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Birds in the Entangled Bank

…advances in food webs theory and practice

(Birds in the entangled bank is a one-day conference organised for the BOU by Darren Evans (University of Hill, UK), Rob Robinson (BTO, UK) and Ruben Heleno (Centre for Functional Ecology, Portugal))

19 November 2014 | Peterborough, UK

This multi-disciplinary conference aims to bring together those studying birds, insects, plants and other taxa, to facilitate integration of research across trophic levels.

The past decade has seen significant advances in the theoretical understanding, construction, analysis and application of complex species interaction networks. Ecological networks describe the interactions between species, the underlying structure of communities and the function and stability of ecosystems. While there have been many bird-oriented studies focussing on particular interactions, such as seed dispersal mutualisms and predator-prey relationships, there have been few attempts to embed birds within wider ecological networks. Recent advances in ecological network theory and molecular techniques amongst others offer the opportunity to study complex interactions across multiple trophic levels from local to landscape scales.

Network theory provides an exciting analytical framework to study species interactions in a wider ecological context. After introducing the concept of ecological networks, speakers will present a blend of state-of-the-art methods and stimulating case- studies to demonstrate the potential of this approach in ornithology and wider conservation practice.

The conference aims to:

To bring together ornithologists, entomologists, botanists and others studying species interactions across trophic levels at all scales

To showcase new and emerging theory and practice in ecological networks to stimulate further advances

To highlight the applications of new molecular techniques to understand bird food webs

2nd October 2014