German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)


We analyze ecological systems as different types of networks including trophic networks of predator-prey interactions and spatial networks of habitat patches. These research areas are linked by the general use of allometric scaling functions that relate network parameters such as feeding strength or movement rates to the body masses of the species.

Our research is organized under the following overarchingresearch topics:


(1) Predator-prey interactions and trophic networks

In this research field, we address how species' body masses and environmental variables such as temperature affect predator-prey interactions and the complex trophic networks of natural communities. >more

(2) Movement, metacommunities and spatial networks

In this research field, we study (1) how species traits such as body mass and movement mode affect movement patterns, (2) what determines the stability of metacommunities and (3) how species' movement creates spatial networks of habitat patches. >more

(3) Experimental metacommunities and microbial networks

In this research field, we test the predictions of ecological network theory in microbial microcosms of bacteria and their protist consumers. >more

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