Processes and biodiversity in native woodland ecosystems (PROBECO) header image
  Processes and biodiversity in native woodland ecosystems (PROBECO)
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Read a brief description of the main individual project areas

Phytochemical Diversity
Ecological Processes
Vertebrate herbivore and vegetation interactions
Plant-invertebrate interactions
Soil microbial and mycorrhizal diversity and function
Spatial Ecology


Scientific Rationale
Conservation Rationale
Research Team
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This study is investigating the inter-relationships between biodiversity at different biological levels in Scots pine woodlands, which are a high conservation priority, and which typify forest systems on organic soils, where the chemical ecology is dominated by high-levels of carbon-based secondary metabolites. A multi-disciplinary research team is examining how chemical differences between individual Scots pine trees, affects the diversity, processes and functioning of other components of the system eg. mycorrhizas and soil microbiota, associated plant communities, and insect and vertebrate herbivores. Spatial analysis and modeling of these inter-relationships will permit quantification of the scale over which biodiversity varies both within the woodlands and in relation to neighbouring communities. It will also identify the scale at which conservation measures would be most effectively implemented.


  1. That diversity within the dominant plant population, determines the diversity at other trophic levels.
  2. That an important mechanism by which the dominant plant component of an ecosystem influences the diversity and function of associated communities is via its phytochemical composition, which may act:
    1. directly through effects on herbivores and associated plant communities.
    2. indirectly through soil microbial processes, and multitrophic interactions.


to see a brief outline of the integrale project components




Contact information: Email Glenn Iason: Telephone +44 (0) 1224 395000 - The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, UK.
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