“Quantifying rapid change in ecological communities”
Eric Pedersen, Concordia University
Tuesday February 4, 12-1pm
Montreal Neurological Institute, deGrandpre Communications Centre
Abstract: Abrupt ecological change has been observed in a wide range of aquatic ecosystems, from the scale of lakes to the fish communities in whole ocean basins. Understanding the causes and dynamics of periods of rapid change is important both for understanding what forces shapes ecological communities, and for effectively managing ecosystems to meet human needs. However, it is still difficult to even quantify what constitutes an abrupt change when looking at diverse multi-species systems spread out across large areas. I will explore a statistical approach we’ve developed to model change in multispecies communities called Hierarchical Generalized Additive Models, and show how we can use this method (and extensions of it) to detect and quantify rapid ecological change as it occurs, as well as the spatial dynamics of abrupt change across landscapes.