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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Both local and regional processes can structure local communities, however, their relative roles are poorly understood. The classical methodology used to determine their relative importance is to examine the shape of the relationship between local and regional diversity. However, this approach has been criticized on several conceptual and methodological grounds. This proposal aims to integrate local (biotic and abiotic) and regional (spatial) information, using three novel research methodologies. These will be applied on a range of data sets, starting with zooplankton, but expanding to other aquatic taxa and terrestrial systems. Moreover, I will extend the methodology to genetic data, in order to make a direct comparison between processes working at the interspecific and intraspecific levels. The results will elucidate the processes that generate structure in populations and communities.

Principal Investigator(s)

Karl Cottenie

Project Dates

Start: January 1, 2003

End: December 31, 2005



Karl Cottenie
University of California, Santa Barbara
Luc De Meester
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


  1. Presentations / 2003

    Local and regional processes in a zooplankton metacommunity

  2. Presentations / 2003

    Local and regional processes in a zooplankton metacommunity

  3. Presentations / 2003

    Meta-analysis of metacommunities: A research program

  4. Journal Article / 2004

    Metacommunity structure: Synergy of biotic interactions as selective agents and dispersal as fuel

  5. Presentations / 2005

    Dispersal through time: Temporal metacommunity dynamics in annual desert plant communities

  6. Journal Article / 2005

    Integrating environmental and spatial processes in ecological community dynamics

  7. Book Chapter / 2005

    Local interactions and local dispersal in a zooplankton metacommunity

  8. Journal Article / 2006

    Strong top-down control in Southern California kelp forest ecosystems

  9. Journal Article / 2007

    Little evidence for climate effects on local-scale structure and dynamics of California kelp forest communities

  10. Report or White Paper / 2005

    Ecological consequences of connections between habitats: The ponds of the nature reserve De Maten (Genk)