Tom Rhys Bishop

Tom Rhys Bishop
Cardiff University | CU · School of Biosciences

BA (Hons), MRes, PhD

About

40
Publications
16,759
Reads
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1,101
Citations
Citations since 2017
26 Research Items
1029 Citations
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Introduction
I am an ecologist interested in using morphology and physiology to understand the distribution of biological diversity, particularly that of the ants. When not chasing ants on mountains or playing in R, I can be found cycling, slacklining, bouldering, watching Adventure Time or listening to ambient beats.
Additional affiliations
August 2021 - present
Cardiff University
Position
  • Lecturer
May 2018 - August 2021
University of Liverpool
Position
  • Fellow
August 2016 - April 2018
University of Pretoria
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2012 - May 2016
University of Liverpool
Field of study
  • Ecology
October 2011 - September 2012
Imperial College London
Field of study
  • Entomology
October 2008 - June 2011
University of Oxford
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Animals are integrated into the wider ecosystem via their foraging and behaviour. The compensation hypothesis predicts that animals target their foraging efforts (i) towards nutrients that are scarce in the environment and (ii) towards nutrients that are not present in the usual diet of species, which varies across trophic levels. Understanding how...
Article
Current global challenges call for a rigorously predictive ecology. Our understanding of ecological strategies, imputed through suites of measurable functional traits, comes from decades of work that largely focussed on plants. However, a key question is whether plant ecological strategies resemble those of other organisms. Among animals, ants have...
Article
Full-text available
Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are one of the most dominant terrestrial organisms worldwide. They are hugely abundant, both in terms of sheer numbers and biomass, on every continent except Antarctica and are deeply embedded within a diversity of ecological networks and processes. Ants are also eusocial and colonial organisms-their lifecycle is buil...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystems can respond in a variety of ways to the same agent of disturbance. In some contexts, fire causes large and long‐lasting changes to ecological communities. In others, fire has a limited or short‐lived impact on assemblages of animals and plants. Understanding why this occurs is critical if we are to manage these kinds of disturbances acro...
Article
Full-text available
We present a reanalysis of the study by Warne et al. (2020), where authors reported substantial changes through time in a cloud forest ant assemblage in response to climate change after a decade. We show that these changes are due to major differences between the sampling periods in terms of sampling methods and effort. We stress the need for a ful...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Foraging activity is critical for animal survival. Comprehending how ecological drivers influence foraging behaviour would benefit our understanding of the link between animals and ecological processes. Here, we evaluated the influence of ecological drivers on ant foraging activity and relative resource use. Location Six Brazilian biomes: Amaz...
Article
Logging and habitat conversion create hotter microclimates in tropical forest landscapes, representing a powerful form of localised anthropogenic climate change. It is widely believed that these emergent conditions are responsible for driving changes in communities of organisms found in modified tropical forests, although the empirical evidence bas...
Article
Full-text available
Exploring elevational patterns in species richness and their underlying mechanisms is a major goal in biogeography and community ecology. Reptiles can be powerful model organisms to examine biogeographical patterns. In this study, we examine the elevational patterns of reptile species richness and test a series of hypotheses that may explain them....
Article
Full-text available
We currently face significant, anthropogenic, global environmental challenges and the role of ecologists in mitigating these challenges is arguably more important than ever. Consequently there is an urgent need to recruit and train future generations of ecolo- gists, both those whose main area is ecology, but also those involved in the geological,...
Article
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Gradients in cuticle lightness of ectotherms have been demonstrated across latitudes and elevations. Three key hypotheses have been used to explain these macroecological patterns: the thermal melanism hypothesis (TMH), the melanism-desiccation hypothesis (MDH) and the photo-protection hypothesis (PPH). Yet the broad abiotic measures, such as temper...
Article
Full-text available
The trait-based approach to ecology promises to provide a mechanistic understanding of species distributions and ecosystem functioning. Typically, trait analyses focus on average species trait values and assume that intraspecific variation is small or negligible. Recent work has shown, however, that intraspecific trait variation can often contribut...
Article
Full-text available
As the need to better understand the ecology of hotspots of endemism intensifies, the insurance hypothesis is drawing increasing attention from policy-makers and scenario-planners. The hypothesis states that biodiversity increases ecosystem stability. When species numbers fluctuate, there is potential for further perturbation, loss of function and...
Article
Predicting and understanding the biological response to future climate change is a pressing challenge for humanity. In the 21st century, many species will move into higher latitudes and higher elevations as the climate warms. In addition, the relative abundances of species within local assemblages is likely to change. Both effects have implications...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial ectotherms are likely to be especially sensitive to rising temperatures over coming decades. Thermal limits are used to measure climatic tolerances that potentially affect ectotherm distribution. While there is a strong relationship between the critical thermal maximum (CTmax) of insects and their latitudinal ranges, the nature of this...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between levels of dominance and species richness is highly contentious, especially in ant communities. The dominance‐impoverishment rule states that high levels of dominance only occur in species‐poor communities, but there appear to be many cases of high levels of dominance in highly diverse communities. The extent to which domina...
Article
Global extinction drivers, including habitat disturbance and climate change, are thought to affect larger species more than smaller species. However, it is unclear if such drivers interact to affect assemblage body size distributions. We asked how these two key global change drivers differentially affect the interspecific size distributions of ants...
Article
Full-text available
Why is biological diversity distributed in the way that it is? This question has been central to ecology and biogeography for centuries and is of great importance for pure and applied reasons. I use a functional trait view of ecology to complement standard sampling protocols to better understand the distribution and structure of ant (Hymenoptera: F...
Article
Full-text available
What forces structure ecological assemblages? A key limitation to general insights about assemblage structure is the availability of data that are collected at a small spatial grain (local assemblages) and a large spatial extent (global coverage). Here, we present published and unpublished data from 51,388 ant abundance and occurrence records of mo...
Article
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In recent years the focus in ecology has shifted from species to a greater emphasis on functional traits. In tandem with this shift, a number of trait databases have been developed covering a range of taxa. Here, we introduce the GlobalAnts database. Globally, ants are dominant, diverse and provide a range of ecosystem functions. The database repre...
Article
Full-text available
1. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are often cited as highly thermophilic and this has led to a range of studies investigating their thermal tolerances. It is unknown, however, if the geographic distribution of ant thermal tolerance conforms to the two major macropyhsiological rules that have been found in other taxa: Janzen's and Brett's rules. In...
Article
Full-text available
In ectotherms, the colour of an individual's cuticle may have important thermoregulatory and protective consequences. In cool environments, ectotherms should be darker, to maximize heat gain, and larger, to minimize heat loss. Dark colours should also predominate under high UV-B conditions because melanin offers protection. We test these prediction...
Article
Full-text available
The environment is thought to strongly shape the ecology and evolution of species. Similar environments may cause species to look the same or converge upon particular traits. Dissimilar environments can cause species to look different or to diverge in their traits. These ideas have been explored at the single species level or within restricted geog...
Article
Full-text available
Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect...
Data
Study sites and sampling methods. Detailed description of the sampling and trait collection in the three communities. (DOCX)
Data
Data used for the analysis. Abundance and trait data for our plant, ant, and bird communities. (ZIP)
Data
Results of the linear mixed effect models. Tables A1 –A5 presenting results of all linear mixed effects models. (DOCX)
Data
Appendix S1 Generalized linear mixed models using all pairwise combinations of elevational sites. Appendix S2 Plots showing the relationship between ant species and functional βsor (total beta diversity), βsim (turnover component) and βsne (nestedness‐resultant component) and elevational distance.
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have focused on the impacts of climate change on biological assemblages, yet little is known about how climate interacts with other major anthropogenic influences on biodiversity, such as habitat disturbance. Using a unique global database of 1128 local ant assemblages, we examined whether climate mediates the effects of habitat distur...
Article
Full-text available
AimBeta diversity describes the variation in species composition between sites and can be used to infer why different species occupy different parts of the globe. It can be viewed in a number of ways. First, it can be partitioned into two distinct patterns: turnover and nestedness. Second, it can be investigated from either a species identity or a...
Article
Full-text available
Invertebrates are dominant species in primary tropical rainforests, where their abundance and diversity contributes to the functioning and resilience of these globally important ecosystems. However, more than one-third of tropical forests have been logged, with dramatic impacts on rainforest biodiversity that may disrupt key ecosystem processes. We...
Article
Patterns of biological diversity are often investigated across space but little work has attempted to explore the consistency of such observations through time. Here, our aim was to understand the patterns of diversity for a functionally critical taxon, the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), through space and time using an extensive dataset collected...
Article
1. The phenology of many species has been shown to shift under climate change. However, because species respond at different rates, ecological communities may be disrupted leading to species extinctions and loss of ecosystem services. Hence, there is a need to monitor and understand phenological change. 2. Population data, gathered by standardised...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
I am part of the Biodiversity and Land-use Impacts (BALI) Project, investigating how land-use changes are impacting tropical rainforests. The Termite-Ant Research Team (TARTs) are working on a large-scale ecosystem manipulation experiment investigating how ants and termites shape ecosystem assembly and function.