Community Ecology

We combine mathematical models, simulations, and data set analyses to address fundamental and applied questions in ecology. Our current major research interest focuses on the structure and dynamics of ecological networks. This complements main approaches to biodiversity research that neglect species interactions or assume these are homogeneously distributed. As an example, our application of network theory to the study of mutualisms among free-living species has provided a quantitative framework to address mutualistic interactions at the community level.
Our work has shown that these networks of mutual dependencies between plants and animals present general architectural patterns that maximize the number of coexisting species and increase the range of perturbations that can be withstood before one or more species goes extinct.


  • A keystone gene underlies the persistence of an experimental food web
    Barbour, Matthew A.; Kliebenstein, Daniel J.; Bascompte, Jordi
    Science 10.1126/science.abf2232   APR 1 2022
  • The joint role of coevolutionary selection and network structure in shaping trait matching in mutualisms
    Pedraza, Fernando; Bascompte, Jordi
    Proceedings Of The Royal Society B-biological Sciences 10.1098/rspb.2021.1291  AUG 25 2021
  • Geographic variation in the robustness of pollination networks is mediated by modularity
    Liu, Hanlun; Liu, Zheyi; Zhang, Minhua; Bascompte, Jordi; He, Fangliang; et al.
    Global Ecology And Biogeography 10.1111/geb.13310  Early Access: MAY 2021
  • Habitat restoration in spatially explicit metacommunity models
    Gawecka, Klementyna A.; Bascompte, Jordi
    Journal Of Animal Ecology 10.1111/1365-2656.13450  Early Access: MAR 2021
  • Foreseeing the future of mutualistic communities beyond collapse
    Lever, J. Jelle; van de Leemput, Ingrid A.; Weinans, Els; Quax, Rick; Dakos, Vasilis; van Nes, Egbert H; Bascompte, Jordi; Scheffer, Marten
    Ecology Letters, 10.1111/ele.13401 JAN 2020
  • Network motifs involving both competition and facilitation predict biodiversity in alpine plant communities
    Losapio, Gianalberto; Schoeb, Christian; Staniczenko, Phillip P. A.; Carrara, Francesco; Palamara, Gian Marco; De Moraes, Consuelo M; Mescher, Mark C; Brooker, Rob W.; Butterfield, Bradley J; Callaway, Ragan M.; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Kikvidze, Zaal; Lortie, Christopher J; Michalet, Richard; Pugnaire, Francisco; Bascompte, Jordi
    Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 10.1073/pnas.2005759118  FEB 2021
  • An experimental approach to assessing the impact of ecosystem engineers on biodiversity and ecosystem functions
    Losapio, Gianalberto; Schmid, Bernhard; Bascompte, Jordi; Michalet, Richard; Cerretti, Pierfilippo; Germann, Christoph; Haenni, Jean-Paul; Neumeyer, Rainer; Javier Ortiz-Sanchez, Francisco; Pont, Adrian C; Rousse, Pascal; Schmid, Jurg; Sommaggio, Daniele; Schoeb, Christian
    Ecology, DOI: 10.1002/ecy.3243  FEB 2021
  • Genetic correlations and ecological networks shape coevolving mutualisms
    Assis, Ana Paula A.; Thompson, John N.; Santana, Pamela Cristina; Jordano, Pedro; Bascompte, Jordi; et al.
    Ecology Letters  DOI: 10.1111/ele.13605  DEC 2020
  • Partner Fidelity and Asymmetric Specialization in Ecological Networks
    Fortuna, Miguel A.; Nagavci, Arxhina; Barbour, Matthew A.; Bascompte, Jordi
    American Naturalist  DOI: 10.1086/709961 SEP 1 2020
  • Loss of consumers constrains phenotypic evolution in the resulting food web
    Barbour, Matthew A.; Greyson-Gaito, Christopher J.; Sotoodeh, Arezoo; Locke, Brendan; Bascompte, Jordi
    Evolution Letters  DOI: 10.1002/evl3.170 JUN 2020
  • Measuring Coevolutionary Dynamics in Species-Rich Communities
    Hall, Alex R.; Ashby, Ben; Bascompte, Jordi; King, Kayla C.
    Trends In Ecology & Evolution 2020 10.1016/j.tree.2020.02.002
Jordi Bascompte Zurich University

Prof. Dr. Jordi Bascompte
University of Zurich
Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
8057 Zurich

Tel: +41 (0)44 635 61 26

Research topics

  • Plant-animal mutualistic networks
  • Coevolution
  • Food webs
  • Metapopulations and metacommunities


  • Integrating theory and experimental work
  • Community-wide impacts of global environmental change 
  • Integrating ecology and evolution