Assessing ecosystem functions mediated by multi-trophic trait interactions: Current knowledge and future perspectives

Le 09 Février 2018
11h30 Grande Salle CEFE (1919 Rte de Mende, 1e étage, aille C)

Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Suisse

(Seminar in English)

Ecosystem functions and underlying services are strongly influenced by multitrophic relationships with functional traits playing a central role in structuring them. Assessing which traits and functional components of biodiversity mediate such interactions and affect ecosystem function under different stressors is still poorly known. Most studies on trophic interactions have been focused at the species level, limiting our mechanistic understanding on biotic control over ecosystem service delivery. Also very rarely, negative interactions meditated by e.g. antipredatory strategies have been considered. In my talk I will provide an overview of the major attempts proposed to extend trait-based approaches of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning research from one single trophic level to multiple trophic levels. I will then present examples of trophic interactions between single species and whole communities, illustrating them with examples from herbivory, pollination, and soil decomposition. Finally, I will discuss current gaps and future perspectives in this field.


Dehling, D.M., Toepfer, T., Schaefer, H.M., Jordano, P., Boehning-Gaese, K. & Schleuning, M. (2014) Functional relationships beyond species richness patterns: trait matching in plant-bird mutualisms across scales. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23, 1085-1093.

Lavorel, S., Storkey, J., Bardgett, R.D., de Bello, F., Berg, M.P., Le Roux, X., Moretti, M., Mulder, C., Pakeman, R.J., Diaz, S. & Harrington, R. (2013) A novel framework for linking functional diversity of plants with other trophic levels for the quantification of ecosystem services. Journal of Vegetation Science, 24, 942-948.

Moretti, M., Dias, A.T., Bello, F., Altermatt, F., Chown, S.L., Azcárate, F.M., Bell, J.R., Fournier, B., Hedde, M. & Hortal, J. (2017) Handbook of protocols for standardized measurement of terrestrial invertebrate functional traits. Functional Ecology, 31, 558-567.

Schleuning, M., Frund, J. & Garcia, D. (2015) Predicting ecosystem functions from biodiversity and mutualistic networks: an extension of trait-based concepts to plant-animal interactions. Ecography, 38, 380-392.


Jérôme CORTET :

Contact du Comité SEEM:   Contact du Labex CEMEB: