Biodiversity over time
Speaker: Prof. Anne Magurran (University of St Andrews)
Temporal turnover is a fundamental characteristic of ecological communities and underpins key concepts, such as MacArthur and Wilson’s theory of island biogeography. However, in contrast to spatial patterns of biodiversity – which have received a great deal of attention in recent years – we know rather little about changes in diversity through time. This is an important omission since we need to understand the background rate of change in ecological assemblages if we are to evaluate the consequences of extrinsic events, such as climate change. In this seminar I will explore temporal patterns in plankton and fish data sets and examine the relationship between changes in overall structure, and variation in the abundances of the individual species.