Michio Kondoh

ETT-Fellow 2015

Prof. Michio Kondoh visited the MGSE as an ETT-Fellow from January to March 2015. His research stay was funded by the DFG and "Santander Universities", with the latter financially supporting the interdisciplinary ETT.

Prof. Kondoh is an Associate Professor at Ryukoku University (Japan) and is working in the field of evolutionary biology, population ecology and community ecology. His studies are mostly theoretical, carried out with modelling approaches.

Prof. Kondoh introduced himself to the MGSE with a lecture entitled “Complexity of interaction network and "unexpected" response of ecological communities”.

A changed population density of a species, which might be intentional or unintentional, can be transmitted to other species in the same community via interspecific interactions. Yet, it is not easy to predict the consequence of such indirect effects in real nature because of the complex nature of community network. Actually, there have been a number of examples about "unexpected" responses of ecological communities to artificial manipulations or perturbations. In this talk, after explaining briefly the central questions to be asked regarding the "unexpectedness" of complex communities, I would introduce our recent theoretical study on how determinacy and magnitude of indirect effect varies with community complexity (connectance, species richness) and time scale considered. The study predicts that an indirect effect can be counterintuitively more predictable and weaker in more complex communities, suggesting a kind of stability that characterizes complex ecological communities.

Moreover, Prof. Kondoh was actively involved in the MGSE Workshop on "Ecological networks" and gave a talk at the IEB seminar series "Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution.