Ecological and evolutionary consequences of plant–fungal invasions

Methods Workshops

Two methods workshops will be held straight after the symposium at the University of Campinas. The workshops will both run over two days simultaneously. The workshops are open to individuals not attending the symposium and there will be no charge to attend. However, attendees will need to fund their own travel, food, and accommodation. 

 

Workshop 1 

Analyzing environmental DNA metabarcoding data in invasion ecology

Instructors: Dr József Geml, Hungarian Academy of Sciences/Eszterházy Károly University; Dr Erika Buscardo, University of Brasília

 

Microorganisms are the foundation of the earth’s biosphere and represent most of the planet’s biodiversity. Many plant species form obligatory symbiotic interactions with microbes, e.g. mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria, to establish, grow, and reproduce. Therefore, most exotic plant species also need to rely on compatible belowground mutualists in their new environments. This two-day workshop will provide a theoretical and practical overview of the use of DNA metabarcoding of environmental samples in community ecology, from bioinformatic methods of DNA sequence data handling to statistical analyses in community ecology. These powerful tools have the potential answer several scientific questions related to invasion ecology, for example:

  • Which microorganisms form mutualistic symbioses with invasive plants?
  • Are these mutualistic microorganisms native or are exotic and co-invasive with their hosts?
  • What environmental factors shape the diversity and composition of microbial communities?
  • Do co-invasive microorganisms form an advancing front of spore banks to facilitate host invasion?
  • How is microbial community structure related to function (e.g. C and N cycles)?

 

Workshop 2 

Population and evolutionary genomics of invasive species

Instructor: Dr Eva Stukenbrock, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology/University of Kiel

 

Population genomics is the field wherein patterns of genetic variation across full genomes of many individuals is analysed. By assessing the distribution of variable sites in coding and non-coding parts of the genome, we can learn about the effects of natural selection, recombination, genetic drift and effective population size on genome evolution. This two-day workshop will give an introduction into key concepts in the field of population and evolutionary genomics and will discuss how they can be applied to understand evolutionary dynamics in introduced and invasive species. Approaches to data analysis will be illustrated through hands-on exercises.

 

If you are interested in attending one of these workshops, please contact us. Please include the workshop that you would like to attend in your message.