When individuals matter: Biodiversity and the impacts of logging in Borneo


Monday, March 13, 2017 - 15:00 to 16:00


Seminar Room C700, Lab3


Dear All,

Biodiversity and Biocomplexity (Economo) Unit would like to invite you to a seminar by Mr. Samuel RP-J Ross.


Date: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Time: 15:00-16:00

Venue: Seminar Room C700, Lab 3


Speaker: Mr. Samuel RP-J Ross, School of Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, U.K, and Research Intern, OIST


Title: When individuals matter: Biodiversity and the impacts of logging in Borneo



Biodiversity is critical to the health of ecosystems globally and contributes both to the services that ecosystems provide and to their stability under increasing pressure from human activities. The measurement of biodiversity is therefore a main priority in ecology and conservation biology. It is the functional component of biodiversity that has seen much recent attention, where a species’ morphological, physiological and behavioural traits relate to its function in an ecosystem and at a community-level, combine to form the ‘functional diversity’ of a system, analogous to ecosystem health. Natural variation in species’ traits occurs not only between species, but between individuals of the same species (i.e. ‘intraspecific trait variation’), and this variation is important to a range of ecological and evolutionary processes. Even so, the greatest limitation of functional diversity measurement remains the inability to account for such intraspecific trait variation.


Here, I introduce a newly developed simulation approach, which uses bootstrapping to produce a range of ecologically feasible functional diversity values when accounting for intraspecific trait variation. I also present a method to quantify the confidence that should be placed in observed differences when comparing the functional diversity of two communities. I apply this method to data on the biodiversity of two bird communities in Borneo; one in primary (unlogged) forest and one in selectively-logged forest. By accounting for intraspecific variation, I was able to reveal previously unrecognised negative impacts of logging on avian functional diversity in this ecosystem, further shedding light on how humans are modifying natural ecosystems globally.


We hope to see many of you at the seminar.



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