Macroecology projects See below for information on my ongoing and finished projects.
InvasEVe: Large-scale assessment of alien plant invasions in European vegetation (ongoing project)
Invasive alien species can have detrimental consequences on the environment and economy. Their control has become a top priority for European environmental policy. However, we still know little about plant communities most at risk and environmental conditions that favour invasions. Together with my collaborators, I have launched the first study of alien plant invasion across European vegetation. Our aims are: (1) to identify vegetation types most vulnerable to invasions, (2) to clarify how environmental variables influence the levels of invasion, and (3) to map the levels of invasion for the most common vegetation types in Europe. The backbone of the study will be the recently established European Vegetation Archive (EVA) – the largest vegetation data compilation from European countries. The project will also establish close ties with the checklist of alien species in Europe (DAISIE database).
Project duration: May 2014 – October 2016 Funding: The project is financed from the SoMoPro II programme. The research leading to this result has acquired a financial grant from the People Programme (Marie Curie action) of the Seventh Framework Programme of EU according to the REA Grant Agreement No. 291782. The research is further co-financed by the South-Moravian Region.
Collaborators: Milan Chytrý, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Ilona Knollová (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), Jan Pergl (Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic), Petr Pyšek (Academy of Sciences, Charles University, Czech Republic), and EVA data contributors
Niche shifts at large spatial scales (finished project)
The niche is one of the oldest concepts in ecology. Understanding its temporal and spatial variability is urgently needed to predict the dynamics of species distribution ranges. However, while our knowledge on the spatial variability of the macroclimate niche has been boosted in recent decades, we know very little about the spatial variability of edaphic niches. Together with my collaborators, I analyzed the spatial soil pH niche variability across dry grasslands in Europe and Asia. We chose soil pH because it stands out as one of the most important edaphic variables that control species occurrence. By using a large dataset on species occurrence and measured soil pH values, we inspected whether species niches are fixed or whether they vary spatially, in response to regional differences in climate and substrate availability.
Project duration: October 2012 – April 2014) Funding: Czech Science Foundation (project no. P504-11-0454) Collaborators: Milan Chytrý, David Zelený, Jiří Danihelka, Pavel Lustyk, Kristina Merunková, Salza Palpurina, Zdenka Preislerová1 (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), Henrik von Wehrden (Leuphana University, Germany), Annika Brinkert, Norbert Hölzel, Johannes Kamp (University of Münster, Germany), Karsten Wesche (Senkenberg Museum, Germany) Publication: in review