Plankton in Lake Geneva : you can’t have it both ways


The project in a nutshell

Organisms face trade-offs in how they use energy and resources to grow, acquire resources, and defend themselves. The existence of these trade-offs helps maintain a diversity of species in natural communities, because no one species can be best at everything. This governs which species are present at any particular time, how communities change over time, and consequently they shape ecosystems. Despite this, we don’t really know what the trade-offs that phytoplankton communities face are, even though they are responsible for nearly half of all photosynthesis. We are using high-frequency monitoring data from Lac Leman and machine learning techniques to try to uncover what these trade-offs are. Once we understand this, we will be better placed to forecast how communities and ecosystems will change in the future.

Team members

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