Sandra Brucet

Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya

The contribution of species interactions such as predation, competition and facilitation to forming local communities is an intensely discussed topic in ecological research. A major methodological challenge is to disentangle the effects of geographical and abiotic predictors from those caused by species interactions.

In this study we applied a model-based approach on fish community composition in 772 European lakes, to find empirical evidence for contributions of species interactions to fish community composition. Our study reveals that positive and negative interactions between species are contributing substantially to the structuring of fish communities in European lakes, in addition to environmental filters and dispersal limitation.