Network Analyses Can Advance Above-Belowground Ecology

Kelly S. Ramirez (Corresponding author), Stefan Geisen, Elly Morriën, Basten L. Snoek, Wim H. van der Putten

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


An understanding of above-belowground (AG-BG) ecology is important for evaluating how plant interactions with enemies, symbionts, and decomposers affect species diversity and will respond to global changes. However, research questions and experiments often focus on only a limited number of interactions, creating an incomplete picture of how entire communities may be involved in AG-BG community ecology. Therefore, a pressing challenge is to formulate hypotheses of AG-BG interactions when considering communities in their full complexity. Here we discuss how network analyses can be a powerful tool to progress AG-BG research, link across scales from individual to community and ecosystem, visualize community interactions between the two (AG and BG) subsystems, and develop testable hypotheses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-768
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • terrestrial ecology
  • species interactions
  • community ecology
  • global change
  • NIOO


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