Supervisor: Ira Tanya Handa
Is it possible to explain the community structure of higher trophic levels by solely using a functional approach based on traits? We propose to push the functional trait concept to its limits by verifying if congeneric exotic and native species bearing similar functional traits are interchangeable and result in similar ecological filters for community assembly of mesofauna (collembola) living in the litter layer at the Auclair and Cloquet IDENT sites (International Diversity Experiment Network with Trees) . I also want to determine further the potential mechanisms that lead to the response traits of the collembola with path analyses. Additionally, our project would contribute to the discussion regarding the emergence of novel forest ecosystems and whether or not we should be preoccupied by the establishment of exotic species in our ecosystems if they are not invasive.