Global biodiversity loss is disproportionately rapid on islands, which despite being hotspots of biodiversity, comprise ~ 80% of world’s species extinctions. The vulnerability of insular ecosystems to global change has been historically related to the introduction of invasive species. Yet, we still lack a quantitative understanding of how other major threats such as climate change will jeopardise, not only species, but pivotal ecosystem functions derived from trophic interactions such as animal-mediated seed dispersal. To date, the scarce data and methodological limitations have entailed a lack of studies on the effect of climate change on seed dispersal in entire island communities. ECORISC implies a major step ahead previous work with its integration of a new global dataset on ~65 insular seed-dispersal networks, alongside methodological approaches from the fields of interaction networks, ecological niche modelling and future climate change projections. The combination of empirical knowledge on the structure and vulnerability of current insular communities with future climate, species extinctions and interaction rewiring simulations will provide an integrated understanding of the resilience of seed dispersal in insular systems to climate change. The main outcome of ECORISC (i.e. the quantification of structural and functional consequences derived from climate-driven biodiversity loss) will provide essential knowledge needed to restore Europe’s ecosystems and biodiversity, one of the main issue mainstreamed in the first Horizon Europe strategic plan. During the course of this project, I will receive essential training by world leading experts of the fields of island ecology, niche modelling and complex systems at three outstanding institutes from the disciplines of Ecology and Physics, thus paving my way towards establishing an independent and distinct research profile in the fields of global change and community ecology.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme
Funding SchemeHORIZON-AG-UN - HORIZON Unit Grant
WC1E 6BT London
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