This course considers intraspecific and interspecific interactions among plants and animals. It offers a thorough review of (advanced) demography and population dynamics theory and its applications. The role of stochasticity is emphasized.
At the interspecific level, the course focuses on mechanisms of competition (including resource exploitation but also apparent competition), on how species with overlapping niches can nevertheless coexist, and on how competitive interactions can be investigated with experimental approaches (both single and multiple generations). Additionally, it explores how species interactions (competition, but also predation and parasitism) shape community structure and how the importance of such interactions for community structure can be analysed and quantified. Finally, the functioning of food webs is introduced, as well as the role of complexity in food web and ecosystem stability.