Islands as a laboratory of plant-animal mutualism: integrating ecological and genetic theory

Name of applicant

Bo Dalsgaard


Associate Professor


University of Copenhagen


DKK 60,000



Type of grant



Due to their discrete nature, islands have long served as laboratories of biogeography. However, although mutualistic interactions between animals and plants play a central role in species survival and coexistence, the role of islands in enlightening our understanding of the factors driving plant-animal mutualism over contemporary ecological and deep-time evolutionary timescales are largely unexplored. In this proposed conference and workshop, first, we will synthesize the current knowledge on how island studies have contributed to help us understand the factors driving mutualistic plant-animal interactions and, second, we will identify knowledge gaps and provide an array of 'fruitful avenues' on how islands may become the forefront of research to understand the processes determining plant-animal mutualisms. Notably, we argue there is a need to integrate ecological and genetic theory. Thus, bringing together Danish and International experts in a 3-day conference and workshop, we aim at developing synergy between ecological and modern genetic tools to better understand the coevolutionary processes occurring between species over ecological and evolutionary timescales.

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