Javier Daniel Montoya Teran
AgreenSkills session, year: 1st session, 2015
Receiving laboratory: Agroecology, Dijon
Country of origin : United Kingdom
Provisioning and stability of multiple ecosystem services in agro-ecosystems
The ambition of the project is to develop a theory on the provisioning and stability of multiple ecosystem services (ES) and their synergies and trade-offs in heterogeneous landscapes. In agricultural landscapes, several networks involving pollinators and habitats at local and landscape scales seem to co-exist independently of each other, e.g. semi-natural elements are important for wild bees’ but compete for land use with crops that are important for economic values. However, these networks are related, through their dependency on shared limiting resources, for instance the weeds that provide floral resources for bees. Farmland systems are also characterised by strong temporal variation, possibly leading to unstable dynamics in biodiversity or trophic relationships within communities or meta-communities. Consequently, trade-offs between the magnitude and stability of these ES and the magnitude and/or stability of crop production may occur through competition for space and habitat conversion (from semi-natural elements to crops), and the use of pesticides and herbicides in crops that also kill beneficial pollinators and weeds. But synergies may also occur if pesticides and herbicides are overused; in this case, a reduction in their applications should be beneficial to pollination and crop production simultaneously. Our goal is to offer new perspectives on farmland landscape management that better consider the spatiotemporal dynamics of multiple ES, with two main aims: develop a theoretical framework of stability of multiple ES in heterogeneous landscapes, and study the ecological consequences of landscape management policies that consider the stability of ES in addition to the magnitude in their provision.
Following a degree in environmental sciences, I soon decided to start a career in science. During my PhD (Spain) I studied the spatial structure of forest communities and their response to habitat loss and fragmentation, and was able to spend time at different international research institutions (University of California Irvine, Princeton University, University of London, Microsoft Research Cambridge). One key outcome of my PhD was recognition that species interactions confers robustness to deforestation. This led to an interest in ecological networks and field ecology, and prepared me to join the Community Ecology at Bristol, UK. At that time, I focused on applying techniques and recent advances from food web theory, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, and meta-community theory into ecological restoration, and had the opportunity to collaborate with conservation institutions. This project was followed by a Marie Curie Fellowship, where I led a field-based project on food web structure and function in intertidal salt marshes. The AgreenSkills Project allows me to continue developing my research interests on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
My research aims to understand the structure and functioning of biological communities: how biodiversity and species interactions affect community structure and stability, and how they affect the functioning of ecosystems. My research interests include: (i) structure and dynamics of complex ecological networks, (ii) community response to perturbations (habitat loss, climate change), (iii) community patterns at different spatial and temporal scales, (iv) community responses to restoration, and (v) agro-ecology.
Moreno-Mateos D., Barbier E.B., Jones P.C., Jones H.P., Aronson J., López-López J.A., McCrackin M.L., Meli P., Montoya D. & Rey-Benayas J.M. (2017). Anthropogenic ecosystem disturbance and the recovery debt. Nature Communications 8:14163;
* Lurgi, M., Montoya, D. & Montoya, J.M. (2016) The role of space and diversity of interaction types on the stability of complex ecological networks. Special Issue: Theory of Food Webs. Theoretical Ecology 9, 3-13;
* Montoya, D., Yallop, M.L. & Memmott, J. (2015). Functional group diversity increases with modularity in complex food webs. Nature Communications 6:7379;
* Montoya, D., Rogers, L. & Memmott, J. (2012). Emerging perspectives in the restoration of biodiversity-based ecosystem services. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27, 666-672;
* Montoya, D., Zavala, M. A., Rodríguez, M. A. & Purves, D. W. (2008). Animal versus wind dispersal and the robustness of tree species to deforestation. Science 320, 1502-1504.