Title of symposium:
The role of invertebrates in undisturbed tropical ecosystems

Principal organizer:
Dr Cecilia Dahlsjö
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Co-organizers:
Dr Kate Parr
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

Dr Paul Eggleton
Soil Biodiversity Group, Natural History Museum, London, UK

Symposium summary
Invertebrates represent a highly diverse group of animals that play a major role in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. The importance of invertebrate activity is particularly pronounced in lowland tropical forests where their diversity is high. As well as comprising a wealth of species, invertebrates represent a variety of functional groups ranging from predators to seed dispersers and decomposers. They are responsible for altering ecosystems by modifying, maintaining and creating habitats for organisms within the ecosystem and, as such, play a major role in population dynamics, nutrient cycling and plant growth. In this symposium we address questions related to the role that invertebrates play in ecosystem functioning in undisturbed tropical ecosystems.

List of speakers and presentation titles

00.00 – 00.15
Dr Cecilia Dahlsjö
Presentation title: The role of termites in soil processes
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
c.dahlsjo@gmail.com

00.15 – 00.30
Dr Louise Ashton
Presentation title: Termites increase ecosystem resilience to drought in tropical rainforest
Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London, UK
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

00.30 – 00.45
Dr Kate Parr
Presentation title: Quantifying the role of ants in tropical ecosystems
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

00.45 – 01.00
Stephanie Law
Presentation title: Vertical stratification of tropical ant assemblages: do ground ants restrict the foraging distribution of arboreal ants?
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

01.00 – 01.15
Sarah Bonney
Presentation title: Ecological resilience to ant removal in Australia
Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia

01.15 – 01.30
Professor Owen Lewis
Presentation title: Dung beetle diversity and functioning in tropical forests
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

01.30 – 01.45
Dr Paul Eggleton
Presentation title: Invertebrates in tropical rain forests: baselines or outliers?
Natural History Museum, London, UK

01.45 – 02.00
Synthesis discussion with audience and speakers.