April 26, 3:00 pm
Room W-109 Turner Hall
NRES Departmental Seminar by Dr. Natalie West, USDA-ARS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Title: Biological interactions link individual and population level dynamics
Biological interactions provide an important connection between small-scale environmentally dependent processes and population level dynamics. I will discuss two case studies in which we use biological interactions to link individual consequences with broader-scale effects. The first will focus on plant-herbivore interactions in a species where insect floral herbivory presents a significant population limitation. In this system, plants can reduce insect effects through changes in flowering. However, the relative contribution to plant success depends strongly on factors that drive spatial and temporal variability in insect populations. In the second case, we will talk about how interactions among microhabitat conditions influence the regeneration niche of a non-native grass, and how we might use this information to make predictions about the distribution of likely invasion sites in the local landscape. These studies highlight the importance of identifying biotic and abiotic interactions that govern variation in individual consequences for understanding larger- scale population effects.
USDA/ARS website: http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/