Animal Biology

Postgraduates

 

Contact

Peter Yeeles


Start date

Oct 2012

Submission date

Peter Yeeles

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Thesis

Ant diversity and performance of ecological function in a restoration context: drivers, mechanisms, multi-functionality and trade-offs during habitat regeneration.

Summary

During this project I will investigate the drivers of ant community re-assembly following habitat regeneration in a global biodiversity hotspot. I will then examine the relative importance of ant species and functional trait diversity, two major components of biodiversity, and test their contribution to the simultaneous performance of multiple ecosystem functions. I will examine potential mechanisms by which this multi-functionality occurs, and any trade-offs that might preclude the concurrent performance of multiple functions.

Why my research is important

Rapid global change has put increasing negative pressure on ecosystems worldwide. The resulting losses in biodiversity are often dramatic, and as change continues these losses are accelerating. Research investigating the relationship between biodiversity, the performance of ecological function, and the subsequent provision of ecosystem services largely indicates that biodiversity has a profound connection with the performance of ecosystem functioning. However as much of this work focusses on the functional contribution of plants to singular functions, there is a need for empirical research on multi-functionality and trade-offs within the biodiversity-function relationship of consumer trophic levels. This project will build on a solid research base to increase our understanding of biodiversity-function theory at a more holistic level.

Funding

  • ARC Discovery Grant
  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • UWA Animal Biology