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Jörgen Ripa

Researcher | Associate Professor

Research Interests

Adaptive radiations in α and β niche dimensions

I theoretically investigate the ecological drivers of adaptive radiations - a rapid burst of speciations within a single lineage, filling up available niche space. A focal question is what type of traits diverge first - traits associated with adaptation to different habitat types (β-traits) or traits assocaited with local competition, which make local coexistence possible (α-traits). Examples of α-traits are diet preference traits or microhabitat adaptations. β-traits are typically adaptations to the physical environement, such as heat, cold or drought adaptiations. Is it possible to predict what traits are evolutionary conserved, or vice versa, if we find that one type of trait evolves more readily, what conclusions can we draw from such a pattern? These are fundamental questions for the intrepretation of current biogeographic and phylogenetic data, and our understanding of the emergence of species on earth.

Species evolution in variable environments

All organisms have to cope with a variable physical environment. However, such variation also generates fluctuating population densities, which in itself imposes a variable selection pressure. Moreover, the fluctations in population size will depend on what type or life history strategy is currently dominating the population. I am interested in this feedback loop between the short-term ecological time-scale and the long-term evolutionary time-scale. How do species and in particular species interactions evolve when all interacting species vary in abundance over time as well as space?

Population and community dynamics in variable, stochastic, environments

I also have a long term interest in the interplay between endogenous population dynamics, driven by ecological interactions, and structured (temporally or spatially) environmental fluctuations.


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

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