GhEnToxLab at ESA

GhEnToxLab at the ESA annual meeting


Founded in 1915, the Ecological Society of America has strived to stimulate and promote ecological science for nearly a decade. Over the years, it has steadily grown from the original (mostly American) 307 members to an astounding 10.000 international members today. It is the single largest community of professional ecologists in the world and therefore a reliable and critical source of ecological knowledge. Its core business is to improve the communication among scientists as well as raising public awareness through their yearly conference. Today, their 99th anual meeting kicks off in Sacramento (California, USA) and our resident ecologist Jan Baert will be there. During his pitch presentation (COS 57-6), he will explain how the effects of biodiversity on community functioning shifts along a toxic gradient. Read more about his research below to discover the venue.

Scientific abstract: 

Over the last two decades it has been rigorously demonstrated that diversity enhances the performance in primary producer communities. This performance enhancing effect of biodiversity can be related to either a reduction in the average competitive strength in communities compared to monocultures, due to niche complementarity or facilitation, or increasing the chance of having one or more high-performing species present, increasing community functioning. So far, these biodiversity effects have only been assessed in communities under (sub)optimal conditions. Here we demonstrate, by applying a toxic stress gradient (atrazine), that the biodiversity effects underlying the performance enhancing effect shift over a toxic stress gradient from complementarity to an increased selection for high-performance/stress tolerance. These shifts in biodiversity effects even remained long after the exposure to atrazine had ceased.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014: 9:50 AM

309/310, Sacramento Convention Center