Shaopeng Wang


I am interested in patterns and mechanisms of biodiversity, and consequence of global change on ecosystem functioning and services. I develop theoretical models to examine how processes operating on various scales interact to regulate the dynamics of ecological systems.

During my PhD, I worked on the neutral theory of biodiversity (NTB) to explore its implications for macroevolutionary studies. NTB bridges from ecological to geologic timescales by incorporating the process of speciation in a stochastic birth-death model of population dynamics, but most studies had focused mainly on the ecological timescale. We extended NTB to include interspecific variation in per capita speciation rates, which generated two interesting patterns: a declining average speciation rate through time, and a negative relationship between species abundance and (per capita) speciation rate. These patterns are consistent with empirical data from fossil record and Panamanian tropical tree species, respectively.

Currently, I am developing a theoretical framework to understand the temporal stability of metacommunities. Stability at local and meta- scales can be linked through an additive or multiplicative term, similar to the partitioning of species diversity in space. With this framework, I further use statistical and dynamic models to investigate the effects of local competition, species synchrony, spatial dispersal, and environmental correlations on the metacommunity stability. The results will have practical implications for predicting the consequence of biodiversity loss, habitat loss and fragment on ecosystem functioning and stability.

Selected papers


  • Haegeman B., Arnoldi J-F., Wang S., de Mazancourt C., Montoya J.M. and Loreau M. (2016) — Resilience, Invariability, and Ecological Stability across Levels of Organization. bioRxiv. Download
  • 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
  • Wang S. and Loreau M. — Biodiversity and ecosystem stability across scales in metacommunities. Ecology Letters (2016) 19: 510–518 - [doi: 10.1111/ele.12582]. Download
  • Wang S., Haegeman B. and Loreau M. (2015) — Dispersal and metapopulation stability. PeerJ. 3:e1295 [DOI: 10.7717/peerj.1295] Download
  • De Roissart A., Wang S. and Bonte D. (2015) — Spatial and spatiotemporal variation in metapopulation structure affects population dynamics in a passively dispersing arthropod. Journal of Animal Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12400
  • Wang S., Chen A., Pacala S.W. and Fang J. (2015) — Density-dependent speciation alters the structure and dynamics of neutral communities.Journal of Theoretical Biology. 372: 128–134
  • Wang S. and Loreau M. (2014) — Ecosystem stability in space: α, β and γ variability. Ecology Letters. 17: 891–901
  • Wang S., Chen A., Fang J. and Pacala S.W. (2013) — Why abundant tropical tree species are phylogenetically old? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1314992110
  • Wang S, Chen A., Fang J. and Pacala S.W. (2013) — Speciation Rates Decline through Time in Individual-Based Models of Speciation and Extinction. The American Naturalist. 182(3): E83-E93.
  • Chen A., Wang S. and Pacala S.W. (2012) — Comments on "Global correlations in tropical tree species richness and abundance reject neutrality". Science. 336: 1639d
  • Wang S., Tang Z., Qiao X., Shen Z., Wang X., Zheng C. and Fang J. (2012) — The influence of species pools and local processes on the community structure: a test case with woody plant communities in China's mountains. Ecography. 35(12): 1168–1175.
  • Qiao X., Tang Z., Wang S., Liu Y. and Fang J. (2012) — Effects of community structure on species-area relationship in China. Ecography. 35(12) 1117–1123.
  • Piao S., Luyssaert S., Ciais P., Janssens I.A., Chen A., Cao C., Fang J., Friedlingstein P., Luo Y. and Wang S. (2010) — Forest annual carbon cost: A global-scale analysis of autotrophic respiration. Ecology. 91(3): 652–661


Link to all papers




  • Sept. 2009 – Jan. 2013: Peking University, Beijing, China Ph.D. (January 2013), Department of Ecology, Advisor: Jingyun Fang
  • Sept. 2010 - Sept. 2011: Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA Visiting, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Advisor: Steve Pacala
  • Sept. 2007 – July 2009: Peking University, Beijing, China Master studies, School of Mathematical Sciences, Advisor: Zhi Geng
  • Sept. 2003 – July 2007: Peking University, Beijing, China, B.A. (July 2007), School of Mathematical Sciences