersal Metapopulations Spatial processes Speciation Extinction Geological processes Fluctuations Local species turnover Dispersal Metapopulations Metacommunities Speciation Extinction Climatic processes

5 Lecture program 1.Introduction 2.Fundamental relationships in macroecology 3.Metabolic theory 4.Diversity and productivity I 5.Diversity and productivity II 6.Latitudinal gradients 7.Patterns at ecological time scales 8.Local and regional diversities 9.Fragmented landscapes 10.Neutral models in macroecology 11.Body sizes 12.Invasive species 13.Global change I 14.Global change II 15.Phylogeny and ecology

6 Scources of knowledge Literature: Brown JH Macroecology. Univ. Press, Chicago. Gaston KJ, Blackburn TM Pattern and Process in Macroecology Blackwell Sci. Publ, Oxford. Blackburn TM, Gaston KJ (eds) Macroecology: Concepts and Consequences. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. Journals: Ecography Journal of Biogeography Diversity and Distributions Ecology Letters Global Ecology and Biogeography

7 Internet sources: The whole lecture is available at our workgroup homepage

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9 Other macroecological tools Analysis of large scale spatial data GIS methods Statistical methods for relating environmental variables to distribution maps Mantel test Spatial correlation Multidimensional scaling Analysis of climatological palaeontological data Time series analysis Spectral analysis Analysis of recent faunistic and floristic surveys Co-occurrence analysis Nestedness analysis

10 Today’s reading What is macroecology?: Meta-analysis: Alexander v. Humboldt:


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