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1+ paragraphs on any combination of the following:
Pamela's presentation reminded me of the importance of basic competition theory in understanding competition between pathogen strains, specifically in terms of the interplay between frequency-dependent and density-dependent selection in the insect pathogens that I study. That has in turn helped me to begin to see how theory of pathogen competition is related to more general theories of competition, as Priyanga pointed out, and as became clear from seeing Annette's and Otto's and Bobby's presentations.
Something I am unclear on, however, is how and whether such theory of such generality has practical implications for pest control. Those comments apply even more strongly to the whole idea of irreversibility. I can see what Dervis and Jacopo mean by "ecological irreversibility", but I can't see the practical applications. Meanwhile, I can't see what David Krakauer's ideas have to do with killing pests in any way. That said, I can appreciate that I may need to think about all these ideas quite a bit more.
My first 2 paragraphs were based on the first day of talks. Now that the meeting is done, I have 2 more thoughts. Off and on during the meeting, we had long rambling discussions about the semantics of irreversibility. I found much of that discussion to be a waste of time. After the meeting was over, however, we were able to identify metrics of irreversibility, and those metrics will be directly useful in work in my lab.
Questions I would like to know the answer to, and that are motivated by the talks I've listened to:
Is the outcome of pathogen competition irreversible, or can it be reversed by climate change?
To what extent are high-level abstractions useful in understanding ecological problems, and in applied ecology more specifically?
Are statistically robust tests of ecological theory necessary for the theory to be useful?
Paez et al. (2017) and Fleming-Davies et al. (2015) represent about 2/3's of the results that I presented in my talk.