Biodiversity and its Dynamics

We study general ecological patterns observable at large spatial and temporal scales, focussing on those which reveal invariances, i.e. which are independent (or predictably dependent) on taxon, scale, or region. Examples of such patterns are the species-area relationship (scale-dependence of species richness), latitudinal diversity gradient (i.e. the decrease of biodiversity from the Equator to the poles) or the species-abundance distribution (i.e. relative commonness and rarity of species). The aim is to understand the interrelationships between all these patterns, as well as fundamental evolutionary and ecological constraints determining them. Recently we are starting to focus also on temporal changes of diversity and distribution, both contemporary (in relation to climatic and land use changes) and in the geological past (in collaboration with paleoecologists).

David Storch [detail]

Biologist and ecologist. He is interested in macroecology, biodiversity and evolutionary ecology.

email: | website:

Irena Šímová [detail]

Biologist, namely ecologist and botanist. Her research concerns mechanisms generating species richness patterns at various spatial scales.


Arnošt L. Šizling [detail]

Biologist and ecologist.

email: | website:

Selected bibliography:

Keil, Petr; Storch, David; Jetz, Walter (2015): On the decline of biodiversity due to area loss

Nature Communications 6, Article number: 8837, DOI:10.1038/ncomms9837


Storch, David; Keil, Petr; Jetz, Walter (2012): Universal species–area and endemics–area relationships at continental scales

Nature, 488: 78-81. DOI: 10.1038/nature11226

Šizling, Arnošt L.; Kunin, William, E.,; Šizlingová, Eva; Reif, Jiří; Storch, David (2011): Between geometry and biology: the problem of universality of the species-area relationship.

American Naturalist, 178:602-611.

Šímová, Irena ; Storch, David; Keil, Petr; Boyle B., ; Phillips O. L., ; Enquist B. J. , (2011): Global species-energy relationship in forest plots: role of abundance, temperature and species' climatic tolerances

Global Ecology and Biogeography 20: 842-856.

Šizling, Arnošt L.; Storch, David; Šizlingová, Eva; Reif, Jiří; Gaston, Kevin (2009): Species-abundance distribution results from a spatial analogy of central limit theorem

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A., 106: 6691-6695.

Storch, David; Šizling, Arnošt L.; Reif, Jiří; Polechová, Jitka; Šizlingová, Eva; Gaston, Kevin (2008): The quest for a null model for macroecological patterns: geometry of species distributions at multiple spatial scales

Ecology Letters ,11: 771-784.

Storch, David; Davies , R.G.; Zajíček, Samuel; Orme , C.D.L.; Olson , V.; Thomas , G.H.; Ding , T.S.; Rasmussen , P.C.; Ridgely , R.S.; Bennett, P.M.; Blackburn , T.M.; Owens, I.P.F.; Gaston, Kevin (2006): Energy, range dynamics and global species richness patterns: Reconciling mid-domain effects and environmental determinants of avian diversity

Ecology Letters, 9: 1308-1320.