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Applied Ecology - APPLECOL

Applied Ecology - APPLECOL

ApplEcol joins researchers interested in population and community ecology, and its use as a conceptual framework to solve practical problems in ecosystem management, conservation biology, impact assessment and mitigation, and the sustainable use of biological resources. Concurrently, the team members pay a strong attention to the development and testing of general concepts and theory in population and community ecology, using human interventions on socio- ecological systems as informative experiments occurring over a range of temporal and spatial scales. The group thus aims to strengthen the feedback loop between applied and fundamental research, to the mutual benefit of science and the resolution of societal problems.

In this context, ApplEcol aims to understand (i) the mechanisms favouring population and metapopulation persistence in face of anthropogenic stressors such as habitat loss, fragmentation, and changes in vital rates (e.g., fecundity, survival and dispersal), and (ii) the mechanisms favouring the preservation of high biodiversity levels in human-dominated landscapes. To pursue these objectives, ApplEcol uses a combination of observational, experimental and modelling approaches. Although a large part of the research has focused on vertebrates, there is increasing work on plants and arthropods, namely through the development of novel metabarcoding tools to tackle complex questions involving highly diverse groups.

Research is mainly conducted at the landscape scale, but there is also an interest in scaling-up patterns and processes to the regional and biogeographical levels, and vice versa. Studies are conducted over a range of time frames, including the collection of long term data series in the scope of the Baixo Sabor Long Term Ecological Research Site. To assure the applied character of its research, ApplEcol has developed strong partnerships with private corporations and the public administration, thereby assuring knowledge transfer to the society.

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