Functional ecology from organism to ecosystem: theory and computation (FEER01)
5th March 2018 - 9th March 2018£260.00 - £610.00
The course will describe different aspects and methods of functional ecology, from organisms to ecosystems, combining theoretical lessons with hands-on real data. Lectures will cover general aspects of functional ecology, including definitions, measurements and different applications of functional traits. They will include analysis of traits at organismal, community and ecosystem levels, including relationships to ecosystem function and ecological services, and use examples from land use change, climate change, and multi-trophic interactions. An overview of existing computational methods, including recent developments authored by the lecturers, will be provided during the course and the students will learn how to apply them using functions and scripts run in R. Students are welcome to apply these tools to their own data, or use the data provided, to be analysed during the course while benefiting from advise by the lecturers. The aim of the course is to provide participants with a handy synthesis of existing concepts, tools and trends in functional ecology and guide them to apply these tools to their own field of interest. As the field of functional ecology is rapidly expanding, participants will be ready to exploit the potential of the main trait approaches.
Research postgraduates, practicing academics and primary investigators in population and community ecology working on a variety or organism type (plants, invertebrates, vertebrates) interested in evaluating changes in functional traits with environmental changes and the consequences for ecosystem functioning. The skills learnt can also be applied by management and environmental professionals in government and industry.
We offer COURSE ONLY and ACCOMMODATION PACKAGES;
• COURSE ONLY – Includes lunch and refreshments.
• ACCOMMODATION PACKAGE (to be purchased in addition to the course only option) – Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, refreshments, minibus to and from meeting point and accommodation. Accommodation is multiple occupancy (max 3 people) single sex en-suite rooms. Arrival Sunday 4th March and departure Friday 9th March PM.
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Cancellation policy: Cancellations are accepted up to 28 days before the course start date subject to a 25% cancellation fee. Cancellations later than this may be considered, contact firstname.lastname@example.org Failure to attend will result in the full cost of the course being charged. In the unfortunate event that PRstatistics must cancel this course due to unforeseen circumstances a full refund for the course will be credited. However PRstatistics cannot be held responsible for any travel fees, accommodation or other expenses incurred to you as a result of the cancellation.
There will be morning lectures based on the modules outlined in the course timetable. In the afternoon there will be practical’s based on the topics covered that morning. Data sets for computer practical’s will be provided by the instructors, but participants are welcome to bring their own data.
Assumed quantitative knowledge
A basic understanding of statistical concepts including statistical significance and hypothesis testing, and a familiarity in working with species, community, or ecosystem level data.
Assumed computer background
Familiarity with R. Ability to import/export data, manipulate data frames, fit basic statistical models & generate simple exploratory and diagnostic plots.
Equipment and software requirements
A laptop/personal computer with a working version or R and RStudio installed. R and RStudio are supported by both PC and MAC and can be downloaded for free by following these links.
It is essential that you come with all necessary software and packages already installed (you will be sent a list of packages prior to the course) internet access may not always be available.
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Meet at the Tullie Inn, Balloch at approximately 18:30 before being taken by minibus to SCENE (Download directions PDF).
Monday 5th – Classes from 09:00 to 17:00
• People’s traits game
• Introduction to functional ecology and key definitions
• Environmental filtering and related community metrics
• Overview on functional trait community metrics
• Practical with ‘community weighted mean’ and solution to potential biases
Tuesday 6th – Classes from 09:00 to 17:00
• Species level analyses
• Missing values and trait databases
• Functional diversity indices (alpha, beta and gamma diversity)
• Practical with functional diversity indices
Wednesday 7th – Classes from 09:00 to 17:00
• Trait evolution and the relevance of phylogenetic distance between species
• Phylogenetic corrections
• Combining functional and trait information
• Practical on phylogeny and traits
Thursday 8th – Classes from 09:00 to 16:00
• Community assembly: theory
• Community assembly: from species to community level analyses
• Practical on community assembly
Friday 9th – Classes from 09:00 to 16:00
• Effects of traits on ecosystem processes and services
• The trait sampling game
• Intraspecific trait variability: biological relevance and quantification
• Practical on intraspecific trait variability