[ Ecological
statistics with R! 

Didrik Vanhoenacker

PhD in Plant Ecology
at the Department of Botany, Stockholm University.

Bagartorpsringen 62
SE-170 65 Solna

Phone +46 70 999 38 13
E-mail didrik1@ekolog.se (remove number 1).


PhD project

I defended my thesis in June 2008. My project concerned how floral display in Primula farinosa is affected by different biotic interactions. Normally Primula farinosa has a long scape (right), but on the large islands of Öland and Gotland, SE Sweden, there is also a unique short-scaped morph (left). Pollen limitation is more severe in the short-scaped morph, but it escapes grazing and is also less attacked by the seed predating moth Falseuncaria ruficiliana.

In this project I collaborated with Per Toräng in Uppsala, and our supervisors Johan Ehrlén [Stockholm] and Jon Ågren [Uppsala].

Since 2008 I have been on parental leave, teching ecological statistics, and studying pedagogics for a teacher exam.


Grizzled skipper, Pygargus malvae

Falseuncaria ruficiliana


Other projects                        

I am also very interested in the selective forces that ants impose on plants. Together with my master student Linda Knutsson, we have studied whether ants indirectly select for larger seed sizes in Melampyrum nemorosum. Ecological interests include:

  • Ant dispersal
  • Using phylogenies to answer ecological question
  • Floral and dispersal syndromes
  • Evolution of spore size and heterospory
  • Lichen communities
  • etc!



I have always been interested in teaching, and teach at courses in ecology, evolutionary biology, floristics (field botany), faunistics (field zoology), and lichenology. Before I started as a PhD student I used to work at a "Nature School" (similar to the British Field Study Centers).



The theses can be dowloaded here: Selection on floral traits in Primula farinosa.


Vanhoenacker, D., J. Ågren and J. Ehrlén. 2006. Spatio-temporal variation in pollen limitation and reproductive success of two scape morphs in Primula farinosa. New Phytologist 169 (3): 615-621.

Vanhoenacker, D., J. Ågren and J. Ehrlén. 2009. Spatial variability in seed predation in Primula farinosa: local population legacy vs. patch selection. Oecologia. 160 (1): 77-86.

Vanhoenacker, D., P. Toräng, J. Ågren and J.  Ehrlén. 2010. Morph-specific selection on floral traits in a polymorphic plant. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 23 (6): 1251-1260.


In another topic:

Cousins, S. and D. Vanhoenacker. 2011. Detection of extinction debt depends on scale and specialisation. Biological Conservation. 144 (2): 782787.


Journal cover:

Tree fern from Ecuador i American Journal of Botany 94 (5). 2007.


More about the primroses:

Ehrlén J., S. Käck and J. Ågren. 2002. Pollen limitation, seed predation and scape length in Primula farinosa. Oikos 97: 45–51.

Toräng, P., J. Ehrlén and J. Ågren. 2006. Facilitation in an insect-pollinated herb with a floral display dimorphism. Ecology 87 (8): 2113–2117.

Ågren J., C. Fortunel and J. Ehrlén. 2006. Selection on floral display in insect-pollinated Primula farinosa: effects of vegetation height and litter accumulation. Oecologia 150 225-232

Toräng, P., J. Ehrlén and J. Ågren. 2008. Mutualists and antagonists mediate frequency-dependent selection on floral display. Ecology 89 1564–1572.