The Bug-Network

BugNet research questions

  • How does the functional composition of invertebrate communities vary with abiotic and biotic drivers?
  • How important are direct effects of climate vs. indirect effects of changes in the plant community?
  • Do insect herbivores, molluscs and fungal pathogens differ in their impact on plant communities? And do they interact with each other?
  • When do invertebrate herbivores and fungal pathogens have the strongest effects on plant communities (productivity, community composition and diversity)?

BugNet aims

  • To collect data on plant- and invertebrate functional community characteristics to investigate how the functional composition of invertebrate communities changes along abiotic and biotic gradients.
  • To set up identical invertebrate herbivore and fungal exclusion experiments to quantify plant community and ecosystem responses to insects, molluscs and fungal pathogens in a wide range of herbaceous-dominated ecosystems, such as desert grasslands to arctic tundra, but also heathlands or Mediterranean shrublands.

bug-net.org

The BugNet is run out of the University of Bern and the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (Switzerland).