Together for Biodiversity

Applied Ecology - APPLECOL



Group Description

APPLECOL aims to advance science in the fields of population and community ecology, while promoting its actual application to address pressing societal needs. To meet this general goal, APPLECOL covers 5 broad research topics:

SPATIAL POPULATION ECOLOGY, examining the demographic drivers of population fluctuations, and range expansions and contractions, in relation to behavioural, environmental and anthropogenic factors.

We use data collected over a range of spatial and temporal scales, with an eye on long time series, focusing on both endangered and invasive species.


POPULATION RESPONSES TO HUMAN INFRASTRUCTURES, examining changes in population vital rates (e.g., survival, dispersal), and how these in turn affect population trends and viability, thus contributing to improve impact assessment and mitigation.

Research combines field ecology and computer simulation modelling, focusing on the effects of roads, hydroelectric dams and wind farms. 

METAPOPULATION DYNAMICS, examining how species persistence in highly fragmented landscapes is affected by local demography, dispersal, species interactions, and patch and matrix dynamics.

This topic is strongly rooted on research carried out since 2001 on vole metapopulations in farmland landscapes. A new case study will be set to examine metapopulation structure and persistence in dendritic networks.

COMMUNITY ASSEMBLY IN HUMAN DOMINATED LANDSCAPES, examining species and functional richness, composition and structure of biological assemblages, and how they are affected by species interaction, and habitat loss, fragmentation and management.

This topic is strongly rooted on ongoing research focusing on farmland vertebrates.


METACOMMUNITY PATTERNS AND PROCESSES, examining the mechanisms underlying the spatial and temporal distribution of biological diversity within habitat patches in fragmented landscapes.

Research has focused on organisms inhabiting forest patches in agricultural landscapes. Work is ongoing to expand research to metacommunities inhabiting stream headwaters and temporary ponds. Development of environmental genomic tools is underway to reduce the costs and man-power needed for large scale sampling of different taxonomic groups.





Student Supervisions