IAE Biodiversity and Metacommunity Ecology Research Group

Leader of the research group: 
Profile of the group: 

Habitat loss and fragmentation are among the major threats to biodiversity in the era of Anthropocene. By applying modern tools of metacommunity ecology, we aim to understand how habitat quality and the spatial configuration of habitat patches in a network jointly shape community composition and sustain biodiversity. At the local scale, we focus on the most relevant stressors, constraints imposed by the environment, and trophic relationships, together with their changes through climate change and other human influences. Our goal is to understand their interaction with spatial processes: connectivity through the dispersal of local biota and the spatial insurance provided by habitat networks. To this end, we combine empirical observations with experimental studies by using island-like habitats such as ponds (or in experiments, micro- and mesocosms), and their aquatic communities as models.

Selected publications:


Thompson P. L., Guzman M. L., De Meester L., Horváth Zs., Ptacnik R., Vanschoenwinkel B., Viana D. S. & Chase J. M. (2020): A process‐based metacommunity framework linking local and regional scale community ecology Ecology Letters 23: 1314-1329


Horváth Zs, R Ptacnik, Cs F Vad, J M Chase (2019): Habitat loss over six decades accelerates regional and local biodiversity loss via changing landscape connectance Ecology Letters 22(6): 1019-1027