Abstract: Eric Lamb

Sorting the signal from the noise: how multiple mechanisms structure ecological communities

Ecological communities are the net product of thousands of complex interactions between individual organisms. Ecologists have traditionally used a reductionist approach to study the mechanisms structuring communities. While a great deal has been learned by isolating and studying individual mechanisms, the challenge now for ecologists is to put the pieces together. Recent advances in statistics now make this a realistic goal. I will explore this approach to ecology using examples from my research into the role of plant competition in structuring plant community diversity, and the role of plant community diversity in structuring soil diversity and function.