The group Community Ecology (leader Eric Allan) works on the interlinked questions of what maintains diversity within communities and what effects biodiversity has on ecosystem functioning. In particular the group is interested in understanding processes of coexistence and community assembly and the effects of environmental change on plant communities. We also work on the functional consequences of biodiversity in both experimental and natural systems and are further interested in understanding the role of biodiversity in providing key ecosystem services and in the sustainable management of ecosystems. To explore these questions we use a mixture of synthesis analysis of large datasets, modelling and experiments. We work in grasslands, forests and dryland ecosystems.