Predicting, preventing and ameliorating the adverse consequences of climate change are key targets in the ‘EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020’. It requires knowledge on how species, communities and ecosystems are likely to respond to warming conditions of at least 2oC. Studies to date have, however, primarily focused only on predicting species’ responses to warming. Yet species’ responses to warming will be strongly connected to the responses of other species and communities at the same or adjacent trophic levels. Thus, there is a major research and policy knowledge gap in Europe on how species’ responses to warming will propagate through to community and ecosystem level impacts. This project will fill this gap by predicting the responses to warming at both the species and community levels and then identify their consequences for ecosystem functioning. Temperate freshwaters are the model system for the project as they host rich biodiversity and are sensitive to subtle changes in temperature. Whilst the main research objective is to test the implications of warming within experimental ponds where the highest trophic levels are occupied by fish, the initial three objectives are crucial in providing underpinning knowledge to assist interpretation of the experimental outputs. The research is well suited to a Marie Curie Fellowship due to its novelty and state-of-the-art approaches, the applicant is a strong match to the project through her existing research competencies and training requirements, and the supervisory team at Bournemouth University (BU) has high research expertise in assessing climatic effects on biodiversity and freshwater communities, and also in hosting MC Fellows. They will benefit in hosting the MC Fellow through the reciprocal transfer of knowledge derived through the research that will contribute to increasing European research competitiveness.
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