The aim of the project is to test and model various aspects of the Equilibrium Theory of Biodiversity Dynamics (ETBD, Storch et al. 2018, Storch & Okie 2019) to reveal processes behind diversity patterns. ETBD postulates that biological diversity has a tendency to stabilize at particular levels typical for given region and determined by area, productivity/resource abundance and environmental stability. The theory has profound consequences for biodiversity conservation (as it implies that biodiversity maintenance is impossible without maintaining its environmental determinants) as well as for our understanding of basic processes generating macroecological patterns in species richness, abundance and distribution. Yet various aspects of the theory remain to be tested, and particular processes of diversity dynamics modulated by the environment should be explicitly modeled. The candidate is expected to analyse large-scale data on species distributions and abundances (including fossil data) and/or model diversity dynamics and test the outputs of these simulation models using distributional and phylogenetic data on multiple taxa and regions. Skills in mathematics/statistics, as well as programming abilities (R, Bayesian statistics, Approximate Bayesian Computation, phylogenetic methods etc.) are expected, although the focus of the candidate could be accomodated based on her/his exact skills and interests.
Five relevant publications of the research group:
Storch D., Bohdalková E. & Okie J. (2018). The more-individuals hypothesis revisited: the role of community abundance in species richness regulation and the productivity-diversity relationship. Ecology Letters 21: 920-937.
Storch D. & Okie J. (2019). The carrying capacity for species richness. Global Ecology and Biogeography 28: 1519-1532.
Šímová I. & Storch D. (2017). The enigma of terrestrial primary productivity: measurements, models, scales and the diversity-productivity relationship. Ecography 40: 239-252.
Machac A., Graham C.H. & Storch D. (2018). Ecological controls of mammalian diversification vary with phylogenetic scale. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27: 32-46.
Toszogyova A. & Storch D. (2019). Global diversity patterns are modulated by temporal fluctuations in primary productivity. Global Ecology and Biogeography 28: 1827-1838.Apply to the project