Why is there variation in the way species interact over space or time? We analyse spatially and temporally replicated datasets of surveys of species interactions to measure the variation in the structure of ecological networks, and describe its dynamics.
This research reveals an important aspect of the dissimilarity of ecological communities: the same species can interact in different ways. This opens a lot of stimulating questions. Do species and interactions respond to the same environmental cues and variables? Which are more informative? What is the spatial scale at which variations ceases to matter? How much of this variation is random?