Estimating species interactions in a complex world
How much information is needed to infer whether an interaction exists between two species? Increasingly, species interactions are inferred from species associations, using patterns in statistical co-occurrence. However, in a first test, we found that there is no relationship between interactions estimated experimentally and interactions inferred from co-occurrence data, calling into question the widespread use of these methods.
Barner et al. In review. Fundamental contradictions among common estimates of non-trophic interactions.
Ongoing work includes a synthesis of co-occurrence theory and statistical methods, and an exploration of universal rules in patterns of statistical "associations".