Permanent researchers: Dani Boix, Stéphanie Gascón, Xavier D. Quintana, Anna Romaní, Sergi Sabater
The main goals of this line of research are:
- to compare taxonomical and functional approaches to studying the structure of aquatic communities;
- size-based approaches in studying trophic interactions in aquatic communities;
- spatial and temporal changes in the structure of the community.
An approach based on organism size is complementary to a taxonomical, non redundant focus. Therefore, the combination of perspectives based on the taxonomy and on the size in the study of the structure of the community leads to a better understanding of the ecological functioning of the aquatic ecosystems. Both approaches help us in order to understand the temporary and spatial patterns observed in the aquatic communities, as well as to identify the main factors that regulate ecological processes as the succession, the dispersion, the daily migration, the depredation, the competence or the use of the microhabitat.
At level of the aquatic microbial communities, the structure of the community can be studied also from a taxonomical aspect (with the utilisation of molecular techniques) and functional (to divide by examples of the analysis of the capacity to use diverse organic compounds). In the microbial communities we can find examples with more or less functional redundancy and a biggest/minor functional plasticity what will mean a different answer in front to perturbations or environmental changes.