My research topics include spatial ecology, ecosystem-community structure relationships, and stability and adaptive capacity of whole ecosystems.
Currently, I am studying how species interactions in the context of food webs affect how the ecosystem responds to changing environmental conditions, specifically in the context of metrics of stability and adaptive capacity. For example, in managing an ecosystem to sustain ecosystem production or persistence of functions, what trophic structure aids or hinders the ecosystem when the environment changes ?
It is imperative that we understand joint ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change to predict future threats to biological diversity. According to recent studies, there is a lack of theoretical studies investigating the consequences of how different types of species interactions (e.g. predator–prey, competition) will affect predictions on species responses such as range shifts and there exists little theoretical understanding of how trophic interactions may set limits on evolution.
I examine how species interactions may modify whole ecosystem response to environmental change and allow or prevent persistence of ecosystem services. We need to better understand these processes if we are going to be able to make even simple predictions as a species faced with global change.
- Yuan Z., Wang S., Gazol A., Mellard J., Lin F., Ye J., Hao Z., Wang X. and Loreau M. (2016) — Multiple metrics of diversity have different effects on temperate forest functioning over succession. Oecologia 182:1175–1185 . Download
- Mellard J.P. and Ballantyne IV F. (2014) — Conflict between dynamical and evolutionary stability in simple ecosystems. Theoretical Ecology 7: 273-288
- Mellard J.P., Yoshiyama K., Klausmeier C.A. and Litchman E. (2012) — Experimental test of phytoplankton competition for nutrients and light in poorly-mixed water columns. Ecological Monographs 82: 239-256.
- Mellard J.P., Yoshiyama K., Litchman E. and Klausmeier C.A. (2011) — The vertical distribution of phytoplankton in stratified water columns. Journal of Theoretical Biology 269: 16-30.
- Yoshiyama K., Mellard J.P., Litchman E. and Klausmeier C.A. (2009) — Phytoplankton competition for nutrients and light in a stratified water column. American Naturalist 174: 190-203.