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BRS: Evolution lecture Nancy Emery "The evolution of dispersal in heterogeneous environments"
February 26, 2020
host: graduate students, cookies Pirmin N and Tom B
Abstract: Dispersal plays a central role in adaptive evolution by determining the range of environments that are colonized and the extent of gene flow that occurs among populations. At the same time, an individual’s dispersal strategy is determined by phenotypic traits that are typically heritable and variable within species, and thus can evolve (sometimes rapidly) by natural selection. Our lab is evaluating variation in dispersal in Lasthenia (Asteraceae), a small genus of predominantly wind- and gravity-dispersed annual plants that are restricted to different habitats in the California Floristic Province of California. We are currently exploring the hypothesis that variation in the spatial and temporal distribution of suitable habitat has driven observed differences in dispersal traits among three Lasthenia species that specialize on different microhabitats within vernal pool landscapes. In this talk, I will present some of our recent work on the traits that determine seed dispersal distance in Lasthenia, as well as preliminary outcomes of a field experiment that investigates the fitness consequences of different dispersal distances.
Biodiversity Research Seminar Series (BRS)