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BRS: Lauren Shoemaker "The role of environmental variability and food web structure for species coexistence"
February 12, 2020
host: Rachel Germain, cookies Angie N and Mia W
Abstract: Environmental variability and interspecific interactions are two cornerstones of the longstanding effort to understand how species coexist and the mechanisms that maintain biodiversity. Recently it has become evident that these two factors are not independent, but rather that environmental conditions mediate species interactions. In my talk, I present a combination of mathematical models, microcosm experiments, and field manipulations that allow us to partition the mechanisms that maintain biodiversity in an inherently variable world. I examine the relative importance of spatio-temporal variability in underlying environmental conditions, dispersal, species competition, and their interactions. Finally, I end by integrating modern coexistence theory and food web theory to simultaneously quantify the relative importance of predation, competition, and environmental fluctuations for species coexistence in both models and the rocky intertidal ecosystem. These results highlight the impact of environmental variability in altering demography and species interactions in manners that tend to stabilize coexistence.
Biodiversity Research Seminar Series (BRS)